Friday, August 26, 2011
Hi, my name is Amanda, I have been married for 12 years. My husband & I tried for 10 years to have a baby! Finally on March 10, 2004 we found out I was pregnant! We were so excited!! When I was 8 weeks we found out that we were having NOT 1 but TWO little Bundles of Joy! Everything seemed to be going Great, until my 19th week of pregnancy! I went into preterm labor, By the time I got to the Dr.'s office I had already dialated 6 cm. The Dr. told my husband & I that there was nothing they could do, and that we would lose both of our babies! I gave birth to Mason & Brianna, on Aug. 16, 2004. Unfortunately, they passed away, in my arms after living only 30 minutes! We then had to bury them! My husband & I didn't understand why God took our babies, but we still served, and trusted him! God was our strength!! After I lost our twins the Dr. found that I had an incompetant (week) cervix. That is what caused me to go into preterm labor! The Dr. told us the next pregnancy they could do a cervical cerclage, (which is where they stitch your cervix together) We are Christians! God spoke to my husband & I, and told us 7 or 8 times through out our marriage that we would have a baby! Well, 6 mths later after we lost our babies I took another pregnancy test & it was positive! We were very excited! I had to have the surgery (cervical cerclage at 12 weeks of pregnancy)! When I was 35 weeks pregnant the Dr. said it was time to take the cerclage out (stitches), and that it would be any day! Well I went 3 more weeks & 5 days later! The Dr. couldn't believe that I was still carrying Caleb, That's what my GOD can do! I know that God healed my boby, so that our MIRACLE Baby Caleb would grow up & be his servant! I had Caleb Seth on Oct. 28, 2005. He weighed 5 lbs. 11 ounces. He is now 13 mths old & we still thank God for him everyday! Don't ever lose hope! Keep your eyes on God & he will see you through anything! Caleb is Truely our miracle baby! The Dr.'s told me that I was too small to ever concieve a baby I weighed 89 lbs when I got pregnant with our twins. I tried everything to gain alittle weight, so I could get pregnant. After I lost Mason & Brianna I kept some of the weight, (104) and that's when I got pregnant with Caleb! Things always happen for a reason, though we may not understand! If we will always put God first in our lives things will work out for the best! I now weigh 92 lbs. and we are ready for another Miracle from God! We know he's able!! I hope my testimony will heal your brokeness! Don't ever give up! Thanks & May God Bless! Amanda ,
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Words cannot express the love and gratitude I feel for the gift God gave me in my child, but surprisingly as I sit down to write this story, what overwhelms me even more is the gift that I received through my struggle with infertility: the gift of knowing my Savior in a way that I could not have imagined. Sometimes His presence is so overwhelming that it's as if I can feel His heartbeat next to mine -- and I know with absolute certainty that I would not have come to know Him this way had it not been for my pain.
I remember the pain -- of waiting for the phone call after a treatment, of crying with my husband every passing month, of meeting iwth the doctors and hearing the odds against us --- I remember the pain --- but I feel the joy that came the day I turned my struggle over to Him -- a joy that began almost a year before I conceived Bailey and remains in my heart today.
In the part of my story you've already read (see prior testimony), I told you how God led me to the point of surrender -- and that I had finally set my plans aside to wait for His plan. My husband and I had planned to proceed with IVF -- which the doctors told us was probably the only way we would have a baby. We had tried to conceive naturally for many years and had attempted surgical remedies and 4 IUIs. They said you need to move to IVF and you need to do so quickly -- but God said, "Wait on Me."So, we did.
We stopped all fertility treatment and we began waiting on direction from Him. And, I'll yell ya -- a lot of people thought we were crazy! I heard everything from "So you're just going to wait on a sign from God?" to "How can you give up now?"I didn't give up -- I gave it over to the Lord.
And through Miracle Mothers and my church, I thankfully had a whole lot of people standing with me and believing that God would fulfill His promises and give me the greatest desire of my heart. I quit focusing on my problems and started focusing on God -- not abstractly, as I had perhaps done before -- but as you would a friend -- asking for His advice, His direction, and His love to direct my path. I took the time to fall in love with Jesus -- to come to know Him, rather than just know about Him. And that has changed my life forever.
It was another year, I think, before Bailey was conceived, but believe it or not, that time was the most amazing of my life. There isn't room on this website to tell you all the miracles He did in my life -- my marriage, my job, my friendships, and my way of thinking.
