About Me

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Hi. Welcome to my "taboo" blog. My name is Steph, and when I first started this, I was still in my thirties. In 2017, I switch decades! I am a Christian, so underlying everything I do and say is the Word of God, and the foundational truths I have learnt over the years. This doesn't mean I'm perfect - I am human. It just means I recognise I need God's help to live this life and try to live out His way, as best I can. So that's me in a nutshell. Thanks for taking the time to read through my blog, I hope you draw strength, hope or encouragement from what you read.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

'Poem' based on Psalm 23

I was recently at a Women's retreat day for Christian Women who wanted to take out from their busy lives and spend it with the Lord. During the day, time was provided to be still before the Lord, to give Him time to minister and speak with us individually. This was something the Lord laid on my heart, which I believe is for the encouragement of others - as well as for me. 

So as you read, I pray you are blessed:

Oh Lord, You are my Shepherd,
You know me.
I'm learning - constantly learning - to recognise Your voice.
I shall not be in want.
You make me to lie down in green pastures
Where I find rest.
You lead me beside the still waters:
You are the River of Life;
As I drink from You,
You restore my soul.
Though I walk through difficult valleys,
Where it seems like death - not life -
is within my body... within my womb,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me.
Ever present - always beside me,
as You lead me beside You;
Beside the River of Living Water,
Your rod and Your staff will comfort me.
You comfort me,
So I may be a comfort to others.
You lead me, so I may encourage others.
You are with me, as You are with others also.
Surely goodness and mercy
Will follow me,
ALL the days of my life.
Surely I do - and shall -
dwell in the presence of my Lord.
Wherever I go - You are with me:
You will never leave me,
You will never forsake me,
You lead me through,
as I remain in You.
And I shall dwell in the House of the Lord.
I shall dwell in the place You are preparing.
When You return to receive Your Bride,
You shall gather me too.
To be with You;
by Your side;
to dwell with You;
to remain with You;
to be in Your presence...
... and ever
...... and ever

Always with You:
My Lord
My Saviour
My Shepherd

Monday, September 24, 2012

First Appointment at Fertility Clinic

I wasn't sure what to expect when I arrived for my appointment. So it was very nervy! I was glad hubby had the day off work so he could attend the appointment with me - and it turns out it was necessary anyway! Our local hospital is very modern, so in order to book in for the appointment, I had to type in a reference number to a special booking-in computer. A quicker process - but very impersonal. It takes away the human contact element - a smile would have helped to make the experience a little less stressful.

So, we went in to the waiting room, and found a couple of chairs amongst other waiting couples.  Not all the women there looked as if they were undergoing the fertility stuff I was - there were some older women, as well as women waiting on their own. I like to people watch, so did wonder what some of them were here for, just as much as a younger couple who were sat opposite were wondering about Hubby n I... I overheard the young wife whispering something, to which her husband replied "I don't know, I can't see and I don't have x-ray vision!" Other than that - it was SILENT in the waiting room... I wanted to speak to Hubby, but felt pressured to "tow-the-line" and keep my thoughts to myself. I pulled out my phone and read the news, lOl!!!

Ten minutes after my appointment time, my name was called by one of the nurses who had been rushing backwards and forwards calling out the women in the waiting room. We were led to a small room which had a weighing chair, a blood pressure monitor and a desk - oh and a height measure against the wall. I was asked to sit in the chair so the nurse could read my weight (something I have not done myself for about three months!!), then she took my blood pressure and asked how tall I was (with or without heels????).

It's funny how this information is gathered but we aren't told the outcome of it - or if we are, how many of us actually understand what it all means!! Anyway, she said it was all fine and normal. Then she asked Hubby to sit in the chair. Neither of us had expected him to have to undergo anything, so he looked a bit confused. "She's not going to get pregnant on her own!" the nurse replied to his query. "What's it for?" Hubby asked. The nurse explained they take some information to check if we would be eligible for IVF, should the time come. Apparently for a woman to be eligible she has to have a BMI lower than 30 and a man has to be lower than 35. Hubby and I both fitted within this criteria.

On our way back to the waiting room, Hubby and I briefly discussed this element, and agreed IVF was not something we would want to consider. My reasons I will explain in a separate post another day.

We waited another fifteen minutes before we called to the Consultant's office. I followed the nurse in, and was greeted by a male Consultant, and a young female student, "Are you happy if we have the student in the room with us?" I was at the door of the room, with the young girl looking at me. "Sure" I replied. How can I say otherwise when she is right there!!! I think this should be asked before we are in the room, personally!!

