“Don’t Give Up (On The Brink Of A Miracle)” by Mike Adkins

I have shared two of the three songs I loved hearing the Hicks sing at a Southern Gospel Jubilee years ago.  The first two were “No Need To Doubt Him Now” and “In His Time.”  The third is what I call a fighting song.  I love the words.  Fighting songs keep you going when things look bleak and the results don’t seem very promising.     

“Don’t Give Up (On The Brink Of A Miracle)”

By Mike Adkins

 

Satan would have you look

at the trials of life that surround you,

And he tries to appear, and he brings

doubt and fear all around you.

Don’t look with your eye or listen with your ear.

Just cry out to God; He is always near,

And in your darkest hour, your miracle is here.

 

Oh, the devil is a thief

and he sends these troubles to confound you.

And he lies and he says,

“This time there’s no way you’ll make it through.”

But you remember God’s true Word, the battle is the Lord’s.

Don’t give in to fear; Think on things that are pure.

And praise the Lord, you’re miracle is here.

 

Don’t give up on the brink of a miracle.

Don’t give in; God is still on His throne.

Oh, don’t give up on the brink of a miracle.

Don’t give in; Remember you’re not alone.

 

On February 2nd of 2005, we had our first IVF-ICSI attempt.  I woke up feeling like something good was about to happen – our embryo transfer was at 10:45 am.  I was staying at my sister and brother-in-law’s house, and my sweet, five-year old nephew gave me two roses, one a melon color and the other yellow.  How special he (and my sister) made me feel!

The embryologist had called the day before and said we would have a transfer in the morning; one morula was ready, and he thought the 10-cell would be ready so we could transfer two.  The other two embryos had slowed down, but we were hoping they would be able to freeze them if they reached blastocyst by day 6 – the day after transfer.

At the procedure, I saw my embryos on a TV screen.  For some reason, I wrote in my journal that it was neat but not as exciting as I thought it would be.  My doctor mentioned that they were morulas, not blastocysts (optimum maturity) and that probably had to do with the condition of my eggs.  The other two embryos did not continue to develop.  This really discouraged me, and after we were alone, I cried.  I woke up at 4 am the next morning to use the bathroom and cried some more.  I sang to myself the songs I heard the Hicks sing – “No Need To Doubt Him Now” and “Don’t Give Up On The Brink Of A Miracle,” as well as Guy Penrod singing “I Just Feel Like Something Good Is About To Happen.”  I quoted Psalm 113 and my poem of faith, rejoicing, and trust, and then I remembered the words of a friend, “Stay encouraged, stay in His Word, and praise Him.”  God brought to mind our pastor’s most recent sermon from James.  I didn’t want my faith to be like the wind, driven by circumstances.  Faith and tears of doubt don’t go together.  I was encouraged in the Lord.

Yet, eight days later, my results were negative.  It was hard to hear.  My husband’s words were that he was still confident I would get pregnant, so we would just sail on.  We didn’t give up.

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“God Is Gracious Indeed” by Katrina

God makes everything beautiful in his time. We are just ordinary people.  We have ordinary jobs.  There is nothing spectacular about us.  We aren’t “extra” good or “super-extra” faithful.  We aren’t super-smart or super-funny.  We are just a husband and a wife who wanted to be a father and a mother.  It wasn’t just a casual desire in our hearts though.  It was deep and real.  God gave two people three extra miraculous children.  The first thing that comes to mind after our experience with infertility is that God is a very, very gracious God.

After being suspicious of having infertility issues, we began seeing physicians to see why we were not getting pregnant.  I was only 22 and my husband just 26 when we were told after multiple tests and several different physicians later that we had less than a 3% chance of getting pregnant without the help of treatment such as IVF with ICSI.  As far as we knew, the only issues lied within my husband’s sperm.  The count was extremely low, all abnormally shaped, etc. and could not attach to my eggs.  The cause of this is still unknown.  He is a healthy man, no drugs, no alcohol, no smoking, and living a minimal-to-no-stress life. However, he and his family were sponsored to leave Belarus to come to the U.S. after Chernobyl, due to radiation poisoning when he was seven years old.  This could have affected his fertility.  We did not know how it affected his brother or sister at the time because neither of them had attempted to have children nor planned to.

