Here we go again…


I can hardly believe how the years have flown by.  Noah will be 4 years old in a couple of months.  Life has changed in the most unimaginable and incredible ways.

We’ve struggled.  We’ve thrived.  We’ve loved through it all.

Now, we are facing beginning this journey again.  It seems, all at once, daunting and exciting.  The thought of all the appointments…all the injections…all the bills…all the nerves…all the stress…it is scary.

BUT THEN…

the possibility of another pregnancy…watching my belly grow…feeling a little one moving inside…holding and nursing another precious baby…WHEW…I would do it all over a thousand times.

This time, though, we’ll need help.

Not that long ago, I made the decision to follow where God was leading me and left my career treating cancer patients to go into full-time children’s ministry…cutting my income in half.  I knew, in making that choice, that affording IVF on our own was going to be nearly impossible.  I also fully believed that God would provide a way if this did, indeed, fit into His plan for our lives.  Just last night, after a long discussion with my husband about adding to our family, I spent even more time talking to my God…thanking Him for the blessings I already have and asking Him to make a way for us to have another child.  I never would have created this fund before this morning…before I woke up and heard His whisper…telling me to step out…reminding me that the people we love and who love us may want to help if we were brave enough to ask.  This isn’t an easy thing for me to do.  It goes against everything in me…asking for help in this way.  It hurts my pride, but God is teaching me that there is no place for that kind of pride in the midst of the miraculous.

So, I’m trying to, once again, follow where He leads.  Being a mother has been one of the greatest experiences of my life, and Noah’s little life is nothing less than a miracle.  We’re asking you to help us create another little miracle.  My arms and heart are aching for another sweet baby…a house full, if I’m being honest! Help us give Noah a brother or sister…help us add to our family.  To explain how grateful we would be is impossible.  Our son is our whole world, and another little one would be a blessing beyond words.

If you are interested in helping us make this dream a reality, please click the link below…

https://www.gofundme.com/4fpud9yk

Thank you!

13 Random Things I Love About My Husband


I got the idea to do this from a friend’s blog.  I so enjoyed reading what she loved about her husband.  I thought it was a great way to honor him.  It was a great way to pause for a moment and remember why I chose him to be my husband.  He will probably be INSANELY embarrassed by this, but I’m doing it anyway… 😉

 

