Roo's Story

Before I started this blog, I had another blog. On it, I wrote the story of how this precious baby came to be. It is a story that is only meant to bring glory to the Father. Even if you are nowhere near having kids, I encourage you to read it. You might be able to relate to waiting on God's timing, and finding contentment. It is a long story, yes, but it is a good one. It's one that shows how awesome our God and His perfect plans are. I would also like to start by saying that because this story is about trying to conceive a child, that yes, I will talk about my period and ovulation (hi, mom and dad!) so sorry if that makes you uncomfortable! I try to do it tactfully. Finally, I feel the conviction to need to share that yes, I was on the birth control pill when we were first married. After I stopped taking it, I found out that it has a second phase which is abortive, and I did not know that while I was on it. I am not judging anyone who takes it, but spreading the word about it so you can be more informed if you are pro-life and have the same conviction. Our personal decision now is to never use prevention that has an abortive phase. If you want more information about that, you can email me or do lots of google searches. Now, onto the good stuff. 

Let's go back. Way back. To 2008. Before we were married.
People asked us all the time 'When are you planning to have kids? Right away?' We would always respond, 'Not for at least 5 years!'
But that changed quickly. Very quickly. By Spring of 2009 I had a deep longing to become a mother. I don't know where it came from or why, but God does. We started talking about the possibility of trying to have a baby sooner than we had originally intended. In April, when we unexpectedly bought our first house, the dream became closer and more real. Now that we had a house and were more financially stable then we thought we'd be by 21, maybe we could have a child sooner.
My husband urged me to keep waiting. Now wasn't the time. We still had so much we wanted to do before we added kids to the mix. Deep down, I knew he was right. I agreed. As much as I wanted to be a mom, I knew I would always regret that we didn't spend enough time together, traveling, doing whatever we wanted to do, staying up late, and just enjoying each other.
The longing went away for a few months. I knew the time wasn't right.
It's Summer 2009. I'm planning and working on opening a child care/preschool at our church. I was working as the director. I knew the timing wouldn't be right for awhile because of this center. I would have to stay there and work to keep the place up and running. I would just have to. There was no one else to do it. But every month I secretly hoped I was pregnant even though I was 99.9% sure that was not possible ;) In August of 2009, that plan fell through. We decided not to go through with the center and I was back at square  1. I was planning to sub or find a preschool job for this year while my husband was still in school.  We were paying out of pocket for horrible health insurance that did not cover pregnancy or labor/delivery. We would never be able to afford a pregnancy or hospital stay! So of course, we continued preventing but the desire was still strong in my heart. I got a job teaching preschool for very minimal wages and Husband was in school. At the last minute, he got offered another internship and we were basically set, except for health insurance.
In September, we prayerfully considered whether or not the time was right and after not that much thought, we decided that it couldn't hurt and I stopped taking the pill.
Of course I thought that I would be pregnant that very month because... why wouldn't I? So we started researching ways we could afford this pregnancy that was surely very soon to be.
We are both young, in good health, why wouldn't we?
The first month I got my monthly visitor almost exactly 4 weeks after stopping BC. Which was great. I figured that meant everything was going exactly as it should.
So we're now into October. I thought 'great,  my body just needed a month to adjust, this next month will be the month and we'll have something VERY thankful to announce at Thanksgiving!'
Thanksgiving approached and no sign of aunt flow. Of course I tested. Waited. Tested. Waited. Nothing. I was so frustrated. I didn't understand. Surely I must be pregnant and there's just something wrong with my urine that a home pregnancy test won't detect it. FINALLY after 9 weeks, right before Christmas I started. I was devastated. I figured we would definitely be pregnant by Christmas. And we weren't. Not at all. I told myself it was okay because by next Christmas we would HAVE a baby!
The months continued to pass. I continued to go 7, 8, 9 weeks without a period. I continued to test, be hopeful, be frustrated, try my hardest to put it all in God's hands. By March, after 6 months of trying, I felt like I didn't know what to say to God anymore. I felt like I had said everything, asked Him for everything and I was out of words. I was so frustrated. I had never felt like this before. I had asked God to give us a baby soon. I had asked Him to reveal His plan for our children. I had asked Him to either take the desire away or make it stronger depending on if He planned to give us children. I was hopeless. I felt like my relationship with God was slipping away all because of this trial.
