Wednesday, November 7, 2012


I think it would have been one boy and one girl.

They day after we transferred our three amazing embryos that gave us our one Scarlett Grace, we received a phone call letting us know that out of the four embryos they were watching, two had made it to freeze.  And at that exact moment that our nurse spoke those precious words, that old school country Collin Raye song, One Boy, One Girl came onto the satellite radio, and I knew. 

It's not like I rely on signs or the supernatural, but this was just a little too obvious.

And in the years since, I've prayed for them.  Asked God to grant the desires of my heart if it's in His will to do so, and that He would at least prepare my heart to handle it if it wasn't.

But the pain was still enough to stop my heart for a moment anyway. 

While driving in the car on my way to make a deposit at the bank for work, the phone rang, and I recognized the area code.  It wasn't a long phone call, no more than a few seconds, lasting just long enough for the nurse to let me know that she'd received my lab work and she was sorry, but my beta was negative.

Somehow, through the numbness, I was able to whisper thankyousomuch before I hung up.

And then I cried.

In the moments that followed, I couldn't stop the flow of salty tears and painful thoughts. No, she's wrong.  They told me that Scarlett was a negative beta too, but they were wrong.  This has to be a mistake, this was supposed to work.  It took us forever to save up the money, the cycle went so smoothly, we flew into a hurricane, I've prayed so hard, everyone has prayed so hard.

I wanted these babies more than anything.

Why can't I just have my babies?

There was anger.  There was fear.  Hatred, bitterness, jealousy, rage, helplessness, claustrophobia, denial, and every other nasty and deceitful emotion I never knew I had in me.  Everything I thought I had moved passed came floating right back up to the surface with one quick phone call.

Maybe I thought I'd become invincible, that I'd beat infertility once and this would never happen again.  But the same feeling I had the first three times I'd experienced a negative cycle came fast, like a raw and open wound, and suddenly I was right back there. 

I am infertile, and they can't even tell me why.

The hatred and disappointment I felt for my unexplained, broken body was thick and furious.  The anger burned hot as I contemplated the unfairness of being someone who will never get to take a urine test after a missed period to determine pregnancy, I'll always have to have my blood drawn and receive my fate from a nurse on the other end of the phone.  Being with my husband like any other person won't produce a baby, mine have to be created in a petri dish after several rounds of hormones and injections are administered, leaving behind countless bruises, dark blood stains, and costly medical bills. 

It's just not fair.

But almost as quickly as it came, my heart cooled, and I could breathe.  Pulling into a parking spot at the back, I dried my eyes and sent out a massive text to anyone and everyone who knew about our cycle, and the healing process began as a lighter shade of sadness and grief replaced the much uglier previous emotions.

I recognized immediately that my feelings were from Satan.  All of those hateful, distorted, awful things that had passed through my head weren't from God, they were straight from the enemy himself.  The helplessness, the crippling fear, the hatred for my body's inability to hold onto a baby even after the doctor places it exactly where it should be were all thoughts that were far from the peace and trust and understanding that God would give.

So instead, I sat in my car with the door cracked open, and I chose-against every fiber in my being-to praise Him.  And as I rambled off the weak list in my head, thanking Him for safe travels, for protection from the storm, for a successful thaw of both embryos, for Scarlett and my husband and my family and everything good in my life, it felt almost fake. 


But it was better than the alternative.

And as I continued to count my blessings-thought it felt as if I were grasping at straws-I was reminded that in midst of this dark moment, it was absolutely necessary to detach my feelings from my circumstances.  God is no less good because I just received the call that crushed my dreams, my plans, my way.  He is still the same exact God that gave me my Scarlett, even after a too low initial beta of eleven and then a second beta of zero.  He is still so full of love, grace, and mercy, even thought I wasn't given the answer I wanted to receive.

I prayed.  My family prayed.  So many of you prayed.  And because of that, I know this is right.  God doesn't make mistakes, and He heard every single one of our petitions, heard all of our cries, and listened intently to every plea.  And for reasons I may never know in this life, He said no.

I'm sad-naturally-but I don't think He minds. He understands grief.  He gets it and He's not mad.  

