Loved and Not Alone (pt.1)

I apologize, I began writing this post last August and couldn’t bring myself to finish it, but I am ready now, so here it is! If I inserted something more recently to the older part of my post it will look like [this]. So read on!

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Get ready to be candid with me for a moment…

A year ago today (give or take a few days either direction) is the day I unknowingly began a journey I never wanted to be on. A journey I never considered I would have to take. A journey full of pain, self-loathing, sorrow, and despair. For every step forward I’ve fought to achieve, I’ve been thrown back a few 100 yards on my butt where I would sit and cry for a moment then slowly pick myself back up and start all over again.

Some of you may know this pain, whether you have experienced it in the same way as me or not, and you understand how excruciatingly difficult it is to get back up after being knocked down…

so.

many.

times.

You know what it is like to doubt God’s plan, whether he really cares about you at all.

In August of last year[2014] I unintentionally stopped taking my birth control (BC). It was a miscommunication with the pharmacy and so on and suddenly I saw myself two weeks late on taking my next round of pills. I decided I would wait until I got my next period to start again. Patrick and I had discussed going off BC somewhere around December anyway so I didn’t think it would be a big deal if something happened earlier than that anyway.

August crept by…

…then September…

… next October…

… and suddenly I am very aware of the fact that something is wrong. No period in 3 months. Every test I take tells me it isn’t due to pregnancy. I scheduled an appointment with my GYN and prayed for the best (I am going to intentionally leave the name of my [FORMER] GYN out of this as I am NOT happy with the way my case has been handled by them and I don’t want to get in trouble for defamation or something…). A pelvic ultrasound and blood tests reveal a couple things:

  1. I’m not ovulating.
  2. My ovaries a ridden with cysts. [A more recent test indicates that it was not as serious as I was made to believe]
  3. My hormone levels are all out of whack.
  4. The lack of ovulation is not due to anything they can determine at this time.

Okay… so what do I do next? I began WebMD-ing things that could be wrong (bad move by the way– learn from me, don’t do it) and I had myself worked up into such a frenzy about it sleep was ridiculously difficult to achieve. I had myself believing I had Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (I’m still not convinced that isn’t what is wrong) [better doctor now, better explanations, pretty sure it wasn’t PCOS now] because everything my GYN told me seemed to point to it. Here is link to some of the WebMD articles I was reading to try to better understand what was happening to me.

[Okay, present day me talking here, PCOS is very serious stuff and I don’t want this post to, in anyway, diminish the real and raw pain that any woman, facing this issue, is wrestling. Just because it didn’t happen to be true in my case, which I discovered thanks to a much more competent and communicative doctor, doesn’t mean I don’t sympathize 100% with those looking at that diagnosis. My struggle is and was still real and I was grasping at answers– because even a crappy answer was still and answer– so I knew what I was fighting.]

At my next appointment with my GYN, they tell me they are pretty sure it is my hormone levels. One hormone is a little higher than the others and could be suppressing ovulation which in turn is preventing me from getting a period. To force my period, they want to put me back on BC again. By the time I am having this conversation with my GYN it is late December/ early January and this was the time Patrick and I had previously discussed taking me off BC and letting whatever happen. So, obviously, I wanted a different solution to my problem.

December and January [of 2015] were two of the hardest months of my life. Ladies who know my pain, didn’t it just tear you up inside that the one thing God created you to do, the one thing that sets you apart as a woman, was not something you could do? You were broken, and not just emotionally or spiritually, but physically…

I’ll tell you exactly what I thought.

I am broken, defective, insufficient. I’m letting my husband down, he would be such a good father and I can’t give that to him. I’m not good enough for him anymore, maybe I should give him an out, set him free so he can find someone who will give him children. I hate myself for the defective monster I am.

Some of you read that and think I am being dramatic and that my identity was WAY to wrapped up in this issue [I’M reading this right now thinking the exact same thing!]– you would be right. Some of you think I should get over it, let it go, or just adopt if I want to have children — you are also right.

Some of you read this and relate so deeply that you may be crying with me. Maybe some of you have been afraid or unable to express your real feelings on this– or haven’t told anybody yet because then it becomes REAL.

[Present day me again. The reality is it is already REAL. Just because you are having trouble admitting it to yourself doesn’t mean it isn’t still your truth. And isn’t life so much better lived in communion with others? Mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, sister, brother, spouse, aunt, uncle, friends… We were given these people so we were not alone when we hit difficult times like this. This may be hard for some of you to hear– it was for me in some ways– but you NEED people. You need people to lean on and, yeah, that means running the risk of getting hurt further because you’ve made yourself emotional vulnerable but no relationship is worth anything if it doesn’t carry a little bit of vulnerability risk to it. Genesis 2:18-22 tells us God knew it was not good for us to be alone and that is why he created Eve for Adam. The same is true for you– it is not good for you to be alone.]

