infertility · motherhood

The Days Before I Saw My First Positive Pregnancy Test

Quite a few Novembers ago, I remember sitting outside and trudging through the emotions that come with infertility. There was a storm brewing in the distance, but as I sat there I suddenly felt that it would be okay. . . even good. Not right then. Maybe not soon. But sometime. There was a a settled feeling that washed over me. . .it was almost as though I had caught a glimpse of something beautiful, but it happened so fast. I can’t even remember all the details from that cold, fall afternoon. Only that good was coming.

I think that split second moment was a gift from God. . .momentary relief from the fresh, young tulmtuous waves in my soul.

The years following that moment were filled with tears, anguish, hollowness, heartache, the bathroom floor, pain. . .healing, closeness with Christ, the garden, laughter, the joy of a leaf, a life that filled up with life. And all of these things ran together in a way words could never describe, but you can understand. . .because you’ve been there too.

Fast forward to November 2019. I was on the brighter side of healing. My husband and I had recently had a conversation about how we would move forward in our family journey. I remember saying something along the lines of, “I really want children with you.” But I also remember confidently and peacefully closing doors in so many directions while opening ourselves to a life we hadn’t planned, but I finally felt excited for.

Shortly after that, I received a basket from a friend filled with the brigthest flowery things, pens, and a blank notepad. It was gift that seemed to say, “I see you!” And I put that basket of gifts on display!

Mere days later, another friend sent me this mug, joy comes in the morning, alongsisde a beautiful note which I have in the back of my prayer journal from that time. She knew about my struggle with infertility, and these were some of her words, “I pray for you almost every night and have every confidence that God has the most beautiful plan for you and Ben.”

About a week and half or so after that, I took a pregnancy test not expecting much or really anything at all. I had long-since given up taking these tests and asssumed my hormones were acting up because of my increased sugar intake.(Helloooo harvest party! 😉 )

Well, that test turned to two pink lines so fast. I couldn’t believe it, and yet somehow it was so believable. I just laughed! Hope Gives a Eulogy has a poem for that moment and a hundred others I experienced during infertility.

But there it was. Clear as day. Two lines. A yes. My firstborn son.

Flowers given to us by friends when they found out we were pregnant with our son which we eventually planted as his flower. And now they are blooming wildly this November!

Remember that note from my friend sitting in the back of my prayer journal? Around it I wrote, “note + gift from a friend received a week and a half or so before finding out I was pregnant. This was one of 3 meaningful gifts leading up to the great crescendo of our Shasta-boy.

You’ll notice I didn’t mention a third gift in this blog post, because I don’t remember exactly what it was, but I’ve got it recorded so it happened!

What a parade of gifts before the grand finale of our son. Which, of course, we know is not the finale, because God is always working and weaving miracles and healing and hope realized in so many ways! The reality is I had received thousands of gifts from God in those dark years leading up to those 3 gifts from friends leading up to the gift of a baby I could only yet see in two pink lines.

I hosted our third Thanksgiving in our bright blue home while being 6 or so weeks pregnant. That Thanksgiving was our first holiday with a baby in tow even though we’d never met him yet. The flowery blank notepad given by my friend is now my garden journal.

I totally added the sun flare to this garden journal photo! 😉

And if you’ve been around here for awhile, you know the significance of the garden in my long infertility journey! The “joy” mug is one of my all-time favorites and I love drinking coffee from it during the fall/November season.

Amazingly, I’m writing this blog post on the same November day I found out I was pregnant two years ago! (That wasn’t planned.) Even more beautiful is sitting here typing these words while being 21 weeks pregnant with our little girl.

halfway with our little girl!

I’ve been surprised by both my babies in different, wonderful, totally-of-God ways. We are headed into our fifth hosted Thanksgiving with inexplicable healing and the gift of two children.

And I think it’s important to note that with God this story could have happened in a thousand different miraculously good ways. . .children or not. I believe no matter what, I could still sit in November 2021 and recount God’s goodness. Which solidifies the truth that no matter what happens in our future, I will still be able to recount God’s goodness, be awestruck by His gifts, stunned by His timing, filled with His healing and hope, surrounded by a life made with life by God.

But here I am now. This is the story to date. The good gifts are endless. God’s goodness is endless. I’m moved by God’s love for me. As I wrote in my poem, Lest I Forget!, “and it was flowers, and Novembers, and pink skies, summer nights where Your blessing took over my life, and I was crying and laughing and breathing and longing and it was beautiful lest I forget!”

Today with the gift of my son and daughter, my husband and a 5th Thanskgiving in my home, I pray as I did in 2019, “Help me receive this gift with open, celebratory, trusting hands.”

God makes life. “Come and see what God has done: he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man.” -Psalm 66:5

And so we do, and we will!

