Monday, December 24, 2018

Prince of Peace: Commander of my Quiet

And yet another year passes.  Time and life are so funny, aren't they?  I can't believe it is already time for me to write my annual Christmas Eve post again.  As is true at the end of every year, I can say that 2018 has come with many surprises, overwhelming blessings, challenges, lessons, and growth.  Even at 34 years old, the Lord still continually teaches me things.  He is faithful to illuminate the truth about Himself as well as the truth about who *I* am in Him...

I usually begin around Thanksgiving thinking about how I will wrap up the year in my Christmas Eve post, and this year was no different.  I began mulling over the year and thinking about what next year will bring.  I considered the two beautiful lives growing in my belly, the handsome little 3 year old who never ceases to make my heart soar, my faithful, nurturing, and protective husband, our family, our church, our friends.  So many things to be thankful and grateful for.  I also considered the ways this year has challenged us.  A year spent without my sweet Mimol in it, the loss of sweet friends and our faithful pup Matilda, the overwhelming heartache of infertility, the marathon challenge of IVF, the work I've done in counseling, the ever present (yet quickly coming to an end in 2019) "loose ends" of medical school, financial challenges, and the inevitable growing pains of "adulting" and parenthood.  Through the final weeks of this year...even while considering all of those things...the Lord has continually given me a word to live by.  He keeps putting it on my heart, in the mouths of those around me, illuminating it in His Word...

That word is PEACE...

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid..." John 14:27

"For to us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.  And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace..." Isaiah 9:6

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world..." John 16:33

"The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace..." Romans 8:6

"If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone..." Romans 12:18

"So then let us do all we can to live in peace and let us work hard to build each other up..." Romans 14:19

Over, and over, and over again...even while these final 5-6 weeks of 2018 have been challenging in so many ways...God has reiterated PEACE.  He has directed me to pursue it...literally RUN AFTER IT.  It is so easy, especially in the world we live in, to get wrapped up in the turmoil of life.  It's easy to let things like stress and grief and anger and uncertainty rule your mind.  It's easy to let your emotions lead your actions and reactions and forget the deep seated and everlasting Wellspring of Peace that exists in all who know Him.  Even in the midst of confusion and uncertainty...HIS PEACE IS CONSTANT.  Even when the world slaps us in the face with things less than desirable...HIS PEACE IS CONSTANT. Even when it feels like everything is falling apart...HIS PEACE IS CONSTANT...

Prince of Peace.  In my world right now, that name for Jesus translates to the Commander of my Quiet.  My safe place.  The person of Jesus Christ, who is alive and well in my life, commands the quiet of my soul, of my mind, of my heart.  He oversees it.  He directs it.  And his entrance into this world as a baby depicts that about His nature...

He didn't come as a ruling, reigning king draped in expensive robes and sitting on a gold encrusted throne.  He didn't come and force everyone to bow to Him.  He came as a helpless baby.  Born to a young mother, a peace seeking father, in a crude stable, without any special treatment.  Why??  He certainly had the power to have incarnated Himself however he chose.  Why did he choose this mode of arrival?  What did He hope to communicate through His birth?

My answer to that question today is that I believe He wanted his entrance to this world to echo PEACE.  To echo QUIET.  To echo SIMPLICITY.  To echo RELATIONSHIP.  To echo STRENGTH IN VULNERABILITY.  "I do not give as the world gives..."  What does this say about his birth?  That He wanted us to SEEK Him.  He wasn't going to come even as Israel was expecting Him to.  He wanted us to pursue His Peace, His Quiet, His Simplicity, a Relationship with Him, and His Strength even in His Vulnerability as a newborn baby.  He provides it as a perfect gift we do not need to earn...however we MUST SEEK IT OUT.  The easy thing to do is to live in AND of this world.  To be ruled by our "flesh".  The hard thing to do...the challenge of our faith...is the pursuit of the Spirit in a world that has forgotten who He is.  Where some don't even recognize that He's walked this earth and already conquered all the darkness within it.  In a world where His final victory is downplayed...mocked even.  It is EASY to operate as though He did not "leave His peace with us".  But what a treasure when we can actively seek and find that Wellspring of Peace...that Daystar...that Ever Present Help in Times of Trouble...

