Comfort & Joy: in the mist of infertility.

O the pains brought on by this infertility is excruciating. It reaches deep into the soul and affects every facet of our lives. It is visible for all to see and It stands out like a sore thumb.

It looks insurmountable like a great big mountain.

Our womb like a rugged road incapable of holding a child.

Our sperm seems so dead that all hope seems lost.

The outlook so bleak we become blur by endless tears from our pain.

The picture of infertility does not inspire joy.

So too was the picture of a child in a manger. Picture the manger with farm animals and a baby inside, this was not the beautiful nativity scene we see today.

I imagine it was smelly, with hen droppings, bleats of goats, very small and uncomfortable indeed. But inside that manger was a child promised to bring comfort and joy to the world.

Yes, the picture of a baby inside a manger was not inspiring but the baby was.

He came to make every crooked path straight,

Every mountain  brought low.

Every rugged places plain.

Every valley raised.

Every rough ground level.

What does this means for us today? To me it means he made the impossible possible

I can find the different causes of infertility in all of what Jesus came to change. Crooked paths, rugged places, rough patches and low valleys, what infertility represents.

Picture your situation and picture the child who came thousands of years ago, to bring hope, comfort and Joy to all.

Christmas isn’t just a feel good story, Christmas happened. Christmas is Christ in every difficult situation making them better. As you celebrate his birth this Christmas, whatever your diagnoses, picture him bringing comfort and Joy into it

Your partner in Hope

D’Ebi.

A Little Town, A Great Outcome: The Christmas PromiseHope Against HopeDon’t tire, keep trying.

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A Little Town, A Great Outcome:

There were times during my wait I felt like my problems were too little to border God with.

God had more important issues to handle not to be hounded by my constant request to have a baby. I felt my needs were little compared to the millions of others suffering around the globe.

I was so consumed with my desires and my inadequacies that I gave myself a timeline to stop trying.

So you can imagine my excitement when I discovered this passage in Micah 6:3.

That great things can come out of little insignificant things.

But you, Bethlehem Ephratah, though you be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall he come forth to me.

The one to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

Bethlehem was a little insignificant town, but was significant enough for the Messiah to be born there.

He who already existed from everlasting came from Bethlehem.

This was a light bulb moment for me, though my issue maybe little, God can bring a great testimony out of it.

You may be at a cross road right now wondering if it will all make sense in the end.

You may feel small, insignificant amidst the buzz around you this Yuletide.

Be assured that Your infertility story is not insignificant.

Your faith though weak and small, is not insignificant.

Your diagnoses thought unexplained, is not insignificant.

Your many miscarriages though discounted by others, isn’t insignificant.

Just as God choose Bethlehem to be the birthplace of Jesus, who is the the messiah,

So too, he will bring something great and worthwhile out of your story. The little town of Bethlehem became a significant town throughout eternity.

As you reflect today, let hope infuse you with vigor. Place your trust in God who accurately predicts the future. He has chosen you.

Your Partner in Hope

D’Ebi

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Past Pains. 

Today I met a beautiful friend of mine with 3 special people in tow. Over coffee we reminisce our past. The pains of waiting. 

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. 

Hope Against Hope

How do you hope when you are faced with a set back? Life is really unfair I thought to myself. Not only was I told not to fall pregnant due to the drugs I was on?

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
D’Ebi

The Possbilities of Christmas 

Consider for a minute The angel who told Mary she was going to be the mother of the saviour of the word. A frightened teenage girl told such a news. How terrified do you think she was? Very terrified I imagine. 
I imagined she trembled in fear, not daring to look up at the angel who brought the news. I also imagine her look up as after he had finished speak and, summoning up courage asked “how will these things be?”

How will I know?” That it will be as you have said? And to her surprise he answered… 

“And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. For nothing will be impossible with God: Luke 1:36-37.
The angel told her a story of an impossibility or what man called impossible coming to pass… the angel pointed to her. “The God who did this for Elizabeth, will bring what I have said to pass.never-give-up

At which point she said “be it unto me according to your word… she believed… she didn’t needed a sign, jus some reassurance that the promise will be fulfilled.
Think about this for a minute God brought the miracle of Christmas to be by using a little girl… how pure, how holy and undefiled.. only a virgin birth will do. 
The significance of both story serves to remind us that no matter the situation, “with God nothing is impossible”. 

