Being Transparent

I have prayed about this for a long time. People have encouraged me to share our story. I feel like it’s time so here it is. It’s a long story so bear with me!

This is raw and real. This is me, being as transparent as I can be. It’s scary to put it all out there, but when I ask for prayers, I know people want to know what they’re praying for. It’s taken a lot of prayer and reflection on my part to get to this point.

Where it all began…
It all started on December 16th 2008. I was curled up in the fetal position in the emergency waiting room at UAB. Occasionally getting up to go to the bathroom which caused excruciating pain. Finally got put in a room after a couple of hours where I immediately got hooked up to IV fluids and a monitor. My heart rate was sky high and my blood pressure was super low. I asked my husband if I was dying. I honestly felt like I was. After being asked if I could have an STD a million times, being placed on triple antibiotics, 2 CT scans, a vaginal US and X-rays, 18 hours later I was made an inpatient and placed in a room. My incredibly strong mother and my incredibly patient husband were by my side the entire time. The following day was a blur, but I do remember asking my doctors, through tears, if I could simply have a cracker to eat. Through the pain, I was hungry and thirsty, but my diagnosis was unknown. The triple antibiotics were not working. I was taken back for possible removal of everything in my pelvic region. Possible removal of my uterus, my ovaries, my Fallopian tubes. Seeing this on my hospital bracelet was terrifying, but I was too sick to really care. All I asked was that they freeze my eggs if they had to take it all, and they were prepared to do so. As they rolled me down that long hallway of he UAB OR wing, I prayed that I would survive. I had just married the man of my dreams less than two months earlier!

When I regained consciousness I begged for my mommy. I was also infatuated with the amazing pillow that was lying on my belly for when I need to cough! I asked if I could take it home! My abdomen was so distended with air and my throat was scratchy for days from the breathing tube. I was scared.

Thankfully they only removed my right Fallopian tube and my appendix (bc it’s unnecessary). My left tube had some infection but was salvageable. My ovaries and uterus were fine praise the Lord! It was an infection of unknown origin.
I was depressed. I was lonely despite my family, friends and incredible husband by my side. I feared the future. That’s when molly came along. January of 2009. She restored a joy and a purpose that I had lost. I was a mommy to a precious puppy!
Fast forward a couple of months to march of 2009. I went back to the doctor for a test to see if my left tube was patent. I laid on that hard, cold table as they performed the procedure. I was so overwhelmed with emotions that they let Nicholas come in and hold my hand. The test was unsuccessful bc they couldn’t get the scope through my cervix. I was traumatized. Never wanted to go back again.

And I didn’t, until October 2015. I was ready. I was ready to know. We have traveled all over the country, and lived like young people should live, but now we were ready for a little one. The test was successful and my left tube is semi-patent. It’s not 100% but the dye passed through to my uterus. It was a surprise and a blessing. This all brings us to today.

I started clomid in December. We chose to try intrauterine insemination before IVF. Since I only have one good side that basically means we can try every other month if the all the cards fall correctly. This process involves lots of lovely hormones and lots of doctors appointments! Well, one successful IUI which ended in a miscarriage, a couple of months off, and one failed IUI later here we are.

We found out on Tuesday that we will try IUI one more time. If it is unsuccessful we will begin the IVF process. It’s daunting to say the least!

Through many devotionals, encouragement from family and friends, a necklace from a shop called scarlet and gold and their give grace campaign, and lots of prayer…my heart is ready to be transparent. I have been encouraged through several others fertility struggles and faith stories. Maybe someone will be encouraged by mine. One person I know calls herself a fertility survivor. It’s hard. Some days you don’t feel like surviving, you just wanna give up. You wonder if it’s worth the heartache. There’s no way to describe the emotions that we experience. My heart is not hard, my heart is not jealous, my heart is not angry. My heart has been broken, but Jesus always puts it back together. My heart is hopeful, my heart is open, and I pray that it pours out the abundance of grace that God continues to give me each and every day. His grace is sufficient.

A lot of you are familiar with our story. I have always shared it openly with those who are interested, it’s not something I’ve ever wanted to hide. I am not infertile, so it’s hard to put myself in the category of infertility patients, but that’s just how it is. I do not expect anyone to understand, but I do expect people to be gentle. I have an incredible life, surrounded by incredible people! This is just the mountain in front of us. The mountain that will one day be cast into the sea!! “Let go, my soul, and trust and Him.” I have absolutely no control, but I’m thankful I know who does. The keeper of my heart, the lover of my soul. I have learned sooo much about myself, my relationship with my Maker, my relationships with my family and friends, and most importantly my marriage!

It’s not just about me. God made Nicholas Parden my husband bc He knew he was strong enough, patient enough, and humble enough to live this life. This is OUR mountain and we are facing it together, hand in hand. He could probably write a book himself. I informed him that it’s recommended to eat a low carb diet in prep for ivf. His response, “I cannot live with you hangry and on hormones.” So we pray we don’t make it that far! ┬áThe hormones have already been hard enough and I love carbs!! He is my rock and I love and adore him more and more everyday!!

My mom has been to lots of early morning doctors appointments with me, cried with me, encouraged me and held my hand.