He is faithful.  He is constant.  He doesn't change with the ebb and flow of our circumstances.  He doesn't operate on our plane (thank God!).  He is above all things, beyond all things..BETTER THAN ALL THINGS!  And through His birth, life, death, and resurrection, He has made Himself AVAILABLE to us always.  Reachable.  Relatable.  He knows MY name.  He knows who *I* am.  And He loves me ALWAYS.  Even (and maybe especially) when I don't feel all that lovable.  I am priceless.  Even (and maybe especially) when other people communicate that I'm disposable.  I am royalty.  Even (and maybe especially) when I think I'm not worth the dirt I walk on.  Because I am the daughter of a KING...

A King who came to this earth as a baby, walked this earth as a blameless man, hung on a cross for the sins of this world, and rose again in PERFECTION...all because I MATTERED TO HIM.  *You* mattered to Him too!  You are important, loved, priceless, and worthy of love and sacrifice!

This Christmas, I pray you will PURSUE His Perfect Peace.  Allow Him to Command your Quiet.  Let Him guide you into this New Year with a renewed since of your own worth to Him...

He came as a baby, but He will return as our Conquering King.  Let Him be that Conquering King in your heart, mind, and soul NOW!  Merry Christmas my friends.  JESUS is the reason for the season!


Monday, October 29, 2018

What I Will Teach My Boys...

I hate politics on social media.  Scratch that...I just hate politics in general.  I hate how tragic things in this country happen and immediately the media draws a line in the sand for us to get on one side or the other of an issue.  Are you a Kavanaugh supporter or a Blasey-Ford supporter?  Are you an anti-semetic gun wielding hate-filled Republican or are you a snowflake bleeding heart idiot Democrat?  Are you a racist?  Are you a feminist?  Are you...fill in the blanks...

These things disturb me as a human being trying to navigate this world, but as a Mommy, they disturb me even more.  I am literally scared of what our world is going to look like in a few years when my boys are all in school.  When they're trying to navigate the confusing waters of puberty and budding sexuality and social issues.  When they're trying to find their own identity.  Childhood is hard, but I firmly believe childhood is HARDER for kids these days and it seems it will only get harder for the generations to come.  I worry about the safety of my children at school.  I worry about their delicate psyches in a world that forces them to "identify" themselves as solidly one thing or the other before their little brains are even capable of making long term, life altering/determining decisions like that.  So I'm left pondering how in the world will I protect my sons from getting battered by life without putting them in a bubble and never letting them out of my sight?

First and foremost, Jonathan and I have made the solid and unwavering decision to raise our children in the church.  We grew up in the church ourselves and we have also spent time as a couple and as a young family NOT in a church while we were navigating medical school and clinicals.  A little more than 3 years ago we decided to firmly plant ourselves back in the church again because we knew our baby needed it.  WE needed it!  Our lives look so different now that Christ is solidly at the center again. It warms my heart to hear Greysen saying things like "Mommy Jesus loves me!" and asking questions like "Mommy why did God put babies in your tummy?"  I want his identity FIRST to be rooted in Christ.  I want him to know the truth about who *God* says he is.  I want him to learn to decipher lies from the truth and I want him to know he is loved ALWAYS.  Even beyond the love that Jonathan and I unconditionally supply for him.  I want Greysen and Deacon and Dakota to know that they are valuable and special and IMPORTANT.  I would like to think that if they gain enough of a foundation in those facts, the world won't be able to persuade them otherwise.  But I really do know better.  I know this world is like a hungry lion just waiting to pounce on any insecurity they may have.  Waiting to ridicule any thought they may have that goes outside of the norm...beyond the "hive's" ideology.  But I hope that being surrounded by people who love them and who speak truth and love into their lives will create a "soft landing" for them...

