Monday, September 22, 2014

"Embrace the struggle and let it make you stronger. It won't last forever."

"Embrace the struggle and let it make you stronger. It won't last forever."

Turns out being a new mommy, even a year later, is a pretty busy job. I've probably written around 30 blogs in my head, and a few as drafts but keep leaving things unfinished. Sometimes refreshing my memory on things I want documented rehashes too much pain, therefore requiring a break and then results in me never finishing it. Other times, I am unsure where the blog was going. Did it sound too "whiny"? Is what I'm writing relevant to my readers? Do I care? Should I just write it in a paper journal that I may lose, then pick up another journal and write in that? The main reason I write is for myself, but sometimes it's to share, connect, and provide witness for my continued walk in faith. 

Saying vs. Doing. 
The epic battle continues now.....

Let me close the chapter of our journey to parenthood by explaining how it came to be that we got duh you totally know how, but for those who have struggled/are struggling with fertility, I'd like to tell THAT PART of the story. You know the rest. :) 

In November 2012, I blogged that our fertility doc had found nothing to be "wrong" with either of us. We were healthy, showing good signs of being capable to make a baby, but we just needed some assistance. Clomid clearly did not work for me, but resulted in my body rejecting the meds, so Femara was our next step. I began my first round of Femara in November and got pregnant that first month. 

This was 9 months from when my sister had found out she was pregnant, so while I'm sure the Femara helped, I couldn't help but think God had that perfectly timed out. She got to enjoy her pregnancy and being a new mommy to my precious nephew, and then it was my turn. Even though she's younger than me (15 months), it's been so great to have her to look up to and ask 212,394,943 questions about being a mommy! 

The first trimester was full of cereal eating and major food aversions. I felt like I was peeing every two seconds! I had an awesome student teacher and teammates who were so amazing and helped me so much. 

At 14 weeks I noticed bleeding and totally freaked out. Come to find out I had a low lying placenta, which was putting some strain on me so I was advised to be on modified bed rest. Basically I could continue teaching, but mostly sitting down, no bending over to pick up things, no vacuuming (darn!), no cooking (okay that I really was bummed about), and I needed to be in bed other than the times I was at work. If ya know me....that's not how I teach, live, or what I wanted- BUT anything for my baby! This continued for about six weeks until my placenta had moved out of the "danger zone" and then came enjoying my pregnancy. 

i weigh what?!?

Truth be told, a week before I knew I'd deliver I started having major anxiety breakdowns. I was questioning if I could do the whole motherhood thing, if I'd like it, and if I could manage breast feeding, being nice to people (zombie-zone), and still being a loving wife. My husband rocks, ya'll. He has always, and will always be the sound voice when my anxiety gets the best of me. He reminded me that we are in this together and no matter what , we will be just fine.

Ya know what? We are.

That beautiful little joy who took 13 months of trying, 13 hours of laboring (mostly napping because I had the epidural almost immediately), came on August 13th and fulfilled our lives in ways I had no idea were possible!

So, while things didn't go quite as I would have planned, they turned out just perfectly. I was able to reach out and meet/talk to/connect/advise/counsel others who have struggled with fertility. Many who's stories were much more difficult than mine. Making a struggle that most deal with silently , known was one of the best decisions I could have made. All because I felt like God was placing it on my heart to reach out!

 All along He was preparing my spirit for something so much bigger than I could see. The strength and confidence I gained through this chapter has completely helped me along in this new journey. That's what it's about. Learning how to be strong, finding your faith, praising Him through the storm, and thanking Him for leading you through it.

"It won't last forever."

Cambree's birth story is next....YAYAYAY!!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Our Family of Three - Happy Anniversary Matthew!

It would be ridiculous to not post my unwavering affection for the amazing man that chose me as his wife four short years ago. He is the supporter of our family, not only financially, but emotionally. Anyone who knows me, knows that is not an easy task! I'm so thankful for his reassuring words, tender acts of romance, and for his ability to lead our family with a Christian spirit.

