God's grace through infertility

Posted by  | Monday, April 7, 2008  at 11:58 AM  
Hi! My name is Meagan DeLong and Leah asked me to share about my struggle with infertility. My struggle was not as long and difficult as most, but God taught me so much through it and I hope that it encourages you as well.

For as long as I can remember, all I ever wanted was to be a wife and mother. I met the man of my dreams right before my last year in college and we got married about a year after I graduated. We had talked about children and both of us wanted a large family. (He actually said he wanted 9 so he could have a full basketball team, ha, ha :) A couple of months before the wedding, we talked about birth control and my husband mentioned that he wasn't super comfortable deciding when to start our family...should we possibly just let God decide that? Like I said, all I ever wanted was to be a wife and mother and have a large family, but selfishly, I didn't want to do both right away! I really wanted to be able to be able to serve my husband -- cook him great dinners, keep a clean house, minister with him at church, enjoy each other sexually, etc, without feeling fat and bloated and have morning sickness to slow me down. And all of my life I had been told to that it was good for your marriage to wait 2 years before starting a family. We had gone to marriage conferences, read books, and had marriage counseling and they all said the same thing: wait 2 years. Everyone I knew at the time managed to get pregnant the first month they tried, so I expected to conceive quickly. So instead of submitting to my future husband or at least committing to pray about the issue, I somewhat emotionally conveyed my objections. He wasn't thoroughly convinced of his position and I obviously was, so we decided to use birth control after all.

I was very careful in my selection of the pill; I had been warned that some pills actually allow fertilization but prevent implantation which in my book was abortion. So I explained these reservations to the gyn and she assured me that the only thing my pill does is prevent ovulation so there was no chance of aborting a baby. (Disclaimer: I have no desire to get into the birth control issue; I simply wish I had submitted to my husband and found myself having to deal with it a year later when I really wanted to get pregnant!)

About a year later, we both really wanted to start our family so I went off the pill. I was very active and in great health and had always had very regular cycles so I really thought we would conceive right away. But it didn't happen. And my cycles started being very irregular, so I kept thinking I was indeed pregnant. I wasted a lot of money on pregnancy tests because I would test one week and it would be negative, but when my cycle hadn't started the next week, I thought for sure I must be pregnant and would test again. Every month was such an emotional roller-coaster. After we had been trying for almost a year, we thought maybe something was wrong. My gyn was certain that I was not ovulating the months that my cycle was so long and ordered an ultrasound for me. We then discovered that I had developed little cysts on my ovaries and they were causing me to not ovulate. The gyn did not think that my birth control had caused the problem, but she could not say for sure. It does make me wonder, though, because I was ovulating fine before I took it, its purpose was to keep me from ovulating, and after I took it, I didn't ovulate. Regardless, at least we finally knew what we were dealing with.

This news was both horrifying and relieving. It was utterly horrifying because I had really never considered the fact that I might not be able to have a baby. But it was somewhat of a relief to finally know what was wrong so that we could discuss our options and pray. My gyn suggested that I take the generic form of Clomid which would cause me to ovulate. It had some possible side effects but I was desperate at this point and was ready to try it. My husband, however, had some ethical reservations and wasn't ready for me to do it. I had learned my lesson about submitting to my husband and although I couldn't help but be emotional about the issue, I didn't want to do it without his full support. That Sunday night we went to our church's weekly Sunday night prayer meeting. I started to ask for prayer for all of this but broke down into tears and couldn't even talk. My husband held me as I sobbed and explained the issue and our church family all wrapped their arms around us and prayed with us for quite a while. I am including this because it meant so much to me to have that support. For so long we had struggled to deal with this on our own and it was such a relief to now have our church family help in prayer and encouragement.

After much research and talking with family and friends who are doctors, my husband concluded that this medicine was only going to help my body to what God originally intended it to do, ovulate, and that it would be ok to try it. I thankfully did not experience any of the possible side effects and after two months, found out that God had done a miracle and had blessed us with a baby! I had a fairly easy pregnancy and after 9 months and 5 days, gave birth to a beautiful daughter, Karis Lynn! (If you want to see more pictures of her, we have a family blog : www.markandmeg04.blogspot.com ) She is now 10 1/2 months old and such an incredible joy!

Although it was so painful, I am glad I went through this struggle with infertility. I grew in my walk with the Lord and learned so much about being content in my circumstances, trusting God's perfect timing and will, submitting to my husband, and being transparent with my church body. My struggle with infertility was probably one of the hardest things I have ever gone through, but I know that so many of you readers have been struggling much longer than I. I would love to hear your stories, cry with you, and praise God for what you have learned through it.
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