After a few doctor's visits, we have decided to go to a Fertility Clinic, where we started with In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF). For someone as terrified of doctors and needles as I am, it was quite a daunting prospect, but we committed to the process, so off we went with our purple bag full of magical pills, vials, needles, and a crash course in "how to become an overnight nurse", for my husband.
The next two weeks was quite interesting. The gap was so frighteningly big - between how we felt and where we wanted to be - but with our end goal in sight, we closed our eyes and made a leap of faith. I got used to the injections pretty quick, and the extra bursts of hormones actually agreed very well with me. I had no side effects, no swelling and the injections did not hurt at all, thanks to my patient, and now quite skilled, nurse...
During this 4 week period, a lot of things went through my mind. You are suddenly terrified, overwhelmed and awestruck all at once, by the complexity and wonderment of the whole process, the miracle of life and the possibility of failure. It reminded me of the words of T.S. Elliot. “If you aren't in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?”
This is truly a journey we embarked on that can end in happiness or heartbreak for us. There are so many milestones and hurdles to get through, which in itself is a roller coaster of emotions. Guilt, Fear and Resentment tries to creep into your life, and many of my previous fiends have turned into potential enemies, like Hope, Perseverance and Faith. Spinoza said: "There is no hope unmingled with fear, and no fear unmingled with hope."
You start this process with hope, but halfway through you realise that hope is the very thing that will break your heart in the end.
I catch myself pinning articles of nursery rooms and baby clothes, just to erase it again the next day. I also realize how parents who lost children might be more hurt by the life and dreams they envisioned for that child's future, rather than just the loss of life itself. In my heart I painted a beautiful picture of the life we could have, how the children will look like, what we will name them, how we will raise them and where we will live. I even dug out all my old children's books and records from when I was a baby, reminiscing my own childhood. I planned the Baby Shower and Christening, and then resented myself for doing so. How do you un-see this painted picture again? But once you decide to choose hope, anything is possible.
During the process of IVF, which turned into ICSI, we were so intimately involved in the development of everything. We saw the two eggs when they started growing, and we even nick-named them before they were harvested, since they were so distinctly different. The one is strong and big, like my husband, and the other one is slower, but a fighter, like me.
The first miracle was when both of them turned into embryos after being fertilized. The morning we went to have them transplanted back, was the most emotional for me up to date. As I lay in theatre, ready to receive the two embryos, I was just overcome with the wonder of God's creation, and how this is at all even possible! When they showed us the embryos on the big screen, it was like I already knew them. It made me wonder that if I - as a potential mother - feel that I know them and want to fiercely protect them and give them the best possible chance, how much more our Heavenly father cared when He said: "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart;" Jer 1:5.
Having completed the process now, it is just a tedious, nerve wracking waiting game for another week, until we do the final test to see if the embryos attached perfectly, and we know whether we are really pregnant or not. I also realised that we are much stronger and braver than I thought we were, and I discovered a dear new friend, Courage.
Franklin D. Roosevelt said that when you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. Well, this is more or less where we will be hanging for the next few days.
I believe life and death is in God's hands, and that He has a plan for everybody's life. If this is in His plan, I will be grateful. If not, we will have peace in the notion that we trusted God to do what is best for us.
I wanted to write this blog before our final results, because everything is always so much easier and clearer in hindsight. This journey has taught me a lot, and we both grew as people and as a couple. No matter the outcome, I am better for it. We are praying to have the courage and strength to accept whatever the outcome, and move on from there to whatever the next challenge in our lives might be. A calm sea never made a skilled sailor...
PS: I fell pregnant, but after six weeks, the pregnancy ended. Even though it was really difficult and sad, we are doing fine and are still very grateful for all the blessings we have in our lives, and everybody's support. Thanks for all the wonderful messages.