Sunday, August 31, 2008

So Stinkin' Cute

In October Chase will be ring bearer in my cousin's wedding. We've been trying to talk to him about it so he will know what to expect and even more importantly - be willing to walk down the aisle on his own! Yesterday we took him to be measured for his tux and he was so good! Our only problem was he thought we were going to the wedding right then and he was a tad disappointed. Seriously, could he be any cuter???

Then yesterday he also got his very first scooter, complete with all the safety gear (thanks Duchess)! We tried it out for the first time today and he LOVES it! Seriously, could he be any cuter???

***I am grateful for
1) it looks like most people in the path of Gus.tav are evacuating
2) the hurricane is not as bad as it could have been
3) my grandparents and other family are hopefully far enough in MS that they will be ok
4) maybe we'll get some rain???
5) the smile on Chase's face while on his scooter, so very sweet

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Happy Birthday Duchess!

Happy Birthday Duchess! We hope that today is perfect in every way and full of wonderful times for you! We can't think of anyone who deserves it more, you rock!!

***I am grateful for
1) It's Duchess' Birthday!
2) the weekend, I LOVE the weekend
3) no school on Monday
4) a clean downstairs when I got home yesterday - thanks Jeff!
5) surviving the first week of school, boy was that a tough one!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Another One

Another pregnant teacher. You know hearing that never gets any easier. So much for a day without tears (and I thought I was making progress). I would have been 9 weeks tomorrow, God I miss our babies. :o(

***I am grateful for
1) tomorrow is Friday, never has TGIF meant more to me
2) Chase goes to MeMaw's tomorrow so he won't be so sad when I drop him off!
3) looks like the hurricane is going to go elsewhere
4) found out we are definitely getting another teacher to relieve us of our high numbers
5) after I post this, I am going to bed

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

23 6/7 year olds is enough to make you CRAZY

Today was the first official day of school and every year I forget just how tough it is in the beginning. I swear it's like retraining the troops! They are still such babies. They don't know how to line up at the bathroom, they don't know how to write their own names (well at least they don't do it with the letters facing the right way), they don't know to stay in their seats, to raise their hands to talk, to whisper, to blow their noses, to tie their shoes, to read... are you getting the picture yet? At of the end of the day I had 23 first graders. Have you ever tried to corral 23 6/7 year olds? OMG! Good news is that we are going to get another teacher to help with the high numbers, bad news is that 1) we are still registering kids and 2) we won't get the new teacher until maybe next week... ack! I really think that I could probably go get in bed and sleep for the next 24 hours, I am so stinking tired.

**I'm grateful for
1) this is a short school week
2) this weekend is a 3 day weekend, so next week is short too!
3) I didn't cry one single time today! I came close, but I didn't... progress!
4) Chase made me a Princess crown tonight out of glow necklaces, it was beautiful!
5) the first day of school is over and all my kids got home safe... SW-EET

Sunday, August 24, 2008

What the heart has once known...

it will never forget.

I find myself wishing that I could just stop thinking about the babies. That I could move on, focus on the now, and to just forget the pain. The problem is that my wishing is not actually doing anything. I don't know what to do, I don't know how to move on. I've decided that a negative from our last IVF would have been so much easier to deal with than the loss of the twins has been. I wouldn't be mourning the children that we lost, I would just be mourning the dream that didn't come true. I think that would have been so much easier.

***I am grateful for
1) patience (when I have it)
2) quiet times
3) Tomorrow is Payday... thank God!
4) love
5) surprise kisses

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My Knight in Shinging Armor (only his horse was a Ram)

When you are in high school you are young and naive, or at least I was. I thought I knew it all and knew what was best for me. It only took me several years and lots of lessons to learn that I didn't. When I was a senior I met what I thought was a great guy named Mark. He was tall, cute, and was a whole three years older. Even better, he showed me lots of attention and my mom hated him. He was bad and she knew it. Of course being the teenager I was, the more she pushed for me to stay away from him, the more I went to him. The relationship started out great, but about 6 months into it great turned out to be a total nightmare. I won't go into details but over the next four years there was more than one time I covered for the bruises, cried myself to sleep, and feared for my life... literally. People always ask how a person can stay in an abusive relationship, they would never let anyone treat them like that! I will tell you that it is very, very, VERY hard to get out of those kinds of relationships because the bad guy is usually 1) very manipulative, 2) very forceful, and 3) has you so scared that you fear what will happen if you don't do what they want. In December of 1997 I finally decided that it was either get out of the relationship for good or there was no doubt that eventually my mother would lose a 2nd child because I truly feared for my life. I was determined to not let that happen.

