Tag Archive: pregnant


one of the aims of the ‘Taboo Topics’ series was to have real people sharing real stories about topics that people don’t speak a lot about – up til now i have had people share as themselves but i fully understand with a topic like this, that my friend did not feel comfortable sharing her name and i totally get that… so to those reading this, it is an anonymous story of someone who had an abortion, but i know who the person is and so it is once again a shared story or a real person and i trust it will help others out there who have been struggling with having gone through a similar experience:

It is now three years and 5 months after the day I decided to have an abortion.
And at times I feel fine…and then out of the blue it hit me…I will see a baby or here a song or just a smell or a normal doctors appointment and it feels like a ton of bricks come smashing down on me.

Everything happened so fast and I felt so overwhelmed and confused at that time. I had a very abusive relationship with my mother, and even though I loved her I was so scared of what she would do if she found out I was pregnant. I can remember the one thing my mother always told me was that if I ever get pregnant before I was married I will have an abortion. I can remember how over the December holidays I was soooooo sick and alone. I felt crammed into making a decision…I worked at a school at that time and getting pregnant without being married would get me fired because of the nature of the school added to that neither I nor the dad could afford to raise the child…all these issues threw me into a desperate frenzy.

I felt so alone.

I ended up making the biggest mistake of my life and had the abortion. I can remember each small detail from leaving for the clinic to the doctor’s face …everything of that day. That same day my parents wanted me to come and visit so even though I felt horrible physically and was a mess emotionally I had to pull myself together and make like nothing happened. A week later work started. It was so difficult! Seeing the little children running around and knowing that my boy/girl would never be able to do the same! I blocked everything out for about two years and then my life started falling to pieces. I felt so guilty and the “what ifs” drove me insane.

At the beginning of the year I decided enough was enough. I went for counseling and decided to accept God’s forgiveness on what I did. I made a journal of a letter I wrote to my child, what I missed of him/her (for example I would never she him/her smile, or their first step…or first day at school…I would never be able to tell them how much I loved him/her) I wrote in verses and poems and then Bible verses reminding me that God has forgiven me. The one is: Isaiah 1:18 Come now and let us reason together, says the Lord, though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. On paper it sounds so easy but talking to someone about what happened (since I have so far only shared this with three people in my life) and giving it up to God and making the choice to not let my baby’s death be an end of my own life but a mistake I made which will bring me closer to God, was such a hugely difficult process.

To those who have been in this position. I know how isolating it can be. And how little help there really is for mothers who have chosen to go this route and realized afterwards just how much they really lost. But I can assure you that in Abba Father there is healing. You never forget your child. But God can change even your worst mistake into something that will make you grow closer to Him.

And to those who are faced with having an abortion or not. Please please please don’t rush it! Think carefully about what all you will be losing really. And talk to Godly people. Listen to advice. Don’t shut yourself off and make that decision on your own.

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I have wrestled with writing this for a while now as it is a very sore spot but I know that God can work through this whether to help me heal or to help others know they are not as alone as we often feel in this situation.

My story starts not after I got married to my amazing hubby but a few years before. I was about 20 when I found out that I had a tumour on my pituitary gland (under the brain in the centre of the skull). This tumour, thankfully not cancerous, created havoc with my hormones and gave my body the impression I was pregnant without actually being pregnant but with many symptoms including all day sickness (not just mornings), weight gain, lack of periods and even milk production when the tumour got quite large. I ended up having brain surgery to remove the tumour and was under the impression that all was good and I no longer had to worry about tests and tumours.

My now husband and I then got engaged and later married and at this time had discussed that we would both love to have children but we felt (due to our younger age but also due to seeing other marriages fail from not building a strong foundation to the marriage) that we would wait 5 years before trying for kids so we could build a good solid marriage with God at the centre so we would have a good foundation to bring our kids up on.

Six months into our marriage I started feeling sick again with all the same symptoms and my first thought went to the possibility of an unplanned pregnancy which was scary but we knew we’d be ok and even though I was on the pill if I was pregnant then it was part of God’s plan for us. After going for all the necessary tests and more we found out that unfortunately my tumour had grown back again. I then went through medication that did nothing except make me feel worse, a second brain op and radiotherapy to try get rid of the tumour of which none of these gave a permanent solution. I changed Neurosurgeons for the 3rd time and was put onto a new medication which would shrink the tumour and keep it under control but I would have to stay on it the rest of my life to keep the tumour under control as it would not kill or get rid of the tumour but as long as I stayed on the meds I would have no problem falling pregnant and should also have no complications in a pregnancy according to the dr’s.

