Monday, January 19, 2015

Laying It at the Altar

I realize in my last post that I may have come across as ungrateful, especially to those still in the thick of trying to have a baby.  That was not my intention.  Rather, I just want to help people see that infertility isn't like a passing cold or flu.  It doesn't come and go and you don't just get better after getting pregnant or having a baby.  

This post might sound similar or be just as confusing but bear with me as I try to dig deeper into explaining life as I know it.  

As a result of our retrieval, we now have a number of frozen embryos in storage.  These embryos are there for our use when we decide it is time to expand our family.  

At an appointment prior to our IVF cycle, we sat down with a nurse to go over some paperwork.  During this time we came to a couple of questions and she posed them like this.  

"There is a chance that after retrieval you will have extra embryos.  You need to decide what will happen to those embryos in the case of divorce, death, or once you turn 50 years old.  At that point you can either choose to discard them or donate them."

Let's just put this in perspective, we were just told that we need to consider donating or destroying life, made of us, made by us, at the end of a divorce, when we die, or when my biological timeclock has expired... Sure, no big deal, give us 5 minutes to chat.  Mind you, our nurse was awesome and super helpful during all of this but it was still a shocking conversation to have to have.

We talked it over in the few minutes we had and decided that the only option for us, because we refuse to destroy these lives created, would be donation.  

That decision was made before retrieval took place.  We now know that we have 14 embryos frozen for use when we decide it is time to expand our family.  

I think about these babies every day.  I pray for these babies every night.  I wonder what they look like, if there are more boys or girls in that group, if they have more of my personality traits or Jake's, what their laughs sound like, and most importantly, what God's plan is for their lives.  I think of them when I look in my sons eyes, who at one point was frozen just like them.  I wonder who we will meet next if God decides to take us down the path of pregnancy again.

As stated before, there are no guarantees.  Jake and I don't know if we will have another successful transfer, we don't know which of these embryos God will entrust into our care as parents and which He will entrust into another couple's care.  This is heavy stuff.  I imagine conversations with the babies that we can't raise ourselves and explaining to Camden that he has siblings in the world that didn't grow up with him.  My heart breaks at this thought.  My heart yearns to meet every single one of these children but I don't know if that is God's will for our family.  

Last week my pastor challenged us to leave our "security" at the altar.  You see, these frozen embryos are my security.  I know they are there and I wait for the day that I can meet them, whether or not it will be this side of heaven is unknown.  When our pastor spoke two weeks ago, his words pierced my heart.  I was convicted and realized that I was placing more security and drawing comfort from the fact that they are there when needed instead of laying them at the altar and trusting God with their care.  

I can't say what the plan is for our family nor can I say what the plan is for each of our children but I can say that daily, I have to choose to trust God with their care.  I have to lay down my security at the altar and always remember that these children are a blessing from God, they are not mine to keep or control.  I must trust the Lord to give me the strength and patience to see His plan unfold for our family and so far, this is the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life.  While embryo donation is a path that we may go down later in life, it is absolutely something that God has to prepare in my heart each and every day starting now.  

Please remember that the weight of infertility can go far beyond what you are aware of or can imagine.  

Jake and I are privileged that God has chosen us to walk down this incredibly windy road but we know it will bring us to our knees time and time again and we just hope we can walk it with God's guidance.  We lay these babies down at the altar and we pray that God will guide us and help us to be good stewards.

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