Creation of our Family- May 24, 2014

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

In our day of trouble

“Your love so deep is washing over me. Your face is all I seek, you are my everything.Jesus Christ, you are my one desire; Lord hear my only cry, to know you all my life.” (Hillsong Young and Free) How I need the words to this song today. My heart is broken in pieces. Jesus is my everything. Jesus is all I need. His love is washing over me.

            My life verse declares the same heart as that song: “One thing I ask, this is what I seek- that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.” Psalm 27:4-5.
High upon a rock (Valle de la Luna, Bolivia)

            Yesterday was a day of trouble, in the words of the Psalm. Today I am still feeling the aftershock and clinging desperately to God’s love. At 8:45 yesterday morning we got the call from the clinic. In God’s perfect timing, it came at a time when Josh and I were together and able to take the call on speakerphone. “Unfortunately, I do not have good news. The test was negative. You had an HCG of 1. You are not pregnant. I am so sorry.” The rest of the brief conversation was a blur. 

            I am struggling to write this now, and struggling to even put it into words. We are mourning our two perfect little embryos, who were alive when they were put into my uterus and then failed to implant, or implanted and then stopped growing. Two of our children, conceived of Josh and I, are no more. The clinic said I can expect a period in the next two weeks and then we have a follow up consultation with the doctor two weeks from today. My heart breaks- that was the same day we would have had the ultrasound to see if we were having twins. We would have heard the little tiny hearts beating that day. But God had a different path for us.

            The amazing part about these last two days is that God truly has set me high upon a rock and kept me safe in his dwelling. Our family and friends have surrounded us with prayers and love (ie: hugs, good food, and flowers!). God has poured out peace on us. He has lavishly showed us the beauty of his creation.

            “Through the storm He is Lord, Lord of all. Christ alone, Cornerstone, weak made strong in the Savior’s love. Through the storm He is Lord, Lord of all.” Jesus is Lord in this storm in my life. I praise him because his peace has been so present in the pain. I would even say that, as so many have prayed for us, his joy is present with us and that abiding joy has strengthened us. What a mysterious thing joy is. As I write this entry through tears, I feel joy. My heart is filled with joy because I know that Jesus’ love for us never changes or fails. My heart is filled with joy because he is with us and will never leave. I have joy because I know that our two very small babies were created by him and are with him now.

The ways of God are higher than the skies are above the earth (La Paz, Bolivia)
            Faith is an incredible thing. It does not mean that you have all the answers. It does not necessarily mean you understand God’s plans or his ways. What faith does is give you the absolute, unshakeable confidence that God’s love is stronger than any and every circumstance you will ever find yourself in. It assures you that God’s ways are higher than your ways, his thoughts are higher than your thoughts, and that he will eventually work every single thing together for good. I serve a God who heals the brokenhearted, and gives strength to the weak. Here I am, God: brokenhearted and weak. He will heal my heart in time. Before 8:45 yesterday morning, I was waiting for news that I was pregnant. Since then, I have been waiting on God’s healing of my heart after it broke at the news that I am not.

            There are so many questions: what went wrong?? will we try again with the four frozen embryos? what will that look like and will it be expensive? is my body strong enough now? will we have to wait until we move to Minnesota now? will we ever be able to get pregnant? will we ever be parents? when and how? 

BUT we cannot answer those questions now. Josh wisely said our family is in a new season and a new mindset now: patience. We will not research and seek out answers yet. Right now my body needs to finish this cycle and then we need to meet with the doctor. (A small part of my heart still hopes for a miracle- maybe they were just late to implant and I won’t get a period.) We will be patient and rest in the Lord, though our tears, until then. God has kept us safe in our day of trouble, and he will continue to set us upon a high rock as the storms pass by. 

Thank you for joining us on our journey. It is such an encouragement to know you are reading this and journeying with us. Your comments and prayers lift my spirit, friend! 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Poppy seeds, part II

           God has been our fortress, our defender, and has been so faithful as we have faced infertility and moved through this entire process. We had perfect little poppy seed-sized embryos!  Josh and I are amazed, and so very grateful.

