POWER OF PRAYER

This past Sunday I went with my infertility Bible Study to be anointed with oil and be prayed over. We did this primarily for the girls who wished to conceive, but others were prayed over for various reasons, such as me in regards to the mission trip I will go on. Eight years ago, a group prayed over 15 women who were prayed for regarding children, I was not one of them, but I did live in Knoxville. So I am not sure why I did not go, but out of the fifteen, eleven gave birth and the other four adopted. Wow, what results!

I believe the power of prayer is more powerful than we can imagine. I know that when I was prayed over I felt such peace, that I cannot describe. I also felt that way when I was pregnant even through such stressful times. So many different people prayed for me as well as the NEDC every morning. I cannot express how very important that was to me.

After my transfer, with the twins, I was waiting to see if I was indeed pregnant or not. I made a prayer box. I wrapped a shoe box in baby paper and put two bows on it, a pink one and a green one. Little did I know the meaning of those bows God had led me to put on it. In the box I put my own prayers, but also any e-mails or cards I got that people would send to me to let me know they were praying for me. I even got some from people I have never met. I pray that this will be a powerful testimony to the twins as they get older.

ALL THE RIGHT MOVES

Grant has had an eventful week. We are officially declaring him mobile as he has figured out forward motion on his belly. I knew it was coming. He figured out how to get to his belly from a seated position and once he made it to his belly, he started getting up on his knees and rocking. He gave up on moving on his knees when he realized he could just pull his body forward with his arms. He grunts with each pull, but can get across the room in very little time now. One of his first stops this weekend was to an electrical outlet. Thankfully, it’s been covered since our adoption home study visit over two years ago. After that, he made a break for the dog bowl. Time for baby cages, I mean baby gates.

From Maria, we sense frustration as she sees him now freely getting around. I suspect she’ll be on the move in short order, but wouldn’t be surprised if it’s in the form of a seated scoot. While seated, she spins herself in circles moving to different toys or just to get a different view. If she figures out that she can use the leg that spins her around to also move her forward, she’ll be on the move too.

Not only is Grant on the move, he finally has a tooth. Well, right now, it’s just the tip, but we were starting to wonder if he was ever going to get teeth. I know we’re from Kentucky, but we generally start out with a full set. For all his drooling, he finally has something to show for it. If we could convert his drool to fuel, we’d no longer have to rely upon foreign oil. Now that he’s started, we’re curious to see how fast he pops his other teeth and he better go fast if he wants to catch up to Maria’s six. He’s taking it all in stride. Between his amber necklace and Hyland’s homeopathic teething gel, he hasn’t been too fussy about it, which is nice.

New teeth and new moves are making the Wilson house that much more fun and interesting. With a birthday just around the corner, I know that more milestones are in store. Hope Jer and I can keep up!

GET REAL

“What is wrong with you?!?” This was the exclamation that Jeremy heard from the kitchen as I attempted to feed Grant and Maria lunch last weekend. Between the head shaking, raspberries, food throwing and general shenanigans, lunch was going anywhere but in their bellies. Jeremy has declared my cry of frustration his favorite quote from me on motherhood and laughed about it all week.

Let’s be real, sometimes being a parent stinks. Those who portray only this Pollyannic hearts and flowers view on parenthood are not being real. Some days, we just don’t want to do it and some days, we don’t think we can do it. In no way am I trying to be insensitive to those who have yet been able to have children. Despite the frustration they cause, I would not, on most days, trade them. But for those who think it’s only going to be fun and easy, you might want to get a cat or a dog instead.

THE HARD WALK

This past week during the Bible study I attend we were talking about how hard it is going through infertility. Most of the women in the group have been down that road, but not all of them. One that had not experienced it is just now dealing with it. She said she always sympathized, but had no idea what it was like. This is her first month and is wondering how some of us went though it for so many years.

One reason I think infertility is so difficult to handle is because we do not have any control over the outcome. Patients can do things to increase the statistics, but in the end God is still in control no matter how good or not so good the statistics are. That can be hard to accept.

I was drawn to embryo adoption in part due to the NEDC’s statistics. In my first attempt I was matched with an open donor and I chose a closed donor for my backup. The back-up embryos I picked out based on the quality of the embryo, nothing more or less. The sperm and egg both came from college age donors without prior infertility medical history. In theory they should have been excellent embryos. Because my open donor embryos did not make the thawing out process, I did end up with the closed donor embryos. I got pregnant had great numbers, but then ended up with a “chemical” pregnancy. Even though I thought everything was going well God thought differently.

The next time around I did not choose the embryos; I just agreed to take them when they were presented to me. The embryos were still of great quality, but the Cassidy embryos were not from young people without any infertility medical issue. The Cassidy embryos were good quality embryos, but the others should have been better. Therefore, if other embryos did not work, why would these?

Going through the process the second time around was much more difficult, since I thought I had done everything “right” the first time and did not get the results I wanted. This showed me that God is always in control and even when something tragic happens, like not carrying to term, that His plan is always better. It is taking the leap of faith when things have gone terribly wrong before that we really experience what trusting God is all about.

