Fertility Update – IVF

If you’re new here, we are in the midst of a joyful, hard, chaotic, wonderful season of waiting in terms of fertility. I’ve written of our 5+ year story on this blog, so you can catch up by reading Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6, and a quick post on Mother’s Day – or the whole series here.

InVitro Fertilization (IVF) is such an interesting thing. Miraculously, through advances in science and the breath of life that only God can provide, we can now mimic natural conception outside the body, and then place this newly formed embryo (blastocyst, technically) back into the mother’s womb, hoping and praying that it results in a successful pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Wow.

I have had my own journey with the idea of IVF. Ask anyone who’s done it – the reality of IVF is: IT’S A LOT. IVF is a lot to consider, a lot to take in, a lot to wrap your head around, a lot for your body (hormone shots multiple times a day for weeks), a lot to process emotionally, a lot of doctor’s appointments, and a lot of dollars {Forbes}.

After much prayer and a 3 day fast, in November of 2014, we decided to move forward with IVF.

We had *kinda* known that this day was coming, but the idea of facing this invasive and highly-technical procedure, and the reality of it are two different things.

How He sustains us in incredible to me.
We were praying for breakthrough and rest:
     Micah 2:13
     Exodus 14:14

Ultimately, the embryos did not make it to transfer. Our failed IVF attempt ended just  after Thanksgiving.

I’ll include the text we sent to those friends and family who’d been praying for us:
Welp. Our IVF cycle is officially over: the embryos didn’t make it to transfer. I can’t say we’re not heartbroken, but I can say we’ll be ok – not yet but we will be. Psalm 13 is a short 6 verses; it begins with sorrow and anguish, but ends with “But I will trust in Your unfailing love. I will rejoice because You have rescued me. I will sing to the Lord because He is good to me.” We’re living in the “and if He does not” part of Daniel 3:17-18 and claiming that He is still God and He is still good. Grant’s taken the day off and I think we’re just gonna “be” today, you know? Thanks for YOUR prayers quietly guiding us through this journey. xoxo
The day we found out, after having had nothing to eat but our tears, we called in a to-go order at Waffle House. Walking in, I got several sweet text messages from friends that made my eyes well up with different kind of tears: deeply grateful ones. As I was about to hand my card to the girl behind the counter, I realized the irony of the moment:
I am almost a country song: standing here in my pjs, crying, in a Waffle House.
And I wondered what I would say to this bewildered girl if she dared to ask me what’s wrong or if I’m ok. First I thought I’d say:
This is the worst day of my life.
But then I really thought about it – and I know we’ve had some rough days – so was this really the worst? So I quickly revised in my head (thankfully the sweet girl did not ask):
This is one of the worst days of my life. 
But as I pondered it further, this thought truly inhabited me:
If this is one of the worst days of your life, all in all, you have been blessed.
And it hit me softly, that overwhelming thankfulness that allows us to worship in the midst of great sorrow, to praise God in the midst of deep pain, to rejoice despite not knowing why or for what or how long.

I’m not saying it’s been easy, but I can say I have never been more confident in God’s timing.

We have talked and prayed and cried since then. But that still, quiet confidence in God who delights in the details, writing the pages of our story {not on tablets of stone, but on our hearts}, guiding the seasons of our life, has sustained us and we are grateful.

I don’t know what’s next.
I don’t know if or when we’ll do another cycle of IVF.
But I do know one thing:
     God is good
     and can be trusted
     and is worthy of our praise.

There’s a quote from C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia that I love:
-Yes but is He safe?
-Safe? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course He isn’t safe! But He’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.
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5 Things you need to watch NOW

I’ve apparently been watching a lot of documentaries lately on Netflix. These are my recent faves.

Shut Up Little Man!Tabloid DocumentaryThe Source FamilyWe Cause ScenesJim Gaffigan Mr. Universe

1. Shut Up, Little Man!
Watch out, kids – adult language! It’s about friendship. It’s about roommates. It’s about the time-old tradition of insulting the people you love. If you can stomach the f-word, this is a hilarious, entertaining, and exceptionally well-made documentary about the need for human connection, emotion, and human behavior.

2. Tabloid
Genius-level-IQ former beauty queen kidnaps a Mormon in London in the 70’s for a crazy sex-filled weekend – or does she? Learn about Mormonism. Learn about sneaking out of the UK as a poorly-costumed fake mute. Learn about cloning puppies. This documentary has something for everyone.

3. The Source Family
This documentary examines a radical experiment in utopian living in the 1970s. Jim Baker aka “Father Yod” opens some health food restaurants, employs runaways and minors, and becomes a self-proclaimed guru. See the cult through clips of actual footage and present day interviews with actual former members; listen to the tale unravel to the sounds of 60+ albums the Source Family recorded. There’s no cool aid, just wild mysticism, small bits of nudity, a miracle or too, and one dodgy old man. Watch it now.

4. We Cause Scenes
Avant garde meets prank meets hidden camera meets youtube. This is a short history of the rise of the internet, improv comedy, and the present movement in NYC 1,000s strong: Improv Everywhere. Highlights include no pants day on the subway, U2’s Bono being “arrested,” and a prank-filled wedding at the end (“… of course there’s a wrestler at my wedding!”). Witness the ebb and flow of one man’s hopes and dreams (like everyone else’s in the early 2000s in the city) and the evolution of this improvisational, interactive comedy as it pushes boundaries and seeks to redefine art.

5. Jim Gaffigan: Mr. Universe
Saved the best for last. Chock-full of one-liners, this comedy special is hilariously funny and remarkably clean. No adult content or language, offensive reference to genitalia, or degradation of women are needed for Gaffigan to have you rolling – with content ranging from family life to wales, and fast food to gym experiences. Fully relatable and extremely amusing, this is truly a must see.

Plans vs Reality: a rare but perfect day

I don’t have class on Fridays and Grant gets done with his by noon, so I’ve been dying to plan some fun outings for our Friday afternoons off together.

This morning, Grant skipped out the door on the way to his last marketing class ever (!) and I got up to straighten up a bit and plan our day. I had decided on going to Greenwich to explore and discover the National Maritime Museum, Queen’s House, Old Royal Naval College, Royal Observatory and see the famous Cutty Sark. The highlight of the Greenwich trip: The Prime Meridian.

We’d make our way back by waterboat on the Thames, but not before attending evensong at St. Paul’s Cathedral. We’d finish up with dinner afterwards at a favorite little Italian place near Embankment and catch the Jubilee line home.

That is not what happened.

Instead, we were both so hungry when Grant got home that we decided to try out a little Italian place close to our flat in Hampstead, then head out to Greenwich. Luigi’s was amazing and had unusually large portions (we had spaghetti and lasagna). Before we’d even paid the check, a food coma came over us–the perfect comfortably-full-but-not-stuffed feeling that demands sleep.

What could we do?

As we headed home to lay in bed, snuggle up with two hot water bottles at our feet, and watch movies all afternoon together, I didn’t regret tossing our plans aside. It turned out to be a rare but perfect day after all.