Thursday, February 24, 2011

Alisyn Camerota Speaks out on Today Show

In case you didn't see this amazing clip, it is a must see! You will better understand how hard it is going through the infertility process, and how we need support. Statistically support groups help women get pregnant! One in 8 couples struggle with some form of infertility- just a staggering statistic to me! Support groups also help women get through the grief process when they don't get pregnant!
I attend a support group/Bible study an hour away, and I have been trying to start one closer to home for other women. I have run into a few road blocks, but hope to start one under my charity/ministry if it doesn't work out starting one through my church.
If you are in the Phoenix area and wish to know more about the support group I attend, please email me at

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

9 Months of Grief

There are some days where I just seem extra emotional and I can't figure out why. I sit back and realize subconsciously I must be worrying about something. Today, I realized why I am so sad, and its because tomorrow marks 9 months since we said goodbye to Arie James & Hadilyn Faith. 9 months is how long it takes to grow a full term child inside your womb, it takes 9 months to complete a grade level in school, and on average it takes 9 months to plan a wedding. Why can't it take 9 months to finish the grief process?
It has been 9 months since their birth, and what do I have to show for it? I didn't complete anything, except losing another pregnancy. I strive to feel fulfilled in other areas, this blog for example, getting my charity started, and writing a book; but none of that is completed yet, and I guess I won't feel my accomplishment until it is.
It's been 9 months since their birth and somedays it feels like yesterday. I can recall so many details from that day, the way their skin felt when I kissed their cheeks, & the smell of their tiny heads of hair. The road of grief is definitely not a straight and narrow one. It has so many turns, bumps, and detours. Just when you think everything you have been doing for the past 9 months is worth something, you remember how worthless you felt on that dreadful day they told you they wouldn't live but a few moments.
I have to focus on the positive things that have happened to me since their birth. My relationship with Christ has never been stronger. I am confident that I can get through anything because God will never leave my side. Why aren't these things enough on days like today? Why can't I focus on what I do have and realize it out weighs what I have lost? I guess I am allowing satan too much control, control of my mind and control of my heart.
I have some pretty major holidays coming up in the next few months that I have to get through, Mother's Day, their birthday, Father's day, & my birthday. That is exactly how I have been looking at the them, I just need to get through. I hate that, I wish I could enjoy them but instead I just hope and pray they come and go as fast as possible. I wish these holidays weren't so painful, but they are right now and may be this way for a long time. I need to stop fearing for the holidays and milestones that are to come. I need to re-shift my focus back on today and what I can do to better myself and others. I am glad for days like today, I know God is testing me and my faith. The old me, would not have handled today like I have. The old me would have sat in my room with all the windows closed and cried. I would have sulked and persistently begged God to explain to me why He was doing this to me. Instead, I choose to except the sad day that I am having and understand it will allow me to grow. I need to rely on Christ to get me through!

