Trying brings pain and in that moment when one is trying, we are tempted to stay where we are and settle.
There was a time tried unsuccessfully to get another job.
I stopped trying for a while and lost track of where I was. I was encouraged to start again and was shocked at how far back I have to go to start over.
What happens when we settle:
I have come to realise that settling for less and giving up takes us back a few steps when if we do decide to start again.
So my encouragement to you today is “ don’t settle”.
Don’t settle for a present when you know your future is more than what you have right now.
Don’t settle for a life without children when you know you can be a parent.
Why should you quit? Yes you have tried and failed several times, believe, find a way to keep going if you so wish.
But never settle for a lesser future when you know you can have more.
The pain of settling maybe worse than your current situation. This is because settling may take the pressure off temporarily but may not bring you joy because unless it is what you want deep within, joy will elude you. As you may never know what is on the other side if you had kept trying.
You may pause while trying to figure things out, and seek guidance for the next step, but don’t stop when difficulty or pain comes knocking.
You can begin where you are right now to start over if you have settled and given up. Don’t settle but rather set your goals and set yourself up for the next phase of your life….
Go back, what new test can you taken?
What new treatment can you afford?
What have you over looked?
And even after you have done all you can,
Your friend and faithful partner
The tears we shared over unwanted medical results and the fears we entertained on the possibility of never being a mum.
The sadness at being judged for not having kids, the trepidations we felt while waiting at the Dr’s office and the intense pain from yet another failed cycle.
The endless questions of when will it be?
Today we drank coffee while our kids played with play doh. Together we watched them played snakes and ladders and them boss each other around.
Today we smiled, laughed and scolded those little monkeys, but most of all today we looked back with gratitude. We counted our blessings and said a prayer for those still waiting for their miracle.
Today was the yesterday we hoped and prayed for.
Nothing is special about us, except we choose to hope and continue in the faces of negative results and reports.
We never gave up hope.
When against all odds we were told our wombs cannot carry a child because it was badly scared, we hoped.
When we were told our situation was unexplained, we hoped.
When we were told no egg was viable from yet another IVF treatment we just, we hoped.
When friends after friends had babies and we go away from every christening crying, because we felt like failures, we hoped.
Today our hope is a reality. Our desires, living, talking, breathing and laughing.
Today I encourage you to hold on, draw strength from within and keep hope alive.
I can only ask that you look at my story and believe that perhaps your you desires too will become real.
I use to wonder how to keep my hope and faith alive during my days as a woman in waiting. Whenever I thought I was up there in the hope department, something happens to derail that hope:
The more I felt like I was hopeful the further away from my dreams I felt.
How do I keep hope alive when I had just lost another pregnancy
How do I keep hope alive when I have just had another failed IVF cycle?
How do I keep hope alive when the news is awash with stories of the dangers of having babies beyond 40s.
My hope and faith faded as red stains fades from a dress.
I realise that keeping hope alive have nothing to do with what was happening to me. It was how I choose to see and react to what going on.
Here are 5 things I did to keep my hopes of becoming a mum alive.
I looked for stories that seem impossible. I was and still enthralled by stories which seem like all hope of a success was lost, but against all odds the impossible becomes possible. Most importantly I look for stories similar to mine. Failed attempt to become pregnant, lost pregnancy, prolong wait finally yielding results. These all combined kept me hopping.
I embarked on a mission to find a reason for my predicament: I was not satisfied with unexplained infertility. I knew something was wrong. There must be a reason why I was unable to fall pregnant. My quest to discover the reason for my unexplained infertility kept me hoping that perhaps when the is reason found, a cure will commence and I will become pregnant.Exploring Treatment Options.
I decided to trust the maker of the universe to do what is best and right for us. Ok, God I use to say. If it must be, it’s up to you. I have done my bit. Now it’s over to you. Giving him control of the situation and knowing that I have done and doing all within my power to conceive kept my hope alive.
