Sunday, December 18, 2011
Advent Conspiracy from International Justice Mission on Vimeo.
Saturday, July 2, 2011
And now for something completely not infertility related...
I came across an issue that I thought was completely relegated to the history books, something I never thought was occurring today. Well, let me qualify that, I knew it occurred in some third world countries, mostly due to corruption or poverty, but apparently it is a major industry in much of the developing world, and even in some developed countries... Some countries actually can attribute a good proportion of their GDP to it through tourism and the like... It´s something that reviles me in the very core of my soul. Watch this music video...
I realise that this is almost a taboo topic, but this isn´t the only kind of slavery that is going on in our world, from what I gather, 27 million is a conservative estimate. Children and adults have their lives stolen from them for all sorts of industries from tabacco, to coffee, to Cocoa...
ExodusCry is an organisation dedicated to the cause of eradicating slavery in all of it´s ugly forms. Here is a blog post that is worth reading to get an idea of what goes on out there.
Fighting for Seoul, South Korea, Part 1
and part 2
Fighting for Seoul, South Korea, Part 2
ExodusCry is an amazing organisation that makes known the indescribable atrocities occurring thoughout our world. They also seek to deal with the root causes by organising prayer and fasting. There are deep and dark spiritual forces that are involved in slavery of any kind, but slavery involving the sexual exploitation of children is one of the most vile. I recommend looking into this topic, it may just change your life. So many lives ruined, so much innocence lost, so many deep hurts.
Like the first song says - Our silence is shameful... If we do nothing, and say nothing, then nothing will change.
I intend to make my opinion known, what about you?
Sunday, June 12, 2011
I have several sets of friends IRL who have undergone particular heartache over their children. Two I'm currently mindful of, one of which is a currently unfolding scenario.
The first set of friends had their beautiful baby boy born about a year and a half ago. He was born in a particular hurry because he'd stopped growing in the womb. He was born at 36 weeks, but was closer to 32 weeks in development and size. Our wee girl had just been into hospital to have her second cast put on the night before when we got the call from our friends to say that their son (who had been born about 5 days earlier) was not expected to make it through the day. We agonised over what we should do, and decided that despite our we girls new cast, and complication of a hernia that was causing her great pain when it popped out, we needed to be there for them. So, after having had a poor nights sleep with our girl in a new cast, we started our 7 and a half hour car journey at about 7pm that night, hoping beyond hopes that God would somehow work things out for our friends, who hadn't even had a chance to spend a full week with their boy. Toby is his name. Toby was incredibly sick, with his kidney failing to do their job. we learned about 3 hours out from our destination that the doctors in despiration tried something they normally wouldn't, and it worked! Essentially sodium bicarbonate was used to reduce the acidity of his blood. And it looked like he would make it! So, we arrived early that morning, and after sleeping like babies, we got to meet him (well, Sarah did, I was sick with a cold, and decided I shouldn't see him). He'd made it, and while they still didn't know quite what the cause of all his problems were, they felt he would stabalise. We celebrated with them and their extended families that had gathered that weekend, there was such a sense of relief!
We travelled home feeling such a sense of frailty of life. Thankful we had been able to be there. Toby struggled and strained for the next few months and ahd some good days, he got to visit the local park, and was transported by plan to starship hospital in Auckland where all the sickest kids go. While they were there they wanted genetic testing done, and the result was told them on new years eve. The condition is called Gracile syndrome. There have only been a handful of cases diagnosed worldwide ever. He slowly deteriorated for another month until he passed away in Febuary last year. He lived for three months. He learned to smile before he died. He was a real fighter, and terribly corageous. His parents have been through the valley of the shadow of death. His parents have been a symbol of courage for us. Toby is no longer in pain, but those he has left behind are.
The second scenario is that of a couple we know less well, but have some significant connection with, and they are 22 weeks pregnant. At their 20 week scan they were told that their child has a problem with his cerebellum, meaning that there will be significant problems. He could have problems ranging from physical or mental problems ranging from relatively high functioning and little problems, through to being highly disruptive, through to being in a vegitative state. So they are at the beginning of what will likely be a very long and hard journey!
And then there is little old us. Emby #3 miscarried (for want of a better description) last weekend. This has happened before, Emby #1 didn't work either, but this Embryo must have progressed further because Sarah was in a great deal of pain on the Sunday, and that night she passed what looked like a big blood clot, but must have been the placenta with sack attached. She hasn't been through labor, but she said that it felt like what labor must feel like. She spent most of the day and night until the embryo passed in a great deal of pain. We had already resigned ourselves to the fact that this embryo was not going to progress, but somehow going through a mini labor and passing something that was recognisable as an embryo makes it somewhat more disturbing and distressing.
Everyones experiences and struggles are very different, somehow we have a huge capacity to cope with what life throws at us. Somehow though we always feel like we are on the knife edge. Sometimes reflecting on other peoples stories of hardship and trial give us strength on our own journey.
