How often have you wondered what’s going on in your life, how did I get here? How am I going to get out of it? How will it all turn out?
It is often the case, going through infertility leaves us with countless questions.
There’s also someone who wondered about what was going on in her life.
Mary was a little girl from a little village she was betrothed to be married and she was suddenly pregnant.
I imagine many a night Mary ponded what was going on with her? She wondered about her future even though the Angel told her she was carrying the saviour, I imagine in a quietness of her heart,
She had to still process it all. She must have faced doubt even as she progressed in her pregnancy
I imagine she was plagued with so many questions. I don’t think the angels kept coming to reassure her, that the child she was carrying is actually the saviour. There were no account of angels coming month after month to encourage her. Mary trusted God and held him to that promise.
I imagine Mary processed what was going on as she looked at her changing body day and night, contended with knowing and questioning looks from those around her. I imagine even Jospeh’s family may have wondered and she may have wondered as well what on earth do they think happened..
Yes, infertility and what Mary experienced are worlds apart, but nevertheless there are some lessons to draw from Mary’s experience:
Have you pondered what’s going on? Worried about knowing looks, about your aging body? Worried about what the future holds and how you will deal with it?
As I have frequently said in this place we don’t know the future, we don’t know how our story will end, all we can do is hold onto God’s promises.
Has he told you anything? Ponder over them. Has he promised you something? Ponder over it and trust Him completely With your future.
Just like Mary let your soul Him for his wonderful promise which will be fulfilled in your life.
In The western world it is reported that lights the will be rationed as the cost of living crisis looms which has affected the cost of living.
What this may entails is that some people might have lights during the day and others during the night.
As one who previously lived in Africa And experience extended period of darkness, both day and night, living Without electricity or being in darkness isn’t pleasant.
I also know having lights, transforms the atmosphere, light give life, brings a spring to one’s steps. Light gives excitement, light makes vision better as everything becomes clearer. Back then in African, whenever light comes back on, our collective mood is transformed, we scream for joy.
The opposite is true when we experience darkness, our joy is decreased, our spirit is down.
This Christmas we have decided to limit the decorations outside our house to just two items . The nativity scene and Angels immediately lit up our front lawn, what a beautiful sight.
Jesus is the true light of Christmas.Jesus in your heart will bring hope and joy.
He said, I am the light of the world, whoever follows me, will never walk in darkness but have the light of life. Jesus in your heart and your situation will replace the dark and gloomy feeling of depression.
Everyone gravitates towards a tiny candle for the light it brings. So let the light of God’s son, shine through you to others. Be a model example for all to see regardless of your situation.
If you make Jesus the Lord of your life he said, those who walk with him we’ll never see darkness.
As a child of God, you will never have to stumble around in darkness, wondering what will be and we can boldly step into our world as light, because we carry the light of life in us Jesus.
We can be encouraged in our situation because we know we carry the light of God that illuminates our darkness and shines in our heart, dispelling every myth and sadness and threatens to drag us down to the lowest debts of darkness.
Your Partner in Hope
This Christmas Celebratory seasonscelebrate Him, as the true light of the world that brings hope.
In most cultures naming a child involves having a sacred ceremony, and with good reason too.
That child will be known and identify with that name all their lives, so the choosing, pondering and meditation over that name is important.
The name will be used by everyone, It will become their identity. Sometimes a name informs others about the origin of a person, where they come from, their heritage and roots, so names are important.
Jesus name was also special. His names were chosen by God, His father, before he was born. John the baptist was also named before his birth.
God didn’t leave it up to Joseph and Mary to name Christ, because Jesus was God in the flesh and God needed a name which reflected who he is and will be for all ages.
One of his names which is comparable to no other names, is the name Alpha and Omega.
I have heard all kinds of names, similar names, replicated names, but not this. Simply because this name is God. Alpha and omega simply means “the beginning, the end and everything in between”.
Why this name? I believe God was speaking to humanity through this name, he was saying, look I know it all. I know what has been “the past”, what will be coming “the future” and everything in between.
In those trying times of miscarriages and failed IVF procedures, His name gave me hope. I was comforted in the knowledge that God knows why, and he is weaving everything in His perfect plan for my life.
I may not know what tomorrow will bring, but I know who does and know that He loves me and wants the best for me. His plans for me are good, not evil.
This knowledge was my solace and comforted me as the years rolled by I became secured in His all knowing nature.