            When we arrived at the clinic on Friday morning, I was almost giddy to find out how our embryos had done and to get them transferred inside me. When we got all dressed in surgery gear, the doctor pulled out a picture and handed it to Josh: two perfect “grade A+” 5-day embryos. The doctor told us he had never seen such healthy, textbook grade embryos. They have perfect forms, tight cells in an inner formation (which becomes the baby), fluid sac (which becomes the amniotic sac), and outer layer (which becomes the placenta). Again, we were amazed, and so very grateful. The transfer went smoothly and soon I was flat on my back for recovery.

Pre-transfer (all dressed up!)


Ready for the transfer!

Our poppy seeds in utero (that little white shooting star at the top of the curve is them)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Late night musings on faith and poppy seeds

I woke up in the middle of the night. Around 12:25 AM, I decided to stop battling with insomnia and just get up. In my past, sometimes insomnia has meant that God is trying to get me alone to be with Him. With a hot cup of chamomile tea, I sat with worship music and my open Message Bible, and I waited on the LORD. I want to be vulnerable and open before God, and He has prompted me to share this with you. Here it goes...
            My mind was racing. I have had so many thoughts all day; what a whirl of thoughts since I tried to close my eyes at 11:10 PM. Most of my thoughts revolved around the poppy seed-sized future children (embryos) multiplying in a petri dish in Detroit right now. 

            The Spirit first led me to read tonight’s devotional from Grace for the Moment (by Max Lucado). The question left for contemplation at the end of the reading was: “why is the empty tomb a symbol of joy for Christians?” As the song “The King is Here,” by Kim Walker Smith played, I thought about the answers. “The King is here… Jesus is alive”- that is why we celebrate the empty tomb! That joy of Jesus’ defeat of death and resurrection to life, triumphing over all powers of sin and darkness, despair and death, is why the empty tomb is a symbol of joy. In fact, that joy of the victorious empty tomb is my strength. I claim that strength this week.
            I went in search for the resurrection passages in the gospels, but halfway through Matthew I began to thing about worship. How I want to worship God with my whole heart in it, as Matthew 15:8-9 says. When I state and profess the words about the empty tomb and claim that joy as my strength even in trying times, I want to mean it with my whole heart! That passage is Jesus quoting the prophet Isaiah to and about the Pharisees: “These people make a big show out of saying the right thing, but their heart isn’t in it. They act like they’re worshiping me, but they don’t mean it. They just use me as a cover for teaching whatever suits their fancy.” Oh no!! In that moment I prayed aloud against Satan’s attempts and schemes to bind our family with insincere hearts and minds, that simply use Jesus’ words as a cover for our own wants and opinions. Cleanse my heart, LORD. May your joy truly be my strength as we cross this path you have laid out for us, this path toward creating a family that will love, serve, and follow you wholeheartedly.

           I continued my search for the resurrection story and I came upon the topic of faith. I began to read Matthew 17:20 aloud: “Because you’re not taking God seriously, said Jesus. “The simple truth is that if you had a mere kernel of faith, say as small as a poppy seed, you would say to this mountain, ‘Move!’ and it would move. There is nothing you wouldn’t be able to tackle.” This is still Jesus talking to his disciples, this time because they were unable to cast a demon out of a child. Interesting fact- the blastocytes growing in the laboratory right now are just the size of a poppy seed! I have been thinking about poppy seed size much of the day- it is very small!! As I meditated on this scripture and prayed for faith to truly and wholeheartedly believe God is able and will make us parents, the song “Climb” by Will Reagan- “I will climb this mountain… there is nothing I hold onto.” Well, I suppose one could then say that even if God chooses not to MOVE the mountain of infertility with our faith, He could still help us to climb it by faith and with His joy to carry us through. In a way, I feel like that is what this IVF cycle has been- climbing the mountain of infertility by faith with God’s joy as our strength.

            I confess, I have tried to take control today- no more creating baby registries and planning nurseries until AFTER the first ultrasound to definitely confirm pregnancy. I am done. I am letting go. I worshiping wholeheartedly and believing God can move this mountain His way.

            It is now 1:26 AM. Yikes! This is the latest I have stayed up in a long time! Good thing tomorrow is another day of relaxation, meditation, and preparation. There should be time for a nap! 

Before I went to bed tonight… God laid it on my heart to share these. Words from my heart to yours. I pray they will encourage you, whatever journey you are on. Move that mountain. Climb that mountain. But in all, do it wholeheartedly. 

I do not know how long this blog will continue, but tonight, I am sharing my thoughts and will just follow God on this.  NOTE: it is now almost 2:00 AM.