This isn't really the end, just a transition.
Two and a half years ago, I started this blog to document what I thought would be the fairly short journey to starting our family, but I had no idea what I was in for.
We'd already been trying for a year, and had pretty much been ignored by every doctor we saw because we were healthy, we were young, and apparently sometimes it just takes longer for some people to get pregnant than others. But I always knew in my heart something was wrong, and we fought like crazy to find out what it was.
We spent the wide gap between the beginning of this blog and our present day affair learning to grow physically, mentally and-most importantly-spiritually. We've questioned God, searched for answers, suffered through two failed IUI's, received a diagnosis of male factor infertility, attempted three unsuccessful IVF's and experienced the crushing heartbreak of feeling absolutely lost and hopeless in our given situation, even knowing all along that God was in control.
And finally, in the midst of our fourth and final IVF, God answered our prayers.
It wasn't a simple feet, either. God chose to display his marvelous works throughout the course of our entire last cycle, dropping one miracle after another in our laps week after week, proving his sovereignty through negative home pregnancy tests, extremely low beta numbers, and an obsessive compulsive girl who just needed a little more faith.
And when we saw that heart beating away at a day short of eight weeks, we praised Him again for yet another miracle.
It wasn't always easy, and it's still difficult at times. We've struggled with the downpour of multiple failed cycles and are constantly finding it difficult to accept this gift as a reality while we continue to deal with the scars of infertility and the fear it brings. And being that it's still so early in the pregnancy, I'm daily fighting a never ending battle that can only be conquered through fervent prayer and increased faith as I wait on the Lord to bless and grow our precious little one.
Because this child does not belong to us, it belongs to God.
And as we push through this new journey, this new chapter of our lives, I've decided it's time to find a new place to document our growing family. Think (+) Positive has been an incredible outlet for me to share my thoughts and feelings while struggling with infertility, but I want to be able to start fresh, sharing the next several months freely without fear of saddening anyone who may still be struggling with their own battle of infertility.
However; though my body is now pregnant, my mind and heart are still very much infertile. For those of you still fighting, please know that I really do understand what your going through and I want to continue to support and encourage you, and this blog will stay open so that I can still come over and document my feelings about infertility and share the blessings God's so graciously given me.
Because what started off as a blog to document my attempt to grow my family quickly became my venting place, my support system, and my sanity. So when-God willing-our precious miracle is born, I'll come back. We've been blessed with two miraculous frozen embryos, so there is a FET in our future, along with the possibility of more IVF's if God provides and leads our hearts in that direction.
So for now, this isn't really goodbye, it's more of a transition. And now that we'll be less concerned with keeping this overwhelming journey a surprise from our closest friends and family within the next few weeks, we'll be making Think (+) Positive a public blog once again and I'll be sharing our new journey over at our newest soon to be public blog, Paper Airplanes.
I'd love for you to all join me as we praise God for finally growing our new little family in His perfect timing; but before I go, I want to leave you all with my long awaited acceptance speech.
I've been planning this for years. And after seeing nothing but negative pregnancy tests my whole life, finally being able to hold a positive pee stick in my hand feels an awful lot like I'm holding a massive trophy at a global event.
The only thing I'm missing is the ball gown.
So first and foremost, I'd like to thank my Heavenly Father for this precious miracle, and for the struggle of infertility that accompanied it. The second heart beating inside of me at this very moment wouldn't be nearly as precious to us had it come easily. We know that You alone are able to create new life, and You chose this broken road for us for reasons that we may never know, but what we do know from this journey is that You are merciful, faithful, and awesome.
You've made my dreams come true, this child belongs to You.
Next I'd like to thank my gorgeous husband, who without his generous donation of sperm and DNA, this wouldn't be possible. You've seen more mood swings than any man should, yet you love me unconditionally despite them. You've been my partner in crime, my best friend, my shot giver, cervical mucous analyzer and second line squinter. You've pushed your own personal needs aside to conform to our endless months of cycling, and I'll never forget the way you insisted on talking to my stomach the day you found out we were finally pregnant.
I pray this baby is as beautiful as you.
And my parental units, the main financial contributors to this precious child, the most expensive grandchild in the history of the world. It's because of you that we were able to use the medical intervention that God allowed to bring us our miracle, and we'll never be able to repay you for this priceless gift. Your love, support, and faithfulness in raising me up to know the Lord has kept me sane, I couldn't have done it without you. I pray that I can be half the parents you guys were to me.