And then, He gave me a daughter -- and He did it without any more doctors, any more treatment, or any more pain! I won't pretend to understand the motivations of my God and my friend, but I work and live amongst many cynical thinkers -- and I think He did it without the doctors in my case to give the world a clearer picture of His glory.
Bailey's life has already touched the lives of so many that I know -- and I hope in some way her story will help you to persist in the path that God leads you down. I can tell you that the time that you wait on Him will be redeemed. In my case, I will be a better mother because of it all.
Looking back over the past 4 years of infertility treatment, struggles, prayers and tears, we took inventory. We had completed 6 or 7 artificial inseminations with Clomid followed by two cycles of Repronex.
Our hopes were then dashed by a miserably failed in vitro attempt. The attempt to retrieve eggs was unsuccessful. There were no eggs in the follicles! I woke up to a tearful husband, a new diagnosis (empty follicle syndrome) and an avalanche of grief.
Not long after, we prayerfully considered adoption and felt as though God would grow our family in His time and in His way. We received several calls regarding adoption leads. Eventually, God led us to a family in Arizona. We requested a home study and contacted an adoption attorney.
We were in contact often with the birth family and started preparing our home for a new baby girl! However, God had other plans. Our adoption failed due to factors we were not aware of initially.
We could not comprehend why God had allowed us to go through so much heart ache. Eventually, God opened our eyes to all the wonderful blessings he had provided in the midst of our struggle. He had given us a warm church family, a wonderful group of friends, strong family support, and a comfortable home. God had loved on us all along.
Once again, Chris and I explored our options. We looked into embryo adoption while still actively searching for an infant to adopt. Chris really felt that we should try in vitro one last time before adopting embryos, so we headed to the fertility clinic once again. We were told to expect reduced chances of conceiving due to our last result. The faculty members at the clinic were intrigued by our case. They had treated only one other woman with empty follicle syndrome. Knowing that our God could work miracles, we decided to proceed.
We started with high doses of fertility medications. Several follicles developed ultimately resulting in the retrieval of 5 eggs; 3 that were healthy and 2 that were not. They used ICSI to inseminate the eggs which resulted in three embryos.
On embryo transfer day, we were told that our chances were not great because the embryos were slow growing. To increase our chances of conception, the embryologist recommended that all three embryos be transferred. He smiled and reassured us that it would be highly unlikely that all 3 would implant. We held our hope of success close to our hearts and prayed that God would intervene on our behalf.
We headed home to wait to see if God had blessed this process. This was a long wait emotionally. During this time, I received an email from Miracle Mothers. I requested prayer and they sent me a copy of The Baby Book of Promises. It was a great comfort for me to know that others were praying for me. I received several emails from members of MM. One of the emails referred me to Psalm 91 which I have turned to for peace and comfort many times over our journey.
At the end of the 2 weeks, we were amazed by the grace of God when we found out that we were, indeed, pregnant!!! Our HCG levels were high which lead to an early ultrasound which revealed 3 little beating hearts! At that time, we were told that the third embryo would not survive. After two episodes of bleeding and bed rest, we discovered that we had indeed lost the third baby. However the two remained healthy despite the instability of their environment.
Another episode of bleeding sent me back to bed and set fear in my heart. I returned to Psalm 91 with the knowledge that many people were praying for us and God comforted my heart. We are now 21 weeks and are carrying twins--a boy and a girl! God's plan certainly is perfect. The twins are expected sometime later in February of 2008. I stand in awe of God each and every day as I thank Him for another day of pregnancy and another day up walking around symptom free.
Looking back over the past 4 ½ years, God is showing me that he has allowed me to experience many types of loss in building a family. We had multiple failed inseminations, a failed in vitro attempt, a failed adoption, and a vanishing triplet. He has prepared me, in His time and His way, to better minister to others and to hopefully be a better and more patient mom. I am thankful for the journey and the ways that Christ has healed my heart.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
My husband and I had been trying to conceive for 3 years. The first nine months or so, we tried naturally, but after no result, we decided to talk with my OB doctor. I first tried Fermara (similar to Clomid) for a few months and later did blood testing, etc. I had an HSG test (running dye through my tubes) and found that there were no problems. Approximately 2 years ago, I requested that my OB recommend me to a fertility specialist. Where we both underwent a lot of testing. We ultimately found that we had “unexplained infertility”. Three artificial inseminations (IUIs) using Fermara with two of them and Clomid with the last one resulted in no pregnancy. For a month or so, we took a break from all procedures.
