Saturday, November 27, 2010

Drive Him crazy

One day Jesus told his disciple a story to show that they should always pray and never give up.

"There was a judge in a certain city, " He said, "who neither feared God nor cared about people.  A widow of that city came to him repeatedly saying, 'give me justice in this dispute with my enemy.'  The judge ignored her for awhile, but finally he said to himself; I don't fear God or care about people, but this woman is driving me crazy!  I'm going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!

Then the Lord said, "Learn a lesson from this unjust judge, even he rendered a just decision in the end.  Don't you think God will surely give justice to His chosen people who cry out to Him day and night?  Will He keep putting them off?  I tell you, He will grant justice to them quickly! 

Luke 18:1-8

Saturday, November 20, 2010

IVF in a Nut Shell

Here is a rundown of IVF and a simple common protocol for the procedure.

IVF is the most common form of ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology). If the fallopian tubes are damaged or the sperm is poor, It is a most effective treatment. The eggs are fertilized in a laboratory, and the resulting embryos then are placed into the uterus 2 to 5 days later. This procedure achieves remarkable pregnancies even in women with hopelessly damaged fallopian tubes, seemingly sterile husbands, and even “unexplained” infertility. Extra embryos are frozen and saved for a later, much less expensive future pregnancy.

Step 1...Take lots of tests!
*The below labs are required by the FDA for both males and females before going through IVF and it expires after 6 months:
ABO group and RH type
Hep A AB IGMHep B core IGM ABHep B Surface AB QualityHep B core Antibody totalHTLV/I-II
RFX/WBHep C virus ABRPR (Dx) W/ reflex confirmationHIV 1/2 AB Screen W/ReflexCMV IGMCMV IGGCystic Fibrosis Screening on one partner only at any point in your lifetimeCT/NG

Step 2...Semen Analysis and Ultrasound (Easy stuff)

Step 3...Lots of shots!! Injectable drugs are to stimulate your ovaries and produce eggs. It is different for every person as to how much and when. Typically its daily injections for an average of 10 days and careful monitoring of the ovaries by ultrasound and hormone levels by blood tests every day or every other day.

Step 4...Egg Retrieval
Eggs are retrieved by ultrasound guided needle aspiration under light sedation (in the operating room). This involves no surgical incision and virtually no pain afterward.

Step 5...We are parents!
Egg meets sperm through a procedure called ICSI (used in most IVF treatments), one healthy sperm is chosen and directly injected into each egg. Over 100,000 babies have been born with this new technique, from men who were otherwise considered hopelessly sterile.

Step 6...Transfer!!
3 to 5 days after egg retrieval placed very simply into the uterus through the cervix with a tiny catheter. No incision and no anesthetic are needed. An hour later you are able to go home. There is no pain from the procedure.

Step 7...Dreaded 2 Week Wait!
The most horrible wait of any women is the wait for a baby. This 2 week time span will bring the news of life or loss for the parents going through IVF.  This is a hard time for parents and need to be aware of symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Step 8...Rejoice
Our Doctors office announces their success rate month by month.
August 88%
September 60%
and....drumroll please.................
In October it was a 100%

The first baby born from IVF turned 30 this year, since then, some three million people have been conceived by IVF, enabling otherwise infertile couples to have the child they longed for.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

[ Copy this | Start New | Full Size ]

How I really feel about doing IVF

In the past few months I have received great heat from others about our family decision to do IVF.  It first happened before the decision was made, I was at a retreat with some friends and afterwards headed home with opinions, ideas, and revelations from everyone but the Lord.  It seems that apparently He was running around giving everyone glimmers of the journey I was to be on, everyone but me at the time.  I spoke to a women that day that encouraged me to not listen to other people when they come to me with a word from the Lord, or if they have a opinion that they believe is inspired by their faith in God....UNLESS, the Lord has already put that burden on my heart. 

For instance, if a person is working in a job that they are undecided about and have taken it to the Lord in prayer and came out with a result that made them feel that they can leave the position, then a friend comes and says that through prayer they feel like the Lord wants this person to quit their job....then I would say that that person should consider a job placement somewhere else.  Its called confirmation.  God does not typically tell everyone else your business without letting you know first what He desires for you.  He doesn't typically go to any group of people with orders of repentance or change unless He has already softened them and prepared them to receive what He has for them.  In return, the soft prepared person would drink the word that was brought and fall in repentance to the Lord.  He's not a God that hides your will for your life from you in hopes to tell someone else whats up with you.  He is a personal God and most definitely will bring it to you your heart and to your face.

