Friday, March 21, 2014

FET #6: Results!

Each entry was written on the date listed, but we weren't ready to post them until now.  There will be two more posts after this one.  In case you missed them, here are links to the previous posts: FET #1: Medications and a Miracle; FET #2: Baseline, Meeting the Fenlons and SHOTS!FET #3: Lining Check and Progesterone ShotsFET #4: Transfer Day!; FET #5: Bed Rest and the 2WW

Friday, January 24, 2013
This morning I woke up with butterflies.  Today is the day.  I think I flip back and forth between feeling anxious and feeling at peace--between thinking I'm pregnant and wondering if that's even possible because I can't even imagine how that would feel.  I have had so many negative pregnancy tests that I can't even fathom a positive anymore.  I just keep relying on that blessing I received from Matt, the feelings I had in the temple, and the way everything has fallen into place perfectly for this cycle.

I had called ahead to ensure that our local doctors office would be able to run the tests STAT, as our doctor had requested.  I was told they have a lab onsite, but when I showed up for my appointment at 8:15 before work I was informed that they don't have a lab on site and that the test might not be run until Monday.  I was a little stressed and annoyed, but Matt was quick to calm me down and we drove to a local lab to have the HCG blood test run there.  When I was checking in the lady asked if I would like to have the results emailed to me.  We had planned on having the doctor's office leave a voice message and listening to it together after work, but I thought it might be good to have a back up plan just in case they didn't call or something.

Well... now there is an email just sitting in my inbox with the results!!!
I just can't look.  I hope that doesn't mean I don't have faith, because I feel like I do.  I hope the Lord understands that I trust Him completely, but it doesn't mean my heart isn't just a little bit broken from all the negative results we've received in the past.  I know that I want to be with Matt when we receive the results--either way.  I'm surprised at how little self control I'm exerting because I don't actually want to find out right now--on my lunch break at work.  Though, I can't deny the knots in my stomach.  I'm quickly learning what it means to "pray always".  I need all the help I can get to stay sane today. 


Around 4 pm I had made myself so sick with worry that I called Matt and had him pick me up early from work.  My stomach was in knots.  Today was probably the most stressful day of my life.  On the way home I gave Matt instructions for how to read the results.  Three hormones had been tested, so I told him to just look for the HCG level.  When we got home I changed and sat on the couch while Matt checked.  It seemed to take him an ETERNITY and finally he started smiling and said, "...I think you're pregnant..."  Then he turns the computer to show me my estradiol level of 1377.  I said, "MATT, that's the wrong one!"  (He'll probably never live that down ;)).  Finally he found the HCG level and read it to me, but I wasn't really sure what it meant!  I called the doctor's office hoping that I could talk to a nurse and ask her what the number meant, but I had to leave a message.  We weren't really sure what to think!  We tried distracting ourselves for an hour and a half while we waited for the doctor's office to call us back.


Then my phone rang.  It was them!  I picked up and heard the nurse on the other end.  She said, "I'm not sure if you've received your results yet or not..."  I said, "Well, the lab emailed them to me, but I have no idea what they mean!"  Then she said, "Well, congratulations!  You're PREGNANT!  I'll send you a lab order to have your levels checked again in a week to make sure things are progressing.  Take care of yourself and stay hydrated."  We were in shock.  Then we sobbed and held each other.  Then we prayed and Matt gave me the most beautiful blessing I've ever received.  We have waited 5 years for this blessing, but it has become apparent to us that it has all happened according to the Lord's timing and His will for us.  We are overcome with gratitude.  This pregnancy is a MIRACLE.

I was so excited that I could finally take a pregnancy test and have a guaranteed positive!  Time to stick it to the stick.


I also made sure to have Matt take a picture of me at 4 weeks (technically this is 4 weeks and 2 days ;)).  I'm going to get SOOOO fat--it's going to be awesome!!
We have had so much fun soaking this all in.  We've talked about baby names, pinned some nursery ideas, and dreamed about what this sweet little baby/babies will look like!  We are overwhelmed with joy, excitement, and anticipation!

Sunday, January 26, 2014
Because all of our families were expecting news from our treatment, we announced our pregnancy a lot sooner than we would have otherwise. :)  We told our parents over Skype and called our siblings afterwards.  During our Skype call I said, "I have this awesome shirt I want to show you guys!...The only thing is that we won't be able to use it until October!"

