Thankful

I have shared several times on this blog, “I am thankful.” There are so many things I am thankful for and there is no better time to share than Thanksgiving.   

1. I am thankful for a mighty Lord to bless us with all the opportunities given to us, especially the latest blessing, Zayden Gray Vinson.

2. Baby sneezes, because they are the most precious thing a newborn can do. Seriously, it makes me oh and aw every little sneeze.

3. I am thankful for fertility drugs and procedures.  As crazy as the drugs make you with mood swings, hot flashes and other random side effects, I am thankful for the outcome they can bring.

4. Our doctor’s/nurses and the wisdom given to them to help get us through the past 6+ years.

5. Our support system.  We have been overwhelmed with family, friends, coworkers, church family, wedding clients, and complete strangers that have gone over and beyond to support us.

6. A fairly “easy” pregnancy and labor.  Despite all odds, some struggles through it and a major backache, we made it through that pregnancy and labor like a breeze.

7. All the babies we lost over the years. ❤️

8. Etsy, because we’ll sometimes you just need that custom dinosaur height chart and you just don’t have time (or creativity) to do it myself.

9. A husband who is not only supportive and helps any chance he can get, but he has also become a master at changing dirty diapers.

10. A profession that can be flexible and the best clients a photographer could ask for.

11. Loving dogs that easily transitioned to having a newborn brother and only overwhelming him with kisses every other day. 

12. Eye contact with our baby boy. Gosh, when he looks at me with his eyes wide, my heart just melts and melts.

13. Meal trains and freezer meals.  If we didn’t have either of these during the first few weeks postpartum, we would be eating cereal for every single meal.

14. Parents that live (probably) a little too close. 😊 But always willing for a friendly stop by and to love on sweet baby Z and it’s just an added plus they will bring food or beer each visit.

15. A home that truly feels like our home.

16. Bouncy balls, because let’s face it..sometimes Zayden wouldn’t have fallen asleep, unless we had that giant thing to bounce him to sleep.

17. Baby baths. I have never seen a baby more relaxed than when Z is sprawled out in a warm bath! 

18. The ability to breastfeed and pump. This was one of my biggest fears, that my body wouldn’t produce what it needed to, but so far I’ve been blessed with the ability to do so.

19. Night lights to guide clutzy me throughout a dark house, with Baby Z.

20. Restless nights, because it means there is a reason to be restless and that reason is the best thing ever.

21. Zayden falling asleep on my chest. I may be one of those weird mom’s that encourages this forever because right now it is my favorite thing to do, cuddle and let him fall asleep on my chest. 

22. Bassinets right by the bed, so I can check on him any time throughout the night I need (or should I say want to).

23. Time for the body to heal.  The body is a crazy, intricate creation and to imagine you have the ability to create a little human is pretty incredible. But this body also needs time to heal and I am thankfuln to have that time  to do this.

24. Blogs, to get out all these thoughts in my head but to also have a space to tell our story and help others on their journey.

25. I am thankful for infertility struggles.  I used to take pregnancy for granted. It seems like everyone can get pregnant pretty easily, right?  Well, I was wrong and now I don’t take such a precious gift for granted.

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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.

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.

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!

#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. 

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.  

 

Hey there…

Hi.  I’m back…. I’ve been gone for a bit but I’m back.  I wanted to stick around through it all, but I had some issues writing, well mainly 3 issues that I wanted to share…focusing mostly on #3 because it’s the biggest hold up in my writing.

