The beginning….

Just me and my thoughts….barely getting through this journey.

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Hi there, just me and my thoughts here… as my husband and I embark on a choatic journey of adoptions, IVF, and and all the ups and downs in between; not to mention just life in general.

When I asked my husband (he’s a witty one, sometimes) what I should title my blog, he mentioned to me, “Unraveling the Yarn.”  I said, “Hm…not sure about that one, but I like the concept.  What else could go with it, and what does even mean lol”  He replied, “Like the expression that a woman’s brain is a big ball of yarn, so you are writing things out as a way to unravel the mess of thoughts in your head.”  – See, that’s why I married him.  He gets me.

So, that’s what I’m doing, I’m unraveling my thoughts, my fears, my anxiety, my happiness and there’s alot more going on up there, but I’ll try to focus on these things.  Because adoption can be a scary thing.  IVF can be an even scarier thing.  You may read that and think to yourself, why the hell would anyone put themselves through both of those processes at one time.  I guess I can start this whole blog off by answering that.

Here it goes, bear with me, it’s definitely been a ride.  Like so many families, we’ve had 2 miscarriages, a pretty common thing in this world.  It can be tough, whether you are expecting it or not.  On top of the miscarriages, we also had 2 ectopic pregnancies.  Those were a little more rough on me, physically.  In 2011, kiddo #1 & #2 were welcomed into this world with completely open hearts.  We were so very ready for them.  Of course, at first, we didn’t KNOW there were 2 of them, but we knew we were trying, we were successful after a short few months (I say few, but it was really 7 months but in the ‘Trying-To-Get-Pregnant’ World, it only classifies as a few).  We were excited, ecstatic really and we told a few people here and there but tried to keep it quiet.  Like any new parents, we were overwhelmingly excited to start this journey and be the awesome, weird parents we knew we were meant to be.  Except, a pain started to occur, my test results weren’t showing up as they should, and we found out we had miscarried, and a few weeks later, we had an ectopic pregnancy.  Unusual but oh so very capable of happening.  That. is. tough.  My doctor had wanted me to take a shot (summing this up and not going into all the medical terms and meds, but it was a shot) to let the ectopic pregnancy pass.  It didn’t work.  2 weeks later, I was being rushed to the hospital because I was in serious pain and I was tired of waiting.  I was exhausted from WAITING to know and for it to be finished.  Maybe that sounds cold, but anyone who has experienced an ectopic pregnancy knows what I’m talking about.  Anyways, rushed into ER, had 3 incisions in my stomach, my tube had ruptured while they were trying to remove the little girl from my tube and my tube was removed.  1-2 months later, I was recovering physically, not quite ready to recover mentally yet, but that’s another post for another day.

Kiddo #3 came in July 2015.  We had tried, alot, I was on clomid for months and again, we were ecstatic.  We told basically everyone because we had a huge family outing that we would be with friends and family constantly and we didn’t want to hide it.  A month after telling everyone, we had miscarriage #2.  We were traveling to Mexico later that month and we decided I didn’t want to pass the empty sac while in Mexico and potentially have problems, so we had it removed.  So if you’re keeping count:  2 miscarriages, 1 ectopic.

Kiddo #4, and probably the most painful (physically), was the last one.  He was a little fighter, I tell you.  It hurts me to this day to say this outloud, because I know the situation medically is not possible or not ideal, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t painful or haunt you just a bit.  October of this year (2016), I got up and went to yoga at 4:30 am like I always do.  Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, I was even running a few minutes behind like I always do.  I sat in my car and instantly was having this annoying pain in my side.  I brushed it off like I was having digestion issues or that my food from the night before wasn’t settling.  Either way, I knew I’d get to yoga, I’d go to work and it’d go away.  I drove for 6 miles debating whether this pain was too painful to get through my yoga or not.  It sounds dumb now, that yoga was that important to me, but that was my way to start my day.  I went back and forth for 6 miles, and finally decided I had the flu or was coming down with the flu and needed to go back to bed and call in sick.  I get home, I yell to my hubs that I think I was getting sick..probably food poisoning or the flu.  I mean it’s October and weather in Arkansas is stupid, so who knows what you can come down with then.  I layed on the couch, on my side, curled up in a ball, because that was the only way that I felt the least amount of pain.  Again, I know it sounds stupid now…but I am a bit of a tough cookie and I have done alot of stupid things over the years, acquired alot of stitches, have scars for days and pain is not a big thing to me.  I mean, it sucked and I even started to cry at one point but I brushed it off that I was tired.

So from 4:30 am to 8:00 am I struggled with pain, little did I know I was struggling with my life (whoa…that’s huge once I see it in writing).  I’m not being dramatic either…I’ll get into the details in a few.  I text my sister and told her I was sick and that I might go into the ER b/c I think I had food poisoning or something was wrong.  I asked her advice and we didn’t really decide on a conclusion.  Finally, I look at my husband and said, “What should I do?”  He looks back at me and says, “What does your gut tell you?  You always say, you regret it when you go against your gut.”  BOOM.  Again, why I married him, he gets me.

