And so we did.....
We lost every single cent, all of our embryos, and most of my hope.
Admittedly, I was broken, anxious, and angry at the Lord for allowing this. Why? Why was He telling us to do this, if it wasn't working? What was wrong with me? Google was making things worse! This was my confused and extremely anxious stage. But, in my darkest moments, God's presence was there. He was pursuing me, still. I was starting to understand that God was doing something. He was testing us, and as you can see from the adult coloring I did as therapy, I was really starting to believe that "We will stand amazed to see the topside of the tapestry and how God beautifully embroidered each circumstance into a pattern for our good and His glory" -Joni Eareckson Tada
The tapestry was being created, and amid the hopelessness, I found something amazing. I found several girl friends who were all going through infertility. I can't even begin to tell you how these women began to put me back together, piece by piece. Giving advice, listening with me, crying with me, and me crying with them. We were walking this journey and waiting through this journey together. We texted constantly, we got together, and I started learning. Not only about myself, and these women, but about this process. I could tell if someone was struggling through Facebook posts, or from across a room, because I started to recognize the same pain in others. The Lord gives us those gifts, and the bold person that I am, I would ask them about it and we would meet up for coffee or lunch and cry together, talk through it together, and learn together.
The Lord was creating something beautiful out of the ashes of my heart.
Alas, we took a few months off because we didn’t know what to do. I talked through it with the girls and with Aaron. I researched programs at other clinics. I didn’t want to do this all over with the risk of losing all of that money again. I knew other clinics offered "guarantee" programs and thus asked Midwest to create a program for me. (I am probably not allowed to talk about it much, but the staff at Midwest Fertility and my doctor are such incredible people. My doctor was gracious, caring, and genuinely on my side and willing to help in any way possible.) After agreeing to do some testing, we were offered a 100% money back guarantee if we went through 3 more donor rounds and didn’t have a baby. I felt like the Lord had opened a door and further proved that we were doing what He wanted us to do. BUT, it wasn't free. Or close. Unless $46,000 is close to free...? That's a big number, especially coming off the heels of a little bit smaller but still a large number. We now faced the whole "hey do banks still have cash in their vaults because that's what it's going to take to pay for this" question/dilemma.
To help think and process possible next steps, we went on a mini vacation. I was turning 30, it was our 5th anniversary, so Aaron surprised me with a trip to Universal Orlando, and we talked and talked and talked about how to do this (and which banks to rob). We also ate, and drank Harry Potter World butterbeer, and rode a million rides until I about threw up. We were able to find joy in the process. Living while waiting, hurting, and being in a state of despair is SO important. Keep on living. I would love to say I did this well, and at times I did, and at times I didn't. That is ok. It is ok to hurt. It is ok to shy away from a baby shower, or to say no to that friend with the newborn. Sometimes it was JUST SO HARD. BUT living was what I continually tried to do.
I mentioned that I would talk about Aaron again, because through all of this I have realized that my husband is my rock. Yes we might not occasionally see eye to eye and at times we drive each other nuts (he loves sports and listening to podcasts and audiobooks at 2.0x speed - I don't like either of those things!) but he is incredibly steady, and always has a way of bringing me back down to earth. He was constantly praying for me and us, he would get me out of my routine and our house by taking me on trips to distract me, and most importantly, he listened. A lot... let me cry on his shoulder, and let me eat as much ice cream as I needed. AND.. not to mention, married a VERY expensive, infertile woman and didn't complain about it once. NOT ONCE did he make me feel like this was my fault he was emptying a retirement account or we were spending all of our savings because of me. NEVER. If that isn't a testament to the type of man he is, I don't know what is. When emotions are high, we often say things we don't mean or do mean just would never actually say them, and I really don't believe he ever resented me for this. (this is Aaron here - no resentment coming from me!)
sigh... I just love him.