Since that first encounter or judgement, I have seen and heard lots of rumors, remarks, and received emails about what my brothers and sisters in Christ believe is right or wrong for me and my family.  The insinuation that because we are continuing with IVF reveals a lack of faith for our home is appalling.  We believe with all our heart that we are clearly on a well lit path and our faith is strong in the Lord and what He can do.  I know that many feel that we are weak and confused, I want to make sure everyone understands that what we are confused about is the reaction that we are receiving from the body and NOT the path we are taking.

Another insinuation is that we must be out of Gods will to press forward in this procedure.  Wow!  Please know that if this your thoughts, that I kindly want to tell you that my life's will, the one God has prepared for mine.  Mine alone.  Its told to me in secret meetings and discussions between me and the Creator.  There is no way anyone, other then my husband, could possible know the complete will God has on my life. 

My job as a follower and believer is to love God, love others, and submit in love to my husband.  Months ago the Lord confronted me about laying down my ability to have a baby.  I have carried this burden for many years and again He came and asked me to switch Him yolks.  I honestly admitted to Him that I physically couldn't.  I have tried so many times and didn't know how or was unable to follow through.  Because the Lord is such a sweetheart, He gave me an alternative, He asked me to give it to Chad (my husband).  To me that sounded like something I could actively do and loyally give it up.  Chad hasn't made many decisions in our years of trying to conceive and he was a bit shocked and ready to take on the load.  I agreed in a vow to not make any decisions regarding our fertility, meds, doctors, procedures, etc.   I would not even order my prenatals or make Dr appts.  He would do it all.  It was the biggest relief from this burden, I cast it upon Chad who handled it without as much emotion as I and he jumped right in  researching and praying about our journey.  I am faithfully claiming my vow and following his lead, this is a light load for sure.  I simply ask Chad to pray for certain things while I ask the Lord to give him wisdom.  when Chad has a answer or feels a certain way, I agree in obedience because that's what the Lord has asked me to do.  Whenever a person rises up against me and asked me to reconsider my plans, they are in light asking me to be defiant to my husband, abandon the glimpse the Lord has shown us, and rebel against His will for our lives.  God is asking us to be faithful and trust in the unseen.  Although many peoples intentions are good, they are ultimately asking me to be a wife unfaithful to my spouse and to the Lord.

I have heard that some feel there is an alignment between IVF and abortion, I have also seen extreme comments saying that children that are conceived through IVF and similar procedures are not even children from God.  Some seem to think that these children don't even belong in the kingdom of heaven.  Some state that infertility to them is Gods way of putting chlorine in the gene pool.  whether you are extreme in your views or slightly undecided, whatever comments you throw out are crushing to our spirits.   the shocker to us is that our persecution is coming from 100% believers.  Never once have I received one statement or second thought from someone outside of the body of Christ.  What is going on? 

We still pray for the Lord to heal my body.  Shockingly enough its not our first choice to have this procedure done, we would much rather lay together and become pregnant and save the money and time.  We would love for the ending of our story to be that God just took my broken body and made it whole.   We know that the Lord can still heal us but we don't know that He will.  Since we decided that we were going to pursue this option, I have been in contact with women that I never would have known.  He is giving me a voice to their desperate hearts, I'm not sure why me, but its happening.  I would suggest that these women are part of his plan for me as well.  I assume that He loves them generously and wants them to have someone to walk with them through their pain.  Its not unusual for Him to allow you to experience something for the sake of someone else.

I am confused about what people expect from us.  I feel their not happy with IVF and point out our "lack of faith", and then I see them asking for the miraculous for us, when indeed after examining IVF I have come to the conclusion that it is nothing less then miraculous.  For those of you who don't know the procedure involved, I will blog that in the next few days so you can examine it with me.  Most who have voiced opinions for us want Chad and I to believe in a whole healing and wait for the Lord.  I know in all of my spirit that God is capable of the unimaginable, and I also know that He sometimes does that in a way that is not our own, requiring even more faith.  We believe our faith is at an all time high, we have nothing left but faith.

I wonder what people would think if we decided to not find medical care, and allow my body to become pregnant.  It can happen, the chance is there, but with that chance poses a great risk.  My left tube is gone, my right tube is completely defective.  Because of the scar tissue inside and out, this tube cannot support a babies travel route.  Its like swimming through sea weed, it most likely will get stuck and implant where it is.  Although, the Lord can change all of that....He may chose not to.  I feel as though the Lord was so gracious to us after 12 years to finally reveal what was truly going on in my secret places.  He showed me the severity of my tubes and although our baby died, we now understand what has been going on.  This information has given us the ability to make wiser decisions.  If we were to be pregnant again there is a 90% chance my baby will die in the tube.  Is everybody ok with that? What would they say then? Would it be ok for us then to have IVF since another baby is gone along with my last tube? Most likely they would then taint the promise the Lord gave us through scripture and prayer and announce that it must be His will for us not to have a baby at all.  Who's lack of faith is it?? 