I didn’t hesitate to get up, well I did.  I couldn’t get up without his help and pain shooting throughout my body.  I struggled to get on my shoes and a jacket to wear and I definitely didn’t give two hells what I looked like b/c we were headed to the ER stat.  Traffic by the way in NWA is the worst, seriously the worst.  Finally, 30 minutes later, we arrive at ER, waited in the ER waiting room for well over an hour as I slump over a chair in tears, just asking for someone to take me back.  We get taken back, and wait again in the hospital room for over an hour, get a Dr. to see us and finally get prescribed some pain meds.  45 minutes later, no pain meds and I truly think I’m going to die.  While a random guy was in our room (I mean, he wasn’t random, he was restocking towels in the room), I say, “GET ME SOMEONE NOW.  I DON’T CARE WHO..BUT I CAN’T TAKE THIS ANYMORE.”  This was my final plea, seriously I didn’t know what was going on but I was in more pain than I can explain and I knew that I wasn’t going to make it if someone didn’t get something to me.  I literally had debated having him take me home because I knew I had tylenol, aleve, or maybe some old muscle relaxers at home to hopefully alleviate some pain.  THANKFULLY, the restocker guy was like, hey I’ll get your nurse so he can get that for you.  THANK YOU JESUS that he was listening.  Pain meds given and within about 3 minutes I was feeling better, still an incredible amount, but bearable at least.

Somewhere in between my madness of begging to send me a doctor and yelling at my husband to get someone in my hospital room and help me with meds, we were told we were pregnant.  That happened in one sentence, the following sentence I knew what she was going to say before she even started it.  I think I may have even interrupted her and said, “Ectopic?”  She said, “But it’s an ectopic pregnancy…and it has a heartbeat, which is unusual.”  WTF.  Alright, I’m not a big cusser, but please for the love, do not tell a woman that is in pain, that is gripping for her life, that she is pregnant, that it’s an ectopic pregnancy BUT it has a heartbeat.  Again, WTF.  That comment to this day haunts me significantly.  I am a supporter of a woman’s right to choose, but I am not a supporter of abortion.  Please don’t hate me for that comment, I do not hate you for your beliefs.  So what was going to be done next was something I truly feared and that simple comment of “It has a heartbeat,” hurt more than anything to me…. still does, because I knew there were no other options.  That little boy was going to be taken from me and I couldn’t say no or I wasn’t going to make it.

So……. as I’m getting over that comment still…let’s finish this story.  TURNS OUT, my tube ruptured.  It ruptured hours before, probably about the same time I started experiencing that pain about 4:45 am.  For 7 hours I was bleeding internally.  7 damn hours (see I said I wasn’t that much of a cusser, but it does happen and sorry about that…the pain brings it out).  7 hours, I was bleeding into my abdomen and if I would’ve pulled up my shirt I would’ve noticed all the bruising that had taken over my left ribcage.  Over a liter of blood was lost in my abodmen.  You would think I would have maybe figured out that the pain was more serious than some stupid undigested food.  But whatever, we don’t always make the best decisions… or should I say I don’t always make the best decisions, and trying to be a brave person and push through the pain was stupid of me; I know this now.

Anyways, since the tube ruptured, there was no hope in saving it, not even a little portion of it.  So that’s 2, the 2 tubes you are given by our sweet, gracious Lord were taken away so quickly, and the dream of having children naturally was removed from my window of opportunities, surprising your husband with a disgustingly peed on stick was removed from my hands, doing a “gender reveal” which I hate anyways, but doing one was no longer an option, and finally getting to experience an ultrasound with my husband holding my hand, listening to a heartbeat wasn’t going to happen without doing IVF (something I was not, am still not 100% sold on).  So ya…..it was painful.  It still is painful.  I know several people in my life, that don’t get my struggles and that is completely fine because I don’t understand everyone in my life’s struggles.  BUT, this was a tough one for me.  Not only did I have a brush of death…the one thing I know God has put me on this earth to be is a mom, and slowly, and torturously that opportunity was being stripped from my hands, no matter how hard I was holding onto it.

Obviously, I know the wonderful option of IVF & adoption are incredible, INCREDIBLE opportunities that we so luckily have the privilege of.  So please don’t take my description as IVF or adoption are lesser ways to become a mom.  IT ABSOLUTELY IS NOT.  I actually consider both options to be much more difficult emotionally, physically, mentally and socially to get through.  THAT TAKES A STRONG, INCREDIBLE, BRAVE MOM.  I have so much respect for women that go through anything of the sorts and I fully plan to go through both processes as well, hence this blog.  I just want to make sure you’re not perceiving my description and story incorrectly.  That may be an unnecessary explanation, but it is important I say it.

So……….this is the beginning.  Something that may seem like an ending (I was one of those people at one point in time), is simply the beginning to this journey.

Hope you’ll join me and come back.   I promise it will not all be tears and pain….

 

 

Mom Thoughts

If you don’t know me… I have a wild imagination that never stops and sometimes my thoughts can border the line of realistic and possibly morbidness.  This may be one of those posts and I apologize now, but I need to get these thoughts out and on paper, for the “just in case.”  So let’s get down to it….

