Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Maybe Baby #1

I am going to attempt something extremely radical and dangerous on my blog. I am going to really open up and share something entirely personal and a bit controversial with the hopes of documenting a time in my life and perhaps helping someone else along the way. I am going to blog about my experience with making babies. Now for the general public I would strongly advise you to never blog about your method of baby making, but mine, well... mine is a bit more PG rated. I make my babies in a lab. That's right. White coats, microscopes, and doctors do my conceiving.




All made in a lab...... on the same day. December 3rd 2002.

Because I have Endometriosis Matt and I are unable to have *ahem* our genetic material meet in the conventional way, so after almost four years of experimenting we found that the only way for me to get pregnant was through a procedure called In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).

I had never known anyone to go through this procedure and certainly lots of opinions swirled in the Christian community about ethical questions surrounding the procedure. Matt and I have always been firm that we believe that life begins at conception. We believe that God has designed each of us with a purpose and plan and He gives us all a soul the moment we were created. Of course he also gave all of us free will and well that's where the story gets all fumbled up. Anywho, Matt and I put prayer, research, and guidance into making the decision to go forward with IVF with a few parameters to be responsible. I so wished that there was a chapter in the New Testament outlining infertility treatments but as many heartbreaking stories there are in the Bible about barren women God doesn't give us any details on how to fight barrenness in the modern world. I have to say that from the moment we started to investigate IVF, God said yes. He did that with the Christian doctors and nurses He brought to us, our church who supported us, our family who gave us the shove we needed to get started, but most of all He gave us a peace that this was the avenue we needed to travel to meet three special people: Tobin, Phoebe, and Jabe.
It was our first parenting decision to listen to God's call on us.
Without going into all the medical jargon on how IVF works just know that it takes money, needles, hormones, ultra sounds, blood draws, more hormones, stirrups, and faith.

So here I am just getting to the reason for writing this post. Try to follow me here and if you get lost, just know that it's me not you. I'm complicated. Matt and I started out with a whopping 15 embryo's in 2002. The first two were placed inside me fresh, meaning they were not frozen. Tobin and a twin that never implanted. Out of the remaining 13, five were dividing too slow and were held and watched to see if they survived to the next stage of blastocyst (120 cells). The other eight were divided up into pairs and placed in the cyro freezer until we were ready for more children. Out of the five that we were concerned with, only 2 made it to blast and they were frozen at that stage. So we were left with eight, 4-6 cell embryo's and two, 120 cells embryo's totaling ten. Please don't make me do a spread sheet.

When Tobin was 1 year old, we were ready and eager to add to our family. We got my body ready to accept the frozen tot's and found out after defrosting four embryo's that only one was viable for transfer and one was one the fence. We threw them both in. (We found that if an embryo doesn't survive the defrosting it was doomed for an early miscarriage.) None of those embryo's implanted. We were told to prepare ourselves that Tobin might have been our only miracle.

We waited to give my body time to heal and when Tobin was 2 we tried again. This time they defrosted only one vile and both embryo's looked, "perfect". Thus Jabe and Phoebe attached and grew and took all the doctors and nurses by surprise.

So now here we are, my perfect little family. Most people who don't know my story, but see my family, assume that we are done; truthfully we might be. But, we have a 4 more frozen "pieces of potential" that Matt and I are committed to see what their fate is.
Tuesday we had our consultation with our beloved Reproductive Endocrinologist about possibly adding to our family using our secret stash of humans we have in cryo freeze. Remember Jabe and Phoebe were frozen for three plus years before they found their way into my womb.
This time I was happy to be in this waiting room. But I do remember when just a few years ago those waiting room chairs held me in an uncertain time in my life. I felt broken and alone. I remember looking at the other women in the room wishing we could talk. Really talk about how sucky infertility was. I really just wished I could ask someone "what cycle day are you on?" or "I've heard nurse Jane has the best success rate at intra uterine inseminations" or perhaps, " are you, like me, worried that you just might die with this ache in your arms that cries out to hold your baby? Or is that just me?" I never did have these conversations with the other infertile women sitting in the waiting room. Instead I just pretended to read old People magazines and hope my name was called next. But today as I was sitting and waiting I had such a new peace about me. I have kids. LOTS of kids. My cup runneth over. I am completely content and yet if I have another baby my family will be even more complete. I still wanted to reach out to these other couples but what do I say? How do I start such an intimate conversation with strangers? A few thoughts crossed my mind. I could say something like, "So is it your problem or his?" or "So you want kids real bad huh? Hey I've got three! Even a set of twins! You want to look at my adorable children so you can be reminded of what you don't have?" Thankfully I choose to sip on my coffee and read an old People magazine.

