Over the last few years, my wife and I have been through the hell of infertility.
Like many, we turned to countless solutions and experienced dark nights. Dark nights that are not unknown to folks going through similar experiences such as the death of loved ones, divorce, job loss, and more.
By the grace of God, a promise of hope eventually came. But where it began was a nightmare.
Let’s start from there.
In 2015, we returned home with an empty car seat.
After entering the hospital as cheerful newlyweds with a healthy pregnancy, my wife Kirsten and I expected to deliver a beautiful baby boy.
Instead, our firstborn son Caleb died unexpectedly in the NICU shortly after birth.
Our lives were rocked, and we hit a low that we didn’t even know existed.
Two years later, we experienced a ray of light in that valley of darkness. That was the birth of our son Asher.
I quickly learned, however, that one life doesn’t substitute for the loss of another.
The gaping hole in our hearts remained.
And looking back now, I realize our journey had just begun.
Following the birth of Asher, year after year went by with no further luck in conceiving to build the family we so severely yearned to grow.
We soon turned to money to solve the problem.
Nevertheless, we endured ten failed rounds of fertility treatments, including four rounds of IVF, which only deepened the wound we felt as the financial losses began to stack up.
In addition to our infant son Caleb, we buried five more babies in various stages of development.
The lowest point came in October 2020, when Kirsten was five months pregnant with a miracle baby. We were at our 20-week ultrasound, waiting to hear the gender, which would later be unveiled at our baby reveal party that night.
Instead, the nurse fell silent.
She then softly muttered the words that I will never forget:
“I’m sorry, your baby’s heart is not beating.”
The bottom fell out.
The grief was overwhelming, and the questions were unanswerable.
‘God, why would you place this gift within arms reach only to snatch it away?’
Still, throughout this entire trek, one thing remained constant. God had put this desire in our hearts to build a family.
And we believed He would fulfill it.
He even sent messengers to us along the way. Friends had the courage to sit across from us during each loss and deliver words God had given them for us: that we would still conceive another child.
Mind you, these words were said to us with our 40-ish-year-old biological clocks ticking.
In one instance such as these, a stranger drew their vision from God for us, which still hangs in our hallway as a reminder of God’s faithfulness. It is a stick-figure family of at least two living children with their parents.
The title reads, “good times are coming.”
The image’s creator didn’t even know that we were married, much less that we badly wanted more children. I continued to walk past this image every day of my life with each passing loss, wondering if God would fulfill that promise.
Finally, in the fall of 2021, something changed.
We laid it all down.
We had been trying endlessly to fill a hole from Caleb and many more that were impossible to fill, and while we still believed God’s words to be true, we decided to give up striving.
We ended the fertility treatments. We pursued adoption. We even did the most challenging thing for two type-A personalities; we quit (ahem) “trying.”
That December, we ended up in a room full of new acquaintances at our church, where someone stood up and shared words that God had given them:
“Miracles still happen today, and someone in this room needs to hear that.”
These situations usually cause me to shrug, half believing at best, assuming that the words are for someone else if they are even true.
But not this time.
My wife and I immediately locked eyes from across the room.
The message was for us, and we knew it.
One week later, Kirsten, at 42-years-old with no fertility treatments or thought of “trying,” came to me in our kitchen.
She placed a positive pregnancy test on the counter.
I knew immediately that this pregnancy would be different. Even with every reason in the world to fear that this baby would meet the same fate as the others, I did not fear.
Then, in March of this year, with five months remaining until the due date, God told me it was time to tell people her name.
We had waited in trepidation for seven long years to use my grandmother’s name on a little girl who might take an actual living breath here on Earth. This prompting felt like a tee-up for more disappointment.
It involved taking another leap of faith, but I chose to trust and fight back fear.
We ended up telling the world her name: Evelyn Grace Schwartz.
God’s little miracle was born on August 5, 2022.
Even when all hope is lost, God still fulfills His promises.
He still performs miracles today, and I no longer question that for a second.
Did God owe us this child? Did we deserve a healthy birth after years of turmoil and countless nights of pain? Had our faithfulness and goodness paid off for a reward?
I’m not sure I think that. But as the years passed and the nights got darker, we believe God told us to hang on a little longer than we were willing to.
That despite all logical reasons not to be hopeful, we could take the risk to open up our hearts to the possibility that He could do something remarkable.
I know a lot of folks out there (many of whom are reading this) have, are, or will experience the agony of infertility. And if not infertility: countless other trials.
While I don’t know how it will end for you, I can tell from our experience that God can move in whatever way He wants, whenever He wants.
And at the end of the day, to trust that no matter our circumstances, whether He delivered Evelyn or not or if we went through this process ten times more:
He is good.