They were only a little bit excited.  :)

Mom and Dad Purcell

Mom and Dad Pinegar

Baby Purcell Coming October 2014!!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014
I'm terrified.  I've been having some pretty serious spotting for the last couple days.  I've never felt so vulnerable in my entire life.  I've never spent so much time praying--for peace, for comfort, for this baby.  I've been given wonderful promises about this pregnancy and been reminded again and again that the Lord has power over all and to trust in Him.  Perhaps He is teaching me to be submissive, meek, humble, and to trust in Him fully and without restraint.  I feel as though I'm repeatedly laying my massive load at His feet and saying, "I just can't do this alone, I need you."  You know that song, I Need Thee Every Hour?  I love that song and feel it's especially applicable right now, except it's like, "I Need Thee Every 5 Minutes When I Have Another Panic Attack."  If the Lord is trying to refine me, it's working.  I've never felt so humble and dependent on Him in my entire life.  I have also never felt so much empathy for women who have miscarriages.  If this is you, I'm so, so sorry.  Your heart.  I'm sorry.  My empathy in general has increased as well.  You just never know what people are going through.  I know I've been a mess lately, and I'm so grateful for the understanding and loving people who surround me.

I know with all my heart that the Lord is in control.  He has all power to fulfill His word and His promises to us.  I know that He is aware of each of us and that He loves us more than we can ever possibly imagine.  I know that He wants our happiness even more than we do.  I know that the Lord will lift us up and carry us through the difficult times if we turn to Him.  I don't know what will happen with this pregnancy.  I hope with all of my heart that I'll be able to carry this baby (or these babies) to term, but if not, I know that I have a Lord and Savior who will make it all ok in the end.  Today, I'm relying on my faith in Him.

This video brought me peace today--it's one of my favorites.

Friday, January 31, 2014
Today I had another blood test to see if the pregnancy hormones are rising as they should.  They are still lower than we would like, but they seem to be rising normally so that's a great sign!  I just keep holding on to faith that everything will be alright.  I've been on bed rest since the spotting started five days ago and I've been drinking water like crazy.  We're doing everything we can.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Yesterday we had an appointment with the nurse at our OBGYN office to get established there.  She was awesome and so great to work with.  Before the meeting I started having some cramping, but I didn't want to worry Matt so I kept it to myself.  Looking back, I think I also didn't want to validate the pain by saying it out loud.  By the time we left the meeting and were driving home the cramping was intensifying and it was difficult to think of anything else.  This was partly due to my concern, I'm sure.  When we got home I laid down, but it still wouldn't stop so we called the doctor's office.  They suggested that I go and get my hormones tested right away instead of waiting until today.  We went in right away and then came home to wait.  Things didn't seem to be getting any better and the spotting seemed to increase as well.  

Finally we received the results and they didn't look good.  My numbers should have doubled and they only increased by 50%.  My doctors office said unfortunately, they can't tell what's going on for sure.  They can't say that I'm having a miscarriage unless those numbers are dropping and mine are still rising.  However, this news coupled with my symptoms had us convinced that a miscarriage was in the works.  Yesterday was a no good, awful, terrible day.  It was only brightened by the fact that I have an incredible husband.  Going through something like this only reminds me how blessed I am to have him as my partner.  I've been on bed rest for a week and he's been waiting on me hand and foot.  Every meal and snack is made by him and brought to the couch for me.  He goes grocery shopping, does the laundry, cleans the house, entertains me, makes me laugh, and most importantly, has given me a few incredible Priesthood blessings that I'll never forget.  I don't know if I've ever met someone with a heart as big as his.  He is going to be an incredible dad someday.

Today I'm feeling better.  The spotting has decreased a lot and the cramping now feels more like a fullness.  Confusing I know.  This roller coaster we are on, along with being on bed rest is really getting to me.  I'm trying so hard to have faith that the Lord can do anything, while also trusting in His plan for us.  This talk brought me comfort today.  I love this quote especially from that talk.

"In a sense all of us are in the middle of our own novels, our own life stories.  Sometimes our stories feel very intense, and we would like to read ahead to know our own end, to make sure that everything is going to turn out alright.  While we don't know the particular details of our life's experiences, we do know something about our futures, if we live worthily.  We are given this insight in Doctrine and Covenants 90:24: 'Search diligently, pray always, and be believing, and all things shall work together for your good, if ye walk uprightly...' I sense that this promise comes from a tender, caring father who desires to bless us and give us reason to hope through our earthly journey... Sometimes we see immediate fulfillment of the promise.  Other times we plead for years before we see the desired promises fulfilled."

I know that the Lord will fulfill His promises to us if we remain faithful to Him.  I've never been through something so difficult in all my life and yet I feel the Lord making it easier to bear somehow.

