The Cost of Infertility

So far I have had four rounds of ‘treatment’ over six months. Six months of taking tablets, having blood tests, scans, meetings and appointments, prayer and acupuncture.
With very limited result.

So far its been an interesting journey, especially for a control freak like me.

You can believe that I have asked many questions in an effort to understand. I have tried exercise. I have tried dietary changes. (According to numerous sources I shouldn’t eat gluten, sugar, foods with a high G.I, fast food and a whole host of other things. It really doesn’t leave much. Especially because I’m a fussy eater anyway. It got to the point where I was loosing a lot of weight. A lot. As a small, slender person I didn’t have much weight to loose. So I’ve just cut down on these foods instead until I can meet up with a nutritionist). I have tried acupuncture. I have tried praying and fasting (and continue to do so).

I have tried many, many things.

Infertility is not cheap.
It costs money.
It costs strength.
It costs hope.
It costs thinking space.
And it can cost relationships.

Some days its hard to be joyful with others who are pregnant, or have just had a baby. It can be so so hard. It can take a real effort to not go down the “why them and not me?” path. It takes a conscience effort to remain positive some days. But deep down I know that there is no life, no hope going down that path. It can only led to more heartache and bitterness.

Do I want people to shy away from telling me their news? From inviting us to share in their family time? No. And No again. And. Sometimes yes. But I want to be told anyway. I want to be invited anyway.

Because on other days it takes little effort to share in the joy of others. I really cant predict how I will feel on any set day. On these days its like a beacon of hope – this can happen to me too. I can share in their joy because my answer is prayer is just around the corner. I have to believe that.

I want to choose to be joyful in other peoples pregnancies and children, regardless of whether I ever have children or not, because I don’t want to become bitter and resentful. I want to share their joy because I want to celebrate the beauty of life with my friends. I don’t want to hide away in pain and sorrow.

Does that mean I fake being joyful? No.

I never want to be fake, I never want to pretend to be or feel something that I don’t. I want to be authentic and real. But at some point I must choose to shake the sorrow and pain and choose to be glad. Right now that is a daily, sometimes hourly, task. A task that I sometimes fail at. But I will continue to try.

In time, with Gods grace and mercy, I believe joy and gladness will no longer come about because of an active effort, but it will be second nature. I will be joyful. I will celebrate with others. I will hope. I will trust in God.

I will rejoice and be glad.

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Blessed Obedience

Deuteronomy 28:1-68
“And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. …”

Being obedient to God can be hard.

But I have learnt that
– Being obedient unlocks blessing and favour.
– Obedience is a sign of respect and honour.
– Being obedient shows you are trustworthy, faithful and a good listener.
– Obedience is a sign that you are ready for more responsibility and ownership.

Before I was married I felt, on several occasions, to bless people with money or a particular gift. Early on in my christian walk I decided that if God asked me to do something, even if I was unsure, I would do it.
Better to have been generous and it not be from God than to not do it and be disobedient.

On one occasion I felt prompted to give a set amount of money to a leader and friend for an unknown period of time. I approached them and told them what I felt God had told me to do. They were quick to thank me, but refused to give me their bank account details so I could put the money in. (I had only asked for the bank account because I knew it was going to be a weekly thing for an extended period of time.)

When they said no I was confused. My confidence in whether God had spoken to me was knocked.
Do I listen to my leader who says no, or do I find a way to do it anyway?
Is just offering, with the intention of following through, enough to show obedience to what God had spoken to me?

I wasn’t sure. So I decided I would continue with blessing my leader with the amount God had told me.
Each week I would withdraw the money and put it into an envelope. I would then hide the money – sometimes in their handbag or car, other times in their bible or wherever. I continued to do this until God told me to stop.

I’m not telling you this story to make myself sound oh so generous and holy. Because really I’m not.

Its because, for the first time I understand what it is like to be on the receiving end of someone else’s obedience.
I now understand the reluctance to take the money.