I was incredibly grateful for what I have. I was full of gratitude for my home, a loving husband and a stable marriage. Knowing that many couple did not survive trying for a baby kept me going. Being in a constant state of gratitude even when I have just had a miscarriage kept my hope alive.
I looked for Simple things to be grateful for, like the fact had i am becoming better and more patient person. Gratitude that another friend has had a baby and gratitude for a strong support network, kept me hopeful..
I had fun. I found an excuse to always have fun. Luckily for me I had a group of friends in similar situation. Together we prayed, encouraged each other and travelled together. We shared our dreams of one day becoming a mum and we supported those weak in faith. This bond kept our hopes alive. And when one by one we all fell pregnant those left behind were even more hopeful. Today I can truly say my friendships helped kept my hope alive
I urge you today, do not let the wait snuff out hope from within you. Cast your gaze on something bigger than your pain. Build a tent of gratitude and leave your desires in the hands of him who can bring them to pass and take flight on the wings of hope. Let it carry you safely till you reach the shores of your dreams.
Keep Hope Alive:
Your Partner in Hope
Years later, having been declared in remission and taken off all medications
I could not fall pregnant…
At the time there was no silver lining in my cloud. The future without kids looked bleak.
I did not hope. I was void of all emotions, how can I trust God, where is the faith to believe and keep trying?
Immediately after disappointment, we usually feel negative emotions. Like
Anger, fear and lack of faith. Uncertainty about the future tears are also constant during such time.
It may take a few good months, weeks or months for us to come to terms with our predicaments but that’s when healing truly begins.
Healing did begin for me. I dreamt again
Believe again and hope again.
Now I rejoice in having my precious kids,
Despite the diagnosis
I hoped against hope.
So I encourage you today to stand firm, and sure.
Glimpse your set time ahead.
Though faith may weaver a your heart quavers from fear
Lift your gaze higher to the promise that will one day be real
Grasp firmly to your desires
For in hoping against hope,
Will you triumph over all.
Your partner in hope
This poem was written during my mid night hour. I had just finished a course of treatment and it seems like the wait will go on indefinitely with no end in sight.
Something dropped in my spirit to never tire of trying and to keep on hoping and trying.
Be encouraged by it: Don’t tire, keep trying
keep on trying:
when the test strips comes up negative
I will keep on trying
All of me yearns for a baby to have and to hold
to cherish and cuddle
to nurture and treasure
though there is delay, and it seems my wait will yield no gain
still I will keep on trying
for I have come to know, delay is not denial, and when waiting makes me weary.
My anxious fears are calmed in the distance hope which keeps me trying.
Your Partner in Hope
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The pain of miscarriage is so intense that even though I now have kids, I was unable to talk about it until recently.
I can only describe the moment when I realised I was losing my baby as unreal. I did not know what or how to feel. I was dumbfounded, confused, bemused, and had an out-of-body experience. It felt like it was not happening.
Such was my confusion, that I refused to think about what was happening. I shrugged it off and decided to go on with my plans for the day. In the hopes that when I return, everything will return to normal. I was wrong.
The friend I had plan to meet was shocked to hear that I had just learnt I was having a miscarriage and I was still intent on meeting her.
She talked me out of it. Maybe she shouldn’t have, maybe I would have cried my eyes out and openly grieved, I don’t know, but instead I hid away in fear, frustration, anger, void of any emotions.
Looking back now, I won’t recommend my way of dealing with my first miscarriage to anyone.
I returned to my day job a week after I had bled it out just because I was bored with staying at home and ashamed to look at myself in the mirror.
After the second miscarriage I was forced to deal with the lost differently. It turned out that my brother-in-law was getting married and had paid for us to attend the wedding in the beautiful country of Mauritius. This unconscious choice turned out to be a blessing in disguise, it opened my mind to what others can do to cope with a loss.
