Believe.

This post is going to be all over the place, but I have a lot to get out and this is my place to share my feelings and update everyone who is following Reagan’s story.  So, here we go.

April 2, 2013

I spoke with Reagan’s dietician…after an increase in her protein intake b/c of her prior test results, the next round of tests showed her Lysine levels still low at 28, they’re up from 16 from the last tests, but they like to see them in the 45-90 range.

This is good news b/c the Dr.’s prefer to see this level low…when it’s low, it means her tolerance for protein is higher…so we are upping her protein intake again!

All her amino acid levels were great…the only other level that was high was her carnatine level which is what her medicine is…so they are lowering the dosage on that.  It sounded as though since it was high, she’s using all of the medicine and just peeing out any excess.  (??? I’m not a Dr. and I don’t pretend to be one in real life).

While I don’t understand the science behind any of this, what I do know is my baby girl is growing and they are upping her protein.  I love this type of good news…and two test results in a row, with good news, is what mamma likes.

But, leave it to Satan to make you doubt God almost within the same breath b/c as I was giving Rob Reagan’s test results, Rob let me know our insurance cancelled our policy b/c we didn’t make a payment.  Our payments are on auto-pay so how could this happen?  Long story short, it seemed like a billing issue on their end, and even though it cancelled on 4/1 at midnight (just 12 hours prior to our call…nice April fools joke) they were telling us that they would need to re-underwrite us and determine if it was “worth renewing us based on our claims.” Yeah, um, no! We met our deductible within the first week of Reagan being here; I can tell you we would not pass the underwriting process.

I got on my knees to pray…without our insurance, paying for Reagan’s care would be extremely challenging.  Each time blood is sent to the lab, which is every two weeks at our Nemours appt, the cost is $600-$800, but somehow our insurance covers almost all of it…the bills we receive are about $20-$40.  Totally God.  As self-employed folks, Rob and I picked a plan four years ago that we thought would be acceptable and affordable.  It wasn’t the best, it had a high deductible, but if we ended up in the hospital with a crazy problem, we’d be covered.

So, the good news is Rob spoke with someone else at the insurance co. who said it really wasn’t a big deal and they re-instated us right away. Another answered prayer.  I shot a laser beam up to God that day and boy did he deliver.

April 9

Next apt. at Nemours…Reagan is now 8lbs 15oz, she’s gained almost 3lbs since birth and she’s eating ALL of her allotted formula recipe for a 24 hr. period, plus a feeding of her RX formula.  Let me explain…

For a 24 hr. period, Rob and I have a batch of formula that we have to make…it includes a certain gram count of Enfamil and a certain gram count of her RX formula.  If she eats all of it, then she can ONLY have her RX formula as to not give her too much protein.  Rob and I log every single feeding and provide the food log to our dietician at each visit.

We keep track of what Reagan eats and what she discards for every single feeding.
We keep track of what Reagan eats and what she discards for every single feeding.

The dietician has been floored by how much she’s eating due to her size and weight. But Reagan is doing exactly what they want down to a T as far as weight gain.  I love it when her Dr. and dietician have huge smiles on their face b/c they are so happy with Reagan.

“Her tone is great, she’s gaining perfectly.” – Reagan’s geneticist.

“I can’t believe what a thirsty girl she is! She’s eating 24oz which is a lot for her age and size.” – Reagan’s dietician.

Great apt. overall…but the last part to every apt. is to have Reagan’s blood drawn; this is the worst part.

Poor baby...she was not happy about this.
Poor baby. She was not happy about this.

They had to draw blood from both of Reagan’s arms b/c nothing was coming out…they finally got it, but I’m sure the entire hall could hear her cries.  Whenever I used to hear a baby’s cries at the Dr., I’d think, “that poor baby is not too happy.” And watching it is heart wrenching.  Bright red face, cries that empty her lungs and then turn into silent cries until she takes a HUGE breath only to empty it all out again.  It took about ten minutes to draw one vile of blood.

