I've always felt there are things you just don't talk about like the most intimate parts of your marriage, money, and (for me) by all means, try your hardest not to complain about your circumstances because it could be worse! There's always someone who is worse off than you. I took that last one to heart especially during the years of us longing to be parents! After we got the news we'd been longing to hear for so long, there were and sometimes still are people who have said, "You and Daniel are so strong and have set such a great example for others during your time of trial." I must confess that almost every time we found out someone else was pregnant before us, I had to have a come to Jesus meeting. It was hard to hear of someone else getting their wish. So, I'd go in my bedroom and shout to the top of my lungs, "Satan, you do NOT have control over me or my life and I will NOT allow you to step in and make me sad about this!!!! We will be parents someday because Jesus said so!" I know, call me crazy, but just yelling to let out my frustration would make me feel so much better. Then I'd pray for strength and more patience and turn right around to shoot an email to the expecting parents to congratulate them! Because that's what you do! And that's what I wanted people to do for us. I wanted people to be excited for us. And I wasn't going to short change someone else of that happiness and excitement.
We've been very busy lately and haven't been to church regularly and it's killing us! We miss our peeps, but I tell ya today as I travel to Tuscaloosa to celebrate the arrival of our newest nephew, I realize that sometimes it's refreshing to be out of the routine and just get by yourself with God. It's good to lift up your peeps in prayer and just lay it all out on the table. So, get by yourself and lay it all out there, and if you're like I was and having trouble dealing with infertility, get that out there too. Don't allow Satan a foothold at all in your life! Celebrate with others who are expecting and just remember; somehow someway, someday you'll be a parent!!!
It wasn't until this morning in church that it hit me! "Nothing compares to the promise I have in You..." These lyrics to "Shout to The Lord" don't have much to do with why I feel excited about the new school year now other than taking me back to the days when I first knew I'd be involved with teaching and education for a very long time- the days when we sang this song more than we do now and the days when all I wanted to do was share the word or teach a child about Jesus through my actions. As we sang, I could hear my Granny Pettey saying "Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but gets you nowhere." Then the guest pastor began his sermon this morning with a few short stories and then, "Why worry when I can pray?"
Yep! Why am I worrying if I spent enough quality time with everyone when all I need to be doing is praying? Good gracious?!!!!! It's that simple. So, that's what I did!
We had sort of a busy early afternoon showing our house that's for sale (yep, that's a plug) and getting some stuff ready in my classroom but were home for a good portion of the rest of the day. The girls were playing inside while Daniel did a little bit of what I like to call "lawya clean up" work. I told him I was going outside to spray the weeds in our flower beds, but what I really intended to do while killing weeds was pray. I prayed for my attitude to be what it needs to be everyday for my students and their parents as well as for my co-workers. I prayed for my leadership. That's a hard job she does, and I'm thankful she does it. I prayed for my co-workers who are more like friends that their attitudes will be what they need to be. I prayed for my students to give their all and then I prayed for their parents to always keep in the back of their minds that I try my best to see their children as my children, their babies as my babies-like little Addisons and little Haydens. I'll love them and care for them, not the same way you do, but just as much as you do. I'll teach them everything I can, and I promise to give your babies my all!
I prayed because that's what I'd asked someone to do for me, but hadn't actually stopped to do it myself.
With all of this being said, bring on the new school year! I'm ready and prayed up!
Whooo wee!! Ain't it grand that God doesn't tire out?? Ain't it grand that He LASTS?!! Not what I had planned to read in tonight's quiet time, but it's not my plan either.
Anyway, I was going to write about our sweet friendship that has just blossomed, but I'm feeling a different kind of needles this morning, and like I just told my friend Amy, you don't ignore that calling! "No, you don't," she said.
