Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Lies of Fear

Written December 13th 2011

Sometimes your body just knows...but sometimes fear tells your body lies.

I had a scan scheduled for Thursday but my fading pregnancy symptoms and some strange and scarily familiar cramping, heaviness and general not good feelings put me in panic mode. I called my doctor in tears and she managed to get me in for a scan this afternoon.

I am trying to deny that this could really be over, even though in my heart, I think that is what my sense is but I don't know if that's because pregnancies ending is all I know. I feel like I am disconnected from the little being that had been growing. I am not feeling stretched out, I am not making room from anything to grow. My body feels as though it is preparing to pass this pregnancy.

I pray Lord, that your miracle promise will come to be and that there will be a heartbeat. A strong heartbeat. I am not sure how I would handle my own loss in front of an ultra sound technician and Jeremy. I am not sure whether hearing the sad news, or hearing it in front of others is more what I am afraid of. Miscarriage is terrifying but I feel it and I handle it on my own, it happens to my body. I can shut everyone else out. No way to do that when someone else is telling you sad news.

Lord, restore my hope and peace if there is something to hope for. Renew the spirit of my mind to believe in your promises and trust your plans. Lord, please quiet the voices of the enemy and the lies and fear he wants me to believe. Protect this pregnancy if it is still alive.

Back from the scan...

Ok, ok, ok, I get it. You can do miracles. Back from the scan, heartbeat of 113. Not as strong as I personally would have liked but the tech said she wanted to see something over 100 which it was but of course I am struggling to find peace still. I really need you Lord to transform my heart and mind to believe this is going to work and not be waiting for a painful loss.

Worried and Changing Symptoms

I love sharing these old posts with you all and I really love reading them back myself. Seeing God's answer to my prayers over and over, seeing his grace and faithfulness unfolding in every line.
(Warning: This post may be a little TMI in places, one in particular)

Written December 12th 2011

A little freaked out, to put it mildly.

This morning I felt a little queasy, but nothing to take note of really. After class, I headed home and felt no symptoms all day except a little backache and some weird sensations that something wasn't/isn't right.

Ate dinner.

After which I had a mad dash to the bathroom where my behind exploded, TMI? Sorry. It was as gross as it sounds. After which I got hit with nausea BIG TIME. However, until now, I have had stretching and nausea that all made me confident in a healthy pregnancy. This upset stomach and following sicky feeling feels different. No stretching tummy, haven't had that for a day, and this nausea feels like its from something I ate or the stomach flu, not pregnancy.

Please just be the answer to my prayers for pregnancy symptoms to return. Please Lord, don't prove me foolish to believe what I believe I heard you promise about this pregnancy. Please don't let this be over, don't let this happen again. Please Lord settle my stomach. If today was just symptom free, enjoyable pregnancy let me have peace to appreciate it!

Thursday cannot come fast enough because we will know how you are doing little bean. I hope and pray that we will see your heart beating strong. Please Lord, let this be the fleece to show us that you are knitting this miracle together in my womb, and creating him in your image to be your child on this earth.

I feel awful. Like with every movement I could throw up. I know there are bugs going around. Perhaps it's not pregnancy related at all? I am not sure if that would be good or bad. On the one had the stomach flu is just plain horrible, but on the other hand, the stomach flu when you are also having a miscarriage would be worse. Please Lord protect this pregnancy, keep my body healthy and strong, protect our baby. Give him a strong and healthy heart...oh and if you could keep the nausea at bay until after my final on Wednesday is over I would really appreciate it.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Hello Morning sickness

Written December 11, 2011

I have some strange things happening in my body.

Yesterday I felt awful. Like the worst hangover of all time, without any of the fun of drinking the night before. Exhausted and nauseous. Hungry all day but nothing sounded good to eat. Jeremy was trying to be so sweet and supportive, "what can I get you, what sounds good?" NOTHING. Nothing sounds good in fact, the options you are talking about are just making more more and more nauseous. Please stop. Please just make something, anything, and put it in front of me. I will try and eat it.

Then today, after an ok nights sleep I woke feeling tired and sluggish but able to keep down breakfast without a problem...and then feeling ok provoked fear in me heart. Where did my symptoms go? Oh no, whats wrong? Is something wrong? Something must be wrong. After hours of praying to feel some relief yesterday, now I am praying for returning symptoms to knock me off my felt as a reassurance that everything is still growing in there ok. Please baby, show mama that you're there.

