I’ve hesitated to write this – for multiple reasons, I suppose. First, I fear disapproval and judgment. I have family (and I’m sure some friends -- maybe some of you) that I know will not agree with the choice we’ve made that I’ll share below. I hate disappointing people, and that is something that I am finally starting to get more comfortable with, but it is still scary for me.
Second, my husband is a very private person, and while he is extremely supportive of The Baby Wait, I know that it is difficult for him to have me divulge such personal details about what is for most, a very private topic.
And lastly, I never wanted or intended for this space to be about me. The vision for this site, the vision that I felt God call me to, was to create a space that reminded us all of God’s faithfulness in the midst of the painful struggle that is infertility, miscarriage or adoption. When I wasn’t able to get my hands on enough stories to post as frequently as I wanted, I started to write a bit, then a bit more, and before I knew it I was sharing more and more about myself and my own journey, which was not what I had initially planned. However, I realized that my recent unwillingness to share was making it difficult for me keep up with this site. Every time I tried, I couldn't write anything, because then I would be revealing what was going on.
I decided that not sharing goes against everything that this site is about: the human story, vulnerability, and seeing God's goodness in the trials and the celebrations. I decided that I want to reciprocate the vulnerability that you all so generously give. So, here goes...
After a break from treatments and a lot of counsel and prayer, my husband and I decided to give IVF a try. We had planned to start a cycle this past spring, but it was right after I launched this site and for some reason I just couldn’t do it and backed out. I know this isn’t the case for everyone, but my doctor was going to put me on birth control to align my cycle with his retrieval schedule, and the day of my first pill was Mother’s Day. It all felt wrong. While disappointed, my husband was extremely supportive and agreed that it was not the right time.
All summer long we prayed about it some more, sought the counsel of a pastor in our church, discussed at length with our parents, shared our concerns with our doctor, and I continued to try a number of holistic infertility options. I oscillated back and forth about the decision by the week, sometimes the day.
One of my biggest hesitations was the use of so many drugs and medications. I’m the kind of girl who will suffer through the worst headache in the world because I don’t want to take Advil or Tylenol. I drink green juice every morning with my probiotics, green supplements, and a handful of vitamins. I make my own deodorant for Pete’s sake. I take pride in my focus on preventative healthcare and my limited use of over the counter and prescription drugs. IVF was the exact opposite of that and I felt like a traitor.
Secondly, I was weary of ‘how far is too far’ when it comes to medical intervention. Were we trying to ‘play God’ by doing IVF? Just exactly how do science and God balance out in this kind of a situation? And if we were going to give it a try, I wanted to make sure that we talked through all of the pros and cons of the many small but very important decisions ad nauseam.
We talked about all of this until we were blue in the face, and we prayed even more than we talked about it. We eventually got to answers that we both agreed on, but for some reason, I still couldn’t pull the trigger. At this point, Seth gave me some space for me to try to understand my hesitation.
One day I was prepping a story post for the site and it dawned on me – I wanted a cool story. I was receiving all of these stories of miraculous pregnancies, undeniable callings to adopt (which neither Seth or I had felt), and every once in a while, a combination of the two. Nobody’s story was, “I had unexplained infertility and I did a round of IVF and got pregnant.” What a snooze-fest! That would be like the most boring ending ever to “My Story”. And not only that, but I wanted God to show me His glory in a big way. I expected it. I was the creator of The Baby Wait, after all, and I felt like by doing IVF, I was taking that opportunity away from him.
I confessed this desire to Seth and a few close friends. The more that I talked about it the more I realized how selfish it was. This is not all for me or about what I want or think I deserve. God does not owe me anything. And to consider a plain old IVF story absent of God was making my view of Him so incredibly small. To assume that He wouldn’t be as present in that miracle of life as He would through a natural pregnancy? I realized how ridiculous it sounded.
Now let me pause a second and say that I do think that there is something really powerful in the stories that we hear of women like Hannah (and some of you!), who ended up giving birth to a child even when it seemed impossible by all other conventional standards. After all, it was hearing stories like these that inspired me to start this site in the first place.
But I started thinking about all of the women that get pregnant every day naturally, some unplanned. Would I ever say that God was not a part of the miracle of those pregnancies? Absolutely not! That is my biggest pro-life argument – every pregnancy is as God planned, and every single life is a miracle. Even IVF pregnancies. I truly believe that if it is not part of God’s plan for someone to get pregnant at a certain time, no amount of science or medical intervention can overcome that.
And it doesn’t make the seemingly ‘less miraculous’ stories any less important. Every single person’s story is meaningful. It reminds me of finding God and His beauty in the everyday, mundane moments. You don’t have to be on the shores in Hawaii or overlooking the skyline of an ancient city to be enamored by His creation. Sometimes His most beautiful masterpieces are in your own backyard.
I was finally ready. We were ready.
The most invasive and difficult part of the process is done. Before we left for our vacation I had my retrieval and we have some teeny tiny siblings in a freezer. We let my body recover from the procedure and enjoyed what was hopefully our ‘last hurrah’ in Paris, and soon we’ll have our first transfer. We are both nervous and excited.
Part of why I’ve debated whether or not to share is that in the online infertility community, it is very common for people to share every detail, including the results of the transfer. I didn’t know if I was comfortable with that, and I’m still not sure. So I’m just going to wait and see how it goes. I might share and I might not, and I hope you all are okay with that.
Where ever you are on this journey today, know that my heart and prayers are with you. And if any of you are struggling with a similar decision and want to pick my brain, I’m here for you if you have questions or want to know what our thought process was in all of this. Everyone has different perspectives and opinions on it all. Regardless, the whole exercise is exhausting and overwhelming, and I’m so thankful for the people in our lives that helped us navigate this difficult road. You can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are so grateful for your prayers.