For the past several days, I've been trying to think of a good title for this post, and also trying to figure out how to share the latest leg of our journey. It's much easier to share exciting news than it is to share sad or hard news. This post is the latter.
On Friday, we received the results of our blood tests. Both tests came back negative meaning our IVF procedure didn't take and we are not pregnant. There is a slight possibility that the tests were too early but very unlikely. (The hopeful part of me still wants to hang on to that possibility but maybe that's just denial.) For now, we are accepting the news that the results are negative.
When we entered this process a few months back, we knew this was a possible outcome. Yet upon hearing the words from the doctor's office Friday, we both stood stunned. Our anxiety built throughout last week and by Friday we could feel the seconds ticking by as we waited for the doctor's call. With so much hope and prayer surrounding us, we were also very expectant and hopeful. When the phone rang at 4:29 on Friday afternoon, April 17, we dropped what we were doing, took a deep breath and said, "Hello."
It wasn't long before the nurses' voice shifted and she shared the news, "I'm sorry to say, but we don't have good news . . . Both blood tests this week show negative . . . We ask that you schedule an appointment to talk with your doctor in the next couple weeks. I know it is disappointing ..."
All I could say was okay. Josh watched the conversation and knew the answer without hearing the nurse's words. When the call ended and we stood in shocked sorrow and hugged - while our tears stayed frozen.
The rest of Friday, Saturday and Sunday were weird, as we floated through our own grief cycles absorbing the news. Of course, we knew going in that IVF didn't come with a guarantee, but we continued forward in our own hope plus the hope and prayers of many friends and family. Each word of encouragement lifted our spirits, and we believed more and more that this could be the moment and time for us to see our family dreams come to life in this unique way. With the renewed news of Josh's recovery plus so much support, it was like our life-sized Jenga tower of hope just kept growing taller — fueling our hopes and wishes. Upon hearing the results, it felt like our hopeful tower had just crashed down on us.
We are still digging out . . . and it might be a while.
Don't get us wrong, it has been a joy to have so much support, prayer, encouragement, and excitement around us during the past several weeks, but this also makes it hard to share our news. Thanks for joining us now in this disappointment — we also need your prayers and encouragement now.
As we shared our news with people this weekend, questions like "what will you do now?" or "you'll try again, right?" have been prominent. Since the news is fresh, we have committed to not make any big decisions too quickly. In our story line, the decision to try again is a huge one. For us the IVF process, yielded six embryos but only two of the ones matured at the right rate for us to use. We used the two we could and the remaining four were unable to be frozen for future use. This means we don't have any more embryos at this point. Yes, we can go through the whole procedure again but the main cost for IVF is the egg retrieval and initial medications. Trying again means repeating some significant fees - which is a very hard decision on multiple levels. Therefore, the answer to those two main questions right now is, "We don't know."
HOW ARE WE?
We are disappointed, sad, mad, confused and grieving the "could be." We still remain hopeful for what God has for us as a couple and family. But Yes, THIS TOTALLY STINKS!! We still trust God, the creator of life, and are both confident that this was and is the journey we needed to take. There are no regrets in trying IVF but we still are experiencing all of the feelings listed above at different times and rates. Questions of all kinds swirl in our minds.
As we move forward to whatever is next, we ask for your continued prayers and encouragement. We hope by sharing this challenging chapter of our lives, that our friends, family (and those we don't even know) find encouragement. There are many people who have traveled this road. Some stories have resulted in children, some not — hearing each variation has been tremendous and a reminder of why we are sharing.
We still believe this is a topic that women, men, families and couples should be talking about. While ironic, that I wanted to hide from everyone this past weekend, instead of having to share this news, we both know it is important to share our adventure. And yes, it is still an adventure, just a weird, yucky one – kind of like crawling through a dark, muddy cave in search of a glorious cavern that hasn't yet been discovered.
We keep moving forward, one flashlight beam at a time. Hoping.
Well, it is official, there are embryos inside me. We had the implanting procedure yesterday afternoon. It was simple and pretty fascinating. We even got photos of our embryos, making it feel very scientific. In my hope, I imagine showing our kids pics and saying, "here you are as an embryo" - ha!
Here we are sitting outside the doc's office waiting to do our second IVF procedure.
I have so much nervous and excited energy I don't know what to do. It kind of feels like the doctor's office is tricking us by making us wait in the outside lobby because they are still having a staff meeting.
In just a few minutes we should learn what we have to work with and how many of those cool Brown eggs will be moving along in this process.
Today is the day. A big day!
How exciting this Easter seems! Filled with the typical hope and joy of our faith in Christ mixed with a new hope and excitement of what is happening with our family.
It is officially April 2. Today we will have our first IVF procedure -- the retrival. As we try to go to sleep my mind is spinning. It is really time to do this! Are we really doing this!
There is fear and worry that this won't work mixed with excitement that it will. This blended with a general nervous feeling and tense insides makes for a big bundle of "ahhhhhhhhh"!!
I can't deny the interesting timing with Easter coming up in three days and all that this means personally on multiple levels. It is fun to make jokes about finding "easter eggs" although a little inappropriate. It is also interesting to know that we are hoping new life will come during such a symbolic and memoriable week.
Wow! Here we go! The Brown Adventure going full speed down the slope. Today!
Our prayer tonight/this morning:
Lord be with us as only you can. Be our hope! Be our protector.
About the Writers
Typically posts on this page are written by Jennifer Brown and often include fun stories about Josh as well. Occasionally, Josh might post too (when he feels daring!)