The Lord has taught in the last few weeks to not be our own defenders.  I know that I don't have to plead my case or rise up in a rally to get people on my side.  He will sustain us when persecution comes.  I can petition however for those who love us truly, to tighten their lips and open their hearts.  Try to love us regardless and love us as you will need love when the whole world backs you in a corner.  It will happen, it always does.  I pray for the Lord to show me where I have been in judgement against others as well and to make me very aware when I pose to do it again.  For I know in my heart that its incredibly painful.  For we have been hurt beyond measure.

When do we become human?

When Do We Become Human?
Creation Magazine Oct-Dec 2010

...Life is a continuum, from the time that they Creator first knew us, through conception, the various stages in the womb, birth, childhood, adulthood, old age, death, and eternity.  At what point in that continuum do we become human?

Prominent scientists advocate different points of humanness.  Whose opinion is correct?  Does science really give us the answer?  Ultimately we must turn to God's Word to find the answer.

Every time the Bible speaks of the unborn it speaks of a person.  Jeremiah 1:5 says God knew us before we were formed in our mother's womb. David said he was conceived with a sin nature (Psalm 51).  Surely the only way we can have a sin nature is to be fully human at the time of conception.

Science may give us wonderful insights into the development of a baby, but it cannot answer the question of when we become human.  Only God's Word sheds light on that mystery:  We are fully human at conception.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

(Journal 9/18)

...."If I could stand by a sign that was labeled with my need, my sign would say FAITH.  I know who faith is, but it seems the intensity of faith that I possess is insufficient to fulfill the order needed now.  I'm low on funds, even though my account is full.  Ive had an extended account attach itself to my personal one...and its empty, waiting to be filled.  It seems the task now is to top off that compartment but I am lacking the filler.  I have doubt in my heart.  I cant pinpoint it, it seems so complex. Lord, I know your so big, sufficient, and loving.  I know you sustain me and that its all for your glory but even though I know all this, why does it feel as though I don't believe it fully?  Ive trusted you, gave you praise, and loved you, not perfectly of course but I have been yours.  A new place is where I go with you.  I want a newness with you.  Help me LORD to focus, be steadfast and loyal, to understand and to give you glory in all joy and pain.  Teach me to be a witness and to hear you.  Teach me to pray in abundance.  Cast your bounty upon my head O Lord, anoint me with your tenderness once more.  You are my covenant keeper, my most trusted confidant and friend.  Give me strength in your gift of long suffering, help me to endure trouble without complaint.  Free me from myself and bring me close to your side Lord, hem me in near to you.  This I pray through the name of power, Jesus Christ.  Today I beseech you Lord through voice to rescue me.

"Because he loves me, "says the LORD, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name..."

Natalie Grant '' Held '' (Christian music in English) Musica cristian...

Rescue-Desperation Band

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Today is the day...

Today is the day that I would of checked your weekly growth.  I would of been so excited to see the long list of things you have accomplished so far.  I have known that you were growing and that your heart beat beautiful rhythms inside of me, but I would have been excited to know that your vocal cords were forming and this week you would practice vocalizing although with no sound escaping.  You would be preparing yourself for that first breath of air and your first song you would sing as you were born.  Your body is covered with such fine hair and a smooth coating to protect you.  If I could peek inside I would know for certain that you are a boy or girl, unless of coarse you have your legs crossed.  If you are a girl you would already have in place the organs that you would need to be a mommy someday.  Your uterus and fallopian tubes are formed and if your a boy then your boy parts are all perfectly there as well.  I would sing to you throughout the day knowing that your ears are perked and you can hear my voice.  This week your little bones are hardening so that you can grow to be strong and healthy.  Your nerves are developing great connections and your senses are heightening allowing you to smell, taste, see, and hear better. Your tiny fingernails are growing along with the urge to suck and swallow...preparing you to eat your first meal.  Today I think of you and know that if you were here, I would be able to feel you.  I would wrap my hands around my belly and say how proud I am of you.  I miss you today.

Friday, November 5, 2010

I see my baby sister...

Yesterday as I was driving with Ilana to a friends house for a play date, she surprised me once again by saying something that tugged at my heart.  We were cruising along and suddenly she exclaims with her pointed finger up to the sky, "I see my baby sister!"  I looked back and saw her seriousness and knew right away it wasn't going to be a conversation I could distract her from.  The sky was so big yesterday with big fluffy clouds, so I thought maybe she was transforming one into the shape of a baby. 

I sensitively said, "O really..."  She yells, "Yep, there she is!  Do you see her?"  I stared to feel a welling my my gut that made me ponder on how much I really would love to see her, but I said honestly back to her, "no baby, I don't see her."  She asked me several times as if she was right in front of us, but I continued to tell her no, I couldn't see.  I said, "well, what is she doing,"  to allow her to entertain the moment.  There was no convincing her that her sister wasn't in the sky, nor would I attempt to try.  She stopped and paused as if to look really closely and stated with a giggle, "She just hugged Jesus!"  The tears filled my eyes as I realized that Ilana would never make up such a thing, I believed she was seeing just as she said. 

