Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Finding The Silver Lining

It's not always easy to do.

The day before our beta, I knew I would be working and didn't want to receive a call while in the office, so I hastily left my cell phone number in an email to my nurse and asked her to leave a message for me when the beta results came in. I spent the entire day dancing around the office, with my spirits high and my heart prepared for the best, but still hadn't received a message come early evening.

After I had left work and attempted to occupied my time with grocery shopping, my theory that no news is good news started to dwindle and I began to worry that something was wrong. I finally gave in and made the call to the office, where I got the receptionist because my nurse was in a meeting with another patient, but she did pass along the information that a message was indeed left earlier at the number that I had emailed her.

I thanked the receptionist and tried to calm my nerves as I hurriedly checked back at my email to see what number I had sent to the nurse.

Sure enough, it was off by one digit.

Unable to wait any longer, I frantically dialed the incorrect number I had given the nurse, and was answered by a sweet older gentleman. After I explained myself as quickly and sanely as possible, he assured me that he had indeed received a strange voicemail earlier in the afternoon, and put me on hold to find the details for what felt like an eternity.

Upon returning to the line, he repeated bits and pieces of the message that he'd heard, but didn't understand.

Your number was less than 1. I'm sorry, you can stop your suppositories...

And that's how my cycle ended, from the mouth of a complete stranger who had no idea how devastating his mysterious message could be on my fragile, broken heart.

It was a hard day, although the tears I shed were few and far between. I suppose I was in a state of denial, and still am to an extent. My husband pulled into the driveway just as I received the news, and he could tell the outcome of our cycle by the look on my face through the dirty, rain streaked windows.

We didn't talk much about it, but it was heavy in the air for the rest of the night. We picked at our dot cake, but neither of us had the heart to eat it all. We tried to make a pizza for dinner, but somehow managed to break the door lock which disabled the oven, so we headed over to my parents house to finish cooking it and attempt to break the silence that was clouding our heads and slowly suffocating us from the inside.

Being around family eased the pain, and we returned home late that night feeling almost normal again. As I crawled into bed I thanked the Lord for making the pain bearable, and asked him to give all of my babies a kiss goodnight for me.

I woke up in the middle of the night to my husbands shallow, uneven breathing, and a few sniffs that confirmed he wasn't taking the news as well as he had earlier. I felt somewhat emotionless as I held him and comforted him, wondering why I wasn't crying with him.

Why I couldn't let myself feel the pain just yet.

Since then, I've made my way slowly through to acceptance, as well as the usual roller coaster of emotions and questions. By nature I'm a planner, so I immediately did all that I could to help "fix" the situation. I threw away old drugs, hid the schedules, heating pads, and pictures of our precious embryos, started looking up acupuncturists and purchased DHEA vitamins. Bought some new workout shoes, rid the house of all sugars and white flour, and prepared a list of questions for the follow up appointment that will be scheduled soon.

But there was one burning question that I knew the Dr. couldn't answer.

If God really has no intentions of giving my husband and I our own biological children, then why in the world would He not have instilled in either of us the desire to adopt?

I don't believe for one second that God intends for us to be childless; the Bible is full of verses and bits of wisdom about family and the importance of children and what a blessing they are. But I've struggled for a while with the fact that so many couples-fertile and infertile alike-hold the desire by either one or both parties to adopt children. Yet for us, although we believe that adoption is an amazing and wonderful act of selflessness, it just isn't something that speaks to our hearts.

Now I could argue that this could be because we haven't opened our hearts to it, but I just don't think that's the case, especially after praying profusely about the matter. Both of us so badly want our own biological children, that there is a very real possibility that we could be pushing away the idea of adoption, looking at it as a sort of settlement for the failure of what our true desires are.

Or it could just be that settling for adoption would mean giving up, and I can't do that yet.

We still have one more try. I still have hope that God has something amazing in store for our lives. And while at times the possibility of the future can be so terrifying that I have to fight off a panic attack, the fear still isn't strong enough to stop me from moving on.

From finding that silver lining.

More often than not, this entire situation seems insane. Although our first cycle was canceled and in reality doesn't count as a full try, we've attempted IVF a total of three times so far with nothing to show for it besides some grainy black and white photos of some precious embryos that were too beautiful for this earth. It's still hard for me to believe that we've come this far, and even the most evasive medical procedures available to us in this day and age aren't able to produce a valid pregnancy for us.

