Tuesday, December 22, 2009

New Meaning

There is something significantly different about Christmas this year that gives the birth of Jesus entirely new meaning to me. As I think about the impending birth of my own little boy, and the relationship that I'll have with him, I have brand new perspective of what God the Father went through from the human birth of his own Son to the day they rejoined in heaven.

He may have been God, but when Jesus came into humanity, he was tiny and helpless, innocent and pure. After laboring in a cold, unsterile stable, Mary gave birth to a baby boy - no pain medication, no midwife, no bed to rest in afterward. He may have been God but he was still her son, who she loved more than words could say. As she marveled over him, she couldn't have known what lay ahead for his life on earth. But God did.

God's capacity for love is infinitely greater than mine, which means that he loves his Son much more than I could possibly love my own. I imagine that as God watched Mary kneel by her son, blissfully unaware of the events to come in 33 years, his mind wandered to what he already knew would happen.

He knew that Jesus would be physically brutalized and tortured. 33 years later, he would be forced to turn his back as his innocent Son bore every sin the world has ever committed, temporarily separated from him in the the worst way possible. The thought of anything, anyone, harming my baby boy brings tears to my eyes and panic to my heart. God is not immune to pain and heartache. If mere humans can cause him grief, how much more must the suffering of his own Son?

The first Christmas, the angels rejoiced and brought messages to men near and far to come and see the Savior, born as a baby, arrived to save humanity. What a bittersweet night it must have been for the Father; joy at what his Son was to accomplish, unyielding burden at what he'd have to endure first.

I am so much like Mary. When my son arrives, I imagine I'll be marveling for hours over his sweet little form, oblivious to what events may come in his life. I don't know who or what will hurt him, what tragedies will fall, in what ways he will be stretched and grown and tested. God will know, and maybe he'll be thinking about them at the same time he's admiring his handywork.

Lord, I don't know how You were able to bear the weight of what happened to Your Son. If I'm truly honest then I'll admit that I don't want to know. Regardless, I have renewed gratitude for the both of You. I believe it will only grow, as I grow into motherhood.

You came like a winter snow
Quiet and soft and slow
Falling from the sky in the night
To the earth below

Monday, November 9, 2009

Slow and steady...

...grows the belly:

Photobucket
21 weeks

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Our Little BOY!

We went in for our 20 week ultrasound on Thursday and found out we're having a boy! I was so sure it was a girl that I was shocked at first, but I'm really thrilled to meet my little man in March. He's currently 10 inches long and weighs 14 oz, measuring just a day ahead of where we are. We got a close look at his head and organs, arms, hands, legs and little feet. At one point he was holding his arm up and opening and closing his hand, like he was waving. I was more excited about finding out than Jonathan, who would have been fine waiting until birth to know what we have. He's surprised both of us with his enthusiasm and excitement about knowing that we're not just having a baby, we're having a son.

We got lots of pictures from the ultrasound, and this profile shot is my favorite:


This one isn't as clear, but you can see his little lips puckered under his nose:


His legs were stretched out toward the end, and even though you can't see it on this picture, I could tell that he has his daddy's feet instead of mine:


He's looking right out at the doppler here. Look closely next to his head and you can see his hands up by his face (he actually looks much more human than this, but the ultrasound doesn't show eyelids or hair or anything, just the eye sockets):

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Me-1, H1N1-0

Last Thursday I went in and got my thimerosal-free H1N1 vaccine. (Note: The vaccine takes 10 days to be fully effective.) I thought I was in the clear, until I woke up on Monday with a cough. You know, the chest-rattling, aching kind. By 5pm that evening I had a fever of 100.1, plus a headache, sore throat and the aches, so Jonathan took me to a clinic to be checked out. The doctor there said I did in fact have the flu, and based on the fact that I had my seasonal flu shot 4 weeks prior and the in-office test showed up negative for that strain, it was almost certainly H1N1.

For the last four weeks, I've been anxiously awaiting November 5th. That's the day of our 20 week checkup, and more importantly, our ultrasound where we'll get a good look at the baby and see if we're having a boy or a girl. Needless to say, I was not pleased with the timing of this flu.