13 Random Things I Love About My Husband

  1.  He is seriously smart!  He’s one of those people who is book smart and common sense smart…it’s rare!  He had a 3.96 GPA in college, but has also completely rebuilt his Diesel engine and built a BEAUTIFUL headboard for our guest room!  He knows a lot about a lot.  I love that!
  2. He thinks I’m beautiful…like wouldn’t-change-a-thing-even-if-he-could beautiful.  I am insanely hard on myself, so his complete belief in my beauty is actually really hard to accept sometimes.  I think it drives him nuts that I roll my eyes in disbelief when he says how pretty he thinks I am.  But, it is so comforting to know he feels that way about me!
  3. He is a hard worker. He will work and work and work paying no mind to the time.  He just works until someone makes him stop.  I was raised by a father who is a hard worker, and I love what that instilled in me.  I’m so thankful that Noah will have that same example in his own father.
  4. He has a tender heart.  The boy will cry at the drop of a hat…commercial, Hallmark movie, song.  It is the sweetest, most vulnerable thing.  He isn’t much of a talker, so when I see his emotions, it’s like a little glimpse into his heart.  I love that he has such a huge, sweet heart.
  5. His smile!  When he smiles his genuine smile, it’s huge and goes all the way up to his eyes (see number 6).  His smile lights up his whole face and makes me want to smile too!  I love it!
  6. His eyes!  They’re almost a hunter green.  When he smiles and the smile stretches to his eyes, they squint a little and get little lines at the corners.  I love that!  He can say SO much with those eyes!
  7. He laughs a lot!  He thinks so much is funny!  I tend to be more serious, and his laughter can pull me out of my own head for a while.  I need that!
  8. He is committed and truly believes in marriage.  Even when times have been hard, it has been him and his commitment that has held us together.  He simply refused to give up.  Seeing that fight in him made me fall in love with him a little more.
  9. He is obsessive compulsive.  While this does drive me bonkers sometimes, it is awesome when he uses it for good (i.e. cleaning the bathroom, cleaning my car, weeding the flower beds, etc)!
  10. He cleans up REALLY well!!  He is a mechanic, so I mostly see him in work clothes…all sweaty and dirty (which isn’t always a bad thing, if you know what I mean 😉 )! But, HOLY MOLY, when that boy dresses up, I drool!  It isn’t that I don’t think he’s cute all the time, but when he puts on a suit….WHOA!
  11. He knows the Bible.  I love that I can ask him almost any question about the Bible, and he can answer me.  I wasn’t in church for a long time, so I have so much to learn!  He’s like my little Bible reference guide! I guess all those years of Christian school paid off!
  12. His father.  The example he had of what it is to be a husband and a father is pretty incredible.  My father-in-law is one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met…ever in my life…ever!  And I see so much of him in my husband.  I’ve told Travis before…in some ways, I married him for his Dad.  Not in a creepy way!  Travis was so young and immature when we met, but I saw the kind of man he wanted to be.  He wanted to be like his Dad, and I knew that if that was the kind of man he wanted to be, then I was good to go!
  13. How he supported me through the most difficult time of my life.  When we first discovered my infertility, I was devastated.  He was my rock.  He was my support system.  He promised me that I would be a mother no matter what.  He promised to make my dreams come true, and he did!  He held my hand through it all…right down to the moment Noah was born.  I’ll never forget that!

I’m sure I’ll think of a thousand other things later on, but right now he wants to know what I’m over here typing, so I’m hitting publish before he can stop me! 😉

My Dear, Sweet Son


I pray for you, my dear, sweet son,

I pray your heart stays true.

I pray for all amazing things

I know God has for you.

 

I hope for you, my dear, sweet son,

I hope that you’ll show grace.

You’ll take the battered brokenness

and leave love in its place.

 

I wish for you, my dear, sweet son,

I wish that you’ll know love.

The kind that fills your heart and soul

It must be from above.

 

I long for you, my dear sweet son,

I long for happy times

With just enough sadness in the mix

That you still sympathize.

 

I’ll love you always, dear, sweet son,

No matter what you do

You couldn’t change it if you tried

This momma’s heart loves you.

 

 

The Privilege of Parenting


I know I haven’t  written lately, but a friend of mine suggested I should pick it back up.  I told her that finding the time or effort to write something meaningful or cathartic just didn’t happen so much anymore.  But, I heard something today that just struck a nerve.  For the first time (in a long time), I felt the need to write.  Hearing about something a friend is going through sent my mind back…back to a time when I felt broken…back to a time when I felt inadequate…back to a time when smiling felt foreign.   It is easy to forget your journey and struggles when everything in life is going well.  That’s the beauty of the human mind, I guess.  We’re able to compartmentalize.  We’re able to let things go.  We’re able to focus on the here and now and not remember the struggle every moment.

But, sometimes, remembering isn’t a bad thing.   When you feel like there was purpose in your problem, it’s okay to look back and remember where you were, remember who you were.  When you believe that God is telling a story though your life, you have to appreciate every chapter…even the “bad” ones.  I completely believe that I wouldn’t be the mother I’m proud to be to my son had I not struggled to conceive him.  I learned so many lessons in that process and found my way back to a God that had never left my side, even when loneliness was all I felt.  I found a faith I never knew I had.  I’ve often said that I’m grateful for our struggle, but I suppose that’s easy to say when I get to hold my son everyday and kiss his little face.  My story had a happy ending, but so many others’ stories end very differently.  I wonder if I would have found my way to gratefulness if our story ended in heartache.  I think eventually, I would have gotten there, but it would have been insanely difficult.