  1.  It’s difficult to find joy, even when you have good news.  We’re 17 weeks along and that is so so fantastic, but worry creeps in on me every single day.  I went as far as adding an additional ultrasound last week, because I couldn’t wait 3 more weeks for the next appointment and insure everything was ok.  It was extra $$ and you’d think I’d be penny counting, assuming we just spent an insane amount doing IVF and another insane amount trying to adopt.  It was just necessary for my peace of mind.  You see, I’m at that weird stage where I can maybe feel kicks and jabs from little boy, but I don’t know if that’s what it is or if it’s something else, ya know, something bad.  Supposedly within the next few weeks I’ll be able to clearly define baby kicks and I’d feel so much better when I get the constant reminder that he’s still there and doing well.
  2. Anything could happen.  I could tell you I’m 17 weeks with a healthy baby boy today and tomorrow I could lose little one, praying that’s not God’s path for us, but it could happen.  I just have to trust His path here….and it isn’t always easy.  Ha. Saying it was easy or that I understand it is so far out in left field.  However, I trust Him and if I were to lose this sweet Baby Z, and I wrote all these things about how happy I am that we were this far along or that we felt our first kick…it would hurt so bad to go back and read that in the future.  So it’s just difficult for me to talk about what’s going on when I don’t know how all this will play out.
  3. This one may be hard to follow, so I’ll do my best to explain.  I kind of feel weird writing about it now.  Why?  Well, when I originally was trying to find some peace after loss & loss, I read several other women’s infertility blogs.  My findings were overflowed with mommas that were pregnant or had children and their struggles were years past them.  Or so I thought, now I know the struggle never ever leaves you, but that’s besides the point. They were writing about waking up in the middle of the night with a crying baby or where to find the best and safest baby equipment for their little ones.  It was difficult for me to get into their blog posts and truly relate, because I wasn’t there with them.  I was still in my stage of anger, that we couldn’t have children ourselves and it hurt to see basically everyone else having children, even these women who’s blogs were about infertility.  NOW that I’m THAT person writing at 17 weeks with a healthy baby boy, it seems like I no longer fit into this category that I’ve been writing in since December.  How I’ve categorized myself for 6+ years, I no longer “fit.”  Does that make sense? 

    It’s kind of like announcing you’re FINALLY freaking pregnant and out of the first trimester, to someone that just miscarried or has been trying to for years but has been successful yet.  You want to yell and scream and tell the world, but you can’t because you want to be conscious of those around you.  I’ve been there and it hurts.  It hurts alot, so you go the extra step and be a little more cognitive to what those around you are going through.  For example, in the same month, I recall getting a text from a family member and a call from a friend to tell me they were not expecting this and definitely were not trying but SURPRISE they were having a baby.  And it hit me like a ton of bricks….better yet, it hit me like a freight train going about 190 mph.  To say I was unselfishly happy for them would be a lie.  I was selfish.  I was hurt.  I was pissed actually.  And it took me well over 2 months to be supportive deep down.  Of course, I showed my support outwardly, but inwardly I was breaking the hell down and I was ready to throw in the towel.  Luckily, God gave me peace sometime in January.  I don’t know why He decided it was time for me to find that peace, but He provided and all of a sudden I found myself truly happy for those around me getting pregnant and making their announcements.  I went as far as actually attending and even hosting a baby shower, something I’ve never been able to willingly do or go to in the past.  I told you I was selfish.  And this peace just came over me and a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders and I found it!  I found the joy for others!  And I’m so thankful I’m here now..my heart aches that I went through so many years just being so unthankful to God’s blessings on others.  This is a much better mindset for me to be in…

If you’re reading this and you’re in your anger stage or you’re just aren’t feeling the joy for me, totally skip past some of my posts or my blog completely.  It is completely fine and I 110% understand.  But, I hope you come back and please know that I’ve been there.  We wouldn’t go through these struggles if we didn’t hope and pray for an awesome end goal.  Maybe you’re here supporting me (thank you) or maybe you’re here supporting a loved one or maybe you’re a struggling want-to-be-momma, we all still have the same end goal.  We all want our loved one(s) or ourselves to find that sweet baby, one way or another. We’re all in this together….let’s express our anger, sadness, peace, happiness, because we’ve all been there.

