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.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Does God Know When..?

I was praying for a friend at our Church Prayer Meeting the other night, she is on a similar journey with her Hubby, although they have been on the road for many years. The reason we ended up praying together was because someone had just brought a Word of knowledge, and the the Pastor asked us to "seal the Word of God" and to pray in pairs, specifically for God to break-through where we individually need God to move in our lives. So because my friend and I are closely supporting each other, she suddenly appeared next to me while the Pastor was still speaking.

Now, I'll be honest, I was still in that frame of mind which had affected my weekend, where I still trying to find God in this leg of the journey, nevermind having the faith to pray anything coherent!

But, God literally worked through my brokenness and the Holy Spirit prayed through my mouth for my friend. She looked at me, with tears on her cheeks and said, "Wow! That's God!" and I was like, "It must have been, I've literally got nothing!!" That's when you know God IS walking by your side, when you somehow find the words to join your faith with someone else and pray.

One of the things I prayed for them, was about God being with them to the point where they can literally hear His voice telling them the right time, the right moment, for the seed to be fertilised. This has lead me to wonder, "Just how much does God actually care about our daily lives?" Obviously He knows our bodies intimately, and He knows how the development of Bubba will occur but can He, through His Holy Spirit, lead us to the when? The when for a Hubby and wife to make love and release the seed which is needed?

If He can... then I pray that our ears will be tuned into His voice so that we will know that one moment needed for that one egg to be fertilised. I pray that every Hubby and wife who knows the Lord, and can hear His voice, will learn to recognise His voice, even in that one moment. And may He fill our empty arms with the much longed-for Bubba. In Jesus name.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

You'll Never Walk Alone

After hiding from Church and people on Sunday morning (see previous post for explanation), I went to Church in the evening. I was debating whether to go or not in the car, but decided I would. And I'm glad I went. God is so amazing!!! 

When I had been feeling like I'm alone in this struggle for Bubba, the sermon delivered that night was "You'll never walk alone". This was exactly what I needed to be reminded of, because when we're in the midst of the battle, sometimes we don't hear the simplest of God's promises to those who put their trust in Him. 
Deuteronomy 31:6 (NLT)  So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
There are many times the Lord reminds us that we are not alone, and it is this still, small voice which is whispering right into the depths of my heart, right into my brokenness, right into the midst of my loneliness and isolation - I AM with you.  Where no one else can see - God is there, and He hears the silent screams which others aren't aware of, even those closest to me.

It's not just words. It's truth. It's reassurance. It's hope. It's what I really needed to hear, that I am not alone, even though it feels like it. That God hasn't given up on His plan for my life, even though it seems like this Journey for Bubba caught Him off-guard like it caught me off-guard. That no tear is released without God knowing the reason behind it - even when I have no idea what triggered the tears this time. God knows. God cares. God is there. He will not leave me. He will not forsake me. He is there. He is here.

Father God, it is so hard to walk this Journey, when it seems that there is not end to it, as months roll into years, and life continues marching forward as it always has done, and when it seems that everyone else has forgotten what we are facing each month. Father, thank You that You are true to Your word, that when You promised You wouldn't leave my side, or forsake me to walk alone, that You are right there with me, with Hubby, and with us together in our heartache. Father, thank You for reminding me of this. I pray that every husband or wife who needs to know You are there with them, at this moment - whether this moment is in the reading of this prayer, or in the moment of my writing, I pray Your would comfort them to the point where they know You truly are there and You haven't left them alone. I pray, Father, that everyone one of us walking our own Journey for Bubba would know for sure that we do not walk alone. In Jesus name.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Walking Through The Grief

I'm supposed to be at Church, but I've come into hiding. I needed to take time out from crowds, from fixing the smile on my face and from trying to hold it all together. I needed to do as Jesus did and take off to be alone with the Father.

