Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Our Blessing!

Sorry for the long delay in posts, it's been a long 13 weeks but we are ready to share the good news!

God has blessed us with a third pregnancy! And this time we have made it to 13 weeks (tomorrow) and counting! So far everything has been going well but I should probably rewind on how we got here.

13 weeks ago our doctor finally gave us the "go" to try again and we started up on another round on clomid. Two weeks into my cycle I had an ultrasound that confirmed one good follicle and we were sent on our way.

The waiting period in-between is so hard, and I ended up taking a test a few days early...

Is that a faint line I see? We weren't sure so we waited a few more days and I took another...

Here we go again!!  We were so excited! But when we called our OB to share the news and find out our next step, he pretty much just said we would continue to do exactly what we had been doing before. This made our hearts sink. We really felt last time around that something had to change or this pregnancy would end up unsuccessful just like the others. 

But we knew we had to give it up to God. He was in control, and we were aware of that more than ever. We prayed for Him to give our doctors and us the wisdom to make the best decisions for our baby during this pregnancy. We shared our news with our closest family and friends and asked them to pray for us too.

That weekend we attend a birthday party for our niece and nephew. My sister-in-law and brother-in-law are involved in a small group through their church and many of their group families were in attendance as well. One of the mothers in the group shared with us why she choose to leave an adult ICU as a nurse and work in the OR of a women's hospital, in which she encountered many couples who had to undergo procedures from a loss of their baby. She felt drawn to these families through her and her husbands own and experience with infertility. She knew of our story because my sister-in-law had asked for prayers for us, so I wasn't surprised at her opening up to me. Then she went on to share with us a doctor with whom she worked with that she thought maybe would benefit us. 

So the following Monday I called them up... "Hi. I'm 4 weeks pregnant and I'd like to see the doctor." The receptionist was stumped, "Um, we help people get pregnant." I took a deep breath, and shared my story. She collected a handful of details about my history and said she would share them with the doctor and call me back to see if she could help. An hour later she called to tell me I had an appointment in a few days! Whew! 

A few days later I met with the reproductive endocrinologist and she took a detailed history and let me know what she thought would be a good plan for our pregnancy. I loved how proactive she was and how determined she was to make this pregnancy work! She also said she would be willing to call my OB and let them know she was taking over for the first trimester, which was a huge relief to me as I was nervous going behind their back. I left the meeting ecstatic and called Marcus to let him know how much I loved this doctor since he couldn't make it to the meeting. 

We truly felt like God had organized everything to lead us up to meeting with this doctor!

That week I had a bunch of lab work done and was started on synthroid and IM progesterone. Let me tell you, daily IM injections in my bottom were very unpleasant but we were willing to do anything for this baby!

We also did some genetic testing, in which Marcus and I were both carriers for some diseases, but not of the same, which was very reassuring!

We had our first ultrasound at 6 weeks when we got to see our little peanut for the first time! I was even a day further along than we had originally thought! Though we didn't get to hear it, we got to see the little flicker of a heartbeat that reassured us everything was okay.

The morning sickness didn't take long to set in and hit me in full force around 5 1/2 weeks. It's a good thing the doctor advised me against working out more than very light activity during the first trimester because I was so tired and nauseous I could barely get off the couch, let alone get through a workout! Even 12-hr overnight shifts were rough. I also couldn't eat any of the foods I normally love (fruits and peanut butter being my most missed foods!). But I knew it was all going to be worth it!

The housework wasn't getting done as quickly either and my husband was even alarmed at how calm I was about it. This was not at all like my type-A personality. But Marcus was so amazing about picking up the things I was having trouble getting done so that I could rest. He took good care of me!

This pregnancy was different from the others in so many ways. We completely trusted in God and His plan for us. Sure, there was still fear that it could end just like all the others, but we felt oddly calm at the same time.

Our next appointment was at 8 weeks and we got to hear the heartbeat for the first time!! At a strong 167, Marcus and I finally let out the deep breath we were holding and squeezed each others hands. It was the most amazing sound we could ever hear!

We felt so blessed that things were going well! At 10 weeks, we had our last appointment with the reproductive endocrinologist and got to hear the heartbeat for a second time. They also shared some more wonderful news with us- no more IM progesterone shots! Now that we were nearing the end of the first trimester, we set up a meeting with our OB. 

