A couple months ago, I participated in a blog swap. I wrote a post specifically for the blog that hosted me that I would like to share here. After reading some of the blogs I follow this evening, I feel very strongly that I’m supposed to share this with everyone.
Here it is:
In the middle of July, I went on a hike with my best friend. It was hot and muggy, but the sky was clear and blue. We were surrounded by trees, plants, and Missouri hills. In some spots on the trail, we could see the river far below and nothing but land in the distance for miles. It was a satisfying feeling to be trekking through this land I call home, seeing the sights and exercising my muscles. I had good company, too. My best friend has been there for me through all the ups and downs and sideways turns that life has sent my way. Today wasn’t any different.
Despite my contentment with my surroundings, I was discontent with my life. I had lost hope and my internal sense of direction. My husband and I had been trying to conceive a child for exactly fourteen months at the time of this hike. Nothing had happened in fourteen months, and I didn’t see any reason to hope that trend would change anytime soon.
Fourteen months ago, I had thrown away my last pack of birth control pills with glee. I was going to be thirty in a little over a year from that point in time, and I planned to be pregnant before I hit thirty. I couldn’t believe that I was so lucky to have found a new beginning with my husband, and that all my dreams were coming true. I already had a five-year-old daughter, Eva, and she and I had been on our own after her father left; a common tale, but one that I never thought would happen to me. Things had been rough for me and my daughter, but now we finally had another chance. I thought there wouldn’t be a chance for me to have another child because I wouldn’t find the right someone for me and for Eva, too. Here we were, though. I was happily married, and she couldn’t ask for a better, more loving step-father.
We had tried for a few months on our own, and I had quickly realized something was wrong with my body. My body wasn’t cycling. So, after only four months of trying to conceive on our own, I went to see my gynecologist. My gynecologist said she needed to do a blood test to confirm, but she already had no doubt she knew the problem. I had polycystic ovary syndrome, she had declared. My body wasn’t producing the right hormones which made my body produce even more of the wrong hormones, and ignore some other hormones like insulin. It sounded like a horrible, unbreakable cycle. She made it pretty clear that diet and exercise were the only way to go. So I listened, and I acted.
I had completely changed my eating habits and increased my activity level significantly. I swallowed supplements, and I ate and drank more vegetables in a day than I used to eat in two weeks total. I took the horrible Metformin (a medication to make my body more sensitive to the insulin I produce naturally because, again, my body wasn’t responding to hormones correctly anymore), and I put up with the dreaded gastrointestinal side effects of the medication day after day.
I even started something I hadn’t done regularly in years. I began praying daily. I had long conversations with God as I sweated myself to death on the elliptical at the gym. I told Him all about my desires to get pregnant before I was thirty. I told Him all about my fears that if I didn’t get pregnant by the time I was thirty, that it would never happen for me. I made sure He knew that I was doing everything the doctor had suggested. I wasn’t sitting at home, eating bon bons, lying on the couch, and just looking for Him to solve all my problems. He had to see I was actively trying to improve my health. That had to count for something. Surely, I deserved to have my prayers answered.
Now here I was, on a hike ten months later, thirty-seven pounds lighter, and I didn’t feel so confident anymore. I was starting to think that God was either punishing me for something, or that He had much different plans. I had quit praying to be pregnant before I was thirty. After all, thirty was only days away at this point. My prayer had changed. I was desperately begging God to either change my situation, or to change my heart. If it wasn’t part of His plan to give me another child, then I really needed Him to take away my desire to have another child. It felt like He wasn’t going to answer this prayer, either.
I realize that fourteen months isn’t that long when I look at it on a calendar. I realize that I am an impatient, self-absorbed human. I do know these things, intellectually. Emotionally, however, I was just miserable. I had even tried a drug that has been around for decades (Clomid). Instead of helping, this drug did painful things to my physical and mental health. It mimicked pregnancy in every way, without giving me a baby. It just wasn’t for me, and it had been my last hope to have a baby before I was thirty-one.
On that day in July, as I was hiking, I was listless. I felt like God was abandoning me. He hadn’t answered my prayers so far, and worse still was knowing I deserved to be ignored. I had ignored Him for enough years that it was only natural that He would ignore me now. I told my best friend my woes on that hike. I told her how I didn’t know what the next step was going to be. I told her I felt defeated, and I didn’t dare say the words, but I felt completely hopeless.
Little did I know on that very day, I was pregnant.
I was pregnant on that day full of hopelessness. I was pregnant! I am a miserable, selfish, undeserving human, and I still got my heart’s desire! I got my hope back, too. God had answered my prayers, even as I had given up placing my hope in Him. He chose very specific timing to get my attention, I believe. I got my positive pregnancy test exactly one week before my thirtieth birthday. Seven little days before I turned the dreaded thirty! I wouldn’t be where I am right now, with this peace of mind, if He had answered my prayers within a week of my first prayer. I certainly wouldn’t have been giving Him all the glory!
At seven weeks pregnant, my prayers have changed again. I’m not praying, weeping, and begging Him to change my situation or change my heart. I’m not asking Him to show me the next step toward pregnancy. I’m not even begging Him to make sure this baby I am carrying is healthy and perfect. Now, my prayers are thankful and rejoicing. He gave me my hope. No matter what happens, I have my hope. He heard me. He knows my heart. What more do I need?
I am now just a couple hours shy of 21 weeks pregnant. I can feel my baby kicking and stretching right now as I am writing this. We know that the baby is a healthy boy, and hopefully we will meet him in a short 19 weeks. I’m a skeptical, practical person, but even I can’t deny or ignore what God has done for me during this time in my life. I am so thankful that not only did He answer my prayers, but He found a way to bring me back to Him.