Go Away: shortly after my second miscarriage we had a wedding invitation far away to Mauritius. At first I was reluctant to go on the trip, I was still bleeding and was not in a celebratory mood. My husband persuaded me to visit my MD who decided a C-section was necessary to remove any remnant and avoid any mishaps while I was away. During our time away I remembered nothing of my loss. It was as if removing myself from the event was healing in itself. We had the hen night party, New Year’s Eve party, we were so busy, I had no time to wallow in misery. An added benefit was the messages and deep-sea relaxation i had, which did my body and mind a world of good. Till date it’s still one of the best holiday I had been on. By the time we came back the loss seem like a distant memory. I was able to pluck up courage to try again.
Dancing: I can picture your suprise, dance? yes, you read right, dance. Strange to recommend dancing to anyone who has had a miscarriage. I guess the fact that I was given the all clear to travel made me lose myself in the moment. Our resort had nightly entertainment which made it difficult not to dance. Dancing took me to a place I did not know existed. I was truly liberated from pain, anger, and fear. From that moment on I had music everywhere in the house. Now I dance at every occasion. Dance got me through this difficult and worse period of my life… On my return, I joined a local dance club where I regularly attend weekly dance classes. It was liberating and exhilarating. I found a new passion and hobby when I found dance, I was free from worry, from disturbing thoughts and most of all I enjoyed it. .
Praying: One would think this should have been the first thing I do, na, I did everything else but talk to God. I did cry and complain, but I did Not stop to talk to my Heavenly Father about my feelings. On this trip, I had time to focus and have a clear mind. I took time to really communicate with him and I felt him near me. His presence was reassuring and I truly felt peaceful inside. I felt his gentle whisper that everything will be ok. In that moment of prayer I felt I can face whatever the future brings. I can truly say my prayer times were the reason I healed so quickly long before I had a baby.
Personal Reflection; linked closely with praying but during these times I did not pray I just reflected on the good things I had going on in my life. I forced my mind to refocus on the good not the bad. I learnt the lines from motivational songs and reflected on them. I retrained my mind to be still and not to wonder. On my return no one believed I had just had a miscarriage. There was no outward sign of sadness or depression. I had grief alright but I was healed.
You may not have the means to go away to experience the peace time away can bring, however you can steal away a few moments away somewhere quiet.
You can go on quiet walks in the park or wood and get lost in the beauty of nature. You can take up swimming and afterwards steam in the sauna. In that time you can draw strength from within, from the beauty of nature and the peace it brings.
Other little things you can do.
- Join a miscarriage support group, your local clinic may be able to recommend some to you. You can draw strength from the experiences of others
counselling: you may want to seek counselling, ask your support nurse or clinic for this.
Volunteering is a way of taking the focus off your issues. When you are well enough look at your local library or church and find out how you can volunteer.
I urge you to embark on a trip of self rediscovery, set your mind free from the pain of the loss you have experience, find something that can refocus your thought, which can fill you will hope and strength again, and as you do, you will experience healing and become more resilient through the journey towards becoming a parent.
Please let leave a comment and let us know your thoughts. also like and share our page you never know who will be blessed.
Your partner in Hope
On this National Infertility Week, I am flooded with memory of my time on the treadmill suffering this dreaded disease. Both good and bad memories. After all I tried unsuccessfully for several years to have a child. So it is with mix feelings I pen this piece.
Infertility is a sickness, a disease which should not be allowed to fester and thrive.
Over the weekend, I met with some lovely friends, who also suffered the same fate of waiting, miscarriages, stillbirth and finally birth. I am reminded of how fortunate we all are in fulfilling our heart desires of becoming parents. I recognised that this is still a struggle and a dream for many.
As we sat chatting in celebration over the purchase of a house by one of us, a very beautiful house in a prime suburb: listening to the sounds of the kids running around screaming, the conversation came up about what we had been through.
The story began, from one to the other. I listened as we recalled some really gruesome tales of our ordeal.
I was amazed at how we were able to recall very intimate details and exact happenings of the losses we suffered.
Between the 3 of us, 17 babies were lost either through miscarriages, still birth and death. This was no small number, this was epic and painful to talk about. As we talked, we began to salute those who helped us along the way and the courage of those still trying.
Today I want to salute everyone who is currently going through infertility, this is dedicated to you.
