Falling pregnant by happy surprise with Aviel, I never once thought I'd face infertility, but when Aviel was three years old and had well since weaned, I was still not menstruating and I knew something was wrong with my body.
It wasn't just the lack of cycle, but a number of strange changes to my quickly morphing appearance that caused me to wonder.
I embarked on research and learned of Cushing's Disease, a condition caused by a tumor either on the adrenals, lungs, or pituitary gland, which seemed a perfect explanation for the problems I was dealing with. Most notably, my face swelled up round and full, but I was also loosing hair on my head, growing body hair, developing a hump on my back, and gaining weight in my upper body and stomach. After seven months of tests, we finally were able to determine that I did, in deed, have a pituitary tumor. It was a Beauty Theif, that secreted a hormone called ACTH, which in turn stimulated an over production of cortisol in my body. The excesses of cortisol halted all ovulation, but with the removal of the tumor, fertility was likely to return.
My surgery was successful, and three months later, my endocrinologist cleared us to start trying for another baby.
It took a little longer than I expected, however.
On one particularly disappointing day, when we had learned naturally that we did not have a baby from the month before, the Lord blessed us with hope. During Shabbat services, our pastor was speaking from Acts 16.
One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. (v. 14)
As he read through the passage, and spoke the name Lydia, I remember thinking...
Lydia... our daughter. I need to tell Devin.
No sooner had the thought passed through my heart before Devin leaned over and whispered in my ear...
I knew my husband had heard the same! He then showed me how lovely the name presented itself spelled in Hebrew - as the two words L'yad Yah, meaning next to God.
Exactly 4 weeks later, we learned that we had a new baby on the way! Joyfully our news was confirmed on Aviel's 4th birthday. We were blessed to share with our little son that the Lord has placed a baby in my belly for his birthday present! All three of us were thrilled.
The pregnancy was medically confirmed at my 6 month post-opp Endocrinology appointment a few days later. I'll never forget the look on my Endo's face when he saw my numbers! Lydia was celebrated all around, even as pea-sized womb baby!
It was only a matter of weeks before joy gave way to discouragement, even some depression. If I had thought the nausea and vomiting was hard with Aviel, this was a new giant to face. I had a severe case of Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG). This is nausea on steroids. I could barely eat and nothing stayed down. I vomited at least three times a day, if not more. The vomiting continued on until week 36, and by the end of the pregnancy I had only gained 12 lbs.
Besides the physical strain on my body, I was plagued with constant mom guilt, knowing Aviel was not receiving the care I felt he needed.
On top of the HG, again, I received a Gestational Diabetes diagnosis.
This was a severe disappointment because I was hoping that the neuro surgery I had to remove my pituitary tumor would have corrected my body's glucose intolerance, since Diabetes is a secondary symptom of Cushing's Disease. The Lord would soon turn this disappointment into a blessing!
He Gave Me Lydia - Kindred Grace (for more about Lydia's Name story)
Beauty Thief - Kindred Grace (about Cushing's Disease)
A Story of Grapes, Giants, and Homebirth (part 1)
Something Special (Aviel's Birth Story)