I mentioned earlier how blessed Grant and I were when our friends Leo and Fi gave us a large sum of money to pay for a round of treatment and some acupuncture appointments. It was a ridiculous amount of money and it really helped Grant and I out a lot. We were seriously overwhelmed and unsure how to act.

And now, tonight my dear friend Jesse rang me to tell me that I had been on her mind a lot lately. I know that she has been praying for Grant and I, and my complex health issues. She relates in a way that none of my other friends can as she has been down this path too, and has a beautiful baby girl as the result. Tonight she rang to say that they felt God had instructed them to pay for our next round and she just wants to be obedient.

Leo and Fi, Jay and Jesse – these are my friends, my dear, God fearing, obedient, faith filled friends. Who I know could use this money for a hundred other things. I know this because we are close. They have bills to pay, dreams to fund, a baby to provide for. And yet they choose to hear God and obey.

Tonight I stood there with my phone to my ear, mouth open, locking eyes with Grant. He knew with one look on my face what the conversation was about. Yet again someone was supporting us financially. “We cant” he whispered.

And that was when I remembered when someone said no to me. And how it knocked my confidence in whether I had heard God or not. And I thought of how it felt to be obedient and be used by God. And what God had done in me as a result. And how God moved and my leaders testimony that came out years later about what God had done through my obedience.

So it was an awkward conversation. Because how do you express the magnitude of gratitude that you feel without it sounding hollow? How do you say anything when you are in complete shock? I stood there making sounds, attempting to form words coherently.
Because earlier today I really was unsure how we were going to pay for the next round, and here was the answer.

Grant doesn’t like taking money from people for our treatment. He sees it from the perspective of, what if it doesn’t work? That is good money wasted. Money that could have been spent on a hundred different things.
And its true, it was so horrible having to tell Leo and Fi that although they had been faithful and obedient, the money was gone and there was still no baby. It was an awful conversation. And I wanted to avoid them, run away and hide in shame. Its hard not feel like its my fault. But I have no idea what God is doing in Leo and Fi’s lives, what I do know is that God works in everything and that they will be blessed because of their obedience.

So it was an awkward conversation with Jesse, because I wanted to say no. I wanted to spare myself the embarrassment of taking money from a friend. I wanted to spare myself the horrible conversation I may or may not have to have again if it doesn’t work. But I said yes and that we would talk more about it this weekend.

I said yes because I didn’t want something that made me feel embarrassed get in the way of what God wants to do in our friends lives and our lives. And I will always want to champion their faith and for them to be obedient to God. I know its up to Grant and I to decide whether we are going to let money affect our friendships. We will not let this become awkward or embarrassing. But rather we will celebrate in what God is doing, and be thankful for supportive, faithful friends who love us.

No Man’s Land

The news is in. The results have arrived.
And I find myself in a strange place between hope and hopelessness. Its an odd place to be in. A state of not knowing how I feel. Or even how to respond or act. A place of almost fickleness. A constant moment of time where I’m trying to figure out how I feel about this and how I should be feeling. I find myself conscientiously thinking about how I am going to think and talk about it. Because thoughts become words which becomes belief and action.

In twenty minutes two pieces of news that wasn’t great.
Not bad or terrible. Just not great:

1. We don’t have the deposit amount we thought we needed or had for our house.
2. My blood test results weren’t great.

We need more money. More money requires more time. And I am past patient. I am past biding my time. I want my house and I want it now.

Yet.

Everything the broker man said made sense. The more money we save the better off we are in the long run. He talked so honestly and realistically. Which is exactly what I needed (but didn’t want) to hear.
More money. More time.
Big decisions for Grant and I on what we do now. Because we can go with our bank now or we can go with the broker later. It seems wiser to go with the broker. But we have to wait and save.

I’m tired of waiting.
I’m tired of hoping.
I’m tired of believing for something to be told yet again to wait, to run again, to take more time.

