About Me

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Hi. Welcome to my "taboo" blog. My name is Steph, and when I first started this, I was still in my thirties. In 2017, I switch decades! I am a Christian, so underlying everything I do and say is the Word of God, and the foundational truths I have learnt over the years. This doesn't mean I'm perfect - I am human. It just means I recognise I need God's help to live this life and try to live out His way, as best I can. So that's me in a nutshell. Thanks for taking the time to read through my blog, I hope you draw strength, hope or encouragement from what you read.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Talking About Fertility on Premier Radio

In the week leading up to the National Infertility Awareness Week, Maria Rodrigues-Toth interviewed Rosemary Morgan, author of the book, "Living With Infertility: A Christian Perspective" about her journey with infertility, on her Woman to Woman show (Premier Christian Radio).

Within the interview, Rosemary is honest about her relationship with God, and her anger toward Him, feeling that He was doing something terrible toward her, in withholding a baby from her. What she found though, was that God was feeling the pain she was - His arms aching for His children, just as her own arms ached to hold her own baby. She also speaks of the challenges to her womanhood, and the disappointment she felt each month having to tell her Hubby they were not pregnant, not to mention the things people say!

I have since ordered the book, on the back of hearing the interview, which I will review. In the meantime, click here to listen to Maria's interview with Rosemary on Premier Christian Radio's Woman to Woman show.

Monday, October 28, 2013

This is National Infertility Awareness Week

So today is the first day in what will become an annual awareness week each October, launched by patient-charity Infertility Network UK to support its Talking about Trying campaign.

It is hoped that by holding the week-long National Infertility Awareness campaign, the issues which affect as many as 1 in 6 people, in their struggle to conceive, more people will begin to understand the illnesses which causes subfertility, providing much needed support for those who are dealing with this in their lives.

As someone who likes to help raise awareness of stuff affecting women, I found it quite telling that when it came to raising the profile of "wear it pink day" for the Breast Cancer campaign, I didn't think twice about clicking "share" or posting inspirational testimonies. But when it comes to fertility problems, I found myself hesitating over the posts appearing in my newsfeed, wanting to share the post, but holding back. 

Even when it came to writing an article about National Infertility Awareness Week for one of the Christian papers, I hesitated before writing the one sentence about my own situation. Then deleted it. Then reinserted it. Then paused before hitting the "submit" button. Why is it so much harder to be open about my own struggle with infertility, but not about my brush with breast cancer (I found a lump in one of my breasts when I was about 25. It turned out to not be cancer, but we decided to remove it anyway).

There's such a stigma associated with being "infertile", even to this day, that to admit I am one of the 1 in 6 people struggling is hard to do. I want to, in order to be a support to any of my other friends who are in a similar situation, but I don't want to be on the receiving end of awkward conversations, or pity. Nor do I want to be avoided because others are not sure how to handle my situation!

My aim, by the end of the week, is to re-post something relating to the Infertility awareness week. To step out from the shadows, and brave the responses of others. Why should I allow the reactions of people to hold me back - and who knows, there might be another Prayer Warrior added to my "Battle for Bubba"!!

Story Read in Daily Mail - Removing the Yeast

Following my last blog post about trying to maintain a pH balance in our bodies (read here), I was reading the Daily Mail a few weeks ago, and found a story which was really encouraging.

The story that featured that day, was of a couple who had been trying for a baby for about 5 years and had tried various things, including fertility drugs. In the course of investigations, the woman, Mrs Cummings, was diagnosed with PCOS. 

They were about to embark on IVF treatment, when Mrs Cummings decided to visit a nutritionist, so she could prepare her body through a healthier lifestyle.

The nutritionist advised that she cut out yeast from her diet, one of the side effects of yeast was menstrual problems, which had led to her not having a period for about 6 months. Obviously, not having a period in itself prevents pregnancy, on top of the PCOS issues!

So Mrs Cummings stopped eating potatoes, bread, toast, and eating mainly fresh fruit and vegetables. Not long after she had made these changes, Mrs Cummings had her first period in six months The next month, she was pregnant!

In her interview, Mrs Cummings says, "I didn’t really go to  the centre to get pregnant, just to stand me in good stead for IVF but thankfully we didn’t have to go down that route. It just shows what years of abuse – drinking too much and eating the wrong things – can do to your body."