Secondly, Jonathan and I will create that soft landing place here in our home so that our boys will know that whatever risks they take in life, however they choose to tackle life circumstances, there will ALWAYS be a welcoming and non-judgemental place for them to come back to...pass or fail!  I heard something said a few months after Greysen was born by a fellow med student who is much younger than me and Jonathan that has impacted the way I think about parenting.  She said, "My parents always encouraged us to be go-getters.  They always gave us the big thumbs up to pursue the hard stuff.  And I was never afraid to try the difficult challenges because I knew always that no matter what happened, they would be my soft place to land."  Jonathan and I want our boys to feel confident in who they are and to know that no matter their success rate, we will always accept and love them no matter their performance outcome.  They will never have to "earn" our approval.  That's something society dictates...we want our home to be different...

Thirdly, I am a mom of boys.  Three boys...very soon!  Today's society over-sexualizes women...objectifies them.  We whine and complain about sexual assault and sexual harassment, but yet our country keeps things like strip clubs, Hooters, and Twin Peaks in business with women who willingly subject themselves to savage, inappropriate men simply because they can earn a buck that way.  And men in our society cry big old crocodile tears when they get called on the table about their bad behavior.  Women objectify men too.  My own husband has been victim a of a persistently sexually aggressive woman who knew he was married and viewed that as a challenge to overcome.  She spoke to him and exploited herself in the world's most disgusting manner just to try desperately and unapologetically (and thankfully unsuccessfully) to turn his head.  So my perspective on sexual harassment and this idea that men are these savage beasts who can't keep their hands to themselves really rings my bell.  Because it's not true.  The door swings both ways.  So what will I teach my boys?  Women are strong AND vulnerable all at the same time.  They are delicate and a force to be reckoned with simultaneously.  They are not a conquest.  They are not a social or sexual experiment.  They are special and beautiful and their vulnerabilities are to be celebrated AND protected. 

I will teach my boys that loving a woman starts first in your heart.  Love for a woman starts first with loving who she is.  Not what she's wearing or her body style.  Love for a woman and intrigue about her should first be about what she conceals rather than what she reveals.  Women who strut around wearing next to nothing who parade their sexuality and their bodies around as "things to be sought after"...those may not be the women to pursue.  A woman's mind...her heart...those are the things to be attracted to.  I will teach them to respect ALL women.  I will also teach them to respect THEMSELVES enough to literally RUN from women who are exploitative and looking to take advantage of them.  I will teach them NEVER to be the savage men who can't keep their hands to themselves.  Jonathan and I will teach them what a loving and supportive marriage looks like.  We will SHOW them what a woman's respect for a man and a man's respect for a woman look like and how they compliment each other.  We will teach them that a marriage is a relationship between two DIFFERENT people who support and love each other EQUALLY.  Really any healthy relationship can be described like that.  I want our boys to know how to successfully form real relationships with people that don't leave them feeling less important than they are...

So no big deal right?  Just parenting three boys in a society that is confusing and scary.  But man...my life's work as a mother will be to instill these things and SO many more into my boys.  Constantly and for the rest of my life.  Even when they have families of their own!  The picture I have in my head of the future of our family is our boys in loving, committed relationships with people who we love and who love our family.  I want our home to always be warm and accepting and full of joy.  I want there to be no question about our faith and the God we serve.  Even though life will inevitably continue to be difficult...hurt and loss are not things we are immune to...I want my children to know that there is a constant both in our Heavenly Father and in the home that Jonathan and I have built...


Saturday, October 6, 2018

What's in a Name?

We found out yesterday that the two little snugglers in my belly are both BOYS!!  I was shocked...I could have SWORN at least one of them was a girl...but I am THRILLED to death!  I really wanted them to be same sex twins, so I got my wish.  They are already SO unique!  Their profiles look totally different.  Deacon Paul looks like a carbon copy of Greysen.  Dakota Mitchell looks more like Jonathan in his profile.  Deacon is super wiggly and a bit of an exhibitionist ;), and Dakota is more subdued and likes to find the perfect snuggle spot and stay put.  Deacon is the smaller of the two by about a centimeter, and Dakota likes to stretch out his whole body when he reclines.  Two precious boys with two different body styles and two different personalities!

