Forgotten Anniversaries

This past Friday was the anniversary of one of the most pivotal points in our infertility journey. We had entered that round of fertility treatment knowing most likely, it would be our last. We had prayed that God give us a sign as to whether we should keeping pushing forward with treatment or have a hysterectomy.

Cysts were very common in my world. I had both endometriosis and PCOS. Many of the rounds of fertility treatments ended with us not being able to do another round the following month because we needed to wait for another cyst to resolve. I went into the last round with the prayer that God use these cysts as a sign. If there was another cyst, we would know that we were not meant to conceive a biological child. We entered into the round with full faith that God could prevent another one if we were meant to continue on with fertility treatment.

We did not even have to wait the usual two week window between having the IUI and knowing the outcome. A full week early, my period arrived. I wept from a part of me that I did not even know existed. I knew in my heart we were done. A few hours later we received our conformation. I can still see the ultrasound picture from that day. Another cyst was there. Two days later, I made the call. It was time to pursue a hysterectomy.

These two days brought waves of sadness for years to come. It is hard to forget the day that I knew I would never feel my child kick inside; I would never search hubby and I’s baby pictures looking to see who our child(ren) looked like; I would never know what it was like to have my newborn child laid up on my chest. So many dreams broke that day.

This year the days have passed nearly in silence. Had it not been for the Timehop app I have on my phone reminding me of Facebook posts over the last several years on the anniversary, I would have not even remembered. I did not ever think I would see a time in my life where the grief of infertility would diminish enough that I could forget about it sometimes.

For many years I questioned the normalcy of my unresolved grief. Reassured time and time again, I knew many women continued to grieve this loss for years. Even Proverbs talks of the incessant cry of the barren womb. I thought that eventually it would stop taking my breath away, but never that I would forget the major turning points in the journey.

But there is so much that I know now that I didn’t know then. Now I see the fingerprints of God all over our story. I know that the life that I am living today is one of divine purpose. In meeting my children it was if my soul knew all along who my children would be. It felt like something I had lost and was searching for. When I saw my son on the warmer and my daughter on the ultrasound screen I knew that they were mine. It is something I will never be able to fully explain.

I will always feel some sense of sadness over some of the events I have missed out on in our children’s lives. I wish I had been the one to feel the first flutter of their movements or had been able to nourish them with my own body. But, God had a different plan. I do not say those words lightly. I say them in full humility with a grateful heart that hubby and I have been set aside for this unique walk as an adoptive family. I have said it so many times, but the life I have today is nothing like I had envisioned, and yet more amazing than the finite limits of my human imagination.

To have reached a point in my life where the grief has loosened its grips is another pivotal moment in and of itself. I have learned so many amazing lessons along the way that now I look back over the years of infertility with a sense of gratitude. God took away something that devastated me at the time, but now I see it was so that I could learn what it really meant to depend on God.

I so firmly thought I was in control of my life. I talked about God. I went to church, but I pretty much viewed him as the emergency back-up plan just in case I got in over my head. Through this journey I have come to realize that submitting to God’s control over my life is the only plan, one so complete that no back-up plan is needed.

Essentially, I ended up losing my fertility only to gain salvation. I lost my fertility so that I could witness to others what God has done in my life. I lost my fertility so that there is no doubt in anyone’s mind as to who purposed our family to be. I learned I can do nothing on my own. It is only in God’s power and perfect plan that anything occurs. Exchanging my fertility for that knowledge is such a small price to pay – a price that I am grateful to have paid!

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