God writes our story.
I am still learning to surrender the pen.


Monday, December 19, 2011

OUR NEW ADDITION!

You should know by now we're not pregnant... yet.

BUT

We do have a new car to bring those babies home in!







Walter and I have been looking at this car for a few months now, but it was about $6,000 over our price tag. Well, God has taught us a lot about waiting lately... and we were ABSOLUTELY SURPRISED and SHOCKED to buy a new car today! ...But God knew what He was doing. It's the 'little things' like getting this car at the exact dollar amount we wanted it for that reminds me... God knows.

Closing a chapter...

to move forward. I wanted to know what happened to my body, so finally, I Googled it.
Do not watch if you get queasy at all. This is posted more for journalism, than something anyone may be interested in.

Ectopic Pregnancy Procedure

Monday, December 5, 2011

He Does it AGAIN!

God does it... again!


When we're stressed about money issues, we receive my medical bill- although we are happy we're down to only owing $400.

...but it gets better! We totally forget about our escrow overage check and get a check in the mail the same day!
Ladies and gentleman, I am proud to announce....

MY MEDICAL BILLS ARE PAID OFF!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Sweet Messages

Sweet messages I've kept from you all, but now that I'm cleaning out my facebook, just keeping the good stuff!

Hey Jenny!

Here is that dr's office I told you that I'd read about. Scroll down to mini-IVF treatments.

http://www.infertile.com/infertility-treatments/IVF-Cost.htm

In darkness and in light.


I just wanted to let you know that you guys are in my prayers as you celebrate Gracie. I wish she were here with us all so she could see just how special her parents are and how much she is loved. Happy Birthday Gracie!


I know you don't listen to country music like I do! But I think this is fitting for you! I'm so glad I met you even though our time together was short lived since I moved! You made one heck of an impression on me and I hate seeing you down (via facebook). Anyways I just wanted to share this song and tell you a story......I have a friend that was a complete party person, kind of fly on the seat type of person, didn't exactly do things "morally" but had a heart of gold and would do anything for anyone. So she met the man of her dreams and they accidently got pregnant so she went to her first appointment and she has enough science knowledge that she announced something was wrong before the tech even said it because she was reading the ultrasound. A month later they did an amnioscentisis and found out that the baby has Down Syndrome. She was devastated, mad, angry, how was she going to tell the love of her life that their baby had problems, like what choice was he going to give her, she was beyond scared, and on the way out to his house this song came on the radio when she was in prayer asking God to give her some guidance. She started a blog about it to document it all. She only had one choice of what to do with the pregnancy and hoped that her boyfriend would feel the same way. So they called the doctor to tell them that they were not terminating the pregnancy and would continue on. So the doctor began giving them options of what they could do with a Down Syndrome baby and different essentially orphanages they could give the baby to to raise it. She was like no this is our baby we are raising him. But this song has been her strength through it all. I hope you find a little comfort in it too! Ok! I miss you! Also, if you ever want any medical knowledge regarding options or anything please do not hesitate. Even if it is just asking about a drug. I have access to so much medical journals and results of trials. I would love to help any which way that I can. Alright take care girl! Loves!


I wanted to let you know if you ever need to talk let me know. We lost our daughter just a little over a year ago, I understand the pain you feel!


I meant to send you a note on Mother's Day to let you know I was thinking of you. I know it must have been a painful day for you. We had company in town and time got away from me in sending you a note, but you were on my mind all day.


Hey Sweetie, As you can tell I'm never on facebook but thought about you today. Check out Focus on the Family online. they had a good program on today. Don't know if it will help you or not but I knew you could relate. It's a two day program.


Happy mothers day. You have had a lot to deal with as a mom without the rewards but you are a mom. I will be thinking of you =)


don't want to make you upset or anything, but Happy (early) Mother's Day. and I hope it is happy for you in some small way.


Just got your message today and my heart hurts for you. I really feel like the Lord has put a burden on my heart for you over the last month or so, so I am taking this more personally than just a random friend going through a tough struggle.

I really wanted to speak some things over you both that I think you need to hear.

First off, there is NO GUILT whatsoever in this. This is not a result of something either of you did or didn't do and you should not EVER EVER look at it that way. This is purely an attack of the enemy on your lives and the way he wants you to respond is in guilt and condemning yourselves.

Secondly, I also want to say that this is NOT something the Lord is doing to you. You may not think that anyway, but I wanted to cover that, just in case. He is GOOD, ALL THE TIME. Again, this is an attack of the enemy. Jesus healed EVERY person that was brought to him. He NEVER turned anyone\ away. I know that it is NEVER the will of my God for something to die, especially a child in the womb.

I believe the Lord wants you to have children even more than you do. The womb is a battlefield, with the enemy wanting to steal every single child he can, either through abortion, health issues, anything. I got this revelation when we had problems during our pregnancy with Zeke. Which brings me to my next point...

I really feel like we need to specifically be praying against demonic attacks in your lives. The enemy has access to you guys for some reason, and we need to ask God to give revelation on it and then close it up. I know you didn't get to come to the Demonology and Deliverance course we hosted a couple years ago, but understanding the demonic realm is really essential, I think, in situations like this. His only goal is to steal, kill and destroy. We can ask God for protection all we want, but if the enemy as access to us for some reason (and again, this is not something to feel guilty about, almost everyone, including myself, has given the enemy some kind of access into our lives either through sin, witchcraft, and sometimes, they are even curses spoken by other people), they have legal right to be there. This may be WAY over your heads but there is a reason I am sharing all of this...

We had a couple at Goshen that had been TTC for years and she just believed that she would never be able to have kids. People had spoken it over her, including doctors, so she had almost given up. I'm not sure what they went through medically, but she decided that she really felt like there were some demonic things going on. Well, she went through some personal ministry time and prayer with some of us, and shortly after, conceived. Unfortunately, she miscarried not long after. She was totally heartbroken and felt totally lost. We got revelation that we needed to do more prayer and personal ministry time with her, and there were still some demonic things going on (she had a past that was involved with Wicca, and other things of the sort), so we cast it out, and that next month, they were pregnant again, and through the pregnancy, she had some scares, but I am so thrilled to say that she has a beautiful 7 month old little girl now.

Of course every situation is different, and I"m not at all saying I knew exactly what to do. But I know that SOMETHING is going on, and for me to just say, "Sure I'll keep praying for you" isn't enough. There is something going on in the spiritual realm that needs to be dealt with.

I don't know how you guys feel about all this, and if you think I'm crazy and don't agree, I'm okay with that. I just wanted to throw it out there because I feel as your friend, I wanted to be completely honest. I so badly want to see the Lord give you a child and give you the desires of your heart. Children are becoming less and less appreciated in our society, and I know that is NOT the Lord's heart.

Anyway, let me know what you guys think, I am still praying hard for you guys and I'm asking for revelation on how to pray and what to do. The key in all of this is to KEEP TRUSTING HIM. In spite of all our circumstances, we have to still praise Him and trust that He will bring us through. Easier said than done when you're in the situation, but our circumstances cannot define our faith. He has such big plans for you both, and the enemy WANTS to see you guys lose hope and faith through this situation so he can have his way in your lives. So stand firm against that EVIL thing and call it out for what it is.

If you want to call to chat or pray, or even want to come over together so Tim and I can pray with you guys, we would love to do that. I truly have a huge heart for you guys right now and can't wait to see the testimony that is going to come out of this situation!

And lastly, a prayer:

Lord I ask that you would bring supernatural peace, that peace that passes understanding to Walter and Jenny in this horrible time they are going through. I ask that you will help them to find joy in this struggle they are going through. Protect their minds from thoughts of hopelessness or that they are alone with no one to help. SHow them your mighty hand at work through this situation. I thank you for what awesome people they are, constantly seeking you and how they can grow to love you more. You know their hearts, Lord. Speak to them and let your will be known. We come against this horrible, evil thing that is attacking them and we say NO! We ask for healing of hearts, minds and bodies in this time. We thank you Jesus for your love, mercy and grace, and BLESS you Lord for who You are. I ask that you would give them revelation on the reality of the spiritual warfare that is going on over their lives and the lives of their children right now. We proclaim that YOU HAVE CONTROL. I pray that you protect Jenny and Walter from striving or trying to take one these burdens alone. You are the only one who can sustain us through these tough times. Thank you Lord, we praise your name no matter what our circumstances say. Comfort them as only You can. Amen.


