Hearing God in the Wilderness
Twenty-one months after I stopped taking my birth control pills and declared my readiness to get pregnant, my doctor referred us to a big-city reproductive endocrinologist. By this time, we also had learned Greg’s contribution to the pregnancy equation wasn’t helping our odds. The reproductive endocrinologist talked about the possibilities of pregnancy given the issues in both our bodies and, of course, scheduled more blood work for me.
The most basic explanation is my body doesn’t make enough of the right hormones to sustain my eggs, meaning the quality and quantity was low. Along with the endometriosis, the specialist strongly suspected I had poly-cystic ovarian syndrome, a condition that would explain my imbalance of female reproductive hormones.
My new doctor helped us connect the dots and eliminate or correct any variables that were standing in our way. While he talked about sperm, eggs, ovulating, implantation, I thought about how perfect conceiving life is.
The precise timing necessary to create a baby is more exact than anything we as imperfect people can control. In fact, it’s perfect, which is proof enough to me that God creates babies. He aligns all the variables and perfects a process inside our imperfect bodies. That is why I believe every baby has a purpose.
With that said, somebody could argue: Why ever go to a doctor if God is in control of conception? I’ll tell you: We need hope. God gave these doctors minds to help people like me that want to make sense out of what is – or in some cases, isn’t – going on inside our bodies.
Even so, God is most certainly in control of making living miracles. And I was weary from the waiting.
In the following weeks I grasped for more answers and hope, so I read a book called Infertility: A Survival Guide for Couples and Those Who Love Them by Cindy Lewis Dake. What stuck with me was a chapter on boundaries. I don’t really remember what Dake said, but I do remember coming away with the desire to set some emotional, financial, and physical boundaries.
I finally heard God through someone else’s words. Yet it’s not her words that stayed with me. It was hearing God tell me to draw some lines for my own well-being that changed me.
Having Type 1 Diabetes, I knew pregnancy was going to be physically hard on me. There would be additional insulin shots and probably more blood sugar ups and downs than I had in normal life. I also knew infertility left me emotionally drained.
While talking through all of this with Greg, we realized we needed to create boundaries for ourselves before we went to our follow-up appointment with the specialist in Nashville. And this was it for us: If the doctor recommended in-vitro fertilization, we would stop trying to get pregnant and turn our attention, money, and energy to adoption.
In October 2006, after 22 months of trying, a doctor who knew far more than we did told us our best odds of getting pregnant would come with IVF. We thanked him for the information and headed home. In those two hours in the car, I had more peace than I’d had since I threw away my package of birth control pills.
We had absolutely no idea what throwing ourselves into adoption would mean, but for the first time in my life I was experiencing the peace that passes all understanding. And I had yet to learn about a teenage girl who was just a couple months into her unexpected pregnancy.
God didn’t give me my way in December 2004 because his way in May 2007 was even better than I could imagine. Less than nine months after I stopped trying to become pregnant, I got to hold my daughter.
Infertility was my wilderness, but I heard God as he led me into my Promised Land. Turns out, adoption built my faith and my family.
For months and months, I begged to be pregnant and struggled to hear God, but God heard the desire of my heart, which was to have a family. It’s a lesson I still hold close: Even when we don’t say the right words, God knows. In his timing, we see a glimpse of his masterpiece.