Arian Moore's picture

With the state of our nation, I think it’s important that we search for commonalities that we all share. Even though this topic is often taboo or simply unspoken in most churches today, it is a topic that many of us can relate to; fertility and conception. We fall in love, get married and the baby in the baby carriage is quite naturally the next step, right? For some, but for many women, the road is not so easy.

Why me? So many women ask that question. This is not something that anyone should go through alone.

I remember jumping up and down in excitement after taking the pregnancy test. We were expecting our first baby. A trip to the doctor confirmed those results. After four years of marriage we were ready, it was time. At that moment, I fell in love with the tiny life inside of me. We immediately told our family and friends and would later regret that. Within the next week or so I had already signed up for baby mailings and diaper coupons. About two weeks later, I lost that baby. All I remember is being told, “No heartbeat.” The loss was overwhelming and I grieved hard. The sheer sight of diaper commercials would bring me to tears. And all I could think of was why me? So many women ask the same question.

The fact is about 17% of pregnancies result in miscarriage in the U.S., 12.1% of women have impaired fecundity (problems carrying a baby to term) and 12% of women have used some sort of infertility service (CDC). So, while many women and couples share this struggle, many do it alone. But this is not something that anyone should go through alone or be ashamed of. To shed light on the journey to conception despite miscarriage and/or fertility issues, I interviewed four moms whose stories of victory exhibit expectancy, perseverance and faith. Hear their stories, be inspired by their victories.

 

Natalina da Silva

When l finally gave up "trying".

“My husband and l knew that we wanted children so we decided not to protect against pregnancy.  I noticed that my cycles began taking longer and longer to show up. Eventually it stopped coming for months at a time and later even years. After four years I was diagnosed with PCOS (poly cystic ovarian syndrome). While I took the medicine given to me for some time, I eventually gave up and we decided to adopt. The adoption process was put on hold when I learned that my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. Another three years passed by and all of a sudden, I got pregnant.  When l finally gave up "trying" and left it up to Gods will, it happened.”

 

 

 

 

Michelle Glasgow

My faith definitely played a huge part in my pregnancy.

“I tried for about 7-10 years to conceive. I did not have a regular cycle so it was hard to actual 'try' with things such as ovulation calculators and such. My cervix wall was also very thin. Doctors suggested that I was infertile and that if I did conceive that I would not be able to carry the baby full term. The gynecologist suggested that I try a medication to force my body to have a menstruation cycle. Not really for the purposes of getting pregnant because they weren't sure that could happen but mainly so that I could have a monthly cycle for other health reasons.

Regular routine is to take a pregnancy test prior to taking the medication. This test was obviously negative. I took the medication and was expected to receive my period within two weeks after taking it. After 2 weeks went by and nothing happened I contacted the gynecologist who suggested I come in and take some tests to check my hormone levels. I then received a call that I was 9 weeks pregnant! That explains why the medication didn't work. Unfortunately, I miscarried the baby due to taking that medication. I actively tried to conceive again but after 2 more years of trying, right when I was about to give in and take the medication again I got pregnant with my son.

My faith definitely played a huge part in my pregnancy. I believed God that I would have a child but after every negative pregnancy test I began to get depressed and lose hope. When I miscarried the baby, I was extremely mad at God. I thought, how could God give me something I wanted so bad and then take it away. I then realized that God doesn't give us more than we can bear. Perhaps that child would have had serious complications due to the medication that I was taking.

God is a good God and He works everything out for our good. I decided to let go and let God. I finally realized that there was nothing I could do to make this happen. I stopped trying. I stopped checking every month and after a month or 2 of just resting in the Lord, I learned I was pregnant. After having my son, I wanted to be a better example for him in terms of a healthy lifestyle. I lost 100 pounds by exercising and being more conscious of what I eat.”

 

Kimberly Carter

God had given scientists the ability to perform this miracle.

 

“A year went by with my monthly cycle becoming less reliable but no double line on "the test." One day I started feeling very bad- abdominal cramps. I went to my general practitioner, showing all the signs of appendicitis- tenderness, elated white blood cell count. On gut instinct, I called my OB and explained my symptoms. They performed an internal ultrasound, that is when I received the diagnosis of PCOS- poly cystic ovarian syndrome. We underwent 9 cycles of clomid (a medicine to stimulate ovulation) that resulted in an ectopic pregnancy and 3 chemical pregnancies. Thankfully, the ectopic pregnancy was diagnosed very early and I was able to save my Fallopian tube. The chemical pregnancies were the worst! The test shows positive but there is actually no fetus. The roller coaster was relentless and clomid is a beast! I was then put on a drug called femora- it is used to treat breast cancer, but can also cause ovulation. That was a last straw for me. I decided to self-prescribe a specialist at that point. During all of this, I was undergoing a bevy of tests and procedures trying to figure out what was going on with my body, changing diets and medications constantly.

While we were trying to get pregnant, I had a very strict diet- no artificial sweeteners, limited caffeine, no alcohol. Having PCOS, I have trouble with my weight. I eat a balanced diet but still have trouble maintaining a healthy weight. All of the fertility drugs also have side effects. I believe that eating healthy ultimately did help in conception and having a healthy pregnancy.

