|This is around the time we began feeling |
prompted to look at IVF. Look how
tiny Bean and Lil'Man were! Do
you see why I was so hesitant?
We were certain we weren't going to look into the grant anytime soon.
For about 2 days.
|Just reiterating how tiny|
the kids were! (And cute :) )
Shaun and I did fertility treatments before this. Before Bean was born, we did everything up to IVF or ICSI. I knew that I'd be injected with awful hormones that would make me extremely tired, extremely moody, and extremely emotional. I knew that I'd gain weight. I knew that I'd be an emotional wreck if we took this path.
But the more I pondered it, the more I also knew that God wanted us to take this path.
And so, after more prayer, more research, and more yes-es from the Lord, Shaun and I began applying for the grant. We had blood tests done, semen analyses, and all of the other usual things. We filled out paperwork (remarkably similar to our adoption paperwork) and submitted W-2s, pay stubs, etc. There were so many things that worked out SO well. Our adoption homestudy from Lil"Man's adoption was still usable, so we were able to submit that, which not only saved us money but sped up the process. We began our application in March. We were told it would take at least six months to get approved. It didn't. TWENTY DAYS later we were approved for the grant.
Needless to say, it was a whirlwind.
As I said, even though I didn't know for certain what was ahead, I knew that once I started IVF medications, things would be rough. I like to think I was pretty easy-going about things with the pending IVF craziness, except one: I refused to start any of the process until after we were sealed to Lil'Man. The temple sealing is really sacred to us, and I wanted to be myself for it. I'm so glad I was stubborn about that, because it was the most beautiful experience--such a happy day, being in the house of God with my husband and both of my kids.
|After being sealed to Lil'Man. Pure bliss! Families are forever.|
I say mediocre odds--that's not quite accurate. Going in, we were given roughly a 50% chance of becoming pregnant if we implanted one embryo, and a 70% chance with two. BUT, a few notes--our actual fertility issues aren't certain, even now. I was told that my AMH levels were low (basically this means the age of my eggs is older than my actual age, by quite a lot). Levels for Shaun's tests were inconsistent but still seemed good enough. There were variables that weren't great, but our doctor (sidenote, he's the most fabulous man, we can't begin to recommend him highly enough) was confident that we were good candidates.
|Me on bedrest hanging out |
with my Lil'Man, who was
enjoying my Dr. ordered
gatorade (well, he just got
the bottle, but he still
You know how this story ends--at least the gist. We still have two kids, so I was wrong. It didn't work.
I remember really well the surgery to retrieve my eggs. I remember feeling so antsy, anxious to know how many would be usable. Would we have enough to freeze some after implantation? I wasn't stressed. I felt confident that everything would work out perfectly. Even though I was a hormonal wreck, and felt terribly sick, I was so confident. Then we got word that there were five. Fewer than expected, but that was okay. If we just had two fertilized, that was enough.
The next day I got a phone call. Shaun was at work and the kids were napping. It was our doctor. I knew something was wrong--why else would he be calling us, rather than a nurse? None of the eggs were fertilizing, and so they'd try using the backup semen sample, just in case. But things didn't look good.
I began to hope and pray for one--just one embryo. I felt so selfish for ever hoping for more. I prayed so hard.
When had I changed, and begun actually wanting this myself? I really wanted it to work. I had submitted my will to God's. I was all in. I called Shaun and told him it didn't look like it would work; that we weren't good candidates for IVF after all. I could hardly get the words out, I was crying so much. I felt my heart breaking all over again, and I was furious with myself, and with God. I hadn't wanted this in the first place, because I knew it would possibly hurt me. I'd been so happy with my two kids, I don't mind that I didn't bring them into the world, being their mom is such a gift, and I wouldn't change anything about them or how they came to us. This is all completely true.
|Our 4th of July "fun" |
included a trip to the
grocery store to buy
donuts and chips and
salsa. Nothing more
American (or at least
junk food, right?
I tried so hard to swallow my worry and fear. I prayed desperately. Shaun was just as stunned as me. We were caught completely off-guard. We'd been prepared for terrible scenarios--I had all sorts of awful dreams about losing these babies--but never had I imagined that they would never have a chance. We never made it to implantation. The next day we got the call that there were no embryos. It was the 4th of July. The news was difficult. I'd been braced for it for about 24 hours, but it was still hard. I wept uncontrollably for hours. We tried to make it a good holiday for the kids but it was really just a hard day. Actually it was a hard month plus some. Everything was raw, everything hurt. It was like all of the old infertility wounds that had healed over time and stopped bothering me suddenly were open, festering and bleeding.
|A couple of days after "the news." |
Still sad, but really savoring time
with my family, and feeling
beyond blessed to have them.
|Shaun and I on our first date |
post-IVF. I called it our
"Renewal date." But really,
we'd just eaten a bunch
of donuts, so this hike was
definitely in order. So
grateful I have my best friend
to help me through the
good times and the hard times.
I still knew God had wanted us to do IVF, but why?
Since then, the "why" has been on my mind a lot less. I wish I had a profound reason to share here, but to this day I don't know why we felt so strongly like God wanted us to do this. I have some theories, but nothing concrete. Sometimes God asks us to do hard things. Sometimes it really doesn't seem to make sense. But I know God loves me. I know he didn't ask me to submit my will to his, and go through something that, for me, was torture, for no reason. Looking back at other hard times in my life, I can see growth, and I can see blessings. Someday I know I'll be able to see more good from these experiences as well. And, even though it doesn't take away the hurt or make the hurt less valid, looking at what I already have is enough for me.
I know God loves me, and I know he has a plan for me. Trusting God is sometimes hard, but I do trust him. He knows what he's doing; of that I'm certain.