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.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Lord, If You Are Willing...

Matthew 8:2-3 NLT Suddenly, a man with leprosy approached him and knelt before him. “Lord,” the man said, “if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean.”Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” And instantly the leprosy disappeared.

I may not have leprosy, but I'd still like to say to Jesus, if You are willing, You can heal me. His Word tells us that if we ask anything in His name, we will receive. For me, right now as one cycle ends and a new one begins, I ask Him for healing in my body so that it can do what it's supposed to do... Bear a child!

Sometimes, it's hard to understand exactly what God's will is in this Journey For Bubba, and that clause if You are willing, is a bit cowardly really. Of course He is willing, He created a woman's body for children. Why would He not be willing if it's in His design from the outset! By adding in that clause it seems to offer a way out in the future... Should (please Lord let this never be so) I not conceive my Bubba.

The second part, You can heal me, is a very definite statement of faith. Jesus can heal me. He can heal my conception difficulties. He is God. He sustains life, so I know for sure He can heal me. When??? Well, that's the hard bit. Rarely do we get a time-frame from the Lord of when He will act on our behalf. Our proviso is just to rest in the knowledge that He will.

And therein lies the difficulty. Resting in the knowledge that God works all things out according to His will and purposes. I would have loved an 'and instantly' moment, such as this man enjoyed. It would have been easier to cope with. Until the time comes when I can announce I am healed, I stand in faith that Jesus has said "Be healed".

Monday, March 25, 2013

Ovarian drilling

A friend of mine, who is on her own Journey for Bubba simultaneously with mine, is about to endure an operation known as "ovarian drilling", Now this is not something I know much about, because her condition is very different to mine. But she shares the same cause of infertility as my mum had suffered from, so in an attempt to understand further what she is about to endure, I wanted to know more about her operation and how it differs to the one I face,

Original Image  from "Hannah Wept, Sarah Laughed" blog
Ovarian drilling is an operation used in women who suffer from PCOS. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome - a complex yet common condition, affecting around 1 in 10 women of child-bearing age, with varying symptoms. As with endometriosis, not that much is known about what causes PCOS and there is currently no cure for either conditions. The difference with PCOS, unlike endometriosis, is that many teenage girls find out quite early on they have the condition because they experience irregular periods, or when a woman is TTC she realises she is not and has not been ovulating. But as with endometriosis, some women do not realise they have the condition until they start trying to conceive, as was the case with my mum.

Although the cause of PCOS isn't clear, there seems to be a link between a woman's lifestyle and the symptoms she experiences. According to the Verity - A UK charity for women whose lives are affected by PCOS - the symptoms of PCOS can be managed by a woman, as she makes some recommended changes to her lifestyle and diet (If you or a friend /relative have PCOS it would be worth checking out the Verity website for information, support or resources, as I can't cover everything here). 

There are other health risks associated with PCOS, including the risk of developing diabetes, so as a result, a woman who is subfertile will be offered a different form of Fertility Drug Treatment with a lower insulin content. When this seems to not be working, then a woman suffering from PCOS will be offered the surgical procedure.... the Ovarian drilling. As with the operation I face, this procedure is also laparoscopic under general anesthetic, meaning that a small incision is made at the belly button, gas will be used to inflate the abdomen, and a small camera is used by the surgeon to see what he or she if doing. End of the similarities between our two procedures!

In order to understand why the ovaries have to be drilled, it is important to realise that a woman suffering from PCOS is producing too much testosterone in her body, causing cysts to develop on her ovaries which are immature, undeveloped follicles containing an egg. This is why she may not ovulate, and explains the irregularity of her periods because her body is not giving off the right signals on time.

So the ovarian drilling procedure involves a surgeon making anywhere between 4 and 20 holes, approximately 3mms wide and 3mms deep, in one or both of a woman's ovaries, in order to eliminate the testosterone-induced areas where the hormone is perceived to be at its highest level - the cysts.

As with all types of fertility surgery, the rates of success are not fully known or understood, but it's thought to have around a 40%-60% success rate. When you are struggling to conceive Bubba - any chance of success is better than none, which is why women like us will go through with the surgical procedure if it means we have that little extra opportunity to conceive our Bubba as naturally as possible. 

