One Day at a Time

If I would have known 15 months ago where this journey was going to take us I would have booked the next possible flight out to China to escape my life. So many times in life when we are in the middle of a crisis, we cry out to God just wanting to know where in the world He is taking us next.

If only I just knew what was coming next!

Haven’t we all been there at one time or another in life?

But through this journey so far I have learned that God, in His great wisdom, hands us life one jigsaw piece of the puzzle at a time because the truth of the matter is our little finite minds cannot fully grasp the whole picture at the beginning of a long journey such as the one I’m on now.

Sure, 15 months ago I had no idea I was headed here. But I wish to declare to the world that God has been faithful to us every step of the way. His Grace has been sufficient through everything. Through trying unsuccessfully for 6 months to conceive. Through fertility testing. Through four unsuccessful IUIs. And even through the incident when I thought I was actually pregnant but it turns out I wasn’t.

God was faithful through ALL that. It is by His Grace, His strength and  His peace that I endured all that.

I am once again reminded of Matthew 6:34, Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

God supplies our needs in our time of need. Think of it this way: One staff aids a traveler; a bunch of staves is a heavy burden. God didn’t give us what we needed to get through 4 failed IUIs on the first failed IUI. Instead, he gave us what we needed to get through the first IUI that failed. Then a month later he gave us what we needed to endure our 2nd failed IUI. Then our third … and now, our fourth.

I do not have the answers as to why we have not conceived but I do know that God in his infinite wisdom has faithfully brought us through everything thus far – and He will continue. 

My future is still uncertain … to me. Last year this time I was hoping to be pregnant by the end of the year. Now here I am a year later and I still have no guarantee I’ll be pregnant by the end of this year.

But the name of the Lord shall still be praised!! God is a loving God. A God of hope, peace and joy!

God is [still] [STILL] Faithful

First, I must preface this post with this statement:

I am not pregnant.

I know you already know that – but you will understand why I had to say that by the time you finish reading this post.

I’ve compared this journey to a roller coaster ride of many ups and downs. What I am about to say is … (I can’t come up with a word that adequately describes.)

You know what happened Wednesday. (Blood work day. Veins wouldn’t cooperate so they give me a urine pregnancy test, which was negative.)

They gave me orders to go get blood work done at Quest later on in the same day. I said, “I won’t go be poked again. I’ll just go home and wait for the period. If it doesn’t come, then I’ll go.”

So Wednesday comes and goes. No period.

Thursday. Still nothing.

Friday. I’m officially late.

Anyone going through this knows that even when there is a glimmer of hope that you may possibly be pregnant, you still remain guarded until you know for sure.

But by Friday I was allowing myself to think things like:

Is this the beautiful masterpiece that God had planned all along? That I would get negative results and days later test positive and actually have been pregnant all along?

I couldn’t help but imagine being able to surprise people with the news that I was pregnant! One of the biggest disappointments for me in fertility treatments is that there is no way to surprise people with the news of pregnancy. Unless, of course, you choose to keep the procedures quiet and not even tell people you are going through them. To me, that isn’t an option. The prayer support is a necessity when you are going through something like this.

Friday, while I was with the twins, I called T and told her here it was Friday and I had still not started. She told me to come in Saturday morning and she would do a blood test on me.

Around lunchtime I had some brownish, pinkish spotting.

Implantation spotting? But on Day 16 after ovulation? Typically implantation spotting is between days 6-12 after ovulation.

I called T back. She told me she would talk to Dr. L and call me.

When she called back, she told me Dr. L said it could possibly be implantation spotting.

By last night I was beginning to let myself believe this actually might be so.

Late period, implantation spotting and not feeling like I was going to start my period in the least bit.

Put all that together, mixed with a great desire that it be so, and I was more hopeful than ever this morning as we drove to the doctor’s for the blood work. I couldn’t wait to be able to tell everyone!

We walked into the doctor’s office and T was there to draw my blood.

She told us it would take about 20 minutes to run the test.

Tina let us stay with her as she ran the test. She explained the process to us. There were different phases. Finally, it was the last phase.

There was a printer that would print out the numbers and give the results. T was just as anxious as we were. When it was almost ready to spit out my results T went over there to the machine and just stared at the paper as it printed.

Meanwhile, Dave and I stood together a few feet away. My heart was pounding so hard. I remember thinking, “Maybe the nerves I feel would be how I would feel if I had to stand up and give a speech before thousands like the president has to.” Then I said, “T, when you see the number just tell me. Even if it’s not positive.”

It was seconds later when I heard T say, “No.” and she put her head down against the machine. I said, “No?” and burst into tears.

T hugged me like my Mama would have had she been there and I will always be grateful for that.

I think you could very easily say that this is possibly my greatest disappointment in life so far. I cannot explain to you the emotions of shock and confusion I felt upon hearing the word no.

