On Mother's Day, I took my first injection.
After a couple years of trying and doing failed infertility treatments and procedures, we began the journey of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). We knew IVF could be in our future, but we were so hopeful that it wouldn't get to that point. IVF is painful, invasive, and expensive. What doctors are able to do in situations like ours is amazing and wonderful...but it isn't simple or easy.
We had taken a break from all fertility related procedures and medications so that we could clear our minds, pray about our future, and give my body a break. My body and my spirit were tired. I had lost my beloved aunt to cancer in September and I felt overwhelmed with disappointment. Why hadn't God answered our prayers for her healing? Why hadn't God answered our prayers for a child? I needed to work through my disappointment and reconnect with God.
It took about 7 months before we felt emotionally, financially, and physically ready to proceed with IVF. We went to appointments and injection trainings. They took what appeared to be ten thousand tubes of blood from me. And in early May, I closed my eyes while my husband gave me my first injection. It was Mother's Day and I was willing in my heart to do anything to be a mother. In some ways, I feel that I started loving William that very day...weeks before his life even began.
Soon we felt that we were pros. I had the whole injection and medication schedule written out and faithfully followed their directions. With anxious but excited anticipation, we crossed off the days to when our family could begin.
IVF consists of two very involved procedures. Both required a few days of bed rest and both involved pain and discomfort for me. The day of the second procedure, they gave us a picture of our embryos. We joked about being in a select group of parents who knew what their children looked like at only 8 cells old. I still have the pictures.
After the second procedure we knew I could either become pregnant with two babies, one baby, or no babies. The two week wait was torturous. The injections continued and tend to cause symptoms that mirror pregnancy, so there was no way to know before I went in for the blood test.
During the last week of my school year, we got the call. I was pregnant! Really pregnant! My levels were high and the thought of twins entered my mind. I can't really put into words the joy in my heart when we got the news. After years of wanting and desiring a child, God had answered our prayers. We cried in thankfulness and gratitude.
Even though my pregnancy was confirmed completely, I took several pregnancy tests because I longed for the experience of seeing the positive results. I relished every moment.
Within weeks, an ultrasound confirmed our suspicion. Twins! Our joy couldn't be contained. We were over the moon with happiness and praised God from the depths of our hearts. Our parents and siblings celebrated with us and it was and always will be one of the happiest times of my life.
Shortly after this time, we found ourselves looking at the ultrasound monitor and saw that one baby's heart was beating and one was not. They sometimes refer to this as "vanishing twin syndrome". Sometimes in early pregnancy, one twin does not survive while the other thrives and there's no explanation for it. This seemed to be the case for us. Even though our joy and relief over the progress of our one baby didn't change, our hearts grieved for our second baby who was never to grow.
I went forward with an attitude of peace, trusting that God's plan was good and His timing perfect. Our baby was growing and doing perfectly...God had given us so much for which to be thankful. But every time I saw a set of twins walk by in the grocery store or at the park, I felt a small pang of loss for what could have been.
The weeks went on and we watched our baby grow. I was practically couch ridden with nausea all summer but was thankful for every minute of it. Every symptom of pregnancy filled my heart with absolute happiness. We began planning and praying and waiting for our baby to grow healthy and strong so that we could take him or her home with us in February.
I thought that waiting for William was ones of the the hardest things I'd ever do. I thought that was our testimony. A testimony of waiting and holding on to hope for God to start our family.
I never imagined we would be where we are today. I never imagined we'd be faced with saying goodbye to our long-desired and precious son. I'd be lying if I said I haven't experienced anger, disappointment and utter confusion at the place God has us in. However, I don't feel abandoned by God. A friend sent me this quote and I find it so true as I'm walking through the darkest time of my life so far...
“When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.” -Corrie Ten Boom
Our love and appreciation for William has only been deepened by the waiting.
William was so worth the wait.