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Gwen’s Story | A personal post about infertility

Posted on January 29, 2014

My Four Year Pregnancy

I was pregnant with Gwen for 4 years.

Of course, not literally growing her inside my body for 4 years, but I was completely pregnant with the idea of her for three long years.  For three years, my husband and I struggled with secondary infertility.

We have two sons who are 19 months apart in age. I had hoped to add a third child to our mix pretty quickly after our second son was born. My mother had 3 children in 3 years, so I naturally expected my timetable of family growth to adhere to that standard.

It did not.

After the first year of trying I was mildly irritated. So I prayed more. Shared my irritation with God that My Big Family Plan wasn’t going the way it should.

After the second year of trying for a baby, I became that friend you call to gently break your pregnancy news to before it hits Facebook.  Ouch. Though I appreciated every call and was genuinely excited for every friend, I still hurt inside for myself.

I saw my doctor in the second year and she gave me a list of things to try: gain weight, lose weight, charting, basal temps, vitamins, homeopathic therapy, acupuncture, checking CM (if you know what this is, my heart is with you sister!), jump starting my cycle, etc., etc. There wasn’t anything really ‘wrong’ with me that they could find. I was super healthy, a normal weight, blood work was normal, a favorable personal and family history of fertility… At this point, trying to have a baby was starting to take some serious time out of my life, and romance out of my marriage.

And then we hit the third year… Still no baby and still no answers why I wasn’t pregnant.  Some friends that had a child in year 1 or 2 of our trying to get pregnant were calling me with news of another pregnancy… I couldn’t handle it. Outwardly I behaved with grace and excitement for my friend but inside I felt red, hot pokers jabbing me in the belly over and over and over. I am a woman! This is what I was made for!  I am trying so hard and doing ALL THE THINGS.


I began to cry out to God in the night, silent tears slipping down my cheeks. Inside I was screaming with rage and hopelessness. I blamed God. Blamed Him with awful language one minute and pathetic begging the next. I tried reasoning with Him, being ‘extra good’ to earn His favor, and bargaining.

None of it worked.

I did Metformin and Clomid for months. I had a prayer team. I was warily confident.


My husband and I had an agreement: We would try for a third baby until I turned 30. Then we were done. My 30th birthday was approaching quickly. It was September, my birthday is in February. I finished my last round of Clomid/Metformin that fall. When I took my, what felt like, 900th pregnancy test and received a BIG, FAT, N-O red line, I hit a mental and emotional wall. I was done. SO done.

No more drugs. No more charting. No more doctor’s appointments and scheduled romance time. 157 weeks of preoccupation and stress was all I could handle. 1096+ days of tearful prayers was enough for me.

I gave it up to God.

I was so, so tired of this burden of infertility. I had to set it down and walk away from it. I remember praying one night for God to take this burden and all these desires from me if it wasn’t His will for me to hold onto them. I was tired of yelling WHY? and instead was pleading with Him to just take it away, I’ll be obedient. I’ll do Your plan, God. Not mine. I give up on my selfish plan.

He took the burden away.

Life returned to normal. I went on a mission trip to Roatan, Honduras for two weeks right after Thanksgiving. I returned to the US and our family had a wonderful Christmas. Sure, every once in a while I thought about wanting to be pregnant but I didn’t have an overbearing, blinding need to be pregnant.

January 25, 2013. 16 days before I turn 30.

It was a Friday. Jeff and I were home alone in the early evening because our boys were still at school. It was about 5PM. I realized maybe it had been a while since my body had done its thing… One pregnancy test left, why not give it a whirl? It was just going to go to waste.

It was a cheap dollar store pregnancy test (when you take multiple tests a month, you learn where to get them cheap!). The results were… questionable. I couldn’t remember if I wanted one line, an X, a smiley face… what result did I WANT?!

I had to run to the other end of the house for the directions.

It was positive.


We rejoiced. Praise to God, praise to Him! Thank you, Lord it is positive! 3 years of so much struggle, and after I had completely given up, and just 16 days before our cut off, we get the news to expect baby number three!

One year ago today, we announced the pregnancy with the following very well received video:

But that wasn’t the only answered prayer in store for our family.

My grandmother, Beverly, whom I was very close to, had cancer during this time and was not seeking any further treatment. She died February 12, 2013. Just days prior to her death, I was able to share with her that I was pregnant and that if it was a girl, we would name the baby after her. The last genuine smile I saw come from my grandmother was in knowing that she might have a namesake.

It was a girl.

I was pregnant with a girl. A GIRL. We already had 2 sons and my heart yearned for this sweet baby girl. My grandmother would have her namesake, my heart would be full. And it was. SO FULL. My pregnancy was easy, a dream.

We welcomed Gwendolyn Beverly on September 16, 2013 in the early morning. She was perfect. IS perfect.

She is living proof of the Lord’s grace in my life. She is my blessing. The missing piece in our little family, the missing piece in my SOUL.

During my pregnancy, several photographer friends blessed my family with photography to document this amazing journey:

Sarah Cornish of My Four Hens Photography photographed us half way through my pregnancy, in May 2013.

Kaitlynn Marquis of Creo Photography did a maternity session for me in July of 2013.

Sarah Vasquez of Hope & Memory Photography photographed Gwen’s birth.

Brigette Schaffarzick of Penguin Pictures blessed me with a maternity session in August and a newborn session in September.

Sarah Sweetman of Sarah Sweetman Photography blessed me with both a family maternity session in August and a family newborn session in September. She is also photographing Gwen periodically during the first year of her life.

You can see some of their completely amazing images below.

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And here is a little video of Gwen and one of her brothers at 3 months:

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