We had been hopeful that any issues we had were minimal to nothing and were devastated to hear the news.  How can we afford that?  $20,000+ dollars just for one attempt with IVF?  Just for a chance?  I had just graduated from college weeks before and had a large lump of student loans to begin paying off, my husband was about to drop his hours of work to increase his school hours, and we had only a small amount of savings for our “rainy day” fund.  It definitely didn’t even sound like an option.

I thought I was supposed to be a mom.  That was the biggest desire of my heart.  I’m the girl who finished a four-year college degree in a secure field in order to be able to support my family “ just in case” anything happened to my husband.  Don’t get me wrong – I do enjoy the field I work in and I believe it was my calling, but my calling to be a mom came first.  I had everything planned out – first go to college, work for two years and pay off student loans and my car, buy a house within one income so I could be a stay-at-home mom, have five children and the story goes on…

It’s so hard to write out and explain all of the emotions, thoughts, feelings, and words we said and felt.  We were sad.  We were angry.  We shed many tears at the possibility of never being able to have a family of our own and if so, at what cost?  Most of all, I was confused.  If God put this desire in my heart and I had been faithful to him, why would He do this to me?  I’m not going to lie.  I really struggled.  I asked God a lot of questions.  I begged Him on my hands in knees for the opportunity to be a mother.   Didn’t God love me?  There were times I didn’t feel it.  On top of that, it was a weird combination of time standing still yet quickly ticking by at the same time.

My husband and I grieved differently, and it was hard to always support each other in the best way possible when we were struggling so much individually.  We did not share our burden with anyone for a long time.  I did all the researching.  I researched everything possible about IVF, adoption, and all of our options.  After many hours of tears, reading, and praying, we decided to attempt Mini-IVF with ICSI after consulting a physician out-of-state.

Our first attempt two years later did not result in a child.  Everything was perfectly lined up.  I did everything they instructed, and they implanted two perfect embryos.  I couldn’t move the day after taking my negative pregnancy test.  I was sad, and my husband was angry.  We had embryos left to attempt several more times, but my husband said he couldn’t try again. He was done.

However, we went back to St. Louis to attempt again.  The doctor came in and told us only 3 out of the 4 embryos that we had left were going to be able to be used and that he wasn’t hopeful that any of the three would result in a pregnancy.  These were our last embryos.  This was the last of our money.  We left feeling without hope.  Embarrassingly, we couldn’t even bring ourselves to pray about it.  God knew the desires of our hearts, and I felt like I was trying to control the situation and my life with this prayer.  I knew it was all God.  We had done everything on our part.

Two weeks later, I took an early pregnancy test and got a positive!  Dare we be excited?  We had gotten bad news for so long; we didn’t know how to react to it in fear that it would all be for nothing.  God had his hands in the timing of our pregnancy.  A dear friend, who did not know we attempted IVF again, found out she was pregnant the same week I did.  The Lord knew I needed a friend to go through this special pregnancy with.

We were shocked to find out our three “poor” embryos resulted in a twin pregnancy! Wow!  Not only was I pregnant with beautiful healthy girl/ boy twins, but I was also blessed with an uncomplicated pregnancy. They were born full-term and perfect in every way.  I was beyond grateful for the two children I never thought I would have.  I look at them every day in awe – a humbling reminder of God’s goodness despite my doubt, anger and small-mindedness.  I really underestimated my God.