We’d been married for about one and a half to two years at this stage but decided that with everything that had happened we would rather start our family sooner. Month after month went by and all we had was disappointment after disappointment. Months turned into a year and still nothing. We eventually consulted with a fertility specialist and blood tests showed that my hormones were not all at the levels they should be at. we tried medications to get me to ovulate and to try balance my hormones but each time we’d try something it would seem to mess the hormones up even more. After a few more tests the fertility specialist told us that the only way we would be able to have a child of our own was to go the IVF route at a cost of something like R45 000 excluding medication. We agreed that there was no way we could afford that or go into debt by taking out a loan and then bring a child into the world that we couldn’t afford due to the debt.

For much of this time we didn’t say much to many of our friends or family as each time we would say anything we would be told to “just relax” or told about so and so who went on holiday and fell pregnant. What none of them understood was stress had nothing to do with it. We tried to “just forget about it” and “relax” but still nothing happened, we even agreed that we would put it aside and said maybe God is telling us to wait till we were married for 5 years as we had originally decided. We never did anything to prevent pregnancy and decided that if I fell pregnant then I did but if I didn’t then in time we would maybe go for another opinion.

Our 5th wedding anniversary came and went and still there was no pregnancy. Thankfully the medication was still working on the tumour and I was living a normal life with no restrictions or problems. We discussed things again and went to see another fertility specialist as well as an endocrinologist to see if we could sort out the hormones and try fall pregnant without going the costly IVF route. All we got was more and more bad news, my hormones were at worse levels than before and now medication is not even an option. IVF was still the only option given by the fertility specialist and even then he said he doesn’t see that we would have a very good chance, according to him we have a less than 1% chance of falling pregnant and even then it will be a very high risk pregnancy. So now we have agreed since we have a slim chance of falling pregnant even with IVF we are not going to keep going to dr’s and getting bad news but rather now are trying to build our marriage even stronger than it is. We shared with my hubby’s family what the dr’s have told us and even though it was difficult I’m glad we did as my Father in law reminded us that even though we have a longing to have kids of our own we didn’t get married to have kids, we got married because we love each other and that will never change as God has walked us through so much more than just these issues I’ve mentioned. We do in all this praise the Lord for His healing hand over my life as about 18 months ago I went for my annual MRI to make sure the medication was still working and that there were no changes to my tumour when instead we got a surprise and were told that the tumour the dr’s said I would have to live with for the rest of my life had now disappeared, unfortunately due to the affects the tumour had on my body and my hormones over a number of years this has not changed the chances of pregnancy and my hormones are still very low and bordering on menopausal at the age of 30.

Over the years I’ve battled with wishing I could fall pregnant just so I knew it was possible for my body but having seen friends go through miscarriages at different stages of their pregnancies I prayed that I would never have to deal with that.

People don’t understand what you are going through at times like this and so often try the “just relax” approach or the “I have a friend or a friend who was struggling and as soon as they adopted they fell pregnant” approach. It also becomes difficult to discuss what’s going on with people who have not experienced infertility as they think they should protect you by not involving you in their children’s lives or exclude you from functions because there will be kids there. For me I know I often battle with wanting to be able to make my own decision about whether I am strong enough to attend or not but this is not always possible as people try “protect” you by not involving you which often hurts more than dealing with infertility hurts.

We’ve just recently celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary and I don’t know what God’s plan is for our lives and our marriage but we know that through Him we are made strong to deal with the situations that come our way. Some days are definitely easier than others and yes I get angry when I hear about another teenage or unmarried pregnancy. I have even often shouted at God and told Him it’s not fair that we did things that we’d been taught was the right way and yet other people who do things the wrong way get blessed with a child. I’ve shed many tears for the children we may never have but I have also been able to say that I have been blessed with friends who don’t exclude us from their childrens lives and even though they are not our own children we still get to experience the joy of a child being happy to see their “other mommy”. We will continue to take things one day at a time and continue to try leave the situation in God’s hands as only He can really say when and if a life will be created.

God bless.

Bettina.

