Chaos Before Christmas

When you think of Christmas and the period leading up to it, I am sure you are not thinking of variants, lockdowns and isolating. .

Lately all we read about is how far covid has spread, the various variants, numbers infected and living under the threat of lockdowns.

Christmas and the time leading up to it, use to be a time of excitement, anticipation, waiting for that gift, looking forward to carol services, the dread of secret santa, expecting friends and family for the pre- Christmas lunch/parties and post Christmas visits.

After the Christmas festivities we begin to plan for the year ahead. But the uncertainty of Covid has caused panic around the globe, the question on everyone’s lips-

“Is another lockdown coming or not”.

The present situation makes me pause and wonder about the few days before Christ birth,

How did Mary and Joseph felt at the coming of a baby at a time of great uncertainty? They had to travel to Bethlehem for the censors.

Making that journey miles away, with Mary only a few days from birth was no small feat. Only to arrive with no room anywhere in town not even in the inn, but in the manger in the inn.

The uncertainty surrounding Christ birth is nothing compared to what we face today.

Mary must have uttered a silent prayer to God. “Remember us lord” Help us God”.“Protect us God”.

I am sure she did, because they had to flee a few days after his birth, on the run to save His life. She must have constantly prayed for safety carrying the promised child.

You too may have had your procedure cancelled or postponed, or maybe expecting after a long wait and living under the uncertainty of what the future holds for you and your child. Under the threat of Covid and other external factors.

During times of stress and distress we often cry out for help, we ask God the higher power for intervention, to step in and often he does.

Just like He stepped into Rachel’s situation and she became pregnant.  God stepped in and saved Jesus from being slaughtered.


He will remember you and step in.

He does and has not forgotten you, he knows your name, your situation and location.

Draw near to him now and stay close, and be enclosed in His peace. He will come and he will help you.

Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:14

Your partner in Hope

Debi

Related piece

Always With Us, Presents and Kids, The Christmas Miracle, Faith Vs Fear, Unimagined, Presents The Wonder Of Christmas. Room Of Hope, Moments of Splendors, Advent: Season of Hope. A Christmas Prayer

Does God Forgets

In our previous posts I wrote about Rachel and how God remembered her. often we make statements like ”God remembered me”.

But does God forget? That’s the question. Has he forgotten about you?

God is not human and does not forgets like humans beings does.

But often we use the word “God has remembered me”. Usage of that word suggests there is a flaw in God. A human flaw of forgetfulnesses.

Man is fallible so, man forgets.  But God is not a human that he should forget, right? Nor a  human that he should lie, has he said it and will he not do it?

Let me Put it to you that God does forgets. Yes he does. He forgets your sins. He himself said “I will remember their sins no more”. So here, God deliberately forgets and erase your sins from His memories. So when He looks at you He sees you clean.

Earlier on in my quest for a child I went through various scenarios, of times when I may have done somethings for which I was atoning for. It could be anything but the guilt of it all stacks up even more when I couldn’t fall pregnant.

I knew I was forgiven, I knew the delay was not a result of things I may have done.  I just couldn’t stop thinking there was something that is causing the delay. I wanted an answer and maybe you do too. It’s so easy to find a reason to hold on to. Hence we blame it on some past wrong doings.

We sometimes think that there is an underlining deep spiritual message that God was trying to send us?

Then I remember, it was I who forgot that God has forgotten about any past sins.

God did not keep the receipt, He clears the hard drive and every backup copy, He destroyed them. He does not remember my sins. He Forgot.

So I want to challenge you today to take whatever mistakes you think you have made, use an erase-able pan or a pencil Stack them up.

  • write what you remember one by one,
  • Put a strike next to them.
  • Scribble over them.
  • Then use the eraser and rob them out.
  • Finally rip the paper.

Do the same on your computer/Ipad or smart phone.

