In the end, the choice was easy: we had to try at least ONE IVF cycle for peace of mind about this entire issue. Regardless of the outcome, at least we'll never have the "what if?" questions haunting us in the back of our minds. Yes, it's been an expensive journey to take which is why we began the "Beads Of Hope" fundraiser (which is still open for business to anyone interested in donating to our cause). And Christine's amazing willingness to go through all the painful shots to stimulate her follicles on her ovaries and then the subsequent long needles I've been sticking up her hind side for the past two weeks has been awe-inspiring to say the least. The fact she did all that for us to have our baby was one of the greatest acts of love anyone has ever done for me.
When the embryo transfer took place just under two weeks ago, we had high hopes that those two little life forms that were placed inside of Christine would begin growing as a beautiful baby inside of her. But after a blood test at the office of the reproductive endocrinologist today confirmed that Christine is not pregnant, our dreams of having a baby at this time have been dashed.
Are we upset that this thing we've been wanting for over a dozen years didn't happen? Obviously. But we're not so devastated that it's gonna cripple us as a couple or as people. We know and trust in the perfect plan that God has in store for our lives and apparently that does not include children right now. That's not to say it will never happen...just not now.
During this process of going through the steps to overcome our infertility, two outstanding books were there to give us comfort and peace in the midst of this storm. The first one is one I saw in my local Christian bookstore called Inconceivable: Finding Peace in the Midst of Infertility by a woman named Shannon Woodward (interestingly, Christine's maiden name is Woodward!) who suffered 18 years without being able to have a baby. I gave that book to Christine on her birthday on November 11th and she absolutely fell in love with it. Knowing that she was not alone in this really helped Christine deal with the news we received today that much better.
The second book that helped us with this was Tiny Toes: A Couple's Journey Through Infertility, Prematurity, and Depression by Kelly D. Damron. Kelly was quite candid throughout this book talking about her infertility, how it impacted her marriage and relationship to her in-laws, and subsequent issues of depression and even a premature pregnancy. I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy all that she had to go through, but it's a powerful testament to the resilience of the human spirit that Kelly can tell her story with a happy ending today. She actively helps couples dealing with infertility today and told me about a great resource called RESOLVE.org for people who have been through the struggles of infertility and overcome. WORTH CHECKING OUT!
I've been blessed in my life beyond anything a man could ever ask for--a devoted and faithful wife who loved me even when I allowed my weight to get up to 410 pounds, an incredible 180-pound weight loss in 2004 that radically changed my health and life for the better, and a truly inspirational and caring group of people who grace my blog with their presence each and every day to encourage me in all that I do. What more could a guy ask for in life?
On behalf of Christine and me, let me just say THANK YOU for all the prayers, thoughts, donations, well wishes, and all the rest of the outpouring of love and support you have shown us over these past few months. It has been a difficult journey, but one I would gladly take again for a chance to have our very own baby. And it still may happen at some point, through another IVF or even an adoption, but it'll just have to wait for the time being.
Christine and I will be traveling to west Tennessee this weekend for Christmas to be with my father and his side of the family to help take our minds off of the news we just received. We're gonna be okay because we still have each other as well as thousands of people who are our extended family at our church and right here at "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb." You guys truly are the greatest and keep us going no matter what life throws at us. God bless you all and Merry Christmas!!!