Thank you Matthew for allowing my dreams to come true. Being a mother and wife are truly the best gifts you have given me. Cheers to many more years together! 

Our Family of Three
May 2014

We got married to each other in 2010,
At that point our story was just to begin.
We bought a house, got a dog, and took some trips,
Then a few years later we wanted to have kids.
13 months of trying and having faith until we saw,
The little lines that meant “pregnant”, and knowing it wasn't a flaw.

The lucky number 13 was sure to be our fate.
Cambree came that night in August at 8:28.
Long and skinny, sure to be daddy's little girl,
What a special little gift God placed in our world.

From the moment we saw her it was love at first sight,
And I knew that my mother had always been right.
When you have your own child then you'll know,
How a parent’s love continues to grow.

Unmatched by no other thing I’ve felt,
When she looks into my eyes my heart just melts.
But then to see her with her daddy and how she just beams,
She's got him wrapped around her finger, and tied at the seams.
Seeing them talk and play is surely quite a sight,
She adores her daddy's kisses and snuggles at night.

Cambree is special in each and every way,
As her parents we will raise her to pray and have faith.
She’s got the spunk of a teen and perseverance of a fighter,
With that she's also got family, friends, and physicians beside her.

Cambree has opened up our hearts to a new kind of love.
She's our heart and soul, a true blessing from Him above.
Being a parent isn't easy as most would agree,
We will push through the tough, our family of three.

Lots of laughter and joys, with just a few tears,
Who would have thought how lucky we'd be in four short years?
We've got plenty of great memories to make,
And I try to thank God each morning when I wake.

I know we're unsure what the future might bring,
But with you by my side, we can do anything.
I'm so thankful for you Matt, because you're the love of my life.
I feel so fortunate to stand next to you as your loving, adoring wife!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

"You'll never know how much I love you until you have a child of your own."

Mom - "The Real MVP"

Tracy Lynn Whinery Day. Mom. We've always been close and shared most things with each other. She's not just a mom, but one of my best and most trustworthy sidekicks.

Now, I know most children feel the same way about their mothers as I do. (And rightly so!) We'd all line up to put our mom's in the running for "BEST MOM EVER". We'd also do whatever it took to be sure they won the award. We'd brag about how they were there for all of the most important parts of our life. How they shaped and molded us into the people we are today. We'd love to continuously thank our moms and show them how grateful we are for their selfless acts of love and sacrifices they made for our happiness. And our mother's would say they don't deserve any type of award. It's just part of the territory and they were happy to do it.

Truth - there is not a trophy, title, money, or probably even the right amount of words to thank mom's for their love and support. But - this blog will try to explain just one of the many moments in my life when my mom was "the real MVP" in my life. (Ah thank you - Kevin Durant!)


I'm sure I've thanked you for this but sometimes I sit around and wonder if you truly know how thankful I am to have you and for your strength during the most difficult time in my life thus far. You always said that I'd never know how much you loved me until I became a mom, and on August 13, 2013, I got my opportunity to experience that feeling.

I knew how special it would be for you to witness the birth of your first granddaughter so I asked you to be in the hospital room with me, but the reality is that I needed my mom then too. Little did I know how much Matt and I would need you in the following weeks.

We all know that things didn't quite go as planned when Cambree made her arrival at 8:28 on August 13th. From being taken out of my arms within seconds due to breathing issues, to the doctor mentioning the area on her leg being a potential form of cancer, I'd say overwhelmed is the best describing word that would hit the nail on the head.

When all Matt and I wanted to do was to take in the first few moments and days of being parents, I am so thankful that you were there to do the "other stuff". Not only did you cook, clean, swaddle, bathe, cheer lead, and shed tears with us, but you encouraged us to continue along our path to diagnose our sweet little Cambree Lynn. Doctors and nurses at the hospital kept giving us different opinions on Cambree's leg and while I heard what they were saying, I didn't want to hear it. You were there to really listen. Allowing Matt and I to focus on being so incredibly in love with our daughter.

