Fair Warning: This is super long, and there are no cute pictures :)
People Plan and God Laughs.
I have quoted that phrase to myself and to others for such a long time. It is so true though. When F and I got married I had a plan. We would graduate, F would find a good job, we would get a house, have a baby, and then another, and then adopt.....
Not one thing that I have planned has happened in the order I thought it should. We had O while we were still in college. F didn't get that perfect job right out of college (and really who did? The market crashed right before we graduated). We don't own our home. I saw all my friends having babies and I was ready for a second one. We tried. We prayed. We waited and waited and waited.
Life happened. F joined the military which sent us on another wild ride. We waited for our next child to come, while I watched as mama's delivered and became pregnant with baby number 3 (or 4). What was happening? What was I doing wrong, that all these other people seemed to be getting so easily?
As month after month passed with no pregnancy, I began to up my game. I read everything I could get my hands on about healthy eating, and living. No chemicals, no processed food. We became that family, or rather I became that crazy lady that doesn't let her child eat food coloring and doesn't buy anything with high fructose corn syrup or MSG or..... I exercised. I tracked my cycles. I went to a chiropractor. I did everything I could possibly do on my own. Still nothing.
Last February, as I was anxiously waiting to find out if we were going to able to go with F while he was training I got a call from my Mentor Mom in my mom's group. She asked how I was, and I responded with some comment about hating the month of February. I have nothing eventful happening at the time. The excitement from the holidays has long disappeared, my great-grandmother died a few years before during this month, and everything is gray and gloomy and just sort of depressing. She said, 'Oh I just love this time of year, because my family has a few birthdays and we just have a wonderful celebration.' As I hung up the phone, I burst into tears standing at the gas station because I was so, so frustrated with all the uncertainty. I tried to recall all those verses I had memorized before about waiting on God's timing, how His way is best, and such but honestly I had very little comfort.
Just a few days later we found out we could go with F to his training and we were thrilled. F and I were also excited that we would have really good health care coverage. As I perused the list of things it included, I found 'infertility'. Sigh. Maybe we need to see a doctor because something is wrong. When we get there, we will go to the doctor.
Fast forward to our time at the base. We had more income and practically no expenses, and a well-stocked commissary. F and I both decided to try eating healthier. We had probiotics, coconut oil, chia seeds, chlorophyl. We had vitamins, and made sure to get plenty of veggies. Just about every morning, I would hand my husband some gray concoction that contained every superfood I could get my hands on. He smiled, closed his eyes and drank it as fast as possible.
After a solid two weeks at the base, I gathered the courage to set up my appointment for an infertility clinic, but it took almost two months before I could get in. While we waited, life went on. We went to our Bible study, and one week we were discussing how if we are followers of Christ we will have afflictions. There were 14 different ones discussed but the one that caught my eye was 'mysterious affliction.' Sometimes God, has chosen not to reveal why we are suffering. There was no obvious reason for why we haven't had another child. We were doing everything right, but God's timing is different than ours. With much hesitation, I told the group about our struggles with trying to conceive. With a sympathetic smile the Chaplain's wife told us their children are all about 7 years apart and God's timing is best. The Chaplain put us down on his prayer list.
The days leading up to the appointment, I was riddled with fear. What should I expect? What kind of tests will we have to do? F couldn't make it to the initial consultation, so I left O with a friend and drove to the appointment alone anxious and shaking.
Of course, on the way to the appointment I got lost, it started raining, I tripped into a puddle while running around to the other side of the building, and arrived with mere minutes to spare. The consultation was very anti-climatic. The doctor gave me a biology lesson on how babies are made, and told me if myself plus 99 friends tried to conceive 90% would conceive in 9 months, so the fact that we have been unable to in the years we have been trying makes us infertile. In my head I knew this, but having someone say it to you is not pleasant. It's heartbreaking.
I listened in horror as he detailed the next several weeks of testing. I had to wait until a certain day of my cycle to begin all of the tests. If you have never had to go through fertility treatment, count your many blessings. If you have, the tests alone are a testament to your strength.
The doctor asked a few more questions, and tried to get an idea of when all of these tests would begin. I gave him my charts I had made and he said, 'Sometimes women come in here, have the consultation, and then find out two weeks later they are pregnant, and I never see them again. So, if you're aren't pregnant I will see you in a few weeks.' I am certain my mouth dropped open at this point. Even if he has had that happen before who says that? Of course I am not pregnant. I have been trying for years. Something must be wrong.
I left the appointment, went out the wrong door and wandered around 2 parking lots in the rain without an umbrella until I stumbled upon my vehicle. I drove home crying and then trying to compose myself, and then crying some more.
Then, I had to explain the day to F, who was equally horrified by the tests. At least we had a few days before we had to do it. I prayed for strength to get through it.
Part 2 tomorrow