Something else amazing God did with that situation in March.

Besides the fact that God wanted to teach me a good lesson that HE is in control, God used this recent adoption opportunity to do something absolutely amazing in the life of my friend, Brooke.

When Brooke and her husband, Mike, started trying to conceive, it was not happening right away and so they felt like God was leading them to adopt. As they were getting their adoption paperwork filled out, Brooke learned she was pregnant.

That pregnancy ended in miscarriage. Brooke and Mike were devastated but they jumped right back into the adoption process.

Within four months time, Mike and Brooke went through a miscarriage, a failed adoption (birth mother chose to parent after giving birth) and another failed adoption because the birth mother was a con artist.

Soon after the second failed adoption, Brooke learned she was pregnant again. At a doctor’s appointment, Brooke was told she would likely miscarry this baby as well because of a hormone deficiency.

But in the fall of 2004, their beautiful daughter, Selah, entered the world and their dreams of parenthood came true.

When Seleh was two years old, Brooke became pregnant again and gave birth to their handsome son, Tobias.

A little over a year ago, Brooke and Mike decided to add to their family again and started trying to conceive.

Brooke and Mike’s 10th wedding anniversary was in August of 2010 and they went away on a trip together hoping God would open Brooke’s womb that month.

But Brooke did not get pregnant that month and month after month, the pregnancy tests all continued to be negative. Brooke went to the doctor and after some tests, she was advised to not get pregnant again because it was too risky for her health.

God opened their hearts to adoption in December of 2010.

During one of my conversations with the lawyer about the situation we were pursuing, the lawyer informed me that she had a situation and she was really having a hard time finding an adoptive family for her baby. The lawyer asked me if I knew of anyone who might be interested in this opportunity.

Immediately, Brooke popped into my mind! I told the lawyer I would contact Brooke about the situation. The lawyer told me to call her back immediately with Brooke’s contact information if they were interested.

Within a matter of hours, Brooke had told me to give the lawyer her contact information, the lawyer had called and spoken to Brooke about the situation and Brooke had been able to even call and speak to the woman!

And just like that … Mike and Brooke were matched!

And you know what?

Can you guess when this baby was conceived?

Yep … August 2010!

God had not opened Brooke’s womb during that month they had so hoped He would.

But a baby, who would become their daughter through the miracle of adoption, had been conceived in August 2010!

Baby Elise is due on May 20, 2011, but for medical reason her birth mother will be induced on May 12th.

eliseBaby Elise at 32 weeks

Brooke’s story is another beautiful story of heartache and redemption — for both her and this brave woman who is with child.

God’s purpose for me in that opportunity we were presented with in March was twofold.

God had an important lesson to teach me.

And He needed me to get Brooke in touch with this lawyer so the lawyer could match them with this precious baby girl!

Our God is so awesome and I seriously cannot wait to meet this precious baby!

brooke

journey to #2

Not sure if you read Mrs. Hammer’s blog. My heart breaks for her today.

Four and a half years of trying to have a baby while battling infertility. Four cycles of IVF. Three beautiful embryos were placed in her womb during her fourth, and final, chance at IVF. They were the best embryos they had ever had and they were so hoping this would be their miracle.

But today her beta came back as negative.

Man, why do people have to go through this?!?!

And then an even weirder, odder question is this:

Why didn’t I have the chance to go through that?

I know that calls for a little explanation.

You remember March 8th, 2009, I was told IVF wouldn’t even help me conceive. Truth be told, I’ve always been a little leery of that “diagnosis” because it wasn’t my RE who told me that – it was the other RE in the practice because my RE wasn’t on call that fateful day. Logic tells me that obviously the other RE knows what he’s talking about because he’s been doing this since before I was born. But my heart wants to cling to the hope that maybe, just maybe, he was wrong and my RE could figure out something that just might work to finagle around the obstacles the other RE says make conceiving through IVF very unlikely because he’s the best RE in the entire Universe.

And so, as the time approaches for us to start thinking (yes, thinking, not necessarily wanting…yet 🙂 ) a second child, I can’t help but let my mind wander.

There are so many stories out there of women who had a poor response many times but, finally, after three, four, five tries, they got their miracle.

T’s blog is private, but her story is amazing. After many tries at IVF her last try was filled with miracle after miracle! It was her last try. She went it to it knowing if this failed, they had done everything possible to try to conceive. They prayed for a miracle as they had done with their previous cycles. She was a poor responder, but this final cycle, they had beautiful embryos transferred. More beautiful than they ever imagined. Beta day came and her beta was negative, however, against all odds, the clinic called her back several days later and told her there had been a mistake in her first beta and they needed to recheck her. Trying not to get her hopes up, she went in for another beta draw. And lo and behold, that beta came back indicating she was pregnant! Her numbers were extremely low, but with every beta draw after her second one, the numbers kept doubling and tripling. Around 5-6 weeks into the pregnancy she saw the most miraculous thing on the ultrasound screen: the tiny, healthy heartbeat of her precious baby!

