Ready. Set. Inject.

I have been feeling relatively optimistic over the past week and I am soaking in it…basking in optimism’s glory.  These feel good emotions stretch beyond skin deep and are renewing my spirit.  God is going to show up in my story.  FO SHO (As some crazy fun friends of mine would say.) I am confident that one day I will look back on this difficult season and thank Him for His grand plan.  The outcome will exceed my prayers and dreams.  It will be the perfect ending to this perplexing story.  So often I want to believe these things, feel their undertones in my heart, but typically, they are beyond my reach no matter how much I try to convince myself of their validity.  Do I feel confident that I am going to get pregnant soon?  Absolutely not.  This confidence is not about pregnancy or a lack there of, but of the HOPE that I have in His promises.

Psalm 34:7  “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

Nonetheless, I know that there will be more bad days, more discouraging days…but today, I am thankful for where I am at.  Right now.  Focusing on the present….tomorrow or next week or next month will bring their own worries and I will face those when its time. Today…gratitude for a positive outlook.

I had my day 12 follicle scan this morning.  4 follicles…1 was hemorrhagic…so that leaves 3 eggs.  YEAH!  There were a lot more, but these 4 were > 1cm (1cm is the magic number, the desirable size).  Good news.

I did my first trigger shot this evening.  So far in my infertility journey I have been able to steer clear of the needles.  Well, tonight that all changed.  I got out my alcohol swabs…gave myself a good cleaning, took a few deep breaths and it was pinch and poke time.  Pinch the fat, poke the needle.  It really wasn’t that bad. Now…36 hours we wait, hopefully my body will do its thing. (They assure me it will. This drug is what I’m calling the OG – ovulation guarantee.  I’ve gotta have some fun with this.  Especially whilst in the mood.)  Wednesday morning is GO time.  IUI in the am.  Reproductive Endocrinologist appointment in the pm.  Will be a busy one.

Oh, and I almost forgot.  There is one other great thing about trigger shots…no ovulation predictor tests!  I am relishing in not having to remember to catch my urine first thing in the morning.  It’s the small things in life, isn’t it?

So, for now…we cling to the good and hope for tomorrow.

Blessings to all.

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Abortion – 39 years legal.

Today I decided to jump in the car.  It is a gloriously sunny day, a rare thing in my neck of the woods during the winter.  So I opted to indulge myself and grab a chai soy latte from Starbucks.  A big no no, really.  SO many naughty ingredients for infertile women…especially caffeine and soy….things you are to avoid when trying to conceive.  But once in awhile, I justify it to myself and grab one.

But today, I realized there was another reason I was in the car.

Focus on the Family was on…Abortion was the topic.  This week marks the 39th year since legislation for legalizing abortion was made in the United States.  Roe vs Wade.  Their program was focused on women who are “post-abortive”.  One lady was sharing her redemption story. Abortion ravaged her life, but God’s grace proved more powerful and has delivered her into an amazing ministry of helping women in the same place as she once was find healing and forgiveness.

The topic of abortion always hits home for me.  I have seen it first hand.  I hate that I can even say that.  Hate that I have witnessed it, some might even say participated in its outcome.

I am pro-life.  I believe that human life begins at conception. A caveat, yes, but necessary for me to say before I proceed.

When I was rotating through clinicals, I often came face to face with mothers who were choosing abortion.  For some, it was their answer to an unexpected pregnancy, for others genetic abnormalities led them to choose to abort rather than deal with the hardship of raising a child with special needs.  Still others chose abortion as a means of birth control.  This is NO joke.

I’ll never forget the chilly fall day I was in the pre-operative holding area preparing a patient for a hernia repair.  Next to me was another patient.  She was there for an abortion.  I remember the OB/GYNs approaching her in the preop area, pleading with her to allow them to tie her tubes or insert an IUD.  If anything, would she PLEASE consider taking birth control pills?  She was having her 5th abortion.  She was 18 years old.  I remember the way she began laughing out load, almost uncontrollably…she turned to her boyfriend and said, “Can you believe it?  Why would we want to go on birth control when this works just fine? How stupid.”  Even more sad was hearing other providers later comment that the baby was probably better off dead than in the arms of this mother.

