Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Babies Babies Babies

In the past few months there have been lots of babies being born to family and friends, and families in our church. Children are a blessing. They are a miracle. These little tiny perfectly formed people. It seems like a given. You get married and then have kids. But sometimes it’s not that easy.

We got married later than many couples. I was 34 and Nate was almost 31. I was never worried about the baby thing until I hit 35. That seems to be the age where your chances of conceiving start to get slimmer. We were trying, but nothing was happening. Month after month was a letdown. People would ask me was I pregnant yet. I sadly replied no. When I turned 35, I decided to take charge and be more proactive about getting pregnant. We saw a fertility specialist who did some tests and suggested an IUI. It’s a pretty simple procedure. We did a couple of those and then added fertility drugs. I was sure that would work and maybe even get us twins. Nope. Nothing. We made the decision to try IVF. In Vitro is the test tube thing, or I guess petri dish. This would work. It had to. We found a great clinic with a great reputation and results. The doctors at the clinic said because of my age, our chances of having a baby with the IVF process was about 25-35 percent. I had to take birth control pills to manipulate my cycle. I felt crabby most of the time from these. Next came the daily hormone shots into my leg. Toward the end of that I just couldn’t do it anymore and made my wonderful husband give me the shots. Then came the day we were waiting for. It was early September. Harvest time! The procedure was somewhat uncomfortable, but had to be done. The doctor would then work on fertilizing the eggs in the lab. He thought an ICSI process would be our best bet considering our odds. That’s when a single sperm is injected into an egg. It’s faster than waiting for a little sperm to find its way around in the petri dish. We would return in a few days and I would be implanted with an embryo or two depending on how many we had. The night before the scheduled implantation, the doctor called and said they had to do a rescue ICSI for one of the cells. We still felt that things were going just fine. The next morning we were so excited and happy. This was really going to happen. I was going to go to the clinic and get pregnant!

But it was not to be. As we were getting ready to leave for the clinic, the doctor called and told us the cells had stopped dividing. There was no embryo. There was nothing to implant. It was devastating and depressing. We took a trip to Hawaii to attend the wedding of some good friends. It was nice to get away from our situation and celebrate with them, but the fact remained that there would be no baby for us. Maybe this was how women who miscarried felt. Even though no baby had been inside of me, there was such a feeling of grief and loss. The doctor then told us that because of the failed IVF our chances of conceiving with assistance was now about 15 percent. What a kick in the gut. My eggs were getting old and were poor quality. We could try another IVF in a few months if we wanted to. We would think about it. We also considered adoption.

A couple of months later, I was feeling kind of strange. We had not yet started on a second round of IVF. My sister was in town for a visit. Just for the hell of it, I thought I’d take a home pregnancy test. I still had some tests in my drawer. No way! Positive? How could that be? We went and bought a different brand test and I took it. That one was also positive! I called the IVF clinic to ask them if I could possibly still have hormones in my body from the IVF that would give a positive result on a pregnancy test. They said probably not and for me to come in and get a blood test. They would be able to tell from the numbers whether or not I was pregnant. We stopped by the clinic on the way to the airport to drop off my sister for her flight back to Charlotte. She was as excited as I was about a possible baby. She wanted a little niece or nephew. The clinic called after she got on the plane and said the numbers indicated that something was definitely growing in me! How in the world did this happen I wondered. We were pregnant. The clinic seemed to think that perhaps my system was off, and that by going through the IVF process, it had straightened out. Hmm, okay.

In July of 2001, our miracle baby Miles was born. He came into the world breech, and has insisted on doing things his way ever since. I later reflected about how faithful God had been through everything. We had really wanted a baby. We had done all these things to make it happen, but failed. It was a huge reminder that He is in control of everything. He was in control of my fertility, not me. God wanted to bless us with children, but on His terms and in His timing so that the glory would go to him not to us or the doctors.


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