Tuesday, January 29, 2013

{7w0d, Round 2}

Early this morning, my regular OB called to personally congratulate and invite us to come in for an ultrasound.  Our regular appointment isn't scheduled until later this week, but as soon as he heard the news he wanted to fit us in immediately, just to see this little miracle for himself.
Our newest tiny human is due September 17,  has a beating heart and is measuring right on track.

The love I felt as I watched the tiny flicker of a heart on the screen was immeasurable.  I'm still so in awe of this blessing, so humbled that God chose to allow me one more life to grow and raise for Him, and so very grateful that we will have a fourth pumpkin this Halloween, an extra place setting this Thanksgiving, and one more stocking this Christmas. 

We are so blessed.  

“Those blessings are sweetest that are won with prayer and worn with thanks.”
-Thomas Goodwin

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


After our N.Y. trip was officially over and the news of our failed FET had settled in our hearts, we had no choice but to continue with life as normal.

And because God is good-because we have so many friends and loved ones that prayed for peace with whatever God's decision was for the outcome of our final cycle-the transitioned back was smooth, almost effortless.

We continued to praise God for the opportunity to try to bring our little frozen ones into this world, and thanked Him for the one He chose to give us almost two years ago now.  I prepared to start another semester of school, and we stayed busy with the Holidays, held tightly between family as we celebrated first a day dedicated to being grateful for our blessings, and then the birth of our Savior.  And even among the weight of several real life and even celebrity birth announcements looming,  I'm amazed at how peaceful our hearts remained.

And After the new year passed, full of promises of a fresh start and the feeling that God was going to do something BIG in our lives this year, we remained hopeful for whatever was in store. I didn't know if it would be a change or an event, a good thing or a bad thing, but I knew something was coming.  And I started to prepare my heart by asking God to help me accept whatever it was that came my way, and to open my eyes and ears to whatever He had in store for us.  And I also asked that He would please lessen my desire to have more children if that was His will, or for Him to strengthen my desire and open doors wide if that was the case as well.

Either way, I wanted to know if I should get my hopes up that this something BIG had to do with growing our family, or if I should just be content with my one beautiful blessing and move on.

And on January 10th, just a few days before my 30th birthday, I read a devotional in my book Jesus Calling by Sarah Young that spoke about God's perfect timing, and how we cause so much unnecessary stress on ourselves when we try to make things happen in our time, instead of waiting on God's perfect timing. Emotions welled up inside as I read that insert, knowing how very true it was.  Knowing that even though I don't understand His ways, I can't help but trust that He knows what He's doing.

And then I read the scripture that followed the devotion, in Luke 1:37:

"For with God, nothing shall be impossible."

This has always been one of my favorite verses.  But to hear it on that day, a day when I was just starting to let go of the hope of every having any more children, a day I started to accept that Scarlett Grace may just be my one and only miracle, was once again, God's perfect timing.  Especially when I looked up at the verse just before it, and put the two of them together.

"36And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.37 For with God nothing shall be impossible."

How had I not known before that this verse-this beautiful verse full of promise-proceeds A story of infertility?  Elizabeth, who was barren, was given a son. 

Because with God, nothing is impossible.

It was almost as if God was asking me to keep that hope in my heart.  To not let go.  To trust that with Him, it was possible that someday, someway, we would have more children.

And so I did. 

And two days later, on my thirtieth birthday, my period was a day late. 

I fought against every fiber of my being to not over think this, knowing that even for someone as regular as I am, a late period doesn't mean much.  But the absence of my usual spotting just added to the excitement creeping in, and I couldn't help it.

Was this my something BIG?  Was it even possible? Could I really be...

For the next week, I drank more water than I thought possible, and checked for spotting each time I landed in the bathroom; but it never came.

I built a dam to hold the flood of emotions inside, and talked my self out of the possibility of being pregnant.  After all, it's been years.  Six years, two IUI's, four IVF's, and a FET.  All promising, but only one working. And there was no way I was spending my hard earned money on a rediculously overpriced pregnancy test with those odds.

I tried so very hard to forget about it, but I couldn't. So today, with my period exactly a week late and no spotting in sight, I knew it was time to put my mind at ease and find out either way.    

I couldn't concentrate all day.  Customers were stopping by consistently, and it wasn't until 5:30pm that I was able to make it out of the office with a few errands left to do before church started at 7pm.  My hands were shaking as I placed the pregnancy test on the conveyor belt at the Dollar Tree-because I refuse to spend $14 for a digital at target-and my blood ran cold when I shoved it deep in my giant purse, hiding it from view as I walked outside. 

There was a battle raging in my mind, and it was doubt and fear against hope and promise.

For with God, nothing shall be impossible.

By the time I finished my errands, it was time to head straight to church, and I felt sick knowing I would have to continue to hide the pregnancy test deep in my bag for a few more hours.  The time passed fairly quickly because I adore our Wednesday night Young Mothers and Wives class, but my mind still wandered frequently as I thought of the test burning a hole in my purse.

As soon as I walked in the door to my home, I turned the bath water on for my daughter, and felt my heart skip a beat.  In just a few moments, I'll know.  I undressed her and kissed her as I placed her in the water, and asked my husband to keep an eye on her while I used the bathroom.

I grabbed a cup, ripped open the test, filled the cup, and watched my hands once again shake uncontrollably as I used the tiny dropper included with the test.  And as the dark pink stain crept up the window, I thought I was going to have a heart attack. 

