Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I know that He is for me.

I've been singing this song lately, reminding myself that God is for me. We have truly felt peace in our hearts, but the sorrow still lingers at times. Robby says the hardest part is remembering just how happy we were that first week. He's so right - we were ecstatic. I had said I would enjoy the moments and experiences God was graciously giving us, and we did. It's difficult not to wish those days back. Such joy. Such hope. But I know that God is the giver of joy and the giver of hope, and He will fill our hearts again. He is for us -- isn't that something?

I know that you are for me,
I know that you are for me,
I know that you will never forsake me in my weaknesses.
I know that you have come now
even if to write upon my heart
to remind me who You are.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


I'm amazed how quickly God is bringing peace and healing into our lives. It's been just over a month since we had our IVF, and slightly over two weeks since we found out our negative results. At first, the disappointment was overwhelming. I would wake up, and before my mind had a chance to think of anything else, I was crying. Being with people helped, but the moment I was alone, the weight would fall upon me once again. Now, I feel a calm peace within me. I see glimmers of hope again. I'm still sad, of course, but not like before.

That first week was the hardest. Going back to work was especially tough, mostly because I wasn't ready to be "normal" again. I wanted more time, though I'm not sure time for what. Grief, perhaps? Tears? Questions?

We were so happy when a couple from church gifted us a weekend near Yosemite. We made it through a short work week knowing that we could retreat and be sad together. It seems strange, I know, almost morbid, but that's what we wanted.

The weekend was so perfect. We had a quaint cabin all to ourselves, and we spent a lot of time doing very little. On Friday we drove up to Yosemite and got to be completely overwhelmed in a different way with the breathtaking mountains, blooming dogwoods, and massive waterfalls. On Saturday, we spent time in the town there and found a nursery. We love our flowers, you know, and this place was great. Robby had wanted to get a little plant in honor of our teeny-tinies, as a remembrance. He ended up finding a lovely pink astilbe that had two feathery pink plumes poking up. (Oh yes. He was convinced both of them would be girls.)
It really couldn't have been a better way for the two of us to take the time we needed. We cried, talked, laughed, and then did really important things like watch hours of HGTV. We grieved like we needed to grieve, in our own way. He even told me that he had already named them in his heart. One name was our girl name we've loved for a long time, and the other name was Gloria. I can't say Gloria would have been my choice, but it seemed to fit. When I think of God's glory, I think of light, hope, radiance, and beauty. I think of all of His worth, all of His goodness.

On the way home, I looked back at the little plant Robby bought and was stunned as I read the tag. It said Pink Astilbe: 'Gloria'. 

"Did you choose this plant because of its name?" I asked Robby.

He had no clue what I was talking about.

"Its name is Gloria. Is that why you picked it?"

He's a sensitive man, so he couldn't say much, but just shook his head. No, he hadn't even read the tag. He just picked it out because he liked it. We had looked at dozens and dozens of plants to bring home, but he chose this one.

God has been present with us all along. I know that well. But there have been times throughout this journey, specific moments when the clouds have parted and God has spoken to us clearly, lovingly, uniquely. This was one of those moments. No, we did not get the joy of having our embryos become our babies to hold. We didn't get to have them very long at all, in fact. But in that moment, God was reminding us that He sees us, He loves us, and He has not forgotten us.

His light, hope, radiance, and beauty are all around us. He is with us. Even though we may not understand our circumstances or the events in our lives, He is still full of all glory and all goodness.

Monday, May 6, 2013

God is too good.

There have been a lot of new emotions and questions for me this weekend. I've said over and over to God that I don't understand, that it doesn't make sense, that this seems unnecessary, that I've had my share, that I can't handle this new grief. All along, I can't say I spent much time being angry with God or asking the "why us?" question, but I felt it and asked it this weekend.

And I realized that it comes down to this "problem" with God: He is too good. He has blessed us in countless ways, massive, beautiful, glorious blessings. He's given me the most wonderful husband, two precious families, sisters who are best friends, friends who are like sisters, success in our careers and ministries, a lovely home, financial stability, health, peace, salvation. He has given me more than I've ever deserved, and so of course, I kept hoping and trusting that He'd grant this. He's been so good, too good, that I wanted to scream this weekend! Why bless us as you have, and then not give us this pregnancy? Why overwhelm us with such grace and love, give us such a beautiful life, but leave this one thing out of it? 