This morning on my way to take the girls to splash day at daycare, I noticed the sheriff's department had the ramp onto the interstate blocked off and traffic was beginning to back up tremendously in the other direction. With me being my father's daughter, I turned on the scanner app I have on my phone to see if I could figure out what was going on. No luck. So, I called Daniel and he quickly said there was a very bad accident involving multiple motorcycles. I had some errands to run and took the back way to get to the place I needed to go, but opted for taking the interstate back home thinking the accident would be mostly if not all cleared up. Nope! As I approached the scene, I felt those needles!! You know that feeling when you hear God whispering in your ear or tapping lightly on your shoulder? Well, He was pushing me out of my truck!!! Now, let me just give you a mental image... These are HUGE men with HUGE muscles and God is telling me to go pray with them???? No! I'm scared, God. PUSH! I pulled over on the side of the interstate, turned on my flashers, and put it in park. My heart was about to pound out of my chest as I'm walking up to these men. When I got there, I asked one of them if this was their family. Tears were streaming constantly down his face as he held a sweet little girl. He just shook his head yes that this was his family. I quietly asked if I could pray with them and it was at that time that this HUGE man with HUGE muscles melted in my arms as we knelt on the side of the interstate with another family member to pray. I had no idea what to say to these precious people so I kept saying how sorry I was for them. As I walked away, one man just kept yelling at me to please keep praying for them. In the words of Michelle from Full House, you got it dude! I broke down immediately as I got back in my truck and couldn't help but think of another dear friend who's brother was in a very similar accident several years ago when she and I first met. I prayed for her, her brother, and the rest of her family. I'm asking you all to stop what you're doing and pray for this family. Pray for their hurting hearts. Pray for their anger. Pray for their strength. Pray for their healing. Prayer is powerful!
Sometimes we are called to step outside the box. Go beyond what we are used to or comfortable with. Don't ignore that calling!!!
Both girls have learned to roll all over the place, sit up, and rock back and forth on their hands and knees. Hayden now has her first tooth just barely poking through her sweet gums! No more gummy smiles- just teefy ones. It's funny how the girls switch roles. People ask me all the time which baby is more difficult, and I just tell them it depends on the day. Addison has pretty much been the more laid back daughter while Hayden required a little more attention. It didn't take long for Addison to take on that role. I have found now it's easier on my nerves when I take Hayden out first every afternoon when we get home. She doesn't fuss like Addison does in the afternoon. Now, our afternoon routine is to all have a snack together. Then, the girls play for a little bit while I get our dinner ready and breakfast and lunch ready for the next day. One thing remains the same about the girls is that they LOVE each other and lately, they think they are pretty funny! Our friends let us borrow a "Johnny Jump Up" and we had a gift card to buy another one. We have them hanging in close proximity of each other. Hayden begins jumping immediately, but Addison isn't as coordinated. It takes her a minute to get warmed up. Hayden holds on with one hand while the other one flings in the air. My little bull rider! She also likes to scream and wait for a response. So, I scream back, and she screams back at me. She thinks it's so fun. All the while, Addison is simply excited to be jumping. (I'll try to post a video of them jumping this weekend.)
Thank you, Lord, for these blessings!
You see, my mom and I (and Madz) talk to each other DAILY! Yes, daily. Even if it is just to call and say "I love you", we talk every day. One night this week, Moma and I were talking (as I was cleaning under my washing machine), and somehow we got on the subject of prayer. What a powerful subject to talk to your mom about!! We both confessed to each other that we have thought for a long time that your prayers have to use big words and be very eloquent. Over the years and through certain circumstances in our lives, we've learned that you don't even have to have your eyes closed when talking to Jesus! At least, we better not have our eyes closed when talking to Jesus while driving down the road!! That's a far cry from what we previously thought about prayer. We also revealed to each other how we knew Jesus always answered prayers, but we have never experienced it so personally until just recently. I told her of a very recent experience I had with a prayer being answered. I was returning from a trip to Tuscaloosa a few weeks ago when Hayden had begun to cry with about 15 miles to go. No wait! Not cry- SCREAM! She was hungry and tired of being in the car. I had sung every hymn that I could think of until she'd had enough and continued to scream through my singing. I did the only other thing I knew to do. I called Daniel and asked him to go in the girls' room, kneel beside Hayden's bed and "pray me home". He never hesitated. Five minutes after I hung up the phone, SILENCE! Thank you Lord!!!