I wanted to tell you that I saw you at Lord's Supper and you looked beautiful. The kind of beautiful that makes you stop and look for a minute...
Also, I know you are really struggling right now. And I wanted to comment on the subject of your age vs. your desire. I was 22 when Rodney and I got married...fresh out of college. I started asking for a baby on day one of our wedded bliss. For a couple years, even though we were "careful" I would secretly buy pregnancy tests and take them...hoping to be pregnant. I've always known that being a mom was something I wanted. I remember getting an email about Rod's sister expecting her third. I was so depressed about her being pregnant and not me, and I was mad because Rod wasn't "ready". So, i locked myself in the bathroom for a couple of hours and just cried.
I know what the physical pain of wanting a baby so badly feels like. I know how frustrating it can be when you want to be pregnant so badly that you can almost feel pregnancy symptoms. I just want to encourage you that your desire to be a mom is not coming too early. I'm sorry it is taking time to get pregnant and that you are experiencing all of the crazy emotions of trying. But, I am praying for you. I'm praying that you are blessed with a family soon and that God will give you a faithful patience while you wait...because, quite frankly, waiting sucks!
love ya, sister in Christ!


Hi there girlie. First, I hope you get to feeling beter soon. Second, I want to let you know I am concerned about you. You are a very caring person and want to do a lot of good...but are you overdoing it for yourself and inducing more stress...let's recap: you aren't feeling well, you are in an exercise program, taking classes to foster, cleaning anfd organizing your house on a large scale, in pain over not getting pregnant and whatever is entailed in trying to accomplish that, involved in a potential kidney donation, active as a youth leader, and a newlywed....Jen that is a LOT of stress on your mind body and soul for anyone! And that is just the "stuff" I am aware of!!!! Overdoing your mind or body or spirit will lead to a breakdown in one or all of those areas. Please understand i am not trying to be negative or bust any of your joy, just worried at how thin you are spreading yourself and want you to know I love. as a much older woman than you I have been on all sides of the spectrum in these and many more areas.....sometimes you just have to pull back on the reigns...hope you are not mad and understand my concern for you! xoxo Kathy

Monday, July 25, 2011

I'll Love You Forever

"I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
as long as I'm living,
my baby you'll be."


...from conception until eternity.

Goodnight Grace.

Watch.

I may not be able to hold you, or rock you... but sometimes I feel you holding me. I love you Grace.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Pictures I've Never Shared Before...

These are photos I've never shared with anyone really. Sometimes it helps me to look at them and remember that it all, and she, was very real. These are photos from our first 48hours knowing we were going to be parents...

Taking the first test the day before a procedure was supposed to be done, just as a "precaution"...



We couldn't believe our eyes! Late into the night we changed clothes and ran to Wal-Mart for another test... High on hope we waited...



"We're pregnant!" We fell to our knees and prayed. It was our first reaction at the time.



We were a mess from the day, but couldn't believe our new news!



We were so in love with our baby already. We called and canceled the appointment and sat in wonder.



On our way to dinner the next day to tell our parents! Keeping it in for the last 24 hours had been tough, especially with everyone calling us to ask how our procedure went.



After a day of avoiding calls and saying it went "Fine" we went to tell our parents. The first stop was his mom and dad's and then to dinner with mine. We were both glowing already, I think.



All I have left our memories, pictures, and "would have been"...
and, of course, the hope and joy of knowing she's waiting for me in heaven. :)

Gracie's Gathering

"When Walter and I first found out we were pregnant, we immediately jumped online to find our 'due date'. This came to be the only due date we would ever receive for our Grace, and although we found out we were much further alone than we thought, we decided to celebrate July 19th every year as Gracie's Birthday.
This year we are doing a balloon release for her. There will be plenty of balloons that you may write a note on to her, so we can all release them together. We will gather at 7PM, and release the balloons at around 8PM. This is the time the sun will be setting.
Please take time and come honor our Grace with us." -1st Annual Gracie's Gathering invitation


July 19th, 2011 was the day we had written on our hearts as the day we would be holding our little girl, our gift from God, in our arms. Walter and I would lie on the couch and talk and dream about it. How scared we would be, but the peace we would feel at the same time. We would probably feel unprepared, even after all this time preparing. She would be beautiful.

July 19th, 2011 was a day we instead were able to give a gift to her. True friends and family gathered to honor the little girl none of us had met, yet we all loved so much. At 8PM we released balloons. 25 for Grace, 4 for two other friend of mine who had lost babies, and one red balloon for all the other women who have felt the pain of losing their child.



I decided I was going to let it all flow. Usually, when we have get togethers, I stress about the snacks and what to wear... and everything has to be planned just so. But that wasn't my focus. I had a friend and my husband pick up pre-made snacks, and I just threw on a pair of jeans. I even kept it together when an orange and teal butterfly was found dead on my porch as I left to pick up the balloons. I picked it up and place it on a beautiful flower blooming in my yard. I knew it wasn't Grace, and I knew it was just a very unfortunate coincidence... nothing was going to ruin her day. I kept it together for her, I think... even though I knew she didn't need me to.



I had a long winded thank you in my head to say, but when I got too emotional on the third sentence I just finished there. My friends knew how much it meant, and I wasn't about to force the words to come out. I kept myself busy leading up to the moment where I just watched the balloons dance about in the sky until they disappeared over a line of trees. It was beautiful. We were scared, but were full of peace at the same time. We felt so unprepared, even after all the time spent planning and preparing...



I couldn't love my daughter any more. I am confident she knows that. I am confident that God can do whatever He wants to do in His timing. And, despite the odds, I couldn't wake up pregnant tomorrow if He called it to be. I love my Grace, and I love my God... not in that order. There are days my body aches for the violent sobs I cry, and there are day my eyes cannot stay open from the hours of lying in bed thinking of her... but I accept she's gone. Not gone forever, as I am sure she will be waiting for me the day I go Home.

Thank you for all the friends who came, or those who picked up a balloon from either our home or your local store to release. It made me feel really loved to see my friends and family gather for such a sad 'celebration'. I knew you had to put your lives and your comfortableness aside to honor my daughter, and I will never ever forget that. We had balloons released in different states, we had a friend filming, my sister was taking photos... I just appreciate and love you all. Thank you.





...more photos to come.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Guest Blogger: Leah

" . . . But I'm not abandoned. The Father is with me. I've told you all this so that trusting me you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I've conquered the world." --John 16:32-33 (MSG)

Hello, I am Leah. I am a 29 year old Christ-follower. I have been married to my husband Cory for 6 years. I am the mother of one beautiful little 22-month old girl named Nora. I am also the mother of two "angels in heaven".

I miscarried the first time in August of 2008. It was my first pregnancy, and I found out when I was 6-7 weeks along. I got to experience the joy of knowing I was pregnant for a whole three or four days before I started to bleed. At the first sight of blood I was told to go to the emergency room, where another urine test was performed. The test said "positive", but the bleeding got heavier. Before I knew it, I was at home on the couch sobbing because my baby was lost.

After that happened I wrote this in my journal:

" . . . If asked the question: 'How was your first pregnant experience?', the answer that comes to mind is 'Silent.' It came, and it went. Such a short time to have such an impressive impact.

Even before my baby had eyes, teeth, lungs, or a name it had needs that could only be met by me. It was hungry and I fed it. Now the void of that absence is so quiet . . . and so profound.

I would have taken anything that God gave me. I see now that “abnormal” is unimportant when it’s your own child. I would have loved what He gave me SO MUCH no matter what.

I am trying not to blame Him or myself. It’s hard. Luckily I am much better able to stick to my convictions than I ever was. I believe (FIRMLY) that God is not the author of evil, and that He is the one who writes my days. Even still, I shake on that foundation in light of this experience.

I didn’t want to trust in hope. I kept asking that if it was going to be over, that He would make it be over quickly. In retrospect, it was short. In experience, it was the longest three days of my entire life.

I cannot help but weep for what is not here, and practically never was to anyone else but me. My boobs have deflated; my hunger has subsided to practically nothing . . . on the outside you would almost never know. The silence is inside me.

. . . I give my body credit for fighting to hold on to this life. I feel like it fought tooth and nail. Then it battled back against death with a vengeance . . . How can I not blame myself?? They say not to, but how can I not?????