We struggled seeing everyone around us get pregnant. I had trouble going to church because anytime there was a baptism I ended up in tears. I wasn't truly happy for anyone else because it was something I wanted so badly. I was on prayer lists across several states. I felt like God had abandoned me. My husband didn't know how to support me, although he tried. Each time my desire for a family outweighed all that we were going through, my faith would surface and I would remember that God has a plan for me. I knew that somehow, He would make me a mother. I felt that calling deep within my being. That kind of desire does not come merely from within, it is part of you.

When we finally came to the point where IVF was our last option, I struggled with it because it felt somewhat like we were playing God ourselves. We prayed about it- a lot! I finally came to peace and decided that God had given scientists the ability to perform this miracle. If this was meant to be He would allow it, if not then He would not. I also found peace about others having what I wanted so badly- A child.”

 

Antonia Sheel

Having a healthy lifestyle was one of the strategic keys the Lord gave me.

“Our journey to conception was a true faith walk and one that taught me so much about myself and about the Lord.  Prior to conceiving our beloved son, Judah, we had two early miscarriages.  This was naturally devastating and we couldn’t understand why this happened to us. After our second loss, I cried out to the Lord for wisdom and revelation on what was happening in my body and what I needed to do.  He answered and gave me very detailed instruction.  I meditated on scriptures day and night (some include Psalm 27:13, Psalm 113:9 and Psalm 107), read faith-based parenting books, and filled my ears with life giving messages. I also found key scriptures that spoke about me being a mother, and even spoke about my child. I wrote out a prayer for / about him and prayed over my child and body. Within three months I was pregnant with our super baby, whom we named Judah because the Lord truly filled our hearts and mouths with praise during the entire journey!

 

Having a healthy lifestyle was one of the strategic keys the Lord gave me. I thought I had a pretty healthy lifestyle - I worked out, ate "right" and had been consistent with that for a number of years and specifically the whole year prior.  But, I also learned to let food be part of “medicine” for complete healing.  I learned about eating the right foods to balance my hormones and I paid close attention to the kind of workouts I did and the supplements I took, including incorporating Chinese medicine into my protocol. That coupled with proper physical rest and finding ways to destress/ detox my body on a daily basis, played such a significant role in our conception.

 

Every time I hold my son, I realize that I am staring at a very real promise from the Lord. The manifestation of my faith – a truly good and perfect gift.  He is the picture of perfect health.  I attribute that all to the faith-filled preparation - both in the natural and spirit that the Lord revealed to me prior to conception and during my pregnancy.”

 

GOD'S HIGHER DEFINITION FOR FERTILITY

TIMING - TRUST - TAKEAWAYS

Conception and pregnancy is surely a faith filled walk and it will look different for each woman. The problem is that we want to be in control—we want what we want when we want it. And this is true for most things in our lives, but conception and pregnancy is one of those things where you learn who is really in control. After my first miscarriage, I learned a pivotal life lesson, that God is a healer, that He is sure to fulfill His promises –but in His perfect timing. See, God is not a genie in a bottle granting wishes. He is instead working things out for our good—we must trust in that. In her interview Antonia said,

The timing, the very season that Judah came was just perfect.

James1:4 says “Let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be entire, wanting nothing.” Be patient. Believe and know that God can and will bless you with a child. Pray, read scriptures and build up your faith.

Also, make healthy lifestyles choices which have proven to help with conception. Moderate exercise can increase fertility, so find activities that are enjoyable to you like Zumba or swimming. Healthy eating is important as well both before, during and after conception. Healthy fats from foods like avocado and key nutrients from foods like green leafy vegetables and lean meats are the way to go improve egg health. Pumpkin is a great fertility booster, try adding it to pancake mix or in a smoothie.

Here are some final takeaways from the moms that I interviewed:

Antonia - Praise God for His miraculous work in your life! It is a done deal. Stay in expectation and take corresponding actions. He will do it for you! He is not a respecter of persons. Don’t take offense if others are pregnant around you. Rejoice with and for them! Your time is coming! {Antonia has a passion for women struggling with conception, reach out to her at www.antoniasheel.com

Kim - You are not alone! I know that you feel like you are but if you slowly open up, you will find someone in your circle that has experienced some level of infertility. Don't close yourself off. Keep your faith during this journey and do not lose hope. Look for the blessings in your life.

Natalina - Even the impossible is possible, never give up hope or faith and believe that God is always with you and his plans are perfect

Michelle - Trust God. Don't listen to everything the doctors say. They are limited to science. God is unlimited. He is our source. It is in His hands. If the doctors recommend a treatment pray about and talk to your spouse about it first.


It is our prayer that these stories have inspired you in some way. Each of these women went through loss or trial in conceiving, but despite the testing they overcame by faith. Today they are living out their faith as moms and walking out their faith with healthy habits.

Do you have a similar story? Share your stories. Post a comment below.

 

This story appears in the Women's Interest and Enliven departments of the October/November 2017 issue of Faith & Fitness Magazine.

 

About the Author

 
  • Arian Moore's picture
    Arian T. Moore is the Enliven Department Editor for Faith & Fitness Magazine, where she brings focus to the unique African-American needs, opportunities and initiatives within the faith and fitness culture. She is a fitness/nutrition coach and writer. Arian is the author of Enlivened by Faith: Losing Weight with God’s Help. She also has a heart and a passion for lasting, whole marriages with the ministry, Make the Vow, Keep the Vow. Find out more at www.makethevowkeepthevow.com

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