15 years ago my husband and I got married and started trying for a baby. We tried for a year and a half until I discovered that I was pregnant.
We were overjoyed, we immediately called our families and told them the wonderful news.
I was six weeks pregnant at this stage and two days after that I was faced with a threatened miscarriage.
I went to the hospital where they did blood tests and an ultrasound. I was kept in overnight. In the morning I had an ultrasound and I was told that our baby was still alive and viable and that I should go home and be on strict bed rest.
So we went home.
At that time we were moving house and I rested as much as I could. My family came up from interstate to visit us as well as my husband’s parents. We started to plan for our future and having a baby and we were so excited. We were no longer concerned at that point, however at about 10 weeks gestation I started to miscarry again. I went straight to the hospital.
It was Anzac Day 2007 when I discovered that our baby had died and I was booked in for a procedure the following day. After that we went home. I remember distinctly that my beautiful husband bought me the DVD of Happy Feet. He really wanted to cheer me up, so I sat at home in my pyjamas and my dressing gown with our new little puppy and watched happy Feet.
It was so kind and thoughtful of him.
Obviously we were devastated to have lost our baby but we were assured by our friends and family that because I had fallen pregnant once, I would fall pregnant again. Around five or six months later I started to experience very strong pelvic pain and so we went off to the doctors, I was booked in for surgery to have a laparoscopy to see what was going on. The doctor organised a follow-up appointment afterwards and it was then that we were told that I have stage four endometriosis.
For those who don’t know what that is, it is when the lining of the uterus grows outside of it and attaches to other organs.
It can cause a lot of damage and stick organs together, it can be very painful and also often leads to infertility.
She also told me that my condition was too severe for her to operate on me and so I was told to see a surgeon in the city.
After having lost our baby, being told that I have endometriosis and really struggling with that, we decided to move back home closer to our families. It was there that I had my Second surgery. My surgeon at the time told me that my condition was really quite severe and the that the operation was quite difficult. I had a a number of my organs stuck together with the adhesion’s from the endometriosis, but he did his best to help remove those adhesion’s.
I was also put on hormone injections. I went along to the hospital each month where my specialist injected me with the medication called Zoladex. Zoladex puts a woman into a fake form of menopause and the idea is that it helps the endometriosis to reduce in size. The side-effects from the medication were very difficult to handle.
I had all the typical menopause symptoms, the hot flashes the night sweats the mood swings and I was 27 years old.
I was working night shift at the time I could only work four hours at a time and it was a very difficult time of my life. I would snap at my husband and my emotions were all over the place. Not only this, but for me personally the injections didn’t help my endometriosis symptoms. I continued to have a lot of pain. After this I was put on a form of the pill, basically to help reduce the symptoms of endometriosis.
I think by this stage it was about three years into our marriage and because of the pain and the miscarriage and infertility the endometriosis and everything that I had been through I developed depression. I had been diagnosed a few years earlier and we had decided at that point not to pursue me taking medication for it.
It was a very personal decision and I really encourage women to discuss this with the doctors and families to decide where the medication is right for them. But for us personally we decided that we would work through it together. I had some counselling and I continued to have depression and anxiety for many years. I would say to be perfectly honest it probably lasted around 10 years. It was very difficult and it was it a really tough time in our lives.
We decided at that point to come home to Queensland so we left our family and friends and moved back to the sunshine state. We love the outdoors and being outside.
The sunshine was good for me.
I got a job at the local hospital and found it was quite difficult to work in a fast paced environment with anxiety and depression. I spoke with my manager who was so compassionate and she allowed me a special time to go out onto the balcony with my music and my headphones and to sit there in the quiet and regroup whenever I felt that my anxiety was getting too much. I also went along to the doctors and was allowed to have multiple free sessions that my employer provides for me it employees.
One evening I was speaking to my husband about how I really didn’t want to live with this kind of pain for ever. I had tried so many different approaches. I had tried hormone injections and surgery and I had also tried the pill and nothing seemed to really help.
I still had a lot of pain.
For those who don’t know the pain of endometriosis, it really feels like someone is inside your tummy stabbing you from the inside. It’s very difficult to function, to concentrate and to get along with daily life. It’s also very exhausting . The other thing that happened with me was that I became very nauseated.
I found it difficult to eat and I lost a lot of weight. I had no appetite because of the pain. What’s more was that I was already small and losing 6 kg brought me down weighing only 46kg. This meant that I had a number of people ask me if I had anorexia or an eating disorder. This was really difficult because I really wanted to eat but the pain made it so hard. The nausea and the tummy pain meant that it was very difficult to want to eat.
So that evening when I spoke to my husband, I told him that I didn’t want to live like that. I didn’t want to live with constant pain and nausea and there must be some other way.