It hurts to think right now. I would be pleased with a vacation from my own head . . . my own silent body . . . This silence is truly deafening."


That was the single most devastating thing that ever happened to me. As much as this is a blog about my experience, it's also kind of a Public Service Announcement: I learned the hard way that a little pink line on a pregnancy test, or even several pink lines on several tests, does not always result in a baby. Even still today when I see girls announcing their pregnancies at 4, 5, 6 weeks I panic in my heart for them because all I can think is: "You have a one in five chance of miscarrying." And the feelings that follow a miscarriage are feelings that you DO feel ashamed of and don't always want to share. Anger, jealousy, guilt, hopelessness - and that is just the start. I personally feel dysfunctional as a wife and mother - and there are many days where no one short of God Himself is convincing me that I am not. I may not know you, but please trust me when I ask you to wait to announce that you are pregnant until you are 12 weeks. Please, please, please . . . trust me on this.

I got pregnant with my daughter in November of 2008. From the first day of pregnancy I experienced bleeding. I was in and out of the doctor's office every week so they could be sure I was still pregnant. I prayed every single day for a "happy, healthy baby" to result from all this mess. I was on bed rest at 19 weeks for two weeks, and then . . . nothing. The second half of my pregnancy was textbook, and after a tough delivery . . . we got Nora.

I weep when I think of how much God blessed us with our little Nora. She is charismatic, smart, and makes us laugh daily. She is so amazing, and wants for nothing . . . except maybe a little brother or sister to play with.

My second miscarriage happened this past week, in June of 2011. This time I knew I was pregnant for over two weeks. It was such a "quiet" pregnancy that I was a little worried, but I had absolutely no bleeding for the first time so I was able to push my worries away easily. The day before my first scheduled ultrasound, I started to bleed. At first glance, I knew that it was a miscarriage. But I was able to stay calm because I had flat out told my sister: "I'm miscarrying again" while pregnant with my now-daughter. But I just knew, and I couldn't deny it when the cramps started an hour later. However, the next day when I called the doctor, the pain and bleeding had stopped. Hope returns! I started to feel silly for thinking I was miscarrying.

But . . . I was right.

That ultrasound is something I will never forget. Looking on the screen and seeing an immobile, extra-small, black dot that would have been our son or daughter is forever etched in my mind. My worst fears were confirmed as soon as I saw it - our 7 1/2 week old baby was not growing. There was no visible little diamond-shaped heart. The doctor confirmed what I knew already a few minutes later: "It looks like an abnormal pregnancy . . . but ultrasounds are imperfect machines." He offered me a D&C . . . but I couldn't go through with it. If there was even the slightest chance our baby could make it . . .

. . . but it didn't. By Monday, my pain was so great, I was wishing for the D&C. But on Tuesday I "labored" for about three hours and passed the bulk of the tissue. It was some of the worst pain I have had in my life, physically and mentally.

This time around a friend gave me a book called Free to Grieve. There is a passage in it that says: "Grief is different for a follower of Christ. Even in the depths of sorrow, hope breathes. Hope that you will see your child again in heaven. And hope that because of His healing power, your sorrow will not go on forever." So when another friend posted John 16:32-33 (quoted above) on her facebook page, I began to meditate on it heavily. But I got stuck on one thing: what does it really mean to "take heart"?

I looked it up in the idiom dictionary and here's the three definitions that were listed:

Take heart:
1. to receive courage or comfort from some fact.
2. to start to feel more hopeful and more confident.
3. to feel encouraged.


I have put God in charge of helping me to receive "courage and comfort". I am hoping that in time, the second and third definitions will follow from that.

This is the first time anyone other than my closest circle of friends has ever heard of me miscarrying. I am scared to post it, and I am scared to write it, knowing that you all would see it. BUT - I still have hope, and that is the true reason why I decided to write this blog entry today. Even though I am ashamed of my miscarriages and of the feelings that come with them, I am not ashamed of my children that I lost, or of the hope that Christ gives me. I am praying that by sharing my hope with you, that you will receive "courage and comfort" from it yourself. I am able, because of my God, to receive peace from my anger and get on with life in the midst of this pain, because of the hope that only comes from Christ Jesus. I hope that if you are going through something similar, that you will draw close to Him and find that same peace yourself.

To conclude, I wrote down this prayer for myself to pray when I just didn't have the heart to say anything else to God. I hope it helps those of you out there who need peace:

Dear Lord,
I am sad about losing another pregnancy. I pray that you will give me the courage to try again, and comfort in my time of sorrow. I pray that someday I begin to be more hopeful and more confident again. I also pray that I will be encouraged. I pray for my anger, that I can direct it and deal with it correctly, not turning it inward or using it to hurt others. I pray for Cory and Nora, that this loss will not make them feel afraid, abandoned, or angry. Above all I ask that you will help me to accept your way for my life and to give you trust so that you can give me peace. I ask all these things in your son Jesus' name. AMEN.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Don't Cha Be A Grumpy

Alright, cheesy title, but I think most of you get my drift. :)
After re-reading many of my past blogs, I want to make a promise to my readers...

You will never read blogs like that again.

I will be honest still, yes. But I am NOT going to let myself get into a spiral like that again. I am going to take control of my attitude by giving it all to my God. I have not been a great example through all of this, and after much prayer and talking to others, I am going to be changing that. Keep me accountable.

I also want to share a guest blogger coming up. A good friend of mine who has let me lean on her, and I like to think I've pulled her up as well. We were friends before, and I feel like we are bonding closer together every lunch we have together. She is an amazing woman, mommy, and friend who thought sharing a blog could be therapeutic for her and I am honored to have her on mine. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Message of a Swift Kick

I received a message from a friend who called me out on how rude I was with some of the things I said about Abi. She's so right. I want this blog to be as honest as possible, but some times I type before I think. She cut and pasted my own quote and I scared myself. I hate how this bitterness, anger, and sadness has changed me. I don't want it to, but I can feel my heart hardening in some places, and am not sure how to make it stop.
I am sorry for Abi. I am sorry she will most likely go through a lot of struggles to raise a baby. I am sorry that the father is not one like Walter could be. Mostly I feel sorry for her that she felt so unloved she thought she had to make this choice to force someone to love her. I have been at the place, and with all honesty, I would rather be barren than at that place.
Thank you all for reading my words, and thank you to those of you who can still read between the lines and know that it is the anger and sadness and bitterness talking and not the voice of the Jen you know. I am trying to keep who I truly am through fighting the 'demons' off, but some days I think I win a little less than they do. Please keep your prayers coming.
[W]hile I have my beautiful girls -- and that is what you see now -- when I was 24 I was told I would never be able to conceive children.
I understand where you are standing b/c I have been there. I understand loosing yourself to the pain and the sadness of loss.
Even when I already had [my first] ....is always with me. I see him growing beside his cousin who was born on his due date.
I understand the anger you are feeling too. All my friends had their second babies that year. I was empty.
Then my friend's baby got sick. I watched him waste in her arms as my belly filled with [my second]. We were never in the same place at the same time with our grief. But we grieved and continue to grieve together. The souls that have been entrusted to our keeping don't replace the loss...ever. But time is the only thing that has made the loss less sad.
Life changed us. [Life] can be harsh sometimes.
I'm so concerned for you. Your anger is overtaking you. The loving, forgiving woman I knew would never have said [edited quote].
What I believe is that the will of the Gods (I'll use my terms here but you can translate to God) can never be known to us. It isn't for us to know.
That child who is carrying a child has probably been given a burden that she will not be able to carry alone. You and I both know how much that hurts, but it is not for us to know why.
Because of her choices, she may never have the relationship you and Walter do. She may never be able to afford her own home or pursue dreams she has just begun to dream.
Children are willful, they lie, they don't believe. Standing by them in that place is the most difficult place to be in. Especially when you are lost in grief.
I pray for you to find peace. I pray for you to feel the love all around you and be able to give that back to everyone around you.
My faith has a saying "bright and dark blessings" because without the darkness, we cannot appreciate the light when it arrives.
In darkness and in light,


I cannot thank you enough for the message posted above, and for your loving friendship. Thank you for knowing who I am, before this tragedy had touched me, and for keeping me that person. Thank you for the kick I so needed at the time. Thank you for sharing, and the encouragement.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Dedication

To all of you who have been so selfish and inconsiderate these last few weeks.
This song is so eerie and beautiful, and it cannot get out of my head.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FA03weV4hd8