It is so hard to describe what infertility feels like to someone who has never experienced it.  It is almost like your soul is throbbing, aching, constantly yearning for someone you’ve never even met.  It is an almost palpable pain.  It’s like there is a piece of you missing and nothing will feel right until you find it, somehow.   Sometimes, something as simple as smiling is super hard.  You don’t feel like doing it.  You feel depressed and dismal and discouraged.  Honestly, the hardest part is when you find out someone else is pregnant.  You want to be happy for them.  You are happy for them, but you are so sad for yourself.  Sometimes, the sadness you feel just overwhelms your ability to be happy for everyone else.  It is a constant struggle as you watch other people so easily obtain what you have constantly prayed for, fought for, begged for, paid for, yearned for, mourned for, cried for.  And through it all, you’re expected to smile.  Sometimes, infertility makes you lose your smile.  I know that pain all too well, and the last thing I would ever want is for someone I love to feel it too.  But, the fact is, too many women experience it.

A dear friend of mine, who I’ve loved like family for the last 25 years, has fought this battle for far too long.  She supported me through the IVF process.  She cheered me on from the sidelines while she yearned for her own baby.  She was happy for me.  She smiled for me, even though I know she must have had moments of crying on the inside.  She was so strong and was such a good friend to me.  I remember telling her that I would never hold it against her if coming to my baby shower would be too hard.   She promptly told me to “shut up” and that there was nowhere else she’d rather be.   I loved her for that, especially knowing that I wouldn’t be that strong if the roles were reversed.   I know that God has an incredible plan for her life…she knows that too…but I hate seeing her struggle.  I hate knowing her beautiful, kind heart is breaking.  I yearn for the day when she holds that sweet baby in her arms and feels complete.  I pray her story has a happy ending.  She deserves a happy ending.

Everyone tonight, please say a prayer for all those women who have empty arms.  Pray for all those women with hearts overflowing with love just waiting on their own blessing.   It’s easy to get so caught up in your own children, in your own life.  You’re exhausted and frustrated and you have a million things to do.  But, there is a woman somewhere in the world tonight who would give everything she has to have what you have.   Be thankful.  Be grateful.  Hug your babies and thank God that you have the amazing honor and privilege of parenting them.

It goes too quickly…


I am seriously missing and mourning nursing Noah all the time.  I’m still nursing at least once a day (twice if I can), but that wasn’t my goal.  I really wanted for him to just have breast milk until at least 9 months…1 year was really my plan.  After I got sick in November and had to take some medicine, my supply decreased drastically and just never went back up.  I took supplements, but without being able to pump more frequently, there wasn’t much I could do.

So, I nurse as much as I can, but selfishly, it isn’t enough.  I miss the days when he needed me in that way that only I could provide.  I miss our quiet time together.    I miss nursing a sleepy baby boy and having him reach up to touch my face.  I even miss all the middle-of-the-night feedings.  I miss it all.  It went too quickly.  I spent years dreaming of it…years imagining what it would be like to be pregnant and then to nurse my baby.  I’m so incredibly grateful to have had that experience.

I think part of me is so sad because I don’t know if I will ever get to do it again.  I think we’ll try IVF again…someday.  It’s hard to imagine not trying to have one more.  I have saved EVERYTHING with the hope of having an enormous belly once again!  I pray this isn’t the last of those times, but it could be.

When Noah was so sick last week, there were a couple of days when he didn’t want anything except to nurse, so the small amount of milk he was still getting from me was all he was getting.  It broke my heart to have him latch, suck, and then cry because there was nothing there.  Not being able to provide what he needed/wanted was an awful feeling.

I know he’s okay.  I know he’ll be okay.  But, I just wish things had gone a little differently.  I’m still so grateful that I was able to exclusively feed him breast milk for 7 months, but I wish I’d made the whole way!  I have no plans to stop nursing…even if it is just once a day.  I love that time with him.  My sweet baby boy…

Right of Passage?


