We invite our longtime married readers to share the experiences that have marked, refined, and anointed their marriages; months and years that, by grace, transform the mundane, the bitter, and the incomprehensible into the fruits of holy wisdom. A purification and a clear vision for the path to heaven that lies ahead. The Sophia Series.
I sit here while I watch my baby boy sleep. With my heart filled with gratitude, I try to write some words to best describe 2018, the best year of my life so far. Usually words come easily to me, but when I think of the events of past year I become speechless.
For many years--over half a decade--my husband Greg and I had prayed, hoping the Lord would bless us with a child. I still remember clearly that on our wedding night we prayed for that undeserved gift: “Lord, give us a baby!” That prayer was repeated countless times, and friends from around the world joined us as we kept petitioning before him. Still, year after year, my womb was empty.
After one year of trying on our own, our marathon of doctor visits, tests, and medications began. We saw doctors local and far--even in my native Brazil-- read articles, researched, and again and again I begged before God. Nothing was working.
One day, totally unexpectedly I saw that positive test I had hoped for every day. I was pregnant, and I couldn’t believe it! We rejoiced, bought a stuffed animal or two, and got so excited when it was time to see our baby on an ultrasound for the first time. I close my eyes and can still feel the pain of hearing the doctor say, “I’m sorry, we can’t find a heartbeat.”
That day was one of the worst of my life.
How could I love someone that small so much, and miss a baby I didn’t even have a chance to hold? I had some tough days ahead of me. Depression knocked on my door and stayed for a while.
A few months after, I wrote down the promises of God to me and I taped them on my door, where I could see them every single day. That simple gesture brought peace and hope back to my heart. It healed me and gave me strength to keep going, keep praying for my miracle to happen.
A few years more had come and gone and still no baby. I was almost giving up, but somehow I heard God saying wait. I faithfully waited until I was very close to my breaking point. I was losing sight of the promises God had for me, entering a place of bitterness and resentment. I was so close to throwing in the towel. I never doubted the existence of God, but started thinking he didn’t love or care for me.
So, after not going to Brazil to visit my family for awhile because of a Zika outbreak, I was sure my turn to become a mother would never arrive.I decided to pack and go. Greg and I visited a state that was very high in cases of Zika, but I didn’t care, because in my mind I would never get pregnant.
We enjoyed our time with family and friends, yet deeply within me, that sadness wouldn’t leave. The sadness of a woman who was losing hope.
We came back to the US after our trip, and as many many times before, I took a pregnancy test just so I could relax and my period would come. When I peeked and I saw “PREGNANT +3,” I started crying like crazy, and ran through the house screaming. I fell in the hallway where Greg, looking a little lost, was trying to help me. I was so certain the test was wrong. I was crying because in my mind it was a trick; someone was messing with me.
I told Greg I needed to go to the pharmacy and get another test, because I was sure the entire lot I had at home was defective. It was almost 10 PM and off we were to CVS. We got home and there it was, two pink lines that would change my life forever.
I was so, so happy. I called the doctor the next morning and it all started, a happy marathon of visits this time. Test after test, my HCG levels were doubling. We saw a little “dot” on the monitor and this time, the greatest sound of a little heart, beating strong, filled the room. I cry writing this as I remember that day. My baby was alive inside of me.
Even though I had an amazing doctor, his face showed how shocked he was. After all, every single doctor we saw said the same thing: you two will never be able to conceive naturally. Yet, God did it. When I least deserved it, when I was losing hope, when I started to doubt his love for me. The Lord taught me his love is totally unconditional… it doesn’t matter what I do or don’t do; he’s there, loving me every step of the way.
2018 was the year we welcomed our baby boy into this world. Theodore Clark Tomlinson was born on February 19th of 2018 after a difficult pregnancy and delivery. He is a reminder that God still works miracles. My son reminds me every day how much God cares for us.
Infertility can be devastating and can be hard on marriages. One thing that really helped us going through those difficult years was our small family prayer group.
They prayed for and with us, shared their wisdom and kept us motivated on days of doubt. Being part of a community that believes in what you believe can give you the strength you need to face another day.
Juliana’s words of wisdom for brides:
If you are waiting for a miracle, don’t give up. I don’t know what you are waiting for, but I can tell you God is faithful and powerful. Keep praying, keep asking. And know that he is always caring for you, even when you can’t see it or feel it.