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Archive for April, 2010

Acts 3:5-10 (NIV):  5 So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.    6 Then Peter said, Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.    7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong.    8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God.    9 When all the people saw him walking and praising God,    10 they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.”

I’m feeling just like this man today – I’m so happy that God has given me the miracle of pregnancy that I feel like walking and jumping and praising God!   So I thought that I should mention all the things that I’m so grateful for today! (In no particular order)

I’m really thankful: 

  • That I’m a born-again Christian and that I have a personal relationship with Jesus.
  • That we got our first ever miracle BFP.
  • That I have such an awesome husband and for my darling dog Shumi.
  • That we were able to afford fertility treatments.
  • That we found such a wonderful clinic with such compassionate and understanding doctors and sisters.
  • That my beta was a decent number.
  • That so many people were praying for us.
  • For the encouragement and support from all my cyber buddies.
  • That we have the internet to help us with queries, worries and support sites like Fertilicare.
  • That the infertility experience changed my character for the better, even though it was no fun to go through.
  • The support from our families and friends.
  • For my sister, who’s birthday it is today.
  • For my nieces and nephews, who are so cute.
  • That I got good news just as I wanted to give up trying for good.
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Psalm 28:7 (NIV): 7 The LORD is my strength and my shield;  my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.  My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.”

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV): 18give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Psalm 100:2-4 (NIV): 2 Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. 3 Know that the LORD is God.  It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving   and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.”

Colossians 3:16-17 (NIV): 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

This morning after we came back from the laboratory I POAS and for the first time ever – after 10 years and 5 months, lots of operations and procedures later, it was a BFP!  And a decent 2nd line too!  Look at this picture:

The sister at the fertility clinic says that my Beta is 196.  I’m really happy!

I am sooooo thankful to the Lord who has given us this miracle!  I just want to dance and sing!  DH is over the moon and he keeps hugging me and saying how much he loves me!  Our prayers have been answered!  Thank you God!

2 Corinthians 9:15 (NIV): 15Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!”

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My Furbabies:

Today I want to share some pictures and stories with you of our furbabies.  At the moment we only have Shumi, but he is our fourth boxer.  DH grew up with boxers, and I was introduced to the breed when we met.  I just love their personalities and their playful nature. 

We got Pippin first; we got her when we got back from our honeymoon.  I read the book the Lord of the Rings on our honeymoon, so that is where I got her name.  Almost a year later we got Tiger and they were just the best of friends.  Of all our dogs these two were the naughtiest.  We wanted to breed with them, but Pippin got an infection in her uterus when she got on heat for the second time.  We had to have her uterus removed, so that was the end of that dream.   Pippin was such a sensitive soul – every time I was upset she would come and sit next to me and allow me to hug her while I cried.  I remember quite a few times when I’ve had a negative HPT that I sat crying into her fur. 

Tiger loved children – he was almost a nuisance to the parents – he would follow those kids like a shadow and try to play with them.  He also especially loved babies.  I remember once some family members came to visit with their new born daughter – she must have been a few weeks old at the time – and they put her on our bed to sleep.  We left her for a few seconds and when we came back there was slime all over her head and Tiger looking very guilty.  The moment we turned our back he couldn’t resist giving her a lick, although he knew he wasn’t allowed to do so.  Luckily the parents found it quite funny, but I was mortified! 

A few years later we got Simbi – I still wanted to breed with boxers so DH eventually relented and allowed me to get another bitch.  She was the prettiest, most feminine boxer I’ve ever seen.  She was a little nervous – she was afraid of thunder and lightning and would try to climb on my lap every time there was a storm.  For some reason she would never let Tiger mate with her when she went on to heat.  So I gave up on my dream to breed with them. 

This is a picture of them:  Tiger is on the left, Simbi in the middle and Pippin on the right.  All three of them were very close.  This picture was taken about a month before Pippin passed away and two months before Tiger passed away.  Yes, they passed about 4 weeks apart.  That was an incredibly hard time for us.