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26

Monday, February 21, 2011

Get Me off This Ride

Ever been on a merry-go-round one too many times in a row? Well, that is the best analogy for what my life has felt like for the past 3 years. I continually go up and down, finding out we are pregnant & losing the baby/babies, while simultaneously going 'round & 'round on this nauseating monotonous path of infertility. This may be a lame attempt at an analogy, but this is the best way I can describe what I am going through. Every time we have a high, and allow ourselves to get excited for our pregnancy, we come back down as we grieve through another loss. The path we have been on seems eerily similar to the same path we have traveled year after year. Some may know, and others may not have noticed but for some reason I always end up getting pregnant the same time every year. I always ask for a baby for Christmas, and remarkably I end up pregnant. We receive our due dates, which have happened to include the following: September 13th, September 23rd, and our latest September 4th. Ferrari's birthday is February 13, which ends up being towards the end of our first trimester. Twice now we have had to celebrate with heart filled with pain, due to miscarriage. After this loss, all I could scream was for someone to get me off this terrible ride.
Everyday I have people ask me how I am doing. I always have to take a moment and think about if this person wants me to honestly answer the question, or just give them a polite, "I'm good." If I was going to answer their question honestly I would have to say something like this, "I'm fine, considering. Today was better than the last but I know this may change at any time and tomorrow I could take 5 steps back in the grief process." I struggle with how much to say, what not to say, what would be too much information for some people, and who I want knowing what about me.
On the other hand, I feel more real with my friends and family when I tell them the truth. I feel like they understand me better, and when I am hanging out with them they get why I am acting the way I am. For example, this past weekend was extremely hard. There was so many painful experiences wrapped up into one weekend I thought I might explode. I took a minute to reflect on similar situations after previous losses, and realized I had to undergo similar amounts of painful experiences very quickly after a loss and I always seemed to make it through. I seem to miscarry right before family & friends give birth to healthy babies. I always make it through their births, and as hard as it is celebrating a brand new baby, the point is God carries me. These past situations gave me a glimmer of hope when I thought about trying to get through this past weekend. Regardless, I was an emotional wreck. I celebrated my niece's first birthday, watched what seemed like 50 families dedicate their healthy children to the Lord at church, and followed this up with my nephew's first birthday party. I told my family before hand this would be a tough weekend, and this helped things not feel so awkward.
I didn't really show my pain through tears this weekend, I noticed more anger and bitterness. I snapped at Ferrari a couple times, and hated myself after for doing it. All I could focus on this weekend was wanting off this dumb merry-go-round. I am so tired of going 'round and 'round feeling disappointed and like a failure, when is it going to stop? I don't have the answer to that question and boy is it frustrating.
The hardest thing is living each day not knowing when my moment will come. I have to solely rely on God's timing. He knows the very second my dream will come true, and I hold tight to the feeling of complete elation when it happens. For now, I am trying to live my life with a purpose that is not fixated on feeling completed when I am blessed with a child. I have no idea how long that will take, and I am pretty sure God does not want me sitting on my hands until it happens. If I could take this time in between and use it for good, I will regain purpose for the pain I have felt. I am getting closer to my charity/non-profit everyday. I am blessed God has provided me with people to help me get it up and running. I will post more about it soon, hopefully!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

None Like You

Over the past few years, we have received a lot of cards in the mail from family and friends after each of our losses. To tell you the truth, we have 5 or 6 copies of each card. They must not make very many grief/loss cards. If someone is looking for a business, there's an opportunity for you.
Anyway, that's besides the point. At my last doctor's visit my sweet nurse practitioner, who has been by my side through this whole infertility process, gave me a sweet card that I have never received before and it read...

God has not promised
skies always blue,
flower-strewn pathways
all our lives through;
God has not promised
sun without rain,
joy without sorrow,
peace without pain.

But God has promised
strength for the day,
rest for the labor,
light for the way,
Grace for the trials,
help from above,
unfailing sympathy,
undying love.
By Annie Johnson Flint

I am so thankful for poets who can write these words, and really capture everything I need to hear in one poem. I am so thankful for Christian doctors and nurses, who take the extra time to care for me physically and emotionally. Just today I received a text message from the nurse that helped deliver my twins back in May. God provided me with Christian nurses, doctors, and nurse practitioners to walk beside me on this journey. There was nothing more comforting than having my doctors and nurses praying with us during those hard days. God knew Ferrari and I would need that support, and we couldn't have asked for better doctors and nurses.
I just wanted to take a minute today and reflect on what God has provided me through all of this. A minute to reflect on the little things that might normally go undetected. Have you really sat and thought about how God orchestrates the smallest details in every situation to turn out the way He has arranged for the perfect outcome. He didn't allow me to go to my last ultrasound alone like I should have last week. I changed it a few days before because Ferrari was going to leave town, and I wanted him by my side at that appointment. The fact that God cared enough to rearrange my schedule so that I would have my husband by my side. God doesn't have to do those little things for us, but doesn't it make you smile when you realize the small things He does do for us. Those are often the things that go unnoticed. Who can deny a miracle when it happens, but the small things; those are the things we may take for granted. We may think we had something to do with them, but we don't. They are the very things God organizes for us, individually. I am so glad I have relationship with a God like that. A God that will never leave me alone, will never stop loving me, and one that will continue to bless me even when I don't deserve it. I love you God, and there is definitely no one like you- NONE like you!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Tale of Number 5