Because, you see, God has been so good that I never really stopped believing that He'd heal me and we would have our child. And it made so much sense that He would use this IVF to do just that. It seemed that He was directing each step, healing along the way, paving the path for this to be successful. And when we saw our two tiny embryos and immediately loved them, I thought, surely God loves them too, and He will sustain them so they get to live on this earth with us. It didn't matter to me that our chances weren't great. I believed that God was going to display His glory because that's what He's always done.

My deep disappointment and pain aren't present because I follow a cruel God who leaves us to struggle all alone, but because I follow a good God who is gracious and loving. That's all He is, and all He's ever been.

I don't have a tidy way to wrap this all up. I'm a mess, but I'm holding to what I know is true as best as I can. God is good. But I'm still heartbroken. God is good. But I still wish I had them with me. God is good. But I'm still waiting.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

A letter

We wrote a letter to our church family yesterday, knowing that we would be seeing them all today, and asked our pastor to send it out. I'm sharing it here because it very simply explains how we're feeling. Even though we wrote it to them, it actually is a letter to all of you who have walked through this with us.

Dear Church Family (and all family and friends),

Two weeks ago, you prayed for us as we underwent our embryo transfer, the final step of our IVF (in-vitro fertilization). On Friday, we found out that we weren’t pregnant, and the IVF was not successful.

We thank you so much for your love, support, and prayers. We know that you may have questions, so we wanted to take just a moment to answer a few.

What are our next steps?
Honestly, there are no next steps at this point except to allow ourselves to grieve and move toward healing. IVF is incredibly emotional, and we are barely figuring out—with the Lord’s help—how to process this pain and begin healing. At some point, we may consider adoption, but we need to allow ourselves time with this, right now.

Will we do any more fertility treatments?
At this point, no, we don’t plan on pursuing any more treatments. We’ve been seeing a specialist for four years, and IVF was basically the last step. Because of Candace’s diagnosis of Diminished Ovarian Reserve last fall, as well as her endometriosis, our chances of conceiving even with IVF were slim.

How can you continue to support us?
Keep praying, keep loving, keep hugging! We know there isn't a lot to say, and that's okay. The best things for us to hear are simple: you love us, you're praying for us, God has a plan.

Words can’t really explain how heartbroken we are. This has been a long, difficult journey of many years, and we were so hopeful that God would use this IVF to heal us and bring us a miracle baby. We are deeply grieved over this loss, and specifically the loss of our two embryos.

Thank you, again, for all of the support and love! We are so blessed to have a family who lifts us up as you have.


Rob and Candace

Friday, May 3, 2013

IVF Results :(

We found out at bout 9:45 this morning that my bloodwork was negative and our IVF was not a success. We are heartbroken. We honestly didn't know that we could experience such grief as we do right now. We've had a lot of disappointments along the way, countless negatives, but this loss is deeper. We had something, two somethings, and now they're gone.

Thanks, as always, for your prayers, your love, your support. We are encouraged by them, by you, and are encouraged by our God who is with us and loves us.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

12 DPR - An update in code

One of the websites that makes me smile is called 999 Reasons to Laugh at Infertility. The author does a pretty great job at bringing to light the crazier side of infertility. Reason #993 is "You can have a whole conversation using fertility acronyms." It's true - there is an acronym or short-hand version for everything. Here's my update...can you figure it out?

It's 12 DPR and 10 DPT, but it feels like this 2WW will never be over! I'm about ready to give in and take an HPT (an EPT at that), but if I get a BFP, I'll just think it's false, and if I get a BFN, I'll cry. So, I'm staying strong and waiting for my b/w on Friday. Overall, I'm feeling good--less crampy than I was on Monday. My DH has been so wonderful. He's remained positive and hopeful...even when I've been sure AF was coming. At this point, I just want Friday to be here so I can find out if this IVF was a success!

The Key
DPR/DPT = Days past retrieval/Days past transfer
2WW = 2 week wait
HPT/EPT = Home Pregnancy Test/Early Pregnancy Test
BFN/BFP = Big Fat Negative/Big Fat Positive
b/w = blood work
DH = Dear Husband
AF = Aunt Flow/period
IVF = In Vitro Fertilization