Friday, January 22, 2010

What a day...

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jer 29:11 (NIV)

As we drove to our 'follow-up' (How exactly *is* a follow-up appointment supposed to go when the discussion is about your beautiful but dead baby son and how to get a baby brother or sister for him????? You've got me...) appointment at Shady Grove with Dr. Kipersztock, I made my FB status, "Lori Ennis is biting my nails (not really...yuck) all the way to Annapolis. The above verse was a welcome and comforting comment.

Especially in light of the fact that I walked in there with my HUGE binder, full of pre-printed calendars, insurance forms, former IVF protocol info and talking points. I am, if nothing else, a Girl Scout at heart and always prepared. (Or is that Boy Scouts? Perhaps not so entrenched in Girl Scout doctrine as I thought?)

In addition to all of that (and more), I had about 3 trillion and nine different scenarios and 'game plans' that I figured we would discuss and choose one to enact. Oh...when will I learn to STOP planning 18 different possible situations and just wait and see what is laid out before me???

Dr. Kipersztock was wonderful. So compassionate. So cognizant of the valuable and beautiful little life Matthew was. So visibly choked up when he saw pictures of my precious son. Simply wonderful. After telling me again how very rare vasa previa was, and how shocked and saddened everyone was, he suggested our next steps. I waited with bated breath--which one of my carefully thought out, dated and anticipated plans would he choose?

None. In fact, he threw me a loop. He suggested, rather, highly recommended that we transfer the frozen embryo we had from Matthew's batch. That's right--transfer Matthew's twin. Of course, with a frozen transfer, specifically one using only one embryo, the pregnancy rate is not as high as a fresh cycle. HOWEVER, the embryo is a beautiful (of course it is--I think it has been well established that John and I make gorgeous babies), very high grade embryo. In fact, after Matthew was transferred, his little embryo twin (Sam-I-Am, for Cindy!) grew a few days more before being frozen and therefore is actually a stronger embryo now than Matthew was when transferred.
Dr. K said it would be faster--we're talking a transfer in the middle of February. He said it would be easier--some of the shots not so much, but the frequency will be less and the trips to Annapolis at the crack of dawn every day for monitoring won't be required, not to mention it's (theoretically) less stress on me emotionally. He said it is a younger, super looking embryo than I may have now, a year later. But most importantly, it's Matthew's twin. What a special, special bond that little embryo has with my Matthew. I have to admit, as I sat there crying, my heart leaped just a little bit. No child of mine will ever replace my first born. How could he or she? Not any more than Matthew could replace him or her....yet, there's something so precious to me to know that the little embryo waiting for us shared the same intimacy with Matthew as God formed them.

SO...that's what we are doing. We did some work-ups today and thankfully, my body seems to be working in full-form and is doing all the girl stuff it should. (As I have become aware of a little larger readership these days, I shall be a tad bit less descriptive than I may have been in the past when I thought only 4 people may be reading it!) In the next few days, I will start the initial medicine and get ready for a transfer somewhere right around the time John has to go to Minnesota for two weeks (isn't it ALWAYS that way?). Then, we should know whether it's a successful pregnancy by the end of February or so. I am so hopeful...yet cautiously realistic as well. Dr. K acknowledged that my next pregnancy--whenever it happens--will be a LONG one and I will worry every day. (Ya think?) But friends, worry or not, as I was from the second I heard, "You're pregnant!" with Matthew--I will be thankful to God and know that all is in His hands.

In other news:
Blue Cross/Blue Shield STINKS! I specifically am keeping this insurance since we live in Maryland and Maryland mandates infertility coverage. Knowing we have possible fresh cycles ahead of us (though I hope not!), I was glad that at least this time, the medicines (a HEFTY fee) would be covered. Well, guess what? They WOULD be...if I was enrolled in their IVF program. As my IVF procedures are being covered under the shared risk program we have with Shady Grove (and for which a TON of money was plunked down), BC/BS doesn't cover the medicines for those cycles. WHAT????? If I was claiming the IVF procedures through BC/BS, they WOULD cover the medicines--but since I am saving them A TON of money by not having to pay for the procedures since we've already paid for them--they repay the favor by not covering the medicine. INSANE. So...basically, if this frozen cycle is not successful and we have to do a fresh cycle in March, we'll probably suspend the shared risk part, and use our insurance benefits instead. This will cost BC/BS about $15K...but it will save us potentially $7500. Since they are being unreasonable, I find this a fair trade.

