Encouraging Women Ministry
Encouraging Women Ministry
Our Mission
Meet Lisa Manning
Lisa Manning Blog
Contact Encrouraging Women Ministry

BabyAfter a few years of marriage, we decided to try to have a baby.  Four months later, I took the pregnancy test in the privacy of my office.  Initially, I was stunned but then excitedly drove to Stephen’s workplace to share the news.  For 9 weeks I battled morning sickness and we dreamed of the new little life that would be coming into our home.  Stephen took the day off of work to attend the first doctor’s appointment.  We were ecstatic when they told us they were going to do an ultrasound!  We would be able to see our baby!  The ultrasound technician was quiet and reserved as she was doing the scan and I suspected something was wrong.  My suspicions were confirmed when the doctor walked into the room.  The baby didn’t have a heartbeat.  This would not be the child we would hold.

It wasn’t too long after that I was pregnant for the second time.  This time, there would be no rejoicing.  We told no one.  I was determined not to get excited until we knew for sure that this baby was okay.  In some odd way, I was totally detached from this pregnancy…with the exception of the morning sickness.  One Saturday, Stephen and I went for a walk around the neighborhood.  When I got home, the signs of miscarriage had begun.   After the first loss, many women told me that they had experienced a miscarriage.  I read everything I could find on miscarriage and found that it is very common for most women to experience one at some point.  However, no one mentioned having two.  The doctor took some tests.  The following Friday afternoon, she called with the results.  “Lisa, I think your eggs might already be too old (I was 33.). You will probably never have children.”  I slid down the hallway wall and sobbed.  It was there my husband found me and together we sat and cried for hours at the end of our dream.

I can never fully explain the emotions that go through your mind when you hear that news. Some of it isn’t even rational!  I knew that my husband wanted to be a father more than anything.  I felt like I was disappointing him and wondered if he would leave me for someone who could give him children.  I felt broken beyond repair.  My body couldn’t have children.  Did that make me less of a woman?  Not only was I mourning the loss of 2 babies, I was mourning the loss of all babies.  I wanted to be a part of the “Mommy Club” and experience pregnancy and giving birth.  For months, I walked around with a sadness that I would never wish on anyone.  I hurt so bad. 

Eventually, I got angry.  Was I going to let Satan get away with taking my babies?  Letting my emotions prevail over the rest of my life would mean that he won in more ways than one.  I started doing research and eventually ended up in Atlanta.  More tests.  More results.  This time, the doctor said my entire endocrine system was shutting down and he couldn’t explain why.  The medicine he put me on caused me to break out in hives.  This was getting worse! On the 5 hour drive back home, I finally broke emotionally.  I screamed.  I cried.  I let God have it! 

My next set of research led me to a holistic doctor who put me on 12 different supplements and changed my food intake to begin to let my body heal naturally.  Ick.  That is the only way to describe the first few weeks.  I was miserably sick but felt like this was the best option since the regular medical community didn’t seem to have many answers.  Slowly, he weaned me off of the supplements and I was feeling better.  An acquaintance gave me the name of a doctor that specialized in recurring pregnancy loss.  I felt like both of these doctors were an answer to prayer and found myself surprised to be pregnant again. 

The third pregnancy brought a new protocol of supplements, 30 minute baths (torture for me!) and 3-4 shots per day…2 in the stomach.  My needle phobia (who am I kidding…total-needle-freak-out-hysteria) was quickly cured.  I just KNEW this time was going to be different!  God had led me to these 2 doctors and my body was doing better.  Even the specialist was surprised when we got a heartbeat a few weeks later.  This time, my uterine lining wasn’t thick enough to maintain the pregnancy and we again lost another baby.  They did surgery so they could test the tissue and called later to tell me that “the little girl had an extra chromosome.”  Knowing that the baby was a girl made the reality of a miscarriage much more difficult.  The first few times you miscarry, your friends and family are amazing and supportive.  By the third time, no one knows exactly what to say to you and so most everyone just pretended that nothing was wrong.  This was around the same time as the 9-11 tragedy too.  I went into post-partem depression.  I just couldn’t “get over it” as everyone around me was counseling me to do.  I was mad at God for not saving my babies.  The one thing I did right during this time was to plead with God not to give up on me.  My head knew the right way but my heart just couldn’t get there.  I continually asked God to woo me to Him and be patient with me.  I couldn’t pray.  Although I had been on our church worship team, I couldn’t even bring myself to sing the songs I loved.  I was in deep emotional pain coupled with misunderstandings.  It wasn’t pretty!  And while everyone was telling me I had no right to be angry at God, I knew that David expressed his upset in the Psalms.  If David was a man after God’s own heart, then surely God had big enough shoulders to handle my anger and pain.  I believe that since God knows how we really feel, we might as well be honest with Him.  We are His children and He loves us despite our crazy-mixed-up emotions.

I had been doing temperature charts and ovulation testing for the doctor and despite the “test results,” I found myself pregnant for the 4th time.  We only told a few people and most of those shook their heads in disapproval.  How could I put myself through the pain of another miscarriage?  I could write and entire page of stupid comments that people said to me during these miscarriages! This pregnancy went to 12 weeks before we again miscarried.  Although losing that baby wasn’t as traumatic as the third miscarriage, I finally decided that we had been through enough.  I took a job in a position that would keep me busy and take my mind off of having children.  Working comes easy for me so I would just do that and move forward.  But the desire to have children didn’t go away.  I would be caught off guard by a child getting off the school bus and hugging his mother and dissolve in tears.  Many of our friends were having children and although I was sincerely happy for them, they avoided us because they didn’t want to make us uncomfortable.  I am so thankful to God that He didn’t allow bitterness to come into my heart during this time!  It would have been easy to be jealous and angry of those around me that were having babies but God really helped me in this area.

