Thursday, February 12, 2009

It's over...or has it only begun?

Well, this will unfortunately be a very short and somber post. After receiving a positive home pregnancy test, followed by a positive blood test, I have now miscarried. It's difficult to put into words my thoughts, emotions and feelings right now. I'm sure as the days and weeks follow, I'll be able to have a clearer perspective and reflect a little more objectively that I can at this moment. I have more questions than answers. I find it hard to shut the door on this small, yet highly meaningful chapter in my life. I'm telling myself it's over, although, I feel like this journey has only begun. I'm incredibly blessed to have a support group made up of wonderful family and friends that know how to pray for and love us during this hurtful time. Thank you and love you all!

Friday, February 6, 2009

And We Wait...

Adam and I started on our journey once again towards parenthood. These past several weeks have been filled with excitement, anticipation, nerves, fear and downright miracles. Tomorrow will be 5 weeks since we took the first step of faith in this process. I started with shots in my stomach. It didn't take much time to get back in the routine. My first shot came with almost no drama. I say "almost" because nothing with IVF comes without a little drama. After battling back and forth with insurance about what they would and wouldn't pay for, we finally got approval for some things and were given the "go ahead" to proceed with purchasing the drugs. We got home, pulled out ALL of the drugs, needles, syringes, oral drugs, etc. and although nerves were present, the daunting "unknown" wasn't looming over us as it was last year. It was all very clear to us. We knew the routine, we understood the process and we knew exactly what and why we were doing this and experienced the results.

So...the first night came. There wasn't the anxious build up like I had last year. I didn't freak out for an hour like I did just one year prior. I didn't fumble with the syringes or worry if I was doing it right. I just simply pulled the drugs out of the refrigerator, drew up the right amount into the syringe and looked around my scarred stomach to find just the right spot for the injection, took a deep breath and gave myself the shot. Don't be fooled, this event didn't go without emotions. As I was searching for the right spot on my stomach for the injection site, I couldn't help but look at my scar that starts at my belly button and be reminded of all that I had already been through. This very visible scar literally represents the heartache I've endured and is and will always be a part of me. So, yes, tears flowed. And every time I took my shots and searched for the injection sites, I thought about Audrey and Avery. I thought about them, and what we have been through to get them, keep them, and let them go. But, instead of cursing the medications and questioning why I had to do this all over again, I learned to bless the medications and the availablity of this process to us. This wasn't easy, but as I look back...I believe this was a profoundly important part to receiving the miracles that were to come.

I went onto have multiple shots, doctor's appointments, blood tests and ultrasounds. A nurse would call me in the late afternoon's to consult with me about my test results and then adjust my medications accordingly. On Saturday, January 24th I had my last doctor's appointment. I heard from the nurse later that afternoon. She said that I would need to take one more night of shots and we'd have our retrieval on Tuesday. I knew I was running low on drugs but didn't realize how low I actually was. We needed 10 cc's but the vile appeared empty except for a little drop swirling around and the very bottom. I called the specialty pharmacy we had been using, but they were already closed. Panic started to set in. From previous experience, I knew this was a specialty drug and cannot be found at any random drug store and needed to be ordered weeks ago if they were to carry it. I wasn't sure what to do, other than just pray. I got the vile out of the fridge, sat down at the table and started drawing the medication out. After studying and starring at the vile we were hoping for just 1 cc, not 10. I started drawing the syringe back and the capsule began to fill up. I kept pulling the syringe back and it kept filling up. We got 10 CC's! We couldn't even believe our eyes! In fact, there was just about 1 cc left over! I honestly couldn't believe it! Adam and I witnessed a miracle! Adam kept saying, "God multiplies!" I really couldn't believe what the Lord just did. This was biblical proportions! Why do we put our God in a box and limit what He can do? He is God! He created the heavens and earth! He can give me 10 cc's out of a droplet! Why do we doubt and restrict Him? To put this into even greater perspective...just one week prior, I received a word from the Lord. He told me to get a new journal and I would be filling it up with the miracles He was going to give me. He told me to "hope in miracles". WOW! Just one week, to the day, we witnessed an absolute miracle and you bet that it was my first miracle logged in my new journal!