WOW. Wow. Wow.  Did you really just say that?  Did I really just hear that?

I couldn’t believe the words spoken from her mouth.  This was inner city Philadelphia and this particular hospital was smack dab in the middle of one of the worst neighborhoods anywhere.  Murder, rape, single parent homes, drugs, gang violence, abortion, poverty…these things defined normalcy in this area.  Security escorted us from the parking garage to the hospital each morning and evening.  The lower floors of the parking garage had bullet proof glass covering its openings.  This was a dangerous part of the city.  SURVIVAL is at a premium.

Why would anyone want to possibly be bothered with birth control when they could receive free abortions at the hospital whenever they wanted? It was evident that these were the words of a broken woman who had been hurt time and time again. As a result, her heart was left hardened to the life growing inside of her.  All she can think about is surviving, getting through the evening at home with her abusive boyfriend, where dinner would come from and how she would get her next high.  Abortion would take care of her dilemma about the baby inside her womb, the baby she knew she couldn’t care for. The baby she didn’t want to care for.

As a student, I had to learn how to do anesthesia for everything.  From cardiac bypasses to epidurals for laboring women to brain surgery.  We have a checklist and a certain number of each of these different case types are required to graduate.  My stomach is sick just thinking about it – but I’ll never forget the day I was assigned to provide anesthesia for an abortion.  Today, at my current job, I am able to opt out.  Then, as a brand new student and scared out of my mind, my desire to please and be liked by the staff lead me to be complacent and just go with the flow…my own survival technique…just get through the day.

My staff helped me get the woman relaxed and we slowly got her “deeper” (meaning more sedated).  Soon she was unconscious and the procedure began.  I will never forget watching the surgeon as he asked for the instruments to signal our official “start” time.  The vacuum suction was turned on and slowly he cut the baby up inside the women.  The beautiful life was destroyed and piece by piece was suctioned out.  I remember seeing the vertebrae and spinal cord, almost completely intact…white and shiny…stripped of its ligaments.  And then part of an arm.  Completely horrifying.  This women was pretty far along…she was close to 20 weeks.  The miracle of God…human life…was eliminated from her body organ by organ.  It chills me to think about it…I can’t believe I watched this.  Can’t believe I participated in the care of this woman in that way.  I am ashamed. What about the Hippocratic oath?  Do no harm.  How do we justify this legalized murder?

I know I am forgiven, but I am forever left with the scars of those fateful images.  I carry a legacy of hope to women.  Hope that there is a better option.  Hope that they will be given the correct facts about an abortion and its potential consequences upon your life and emotional well-being.

And you see, these women are just like you and me.  They are hurting, broken people…just like you and me.  They need God’s mercy to cover them and his love to bind their wounds. I am grateful for organizations like Focus on the Family who are willing to speak out and offer hope, grace and forgiveness to these women, nurturing them as an extension of the healing arm of God.

I’m really not sure I can say much else.  I’m not even sure I want to post this.  Clearly, I have.  I thank you for reading this. I am not trying to push any sort of a political agenda.  I am just conveying raw emotions and personal reflections of a topic that is ever pertinent today. It’s hard to be honest about my failures in this life.  Though this blog of mine is largely anonymous, sometimes I still find it difficult to be real and just let it flow.  But today, I feel emboldened by the power of God’s love for me and I want to share.  I know he will use my story to bless people’s life just as he has blessed mine.

The Iris and the Lily

Captivated.

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes. Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.” Matt 6:25-28

Captivated by the presence of God.

Have you every wondered about those lilies in the field? Stood in awe beside the Grand Canyon? Floated helplessly in a raft among turbulent river waters? Sat in wonderment as your body miraculously healed that cold you had been suffering from?

