Guest post by Jennifer
For the last few days I have been struggling with the topic of this post. I’ve been conflicted. This morning, I took a moment to really think about my conflicted feelings. I started searching for a Bible verse to tie into this post. I didn’t know exactly what I was searching for. I instant-messaged Brent to bounce some ideas off of him for this post, sharing the two verses that touched me this morning. But still, I felt conflicted. Conflicted about weaving two seemingly unrelated topics together. Conflicted thoughts, conflicted emotions, conflicted everything. I have tried in earnest to forcibly shove all confliction from my mind this past week. All of my attempts until this morning have been in vain.
I am over the word conflicted, and honestly, do I really know the definition of conflicted or confliction? According to Webster, one definition is “be contradictory, at variance, or in opposition.” Now that I’ve cleared that up, I feel quite confident in labeling my thoughts and feelings conflicted.
Over the course of the past few months, my team of doctors have been aggressively testing and checking and monitoring my body in hopes of exposing / eliminating anything that would knowingly cause problems in a future pregnancy. Crazy, right? How can I be thinking of a future pregnancy when my babies haven’t been in the ground six months? How could I possibly expose myself and another child to the chance of a repeat placental abruption and potential loss? Well, I don’t have a short answer for any of those questions, but I can tell you this is the source of my conflicted mind.
If you’ve read my first post, Our Story, you know how long and hard we have tried to create a family. We have succeed, but half of us live here and the other half in Heaven. Selfishly, we want earthly children as well. For months we have intensely prayed for guidance on how to proceed in terms of future children. Honestly, I know that I will never feel 100% comfortable with any of our options, but I do know that God is leading my heart to try again.
Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise. Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:20-21
Undoubtedly, the most valuable life lesson I’ve learned over the last two years is that I can pray for whatever I want, but God’s will ALWAYS prevails. About a year ago, after multiple unsuccessful IUI’s, I realized instead of praying to get pregnant, I should’ve been praying for easy acceptance of His will and plan, regardless of how it coincides with my wants. This is nowhere near as easy as it sounds, but I have prayed everyday for over a year that I accept His path. I know that my constant prayers for my trust and acceptance prepared my heart for the devastating loss of my babies.
Brent and I very recently made the decision to move forward with another IVF since I have the green light from all five of my doctors. We have been advised that even a single pregnancy for me will be a fight. We, more than most, understand the risks. So we have conditions and caveats, and promises of weekly monitoring should our next IVF produce a pregnancy. We decided to try again and simultaneously decided to not question our decision moving forward. I know I could drive myself mad weighing every thought and scenario. This decision is a leap of faith. We have leapt, and we are not looking back.
Our number one reason for moving forward is that we have two embryos frozen. They were created from the same retrieval and fertilization as our triplets. I cannot leave those two embryos in a cryopreserve. If nothing else, they belong with Conner, Carson and Ann Francis in Heaven, not in a lab.
So we’ve jumped from the cliff and we’re free-falling into the future. I have seriously suppressed any thoughts and feelings about our future IVF in hopes of protecting myself from myself. However, I realized today this suppression is the sole source of my conflicted feelings. I feel content and contemptuous; satisfied and longing; happy and sad. I now know these feelings stem from the nagging notions I have tried to stamp out. Am I leaving my Conner, Carson and Ann Francis behind if I get pregnant again? I am forgetting them? Am I dishonoring them in some way?
O God, thou art my God; early I will seek thee: my soul thirseth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; Psalm 63:1
I have relentlessly sought relief from my conflicted mind all week in prayer. I didn’t realize the source of my feelings until this morning. The answers to all of my questions above is a resounding no. I know Conner, Carson and Ann Francis want mommy and daddy to be happy and know the love of a child in this life. They are waiting to spend eternal life in our arms, but my heart knows it’s okay to want a living child for this life.
We will probably not announce the date of our next IVF. We may reserve this transfer for us privately, as a way to honor our babies. I will be 36 in January, and obviously I have issues. We unfortunately do not have the luxury of time to wait several years out of respect for our babies in Heaven. And the more I think about it, I could wait a lifetime of years to attempt pregnancy again and never feel like it would be long enough to really honor our triplets. So with that realization, we move forward.
Now that I have recognized my worries, and found them wanting, the constriction of my confliction has released. I am breathing deeply and feeling exhausted from the week-long struggle with the source of my distress. It’s an exhaustion I welcome though.
I want to leave you all with my most favorite Bible verse. I have relied on and relished this verse since my early twenties. I also want to share a beautiful photo taken this past weekend honoring the most important people in my life. I know now, through prayer and honest reflection, that my future actions do not undermine how and where I hold these blessings in my heart. Thank you God for again showing me my own mind.
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7
Brent and our babies. We have searched long and hard for a “guardian angel” for the cemetery, We found her last Saturday, and we think she’s beautiful.