Father God, I lift up to you my friend "T" and others like her who face an operation to give her a little extra chance to conceive. Lord, I pray Your peace would envelope them, that You would comfort them with Your presence, upholding her in Your arms as she lays down in the operating theatre. Lord, watch over her and watch over the surgeons and nurses involved, that the surgery would be carried out quickly, easily and without any complications to her, to her body or to her future chance of conceiving a baby. Father God, I pray You would be with her during her time of recovery, that You would grant a speedy healing, whispering Your love and promises for her future deep within her spirit and heart. But more importantly Lord, I ask that You would grant her that glimmer of hope, that percentage of success, that she would conceive her baby. Father, I pray that the child, when he or she is conceived, will develop fully, healthily and in full strength, as You knit the child together in its mother's womb. Father, have Your hand upon every woman and her Hubby who puts their faith in You for this surgical step in her fertility journey. In Jesus name I pray.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Taking Control

I really hate it when I am at my lowest in my cycle, when I really think it's too much to bear, when I wonder if there will be a light at the end of this particular tunnel and how much further away it is, and then something happens which is like a big kick in an already badly bruised heart.

Someone pressing on a bruise is one of the worst things, if you ask me. It's like you're already hurting and then some random person gets a kick out of reminding you the bruise is there and making it hurt a little more.
As if I didn't feel bad enough about the next step awaiting me, I had a gut-wrenching reminder in my head that if Hubby and I don't have a Bubba, it'll be my fault because it's my body which isn't working properly!
After being punched around the head with this thought, I decided there must be a way for me to take control on a physical level as will as a spiritual one!

I started to hunt around the internet and realised some of the food I love may not actually be the best for fertility. I know caffeine is one of the big no-no's and I only drink one a day, but I love to eat chocolate. Okay, everything in moderation! But there must be foods out there to help my body to be fertile.

I know my issue is a blocked tube caused by endometriosis, I know it's not really affected by what I eat... But I'm at that place where I just need to do something! I need to have a sense of control that with God's help, I can make a difference to this Journey for Bubba! Food seems like a good place to start... In my desperation!

So I rushed out and bought lots of pulses and wholemeal stuff to add to the fish and salad etc and am trying to do what science can't do for my particular Journey.

If God created the food I eat, rather the processed food which is easy and readily available, then it stands to reason there must be some benefit to it! Even if it is time consuming (soak lentils overnight before use)!!!

Encouragement From John Piper

Thank you to my ACW virtual writer-friend Mandy Baker Johnson, who shared this encouragement with me. I found it hugely valuable, and with her permission, wanted to share it with anyone who stumbles across my blog.

Pastor and author, John Piper was asked what he would say to a couple who wanted to ask him advice on infertility. His response is a beautiful reminder that God has a plan and a purpose for everything - even the tough Journey for Bubba. He draws out from Isaiah 56 a surprising revelation for all of us. Click here to hear John's encouragement for couples who are TTC, through Mandy's blogsite.

Beautiful Moment Number One

I'd had an early start at Church, being involved in the Worship Team that morning.I think Hubby and my Gorgeous Stepson had only just started to stir when I left the house to get to Church in time for the sound-check.

When I arrived home, I unlocked the front door and went in, expecting my usual greeting of a "Nerf Gun" or two being fired at me from the top of the stairs. But not this time!

Waiting by the front door was a beautiful bunch of flowers in my favourite pink, complete with mini card in an envelope balanced on top of one of the flowers, and a larger card next to them. Both had my name in a beautiful child's best handwriting.

While  was at the Service, Hubby and my Gorgeous Stepson had gone into town to find something to make me smile. It worked. Precious.

Beautiful Moment Number Two

Hubby and I were driving home after dropping my Gorgeous Stepson home and we had called in to see some other family members, so it was quite late.

After the lovely gift from my Stepson, I was quite emotional anyway, so enjoyed the darkness of the motorway to have a teary moment, thinking Hubby was asleep next to me. He wasn't. He suddenly said, "Look it's raining, God is crying with you."

