The Wait List – Kristen

The Wait List features guest posts from people just like you and me, all sharing a coming thread of you guessed it, waiting. No one wants to be on the wait list, but through these features, I hope you find encouragement and see all the miraculous ways God works through us during that time. If you are interested in sharing your story on The Wait List, please contact me.

Guest post written by Kristen.

What one thing were you waiting for?
If you were to ask me this question before our infertility journey, I would’ve known the answer right away; to get pregnant and give birth to our first born. I couldn’t wait to get that pregnancy belly, to prepare our home for baby, to prepare our LIVES for baby. We started trying for our “one thing” shortly after we got married in 2013. As luck would have it, we were expecting within five months! Seven weeks into the pregnancy we suffered an unfortunate miscarriage. Talk about a blow to the heart. Our hearts were shattered as the excitement turned into tears.

Fast forward six months, we were having no luck. Eventually my OB referred us to a reproductive endocrinologist where we began our journey May 2015. My mindset at this time was, “This has got to work now, these specialists have this down to a science”. My confidence, my hope, my excitement all came back and our “one thing” seemed more within reach than ever.

We had several meetings and tests with the specialists before we decided to move forward with artificial insemination. I would say our decision was extremely impulsive as we didn’t want to waste any more time. It took two tries, but we got pregnant after the second. I went in for weekly appointments to check heartbeat and growth. Anyone who has experienced a miscarriage knows how great this is knowing your baby is being monitored VERY closely. So of course, everything was going to be ok, the doctors had this under control.

We saw our baby girl three times in nine weeks. She had a healthy heartbeat and her growth was on-pace. Four days after our third ultrasound I woke up to a feeling that just didn’t seem right. Nothing hurt, nothing was seen, just an odd feeling. We were on vacation in Northern Minnesota at the time. I woke up my sister and told her something wasn’t right. Our absolute worst fear came true, our baby girl had lost her heartbeat. I was right under ten weeks pregnant and had experienced a missed miscarriage. I can’t even begin to explain my mental state following the news and the D & C. I basically rolled into a ball, refused to talk to anyone, refused to leave my bed and just wanted to give up on becoming a mom. I didn’t know if I was ever going to be able to get through another pregnancy or if I was ever going to be able to get pregnant again for that matter. I leaned on no one; felt alone, scared, mad, hurt, lost and most of all confused as to why was this happening to me.

How did God help you in your wait? How did you continue to Live in the Wait?
Up to this point in my life I had always been a Christian. I was raised in a Catholic home, went to church frequently, believed in God, prayed here and there, but spoke little of my faith. I was a control freak, did what I wanted, knew my way was the only way, and was totally oblivious to anything bad happening to me.

While recovering from my surgery I secluded myself from the outside world staying cooped up in my room, logged out of all social media and kept my phone in the drawer. I remember looking at my email randomly one day and seeing a message from Proverbs 31 Ministry. The ministry sent an email every day, however it wasn’t a message I typically paid attention to. On this specific day, I opened the email and read it. My life was instantly changed. I heard God through this message. I knew I needed to meet Him at that place, for Him to comfort and heal me at that time. However, for me to be healed I needed to forgive myself and Him for the blame. I needed to TRUST Him and HIS plan, NOT my plan.

My days began getting better. I started reading that email devotional daily, followed along in my Bible, journaled and prayed about it every day. I also purchased a book called “I Am” and joined an online devotional group. Talk about life changing! I realized at that point that I had found what I needed to continue moving forward. It’s nearly impossible to put into words how much this changed my life, my mind set and the remainder of my infertility journey.

My hope for the journey slowly started to build, something I never thought I would get back. The infertility doctors ran a few tests after my second miscarriage to see if they could figure out what was happening. Turns out the miscarriage was caused by a chromosomal abnormality, but the infertility was still 110% unexplained. We attempted a third insemination only to be cancelled due to low egg count.

Was what you were waiting for received?
The fall of 2016 rolled around, and we took a step back to really start thinking and PRAYING for the next step. We knew what the next step was, it was only a matter of committing to it. The signs began making sense and it was very clear that GOD was pushing us towards IVF. He helped us make sense of this HUGE decision and that it was part of His plan. He knew we were strong enough to get through it. He knew we were surrounded by strong family and friends that would be there for us and most importantly HE was with us now.

The IVF journey was long, hard, painful and NOT easy. I was still pretty cut-off from the outside world; didn’t communicate much with friends, didn’t do too much but stay home or be with family. Social media was still an absolute no as I knew as soon as I logged on that I would see just ONE pregnancy announcement and all my progress was going to be gone. I really filtered what I heard, saw and did during this time. I would not put myself out there only to become vulnerable to any sort of trigger that would push me back. Our IVF journey was kept quiet as I needed to stay focused and we needed to surround ourselves with the ones that kept us strong and hopeful during this process.

I won’t go into much detail with my IVF experience other than THIS part of our journey was where I really began TRUSTING God and his plan for our family. I found it very easy to trust God at the beginning of the process through our first transfer as everything had exceeded all expectations. The tough part came when not one, but two embryo transfers failed. We had used three of our six embryos with no pregnancy to account for. We were confused, our family was confused and our DOCTORS were most confused. No one knew why this was happening. But God did. God spoke to me and said it was going to be ok and to keep going it is a timing thing. His timing. We took a month off to give my body a break from all the hormone injections. Most days I was getting 3-5 injections to put into perspective the number of hormones my body was taking in. I continued to journal, pray and kept building my relationship with God as a distraction to what was really happening. The day came that we were to find out if the third transfer of THREE embryos worked. That morning I had told Brian not to expect anything positive. A few hours later, the doctor called and told me I was VERY pregnant. I was in such shock that I asked him if he was joking. Truth be told, I was pregnant with twins.

The shock and excitement were one thing, but then worry and anxiety took over. After two miscarriages, you automatically think the worst. The difference between my mindset now compared to in the past was I had my faith; it wasn’t strong, but I had faith. I remember telling Brian that I have absolutely NO control over this pregnancy and I just need to accept that. I can do what I can do, however ultimately the big guy is the only one who has control at this point. I had to give him everything; all my fears, my worries, my excitement, my babies. He held them in His hands where they were safe. I prayed constantly, trusted Him with everything I had, and took each day, day-by-day. I looked for signs every waking minute and looked forward to my ultrasounds every two weeks to see those heartbeats. Once I started feeling the babies kick my days seemed to slowly get a little easier. Not only were the babies telling me they were ok, God was saying, “Here Kristen, here is the reassurance I know you need. Keep trusting me, we will get through this”.

On February 1st, 2018 we gave birth to two healthy babies, Nathen Dale and Addilyn Anne. Those first cries took our breath away. It is a moment Brian and I will never forget. God had made us the parents to two of the greatest blessings in life. They are truly the light of our world and we are so stinking proud and in love with these two. This journey has been the hardest yet most rewarding time of our lives. Not only did we get our babies, in which we thought was our “one thing” the whole time, but ultimately, I got my faith. Turns out that was the “one thing” I was needing the entire time. We also thank God for the prayer warriors He put in our lives that surrounded us with so much love and prayer during this trying time. They are the other reason we didn’t give up and Nate and Addi are here with us today.

What advice would you give to someone else who is in the waiting?
God is good…. a phrase that is spoken so often. But until you go through a life trial, you don’t realize how amazing those three words truly are.
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