My believing heart caused me to have her tell her baby sister that mommy loved her.  She said yelling loudly above, "WE LOVE YOU!"  Her eyes never left the sky as if she was watching a movie....and then a few short moments later she flew back in her seat, eyes wide to the sky and laughed while saying...."She said she loves me too!"  Several times afterwards she said, "my baby sister is with Jesus," and I said, "She sure is baby, she sure is!"

It was a special moment and as I looked back in the rear view mirror to catch glances of her marvel, I realized that children are a joy from the Lord.  Ilana saw something yesterday that I may never get to see...she brought me such joy.  The separation from my children is so hard for me to daily bear, but to watch Ilana live life gives me such blessings while I'm here.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Dont Bless Me...

Last night Daddy was putting Ilana to bed while I was at class.  He read to her, sang her Amazing Grace (which she just loves to hear Daddy sing it) and then they prayed.  Daddy always prays first, mommy 2nd, Tanner, then Ilana.  But last night it was just them two.  Daddy prayed and then passed the ballet off to Ilana.  She prayed so firmly for her usual...Mom, Dad, and "Bubs" and asked God to bless us.  She remembered my friend Jeni who asked for prayer a few days ago and also petitioned the Lord to bless her also.  Then she said at the end, "bless them all, but don't bless me...Amen."

Daddy said, "Ilana, why did you ask Jesus to not bless you?" and she replied, "because I did bad things today."  Earlier the two of them had went to Lowes, and as Daddy looked around the plumbing department, she said she turned on all the display faucets and left them on.  It was so cute to hear this story when I got back home.  Ilana felt so sure that she didn't deserve or couldn't even ask for Gods best for her because she had been "naughty."  Chad gently assured her that its not what we do or don't do that prompts the Lord to love us.  Besides the fact that she really had done nothing wrong, she had felt she was disobedient and surly God wouldn't love her tonight.

It seems so silly and such a childlike story but it took me to reflection about how I often do the same thing.  Just recently I was on my way to church and had a moment with my son, Tanner.  I pulled the car over, yelled at him, and said things to hurt his feelings.  10 minutes later, I was apologizing to him and because he is so quick to forgive, we moved on and had a great day together.  In my heart though I knew that my true fault was against God and not Tanner.  He gives me instruction how to raise my children and yelling at them wasn't acceptable to Him.  He has taught me other ways over the years and I know better techniques to handle situations because of Him. 

My heart was heavy all day.  At church I sang with my head down rather then tipped up.  I felt shame and guilt for not being the mother I really can be.  I entertained the thought that I didn't have the right to worship because I had been "naughty."  Soon I remembered the freedom when forgiven, so I asked God to teach me more about being a great mother and asked that He forgive me.  Do you know the Lord always says YES to that question!! Although I disappoint myself by being myself at time, He always loves me for who I am!

Pray with your kids tonight and tell them about the amazing grace God extends to all who believe.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

One Big Sigh!

Finally its all hit at it seemed to sneak around the corner at me from time to time, I was expecting it.  Common enough, its not sorrow, pity, sadness or anything of the sort.  Instead its the heightened awareness of judgement and skepticism around me that enables me to sleek away from everything and everyone easier.  Sometimes you just see it, a look in someones eye when you bring up your past heartaches & hopes for the future, as if to say, "O, here we go again."  Other times its outward comments that don't show any consideration for what you are going through.  Like how easy it is for them to get pregnant and they say it somewhat quietly to someone else so that your not really included in the joke.  I'm just pissed off today, I'm assuming already someone will have their hand over their mouth because I cussed. 

I am working on so many things at once til my mind is pretty mushy and then on top of it I feel like those that I care about the most could care less about what is going on with me...with us.  I really wanted the support of my community, my friends, and my church.  Its hard to see where their views against IVF or against us even trying again would cause them to give up on us.  The hardest part is just not really knowing who supports you and who doesn't.  Only a few have actually said that they don't...those didn't surprise me much, but others don't want to hurt your feelings so they just don't say.   You know though when you are discussing things, you can see the glimmer of foolishness that is in their eyes for you. 

Today I just want to be alone...snuggle up with Chad and tell him how glad I am that I can partner with him in all of this.  I am tired of hearing people opinions when they are not supportive.  Please pass on to your friends today... that today, I'm out!  Today, I don't care!  Today, I have no arguments for you!  Today, I don't need to plead my case!  Today, I am working on things that stir my heart and nothing less!  Today, I pray will not be the same tomorrow! 

Today is just one big sigh!