My husband mike and I decided to start a family at the beginning of last year and so I went off contraception and we started trying. We assumed it would be quick and easy, because we have only heard stories of people falling pregnant quickly – even in the first or second month, and with no complications. And so the first month or two we weren’t worried, we enjoyed the excitement of getting ready to become a family and waiting to see whether or not my period would come. But after six months I started to feel down. I was seeing pregnant women and babies EVERYWHERE, friends who weren’t even sure if they wanted babies yet were falling pregnant, and we were waiting. And waiting. And waiting. I felt more pressure to get it right, more pressure to succeed, but I didn’t know how to do it any better. And so we would try and inevitably fail month after month. I couldn’t understand how God could allow me to struggle with this when he knew how much I wanted to be a mother and how Mike and I longed for a family. I had to do a lot of soul searching (why do I want to be a mother so bad? If I never fall pregnant will I still love God? Do I trust God with the plans for my life?), and often I would spend worship time at church crying, willing myself to believe the words people sang with abandon. God is faithful, He is true, He fulfills his promises, He gives and takes away. For the first time in my life I had to ask myself if I REALLY believed that.

Before this time Mike and I had always talked about adopting, and after a year of trying for a baby the niggles in my brain (what about adoption?) became more persistent. We went to the gynaecologist to see that everything was all right and found out I have polycystic ovaries which means that we are not sure of when my egg is released and it is therefore harder to conceive because we do not know when I’m ovulating. This does not mean I can’t fall pregnant, but it does mean that it can take longer than normal. My gynae then gave us the option; keep trying naturally or go on medication to assist us. What a blow to my self-esteem! You keep thinking “what if I’m the reason we are not falling pregnant?” And then you find out – it is you, there is something wrong with your body. I felt so guilty, felt to blame in some part for the reason why we had ‘wasted’ a year trying for a baby. I had to come to terms with the fact that I could not control a hormonal imbalance in my body, and that it wasn’t my fault. That God loved me through this all, and that this was a blessing in disguise because by knowing what was wrong we could go ahead.

It was at this point that Mike reminded me again of our wish to adopt at some stage in life. We could keep trying and use medication to help, but if we were serious about adoption, why not go ahead with it now? We could try to conceive a sibling at a later stage because we now knew the obstacles we faced. And so, in March this year, we spent a weekend away talking, praying, crying (ok, that was mostly me) and setting aside all our doubts. We asked the questions that had been casting shadows in our minds: What if we don’t love them as much as a biological child? What if nature is stronger than nurture? What if our family or friends don’t support us? What if, what if, what if? But with every fear said in the open, peace descended and we realized that although a little bit of fear is good, we serve a God who can overcome every obstacle and redeem every situation. And so, petrified and excited, we made the decision to adopt.

And since that moment a lightness has fallen over me. I feel that the year of trying that we went through was a journey I had to take to grow in the knowledge of God and in trusting His ultimate plan for me. I believe that if we had adopted last year we would not have been given the baby God has in store for us, for they were not born yet! I believe that the pain I felt has been redeemed with hope, and I understand with a peace that transcends understanding that this is my journey. I am a mother, and my child is on its way. It’s just in someone else’s stomach. And I cannot wait to be a Mom. I absolutely love and adore my child. I don’t know what they look like or where they come from, but I cannot wait to find out who they are and to shower them with kisses and cuddles. And so, after finishing our screening through our adoption agency, we wait. And we get ready to start the next chapter in our lives together – Mom and Dad!

[Jane and Mike Hampton]

[To jump forward two years and hear some words from Jane and Mike since adopting, click here]

i thought i was finished with this series on people who have lost a child and then i received this email from a friend of mine who lost a baby. i knew this was one more to be shared and i imagine it will impact a lot of people deeply. i want to encourage those of you who read it to refrain from doing what we often do when hearing someone’s story – justifying, rationalising, critiquing, judging, preparing our response and more – just try and read the story and really hear the voice of a parent who has lost a child and is still in that place of it not being okay. just hear what is being courageously shared. [my friend asked to remain anonymous to protect the people in their life that this speaks to/about]:

Don’t tell me how many times it’s happened to you, I don’t want to know the possibilities of this ever happening again. I can’t see my way through now, how can I comprehend ever going through this again?

Don’t expect me to be better after the time you’ve set out as being reasonable, It may take 5 years, it may never be over. Look out for me, make sure I’m not stuck in a season, but don’t expect me to be fine by now

Don’t treat me like I’m over it, When you see one day that I’m the person I used to be before all this happened, then you can treat me like I’m over it.