April 12

Results from April 9 are in…her Lysine level is still low, at only 27.  I feel like doing the chicken dance b/c my daughter wants MORE protein!! All her other levels were great too and the carnatine level is coming down due to a decrease in her medicine. 🙂

The in-between time

In between April 2 and today…I’ve received a couple notes from a girl I went to high school with.  I haven’t seen her in probably 10+ years, but we’ve exchanged notes a few times.  I love seeing how God has brought my classmates to him, like he did with me.  People change a lot btw high school and “real life” and God is after EVERYONE, he doesn’t want to leave anyone behind, like the Shepard who goes after the one lost lamb.

On my birthday, she said that God laid it on her heart to ask what I needed prayer for.  I unloaded a lot of stuff…I am praying for God to heal Reagan, to specifically heal her gene b/c only God can do that…but what if that’s not his will?  What if his will is for her to have GA-1 and to deal with it? Am I unfaithful if I ask for healing, but then say, “but if you don’t want to, I understand, can you help us live with it then?”

My friend wisely responded with the truth that you can’t ask God for things and say “I trust you…” while in the same breath basically say you really don’t.  It’s like praying with a half portion of faith.

So then what do I pray?

My friend emailed me this ask God to give you clarity about what His will is, period. His will not for your life or your daughter’s life…but just His will period. You have to trust and believe that God has purpose for all of this…”

Jesus taught us how to pray when he gave us the “Our Father” prayer…”Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.” That’s praying for God’s will, and praying for yours to align with his.

Even still I will pray for a miracle, specifically for God to heal her gene, I pray it with knowledge that he can, b/c I know he is able…and I also pray for his will.  They seem like strange prayers, b/c they could be completely opposite, although, I pray they are one in the same. Jesus did the same thing…he prayed to avoid the crucifixion if possible, but he also prayed for God’s will.

“…My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; 
nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” – Matthew 26:39

God gave him clarity, and made his will known, and Jesus abided and made his will the same as it was in Heaven and he died for all of mankind so that we could be adopted into the Kingdom of God.

I am so proud of Reagan…and I’m proud to be her momma.  I’m also glad that we have a God who walks alongside us in every aspect of our lives, who understands our pain and who wants to be our Rock.  Our God is a God who provides.  This verse is so comforting b/c God has always provided for us, even when we are faithless and doubt him, he is faithful to us…always.

“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?” – Matthew 6:25-27

Then, my friend sent me this message a few days later.  I was filled with so much encouragement…

Hi…so while I was spending quiet time with God, I opened my Bible to this verse and God told me to share it with you. “But when Jesus heard this, He answered him, “Do not be afraid any longer; only BELIEVE and she will be made well”- Luke 8:50 xo

I am no stranger to God using people to give me a message in pivotal moments of my life.  In college, a friend of mine came up to me at a retreat and told me that the relationship I was in with a past boyfriend needed to end.  I knew this, and I prayed for God to give me clarity about this specific aspect of my life during that weekend retreat. I remember praying that quick prayer as clear as if I did it yesterday…I prayed it in the parking lot walking up to the gymnasium.  Boy did God show up, not only did a friend of mine tell me that message from God (totally unprompted…and she didn’t know much of my relationship) but I also received two other messages from people I did not know at that retreat saying the same thing.

When God prompts you to say or do something, you know it.  The feeling and the urge is unmistakable…and the messages I received that weekend were clear and left zero room for interpretation.  In a nutshell, I needed to make an about face and start heading full speed toward Jesus…in order to do that, the relationships not glorifying to God needed to go.  I knew this, but each break up conversation was like the George Costanza break-up with Maura. (leave it to me to find a Seinfeld reference in every aspect of my life)

(if you’re reading on your phone, click here for the youtube link)

Eventually it ended and it felt amazing to follow Jesus and make such a life altering, eternally significant decision.

I believed God had something better for my life.  And boy did he, as evidenced by the eleven amazing years that has followed that decision and with the blessing of having Rob in my life, glued to my side.

my favorite.
my favorite.

