This month we will be sharing several stories of infertility as part of our Give Grace campaign. We hope these stories offer encouragement, hope and a reminder that you are not alone. We believe that every story matters. No matter how short or long you have faced this struggle, your feelings are real. And we mourn with you. I am so excited to share our sweet friend Ashton's story. I hope it blesses you in a big way!
In March of 2014, my husband and I found out we were pregnant. We were ecstatic, took a ton of pictures, and surprised our parents with the news at Easter. I remember painting “Baby Bynum arriving November 2014” on six little onesies for our parents and siblings to open when they arrived at our apartment. There were many tears and hugs; our baby would be the first grandchild on both sides of the family.
A week later at my nine-week appointment, the doctor was unable to find our sweet baby’s heartbeat. There were tears and hugs at that moment too, but from sorrow rather than joy. In the days following the news that we had lost our child, we had so many questions and decisions to make, one of which was whether I should have surgery or let the miscarriage happen naturally. Initially, I wanted to allow the process to happen naturally, but I found myself living in fear of leaving the apartment. With prayer and advice from my parents, we decided to move forward with the surgery, which was actually pain free. I wonder sometimes if I would have had more closure by experiencing the physical pain of losing our child. Throughout those first few months, I often cried spontaneously. I didn't know I was capable of producing that many tears.
After a couple months, we started trying to conceive again. We thought it would take no time at all since we got pregnant in the second month the first time we had tried. I thought that becoming pregnant before the due date of our first child would resolve everything. Then I could say, “We wouldn’t have sweet Sally if I had carried our first child full term.”
Months passed and nothing happened. Right and left, sweet friends were finding out right they were pregnant. I couldn’t have been happier for them, but I always questioned the Lord, “Why not me?” Unsuspecting coworkers playfully asked when Daniel and I were going to start having kiddos, and I just smiled and shrugged my shoulders. My story wasn’t something I felt comfortable just casually throw into a conversation.
In November, Daniel and I mourned the month we would have brought our child into the world. Though the Lord still hadn’t blessed us with a child, I felt a sense of relief. I think the Lord gently let me know that becoming pregnant again wouldn’t take away the pain of losing our first child. A pregnancy couldn’t compensate for our loss. I had put so much hope and longing in conceiving before our previous due date, hope and longing that really belongs to the Lord.
As Daniel and I approached the year mark of trying to conceive, we started thinking about infertility testing. I actually had a positive pregnancy test in February 2015, but it ended up being a chemical pregnancy, which occurs when the fertilization process starts but doesn’t complete.
In April of 2015, I had my first infertility appointment. My first series of tests came back normal. It sounds strange, but I was hoping they would find something so that we could pinpoint the problem and correct the issue. I went in for more tests a week later, and those also came back normal. My doctor suggested I take a pregnancy test a few days later; if it came back negative, we would start the next round of infertility tests. Of course, I assumed it would be negative. Normally, after I took a test, Daniel and I prayed while we waited for the results. This time I didn't even tell Daniel. To my surprise it came back positive!
I shared the news with Daniel and we both felt the same way. Unfortunately, the only experience we’d had in seeing a positive pregnancy result eventually led to heartbreak. I had three blood tests in the following weeks to watch my levels. Everything looked normal at that point. During my sixth week, I had my first sonogram. My legs felt like tree trunks as I waited in the sonogram room. The last time we had been to see our child’s heartbeat, there was none. To our great joy and relief, we saw a sweet little flicker on the screen. I have my next appointment today. I am eight weeks along. I am so fearful, but I know that the Lord is before me. All I can do is pray and trust in the Lord. I am begging Him to protect our sweet child, but I will love and trust Him no matter the outcome.
If I’ve learned anything throughout this past year it is that Jesus is enough. Jesus is more than enough. In this world He is the only sure thing. How amazing is it when we don’t have to wonder whether our souls have been saved? How amazing is it when we don’t have to wonder whether we will spend eternity in heaven. Jesus has paid the cost for our sins because of nothing we have done or ever will do. I am hopeful for this precious child growing inside me and pray that we get to kiss those sweet cheeks, but I know that if we don’t, God will sustain and carry us through whatever lies ahead.
We want YOU to join our Give Grace movement! If you'd like to share, email us your name and mailing address and we will send you our Give Grace tattoos. We are asking you to share a picture wearing the tattoo and telling people what grace means to you + how they can get involved. You can also help raise money for families' journey to a baby by purchasing one of our Give Grace prints. Look for the + sign to know which ones give back.