Today R2M brings you a story that shines a new light on infertility. Cherise has been kind enough to share her struggle with conception along with the blessings she has discovered on her journey to motherhood. Although she is still trying to conceive it is clear her patience, strength and hope are all testaments to her faith in God. Thank you for the reminder that God makes everything beautiful in its time. -Traci
A message from Cherise:
“My husband and I were married August 15, 2010. We were excited to be parents, but wanted to wait until we felt God told us it was the right time. The Lord helped us accomplish so many things before he called us to become parents. In 2012, I was hired as a full time teacher after three years of substituting. In 2013, we purchased our first home, which has turned out to be our dream home. In 2014, we paid off all of our student loans. Looking back at these accomplishments, I KNOW there is absolutely no way these things could have happened without our Heavenly Father guiding our every step, providing the money, and giving us wisdom. Throughout our marriage, my husband and I have always depended on God to lead our every step.
In January of 2014, we both heard the Lord speaking to us; it was time to start trying for a baby. We were both so excited and a little scared. It was a big step, but we were happy that we had finally heard the Lord and were giddy about the idea of being parents.
We immediately ditched the birth control. I had already been taking pre-natal vitamins for a year. I met with my doctor and asked if she had any advice for how I could best prepare my body for being pregnant. She was excited and said I was doing everything right. I had a healthy diet, weight, and exercise plan. I was 27, which was a great age to start trying. My doctor assumed I would be back soon to get my blood test and confirm my pregnancy. I knew it could take a few months right after coming off of birth control, but I assumed that just like my friends, I would be pregnant within a few months.
A few months turned into 6 months. We began to worry, but we knew that we were not considered infertile until one year. At 6 months, I began to use ovulation prediction kits, and I noticed something weird. First of all, my period cycle was a different amount of days every month. Month 6 was 35 days, month 7 was 29, month 8 was 21, and so on. How was I supposed to use an ovulation kit if I had no idea how long my cycle would be? I ended up just using the strips every day, and got a positive ovulation test 4-5 days every month. This was strange as well considering most people only get a positive test 1-2 days a month. Was I really ovulating? Were these false positives? What was going on? I continued to track my cycles.
After a year, we were referred to a gynecologist and urologist. My husband was given a gold star for his sperm analysis, so we ruled out male factor infertility. Our gynecologist gave me the diagnosis of PCOS. Our symptoms were irregular cycles, heavy periods, painful periods, and painful intercourse. I had a vaginal ultrasound and an x-ray, and both came back normal. I never loved the diagnosis of PCOS, because I did not have a lot of the typical symptoms (cysts, abnormal hair growth, overweight). She prescribed me with 2.5 mg of Letrozole (Femara). This was supposed to stimulate ovulation. On day 5-9 of my cycle, I took Letrozole. On day 10, I started ovulation tests. On my first positive ovulation day, I counted 7 days. On day 7 after ovulation, I got my blood drawn (I HATE getting my blood drawn, I have skinny veins that roll, it takes forever). The next day I would get my results. My progesterone levels were between 5 and 11 every month, which is extremely low. With every month, my husband and I got more disheartened.
After 7 rounds of Letrozole without success, we had hit the year and a half mark. We saw our gynecologist and now she had the diagnosis of endometriosis. My frustration grew as it seemed like she was just guessing at what my problem could be. She said we now only had three choices:
Increase the milligrams of Letrozole I was taking or switch to Clomid.
See a reproductive endocrinologist.
Get surgery to diagnose and cut out any endometriosis or scar tissue from my appendectomy.
We did not love any of these choices. We had no confidence in the meds, not enough money for an RE (our insurance won’t cover this), and exploratory surgery seems like a huge investment for something that only might be the problem. We asked for prayer and have been waiting for an answer from the Lord.
That brings us to today. We are currently at 1 year and 10 months of trying to conceive. As part of this journey, I have recognized so many blessings I have received that I never would have without infertility, and for that I am very thankful. I wanted to end my story by sharing those, because I sincerely believe God makes beautiful things from our brokenness and that I am bringing Him glory through this hard time in my life.
Blessings from my journey to parenthood:
I HAVE LEARNED EXTREME PATIENCE.
I am not anxious for my next break, I can wait for God to tell me my next career move, I trust that He will mend my relationship with family members, I have learned to wait on Him and trust Him in everything. I have complete confidence that He will bring us a baby at the perfect time.
I HAVE REALIZED MY FUTURE CHILD IS NOT MY OWN.
Once I realized I have absolutely no control over this, I was able to recognize that my child belongs to God now and for eternity. I will simply be a guardian of His gift once He chooses to give me a child.
I CAN APPRECIATE WHAT AN AMAZING GIFT CHILDREN ARE.
I always knew this, but I always assumed having kids is easy; raising them is the hard part. Now I realize they call it the miracle of childbirth because it is literally a miracle anyone conceives. Every single child comes directly from heaven and only by God’s grace.
I HAVE LEARNED HOW TO TAKE CARE OF MYSELF.
Trying to conceive forces me to! I have to exercise and eat right if I want a baby. I can’t be stressed, so I have to control my schedule and say no to things. I have to spend time with God daily or I will be a heap of tears and stress on the floor. This journey has forced me to be healthy in every possible way.
I HAVE RECOGNIZED GOD’S PATTERNS OF PROVIDENCE IN MY LIFE.
God has answered so many of my prayers in threes. I prayed for a husband and three years later I married my husband. Prayed for a job and three years later, a job! House, three years. Debt to be paid, three years. Not every prayer is three years, but it is a cool pattern nonetheless. And the amazing thing is, when I pictured the answer to each of those prayers, my dreams were so minuscule compared to what God actually gave me. He exceeded my wildest dream in every aspect of life! How could I not trust His dream for me of a baby? I am so excited to see how He is going to answer this prayer!
GOD HAS GIVEN US A COMMUNITY OF BELIEVERS WHO ARE PRAYING FOR US CONSTANTLY.
We are surrounded by friends and family who love the Lord and are bowing before God. I love that our struggle has brought so many before His awesome throne.
I HAVE LET GO OF MY FEARS OF PREGNANCY AND CHILDBIRTH.
For the longest time, that was one of my number one fears. I was scared it was going to hurt, be uncomfortable, I would feel sick all the time, I would hate being pregnant, I would wish I had adopted, that I would be less attractive, that I would need surgery, that I would die in child birth, that I would miscarry, that every possible horrible scenario that could happen would happen. Now, I know that all of those things could happen, and I do not fear them. I am at peace with however God wants to bring us a baby and excited to see how He will do it!
I AM NO LONGER AFRAID OF NEVER GETTING PREGNANT.
This is for two reasons. The first is, my life is meant to bring glory to God. No matter how that happens, whether through parenthood or not, I know that as long as I am following Him, I am bringing Him glory! It is so comforting to know that. When I look back on my life, I want to be able to say I followed Him until the day I died. That is the only end goal. The second reason I am not afraid is because God has given me such a peace that I will be a parent someday. This means He has the perfect time planned, and I just get to anticipate and watch it happen! I am thankful that He has perfect timing.
I hope my story has been a blessing and encouragement to you. God makes beautiful things out of the dust.”