I called my ob-gyn to let them know I had the flu and would need to reschedule. She told me that as long as I am without a fever for 24 hours prior to the appointment, we can still go. Talk about motivation to get better! In addition to the tamiflu prescribed by the clinic, I started popping tylenol and drinking so much fluids I can't believe I haven't drowned by now.

Well, as of yesterday evening, I have a very sore throat, runny nose and a headache, but no fever! That means we're still on for our appointment for tomorrow. This flu can kiss my pregnant behind!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Who Do You Love More?

I've already begun to love my baby. Especially since I can feel its movements, I've started bonding with him/her. I can hardly imagine how much more intense that will be when he/she is born. While thinking about that, I was hit hard by this idea:

I have to love Jesus more than I love my child.

It's not even born, and already I'm struggling with getting this priority straight. It's hard enough to try and love Him more than Jonathan, and now I've got this little tiny being, that already has me wrapped around its unborn fingers, that I have to give to Him as well. It's not like He doesn't deserve it, like I don't understand why I should love Him more. But my goodness, this is my own flesh and blood. How on earth will I manage to keep this needy, helpless, beautiful little creature in second place?

God not only asked Abraham to love Him more, He asked him to prove it by slaughtering his son as a sacrificial offering. Abraham loved God so much that he obeyed, to the point where he held a knife above his son's chest, and he would have plunged it in had God not intervened. His only son, whom he and his wife Sarah had waited decades for. That is the kind of love that God both requires and deserves of me. Who am I to keep it from Him?

He knows my limitations, my struggles, my shortfalls. And if I ask Him, He can teach me how to love Him more. So now I pray this difficult prayer: "God, thank You for giving me this incredible blessing to love, but help me to love You more." And I try my hardest to mean it.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Little Movement, Big Impact

18 weeks and 6 days, and still not feeling any movement. Listening to the heartbeat had become part of my nightly bedtime routine, and the reassuring 150bpm pulses let me know that the baby is healthy and thriving. Still, I wanted to feel those flutters, those little physical reminders that "I'm in here!"

19 weeks to the day, laying on my back in bed, waiting to go to sleep, hands resting on my stomach. Something rolls up against my right hand. Is that what I think it is? Could just be an air bubble... then another one. A foot, kicking out, gentle yet firm enough to push my hand up. A few moments later, and a third nudge. Then a softer one lower on my abdomen. An arm. My baby's arm, giving me a little poke.

19 weeks and 1 day. Now that I know what it feels like, I feel it all day long. A few firm kicks, and some softer nudges, all unmistakeably the baby. Distracting and tickling me during church, increasing after I've eaten, slowing down as I'm ready to sleep again.

Jonathan has been able to feel a few taps. In time it will be easier to feel them outside my stomach. For the time being, even though I love to share these things with my husband, I enjoy the private moments, just my baby and I. Even as I sit here, I feel intermittent pokes from (what I think are) the baby's arms. Arms that in 21 weeks I will hold and kiss and love more than I can imagine is possible.

In a week and a half, I'll know if those kicks and jabs are coming from my son or my daughter!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

4 Months Down

Last Saturday, the 3rd, marked the beginning of my fourth month. 16 weeks down, 24 to go. So far the second trimester hasn't been much different than the first, but once we learned the key to controlling the morning sickness, the first wasn't really that bad. We have our next monthly appointment this Thursday, and a month after that we find out what we're having. The closer it gets the more excited I am. I can't wait to start on the nursery, buy some cute outfits, pick out names, etc. I truly don't care whether it's a boy or a girl. There are so many different good things that come with each!

I've wondered when I would really start to feel like a parent; whether it would be while I'm still carrying the baby, or when it's born, or maybe a while after that. Then, a week or two ago, I had my first taste of what it feels like to be a mother. I've mentioned in a previous post the story of Audrey Caroline. (READ IT! Read it now! It's a heartbreaking story, but inspiring too.) She was the daughter of Todd and Angie Smith. Todd is one of the singers in Selah. I was up late one night reading the story again. I cried plenty the first time I read it; add the pregnancy hormones this second time, and a blubbering mess ensues. At one point I felt a staggeringly strong need to protect my own unborn child. Over and over, I prayed, "God, protect my baby. God, protect my baby." I won't fully understand what it means to be a mother until this little one comes into the world, but for the time being, I think I have an idea.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Growing

