Baby Hunger

hormonesGlen and I are hoping to start IVF fairly soon.  I say hoping, because it’s been a long, long process and I’m utterly convinced I will do something to stuff it up.  That probably sounds stupid as, at this stage, there’s not much I can do except take the hormones, try not to go (even more) bonkers, pray and wait. But – I have Eating Disorder Guilt, I don’t think I’m an adult let alone a Woman and frankly, after years of beating up on my body I don’t expect it to work. I expect the consultant to look at me and laugh. I expect to fail. And I’m too scared to hope.

With the sort of IVF we’re going for, the odds of conception are very slim.  Normally in IVF they harvest 12 eggs and have a stab at fertilising them all. Success rates vary, but out of 12 eggs, let’s say four or five successfully fertilise.  Some of these may be ‘weak’ embryos, so in most cases, the team will select one (or two at most) and implant them. The remaining fertilised eggs are either disposed of or can be frozen, (tho only 60% of fertilised eggs will survive the thawing process).

So – in conventional IVF, you select the best egg out of the original 12 to allow for the fact that some won’t fertilise and some will be weak. Depending on age and other factors, (but taking us as a case study), the odds of success are between 20 and 30%.  Each couple makes their own choices, and ours is to only fertilise eggs we use (a maximum of two instead of twelve, with no selection and no freezing).

I know that God can work miracles and I know that He’s in charge – but the odds here aren’t great. And maybe that’s where the self-punishing comes in. See, in a situation which is totally out of my hands my temptation is to grasp control. If I can’t guarantee success on account of my goodness, I opt for a share of the blame on account of my badness. Either way I tell myself I’m somehow in charge.

Proverbs says “The lot is cast into the lap but every decision is from the LORD.” This turns my world right-side up. It’s not about random odds. And it’s not about me. It’s about a LORD who has shown Himself trustworthy. That’s what I’m trying to hang on to.


9 thoughts on “Baby Hunger

  1. May God bless you and honour you as you obey Him by not destroy precious life in the process of creating a family. So easy to be tempted to do it the worlds way but remember Abraham and wait patiently! I adopted mine….

  2. I greatly respect your decision to seek to honour God in what you do, and not put your deep deep longing for children above your even deeper longing to honour Him.

    May God richly bless you, and exceed your greatest expectations.

    With love, Kondwani

  3. Huge love & prayers to you both. I remember John Piper saying in one of his blogs about cancer ‘don’t trust the odds, trust God’. Easy to say but praying he’ll help you to do that :)

  4. My prayers will join the many others who will be praying for you. Whatever the outcome in baby terms, I know that God will prove Himself faithful to you both

  5. Hi Emma

    I’m finding your blog deeply moving and challenging. I think you have a really important message about self image to give to young people. Would you prayerfully consider coming to Essex Uni next year to talk about some aspect of your life experiences?

    I don’t think we’ve ever met but Glen and I led a group together at All Souls many moons ago.

    God bless you in this next testing phase.

  6. What an amazing ride He is taking you on. How precious that you are willing to live the talk. I am honored to be looking in on your story.

    I well remember when a co worker was having great difficulties conceiving. As she rocked my tiny brand new baby in her arms she said “…and the doc says if there’s still like 6, he’ll just go in and pop 4 of them.”


    Weep, weep.

    I am so pleased to hear your plans. Know we will be holding you up in prayer.

    Also, on realizing we are not in charge:
    If this works the way we all hope, prepare for the biggest lesson yet on how in charge of this thing we are NOT. There is nothing like a child to teach that life (even your life) is not about you.

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