Some of you may have noticed a change to my profile, but since I know many readers don't check that on a routine basis I will share the update in a post too.
I have been pretty quiet here on the blog front for the past couple months. I have still written but couldn't write about what I was truly going through. I struggled with the words to say & not say on here. I never want to offend any of my readers, therefore it can be difficult writing about what I am going through. I pull everything I write about right from my real life. Things that happen to me or don't happen to me are the things that shape me and I like to share them so others understand me. However, two days before Christmas, Ferrari and I found out we were pregnant. We didn't believe it was true due to some of the infertility treatments we used, they can cause false positives. However, we went to the doctor a few days after Christmas and they confirmed we were pregnant. Cautiously optimistic was the way we felt. We wanted to be happy, but we try not to let ourselves get to excited for fear of another loss. I never told my readers about the pregnancy because if there is ever a reader who just went through a loss, I would hate to turn them off of my blog because I was talking about being pregnant again. I know that I follow infertility blogs and then once they get pregnant all of the belly pics they post drive me up the wall and I quit following them. I want this blog to be a place to provide hope for those on this tough road of loss, and at times this causes me trouble deciding what to include on here and what not to.
Anyway, we don't really have to worry about whether I should post about my pregnancy or not, because we learned on Thursday that our baby no longer had a heartbeat. As routine as this may seem for us, it doesn't make it easy. The pain is still real and raw and powerful each time we encounter it. This pain has the ability to change me, and I am aware of this. However, I have to remember I have the power to allow it to change me for good!
I was almost 11 weeks along and ready to make this public news to all family and friends, but our 5th child had stopped growing around 8 1/2 weeks. This was extremely similar to our first miscarriage back in February of 2009. For that pregnancy I was due September 13, and this time I was due September 4th. When we found out about our first miscarriage I was almost 11 weeks along, and the baby had stopped growing at 9 weeks. After that first miscarriage I spent the next few weeks in a very somber depressed state of mind. I questioned everything. I questioned why God would do this to me. I questioned physically why it occurred. I questioned why God would make someone who has wanted children her whole life to lose one. Although the pregnancies were similar, I wanted my grief to be vastly different this time. Today, I no longer question why. I know why this is happening, maybe not the specifics; but I definitely understand the theme to these losses. It is a part of God's plan for me. I can no longer waste my time, energy, and tears on wondering why He would ever allow someone to lose one child; and instead accept that He has allowed me to now lose 5. I seriously find peace in knowing this is all for my greater good, and I can't explain to you how I have gotten to this point of understanding other than it was with God's help. He has really taught me how to live not according to my will, but His. He has promised me the desires of my heart as long as I live by faith. The other day I read this verse in Luke and it really stuck out to me even though I know I have heard it before. I believe this is Elizabeth talking about Mary after God contacted her and told her she would be the mother of the Son of God. She trusted God wholeheartedly and my desire is to have the same trust in His promises for me.

"Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!"
Luke 1:45

Lord, like Mary, I believe in your promises to me!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Needed these Lyrics today!

Yesterday, as I drove home from my sister's house this song came on my radio. It moved me to tears, just as it had that first time the words kissed my ears. I literally feel like this is the last 3 years of my life wrapped up into one song. I wanted to share these lyrics with you today, because like me, you may need them to lean on. I thought it was random why God had me listen to that song yesterday (I hadn't played it in quite some time) until something happened today that made it all make sense. I realized He was preparing me with the very words I would need for comfort and strength. Many people say they have never heard God speak to them, and about a year ago I would have been one of those people. However, I know now when He is talking to me. He speaks so loudly at times, I can't ignore Him. He spoke to me yesterday through this song and if you have never heard it please go download it from iTunes, you will not be sorry!

No Matter What
By Kerrie Roberts
I’m running back to Your promises one more time
Lord that’s all I can hold on to
I gotta say this has taken me by surprise, but nothing surprises You
Before a heartache can ever touch my life
It has to go through Your hands
And even though I keep asking why, I keep asking why

No matter what, I’m gonna love You
No matter what I’m gonna need You
I know You can find a way to keep me from the pain
But if not, if not, I’ll trust You no matter what, no matter what

When I’m stuck in this nothingness by myself
I’m just sitting in silence
There’s no way I can make it without Your help, I won’t even try it
I know You have Your reasons for everything so I will keep believing
Whatever I might be feeling, God You are my hope
And You will be my strength

Anything I don’t have You can give it to me, but it’s OK if You don’t
I’m not here for those things
The touch of Your love is enough on its own
No matter what I still love You and I’m gonna need You

No matter what I’m gonna love You, no matter what I’m gonna need You
I know You can find a way to keep me from the pain
But if not, if not, I’ll trust You
I know You can find a way to keep me from the pain
But if not, but if not, I’ll trust You

No matter what
No matter no matter what
No matter no matter what
No matter no matter what

