He who fears the Lord has a secure fortress and for his children it will be a refuge.
Proverbs 14:26

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Our IVF Journey Part 5: Our Hail Mary

Have you ever been at that point where you thought you had things all figured out?  You were excited because you understood the plans God had for you and you thought you had a sense of His timing and where He was leading and what He would do next.  Maybe you were even anticipating His next move just a little and confidently speaking of His purpose and plan, and then, next thing you know you find yourself flat on your back, gasping for air, wondering how you missed whatever "it" was so completely and totally.  Yeah, I've been there.  Don't hear me wrong, I'm not saying that I think God knocks our feet out from under us.  Oh, I think we're quite capable of doing that all on our very own.  But I think that He knows that every so often we need a bit of a wake up call as to Who is actually in charge.

So I went from feeling confident that God was answering our prayers in exactly the way that we anticipated to feeling utterly defeated and dumbfounded in the short amount of time it takes a pregnancy test (well 2 pregnancy tests) to register.  What in the world had I missed along the way?  I was frustrated, even angry.   I could not understand why in the world God had given me a glimpse of what he had in the OR only to let me down so completely.  Why were things playing out this way?

I prayed.  I cried out.  Again.  And, faithfully, God answered.  

I do know now that what I thought was Him saying "I am giving you your baby now", was actually Him saying, "I hold creation in my hands at all times.  Your children are yours for a time but only when I decide to release them into your care.  And ultimately, they are always mine." I also know (and God knew) that had I not seen the image of Jesus holding His cupped hands, I would probably not have had the strength to persevere in this journey.  I would not have been able to be nearly as insistent when all logic said it was time to stop.  But I did see it, and I prayed desperately to understand it. 

 The image of God's almighty hands has always been one of immense comfort to me.  I talked in part 1 about my bike wreck and how God used Isaiah 41:10 to speak to my heart.  I love knowing that He says, "I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."  In keeping with the image that I saw in the OR, He used the imagery of His hands to speak to me again.

"This is what the Lord says- the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker:  Concerning things to come, do you question me about my children, or give me orders about the work of my hands?  It is I who made the earth and created mankind upon it.  My own hands stretched out the heavens;  I marshaled their starry hosts."  
Isaiah 45: 11-12

"See now that I myself am He!  There is no god besides me.  I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and NO ONE CAN DELIVER OUT OF MY HAND." 
(emphasis mine)
Deuteronomy 32:39

The God of creation, who fashioned the heavens and the earth and all the starry hosts, holds my little one in His hands and NO ONE can change that.  His timing is perfect and, as He had already reminded me from Psalm 145:16, He opens His hand to provide at the proper time.  Well that's all I needed to hear!  Obviously we are not done with this journey.  

(please know that all of this is pure Kelli theology.  I'm not trying to write a book here.  I'm not tryint to prove or disprove any theories.  Right or wrong,  context or out of context this is straight up the way God spoke to my heart on this journey.  Don't try and pick it apart theologically, I'm sure you'll find flaws.  I am and always have been very simple minded and sometimes, I think, God meets us at the heart of our simplicity and uses His word in ways that we best understand)

So, back to the journey.  Obviously we're not done!  Creator God has our baby in His hands, it's just not His timing yet.  Press on!  Well.  That's the dreamer, the idealist in me.  The realist (this time in the form of my husband) brought up some good points.  We're out of money.  We're practically out of time.  You (me) are out of emotional energy.  We are in the midst of packing up our house to move to the states for a year (it was July 2010 and we were heading to the states early September).  Boo.  I don't like practicality.  It is not logical, or practical to continue like this.  

Ok, enter the dreamer, the idealist (that would be me).  I am grasping on to the last bits of hope here!  I convince Jason that we just need to give it a few days and pray about it.  Let's not make a decision too quickly and say we're done.  I can't let go of this just yet.  Please understand!  (of course he does).  I share with him the image I saw in the OR, the scriptures God has led me too.  He's perplexed as I am.  What does all this mean, Lord?  Why have we come down this road with these results?  We're taking some days.   We're praying.  Emotions are raw, but we are together desperately seeking a solution to a situation that we don't understand.   See, not only are our financial resources almost gone at this point, but also we've about used the last of the "boys".  Not only that but in less than 2 months we are packing up and heading to America and likely not moving back to Lebanon.  The "boys" can't make that journey again.  Our last chance at this is in Lebanon.  Couldn't afford it in America anyway.  

The next day I call my doctor to let her know my pregnancy test was negative.  I also share with her our dilemma that as much as we would like to try again, we don't think we can financially and we are also running out of time as far as how much longer we'll be in the country.  She explains that if we are going to give it one last go, I'll need to come in mid-cycle in July to make sure everything is as it should be so that we'll be prepared in August.  We'll keep that in mind.  