A Painful Day for Daddy

Today we received a phone call from Abi's mom. After being yelled at, threatened, etc we couldn't take any more. We decided to cut our losses. We packed up Abi for her, relieved her of her debt, and delivered her belongings to her sister. We had been lied to, cheated from, and abused for almost two months now, but Abi (or her mom for her, rather) had to give a final blow... while we were packing her up for her we found a note and a test letting us know she was pregnant. My heart is shattered. There is much anger now added to the mix of sadness we feel on this day. I know what I am feeling is entitlement. I feel like I deserve to be blessed with a pregnancy over a teenage girl who has lied, stolen, and one who does now believe... but I know that is not true, and that is why the the Lords gives us Grace. We knew she was trying to conceive, and although she knew that would be a deal-breaker for her to live here, I'm assuming, like many teenage girls do, that a baby wold "fix" the problems her and here (now ex) boyfriend were having. It is painful to see how quickly she got what she wanted- even when you and I both know it's not what she REALLY wanted.
Today is Walter's first Father's Day. After tearful gifts and cards were exchanged we just sat on the couch and help each other in pain. Walter is such an amazing Daddy already... there isn't a level of pain I haven't gotten to experience seeing him meet men who have ran away from their responsibilities, and say hurtful things. There are so many men in the world, and I have one of the few who can't wait to have cheerios stuffed in his pockets and to trip on roller skates while coming home from work. Yet, like me, he is forced to sit back and see other homes filled.

Happy Father's Day to the most worthy man on the planet to be called Daddy.
Gracie and I could not be more blessed.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Hurt to the Core

Yesterday was one of the worst days.
After finding out that dad's check had bounced, and dealing with my little cousin (10 years old) who had once again thrown a fit of rage, kicking and screaming and cursing at me... I had to quit. To do business with family is rough, until it has gotten to the point where you can be abused no more. Still, I had trouble quitting. Walter says 'Thank God!' he could not wait to finally see me stand up for myself.
Along those lines, I had to ask Abi to move out. Her living her had become very stressful to myself, Walter, and to our relationship. In the end, you can only help those who want to be helped. She was not doing what we asked, was lying, and just could plain not be trusted. We let her make the final decision (after telling her how hurt we felt) and she made the decision to move on. It was the most grown-up decision she had made while she was here. She left last night to spend the weekend with her mom and boyfriend, and has the rest of June to pack up on go.

A sign of relief can be heard throughout the land, I'm sure.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

NANNY FOR HIRE (Cost: Free)

Today I am with Jackson and Emily like usual during the day. Either I am the most fun or I just enjoyed being abused because they have 6 friends over playing with us. I know life is about balance, but what is the balance between "Desperate Wanna Be Mom" and "Free Nanny"?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Our Second Year of Bliss

Walter and I were married two years ago today. There still has no been a love song, note, or movie produced to compare my love to him. He has been my rock throughout times of despair and I would be a mess without him. He is my very best friend, one that can never be outdone or replaced, and one that will never turn his back to me.
Walter and I made a promise on our wedding day to re-new our vows every year and take turns doing so. Last year we did so with our maid of honor and best man at our side, on the front porch of our first home. We literally buried the word 'DIVORCE' in a chest in our front yard and our friends were able to throw rice at us after we recited our vows (something we were not able to do at our wedding at the Botanical Gardens, and something that symbolizes 'fertility' in the marriage. It was a belated MUST-HAVE!).
This year is was Walter's turn to plan, and after coming home to a clean home, freshly-mowed yard, and a delicious dinner prepared he took me to a graveyard where we recited our newly written vows for the next year where many witnesses watched a love and vows that will 'never die'. I know we're creepy, and quirky... but I can't imagine spending the rest of my life with anyone else.
I am a lucky woman, and Gracie is a proud little girl of the man we have in our lives.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Nesting the Nest Egg

Walter and I decided that since we are able to live off his paycheck, that we would spend the money I receive for my nannying to catch up on many things around the home we've been waiting for. Today was an expensive day. New chair, new table, new air conditioner, new tires for my car, new plates for my car, tire repair for his car... a new season of Dexter. ;) Entertainment is needed as well, after the week I've had. *sigh* Let's just say that while I wear a smile the hurt I deal with every day being a (-1) owns me. That's how I think of myself sometimes. Like on wedding invitations instead of receiving mine to see I am a (+1) guest and I get to bring a date or a friend that I am without. Although I clearly have the Lord's blessing in my mate, I feel for myself that I am not a whole person without having my Grace on my hip. I know there are people out there that don't "count" her as a "real" person- and that sends shivers up my spine- but I feel like she was a whole person herself, and has also taken some of myself and her daddy with her. Walter and I are now barely just a (1) without her. Thank God I have him to lean on.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Please Wipe Your Feet

Stress of the four kiddos "trying" to get alone is bubbling over... along with he stress of having a teenager in our home, I feel as if I'm about to melt from the heat of anger inside me.
Words can't say enough how hurt we are by the teenager living with us, it is truly a selfish time.
Working for family has been MUCH more stressful than I thought, and I'm just not quite sure what to do with it. I feel like everyone I know (other than my husband, of course) sees my greatest weakness of having a hard time saying "No" and are taking it to whatever new limits they can. Part theirs, but part my fault as well.

Just send your prayers please.

Friday, June 3, 2011

A (Daytime) Mother to Many

It's summertime! When many of you think of 'summer' you think of beaches, suntanning, vacations, reading in the shade, taking it easy... I think of jobs. :) As a nanny, I'm kind of the opposite of a teacher. When a teacher checks out, I clock in, making summertime the busiest time of the year. This summer I did something different and decided to care for my family. It's always hard doing business with family, and I have definitely been burnt before, but I'm thinking those times are behind us now. I'll get to spend the summer with my cousins, Jackson (10) and Emily (12)... well and of course have Abi (18). However, I'll also be spending some of my summer weeks with the kiddos I had last summer, Will (7) and Kate (5). I love these kiddos! And I definitely love my job!
...but it is something that gets me thinking...
During the day I get to have the 'mommy mobile' and take the kids to the pool and soccer camp. We get to learn and play and laugh... I feel as if I'm in a dream having four (or more) kiddos of 'my own' with me. It's as if I get to literally step inside one of my favorite dreams and play along. The kids cuddle with me and love spending time with me and playing... but no one can love it more than I do. It's a stressful job, but for me, it's the perfect one. Then 5PM comes, and the kids run from my side to Mom or Dad's side and the dream bubble is burst. It's time for reality to come and dreams to be set aside until tomorrow.
I go home to an empty home, and wait for my husband to return. We have dinner and sometimes cry and talk about our angel baby in heaven, never getting to hold her in my arms like I do with so many children of others'.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

June & July 2011

We are cursed to not even know our would-have-been due date of our little Gracie...
Our first computer-generated due date was July 19th, but then when we found out we were so much further than we thought...
It hurts our hearts to know this is the month we probably would have been able to hold her in our arms, or at least the month I would be adding the final touches to her room while I "complain" about not knowing what my toes look like anymore. Even as a type this I can't help but for a smile to sneak the corners of my mouth upwards, but I know there is no anticipation to be had. She will never have her tiny footsteps on this Earth, but only in our heart.

Please keep Walter and I in your prayers for this month and next. A lot of "buried" feelings are coming back the months we were supposed to hold our daughter in our arms for the first time.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Youth is Wasted on the Young

(...Like a text message waiting for the send button to be hit, these blogs have been waiting in the shadows until a time they were ready to be released. Thank you so much for you patience and support during this time of seemingly silence.)

And yes, I am 24 typing that. I've always been told I had an 'old soul'... which you can never be too sure what that means. Can it mean that I'm mature for my age? Can it mean that I can sometimes be 'boring' due to my lack of interest to partying? Can it mean that the large volume of my friends list have daughters not much younger than I? Yes to all. So when I was asked by a friend of mine, to allow her younger sister of age 18 live with us for awhile, we very quickly said yes. Were we crazy to attempt to 'mother' a child only "SIX" years younger than us? Probably, but we (I, more of it) was up to the challenge. And Lord, has it been a challenge!

