Valerie Ashcraft ~ The Pain of Infertility {Story 24 of 30}

Sometimes it’s surprising how one single horrific event can greatly impact one’s life.

During Spring Break in 1997 my innocence was stolen and a threat on my life was made. In solitude, I carried the pain and shame of what happened, and that was too much hurt for a young woman to endure. To cope with this trauma, I began self injuring.  While cutting was painful, it was easier to deal with than the emotional hurt.

Because of this self-destructive streak, I ended up in some very unhealthy relationships and became both a figurative and a literal punching bag. I had absolutely no self -worth, no faith, no hope.

I was lost in the darkness. Anxiety, fear, and pain were the only normal I knew.

Finally in 1999, I met a new friend who I would eventually marry. God placed Michael in my life when I needed someone the most, and in reality, he saved my life. Although the anxiety attacks didn’t stop, my everyday fears became more manageable.

With Mike’s love and support, I was able to stop cutting. We married on October 19, 2002, and it was the best day of our lives to that point. Our life as newlyweds was like any other couple… we were contagiously happy, moved into our first home, and began planning for our future.

In September of 2003, I began having lots of abnormal bleeding. I could cope with the bleeding, but the pain accompanying it was the worst I’d ever felt. I finally gave up my stubbornness and sought medical care in January 2004. After many tests and procedures, the doctor diagnosed me with moderate-severe endometriosis. He advised us to start trying  if we wanted children because my reproductive health could not be guaranteed. We were absolutely shocked; we’d been married for 14.5 months, and while we were planning to have children,  we’d planned to wait a few more years.

God had other plans for us.

So we took a leap of faith. We started trying for a baby. Weeks turned into months, months into a year, year into years. We sought medical interventions, paying completely out of pocket because fertility diagnosis and treatment weren’t covered by our insurance.

Finally a success… I got pregnant! Sadly, that happiness didn’t last long. I lost that precious babe. More months and years went by with multiple successes and failures.

I became angry, bitter, confused. Both my faith and marriage were compromised. I felt so lost.

Then, in 2010, an answer to prayer. Our amazing son was born. He came to us in a way that had God written all over it. Although I was not able to carry him myself, I couldn’t love him more than I do. Sean is our miracle boy and for me living proof that God does exist, which is something I’m ashamed to admit  I questioned through my infertility battle and pregnancy losses.

Since Sean’s birth, we have continued trying to expand our family. We’ve added more pregnancy losses and failed adoptions to our story. We have no idea what the future holds, but through the highs, lows, and in-betweens, we take one day at a time and do our best to trust in God and the path He has for us.

Sometimes it is so hard to comprehend why things happen the way they do. But each day offers new opportunities and life experiences…most when we aren’t even looking for them. The bond and relationship I have with my husband and son are so intense and beautiful partially because of the suffering and pain leading up to them. My boys are my life.

I’m incredibly thankful God gave me those gifts.

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Valerie lives in Heath, Ohio, with her husband, Mike, and her son, Sean.  She lives her dream daily as the full-time mommy to Sean.  Valerie’s passion is educating others about  and supporting those struggling with infertility.  Some of her journey through infertility, loss, and parenting can be found at www.thebabyquest.com.  You can connect with her at rayne1120@gmail.com or on Facebook, Valerie Sullivan Ashcraft.

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Infertility is a topic near and dear to my heart.  I have witnessed the pain and heartache that comes from both infertility and miscarriage.  I have found myself asking more than once, “Why, Lord, are children born into abusive homes when I know a safe, loving home waiting for a child?”

Some days “His ways are not our ways” is too hard to accept with our hearts even if we know it in our heads.  But, we know God works all things together for good. We know He loves each baby…each of His children… each of us more than we can even fathom.  We are each fearfully and wonderfully made, and He knows the number of hairs on our heads.

Yes, He is in control; He is sovereign.  In that, we find rest and peace.

Today, I am asking you to pray for those who want more than anything to be moms.  Those who are infertile, and those who have miscarried.   Thank you, Valerie, for sharing, for raising awareness about this issue, and for supporting those walking this path.

Comments

  1. Valerie, this is a beautiful reminder of how we grow and change in some of the flat-out worst parts of our lives. God doesn’t always explain Himself to us, nor does He have to, but He always shows up. You reminded me today that we just have to have eyes to see Him in everything. Thank you for sharing, sister!!

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