It’s time to talk about this. It’s time for me to talk about this here. With my husband’s blessing, I’m going to be very open and honest today, because I believe there are many others who may be helped by what I am about to share. So, I am going to bare my heart to you and tell you my – our – story.
I was the girl-next-door type who always believed she would fall in love in college, get married straight out of college, teach a couple of years, start our family and begin my life as a stay-at-home mom. My life didn’t unfold that way.
College was wonderful and I learned a lot, but I didn’t fall in love. I graduated still single and took my first call to teach in Milford, Ohio. I spent five years teaching at St. Mark’s and loved every minute of it – the staff, the students, the parents. It was a wonderful first call! While I was there, I completed my Masters which was never part of my initial plan. I decided to make the most of my single years and so I did. I dated some and eventually fell in love with a college classmate (years after we both graduated). After a whirlwind 18 months of long-distance dating and engagement, Andy and I were married in July 2009.
I was – and still am – so thankful for Andy. He was worth every minute of waiting. I simply had not expected to wait so long to get married. Still, God knew best and His timing was perfect.
I moved to Fort Wayne and accepted a call to teach at the same Lutheran school as my new husband. After a year of teaching together, Andy took a call across town to another Lutheran school. And we continued to teach. After we had been married a year, we had another conversation about when we would start our family. We decided to wait a little bit longer before actively trying, because we knew that once we started our family, we’d never have this time back as newlyweds.
After two years of marriage, we decided that we were ready to begin our family, and so the next page of our story began. I came from a large family – immediate and extended – and anticipated that we would quickly become pregnant. Little did I know how wrong I was.
Month after month, I was disappointed by negative pregnancy tests. Month after month, I would get my hopes up, only to have them dashed again. Month after month, we continued to pray that God would grant us a child. Month after month, we waited.
Soon, those months turned into a year and we realized that we were indeed infertile. It was a difficult realization, but now obvious. And so we started asking the difficult questions. What if we can never have a child? What if this is not God’s plan for us? Do we pursue infertility testing? Do we foster parent? Do we start adoption proceedings? What now and what next? Through it all, we continued to wait and pray.
There are many nights of tears and days of heartache. When one is trying to become pregnant, it seems like everyone around you is getting pregnant. My sister got pregnant. My fellow teacher friend got pregnant. College friends got pregnant. Cousins got pregnant. Everyone (or so it seemed) was pregnant – except for us.
We continued to try for a baby, and tried hard to be patient. We shared our struggles with a few close friends and our immediate family. Other than that, we tried to smile kindly when people asked us when we would start our family, and we continued living our lives.
Then, one year turned into two. There was tears and laughter, hurt and anger, disappointment and contentment – sometimes all in the same day! Andy and I didn’t have any clear answers, but we felt that we needed to wait. I made an appointment to talk with my doctor about our infertility again when we returned from our busy summer of travels. It was freeing to make that appointment, but then I didn’t think about it again for awhile.
Imagine our surprise when we returned home briefly in between our travels this July and discovered that after all these years of waiting, we were pregnant! It took three pregnancy tests for me to believe the news before I could share it with Andy. We were both shocked – and delighted. After all these years of waiting, God chose to answer our prayers with a yes. God answered our prayers for a baby!
This is what I want to share with you today. Infertility is not easy, and although our story now has a baby included in it, I know the heartache of waiting. I give thanks daily for this precious gift of life that is growing inside of me. I was almost to the point of hopelessness, but God saw fit to restore hope in my life. Once again, God knew best and His timing was perfect.
We know many people wait longer than two years – and sometimes their prayers for a baby are answered with a yes, and sometimes with a no. We don’t know why our prayers were answered with a yes, and others hear a no. We only know that now our family is growing – and it growing purely by God’s grace.
That is what I wanted to share with you. While we are rejoicing for our answered prayers, we continue to pray for those couples struggling with infertility because we know firsthand it can be a very lonely journey. We also continue to wait – because we have another 6 months before we meet this precious baby of ours!