The doctor at that point said that our next step would be in-vitro, but I felt strongly that I needed to first undergo a laparoscopy procedure to check for endometriosis. Based on Matthew 18:19 where Jesus promised if two of us agree as touching anything on earth, it will be done by our Father who is in Heaven, my Miracle Mothers prayer partners prayed with me that endometriosis would not be a factor in our infertility. The laparoscopy in Nov ’06 confirmed our answered prayer . The doctors found very little endometriosis which should not have affected our infertility, so we decided to try naturally for several months after as we sought God's direction on how to proceed.
I learned about Miracle Mothers through a friend of mine from church who attended the group. She said it was a great comfort and help. I was a bit hesitant at first not knowing many details about the group, but once I went for the first time, I loved it. I felt so comforted and realized I wasn’t alone in my struggle. I was actually amazed at how many women attended and were going through infertility as well. Karen is a perfect leader/speaker. She provided such encouragement and inspiration. I really liked that she included so much scripture and I knew that the Lord was really utilizing her for His purpose. After the first meeting, I felt like I was on such a spiritual high and could not stop talking about it with my husband. He could see what a great group it was for me.
I have been attending the Miracle Mothers prayer group for 1 ½ years. It has helped me to shift my focus from my own problems to focusing on God and praying for other women. I developed a yearning to pray more for the other women than for myself. I was thrilled even if they became pregnant before me! It gave me hope, that in God’s timing, I would be pregnant also. One of the scriptures that Karen shared that has stayed with me as a comfort is Psalm 37:4 – “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
By early 2007 and still with no result, we began thinking strongly about in-vitro. We had many concerns about the financial, physical & mental aspects of going through the in-vitro process. We prayed to be led down the path the Lord wanted us to go, trusting Him to provide everything we needed. Miraculously, the finances were somehow available. In March we were planning to start the process, but then felt some conviction in our heart not to go forward just yet. We realized there was more decision to it than we first thought. The part that concerned us at that point was the possibility of having left over embryos that we may eventually not need and what would we do with those little lives. We took about a month to research, pray, discuss with others, meet with our pastor, etc. During our research, we found a Christian organization for the adoption of embryos. We decided that if we had left over embryos that we did not ultimately need, we would look into providing them for adoption. During this time, we prayed together with Miracle Mothers that the Lord would provide the exact amount of embryos we needed. The Lord blessed us with peace to know we should then move forward. As you may know, there are a lot of shots involved. I have always been terrified of shots, but truly with the Lord’s help, I was able to overcome my fear and give the shots to myself.
On the day of the insemination when I was about to go in for the procedure, the doctor showed us a photo of the 2 embryos that they had chosen as being good ones; however, he stated that there were 2 other embryos just as good. He asked if we wanted to move forward with the 2 chosen or wait for a few more days to see which of the 4 prevailed. After saying a prayer, we felt the Lord's peace to move forward with the procedure that day. Two days later our prayers were answered when we found out that the other two embryos did not make it to the freezing stage, thus resulting in no left over embryos. We were concerned that there would not be a second chance to become pregnant with this in-vitro cycle, but we also felt God’s peace that He had provided what we needed.
We learned in early June that we were pregnant with one baby. We were over-joyed and blessed! The Lord is so great! He answered our many prayers. I am now near the end of my 16th week, due January, 2008!
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
He is without a doubt a Miracle Baby, and this group helped get us through! I believe the Lord wants to give you the desires of your heart, and believe me He did for us. We went through quite a journey, and faced multiple challenges.
I have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and never ovulated correctly, and I found out during this journey that I also had issues with my thyroid gland. It seems like it was just one problem after another, as we struggled to become parents. I was really starting to give up hope, until my dear friend Lisa told me about this amazing prayer group! Karen Cross, the minister who led the group, helped teach me about a personal relationship with God.
We talked and prayed about what God wanted from us, and all that He wanted to give us! During prayer group, we prayed for peace, direction and healing for every issue that came along. One week, it would be hormone issues; another week it was a thyroid imbalance. But no matter what the problem, we would pray, and it would get better (and I do mean better!). As we approached the time for our IVF, I was told that my thyroid levels were too low, and that I might as well not even try to get pregnant until the doctors could stabilize my levels with medication. They said this could take a few months! I was so disappointed, because I really felt it was time to move forward. So, I went to prayer group the Sunday before the next thyroid test, which was scheduled for Monday. We knew that the next day we would have to make a decision whether to move forward, and that if the thyroid levels weren’t better, we would have to reschedule. Karen said that “God was bigger than any thyroid problem,” and we prayed for my body to be whole and healed.
