March 1, 2011 § 2 Comments
Am I crazy? The question rattled around in my brain and down to my heart. The silence was deafening. My heart beat quickened as I twisted myself into a pretzel. Stomach on the bed, rear in the air, twisting enough to get that injection in my hip. I knew I didn’t want the soreness putting the needle in my leg would cause.
The pinch of the needle and sting of the medicine didn’t answer my question. In fact I wondered if the hormones were making me mad. Mood swings – anger, happiness, grief – they all blurred together. I wondered what others thought of me. I felt raw, on edge, ready to pounce. My sore rear-end and abdomen full of holes testified to the unnatural way to conception. The hope of new life in my womb did little to ease the fears of what-ifs. My heart told my mind it didn’t know if I could handle it. My mind told my heart to buck up. My heart rebelled. It was a battle inside…
Looking back I still wonder. Was I crazy? Crazy to take hormones that made my ovaries so huge I was in severe pain. Pain that reminded me of my tubal pregnancies – of my losses. Was I losing this baby too? Could the unthinkable happen and one of my embryos float into my tube? Was I going to lose another one?
Crazy to think that frozen babies would never steal my heart the way the ones in my belly did. I read the literature, knew the side effects, I practically became an expert myself. Yet I didn’t know. I couldn’t have seen the way in-vitro fertilization would affect me, my husband, and my children. I never imagined myself discussing my menstrual cycle with one of the pastors at my church, but that’s what IVF did.
Would I tell someone go for it – fertility treatments are so worth it? Well, yes and no. My final answer is that I would never in a million years wish IVF on my worst enemy. Never. EVER! However I look at my two miracles, my IVF babes the ones I got to hold in my arms as well as my womb and heart and I know it was worth it.
Many others don’t have my storybook ending. Many end up broke and childless. So is IVF the answer? I would argue it may be an answer. I urge you to pray for wisdom and direction. I urge you to go into these treatments with open eyes, open hearts, open hands. I believed God was in control, I knew He would not give us more than we could handle and I prayed we would know when it was time to say we are done.
I’ll be honest, my heart says we are not done, but my mind knows for the sake of our finances, for the sake of our children, for the sake of my body we can’t do it again. My husband agrees.
The question remains…Am I crazy since I still want more?
Please pray for infertile couples. It is a difficult road. If you are infertile please let me pray for you by leaving a prayer request in the comments. The comment button is located under the title of each post.
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January 25, 2011 § 3 Comments
We finally did it. My sweet little man now has a big boy bed.
I know that he was well past the age of needing a big boy bed.
Signs he needed a big boy bed included:
he has to bend his legs to fit into the pack-n-play when we go traveling and
he climbed out of his crib opened his bedroom door and went to play with his sisters after nap the other day.
I resisted because…the thought of not having a crib in my house broke my heart. Not because my little man, my youngest was getting big. No I was rejoicing in his every milestone and thankful for each moment.
No I was sad because I wanted another little one in the house who needed a crib. I realize that may sound crazy – I already have three kids – but it is true. My womb for all scientific, medical purposes is dead. Each month my cycle mocks me, reminding me unless God makes a miracle, my womb will bear no more fruit.
Saturday as we tore apart his crib and put together his new big boy bed, my body literally ached. My heart was heavy knowing, knowing, knowing…Knowing that if I were to get pregnant, I would have to have test after test to make sure my baby was in my womb not somewhere else. Knowing that the very thing I long for could very well cost me my life. Yet I still long for another bundle…
Friday E asked me what I would name two boys and a girl if we got to have them. The question stung. I answered in small sentences remembering times when dreaming for more was easy. Before I knew that God’s way was not the way I was planning. I talked of names we had thought about in the past while holding back the tears of longing and waiting.
L asked last night…Words that tear at my heart. She doesn’t know that it hurts. All she did was take note of the three empty chairs at our table. Yes three chairs…I dreamed God would bless my womb with three. My last IVF cycle we transferred three precious babes. Yet none of them survived…
Tears have been flowing. Yet there is a sweetness in them. I know my God in a way I never would have if He didn’t bring me to this place. This place of longing, waiting, and trusting Him for a miracle. The miracle of life within, or a babe that we are asked to adopt, or a change in my heart. He knows the form this miracle will take. He knows if those three chairs will one day be filled.