At the hospital our pediatrician mentioned Cook Children's in Forth Worth as a good source for getting a correct diagnosis, and you knew just what to do. You began calling people who could possibly get us in to Cook's. When OU Children's gave an incorrect diagnosis and showed us frightening pictures, I walked out of the building literally feeling like my heart was ripped in half. On the drive home, I sobbed uncontrollably and while I knew you shared in the sadness, you tried to keep positive. The pain and grief I had for my daughter and her unfortunate case of events, was surely being mirrored in your eyes. You were set on doing anything you could to help me out and come to some sort of conclusion in order to find the path our life would now take.

You came to every single doctor's appointments with us. It didn't matter one bit how small the room was they gave us, we were going to fit 3 adults and a baby in, because neither of us were leaving our children to endure on their own! You prayed, cried, and helped me cope. You were my right hand man when Matt had to go back to Oklahoma for work. A surrogate husband! :)  I remember being at the geneticists office and telling you that I just could not physically or emotionally take it any more. I wanted to leave, go home to Oklahoma, and just be left to be a new mommy. You shared in my tears but held my hand. I know your heart was broken, too.

Thankfully we found a doctor and diagnosis that we can begin to cope with and understand. Each of the tests Cambree has had to endure have been positive and for that we can surely celebrate. Heck, you may know more about KTS than we do! It's so nice to have a person as invested in this as Matt and I are because I'm sure we will need to lean on you for support again.

We've always been especially close, but in this time of my life, I could not have felt more thankful and superbly proud to call you my mom. Cliche as it may sound: You were my eyes when I refused to see, my ears when I could not hear another medical term, and my brain when thinking clearly was not an option. I'm sure the tears will continue to fall, and I'm also sure you're going to be there through thick and thin. For that, I'm so very, very grateful.

I know you were not intending to teach me a lesson on the depths a mother will go for her child, but I want you to know that I soaked it all up. I hope that some day I can provide the same love, patience, and understanding for my children as you have for me.

I love you to the moon and back Mom!


*Note: I do not blame any of the doctors who incorrectly diagnosed Cambree. Klippel Trenaunay Syndrome is incredibly rare. 1 in 100,000 cases world wide. To put that in perspective, there are about 300,000 births in world each day. Obviously doctors do not see this very often and I'm confident they all did the very best they could to give us the greatest care and consideration.

However, I'm confident that had it not been for my mother's steadfastness to keep seeking more answers, we may not have been correctly diagnosed so quickly. Our current doctor confirmed that most of these cases are incorrectly diagnosed until much later in life, and told us that we are ahead of the game in keeping Cambree's health in check.

**Information on KTS from Genetics Home Reference**

What is Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome?

Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome is a condition that affects the development of blood vessels, soft tissues, and bones. The disorder has three characteristic features: a red birthmark called a port-wine stain, abnormal overgrowth of soft tissues and bones, and vein malformations.
Most people with Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome are born with a port-wine stain. This type of birthmark is caused by swelling of small blood vessels near the surface of the skin. Port-wine stains are typically flat and can vary from pale pink to deep maroon in color. In people with Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome, the port-wine stain usually covers part of one limb. The affected area may become lighter or darker with age. Occasionally, port-wine stains develop small red blisters that break open and bleed easily.
Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome is also associated with overgrowth of bones and soft tissues beginning in infancy. Usually this abnormal growth is limited to one limb, most often one leg. However, overgrowth can also affect the arms or, rarely, the trunk. The abnormal growth can cause pain, a feeling of heaviness, and reduced movement in the affected area. If the overgrowth causes one leg to be longer than the other, it can also lead to problems with walking.
Malformations of veins are the third major feature of Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome. These abnormalities include varicose veins, which are swollen and twisted veins near the surface of the skin that often cause pain. Varicose veins usually occur on the sides of the upper legs and calves. Veins deep in the limbs can also be abnormal in people with Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome. Malformations of deep veins increase the risk of a type of clot called a deep vein thrombosis (DVT). If a DVT travels through the bloodstream and lodges in the lungs, it can cause a life-threatening clot known as a pulmonary embolism (PE).
Complications of Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome can include a type of skin infection called cellulitis, swelling caused by a buildup of fluid (lymphedema), and internal bleeding from abnormal blood vessels. Less commonly, this condition is also associated with fusion of certain fingers or toes (syndactyly) or the presence of extra digits (polydactyly).

