Harry’s story goes back about ten years. Yep, ten long years.
When I was a little girl (I promise the story doesn’t stay here for very long), I wanted to be a teacher and a mommy. When I graduated from high school, I was headed to UT Austin as an education major with a long-term boyfriend. Almost there…? Nope. (Phew.)
That summer, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Disease – chronic cysts on the ovaries. Over time, PCOS can greatly lessen a woman’s chances of getting pregnant. After several months of ultrasounds and painkillers, I was put on birth control in order to “preserve my fertility.” Though I know this is a common practice for women on PCOS, I had no desire to be on The Pill. My struggle was both health related and spiritual. I didn’t like the idea of hormones being put into my body to manipulate it and more importantly, I struggled with how me taking birth control was me trying to manipulate God’s plan for me. After about 6 months, I kicked it to the curb.
The next several years were spent trying to not think about it. I wasn’t close to getting married, or sexually active, so I told myself to just trust in His plan. I allowed myself to think through the options in the case of fertility struggles.
I processed through fertility treatments. Since being a mommy starts with being pregnant, I wondered how necessary this was for me. Of course I wanted it. But why? Because this was the only way to have a baby or because I had it set in my mind what being a mommy looked like? I started to look around and though I knew it would be hard; I also took a look at the foster system in the US. I looked at all the kids without a stable home or family unit. I even looked at how many parents wait for a baby versus the number of older kids stuck in the foster care system. It’s appalling. Again, I TOTALLY understand why couples go through fertility treatments and why people wait for a baby to adopt, but I wondered if I was being called to be a mommy to those other kids, to the ones nobody else wanted.
I didn’t come to any conclusions on this, I just processed. After all, I wasn’t close to getting married.
Then I met Matt. Our story will come later but you must know, it isn’t easy to tell this to a guy you’re interested in. How do you bring that up? “I love your hair like that! Oh, FYI…I’ve been told I may not be able to have babies. Which movie are we going to see tonight?” It actually ended up being forced out. See every once in a while I’d get weepy over all of it. I may have been blessed with perspective, but not without hormones. Every so often I would have the pains that were associated with a ruptured cyst, reminding me of it all. One night, about a month into dating, I felt such pains and on came the emotions. Matt was there and it all came tumbling out. As I closed my eyes, waiting for an awkward, “oh well…that’s really upsetting”, I instead got this: “this world will not be deprived of a beautiful mom…perhaps only of beautiful babies.” Um…that was unexpected. And wonderful.
So I married him. Not right away, that comes later. But I pushed the fertility thoughts out of my mind. They were not yet relevant and my future Baby Daddy was on board for whatever God’s plan was for me, now us.
Oh and in case you’re wondering, I was a semester away from being a certified teacher before I switched majors. Yep, I like to make a plan and then change things at the last moment. You’ll see that happen again.
Part I ends with a photo of how Matt and I ultimately decided to handle fertility in our marriage. More of that next Monday.