We chose their names separately.  Deacon Paul has been in our name arsenal since just after Greysen was born.  Dakota Mitchell we chose just a few months ago when we decided we definitely needed two boy names on deck in case they were both boys.  Glad we did!  So how did we come up with Deacon Paul and Dakota Mitchell?  They each have special stories:


Dakota Mitchell has a fun story.  We have had the hardest time arriving at boy names that we like.  We've kicked around SO many names for a LONG time, but every time we arrive at the "right" one, it's always an immediately unanimous decision.  So we knew we wanted to use Mitchell as the middle name for our third boy name.  Our "tradition" is to give our kids middle names with family ties.  Greysen's middle name is Neil which is Jonathan's middle name, and Jonathan's great grandfather's middle name.  The name Mitchell is my sweet Mimol's maiden name.  So we knew we had to use that one!  Dakota was a name that was nowhere on our radar.  But when we needed another boy name on deck, we decided to take some inspiration from aviation.  My dad is a single engine pilot and the plane he flies is a Piper Saratoga.  So we decided to cull through the names of Piper aircrafts to see if any of them, past or present, would be a cool baby name.  We obviously didn't get far.  When we scrolled through the D's and saw Dakota, that was a done deal.  Dakota Mitchell Womack.  Pure perfection...


Deacon has been a name we've liked for a long time.  Once Greysen was here, we both said "If we ever have another little boy that looks anything like Greysen, he could totally be a Deacon."  Both of our dads and all of our grandfathers were/are deacons in the church,  and Jonathan will be officially ordained as a deacon this fall!  So we felt like Deacon was a beautiful little tribute to the men in our lives and the men our Deacon will look up to!  Such a special heritage.  Paul is my father's middle name and his father's middle name.  We've known for a while that we wanted to use Paul somewhere in our name mix.  We felt like Paul was the perfect compliment to Deacon. Carrying on that beautiful patriarchal heritage with a name that gives a nod to so many generations of men in our lives! 

These little boys are SO loved already.  There is LOTS to do to prepare for their arrival, but I can't help but start dreaming of snuggling them and watching them grow up and seeing Greysen be their big brother.  He's SO excited about his brothers!  Our cups and our hearts run over with gratitude.  How in the world did we get so lucky???  THREE handsome boys.  I'm a boy mom though and through and I am thrilled to death to have that title...

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Embrace the Chaos!

This week I've already begun feeling movement from our little miracles!  This being my second pregnancy, I now know what those first little baby flutters feel like.  But with two angels swimming around in there, their movements have been unmistakeable WAY earlier than I thought they would be.  They are no more than about an inch and a half from the top of their head to their bottoms right now (sooooo teeny!), but when I feel them move I'm reminded quickly that there are definitely TWO in there.  It's as though Baby A does some wiggling, and then Baby B wakes up and kicks back! 😂 I can feel their movements in two very different places in my lower belly...unmistakably two different babies!

The reality of the fact that they are truly two different people is slowly beginning to settle into my mind.  I panicked a little at our first ultrasound when Baby A had a heart rate of 142 and was measuring right on target, and Baby B had a heart rate of 137 and was measuring about 2 days behind.  I worried about that constantly until I saw them at 9 weeks and realized that they are two different people completely!  They won't measure the exact same, their heart rates will be different...they have different hearts!  And at 9 weeks, Baby A was wiggling up a storm...such a sassafras!  Baby B gave us a little movement and a good shot at that beautiful strong beating heart, and then rolled over away from the scan...almost as if to say "Look y'all...I'm here, I'm good, but this other baby has been kicking me all morning and I need a nap..."  Ha!  They are their own little people...unique personalities!

