Sunday, November 2, 2014

Diagnosis, Prognosis, Tragedy, or Instead...

     LIVE today and don't wait for tomorrow.  We aren't guaranteed another day!  Are you harboring resentment or anger towards someone, forgive them and move on.  Mend broken relationships so they don't distract you.  Spend your energy on helping someone else, focus on bettering someone's day instead of filling yours with negative thoughts.  Do not wait for someone to be diagnosed with a serious condition, a car accident, or something that puts life in perspective as a result of a bad prognosis.  God did not intend for us to live this way!  He often shakes things up and gets us to realize things by using a specific event, but we can make the change today without a tragedy!
     Literally, over the past week I have encouraged my sister through her friend's loss of her mother to breast cancer, set up a prayer page for my dear friend diagnosed with breast cancer, prayed for another friend's son who was diagnosed with cancer this weekend, and today received a call about a precious little boy that has the same type of cancer as my nephew.  Now, I don't know about you and what is going on in your life but talk about a slap in my face, the other cheek, and practically upside my head from every angle.  God is clearly opening my eyes to hurting people.  When life gets comfortable, God gets a movin and a shaken!  I am obviously too comfortable, and I am ready and willing for God to use me in new ways.  This cancer thing is insane, and EVERYWHERE!  It does not discriminate, it attacks anyone at any age and at any stage in life!
     As a Mommy of 2 young children and being physically separated from all these friends by quite a few miles it sure would be easy to throw my hands up and say there is nothing I can do.  I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I did that.  Instead, I am making a prayer board in my kitchen.  Somewhere I can visually see all these HUGE needs as I spend my days doing dishes and changing diapers.  I can most definitely PRAY!  I plan on talking the Big Guy Upstairs' ear off! He is going to hear from me daily about each of these families.  I have no excuse! I will do my part in helping these hurting families.  Please join me in praying too!  I know each of these families will appreciate it!

     If you are pregnant for the first time after overcoming infertility or are pregnant with your precious rainbow baby, you can gain something from this too!  There is no need to focus negative energy on something that hasn't happened.  Focus your energy on the living child inside of you!  Spend each waking moment praising God for this blessing, instead of fearing what may or may not happen.  Love this child every day you are blessed to carry him or her.  It is MUCH easier said than done, but it is possible.  Pray God gives you the strength to get through each day, and for hope that tomorrow your child is still healthy and living in you!  Ask friends to pray LIFE into your unborn child.  This may sound completely crazy depending on your background, but trust me it helps!  It will bring you SO much peace having family and friends pray on your behalf.  Don't be afraid to ask for prayer!  It is the easiest and most helpful thing someone can do for you during a pregnancy! God is listening, and He most definitely cares so pour your heart out to Him.  I promise the days may feel long, but like parenting living children outside the womb, the years are short.  Trust me, that pregnancy is going to fly by and you will begin to long for those amazing flutters inside you again.  If you aren't familiar with how to pray, I encourage you just to chat with Him.  He is our Father, but he is also our Friend.  You certainly know how to call or text a friend when you need something; so try that out with Him.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

We have come so far...

So far from the birth and death of Arie and Hadilyn, so far from the depths of the deepest grief a Mommy can know, and so far from the start of Owl Love You Forever!
Photo from Dusty Perez at