Tuesday, January 27th, exactly 52 weeks, 365 days later, we had our egg retrieval and our babies were conceived. (We even had the same nurse!) This was our second miracle in my new journal. Let me explain... The last ultrasound I had showed only 9 follicles, at best. Only 6 of them looked like they were responding correctly. This made me nervous because last year we had 14. Because of this, I struggled to hang onto hope as I knew we only had essentially 6 this year. When the day of the retrieval came I was nervous and apprehensive about what the outcome would be. Shortly after the retrieval, I recall hearing Adam saying that we had 14 eggs! I remember saying..."14!?!" Adam again said, "God multiplies!" He took 9 eggs, 6 only appearing viable and multiplied them into 14!!! Why did I underestimate the power of God?!!!!

Two days later we heard from the lab. Of the 14 eggs, 12 fertilized! We went to the transfer on Sunday feeling very confident, but yet still a little anxious to find out how many we had left. We knew from experience last year that 14 can go to 9, then 5, then 4, then 3 with none left over to freeze. (We hoped to have some to freeze because we knew we'd want to expand our family some day.) At this transfer they came in and said that they still had great looking babies and that we will have atleast 6 that freeze! How amazing! Again, Adam said, "God multiplies!" Two babies were transferred and all was successful! God is powerful, big, and beyond our comprehension!

And now here we are. We wait. We hope. We dream. We pray. We believe. This has brought me to a place of complete surrender. There is nothing I can do. God is the ONLY creator of LIFE. I've done all I can do. The technicians have done all they can do. The doctor has done all he can do. Now we just wait on God. Waiting is blissfully divine and yet dreadfully terrible. You are anticipating the best and fearing the worst. I wait, my faith is stretched. My trust in the Lord is growing. He is teaching me how to lean on Him again and bury my head in His chest. The Lord has put me in a beautifully peaceful place with this process. However, resting in this peace isn't easy. I had peace for my children. I had peace while I was on bed rest, I had peace when I was in the hospital, I had peace as they rushed me into surgery, I had peace when I saw my babies for the first time and I had peace when I held them in arms and gave them back to the Lord. Peace with the Lord doesn't mean things will always go my way. Peace with the Lord means that "no matter what happens, we will be okay." Again, another quote from Adam.

Can you hear the rumblings? The questions resound in our household and the households of our families, "Are you going to take a pregnancy test early? And if so, when?" I really have yet to decide. Do I take it early or do I wait for Tuesday's blood test? The question that resonates within me is, "Could this be the last day without them?" If I take a test tomorrow and it's positive, this is the last night without having my children! I know the transfer was Sunday, but any mom can relate...from the moment you look at that positive test, you are different. You know it happens. Your heart and mind comes together and you begin to hope and dream for the future in a whole new way! I've held and protected these hopes and dreams in a very safe place in my heart, but that special moment is they key that unlocks them allowing them to flourish and grow! If our test is negative, I will surely have to face disappointment. But I will be okay.

I can't help but reflect on our life, the memories created and the journey we have traveled to get to this very moment. The details are sometimes a blur an sometimes remarkably fresh. But nevertheless, the memories have been created and it's our path. This is a walk that God has purposely given to us. This predestined journey is specifically for us and I wouldn't trade it for anything. If I didn't have to go through this, I wouldn't have experienced God's power in the miracles he performed before our eyes. So, how can I curse this journey? It's a beautiful, faith-filled walk, that He created just for us. I can't wait to see all that He has for us on this path! He has taught us so much through this process. I've grown closer to Him and have a new understanding of who He is. And so, no matter what results I receive, I know He is here, I know He is faithful and I know I will be in the shelter of the Lord's wings.

"He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart." Psalm 91:4

"Hope in miracles!" and "God multiplies!"