I ended the relationship for the hundredth time and during the next few months I really tried to focus on me and not be manipulated back. I'd get phone calls from Mark, begging for forgiveness, telling me he's changed, and that he loved me. It was very hard. Your mind starts to remember the good times and pushes all the bad stuff way back in the dark corners so you don't think about them. I went out some and was finally learning to have have fun and confidence again. When my ex-sister in law told me she wanted me to go on a blind double date with her and her boyfriend I reluctantly agreed and came very close to canceling the date because come on, a blind date??!?! What if the guy was a total dork and I was stuck hanging out with him for an entire evening. Ugh. You can imagine what ran through my mind.

When the night came, I was actually pretty nervous. I had spent four years getting my self-esteem knocked down and although the last 6 months had been good for me I was still really unsure of my self worth. Little did I know that that night would change my future in more ways than I could ever imagine. That night was destiny.

When Jeff (ring a bell??) arrived he was so sweet and shy. I was amazed at how caring he was and how gentle he seemed. He was funny, cute, and a total gentleman. I didn't know guys like that even existed. I was swept off my feet and before I knew what hit me, I was in love. It certainly didn't hurt that he drove a Ram and I was in a total Ram phase! Over the next couple of weeks we went out more and more and couldn't be around each other enough. On our first "alone" date Jeff accompanied me to court to take care of a ticket that I'd forgot to send some stuff in with. I had assured him I could handle it, but since it wasn't in the best part of town he refused to let me go alone. I think that was just an excuse to go with me, but it certainly made me realize even more how caring he was. I can still remember sitting on the edge of my mom's bed and talking to her about how different Jeff was and that I knew he was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. That memory is so vivid to me, it was the first time I knew that for the rest of my life I would be safe because I would have him to take care of me. It was the first time I was no longer scared.

People always ask when you knew for sure that what you felt was the real deal. I know that exact moment, the moment I knew that there was no doubt I had something special. Jeff worked about 30 minutes north of where he lived. There was a young kid that worked with him that was married and had a new baby. This kid lived by me, which was about 20 minutes in the opposite direction of Jeff's work. Every morning Jeff would drive south to pick up this kid, drive back to work, bring the kid all they way back home, and then go back to his apartment. Every single day he went a good 30 miles out of his way to pick this kid up and drop him off. When I asked Jeff why he would do that he told me because he had a family to take care of and the kid needed the job. My heart was his, I was forever in love and in total awe.

There is also no doubt in my mind that without Jeff coming into my life I would have wound up back with Mark and most likely dead. I know that sounds pretty dramatic, but at this time Mark is in prison for shaking a 2 year old baby to death. So, I am not just being dramatic. I knew he was capable of such a thing and although I hoped that would never happen, I was not surprised when I learned about it. Sometimes I have guilt, like had I done something different I could have saved her. Truth is I couldn't have, but Jeff did save me.

On December 22, 1998 Jeff proposed and I said yes. We were married on August 21, 1999 and today we celebrate our 9 year wedding anniversary. For the most part, the last 9 years have gone way too quickly and sometimes seem like a wonderful dream. The kind you never want to wake up from. I never thought I would have someone so wonderful, kind, and supportive in my life. He is a great husband and a perfect example of what a father should be. Without him, I would be lost. He is my best friend. We have faced some storms in our lives together, but all they have done is make us a stronger couple and proven that no matter what lies ahead, together we can make it through. I guess I'm the lucky one, I got to marry my soul mate.

Happy Anniversary Jeff, you are my Knight in Shining Armor. I love you!

***I am grateful for
1) 9 wonderful years
2) the best husband a girl could ever have
3) all the ways that my life is better because of Jeff being in it
4) the wonderful Daddy that Jeff is
5) all the wonderful years yet to come

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Hanging by a Thread

Yes, I'm still here. Tuesday meant back to work for me and back to the sitter for Chase. Neither of us were overly thrilled. After being off for the summer our schedules are completely out of whack and the mornings seem to be coming awfully early. I'm hoping that we'll be back on track soon.

I had been so excited about going back to school and telling everyone Chase was going to be a big brother. Obviously that was not the case after all, which made going back pretty darn difficult. We always start off with the usual introduction and big announcements so I braced myself for the inevitable. I know that one of our new teachers is pg and due just days away from my due date, but she did not say anything. Not sure if it's because she's new or if it's because she's still early, but no doubt the big announcement will hit soon enough. I was shocked that the only pg announcement was actually a grandmother-to-be announcement, but greatly relieved. I did find out that a couple of teachers are trying, so surely there will be more announcements before the year is out. What can you do, eh? I had tried very hard to prepare myself for the congratulations and then the I'm so sorries, but boy can people catch you off guard. I won't go into all the details, but I was very proud of myself... I only cried three times. Not bad. Today I even managed to tell our old nurse about the babies w/o crying. It was hard, but I muddled through!

