Thursday, July 31, 2014

"Or send some answer far more best."

Friday, June 20, 2014

After losing our babies in February/March I'll admit that I felt a little jaded about doing more treatments.  It was actually somewhat of a relief when we were told we would have to wait at least until June because of the Methotrexate injections they gave me for the ectopic pregnancy.  For the first few months we proceeded with the plan of doing treatment in June.  

As June approached I started to feel uneasy about it.  I'm sure part of me was anxious about thrusting myself into another cycle and fearful of having my heart broken all over again.  We also figured that it would be stressful to be doing another round of IVF right before Matt takes the Bar Exam in July, so we moved forward with a plan to do another round in September.  In some ways postponing treatment didn't make sense because we wouldn't qualify for the discount anymore which would increase the price of treatment by about $1,500.  I had kind of told myself that this would be our last cycle for a while.  If this didn't work, we would pursue adoption.  But, despite all of this--the benefits and drawbacks--it just didn't feel right to me.  It didn't feel like that was what the Lord wanted us to do.  I even told Matt, "In the past I've felt a fire under me to undergo treatments when we have.  I've felt super motivated, excited, and ready.  I don't feel that way now.  I feel like the Lord is whispering to me, 'be still and wait' and I feel more peace about our infertility than I ever have before."

When I emailed the nurse at my doctor's office to tell her that we would be postponing treatment, I felt this incredible peace come over me.  I knew it was the right thing to do despite wanting to become a mom more than anything and despite the extra money it would cost to do treatment in September versus in June.  It just felt right to wait.

I had been on birth control since the Methotrexate "just in case" which I laughed about because if two rounds of IVF couldn't do the trick I wasn't worried about getting pregnant without invasive treatment.  I stopped the birth control mid-May when we decided not to proceed with treatment in June.  If we were going to proceed with treatment I would have continued the birth control as part of that treatment. Let me say that again.  If we had decided to do treatment in June (as was the original plan) I wouldn't have stopped taking the birth control.

Three weeks after stopping birth control, and not starting a new cycle at all since stopping the birth control, I started to have a feeling that I was pregnant.  I shared my feelings with Matt and finally took a pregnancy test.  I've come to hate pregnancy tests in general and usually don't get my hopes up when I'm "late" anymore.  I hate to admit that I was shocked when it read, "not pregnant."

This morning, two weeks later, still no cycle, exhausted, hungry in the middle of the night--I started wondering again.  Could I be pregnant?  No way.  I had started a pretty intense exercise program so maybe that was messing with my cycles.  Or maybe things were just normalizing after the birth control.  Finally Matt convinced me to take another pregnancy test just to "rule it out."  Matt had just left for work and I took that test while rolling my eyes a little bit.  After a few minutes I glanced over expecting to see the "not pregnant" I see every time I take those tests.  Wait…?!  Did that test say "pregnant" or did I just read it wrong?!  I sat there staring at it for several minutes before it finally started to set in.  It was one of the most incredible moments of my life.  I witnessed a miracle in that moment.  I've seen the Lord's hand and I can never deny it.  I sobbed and prayed and laughed and reread the test just to make sure and expressed my gratitude to my Heavenly Father for this incredible blessing.

By this point it was only 7:30 am and Matt was going to be at work until 11:30 am.  I was freaking out.  I wanted to call and tell him so badly, but I also wanted to tell him in person.  I forced myself to shower and get ready for the day.  Then I called my doctor's office.  They were so shocked and so excited!  The nurse said they would put me on progesterone supplements just in case and they wanted me to have my HCG blood test done as soon as possible so they could get some idea about how far along I am.  

I made my way to the hospital and stopped at Target on the way to buy some cute onesies.  I wrapped them in a gift bag and put the positive pregnancy test at the bottom.  After having my blood drawn at the hospital I decided to show up at Matt's work and surprise him.  He was on the phone when I walked in his office so I sat down to wait and hid the gift bag on the floor.  I could tell he was a little confused and when he got off of the phone I handed him the gift bag and just said, "I brought you a gift!"  Ha, I'll never forget the confused look on his face as he said, "Ok…why?..." He started to open it and saw the onesies and he was still confused.  He chuckled, looked at me, and said, "What?"  I said, "What's in the bottom?"  He looked again, got a huge smile on his face and said, "Shut up.  What the heck?!"  Then he gave me a huge hug and just kept saying, "What the heck?"  It was priceless and so sweet to see him so excited.  Scientifically, it doesn't make sense.  This is an incredible miracle.  Surely, He "will not fail [us], nor forsake [us]."

