What a year we’ve had.

I can dare say this has been the toughest year of my life, but it’s also the year that I see the most blessings upon me.  Is that even possible?

Looking back at my life, I’ve often felt lucky that things often go quite smoothly for me.  I got good grades at school.  I have a career doing what I love to do.  I met my hubby a little late in my life but we really have a good life together despite his parents’ opposition of our marriage.  My parents are the best parents one could hope for.  I am healthy.  We have a remodeled house that we love.  The biggest obstacle that I had was a very mean supervisor at my internship who gave me the only B grade in my graduate school career for my performance that was worth nine units out of the 12 total units for that semester.  I cried practically everyday going into work being so very miserable.  But I knew that once the three-month internship was over, I could pick up the pieces and regain my confidence.  

So I am so very lucky that things are smooth in my life.  I may not be the prettiest.  I may not be wealthy.  I may not be the most popular.  But I have friends and family who love me.  I have a stable job and a loving husband.  I have Jesus who loves me so.  I can’t really complain about my life.

Until this year.  It. Was. So. Very. Tough.

A year ago we attended a couple of IVF seminars and was trying to make decisions in regards to which clinic we should go with.  My heart was always so heavy as I was grieving the loss of natural conception.  Now that has passed.  My focus then was on trying to get pregnant regardless of the means.  I knew that having the diagnosis of diminished ovarian reserve is tough, but I often hoped that I would be one of those few people who would get lucky with getting pregnant on the first try.

IVF #1 came and passed.  The roller coaster ride was nothing that we had ever imagined.  Our little Clay is still hanging out in the freezer waiting to be thawed.

IVF #2 was such a bust.  Four eggs and nothing made it in the end.  Couldn’t transfer Clay due to a fibroid that could be in the uterine cavity.

IVF #3 yielded one follicle.  The IUI that converted from it added to our tally of BFNs.

IVF #4 is currently on hold, waiting for the cyst to disappear.

After a whole year, no baby in sight.  No BFP ever.  No two pink lines.  No pregnancy symptoms.  Not even a chance to transfer one embryo.

It was the beginning of the year that I became a Bible study leader for the study of Genesis.  That was around the time we had decided to go full force into our IVF cycle.  God always has the best timing.  The study of Genesis had helped me tremendously during that time.  Being a Bible study leader means I have to study each chapter in depth.  Studying about Abraham, Sarah, Rachel, Jacob, Joseph, and all the other characters in Genesis put things in perspective for me.  They all had setbacks.  But God always came through, though not immediately, but always in the end.  They were granted promises and held onto the hope.  That somehow gave me tremendous comfort.  If I didn’t say yes to becoming a leader, I wouldn’t have had the blessings that He bestowed upon me.  Being a study leader also helps me focus on others and praying for others rather than focusing on my own life.  I have also gained a whole group of Bible study leaders who have been praying for our success in bringing home a baby.

When you give up something (your time, energy, etc) for God, God rewards you with more.

Now that we’re studying Matthew, I can truly see Jesus’ healing power.  The woman who bled for twelve years was healed.  The blind man who had not been able to see since birth regained his vision.  The lame picked up his mat and walked.  Their faith in Christ helped them achieve the impossible.  Studying about them and Jesus helps me reflect on my own faith and how my faith can bring about the healing that only Jesus Christ can grant.

That is such a blessing that I will not trade for anything else.

Throughout this year, I experienced quite an emotional roller coaster, not only in regards to the ups and downs of my cycles, but also because of those who got pregnant around me.  I was bitter, jealous, and petty.  I was depressed, disappointed, and crushed.  I had the why-me mentality and was at one point mad at God for allowing this to happen to us.  It was not a good place to be.  I know many of you can relate to these feelings as waiting to be a mother and struggling to get pregnant can sometimes do evil things to your mind and heart.  I could not talk to people who are pregnant.  I could not stand pregnancy announcements.  I hid posts on my newsfeed.  I walked away from pregnant ladies or mothers and father with babies in grocery stores or shopping malls.  This is not unusual or unfamiliar to some of you as you went through or are going through the same.  Honestly I didn’t like who I had become.  I started to pray regularly about six months ago for joy, peace, strength, and kindness/goodness that can only come from God.  And once again, God has shown me His blessings as my heart and mind slowly become at peace with my circumstances and I began to feel happy for certain people in my life and celebrate their successes.  I have accepted that this is the path we have been placed and there is a reason for it.  It has not been easy to come to this place but I hope I don’t lose sight of God’s blessings to place me there.

And then there are my two groups of Face.book secret group friends.  They are truly great friends who stand by me during the darkest times, who are there real time writing me messages while I sit in my RE’s clinic waiting for an ultrasound, who check in with me regularly to see how I am doing, and who are so good at cheering me up when times are dark.  And then there is this blog that I started seven months ago.  Thanks to all of you who comment and support and validate my feelings.  Because of you, I don’t feel that I am in this all alone.

And then there is my husband.  Because of all of the struggles that we experienced together, I see the other side of him.  The side that shows strength and resolve at times of crises and challenges.  I am sorry that we have to go through fertility challenges together.  I wish that we didn’t have to.  But if this is our path, I am honored that God has engineered for Bob to be the one who walks through these valleys with me.  

I am really hoping for good things for 2014.  I commented on Maddie’s blog that I dare dream for her to be pregnant and for me to have my take home baby by next Christmas.  If it’s okay to dream, I want to dream big.  Good that I have her to count on me to have that take home baby.  🙂  I wish you all the best and thank you so much for the care, love, and hugs that you have given me and Bob in the past year.  May 2014 be the year that brings joy, peace, blessings and good news to you and me.