By Rosalynne Martin
The first time I sat down at my laptop to gather my thoughts for this post, I typed the title, hit enter and then the computer screen FROZE! Actually, I found it comical, that I was attempting to gather words of encouragement for other women, and I was instantly up against a technical malfunction. Nevertheless, this was only a temporary delay of about 5 seconds until I could reboot the computer, instead of the 5 years of delayed motherhood I had experienced.
My story started out similar to many young Christian women – attend college, meet an incredible guy, graduate from college, have a fairy tale wedding, and begin making plans to start a family. By the time I was 22 years old, I was married to my college sweetheart and had started an exciting career in education, my passion. I was not “ready” for full-time motherhood, so we decided to wait a few years. A few years eventually turned into 5 years before we ultimately started “trying” to start a family. By then, we were in our mid to late 20’s and the motherhood questions became a frequent conversation topic.
A few months passed, but no big deal, I thought. We knew it might take some time, but then one year passed and we had not conceived. We began to ask the question, what’s wrong? After a year, we decided to visit the doctor for some routine tests. In our second year, the term “infertility” became our “identity”. Low counts on his end, are those eggs ready to go on my end? Take pills for one issue, then take another pill for another issue. Need I say more? This had to be one of the hardest, loneliest, unexplainable, frustrating, saddest, toughest times in our lives. It was beyond our physical control and the feeling of DESPAIR began to seep into our world.
Why would I choose the word “malfunction” to describe my journey to motherhood? According to Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary the word malfunction means: “to function imperfectly or badly; fail to operate normally”. Honestly, this is the most accurate word to describe the complexity of it all.
After numerous doctor visits, and considering the several factors that had affected our “malfunction,” we were excited to finally have an answer to the problem- IVF. Within a few months, we were expecting our first baby! What a hurdle we had overcome.
A few weeks later, I was at work and had severe cramping and because I had never been pregnant, I had no idea I was miscarrying. The next week at my doctor’s appointment, the ultrasound technician, gave us the heartbreaking news. There was no heartbeat and the baby had decreased in size. I was in total shock and disbelief. Encouraged by the doctor, we repeated the process several months later, however the results were not good. Our hearts were broken again, but our faith was not shaken. We continued to pray, stood on God’s Word and trusted that the Lord had a plan for our family.
After praying for some time, we believed the Lord was leading us to pursue adoption. I searched online for several adoption agencies in our area. We found an agency we both liked, however, we did not immediately submit the application to begin the adoption process. We waited until both of us were ready to begin this unfamiliar journey.
My journey to motherhood began with mounds of paperwork. Each week we completed steps in the process and within 3 months we were approved. It was such an exciting time in our lives. Yes, we were nervous and scared, but so eager to see God’s plan for our family. Once we were approved, the “waiting” period began. What were we supposed to do during the waiting time? The answer was in Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all our heart and lean not unto your own understanding.” This wasn’t very easy, because we all desire an immediate answer to unanswered prayers.
After a month’s waiting time, we received “the call” from the adoption agency that changed our lives forever. We were told during the phone call we had been chosen to be adoptive parents AND the baby had been born earlier that day! We were overwhelmed and overjoyed at the news.
Our baby was born a micro preemie (weighing less than 1 lb. 12 ounces), so he had to remain in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for nearly 2 ½ months. We prayed daily for our newborn and visited him as much as we could with the help of our adoption social worker. His body frame was equivalent to the size of a 20 ounce soda bottle. He was the tiniest baby in the NICU for many weeks.
Before our baby was released to come home from the NICU, the unexpected happened! We found out that my “malfunctioning” body was PREGNANT! I recall taking at least 3 home pregnancy tests, which all were positive, before I had the courage to call my OBGYN to make an appointment. We were amazed by the miracles the Lord had done in our lives in just a few months. I had a healthy pregnancy and our second son was born. We are often asked if our sons are twins. They were born only 9 months, one week, apart and we often get bizarre looks when we tell “strangers” their age difference. Our story has been an opportunity to share countless times about how the Lord worked miracles in the midst of a “malfunction” in our lives.
Headed to the hospital to deliver
The road to motherhood had some bumps, potholes, twists and turns. One in every eight couples face infertility according to The National Infertility Association. Therefore, it may affect you, a close friend, or someone in your circle. Today, I challenge you to call, send a text message, or write a note of encouragement for a friend, family or church member experiencing infertility. Our heavenly Father wants us to walk along side each other and commands us to “Encourage one another and build each other up . . .” (I Thess. 5:11). Who will you encourage today?
He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the LORD! Psalm 113:9 ESV