Finally! There are so many beautiful blooms in our backyard. The grass is finally every shade of green and, as if over night, our peonies are standing tall and almost ready to burst open in full bloom! The sweet birds serenade us from the trees and even the rainstorms are smelling like “spring”. I think of how badly I’ve longed for the Spring season to be here. Did it not feel like the LONGEST winter ever?! I felt like a little kid on Christmas when I went outside and saw the tulips and daffodils popping up from the ground for the first time. ( And, yes… I cried. Ha!) I find it so amazing that after months of a harsh winter and bitter cold, a plant can not only find its way through the dirt into the sunlight, but it slowly strengthens its roots and eventually stands strong enough to hold a giant bloom. The timing of each bloom is so precise. Almost overnight, our blooming cherry tree blossomed and showered our front lawn with beautiful pink petals. All I want is to have the windows open and the sun pouring in. This Spring has been one like no other. Not only is the beauty that surrounds us reminding us of the precise timing and order in our lives, it has exploded LIFE in abundance in a season when we need to see LIFE all around us, the most.
This post is brutally honest, vulnerable, and open… Just a disclaimer. ❤
In February, Josh and I spent time praying into what it would look like to try our first round of fertility treatments in March. I wanted to be intentional about letting myself fully feel the anniversary of my dad’s death at the beginning of the month, and we had planned on going forward with things with the timing of my cycle– which happened to be on the first day of Spring. If you know me, you know how much I love what some call “coincidences”, but I call “divine timing”. We loved the idea that our first round of IUI would be on the first official day of Spring — the season we’ve spiritually, physically, and emotionally been waiting for. After a little bit of complication, the first procedure went well, and the next few weeks of waiting were KILLER. “Just go home and try not to think about it for the next 14 days”…. Rigggghhhht. No. That’s not how this girl works. It’s been on my mind 24/7 for the last 4 years and you want me to just “try not to think about it” for two weeks. Anyway– we prayed every day that God’s will would be done and we tried to find rest in knowing He was ultimately in control.
A few days after our first IUI, the doctor ordered a lab to check my Progesterone levels to make sure that my lining would be cozy enough for a little baby to call home and to make sure that I ovulated as strongly as I should have. Normal level is above 10. The nurse called and said, “Hi Bre. The doctor is a little concerned with your level. It is at 7.4 and he would like you to start taking Progesterone right away to make sure that you keep the embryo, if one develops. You’ll stay on this for the next 12 weeks.” My heart sank to my toes. All I could think about was the safety of an embryo inside me (that is…*IF* there was one)…and there’s THAT part of it…not even knowing for SURE. Then there was the cost of the progesterone supplements, and the side effects, and the fact that my body isn’t normal….This was not the way we wanted things to go, but I accepted it and thanked God for a solution and we moved on. Fast forward two weeks to a very early morning pregnancy test…and one pink line indicating it was, indeed, negative.
After calling to let them know how things went and fighting back falling apart like a little baby on the phone with the nurse, I took the day off work to make sure I was allowing myself the space and time to grieve…. grieving something we never even had in the first place. It is such a weird concept….and yet, it is so powerful. The doctor wanted me to turn right back around and start a medicine called Clomid before my next go around- Clomid helps thousands of women ovulate successfully and strongly enough to get pregnant, but it comes on the scene as swiftly as an elephant in church, and takes charge over your hormones like a jail keeper. The timing came and went, and each day we placed the situation in the Lord’s hands, knowing that what he wants is the best outcome for us.
Our next try of IUI was in April. This time we felt pretty positive. The procedure, however, was pretty difficult. After THREE nurses and a physician couldn’t complete it, they moved me to an ultrasound room. Nothing screams *VULNERABLE* like this moment of my life. The nurses were so kind and quickly saw beyond the fake smile that I was nervous and upset that this wasn’t as simple as it normally is. Yet again, my body wasn’t normal. The physician stayed with me to make sure I was ok and the ultrasound tech gently rubbed my arm to assure me that it was going to be “ok”. Then I hear, as she looks up from the ultrasound screen, “This happens all the time… don’t worry!” … Uh huh, sure.
My next progesterone level lab came back a few days later. ( Normal at 10, my level was 21!) I will never forget the excitement in the nurse’s voice when she said, “Way to go on that STRONG ovulation!” If it was possible to hug my ovaries, I would have done it right then and there. Again, we were told to wait another two weeks to test. This time the symptoms began almost right away. I started having nausea and horrible mood swings. (So sorry, babe) and… oh my gosh, the tears! I naturally cry all the time, but this was out of control. I felt bloated and crampy and I definitely felt like this could be it. Fast forward to a very early morning pregnancy test… and it was one pink line…indicating, yet again, I was not pregnant.
