Monday, April 1, 2013


Josh and I found out today that none of our three babies survived. My beta hcg dropped from 13 to 9 so that means that I had a chemical pregnancy. It is bittersweet because of course Josh and I are grieving their loss but at the same time we can rejoice because we know that they are in heaven and they are free. I have come to learn that the hardest part of parenting is letting go. Children are never belong to us, they belong to God and it's hard to fathom but His love for the children that He chooses to give us is so much greater than the love that we will ever have for them. I can't imagine anyone loving my children more than me but He does. He created all of us and He knows us and loves us more intimately than anyone else can. So in this moment of grief I take comfort in the fact that God loves these little lives and although His plan was different for them than mine was I am choosing to let them go and trust Him. I don't understand His ways but I am making the choice to trust in them. We have had 6 embryo transfer over the course of 4 years. God has blessed us with one beautiful daughter through embryo adoption and we have had the privilidge of rescueing 15 embryos who are now in heaven. I don't know what heaven will be like but I rest in the fact that all of those little lives are there. I would best describe what I am feeling right now as being homesick. I used to get homesick a lot when I was a child. Even though I would be in a fun place and was supposed to be having a fun time I would get homesick for my family and would want to be home. That is how I feel now. I feel like even though I am blessed with a wonderful family who fills my days with laughter I feel like a part of me is missing. Each time we have gone though a transfer that resulted in loss I feel like I have lost a little piece of me. I think all of us feel homesick when we experience pain on earth because it is a reminder to us that this is not our home. We are broken people living in a broken world. And things will never be completely right until the day that we reach our final Home. But like the homesickness I felt as a child this homesickness will faid. I can't go very far into sadness without recognizing how truly blessed I am. And when I am able to see the blessings it makes the hurt fade. These hurts and disappointments that I have experienced will always be with me. They are a part of me and they are a part of the journey that I am on. God has used pain and trials and disappointment and loss to help lead me on a journey. God has always used my pain and turned it into joy and I choose to trust that He will do the same with the pain I am experiencing now. God lets no tear be wasted. I don't know what His plan is but I know He has one. I don't regret going through embryo adoption again only to experience loss. Some people may view it as a waste of time and effort and money because at the end were not holding a baby. But in my view it was worth it. We have a beautiful daughter who is full of life and Raegan has a little sister because of embryo adoption and 15 little lives are free from life in a freezer and are experiencing eternal life because of embryo adoption. That doesn't sound like loss to me. And as the saying goes it is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all. I am sad that we lost 15 embryos but I am glad that I got the chance to love them. I am not really sure where this adoption journey is going to take us. Josh and I have talked a bit and feel like it would be best if we took a break from adoption for a while. It has been emotionally, physically and financially taxing and we don't want to rush into anything. We have both agreed that we need to take some time to rest and be still and see where God leads us. I think we will take some time to just focus on our little girls. I don't want to always be so caught up in adopting the next child(ren) that we lose precious moments with the two that God has already chosen to bless us with. But I hope that we will adopt again. I don't know God's ways. Maybe one day I will get an answer. Maybe God was protecting me from harm that pregnancy could have brought. Maybe God doesn't plan for us to have anymore children. Or maybe God was saving room in our hearts and in our home for a child or children who truly are homesick. There are hundreds of thousands of children that are homesick for a home and for a family. Maybe we are the family that one ( or more) of those children is waiting for. Thank you for all of your prayers and encouragement. I am truly blessed by the support we have received.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Little Pregnant

I got my lab results late this afternoon after many follow up calls to the lab. I thought for sure the nurse would tell me it was negative but she said it was mixed news. I had heard this before from the transfer before Karis' transfer. The beta hcg level was above 5 so technically I am pregnant but it was 13 which is very low. They like it to be above 50 at this point. This happened before and it ended up being a chemical pregnancy. When I looked up chemical pregnancy before I thought I remembered reading that it was just chemicals/hormones tricking your body into being pregnant but when I looked it up again tonight I discovered that a chemical pregnancy is just another name for a very early miscarriage. The odds are that this pregnancy won't continue to progress and my hcg levels will go down. But there is still a sliver of hope left. Maybe just maybe there is a baby trying to fight and hang on. I know the odds are stacked against me but I believe in God and therefore I believe in miracles. I will go back on monday for another lab test and they want to see the beta hcg numbers at least doubling within 48 hours. Right now I am just thankful that there is at least some hope left. I am going to enjoy being pregnant even if it's just for a few more days. And if it's negative on monday at least I will have had a few extra days to say good bye. Please join me in praying for a miracle.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Ups and Downs

