Thursday, June 16, 2005

Surprising News - Praying for Hurting Hearts as You Read

I have been praying so hard about how/when to post this. While I know that many of you will rejoice with me, sometimes as a sacrifice to the Lord through your own tears, I also know the news will sting so many hearts. So, with much prayer, I share our stunned, joyful, hopeful, fearful, nervous news of a new pregnancy.

I am committed to not turning this blog into a pregnancy journal, thus, if you are interested in following the ongoing progress of our pregnancy, please visit our new family news blog (I suggest you "right click" and "open link in new window" to break out of frames for easier reading). For those able to share in our joy, thank you. For those reading with broken hearts, please know I am sharing in your tears and holding you in prayer.

While I am ever-so-thankful to find myself (hopefully) about to become the mother of three living miracles, I struggle with the Lord, asking Him over and over, "Why me and not _____________ (so many specific names fill my prayers in this spot, along with the countless women I've only just begun to meet though Hannah's Hope)?" It just doesn't seem fair. But God is proving to me once again that any control I may think I have over the growth of my family one way or the other, is an illusion. He, and He alone, is the author of life and planner of my future.
Beyond feeling so torn for those I know who my news will hurt, I am joyful and terrified by turn. With 2 of our 3 known miscarriages, I have already miscarried by now (and by early next week I will be past our last landmark), so in that sense, I am feeling hopeful. I know there are never guarantees, and yet, I also know that God has a loving plan for my good and His glory.

If this news has been enough for you to digest for one reading, please stop here. But if you are feeling strong, there is a series of letters about pregnancy news and infertility that I have been planning to post for a couple of weeks now. When I decided to share this tender exchange with you all, I still had no idea that I myself was already pregnant nor how applicable and timely it would turn out to be! This is correspondence between a member of Hannah's Prayer with primary infertility, named Wendi Kitsteiner, and her best friend, Kelly Stegemoller, a mother after infertility. These women, who have graciously allowed me such an intimate look into each of their hearts, have been close since childhood. Though they lost touch for about 5 years, their infertility journeys brought them back together.

To be honest with you, I could not have been a "Wendi" when we were dealing with primary infertility. I greatly admire those who can and do react as she has, but if you aren't there right now, don't beat yourself up over it either. Just today I was in awe at the reaction of one friend who, though she has now watched me through two successful pregnancies (and two miscarriages) while still awaiting her very first, was so excited to hear my news. I told her that in her shoes I would have hung up the phone and bawled my eyes out! I pray that the world will have more sensitive "Kellys" and that whatever side of the fence you currently find yourself on, that you will be challenged and encouraged by these letters. If you want to contact Wendi or Kelly directly, Wendi's email address is and she will be happy to forward messages on to Kelly.

Kelly's first letter to Wendi:
Wendi, My heart aches and my hands shake as I very unexpectedly write this email to you.......
I am pregnant
We found out last night...I have had a feeling for weeks now and just couldn't bring myself to even believe it. I know what your reaction will be and I have tears in my eyes thinking about how you must feel and how unfair this is. Of course, we had hoped and prayed for one more child...But to be honest with you, Wen, this has taken me by complete surprise. Being the pessimist I am about all this I just truly believed our family was probably complete the way it was (and I was COMPLETELY fine with that...We are truly blessed with two little girls and I could not ask for anything more). I am baffled. Here I was almost 2 years ago doing everything right and unable to get pregnant and now here I sit with a one-year-old, still nursing her, not really trying to get pregnant (though not preventing it)...Plus I had the flu when I got pregnant.
I can't even tell you how confused I am that I was able to get pregnant naturally this time around and had to go through all that infertility treatment with Shelby. I just can't put into words how I feel...I feel as though I am in someone else's body and this can't be happening. I feel as though this should be you going through this for the first time and not me going through it for the third. I have such mixed emotions as I write you. I tossed and turned all night thinking of how I was going to tell you and thinking of your heart just dropping as you read this. I am so sorry, Wendi. I never dreamed I would be writing you an email like this. The last thing I would want to do was bring you more pain and tears today.
I know this will change things between us, but please don't feel like you can't confide in me. I still do understand what you are going through and I am here to help in any way I can. But, I do understand if you don't want to email me as much and I promise not to send you all kinds of email updates on this pregnancy. I know how hard it is to read about what you want so badly.
I love you, girl. I wish I had some words of wisdom to make this all better, but I'm still trying to take it all in myself. I hope you know that I still think of you every day and pray for this same miracle to happen for you. In a way I feel as though I don't even deserve this baby...You should be the one in my shoes right now. I don't understand......But I will keep praying for your miracle.... Don't feel like you need to write me back...I understand and respect your feelings and I can feel in my heart how sad this will make you. But, know that I am praying for you always....
Love and Hugs,

Wendi's first reply to Kelly:
Kelly,Thank you for writing me. Actually, I am sitting here writing you with a big smile on my face. Shock, yes, but such excitement that you get to experience this again without any trouble! How awesome! Please don't feel badly. I am doing really well right now and truly feel the best I have felt in a long time so this is very good timing with everything. I am really okay, and didn't cry (I promise!)
How unbelievably awesome, Kelly! And, no, this doesn't change things. The Lord has blessed you and I with a special bond and you having another child does not change your empathy for my infertility! You have been blessed with a gift in this area and nothing will ever change that. I would not stop confiding in you. You, Kristi, and my Aunt Jan are my 3 confidants and that will not change ever.
I am truly, and I say this honestly (because I feel like I could be honest) THRILLED for you. I know I am going to be a mom someday and am truly learning how to put my unborn children in the Lord Jesus' arms. I know your love for me and understanding for my situation will not change with this new one.
Bless you Kelly -- for your kindness. Your email alone illustrates that you still understand!!!!! I am so happy for you. Later, we will have to talk about how in the world this happened
Blessings -- Wendi