A normal, healthy, young couple.

It just doesn't make sense.

But my silver lining in this dark, menacing cloud is that where medical miracles may fail, God never does. And although we have no idea what the future holds, we know who holds our hands. And although it may be strikingly painful right now, I know He is in control and He has a plan for us, one that we want to follow, no matter where it takes us, because we both trust fully in Him and we want what He wants.

I've found that it's near impossible to stay frustrated and depressed about this unwelcome situation when I believe this to be so true. It's almost as if focusing on God's promises, and knowing that with Him, anything is possible brings alive a part of me that is just too excited to be overcome with fear of the unknown.

It's like I'm caught in the midst of a horrible storm, but floating safely on a life raft. And even with no idea where I'll land or how long it will take me to get there, being on this raft is far better than drowning in a raging sea.

That, mixed with the countless prayers, support, love and encouragement from the few family members that know about this cycle and the community of women that I've never met but have grown to love, is what keeps my hope alive.

And that's my silver lining.

“Clouds may come, but clouds must go, and they all have a silver lining.
For behind each cloud you know, the sun, or moon, is shining.”
-Author Unknown


theworms said...

I love that you can always find the silver lining cutie.

There is an award for you on my blog.

lparsons15 said...

Seriously Tab..YOU ARE AN AMAZING WOMAN!I am so blown away by your strength. Again, I am so sorry for you and your husband. I find strenth for myself reading your blog...I mean that. Thank you!

Jennifer said...

As I've said before, you're amazing (lparsons has it right). My prayers will continue for you and your equally amazing husband. xo

The Wilson's said...

We've all said this and truly believe it. You are such an amazing person. Y'all have such an admirable strength and faith in God. Praying always:)

JackieMac said...

I am so very sorry. This sucks - I know how you feel - I do not get it either - young healthy couples who want and are ready for children do not get to have them - sometimes it does not make sense at all. (((HUGS)))

Sarah said...

Tab-can you send me your e-mail address? I want to send you a little note.
Email me at sarahantweiler@yahoo.com

Kelli said...

Tab your amazing attitude and faith are inspiring so many women who read your blog. I'm glad you are accepting this stage of God's plan for you and that you're remembering that He is in control. Praying for you guys! xoxo

Katie said...

Wow. Your writing is incredible. I do know that God has amazing plans for you and your husband. Thank you for encouraging all of us as we read your blog; I admire your faith and know that God will take care of you guys. He has really big plans for you. Still, just know that I am praying for you during this very difficut and emotionally draining time.

Life Happens said...

What a lovely post. I've been feeling so emotional this week and reading your post was like reading my own thoughts. I am just at a standstill and don't know what to do next. We are both praying about adoption too.

There are so many things in this life that we don't understand, but God knows all and He will get us through it.

Eggs said...

I became incredibly emotional near the end of your post...because it's so familiar to me. It doesn't make sense on so many levels, but it is worlds better to float safely, than to drown in a raging sea. I think that was the part of your post that hit my heart the most.

Why can you not feel emotion right now? Because we become desensitized. I remember my first IVF failure - I thought I would die and my entire family was in tears. Now we say "ok what's next? What's the next plan?" The other reason is because although it is still very painful, you realize just how many people love and support you...and that in itself is powerful and humbling.

I can assure you that the road doesn't stop here if you don't want it to. We did pursue domestic adoption (not easy and we still haven't gotten a call despite our extremely desirable situation) but we also adopted embryos from the US, considered donor sperm, and are now in the 2WW of a donor egg IVF. This is our 7th IVF attempt... I know God has a plan for you, but maybe its not that you won't have a family, maybe it's to learn a lesson connected with patience and loss... we don't know. Just don't give up Tab, that's what I'm getting at. You want a family so badly, like myself...and I'm going to continue to fight for it. You should too. :) Big hugs

jessica56 said...

What an amazing post from an amazing woman. I am so, so sorry that this cycle did not work- but I am just in awe of your strength- your words give me strength. I am thinking of you and your husband.

Hillary said...