It's such a trip to have these little realizations through this pregnancy.  I'm certain realities like this will continue rolling in throughout the next 24-25 weeks that I'm carrying them...they'll likely continue indefinitely!  After I had Greysen I had begun making my "when I do this again I'm going to..." list.  SO funny how God has been like "Oh Rachel...you had no idea what I was doing then, and you can't predict it now!"  He's got such a sense of humor!  Everything about this pregnancy and these babies is unpredictable...totally unprecedented for me and for us.  A friend of mine who is a mommy of 1 year old twins herself told me this week, "The best wisdom I can give you about twins is just to roll with it.  Embrace the chaos!"  I'd say the last 12 years of our lives has fairly well prepared us to embrace chaos!!  We've been given (or will be given) all the tools we need to handle the crazy chaos that is bringing two DIFFERENT people into the world at the same exact time.  I can't wait to watch these two little ones grow and become even more unique and special...


Friday, August 24, 2018

Lavish Love...

Many of you know that Wednesday of this week we got the most incredible news in the world...we are expecting TWINS!!!  As a little girl I dreamed about how cool it would be to have twins one day.  I even envied the girls in my home-ec class in middle school who drew "twins" for our "2-liter bottle baby project".  The concept has always enchanted me.  Getting that positive pregnancy test after a year and a half of infertility and a devastating miscarriage last year was dizzying.  But then Wednesday, when Dr. Hansen scanned over and I saw those two little gestational sacs for the first time...I lost it completely.  I cried like a baby!  TWO little lives, TWO beautiful little heartbeats, TWO Womack babies growing, growing, growing in my belly!

Laying on the table on the day of the embryo transfer a month ago, there was SO much anxiety about whether transferring two was the right thing to do.  We had beautifully perfect embryos that both had a REALLY great chance of continuing into a successful pregnancy.  That was reassuring enough to possibly be convinced to transfer only one of them.  But then the reality that we transferred 2 embryos with Greysen and ended up with a singleton pregnancy threw a wrench in that decision.  I wouldn't change a thing about the process with Greysen.  However, I couldn't shake the idea that I might regret transferring only one if it didn't end in a pregnancy.  My doctor agreed that we needed to make the decision we felt the most peace about.  And even though transferring both of these little magic beans meant that we had a 56% chance (or higher) that they would result in a twin pregnancy, we felt peaceful about our decision...

And now seeing the two of them snuggled up next to each other in my womb...their two little hearts beating nearly in unison...I KNOW we made the right choice!  I know these two angels were supposed to stay together.  I know they were destined to be each other's "womb-mates".  While we definitely don't have any idea how tough two newborns are going to be when they get here, we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are ready for this challenge in our lives!

You should know, also, that the timing of this pregnancy is uncanny.  A little more than a year ago was the last time I got to see my sweet Mimol on this side of Heaven.  On that same day that I had to leave, I also got to tell her that we were pregnant!  She was beside herself excited about that!  She asked me (still fearing the inevitable) "Rachel...am I ever going to get to hold this baby?"  I told her (trying to ease some of her anxiety) "Of course Mimol!"  I didn't know then how true that statement was.  We lost my grandmother less than a week later, and then 2 weeks after that we lost our baby.  On ultrasound, we saw no heartbeat and it was clear our sweet baby had passed about 2-3 weeks before that scan.  She left us at almost the exact moment that Mimol left us...

But would you believe that Wednesday was the anniversary of my Mimol's passing? A day that could have been filled with overwhelming sadness was filled with the overwhelming JOY of these beautiful TWINS thriving and living and growing.  Would you also believe that the official due date of these babies is April 9th?  That's the exact due date of our sweet Soutine that we lost last year.  God didn't just deliver, He LAVISHLY poured His love and redemption over all of us...He still is.  He is just showing off at this point!  Reminding us, through those two beautiful strong 7 week old heartbeats, that He is still in the business of miracles.  Reminding us that He doesn't just "give"...He LAVISHLY GIVES.  He can do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine.  Our twins are a PRIME example of the dizzying over the top love that our GREAT GOD pours out on us...

To our sweet miracle TWINS...I said it weeks ago and I'll say it again...the best is yet to come my loves!!