God always knows what he’s doing. And with Reagan, the messages I’ve been receiving have been pretty clear, not only from my friend, but from my mom. She has been telling me her word from God in regard to Reagan is to “Not worry”. She hears it over and over, “do not worry, do not worry, do not worry.” And so, I try not to worry about Reagan and her diagnosis.  And with each test result and increase in protein prescribed, I wonder…”Is God healing her gene?” So I’m going to ask you all to pray that specific prayer.  Please heal Reagan’s gene…make the Dr.’s baffled.  And please pray for clarity and for God’s will.

A Father’s Thoughts cont.

this is very true for me
this is very true for me

Terrified.  Angry.  Sad.

Never did I think those would be the three feelings I had 4-days into being a parent, but there I was.

You have to understand, I’m just like you.  I live life on the positive side, love to laugh, and see God’s beauty in everything from the obvious sunrise/sunrise to the unapparent processes that sustain life like photosynthesis.

And while I can certainly see God’s beauty in my daughter and her adoption story, her diagnosis is just tough to deal with when I take the time to stop and think about it.

You see, it is difficult for anyone to put themselves in our shoes to understand what we are going through…unless you’ve been there.

Unless you’ve received similar bad news from doctors about your child within their first few days of life, you can’t understand what it’s like.  Unless you’ve prayed similar prayers that your child can hopefully be able to walk, talk, play and have friends, you can’t understand what it’s like.  Unless you’ve had to shop at a medical supply store or contact a laboratory to find and order a certain prescription food for your child, you can’t understand what it’s like.  Unless you’ve had to measure, weigh, plan, and log all meals for your child because they can’t eat what everyone else can, you can’t understand what it’s like. Unless you’ve had “congratulations” change abruptly to “I’m so sorry” shortly after your child has arrived, you can’t understand what it’s like.

You can’t understand what it is like to feel fear, anger, and sadness all at the same time for your new child, unless you’ve been there.  But that’s ok.  I sincerely hope no one ever has to be there.

However, if you ever do find yourself there, you are not alone.

It is vitally important to process through all of your feelings and emotions when dealing with something of this magnitude.

You see, I think we all get too caught up in all of the silver linings in life’s struggles.  While it is a romantic notion to look at the comforting and hopeful aspects of an unhappy situation, I think you only hold yourself back from fully experiencing life…struggles and all.  And if you hold yourself back, you are also holding back a part of you from those in your life.

Holding back from those in your life is simply just trying to a live lie.  I have struggles and hardships in my life, and I know you do too.  If you tell me you don’t or try to make it seem how perfect your life is, you’re lying….not just to me, but to yourself and those in your life.  And lying to yourself is a slippery slope no one wants to go down; it only ends in disaster.

In order to be fully involved in my daughter’s story and at the same time be fully honest with myself and the feelings I am experiencing and to be the best father for her, I have to be transparent with my feelings and not just live in the silver linings of her story.

While those silver linings are nice things to think about, I liken them more to a rock that I’m holding onto so I don’t get swept downstream in this raging river that is my daughter’s life.

You might think that these rocks would be something to keep holding onto in order to be strong for my daughter and wife during these tough times, and I would have agreed with you until I discovered a flaw in that line of thinking.  If I continue to hold onto these rocks, I’ll never know what is downstream.  I’ll never know where this raging river leads.  I’ll never fully experience my daughter’s beautiful story.

Also, I’m no river expert, but when you have a bunch of rocks in the middle of a raging river, that usually creates rapids.  So I am allowing the river’s current to take me wherever it leads. It’s important for me to write out all of my feelings, not just the silver linings.

choosing to go into her unknown
choosing to go into her unknown

Life isn’t best lived by staying in the rapids.  So I’m choosing to go downstream into the unknown.

Oh, how I love the Dentist

Seriously.  Do you think I’m joking?  B/c I’m not.

So let’s have some real talk.  Having a newborn in the house is tough and anyone that says anything different is either lying or trying to sell you something.

ain't nobody got time for that!
ain’t nobody got time for that!

