Sometimes when we pray for something, God gives us an answer that we weren’t expecting. This happened to us recently. The story I am about to tell is going to cause some people to be uncomfortable and cause others to disagree with our decision.
My wife and I went though IVF to have kids. When I had cancer, I banked sperm and then had a vasectomy. After my divorce, I didn’t think I would be having any more kids. When I met Amy, God really opened up my heart and the thought of at least trying for kids was something that Amy and I decided we would try.
At that time, our insurance, (Amy was on her own HMO from her work and also on my PPO), would not cover IVF unless I had a voluntary reversal. Then if we went a year without getting pregnant, they would cover the IVF. The thought of have 2 surgical procedures to get me back to where I am at now is not something that I was looking to do, so we decided that we would not go that route.
We knew that IVF was expensive and we couldn’t afford it so we decided to just wait and pray for a clear direction from God on what we should do next. The answer came very clearly in a phone call from Amy’s doctor.
It turns out that Amy’s HMO reviewed our case and decided that they didn’t want me to go through any more medical procedures. They figured my brain tumor and colon cancer surgeries were enough and they didn’t want to add a vasectomy reversal and then another vasectomy on to the list. They decided they would cover the IVF 100%. To say we were so surprised and grateful was an understatement. I mean, seriously, the HMO reversed its own decision. Wow.
So, on we went to the fertility clinic to start the IVF procedures. Without a whole lesson on how IVF works - feel free to research on your own if you don’t know - we were blessed with 6 healthy embryos. We put 2 embryos in, froze the rest and, success, out came Lucas and Leah. A few years later we went and had 2 more put in and out came Payton. The other 2 remained on ice. Feel free to make any Walt Disney joke at this point.
One of the gray areas that no one really discusses about IVF, is what to do with the remaining embryos that are frozen. Amy and I spent a lot of time discussing and praying about what to do and we could never get on the same page. Neither one of us felt right about destroying them by donating them back to science even though our family totally benefitted from that same science. I also did not feel comfortable donating them to strangers and then always wondering about what happened to them. The thought of paying and keeping them frozen was not all that appealing either.
I am a big fan of IVF but it really does skirt the line of control in things that is usually left up to God. This is the dilemma that Amy and I were in and what should we do with the remaining 2 embryos. Were we really willing to try to have more kids because the other options just weren’t appealing to us?
Amy and I had had many discussions and prayers about what to do with this situation. We had just seen some of our best friends adopt their first child and we had seen other friends have babies also. We knew that if we had more kids, we would likely lose some friends over it after hearing some of the not-so-supportive comments when we were pregnant with Payton. We hear cracks about our HUGE family of 4 on a regular basis and don’t even get me started about the famous line “Boy, you really got your hands full.”
No one knows how blessed we are more than Amy and I. It was through these feelings of blessings that one day while on shift at the firehouse, I had a moment of unbelievable clarity that only God could bring and the following text conversation between me and Amy took place.
Me- I think we should do this
And with that, the decision was made and we started the ball rolling for our third and final round of IVF.
The conclusion of the story to be continued in part 2
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