  • start typing out all the things you think you may have done wrong,
  • then press the back button or highlight them and
  • then delete it all without saving.
This is what God did.
He deleted, he erased, then ripped up the evidence. He doesn’t remember your sins because when you ask for his forgiveness he just erase it. He wiped the slate clean, he cannot remember and see you as new when he looks at you.

So the next time you think the delays you are experiencing is because of some past sins, some jealousy, habits or other horrible stuff, Just Remember, He doesn’t remember your sins.

You are forgiven, washed and cleaned and you have put on Christ As Paul said, so each time you pray he sees Christ. Not your sins.

He sees His son whom he sent as a baby a long time ago to come and cover you, to come and stand in your place on the cross.
Now you are dressed in righteousness and faultless to stand before His throne. That’s who you are, faultless. So come boldly thanking him, for his forgetfulness.
In his book God came near, Max Lucado wrote. Do yourself a favour purge your cellar . Exorcise your basement. Take the Roman  nails of Calvary and board up the door.

And remember he forgot.

Your Partner in Hope

Debi

Related posts

The Wonder Of Christmas, A Christmas Prayer, Advent: Season of Hope, Hope Against Hope, Our Hope For The New Year., The Christmas Promise,Moments of Splendors, The Possbilities of Christmas , Advent: Walking in Our shoes.

Unimagined

This season is one of giving, retail outlets expects this to be a profitable season as shoppers look for that perfect gift for their families and friends.

I have seen some stunning gift wrapping techniques which puts to shame my limp attempt at wrapping . I am consoled by this saying “it’s the thought that counts, not the wrapping”.

This is so true, I have never seen anyone who decides not to unwrap their gift simply because the wrapping paper was too pretty. Without fail, adults and kids immediately tear into the wrapper hoping to find something of worth, something they imagined, or something unexpected.

Christ was an unexpected gift, although he was a promised king he was not a longed waited child. So His birth and everything surrounding it was unimagined.

Who would have imagined angels will appear to shepherds announcing his arrival?

Who would have imagined God will choose a teenage girl to use as a vessel via which a saviour will come.

Who would have imagined that Herod will be so cruel as to kill innocent children because he feared what that child will become?

Who would have imagined he would come, walk amongst men and perform so many miracle.

Who would have imagined this “King”, would die willingly and rise again?

Everything about his arrival, life, death and resurrection was unimaginable, which makes Christmas special.

As you wait for your own arrival one day. I am sure you have imagined the moment you find out you are expecting, you have imagined how your child will look, imagined their first steps, smile etc.

But God’s promise are unimaginable, even your best imagination has not yet imagined what God has in store for you..

How reassuring it is that we can’t out imagine God, His ways are past finding out.

As you wait and expect your burden of Joy, know that your eyes have not seen, your ears have not heard, neither your heart considered or imagined what God has in store for you.

it is unimaginable.

Your partner in Hope

Debi

Related post

Moments of Splendors, The Christmas Promise, Christmas Traditions, The Christmas Miracle, The Possbilities of Christmas Christmas and waiting: Blessings In Waiting

Celebratory seasons

Every year we celebrate all kinds of occasions, birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, halloween, thanksgiving and christmas.

These season can be triggers for the couple in waiting, because without fail, we see parents adore their young kids with outfit and proudly shows them off.

I did the same when my girls were still little. without thought for how my waiting friends feels. No one intentionally parades their kids to cause distress, we all do it from a place of joy.

But I understand the pain and agony these images can cause. The despair cause by your failed attempt to get pregnant, the repeated miscarriage and the loss of a child.

When I was waiting I discovered that more than seeing friends or pregnant women, the seasons of celebration is the hardest one to face.

There is no escaping the gaiety in the air as you watch friends, dress up with their babies, teens, sons or daughters in teamed outfit.

O the tug at your heart strings as you imagine how you will dress your baby. You build a picture and hold on to the hope that it will one day be you dressing up your child.

These image seems to diminish as the years go by.

And every year as you watch others with their tiny little babies dress up for school plays for halloween themed party for thanksgiving and Christmas dinner, you hide in floods of tears, loathing another celebratory season.

