As we head into the major Christmas festivities I start to bleed and am grateful that my body is releasing what was not to be this time. We focus on the mystery and majesty of Christmas Day and have free hearts to be joyful with our families, unlike past Christmases where joy has escaped us.
Then on New Year’s Eve I experience a different kind of bleeding and agonising pain and as we roll into the new year I am told by the IVF clinic to do a home pregnancy test and make a swift move to the nearest hospital for a check up. The consultant is adamant that the test will be negative but that I must make sure all the same. I wonder how it can possibly be anything other than negative after all this bleeding?!
But the pregnancy test confounds us for it is positive and my husband and I sit together, for the first time in almost four years, with this strange, new, longed-for phenomenon before our eyes. It says PREGNANT! We review our prayers and wonder whether this is another of God’s amazing turnarounds and He will mystify the doctors after all?
But it is not to be. I call the consultant back and he tells me that it is likely to be retained product, a chemical pregnancy, but nothing going on inside that will grow into a normal baby. Although one or possibly both of the embryos have implanted and the pregnancy hormone level has done its very best to linger and slowly rise, the pregnancy is not a normal one and I am in fact miscarrying.
As we begin to realise that this was not what we had first thought, first been told – not a failed transfer but, in fact, a failing pregnancy – we fan the hope-flames a little more, asking God to bring this Lazarus-baby back from the dead.
The days which follow involve more blood tests, more waiting but then the miscarriage is confirmed for definite and I find I can’t muster the faith-conviction for God’s resurrection power though I try. In my heart I am at peace with this near-miss but we also find we are simply too numb to process it all.
And yet there is light in this darkness. There is treasure in this new aching.
We are learning for we count and celebrate the victories.
After all these years we have finally seen our first positive pregnancy test. We know that my body can receive an embryo and it can implant. My HCG level can rise to new heights. Those embryos were healthy enough to give their inherent design a good attempt at life, though they weren’t physically able to develop normally.
We have not been wrong to believe we can get pregnant (and there have been so many, so many times when we have asked ourselves whether the tree we were barking up was actually empty). My faith-eyes are seeing through different lenses now. I feel empowered and confident to call in our family now, to command my body to fulfil its purpose, to stand on hope and beckon in our miracle because I know now with more certainty that it can happen.
We have witnessed a near miss but we are closer now than ever before. The trees might not be in full fruit yet but they are definitely waking up for Spring and barrenness is coming to an end.