This post also highlights how we coped in the midst of going through one of the most trying periods of our lives:
As we discussed it became obvious we had
- the support of good friends and family,
- our spouses and
- our faith.
A strong support network of Good Friends: We recalled those who walked the road with us, friends who though did not face the same struggles non understood our pain, were a strong support, a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen without judging us, a ready help. Those who sat with us while we waited at the hospital for another evacuation. Those who abandoned everything else at the news that we needed them. Their prayers, presence and love was strong enough to give us faith. On this national infertility week I salute you my friends.
Our spouses: while we struggled, while we waited, while pain ravages and friends leave, when faith weaver and hope hangs on a thread. Their presence, support, friendship, understanding and love was a constant.
We joked that God knew we couldn’t combine this terrible fate in addition to having a spouse/partner who was not supportive. They listened when we made no sense. They saw us at our most vulnerable but loved us no less. It was a joint pain, it was a shared burden, we were never alone. Our spouses were a constant.
So on this national infertility week we salute our spouses, partners, those who were helpers on the journey through infertility.
Our Faith: faith was what carried us through those times when we felt like giving up, when we thought that we couldn’t carry on any longer. Faith saw us through. We had a picture of what we wanted and kept that in view. When we bled and buried our babies, faith was a strong force urging us to have another go. Faith was our anchor, our hope: faith that our bodies will do what it was meant to do, carry and birth a child.
Faith in God, in his infinite power to restore and make new again. We were not going to let anything take our faith away. We salute faith and the courage to keep trying every time we suffered a loss
You: I salute you my waiting friends, through teary eyes you look at the negative lines on the test strip and sob, but walked on with a strong resolve to keep trying. Through aching heart, you wondered when the tide will calm and the cloud lift for you to see your dreams birthed in the form of a child:
You who smiled through side comments and sarcastic remarks
You who watched helplessly as you bleed at the loss of another child
You who stood by the graveside to bury another sweet little baby
I salute your tenacity
Here’s my encouragement to you today. Have faith in the process, though it may be tough right now, have faith in your ability, for faith never fails.
On this national infertility week I urge you to make faith your best friend. let it be your guide, your hope, your scour, your friend, your victory.
You may still be on this journey, and may just be hanging in there with the help of someone special, keep on holding on.
For some of you, your relationships may have fallen apart, friends may have left or grew weary of hearing the same story.
Let faith carry you to the finish line. Our story changed from pain and tears to, testimonies and laughter.
So I pray that you too will reminisce over the past with joy and peace.
I salute your faith, faithful friends, supportive partners/spouse, but above all, I salute you, as you faithfully wait.
Your Friend and faithful Partner in Waiting
Picture the scene with me: here was a woman who has had several miscarriages, she has bleed countless number of times and as she lay bleeding the last time she screamed in agony “who will call me mother”. “Who will tug at my apron strings for waffles”
“Who will wave at me from the pack of excited kids at the Christmas carol choir concert?
“Who will make little Mother’s Day card with writing barely readable
Who? Why? When?
Who will tell me pretend stories of monkeys, gorillas and Iguanas. She lay there sobbing and crying as she recalls her losses.
When I am in distress I call you because you answer me.
Losing a child through miscarriage or stillbirth, or other circumstances leaves a couple drained, confused and the future uncertain.
Today week we celebrate Easter, I wonder, how did the mother of Jesus felt losing her son. Mary must have been
distraught just as any other parent.
His earthly parents felt helpless and hopeless, one minute they had a son, the next he was gone.
I am certain they experienced the pain of loss any parent would at the loss of a child. At the time it felt like all hope was gone, they couldn’t see past the present, their loss, pain and heartache had blurred every thought. They did not see 3 days later.
This was how I felt when I lost my two precious babies to miscarriage. Having waited for a long time I finally had something to look forward to. I thought the wait was over, when I felt pregnant but the cruel hand of lost came and snatched my dream from me.
I was elated at the news of my pregnancy, to finally be pregnant and be an expectant mum, felt like heaven to me.