Then, he did something which was so beautiful. Hubby is from Yorkshire, and renowned for his careful financial ways, and usually hates paying the prices of my favourite Coffee House. There's a service station about five miles away from home, and Hubby asked if I wanted to stop and have a Costa.

He knows how hard the Journey for Bubba is, especially after a weekend with my Stepson, and although he knows he can't do much to take the pain away, he knows how to bless me in such a way to ease the pain a little bit. 

Father God, thank You for the little touches you laid on Hubby's heart to whisper into my heart. I pray that You would support him, as much as you support me. The Journey for Bubba may be different for him, but he still has his own Journey to take by my side. Thank You for the wonderful man You have given to walk with me, and bless him - a lot. In Jesus name.

Friday, March 15, 2013

God's Connections

So I was sitting alone, watching TV, eating rich dark chocolate and drinking a delicious chilled glass of Rose, in between the tears, trying to comprehend the concept of the news I'd just received. The prospect of needing to have surgery in a last-ditch attempt for Medical Intervention, to try and clear the Blocked Fallopian Tube which has so far been hindering Hubby and me from conceiving, was quite a lot to take in, when I had a call out-of-the-blue from a friend. 

She had been trying to find out who "Bubba's Hopeful Mumma" was until a mutual friend of ours had connected us (I had recently told her I had been writing this as a way of helping myself to process what was happening and had sent her a link which she had forwarded onto friends who are also dealing with subfertility). It turns out we were both walking on the same path, silently thinking we were alone in our walks! Turns out we had both felt like God wasn't listening to the cries of our hearts. Turns out we both had felt like avoiding the Sunday service on Mother's Day. Turns out we thought we had lost contact apart from the odd Facebook like or comment, but God had other plans! 

Too often we hide our own pain out of the fear of how we will be perceived by others, out of a sense of guilt at our failure to do or be what should be natural, or out of a sense of wanting to not be a burden to anyone, but God has a difference way of helping us to deal with our painful Journey for Bubba:
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 
We find comfort in our individual Journey from the Holy Spirit - the Comforter Jesus promised to us - and we are then able to comfort one another, encourage others who are also on the same path, supporting each other, instead of allowing each of us to feel alone on this path. 

We had a great time sharing on the phone, laughing at those crazy mood-swing moments, releasing the pain of the monthly struggle with someone who not only empathises  but who totally understands, because she is on the same path. We could encourage one another and help to build each other's faith up because there are times, even during the past week, when my faith is reduced to the size of the smallest of the small mustard seeds. 

Oh how we need this. 

Oh how we need to be able to share our stories.

Oh how we need to know we are not alone in our struggle to conceive Bubba.

Same path... different Journey!

Lord, I pray that as each woman who knows You encounters the path of infertility, that You would place a support around her of women who are also on the same path. I pray that You would make it clear to her that she is not alone on her Journey for Bubba, but that You would create a network of like-minded women around each other who understands what each is going through and will encourage and support her, to pick her up when she stumbles, to remind her it is OK to grieve when her heart is filled with sorrow and who will cry with her, and laugh with her. Lord, I pray that You would awaken the Church to the bigger issues surrounding subfertility and that we would become a safe-haven for all couples who are struggling to conceive. In Jesus name I pray.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Sexy Snowball Pants for The Hubbys!

I was reading the Daily Mail, and came across and article which basically says that our Hubby's sperm is at it best, it's healthiest, it's strongest... errr.... NOW! (read the article here)

I mean seriously, why have they been holding onto this news, if a man's sperm is at it's best in winter and early spring, why haven't they told us before! Man! It's almost the end of Spring!!! Apparently, Hubby's little swimmers prefer the colder weather than the glorious heat of Summer - picky lot!

I guess that explains the development of these wonder "snowball" pants!! Invented by a man who struggled to conceive with his wife, he did some research and realised that  heat can kill off the little swimmers, who were actually much happier at colder temperatures, which is nigh-on impossible to achieve in the summer - especially in Morrocco where he currently lives. So he decided to help them along a bit!