Wrestling with God

When another year passed, we began going through the processes necessary for adoption.  I had heard about an evangelist who was coming to a nearby city.  I began fasting and headed north by myself.  On the way, I told God I wasn’t going to eat until He gave me an answer.  If Jacob could wrestle with an angel to get his blessing, then I would too!  Even if the answer was that we weren’t going to have children and He was going to take the desire away, I was fine with that.  I just couldn’t deal with the intense desire of wanting a child and not being able to have one.  I stood in a long line to see the minister that afternoon.  I went to my hotel, prayed and read God’s word waiting for my answer.  Up early the next morning, I went to the meeting again and scored a seat close to the front.  It was wonderful to spend the weekend just learning and growing.  In the second session, there was a time that you could ask the evangelist any question.  Out of 2,000 people, they picked me!  My question? “How can I rebuild my faith again? I have read the Bible and know God performs miracles and I want one.  How do I build my faith like that?” I explained the 4 miscarriages to 2,000 of my newest friends.  His answer was something like this:

“Please don’t tell people you don’t have any children.  You have 4 children in heaven and those are the first 4 people you will see when you get there.  If you want children, you can have children. In the Bible, it says to ‘Be fruitful and multiply’.  God would never give you a command that He would not give you the ability to fulfill.  Every woman in the Bible who asked God for a child was given one.  Start reading the Bible out loud.  Faith comes by hearing the Word of God.  Read verses out loud so you can hear them and that will build your faith.” He said quite a bit more and told a funny story.  It was so encouraging!  Later that afternoon, several women grabbed me and took me to their prayer room to pray for me.  They testified about several miracles that had happened in their church that were astounding.  I was just happy I had my answer so I could eat dinner on the way home!  (smile!)

Not quite finished with the process…

After that, I spent a lot of time in the Bible learning about the miracles of God.  One Sunday, I went to church and our pastor was preaching a sermon on forgiveness.  At the end of the service, the pastor had us ask God who we needed to forgive.  I quickly thought of a few people, said a prayer of forgiveness and waited.  This is what I heard: “You need to forgive me for not saving your babies.” OUCH!   He was right.  There was a small part of me that was resentful because God could have saved my pregnancies and didn’t.  He didn’t choose to do it for me and I ddn’t understand why. My need to understand wasn’t necessary.  My need to forgive a God that loves me in amazing ways was.  And, I did.

Before Thanksgiving in 2003, I was helping a friend with her business and she had a wicked case of the flu.  On Wednesday, I went grocery shopping for the remaining Thanksgiving dinner items I needed to feed the 8 guests we were having but I wasn’t feeling quite up to par.  Thursday morning, I was miserable.  My husband had to help me cook dinner because I was so weak and sick.  The moment dinner was over, I headed for the couch and fell asleep the rest of the night.  Friday, we were going to my husband’s mother’s house to celebrate with his family.  I spent the entire weekend in bed.  The car ride home was bumper to bumper traffic and the longer we sat, the sicker I got.  I contemplated walking home because the car ride was so torturous.  We were almost home when it hit me.  I didn’t have the flu.  I was pregnant.  I snuck out of the house to get a pregnancy test that night (I needed medicine after all!  Wink.) and was awake all night thinking about it.  Sure enough, the next morning, the pregnancy test came up positive.  I still didn’t tell my husband.  I drove to the doctor and he confirmed it through a blood test…and gave me all those shots again! : ) He also asked me if I would participate in a new drug study that had helped 48 out of 50 of his patients carry pregnancies to term.  Absolutely!  I went home and spent the rest of the entire day typing out scriptures that I would call my “Faith Verses.” Every day, at least twice a day, I walked through my house repeating those verses.  I entered my name into them.  For example, “God has not given Lisa the spirit of fear but God has given Lisa power, love and a sound mind.”

I would love to tell you that my entire pregnancy was perfect and I never had any fears.  Far from it!  I had every little pregnancy quirk you can think of.  I was the problem child of the doctors (and there were multiple at this point!).  I was on bed rest in the beginning and at the end.  I gained 65 pounds.  Five weeks before my due date, I went into preterm labor and the doctor said I wouldn’t make it to the end.  But, she hadn’t counted on a group of people praying like my friends!  Mackenzie was born 4 weeks later on August 3, 2004.  I believe that the fear I felt during my pregnancy was relayed to her because she was a very fearful baby and cried a lot.  But after all we had been through, I was content to hold her and comfort her no matter how much she cried!  I was beyond thankful to God for my miracle baby!  Three years later, my second daughter Natalie was born.  This time, I wasn’t so fearful and the pregnancy was much easier. 

Fast Forward to the Present

When I was going through all of this, my pastor spoke words of wisdom to me.  He said that “No one ever has a testimony without a test.”  I can truly say that I NOW have an amazing testimony.  Although I have two beautiful daughters, that isn’t my greatest testimony about this situation.  The thing I am most grateful for is that I have been able to help over 20 women walk through infertility and with God’s help, have children!  I have counseled women through this that I have never even met. I have emailed those Faith Verses out to many women.  I have laid hands on total strangers and prayed for children.  Every single woman that I have prayed for has had a child…and the last three women had twins!!!  God is so Great!


** Currently, I have 2 Amy’s on my prayer list that are waiting for babies!  Help me pray for them!