Sunday, November 23, 2008


Our babies are now safely in the arms of Jesus. They will always be in our hearts but it was not to be that we would hold them here and tonight the Lord called them home. We miss them so much already. We'd appreciate your prayers as we grieve our loss and celebrate their brief little lives. We'd also appreciate your prayers that the miscarriage would complete itself naturally so that we can avoid surgery.

I have moved my blog to another server where I can control the readership a little more. If you would like the address and password, please let me know via email (you can click the link on the right). In your email, please tell me who you are.


Our babies are now safely in the arms of Jesus. They will always be in our hearts but it was not to be that we would hold them here and tonight the Lord called them home. We miss them so much already. We'd appreciate your prayers as we grieve our loss and celebrate their brief little lives. We'd also appreciate your prayers that the miscarriage would complete itself naturally so that we can avoid surgery.

Please also pray for us in our grief. Our heads know that this was God's plan all along but our hearts can't stop breaking. This has been a day of immeasurable loss and pain.

We spent 7 hours in the emergency room. They knew the test results after hour 3. The rest of the time we just had to sit and wait for a doctor to be available to read them to us. The wait was agonizing. Too long and yet precious too short for when the word came, there was no turning back time.

I came home and the floodgates opened even more than they had at the hospital. Taking a shower and watching all the blood and discharge was horrific. I can't help but scream at the fact that our babies were washed down some drain somewhere like waste. Oh God, it just shouldn't be this way. They're our children. They don't belong in some dirty, watery grave. They belong in our arms. And even acknowledging that God called them to an early homecoming, why did it have to be so undignified? The thought that sometime in the last few days I watched them wash or flush down the drain is almost too much for my heart to take.

It's now 3:30 am. I'm exhausted. And yet I can't make myself go to sleep. There's something about ending this last day I had with them that I just can't do. It's just too permanent. So, I'm busying myself with cleaning my kitchen, which now won't be used to host a festive Thanksgiving.

Oh God I miss them so much.

I'm trying to find something spiritual in this. I'm trying to rest in God's will. I'm trying to think about this in light of the coming season and the fact that God lost His child too and how I now have a fresher understanding of what that loss must have meant. I'm trying to think of the prospect that one day He'll use this for good, maybe even to minister to someone else. The thoughts come but they seem so empty. I just can't make sense of them right now. Right now I just ache to my very core. We have 10 more embryos. I have no idea when we'll try again, but the thought of ever going through this again, much less anywhere close to that many more times, is absolutely crippling. God, steel my heart!

I packed up the journal I'd been writing to them and the few cards we'd received and stowed it out of sight. I had to fight not to throw up at the sight of the bag from the Maternity store with the sleeping bras I'd bought two days ago to help with my increasing discomfort. Out that went too. Tomorrow we'll find a place back in the garage for my cradle my grandpa built for me as a baby, which we'd pulled out for visits with our godson and which we'd left out in anticipation of our own babies soon occupying it. The hope chest...well, it doesn't represent much hope right now. Guess off to the garage it goes too.

We knew there was a risk that this would happen but we had so much faith and peace that everything was going to work out and we'd meet our babies in 9 months. I really didn't think this would happen. Not this time. I feel so tricked and abandoned.

I love you, my sweet babies. Jesus, take care of them. I know you love them more than we do. Babies, go find your great grandpa and grandma and give them that kiss and hug I've wanted to give them for the past 11 years. I can miss you all together now. At least I know you're in good company and care, both with each other and with the God who made us all.

This blog will be going private, soon. If you would like an invitation, please use the email link on the right to request one. I have reserved another blog here where I will post Embryo Adoption Information, but it will have some of the personal parts of our story removed. All of the EA stuff will remain here too, but everything here will not be there.

Goodbye babies. I love you.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Down to the wire with the kitchen!

My BIL came down this last weekend and he, DH and my brother got all the cabinets installed-yay! Now my bro and DH are working on the counters. They were just installing the last piece and one they installed already broke, so we're stalled again til tomorrow! Bummer! I know that's got to be frustrating for them, too! They're working so hard and I know they're frustrated! Too bad Home Depot isn't 24 hours!