Amen.

infertility · Poetry

Lest I Forget

lest I forget
it was sorrow,
but closeness with you.
it was grief,
but joy in your Presence.
it was heartache,
but bound-up wounds.
it was silence,
but not from You.

lest I forget
I was cradled
right from the grave
to the garden
under the darkness,
but the canopy of stars
is what I remember
the most.

breathing in broken air,
but just breathing
was the miracle there.
and it was flowers
and Novembers,
and pink skies,
summer nights
where Your blessing
took over my life
and I was crying
and laughing
and breathing
and longing
and it was beautiful
lest I forget!

-S.V.F.

(photo taken in 2019 months before getting pregnant with our firstborn, on the brighter side of healing. Thank you, God❤)

infertility

Hope Gives a Eulogy is ON SALE!!

Yes, it’s true! Originally $15, Hope Gives a Eulogy is only $10.19 for the holiday season! If you have PRIME, that’s $10.19 flat and if you don’t, just add it to your holiday shopping cart, because Hope Gives a Eulogy qualifies for FREE shipping on orders over $25! With Black Friday sales coming up, you’ll probably find yourself on Amazon more than once and I’m so glad I can offer Hope Gives a Eulogy for $10 and mere cents!


The holidays can be intense and painful for those experiencing infertility and this is such a comforting and powerful read about the reality of spring after (and sometimes during!) a wintry soul season.

Whether this book is for you or a friend, I know there will be poems you relate to especially during the holiday season which is always a mixture of joy and sorrow.

Here’s a 5-star review for Hope Gives a Eulogy given by someone who has felt the pain of infertility personally.❤👇

“I will be returning to these poems again and again on this infertility journey. Sierra has a unique talent for capturing complex emotions in small word counts. As someone who is also longing for “spring” – even if I never have my own baby – these poems gave me hope that I can climb out of this hole and find joy. Grateful for this collection!”

I LOVE what she says here because that means Hope Gives a Eulogy has portrayed spring accurately. It doesn’t always mean a baby, but it does mean LIFE!❤


ORDER for yourself or a friend!

infertility

Your Body Is Strong (To the Women Facing Infertility)

I’m amazed at what my body is capable of doing!

I realized how strong my body was after giving birth!

Wow, I can’t believe I did that!

Just a few of the phrases you may hear on podcasts, Youtube channels, Instagram stories or read on Facebook posts, blogs, Pinterest boards. It’s endless. And to the woman who hasn’t given birth with a body that feels like it’s against her, incapable, unable, weak, forgotten. . .well, those adjectives are endless, too.

I heard someone talking about her birth experience, but instead of relating to her exclamations of a capable, strong body, able to do the hard work of giving birth, I kept thinking how the women walking through infertility would hear those words. And not in a self-pity way, but those words are bound to scrape against wounds that may just reopen and loose the grief always just below the surface.

Because,

Is she incapable?

Does she have the body that can’t do amazing and hard things?

Is her body the broken thing? The forgotten vessel? The hollow sound of what could be, but isn’t. . .

So here’s the blog post where I talk about how capable and strong the bodies are of the women stumbling through infertility.

Your body is so strong and so capable.

For smiling when your friend tells you she’s pregnant.

For getting out of bed after another year of nothing.

For crying and meeting the grief of childlessness head-on.

For getting off the bathroom floor (again).

For smiling when your friend tells you she’s pregnant for the second time.

For walking through the baby asile by faith or pushing your legs right past, because it’s not a healthy place for you to be.

For letting your voice speak though it cracks as you ask the doctor questions you never wanted to ask, consent to tests or medication you never wanted in your story.

For letting your body curl up tigther than you knew it ever could, because there is pain to face as you say yes to healing. Say yes to God. Say yes to life.

For waking up to Christmas morning and Mother’s Day and Easter and Father’s Day and taking deep breaths, letting the day be what it is–hard, or numb, or empty, or just nothing at all.

For holding his hand evermore.

For arms that hold her baby. And her baby. And her baby. And hers too.

For hands that throw out the negative pregnancy test. And you’ve lost count, but you face the trash can and let go of one line all over again.

For the womb holding unmet expectations, pulling you ever toward hope and life. Baby or no baby.

For the strength of a body and heart that carries on through every season and setback, every pregnancy that isn’t yours, every baby shower, holiday, announcement, negative test, and sleepless night.

For the long labor of endurance which (with Jesus) always ends in life whether or not you ever house a second heartbeat.

For doing one of the hardest, most painful things on earth–not carrying a baby within you though you long for it.

For a body that says yes to life as your feet touch the floor every morning, and you call the doctor for results, and you hear no again, and you congratulate another friend on getting pregnant.

You’re choosing life with your body every day. And I celebrate the life you are and all the ways you have chosen it for yourself and your family, your present and your future.

You are strong,

too.