I called a lot of my friends who have kids and asked them, “is it supposed to be this tough?”

Yep!

One friend said she hates parenting a newborn.  I’m sworn to secrecy on which friend said that, so just take it as fact and move on.

Another mom said she liked to scream into her pillow and cry.  Followed by another friend who had enough one day and put her baby in the crib, shut the door, went into her room and shut her bedroom door.  “If they are crying, they are breathing.”

The other day, Reagan just cried and I held her and cried too.  That put her right to sleep.  Note to self: if I want my daughter to sleep, I should get to complete exhaustion and tears, she’ll go right to sleep as my tears hit her face and I’ll be a total wreck.  Perfect.

So when my dentist apt appeared on my schedule, I kept telling Rob how excited I was.

“Rob, I have a dentist apt. on Wednesday and I am NOT changing it.”

Rob’s all, “Umm…OK, I can be here with Reagan it’s not a problem.”

I counted down the days…and then, it was here.

I had a nice drive to the dentist, called a few friends to exchange baby horror stories and I felt like a human being again.  It was good to know that I wasn’t alone in my feelings that this is hard.  A friend of mine said, “no one can prepare you for what you will go through b/c you can’t understand it unless you go through it.”

She’s right.  Operating on three hours of sleep and trying to soothe a crying baby in your arms is difficult.  And, EVERYONE goes through it.  I think that’s why I’m frustrated with those moms who tell you everything is perfect, their baby doesn’t cry and they also made origami crafts while their baby slept all day.  How productive and perfect!!  Seriously, get away from me.

Back to the Dentist…I walk in and they all knew I was adopting, so they wanted to see pictures.  I showed them pictures of Reagan and they just showered praises on how cute she was.

She is cute!

Hello there gorgeous!
Hello there gorgeous!
Aren't I so cute? Yeah, I thought so.
Aren’t I so cute? Yeah, I thought so.

I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of people telling me she looks like a doll and that she’s gorgeous, and while I had nothing to do with any of her features, I agree that she is beautiful.

The girls in the office asked how I was doing and if I was getting any sleep.

I just laugh…”HA, yeah, I’ve been looking forward to this apt b/c I plan to take a nap once you put the nitrous oxide on.”

We all had a chuckle.

And then, it was my turn to get my teeth all cleaned and to get a nice 30 minute rest.

You might think, “she’s crazy, she gets laughing gas to get her teeth cleaned,” and I could honestly care less what anyone thinks of that.  I can tell you I have sensitive teeth and gums (which I do) and I could tell you that I’m tired and I want to have a relaxing dentist visit (which is also true).

And so I did, and my dentist apt did not disappoint.

I can't wait for my next nap, err..dentist apt.
I can’t wait for my next nap, err..dentist apt.

A Father’s Thoughts

It was the kind of news that is etched into your memory forever. Like watching your child being born, except the complete opposite of emotions.  Perhaps it is more like remembering where you were and what you were doing when the attacks on 9/11 happened.  Because that’s what it felt like, and that’s what it was, an attack.

An attack on our 4-day old daughter’s health and future.  An attack on my wife and I and the joy we had waited four long years to be a part of.

And there was nothing I could do…

It was a normal sunny Saturday afternoon to the rest of the world. But for us, this was our first Saturday with our new daughter.  And this was her first Saturday, ever.

There had been a lot of firsts for me that amazing week.  First time watching a childbirth; first time cutting an umbilical cord; first time laying my eyes on my new daughter; first time changing a diaper; first time feeding a baby…first time after first time, but mainly, our first child had arrived as promised for our adoption.

Promised not only by the birthmother that had selected Anne-Marie and I from hundreds of other prospective parents, but a child that had been promised by God.  The path to this promise wasn’t exactly how Anne-Marie and I had pictured years ago when we first started dreaming of starting a family, but it was exactly how God had planned it all along.

