Sunday, 20 January 2013

The one where I get mad at God

This year is already off to a surprising and, let's say, challenging start.  Surprising in that I made enough real ovulation hormones to create a viable follicle and uterine lining and had an FET in the first week of January.  And challenging in that, despite all the positive signs and our doctor's enthusiasm, I got a very heavy, very scary fanny-blowout dead on seven days later.  

This loss feels very different from losing our first FET Boobals.   This loss feels very frustrating, very aggravating and also vindictive.  Problem is, I don't know why I feel like this, and I don't have anyone to blame.  And yet there is it!  I feel like we have been personally scorned and I don't know why.

Sunny Hubby and I have always had a strong faith in God.  We were both raised with Christian beliefs and have been mindful to include God in our marriage at all times.  We say our prayers, we give thanks, and we read scripture to enrich our daily understanding of the Lord's work.  And I was taught that when I pray, He hears me.  And that when He is silent in our lives, we are being put to the test; taught a lesson that will be invaluable to us for the remainder of our days.  God provides us with wisdom in many ways, but silence is by far the harshest of these.  And right now I feel like there has been radio-silence between the Big Man and us for way too long!

I know this post may spark up conversations in your own home, or may conjure thoughts that my faith is dwindling.  Let me reassure it is not.  I still wholeheartedly believe that God loves us and that we love Him.  It's just that right now I don't LIKE Him!  And I think that is ok.  I have a very open relationship with God.  We speak often and about all manner of topics.  I talk to Him while driving to work, doing to groceries, sometimes when sitting on the toilet even.  I tell Him about our lives (not that he doesn't already know every little detail), about our hopes and aspirations.  I say thank you and please.  I get cross at Him.  And then, eventually, I apologise for raising my voice or saying harsh things to Him.  My relationship with God is somewhat similar to my relationship with my Husband.  And I don't mean that like I think the two relationships are equal; more that both relationships thrive on open and honest discourse.  And so I treat God as is He were here, physically, living in our home.  Now of course I wouldn't say some things to God that I say to Hubby, I do add a slight verbal filter when I'm cross.  But, He gets the best of me, the worst of me, and the 100% honest version of me.  And trust me, right now He's getting it ALL!

I am mad that our FET's aren't creating lasting pregnancies.  I am mad that no one can explain why not.  And I am mad that this wonderful, surprise opportunity was dangled so carelessly close to our faces and then whipped away just as quickly.  And I am mad mostly at God for that.  And I think I'm mad at Him because I have no one else to be mad at.  Can't be mad at the doctors or nurses.  Can't be mad at the embryos.  Can't be mad at Hubby.  I have no one to blame, bar my dodgey uterus and ovaries, which is ultimately me.  And I am mad at me!  Never underestimate how infuriated you can be at yourself.  But I am also mad at God.  

Why?  Well, because I have prayed to God every day since Hubby and I were married (12 Sept 09) that He bless us with children.  Granted I did not specify a number or a time frame because we trust that He'll make the right choices for us.  (Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. John 16:24)  After learning of our breeding difficulties our prayer remained essentially the same, but with a bit more specificity: please let us not lose another baby.  And for the last two years, that has been our daily prayer.  As God became more silent, we started to bargain with Him.  As the bargaining fails, we make more promises to Him.  Never committing to anything we couldn't achieve, never offering Him something we wouldn't deliver.  And as the silence continues you start to feel alone.  

Hubby has a much stronger constitution than I do about all this.  I think that's because he was born into a pastoral family and has been raised, physically, in the church.  My faith has been something I had to build of my own volition.  Something that I struggled with for a time, and came out the other side with full-blown Lord-loving.  Hubby likes to remind me that things can always get worse, and to see the positive signs in all things.  These are hard things to hear when you're down and out, and quite frankly feeling sorry for yourself.  But then this big sign comes along: *DING DING DING, YOU'RE A WINNER, YOU MADE YOUR OWN HORMONES!!*  And my optimism starts to recuperate.  

After praying one evening I came upon a bible reading that I hadn't explored fully before.  It has the story of Hannah, a barren woman who "poured out her soul to the Lord" to bless her with a son.  The Lord heard her prayer and granted her with a son, Samuel, "Because I asked the Lord for him". (I Samuel 1:1-20)  I have read and re-read this bible passage hundreds of times over in the last fortnight.  I have read it and wept, as I prayed that God would hear us now in our time of need.  I know that Samuel wasn't born straight away, and that Hannah probably spent night after night crying into her pillow the way I do, until her beloved son arrived.  But Hannah has become very personal for me.  Hannah has become a constant reminder that God does answer prayers.  And Hannah brought me reassurance that this little embryo might just make it.  