I still had the desire to have more children, but I didn’t dare to hope.  I knew what the statistical chances were.  Almost zero.  I shared my desire to have more children with Joy (joyinmyjourney blogger), even though I was so thankful and loved the ones I had.  She had asked me to write my journey and testimony with infertility and becoming pregnant with the twins when they were about 5 or 6 months old.  I tried so hard to finish writing it.  I played it over and over in my mind but I couldn’t submit it. I honestly felt my story wasn’t over.  I felt so silly even thinking that.  I played it off as my emotional hopes getting too high.  I never did send it to her.

When my twins were 10 months old, I did something I never thought I would do again. I REALLY didn’t want to buy ANOTHER test.  I had already invested too much in the pregnancy test industry over the years, but I had just quit nursing a month before and my cycle was late – a week late.  How weird.  Yep, it was positive!  It was the shock of my life.  I called my OB doctor’s office and even my nurse asked if I was SURE it said positive.  The best part was calling my husband at work and telling him we were going to have another baby!  Three babies in 19 months!  He came home early with the biggest grin on his face.  Our son was born 9 months later.  My third miracle baby!  I can feel my heart swell with joy as I look at my 7-week old baby sleeping next to me.  It seemed like crazy timing, but one thing I learned through this journey is how much control I DON’T have.  God has His hand in everything, and even with all my planning, though it can be beneficial, I know it’s always His timing.  God made this journey beautiful in His time.  I love that my God has my life in His hands and it’s not in my own.  I’m thankful for a God that forgives, loves, and blesses his children!

Katrina

Be A Self-Encourager: Encouraging Yourself Through Song – “It Is Well With My Soul” by Horatio Spafford

We have learned to encourage ourselves through solitude with God and through Scripture, particularly the Psalms.  Lastly, we can encourage ourselves through song.

Ephesians 5:19 shows us how to be filled with the Spirit, “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.”

“God’s people have reason to rejoice, and to sing for joy.  They are to sing and to make melody in their hearts; not only with their voices, but with inward affection, and then their doing this will be as delightful and acceptable to God as music is to us: and it must be with a design to please Him, and to promote His glory, that we do this; and then it will be done to the Lord.”  Matthew Henry

I enjoy current gospel music.  Many songs have encouraged me and lifted my spirits, but my favorites are the enduring hymns.  They are classic and they don’t sound dated.  Two hymns in particular ministered to me the most during my journey of infertility.  I wrote about it many times in my journal.  One of them is “It Is Well With My Soul”.

The story behind the writing of “It Is Well With My Soul” is perhaps a familiar one.  Elisabeth Elliot’s Secure in the Everlasting Arms presents it in more detail than I have ever heard in the past.

The great Chicago fire of the 1870s caused Horatio Spafford, a wealthy businessman, to take stock in his life.  Wanting to know Jesus better, he decided to sell everything and move to the land where He had walked.  Shortly before the ship sailed, he was delayed by business, but took the family to New York.  For some reason he was unable to explain, he had the purser change their cabin, moving them closer to the bow.  He returned to Chicago to finish his business.  Then came a telegram: SAVED ALONE.  The ship had sunk.  Mrs. Spafford had survived.  Their four daughters had perished.  Had they been in the cabin originally reserved amidships, all five would have drowned, for it was there that the steamer had been struck by another vessel.

Mrs. Spafford described that terrible black night when she and her four little girls were flung into the cold sea.  Frantically, she had tried to save them.  Barely, she had been able to touch with her fingertips the hem of the little gown of one, but could not grasp it.  She herself had been miraculously rescued as she floated unconscious on a piece of flotsam.

During Mr. Spafford’s voyage to join his wife in France, the captain summoned him one day to the bridge.  Pointing to his charts he explained that it was just here, where they were at that moment, that the other ship had gone down.  Spafford returned to his cabin and wrote the hymn, which has comforted countless thousands.  Mrs. Bertha Spafford Vester, the fifth daughter of Horatio and Mrs. Spafford, who was not born until after the tragedy, told this story to Mrs. Elliot.  What a joy to know God blessed them with another daughter!