In doing so, I brought with me one of the 'infertility' books I have in the hope that somehow, I will understand what's happening in my head over the last few days. I turned to the first chapter on the healing section and this is within the first paragraph,
As our grief progresses, we are likely to experience damage to our significant relationships, our sense of self, our relationship with our heavenly Father, and even to our thought processes.
Well...that just about sums up the prayer I wrote in my journal before reading!! Sometimes, it's enough to know we're not alone in what we're going through, that someone, somewhere understands us and what we're experiencing. Because the worst ever feeling is thinking you're alone in this. And believe me, I have felt like that!

A few pages later, the authors say something which I'd never actually given myself the freedom to accept,
Expect a struggle within yourself.... Satan would love to see your struggle with infertility create a permanent separation between you and others. He is at war to accomplish that.

There are times when I have sensed the deep struggle within myself. The struggle between my desire to be Bubba's Mumma, and the reality of a life where this isn't yet the case. It is a war. I'm in a war, constantly, of being divided from God, Hubby, and others around me. Of being isolated, because in Ecclesiastes, the Bible speaks of there being safety and strength in numbers..."how can one..."

I remember preaching about how satan's plan is to divide and conquer the individual. Here I am, a year or so later, feeling the loneliness of fighting a battle in isolation... This is not God's will for any of us.

Don't let the enemy convince you that you're alone in your struggle...know that God is with you, and He will strengthen you each day. He knows your weaknesses and your failings, and He also has people He places around you to support and encourage you. Allow yourself the freedom to be open and vulnerable... You'll be allowing them to fulfill their God-given purpose in your life.

Oh how easy it is to write this, how much harder it is to allow ourselves to be weak with those who love us.

Father God, help me through the grief to find Your healing. Help me find You. In Jesus' name, remind me today how close You are in this walk through the pain and heartache, to me and to all those women who love You and need to know you're with them too.

Friday, May 23, 2014

The New BHF Advert

Is anyone else disturbed by the new British Heart Foundation advert, which features a baby not yet born, or is it just me being over-sensitive because Aunt Flo arrived on the same day I saw it???

I understand charities need to raise money and all that, but I do think the advert which is supposedly an unborn baby talking, is actually a really crude attempt at making money.

It's incredibly insensitive to all the mother's who have lost their children during pregnancy or childbirth.

Or I think it is.

Father I pray You would comfort any woman who sees this advert and re-lives the grief of losing her precious one. In Jesus name.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Pass Me a Lettuce Leaf...!

Now I'm all for trying to sort out what is causing me fertility issues, and making whatever changes to my diet are necessary in my desperation to conceive Bubba... But at this rate, I'm going to be eating nothing!

If it's not gluten it's yeast, if it's not avoiding acidic foods it's increasing our protein intake or eating anti-inflammatory foods... and now, it seems, cholesterol is being blamed (click on any of the words to link to relevant articles)... Oh, and we need to inject ourselves with egg yolks!

Add to this all the foods we cut out when TTC... caffeine, chocolate, alcohol; oh.... and the foods we know you shouldn't eat when you get pregnant, just in case we do get pregnant in that two week waiting period, we want to give our bubba the best start after the journey we have taken!! So these include food like blue cheese, pate, mayonnaise, mousse or anything which could contain raw eggs... the list is endless.

The question remains then... what is safe to eat!??!

I think these types of studies are looking for a way to appease those of us who are TTC, and it seems that this is starting to become a bit of a money-spinner... Our pain, misery and heartache seems to be being targeted by those who make a business out of pain, misery and heartache! Such cynicism, I know... but I;m actually become tired of "the experts" trying to change my diet and make me eat this, that and the other to increase my chances of conceiving.

The fact is, we are all different. No two women TTC is the same. Our bodies are different. Our immune systems our different. The causes of the restrictions on the success of our conceiving are different. The way our bodies respond to different foods is different. This is why I think we need to work out what our bodies are saying, rather than what the experts say, otherwise we will literally be afraid to eat. I think each couple needs to hear for themselves, from God, when it comes to working out what we are putting into our bodies.