     Every time someone close to me experiences the loss of a baby, it brings me right back to May 24, 2010.  Not in a bad way, just in a way that keeps the feelings and emotions alive in me.  It doesn't upset me, or hurt me when something is brought up.  Losing my twins was what hurts, not bringing up their memory.  
     Today being National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, the memory of my twins is vivid and at the fore front of my mind.  We were blessed on their birthday to have lots of pictures taken.  Sure, not every picture is great- ok most are good at best but I CAN NOT fathom even deleting a single one from that day.  So, there are a few hundred to go through :) But, every so often I open the folder and flip through the images.  And most times tears roll down my cheeks as I focus on their miniature features and their micro-preemie sized clothes.  However, today I was awestruck at all the other people in the photos.  As I flipped through, there are dozens of friends, family, and even extended family at our bedside.  We ARE so blessed to have had that much support on THE hardest day of our lives.  We are beyond blessed that there are hundreds of others that have lifted us up since that day!  We have an entire church behind us, praying us through the tough times and rejoicing with us and celebrating our 2 living children.  Can you imaging going through such an enormous loss without the Lord and without a good support system?  But there ARE women doing this alone!  I can literally feel my heart break for them.  Who will dry their tears and surround them with the peace that passes understanding?  
     Today is filled with lots of emotions.  Anger, bitterness, guilt, sadness, emptiness but also joy.  Joy that I got to finally hold two of my children in my arms on that day in May.  Joy that today we have come SO much farther than where we were on October 15, 2010.  It is still a bit taboo to talk about a child that has died, but with social media and SO many women banding together to stand up and say their child's name and to break the silence; we are on the right path!  We aren't done yet, and there is still lots of work to be done.  If you have lost a child, consider doing something tangible in their honor.  Not only today, but all throughout the year!  I can't explain how much healing I have received from starting Owl Love You Forever.  Being able to tell their story and share about their lives no matter how short they were!  Focusing on other families grieving the loss of a child, truly fulfills me and brings purpose to my babies' lives.  I can "mother" them on this side of heaven, by supporting others in their honor.  No family should ever have to go through this, and I don't have the power to stop it from happening again.  BUT, I do have the power to stand up for these families.  I can vow to do my part to help them not feel alone.  To be there for them in their greatest time of need.  To be a voice in the darkness when they feel abandoned by their friends or family.  I can direct them to the Lord, because He is truly who carried me through those dark days.  What can you do?  What can you do in honor of your child, niece, nephew, grandchild, or sibling?  
     Owl Love You Forever is focused on providing care boxes to every family that loses a baby in the state of Arizona.  That is hundreds of boxes being donated a year.  That means, hundreds of supplies needed.  OLYF is extremely low on supplies, so please consider making a donation in an angel baby's honor!  Also, check out their WISH LIST as of today! 

Monday, August 4, 2014

I'm Back...

...But to be quite honest, who knows how regular my posts will be, I've just got to start somewhere.

I had been forced in to a maternity leave of sorts that was colic and reflux induced.  Enzo is proving to fit his name, if you compare him to the finicky high maintenance sports car.  He requires special formulas, special bottles, probiotics, meds, and the list doesn't stop there.  However, he is a perfect combo of Ferrari and me and we LOVE everything about him, no matter how exhausting he is ;) I have always prided myself on being great with babies, able to calm even the fussiest ones around- and then I met my son haha... no but seriously, he even gets the best of Grandmas in to a tizzy.

We made the decision to put him in the nursery at Church on Sundays, for one we LOVE the nursery staff, secondly he has had his first round of shots, and lastly WE just couldn't stand the parent viewing room any longer.  Well it has only been a couple weeks back in big service, but every week the worship moves me to tears.  This past Sunday, the particular lyrics that brought on the water works were by Bethel.

                                                                  You make me brave
You make me brave
You called me beyond the shore
Into the waves

You make me brave
You make me brave
No fear can hinder now 
The promises You've made

I couldn't help but picture myself in the past.  Childless, alone, and incredibly wounded.  I remember what it felt like to gain a little bit of bravery and visit a new Dr.  Who gave us new hope and lots of options. 

Friday, May 30, 2014

He's Here!

Enzo James, our perfect son, has arrived!  

     We couldn't feel more blessed, excited, nervous, and all those emotions that come with bringing home a baby.  God is SO good!  It has been a rough journey getting here, but I wouldn't change a minute of it for anything.  My faith has been stretched, my relationship with God has grown, and I have learned SO much about depending on Him and His plan.
     Enzo made his arrival at 37 weeks and 4 days on May 21st.  He decided he wanted to be born sunny side up so I could see his precious face first ;)  This complicated things a bit, and as a result we have been recovering at home and taking things slow.  In those first moments after seeing him, I could hardly contain myself.  I mean the tears were so intense I had to ask for oxygen because I couldn't catch my breath.  The anxiety melted away as I heard that first strong cry, my heart exploded with love and astonishment as I studied the little boy that had been growing inside me.  An inexpressible amount of joy as I realized my body didn't fail me this time.  He was here, healthy, and PERFECT in every way.  Enzo weighed 7lbs 5 oz and I immediately thanked God for having him arrive slightly early, considering his size :) and that he didn't share a birthday with his twin siblings.  Enzo would get his own day, and my heart couldn't be happier about that!
     Even though I wasn't supposed to be out and about, we did make one special trip to visit Arie and Hadilyn on their birthday.  Having Enzo with us this year to visit the twins was a moment I will treasure forever.

