The Verdict is In

I will not delay the drama- we are pregnant.

However we are early, only 4w1d. As many of you know infant loss and miscarriage is very very real so we are still trust God with all of our steps.

Let me just recap a little of what happened over the last week or so.

After my original enthusiasm over the 3 surviving embryos I spoke to the Embryologist (Tom) at the end of the day on 4-25-13. I asked him what the percentages on the form meant. They read like this

Embryo 1- 70%

Embryo 2- 60%

Embryo 3- 40%

Embryo 4-10%

Embryo 5- 50%

Embryo 6- 40%

Embryo 7-50%

Embryo 8- 70%

“What in the world does that mean?” He replied “Those are the amount of cells that were alive in the embryos.” I was stunned. You mean that only 70% of the blastula’s cells are alive? He walked me through some of the pictures as well as how they determined what embryos “had the potential for life” (that is a whole blog post in its own right) and which ones do not have the potential. Sitting where I am, I am grateful for a man with such wisdom to not transfer something to me that has no chance for life. He further explained the difference between the cells that have separated into the inner cell mass (that becomes the baby) and the outer cells (that becomes the placenta). Both of these two parts have to be forming properly to have a baby. After that I asked him what he would rate the blastulas.  He told me B’s or C’s. Those of you who are familiar with fertility AA is the best AB means the baby part looks good and the placenta part looks pretty good but not as good as the AA would look. BB the BA or AB or CC or BC….on and on it goes. They rate the part of the blastula that makes the baby and then the part that makes the placenta. I am not sure why I wanted to know his ratings but I did. It actually shocked me to reality. After the excitement of the previous day I was now praying that God would grant us favor and allow a pregnancy. It was sort of sad though. I was thinking “I don’t know if I can do all of this over again”. I want these babies or this baby for our family and for the genetic family. I want them to have another child- a sibling for their daughter- I want to have another child. I don’t want to be responsible for losing these babies.

Let me tell you a little more about what happens to the embryos when they are thawed. In the past the only way to freeze embryos was by using a slow freeze technique. This results in less than 80% of the embryos surviving when they are later thawed. (Now they use a process called vitrification where they can “flash freeze” embryos with a 98% successful thaw rate.) When these embryos were thawed 3 of them were immediately considered not viable- Embryos 3, 4, 6. Embryo 5 and 7 were not considered appropriate for transfer however they wanted to grow them overnight and then see what they looked like on 4-25 before they made a decision. The next morning those embryos had also retarded their growth (stopped growing) and had darkened. This means that they were not going to be viable in the future. What if one of those had done well? They would have frozen it by vitrification and we would know that it was doing well to be able to thaw the next time.

What if we made the wrong decision to transfer 3? 

Well, over the last 4 months we have submitted the numbers to God- He is in the details we believe. I asked Tom (our incredible embryologist) about the choice of three. We ask Dr S about our chances of pregnancy with transferring 2- he told us 50-50 that we would get 1 baby. Chances of twin pregnancy with transferring 2- 30%. Well, those really are not all that great odds (at least we didn’t think so). If we transferred 3 our odds of 1 taking would be better but we might have a greater risk of twins. Paul and I prayed and felt a great peace (remember this is before we knew anything about the embryos) that 3 would be a good number. If we did have twins God was big enough to take care of us. Triplets are really not all that likely.

I listened intently to what Tom was saying and I find it interesting that there is such a clear line between the “viable” embryos and the non viable ones. Isn’t it interesting that exactly 3 survived? Isn’t it interesting that they are so different from the others? I also find if amazing that the very best embryo- the one that was already breaking out of its shell was the very last one that they thawed. It was not even fully re-hydrated when they put it in me. I really believe that God is interested in details. Also, what if we have wanted 2? They would have only thawed Embryo 1 and Embryo 2 and stopped there. I guess we really can’t play the what if game but we would have thought that we still had 6 embryos left when in reality only 1 of those was considered viable. Sure, we can see that now…. I know this sounds strange but when you adopt embryos  you just don’t know how they are going to turn out when they thaw. I have a friend who thawed one, transferred one, and got pregnant with one. I guess you never know. I will tell you I KNOW that the last embryo is one we are pregnant with (I just know it). Maybe we will call him ocho :).

Of course, we do not know the end of this story just yet. Since we are very early I covet your prayers for the health and safety of these babies. (We refer to them as plural since we transferred 3.) We pray for normal growth, continued growth, prayers that I would be very sick so I would know that they babies are doing well. We also pray that God would comfort the family that gave us the children (we haven’t talked about it but there must be a slight sense of loss) and bring us close together and in one accord throughout this time.

So, my lab today was 190- anything above a 50 is pregnant but I would have been shocked if I wasn’t pregnant. I am already craving my pregnancy stand by of mashed potatoes, I have cried (a lot), I have heartburn, feel a tightening or firming of my lower abdomen, I have a few more pangs of mild cramping, and am nauseated (already-really???). I couldn’t imagine that all of those and other things could just be in my head!

Next step?  We will retest the labs on Sunday and look for the 190 to double. That will tell us that things are proceeding normally. If not, well, God is in charge of that as well.

I would love to leave you with my favorite scripture- one that we pray over these babies-

Psalms 139: 13-16

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

He knew me, He knows these babies by name….He calls them by their names!

Praise Him from whom all blessings flow!

No Boys Allowed!

      “Please dear Lord, don’t let me have a boy!”    