In the room, Hubby and I were invited to sit down in two chairs against the wall, next to the Consultant's desk. He explained he was going to ask us some personal questions in order to work out what the next stage would be, and pulled out of "my" folder a pink form. The questions went along the lines of:

The Consultant then explained the tests he wanted me to have during the current cycle and at the beginning of the next cycle as there are specific tests which need to be done on specific days - one of the first examinations I had was an external check of my abdomen - as the Consultant wanted to check if he could feel any swelling from my uterus. There was none. The next test Hubby and I had together was a karyotype blood test, so we moved from the fertility clinic to the blood test area and waited a further 20 minutes before our number was called. A karyotype test basically takes a photograph of the chromosomes. It is used to identify and evaluate the size, shape and number of chromosomes in a sample of body cells, and to check whether either of us has any extra, missing or abnormal chromosome pieces which can either prevent a woman from conceiving - or if there are problems which can be passed onto Bubba - when he or she arrives. I think it is really interesting how they can take photographs of something which is so microscopically small and read the information from it!
  • When did I stop using contraception?
  • What had I been using?
  • How often we have intercourse?
  • Have I ever been pregnant before?
  • Have either of us had any STI's?
  • Does Hubby have problems with erections/ejaculation?
  • Do I have any pain during intercourse?
  • When did I last have smear?
  • How old Hubby's son is?
As you can see, nothing is left in "the bedroom", so to speak. Nothing is out-of-bounds. It caught Hubby off guard - well actually both of us - because we had both been under the impression I was the one being investigated as Hubby has a son already. Even more so, when they asked him to produce a sample to be tested at some point during my cycle! It was actually quite embarrassing to be asked all this in front of three strangers!!

A few days later, I had to have a triple swab, whereby they check the cervix by taking a sample of cells from inside the body to ensure there is nothing I have contracted or had in the past (not that I have, but they have to rule out everything which can cause problems with a woman conceiving) or if there are / have been any infections (such as TB or thrush). The swabs are taken from the neck of the cervix - which is the entrance to the womb, as well higher in the cervix.

Next will be a blood test on day 21 of my cycle to check progestrone, thyroid, LH (Luteinizing Hormone) and FSH (Follicle-Stimulating Hormone) levels. A surge of LH actually triggers ovulation within a woman, while the FSH stops being produced after ovulation. So the tests are used to identify whether I am ovulating OK.

Following these tests, if I still haven't conceived by the time my next cycle begins, I will need to have a further blood test between days 2-5 to again test the LH and FSH levels - as one of the functions of FSH hormone is to tell the eggs when to be released; as well as Estradiol - high levels of this can indicate a cyst in one the ovaries or a low level of activity in the ovaries (where the eggs are stored and released from); and prolactin - which can interfere in the secretion of FSH or LH. Then a HSG (hysterosalpingogram) examination - which is an internal x-ray between days 10 - 14. when a dye will be inserted so the radiographer can check to see that the Fallopian tubes are open enough, and not blocked, in order to allow the egg to travel through.

All of these tests will be gathered together and at my next appointment with the consultant the results will be shared with Hubby and I. Until then, others will know the outcome as they discuss the contents of my "folder".

In the meantime though, if I am honest, I am praying and hoping I will not have to go through some of these tests - they sound really intrusive!

Monday, September 17, 2012

A Word for the Husbands of Wives TTC

Last week I had been preparing some verses for something I was working on, when I "stumbled" across this:

Genesis 25:21 (NLT)

Isaac pleaded with the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was unable to have children. The Lord answered Isaac’s prayer, and Rebekah became pregnant

I sent it to Hubby in the hope he would be inspired and would pray for me... Whether he does or not is between him and the Lord (although he has done in the past when I have asked him to, but I wanted him to pray for me independently of my asking... if that makes sense!!!).

If you are the husband of a wife who is trying to conceive - you are as much in her journey as she is. Why not pray for her, and join your prayers with hers?

A Word from God For Your Own Journey

If you have read my previous post (if you haven't then you should, or this one won't make much sense!!!), and are in a similar position to me - in that you are trying to conceive, why not consider praying and asking the Lord to speak to you - or to speak to a friend on your behalf - about your desire for a child. If you are going to ask about a friend, it needs to be a genuine friend who is in a relationship with God. Someone who you can trust, who you know won't just tell you what you want to hear, but who will be able to be real with you about what God has said to them. 

I've had "words" spoken over me before, but as I didn't really know the person, or didn't really know where they were coming from in their walk with the Lord, I didn't really accept what they said. For example, someone told me toward the end of last year, that Bubba would be coming sooner than expected. I think the "word" came from their embarrassment at thinking I was pregnant because of the fat on my belly, rather than it being a genuine word from the Lord.

