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


Thursday, July 12, 2018

Something Beautiful...

Tonight I took my regular 3 shots in the belly.  Right now we are holding at 150 iu of Follistim and the regular 1 ampule of Menopur and 5 iu of Lupron.  Tomorrow we go in for what *might* be our last monitoring appointment.  Depending on how my follicular count looks, we may have one more appointment scheduled this weekend.  But we will most likely take our trigger shot either Sunday night or Monday night to do our retrieval Monday or Tuesday morning.  Eek!!

This week has FLOWN by...I knew it would...but I've tried to take some time to kind of soak it all in.  I've let myself take naps when I would otherwise just push through.  I've made myself stop working at 9:00 when I take these shots and I spend a few minutes in my glider after I take them just to woosah for a minute.  Greysen has taken to "helping Daddy" give Mommy shots.  We give him a little empty syringe plunger without the sharp.  He wipes an alcohol wipe on my belly and says "Right here Mommy?" and then he says "It make noise again Mommy, but you feel better."  Then he pats the place he gave me a "shot".  It is not lost on me what a beautiful picture that is.  My little living, breathing miracle playing a role in this process.  His little tiny fingers gently caring for me, and his tender little heart being concerned about me.  I saw him when his entire "self" could fit on the head of a pin.  And now here he is being a part of every step of the same process that brought him to us.   It's really just...beautiful...

Tonight I got to looking at my lower belly where I've been getting at least one injection a night for 3 weeks now.  There are little "poke holes" in my belly and some tiny little bruises.  That's to be expected in a process like this.  My body kind of goes through the gauntlet on the way to a hopeful pregnancy.  It's worth every stick and every discomfort, though, and I would do this 10 times if it meant I could have a miracle even half as incredible as my Greysen is.  But tonight I noticed that those expected "poke holes" are interspersed among my tiny little stretch marks from pregnancy.  Evidence of the beautiful life I carried in my belly for 37 1/2 weeks.  Evidence that this process has worked.  Evidence that God has been faithful.  It was a little reminder that there is more to this than a few uncomfortable pokes and procedures for a few weeks.  It was a beautifully poignant picture of my strength and my vulnerability all intermingled together.  The body is incredible.  The things that God designed it to do are just awe inspiring.  And I am not at all unaware of what a GIFT it is that I get to see this process step by tiny step.  While there was a time that I felt resentful of the fact that we were going to have to go through this process again if we wanted to further grow our family, tonight I was reminded what a true BLESSING that is.  I can tell my babies that I saw them when they were so microscopic you couldn't see them without a specialized microscope.  I knew the MINUTE they were embryos and I saw the EXACT MOMENT that they were placed inside my body.  It's miraculous y'all...no way around it.  It's truly something beautiful...



Thursday, July 5, 2018

This Strange Peace...

About this time 4 years ago, we were right at the beginning of this IVF process for the very first time.  I remember feeling anxious and nervous and excited.  Every time I thought about the "next step" I would get a major adrenaline rush followed by a jittery excitement.  The process consumed my life and my thoughts and my time.  That's not to say that peace wasn't being prayed for by me and on my behalf.  That's not to say I wasn't hyper aware of God's presence and His provisions then.  But there was most definitely a different emotional vibe to that first process than there is this time around...

And I frequently find myself thinking, "Ok...how should I feel about the fact that I'm NOT constantly worrying or fretting or getting those adrenaline rushes all the time?"  It's as though my heart and soul are at complete serenity about this process, but my mind keeps second guessing this strange peace I feel.  My mind says "Maybe you feel this way because it's not going to work"...and then my heart says "Nope Rach...don't go there."  I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that no matter what happens with this cycle...even if it DOESN'T end in the pregnancy we are hoping and dreaming and praying for...I know I can trust my God.  I can trust Him to be the Master of the details and I can just be the beloved daughter of the King of the World...

When I close my eyes and picture what my relationship with my Lord would look like if He were living and breathing and physically here on this earth with me, I picture His mighty arm looped through mine.  I hear Him saying, "We got this girl.  Come on!".  I feel His unfailing strength and love and provision and I KNOW He has an incredible plan that is only just now beginning to unfold.  I know He is near.  So close, in fact, that He is speaking audibly to me through His Word and through my "tribe" of people. Through YOU!  Many of you probably have no idea, but on a daily basis I hear from at least one of you  about this IVF process and your words are a sweet balm to my heart a soul.  They are a reminder that my God and Savior loves me, He is present, and HE CARES!  I haven't even had a moment to fret about the "what ifs" because He keeps providing those frequent oases through your words of love and encouragement.  Goodness how He loves me and how precious my sweet relationships with YOU are!  My cup runs over...