It's been over two weeks since we've moved into the house, and it feels more like home all the time. We still have some boxes scattered around and probably will for a while. Some things will have to wait to be unpacked until we have all of our furniture. In the meantime, Jonathan is enjoying having his long-awaited subwoofer and watching movies with the volume cranked; Tigerlily is enjoying running around all the extra space we have now; and I'm enjoying sitting on the couch and taking naps. :) In a couple weeks we'll have the baby grand up here, which I cannot wait for! As soon as we find a sofa we like for the family room, we'll move the current furniture up to the living room where the piano will be, and then the wall hangings, pictures, etc. can come out of the boxes they're living in right now.

We had our monthly appointment last week and everything is looking good. The baby's heartrate is about 158/160. Our OB's assistant had a hard time finding it at first. Turns out the baby is sitting very low. I'm 13 weeks now, less than a week away from the official beginning of the second trimester! The morning sickness is slowly starting to ease, but it's not gone yet. We'll see what happens next week. Maybe I'll be one of the lucky ones who wakes up the day I turn 14 weeks and I'll be magically feeling 100%.

We had a brief spell of warm weather last weekend, but for the most part, the season has unofficially turned to fall. Those of you who know me well will not believe what I'm about to say... I'm looking forward to fall! ::gasp:: I know, I know, I'm a Florida girl at heart and love the hot weather. However, with my temperature running higher all the time, the cooler weather has felt pretty good. Besides, there are some things about fall that even summer lovers can appreciate: changing leaves; crisp air; seasonal colors (that happen to be my favorite colors); the reintroduction of pumpkin spice lattes and apple cider. I wish fall didn't equate to more rain, but now as a homeowner with a lawn to be watered, I can even appreciate that more. (Marginally.)

Many have asked me to see what my little baby bump looks like. It's not much of a bump, but it's something:

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Big Day

It's 10:30pm. Moving is hard. I am TIRED.

Monday, August 24, 2009

So Much To Do

I LOVE lists. Lists keep my life sane. (Especially now. It seems "pregnancy brain" is setting in rather early.)

Here's a list of what we've been doing:

1. We closed on our house on August 19th and began the moving process.
2. We went camping with a big group of friends and had a fantastic time. Already looking forward to next year!
3. I've been sans morning sickness for over a week now, thanks to a prescription that my ob gave me. I still have lots of fatigue, but that's much easier to deal with than/without nausea.
4. Jonathan has been doing most of the packing thus far, and I've been attempting to keep the condo clean. It's really hard to stay on top of when I'm so tired. I suppose it's good practice for when I'll have an entire house to clean, plus a newborn to care for.
5. Our 9 week checkup was on the 14th. We heard our baby's heartbeat; highly unusual until at least 10 weeks. We sure felt special! Our baby is nice and strong, growing so fast. Our next ultrasound won't be until we find out the gender. They'll have us bring a burnable DVD to record it. So cool!! I'll post it on here when the time comes.
6. I started volunteering at the hopsital again. It's nice to be back into my routine.

And a list of things to come:

1. This week is crazy busy. Jonathan, with some help from his mom and a friend, will be painting some of the house in the evenings. His mom is going to clean the house for us (HUGE help, especially for me), and I'm going to try and conquer packing the rest of the apartment.
2. Moving day is Saturday.
3. We get to see out of town friends again in a couple weeks for a nerd - I mean, video game - convention in Seattle.
4. Our families will be visiting over the next month to see us and check out our new home.
5. I'll be 13 weeks at our next checkup. I can tell I'm starting to show, but not enough to be obvious to anyone else. By 13 weeks, I should be definitely popping out a bit. Weird to think about.
6. [This line is reserved for all the unexpected things that will come up this week that I don't anticipate now, but am certain will find us.]

Friday, August 14, 2009

Cuter By The Day

Emma and Kole at a couple weeks:


3 months:


6 months:

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Little Boys Are Funny



My nephew, who will be 4 in October, does and says the cutest things.

