As we head back into the NHS system I think how low we have started to set our expectations so that disappointment can no longer blind-side us. Our first IVF department appointment is as expected: clinical, emotionless, highly factual, full of consent signing and paperwork, a potted summary of what is to come by a consultant who is an expert in his field but who has lost any human feeling beneath all his years of experience. I am cold inside and my defences are tight. I understand that they are over-subscribed and exhausted but we have not been here before and it’s amazing what a little compassion will do to ease things along.
I find myself accidentally writing the ‘C’ for Christian in place of my signature on one form as my hand lets slip what my brain is thinking; my identity spilling out onto the page; my thoughts always moving to what my Daddy makes of this moment. What does He really think of me as I sign my eggs and embryos away? Am I doing the right thing? Am I faithless? Am I letting Him down? Does He approve of this? Am I playing with life when He has the keys in hands anyway? Am I reckless? Am I signing away children I will never know with the stroke of this pen? Or am I moving one step closer to meeting them? In the room with me now does He wish I would throw the forms and the pen down and walk away?
Is he going to rescue me from this path I don’t wish to walk before it gets too late?
We sign and leave.
While the letter is dictated and written we will be praying for more time for our breakthrough before we have to go home once more with the pile of instructions and injections. I fear a repeat of drug-induced hot flushes and palpitations. In a fleeting moment I wonder about fasting everything I can think of to move God’s heart for my answer to prayer.
Loved and adored. Seen and known. I don’t have to move his heart with self-flagellation. He sees the cost and the sacrifice daily. He whispers for my obedience and He knows I answer.
I look ahead to the baby shower I am hosting this weekend. I never thought I would find myself taking charge of such an event. We both know how far I have come and we both know it didn’t take a wallop over the head to get me here; I know Him to be gentle and kind. I know that He knows the desires of my heart have been to overcome my envy and disgust at myself for joylessness and He wanted me to have that victory. We both can see that this is a triumph of the human heart and a sacrifice of the highest order. We both know I am laying down my own needs for a friend and praying I don’t lose my sense of steadiness in the aftermath. We both know I am committed to sowing in the lives of others what I desire to reap in my own some day. We both know that this is the biggest breakthrough so far – the softening of my heart in that which matters the most. The request that I have been running from for such a long time. Just call me Jonah for I have conceded that it is time to get out of the whale and go forth and do what has been asked of me with a smile of joy on my face.