Monday, January 12, 2009

Introducing . . . Baby McCrary #3!

Yeah!! We are expecting again! Our third little one is due to arrive July 2oth, 2009! We are now 13 weeks along, and are doing very well. We are overwhelmed with God's faithfulness, and we feel tremendously loved, thankful, and blessed. Here are ALL of the details for those of you who have been asking for them . . .

For those of you who don't know, it took us approximately 16 months to conceive with Elaina (our first). After over a year of trying and seeing an OB/GYN, trying options there, God led us to Dr. Donald Cline of Reproductive Endocrinology Associates, Inc. on the northside of Indianapolis. After months of frustrations, many of our questions were answered in that first hour and a half consultation with Dr. Cline. Jeff's main question to Dr. Cline on that very first visit was, "How do we know when enough is enough? Are we messing with "God's Will" by trying to intervene in this conception process using alternative methods?" Dr. Cline answered us by saying that we get that assurance and that comfort through prayer. He is not the miracle maker here. He is a servant of God, using the knowledge, abilities, and talents that God has blessed him with, he is able to help couples who desire to have a family, achieve that. In the end, it is God's miracle, and Dr. Cline is just fortunate enough to get to be a part of witnessing that. We felt incredibly comfortable and were completely overtaken and encouraged with Dr. Cline's strong ethical, moral, and Christian beliefs on fertility. As you can imagine in most modern practices, Christianity and fertility don't mix well. Dr. Cline, however, is an amazing, knowledgeable, and unique specialist who doesn't waiver from his strong Christian beliefs and faith in treating his patients and assisting them with their reproductive endeavors. His testimony is powerful. After just one month of treatment with Dr. Cline, we conceived our beautiful first baby girl, Elaina Joy. She just turned 3 last week. Once conception occurs, Dr. Cline monitors his patients with bi-weekly ultrasounds and bloodwork through the first trimester. Once he is certain that the pregnancy is stable, he releases you to finish your pregnancy with an OB. His office is small and the staff is few. Emotionally, everyone becomes attached to each other, and I'll never forget our last visit with Dr. Cline when he released us with Elaina. Tears and hugs. He even gave us a gift. Why? I'm not sure when he had already given us so much more than we could have ever asked him - his God given knowledge to assist us in conceiving.
When Elaina was 7 months old, we were ready to try again. In the back of my mind, I thought it would take us a while to get pregnant again, possibly even having to go back to see Dr. Cline. Jeff, of course, being the more faithful and trusting one of us thought otherwise. Either way, we were ready to start again. That one month was all it took. We were pregnant again! We went directly to our OB and bypassed Dr. Cline's office completely that time. God blessed us with our second beautiful baby girl, Emily Ann, on May 17th, 2007. Elaina was 16 months old when Emily was born. We are so thankful that they have each other. It is such a blessing to know that they have each other.
So, that brings us to this little miracle. We decided this last summer to start trying to conceive again. We decided that we would try and if we weren't pregnant by the first of the year of 2009, that we would probably go in and visit Dr. Cline again for some advice in January or February. I needed to have my wonderful (hint of sarcasm there) annual exam before the end of the year (2008), so I scheduled it for September. A couple of days before, the OB needed to reschedule, so we rescheduled for the end of October. The appt. day came. A friend watched the girls for me. I drove to the appt. I sat and waited and waited and waited, cold and barely covered in the room waiting for the Dr. Then, the nurse came in and said, "The Dr. just called, and she's not coming in today." I was so frustrated! If it had just been a typical day, I would have still been frustrated, but I was looking forward to seeing her because I wanted her advice on what she thought we should do as far as trying to conceive again. After I left the office, I put a phone call into the nurse at Dr. Cline's office and explained to her the situation. She told us that Dr. Cline would be more than willing to take care of my annual for me and we could just get his advice at the same time . . . how perfect! So, we went and met with Dr. Cline on Nov. 4th. He took care of my annual for me. We also talked with him about how we had started trying to conceive again. he advised us to call when I started my next cycle (which was going to be in about a week), he would do a "study cycle" for a month on us and talk to us about the results at the end of that "study cycle." The "study cycle" consists of blood work and ultrasounds throughout the month that will tell him whether or not treatment is necessary or if we should be able to conceive on our own. We agreed to start the study cycle and call when "my cycle" began. Well, my cycle never began! We found out through a home pregnancy test exactly a week later that we were pregnant!