Today I was doing anesthesia for eye surgeries…and as I was watching the monitor of the operating microscope, I couldn’t help but to fall in love with the iris all over again. What an imaginative, magnificent God to fashion so many different eye hues – hazel, blue, green, brown, chestnut, gray – beautiful. Uniquely different. Wonderfully created. How can people possibly believe in evolution when such divine perfection confronts you daily?

I began to think about our bigger story. The lilies of the field, the iris of our eyes. What about my heart? How much more would he care to cloth it? How much more would he dare to accomplish the great work for which it was fashioned?

I know he is going to show up BIG in my story. I have a first class ticket to the glorious production of my life. Even more, I have been cast as the main character. His masterpiece slowly unfolds. A story overflowing with fulfilled promises and tender mercies. A story meant to be lived line by line, word by word. He is intentional that I might capture the full essence of the purpose for which I was created, the testimony I will live to tell. I am thrilled to have him as my Director…seated upon the throne. At times, he tells me to stop. “CUT!” He gives me a pep-talk. “Alright, Danielle, I love you. You are doing a great job, but I need you to shift your attention to exhibit A and quit moping through this scene. You gotta believe me when I tell you that the storyline is building. Character development. It’s all part of the story.”

“ACTION.”

I trust him. I refocus my attention and allow Him to work through me. He has directed my steps my entire life…holding me closely. Sometimes, I have become too sure of my step and wandered on my own for awhile, but soon he has taken my hand in his and slowly led me back to his footpath.

Tonight, I dream about the day I will be able to look back and praise God for his faithfulness in THIS part of my story. I know He is a part of it even now. Even when He feels so incredibly far from me and I am “alone” in my fear and apprehension for the future. I am comforted by His word and the knowledge that He has turned His ears towards me and has heard each and every one my prayers. I wait in silence for His response. Soon, sweet murmurings encompass me and I am told to be ever present, ever captivated by His love – He will do the rest.

So many questions. So much waiting. So much yearning in our hearts.

Just remember the lilies.

Death by snake – reflections on faithfulness

Just over a month ago…I had what I call a “God moment”.  My life was in danger.  God showed up.  He saved me.  AND I live to share my story.  He is faithful.  Here’s what happened:

I had never hiked in a rain forest before.  We were hiking through tree tops connected by hanging bridges, with beautiful summits high above the clouds of trees.  The rain forest spilled forth exotic life and color unlike anything we had ever seen.  We were blown away. Vistas revealed tropical birds and misty low covering clouds.  At times, the protesting cries of monkeys carried through the damp air.

We had started our hike about an hour before. It was early afternoon.  We had spent our morning zip-lining through this remarkable place and now were going to enjoy it via land.  I had already pushed my body to the limits that day and had had more than my fair share of anxiety.  To put your life in the hands of a cable, a harness, and a carabiner…lying supine with legs crossed…as you fly through the air at great speeds, trust is the word that comes to mind.  Blind faith.  It was terrifying and exhilarating all at the same time.  To be 600 feet in the air traveling over thousands of feet of cable across mountain valleys and sky scapes of lakes, volcanoes and clouds – it pushed me way beyond my comfort zone.

So, we were now hiking…letting our pulses descend to their normal range as we began what we thought would be a routine jungle walk.  As we coursed through the trails, the rain began to pour from the heavens.  A hard, drenching rain.  We were prepared.  We had borrowed intense, trench-coat like waterproof jackets from the zip-lining station.  A little rain wasn’t going to stop us.  Not today.  In a way it made it more magical.  A romantic rendezvous in a Costa Rican tropical rain forest with my handsome hubby.  Aren’t these the things adventures are made of?