I am reminded by this passage in Psalm 143:8. Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love.

Yes seasons may come and go and our desires tarries, but God’s word never changes.

Anchor your hopes to it and hold on, let each celebratory season remind you of His unfailing love and as we approach Christmas when you will have to face Santa and school plays, remember his birth is the reason we are here but his death and resurrection is a promise that we can hold on to his promise, that he will grant us our hearts desires.

For if he did not withhold his Son from us, he will give us freely our hearts desires.

Peace.

Your partner in hope.

Debi

Other related post:

A little town

Trust and Joy in mist of pain

Undergoing Fertility treatment in an age of COVID.

 

Recently a friend of mine shared the good news of her pregnancy. I was so excited for the family as this will be her second child. The first being almost 9 years old.

She’s a medical doctor, pregnant from IVF, a key worker and dealing with the all of that in COVID era is just daunting.

So earlier on during the second wave which hit the UK  at the beginning of the year, the family decided to minimise their interaction with the outside world. One of the things they did was not to send their daughter into school as part of the key workers program. My friend, reduced and limited her interaction with patients, by working 2 days a week. Happy to say the pregnancy has progressed on and she’s doing just fine.

How do you navigate through your treatment during this covid era? It is bad enough prior to covid, now patients have so many other precautions to take, from wearing a mask, social distancing to limit or eliminate completely interaction with those outside your house hold.

There is so much uncertain which comes with any IVF pregnancy any way. One of which is the constant fear that something might go wrong. I have been there and that right until I had my baby in my hands, I lived with the fear that something may still go wrong.

I think the fear was born from years of disappointment and the previously failed pregnancy or miscarriages or other delays an IVF couple may have suffered.

Now add a pandemic to the mix and you have an additional foe to contend with.

So here are some suggestions to take if you are undergoing fertility treatment are pregnant from treatment or are hoping to start treatment soon.

  1. Be cautious at all times. Like my friend, limit your interactions to if, necessary those within your household or within your bubble.
  2. Limit your bubble to a few immediate families, like parents  or a brother or sister. The reason being that they too might have a bubble and you don’t want to form a bubble with anyone whom you cannot trust.
  3. Work from home if your job allows it. If not, discuss alternative working patterns with your employer. You can possibly start later or earlier when the office is not at full capacity. If you company can, they should be able to make your place of work covid safe. So a discussion with your employer is vital at the onset.
  4. If you have to go out, social distancing is a must. Maintain 3 to 6 feet from anyone not from the same household. I have often called on my friend and stood 7 feet from her, sometimes we have had to hold a conversation with raised voices.
  5. Always wear a mask, find out the best mast avaliabile and make sure you always have one handy. I keep packets of mask in every handbag.
  6. Frequently disinfect whatever surface you work on.
  7. Regularly wash your hand and use a sanitizer after touching any food product or if you have been in a public place.
  8. Abstain from touching your face, it is an impossible feat I know, but being mindful of the dangers the virus presents, should spur you to act accordingly.
  9. Limit out doors adventures if you can help it. Only go out if it is absolutely necessary and your partner is unavailable to help, for instance choose the quietest time of the day for your walks or park visits, your commute to walk or the shops.
  10. And finally have your groceries delivered, this will save you time and give you peace of mind.

This is not ideal I know, but it will be worth it in the end when you hold your beautiful baby in your arms.

I wish you every success as you embark on this exciting new phase of your life.

Your partner in hope.

D’ebi

Relevant/related post

How to Cope With the Stress of Infertility

Strategies to cope while in lockdown

Treatment and COVID-19

 

Strategies to cope while in lockdown

How to stay sane during lock down

I use to be a very anxious person and I can say it is not a pleasant place to be. I worried about everything. So I know that being anxious affects so many aspects of ones life.

At the beginning of the lock down and home schooling I felt I can handle it so at first it didn’t seem terrifying. But anxiety soon sets in when the realization of it all hits me.

