Monday, August 17, 2009

From One Miracle to the Next

My husband and I were at the Philippine Heart Center for my 2D echo to find out if my heart is healthy enough to withstand the pains of childbirth. I sent a text message to a friend and brother in the faith who works in the hospital and asked if he was on duty then. He said that he’s out with his wife and on their way to an ob-gyne. I asked if his wife is also pregnant like me. He said no and that their reason for the monthly visits to the ob-gyne was because they were seeking medical help for his wife to conceive. He added that his wife has polycystic ovaries and asked for my prayers.

When I read his last text message, I realized how truly blessed my husband and I are and what a miracle our son is. I also realized that God wanted me to seize the opportunity to witness for Him again by sharing my experience.

I also had polycystic ovaries. I discovered this when I was still single, unattached, never been kissed, never been touched. Actually, the symptoms were manifested as early as when I was still in High School. Instead of having monthly periods, I had mine twice a month. This caused me to be weak and anemic. I was brought by my mom to an ob-gyne and was given medicine to help regulate my period. I took the medication for a number of months and then my period became regular and normal. I thought I was already cured.

Then, I graduated from school and started working. I started to have irregular menstruation again. I went to see an ob-gyne once more. I underwent an ultrasound and I was diagnosed to have polycystic ovaries. I took medication again to help regulate my period. I was also advised by the doctor to get married soon and have a child.

I was amused. Her last prescription sounded as if getting married and having a child is as easy as deciding to eat ice cream and actually savoring it. I wished it was that easy because at that time, I didn’t even have a boyfriend. In fact, I’ve never had one; so, to hear the doctor tell me that, I felt really bad.

Anyway, I took my medications and visited the doctor regularly. But visiting her eventually became an ordeal; for she would ask me every time if I already have a boyfriend and if I’m getting married soon so I can get pregnant. I didn’t like the feeling of being pressured to rush into a relationship, much more get married and have a child. I strongly believed then that I wanted to marry for the right reasons, to the right person at the right time. I have received more than enough pressure on this concern from my mother, relatives, family friends, neighbors, officemates, etc. Actually, I felt that I was surrounded by people pressuring me to jump into a relationship right away. Some were simply concerned for me; while, others thought that I was being too choosy. Thus, to be pressured by my doctor on this same issue was simply too much for me.

So, I started to miss my check ups. But I continued my medication. Unfortunately, I noticed that I was growing bigger. After a number of months, I’ve gained a lot of weight. I felt bloated. I was forced to go back to my doctor only to be told that gaining weight is really part of the deal. It was one of the side effects. I felt really bad. I became depressed as I shifted from size small to large. My depression worsened each day as I ran out of clothes to wear. Then, I asked myself: “Do I want to continue growing bigger?” or “Do I want my period regularized?” I studied my options.

Option 1: continue taking my medication. Pros: regular menstrual period, no more weakness and anemia, better skin with less or no more acne. Cons: increase in weight and size, will need to update wardrobe, will be dependent on medicines to be normal and healthy.

Option 2: stop taking medicines. Pros: will go back to old size, will not be dependent on medicines to be normal and healthy, will save money since I don’t need to but new clothes, and will grow in trust and dependence in God. Cons: will have irregular menstruation again leading to anemia and weakness, will get my acne back.

I chose option 2. Partly because I was vain and partly because I didn’t want to spend my hard-earned money buying clothes that are two sizes bigger than what I used to have. I loved shopping for new clothes but I would love to do that with my old figure, not the bloated one. But most importantly, I chose option 2 because I wanted to experience freedom from fear, anxiety, peer/social pressure, sickness and dependence on medicines. I chose to believe that in His great power, God can heal me and that in God’s perfect time, I would be able to enter into the right relationship, get married and become a mother.

It wasn’t an easy choice to make. I felt really scared countless times especially when I began to have irregular menstruation again. I had morbid thoughts that I might die of losing too much blood because of my vanity and stubborn belief that God can and will heal me. All throughout those times, I held on to God’s mercy, power and love.

My battle with this sickness was long but my wait for God’s anointed bridegroom for me was much longer. My menstruation, by God’s mercy, eventually became normal, regular and once a month. Slowly, I lost the excess pounds. But there were two problems left. I’m still waiting for God’s best and since I’m not yet married, I could not get pregnant. People kept telling me that my biological clock is ticking and that I should get married soon. I can only sigh. Of course I wanted to get married soon but do I let depression get me down again simply because I didn’t have someone to marry yet? I know that I can get pregnant if I want to but I also believed in purity and chastity and that sex should be in the context of marriage. So, the pressure continued.

By God’s grace I was able to handle the pressure quite well. Instead of focusing on what I didn’t have yet and what I couldn’t do yet, I focused on what God has given me at that time of my life. I chose to develop and use the talents God has given me. I seized the opportunities God has opened up for me to grow in character and in my career. Then, while I was busy serving the Lord through my talents, God led me and my future bridegroom to each other. How God made that miracle happen is another story or another book to be published.

So, after much prayer and discernment, we decided to get married. But our plan was to postpone having a child until we were adjusted to married life. We wanted to be prepared emotionally, financially, and psychologically before taking on the role of parents. We agreed to wait for at least six months or a year. We practiced the natural birth control or rhythm method since we believed that I have been healed from having polycystic ovaries.

To our surprise, I became pregnant two months after our wedding. We got married last December 2007. By February 2008, my period was already delayed. At first, I thought it was due to the stress at work but after taking a pregnancy test, visiting my ob again, and having an ultrasound, it was confirmed that I was indeed pregnant.

My ob-gyne was surprised. Well, for one, because she has not seen me in years. But more so because I didn’t undergo medical work ups or intervention to prepare my womb to conceive, considering that I had polycystic ovaries. I recalled her explanation before during one of my visits when I was still single. She said that I had polyps which are like small bubbles lining my uterus. These should be removed or cleared so that the fertilized ovum could attach itself to the lining of the uterus. Only then can I become pregnant.

My husband was amazed. He didn’t know that until recently when I was already pregnant and I shared it with him. We realized that our son is one miracle from God, a great and wonderful unexpected gift. So though we didn’t plan for this to happen this soon, we are very grateful to God for His surprise. He knows best anyway. To us, this may not be the best time. But God says it’s the perfect time to be parents; thus, we believe.

I shared my story to my friend and he was very grateful. He said that I have given him and his wife hope by doing so. I chose to write this sharing now because I want to give hope not only to childless couples out there; but also, to single women who are already advance in age, unattached, not yet married or have polycystic ovaries, too. I chose to draw hope and inspiration when I was still single from the lives of Elizabeth (Mary’s cousin) and Sarah (Abraham’s wife) who both conceived a child in their old age. Now, I‘m grateful I chose to believe that nothing is impossible with God. I claimed in faith as early as more than ten years ago that no matter how long I wait, I would be healed, I would get married to the one who’s best for me, and I would be able to bear a child. I hoped in God and did not hope in vain. I pray that God would bless you with this same hope; and that in God’s perfect time, you would receive the miracle that you hope for.


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