Have you really thought about this? An infertile woman and a little virgin girl being pregnant? Both were impossibilities to the human mind but not to Our Heavenly Father.

At this time of the year your heart may not be singing the Yuletide hymns as you watch all the fuss happening around you and think, what’s the point of celebrating when  another year is gone pass, without a baby of mine own.
Another nativity play, what’s the fuss? Your heart ache, as your womb yearn to feel the pangs of baby…

Your heart poured out to him as the Christmas carols rings out and you whisper : let this be my Christmas miracle Lord.. my Christmas gift of a child of my womb. 

Let me encourage you, the Christmas story is a reminder that nothing is impossible with God, your story is not impossible, your desires have been seen and a baby in your arms, in your home is not impossible… 
God has come to us so that through his Birth we can experience the miracle of Christmas in our own little way..

So this Christmas cheer up, let the story of Elizabeth and Mary reminds you that nothing is impossible With God. 

Merry Christmas.

Your friend and partner in hope

D’Ebi

 

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Avoid Depression 

free PrintablesA wait that is hopeful is a wait that looks forward expectantly, purposely and joyously.

A wait which strengthens and prepares your heart for what you expect. What use is there in being miserable on the journey? Easy to say unh? Unfortunately misery often accompanied me while I waited for my little bean.

I thought I was strong, always the positive one until I couldn’t get pregnant. I kept it together for a while until the questions started coming. Questions from well meaning friends and foes. The scale finally tilted and I almost caved in to depression.

A subtle, creepy creature sneaks in, often  from a reaction to  an angry outburst, or insensitive slur it comes unannounced taking hold of its prey.

I felt I was losing control of my emotions and started feeling helpless. I sought help and found out that  the following can be a sign of depression:shake it off

Helplessness: research have shown that whenever we are depressed, we usually experience a feeling of helplessness. Our feelings are brought about by our thoughts which produces fruits. Good fruits or bad fruits.

If you constantly think thoughts like “why us/me”? “everyone is having a baby but me”, “will I ever have kids”?, “I give up”. This will be followed by a feeling of helplessness, which in turn leads to misery characterised by constant tears. 

Deep sadness: as he thinks, so he is. Infertility is a cause of misery which leads to deep sadness. An indescribable feeling which also leads to feelings of helplessness.

If you constantly dwell on the negative, joy and peace will elude you. How can you expect to feel great when your heart is heavy from pain. 

Feelings of rejection: as our thoughts leads to deep sadness in time we may begin to feel rejected. This feeling is a worse state of being because we may fall into the trap of interpreting the actions of everyone based on our issues.

I decided to do something about my mental state to avoid going over the edge.

  1.  Talk about my feelings: I started opening up about my feeling and soon found release. You can go for counselling if you do not want to feel vulnerable in front of friends. Your local clinic or health centre may be able to recommend a good counselling clinic. There might be sessions for those struggling to conceive, with programs designed to help deal with  depression.
  2. I decided to be joyful on  purpose: Your mind is the control room of your whole body. It sends signal to your brain, heart and body. Feed it with good and positive things and out of it will come joy. 
  3. Find inspiration around you: be inspired when you hear a good news story, either on the news or from a magazine or a kind act. Train mind to focus on the good concerning your situation. Controlling your thought is the first step in achieving freedom from depression. img_2580

  4. Be anchored to hope: hope is what keeps you going, believing and trying. Hopes is the tread which keeps you tied to the dream. If you don’t keep your hopes up, they will go down and soon you will drift away from your dreams, faith and beliefs. Be a prisoner to hope, build a strong resolved to try and trust again. Be convinced about something good coming your way.
  5. Pray: prayer really helped me let go of the hurt, pain and disappointment I felt from not falling pregnant. In praying we can release the heavy burden, sadness, helplessness and depression to God. In prayer, we become free.