Finding that path wasn’t easy. Following that path wasn’t easy. But for some reason, I thought that path would eventually begin to ease. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

That Saturday afternoon, my wife received a text from our daughter’s birthmother.  The message was vague, but said enough to make the both of us start to worry.

“Doctor called about baby…worried about some test results…his #…please call me”

Questions immediately began to swirl in my mind, and I’m certain my wife’s. What doctor? Why did they call her? What tests were we waiting for results on? What could be wrong from those tests? Why would we call you (the birthmother) when we have the doctor’s number?

Anne-Marie immediately dialed the doctor’s phone number as she walked into another room as I stayed to watch our daughter meet her grandmother for the first time. There was so much joy in the room that I stayed behind in, but I could tell that the joy was being sucked out of the room my wife had gone into as she spoke with the doctor and his nurses.

Why did I stay behind?  I need to be with my wife. She needs me to be there by her side. My daughter needs me to be there by my wife’s side and not next to her, even if Reagan doesn’t know it yet.

I left the calmness and joy of my daughter, and began to walk into the next room.  There was heaviness in the air as I walked closer to my wife as she furiously took notes on whatever the person she was speaking to was saying.  She glanced at me as I was trying to read the notes she was taking. The glance said it all, something wasn’t right. Something wasn’t right with our daughter.

A cry from our daughter came from the other room, and I looked back. Everything was ok there, but it wasn’t where I stood. I began to wonder, what could be wrong? How serious is this? She had just been tested the previous day for a heart murmur that had been cleared. Her EKG and echocardiogram both showed everything was ok. What more could there be?

Never ask that question.  Whether it’s good or bad, there can always be more.

When her conversation finished and Anne-Marie had hung up the phone, she began to explain to me what the doctors had told her.  She did a great job trying to relay the information she had just been told back to me, but I couldn’t understand what she was saying. It wasn’t because she was speaking unclearly or hadn’t taken good enough notes, but to me what she was saying all sounded like a foreign language.

The news was that my new 4-day old perfect daughter had been diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Glutaric Acidemia Type 1.  After Anne-Marie explained the basics of the science behind the disorder, she then began to speak about the risks and possible outcomes.

I was…

Terrified.  Easily the most frightened I had been up unto that point in life.

Angry.  How could this happen?  To us?  To her?  After all my wife and I had been through up unto this point, why? Why, why, WHY?

Sad.

I still am.

I’m actually still all three.

Lean not on your own understanding

After putting our adoption story out there for the world, as well as our daughter’s diagnosis of GA-1, we received tons of emails, texts and phone calls.  The outpouring of love was amazing and Rob and I were truly touched by it all.

So many people had those initial feelings that Rob and I did of, “this is not fair” and “why is this happening to you guys after all you’ve been through?” Rob and I put the video and blog out when we were ready…I told him, “we’re going to end up consoling people b/c they are going to have the same feelings we had initially…” b/c it’s a shock. However, there were more sentiments of “you guys are so faithful…what a testimony, God is using you, we are blessed to call you friends, we can’t wait to see Reagan’s story unfold.”

I definitely feel like God is using us…I don’t know quite in what way (lean not on your own understanding), but I get that he’s handpicked Reagan and us for something special. Rob and I were talking, and we agreed that it’s weird for people to call us faithful.  Many times in the past few weeks, we’ve felt totally faithless.

For instance, sometimes I want Reagan to be two years old…b/c if you can get through the first two years without any major health scares with this disorder, it’s a huge hurdle overcome, reason being is that in the first two years, there’s so much development happening cognitively as well as physically, emotionally, and socially.

And then I want Reagan to be five or six and starting school.  B/c once you’re that age, you will have a better idea what, if any effects, the disorder will or has had.  By school age, the culmination of her social and motor skills, and all skills needed to attend school will be present.  We’ll be able to see our deck of cards more clearly.