By May I was convinced that something must be wrong. We should  be pregnant by now. I should be having normal periods by now. PCOS runs in the family and I had so many symptoms of it. So I called up an OBGYN that a friend recommended to go in and ask them to test me for it (I had started a new job and had great insurance now, so we figured, why not?). My mom said a simple ultrasound should show if there were cysts on my ovaries or not.
Nervously, I went to my appointment. I was hopeful that the doctor would have an answer for me. I brought a list of my periods, of the ovulation prediction kits that we tried (that only made me more confused) and all of my symptoms. The guy walked in the door and barely heard me say that I wanted to be tested for PCOS before he said 'Well the ultimate goal is to get pregnant so I'll just write you a prescription for Clomid and you should get pregnant right away.' I was shocked. I had no idea what to say. I think I just stared at him in disbelief. That is not at all what I was expecting. I asked him what if I was pregnant? He said they'd do a test that day. I asked him how we could know if I had PCOS and he said there was no point in running all of the tests (which I assumed would just be an ultrasound) and me spending all of the money when it could simply be fixed with the Clomid. WHAT?! I was so shocked that I didn't ask anymore questions. If I could go back to that moment I would have thrown SO many questions at him, but I was not prepared for this at all. Infertility treatments. At the age of 22. After 8 months of trying? It seemed too crazy. Before I left the room, I asked him about all of my symptoms and he simply said 'Well, you're not overweight. Most PCOS patients are significantly overweight.' I told him I gained 30 lbs. in about 8 months. He looked at me and said 'So you lost it then?' I said, 'No! I weigh 30 pounds more than when I got married and I gained it in about 8 months with no lifestyle changes.' He said 'hmmm. Well you must have been a stick before.' And left the room.
I went down to get my labs done. A pregnancy test, a thyroid test (I told him I had had one done at my last physical in August and he didn't care and ordered another one), and a prolactin test to see if I was producing the breastmillk hormone.
I had the tests done and went home, prescription for Clomid in hand. Totally unsure of what to do next.
When I got home and Husband & I had the chance to talk and pray about whether or not to take the Clomid we were both in agreement after some research that it was not right for us, at least at that time. We saw some of the side effects like miscarriage and lots of other symptoms. And that worried us. If we would have known that there was something wrong and this could help we would have been more open to it. But when we saw that doctors are supposed to do exams first to make sure that you don't have cysts and everything is okay in your ovaries, and since this guy didn't do any of that, that really worried us. Also seeing that I would have to get blood taken twice a month to make sure I wasn't pregnant and then to see if I ovulated, also use ovulation prediction kits, and (supposed to but this dr. wasn't going to have me) get exams every month. Pretty sure my insurance would not be covering all of that. If we KNEW there was something wrong I would have been okay with it. But we didn't know. We just wanted an answer. 
So we decided that trip to the dr. was a failure and we would just continue doing what we were doing. 
This left me even more frustrated. With God, with my body, with life. I couldn't understand why God wasn't giving me answers! I had asked Him for what felt like every different thing and even this was just a huge door slammed in my answer. I didn't get it. I felt like He was so distant and didn't care about what we were going through at all. And that hurt.
In July, I started after having felt my ovulation pain. So I knew I was definitely ovulating and we had timed everything perfectly. Still nothing. I got so upset and went into one of the darkest days of my life. I am not that emotional and don't cry that much but I literally laid in my bed all day crying. Husband even took a day off of work because he was so worried about me. This was not like me at all. I just felt like I was at my wits end. I didn't understand, I just felt so alone and frustrated. I just wanted an answer. It had been 10 months since we started trying and we were no closer to pregnancy than we had been 10 months before. WHY?! 
