Saturday, September 22, 2012

joy of all joys

Late in 2010, we were a couple years and two losses deep into our infertility journey. We half-heartedly tried clomid again. They did an intrauterine insemination to increase our chances but our hope was dwindling. Infertility treatments started to consume our schedules and our energy, sometimes leaving us isolated and drained. We can’t explain why, but God began to restore our joy in February of 2011. Our energy started to return and we began to feel cautiously hopeful again. It was this little bit of hope that led us to pursue in vitro fertilization after a great deal of prayer, consultation, research, and conversation. The financial burden was great. The physical toll was challenging. And the ethics of the process seemed so gray. But we still felt a peace about our decision, an unwavering peace. 

The IVF process itself was quite an undertaking. We visited the clinic several times per week, underwent all sorts of tests, several procedures, and numerous injections. It was like having another full-time job. We feel so blessed to say that it was worth it. Harriet Grace was born on December 10th, 2011, a day that held more joy for us than our hearts could contain.

We are so grateful to everyone who helped bring our daughter to us – reproductive endocrinologists, lab technicians, doctors, nurses, a doula, an acupuncturist, a support group, and especially all of our friends and family who stormed the gates of heaven on our behalf and prayed Harriet all the way into our arms.

Almost eight months later, we still have a hard time wrapping our minds around the fact that Harriet is real, that she’s ours, and that we have been given the opportunity to raise her and delight in her. Several times since Harriet’s arrival, we have pictured God, looking down on us over these past couple of years and saying, “I know it’s hard. I know this burden is really heavy. But Harriet’s coming and she’s going to be so, so great.”

God was right. Harriet is so, so great. She’s full of energy and joy. Her face lights up when she sees other babies, and our hearts jump in our chests as we imagine introducing her to her little brother or sister...someday.

So what's next? We talk about it all the time. We've discussed doing clomid again, adopting, adopting embryos, pursuing another round of IVF.... We keep hearing about those people who get pregnant on their own after having trouble conceiving their first. We sort of hate those people. We don't think we'll get to be part of that club. But maybe they didn't think it would happen to them either. Because I'm nursing, fertility drugs are out of the question for the time being. Part of me is grateful for that. It gives us a chance to fully enjoy Harriet and be present with her. But another part of me is itching to get started again. So we talk...and talk...and talk. We weigh the finances, the timing, our history of loss and success. And we keep a little bit of hope in our back pockets, knowing we're going to need it soon.

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