     Sorry the post is brief, but I am having an overwhelming feeling to go swoop my SON up out of his swing and snuggle him... blaming the hormones! Thank you all for encouraging, supporting, and praying us through these past 10 months or so.  Your kind words and prayers will never go over looked, each and every one was appreciated more than you may never know.  

*** Name disclaimer, Enzo is not named after the Ferrari car or my husband.  My husband's name is not Ferrari.  His name is actually Arie, but so is our son's name, so I use my hubby's nickname on the blog just to help differentiate the two.  There have been a lot of questions about that, so I thought I would try and clear that up :) I heard the name, Enzo, a few years ago, and LOVED it.  I had mentioned it to my hubby and he was the one that actually informed me it was a car, but I loved it too much to not use because of that! His name is unique like each of his sibling's names :) 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Spirit Lead Me

     As I sit here and watch my tummy roll with activity from my sons strong kicks, I can't help but reflect on before I was pregnant.  I slept differently, dressed differently, ate differently, and looked quite differently.  Lately, I have been trying to imagine what it will feel like once he is in my arms and not my stomach anymore.  How many hours will pass before I long to feel him kick inside of me again?  As much as his strong kicks can cause discomfort, with each kick and movement I am reassured he is alive and God is not done with his life.
     It was exactly one year ago that Ferrari and I started discussing how we were going to go about adding to our family.  We had such a great experience adopting Audie, that it was honestly what we figured we would do again.  Our agency makes you wait for the youngest child in your home to be one before being listed back in the matchbook.  So naturally, we started getting questions about if/when we would decide to go back in the book.  It was surprising to us that when the one year mark came around, we weren't really on board with being in the matchbook.  We didn't quite know if it was because we weren't ready to add to our family, or if it just wasn't quite the path we wanted to take.  We let nearly 3 months go by without bringing the topic up to each other.  I kept making a list in my head of things I wanted to accomplish or complete before I would feel comfortable being put back in the book, all the while "knowing" I was just adding to the list out of convenience to buy me more time.
   When the topic of trying again for a biological child came up, it was one that I didn't quite know how to respond to.  I had pretty much sworn off trying to get pregnant with clomid again, it had brought us so much loss and heartache.  For those of you that may not know, we have only ever been able to conceive while using clomid.  However, each of the 4 pregnancies ended in some type of loss and we were cautioned that this might not be our best option.  Excessive rounds of this drug are known to cause cancer and we have a high probability of miscarrying based on our track record.  When going this route, we don't have the opportunity to "biopsy" the embryo like when we did IVF to see if it is deemed "healthy;" therefore we would be blindly moving forward.
     However, the idea of clomid kept creeping into my mind.  I decided to bring it up to Ferrari and see his thoughts.  Surprisingly, he was on board to entertain the idea as long as our doctor agreed.  So, I gave the office a call and waited.  The topic consumed my thoughts, and I just couldn't quite decide if this was what I wanted or not.  I spent a lot of time in prayer, pleading with God to show us which path to take and it wasn't until I received my call back that it became clear.  When talking to the doctor, I sensed in her voice not good news.  I got the feeling from her tone that after they discussed it, my team of doctors had decided it wouldn't be a good idea.  My heart sank low, and I wasn't expecting that.  I almost started to block out what she said next, to protect my heart from hearing the door was closed.  But, she wasn't in fact delivering this news, she was calling to inform me that they had discussed it and all decided it would be in our best interest to try clomid once more.  When I "thought" they were removing the option of clomid from us, it was in that moment that I realized I was so upset because that is what I was really wanting.  God was giving me PEACE with trying clomid again, and I could hardly believe it.
     Obviously, we went ahead and tried clomid one more time and I think you can tell that we are SO incredibly happy we did.  We could have gone forward with adopting again, or even tried IVF again to better our chance of transferring a "healthy/biopsied" embryo.  But, we didn't.  We moved forward with the single most terrifying path.  Clomid was the route that could involve the most heartache, with the longest road, most hiccups, and biggest let downs.  This path would require the most amount of faith we could muster.  The "safest" route would have been adopting again, but God was not leading us down that path.  Our agency always told us, adopting is a sure thing.  You don't know how long it will take, but one day you will take home a forever baby.  No one could promise us that with clomid.
    I've shared before just how much lyrics of songs can speak to me.  This song is one that can take me right back to the day we made the clomid decision.  This song has the power to remind me of the peace God gave me in making that decision.  It encourages me to continue through this pregnancy, and to turn to God on those hard days.  It challenges me to go deeper, to allow God more room to utilize me.  He is the one that has brought me through this pregnancy, and He will be there when this baby boy is delivered.  It is according to His plan when our little miracle will make his debut, and his life will always be in God's hands.  My son will forever remind me of just how strong my faith can be.  He will be a constant encouragement to me, to allow God to take me deeper.  I don't want to live a "safe" life, I want to live one that is scary and messy and allows me to rely fully on Him.  Had we not taken the risk of trying for another biological child, I would never know what 37 weeks pregnant feels like.  God is good, and we are SO incredibly blessed by Him!

