Lean on God… He’s always there.


My daughter’s recent IVF cycle was unsuccessful. She will begin again in 3 months. It seems life is returning to normal… what their normal has become.

I think it’s important to note before I go on when it comes to my daughter I am her biggest supporter and love her with more than all of my heart. I love her with my soul, with every breath I take, with everything I am.

She commented that people can’t understand what this loss feels like. I thought for a moment and disagreed with her. Of course her initial reaction was anger and disbelief that I would say that.

I tried to explain… Everyone has experienced some life event that has caused pain, sadness, loss, and perhaps a feeling of being alone. No one is exempt from emotional pain. NO ONE. While others may not be dealing with infertility there are people everywhere dealing with grief and loss for many different reasons. Can we pick these individuals out at the grocery store? the mall? in the workplace? probably not. Does that mean their pain is any less real? Have we encountered people in various stages of grief and loss and misjudged them as being grumpy, miserable, quiet ? It would be great if thought bubbles appeared above our heads depicting what we were going thru. But that just isn’t so.

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Many times in my life I have been surprised by what another was going through. While their “story” was tragic their journey was inspiring and up lifting. In every instance when I asked the individual how they were able to be so strong, inspiring they responded; it was with the help of God, the grace of God. This answer was familiar to me. I too know God has been there when I experienced the worst days of life. The year my parents died (21 days apart) I never stepped out of bed – God lifted me onto my feet. I know this because the first 30 seconds of each new day was like the movie 50 First Dates. Sadness and despair flooded in as I relived that feeling of “oh no, it’s true, they both are gone”
I would not have participated in life if God hadn’t place me on my feet each day and walked along side me, truth be told many days He carried me.


I tried to enter unchartered waters … her feelings of abandonment from others -family and friends that knew she was going through IVF and didn’t reach out. I want her to soften her heart, have her see it from a different angle, not only for them but for her. I wanted to take some of the load off her shoulders.

Friends and family may seem aloof or uncaring but while we have been so consumed with her journey have we considered what their struggles may be? Maybe the thought bubble above their heads would reveal something we didn’t know, maybe they are going through something that is deeply personal and pain evoking. Have we been so involved with “us” we haven’t been there for them?
I asked her if her journey has caused her to treat others differently? A long  pause…Her BFF had her first child, a little girl, 2 months ago and my daughter still has not seen the baby. It is too painful for her… does her bff understand? Has she even told her how difficult it is for her?

I wasn’t trying to make her feel guilty, I wanted her to see that people make decisions based on where they are in their life, the intention is not to hurt others but to protect themselves. I understand why she hasn’t visited the baby. I wanted her to see how easy it is to hurt someone you care about without meaning to. For her to heal she needs to let go of her anger and look into her heart.
Her response was not what I expected… but also not what I hoped for either. I realize the pain is still too great for her to get out of her “thought bubble”.

The pain of infertility has made her like an exposed nerve … the pain is raw and easily elicited. I don’t judge her for this, my answer of course is to pray over it and to be by her side.

Falling back onto God

So here it is fall again,
I have to be honest I wasn’t so fond of autumn for most of my life.
It was the season that saddened me; all the beautiful summer flowers would soon die, the leaves turning vibrant colors, transforming the landscape and quickly dying and becoming a nuisance as they cover the yard requiring raking.

Fall was sad because nature was preparing for Winter and with that it seemed like Mother Nature’s “gifts” were dying as she prepared. Winter is the quintessential season of barrenness. I never have and still do not like Winter

Spring is the promise of new life, trees are blooming, flowers are popping through the soil, the warm sun on your shoulders and a light breeze promising to keep you comfortable.

Summer is sunshine,  school is out and children are playing outdoors, pool parties and late nights on the deck with just the light from the citronella candles.

