Blog,  Personal Story

Our Infertility Struggle and the Quebec Connection

We had been married four years, and we were more than ready to have children. No one goes into marriage believing they’ll ever struggle to have children. It’s something that happens to someone else. A statistic out in the ether without any personal consequence. Until you become apart of the statistic and the rosy colored glasses shatter unwillingly to the ground.

It had been four years of tests, prescriptions and questions, when I was finally diagnosed with endometriosis and given a 5% chance of ever conceiving without medical intervention. It was a daunting statistic that defied my human understanding. Five percent? What was even the point of giving that type of statistic? While I was happy to finally have answers, I wasn’t happy with the options. I could look at myself in the mirror and see nothing wrong. How could my body betray me like this?

My doctor referred me to a fertility specialist in Jacksonville, FL and we began the grueling process of IVF in the Autumn of 2015. The procedures, the appointments and the shots were daunting and not for the faint of heart. I admire the strength and endurance of anyone whose went through the process, especially multiple cycles. It’s not only physically difficult, but mentally as well. The hormones, the desperation, the sadness and the anger all wrapped up inside my brain were hard to manage. But I held out hope, because this was the lifeline I felt I needed. The IVF would work and I just knew it.

The first round of IVF failed.

I found out on February 9, 2016 that the treatment hadn’t worked. It was absolutely crushing, and I can still recall exactly where I was when the doctor’s office called to give me the news. I was driving home from work, stuck in traffic next to the KFC (of all things to remember). I answered their call, and the nurse tried to be as positive as she could be, considering the news she had to deliver. I was able to keep it together for a few miles, but once I was away from the traffic, the tears started to flow.

When I got home, I just wanted to get into my pajamas, lay on the couch with my favorite blanket and cry till my eyes couldn’t produce anymore tears. This had been our last hope. Why had God chosen this path for me?

Unfortunately, our church’s Flourish event for women was that same afternoon. To say I didn’t want to go was an understatement. I had no obligation to go, I told myself, and no one would miss me. Every fiber of my physical being wanted to resist, to stand planted firmly in my living room. But my spirit was pushing me forward, and despite feeling emotionally unable to go, I made myself. I freshened up my makeup, and dried my tears in the car with the AC on full blast (I live in the South… it was still really warm). Pretending that everything was fine was an expertise of mine (still can be).

I said a few quiet hello’s, and flashed a quick smile as I made a beeline for the darkened sanctuary. I sat by myself near the front, avoiding eye contact. When the band began to play I stood up and started swaying to the music. I’m not much of a singer, but for whatever reason I started singing along, my eyes lifted to the words on the screen. And that’s when I physically and mentally let go of the struggle. In that moment I wholeheartedly prayed to God to take the struggle from my shoulders, because it was too heavy. The burden was too much and I needed my Father to take it, because without Him it was threatening to crush me.

No more holding onto the pieces of my heart and future as if I had the ability to make what I wanted to happen. The tears started to roll slowly from my eyes, and I felt the heavy burden to physically lift from my soul.

At the end of the night I felt so much lighter than when I had come in. The lights went up and I gathered my things. To my surprise one of my good friends was sitting in the row directly behind me. She reached over the chair and embraced me in a long hug. I couldn’t help, but cry (something I don’t like to do in front of anyone) and she just held me in an embrace. I had never told anyone about our infertility struggle, yet somehow it felt like she knew exactly what I was going through. Even more confirmation was her telling me she understood and the tears rolled faster. That was a beautiful moment I’ll never forget.

During that night at Flourish in the midst of the singing, I heard plain as day God say to me, “Be still, I’ve got this.”

To say I didn’t still struggle or have to constantly remind myself of this truth would be a lie, but I clung to His words and held them in my heart. Because I didn’t walk away from Flourish and find out I was pregnant a week later. Yet every time I felt my heart begin to fail, I knew God had heard me and I knew whether he gave me a baby or not, that his plan was good and more than I could ever imagine.

I told myself over and over again that just because the world says it’s impossible, doesn’t mean it’s impossible for God. If it was meant to be, no diagnosis could stop God’s plan. And if a baby wasn’t in His plan for us, then so be it. I was finally to the point I was okay with whatever the outcome.

After the failed IVF, we were immediately offered a new IVF cycle, assured the chances of success were always statistically higher on the second round. I was tempted and we almost went ahead, but God had told me to “be still” and I was determined to be obedient.

Instead of pursuing another IVF cycle, we took the money we had set aside for it and spent it on a trip to Quebec, Canada. Why? Because about a month after the night at Flourish, again I heard God speak and he said “go,” and that was a much easier directive for me, because I love to travel. Okay God, sign me up!

But why Quebec? Because my mother-in-law had said so…haha.

We had invited on our trip (she and my parents routinely traveled with us), and I had given her a couple different options. She easily said “Quebec,” out of the choices (Argentina, Asian cruise or Quebec).

It sounded a bit crazy to spend our money on a vacation, but looking back it made perfect sense. By using that cushion money, we were letting go of any “fall back” plan, because once the money was gone…that was it. We were committing to trusting God completely. I’m also very thankful to have a very supportive Christ-following husband that jumped on board with my fanciful dreams of Quebec and a willingness to follow what I knew God was asking of us. That’s something I love dearly about him.

Quebec City, 2016

After our adventures in Quebec, we came home and we found out that I was pregnant, naturally.

Despite the grim worldly odds, we were expecting a baby. My due date was February 7, 2017…a couple days shy of a year of when I found out the IVF had failed. We were ecstatic not only to welcome a new family member, but the extraordinary daily reminder our child is that nothing is impossible when we let go and we fully trust God.

“But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”- Matthew 19:26 (ESV)

Quebec wasn’t a coincidence either. It wasn’t a mere roll of the dice in the possibilities. God had a very specific reason for why we went there. It’s played a big part in our lives since that first trip in 2016, and continues to since that first fateful trip (despite Covid-19 halting our plans a bit).

I’ll be discussing our deepening “Quebec Connection” in future posts and how the province plays into our plans for the farm and for our future.

First Daughter born in 2017
2nd daughter born in 2019


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *