Friday, December 31, 2010

A Tale of the New Year

As 2010 comes to an end, I can only think about the year ahead. Resolutions that get made and the feelings of failure when they don't get kept. Traditionally, you hear of people always making resolutions to lose weight, start working out, start eating healthier, get out of debt, etc. Ask anyone battling infertility and their resolutions are probably much different than the norm.
My new years resolutions are always pretty much the same. I remember for 2009 it was to get pregnant. For 2010 it was to get pregnant and stay pregnant. Needless to say, for 2011, I'm a little reluctant to make any sort of resolution, because I seem to always fail. I know, I don't technically have much control over the resolutions I make; but when you are battling infertility that is basically all you think about. I don't think about eating healthier, or getting in shape; my thoughts are consumed on holding my healthy child in my arms! Therefore, my resolutions are consumed with having a baby!
Every December I remember saying, next year is our year. I love starting out in January with a positive outlook that maybe this coming year will be it! I feel like I have a whole 12 months ahead of me to make something happen. I have the emotionally hard holidays behind me, and an open road ahead! I know God doesn't want me to give up on my dreams and desires.
In fact in Psalm 37:4 He promises us,
"Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart."

As long as I can stay positive and focus on scripture, I know 2011 will be a great year. I have to admit, the past few years have not been great in the baby making area. However, God has tremendously blessed me in other ways. I have an amazing husband that supports me and stands by my side through all of this. I know Ferrari will never waiver, he is always there to offer encouraging words or remind me of how God has us in the palm of His hand orchestrating our lives perfectly! I have a huge supportive family that stands behind Ferrari and I in every decision we have to make. They are there to offer us words of encouragement, and a shoulder to cry on. We couldn't ask for a better group of friends. Ours are always ready and willing to cheer us up and give us some laughs. We don't have any health problems, minus Ferrari's 12 month battle with valley fever. Come to think of it, hopefully this goes away soon! Ferrari has a great job and we have a beautiful home to provide us with a roof over our heads.
I know I have no room to complain, God has given me so much! If I am having a day where I start to feel bad for myself, I quickly remind myself of how many people have it worse. This quickly snaps me back to reality!
Instead of making new years resolutions, here are my hopes and dreams for the coming year:
1. Read my Bible every day!
2. Have a happy, healthy baby!
3. Spend less time watching TV!
4. Start my non profit!
5. Begin the process of writing a book.

Feel free to leave me a comment, and let me know about your hopes and dreams for 2011!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My Laundry Folding Epiphany

Random title I know, but honestly that is what just happened. I am upstairs folding Ferrari's wranglers when this hit me in the face totally out of left field. Which doesn't surprise me much because some of my greatest ideas have come to me when I least expect it. For instance, Hadilyn's name came to me in the middle of the night. I woke up, wrote it down in my iphone and informed Ferrari in the morning how I had named our unborn baby girl in the middle of the night, haha.
Anyway, that is all beside the point. I'm folding laundry thinking about my day and a specific conversation I had with a friend of mine; when I realized another piece of the puzzle as to why God allowed me to lose the twins when I did. For anyone who has lost a child, this is a constant thought process. I don't know if it's because we are humans or because we are women, but we have to know WHY! Give our pain a purpose, so to speak.
A few weeks ago, we went to visit a specialist. Before I am pregnant again we wanted to know as much as we could about what had happened the last time to hopefully prevent another loss in the future. My doctors have always told me I either lost the twins due to an incompetent cervix or an infection. An infection, you might ask? I know, I had never heard of it either. Basically, the way it was explained to me was a very small percentage of women actually develop an infection during pregnancy that puts the body into full blown labor. The body is trying everything it can to get rid of the infection, so it thinks it has to get these babies out as fast as possible. Well that would have been fine and dandy if I were 40 weeks along instead of 22 weeks 5 days. After the specialist asked what seemed to be a million questions, she gave us her opinion of the diagnosis. Drum roll, please.... she said I had BOTH! Can you believe it?!? I swear I have the longest laundry list of "rare conditions" out of anyone I know, but she 100% believes I have an incompetent cervix and had an infection.
At first I didn't quite know what to do with this information. On one hand I was so relieved to hear someone tell me exactly what had happened, but on the other I knew an incompetent cervix meant a tough road for every future pregnancy. As I thought about how I would have to have a cerclage to prevent another preterm loss, I began to get angry. I didn't understand why my doctors couldn't have known this? Why couldn't I have had the cerclage this last pregnancy, then I would be holding beautiful Arie & Hadie? It would have been so easy? I just wish I had gone in one week earlier, the ultrasound would have surely shown changes in my cervix! Now, the options for this train of thought are to either let this downward spiral continue out of control, or stop it dead in its tracks. Thankfully, I chose the latter or this could have been a long night with lots of crying and tantrum throwing, just kidding, sort of :)
I asked God to show me the positives, why did He have it happen this way? Once I got to thinking, I realized I am incredibly grateful. Had I had a cerclage in place I don't know if I would have started bleeding when I did. Which would have meant, I wouldn't have gone to the doctor & I might not have known for quite some time that I had an infection. Based on talking with the doctor who gave me my amniocentesis, an untreated infection would have killed me. That is why they wouldn't put the cerclage in while I was in the hospital, they had to high of suspicions at this point of an infection. I could have died, but God spared my life! He's obviously not finished with me yet!
This is exactly what I needed today! It is a great reminder for me of how everything God allows has meaning; His plan for our lives is greater than we can understand. This is just another piece of faith for me to carry in my pocket. I can choose to move forward by faith, expecting that, God willing, I will give birth to a beautiful healthy child someday, or I could store my faith in a box in the closet and live a life of fear. Fear the unexpected, fear for my next pregnancy, fear that what we are doing isn't right. I know from past experiences, that this is not the way to live. I must choose to pull my faith out and use it on those hard days. I pray more than ever that God will help me get through each day, through each doctor's appointment, through each decision. This is what He wants me to do! Just like your hubby's like to be needed, ladies, God wants you to need Him too! He wants me to rely on Him to get me through this!

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Thought You Might Need a Laugh

This infertility business is very stressful and often depressing. I have found I tend to make a lot of jokes about it. If I weren't joking I'm sure I'd be crying. Anyway, I came across this video on another infertility blog and laughed so hard. I was asked these same questions while pregnant with my boy/girl twins! I know the holidays are hard on a lot of people, so I thought this could provide you with a good laugh if only for a few moments! Check it out!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

An Early Gift

My sister decided to give me an early Christmas present this year. Once you see what it is, you will completely understand why she couldn't wait to give it to me! It is the most beautiful Christmas ornament I have ever seen!

Yes, those are my beautiful twins, Arie James & Hadilyn Faith! Just precious!

Here is the back!

My sister had it custom made by one of her friends. You can find more information on how to order one of these ornaments from the Paper Princess. This ornament is so beautiful, it will definitely be staying out all year! Now, I just need to find a cute stand for it to hang from.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Handing out Hope

I was reminded several times this weekend about how important it is to provide others with hope and comfort! I am so thankful for everyone that has surrounded Ferrari and I during our difficult times these past couple of years, and I have a desire to do the same for others. This is definitely the top reason for this blog. This is a great place for anyone to come get hope and encouragement anonymously.
Last week it was brought to my attention that some family members of mine were going to visit the hospital where I delivered, Banner Good Samaritan, and make a donation. Instantly, I knew I wanted to help. For those of you who don't already know, my friend and now cousin; (we actually married cousins, which kind of makes us cousins now too, right :) lost her baby girl Reese in September. We both delivered at the same hospital, therefore our family has a huge heart for providing hope to moms who will experience a similar loss at Good Sam. I only had a few days to put some stuff together, but I already knew what I wanted to donate. Once we knew the twins were coming and there was no stopping them, the hospital was kind enough to bring in some stuff for me to shop through. I was not prepared with outfits or blankets for Arie and Hadie, so they show me what other people had donated. I am so thankful to the women who sewn their tiny matching outfits! One of Ferrari's aunts had sewn matching receiving blankets for the twins, however; since my children were only 1 lb. each, the regular receiving blankets were enormous! We literally had to fold them into quarters to wrap them up. So, I was on a mission to make blanket sets that had matching blankets in two sizes. One blanket is the regular receiving blanket size, and the other is a small one about the quarter of the size of the regular one. This way moms who have have preemies have one that fits, and moms that have full term babies have one the right size. There is also a significance to providing each mom with two blankets. I was devastated when I realized the twins needed something to be buried in, but they only had one blanket and one outfit each. As a mom, I wanted to keep these items for memories. So, I decided to give each mom two matching blankets. They can keep one, and wrap their baby in the other! If you can't tell already, I have a huge passion for helping mom's that go through infant loss! I hope to start a non-profit soon that will provide moms with a box of necessities! I will definitely keep you posted on this!

Here are the 6 sets of blankets I was able to put together by Saturday. Each set also has a card with a few encouraging words and my blog address.

Here is a picture of all the stuff together that my family donated! There were blankets, onesies, stuffed animals, hair accessories, picture frames, lots of food to thank all of the doctors and nurses at the hospital and much more!

I hope our family can make this a tradition. A tradition of "Handing out Hope" together!

I was reminded of an awesome scripture yesterday at church!

"Praise be to God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any troubles with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