Thursday, July 19, 2018

A Little Embryonic Education

So here we are...48 hours into our fertilization process!  I should be hearing from our nurse here in a few hours.  She will tell me how many of our FOURTEEN embryos are continuing to grow and mature, what their "grades" are, and when our transfer will be scheduled.  As we have been going through this process, I've been so honored to offer a little education on this process.  SO many people have no idea what IVF entails, so I'm happy to be the sounding board and offer a little insight.  As our egg retrieval and subsequent fertilized embryos have become a reality, I've had LOTS of questions about what it all means.  So I thought I would do a quick Q&A with y'all to give you a little more information and help you understand what all of this crazy IVF talk means:

So they retrieved 20 eggs??  Does that mean you'll have 20 babies??

Ha!  Definitely not.  To give you some perspective, when we did this process with Greysen they retrieved 11 eggs.  Of those 11, 9 were fully mature.  Of the 9 fully mature eggs, 7 were successfully fertilized.  Of the 7 successfully fertilized, 3 were viable embryos.  1 of those embryos was a strongly graded one (I'll talk about the grading here shortly), and the other two were "marginal".  We transferred 2 embryos, and ended up with our sweet baby Greysen! We froze the remaining embryo.  So this time, we had a shocking 20 eggs retrieved, and 15 of those 20 were fully mature.  Of the 15 fully mature, 14 of them fertilized successfully (which is a CRAZY amazing result!).  Today I will find out how many we have that are viable, but more than likely we are probably looking at around half of the fertilized eggs will go on to be "gradeable" viable embryos...

Why didn't you use your frozen embryo?

The technology has changed SO much in the last 4 years since we did this and got pregnant with Greysen.  4 years ago, the freezing technology wasn't what it is today.  So our little embryo was a marginal embryo (B/B-, 3/5) and it was frozen with old technology.  Our doctor agreed that our best chance for success was with a fresh transfer.  Eventually, that little frozen embryo WILL be transferred if it survives the thawing process, but for now, at my age, it made more sense to go ahead with another fresh transfer for the best chances of success...

Are you going to have multiples??  Quadruplets??

The chances of a multiple pregnancy *are* higher with an IVF pregnancy than with a natural pregnancy.  However, my doctor and the practice at OU is VERY ethical and they rarely transfer more than 2 embryos at a time unless there is documentable reason to.  Dr. Hansen is an incredibly ethical doctor, so you will never hear of an "octomom" coming from his practice.  As a matter of fact, I think there are less than 10 total women who have gone on to have 3 or more babies at a time at the OU practice...ever.  The only way I would end up with 4 babies at once would be if each of my 2 embryos split into two sets of identical twins.  That is VERY unlikely. The chance of twins in a natural pregnancy is about 3%.  With an IVF pregnancy it's about 32%.  So...much higher, but still not more likely than a singleton pregnancy.  In all likelihood, we will end up with a single baby even if we transfer 2 embryos...

What do they mean by a "non-viable" embryo?

This is an answer I have been DYING to give.  Coming from the perspective of a woman who has suffered 2 miscarriages and had YEARS of trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant, I think SO many people don't understand what the process of "getting pregnant" entails.  Did you know that in any given cycle, it's possible for your released egg to fertilize and still not result in a pregnancy?  You might never know you had a fertilized egg because you'd go on to have a normal period.  A home pregnancy test is only going to show up positive once the egg has implanted and hCG is present in your system.  So no, not every fertilized egg goes on to become a viable embryo.  Sometimes they fertilize and then they stop growing.  That is a normal, natural process both in IVF AND in natural cycles.  Don't panic...

What do you mean by "embryo grading"?

Each embryo is graded on it's propensity for continued growth and it's uniformity (which is a way to evaluate its viability).  Embryos are transferred on either day 3 or day 5 after fertilization.  So check out this picture of our two embryos that we transferred last time:


You can see, somewhat, that there are small divisions within each of the eggs.  The more uniform the divisions, the stronger the embryo is graded.  Can you tell which of these two is graded higher?  The top one is the A/A-, 4/5 embryo, and the bottom is the B/B-, 3/5 embryo.  The top one is more uniform and symmetrical.  It had the highest propensity for continued growth, and more than likely was the embryo that resulted in our Greysen!  Did you know that embryos actually hatch??  They do!  You can clearly see the shells on these two embryos.  On day 5-6 they actually hatch and that's when they burrow into the uterine wall and become a true pregnancy.  A perfect embryo is an A+/A+, 5/5.  There are hardly ever embryos graded that high.  Most viable embryos have at least one A in the letter grade, and at least a 4/5 on the number grade.