We got Shumi a few weeks after Tiger passed away.  Simbi raised him for us.  The only thing we taught him was to sit.  The rest either came naturally or he learnt from Simbi.  I know we never even tried to house train him – he somehow did his business outside almost right from the start.  He really is the most obedient and well behaved dog we’ve had so far.   Shumi is a very confident, but also a very social dog.  He loves to interact with other dogs, and will never bite or hurt another dog, but he also loves people and children.  He visits our neighbours quite often and especially when they have visitors over.  He seems to think people come to visit him, not us or the neighbours. 

One day out of the blue I realised Simbi was pregnant.  She was six years old already.  I thought she couldn’t have puppies, and the vet said he thought she had a hormone imbalance.  Two weeks later the puppies were born and I loved every aspect of it.  There were 6 – 3 males and 3 females.  They were adorable.  Simbi was such a good mommy.  Her personality changed completely when she had the babies.  She was confident and very protective, not nervous anymore.  Shumi was also a good daddy – he slept with the puppies almost all night.  Simbi only slept with them when she wanted to feed them and then she would sleep in her kennel again.  She had strict feeding times – just like human mommies have. 

This is a picture of Simbi with all the female puppies at about 6 weeks old.

This picture is of Shumi with all the male puppies, these two pictures were taken on the same day.

About 6 months after she had the puppies Simbi also passed away (she was bitten by a cobra – we were living on a farm then).  Shumi was also bitten, but I think he didn’t get as much of the poison in and he pulled through.  I was heartbroken.  It happened a few weeks before my birthday and I just wanted another puppy, but DH decided that he didn’t want another dog.  I think the deaths of Pippin, Tiger and Simbi were just too much for him. (It was almost 2 years after Pippin and Tiger passed away).  He says he doesn’t want to worry about dogs all the time.  I didn’t get a birthday present that year because I said I want a puppy or nothing else – so I got nothing.  DH still doesn’t want another dog.  He says I must hope we do get kids eventually because the only way I’ll get another is if our kids ask for one. 

Even though it is also very difficult for me to process the death of a beloved pet (they are more like children to me), I’m of the opinion that I would rather love them and have fond memories forever of them, than not to have them or the memories.  What’s the saying:  Its better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.

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My previous post was about doubts and fears and I described how I asked God to give me a message to help me with it.  He immediately gave me a message and I was so thankful.  It helped me a lot and I was actually satisfied with the answer.  I didn’t expect to get another message about it yesterday in church.

Our minister asked us if we have been waiting for promises from God to come true, and whether we sometimes doubt that it will ever come true.   He preached from Genesis 15: 1-12 & 17-21  (NIV): God’s Covenant With Abram:   1 After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision:   Do not be afraid, Abram.   I am your shield,   your very great reward. 2 But Abram said, O Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus? 3 And Abram said, You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.    4 Then the word of the LORD came to him: This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir.    5 He took him outside and said, Look up at the heavens and count the stars— if indeed you can count them. Then he said to him, So shall your offspring be.     6 Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.    7 He also said to him, I am the LORD, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it.     8 But Abram said, O Sovereign LORD, how can I know that I shall gain possession of it?

9 So the LORD said to him, Bring me a heifer, a goat and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon.    10 Abram brought all these to him, cut them in two and arranged the halves opposite each other; the birds, however, he did not cut in half.    11 Then birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away.    12 As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him.

17 When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking brazier with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces.    18 On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates—    19 the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites,    20 Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites,    21 Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.”

Our minister said that Abraham was promised a heir and land three times before this specific time and here God promises it again for a fourth time.  Yet only 2 verses further Abraham doubts the Lord again.  God then went on to make a covenant with Abraham, so that Abraham can believe that it will come true.

In the times that Abraham lived, a covenant was made between individuals just like it is described in the above verses.  Animals were cut in half and the 2 halves were put down with a gap in between.  The lesser (sometimes the youngest) of the two parties would then walk through that gap and a covenant would be in place.  If that person could not keep to the covenant then he would be willing to be cut in half just like the animal was.  So a covenant was a serious binding contract in those days.  Here God (who is definitely not the lesser party) is willing to make the covenant with Abraham by passing through the animals in the form of a smoking brazier with a blazing torch.