And then came the bleeding, the pain and the aches. The why mes and the when. At that moment, I felt lost, helpless and hopeless. My world came crashing down.
Back to Mary, she didn’t see the next 3 days, the miracle of resurrection and the hope life gives, she was consumed by her lost.
The gap between when her son, ‘The Saviour’ came back to life, was a blur. She couldn’t go about business as usual, hence she took it upon herself to anoint his body daily.
At least she could do something with her time, she looked forward to the next day when she would anoint his body again, but it was another disappointment. He was gone again, taken away from her. Her one last shred of hope.
Nothing wrong in hanging on to hope and whatever reminds us of what we want and lost. Just like Mary we hang on, holding on to whatever may make us feel better. We live one day at a time.
Mary, was wrong he hadn’t been taken away from her again, he had come back to her, he had given her life, hope and reason to live again. Her son came back.
Our lost child may not resurrect like Jesus did, but we can have faith in the knowledge that we can start again, we have life and we can try again and dream again.
I waited for several years to fall pregnant, Only to suffer miss stages. I taught my number was up, my world caved in and my hope of being a mum was still a distant dream.
We decided to give it another try and go for it again, and our resolve paid off, we now have 2 little girls, our tears turned to Joy, our sorrows a distant memory and the lost we suffered remembered without pain.
My encouragement to you today.
Let the Easter story fill you with faith to believe and strength to carry on. The pain you feel from the loss you suffered will be stepping stones to a comeback.
You may have lost a child but let your hope come alive again, let it resurrect and fill you with faith to try again, to see beyond your lost.
You too will some day experience joy and peace when your desires are reborn. I don’t know how it will be, but with God nothing shall be impossible.
Easter gives us a hope and strength to keep trying, to trust, to have faith, and believe.
It’s Mother’s Day here in UK. For a very long time I did not take part in any kind of Mother’s Day celebration. I avoided it like a plague… I just couldn’t bring myself to celebrate something I am not and so wanted to be.
I avoided going out as the ‘the shops were often decorated with beautiful cards for mothers. Cards of every colour adored the store shelves with heart signs and shapes. Depicting a child’s love for his/her mother…
One one occasion I received flowers and a card from my husband. I was unhappy about this gesture. I was not going to pretend that I am a mother, I muttered under my breath..I was being realistic, calling it what it is.
“You know I don’t celebrate Mother’s Day”.
Why buy me a “Happy Mother’s ” day card? I asked in a strained voice.. ‘he just replied, open it’ and worked away… My husband is not my child, why should I be excited at receiving a card from him?. I thought.
“The irrational thoughts of a childless woman”. To me, nothing makes sense anymore.
Later that day, I felt better enough and picked up the cards and felt really really stupid. On the front was boldly written “I Love You”. This card celebrated me as a person, me a friend, a human being, a wife, it celebrated our union and love.
My husband of few words wanted me to know that he loves me just as much as I am now, not for what I could be, “a mother”. Mother or not, I am somebody, not defined by my circumstances or a name badge ‘mother’.
As Mother’s Day approaches you too may be fill with dread, of well meaning friends, God children, and family celebrating their mums… You may want to crawl into bed and be invisible for the day… because you don’t want the fuss.
I understand the feeling. I celebrated lots of Mother’s Day without being a mother and most of it was not by choice…
I believe I truly received healing when I decided to stop being hurt by the mention of the word “mother” and I started to take part and enjoy the fun of it.
Those around you understands too. Do not think your friends, family, or community do not care about you. Rest assured they wish for you to enjoy the pleasures of being a mother, and may show it in strange ways like buying you flowers or cards or taking you out on Mother’s Day.
Celebrate with them.It’s a joyous occasion and besides happy doesn’t do anyone any harm, but rather relieves of the pressures and thoughts of one’s demise.
Celebrate who you are and becoming through this process. You have been chosen to walk this path, it is tough but celebrate your strengths
Celebrate because some were crushed by envy and jealousy but here you are, still still believing and holding on.