Weird. I guess the monster heartburn could be the symptom of the day today instead, but I would like a little predictability to my symptoms. I just keep worrying about making it to school for my final on Wednesday without having to leave to puke. I have to take the final to receive a grade for the class, so even if I just show up and fill in an answer or two then I can at least leave knowing I will get a grade, probably not the grade which would actually represent the knowledge I have gained this quarter, but hopefully enough to get me a passing grade. Lord, please give me a grace period around that test. I would like to have the pronounced symptoms for my own peace of mind, but if for tomorrows class and for Wednesdays final you can calm my tummy that would truly be a miracle...on top the the one you are knitting together in my womb. If I can be morning sickness free for my final and even more see a healthy heartbeat on Thursday my cup would be overflowing. More than I could ever imagine. Overflowing.

Praying for you little baby. Praying for a strong heart, one that is whole and perfectly formed, beating well and one that will sustain your life for a lifetime of love. I still can't believe we would be this blessed, that I would get to carry a baby in my body and to feel him kick and turn get the hiccups just as I have felt in the pregnant bellies of friends. I am undeserving. I did nothing to deserve this, and I have no say over the ending of this story. This life is not my own, and I have to trust in God's plans. I want this pregnancy to result in a healthy perfect baby in our arms but there are no guarantees. So for today, the eased morning sickness, the weird hungover feeling and the bloating I am choosing to be thankful. Thankful that I get to be pregnant today. Thankful that we made it this far, 6 weeks, 3 days! I can't believe I get to hope and dream about this child and that I get to experience even the yucky stuff of pregnancy because I am so painfully aware that so many women would give and sacrifice so much to have this experience.

Thank you Lord. Please grant me your peace, and please keep our baby growing healthy and strong.

P.S. If you are having a Christmas party in the coming days, or have invited us to do something fun to celebrate the holiday season which we have declined for nonspecific reasons I apologise. We have been party-poopers for a good reason, even if we can't tell you why yet. I hope you will consider it a good excuse when you find out!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Baby's first picture

Written December 8th, 2011

It feels strange to be writing this knowing that I am not going to hit publish for quite some time. God willing it will be when we have hit 13 weeks - or enough weeks we just can't contain ourselves. Right now, we are 5-6 weeks pregnant.

Today we took baby's first picture. I was told to expect to just see the sac, for how early I am that is all they wanted to see. I admit I asked God if he could swing it for us to see more and he once again came through.

The ultrasound tech was so great and explained everything we were looking at. The yolk sac, the fetal pole, and she even said she saw something flickering...a heartbeat. It was too early to really see the heartbeat but she said she was happily surprised to see as much as she did.

(see the grain of rice in the middle - yep, that's our baby)

Our baby has a fetal pole...or it is a fetal pole? Whatever, inside the little black blob floating around in there is something which looks like a grain of rice and that is the fetal pole and it's a good thing. We go back in a week and are praying for a healthy heartbeat. I know that there are no guarantees in pregnancy but once you see the heartbeat the chance of miscarriage are reduced significantly.

We have never made it this far into a pregnancy. I am two days further than ever before. Two days further and with a visible fetal pole!

I may be just shy of 6 weeks but this little guy is making his (or her) presence known. I have been in bed before 8 every day this week and taken a nap on the couch every afternoon too. I am also starting to experience those wonderful waves of nausea which remind me things are far from business as usual in my body.

The nausea is competing for my attention with extreme hunger. I have eaten two quesadillas for lunch and I am still starving. I switch between no appetite and feeling as though I have the hunger of a pack of teenage boys. Last night the only thing I could bear to eat was raw carrots, but I couldn't eat them fast enough. I guess it could be worse. I'm trusting you baby to tell me what you want to eat and I'll do my best to get it to you. Please just keep on growing healthy and strong.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

4 & 5 weeks

Written December 4th, 2011

Dear baby, I am your mama. Please keep being kind to me. So far, apart from some pretty ouchie cramping and stretching, end of the day belly bloat, and the fact that I could literally fall asleep at 7pm for the night waking only to pee, your presence is hard to feel. Apparently nausea is waiting just around the corner, but if you want to spare me that joy I would be forever grateful.

I guess you are only the size of a sesame seed. With that said, why do you need everything to stretch out so much for your little seed body-to-be? It hurts bubba, and freaks me out, thinking you might be leaving before you are fully cooked, so quit it already.

The only other addition to my normal is forgetfulness. I know people talk about pregnancy brain, but I was not expecting it to hit as soon as the second line appeared, and I certainly didn't expect it to be so selective. In the past couple of weeks I have gone into the bathroom and been met with an un-flushed toilet multiple times. At first I chastised Jeremy and mumbled things about boys and their toilet habits, but then I realised that the last toilet user was none other than myself. The first time it happened, I laughed, the second time I thought it was weird and the third, fourth and fifth times I just resigned my self to the fact that my brain is struggling to handle pregnancy hormones.

