Written By: Kristina Meece
The first time I was pregnant, we had been married for less than a year. I was only 20 years old. Just as soon as I found out I was pregnant, it was over. Just like that. Only my husband and I saw the faint blue positive line on the test. It was never confirmed by the doctor. It was before social media, smart phones and even digital cameras. No proof. Nothing. Just emptiness. Just nothing. One “friend” even said to me one day that because it happened so fast it was like I was never pregnant. Maybe it never happened. Maybe it was a false positive and there was never a baby. I carried that secret guilt around for a long time. Maybe I was never a ‘real’ mother. Empty. That is how I felt. Just empty.
I was still in college. We weren’t really trying, but we weren’t really not trying to get pregnant. My period were never regular. I never quite understood the whole fertility “thing”. My husband and I were just along for the “ride”. Yet, after several years, I was getting frustrated. Several of my friends were getting pregnant and I was not. I started praying Hannah’s prayer. I also pleaded with God. “Make me a mom and I will be the ‘cupcake, craft-making, zoo-taking-ist’ mom you’ve ever created.” In 1997, I went in feeling ‘weird’ and got the call that I was pregnant. Three months pregnant to be exact. Who knew? I had my daughter May 1998. We named her Hannah. Seemed appropriate for all the praying I did.
When Hannah was around 18 months, I was done with college and had a full-time teaching job. We thought it was time to start trying for another baby. (Notice there was very little praying about it from us.) My periods were still irregular. Knowing how long it took to get pregnant with my daughter, I headed to a regular OB/GYN.
I had great insurance, and at that time, referrals were easy to get. My doctor immediately referred me to a fertility specialist. I just knew I would be pregnant within 6 months. I still giggle at the naivety of that moment.
First came the paperwork and lots of it. Embarrassing paperwork. There was nothing left to the imagination when the paperwork was completed. Nothing. My entire life stripped bare for the entire medical world to read. But…I wanted a baby.
Next came the tests and lots of them. Plus, the charting that took months to do. All this in a few words but the time I spent waiting. Waiting in rooms and for test results to come back. That was the hardest part. I wanted a baby and I had no patience for tests and waiting and charting and disclosing all parts of my life to a doctor who “cared”. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. But…I wanted a baby.
Then, my doctor wanted me to lose weight. And, I did. The goal was 30 pounds. I wanted a baby. I started to eat right. I started to exercise. I lost that 30 pounds. Within that 6 months that I thought I was going to get pregnant, I charted, had tests, waited and lost 30 pounds. But…I wanted a baby.
My husband and I had been trying for a baby for a year when I went to a woman’s retreat. I went up to be prayed over for the infertility and because I needed to know if I was pushing aside the one gift from God to be “selfish” in the pursuit of a second gift from God. The woman did pray over me. She said the ‘oddest’ thing to me. She said “Be patient. Wait on God’s timing. You will conceive again.” When? I wanted to know when? I wanted to shake the proverbial ball and know when.
My husband consented to be tested after a year and a half of charting and testing on my part. He was great. He was beyond great. He was super great. We left the doctor’s office and had a steak dinner to “celebrate” his test results. While this meant good news on that end, I was a tad jealous. That meant it was all my fault, in my eyes. I was the proverbial Rachel in this story. He could produce children, but not me.
That is when we did the round of shots. Right in the hip. For several days. I felt during that time I was going completely crazy. One night, I could have sworn one of the smoke detectors was going off. (It wasn’t.) I sweated all the time. I cried a lot. I was miserable. I felt like our lovemaking was just routine and just “let’s get it over with.” No joy. Nothing. Emptiness. And…I still got my period after all that. I cried for days.
I had one more test. One that hurt so bad that I thought my insides were being torn in two. We sat in the office. The doctor looked us right in the eyes and said “I’m sorry. You will never have children without going through in-vitro.”
I was done. I was done with having charts and tests and kits and everything. I told my husband that if we were going to make love again it was when we wanted to really make love. Nothing routine or empty. I cried a lot during that month. We made love once. I missed my period.
My doctor told me to come in. She said the fertility drugs were still messing with my body. She did an ultrasound. She told me to come back in two days. There was an egg sac, but because of the test she knew it wasn’t viable. They only way we could tell if it was viable was to wait for the heartbeat.
I started praying. I only told those very close to me what was happening because if the “egg” was stuck it would mean major surgery for me, and the “death” of the baby which devastated me even more. Two days I went back and was told to come back in two more days. They would know for sure by then. This time the waiting was horrific. I won’t even begin to tell you what my mind went through. I slept very little.
On June 6, 2001, I was once again waiting in a cold, dark room. For the first time in my life I prayed this prayer “God, I don’t know what to pray here. Whatever happens let it bring glory and honor to your name. Please intercede on my behalf. If this baby is viable, let this baby always bring glory and honor to You.”
The doctor began the ultrasound. I will never forget her words. “I don’t believe this. I don’t understand what happened here, but your baby is in the right spot and has a healthy heartbeat.” She turned the monitor and I saw this little beating heart. I said “All things are possible through God.” I do remember her going “Ummm Hmmm.” As if there had to be another reason why my unviable womb not just weeks ago had open up and accepted this little human being into it.
Today, Alexander is a healthy (and very tall) 14 year old boy who is a delight to everyone he meets. God has great plans for him.
The verse that I clung to after the woman’s retreat and all through his rocky pregnancy (which is another God-thing) is Deuteronomy 31:8 “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
Secondary infertility is one of the most painful, dark experiences I walked through for many reasons. There is a God who goes before you. There are also women who have as well. He led me through this path so that I can share with you today that there is hope and healing. You are amazing. If you are struggling, you are not alone. I may not know your name, but I pray for you daily. One day you will share your story as well. Hang in there.
PS…I very rarely make cupcakes. I am not a crafty mom. I only take my kids to the zoo when it is cool weather or a birthday party. Funny what we pray when we are desperate.
Bio: My name is Kristina. I am a 41 year old Rockin’ Jesus Girl. I will be married to my husband Eric 22 years this August. We have three children. Hannah, who is 18 and going to start a new life at Valparaiso University as a Freshmen in Environmental Science. Alexander, who is 14 and going to start a new adventure this fall as a freshman in high school. Jillian, who is 11 and going to start her new adventure in middle school as a 6th grader. While I spent many years as a special needs teacher, God had other plans for me and I have spent the last 7 years as a stay at home mom. The last 4 years, I have had the awesome adventure of driving a school bus for our local school district. In my spare time, I love to volunteer at my church in many different capacities with the coffee house being one of my favourite places to meet God and his people. My favourite motto is C.O.F.F.E.E. “Christ Offers Forgiveness For Everyone Everywhere”. I know that God has great things planned for me and I am so excited to meet Him there. Every day. Every moment is a miracle and I love sharing it.