I’ve come a long way since December and January [again, of last year]; I am coping better and I don’t randomly cry throughout the day anymore. I have accepted that I am not broken or defective and that my husband still loves me. I am voicing my pain in healthy non-destructive ways and can even bring myself to be happy for the plethora of friends that are now popping out their own little bundles of joy.

But it is a journey, not a race to the finish.

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That is where I ended 8 months ago, plus my present day addendums, and I sounded like I was getting to a better place– which is true, but not the whole story.

I still wept on occasion, and in fact I cried as I typed away at the above which is why I couldn’t finish– that and I wanted it to be perfect. I wanted to perfectly explain my pain so my readers would fully understand.

I realize now that it isn’t worth it to try and make it perfect because someone somewhere is not going to understand and is going to judge. What is important is that I got it out of my system and onto paper (or the web, as it were).

I’d like to finish my story now, up to where I am currently, but I need more time to write it. I am in a much better place (for real this time) but also still very fearful of my future. In the meantime, if you are struggling against infertility I hope you realize you are not alone and you are loved.

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13 thoughts on “Loved and Not Alone (pt.1)

  1. Valerie, I told you before that you are an excellent writer, but this transcends writing because it is being courageous enough to lay yourself emotionally bare and strong enough to be okay with whatever emotion it evokes in those who read it. Thank you for setting that kind of example for us, as well as for the students that you have so thoroughly invested yourself in.
    I don’t know how this story will end for you and Patrick…what I do know is that there will be many, many young people who will list you among those who have impacted their hearts and lives as they pursue a life of following Jesus.
    Of this I am sure…you were created to do just that!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I relate to this in so many ways. This was me! I had a very difficult time with every emotion. Physically, the pain was horrible, but still easier to handle than the mental pain. Infertility, IUI, IVF, medications, the whole experience had changed me. Some for the better, some for the worse. I still hurt sometimes over the fact that I want more children and will never be able to have another child unless through adoption. I hurt for those who struggle with infertility themselves. I continue to have challenges with my body and I honestly thought my hardships in this department were over. I had a miscarriage this summer that tore me apart. I picked myself up much like you and brushed myself off. While I am working on my better place, I am not there yet. I fear this battle has no end for me. In truth, I have such blessings and fortune in this struggle of infertility, that I feel selfish or like I’m acting ungrateful for the greatness that has been given to me. I am incredibly grateful, just struggling to see where the end of the path is.
    Anyways, my point was not to go on and on about me, but to say I applaud you for your strength and I cried with you when reading this. I believe in you and all your strength!

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    • Jenn! My goodness, thank you for being so open and vulnerable! I had no idea this was a struggle you were walking through. Your family is so beautiful though and I can only hope Patrick and I have a family as awesome as yours 😊. You and Greg are in my prayers.

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  3. Thank you for posting for struggle and story! Infertility is a struggle for so many and the more that women discuss it the less stigma there will be. Infertility doesn’t have to define who we are but it is apart of our story.
    I’m glad you have found a competent doctor to help you! I went through so many doctors (and 3 miscarriages) before some one finally believed me that there was a problem and helped me find a solution. My problem was/is PCOS but it wasn’t the problem. The husband was contributing to the problem and without my fertility doctor we would have never known and I would have continued to have miscarriages and always thought I was the problem.
    I hope you find a solution to your infertility. IVF was our solution. And I now have the most amazing little one! And I will go through that process again to have another baby. And every medication and injection and blood draw and ultrasound is worth it. And everything I went through before IVF was worth it.
    If you ever need some infertility support, I and many others are here for you!
    (Sorry for my lengthy post 😊)

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    • I watched your struggle from afar and when I came up against my own you and people like you were great stories of encouragement. I was so excited for you when you finally announced you were pregnant with little Alex! You and Greg are a great story of triumph in difficult circumstances.

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  4. Val, thank you so much for sharing. I walk alongside you, holding your pain, listening to your past year and a half. I am so grateful for you family, Patrick, Kim, Marcus, your parents, friends that live close to you, who know and are able to physically walk with you through the ache you feel at random (or less) moments. I believe you are NOT being dramatic, but rather, are lamenting well. Much, much love, my dear friend. Chelsea

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    • Oh I was definitely being a smidge over dramatic but the cool thing was when I stopped making it all about me and began leaning on Patrick and my family I discovered all the lies I was allowing satan to sneak into my head. I cannot say enough about not isolating oneself during trials like this – and not just issues with fertility. I am certainly blessed to have “my people”. Miss you!

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  5. Oh my goodness! Wow…I am so glad you were able to finish this and share your story and I’m so sorry that you are going through this but I believe God will bless you in his own special way and when he feels the time is right. You are a blessing to Patrick and all of us with or without the ability to get pregnant. You are loved and prayed for…don’t let this define you.

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  6. ‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.
    ❤ you and Patrick

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  7. Pingback: Loved and Not Alone (pt. 2) | The Messy Phoenix

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