So as we barrel right into this weekend and this next week of monitoring, I feel peace and serenity.  At my core, I feel a complete composed calmness about this cycle.  I am praying that that serenity translates to beautiful and healthy Womack Embabies.  And of course we pray fervently...we plead...that we would have the great privilege of holding and raising and KNOWING at least one of those sweet embabies on this earth.  But no matter what, I trust my God completely.  He will never leave me or forsake me.  He has a plan to prosper me and not to harm me.  He intends to answer my prayers and fulfill the desires of my heart.  And I KNOW He wants the absolute best life has to offer us.  So I'm resting on His promises, His provisions, and His wholly REAL presence...

Wait with us.  Pray with us.  Hope with us!






Saturday, June 30, 2018

It's GO TIME!

Ok, so somehow it's the first of July!  Where in the heck the month of June went, I don't know.  I've been on Lupron and birth control for the last week.  This morning I took my last birth control pill of this process (this rounds out the 6th week of taking those darn things).  The Lupron shots haven't been bad.  It's basically the equivalent of an insulin needle and the medicine doesn't sting like some of the others do.  But man, my life looks SO different this time than the last time we did this!  I don't remember feeling so run down and hormonally emotional this early in the process the first time around, but I also hadn't been through what I've been through these last 4 years and I didn't have a 3 year old to chase around!  So if you see me zoning out when you see me, just know I'm loopy from Lupron... ;)

July promises to be a major rollercoaster for us.  So far I've been really good about keeping myself just busy enough and being purposeful about keeping my mind and heart and adrenaline in a zen place. You all have been SO helpful in that!  I am so grateful for the texts and notes and messages encouraging and reminding me of the army we have behind us.  Next week I'm looking forward to LOTS of girl time with so many of my ladies and I just know that's God's provision in the midst of this ever more stressful process.  The closer we get, the more scary it gets.  But I'm so happy that God is answering prayers big and small along the way.  He is making His presence and His provisions so real and tangible right now and I know so much of that has to do with the prayers you all have lifted for us and with us.  He is "showing up" for us just as He always does and my cup runs over!

So what does July look like for us?  Here's our official timeline:

Monday July 2nd: Baseline ultrasound and blood work at OU.  This is where they check to make sure the birth control and Lupron have been doing their job and I'm not moving toward ovulation.  If I am, it would mean my body is muscling through THREE hormone therapies meant to suppress that process.  Not likely, but possible.  That's why they ultrasound!  Today is also the day we cut the "big check". That part is always a little nerve wracking, but also SO relieving once it's done!

Saturday July 7th: This is our official "start date". What does that mean?  That means I reduce the Lupron to 5 iu, and I add Follistim and Menopur to the nightly regimen.  That's right, three shots in the belly daily for about 10 days.  My Follistim dosage will change as the process progresses and my estrogen level changes and my ovarian follicles begin developing.

Monday July 9th, Wednesday July 11th, and Friday July 13th: These are the appointments I go to every other day to get blood work and ultrasound to see how my ovaries are responding to the hormone therapy.  Dr. Hansen will adjust my stim drugs accordingly at each of these appointments to keep my ovaries working on overtime, but also keeping me from overstimulating (which is NOT a good thing).

Monday July 16th: I may or may not have an appointment this day, but I will likely find out on this day when our retrieval will be...

Tuesday July 17th, Wednesday July 18th, or Thursday July 19th: These are possible retrieval dates.  On whichever of these dates Dr. Hansen chooses, I will go in early in the morning and be put under general anesthesia while they go in and aspirate the fluid (and hopefully the mature eggs!) from each of my follicles.  Last time we had about 20 mature follicles that contained 11 mature eggs.  This time we are hoping for a few more (maybe in the 25 follicles, 15 mature eggs range, so you can pray for those numbers specifically!).  Then I sleep off the anesthesia!

