The Testimony of Shiloh-Isabelle Pt. 1
Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise
I am so filled with joy as I write about the testimony of my daughter, Shiloh-Isabelle. It is true that God is faithful- beyond what we can even imagine and comprehend. To be able to have the title "Mother" is a privilege that was granted unto me and by His grace I intend to take it seriously. I hope that whoever reads this post will find hope in God and rest in His promises. Whatever it is you are believing God for, know that He hears you and hasn't forgotten about you. I am a living testimony of that.
This journey all began December 2012. I visited my doctor's office for my annual exam. I felt a little bloated so my doctor recommended that an ultrasound be done. Lo and behold, she tells me that there were fibroids in my uterus. I could not comprehend what she was saying- not because fibroids were that uncommon but because I did not feel any discomfort and my cycle was normal. I was just sure that I was okay. Life was okay. As a matter of fact, life was great. I was engaged to be married to the man God ordained for me, I had a great job, among other great things. To be specific, this news came the week of my husband's album launch. We were busy praying and preparing towards it so I chose to keep it from him until after the program. I decided to not think of the options given to me until I discussed it with the man I was about to marry. After the concert was over, I told him about it. He just simply prayed over me and told me that God is in control. Now, those that know my husband are probably not surprised by his reaction but I was just so sure that I was going to get a whole lot more than that. Looking back now, I am grateful that I did not. God knew what he was doing when he gave me a man that has been given the grace to stay calm even in the midst of storms. :-). We weighed our options and decided that surgery would be the last resort. So I decided to go with option B, which would was to get on birth control to keep the fibroids from growing rapidly. Now, this did come with some side effects of course. The biggest and most challenging side effect was my weight gain. I remember not feeling as 'beautiful' or myself, so a month prior to our wedding, I stopped using them. A lot of folks thought that I was losing the weight for the wedding and I just played along with what they believed.
Fast forward to June 2013, my husband and I got married to the glory of God. I got back on birth control. By July 2013, I got pregnant. Ahhh!!! No way!!! We were not ready. How could this be happening? I was on birth control. My husband was elated and saw it as a gift and miracle from God. I, on the other hand, was so caught up in fear. Fear of not being ready to be a mom. Fear of being pregnant with the fibroids still being present. Heck, I was even afraid of what people will say since we got pregnant so early into our marriage (looking back now, that was just silly of me). My husband, being the optimistic person that he was, kept trying to help me see the beauty of what God was doing in our lives, but I just couldn't bring myself to appreciate the gift that God gave us. Eventually, I began to embrace and enjoy what was taking place inside of me. I began to think of names, picture what he or she would look like, etc. Things were looking up. We shared the news with our spiritual father who advised the we kept the news to ourselves for a while. I am so glad we listened to his advise because 7 and a half weeks into the pregnancy, I had a miscarriage.
On that day, my husband and I had gotten in an argument about something so silly. He was in the living room and I stayed in the bedroom for a nap. I woke up and I noticed that I was bleeding. I called out for my husband. We both knew what had happened. I remember laying in bed that night. Asking God why. "Why would you let me begin to fall in love with the idea of having a baby if you weren't going to let him or her live?" That was when the Holy Spirit brought it to my remembrance: While I was still stuck in my selfish state of fear and worry, I had actually wished for a miscarriage. See, I took it for granted. I did not understand that I was given something so priceless and precious that others would do anything to have. I just assumed that when I was ready, I'll get pregnant again. While I was so busy being selfish, I neglected the most important thing I should have been doing- Being alert! I gave room for the enemy to creep in and take what God gave to me. Even the fight between my husband and I was very minute and I could have taken the high road but I was immature and let my emotions get the best of me. I cried so hard and I blamed myself for a very long time. I realized that I was very naive and unappreciative of what God did for me. I asked for forgiveness and prayed for another chance but it was not going to come so easy. I had to go through my test in order to receive and appreciate my testimony.
After the miscarriage, my doctor recommended that I get back on birth control so I did. I gained a lot of weight and struggled to stay fit. During this time, I remember several people making statements like:
"Toyosi, you are letting yourself go because you are now married."
"Don't you know you have to stay in shape?"
