Sunday November 1, 2020.
Better Together… Our Journey
The last several months have been nothing short of crazy.
I don’t think any human will ever forget the chaos of 2020.
For Josh & I, like many others, COVID-19 wasn’t our only worry of this year..
We both navigated some pretty low valleys.
Individually and together.
From a surgery for me, an unexpected surgery for Josh, and the beginning of IVF (invitro fertilization); we couldn’t be more ready for the beginning of a new month; a fresh start.
As two positive, God-loving people; neither I nor Josh were probably thinking about the troubles we might experience once we chose to start our lives together..
But thats the beautiful thing.. marriage isn’t just about all the fun stuff, the adventures, the dates, the honeymoon.. It’s simply about just being together. NO. MATTER. WHAT.
Josh has continued to prove to me day in and day out, that no matter what we face, we have faced it TOGETHER, and that is the best part of it all.
As I am sitting here thinking of all that I want to write about, I cannot write it all in once post. So there will be continued posts that follow this one, in order to create a multiple part story.
Writing was something I never really did much, but the last couple years it has really helped me navigate and process my experiences in a healthy way. I’ve written mostly private posts/word documents to myself and even some to our future child(ren), but I think I am finally ready to share my thoughts to others..
Sharing is not easy, it exposes a new side of youself. It allows others to have a glimpse into how your brain thinks and processes emotions and experiences.
But I cannot tell you how much me reading others’ life stories has significantly helped me feel better. So I hope I can do the same. You truly never know who is reading or watching what you do or how much of an influence you can have on someone and not even know it. I hope if that person is you, that you know you are valued, loved, worthy, and protected from whatever hardships you are going through. Please reach out to someone if you need to. I promise it will help.
I can’t help but think back to this exact time 2 years ago for me.
November 9, 2018, Josh and I were packing and preparing to move into our brand new home. I remember we were feeling SO incredibly excited to begin a new chapter together. One filled with so many hopes and dreams. Dreams of starting a family, going on adventures, and continuing our happily ever after.
As we began designing our new home, we planned it with nothing but future children in mind. “4 bedrooms would be plenty for all the children we want to have!”, we thought.
So when we began trying to start a family shortly after we moved in, we quickly realized that God had different plans…
For those that know us and know our story, you probably know how much we long to be parents. You might also know the waters we have navigated in order to get there.
It’s been nothing short of easy. But it’s a journey that has made us exactly who God created us to be.
On April 11th, 2019, I found out I was pregnant. After trying for 4 months, we were ecstatic to finally see those double pink lines and for a second home pregnancy test to confirm the results: PREGNANT.
I will never forget that moment.
Although that pregnancy ended in an ectopic pregnancy, it was a special moment for the both of us.
ECTOPIC PREGNANCY STORY:
After first being mis-diagnosed with a miscarriage on April 16th, I ended up admitting myself to the Emergency Room on May 2nd for painful and persistent symptoms.
Sitting in the ER at Southwest Hospital all by myself was one of the scariest times of my life.
From the ER doctor who initially told me I probably had PCOS, or possibly a blighted ovlum, I remember just sitting there speechless and just wanting to cry.
When I had left work that afternoon, I called Josh to tell him that I just didn’t feel right and was taking myself to the hospital. He unfortunately was in a work meeting so he didn’t answer, but eventually he drove up to the hospital as soon as he got my message. Shortly after that my mom came to be with me too.
I remember lying there in the hospital bed with an IV in my arm for the first time ever, just feeling so sad as I looked at my medical ID bracelet. The nurses and doctors did a bunch of tests on me. I was eventually taken in to an ultrasound room, and was given a transvaginal ultrasound.
As I sat there alone, I had a hard time looking at the ultrasound screen. Every time I looked up, I had no idea what I was looking at… but I knew it wasn’t a baby in my belly. I just wanted to cry and I couldn’t help but think “I should be sitting here getting my very first ultrasound looking at a healthy heartbeat! Why God does this have to be me? It doesn’t feel fair!”. I felt so angry, sad, and confused..
I learned shortly after the ultrasound that the pregnancy was ectopic and I was told that my fallopian tube had ruptured and needed removed immediately. I couldn’t help but wonder why God would let something like this happen to “me“?
But with my family surrounding me, I felt at peace. A peace I just really couldn’t describe to you.. But one that allowed me to know that everything would be okay.
On our way home, I remember Josh so gently caring for me.
The next day, I learned more devastating news. During surgery, the doctor discovered that the pregnancy was ecotpic because of a rare infection of my fallopian tubes called a hydrosalpinx.
Having no clue what that meant, I immediately googled..
A hydrosalpinx is a condition that occurs when the fallopian tube is blocked and filled with toxic fluid. (To give some insight – women are born with 2 fallopian tubes and tubes are needed in order to conceive a child naturally. The fallopian tubes are a channel for where the egg and the sperm meet in order to fertilize, until they eventually find their way back to the uterus to stick and grow.) So, in my case, the baby had implanted in my tube instead of the uterus, causing my tube to rupture and bleed.
Because of my diagosed hydrosalpinx, the doctor told Josh that my other remaining tube was severely damaged. He described it as a “kinked sausage”. How lovely. Thankfully, we were given images from the surgery in order for us to understand and see just how bad my tubes were.
The doctor said mine were so bad that if we wanted to have children, my other tube would need removed and IVF would be our only option in order to have a healthy child.
You can image the ache in my heart in hearing my husband relay that news to me.
We couldn’t have been more devastated.
What held me together during all this pain, was a husband who loved me so unconditionally and was right there with me to fight this battle. I never once felt uncared for. Our families helped carry the both of us through these hard times too. Without everyone’s love and support, and with the protection of Jesus Christ, I really don’t know what I would have done.
Each day since those moments, God has strengthened me.
Some scripture verses that have kept me grounded with my eyes focused on the Lord:
Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Be strong and courageous.
As I reflect back on that season, I am thankful for so much.
In times of darkness, it can seem impossible to feel joy and/or thankfulness. So in the way I know best, I began to write and speak daily about things I was thankful for.
Here is a list of a few of the things I was thankful for during that season:
-A husband who loves me unconditionally
-A God who protects me
-A family who supports and encourages me
-A job that I love and boss who had my best interest and told me to go to the ER that day I left work
-Needing to be off work for a week to recover, but the family I nannied for were going on their planned vacation the same week, so I did not have to stress about taking off work for a week
-A lovely new home to recover in post-surgery
-Time to grow and get closer to God
…my thankful list could have honestly kept going because thankfulness is truly never ending.
Witnessing first-hand the protection God had on my life those few weeks are some I will always remember. Ectopic pregnancies can be fatal if left untreated, so I was incredibly thankful that this was caught when it was. I am so glad I listened to my body.
Although the pain of desiring a child of our own hurts so deeply, I am reminded every day that God is preparing us to be the best parents that we can be and is giving us this time of waiting to make the moment of meeting our child(ren) so, so much sweeter.
We just have to continue working through these tough times, together.
As we stepped in to the world of IVF and delt with a major surgery for my husband, I will share more details of these things in the coming posts.
I plan to make this a multiple part story as we continue on our journey to parenthood. As we wait, we find peace in knowing that in God’s perfect timing, He will give us the desires of our hearts.
We just need to remain patient, together…
(Part 2 to be continued…)