So ladies, you know what perfect pressie to buy for your Hubby!! These special undies come fitted with a special pocket for a specially created ice-pack which although sound like a great way to keep cool in summer, though I'm not sure I could ever convince Hubby to don a pair! Maybe someone's Hubby will brave the snowball pants!

As the developers say,
Snowballs is an inexpensive, scientifically proven, patent-pending natural fertility solution for men attempting to conceive....We believe in miracles, but don’t count on Snowballs to work “miracles”. They should increase both sperm quality and quantity, and they should give you a better chance to conceive at minimal cost, but fertility science is complex.
Sexy underwear with purpose for our guys!!

End of the Fertility Drug Road :-(

I don't know what it is about going to the Fertility Clinic, but there's like an overwhelming desire to make sure I'm fuzz free and smelling fabulous.... just in case I get examined! I think I was always brought up to make sure I was presentable when going to see the Doctor, but this is intensified 200 times over! Even when it isn't necessary!

I arrived at the Fertility Clinic for my "emergency" scheduled appointment following the allergic reaction to Clomid. They were running really late so I was really glad my Sis-in-law was with me. She'd brought my nephew along because he has tonsillitis at the moment, and sat on the floor drawing while me and my Sis-in-law chatted about what might happen.

Then my name was called and we three trundled in. The Consultant was a different one to the ones I have seen before - a woman... what a relief! Even if she didn't know my story, it was such a relief to be able to speak to a female consultant about fertility stuff, it made such a difference to me. It felt more "natural" in a weird girlie-chat-kind-of-a-way! And it made it slightly easier to hear as she dropped the bomb.

The ingredient in Clomid is the same ingredient in all other fertility meds. So based on the severe reaction I had, there's no point in putting me on any of the others.

The end of the Fertility Drug Treatment road...

She asked if I would consider IVF, but I told her I wasn't eligible for it because Hubby has a son from a previous relationship. I could see her face drop as she realised she was telling me the options open to me were VERY VERY limited now!

"That means the only option we have open to us, is that we will need to do a Laparoscopic Salpingostomy."

As she explained the process involved in the surgery, as she talked through the pre-op tests which will have to be done, and the 3 or 4 cuts they will have to make in my belly, all I could think of was the fact that this was the last-ditch attempt at man's intervention into my infertility journey. After the Laparoscopic Salpingostomy, the only way I will be able to conceive, the only time Bubba will come is when God decides - when He determines!

Humanity is kind of limited in that way!

The end of the Fertility Drug Treatment road... But NOT The end of my Journey for Bubba! 
It wasn't until later, when I was sat at home on my own (as Hubby is away) that I suddenly thought that maybe... just maybe... God is stripping away all the man-made options, in order to show Himself STRONG in my situation. After-all, He is the Creator of life - it is He who determines who we are to be and when we are to live in which generation. Personally, I'm not sure what difference  couple of years makes, but God knows the exact time He wants Bubba to live in. And I firmly believe that in stripping away all the Fertility Treatment options available to me, He is saying to me that He is fully in control of Bubba's life - before he or she even arrives.

Not that this made the news any easier to hear!
Not that this thought process didn't stop me from bursting into tears when I finished work and was safely at home!
Not that this revelation makes my Journey for Bubba easier to deal with!

Sometimes, I would love to have that audible conversation with God and ask Him exactly when He will allow Bubba into my life. Or to ask Him what the hold-up is. But I'm not like Moses in that respect where I can have face-to-face discussions. But I do know the Lord is upholding me in spite of the shutting of one door, and He will open the right door at the right time. This is trust. This is believe. This is my faith at this moment.

Father God, I know that You will form the inward parts of Bubba when You choose to cover Him in my womb. When that happens Hubby and I will praise You for Bubba will be fearfully, skillfully, perfectly and wonderfully made - Marvellous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. Bubba's frame is not hidden from You, Your eyes behold him or her in his or her substance, the life You have planned for Bubba as yet being unwritten on earth, unformed in the physical, You have written every single day in Your book, all Bubba's days have been fashioned by You, even though they are not yet known. You have chosen Bubba to be a voice for You, for Your kingdom in the generation You have chosen him or her to live amongst. In Your time, You will open the door revealing Bubba to his daddy and me. And that my soul knows very well. My soul knows very well. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Clomid Side-Effects... Continued

Even though I had to stop taking Clomid after the third day, due to the severe allergic reaction I'd had, I found that two days later, I was an emotional wreak. Poor Hubby!