So my blood test is thursday morning but just like every other transfer I think I know the answer now. For the first few days after the transfer I was feeling very optimistic. It seemed like things were going to way I remember them going with Karis' transfer ( although since I have been through 6 transfers now they probably have started to all blur together). I was having some symptoms that I only remember having when I was pregnant. But being on a medicated cycle is tricky because pretty much all of the meds I am on are the same ones that cause pregnancy symptoms so it is really hard to rely on symptoms. On monday morning when I woke up though I had this feeling like " I am not pregnant anymore". I have had those before and they were always right. I don't know how to explain it other than maybe it's a mommy's instinct when she realizes that her children are no longer with her. Maybe it was just God giving me a heads up. Or maybe it's just my mind making things up. I don't know but yesterday was kind of an emotional roller coaster. I ended up staying home from work with the kids because we got an unexpected snow storm. We had fun playing in the snow and I got caught up on a little housework since I had been trying to take it easy. Then at nap time I was folding some clothes and I just started crying. I think the reality hit me that there is a chance, maybe even a good chance that this did not result in pregnancy. Ever since I became pregnant with Karis I assumed that I could and probably would get pregant again. I should have guarded my emotions more but I didn't. And so now the reality has set in that I there is a good chance that my pregnancy and nursing experience with Karis was my first and my last. That's a tough pill to swallow considering I had so much hope after having Karis. But it's also ok. Up and down. By the time the evening came I was feeling better. I didn't even tell Josh that I had been upset because I didn't want to upset him especially if my "inclination" about not being pregant wasn't accurate. I have said it before and I will say it again. I wouldn't change anything. The pain even the pain I am having now as I long for another baby is worth it because it is all a part of a journey. Parents can't always give their children what they want. I wish that I wasn't a 33 year old child still trying to learn that lesson from my heavenly Father. But pain is a way to teach us and to direct us where we need to go. God has blessed me so much. I held a beautiful baby girl in my arms almost exactly 9 months after the day Josh and I were delivered our infertility diagnosis. I was "pregnant" and I didn't even know it. Praise God. I held another beautiful baby girl in my arms 2 1/2 years later who was born after nine months of a pregnancy that I longed to experience. I nursed her for another 13 months after that. And that experience allowed me to not only experience pregnancy with her but it allowed me to imagine what it would have felt like to have carried my first daughter too. I was "pregnant" with her for nine months and even got to stay with her in the hospital and be wheeled out of the hospital with her. The only thing I missed was knowing what it would have felt like to have been able to carry her and after being pregnant I was able to understand that too. I know I have mentioned these things often before but I can't stop praising God for what He has done. He has taken pain and allowed it for good. He has directed my path and He has led me where I needed to go. I can't imagine life without these precious children. They bring me so much joy. If they are the only children that God chooses to bless me with than I trust in that plan and I acknowledge that by giving me them He has given me so much more than I could ever deserve. So I will continue to trust and continue to praise Him. I know like any parent He doesn't expect me not to be sad when things don't go how I want. He is ready to be my comfort. He knows my tears and He knows my joy. So I will continue to trust. And even if this transfer didn't result in pregnancy, it doesn't mean that it wasn't successful. We adopted 3 beautiful itty bitty babies and if they are indeed not growing in me than they are experiencing life in Heaven. Their lives have been redeemed and that is what adoption is all about. This afternoon I started getting hives again. They are not bad but I am also on prednisone to try to prevent them so it's hard to say if they would be bad without being on that. It's not over yet but I don't think it's a good sign. Only God knows for sure so we will just wait and see.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Home Sweet Home

Josh and I are back home in Maryland now. We arrived home last night in time to pick up the girls and put them to bed after giving them their "prizes" for getting good reports from Grandma and Pop Pop. This was a long trip for us as at the last minute we decided to head down to TN on sunday afternoon instead or our planned monday morning due to bad weather they were calling for. We still hit some snow and heavy rain but we were able to split our drive down into two days and we arrived in Knoxville a lot earlier than we had in the past so we had some extra time to unwind and relax and spend time together which is always nice. The transfer was tuesday morning and Dr Keenan felt the transfer went much better this time. They transferred 3 embies this time. One was graded very good and the other two were graded fair ( and one of those had already hatched). There is some belief that the grading is indicative of success but we have had 6 transfers now and most of them had highly graded embryos so I am not putting too much into that. Some people say a embryo that hatches on it's own is a good sign because it's ready to implant but again I am just going to put my trust in the One who created these precious lives. So now it's just time to wait and see. My first beta pregnancy test will be on March 28th so hopefully in a week we will know the outcome. At this point I would have to say that I have peace. I long for at least one of those embies to join our family here on earth and as I have mentioned often I really have the desire to be pregnant again. But I have been praying for peace and I know others have been praying for peace and I can honestly say at this point I have peace. I know God has a special plan for our family. I am believing in big things. If I had to say at this point if I thought the transfer will result in pregnancy I would say yes. I have the same peace I felt when we were facing our third transfer when we received Karis. But I am not going to go on feelings. I am just going to keep trusting, and believing and praying.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Believeing God for Big Things