 ~

 It Is Well With My Soul by Horatio Spafford

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll.  Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul. 

It is well with my soul.  It is well, it is well with my soul. 

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, let this blest assurance control, that Christ hath regarded my helpless estate and hath shed His own blood for my soul. 

It is well with my soul.  It is well, it is well with my soul. 

My sin – O the bliss of this glorious thought, my sin, not in part, but the whole is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more: Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

It is well with my soul.  It is well, it is well with my soul. 

And, Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight, the clouds be rolled back as a scroll: The trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend, “Even so” – it is well with my soul.

It is well with my soul.  It is well, it is well with my soul. 

 ~

“It Is Well With My Soul” performed by Chris Rice

~

Piano by Greg Howlett

Early in 2003, I had my final attempt at ovulation induction with IUI.  It didn’t work.  I was still struggling to accept it might not be God’s will for me to get pregnant.  Adoption was next, and IVF was not yet in the picture.

This is what I wrote in my journal on March 12, 2003 – “Weepy day.  I cried at work a little and then at home.  Greg told me not to go to church tonight, but I showered and felt better so I went.  Greg wanted to pray with me.  He told me a lot of things the Lord had laid on my heart this very day.  I had to face reality that I thought God let me down.  Greg said it was the first time he sensed from me that I doubted God.  That hurts, and I’m ashamed of feeling that way.  Janice talked to me afterward because she saw me bawling.  Teri asked Greg about me.  Greg and Janice both said I was going through the grieving of my loss and that was natural.  I want to be at peace and say, ‘It is well with my soul.’ ”

“To love God is to love His will.  That which He gives we receive.  That which He takes away we relinquish.  He unfailingly allots grace in the measure needed.  It is for us to choose to receive or refuse it.  Our joy or our misery will depend on that choice.”  Elisabeth Elliot from “Whatever My Lot”, Secure in the Everlasting Arms

“In His Time” by Gina

When my husband William and I got married in November of 1997, we were both ready to begin our family immediately.  Little did we know, God had other plans for us.  After four years of trying to conceive and to no avail, we decided to seek medical help.  For years I had doctors tell me that there was nothing wrong, that we just needed to relax and quit worrying about things and that if we were not so uptight, it would happen.

I started researching infertility and began charting my cycles each month and after about a year of doing this with no results, I was convinced that there was something wrong.  I had to change doctors three times because it seemed that no one would take me seriously and listen to what I knew was going on.  Through the testing that followed the next several years, it was finally concluded that I had severe endometriosis.  As most who suffer from endometriosis know, this disease can be extremely frustrating.  There are so many unknowns and it usually leaves you with many unanswered questions.  Some common ones I struggled with were: “Why do I have it?”  “What did I do to cause this?”  And the most frustrating of all for me was, “If every test comes out that nothing is physically wrong with my reproductive organs, why am I not pregnant yet?”

These questions plagued me for years, and like many other women who have struggled with infertility, I watched time and time again as my friends and family conceived, carried their babies to term and delivered beautiful, healthy babies.  My emotions were so unstable during this time.  My friends and family were afraid to share their joyous news with me, which hurt me because I truly was so happy for them, but every positive they received made me feel so sad about my situation.  It seemed like a never-ending roller coaster ride that I didn’t want to be on.

I think the most hurtful thing during that time was that I felt that God was not answering my prayers but pouring out blessings on everyone around me.  I compared my state to that of Hannah in 1 Samuel 1:10 as she dealt with her own barrenness,  “ And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore.” I truly was in this state as well.  I prayed, I wept, and bitterness was beginning to set in on me.   I felt so self-centered and selfish, always thinking about me and my condition.  Looking back, those were some very sad and lonely times for me.

