Last year when I was training for a volunteer position with Care Net of Central New York, I became reacquainted with Amy Myers whom I remembered vaguely from high school. I was blessed to hear how God transformed Amy’s life and helped her through infertility and pregnancy loss. She has agreed to allow me to feature her inspiring story as the first in a series about The Gift of Life.
When Amy’s friend knocked on her door at 9 am on a Sunday and said, “Come on, you’re going to meet God today,” she didn’t argue.
“I was ready,” Amy said. “I had had enough. It was the third anniversary of my abortion, and I was feeling so miserable and alone.”
Amy grew up in a home surrounded by alcoholics and she, herself, began to drink as a teenager. She describes her teenage self as a partier “looking for love in all the wrong places.”
After graduating from high school, Amy moved from her home in Upstate, NY, to Arizona and became involved in an abusive relationship. When she got pregnant at age 19, she felt scared and alone. The only thing she knew to do was to go to a clinic. They told Amy it was “just a clump of cells" and they could take care of her “problem.” Amy went through with an abortion.
“What they told me was a lie, I later discovered,” Amy said. “My baby was likely almost to the end of the first trimester and fully formed—not just a clump of cells. I lived through the horror of that experience for many years.”
In the three years after the abortion, Amy tried hard to get her life on track. She escaped from the abusive relationship and moved back to New York. She went back to college and stopped drinking.
But she was trying to transform her life in her own strength. On the morning Amy’s friend knocked on her door, she was feeling distraught and almost ready to throw away all her progress and start drinking again. But God had other plans. Amy accepted the offer from her friend and went to church.
“It was different than anything I had ever experienced,” Amy said. “The pastor said Jesus wanted a relationship, not a religious experience. That made sense to me. He asked if anyone wanted to make the decision of asking Jesus into your heart and change your life. I accepted the invitation and felt my burden lift. I didn’t have to do it on my own anymore.
“It was a radical transformation. My life totally changed.”
The next several years were a time of personal and spiritual growth for Amy as she embraced her new faith and church family. She was studying and learning the Bible and became involved in ministry as the leader of the young adult singles group.
One of her roommates was actively involved in launching the Crisis Pregnancy Center and invited Amy to attend an abortion relief recovery group that she was leading. Amy didn’t think she needed the class but signed up to support her friend.
“Boy was I wrong,” Amy said. “It turns out that I needed it more than anyone else. The type of grief you experience after an abortion is like PTSD. It is like peeling an onion. You have to work through it in stages. This was exactly what I needed.”
Amy began dating someone in the singles group at her church and was married in 1991 at the age of 31. She and her husband were anxious to start a family. They were ecstatic to learn that they were pregnant six months later. Nine weeks into the pregnancy, Amy miscarried. “I was devastated,” Amy said.
Amy’s doctor told her not to be discouraged. “Twenty-five percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage. Go ahead and try again,” he said.
Amy and her husband were soon pregnant again. This time she made it three months before she miscarried. “It was horrific,” Amy said. It was just before Christmas, and she had a hard time finding the medical help and emotional support that she needed.
Grieving for her miscarriages reignited grief over her abortion. “Are my miscarriages somehow a result of my past abortion? Is God punishing me?” Amy wondered. Amy again attended an abortion relief recovery group which helped her move past those negative thoughts.
Amy went through extensive testing and was diagnosed with endometriosis and polycystic ovaries. She began fertility treatments and became pregnant again a year and a half later. The couple was hopeful, but Amy miscarried again at three months.
At this point, Amy was discouraged and was crying out to God.
God encouraged her in two tangible ways. She was at Cracker Barrel and saw a plaque that said, “Expect a Miracle.” She felt God telling her to buy it and hang it in her home. She looked at that plaque every day to remind her who God was, and Who was in charge.
Soon after, Amy received a phone call from a friend of hers who was also dealing with miscarriage and infertility. “Amy, you have to read this book, Preventing Miscarriage, by Dr. Jonathan Scher,” she said. Amy found a copy of the book and read it. The book described a rare antibody problem that could cause miscarriages.
Amy brought the book to her doctor and asked him to read the section which discussed the rare antibody problem. He agreed to read it and made an appointment for her to come in and talk about it the next week.
When Amy came back for the appointment, the doctor got up from behind his desk, sat down next to her, put his hand on hers, and said, “I need to apologize to you because I did not know about this. I tested you for everything else, but this one thing.”
Amy’s test came back positive for the antibody problem, so she qualified for an experimental treatment. It took her another year and a half to get pregnant, but this time they were prepared. When Amy was five weeks along, she went to Philadelphia for the antibody treatment.
Amy was a mixture of anxious and hopeful throughout the pregnancy. As each month passed, she became more optimistic. She made it to her due date and showed no signs of going into labor. Eleven days past her due date, her baby showed signs of distress, so they told Amy, “You are going to deliver your baby today.”
Her labor didn’t kick in, so her beautiful, healthy baby boy was born by C-section. A whole eight pounds, six ounces. Amy and her husband named him Zachary which means, “whom the Lord remembers.”
Amy and her husband felt so blessed. She felt like she was living out the scripture, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life” (Proverbs 13:12 ESV).
They had waited so long, through three miscarriages, scores of tests and infertility treatments, and they finally had their precious son.
When Zach was five months old, he stopped thriving. The doctor was concerned that Amy was not producing enough milk, so he switched him to formula. Soon Amy discovered the reason—she was pregnant again! This time with no fertility treatments. And she didn’t need the antibody treatment again since the pregnancies were so close together.
Sixteen months after giving birth to Zach, Amy and her husband gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby girl who was also eight pounds, six ounces. “I had a dream about naming her Jenna,” Amy said, “so she became Jenna which means joy. She has been nothing but our joy since she was born.”
Amy points out what a miracle it was to conceive and give birth to not only one child but two. Amy and her husband call Jenna their bonus miracle.
Amy and her husband were serious from the start about being good parents. They had witnessed good and bad parenting role models and wanted to be the best parents possible, so they reached out to the church. At a marriage conference Amy and her husband attended before Zach was born, the couple was exposed to parenting curriculum. Amy asked her pastor about it, and he suggested that they start a program at her church. She and her husband became facilitators of the program and continued to work with this ministry for many years.
After Amy’s children graduated from high school, God took her full circle back to where she began her healing journey, and she started working at Care Net of Central New York, the former Crisis Pregnancy Center. Her current role is Director of the Parenting Program. Amy has counseled many women through pregnancy loss, whether through abortion or miscarriage, and has encouraged many men and women to be better parents through the classes she teaches and oversees.
“God never wastes a hurt,” Amy said. “You never know where God is going to use your pain and suffering. He will use it in so many ways.”
Amy wants to remind you that God is the God of hope; He is the God of restoration. If you or a loved one has experienced a pregnancy loss, please reach out to Care-Net.org, and they will direct you to a local center for help.
*Background photo by Angela C. from Pixabay.
*Wedding photo by Nicollete Media