Be Still, Reflect, and Prepare

Wow, it has been a busy month!! Sorry for the long delay in updates! October always seems to be our busiest month! Between a trip to Louisiana in mid September, a trip to Cali, a beach trip, and a bubbly 2nd birthday party, I haven’t had a lot of time to think about myself and the mountain we now face. It was wonderful being able to spend time with family and friends, but the hoopla has finally died down for now! Now it’s time to be still, reflect, prepare, and give myself, my husband, and my body the attention they need and deserve!

I started this update on our way home from the beach last week. I got still and my thoughts started coming together. Now they’re somewhat of a mess again, but I’m gonna put it all out there anyway!

Nicholas and I are celebrating our 8th wedding anniversary today!! I know I brag on him pretty often, but I am going to take this opportunity to brag on him a little more. He is also a fertility survivor himself (or will be). This past year hasn’t just been about me but about him as well.  We have learned a lot about each other and our relationship and praise the Lord it has only made us stronger!

It’s just been me and my guy for 8 years now. He is my teammate. He is my voice of reason. It’s not a joke when my family says that he puts me in my place. We just always balance each other out somehow. Some days our relationship is 50/50, some days it’s 70/30, some days its 10/90 (you get the point), but this past year, some days he has carried it all. He is definitely one of a kind. If two people could ever be perfect for each other, it’s us. I have never once doubted his love for me, nor my love for him. Now don’t get me wrong, there have moments when we’ve wanted to punch each other in the face, but here’s what I’ve learned. ALWAYS communicate honestly, and try to do it well. Not just about the big things in life, but about the little, tiny things as well. It took us years to learn how to communicate and we are still learning! It also took me about 5 years to learn that he’s always gonna do little things to make me crazy, I just have to accept it and let those things go (this goes both ways). This past year has been an incredible learning experience for us. I have learned to be open and honest about how I’m feeling. He gets me like nobody else in this world, but I will never expect to totally understand what’s going on in my crazy head!

To say we have been through a lot this year is an understatement, and it’s about to get even more intense and hopefully more exciting! He has never once doubted this process. He has never once complained. Okay, maybe we’ve both grumbled about all the 8 am doctors appointments but, it’s rough. At times, I have felt immense guilt for several different reasons. The biggest being that I am the reason we are facing IVF. It is my body that has failed us. He picks my head up, dries my tears, and reminds me that it’s the farthest thing from the truth. He holds my hand every single day and reminds me that this is OUR journey, our story, and he’s always by my side. I know it hasn’t been easy for him to go through this process and especially see how it has affected me. I also know it isn’t easy for him to give me shots everyday, but he does it perfectly (or maybe he really enjoys it. I will never know)!

I have to admit that sometimes I selfishly wonder if we really know what we are getting ourselves into with this whole baby thing. I selfishly wonder if I’m ready to share him with a baby. Crazy thoughts huh? We wonder what life would’ve been like if we had kids soon after getting married. Then we realize what we have. The memories we’ve made, the bond we’ve created that a lot of marriages lack, and we realize how incredibly blessed we are!

So here’s where we are now and a little bit about what’s coming up.

I was sitting in the the passenger seat of our truck, headed home from vacation and I started feeling the anxiety within me grow. It’s easy to relax and forget about everything when you’re on vacation!! This scripture that Suzy shared with me at the beginning of our journey came to mind. 2 Corinthians 12:9 “But He said to me, my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on my.”

I may have to remind myself every single day that God is in control, that He’s got this. He has written our perfect story, all we have to do is live it out as gracefully as we can.

I know you have all been waiting patiently for an update. I have received some of the sweetest messages and stories from some of you! Y’all will NEVER know how much we appreciate your encouragement and your prayers! We love all of you and thank you for caring about our journey! I will try to explain things the best I can as we go, when my heart is ready!

I started birth control a little over a month ago, crazy right? This is so they could manipulate my cycle. It made me extremely nauseated, along with a few other very unpleasant side effects for about 10 days. My docs prescribed the appropriate meds including zofran, and I got through it. I adjusted to it by the end of the second week!

About a week after that I had cultures, a saline ultrasound, and a trial transfer done. The saline ultrasound looks super closely at my uterus, looking for any abnormalities. The trial transfer is where they find the exact coordinates for embryo placement. It’s actually pretty cool. What I didn’t expect was for it to be super uncomfortable. I got to come home and take a long nap. We are thankful that everything was totally normal! We did get to have lunch with my bestest friend before so that made my day! We ended the day by driving through the neighborhood we lived in right after we got married!

