Goodbye, Lone Ranger

I’m glad I didn’t waste time yesterday going to get blood drawn.

The unwelcome visitor arrived this morning, right on time.

So where does this leave me?

Even though I lived the past few days with the mindset of the visitor would arrive any day now … it still hurts … because there is always at least just an ounce of hope every month, no matter how much you’ve been through, that maybe, just maybe, this will be the month.

Then when the visitor arrives … that ounce of hope is crushed … and life moves on.

Where my life is moving beyond this day is very scary to me.

Before March 8th, I honestly didn’t think everything would come to this.

Goodbye, Lone Ranger.

Goodbye, Dream.

but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails

I recently saw the following statement in a frame hanging on someone’s wall:

Faith is not believing that God can but that God will.

I left that house thinking about that statement and decided I do not believe that is what God requires us to believe when our faith is in Him.

Sure, with God all things are possible. Every month I believe with all my heart that God can create Baby that month. I know that God does not need IUI treatments, surgery or IVF to make it happen. I know God is the creator of life and He can allow me to conceive any month, regardless the circumstances.

But to say that God will make it happen doesn’t fit right with something else God has taught me along this journey.

Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21

During every single one of my IUI treatments I have asked people to please pray that God would create Baby that month. During every single IUI treatment, there were people from all over praying that God would do this.

Looking back now I can see that God’s purpose in those three previous IUI cycles was not a pregnancy. Instead, His plans were to do a work within my heart and soul and not in my womb.

I cannot begin to even summarize what God has taught me through those three failed IUI cycles. God does sometimes answer our prayers with a “No” – and sometimes more than once – because He has plans for our lives that will prevail because He knows they are best and the best is what He desires for us.

Was it hard to accept “No” as the answer three times in a row?

Do I even need to answer that question?

And here we are again praying God will choose to create Baby with The Lone Ranger.

Once again, God’s will will prevail.

If I am pregnant, I will praise God for performing a miracle. If I am not pregnant, I can still praise the Lord because I can rest in peace knowing God is still doing a work within my life using these circumstances and His work is not complete.

I’ll be the first to admit that keeping this mindset is extremely difficult. I’ve been on this road now for almost 2 years and the possibility of ever achieving a pregnancy grows slimmer with every treatment we undergo. With each treatment, we have discovered another obstacle that stands in our way to achieving pregnancy.

Not a day has gone by since March 8th that I haven’t thought about the possibility that I very well may never have a biological child.

But I do believe that God can make this happen. He will – if biological children are a part of His master plan for us.

Will I pray and continue to ask others to pray that God will allow us to conceive?

Certainly.

Because God can if He Wills and His Will is best.

It’s a win-win situation, really.

Waiting

We are back from the funeral and are now over here at my Grandmother’s house for dinner tonight. I found a few minutes to update my blog and came here with the intent to say that I am bracing for the arrival of a very unwelcome guest that visits me on a very regular basis every single month. Some people refer to this unwelcome guest as Aunt Flo.

As I sat here at my Grandmother’s computer I happened to see this written on a card lying very near the computer …

You have to be POSITIVE always, never negative.
Wonderful advice, really. However, at this point in the journey, I can no longer allow myself to get hopeful, no matter the circumstances. And so my mindset is one of waiting … waiting for Aunt Flo to once again arrive.
I am not saying that I feel hopeless. As long as my faith and trust are in the Lord (as they will ALWAYS be), I will always have hope. My hope is not necessarily that I will one day conceive, but my hope is in the promise of Jeremiah 29:11.
No matter how bleak my circumstances continue to be, there is hope, because I know God has a plan. It is most definitely NOT my plan. However, I rest in God’s love knowing He will bring everything to fruition and one day I will see the reason behind all of these trials.
I do find myself at a very weary stage of this journey. I’m tired of failed treatments and hard decisions. If God chooses to once again not allow conception to happen through an IUI treatment, I know we will face another hard decision to make – quite possibly the hardest decision we’ve had to make thus far.
I was telling my family in the van as we were on the way home last night that sometimes I ask God if He isn’t ready to move on to someone else and teach them some things! I know my journey won’t be complete until God’s work is finished and I just have to keep plugging along knowing His grace is sufficient for whatever still lies ahead.
It’s overwhelming to sit and think about what may lie ahead. As we were traveling home yesterday God spoke to me through a certain situation on the trip home.
We were not certain which direction we needed to head on the highway. My dad was driving. I was just a passenger in the van. Had it been me in the driver’s seat I would have been in a panic. I hate not knowing where I am and I hate getting lost on the road. Here I was in the middle of who knows where, we didn’t know which way to go but there was not an ounce of panic in me. Why? My Daddy was in the driver’s seat and I knew without a shadow of a doubt he would figure out which direction we needed to go. I literally put my headphones on, turned on the music and enjoyed the ride through the countryside of North Carolina.
This reminded me that as I am on the road of infertility and at a loss for where we need to go next, my Heavenly Father is in the driver’s seat and I can sit back and relax as He leads the way.
I don’t need to know RIGHT NOW where I will be going a week from now, or even a day from now. He will guide us at just the right time and tell us where to go next.
That’s hope.