So…. I’m going to allow myself to write about the experiences during pregnancy, through the hiccups along the way, and after childbirth, because that is my end goal…. to have sweet, healthy, intelligent, alive little one in our arms… I mean, that’s not my complete end goal.  I want to watch them grow up, be ornery, ride dirt bikes, love on our puppies, meet the love of their life, experience a mother-son dance at a wedding, watch them grow to be some incredible (INSERT ANY DREAM/OCCUPATION HERE).  My end goal is always growing, but right now my end goal is to make it through a pregnancy with a healthy baby boy.

Hope you’ll stay on the journey with me…

Today is one of those days…

I don’t know what’s going on with my mindset or my body for that matter….everything is different, and nothing is incredibly comfortable.  Those much farther along than me, don’t scoff…I’ll get to your point and probably look back and laugh at this comment later.  But this weekend, I was on my feet more than I have been the past 3 months, and I feel much different after that.  I’m not sure if it’s a “different” like more aware of your body changing different or “different” hey there’s something going on different.

I could spend my time worrying nonstop, but I’m doing my best not to.  My nurse called me back today to answer some questions I had about some soreness, and she didn’t have a good answer for me, but to keep watch over it.  That never makes a girl feel too great about it.  BUT I’ll do just that, I’ll keep watch, and pray, pray, pray, and be patient.  I told my husband today, I’m not sure if this is God’s way of saying, “Hey, I know you’re not a super patient person, so let’s work on this.  In the meantime, trust me.”  He says this to me about 15,000 times a day, so it wouldn’t surprise me if that is exactly why I’m experiencing the feelings and soreness that I am.  OR, the other part of my mind wanders back to July 2015 when we were overly excited about our pregnancy and one day I woke up feeling different.  We had a wedding in Mexico in 2 weeks, and we didn’t have our next doctor’s appointment til we came back and I knew something was wrong.  I had to basically beg my old doctor to see me, so I could be assured everything was ok before we traveled.  Sure enough, we went in and just an empty sac.  Everything was not ok, my gut thought was right.  I truly wish my mind didn’t go back to this place with every ache or different sensation.  I wish we could do what everyone tells us and enjoy the moment and stop worrying.  It’s just easier said than done.  After this entire process, my mind doesn’t instantly jump to happiness like it used to.  I would LOVE for it to. TRUST ME, but it doesn’t function like that during this stage of life.

So maybe you’re thinking, well go make an appointment and find out.  Thing is, I could, but it wouldn’t stop anything from happening or not happening.  Everything could look ok then something goes wrong the following day.  I’m not in control of this.  If I was, we’d have probably 7 healthy babies on earth and all my friends / family / infertile myrtles would not have any struggles with having babies.  However, I’m not in control, and I’m given this path, and I have to trust it.  Trust Him and pray my worries will be taken away from me.  So dear God, please take these worries from me.

I know it may just be one of those days…because those days happen when you’re just tired enough and baby is just moving around enough for you to feel a little uncomfortable…. and things just don’t seem to fit just right.

Sorry for the debbie downer moment, I am overly, incredibly thankful for everything we have gone through and experiencing.  My cup is full of love for our little one along the way, I just felt it was important to express what I was feeling today.  I’m trying to be open here, for those going through the same thing can feel like what they’re going through are completely normal thoughts (or as normal as my thoughts are).  It is not always bad, it isn’t always good, sometimes it’s just one of those days…

EDIT:  I had major worries earlier this morning, went about my day and then read my devotion for the day and the verse my devotion was based around was: “He gives the childless woman a family, making her a happy mother.  Praise the Lord.”  Psalms 113:9.  This is a very general devotion app I have that covers all different topics, but this was my topic today.  Whenever I wrote this blog post, I failed to remember this devotion I had today….went back and reread it after my blog post and was sweetly reminded that God is always listening.  Just in case you ever questioned it yourself…

Support System

I can’t explain how thankful I am for the people that choose to be in our lives, during this new and different transition stage of dealing with past losses and coming into the new stages of parenthood.  Y’all are awesome.  To anyone going through struggles, let alone infertility struggles, but struggles in general, get connected.  This is one of my biggest pieces of advice during this process. Friends/Family will need to be there more than they can and/or willing to give, and getting connected with individuals or families that have been through what you’re going through helps significantly.  The people that choose to be in our lives and be present.  THANK YOU.  I know I can’t repay you ever, but I’ll be there for you.

