Denise Grace Gitsham
ENOUGH > MORE
Enough > More
My parents bugged me for years, before I capitulated. Mom and dad dreamed of grandbabies, and knew I’d take forever finding The One. So at the age of 37, I gave in, and by God’s grace, happened upon the best IVF clinic in the region.
The picture of me in my medical file is the same picture they took when I first walked in and registered myself as a patient. Five years, but literal lifetimes later, I get
nostalgic every time I see it on their computer screen. There I am, wearing my favorite striped sweater - makeup-free, baby-faced, and hopeful.
That was the beginning of my IVF journey. This week marks the beginning of the end of it.
After our recent miscarriage, my doctor ordered an MRI that revealed an autoimmune disease called adenomyosis. While common and treatable, it nevertheless poses a risk to my future childbearing prospects. With only two embryos left, I had a decision to make: undergo another round of IVF, or accept my current limitations.
Naturally, I chose the former. “Just two” seemed too few. “Just two” felt scarce and desperate. “Just two” put too much pressure on us to make every transfer count. And “just two” meant that if one failed, our dreams of having two kids were shattered.
This round is totally different from the last. At 37, I made zero changes to my lifestyle. In fact, I distinctly remember switching a champagne flute from one hand to another so that I could properly administer a shot in the middle of a party. At 42, I changed my diet, cut out alcohol and caffeine, minimized stress, stopped running, and upped my supplement intake a thousand fold. I enlisted my husband on this regime, as well - as much for moral support as anything else.
Other lifestyle changes include regular trips to the doctor’s office. For the past 2 weeks, I’ve been there almost every morning, getting my blood drawn, doing ultrasounds, and waiting to hear back on lab results. Every afternoon, my doctor calls to tell me what meds to take, and when. The closer I get to the day of retrieval (tomorrow!), the more restricted my activities become. Life now revolves around a series of perfectly timed shots. Work meetings are interrupted to take doctor’s calls. All external distractions are eliminated to optimize the chances of this round “taking.”
I tell you this to emphasize the obvious: IVF is all-consuming - mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I first noticed the spiritual element when I sensed the subtlest shift in my faith – from God to science. Sure, I thanked God for the miracle of IVF, and for providing the financial means that enable us to do it. But beyond that, I found myself putting our incredible, omnipotent, and hope-inspiring God in a box, rendering the process “off-limits” to Him.
In His place, I worshipped lesser gods – my doctor’s prognosis, IVF chat rooms, and statistics. A few days ago, I actually caught myself asking God to help us “defy the odds” - which makes me laugh now, typing it, as though God were anything less than the odd-maker Himself! I asked Him for more eggs, more chances to conceive, and more opportunities to try. Somehow, my hormone-laden mind confused “more” with “God” as the missing ingredient.
But “more” never is. It’s always God and God alone, who gives us precisely what we need. Which means that “just two” is still enough for Him to do whatever He wants with our family. And any "more" we receive will have a purpose.
Confident in this, my prayers have changed from “More,” to “Just enough." And with this change, I'm now able to experience the peace He promises to those who believe - not only in Him, but in His perfect provision.
And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:19