I’ve also caught myself looking online at stories from families who have a child with this disorder and it makes me so upset.  While most children can fight an ear infection, cold, virus or fever on their own…they can spell disaster for Reagan.  The reason we have to be vigilant at the first sign of sickness is b/c when you get sick, your body starts to break down proteins…well, she can’t break them down like everyone else and instead, acid will begin to build up and it can attack the brain.  Everyone’s story is different and Rob reminds me that the stories I read online are not our story…we only have Reagan’s story and it’s still unfolding.

But what is her story? What is the outcome? I want to know.

The video I made was done with the purpose to tell the beginning of her story, but it’s also to remind me of those verses, it’s just as helpful for me to watch it…it’s like my very own pep talk to myself.

Even though I want a full disclosure from God and I want it now, I’m not going to get it.  I can’t control everything…a life lesson I am learning at every corner.  Only God is in control of her story, and I pray that her story is a beacon of light.

A little secret I’ll share with you…during the first two weeks Reagan was home, when we kept this diagnosis close to the vest, several things happened. Our photographer posted online about a local family in Central Florida who went in for a 36-week ultrasound, and the heartbeat was gone.  I couldn’t even imagine.  The day we arrived at the hospital for Reagan’s birth, I had so much anticipation for the monitors to be hooked up to our birthmom.  I’d never heard Reagan’s heartbeat, until the day she was born.  It was such a HUGE relief, and an even bigger relief when she cried.  She was carried nine months in the womb of a stranger whose world God selected to collide with ours.

Not only did I read this woman’s blog of her infant loss, I’d heard of another woman that gave birth at a local hospital whose baby never took a breath.  Heartbreaking, again.

But, there’s a third story; from a friend of mine I went to college with. She entered my life for only a season and made a HUGE impact on my life back in 2001.  She is one of the few people that God used to totally change the trajectory of my life. I can think of a handful of people that God placed around me in college to pull me close to him and draw me away from the life I was living.

My friend was nine months pregnant and I remember looking at her FB page and seeing all the encouraging posts, “we can’t wait until she gets here!” and “you’re doing great!”…

A few days go by, and I go back to check her page out and it is filled with condolences; she lost the baby.  She gave birth at home to a 10 lb baby, but the baby wasn’t breathing.  My friend had also lost a lot of blood and both mom and baby were rushed to the hospital.  The baby never made it.

How could this happen three times in the course of two weeks and I hear about each of these stories?  In those first raw moments of digesting Reagan’s diagnosis and going through emotions I never thought existed, I would see these stories on social media (among other stories of suffering from people I don’t know that would, seemingly randomly, appear on my wall).  Seeing other people’s suffering and comparing it to mine, I felt like our deck of cards was not so bad.

But why did I need to compare our deck to someone else’s?

What I began to realize in those first two weeks is that we all have suffering…that’s part of the deal when you’re on this side of Heaven.  We live in an imperfect world.  Instead of worrying about “what are people going to think” I just started to lean on God…not on my own understanding.  What else can you do when you can’t understand the plan?  It’s not my plan, it’s God’s plan, and I’m just walking along.

I know that might be construed as faithfulness, but like I said, there were times I just wanted to fast forward to the future, or hit the rewind button b/c I felt like we were living a nightmare. When I look online at other stories from children with GA-1, those nightmare feelings re-surface…I have fear, so much fear for the future.  And then I remember that FEAR is a LIAR.

Isaiah 41:13 “For I am the Lord your God, who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.’
Isaiah 41:13
“For I am the Lord your God, who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.’

Instead of giving in to the fear, Rob and I make conscious decisions to enjoy what God has given and blessed us with, right now. Even though I want glimpses of the future, I want to enjoy and savor this stage.  It’s a dichotomy.  She’s the cutest teeniest tiny baby…and I know this stage goes by so fast and everyone says to savor it, so we are.  We love those big eyes looking right up at ours when we feed her and change her…and we love watching her sleep…and in the light of day, we even love the midnight feedings, or 3 a.m., 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. (aren’t you full yet?) feedings.

We both try not to think about the disorder and I feel like we’re getting into our groove as parents.  I say that as if we’re pros…we’re just a month in.