We looked on the Internet one evening and I found the Endometriosis diet.
The diet was quite extreme and included cutting out dairy, soy, red meat, gluten, sugar, E numbers, processed food and basically meant that you should eat healthy, organic (if possible if you can afford it) home-cooked food.
Now one thing I haven’t mentioned is that when my husband and I got married I used to deep fry a lot of food. I bought a deep fryer and I loved making fried chicken. It was greasy, it was delicious but we really ate it far too often. We also had a barbecue and I used to cook sausages out on the Verandah very often in summer. So we basically ate a lot of grilled meat and a lot of deep fried food. We also ate a lot of takeaway, a lot of fish and chips and a lot of other fast food and it was really very very unhealthy.
I’ve always love chocolate that’s the other thing the diet meant that I had to cut out was chocolate and caffeine too. So basically I went from eating deep-fried food, lots of chocolate, drinking lots of coffee to cutting it all out cold turkey.
I think my family thought I was a bit crazy but after being so unwell I was ready to try anything. So I started eating grilled chicken, fresh salads, fresh vegetables, buying some organic food and eating very very healthy food, home-cooked food. I learned how to cook and learned how to really cook healthy food that would nourish my body. And do you know I wasn’t sure whether it would work, but I was willing to give anything ago.
I remember distinctly two weeks after I started the diet that I was standing in my kitchen and my mother in law who we built our house with came and spoke to me and asked me whether the diet had started to helped at all.
I told her I actually noticed standing there that I had less pain.
Now the pain that I had previously was at at some times in my life so severe that I would be in bed all day and I would get up to have a shower and I would be exhausted and would have to go back to bed because I was just too tired after having a shower.
I also remember that on some days the furthest I would get when I went for a walk was to the letterbox and that was enough. I would have to go back to bed and rest. This meant that it was very difficult to go to work and keep down a job. The pain really was so severe so that day when my mother-in-law asked me what my pain was like and I realised that my pain has decreased a little bit my pain.
It was encouraging.
I was eating better and I started to have less pain. I remember though that while I was cooking this healthy food I had a stool at the kitchen bench that I would sit on to rest while peeling potatoes or chopping vegetables because i still struggled to stand for a long time. I still had depression and anxiety though.
Those who have suffered with depression and anxiety know that it can last such a long time. It can make daily activities very difficult to do and it can even be difficult to socialise. I found that this once very bubbly person didn’t want to socialise and just wanted to stay home. Many of my days were filled with daytime television. I did have good days but I had a lot of difficult days.
During this time we still hadn’t fallen pregnant.
I have been a Christian since I was 19 and I knew that God loved me and I knew that He had a plan for me but I couldn’t understand where He was in all of this. I would read my bible and I would go to church each weekend but I really didn’t understand why we didn’t have a baby yet.
I remember it was so hard hearing my friends and family telling me that they were pregnant.
At one point which would’ve been about four years ago I counted how many times my friends and family have told me that they were pregnant and at that point it would have been 70 times. It’s been a lot more since but I stopped counting. It was very difficult to hear and I hate to admit it but I was jealous. I was full of envy for them and what they had in their lives that’s what I wanted so badly.
I have wanted to be a mum since I was a little girl. I used to babysit and I’ve always loved children. I’ve always love spending time with little ones, they’re just so beautiful and I always wanted to be a mum and yet for some reason it wasn’t happening for us. It would’ve been about eight years ago that my husband and I sat down and decided to think about what our options were for the future and what our plan was in creating a family.
So that day when we talked about what we wanted to do we decided that we would apply to adopt a child.
We didn’t tell our family and friends for a long time but we applied to adopt a child.
The process was very long but finally after two years we were approved to go on the adoption list for suitable parents and we were so excited.
When we were first put on the adoption list I remember every single day I would wait for that phone call from Adoption Services. So we waited and we waited. I think my husband was a lot better at waiting. I think he probably got on with life, but I know for myself every Friday afternoon would roll around and the weekend would come and it was another week where we hadn’t adopted a child, where we haven’t received a phone call.
During our adoption journey we would have home visits and home assessments, we had interviews and I wrote 22,000 words on why I believed that we were a good fit to be parents to a child, my husband he doesn’t write a whole lot usually wrote about 10 or 15,000 words. We were assessed so thoroughly and they did decide that we were suitable. After about a year and a half we decided to go on the list for suitable foster carers for a permanent program.
We were really excited because this would increase opportunities to bring home a child.
It wasn’t just for our sake but we knew that we had a lot of love to give a child and provide them with a loving supportive and nurturing home.
