By Jill Power
My husband and I had been happily married for ten years when we finally started talking about having children. We spent those ten years traveling, spending time with our friends, and enjoying life together. I was an elementary principal, so I was getting my kid-fix daily. Something about turning 30 spurred my husband on to ask me if I was ready to start a family.
Being the planner that I was, I stopped taking birth control pills, started timing my cycles, and wrote everything down on my planner. I’m a perfectly healthy 32 year-old woman, I would tell myself. I should be pregnant within a few months. Each month started with hope, and each month ended in tears and desperation. Why wasn’t I getting pregnant?
Like any woman does, I believed there was something wrong with me. I underwent every test known and they all revealed the same thing–nothing was wrong with my system. My husband would then have to be tested, and the results were shocking. His sperm count was zero. ZERO.
Let that soak in…
Through all of the testing and procedures my husband underwent, we learned that a hernia surgery at the age of six months left him unable to conceive children without serious medical intervention. In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), more specifically Intro Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), was our only option. Sperm from his body would have to be extracted, separated, and injected into each viable egg that was retrieved from my body. It was a risky process, and one with a hefty price tag.
Our relationship with each other, and our faith in God, was really pushed and strengthened in those difficult days of hormone injections, trips to the fertility doctor, and hope in God’s plan for us. We were so excited to get pregnant on the first round of IVF, but I miscarried a few weeks later. Devastated, God surrounded me with loving women who too had suffered the same tremendous loss.
Two more failed attempts, and the only thing I could do was lean in to God and lean in to my husband. I changed the way I prayed, and began believing that God would bless us with a family instead of hoping that it would be so. In my journal I started writing, “Thank you, Jesus, for the babies that you are allowing to grow inside of me.” Just two weeks after I wrote this statement, I found out that I was pregnant with triplets.
While we were so happy, we were terrified because we had no idea what to expect. Our faith and reliance on God grew exponentially during this time. For the first time in our married life, my husband admitted this was a situation he could not control, and thus he surrendered control to God. Although we were surrounded by family and friends, no one really understand what we were going through. Well, no one except God…and He was there every step of the way. He heard our prayers. He gave us strength. He comforted us through a roller coaster pregnancy, delivery, and 7 weeks in the NICU.
I am utterly overwhelmed, and constantly amazed, by the wisdom and foresight of our God. Even more, I am so thankful that He loves me enough to provide help for me in the midst of life’s storms. “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” 2 Corinthians 1:4 (NLT)
And here’s the goose bump part….a couple in our hometown was recently pregnant with triplets. Although we did not previously know them, we were introduced by a mutual friend. They came over to our house, and we poured into them—we answered their questions, we eased their fears, and we prayed with them. And we could not have done that for them if God hadn’t first done it for us.
My brother and sisters in Christ, where has God comforted you that you should now provide comfort? I pray that we allow God to use those difficult times in our lives as a way to help others. Put your arm around that person God put on your heart and say, “Hey…I’ve been there…”
Jill is a wife of 21 years, mom to triplets, teacher, cook, laundry do-er, and amateur veterinarian to her precious diabetic Lab. She loves to travel with her family, watch football, and write about her love for Jesus. Jill firmly believes in the power of ministering to those around her. Ultimately, she’s just a small town Texas girl trying to make a difference in the world. You can read her blog at www.jillcpower.com or follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/reachforjesus.