I’m not pregnant.
Whew. Let’s just get that off the chest and right out there in the open.
I’m sorry that it has taken me a while to get this out on the blog, but I wanted something more substantial than “Hey. I got a negative test on Saturday and started my period on Easter.”
I know you all were rooting so badly for us on our last IUI cycle. I know you all were counting the days with me to test day. And, I’m confident when the weekend rolled around and there wasn’t an update you may have been excitedly scratching your heads wondering if I was waiting for a big appointment or time to make an awesome reveal.
*side note* if I actually do get pregnant, there is no way it will be a secret. Not even from day one. I’ve been way open and out there with everything so far, there’s NO way that is going to be a secret. *end side note*
I wasn’t. What I have been waiting for is our IVF calender.
I can’t even believe it myself. I can’t believe we’re here. I can’t believe this is what we’ll be doing. I’m a whole host of emotions. Excited. Nervous. Really, really nervous. Hopeful. Terrified of new procedures. Terrified of failing. Positive about our increased chances. Curious about how it will all happen. Preparing for disappointment. Trying to force myself to not think about it.
It’s a a lot. And when you throw in medicine that I already started on Tuesday, it’s A LOT a lot.
But, before I get to the specifics of what our April/May is going to look like, I wanted to take some time to explain a few different things. As I started writing all of this out, it turned into a massively huge post, so I’m going to turn this single post into a week long series with different post topics. Such as:
Part 1: Why we have decided to move forward with IVF
1a. Why not adoption or fostering
Part 2: What exactly is IVF?
Part 3: How Jim and I, as Christians and pro-lifers, can choose this treatment path.
And lastly, Part 4: My treatment plan
1. Why we have decided to move forward with IVF
Really, why not? I have a medically diagnosable issue. My AMH levels are low, my FSH levels are high. It means I have diminished ovarian reserve or poor quality eggs, possibly both. Either way, we need treatment to help us get pregnant.
If anyone has an illness that has been diagnosed, people would expect you to treat it to the best of your ability. If you had pneumonia, you wouldn’t go to the doctor for a diagnosis and then say, “Well, I’ll just keep trying to cure this “naturally” by sitting at home doing nothing” You would take antibiotics. If you broke your arm you wouldn’t say, “Well, the body has a natural way of healing itself. I don’t need a doctor to help me with this.” No! You would let a medical professional set the bone SO that the God-created process of healing could continue.
That’s what we are doing. We know it isn’t a guarantee that it will work. Sometimes, pneumonia gets worse and sometimes broken bones are never quite the same. But, here’s the deal. We feel that we have to try. And if we’re going to try, we need to try now. Time isn’t on our side. We know that there is always opportunity for a miracle to happen and for a non treatment cycle to result in a pregnancy. But statistically, even though I’m only 24 right now, the more time that passes, there is less and less of a possibility physically for one of my rare good eggs to find a good sperm.
At the same time, we FULLY understand and completely believe that God is the Author of ALL life – He designed us and He designed the process for us to make more of ourselves. IVF isn’t trying to “play God” as some mistakenly think. It is God that created flesh, it is God that created eggs and sperm, it is God that created how those two interact when they meet, and it is God that created how cells will divide and grow and develop and one day be born. Whether all of those steps happen in a uterus or in a test tube does not change the glory of his creation in any way – in fact it enhances it. One of the great evidences for creation is the fact that order exists and that we can see repeatable patterns. 1 + 1 always equals 2. When a sperm fertilizes an egg we get a child. When a broken bone is set it will heal. Technology doesn’t change these truths. When the antibiotics heal your pneumonia do you praise God any less? Absolutely not! When “modern technology” intervenes it is not stealing God’s glory – God created the order that our medicine relies on. God’s majestic creation is on full display in the very fact that IVF works. God is still the author of life for every single human and we are praying so very fervently that He authors on our behalf. We are praising His name and are eternally grateful for technology that exists now and that is available to us, to help us grow our family biologically.
An additional reason for pursuing IVF: The possibility of frozen embryos. To reduce the risk of a multiple pregnancy my Dr’s office will only transfer 1 or 2 embryos. So, what happens if more than that have fertilized? You can freeze them. That means that if we have a successful IVF #1(results in a pregnancy) and we are blessed(not likely, but holy cow would that be amazing) with frozen embryos, a year or two after delivery we can go back and transfer my 24 year old eggs! Wow! Instead of redoing an entire IVF or trying with 27ish year old eggs that have deteriorated even further, we can use the ones we get from this cycle.
1a. Why not choose fostering or adoption instead? Why IVF?
Fostering and adoption is a calling that has no basis on how many children you have(or don’t).