So how does all this tie into me?

I honestly don’t know at this time.

I’m trying to figure it out myself as I seek the Lord about why He has me wondering about all this.

I guess, if I could have things my way (which I know full well may not be God’s way AND I know full well that I ultimately desire God’s Will because I know full well HIS WILL is best and perfect and better than anything I could ever wonder or dream about) I wish I could have a second try at IVF.

We didn’t give IVF another thought after our first cycle where I responded very poorly and we ended up converting to an IUI mid-cycle. The reason we didn’t give IVF another thought is so obvious now.

At the time, getting up from that examination table and walking away from it all just like that was nerve-wracking and it felt like I was just giving up prematurely.

But I knew I had to say no to another try because of one reason:

God was telling us to move to adoption because he wanted to give us Little Bug!

Obviously, what I am saying here is I do not, for a second, wish we had given IVF another try back in the Spring of 2009 because I would not ever trade my Little Bug for 10 biological children!

What I am saying is this: When I think of adding to our family, excitement pours into my soul because now, more than ever, I know God has another miraculous plan ahead for us in building our family and I am so excited to see where He takes us on our journey to #2. I am not naive to think the journey will be filled with only joy and no heartache and pain. Unfortunately, when you mix infertility and trying to add to your family, there is bound to be some pain and heartache along the way. But now, more than ever, I know God has a plan bigger and better than all the pain and heartache I will ever experience in my lifetime. I know that what is required of me on my journey to #2 is trusting God and patiently waiting for Him to reveal HIS PLAN. The waiting is bound to get hard (waiting is never easy!) but every day I will have a blue-eyed, blonde haired little reminder that His ways are perfect and His timing is impeccable.

So I guess, right now, my heart is just open. Open to whatever way God would choose to add to our family. I wouldn’t say any of this stems from a desire to experience pregnancy but it stems from a curiosity and wondering if what I was told on March 8th, 2009, is really what would have happened had we pursued another IVF cycle.

Which means all this will probably be just what it is today: my wonderings. Because I can’t see giving IVF another try simply because I am curious to see what the outcome would be. That is how I know this is not a “pregnancy desire” speaking. Sure, if I was told I could do an IVF cycle free of charge, I don’t think I’d have to think twice about jumping on that offer! But, we all know IVF isn’t free.

And so, I guess I will always just wonder. But I can live with that because I do believe if God wants to build our family by a biological child, He most certainly does not need IVF to do it.

My God (our God!) is just awesome like that.

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.

A Leap of Faith

I am pretty much recovered from the surgery. So the next thing is the month of December – the month we are praying it happens naturally.

There are several choices I must make concerning December’s cycle:

  1. Should I do the Clomid Challenge Test?
  2. Should I take my basal body temps and chart like I was doing over a year ago when we had just started trying to conceive?
  3. Should I use an Ovulation Predictor Kit?

I believe God is saying no to all three.

It’s taken me a few days to come to this conclusion because I have really wanted to at least do the Clomid Challenge Test for several really good reasons:

  1. Taking Clomid, there is a good chance for more than one follicle to ovulate. Doing a Clomid Challenge Test there is an 8-10% chance for twins and (thankfully) only a <1% chance for triplets or more.
  2. We could time things better because Clomid regulates your cycle.
  3. I would have one ultrasound and be able to see how ready the follicles are for ovulation which would help with timing.

This morning as I was praying and writing in my journal about all this I realized I hadn’t really stopped to consider those positive aspects of a Clomid Challenge Test.

Timing is crucial when trying to conceive and, for us, timing things just right is very tricky for reasons I won’t get into. So as I was writing in my journal about the positives of doing the Clomid Challenge Test it was very tempting to change my mind about not doing it during December’s cycle.

But here is why I can’t change my mind:

This morning I felt as if I was standing at a crossroad and God is calling me towards one direction and asking me, "Elaine, are you going to trust me?"

Nothing is impossible with God. And I knew this morning, that the real reason God had told me "no" is because if God indeed is going to perform a miracle in December for us, we need to take our hands off, let go and let God do His work. To sum it up, I need to take a leap of faith and trust Him.

This is scary. On one level, it makes no sense. We so want to have our hands in EVERYTHING! We are like the 2-year-old who likes to "help" Mommy with chores around the house. But in the end, there is more of a mess, and I’m sure, that mom thought something along the lines of, "I’m glad my little boy wants to help but I sure do wish he would go find something else to entertain himself with so I could just fold this laundry once and not have to keep refolding it!" I wonder how many times in my life God has thought that about me?

If only Elaine would just back off, let go and TRUST ME to get the job done!

This is hard, really hard. But I’ve said from the beginning that I desire God to receive the glory in everything we must go through on this road. If I get pregnant naturally next cycle, I want ALL the glory going to God and not even a tad bit of it going to me or to a Clomid Challenge Test.

So by packing up the prescription for Clomid, thermometers and the folder I keep all my charted temps in, I am saying to God, "If we conceive next month, this baby will truly be a miracle from You!"