Yesterday at 5 weeks and 1 day pregnant, this selective bathroom-related-memory loss morphed to a different, specific, but less gross variety. I had been trying to make a concerted effort to check the toilet flushing had happened before leaving the bathroom and I was confident I had been successful and I exited the bathroom and rejoined Jeremy on the couch to watch our movie. However, after only a minute or two Jeremy asked, "what's that noise?"
I listened and suddenly could make out the sound of water splashing. On closer inspection the tap I turned on to wash my hands, which I had done, was happily still pouring water down the drain. I had forgotten to turn it off again.

Baby, I know I am supposed to eat well to make sure you grow healthy, but if this bad memory thing continues I am not going to be able to use the stove without a chaperone so I hope you like raw veggies!

In two days I will officially have been pregnant longer than ever before. My wonderful doctor has allowed me to have blood draws every 2 days since we took our test to see that our levels have been rising which they have, beautifully. Every time I put out a fleece for God, giving him a number I thought was a bit extreme and he went ahead and hit it, or beyond it. Reassuring my heart and giving me a peace that this is good. That this time it might be worth buying a pregnancy journal, and that we might have to postpone our plans to be in England for the Olympics because our due date would be while we were gone.

I know you are still tiny, and I believe tailed at this point, but we already love you and have hopes to hold you one day.

This morning at church the message was about hearing God and responding. How when God told Zechariah he and his wife would have a child (John the Baptist) he questioned how it could happen. When the angel appeared to Mary and told he she would be the mother of Christ, she certainly wrestled with God but she had faith that what she heard would come to be. Not that the coincidence is lost on me that this illustration was about babies being born, I know it is bigger than just babies, but for today this message could not have been more spot on.

I believe God told me this pregnancy would be different. I have never felt a peace about a pregnancy before. Even when I wanted to believe it might end differently I think in my heart of hearts I knew they would not. This time, I believe God told me to test - earlier than I would have usually - and I started my medication regime earlier than ever, and introduced a few new pill friends this time too.

How am I responding to God's revelation? Am I so fearful that I cannot embrace the possibility and joy that this is his very special gift to us. Or am I questioning his power and faithfulness? Truthfully, I am trying to embrace the joy but fighting through the fear of our past experiences, but Lord, I want to know your peace and more fully understand your revelation.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Asking for 25

The secret is out. Officially in our second trimester of pregnancy and officially not just chubby. It has been a crazy couple of years to get here, and the journey of these past 13 weeks is important and special and worthy of praise to God. I have been blogging to remember along the way, and so I want to share the whole story with you. We are back in business on the blog! Enjoy our story so far...

This post was originally written November 23rd 2011

Saturday November 19th, 2011. Feeling weird, I prayed this prayer before I fell asleep.

Dear God, I know it is only 9 days since I ovulated but I think I might be pregnant...again. If I am just crazy help me to wake up and pee WITHOUT remembering to take a test if I am just being silly. Otherwise remind me and I will take the test.

Sunday Nov 20, 2011

5.30am - Wide awake. With thoughts of peeing on sticks.

7.00am - peed on a stick. Faintest of faint lines appears

7.15am - start taking pregnancy meds regime and call the clinic to report my +hpt

9.45am - Blood draw at the Fertility Clinic - they don't mess around

11.45am - Missed the call from the clinic so they left a message. Level is 6.6 "Practically a negative result" My heart sinks, but I can't shake the feeling that God has something up his sleeve.

Monday Nov 21, 2011

8.00am - At school for yoga, after sharing with my teacher my potential situation, she sets me in the corner in restorative pose, relaxing while my classmates do headstands all around me. Feel a bit like a fraud, but 6.6hcg and the meds are already making me nauseous.

Praying all day. Lord, I don't know if I can go through another loss. Please let me know soon if this is not going to work out so my heart doesn't have to be in this limbo for too long. My follow up blood draw in tomorrow morning, they want the numbers to double in 48 hours. Lord, please let me know tomorrow. Keep my levels low if this isn't going to work out. If this is IT, if this is a pregnancy that will end with a baby please give me a level of 25. More than double...double double. Please Lord.

Tuesday Nov 22, 2011

7.45am - Another blood draw at the clinic

10.30am - Missed call from the adoption agency. Our case worker presents a case of a potential birth mother and would like us to consider having our profile shown to her. Lots of complications. Lots. Oh, and baby due to be born by C-section, across the country in 10 days.