Firstly, let me say to all you new mothers out there... be thankful (other than obvious and painful reasons) that you deliver a cute and fresh little one VS a teenager. I'm pretty sure THIS is why we aren't born old and grow younger. :)

We put her on our cell phone plan, helped her arrange 'her' room the way she wanted, got her gifts and photos to decorate it and make it 'hers', gave her meals, and driving lessons (yes, she had not even learned to drive yet), and a computer user password, and trips to friends and the store... yet it seems as if we have given her nothing. She is ungrateful, and not once have we heard a 'thank you'. Sure, she is a teenager who feels entitled and sure, "Rome wasn't built in a day"... but when should we start to see a change in her? When can we begin to feel like we are actually HELPING yet instead of just being another spot to ENABLE her? It's been only three weeks, and we'll keep trying, but I'm just not sure where the line is...

This whole experience is helping a doormat like me learn where my buttons are and how many times I'll let someone push them before I break... but for now, I haven't said anything. Still a doormat, and being treated like one for now.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Filled, but still Empty

I know I'm behind and haven't informed most of my blog followers, but Walter and I have our first 'placement' in our home! A girl! No, she's not from the foster system... lol. She's actually a friend's little sister who has left home and is trying to find her own way. Now I know we said we wouldn't take 11+, but we thought this would be a good exception. She is 18, and she is giving it her best try we think. There's a lot of growing up to do, but so did I when I was 18.
Having her here has been interesting to say the least, but we really are excited to be helping her out and having her fill the room that's stayed empty for so long... (actually, the last person that lived in the room was her older sister, a good friend of mine! haha). However, it does bring up a wide array of emotions, as most things do for me nowadays. I feel blessed to be able to help her, in a way I was once helped out when I moved into a couple's home from church... but it always brings up all those feelings of WHY we're able to give her that room... because I won't be bringing my daughter home from the hospital anymore. My daughter's in her own home in heaven now, which leaves us with an empty room in our heart and home once again.

By the way, for all of you who said it, Walter and I are not actively trying at this point... however, after feeling like crap and being almost 2 weeks late I thought I'd take a pregnancy test. Big Fat Negative. So there. "Not trying" doesn't always work either. Just one more myth I get to bust for y'all ')


Myself, the good friend Sarah, and the little sister Abi, the Halloween Sarah lived with us in 2008.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My 1st Mother's Day

This year I was able to 'celebrate' my first Mother's Day. It was a very strange and difficult day.

It started about a week ago, when Walter asked me what I wanted for Mother's Day. My first reaction was immediately confusion, then I realized... and sobbed and sobbed and sobbed... I'm not sure I ever really answered him. I think I was just so happy and so excited that he wanted to acknowledge Gracie and I with this day, and also so very sad that Gracie and I had to spend it apart.
For the three weeks before Mother's Day I had been busy planning a surprise birthday for my dad that would be the day before (which was also the 5 month anniversary of Gracie's home in heaven...). I didn't get to give it much thought other than what I was getting for gifts for others. I had my mom, my mother-in-law, my sister, my aunt, and my husband's grandmother to shop for and think of...
Until the morning hit, I woke up knowing I was missing out. But ten seconds after my eyes opened, Walter was walking in the bedroom carrying a tray full of breakfast, a card, and my devotional book. I read my card, and ate my breakfast, and I was enjoying it all! :) He then read the devotional of the day to me... I'm not even surprised that it was about adversity, Job, and loving God even if He has taken everything else away from you. However, I did start to get a little emotional.
After breakfast I got ready and it was time to leave for church. On the way, I received a text from a friend that told me to 'stand proudly today'. Right away Jill, a woman I adore and love, greeted everyone for Mother's Day and said a prayer. Jill prayer for all the busy moms and then prayed for all the mothers who have children in heaven. She even prayed for those who feel the ache and longing of being a mom, and for the children who have lost their moms. (Jill, I couldn't wait to hug you! So excited we had an 'excuse' to get together right after! I'm so lucky to know you, and see your beautiful example of handling grief. Your video, prayers, and singing were beautiful.) Immediately I broke down. I sat through the entire service quietly (or doing my best at least!) crying. I don't think it was a sad cry, and it wasn't quite a joyful cry... I think it was just a cry of grief, but a cry of grief that knows the good to come. At the end of service that asked for moms to stand. I stood for Gracie.
I came home to a 'Happy 1st Mother's Day' card from another good friend. The card was perfect. It even had a teal butterfly on it, something that ALWAYS reminds me of Grace. It felt so amazing. Both cards are now displayed proudly on my shelf in the living room, and will never see the trash.
I also got a few texts and Facebook messages, and I just wanted to say thank you for all of you who remembered me this Mother's Day. You are made the day not only bearable, but joyous.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to:
Walter Wallheimer, Leah Whitaker, Jill Winslow, Sarah Starrett, Britney Walden, Mallory Koesterer, Danielle Nyswonger, Rhonda Agne, Marie Colon...and of course, Gracie's Grandma :) (Thanks Momma!)
and to everyone else who wished me a Happy Mother's Day or have been praying for me. You've made this the best 1st Mother's Day a mother of an angel could ever have. <3

Friday, May 6, 2011

Preconception Mompetition

This video is so true. Cracks me up! lol

humility in humility

Well... even in my times that I'm feeling humbled can God take me to a new level of brokenness for Him and teach me about my own depravity. Have you even felt the most humble? Sometimes, it's hard to be humble about being humble isn't it? I think that's where I was.
Through all of this, as many of you have read, I've really given God control over our family this past month or so. Walter and I aren't even 'trying' anymore. If a pregnancy comes, then we will be surprised, that's for sure! :) Although there are no longer hearts on the four dates of the month, and there no longer is a Date Night because we have to in the 'right' timing. I have really realized how insignificant I must have made my husband feel.
Anyways, as you can read, I'm feeling a lot of peace in this time. Knowing God is in control and we will have a baby or child when He sees fit. I'm content, and sometimes so content it's hard not to tell my friends or neighbors... or women in the checkout line of Walgreen's.
I didn't realize until last night that I had begun to 'toot my own horn' and get proud about my... well, humility to the Lord. Walter and I use to have a joke about those types, "I'm the MOST humble!" we'd squeal and laugh ourselves until almost tears. However, I recently have become one. I feel so content with my husband, and have been telling so many people how much I am enjoying life that I now realize, my very best friend has been struggling with not being with 'The One' for awhile now. It was a common thread that helped us bond: We both felt cheated about the season of life God had put us in. Now that I've come to realize it on my terms, am I making it unbearable for her?
This thought only came into my mind when after a tense day at work Walter came home frustrated, with little patience, and quite an attitude. After a tense dinner and small group, I came to him and wanted to talk about it. Soon after, we were screaming and crying and in the heat of the worst fight we'd had in almost a year. Over nothing! We crawled into bed very late, but we're on 'snuggling terms' at least. I immediately felt right to sleep, possibly the only positive to a good fight is that it works better than Tylenol PM, and didn't wake up until the alarm went off. I lie there, miserable of who I am and how I had allowed it to get that bad. I was just kicking myself for all that had went on, and I knew he was lying next to me doing the same.
We've had to give extra assurance to each other that we love each other, we're teammates, and that fights happen... but I think we're both still confused on how and why it got that bad. Do I believe God forced me to scream and yell at my husband? No. That is not of God. Do I believe that God took a weak time to show Walter and I our own faults and brokenness... and that we possibly pushed it unto one another? I think my Lord taught me humility in humility in a way I would understand- in a way that in the end, brought me one step closer to my Christ, one step closer to my husband, and one step closer to the perfect example I am striving to be as a Christian.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Grace at my heart

I was finally able to host a party for the jewelry artist I had previously blogged about, and just recently got my necklaces. Not only was I able to get something beautiful for my beloved daughter, but I got something for Walter & I as well! The pieces turned out amazing, and I am sure they will not be my last order. :) Be sure to check Jennifer out on her Facebook page or at her personal website for me, and give this amazing woman some support by 'liking' her page, checking out her art pieces, or even placing an order for yourself! She is helpful, fun-loving, and you get your treasures back so fast after ordering!

I love having 'Grace' around my neck and at my heart, it really helps me feel like another 'stamp' of her short life here on Earth. She will not be forgotten. She will not be overlooked. She is always on my heart, and always on my mind.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Quarter Crisis

It has been decided.

After prayer and a lot of talking with my husband... and even more time spent staring at a blank wall deep in thought... I am ready to make it official by blogging it.

