Baby Blessings Ministry is founded by Stephanie O’Hara and Tiffany Jo Baker. God joined these two women after Stephanie experienced secondary infertility and recurrent miscarriages which led her to seek a surrogate to carry her children. Tiffany carried and delivered Stephanie’s twins in September of 2015. Today, their families are forever connected. by Blessings Ministry is founded by Stephanie O’Hara and Tiffany Jo Baker. God joined these two women after Stephanie experienced secondary infertility and recurrent miscarriages which led her to seek a surrogate to carry her children. Tiffany carried and delivered Stephanie’s twins in September of 2015. Today, their families are forever connected.
A letter to husbands going through infertility
(from my husband)
I am the last person who thought I would be writing about infertility and what we have learned through our journey. As people of faith, we know to trust the process and timing of everything in our lives. However, dealing with what we want compared to what we are currently receiving tests all of our beliefs in the process. Through our first several miscarriages, I “knew” that each one was meant to be and there were difficulties with the genetics of our baby. Basically we were better off that it happened – at least that is what all of the healthcare professionals kept telling us. It sure did not feel that way and each new miscarriage had a compounding effect. The “you are better off” coping mechanism is the go to response of most people. It is not their fault and they want to care for you by helping you understand that you are now somehow better off that you just lost your child. The other outcome would have been much worse…
As men we compartmentalize and convince ourselves that we are better off. It was meant to be. Okay, now let’s convince our wives that we are better off.
Wrong path and approach.
She is way ahead of you and has already worked through the better of part of the equation. She knows that may be true but also feels the loss of her baby. She is absolutely sure she failed her child, you, her family, and herself. In her mind it is her fault and she is trying to figure out what she did to cause it. How she can change whatever she did wrong the next time (hopefully) she gets pregnant? Trying to move her back to being better off is the worst thing we attempt.
Grief, loss, sorrow, failure and sadness are not emotions we as men acknowledge. We deny those feelings until they bottle up and boil over in some other form – anger, frustration, isolation. A great way to support our wives is to talk about the loss and our feelings – even if we do not have any clue what we are feeling. At the moment we start the conversation, our wives open up and let loose a mountain emotions. Please do not interrupt, try to help, speak, move away or do anything else but listen. Listen with every part of your body – eyes, face, arms, hands, back, legs, feet – Listen! Listen! Listen!. They need us to listen more now than any other moment in our lives. Listen well enough to feel what they are feeling and acknowledge those feelings are justified.
Now here is the really hard part, subdue all thoughts and actions of solving or fixing the situation or what is causing her emotions. Simply look her in the eye and tell her “I love you!”, “I support you!”, and “We are a team!” without mentioning any solution or action step to rectify the moment. We are trying to makes things better for the future and our wives want to feel the now. We are denying those same feelings and want to focus on moving past them by finding better a path and getting to work.
The suggestions and advice I am writing is completely the benefit of hindsight. Hindsight is 20/20. I failed in most if not all of these areas. I did not listen and certainly had very little desire to talk about my feelings with my wife. That is why they are called “my feelings” because I do not have to share them, was my approach. Please learn from my mistakes and in turn share your advice with others who are working through infertility.
My surrogate, my angel, my friend. (Also a life coach and speaker)
This is my life coach and biggest cheerleader, who helped me to transcend my thoughts and elevate my perspective. “
Lots of great resources here!
Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine (My fertility clinic; went through IVF here; our twins were conceived here and transferred into our gestational carrier.)
My favorite Christian author; wrote the “Power of a Praying Wife/Mother/Woman” series. This is the book I prayed from until I got comfortable praying on my own! l
Infertility Support Group
Check out this video on Carrie Underwood talking about her miscarriages and her faith”
SUPPORT FOR MIND, BODY, SPIRIT
~ To be or go beyond the range or limits of
I believe there are three reasons why I was able to transcend my secondary infertility:
- Believing I was worthy and taking action
- Science and Advances in Medicine
- My faith
MIND: Believing I was worthy and taking action
It was after my 3rd miscarriage that I realized I needed to seek counseling. I was traumatized, depressed and confused and quite frankly. I didn’t like being around myself at times.
I initially went for support but in the counseling something unexpected happened, I started learning about how I felt about myself. I had deep feelings of unworthiness that originated from my adolescence and I was still carrying those around. I had some big failures as a teenager and young adult and well, apparently I never got over them. I still identified myself as somewhat of a failure.
My husband joined me for a few therapy sessions. Despite being a bit reluctant, we were able to address some crucial dynamics in our marriage that we honestly didn’t realize were issues until we got there.
Click above under “For Husbands” to read my husbands letter.
We learned how to communicate with each other, love and support each other during this sad time. Our marriage evolved and we became aligned in a more profound way.
It took a lot of work, but we did it!
If you can’t afford to go to therapy, there are many helpful books and websites available.
Click above on the tab for “websites” and “articles” to see a list of resources that I found helpful during my infertility journey.
After two years of counseling I realized that I no longer needed it. Counseling was very effective, but I became tired of regurgitating the same emotions of sadness, anger and confusion over and over. I was ready to take positive, healthy steps forward.
To truly transcend my circumstances, I had to break down my own barriers and the limitations of how I saw myself. It was with the help of a life coach that I emerged from the drama and negativity. It took some practice but I finally began to recognize how powerful and limitless I was. I’m not saying you have to go out and hire your own life coach. This is a shift in thinking that all of us are capable of.