Celebrate the unique love your partner has for you…
celebrate the adversity which has made you both stronger…
After that incident with my husband I decided I was going to enjoy mother’s day every year. I was a Godmother, an aunty, A mother to be . That qualifies me to celebrate.
I stopped dreading the approach and started to write out cards to mothers whom I admire…
You may not go as far as I did, but I encourage you to see yourself as what you want to be, ‘a mother’ and be joyful in that knowledge.
Knowing that even though you may not be a mother right now? You may be one some day.
My prayer for you is that:
You will enjoy the pains of childbirth
Give suck to a child.
Feel the heartbeat of your child next to you
Feel the crush of a tiny fingers holding yours
See the smiles of your child beaming at you
Smell the scent of baby oil running down their cheek
Feel the tenderness of their look as it starts back at you.
Hear the pitapata of tiny feet as they trundle into your bed.
Cherish the warm cuddly hugs of tiny hands around your neck.
Hear a little voice say
Mama I love you”.
Happy Mother’s Day
There is a popular singing contest on TV called the voice. If you are not familiar with the format let me educate you…
contestants perform in front of a live audience with 4 judges whose back are turned on them. The judges can only hear the contestant sing without seeing their face… they have to listen to their Voice, tune and melody of the songs to decide who goes through to the next round…
If a judge likes what he/she hears, they press a buzzer which indicates to the contestants that they are wanted by that judge. If more than one judge pushes the button, the contestant have to choose which judge to mentor them in the competition.
It is packed with excitements, emotions and disappointments. I like it when all the judge’s press their buzzer, leaving it up to it is up to contestant to choose the judge they want to mentor them in the show.
Do you know we all listen to a voice? We tune our listening ear to its sound, weighting our decisions in light of “the voice”.
The Voice we contend with are often not as clear as the sound of music, sometimes they may be shrouded in other sounds buried in the daily chores which contends for our attention leaving us confused as to which choice to make.
For anyone who has suffered from infertility you will understand that there are so many voices we hear:
They could be the voice of your in-laws if you are married or in a relationship. “Voices” Begging and urging you to seek help.
while Inside you want to scream out loud
“I have sought help alright”,
“what more can I do?”
The voice of well meaning friends who constantly educate us on the latest medical intervention and how we should hurry up and get started.
The voice of your doctor.
The voice of your spouse
the voices of your family
The voices of friends
The voices of work colleagues and your own inner voice.
The voice we so desperately want to hear is the ‘Voice of The Lord’,
we wait, we try to discern it, we listen for it, we are sure we will press the buzzer and make the right choice if we know it’s His voice but, His voice is unclear or so it seems, amidst the other voices. We just can’t figure out which is His.
We cry out “Lord speak to me”.
I want to hear your voice…..
Silence greets us, we wait, we hope, we cry.
The infertile couple is faced with endless choice as time passes by, this adds to the confusion of not knowing which voice to listen for .
How to distinguish His Voice.
His voice is distinct, amidst the many sounds we hear one thing is sure, his voice is distinct. His voice does not content with other voices because he is not the author of confusion. He is speaking and will continue to speak to us, to hear and distinguish his voice from others, ask him to teach you to listen…
His voice is not forceful: He is not forceful or demanding, other voices can be demanding and forceful, but his is gentle and soothing, it brings peace. Because He is the Prince of Peace.
His Voice is specific without being demanding or forceful: His word is clear about what he wants for us, that is specific and he will confirm His word to us by being specific.
- His voice is real: his voice is not fake or concealed in other directives for you to discern his intention, no. He won’t leave you guessing because his intention is not to confuse you but to direct and guide you.
Have the other voices drown out the one true “Voice”?.
Are you tired of hearing many conflicting voices and just cannot discern which is the Father’s?
Listen for a distinct voice, one that is not forceful, but gentle, peaceful, with specific instructions from his word that is real.
His Voice brings peace and hope. If you press your buzzer for that voice, you know you are on the path to having your needs met.
Stay Still, wait, listen, and you will hear “His Voice”.
Your Partner in Hope
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