The key to that statement was "after." Then it happened before. The cycle I was waiting on to end so I could start back with the Reproductive Endocrinologist.... it didn't end. I had been careless for once in using our family planning, presumed upon on our history of infertility as justification, and rather than realize I was late with excitement, I put off testing with a sense of dread.
I would never have imagined that I didn't want to be pregnant. There I was, though, standing over a pregnancy test early in the morning 7 weeks after my last cycle, willing the blank space to stay blank. We all know it didn't. There was no denying this one.
So what did I do? I crawled back into bed with Sam, woke him up, told him we'd made a baby, and cried. I cried. The miracle of life, even more amazing to us than to 85% of the population at large, with the added blessing of it being a surprise, and I was inconsolable. I wanted Hannah's sibling to be there instead. I felt like I had abandoned the embryos. It was like that second line brought with it an enormous wave of guilt and I was drowning in it.
So my husband took my hand, dried my tears, drew me out of bed and onto my knees, and began to thank God for the baby. He prayed for its health. He prayed for our fitness as parents. Most importantly to me at the time, he prayed for the safety of the remaining embryos as they would have to wait a while for their turn. And my heart began to change. I was able to thank God too, and start to value and love this baby who God had wanted to create. It was a very bittersweet moment, very bitter, and very sweet.
My heart still feels the blow. It was difficult to get people to understand that no, we didn't want to just send the other embryos back now that we could apparently "do it on our own." It was difficult to explain that we had emotions other than "thrilled," and that those emotions included shame and guilt. There are times I look at Hannah that I want desperately to have her full sibling in our arms, when it doesn't seem fair to her that her sister has such different features, that I don't have to tell the doctors about Ellie's "biological parents" like I do for Hannah.
Maybe though, it's better this way, assuming that we will be able to bring home the other embryos in the future. Maybe it's better that a genetic child of ours isn't the last "special miracle baby" of our family, but simply one in the middle of a group.
I am reminded of Psalm 127, where it says that unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain, and unless the Lord guards the town, the watchman keeps awake for nothing. God is constructing our family- He gets the final say. He wanted Ellie here with us, and her presence has made me more open handed as I approach the throne of grace with our blueprints as we prepare to hope for another embryo sibling to come out of the freezer and home with us.
P.S. I thought if I scheduled it, it would publish when I scheduled it for, but it didn't, so I'm sorry this post didn't show up until Friday 5/23. I need to learn a lot of things about this blogging business. :-(