What happens to the ones that are graded poorly?  

They watch our little embabies like a hawk, so they do not discard any embryo that has even the tiniest chance of continuing on into a normal pregnancy.  They don't make final decisions on viability until A) the embryo actually stops growing, or 2) after 7-8 days of growing they aren't dividing and maturing normally or have considerably slowed down.  These embryologists know what they're doing!  They take a whole lot of pride in cultivating normal, viable embryos.  They are emotionally invested in their success!  They take it hard when seemingly normal embryos don't continue growing.  While there is LOTS of science to this, these scientists are invested in this process and they want to see these little embabies succeed as much as we do...

What if you decide not to use all your embryos?  Where do they go?

We have to fill out paperwork before we even start this process that is like 20+ pages of consents.  Right now today, we are saying that however many viable embryos we have, we will be transferring at some point.  Of course, life happens and that could change.  In the event that we come to the end of our child bearing time and we still have frozen embryos, we have decided to adopt them out to couples who need them.  I don't anticipate that will be our end result, however we have thought and prayed a lot about that scenario and that is where we feel the most peace.  Of course, there are a lot of factors involved in that decision.  We do not take lightly at ALL that these little embryos are little lives.  They are not "discardable" to us.  They are OURS!  So trust that we will never make rash decisions about the lives of our embryos...

And as an end note, don't believe everything you read on the internet about IVF or fertility treatments.  While there *are* women out there who seek out doctors who will "pump them full of babies" because they want the publicity, that's not the majority of us.  Dr. Hansen, as I said before, is an incredibly ethical man.  He would never knowingly put me and my children at risk.  He has my best interest at heart and he has the lives of my future babies in the forefront of his mind.  Me and my babies are his top priority.  He is not interested in the fame!  Our end goal here is healthy babies and humane treatment of them from the absolute outset.  I know for a fact that OU has that same goal in mind.  That's why we are their patients!

In conclusion, if you have questions...PLEASE ASK!  I would rather you ask a seemingly "awkward" question rather than assume something incorrect or just go on not understanding.  I don't mind answering questions at all!  I hope some of these answers clear up at least some of your confusion if you had any...




Monday, July 16, 2018

To My Littlest Little Ones...

My Sweet Little Embabies,

Tonight I lay my head down for the last time before you exist in this world.  Tomorrow...everything changes, my loves. Tomorrow, life will be breathed into you.  I have watched my body grow and change this week creating vital parts of YOU.  We have counted eggs and measured follicles for 9 days now...knowing that ultimately, those eggs and follicles could potentially contain 50% of one of YOU!

We are SO extremely excited to hear of your growth.  How I wish I could see you grow and change minute by minute!  For now, though, I will trust your care and your progress to the expert embryologists.  The guys in the lab who know exactly what they're doing.  I know they will take excellent care of you until you and I can connect and the responsibility of guarding your life and caring for your little growing self can be my responsibility.  How I LONG for that responsibility!  How we have prayed for you, our sweet little miracle angels.  You have such a huge army of people rooting for you...praying for your arrival!  We hope and pray that one day soon we will get to introduce you to at least some of the mighty prayer warriors that have been lifting you up for months now!

I have no way of knowing how tomorrow will go.  I don't know how many of you there will be...how you will grow...what you will be like.  But I know each of you will be beautifully unique, and I can't help but hope with every ounce of my being that I will get to hold and know you here on earth.  But no matter what happens tomorrow...I want you to know how much you are LOVED.  How you are cherished, our sweet little babies.  You have a Mommy and a Daddy who are invested wholeheartedly in YOU and we have been since before we even knew each other.  We love you so much that we couldn't possibly put it into words.  Just the thought of your sweet perfection is overwhelmingly exciting...

So grow, grow, grow my little miracles.  I am SO ready to know each of you!

See you Soon!
Mommy