Well, I went to the doctor the next day, after only being on the thyroid medicine for two days, and my thyroid levels were PERFECT. I mean PERFECT!!! The doctors were all amazed, and so was I. God had given us a true miracle! We proceeded with the IVF, and that was the cycle that my precious son was conceived. And to think, had we not prayed for healing, we would have skipped that month. WOW!!! The LORD works in His own time, and it was perfect! He knew exactly when He wanted me to get pregnant and when He wanted my son to join us on this earth. That is almost too AMAZING to think about. It had to be that baby--- At that time!!!! PRAISE the LORD!!! I couldn't stop thanking the Lord, and I still can't stop thanking Him even now!!! He is so Good!!! I hope my story inspires you to never give up and to believe in the power of the LORD!
My husband and I were married in 2001 when I was 36 years old. We decided to have children right away because of my age. After six months of trying, we saw my obstetrician and had the usual fertility diagnostics done. We then tried IUI four times with no success and finally visited a fertility clinic in February 2003.
We completed our first IVF cycle in April 2003, when I was about to turn 38. Although that cycle failed, we became pregnant on our second IVF cycle in August of the same year. As the pregnancy progressed, I was followed closely by a perinatologist, due to my age. Everything was progressing according to plan, until at 18 weeks, we were given the horrible news that our baby had multiple anomalies and would never live through the pregnancy; the doctors were shocked, in fact, that the pregnancy had gone this far. On November 26, 2003, we terminated the pregnancy, and we were devastated. On November 29, our son William Alexander was delivered into the hands of God. We spent months trying to understand how this could happen to us and, of course, “playing the waiting game” before the fertility doctors would let us try again. We luckily found out that the problem wasn’t genetic, so we could proceed without worrying that the same problems would recur.
We went through a third failed IVF cycle in February 2004, and then became pregnant with twins through our fourth IVF cycle in April 2004. Tragically, at 6 ½ weeks, we lost both babies. That was without a doubt the lowest point in my life. I thought God was punishing me for the things I had done wrong when I was young; I was mad at God and the doctors, and I was looking for someone to blame. That was when my cousin introduced me to the Miracle Mothers prayer group. And, I’ll tell you, after that first meeting, I felt an amazing weight begin to lift!
We were still struggling with what to do next—“Do we go on? Do we adopt?” But, having those women to pray with and talk to turned things around for me and gave me purpose again. I turned back to prayer and began to get clarity on how to tunnel my energy toward a solution. I began doing some research on miscarriages and problems conceiving and spoke with many women who were having similar problems. Then, I found a clinic in Nevada that could do blood testing to screen for multiple potential problems. My doctor sent off some blood, and they were able to find a problem with clotting. This could be the reason I was unable to either get pregnant or stay pregnant! I found out that I needed to be on Heparin before and during the pregnancy, so we decided that we would give it another try.
Karen prayed with me and told me to trust God for His timing. She continued to focus me on prayer and the Word, and somehow I just knew that it would finally be our time. Our fifth IVF cycle was in August 2004, and we became pregnant. Our first ultrasound was on September 21, and what a shock-- “triplets”! This definitely put me at high risk, so I went in for ultrasounds every week.
One of the embryos was smaller, and the heartbeat was slower so we were cautioned that we might lose one of the babies. Unfortunately, this happened at ten weeks. But, thank God, the other two boys were o.k.! And, according to the doctors, if we hadn’t lost him, the other two children might not have made it. Amazingly that time, I was actually able to focus on the positive outcomes and not be angry. I guess I had learned to trust God, and the prayer group gave me the support to get through.
The rest of the pregnancy and delivery were not easy. I had to be admitted to the hospital briefly when I began leaking amniotic fluid at 21 weeks, and was then put on bed rest at home. I began having premature labor at 26 weeks and developed gestational diabetes. I was put on Terbutaline and followed very closely, and at 28 weeks, I received steroid shots for the boys’ lungs, just in case they came too early. At 30 weeks and two days, I went into real labor. I was admitted to the hospital, and my water broke before we could stop the labor. I had an emergency C-section, and the boys arrived, each weighing just over three pounds. They spent seven weeks in intensive care, and we spent many days and nights praying for them to survive. Praise God, they did!!! They are now 2 years old and thriving!!!
I am still a part of Miracle Mothers group, and I pray for other women going through the same struggles I did. This prayer group is wonderful, and you will find more support and information here than you could ever need. Thank you for taking the time to read my story, and I pray that you find the strength and courage to see you through even the hardest times!