I am so honored to be able to bring you Brittney's story today. Brittney and her husband found themselves in the difficult situation of facing unexpected secondary infertility. I had the privilege of being able to pray with them through their struggle and the blessing of watching God work in their lives - not just to bring them the baby they so longed for, but to bring them closer to Himself in their faith and to each other. They are just precious people and now parents to two absolutely gorgeous girls. Please join me in welcoming Brittney to ONSEL. And Brittney, thank you ever so much for being willing to share your journey with us!
My husband frequently jokes with me about how lucky I am that my parents chose to hold me out of a kindergarten due to my late birthday. If it were not for that decision, my husband and I would have likely have never been high school sweethearts, and I would be quite possibly be without my best friend and partner. So, in many respects he is right!
Prior to officially walking down the aisle, you always possess a mental picture of what your perfect family would resemble. You never imagine the challenges life may bring or what temptations the ole devil has in store. One of the greatest gifts from our father above is free choice. We freely choose to accept him and we have the choice as to how to live our lives. Choosing to pursue a family is a mixture between your heart’s desires, God’s grace, and if we allow it, temptations from that ole Satan.
God supplied our first child, Ava, at the perfect time. My husband and I were contemplating entering the process of consciously attempting to conceive a child, and then we found out we were pregnant. She made us both mature and re-evaluate our dedication to different facets of our life. Life was great and we all were content in the position which we found ourselves in. Feeling that we had more love to share and give, we entered phase two of expanding our family.
The first time was so easy to conceive, we naturally drew upon our first experiences and just expected to get pregnant quickly.
Well, we didn’t.
We tried very intently to conceive a second time naturally. No one ever tells you (or me) that both partners can grow tired of “trying to conceive,” but you do. One of the greatest blessings of a marriage, the physical connection between two, can easily start to become strained. Measuring temperatures, scheduled rendezvous, and monthly pregnancy tests can greatly weigh on a marriage’s intimacy. Instead of the joyous surprise of pregnancy, we found ourselves monthly attending a funeral for our picture of the perfect family.
After about two years of scheduled attempts, we sought professional advice, testing, and recommendations. We started locally at the OB, and tried some of their recommendations with no success.
We were then referred to professionals with a greater specialization in the fertility field. We did tests on me, and my husband (which he was not too fond of). The conclusion from the fertility specialists were that there was an issue, and gave us some likely culprits, but that our first child was a miracle from God and that our natural reproductive ability odds were low.
I truly believe that contentment within your own personal circumstances is essential to leading a happy fulfilling life. My husband and I found ourselves considering this personal contentment, and whether any other process other than a natural birth calls into question our contentment. We prayed intently for answers. We finally found our answer in that striving for personal, professional, or spiritual growth does not recuse personal contentment. Much like a sick person seeks the advice of medical professions, and undergoes surgery to correct these conditions, we concluded that this was no different. Regardless of how they are obtained, children are a gift from God since the beginning of time. They help us better understand the Father’s love for us, because we get a glimpse of how He feels about us.
The IVF process was a learning experience. It is not all sunshine and rainbows. There are daily shots, then weekly scheduled doctor appointments that you must keep, and admittedly it adds another level of stress onto the relationship. Based on the way the procedures went and the development of our genetic material, we were disqualified for a shared risk program, which allows you additional opportunities in the event the first transplantation, so we had one shot with "Mystique and Hulk."
Those were the names of the fertilized eggs that were transplanted into my uterus during the IVF process. Hulk was the most developed and possessed the greatest possibility for implantation and success, but Mystique was no less loved than Hulk.
We prayed heartily. Heartily for success, strength, and understanding, but most of all we prayed that God’s will be done. Then we waited. Patiently at first, but then not so patiently, and then we prayed for patience.
The immense happiness that resulted from the positive pregnancy test was unparalleled to any other experience in our lives. As one journey ended, another began. God had now blessed and entrusted us with another child. The pregnancy offered no significant complications, and based on the birth of our first child, we had a scheduled cesarean. Everything was falling into my plans perfectly. God had a different idea. On 12/13/14, I heard a “pop.” Upon arriving at the hospital and being checked, the doctor announced that the baby would be delivered naturally and with no epidural. I was very upset, but God is good all the time. Within the next 30 minutes, we were holding a healthy baby. We decided not to brand her Hulk, so she shares a name with her grandmother.
What I learned most from my experience is that there are many means to an end. God allows us free choice to make our own decisions, and makes provisions for each of us. Many times we might try to frame on God a temptation from the devil, but God always provides a way out of the temptation. Sometimes we may have to look for innovative solutions. Contentment is not stagnancy. Accepting your current situation does not mean that you must remain in the same position. Always look to God, who is the provider of all good blessings, and he will always throw a little “Luck” your way.
We started this More Than Luck series to share a variety of stories from others who at one time might have viewed themselves as the "unlucky." Like Jenny and myself, they didn't have the seamless transition they once hoped for into parenthood. But hindsight has afforded them the opportunity to see that the luck they once thought they were missing, was really the hand of God intervening in their life so that the timing and method in which their family started would be perfect for them. Instead of luck, we found God's presence in our lives, providing for us, comforting us, changing us, preparing the way for something that would redefine our definition of blessings.