Friday, February 7, 2014
On Wednesday I had my blood drawn again.  We were really hoping for a big jump to make us feel more comfortable about the situation.  We went in around 11 a.m. and I was so nervous, but we were really trying to remain hopeful and believe that a miracle could happen.  We came home and watched a show to pass the time.  Then we checked the results.  

I don't think anything could have prepared me for that moment.  My numbers had dropped...  Miscarriage is imminent.  Heartbreak.  WTH?!  We waited 5 years for THIS?  Shock.  How can this be happening?!  Sadness.  Anger.  Sooooo much ANGER.  Bitterness.  Resentment.  "Why did the Lord bless us with this pregnancy just to take it away?!  It just doesn't make any sense."  MISCARRIAGE?!  Disappointment like you wouldn't believe.  Fear.  "WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH ME?!"  Heartache.  Denial.  Shock.  We are supposed to be an "easy fix"... why did the first cycle fail and now this?!  Pain.  So. Much. Pain.

We cried.  We held each other.  We talked, but mostly we just cried.  Then I laid on the couch while Matt sat at the other end rubbing my feet and legs.  He's an angel.  I could not dream of a better partner to face this with.  I was completely overcome with gratitude for him and for our relationship.  It was a good reminder of all the amazing blessings the Lord has blessed me with.  Surely, He has not and will not forsake us.


A few hours of this and I knew I had to make a decision.  I've never felt so low.  So angry.  So confused.  So frustrated.  But, I was at a crossroads.  I could choose to despair and lose faith, or I could choose to find hope and faith in my Savior and in the promises the Lord has made to us.  I knew I would be sad and heartbroken for a while, but despair was just not an option.  Despair is hopeless.  I know my Savior died for my happiness.  Only He can heal my broken heart.  Only He can fill this hole in my heart.  Only He knows exactly how it feels for Stephanie Camille Purcell to suffer through a miscarriage after 5 years of infertility and countless failed treatments.  Only He can provide the peace and comfort that my heart is aching for.

I turned to the words of His apostles.  You would think that the last thing I'd want to hear right then was that I needed to be grateful for my trials, but it actually provided a lot of comfort and understanding to read this talk.  Here are a few of my very favorite parts.

"...we should even give thanks for our afflictions because they turn our hearts to God and give us opportunities to prepare for what God would have us become.  The Lord taught the prophet Moroni, 'I give unto men weakness that they may be humble,' and then promised that 'if they humble themselves … and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them' (Ether 12:27).  In the midst of the persecutions the Latter-day Saints were suffering in Missouri, the Lord gave a similar teaching and promise: 'Verily I say unto you my friends, fear not, let your hearts be comforted; yea, rejoice evermore, and in everything give thanks; … and all things wherewith you have been afflicted shall work together for your good' (D&C 98:1, 3).

"I love the musical and motion picture Fiddler on the Roof. There a wonderful Jewish father sings “If I Were a Rich Man.” His memorable prayer concludes with this pleading question:

'Lord, who made the lion and the lamb,
You decreed I should be what I am;
Would it spoil some vast eternal plan,
If I were a wealthy man?'

"Yes, Tevye, it might. Let us give thanks for what we are and for the circumstances God has given us for our personal journey through mortality."

I love that.  I have to trust that the Lord has a eternal plan for me.  That plan is sometimes hard to understand with my mortal mind, but I know my happiness and progression is His ultimate goal.

Yesterday morning I woke up in disbelief.  Did that really happen?  It was hard to see the constant reminders of our loss--the injectable medications on my dresser, the pregnancy book I had just purchased, the bag from our OBGYN after our first appointment just last week, the onsie we had used to announce our pregnancy to our parents.  I had already imagined this baby as a member of our family.  I had already imagined what it would be like to see OUR baby on an ultrasound next week--instead I had to cancel that ultrasound as well as my 10 week appointment.  One minute I'd feel strength from the Lord and then all the emotions would come rolling in again.

Sometimes the only peace I could find throughout the day came as I read the words of the Lord through his apostles.  I can't explain how much the words of this talk have helped me through these last few days.

"When the pathway of life takes a cruel turn, there is the temptation to ask the question 'Why me?'  At times there appears to be no light at the end of the tunnel, no sunrise to end the night’s darkness.  We feel encompassed by the disappointment of shattered dreams and the despair of vanished hopes.  We join in uttering the biblical plea, 'Is there no balm in Gilead?'  We feel abandoned, heartbroken, alone...

