Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Any way you look at it, I feel discombobulated.

I expected to be pregnant now.  I'm not.  My heart jumps a little bit any time I hear of an adoption opportunity, any type of adoption (domestic infant, sibling group, or embryo adoption).  I want to be a mom again so badly.  Cora and Mac want younger siblings badly.  Know of an adoption opportunity here in Texas?  Send me the details!

For the last month, my "down time" has consisted of packing most of our belongings into boxes as we prepared to move across town.  To relax, I'd put down the boxes and tape and research new furniture options instead.  We moved this past weekend and ordered new furniture yesterday.  What do I do with myself now?

Oh, yes, that's right.  Clean both houses and attempt to unpack our new house.  And entertain the kids who have been mysteriously waking up super early since we moved (their new room is just as dark and quiet as the old one). 

I'm not just tired, I'm weary.  To say the month of May has been stressful would be an understatement. 

Dear Lord, can June provide a respite from the stress?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


I took a pregnancy test Saturday, eight days after the embryo transfer.  It was negative and I had a total freak-out, hissy fit spell.  Once I calmed down, I combed Dr. Google for information regarding timelines for testing post day three transfers.  The unanimous consensus was one cannot expect to see reliable results until, at the earliest, nine days past a three day transfer.

Hope resurfaced and I had a pretty enjoyable weekend.  We browsed furniture stores (desperately need to replace our nine year old sofa set).  Watched Doctor Who.  Went to Mass - the kids were surprisingly well-behaved. 

I tested again Monday morning.  Another negative.  I had spent the big bucks and bought the two pack of HPT's with words; I didn't want to spend time deliberating what I was seeing.  In my mind, Monday's test took a while to come up with an answer.  Given my mental options, I decided to cling to hope, thinking maybe this embryo was just a slow bloomer.  This specific HPT reads hcg levels of 25 and above.  Maybe I just wasn't quite there yet.

Got up early yesterday to drive down to my closest lab that will run STAT tests while Bryan stayed home from PT to watch the kids.  And then I waited and waited and waited.  And paced and prayed. Turns out the lab forgot to send off my blood for testing until their evening shipment.  We finally got the call around 7 in the evening that my tests were indeed negative.

Last night I alternated between feeling numb and sad.  I'm kind of past the angry stage - that was mostly over the weekend when I kept psyching myself out in different directions. 

I prayed too and from the lab yesterday (a 45 min drive each way).  I kept trying to pray for a sense of surrender, that I fully and completely place myself in God's hands.  And I just couldn't do it.  My prayer kept coming out, "God, I'm trying, I'm really trying to surrender myself to Your will.  But I don't like where I think this is headed. I still think my will is best.  I know I should surrender myself to You.  I know You're looking out for me.  And all three of those little ones are likely with You [this was before I knew the test results].  But, God, I want to hold on to my hopes and dreams just a little longer.  I'd rather pray for a miracle than surrender to what seems to be the inevitable.  I'm trying here, God, but I don't like it.  Not one bit."

In some ways, I am comforted because this loss is different.  No, scratch that, the pain is somewhat lessened because this loss is different. This was our third embryo transfer (two in 2009 and this one).  Back when we miscarried in July of 2009, I couldn't help but blame myself, my body must have been deficient in some way.  Or I personally must have made some bad choice that forced the end of that pregnancy.  I've since come to realize that a lot of embryos just won't make it.  No amount of coding or clinic predictions will make a difference.  Though I will add that these embryos being fifteen years old did not help their case.

I'm also not as alone this time around.  I have two other Catholic friends who have experienced embryo adoption; they also know the pain, the struggle, the wait.  And there are a growing number of women blogging about embryo adoption, sharing their personal hopes and dreams and fears. And successes.

There are two bloggers whom I follow whose personal thoughts on loss deeply affected me.  Jen is a fellow embryo adoption blogger; her most recent embryo transfer was the day before mine.  She wrote eloquently about their grief in an entry called "Clinging to the Truth." 

Similarly, Marie is a Catholic blogger who has dealt with recurrent miscarriage.  One of her recent entries was titled "Why God?" and it has echoed so many of the things I've felt in my heart. 