Working from home and home schooling 2 kids, with a dad who’s a key worker set my pause racing. I soon lost control.

My mum lives with us and a week into the lock down, my she had a bad case of sciatica , this meant she couldn’t move and help herself with basic chores.

Soon I found I had 3 people to help during the day, plus WFH as well as the constant worry of what would happen if their dad gets the virus.

I found myself waking up with palpitations and

Worrying about any and everything.

I didn’t like the way I felt and knew

I had to do something fast, so I went back to back to basics. I went back to what I knew and abandoned.

These are the 10 techniques I used to cope during the lockdown.

1. Yoga and meditation: I was never keen at siting still , but occasionally I meditate and practice some breathing techniques. I helped my kids log into their yoga classes and soon joined in. Soon I noticed a calmness after every session. Maybe because I laughed so much at the way they threw themselves into it. But it did helped me a great deal.

2. I also mediate by coloring, I dig out my old coloring book and began to enjoy the quietness it brings as I color in the words and pictures. As I could in the word “peace”. I say things like “I have peace in my life”. “I let peace reign over me and my family”. “I release every anxiety into the hands of God and I release myself into peace”. this single act always releases me Into a peaceful state.

3. I Talk to myself. It is not a sign of maddness. I do this particularly when I feel the anxiety starting to build up. I tell Myself to stop and calm down and then engage in guided breathing

4. I have a list of everything which helps me stay calm, like a hot bath, mediations, reading, watching a comedy, exercise, e.g.,walking, jogging, skipping and dancing. I pick one or two and do a different one everyday.

5. I go over old photo albums and videos and relive memories of good times like holidays, my kids school plays, family BBQs, this feels me with joy as I imagine myself in that place of happiness and peace again.

6. I limit what I listen to and watch on the news. The constant consumption was also a reason for heighten anxiety.

7. I refuse to compare myself to anyone else. You might feel pressure to want to do something as everyone else seems to be doing something for a good cause.if you find something you want to be a part of do the little you can, but do not feel pressured to do something because everyone is doing same.

8. I focus on the here and now. While I picture life after the lockdown, I do not think too far ahead, because the prospect can become too daunting. Think about the next hour or minute. When you do that everything becomes easier. focus on the mundane, the everyday activities like taking a shower, brushing your teeth. Having a meal. Find peace in the simple things you normally do daily without taking notice.

9. Connection is vital. Stay connected to families and friends, organize a zoom call. I had a call with some friends at church the other night and it helped a lot as we all chatted about everything and what we were facing and how each of us was struggling. We shared ideas of how we are handling the lock down. It was such a relaxed evening.

10. I always started the day by reading my bible and my positive mindset book and also end it with a prayer . I mediate on a few lines as I drift off to sleep, with a quiet music in the background, it works every time.

There you have it.

I hope this might help someone out there, as they navigate life under lockdown.

Your partner in Hope

D’Ebi

Joy After 𝗣𝗮𝗶𝗻

I have previous written about the struggles of Gabriella Union  (46) in my post

speak out”.

In her interview to pure woman she told a heartbreaking story of going through 7-8 miscarriage. What pain she must have gone through. .

She found out that she has adenomyosis, which is endometriosis of the uterus. It occurs when the endometrial tissue, the same tissue that lines the uterus, grows into the the muscular wall of the uterus, causing intense period pain, prolonged and heavy menstrual bleeding and, in severe cases like Union’s, infertility.

Union did not give up, and than masked the problem which she felt they were doing by advising her to go on the pills, she felt the problem where being masked.

Fast forward to November 7 she and her husband Dwayne Wade  welcomes a beautiful Miracle baby girl via surrogacy.

Her Instagram post is one of pure joy. You can tell that although the road leading to this was littered with pain and tears it was also hope and faith filled.

She did not give up, when her body said no, she sought other option, surrogacy.

A cation on one of her Instagram post was “This little dynamo reminds me to never give up on my dreams “.

