My heart was racing so fast I thought it was going to burst out of my chest. It felt like the depths of my anxiety were about to break through the seams of my soul. Suddenly, I found myself in tears in the midst of making peanut butter fudge on our annual Christmas Baking Day. I tried to hold my exploding emotions in, but suddenly, deep cries came from my mouth and I had no control of what I was feeling.
Earlier that warm December morning I had a Doctors appointment to determine if my uterine lining was ready to move forward with our embryo transfer. My lining has always needed an extra boost to get where it needs to be. With IVF, instead of vaginally inserting medicine, I had to wear patches on my stomach for several weeks to help improve my lining. Mom joined Ryan and I at our appointment that day. Dr. Friedman came in an did an ultrasound and sure enough, my lining was ready. I was so happy. I felt like the timing was working out perfectly. Because my lining was ready I knew we should be able to have the transfer between Christmas and New Years, which was exactly what we had planned.
Following the ultrasound we had a meeting with Dr. Friedman to discuss our embryos. God gave us 14 embryos or snowflakes, as we call them: 8 good, 5 fair, and 1 poor. This was incredible!!! To have this many quality embryos was amazing. I always feel like a celebrity in our clinic because someone is always telling me how beautiful our embryos are. Our Doctor reviewed our embryos with us and pointed to the very top one on our list, “So this is the embryo we will be transferring. I will just need you to sign here…” Suddenly, I was breathing heavy. “Did she just say one?” I kept thinking. “The only thing is, we are planning on transferring 2,” I stated. You could feel the sound of silence in the room. Our Doctor stared at us, eyes wide open. You could certainly tell we through her off. Following those words, our Doctor explained to us why she did not recommend transferring 2 embryos. I knew it was her job to expose all the possible risks involved and of course, it is important for us to be aware of her opinion. However, to be honest, I was devastated to hear her express this to us. I have never been afraid of having twins. My husband and I are both twins, so that “risk” alone, was certainly not a problem to us. And the truth is, no matter how many embryos we chose transfer, whether it was 1 or 2, God already knew what the outcome would be. She told us we wouldn’t need to give her an answer until the day before our transfer.
My heart was consumed with an array of emotions. “How could I only transfer 1? What if it didn’t work? We know so many people who have transferred 2 and got 1 baby. I want to go home.” Our nurse took us to one of the smaller rooms where we chose our transfer day and learned how to do the progesterone shots. To my highest hopes, I thought our transfer day would take place between Christmas and New Years. My lining was ready and I knew our Doctor would be available that week too. Plus, it wouldn’t require any more time off work from either of us. So, everything seemed to be working in our favor… Until it wasn’t. Our nurse opened the calendar, and we had just a couple dates to choose from nearly 3 weeks out. “Are you serious?” We ended up choosing January 9th. Ry thought it would be easier for him to get a Friday off work and I would have the weekend to be on bed rest.
Suddenly, my eyes were welting with tears. This was not how “we” planned it. Our nurse Dori was preparing to show us how to do our shots. “I need to stop for a second,” I said as my tears consumed my eyes. My mind was racing. God’s timing isn’t always our timing. I should know that by now, but I was disappointed. I knew we had to get through this and learn how to administer this shot. I took a deep breathe in. “Okay, lets go.” The progesterone shot looked like it was going to be intense. There was a lot involved and the needle was long! Dori went though the protocols for the transfer and the only thing we needed to do moving forward was make sure I got all my medications and make a decision regarding our embryos.
We left our clinic and knew we had a lot to think about. Since our transfer was much further away than I expected, we at least had time to think about our decision. Looking back now, I see timing worked out exactly how it should have as we desperately needed that time in order to make our decision.
As we headed home, I saw I missed a text from one of my girlfriends. It read “We are having a girl.” I tried not to let it bother me and chose not to respond because I knew my heart wasn’t in the place I wanted it to be in in order to respond with the love and joy I truly felt for her. So, I waited and we drove home.
We got to my parents house where we started cookie baking…finally. I wanted to just enjoy this special tradition and bury everything I was feeling. I found a peanut butter fudge recipe I was planning on making. Our family loves peanut butter. Before I got started I got a phone call from a girlfriend and the words I have heard so many times came yet again face to face with me.
Timing couldn’t have been more worse. That was the icing on the cake for me that day. As I stirred the fudge, I couldn’t hold it in anymore. Tears came like a rainstorm down my cheeks. My mind was overwhelmed with the many emotions of the day, but my heart was consumed with only jealousy and bitterness at that moment. I kept thinking: “she’s pregnant and I spent my morning learning how to inject shots into my ass, so IF I get pregnant I will STAY pregnant.” I look back and think about how ugly those thoughts were, but sometimes really painful moments can bring the worst out of you. Mom, Ryan, and my sister, Danielle, came and held me in their arms. It certainly wasn’t one of my proudest moments, but this journey is hard. I was not excited her. If I am being entirely honest and vulnerable with the raw feelings that clouded my heart that day, I was hurt. “When is it going to be my turn? How could she tell me she is pregnant on this day (like she knew what this day was for me)? Why her, and not me?” But the truth is, the emotions I was feeling that day had nothing to do with my friend and her wonderful news. There was way more going on in my heart and it had already been a pretty difficult day for me. It was simply bad timing.
Over the past few years, I have learned to handle news like this with love and grace. My heart has always been to embrace that special moment with my friends all seeking the same thing I am: a family. However, that day, was a hard day for me to find out that anyone was pregnant!! Grace. Once again, I was learning the importance of walking this journey with grace. Having grace for your friends, family, people who know you and don’t know you, and most importantly, yourself. And sometimes I need people to have grace for me.
God loves me so much… even when my ugly heart exploded out from me that day. He has grace for me continually, so when I am presented with a hard day, I have learned to also have grace for myself because ultimately through grace God is continually building and strengthening me to be exactly who He has called me to be. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 1 Peter 5:10 Grace has taught me to be patient and trust in all God is doing because His plans and His timing are more perfect than anything I could have ever created for myself. So, as we wait, I trust in what He is doing and know that He is always good and faithful.