The Wait List – Jessie & Travis

Feb_The Wait List
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 Jessie.

What one thing were you waiting for?
My husband, Travis, and I struggled with infertility.  Infertility… I never even heard of that word until we began our journey of trying to get pregnant. We started trying to get pregnant in September 2016. Prior to this time, we’d been married almost six years. These six years were focused on getting to know each other, growing in our professions, and traveling. We always knew we wanted kids at some point, but really felt no rush to get there.

We moved from Minneapolis back home to Sioux Falls the summer of 2016 and all of a sudden, we had the strong desire to grow our family. We talked about trying to get pregnant and I think like most couples, we decided that we were going to be “casual” about it. We were going to try to just let it happen and not track anything. Well that lasted for about… one month.  The moment we decided to be off birth control, my heart’s desire was to be pregnant, like yesterday. One month went by and we weren’t pregnant.  Then two, three, and four months went by. I remember approaching the holidays and being sad because part of me envisioned me having a baby bump at Christmas that year; however, I kept telling myself that it was OK, it would happen, I needed to just relax.

By this time, I began to try and track my cycle. I thought that maybe if I just work a little harder and be a little smarter about this, THEN we will get pregnant. And yet, another month went by and nope, still not pregnant. I don’t remember when it happened exactly, but sometime between 6-9 months of trying, my heart began to not just be sad but to literally break every time I got my period. I would cry every time, even when I told myself that this month, I would be stronger. I began to avoid social media because it felt like everyone was posting pregnancy announcements and here I was… still trying and still waiting.

We reached one year of trying and went to see my midwife to begin testing. I remember going to that appointment and just crying with my midwife when I was explaining our attempts at getting pregnant. She then told me that we were going to get an ultrasound and blood work done on me but she also was referring us to the reproductive endocrinologist. I remember her saying, “I can tell that you two want this so badly, and this is what that team does every day. They get people pregnant every day.” I remember hearing her referral and right away I was scared. Why would WE need to see the fertility specialists? I knew other couples that had to go there and I didn’t want to be one of them. Up until this time, I was hoping we weren’t getting pregnant because we just weren’t timing correctly.  Now I had this deep fear that something was physically wrong with one of us and that was why we weren’t pregnant.

We ended up making an appointment for a consultation and it was about a 10 week wait. After the appointment was made, my ultrasound and blood work came back and everything was negative. My midwife wanted to start me on Clomid just to help regulate my cycles, and thought we could try this while we wait to get into the fertility clinic. My husband decided that in the meantime, he also would get tested since all of mine came back negative.

My midwife called me with the results of Travis’s tests and right away I could tell it wasn’t good.  She said, “I’m so sorry but this is where your problem is…” and went on to explain that the results indicated a low sperm count and decreased motility. The doctor interpreting the results wrote “probably OK for IVF” so my midwife told me that we were taking the right steps by going to the fertility clinic. I called my husband and just started crying. What did the doctor mean by “probably OK for IVF”? Did that mean that we may not even get pregnant if we did IVF? We didn’t even want to track my cycle and now we’re getting thrown into IVF?

10 weeks later we met with the reproductive endocrinologists who confirmed that based on Travis’s lab results, the chances of us getting pregnant naturally were slim to none and IVF was the one solution she had for us. My husband and I were devastated. We had tried dietary changes, bought vitamins that were supposed to improve sperm count, and we prayed. We prayed so hard during this time that God would change our situation. We also prayed that if IVF was the path God wanted us on, that He would make that clear to us.

We got an answered prayer! Both my husband and I felt so much peace about doing IVF. We talked about our other options, but both of us felt the strongest pull towards IVF. So, in December, we walked into that clinic and told the doctor we were ready to start.

I won’t go into what IVF all entails but it includes MANY shots, ultrasounds, appointments, and invasive procedures. We did all of this in January/ February of 2018 and on February 26 we had a blood draw with results indicating we were pregnant!

How did God help you in your wait? How did you continue to Live in the Wait?
God kept me grounded during our wait.
Don’t get me wrong, there were many times that I would just cry. I would cry because I was jealous that other people were pregnant. I would cry because I thought it was so unfair that we had to go through all of these shots and procedures when for other people, getting pregnant happened so quickly. I would cry because I was scared of what the IVF procedure would look and feel like. But I KNOW that God kept me grounded during all of those doubts, thoughts, and fears. I would feel those things and then God would pull me back. I never let myself just sit in the negativity and self-pity and I know that’s because God was with me. He showed that He was with me not only by giving me hope and peace, but by bringing multiple couples who were struggling with infertility into our lives. I was able to talk to other Christian women about how they were processing the infertility struggle. On top of that, we had close friends not only go through infertility with us, but go through IVF literally two weeks before we did. This was an amazing gift from God. I was able to have a friend who knew EXACTLY what I was going through. I could ask her anything, because she had just had that appointment, that shot, that procedure, and more importantly, already struggled with the doubts and hurts I had.

My husband and I kept living our lives before and during the IVF process. We kept going on date nights, hanging out with friends, planning weekend getaways, being involved at our church, and playing on our volleyball team. We wanted to remain physically, spiritually, and emotionally healthy as individuals but also as a married couple during this time.

Was what you were waiting for received?
Amazingly, yes. We got pregnant on our first round of IVF which we are beyond thankful for. Our miracle baby was born on September 20 and her name is Parker Joanna. We don’t take one day for granted… she is a true joy and gift!

What advice would you give to someone else who is in the waiting?
Cling to God.  Find something that helps you cling to God such as a song or Bible verse. During our waiting, I clung to the song “King of My Heart.” This is a song that speaks of how good God is and how He will never let you down. There were days that I truly believed these words, but then there were days I had to say them out loud over and over until I believed them. God knows us and our hearts, so during this journey be honest with Him. Wrestle with God, question why He has you in the desert. But then sit and listen to Him, continue to seek Him.

My second piece of advice is to find people who you can be open and vulnerable with, specifically regarding what you are waiting for. Find people who when there is darkness in your heart and mind, they will speak life and light into that darkness. Find people who will remind you of God’s promises: He loves you, He is with you, He will give you strength, He wants to carry our burdens, He is faithful.

Please pass this message along to anyone you know who could use some encouragement in the wait or is going through infertility.

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