Anyway five years passed by and the possibilities of bringing a child home looked very remote and we had put our lives on hold for such a long time. Eventually one evening, we decided to walk away. I remember that day, I wanted to hold on but it really just looked that it would never happen and so we decided to notify the agency that we would be leaving our adoption and foster care journey. It was really hard to walk away.
I had this dream of the child that we would bring home but my husband and I really had to focus on our marriage and ourselves and to really give ourselves space because the five years was such a lot of waiting and such a lot of anticipation and so we decided to walk away.
We gave ourselves grace
and we booked holidays and it was so needed and we didn’t have to tell the adoption agency where we were going or what we were doing.
You know it was two days after leaving the Adoption journey that I was praying to God about what His will was for our lives, because I had been seeking Him and I had been reading His Word.
I had seen so many things that Jesus told us about how much God loves us.
I didn’t understand our journey and I remember distinctly hearing God speak into my heart and ask me a question and his question was this
“Have I not created you for more than to want to become a mother?!”
and you know those words were so hard to hear because for 12 years my identity had been in wanting to become a mum. We had done everything that we could and my mind was focused on becoming a mother and I had been jealous and envious of my family and friends who had gone on to become parents before us.
I’m just thinking about the type of person I was back then, it’s very difficult to think about and I tear up because I remember being jealous of my sister in law when my niece was born and where my second base was born. I remember spending time playing with them, I know how hard it was inside and I didn’t tell anybody what I was thinking of when I was playing with my nieces but
I was thinking about how much I wanted to be playing with me with our own child.
It’s only been in the last two years that I’ve been able to play with my nieces and play hide and seek with them and run around the house and do drawings with them and paint and to read stories and to just have so much fun together and to not be thinking of the child that I don’t have myself. And you know my nieces are getting older now and they even ask me
“Auntie Becci where is your baby?”
and I just tell them that it’s not God’s timing yet. I have beautiful nieces and nephews who I am so grateful for now.
That day when God spoke to me and asked me
“have I not created you to be more than wanting to be a mother?!”
He also put a beautiful verse on my heart. The verse was Matthew 6:33,
‘Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added unto you’.
Before that first, Jesus speaks about not worrying about tomorrow about where you will get your food or your clothing but to trust God in everything. So that verse meant so much because I guess for me it wasn’t even about the other things it was about seeking first God and His kingdom and his righteousness. I meditated on that first and I considered what it means and I applied it to my own life.
So I started really seeking God and His will for my life.
My will was all about being a mum. My will was to put my whole identity in that, but when God really spoke to my heart through that verse and through what He had spoken to me I started to see that my life had more meaning.
In that moment my life had more potential and I started to trust Him.
I believe that one day I will become a mum and that will be absolutely wonderful but if that never happens I don’t want to be sitting around waiting. I want to use my time on earth to be productive, to give back to others and to live out the purpose for my life that he has ordained.
It was soon after that I prayed to God for an opportunity to help the community and I remember hearing almost immediately that He wanted me to become a health coach. Now I had been a Nurse for 12 years, I never heard of a health coach, I didn’t even know what that was. I jumped out of bed and I went online and I wanted to find out what that was.
I found a course and I the next morning I excitedly spoke to my husband and told my husband that I wanted to enrol and I told him what God had told me. I enrolled in the course and I loved it. I loved my studies, I loved learning. It was so wonderful. In 18 months I finished my course and I had an understanding of nutrition and coaching and psychology and how to overcome your barriers and how to set goals and how to set your vision for your health.
I was so filled with enthusiasm.
I graduated last year and I had some time on holidays and it was placed on my heart to share my story and so I created a YouTube video. It’s still there if you want to see it.
I wanted to share my story about where I had come from and about the person that I am today as a way of encouraging women with infertility, endometriosis, depression or anxiety that there are endless possibilities of where their life can take them.
I wanted to share with them that they can find purpose in life and that God really has created them for something beautiful.
When I completed my video on the last section of the video I posted a scripture whixh had really spoken to the last fourteen years of my life.
The scripture is from psalm 30:5
‘For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favour lasts a lifetime;weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.’
And that verse means so much to me because I think about the woman that I was, the woman who was filled with despair and whose mind was racing and who would feel anxious and worried and have self-doubt as a wife and as a daughter. When I read that verse and saw that
‘weeping may last for a night but joy comes in the morning’
I realise the transformation that God has caused in my life.
I wanted to share that with others because this once broken woman who would ask why? why God had chosen for me to be infertile, and to have a once debilitating condition?
I realised that there was purpose even in this because God has allowed me to use my story to encourage other people.
Through the video I created I show all that I am thankful for in this life and I want to encourage you that if you are struggling with chronic illness, infertility, depression or anxiety to consider things today that you are thankful for.