"But my silver lining in this dark, menacing cloud is that where medical miracles may fail, God never does. And although we have no idea what the future holds, we know who holds our hands. And although it may be strikingly painful right now, I know He is in control and He has a plan for us, one that we want to follow, no matter where it takes us, because we both trust fully in Him and we want what He wants." Amen, amen, amen!! I am so thankful for your faith and trust in the Lord - even when it is SO PAINFUL.

That said, I am so very sorry for the pain your are facing, the fear of the unknown, and the strength you have to muster to move forward. I am so sorry :( Thankfully our loving Savior is walking with you, holding you, and giving you what you need.


Nicole said...

You never cease to amaze me. I am so glad that God has given you this peace and perspective. My DH and I can completely relate to your feelings about adoption, and I too think that if it was right God would not withhold from us the desire. Especially after we prayed and yearned for it. Our story entailed a long wait trying to decide what to do- trying to force ourselves to embrace adoption all along because I could not face IVF again. The Lord will let you know what you should do. I hope next time it's for a BFP and not just for growth. T&P for you...

A said...

I read this yesterday, but I didn't feel like I could comment without rolling it around in my head for a while. I am so sorry about the loss of another dream, but I am warmed by your attitude of finding the silver lining, near and dear to my optimistic heart.

I will be praying for discernment for you. I love how you wrote that although science might fail, God never does. LOVE THIS. And in regards to adoption and how you're feeling about it now, I think that if that is how God will grow your family, He won't fail to call you clearly to that, either. Continue to praise Him for being in control- I will be prayin for you!

Mom Genes said...

Wow. As heartbreaking as reading your post was, and although tears were running down my cheeks - somehow you manange to make me smile. For so many months, you've been the brightest light...the most positive person. You are using the bad for good. You are helping us all to view this from the top of a mountain rather than a dark valley. Sure, we may fall down in the valley every month, every week - heck, maybe every day, but you manage to pull us out with your words.
Thank you for your honesty and showing us that we're not the only ones.
All my love.

Trudy said...

What an incredibly well-written post! You have been in my thoughts and prayers over the past week. I know that you must be hurting right now & I'm so sorry for that. You're just such an incredible woman. Hold tight to God & know that He has such a beautiful plan for you. I have do doubt that you will be an amazing mother. Thank you for letting me be included in this journey of yours. You have so many people cheering you on. Big hugs!!

Suzanne said...

Tabitha, you are the most amazing woman that I have ever met. Once again, your faith inspires and encourages me. The not knowing the future, but yet still trusting in God is the hardest part for me. I'm praying for you and you are in my thoughts and prayers as always.

Momma said...

Wow Tab. What can I say. You are amazing. I am sure many were inspired and many found strength fr this post.

I pray that you n hubby are successful with the next try. Whatever happens I wish you happiness and peace in the end. Hubby and I had never even considered adoption. We were sure IVF was our only route but after so much heartache and disappointment one day God just opened our hearts to adoption and since then life has never been better. All in Gods timing.

While on my infertility and adoption roller coaster of emotions I kept this passage very close to my heart. I hope its speaks to you and gives you the same hope it gave me.

But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, be patient. For it will not be late by a single day. Habakkuk 2:3

"For the vision still has its time, presses on to fulfillment. If it delays, wait for it. It will surely come."

I am absolutely blown away by your strength. I love reading your blog and admire your faith and outlook on things.

Sorry for such a long comment. This is the reason I only read blogs but never ever comment. I just ramble on :) Sorry!!

Many Blessings,

Brittney said...

You inspire me so much. Your faith, your honesty, your strength...I admire you for simply being who you are. There definitely is a silver lining:) Continuing to pray for your dh - praying your sweet baby(s) comes into your life soon.

Mrs. Hammer said...

Just wanted you to know you have been on my heart lately. Praying for continued comfort, healing and encouragement. {{{HUGS}}}

Stephanie said...

I've been thinking about you alot lately, sweet friend.
Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Jennifer said...

Still think about you Tab. I hope that all is well. <3

Momma said...

Hi Tab..Just peeking in to let you know Im thinking bout ya. Hope all is well. Until the time is right for you to post I will continue to look forward to one of your amazing, inspiring posts.

Stephanie said...

Think about you often..hope you are doing weel. Hope to have you back on blogger soon. You have been missed :)