My sis is always there with the most perfect thing to say when I feel like I can’t make it through another day. Her encouragement keeps my head up! She also found me fertility clinic in Louisiana that I went to last week for my baseline ultrasound, so I can go visit whenever I want! It’s been pretty much impossible to go anywhere bc of my doctors appointments!

My friends, you all know who you are!! Your sweet cards and encouraging words always lift my spirits. Such sweet reminders of how much we are loved. I started a new job in February at St. Vincents East and man, as hard as it was starting a new job during this season of my life, God knew what He was doing! My coworkers, old and new, are incredible blessings!

God has an incredible plan. We know He does. We put all of our hope and trust in Him. Some days I have no idea how to pray. Lately, my time with God has basically been me just sitting quietly and feeling His presence. He knows the desires of our hearts, we just have to have faith!! It seems so simple, but some days it’s so hard! That’s why we feel the need to share! We need the support of those who love us most, and we desperately need your prayers!

There’s no way to be prepared for all of the emotions, the physical discomfort, and the financial strain of this whole process, but where God guides, He provides!! Because of His unending love and grace, we can do this!!

I really struggled with whether or not to share, but we covet your prayers, support and encouragement. It also comes with so many expectations! I would love to update you every lil step of he way, but it’s emotional and personal and sometimes just hard to put into words. And honestly, you would also get sick of it! My sister gave me a beautiful, little journal to keep in my purse, so I can jot down all of my crazy thoughts! Trust me, you do not want to know what it’s like inside my head! I do not want to deter questions, but we do ask that you be aware of the impact your comments and questions can have on an already sensitive situation. I will give updates when my heart is ready!

Thanks for taking the time to care!!

This is one of my favorite pictures of us and always will be. It was after my HSG test in October 2015, on our 7th wedding anniversary! We spent the evening at our happy place, on the farm, by the creek! It was before we met with my fertility doctor in December to come up with a plan. God was preparing our hearts way before this, but I feel like this is where all of the hard conversations began! We actually slowed down a bit and started thinking about ourselves! It was time! There is absolutely no way to describe how much I love this incredible man of mine!!
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26 thoughts on “Being Transparent

  1. Love you, Betsy! I will add y’all’s name to our prayer list! You are an amazing person! I cannot imagine how hard it is to share such a personal journey!!! Much love and hugs!!!!

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  2. I love you and the fact you are being open and sharing your story. I know it will help others going through similar situations. I continue to pray for you and Nicholas. May God bless you and answer your prayers soon.

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  3. I love you sweet Betsy! I am praying for you. Please know I understand some of what you are going through. We all experience situations differently even if they are similar…but one thing remains the same… God is in control! Thank you for opening up your heart to all of us and I agree with you that God will use your story to reach someone else who is hurting and broken. I’m praying and believing for Gods pleasing and perfect will for you both. May The Lord bless and keep you.

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  4. Thank you for sharing sweet Betsy! Yes, this picture is absolutely precious! I love it and I love both of you! You will be in my prayers every time I think of you!

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  5. I’ll join with you and your sweet family in prayer, Betsy. I know how your heart can be broken for a child you don’t have! In His love and mine, Angie Mabrey

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  6. Betsy and Nick, Debbie and I love you two and will continue to lift you up in prayer. I have watched as my son and my Daughter in Love, had the dreaded miscarriage. It is a helpless feeling. I know God has a plan that is just right. I don’t know what it is but He promises that Je holds our tomorrow’s. God bless you both.

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  7. Love you two so much! Praying that God gives you the desires of your hearts and that you both feel Him as He carries you through this. He has never and will never leave you even though you feel numb at times. That is when He is hiding you in the cleft of The Rock. God bless you.

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  8. Thank you Betsy for sharing your story. I will be praying for you and Nick. As you said God has his plan for all of us, and I am sure you will be the best mother ever!!! Love you and praying for blessings on you and Nick.

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  9. Wow, thanks for sharing your heart. I had no idea. I have prayed knowing God knew your need, but now I can pray specifically. We love you guys and will be in prayer for your journey. Let us know if we can do anything. Love ya.

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  10. The story of your struggle is very encouraging and inspiring and you are a brave young woman. My thoughts and prayers for you and your family. I wish you all the best.

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  11. Betsy, Thank you for sharing!! I was told I would probably never be able to conceive, and 35 years ago there were not the amazing medical procedures that there are now. But there was and is THE LORD! and 4 Grissett children! I will be praying for you one of my favorite prayers–that you will become the joyful mother of children (Psalm 113:9 KJV)!

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  12. Betsy,
    I’m a coworker of Suzanna’s and she shared your post. I know we don’t know each other but I can tell that you are an amazing, brave, and beautiful person. I can’t imagine what your journey has been like but I feel that sharing your story will only give hope and encouragement to others who may have a similar path. I’m thinking of you and your husband and will pray for you.

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    • Thank you so much for your encouragement Tawni!! It means so much to us to know there’s people all over the country praying for us! Some days I don’t feel so strong and brave, but with God’s grace I regain my confidence! Thank you so much for your prayers!! Hope to meet you one day when I come to visit!

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  13. Praying for you, Betsy, and having faith with you that you are going to be an amazing mother that encourages and strengthens because you have been encouraged and strengthened. “We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.” (Hebrews 12:2) Your story is bringing hope to people. Thanks so much for sharing.

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