Wonderfully Filled Wombs | Lis

It's VBS here at our church in DE and boy is life crazy! Today I'm popping in from the madness to share a story with you from a sweet sweet friend of mine. I met Lis when I started coming to LifeHouse and knew some of her story long before the longing for a baby even crossed my mind. Little did I know what an encouragement her and her husband would become to me. Lis could take one look at me on Sundays and know right where I was and it was so nice to have someone who simply understood. Her husband, Dave spoke before the offering back in April and it literally felt like he was speaking right to me. I'm so excited that they are sharing their journey with you today! I know it will be a blessing!

In January of 1999 I married my wonderful husband, David. After a long 5 years of dating,  I was ready to start my life as a couple. Life was great as we both had jobs and a quaint house in the country to live in. God had truly blessed us and met our needs. 

In 2001 we decided to start a family. Little did we know what lied ahead for us? Our plan was to have two children, a boy and a girl, and live the American dream. Our best friends at the time were also planning to start a family. We were all so excited at the thought of raising our children together. Well after several months our friends announced that they were expecting. We were so happy for them and couldn't wait to share our own news soon.

Let's fast forward a bit to 2002. Perplexed as to why we have gone an entire year and still no pregnancy we figured we should consult a physician. The initial tests showed no obvious medical conditions for either Dave or me. We were both young and so the doctor referred us to Shady Grove Fertility Clinic in Annapolis, MD. God must have spared a few angels and placed them at the practice. With almost two years of struggle weighing us down we were in desperate hope that here was where we would find our miracle. Our doctor informed us of a statistic that around 85% of infertility cases were unexplained. Well great to know we were with the majority huh! 

Our doctor reviewed all of our tests and recommended we retry some hormone therapy and artificial insemination and this would allow hope for success. We were so excited as we just knew that after two years of struggle God had finally open the door to this procedure and we were going to get our baby.

Four weeks after our insemination I accompanied Dave to Colorado Springs, Colorado on one of his business trips. It was so beautiful out there. As Dave was in his meeting I had the opportunity to do a little sight seeing. As awesome as the area was, I couldn't help but be thinking about whether we would get to see a positive pregnancy test. Three days into the trip my hope was crushed and I sobbed and called my family with the news.  God, why are you doing this to us? We faithfully trust you. We are faithfully serving you. We are leading worship in church, we are spending time in the Word, and we are desperately following your lead. Can't you grant us our wish?

As we went back to Shady Grove with the weight of defeat on our shoulders, our main nurse put her arms around me and told me that they would not give up. She assured me that there was hope even though it seemed there was none. God had us right where he wanted us and allowed us to share our faith through this trying time.

Well Shady Grove had our back alright. Five more inseminations later still no success. Who would have thought this would ever happen? You see we were now four years into our journey, and everyone we knew were popping out babies left and right. People who knew about our struggle prayed for us and tried to empathize. Folks meant well, but they just couldn't truly understand the depression and desperation that we were experiencing. 

About this time we came across a book by Dr. James Dobson titled, "When God Doesn't Make Sense". Well this seemed like a perfect book for us to read. We read story after story of people who love Jesus with all their hearts and yet bad things happened to them-Kids with cancer, adults with catastrophic injury and illness, and women with infertility. The book described the emotional state of a women when she hears she is infertile is the same as hearing she has terminal cancer. God gave us hope and we were encouraged to remain faithful and trust Him. 

So off we go back to our second home Shady Grove Fertility. We were faced with an extremely difficult decision. What would our next steps be? Would we adopt or would we give in vitro fertilization a try. After many more days in prayer we decided to give in vitro a shot. At this point we figured what did we have to lose. We set up a consultation appointment and were given a plan of action and associated prescriptions.

