Sunday, May 13, 2018

Mother's Day

Mother's Day is never easy for me. Typically I avoid public gatherings, including church services on this day. In the past, with our previous church, they would have the mums and their children take professional photos to be displayed on the screen in the sanctuary on this special day. I always found that difficult to sit through, to watch, to see the love and joy on display so starkly. I have no living children but I had to look at everyone else in pretty, perfect photos that were taller than me!

This weekend though, things went a little differently. Chris and I recently decided to join a new church, a church that we have felt called to by our Heavenly Father, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We were baptised into the church on Saturday, May 12th which then allowed us to have the confirmation of the Holy Spirit on Sunday -- today, Mother's Day.

I almost asked Chris to pick another day for our baptisms, but I then felt pressed upon to keep the day, to focus on our love for both Heavenly Father and The Lord Jesus Christ and to create a new memory for Mother's Day.

We're glad we kept the day for our baptisms for this particular weekend. We have felt such joy on what normally is such a hard day for us in previous years. God is so faithful!

Even though my husband and I are still not where we want to be in our lives (with a home full of noisy children) we're still so thankful for the journey we're on and the progress we've made in the last few years, especially.

Heavenly Father's plans are so much higher than our own plans. His delight in us, allows me to choose joy over sorrow today. Was it hard to watch the children sing a sweet song in church for their mothers? Yes, I cried during that part, but only because I thought of our own adopted child out there, whom we still don't know yet. I thought about their sadness and worry on a day like today; a day without a mother to love them, could overshadow their hope of being chosen by a family. I so want to meet my child! My forever child.... one day... I'm praying for that child, praying we'll still able to bring them home...

In the meantime, we're coming to the end of our debt pay off journey, soon we are able to move onto saving for a bigger emergency fund, then the car --- then finally, oh so finally, we can make a serious inquiry about adoption! One step at a time, but we're definitely getting there. In the meantime, I will be thankful for the new memory I made on this Mother's Day weekend, and challenge all hopeful future mothers who struggle with childlessness to find a moment of joy and hope today. Make a new memory, take a moment to laugh (tickle your husband's feet like I did, if you must!) and thank The Lord for His eternal hope that only He provides.

Love all you ladies, very much

Friday, March 10, 2017

What is God saying?

It's been four months since we had our last talk with the doctor about ending our IVF/ICSI rounds. Four months and I still feel quite numb.

I've been struggling since then with understanding God's plan for our lives. Bible reading and prayer haven't revealed any insight but instead just more....questions and confusion.

I've read some of the old testament stories of women who struggled to conceive a child and seeing the word "barren" written to starkly within the white pages of my bible was a shock. Yes, I guess that is true. I am barren. I never thought about it that way before. "Infertile" seems such a nice way to put it, but "barren" appeared to unmask the reality of the truth. My womb is barren and always will be.

I think what's hardest to take, when reading the bible stories of our ancestors, is the knowledge that eventually they did conceive. If I remember correctly, Sarah conceived Isaac after 25 years of trying with her husband Abraham and Isaac's wife Rebekah conceive a child 20 years after they married after which they had twin boys, Esau and Joseph.

That won't be the case for Christopher and I. We won't be able to conceive after two decades of trying to make a baby. So, what does that mean for us? I'm still 100% sure The Lord whispered the name "Ruby Grace" to me in 2007, long before I met Chris, and while the majority of people will be thinking "you can adopt" as you read this, remember adoption is expensive and there is no guarantee of a child during that process either. Also, many adoptions fail and each child comes with a unique set of complications that can seem daunting when Chris & I think about it too much.

Our lives are a little more out of balance then most at our age. Most people have a car and house by our age. We have neither and yes, we do still want those things -- especially the car -- but it'll take us years to save the $35,000 needed to adopt after we have saved for a car and the rest of the down payment for a house. (We already have $36,000 in my RRSP we can use towards a house.)

Furthermore, if by the time we are ready to go ahead with plans for adoption we will be 43 and 46 years old, respectively. Furthermore, in my research about this subject most people then have to wait several years before they are able to hold their child in their arms -- if they are successful in adoption at all.

Conclusion, we're going to be old. Very old...

There are days when we talk about what life will be like if we don't have kids. Chris talks about taking a few trips and I talk about where we will live. (That's still up in the air too as we have so many options to choose from.) Chris plans to volunteer more within our church. He's especially interested in the men's groups and is willing to lend a hand wherever that's needed.

My arms still long for Ruby. She is not forgotten, but I don't know why God gave me her name if I'm not meant to have her. I'm very confused and I still feel like I've been hit with a semi-truck even four months after that sit-down appointment.