I have tried to reduce the amount of gluten I eat, purely because I noticed that when I ate it, my body was reacting. The herbalist I went to see recommended I cut out acidic foods, which I did for a while. I continue to avoid eating refined products, like white sugar, white bread, white pasta, as much as I can, but I've stopped beating myself up when I am at a friends house and fed lasagna or offered home-baked cakes. Although, I don't accept them all the time, now and again, I think, is OK. Especially when Aunt Flo arrives and I'm fed-up!

I think we need a good dose of God's wisdom, because this whole area is still trying to be understood and research is being published almost every week for this study or that observation. I don't think there's one particular fertility diet, otherwise, hey - this would be so much easier to find something which works!!!

So, can someone pass me the bag of lettuce please!

Father God, help me to listen to my body with Your wisdom, and not in a weird new-agey kind of a way. Help me to know if food really is an issue for my body, in my struggle to conceive, and whether there are foods I need to avoid or increase to help you work a miracle in my life... Let me know what is the "possible" bit I can do, which will make a way for you to do the IMPOSSIBLE act in my broken body, so that my womb may bear fruit and Bubba will be conceived. But Lord, help me not to get so hung up on all this, that I can't hear your leading in my Journey for Bubba. In Jesus name I pray.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

This Corrupted Life!

I'm sorry, but this is all getting ridiculous...

There's a headline in tonight's Daily Mail (I can't even bring myself to write it out) about a lesbian woman fighting with her ex-"partner" in court over the "parental right" to a child she had NO PART in creating (Read it here if you want). This is about the third such story I have read in as many weeks! And I was soooo frustrated at reading just the headline I nearly posted about it on FB... changed my mind 2 sentences in because my Journey for Bubba is not a public one!

It really does make my blood boil that so may babies are being in this "strange" situation - I use the word "strange" because God designed men and women to procreate. Full stop. So the fact that this woman is claiming to be the baby's "mum" just because she breast-fed the child while the actual mother was ill... well, this sets a whole new precedent of what makes a parent! All those wet-nurses who have been used throughout history, be prepared to fight for your parental rights, and get your cheque books out to pay the maintenance while you're at it!! Where will it all end?? When will we stop trying to re-define "parents"??

Children are a GIFT from God and I'm tired of reading about gay "couples" who create life outside of God's natural order, when there are decent couples who would make great parents, but who are struggling to conceive - even with the help of IVF, or IUI or all those other things being used to bless men and women with their baby. But to then use the child as a bargaining tool, as a weapon or means of eking out your anger and hatred is just incomprehensible!

And I've not even started on all the political stuff of the great "POSTCODE LOTTERY" - who is "acceptable" in the eyes of the great NHS gods who sit and make the judgement that in this county I'm not entitled to funding because I'm a step-mum... a Step-mum - for crying out loud - is NOTHING like being an actual, full-time, hands on, living, breathing, natural, there-through-the-good-times-and-the-bad, watching your baby grow through each life stage MUM!!! NOT THE SAME! I have God to walk me through this, but what of all the other step-mums who desperately want their own child, but have been told by the NHS they're not entitled to free IVF just because another woman's child calls their husband "DADDY"! And yet, according to the NICE guidelines, a "same-sex" couple ARE entitled to funding??!!! HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?????!!!!

Aye aye aye! This life! This corrupted life! This unjust life! This unfair life!


Rant over!!!

...and breathe!

Monday, May 5, 2014

A (Very) Brief IVF Journey

At the beginning of the year, Hubby and I visited his Nan. We do quite regularly anyway, so it wasn't a special Christmas / New Year visit or anything. On this occasion though, she was really excited to see us and said she wanted to speak to us, but not in front of Hubby's son... She did anyway because the excitement was too much for her!

She'd been speaking to Hubby's uncle about what we are going through, and decided that "the worst thing I could ever imagine is to not have my children and grandchildren; so I want to pay for IVF for you both."

