There’s something I need to write that I’ve been putting off for a long time - about 1 year actually. The reason I haven’t written about it is because I’m honestly not certain if it is something I should share.
And I realize that’s coming from the guy who eagerly tells anyone who will listen about the time he pooped his pants while waiting in line at an REI tent sale. When people say ’T.M.I.’ to me I usually just assume they’ve misspoken one of my favorite acronyms and correct them. ‘You mean T.M.N.T - Michelangelo’s my favorite.’
It’s been almost one year to the day that we took the HUGE step of transferring embryos. I have sat down to write about that day and my feelings several times, but have always come up short. Not for words. Being short on words is never my problem. The problem has been strange to say the least…I’m not sure I’m supposed to write about it.
Sound weird? Well, as if watching another man impregnate your wife with an $8,000 glorified turkey baster isn’t weird enough, as I watched a tiny luminescent dot positioned on an ultrasound monitor a very familiar scripture kept floating through my head.
For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
Did you catch that? ‘When I was being made in secret.’
I recall the NIV version I grew up with saying it was ‘a secret place.’ I’m not too proud to say that in that moment when I should have been experiencing nothing but wonder and joy I had also this subtle feeling of being busted spying on my brother trying to steal a kiss from a girl on the front porch.
With the exception that the embryo’s never slapped me and called me a nerd.
Now then, after an incredible year and all that we’ve seen and done we’ve grown tremendously in our understanding of family, marriage and faith. So…I’m still not sure about sharing that moment. But at the end of the day I am the guy who hates having the regret of NOT doing something. So here goes. I realize this is going to be an extra long piece so I’ll probably break it up into two or more posts.
So then, on with the day the secret place was revealed.
Driving my chemically enhanced wife to the fertility clinic went from an exciting eventuality to a world jarring reality over night. I’d be lying to you if I said it was a restless night before we transferred our adopted embryos. We had no idea how many embryos, if any, would survive the thaw. It was possible that the months of painful shots and crazy meds would in the end be for nothing. And at several thousand dollars - this would be our only chance.
Joni had the luxury of taking a valium while I had to play designated driver for what had become the most important uterus on the planet - at least it was in my mind. It was like someone had implanted a bomb in her abdomen that was sensitive to vibration. I was Mario Andretti-ing every pothole on University avenue for fear that we’d arrive to the news that ‘it appears your uterus is twisted - did you have a rough drive over this morning.’
And I remember exactly where it was when the thought hit me. I was making the turn into the medical buildings when it hit me that this whole embryo adoption thing was inside out.
Not that Joni would be carrying babies like a marsupial…although you have to admit, that would be pretty cool. The inside out part was the knowing and the hoping.
With our first three children we hoped first, and knew later. We hoped embryo existed. We were left in the dark for several weeks wether or not life was beginning in our midst. Then, it was some time later that our hopes were confirmed and the knowing set in. With the knowing, comes the worry. ‘Yea! We’re pregnant!’ is immediately followed with ‘Oh crap, we’re not ready to have a baby!’
That is the natural order of things. When hope precedes knowing there is an opportunity to suspend weight of it all till a later date. When knowing precedes hope, the weight comes first and starts stealing from hope.
And that’s what I felt the moment we arrived. The weight. The responsibility. When hope comes first everything is, shall we say, “fun and games” until the knowing. But upon arrival we found out that two embryos survived and two did not. We knew. Embryos would be transferred. This was happening. And immediately it started to rob my hope. ‘What if’s’ assaulted me. Instead of hoping for the embryos to implant after transfer I was full of doubt.
That is, until that moment when I witnessed the secret place. I’m not a religious nut-job but I will admit to, in that moment, clearly hearing the voice of the Spirit. That moment changed everything. The secret was revealed…
TUNE IN NEXT TIME TO DISCOVER THE TRUTH OF THE SECRET PLACE!
See what I did there?