I want to suggest some of God names which you can draw strength from as you wait.
It’s the season of giving and receiving gifts. I have been trying to find the most thoughtful presents for my loved ones and I am sure you are as well.
What will it cost you to do something for someone else? Time, money, your possessions or skills. Going through trying times leaves us focus on ourselves, often too drained to consider giving any of these to others.
I realized this during the most difficult periods of my life, I couldn’t give of myself to anything, I was focused on getting through the stage of infertility, but I knew there were so many in need of my skills and thankfully I decide to keep a journal of my experiences which started faithful wait
Although God freely gives us gifts of love, grace, mercies, forgiveness, protection, provision and love. He makes no demands made of us, because it already cost Him, His Son. It was and remains the most costly gift of all time. The person we now celebrate at Christmas was give. as a gift for many.
His life bought our freedom from sin, sickness, loss, disappointment and gave us a living hope.
His paid once so that we can enjoy his gifts eternally.
So this Christmas consider someone in worse situation than yourself and give them a gift you can afford, or go a step further, give a gift that will cost you something.
Remember Christ promised to surround you with with favor like a shield in the mist of your situation.
He is with you through every circumstance shielding you, so that you can also respond by helping others.
As you receive Gods blessings during this time, and all through the years, find time to share your gift with others.. because what you receive freely cost him everything.
1. keeping a healthy weight. increases ones chances of pregnancy by any method.
According to the NHS, a weight under BMI of over 25 is ideal, they recommend that couples trying to get pregnant work toward achieve a healthy weight. It is thought that an obese woman may have hormonal issues which may impede pregnancy. Follow a healthy exercise and diet plan with your doctor will help you achieve the right weight for your height.
2. it is recommend that adults embark on 150 mins moderate to light mins exercise a week. Exercise activity which increases the heart rate helps to lower blood pressure, fight diabetes and increases a couples chances during IVF.
3. consume coffee in moderation. Some scientific research suggest that women undergoing IVF should consume no more than 3 cups of coffee daily. Too much caffeine can make it difficult to fall pregnant.
4. Start trying early: age plays a huge part in both natural conception and IVF pregnancy. the chances of a woman falling pregnant over 35 declines significantly. It is advise to seek treatment as soon as you start to try without success… The miracle of medicine means that more couples are become parents with the help of donor eggs and adopting. So don’t despair, you can still become a parent.
5. do not smoke, it is though that the quality of egg and sperm is affected by smoking. Before undergoing treatment speak with your doctor on how to quit.
6. Take measures to reduce your stress level. IVF is stressing enough, Being stressful will interfere with both the quality of egg and sperm. incorporate some mediation, yoga, pilates and acupuncture into your daily life to help reduce stress.
Meeting with Team: this is the initial consultation with the clinic to go throughout process.
The process: The woman will be given medication to suppress her normal menstrual cycle. This is usually given for 2 weeks. My first cycle was a nasal spray but the final cycle was an injection which I learned to inject myself. After which step 3 begins
Boosting the egg supply: This will include stimulation of the ovaries to produce more eggs than usual, to increase the number of eggs for fertility. You will be given a fertility hormone called follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). This is also a daily injection you give yourself or your partner can assist if they want to be involved and feel connected to the process. It’s usually for 10-12 days.
Monitoring. you will be monitored while on the FSH, some clinics will scan every 2 days while others maybe twice weekly during the process. The monitoring may be ultrasound scans to monitor the size of the ovaries, blood test or both. The ovaries are usually measured to see how big the eggs are and a final hormone boost may be given 34-38 hours prior to collection.
Collecting the eggs: Eggs are usually collected on days 10 or 12 depending on the sizes/ how well the ovaries have been stimulated. collecting is usually done under local anesthetic where you will be sedated. A needle is passed through the vagina into each ovary under ultrasound guidance. This procedure may take 15-20 minutes. You may experience cramp or light bleeding afterwards.
Fertilizing the eggs: Once the eggs are collected they are mixed with your partners or the donor sperm in the lab. They are checked after 16-20 hours to see if Fertilization has occurred.
In some cases the eggs may be injected individually with a sperm called ICSI.
Egg Monitoring: The embryos are left to continue to grow for 6 days before being transferred into the womb. The best 2 are usually selected to be transferred.
Embryo Transfer: The embargo’s are transferred into the womb using a thin tube called a catheter passed into the vagina. The procedure is quite simple and doesn’t involve any sedation.