"The difficulties which come to us present us with the real test of our ability to endure.  A fundamental question remains to be answered by each of us: Shall I falter, or shall I finish?  Some do falter as they find themselves unable to rise above their challenges.  To finish involves enduring to the very end of life itself."

"Our Heavenly Father, who gives us so much to delight in, also knows that we learn and grow and become stronger as we face and survive the trials through which we must pass.  We know that there are times when we will experience heartbreaking sorrow, when we will grieve, and when we may be tested to our limits.  However, such difficulties allow us to change for the better, to rebuild our lives in the way our Heavenly Father teaches us, and to become something different from what we were—better than we were, more understanding than we were, more empathetic than we were, with stronger testimonies than we had before.

"This should be our purpose—to persevere and endure, yes, but also to become more spiritually refined as we make our way through sunshine and sorrow.  Were it not for challenges to overcome and problems to solve, we would remain much as we are, with little or no progress toward our goal of eternal life.  The poet expressed much the same thought in these words:

'Good timber does not grow with ease,
The stronger wind, the stronger trees.
The further sky, the greater length.
The more the storm, the more the strength.
By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
In trees and men good timbers grow.'"

"May we ever strive to be close to our Heavenly Father.  To do so, we must pray to Him and listen to Him every day.  We truly need Him every hour, whether they be hours of sunshine or of rain.  May His promise ever be our watchword: 'I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.'

"With all the strength of my soul, I testify that God lives and loves us, that His Only Begotten Son lived and died for us, and that the gospel of Jesus Christ is that penetrating light which shines through the darkness of our lives."

Today I'm feeling peace.  I can feel the prayers of our family members and a few others.  They are lifting us.  There really are "angels round about, to bear [us] up." Source  I never thought I could get through this, but somehow I am.  The Lord is blessing me with strength beyond anything I could have imagined and I'm moving forward somehow.  

Today I had to have another blood draw.  On the way to the lab we drove past the place where this miracle happened.
Check out all these angels!  These are some of the most incredible people I've ever known.

There were tears streaming down my face as I remembered all the angels I have met and all the miracles I have witnessed on our journey to parenthood.  I KNOW the Lord will not forsake us.  I know there will be many more miracles on our journey to parenthood.  The Lord is manifesting His hand to us through this trial.  I hope that as I've shared our journey with you, you've also seen His hand.  His love is all around us.

My heart still aches, and I still experience sadness and frustration, but it's all on the backdrop of an eternal perspective, peace, comfort and strength from the Lord.  I don't know if this heartbreaking loss will ever make sense to me, but I trust.  I trust in the Lord and His perfect plan for us.  I trust in His promises.  I know I'll be a mom someday.


Kim said...

I'm so sorry Stephanie. I'm so heart broken for you and Matt. Sending all my love and prayers to you.

luke and kourt said...

You will be a mom, and a truly amazing one! Thank you for sharing your story. My heart breaks for you but you are a great example of a woman of faith. You will be in my prayers❤️

Bryce & Cherise said...

I love you dearest! We'll be mamas one day! :) you're always in our prayers! Xoxoxox

Lizzie Justice said...

Stephanie my heart is broken for you. Thank you for still posting. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Devanie said...

Oh, Stephanie- I'm so sad to hear. I admire your faith and hope. Thank you for sharing your heart with us.

Marie said...

I'm so sorry! To go from such a high to such a low in just a few days. My heart is breaking for you! You are such an inspiration and example to me.

Julie Lisonbee said...

I love you, girl. Our prayers are with you. I am so terribly sorry.

Annie said...

Steph, I am just crying for you. My heart aches for you and Matt. I think of you and pray for you often. Thank you for sharing your journey of faith this week. I have been reading along and it has given me strength for my own journey of faith. Thank you! I love you!

The Gardner's said...

Stephanie, my heart is breaking for you and Matt. I had a miscarriage between Kambry and Dax, and it was the hardest thing I have been through. I felt so alone and so confused! I am so proud of you for having the strong faith that you need to get through this. Rely on The Lord. He is there to carry you! We will be praying for you!

Lisa said...

Steph and Matt,
my heart is broken for you. THank you for being so brave to share your story - the ups and downs. I know so many have benefited from what you've shared. Your mom and I shed some tears today after I read your post. We love you guys so much!!

Angie said...

Stephanie, thank you for sharing. I understand the heartache of a miscarriage, longing/waiting for a baby, and losing our sweet Ada. I sometimes wonder why it is so hard to get these babies here, and then I remember the Lord is molding us to be the mothers that He needs us to be for His most valiant spirits. Hold on, good things will come.