Friday, June 17, 2016

Pregnancy After Infertility and Loss

After years of infertility and not knowing whether or not it would ever be "my turn" to experience pregnancy and life in the womb, it seems so surreal that we are anticipating the arrival of our twins. We are beyond excited, and are trying to enjoy every moment the Lord gives us. 

But there is something very unique about pregnancy after infertility. Achieving a long prayed-for pregnancy certainly eases the painful years of infertility, but it doesn't remove them. The constant, daily heartbreak and struggle are {hopefully} behind us, but the scars still remain. Infertility will always be a part of our story, a part of us, and it doesn't just disappear with a pregnancy. 

And there is something very unique about pregnancy after loss. We are beyond grateful for all that the Lord has done. While the weekly bump updates may be fun and cute, they are a tangible reminder to us of God's goodness. Every crossed milestone is not only an answer to prayer, but a deposit in our faith tank. But it is a daily battle to trust Him and to fight the fears that well up inside. Simply put, we know too much. We know all that can go wrong. We know how fragile life can be. We know that it can all change in an instant. We know there are no guarantees. 

We will forever be robbed of a blissful pregnancy, and as I talk with others who have experienced similar loss, the fear never goes away. Every twinge, every new symptom, every doctor appointment carries a new round of worry. I do pretty well until a few days before our check-ups. And then the panic starts to set in, because I know that this appointment could be the one that pulls the rug out from under us {again}. 

Please don't misunderstand me. We have no medical reasons at this point to think something might go wrong. The Lord has been faithful to give us good news reports at every single appointment. All the facts point toward a healthy pregnancy. And we do know that God is good. He's not waiting to hurt us or cause pain. But as I have mentioned before, infertility changes you. Loss changes you. We have been through too much, we have experienced the pain and heartache...

Fear is not from the Lord, and the worry that creeps in is from the enemy. I constantly have to bring my fears before the throne, asking Him to help me trust Him and His sovereign plan. I have to remind myself of His faithfulness, and that our trust cannot be in good reports, doctors, or even our own efforts to maintain a healthy pregnancy. Because even if the next appointment does bring bad news, He is still good, and He is still in control. 

It's not all hard and scary, though. There are also some really great things. I find myself enjoying every minute of pregnancy...even the not-so-fun things. Morning sickness was a welcome relief. The discomfort and strangeness of pregnancy fascinates me, and is just a reminder of the Lord's answered prayers. The "oh, you're only XX weeks...??" comments {as they eye my growing belly} don't seem to bother me, and inside I am ecstatic that I get to say, "yes! I AM XX weeks!" I catch myself before complaining way more often than I would have before infertility and loss. Not to say I don't complain; it's amazing how quickly our hearts go there. But I am able to hear the gentle whisper of the Holy Spirit, reminding me about the gift I have received, reminding me of how I prayed for pregnancy {and all that comes with it}. How I longed for these precious days.

So as you think about us and rejoice with us over all that the Lord has done, would you also pray for us as we navigate pregnancy after infertility and loss? Would you pray that our infertility-weary hearts would be strengthened by His grace and love? That our babies would grow healthy and strong, and that we would get to parent them this side of heaven? That we would remember the amazing gift the Lord has provided for us and be quick to praise Him and offer grace to each other and others? And would you pray that we can carry our fears to Jesus and trust His sovereign hand over our lives and the lives of our matter what? 

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