The time comes……A time we have waited long, long days for. Embryo transfer month. Over our year of visiting the clinic I have watched so many women disappear into theatre to have their tiny buds of hope planted back into the safety of their wombs. With each fresh delay that has occurred along our personal pathway I have carefully collected together the letters detailing our precious brood of embryos, reading and re-reading their details and learning their constitutions. Every journey home has taken me away from them, even though each is little more than a few cells carefully preserved in a laboratory. I ask God to hover Genesis-like over their potential in my absence. I am grateful that he is present everywhere.
But then our turn comes and I am Doubting Thomas as I hold my breath to see whether it will really happen this time. Unlike our treatment cycles I don’t have to give myself any injections and the relief is great. I am allowed to pass through the month like any other normal month, with occasional monitoring scans to check that all is well. It is and we are able to arrange most scans around our weekends so my husband can accompany me. We see His hand upon the details.
I determine from the very first day of this cycle that I will set the tone with worship and I dedicate time every day to at least one fully-present moment of praise to Him for who He is regardless of what comes. Worship is my song of love to Him. Worship is the dedication of my life to His service. Worship is my faith cry that He is well able to do what He has promised. Worship is my recognition that He is to be honoured and glorified. Worship is my battle cry that the impossible will come to pass. Worship is the daily commitment that He has my heart and my focus.
In return we see God’s fingerprints all over our days. We read verse after verse of encouragement and are aware of His presence on so many occasions. After one appointment we head across London to enjoy the sight-seeing events of the season. For a change we make the unusual decision to head to Somerset House to watch the ice-skating that appears on television every year. We wander through the shopping arcade and enjoy watching the varying displays of confidence as tourists try their feet on the ice.
It’s as we turn to leave that we are both suddenly rooted to the spot. I shouldn’t be surprised by now and yet I still am. Our verse – the verse that has followed us from place to place over the last four years – is inscribed right there in front of us on the wall of a fountain, “He is like a tree planted beside the streams of water, which yields its fruit in season, whose leaves shall not fade, in all that he does he prospers” (Psalm 1:3).
He’s here. Right in the midst of us. It’s as though God is stood with us in this very place, smiling His love and kindness upon us, reassuring us that He is IN this, in the fabric of the days we’re living, in our coming and going, walking beside us. We will prosper in every season – in this time. He is here.
As though we were on a travelator at an airport, we move smoothly through the rest of the waiting time and our destination draws nearer. I ovulate and begin the pessaries (reality check – they are messy and seem to produce the worst flatulence known to mankind let alone womankind!). I clear the decks of impending stress and enjoy the goodness of His provision through the friends we are able to stay with in London and regular input from my precious prayer buddies. We navigate the medical decisions we have to make, the topical television programme analysing the agenda of fertility clinics (by choosing not to watch it!) and the phone call updates about the outcome of the defrosting process. I still loathe how often waiting for the telephone to ring is part of this season.
The day of transfer itself is a cause for celebration as we arrive at a moment that we have never experienced before. And although the transfer process itself is about as clinical and as far removed as one can get from the normal baby-making process, we are excited and in awe of the medics who allow us to share their ultrasound screen as they carefully place our future back into our hands (well, my womb!). In the stillness which follows the transfer, we praise and pray and invite God to hover and breathe His life over this amazing moment and the two tiny bundles that have been welcomed home.
The trees are bearing fruit again.