And the cemetery....there is absolutely nothing I can say about picking the marker that will forever tell the world what you want them to know about your precious son. It's a horrible, gut-wrenching thing to have to do, and I pray to GOD I never, ever, EVER have to do it again. It was almost surreal. His marker will have our special verse: 1 Samuel 1:27 "For this child I have prayed" and underneath his name will be "Gift of God". It will also have a helicopter with little clouds, as his daddy found it fitting that he got flight time in his short little life.

Friends--every day I say, "Surely...surely THIS will be the hardest thing we do in this whole process. Surely nothing is worse than...."

Every day, I am amazed at how very, very wrong I am. My heart just breaks a teeny bit more every day.

And last...I think I *may* write a book. I'm mulling it over. I have something I want to write about and I even have a title. I just have to think about how to go about it. I'd say I was planning it...but then again...we all know how my planning process goes.


  1. I am praying for you every day. Please do write that book. You are so talented and have so much to share.

  2. My heart, too, leaps at the thought of Matthew having a twin. Oh, how I hold out hope & faith for you!! Of course, my heart is also broken with yours over the gravestone...You are right - what a day!

  3. I can't imagine a better plan....God does indeed have a plan for you and your sweet family! I am so very hopeful, and relieved to hear that wonderful news! Always thinking and praying for you and John....xoxo, erin

  4. Oh, my heart goes out to you as you begin this process...
    And it sad we have to pick out a marker to include everything we feel in our hearts. It is impossible, but yours sounds so beautiful with the words and it!
    Your testimony has blessed my heart tonight...

  5. I love the idea of you writing a book. You have a wonderful gift with words, and the ability to explain your grief is amazing.

    My heart goes out to you. Hugs and prayers!! <3

  6. What a beautiful connection: Matthew and his twin! I am so hopeful!

    I hate that you had to pick Matthew's marker. It's not right. Again, however, you've done the "not right" so beautifully.

    Now I'm sniffling for the beautiful connection and beautiful awfulness.

    And FYI: The Girl Scout Motto IS "Be prepared."

  7. I think it's so amazing that you will be transferring Matthew's twin. I am praying that all goes well on that front. Maybe we will experience a pregnancy together! I don't see anything happening until April for me, at the earliest, but we'd still be pregnant together! For some reason I really want to be pregnant with someone else who has experienced loss, because there have to be so many emotions about the process, and who else can understand?

    As far as the headstone, that is hard. Really hard. We did that the same day we talked to the funeral director, just a few days after losing her. Actually it was on my husband's birthday. I wish you didn't have to do this. I wish none of us did.

    Keep us updated about the book!

  8. I know God is always laughing as I lay out my plans. I, too, always have a game plan, but it never ends up my way! Thinking of you as you start this next process. I love that this embryo has a special relationship with Matthew, but then again so would any other little brother or sister that his mommy and daddy love on!

  9. Oh, I am so excited for you... at the prospect of Matthew's twin being brought into this world! I am keeping everything crossed for you.

    I got all teary when I saw Matthew's grave. I am so sorry, Lori. I think the verse you have chosen is perfect.

    Huge hugz and love to you! xoxo

  10. God never ceases to amaze me! The prospect of you having Matthew's twin. Think of it, Lori. AMAZING. Nothing short of God, I think. Love you -- praying for you. Shaking my head in the awesome amazement of the world we live in and our God.

    Oh -- and the word verification you did last time for me made me LAUGH OUT LOUD!! Yours is boring this time: cianate as in, I was so distraught when Ellie cut up her dress (another post for me), I just decided to sigh and [then] ate. Yeah, lame.

  11. I will pray for your February cycle. I will pray for Matthew's twin to be strong and healthy and find a nice cozy spot to burrow into.

    I think you would do great to write a book. Your words have such grace to them.

  12. I am praying with all my might for you & John that it's in God's plan to bless you with Matthew's twin. I'm choked up thinking about it. I am so sorry for all the pain you've endured but done so gracefully.

  13. Matthew's twin!!!! Wow. Just wow. I burst into hopeful, happy tears for you while reading that ... what an amazing possibility! I will be praying for you and John as you go down this road ... I am thinking of you both tons.

    Matthew's marker - Oh Lori, what is there to say? Such pain. I give you so much credit for getting up each morning, staying strong and moving forward, inch by inch ... you are strong and incredible and inspirational. You have been through something so profound. I really admire your strength and your faith.

    As for the book, WRITE IT! You are a wonderful writer and you have a story to tell. Count this comment as my advance preorder of three dozen copies. We'll make it our book club read! ( :

    Much love to you,

  14. You decided on the perfect verse and things to put on the grave marker. How appropriate for you both. Salley

  15. You are a natural at writing and I think you'd do so well at putting a book together!

    So exciting about the prospect of Matthew's twin! Praying God's will for you both!