I am not denying the fact that there will be days when tears is all you’ve got, when the pain of trying weighs you down. The pain is real and present. However, deciding to enjoy life and live free from depression may be the push you need to get  through it. 

Remember: the clouds will come, then it gives way to the sun. Every downpour will cease, trouble and pain will be followed by gain, we may understand some and  others we may not.

So whatever season you are in right now,  remember, after a while this too shall pass.

Your Friend and Partner in Hope

 

D’Ebi

 

We are equals

My blood boils, as the news broke on national TV, how dare she bring that up I fumed at no one in particular. What kind of woman uses the fact that she has children over another woman who can’t? Only a woman who has never suffered the pain of infertility or loss of a child, I concluded.

I was enraged. I don’t know Theresa May personally, but I do understand what it is to suffer from infertility.

This was last month, during the leadership contest between Theresa May and Andrea Leadson, the only news that week was the interview given by Andrea Leadsom to the times newspaper. In a bid to throw the first mud she gave an interview to the times where she claimed she’s a better candidate because she has kids and her opponent did not.

Theresa May had previously openly talked about her inability to have kids. As I watched the story played out on national TV I was shocked at the insensitivity of her opponent.

Infertility should not be an ace to be used in a contest. The same way as one suffering from cancer, diabetes or other serious illness cannot be mocked.you are not inferior

I am reminded of the story of Hannah and her mate long time ago, both of them were married to the same men, unlike her mate, Hannah was unable to bear children. Her rival wife taunted her cruelly, rubbing it in and never letting her forget that God had not given her children. This went on year after year. Every time she went to the sanctuary of God she could expect to be taunted. Hannah was reduced to tears and had no appetite. Her mate made her felt inadequate at every opportunity she had.

The beauty of it all was that Hannah never uttered a word. She took her pain and her problem to the all-knowing and all faithful one.  Infertility, loss or stillbirth can open the door for others to thrown mud at you. People may secretly glee at your demise, or make sniggering remarks regarding your situation. Do not worry, just take your problems to God.  I remember when I got such remarks I always felt rage inside, but held my tongue.

 

Theresa May did the honourable thing and uttered not a word in her defence. Instead others fought for her. She didn’t have to do anything others took it upon themselves and called for Angela to resign, which she did.

The battle is not yours, the battle is the Lord’s.  He who has brought you this far will see you all the way. Just like Theresa, hold your peace, soon you will be matching your way to victory.

Infertility, miscarriage, stillbirth does not make you less qualify than anybody else, neither is anyone better than you because they have kids. We all fight different battles, the test of our faith comes in different ways. As you walk this road, be secured in the knowledge of who you are in Christ. You are a victor in every area of your life, belief it.  

I dedicate this piece to anyone who has tried and failed to see their desires birthed in a child

To see suffering turned to glory

To anyone who wished for a miracle but got a miscarriage

Your pain does not define you,

The snares and jeers will not deter you

Give your dreams wings to fly, soar above every pain and ugliness and see beyond to a peaceful and blessed ending.

 

Your friend in hope.

Debbie

Surviving Treatment

 

Unexplained? How do you treat something you cannot explain? This was where we found ourselves after I was diagnosed with Unexplained infertility.

Relax’

‘Take it easy’

‘Try again’. Was the general comments I got.

I am a healthy eater and love most things healthy. I can say I am one of those who eat at least 5 or more portions of fruits and veg Daily. So it upset me to be told to eat healthy. I just want to “scream” You don’t know me.

Having tried and Failed to get pregnant, I decided to dig deeper into “the world of the unexplained”.

My instincts tells me the reason I was unable to conceive was due to my pre existing health condition which no one took into account.

Prior to getting married I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, Rheumatoid arthritis and I was put was on hydroxychloroquine. I was put on a course of treatment and was advised not to start a family due to the effect it will have on the unborn baby.

After a year and half on this drug I was given the all clear that the disease was under control and came off. Shortly after we began trying for a baby.

My research into the link between autoimmune deficiencies and infertility started after my failed IVF.