We're trying hard to get it all wrapped up this weekend because we're still on tap to host Thanksgiving, and my parents come on Tuesday, and I want to get my carpets cleaned between now and then, too! Phew!

Nothing much is new on the pregnancy front. My morning sickness has kicked in but isn't unbearable yet. Let's just say Saltines and pop are my friends!

Hope you all are well!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Beta # 2

We had our second beta draw this morning and the number was 428. It needed to essentially triple by today, so 428 is well above that! We're excited! The doctors are confident enough that they won't do anymore draws. They'll do an ultrasound next week and then another a couple weeks after that. Possibly by next week and definitely by the second one, we'll be able to see the heartbeat(s)! And the nurse today changed my due date to July 22 instead of 21. Thanks for celebrating with us!

So far I feel pretty much the same. I have some heartburn and I'm more tired and hungry than usual but otherwise I feel like myself! We praise God for that, too!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Long Awaited Announcement!

We have finally received the news that we have hoped for for almost 5 years. What a precious never-before-seen sight for our sore eyes.

We received this Monday night, just one week post-transfer.

I wanted to come and post here right away but we just finished this morning telling our immediate friends and family by phone and visit. We're over the moon.

We had our first beta draw this morning. The doctor just called a little while ago and said that the number was 117. He actually said that's "very pregnant." We had a little scare today too but he is confident it's nothing. He did tell me to rest the rest of the day but he's sure everything is fine. We have another beta on Monday. I am eager to see what that will be!

We're over the moon. We're overwhelmed. We're excited. We're humbled. We're grateful. We' many things that I can't even put in to words right now. We know these precious little ones belong to the God who created them and we are just so thankful that He has allowed us to be their parents. Words can't describe the depths of our gratitude and praise.

We'll know sometime around Christmas or just after if it's one baby or two. Right now the estimated due date is July 21. It could change-we'll know more once we get to Ultrasounds.

Thank you for rejoicing with us!

And without further ado, the ticker. Don't ask me why it says I'm more pregnant than the babies are old. Apparently they calculate all pregnancies this way-starting from the last period, which is actually before conception. It makes no sense to me. But this countdown does take us to the right due date.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Cat's Out of the Bag!

This has been a LONG couple of days. And this is going to be one of those "good news, bad news" kind of posts.

The bad news is that DH had a severe reaction to a medication last night that made him so violently ill that we finally decided that an Emergency Room visit was in order. They pumped his stomach to get the medication out but the tubes were also pulling up blood. They did a CT scan and an ultrasound to check for internal damages and when they couldn't find a cause, they decided to admit him. As of this afternoon they decided that the most likely cause of the continued bleeding was some tearing in his esophagus so when he was able to make it through a fluid breakfast and solid lunch without further incident, they released him. We got home around 4:00 this afternoon, with an appointment scheduled with our regular doctor tomorrow morning. He's very tired and sore, but otherwise seems to be ok. I wasn't completely satisfied with the hospital though so I'll be glad when we talk to our Primary Care Physician.

The good news is that I was unable to go with Todd to the emergency room or be at the hospital until this afternoon. My sweet brother came over and picked him up and took him last night and stayed all night with him. Attempts to cryptically (but honestly!) explain/excuse to family why I couldn't be at DH's side failed so we decided to tell and the cat is now out of the bag. We had our first Snowflakes Transfer yesterday morning. Doctor ordered bed rest for a minimum of 24 hours following the transfer (standard procedure) so when DH got sick at just shy of 12 hours into that 24 hours, there wasn't much I could do to help except lay on the bed and communicate with my brother by phone.

We thawed two embryos. Both survived the thaw and we transferred both. The Embryologist said the embryos looked good and so far as we could understand, everything went as planned. We're very excited, though DH's illness rather overshadowed things and our strongest feeling right now is just exhaustion!

Here is the babies' first picture. The one attachment shows two separate photos. Each photo shows one embryo. The part clustered in the middle is what will become the baby (God willing) and the ring around the outside is what will become the Placenta. The "bumpy" mass in the middle represents how these tiny little ones already have innumerable cells. In younger embryos you would be able to see each cell individually but these have grown so much with so many cells that they're all smushed together and inseparable. The photos were taken right after they were thawed so the inner cells were still shriveled up like raisins. They eventually did expand and fill up the whole "ring." These photos were taken with the Embryos under significant magnification. Right now they are still small enough to be all but invisible to the naked eye.