Friday, May 24, 2013

"But in my distress I cried out to the Lord; Yes, I cried to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; My cry reached His ears." 2 Samuel 22:7

May 20, 2013

A Facebook friend asked me to share my story for her to share with others. While I know she did not mean to write down every single thing that happened that day, I did. I didn't intend to, but how could I shorten a day that felt so long? I may as well post it on my blog in case anyone wanted to know what we went through. There are no stories of me being a hero, doing all of the right things, or acting selflessly. I just tried to keep things together while I could, stay in teacher mode as long as possible and after that I let it go.

The day started out like any other....well, any other in May. We knew there was a chance of bad storms, but we are in Oklahoma so that's not unnatural for this time of year. Matt and I have lived in our house for 4 years and have seen "tail hooks" and storms breaking from our backyard, which opens up to an empty field. Storms have seemed to go over us or break apart before us, so even though we were aware, we just knew to be cautious. Of course being a Texas gal, storms still make me feel unsettled and being six months pregnant doesn't help. I just asked him to be sure to be home if there were bad storms heading our way because I knew I couldn't lift a mattress to put over me in our bathtub. (Deemed the safest part of our house since we never invested in a $$$ storm shelter.)

All during the day students were being checked out. I kept an eye on the weather but at noon it didn't indicate the nearness of a catastrophic storm. We were doing a fun science experiment so when my afternoon class began, the kiddos were so excited to be "playing with water and pennies". That's about the time that more and more of the little darlings were getting checked out. I talked to my coworker and she told me my husband was trying to get ahold of me. So, she watched my remaining students while I called him. He said, it looks like hail and high winds but that is about it. This was close to 3:00. As I'm talking to him, he changes his tune. He says, "Ummm, storms are really picking up and it looks like we are right in the path." Of course, I start internally freaking out because he is always so rational and knowing he was a little concerned scared me.

I asked him to get the dog and come to my school. He said, "There is no time. It's not safe." I told him to be sure to take shelter, since he typically watches the storms. He said he wouldn't put himself in a position that he would be in danger. He promised. We said our " I love you's" and hung up as my principal came down the hall. He said we need to move the students to their safe rooms. That would be my room. So, I tell the students we are going to have another class in our room so we would have to continue our experiment Tuesday.

I had been cleaning out my room so I found this "Would you Rather" game and had the kids sit on the floor in a safe area by me, while my teammate kept an eye on the storm. We played many rounds and the students had no idea what was going on. I swear they kept me calm. There's something about having to be in strong, teacher mode. I had no other choice. My teammate had the live news feed while our administrators kept circulating the halls informing them of what was happening. Our admins asked us to gather our students and move them one more room up so the students would be in a more central location.

Our game stopped as we grabbed our purses and flashlights. We had the students take cover in the next classroom. We kept the lights on, told the kiddos they would be okay, and just asked them to play a game with their neighbor. Some of the 3rd graders in our room were crying as more and more parents were coming and checking out their students. I know they just wanted their parents, and honestly I just wanted my husband.

It came to a point where my assistant principal came to our door and with the widest of eyes said, "Shut the door, duck and cover." Of course the classroom got quiet as our students followed procedures perfectly. We had two other parents in the room with us because it came to a point where they could not safely leave our school without risking their lives. (I'm still a little in the dark at this point on the storm. We tell the students they are okay and doing a great job.)

Then, I heard the live news feed say there was a tornado by Indian Hills and 164th street. My teammate looked at me with tears in her eyes and I said to her in a low voice that my husband was in that area. She said, "I know honey." I couldn't get my thoughts together. I thought he, my dog, and/or our house were gone. I knew it wasn't slowing down. We knew it was headed right for our school.