So when my period started so soon after the transfer I felt betrayed.  Betrayed by God.  I felt betrayed because He had heard Hannah and not me.  That He let another embryo die.  That my Heavenly family were gaining yet another baby that I would have to wait a lifetime to meet.  And above everything else, I felt betrayed because I know He has heard our prayers; I know that He feels our pain and anguish, and yet He remains silent when we need Him most.

My faith is not dwindling, but my heart grows heavier.  I have this well of grief and pain inside my heart that only one person can mend.  And that person is not just any person; He is the Lord.  


Saturday, 5 January 2013

'13 - Lucky for some? (farewell 2012)

I remember this time last year I was thinking how glad I was to see 2011 disappear.  With all it's ups and downs, surely 2012 would be a bigger, brighter, more positive kind of year.  
Well it sure was BIGGER! So I thought I might do a bit of a re-cap on some of the more significant moments of our year...

  • JANUARY - My awesome brother married his sweetheart in a beach side wedding, two days after our final attempt at IUI.
  • FEBRUARY - I turned 26!
  • MARCH - Hubby turned 30!

  • MAY - I began the long list of medications to start our very first round of IVF.
  • JUNE - We retrieved a massive 33 eggs during our first IVF egg pickup.  10 of those went on to become DAY 6 blastocysts and were frozen.  Physically I was a mess with a bad case of Ovarian Hyperstim and we weren't able to transfer back for a couple of months.
  • JULY - Hubby and I decided it was time to shake things up in our professional lives.  I started a new kind of nursing job, which I love so much.  Hubby went back to university to study business, communication and public relations.
  • SEPTEMBER - our first FET following three weeks of medications to build up my uterine lining.  We transferred back two of our embryos, and sadly lost them both.  We also celebrated our Third Wedding Anniversary with a coastal vacation.
  • OCTOBER - I  re-started the meds for FET, but unfortunately my body did not respond well and we were forced to cancel our second round of FET.  We took this as a sign that we weren't quite ready to start again with the emotional roller coaster, and decided to take the rest of the year off from baby-making.
  • NOVEMBER - We were very happy to learn that we were going to soon have a baby nephew.
  • DECEMBER - With a very frantic countdown to the end of the year, Hubby and I made plans to have a very quiet Christmas.  This is starting to become a running joke in the Sunny household, as every time we plan something "quiet" it turns into the exact opposite. 
    Christmas was a lovely day spent with my family.  I don't usually spend a great deal of time with them, mostly out of self-preservation after many years of family disputes.  But we were very nicely surprised by how much we got along with them, and I was sad to drive away from them at the end of the day.
    We also ended up with a house full of Hubby's family, including Ma and Pa,  several sisters, nieces, a brother and some aunts and uncles.
2012 has felt like a monster of a year.  There were a lot of tears, a lot of stress, high anxiety, and heart ache.  But I am grateful for every moment.  It was also a year that brought us the creation of our Boobals (frozen embryos).  A year that brought Hubby and I even closer together; stronger together; cemented us together.  It was a year that we felt overwhelming love and support from our family, friends and all of you who read this blog. 

We decided not to make a New Years resolution list for 2013.  Our only goal is to remain hopeful that soon we will have a baby in our arms, and to stay thankful for each other.  We weathered 2012 together and now we know NOTHING is impossible!

As for the baby-making plans... well we have been ever so pleasantly surprised already.  A recent trip to my doctor proved that my body has enjoyed the time off we gave it, and I have managed to ovulate independently for the first time in over a year.  We are taking advantage of the this new-found hormone surge and will do another frozen embryo transfer (FET) a lot sooner than we expected.  I will endeavour to keep you up to date with all that as it happens.  But, as I'm sure you'd all understand, we have our anxieties about another transfer and so my updates may not always be full of detail.

For all my blogger friends out there I want to say thank you for giving me something to read when I didn't feel up to writing.  You have inspired me to come back to my keyboard again.  Congratulations to the many of you who recently found out you're expecting, or have given birth to your bundles of joy.  I may not always comment on your posts, but I share your happiness with you nonetheless and am cheering you on from afar!

To everyone who reads my blog and has stuck with us since it's inception, I say a BIG, FAT THANK YOU!!  There have been times when I've wondered if anyone really reads this rubbish.  But then I read your awesome comments and see all the 'likes' on the FB page and I can't help but smile a big, goofy smile.  

Whatever your plans for this brand new year, I hope above all else it brings you happiness.  I am rooting for you all!  And I really do love hearing from you, so please drop me an email, post a comment, like me on FB or volunteer to guest post!

Happy 2013!