After much prayer, we decided that we would try the IVF. (and I guess I should go ahead and own up to something) Bret was very positive and hopeful about doing the IVF. He said that he had more peace about this than anything that we had done up to this point. And it’s not to say that I didn’t have peace about it. I think I was just looking at it like this was the final thing. That if we did the IVF we would know that we had done everything that we could do, and maybe, we could finally close that chapter in our lives. Maybe this would be the Lord’s way of just giving us “closure”. I don’t know. I guess, after everything that we had gone through, I just couldn’t put all that much trust that it would work. Anyway, whatever happened, we were going to be it a try. So, we began all the fertility medicine and all that goes with the IVF. It took several weeks to do. I had to have shots every day for six weeks leading up to the procedure. One of the shots I could do myself, but the other one had to be given in the hip twice daily. My husband is a big ole tough guy, but he was too squeamish to be able to do it. So, my sister, Holly, came to my house EVERY DAY for weeks TWICE daily to administer the shots. We couldn’t have done it without her. The weeks went on, and once we got close to the actual procedure, I had to start making the daily trips to Knoxville for blood work. When we were just a few days away from the procedure, our doctor told us that our numbers were just not turning out as good as he’d hoped. He even offered to let us “back out” of the procedure, our chances were so slim. But, we asked him, if we tried it all again and started over, would our chances ever be any better? Or were our chances now as good as they would ever be? He said that our chances would not improve if we did it all again, that our hopes were as good as they were going to get. We decided that we had come this far, we may as well see it through to the end. So, we did NOT back out. We just went on as planned. A few days later, we had the procedure done. I had to take it easy for a few days so I didn’t get out much. The daughter of a family that we were very close to was being “courted” at that time by a young man who lived out of state. We were close to his family as well. Many times when he came to visit her, he stayed in our home. Well, it so happened that he had came to visit just a few days after our procedure. They had planned to go to a local park but it rained so the whole clan came over to our house. I remember that they had brought these little tiny kosher pickles and I ate a bunch of those little things while lazing around. In the next day or two, I started to get really, REALLY sick. This was less than a week after our procedure. Our doctor had told us that if I got short of breath or had a sudden weight gain to call him. I don’t really know why I thought to weight that morning, but for some reason I did. It was Sunday morning. I wasn’t feeling well enough to go to church, but Bret went on. I began to notice that I was short of breath, that when I laid down, that it was getting kind of hard to breathe. I remembered what the doctor had said so out of curiosity, I weighed myself. I was shocked! I had gained ten pounds since morning. When Bret got home from church, I told him, and he called the doctor. I don’t think the doctor quite believed him but he told him to bring me in first thing in the morning. By morning, I had gained a total of 20 lbs. I was filling up with fluid. It turns out that I had a weird reaction to the fertility medicine and “hyper-stimulated” . I was terribly sick, throwing up fiercely. They finally felt they had no choice but to admit me to the hospital. I was in UT Hospital five days. I guess I’ve never been so sick. I really don’t remember much of anything about that week…with the exception of one thing. That week, we got the wonderful news that we were expecting! ***so no, I still didn’t get to actually see a pregnancy test stick*** but who cares? And my friends, --the ones who were at my house that day that had brought the pickles—they were so cute. They brought me a jar of pickles to the hospital. But, I was so sick that just the thought of a pickle was unbearable. AND ON A FUNNY NOTE , TO THIS DAY I CANNOT EAT A KOSHER PICKLE…I CANNOT EVEN STAND THE SMELL! lol Our doctor did tell us, though, to not to get our hopes up. That many, many people miscarry before they ever know that they are expecting. And after all, I was only about three weeks pregnant. He told us to just take it easy, to be patient, and to not rush out and tell everyone. So we took his advice the best we could. Everyone knew about it, though, because many of our church people had come to visit me in the hospital. But, we asked folks to keep it toned down. I didn’t think that I could take having to tell everyone that after all this, we had miscarried. But, the Lord was kind and gracious. He kept me and the baby safe. A few weeks later, we were able to go back to his office to have our first ultrasound. We got to see our baby’s heartbeat at eight weeks. After a few more weeks, he released us to go to a doctor closer to home. After fourteen years, (we had our fifteenth anniversary just after Emily was born) we were finally waiting….the best wait we’d ever had…waiting for our own precious, sweet miracle to be born.
My pregnancy, after I got over the sickness in the beginning, which took several weeks, was pretty uneventful. I felt good, and everything seemed to be going along fine. Until the end, my labor started early and they put me on bed rest and medication to stop the labor. I had a fabulous doctor who told me just what to do. She gave me a steroid shot in the event of an early birth but the medicine did help and we were able to keep her safe in Mommy a little longer. We did discover that she was inverted, feet first. My doctor tried turning her but she seemed to be stuck. So it was determined that for the sake of the baby, we’d do a C-section. Two weeks later, my Emily was born via C-section, four weeks early. She weighed in at 6 lbs and 9 oz. and was 18 ½ inches long. Not bad for being early, huh? And thanks to the wisdom of my doctor, her lungs were fine. She got to leave the hospital the same day I did. And it was discovered that my uterus was heart-shaped and that was why she had gotten stuck. She got in that position and could not move. But, all was well and my sweet baby was healthy.