"Toyosi, slow down ooo"(says the nosy Nigerian 'aunty' that claims to have your best interest at heart).
Those words cut like a knife because they did not know what I was struggling with. They simply made assumptions and judged me. I just want to digress a bit and say, to anyone out there that is being criticized for your weight, I want to encourage you to turn deaf ears to the critics. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL for you are GOD'S CREATION. If you lose the weight, make sure you do it for you. People will always have opinions and that is all they are. The only person's opinion of you that is relevant is that of your CREATOR. I am telling you this because these were the words my wonderful husband spoke to me and these words got me through my struggle. He still saw me as the beautiful soul that he married and that meant the world to me.
By January 2014, my doctor informed me that the 2 fibroids had gotten bigger and that a myomectomy had to be performed. As much as I hated the idea of having the surgery done, I decided to go for it. January 16th, 2014, my doctor performed the procedure. When I woke up, I could see the look on my husband's face but he kept assuring me that everything was okay. He eventually shared with me that the doctor had to perform an abdominal myomectomy instead of a laparoscopic one. This simply means that she had to cut me open rather than make small incisions as planned. Why? Because there were more than 2 fibroids. I had 5 huge ones (one the size of an apple) and a couple of small ones that did not show up on the ultrasound!!! Wait, there is more. Some of the fibroids were sitting on one of my Fallopian tubes so she considered cutting them but she did not because that would more than likely have led to an emergency hysterectomy (which would have meant that I would not be able to conceive at all). So she left the little fibroids there. WHAT? Yes. This overwhelmed me because I was so sure that when I woke up, everything would be over. To make things worse, I was told that even though the hysterectomy was not performed, my uterus may not be suitable to carry a baby to term due to the fibroids present and the stress of the surgery. This was a lot to process but for some reason, I just found strength in God. For the first time in a long time, I just thanked God that I was okay and that my womb was still inside of me. My spiritual father was also there to pray over me and assure me that God will see me through (we went through a long process but I will blog about that later).
Post surgery, we decided to start trying to conceive. Boy, did we try. Lol. Nothing happened. I began to worry again!!! Looking back now, I know that God is truly patient because I would have been irritated and annoyed if I was Him, but I guess that is why He is GOD and I am not. :-). There were times where I was sure that I was pregnant and I will take the test only to be disappointed. I became convinced that maybe the doctor was right. Maybe my uterus just can't keep a baby. Maybe I may never be a mom. Subconsciously, my desire to become a mother became my idol!!! Things got so bad that I would ask my husband if he would stay with me if we can't conceive. I love my man. He would boldly declare God's Word and tell me that He was staying my husband no matter what. Then we just stopped focusing on being pregnant and just let God be God. When we weren't expecting it, to the glory of God, Shiloh-Isabelle was conceived in my womb. I was so sure I was dreaming. I had a feeling that I was pregnant but I hesitated to take the test because of past disappointments. When my doctor confirmed that I was pregnant, an unexplainable joy filled my heart. The story, however, does not end there but to keep this post from being too long, I will conclude in the next blog post.
I truly hope that this encourages someone. I just want you to know that no matter what you are passing through, no matter what the circumstance of your life may appear to be, GOD IS GOOD and will always be. The goodness of God is not dependent on your circumstances. Even on the bad days, He is still good. You may not see it, but He is working things out for your good according to HIS WILL for your life. I know our journey to conceive took only 2 years, but believe me when I tell you that those 2 years were very trying and we were tested. While waiting on God, it is important to not question Him but to simply TRUST in HIM. The details of the dilemma may want to distract you and drag you into self-pity and misery, but do not give in. Look unto the AUTHOR and the FINISHER.
Above all, whatever your heart desires, do not make an idol of it. It may even delay the manifestation of it. God places desires in our hearts that we may seek Him diligently for His glory. He does not want to compete with those desires. It was when I stopped idolizing my strong desire to conceive that God moved on my behalf. Do not allow your dreams (whatever they may be) to take the place of God in your heart. Always put Him first. Always remember that He is SOVEREIGN no matter what life brings your way. Always remember that He is ABLE and FAITHFUL at all times.
He has done, will do and will always do the IMPOSSIBLE. Trust and believe HIM. God bless you.