My Twin Sister’s Story

* my Twin Sister, Holly, decided it was time to share part of her life story. I’m honored that she wanted to share it here.

Fear, Infertility and Blessings

I just want to begin, by saying that my story is pretty typical. I didn’t know how prevalent Infertility was, until that word was a description of me. I am sharing this story because I was encouraged by others being open about their infertility.

Fear

If you had asked me when I was 15 what my life would look like at 35; my description would have included kids, a husband and probably something about my work (design). At some point later in high school, I started to worry that I wouldn’t be able to have children. Not a lot, I probably never even said anything to my Twin Sister – to whom I told everything and pretty much still do, but I worried about it and went to the Doctor. Of course, she said everything was fine, and so I went about my life, dreaming and praying for my future husband and children.  

Fast forward to five years after Chad and I were married. I was 33 and we were trying to start a family. We decided to try for a year or so and see, in the mean time, I was charting and keeping track of things I never kept track of before, and finding myself very sad once a month. We decided to take the next step, which meant lots of Dr. visits, make you crazy medicine, blood drawn at every appointment, two very uncomfortable failed IUI attempts, more doctors and eventually exploratory surgery – all of this to find out that, I was the problem. I was now 36 and my body couldn’t make the connections; I could carry a baby but not conceive. Oh man, here it was –the thing I had dreaded since High School. I couldn’t have a baby and I was in shock. It took a while for me to process; I went for a drive and remember when the feeling of Guilt hit. I was that Woman, the one that people feel sorry for when they see her out alone. I know, because that is how I felt about women I knew – Oh, I loved them, but I felt sorry for them. I didn’t want to be the pitied woman, in fact, I hated that! I wanted to be thought of as sturdy, gentle, creative, funny, and well … a Mother.  

I came home from that drive (all sobby) and told Chad how I was feeling; I was the reason he couldn’t have kids and I felt horrible. I am very blessed, because he said the perfect thing to me and helped me see that we were in this together – He is the best!

Here we come IVF

Our Dr. is a close friend and knew how badly we wanted children. I felt sorry for her, because she was the one that had to tell me what was wrong with my body and if we wanted biological children then the next step was IVF. So, we made an appointment with our Dr. in Birmingham ( Dr. Cecil Long) and started the uncomfortable process. It took longer than usual to complete a cycle because I kept getting sick (you can’t have over a 99 deg fever) and they would stop the cycle, put me on birth control pills for a month (which seemed like a joke) and then we would have to start the process over again. Finally, we were able to implant April 15, 2014 and that Easter Sunday I felt my first ever pregnancy nausea – I was 37.  

I just want to say that I have a really great Boss, because this must have been very difficult on her and my work. I was gone to the Dr. often and I was probably not very fun to be around (eg. Hot Flashes). Hormones can make you crazy! I would be in the grocery store going up and down the aisles, not feeling particularly sensitive, and see a woman with her baby and start to tear up. I would try so hard not to cry, but I couldn’t help it.  

It’s not as hard as you think

In High School I loved to journal at night before bed with my Bible, but when I went off to college I got out of the habit. Instead of writing all the stuff, I started just writing the high points or when I had an interesting dream. I think the Lord encourages and councils us in many different ways and for me sometimes it is through dreams. I also want to say that not all my dreams are poignant; sometimes I think they are just because I had onions for dinner. Before I was pregnant, there were a few different instances where dreams were given to me for encouragement, etc… One dream was that I was pregnant, which I wasn’t at the time, and I was laying in bed at home fully clothed; I sneezed and had the baby – down my pant leg! I woke up concerned that I wasn’t prepared to be a mother, but later after I felt more prepared, I remember feeling encouraged that maybe this having a baby thing wasn’t going to be as hard as I thought. I don’t think that dream crossed my mind again until after our girl was born. Friends and family came to visit at the hospital and when asked about the birth experience, I remember being surprised to hear myself say: “It was easier than I thought it would be”. Disclaimer: I’m an epidural girl.  

Fear is a Liar!

I think some may look at this excerpt of my life and say that the fears were founded – I did have trouble conceiving. I learned through the process that my fear was not really “What if I can’t have children” but more like “ If I can’t have children, I am afraid it will challenge my faith and my view of God’s love for me – what if I can’t handle that.” The answer to that question is certainly Fear is a Liar. I am so thankful to God for this life we have been given and I know now that even if we didn’t have our little girl, I am still a daughter of the King, adopted into the Kingdom and loved with an everlasting love.  

Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

  Holly Hawkins

Fear, Safety & Love

MORNINGSUN
I’ve come up against some new issues these last few days. Well, one issue in particular. I’ve asked God about it and prayed for understanding. How can I live out love without extending so much of my heart that I’m in danger? Is it possible to remain indifferent and still love others? To be fully neutral and be what God asks for us to be? To be unaffected by someone else, even the most limited of acquaintance?
I know what I would tell a friend – I’d say no. If you are going to love the way God calls us to love, you are opening yourself up to others. Walking past another and not extending them grace ( a smile, a kind word ) is not neutral, it’s negative. The kind word costs nothing (unless you are keeping a record of your kindness and expecting a return on your investment). Right now the passage in Luke 27 is running through my mind: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” This is Jesus response to the questions, “Teacher, What shall we do to inherit eternal life?” So, it seems it’s very important, eternally important, to love your neighbor as yourself.

The possible danger of rejection is nothing when weighed against the true measure of Love. (see Romans 5:8)

So, I’m convicted. It seems that I’ve let fear creep in, put lipstick on it and called it safety. I’ve exchanged love for comfort.

P.S. – to temper the comments above, be wise and listen to the Holy Spirit. Jesus said in Matt 10:16, “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.”

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