We were nervous as first he would not be happy with us for leaving, but he was so great at reassuring us and let us know his plan for our pregnancy. We had another ultrasound at 10 weeks 5 days and we saw our little peanut moving!! It was so incredible to see!

Our last appointment with our OB was at 12 weeks and 5 days, and we heard the heartbeat again at 152. 

We are so grateful how God has blessed us! Throughout this journey we had some days when it was hard to even believe in a future with a baby. I doubted whether I would ever have a successful pregnancy. The waiting periods were long and full of anxiety and fear, but now it almost feels unreal. 

Announcing our pregnancy has been something we have been cautious about, because we are still fearful. And though we know anything could happen, we do know that no matter what, God will help us to get through it, just as He has thus far. And it wasn't going to be easy hiding it much longer, my belly popped pretty early with this pregnancy!

Thank you to everyone for your love and support throughout our journey! We could never had made it through on two feet without our friends and family by our side and the prayers we received!

For those of you who are still struggling with infertility, I know this can be hard to read. My intentions sharing our joy is to simply share our journey thus far. My prayer for you is that you would hold onto the hope that God has perfect timing and a plan for your future.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

It's Not Your Fault

Recently someone brought my personal experiences into my professional life and implied something that has since been bothering me. Here are my thoughts on whether or not his journey has been "my fault"... 

Whenever someone finds out about our journey, their first response is usually wanting to offer advice to us. 

Their intentions are true and we know they are only trying to help, but one comment in particular cuts pretty deep.

One of the most common pieces of advice we receive is to “not stress” or to just “let it happen”. 

This comment makes my heart sink. 

Yes, this journey is anything but stress-free. We’ve experienced the excitement of a pregnancy without the stress of anticipating a miscarriage and we have taken time off of “trying” to let it happen. 

But infertility is a health condition that we have no control over. Only God knows the plans for growing our family and how everything will work out. 

So as much as we would love it to be as easy as “just letting it happen”, it isn’t so simple. And when someone advises us to try not to stress- it hurts knowing they think I am doing something wrong. That I am causing this inability of us to carry a child. 

Of course every woman fears that they could be doing something wrong. Did I workout too hard? Did I eat something wrong? Did I not rest enough? This list goes on and on! But this is never the case, and neither I nor my husband feel that I did something wrong to cause my miscarriages.

For those of you who struggle with infertility- understand that it isn’t your fault. That there is nothing you are doing wrong. Place your trust in God’s hands, as He already knows the plans He has for you.

And for those who are just trying to help, please know that this journey we are on is experienced much deeper than we let show. Simply offering your comfort and prayers is all we could ask for.


Sunday, September 14, 2014


Sorry for the delay in posts… school has started and has me spending most of my free time with my nose in the books!

Last year in Europe- an experience of a lifetime!

Lately I have been reading in the book of Proverbs and wisdom is a topic that is written about often. If you would have asked me years ago if I thought I was wise, I probably would have said, “Sure, I have been through some experiences in which I have grown and learned from”. 

But looking back over the past couple years, I am amazed how much my wisdom has grown through my relationship with Him. 

I have come to know how important it is to have Him by my side and how much I need Him.
I have had to learn pain and loss and fear and how to overcome them all so that I don’t stumble into a deep dark pit.
I have had to give up control and learn that God has the wheel.
That no matter what, He can get me through it, because His plan is what is best for me.
Wisdom comes from trusting in Him when the future is foggy.
Wisdom means enduring hard blows only to remain standing on two feet.

It is so easy to just let the difficult times get the best of you. To just give into your weariness and throw your hands up in the air. To refuse to get out of bed and dwell on the bad instead of focusing on the good.

But I have learned that this way of life is dark and painful and will not get you anywhere. Well, it may get you deeper and deeper into a pit. And when you are there, you can’t experience joy or happiness.

I have stumbled often and I still have days when I feel weary on this journey, but even when I fall, I know that I just have to look up to the Lord and He will help me get back up onto my feet.

Father, I am so grateful for the wisdom you have taught me over the past couple years. I know it makes me a stronger person and has helped me to see the light despite the darkness. I pray that you would continue to give me the strength and wisdom to do what is right on this journey.


