Trey and Rachel

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Trey and Rachel just had a baby. His name is Everett and I saw a picture of him on FB today. It made me so happy and giddy for them. You might be questioning whether I’m truly happy for them, given our infertility struggle…and let me tell you why my heart is overjoyed for this particular couple.

Rachel is one of the best friends I’ve ever had, if not THE best. During the last three years, Rachel has sought me out to talk with me, journey with me, cry with me, laugh with me and help me sort through things in my journey. We have had countless white mocha lattes at the Barnies which is a stones throw from each of our houses. We have cried in Barnies, laughed…gotten to know this super adorable Barista,and talked about everything going on in our lives. She watched me go through fertility treatments, and gave me shots monthly. Rachel is a nurse and I trusted her to stick a needle in me. We joked that she would be integral in helping me get pregnant. I cried when she had a miscarriage, and she cried with me every month I got a negative pregnancy test. One month, the drugs were affecting me so negatively that I couldn’t stop crying. She was so concerned that she drove over with makeup only on half her face and she cried with me. My pregnant friend, put her joy aside and got down in the dirt and muck and mire of my life and cried with me.

Rachel has journeyed with me.

I remember when her and Trey and Rob and I got together for yogurt one night by our house. They told us Rachel was pregnant and I was so happy for her. They told us immediately, as in the day after she took a test. I remember everything about that. They were gentle in bringing the news to us, because they knew. They had watched us ache and cry for our own baby. And I cried on the way home that night, but I felt blessed to journey with Rachel too.

Yesterday, Rachel and I were texting. I texted her this on my way to work.

Rachel Text 1

A few hours later Rachel let me know she might be in labor.

Rachel text 2

On my way home I actually stopped by Trey and Rachel’s house. She was having contractions and in pain, and Trey was getting things together. I will be forever grateful for this 15 minute glimpse into what it’s like to start the labor process. Because, it might be the closest I ever come to experiencing something like that. A few gems from being a fly on the wall in their house was Rachel calling Trey an idiot for something…we joked that he would have a lot more of that to look forward to when Rachel was giving birth. But my favorite thing that was said came from Trey:

Trey: “Rachel, I think if you just rest the contractions will go away”
Me: “I’m pretty sure that once the contractions are 4 minutes apart, it’s go time. I don’t think they’re going to stop.”
Trey: [shoulder shrug] says something to the effect of he is new at this whole thing
Rachel: [logging contractions on an iPhone app] “Trey was this app free?”
Trey: “no”
Rachel: “why did you pay for an app?”
Trey: “This is serious! We’re having a baby. I think we can pay for an app”
Rachel: “Yeah…ok” [chuckles…has another contraction]

Wow. I can’t believe I was a part of that. I left and told them I felt blessed to be a part of their journey…but this was a special time for them and I needed to bow out.

Rachel text 3

I loved every update. I loved waking up to a text from Rachel from 2:24 a.m.

Rachel text 4

I love this couple. And Rachel…she is the definition of friendship. Taking the time to be sensitive to an infertile friend and to journey with them, I imagine might be tough. It’s rocky. But Rachel has been a rock. She has always been there for me. So yes, I am genuinely thrilled for her and Trey…and I’m heading to the hospital as soon as I can!

Two and a half years ago

Two and a half years ago I thought being pregnant was the only thing that mattered. I was consumed by it. It also didn’t help that I watched over 50 COUPLES get pregnant and announce it on Facebook…but who’s counting. I ask myself how come 100 people were able to become parents, but not us?

Let’s back up though. How did we get to two and a half years later? Well, in Jan/Feb 2009, Rob and I thought it would be a good time to start our family. After 6 months, of negative pregnancy tests, I thought something might be wrong. We decided that if after a year of trying, we hadn’t conceived, we would go to a fertility clinic.

Cue February 2010 and our first visit to a local fertility clinic. We had a myriad of invasive tests and questions we had to face. Six months of appointments, drugs, the last month which included an injection in my tummy…we still got a big fat negative.

The cost of treatment was getting to be too much, not to mention the emotional, physical and mental drain on your body. Infertility can be used by Satan as a foothold to get between you and your spouse. Rob and I have been completely open about this with one another and our close friends. When you’re both striving for something whole heartedly and it doesn’t happen you can get disillusioned and it causes you to have some serious introspection. “Why doesn’t God want to bless me in this way? How come all our friends are pregnant? Why do I feel like no one cares?”

If you’ve never had to go through something like this, it’s hard to really understand how it feels. Resolve, the National Infertility Association, compares the struggle of infertility to that of a cancer patient. You deal with the loss of self esteem, loss of security, loss of control, loss of anticipation–after so many negative results you just start losing hope. The biggest that goes unnoticed to “outsiders” is the loss of someone. Every month that is not a success, its like mourning a death…and then you have the loss of health/body image because you weren’t able to produce a life. All of these emotions can wreak havoc on a relationship. And I believe–I truly believe, Satan loves to use this struggle to come between husband and wife. You feel inadequate and the quiet whispers of “God must be punishing you…you’re not a real man or woman…your name won’t live on,” well, that can bring you down quite a bit.

So at the kitchen counter in July 2010, we looked at the monetary costs of another round of treatment…$2,000. (Did I mention insurance covers zero)? We discussed our emotions and we affirmed that NOTHING was more important than our relationship with each other and with God. And that this struggle was getting a foothold in our lives and that needed to stop. I cried all weekend, but I knew it was the right decision. So from July 2010 to September 2011 we didn’t do any fertility treatments. I had some acupuncture and did yoga for stress relief, but we put our biggest desire on hold for more than a year as we tried to sort though what God was trying to teach us.