Walter and Jeanette’s Unexpected Visit


We have been having an Enron-esque experience in our basement. In an effort to declutter our basement (yes, you read about how I started in November 2010 and, yes, we are still working on it. believe me, people, no one should have this much STUFF!!), I decided to tackle boxes upon boxes of old documents and to clean out our filing cabinets. In order to save money, we decided that we should buy a fancy-schmancy shredder and shred the documents ourselves instead of paying for that convenient service. I’m still not convinced we made the right choice. You ask why? Eight bags of shredded paper in my basement at any given time and itty-bitty paper shreds all over my basement…that is evidence enough, I do say.

As I have spent hours upon hours shredding and going through files, I have come upon wonderful memories. Joel and I used to keep every receipt. Joel and I love to eat out. Joel and I used to keep every receipt of when we ate out. Years ago, Joel and I calculated how much we had spent in the first 3 years of our marriage on dining out.

It was disturbing.

We are still scarred.

But, we learned a lesson: don’t keep the receipts. Now, I don’t feel so bad. Now, the evidence from 10+ years ago has been destroyed by our Super Cross Cutter 9000.

Anyway, I digress…back to memories…

Today, I came upon my old file from when we were in the middle of IVF. Man, it felt good to shred nearly everything in that file! Most of it was outdated anyway (that was 6 years ago afterall). But, I came upon something that caused a moment of silence.

This is a picture of the embryos which we transferred through IVF in 2005. Back then, we lovingly referred to them as Walter and Jeanette. This is the last tangible evidence that they existed and gave us hope.

(Want to read about our experience with Walter and Jeanette?
An excerpt from my book that talks about this particular portion of our journey is below).


Seeing the picture of Walter and Jeanette again brought all of those feelings back as if it were just yesterday. I thought those feelings were gone. I thought I would never feel that way again. But, I did.

The feelings are still close enough to the surface that they are painful. And, I think I am okay with that.  If those types of feelings didn’t creep up on me every once in a while, I think I would be concerned. They are evidence of reality…evidence of what has been a part of my experience…evidence that I have overcome…evidence that I am stronger than I thought I was.

Today, I reverence the memory of our Walter and Jeannette.



Book Excerpt:

“With our second cycle of IVF in May 2005, we told the same people as before, with a few exceptions. As we experienced the disappointment of our remaining embryos dying, destroying our backup plan if the two we transferred did not implant, we felt our faith alone could not perform miracles. We told each of our siblings about our experiences. Each expressed feelings of love and a desire to pray in our behalf. Two weeks after our transfer date, our pregnancy test was positive, but not so positive. The doctors look for an hCG level of at least 100 to consider transfer a success and to move on to the next steps of IVF, which prepare the body to sustain a pregnancy. My hCG level was 12. I was told to return for a test in two days. If the second blood test resulted in a higher number there would be hope. If the level had decreased, we would have to learn to live with a failed IVF cycle. We were not hopeful. We returned home, shed some tears, called our parents with the disappointing news and asked that they call everyone else. It was hard enough to tell my mother that the process had failed; there was no way that I would have been able to share that news with each of my siblings. My heart was broken…

“When we learned that our second IVF cycle was not productive, Joel and I cried together. We spent the rest of the day alone. We ate out for lunch and for dinner. We laid low and watched a movie that night. We discussed our sorrows. We wondered why Heavenly Father had allowed us to spend thousands of dollars on something that would not work. We agreed that we did not understand His particular plan for us, but that there must be some sort of a plan. We allowed ourselves to mourn that day.

“Were we back to normal the next day or the next? No. The sting of sorrow was still there, but we did not feel like crying every two seconds. Why? I think three things contributed to our ability to handle the situation. One, I truly believe that we gathered strength from prayer. When we arrived home after receiving the news, we prayed for comfort, peace, and a greater understanding—quite honestly, that was a very hard prayer to offer. Two, I think that sharing a day of mourning allowed us to release a good portion of our emotions. Three, the wonderful support of family. My compassionate sister invited us over to dinner the following day. She did not force us to join them. And, our loss was not the topic of dinner conversation. Allowing time for our hearts to heal enough to continue on was pivotal in our ability to cope with these feelings of great sorrow,” (Excerpted from Infertility: Help, Hope, and Healing)



Comments: 1

Leave a reply »

  • I needed this today… Thank you Kerstin.

  • Leave a Reply
    Your gravatar
    Your Name