“Your only choice now is IVF. There’s nothing else we can do for you here. Your egg reserve is also on the low end of normal so you’d be wise not to delay with the IVF option – this time next year you could be in a worse position than you are now and we wouldn’t want you to regret not having acted sooner”. It’s not quite how she put it but it sums up the train that slammed into us as we were discharged from our NHS fertility clinic appointments and forcefully encouraged towards the IVF department.
We thought we had more time.
We thought we could just keep trying.
We thought it would happen and we wouldn’t need to have this conversation in more detail.
We thought we had made up our mind on this subject.
We thought we’d conceive easily after a few months of trying but that dream seems like a long, long time ago now.
Once again we are dazed, confused, out of sync with each other. Processing in our own ways we retreat to opposite corners of our metaphorical boxing ring to let it all sink in. I find myself shut in a toilet cubicle at a shopping centre sobbing my guts out. The world moves in slow motion around me. This is a game changing piece of information. They don’t warn you during marriage prep classes, as you consider the question of children, what staring IVF in the face as your next option really feels like.
Numb once again. Insides explode open once again. Rubbed raw once again.
Yet as quietly as a fluttering, even within the turmoil and the storm, there is something in me that rises up and refuses to be beaten by this. Defiance in the face of adversity.
This bruised and beaten soldier is quicker to stagger to her feet this time. The gleam of a promise shines in her eyes. The thunder of heaven replaces the white noise in her ears.
No – this is not the end. This is not the answer. A refrain hovers in the back of my mind despite the sobs stuttering outwards,
I’m laying out all the pieces of my life
On the altar, I’m Your sacrifice.
Let Your fire fall, I’m waiting here.
Come and take it all, this heart of fear.
We believe in God Almighty.
We believe in You.
We will trust in God Almighty.
We will trust in You.
We will overcome.
When You are with us we are strong.
And love will be our greatest song.
We’ll keep the faith and stand forever.
What is the battle plan now King Jesus? What would you have us do?
We can pursue IVF if it seems the right next step for us. Until recently I didn’t even know that the NHS option isn’t the only way or that fertility clinics offer different types of treatment. There is a milder, more natural version of IVF if the clinic agrees to use it.
With this latest twist and turn still stretching out before us I see we can choose to be fearful that if we even manage to conceive once perhaps in a couple of years there will barely be enough eggs for a sibling. Or I can trust that God has made promises to us and He honours His word. I can let go and let God. I can ask for a double portion of good for my trouble. I can be afraid or I can believe that this may be a game changer but it certainly isn’t game over.
Blood tests. Internal ultrasounds. Hysterosalpingograms. Infection. Clomid. Progesterone. Panic attacks. Palpitations. Physiotherapy. Pessaries. Hormone imbalances. Luteal phase deficiency. Lower ovarian reserve. In the face of fear and what has already been considerd we will declare that we will overcome. No looking back now. “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland”.
I turn the worship music up louder as I stand in my kitchen and I declare His goodness over us again and I invite Him in. I make room for Him to move. The stakes are simply higher now but my God loves to surprise against all odds. The testimony of His miracle is going to be even better because of this new piece of information. We will get to say, “I am expecting a miracle” and my body will be ripe with the fruit of that miracle soon enough.