I had warned him before starting the course of Clomid, that one of the most common side-effects was mood swings. I think he naively assumed it would by-pass his sane, placid, easy-going wife... but even she got hit by the chemical reaction!!

Oh my days... I was such a Groucho Marx snapping at Hubby, growling at him and generally being incredibly moody, sulky and annoyingly selfish - without actually knowing why or how to stop. But then, the creme de la creme of mood swings came upon me, just as Hubby was romantically leading me upstairs to "put a baby in my belly" as Lily Aldrin said to her Hubby Marshall (How I Met Your Mother - hilarious sitcom). I suddenly and without warning burst into tears! Hand balled into a fist, rubbing my eyes, face blotchy and red as I cried like a toddler!!! Soooo attractive for the moment! Ha!

Looking back, I realise how hilarious this would have appeared to the casual observer!! At the time it was so out of character, it was easy to recognise the source, once I'd stopped crying!

I think Hubby has come off lightly, now I am no longer on the meds!!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Mother's Day Prayer

Father God, I lift up to you every woman for whom today will be difficult, that You would strengthen them, drawing close to them

For the woman who desires to be a mum, but is struggling to conceive, going through Fertility treatment, waiting to find out whether this month is successful, mourning the failure of another attempt, Lord God, please uphold her in Your arms, and shower her with Your love and Your peace.

For the woman who has suffered a miscarriage at any stage of her longed-for pregnancy, or her baby was born sleeping, Father God may she sense Your presence supporting her through this day, ease the pain Father, and may her Hubby and family sensitively encourage her today.

Father this is a day to honour mothers, so I pray each of us would honour our own mother, in the midst of the pain we face to be a mother. Help us oh Lord, and to rejoice with those who are rejoicing, knowing that one day, we too could rejoice in our own motherhood.

In Jesus name I pray.

Friday, March 8, 2013

An Abrupt End To The Clomid Road

So.. here I am in a "crash and burn" situation. What do you do when something you have been prescribed to help you have a baby and before the end of the first cycle, you hit a wall before you've even had a chance to see if it will work???

I started to take the Clomid on day two of my cycle, let me run down how it went for me:
* So on day one of the Fertility Treatment, there were no side effects - not even any of the frequently reported effects like hot flushes or mood swings.
* On day two, there was a slight tickle in my throat about an hour after taking it. I was having dinner - a home made curry - with my brother's family, so didn't really think much of it at the time.
* On day three now, I was on my own as Hubby was at work, and about an hour after taking the Clomid pill, I had a tightening in my throat, worse than the day before, a tightening in my chest, difficulty in breathing and I was wheezing. I called my Mother as I was a little bit panicky and she calmed me down while I had half a puff on an inhaler to open my airways and reduce the tightening in my chest and stood in the (very cold and rainy) doorway of the conservatory trying to get some fresh air to help me catch my breath. When I finished the call to my Mother, I texted two of my three Fertility Friends (I'd not had the chance to tell the third friend I had started the Fertility Drug treatment yet) and asked them to pray for me urgently.

OK, so this is obviously quite extreme...!

On the helpful information flyer which comes with the box of pills, the first "side effect" it states is "an allergic reaction to the Clomiphene symptoms include: swelling of the throat, difficulty breathing, tightening in the chest" etc... The recommendation for this is to stop taking the medication (too late because that one pill is already in my system and I can't get it out!!), and to speak to a doctor / go to the hospital as soon as possible. Having access to the inhaler helped, so I didn't bother going to the hospital - I would have done had I felt worse or if there was other stuff going on. I'm obviously NOT a doctor, so if you ever have a severe allergic reaction - SEEK MEDICAL ADVICE.

I called the Doctor and he advised me to stop taking the Clomid, and checked if I had any of the other symptoms, such as a rash. Fortunately, I didn't. He suggested I speak to the consultant directly, as he was unfamiliar with alternative Fertility Drugs to Clomid.