I will never be the person I used to be before all this happened

Don’t tell me 4 weeks after my baby has died that you’re pregnant and expect me to be happy for you. I hate you, I hate the God who has allowed you to be happy and not me, I hate the people congratulating you. I am working through asking God for forgiveness for hating. How do you ask a God you don’t trust anymore for forgiveness? I am working through feeling guilty for no longer trusting a God I have always known. How does a God you’ve always known to be one thing suddenly change? I’m working through not seeing God as I’ve always known Him to be. Do you see what your “announcement” has set off in me?

Don’t judge me when you don’t see me singing in Church, I’m reading every song in a different light and with a different perspective, I’m evaluating whether or not I can honestly sing any of those words and mean them even a tiny bit anymore. I’m feeling judged for sitting in church week after week without praising, I don’t want to be here, I want to be in bed feeling sorry for myself, but I’m not…I’m here, I’m with you, it’s a massive step…recognize that

Don’t tell me it’s all going to be ok, you don’t know that. You told me it was all going to be ok when I went for my scan, we know what happened after that…Tell me you love me and you’re there for me, tell me you’ll walk this road with me no matter how long it is, tell me you won’t judge me, tell me you’ll try

Don’t tell me you understand. Really? Your puppies got run over, you understand “exactly what I’m going through”? You will never understand. Maybe one day (hopefully never though) you’ll have some kind of idea, but you’ll never understand. I don’t pretend to understand what someone else in my same situation is going through. That’s because they are unique, their situation will be perceived from the point where their personalities and outside influences affect them. I’ll never 100% understand what they are going through. You do not have the capability of understanding so telling me “you understand” only minimizes my experience of this to the size of your ability to comprehend it. I don’t blame you for not understanding though, I envy you.

Don’t tell me you’re sorry for my “unfortunate situation”. My baby died and was torn from inside me, you term that “unfortunate”?

Don’t offer empty words of consolation, hug me, I’ll know exactly what you’re saying.

Don’t make every “coffee date” a time for you to find out how I’m doing, I want to be able to go for coffee with you without the anxiety of what questions you’re going to ask me, and how those questions will affect me on this specific day. Let the conversations happen naturally, but listen…because somewhere in that conversation I will tell you how I’m doing…

Don’t pretend awkwardly that you haven’t heard me mention something about my baby or how I’m feeling today. Follow up, listen and talk with me, I’m feeling strong enough to open up and talk, don’t ignore me, that’ll only make me feel as if you think I shouldn’t be talking about it.

Don’t let me eat alone in the days right after everything. I feel guilty for even feeling the need to eat at a time like this. Bring food, it’ll make me realize that you think I should be eating even at a time like this and then I can feel just a little less guilty. Don’t ask me what I eat or don’t eat, I feel guilty for being hungry remember? It’d probably make me feel a little less guilty by eating food I completely dislike so I really don’t mind

Don’t make every meeting a somber event, make space for me to have normal times, you know, like when we lived life innocently and we’d go to each other’s houses and play games or watch a comedy together, or we’d go have breakfast in the park. I want ‘normal’, I crave ‘normal’, I can’t get ‘normal’ on my own, I need you to make it for me

Don’t look at my tummy in the months after, to see if I might be pregnant. I’m aware of not being pregnant every day, so keep your eyes off my tummy. Believe me, you’ll know when I’m pregnant again, I’ll be shouting it from the rooftops. So please, don’t make me insecure wondering when someone’s going to ask me about my tummy just because it’s a bit bigger…maybe from being pregnant before, maybe from a bit of extra weight that sadness has added on

Don’t tell me it was probably for the better. Would you ever go to the mother of a disabled child and tell her it would’ve been for the better if her child had not lived? That’s what you’re saying when you tell me that. I would’ve loved a disabled child, or a sick child, etc inspite of all that. That was my baby, I don’t care what was wrong with him/her

Don’t forget the important dates, I’m remembering them, I’ll never forget. The date we found out we were pregnant, the date we heard our baby’s heart beat, the date the doctor told us our baby was dead, our baby’s due date, what would’ve been our baby’s 1st birthday, it goes on, it forever will. When I’m still raw, remember the dates

Don’t tell me I have a choice as to how I’m going to let things affect me. Do you think I would ever choose to have things affect me like they do sometimes? I don’t have a choice in how things are going to affect me, from one day to the next I have no clue how even a simple question will affect me. You asked me yesterday How I am, I said fine, You asked me today…I burst out crying. You asked me this morning how my day has been, I said great, you asked me this evening…I got angry at you. You asked me at 13:00 what I’m up to later, I said I was going out, you asked me at 15:00…I was curled up comatose on my bed. You asked me at 20:00 how I was, I said good, you asked me at 20:05…I was cursing God. I don’t know from one minute to the next how things are going to go, my life is in turmoil.

