love, loss and news.

We prayed. We asked that God would put in our hearts what was next for us. I took several blood tests. All of which came back in proper ranges and negative for everything that could be concerning. Good news. We met with the doctor. “What should we do?”  She recommended doing another fresh cycle with a different protocol. “Because you only have one “C” embryo left, let’s do another fresh cycle and transfer the best embryos back. And hopefully add one more to your frozen embryo so you could do a 2-embryo transfer in the future.”  We prayed. We contemplated. We weighed our options. Yes, a fresh cycle with strong embryos sounded wonderful. But neither of us could forget about our little less-than-average embryo that was waiting for us. “Your odds of a pregnancy are much higher if we do another fresh cycle.” We kept hearing our doctors voice in our head. But both of our hearts felt called to our little frostie baby first.

So we made the decision. We were going to proceed with a frozen cycle based on the hopes that God had big plans in store for our last embryo – “Frostie”. Our doctor completely supported our decision. We made our consult appointment. We paid our bills. We scheduled our transfer for September 26th. I would be starting shots at the end of August. We knew without a doubt that this frozen transfer was the right decision. But we continued to pray for God’s timing to be displayed. Instead of praying for a sign that it was His time, this time I prayed that if it wasn’t His timing, that He would throw up a roadblock. A clear, can’t-miss-it sign that September 26th wasn’t meant to be the transfer date.

Later that same day we paid for the September 26th transfer, the call came in. “Your blood work went up.” Less than a week later I was canceling our September 26th transfer as we found out the D&C would be necessary.

I asked for a roadblock and I got one, clear as day. I was frustrated because I wanted God to be like “Yes of course this is My time! Go for it!”. My bags were packed for our cruise. We requested a fridge in the room to house my shots. My doctors note allowing me to travel with needles and such already packed in my carry on. And then the roadblock.

September 26th was not meant to be our transfer day.

I will never know why. But I sit now, weeks later, in complete awe at the simple answer to prayer that He created, especially when my will and wanting was so different.

Days passed. Then the nurse called. We were cleared to start our Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) cycle again. My numbers were zero.

So we proceeded with starting. And again, praying, God, if this isn’t Your timing or Your will, please create a roadblock.

This FET would be different than all the other cycles in the past. I would be using different injections and high dosages to receive the estrogen I needed. I would be adding and changing other things as well. We had no idea if my body would respond to this. Truthfully, I think I anticipated my body not responding at all and that being my “roadblock”.

We (I) made the conscious decision not to share this cycle prep with anyone. (Josh respected and agreed to my request.) I was exhausted. I didn’t really want to think about the cycle. I wanted to wake up, give myself my shot, pop a pill and go about my day. Repeat at night. My mind couldn’t handle anyone asking me how I was. Updating people. Telling people “Yeah, the medicine didn’t work. The cycle has been cancelled.” I stood with my hot flashes, too stubborn to admit that the shots were to blame. I was too exhausted some days to get off the couch. I am sure people just thought I was insanely lazy. But still, I chugged on. It was beautiful not being defined by how I was feeling/doing by everyone I encountered. Yes, I know. Their intentions would have been wonderful. But my heart and brain just didn’t want to think or talk about it. At all. I felt like I got to be a “normal” person when really, if they had seen my stomach, they would have known by the bruises I wasn’t all that “normal”.

You see, for so many cycles I have relied upon YOUR support, your encouragement, your words to keep me going. But I felt God quietly whisper in my heart Let me be all the support you need. And so we marched forward, the future of if my body would be ready for a transfer unknown. Only Him knowing my specific needs each day.

We cleared the first appointment. My lining was thin, ovaries quiet. Then we added more meds. And waited, prayed, hoped. My heart so cautiously scared yet optimistic. I knew that if this transfer was meant to happen, then the medicine would work. My hormone levels would be as they should. My lining would be okay. And if not, another clear roadblock.

Last Friday I went into the clinic to hear the wonderful news that this protocol worked. My lining was ready and perfect. Now we just needed to take some blood work and check that pesky estrogen level. They like to see it between 200 – 400, but will cautiously take anything above 100. Last time I was a miserable 112. I had no idea what to expect. So imagine my pleasant surprise when the nurse called that afternoon and didn’t tell me “The cycle is cancelled.” But instead “Your levels are 391! We are set to move forward with the transfer.”

Praise God! Oh He is so good.

So what does all of this mean? It means I am EXCITED to share with you all that this Friday, Josh and I hope to have the God-given opportunity to transfer our last little embryo into its home for hopefully the next 9 months. I say hope to have because there is still one more big step between now and that moment of transfer – our little guy/girl has to survive being thawed. It’s a complete unknown if it will. We pray with every piece of our hearts that it does. But we will not find out if it made it until we get to the clinic Friday morning. The emotions thinking about that possible joy or heartbreak is overwhelming.

So – surprise! For the last 30+ days, my days have included many shots. If I have broken out in a sweat around you or looked a painful color of gray, it was because of the shots combined with the lack of sleep.

 A tiny look at my secret life lately.

A tiny look at my secret life lately.

So PLEASE join us in praying for:

  1. The thawing of our embryo.
  2. The transfer itself to go smoothly.
  3. That this is IT.

Today also marks a special day in our journey as it is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Throughout this journey, Josh and I have had little ones join our Father earlier than we would have liked. It’s interesting, for those who have lost a spouse, the word “widow” is given. For those who lost a parents, the word “orphan” is used. For those who have lost a child – well, too often it simply goes unsaid.

preg loss

“Unless you wear a T-shirt emblazoned with your children’s names or tattoo them on your wrist, you rarely speak their names aloud no matter how much you need or want to tell others. And for women who have struggled with pregnancy loss, there seems even less place to mention the love they feel for babies they will never have.” (NY Times article today)

So today is the day we remember. Today is the day not to be ashamed of the sadness you have felt. In fact, on this day, there will be a “wave of light” spread throughout the world. From 7 pm – 8 pm in each time zone in every part of the world, candles will be lit to remember those babies who have been lost. So please, I ask, if you are home tonight, even if its not at 7:00, please lit a candle for those who have lost their precious babies. It’s not an image that will likely ever be seen but the significance is incredibly touching and moving.

(Great, now I am crying at Starbucks. Yes sir, the one watching me, if you have a Kleenex to share, that would be great.)

I saw this photo on Instagram earlier today and it touched my heart so much.

hold them

What would God say to my little one about me? As I pondered that today, I couldn’t help but pray, with all my heart, that it is something similar to the song I had been listening to ironically at the same time:

May Your love cause us to open up, cause us to open up our hearts.

May Your life cause us to shine so bright that we bring hope into the dark.

Great is the courage to give as You’re calling.

Make me an instrument of Your peace.

May we love as You love.

I hope that I am living a life that causes God to whisper, “Look at your Mom. Her heart is open. She is shining so bright. She is bringing hope into the darkness around her. She is brave. Aren’t we so proud of her?

(That may have been the hardest sentence and image to imagine and type. More tears.)

So as we move forward, join us with confidence as we trust whatever God has planned for us. Perhaps another roadblock. Perhaps a glorious ending to this present suffering. Perhaps another lesson learned. A heart more dependent on Him. The possibilities are endless. And we are jumping in wholeheartedly.

Now off to find some tissues.