No concrete answers yet.... just confusion and a lot of talking and prayer. My prayers are sprinkled with tears that are sometimes shed or other times still hang almost ready to fall from my eyelids but never quite do. It's not easy to live with a barren womb. It's not easy for Chris to live with infertility in his body either. We cling to our faith that eventually we'll understand the reason for all of this pain and loss. Someday...

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

A Mother without a Child

We had our last fertility appointment on the 21st. I wondered how I should blog about this and just haven't come up with the proper way to do it. Chris and I even recorded a vlog talking about our last appointment but... I just couldn't post it. It felt too personal, somehow.

While we sat waiting for the doctor I cried. Y'know those big, hot tears that just won't stop and makes your cheeks all red and splotchy? Yup, as Oprah would've put it, "the ugly cry." I did that. I ugly cried right there waiting for the doctor. We were early for our appointment so I didn't think it was a big deal. We still had another half hour to wait and I thought I was going to have time to compose myself before our doctor showed up. No such luck. Just at the worst of it, while Chris was hugging me close, doc comes around the corner and looks very uncomfortable seeing us sitting there, crying.


I quickly wiped my nose and gave him a polite but embarrassed smile as we followed him into his office. What made it even more uncomfortable was the student intern who would be sitting in on this appointment listening to everything. I felt that was a bit inappropriate but what could I do? I'll admit it, I just kinda ignored her so I could save face in the moment of tears and splotchiness.

The doctor didn't mince words. He delved right in and recapped our unsuccessful attempts to date. First embryo didn't develop after unfreezing, Second embryo (Clover) was implanted in my uterus but didn't make it, and the last two frozen embryos were "non-viable" and didn't survive unfreezing either.

This means, most likely, my remaining eggs wouldn't be usable for further attempts. They are getting too old. (Chris would like me to point out the doctor didn't say the words "too old" but I know that's what he meant.) If we were to continue with IVF/ICSI again he recommended using a surrogate egg donor.

Yeah, uhm, no. No, no thank you... not gonna happen....

I looked at Chris, in that moment of silence, and I could see the "no" in his eyes, too. We'd already talked about our options and as the two of us heard the doctor talk about egg donors we just knew this was a clear "no" from God. It didn't feel right and this was not the route we were supposed to take.

We let the doctor know we'll most likely look into adoption, but it would be a four year wait until that was an option. Doc said if we needed some sort of recommendation and letter from him he was more than happy to write one for us, all we had to do was call the office and ask. All of us shook hands and we thanked him as we left the office. The finality of that meeting was so palpable.... The shock of how quickly the meeting went left us stunned. Five minutes. We travelled 1.5 hours (both ways) via public transportation for a five minute meeting. 

So here we are... no child for Christmas -- again -- knowing that if we still decide to have children we'll be looking at adoption but even that option is about four years away. Why, you ask? Honestly, debt. We have debt, thanks to my annuity and all that those years struggling with all the taxes surrounding the annuity that it entailed. Now we'll be spending the next three to four years paying off debt and saving for things like the car, house and adoption. I just keep telling myself how blessed I am for what I do have...and I am.. .I'm thankful for the life I have, the life with my kind, sweet husband. I wouldn't ask for it all to be different.

I will say though, the apartment is remarkably silent... I thought we'd have a noisy house with kids by now... That silence is sometimes hard to take when I feel like a mother without a child.

Still, at church I turn away from seeing the little kids run by or the pregnant mothers with happy looking husbands. Additionally, if we travel by bus I try in vain to avoid making eye contact with the young mothers and their fully loaded buggies... All of it gets too much sometimes...

Most days I'm okay but I do have my moments I cry and miss Clover or the other embryo babies we have privately nicknamed. All the children will be remembered, even if none of them made it. I often think of Chris' mum already up in heaven, holding and nurturing our babies until we get there. Thank you Grandma Wonda...

We don't know where we will be in four years. Perhaps by then we'll decide not to have children. That's unlikely, but it is a possibility. For now, we're just leaving our options open and focusing on what we can do today to achieve the dreams of tomorrow.

The serenity prayer speaks to me often in these moments. The long version not the short:

Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace... Oh, how I long for that peace of Christ! I know I'll get there one day... I'm just not there yet, Lord.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016


I know what you're all wondering. "How did The Big Day go, Rosie?" Well... it wasn't what I expected, that's for sure.

At 10 a.m. yesterday we received a call from one of the doctors at the clinic saying our two little embryo babies didn't survive the unfreezing. They were " not viable for use". We will not be able to conceive a pregnancy. "This is very unusual," he said. He sounded so pained when he told me the news; sharing the hurt he knew we were feeling.

deep breath in....deep breath out....