What I did:

Mr google came to my aid. I googled the two words, and  several research papers on the topic showed up on the search results. What I discover gave me hope, as my suspicion was confirmed that not only was I wrongly diagnosed as unexplained, I may have found the right place to go for treatment.

After the two failed IVF cycle on the NHS, We decided to go private. We decided on a clinic with the highest success rates for people with pre existing health conditions like mine, for over 35 like me, one which offered Tailor made treatment for every patient.

Just when we though I can’t get pregnant naturally, I fell pregnant twice but sadly lost both pregnancies. The pain of misscarriage. It took us two years before embarking on another course of IVF.
My advice to you today if you have tied and failed to get pregnant naturally or by other methods is to NEVER Give UP: do everything within your power to get your desires and only after you have exhausted all options should that be an Option.

The journey to holding our first baby was turbulence, graced with doubts and questions but we stayed the course.
In order to survive treatment. I made a decision to be of a sound mind and be prepared whatever the outcome.

These 10 steps helped me survive the treatment process and kept my spirts up.

  • I decided to stopped focusing on the outcome and the “what ifs”. I used to focus on the negative to the point of exhaustion. I couldn’t see any positives from the process. Do not be excessively focus on the outcome. You have been on this journey long enough so stay strong. Our destination may be within reach or may still be far off. Regardless, decide how you want to ride the journey. In misery, distress, hopelessness or with faith, hope and belief in the process. If you did not think it will work, why begin at all. Be full of assurance, riding on the wings of hope.

  • Whenever your monthly period show up, don’t retreat into pity or why me mode, go out and see a funny motive to lift up your spirit.
  • Be positively expectant of something good happening . You may currently be undergoing treatment or beginning the journey of trying or may have tried and failed. Whatever your reality maybe, enjoy the journey, by surrounding yourself with positive things. Get up each day and look forward to the possibility of what might be.
  • find someone who has a more severe illness than yours, be an encouragement to them. Start a ministry of encouragement for others and comfort others with the comfort you have received.

  • Go out for a drink with a friend. Focus on the beauty of life around you, the plants, the birds in the air, the air we breath in.
  • Read a good book, something different from how to get pregnant.
  • Speak positively to yourself. Tell yourself nothing is wrong with you or your partner. Even if something is wrong, be hopeful that you are on your way to receiving help and in time everything will be alright. Sing and dance: dancing and singing releases some feel good hormone. Your mood will be uplifted taking you away from the intensity of trying.

  • Go for a walk and release all the tension within you. find a local gym where you can be part of the swimming or running club.
  • Focus on yourself, your progress and how far you have come. You may not be where you want to be, but you are not where you use to be.
  • Decide you will be stronger regardless of the outcome. This is not going to define your life or happiness, as much as we want the end results to be good, things may happen which is beyond our control

After You have done all: let go and let God, he knows what you are going through and he will bring you through. You are Built to handle adversity so face yours with faith and courage.

 

The Pain of Misscarriage

what to do when you feel stuck (1)In today’s news was Gordon Ramsey and wife who had suffered a miscarriage at 5 months. I was particularly drawn to this story because I too suffered a few miscarriages. As I read their story something struck me, it doesn’t matter if you already have 4 lovely kids or are waiting for your first child, the pains are just as raw, cruel and real. It doesn’t matter if you are wealthy or poor, miscarriage knows no class.

What it feels like:

I know first-hand what it feels like. For a couple or woman suffering from infertility, falling pregnant and having a miscarriage is the worst nightmare. when we finally fall pregnant with the baby we’ve waited for, we were in disbelief. It’s funny how we gap in disbelief when something we have been waiting for finally happened.

When I found out I was pregnant, I walked around in disbelief for days, no one knew, except my hubby. We did not jump in excitement but just went about numb, until the 6th week, when it felt like we can begin to hope.

HOPE DASHED

Hope is a beautiful thing, it fills your heart with joy, and gladness. I walked around like I was carrying a secret, which I was.

Hope brings happiness and offers peace eternal. Until my story changes, I lost my baby at 11 weeks, no heartbeat. Something was wretched out of me.

How can this be happening to me? God no, how can I have waited so long for a baby only to have my hope dashed again? Is this going to be another story of infertility and loss. I can remember thinking I can suffer one, but not both.

