Infertility: A Journey of Heartache, Hope and Faith
I have always longed to be a mother and envisioned having my own family, a loving husband and two or three children. As a little girl I daydreamed of my future family and at the age of 19, I met my (soon to be) husband.
I could finally pursue my dream of having my perfect family. Everything just seemed right. We got married, were planning to start a family and then the reality hit - we had an infertility problem! Both of us were affected by this news and had to guard against blaming one another (as is the temptation for many couples).
Facing my worst fears
I can still remember my first consultation at the infertility hospital. I didn’t know anything about the procedures and it was a new, strange world I was entering into. After the information session I was very upset, especially when the sister explained that I had to have hormone injections every morning for more than a week. I hate injections, so that terrified me.
The hormones stimulate the ovaries to produce eggs and I had to have injections and drink certain formulas. The medication had many side effects; I endured hot flushes and intermittent bouts of nausea. The one thing that kept me going was to think it would all be worth it when we stared at our little baby for the first time.
We started with ICSI – an advanced form of infertility treatment which (without going into detail) is highly invasive. During the course of the long procedure I produced more than 16 eggs ready to be fertilised. Once this was done it became a waiting game, with my husband and I praying for success. After fertilisation doctors placed the eggs in an incubator and, soon after, our professor informed us that one embryo had formed. Sadly, within 24 hours we heard the devastating news that the embryo had ceased to grow.
Our dreams were crushed and it broke our hearts to leave our embryo at the clinic. It felt as though we were leaving part of us behind and I was very emotional at the failure. Had I not had the comfort of my Lord and Saviour, I don’t know how I would have coped with all the sorrow and disappointment. Jesus began healing my wounds and the Scripture in 1 Peter 2:24 – “…by His wounds you have been healed”- became a reality for me. My advice is give yourself time to mourn and grieve and go through all the stages of grieving. I started reading the Bible often and listened to sermons by Joyce Meyer. Eventually I went for counselling and prayer.
After a year, I was ready for the second ICSI. I was much more relaxed than the previous one and everything went as planned. The professor harvested 13 eggs. The fertilisation took place and, to my amazement, I was called for my first transfer of two embryos that had divided to a compact of cells. I was over the moon; so excited and so grateful to have a chance to become a mother.
We went for the transfer and then on a relaxing holiday to George. I was very positive and hoped for the best. Two weeks later, before I had a routine blood test, I had cramping in my abdomen. I was frightened and a day later I began bleeding.
Upset and alone, I opened the Bible and God gave me a Scripture saying, “I will dry your tears.” I also clung to Isaiah 61:2, 3 - “…God will comfort those who mourn.” I needed that encouragement because I was really in mourning and my dream to be a mother seemed hopeless. I went through different emotions – numbness, denial, extreme sadness, anger and later acceptance. As they say, life goes on…
I was on my road to recovery and later that year went for another insemination. It went so smoothly and I had three embryos growing inside me. My husband and I were thrilled. As I was lying on the theatre bed with my husband holding my hand, I prayed and thanked God for that moment. I saw the laboratory technologist coming in with our microscopic-size embryos in a small tube. The professor transferred them into my uterus in the wall of the endometrium.
For a week after the transfer I rested and used the time at home to draw closer to God. I pondered the Word, listened to praise and worship songs and read several books by Joyce Meyer. Looking back, I believe the Lord was building me up and making me stronger by encouraging me with His Word and presence.
A day before I was due for my blood test, I began to bleed again. Another cycle was unsuccessful. I was again very sad and disappointed, but the Lord lifted me up and reminded me that He would give me a garment of praise instead of mourning.
I still believe for my miracle. I am proclaiming and speaking God’s Word daily over my life. I am reading God’s Word and worshipping Him. The only way through infertility is knowing the One who knows everything. “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God” Mark 10:27. “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind” 2 Tim 1:7.
This journey has drawn me closer to Him. I can use my own trials to be a witness for Him and I believe He will extend our family. If you are battling with infertility, all I can say is stay strong in the Lord, love your spouse and encourage one another.
He wants us to enjoy our lives now. The joy of the Lord is my strength. The Lord must first do a work in you, before He can do a work through you.