When God says Wait: My Journey with Secondary Infertility

I met Laura Nickelson in the Spring of 2012.  She sat in my Thursday morning Bible Study and as I got to know her precious heart, I was crazy about her.  Laura has a fantastic blog that inspires me to beautify my home and make it a sanctuary for my family. I can’t wait for you to read this beautiful story of what God is doing in Laura’s life.  

There are only a few people on this earth that know what I’m about to share with you. I’m not really sure why I’m sharing this right now, other that that I knew at some point in time I would share it. And when Bobi Ann asked me to consider writing a post, I knew it was time. Thanks for reading my story.

My Journey with Secondary Infertility

From the outside looking in, you’d think I would be perfectly happy. I mean, why not? I’m married to a wonderful man. Together we have a beautiful 3-year-old daughter and a lovely home. I have a growing business, lots of friends, an education and have traveled the world. And I love Jesus.

You’d probably never guess that this past year has been the hardest year of my life. Why? The big fat ugly diagnosis called secondary infertility.

Secondary Infertility Defined

What is secondary infertility {SI}? It’s defined as “when a man and woman do not conceive after one year of trying, despite having conceived children in the past without any problems.” {Source}

I had never even heard of such a thing until I found myself smack dab in the middle of it. {Although, surprisingly 11% of couples struggle with this often downplayed condition.}

After getting pregnant the first time, I just assumed that it would happen the same way again. But that’s just not the case, even though we’ve been told by doctors that we’re “highly probable candidates” for conceiving a second time.

I love how this mother so aptly described SI:

“I fully appreciate that I am infinitely luckier than all those who are unable to conceive at all – either through infertility, timing or sheer bad luck – but that doesn’t make the pain any easier to bear.

“What I could not have known before my daughter was born was that infertility is infertility, plain and simple, whenever it occurs. I had no idea that trying for a second child would be like starting with a blank page; that my accumulated wisdom and experience of motherhood would count for nothing in terms of conception.”

A Little History

Let’s go back a little bit in the story. Like way back. I was that little girl who played with baby dolls all day long and dreamed of being a mommy. As a young teen, I imagined getting married, preferably in my early 20’s. And I just knew that I’d have 4 kids by the time I was 30.

Well, God had a different plan. I didn’t meet my husband until I was 27, after years of praying for him. When we got married a year later, I knew I wanted to start a family pretty quickly. And we did. Within the year we were expecting our precious little girl. We were elated!

My blessing

My dream of being a mommy was finally coming true. I remember the first time I got to see Ava – after a traumatic 18 hours of labor, followed by a c-section at 35 weeks – but that’s a whole other story! I could not stop crying, because she was the answer to years of hoping and praying.

Fast forward a little more than a year to the spring of 2012. My husband and I decided it we were ready to expand our family. I just assumed it would be just as easy the second time around. But months passed before I saw my first positive pregnancy test. We were thrilled! Here we go again. It seemed like the perfect timing. Our kids would be 2.5 years apart.

But our joy quickly turned to sadness. After lots of pain, a few doctor’s visits, and a late night trip to the ER, we lost the baby. Heartwrenching, excruciating pain. When you’re going through a miscarriage and your body is losing a baby, there’s really no escaping the pain, emotionally or physically.

We tried again and got pregnant 9 months later.

Grammy, Ava and Me

And lost the second baby. Just weeks after my grandmother passed away this summer. Gut-wrenching.

My Source of Strength

I’m not going to sugar coat it and say that I was filled with hope or peace or joy at all during this process. Losing a baby is hard. I went through some very dark days of sadness. It is hands down the hardest thing I’ve ever been through.

I can’t wrap a pretty bow around my journey with secondary infertility. I don’t know all the lessons I’ve learned yet, or how the story will end. We’re still hoping and praying that God will bless us with another precious gift.

But I do know one thing. Jesus IS always there. And even when only sadness and anger come out of my mouth, I can still talk to Him.

I think before going into this season, I tried to make myself pretty before talking to Him. Or I waited until my emotions felt right before I could communicate. But honestly, the emotions have been pretty raw for the past year. I’ve learned to keep the lines of communication open even when it’s hard, even what all I have is hot, tear-filled cries.

I had to get over the idea that I had to come to Jesus with everything peachy, perfect. I now know that I can come to Him the mess that I am. And even when I don’t feel all warm and fuzzy inside, He’s still there.

“Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.” Psalm 105:4

Questions:

Have you experienced the pain and heartbreak of infertility?

Have you experienced other seasons of sadness or hopelessness?

How did you respond? What lessons did you learn through those trials?

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