Getting to the point of even deciding to give IVF a try is huge. A lot goes down before you even muster up the courage to go in for that first consultation. Then of course, the emotional journey and the rollercoaster of the various treatments continue from there. For us, it was trial and error and loss and some failed fresh embryo transfers before we mustered up a lot more courage, and with shaky hands and hearts, decided to give IVF a fourth and final try. Then came the miracle: Noella Pearl. Along with her IVF cycle, came two others: a boy and a girl. They’re the two that we lost recently, and while healing comes at a very slow pace, God is good. And we can’t ever forget, as long as we live, the surprise miracle that showed up in the best possible way, right in the middle of it all, and that’s Shilo Hope.
Through each chapter there’s been a theme: learning to rely on and to trust God. We had to trust Him when infertility was never-ending, and we felt forgotten. We had to rely on Him when we needed money to pay to see the best doctors, and to pay for shots and syringes, and medicines, and egg retrieval surgeries and treatments and travel. We had to trust God when things were good too: when Noella was growing in my belly, and when Shilo was on the way… when dreams were coming true! We are having to trust God now when things have taken a turn from how we thought and hoped they’d turn out.
There’s the aspect of having to trust God with how many eggs you’ll get from your egg retrieval surgery. That’s something that’s completely out of your control, as is the number of eggs that will fertilize and actually become viable embryos. We have been in the boat of going through it all just to get one embryo (that didn’t make it after all). We have been in the boat of transferring the three embryos we got (all at once!), having nothing left to freeze, then having the transfer fail, and being back at the beginning: empty handed, penniless, and discouraged. We’ve been (back) in the boat of transferring all we had (two), and ending up once again with nothing: no pregnancy, no positive test, just losing the two we had for a short time. We’ve also been in the boat of having two to freeze (the twins we lost most recently), and there’s something so special about knowing they’re “there”, waiting to join the family. Again, it’s all a process out of our control, even though yes we made decisions to do the treatment, try and have them, transfer them, etc. It’s still God who is above all and in all and over ALL. Even the hard chapters. It’s interesting to do something like IVF and have no idea how it will turn out or how your cycle will end up. Will you end up with any viable embryos? Will you end up with more than you anticipated? How many will freeze well, thaw well, etc.? Will your health and family circumstances allow for another pregnancy? If not, what do you do with your remaining frozen embryos?
This leads me to tell you a little bit about my friend Stacy and how her faith in this process has really blown me away recently. But that, my friends, is for another post…