Saturday, June 4, 2011
Number 3 hasn't been lucky. The Beta HCG did not indicate that pregnancy had occurred. So we are back to waiting. It doesn't seem to matter how many times we do this, it's still a waiting game. And the twinges of agony continue. We have to wait for one regular cycle to occur, then we can try again. Sometimes I think it pays not to think too much about what has just happened. And everyone's ideas about when life begin are different, but for us our embryos are alive. They all have the potential to grow and be born, and grow further ... So we morn another life that is no longer living. Does it get easier? In some ways I hope not. I never want to decide that the ends justify the means, no matter what, and the ethics of what we are doing is complicated at best, but I will never say that having Abbigail was not worth the attempts, because without those failed attempts she could not exist. That is such a scary thought! To think that we could have decided not to pursue IVF, she wouldn't be sleeping soundly in her bed while I type this. Our lives have changed forever with her birth. but I wouldn't go back to the childless lifestyle for ANYTHING!!! Just stroking her hair is one of the most beautiful things I can imagine, and I thank God for being able to do just that!
So with the promise of potential children we continue on the IVF road. We have two further embryos... the statistics tell me that there is a good chance that we will have at least one more success, but statistics are just that, and I believe that statistics are a poor way of trying to predict the future. I know God has it mapped out - we simply have to wait.
So that's our news - no joy, but I guess no pain - no gain.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Well, last Thursday we travelled to Dunedin to have our third transfer. We met with some friends who are on their own fertility journey and they looked after Abbigail while we were indisposed. It always seems rather surreal, in the infertility waiting room waiting to be told that we're ready to impregnate you now! Wow, just gave myself visions of alien abductions and the usual probings that go on during such events... Funny how it's not too dissimilar from that really... Don't get me wrong they do everything possible to make you feel comfortable and at ease (aside from numbing and paralysing you I guess), but somehow it just never seems to feel right, it's just odd. But I guess as infertiles we should probably feel used to not feeling normal, right?
Anyhow, they seemed to have more trouble this time getting the catheter in the right place, and Sarah described it like she felt they skewered her uterus trying to get the the top part. They told us this time that Sarah has a retroverted uterus and cervix, which means the birth canal is simply not straight, it kinds of bends back towards the spine, which apparently will go some way to explaining her wicked abdominal pains every month. I also wonder if it contributes to our infertility, when combined with sperm that don't know what's good for them, or where to go to get it.
But the proceedure was over just as quickly as last time, and given 10 minutes to let the embryo rest and settle, we were up and away again. I took that day and the next off work to take as much pressure off Sarah as possible and allow her to stay as horizontal as possible. It was a good opportunity to have some daddy daughter time. I LOVE that!
Sarah had some spotting and cramping, but has otherwise felt no different to normal, and once again we find ourselves reminded that this is actually normal. And once again we are counting down to Monday when all will be revealed!
Somehow we still end up thinking too fat into the future - somehow thinking about names pops into my head and I have to tell myself to stop. We haven't thought about names since we decided on Abbigail's name over two years ago!
Abbigail has been sick with a cold this past week, and now both Sarah and I are down with it too. So nothing to do, and no where to go because we're all cot cases needing a rest!
Anyhow just had to let you know where we are at, and that we'll know in a few days where we are at.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Abbigail is almost two, she shows no signs (other than a little waddle as she runs) of having been "cast" for want of a better adjective, in her hip spica. Her reflux is still a problem and she is now having 30mg of Omeprazole daily to control her reflux (to put it into perspective the starting adult dose is 20mg). They may operate in the months to come to band up her oesophageal sphincter to prevent the reflux, but we will wait and see...
She is a delight, and it is a privilege to be her Daddy. She is so articulate, and knows all the letters of the alphabet, and can count to 10 by herself (but doesn't always get it right ;-)). She is a rather independant soul, but loving and caring just the same. Every night when we say grace before our meal she interrupts me and says "Thank the Lord for the swing, and the slide, and the trees, and the flowers... AMEN!", have you ever heard of anything more georgous?! She loves her stories, and in particular the one about the easter story - she calls it the "Jesus is alive story".
So anyway, we find ourselves back at the starting blocks, infertility-wise. We have an appointment at our clinic on Thursday to have our third transfer. Once again we find ourselves wondering what the outcome will be, and I'm not even 100% sure we are ready for our next child. But I guess most fertile couples just find out that they are going to have another child, whereas we have to plan things out - and it could be easy to just wait - but we have commited ourselves to giving our frozen embryos a chance at life regardless of our circumstances. We will see it as a blessing to be pregnant again, but hopefully we can forego some of the complications of pregnancy, birth and post-natal period this time.
For those of you who know us personally, be advised we are keeping this attempt to ourselves at present. Just because everyone else gets to surprise people close to them with the great news of pregnancy, but us infertiles often don't get that joy, so we are using whatever means necessary to keep it under wraps. It also means that we won't have people asking us in about two weeks time if it was a success or not. It astounds me how people want to know such private details, perhaps it's because we open ourselves up to someone when we tell them we suffer from infertility, and they somehow guess that it's then ok to ask questions like "So... did it work??!!", I almost felt like saying something like "The answer will be obvious in 9 months time, if you haven't figured it out by then, then don't bother asking again".
Anyhow, Sarah's on the estradiol, and progesterone pessaries (she'd forgotten how inconvenient and disturbing they were), and we're all primed and ready for another shot at this... Sooo wish us luck!
May God be the director of our paths...
Good to blog to you all again,