It would have been so much easier for me to say, no I do not want to go through embryo adoption again, I am DONE! But I have realized that doing what is easy is not always what is right. As I get ready to go on my trip to Haiti, I am a bit overwhelmed with so many fund raising events and trying to be a mother as well. It would be so much easier for me to say, no this is just too much for me and not a good time. Looking at my house right now, this is what I would like to do since I have clothes in every corner. I’m getting ready for another child consignment sale that I will take the proceeds from to help fund my trip. This is my second one this month as well as a formal wear sale. I feel a bit weary like I did at times during my infertility journey. I do not know if all my hard work will be enough to fund my trip or not, but I have faith that it will. Just as I discovered in my infertility journey, taking the easy way out and giving up would have left Natalie and Julian still frozen in time and if I give up now who knows how many people will not receive the gift of eternal life.

DONE?

I was catching up on blogs the other day and learned that one couple found out that their twins are a boy and a girl. Of course, I think boy/girl twins are pretty fun and was excited about their news. Jeremy and I laughed, though, as we talked about one frequent comment we get when people learn we have a boy and a girl. “Oh, so then you are done.” Thank you for making that very personal decision for us. We appreciate it.

Honestly, the thought never crossed my mind that because we have a boy and a girl that our family is finished. I always pictured myself with boys and hoped that I had at least one boy. Now, this is not to offend Maria, I just thought of myself as a boy mom. When we found out at 17 weeks that we for sure had a boy cooking, I was very happy. We were pretty sure Baby B was a girl, but she was refusing to fully cooperate and show us her goods (which is a trait we hope she possesses as she gets older). I know I would have loved two girls as I would have loved two boys, and as I love one of each. But I doubt people would automatically assume our family is finished growing if we had boy/boy or girl/girl twins.

When we get the comment about our family being finished, I generally laugh and make some comment about being efficient right out of the gate, or shrug my shoulders and say “who knows?” One thing is for certain, God knows and if more children are in our future, it’ll happen according to His plan. After all, it’s worked out pretty awesome so far.

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ANSWERED PRAYERS

On Monday I took Natalie and Julian to the ears, nose and throat doctor so that Natalie could have her hearing test and they could make sure Julian’s ears were clear before the APR hearing test that was scheduled for Wednesday. Tracy, from Healthy Families met me there so I could have some help. Before, we went in I prayed with the twins in the car for a successful appointment. I also told them that if they did what the doctors asked then we would go to the mall for lunch and a cookie!

While Natalie was getting her hearing tested, I was telling the audiologist (a different one than did JK’s) about how Julian was having the APR test on Wednesday and how I was very concerned about if it was really necessary. She told me she would look over his file and would test him again. I am happy to report that Natalie passed the entire hearing tests and she behaved so well the doctor told me that I really needed to praise her!
After reviewing Julian’s chart she agreed to test Julian again. She then warned me that if he failed again that he did really need the APR test, which he would have to be sedated to receive. She then told me that 5-8% of children fail the test Julian had taken due to having tubes in their ears, which Julian has. This was not told to me even though I have called twice to question the legitimacy of the test! Wonderful news, Julian passed his entire hearing tests. She even did the test twice in his left ear, which he had failed previously. They did a few more in-depth tests and then declared that he would not have to have the test on Wednesday!

This is wonderful news, but I am also a bit frustrated. If I had not challenged this test and asked questions not once, but on three different occasions, then the unneeded test would have been done. If Natalie would not have had the appointment and have refused to do the test the first time around, the test most likely would not have been canceled. Not only would that have been very costly for Brian and me, but Julian would have been sedated and tested unnecessarily.

If you think your child has hearing problems, then of course all these tests should be done and if he had failed many times then I would not have been as upset. But I felt he needed to be tested again before such an invasive action to be taken. This experience tells me to always go with my instincts and to keep asking questions and keep asking until I feel comfortable with what is going on. Thanks be to God for taking care of us and giving me wisdom to keep probing.

IT’S ALL HOW YOU LOOK AT IT

Yesterday I was sitting at a stop light, and I noticed a truck at the intersection waiting to turn onto the road I was traveling. In big letters the side panel said “NEDC”. Of course it got my attention because to me NEDC stands for National Embryo Donation Center. In this instance, NEDC stood for New England Door Closers. As I proceeded on my way, I had the following thought:

It is ironic not only that I had spotted the truck (I never heard of this company prior to this) but that part of their company name is Door Closers. To me as well as to many others, NEDC (as we refer to National Embryo Donation Center) is a Door Opener. For a few years before Jim and I actually contacted them, we were unsure what we would do with the remaining embryos we had. We just kept paying to store them for the time being, but we knew we couldn’t do that indefinitely. I had never heard of NEDC until I contacted my infertility doctor’s office to see what my options were. Once I contacted them, I realized this was the answer to our question, hence a door opening. I’m sure this must be how many couples feel when they hear of embryo adoption as an option which is possibly available to them, or in other words, an answer for their struggles with infertility.

I never could have imagined the lasting impact this one important decision would have on our lives. At the time, I felt the most important thing was that both Jim and I were ready to say yes, our family was complete, and we were in fact ready and willing to help another couple to complete theirs. The next hurdle was to be matched with another family. Who could have ever imagined all the “prizes” waiting behind the “door” we selected. Once this door was opened to us, we knew we had made the right choice by choosing to donate.

I guess what they say about opportunity is true, when one door closes, another one opens.