I wasn’t supposed to look at the test until Chad was beside me but as I glanced down, my first and only thought was “there is only one word there!!!” I had gotten so used to the NOT PREGNANT staring at me from the digital EPT test that I knew about how much space the words took up on the screen. And there was definitely one word showing, not two. Cry/laughing, I ran to Chad and shared the news that after countless negative tests, we had a positive. It was a moment I thought I would never get. I felt certain that I would hear that I was pregnant through a voicemail or an email or a test result from my doctor. The intimate moment of it just being between my husband and I was a sweet blessing I thought I would have to forgo. The awe set in; I was going to have a baby. This child I had prayed for and wept for was growing inside me. And then I felt this wave of guilt roll over me. Perhaps guilt is too strong a word but I’m at a loss for one more appropriate.
I, who had broadcast our infertility to the universe, had conceived on just our second procedure. Me, the woman who shared all about our reproductive failure, I was going to be a mom? I started blogging as an outlet because I assumed we had many more months, if not years, ahead of us in this journey. And two and a half months later, I was knocked up! The test said so! And the three I took after it said so too!
What about all those women who line Morehead St. in downtown Charlotte for blood draw every morning at 7 am praying to hear their progesterone levels are high enough to begin the next cycle of treatment? What about the couples who have exhausted all their resources with failed IVF attempts? The men and women who try for seven years to get pregnant and aren’t successful. Me, the girl who blabbed about my faulty womb had made a baby on the second IUI. I felt I had spoken too early. I felt unworthy to be a voice for infertile women when my journey was only a little over a year. I was immediately invalidating our own struggle to get to our Promised Land and probably discounting the glory God had done in our lives at the same time. Chad has said it to me often in our marriage, “Comparison leads to strife” and I was very guilty of this during our infertility phase of life. The journey is different for us all and trying to conceive is no different.
What added to the sense of awe and guilt was that I felt I had just found a purpose in our infertility. I had connected not only to other women and men struggling with it but also to a deep place inside myself that needed to be honest with what was happening in our lives. I have struggled with authenticity my whole life and I finally got to a place where even though things looked bleak, I could share our circumstances. Which leads me to all of you! Did you know that you, yourself, you, the person reading this are part of a miracle? It doesn’t involve a sickness being lifted or someone coming back from the dead but it’s awesome nonetheless. You were a part of freeing a woman who very desperately needed freedom. Quite simply, I was trapped. I was trapped in negativity, fear, sadness and loneliness until I started writing this stuff down. And you all responded so kindly that it has encouraged me to the point that all I want is for people to get free too. I want everyone to uncover those big things they are hiding in their lives and let (safe) people into them. I want communities to rally around people willing to share their pain and fears and I want us to lift each other up as you all have done for Chad and I. We have been bolstered by your prayers, your words, and your heartfelt messages. Our sincerest thanks could never be put into words!
This feeling of survivor guilt eventually went away as I realized that when God blesses you, don’t waste time asking why!! Just enjoy it. Enjoy the moment when you hear that two babies are growing inside you instead of one, when you feel the Lord do what He loves to do and pour out more blessing than you can even imagine. When He gives the orphan a family and the barren woman a child. Stop, and enjoy seeing God do what He loves to do to His children. And for me, honor those women that I stood shoulder to shoulder with in the clinics hoping for anything positive at all. My twisted mind conjured up the image of a rapper “pouring one out for his homies”. RIP Tupac! And while the idea of drinking a 40 of alcohol is not only strictly forbidden right now but also rather unappealing, ladies, please know, I am pouring out some ginger ale for you. I have not forgotten those hard doctors appointments, or the invasive procedures, or the many tears shed. I am pouring it out for you and praying each day that God pours all the love back into you. My arms and heart are still open, even if my womb is finally full.