I may have been sceptical, initially, about the impact certain types of food have on my fertility and in my Journey for Bubba, but if a fresher diet has helped another woman, maybe... just maybe... it will help me! I'm even considering removing yeast from my diet too... but I LOVE Marmite, and have just opened a jar with gold in it!! Can I make this extra sacrifice... bacon butties and marmite gold on toast??? I think in the case of wanting Bubba, I actually can!

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Fertility Show, London

If you are in London, or can get to London, next weekend, this may be worth attending

To find out more about The Fertility Show, follow this link to visit their website.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Take Back What Was Stolen

I was reminiscing with my little brother about a song we used to love to sing and shout and dance around to... usually when we were in the car... much to the amusement of other drivers!

The song formed part of a medley of songs, titled, "Enemy's Camp / Look What the Lord Has Done!" (listen here) and we used to turn up loud and proclaim the words for our own lives. 

As I was listening to it tonight, I suddenly had a sense of God's voice saying that someone needed to proclaim this over their situation, relating to your journey through fertility:
The difficulties you face may have been caused by a sexually transmitted disease, as a result of life choices you have made... this is NOT God's punishment, take back what the enemy has stolen from you. It may be caused by a hereditary illness passed on from the generations before, this is NOT God's plan, take back what the enemy has stolen from you. It may be caused by a build up of toxins in your body, like Endometriosis or PCOS, God is your healing, take back what the enemy has stolen.
Whatever the reason for our battle to conceive, the enemy is trying to steal your hope, your peace, your joy, your sense of excitement for life - do not let him, take back what he has stolen. God gave them to YOU. They are freely available for you through Yeshua. Don't let the enemy steal what God has placed in your life - take back what he has stolen, proclaim the truth,  stomp around if you have to, and celebrate that one day, you WILL testify "Look What the Lord Has Done"!!!!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Like a Slap in the Face

Don't you just hate it, when you're just doing life, minding your own business, when suddenly the grief of the struggle to conceive slaps you in the face... usually at the most awkward moments... or is it just me!

Hubby and I had taken my Stepson out for the day over the weekend. We thought it would be fun to visit a local farm attraction, and it was! We had so much fun together. But literally about an hour after lunch, I suddenly had this huge overwhelming desire to burst into tears. As I looked around me I was literally surrounded by families with babies and toddlers - some of the kids resembling so strongly their mum or dad. I looked at Hubby and his boy, and there is absolutely no denying they are father and son.

I wondered what my own Bubba would be like, whether he or she would resemble me physically or in character. I then wondered how much fun my Bubba would have and how I would be able to talk to my Bubba about the animals, and of how God created them. We could have petted them together, fed them together and done the things I saw mum's doing with their precious little ones. And what Hubby was doing with his son. I could have shared in a more intimate way, the excitement of my Bubba as a lovebird landed on his or her hand, the exuberance of whizzing down the bumpy slide, the joy at watching the meerkats playing together, the laughter as he or she tried to stroke one of the pesky chickens... as a step parent, I really felt outside the "family bond" which I was supposed to be a part of.

The impact of this came up so suddenly, without warning, without me actively thinking along those lines, and the accompanying grief was immense. Unexpected in the middle of a brilliant day trip. It was all I could do to hold back the tears, right there in the middle of muddy puddles, in my wellies, surrounded by all these families on the farm.

Hubby was brilliant. He sensed almost as soon as I was aware of my emotional state, what was happening within me. He didn't tell me to "pull myself together" or to "just enjoy the day for what it is" or to "forget about our struggles", he understood that this was suddenly a lot harder than it should have been as a day out together. He held me. He comforted me. He was there for me. He understood.

On the drive home, when Hubby and his son were asleep in the car (both in exactly the same position, head back, mouth open), I finally afforded myself the luxury of the tears which had built up so suddenly. They flowed like streams of grief down my cheeks, my heart ached with the emptiness of my empty arms, my broken body, my unfulfilled womb. The grief allowed to leave my heart, leave my soul and come out into the open. Sometimes, we need to allow ourselves to let it go.

This Journey for Bubba is hard work, and pretending otherwise is to deny the depths of the longing for our own child. Trusting God will work in my impossible situation doesn't mean there won' be times it hurts. Faith is believing God can and will work in this Journey, and until He does, I will work through the days like this when my mind gives me an unexpected slap in the face.

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Essence of Herbs Continued

So I have been following this special diet prescribed by the Herbalist for a couple of months now. I know it takes around three months for nutrients and stuff to travel through the body to the developing egg, so I have no idea what impact this is having on my eggs... nor will I ever have any real idea of whether the anti-inflammatory purpose of this diet is actually reducing the inflammation in my Fallopian Tubes. Somehow, I'm not sure the NHS would fund a "I want to see if it's working" scan for me!