After putting the dream of having Bubba to the back of my mind for a while, this kinda knocked me for six! Surely this was a gift from God?? Wasn't it?? A new hope for a new year??!!

So, I arranged for Hubby and I to attend an open evening at our nearest CARE Clinic, as I thought this would give us an overview of what to expect, and would answer some of the questions I had. As I'd had such a bad reaction to Clomid, I had already decided I wanted to go for "Natural" IVF rather than the full-on drug induced IVF, but wanted to find out what exactly this would entail and whether it was the right thing for us. Hubby was his usual, "Whatever you decide, I'll support", which actually wasn't helping me, as it's such a huge step to take with someone else's money.

I struggled to comprehend what this could mean for us, and whether this was really what God was leading us into.

The day of the open evening arrived, and Hubby and I booked the full day off work, so we could spend some time together to talk about our hopes and whether this really was the way forward for us.

When we arrived at CARE, we were ushered into a "school room" which had been set-up for the presentation, with lots of other couples... I think there were about 20-25 couples in total, well not just couples, there were people there in three's looking for information about surrogacy, as well as a couple of gay pairings.

The consultant led us through her presentation, which focused on full IVF, which I knew would be the case. I did learn some interesting things which I'd not considered in the past - although this led to momentary panic rather than security of the situation!! Such as how there are immune aspects which can affect the implantation... It made me wonder about during the cycles when I had been sooo late, whether this had been a factor. Anyway... I have no way of knowing, so best to bury that one deep in my brain somewhere!

After the 40 minute presentation, there was an opportunity to ask questions. Now normally, I would shy away from such public arenas, preferring to vocalise my personal questions after, when I can speak to the lecturer in private. But on this occasion, I needed to know! So up went my hand and out came my questions about Natural IVF. She went through the process of what would be involved... BUT... She made a point of saying that she wouldn't necessarily be happy carrying out natural IVF on me. She went on to explain about how high the risks of failure were, because the clinic would have no control over when the egg would be ready to release from the ovaries. This means there would be a greater chance of missing the moment, so to speak, that when they tried to collect my one egg released in my natural cycle, that the egg might have already released, leaving nothing to collect. Add this to the normal risks of that egg not fertilising, or not implanting once it's put back in, and there we have an excruciating decision to make. It didn't help that I didn't actually feel as though I'd been properly heard when I spoke about what we wanted, feeling like we were another avenue to the more expensive revenue of full IVF. Maybe that's just my perception.

I had gone to the open evening hoping to have a clear sense of what our next step was, but instead I left with a huge sense of sadness, and feeling no peace whatsoever. As we made our way home, Hubby and I spoke. He wasn't comfortable with any of what he had heard, especially with the huge risks of failure involved - for my sake, because he isn't sure I could handle the disappointment of failure; and also for his Nan's sake, as it is her money being invested in something which may or may not work, even though she had told us she knows of the risks and doesn't mind losing the money to give us the chance to try.

Over the next few weeks, I prayed, I spoke to a couple of women I trust as I tried to work out what to do. Hubby was still saying he would support my decision, but I know God well enough to know that if this was really the right step for us, Hubby and I would be in agreement. And we would have a sense of peace about embarking on this path. We didn't.

In fact, one Sunday Morning, a couple of weeks before the open evening, I was part of the Worship Team when I had a clear phrase come to mind - right there on stage, right in the middle of worship: "I don't want another person involved in the making of Bubba". Whether this was my voice, or God's voice, I don't really know for certain, but I do believe that I have to put my trust in God and in Him alone for the making of Bubba. We are a three-stranded chord. We clearly don't need another person involved in the process. As hard as this decision was to make, I know that I hope, that I believe this is right for us.

So as suddenly as the opportunity had presented itself, it disappeared, slipping out of my fingers, out of my life, and out of my future. So endeth my (very) brief IVF journey.

Father God, help me to trust you. I don't know where else I can turn to for help - except to You, the Author and Creator of life itself.