Wow. So many thoughts of babies I am not able to focus on anything.

2pm - Clinic called, this mornings hcg is at 28. Burst into tears. Not sure if it was fear or relief. Next blood draw scheduled for 2 days...

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Beyond Humbled

It was our big reveal today and we are beyond overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support we have been shown. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

What a joy to share this news with our community and feel the joy and excitement of others for us. I had totally underestimated how invested other people have been in our journey and the connection so many friends have to this child because of their prayers. I have never felt alone on this journey to parenthood but my heart is so full from all the sweet comments, messages, emails, and voice mails we received in such a short time since our announcement.

This child is so covered in prayer, and has been long before his or her conception. I do not know the plan God has for our child's life, but I am confident that this kid has a purpose beyond what I can imagine and I feel honored to be his/her mama already.

Oh, and here is a shot of Baby B. We are so in love!

Oh Boy, Oh Boy ( or Oh Girl, Oh Girl ?!)

This is a post a long time coming. 13 weeks to be exact.

Jeremy and I are thrilled and terrified in the same amounts to announce we are expecting a baby at the beginning of August.

This was not in the way we had been most recently planning, adoption had truly become the desire of our hearts but we are so very grateful that God's plans and timing are beyond our understanding - because we are truly excited beyond words about this pregnancy.

We recognise we have done nothing special to deserve this gift and I think our losses have given us a perspective we might not otherwise have. Each day is a gift. Each milestone is something to celebrate and be thankful for. We have no guarantees. We don't know the end of this story. But today we are blessed to be pregnant.

It may have seemed that all has been quiet on the blog for a while, but in reality, I have been eagerly journalling this experience and hitting the 'save to draft' button. Not quite ready to tell our story. But it's back to business as usual on here now!

Over the next little while I will be posting some of those saved blogs to share some of the early days of this pregnancy. While I have no intention to only blog about pregnancy, my blog has always been a narrative of our lives; through marriage to miscarriage, adoption and now to pregnancy. I write about my life, and for now this pregnancy is the significant event going on so it will be mentioned. This blog has accumulated readers from all over the place, many of whom I know in real life, but others who have been journeying blogland with me from various spheres of life, some being others living with infertility and loss. I never intended this to be an infertility or adoption blog, it's just where life took us, and now, its taking us somewhere new but we are forever impacted by the seasons of life before this. I completely understand if this pregnancy is not something you want to continue reading about because of where you are in your journey and you need to take a break from checking the blog for a while. Make the decision that is kindest for you and the place you find yourself and know you are understood.

I have gone back and forth about when and how to share this news; how to make this announcement in a way that celebrates the miracle in our lives and be gentle for those who are not yet at this step on their journey. I am sorry if this news is hard for anyone to hear.

So for now I will sign off by thanking you all for your faithful support of us along the way and for your love and friendship, and by asking for your prayers. We are praying for continued health and well being for me and this baby during the remainder of our pregnancy, and for Jeremy and I to be able to find a good balance between protecting our hearts from the fear of another potential loss and at the same time embracing the joy and hope of this season and the expectation of good things to come.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Snow Day!

There have been snow flurries in Seattle for the past few days, but they are forecasting a heaving dumping later today and overnight. This morning, as the snow had already started falling, I excitedly checked my college web site to see if classes had been cancelled. Lucky for me, they only cancelled the early classes and any ending at or before 10am and my French class starts at 10.

I got us and out, The bus came on time and I was thankful that I could at least get to class without freezing. And then the bus driver, who knows where I get off, told me that the buses were running on snow routes today and would be turning off the road the college is on before it reached my stop. I got off at the closest stop, but it was still a 10 minute walk away. By now the snow had turned into more freezing rain, and the ground underfoot was certainly slick. Not fun.

The parking lot at school was so empty, I wondered if there would be anyone in my class but we actually had a full house. As our class was coming to an end, our professor exclaimed, "OH LA LA, il neige!" We turned to look behind us at the windows in the back of the classroom to see a blanket of white had fallen during our class and the flakes were now huge and heavy.

I am so thankful to my friend Mary who offered me a ride home in her Subaru so I didn't have to trek up to find a bus. I am home now, and the snow seems to be taking a break from falling here right now but there is a forecast of much more to come later today and tonight. Fairly certain that school will be closed tomorrow because of the threatened inches - SNOW DAY!

Hoping J heads home early from work so he doesn't get caught in the scary traffic as the roads get more slippery when the temperature falls later in the day.

Hope that wherever you are today, you are keeping warm xx


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