I wanted to share this story with you because it is one of faith, hope, and the miracle of having a baby against all odds.

You too maybe at a point where it seems all Hope is lost, you have tried and tried but still nothing seems to be happening.

Don’t give up, try and try again.

Explore the options available to you, do hide away in grief. Speak out. And seek help..

You deserve a baby you deserve to experience the joy of that first smile and many more afterwards. .

Joy and and hope is not the presence of a few.you too can and I hope will become a mum as you with hope, faith and vigor try one more time.

If you want to know more about surrogacy please see previous post here

Your Partner in Hope

D’Ebi

Speak Out

The struggles one goes through while battening infertility are numerous. I use to feel like the journey will never come to an end. I felt helpless by the lack of a diagnosis.

Amongst other issues I felt there was no one I can talk to. Everyone around me had a baby, no one struggled the same way I perceived , who will understand? I did not feel I could speak to those who walked the same road, but I was wrong.

I just needed to speak out. Find a medium and speak about it. I did do something I began to write and the moment I did, my journey of hope began. I no longer felt alone.

I found a support I never knew was there. Writing also helped me to open up and offer support to others.

When we bottle our feelings we close the doors to allowing ourselves to experience release from pain and fear. Our hopes remain bottled up.

Reading about the struggles of Gaberiella Union in her journey through infertility is encouraging.

As she said, “it’s either I am currently undergoing a cycle, coming out of a treatment or preparing for one”. Speaking out releases and helps her deal with the process.

Read the article here

https://www.purewow.com/news/gabrielle-union-fertility-struggles

She’d like to tell women going through the same thing, to overcome the fear of hiding it. “Just know if you are out there having fertility issues,” she said, “you are not alone.”

That’s my encouragement to you. You are not alone.speak out, and you will find renewed hope and support.

Your Partner in Hope

D’Ebi

The Over 50 Debate

I am always excited whenever I hear about couples finding joy in having their dreams fulfilled in the birth of a baby. Especially having gone through hoops and loops in the form of several IVFs, miscarriages and to finally triumph and hold one’s child, is joy indescribable. .

The internet went into overdrive last week when Brigitte Nielsen the ex-wife of Sylvester Stallone posted a picture of her pregnancy at 54.

This rekindled the conversation about having a baby over a certain age. And once again a woman’s decision is questioned her whole life is being judged by this singular act, nothing else.

I don’t know anything about her, but I was happy to read this news because there is something about a woman who decides to birth again. I am a firm believer in going for your dreams against all odds, against the norm no matter what.

I know first hand what it is like to want a child so bad your belly ache, you live, breath and dream of that one desire. Nothing can replace it, no amount of fame and fortune can quench the hunger or desire to hold one’s child. Hope Against Hope

It’s about Choices:

Recently, Ireland vote to change the abortion laws to give women a choice. So it’s all about one’s choice knowing the risk in becoming pregnant late in life.

Why should a woman in her 50s give up a life of peace and quiet for a life of nappies, sleeplessness, school runs?

Unless they know that at the end of it all they may find happiness. They put everything on the line for the 1% chance of being a parent.

Statistics:

According to recent Statistics, there are more women having babies over 40s and well into their 50s. I have previously wrote about it in A woman’s Dilemma? is 40 too old?

There is an increase in children born to women over this age group than at any other time in history. Here are a few reasons why this is so:

  • Advancement in technologies, and in being able to treat women in this age group, means more couples are trying again, daring to hope again and take a shot at being happy.
  • Also, women who have previously given up all hope of having children can believe again due to the increase rates of egg donations which is helping to raise the odds that women in their fifties and even sixties can have successful pregnancies.
  • Higher life is also another reason couples are willing to take the risk. As people live longer, they are not longer afraid that they will die and live their children orphans.

According to the medical director and chief Scientist at the Center for Human Reproduction, Dr. Norbert Gleicher who specializes in treatments of last resort for women who are either older or have had complications.