We made it to Knoxville safely even though we had to leave a day early because of bad weather. And in about an hour we will be meeting our precious babies.We are believing God for big things.What we see as impossible God can and will make possible.He is with us and working thro gh us and in us. I am going to have faith. He has promised to work all things for good. He loves me more than I can comprehend and He will care for me. Today we get to witness life being redeemed through adoption. What a beautiful thing to experience. Our prayer is that today our family here on earth will grow and we are believing God for that miracle and bledsing.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Less Than Two Weeks

I have been a horrible, horrible blogger lately. After the last transfer we headed into the holidays which kept us busy ( probably a good thing) and then on New Years Eve we started renovating our kitchen. It has been nice seeing our new kitchen come together but it has been no easy task trying to do all of the work ourselves on a very tight budget with 2 small children in the house. Not to mention I was sick at least 3 times in the first month of the renovation. So anyway it has been busy around here ( and the kitchen isn't quite done yet). But in less than two weeks Josh and I will be traveling down to Knoxville for our third and final embryo adoption transfer. I have been doing pretty good going into this transfer. Although I am finding the anxious feelings starting to set in. I keep praying that God will give me/us complete peace as we head into this transfer and then into the waiting and results. I really feel like our family is not complete and I would just really love to be pregnant again. I feel like embryo adoption is such a good fit for us because not only does it allow us to adopt but it allows me to experience pregnancy. I don't know why in my heart I long for another pregnancy but I do. Ultimately I know that God is in control and He has a perfect plan. He has already blessed us and I know that even though it will be devasting if this transfer doesn't result in pregnancy, we will be ok and will move on to God's next steps for us. I have had some people ask what our plan is if this transfer doesn't result in pregnancy. The answer is we really don't know. I think we will move onto another type of adoption but I am not sure what the timing will look like. We won't be able to afford a domestic or international adoption for a long, long time. But we trust that God will take care of the details. Right now we are hoping and believing for another miracle on March 19th. And we'll go from there. My medication protocol is basically the same except that I will be taking a low dose steroid along with my other medications. The idea behind the steroids is to slightly lower my immune function to attempt to avoid any potential autoimmune response. My doctor at the NEDC and another specialist that I saw both said they don't see any reason to believe I am having autoimmune reactions but I think something was going on given the fact that I broke out in hives of autoimmune nature after the first two transfers. So I feel good about trying a change in the protocol.  I probably won't blog before the transfer again unless something comes to mind but I will try to update once we get to Knoxville.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Where to Go From Here...

I finally got through to the lab who claimed they had the wrong fax number and they would send the results to the right one. When I got the results  a little while ago it was negative like I thought.

I am not sure where we will go from here. I believe that our adoption journey is far from over and I do believe we will have more children in our family one day. We do have one transfer left at the NEDC and we still have 5 remaining embryos. If we decide to go forward with another transfer I am going to seek out some more intensive medical advice regarding the apparent autoimmune response that is going on to try to give the embies the best possible chance at survival. Josh and I will have to discuss and pray about moving forward. Part of me doesn't even want to try this route again for many reasons but if we had given up after 2 transfers the last time we wouldn't have Karis. But I want to make sure we are doing what God wants us to do. I do want to experience pregnancy again. I loved being pregnant. I loved nursing Karis and I would love to have that experience again all the while bringing an "orphan" into our home. But my purpose as a mom is not to be pregnant. Raegan's adoption was every bit as special as Karis' adoption even though I never experienced pregnany with Raegan. My purpose is to bring glory to God, to work to do His will on Earth and to share His love. I believe God's purpose for allowing me to be a mom is to shephard my children's hearts and show them the love of Christ so that one day they may become committed followers and lovers of Jesus. My greatest joy is hearing my children talk about Jesus, want to read their Bibles and pray. One of the the most joyous things and hardest things has been hearing my children pray for a baby ( or in Karis' case she has been praying for 2 babies). It warmed my heart to hear them excited about a baby but it has broken my heart over the last couple of days as they have prayed that prayer and I knew that it was a very real possibility that they would not receive what they were praying for. My prayer now is that I can be a good example to them as I deal with unanswered prayers.

I want to do what God wants me to do. I don't want to keep saying " I want to be pregnant", or " I want another baby" when it is not what God wants me me and for our family. I don't want to be turned off by the financial hurdles of domestic or international adoption or the "risks" of foster care or foster adoption. I want to be walking in God's will. I want to have faith that He will provide all that we need to do the work He is calling us to do. There are so many needs. There are so many children without homes. The pain I am experiencing is nothing compared to the pain of orphans who have never had anyone to love them. So all this to say. I don't know what we are going to do but there are too many needs to not do something. Please pray for us as we strive to walk in God's will. Thank you for your prayers and encouraging as we struggle to accept the "no" that we were given today. I know God has a perfect plan. He has already given me more than I could have ever asked for or imagined. This life is not about what I want but what will I let God accomplish through me. And even in the midst of sadness I am excited to see what God has in store for me and for our family.