And then during this meeting the call comes.
My blood tests results aren’t great. My hormone levels just aren’t high enough.

But.

They are going to test again.
They are going to scan anyway.

And.

I have acupuncture appointment before the blood test and scan.

So there’s still hope.
A miracle can still happen.
All is not lost.

And yet.
I’m not sure I can hope again.
I’m not sure I can stay positive about this.

I’m tired of waiting.
I’m tired of hoping.
I’m tired of believing for something to be told yet again to wait, to run again, to take more time and money.

What if it doesn’t work? What then? Do we give up? Do we walk away?
How can we afford more treatment?
At what point is enough enough?
Will there ever be a point where we feel that we have tried everything and can walk away with no regrets?

I have to stay positive. I have to stay focused. I have to keep trusting in God and his plan and his timing.
But I’m tired. I don’t want to run again. I don’t want to hope again. I don’t want to be disappointed and let down again.

All I know is that God is good. All the time.
All the time, God is good.

God is good.
God is good.
God is good.
God. Is. Good.

Jumbled

These past few days I have been feeling very blah. There has been a lot going on in my head and it hasn’t been making me feel very good.

Its a very hard time.
There’s been lots of things rolling around in my head. I’m hoping that writing these things down will be enough to get them out…

Grant and his attitude towards church and his relationship with God came to a head on Sunday and I called him up on how I saw things. And he didn’t really have much to say. I talked about how I feel like he’s not interested in church. It feels like he makes little effort to go. He promised when he took the job at the store that he would go to night church but he rarely wants to go. Life group is the furtherest, least like church, group we could possible attend. I feel like it’s a cop out. I argued that he should want to go to church to the point of if I didn’t want to go at night he would still go. He replied he wouldn’t go without me. I said how come he expects me to attend church by myself. He didn’t have a reply for that. And so I’m feeling frustrated.

Am I being too hard on him? Am I expecting to much? What do I do? Do I continue to bring it up? Freeze out church related conversations? Or do the opposite? Talk so much about it he feels like he’s missing out? I don’t know what to do.

But there’s so much more going on than just this.
There’s money and mortgages and making the right, wise decision over what bank to go with – that has also been weighing heavily on my mind. I want to make a wise decision but it’s hard when you don’t understand the fine print. Or the big print for that matter.

What am I doing with my life?
This question has been plaguing me so much the last few days. It hit me like a bolt of lightening out of nowhere on Sunday. I believe I am called to speak. I believe I have been called to work in orphanages overseas. But I can’t see how it’s going to come about. I can’t shake this feeling that it’s going to pass me by. This opportunity, this calling will pass me by. There’s a stirring in my heart for these callings, there’s always been a stirring. But I don’t understand how it will come about. I don’t understand what I need to do or not do to get there. I know God has a plan for my life and I want to live in it. It all seems so far out of my reach, but I guess that’s why its God’s calling and not my calling. I know that if its meant to be then God will bring it about. But I am feeling impatient. I want all that he has for me and my family. I want to be all that I can be but I don’t know how to lay hold of it.

There is also the overwhelming desire to have a baby, frustration over lack of periods, wanting to get the timing right around going away and shifts at work.
There has also been a desire to enjoy the now – pre-baby but not being able to really appreciate it because of the overwhelming desire to have a baby and all the other worries and concerns that are plaguing my mind. I know life isn’t going to be rosy once I have a baby. In fact life will be significantly harder. I will have to work and be a full time mum. I will have to operate on no sleep and no money. Yet I can’t help but think that my life will truly begin once I have a baby. I know I couldn’t be more wrong but this is how I feel.

God! We need your help. I need you. Be my anchor.
I choose to trust that nothing is a surprise to you. Nothing is too big or strong or difficult or messy for you. I choose to hope in you. I choose to believe that you make all things good. And I choose to believe that you have perfect timing. Help my unbelief. Help my impatience. Help my frustrations. Grant and I need you.