Over the next few years, William and I considered in vitro fertilization (IVF).  We even got as far as meeting with a physician and were actually filling out the paperwork when both of us immediately knew that this was not the path that we were to be taking, at least not at that very moment.  We continued praying and searching for alternative ways to build our family.  An attorney introduced us to the idea of adoption.  We first looked into overseas adoption, but could not find peace in that decision and decided that was not the path we were to take either.  We finally settled on becoming a resource family through the Department of Human Services.  This decision was absolutely life changing for us and I mean that in the best way!  I still can’t believe how everything fell into place as we began to start our family and I would like to share a few pieces of that story with you, so you can see just how great the Lord worked in our lives.

We were approved in August of 2003 to become adoptive parents.  I was praying that we would be placed with an infant.   I wanted so badly to experience that part of motherhood.  Our social worker told us it would take some time to be placed with a child, especially an infant, sometimes it could take several years.  I was very surprised when our phone rang in December of that same year with a possibility of a 3 ½ year-old boy.  I have to admit, at first, I was not on board with the age of the child; I was hoping for a newborn or at least a baby that was under a year old.  I went and met with the social worker and as soon as she showed me the pictures of Tevin, my heart melted….I saw a beautiful little boy who needed a home.  My eyes were not clouded with age; age didn’t matter.   He was such a cute little guy and so in December of 2003, Tevin came home with us!   Talk about a wonderful Christmas gift.  After only six months in our home, we finalized the adoption of our first child.  We were finally parents and I was a mommy!   God had answered our prayers!  God was so good to work out so many problems that could have occurred during that process and then, He continued to pour out blessings on us over the next few years!

In November of 2005, I was called to give temporary care to a newborn baby boy for another foster parent who was dealing with health issues in her family.  That temporary care turned permanent the first week of December and it looked like this little baby might possibly be up for adoption as well.  On December 19th, I received a call that they had found a family for the baby to live with.  I was very heartbroken.  Although the goal is always for reuniting with the parents or biological family, in the back of my mind, I always thought what if…I was not prepared for the phone call that I received three days later.  I received the call on Taleah on December 22nd.  Her birth mother was in the hospital delivering her as we spoke, and they wanted to see if I was up for keeping another newborn.  I hesitated after they told me that she had three other siblings in custody and that the only reason she couldn’t go there was because that foster home was full; however, if a spot opened, they would move her to be with the siblings.  I almost said no, but something (God, I believe) prompted me to say yes and so we took her.  The next day, I went and picked her up.  She was amazing and I fell in love with her quickly!

Two days later, on Christmas Day, I knew that her leaving my home would be too hard for me to take, especially if her stay was extended, so I wanted to meet with the other foster family and tell them my heart or tell them to take her quickly because the DHS workers really felt that this baby would go up for adoption.  We went out to my mother-in-law’s for Christmas dinner and she had a HUGE surprise for us!  The other family that had the other three other siblings was her current preacher and his wife, who was also my husband’s and my former preacher!  They too were resource parents in another county.  They had already adopted two of her siblings and had the third in foster care at the time but knew they could not keep taking this couples’ children.  Space was limited and they already had ten children in their home with plans of adopting them all.  They had been so burdened by not knowing where Taleah was that they had decided to call DHS after Christmas and tell them that they would do whatever they needed to make a space for her.  They were telling this story to my mother-in-law and when they compared details, they realized that we were the other foster family.  When they found out that she had been placed with William and me, we all knew that God had worked this out perfectly and that it was a miracle.  MANY tears of joy were shed that day!

Several huge things happened that don’t normally happen in a case like Taleah’s that I want to point out, so that God can get all the glory.  First of all, her siblings resided in another county and the fact that her mother delivered in our county opened the door to us even being able to foster her temporarily.  Secondly, had the little boy that we had in our home not been removed three days before Taleah was born, we would not have been the ones to receive that telephone call.  God’s hand TRULY was present in yet another wonderful Christmas present for us.  Telling that story still gives me chills, it is so AMAZING and hard to believe that it happened at all, let alone the way that it did.  Everything just fell into place perfectly.