Again, I told the students they are doing so good. I said, "You will all be okay, I promise." I then stopped to pray that I would be able to keep my promise to these little lives. My teammate was rubbing backs as more students were crying. The power went out. She came and knelt down next to me and we held hands. I prayed out loud over us in an attempt to comfort those around me. I asked God for His mighty strength to divert the tornado and take care of our loved ones who we were separated from. I asked Him to put His arms around our children and to bring them comfort. I told Him I believed that whatever happened, was supposed to happen and that I fully trusted Him. In His name, Amen.

We started to hear the loud sounds of debris hitting our building, then the sound of the wind, and what seemed like helicopters buzzing outside our school. As this was happening, I sat on my knees praying again, out loud. Lord, please let this pass. We trust in You.

Having a belly in front of me, I could not duck and cover in the right position and I didn't want to lay on my side. I figured if something hit me, it would hit my back. I'd rather that than my precious baby. It felt like forever but I'm sure it was not.

When there was enough silence that we felt safe, we opened our doors to see our coworkers and other students breathing sighs of relief. Most of the moments following were a blur. We hugged our children who were crying and told them they were okay. My teammate took some to the restroom in our dark school. Students saw parents, administrators, teachers, their peers. We all needed to see that. We were okay. God answered our prayers and that tornado veered to the left missing our school.

We knew there was going to be major destruction. People started getting calls from loved ones and I took a moment to try and call mine. Last I knew the tornado, which I knew was big, was right by my neighborhood. Of course I couldn't get a call out. When I did, it went straight to his voicemail. I got a call through to my mother, who was trying to be strong but she was hysterical to hear my voice. I told her I couldn't get ahold of Matt and "I couldn't do this" , (, alone. She said she'd try to get ahold of him. I had to help the students that were getting checked out but I could not get ahold of my other half. I went back and forth, taking breaks to get through to my husband.

My coworkers, my family here, were checking in on me. They know. I love, love, love my job but all I wanted to do was get through that storm for those babies and then know my love was okay. I wasn't one of those strong, heroic teachers in that moment. I was an emotional, pregnant wife. I was a mother who needed to know Cambree would meet her daddy. I stepped outside to call again and prayed. God don't let this be our story. Don't let this be how it ends. I know you can make miracles happen and I trust in You. Just let me hear his voice. That's all I need.

I was crying then because I knew I sent my husband home from work that day. Who would've thought it would hit during the day? I thought I put him in danger. As my prayers ended and started back up again, I kept feeling cool breezes brush over me. I know it was God's presence. It started to calm me because I knew He was in control. I finally got a call through to my husband. It may have been 20 seconds but it was enough. I completely lost it hearing him say hello. We made sure we were okay as both of us were crying when the phone went out. He was on his way to my school and immediately turned around to go help at Briarwood. On the north side of our neighborhood, the tornado hit houses, but across the street, it practically destroyed the elementary school and the neighborhoods by it. I love my husband's servants heart. He was able to hug people, help pull animals out from rubble, and just be a presence in the aftermath that destroyed lives and shook our community to the core.

After the stress of not knowing and being anxious, I had some lower cramps and thought I may have put my daughter in danger by letting my emotions take control. Coworkers had me sit and brought me orange juice. I got up after she kicked me letting me know she, too, was okay. Kids were walked down to the cafeteria where they got waters. Parents were frantically arriving to hug their own children. We started hearing what areas were destroyed.

I was given permission to go home and see how my side of town was. I'm so glad I got to head home when I did. It only took me about 45 minutes. (Usually a 10 minute drive.) Others had to wait hours to get to their homes. My friends had checked in with me, everyone was safe. A few of them lost their homes, but we were all accounted for. Driving down the street, I saw minimal damage. There was a large twisted trampoline a few houses down. There was debris of insulation, clothes, paper, pieces of garage doors, tin, etc. everywhere.

Matt wasn't home but I knew he was okay. I had received a text saying he was helping at Briarwood. About 20 minutes later Matt got home to me waiting outside the house. We both embraced for such a long hug as we had tears in our eyes over what had just happened. We went in the house and saw our back fence was down, debris was all over our yard, but nothing major at all. He then told me about how bad things were that he saw when he was across the street. He said so many people needed help. We got into comfortable clothes and headed to the north side of our neighborhood to see where we could help. Unfortunately by then the military had shut it down so we couldn't help in the areas most devastated. We were able to drive a woman close to the high school as she had been trying for over an hour to get to the school.