William loves babies and looks forward to meeting his tiny cousin next spring. He understands that babies grow in mommy's tummy, so he got it when my sister explained that I have a little tiny baby growing in mine. His reaction? Leaning over to check out my stomach, and SO gently patting it, feeling around for the little baby. Absolutely precious.

I showed him the picture of the ultrasound and pointed out where the baby was. He held the picture close to his face, cocked his head to the side and said, "Ohhhh, it's so cuuuuute!"

Then I asked him whether he thinks it will be a boy or girl. Here's how the conversation went:

Me: "Do you think it will be a boy or a girl?"
William: "It's a girl!"
Me: "What do you think her name should be?"
William: "...Pegasus."
My sister: "What if it's a boy?"
William: (shooting daggers with his eyes) "It's NOT a boy."

Thus, my family has dubbed my baby Pegasus until further notice.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Oh Baby!

We planned for it, but still got surprised.

A few posts ago, I explained about PCOS and what that could mean for me/us. Since that post, I've met with a reproductive endocrinologist who specializes in treating PCOS. My goal was not just to reverse possible infertility, but also to prevent other health conditions (diabetes, heart disease, etc.) that can develop from PCOS. I've also met with a nutritionist, who is working with me to create a diet that will minimize PCOS symptoms.

I've always been irregular, so after going off the pill it was no surprise that my cycles became unpredictable. On July 20th, it had been about 3 months since my last cycle. While this is abnormal, it's happened to me before. I chalked it up to PCOS. I had also had back pain and cramping for a few weeks, which I attributed to the impending visit from "aunt flo". I'd been charting for several months, and saw no signs of pregnancy, or even ovulation. (When you ovulate, progesterone kicks in and causes your basal body temperature to rise. If you've conceived, your temperature remains high. Mine never shifted, signifying an anovulatory cycle.)

I finally decided to take a test - to basically rule it out.

Imagine my surprise as I watched the test line turn pink... and the positive indicator line turn pink immediately after.

And then I started laughing. Uncontrollably.

You've GOT to be kidding me!!!!

I was incredibly bewildered. My chart showed that I wasn't ovulating. My RE had taken one look at my charts and said I wasn't ovulating. So, I drank a bunch of water and took another test. Again, immediately positive. Although, this time the lines were slightly blurry. Well, what does that mean? More bewilderment. Sooo, I went to the store, bought another box of tests, drank a lot of liquid, and took a third test. Yet again, immediate positive. 'Well,' I thought, 'there you go.' Except even after three positive tests, I still didn't believe it.

There was only one surefire way to know, so I immediately went in for a blood test. The next day, I couldn't believe my ears when the nurse on the phone said, "It's positive!"

I'm pregnant.

That entire week, all I could say was, "I can't believe I'm pregnant. I can't believe it. I can't believe it." I had expected that it would be at least a few more months until it would even be possible for me to conceive. I mean, I "wasn't ovulating"!

I thought about something my mom-in-law told me she'd been reading in the Bible. There were so many barren women who wanted nothing more than to have a child, so they prayed. And prayed. And prayed. And then, God opened their wombs. For months, I asked - no, begged - for God to allow me to be pregnant. And then He did.

My initial reaction to the home pregnancy tests was laughter and disbelief. My reaction after talking to the nurse was literally falling on my knees, crying and thanking God over and over for what He had given us.

We had our first ultrasound on Thursday of that week, and found that we were 5 weeks and 5 days pregnant. That meant I was already pregnant when we went to see the RE. When they did the blood test, they found that my progesterone was low, which would explain why my temp never rose, and why I didn't seem to be ovulating.


The pregnancy has become much more real since "morning" sickness kicked in just after our ultrasound. Each day is tough; I'm exhausted and nauseous, and all I want to do is lay in bed. (Being out of work has actually worked out for me now; there's no way I could function at work in this state.) It's difficult being so uncomfortable all the time, but it's also a reminder of a beautiful lesson God has taught me. I fretted for so long, but he had already provided what I longed for. He is worthy of my trust. And if things had worked out differently and we were never able to conceive, He would have taken care of that somehow, too.

Our next appointment is in 3 days. We'll get to see our baby again, and this time hear the heartbeat. I'm already in love with our little "miracle" baby. We planned for you, but you still managed to catch us off guard. You definitely are your daddy's baby. :)

Friday, August 7, 2009

I've been dark for about 2 months. Let me tell you, a LOT has happened. Almost all of it centers around this:














...our first house!