Kelly's second letter to Wendi:
Wendi...You are awesome! You took a huge burden off my back and I breathed a big sigh of relief when I read all that you wrote. I don't know how you can have such a big heart, but God has truly blessed you with that. I want to write more and I will, but I have been on my feet all day in Indy and I need to lay down for a bit. I just wanted to thank you for for writing. I didn't expect to hear from you and you brightened my day. Thank you for being happy for us...I am still has not all set in and I truly feel (like I said before) that this is all a dream and I am in someone else's body. It is the strangest and wierdest feeling. I am glad that you are doing well...
I pray for that every day among my other prayers for you as I know what a roller coaster that all can be... I think you are just amazing, Wendi....With all you've been through and how strong you continue to be......I will write more soon....

It was at this point in the exchange that I learned of Kelly's sensitive and loving pregnancy announcement and asked Wendi if Kelly might let me share it here on the blog.

Another letter from Kelly to Wendi:
It is absolutely okay that you shared my letter...And it is perfectly fine with me that it be used in any way to help those going through infertility. That letter was hard for me to write because as I sat and wrote it I thought of how I would have felt if I had heard that from a friend. I don't know what my reaction would have been and I was unsure of yours as well. But, my heart told me it would be okay to pour my heart out to you and be honest in my feelings.
I don't want to be one of those people that kinda forgets what they went through just because the Lord has helped me overcome it and gave me a child then and is giving me more now. There was a reason I went through all that. I am beginning to see it all more clearly now and to somewhat appreciate that journey in my life as a time where I grew in spirit and strength and learned so many things about myself and trusting the Lord.
I feel honored in a way that you think my letter to you yesterday was worthy of sharing. I was so unsure of all the words I was though nothing could really say what I feeling in my heart and wanted to say to you.....that I was happy for myself, but on the other hand really wanted this to be you too...And really wanted this to be you experiencing this for the first time, before I experienced it for the third. So, please feel free to use my letter in any way to help those who are trying to understand those like myself who have moved on from infertility, but still remember it like it was yesterday.
And I really do still feel like my journey with IF was yesterday...With this pregnancy it just all came rushing back...All that emotion and then the added emotion of how this all happened so miraculously on it's own w/o technology. It has just REALLY overwhelmed me with God's presence and power. I really never dreamed I could get pregnant again w/o help...I trusted that God could do miracles, but I think I just figured his miracle for me conceiving would lie in the hands of a doctor. This is all just truly amazing to me. I still sit here and have a hard time believing it all.
And I am amazed at how God has given you this joy for me. That is incredible that you have not even shed one tear over my news. I am so encouraged by that and feel so humbled. I don't know if my reaction would have been the same if I was in your shoes. I can truly tell your happiness for me is genuine like you said and I just feel so blessed to have you as a friend. You truly must get your strength and peace from the Lord.
And I think I needed to hear that you think I deserve to have a regular pregnancy. I think I have this sense of guilt about this pregnancy...I can't put into words why I feel that way, but I do....Like I shouldn't have gotten this blessing so easily...I should have struggled more for it like I did before. Of course, I wanted it and we are so thankful to be having a third (and final) child, but at the same time I just want "this" to happen suddenly for you as it has for me this time. Though I know it won't seem sudden to you at this point in your journey.
But, you are right, Wen. I think God is trying to tell us all something. He sure is all-powerful and for some reason he chose for me to go through what I did with Shelby and now he chose for it to happen naturally....He does have his hand in everything. Shelby will always be my special girl for I will always remember what we went through to have her. And this one (as well as Hailey) are just wonderful surprises. All are miracles in their own ways as we all know how miraculous conception is. I just feel in the deepest part of my heart that your miracle will happen this year too. Maybe it will happen through the help of science, maybe it will happen in it's own way. I think we just need to keep trusting that God will reveal things in his own way and time (as hard as that is).
Wendi, thank you! You genuine happiness for me means more to me than anything. I will send you updates as I write them as I'm sure you know how appreciative I am of this miracle...It has and will not be taken for granted. And I hope and pray you will still share your heart with me too. I have not forgotten (nor will I ever forget) the infertility journey. And, yes, it is okay to cry. I learned that too awhile back....And I do hope that if any of my pregnancy gets to be too much for you that you will tell me. I appreciate your honesty and your heartfelt words...

I am in awe of how much my feeling and experiences mirror Kelly's right now. And to think, that even back when I asked Wendi's permission to share all of this, God knew how fitting it would be as part of my own story, while I was yet clueless! What a big God we serve.


Anonymous said...

Jenni, I saw your post in "Getting to know each other" in the General Pregnancy Forum at HP and read part way through it before the penny dropped - wow! Congratulations! Praying for a healthy, stress-free pg for you this time. May God give you that joy.

I'm posting here because you asked us to - I hope I'm in the right place.

I do appreciate your sensitivity and the fact you've not forgotten where you came from. It's inspiring to me. I hope we can all be like you and Kelly.

Christine/cat (from HP)

Anonymous said...

What a miracle! I am rejoicing with you! Thank you for sharing this blessing with us in such a tender sensitive way.

It encouraged my heart...gave me hope and made me SMILE from ear to ear when I read your announcement. Praise the Lord!
Love, Annette from HP

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Jenni !!!

I'm so happy for you and Rick, and I'm praising the Lord for this amazing miracle! What an awesome God we serve!

Thanks for sharing your announcement with us, and I'll be praying for you and your family.

In His love,
Tina D.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Jenni!! Wow - I'm off line for just a bit and look at all of this fun news!! I'm so excited for you and praying for you and your family!!