To myself: If I can be realistic with you, it’s possible this pregnancy may not end with the happy tears you envision.  I realize this and so should you. As much as I pray every day that this doesn’t happen, it is possible for him to stop kicking at any moment.  So remember how perfect a moment this is for you right now; embrace the kick in the ribs, the 1,000 nighttime bathroom breaks, the uncomfortable-ness when laying, sitting, standing or just moving in general, enjoy these moments fully.  And if the kicking does stop, I need you to remember that there is a bigger plan than what you’ve created in your mind.  THERE IS A BIGGER PLAN. I know it hurts, it sucks, and just royally pisses you off, but just remember there is a bigger plan and that little one is where he’s supposed to be.  Now, just because there is a bigger plan doesn’t mean you can’t be pissed off.  Go for it.  Be angry…you should be.  Yell and scream (if it helps), run your tired heart ragged, cuddle with the pups, veg out and watch crap tv, take a breath, and lean INTO your husband and always pray even though you feel like your prayers are going deaf ears, because they’re not and deep down you know that. So keep praying.  And don’t listen to anyone else….not everyone gets it… when you’re ready, you’ll know.

To my husband: ……I honestly am not sure what to say here.  Besides, I’m sorry.  I’m sorry I never have lived up to the potential I could be.  I’m sorry for all the past let downs.  I’m sorry I’ve let you down again.  I’m sorry I can’t comfort you and help you take care of little one.  I’m sorry you’re experiencing this without me.  The good news is you are so far from being alone.  You have my overbearing (yet wonderful and helpful) family, your wonderful family, so many friends, an incredible church family and small group, and you have the good Lord looking after you every single second.  Be mad at Him if you have to, because I know He can take it but don’t stay mad at Him because He’s there for you and looking after you and baby Z every. single. second.  So no matter how much you want to, don’t turn away from Him.  Also, please teach little Z all the silly & fun things you do, especially pterodactyl calls, but make sure he knows that I was the original pterodactyl-caller and you simply just learned from the master.  Let him have as many dogs as he wants.  🙂  I told you our child will love animals, and he does and you can’t do anything about it, so just give him one more puppy.   Please teach him how to ride a dirt bike and be a BA like his dad.  And whatever you do, make sure he takes on your ridiculous personality, the part that never takes anything too seriously.  And let him be stubborn.  Don’t fight it.  When you think the stubbornness is about to push you over the edge, remember that he gets his stubbornness from me.  Come down off that edge and just embrace it.  Most importantly, you make sure he knows who our maker is.  You wake up on Sundays and go to church and be apart of it. He needs that just as much as you do.  Anddddd in your free time, please please tell him all the stories about how cool his mom is and you can fabricate some if you run out of them.  As for you, don’t change a dang thing about yourself.  You’re so over and beyond anything I could ever imagine, so do not change.  And in case you EVER forget how much I love you, just put Ollie outside for a few minutes then let her back in.  She will shower you with love and excitement, that overwhelming love and excitement is just a fraction of how much I love you.  And finally, you got this, but when you think you don’t, ask for help.  When you’re hungry, there are meals in the freezer.  When you don’t know how to work the baby contraption, google it. When you need extra love, invite all 3 pups on the couch with you.  And when you think you’ve run out of diapers or wipes, there are more stuffed away in the upstairs closet. But you’ve got this.

To my little man:  Buddy, you have no idea how cool of a dad you’re getting to grow up with.  He’s literally cooler than anyone you will ever meet.  Always give hugs and kisses.  Always tell people how much you love them (especially your dad and grandparents).  Always pray, every single day. Always get up and try again.  Always choose to go on the adventure.  Always let your dad take your picture, even when you don’t want him to.  Don’t focus on the win, but always focus on how to get your team to the win.  Always reach out to the kids that don’t seem to fit in and be their friend.  Always choose to love, not hate.  Always lean into Jesus, even when you think He’s not listening…because trust me, He is.  Always ask your dad for a new puppy (but only rescue them).  Get muddy, run as fast as you can, wreck your dirt bike (but don’t get hurt), work hard but play harder, only speed sometimes (but be careful), don’t be afraid of anything, including when to say no. Be silly & weird, please be silly and weird.  Be a lover, not a fighter but it’s ok to fight for important things. Don’t worry about what others think (besides your dad..listen to him). But also, give your dad a run for his money because he deserves it just a little. And lastly, never forget about me…  I can’t explain how much I love you because there literally are not enough words to describe it, but know I love you so much!  I fought long and hard for you and I will always be with you.  Until we get to meet…go and be brave!

To my family and friends: My heart is full knowing each one of you.  Not that any of you have listened to me in the past (lol) but if I could get you to listen to anything, I hope you find and lean into God, especially if you are feeling lost. Thank you for the ones that were good to me.  Thank you for the ones that didn’t ever listen.  Thank you for the ones that always listened.  Thank you for the ones that did stupid things with me.  Thank you for the ones that were there to bail me out of stupid situations.  Thank you for the ones that made me care more than I ever thought I could.  And biggest thank you for the ones that are there for Jason right now.  Thank you.

Maybe this post is over the top or maybe it’s considered morbid to think like this, or maybe it’s just a mom that wants to be the best mom she can be and will do everything she can to make sure her family is ok, even in the worst of situations.  Maybe I’m just a mom.

