It took seven years, but I guess I needed a little more than a push to share my story. I love to write, but it’s only made it’s way to stacks of journals and private posts that strangers weren’t meant to see.
So, *dramatic pause* why. exactly. am. I. doing. this. now? I have gone through 5 early miscarriages, and I feel that my journey to motherhood may not be as uncommon as it was before, especially since there has been greater awareness on reproductive immunology, but there is no lack in trying to find hope where it’s available, every woman who has ever walked into a doctors office with a folder of test results will understand what I’m talking about. I’m sharing this now to give hope to women who are still waiting for their turn.
This was written in 2008, after my first miracle daughter was born.
2 pink lines…only 2 months since we decided to start a family and there it was. It was the most wonderful news I couldn’t wait to deliver. We were excited and I dreamt up a hundred creative ways on how I’d share it with my family, but I didn’t even get the chance, because I lost that pregnancy only a week after.
Dismayed, yet eager to fill up that void, we decided to try again after a few months. When I found out I was pregnant again, there was more anxiety than excitement for fear of yet losing another pregnancy. I was right. I lost the baby at 8 weeks. At 8 weeks, you can see the baby’s heartbeat flickering on the ultrasound. The baby had an irregular heartbeat and the doctor said it would not survive. The only course she said, was for us to wait for the heart to stop beating before she could remove the embryo. Her words felt so cold, like it was just something that needed to be done and nothing more.
I went through the operation, she had me take a pill, then after a few minutes, the pain was immense, the contractions were almost unbearable, and then I blacked out. I had nothing to look forward to. There was no baby to take home. I was depressed, alone and frustrated. I locked myself up in my room and I cried and I cried. The fact that several other friends were also expecting made it even more painful. I shielded myself from the pain by removing myself from anything baby related, baby showers, pregnant women, friends and children’s parties.
I would not accept the idea that I couldn’t have children, it was my dream. After many tests and doctors visits, I was diagnosed with an immune condition where my body did not know a pregnancy when it happened, and it recognized the growing embryo as a form of cancer, so it naturally wanted to expel it. My body produced antibodies to attack the growing embryo, until it couldn’t survive. I became diligent in seeking answers, pouring over every forum and reproductive immunology book I could find. I put my faith in doctors, and followed every course of treatment until they told me I was ready to get pregnant again. I did, only to lose it again at 9 weeks.
I turned to traditional Chinese medicine, which only made matters worse. By the time I finished all the herbs and acupuncture treatments, I couldn’t get pregnant, by this time, I felt angry, empty, hurt and lost. I was going through a bout of depression. The only thing I had was my career, and I had to put this on hold to undergo all these time- consuming expensive treatments. I was losing time at work too, which resulted in disagreements with my boss. We had already spent close to a million pesos on tests and medication, and I felt like I was losing control over my finances, my work, my life.
At the risk of sounding like a cliche, it really is the darkest before the dawn, when I look back now, I understand why my life’s events unfolded the way it did. He was preparing my heart, for the wonderful blessing I was about to receive, but in His own time. We make plans of our own, but God always has plans greater and far better than what we want for ourselves. He is more powerful than anything we can ever imagine. God brought me to a point where I had no choice but to trust in Him.
He wanted me to just surrender, to let go, and know that when I did, He would be there to catch me. It was God’s hand that moved when I met up with an old friend who invited me to her Bible Study group. I was hesitant, but I thought I’d give it a try. I suddenly realized how little I knew about God despite going to a Christian school. I began seeing God in a different light, more than just a provider and a healer, He was my Heavenly Father, a father who really, and truly, cared about me, and He wanted only the best for me. I thirsted for a deeper understanding of God and His word, and the more I heard, the more at peace I was.
I convinced my husband to go to church and attend Bible study with me, and we started praying together. God changed my heart, It was as if I had already received what I was asking for. I was suddenly waiting expectantly, claiming His promises and moving in faith. I could finally celebrate other people’s seasons. I stopped going to the doctors and decided that if God really wanted to bless me with a child, he would in his own time.
My relationship with my husband grew stronger; While we waited, we prayed and fasted. Blessings started pouring in, our cup overflowed. My husband and I were both promoted in our separate workplaces, and we were able to travel to different parts of Asia and Europe all in one year. We started investing in a small business, and we were able to buy our first brand new car. Little did we know that God was taking care of our finances in order to prepare us for what was coming ahead.
When we came home from Europe, I was very surprised to find out that I was pregnant. The schedules didn’t match, plus, I was already having difficulty getting pregnant again. So, after several miscarriages, 4 to be exact, it was difficult for me not to feel afraid and anxious all over again. The doctor put me on bed rest, and on so much medication that I felt like a pin cushion with all the injections I had to go through. My tummy was so heavily bruised, it looked like I was beaten. Friends prayed and fasted for me, every time I was afraid, I would claim his promises and pray for protection for me and the baby.
This word was revealed to me and I found much comfort in it : But the Lord says, Do not cling to events of the past or dwell on what happened long ago. Watch for the new thing I am going to do. It is happening already- you can see it now! I will make a road through the wilderness and give you streams of water there. (Isaiah 43:18-19)
My husband and I prayed together everyday; we asked friends and our pastors to pray for us, and every single uneventful doctor’s visit was a miracle. and finally, on April 23, 2008, Catreese Jillian, or “Catie” was born, a beautiful and healthy baby girl.
My rainbow after the storm, God’s promise to me had come to pass. God is truly amazing. As I write this, I am currently 5 months pregnant purely relying on God’s grace, free from any treatment or medication. Proof that anything is possible with God, and miracles can still happen. But I will bless the person who puts his trust in me. He is like a tree growing near a stream and sending out roots to the water. It is not afraid when hot weather comes, because its leaves stay green; it has no worries when there is no rain; it keeps on bearing fruit. (Jeremiah 17:7-8) Fast forward to today, I have 3 wonderful girls aged 7, 6 and 17 months, each pregnancy is a different story to tell, and the journey of trusting and letting go is a continuous process. My husband and I continue to rely on God’s grace to be able to steward them well. To love them is to make sure that we are able to examine ourselves, and not just our children, to be able to keep learning and growing, as they learn and grow themselves.