December 20, 2010

A Season for Everything

I promise I have half a dozen happy, Christmasy posts in the queue, but this one isn't. I often struggle, especially with the blog, about what to share and what not. I worry about over-sharing, or about only sharing the good and giving people a perfect picture of imperfect people. I frequently tell people that it is good for us to share our brokenness, that if other people only see you as perfect you miss the opportunity for a testimony, that God's power is made perfect in our weakness and it is good to share these experiences with others, that not sharing steals from others the opportunity to minister and keeps you from feeling the full community of the body. But I'm not actually very good at that. Not at all. That said, I'm going to quickly try.

Some may know that Ryan and Allie were conceived through IVF. We had 3 embryos left over from their cycle - sitting frozen in storage. We have known that we would eventually use them. We called them our "maybe babies." In October, after much prayer, we began the process of trying with these embryos (remember the priceless FedEx package?). I will spare the full details except to say that when we arrived that day we found out that only 1 embryo was strong enough to be viable for transfer, and after 9 days with all of our hope resting on this one "maybe baby," we got the news that the test was negative.

We knew before we started that these embryos would be it. IVF is too physically, emotionally, and financially stressful, and we didn't want to continue indefinitely again. It would literally be a miracle for us to be able to conceive on our own (not that we don't believe in miracles, but I've found that often the miracles God performs are not the ones we necessarily expected), and so we feel not just the heaviness of this particular loss, but the loss of any future, biological "maybe babies."

It feels strange, in this season of celebration to be sad, but we are. I am. I know many grieve the loss of loved ones during the Christmas Season, and while our loss is less tangible - more a loss of a specific dream, a specific hope - we grieve nonetheless. While I still feel excited about celebrating Christmas (especially for the twins and with both of our families!), while I am still so thankful for our Savior who came as a baby, while I still feel great joy duringall of the holiday celebrations, there is a heaviness in my heart.

And so I share this to ask for your prayers. For peace and wisdom as we look to God for our next steps. I trust God's will for us. I know He has a plan for our future and our family. There is great comfort and joy in this knowledge. I share this for others who may have experienced similar pain - infertility and miscarriages are losses that often go unspoken. But sharing can make a world of difference to the person experiencing the loss, to the people around them trying to understand and help, and to others who have experienced a similar loss. And I share this partly because it is so much easier to type than talk, and I'm just not ready to talk. For those celebrating Christmas with us, please know that we treasure your love and support, but will not yet be ready to talk about the subject.
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD. They are plans for peace and not disaster, plans to give you a future filled with hope." Jeremiah 29:11

"For nothing will be impossible with God...I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word."
Luke 1:37-38