Well, here I am - finally emerging from a long (and needed) hiatus! So many things have happened since I lasted posted: we kissed summer goodbye, cherished this fall's extra bright foliage, welcomed lots of students into our campus ministry family, turned 29 (okay, that's as of today), endured countless doctor appointments, prayed and cried and prayed some more, and finally, and I mean finally, got pregnant!! I spent the majority of November and December in a state of delighted shock and happy-exhausted-nauseous-but-crazy-happy haze. As the reality of this little miracle sets in - it's hard to even begin to express all that my heart wants and needs to. I'm fairly certain that this post will turn into a series...so prepare yourselves...but also know that I won't be offended if you don't want to follow along.
That said, today, I'm not really going to discuss the journey or the process or the heartbreak - I'm going to start at the end; I'm going to begin with the rejoicing.
We found out we were pregnant earlier than we should have...mostly due to my own impatience. I caved and took a pregnancy test (much to my husband's very-wise and very-careful dismay). I day-dreamed of positive pregnancy tests and plus signs more times than I care to remember but there was never a time where we even came close to a positive. It was all stark-white pee sticks for us (sorry, TMI). The first positive brought equal parts shrieking (on my part) and cautious optimism (on J's). We were worried that it could be a false positive due to some medication I was taking so I sent a photo of the test to two friends who had experienced a similar infertility journey. Both texted me with so much enthusiasm I thought my iPhone might explode like a Galaxy Note. A teeny flame of hope began to light in my heart.
The next morning, I woke up before the sun, heart racing, and took another test. Still. Positive. This flame started to become a full-on fire at this point. I told the only person sure to give me both an accurate - albeit emotional - response: my big sister. Let's just say that when she saw those pink lines - there was zero heart-guarding going on. All the tears, all the joy, all the shock, all the relief. Watching someone you love accept the news that you can't quite believe is the best, most surreal feeling I can describe.
Two agonizing days (and an election) later, we went in for a blood test. Around noon, the nurse called with the results and we listened - stunned - as she told us what we longed to hear.
"You're pregnant!" she said, with a huge smile in her voice. We thanked her profusely (through the tears), got off the phone, and Jesse and I just held each other weeping and asking each other if we believed it. I'm not quite sure if we did. We thanked God through the shock and basked in the miracle.
The next few days were filled with sharing the news with the prayer warriors who stuck by us through our darkest days. Seeing their eyes light up, tears stream down their faces, and all of the finally happy prayers -- humbled us in a way I can't describe.
Romans 12:16 says, "Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn." I think most of us know this verse by heart but I never saw it truly come alive until we faced infertility. Just like I day-dreamed of a positive pregnancy test and just as I still dream of this sweet, sweet baby -- I also dreamed of finally telling people that God heard their prayers on our behalf. I longed to see my faith and the faith of our community become sight. I had a feeling it would be special - but nothing could have prepared me for the outpouring of love Jesse and I received as we shared this news.
When you wait as long and as publicly as we did, there are moments of so much exposure to the struggle and your own weaknesses, that you're tempted to wonder if it's worth it. However, yet again - God taught me that vulnerability breeds closeness like nothing else. So many of you (that I hardly know!) prayed for us, shed tears for us, and have since rejoiced with us. Each of you have built my faith in indescribable ways. Through you, I dared to believe that God sees me, that God hears me, and that God cares about what I care about. After all, if we as sinful humans can have so much compassion on one another - how much more does our Father in Heaven long to "satisfy our desires with good things" (Psalm 103:5)?
For those of you still waiting, still mourning, still longing - you may not realize it - but you have a community at your disposal who longs to be there for you. Many of you have waited longer and through more trying circumstances than I can begin to imagine - and I cannot and will not pretend to truly understand your pain - but I can promise that God sees you too, he loves you too, he cares about you just as fervently, fiercely, and fully as he cares about anyone else. I hope that the story of our answered prayer gives each of you hope. I long for the day when you too experience the gift of sharing your good news, only to see your own celebration reflected in your friend's eyes.
Here's a little video I made of some of the responses I got to witness :) And there may be a little announcement at the end that's worth waiting for...
All our love and all of our gratitude,
Photos courtesy of Fergie Medar Photography