New Home

I'm glad you found my blog! Please visit my current blog at


Do Not Forsake Me

Psalm 38:21-22
Do not forsake me, O Lord! O my God, be not far from me! Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation!

"We frequently pray that God will not forsake us in our hours of trials and tests. We need, however, to use this prayer all the time. There is not a moment in our life that we can do without His constant upholding. ... Do not forsake me in my joys, lest they fully engage my heart. Do not forsake me in my sorrow, lest I murmur against You. Do not forsake me during repentance, lest I lose the hope of pardon and fall into despair. Do not forsake me in the days of my strongest faith, lest my faith degenerate into presumption."

-C. H. Spurgeon, Beside Still Waters


Because of the Gospel...

Last weekend, Aaron & I started reading this book, Love That Lasts by Gary & Betsy Ricucci. We are really looking forward to going through it together on our weekly dates. Chapter 1 included a list of some of the "marvelous truths" of the gospel and applied those truths specifically to marriage. I would like to borrow that list from the Ricuccis and attempt to apply it to infertility:

  • Because of the gospel, Christians have become new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17). My God is the Creator of all life, physical and spiritual, and He is holding all things together in Christ. The power that changed me from a slave to sin and breathed new life into my heart is the same power that can form a new life in my womb.
  • Because of the gospel, we are forgiven (Ephesians 1:7). Though infertility is a result of the fall, my infertility is not a punishment for my sins. Christ bore the full punishment for my sins on the cross, and now God extends all mercy and grace to me.
  • Because of the gospel we can forgive, just as Christ forgave us (Ephesians 4:32). "Nothing done against us compares to our sin against God. Therefore all offenses, hostility, and bitterness between Christians can be completely forgiven and removed." In Christ, I can overlook any insensitive or thoughtless comments made about infertility. I can share in the fellowship of the gospel even with those who have never experienced infertility or who are being blessed with children even as I am still waiting.
  • Because of the gospel, we are accepted by God (Romans 15:7). I do not need to add "motherhood" to my personal status in order to be approved by God or by others. Infertility cannot put me to shame. I can run to God with my pains and sorrows and sins, and He will meet me.
  • Because of the gospel, sin's ruling power over us is broken (Romans 6:6, 14). I can obey God, regardless of the circumstances of infertility. I am not bound to sink into jealousy and self-pity and despair. God is not giving me more temptation than I can bear, because Christ has conquered sin on my behalf.
  • Because of the gospel, we have access to God through Christ (Hebrews 4:14-16). Because Christ was forsaken by His Father, I will never be forsaken. Instead, I have a great high Priest who sympathizes with my weaknesses, is familiar with my sorrows, and who is always eager to hear my cries. My requests for grace in the midst of infertility and for the gift of children do not go unheard.
  • Because of the gospel, we have hope (Romans 5:1-4). Because Christ endured the cross for the hope set before Him, I can endure the suffering of infertility for the hope He secured. Monthly hopes for pregnancy disappoint, but the hope of God does not disappoint and gives me patience to wait for what is unseen.
  • Because of the gospel, Christ dwells in us by His Holy Spirit (Galatians 3:13-14). Jesus is with me everywhere. He is with me at doctor appointments. He is with me at baby showers. He is with me at the start of every new cycle. He is with me when I cry alone, when I feel isolated and fearful of the future.
  • Because of the gospel, we have power to fight and overcome remaining sin, which continues to dwell and war within us (Romans 7:19-21, 24-25; Galatians 5:16-17). I will not walk through the trial of infertility perfectly. I sin repeatedly. I often feel stuck, and it seems like I am making no progress in the battle against impatience, jealousy, self-pity, and despair. I get overwhelmed in the fight for faith. But the cross promises that God will sanctify me, that Christ will give me the ability to keep on fighting, and that the Holy Spirit is at work in my life, even when I cannot see it.



This morning, I was encouraged by these words from Psalm 34:

I sought the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints,
for those who fear him have no lack!
The young lions suffer want and hunger,
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears
and delivers them out of all their troubles.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
but the Lord delivers him out of them all.

Because of Jesus Christ, the Lord sees me as righteous and therefore promises to deliver me out of all of my troubles. Not some, ALL. And because I have Him, I have no lack. I may feel like there is a great big gaping hole in my life where children should be, but in truth I lack no good thing. I can be content now, and I can look forward to the day when I will be delivered from troubles.

(If only writing that and wholeheartedly believing that were the same thing...)

Saline Sonogram*

*Lots of people find this post using the words "saline sonogram" as their search terms. If you're one of them, you can get a general idea of my first saline sonogram in the post below. I have also written a more thorough description of the procedure here.

Here's a report on the saline sonogram I had done yesterday. I won't go into too many of the gory details, but it was painless and my reproductive system has been declared structurally sound. I had 2 ultrasounds done, one by the lab tech to take general measurements, and another one by the doctor using salt water to inspect my uterus for any irregularities and to make sure my fallopian tubes were clear. I continue to love the staff at the fertility clinic; the ultrasound tech was great, very friendly and competent. During the first ultrasound, she pointed out my ovaries on the screen - it was fascinating! We looked at the left one first. I asked what a large dark circle was, and she said it was the follicle (sort of the holder for the developing egg, for those less versed in fertility lingo). Then we looked at the right, which had a signifcantly bigger follicle. The ultrasound tech said, "You're going to ovulate from the right side, probably in a day or two." It is so amazing to me that it is possible to get an up-close view of these inner workings, God's intricate creation! It was also reassuring to have visual proof that something is going right in my reproductive system. I'm sure a sonogram of a baby is even more incredible, but for now I'm pretty thrilled with my ovaries!

