Second IVF trial failed, but not our faith.

I was making muffins when I heard the all to familiar beep from my phone letting me know that I had a voice mail. I dropped everything, searched my purse for my phone and saw that fertility clinic had called. I phoned them back while finishing off my muffins. In the meantime, my son and his friend were having lunch and making fun at my multi-tasking skills.

When I finally got the doctor on the other line, she started with : “Miriam, I don’t have good news for you.”

She was then explaining the next steps to take….wait another month….your body needs to rest….blablabla and I was just replying with a “yes” and a uhuh”, trying to fight back the tears.

When I hung up the phone, I left my muffins, tried not to make any eye contact with my son or his friend and made it for the living room. When I shut the door, I let the warm tears flow. My son, knowing me all to well, had followed me and gave me hugs and kisses. I’m glad that I wasn’t alone, but I still felt like I had to be strong and so again, I was pushing the tears back, making it hard for me to swallow. Since then, I haven’t cried anymore, but I feel the urge to now and then. I just want to run away, be alone, and cry, cry, cry.

Stupid progesterone!!! Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!. Making me feel nauseous, my breasts tender, tired and everything I felt last time I was pregnant. Yet I was not. 

A few days before the blood test, I was again searching the infertility forums for symptoms and stuff. ‘How long after a transfer can you test with a home test?’, ‘How long after a transfer do you start getting pregnancy symptoms?’  When I came across the new song form JJ Heller called ‘Who You are’. ( I was listening to the new Christian song releases somewhere)

The first verse goes :

 

All she wanted was a baby to hold
She’s still waiting, at 41 years old
Her life feels like a tragedy
And it’s driving her down to her knees

She says I don’t know,
I don’t know what you’re doing
But I know who You are

 

I was hoping that this wasn’t a sign, just like when I was singing “You give and take away” the day before I found out my baby’s heart wasn’t beating last December… 

But I have been repeating and repeating those lines to myself “I don’t know, I don’t know what you’re doing, but I know who You are” ever since I heard it the first time.

 What does that mean? That means that even when I don’t understand why things happen, I know that God is love, mercy and comfort to all those who believe. I know that God is in control. I know that He has a plan for my life, our life, whatever it is. It’s like when I was frustrated at not finding my birth family after searching for so many years and that I just decided to let it go and trust God. His plan was much bigger than I could have ever expected or wanted. So again, I choose to trust in Him.

 11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare[a] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29 : 11

 

 “Father God, I know that you know the prayer in my heart, which is for another child. I pray that your will may be done in this matter. While another child is my greatest wish for myself and my husband, I know that my will is not important. All I can ask Father, is that you help me to be joyful and accepting no matter what the circumstance. I pray for your guidance regarding the timing of our next cycle and the way to go about it and for your support and love while I endure the physical and emotional challenges it will bring.”

 

Our reasons for IVF: Christian parents

As I said in my previous post, I’m going to explain to you why we choose to do In Vitro and our point of view as Christians. This is OUR point of view, we do not have the right to judge others and so we don’t. I am sure that other Christians dealing with infertility have prayed prayed prayed about their situation and have chosen to do fertility treatment or not. This is a personal question only left up to the couple and to God.

Before I start, let me explain. I already have two “children”. A son of 17 yo and a 19 yo daughter. I was 15 and 17 yo when I had them. I have never regretted having them, instead of “holding me back” or “missing out”, they in the contrary embellished my life and they are everything to me. It doesn’t take away the fact that I was very young. Now that I am 34 and have a wonderful husband and a stable income, I would love to have a child with him. My husband also has a 10 yo daughter who lives with us every other week.

Why did we choose to do In Vitro?

I suffer from a serious form of Endometriosis. Endometriosis is a female health disorder that occurs when cells from the lining of the womb (uterus) grow in other areas of the body. This can lead to pain, irregular bleeding, and problems getting pregnant. In my case, I regularly form cysts, chocolate cysts the doctors call it because they are filled with old blood. I need surgery every so often to remove them, and them in December 2011, they had to remove my left fallopian tube because it was damaged beyond repair. The right fallopian tube is totally blocked, but the surgeon left it there because he knew that my husband and I wanted to have children together. We had just gotten married. The surgeon did tell us that it was only a matter of time before they would have to remove the other tube, due to pain and infections. So we had limited time.

Still, we waited, prayed and talked to other Christians, asking their point of view. Many told us that God can work in mysterious ways and that we needed to be patient, but we didn’t have much time. And I do believe in healing from God, but I equally believe that he has giving doctors the gift as well. Plus, I never heard of a fallopian tube growing back? Ha, you never know.