I. Am. Content.


I don't need to be a mom right now. In fact, I've stopped praying about it. It doesn't have to happen right now. My life isn't a process with the next 'step'. Step One: Graduate from High School. Step Two: Go to College. Step Three: Get Married. Step Four: Make a Home. Step Five: Have a Baby ...but what now? What will I focus all that FOCUS on now that I'm not picking out nursery patterns? The answer: ANYTHING GOD PUTS IN FRONT OF ME. Some thoughts Walter and I have been thinking...

*We are in the process of cutting back to pay of the $2,500 in medical bills we have accumulated. We will NOT take another 'step' in our medical road (prescriptions, IVF, etc) until this is paid for and history.

*Walter and I plan to take music lessons together. I want to learn violin, and he wants to learn electric guitar. Hey, we may be the new Skillet. ;) If anyone has recommendations of where we could go for these, please let me know!

*Walter and I will be accepting foster children as soon as there are children available to us.

*Walter and I plan to lose 75LBS together! We are going to encourage each other, and have fun doing it. (Anyone selling a bicycle btw?)

*We are planning a trip to Rome, Italy in January of 2012.

*For the first time in my life, I am going to read the ENTIRE Bible this time. Not all of the New Testament, and give up somewhere near Numbers... lol

...and there are going to be many crazy things to follow. The feeling that God has given me is hard to explain, and I guess the best I can compare to is a mid-life crisis. I know I'm not halfway to heaven... but I could be. I could be MORE than halfway. I could die tomorrow. Grim, I know, but truth. I watched a video from a friend going through the same hurts and struggles and she said one word changed her entire outlook. That word that God gave her was ENTITLEMENT. God is teaching me the same. I deserve nothing, and who am I to tell God He can't have our daughter or that my love for Him will be ANY different with or without His blessing of a child. This is the day the Lord has made; I WILL rejoice and be glad in it... and act my age. :)

I'm not 39. I know only months ago I would have punched you in the eye if you told me, "You've got time!".., but I do. I still yearn to be a mother deep in my bones, but I can wait 'til 25... okay Lord,26... okay okay okay! Lord, I can wait until Your timing. I will wait.

Instead of informing God that He has me in the wrong season of life, I am going to enjoy this season I am in. I love my husband too much to share him right now anyway. :)
A few weeks ago I signed up for a support group in the midst of my depression and shame. That support group meets tonight. I will still be going, but I think my Lord has healed me just fine. My first meeting may be my last. I can do all things through Christ, even if what I must do is simply move on. I will always love my daughter, and when people ask if I have children, I will tell them I have the most adorable little girl in heaven waiting for me. She is my treasure.
Gracie, mommy is totally happy and content if you are my only child. You, and Jesus, and Daddy are enough for me. My dear Gracie, I am so sorry it has taken me so long to realize, but I thank you.
God gives, and God takes away. When God took my daughter, He gave me a new outlook on life.

So I am going to act 24. Not counting the days and months I have been trying and NOT receiving, but counting every day as a blessing. I seem to a part of the dark story of losing Gracie; the part where in mere hours I could have lost my own life as well. Don't worry Christian friends, I'm not going to start spending every night out at the clubs or showing too much cleavage... but don't be surprised if I have teal hair or another tattoo. I'm 24. :) Life is worth living, and God has me right where I should be.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

To My Roots...

Know that some days I wake up, and am ready to answer all your questions about Gracie.
Know that some days I wake up, and I pray for God to make me sleepy still so I can sleep the day away, fearing I will be asked questions.

Know that some days I attack my 'To Do' list with determination, and pat myself on the back at the end of the day.
Know that some days when you call I act busy, when I'm really in my pajamas hiding from the world, and trying to hide from the pain.

Know that when nighttime comes, I pray for healing, and for the other women who have lost their children.
Know that when nighttime comes, I pray through grit teeth, telling/screaming/crying my anger to God.

Know that when you call, I could talk for hours.
Know that when you call, I hit ignore.

Know that I love reading your messages of encouragement/research/support.
Know that sometimes I put off reading them for days.

Know that I don't mind playing with your children or commenting on your beautiful pregnant belly.
Know that sometimes I do, and can't always meet for lunch.

Dearest Friends, in the end... Know I love you, and that it will never, ever take me long for my 'real' self to come back.
We'll go to lunch. :)
Also, I will do my very best to be there for any of your hurts and pains. I don't think I'm wrong to depend on you as well. No, that doesn't mean you are obligated to be there every time I shed a tear, or that I expect you to go out of your way... but it might mean a wet shoulder and having to give me a little extra Grace. :)

This season has taught me a lot of knowledge about the people I surround myself with. Some people have stepped up to bat, and our friendship runs deep, and will never die out. And yes, sometimes I have been disappointed. But the Lord has allowed this to touch my life, and I am doing my best to be content with it.
Thank you to those who have helped.

"I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control, and at times hard to handle, but if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best." -Marilyn Monroe

Some people come into your life for a lifetime and some come for a season. You have to know which is which. I put everybody that comes into my life in the category of a tree.

Some people are leaves on a tree. The wind blows, they go to the left. The wind blows from the other way, they go to the right. They are just unstable. You can't count on them for nothing. All they ever do is take from that tree. What you need to understand about a leaf is that it has a season. It'll wither and die and blow away.There ain't no need to be praying over a leaf to be resurrected. When it's dead it's gone. Let it go! Some people are like that. All the leaf ever does is cool you off every now and then. If you're grown, you know what I'm talking about, because you can call them in the middle of the night and get cooled off. That's the leaf people. They come to take.

Then there are people like a branch. You got to be careful with branch people. They come in all different shapes and sizes. You never know how strong they will be in your life. So my advice is to tip out on it slowly. When you're going out on a limb, don't put too much weight on it at once, because it can fall and leave you high and dry. Sometimes, you have to wait for a branch to grow up before it can hold all of the things you want to share with it.

Finally, a favorite quote of mine... Something I'm still learning:
"Some people are meant to come into your life for a lifetime, some for only a season and you got to know which is which. And you're always messing up when you mix those seasonal people up with lifetime expectations.

I put everybody that comes into my life in the category of a tree. Some people are like leaves on a tree. When the wind blows, they're over there... wind blow that way they over here... they're unstable. When the seasons change they wither and die, they're gone. That's alright. Most people are like that, they're not there to do anything but take from the tree and give shade every now and then. That's all they can do. But don't get mad at people like that, that's who they are. That's all they were put on this earth to be. A leaf.

Some people are like a branch on that tree. You have to be careful with those branches too, cause they'll fool you. They'll make you think they're a good friend and they're real strong but the minute you step out there on them, they'll break and leave you high and dry.

But if you find 2 or 3 people in your life that's like the roots at the bottom of that tree you are blessed. Those are the kind of people that aren't going nowhere. They aren't worried about being seen, nobody has to know that they know you, they don't have to know what they're doing for you but if those roots weren't there, that tree couldn't live.

A tree could have a hundred million branches but it only takes a few roots down at the bottom to make sure that tree gets everything it needs. When you get some roots, hold on to them but the rest of it... just let it go. Let folks go."

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Before Birth

Today, maybe because of the weather, was a tough day. The only movement I made out of the house was to go with my husband to get Subway sandwiches from Wal-Mart... it wasn't long before I'm sitting in the parking lot with him, sandwiches in hand, crying for over an hour. I'm sure we gave a good show. There are some days where the pain in my heart seems to prickle and sting every feeling part of my body, inside and out. I often feel like I have lost a limb, or one of my senses, being without my daughter. This was one of those days.
My husband is so kind. He truly understands that the pain can hit at any moment, and while I hate thinking he may see me as a ticking time bomb, my love for him has grown more than I ever thought a heart could bear.

Today I got thinking... it really wasn't long ago that I was driving around in my car not only singing to the songs on JOY FM, but really LISTENING and taking in the words that made the song. I started to pray, and my prayer led into... "Lord, I want the faith that these songwriters have. No matter what it takes."
Thinking back, I'm pretty sure this was in the month of October. The same month we conceived our little girl who was lost before she was found, and who was heaven-bound from the start.
God wasn't going to just 'strike down' this faith I prayed for, He was going to give me opportunities to be faithful (yes, going 'Evan Almighty' on you, lol).
Gracie has helped me learn a higher degree of faithfulness, and has helped me love my God even more. I feel Gracie, even before she was able to breathe a single breath of this world accomplished the purpose of her creation.