As I was heading to the front desk to take care of my co-pay before leaving, another lab tech corralled me. Take a wild guess what she needed... If you guessed more blood-work, you're right! Apparently, the vial they drew last week to check my blood type was broken or lost in transit to the evaluation site. So I sat down to my fourth needle in 3 days. It was really a fitting conclusion to the appointment!

I'm very thankful to the Lord that the whole procedure went so well. I was nervous about having something so unfamiliar and relatively invasive done, but I drew confidence from the fact that Christ was with me. I am also truly grateful that nothing wrong was discovered. Odds of conceiving go down with every additional problem, so I was praying that a structural anomaly would not be added to my known luteal phase defect. Praise God for this answered prayer!


More Needles

Today, I get to have another encounter with a needle. I am getting a rubella vaccine this afternoon. While I did get MMR shots as a child, somehow I do not have rubella antibodies in my blood. Since exposure to rubella while pregnant can cause birth defects, my fertitily specialist requires that I have the vaccine before we proceed with treatment. The vaccine will be live for 30 days, which means Aaron & I need to prevent conception for the next 2 cycles.

At first, I was very disappointed by the news. Why do we have to face this delay, now that we finally have a treatment plan that might help us to get pregnant? I want to start now! I sinfully responded with some anger that neither of my primary care doctors thought to check for this a year and a half ago when we first began trying to conceive. However, after repeatedly telling myself that the Lord is sovereign over this delay, that "my times are in [His] hand" (Ps. 31:15), I am trusting that this timing is not an accident but is actually for my good. I am grateful that we discovered the lack of immunity before conceiving a child and facing the threat of serious damage. And I am looking forward to temporary relief from the roller coaster of hope and disappointment that each cycle brings. I can rest knowing that nothing will be happening until July, when I will hopefully start taking Clomid.

Please pray with me for continuing peace and patience during this wait and for a conception as soon as possible when treatment starts in July, if the Lord wills.

The Launch

Here it is: my first entry into the realm of blogging. I’ve been contemplating this move for a while, wondering if I should blog and why. Blogs I tend to read generally fulfill one of two purposes; either they give some sort of insight into practical theology, or they report personal updates and celebrate the milestones of children. I don’t have much to contribute to either of those categories. So what would I blog about?

Yesterday, I had an experience that prompted me to think, “This would make a good blog entry.” Not too significant in and of itself, this experience tipped the scales in my mental debate of “to blog or not to blog.” What happened? Simply put, I had blood drawn. Twice. In one day. Five vials. (No, I did not pass out.) You see, Aaron & I would like to have children, but we are (gulp – it makes it seem too real to put into writing) infertile. We have suspected this for a while, and we were recently able to get a referral to a fertility specialist. As a result, I am now getting lots of tests done, including a boatload of blood-work. I will look like a junkie by the time this is all done. Some of the blood-work is very helpful, producing results like the diagnosis that I have low progesterone levels. Some of it is surprising, such as the revelation that I have no immunity to rubella (a.k.a. German measles). And some of it is pointless. Such as the blood-work I went to the lab for today. The medical powers that be require that I have tests run for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Since neither Aaron nor I were sexually active before we married, we know this is unnecessary. But our yes is not yes and our no is not no in the secular medical realm, so I get tested. For the third time in recent history, I visited the friendly folks at the phlebotomy lab on the fourth floor of a local medical building. Settling into the chair with the fancy armrests, I explain that my fertility specialist ordered some pre-conception blood-work. (I admit divulging this information to a complete stranger was motivated by fear of man; I wouldn’t want the lab tech to think I was a promiscuous lady actually at risk for HIV!) Since there were about 5 different tests that needed to be run on my blood, the gal drew three vials full from my right arm. No problem, a quick in and out visit. After all, I’m a pro at this stuff by now! I’ve graduated from queasily looking away from the needle to watching interestedly while my blood flows through the little tube into the collection cylinder. I left the lab and continued running the rest of the day’s errands.

A couple of hours later, I had gotten home and unloaded groceries when the phone rang. “Mrs. Patterson? This is Rhonda from the lab. I have some bad news for you.” My mind immediately jumps to the worst conclusion – I have somehow mysteriously contracted HIV. Rhonda keeps speaking. “The requirements for some of the tests have changed recently, and I need more blood from you.” Is that all? No problem! How late are they open today? I’ll be there shortly. I make the quick drive back to the lab, ride the elevator up to the fourth floor, and find Rhonda, who cheerily takes 2 more vials of blood – “just to be sure we have enough this time!” – from my left arm. As I drove home for the second time, I decided to blog.

After thinking about whether or not I want to blog, and talking it over with Aaron, I’m ready to give it a try. I would like to journal more through this valley of infertility, and doing so online seems like as good a format as any. Plus, this way I can update friends and family about the process of treatments without having to repeat myself too many times. I hope that this does not become self-glorifying in any way, but that it will be a way to preach the gospel to myself in the middle of a trial and to give honor to God as an ongoing testimony-in-process.

Thanks for reading!