Anyway, we visited a fertility doctor last summer. We had already been to his office almost a year before, and when he asked us why we took so long to make a decision, we told him that we were Christians. Not something very common here in Belgium and you could see the surprise on his face. Anyway, we explained to him our beliefs and what we wanted and what we definitely didn’t want. No destroying of embryos. I think that when you are a Christian, you must speak to your doctor frankly. Many people don’t think that an embryo is a life yet because it doesn’t have a heartbeat, but it is a creation. It’s alive, it’s growing and it has DNA. It might not have a heartbeat, it doen’t look like a baby, yet, all the qualities are there and it has the potential to become a human being. Again, it’s a creation from me and my husband. From a mother and a father. A fetus is just as much human as a human who is already born. Just how “child” and “adult” are words describing stages in a human’s life, so is the term “fetus.” It just describes an unborn life.

Getting off track here. So, being honest with our doctor helped a lot. Many women really want to have as many follicles (potential eggs) as possible. I didn’t but when my three follicles only resulted in my having just one egg…well, I was disappointed, because, after hearing all the stories and people telling you that the chances are slim, well, 1 egg doesn’t give you much chance, does it? But our doctor said ‘you only need one egg’. Our egg did become an embryo, a top embryo the laboratory told us and after two days, they put our emmy back. Ten days later, I found out that I was pregnant. One egg. It was a miracle in our eyes. God has given me what I had asked for, just like Hannah in the book of Samuel, she was barren and childless, she asked God for a child, and He granted her Samuel.

“I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him.” 1 Samuel 1:27

But for reasons that I or no one else can understand, this emmy died in my womb.

When you go through a miscarriage, a woman tends to blame herself first. I shouldn’t have done this, I shouldn’t have eaten that. Maybe if I would have done this or that….but in the end, sometimes nature just takes over. We have mourned our unborn child, but we know where he/she is, and the fact that I became pregnant instantly, with just one egg, has been a miracle in our eyes.

This has been a couple of months ago. I am now in my second trial. We are doing the antagonist protocol in a natural cycle. I am again on Gonal F (low dose) and started Certrotide yesterday. If any of you have done or are doing treatment and have used Certrotide as well, please tell me the itchiness is normal. Arg. Looked like I had a mosquito bite after the shot. But it’s all back to normal now. On the ultrasound yesterday, I had 5 follicles  The doctor is waiting for three of them to be big enough and we will hopefully be doing the pick up next week. There can be three eggs, or none, you never know. I’m just hoping for one good one. God still stays in control, no matter what.

Trial number two! Fingers crossed.

Ugh! I just came back from a fun morning in the hospital.

After miscarrying in December, I wanted to re-start the fertility treatment as quickly as possible so when with my following menstruation the doctor told me NO GO because of another cyst (I have endometriosis, so I get cysts like somebody who gets zits) I was so disappointed. I needed to wait for my next menstruation and hopefully the cyst would be gone by then. But no, that’s my luck, the cyst was still there and even bigger than before. Meaning that the doctor decided to suck the sucker out today. And that’s what happened this morning. Bye bye cyst this morning, hello hormones tonight. I’m so totally looking forward to using my tummy as a needle cushion again. N-O-T!

So here we go. Trial number two. I just need to surrender my wishes to the will of God and know that if it’s meant to happen, it will.

BTW, yes i am a Christian woman who chooses for IVF. I used to be ashamed about it at times…plus other Christians are very ‘generous’ about giving their opinion, without even being fully educated over the matter. So, I’ll elaborate on the subject of why IVF was right for us and can be a blessing from God in my next post.

God bless people, have a great almost weekend and keep my in your thoughts please!

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Unplanned staying-at-home mom

I’ve been made redundant a month ago. It couldn’t have come at a better time. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed because I was juggling a full time job, a household plus the three kids. As soon a I calmed down after the initial shock of being ‘letting go’ I could actually start thinking of all the wonderful things I could now actually do. The great big spring cleaning, getting my butt to the gym, cooking and baking, blogging and spending some quality time with the family instead of collapsing on my bed at 9 pm in exhaustion.

Ok, I am bit stressed about how we will do financially in the future, but I’m sure that God wanted me to be with my family now. Some things have happened and to be honest, had this all happened while I still had to go to work, I can’t see how we could have coped.

