They say crisis and tragedy can draw people together and create strong bonds. No one would debate that as true–and I really wouldn’t disagree with or “poo-poo” it now.
I was going to write a book. Maybe I still will, but for now, it’s kind of on hold. My friend and I were going to do it together, on infertility, but then, what do you know–we both got pregnant! I want to share this first chapter with you to help explain this friendship I have been blessed with.
I’m used to getting what I want, when I want it. Usually. So it wasn’t too much of a surprise when on December 16th, 2006 I took a pregnancy test and found it to be positive.
The moment, all alone in the bathroom, early in the morning, was one of the happiest moments of my life. Except for the alarming thought that crossed my mind as I read the positive pregnancy test. “Don’t get excited; you’re going to miscarry.” Clear as a bell, as if the voice of God had spoken. What? Who thinks such a thing when in the midst of discovering such exciting news? I chose not to dwell on the fleeting thought and instead pounced on my sleeping husband and delivered the sooner-than-expected news. I’d gone off the pill only 5 weeks earlier. Apparently, this whole child-bearing business was going to be a breeze for us.
Except, it wasn’t. It hasn’t been. It isn’t, and it won’t be.
My alarming thought turned out to be true. January 22nd, 2007 I began to spot. On January 24th, two days before my birthday, I had a D and C to remove my baby, which had never fully attached and had died before it even had a heartbeat. In that moment, I realized that the alarming thought I’d had a little over a month before had been a warning. Should I have heeded it more? Should I not have allowed myself to get excited? To bond? Who knows. I’ll never know the “right” answer. All I know is I am a mother, but I have no baby.
The doctor who performed my D and C noted that perhaps he felt something malformed in my uterus. We did an MRI in March, but, since he decided to go on vacation and never call me back, I never sat down with him to find out the results. By phone, a nurse told me “Everything looks great—go get pregnant!” So for many months, operating on false information, we continued to try. My husband and I went on to conceive again in September of 2007, but lost the pregnancy at only three weeks. I still was in no mood to trust a doctor again, so we just continued trying. Finally, in February 2008, I found a reproductive specialist. She instantly viewed the MRI films and diagnosed me with a septate uterus, and declared I would definitely need surgery. The surgery was done in May 2008. Since then, we’ve done rounds of Clomid, HCG shots, insemination, and acupuncture. Quite obviously, I am still not pregnant. Needless to say, I can now consider myself somewhat of an expert on infertility—the hurts, the struggles, the pains. I’ve been a mother twice, and lost both. I’ve waited month after month, and still nothing. I know this journey. I feel this journey.
So, when I heard from my friend Terri that she was off the pill, but struggling to figure out her cycle, I felt sick. And excited. Excited? What? Yeah—and guilty for feeling excited. And conflicted.
Suddenly, my friend Terri, who had walked with me on my journey so far, was telling me that she was joining me on the path.
I remember praying, “God, use me.” And to be completely honest, it felt so good to know that although this experience sucks, God was still choosing to use me while in the midst of my pain. He wasn’t going to wait 10 years and then allow me to mentor someone. No, He was going to bless me with a friend to walk with on this path. I am still conflicted when I feel gratitude that Terri has struggled with infertility as well. It still baffles me that two best friends would share such a similar story. But what a blessing it has been. Two friends, who, for whatever reason, bonded sophomore year of college while waiting in line at the polls on election day. If our mutual friend hadn’t decided the line was too long and left, I don’t think Terri and I’d be the friends we are today. If we hadn’t stood for hours in that line and gotten to know each other, and then gone running at the gym afterwards and sparked this lifelong friendship, I honestly don’t know how I’d get through this infertility struggle. December 9th, 2006, unbeknownst to me, I was pregnant, while dancing the night away at my friend Terri’s wedding. Now, years later, here we are. Walking this journey together, and sharing it with you. I hope we can help.
Terri came to a shower that my sister threw for me on Monday night, the last day of my 21st week. She is in her 29th week. We are both carrying babies; tears still come to my eyes and I still shake my head at God’s goodness. All those frustrated emails, all those tears of pain, all those deep wounds and resentment … and God knew He’d given us each other, not only for the journey of infertility, but for the journey of pregnancy, motherhood and beyond. Friendship is a wonderful thing, and I’m so grateful for Terri!
And of course, I’m already praying that my son will marry her daughter. 🙂