Trial Run

Trial Run, Part I.

I say Part I, because maybe there will be a Part II or Part III but only time will tell.  Sunday evening we ended up running into the hospital because I was having some unfamiliar symptoms.  No unusual contractions or anything of too much concern, but I wanted to make sure I wasn’t losing any amniotic fluid like I thought.  So we went in, calm and collected (me being more calm than my husband); he for some reason couldn’t even remember how to get to the hospital.  Literally, our hospital is located 7 minutes from our home, but he just couldn’t remember and he almost missed his turn after I told him where to go.  Once we arrive, he asked if he should drop me off at the front door and when I replied no, so he turned the tables and asked if I would drop him off at the front door. lol.  Typical husband things….

We check in and quickly got in.  I was monitored & checked for about 2 hours before being released and given the “Everything is ok.”  Thankfully.  Everything I was experiencing would be the new normal for me the next few weeks.  Maybe going into the hospital was a step more than we needed to do, but when you’ve been what we’ve been through and gotten this far, we weren’t going to take any chances.  We needed to know what was going on and our minds were luckily put to ease.

We decided this was a good trial run for us. We got to experience where to go, what to do, what bags to grab before we walked out the door, and what to partially expect if things progress normally.  Let’s be honest, when time gets here… it’s not like we’ll remember ANY of that, but for the time being we fool ourselves and convince each other we have a handle on this situation.  🙂  I mean, isn’t this how parenthood is?  You think you know what you’re doing but quickly realize you have no earthly idea what’s about to happen…

 

Our “Plans”

The past couple of weeks I’ve been going over our “plan” in my head.  We had planned on having a few children by this age, we had planned to have adopted by now, we have planned…. and the list goes on.  I find myself making plans in my head about this pregnancy.. when I’ll go into labor, how we’ll get to the hospital, if we’ll have to do an emergency c-section or will he come naturally, and I realize my plans always fall through, every single time. I have been planning on a safe and healthy pregnancy and my mind has been filled with a bit of anxiety and worry recently.  As I’m trying to sort through the worry and anxiety, I came to the realization where we are in the year, 10/2017.  This time of the year has been such a bittersweet time filled with a wide variety of emotions, dating back to 09/2011.

This time in 2011, we were going through our first ectopic pregnancy surgery.  When we first found out we were pregnant, we celebrated (quietly) and told a few family/friends but it hit us hard when I started having some unfamiliar pains.  Unfamiliar pains turned into waiting, which turned into the inevitable, losing our 2nd child.  Despite our plans, that pregnancy ended up in a surgery, losing little one and tube #1 being removed.  Ironically, this time in 2016 (October 5th, 2016), we were going through our last loss.  This pregnancy not only ended up with us losing our 4th child, but losing my only other option to get pregnant naturally, tube #2.  As this all hits me, I am filled with bittersweet memories, anxiety and thankfulness.  Memories filling my heart and tears in my eyes as I imagine those lost sweet little ones up in heaven.  Anxiety that anything could go wrong with Zayden at this point.  All the “what ifs” swirl through my head daily, and honestly it’ll be difficult to get past those, but we will, eventually.  And thankfulness.  Thankfulness was a bit harder to come by at first because all the other junk flooding my mind, but we are so so thankful that Zayden is currently healthy and strong, continuing to grow every single day.

All my plans so far have fallen through, and I never understood why, until recently.  He’s pushed these “plans” of mine down because he had a much bigger and better plan.  And luckily, we’ll get to meet this incredible plan of His within a few short weeks.  I will not let the devil seep into my thoughts and push my anxieties and worry.  Because the Lord has this, He has a much better handle of His plan that I do.

Shower Blessings

Yesterday, we were overly blessed and showered with presents, support, and love as we celebrated Zayden’s soon to be arrival into the world.  And I am so thankful and fully reminded how many people love us and little man!  

As many friends know, baby showers are not my thing… I’ve avoided them most of my adult life, usually by being “busy” and just sending a present to support my friends little one.  When in all honesty, I just never could muster up the courage to go to someone’s shower and not lose myself in it.  For years and years, we had tried to conceive and year after year we were invited to baby showers for others.  It sounds absolutely selfish (I know), but have you ever been to a baby shower?  So much love and support is showered over the new mom-to-be, most people bring their kids, and then you have people asking you when you’re having children and anyone that has been in the same boat as us…. You go to the things and your heart just aches.  It aches in excitement for your friend, but also aches in biterness, sadness,  unwanted jealousy and sometimes anger.  Emotions spiraling from everyone else can seem to get pregnant, but you can’t seem to keep a viable pregnancy past 12 weeks.  It hurts.  But you suck it up because you love your friend and you suffer silently as you try and just get through the shower, leaving at the first available opportunity.  Then you leave and you’re overwhelmed with selfishness and guilt, because that shower and that day aren’t about you…it’s a celebration for someone else.  I would come home defeated.  I would be moody, sulk and let all these ugly emotions consume me.  So Jason and I decided, I would be the most supportive friend from afar.  I could send a gift, I could shower them with love and prayer and I didn’t need to put myself (or my husband) through the hours and days of crappiness after the fact. 