Jonathan and I have had what feels like more than our fair share of stress. While the area is nice and convenient, the general location wasn't our first choice. We also had some bumps in the road with the inspection. However, we're all set to close on August 19th and move in by the 31st. We eagerly await painting and customizing the house. Right now it's someone else's house that we're moving into; I can't wait to make it our house.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Jon & Kate Plus 5 Billion

I admit to being among the masses who watch Jon & Kate Plus 8. The kids are so cute, with their distinct little personalities and different but similarly adorable little faces. (Leah and Aaden are my favorites.) I just started watching at the beginning of the year, and have since caught several of the old episodes. It's clear that the couple were in a different place then than they are now.

People criticize Jon and Kate constantly, accusing them of exploiting their kids and acting entitled. Jon is lazy, Kate's a maneater, Jon's giving up, Kate is more concerned about publicity than her family. You know what? WHO CARES?!? Really, it's none of our business. We may think it is because it's on TV, but this is a real family, and their decisions are none of our business.

I can't say that I never have these judgmental thoughts. I've found myself emotionally involved in their marriage, and after reading an article that the big announcement on Monday's show will be a divorce, I felt like crying. I have reactions like this to big changes in any show I watch: George and Izzy's cliffhanger on Grey's Anatomy; Mike leaving Susan on Desperate Housewives; Chloe watching Edgar die on 24; Chuck breaking B's heart on Gossip Girl. However, there is one monumental difference between all of those shows and J&K+8:

This show documents a real family, living a real life, going through real problems.

You know what I think that means? I think it means we should all just leave them alone. Stop speculating, stop following them around, stop spreading gossip. (Granted, it would probably help a good deal if they ditched the cameras and gave themselves some privacy to hash out their troubles.)

They may be on TV, but the Gosselins are just another family, like any of us. I hope for the kids' sake that they aren't announcing a divorce, but whatever they do, it's their decision. Theirs. It's not the world's place to weigh in and tell them what they should or should not do.

I strongly believe in the 2x4 gospel, removing the planks from our own eyes before pointing out the speck in someone else's (Matthew 7:5). This is a perfect time for all of us to put it into practice.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Scavenger Hunt

Oh, the nostalgia.

Last weekend, we participated in a photo scavenger hunt, designed by a friend in honor of her husband's birthday. Inhibition was in the wind as we approached perfect strangers, asking them to take pictures of us wearing hard hats in home depot, jumping off a step, climbing on each other to form a human pyramid.

The adventure took me back to the days of early high school and church youth group, when things like scavenger hunts and impromptu 80's parties found us on a regular basis.

Gone was all the pride and dignity of a group of friends in their mid-to-late twenties, replaced by the silliness and wacky confidence of adolescence. My team may not have won, but we sure had a great time losing.

Here are some of my favorite moments:

MISSION: Human pyramid. (I really thought the guy taking this picture was going to run off with my camera. I was prepared to jump off the pyramid and chase him.)


MISSION: Jumping. (Everyone's feet had to be off the ground.)


MISSION: Sliding down a slide. (Bonus points if it's twirly!)


MISSION: Group hug.


MISSION: Use selves to spell out a word. (Can you read us?)


MISSION: Record re-enactment of a scene from The Sound of Music.
video

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Spring Has Sprung


Thanks for the flowers, Jonathan!


I love hot weather. Seriously, LOVE it. I bask in the gloriousness that is the sun. I live for 85 and sunny. I enjoy the first month or two of winter, but by February, I pine for the days when I can shed my sweaters and jackets in exchange for tank tops and flip flops. I have to confess, it will be tough to muster the motivation to find a job this summer. I am sorely tempted to spend each day lounging by the pool, or sprawled out reading on the grass at the park by the river, or driving with the moon roof open and music cranked, just for the sake of being out.

I may have only spent the first five years of my life living in Florida, but that was enough to taint my feelings toward months upon months of frigid temperatures.

On the other hand, Seattle summers are really something to behold. During the bleak months I forget about the incredibly green landscape; the sparkling water everywhere I turn; the dry, comfortable, consistent heat.