So I called the Consultant's office, and spoke with the lady on Reception - she was really lovely and asked if I was OK following the allergic reaction. She immediately booked me in to speak with the Consultant the next time he is in Clinic. So I have an appointment for next week.

It's really weird because I am so "Mrs Average" I never react to anything. So to have reacted to Clomid like this is a new thing for me. What happened to me is one of the things they list "just in case" - it's not one of the usual side affects of Clomid, unlike mood swings and hot flushes!

My concern, now, is two-fold, what affect will the three pills have on my body this cycle, if any?? And what alternative Fertility Drugs are there for me... it seemed as though EVERYONE in the forums and fertility chat rooms are on Clomid... and what affect will these alternatives have on me if I have already had an allergic reaction to the Clomid... do they contain the same ingredients? Do they do the same thing? Will my body have the same reaction?

Another cycle gone, another month passed... another opportunity for Bubba wasted??

My life is in God's hands.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Crisis of Faith!

The night before I was due to start taking the Fertility Treatment, I suddenly had a crisis of faith! I suddenly wondered if by taking this Fertility Drug Course I was somehow demonstrating a lack of faith in God. I mean, what Sarah or Hannah have taken them?? What God have fulfilled the promise He gave Abraham if Sarah had conceived with the help of medical intervention?? What am I saying to God by taking these pills??

I tried to talk to Hubby, but he wasn't really in the right frame of mind for a deep theological discussion at 1am. It is my decision, and he said he will support me, no matter what I decided to do.

Was my desire for a child bigger than my desire to be in God's will. I mean, what if I take them and nothing happens anyway? Have I wasted my time? Have I ingested these pills with their chemicals for no purpose?

As I tried to fall asleep, I listened to the Bible podcast - and the reading for that day was from James. James challenges his readers about faith and correlating works. Without works faith is dead. Am I demonstrating faith then by taking the pills? Is this the Lord's way of letting me know it is OK to take the Fertility Drug Treatment?

Sometimes it would be lovely if God would hold out a massive neon sign with flashing lights to say "This is the way you should go, walk in it"!!! But He doesn't. He allows us to listen to Him, and through the leading of the Holy Spirit to find that place of peace within His will. For me, I had already decided I didn't want to "play God" in my desire for Bubba, I wanted to leave thing in His hands, and all the pills will be doing is stimulating the eggs to develop more frequently so that they can travel out of the healthy tube rather than becoming stuck in the blocked tube. This isn't playing God. It's not like I am removing an egg and choosing a sperm for it to hook up with. I am allowing my body to be manipulated in the hope that God will grant me the desire of my heart.

When I woke up, I resolved to ask my colleague - she is one of the women God has placed around me to support me in my Journey for Bubba. Her response to me was:
I think God uses all sorts of things to answer our prayers – when the fertility drugs work, you won’t ring the drug company to thank them, will you! you’ll thank God (as will I!). God is the only One Who can create a baby – and sometimes He uses man’s scientific ability to do it.

So, when I arrived home from work, I opened the packaging and removed the first beige-coloured pill which may or may not enable me to release more eggs from the ovary. Whether it becomes fertilized or not, is still in the hands of the Lord - it is Him I continue to place my trust in. God won't be manipulated, even if my body can be! And if I don't conceive as a result of this course of Clomid, well I know that God is more than able to grant me Bubba when the time is right according to His plan for me and Hubby.

Encouraged for Mother's Day

I have an amazing friend who I have mentioned before in this blog. She and her Hubby have been on this journey for their own Bubba for about 12 years, and she is such an incredible source of strength and encouragement.

I have been faced with the prospect of what to do on Mother's Day, which is coming up at the weekend. Now if I am being honest, I actually wanted to hide under the duvet, sobbing and hiding away from the world for 24 hours - emerging only to honour my own mum on the old dog and bone! I had planned to do that - and had told Hubby to do life independent of me on Mothering Sunday!!

