The Wait List – Amanda

April_The Wait List
What one thing were you waiting for?
My husband, Michael and I met in 2013. We hit it off immediately on our first date, and knew we would be inseparable from that day on. We married in October of 2015 under the sunny Texas skies. Michael and I both value family and knew from the beginning that we wanted to grow ours as soon as possible. We dreamt about how many children we would have and names that we both liked.

We didn’t waste any time getting the basic evaluations completed a few months after our honeymoon. It was then we found out that we would need assistance in having a baby.

And so, the wait for a baby begins…

Michael’s sperm count was low, so we began a medication regimen and waited a few months. We followed up with our doctor and had the discussion that no couple wants to hear. While things are improving, we still need help – medical intervention and infertility treatments.

Something told me that day we would need the assistance of IVF to conceive. Call it woman’s intuition, call it what you want, or perhaps God was mentally preparing me for the roller coaster ride we were about to begin.

We were given two options, IUI (intrauterine insemination) or IVF (In vitro Fertilization), the kind of stuff you would hear about in the news like Octomom and celebrities having babies at an advanced age. For the record, my perception of IVF and all it entailed, was completely wrong. My hope is that by sharing our story, we can help break the stigma around infertility treatments, and provide more support emotionally and financially for couples struggling to conceive. Most insurances don’t have coverage for couples needing infertility treatments, forcing them to make extremely difficult financial decisions to fund treatments costing anywhere from $15-25 thousand per cycle.

Our estimated success rates were slim to none with IUI, but much better with IVF. So, we took the plunge, and our first cycle was August 2016. We had so much hope, so naïve in thinking it had to work the first time since we found a solution to our problem. Fast forward to August 31. We received our negative blood test result, confirming we weren’t pregnant. We were devastated, crushed and confused. Why would God let this happen?

We plunged forward and began our second IVF cycle right away, thinking if we kept the momentum going, we would have success this time. And even more special, our egg retrieval fell on our first anniversary,  how perfect! This second cycle was full of twists and turns. Hormone levels were out of range, forcing schedule changes and a switch from a fresh transfer of our 2 embryos to a frozen transfer the following month. We were devastated again. Additional costs, additional waiting…

November 2016, we transferred 2 beautiful embryos and found out Friday after Thanksgiving that we still were not pregnant. Our lowest point yet. We questioned everything, our faith, our plan, our doctors, and if we were truly meant to be parents.

We were forced to take time off from trying to get pregnant. We focused on grieving, managing the pain and heartache, working on our marriage, and focusing on healing.

After a long 2 years, 2 second opinions, a surgery and a new diagnoses of endometriosis and diminished ovarian reserve (DOR), we knew we didn’t have much time left if we wanted the chance at a biological child. We prayed and prayed, begging God for a miracle way to try again.

We applied for a grant the summer of 2018, and received the rejection letter a month later, all while also dealing with the loss of my Grandmother. We continued to wait, and pray. October 2018 we joined a local IVF walk, and miraculously won a free IVF cycle with a local clinic! We were amazed, overjoyed, in such shock, and so incredibly grateful for this blessing!

February 2019 we began our third IVF cycle with a new medication protocol, and were at peace knowing God would provide our miracle. Our embryo transfer was on Valentine’s Day and everything went smoothly and magically. We found out 12 days later, that unfortunately our third embryo transfer also failed.

Michael and I never imagined our journey to a child would entail all of these ups and downs, testing our faith and marriage. But one thing is true, God has provided, and will continue to provide. We need to Be Still and keep believing while we are still in the wait…

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

How did God help you in your wait? How did you continue to Live in the Wait?
God has provided these trials and tribulations in our wait to remind us to seek Him in all times, the good and the bad. In the wait, we’ve realized how much we value our marriage and having a family. Our love for each other continues to grow deeper, every day. We realize with every defeating moment, that we are a team, and we are stronger and better together. We’ve found a strength to endure the most difficult roads we’ve traveled in our lives.

We continue living, as we regroup, seek further testing for causes of our failed cycles and lost embryos, and form a plan to try again.

Was what you were waiting for received? If not, how did God provide differently instead?
We’re still waiting for our miracle earth side child(ren).  While we wait, we continue to have hope, and believe that God will continue to provide for us, for He knows us best.

My heart has also been opened to the world of grief. I feel I can relate more and be sensitive to people who are grieving. It’s not about knowing the perfect thing to say, being able to fix the problem or take away their pain. It’s about just being there for them. Showing you care. Validate their hurt, their loss. Don’t make light of the situation. Let them know you are there, and let them grieve. Don’t judge them. We all grieve in different ways, and sometimes people don’t know how to handle a friend or loved one who is grieving. It’s a process that continues day in and day out. Grief doesn’t ever truly “go away.”

God also strengthened my faith in the wait. By taking the one thing that means so much to me, the ability to become a mother and create a life with my husband, and making me wait, He has reminded me to turn to Him always, even in the dark days when it seems like our dream will never come true. The truth is and will always be in Him. He is a good, good Father. So, we continue to trust in Him.

What advice would you give to someone else who is in the waiting?
First and foremost, take your burdens to our Lord. Lay all your troubles, worries, and anxieties at his feet. Pour your soul out to Him. Talk to Him. Tell Him all of your fears, open your heart and your desires to Him. He will listen, and will provide. It may not be in the way you envision, but He always has our best interest at heart.

In your wait, remember to look back at how far you’ve come through the journey. Remember how you felt in the beginning of your wait, and be proud of how strong you have become. You’ve made it this far, don’t give up now. “Be strong and courageous.”

“From the end of the earth I will cry to you, when my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”

Guest post written by Amanda.

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

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.

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Please share with someone you know who could use some encouragement in the wait.

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