After being blessed with our first two children through adoption, we decided that the timing might be right for us to try IVF.  We still struggled with the thought that perhaps we were taking things out of the Lord’s hands if we sought this route of treatment.  After talking with my pastor’s wife one day, I was explaining to her that I felt so selfish for still wanting to conceive and carry a child, especially after the Lord had been so good to us through adoption.

She said two things that really helped me get past any struggle I had with IVF.  The first was, it wasn’t selfish of me to want to be a mother in the sense of carrying and delivering a child.  God had created women to fulfill that very function and that He had placed that desire in my heart as a woman.  The other was the struggle that William and I dealt with on taking things out of God’s hands.  She said to me, “Gina, if God does not intend for you to bear a child, you will not bear a child.  You cannot take anything out of God’s hands!”  Her words of counsel put us at complete ease with pursuing IVF.  If the process worked, great!  If it didn’t, we had already been blessed with two beautiful children.

We were referred to a wonderful doctor and in the fall of 2007, our third child, Kaylee Rose, was born to us.  Our final addition to the family arrived in the spring of 2009.  We named her Kimberlee.  I’m not sure of the exact statistics on IVF, but I know that the percentage of success on a first try is somewhere around or below 50% and on frozen cycles, the success rate is much lower, probably around 35% or even lower.  We tried two cycles and both were successful!  I am still in awe at God’s allowing us to experience the joy of parenthood by adoption and by conception.  One boy and three girls later, our family is complete, unless of course the Lord decides to allow us any more children!

Looking back over the last thirteen years, I can now see how important it was for us to wait on starting our family.  God was trying to teach me patience so that I could experience the full blessings that He had in store for me.  In Romans 5:3, the Bible says ”And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience.”  This verse proved so true in our situation.  Had we been able to immediately conceive and not go through the tribulation of infertility, our family would not be complete because we never would have considered the adoption process and we would not have Tevin and Taleah today.  God had other plans for our family.  He had bigger and better plans for our family.  While I couldn’t see His plan clearly years ago, I can now see clear as day just what He had in mind.  I learned a very important lesson through all this and it is that the best blessings come “In His Time.”  Some things are worth waiting for!

Gina

Our Road To IVF – Money Issues

Our road leading to IVF seemed long.  From the first time IVF was recommended as our best chance at pregnancy, it took about 3 ½ years for us to eventually proceed with IVF, mostly because of concerns about the cost.  However, with pastoral and godly counsel and much prayer, we felt God’s hand upon us, even guiding us to the center He wanted us to use.

“We will know when we need to know, not before.”
(Elisabeth Elliot in “God’s Timing”, Faith That Does Not Falter.  )

This quote describes our road to IVF.  After surgery and treatment for Stage IV endometriosis, my doctor’s recommendation was that we try to get pregnant for a year, but if not, she said our best chance for pregnancy was IVF.  We were not initially inclined to do IVF.  At first, it seemed drastic.  If it was still possible to get pregnant within that year, why jump to IVF, when it would cost $10,000 (in 2001) for a 50% chance of pregnancy?  This was something we reasoned together but did not try really communicate with our doctor to find out more.  The $10,000 would be worth it if I got pregnant, but to spend that much money and not get pregnant with one chance and then be out $10,000 seemed like a huge risk to us.  It would have been both financially and emotionally devastating.

I didn’t get pregnant on my own that year, and after seeking treatment from a different specialist, we were again advised that IVF was our best chance for pregnancy.  At the time, we wanted to try IUI since it did not seem as “invasive” and was also less expensive, although the success rate was not as high as IVF.  When IUI didn’t produce a pregnancy, we sought to add to our family through adoption and also started to read a little more about IVF.

In the spring of 2004, my sister called me about an episode that aired on Dr. Phil.  It was about a shared-risk program for IVF in Washington, D.C.  I looked it up on the internet also and found out shared-risk costs more than one traditional IVF cycle, but some programs refund 70-100% of your money, if you do not go home with a live baby after a certain number of attempts.  It sounded like something feasible for us, maybe a financial risk worth taking.  It is more like a type of insurance, since we did not have insurance coverage for infertility nor live in a state that mandated coverage.