During our times of "trying", Daniel and I had some dark days for sure, but we never lost hope because God's word says He has plans for us to prosper. Why would He say that if He didn't mean it? He wouldn't! So, how did we get through those dark days you ask? PRAYER!!! I can remember (prepare to laugh out loud) days when Satan was after me, and I'd do what I call a Jesus dance in the privacy of my home. The dance basically consisted of me kicking Satan out of my life. I'm sorry, but Jesus is here and there ain't no room for you, Satan!!! None at all. When Daniel and I would feel ourselves losing our grip on faith, we'd get on our knees before God asking Him to continue provide strength and patience. Time after time, He'd do just that! We'd also thank Him for answering our prayers- even the ones we had not yet voiced. So, you see, prayer is awesome!!!! I must give the credit to my amazing parents for being fearless and raising me in church. I also must thank the other women who continue to encourage us through life's roller coaster. We would not be where we are today without great Sunday School teachers and mentors. Thank you all so much for "praying us through".
Happy Mother's Day, Moma! Happy Mother's Day, Madz! This new mom loves you both very much!!!
April 2011- called Dr. Isaacs to get started, gather all info. we needed, and began birth control and Synthroid
May 27- began taking a baby aspirin daily along with Synthroid, birth control and vitamins.
May 30- met w/Dr. Isaacs to get schedule and order all medications (even for Daniel)
June 2- appt. for ultrasound & blood work (all was good)
June 6- stop birth control
June 10- appt. w/Dr. Isaacs for ultrasound & blood work. Began shots daily (2/day)-Daniel begins his antibiotic twice daily for 7 days. Me: off of caffeine.
June 11- shots and I told Daniel I’d be glad to make his antibiotic into liquid form so he could have a shot too and not feel left out. J He politely declined.
June 12-13- shots and other meds
June 14- shots, other meds, and appt. to check follicles (at least 20 or more present and all were measuring 11mm or below). Also had blood work done to check estrogen level (high- reduced meds in shots)- began a shot of Ganirellix to keep from ovulating.
June 15- shots and Ganirellix
June 16- shots, other meds, and appt. to check follicles (24 total & all measuring 10mm-16mm) Daniel gave shots as usual this day, but for some reason it seemed like he was stabbing me. He always looked at me with puppy dog eyes and asked if he did ok. When I’d respond he’d always say, “I’m sorry. I love you. Thank you for going through this for us.”
June 17- shots and other meds
June 18- shots, other meds, and appt. to check follicles- Begin Lupron @ 10 p.m. ( I know we said we weren’t going to do Lupron, but the nurse assured us that this time it wouldn’t be as strong and not have the same side effects.)
June 19- no regular shots, but last Lupron @ 10 a.m.
June 20- egg retrieval (28 eggs!)- pretty bad cramping afterwards and very bloated feeling. Gas pain was HORRIBLE & couldn’t comfortable enough enough to sleep until about 3 a.m. Daniel rolled over just after I’d dozed off and kneed me in the rear, not on purpose, but oh how painful it was?!
June 21- take Estrace a.m. and p.m. Liz called from the lab to tell me the success of fertilized eggs. 14 ICSI and 10 fertilized; 14 conventional and 10 fertilized. These are awesome results, but not to say they’ll continue to grow. Liz will call me daily to discuss the progress of the embryos with hopes of transfer on Saturday.
June 22- 18 embryos today 2 looked abnormal yesterday w/3 nuclei and that leaves us with 18 embryos. Liz says they’re doing really well.
June 23- feeling more like myself today. I guess laying around all day yesterday helped. All 18 embryos still growing & ½ of them look great. I even went for a short run and it felt great!