I'm not sure where to go from here.  I never allowed myself to think that far ahead, never planned on a negative beta.  I spent all of my time and energy thinking positive and taking baby steps, one foot in front of the other.  And now that I'm here, on the other side, it feel as if I'm standing in the middle of an open field out in the middle of nowhere, with no map, no directions, just a whole lot of grass and some pretty big mountains.

And I have no idea where to go, this was our last try.

These two frozen babies were all we had left.

Paul tells us in Philippians that he had learned to be content with whatsoever he was given in any situation; but in First Samuel we see that Hannah prayed so fervently for a child-pouring out her heart in the abundance of complaint and grief-that the priest thought she was drunk.

So which is it?

I don't know yet. 

Maybe it's both.  It has to be both. But it certainly gives me something to work on. 

God can still give us a baby naturally, I know He can.  I've seen it happen so many times to so many amazing ladies that have been where I am.  Or maybe He'll choose to open up our hearts to adoption, something that I think is wonderful but hasn't yet resounded with us. And It's even possible that Scarlett is the only child He wants us to have. 

But I really don't think that's it. 

We'll just have to pray for guidance and direction as to where He'd have us go next; and in the meantime I'll continue my list of praises and blessings, because there just isn't any other way to survive, to push down those ugly thoughts from the enemy that threaten to bubble back up.  And I'll rejoice that though He choose to say no this time, He said yes last time.

And let me tell you, those giant brown eyes she stole from her Daddy are the best pain relief ever. Every time I look into them, I can't help but think-even while mending a broken and battered heart-that He is so good.

Yesterday, today, and tomorrow.


“God, who foresaw your tribulation, has specially formed you to go through it, not without pain but without stain.”
—C. S. Lewis

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

{New York}

They called it the perfect storm.

Had we chosen any other clinic in New York, we would have been affected, our cycle delayed, our dreams crushed.  But God chose to move my California Doctor to Syracuse, city up on a hill, just a few hours short of the worst part of the storm and completely unaffected by anything other than heavy rain and high winds. And though the second half of our trip was spent in Manhattan where the devastation was much closer, we didn't arrive until a few days later when the power was back up and all was safe.

God protected us.

This was a difficult post to write.

I've started and ended it several times, never satisfied with the final result.  I'm sitting with my heart torn in a million pieces as I'm dying with anticipation for the beta results that I'll receive in the next few hours, amazed that we traveled into New York just in time for a devastating hurricane, excited to possibly be pregnant, scared  I may not be, and full of sorrow for those affected by this awful storm. 

I'm in awe of God's power and the fact that He placed us safely in exactly the right place, so that instead of fearing for our lives on October 29th, we instead transferred two beautiful embryos back into my uterus where they belong inside a beautiful, peaceful, and calm fertility clinic.  While others closeby were in the midst of complete terror and chaos, my dreams were coming true, just an arms reach away from Sandy.

We arrived back home safely last night.  We spent our time in New York watching Scarlett Grace fall in love with the indoor water park at our resort near Syracuse, and then we celebrated her 18 month birthday walking around central park and the zoo.  The trip was perfect, the thaw and transfer went smooth, and I'll find out shortly if I've brought home more than just a few trinkets of souvenirs from our stay.  But I'm struggling to focus on the fact that I may or may not be pregnant, when there is so much else to pray for right now. 

So many others who have lost so much, while we enjoyed our vacation.

Right now, I'm thankful that we were kept safe, but my heart is breaking for those I know that fell victim to Sandy.

There are so many praying for us, so many who have kept us in their thoughts over these past several weeks.  I've received countless texts, emails and phone calls-both asking about our safety and extending their thoughts about our FET-and I feel so incredibly blessed.  But I also feel selfish, because through this experience, I've realized how much my prayer life for others is lacking.  With so many praying for me, have I been praying for them?  We all go through difficult situations, and have I been so wrapped up in my own selfish prayers that I have missed out on the blessing of praying for so many others?

So with each text that comes my way today, with each email that lands in my mailbox, and with each phone call that I receive, I'm challenging myself to pray for those sending prayers my way.  Baby or no baby, we have seen God's awesome power and we have been held safely in His hands, and it's time now to give this situation of our FET back to Him, prepare our hearts for either answer, and instead focus on the needs of others.  Because we know that God is good-our refuge and our salvation-and He is able to calm any storm.

Weather it's in the form of infertility, or named Sandy.

The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms
Deuteronomy 33:27 (KJV)