Summertime rolled around and my husband decided to ask our pastor’s counsel about IVF.  It was like a burden lifted off of us when he talked to him.  We had a green light!  I remember asking him, “Why did you ask him about this now?  Why not a year ago?!”  The doctors always said we had “a window of opportunity”.  All I can say is…

“We will know when we need to know, not before.”

That summer the show on Dr. Phil aired again and my mother-in-law taped it for us.  After my husband’s talk with Pastor, we watched the program.  I looked it up on the internet and tried to figure out how we could make it work.  It would be costly just for traveling and lodging.  A few days later, I did a web search on shared-risk IVF and a company came up called Integramed (now known as Attain IVF.  They did a similar shared-risk program with a handful of approved reproductive centers in the U.S.  At the time there were no centers in our state, but the closest one to us “just happened” to be only four hours’ driving distance from where we lived and 5 miles from my sister’s house!  That location definitely sounded more practical and feasible.

I prayed for peace about this center.  We also scheduled an IVF consult with our doctor locally to compare options.  I prayed Psalm 102:2b “In the day when I call, answer me speedily.”  And He did!  Praise the Lord!  By the end of October, in one day – the same day – the Lord answered my prayer by closing the door on our local doctor and opening the door to the center out-of-state.

Isaiah 30:21. “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.”

We knew this is where the Lord was leading us.  Within two weeks, we had our first appointment.  Then we were accepted into the shared-risk program, and by January 2005, we did our first IVF.  This definitely turned out to be the best option for us because we I did not get pregnant on the first attempt, although if I had, it still would have been worth it to us.  It was God’s timing, and…

“We will know when we need to know, not before.”

Note: I am presenting our story of shared-risk as one of many financial options to have a baby.  We had our baby in 2006, and so I am sure there are now even more programs and ways to save money, raise money, get the most out of your money – all that will hopefully lead you on the road to having your baby.
Article on Affording the Cost of Infertility Treatments

Our Road To IVF – Moral Issues

When we did not become pregnant on our own, I began to wonder how I, as a Christian, should feel about assisted reproductive technology.  I didn’t know much about procedures like AI or IVF, except having developed a few preconceived ideas from a couple of ladies who had experienced infertility and shared their thoughts.  Based on that, I wondered if it was even ethical or moral for me as a Christian to pursue.  How do I determine what is right or wrong?  Were we taking the situation out of God’s hands?  These are just a few of the moral issues I needed to discover the answer to.

After searching on the internet, I came across the website for the Christian Medical and Dental Association (cmda.org) and found they had published their statements concerning issues and ethics on Reproductive Technology & Health.  Even among Christians in the medical field, there was agreement on the biblical principles but not total agreement on the practical application of the principles.  Not every technological procedure may be morally justified.

Below I have shared a couple of statements that stood out to me when reading from the CMDA website:

“Paradoxically, the advent of assisted reproductive technology (ART) has in some instances increased the anguish of infertile couples.  Because these technologies are now available to those who can afford them, couples must make choices about whether to undergo such assistance, how many cycles to attempt, etc.  Such additional choices can cause them greater turmoil – socially, financially, and morally.  Just because certain technology is available does not automatically mean that it is morally justified or that it should be used.”

“Conclusion: CMDA affirms the need for continued moral scrutiny of our developing reproductive technology as it impacts the family.  We recognize that as physicians we must use our creative capacity within the limits of God’s design.  Couples who suffer from infertility should be encouraged to seek pastoral guidance and counsel, as well as to pray for God’s wisdom in the use of these technologies.”

This website has proven to be very helpful to me and brings to the forefront the sovereignty of God and the sanctity of life when seeking direction about assisted reproductive technology.  I trust it will be a great help to you also.