Written by Guest Blogger, Ginny Helmer
Have you ever asked yourself this question?
I will never forget sitting in my reproductive endocrinologist’s office, fearful yet hopeful, when he told my husband and I our fertility odds:
“All things considered…there is less than a 5% chance that you two will ever conceive naturally.”
You can imagine that hearing those words being only 23-years-old and married just under 2 years, we were absolutely devastated. My husband and I are both from big families and it was our desire to also have a decent sized family. Now, there was barely any hope that we would biologically conceive children. We were healthy, young adults, who were pure until marriage and loved the Lord. Where did we go wrong?
My husband and I began trying to conceive in November of 2017. We were newly married but decided to stop preventing pregnancy like we had previously been doing. We didn’t panic when a few months passed without a positive pregnancy test. Around January, I started tracking my ovulation, basal body temperature, the works. A year soon passed, and I found myself sitting in my OBGYN’s office faced with an infertility diagnosis. None of it made sense. This was never supposed to be our story.
Two weeks after our appointment with our reproductive endocrinologist, I was waiting for my cycle to begin so I could schedule my laparoscopy and hysteroscopy procedure for suspected endometriosis. It didn’t start. Not abnormal for me whatsoever, but the sudden onset of nausea sure was. Three days later, I finally broke down and took a pregnancy test in the middle of the afternoon, just to see the negative test and reiterate to myself that I was NOT pregnant. Funny story, though….I was.
Those two pink lines showed up so fast. I’ve taken a LOT of pregnancy tests that have turned up negative, so believe me, I know when one will be negative. This time though, it was different. I was almost 5 weeks along, according to my calculations, and I couldn’t contain my emotion. I was weeping so hard as I called my husband immediately and said, “COME HOME! I’M PREGNANT!”
I loved every moment of pregnancy. Even the not-so-fun moments of heartburn, food aversions, and fatigue were overshadowed by my joy of being a mother after a year and a half of trying. We were undoubtedly thankful for that little life growing in my womb day by day.
At 8 weeks gestation, we had our first OB appointment. There, we heard our baby’s strong, precious heartbeat. Baby was measuring right on track. Our hearts were so full; we were sure that our luck had changed, and that this would be our big break.
When I was 11 weeks and 6 days pregnant, my husband and I were about to get on an airplane to go see my sister graduate high school. The entire plane ride, I experienced cramping and some light bleeding. I was a little bit scared, but tried not to think much of it. When we got to our destination, I checked immediately to see if there was more blood. Yep…there was definitely more. My cramping was slowly becoming more intense. My husband and I began to worry and prayed that it would all subside.
I fell asleep that night, hoping that I would wake up the next day and be just fine. Instead, I woke up at 3am to severe contractions and a dilated cervix. I barely made it into the hotel bathroom before it got really bad and I began to go into full force labor. 45 minutes later, I delivered my sweet, beautiful 12 week old baby. I will never forget that moment…I truly did not know how to breathe. I couldn’t look. I couldn’t fathom the idea that my little lime-sized miracle was gone.
Two days later, my OBGYN confirmed what I knew to be true by ultrasound. It was supposed to have been my “12 week appointment” where he was going to use the Doppler to hear our baby’s heartbeat. Instead, I stared at the emptiest ultrasound screen and blinked back tears in an attempt to be strong. Heartbreaking doesn’t even begin to describe what it felt to see my uterus, once so full of a new, precious life, so empty and without much hope.
The weeks following were immensely difficult and I was nowhere near prepared for what my body would have to endure. That night after my ultrasound, in the middle of Lowe’s, my body went back into labor. I struggled to make my way to the store’s bathroom because of the excruciating pain. In that restroom, I delivered the large amount of remnants leftover from the loss. I then bled for two straight weeks, and was in labor for 3 and a half days total. My body has not been the same. Our hearts cannot be repaired. We miss our baby, with everything we have.
We chose to name our baby Noah Amos. Noah means “rest” and Amos means “carried by God.” We knew that our son was in the arms of Jesus now. As much as we miss him, that is the assurance that gets us through. He is safe, he never felt pain, and never had to endure anything in this cruel world.
When we got our infertility diagnosis about 9 months before our miscarriage, I cried that night in my husband’s arms and asked, “why us?”
When we were told that we had a less than 5% chance of ever conceiving naturally, I spent that car ride home praying and asking God, “why us?’
When I sat in that hotel bathroom, crying, hyperventilating, scared, and in total shock from what had just taken place, I whispered loudly, “WHY US?!!!!”
Truth be told, I don’t have a good answer to my own question. In those dark, dark moments I spent time being LIVID at God for the things that my husband and I had to walk through. There were times I wondered if He really cared, as much as I hate to admit it.
I still struggle with this question. My husband and I still pray that maybe one day, this side of heaven, we’ll know why we have been through these trials. But, truthfully, we may never know and we are choosing to do our best to be at peace with that.
“Behold! I am doing a new things; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19
“Jesus answered him, ‘What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.’” John 13:7
If you are reading this and you are struggling with the same questions and hurts, I want you to know just a few things that I have come to learn:
*Your story is not finished. Good things are coming., even when it doesn’t seem like it.
*The pain will, over time, become more manageable. You’ll never be the same, but you will be able to keep going.
*God is not punishing you. He loves you. Know that He has a grander plan in the works that we cannot comprehend.
*Use your pain and experience to help others through it, too. 1 in 4 women experience miscarriage and 1 in 8 couples will go through infertility. Come alongside them and understand in ways that many can’t. Whether or not you realize it, God often uses our pain to help others down the road who experience similar situations.
“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
For now, my husband and I will be taking some time to, hopefully, get my body back to somewhat “normal.” (My HCG has still yet to return to zero). We continue to pray that our rainbow is coming.
Feel free to reach out to me on Instagram. I’m always here for you, regardless of your story or who you are.