Don’t expect me to be your support. I don’t want to know whether or not you’re coping, I don’t have the emotional capability to handle your feelings. You have your own support system, go to it so you can be mine.

Don’t get upset if I react negatively to something you say to me. I’m sorry for hurting you, but right now you’re the stronger one, can you carry that for me? Please?

Don’t tell me (as you roll your eyes at something your child is doing) “one day you’ll understand”. I understand now. I am a mother. I became a mother and my husband became a father on the day our baby was conceived. I may not have a living baby to prove it to you, but he/she will forever be alive in our hearts. We are parents, we just ‘understand’ a different area of parenting than what you do.

Don’t think that when I’m laughing I am not grieving anymore. I feel guilty, I feel as if I am betraying my baby’s memory.

Don’t forget that I’m still grieving. I know it’s hard for you to be aware of things you say to me, but please, is it such a burden to carry in light of everything? Will you carry that for me?

Don’t think my pain is healed. A part of me will forever be broken, but I will learn to live with that…in time

Don’t get annoyed or hurt when I don’t rejoice with you when you tell me you’re pregnant, I haven’t slammed the door in your face. I want to, but I haven’t because I care for you and want to protect you from me so that you can have the space to rejoice for you. I can’t right now, because I’m using all my energy to fight against hating and envying you, but I’m quiet, and that is my way of saying I care enough to be silent.

Don’t get upset when I don’t talk or open up to you. My words are coming from a place of pain, anguish and turmoil. I love you, that is why I’m silent. My words will only hurt you, so I keep them inside.

I used the analogy once when someone asked me how I was, I said it was like that earthquake that hit Japan last year. One week Japan was thriving, nothing on the horizon that was going to turn their world upside down. The next week everything had changed, all there was for as far as you could see was rubble. Lives that had crumbled into little bits that were no longer recognizable, nothing visible that was still intact. Nothing remotely resembling the life they had, the dreams they held for their futures.

Hopelessness, deep, deep sorrow, utter disbelief. The week before they couldn’t imagine anything like this, they didn’t have the ability to even comprehend the devastation lying ahead for them. In the first few days, no one knew where to even start. Where do you start to begin putting your life together again? How do you begin to fix years and years of life that has been broken down to nothing in just a matter of minutes?

Slowly you pick up a brick and move it out of the way. After a while the bricks become too heavy because your arms are tired, so you start moving pieces of broken brick instead. You rest a while. You’re tired, but your life is in limbo at the moment because you have no security, you have no confidence, you have no dreams for the future, you have no hope. You keep your head down because to look at the ruins of your home, your life, your dreams, as a whole picture is too painful, you can’t bear it. So you keep plodding on with your head down. Eventually you reach the base of where your house once stood. There’s a lot more rubble here because of the size of what once stood there, but you’ve made progress. What lies ahead is a much bigger task than what you’ve gone through already but you have nothing else to do, no other reason to do anything. So you keep going. You think of giving up sometimes because of the strain of it all, but you don’t. You don’t know what drives you, you don’t know what pushes you to keep going but you do. Maybe it’s the fleeting thought that one day you will have a house again, if you just clear this mess, you can build a life, build hopes and dreams and a future. The size of the task is daunting, but you keep going.

After days or weeks, or months, you lift another brick, but this time you see something underneath it. It’s dusty and dirty, and you can’t see it clearly, but you know it’s something you recognize and so you reach for it. It’s a vase, a simple thing that used to hold such beauty. It’s not damaged. Maybe a little dusty, but it’s still intact. You can’t believe it. How did anything survive? You cling to it as if it is the most precious thing in the world. You carry on clearing up. More things slowly start to appear while you’re clearing away the rubble. They begin to form a pile and the pile grows and slowly… keeps growing. Every now and then you go and sit next your pile, and admire the things that are still intact, the good memories start to fill you and give you strength. You get enough strength to go back and clear a bigger section. The times between clearing and resting grow bigger. What once used to fill your days is still there, and always will be, but you have hope now, it may be only a little, but you see how far you’ve come, you could never have imagined getting to this point but somehow you have, you’re a survivor, you ARE strong enough. The road ahead is long. Your house will never look the way it did before, but you start to recognize it as home, you start to see the possibilities in your future. But you never forget, to forget would mean to nullify everything you’ve been through and besides, how could you forget something that impacted your life so much, no, you never forget, but you begin to learn how to live with the memories…

