Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Confessions of a Mama on her Journey of Faith

Today, we close our May Confession Series with Nikki's story of accepting her infertility journey within the context of her deep faith.

© Nikki Powers 2012

"I have never actually been told that I cannot have children. After nearly ten years of marriage, however, I am beginning to think that it will just never happen for me, for us. For my husband, who told me five years into our marriage that he didn’t want to have children, this is somewhat a victory. For me, who has always longed for a child to hold in my arms, it is a bitter defeat.

The fact that this is the case, makes it all the harder for me, because he doesn’t understand my struggle. Despite the fact that he doesn’t want to have children, my husband, to his credit, said that we could “try” six and a half years into our marriage. His version of trying was more like not doing anything to prevent, but being young and naïve, I figured I’d be pregnant inside of a year. After all, how many unplanned pregnancies are there in a year?

When month after month came and went with not even so much as a thought of “I might be pregnant” I went to the doctor. Despite annual exams since I was a teenager, a new doctor discovered during a regular pap smear that I have two cervices and uteri. While this may not altogether prevent me from conceiving and carrying a child to term, it definitely won’t make it any easier. I also have had issues with out of control periods since I was a teenager, with no explanation or determined medical answer.

My doctors’ answer was to put me on birth control pills. I started doing that a full eight years before I’d ever had sex for the first time, on our wedding night. I continued on afterwards, afraid of what might happen if I stopped. I even had an episode where my period lasted for three months, despite the use of the pill. Their expert solution was to switch me to a different one. There were three strikes against me and in baseball, that means you’re out.

But life isn’t a baseball game, and the rollercoaster didn’t stop there. After two years of “trying,” my younger sister offered to surrogate for us. She has four children now, but at the time had three. At first, I saw this as hope, and my husband even agreed to consider and pray about it. And pray we did, together and separately. At the end of a week, we both clearly had an answer, the same answer: no. God used the story of Abraham, Sarah, Hagar, Ishmael and Isaac to say no to the surrogacy, because He had a better plan, for them; and I hope, for us. My husband was apologetic. I felt like I might die from grief, even as I recognized the hope that ought to come from His answer. Gradually, I began to accept this answer from God.

I wanted to be obedient, even if it seemed as if my heart would break in the process. Nearly two more years have passed since then and most days I am okay, but there are just some days, where the mention of a child, especially an unwanted one, will tear open old wounds and the tears will flow uncontrollably.

I do not yet know if the second part of the “no” answer was also for me, or not, but I silently hold out hope and know that even if I never hold a child of my own in my arms, my obedience to His perfect plan, will in the end, garner much more joy than a child conceived in disobedience, even if I can’t even type that without those uncontrollable tears."

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