Today we and our doctor came up with a plan on defrosting some of our babies in the frozen nursery. (They have been in for six years!) Our doctor gave us a 50/50 chance that we might end up with one baby. We are really ok with however this turns out. We gave up control over our family to a God many years ago and I must say He has done a marvelous job in knowing just what our family should look like and I don't doubt for a second that He has this all figured out in a perfect way. I will be updating during each step of this process so please follow along. Please leave questions you might have in the comments. I am not shy about this so ask away; I know I've left lots of wholes in our story. Blog reader will get all the updates first so please keep checking back to see if we will be becoming a family of six, or seven or more yikes!


Crystal said...

I'm super excited and rooting for more! :-) No, I've always thought IVF was a wonderful thing and have never held any qualms about it. I'm soo excited to hear your updates!

Stephanie said...

I'm so happy you are writing your story! Excited to hear what God has in store for you guys.

Christi said...

SO interesting...I've always wanted to know more of your story. Thankful for open and honest people like you and can't wait to see what is in the future.

Melissa said...

Becca, thank you for sharing! Like you said, it so seems to be one of those weird topics that is just so hard to bring up. I was so grateful to have you to rely on during our IVF experience. You were the only person I knew who had gone through it and I am so thankful that you are willing to share something so personal that really helps people going through it also. I will be praying for whatever God has for you to unfold! : )

Kim H. said...

Thank you so much for writing this - so much of it hit close to my heart. I also sometimes wish that I could talk to the other ladies in the waiting room and see what their stories are... but instead - I thank God for providing the world of blogging so that we can do that very thing in a more appropriate way. :-)

Stefanie said...

Yay! You did it! I checked your blog at the kitchen/standing computer station...saw that you posted...and promptly redirected my peanut butter toast eating spot to Mike's quiet office with a chair. I couldn't wait!

I can't get enough of your story and so happy to have been a witness to it first hand. You did a great job retelling the "so far" and I can't wait to hear the "next" part!

I love you to pieces and everyone of your embryos, blasts, babies, and children. And pride wells up everytime a person asks me "if they are done?!", because I get to share the faith you(and we!) have in God and his baby making skills!

These posts are way better than those People magazines!!

Alida said...

What a great place to be...at peace. Wishing you the best, but secretly thinking, more babies, Wohoo!

Angela said...

Your cool...love you!

Jenny vick said...

ah...how I've missed your blogging..and your voice (blogging...I don't remember otherwise :) ) This is very exciting! In the wake of my loosing the baby..i have gained a very close friend that had her babies just like you have had yours! It has been so facinating to hear how people in the church are so Frowny when it comes to this (sometimes). Thanks for sharing your adventure..and if you have tons and tons..please PLEASE I beg of you...do not make it a reality t.v. show :) jenny

February Jill said...

Ha ha Jenny.
Becca this record of your journey is such a treasure for us who know you and will probably even help some we don't know.
Cheers for you and your willingness and witty ability to share!

Tiffany said...

Oh you said it well...infertility does suck. It can be a very lonely place to be.

Oh - and know that I believe every other woman sitting in that specific waiting room sipping coffee and reading old People magazines has the same thoughts running around in her head as you did/do. Rooting for you and your frozen tots!

Stacey said...

That is excellent news! I'm pulling for you. I have to tell you that I teared up at your remembrance of the waiting room and your hopes (& others)of holding your babies. It reminded me as I sit here tiredly pumping for baby #2 how blessed I am. you can thank me later for the visual. Love you!

Rachel said...

I really enjoyed talking to you about this topic this summer ... while sitting in a boat, on the lake, enjoying the sun, the water and the kids! And I have to say, that I agree with what you are doing whole heartedly! This is the right thing to do. And I know that however this turns out, it will be what was meant to be! Good for you and good luck!

priscilla tilgner said...

Yay! Becca thats cool news! I hope you find a way to talk it up with those peep in the waiting room with you! Seriously your an uplifting person. Radiate some of that love into their lives! Can't wait to hear about what God has in store for your family!