The Third Year: Hoping and Praying

Hi friends! I hope you’re enjoying the beginning of the Christmas season. One of my favorite things about Christmas is the reminder of hope. Throughout this fertility journey, I often thought of Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. That’s exactly what I felt we were doing. Thankfully, I had several people remind me that God doesn’t work that way. I had to shift my mindset from one of defeat to one of hope, regardless of the outcomes I had experienced so many times. I did this mostly through prayer, asking God to provide and praising Him for His goodness.

As you read through this blog, consider an area of your life where you need more hope!

Hannah’s Example 

At the beginning of the year, I led a Bible study on Hannah, who struggled with infertility for many years before God gave her a child (1 Samuel 1). The fact that her story hit so close to home made it a challenge to lead, but I’m so glad I did because it brought me encouragement.

Dear Father, thank you for Hannah’s example of vulnerability, persistence, and surrender. Year after year she sacrificed and prayed that you would give her a child. Please give me a spirit of faith like Hannah’s. I ask for your provision of a child. My heart longs for a baby to love, cherish, and raise to know you. I thank you that just as you heard Hannah, you hear me. Would you remember me and open my womb as well. I thank you and I praise you Lord, for you have led me on this journey, painful as it has been, to grow closer to you. I want a relationship with you more than I want a child. I believe you are a good father and you will provide in your perfect time, but even if not, you are still good.

IUI #5 – January 2022

The night before I went to our clinic for a mid-cycle ultrasound, I went to Bible Study. We talked about the courage of Mary the mother of Jesus, and her response to the angel of “may it be.” I was encouraged and told God that I was OK with whatever the outcome of our next IUI, and that I knew He was still good and trusted in His plan. 

So many people reached out that week asking how our procedure was and said they were praying for Baby Short. I had my first Moms in the Making Bible study and it was great to get connected to other women in similar situations. I got a book from a friend called “I Prayed for You”, and it made me bawl because her note said it was a faith gift. When I read the book, I felt God say: “You will read this to your child someday,” and was so encouraged. I was thankful for those who not only cared for us so deeply, but were praying and believing for our child. I felt really hopeful but still had open hands for God’s timing.

Father, I feel so beaten down, worn out and tired. I really thought this time was going to be it. I feel like I am at the end of my rope and I don’t know how long I can keep doing this. I know I may never understand why, Lord. I just want to know you haven’t forgotten me. Please give me your strength and comfort to get through today. Fill me with your spirit because I feel so empty.

Difficult News

In February, I met with our fertility doctor and she said another IUI wouldn’t be helpful and we should look into IVF (In Vitro Fertilization). Although I wasn’t surprised, I was discouraged. There was a small of me that hoped for something in-between. I knew a 70-80% chance of success was a lot better than 1-3%, but I had no idea how we would get the money to do IVF. My heart and soul felt so heavy. I believed the Lord would give us a baby in his perfect timing, I just wished the process wasn’t so hard and painful. 

Lord, I ask for peace and wisdom as we pray about what to do. I really want to have our baby here with all the support we have, I just don’t know how it will be possible with the amount we would have to pay. It all seems like so much. Help me find joy in you. 

An encouraging verse after this conversation was Habakkuk 3:17-19: “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.”

Next Steps

After the call from my doctor, we decided to pray about our next steps. Although IVF seemed like our only option, I didn’t want to jump into it prematurely. We took time to pray about it and ask for God’s direction. There was an added timeline concern as Matt would be traveling all over the country for his last year of medical school starting in July, so we had to do IVF soon or most likely wait until the next year. I really wanted to do IVF while we were still in Virginia near our support system, but I wanted to make sure I was following where God was leading.

Lord, here are some things I know are true:

  • You are a good Father 
  • You give only good gifts
  • You are always with me
  • You listen to my prayers
  • Your plans are for my good and your glory
  • You have given me the desire to be a mom
  • You have given many miracle babies not just in the Bible, but today
  • You are the great provider 
  • You will not waste my pain
  • You are worthy of my hope, trust, and faith

Lord, I praise you for these truths. I don’t want to go somewhere you are not leading me. I will wait on you to provide direction and guidance. I believe you will provide a baby for us in your perfect timing, whether it is through natural conception, IVF, or another way. Honestly, I am afraid of waiting because I don’t want to continue experiencing the grief and disappointment. I don’t want to move for residency and be away from my support system while doing IVF. I ask for a miracle of provision – either of a baby or of wisdom and funds to do IVF. I have no idea how it would work with money or even with time, but I trust you will give us what we need.

Moving Forward with IVF

After praying and fasting, we felt like God was telling us to move forward with IVF. I talked to several women who had done it and started looking into clinics. I researched IVF from a Christian perspective as it was important to us to do it in a way that valued the sanctity of life. The fertility clinic we had been going to told us it would be $18k+, which we just couldn’t afford. Thankfully, I found out about a clinic in New York that was about half the cost. 

I spent March and April being onboarded as a patient, getting more testing and bloodwork done, organizing our medical histories, reading through so much information, contracts, and Facebook forums, pricing out medications, and filling out grant applications. It felt like a full time job and was exhausting, on top of the anxiety I felt about all the variables doing IVF.

Father, I pray that you would help me be intensely aware of your presence and your spirit in my heart and mind this week. Let my faith be stronger than my fear as I start treatment for IVF this week. I pray against sleepless nights, worry and anxiety over timelines and other things I can’t control, Satan whispering to me that this won’t work again. You are the God who provides, the God who heals, the God who comforts, the God who still does miracles. My hope and trust is not in medicine or even a baby, but in you. Help me keep you first in everything, Lord. And I ask that you will provide us with a little life – and hopefully lives – that we can raise and tell them this story of how you provided.  

Whew, I’m not sure I will ever be able to read that last prayer without tearing up a bit. Not to get ahead of myself, but God definitely answered that prayer in big ways!

Wherever you need some hope in your life, I encourage you to ask God for it. Maybe like me, you need to remember what is true about Him despite your circumstances. If so, make a list!

Key takeaways:

  • We can pray to God about anything
  • We can have hope in a different outcome because God is bigger than our circumstances (even if it feels like insanity)

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