Which brings me to yesterday…. We didn’t want to have a baby shower.  We are overly (I can’t express this enough, overly thrilled) that Zayden is healthy and coming into this world soon and we wanted to celebrate.  I just didn’t want to put anyone else through the heart ache and agony that I’ve experienced at past showers. I did my best to not have a shower and refused the offers when they came and we thought throwing a BBQ Celebration would be a good way of celebrating, without the shower.  And of course, the amazing friends we have came and showered us with gifts and love!  And today my heart is full.  I know I’m probably experiencing some pregnancy emotions, but I also know God couldn’t have blessed us anymore than He already has.  He’s showered us with love and support from family and friends and sweet Baby Z.  He showered us, whether we thought we needed a shower or not. I don’t know what we did or why He thinks we deserve all of this but we are so grateful.  I’m so thankful He always knows what we need and He provides.

To all our family and friends that celebrated with us….thank you, you’ve overflowed this cup of mine! 

Sweet face

Some of you follow every blog post and I love how supportive you are for us!  Today I wanted to keep this short and sweet (extra sweet) and share some recent baby photos we received a few weeks ago!  My heart is full and just can’t wait to have this chunky little baby boy in my arms.

Image_16 (1)

Image_50 (2)

Of course, like his parents he does his best to steer clear of the camera and is also a bit stubborn.  Out of the 50 photos we received, these were the ones we could see his sweet face the most.  Although chunky and adorable, he is mighty!  🙂

Only a handful more weeks to go…

-Chasnie

A Year of Changes

Insane how many things can change in a year…

Around this time last year (10/05/16 to be exact), I was recovering from an emergency surgery where I lost a liter of blood into my abdomen.  A surgery that took another  sweet, little baby from us. I spent 3 weeks laying on this couch recuperating, mourning, and being mad at the world. Jump forward almost a year later, I lay here tonight, on the same couch, exhausted but celebrating us reaching 32 weeks with this sweet, baby boy I am currently carrying.

Thankfully, today we had a 32 week appointment and baby boy has a healthy heartbeat, mama has a healthy blood pressure, and although he was measuring 3 weeks early, his growth spurt has slowed down and only measuring 1 week ahead of schedule now.  God has overly blessed us with news today….just a year after it seemed like everything was falling apart.

Maybe things don’t always go the way we want or plan, but there is a plan much bigger than us. And in this moment, I am thankful for this bigger plan, thankful for the sweet baby boy that is healthy and strong, and thankful to be one step closer to holding Baby Z.  So who cares if I understood how we got here, because we’re here and enjoying every kick, ache, baby hiccup, sweet ultrasound, and every single heartburn-filled evening. ❤️

As always, thank you for the prayers!

Confession…

Alright, time for a confession that I feel pretty guilty about and have struggled with finding words to explain it and not feel so petty.  Pregnancy has been a little tough, my mood swings are pretty intense and my overall demeanor is down, very down.

At first, I contributed my attitude and actions to a lack of sleep or working 5 weeks straight with no day or evening off (literally, I’m going on 6 weeks straight).  I have also blamed putting too much on my plate and not saying “no” enough.  I have stressed about significant workload, dirty house, gaining weight and not feeling comfortable in my own skin.  I have slipped on my exercising, meditation, time with God and eating healthy (granted, I eat pretty healthy still but I’ve let some things slip back into my meals that aren’t usually there and aren’t the best choices).  But really….I’ve just taken this stage in pregnancy for granted.  Unfortunately.

Why can’t I be thankful for  this stage?  Why do we always focus on the negative and forget about all the positives?   Our human minds can be stupid like  that.  It is almost comical to me to think for years, we prayed and prayed for God to finally bring a child into your life, and He grants it time and time again but you continually have loss after loss.  So you refocus and pray for Him to bless you with a child, one you can hold and have and stay with you here on Earth and He blesses us with a 24 week little miracle at the moment and all I can focus on how uncomfortable I am?  That doesn’t sound right…nor does it sound like me. It is as if I am an outsider looking in and I can’t seem to control what’s going on with me, but it’s happening and it’s pretty sad that is constantly where my mind goes.  So again, refocusing this week.

Embracing the little moments and difficulties and being oh so thankful for each and every one of them, because if I wasn’t experiencing them then my heart would be shattered again.  So I am changing a few things in our life to keep me focused and appreciative and experiencing the joy of uncomfortableness during this process.  ❤️ Here it goes:

-Cutting out the junk (junk food, junk tv, junk relationships)

-Refocusing the most stressful areas of my life. For example, my day job is stressful (everyday) and this isn’t something I can simply “cut” out of so I am refocusing how I perceive this job, our wedding photography business, and other areas of our life that are raining down stress.

-Spending time in the word.  Jumping back into it and spending time every day, no exceptions.  We have the ability to access everything on our phones, iPads, computers, through a friend, through podcasts and radio…there is no reason I shouldn’t be diving in daily.

-Making exercising a priority.  I need back on that bandwagon that I love so much… I need it back in my life, not just for me but for healthy little boy.

-Doing yoga and meditation a daily occurrence…if I can’t do one or the other on a day, I can feel the difference in my actions and attitude but incorporating it helps me take a moment to slow down.