Family, Travel and another impending decision

Exactly 21 months ago we were in Brazil for my cousin’s wedding. I have not seen Cristina since she got in the limo the night of her wedding and drove off.

I am very excited because today at 4pm, she and her husband, Marcio, will arrive here! Even though the time spent together is only a fraction of the time we have been apart, we are very close, and I am so grateful to have this time with her this week and to be able to get to know Marcio better.

Saturday afternoon my great aunt (Aunt Helen) died at the age of 89. Last October on her 89th birthday she announced that she did not want to live to be 90. Aunt Helen lived a good life of service to the Lord.

Tomorrow my parents, Grandmother, Cristina, Marcio and me will travel to North Carolina to attend her funeral. Dave can not go because of his work so he will stay behind and take care of Puppy and Ellie. We will return on Wednesday after the funeral. So if I am MIA over the next couple of days on this blog…you’ll know why.

*****

I’ll definitely be on here at some point to let you know the results of the IUI. I’m still planning to not go in for blood work on Friday, so I may not know anything until Monday.

At this time, making a decision of “what’s next”, should the results of this IUI be the same as the previous ones, is quite possibly the most overwhelming decision we’ve had to make thus far on this journey.

The obvious big question is … Do we try IVF again?

There are so many factors that go into making this decision. I’m not going to get into them right now.

I am just once again asking people to please pray heavily that God would clearly make known what our next step is to be.

Can I just say that I am tired of all this? Tired of … everything. But when I step back and attempt to look at the big picture and what God is doing, it helps.

I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is a season of my life, not my life. I know one day I will look back on this season and see the purpose.

When I step away from the heartache and pain and see all this for the way God sees it, I am deeply encouraged. I am encouraged to know that God is working in ways, at this time, we cannot see. I am encouraged because I know God is using these circumstances of my life to accomplish His plan. I am encouraged because I know God is receiving glory. I am encouraged because, even though Satan attempts to destroy me, he is defenseless because I am shielded with the armor of God. I am encouraged because so many people have rallied together through prayer. And mostly, I am encouraged because I know one day this story God is writing through my life will come to a beautiful ending … and a new story will begin.

Relaxed 2ww

This is by far the most relaxed 2-week wait EVER.

During the others, not a day would go by without me constantly thinking and counting down the hours till THE DAY.

Not this time.

I haven’t thought about being in a 2-week wait until today when I realized I haven’t been obsessively thinking about it every moment of every day.

Blood draw day is next Friday and I think I’ve about decided to not even go in for that, especially since I am to work that day.

I’ll just wait for the ever-present sign that comes around in a monthly fashion to break the news or if “the sign” is missing in action still by Monday, I’ll call and ask for a blood draw.

Sounds like a plan to me …

Looking at the Bright Side

For every situation, we have to look at the bright side, right??

Well, I got to thinking of something this morning …

If the IVF cycle had gone as we had planned, I’d probably be in the 2-week wait by now and honestly, I wasn’t sure how I was going to get through that time and then handle whatever news followed!

On the other hand, I haven’t even thought much about the 2-week wait with this IUI we did instead.

Of all the steps of the IVF process, I was dreading the 2-week wait and the beta test the most.

I’m truly glad I’m not going through that right now … unless of course it was finally going to be good news! But that’s the thing … you never know the outcome until you know the outcome.

And that is so nerve-wracking!

Peace that transcends all understanding

I went today for the blood draw and my veins wouldn’t cooperate. So they did a urine test and it was negative.

If ever there was a day that I have experienced a peace that transcends all understanding, it is today. And that is the miracle and blessing of Cycle 4.

No words can adequately describe how much I have feared this day. I can only say I was terrified of once again having negative results. Which is why for the past three nights I have cried myself to sleep just in the anticipation that it could happen.

What scares me the most is the road beyond three failed inseminations.

With all the other cycles, as soon as I learned it hadn’t work, we moved to the next cycle. But this is our third insemination. At our September 29th appointment, he briefly told me what would be next if this cycle didn’t work.

He said it has been consistently seen in their office that if three IUIs do not work, there is usually some underlying issue that was not detected in the initial testing. Typically, the patient undergoes laproscopic surgery to detect an underlying problem, such as endometriosis.

As I cried myself to sleep those nights, I envisioned myself depressed with no hope and no reason to go on with life. I really did not know how I was going to handle that news.

But today I received the news of my third failed insemination. I cried and cried and cried some more. But even in the first few minutes after hearing the news, I had this unexpected peace wash over my entire body.

We drove to my mom’s office and she came out and climbed into the car with me in the front seat and just held me as we all cried. I cried but my mind could not go into the depths of despair as I had expected.

I could not even become anxious about what lies ahead. Looking at me, a heap of tears and tissue sitting there in the car, you would have thought someone had died. But there was, and is, a blanket of peace surrounding me.

It really is a peace that passes all understanding. I can not fully explain it in words.