These were the words I naïvely said when my little girl was two and I found out that I was pregnant with my second. Boys were never in our plans. Why you may ask?  Daughter in laws…. I didn’t want to fall in love with my little boy rear him to adulthood only to be surmounted by a young girl who now gets all his attention. Selfish huh? Yes, but absolutely true- we had planned to have all girls. Of course, God had other plans for us and His plans are perfect.

About 4 years ago I was working with Jr High Youth at my church. I was pregnant with a baby- about 14 weeks and I would find out that week what I was having. This baby too was a girl; I had fixed my mind that boys were not in the plans for us! I wanted sister dresses, girls to play together, everything in our house was pink, play kitchens, bunnies, dress up, flowers, pink cars, and pink toothbrushes. Pink Pink Pink Pink! Let me return to my morning in our youth building- we had a guest worship band that morning. They were high school students and really good. My eyes moved from the drummer to the lead singer to the bass player and the guitar. Each one of these boys, I’m sorry young men, was a Godly example to their peers. These boys were making good decisions, using their gifts to Praise the Lord and they were leading others, even though they were youth. I kept watching the drummer, the son of my physician, one of 7, he has the stature of someone years ahead of himself (maybe because of his older brothers, I don’t know). I don’t know him, I worked with the girls, however he was the example that God used in my heart to let me know it was all ok and his will is perfect. As I watched this drummer I held my growing tummy, closed my eyes to sing and I knew, in an instant, this child was a little boy. Not only did I know the sex of the child but I knew that it WOULD be just fine. Tears filled my eyes with thanksgiving for the work of the Lord. After church I told my husband that we would be having a boy and it was confirmed a few weeks later with an ultrasound that indeed it was a boy, and he was PROUD of it! From that moment on I was excited to have my boy.

This boy is definitely a world away from his sister- even if he did play with pink toys for the first year of his life. He acts nothing like her. He is grumpy, loud, busy, and amazingly gifted in electronics. Not only that, but he LOVES his mother. There is nothing like the love of a son, he wants to snuggle and cuddle and he is ALL about mommy! I am not sure where the next part of this story goes but for now my son is our DJ (with his Ipad) and he loves music. Every morning at church my son pulls and tugs my hand to go IN to the service. He is a 3 year old who is off the growth chart of a 5 year old and clearly cannot sit through a service but he wants to go.

What has this little boy mesmerized?

WORSHIP MUSIC

No lie, this little one has an affinity for music, he is constantly playing with his guitar, drumming on a drum pad or hitting anything and everything with his drumstick. He is even drawn to the piano. This mother’s day, as I sat with my big boy on my lap he intently watched the musicians, as he does every Sunday morning. I don’t have some big meaning to all of this except the wonder of our Savior- giving us exactly what we need when we need it. This little boy radically revolutionized my heart; he won it with his tenderness, his enthusiasm, and his loving spirit. I am SO THANKFUL that God had a plan to allow me to have this little boy. How silly I was to ever want to miss this blessing.

Baby dedication was also this morning and as I sit and watch the sweet babies, I cannot help but look to the future- what will it look like next year? Will we have another part of our family? Will we still be waiting? What will our home look like? One thing that I can tell you is I want more of both- boys and girls! Will God give us siblings? Who knows!  One other thing I know for sure is I trust the HIM who formed me in my mother’s womb and every day was written in His book before one of them came to be.

Praise Him From Whom All Blessings Flow.

Happy Mother’s Day!

The Start

 

                So, here we are; the start of a new chapter. My family is entering another phase- an adoption.  Two years ago we went through an open adoption, held a leg at the birth of our child baby M, she was handed to me for me to feed and we kept her and loved her. We praised God for her, dressed her, and she happily slept in my arms between feedings. Our room was right next to the birth mom, papers were signed for the baby to be released to us and then the birth mom changed her mind. She changed her mind and we lost our little girl that our children had met and that we loved already. I cannot tell you how much I felt like she was mine.

Lord, why would you have us go through all of this if you were not going to allow us to keep this little girl. Why did my other kids meet her, why did I fall in love with this sweet child?

Image

Only the Father knows the plans for his children. Maybe in another blog I will go into detail about this first adoption but today we are on the cusp of a new adventure. What an adventure it has been already!

                Finally ready to jump back into the water after healing from our loss two years ago God began pulling and pulling us closer to “It’s your time now”. Actually, after we lost baby M I could sit in church without the nagging of feeling like I needed to do something more. I had been available but we ultimately did not have the child. So here we sit, God has said your time is now. I am ready, are you ready? Did I hear a voice, no of course not, not audibly but I did know in my spirit that this is the time.

My husband and I waited until 10 years after we were married to have children. We planned on children, we planned on adoption from before our marriage but we waited, finances, work issues, goals to be accomplished. We waited and waited and then it was as if we knew it was time to start our family. I became pregnant after a miscarriage and with the birth of our daughter we were forever changed. Isn’t that what happens to all of us? That was 6 years ago now and here we are with 2 amazing children. Why isn’t that enough? Why do we need more? Why don’t you have more of your own? Why adopt?

YOU MEAN YOU ARE GOING TO DO THAT!

WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO DO THAT!

                Believe it or not, I have heard this from people I love and trust. The answer is simple: God has adopted us into His kingdom. Who are we, who have been given so much, to NOT adopt. How could we do anything else? So here we are, in the middle of our home study, working through the minutia in anticipation of what the next step is. For now though, we are being obedient with each small step, moving forward one foot in front of the other.

I hope this blog will “Mark each Mile” along the way. 

STEP ONE tomorrow.