-Saying no.  Sorry friends, I’ve said no to alot of things lately and some of it has probably affected our relationship but I can’t put Baby Zayden’s health over some activity or event.  Hopefully you’ll understand some day.

-Giving thanks every day!  Every single day, being thankful. Because we have sweet baby boy who is active all day, growing at a great rate and he will be here before we know it!  I am thankful! ❤️

-Getting more Vitamin D, aka some sunshine! ☀️ I’ve been cooped up for a little too long and need some extra sunshine in my life.

-Taking a break.  Ya, I said it so now I have to follow through.  I’m going to take a mini break…time is to be determined but it will happen, soon.

-And lastly, taking pictures of our journey again. Out of frustration and exhaustion, I stopped taking pictures of this process and I am completely regretting it, so I’m picking it back up and following through with continuing this project.

To sum it up, pregnancy can be hard but God doesn’t give us what we can’t handle and this is such an incredible blessing (not a struggle) that I can handle!  And will experience the joy that comes with it.

1 Corinthians 10:13

#pregnancyproblems

If youve talked to me lately, I’ve probably  blamed something on #pregnancyproblems.  I seem to be using it in daily conversations with friends & family to bring light to my underestimated discomforts and emotions of pregnancy.  Don’t get me wrong, not for one second of pain or discomfort does pregnancy compare to infertility.  I can’t compare it. Infertility is heartbreaking every single day with little hope, but pregnancy there is hope and more hope with every healthy kick or jab to the ribs you get!  

That said, I know multiple people that loved their pregnancy and I personally underestimated the toll it takes on you, physically, mentally, and emotionally. So I’ve outlined them for myself but also for others, not to express any complaints but to evaluate and refocus my thoughts.  You’ll see towards the end of this..so stick with me…

1.  The exhaustion comes and goes and I’m completely fine with handling this because I have a great partner that helps 99% of the time, 55% of the time without complaining!  😉  But I am exhausted daily. It doesn’t help your sleep is minimal.  Don’t get me wrong, like clockwork I’ll fall asleep on the couch every evening around 9 pm but wide awake from about 1 am on. Sometimes I’ll get up and walk around, some nights I’ll just lay there and hope for more sleep.  Either way, growing a child plus s lack of sleep has a direct factor on your mind and body.

2. The sickness has come and mostly gone for me (thankfully). That was pretty brutal and makes you question how your little one is getting any nutrients when you yourself aren’t keeping any nutrients in so thankfully that stage has passed. I still have some food adversions, mainly fish. As a fish and sushi lover, this has been a little difficult to steer clear of, but I don’t know that I will ever enjoy fish again sadly.

3. The weight gain is real! “Well duh!” you may think, but when you’re just past halfway mark and you physically don’t feel like you can get any larger without exploding takes an emotional/physical toll on you. And I’ll just disregard the number of times you recieve the truly sincere but also brutal comments of how much you’ve grown or “Wow you’re pregnant!” In all seriousness, I’m not sure how my skin and body can stretch and distort anymore and I’m (only) 23 weeks along. 

4. Pain/uncomfortableness. This. I 110% underestimated the amount of pain and uncomfortableness I’d experience daily.  I have had a very high pain tolerance since I was a child and this one is tough for me to swallow and admit.  But I need help with such small things, and it is painful.  I roll over in the middle of the night and quickly attacked a sharp pains (growing pains) or leg cramp that I can’t get to, followed by a kick from Z-man letting me know to go back to sleep and stop waking him. 

5. Pregnancy brain is like a bad blonde joke.  Seriously though, my mind was racing constantly, prior to pregnancy and add Zayden taking all my intelligence from me, my daily actions and comments seem like a bad blonde joke.  Luckily, this spills over to my husband and he has “sympathy pregnancy brain” so I don’t feel as bad about the silly things I do or say. Ha.

6. Worrying. I’ve said it before in basically any previous post, but that never goes away.  I do my best to stay calm and not stress about little things but it does happen and worry does kick in.  Do you have enough time to buy a house and move before baby comes? When is the next Dr appointment? Should I call my Dr with this pain or that pain? Why is my body reacting that way? What is wrong with me? What if I have Baby Z early…how will we be ready? I need to get a crib stat… The list goes on. 

7. Minor side effects of pregnancy, but they’re pesky and annoying…  Hot flashes, bad skin, thinning hair, mood swings, congestion all day every day, dizziness, shortness of breath just walking inside with a bag of groceries… all of these are  just a few of the minor side effects that you experience daily, all of which take a toll on your body and mindset. The addition of everything else and these really can defeat you, even if you think you’re prepared to handle it. If you were like me and believed all pregnant women “glow” and have long luscious locks, let me be the first to tell you that only happens on about 60% of women, myself unfortunately, not being one of them.  Such minor side effects can really play a toll on you if you let it.

Which brings me to the point of this whole post… As I’m sitting in my closet, upset that everything seems to just be off and not going my way, I am reminded by the good Lord that none of that really matters!  What matters is this sweet little one growing inside of me and the love we have to share with him.  I mean, this is what we prayed for, no matter what discomfort or exhaustion or sickness little man would bring, we wanted it because we wanted him.

