Friday, October 19, 2012

I believe God can. I believe God will. And even if He doesn't, I still believe.

Please note: The intention of the blog is not be a "Woe is me, my life is tough, please tell me things are going to be alright" type of blog. It is coming from a place that is pure and honest. I know that it will help me continue to heal and have hope.

"Hi. My name is Ashley and I want nothing more than to be a mother to a healthy child."

The crowd responds: "Hello Ashley."

Although I am fully aware this is not an AA meeting or anything of the sort, I feel like I need to introduce myself to this new communication outlet. I think the best way is to start by admitting the number one desire of my heart and the reason I'm putting my fingers to work on this blog. As my heart races and my fingers shake, I know this weight I've been carrying around is best shared with the hope that I'll be able to help, counsel, heal, learn, and connect with others who have the same added weight.

Let's get a few things out in the open:

1. I am a Christian. I believe in God and His awesome ability to change my perspective and heal me through interactions with others, while still being present in those intimate moments of prayer. I'm a firm believer that Craig from Life Church delivers specific sermons during the most trying of times because of how awesome and loving our God is. Note: The title of my entry is from Craig and is now a mantra in my life.

2. I've got a ridiculously awesome life. I have the MOST amazing husband who is truly my rock, my strong foundation when I feel like my world is crumbling. Yes, it happens about once a month where I'm all Mopey McMoperson. (All the emotional women in the world raise your hand.)

3. I have a 72 pound, 2 year old, cuddly, golden retriever named Sierra who is spoiled and bossy, yet I wouldn't change a thing about her.

4. My family....sigh.....my family is beautiful, supportive, encouraging, accepting, loving...the list goes on and on.

5. Friends. Let's smoosh them in with my family. Anyone who knows me as a friend knows I love big and hard. It's not always the easiest to be close to me because I'm such an open book, and I use my friends as free counselors at times. I'm grateful for the friends who help protect my heart.

6. Teaching. I get to impact lives of children EVERY SINGLE DAY. (Well during the work week!) There is not a bone in my body that doesn't think that is probably one of the coolest things ever. I have high expectations for my "babies" to be successful, but I keep high standards for myself too. I'm not a great teacher, but I try hard. I don't do the coolest lessons, say all the right things, always react perfectly, or teach everything so well that my students will all get straight As. But I care a ton about my students and I take my job very seriously.

7. I'm so super proud of the place I work. The community that my bosses and coworkers have established is such a close knit group of people who seriously care about the well being of each other.

8. I'm honest and open to a fault.

The trying times of ... well....trying.

December of 2010 I was at Franchesca's shopping with Matt for an outfit to wear to my school Christmas party. Matt tells me then and there that he has been thinking about having a baby and wants to start trying that next September. OMGEEEE I got so excited. I want a big family and was just waiting for Matt to get to the point where little Ashley and Matt's running around the house sounded good to him.

We knew we didn't want to start trying right away so we put September 2011 as a date to get preggers. We listed baby names, talked about parenthood, planned some vacations to do before our family grew, went car shopping, discussed potential moving plans, spent time sleeping in, enjoyed being playful and silly..... and we dreamed....

October 2011 was the first month we made an effort to get pregnant. I seriously thought getting pregnant would be easy. After a few months with no results, I bought some ovulation kits to pee on every day. Romantic right? Those things didn't help. All they did was make me start obsessing about getting pregnant. With obsession came depression and questioning "why me?". I started to worry. I kept things inside. Times may have been tough internally but I kept a happy face, for the most part.

6 months in I got serious about finding out what we were doing wrong. Matt and I saw my regular OBGYN. She assured me I was fine but we would start running some tests to be sure there wasn't a problem. We started opening up to close friends and family about how surprised we were that it hadn't clicked yet. Everyone had an opinion. Try this, do that, just relax. We tried it, did that, relaxed.... nada.

Multiple tests later and lots of positive thoughts, everything came back normal. Each time we had a test, I expected to hear a result that would be an explanation for why we hadn't got pregnant yet. With an explanation would come a solution, right? Feelings of relief when the doctors told us everything checked out okay was the first flood of emotion, followed by anger. Yikes. Not good.

While Matt was encouraging me and helping me focus on how lucky we are to have the love we have, I didn't realize the spiritual war that was happening inside myself. Maybe I did realize it but I didn't want to go to battle. I started to shut out God, thinking "I've got this. I'll be in control of this. I say when." I still prayed about other things, just not the whole baby situation. It was mine.

June of 2012 I opened up to a good friend about how mad I was at God and how "I didn't even care". Talk about breaking His heart. Talking about it made me feel better so I mentioned it to Matt. It hurt him to hear that. Talk about breaking HIS heart. Two of the most important things in my life, were hurt by my negativity. Matt asked me to try and change my perspective. Man I love him so much. I told him I'd try....

