Finding Hope -Lil
Although we hear about stagnant or declining birth rates in America, equally as significant is what a couple will do when they want to have a child. Lil and Rob were such a couple. They had a loving marriage and enjoyed their children. In 2014 they decided to stop with the casual effort and TRY to have another baby.
Every failing month just added to Lil's depression. She personalized and internalized her pain. After six months they started the slippery slope of medical intervention. As Christians Lil and Rob had to first convince themselves that they were not bailing on their faith;
In Lil's Words "not trusting God enough…failing as Christians…not praying enough or the right way…doubting everything."
After much thought they decided that God provided the wisdom behind all these medical measures and took the first step. When the easiest step (if you consider psychotic side effects within five days easy) didn't work, the OB suggested specialists. The rabbit hole just kept getting deeper and deeper. Ultimately it included 3 rounds of IUI before they were switched to IVF. ( Note: the details of all these procedures are beyond the scope of this essay, however see the way below to contact Lil and Rob if you desire more information).
All these procedures were time consuming, exhausting, expensive and held no guarantee. NONE! Yet Lil and Rob persevered. Unfortunately things got worse before they saw any positive results.
In Lil's words:
"My friends tried to love me and provide words of comfort, but I was so out of touch with my own feelings and what I needed and wanted. I honestly couldn’t put words to my feelings. All I wanted was a baby and my friends couldn’t give me that. Everything that was said to comfort upset me. I knew they were trying to help so I kept my mouth shut about my feelings.
I pushed my group of friends away. I stopped going to my bible study. I stopped talking to my best friend. I only talked to Rob, my sister, a friend who walked through this hell before, and my kids. My depression was deep and dark. My anxiety at an all-time high. I had trouble talking to the people closest to me. I didn't want them to see how low I was, I didn't want to be an imposition. I did lose some friends. It added burden to a really hard and dark time. I just couldn't let people in. My pride, my being uncomfortable with where I was, and my negative self-talk were too loud to see what was in front of me. I started seeing a therapist. She helped me process where I was, what I had done, and to reevaluate where I was going.
Rob and I came to the conclusion that God was opening doors and was pushing us to what he wanted... he wanted us to trust my dr. He wanted us to have Hope, that he would answer our prayers.Jeremiah 29:11-14 became my verse."
Finally the IVF procedure worked and Lil was pregnant with twins. Of course she was considered high risk and that proved to be correct. A few weeks into the pregnancy one of the twins "vanished". At 20 weeks an ultrasound revealed a lung problem with the baby.
"Wesley was diagnosed with a Congenital Cystic Adenomatoid Malformation, CCAM for short, which is a benign mass of abnormal lung tissue that replaces part of one or more lobes of a fetal lung. CCAM happens in roughly 1 in 30,000 children. The doctor at our local Maternal-Fetal Medicine center told us that babies diagnosed with CCAM “typically lead normal lives” and “usually survive” but his tone and body language suggested otherwise. We were referred to CHOP. At CHOP they see 3-5 mothers a week whose babies have CCAM, whereas suburban MFM’s only see maybe 3 a year."
If you are wondering where God was during all this, well empowering the doctors, nurses and social workers who were able to guide Lil and Rob through the pregnancy, operate on Wesley just two days after his birth, and assure extremely concerned parents that their son would be cared for and loved while they rested and nurtured their other children.
So was it worth it? And what about God? Lil says it best
"Our journey to have Wes was rough as an understatement. As I sit here now, I see all the ways God was with us. He didn't want us to handle this alone but to hand it over to Him. We did. We trusted Him explicitly.
In my book study group, we are currently reading It's not supposed to be this way by Lysa Terkeurst. In one chapter she talks about how we see unnecessary heartbreak, but God sees the exact pieces and parts that must be added or removed to protect us, provide for us, and prepare us.
He made something beautiful out of our situation. He has helped us be stronger, more tolerant, to become more in touch with our feelings, and through my brokenness he provided. I CANNOT imagine my life without this struggle. Without Wes, the little boy who prays for his Oma, Grand mom, Sharks, Trees, and Hippos. Who loves everything in a big way and has completed our family! "
If you are or know a couple who would like to speak with Lil and Rob, please call the church office (856) 751-4673 and leave your name, email and phone number. Lil and Rob know the importance of having knowledgeable, caring help. That's the reason this story was shared.
- Jim Randazzo
Finding Hope within a Community of Faith
Never give up on God even when it seems hopeless