After realizing this, my goal and thoughts have shifted.  I need not to focus on this other crap I’m experiencing every day. I need to stop giving up to the daily challenges, but instead giving up my struggles to Him. I will trust Him and hand over my worries, insecurities and stress to Him and He will take care of us.  Maybe every step won’t be as I envision or hoped for, but thankfully His vision and plan is way better than I anything I can come up with. I truly hope anyone that is struggling through life, infertility, pregnancy or even just your day, you have Him to cling to.  I don’t know where I’d be if I didn’t.  He’s got this for us. 

Updates #momlife

I’ve been gone for a bit, a little because I wasn’t feeling any movement still when so many other mamas at my stage were, and I wanted to get through our next appointment before I gave an update.  Yesterday, we had a detailed ultrasound where they go through all sorts of measurements, checking out the bone structures, making sure he has two hands and two feet, legs, and all the other cute little details of a 22 week old.  It is so exciting, but nerve wracking all at the same time!  

We unofficially we’re told by the tech that he was measuring about a week early and nothing jumped out as crazy abnormal but we will not find out for sure until our doctor’s appointment next Thursday.  And yes, God – I hear you, you wanted me to work on my patience and all this waiting is making me work on my patience, whether I like it or not.  You knows best though and I am trusting You during the wait game.  

I had a very good friend that has been a sounding board during this process, and she asked me today what I was worried about. I mean, we had the genetic testing, which we received good results, he is moving around, has a good heartbeat and seems to be growing well, so what was I worried about.  I hadn’t thought of why just yet, because I don’t know really…besides every other pregnancy has gone so wrong (maybe the term “wrong” is poor choice of words), but I mean, it hasn’t gone as planned, not one of our other pregnancies has and we always are left with this hole of sadness and loss in our hearts.  If I could do anything to prevent this feeling again, I want to.  I am over the moon grateful for this sweet little one and I wouldn’t  change this process  for a second, even if it doesn’t  go as planned.  However, it can be difficult to wake up every day and assume everything is good, but I really try to.  Except every time I ride in a car for too long, get stressed out, overdo it or just eat something too sugary or too greasy, my mind falls back into….what if this causes everything to go wrong.  It’s a true mind game and giving up any and all control to God is what I am learning every single day. 
Please don’t think I am continually thinking negatively because I am not and don’t want to put negative vibes into little Z-man’s sweet, developing life, but I still remain cautiously optimistic and I’m trying to be realistic  with myself.  Maybe I will always be like that?  Does that feeling ever go away…even 18 years from now, I assume I’ll still feel like this?  I guess that’s just mom life, huh?  I can’t imagine this love and worry I feel now, continuing to develop every single day for years and years to come.  Isn’t it overwhelming at times?  Jeez moms, you have your work cut out for you and I never realized it til this experience. I thought I “got it” but I never really could wrap my mind around it like I do now.

So we will continue remaining cautiously optimistic and smile knowing sweet Baby Z seems to be loving life in there, growing and developing and listening to our prayers over him every night! ❤️

My Infertility Project

I recently shared our news and a project I’ve been working on for some time.  It’s a very personal project to show, not just because of the struggles with infertility and everything that goes into it.  And I chose to share it publicly…with everyone, as a way to just show others what it’s like to go through something like this, but mostly to speak for those that DO know what it’s like yet haven’t shared their story just yet.  Infertility is not a subject that should be hushed, and I’ll not hesitate to speak about it.  It’s real, it’s extremely tough, and alot of times it doesn’t seem fruitful. WHAT IS FRUITFUL…. is sharing your story and helping others along the way.  That’s what He calls us to do.  I received so much overwhelming love, prayers, and feedback that I was blown away and still get emotional thinking about it.

As a result of several comments I received, I wanted to go into the project in a little more in detail to explain my viewpoint behind it all, what I was experiencing, and the moments of ups and downs as they go.  Consider it a behind the scenes…. tears, humor and weird moments. To see the project in its entirety, it’s up on my personal facebook page:  https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10100283155207295&id=80400746

Our story began years before we started IVF, but this is where I started documenting things…. When you first think of IVF, you think of tons of shots and medications.  That presumption is 115% accurate. Injections and meds were my life from January til recently.  Not only do you have shots and meds, but you’re on a timed schedule with each one.  You may as well forget your social events in the evening, unless you plan to bring a few syringes and haul all your medication.  So shots, shots and more shots….

Next step was surgery, to clean things up and retrieve as many eggs as you can.  This is the moment we have been prepping for, so carefully with the injections.  And of course, with surgery comes recuperating time.

This wasn’t a super strenuous surgery, but it does require some down time.  And on top of this, you’re restricted from any form of working out before and after the surgery until you’re minimum 4 weeks after embryo transfer or until you miscarry.  THIS IS A LONG TIME, so there were several hours of lying around, resting and trying to prep my body to be the best home for little ones.