That next weekend we went to a sermon that made an impact on my life. It was about putting things in a "God Box". Craig was talking straight to me. In a packed room via a television screen, He was trying to get me to wake up and prepare for battle. Much of my heart had been taken over with frustration, anger, resentment towards the happiness in others lives, and I didn't even care. Now Matt and God wanted me to change. WAKE UP ASHLEY!

I changed my perspective. I gave it to God. I let Him take it from me. I connected with people who struggled with infertility.

It's taken some time, some tears, some ups, some downs. I feel like I've been through the 5 stages of grief. I had to accept the problem and realize the problem didn't define me. I'm not ashamed. I'm not embarrased. Not anymore. Satan will not have that opportunity to get at me like that again.

Reading blogs from people who have been through infertility taught me that people often battle this alone. In silence. I don't feel like that is my story. I don't want it to be. It shouldn't be a silent group of people. We didn't do anything wrong! I would have NEVER chosen this path for myself. But, none-the-less it is. So I'm working on embracing it. I'm going to learn all I can so I can continue to heal and hopefully help someone some day.

I'm my own advocate. We recently saw a fertility specialist after a few rounds of Clomid proved ineffective. He is amazing and he gave me hope. I'm sure the road we are on will still have some twists and turns, but I have HOPE. I plan on using this as a source to document our journey to parenthood.

If you would have told me a year ago that I was in for a huge change, I would have told you "Duh, I'm going to have a baby in a year." No. But still my life has been changed. It's not all roses and puppies. There are bad days and good days. Who doesn't have those?

I've accepted that this story....is OUR journey. And you know what???? I'm not alone. Not in the slightest.


13 comments:

  1. What an honor it is to have you as a sister. You are so brave to share your story and I could not be more proud of you. Hugs and kisses to you and Matt!

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    1. I wouldn't be considered brave if I didn't have supporters like you!!!

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  2. I am so proud of you, friend! I wish I were as brave to myself out there. Maybe one day... Until then, know how thankful I am for a praying friend that loves me and is such an encouragement to me!

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  3. *to put myself out there... I should probably review before posting :)

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    1. Hehe!! You are so sweet. I cherish you!!!!

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  4. Brought tears to my eyes reading this. I'm sure you have read my rantings and frustrations over our PCOS and infertility struggles. If not to make a long story short 3 rounds of clomid, one very expensive unsuccessful iui at $2000 and 2 and a half years of less than passionate love making. I have always heard that children are a gift from God and I ask myself why am I so much more unworthy of this gift than people who don't even want there kids or others that even do. It's become so bad that at the news of someone's pregnancy I bawl. Not cry but sob. I ask why me. I know that someday it will be answered but until then I'm left feeling like a part of me is missing and my identity as a women is unfulfilled. I totally know what you are going through. It is a tough journey. Praying for you.

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    1. I don't know you, but I know your pain very well. I'm so sorry you have had to go through this. It's not fair. I'll keep you in my prayers!

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  5. I love you! Thank you for giving us all the opportunity to share this journey with you. It shows how strong and brave you are to share your feelings about everything when most people would not. I know you are helping someone who is going through the exact same thing you are but is scared to talk about it. Love you! Meredith

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  6. It is truly inspiring that you are so raw/open with your spiritual/physical struggles. This is what Christian communities everywhere should be doing, we can not pray for eachother if we do not know the need, so thank you for your example and honesty. Please know you/matt/future plans will be in my prayers. Something I heard from a preacher a while ago that has stuck with you and helps me often is "God will not protect you from something he can perfect you through." God is constantly molding and shaping us, and yes sometimes it hurts.
    On a side note...comment #6 is incorrect; you are a wonderful teacher-I have experienced it and seen how the students admire you.

    Again, Thank you for your courageous example, and I look forward to being a prayer warrior with you!!

    Katy (Sherman) McFadden

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  7. I have had the pure HONOR of calling your my oldest and dearest friend for 20+ years (my lord we are OLD!!!) and have loved you and respected you in every walk of life we have been through (and boy have we been through it!). As we grow older, it becomes more and more clear how much I look up to you and respect you more than I could ever put into words. I dont doubt for a second God is on your team and is going to provide you with the heatlhiest and most beauitful babies in HIS timimg. And I can't wait to love on them and love them forever! I have been praying for you since we first talked about your journey months and months ago. It will happen, and you will be amazing! I love you both!!!!

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  8. Dear A-Day ... I'm so happy to see you on here, but I'm so sorry to hear you're feeling defeated. I'm thinking very happy thoughts for you :) WELCOME TO BLOGLAND! It's a very happy place to be, I've been here for years and years now!

    xoxo ty

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  9. Ashley - I remember sitting across the table from you at Lauren's bachelorette party and you and Matt had broken up talking about how Brad and I had broken up. How faithful God was to each of us during those times! It took us a year and a half to get pregnant with our second (also nothing wrong) so I understand the the battle you're going through. I know God will be faithful to you in this too in his perfect timing. Will be praying! Thanks for sharing! It's definitely a battle not to be fought alone!

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