Thank you all for your encouraging responses to my last post. I am so thankful for the wonderful, supportive women I’ve come in contact with over these past few years. You’ve all been such tremendous blessings in my life. For those of you who said you would be praying for us, Andrew and I both covet your prayers during this time. Words cannot express how difficult this has been. And as silly as I feel to ask, please pray for rest for me. I’ve not slept more than a couple hours a night for the past five or six nights, and am beyond exhausted.
After several strong positive pregnancy tests at the beginning of last week, I miscarried our babies. By the time of my first beta on Thursday of last week, my hCG levels were only 26. By Friday, I was getting only negative pregnancy tests, and after a miserably long weekend, I went in for my second beta Monday morning. I’d had days to prepare myself mentally for the “official” bad news, yet it still hit me like a ton of bricks.
I believed with everything in me that this FET was going to work, and I even believed we’d be having twins in the spring. I had not a doubt in my mind. So when it was obvious that my levels were dropping, and that we’d lost both babies, I was in denial at first, and then felt shell-shocked when it sank in. And then I felt utterly miserable. The past five days have been the hardest and longest of my life. They’ve felt like five years. Truly.
A couple of people have said things like, “Well at least you have Bonnie.” And I am so, so thankful to have her. But the loss of a life (or two lives) cannot be replaced with the life of another. Knowing that there was life there, and that it’s gone now is so hard.
And knowing that of the FIFTY eggs that were initially retrieved nearly two and a half years ago, we now have zero embryos remaining. That is really hard to accept.
But I know a few other things too:
1) Scientifically and medically speaking, our odds for success could not have been any better. Our embryos were biopsied and were as high-quality as they come, both our embryos hatched before transfer, my uterine lining was thicker than it had ever been in the past, my uterus and ovaries looked better than ever before, and overall, I am healthier than I’ve been in years. There is no logical reason I should not be carrying two babies right now. Our chances for success were greater this time around than they were when we had Bonnie.
2) God’s hand is in this. There is no medical explanation for why this was not able to be a healthy, viable pregnancy. The explanation is simply that God has something else in store for us. I have no idea what or why. And I haven’t asked Him, because I don’t need to know. His ways are higher than our own; I do not need to understand in order to trust.
I have cried out to Him over the past five days, but I’ve had no words to pray. Just tears and groans and silent listening. And even in my devastation, I know He is sovereign, and He’s granted me peace. And He’s even told me a few things.
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” – Romans 8:26
He’s Told Me to Be Still- “The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still.”- Exodus 14:14
I’d thought that IVF was the hardest thing I’d ever done. But it turns out, NOT pursuing it again might be even harder. Even so, I sense the Holy Spirit directing me to cease pursuing fertility treatments, and my husband agrees. As much as I want to discuss our options with Dr. MK and dive right into the next thing (which I assume would be another IVF with embryo testing, and then FET,) I sense God telling me to do the thing that is harder, which is to stop trying to conceive, naturally or through treatments, and to have faith.
And I do have faith. I do not know whether, when, or how Andrew and I will have more children. But I know the character or God, because His character is presented to us all throughout Scripture. I have faith that God knows the desires of my heart far better than I know them myself. And only when I rest in that faith will I experience the fullness of joy and the fullness of life that come from living in His presence.
He’s Told Me to Be Present- “Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.”- Matthew 6:34
It is only when we live in the present that we are able to live in His presence. When I am able to live in the present, unfocused on what I think our family should look like in the future, that is when I will be most able to be completely grateful for the divine miracle God has already given us. When I live each moment as it comes, that is when I will be the best wife and mother possible. When I’m pining for something I may never have (more children) it takes away from the fullness of joy that Christ has made available to me now.
We know the genders of the embryos that were transferred: one boy and one girl. We’d chosen names. Those were tiny lives that we’d held in our hearts for over two years. We prayed for them every day that they were frozen in the lab. Though I carried them in my body for only a very short time, I carried them in my heart for much longer. The loss is huge.
But my God is BIGGER- “With man this is impossible, but with God, ALL things are possible.”- Matthew 19:26
My head is still spinning, and my heart is aching like it has never ached before. At first, I kept thinking of what we should have done differently: Maybe we should have transferred only one embryo, so that we’d still have another left. Or maybe we should have transferred none at all, but waited until a less stressful time instead. But finally, after days of turmoil, God has given me peace. I don’t know that the ache will ever completely go away. It is so raw right now that I’ve wondered if I might feel this way forever.
But my God is HEALER- “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”- Psalm 147:3
God has already begun healing my heart. The events of the past week have reminded me of what a miracle our precious daughter really is. I’ve cherished her more these past several days than ever before, and my love for her grows stronger by the day. It would be a shame for me to miss out on the joy of being her mother because I am constantly obsessed with the desire for more children.
I know there are women out there who can give 100% to their child/children while TTC, but that is not me. For me, even TTC naturally would require legalistic dietary restrictions, a boatload of supplements and powders and oils, hours of research, and time and mental energy that take away from the joy that this season of Bonnie’s life brings.
My heart’s desire now is to be the best mom I can be. I’ve wanted to be a mom for as long as I can remember, and God has given me that. My purpose during this season is to spend time teaching her and showing her who Jesus is, teaching her how to obey and say “please,” introducing her to a potty, and making sure she doesn’t tumble down the staircase when I’m not looking, or eat dog food while I have my back turned. What an awesome job I have! It’s the job I’ve longed for my entire life, and it’s better than I could have possibly imagined. It’s also harder than I ever imagined. And it is time to immerse myself in motherhood rather than TTC.
When people ask me if we’re planning on having more children, until further notice, and unless God works a major change in my heart, the answer will be no. When people ask why, the answer will be because God has given us an absolute miracle in the daughter we do have, and we are busy cherishing and enjoying her.