Finally, you make it to transfer day; you’ve been waiting on this day for awhile.  Your body and ovaries have been pumped full of medications.  You’ve been praying over this day since the beginning.  On retrieval day, we successfully retrieved 15 eggs, 13 fertilized and looked fantastic days 1-3.  Day 3-5 the doctors let the little embryos incubate and do not open to look at them again until Day 5.  So you pray those sweet 13 make it til Day 5. If you don’t receive a call on Day 5, you go in for your procedure…..that’s not what happened for us.  We received a call about two hours before the procedure.  The embryos looked so poor they wouldn’t even give them a grade.  This was the aftermath of that phone call and the most painful moments for me and I’m sure Jason…. All this work to what seems to be nothing.  Your world rocked and your hopes shattered.

When a doctor asks you what you want to do after you’ve gotten this far, let’s say your emotions are all over the place, and there was only one thing to do….you pray.  I mean, you get a little ticked off too…I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t so mad at the situation.  HOW CAN I GO THROUGH ALL THIS AND WE CAN’T GO ANY FURTHER??  So, you pray and pray and tell them you don’t care if they’re “below poor,” but you’re doing that transfer today.  So they asked us to wait in town for a few hours and they would pick the best two out of the bunch and “Hope for the best,” (their words, not mine..not exactly what you want to hear from your specialist the day of a transfer).  So you pray some more, you wait, you cry (alot) and you send texts to loved ones asking for more prayers.

After the transfer, which doesn’t seem incredibly hopeful at the time, you do everything humanly possible to insure your treating your body like a temple, you’re keeping your feet warm (IVF tip), and eating pineapple & its core (another tip), and you rest ALOT, You’re hopefully growing a little one in there and that’s all you can do.  And pray.  Oh, and continue taking your meds and shots.  Just because you transferred two embryos, does not mean the meds stop there…

And more shots…. Vinson Images-26

This may be one of my favorite photos from the project, because it accurately depicts my emotions and thoughts at this moment, while Jason just continues marching on.  If you think it’s easy to give your spouse an injection – you’re wrong, if you think it’s easy to let your spouse give you an injection – you’re really wrong.  If Jason were to mess up and hit a vein, I would get annoyed and have to be re-stuck with a needle one or two more times. And then Jason would get annoyed with me, because he’s literally doing the best he can and hitting a vein just happens sometimes.  Sometimes you bleed or injecting in a sore spot and there really isn’t anything either of us can do about it.  It doesn’t make for the best intimate moments with your spouse. Ha.  SO, this is my face after an argument about who’s doing the injection right.  He’s patiently trying to stick me and I’m sarcastically waiting.  Humorous now…..kinda.

Then you wait…and wait.  You want to take 1,000 pregnancy tests but there isn’t a point.  Over the years I’ve had false positive tests and false negative tests, so I decided no pregnancy tests were going to be taken, except for the ones the doctor performs.  This was difficult, waiting and trusting…but we did it.  Next, you test with the doctor and your numbers kinda suck…. and you’re back on that emotional roller coaster that you had hoped to have gotten off and never gotten back in line again.  But you do.

And you wait some more…. then, you start to feel a pain here or a sensation there and you think, “Oh maybe this is a viable pregnancy?”  And it hits you, like a 145 lb Great Dane running full force at you and knocking the wind out of you (trust me, I’ve been there) ….you get your first spout of morning sickness.  Little did I know that “morning sickness” has nothing to do with the morning, it was a pure all day sickness.  During this entire time, I’m still working of course.  Because I mean you’re paying for IVF, and working is a requirement just to get by.  When I had morning sickness in the past, I’d be cozied up in the comfort of my home, but that’s not the case this time.  My first morning sickness spout we had just finished up a wedding in Maine. The wedding was beautiful, the couple was beyond amazing and the following day, while we’re waiting in the airport, all the morning sickness for the entire day hits.  Flight delays happen, sleeping on the floor occurs, and more sickness…everywhere.   One of the last places I want to experience all day sickness is in a public place, let alone an airport where nothing seems to help.  But you deal, because THIS IS A GOOD SIGN!

You semi hope the sickness stops, but you also pray it doesn’t because morning sickness is a fantastic sign of high levels of hormones for a healthy pregnancy.  So I prayed for that morning sickness, no matter how miserable it made me…I wanted it.  And God provided.

Finally, you’re to a “safe” point in the pregnancy and you’re so excited but don’t want to tell anyone.  You ask your parents and a few, close friends to keep quiet and continue to pray.  You see, we’ve been here before and I wasn’t interested in announcing yet ANOTHER pregnancy and weeks later telling everyone that we lost the little one.  It’s heartbreaking and it’s such an awkward conversation to have to explain to people.  And then you get the “ahhs” of pity, that completely mean well, but deep down it ticks you off because you weren’t able to do the one thing you are made to do, keep that baby alive.   So this time, I chose to just kept quiet, but secretly we rejoiced (cautiously).

I wish I could confidently say this will be an incredible pregnancy and we will finally get to hold our healthy, breathing little one in November.  I’m praying every day that we get this opportunity….but we don’t know right now.  We optimistically wait for the next doctor appointment and continue to wait one more day for our sweet little one to arrive.  Vinson Images-49

Our story and my project doesn’t stop here…it will continue.  For now, I look back and am thankful for the journey, thankful for the sarcastic remarks to each other, the arguments, the pain, the tears and the spurts of joy.  And we wait to see what comes next!

Feel free to read past blog posts and catch up on our entire journey this year.