At some point fall stopped saddening me and became a season I enjoyed. It’s the time of the year when pumpkin spice is reborn in every way ( lattes, donuts, candles etc).
Doors become adorned with warm orange, red and yellow wreaths and scarecrows seem to move into everyone’s neighborhood with their friend the mum! It’s a beautiful color palette that brings smiles to those passing by.

 

I get sucked up in the fall decorating frenzy every year but this year it’s different.
I’m buying excessive amounts of new decorations, decorations that I already have something very similar to. Is there much difference between them?? Perhaps the new item is a shade lighter in color, maybe my fall Blessing sign has a 2 leaves and the new one has an acorn. Did I really need to buy something so similar ???

I wonder…. am I going crazy???? Spending close to $500 in three days!!!
Now some items need to be bought annually … pumpkins, corn stalks etc.
The “twinning” items ? I’m not convinced I needed to.

I can’t seem to feel happy this year and I realize the new decorations and craziness is not about “fall” it’s about the my daughter’s failed IVF cycle, finding out that neither of the 2 embryo’s transferred survived.
Fall is again leading into a long cold winter and Spring will not awaken with a baby.
All of our hearts were broken and unprepared for the news despite knowing the failure rates. Somehow those rates didn’t apply to my daughter until she was a part of those statistics. How I hate minimizing the process  just by saying those words.

As I looked at all the items I bought, signs and plaques  with..

Give Thanks!

Autumn Blessings
This house is full of Blessed people and all are welcome to enter.

I saw the common thread…
While my heart knew God has a plan and I trust and believe in Him my mind wasn’t on the same page.
Until I let my mind feel what my heart has to say… I would not be happy.

My heart lead me to items with  words of encouragement and hope to fill my shelves and walls as a reminder not to lose sight of this.

Giving thanks and acknowledging our Blessings. Now I’m convinced I needed to have these new items.. I needed to fall back onto God!

Family road trip with God

So we are a few days out from the “big day” – the day of truth … the pregnancy blood work.Was the transfer a success ? We were feeling very optimistic and then … 

the bleeding began. My daughter was told not to worry this happens in 50% of pregnancies and is more common with IVF and when more then 1 embryo is transferred.

So I begin to rationalize – Ok she had IVF and had 2 embryos transferred so ……. I should just relax but NEITHER of us can. I offer no false hopes or say things like “it’s going to be ok” as I have learned they are not helpful. I do the only thing I can do, I hold her small hand within mine and tell her I love her. I fight back tears because I want to remain strong for her and I place my insanely large sunglasses on my face and hope she doesn’t see the tears fill my eyes.

I want to fix this, I want to make it ok, but it is out of my control.
Her husband and father have suddenly taken on new roles; they are reassuring us.

Each are offering words of wisdom, facts found with the help of Dr Google and Twitter. Social media and the inernet can make the average joe appear so knowledgeable.

It is sweet to see the role reversal the men in our lives have embraced wanting to make everything better despite our fears … despite their fears. They are hoping to lessen our fears or are they trying to convince themselves not to worry?

I’m unsure which it is but I don’t look to deeply into it. 

It’s while I’m driving wearing the ridiculous sunglasses like a 60’s car model

 that I realize that I have to give this up to God, I can not change the outcome no matter how much I want to. I can pray over it and trust and believe He has a plan. I knew this all along but I guess I needed to drive 50 miles to come “home” to trust my roots in His higher power. I know he is on this trip with all of us as he is always along for the ride.

                                              
As I lay my head down tonight I will pray His plan brings my daughter happiness.

I won’t try to barter with God or promise extravagant changes I’ll simply give it over and trust.

Starting her family – God was there

So we are 5 days post transfer and I had the wonderful experience of being in the OR and seeing the miracle of God up front and personal. 2 embryos survived to day 5, both were transferred as I held my daughter’s hand and watched on the ultrasound screen. They were placed exactly were the doctor wanted them and what will be their home for the next 40 weeks (please !!)