A stream soon ran along side us and we found ourselves walking down into the valley floor.  Our eyes were busy watching the steep cliff to our right, I hardly had a chance to notice the white mouth open 3 inches from my left foot.  Out of the corner of my eye, my peripheral vision had spotted something deadly and my primal “fight or flight” response kicked in.  SNAKE my mind’s voice screamed.  My left leg instinctively came straight off the ground as I lunged forward on my right.  As I hurdled beyond the snake, I saw it strike at me.  Seconds later, with both feet planted firmly on the ground again, I heard my husband ask what had happened.  He said the snake had only caught his attention as he saw it retract from striking at me. He was behind me 10 or so feet.  I stood shaking as I pointed out the snake, curled upon itself in a strike pose.  Waiting, ready to attack anything that might threaten it’s space.  I assured my husband that I hadn’t been bitten and he snapped a few pictures. Then, he carefully stepped off the trail and into the bush to go around the snake.  Not to be taken lightly, the one thing they do warn you about in Costa Rica is to NEVER go off trail . Deadly reptiles abound and could mean certain death.  But we had met our enemy dead on.  I had nearly stepped on him.

With hearts pounding and eyes wide open, we hurriedly finished the rest of our hike and soon caught up with a guide.  We told her what had happened and showed her the picture.  Her face fell as she studied our digital screen.  “That is one of the most deadly snakes in Costa Rica.”  Quickly, she pulled in another colleague of hers for a closer look and his opinion.  “A Bushmaster snake” he offered.  My husband was familiar with this sort of snake, having grown up reading about it.  It is one of the top 5 most deadly snakes in the world.  Certain death is likely unless you have anti-venom access in a reasonable time frame.  But we had been deep into our hike.  There was no way we would have made it to the nearest hospital, over an hour from the park.

Questions followed.

“How did you get away?” he asked.

“I jumped.  Somehow I saw it in a nick of time.”

“NO. There is no way you could have jumped away from this snake. They strike at 4 meters per second.  You are so lucky to be alive.  You would have died out there had he got you.”

His words slowly began to sink in as he continued, “You are also very lucky to have seen it.  It’s a nocturnal snake and rarely seen during daylight hours.  Though, I must say, you are fortunate it wasn’t an adult snake.  This is a juvenile snake, equally venomous, but less human aggressive.  The adults will chase you, these will just stay put…waiting to attack.”

Wow, his words were like the electric beam of a stun gun.  My body flooded with emotion and anxiety.  If there was any chance I was pregnant this month, I knew that the stress that raged through my body had ended that hope.  Post traumatic stress set in and we were left to reflect on the death I had almost succumbed to.  The hand of God had protected me.  How that snake missed I do not know except to give God the glory.  In those first few hours following our encounter, despite tattered emotions, I felt a renewed sense of purpose.  I am meant to be alive still.  I haven’t yet fulfilled God’s plan for my life.  It was an incredible moment to live in.

It took us about a day to get back to our senses.  A day to process what we had been through and the grace that had carried us along.  In a way, I treasure this experience in my heart.  Though I would never want to relive it, it gives me hope in my pilgrimage through infertility.  Maybe I’m still here because we have children to raise with great hope yet to be instilled and passed along to another generation.  Time will reveal all things.

For now, O Lord, I thank you for your faithfulness.

Young marrieds or young parents?

Tonight we learned that our small group is a fertile assembly, teeming with children, parents, and pregnancies.  We have only met twice with this group and are gradually getting to know each other and share our stories.  The leaders are impressive, with years of marriage ministry experience.   We have been excited to join their vision.

But tonight, 2 weeks in…it all came together.  It took one glance of the eyes in that “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” sort of way to realize that we both had caught on – we are the ONLY couple without children.  And not just that…but we have taken it to the next level.  We are an INFERTILE couple battling the throes of barrenness and heartache.

Others mingled while I politely left to use the bathroom.  As I sat there, my mind began to process this.  Lord, why have you brought us into this group?  What could possibly be our purpose here?  Everyone?  And not just one or two but many with 4 or 5.  Young marrieds too…all mid thirties or under.  I pleaded with God – Please make it clear why you have us here.  We feel committed to the group.  Yet, we are already anticipating what is coming…there has been so much already.  A discussion of gentleness with your spouse digresses to parenting styles and toddler behavior management.  Defining patience drifts towards daily endurance in an ever evolving home with kids. I recognize that these are the things that consume a parent’s heart.  They want the best for their children.  The same lessons that are applicable to marriage are also important in child rearing – humility, patience, bearing with one another in love, gentleness. It is a blessing to swap stories in an authentic, nonthreatening group where troubles and toils are freely released.  But where does that leave us?  Why would God place us in a group like this?  Why are we the only couple without children?