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On the sidewalk of our first home together!

We had our IVF medication education early the day we left for the beach. While it is not how we would’ve liked to have started our vacation, it was very informative and made me feel a little bit better knowing the tentative plan. I had to start one of my injections the next day, so it was necessary. It was also a little overwhelming! I just have to remind myself to take it one day at a time!

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Although some days are harder than others, there’s always beauty within the storm!

The first injection is called Lupron. This med suppresses ovulation. It will prevent me from ovulating prematurely since I have now stopped my birth control. Eventually I will take an injection to force me to ovulate when they are ready to retrieve my follicles.

We go to the doctor tomorrow  for a baseline ultrasound before I start two more injections of Friday. Those meds will start maturing my follicles (lots of them hopefully).

There are absolutely no guarantees in this process. There’s no guarantee I will mature enough follicles, there’s no guarantee that embryos will form, there’s no guarantee that my body will be ready for the embryos to be transferred, and there’s no guarantee that an embryo will implant. BUT there is one guarantee that gets me through all of this unknown.  God is in control! You all know my heart, my faith, my hope, and my belief, so I won’t preach. The necklace that I wear almost every single day has one of my favorite verses on it. “Blessed is she who believed that the Lord will fulfill His promise to her.” Luke 1:45 I believe with my whole heart that God’s most perfect plan is being fulfilled. That pendant is also accompanied by two charms my sister has given me this year. One being an angel wing for the baby that God chose to keep in heaven, and a key with the word Hope on it. They are incredible reminders for me every day!

With all of that being said, there are several things you can specifically pray for.

  1. Our sanity. Please pray for patience and understanding.
  2. As it gets closer to retrieval day, I know my anxiety level will rise. Please pray that fear won’t creep in. Pray that I can just leave it all in God’s hands and not try to take it back.
  3. Pray that I mature lots of follicles and that we are able to grow lots of strong, healthy embryos.
  4. There are still several big decisions to be made. Pray that we make the best decisions. Pray that God’s will be done.
  5. Please pray that we can gracefully accept whatever obstacles might occur. There’s no exact dates set for anything yet, except a couple of ultrasounds. We just have to take it day to day and see how my body responds

I believe 100% that where God guides, He provides. He always has. There are several reasons God led us to Cali for work, but one is that we’ve been able to save some money for this process. We had no idea that it would take this long, and there’s always costs that you don’t expect. Please pray that we don’t have to worry about this aspect of the process. He’s gotten us this far, and we know He will carry us all the way. The biggest costs of all are about to hit us, and it is quite overwhelming! I have not been able to work as much, and now Nicholas’ schedule is up in the air because he needs to be here as well.

I have recently realized that I’ve developed a whole new perspective on life. I’ve realized that nothing really bothers me anymore. It’s not that I don’t care about things, but I don’t worry about things I can’t control, especially the little things! This process has changed me in many ways, but I now have no desire to have control anymore! It’s a good feeling but somewhat of an adjustment for me and the people around me.

I saw this quote the other day and it stuck with me. “Sometimes the wait is more about experiencing God than enduring the delay.” Oh how I needed that! Some days it is easy to stray, to lose focus. I pray that every single day I remain faithful. I have already experienced God in an incredible way throughout this waiting process, but the waiting isn’t over! Psalm 33:11 says this, “But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.” I will be patient as the Lord prepares our hearts for the sweet and special blessing He is preparing for us. It’s not about our purpose and plan, but His alone. God is good, He cares, and He loves us unconditionally. “He makes all things beautiful in His time.” Ecc 3:11

As we celebrate 8 years of marriage today, my heart is so grateful for all that we have been blessed with so far! God knew I would need Nicholas Parden as my teammate. He knew I would need his patience, his gentle and loving nature, and his wit. I love the way he leads me, loves me and takes care of me!

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2 thoughts on “Be Still, Reflect, and Prepare

  1. You two are in our prayers and I love the faith you have. The two have truly become one. God is good and His love endures forever. I will continue to pray in the manner you have asked. Nicholas is truly one of a kind. He is a special young man, but you are special as well. He would never pick ordinary. You are extraordinary. God bless you both.

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