This may be a bit extreme, but the way I see it, is that had my body been working normally, I would have been a mum - a real mum, not just a step-mum! But my body - my reproductive system is faulty, and so I am not a mum! But since making my announcement to Hubby, the Holy Spirit wouldn't leave me alone to wallow! Isn't that just the way!! The Lord has been challenging me to live life abundantly - yes, even on Mothering Sunday. It may not be about me, but it is about honouring the women who are mum's some of whom are related to me, some of whom are good friends of mine.

And then the real conviction came when in Church on Sunday. The announcement about bringing mums to Church for Mother's Day was made, because there was to be a special treat for every mum... a delicious specially baked Cupcake. Now, my amazing friend, she is the one who is making these cupcakes, and I can guarantee, they will be delicious, because I have sampled many a delicious flavour from her kitchen!! Seriously, this woman could easily open up her own Cupcake bakery and make an absolute fortune... they are gorgeous!

Can you imagine, struggling to conceive a baby of your own for twelve years, but taking the step to bake hundreds of cakes for all the mums in the Church to honour and bless them??? That's a sacrifice of love!

I was so inspired and challenged by the act of love she is doing for the women who are in the place she so desires to be in for herself, that I don't think I can hide away under the duvet on Mother's Day. If she can face the day with a big smile on her face and a delicious cupcake in her hand... then I should at least put a genuine smile on my face. **sigh**!!

So long planned duvet day!

Following the failure of the Clomid and Hubby making a decision to protect me, I ended up not attending Church on the Sunday morning. Hubby and I enjoyed a lazy Sunday morning, walking into town for a coffee and slice of cake together, and to pick up a bird for our lunch. When we returned home, Hubby set about preparing a lovely roast dinner for us. He realised, before I had, that the morning service would have been to much to bear. I love him for that.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Laying a Future Claim!!

Over the weekend, I had been reading the Daily Mail, when I came across this article about a woman who gave birth "in two pushes" whilst in the bath (Read the article here). 

I so claim that for myself!!! Haha! 

If we have a choice as to how we give birth, then this is the easy, straightforward way I would like to have Bubba. And if the advice in the book "Supernatural Childbirth" is anything to go by, then by all accounts it seems possible. 

The way I see it, is that if I have sown in tears, then I should reap in joy according to Psalm 126:5!!! And the Lord knows how many tears have been spent in this Journey for Bubba! So ergo, to reap in joy, sans pain, sans difficult labour, in quick time - that would be perfect!!! Hey, if the women of Israel can do it when they were captive in Egypt (Exodus 1:19:  And the midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women; for they are lively and give birth before the midwives come to them.”) then why can't I... or you!

Lord, here my prayer for the future! :-) 

Fertility Drug Treatment

The prescription arrived in this morning's post. The next stage. The Fertility Drug Treatment. The reality has now become that if I want Bubba, I'm going to have to rely on chemical help because part of the wonderful system God created, for one reason or another, is not working to it's fullest potential. One side of my reproductive system is blocked, so the course of fertility drugs are meant to stimulate ovulation from the good side in order to give me a normal chance of conceiving, instead of the 50% chance I've had so far.

Holding this small box of pills in my hand is weird. It's hope twinged with the sadness that so far, Hubby and I have not been able to succeed naturally. So for the next six months, I have to take these pills. One a day between days 2 and 6 of each cycle - until the miracle of life happens for us.

Reading through the list of side-effects was pretty concerning though. There are more listed than on that sheet of paper I had received from the Consultant in the initial discussion about what my next step should be. From mood swings and allergic reactions. From blurred vision to increased pains as a result of the endometriosis worsening. From the risk of faints or fits, to skin conditions or speech problems. From the risk of multiple conception to more risk of an ectopic pregnancy (I'm already at risk of this because of the blocked Fallopian tube). I know that not every pregnancy is without it's own risk, but what if these pills - the chemicals I am putting into my system in the hope that more eggs are stimulated toward ovulation - what if these chemicals get into the eggs, and have an affect on my Bubba???

All the research I can find on the internet has show that the only affect Clomid  has had on women taking it in the hope of becoming pregnant was the increased risk of a multiple pregnancy - and none of these babies were adversely affected by the drug. There have been studies of women who took Clomid while they were pregnant (not sure why they would need to do that!), and this had a damaging affect on their baby. This means I personally will want to pay even more attention - as if that was possible - to my cycle and what is happening in my body. I don't want to cause any kind of damage to Bubba when he or she arrives, as a result of the fertility drug treatment I am taking.