This past week, I experienced what I can only assume was a mommy right of passage:  a vomiting baby.  Since my husband was sick over Christmas with a stomach bug, I had the discussion a week ago about how to even deal with a puking baby.  It’s not like they can tell you when they feel sick.  It’s not like they can aim for a trash can.  So…what do you do?

Well…I learned quickly.

You and the baby have on as little clothing as possible and put towels everywhere because he will puke.  EVERYWHERE.

A. LOT.

It was heartbreaking.  He would just look up at me with this confused expression.  He was happy and laughing in between episodes, but every 45 minutes, like clockwork, it would happen again.  After he was sick twice, I called the on call nurse at the pediatrician’s office.

That was at 9:00 pm.

She called me back an hour and a half later.  WHAT?!?!  I was not happy.  When your child is sick, every minute drags.  For it to take an hour and half for a nurse to return a call seems absurd.  Then she told me we needed to take him to the Emergency Room.  They recommended a hospital 45 minutes away because they have a children’s ER.  So, we left for the ER.

That was at 11:00 pm.

By the way…it was raining like crazy, and I had no gas…of course.

So, we walk in (I’ve never been in an ER before) at midnight.  I had something else in mind entirely.  I stupidly imagined it would be like it is on TV: beds separated by a curtain.  Yeah…it’s not like that.  It’s definitely just a big waiting room.  It’s bright and loud and, even though we are in a Children’s ER, there are still drunk people.  I have a sick baby who just wants to close his eyes and try to sleep in between throwing up, and he can’t because the group to my left is acting like they’re at a party.  It was terrible!

They finally call our name.

It’s 1:30 am.

They nurse took us back to a triage area.  She weighed Noah, took his temperature, checked his pulse, listened to his breathing, etc.  It took him throwing up right in front of her before she offered to give him Zofran for nausea.  At least we’re getting somewhere, I think.  An hour and a half isn’t so bad for an ER…right.  Then, she tells us to go back out to the waiting room, and someone will call us soon. 😦

By this point, Travis and I are beyond exhausted.  At least the medicine helped Noah to stop vomiting and fall asleep.  More time passes.  Then they call our name again.

It’s 4:30 am.

The doctor does her exam, writes a prescription for more Zofran, tell us to be sure keep him hydrated with pedialyte, and sends us on our way.  So, after 5 hours and at 5:00 am, we’re on our way home.   We all went to sleep and slept well until I woke up at 11:00…vomiting!   Poor Travis spent the day trying to care for both me and Noah.      It hung on to both of us for a few days, and today is the first day neither of us have been sick.  We’re still being a little slow and cautious with eating, but no vomiting!  Yay!

My sweet boy smiled and played today, and that’s all that matters.  It was no fun, but at least we made it through.  I’m praying for a healthy year from here on!

Catching up…


Wow!  I can’t believe it has been so long since my last post.  Time can really fly sometimes.  Life has been good…super busy, but good!  Noah is such a big boy now.  He grows and changes and learns every day.  He has 5 teeth!  Crazy!  He scoots ALL. OVER. THE. PLACE!  He’s not quite at a full crawl yet, but he’s definitely getting there.  Let’s just say that he has no problem getting to whatever he sees that he wants at any given moment.  I’ve had to get creative with barricades to keep him from the dog gate and the Christmas tree.  He says “da da da da.”  I know he doesn’t associate a meaning to it yet, but I would still love to hear a “ma ma ma” come out of that precious mouth!  He pretends to be shy around people when he first meets them.  He does this little sideways smile and buries his face in my shoulder…love!