What I have noticed though, is that the two periods I have had since starting this have not been as bad as they were before... I mean, the pain is not as intense, the clots have been non-existent and the flow has not been as heavy! For me, this is a positive sign, and for these benefits alone, I can see the purpose in what I am doing, even if I have to avoid the bacon butties Hubby loves to make, or cook another veggie soup, or down that grass juice (bleugh!!) and even though I won't know if my Tubes are clearing. It's just been nice having a "normal" period!!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Abba's Arms

I'm glad that a time will come when we can run into the arms of our Heavenly Father. Because when that day arrives, I just want to run into His arms and cry out to Him, "Abba, why did it take so long? Why for some women does having a baby happen so quickly, so easily; but for others it takes so long and involves so much heartache and sorrow?"

I know that as He answers, He will wipe away my tears, heal the ache in my heart and remove the painful memory of each month's lost potential.  

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Lord Did It

I came across one of those verses which is quite challenging to read. It is one of those verses which literally makes you re-read it, to double-check you hadn't misread it.
1 Samuel 1:5 "...although the Lord had closed her womb."
What?? Wait??? The Lord did it???

It's an uncomfortable verse to read. When you're a Christian, we have this perception that our lives should be uncomplicated! So how am I supposed to deal with the reality of a verse like this one???
My desire is for Bubba... That desire is deep in my heart, where the Spirit of the Lord Himself resides. He knows my deepest longing to become Bubba's Mumma. And yet... He has closed my womb.

If we believe life is created at the say so of our Almighty Creator God, then this uncomfortable concept has to be accepted too. Why He chooses to close one woman's womb, or open another is known only to Him. Maybe it's about timing, like in the case of John the Baptist's Mum who had to wait until the time of Yeshua's time to be born...any earlier, any later and the 'Voice of one crying in the desert' would have been silent. Maybe it's about God demonstrating His great power and authority over a situation - where humanity fails, God steps in to do the impossible in our lives, according to the plan He has for you and me.

The worst thing to do would be to deny the Lord's hand on your life, even with this difficult idea of Him being the one who has closed your womb. That is why we know that there is a hope and a purpose in asking Him to open our womb and to grant to us the gift of our Bubba. We can go to the One who gives life and know that He is the ONLY One who can actually do something about it.

Don't lose heart, wherever your journey is taking you. God may have closed your womb for a time, but His delay is not a definite NO forever... It may be taking time, but He knows when the time is right for your Bubba... Who else knows the destiny in the seed you and your Hubby are carrying!!!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Journey Buddy

About a month ago, a friend and I met up for a good old catch up and chin wag over dinner. I'd not seen her for years, and we'd lost touch for a while, but God knew when I was time for us to "find" each other again. Since we started to communicate again, I have been so blessed by her encouragement and support as I walk this journey. She knows what to say, how to pray and understands completely what I am going through - because she is walking her own path on a similar journey. 

You know what, it was so good being able to just talk without needing to explain anything, with someone who just "gets it".. the obsession with our monthly cycle, the obsession with what foods to eat at what time of the month, the obsession with peeing on sticks... and the obsession with the wonder-app which is the literal holder of the mid-cycle calendar... ("yes it's OK to go out tonight" or "We are staying in and going to bed tonight!!"). 

We spent the night comparing our apps, sharing our stories and had a real hearty laugh at some of the things we do... Bicycle after intimacy, bum on a pillow... not moving for at least 30 minutes... The "advice" we have been given... avoiding certain foods / smoky environments / mother's day services when one cycle ends and a new one begins. Only someone who has been there can laugh with you at such antics, and cry with you at the depth of our pain!

If anyone passing our table had heard any of our conversation, they might have blushed at times, but between us, there was the freedom for us to just relax and let it all out. I know I needed that. I needed to have someone I can just talk about all the embarrassing things which make up this journey, without worrying about what I was saying, because not many people know how to handle a situation like ours, and they never know what to say. 

We both studied the menu carefully... I was toward the end of my cycle, so wanted to eat something like a steak, with it high iron content, whereas she was recently after ovulation, and still wanted a steak. Normally when Hubby and I go out, he doesn't care why I want something - he just wants to know what I want. Needless to say, neither of us had alcohol.... JUST in case this was the month (Turned out it wasn't for either of us).