I had to endure a daily routine of am and pm shot of hormones to stimulate egg growth. Fortunately my mother is a retired nurse and she was an expert in delivering my shots. However, she went away one day and Dave had to step in. Apparently he was quite nervous as he pulled out the needle and mixed up my dose in the small vials. He finally was ready to inject and trying to be the gentle partner he slowly injected the needle causing of course more pain than necessary. I quickly chastised him and said, "Babe you have to stick the needle in fast and then inject and pull it out fast." Well Dave was up again for the pm injection. I reminded him that speed was a good thing. I guess Dave needed more coaching because little did he know that there were two different needle sizes-one large one for mixing the medicine and drawing it up and then a smaller one for the injection. That mistake and his zest to jab the needle in quickly sent me several feet into the air and caused a bruise that lasted for several weeks. Thank God my mother came home the next day☺.

In August of 2004, I was finally ready and determined to have two embryos implanted if there were two viable candidates. God blessed us with two perfectly looking embryos to implant. We showed up in the office and after several identification checks we were ready to proceed. As I was prepped the doctor opened a small door in the corner of the room and we saw what looked like the set of CSI. He shouted BANKS and an assistant showed up with a catheter that held our embryos. With the aide of an ultrasound the doctor inserted the catheter. He told us to watch the screen and look for a flash. Sure enough a flash appeared and I'll never forget what he said; "Now it's out of our hands."

Well the four week wait was pure agony. We had been through this routine so many times. Dave was so positive and did his best to remind me that our God was good and He would provide. I tried so hard to believe but doubt and fear continually crept in.

Result day arrives. We showed up at Shady Grove nervous wrecks just hanging on to every sliver of hope we could muster up. Dave led us in prayer as we sat in the parking garage. He asked God to finally answer our prayer. He told God we loved him no matter what and trusted His will for our lives. I just cried nervous tears, and hopeful tears mixed together. Dave tried to crack jokes, big surprise, to keep me upbeat.

I walked in and had my blood drawn and then well that was it. Now I had to just wait for the results. This was the routine. We both went back to work and I was as nervous as I could be waiting for my phone to ring.  I will never forget the moment my cell phone rang and I ran to an empty room for privacy and when I said hello the nurse on the line said, “Well Mrs. Banks your pregnancy test is positive and your numbers are over 1,000 and that is a great indication that there are two babies.” Can u imagine my emotions? I cried, screamed, thanked God and anxiously called Dave with our news.  Finally after four and a half years we were getting the positive news we so desperately desired.  What an awesome day!!!  Four weeks later we got to hear two distinct heartbeats. Dave had already planned for his two sons. He had plans of a basketball and a pitcher catcher combo. He was so excited.

Since I was having twins, I was deemed a high risk pregnancy. I had monthly visits with my doctor and a neonatal specialist. We were blessed to get 3D ultrasounds every month. Our peanuts turned into gremlins and then started to look like little people. Finally the day came where we found out what we were having. Twin girls...Dave are you ok? You know girls play sports too☺ . 

On April 21, 2005 we welcomed Emma and Sierra into our family. What an awesome end to a grief filled journey. Since then God has also blessed us with a son Christian who was born November 25, 2008. 

I know that many of you reading this have similar stories. Some of you have walked this journey and have been blessed as I have been. Some of you never were able to bear a child. Others are still in the midst of the journey. If there is one thing I can share with you please know that this journey would have been impossible without my personal relationship with Jesus Christ. You see even though I endured depression, doubt, fear, and anger, I was never hopeless. God promises that He will never leave us or forsake us. He also promises to never give us more than we can handle through His support. 

If you are reading this and do not know Jesus as your personal Savior, please know that He loves you and wants to have a relationship with you. I know that God sent Dave and me on this journey to deepen our faith and trust in Him. I have had many opportunities to share my story and pray with others walking through the same difficult path. Please know that we are praying for you that God would open the windows of heaven and pour out a mighty blessing on you. Dave always told me, "God is never early, He is never late, He is always on time." Hold fast to the Master and trust that He will give you the desires of your heart.

Thanks for reading my story!!!
Lis Banks 

To find out what Wonderfully Filled Wombs is all about and read many other stories of infertility, loss, and redemption click the links below! 

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  1. Wonderfully Filled Wombs will continue on! <3 Along with many other posts about infertility. It's an issue so close to my heart and affects my pregnancy in so many ways.


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