Jeremiah 1:5
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

Psalm 139:13
"For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb."

Friday, April 8, 2011

I'm out of 'positive pregnancy test' puns...

so I'll just say it.
Another hope-slasher today, day 41.
Not pregnant.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

How Many Months Shall I Count?

Today Gracie and I have been separated for four months. I miss her more and more everyday. Sometimes I still think I'm pregnant, and that I know her so well, any day now we'll be bringing her home from the hospital.
I know it sounds crazy. Losing a child does that to you, I think.
My facebook status reads,
"Even though it is difficult for me to have you live inside my heart, and yet to still be separated from you, I will bear the pain until the day I die and I can finally hold you in my arms. It's been four months since you went to live in heaven, and I have thought of you every moment. Mom & Dad love you Gracie! Hebrews 11:5-6"
...and not like I need someone to, but not a single person has commented on it. Not a "how are you holding up?", or "praying for you today!", or not even "what the hell are you talking about?!" has been posted below. I don't want to bore all you facebookers with the woes of my life, but am I doing that already? Is four months all a woman gets to mourn the death of her unborn child? Is it because I don't know the color of her hair? Or what she smelled like? Is it because she wasn't a 'real' child, and because I'm not 'really' a mom?! Sad thing is, I've heard these things from a few people.
To be honest, I'll mourn her everyday until the day I will be with her. With or without support. ...But I also do understand that sometimes, it's time to let it go a bit too. Although a 7th of the month will never pass without me thinking of her, there will not be a "78th month apart" facebook or blog post.
I will always, ALWAYS be Gracie's mommy. And if I never have another child, then she will be enough for me. She is my treasure stored in heaven. I think of her playing with Jesus in the clouds often.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

PCOS, Poisoning, or Pregnancy?

Walter and I had pizza two days ago. It was the first time I grabbed a slice since I've been labeled with PCOS... and I've been throwing up ever since.

In the middle of the night, all hunched over, I almost was smiling as I was 'praying to the porcelain God' because there was a light bulb in my head that screamed, "*GASP* MORNING SICKNESS! Oh PLEASE God let it be morning sickness!!!"...
...then I thought, "No, you dumb idiot, it must be the new medicine you're on. You're not supposed to have carbs and you know it, and now you deserve this sickness... but don't get excited. It is definitely NOT because you are pregnant *insert evil laugh here*"... but I've eaten carbs once before this and I wasn't this way?
...Did I have food poisoning?! Well, no, or else my husband would be right next to me in the same manner (EW), but he is soundly asleep. I know he's a big and tough man, but food positing knows no pride does it?

The worst part of infertility (besides the schizophrenia running through your head all day, second-guessing EVERYthing) is that with all those thoughts you're taken on this rollercoaster of HELL. For a 'planner' like me, that means re-planning your entire life about 16 different times in about 30 minutes... and sometimes you're just too busy cleaning yourself up to lose the hope you carry around with you.

Friday, March 25, 2011

No Crying Over Spilled Blood...

In this process, let's just say I've had my blood drawn once or twice... I go to Quest Diagnostics, here in Collinsville, and always get the same woman. She recognizes me, from my highs and lows and the hundreds of blood tests she has to do to me... and I'm assuming because of all the work I've made her do (or maybe it's just her normal disposition) she is unbelievably rude and cold to me. Most the time I don't care, but sometimes all I pray for is just a smile with all I'm dealing with. I can't even begin to imagine the difference a smile would make. I have NO problem with needles or blood, yet dread coming EVERYtime because of her.
I just finished having my blood drawn for the (honestly, I've lost count) time, came out to my car, and cried.
Lord, please help me be strong enough to be a light for her. Help her realize she's dealing with fragile people, and sometimes all we need is a welcoming 'hello!', smile, or wave to save us from tears in the parking lot.
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Thursday, March 24, 2011

I have PCOS; It Doesn't Have Me!

I just ran on the ellpitcial for the first time for this entire video.
I'm proud of it. Give me a break, I'm out of shape and already exhausted.

I Would Die For That

10% Suffer

I hear of ONE woman having PCOS before I was diagnosed and nothing else...
Now speaking out for myself, a lot of women I know are coming out of the woodwork with their "me too!"... not offense, but where were you before?! What are you doing for PCOS awareness if you're a victim, friend, or lover of someone suffering?
I'm sure it's also partly me... just reading a magazine today I played a 'game' on the cause of hair loss. You know the type, answer yes go to this box, if no go to this box until the end... this was my ending box...


Have I just not had my eyes open? Have my ears been deaf? Of am I the only one speaking out for awareness on this diagnosis that possibly ONE IN TEN WOMEN SUFFER FROM...?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Where to begin...? No really, where do I begin?!

The only experience I had with PCOS (or so I thought) before my diagnosis was that an old friend from our last Bible study had PCOS, and later had IVF as well.
Now as I read so many things in my life are making more and more sense...
(As embarrassing as this all is, I feel like it's time to Take A Stand for PCOS)
*Since my senior year, I am constantly rubbing my lip, dreading that someone will see that I have a LOT of hair on my upper lip. I was also teased for having a 'happy trail' as well. I use a Finishing Touch (aka my LIFESAVER!) to trim and help myself looking and feeling like a 'normal' woman... It wasn't until recently I also noticed that I was growing hair on my neck, around my nipples, and jawline. For me, this is the most embarrassing (thus far) symptom of PCOS.
*After college I gained about 50-60lbs. I thought it was from dating my now-husband, and being treated to so many dinners out, etc. but now I have found it was also a symptom of PCOS.
*I've always lost a lot of hair, but so did my momma. I thought it was normal, until I started noticing that I was loosing more and more. My hair isn't as thick as it used to be. If I don't get healthy, I could lose A LOT more.
*Sometimes Walter and I would do out to eat- to one of my favorite restaurants- and I'd eat one of my favorites like fettuccine alfredo... only to come home and snack. I was so embarrassed to be hungry again already, but I just couldn't seem to help it! Afterward, I was immediately exhausted. I have been down on myself for so long for being 'fat and lazy', and I'm not looking for an excuse, but these are also signs of PCOS and Insulin Resistance.

However, it seems like the more I learn the more confused I am. The internet is great for looking up information, but I am also overwhelmed. It seems like I have opened up Pandora's box and just barely scratching the surface.

Please be in prayer with me for the right direction, and not be consumed with all the 'what ifs' that come with PCOS.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Biggest Loser

To aid in my goal of loosing 25lbs before June 1st, I have started a friendly 'Biggest Loser' challenge with my three best friends. The rules are to check it with each other every other Thursday, and to share our goals and to keep each other accountable. I'm so very excited to lose this weight (to hopefully, gain it back- only with baby, not with fat! lol)!

This is our first weigh-in photos, wish us luck! (Me most, of course!)




Monday, March 21, 2011

Lamentations 3

17 I have been deprived of peace;
I have forgotten what prosperity is.
18 So I say, “My splendor is gone
and all that I had hoped from the LORD.”

19 I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
20 I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.
21 Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:

22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Baby Makes Three (but won't be free!)

This morning I received a call with some results. Our insurance request was denied officially, and not even a dime of IVF will be covered- not even the consultation we had yesterday. My heart sicks. Although my mother has offered to pay for the most of it... it's added pressure I don't need, and it's a lot to ask. I never knew the 'baby makes three' dream would come with a large price tag BEFORE diapers... I thought it would be, you know, FUN... not $15,000.

This afternoon I received a call with some results. The blood work I did yesterday is good... except for one small part. My potassium is way elevated. 'What could cause that? Diet? Seems strange to me..." I ask and wonder, and then I hear "high potassium can show a blocked tube... we'll need you to re-take these test in a week. If the levels are still high... we may need to um, look at the remaining tube."

Some days it seems like I can't catch a break...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

a Pretty Cool Opportunity Soon?