If the video doesn't work for you, try clicking this link


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Reality is...

     Reality is, it's getting harder to write.  It's getting harder to breathe, literally, his feet are in my ribs ;)  I am now over 35 weeks pregnant, and the doubt and fear that takes over at times is just too much.  I literally poked and prodded at my poor sleeping son the other night, I couldn't get him to kick me back and within 2 seconds my mind had raced through every possibility of what could have occurred.  I shook Ferrari awake, my calm hubby kindly reminded me that he was probably in a dead sleep and would take a minute to wake up.  Which he did, and when I felt those jabs, painful as they were, a huge smile radiated across my face and I dried my tears.  He was ok, he was alive, and his heart must be beating because he sure had started to beat up on my insides :) Do you know how many of these moments I experience daily?  I'm sure its a normal fear even for pregnant women that haven't lost a child, but there is something about when these experiences happen that take me back to those moments before the twins were born.  When I couldn't hear, couldn't focus, couldn't believe what was about to happen.  The reality becomes too close to my heart, what I thought was once healed and possibly forgotten, is quickly remembered all too well.
     Truth is, in most moments, I want him born.  I want him out of my flawed human body because for some crazy reason I feel that he will be safer outside of me, as if Satan can't get to him then.  How could I have gone the past 8 months begging God to keep him inside, and now suddenly want him out.  Am I a bad mother for thinking this way? I don't think so, even though some people's comments make me second guess myself.  Can this anxiety really be healthy for him?  The roller coaster of emotions is getting tough, and it doesn't help when everyone takes one look at me and assumes it will only be a few more days by my size.  I correct them with well about 7, 6, and now 5 more weeks actually.  Then I start to concentrate on just how long 5 more weeks really could be and can I physically and emotionally even handle that?
     One HUGE fear of mine is having him decide to come on May 24th, my twins' birthday.  That possibly couldn't happen right?!?  I mean what are the odds?!?  Well, to be quite honest, I have a handful of stories about a sibling being born on an angelversary.  One was even twins, being born a year later on their twin sibling's 1st Birthday in Heaven!  See, crazier things have happened.  I want my son to have his own day, his own special celebrated time that he doesn't have to share with his siblings he never got to meet.  It doesn't seem fair to him, or them.  I can just picture him resenting me some day, during his teenage years, as if I could have controlled it in some way.
     This post is definitely not one of my prouder moments, it's not beautifully written or heavily edited.  But what it is, is real.  Trust me, with pregnancy brain and hormones raging through my body this is just about all I could put together.  I think about blogging, writing, some how capturing these feelings so I can come back later and read them.  But, would I even want to remember them?  I definitely want to remember my pregnancy, I am trying to focus on soaking in every moment I can with this sweet boy growing (very largely) inside of me.  But, will I want to reflect back on the anxiety I felt?  Will I ever dare to put myself through this again?  I have no idea, but if what I am experiencing can help one other women when she experiences it, then this post will be worth it.  These random raw feelings, will bring me back to the hard days and allow me to connect with another mom fearing the life of her unborn baby.  I just love what my friend, Kathe Wunnenberg, always says.  "We go through what we go through, to help others go through what we went through." And if that quote right there, doesn't sum up my entire blog then what I am doing is pointless.  I could keep a private journal so I don't forget anything dear to me, but I choose to put it here.  Where others experiencing something similar can get support, or friends and family can get ideas about what their loved ones are going through and how they can help.
     I can't imagine going through infertility, pregnancy loss, adopting, or infant loss without God.  I rely on Him more than anyone else, after all sometimes He is the only one there to listen as 3:00 in the morning ;)  He can calm my heart and provide me with a peace that truly passes human understanding.  I know God has this little boy's birth all planned out, and I know it is a perfect one for a perfect day.  If only I could remember that 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Today, I am asking God for strength to forge ahead, its only a few more weeks!  I can do it, with Him.  I can do it, with all the support from my family and friends.  I can do it, for my son.  And later this week, or later today when I need a reminder of that I can reread this post!
     When I first found out I was pregnant, a group of very dear friends of mine prayed over this baby.  We prayed specifically for a son.  A son, that would be born alive and healthy.  They continue to pray LIFE over this baby boy!  Their belief that God will deliver on this prayer, is such an encouragement to me.  I can't wait to meet my Mr. Miracle.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A Tale of Week 25


