WARNING: This post is long. Really long. If you only read one paragraph, make it the last, not the first. Here’s the short version if you don’t want to read it all: We struggle with infertility. We’re doing IVF at the end of the month. We’d love for you to pray with us. If you want the details, by all means, continue.
About two and half years ago Mitch and I decided it was time to grow our little family. Obviously, given the fact that we remain a party of two, things didn’t go as planned. I could go into a lot of details about the ins and outs of our infertility: the frustration, the tears, the hope, and the incredible blessings we’ve received, but that’s a very lengthy story for another day. Basically, we focused on trying to figure out what was going on with me for about a year and half before we found out that Mitch’s “normal” semen analysis actually wasn’t so normal. Then our efforts turned to him, but there was a lot of waiting involved with insurance changes and moving. After lots of testing and several doctors, we’re now looking at infertility issues coming from both sides and a whole lot of inconsistent results that leave us wondering what’s really going on inside these otherwise healthy bodies of ours.
We were blessed to find that a well known infertility specialist was in our ward (church congregation) here in Reno, and we quickly got in to meet with him. I wasn’t prepared for the news we received that afternoon. I was sure that Mitch’s results would be normal and we’d be scheduling a round of IUI. But, Mitch’s results weren’t normal and IUI wasn’t an option for us. We were told In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) with ICSI would be our only course of action. I cried in Dr. Foulk’s office, much to his bewilderment. “You should be thrilled!” he said. “30 years ago you’d have no choice but to adopt. You’re young and healthy, and have great odds for success.” He seemed incredibly confident that IVF would work for us despite the fact that success rates overall are really quite low.
He was right; we are incredibly blessed. But, what he didn’t know—and I didn’t either in the moment—was that I was finally being stripped of my pride. God was asking me to really rely on Him, not just pretend I was. It took several days, a lot of prayer, scripture study, and profound conversations with Mitch for me to start realizing this. I thought I had been relying on the Lord. I thought I trusted Him, and had faith that He knew what was best. I thought I was working on utilizing the atonement to help get through our adversity. I suppose that I was trying to do those things, and I certainly was putting in some effort to seek the Lord’s will. But God has a way of showing us how much more profound His grace can be and how much more wholly we can trust in Him.
As I pondered on my attitude toward our infertility and the answers I was seeking, I realized that I had been looking for the Lord to deliver us in the way I wanted Him to, not in the way He knew was best. I was set on being healed naturally. Being a bit of a granola girl, I love green cleaning, herbal remedies, and food fresh from the garden. Though I’m incredibly grateful for the advances of modern medicine, and the many life saving procedures and medications we have available, I typically view those as a last resort. I virtually never use over the counter medications, as I prefer more natural healing methods. In the beginning, I was determined to cure our infertility issues myself. When nothing seemed to be working, I decided to meet with an OB and eventually an infertility specialist. I thought maybe we would be able to pinpoint a problem, or perhaps just a round of Clomid would work for us (that wouldn’t be SO bad, I convinced myself). As things began to appear more dismal, I decided that I would resort to IUI if necessary. Anything for a baby, right? I actually prayed that something, anything, would work before IVF was brought up. Please don’t ask me to do IVF I thought. I prayed for the will of the Lord to be brought to pass, but secretly hoped that His will was something non-invasive and toxin free. God wants me to have a baby the way He originally designed it, right? Babies aren’t supposed to be made in a lab. I was drowning in the sea, praying with faith, sure that the Lord would magically deliver me either via miraculous transport, or granting me strength to swim. But, sometimes God sends a boat instead; a little boat called IVF. I had a choice to make. I could accept the rescue efforts of the boat, or wave it along, announcing I was sure God would save me any minute. We climbed aboard.
For all of the goodness and beauty in natural living, and for all the miracles of western medicine, we are not saved by what school of thought we employ. Herbs and oils won’t get me to heaven, but trusting God will. The issue is not one of natural versus conventional healing. The Lord is not trying to tell me to stop making my own lotion and laundry detergent, he’s trying to tell me that He knows what is best, not me. From the time we left the doctor’s office, until we had made our final decision, the words of a familiar scripture echoed in my mind, and surfaced in more than one lesson, conference talk, etc.: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
We are currently in the middle of our IVF cycle. The retrieval will happen between the 28th and the 2nd with the transfer five days later. As we are swiftly approaching these dates, we extend the invitation to anyone interested to join us in a fast this Sunday, September 22. For any who are unable to join the fast, we would be incredibly grateful for added prayers. We know that there is strength in numbers and that collective faith can bring about miracles! Here’s to hoping we got on board the right boat!