A healthy woman will have a completely normal pregnancy, and with careful screening can help  obstetrics prepare for any pregnancy complications by detecting the risks and problems before pregnancy.

Children are joy givers, they bring happiness.  They fill our days with love, laughter and Joy. In my worst moments whenever my kids walk in nothing else matters, it doesn’t matter how bad the issue is, they always make me feel better. They help put things in perspective it. Who wouldn’t want that?  Why should age determine whether one should be happy?

Of course there is risk in becoming pregnant well into our 50s, risk for both baby and mother, but we live in hope.

Hope that we will come through.

How that our babies will be fine.

Hope that perhaps we will become part of the few who to make it through to the other side.

Hope of joy at the end of our trials.

We can only try if the desire persist and hope lingers.Medicine can not explain this desire, nothing can take one’s hope away simply because we are judged as too old.

A woman should be the judge of that. Having sort medical advise and are aware of the risk involved if she and her partner still wants to go for it, it is their call, their choice, their Joy.

I pray that you find your rainbow and your desires for a child becomes a reality.

Your Partner In Hope

D’Ebi

Source: New scientist, Human fertilisation and embryology society,NHS direct.

Read More »

Infertility: A Male and Female Issue.

The first sign that something is wrong soon after a couple decides to have a baby, is when the woman fails to fall pregnant after a few months of trying. Some couples remain hopeful and think nothing about infertility.

I had never thought of the word infertility before I was faced with it. Our inability to become pregnant led to the first of many consultations and test.

The test were performed on both of us and we felt confident about our reproductive abilities. I guess no one wants to think their body is in capable of performing the role it was intended to.

We were relieved to know that neither of us had any reason to stop us from getting pregnant. The results of our test was no comfort when we to fall pregnant.

The thought that I am the reason for our demise never left me and as I spoke to other women facing similar trials I came to learn that women view themselves as the main Cause.

Many ethnicities view infertility as a woman’s sole responsibility and so many marriages have broken down from interference by the man’s family. “They just can’t understand why their son remains married to a infertile woman”.

I witness first hand as a friend struggled to convince her husband to undergo some test to determine the cause of their problems.

In the end, their marriage broke up because he strongly refused to undergo any form of test, claiming he had fathered a child before, so he can’t possibly be impotent.

There lies the perception, that infertility is a female issue and this stems from age old misconceptions that it is a woman’s duty to produce an heir for her husband/Partner. Therefore she’s ultimately to blame for failing to be pregnant.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority in its 2014-2016 report finds that amongst other issues, male infertility is the most common reason why British couples seek IVF treatment.

No man wants to believe they are “shooting blank”. And it is a common male locker room banter to hear men claiming they might have secretly fathered a child unknown to him.

On the country, most women I know blame themselves even before any test results. Often excusing their partners as innocent party to this unfortunate event thrust upon them.

Women are their most fierce critics, blaming themselves for putting their career first, being too choosy, as a result their biologists clocked has timed out.

New research such as those conducted by

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School in Boston shows that sperm quality markedly decline with age. This make it harder for men to sire children well into old age as well as the possibilities of birth defect if they father kids later in life.

The solution:

I personally feel the solution or part of the way forward is for men to acknowledge that there is a possibility they might have the problem and be willing to undergo some test.

Men should not assume that because they fathered a child before, that rules them out from having any infertility problems in the future.

Women should also not automatically assume the blame without a clear diagnoses, even then the man should also get tested. They should stop denigrating and being self critical.

Given the heartbreak, invasion of one’s life and mental upheaval one faces, it is important for couples to be supportive of each other regardless of who has the issue. Infertility should not be seen as an arena dedicated solely to women, but rather a shared burden.

Society has a duty to educate everyone that It can be both a male and female issue. And dispel this wrong thinking when it comes to infertility.

Related Post:

A woman’s Dilemma? is 40 too old?Infertility: A lonely JourneyOthers View Point