Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.Romans 5:3-5
On November 1st, Clayton and I transferred 2 perfect embryos at the National Embryo Donation Center in Knoxville, TN. We woke up that morning feeling excited, nervous and hopeful. The transfer process was quick and easy, in a matter of minutes these sweet lives we adopted were placed safely inside of me.
The next two weeks were very long as we anxiously awaited my first blood test to check my HCG levels. This would officially determine if I was pregnant and if the transfer was “successful”.
Finally, the day of our test came. I went early that morning to get my blood drawn and again awaited the results. When the phone call finally came that afternoon, I found out our transfer was successful, we were officially pregnant. However, we had to celebrate with caution, as my initial numbers were very low. This left us with mixed emotions knowing that lower numbers can often be a sign of early loss. We were told to stay hopeful, continue with my medications and test again in two days. So, we kept going and kept praying that our numbers would be at least doubled in two days.
Two days later (on a Friday), I went in for another blood draw. That afternoon did not get the news we were hoping for, my numbers had dropped even lower. At this point, Clayton and I were given the choice to continue the medication through the weekend and test one more time on Monday, or go a head and stop treatments. We made the choice to continue, as we wanted to ensure we’d given our babies every last chance at life. For clarification purposes, when I say medications and treatments, I’m not only referencing hormone pills, but the big Progesterone in Oil shots (PIO for short). These are given with 22 gauge 1.5 inch needle and administered into the lower hip area. Clayton did a wonderful job giving me these, however they can leave hard knots behind, they are not fun.
Monday morning finally came and I went for my last blood draw. When our nurse from the NEDC that afternoon with the results, she confirmed our greatest fears, my HCG levels no longer indicted pregnancy. We’d lost the baby, an early miscarriage.
Grief is a strange process, I know they say we all respond to itdifferently. For me, my grief seemed to come in waves. I have felt the highs and lows over the past few weeks. I also think with each blood test I was preparing for and accepting grief more and more (although hoping and praying it wouldn’t come). We were obviously heartbroken and so disappointed. After months of paperwork, preparing, matching, medications and spending thousands of dollars, we did not get to keep the baby we were praying and working for.
However, in the midst of the pain, I truly felt the nearness of God. One afternoon as I was crying, scriptures kept coming to my mind. Verses like;
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.Psalm 34:18
When my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.Psalm 61:2
Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.Hebrews 13:5
I’ll admit in the moment I was both comforted and annoyed by these verses at the same time, all while feeling thankful that my knowledge of scripture has etched its way onto my heart. I was comforted because I knew God was with me in the sorrow. Yet annoyed because I couldn’t help but think how he could’ve spared me from it.
In the days and weeks that followed, I found myself craving my normal life and routine. For me, all I wanted to do was go to work, like normal and focus on helping others. After work, I wanted to come straight home to my boys. I have found so much joy and comfort in Clayton and Clark the past few weeks.
All throughout this process, I have prayed our embryos, these tiny image bearers, would reveal God’s power and bring others closer to Him. While this didn’t happen in the way we’d hoped, I can still see the way God is working and receiving glory through these tiny lives.
First, He worked the fact that our embryos survived the thawing process (something we’d been praying diligently for).
Second, I achieved pregnancy and did get the carry these tiny lives for a short time.
Third, God spoke through something beautiful Clayton shared with me. While we were in the two week waiting period he said, “You know what, these babies can’t lose. They will either be here with us, or in heaven with Jesus. But no matter what we’ve given them a chance and they are no longer frozen and waiting.” Wow, talk about powerful. I’m so thankful for a husband who can speak Godly wisdom into my life.
And finally, by the unexplainable peace I felt. Clayton and I both felt the comfort of the Lord and experienced His peace which truly surpasses all understanding. I remember calling my parents a few days after we knew we’d for sure lost the baby and telling them, “I am okay.” And I truly meant it. Although I was still processing a lot of big emotions, I knew deep down I was okay in a way I couldn’t quite explain.
So, what’s next for us? Well, we aren’t 100% sure yet. We can definitely try to transfer again and we most likely will. However, for right now we are taking a pause through the holidays. We want to fully enjoy the Christmas season with Clark, as it is so magical with a 4 year old. We are soaking up his excitement and enjoying family traditions. I also needed a break from the medications and hormones. No matter what, we have big decisions to make moving forward, so we are also using this time to pray and seek the Lord. We would appreciate your prayers for peace and comfort, as well as confidence in our decisions moving forward. We know God has a plan for our family and we will continue to trust in Him no matter the circumstances.