We have a follow-up appointment with our doctor on the 21st of November where I'm sure he'll speak of what options we still have to conceive. If you remember, Chris and I have already stated this is our last try at this and we destroyed his remaining stored sperm. Of course, I'm sure some folks now would think that's a terrible idea but... it's what we felt was best.

No decisions have been made right now. We're just going to take sometime and digest this news, lean on Jesus for some strength and solace and remember that we have each other to lean on, too.

We're doing okay... honestly we really are. Chris and I knew this was a possibility and tried our best to prepare ourselves for each outcome. It's not easy, but it is life. Life is unpredictable and how you react to those moments of uncertainty and pain is really where you grow up and hopefully grow closer to each other and God.

That's where we are...and that's what we'll rest in until we know more.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

The Big Day is Almost Here!

We went in for blood work and ultrasound on the 29th. I must say, everything looked "beautiful" on my ultrasound. No extra fluid hanging around in my uterus this time! Whoo-hoo!

Also the blood work came back in the afternoon and showed I wasn't pregnant! Whoo-hoo again! (That's weird to be happy I'm not pregnant just we can go ahead and become pregnant... so strange...)

We're continuing on with our Estrace pills for a few more days (2 mg pills at 3 X daily) and we have started our derriere shots again as of the 30th of September. If we are successful on with this pregnancy there are only 67 more derriere shots to go! Whoo-hoo!

Embryo Transfer is tentatively scheduled for the 4th of October. Monday morning we will be returning to the fertility clinic for one last ultrasound at 8:20 am... Chris is considering calling us a cab, depending on the weather.

We're excited for our last try at this but I think our excitement is a little more subdued this time around. We've gone through this once before and came out heartbroken after losing Clover. We know there's only an 85% change our embryo babies will survive the unfreezing phase. We could go into this last chance just to be told both embryos didn't make it and that chance to have our own children will be gone even before it starts.

Also, even if our little embryo baby(ies) survive the implantation into my uterus we could still lose them. They could fail to latch on to my uterus, I could miscarry or they could develop abnormally. Anything is possible.

We are content in whatever comes our way. Truly, we feel at peace in the knowledge that God has His hand in this. We've really stopped worrying -- even while facing all those possibilities -- and we're just living in this moment, thankful we have one last try at this...

I don't know how often we'll update you guys on this part of the journey. So many variables... and to be honest, we're feeling a little private right now about the whole thing. 

If you're willing and able, please keep us in your prayers as we pray for "sticky babies"! (We truly appreciate all the love and support people continue to show in our walk through infertility.)

When we feel comfortable, we'll update again -- promise! I can't wait until we're closer to the end of our nine months so I can start talking about the items I'll have to buy to accommodate my disability as I care for this baby (or babies!).

So many things ahead....and we're so thankful to God...!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

All you need is love...

Love is all you need...

Mmmhmm...that is a myth and that's okay. I'm just being honest, folks. Trust me, Chris and I have a lot of love... we...ahem.... practise that uhm...showing of love... but no, it's not all you need for baby makin'.

Aunt Flo paid a visit yesterday and so today is my first full-flow day. Yay! Oh yes, I'm sure you all just dying to hear that tidbit of information. Tomorrow we start Estrace again. Yes, it's estrogen time again. I'll be taking half a little itty bitty purple pill twice a day for a while, then switch to a full pill and then finally the full pill will be taken three times daily. Thankfully, this time around I can take the pill orally.

We will then go in for ultrasound and blood work in the wee hours of the morning on the 29th of September. Do not expect me to be awake or even coherent. Grunts and feeble attempts at smiles will all I'll be able to offer the nurses at 7:20 am that day.

I seriously doubt our Embryo Transfer Day will still be scheduled for the 30th but we shall see. One step a time. They may increase or decrease or even just "hold steady" on my estrace dose as we proceed to add Progesterone shots to the mix... fun....!

Good news: no major side effects from the depot Lupron. I had a rash around my ankles that was non-itchy and I couldn't have gotten it any other way so I think it was weirdly from the Lupron but I can't be sure. Also, my feet swelled up (specifically the right one more than the left). I was irritable a few times but that could be my PMS before my period. Beyond that... nothing.... and I'm so thankful!

The 30 days are not up yet though, so I guess I could still experience some symptoms. We shall see...

Anyhoodle-doo... nothing more to tell at this time. Just another day truckin' along this FET (frozen embryo transfer) plan we have going on. First Lupron and now Estrace...