Infertility, IVF, and the miracles they bring
When Jared and I began our road with infertility, it was never my intention to be so open about our struggle. But the more time that passed, and as worry began to fill our hearts, it was therapeutic for me to write. My friend, Rebecca, let me use her blog site as a format to share. The outpouring of women who reached out to me immediately after was so overwhelming. It was pretty amazing. One of the friendships that initial blog post brought was with my dear friend, Jamie. She and I went to school together for years, but I had no idea she and her husband had been struggling with infertility as long as we had. Anyone that has gone through something like this understands how comforting it is to know you are not alone.
After several conversations with Jamie, she and I ended up on the same path with IVF. We had experienced one failed round right before she told me this was the route she and her husband were taking. I had true excitement for them in the IVF journey from day one, and I was also selfishly thankful that someone I knew personally was going to be experiencing the crazy roller coaster ride with me.
Jamie was 5-7 days ahead of me in her cycle. Several days before her egg retrieval was supposed to take place, she texted me overwhelmed… With bad news. Her body was not producing many eggs, and she was afraid that her egg retrieval wouldn’t produce any good quality eggs. I began to earnestly pray for God to give her more eggs than they expected. She texted me the following day and informed me that they retrieved 3 eggs, but only one was mature enough to proceed. One?!?! Omg. To give you a point of reference, we had seventeen at this phase. I was sick to my stomach for her and my heart began to doubt the Lord.
The next day, she found out that her one egg had fertilized. She had a transfer a few days later. They literally put all of her eggs in her basket. I was a nervous wreck for her, and I was so afraid it wasn’t going to work. This would be the end of their road with fertility treatment if it failed. This was her one and only chance to Carry a child. I remember praising God for his grace with my four embryos we had left… That we still had another chance if this second time didn’t work. Jamie did not.
The day she went in for blood work, my heart felt her worry. It felt her fear. I have only known what it was like to receive bad news, and I was hoping God wouldn’t use me to comfort her in that way. And then, I get a text from her. It was a picture of a positive pregnancy test. No way. I didn’t believe it. She was pregnant! Tears began to pour down my face as I began to scream praises to the Lord. She is pregnant!!!!! Omg. What a miracle! I just couldn’t believe it. It still sometimes seems surreal to me. She had one egg. One. One chance. And God took that and gave Jamie a precious baby girl… Due this summer.
Of course, a week later, we got devastating news for the second time. 5 precious embryos. Gone. 5 chances. Destroyed. 5 microscopic lives that my uterus wouldn’t hang on to. Gosh. I prayed. Tons. Everyone we knew was praying for us. I even had the nurse that took care of me on the day of our transfer, stop while asking me medical questions, and ask if she could pray with me. She said she felt The Lord telling her to do so. I felt him there with me the entire time. Then why did it not work?
I come back to this time and time again. And the answer that keeps coming back to my heart over and over again is that God’s purpose for me right now is to have infertility. His purpose right now for my life is for me NOT to be a mother. That is heart wrenching in some ways. It takes my breath away when I think about a potential life lived with no children of our own. I truly can’t imagine it.
But what I’ve learned from our last round and from my sweet friend Jamie, is that God is going to do what is best for us. It doesn’t matter if I have one embryo or twelve. If God wants us to be parents, we will be. If he doesn’t, we won’t.
It was shortly after that, we decided to take a break. A break from medication, a break from the schedule, and a break from the heartache. I just couldn’t do it anymore. After a couple weeks of mourning, I had a moment before Christmas that I was driving down the road, and I just began to pray the words, ” I surrender.” I said them over and over and over that day. And as I said them, I began to just lay the burden so heavy on my heart at the foot of the cross. Truly, what I think began to happen with each word… Was that Christ was taking the burden away from me and filling my soul with trust instead. Trusting him, while I’m knee deep in the mud. It takes the mud sometimes for us to be able to fully give it up to Him.
Through this process of grace, everything became so simple. God doesn’t need Ivf to give me a baby. He doesn’t need me to have perfect ovaries or tubes that are beautiful. He just needs me to trust him while he does the good work in me. One day, it might make sense why we can’t get pregnant. And one day, it might not. And I’m learning to be okay with either ending, Bc I know this hardship is making me more like jesus. This is no longer my burden to bear. It actually never was mine, but I held onto it so tightly until I realized all I had to do was stop carrying it. Simple. But of course, I’m a stubborn, selfish sinner who obviously has trust issues. I’m finally getting to a place where the thought of no children, at least right now, isn’t debilitating. Im beginning to praise God where I am. I honestly feel like a bird who has been released from its cage. I am not going to live my life in a state of worry and anxiousness. Life is too short not to live.
Even though the news Jamie and I got in November were the opposites of two extremes, I am truly joyful for her. The same God who gave her a child chose to not give me one. But he is still so good. ( I have a blog about that, don’t you know, coming soon to a website near you). I mourned for our loss but rejoiced in her triumph. I love her. I love that sweet baby girl, and I can’t wait to hold her and kiss her cheeks. She is truly a miracle.
You know what else is a miracle? Salvation. God has chosen me to be his, and if he gave me nothing more the rest of my life, that, in and of itself, is enough.