I called Dr. Cline's office a couple of days later just to let them know that we would not be in to start a "study cycle" because I was pregnant! The nurse was excited and offered to do some simple bloodwork for us right away (4 weeks) just to check and make sure my levels were stable. I thought, "Well, why not?" so we did. Praise God that we did! My progesterone level was very low, and I had to begin several progesterone supplements right away. The medicine made me extremely drowsy and sleepy. I had very bad spells of dizziness, but was just thankful that Dr. Cline had the knowledge of what to do to try to help us. Our excitement quickly turned into worry as we knew that this pregnancy was not anywhere near "stable." Progesterone is needed to sustain a pregnancy. Cases of low progesterone result in miscarriage. We were prayerful that the progesterone suppositories would take effect. If you know me, you know I was a mess! Dr. Cline needed to keep us through our first trimester to regulate and check my progesterone levels frequently and monitor the babies progress with ultrasounds. At 10-12 weeks, the placenta should be fully formed and functioning and takes over the role of naturally releasing the progesterone. The goal was to get through the first trimester until the placenta started that on it's own. Thankfully, my progesterone level stabilized and the bi-weekly ultrasounds showed wonderful progress. Dr. Cline had me start weaning off of the progesterone supplements, and we had our final ultrasound and bloodwork check with him on Thursday, January 8th. He released us, and we are now ready to go back to our OB.
Like our last visit when we were with Dr. Cline a few years ago with Elaina, this goodbye was just as emotional and more. Dr. Cline informed us at this last visit, that he is retiring. He just turned 70, and is experiencing knee pain, and wants to leave the field "on top." His news hit our hearts hard. As we congratulated him on his retirement, we also expressed how unfortunate it was. There is no one to take his place. No one who believes in fertility with the strong Christian beliefs that he has. He is struggling with leaving, and his staff is extremely sad as well. Some of his staff has been with him for 30+ years. Words cannot describe the gratitude and appreciation that we have for Dr. Cline and his staff. God truly has a wonderful work going on there. Even though his is retiring this coming spring, you can still learn so much from him just by visiting his website. You know that you have a wonderful doctor who genuinely cares for you when they leave you with their home phone number and address and express the desire to continue a relationship with you and your family.

Most of all, we are just so thankful for our relationship with God and that He continues to provide and be so ever faithful to us. As we look back on how God has built our family, it is just amazing, and to see the work that He has already done in this little miracle that He has blessed us with is overwhelming.

* My regular Dr. didn't show up for my annual OB visit = God's Perfect Plan.

* We went ahead and called Dr. Cline earlier than planned so that I could get my annual in
and get his advice = God's Perfect Plan.

* We were already pregnant and had no idea the day that we met with Dr. Cline = God's
Perfect Plan.

* We called to tell Dr. Cline that we wouldn't be in for our "study cycle," but he checked my
levels anyway - something that the OB would not have done at 4 weeks. By the time I
would have seen an OB for a first prenatal visit, we would have possibly already
miscarried or my levels would have been so low that it was just a matter of time
before a miscarriage = God's Perfect Plan.

* The $885 a month progesterone supplements that I had to take were incredibly covered
with our insurance. We only paid $60! = God's Perfect Plan.

* We were able to stay with Dr. Cline through our first trimester until he was confident that
body was producing this hormone naturally = God's Perfect Plan.

I could go on and on and list so many other details that have happened over the last 12 weeks that are just obvious how God was taking care of every little detail of this pregnancy, even as far as babysitters go for the girls, when Jeff happened to already be off of work, etc . . . So many details that we just have to stand back in awe and say, "Thank you, Lord, for being in control!" I am such a control freak, and I worry so much, but it is times like these that I wonder, "Why do I want all of this control?" I don't have any of it - God's in control, so why try to fight Him for it. He always does a much better job than I could ever even imagine doing! We are so thankful!

We are excited, too, that we were able to refer some friends of our to him, and they were able to successfully conceive under his care, and our due dates are the same weekend! Congratulations, Gary and Genesis!

Stephanie, Elaina Joy, and Dr. Cline - Dr. Cline is the only Dr. that Elaina talks about with a joyful tone in her voice. She is very fond of Dr. Cline and has enjoyed seeing him on our visits over the last couple of months. She understood why we were going to see him, and she always had great things to say about him. On our last visit to see him, we were in the hallway as I was getting weighed. Dr. Cline was with another patient, and Elaina was saying (and those of you who know Elaina know she's a loud one naturally), "Dr. Cline?? Where's Dr. Cline?? Dr. Cline!!. Even though he was with another patient and knowing that he would see us shortly anyway, he still had to come out and see Elaina anyway. She brought him her slinky. She said, "I'm going to take this to Dr. Cline. He will fix it for me. Daddy can't." Unfortunately, Dr. Cline had to tell Elaina that it was "terminal" for the slinky, and he wasn't able to fix it. Although she is very fond of Dr. Cline, she wasn't too interested in having her picture taken. :( This picture will always be very special to us.

Baby McCrary #3 at 6 weeks.

Baby McCrary #3 a 8 weeks.

Baby McCrary #3 at 10 weeks.

Baby McCrary #3 at 12 weeks.


Cheryl Troxel said...

What a beautiful story of God's love and faithfulness! Thank you for sharing such a wonderful and emotional journey with all of us. You and Jeff have my highest respect for you continued faith.

The Knight Family said...

Although I already knew the details ;) I still thoroughly enjoyed reading this and remembering how frantic you were at the very beginning. Isn't it funny how moms (and dads) begin worrying about our little ones before they're even conceived! God has been so good to your family! Love you all!!