So, like I said, it’s been a month now and there has ALWAYS been someone at home with me, in sick mode. So instead of doing the stuff I was planning on doing, I had to be tending to the sick. Seriously, everyone has been sick , my husband, the kids even the cat will be having an operation tomorrow. I know it must come across as if I’m not enjoying it…but to be honest, I kind of am. All those years that I’ve had to take time off or felt guilty about not being able to nurse my family back to health, or just not being able to be there whenever they needed me. I’m so grateful for being at home right now, even though I haven’t had a moment to myself yet. But, God, I would really appreciate just one day… soon…please? Ha!

God has showed me that sometimes the best things in life are completely unplanned.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)

 

knock knock

I’m a mummy in mourning

I’ve never really enjoyed Christmas that much before I met my husband but every year since we met, it was getting better and better. This year especially. I couldn’t wait to put up the Christmas decorations. My husband and kids were joking around in their Christmas hats and I couldn’t resist to taking loads of pictures and sharing them on Instagram. Then when our beautiful tree was all done up, we took a few pictures of us sitting next to it. Well, a few is not the word,  I was horrified at how fat I looked on the pictures, so I made everyone move around until I looked less fat. Me looking less fat was only possible by me sitting on the bottom of the stairs, between two of my kids and directing  the camera to just above my waist. Still I though that I looked hideous, but I calmed myself down with the idea that next year, we would be holding our new addition to the family in next year’s Christmas pictures. Yep, I was pregnant. But two days before Christmas, I was bleeding heavily, the doctor reassured me and said that it was due to a blood cloth next to the baby, not to worry and so Christmas came, and I received a knitted bonnet from my sister -in -law, but the Friday after Christmas , the doctor couldn’t see a heartbeat and on New Year’s eve, I spent it in the ICU, having a miscarriage.

Despite our great loss, I can’t imagine not experiencing the joy that we did over our child’s conception.  I can’t imagine not sharing in the love of our child with our family and friends, or sharing it with the world.  I can’t imagine not learning the difficult but beautiful lessons about life and death that we have through this experience.  Losing our child through miscarriage does not undo all that was done.  The baby was conceived.  He or She was loved.  I was blessed to carry the him/her.  We are all blessed to carry him now in our hearts till we meet him again.  I want every woman to know that her child’s life, her experience in carrying her daughter or son, is a gift, no matter how it’s packaged. He just got the heaven before we did, he is already home.

I dedicate this video of ‘Glory Baby’ by Watermark to our lost baby.

Why would you read the Bible? Bus adventures

 

So, sitting on the bus today reading my kindle and this lady comes and sits next to me. She starts chatting away which I don’t mind and we ended up talking about a lot of stuff. It was really nice. Then she looks at my kindle and asks,

what are you reading?

I answer :”The Bible“.

She looked at me with surprise in her eyes, looking like she was trying to figure out if I was joking but when she saw that I was serious

she asked “why would you do that?”

I said because “It teaches me about Jesus and it helps me in life. It’s kind of like a life manual, you can find many answers in it”

“Oh” was her only response.

She fell silent for the rest of the journey (prolly thinking that I’m a nutter, like some do…)so, I just prayed for her. I don’t care what people think, I care about how God thinks of me.

 

My kids and me (1996)

God loves the pregnant teen

Wow, your little brother is so cute” …said a couple of elderly ladies while peeping into the baby the carriage that I was pushing around during a shopping trip. I took a deep breath like many times before and said;

“Well thank you, but he’s actually my second child”.

And there it was. The expression of stupor upon these ladies faces. I’ve come to anticipate this reaction and have grown used to it.

Still to this day, 18 years after my eldest child was born, I still notice the ill concealed shocked faces when telling people the ages of my children.

By the age of 17, I was a mother to two children. Having had my eldest at 15 years old and 11 months. Her brother quickly followed 22 months after.

In those days, I’ve always seemed to be an oddity. Nowadays you will regularly hear about teenage pregnancies, they even make shows about them as if it has become normal and as if it’s a glamorous life. But when I was a young mom 18 years ago, it still was pretty much the scandal. I had people staring at my belly while waiting in line in the grocery store and I had kids yelling foul names at me in the street. It left me feeling ashamed, yet, I couldn’t wait to meet the little girl growing inside of me.

I’ve had many people come up to me and ask the same questions over and over and you can see that people stereotype teen parents. They usually think of us as stupid, irresponsible, selfish, promiscuous and more, regardless the situation we are in and without knowing us.

Here are some recurring questions (and answers) that people would ask me.

  • “How old are you?”

People usually ask first how old my children are and then ask me how old I am…then you quickly see them making the calculations in their mind. So I quickly tell them, yes, I was almost 16 with my first and 17 with my second —SHOCK!