But at the same time, I could not focus on the dream of today’s possibilities being flushed, once again, down the drain. Instead, my mind was flooded with the promises of God’s Word.

His Grace is sufficient. (2 Corn. 12:9-10)

I trust in the Lord. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

God has a plan and purpose. (Jeremiah 29:11)

I must be strong and courageous, for God is with me wherever I go. (Joshua 1:9)

As I sit and reflect back on the sequence of events over the past few days, it would be so easy to allow myself to believe God has played a cruel joke on us!

But I know in my heart that is not the God I serve.

I serve a loving God and I still believe He has something way better than even the potential scenario of today planned for us.

And today, I do hold this one piece of my jigsaw puzzle and wonder how in the world this could possibly fit into my masterpiece.

And then I think, “It’s a good thing it is not up to me to figure this one out!”

That’s God’s job and He is more than capable.

I will meet with Dr. L on Tuesday, October 28 at 9:00am. to discuss our next step. I will also have an ultrasound to see if there can be any medical explanation of the ordeal.

Pray for wisdom and discernment for Dr. L as we are at a crossroad and many decisions must be made.

Pray also that Dave and I will be obedient and listen to God as He shows us what’s next.

It is well with my soul.

Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you. Psalm 116:7

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

Another Day of Prayer for Baby – October 22, 2008

First of all, I know there are many people praying daily for us. Some of you have walked this journey with us from Day One. Others began walking with us a few months ago. Maybe you have come across this site for the very first time today. No matter what category you fall into, I know you are praying.

I know this because there are countless comments on this blog from people saying, “I am praying.” I hear it constantly at church and really wherever I go, whoever I see.

It is a tremendous blessing to know so many people are praying us through this time. Many have mentioned, “I wish I could do something to take away the pain.” You can.

PRAY!

And so I’d like to have another Day of Prayer for Baby and all that is to come – whatever that may be.

Here are the 2 things I ask all to join as one accord and pray specifically during the time you select on Wednesday, October 22nd:

1. If I were to open my heart and allow the contents to overflow this is what you would see: I am weary, yet I am strong – only by the grace and strength of God living in me. I am so ready to complete this journey through struggling to conceive and move on to pregnancy and parenthood. Please pray that God would grant me the desire of my heart on October 22nd with positive test results.

2. This second request is a hard one to write. Pray God’s Will be done. It does sound so cliche to say but as much as the above prayer request is in my heart, this prayer request is my heart. My heart belongs to Jesus. Has since I was 8 years old. My life is His. My desires are His. And like I’ve probably said a hundred times now, His Plan is best. Always.

Choose a time, leave your comment telling your time slot, and then sometime during your time lift up these prayer requests to our Lord. He hears our cries.

DAY OF PRAYER FOR BABY 10/22/08

5:00am – 8:00am *Kirsten

7:00am – 8:00am *Diane

8:00am – 9:00am *Norma *Lori *Kirsten

9:00am – 10:00am *Franki and Lowell *Holly *Elaine *Kirsten

10:00am – 11:00am *Aunt Naomi *Leigh *Dena *Kirsten

11:00am – 12:00pm *Jerry and Betty

12:00pm – 1:00pm *Ashlie

1:00pm – 2:00pm *Alesha *Cristina *Aunt Connie

2:00pm – 3:00pm *Leigh

3:00pm – 4:00pm *Melissa

4:00pm – 5:00pm *Angele

5:00pm – 6:00pm *Grandmother Cowsert *Evelynn *Karen

6:00pm – 7:00pm *Leigh

7:00pm – 8:00pm *Beth

8:00pm – 9:00pm *Doc and Jean

9:00pm – 10:00pm *Aunt Elena *Judy

10:00pm – 11:00pm *Kelly *Leigh

11:00pm – 12:00am

Faith

It’s late. I should be in bed. Or I should atleast be working on the scrapbook I am making my Grandmother for her 80th birthday, which is Tuesday. But I can’t concentrate on anything until I sort through today.

FAITH.

Just having faith and believing it will happen is what’s on my heart today.

All the other cycles, and especially the last cycle, I guarded my heart by not getting my hopes too high that I would get positive blood test results. Sounds silly, I know. Why go through all I go through each month to get ready for an insemination. All the drugs, doctor visits, ultrasounds, semen collections, shots, emotional roller coasters just to wait 2-weeks expecting nothing.

I do firmly believe, however, that the purpose of Cycles 1, 2 and 3 was not pregnancy but something far greater.

The work of Jesus Christ is clearly evident as you go back and read previous posts. This is one of the main reasons I started this blog. From the very beginning of this journey I knew God would use my circumstances to do something marvelous. He is definitely doing something marvelous, even now. And I wanted a way to record what He did and is doing.

From the start, I’ve known this is a journey, a pilgrimage. Meaning, I won’t be in these circumstances forever. Somehow, someway, I will be a mother because it is one of the greatest desires of my heart. It’s the somehow and someway that is the hard part because I don’t have the ending of this story…yet. But I know Who holds the writing tablet.

