I take a deep breath as I begin to retell what came next.
After a year, the statistics showed that our chances of getting pregnant would drop. Together we had decided that it was at that point that we would begin testing. So when 2018 rolled around, we knew the next steps that lay ahead of us. What we didn’t know was the emotions (and the unexpected cliffs) that were about to rock our world.
I remember very clearly the morning I was to go in for my first test. As I stood in our bathroom getting ready, a song came over my speaker. The song resounded between the walls and in deep inside my heart. Before I knew it my arms were lifted as high as they would reach and tears were washing away the makeup I had just put on…
“I lean not on my own understanding,
My life is in the hands of the Maker of heaven.
I give it all to You God,
Trusting that You’ll make something beautiful out of me.
I will climb this mountain
With my hands wide open.
I will climb this mountain
With my hands wide open.
There’s nothing I hold onto.”
There’s nothing I hold onto? Even this….even motherhood and the hope of carrying a child? I stood there asking myself if I could honestly sing those lyrics back to the Lord. And once again He gently tore away a piece of the story I had written for myself. I believed that in the midst of this, God was working something beautiful in me, in us, in our story. I was lifting my hands, heart and dreams (both literally and figuratively) up to my Father who I knew cared for us. And by the end I sang, “There’s nothing I hold onto.”
I’m certain that it was the prayers of family and friends, the arms of Michael and the strength of the Lord that got me through that day. The impact of shifting from “we just need more time” to “actual testing” solidified something inside that made infertility (and the label I now carried) vividly real.
The first test that morning was very invasive. Michael met me at the hospital, and though he couldn’t go back in the room with me, knowing he was there helped me breathe. If you’ve walked a road like this one, you’ll know there’s a strange battle going on inside you. As deeply as you don’t want anything to be wrong, you equally want something to show up in the results so you know how to “fix it” and move on. The first test came back normal. Good…but not exactly what I was hoping for.
So the next four months began consistent blood work and multiple doctors visits. My first month, day three test showed everything normal…but then the nurse called to give me my day twenty one result. “Lacey, we have your results from your blood work. Your numbers came back very low. That means your body didn’t ovulate….” I’m sure she said more, but my mind couldn’t stop replaying those words. “Your body didn’t ovulate…your body didn’t ovulate….your body didn’t…..”
It took everything in me to thank the nurse without crying.
I called Michael at work and my shoulders shook, my eyes filled and flowed over as I shared the results with him. My body wasn’t producing an egg. This new set of news hit us. But oh friends….the ways that God continually showed up to remind us He still knew, He still heard, He still cared overwhelmed us. And the way He often did that was through others.
Like when the book, “Longing for Motherhood: Holding onto Hope in the Midst of Childlessness” I had waiting in my mailbox that same week from a friend who had no idea the path we were walking.
Like when the one who also journeyed through infertility was vulnerable and shared her story. She understood. She let me weep and process and ask questions.
Like when the text messages would light up our phones that “just so happened” to come through on the lowest days to tell us they were praying.
Like the second round of having to face Mother’s Day without a child and the one who wrapped her arms around me when my legs literally wouldn’t let me stand.
Like the one who gave us freedom to grieve….and joined us in it.
Like the one who sent a package with a small gift reminding me of our Father who catches all our tears.
We weren’t alone.
Our gracious Heavenly Father was caring for us through the care of others.
The doctor had recommended I continued the day three and day twenty one testing over the next few months to verify that the results would remain consistent. I knew it made the most sense, but more waiting wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for. Each month we got the same set of answers. Day three looked good, day twenty one showed I wasn’t ovulating.
It’s here I want to pause this part of the story.
In the midst of infertility, there was another level of struggles we began facing. At the beginning of that same year my feet gave out on me. Sharp stabbing pain at the balls of both my feet. Specialist visits. X-rays. Inserts. MRI’s. Cortisone shots. Anti inflammatory cream. Acupuncture. Nothing seemed to help. There were days I would crawl through our house because my feet hurt so badly. Michael cared for me in the most tender ways. He made us meals. He grocery shopped. (He picked me up chocolate teddy grahams because he knew that’s what would cheer me up). He prayed over me and for me. He listened patiently as I vented my anger that often ended in tears. He carried me when another round would hit. He brought me bags of ice as I lay on the couch. He rubbed my back as I wept.
And as both parts of the story began merging together–everything in me broke.
There’s no other way to describe it.
I was broken.
Physically, I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t bear children.
Emotionally, I was spent.
Spiritually, I felt forgotten.
But oh dear friends, the Father never forgets His children.
Because there, working in the hardest seasons we’ve ever had to endure, He was planning something breathtaking for us. He was working all things for our good. (Yes, even in this). He was doing something far more abundant than anything we could have asked or imagined. He was about to take something the fall had broken and fashion it into something glorious beyond our comprehension. Our gracious, merciful, sovereign God was about to turn the page…