I just know on a day I expected to feel dead and hopeless if I once again received negative news, I feel the absolute opposite.

I’ve often thought through this process, “Why pray if God already has a plan and will see that it is carried through. Does prayer really make a difference at all when you are dealing with a Sovereign God?”

Well, today I have experienced prayers, YOUR PRAYERS, making all the difference in the world to me.

All these prayers have lifted me up to my Heavenly Father so that I can only feel peace – His peace.

I cannot thank you enough for praying. Please, please keep praying.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Be strong and courageous, for the Lord your God will go with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9

Early Pregnancy Symptoms

Even though I’m home all day today so I can get things done around this house, my mind is obviously consumed with tomorrow. So don’t be surprised if you read 12 posts on here by the end of the day! 🙂

I’m curious about something. Early pregnancy symptoms.

  • nausea
  • fatigue
  • implantation cramping
  • implantation spotting
  • tender breasts and nipples
  • excessive urination

Apparently some people experience this while others do not.

If I am indeed pregnant, I’ll be one of those people who doesn’t feel a thing. Every cycle I sit around waiting for cramping, spotting, nausea, fatigue. And every cycle? Nothing!

A friend of mine left a comment saying she has never felt the early symptoms of pregnancy – and she’s been pregnant 6 times!

My mom, who has been pregnant 7 times, told me she never “felt pregnant”. She always just had to wait to test to find out.

So now that my curiosity is up concerning this matter I would love to hear from you if you’ve ever been pregnant.

Did you have any early symptoms?

If you did experience these symptoms, don’t be afraid to tell me you did. And if you didn’t experience any early symptoms, let me know!

If anything, your comments will help to occupy the time until tomorrow!

That, and laundry and cleaning …

Spiritual Warfare

Do you believe in spiritual warfare?

I have experienced it in the past day and a half.

I feel like I am in the middle of running a marathon in the desert. I am weary beyond belief and just want to cross the finish line. I feel I can’t run a mile longer. I just want it to be over.

It’s a good thing God can move mountains with faith as small as a mustard seed because I’m pushing it right now to even have faith as small as a mustard seed.

All I can do is cry in anticipation of tomorrow.

Back to the issue of spiritual warfare …

I’ve said from the beginning of this marathon I want God to receive the glory through my circumstances. And I do.

Scroll down a few posts and look over all the names representing PRAYER tomorrow. Wherever God is at work, Satan is there working double-time. Satan knows no matter what happens tomorrow, God will receive glory. So he is working time and a half to destroy the mustard seed of faith I have.

Fear is one of his greatest weapons and he has used that against me.

As I’ve been a ball of tears the past two nights Dave has asked me, "Are you just afraid of what will happen Wednesday." I then mutter, "Yes."

FEAR.

Fear paralyzes. Fear cripples. Fear weakens. Fear destroys faith.

Satan plants fear in our hearts to destroy faith. He also tries everything in his power to change our focus and our perspective.

Instead of going to the Word of God for strength, so I can keep running to the finish line, I allowed myself to lose focus.

I went to the internet to read other infertility blogs, looking for hope. Big mistake.

I found a blog I had never read before. Sure enough, when the person found out she was pregnant she had experienced implantation spotting. Reading this only served to send me further into the depths of despair because I’ve experienced none of the early pregnancy symptoms most everyone I read about does experience once pregnant.

The point is that when you’re running a marathon in the desert the only thing your body screams for is water. The Word of God is like water to the person running a marathon in the desert.

Where should I have gone? The Word of God.

It is only there that I will find true hope and strength to keep running.

Fix these words of mind in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Deuteronomy 11:18

I woke up this morning thinking about all this. It dawned on me that Satan is attacking me. I simply cannot allow it.

Today my focus will be my faith, even though it is as small as a mustard seed. But God’s Word clearly says that is all it needs to be.

I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, "Move from here to there and it will move." Nothing will be impossible for you. Matthew 17:20

[Do you realize just how small a mustard seed really is? A mustard seed is one-sixteenth of an inch in diameter!]

Satan may be able to rock my boat – but He cannot, in the name of Jesus Christ, capsize it.

AMEN!

Let me add one more prayer request for tomorrow …

3. Pray against the attacks of Satan. Satan must flee when just the name of JESUS is said.

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7

A Lost Post

I had almost written an entire post just now and the computer died.

Have you ever stopped to consider that God is in control of ALL things – even a computer crashing?

I wrote a post but obviously God didn’t want it published.

Because the post was partly about where this journey may take us if I am not pregnant.

I believe God speaks through anything. Not so much an audible voice like he spoke with to Moses or Abraham. But He still speaks. We just have to have to have our "Listening Ears" on. (A term that was frequently used during the four years I taught 4th grade.)

When I wrote that post, the computer died and I rebooted and it was gone, and God said, "Elaine, would you please just trust me and stop all your worry about what may or may not happen?"

So instead of worrying I’m going to put my worry energy into another Day of Prayer for Baby.

The day will be October 22nd – the day of the blood test.