It’s prayer time.  What are your prayer requests?  We sit quietly in our corner, tight lipped and unwavering.  We are by no means ready to share our dilemma.  I don’t want people to feel inhibited by our story.  We don’t want pity or for people to feel repressed by concerns of how the infertile couple is coping.  We want to avoid curbing their enthusiasm to share, wondering if they think we think they are “complaining”.

For now, we will remain silent.  We will continue to pursue our purpose in this group.  I know we are here for a reason.  We are seeking it.

A little eye contact goes a long way

As church ended this morning, my husband turned to me and said, “Honey, I am feeling that we need to try to make more eye contact. It is so important for us to connect in this way and I want to be more intentional about this. ”

Just a simple passing thought.

But seriously, so sweet. Eye contact? I didn’t even realize our amount was less than ideal. But, as I think about it more and more, he is right. We get so hurried through life…run here, go there. Even at home, it is easy to get lost in a book or a news article or making dinner (need I even mention facebook?) that often we don’t even look up to meet eachother’s gaze when we are talking. We get ready for bed, brush our teeth side by side…we make eyes then…but soon it’s lights out and we lose our eye contact. Don’t get me wrong, we have great communication, we are eachother’s best friend. But what not a better way to convey presence than eye contact. I hear you. I am with you. I love you. I understand you. It can say so much. We’ve all had those moments in a group of people when we meet our loved one’s gaze and the look captures the sentiment we are both thinking even better than words in that moment.

I have married the perfect man for me. He’s the perfect partner. He loves me with his whole being. His lifelong friends often will say, “He was born to be a husband.” It is so true. And this seemingly passing comment in church this morning, these are the sweet sort of reflections that he is always saying, always offering up to me. With that, I will get to my point…God brought it to my attention that one of the best ways for me to break through my pain and hurt is to reflect on his areas of faithfulness in my life. It’s easy to come up with a bucket list:

  1. Shelter
  2. Health
  3. Loving Families
  4. Good Jobs
  5. Faith
  6. My dear Husband
  7. Food
  8. Friends
  9. Dogs
  10. Green all around me
  11. Rain
  12. Mountains…

I could go on and on and on. But what do these things mean to me? What has His faithfulness meant to me? Where have I seen God move mountains in my life? His fingerprints cover me and my story. This story that I live now. My pilgrimage as I am growing to call it.

So, to start it all off. I am thankful for a husband who is faithful to God’s calling upon his life. Faithful to the whispers of the Holy Spirit to give more, show more mercy, make more eye contact. To cook me the finest burrito for lunch and then clean up afterwards without uttering a single complaint all while creating a grocery list for us so that he can go shopping later today. He is a blessing. And these are just a few tasty sprinkles of a cake so good, so gooey; a man with so much depth and life in him.

(Yes, I just compared my husband to a cake. I love cake.)

Thank you, Lord, for your faithfulness. Please continue to reveal and remind me of just how great, how awesome you are in my life. All the ways you have SHOWN up and carried me through.

As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart. Isaiah 40:11

Walking with my wife – a husband’s perspective.

Before I was married, I did not have an emotional concept of what infertility meant.  Being the son of an adopted mother, I was familiar with the deep rooted compulsion one feels to connect with their own bloodline.   As a child I watched my mother search for her “real parents”, eventually finding her birth mother.  However, I never really stopped to think about what her adopted parents must have gone through on their journey to adopting my mother.  I imagine there was pain and disappointment not being able to have their own offspring, but I never really understood the depth of form it took.