Friday, August 8, 2014


Marcus and I have always talked about our interest in adopting. We always dreamed of having a few kids of our own and then adopting. 

But lately, our eyes have been opened up to the possibility of a whole new path. 

Granted we are still early in the journey of fertility challenges, the fear that we may never be able to have children of our own still lingers in the back of our minds.

We support adoption completely. But we also want to experience all the joys of creating a child together. 

Of watching our baby grow in my belly.
Of experiencing birth and the joy of holding our child for the first time.
Of looking at our child and seeing ourselves.

As scary as it might be, we are starting to picture a path that may only involve adoption. We don’t know what God’s plan for us may be, but we want to move forward without fear and with complete trust in Him.

We would be blessed to have the opportunity to adopt. To watch our child grow and raise them to know His love is truly most important to us.

Not knowing what the future holds can be very scary. Here is the prayer that hit home the most for us right now. If you are feeling anxious or fearful about any major decision in your life, this prayer is for you too.

Dear Lord,
I am so grateful You are bigger than my fears. You are bigger than the anxious feelings that won’t seem to subside. You are with me (Isaiah 41:10). You are all-knowing and all-powerful. Because I know all of this to be true, I will trust You and Your perfect plan. I make the choice right now to reject the paralyzing feeling of fear so I can walk confidently in the trust of Your assurance. Calm my thoughts, Father, and give me Your peace in this moment.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Experiencing Joy and Sorrow with Others

Last week we were able to enjoy a relaxing week on the beach with family and friends to celebrate my brother, Jarod, and his now wife Anna’s wedding. I am always overcome with joy when I get to see two people who are so perfect for each other pledge their love for one another. 

Here are some of my favorites of the happy couple…

Because weddings are such a happy moment in life, much like having a baby, I can’t help but think about those who are hurting. Those who want so desperately to meet their soul mate but are still feeling so alone. They are happy for their friends who are getting married, but still feel envious at the love they long to have. They feel the clock ticking by slowly and are constantly reminded on social media sites what they don’t have. 

And then those who have found their true love feel terrible for being happily married while many of their friends are still waiting somewhat impatiently for their happy moment to arrive. 

Sigh. I just can’t seem to wrap my head around why on earth some of the happiest moments in life have to be so hurtful for others. 

Sorrow is such a personal experience. You try desperately to put on a happy face and maintain composure when you are really breaking inside. Your friends and family may use all their effort to comfort you, but complete human empathy just isn’t fully possible. They cannot get inside our skin and experience what we are truly feeling. 

And their ability to comfort can wear overtime as well. As much as they love you and are willing to do everything humanly possible to comfort you, it helps, but it will never be enough. 

Joy is much like sorrow in a way. Joy may only be truly felt in isolation or with those who are directly experiencing the same thing. There will always be those who just cannot experience this joy with us. 

“The heart knows its own bitterness, and no stranger shares its joy”
Proverbs 14:10

There is only one who can fully experience life with us and that is God. Only God can provide us with real empathy. He experiences our highs and our lows to the same degree that we feel them. 

But how do we overcome the barrier so that no one has to feel as though they are walking on glass? 

I have to say that over the past year I have experienced many days where I felt numb after hearing another pregnancy announcement or sadness whenever I see a woman’s pregnant belly. I remember one day waiting for Marcus to get off work sitting in the hallway at the entrance to our hospital and noticing that about every other woman was pregnant! I’m pretty sure my prayer went something like this, “God, are you serious right now? I am so weak right now that all I can do is laugh. Please make the next 10 people to walk by me be males”. 

It has been a struggle for Marcus and I to figure out how to have true happiness for those around us who are pregnant or have been blessed with children. The grieving process has been long and hard and leaves us feeling weak and exposed. Of course many of our friends are in the stage of life where they are starting a family and it has sometimes left us feeling envious or bitter when we too want to be where they are.

But we want our friends to experience the joy they deserve. After all, if we were blessed with a child, we would also want to post pictures on Facebook of our little bundle of joy. We don’t want our sorrows to effect another’s happiness. We love our friends dearly and want to rejoice with them when God decides it is their time to be blessed with a baby, without so much sadness. 