I finally had to realize and come to terms with the fact that I was, in fact, mad at God. I felt like He just left me there in the dark alone. I kept telling Husband that I wasn't mad at Him, just frustrated. But once I was able to dig a little deeper and realize I really was mad at Him, that's when it all changed. I was able to just lay it all out to Him and realize that I didn't have to have the right thing to say, or ask Him for the right thing. He already knows my heart and knows everything I'm thinking and feeling and He's feeling it too. So I gave it all to Him and it helped SO much! I felt like I wasn't alone anymore and I didn't have to keep searching for answers. I just left it at His feet and knew that it was in His control. 
We decided to go back to the doctor, this time to a reproductive endocrinologist that was at my OBGYN office, who some friends had seen. I went to her and asked for the same thing-to be tested for PCOS. She was greatly concerned about all of my symptoms and the length at which I went between periods, so she ordered ultrasounds for that day. I was so relieved that finally someone was hearing me out and giving me some options. 
I had the ultrasounds done to look for cysts primarily. Of course the tech can't give you any information so I told Husband to look at the screen (it was facing away from me-probably on purpose) to see if he could see cysts. We had looked up a bunch of pictures online so we knew what a normal ovary looked like and a PCOS ovary looked like. During the ultrasounds I was trying to read his face but I couldn't tell anything by his expression. It was very weird getting the abdominal ultrasound. I assumed that the first time I ever got one, I'd be seeing a baby in there, but I knew I was empty and that was heartbreaking. 
After the ultrasound, they said it would be the next week before I could expect to hear back from my doctor. I figured it was fine because my husband would know what he saw. 
We left the room and I immediately asked him what he saw. He said he couldn't tell a thing. It all looked like a bunch of fuzz to him, nothing like the pictures we'd seen online.
The wait was on. We waited and prayed that the results would be conclusive and we would have an answer, either way.
We waited for several days and prayed fervently that we would have an answer either way. I was absolutely convinced I had PCOS. I had so many symptoms, this had to be the reason. We'd find the cysts and they'd tell us to take Clomid. I was certain of it. 
After the amount of time they told us it would be, I called the office and asked for my results. A nurse called back very shortly after and told me that everything looked completely normal and NOTHING was found! I could not believe it. I was shocked. I was just certain I had cysts. We were so thrilled. This gave me the peace that I needed to go on trying and waiting on God's timing. 
We were both in agreement that 'trying' had gotten out of control. We were too wrapped up in it and it was way too stressful for me. I made a list of reasons why it was good that we hadn't gotten pregnant that I could look at on those dark days when I couldn't imagine a reason why I couldn't have a baby. We were not going to actively try, just leave it in God's hands and trust His timing until He changed our hearts.
Not a week later I got my period. I couldn't believe it. It had to be a fluke-it had only been 4 weeks and a few days since my last one, not the normal 7-9 weeks and I hadn't felt ovulation pain. I knew I must not have ovulated that month. I was getting ready to start school again for the year. About two weeks later, I felt the distinct pain. The ovulation pain. How could this be?! Was I actually getting somewhat normal? 
I tried not to think anything of it. I didn't count days, I didn't do all the crazy things I used to do. It just was what it was. Two weeks to the day after that I got my period. It seemed like I really was getting normal. 
This continued the next few months and in about October, God changed my heart greatly. It had been over a year since we had started trying. We were officially considered 'infertile.' I had no desire to go back to the doctor, but just to wait. I began to feel that God had given me resources for a reason and that I should use all of them before seeking any more medical help. If we tried for the rest of my school year by doing everything in our power (temping, tracking, trying on the 'right' days, everything else we read about) and we still weren't pregnant then I knew I'd have peace that we tried everything that we alone could do.
At this same time I began feeling anxious that Christmas was quickly approaching. During my quiet times, God laid two verses on my heart in the book of Matthew. I've read Matthew more times than I can count but all of a sudden these verses jumped off the page at me. The first day, I read Matthew 18:19 "Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in Heaven." I read the verse over and over and over again. How many people did we know who were united in prayer with us? We have a wonderful church family who is committed to lifting each other up to the Lord, but we had not shared this burden for many reasons. And while Husband and I were both praying about having a child, how often did we sit down and petition the Lord together? I talked to my husband and asked him if we could pray for God to give us a child every day? We agreed we would fervently seek Him together. We also shared with more close friends of ours very specific requests to be united with us in prayer for our child. 
