Happy New Year! God has been so good to us in 2013!
Looking forward to 2014. I want to love, serve, and honor Him
more than I ever have before. He's been too good to me for me
not to give Him my best.
Love to All!
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.
Thus began the many weeks and months that it took to complete our home study. We had to pay half of the cost of the adoption at the completion of the home study. We had saved and saved and yet we still didn’t quite have enough. So, we financed the rest. We hoped to be able to save the rest by the time that we were able to get our baby. The balance would be due in full when we got our baby. The agency that we got on with was a very reputable one. It had been in business for several years. So, we felt very comfortable and safe with them. They were very kind to us. They made us feel at ease and were so helpful in all the things that we didn’t understand. They did their home studies in two parts. First, we had to do a group study, where we, along with five or six others couples would come. We’d learn about adoption, while learning how to help our hearts heal from the hurt of having to go through all this. We all had to learn to “share” our feelings. Now anyone who knows my husband knows the kind of person he is. He is a very no nonsensical person. He doesn’t go for a lot of “psycho-babble”. (his word) So, this was for him, something that he REALLY did not enjoy. And he didn’t feel the need to share the way the way they expected and required us to do. But, as much as he didn’t like that part of it, he was willing to do whatever it took if it was in our power to make it happen. After the group sessions, they made individual trips to our home. It was very interesting the way that they had it worked out. When a birthmother would come to them, they would find out what she was looking for in parents for her child, choose three profiles for her to choose from, and from those three she would select the parents. We were told that no one had ever waited more than two years once their home study was completed. It was such a relief and blessing to us when we finally finished everything and we were finally waiting for a BABY! All the previous waits had been for something leading up to this, but now all that was left was the wait for the baby. How exciting!
Now, we are just waiting. And have been for a good while. It hasn’t been easy, but we’ve at least felt hopeful. One day, my mother-in-law called us about an article that she had read in the newspaper. It was about a relatively new procedure called IVF. In vitro fertilization. It was so new that very few doctors knew much about it. But the gist of it was that it didn’t really matter if you had a low count, that they could take one sperm and fertilize one egg in a dish. Once the egg became fertilized, they would put the embryo back into the uterus. That sounded like just the thing that would help us, medically. The closest place that I could find that could do this procedure (at the time) was in Atlanta, which was about a four hour drive from us. I called them to find out what all was involved and they said that we could have a couple of tests done in our local hospital and if we wanted to proceed that would speed up the process. So, I made an appointment with a different OB-GYN than the first one I had seen, and he set up a time that we could have the test. I forgot what it was called, but it was basically where they run dye through the fallopian tubes to check to see if they are clear and to check for other abnormalities. We had the test done, and then I called the office in Atlanta back. When I called them, I found out that it was a really involved process. We would have to stay in Atlanta for several weeks while we did all the tests and blood work. Well, we knew we just couldn’t do it. First of all, we couldn’t afford for my husband to miss work for that long. Secondly, we couldn’t afford to stay out of town in a motel for several weeks. And last, but certainly not least, we simply could NOT afford the procedure. Infertility issues were not covered by our insurance. It would not pay for ANY of it. So, I took that little xray from the test we had done and I hid it away in a little drawer at home. No one, including the doctor who performed it, ever looked at it. They didn’t because we were expecting to take it to another doctor. It was hidden away and we never thought of again for many years.
So, after at least a couple of years going back and forth to doctors, doing all sorts of tests, spending tons of money, we had to discouragingly admit that it had not really accomplished anything. We were exactly where we started…only a little poorer. (and yes, I know that’s bad grammar) ;) lol