And I thank Him that He holds my tears in a bottle, He takes note of them, He is the God of all comfort. I thank Him for His plans for my family and for His peace (the kind earned after a war) that passes understanding. So I thank Him for big boy beds, tears, and His grace that holds them all together.
What has God taught you through tough times He has led you through? Is there anything I can pray for you? Feel free to leave a comment.
January 10, 2011 § 3 Comments
Growth is my word for 2011. I felt God had stretched me in 2010 and now He needs to grow me into those stretched out places. Oh, but often growth is painful…
I remember being in the fourth grade and hitting a growth spurt (if you could call it that). I am vertically challenged. In fact my twin sister is nearly six inches taller than I am. Regardless, I still had growth spurts and for me they were quite painful. My knees and ankles in particular ached. It hurt to walk, run, jump, stand, sit, and even lay down. My parents took me to the doctor and I got a fancy name for my pain…Essentially the doctor said I just needed to grow. Once I grew the pain would be gone. My doctor was right, but those years were painful ones as I waited and grew.
Often we must endure pain to grow. A seed doesn’t grow into a plant without bulging and breaking through its skin to develop a root and then a plant. A tree doesn’t bear fruit without loosing its blossoms and allowing a bulging of fruit to burst forth. So it is true of our spiritual growth. We must endure pain to grow…
Let’s consider Job. He loves God. In fact, God and he are so tight that God has angels protecting him and his family. God is so pleased with Job that He points Job out to Satan. He says, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” (Job 1:8)
Arguably Job has arrived. God considers him blameless and upright. Yet, God still knows Job has growing to do. In fact God knows Job has misconceptions about who He is and He knows that in order to grow Job must endure pain. So God gives Satan permission to take everything Job has his possessions, his children, and his health. God loves Job enough that He doesn’t leave Job to rot, instead He shakes Job to the core so that he can grow.
What a God we have that isn’t afraid to let us go through hard things in this life so we can mature and grow in Him. He brings us to them and through them that we may grow in Him. He promises in Isaiah 41:2 that
“When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.”
Thank You God that You are mightier than the difficulties we face. Thank You that You do not leave us to rot or mold, but You desire us to grow to reflect You more and more. Father help us as we face difficulties in our lives. Help us to see You training, growing, and refining us. Give us strength as we endure these difficult times. Give us peace as we trust You through them. Help our unbelief as we wonder what You are up to. Father help us to know You more. In Jesus’ name we pray these things. Amen.
I would love to pray with you through your growing times. Let me know what I can pray for you…Leave a comment so I can pray for you.
Can you pray that I will allow God to use me to minister to others going through infertility? As God deals with me through my struggle, He is asking me to come alongside others too. It opens old wounds, but it is also growing me. I appreciate your prayers.
December 29, 2010 § 5 Comments
I long for the day when grief no longer taints joy.
Our most joyful days on earth are tainted. Pain, fear, grief mingle and mix with our joy.
Day I accepted Jesus as my Savior…Joy of forgiveness of sins, pure love from heaven washed the fear of hell away. Yet knowing some would still choose hell over grace and mercy caused grief.
Graduating High School…The joy of accomplishment, the fear of what is next, the grief of friends lost during the journey.
Wedding Day…Joy, excitement, my man, my soul-mate, my life-partner mix with the sadness of leaving my family to cleave to my husband. The joy of making our own way entangled with the fear of leaving all I have known.
Birth of children…Incredible joy, love, and excitement. Mixed with PAIN in the process, fear of failure, and for some grief due to illness or tragedy.
Is the grief, pain, and fear in the joy a reminder for us? Is it God’s loving way to remind us Earth is not our home?
It points to what is not, but what “should be.” Does the pointing mean there is more? Does it mean that at some point the “should be” is what will be?
I believe that the answer is yes. I long and wait in fear and joyful expectation for that day. That DAY when:
“‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:4
Oh that I would allow those painful, fearful, grieving, joyful moments to turn my heart and mind to His return. That I would wait in hopeful expectation of that day –
when joy and grief no longer cling;
when tears, mourning, death, and pain are no more.
Oh what a day that will be!