It feels SO good to write again! I missed it so much.
I made somewhat of an informal announcement on Instagram last month that I wouldn’t be putting out as much design and home decor content for the foreseeable future. We are buckling down on fertility testing and treatment, and while I LOVE doing DIYs and home projects and sharing them with you all, they cost money, and any extra pennies we make these days has to go towards fertility crap. It’s both annoying and exciting, but it’s just where we’re at right now. Many of you met me with so much grace and encouraging words when I announced that, and I’m SO grateful! It means a lot to me that people would stick around and listen to what I have to say, whether it’s about shelf styling or marriage or shiplap or IVF ;)
So, in case there are still questions or confusion, we are doing IVF. We went back and forth on this decision for a while, and I’ll tell you why. We have been trying to conceive since January 2017. It’s been almost 2.5 years since then, and if I had a dollar for every time I let other people’s opinions dictate my thoughts, feelings, and decisions about our journey, I’d have enough money to pay for our fertility treatment ;) No, but really. There have been so many times when I felt peace and confidence about a decision Ricky and I had made about testing or procedures, and when I finally worked up the courage to confide in someone about our plans, I was met with confused looks, skepticism, questions about adoption, concerns, and sometimes a scripture or two. What I really needed to hear was, “I support you and I’m here for you.”
I don’t hold anger or grudges against anyone who’s responded that way. I know that most people just don’t understand and are not aware. The Church as a whole has not typically approached the topic of infertility very well. Many Christians have equated fertility treatment with not trusting in God. There are even entire denominations that condemn fertility treatment because they view it as “playing God”. That is not only entirely false, but also incredibly shaming and hurtful. Choosing to do IVF does NOT mean we have stopped trusting in God. It’s quite the opposite actually. I have been raised in church my whole life. I know the scriptures and believe them with my whole heart.
I believe God heals.
I believe God still performs miracles and does the impossible.
I believe God called us to be fruitful and multiply.
I believe God gives us the desires of our hearts.
But I also believe we live in a fallen world.
I also believe that, because we live in a fallen world, we are promised trials and suffering in this life.
I also believe that God can use doctors and treatment to heal people, and that doesn’t make it any less of a miracle.
I was recently listening to a podcast where a worship pastor was sharing her story of infertility and getting pregnant through IVF. She was explaining why it took her and her husband several years to finally pull the IVF trigger, and she said this: “We thought if we have to do [IVF], then that means we’re letting go of God’s provision and we’re trusting too much in science. And then when we did our consultation…every single step of the way, God was [saying] ‘I am in this. I am so in this. I am so with you.’” (You can listen to the rest of the podcast here)
I think that sums up where we’re at just perfectly. Despite how complex and nuanced this journey is, we have felt the peace of God in pursuing IVF. It doesn’t mean we aren’t scared at times. We still have days when the anger, hurt, and pain gets the best of us. But we feel released and blessed to move forward. We believe the Lord led us to an amazing doctor who we respect and believe will take great care of us. We don’t feel at all like we’ve “given up” or stopped believing God can do a miracle. What we’ve actually done is let God out of the box full of our expectations of how we think He should provide for us, of the timing we think things should happen, and what we think the miracle should look like. The truth is that LIFE itself is a miracle. And the life of our baby will be a miracle, even if he or she is conceived through the hands of doctors.
If you’re reading this and you’re still skeptical of our decision and the path we’re taking, that’s totally okay. I’m not here to convince anyone to align with our convictions, and I’m certainly not here to argue theology. All I know is that we feel the peace of God, and that’s what matters most to us. I hope that at the very least, you see how complex of a spiritual journey this struggle is, and that we do not take this decision lightly. I hope this has helped spread more awareness and understanding of how to respond to those facing infertility.
On a practical and exciting note, we are anxious to finish up our testing so we can begin treatment some time next year! We are staggering the remaining testing throughout the rest of this year and doing just one at a time, because wowza—it is expensive! The testing is not to determine whether or not IVF is right for us; that has already been established due to extremely low sperm count. The testing determines what our IVF protocol will look like (how they get the sperm, how they merge it with the egg, what hormones I’ll need to take and how much, etc). Ricky has to go through genetic testing and then I’ll have to go through a couple tests myself. Some people have asked about how we are going to pay for IVF since insurance does not cover any of it. Our plan is to get through testing and begin raising funds for treatment later this year. We’re thinking of doing t-shirts, because that’s the cool thing to do right?! We have family and friends as well that want to show their support and help us raise funds in different ways, and we’re so grateful! We feel so supported by our people, and we’re excited to see what God does. One way or another, we believe He’ll provide everything we need.