Then began the 2 weeks wait. see next post for how to cope.
What would you do for the ones you love? Anything I imagine. Anything which is legal.
I was so touched to read this story of a mum who is pregnant with her grandchild after her daughter’s failed IVF attempts.
Today’s post explore the involvement of others in the journey towards parenthood.
Very often we hear of extra ordinary acts of love and kindness from strangers and we expect such acts from family members as well. But when it comes to child bearing, this is usually the preserve of the couples involved and in some cases, with the help of their fertility clinic.
However, to see a mother step into the gap to help her daughter in this way is really unconditional love on display. It takes the meaning “I will do anything for my child”to a whole new level.
The Seattle Times reported on June the 22nd 2020, of how Ms Loving reached the decision to become a gestation carrier for her daughter.
She’s watched her daughter’s several IVF attempts and seen the suffering , the heart ache caused by multiple rounds of IVFs, miscarriages etc.
Now Mrs Loving is pregnant with the biological baby of her daughter and son-in-law. As her daughter Breanna Lockwood puts it
“She’s the oven”.
So many emotions is involved with being pregnant. To experience them for your daughter and to know you are carrying your grandchild is pretty special.
My best friends birthday was approaching, It was a significant milestone. I remembered planning ahead trying to figure out what we’re going to do for her.
I contacted her to find out what she had planned, I persisted in asking her until she said “I won’t be having any celebration”.
I sort of expected it because I’ve known for over 20 years and I have never celebrated a birthday with her or celebrated her birthday. I knew her reasons. However, I did not think that such a milestone would go uncelebrated.
She’s single and not currently in a relationship, she’s approaching the age where having children is considered risky, she’s premenopausal. She is in between jobs and between homes.
The last few years have been really difficult for her having lost her dad, which means both parents will not be around when and if she eventually gets married and have children.
Lack of success and achievement in certain areas of our lives, leaves us disappointed and robbed.
You too may be asking yourself as Christmas approaches, what’s there to celebrate?
There is a perceived natural progression of ones life, grow up, go to school, meet your partner, graduate, get married, have children and live happily ever after.
As I’ve come to know, life isn’t always a straight line from A to Z. Life will take you from N to B and, from S to W and back again from V to K.
Live doesn’t give you what you order, God does. Life doesn’t give you what you expect, faith in God does. Life doesn’t give you what you think you should have, trust and hope in God does.
And as a result of not getting to those milestones we decide what, when to celebrate and how to celebrate.
Celebration is not about things. We celebrate because we look inside ourselves and we know that regardless of where we are and how far we still have to go, we have a reason to be thankful because a lot of people did not get as far as we have come.
We are thankful because against all odds, are still standing. we reflect on the good we have in our lives.
I want to encourage you today, If you find yourself void of joy, void of any enthusiasm to celebrate let the births of Christ inspire you.
What is there to celebrate?
For starters, your health, Your amazing support group, The families in your life. For the strength to keep going, your nieces and nephews, for your job.
Count your blessings, and let your focus well on God’s goodness, not on the absence of should have been.
Our cup is not half empty but half full.
This Christmas rejoice in the fullness of joy that Christ brought when he came into our world. This is why we celebrate.
You have changed a lot, my friend screamed, having not seen me since my last child she was surprised at how much I had changed and then in the same breath she tuned, you haven’t changed at all.. I was confused.
Which was it? I wondered after we parted.
No one remains the same for ever, we change physically as we progress in age and we also change emotionally as we progress through life.
Our situations either make or break us, we can either become stronger from what we face or more emotionally broken, it’s just the way we are made.
Infertility and it’s accompanying relations leaves one emotionally broken and drained. No matter how hopeful, faithful, strong one is, this experience takes us to the highest heights and lowest of lows. The only constant in all this is God who never changes, his love for us remains unchanging, stead and ever present.
Your spouse may abound you in the process, You may give up on your dreams, your friends will go on have kids and friendship cycle will change.
Take heart God hasn’t given up on you. From generation to generations, year in year out, through pain and happiness, he remains with us, in us and for us.
Whatever our humble circumstances He who comes to us as a baby, now lives in us as our comfort, friend, King, companion and father.
Just as he remains unchanged so is His word, we can rely on His promises, Peace and strength when we most need it. He remains unchanging.
Through the years, heart aches, pain, sorrow, joy and laughter.