The next day, I read a verse that forever changed my life. Matthew 21:22 "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." Wow. Well of course I pray and pray and hope that God will answer my burning desire for a child, but do I really believe with all my heart that He will? No. I doubt. I doubt it will ever happen. My husband had that faith. He believed that we would get pregnant someday. I believed that we would become parents, but not that it would necessarily be through pregnancy. 
I needed to make a decision to choose to believe that God would give us what we asked for in prayer. I prayed all these things and I began praying that he would help me to believe His word. I know it's good and I know it is true but I needed help to fully believe it in my heart.
As I mentioned, I was feeling anxious that Christmas was approaching. If you remember, the last Christmas I had hoped to be pregnant. When Christmas rolled around I told myself it was okay because we would have a baby by next Christmas. To think that I still wouldn't even be pregnant by then was breaking my heart!
Husband and I agree that we love bold prayers. We love to just ask God for exactly what we want and pray exactly for that specific thing. We started praying that while we do everything in our power that God would give us a pregnancy by Christmas. We prayed this every single day and we began trying hard to time things perfectly so we would know that we were doing everything in our power to make that prayer a reality. 
Since I was somewhat regular, and since I felt ovulation pain, it was really easy to just try regularly until I knew I ovulated. We did this for about the next two months, but nothing. We knew we were timing it right and still nothing. I wanted to absolutely make sure that the pain that I was feeling was indeed ovulation, so I decided that I was going to start tracking my temperature in the mornings and looking at my cycle that way. My period started on December 18, 2 days before our 2 year wedding anniversary and 1 week before Christmas. I was not as heartbroken as I thought I would be. I knew it was in God's hands and we were doing everything that we could do on our own. Temping was the last step. I had avoided it for so long, because I knew it would make me crazy. I knew it would make me over-analyze every symptom, every temperature, etc. so I put it off. It truly was the last step. On December 19, I started taking my temperature and tracking it along with all of my symptoms in Fertility Friend. Of course, I over analyzed, could barely sleep the first few nights just thinking about what my temp would be, and compared my chart to millions of other people's on Fertility Friend. I was a mess. But I still had peace. I knew that whatever happened, happened and God knew exactly what was going to happen and how and when we were going to become parents. Christmas came and went and it was a wonderful time. I barely thought about having a baby which was a blessing, because I thought it would  be really hard for me. We enjoyed the holidays together and chose to be thankful for what we did have and for the time that we had together just the two of us. On December 27, we left for a conference through our church's association of churches. God taught me SO much through that conference. I was still temping the whole time we were there and it was starting to stress me out a little, but I was learning so much that I couldn't even let it bother me. I know now that if I had gotten pregnant the month or two before, my heart would not have been opened to the things that I learned in the same way. One particular morning, I was sitting in a sermon. Now, this pastor is great, but I always forget that he is great. I always go into the session thinking 'okay, this will probably be pretty good.' and he always rocks my FACE off, for real! His sermon was about having love for God and in it he was talking about competitions for God (things like relationships, resources, recreation, recognition, etc.) He asked us 3 questions and every single one of them had the same answer for me: baby, baby, baby. 
He asked us where we get our self worth or identity? For me, it was in being a mom. It killed me that that's how I saw myself (a mom) but couldn't be one. He asked where we get our security-as in, what are you afraid of? Uh, hello....biggest fear-never getting pregnant. And he asked us, what holds your thoughts captive-what do you daydream about? My baby. Being a mom. If we'll have a boy or a girl. What they'll look like. How we'll raise them. All the time. This is where everything clicked for me. I had put having a baby as an idol in my life. It consumed such a big part of my life, I couldn't even be holy about it. It was affecting my relationship and love for God because I felt like He wasn't giving me what I wanted. Then I wrote something in my journal that completely changed my heart. I wrote "When I don't make having a baby an idol in my life, it doesn't mean I will get pregnant, but that my walk with God will improve." For so long, I had felt like if I could find contentment, THAT is when I would get pregnant. If I could trust and be okay with not having kids, THEN I would get pregnant. How could I find contentment and trust when that thought was at the back of my head? But if I give this up as a huge idol, it doesn't necessarily mean I will get pregnant. It does mean that I will know God on an even deeper level. He then asked us to make 2 radical decisions-Choose God for your now (set him above something else and ask myself whether I'll choose God or choose THAT (that being pregnancy in my case)), and Choose God for your tomorrow. I walked away from this sermon completely convicted of how I had been handling all of this. I learned so much in that hour.
