Yesterday, around 3:45 pm Matt arrives home and asks if I found out the test results. I say no. At 3:50 pm I notice a missed call from my IVF clinic at 2:37pm. I wonder why I missed it because I have been by the phone all day waiting for this call. I hit the number to call back.
Matt tries to quiet the kids so I can hear the results (they always scream and cry when I’m on the phone, which is a rare occasion).
Nurse: Hi Kara, how are you?
Me: Good. Other than I’m nervous, anxious, praying, praying, praying for good news. How did I miss this call? How are you?
Nurse: Good. We received your results.
Me: Uh oh, she sounds sad. Is that pity that I hear in her voice? Inhale. Exhale.
Nurse: Your results came back negative…..everything else is blah, blah, blah, blah…..
Me: What is wrong with me? No, stop. It’s not my fault. The embryo was flawed. It was not God’s will. Another loss. Our last child. Oh, ok. Tears. I look at Matt. He is still shushing the kids.
Nurse: You have the option to come in for a follow up consultation. Would you like to do that?
Me: No, no need. One minute I’m pregnant. The next, nothing. This one was supposed to survive. We had everything planned.
Nurse: I didn’t think you would. Blah, blah, blah….I don’t recall what else she said.
Me: Thank you. Goodbye.
I look at Matt and shake my head with tears flowing. He hugs me. Our hope has vanished.
Matt: Maybe you missed that call because I was supposed to be here when you received the news.
Me: Yes. He’s so right. We had so much hope for this one. I thought for sure she would survive.
Matt: Me too.
We hug. We can’t let go. I realize I’m going to be late for my appointment.
Me: I have to go. If I stay here I’ll keep crying and I don’t want to. I need God. I need Him like a flag needs the wind to wave it’s magnificent colors for all to see. To wave….wave goodbye. We love you. We’ll see those waves, your waves in heaven.
As you can see our news was a big upset, but, after a little reflection, it made me realize a few insights on this outcome that lift up my spirits.
1. Our twins really are rare miracles
Out of the 14 embryos we created by IVF, only 6 survived until day 5. For each cycle of IVF, the embryologist chooses the embryos that look like they have the greatest chance at survival, but the first one he chose did not live. We decided to implant two on our second cycle and the two he chose sustained a pregnancy and were born together. None of the three remaining embryos survived very long after their implantation. Our twins were the only two that continued their lives by God’s will. Not only that, but God chose for them to be born together. What does that mean? What does that entail for their future? For God’s plan for them? A sacred bond, constant support during their joys and hardships, lives lived with each other and for each other, always.
2. We are meant for something else.
Matt and I have our 10th year wedding anniversary coming up in September, so we made a promise that if we did not get pregnant, we would make a returning trip to Italy to recreate our honeymoon and see Italy in brand new eyes. Eyes that are open, eyes that aren’t tainted by the secular world, eyes that are filled with love, eyes unblinded. This trip might mean more than we realize. It will make our marriage stronger by bringing us closer together spiritually. Experiencing this holy land in a new light, what we once had seen before will look drastically different. We are drastically different.
Also, maybe I will play a more significant role in the Pro-Life movement as a spokesperson for IVF. God has something in mind for us that does not involve more children. What will it be? I’m excited at the prospect!
3. Comfort in closure.
Matt and I are now at peace. We gave all of our children a chance to continue their lives and that brings us comfort.
No more visits to the IVF doctor, no more pills, no more shots, no more being pumped with synthetic hormones, no more being poked and prodded for blood samples, no more sonograms, no more screaming kids in a doctors office that makes me feel guilty.
4. To be grateful for what we do have, and stop worrying about what we don’t.
We have so much thanksgiving to give to God because we are filled with many blessings. We have two children in perfect health. We have our own health. We all have each other to support, to learn from, to forgive, to be forgiven, to be an imperfect, but faithful family. Mostly, we all have love to share.
Yes, we wanted a larger family and we truly believed we would achieve such a thing, but that is not God’s plan for us and we accept it. No more pursuing fertility treatments to get pregnant. We are just going to be as God wants us to be. Ourselves. In our own flaws.
5. We do have a large family….up in Heaven
We may not have a large family here on earth, but with our 12 children up in heaven we are right up there with the largest of Catholic families!
We look forward to meeting them up there when the time comes…but we aren’t ready yet and won’t be for quite some time. We have much to do for God here on earth before we meet our eternal destination. We hope God agrees.
We thank you for all of your prayers. They will not go unanswered. The answer will just be different from what we expected.