Today I am testifying to encourage, to inspire and to motivate. This is not a testimony to say that I’ve been perfect and ticked all the boxes nor, is it a map on how to get your miracle. This is a testimony to prove to you how perfect God is despite your imperfections. It’s a testimony that shows how God always navigates your way even when your own map doesn’t show a through road.
When you get married, it’s natural to expect that you’ll get pregnant from the first touch. It’s the natural progression, the assumption, the expectation. It seems as though from DAY 1 of Mr & Mrs, there are Baby Watch Patrollers, positioned at every public and private event, armed with enough questions to put CSI, FBI, Scotland Yard and the MET to shame. And for a good 4 years, there was nothing to report. Of course, you hear of people who struggle to have children but, you never imagine that it would be you. I used to dodge discussions about babies and instead busy myself in all kinds of activities.
In 2011 I became more determined to get to the bottom of our fertility issues. I went to the GP who ran various tests and examinations. He sat across the table from me and shook his head.
‘You have loads of fibroids’ he said abruptly. I immediately wondered whether he’d left his Doctorate in Bedside manners at home. I left with a heavy heart. A few months later, hoping for a better colleague I went to a gynaecologist whose report was also negative; in addition to the fibroids I also had Poly Cystic Ovaries. I was upset and worried but, I was encouraged by the faith of my husband and my family. I am grateful to God that they pointed me to look to God and not to the diagnosis of the doctors. We remained hopeful and in faith we picked the names of our children. Little did I know then, that our faith would be tested once again.
After trying for a little while longer, we met with a consultant who advised us to have a laparoscopy – an operation to investigate what was causing the delay. My consultant was expecting that he might have to tweak a few things during the operation so, he wasn’t prepared for what he found and neither were we.
In April 2012, my consultant told me that I would never be able to conceive naturally.
Both my tubes were blocked and filled with fluid. We were told that even if I did get pregnant, that it would be difficult to continue the pregnancy as the foetus could be poisoned from the liquid in my tubes. The doctor explained that the condition could also have been the reason I had been suffering from sporadic pain. That’s a day that you don’t forget easily; I remember walking down the corridor of the hospital, holding my hand over my mouth to stop myself from screaming, I remember looking at my husband feeling incredibly sad that he’d married a woman that didn’t ‘work but, most of all I remember the guilt.
I felt incredibly guilty. Constantly recounting reasons why this was my fault. I would have flashbacks of things that I’d done, things that I’d said. My past mistakes would haunt me when I’d shut my eyes at night. I began to feel that somehow, I was serving a lifetime punishment for my sins. The dream of someone calling me mummy someday seemed further than it had ever done.
Until, one Sunday, when there was an altar call at church. It was specific, Pastor said that ‘there is a woman here that feels that their past is preventing them from getting pregnant’. I knelt down before God, knowing that he’d heard my plea. A dear friend said that the Holy Spirit never condemns, he convicts and equips. In those few moments before God, the Holy Spirit healed my heart and I felt empowered to move forward. The sins of my past may have come to visit but, God’s awesome love was there to stay forever.
In the following months, we made the difficult decision to have my tubes removed. We knew there was no going back and that if we wanted to get pregnant it would have to be through IVF. Fully aware of how expensive the procedure is, we tried to explore getting treatment on the NHS but, there were so many delays as they kept misplacing vital blood tests and paperwork. God was faithful and money started coming from random sources. We went ahead with our procedure and praise God; on our first attempt I got pregnant.
During my pregnancy there were a few glitches; right at the start I was rushed to hospital in an ambulance whilst teaching at school (the kids had never seen an ambulance on the playground!), I started bleeding at 3months and was told that it could have been a twin pregnancy. At one point I was told my babys’ heart had stopped beating! God was faithful during those times and he was faithful right till the end. During a very labour, my babys’ heart rate was in distress and so I had an emergency c section. To the glory of God, my son was born, alive and well. I prayed for a happy baby and I couldn’t have gotten a happier one.
I was reminded the other day of how far I’d come. To some – 5 years of waiting isn’t that long – but I think 1 day is too long when you’re desperately waiting for something. You never know quite how badly you want something until you have to wait for it. I know that there are women who have been on this journey longer than me, there are women whose path hasn’t been as straight forward, I want to encourage you. God hasn’t forgotten you. The doctors may have their diagnosis but God has the final result. Keep painting that picture of the family you want to have.
Recently I’ve been reflecting on my life and I was reminded that there was a point in time I thought I wouldn’t get married because I didn’t think anyone would want me. And here I am with a son. I don’t believe I was lucky nor, do I believe I did anything special. In fact, my walk with God could definitely do with some improvement. All I know is that God’s love to me is absolutely, undeniably, without question – unconditional. Even better is that, his unconditional love is not just for me; his absolute, unquestionable, undiluted, undying love is for you too. It’s the love for the lost, broken hearted and disappointed. When you come to a full realisation of it, there’s no doubt that it gives you boldness and confidence, it makes you complete. He loves you so much that he takes you as his child and showers you with all the same gifts that a son or daughter should have.
My son is further proof to me of God’s undying love; it’s like God’s promise of his unconditional love and kindness is asleep in the cot right next to me every night. So, if you’re reading this and you doubt your worth, I’m here to tell you that you’re worth it. Not because L’Oreal said so but, because God said so. He said it when his Son was falsely accused and persecuted. He said it when his Son wore a crown of thorns. He said it when his Son was beaten mercilessly for a people he would later show mercy. He said it when his Son hung on the cross pleading for our forgiveness. This testimony is not just about getting pregnant; it’s a testimony of God’s unfailing love.