I met Priscilla through a mutual friend in our TTC days. She had been trying for a few years longer than I, and she was one of those wonderful people who encouraged and inspired me. She agreed to let me share her story
Getting pregnant didn’t come easy for us. What I thought would happen at the drop of a hat actually took us 4 years! And we were both young. I was 28 when we married, and my husband was 34. We were also relatively healthy, and had never had any major health issues, nor anything to indicate that we might have issues conceiving. Right from when were dating, God had been the center of our relationship, and we held on to Him in this trying period. But after a while, I just felt so stretched and overwhelmed…in every aspect of my life…in my spiritual life…in my physical body…in my mental and emotional health. I also struggled with hard questions with God! I kept asking him “God, why is it taking so long?”, “Why can some other people fall pregnant so easily and we can’t?”. Why? Why? and more Whys?
Shortly after our wedding, my husband was transferred to Germany. The relocation messed up my cycle. At the time, I had no idea why this was so, because I had way more regular cycles before we moved. So in the beginning, I thought, “Well I just have to sort out my cycles and everything will be fine”. After a year of irregular cycles, I finally went to see a doctor, followed by another doctor, and then yet another. I was sent for endless blood tests and was monitored to find out the cause of my irregular cycles. Eventually, I was diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), a hormonal imbalance that causes irregular cycles and poor ovulation.
I proceeded to read more about it, and was consoled by stories of a popular celebrity (a former member of a girl band, and now a fashionista, married to a footballer), who apparently also had it, and had gone ahead to have 3 healthy children at the time (and later had a 4th). So I wasn’t too worried. This was until I was prescribed Metformin for my PCOS, which gave me migraines, made me vomit incessantly, in addition to all sorts of unpleasant side effects. It took months before my body could adjust to this medication, all with the hope of regulating my cycles. But alas, my cycles were still NOT regulated after taking this medication.
So, we proceeded to see a fertility specialist, and finally both of us were checked. Truth be told, I always thought the “problem” lay with me. But it was discovered that my hubby had issues too! He was diagnosed with low sperm count, as well as a bacterial infection. So he was placed on his own treatment plan, which involved medication (antibiotics inclusive), vitamins, and diet changes.
Whilst all this was happening, I found myself really struggling. I didn’t know anybody in real life who struggled with the same issue. And somehow among Christians, infertility felt like a taboo topic that nobody talked about! It was like you weren’t supposed to have infertility if you believe in an Almighty God, who’s able to heal and bless. We certainly believed in God. And we believed in His promises that He would bless us with biological children. But as we stretched ahead in our TTC wilderness, our faith started to wane. I knew that I had to garner support…spiritual support, and also lots of prayers!
We confided in family and very close friends back in Nigeria, and I made many new friends in Germany, who became like sisters-in-war with me. I got to know other Christian friends (online) who were open to talk about this issue and was connected to other couples who’d “been there, done that”.
I THANK GOD truly for these gems. If not, this journey would have been the loneliest and toughest one I would ever had to go through. But it wasn’t always rosy. Sometimes, I would share my struggle with infertility with other couples who were also trying to conceive, but they would never share their story with me. It sometimes made me feel like we were the only ones struggling with this issue, but I was quickly consoled by the people in my support system that were willing to share, talk, and encourage.
Eventually, my cycle became regulated after being on Metformin for close to 18 months, and I was placed on clomid for a few cycles. I didn’t ovulate on a lower dose, but did when this dose was increased, and I was placed on progesterone suppositories, in addition. My husband’s infection had cleared at this point, and his sperm count, though much improved, was anything but perfect. So, even though I was ovulating now, we didn’t get pregnant. On the 4th clomid cycle, my doctor and I agreed that I would move on to injectibles if the cycle failed again. Even with the good news of a phenomenal improvement in my husband’s sperm quality (count, motility, and morphology), that cycle, I was well and truly fed up. I didn’t even bother with my usual temperature charting or ovulation predictor kits (OPKs). My mind was already focused on the next cycle, when we would be changing strategy. When my period was delayed, I was afraid that my cycle had gone out of whack again, and delayed taking a pregnancy test for several days. Eventually, on Christmas Eve 2010, I gave in and took one…and we got a wonderful Christmas surprise!!! Our beautiful son was born in August 2011!
When our son was almost a year old, I wanted to see if I was ovulating on my own. I decided to track my cycles, before seeing if I wanted to go back to the Fertility clinic for clomid. I wasn’t even sure what day exactly I had ovulated, that first cycle, as I had 3 positive OPK results in a row. And my husband and I only had sex once! Imagine my shock when I realized I had pregnant!!!! After almost 4 years conceiving my first son, his brother was conceived in the first month of a weak attempt at trying!
I’m so thankful that God heard our prayers, and the prayers of our friends and family who all saw our desire to have kids of our own. And this testimony will not be complete without my sharing some of the key lessons I learnt!
I came to the realization that infertility is not a sin. And there is nothing to be ashamed of. God is God in the middle of everything. Everything. During our journey, I realized so many women of the Bible struggled with infertility. Hannah. Sarah. Rebecca. And they poured their hearts out to God. And their stories are there for the entire world to read in the Bible. So likewise, I poured my heart to God, and He came through for me!
Thanks so much for allowing me share this, Priscilla. God bless you and those two gorgeous boys! I hope this story is able to serve as a source of encouragement and inspiration to someone out there!
Baby dust to all!
Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Photowitch