A few weeks ago when the nurse told us that I was pregnant and that my hcg levels were going up, I dropped to my knees crying, feeling so overwhelmed by the goodness of God toward us. My husband came into the hall wondering what was going on. All I could do was give him a thumbs up and sob.
This was our fourth attempt at pregnancy with donor embryos, and this time we chose to use two lower-quality ones. (Partially because my husband had a strong conviction that these babies needed a chance too and partially because we had already tried and had failure with the three best quality ones we had, so hey, why not? The previous three times we had only transferred single embryos.)
We just knew God would show off for His namesake and glory. We prayed and believed.
And He did. We went in around 5 weeks for a sono–we’d never gotten that far the last three tries (two of which ended in biochemical pregnancies, and one of which never implanted). And there it was, one sac right there on the screen, measuring right where it needed to be. I felt like a giant weight had been lifted off of my shoulders.
About three weeks later we went in fully expecting to see a tiny heart beating away on the screen. But we didn’t. The silence of the nurse who was doing the sonogram was deafening. My husband and I tried to hold it together as she searched and searched for a tiny flicker. We saw baby, but no flickering. The baby made it to 7 weeks, 4 days. I would need a D&C.
We held one another and cried. This was yesterday.
I told God that this made Him look bad. Unfaithful. Untrustworthy. That He must not care much about His rep.
Later, with a dry heart and an annoyed spirit, mad that God dealt us yet another hard blow, I opened up my Bible to where I had last left off, almost daring God to prove Himself:
“See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal …” (Deut. 32:39).
This morning I told Him that He is mean, that this sucks.
I said worse things too. He can take my honesty.
It’s been about six hours since I woke up. And even though my heart is still hurting, and this situation still feels SUPER sucky (I don’t really feel like being fancy with my wording right now), He’s already renewed my hope in what is to come. Part of that scares me, because when your hopes get up, you have a lot farther to fall. But then I remember this verse:
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:1-5).
- These losses are not a punishment for my past sins. Jesus already paid the price for my past, present, and future sins. I’m justified by faith and have peace with God
- Because of Jesus (not because of my goodness), I have access to His amazing grace, which I need a lot of in this situation–so much has to go right for a baby to come into this world
- I rejoice in the hope of the glory of God: I KNOW that God is going to do something through all of this that makes Him look good and glorious
- I can rejoice over this journey, even though it has been full of heartbreak, because it has been full of beauty too. It has brought me closer to the Lord, strengthened the relationship I have with our donors (it couldn’t be more beautiful), given me so much compassion, empathy, and understanding for women who have dealt with or are currently dealing with infertility, sweetened my relationship with my husband (I’ve noticed we hold hands a lot as we sleep now–we need one another), and has caused me to treasure my son Colt’s life–what a miracle He is. Hopefully all of this has strengthened my character as well, as the verse says, though I won’t toot my own horn
- Hope doesn’t put us to shame. Currently, I have hope that I have another child. I believe God is giving me that hope. I could be wrong about that. My ultimate hope is that He is a good Father to me and has my best interest at heart. He’s not going to shame me. I can stand on these truths because of all of the love He has poured out on me thus far. He has a good track record. (Not saying that He has made my life easy, but that He has been faithful to pull up flowers from the dirt). The Holy Spirit constantly reminds my hurting heart of these things. He is my helper, and He intercedes for me. “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” (Romans 8:26)
I felt so hollow yesterday when I got the news. So broken and empty. Mad. I felt like I was in a dark tunnel and saw no light at the end. I could see from my stats that many people were checking my blog, waiting for me to say something, but I honestly felt I had nothing good to say about God. I felt He was gutting me. I still felt that way this morning.
But still, I felt like I needed to sit down and write … to say something about all of this. I fully expected negativity and hopelessness to flow through me just now. Instead, God gave me the words to write–exactly the words that I myself needed to read.
But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)
As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy. (James 5:11)
Don’t get me wrong–my hope is renewed, but we are still hurting. I leave for my D&C consultation in about an hour. My doctor would like the baby tested for chromosomal abnormality. If the baby tests normal, then he wants me tested, just to make sure that something in my body isn’t fighting off these embryos. Please pray for wisdom and peace as we choose how to move forward. Pray that the Lord would feel near, and not distant. And ultimately, please pray that God would give us a healthy baby in our arms soon. We will give Him all the praise.
UPDATE (Feb. 1, 2016): After consulting with my OBGYN, we decided to have a natural miscarriage at home (sped up with the help of meds), instead of a D&C, which can be very traumatic and risky to the uterus, among other things. The miscarriage happened this past weekend and God was very near, providing me peace and comfort. I am very thankful for the blessings He has already bestowed upon me. I do not know if another baby is in my future, but I do know that He is a good father, who is faithful to pick me up, dust me off, and set me back on my feet when I fall.
Looking for children’s books about embryo donation/adoption? I’ve written two and they are available for purchase on Amazon!
Photo credit for “no” sign: Grant Hutchinson/Flickr