     It just doesn't seem possible, but we are in fact over 25 weeks along!  Taking things day by day, but somehow the weeks still fly by.  We have officially graduated from weekly appointments, other than injections, and are being treated like everyone else with dr appointments 4 weeks apart!  I can hardly believe it, and quite frankly think I'm going to miss my nurses over the next few weeks!  They seriously have become like family, and they are all pulling for this baby boy.  I have never felt more at home in my office than I have over the past few months.  I no longer feel like they think I am completely insane for wanting to try again, but that they are standing beside me anxious for his safe arrival.  They even give me hugs and high fives as we pass our weekly milestones!  To be quite honest, I feel like a bit of a celebrity there.  A couple weeks ago a NEW nurse called my name from the waiting room, and immediately another nurse pointed out Audie's birth announcement to her on their bulletin board.  She walked me to my room, and we could over hear two more nurses outside the door talking about me before coming in just to say hi and see how I was doing :)  The new nurse threw me a weird look, and I just giggled to myself.  Such a nice change to those hard days after each loss.
     Anyway, being pregnant after loss is a bit of a juggling act- being overcome with hopeful thoughts and trying to not let the negative ones take over.  For me, a day is considered a good one if I can make sure the positive thoughts out weigh my worries.  But without a doubt, it is a daily struggle.
     Lately, I have begun allowing myself to nest, slightly.  I will admit, I have had to talk myself through a lot of my purchases.  Literally, combating my own thoughts that try so hard to convince me that any day things could take a turn for the worse.  I online shop, put everything in my cart, and then the items sit there for hours or sometimes days.  But, I am proud to say that the first purchases have been made!  I ordered a few items for the nursery and even some clothes.  I had a goal of getting most of the big things done by 30 weeks, just in case.  I'm not sure I'll reach that goal, but never the less it has been my motivation to get things moving.
     With the twins, I had very little purchased prior to their arrival.  I had the nursery furniture and a handful of clothes bought by me and some family members.  Our baby shower invitations had been designed, ordered, and arrived within days of the twins' birth.  Therefore, they were not mailed out, so we were spared the piles of pastel goodies that would have flooded the nursery.  Prior to adopting, we did box up what we did had for them, and I pulled out a few of Hadilyn's things for Audie to wear once she came home.  It was so special to see her in those clothes, I am so glad we kept everything.  Yesterday I looked through the box again at the boy stuff.  I pulled out a few items for this little one to wear.  And every time he wears one of these outfits I will spend the day dreaming about his brother in heaven.  This little nameless guy definitely has an army of older siblings in heaven, and I like to think of them as the ones who sent this angel down to earth for us to enjoy!