Despite my love for Florida, the one thing missing is the change of seasons, and the PNW certainly has that. I love seasons. Although winter is almost too long for my sanity, spring comes just before I lose my mind and soon to follow is my beloved summer.

Gen. 1:14:
And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years."

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Encouragement

After writing about my little victories, several friends have been coming out of the woodwork confiding that they, too, suffer from PCOS. Their stories have given me hope that perhaps it's not as bad as I fear. Thank God for the inspiration to write the post!

Tonight I found a book about it that received rave reviews. I got home from Barnes & Noble about five minutes ago, and as soon as I'm finished typing I'm cracking open this bad boy. It includes information ranging from in-depth explanations about the syndrome to natural treatments. I've never been so excited to reduce sugars and carbs. (sigh...)

In the profound words of Coach, I'm the dragonslayer, and the dragon will be slayed.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Nieces and Nephews

I love being an aunt to these kids:

Kole & Emma



William


Jonah and Haley

Monday, May 18, 2009

Little Victories

The past 8 months in a nutshell: Lost my job. Applied for 100+ jobs. Didn't get 100+ jobs. Began house search. Met new niece and nephew. Met with doctor to begin preparing for getting pregnant (not trying now, just preparing so we're ready when we decide to start). Found out about PCOS. Went off meds. Put an offer on a house. Lost said house. Turned 25. Began planning 4th wedding anniversary.

Looking at that list, I suppose it would be easy to slump into a vegetative state, wallowing in the misfortunes and ignoring the celebrations. I admit there have been times when I've been tempted to, and a few where I've succumbed. But the fact that my outlook has remained relatively bright is nothing but a testament to God's strong hand holding up Jonathan and I through so many changes and roadblocks.

There's a driving force that allows me to handle these challenges. I'll give you a clue: his name starts with "J" and ends with "esus". Here's a list of "little victories" that He's helped me win:

1. Employment. Our only income for 8 months has been from Jonathan's job, and my unemployment. However, our savings continues to grow. It's not depleting, it's not even just stagnant. It's slow, but it's growing. God is providing.

2. Budget. I'm a raging shopaholic. When Jonathan and I decided that it was time to get serious about buying a house, we put ourselves on a spending freeze, save for the necessities.

I thought it would be difficult to not have a clothing budget, or even a monthly petty cash budget for Starbucks or makeup or pedicures. Lo and behold, I've actually enjoyed the shopping handicap. God is teaching me that shopping isn't as fulfilling as I thought it would be. I'm being filled by joining BSF, volunteering at a hospital, and saving my Christmas gift cards for something that I really, really love.

3. Houses. A few weeks ago we had to walk away from a house we fell in love with. We got tantalizingly close to mutual acceptance, but it got to the point where he couldn't go any lower, and we couldn't go any higher, so we had to walk away.

The night we realized it wasn't going to happen, I moped and pouted and allowed myself to wallow in anger. The next day I waited for the depression to overwhelm me, but instead I felt peace and - to my great confusion - relief! Although our final offer on the house was very possible for us, it would have made the next year or two quite uncomfortable. God understood that I still want to be able to shop and go out to eat and take a vacation once in a while, and these things would have been nearly impossible if we'd bought the house. There were no "if only's", no "why me's," no "it's not fair's". Just peace. I know my mental and emotional limits, and I'm telling you, that peace didn't come from my own mind!!

4. Bible study. Jonathan joined BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) last year. He'd been patiently and persistently urging me to join the women's group, and I irritably and self-righteously (and as graciously as I could muster) declined. I knew my walk was stagnant, that I hadn't willingly opened my Bible in who knows how long. I didn't have doubts, but I also didn't have motivation.

When January's intro night rolled around, I felt a need to make an effort to honor God, and a longing for fellowship. Now, 5 months later, the last night has concluded and I'm bummed about it. I'm going to miss being held accountable to meet with God throughout the week. I'm going to miss the fellowship. Not for too long, though. We resume with the study of John in September. :)

5. PCOS. This is the big one for me. My greatest fear in life is inability to conceive. We've been discussing starting a family, and while we aren't trying right now, I thought I should get my body prepared so that when the time comes, we'll be ready and have our ducks in a row. I visited my doctor in March and told her about some health issues I've had, including a couple hospital visits. She ordered an ultrasound and blood draw, and the resulting diagnosis is PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). It's a condition that causes abnormal hormone levels leading to - among other symptoms - multiple ovarian cysts, and quite possibly infertility by way of anovulation.