I told the kids last night that there weren't baby seeds in my tummy anymore, that they had gone to be with Jesus instead.  We're going through the "why" stage now with the twins and, inevitably, a volley of why's followed.  "Why, Momma?"  "Well, Jesus decided He wanted the baby seeds home with Him instead of growing in my tummy."  "Why?"  "Sometimes baby seeds just aren't strong enough to grow for very long.  So Jesus calls them home." "Why?"  And then I had no more answers.

taken from Jen's entry linked earlier

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Some Post Embryo Transfer Thoughts

I argued with God for some time after our transfer.  Why, after I prayed so hard, did only one embryo survive the thaw?  How could He do that do me, to the embryos? 

A stomach bug hit Cora and Bryan that evening (Mac had it the day before) and as I lay in bed that night, my prayers alternated between two topics:  God, why did you let those embryos die?  and, God, please don't let anyone else get sick!

I tossed and turned into the wee hours of the night, fuming at God through my fuzzy headedness.  I would say I argued with God late into the night, but "with" implies give and take.  No, I was arguing at God.

Somewhere in there, the haze cleared.  I heard a somber resounding voice:  Remember, Andrea, those two are with Me now.

My fuming stopped cold.  No argument held water against that.

There's a moment in Pooh's Heffalump movie when Tigger says, "You just can't argue with a word like "fraught"."  That's kind of how I felt.  You just can't argue when God speaks to you.

And then after another hour of dozing, the stomach bug hit me.

God, I know I pray for humility.  I take it back.

This whole trust thing?  Clearly, a work in progress.

A letter to our Snowbabies

I wrote this on April 25, during my weekly holy hour. Though our transfer has come and gone (more on that later), I think these words are still relevant.

Dear little ones,

I pray for a chance to know you.  I'll be honest, the mere possibility of three of you at once is terrifying.  However, I trust in God's plans for all of us, for the making of our family.

"I have loved you, with an everlasting love.  I have called you, and you are mine."  God's words to us, his sheep.  A momma's words to her children.  My words to you.

I want you to live.  To grow, once again.  If you must go meet Jesus before meeting me face to face, please do so within my womb.  Know my love, my respect for your human dignity, for at least a while. 

I pray it be a long while.  That my womb be so hospitable that you take up residence for nine or so months.

While my heart and my mind pray for your life, my soul, I think, asks only for your restoration to human dignity.  Relief from the freezer, from the frozen stasis of fifteen years.

I know the survival odds are not good.  I also have learned, am still learning, that statistics amount to nothing.  No amount of planning can make you live.  God alone decides how many of you will grace my womb.  Grace my arms.  All three of you are already blessed with the love of two sets of parents:  B. and S., and me and your adopted Daddy.

B. and S. loved you enough to recognize their own limitations as parents and sought out help.  In a roundabout way, they found us. 

We love you dearly.

See you soon, little ones.

Friday, May 3, 2013

I want to be a triplet momma

Though I do not show it, I feel things more acutely as a mother.

Back in 2009, in the time "before children", I knew each embryo we adopted was a person.  And yet it's not until now that I can SEE it.

I love these little lives even more because I can see, or at least, better imagine their existence.  Milk coma babies, snoring away - I've seen it.  Sweat tousled hair, arms flung over head in the depths of sleep - I've seen it.  Precocious mud splattered toddlers - I've seen it.  Therefore I can imagine all my adopted embryos this way.

I know now what I hope for, what realities I pray for when I pray for these embryos.  In a way, I may love these new embryos more, only because I love with a mother's affection whereas before I loved in desire to be a mother.  This is not to say that my "before children" affections were lacking, but more that my love "post children" has deepened, grown, and matured.  The growth of my family size has prompted the growth of my heart, of my capacity to love.

I pray that all of our adopted snowbabies may flourish, first through a healthy full term pregnancy, and then through an uneventful birth.  And then in daily life growing ever closer to God.

God alone knows how many of our adopted snowbabies will greet us here on earth.  Five are already in heaven, interceding on behalf of their adopted siblings. 

I cannot and will not envision life with anything less than triplets.    I cannot and will not even allow myself the "hope" that one or two may not make it.  Statistically, that's likely.  Morally and ethically, I am not a good candidate for embryo adoption if I go into it hoping not all survive.

So I pray for life.  For courage and strength (mental, physical, and spiritual).  I pray that I become a triplet Momma, because I can do no less.

Of course, it is only logical that prayers for strength, sanity, good helpers, and courage follow a prayer for triplets.

Lord, you alone know the strengths and concerns in our hearts.  Grant us life and the means to live in grace and with grace.