And all the glory will be His.

Our Next Step After Surgery

We headed into our final cycle of IUI in October 2008 knowing that if this cycle didn’t work we wanted to stop treatment until the New Year. We do not want to be going through treatments during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

We still feel this way after successful laporoscopy surgery to remove Stage 2 endometriosis. I talked to Dr. L briefly after my surgery but was still in a groggy state. So I am very anxious to talk to him at my post-op appointment on November 17th. The message is clear, though, that Dr. L successfully removed all the endometriosis and now my chances of pregnancy are very good. Even in my groggy state, I understood that much.

The past week I’ve spent recovering from surgery, I’ve had a lot of time to sit and contemplate and pray about what God is telling us our next step is.

We both feel at peace about taking a break on IUI treatments for November and December and doing our next treatment in January 2009 – if that is even necessary.

As I reflect back on the past year, there is no doubt in my mind that, if God Wills, He can and will allow conception to happen naturally before the New Year. I can, and already have started praying that this will be the beautiful masterpiece I have long awaited to see. I invite you to pray with me.

But three tiny words say it all. If God Wills

And I can honestly say with more understanding than I have ever had in my entire life, because of the journey of this past year, that I desire more than anything, God’s Will.

Because in the past year, the greatest lesson God has taught me through this battle with infertility, is that God’s Plan is perfect, beautiful and always best.

At Home

All the nurses and doctors were so good to me, this being my first ever surgery experience. It’s all a blur. They put the gas mask on and I entered another world and don’t remember a thing until I woke up and couldn’t understand where Dave, Mama and Angele had gone. It was then the nurse informed me, “You’re done! It’s all over!” I remember thinking, “I’m alive! I survived! Praise the Lord!”

It wasn’t too long and Dr. L was standing there beside the bed. He told me I did have Stage 2 endometriosis. He cleaned it all up and he said the prognosis for a future pregnancy is very good. Because Dr. L cut the endometriosis out, instead of burning it, he said the chances of endometriosis returning is slim.

I also had 2 small cysts removed from a fallopian tube. He said both tubes are “nice and normal”. The inside of the uterus is absolutely fine.

Once again, GOD HAS PROOVED HIMSELF FAITHFUL! Put your faith and trust IN THE LORD and He WILL carry you through ANYTHING! That is the lesson God has taught me through surgery.

I feel fine except that I am extremely sore. I had no reactions to the anesthesia.

Tonight, I thank God for putting Dr. L in my life. I think it is incredibly awesome that he could go into my body through 4 tiny little incisions, look around with a camera and take pictures (I can’t wait to see them! He said he’d show me!), diagnose endometriosis and then cut it out. All in 2.5 hours and all for the glory to be given right back to God.

Thank you so much for praying! Once again, your prayers have made all the difference in the world. I was nervous and probably shaking like a leaf, but in my heart, there was peace – God’s peace. And I attribute it to all the prayers. Pastor Paul and Judy Crosby came up the hospital to pray with me before surgery. It is such a comfort to know people were praying right there in my presence all the way to people praying in another country (Cristina and Marcio – my cousin and her husband)! I am also so grateful Mama had Angele and Elaine Matz to sit with while I was in surgery.

God is good – all the time. God certainly hears the prayers of his people.

Now please pray for a speedy recovery and a clear direction for our next step. (More on that when I am not so sore.)

Enough

When the nurse entered the room yesterday with the sperm she said, “You have 9.6 million for today.” Expecting a number much greater than that I asked, “What did you say?” She repeated, “You have 9.6 million sperm.” Disappointment set in that more than that had not survived the unfreeze. (We were told to expect approximately 20 million.)

But then the prayer I had written in my journal just four hours before the 2:30 procedure replayed in my mind…

God,

In four hours the first sperm will enter in. God, I pray Your Hand would be on every frozen sperm even right now. I pray for each one that You desire to survive the unfreeze. I pray these sperm will be healthy and mobile and will head in the direction of the egg(s). I pray you would keep them there waiting…

9.6 million sperm did not surprise God at all yesterday. I firmly believe He hand-picked those 9.6 million.

Today we had 17 million survive and make it in. So that brings a total of 26.6 million sperm hand-picked by God Himself.

And now I repeat the prayer I prayed yesterday four hours before the first insemination…

And then when the egg(s) burst out, I pray the one You have planned from the beginning of time will get there! I pray You would place that sperm in the egg and create Baby. God, you alone can do this. Please complete the work You have started in me.

I love you,

Elaine

Waiting is a good place to be. There is absolutely nothing I can do to make a sperm find an egg. It’s all God. If it happens, IT IS ALL GOD.

God is the Creator of Life. Not me. Not Dave. Not T. Not Dr. L.

GOD. AND GOD ALONE.

Pray like you’ve never prayed for me before…fervently, continuously that God will create LIFE…TODAY!

And remember…pray for Baby Goodlett too!