A few hours later she calls me back.  We've become very close over the months of this process.  I've shared my beliefs with her, she's mourned with me.  We've laughed and cried together.  I consider her a friend  (despite the fact that she referred to me as "a woman of your age" when discussing the quality of my eggs).  A woman of my age?  36 is a VERY young age, right?  Anyway, she calls me back.  

"Kelli, I need to let you know something," she says.   "I've spoken with the hospital board of directors about your case (HUH?) and they've agreed to significantly reduce the cost of your procedure considering the amount of times you've already come in and the fact that you are doing natural cycle IVF and it is therefore much simpler.  Also, I will waive all my medical fees for the procedure."  

WOW!  That was out of left field!  Ok, well significantly reduced is still more than we can feasibly do right now...  Still praying...

The next day, I was finishing up some financial reports and organizing some things in our safe.  I found an envelope stuffed in the back that had gotten buried under some other things.  I open it.  Cash.  Lots.  "JASON- what's this?"...

Our money.  He'd put it there months before and completely forgotten about it.  That's half of what we need.

Next day, email from a dear friend saying she and her husband felt led to give us a certain amount of money.  They had planned to wait until we returned in September but felt led to let us know it was available when needed.

  That's it.  Full amount of procedure covered.  

Thank you Jesus.  

Now what? (SOO tired of that question!!!)

I call my doctor.  We're in.  Let's do this.  This is it.  

Our hail Mary pass. 

 Please,  DEAR LORD, let us come up with the ball in the in-zone.  THIS IS THE ONLY TIME IT COUNTS...

So I go in for my mid month appointment.  Oof.  "Not good," she says.  Considering we have one month, that is NOT what I want to hear!  Apparently I've developed a cyst (have had them in the past) but she can't do the procedure if it is there.  I start some medicine and we pray for it to go away by the time next month rolls around.  

It does not.  That's ok, she says.  We can remove it and move on, it's just easier to not to have to do it that way.  She removes it without charging us for the procedure.  

It's now or never.  We are now leaving for the states in less than one month.  Using the last of the "boys" or leaving them behind in Beirut.  

August 13, 2010 I have 1 egg removed and fertilized (I don't have to tell you what the odds are here...)

August 16, 2010  1 embryo implanted

5 days of staying off my feet.  I laid in my bed giving orders for packing the house, typing crating lists, packing lists, but I stayed off my feet.  

Then, the horrific 2 week wait.  Thankfully, we were oh so busy.   Even traveled to Jordan for a meeting where I was in charge of all the food.  Plenty to keep me so so busy.  My hands at least.  There was no way to keep my mind busy enough.  

Sunday, August 29 we traveled back from Amman to Lebanon.  It was day 28 and I was not supposed to take a test for 2 more days, but guess what...  My chest was SO sore.  And not because I'd been mooshing on it constantly to SEE if it was sore (been there, done that).  It was actually sore.  And my stomach felt really weird.  Could it possibly be?  Ok, obviously I can't wait now.  So I head out to the pharmacy at 8 that night (snuck out, actually, I wanted to surprise Jason- I have this weird fascination with surprises that so far had resulted in 2 failed Christmas surprises- see, lesson still not learned).

Hands shaking I pick up the stick.  Too faint.  If I hold it up right in the light and tilt it a certain way, there MIGHT be a second line.  Or wait, maybe not.  DANG. IT.  

So I run back to the pharmacy.  Not just hands shaking this time.  Whole body shaking.  

This time I tell Jason.  We wait.  (I always put the stick down and walk away.  I NEVER sit and watch it.  Don't know why).  I go back in and pick it up.  

I don't suppose I need to describe the celebration that followed.  

And still takes place every time I look at her.

May 11, 2011

Or any of them for that matter...

Our miracles.  His creation.  Lovingly placed in our hands to care for in this life, but never apart from His care.  

"He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young."
Isaiah 40:11

My prayer for all of our girls, as depicted above Anabelle's bed is that they will all love and worship their Creator with their lives.

"Your hands made me and formed me; give me understanding to learn from your commands"
Psalm 119:73


Alison H said...

I'm so glad that God gave you the "idea" to share this story. I'm so blessed by others' journeys. Thank you! God is so infinitely good - babies or no babies - and I sit here right now praising Him with you for your 4 precious gifts! And so thankful for the 1 I have and the 1 on the way! Every good and perfect gift comes from the Father! Blessings, friend.

Kendra said...

Officially bawling. Not even joking. Love you. Thank you for writing this journey.

Tara G. said...

I remember you sharing that you were pregnant or might be and heading back for your year! So fun to read the whole story and rejoice with you!!!