After a few weeks after our miracle baby arrived, we prayed about it, and we decided that we should contact the adoption agency to tell them that they could give our spot on the list to some other deserving family. We’d love to have another but didn’t want to be selfish. We felt God had blessed us abundantly and we just wanted some other couple to have their chance. When I called them, I was in for a shock! They said they had been trying to contact us. That they had decided to close their doors. Imagine how heartbroken we would have been if this had happened before we had our baby. And we didn’t get the money back that we had already spent. We would have been devastated had this happened. The Lord knew all this and took care of it all. One thing that I’ve always said. We kept wondering why the Lord kept closing the doors when we tried to adopt. Emily is the reason. Had we adopted, we never would have considered going to this new doctor and having the IVF. He knew what He had for us, in HIS time, and in HIS way! HIS WAY was best. The way that brought HIM ALL THE GLORY! For there was nothing that we could do to bring it all out the way that it happened. Only a God as great as we serve could do such wondrous things.
When we did the IVF, we had some frozen embryos. When Emily was eight months old, we tried again a second time and this time, it didn’t work. Then, when Emily was ten months old, I had a hysterectomy. This was what my doctor recommended due to the condition that they found (and almost mistook for cancer) It was a very rare condition that they didn’t know much about. Since they didn’t have very many studies about it, they recommended that we have the children we wanted, and then have a hysterectomy to prevent something happening later on. So, that is exactly what we did. But isn’t the Lord wonderful? He made sure no one ever saw the xray that would have meant a hysterectomy BEFORE we had our miracle. He made sure that the right doctor saw it at the right time. So many years later, so many years after we thought we should have had a baby, but at just the right time. God’s timing is always best! And He sure outdone Himself in our case… ;)
And I still remember the first time that I “shared” our story. My mom and sisters had us a baby shower and we had lots of old friends and family there, and there were many there who were not Christians and didn’t understand the mercies and blessings of God. After all the fun and games, the Lord nudged me about sharing how we wouldn’t have been sitting there enjoying all this if it weren’t for His miraculous blessing upon our lives. I can remember that it was a very emotional story to tell, and how that I cried through most of it. But, I promised the Lord that day, that I would share it, with anyone who wanted or needed to hear. Our family learned that no matter what we face in this life, there is NOTHING too hard for God. And because of the years that we spent leaning on Him for strength and comfort, our faith grew so much. Maybe in way that it might never have otherwise. We learned that when life takes a turn unexpected, that He has a reason, and He will take care of us. Your “impossible” situation may be totally different from ours. Every person has different trials that they face. But no matter what it is, if you keep your eyes on Jesus, He will be your strength.
I hope I haven’t left anything out. It’s a long story for sure. I might have wondered at times why He would have let us experience these things. I wouldn’t want to go through them again, but I wouldn’t change one thing. I learned, through all that we faced, that I can TRUST Him in all things. He does know best and I don’t have to worry about the future. Our lives have been changed for the good because of what He allowed us to face.
And now, just before concluding, I wanted to share a verse that the Lord gave me many, many years ago…from almost the very beginning of our “infertility journey”. One day during my devotions, the Lord let me “accidentally” read this verse.
He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD. Psalm 113:9 KJV
I wrote that verse in the flyleaf of my Bible the first time I read it. I must have read that verse thousands of times during the years of our wait. I knew that I believed the Bible with all my heart, that my God loved me, and that if He willed it, he would bless our home with a family. He was the only one who could turn this barren woman into a joyful mother of children. ***back then, my focus was on the “barren woman” part, but today, I still love that verse. Today, my prayer is that I will ALWAYS be a joyful mother, to the beautiful, sweet, daughter He blessed us with. If you are in your waiting time, I encourage you to love this verse as I did. His Word is the best that we have in this life to trust in and cling to. When the walking by faith part gets tough, His Word can be your comfort…if you let it. J
This has been our story. Our miracle is now fourteen years old. She has been the greatest joy and blessing of our lives, outside of salvation. She fills my heart with joy every day of her life.
So, that’s it. Thank you, dear friends, for taking the time (and lots of it) lol, to read our story. I don’t know the reason that I felt the need to share it but I do believe the Lord wanted me to.
***Since starting our story, I received a sweet msg on FB from a young lady who is going through some of these same things right at this very moment. She and her husband have been married five years and they are still waiting. I know of another young couple in KY that are facing this. And there is a wonderful young couple in our church who are in the middle of all this right now. I would love it very much if you would help me to pray for these young families. I KNOW the Lord laid this on my heart to share it. And there might be others who read it that maybe wouldn’t feel comfortable in commenting. But, believe me, they desperately need prayer. This kind of hurt is not the kind that you can just pray once, the Lord gives you victory over, and you never deal with it again. This kind is ongoing. The Lord may give you victory today, but tomorrow the devil jumps on your shoulder and starts all over again. They have to face this hurt and discouragement EVERY single day. And you might not have ever gone through something like this and could not relate at all, but maybe, my post will give you a glimpse into what some people are going through, and help you to have more compassion. Whichever way, I hope it’s been a help and blessing.