I can't wait to share this baby with you.
To my never-even-met-before-blog-friends, they don't have the words in the English language to explain such an immense love for a group of women I've never seen in real life. You've been my prayer partners, my google, my venting crowd and a never ending support system that's forever accessible twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. I wish I could call you all out by name, but I'm afraid that wouldn't be appropriate given this will soon be a very public internet blog once again.
It's ridiculous how good you've been to me.
And finally, to Dr. Greene and his staff over at SIRM. God made this baby, but you were the tools. You put up with my continuous line of obsessive question emails regarding the newest infertility experiments, my ill-equipped body that acts like it has PCOS when mixed with Follistim but doesn't, and even catered to my insane requests for a freakish amount of betas and early ultrasounds.
You guys clearly wanted this baby as much as we did, and that means the world to me.
I hope I'm not forgetting anyone. We love you all, and we are so very thankful not only for this unspeakable gift, but also for the broken road that God orchestrated that led us straight to our miracle; the road that we were blessed to have been able to document and share with you all.
A road that we still haven't reached the end of yet.
So this isn't goodbye, it's simply a new beginning. A clean slate, a brand new start to a fresh chapter in our lives, one that we pray is filled with love and blessings as rich as the last.
And we can't wait to see what God has in store.
Monday, September 20, 2010
This isn't really the end, just a transition.
Posted by Tabitha at 8:00 AM
Thursday, September 16, 2010
It was probably the most terrified I've ever been.
After marvelling at a full week free of spotting, worried only about the fact that I'm still not really experiencing any pregnancy symptoms, I was not so pleasantly surprised to see the brown discharge covering my pantyliner. However, if my body was going to choose this very moment to start spotting again, it couldn't have been a better time or place to do so.
I was in the bathroom at the R.E.'s office, waiting to go into my second sonogram to see if I was still growing a little miracle. Up until that point during the day, I'd been pretty calm. Spot free-and with no painful cramps-most likely meant that everything was going to be OK.
But then there was the spotting, which meant everything was all wrong.
As soon as I walked out of the restroom-before I could even share the bleak spotting news with my husband-we were ushered into the sterile ultrasound room and prepared for what would either be one of the most amazing moments of our life, or quite possibly the worst.
As Dr. Greene positioned me in the stirrups and prepared the machine, I couldn't breathe. I wasn't able wrap my mind around the fact that we were about to see a heartbeat in the next sixty seconds, and the anticipation was almost too much to handle, because at that very moment I was one hundred percent sure there was no longer life inside of me.
And then we saw it.
The tiny, flickering flutter of a heart.
And at that moment-for the first time-I knew I was pregnant. The beta blood tests, the positive home pregnancy tests, even the previous sonogram of the gestational sac and fetal pole; none of it seemed real. None of it was moving or breathing, it was all an illusion; just a memory.
Everyone assured me that hearing the heartbeat would make this child real; but for me, it was seeing the small, subtle movement that woke me up to reality. For the first time, I was staring at a screen that was showing me something alive; something that couldn't be printed out on a sheet of paper, couldn't be captured unless you were actually standing there, staring at that tiny little heart, beating away at 165 beats per minute.
What in the world did I ever do to deserve this.
After another quick scan around the lady parts, we were assured that everything was progressing just as it should and measuring right on schedule. We were on our way to a very healthy pregnancy, and our possibility of miscarriage had just dropped to less than ten percent. I was given the green light to stop all shots and medications, ween myself off the dexamethasone and schedule an appointment with my regular OB like a normal, pregnant girl should.
But as I listened to Dr. Greene's instructions and congratulations, all I could think about was the picture I had taken in my mind of the second heart beating in my body, the quick, steady thump and whoosh sound strumming like a soundtrack to an old film.
We aren't out of the woods yet, it's still very early and we have a ways to go. I'm nervous about stopping my medicine after all this time, and I'm horrified that being a normal, pregnant girl means I won't get to see my baby again for a whole month at the OB office. But I'll just keep reminding myself that God brought us this far, and He has no intentions of leaving us hanging here alone.
He'll take care of us.
All three of us.
And in the meantime, I'll keep replaying that image over and over in my head, the solid proof that miracles really do manifest. One of them is in fact developing inside of me right now; forming limbs and organs, loosing it's little tail and looking less like a reptile and more like a little person every day.
And from the moment this little one enters into this world, he or she will know how extraordinary they are, and how amazing their life story really is. I hope there's never a day that passes that I don't praise God and glorify Him for this miracle, so full of gratitude for the opportunity to grow an answered prayer.