  • “Do they have the same father?”

This question really baffled me at the start. What does that have anything to do with anything? Or how could someone actually ask it, it seemed really rude to me and still does. The answer is yes, they do have the same father and someone actually responded “Oh thank God”…I’m still trying to figure out why, I guess it’s the assumption that we are all promiscuous.

  • “Did you want to have the baby or was it an accident?”
I didn’t plan my first baby. I was on birth control, but apparently not taking it properly. I’ll save you the details. Our second baby came naturally, I wasn’t on birth control so I knew that I could get pregnant again. We (the parents) were by that time living together and the baby was welcome.
  • “Where you scared when you found out?”

YES! Plain and simple.
  • “Did you ever consider abortion?”

Others considered it for me. Being an adoptee and not having the best of experiences while growing up with my adopted divorcee mother, adoption was out of the question. Not an option I had to fight my mother allot , but in the end, it was my choice to keep my baby and no one could force me otherwise.
  • How did the father react?”

I rather not talk about him out of respect for my children. He has always been a part of their lives but we separated around the time of the birth our second child.
  • “Don’t you feel like you missed out during your teen years?”

Missed out on what? The road that would/could have been mine, didn’t look that great. I was living with my adoptive mother who is an alcoholic and was very abusive. I needed to take care of myself since my parents divorced when I was thirteen. I had to take care of myself because ‘the mother’ was constantly in and out of psychiatric wards and when she was home, she was either in the local pub or passed out in the couch. I was planning on ending my life before finding out that I was pregnant and still to this day, I see my teen pregnancy as a blessing. I see it as an event that has saved and changed my life.
Because of my daughter, I had a reason to live. I had a reason to fight in life and that’s what I did. I didn’t feel alone any more because I had someone who was actually a part of me, my blood and whom I knew really loved me.

My kids and me (1996)

I am in no way, advertising teenage pregnancy because it’s not glamorous, it’s not easy it’s not something you should plan. I’m just trying to share with you, how I experienced it. I was scared, ashamed and emotional and unfortunately didn’t have the support I needed from my parents at that time. My father living across the ocean and my mother was just not capable and still isn’t. I felt like God hated me and that I would never be close to Him again, because there was no one around to explain to me that this is NOT how God works. Instead, people chose to judged me.
What I really needed to know then and what I would like share with other girls now is that no matter what, God loves you! It’s not because you made a mistake that God will leave you, He will be there on your new journey into motherhood, if you will just let Him. There is nothing that you can do that will make God stop loving you. Nothing. All children are blessings from God and He has a plan for each one (Psalm 139:13-18). Even if the circumstances in which they come may be less than ideal, that child is as precious and loved by God as any other.
And the pregnant girl is just as precious to God.
To you parents dealing with a pregnant teen, I want to let you know that God does give the best direction to follow. He can show you how to respond and flourish in spite of the less than ideal situations. He will guide you to make good decisions, He will work miracles that open up hope where none existed and through it all He will be a constant companion who will bring peace in your heart. I know this because He has done it for me and He made us a promise in the Old Testament : “For God has said, ‘I will never fail you. I will never forsake you’” ~ Hebrews 13:5
Put your faith in God. You will never be disappointed!
God is a powerful God and He can even make a blessing out of our sin. The biggest blessing in my life are my children, He has made me how I am today, through them.
“and we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” ~ Romans 8:28 (ESV)
Video

The WorshipMob did the job

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. My soul is downcast within me ~Psalm 42:5-6a

David penned down exactly, in Psalms, how I am feeling today. I haven’t had the best of day yet and I’m at a loss for words right now, so I’m just share with some a something that I’ve just discovered on the internet . The Worshipmob! If you have never heard of them yet, look them up! I watched a couple of their video’s on their YouTube channel and the one titled “Forever lifted Higher” just lifted me up. I ended up watching it over and over again and singing along in praise and feeling my sorrow slowly leaving me. Thank you guys!

WorshipMob – The Worship Mob prays and worships together, & shares Real Live Worship music as free mp3 downloads & YouTube videos.

 

Check there website out and definitely go over to their YouTube channel! See what you can expect from the clip underneath.