To tell or Not to Tell

I had an amazing weekend! I had the opportunity of taking a mini trip to Cottonwood on Saturday! A group of about 15 women went to a retreat center up there and we all just spent the day with God. Let me just tell you, it was exactly what I needed! I will most likely post more about this trip later. Sorry this was just a little teaser :)
For now, I want to discuss a topic that has come up a lot lately. On more than one occasion I have been asked if it is better to tell or not to tell friends and family when you get that Big Fat Positive Pregnancy Test!
If you are struggling with this decision, realize it is different for everyone. What is right for me, may not be right for you. I have had some experience in this area, so I though I'd share what I have learned thus far.
First off, PRAY PRAY PRAY! Ask God when it is a good time to share your good news. I promise you He will give you an answer! With our first pregnancy, Ferrari and I didn't want to tell anyone! We thought it was too big of a risk to tell people and then have to go "untell" them if we miscarried. We waited until after we saw the heartbeat on the first ultrasound. Once a heartbeat is detected your risk of miscarriage goes down. Our immediate families knew at this point and right as we began letting more people in on our secret, we lost the baby. It was hard having to "untell" our family and friends, but they were all there for us! It was nice having their support for Ferrari and I as we went through our first huge loss together. With our second pregnancy not very many people knew, and it was hard for me to grieve. People would see me upset and have no idea what I was going through so I would have to explain how I was pregnant, but lost the baby. It may just be my personal preference, but I would just rather people understand why i'm emotional rather than having to explain it. Those close to me know, once I start talking about what happened I can be a weepy woman, and I hate crying in public!
Another plus is the more people that know, the more PRAYER warriors you have in your corner. You can definitely never have too many people praying! With our third pregnancy we decided to let the church know so they could be praying as well. This turned out to be a huge plus for us! Our pastor asked us every week how we were doing and if the babies were good, and we would tell him yup everything is going great! He began encouraging us to join a small group, and Ferrari and I were hesitant at first but we went anyways. This turned out to be one of the best decisions we made! We gained an entire small group family that was there for us just a few short weeks later once we lost the twins. We could not have had a better support system waiting to rally around us as we dealt with the hardest thing we had gone through!
Yes, I will probably still be hesitant to let everyone know the next time I'm pregnant, because I'm human. I will sit down and reread this post, because I know how I should think. I am well aware that satan will try and creep into my mind and make me worry, but God is very clear about worrying.
He says in Matthew 6:34 "Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

I will choose to have faith in God, because I know His plan for my life is perfect.

Remember, with this technologically savvy world today- you better believe with facebook, blogs, twitter, email, and text messaging your news, good or bad, will travel fast! However, be considerate. If a friend tells you she is pregnant and you tell others her good news please; be sure to "untell" whoever you have told if she ends up miscarrying. (I know that sounds like a bad tongue twister, but I tried to write it differently and it wasn't coming out right) It is really hard facing someone, you didn't even know knew you were pregnant. They tell you congratulations and you have to explain what had happened. It is extremely awkward for all parties involved.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Love these Lyrics!

I absolutely love country music! I'm a total country girl on the inside, I love my boots and line dancing. However, when Ferrari and I were first grieving the loss of the twins, we really turned to Christian music. We listened to the few songs we had and began downloading tons of songs that were filled with words of hope. I am so thankful for those who are blessed with music writing skills; and have written songs that are so real! Lyrics have a way of speaking to me that is unlike anything else. It is as if the writer has written the song just for me and my situation.
When other's words may have failed, I found music to be the answer. My hubby and I often didn't know what to say to each other, so we would just listen to music together. This song has particularly encouraged Ferrari and I. We played this song during Arie and Hadilyn's memorial service, in hopes of providing our friends and family with the same encouragement we received from the lyrics. This song is such a great reminder of how temporary this pain is, that this darkness will subside and morning will come! I just love these lyrics! Check them out!

Before the Morning
By Josh Wilson

Do you wonder why you have to,
feel the things that hurt you,
if there's a God who loves you,
where is He now?

Maybe, there are things you can't see
and all those things are happening
to bring a better ending
some day, some how, you'll see, you'll see

Would dare you, would you dare, to believe,
that you still have a reason to sing,
'cause the pain you've been feeling,
can't compare to the joy that's coming

so hold on, you got to wait for the light
press on, just fight the good fight
because the pain you've been feeling,
it's just the dark before the morning

My friend, you know how this all ends
and you know where you're going,
you just don't know how you get there
so just say a prayer.
and hold on, cause there's good who love God,
life is not a snapshot, it might take a little time,
but you'll see the bigger picture

Would dare you, would you dare, to believe,
that you still have a reason to sing,
'cause the pain you've been feeling,
can't compare to the joy that's coming

so hold on, you got to wait for the light
press on, just fight the good fight
because the pain you've been feeling,
it's just the dark before the morning
yeah, yeah,
before the morning,
yeah, yeah

Once you feel the way of glory,
all your pain will fade to memory
once you feel the way of glory,
all your pain will fade to memory
memory, memory, yeah

Would dare you, would you dare, to believe,
that you still have a reason to sing,
'cause the pain you've been feeling,
can't compare to the joy that's coming

Would dare you, would you dare, to believe,
that you still have a reason to sing,
'cause the pain you've been feeling,
can't compare to the joy that's coming

com'n, you got to wait for the light
press on, just fight the good fight
because the pain you've been feeling,
it's just the hurt before the healing
the pain you've been feeling,
just the dark before the morning
before the morning, yeah, yeah
before the morning

I have made an entire playlist of songs that give me hope on a daily basis, and I often just play through that playlist over and over. I can always turn to that playlist on days when I feel like Satan has got a grip on my thoughts. He often creeps in and causes me to think negatively about my situation, instead of allowing me to see the good God has blessed me with! If you are looking for encouragement today, please turn on some Christian music! God will speak to you!