After taking it all in and realizing we couldn't help much, especially being pregnant, we went home to no electricity, no water, and the bad smell of a gas leak. We knew we had to get out because of the fumes. It took us 4 hours to get to his parents house in Edmond. This usually takes 45 minutes. There was so much destruction that roads were shut down and traffic was terrible. We talked in the car about our experiences. We talked about how we felt so lucky, yet guilty to feel so relieved. How did we both escape the tornado by less than half a mile while others lost so much? We could not explain it and we know it's not for us to understand.

Everyone I knew was okay. A handful lost their homes completely, but we were all accounted for. A true blessing. I saw a Facebook post with the scripture indicated on the shirts I helped to design. It hit home because I know for a fact that many people around the town, state, country were praying as well. And God heard us. My friend mentioned that we should make it into a T-shirt and donate the proceeds. I had a company in mind that I've always liked, and that's how we are going to try to give back. I feel so helpless because I can't lift things, bend over constantly to pick up trash, but I can pray and I can get money together to help out people who truly need it. So with that our shirt was made. I'm hoping friends from Texas and Oklahoma will give to this cause so we can help as many families as possible. 13,000 homes were destroyed. It's the least we can do.

Today I called a few places for a quote on a storm shelter. Matt said in that moment when he saw the tornado, he has never been that scared in his life. We never want to be unprepared. We heard that something like 101 people were pulled out of their storm shelters. 101 lives saved. So, whether we stay in this house a year longer to afford the shelter or not, we are going to get one. I always want to know that my family has a safe place to go. If my family is not home, then my neighbors can use it. It will be worth it if, God forbid, this happens again.

God bless you all. Thank you for lifting us up in prayers.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

"Struggles should be a stepping stone on our path with Jesus, not the anchor that drowns us."

Are you drowning or treading water instead of staying afloat? Read it twice, thrice, four-ice? Whatevs. It's a good quote! 

I have to selfishly admit that when I started to get a response from this blog, I kind of felt like I was drowning or treading water for a few days. The picture in my head was more like me in the middle of a large ocean with people all around me on rafts telling me they were here for me. I was so thankful. I just didn’t know who to go to.

If I could thank each person individually I would but I know whatever words I chose wouldn’t be able to express the gratitude and strength I got from each comment, like, and note. I got messages via Facebook and text that helped me connect with people one on one that I have lost contact with. I’m so eternally grateful for the love and response.

Please don’t get your feelings hurt that I didn’t respond right away. I appreciate you all SO VERY MUCH! I wanted to process the impact and reaction my blog received. I had no idea the overwhelming response of prayers and love I got via Facebook and Blogspot. I felt them I promise.

In four days I had 530 views! Now I’m close to 600 and it has only been two weeks. I know some people have read it multiple times, Lord knows I read it over and over, but I feel confident that I was able to connect with people in amounts that made me feel a bit anxious because I really didn’t hold back. The best, coolest part was that I feel even more so, I’m not alone.

My circle grew by the hundreds. Closer are those who are struggling, have struggled, or are starting their journey to parenthood. Some I had no idea about, some I knew about and just really prayed that I would be able to connect with them. While I want to be strong and honest, I still feel the need to have people to talk to who truly understand the pain and frustration. Just to turn to in those days where I want to just be like “You know what?? This freaking sucks!” and they get it. Those of you hurting, please know you are on my mind, daily. I pray strength. I pray that God brings us together. Some people are still in those stages of grief where seeing or hearing joy from others is like a dagger in their heart. I know that all too well and I think it’s a dangerous place to spend too much time in.

I pray for peace. I pray for peace. I pray for peace.