Making God your number 1

You shall have no other gods before me ~~ Exodus 20:3 (ESV)

I’ve been at home for some weeks now due to my back. I’ve been enjoying this restful ME-time. In the morning once the kids and hubby have left the house, I’ve tried to make it a habit to have God time first. You know, have a cup of tea and read the bible. I actually use the ESV program online and turn on the narrator because lately my attention span is left for wanting and so the narrator helps me to concentrate. I use the daily bible ready tool. Two chapters in the OT, a couple of verses in Psalms now and then two chapters in the NT. Once I’m done with that, I read up on my daily devotions subscriptions and then I feel like I’ve done what I needed to do today. There you go God, now it’s me time. Talk to later, before I go to bed.

That sounds wrong, doesn’t it? That’s not the only thing wrong in my routine lately because, instead of first ‘God time’, I’m doing ‘web surfing’ time. I first read the newspapers online (I’m a news freak) while the kids are having breakfast, then I mosy on over to Facebook to see what’s happening there, then I wish everyone a good morning on Twitter and then of course I have to read all the tweets. Then I see an interesting an headline “Murder by starvation” A Victorian depiction of the gang’s cruelty causing the death of Harriet Staunton and her son Tommy…and so of course I HAVE to google all I can find out about that story, because I am a history nerd as well, then wikipedia..and on and on and on!

Does this sound familiar? Or am I a nutt case, lol. Anyway, that’s what was going on this morning when God reminded me of His presence. If I tell you how, you will definitely think of me as a nutt case, so I’m keeping that for myself, for now. But let’s just say that I have become finely attuned to when God is trying to say something.

I’m not going to lecture people on how and when then should have God time, I just want to point out that God wants us to put Him first, that’s why He said in Exodus that we shall not have any other gods. Meaning that we shall not have other idols. Idols ? Yeah, things that keep your focus off of God. Usually it’s things you think you can’t do without. Addictions, those are idols. A person, that can be an idol too. Money? Wanting more and more to whatever cost? Definitely an idol. For me, one of my idols, because I have many that I try to repent of, is the internet. I’m addicted. I need to have my iPhone, iPad or laptop somewhere in the vicinity. Travelling to Canada this summer is already making me nervous because of the lack of WiFi on the plane (yes, I looked it up). So, when God nudge me this morning, I turned again to prayer. Wow, two days in the row that God has humbled me and shown me the points I need to improve. He is to be our number-one priority, with no exceptions. That means that God is over me.  His wishes come before mine.  I must choose to go His way, not my own.

Why is it wrong to worship God AND another idol? Well, just see what the bible has to say about serving two masters in Matthew 6:24 and in Luke 16:13.

Crazy, right? Sounds unfair, right? Sounds selfish of God, right? Well, it might sound like that but it is biblical. Jesus did it, so if Jesus did, you know, the guy who died on the cross for us, well if He did it, then I choose to follow His example because friends, God wants to know that we love Him. I believe that when we make physical idols our number one priority, we are neglecting Him. The proof is in the text of John 14:15 “If you love me, keep my commandments.”

So today the house will be filled with worship music and I have finally gotten down to making ‘table talk conversations’ for our family. Subjects : Teen stuff, Pre-Teen stuff, Funny Stuff, and of course, Godly stuff. I can’t wait to use it this evening. God will be the centre of our home.

My Table Talk Starters

Dear Father God,

Help me today to make to focus on you Lord,  just you, with no worries and other things bewildering my train of thoughts. Thank You for Your amazing grace. I hope I show it with every conversation I have and with everything that I do today. But when I blow it, thanks for giving me an extra measure of grace and letting me know. You rock!

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

What idols have you placed before God?

How are you planning on making God your number 1 today?

Want to know more about idols? Or just about God and Jesus. Then you should definitely check out the ‘Got Questions‘ website, very very useful.

My nominees for the Beautiful Blogger Award

Yaaaaay! I’ve been wonderfully nominated by Sue,  blogger of  the Wild Geese blog. I don’t know what it actually means, is there a prize attached? Will my picture be in the news paper? Maybe I won a cruise?

Oh well, I don’t think so, but thank you so very much Sue for liking my blog enough to want to nominate me. Maybe it’s something that just happens in the blogging world? I dunno  but the fact is, I am grateful . I appreciate anyone who reads my stuff and I extend a warm welcome to everyone and anyone.

Now I need to choose some nominees. I decided to choose from my personal bookmark list of inspirational adoptee bloggers whom I  love to follow plus a very special earthy/hobo mom blogger. You learn something each day, you expand your horizons, and you see out of the box. Thank you ladies for having such inspirational blogs !beautifulbloggeraward21

And my nominees are (drumroll…..) :

Emilie from Never Said Goodbye

Sarah  from Walk Slowly, Live Wildly

Rebecca from Love is not a pie

Jenn from Insert Bad Movie Title here

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