He is a great eater!  He will eat anything I put in front of him!  My husband is a really picky eater, so I’m praying that Noah continues this way!  As someone who will eat anything (and at least try it once), that picky stuff drives me bonkers!  He is still nursing…usually it’s just once in the morning and once at night.  Up until a few weeks ago, he still had not had any formula, but then I got sick.  The medicine I had to take almost totally drained my milk supply.  I went from pumping about 25 oz a day to only 6 oz a day.  I tried an herbal supplement to help, but I couldn’t pump any more frequently, so it didn’t help a lot.  I ended up having to send formula to the sitter for during the day.  I’m still pumping, but it’s really just a small supplement to the formula at this point.  I guess something is better than nothing.  When I have him on the weekends and at night, he still breastfeeds.  I was pretty disappointed at first, but I knew that I had done, and was continuing to do, my very best, and ultimately, that’s all I could ask of myself.  Noah is a happy, healthy baby, and 7 months of nothing but breast milk isn’t too shabby!

We took Noah on his first plane ride over the Thanksgiving holidays.  I would love nothing more than to say that it was awesome and so smooth, but that would be a BIG. FAT. LIE!  It kind of sucked!  There was crying and food everywhere and explosive diarrhea and poop all over everything and delayed flights and rude security people and waiting  and crowds and blah blah blah….   It will not happen again any time soon!  There is simply no where I want to go badly enough to do that again until he is much older!  I’m really thankful that Noah got to meet his great grand parents…that really made my heart smile.  Although the flying was rough, we have pictures and memories that are priceless.  So grateful for that.

We are all ready for Christmas here!  Decorations on the tree and presents under it!  I didn’t go over board this year since he is really too young to understand everything.  He would probably rather just have the box and a bowl from the kitchen anyway.  But, there is something about having a little one that brings back the magic of Christmas for me.  I can’t wait to be able to tell Noah the story of the birth of baby Jesus and have him understand just how incredible this time of year is.  I can’t wait to have him understand what we’re really celebrating!   I can’t wait to see that twinkle in his eyes!

I am blessed beyond measure to have my little family.  That is made all the more apparent against the foil of the tragedy so many other families are facing right now.  My heart is so broken for the families in Newtown, Connecticut and the families all over the world who have lost children or who have faced tragedy.  No one knows what to say.  There is nothing you can say.  God is the only one who can offer them any comfort…any peace.  He is the only one who knows how to help them.  It is only when wrapped in His embrace that they (or any of us) can begin to heal in the face of something so horrid.  He is with all those who are suffering and that brings me comfort.

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”  Psalm 34:18

 

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In the eyes of my child…


Even though Noah is on my mind constantly, I still can slip back into pre-Mommy selfish mode sometimes.  I’m not saying it’s not important to retain your individuality and do things for yourself, but the bottom line is, every decision made from the moment you become pregnant must be with your child in mind.  I want to be a role model for him.  I want to show him how to dig his heels in and fight for what is right and important.  I want to show him that it’s okay not to take yourself too seriously.  I want to show him how to laugh.  I want to show him what he should strive for in a marriage.  I want him to see what it means to be a Godly spouse.   I want to show him how to give of himself for others.  I want him to know what is most important in life.  I want him to know that oftentimes,  life is about putting yourself last so that you can put God first. Sometimes…that’s not easy.  Sometimes, that means sucking it up with the knowledge that God placed you where you are, and he will bless you for having faith in his decisions.

Life is hard, but I always want to remember who I am from Noah’s perspective.  I am his Mommy.  I am his life-giver. I am (literally) his “nourisher”.  I am his nurturer.  I am his comforter.  I am his supporter.  I am his defender.  I am his voice until he has one.  I am his protector.  I am his example.  I am his teacher.  I am his leader.

I wrote this poem this morning through tear-filled eyes…

“In The Eyes of My Child”

When the oak tree sways and the leaves fall,

let me remember who I am in the eyes of my child.

When the right is hard and the easy is wrong,

let me remember who I am in the eyes of my child.

When tired and weary are all that I feel,

let me remember who I am in the eyes of my child.

