Okay, settle in-this is going to be a long post and it has been a long time coming. We announced a few weeks ago and have gradually been telling the world-were expecting a baby! I wanted to take the opportunity to give all the glory to our Lord for what He has done in our lives. I have shared in the past about our struggle to grow our family. We have been trying to have another child for the last 4 years. We have experienced loss and repeated disappointed and began pursuing fertility treatments in Tulsa over 2 years ago. while we have been hopeful that “modern medicine” could change our situation our “hope” has never been in the doctors or the treatments-our hope has been and remains in the Lord.
This past spring, Brandon and I began praying about moving forward with In- Vitro Fertilization. This was a scary prospect to us for many reasons: to emotionally invest ourselves in another fertility treatment, the physical toll for me, and the financial strain. As we prayed we began to feel a peace to move forward. As the summer approached we made the final decision and began the process. A few days before we were to begin the injections-I began to panic (unfortunately, I’m really good at second guessing myself and God). We decided to make a quick trip to St. Louis to visit my family to seek the godly council and comfort of my family. The first day of our visit, I alone in the house, began to pray and completely broke before the Lord. I was scared and anxious, and grieving over the very idea that I was having to make this decision. I very clearly told the Lord “if you were ever going to talk to me in an audible voice or send me a talking donkey, today is the day”!
I did not get my talking donkey-the Lord very clearly spoke to my heart in a much better way (although painful at first). That night as my family and I sat laughing and talking in the living room, my “older” sister began to cry-before she said anything I knew what she was going to say-she was very “suprisingly” pregnant and devastated for her little sis. Before I could fully process this shock-my mom gently told me that my sister-in-law was also expecting (and equally hurting for me) and they were due on the same day. “What? I said a talking donkey, not two pregnant sisters!”
My mom, sister and myself experienced a tough few hours that night, crying and holding each other. I love the way my family loves me. They are tender and compassionate and yet my mom is a real “truth” teller in my life. That night I wrote in my journal the verse from Psalms “I would have despaired had I not believed I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord, be of good courage, wait I say on the Lord.” God also reminded me very clearly, only the way a compassionate father could, “You don’t get to make these decisions, I am God and you are not”. Oh the sovreignty of God!
Brandon and I returned home, at peace with our decision to move forward with IVF. It’s important to know that we did not press on because we felt secure that this would work, we pressed on regardless of the outcome. One of the lessons we have learned on this journey is that it’s not always about the outcome (because there are no assurances)-its about our willingness to be obedient regardless of the outcome.
As we began the daily injections, many pills, and multiple trips to Tulsa, God was faithful to keep our hearts at peace. At one point during the process after returning from Tulsa where they checked my follicles to make sure I had “plenty” that were growing at the right rate-the office called and stated we needed to stop the cycle because my body was not responding the way it needed to. Here’s how good God is-I did not feel anxious. I calmly told them they were wrong. The nurse was compassionate and tried to “let me down easily”. I begged her to let us come back the next day and check me again-she relented. The next day, the doctor was shocked (we were not) I was fine and we would continue with the IVF cycle.
Let me share one more detail regarding our IVF journey. Our fertility center is very proficient at what they do-having said that-we were another number. They work with over 50 couples during each IVF cycle. On the day we returned to have our “embryo” babies transferred (put in the uterus)-God showed up in a very real way. As I lay in the operating room, I was very anxious. A nurse whom I had never met before was busy preparing things. She was humming a song and very cheerful. She walked over to me and sweetly laid her hands on my abdomen. She quietly began to pray for our embryo’s, for my womb, and for God’s blessing on our family. I of course wept, she closed her prayer, began to hum again and go about her work. Her only explanation for this unexpected “act” was “I know the doctor doesn’t always think of these things”. The very presence of God was in that operating room-I knew it was no coincidence that our paths crossed on that Saturday in Tulsa.
We found out two weeks later that God had heard our cries and answered our petition. We have had 3 ultrasounds and heard our precious baby’s heartbeat several times. We are now out of the first trimester and praising God each day for his goodness to us. We are undeserving and have committed to giving God glory for this gift every opportunity we have.
I am learning every day to depend on God. A verse from Isaiah says this, “I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I am God”. In darkness and in the secret places of my own heart God has shown himself to be true, faithful and full of mercy.
Pictures to come.