So, I have asked Aaron, to join me today for this blog. I will say things, he will say things…together, we will share our hearts, laughter, tears and journey with you.
FATHER’S DAY - by Aaron
Sunday, Julie received a message addressed to me. It was from the wife of a couple, both close friends of ours. It read as follows;
“Also, if it is not too sensitive, would you pass along a Happy Fathers Day to Aaron for me? His longing and journey to be a father already makes him a uniquely incredible dad. The children are already in his heart, and he is a patient father, waiting. I just want to speak blessings in faith over both of you today. The children in your heart are coming, and you are ALREADY amazing parents."
These were incredibly timely and welcomed words! They helped me see from a slightly different perspective than from my own…In the thick of our own situations and turmoil.
As we wait for children, the years stack up, and so does level of intensity for what seems to be missing from our lives. For every Father’s day gone by, its a reminder that another year has passed without birthday parties, Christmas morning surprises, Easter baskets, marking heights on the door frames, or even dirty diapers. Father’s day has become a reminder of what feels missing in our lives.
When I consider the issue of infertility, much of the concern (and rightfully so) centers around the female spouse. I can not fully comprehend, no matter how sincere my attempts are, the complex emotions Julie experiences. …but I don’t want to diminish my own feelings and the pain of other fathers-to-be.
I can, and do celebrate my father. …and now for 12 years, my father-in-law, both of whom are great and Godly men. In words, that sounds like a great concept to insulate someone from that fact they are not a dad, but in practice, this still doesn’t salve the wound. My greatest fear in this walk from infertility to children has been, to show too much emotion. …and not for some “Machismo" reason that showing too much emotion is somehow weak. (I actually believe that not showing emotion is a sign of weakness…but that’s for another day, on another blog.) ...the reason I tend to suppress that emptiness is for Julie. I never would want her to feel as though, I was displeased with her. Or disappointed in her. I have always stated to Julie, "That should God ask us to be Childless, SHE was the helpmeet God intended, and SHE was enough." …but regardless of what words come from my mouth, communication in marriage, as with our walk with God, is often more than the words that we say with our lips.
This little encouragement reminded me of what we constantly are telling others. I think that we, in the church world, are often guilty of repeating concepts derived from Scripture, …and sometimes even the Scripture itself. We make them into slogans, catchphrases and a mess of cliche’s that act as Christian branding, but deny us of the truth that is written in them. It’s not unheard of to speak of our spiritual walk as a journey, but still we try so hard to avoid the trials that 1 Peter 1:7 speaks about. Some of us even have created a theology that has trouble accounting for a victorious Christian, experience any form of suffering. However, as much as we squirm in our seats, and battle impatience, when we stay faithful to God and follow His leading, He is shaping us into something useful. I know I’m not alone with this, because I feel much like Gideon, hiding in a winepress, as he is addressed as a might man of valor. …but I am grateful to God, to have Julie with me!
A CZECH EXPERIENCE
On Wednesday, we will have a procedure (see THE EGG COLLECTION below). This is the next step in our IVF journey. In order to have the procedure, I had to be cleared for anesthesia from a doctor. Our doctor is part of The Canadian Medical Clinic, a private English speaking clinic here in Prague. However, since returning we haven’t needed to visit. Since we are doing all of blood work and tests through the fertility clinic, we decided to go ahead and use their doctor for this one part. The day before, they did the blood and urine test in the clinic. That was pretty normal…I guess, if you call getting handed a test tube for your urine sample normal…how on earth am I supposed aim to hit that little target? On the way to the restroom, I grabbed a plastic cup from the drink dispenser and used it accordingly.