You can have 2 or 10 or 0 children. If God lays it on your heart to adopt/foster there is no escaping it.
It is your calling.
It currently is not our calling. We are praying fervently over it. We are attempting to be open to it. But, right now? We just aren’t. We have been praying and praying for God to grow our family. We want to be blessed with as many children as possible. But, for right now, God has called us to try and grow our family and trust Him this way. And we have a perfect peace about all of it.
I haven’t convinced myself that because I have peace about it that it means it will work.
What I do know is that when we are firmly committed to being in His will, blessing will come from it.
And that is right where we want to be.
Stop back by tomorrow for Part 2: What exactly is IVF? What all does it involve?
I'm totally digging your transparency, Courtney. I love that you're fighting for your babies even before the test says "positive." You go, Mama Spena. High five!
Such a great post! I LOVE your honesty and the fact that you are sharing your story. It will bless so many and I'm blessed just following your journey. Praying for these treatments and that God uses them in his plan for your family!
The anxiety that follows clicking "publish" and waiting for the first few comments is always agonizing. Your responses are a balm, comfort, and encouragement to me. Thank you so much!
I read this post earlier in the day and you've been heavy on my heart since then. I didn't comment earlier because I wasn't sure what to say. Or at least- the right thing to say. I have not struggled with infertility..so I can't even begin to imagine….but I do have a sister that is currently struggling with it. All of this to say- I still don't have the right words to say! i want you to be encouraged and lifted up. Know that I am thinking and praying for you!
I really, really appreciate you not using something cliche to say to fill the void. Hearing, "I have no idea what to say" is MUCH appreciated. Believe me! Thank you so much for your prayers and encouragement.
I love this post!!!! (just not the non-pregnant part) I love everything that you had to say & your appraoch to it all. I could not agree more. We are also big pro-life & thankfully didnt have an blast to spare. 2 retrivals to have enough to get 4 blasts. all but 1 took. AS I always say God is still so involved in IVF. He still has the last say.
I'm so glad that we "know" each other. You have been such a blessing to me. Not only seeing your success that is so encouraging, but also knowing I can ask you anything if I need to!
Joining you in prayer and lifting your sweet family up to the Lord. I am glad you guys are moving forward in this way to grow your family. Will be praying for an all encompassing peace as you and Jim navigate your way through the IVF process.
James 5:16, the prayers of a righteous man accomplish much. Thank you for interceding for us!
Courtney, as a fellow infertile, I wanted to thank you for sharing your story so fully, bravely and honestly. I stumbled onto your blog through a Pinterest post while looking for kitchen curtain ideas (your DIY Burlap Curtains are now on my "to-do" list), but before I found the curtain tutorial, your posts on infertility caught my eye and I immediately dived into them.
So much of what you are going through is what I am going through (I am about to start my 2nd IVF cycle). And so much of what you shared so bravely is what I have been unable to share with most, save for my wonderful husband, supportive mother and a couple very close friends. You are inspiring and I just wanted to thank you for laying it all out there. I know it's not an easy thing to do. I'm wishing you all the luck in the world and will be praying for you. I hope that your IVF journal will go smoothly and have a happy ending for you and your family.
If you ever want to chat with fellow "infertiles" going through IVF, there's a wonderful, small group of ladies on BabyCenter that have been incredibly helpful to me. Just search for "Soul IVF Sisters." -Kimberly
Thank you so much for reaching out to me and taking the time to comment on my blog. This comment means the absolute world to me. I'm so glad that my post touched you. That's why I put it out here. Best wishes to you on your 2nd IVF cycle. I hope this cycle they get everything perfectly right and you are holding your sweet little one this time next year.
Thanks for the babycenter invite, I'm actually a "bumpie" 🙂 There is a great secondary IF board that has been an invaluable resource to me. I sometimes lurk on other IF boards because they are a wealth of valuable information, but never post because it's kind of tricky already having a little one.
Please stop by again- and keep me posted on how your IVF #2 goes!
big hugs Courtney.
Thanks, Amy. A shimmy and a snuggle back to you!
Courtney, I'm so glad my comment meant the world to you. Thank you for positive thoughts and well wishes for our second IVF cycle. And as far as "bumpies" go, our board has a couple of ladies that have been trying for #2 also, so all are welcome. -Kimberly
Hi there!! My name is Kelley. I am a friend of Courtney Jeremy's who turned me on to your blog!–I'm hooked!! I am not a mama (pray to be one some day!!!) I, as well was giving the ugly "infertility" diagnosis. I totally understand all the feelings you are going through. I look forward to your future blogs! You and your family are in my prayers!