It took me a while, but I finally realized that the only way I would feel true happiness for those around me, was to ask God for it. My prayers were always focused on asking God to relieve me from so much envy, jealousy, and bitterness…. but what was I doing to overcome these sinful feelings? I was dwelling in my own sorrow. I began to ask God to feel true happiness in the blessings of others and I honestly feel like He is answering my prayers. I don’t want to be excluded from some of the most important moments of my friend’s lives because they are experiencing joy and I may be experiencing difficulties. 

Can I say that I don’t ever feel a moment of sadness when I hear another pregnancy announcement? No. And I don't know if my heart will ever heal completely. But looking at where my feelings were a year ago to where they are now, I can see that God has done tremendous work in my heart and helped me to rejoice with true happiness. 

And though I know joy can leave us wanting to burst out with excitement, not everyone is capable of experiencing that joy right beside us. We have to be conscious of the feelings of those around us, taking special care to those who are in times of sorrow. Knowing that God is rejoicing with you is comforting enough. 

So whether you are single and waiting to find your true love, longing for a little blessing of your own, or waiting to land your dream job-  no matter if you are experiencing great joys or deep sorrows, know that you are not alone, and that God is with you every step of the way. 

Open your heart to Him and ask Him to let real happiness overflow within you. 

“If you want to make God laugh, tell Him about your plans”
-Woody Allen


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

3 Years!

Today marks 3 years with my wonderful husband! I am truly grateful to God for the man He has placed by my side. I couldn’t imagine this journey without his unconditional love and support.

Yet, the last three years have been anything but easy. We have faced opposite schedules more times that we would like. We have had to learn what it really means to be married. We have faced obstacles we never thought would become a part of our story. And we are not where we thought we would be after 3 years.

We are even stronger.

Our marriage has become much stronger from the journey God has placed us on. The Lord has taught us to depend fully on Him and each other. We have learned to be selfless and to put one another first. We have grown in our faith and pushed each other to strive to be better spouses. We have hit our breaking points and been there to catch each other’s fall.

But most of all our love for each other has grown deeper than I ever imagined possible. I can’t picture my life without my husband by my side.

Here’s to many more years of growing our love, our relationship with Him, and hopefully our family.


Friday, June 20, 2014

Serving the Best Way I Know How

Lately I have been spending many of my nights working in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit because of their exploding business, unfortunately. And it is here I find myself thinking often about the parents at the bedside. As a pediatric nurse I always strive to provide care to the whole family, but don’t always have this opportunity when there is no parent at the bedside.

I know many of you think, “how could a parent leave the bedside of their own chid?!” But let me tell you it happens more than you would think. I see it often as parents of children with life threatening illnesses choose not to be there. I like to think this is their coping mechanism. That the pain is less if they don’t have to see their child suffer. Or that they just detach themselves from someone they are afraid to lose. 

Either way, I still have no idea what these parents are experiencing so I try to stop and put myself in their shoes. A good friend of mine has a child with HLHS who has been hospitalized a few times and I appreciate hearing her opinions as well as stories of her experiences just so I can try to understand the other side. 

Meeting Baby Josiah in the hospital after being born at 32 weeks

I may not completely understand it, but this I do know: when a parent sees their child sitting there on a ventilator, when their child seems to face one obstacle after another, or when alarms let them know that their child is not maintaining, my heart just breaks for these parents. 

They sacrifice time with other children they must leave at home to focus on their baby who needs them most. 
They leave jobs they can’t maintain because they feel drawn to the bedside. 
Marriages suffer as there is no time to nourish them.
They face diagnosis after diagnosis with no idea what is in store for them next.
Their emotions run high and they get little to no sleep. 
They overcome one battle just to face another.
They go crazy just sitting there feeling helpless with no way to control the situation.

And I just have to watch as parents sit there scared and holding each other’s hands tight. I try to do everything possible to make it easier for them, to reassure their hearts. But the true control is in God’s hands. Only He knows what His plan is and when He will call these precious babies home. Only He can provide them with the comfort they need.

Baby Josiah and Mommy

We often pray for the patients, but the families need our prayers just as much, no matter how they choose to cope. Both the family who is there and those that are not. 

Though it may be hard at times, I feel blessed that God gave me to opportunity to serve my patients and their families. My job allows me to serve the population I love most in the way I know best. Nursing can be so stressful, both emotionally and physically, but God gives me moments like this to understand my purpose and the difference that I can make in one life.