From there we wait to hear how our embabies are growing!  About 24 hours after retrieval I should get a call from my nurse Connie to tell me what we've got and to begin speculating about possible transfer dates.  This is all dependent on the retrieval date and the strength of the embryos...

Things you can pray for:
1) My state of mind and heart in the next 2 weeks!
2) Quiet ovaries on Monday!
3) My body's great response to stimulation therapy!
4) 25 follicles and 15 eggs!
5) Strong and beautiful Womack embryos!
6) The two embryos that will be transferred back to my uterus when the time comes!

SO much is on the horizon for us.  July is going to be a big, big month!  We are excited and scared and hopeful and apprehensive all in one package.  But we are SO grateful for your prayers (we feel every single one for REAL!), your support, your sweet words of encouragement, and your love.  We will be leaning into you and into our great, great God in the coming weeks!





Sunday, June 24, 2018

Womack Embabies

Today I take my first injection of Lupron. I remember when we did this the first time, once that first injection happens, everything seems so fly at break neck speed. Technically the next week or so is fairly low key in the grand scheme of the process, however something about these shots in the belly makes everything more real. And then I take a step back and truly look at our timeline and I get a major adrenaline rush (its equal parts excitement, nervousness, and fear) when I think that in 2 1/2 weeks, God willing, more Womack babies will exist on this earth. They are little lives, little PEOPLE, as soon as they’re fertilized!!  And let me tell you, these tiny little embryos each have a unique personality from the literal minute they are created. They each divide differently. They each behave differently.  They hatch at different times, contain different combinations of DNA.  They are each their own unique size and shape.  It's incredible to see these little lives develop from such a small little bunch of cells.  The first time we ever laid eyes on Greysen, he was literally 6 cells big.  His entire "self" could fit on the head of a pin!  And now he runs and talks and laughs and has opinions and a beating heart and functioning lungs.  What a MIRACLE life is!  And we get a front row seat to the incredibly complicated and tedious process of how that life is created...

Of course the prayer immediately following "Please help our embabies grow and develop!" is "Dear God, PLEASE let us meet at least one of these beautiful lives here on earth!"  In our first process we ended up with 11 eggs retrieved, 7 eggs fertilized, 3 viable embryos, 2 embryos transferred, a singleton pregnancy, and one frozen embryo.  Why did we choose to go through another fresh transfer instead of using our frozen embryo?  1) Our sweet little frozen embaby is very, very marginal.  That means that, as far as the grading system of the strength of an embryo and it's propensity to continue into a healthy viable pregnancy, our embaby is the lowest possible grade above "non-viable". It doesn't mean he or she won't eventually grow into a healthy baby and be a part of a healthy pregnancy, but it's highly likely that our little one may not survive the cryogenic thawing process.  2) With my age being what it is (I will turn 34 in November) and our desire to at least have the *option* of 3 children, we are going to have to go through this IVF process again at some point.  It is best to do that as young as possible so that my ovarian reserves don't drop drastically and so that I can be as healthy as possible to carry a pregnancy to term.  So basically, no time like the present...

No matter how many embryos we end up with with this process, every single one of those viable embryos will eventually be transferred right back to where they belong...into their mommy's womb!  Including our one little frosty embryo at OU right now.  We pray fervently for strong and healthy embryos, and we pray even more fervently for a healthy pregnancy and beautiful babies that we meet and know here on earth.  They are beautiful lives from the outset.  What a blessing that so far we have had the privilege of knowing at least one of them here on earth...our little Greysen!  And he's pretty darn fantastic...

Wait with us.  Pray with us.  Hope with us!

Monday, June 11, 2018

I Thought This Would Be Easier...

Answering a call...saying yes to God...ultimately means that your path will be clear and free from obstacles right? Your way will be a straight shot with no fear, no doubt, no chance of failure, hm? Once you pattern your life after God's example and live according to His plan, His will, everything magically becomes easy doesn't it? I'm sure you're sensing the facetious tone here. Because NONE of that is true about saying yes to God. Following God's will for your life, saying YES to His calling, is not easy...

Greysen and I watched The Star (an animated film about the Christmas story) for the first time Friday night. I'm so glad we finally did, because I really loved it and so did he. I've heard several times since then "Mommy, want to watch Jesus?" which is music to my ears! The movie brought me to tears, though, and also brought some important things to light for me. Funny how an animated film can do that...