Recently, I joined a local Infertility Group to just hear other people’s stories, but also support and develop relationships with women who get it. They’ve been there, they’ve ridden the crazy rollercoaster or they are going through the process now.  As soon as I left that 1st meeting, I cried on the way home, because I was overwhelmed by the support these women give to me and to each other, and they don’t even know me. I mean really, they know our story and one happened to be my nextdoor neighbor for a few years, but we didn’t really “know” each other.  So thankful to surround myself with individuals like this.  And to think I was just seconds away from chickening out and not attending their meeting, because I just didn’t have it in me that day, but I went and I don’t regret a single second of it.

I clearly won’t go into their stories to respect their privacy, but they are intense.  Far beyond what I think I can bear and/or have gone through.  Some going through all sorts of fertility treatments, some going through adoption, some going through both processes, and some in a waiting period or a peace period (as I like to call it).  It’s really encouraging how many of these fine ladies have found peace along the way, which really led my comments in my last blog.  Finding that peace is such a huge part to going through infertility and transitioning through new stages of life.  It’s difficult to let go of loss(es), but be available and open to other processes.  I prayed with these ladies and pray for them to continue to be strong and follow the path God has lined out for them.

So…I guess, whatever you’re going through…find that support system.  And if you have friends going through it, be that support system.  You could truly save a soul, life and relationship, by simply just being there.  If anyone that is reading this needs someone to be there for them, reach out to me.  I’d love to be there for you.

What glow…

“Um, excuse me dear ‘pregnancy glow’ are you just a figment of people’s imagination or do you only visit certain people?  Because I think you’ve skipped over me this time.”  Instead, I’m super exhausted and looking pretty raggedy; however, no complaints here, because God is giving us one of the greatest gifts ever.  Life.

Baby V is the size of a Clementine orange!  Crazy to think that’s what I have inside of me right now.  We’ve been reading on what’s happening with them at the moment, currently little ones figure out how to swallow, which develops their gut. To know how intricately we’re all made, it blows my mind what God has created.  It truly is a miracle.

Other aspects of the pregnancy, I’ve been feeling meh, but I think that comes with the territory.  Sleepless nights, headaches, and exhaustion are the biggest symptoms at the moment, along with a side of all day sickness that comes and goes.  It’s like a ninja, you don’t see it coming and you never know when it’s going to strike, then quickly sneaks away again.  I joke, but it’s really weird feeling.  I’ve had pregnancy symptoms in the past, but this time it’s different.  It again, just solidifies how intricately we are all made.

We continue to pray that Baby Vinson is doing good, kicking butt in there and growing strong.  We haven’t had any other appointments and will not be back for a couple more weeks.  Which is a little bitter sweet to me.  We are approaching on our longest lasting pregnancy yet, but in the back of my mind there is that lingering thought of what’s going to happen, when will things go awry?  Obviously, we hope not, but we can’t spend every waking minute worrying about what’s to come.  I have constantly reminded to put my trust in God, believe in His plan, and go along His path.  I keep saying, You’ve got this, when in reality, He’s got this (THANKFULLY!)  And for this I’m so incredibly thankful.  WHAT could possibly be better than knowing that God has this all in his hands.

I think back to moments of struggle of my faith, my relationship with husband and friends, and it all boils down to me not trusting God’s way.  With support from others and seeking out strength in the Lord, I’ve really been able to find some peace in those past moments and the downs that we don’t foresee just yet.  So, who cares about the “glow,” what matters is letting go of the anxiety, fear, and worrying about the unknown and relying on what Jesus has in mind for us. So I’ll just be over here not glowing… 🙂 but patiently waiting in peace.