A few hours later I received a call from my favorite nurse, Tonya.  The first thing she said was, "What have you been doing?!"  Ha.  She was shocked and so, so excited for us.  Then she told me that my HCG is at 2132 which is much, much higher than it ever got last time!  They are estimating that I am about 5 weeks along which means I'll be due in February!  Our first ultrasound is scheduled for July 9 (I should be about 7.5 weeks along at that point) and then we'll have a better idea about the due date.  I think Matt was really relieved to hear that my HCG was so high.  Miscarriages cause a lot of worry and stress in pregnancies that follow.  Thankfully I've actually felt very different about this pregnancy.  I'm not worried.  I just feel so much peace and everything is going to be ok.  It also helps that I've had ZERO spotting.

You know what is funny?  When I took that test two weeks ago I was actually 3 weeks pregnant!  I'd never felt so strongly about being pregnant and I felt really weird about getting a negative test--like clearly I was just losing my mind.  It turns out that my "motherly intuition" had already kicked in.

We are so overwhelmed with gratitude.  And to think, this would not have happened if we had been prepping for a June cycle because I would have been on birth control!  There is no doubt in my mind that the Lord guides and directs those who are willing to listen.  I'm so glad I was willing to listen even though part of it didn't make sense.  I know that the Lord has a plan for each of us, His children.  He always keeps His promises.  Matt gave me a beautiful blessing where the Lord promised me strength and peace.  I was also told that the Lord is rejoicing with us.  I know that He is and I love that.

I know that God is still a God of miracles just like it says in Mormon 9:19, "And if there were miracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable Being?  And behold, I say unto you he changeth not; if so he would cease to be God; and he ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles."  I feel as though I walked the earth with the Savior and witnessed his many incredible miracles from healing the lepers to raising men from the dead.  However, my experience is even more incredible because I have been on the receiving end of miracles just as miraculous as the miracles he performed while he lived on the earth.  I have watched him turn this painful trial into something that has blessed my life more than I could ever imagine from the friends I've made, to the way it's strengthened our marriage, to the empathy I've gained, to watching those we love reach out with love and kindness to support us and donate money to help us pay for treatments.  "Pray always, and be believing, and all things shall work together for your good."

I was listening to this talk by President Monson today and there were a few parts that rung so true to me.  He quotes the poem, "Prayer" by Eliza M. Hickok,

"I know not by what methods rare,
But this I know, God answers prayer,
I know that He has given His Word,
Which tells me prayer is always heard,
And will be answered soon, or late,
And so I pray and calmly wait.
I know not if the blessing sought,
Will come in just the way I thought,
But leave my prayers with Him alone,
Whose will is wiser than my own,
Assured that He will grant my quest,
Or send some answer far more best."

Hindsight, of course, is 20/20 and it's extremely difficult to wait patiently on the Lord in the midst of our trials, but it always helps me to look back and remember all the many, many times when what I thought was best didn't happen, but instead the Lord sent "some answer far more best."  I know that we have a loving Heavenly Father who frequently wants to wrap his arms around us and tell us that everything will be ok because He knows that it will.  

To all my friends who are still waiting.  It will be ok in the end.  Hang in there.

Here are some pictures of the little gift I gave Matt at work :)


Rebekah said...

Ahh! God is a God of miracles! We love you guys. Congratulations... Eeeeek!!

Katie said...

I cried through this whole post even though I already knew. I'm just so happy and surprised and I just can't wait to meet that little baby!

Bryce & Cherise said...

Sending all my love to you two and your little one! Such a miraculous journey! xoxo

Brenley:) said...

Stephanie and Matt we are so happy for you!!!!!!!! Miracles do happen and as you so beautifully put it, the Savior is always there. God is aware and his way is always
the best way. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about your miracle. We are so so happy for you!!!!!

Courtney said...

Congrats! I loved the poem. Our little girl was due at the end of Feb, but came late on March 4th. It's a great time of year to be pregnant/have a baby :)

Bryan and Sarah said...

So cool! Thank you for sharing!

The Martin Family said...

BEYOND THRILLED! I am so happy for you both! XOXO

Alyssa Craig said...

Steph, I am so very, very happy for you. As I've read your story over the years, I've been so impressed with your strength and I can see how much you've grown, too. Your faith and reliance on the Lord is easy to see and it's inspiring. Thank you for being such a great example to me. Congratulations!

Cupcake Crazy Gem said...

Congratulations!! This is amazing amazing news, I was so devastated for you guys the last time and to think 3%!!! you must just be over the moon! Wishing you a happy healthy pregnancy xxx

Alyse said...

I found your blog right around your first round of IVF, and have been checking back every once in a while. I am SO happy to see you are pregnant with your miracle baby. Similar things happened with my husband and I. We tried for years on our own and then we worked with Dr. Foulk for over a year, and while putting off IVF we got pregnant on our own. Congrats again!!!