October has always been my favorite month. The sun is closer to the earth, the leaves crunch under your feet, and candy is acceptable to eat all month long. I can remember as a child, raking leaves in October and filling up those jack-o-lantern trash bags to display in the yard, not realizing that our parents were tricking us into working by making it fun. That seems like such a short time ago. Time seems to slip away so quickly.
One of my favorite things to do is look at old photographs; real, 2 dimensional photographs of old family memories. Seeing how we have all changed over the years, but yet many aspects are still the same.
My Granny holding me, notice the two rolls of film on the table.
Sometimes when certain moments happen I tell myself, "we are all going to be just a photo album some day." Moments that pop in my head are lying next to my husband in bed on a Saturday morning with my head on his chest listening to the unmistakable rhythm of his heart beating. The thought pops in my head reflecting on the love I have for this person, and how alive we both are. Then, "we're all going to be just a photo album some day."
The hardest part of looking through old photos lately is the fact that we didn't have any children yet to take part in this. No photos of them coming home from the hospital. No first birthdays, no adorable Halloween cotstumes, no sitting on grandpa's lap around a table full of home cooked southern food. Who would our photo album go to? Would it be left to our nieces and nephews, or maybe even end up in a thrift store.
The truth is being childless is extremely difficult. Things that are so happy for most people can be excruciatingly painful for those who are desiring a child that will not come. Simple holidays such as Mother's Day become a day of dread, even laying down on Christmas Eve night brought endless tears knowing that there is no little one to wake up and find the joys that Santa Claus left under the tree. Meanwhile the whole world is sharing their joys in your face in the world of over sharing social media that we currently live in.
Shannon and I have been trying to have a child for 4 and 1/2 years now. It has been a tough journey to say the least. We have suffered through 2 miscarriages, endless amounts of doctor visits, every fertility test you can possibly have, and mounds of heartache.
This past April we decided to try clomid again with a trigger shot(yes, I gave myself a shot in the stomach, this is how bad we want a child). All that happened was tons of cysts on my ovaries, and still no baby. We waited a few months for the cysts to go away so we could begin this vicious cycle again and once again, same story; all cysts no babies. At this point I decided to take birth control to help reduce the cysts. I had just started my new job teaching art, and didn't quite make it to the pharmacy on time so decided to skip the birth control.
About this time we get a phone call from Shannon's sister, she is frantically crying and Shannon is preparing himself for the worst when she utters the words "I'm pregnant." We were over the moon, in that we never thought she would have children, so this was an extra pleasant surprise for us. I remember leaving right after to head to the grocery store and it all hit me in the parking lot. Tears begin to uncontrollably fall when I realized once again what a thief infertility is. It does not only steal your joy, but also the joy of those around you. Having a baby is something to rejoice, and the fact that she dreaded having to share such amazing news broke my heart. I began to think to myself over the next week that things may not be in the cards for us to physically have a child of our own. I broke down one night and shared my feelings with Shannon, stating that I just didn't understand what God was trying to teach me anymore.
I have this incredible devotional titled "In the Wait" by various authors , and I read a verse
"But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind." -James 1:6
This is exactly what I was doing, asking God for a child, but doubting he would provide as soon as the desire left my tongue.
It was a Sunday when I realized that I was late. I snuck to the dollar store about once again spent more money on a pregnancy test. Shannon was working in the shop, and I sat in the car before getting out and I remember telling the Lord that all of my faith was in him that it was going to be positive, and that he was going to provide a child for us. Well, it was. We waited in fear to share the news for a while. I had to have numerous scans to make sure everything was progressing well. There is not a day that goes by that I am not thankful for our trials. Shannon and I are so incredibly thankful for this child and we will try our best to never take it for granted. Our hearts still feel connected and go out to all of those struggling through infertility. It is such a difficult road.
So far everything is great, I am 13 weeks along, and grateful for every second. To all of those that have shared your stories with us, and prayed for us, thank you. It has helped get us through our struggles.
Baby Brantley due May 6th (one day before our 6th anniversary) 2017.