Rob and I truly appreciate your prayers, texts, calls, FB messages, etc.  We are taking things one day at a time…one test result to the next and trying to rely on God for each moment.

*Praise Report – Reagan’s first test results came back after being on the diet and her Lysine levels were low.  This is good, they prefer them to be low vs. high…but b/c they are low, the dietician is upping her protein intake.  It’s way too early to say, but maybe Reagan will be more tolerant of proteins as she gets older.  In addition, ALL of her amino acid levels were perfect!

Moving on

After three or so years to try and have a baby, we’ve decided to pursue adoption. We asked ourselves, “do we want to be parents, or just try to get pregnant.” The answer to us was clear…we want to be parents. Here’s how we came to that decision…

The doors to seeking fertility treatment just seemed to be closing. We did a total of 15 rounds with our fertility clinic. It started about two years ago with medications of letrizol at two different doses for several rounds as well as an ovidrel shot. After six or seven rounds of this, which included about 2-3 appts each month we decided to stop. We put our fertility treatment on hold for about 18 months, and then began again with a different doctor at the same clinic. We did clomid, 3 shots of follistim and ovidrel, and I also took a steroid every day during the duration of treatment b/c it was supposed to aid in getting pregnant based on their research. We did five IUI’s and I even had a surgery to widen my cervix. Even still, when all the tests looked good, when the follicles and sperm analysis were the best possible results, pregnancy never came about. A positive result was never seen. I realized that even if we did want to go through IVF, God would decide whether we became pregnant, not the doctors. So if it hasn’t happened up to this point, why do I think I could alter God’s plans through IVF. I want to say that ethically and morally we are ok with IVF within certain guidelines and would not judge someone for proceeding with IVF to build their family.

We discussed how proceeding with IVF might look like. You might have up to 60 shots in one month, you have a surgery to retrieve the eggs, and the raging emotions I felt while on a much more mild treatment path, made me not want to experience more intense mood swings, emotions, physical discomfort and cryfests. What fertility treatments do to your body should not be overlooked. Watching Guilianna Rancic’s struggle to get pregnant really hits home with me. And b/c IVF makes your hormones go crazy, you allow your health to be at risk, in her case, the drugs activated the cells in her body and she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Breast cancer runs in my family on both sides. It’s just not worth it to me to pursue IVF when the cons outweigh the pros. The pro is, you may get pregnant and can have a biological child (something people take for granted). The cons are added emotional, mental and physical stress, not to mention the financial cost, plus potential for constant disappointment, which I’d had enough of. I was done and wanted to move on.

Adoption is something you have to warm up to, in my opinion. You have to make a conscious decision to care for a child, not of you physically. But adoption is also a beautiful way to parenthood and something I believe you are called to. Adoption is not for everyone, but hopefully it is for us and we are chosen to parent beautiful children through it. We both want to be parents, and I’m excited, hopeful and optimistic about achieving that through adoption.

Linsanity

linsanity

Someone posted this article on facebook and I thought how appropriate for all Christians  to hear and read.

God created us to live with a single passion to
joyfully display his supreme excellence in all the spheres of life.

 No matter what you’re going through…you are supposed to live with passion and joy for God.  That is incredibly hard sometimes, maybe even all the time.  I often feel like I don’t deserve to be going through infertility…I don’t understand what God is trying to teach me.  Maybe one day I’ll know, and maybe I’ll never know until I reach Heaven.  But what is clear, is that I should be joyful in it, through it and after I’m out of it.

Through these last three years, I’ve had my ups and downs with God.  But most recently, I’ve just been pissed at Him.  Like a kid who can’t get their way, I stomp my feet, throw temper tantrums when no one is around and shake my fist.  Begging, please please please, can you please give us children?!  If I were to imagine how an earthly parent would react to a request from their child of this nature, I can see why the parent would say no.  And as my tantrums with God don’t seem to be working…I’m going to have to try this joyful approach.  I’m going to have to sit quiet and listen to what He’s trying to teach me.  I don’t want to…but if I don’t, then I might miss out on something great.