I remotely "asked" an online doctor, you know like on those websites where you get the picture of a friendly Doctor or Nurse to whom you can send a question?? I asked if Clomid can affect a baby who is conceived as a result of taking Clomid... the Doctor's reply four minutes later was a simple, direct, straight-forward... "no".

Suddenly the enormity of what I am about to embark on hits me, and the longer the course progresses the less the likelihood of conceiving through the fertility drug treatment. That's the ironic thing! It's not a case of the more I take it, the more opportunity I have it will work. It scares me to think that this might not work, and I'd have subjected my body to this for nothing. It's hard enough knowing my body is not working as well as it should, but to know that even chemicals can't help - what a nightmare. I would have to move on to step 3 - surgery - which I really really do not want to do.

In an ideal world, I would have conceived naturally a long time a go, and would be about to pop my first pill, but this is the path the Lord has chosen for me, for whatever reason. As hard as it is to understand, I know that I know beyond any shadow of a doubt that He is with me, because His word promised that He would never leave me. So I commit this next stage to You Lord God - You who is the creator of all life - with or without help. I pray for protection over Bubba if he or she is conceived as a result of this course of Fertility treatment, that His hand will cover and protect the unborn child from harm from the chemicals, I pray against any birth defects or adverse damage which could seep into the egg/s being stimulated, and I pray that Bubba will develop into a healthy baby, and into a healthy child - with NO disorders, NO problems, NO birth defects in Jesus name. I pray Lord, that the chemicals I am about to put into my system would have NO side-effects on me either. I pray that I would not experience anything which is written on that list - no nothing Lord. I pray Your hand of protection over me, and over my relationship with Hubby. In Jesus name.

As the Pharmacist handed over the package containing my box of Clomid to me, she smiled at me and said, "I hope it works for you." This was a touching act from her. She could have ignored it, but she acknowledged what I was receiving and what I was going through. I found that really encouraging. If you, like me are about to embark on the next stage of your own fertility journey, I pray the Lord grants you success, as pray He will grant me success too. His timing is prefect, even when it doesn't seem like it.

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Highs and Lows of Subfertility

When I was younger, I used to love going to the park with my family. Me and my brothers would race to the swings, and compete to see who could swing the highest, or we'd twirl the swings and see who could go the fastest. The swings were my favourite thing in the park.

Hubby and I picked up my gorgeous Step-son and he wanted to go to the park after tea. So we did. The three of us jumped on the swings, and I tried to contain my need to go higher because at seven, he can't quite manage to keep up with me. He then became a bit fearful and asked his Daddy to take him on the "baby" swings, so he could be pushed even higher in the security of the structure of the baby swings.

As I watched them from a distance, over on the big swings, father and son, laughing and giggling, with the occasional cry of "Higher Daddy, push me higher!" I wondered what it would be like to introduce my own child for the first time to the highs and lows of the swing. I smiled as a watched them, and drifted off into the thoughts of my imagination, smiling as I "saw" my own little one, wrapped up against the elements of a cold winter afternoon, giggling with glee at the sensation which comes from the swing.

It doesn't happen very often now that I am well and truly travelling on this path of subfertility, but now and again I allow myself to dream about the future I long for. I know there are no guarantees that the dreams will come true, but I hold on, in faith that what I long for - to be Bubba's Mumma - the Lord will grant to me. After all, faith is the substance of the things we hope for. I my be well into my thirties, but I've not given up on the hope that one day, the Lord will grant Bubba to me. He knows the plans He has both for me, as a hopeful Mumma, and for the Bubba He would entrust to my care.

Father God, when my faith becomes weak, I pray you would grant me the hope to keep it alive, that you would never allow faith for Bubba to completely dissipate - even in those times in the cycle when it becomes hard to see the light for the grief of another month gone, another egg lost, another failed attempt to conceive. Lord Jesus, thank You that You are seated at the side of the Father, where You intercede... even for me and the longings of my heart.