This morning, I went to their recommended doctor, for an EKG. His hours today were from 8am-1pm. You don’t make an appointment, you just show up and wait in line. We have lived here long enough to know that if you don’t have an appointment, if you aren’t there when the doors open, you will be waiting quite a while. So, we got up early, drove into the city, parked and made it there at 8:15…behind 3 other people. Not so bad. The waiting area, was a little hallway with chairs. We sat by the door of our doctor, and waited. Other people started joining us in the cluster of chairs, and we knew this was going to be one of those times to not let our “nice American" side show. We knew it was going to be a fight to get through the door. It doesn’t matter that we were there before them...All that matters is who gets through the door first! One gentleman asked where the line was, and a lady (who came in about 10 min AFTER us), said she was NEXT looking right at us. Aaron and I just smiled and waited. The patient that was in with the doctor came out, and he announced he would need to have a small 4 minute break. The lady who had positioned herself to be next in line (even though she arrived after we had, looked at us and said, there really isn’t a line. A nurse came to see the doctor for a question, and I knew once she left, it was our turn to go in…if we could get past the lady who thought the Americans were soft. The nurse left, the doctor looked at us, and said next…Aaron and I stood up, as did the other lady. We all walked towards the door. Now, the space we are all standing in to push towards the door was small, so it was a battle for who was going to make it. Aaron (my 300lb husband) blocked the door. We got into the room, the lady who thought she was next, started talking to the doctor about what she needed from the hall over my shoulder. He asked who the patient was, Aaron said my wife Julie…and he escorted Aaron out of the room. For a moment, I thought we had lost the “who’s next" battle, but then realized I was being escorted to the table. He spoke english, thank God! Asked, “Why I would come to this God forsaken place for a EKG." As he rolled my shirt up, picked up his “blue-windex-looking bottle" and sprayed my stomach, ankles and wrists. He clamped straps on my arms and legs as well, then hooked the straps up to what has to be the oldest EKG machine I have ever seen and performed the EKG. It really was all I could do not to laugh. He asked how it was living here, took my blood pressure, typed some notes and printed them out, wished me luck and sent me on my way…all in about 10 minutes.
From outside the examination room…Aaron’s perspective.
As I sat down, the door to the examination room locked behind me. That turning lock seemed heavy to my ears as it clicked. I have tried up to this moment to accompany Julie at every turn, its hard for me to “just have a seat." This room is unlike any doctor’s office I have seen. Sparse, white walls. Paint is flaking, revealing rust from the doorways. The solitary word “Cekarna" (waiting space) written above entrance. The small room kept filling up with people and the air became quite stale.
The pushy, disappointed, line-cutting lady sat down in a huff…knowing she underestimated Julie, she pouted. I sat across from her, smiling on the inside. A few moments go by when a staff person, walked up to the door. It has no knob, but she has a key. Without hesitation, knocking or speaking, she turns the key and swings wide the door open, Julie and the doctor in mid-exam. The room collectively turns its head to see if it’s an opportunity to go in. Before I can jump from my seat to shield their view of my wife on the examination table, she has the door locked again. …and a few minutes later she returns, once again giving everyone a free show of Julie’s EKG. …as a husband, I was less than happy, but as Julie walks out, all I could think about was getting her out of there. She was unaware of what happened until I told her…for that I am thankful.
THE EGG COLLECTION
Now that I have my doctor’s note, I can move onto the procedure scheduled for tomorrow morning. After 15 days of shots and pills, the day has come for the egg collection. Tomorrow morning, I will have a procedure to remove the eggs from my ovaries. Now, from previous posts, you may remember that sometimes my ovaries like to hide, or they just don’t really have anything good in them. I am happy to say, that the medication has worked. Both of my ovaries are responding well, and have large size follicules. The follicules are what hold the egg clusters, and the doctor is hopeful.
*Wednesday Morning for the Procedure: That all will go excellent. That the eggs will be good quality and became mature over the next 3-5 days. That there are no complications, as I will be put out with general anesthesia. Pray for Aaron as well, as he will be waiting during time.
We will have some more updates over the next few days. Thank you for your prayers!
The door everyone was dying to get into this morning at the Dr. Office.
The "Waiting Area", upon our arrival…before it got crazy.