God is a faithful God. I look back on other trials in my life (that now pale in comparison to this one) and I clearly see how God faithfully brought me through the trial. He has never brought me to a trial and left me there. No, trials are meant to be the greatest teachers. It is through trials we learn Who God is and that He has a perfect plan unique just to you.

Alesha (who also had her IUI today) wrote a post a couple days ago about tunnels. That precisely describes trials in our life. In the middle of the tunnel it can be very dark and scary. Yet, He is still there by our side. He has promised never to leave us. He has promised to walk with us. But as time passes, you will see a light at the end of the tunnel. The trial, like the tunnel, is temporary, but the lessons learned while going through the tunnel (trial) are invaluable.

With each cycle I’ve gone through I can look back and see something God wanted to teach me.

Today I can’t stop dwelling on FAITH. The Bible clearly tells us what faith is. It is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. It takes faith to accept God’s free gift of salvation. I’ve accepted God’s free gift of salvation no questions asked. No doubts. I KNOW where I will spend eternity and never do I have to worry.

I feel it is time to have FAITH that I AM PREGNANT!

Allow me to be honest and say that is a scary thing to write. It is so tempting just to move the curser up there and tap, tap, tap the delete button until those words disappear. Each cycle, I’ve always been cautiously optimistic. I’ve guarded myself by allowing myself to hope but then always keeping negative results in the back of my head.

I’m going to take a risk. And I am NOT a risk-taker. At all.

I am going to step out on faith, FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST, and believe that Baby was created TODAY! No more doubts, no more worries. I am just going to BELIEVE.

I know, I know, I could potentially be setting myself up for complete heartbreak.

But it’s ok.

If it is not so, I think I’ve learned my lesson well.

God will have something even better than positive blood test results.

GOD IS FAITHFUL.

God’s Grace Is Sufficient – Yesterday, Today and Forever

**Written Saturday morning, Sept 27**

I do not think I am pregnant. And it is not because I haven’t felt any of the early pregnancy signs. It is also not because I am being pessimistic.

It is because God has taught me so much during last month’s resting cycle and during this IUI cycle.

God has taught me about Who He is – not just what He can do.

From the very start of this journey, I have never doubted that God could allow conception to happen – if He wanted. This comes from a firm belief that it is God and God alone that allows conception to happen. Couples may spend months trying to conceive but ultimately it is God that makes it happen.

So when month after month went by with no conception for me it became very easy to ask God why. Especially, when I knew and believed with all my heart that He alone had the power to make it happen. So why aren’t you, God? Why? It’s not fair. Look at all the people around me that so easily get pregnant. All I want is to be a mother!

That was my heart’s cry for many months.

And then God told me to STOP and BE STILL AND KNOW THAT HE IS GOD.

And it was then that God began teaching me about who He is.

God is a God that loves me with an everlasting love, an eternal love. He is my creator and He has created me just the way he wants me. He knows the number of hairs on my head. And He knows my days before one of them was ever lived.

God is a God who deserves all glory and praise.

Mix these two ingredients together and you get a God who, out of His love for us, desires that our lives paint a beautiful picture of His majesty and glory.

Scripture warns us that in this world we will have troubles. But we are to take heart, knowing God has overcome the world.

Hence, infertility troubles.

And God has indeed overcome these troubles for me – and I haven’t even seen 2 pink lines yet!

God has taught me who He is. And what He can do is really only because of who He is.

God is a God who has a plan for my life that only He can orchestrate.

**Written Sunday morning, Sept. 28**

He is orchestrating this plan even today.

I woke up this morning and took my temperature like I do every morning. My temperature had significantly dropped signifying that sometime soon, probably before the day’s end, my period will start.

Just like cycle 1 and 2, cycle 3 did not result in a pregnancy. However, there is a purpose in everything. And I believe the purpose of cycle 3 was not pregnancy but perspective.

The miracle of today is not a baby growing inside of me. It is something far greater. Today, I lack nothing. Because today I have everything God intended for me to have. He never intended for cycle 3 to be successful.

He intended to teach me who He is. And He has done just that.

So on this 15th cycle of desiring greatly to be pregnant but finding out once again I am not, it is time to put my faith to action and live believing what God has taught me.

If God could mail me a letter I think it would say:

Dear Elaine,

I know today’s news greatly disappoints you. But please trust me. I am at work orchestrating a beautiful plan for you that is far greater than finding out today you are pregnant.

I love you,

Jesus

Today there are tears but there will not be fits of rage because God is a God of marvelous planning. Today I choose to trust in the Lord and know that faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see. (Hebrews 11:1)

God’s Grace is sufficient for me.

PS: I can’t make myself pick up the phone to call people to break the news. So I’m just going to let this post do it for me. Hope you can understand that.