I started focusing on my “higher self”. I started becoming appreciative of where I was. Appreciation is the recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something. I had a loving husband, a cozy home, a healthy and happy little boy. I lived in a friendly little town and was surrounded with supportive friends. I even began to appreciate little things like getting a front row parking spot at Target, a sweet smile from a neighbor, and a good hot cup of coffee.
Scan your day for joy!
This change put me in a place of perfect allowing and attracting that which is positive. Anytime I felt less than good, I would stop and say to myself “nothing is more important than feeling amazing. I want to find a reason to feel good.” Just the ability to recognize that I didn’t feel positive in that moment was a game changer.
Anytime I felt a negative emotion, I realized I was resisting what I wanted. Negative thinking takes a toll on the wonderful things that we allow ourselves to experience. Much like karma, that which you think – you are putting into the universe, and that is what you will get in return.
Redirect your flight when contrast shows up. Recognize the emotion you feel and then move on. Reach out for uplifting thoughts. I know – it can be scary. You have experienced loss, grief, you might feel depressed. But if you will just let go for a minute and go higher with your thoughts, you will see a change in what you “receive”.
Your sorrow can turn into joy!
My past experiences (my miscarriages) didn’t define me. They didn’t dictate what was to come. I began to whisper to myself that change was coming. I was elevating my mind, my thoughts, so that I could allow positivity. I gave my conscious attention to what I specifically wanted. I told myself that everything was unfolding perfectly, in perfect timing. I let go of the past.
I truly opened my wings and soared. You can too!
Lessons I learned:
- Well-being abounds. Have deliberate, positive thoughts. Reach for JOY.
- Remember that you are worthy! Empower yourself.
“JOY IS THE EFFECT WHICH COMES WHEN WE USE OUR POWERS. JOY…IS THE GOAL OF LIFE, FOR IT IS THE EMOTION WHICH ACCOMPANIES OUR FULFILLING OUR NATURES AS HUMAN BEINGS. IT IS BASED ON THE EXPERIENCE OF ONE’S IDENTITY AS BEING OF WORTH AND DIGNITY…” – Rollo May
BODY: Sciences and advances in medicine, being proactive
The one thing I knew very clearly was that that God didn’t want me to be passive. I am naturally a bit of a detective so I began educating myself on internal medicine, the science of fertility, and advances in reproductive technology. I did this so I could take more control, make informed decisions and also so that my prayers could be more specific. When I prayed, I asked God for specific answers i.e., choosing a doctor or a treatment.
It was the third fertility specialist that was finally able to help me. The first one took away my hope and was unprofessional. I reminded myself that doctors “practice” medicine. They aren’t perfect, and they aren’t fortune tellers. Find someone that you connect with!
CLICK HERE for more information on the medical side of my journey
Two powerful lessons I learned:
- DO NOT let any physician take away your hope. Hope is “a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.” You may be told that odds are not in your favor. But that does not mean that you cannot have hope!
- You have options when it comes to fertility specialists. Always get a second opinion. And if you don’t like what they say, see a third. I have several friends like me who saw more than three specialists before getting their miracle baby.
SPIRIT: Having blind faith and never giving up
My faith was always strong and intact. Don’t get me wrong, I had many angry conversations with God.
I prayed daily by myself, with girlfriends and with my husband. I was devastated and confused after each miscarriage – the praying sustained and grounded me. I knew that God would restore me and that he had a path for me, I just didn’t know what that looked like.
There is a difference between Faith and Religion. Faith is about what you personally believe. Faith is about having confidence in what you hope for even though you can’t see it.
Wherever you are or whatever your relationship is to faith, you can write your dreams, hopes, wishes and prayers in a Prayer Journal. There is something about seeing your prayers in writing, it makes them tangible. Writing in a journal especially when your emotions are so real is therapeutic.
A prayer box way to actively engage your faith and make your hopes tangible. It can be anything that is on your heart, for yourself or someone else. The Prayer Box is also a way of physically turning your worries over to God.
“Tonight I pray for wisdom. “
“Tonight I pray for which doctor to choose.”
“Tonight I pray for patience.”
It’s so helpful to relent and trust in God’s timing. Handing your worries over to God, helps you create the right vibration that help you will attract what you want.
This is not to say that God is going to help you break barriers because you are being passive and thinking, “God knows my intentions and knows my heart.”
Being passive is not the same as being patient or trusting. It’s quite the opposite. In today’s world where books, pizzas and groceries can all be instantly delivered, many of us don’t practice patience.
For more on faith, please CLICK HERE
“BE JOYFUL IN HOPE, PATIENT IN AFFLICTION, FAITHFUL IN PRAYER.” ROMANS 12:12
“LET US NOT BECOME WEARY IN DOING GOOD, FOR AT THE PROPER TIME WE WILL REAP A HARVEST IF WE DO NOT GIVE UP.” GALATIANS 6:9
SUMMING IT ALL UP
Although I can’t promise you that you will get pregnant or have twins, what I do know is that having a balance between all three of these components of Mind, Body and Spirit will help to set you up for the absolute best chance of success.
Remember – if you are truly open, it’s not a question of IF you will have a baby, but a question of HOW.
Will it be through IVF? A surprise normal pregnancy? Hiring a gestational carrier? An egg donor? Adoption?
Think outside the box. Pray for wisdom. Take action.
You are worthy! Spread your wings and fly.