I have contemplated this moment for such a very, very long time. And finally, though we’re still rubbing our eyes in awe and disbelief, here we are.
I picture every woman I love and know, as well as those I don’t know, who are waiting for their babies or who are recovering from loss and disappointment right now. How do I do this without causing pain when I have had to sit through so many moments like this one myself and know how much it hurts?
Like every other woman-in-waiting, I have imagined this moment so very many times over the years: the birthdays, Christmases, family occasions, wedding anniversaries, surprise speeches or quiet moments of revealing our exciting news. I have daydreamed about how this might take shape and wept as the seemingly never-ending cycle of disappointment made a mockery of my plans.
I have been on the receiving end of announcements-without-consideration which have wounded us deeply (for we can be a sensitive bunch in this uncertain time), as well as the unexpected gentleness of those who have gone out of their way to soften the blow of their good news. I have done myself proud and rejoiced with others, and I have cried bitter tears of longing and jealousy. I have spent hours with friend after friend contemplating how to embrace the news of another’s pregnancy with a heart full of pure joy, and yet right to the end of our waiting I felt I never really cracked it completely.
I published my first blog post in 2015, two years after we started trying for a baby. I had been writing ‘offline’ for over a year by then and started to feel a growing need to give a voice to quiet or hidden couples, bravely enduring this struggle without knowing how to explain their experiences. For me, this first post is still the one that encapsulates the deep chasm of infertility the most clearly. These experiences have made me who I am today, even as my heart is filled with a different clutch of emotions now.
So many, many women have gone ahead of me in this, many of whom have done their own long years of mourning, waiting and hoping. I’ve watched countless women come and join me for a time before finding themselves pregnant and leaving me behind again. As I leave the waiting room behind me and find myself in the sweet, unchartered territory of pregnancy and impending motherhood, I keep my thoughts on every woman still waiting her turn. I see you and I am cheering you on. I may have become part of what some call the “it’s alright for you now” group as I have crossed over to the other side, but it doesn’t change my view. I have faith for your children just as I have clung onto faith for my own, and needed those around me to breathe their words of faith on me when I faltered. In Psalm 145 it says, “The eyes of all look to You in hope” and I stand with you, I pray with you, I glorify God with you, as we place our hope in Jesus for our miracles, for our healings, for our future families. He is so trustworthy.
It might sound strange, but I decided to draft parts of this particular blog post while we were still waiting to get pregnant. I know that might seem odd, but I felt I needed to locate this moment in a place which recognises the deep, deep pain of yearning – a yearning that has marked me – scarred me, even – for life. I understand that for some women, putting these difficult years behind them is the best way to move forward. For me, infertility has changed who I am and my relationship with God so completely (for the better, I think) that I would not choose to forget all that we have been through. It might be “alright for me now”, but I shall never behave like a woman who conceived easily or who takes this amazing gift for granted because that is not my heart nor my testimony. And I pray I never become insensitive to the longing of those still waiting.
I also wanted to write in the waiting as a prophetic act, a faith act – to remind myself and anyone reading this – that anything is possible, not just for me, but for you too, because it really is true: nothing is impossible for God. I wanted to make that declaration of trust once again, even as I waited and hoped and believed that my time was coming. As our hopes and dreams turned suddenly into reality recently, we have seen even more how true it is that nothing is impossible with God. He heard the cries of our hearts and He has answered with this miracle, and we are in awe and wonder of His faithfulness, mercy and goodness.
This baby belongs to so many faithful people who have been praying for us and standing with us over the years. We will never have enough words of thanks to offer those who held up our arms through the dark days and who carried on believing God’s promise for us when we wanted to give up. I know who you are and I pray God blesses you as you have blessed us over and over again. When I think of all the hours I have spent with sermons, books, podcasts, Christian music and time spent listening to wise voices urging me on, I know this is a collective victory – a victory in which some will never know the part they have played. This is heaven’s hallelujah. This is a team celebration. And what a joy to celebrate at last!
In the days after our IVF embryo transfer in June, God led us to these verses below from Isaiah 41:
“I will open up rivers for them on the high plateaus.
I will give them fountains of water in the valleys.
I will fill the desert with pools of water.
Rivers fed by springs will flow across the parched ground.
I will plant trees in the barren desert— cedar, acacia, myrtle, olive, cypress, fir, and pine.
I am doing this so all who see this miracle will understand what it means –
that it is the Lord who has done this, the Holy One of Israel who created it.“
We have been through enough over the last five and a half years to recognise the careful, compassionate, unmistakable fingerprints of the Father all over this beautiful miracle. “All the promises of God are ‘Yes’ in Christ. And so through Him, our “Amen” is spoken to the glory of God”.
My announcement here today is my baton of breakthrough and I am passing it to you now. Grab faith and run towards your promises. He will not fail you.
Helena!!!!!!!!! I can’t tell you the joy I felt when I read this post, and what a beautifully sensitive way to write it. It is true that you never forget the pain of infertility – I will always be aware of what others are going through, but you have walked this difficult road so gracefully and honestly, that it is a time to celebrate the answer and the arrival of your promise now. Every road is different (as we used to talk about so often) and timings are so different so thank-you for sharing it so wisely and beautifully. I am sure that all your followers will feel happiness for you in this new incredible season. You are blessed because you have held on…not just bc your promise is here, it is truly a blessing to suffer then find freedom in Christ. Love you girl and so happy for you and Joe xxx