Since last Saturday I have been taking birth control pills again. The fertility doctor says this is to keep me in a holding pattern that allows them to better calculate my treatment and dates of when egg collection and embryo implantation will be. It seems slightly strange though to once again, after an 8 year gap, be taking birth control. A few years into this journey I remember chatting on the phone with my good friend Kelly. We were talking about the irony of taking birth control pills when it didn’t appear that I could get pregnant. She said ‘Just think of all the money you could have saved if you would have known that!’ At the time I remember saying it was too soon to be laughing about just yet, but now I can see the humour in it. So back to the pill I go!
Today is Thanksgiving and it is the first time I have celebrated this holiday in years. The festivities began last night with the whole Chud clan staying under one roof. We woke up this morning to warm cinnamon rolls (Grandma Mary’s recipe, passed on to each of us girls by Lynda and made by Carla). Right now my first attempt at a proper apple pie is in the oven and we are all running around trying to get ready to leave for our Thanksgiving dinner at the Fray’s. This year I am thankful to be with family for such an extended period of time. I am thankful that God hears each of my breath-prayers. I am thankful for good food. I am thankful for the snow that transforms Alaska into a winter wonderland. I am thankful that I still have a good chunk of time with the Carpenter clan to look forward too. But most of all I am thankful for each family member and friend who is partnering with us through both prayer and finances. We feel strong right now and it comes from each of your prayers. Right now we are at $3500, and we know that more is coming. Each time a person responds to our letter with encouraging words and the desire to partner with us I am overwhelmed by God’s larger body. So thank you. Thank you for being generous. Thank you for loving us. Just thank you.
This past Tuesday Bryan and I went to the hospital in Wasilla to have bloods taken. This is one of the first steps towards moving forward with our fertility treatment. The pic above shows the tags put on each of our vials (Bryan gave 3, I gave 7). During this difficult process there have been some humorous moments and Tuesday reminded me of one of them.
A year ago I, Bre, had bloods taken to test for ovulation. A few weeks after the test was taken I received a very apologetic phone call from the nurse at our doctors office in Dungannon. Apparently my blood test had been labeled with Bryan’s name and not mine so the test came back inconclusive and they would need me to come in again. The lady was sincerely sorry but I started laughing out loud on the phone with her. Reason being that I was imagining the lab technician reading the test he was running on the blood, then realizing it was a mans name on the vial. He most likely was a bit confused or hesitant to run the test. Sometimes mistakes happen and thankfully this was a small one but I am relieved as well to know that Bryan has not been ovulating nor do I think he ever will!
This summer I signed up for a blog and had no idea what I was actually going to write about. Now I know. This blog is going to be a way for our family and friends who have loved, cared for and supported us over the years, to follow our upcoming adventure/process of fertility treatment. If you are reading this blog the chances are good that you have been present at some stage in our lives through this journey or have been prayerfully supporting us and are continuing to do this presently. Thank you for your love, support and help. Thank you for taking the time to come and read this blog. I will be updating it as we go and will try to keep it concise (I tend to be wordy so apologies if I get going!). Below I have just shared a bit of what we have experienced along the way to give you some idea of our background up until this point. We hope that it will be helpful for you and will encourage you to pray for us and pursue God when pursuing your most precious dreams. Enjoy the read!
I remember coming off birth control a few months before my 26th birthday. Bryan and I had been married for 4 years, we thought it would be a great time to begin our family and it was a happy time, thinking of the possibility of creating mini versions of ourselves that we could love, nurture and share our love of Jesus with! Those first couple months of waiting to see if we were pregnant were I am sure like many couples experience, the waiting, anticipation, being slightly bummed when we weren’t pregnant but hopefully looking at the next month as the time when maybe it would happen. 8 years down the road the hope is still present but it looks different then it did then. The hope is what makes this whole process so hard. Hope keeps you believing that maybe this time will be different, that maybe next month will be ‘the’ month, hope keeps you hoping. If you could kill the hope you could kill the disappointment, yet it doesn’t seem to be that easy. It springs up when you least expect it. But to be honest it has also been the thing that has kept us moving forward for all these years. That is because our hope is rooted in Christ. He does not change regardless of our circumstances. His character is not up for questioning even when all of our questions seem to remain unanswered. I am more convinced now than I was then of the following: He is always present with us, He is the hope that has carried us through and He is the hope that will keep us intact when the world beneath us seems to cave and give way.
With all that said, it is November 2013. Bryan and I are back in Alaska and have had the great privilege of investing in our families since mid-August and will continue to do so till the beginning of February when we head back to Northern Ireland to our other home. Since being back in the states we have had time to process all that God has done in the past 9 years since we moved overseas. We are overwhelmed by God’s faithfulness, His compassion, His mercy and His very present help when we have been in need. We have learned a great deal, grown so much and are thankful for the blessing of this life we lead. During this time of rest and reconnection, the desire for our family began to stir again. It has been 3 years since our last rounds of IVF. Neither round was successful and if I am honest, that time is remembered as a very dark night for both of our souls. It brought us to a breaking point emotionally, mentally and physically. Yet through the love and support of our incredible family, friends and church we survived and came out refined. We do not believe that God orchestrated our infertility but we do believe that if we offer up even the most painful parts of our lives to Him He can use it to bring us closer to Him and use it for His glory.
That leads me to my final paragraph. We have been very open about our journey through infertility, the highs, lows, the sorrow and sadness. But we believe that even in this we can bring God glory by walking through this centered in Him. At the end of the day we believe He is everything we need. We believe that He is faithful. We believe He is good and is exactly who He says He is. We don’t believe he cheats us or lies to us in any way, shape or form. We believe He is kind and is aware of every hair on our head. He has been part of this process from the very beginning and He will be a part of it and our lives for that matter till the day we die. Yet if we can bring Him glory simply by offering up every part of us then we will. We hope this blog will help you walk through this with us, we hope it will make you question things that are hard to wrestle with and we hope it will make you press into Him for the answer to our prayers and the prayers of others who are waiting for breakthrough in their lives. In the coming weeks this is where your prayers can start:
1. Pray that we keep our eyes on Christ and guard our hearts.
2. Pray that we take one day at a time.
3. Pray that my (Bre) body responds to treatment well.
4. Pray for all the finances to come through.
5. Pray for God’s grace over us that we can walk this path well, remaining faithful to God at all times.
Thank you for visiting our blog, please stop by again!
Bryan and Bre
So I am going to start my own blog, very original I know. I think in the end it will be more for my own use and a way to look back at what I have felt was worth recording in my day to day life. Hopefully it will help me to write more and learn to put how I am feeling into words a bit easier.