How God Changed My Heart Before He Answered My Prayer: My Pregnancy Story
I used to want to have a baby for the most selfish of reasons - I liked the thought of all the attention being pregnant would bring. I would imagine all the different scenarios on how I would break the news to my husband and to our families and friends. I was caught in the web of social media: I envisioned how fairy tale-like it would be to come home from our honeymoon with a baby in my belly, how everyone would praise my husband for getting things done, how God immediately blessed us with a child. “They are so favored!”, I imagined they would say, and the false me would shrug and smile modestly while being secretly pleased with myself, thinking that it was I who made it happen, because I’ve been “good” and I’ve been “praying”.
Me, me, me. The root of the problem in my heart that God showed me by not giving in to what I wanted: selfishness, self-absorption.
Sad, but true, and this is my confession.
It was two years and ten months into our marriage before God touched my womb. And in all that time Joey and I had a kind of “on and off” commitment to “trying” for a baby. But I am a woman, and on our first year of marriage, every time I would get my period I would secretly wonder if there was something wrong with me. Publicly, I would declare that “Joey and I are a new couple so we’re taking our time, no rush”, but inwardly the doubts would compound with every monthly bleed.
I was afraid I was barren.
I think we were on our tenth month of marriage when I decided to have myself checked. I knew I had PCOS, but I’ve never really given much thought as to how it would affect my child-bearing chances. My first OB put me on pills for the first three months because she saw my acne haha, and after that she had me take Clostil, an ovulation-inducing drug, asked me to go on follicle monitoring ultrasounds, then advised scheduled intercourse.
I didn’t get pregnant.
It was hard, this scheduled thing, and going to the hospital for checkups, and prepping yourself up on the examination bed and having all these cold instruments prodding inside you. I don’t think men will ever understand how humiliating it feels, but then with every checkup you emerge stronger and steelier. We probably did two rounds of this before deciding to just take it easy and not go to the hospital anymore.
On our second year of marriage my heart changed, and from the shallow, attention-seeking kind, I then shifted to the more profound, curious student type: I wanted to have a baby so that I would learn how that kind of love feels like.
Still, it was all about me, and what I wanted, and how I went about things MY WAY to get what I wanted.
2017 we transferred to my sister-in-law’s OB. This doctor was a bit more aggressive and advised us to undergo intrauterine insemination (IUI). Joey and I decided to give it a try - unsuccessful. After the failed attempt, our doctor wanted me to undergo a laparoscopic surgery to see my exact situation inside. She said she didn’t want to proceed with my fertility treatment when it seems like she’s in a blindfold. We agreed and scheduled a May operation.
I thought one of my fallopian tubes would be in danger because of endometriosis. I was told I was gonna be in the OR for about three hours for the number of procedures my OB listed I undergo. I prayed and prayed that everything will be found alright inside - normal and functioning. After about an hour and a half I opened my eyes to the very wonderful news that my organs were intact and “beautiful”, to quote my OB. She did find a paratubal cyst and some polyps which she took out. The surgery took fifty-five minutes.
The following month, my OB suggested that we try another IUI procedure. Again, it failed. Joey and I decided to take a rest from all the hospital visits and just go back next year. We’ll just take it easy, travel, and enjoy our time together without pressure.
From October 2016 till end of 2017, my own mother would get hospitalised five times. Her medical bills coupled with my own were a sizeable amount. It is in these times of retrospection that I truly appreciate God’s wisdom and timing: had we gotten pregnant then, it might have been too much financial and emotional stress to have everything happen at the same time.
Through all of these moments and experiences, God was drawing me nearer to Him once again, teaching me to let go and to let Him, asking me to slowly release all of my desires, to let Him do things His way. The spotlight was veering away from me and towards Him again, as it should be.
January of 2018, Joey and I joined Victory’s Prayer and Fasting Week. It was my first time to do so and I was so grateful that my husband and I prayed and fasted together. Of course, aside from guidance on Joey’s businesses and provision for our and our families’ needs, a child was right up there on our petition list. Five days of worship and fellowship and community praying and asking for a heart that would centre on Him - it was soul-filling.
We went back to my OB that same month for a checkup. I remember her telling me these words: “Sitti, unexplained infertility ka na eh. I opened you up and found nothing wrong. I suggest mag-IVF na tayo.” Joey and I thanked her and said we’ll be back in June, after Joey’s full Ironman race.
I didn’t really want to do IVF. It was too expensive and I thought about all the other things that kind of money could buy, all the help it could give to others who needed it far more than we did. Joey considered it though, saying if it was really necessary, we should save up for it. The matter went unsettled and forgotten, with Joey and I going back to the routine of our lives.
But God was fixing my heart again. When Joey celebrated his birthday the month after, I found myself wishing that God would bless him with a child not because I wanted one but because he was now 36. I thought it would be the right time for him to be gifted with fatherhood.
I found myself extremely busy the entire month of February, with shows here and there, a new album out (Electro Sitti), and preparations for my blog launch the following month. March came with the quiet ease of relaxed tranquility. Not as crazy as Feb and I believed it was because God was giving me time to concentrate on writing pieces for my blog, and dealing with last minute preparations.
It was also then that I started meeting my good friend Phoebe Sebastian, asking her to disciple me. As we went through the first chapters of One2One, I found myself encountering the Holy Spirit in a new and exciting way. As she shared on how alive and very much present the Holy Spirit is today, and how we can all access its power by saying the name of Jesus aloud and believing that He is working out His purposes for me and that He will fulfil His promises, I found my heart and my faith opening up and believing, truly, deeply, utterly believing, that God CAN.
I knew then, from the very depths of my soul, that God can make me pregnant without me doing anything about it. No IVF, no IUIs, no ovulation-inducing drugs and trips to the hospital, just Him. His power at work. He can make me pregnant ANYTIME, in any condition, if it His Will.
I didn’t need to do anything. I just needed to trust Him with my life.
The blog launch rolled by and Joey did his Ironman 70.3 race in Davao. We then spent Holy Week in Bukidnon, Cagayan de Oro, then home to Bacolod. My period was supposed to have come on March 24. I decided to test myself a full week after because I didn’t want to get my hopes up: countless times of testing after a three- or four-day delay that historically always yielded a negative result would do that to you. Early morning on Easter Monday, at 4:30am, I did the test.
I remembered praying, “Lord, Your Will be done. Be this positive or negative, I will be thankful, i will give You praise.”
There were two pink lines. I was in a suspended, “totoo ba talaga ‘to?” state. I kept checking the pack to verify that two lines did mean positive. I took another test because we bought two so I might as well use that as well, hehe! Still, two lines greeted me a very good morning.
An hour after, not being able to go back to sleep, I woke Joey up with the news: “Magiging daddy ka na.” Wala pa siya sa wisyo, haha! He kept pumping his fist up in the air, “YES!! YES!!” then asking me again, “Hindi nga? ‘Di nga?”, and I kept saying, still in an incredulous voice,
“Oo nga. Gusto mo makita yung preg test?” :)
How wonderfully that this happened on the day of my father-in-law’s birthday. <3
Thank You, Father God, for this most wonderful, beautiful surprise of a gift. How beautifully you shaped our child’s story! And thank You, my most wonderful Redeemer, for how you have saved me from myself yet again. Everything else is a bonus compared to the gift of You.
Thank You, I love You. I entrust our child to You.