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Waiting Room

     As I sit here and write this post from the waiting room in my OB’s office, I can’t help but remember all that has happened here. The hours spent waiting for dozens of appointments, leaving countless times in tears after devastating news, returning with high hopes of a new viable pregnancy, appointments to make a new game plan to change the outcome of any hopeful future pregnancies. With this waiting room comes emotions that change sometimes on a minute to minute basis. I used to experience extreme anxiety driving to this office, sick to my stomach for the entire almost hour long commute. There were even times when I was let in through the back door as to avoid the waiting room all together. I couldn’t stand seeing all those pregnant bellies, as my womb awaited it’s tenant.
     Well, today of all days, there is a mother here with her infant boy/girl twins discussing with a near by mom their birth weights, which one came out first, who is more active, etc. I couldn’t help but picture how different life would be like if I just gave birth to healthy living twins 4 years ago. The similar conversations that I would have experienced with other moms, but would I be here now pregnant with this little boy? Most likely not. Would I have my beautiful and a bit on the wild side daughter, Audie, definitely not. Although this office brings back a host of emotions and feelings, I am sitting here feeling quite blessed and exactly where I need to be. I can honestly say my hope has been restored by this baby boy. I belong here, these doctors and nurses have become my family, celebrating along side us with each passing week. Today’s ultrasound completes the 9th and final weekly ultrasound appointment! This is HUGE! I am officially over 24 weeks, which is THE longest I have been pregnant! God is SO good! Each day and week that this little boy can continue to grow inside of me is a sweet and tender blessing!  
     Breathing a little easier today!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A Tale of Week 22

     I can still remember the feeling of letting air exit my lungs for the first time when I saw my baby's heartbeat on the screen after I had reached the 12 week mark.   It almost burned my lungs, as if I hadn't truly been breathing for the past few months.  The pure untouchable joy only lasted a moment.  As I drew my first deep breath in, my mind began to focus on the next few months and the obstacles we would need to over come.   This is what pregnancy after loss feels like, with each obstacle conquered there is always a new challenge on the horizon.
     After our 12 week ultrasound, confirming we still had a healthy baby with a strong heartbeat; my focus shifted to maintaining this pregnancy and all that would entail.  Prior to getting pregnant, we were told a cerclage may be needed right at 13 weeks.  After researching and discussing with the doctor the risks involved we chose to take a different route.  We would start a weekly injection routine beginning at 16 weeks, as well as weekly ultrasounds.  The ultrasounds would indicate any changes to the length of my cervix, and at the first sign of it shortening- a cerclage would be put in.  The shots would continue through the entire pregnancy in hopes to keep preterm labor at bay.  I am so HAPPY to say this routine has been working and here we are at week 22...
     Week 22 may not seem like a big turning point for everyone, in fact most women have week 24 as the next big milestone as the doctors deem the baby viable outside the womb.  And yes, I do have that week coming up on my radar but for now making it through week 22 is HUGE.  Probably bigger than any other week in my pregnancy because this week in my pregnancy four years ago is the one that changed everything.  It was that day in May, when we had began to really nest and were clearing out the twins' nursery so it could be painted prior to their furniture arriving.
     So these past couple of weeks as we began to prepare Audie's big girl room, cleaning it out to paint and waiting for the furniture I couldn't help but focus on the similarities to four years ago.  I kept thinking, ok this is the week things will change.  Why should things be going perfect?  I couldn't help but expect something bad to happen and for things to start going wrong.  All I have known up until today is pregnancies not going well, and it is awful that the joy of pregnancy has been stolen.  It is hard to wake up everyday and just breathe deeply.
     I'm beginning to think I won't breathe deeply until this baby is in my arms, but even then will I truly stop worrying?  Most likely not, for the life of a parent includes lots of concerns as they grow, change, get sick, start to misbehave, go to school, and eventually move out on their own.  The concerns of a parent are never done, you never get to check a box and move on wiping your hands clean of anything that your child experiences.  You have a bond that is unlike any other, and no one can remove that from you.  So, I guess I should rest assured that this may be how I breathe for years to come :) Just kidding, well kind of.
     I may not forever live in fear of what ultrasounds show or don't show, lack of kicks and movement I feel in my stomach, and if he will take his first and last breath in the same day; but rather my focus will change on how to raise this little boy into a God fearing and noble man.
     With life, experiences change us and shape us in to a more mature version of ourselves.  The good thing is God doesn't throw us in to the person we will become, over night.  He gives us moments, days, and years to fine tune us from the inside out.  He uses each experience we encounter as a stepping stone to something bigger.  I am SO thankful for a God that has it all figured out.  As I sit here in total trust of His plan for me, I am still aware that today will bring plenty of doubting thoughts that race through my mind.  You aren't truly human if those thoughts don't ever creep in, but as long as we have the tools to over come those thoughts we will be ok.  Scripture is THE biggest way for me to fight the enemy.  It's God's way of reassuring me even though I can not audibly hear His voice, He is behind me, beside me, and often carrying me through.  The doubts and fears are what the enemy uses to try and bring us down, to battle him make sure you have an arsenal of weapons like this verse