I’m so thankful to those of you who took a moment to write encouraging words. Some I would have never expected to hear from and those who I did….it is all the same. You made me smile. You made me stronger. You made me feel like the vulnerability that I shared was admirable. I felt proud of me. Lol! It’s kind of weird to type that, but it is how you made me feel. For that I am grateful.

Thank you , thank you, thank you!

The trying times of trying:

A little over a week ago, Matt and I went in for another type of test. This would be the last step in trying to figure out the simple reasons I am not getting pregnant. We went in for our results and were greeted with more good news and congratulations from our doctor. We are super healthy. Everything is …. strong and present. I left feeling so happy and hopeful, but I know I have to keep those feelings of joy in check in order to protect myself if this month I’m not pregnant.

So basically I’m waiting on the storm to come. It won’t be a bad storm though because I’m ready. I’ll stay afloat, because I’ve got you. I’ve got my friends, my family, and I’ve got God. This next month I’ll start taking a different fertility/breast cancer med called Femara. I’ll have more frequent ultrasounds that will hopefully provide helpful information for my doctor to diagnose what the situation is. Part of me wants a diagnosis just so I can be like, “Oh okay that’s what is going on. Now how do we fix it?” Another part of me is okay without a diagnosis because I think it keeps me looking forward and coming to terms with this being in God’s hands. I get my own peace from that thought.

The doctor I’m seeing is amazing. His name is Dr. Reshef and he is very popular in our area. I really wish he delivered babies but he devotes his life to getting women pregnant.

I turned 29 last week and I always have said I’d like to have a baby by 30. So with fingers crossed, hands clasped, and head bowed I pray that God can and God will.

BUT even if he doesn’t……I STILL BELIEVE!!!!

And, my friends, so should you!

Smoochie Booches!

Friday, October 19, 2012

I believe God can. I believe God will. And even if He doesn't, I still believe.

Please note: The intention of the blog is not be a "Woe is me, my life is tough, please tell me things are going to be alright" type of blog. It is coming from a place that is pure and honest. I know that it will help me continue to heal and have hope.

"Hi. My name is Ashley and I want nothing more than to be a mother to a healthy child."

The crowd responds: "Hello Ashley."

Although I am fully aware this is not an AA meeting or anything of the sort, I feel like I need to introduce myself to this new communication outlet. I think the best way is to start by admitting the number one desire of my heart and the reason I'm putting my fingers to work on this blog. As my heart races and my fingers shake, I know this weight I've been carrying around is best shared with the hope that I'll be able to help, counsel, heal, learn, and connect with others who have the same added weight.

Let's get a few things out in the open:

1. I am a Christian. I believe in God and His awesome ability to change my perspective and heal me through interactions with others, while still being present in those intimate moments of prayer. I'm a firm believer that Craig from Life Church delivers specific sermons during the most trying of times because of how awesome and loving our God is. Note: The title of my entry is from Craig and is now a mantra in my life.

2. I've got a ridiculously awesome life. I have the MOST amazing husband who is truly my rock, my strong foundation when I feel like my world is crumbling. Yes, it happens about once a month where I'm all Mopey McMoperson. (All the emotional women in the world raise your hand.)

3. I have a 72 pound, 2 year old, cuddly, golden retriever named Sierra who is spoiled and bossy, yet I wouldn't change a thing about her.

4. My family is beautiful, supportive, encouraging, accepting, loving...the list goes on and on.

5. Friends. Let's smoosh them in with my family. Anyone who knows me as a friend knows I love big and hard. It's not always the easiest to be close to me because I'm such an open book, and I use my friends as free counselors at times. I'm grateful for the friends who help protect my heart.

6. Teaching. I get to impact lives of children EVERY SINGLE DAY. (Well during the work week!) There is not a bone in my body that doesn't think that is probably one of the coolest things ever. I have high expectations for my "babies" to be successful, but I keep high standards for myself too. I'm not a great teacher, but I try hard. I don't do the coolest lessons, say all the right things, always react perfectly, or teach everything so well that my students will all get straight As. But I care a ton about my students and I take my job very seriously.

7. I'm so super proud of the place I work. The community that my bosses and coworkers have established is such a close knit group of people who seriously care about the well being of each other.