I hoped it won’t happen again and I was wrong. I lost two babies in a row, hope gone. The worse part was I had to bleed it out, I had to have a mini labour. It was not a pleasant experience as I watched my child slowing bleed away as I called it.

YOUR REALITY

You too may have suffered the same fate, and feel at your wits end, perhaps you are well in age and wondering if you will ever fall pregnant again, or you maybe young and feel the uncertainty of the future, as you feel helpless, lonely and hopeless.

Tears were my frequent companions most days as my heart became too heavy from the burden I bear. I felt as if life was having a laugh at my expense.

I wanted answers but none was fought coming:

It happens” was the response from doctors,” just try again was what I got from friends”, it was with dread I went to my appointments. Even now the pain is still real.

I HOPED AGAIN:

But I found the strength to go on, to live again, to hope and to try again. There is an appointed time for everything under the sun, I reasoned, my season will come. My help comes from the Lord, who helped me to hoped again, dreamed again and believed again. what to do when you feel stuck

Although my questions remained unanswered, He became my partner in hope: I found comfort in his word:

  “Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him for the help of His presence. Psalm 42:5

He gave me strength to wait again:” I wait for the LORD, my soul does wait, and in His word do I hope.  Psalm 130:5.

Waiting is always the hardest part through it all: with Infertility, we are constantly waiting, waiting for the test to show positive, waiting at the doctor’s office, waiting at for the test results, waiting more waiting: But with his strength, the wait was made easier, as I place each disappointment in his care.

My wish for you is that you will keep hope alive, no matter what, and when the wait seems endless just draw strength from his word which will infuse you with peace and the patience you need to keep try again.

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Romans 15:13

feel free to share with your friends and please comment if you have found it useful.

Your partner in hope

Debbie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Woman In Waiting

shread of hopeHelp Lord, I don’t know what to do. I am in a place where I desire to leave, but there appears to be no way out. I know you’ve promised a way of escape in every trial and tribulation. But the longer I go through the trial of infertility the longer it seems that there is no way out.

I still love and will always love you, but I feel like I am drained of all energy to pray and ask. I feel that asking you for the same thing over and over again, diminish what you are.

I feel fear, not fear of not having a child of my own but fear that we’ll travel this road for a long time before you’ll come through for us. Is that the case Lord? Is it wrong to want you to do it now for us, by this time next year to be holding our own child? Is it wrong to give you a time frame?

The reason I feel this way is because I am looking at time, thinking I am getting older, but I remember you are ageless and operates outside time and will bring to pass our hearts need for a child regardless of age. But Lord, I don’t want to be 40 before having a child! Can I ask that, can I ask that you do it for us now! Am I allowed to ask that? Or is that lack of faith? I don’t know Lord. You know.

I feel left behind by friends and family who get pregnant before they start trying.
I feel like a pawn in your hand which you can do as you wish, I also know that you are my father a God of love who will not forsake or leave me. I know THAT Lord.
But I also feel alone, I focus on you and your power, but I also can’t help wondering why it’s taking you this long to do it.

Another reason is what I see happening around, even young mums are tired bringing up their new born, the sleepless nights, the cries, the nappy changes etc. How much more me, but then again I remember you are our strength. You said they that wait upon shall renew their strength. I know too that you will renew our strength for parenthood. I just want to see you high and lifted up in this situation.

I felt this way yesterday and told my father how I feel.
Today he encouraged me with my “Our Daily Bread” Gal 4:4.
“When the fullness of time had come, God send his Son”.
It reminded me that God’s time is perfect, though I want to have it now, though I don’t want to be 40 and my husband 58 to have kids, one thing he assured me is that he is never a day late or early, he is always just on time.

In his perfect timing he gave us his Son, when the world desperately needed a saviour he came through for us. He is still the same God, I look up to him and my countenance was enlightened.

So whenever you feel like time is passing by, that the hand of the clock is ticking and counting down, and it seems like your egg store is rapidly diminishing, remember the one who creates time can stop time for your sake and bring your heart felt desires to pass in perfect time!

 

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