Before trying to get pregnant, it was very hard to create a mental picture of what my life would actually be like with children.  On one or more occasions I remember my wife expressing a passing thought, “What if we have trouble getting pregnant?”.  Of course this would not be the case, I knew, but it somehow stirred a hesitancy in me as well.  The first month of actually trying and failing was a reality check, and the sinking feeling that I felt inside somehow told me this would not be an easy journey.  But soon we were able to console each other back to a hopeful outlook and see a bright future ahead.  Another month passed, then another, then another.  Now I have to really concentrate to keep track of the attempts we have made at this feat that many of my friends achieve by accident.

When the basic birds and bees that work for most people are not enough, the ratchet is pulled back, tighter.  Ovulation kits, books, temperature charting, planned sex.  Another few months and it is pulled tighter.  Dr. Visits, lab tests, abstaining from alcohol, cleaning supplies, anything that could be potentially toxic.  Tighter.  Acupuncture visits, more scheduled sex, more labs.  The toll increases as the ratchet is tightened.  The demands not only reach deep into the pocketbook, but require missed work for IUI procedures, isolation from pregnant friends, and loss of intimacy in the relationship which can cut deep into the emotional well-being of the man.  And I thought infertility only steals your ability to get pregnant.

This morning I found out that one of my best friends’ wife was pregnant.  He confessed it to me after I had been sharing an update of our struggle with infertility.  I now can think of no close married friends of ours that are not pregnant or have had children.  It was actually an accident, one slip up last month where they forgot to wear a condom.  I was happy for him and congratulated him, but of course my heart sank inside.  He had no reason to feel guilty, and I demanded that he didn’t, but the despair I felt was inevitable.  It’s a feeling we have been having a lot lately.  Over the last year 7 of our very close friends have become pregnant.  Tomorrow my little sister is hosting her baby’s first birthday party.  I feel like all the trains are leaving and we are left sitting at the station, alone.

But we have no choice but to keep hope alive.  Neither of us are the quitting type, and regardless of whatever comes our way we will continue to persevere.  A day may be drawing near when all of our options are exhausted and we are forced to raise a white flag.  If that day comes God will be waiting for us there, and that is one hope I can take to the bank.  I know that this experience is here to make us stronger, to broaden our perspective and sharpen us for his work.  Gods plan is immensely bigger than ours, and I know that his Glory will be revealed regardless of what transpires.

Flesh and blood

During this pilgrimage of infertility, some passages of Scripture have taken on new meaning in my life.  One passage I find particularly enlightening to my plight is the following verses in Proverbs 30:

15 There are three things that are never satisfied, four that never say, ‘Enough!’:  16 the grave,c the barren womb, land, which is never satisfied with water, and fire, which never says, ‘Enough!’

WOW!  I mean, I know we all inherently know this.  But do you realize the implications?  We are at odds against ourselves in seeking peace and contentment.   Our deepest selves, our physical bodies cry out for pregnancy, for child, for life to be brought forth from our loins. This is not simply some emotional desire within us but our own flesh and blood, created with a purpose to multiply and populate the earth.  AND, it is in NEED of fulfillment.

Sink your teeth into that.  Even as I read these words now, after so many times, they SCREAM at me.  Their message loud and clear – I am NOT satisfied.  Deep cries out to deep (Psalm 42:7).  The profound depth of this passage speaks to my own yearnings deep within me.  Together their voices are deafening.

Oh Lord, would you not atone this God-given necessity?  Hear our prayers for deliverance.  May we find solace in your arms.

Amen.

Living Water

The pains began around 11p last night…I knew my period had started.  8 days late.  Need I even mention that my hcg levels were < 1.  Not pregnant.  Definitive I sought, with certainty I received.  What more is there to say?

Anguish engulfs my soul this grey Portland day.  But, as always, a silver lining to this seemingly dark cloud.  I feel reflective.  I am grateful for this.  Simple reflection.  I will bask in the deep waters of a spirit that seeks to find meaning.

And then, a song…

This hymn filled my heart, falling softly upon my wounded self.  It echoes the sentiment I find so difficult to express in words.