Itʼs July, Mauri phones to tell me the news, weʼre pregnant again. Whoohoo! We had been trying and Mauri had had a dream in which a date for a birth of a baby was given. So the news was, well, wow perhaps God had spoken to us about the actual birthday! We did a calculation and due date was in the ʻdate proximityʼ. Sure it was very early days, but God had spoken hadnʼt he, and so we started dreaming: is it a boy or a girl? What will they look like, be like? And how will they play with Kristen?

A couple of weeks later Mauri comes into the lounge with an anxious, slightly panicked look on her face, she is spotting and the bleeding was getting heavier. The next day we are in our doctorʼs surgery and he confirms our fears. A miscarriage.

Itʼs only a miscarriage, just a miscarriage, we carry on with life, right? Hey in the old days no one would have even known, and the bleed put down as a late period. Thatʼs what some have said. I begin thinking along those lines too: itʼs not like weʼve lost a baby. Or have we? Almost as if right there and then i have the wrestle of our time: when does life begin? Iʼm struggling to know what i should be feeling in the midst of Mauriʼs emotions, strengthened by hormonal changes in her body. I write to a mentor of mine and his wisdom to us is that we need to name the baby and say goodbye. That shouldnʼt be too difficult? Mauriʼs instinct was that it was a girl. We had a name we were going to use if we had another girl, and so we named her Bethany, had to name her Bethany because to choose any other name would be to discount the life that had been there. It was at that point that Mauri and I wept together. I was so surprised by how pained i felt, how disappointed I was.
It was so much harder to say goodbye that i had imagined.

Itʼs so easy for me to delegitimize my feelings because otherʼs have had it much harder. Which is true. But thatʼs not right either. When life is formed it is only right for us to expect that, that ultimately life will be birthed. When it doesnʼt there is the sense of something stolen, of an incompletion. I sometimes still cry when i have to think about or share that experience (like now) and know the deeper pain of many others who have lost their babies.

Mauri fell pregnant, quite unexpectedly, not long after that and our little boy, Jesse is about to turn 2. I canʼt imagine life without him but sometimes wonder how Bethany would have fitted into our family.

The 18 August 2009 is the day that life changed for Mike and I.

It was the day that we saw our baby on the sonar screen for the first time, but instead of tears of joy, tears of indescribable sadness flowed as we saw our quiet, lifeless baby on the screen with no heartbeat. At home that evening Mike and I sat very quiet on the couch, staring at the tv feeling completely numb. 2 days later I was in hospital to have the baby removed. I tried SO hard to be strong but as I was wheeled into theatre I looked back and saw Mike in his mothers arms in tears, my heart broke.

6 Months later I was pregnant again. It was a new year with new beginnings. After 1 successful ultrasound we were reassured that things were looking good. However, 2 weeks later at a routine ultrasound appointment the doctor once again had the awful job of telling us that she ‘was sorry’ but there was no heartbeat! I lay there thinking no, no, no, not again – this really cant be happening again? She wanted me to try miscarry naturally as during the first procedure my uterus was perforated and she wanted to limit as much trauma to my uterus as possible. But after a week I had to go back to theatre to have the baby removed. What pained me most was signing a paper that stated that I gave them permission to “burn all contents of my uterus”. Is that it all was? The “contents of my uterus” was a little boy!

We were then referred to a specialist at a fertility clinic who did tests and discovered that I had a septum in my uterus which could “possibly” have been the cause for the previous miscarriages. So, once again, I was wheeled into theatre to have the septum removed. Mike, again, my constant supporter and encourager!

10 Months later I was pregnant again. To find out on Christmas day that we were expecting was the most amazing feeling ever! This had to be it? The weeks leading up to this occasion had been incredibly stressful as it involved scans and blood tests to assess my ovaries so that I could start taking extra hormones at exactly the right time. Unfortunately, our world came crashing down again. This pregnancy was very short lived and once again we said goodbye too early.