For some IVF is out of their wheelhouse to consider it God’s work … but it is…
God was there allowing the embryologist to make the connection between the egg and sperm
God was there keeping the 2 alive and growing waiting for day 5 and the transfer
He created their life as he does all others – the location of conception is in material.
It was through him!
I was there when God allowed a miracle to occur and I was in awe of Him!

Family-Control- infertility

I watch my daughter sleep and remember her as a child. She was always very loving, wanted my undivided attention and a little bossy. She would tell her younger siblings what to do and her brother did, until he was about 10; it was around that time the two didn’t seem as close. She is only 18 months older than him but she truly believed in birth order and hierarchy. Her sister was a little older, probably closer to 16 when she stopped “doing as told” but she is 4 years younger and this played a part. It was not unusual for me to have the “I’m the mother and your the child” talk weekly. She needed to be in control.

Did she know that her future would be filled with so many things out of her control? Was she learning how to over analyze and cautiously make decisions because so many were going to be made for her? Somehow I believe she knew.

As a teenager she became seriously ill and spent 10 years in and out of hospitals, seeing many doctors and struggling to find her place in society. High school, college, and finding a job were very difficult for her. She lost the ability to control almost every aspect of her life.

Each time her health plummeted the entire family would mourn the loss of security, happiness, and freedom that good health affords.

It was at this time I noticed her and her siblings were close again, her brother became her protector and carried the weight of her illness on his shoulders because he felt he needed to. There were periods of wellness and he happily gave her back her power.

He no longer fought her bossiness he embraced it, it meant she was well … she was back.

Dealing with infertility and the inability to conceive without assistance of IVF is deja vu.
There is the loss of control again, she can’t control this journey… and neither can we.

A Family Struggles 

So we’re less than 24 hours out from retrieval (# of folliclesare great, size is where they should be, lining is wonderful and we learn my son in laws’s sperm count has dropped to zero. Everything was on track and now this set back. Issues at the lab and miscommunication to the physician on their viability now have them with really no options.

A fresh cycle is off. The ability for any to survive freezing is very low. Yes they can have him produce a new sample but science says it won’t be what they need. They are trying to decide the next step. I forgot my senses and began to offer hope, solutions, which I know she considered unsolicited advice. I promised myself to be a better mom and I blew it!! I tell her I love her and now try to listen. I hold back my desire to give advice. 

This is such an incredibly personal issue I can’t find the words to console him. I’m so sad to hear this; I find an excuse to escape but feel guilty because they can’t escape it. 

I needed to walk away, cry in private and then return when able to listen and just be there for her. 

Infertility is such a painful process and I am sorry I never realized this before. Were there times I was less than understanding when a co worker was experiencing this? Probably. Did I act like Suzie Sunshine instead of a neutral sounding board? Definitely. 

This is a horrible thing that so many are struggling with. I think there needs to be more awareness and education. 

HELP … Please

I’m at a happy place or so I think, something I wasn’t so sure would happen. Fear and uncertainty are something I can’t seem to let go of.

My daughter is well and she is on target for stimulation. Retrieval should be in a few days. The number of follicles are good and the growth is even better. I have taken vacation time to be there for retrieval and transfer as she has opted for a fresh cycle this time. 
She continues to be fearful and unsure. She has resolved to look to “Dr. Google” and Twitter for affirmation that her course is on target. I feel helpless because as a health care professional I know each patient/case is different. 

I don’t say anything other than words of encouragement based on what she has shared. I know she needs positivity but I wish she wouldn’t let the journey of others provide either hope or doubt. 

As a mom I feel powerless. I continue to smile when she is happy and try to provide hope when doubtful. I often find myself asking God to please take care of my child. To not offer false hope, to provide me with the tools necessary to help her should this not work. Most importantly I ask PLEASE LET THIS WORK!!

Please don’t hurt my child.

How does anyone get through this?

Any words of wisdom are so welcome!!

I want to be the best mom I can be 

but this is not in my wheel house.