Galatians 3:  6-9 (NIV): 6 Consider Abraham: He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.    7 Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham.   8 The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: All nations will be blessed through you.    9 So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.” Paul says here that everybody that believes in God is a child of Abraham, and because we believe we will be blessed just like Abraham.

Now I must say I’ve never heard a specific promise from God that we will have children.  Or that was my initial thought.  But then I started to think back to the difficult time after our first failed IVF.  In that time I realized that I can do everything possible from my side, and the doctors can do everything medically possible, but if God doesn’t want us to have children he will not put that heartbeat in the embryo, so that it can become a baby.  So I asked God to send me to a doctor if or when He thinks I need to continue with treatments again.  I asked Him to do it in such a way so that it doesn’t come from any idea from me.  I believed that if it was His will I could get pregnant on my own.  I believe miracles like that can still happen today!

About 18 months after my failed IVF I was sure I had a UTI one month.  I went to see my GP about it, and she tested my urine and there was nothing wrong with my urine – so no UTI, but I was in quite a lot of pain and discomfort.  My GP was convinced it was due to my endometriosis, and referred me to a FS again.  I went back to the FS that did my first IVF and he said that he was sure I do not have endometriosis, and that he thought I had IBS.  The only thing he could find was a polyp in my uterus.  I was not happy with his diagnosis and I decided I needed another opinion.  That is how I ended up with my current clinic.  The new FS did a laparoscopy and found stage 2 endometriosis and removed a polyp.  I started with my treatments in earnest again.  We have done a laparoscopy, 2 hysteroscopy’s, 3 IUI’s, 2 fresh IVF’s and one FET to date so far in less than a year, all because I believe God sent me back to go for treatments.

I really wanted to give up all treatments after my failed FET.  DH and I actually decided that that would be the last.  But I got some more hope – the FS said that he truly believes that I should be able to get pregnant; it’s just a matter of time.  He told me about a patient of his that only got her baby after 9 IVF’s.  He told me that when he worked in Denmark that they gave packages for 6 IVF’s and that the reason they did it like that was because almost all IVF patients got pregnant by the time they did IVF #6.  He gave me mostly just good news regarding my body and our embryos.  I had also sent a prayer request to Joyce Meyer Ministries as we are partners with them, and they had a dedicated prayer day for their partners on that specific day that we went to see our FS.  I saw the good news as an answer to our prayer request.  So we decided to try again, even though I was scared and felt like giving up so many times during the last few months.

A few weeks ago I got the book “Super.natural Child.birth” and then I learnt that infertility is not God’s will.  Children are his idea and He said to Adam and Eve: “be fruitful and multiply” Gen 1:28.  I saw there were many scriptures saying that children are a blessing from God and that God wants to bless His children.  It is not His will for his children to be barren or even to have miscarriages.

And finally I got this message yesterday.  Do you think it was a coincidence?  I do not think so – even the fact that the message had to do with God’s promise to Abraham that he will get a son, even if it seemed impossible, is important to me.  I realized God speaks to us in different ways – sometimes it will be through something you read in the Bible, sometimes it will be through messages received from preachers, and sometimes in your heart.  I used to think that He needed to speak to me directly in my heart, because I got a message like that regarding a friend’s pregnancy.   I was praying for her and her husband one day, as they had 2 miscarriages already and I heard a distinct voice in my heart saying:  “Do not worry about them anymore – she is already pregnant and this time she will not miscarry”.  About 5 – 6 weeks later she told me she was 9 weeks pregnant.  Her little is girl is 8 months old now.  She said that God must have spoken to me before she even knew she was pregnant.  So I was always hoping that God would give me a message like that about my own pregnancy, but I haven’t had anything like that so far.  Now I think that I was not listening, I was looking for my message in the wrong place…  I’m taking it as a good sign that I got so many positive messages in the last few weeks.