Very soon after that I fell pregnant again! This HAD to be it? People were praying, my uterus was healthy, I was taking the right amount of hormones – everything was perfect? After 3 fantastic ultrasounds, our baby boy was growing so well. Good strong heartbeat, growing perfectly. Until the 9 March 2011, when our world collapsed again. Routine ultrasound showed out baby’s heart had stopped beating. My doctor just held me and we both sobbed. 2 days later I was back in theatre having yet another operation. 7 weeks later after being referred to yet another fertility specialist, I ended up back in theatre as there was still placental tissue that hadn’t been removed from my uterus and was causing problems. This was all we could handle – enough was enough!

It has been a journey that Mike and I NEVER thought we would go on. It was not something we had discussed before we got married – “what if we struggled to have kids?” It just seemed like a given – like a package deal when you get married – you have kids too.

We have been through some very low patches emotionally, spiritually and financially. It took months to get through a church service without sobbing and it took a year since the last loss to pay off our medical bills. We held a special memorial service in June last year with close family and friends. That was a turning point in our journey. To be able to openly share our pain with those who love us the most was so special! The grief we feel is definitely for the little souls we have lost, but also for the uncertainty of what lies ahead. Will we be parents? Are we willing to put ourselves through another pregnancy which might or might not work? This journey has caused us to drift from certain friends and get closer to others. The lessons we have learnt along this journey are invaluable. The things we have discovered about each other are just so special. We have definitely grown closer through this process and have a much greater appreciation for one another. It bothers me when people say “oh, look how blessed you are because you are pregnant or have kids”. Where does that put the couple who have lost kids or are struggling with infertility? It makes us feel like we have done something wrong to not be blessed? I have learnt that I mustn’t measure how blessed I am by what I have or don’t have. We are all blessed because of the fact that Jesus died on the cross – not because of what we have or don’t have.

I don’t know what our future looks like? It doesn’t have the fairytale ending that we had hoped. We still have baby clothes but no baby, so much baby love to give but no baby. But one thing I am SURE of is that we serve a faithful God who loves and cares for us beyond what we could think possible. Through all our hard times we have KNOWN God’s peace and healing in our lives. We came to a point where we thought that we actually can’t go on, but here we are. Sharing our story with others in the hopes that it encourages others to keep going.

I can’t wait to get to heaven one day, meet my babies and for God to say to me “Well done, My good and faithful servant!”

Blog: http://www.sandalsgilmour.blogspot.com

[Sandi and Mike Gilmour]

brett andy to vote round 7

so once upon a time there was a guy called jack handey who wrote some classic mostly one liners which were funny and random and sometimes both all at once… this inspired me to try my own and we are on the seventh round of voting – so if any of these make you smile or laugh or think about laughing really loudly then please let me know in a comment which ones do it for you…

“Instead of a regular air-bag in your car, how about a whoopee-cushion bag? The melodic farting sound as you have an accident sending out the message that we’re going to have as much fun with this thing as possible.” [Brett Andy]

“At the Beer-and-Chess festival everything was going well until I took a stranger’s castle.” [Brett Andy]

“My parents sent me to improve classes to try get me to come out of my shell, but it didn’t work. The paper mache interior was just too warm and inviting for me to want to leave.” [Brett Andy]

“As I threw my dart straight at the bulls eye I suspected my day at the rodeo might be ending prematurely.” [Brett Andy]

“I went fly-fishing the other day for the first time. I was a complete failure. I still need to figure out how to keep the bait in the air long enough to interest them.” [Brett Andy]

“I took two sheep and a goat to Wall Street but no-one wanted to trade with me.” [Brett Andy]

“I bought an old dog and quickly taught him a new trick. Now I’m scared I may have peaked.” [Brett Andy]

“The other day I was so embarrassed when I went up to a total stranger in the shops and congratulated her on her pregnancy. Turns out he wasn’t.” [Brett Andy]

“I think the real question we should be asking is WHY did the chicken cross the road?” [Brett Andy]

“If a T-Rex ever got into a fight with a man, who would win? Answer: The man. Did I mention it was an intellectual fight?”

“It’s time the world started being a little more sensitive and honouring the fact that maybe Wally is just wanting some alone time away from us all.” [Brett Andy]

“Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa & Po recently swore off technology & each lost around 120 pounds of weight. Now no-one knows what to call them.” [Brett Andy]

“If you’re Happy and you know it, there’s probably a dwarven mining axe somewhere with your name on it.” [Brett Andy]

and if you want to see the full list of brett andy’s head along to http://brettandy.wordpress.com for the rest of them…

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