Failing IVF really brought us to the end of trying everything we thought possible.  Of course we can try it again, there are people out there who do IVF 4x before they are successful.  There are people out there who have done it 6x and still don’t have a child.  I don't know how some of them make it through that many times, because after one trial of IVF I am worn out.  We are both worn out.  Dave and I are faced with more decisions.  Decisions we didn't think we would ever be faced with.  There are options out there we didn’t even know of………. Domestic adoption, international adoption, embryo adoption, fostering children,  surrogacy, donor eggs, re-trying IVF with a different approach.  We reviewed our options at our post IVF consult with the doctor.  She encouraged us to try again if that was financially possible because we can try a different approach with the medications.  She reassured us that sometimes a different combination of medication or different timing of medication can do the trick.  She cannot tell us if the chances would be any better.  There are never any guarantees with this.  We also talked about using donor eggs that of anonymous donor or that of one of my sisters.  We talked about adopting embryos that would genetically be neither of us but could be implanted into my uterus so I could still birth a child.  It would be our baby from day 1 but would not genetically be linked to us.    She mentioned doing some very thorough genetic testing (Fragile X)to see if I carry a gene that is causing the infertility or that might cause our child to have severe mental and/or  physical deformities and disabilities.  

Dave and I discussed the the genetic testing thoroughly and can't convince ourselves that it's what we need to do.  It might give us an answer, but what if we did get pregnant down the road, we're not going to end the pregnancy because of it.  The knowledge in itself would probably do us more harm than good.  We both feel like this is one of those things that's in God's hands.  He already knows the child we will have and he's preparing us for that.  We would rather not know this and be able to celebrate and be happy when we get pregnant instead of living in fear and worry. I am certain I will worry enough without knowing these things.  The reality is, any child can be born with health problems, mental or physical disabilities- and for us, it's more knowledge than what we feel we are to know.

I've come to know a mother through work who went through a failed attempt at IVF only she didn't make it as far as us.  When they went to retrieve her eggs, they said there were only 2 and they weren't good quality, so they ended her IVF cycle right there.  No embryos were ever transferred.  This mother devastated with the outcome, decided to seek a different approach. She said she couldn’t believe that she would never have a child.  A friend of hers referred her to a Chinese Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture Clinic here in Nashville.  Yes, Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture.  Talk about a different approach.  It's hard for me to wrap my mind  around it.  It seems completely crazy and absurd to even consider.  But, this same mother who sought this clinic out, now brings her triplets in to our clinic.  I've seen it with my own eyes and I've heard her story.  Something worked.  She was told by her regular doctor her chances of having a child were slim to none- that her egg quality was poor and she didn’t respond to IVF.    But the same doctor who told her she couldn't have a baby, also told her when she came back in after acupuncture and herbal treatment that there was something to it because her egg quality and number had improved tremendously.

When you reach the point of feeling like you have tried everything.  You are so much more open to trying anything else that might work.  The thought of this is crazy and absurd to us, just as  it was to my friend!  But, she tried it, and because she tried it- she now has 3 beautiful babies.  I am not here to promote this or say that this is better than our typical Western medicine philosophy.  I'm a nurse and I do believe in our medicine and all the amazing things we can do for people because of our medical technology and medicine.  However, when it comes to this and feeling as though we have tried everything Western medicine has to offer, we find ourselves a little more open to the Eastern Medicine approach.  I have seen it work, call it coincidence, call it what you may.  But for us, it’s offered a new hope to explore a different option that might work for me too!

 I've always said with this journey we are on that I have to know in my heart that we tried everything possible to conceive a child.  And although we will love an adopted child as much as we will a biological child, I have to give this a try. 

I heard this song on the radio today and instantly felt like it was one of those songs God used to speak to me.  Laura Story, the artist of this song wrote this song after going through (still going through) some major trials in her life.  After being married for not quite 2 years they discovered that her husband had a brain tumor and within a year required several surgeries that didn't even promise life in the end.    They have now been married 7 years and he is still going through the healing process as he has some remaining vision and memory defecits.  Laura shares their struggle to understand God's purpose in this.  This song is such an inspiriation to me and I hope it is for you also.  

Each of us go through different trials in our life- very different trials and different degrees of trials.  But whatever the trial, we all share the struggle to  understand God's purpose, or timing, or reasons for whatever it is we find ourselves going through.  In the end, God is beyond the small amt. of understanding and reason we try to put on things.  He is beyond what makes sense, beyond reason, beyond medical technology, whatever it may be.  Our God has no limitations, no boundaries.  And although we expect perfection from him and that all our prayers be answered the way we think they should be,  He is far greater than anything we could even ask him for.   I am encouraged and reminded that my God is greater than any trial I will ever go through in this life.

Here are the lyrics and I've attached the youtube video for you to listen to as well..............
Artist: Laura Story
We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know the pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home,
It's not our home

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise

This is your new blog post. Click here and start typing, or drag in elements from the top bar.
The past week after finding out we are not pregnant has been interesting.  We really wanted to surprise people with good news, but that is not happening now.  Karen had been experiencing weird pains in her stomach and I was really hoping that was our beautiful embryo implanting and growing.  It was not to be.

After Karen and I called and got the news via our voicemail at NFC, it took varying degrees of time for it to hit each of us.  It hit Karen within minutes, but took a bit longer with me.  I always want to be able to cry with Karen, especially with something this big, but for whatever reason, it is hard for me to do so.  It wasn’t until I called my parents on my way to get us dinner that it really hit me that we probably cannot have children on our own.  Yup, I broke down.  I had to call my parents separately because dad was on the road and mom was at home. 

The phone calls were tough in a way, because not only was I telling my parents that we couldn’t have kids,  but I was telling them they might not end up getting grandkids.  I know how much grandparents love their grandkids because of how much my grandparents (both maternal and paternal) loved me.  It’s sad to think they may not have that chance.

As Karen mentioned in her most recent post, the irony of our situation as compared to others is very obvious.  We so much desire the chance to be parents but are not getting that.  Some of her patients are parents and don’t want to be.  I told Karen to just look at them and tell them to stop complaining about it because she cannot be.

A question that pops into our head often is why, if God has given us this desire to be parents, has he chosen to not bless us with kids yet?  While I sure hope the answer is something we’ll eventually be able to look back and see, the answer may never be there.  I can tell you this, that sharing this hard, sad, and frustrating experience together has really strengthened our marriage in more ways than not.  For that I am eternally grateful to God.  The closer I am to Karen the more ways I find to love her and the easier it is to love her too.  And I have found that I am happier and enjoy life more the closer I am to her.

So, what is next?  Not 100% sure as of yet.  We are going to relax for a bit and look for other options and continue to pray, pray, pray.  Thank you for those of you who have been praying and for those of you who now get to start praying for us.  Prayer is powerful.