There is a scene when Mary and Joseph are on the road to Bethlehem and everything seems to be going wrong. Their cart breaks down, they're doubting their aptitude for the massive task they've been entrusted with...basically everything they've both been thinking kind of comes right to the surface. And Mary says, "This is so hard! Why is this so hard? I know this is God's plan, but I guess I just thought it would be easier than this..." Oh sister...can I identify with that reality! When you say yes to God...when you agree to be a part of His ultimate purpose...it doesn't magically exempt you from the world and everything that comes along with it...

So what does that mean? Say no to God because ultimately that's the easier road? Interesting thought isn't it? Hearing those words come out of Mary's mouth in the movie got me thinking about how many people God called who may have said no to the heavy task of carrying the Messiah. It's a nice thought to think that the first woman he prompted was Mary and she said yes with no hesitation. Maybe that's how it went down, maybe it's not. But it got me thinking about the lineage of Jesus...essentially God's "rescue plan" for His creation. He had a plan and He used His people to carry it out. Just as He is still doing today. But it took willing parties to say yes to Him. To trust His plan. I don't think it's an accident that the blood line of Jesus Christ is punctuated with women who battled infertility and loss. "Non-traditional mothers", if you will. It's not a mistake. Sarai, Rachel, Hannah, etc. Those heroines of the faith said yes, and their yeses came with pure joy and fulfillment AND crazy difficult obstacles and TOUGH promises to keep. Don't you think Mary rethought her yes to God when it became more clear that her precious son was to be hung on the cross? Wasn't Hannah's promise more difficult to keep when Samuel became old enough to commit his entire life to the ministry and leave her...she was going to have to make good on her word to give him over to the work of God! I can guarantee you that continuing to say yes to being a part of God's bigger purpose was NOT easy for those women then, and it's NOT easy today...

Fear is loud...and very convincing. Doubt is intense...it's hard to dodge. Worry is my arch nemesis...it follows me like a big black cloud ready to engulf me if I let it. In the midst of this IVF journey, just like last time, I am constantly...daily...being bombarded with things and circumstances which create worry and doubt and fear about this process. The "what ifs" are SO hard to drown out. There are an insane number of potential derailments, disappointments, failures. And it is SO easy to let myself go down that road of what ifs. Ultimately, I have no idea whether any of those what ifs will play out in my story. But I'm not supposed to have it figured out. I'm only supposed to take His hand, trust His plan, and keep saying yes. Keep taking another step, and another step, and another step. Even when it's scary...terrifying. The one truth I know beyond a shadow of a doubt is that God will be with me. The circumstances won't change His constancy. When I said yes to him 23 years ago, He became a forever enmeshed part of me that can never be separated...

Psalm 27:13-14 says, "I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord." A sweet family here in Oklahoma is walking a tough road with their son Caleb as he recovers from a traumatic brain injury. This young man has been SUCH an inspiration for me during these last couple of months. Caleb's father wrote this a few weeks ago: "This weekend I pictured our biblical heroes as they lived through God’s miracles. Do you think the Israelites ever glanced up at the walls of the Red Sea and wondered if they would hold until they had crossed? Do you think Daniel ever looked suspiciously at the lions and worried they might suddenly become hungry during that long night in the den? Do you think the disciples ever questioned whether they heard Jesus correctly when He said He would return? Of course they did. But we call them heroes of the faith because they endured to the end, whether the wait was one night or a lifetime..."

So what does all this mean for me...for you? God doesn't promise us ease on this earth. He doesn't promise us prosperity and success. He promises us His PRESENCE, His CONSTANCY, His PROVISION, His PROTECTION, and most importantly His KINGDOM. John 16:13...Jesus' words..."I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world." So that means when it feels like I can't find peace here on earth...peace in my circumstances...I can trust that if I seek peace in Him I will find it. It also means that I myself don't have to overcome the world. I don't have to "beat the odds". He already did all of that on the cross! And He did it FOR ME! So praise God for His presence, His constancy, His provision, His protection. I can do this...I can answer His call and say YES to His calling. Even when it's terrifying. Why? Because I serve a God who PROMISES that participation in His ultimate purpose will NEVER go unnoticed and unrewarded by Him...