Keith and Kristyn Getty: Jesus draw me ever nearer

Jesus draw me ever nearer
As I labour through the storm.
You have called me to this passage,
and I’ll follow, though I’m worn.

May this journey bring a blessing,
May I rise on wings of faith;
And at the end of my heart’s testing,
With Your likeness let me wake.

Jesus guide me through the tempest;
Keep my spirit staid and sure.
When the midnight meets the morning,
Let me love You even more.

Let the treasures of the trial
Form within me as I go –
And at the end of this long passage,
Let me leave them at Your throne.

Jesus Draw Me Ever Nearer

“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.  Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”  John 7:38

I am at a loss for words today.  My soul longs to be filled by these living waters.  I long for peace and to experience His presence.

I choose faith.  I will keep walking.  Keep believing.  Keep hoping.

Sour lemons

My heart is full of brokenness right now.  The pouring rain outside sets the perfect stage for the soulful ache deep within me.  My stomach gnawing away upon itself.  My heart, heavy with confusion.  You see I am now 8 days late now.  Anticipation has been oozing from my pores.  The last week has been filled with a lot of self encouragement.  Just a few more days and it will be real.  A few more days and my pregnancy test will be positive.  Search after search on the internet to justify my waiting.  This woman got her positive at 21DPO (days post ovulation).  That woman had to wait until 30DPO.  You see, you can find almost anything you want on the internet to substantiate how you are feeling or the symptoms you have experienced.

I last tested when I was 4 days late, recounting my thoughts in my brief “Game Player” post.  But now, here I am…still waiting. I have been too afraid to test again.  Too afraid to see more negatives only to ingress in self-talk to keep moving, to keep journeying, and blogging.  Trying so desperately to cling to the peace I so desire and have experienced over the last few weeks.

This morning after my bible study I decided to test.  It had been 3 hours since I last went to the bathroom, so why not?  I know it’s not the optimal time of day to test…but I figured, after 8 days I should be spilling hcg into my urine.  Of course, you can imagine my disappointment when only 1 line presented itself to me.  1 line…inferring the dreaded negative.  My heart fell, my stomach welled up in knots and all I wanted was to crawl into my bed and hide for the next few days.  I don’t want to run the errands that need to be completed.  I don’t want to have our neighbors over for dinner tonight or grab coffee with my pregnant friend tomorrow. I just want to hide, to surrender myself to my bed and sleep it off.  Can’t that be done?

Within just a minute or two of lying in bed, the infertility nurse called.  She was calling about my upcoming ultrasounds, trigger shots, and IUIs…wanting to make sure we were all set.  I relayed my fear to her that I was having an anovulatory cycle and that I was 8 days late.  After hanging up the phone, an order for a serum hcg now floated out there in the system, waiting for me to give a little more of myself, waiting for me to muster the courage to go and give blood.

I have never had an anovulatory cycle.  I have been tracking my periods for the last 15 months and have had 16 cycles in that time.  I have always ovulated.  My period has always fit into the perfect bounds of 27 days with only a few exceptions.  I have only had one cycle over 30 days…it was 31 days and was over 6 months ago.  I am currently on cycle day 36.

I dragged myself out of bed, grabbed my sweet labradoodle for company in the car and off we went to the clinic. Rain poured from the sky while exhaustion began to flood my body.  I’m so tired of this.  So tired of false hope.  So tired of a life that has to revolve around clinic appointments and chemical sticks that direct my day to day life.

The blood has been drawn.  The clock is ticking.  22 hours until I can have some sort of a definitive answer.  It’s easier to prepare myself for the negative.  I feel the negative, I have lived in the negative for so long.  Believing in the impossible is hard.  Lord, help my unbelief.  You are a God of miracles.  Please help my unbelief.

All I can do is continue to trust.  God promises me peace.  I have experienced a great deal of peace recently.  I know this day isn’t beyond the bounds of his perfect peace either.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:6-7

Today, I wait.