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I have had a few comments recently about how “strong” I am and how “strong” my faith is.  That is certainly not the case – I need to put the record straight here.    The posts that you are reading are mostly about things that I’m experiencing and therefore messages that I need.   I guess you can say I’m preaching to myself here.  And being “strong in faith” is another message that I really need.

I have been trying my best to be positive, and to believe that I’m going to get a positive pregnancy test next week, but every now and then, especially when my guard is down, then a sneaky thought or two come into my mind.  Things like:  “Maybe I should test a day earlier, so that I don’t have to go through the agony of spotting again, before I need to test, like so many times in the past.  Or:  “what will I do if it’s negative again? What will I tell people? “Or even “Why do I even put myself through another IVF when it will probably be negative again?”

If I analyze it, I realize that deep down inside me there is a part of me that cannot believe that I will ever get pregnant.  There I said it.  It’s really difficult for me to admit it.  Believe me, I feel so guilty and bad that my faith is not strong enough.  I have been praying a lot about it recently because I know it’s wrong.  I need to change.  Yesterday morning I begged God to help me and not to punish me for my doubts.  I went back to God’s word to help me.  I read out loud the confessions and prayers of “Dealing with fear and thoughts” from the book “Supernatural Childbirth” from Jackie Mize.  Then I did the same with “Before pregnancy: Desire to conceive, fulfilment over barrenness” from the same book, and I must say I felt a lot better and had a lot less of those nagging fears.

This morning in my prayer time, I confessed my doubt again and I asked God to please help me with a message that I need regarding this problem.  When I opened my Bible I read John 20.  It’s about the resurrection of Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene who was the first to see Jesus and then the chapter ends with Thomas, who did not want to believe that Jesus was resurrected until he saw it for himself.

John 20: 26-31 (NIV): 26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, Peace be with you!    27 Then he said to Thomas, Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.    28 Thomas said to him, My Lord and my God!     29 Then Jesus told him: because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.

30 Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book.    31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”

I got some comfort from my reference Bible’s explanation:  “Jesus did not reject Thomas because he was unsure and doubted whether Jesus was indeed resurrected.  Thomas was still loyal to Jesus and the other disciples even though he needed to see with his own eyes and feel with his own hands.  It is unfortunately so that some people need to doubt first before they can believe.  If our doubts lead to questions and our questions lead to answers then our doubts had good results.  When doubts lead to obstinate stubbornness and that stubbornness leads to a lifestyle, then those doubts are a stumbling block for your faith.”

“Thomas is the one who will always be remembered for his doubts, but he must be respected for his faith.  He did doubt, but his doubts had a purpose, because he wanted to get to the truth because of it.   He didn’t treasure his doubts, but acted in faith when he found answers to his doubts.   He voiced his doubts and Jesus gave him acceptable answers to his doubts.  We get the impression that this was just a reaction and not a lifestyle for him.”

“Thomas really tried hard, in spite of his doubts, to stay true to what he believed.  When Jesus life was in danger, Thomas said:   16 Then Thomas (called Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples: Let us also go that we may die with him.” (John 11:16 (NIV)) He did not hesitate to follow Jesus.”

Praise the Lord!  Thank you God, that you have given me an immediate answer and some comfort! Time and again I learn that I just need to turn to God immediately, when I have some kind of problem, or doubt in my life, and He comes through for me!  Hallelujah!  Why do I even doubt Him? Why do I even question whether He will or won’t make me pregnant?

PS:  Please forgive me if I haven’t come round to your comment yet.  We have had a lot of problems with our internet connection for the last week or so.  I will attend to it all as soon as we are on for longer than a few minutes at a time!

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Keep on praying:

I heard this message about a month ago from Angus Buchan – a well know South African preacher.   A week later I read the passage in my reference Bible during my Bible study time.  I’m currently praying so much that God will give us our long awaited and much anticipated BFP, so I thought I need to revisit it.

Luke 18: 1-8 (NIV):   “The Parable of the Persistent Widow:  1 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.    2 He said: In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men.    3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’    4 For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care about men,    5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!’   