When it comes to prophecies, it is important we are able to test everything against the Word of God. I know my friend has a great relationship with the Lord. I know she has exercised her gift of prophecy in the past, and I know that - like me - she tends to have dreams from God. This is why I know I am able to accept the message she sent to me, and add it to what the Lord spoke to me through Hubby on that same day.

When we open ourselves to the Lord, He is more than willing to demonstrate His love for us and His desire to encourage us. Don't be afraid - let God gently lead you on this journey of faith and hope.

Godly Encouragement

I praise God for the Godly friends I have. Over the weekend, I received 2 pieces of encouraging words from Hubby and from a friend. After the frustrations I had felt with my body, the timing of both were perfect! Especially in light of this week's up-coming appointment!!!

Hubby and I were driving up the M1 and we were talking - or rather I was talking - about my fears for the appointment I have at the "in"fertility clinic. He listened, and then spoke, reminding me of the commitment I have with the Lord to do things His way and not my own! He asked if I had considered whether God had been holding off because of the other areas of my life which are taking off in a huge way - If I was pregnant or had a young baby, would I have been able to step into the opportunities God has recently opened up for me. That's not to say the two can't come together in the future, but right now, as this is all new to me, maybe the Lord is allowing me to step into this new-ness, and to get used to is before Bubba arrives.

What hubby had said had made a lot of sense to me (though I am aware it may not make sense here, because I don't want to give away too many details of my life, in case people are able to work out who I am!!! No point in not giving my name then!!), and he put a fresh insight into the delay.

On the same day, a friend had sent me a random text message. In it she had described a dream the Lord had given to her - and in the dream I had been about 7 months pregnant! A prophetic dream of what is to come!! She told me she believed the Lord wanted me to know He had heard my prayers and will answer them, giving me the desire of my heart - namely to hold Bubba in my arms when he/she is born!

I am so grateful to the Lord for giving me such hope and reassurance over the weekend. He knows how much I needed it!!!  

As my friend ended the text, she challenged me to exercise the faith God had given to me - for faith is the substance of things hoped for... and I hope for Bubba, so maybe I need to do something of substance to demonstrate my faith, in the word God has given to me concerning Bubba...  It may be months, it may be years (although I hope not!) but the Lord has promised Bubba will come. If I want to show how much I believe this, I think I do need to do something. I'm not sure what that would be. Maybe I should purchase something for Bubba's arrival!!

How exciting!!!! :-)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Me and My Body Fell Out!

I fell out with my body this month - if I could disown it, I would!! But alas, it is attached to me - well actually, I can live without it!!!

So last week, I had a couple of days where I felt incredibly nauseous - not like a normal "I've eaten too much", or "I've eaten something dodgy". There were a couple of days when I was at work and suddenly felt hot and couldn't stomach eating anything except some dry toast. In fact when one of my colleagues asked me if I fancied any chicken for lunch, my stomach lurched... I mean literally lurched! And in Church on the Sunday I thought I was going to have to walk out of the service and make my way calmly to the ladies!

So with this, my mind started to think "this might be the month"!!! I mean, it's a natural thought isn't it??? As nausea is one of the early symptoms.

But it was just my body playing cruel tricks on me. As I write, I am dosed up on "Feminax" and cuddle a hotty wotty botty to my abdomen! Cruel cruel body!
I've heard of women having phantom pregnancies, but never thought I would be one of those women. OK, so I didn't have a lot of symptoms, just felt a bit nauseous at the time of when I could have conceived. But there are occasions when a woman will have lots of "pregnancy" symptoms without being pregnant - even to the point of the stomach growing just as it does when she is really pregnant. It must be really hard to be in that position. Not only does a woman have the excitement of a pregnancy crushed in one moment when she realises it was false, but she has the frustration of another failed month (or more, in some cases the woman can be falsely pregnant for a while, even confusing doctors treating her) in her conception journey.

When we trust our conception journey to the Lord, we know that it will happen in His time. And if it doesn't, even when we don't know why, God does. I thank Him that I have not had one of those false pregnancies. I thank Him also, that I have not, in the 1 year and 1 month conceived, only to have lost Bubba. I pray I never will - even though my mum and sister in law did, I'm not sure if miscarriage or "babies born sleeping" is a genetic issue, whether what the women in my family before me has endured will affect my own experience. But I commit this to the Lord.

Psychologically, when we want something enough, our bodies can convince us it is happening to us, or to everyone around us. For example, when I wanted a new car, I kept seeing EVERYWHERE the car I wanted; when I was single, it seemed like EVERYONE ELSE was married! And now, as Hubby and I are on this journey, it seems as though even my own body is prepared to deceive me into believing a) EVERY WOMAN around me is pregnant, or b) that I have become pregnant when I am not.

