Friday, September 27, 2013

...losing excitement in the journey....

Remember the first time you started a fertility cycle?  Remember how much joy and adventure and hope there was?  You were sad to be in that place where you needed to start a fertility cycle, but the hope of good things was the predominant feeling?  
   I remember getting this big 'ole box of meds in the mail that first time.  I opened it and looked at everything.  I marveled at the amount of meds I would be taking (and it was only a FET.)  I recall taking pics of the meds and the giant needles, wondering exactly what I was getting myself into.  But it was kinda... ... fun.  It was an adventure.  I even happily handed my husband the syringe for that first PIO shot.  I was excited about it!
Do you remember those days?

Our first cycle was cancelled b/c I ovulated on my own and they couldn't be sure when.  But we started again a few weeks later and our first complete cycle resulted in our beautiful, sweet Leah Rae.  That was nearly 3 years ago.  Since then, we've tried four more times with 1 miscarriage and 3 BFNs.  The excitement is gone.  The adventure is gone.  It doesn't even "feel" like I'm trying again.

Don't get me wrong - receiving these embryos was definitely a miracle.  And we are hopeful that God is going to bless these embryos (and us) with life.  But the journey isn't so exciting any longer.  My baseline b/w and ultrasound was all good.  I'm taking estrogen pills 3 times a day as well as aspirin and and prenatals.  (I had stopped the prenatals in complete frustration after the last BFN.)  But I feel like I'm just going through the motions.  My brain has so much hope, but my heart is so numb.  
   My lining check is next Wednesday.  If all looks good, they'll schedule the transfer for the following week.  Hopefully, I'll have mustered up some excitement by then... .... 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A miracle in progress

What a crazy time in our spiritual lives! 
     While we were struggling with the next steps that we might take in building our family, we found out that my sister-in-law is expecting Baby #5.  Learning of a pregnancy is always difficult for a couple dealing with infertility – but this one was especially rough.  She is not thrilled to be pregnant.  Nor does she seem to enjoy the 4 she has. Don’t get me wrong – she definitely loves her children and she takes great care of them.  She’s able to stay home instead of working and she provides a nice home for them, nearly any toy they want and they are all involved in activities of their choice.  She’s a good mom – but they seem to be a source of stress (and sometimes irritation) to her. Maybe I just don’t understand b/c I only have one, but she is often overwhelmed and rarely expresses joy at motherhood.  So, learning that she is expecting again was difficult for us.
     But God has taken us to a new place this time – perhaps because we are more willing now to look at His perspective.  I’m coming to understand that “the line is a dot” to me.  In the timeline of Eternity – or even in my lifetime, the moment that I’m experiencing is just a tiny dot.  I don’t see the big picture or how God intends to use our family to build His Kingdom.  Since I can’t see that – I can either trust that God does and accept my “dot” with joy, or I can be bitter and angry. Well, the bitterness thing didn’t work for me, so this time I’m learning to accept our struggle and trust that God sees the whole line.  As I seek God’s perspective, I am also coming to understand that His purpose is intimacy with us.  I can let sharing the disappointment of our situation draw me closer to God, just as adding another child might be the thing God uses to draw my sister-in-law closer to Himself.
    At the same time, Micah and I both had a sense that something special was about to happen in our lives.  That perhaps my SILs news was a ‘test’ of our reactions and attitudes.  We weren’t sure what that was, but we sensed a new season coming.  On a TMI note, my period is late this month.  (well, sort of.  I used to be like clockwork, but the last few cycles were really short, so I was expecting this one to be short too.)  I hate these days of running to the bathroom every few hours b/c I think I’m starting...  … more than actually having my period. Ugh.
    As I was driving home from work last week, I thought.  “How cool would it be if Micah was healed and I got pregnant?”  As I pondered that thought, I heard God ask “what is the greatest blessing I could give you right now?”  In the midst of financial struggle, family issues and Micah’s unemployment, my immediate answer was “to get pregnant: either naturally, or for Pati to call with embryos for us (that survive).” (She’s the donor coordinator at our clinic.)   Honestly, either would be a miracle; our clinic rarely has embryos needing a family.  And I truly have no preference for having genetic children.  I love my Leah’s embryo adoption story and I am passionate about EA.  In fact, that was my biggest concern with our donor sperm contemplations; I really do feel called to adopt already-created embryos.
            Yesterday, our miracle happened.  I finished teaching and picked up my phone to find a voicemail from Pati.  There are 3 embryos waiting for a chance at life.  She emailed to profile.  The patient who donated them used both an egg donor and a sperm donor – and had achieved pregnancy.  While we don’t know the grade – these are likely really good embryos.  And now they are ours. J  We are in shock.  God IS up to something special.  THIS is why my period is late. I can start this cycle in the next day or so, whenever it shows up.  This is God’s providential timing.  He has given the greatest blessing that I could have asked for.
     I’m assuming these embryos will result in a child.  While it’s hard to be positive after so many losses, I understand now that my attitude is a choice.  I can be guarded and afraid, but that doesn’t really minimize the disappointment.  My EA blogger friend Jess recently posted about how na├»ve she was with her first child and how much harder it is to be positive when the innocence is stripped away by so much loss.  I totally agree, but I’m going to try so hard to regain that naivety and believe that this is going to work.  God has brought us to this point and given us these embryos.  For that, I rejoice.  The line is a dot to me, and I’m going to be grateful in this moment for the gift of embryos and not worry yet about which way the line will go.

           Thank you all so much for your prayers.  Even though I don’t update a lot, I still feel like you all are my friends and I love reading your blogs.  Diane and Paula, thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts on donor sperm.  I am so confident that both of your children will bring Glory to God and further his Kingdom.  Jess – I am stalking your blog to find out how many siblings Maddie is getting.  Tracy and Diane – I’m praying for healthy, safe delivery of your baby girls.  Paula – wishing you a healthy 9 months.  I promise to post more, now that I’m out of my spiritual funk; I was just so numb for so long.