I can’t say it still doesn’t make me come to tears. That feeling of being punched in the gut, mixed with having your heart ripped out and torn to shreds. That feeling of wanting to punch out a wall and yet be held by everyone in the world and soothed with a hug. Yep. That feeling.
The doctor returned my call later that day and said that he would like to perform a test called an HSG to get a very clear picture of my anatomy, and to be able to tell for certain if the Fallopian tubes are fully open. He explained that there is no point in going forward with what we are trying if the pathway is blocked completely. The good news ( like this is “good” ) is that during this procedure, the dye they use flushes out the fallopian tubes and allows them to open up… most of the time. And the best time to try a round of IUI is RIGHT after an HSG because everything is open and ready to go. After praying and talking with the doctor, we asked him if he was ok with us taking a few months off from trying, so that we can regain some strength and have time to process our journey in full.
Right after us finding out that we were not pregnant we had our water heater give out about 50 gallons of water throughout our house. Josh and I can (somewhat, lol) laugh about it now and we joked that we had a flood to cleanse our house and start fresh. But in the hassle of demolishing walls and tearing out damaged flooring, I started to realize how this same situation mimicked what I felt like on the inside. I felt flooded with emotions and we felt as if our very foundation was being ripped away from us. Thank goodness for Homeowner’s Insurance…. but I honestly hope we never have to use them again.
We are…exhausted. Yes, I’m aware that some people to back to back rounds of IFV or IUI for years and never see results. BUT-YES, I have found that this journey is so much more taxing emotionally, physically, financially and spiritually than we ever imagined. All of me feels like a puddly mess of all kinds of emotions. (I may *slightly* blame the hormones and the medications that just toss my emotions around like baseballs). It is the encouragement in the PROMISES of God that picks me up and puts me together again. Even in our weakest season, we still feel so supported by our family and our closest friends who have walked with us every step of the way…. checking in with us and constantly cheering us on. We are so thankful for the timing of texts, calls, and cards in the mail encouraging us to KEEP BELIEVING. It’s amazing how God provides things at *just* the right time. Like providing the beauty in our backyard and the beauty of this Spring season to remind us that we are surrounded by LIFE every single day, even when it doesn’t feel like it. I am reminded of how long I waited through seriously the LONGEST winter season ever for spring to finally arrive and how often I missed the beauty around me in winter because I was just longing for what was ahead and not being fully present in the moment… I just wanted to move on and forget about it.
I can’t say that we still don’t currently feel that way at all. Honestly, I tell Josh all the time how much I just want to fast forward through all of this awful, awful heartbreak and just get to when we get to be a family. But, I would be doing myself a major disservice if I didn’t stop to see the beauty in our brokenness and notice how much this season is teaching us. We literally are depending on the Lord for strength every single day. We’ve been to this place before, especially during the season of saying Goodbye to my daddy. But this is different. What better way for Josh to learn what it means to be an excellent father, than to learn how to be comforted from his Father in Heaven. What better way for us to learn how to truly appreciate each other, than to be stripped of every comfort and being forced to realize how much we truly are FOR one another in our marriage. What better way for us to learn how to APPRECIATE our future children, than to have to wait for them and pray for them to arrive.
It is JUST like God to have orchestrated that during this season of grieving, we would wake up every single day to the sound of birds cheerfully singing right next to our window. It is JUST like him to make sure that every time we look outside, we see the GREEN so deep against the blooms so bright. He is inside every detail and I know he has a plan for us.
Would you partner with us in praying for our family and our babies over the next few months? We would be SO honored to have your prayers. Especially as we navigate through the testing and the next few rounds of IUI. We would also feel honored if you felt led to donate financially to our “Baby Fund” in order to help make our dream of becoming a family a reality. We SO appreciate those who have given to us already. Unfortunately, in the state of Indiana, most, if not ALL, insurance policies DO NOT have infertility coverage built into their packages. (In the state of Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan it is a possibility, but not here… a real crock of crap). Anyway–the financial burden of infertility is SO ridiculous. There is nothing like it in the world. Because of the precise timing, the nature of needing tons of lab work done, and the cost of the procedure—it is a MAJOR expense. This test that they are recommending has an astronomical cost as well. We would be honored if you felt like giving and the link you can use to do so is listed here:
Thanks for taking the time to invest in us by reading all of this, friends. If you stuck it out to read it all, I applaud you and I thank you. And thank you for supporting us in prayer and encouragement during this time. It really is an honor and we love you.
Believing in faith and standing on hope,
- The Vire’s