It is times like this when I need to trust God even more than normal. It is times like this, when my own body has betrayed me in this way that I have to turn to God, cry out to Him and ask Him to help me this month. I have to entrust my body and my future into His hands, knowing and trusting that His plans for me are good, that He plans to prosper me and Hubby - and part of us prospering, will be to have a family. I have to trust Him, and the desires of my heart to Him. And I do! I hope you can too. 

Friday, September 7, 2012


I was recently talking with a friend and colleague - a beautiful Godly woman I look up to a lot. She's older than me, so we often have some wonderful time of encouragement and learning (usually on my part!!).

On this occasion, we had been talking about cars, and I shared with her my desire to get a new car at some point. Hubby and I have spoken about the fact that when Bubba arrives, the small car we have now won't really be suitable for a family of "four" (including my step son who stays with us once a fortnight).

I think about all aspects of the future... as you can tell!!

She asked then that million dollar question... "When do you see yourself having a family of your own?"

I responded "Well, we've been trying for a year, so I don't know. Whenever the Lord allows us to have one."

Silence ensued.

"God knows what He is doing" I said.

It was a little awkward, and if we hadn't been interrupted by a couple of people ahead of us, then who knows where the conversation would have been led. I think so often, people take it for granted that woman can have children. We seem to forget that not everyone can. Many women are struggling with the idea of being "infertile" - or as the Bile would say, "barren". It would be lovely if we could have all the answers to life's difficult questions, or if the right thing to say were always on the tip of our tongue at any given moment. Not in a glib, superficial kind of a way, but in a sincere empathetic way.

We each receive a measure of comfort from the Lord. And yes, it is easier to comfort someone when you have been through exactly what someone else is going through. It's easier to see where they are at when you have been there. But at the same time - we can support one another even if we haven't been through the same life problem, just because life is not perfect and stuff happens!

I would have loved to take away that moment of awkwardness... and many other times of awkwardness when people ask me the "family" question. But I can't. What I can do, is receive the encouragement offered and the confirmation of hope in Jesus. What I can do is receive your prayer support.

If ever you encounter one of those "awkward silences" why not offer to pray with the person you are speaking with. Pray in agreement with them for the thing they are seeking God about. Pray for God's strength to endure. Pray for the Lord to uphold them, with His righteous right hand - because even if you haven't been where you are - one day you may need someone to pray for you. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Dodgy Products Horror!

I may not be expecting Bubba just yet, but I like to be informed of what is available, when the time does come. So occasionally, I have a look at what products are out there and dream the hours away!! Don't tell me you've never done that yourself!!!

I have, literally, just been watching a programme on the Beeb - Fake Britain... I do quite like these kinds of programmes for the information they provide the general public with. So it was with interest I watched the story about fake products being sold to new parents for their babies. Products such as the newly popular baby carrier - made famous by some of the celebs society (sadly) aspires toward.

This particular mother in the interview had bought a famous brand of baby carrier through ebay, and slowly things started to go wrong with it... seams came undone, bits started to tear, but the scariest thing was when one of the straps came away and the mother's baby almost fell out.

I am aware of the amount of unscrupulous people out there who don't care about your baby as much as they should be for another human life - they care only about they money make. As a result their desire for more money exceeds their desire to keep your baby safe.

If you are a new mum, or you're expecting or you're TTC and dreaming while you wait, please be aware of the stuff you buy for your new-born. As far as possible, try to buy direct from the company / supplier etc... But I know this is not always possible, because money is tight!!! I pray that if you do need to purchase something from ebay - or a second-hand seller, the Holy Spirit will prompt you in your heart if something is not right with the item you are considering - because He knows all things, and He cares more about your baby than we ever will. As you shop online, be open to the still small voice of God as He directs you - because believe it or not, He cares about all the tiny details of our lives - as well as the bigger choices we make.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Pregnant Women Everywhere!

Saturday afternoon equals SHOPPING!! So off I went with family in tow to one of those all under one roof, all singing, all dancing shopping centres. I really enjoy wandering around and seeing what's available on offer etc...

My mum decided she was going to "powder her nose"at one point in our expedition, so I waited outside for her.

I absent-mindedly observed people walking past, one of those past-times we all engage in from time to time. It seemed as though every woman who walked past me was either pregnant or pushing a new born in front of them! Every single woman!!!!

Now, I know this wasn't really the case, because psychologically if we really want something, we tend to focus on it in others, so it is obviously foremost in my mind. It was nice to see, actually. But it also made the longing inside me stronger!

One day, hopefully, at some point in the future you'll be observing me as one such woman!!!