And a second heartbeat.
Posted by Tabitha at 11:49 PM
Friday, September 10, 2010
They say seeing is believing.
And not being able to see is probably contributing to my unbelief. It's the oddest thing, knowing that there is life growing inside of you but not being able to feel it, touch it, or see it; I suppose that's what makes it so hard to believe that I'm seven weeks pregnant today. Maybe if I could have an ultrasound done every day, then my mind would begin to comprehend this tiny little being that's taking over my body once and for all.
I don't have any symptoms. I'm not nauseated, I don't have cravings, I can't feel my uterus growing and I haven't gained any weight. I don't have trouble sleeping at night, my bladder hasn't taken over my world and I don't smell things any stronger than usual. I'm not exhausted, plagued by heartburn, overemotional or even extra irritable.
But my chest sure has it's own agenda.
If it weren't for this last little detail, I really wouldn't believe the second line on the pregnancy test, or the picture of a tiny little sac and fetal pole that I carry around with me. I used to just assume the growth, tightness and fullness of my already too large chest was due to the progesterone shots, but lately the girls just feel different. It's a small symptom, I know, but at least it's something.
So naturally, I've become obsessed with it.
Having given up on checking for spotting every morning, I just grope, grab, and poke myself instead; only satisfied if my morning ritual is followed by an aching sensation. There was an episode last week when I woke up to a pain free chest and panicked at the thought of a miscarriage just because I wasn't feeling a thing; but to my relief, just a few hours later the ladies were swollen, full, and hurting once again.
Sounds desperate, I know, but it's really all I have to go by for now.
I could see how some girls would love this pregnancy induced side effect consisting of a growing chest and a fuller silhouette, but I'm having my doubts. Already a full D-sometimes DD-prior to pregnancy, I just can't see this ending well, especially after reading that the average woman will jump up two to three cup sizes during and after pregnancy.
Do they even make unmentionables that size?
I always thought that at this point, I'd have a scrapbook in full force. There would be a belly picture starting at four weeks and continuing every consecutive week, along with all of our organized beta numbers, ultrasound pictures, and receipts showing the date and time we purchased our first pregnancy test.
Instead, I'm sitting here at my desk grabbing my chest- just to make sure it still hurts-and wondering if it will be safe to start documenting in the form of belly shots after we hear the heartbeat next week, or if I should wait until that coveted twelve week mark before I get too serious.
Curious as to weather or not I should be thankful-or worried-that I'm not feeling any symptoms of pregnancy; preferable in the obvious form of puking my guts out, and contemplating the impossible size that my chest could very well swell to in an unnaturally short period of time.
I know that every pregnancy is different, and I should be thankful for the fact that I'm not hugging the toilet right now, despite the fact that google states that if my baby's heart really did begin to beat last week, I should be feeling sick.
So instead of driving myself crazy with assumptions regarding the state of my uterus, I'm forcing myself to give this baby up to God on a daily basis. Every morning-after checking my chest of course-I lie in bed after snoozing my alarm and spend the next five minutes thanking God for the life growing inside of me, praising Him for our little miracle and promising Him once again that I know this baby doesn't belong to me, it belongs to Him.
I know He is orchestrating every little detail, from the amount of blood flow traveling to my uterus to the tiny hands and feet that are emerging from developing arms and legs this week-although babycenter says they look more like paddles at this point than the tiny, pudgy extremities I'm picturing in my head-and He's in complete control of every single step.
And although I'm doing my best to fuel my body with the nutrients it needs by obsessively becoming a flexitarian, only God can grow this child. He's blending the eye color, skin tone, hair and other countless details that will make up our child, and I just have to trust that He knows what He's doing, and be thankful that I'm able to experience this miracle at this very moment.
I'm still terrified that we won't see a heartbeat an next weeks appointment, and after several unprofessional cervical position checks seemed to indicate that my cervix is lowering, I'm frustrated at my constant inability to just let go and let God. But after almost four years of infertility, I've been severely traumatized, and I have to realize that while it's normal to feel fear at this stage, I just need to give it up at some point. I've waited way too long to get here to ruin everything by stressing about things that are out of my control.
So while I can't promise that I'll stop grabbing my chest randomly throughout the day, I just may have to take that first belly shot tonight, preferably after my flexitarian dinner so it looks like something is actually going on down there.
It's time to get this party started.
Posted by Tabitha at 10:33 AM