Either that day or the next day, the people from our church got together to share experiences and share what we had learned. Not everyone would share, and I was the type that usually wouldn't. About halfway through listening to other people share, it was like God slammed a brick down on me telling me to tell these brothers and sisters what I had been going through for over a year. I seriously got sweaty and panic-y just thinking about sharing. I whispered to my husband to ask him what he thought and he immediately told me I absolutely should. A dear friend, who is in my small group and knows every detail of this experience was sitting next to him and also told me to share. I was so nervous but finally our pastor announced we had time for one more and my husband pointed at me. All of a sudden I was sharing this experience with about 40 people-from young children to grandparents. Of course I did not go into great detail, but shared how long we had been trying and the kinds of things I had experienced. One of the biggest things I remember saying is that I was a childless mother-I so desperately wanted children and had always thought of myself as a mother, but I have no child. I remember crying as I shared what God taught me (which is a big deal-pre-pregnancy I was not a cry-er, let ALONE in front of 40 people!) and saying how he had taught me all of these things and showed me how I was sinning over this situation. When I got done sharing, our pastor asked if he could pray over us. I will never forget one of the things he prayed. "God, we know that even if you give Natalie 10 kids, if she is not filled up with you, she will still be lonely." Wow! I knew that, I did....God had to have my heart and my attention first, before my husband, before kids, before idols. But I will never ever forget that prayer. When we were done, so many people came and told me how much my story encouraged them (which I had been praying for a long time.) and God really showed me then that I didn't have to wait until my story had a perfect ending to bring Him glory through it. People told us they would pray for us and shared experiences of waiting on God's timing as well. I was so encouraged by these saints and felt like the burden of carrying this trial alone had been lifted.
When we returned home from the conference, I ovulated. And I had perfect peace. I knew that it didn't matter whether I got pregnant-I would bring God glory either way. This time, things felt different. Deep down, I knew I was pregnant. Husband kept telling me that I wasn't-I thought I was every month, but things really were different. They say sometimes you just know, and I truly did.
On January 17, we had a ton of snow and ice come in. I never took pregnancy tests anymore. I was supposed to start my period that day. I felt no signs of it coming. I was in my classroom during naptime and I just felt it laid on my heart that I had to take a test. I told my assistants I was leaving early that day since we didn't have as many kids. I got in my car and without even thinking, drove across town to Wal Mart and bought 2 tests. The whole way home I prayed. I prayed that God would give me peace and that I would not get my hopes up. I went into the bathroom completely expecting to see one line-I had to for my own sanity. I left the stick on the back of the toilet and left the room, trying to forget I had even taken it. I was home several hours early and my husband would not be home for over 2 hours still. I walked back into that bathroom and before I picked up the test, I knew. I took one look at it and saw 2 lines for the first time in my life. I immediately fell to my knees and praised God, right there in my bathroom. Tears streamed down my face with a huge smile on my face as I recalled everything God had taught me through my struggle and how far He had brought me. He answered my prayer (for a baby and for timing-I got pregnant on the cycle before Christmas, just as we had prayed for.) and heard the cry of my heart. But more importantly, He showed me I had to put Him first in my life and had to depend on Him, not on having a baby. I praise Him for that conference and for every experience He took me through because without those experiences, I would just be a lady with a baby. No closer to God than I had been before. But now I can share with the world how precious this baby is and how her life brings God glory before she is even here. That's what God wants-He wants us to show the world just how good He is to us. And this story that He has given me-it's a perfect story. And it's one I will tell for the rest of my life. I can't wait to share it with my little girl someday.
To round out the perfect story, I recently found out that my due date is exactly 2 years and 2 days after we started trying. God is amazing.

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