But the thing with having Christian friends on the same journey, is that we were able to encourage one another with the Word of God, shared the things God has spoken to us about for our journey's and remind ourselves that in spite of all we are going through, we can each recognise the blessing of God in our lives. This is not an easy aspect of walking through this journey. In all honesty, there are times when I really don't want to think on anything EXCEPT the fact that I don't have a child! If I'm really honest, there are times when nothing else really seems to matter, because wanting to be a Mumma to my own Bubba can become so consuming in my heart and mind, that I retreat into my sorrow and hurt. And there are times when there just is nothing anyone can say... but not everyone understands that, and will say what they think you want to hear. This night was different! This night was a relief!

In those moments, having a Journey Buddy like this is just what I need... and I hope it is vice versa - I know there are times she has sent me a message, so I can pray for her and support her too. It's a two-way support, and as she is about to embark on her next step, she will face some tough days, and I pray the Lord will use me to strengthen her, as He carries her through it. Many times in life, we end up on a route we never ever thought we would have to take, but our Heavenly father knows the end from the beginning and He knows the steps we will have to take. He is our guide, our hope is in Him. He is our strength, our future is in Him.

A Journey Buddy is someone I would highly recommend; if you don't have someone in your life like this, then I earnestly PRAY that God brings someone in your path QUICKLY. The benefit of having someone like this walking with me has been huge, and I thank God for bringing her back into my life. I pray that when she has her Bubba, and I have mine, we will rejoice together when our time of mourning has turned to dancing, and our time of tears reaps the joy of our precious God-given gift - a child. 

We made a promise we would meet again when either of us falls pregnant, and again when we can introduce our Bubba to one another... Until then, I hope she realises through the journey she is on, the challenges she faces, the difficult path she is walking, that I am with her each step of the way... Journey Buddies... pinky promise!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Femail article Frustration

I felt the anger and irritation rising up within me, with each word I read. The selfishness of the article writer was making my blood boil - and the more I read, the more I wanted to stop reading, but like those scenes on TV you really don't want to watch but have to watch, I couldn't bring myself to close the page.

It was only an article in the Femail section of the Daily Mail. But I couldn't believe the arrogant stance of the writer. She was pregnant... with her third child... which was a huge disaster for her and her perfect plans for her perfect family and her perfect future. When she found out she was pregnant she says things like, 
But this pregnancy is the last thing I want. A third baby is the straw that will break the camel’s back, a strain on our balanced, happy family. An abortion is out of the question, obviously. Like it or not, I am going to be a mother again.
‘I’ve ruined everything,’ I weep, my shoulders heaving, as my dreams of sending my two little darlings to exclusive prep schools vanish. Any notion of regularly treating them to regular consignments from Mini Boden is forgotten... would this baby ruin my children's lives?
The horror she felt at being pregnant again, had more to do with her selfish ambition for her careful plans, than it had to do with there being any real issue. I understand that there are women for whom another child would be an absolute no-no, because of genuine reasons, like health issues, or there is a real threat of death to the mother or child, and I know that there are women in countries like China, for whom any more than one child is considered "illegal". But the attitude of this expectant mum STANK!

She tried to redeem herself to women like myself, who are struggling to conceive one child, never mine a second or third, 
I’m all too aware that the many thousands of women out there who are struggling to start a family would give anything to trade places with me. The irony is we battled for years to have our babies.
My medical records read like a gynaecological horror story, with endless fertility drugs, two failed IVFs, one ectopic pregnancy and one miscarriage. I know only too well what it is like to long for a child only to have your hopes dashed month after month.
I can't believe that anyone who has struggles to conceive would take on this attitude toward their pregnancy... if you really didn't want another one, there are contraception methods available to use! But to start to say that this new baby will ruin the lives of his or her siblings, what kind of a start in life is that! Imagine when the child grows up and reads the words this woman has written about them before they were even born?? If that's not going to cause huge rejection issues, I don't know what will! 

I pray that this woman will love her new baby as much as she loves her other children, and that the Lord will protect him or her from knowing how much he or she wasn't wanted... it's not the child's fault he or she was conceived. It is down to the parents who made a baby, but ultimately - it is the plan of the God, who knits us together in out mother's womb... Who chose the point of conception and the moment in time this child will live... I pray that this child - irrespective of his or her family religious background, will become a mighty tool in the hand of God for His Kingdom purposes!

And for every woman who is struggling to conceive, may she know the JOY of finding out she is pregnant within this hard journey she wanders. 

Read the article here, if you really want to!