I had my first IVF consultation with our doctor today. Sitting there in the office, with mom to my right and husband to my left (finally be able to meet our new doctor after a shower and with some make-up on), I felt confident. This meeting was full of hope, not full of dread like the surgery and the follow-up. I was nervous, still not quite understanding what is done in In-Vitro Fertilization. Sure, most people know is where egg and sperm get pushed together in a petri dish... but I needed step by step... did it follow my morals? What about my husband's? Knowing this could be the appointment to crush the dreams of pregnancy or be the first step to it was a roller coaster.
She didn't rush me. That's why I love our doctor. She answered all my questions- and didn't lead on if they were dumb or not. lol. She also waited patiently for my husband and I to nod when we understood, and gave me a minute when I started to tear up. She even didn't mind my mom's questions and her scribbling down in her notebook. She knew my mom would be paying most of the bills, if we decided to go through this... yet she put all the papers in front of my husband and I first. It's the little things, you know? Oh, and she also drew pictures, which is great for visual types like myself...


I am the only person I know that has a drawing of a uterus in her purse.

For those of you who are wondering, here is a bite-sized list of what we talked about in our meeting.
*Although I have been on Clomid and Femara previously, they were under other doctor's orders. She is frustrated, like me, how the other doctors handled the fertility treatments and is not convinced I even ovulated on them.
*Due to symptoms we've discussed and the tests taken, our doctor is confident to say that I have PCOS (Polycistic Ovarian Syndrome)- which not only hurts my fertility, but causes a list full of other scary symptoms and warnings as well.
*Along with PCOS, I am also Insulin Resistant, which usually comes hand-in-hand with PCOS. In most cases, a woman is not sure which comes first, but more than not the other is to follow is not treated quickly. This means when I eat certain foods, such as simple carbohydrates, my insulin must spike way higher than normal. Leaving me exhausted and hungry again an hour later, because of the spike I have lower sugar than normal.
*Despite the fact our doctor feels the Clomid was used incorrectly, she believes we have 'been through enough' and has approved us for IVF!




After our consultation we wanted to get proactive! I bought a book to understand my past (PCOS), our present (Preparing for Pregnancy), and our possible future (IVF).

With the questions answered, I'm feeling much better about IVF. She wrote us a perscription for Mertphormin, hoping to regulate my insulin spikes. This drug, paired with diet and exercise, may help fix the issue and help me conceive on it's own. However, we are giving it one month to work myself up to 2,000mg a day and then moving on the IVF path. At this rate if everything goes well, we are looking at undergoing the IVF procedure in JUNE!



This puts the ball back in my court. My goal is to loose 25lbs by June 1st. I must monitor my carbs very closely, and am also cutting back on sugars and sodas. Hoping to start off with walking my dog, and then easing into at least 1 hour work out per day. If you see me, keep me accountable! :)

Please be in prayer for my nausea to do away on a daily basis, for my health, and for God to lead us down HIS path to having children in our home, NOT OUR OWN.



Women with PCOS are at risk for the following:
-Endometrial hyperplasia and endometrial cancer (cancer of the uterine lining) are possible, due to overaccumulation of uterine lining, and also lack of progesterone resulting in prolonged stimulation of uterine cells by estrogen. It is not clear if this risk is directly due to the syndrome or from the associated obesity, hyperinsulinemia, and hyperandrogenism.
-Insulin resistance/Type II diabetes. A review published in 2010 concluded that women with PCOS had an elevated prevalence of insulin resistance and type II diabetes, also when controlling for body mass index.
-High blood pressure
-Depression/Depression with Anxiety
-Dyslipidemia - disorders of lipid metabolism — cholesterol and triglycerides. PCOS patients show decreased removal of atherosclerosis-inducing remnants, seemingly independent on insulin resistance/Type II diabetes.
-Cardiovascular disease
-Strokes
-Weight gain
-Miscarriage
-Acanthosis nigricans (patches of darkened skin under the arms, in the groin area, on the back of the neck)
-Hair loss
-Autoimmune thyroiditis

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Why buy the cow, when you get the milk for free?

Have you ever heard of this expression? All the times I've heard it used it's been related to premarital sex, as in: Why get a wife (the cow) when you've already made love (the milk)?
No. I don't think premarital sex is God-honoring or is the right thing to do... but I also believe there comes a time [sometimes!] before the wedding day that you are already married in each other's hearts. I know I could be starting some arguments here, but hear me out... In biblical times did they have to sign a marriage license? Fill out all the paperwork? Wait for the blood tests to come in?
Now, before the preteen in all of us say, "Well, I thought I was in LOVE a thousand times before I met The One" and before the adults in us say, "That's just an excuse for bad behavior", let me clarify. No, just because you think you're in love means you should have sex. No, just because you're engaged doesn't mean it's time to get it on. However, Walter and I (as bias as I am) were different. While I lived out of state as a missionary, he funded everything for months. The day I returned he allowed me to move in with him in his bachelor pad while we immediately started looking for a home. We got engaged the very next day of my return. At this point, we already had joint banking accounts, and didn't make a decision without the other. (Heck, we even had matching tattoos! lol) We were fully and whole-heartedly pledged to one another- otherwise I'm not sure we would have made it to the wedding day! :) Just kidding! But in all seriousness, I knew Walter was the one. I had been in failed engagements before, and I knew this was for the long haul. 'Come What May' - we took from my favorite movie. Meaning, to us, NO MATTER WHAT.
Do I recommend living/sleeping together before marriage? ABSOLUTELY NOT. We went through a lot of trials and hardships I think we could have saved ourselves from otherwise. But would I change it at this point? No. I think God has blessed our marriage and our relationship, while we admittedly acknowledge our sin, and has taken our turmoil and produced a couple that can come to a solution faster than any couple I know (again, bias, but I'm pretty sure of it!).
I know my Lord loves me, because He gave me the perfect daily reminder of His love, by giving me a husband I adore. A husband who can deal with the chaos we're in better than no other. A man who doesn't pour the guilt on when we receive multiple medical bills a day addresses to a woman who doesn't have 'a job'. A man who makes me laugh, even when I feel like only Jesus Himself can pull me out of my darkness.



Thank you Poopy (yes, that is his nickname from me! lol) for enduring your pain AND my pain as if it were your own... and for loving the cow (me, overweight from all the trials), even when I can't give milk (a baby).

For Those of You Who Need the Facts:

Here is the wiki explanation to an ectopic pregnancy.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Counting My Blessings

I have a roof over my head, and it is a home that overall I do adore. My biggest con in this home is having too much clutter... when in the end, doesn't that just show all the extra God has blessed me with that I can bless others with? :)

My husband is the best man I know, other than Jesus Himself. I feel true joy when I see him or am near him. We love spending time together, and have a pretty amazing marriage.

I have good friends. I may not have them in numbers, but I have them in quality... and through my struggles of TTC I am gaining them in numbers AND quality day by day.

I have hobbies that I get excited to do! Scrapbooking, reading, blogging... and I, for the most part, can carve time out to do them whenever I want.

I am part of a church and church family that encourages me and challenges me with EVERY visit. Even the visits to just pick something up, etc. God always sends something/someone to change me.

I have parents, and siblings, and parents-in-law, and siblings-in-law that I do love. The communication may not always be there, but I would do anything for any of them.

My body, while not being 'perfect' in my mind, is strong and healthy. I can always lose the weight I dread, and I can always privately sneer at those stretch marks... but I have arms and legs and insides that are a blessing to my life.

I have unconditional love in my dog, although her barking may drive me crazy, I must admit I do love her. (My bunny, Nooma, too!)

My 'jobs' are not something that forces me to dread the next day. I do laundry, I sell make-up, I care for adorable kiddos, I sell purses, I scrub the dishes... honestly, I love it all! Either serving my husband, having fun with kids by being one myself, or having fun with with girls in Mary Kay or Thirty-One, I am in LOVE with what I do.

I must mention our finances- although it's hard to mention without coming across snotty... We are able to afford what we must, and gift ourselves with most of what we want. We are blessed.

Being able to love where we're serving is also a huge benefit to our lives. Through our church we lead small groups for high school kids, I am able to be a part of our Stage Design team, and we are able to be a host home to a 20Somethings small group that we have made lifetime friendships.

I have a daughter, who I love. A daughter who I was able to give her eternal life before the pain and the hurt of this life could touch her. She is perfect.

My faith will never leave me nor forsake me. My Father is always there- even through my roller coaster of anger and love and hurt and joy... He is there with arms wide open.



There you have it! Thirteen (you know I had to do 13...) blessings that I take for granted daily, and that I am going to make an effort to not do so any longer.
Lord, I know you are taking care of my Gracie better than I could have ever done (though it's hard to admit) and I thank You for doing so. Kiss her on the forehead for me. You know we Wallheimer's do that to show our deepest love.