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." -Jeremiah 29:11-13

Sunday, January 26, 2014

A Tale of Fear

     I've been meaning to write this post for what seems like forever, but the reality is fear has kept me from it.  Fear for those feelings I will offend- since this blog was started for those experiencing such raw grief, fear for what may happen after it's in writing, and fear of writing through what I am really feeling.
     However, I was challenged this past week by some words my pastor said at church last Sunday.  He has been battling a life threatening illness for 2 years now, and still manages to look to God in faith that He is in control of every single day.  The statement that resonated with me was, "Fear has no place in our lives, as believers in Christ."  What a simple statement that carries SO much weight.  So to take his words head on and removing fear from my thoughts, it is with great joy that I can announce that we are pregnant with a baby BOY due June 7th.
     I don't want this blog to turn in to a pregnancy blog, but I do want the opportunity to write about being pregnant after loss.  There is not a day that goes by that I don't think about my twins, but since finding out that we are expecting their memories are overwhelming and consuming.  One of my biggest concerns has been losing their memory, and replacing it with this new pregnancy.  I NEED the opportunity to write about what I remember with them in order to keep their memory alive during this pregnancy.  Those babies will forever be my first ones I entered the 2nd trimester with, the first ones I was able to give birth to, the first ones I was able to hold, dress, and bathe, they were the first ones I was able to kiss and decipher whose hands, feet, and features were like their mommy's or daddy's.  I wouldn't trade those memories for the world.
     I expressed to my doctor a couple weeks ago, that I feel slightly "crazy," ok maybe more than slightly.  He assured me that I am not, but that in a sense I have post-traumatic stress type tendencies.  After all, what I went through is not something your human self wants to allow yourself to go through again.  Therefore, my mind is doing everything in its power to make this situation different as a way to guard and protect my heart.  I explained that I want to do everything in my power to make this labor & delivery different.  That I not only pray for a different outcome, but that God would provide ways and ideas for Ferrari and I to make this experience completely different.  I have vague and muddled memories of the day that twins were born, so I don't want this birth to be one I remember so well that I end up replacing the other memories.
     These concerns of mine seem to have come out of no where, because they are things that I have never considered being a problem before.  However, I will be quite honest I never thought I would be this far in to a pregnancy again.  Not that I didn't have faith that God could bring us to the 2nd trimester, but because I didn't think I would ever have the strength to try again.  Now that I am here some days feel like too much to bear, while others I am completely fine.  Oh the joys of hormones :) The emotions seem to be getting more intense as I approach the 22 week mark, which was the week the twins were born.  I need to be able to break past this barrier in my mind, I need to see what it is like past 22 weeks.  This baby boy and this pregnancy are not the last one, things will not go the same way.  With every pregnancy I have felt completely different symptom wise, so why would all the journeys and outcomes be the same?  I need constant reminders that God has a plan for this baby that has nothing to do with the loss of his older sister and brother.
     I would appreciate your prayers and encouragement, especially if you have experienced a rainbow pregnancy.  I DO NOT want to let satan steal my joy of this pregnancy, I DO NOT want him getting the satisfaction of making me miserable.  I will continue to be positive, keep my chin up and rely on God.  I want to take pictures and remember every milestone.  I want to remember what this pregnancy feels like, and I want to remember what it feels like to rely solely on Christ to get me through yet another situation.  I will be stronger for it, and so will my family.  I can proudly say I am 100% attached to my son inside me, I will not protect myself by not fully connecting with him.  He is a child of mine, no matter the outcome and I will love him dearly and care for him the best ways I know how while he is here with me.