21 Aug DARING TO HOPE
We began trying for children 6 years ago in October 2009. Due to a rare genetic disorder that my husband carried, we anticipated loss due to family history. From May 2010 through February 2012, we experienced 3 losses. They were all between 3-6 weeks, before heartbeats were detectable. We kept trusting the Lord even though it was really hard. I battled bitter feelings as friends of mine were getting pregnant left and right. It was a challenging time because, while we knew what the Bible says about the faithfulness of God, we were not seeing our prayers answered in ways we expected.
We tried fertility doctors, seeking further answers, but were just met with more uncertainty. Because of my husband’s genetic disorder, every physician we spoke with wrote our issues off and gave us very few options for a successful pregnancy. After taking a break and trusting in God’s provision, we experienced our 4th loss. The Lord used this pregnancy to bring us closer together in our marriage and in Him.
After this loss, we began to look long and hard for “the best doctor in town” and we were blessed with a surprise pregnancy. We listened to Abigail Jewel’s heartbeat – the first we had ever heard after 4 1/2 years of nothing. It was joyous! We did an early genetic test and were told that she didn’t have anything my husband had. What could go wrong, right?
Around 19 weeks my water broke. At the hospital we were told there was no heartbeat.
The “best doctor” said to us, “These things just happen.” Seriously?!? She was perfectly normal. She was our 5th miscarriage and “these things just happen?!?” We were devastated. It was the worst thing we had ever gone through.
I had come to terms with being joyful for others who became pregnant, wanting to celebrate the life of their child and not wanting to be like the enemy and steal any of their joy – but this was the worst thing I had ever experienced. No one should ever have to bury their own children. Yet, through it all, I knew that God was good and I knew that He was faithful because we had so much miraculously provided for us during this time. Our takeaway?
We are not forgotten.
We both had a hard time with the prospect of trying again. We told the Lord that He would have to basically come down from Heaven and tell us to try again naturally, or we weren’t going to do it at all. Well, He did just that. Someone we just met gave us a word that said go back to the original promise with our children. She didn’t know we had adoption paperwork filled out and we were going to mail them off the next week. We knew exactly what He meant by this word of knowledge – natural children. The first time we stopped preventing we got pregnant. We thought, this is the ticket!
We got a new doctor (again) who came highly recommended by several friends and she was going to be more proactive in caring for us. She got us on various supplements as a precaution and we went forward with hope. However, shortly after our first ultrasound, we miscarried Joanna Grace. She was about seven weeks along. We didn’t know what the Lord wanted to do from this, but we weren’t going to take it for granted. Dr. Rice was willing to do genetic testing on Joanna and myself to find out the root cause. Through a series of blood draws, we found out that I have mutation in an enzyme called MTHFR. This mutation severely hinders my ability to process folate well which is important nutritionally for cell and DNA multiplication. We also found out that, like Abby, Joanna was perfectly normal genetically. We started supplementing appropriately for the MTHFR for about a month and were able to get pregnant shortly after that.
While we are unsure of all of the answers – the why’s and how’s and such which we will never know in this life – we are assured of one thing now more than ever: we cannot hope in things on this earth to bring us satisfaction or life, not even the “experts” at life. We do not deserve the breath in our lungs, yet we are privileged to live. Our purpose in life is to serve the One Who created us and to love Him in every way He desires. He is next to us in every painful moment in this imperfect world and wants to comfort us, if we only chose to allow Him.
In Abby’s service, we had Lamentations 3:16-26 read. It is a beautiful passage and I hope you get a chance to read it, but one part I love says, “Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease.” We came out of this season trusting more than ever that our hope is not based in our dream to have children one day, our financial stability, or even in each other, but it is in Him Who will be there for us and love us now and forever more.
Through our deep desire for children, and a journey that has brought us much grief, we have come to realize that this is not the focus of our lives. We must trust the One Who is unchanging, unflinching, and unwavering in His steadfast love toward us and fix our hearts upon Him. The greatest commandment wasn’t written to be a rule, it was meant to be a blessing to draw us into a more secure place with Him. (Matthew 22:36-40)
We implore you to challenge yourself in your faith in Jesus, to have nothing else above Him in your lives. Ask Him what you are giving your time and energy to and if you are putting it in a place in your life above Him. Listen to what He has to say and obey it. He loves it when we do that!
We were blessed and thankful to welcome our daughter, Alexia Hope, into this world in August of 2015.
And just 15 short months later in November 2016, we welcomed her brother, Gideon.
We are thankful for the journey the Lord has brought us on and hope that through our story we can bring the Hope of Christ to others!