8. I'm honest and open to a fault.

The trying times of ... well....trying.

December of 2010 I was at Franchesca's shopping with Matt for an outfit to wear to my school Christmas party. Matt tells me then and there that he has been thinking about having a baby and wants to start trying that next September. OMGEEEE I got so excited. I want a big family and was just waiting for Matt to get to the point where little Ashley and Matt's running around the house sounded good to him.

We knew we didn't want to start trying right away so we put September 2011 as a date to get preggers. We listed baby names, talked about parenthood, planned some vacations to do before our family grew, went car shopping, discussed potential moving plans, spent time sleeping in, enjoyed being playful and silly..... and we dreamed....

October 2011 was the first month we made an effort to get pregnant. I seriously thought getting pregnant would be easy. After a few months with no results, I bought some ovulation kits to pee on every day. Romantic right? Those things didn't help. All they did was make me start obsessing about getting pregnant. With obsession came depression and questioning "why me?". I started to worry. I kept things inside. Times may have been tough internally but I kept a happy face, for the most part.

6 months in I got serious about finding out what we were doing wrong. Matt and I saw my regular OBGYN. She assured me I was fine but we would start running some tests to be sure there wasn't a problem. We started opening up to close friends and family about how surprised we were that it hadn't clicked yet. Everyone had an opinion. Try this, do that, just relax. We tried it, did that, relaxed.... nada.

Multiple tests later and lots of positive thoughts, everything came back normal. Each time we had a test, I expected to hear a result that would be an explanation for why we hadn't got pregnant yet. With an explanation would come a solution, right? Feelings of relief when the doctors told us everything checked out okay was the first flood of emotion, followed by anger. Yikes. Not good.

While Matt was encouraging me and helping me focus on how lucky we are to have the love we have, I didn't realize the spiritual war that was happening inside myself. Maybe I did realize it but I didn't want to go to battle. I started to shut out God, thinking "I've got this. I'll be in control of this. I say when." I still prayed about other things, just not the whole baby situation. It was mine.

June of 2012 I opened up to a good friend about how mad I was at God and how "I didn't even care". Talk about breaking His heart. Talking about it made me feel better so I mentioned it to Matt. It hurt him to hear that. Talk about breaking HIS heart. Two of the most important things in my life, were hurt by my negativity. Matt asked me to try and change my perspective. Man I love him so much. I told him I'd try....

That next weekend we went to a sermon that made an impact on my life. It was about putting things in a "God Box". Craig was talking straight to me. In a packed room via a television screen, He was trying to get me to wake up and prepare for battle. Much of my heart had been taken over with frustration, anger, resentment towards the happiness in others lives, and I didn't even care. Now Matt and God wanted me to change. WAKE UP ASHLEY!

I changed my perspective. I gave it to God. I let Him take it from me. I connected with people who struggled with infertility.

It's taken some time, some tears, some ups, some downs. I feel like I've been through the 5 stages of grief. I had to accept the problem and realize the problem didn't define me. I'm not ashamed. I'm not embarrased. Not anymore. Satan will not have that opportunity to get at me like that again.

Reading blogs from people who have been through infertility taught me that people often battle this alone. In silence. I don't feel like that is my story. I don't want it to be. It shouldn't be a silent group of people. We didn't do anything wrong! I would have NEVER chosen this path for myself. But, none-the-less it is. So I'm working on embracing it. I'm going to learn all I can so I can continue to heal and hopefully help someone some day.

I'm my own advocate. We recently saw a fertility specialist after a few rounds of Clomid proved ineffective. He is amazing and he gave me hope. I'm sure the road we are on will still have some twists and turns, but I have HOPE. I plan on using this as a source to document our journey to parenthood.

If you would have told me a year ago that I was in for a huge change, I would have told you "Duh, I'm going to have a baby in a year." No. But still my life has been changed. It's not all roses and puppies. There are bad days and good days. Who doesn't have those?

I've accepted that this OUR journey. And you know what???? I'm not alone. Not in the slightest.