There are two key phrases in this song that can not go unnoticed. The phrase where she says "I know you can find a way to keep me from the pain, but if not, I'll trust in you, No Matter What." The other phrase is "I know you can keep me from the pain, but if not, I'll trust you." I can't tell you how many times I have been angry with God about losing each of my babies, but what I can tell you is that I rest assured knowing I can still TRUST God. He is still in control, He is still allowing things to happen to me to grow and shape me. Each day is hard, and sometimes I feel like they will never get easy. However, the pain I feel WILL bring purpose. It already has in so many ways. For starters, my faith has never been stronger. Him and I both know my faith wouldn't be where it is today if it weren't for all my loss I have endured. Those who ask for great faith, will be tested so God can give you circumstances in which you solely rely on Him. Those who ask for patience, will be tested so God can put you in circumstances in which you will have to wait on His timing. I know I have greater faith than ever, and much much more patience than when I started on this road of infertility. However, I am just wondering how much more God thinks I need. I wonder when will be the day when He will say, "Well done my good and faithful servant." I can not wait to hear Him whisper those words to me, or yell them for that matter!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Is it Nothing, or the End of Everything

I was reminded yesterday of the feelings I went through May 22, 2010. Ferrari and I had spent the morning cleaning out the spare room to turn it into the nursery. We drove the boxes of old books and clothes to a local church for their rummage sale. We were finally getting excited to "nest" our little ones' room and prepare it for their furniture! However, when we got home I started bleeding. I screamed for Ferrari and off to the hospital we went. I have a hard time describing the feelings I experienced during that drive. It literally felt as if our world had just collapsed and I was screaming as loud as possible but no one around could hear me. I know my hubby was driving way too fast, and yet somehow the cars on the freeway seemed to be passing us. They were going about their day as any other Saturday, without a care in the world. No one knew what we were experiencing in our car, the fear and the uncertainty. I remember being so upset that the rest of the world didn't care, they were laughing and having a great Saturday. When we got to the hospital every person we encountered acted as if we had no reason to worry. I distinctly remember the lady checking me in telling me everything is going to be just fine, I just might meet my child sooner than expected. That's the thing. None of these people could tell from the outside that I was only 4 1/2 months pregnant with twins. By the size of my belly they figured I was at least 7 or 8 months along with a singleton. As we sat in triage the nurse kept asking me to calm down, my heart rate was out of control. She began hooking me up to the monitor to check for a heartbeat. After she found one she told me, "See I told you everything was fine." My response was, "What about the other one?" That's when her face began to look more serious. She asked, "What do you mean?" I literally had to explain how far along I was and that I was this big because I was pregnant with twins! She started to take the monitor off and told me they don't hook women up to monitors until they are 24 weeks along. Are you kidding me!! I believe I elevated my voice at this point and demanded she get another monitor and find that 2nd heartbeat! She did find two heartbeats and I felt a lot better for the time being. However, my heart rate didn't show it. We definitely needed comfort in those moments!
I was replaying these events in my head yesterday as a friend of mine went through a similar bleeding scare. I couldn't help but think about how I felt that Saturday morning and how they must have been feeling on their drive to the hospital. Seeing everyone around them go about their day as if nothing traumatic was going on in their life. My trans-like state, I experienced, on the drive to the hospital will never leave my mind. It's a feeling that is not easy to shake. When I think about it, it is still so real to me. I will remember seeing that blood and wondering, could this bleeding really be nothing or is it the end of everything!
Those emotions and thoughts are things I never wish to have to go through again, however they have made me stronger, more faithful, and way more compassionate. I am thankful for going through those circumstances, because God shaped me into a much better daughter, sister, and friend. Even if I can't relate exactly to what you are going through, struggles are struggles. Heartache comes in lots of shapes and sizes, but what everyone needs during their struggles is compassion. In fact, Christ commanded us to give compassion.

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.
Philippians 2:1-2

I remember searching for comfort through prayer, and God answered! He surrounded us with compassionate family and friends. He also blessed us with amazing nurses and doctors, that were filled with compassion. So many people in the medical field lack the bed side manor needed in situations like what we went through. God blessed us with a Christian nurse that went out of her way to make our experience the best that it could be, considering our inevitable outcome.
I used to never enter hospitals, in total honesty they freaked me out! However, after losing little Arie and Hadilyn I have a new found compassion and strength. God has given me the desire to comfort those who have lost a child. I have stepped foot in a hospital more times since May 24, then I have in my whole life. I literally have a burning desire to give comfort and hope. It is most definitely the ministry God has placed on my heart, and I am loving growing in this field. I take each day at a time, and some are easy and others are extremely difficult. However, I know this is exactly where I need to be. My bleeding definitely wasn't nothing, but it most definitely was not the end of everything either. It was just the end to another chapter.