With my wedding day approaching, I was nervous and excited about the journey Andre and I were starting together. We were engaged just months after we met, and our wedding was a year later. During our engagement, we were in pre-marital counseling, where we discussed our backgrounds, finances, expectations for our marriage, and how to handle challenges as a couple. But there was no way we could have been prepared for what was waiting for us once we returned from our honeymoon.
I was extremely surprised to get a call from my doctor that they had found cancerous cells in my uterus. I had a routine gynecological check-up and pap spear a week before the wedding and had no concerns.
Now, I had to explain to my new husband that I would be going to the hospital a few weeks after our honeymoon. I felt guilty and ashamed. This was not the way I expected to start my marriage. The surgery to remove the cancerous cells went fine. I’m grateful that Andre is a man of faith as I needed that during this time.
Life went on. We went through the ups of downs of being newly married. After about three years we decided it was time to start our family. We tried for about a year, and every month I took a pregnancy test only to get my period a few days later. I knew something was wrong; my doctor performed so many tests and couldn’t find anything physically wrong. I was prescribed Clomid, which was known to treat unexplained infertility issues by helping with ovulation. I was on it for two years with no success. Unfortunately, Clomid triggered endometriosis.
My periods were extremely painful. Andre would often have to take me to the hospital because the pain was just unbearable. During one visit to the ER, I found out I had developed a cyst the size of a grapefruit and it was attached to my ovary. My heart sunk when my doctor told me he had to remove my ovary and fallopian tube along with the cyst. How was I going to have children?
Why would God do this to me? I was angry! There was nothing more I wanted than to be a mom. Our situation looked hopeless. The only person we could turn to was God. But how do you turn to God when you were angry and didn’t understand Him? My doctor, Andre, my parents, and friends prayed for me because I was depressed. I could not snap back. As much as I’d like to say I had faith as much as a mustard seed, I didn’t. My body and God had let me down.
I laid in the hospital for a few weeks. Every day Andre, my parents, and friends prayed. I know they didn’t just pray for my healing but also my spirit. In the isolation of the hospital, I would find myself reading the Bible, and knew I had to get myself out of the rut I was in. Slowly but surely, the more I prayed, the more my faith increased. As I left the hospital, I was still sad, afraid, and doubtful. But I told God the next time I came into that hospital I was leaving with a baby.
Unfortunately, that’s not the way the story played out. But life happened and I had to move on. I spent so much time on a rollercoaster of emotions; after a while, I didn’t want to do it anymore. I knew that I couldn’t accept the doctor’s report or diagnosis because we knew it was His will for us to have children. Even though I couldn’t see how it would happen in the natural, I just knew it had to.
Andre and I were asked to teach premarital classes at our church; I can remember physically bleeding from a miscarriage while talking to couples about the goodness of God. I was even asked by my pastor’s wife to assist on the wellness committee at church. I felt so unworthy to even consider serving in that area. I felt that was God rubbing the fact that I still didn’t have a baby in my face. I talked to my mentor and was advised to continue serving even while I was going through a tough time. So that’s what I did.
During this time Andre went to a men’s conference in California with men from our church. As they were sitting in the conference hall, the choir marched in down the aisles singing and throwing candy, paper with scriptures on them, and other things to encourage celebration. As Andre was sitting there watching, a pair of baby shoes fell in front of his seat. That was a sign for him. He wrote scriptures about healing on the bottom of the shoes, and we put them in our room where we could always see them. Those scriptures are what we stood on as we were waiting for God to fulfill His promise.
Soon we decided to see a fertility doctor and unfortunately had another setback; endometriosis had wrapped around my appendix, which also had to be removed. I found myself facing yet another surgery. We bravely moved forward and after I recovered, with the doctor’s blessing we started with intrauterine insemination (IUI), which injected sperm directly into my uterus. Seven times we tried but still, no baby so decided to try in vitro fertilization (IVF), where my egg was combined with Andre’s sperm in vitro and then implanted into my uterus.
Through everything, Andre was such a trooper! We had three rounds of IVF, and Andre gave me the shots every day. Through this difficult experience, our marriage grew closer. Besides, how could I ever get mad at a man who held a needle over me every day? God knew I needed a man like Andre to hold my hand during all we went through. We needed each other more than we ever could have known.
Incredibly, my egg was fertilized on the fourth attempt of IVF. Could this really be happening? Was I truly pregnant? I was afraid to even tell anyone. I waited until I started to show for fear I would miscarry again.
Yes, God was faithful; I even had more fertilized eggs to freeze. I was told I was too old and that my egg production would be low, but God had given me more than enough. After seven years of trying, four miscarriages, and numerous surgeries, Andre and I welcomed our beautiful daughter Andrea in 2007.
A few years passed and we decided to try again using my eggs that were frozen; unfortunately, we didn’t get pregnant. We had Andrea and were content with our family of three. A couple of years later I had my annual gynecological exam, which included a standard pregnancy test. When my doctor came into the room, he asked if Andre and I were trying to conceive again. I responded that we weren’t trying, but it if happened then it happened.
My doctor suddenly burst out laughing. As I stared curiously, he told me I was pregnant. I couldn’t have been more shocked! How could I be pregnant again? And without the help of any fertility treatments? After all that we had been through to conceive Andrea, here I was 40 years old, with one tube and one ovary, and pregnant the conventional way! Of course, we were all thrilled. Another blessing added to our family, how exciting! God didn’t have to bless us with our son Myles, but I’m so thankful He did.
Andrea is 15 and Myles is now 11. Although my journey was long and painful, through everything we experienced, I never gave up my hope. There were so many opportunities to do so, as the experience was just so hard. But I held on to the signs God had given me in response to my prayers for children, and I honestly didn’t think that God had me experience all that pain just to give up. If you are believing God for children, please don’t give up. God has a plan; He just wants you to trust Him.
That’s why I’m not ashamed to tell my story. I know my family is a miracle, and God still performs miracles for His children.
ENCOURAGEMENT FOR MOMS:
For women waiting for God to bless them with a child:
- Get God’s Word in your spirit – The infertility journey is hard, and you’ll need His word to get you through. My scriptures were: Exodus 23:25-26 “If you worship the Lord your God, I will bless your bread and your water. I will take away sickness from you. None of your women will have her baby die before it is born, and all women will have children. I will allow you to live long lives.”
- Don’t go through it alone. Make sure you have people in your corner to pray, listen and be a shoulder to cry on. Even the strongest person needs to cry. It’s ok to be sad, just don’t stay there.
- Don’t give up. Every time I left the hospital, I said the next time I left the hospital I was leaving with a child. It didn’t happen right away but one day it finally did!
PRAYER FOR MOMS:
Thank you Lord for bearing all our pain and carrying our sickness and disease on the cross. I know that by your stripes I am healed. Heal my heart, my body, and my spirit while I’m on this journey. Deuteronomy 7 says no man or woman will be childless. We will be parents, in the name of Jesus.
Body, we speak to you in the name of Jesus. Every part must come in line with the Word of God. You will function in the way you were created. Perfect ovulation, healthy sperm, solid attachment to the uterine wall and growth into a perfect baby.
We ask for your hedge of protection around the womb protecting the baby from hurt harm and danger. We thank you that whatever we ask in Jesus’ name it’s done. Amen.
Want to learn more? Watch my Moms Night In Conversation with Deitra Smith:
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