"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.