6 And the Lord said, Listen to what the unjust judge says.    7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?    8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

If an unfair, worldly judge will give in to the persistent pleas of the widow, how much more won’t our loving, almighty God respond to our pleas.  If we have a loving relationship with Him, we know with certainty that He will respond to our cries for help.  Some people pray a bit, decide that God doesn’t exist or that He doesn’t listen to them or hear them and they give up.  To really know God takes a lot of study and Jesus promises us that He will reward our persistence.

Jeremiah 33:3 (NIV):  “3 Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”  Angus Buchan says this verse is God’s phone number; we must use it when we need Him. 

I found some other scriptures that are in keeping with the message today:  Matthew 7: 7-11 (NIV):   7 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.    8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.    9 Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?    10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?    11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!”

In these verses the child asks his dad for two essential items: bread and a fish.  Would the father have given the son a poisonous snake if the child asked for it?  God knows when the things we ask for in prayer are poisonous snakes, and no matter how many times we ask for it, He will not give us something that is not good for us.  But the closer we get to Him, the better our relationship becomes, we will know what to ask for.   

Mark 11: 23-24 (NIV):  23 I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.    24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

Matthew 18:19 (NIV):  19 Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.”

John 15:7 (NIV):  7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.”

Psalm 37:4 (KJV):  4 Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

John 16:23 (NIV):  23 In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.”

Ephesians 3: 16-21 (NIV):  16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,    17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,    18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,    19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge— that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.    20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,    21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.”

So can you see how many times God promises us that He will help us?  He cannot lie, He cannot make promises that He cannot keep.  Believe it for yourself and be persistent in your pleas, and He will give you what you need!

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It’s IComLeavWe:

This is the first time I’m participating in IComLeavWe, as my blog is not even a month old yet.  Welcome to all visiting!  We are currently in the 2WW after our 3rd fresh IVF.  We have been trying for more than 10 years and I haven’t had a BFP ever!  I’m hoping that I’ll get my first one in a week’s time though!  As I’m quite an analytical person I thought I’ll share a comparison I’ve made of all my IVF treatments with you.

  IVF # 1 IVF ICSI  # 2 FET IVF  ICSI #3
My age 36 38 38 39
Stim Meds Gonal F  Fostimon  No meds Femara  
  Lucrin Lucrin   Gonal F
        Cetrotide
Protocol Short Long N/A Short
# eggs retrieved 14 14 N/A 5
# eggs fertilized 14 12 N/A 4
# replaced 2 Blastocysts  3 x 8 cell  2 x  3 cell  1 x 8 cell  
  2 Morulas     1 x 6 cell
        2 x 4 cell
embryo quality 1  x Grade 1 blast  1 x Grade 1   Both Grade 5 2 Grade 1 (8 & 4 cell) 
  1  Grade 2 blast 2 x Grade 2   2 Grade 2 (6 & 4 cell)
  2 x Grade 2 morulas      
day of transfer Day 5 Day 3 Day 4 Day 3
# embryo’s frozen 0 9 All were defrosted 0
Other medication   Prednisone from CD2 Prednisone from CD 2 Prednisone from CD 2
      Intralipid drip  Intralipid drip  
      1 week before ET 2 days before ER
        Ecotrin from day after ER
  1 cyclogest/day  3 cyclogest/day  3 cyclogest/day  3 cyclogest/day 
  From day after ER From day after ER From day after ER From day after ER

You might wonder how I cope with more than 10 years of infertility.  For many years I did not cope – I was depressed, angry and bitter.  After my first IVF failed I almost had an emotional breakdown.  In that time I turned to God and I was finally able to give my heart completely to Him, and I was Born-again and filled with the Holy Spirit.  Since then I’ve come to rely and trust in Him with all my heart.  God has given me new hope, and I’m so thankful that I wanted to share it with as many people as possible.  I have changed so much in the past 2 and a half years, and it’s all for the better!  That is why a lot of my posts are about messages that I either had to learn, or I’m still learning.

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