There was a very visible second line before I even placed the test down on the counter.


For the first time in my life, I knew I was growing a tiny human in my uterus before a nurse or doctor did, and I had absolutely no idea what to do with that sort of information.

My husband had no idea what was happening-he didn't even know my period was late-so I replayed fifty different scenarios in my head, none of them special enough.  How do you tell the love of your life that your going to have another baby?  All we've shared in the past was countless negative tests and a too-low-beta of 11 that eventually became news of a beta of zero that later became news of "maybe your still pregnant because we think we may have made a mistake" to finally a decent beta number with hopes that it would still climb-and it did-but it still was never a strong, solid two line test right out of the gate. 

I just kept staring at it-setting there on the counter-like it was a check for a million dollars.

I left the test out on the bathroom counter, thinking he would come in any moment to see it any second now, and be surprised.  But after a couple of minutes I panicked and hid it in a drawer.  Maybe I should wait?  He'll want to tell everyone, and it's still so early, so maybe I'll wait a month until Valentines day? Or better yet, his birthday.  By then I'll be twelve weeks and then he can tell whoever he wants...

But then I thought that was sort of cruel.  After all, this was his baby too, and not just my blessing to keep a secret.  So I pulled the test back out and placed it back on the bathroom counter.

And then I took it off again.

The bathroom counter? Really? That's the best you can do? It just wasn't enough.  But I couldn't think straight, so I just shoved it under the covers of my bed, and reached for a permanent marker.  Scribbled the words Hey Babe... and placed the pregnancy test under it.  Stared at it.  Sized it up.  Made sure that gorgeous second line was for real, made sure it didn't disappear.  And then under that, I wrote, ready for round two?  and signed it with my usual xoxo


I cleaned the bathroom, cleaned our room, made the bed, placed my paper and test art work on the bed.  Then I took it off again.  Does this mean I'm not an infertile any more? Messed up his side of the bed, pulled the covers back a bit and placed it flat on the fitted sheet. I need to call the doctor tomorrow morning. Grabbed the iPad he gave me for my birthday and tried to figure out how to record something on it, but my hands were shaking too much. Maybe I'll be able to have this baby without an epidural. Finally found it, and almost threw up with excitement. I'll have to make sure Scarlett is potty trained so I don't have two in diapers at the same time.  Walked-skipped-ran into the kitchen and as calmly as possible asked him to come kill a spider in our room. We'll need a bigger car. Followed him to the room, fumbling with the iPad to turn on the camera, and caught it just in time.

He saw it.  He stared at it. Asked if I was joking.  Hugged me and mumbled a bunch of things I can't remember.  Then asked who we could tell.  

And it still doesn't feel real.

I always knew it was possible.  I believe with all of my heart that with God, all things are possible.  And all things to God even means allowing a couple-who has been through years of treatments and doctors and shots and medicine and blood work and even a failed FET less than two months ago-like us to conceive naturally.

Scarlett Grace is our miracle, our medical miracle that God chose to give us by using doctors and modern medicine as tools to display His marvelous handiwork.  And while others may say that it was IVF that brought her to us, we know it was the hand of God, the only creator of life that handed her to us, not just the science that He allowed to work. 

But this child? 

Even if you don't believe in God, even if you aren't religious in the tiniest bit, I don't know how anyone could look at this situation and not see Him.  Even when science and medicine failed, where statistics and odds couldn't perform, when the attempts of man fell short, God gave life. 

And this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.

His perfect timing revealed a plan more beautiful than I could have ever imagined, and a child that only He can receive the glory, honor and praise for. 

I won't tell you that I wasn't paying any attention to my body, that I didn't even know my period was late, or that I just relaxed and it finally happened, because that would be a lie.

I've been very in tune with my body since we started trying to conceive six years ago and I can't help but notice the signs of ovulation.  In fact, I can even tell you without a doubt that this baby was conceived on Christmas, because after years of examining cervical mucous and paying attention to my body, I'm very much aware of my cycle. And even though my memory fails me in so many other ways, I somehow manage to always remember exactly when I ovulated, and exactly when my next period is due, without fail.

And until now, it's always come.  Right on time.  With spotting occuring about three days before.

 However, there was nothing done extra to help this along, either.  I am not at my healthiest weight-my resolution was to kick these extra ten pounds I've gained back since Scarlett started slowing down breastfeeding and finally stopped completely in October-and with school and work I haven't found the time to get back the fabulously toned yoga body I had before I was pregnant with her.  I didn't eat differently, take any vitamins, invest in acupuncture, order magic potions, or lie in bed with my legs up in the air for five minutes.  I never charted or took ovulation prediction tests, either.

Because those tests are just as expensive as pregnancy tests.

I'm telling you, this baby is all God.

We are humbled, excited, nervous, thrilled, and beyond grateful for this miracle.  It's still early, so we are waiting to share this news with everyone until we've seen a heartbeat on a fuzzy black screen.  And I probably won't publish this post until then, because there are some very dear friends reading my blog that I'd rather tell in person before this goes public.  But this sort of news is difficult to keep in side, so I'm not sure how much longer we can wait.

God heard our prayers and has answered them a second time.  He's granted the desires of our heart and given us what we were told was impossible. 

Because with Him, impossible doesn't exist.

O Lord my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me.11 Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;12 To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.
Psalms 30: 2,11-12 (KJV)