When you wake up and see the beautiful sunshine, hear the birds singing, hold your husband’s hand or if you don’t have a husband give your best friend a hug and tell them that you love them and that you’re so thankful for the love and kindness and support in your life.
Being thankful for the little things is just so important.
In my own life it has really opened my eyes to all that God has given me and I am truly grateful. He has filled my days with joy, he has given me beauty for ashes, he is helping me to rise up on eagles wings and he has shown me how incredibly beautiful this life is.
And so, these last 14 years I wouldn’t change a thing, I wouldn’t change a day of it, because if my story can in encourage you to have hope that you can be filled with joy, that you can wake up each day with anticipation for what your day is going to bring, that you can have faith that
God hears your prayers,
that he knows you by name, that your tears are not lost on Him and that he sees you then to encourage that one person it has all been worth it.
We are created from the dust of the earth but out of that dust God can create something truly beautiful. I want to tell you that your pain is real but you are loved more than you could ever imagine. Joyful Morning Wellness is here because of the pain that I have been through.
You never know how your story and the pain that you have lived through can encourage others.
You never know when you’re going through difficult times how that pain can be turned into something amazing. So I encourage you dear one to hold onto hope, to have faith that God hears your prayers and that out of your difficulties he is going to create something that will inspire and encourage others.
That day when I created the the video with Psalm 30:5, at the end, God spoke to me and He told me to name the video My Infertility Journey-Joyful Morning. So the amazing thing was was that when I completed my studies and was starting up my business and thinking about a business name, he had already given it to me. Joyful Morning Wellness comes from the beauty He has given me and is part of my every day. I have it written on my business cards and every day when I see my my business logo or Facebook page for this podcast
I am reminded of Gods and blessings in my life.
He has truly given me a joyful morning. He has taken away my pain. I don’t know what the future hold‘s but I do see far more clearly that my future involves encouraging other women, uplifting them and sharing my testimony with others to strengthen your faith and to help you believe that you can truly have a brighter tomorrow.
This story has been very difficult to share. When I was writing my notes for this podcast I teared up a lot, but you know it’s so worth, it’s worth the tears so that I can share my story with you and if you’re that one lady sitting there who has needed this encouragement today then I’m so grateful for this opportunity to share my story with you.
On the website www.joyfulmorningwellness.com you can find blog posts that will encourage you and fill you with hope. They are full of joy, there’s some pain mixed in and they were written to encourage you on your journey in life.
Before I finish today I want to remind you that you are truly precious, you are unique, you have a story to tell.
You are a beautiful creation of God and your life has true value and meaning.
Don’t believe the lies that you’ve told yourself. I believed those lies for a very long time but now I know that God wants me to share my story with you and with others. It is a true privilege to share this with you. When I went through those days, when I wondered if I would ever be filled with joy again.
I never imagined the life that I have now. I spent this morning going for a 6 km walk with my neighbours.We laughed, we had such fun and we enjoyed the sunshine. It’s such a beautiful day today, honestly the sunshine is gorgeous. Yesterday when I spent the day with my family in the countryside, I listened to the birds singing, I watched the butterflies fly by and I had such a beautiful day with my gorgeous family and husband.
Allow yourself to see the beauty in life.
It’s there and it is waiting for you to discover. If this blog post has brought up difficult memories for you, I encourage you to speak to somebody. Whether that be a friend, a pastor, a counsellor or a psychologist, I really encourage you to do that if you need to. I also encourage you to pray and to thank God for all that he’s given you.
Today is September 1st 2019 and I’m still not a mum, but do you know what? that’s okay because I have realised that I am called to trust God with my life, to go to him in prayer each day and to give him thanks for all that he’s done. Of course I’d still love to become mum but I’m not going sit here waiting for that to happen. I’m going to get out and use the gifts and talents that my beautiful Father in heaven has given me to encourage others to be filled with hope and joy.
I’m so thankful for you. If this blog post has encouraged you, please share it with others. I pray that my story will fill you with hope for a brighter tomorrow.
God bless and thank you.
One more verse for your day,
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.Phillipians 4:6-7
You can listen to the Podcast episode this blog post is based on here.
For inspiration, tips on healthy living and joyful encouragement: You can find plenty of the good stuff on the Joyful Morning Wellness Blog Page by clicking here . For Coaching advice on living a healthy nourished life you can discover motivation here. The Joyful Morning Wellness Podcast show can be found here too. A place filled with gratitude, grace and motivation to live a joyful, nourished life.
Are you ready to live your vision of wellness?If you are ready to take the next step and develop strategies to create gorgeous habits that will nourish your body and soul contact Rebecca at Joyful Morning Wellness for Coaching Sessions here or find the contact details over at the home page here.
The Psalm 30:5 Endo & Infertility Facebook Support Group can be found here.
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