Enter panic, racing heart and sweating.

It's possible that I ovulate just fine on my own. My doctor (who is fabulous, by the way!) has me charting my cycles, and the data will show whether I'm ovulating or not. If I don't ovulate, there are some treatments, but Jonathan and I haven't discussed them yet, and I know already we aren't sure where we stand on infertility treatments for ourselves.

It's not just parenting a baby that I crave, it's carrying one. I understand all the pains and problems that come with pregnancy, and I swear I'm not masochistic, but I can't wait for all of that. I can't wait for the experience. The idea that I may never get to do that is terrifying. God is forcing me to rely on Him. To be honest, I'm not sure I would trust Him this much if I didn't have to, if I could take control of things myself. It's scary, but at the same time, it's a weight off my shoulders that I've got Someone so much greater to do it for me. My new mantra is Matthew 11:28 - "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

I had a revelation the other night reading the incredible, heart-wrenching story of Todd Smith of Selah, his wife Angie, and their child Audrey Caroline. Todd and Angie found out when she was 20 weeks pregnant that their daughter Audrey would almost certainly die either in the womb, or immediately upon birth. (Angie's faith is impossibly strong, and I encourage everyone to read her story.) With tears streaming down my face, I read about their journey and realized that I would rather conceive and miscarry than never have the chance at all. To all the mothers who have miscarried, I understand - as best I can - that the grief never goes away, that it's a life-changing loss, and that you would probably never wish such an experience on anyone. That said, given that I would willingly put myself through that may help you understand just how strong my desire to carry a child really is.

I won't know for some time if I'll be able to someday conceive. I think about it every day and constantly remind myself that it's fully in God's hands, not mine. (Then I have to remind myself to be okay with that.) Of all the trials that have come my way in these eight months, I anticipate that PCOS will yield the greatest results, and for the better, regardless of the outcome. Either I will be rejoicing that God gives us a child, or I'll be rejoicing that my worst fear realized has found me nestled into His arms for comfort.



All in all, thank God for trials, because without them I would be proud, arrogant and dependent only upon myself. Thank God for the little victories that He allows me, knowing that all suffering and no relief would leave me lifeless and despairing. Time will tell what the final outcomes are, and I look forward to sharing how He's blessed me through victories or losses.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Welcome to the World

Kole and Emma, Jonathan's twin nephew and niece, were born on February 10th. After a long week, the whole family was released from the hospital and home for the first time. Welcome to the world, little cuties!

Emma

















Kole

Tigerlily

She's not as fat as she looks...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Pet Peeves

I know... it's been a while. You know what that means? It means my life is boring right now! Still no job, not really any prospects. I did start attending BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) on Monday nights. Jonathan attended last year, and this year he's a children's leader for 1st and 2nd graders. Cool, huh? It's been great to watch him growing and maturing and stretching through his leadership. I look forward to seeing how my own life changes through our study. I also applied to volunteer at a nearby hospital. I still have my interview and orientation to attend, and once I've completed those I begin my service. Maybe I'll get to work in maternity and post-natal. ;)

I have a major pet peeve, and I'm wondering if it drives you as crazy as it does me. If you are my checker at a store, PLEASE do not comment on my purchases. If you're interested in my items, or find I'm getting a great deal, or think I'm paying too much, resist the urge to point it out to me. You are more than welcome to ask me about my day, but do not stand there and read the greeting card I picked out. Do comment on the weather, but do not stop scanning my items to pick something up that you already scanned so that you can read aloud the details about what kind of deodorant it is to your curious and nosy coworker. When you're on your break, go find it yourself. If you want to complain to my sister that your break is still a long time away, whatever, but don't ask her if the pregnancy test she's buying is a good thing or a bad thing. Really, people, use your sensor buttons! Here's a good rule of thumb: When in doubt about whether your comment is appropriate or not, just keep it to yourself.

What pet peeves do you have?