And since the cat is now out of the bag I can post about our last few days.

We spent most of last week and weekend relaxing. The doctor basically told me last week to rest as much as I could, eat right, and do whatever I could to get to a state of relaxation. So I enjoyed some pampering. I had a few chiropractor visits. I had my hair cut and colored (to get all the highlights out so they don't grow out and look weird by the end of pregnancy!), and took lots of naps! It was a nice, peaceful week. We did work on the house some but DH ended up getting sick (just a regular cold--before all this hospital stuff) and so things got put on hold on Saturday so we could both rest--hoping he would get better and praying I didn't get whatever it was (and so far I still haven't, thank God!)

Sunday afternoon I had a light massage. Sunday night we had dinner with my dad, who had just arrived to town to MOVE HERE =) and my brother and his girlfriend. Then we got gussied up and went to the Melting Pot for dessert-my favorite! We had a lovely, romantic evening.

Trying to take a picture with the Fondu pot

Better! Thank you waiter-dear (bonus points if you get the reference!)

Then we picked up the dogs and went to my brother's house (where my dad is staying) and hung out. We came home Sunday night and just snuggled and watched movies. We opened the Pregnancy Journal I'd purchased in hope and faith and each wrote letters to the babies. We prayed and then DH gave me another massage and we turned lights out at 2:00. Naturally, I couldn't sleep--I think I finally drifted off about 4:00am!

We woke up and had a breakfast date at our favorite breakfast restaurant. I couldn't hardly eat anything but I did get a few bites down. I was starting to get really excited and my stomach was doing cartwheels!

Then we were off to the clinic. I meant to bring a sign with the date for this photo but I forgot. We tried to get the sign on the window in the picture but try as we might we couldn't.

Once inside there was another couple there for an FET so we made friends. She was so sweet and helpful and talked me through a lot. To our surprise, we had a different doctor than our own and he was very unpleasant. He told us absolutely nothing before, during or after the transfer so the other lady was really sweet in filling in the gaps for us and giving us advice and letting us know what to expect. We've since learned from several other friends who used this doctor that he pretty much skipped Bedside Manner 101 (and 201 and 301 and 401...) but he IS very skilled and they all have successful transfers by him so we're trying to focus on that.

While we were waiting DH put his hand on my belly and prayed for the babies and me and the doctor. Then we just waited and did the potty dance with the same nice lady, now in the next bed.

So far as we know, the transfer went fine. Dr. Meanie didn't tell us anything despite our questions but I'm just trying not to think about him because like another friend who just had a transfer said said last week, I'm on a beach, I'm on the moon, I'm not stressing :D

We tried to get a picture after the transfer. This is my pathetic attempt to prop myself up from being upside down. I look drugged, hot and tired, but I never did feel any different from the Valium, which I was glad for. Here's our first "Family Picture"

All through the procedure I kept asking for the picture the embryologist had given us, asking for "our babies." I held on to that picture and only let go when DH wanted a glance. The doctor wasn't compliant with our request to let us see or know what was going on with the procedure so we didn't get to see the actual transfer itself but these pictures were wonderful to have to focus on :)

I lay there for a while and then we came home, ordered take out for lunch, ate, and then slept until dinner time (finally turning off the phone after the bajillionth political call!). I woke up and wanted more of the same take out (hey I can say I'm eating for 3 now right?) and for a lot of the night we just hung out and watched football.

Then late last night is when DH got so sick. So I think we really still have a lot to process but I'm hoping we can do more of that tomorrow after we've both slept. It's been a surreal couple of days, all over the spectrum of emotions and experiences.

We would still like to plan to tell the results of the transfer in our own way, at our own time, so please help us by resisting the temptation to ask for results =) We don't know them yet anyway (it's impossible to know this soon) but we'll certainly tell you all when we do, whether it's good news or bad.

Thank you all for hanging in there with us on this roller coaster! I hope you all are well and I'll try to catch up with my blog buddies over the next few days.