When anger and loneliness are what seem real,

let me remember who I am in the eyes of my child.

When I want to give up because sometimes it’s hard,

let me remember who I am in the eyes of my child.

When steadfast I’ve stood and taken the scars,

let me remember who I am in the eyes of my child.

When a new day dawns and the heart smiles once more,

let me remember who I am in the eyes of my child.

When we are rewarded with a newly opened door,

let me remember who I am in the eyes of my child.

When he is growing and life is changing,

let me remember who I am in the eyes of my child.

When all I can feel is his little heart breaking,

let me remember who I am in the eyes of my child.

When all that he needs is me to step aside,

let me remember who I am in the eyes of my child.

When all that he needs is his momma by his side,

let me remember who I am in the eyes of my child.

When he is grown, and I am grey,

Lord, my prayer is that he would say

Through all the years, day after day,

She rarely took, but more often, gave.

And through it all, whether difficult or mild,

She remembered who she was in the eyes of her child.

First weekend away…almost…


November is a BIG month for us.  This year is especially big.  I turn 30 on the 19th, and our 5 year wedding anniversary is on the 24th.  We usually don’t do much for our anniversary because it falls close to (or on) Thanksgiving.  Not to mention it’s just a month before Christmas, so we’re usually being careful with our funds.  But, I thought we should do something special this year.

So, in July, I made reservations at The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa in Asheville, NC for the weekend just before my birthday.  We were married there in 2007, and it’s just about my favorite place in the world!  I thought…surely by then, I’ll be ready to leave Noah and spend some couple time with Travis.  Clearly, I was OUT.OF.MY.MIND!  There is no way I can leave him.  I’m not going anywhere!  I literally feel nauseous at the thought of leaving him for more than a work day: panicky, short of breath, knot in my stomach, freaked!

Now, I have a decision to make.  Do we keep the reservations and take Noah with us, or do we just cancel?  I have called and checked on their babysitting services…all certified in infant CPR and first aid, all have worked for the resort for 10+ years, all have background checks, and drug tests.  I would feel comfortable leaving him with them (as comfortable as you can be leaving a 7 month old with a stranger).  But, it probably won’t be the most romantic or relaxing weekend.  So…what to do, what to do?  Spend the money on a less-than-ideal weekend?  I just don’t know.

We’re flying to Florida for Thanksgiving the following Wednesday, so I also wonder that it may be a little much for Noah to be so out of his routine for two weekends in a row.

????????

Who knows…I’ll figure it out I guess… :-/

 

“Blessed are all they that wait for him” Isa. 30:18


This was on my facebook newsfeed this morning.  It certainly speaks to the wait that many of us who have struggled with infertility face.  I feel like I reached a point where I found beauty and purpose in the waiting, but hearing it from God’s mouth is always inspiring.   Be blessed today! 

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“Blessed are all they that wait for him” Isa. 30:18. When we are faced with uncertainties in life it’s hard to wait on God. It’s very difficult sometimes to remember to have faith in his plan for our lives, to have patience and rely upon his promises. But part of the waiting is the blessings we recei…ve in anticipation of God’s fulfillment of his promises. “We walk by faith, not by appearance” 2 Corinthians 5:7) God works things out in his time, so while it may seems like weeks, months or years for us, it’s only an instant to God to grant us our needs according to his will. One of the things we have to consider is whether or not we are ready to receive the blessing, are we in obedience to God, are we demanding his blessing now, or are we waiting in obedience, love and patience until God answers. Waiting helps to work out those issues of where exactly our hearts and minds are truly centered upon, God or our own desired. When we face uncertainty, we must wait, when we have doubt, we must pray, wait, and cling to God’s promises that he will answer according to his purposes and his will. We must remember never to go against God’s will, but rather leave our hearts and minds open, receptive, and willing to God’s will being done in our lives and his answers will appear in our lives in due time. Have a blessed and prosperous day.