June 24- All 18 still growing with transfer tomorrow @ 9 a.m.
June 25- Valium @ 8 and a full bladder. Transfer was a breeze. Transferred 2 embryos and have a picture. Bed rest today and for the next two days.
June 26- bed rest, lots of TV, reading, and napping.
June 27- bed rest and same as yesterday – a bit of a meltdown today due to a bad case of the “what ifs”
July 1- blood work looks great. Progesterone:30 and they wanted it to be at least 20; Estrogen was 227 and they wanted it to be at least 200.
July 5- blood work @ 9 a.m. Beta HcG 489; Progesterone: 36. WE ARE PREGNANT!!!! I pulled out old pregnancy tests from so many years of trying and took one. J It was fun to see it say “pregnant”.
July 6- took another pregnancy test- still pregnant. J
July 7- blood work today- #s look great! HcG should double every 48 hrs: Today it was 1,280. Keep growing little ones!
July 9- We went home to Meridian today to take Moma and Poppie a “house warming” present and Daniel’s mom an early birthday present. When we told both our parents, I read our intro into our journey & allowed them to open their presents. Both were shocked and ecstatic!
July 10- Madz was having a not so great day today and had accidentally dropped Stephen’s grilling plate that Linden gave him for Father’s day. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to travel to have a long visit with her in Tuscaloosa this summer so I decided to make her “not so great day” a little better. She kept asking me to say it again so she could make sure she heard me right.
July 13- Beta HcG: 23,489; Estrogen 699; Progesterone 29 (I’m still taking the progesterone shot nightly.)
July 21- 1st ultrasound to determine how many embryos took. TWINS!!! Hearing and seeing both heartbeats is the best sound ever! No more Dr. Isaacs. We will miss them!
August 10- ultrasound with regular OB. All went well! Still two heartbeats (178 & 181).
August 19- no more progesterone shots. NO MORE SHOTS period!!! Yahoo!
August 22- ultrasound… all is well. Heartbeats were great (168 & 171) and babies are growing and MOVING great.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow….
Before we began this whole IVF process, Daniel and I had to do some serious praying because we didn’t want to be doing this because we wanted it so bad, but we so desperately wanted and still want to do what He wants us to do. Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish between your own feelings and what God is trying to tell you. We also had to save our pennies. A lot of them! We knew going into this that it would take a toll on us both emotionally and financially. December 2009, was a scary month for us since I was on a Lupron shot in hopes of “killing” any endometriosis that was still there. Lupron made me a completely different person. A person who no longer wanted to be around anyone else and a person who even had a thought of taking her own life. That is NOT me! So with that being in the back of our minds, we decided to pray our way through this process.
We promised each other that if Lupron was going to be in the picture for IVF that we’d be ok with not following through. We also promised each other that we would continue to let God use this to bring us closer to each other, but more importantly, closer to Him instead of letting it be a wedge between us in our marriage.
In the beginning of the process, Daniel and I took a beach trip with my sister, Madz, and her sweet little family. As we were on our way back home, we were listening to K-Love radio and “Blessings” came on. That song really hits home with me because what if trials of this life are our mercies in disguise? Makes you think, huh? Another song came on the radio by Third Day, “Cry Out to Jesus”. This song makes me want to kick myself because how often do we think and try to do things on our own, but just when it doesn’t work out the way we had planned, we cry out to Jesus? We cry out and say we’re sorry for not trusting Him in the beginning, but if we are truly sorry wouldn’t we simply trust Him in the first place? I need to follow the advice I give my students all the time when they say “sorry” for doing wrong. If you are truly sorry, you wouldn’t do it again.
Now that I’ve given you a brief introduction to our journey through this, I hope you enjoy taking a trip down our “memory lane”, and we ask that you continue to pray for us. By no means is this journey over. So, we ask that you pray specifically for strength, encouragement, faith, hope, and love.