We covet your prayers that the babies would grab on and grow and that DH would continue to be on the mend!

Hugs to everyone!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Silence and Bunny Trails

It's 3:30 am and I find myself completely unable to sleep, largely due to the massive amount of hours I slept during the day today, having still been plagued by significant medicine side effects.

I wandered on to the bulletin board of my University and found the third or fourth discussion I've read in as many years about the nature and purpose of marriage. As usual, some young students and alumni were elevating biological procreation as the highest hall of human happiness and indeed, the best purpose of marriage. Infertility is an affliction or a punishment, and those who suffer from it are missing out on some part of God. This particular discussion wasn't so bad, but others in the past have been (my favorite are the posts from unmarried freshmen who pontificate on the purpose and ideals of marriage!) and reading this one recollected the others to me and reproduced and reinforced my general reaction.

These discussions always irritate me. I usually find myself first irritated at the speaker of the "argument" but I am quickly moved to impatience with the general ignorance in Christendom about infertility. I hate that the church has been so silent on it.

But I think the problem goes even deeper than that. We have a general ignorance about adoption too. We talk in flowery words about the beauty of being adopted as Christ's own, and we pick up our picket signs that say "Adoption not Abortion" but I think this is the extent of the average Christian's exposure to adoption, save maybe a little more if they have a friend who was adopted. But then our language betrays how little we either understand or esteem adoption. "Did you adopt because you couldn't have children of your own?" "Don't worry-just adopt and you'll get pregnant." "This is the Jones' adopted daughter Suzy."

How much are we actually doing to understand this precious illustration God has given us here on earth? What do we do to help the young girls in need besides pointing them in the direction of a Crisis Pregnancy Center? Do we try to understand the living picture of Christ's love in action in the dynamic of the families we know who have adopted? Do we take interest in legislation and movements that would support those families affected by it? Do we study what Christ meant when He gave us this example? Do we even understand what we're saying when we claim we have been "Adopted as Sons?" I really don't think so. Because I think if we did, if we really truly did, that would translate to action and adoption would look much different. I realize not every family is burdened or called to adoption issues and I'm completely ok with those folks, because I know God has called and equipped them elsewhere. But I think a lot more are called than are currently active, especially in Christendom and especially as a global organization.

So why is the church silent on these issues? The church is largely silent on things like birth defects, disabilities, persistent or terminal illness and bad things happening to "good people" too. I think it's because it doesn't fit in to our box of God. We can explain forgiveness. Most of us sin and are sinned against every day, so we have lots of practice in this arena. We can proudly embrace the sinner turned from a life of drugs, violence, promiscuity, or even apathy or unbelief in the name of God's grace and forgiveness and changing power.

But what do we do with the folks who don't fit in to our mold? How does that challenge our view of God? We seem to be unable to say "We don't know why God did this or made you this or that way or didn't fix this or that problem." We want an explanation when the only answer just might be "Because He said so." What do we do with that? How do we live that in action? I realize you can't walk up to a person and say "Well, God made you that way, tough." But there is a precious peace that comes with accepting God's plan, even if it's a deviation from "the norm" and realizing that in that, He is still good. Why does that deviation make us uncomfortable? Why are these people "exceptions" to our praxis rather than a part of our daily framework and ever expanding view of God? These folks were known, loved and named in their inmost being, too, and there are no flaws in God's handiwork. What does it say of our view of God when we don't know how to reconcile these "exceptions" with the box we've put Him in?

I wish the church would not be so afraid to speak on God's "bunny trails." The road less traveled is a beautiful one and I pray that you are invited on its precious journey one day. I challenge us all to evaluate those stereotypes and assumptions we take for granted. I challenge us to deliberately expose ourselves to a bunny trail and someone on it. I promise that expanding our view of humanity and God's role in it will expand our view of Him and His vast richness and goodness. I believe that God created so many variations of the human story because one standard model of a healthy married couple with 2.4 children, a dog and a white picket fence couldn't possibly display or contain all that He has to show us and all the ways He wishes for His glory and majesty to be known.

It is now almost 4:00 am so if my thoughts are scattered or incoherent, forgive me!