I know that this is going to be something I feel forever, but I am really trying to move on. I feel the need to be happy, not just for me, but for Jeff and Chase. They deserve a happy wife and a happy mother. In my heart I know that our journey is not over. I will be a Mommy again. I have prayed for this and I believe the Lord will bless us with another baby, therefore I know that it will be.

***I am grateful for
1) the four free iT.unes downloads Jeff sent me... woohoo baby!
2) Tomorrow is our 9 year anniversary, wow, 9 years!
3) The sore throat I had yesterday seems to be gone!
4) Chase ran up to greet me and give me a huge hug when I got home today, man I love that boy
5) We got some more rain today, boy did our yard need it!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The babies are gone...

Thursday evening I miscarried our sweet babies. It was painful emotionally, painful physically, and painful mentally. We were 6 weeks and 6 days. They were so very tiny, not even completely formed yet... but is was very obvious what they were as they passed about 45 minutes apart. I guess even up until the end you think maybe, just maybe this is a bad dream and isn't really happening. Now there is no denial, they are gone. To my body it is now just like a regular period with cramping, so maybe it is moving on. In a way I am relieved this part is over because knowing it was coming and waiting for it to happen was awful. It also means that my number will bottom out and I can quit going for blood work. But then it makes me feel so empty and numb. I should be going for ultrasounds and OB appointments, but that won't be happening. My babies are gone.

**I am grateful for
1) Chase cuddling while we watch cartoons in the morning, even if it's only for a few minutes
2) moving forward
3) the worst of the m/c is over (I hope)
4) tomorrow we have church, I think I need it
5) the weekend is here

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Bring the Rain (MercyMe)

Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain

***I am grateful for
1) the weekend is almost here
2) even though I dread the start of the school year, it does mean I have a job and that is something to be grateful for
3) everything is a learning experience
4) we have lots of prayers coming our way
5) hope, I still have it, I know I do

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

How do you stop the tears? (sad post, feel free to skip it)

This is absolutely killing me. One minute I'm fine and the next I'm just a puddle of sadness. I went to get my blood work today after taking Chase to the sitter and cried almost the entire way there. It seems like such torture to have to walk in there knowing that my pregnancy is over. I got the tears to turn off and took the walk down what felt like the Gre.en Mil.e to my REs. The lady in front of my signing in was on cloud 9 as she announced she was just there so they could check where her numbers were at today! Yeah, I was there just so they could just check mine too, just check to see if my babies were gone yet. I went back to get my blood drawn with the usual, "how are you today?" Awful. Horrible. Heartbroken. Devastated. Want to hear more? As the needle went in my arm for the countless time since June 23rd I felt the tears coming. I made my next appointment through the sobs and left. Sweet relief, a quiet elevator to myself. Nope, one floor down a glowing mom with her newborn got on. I just had to turn away, why let her see me sad and rain on her parade. As I got in the Tahoe the tears came again, it's like I have no control. I hate it. I made my way to the mall to pick up a treat for Doodlebug and ran into three different people I know. You guessed it, more tears. After the third run-in I figured it was time to get the heck out of there. On my way home it hit me, today was the day we saw Chase's heartbeat. Today is 6w5d. It was such a wonderful time w/Chase, today it is just another cause of tears. My numbers are slowly creeping down and I won't go back in until Monday. At this point we know they are not going back up, so at least I don't have to go in as much. Besides, I go back to work on Tuesday so every other day is impossible now anyway. I'm still waiting to m/c but have lots of cramps, that must mean it's on it's way. I just want it to be all over, I want to forget, I want to stop crying.

***I am grateful for
1) I have three more days with Chase before I have to go back to work
2) the holidays are almost here, October - December is my favorite time of year
3) I got the checkbook balanced, too bad there's not more money! ;o)
4) Our anniversary is coming up, 9 whole years
5) we got the decorating done for the entrance of the school and it looks pretty darn good

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Joys of Boys

While visiting with MeMaw and PawPaw Chase tooted. Since we are working on manners I asked him, "Chase what do we say when we do that?" He walks over to PawPaw, sticks out his finger and politely says, "PawPaw, pull my finger!"

Not exactly what I was thinking!

***I am grateful for
1) Chase can always make me smile
2) being a Mom to my Doodlebug rocks
3) we got some much needed rain today
4) the little things that Chase reminds me to enjoy
5) Tylenol PM, I think I'll take some tonight

Monday, August 11, 2008

"...The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:21

Our number has continued to drop, it is over. Our RE is as sad as we are. I have to continue blood work every other day until my number goes back to zero and we will wait to m/c naturally at this point. Losing one baby was devastating, losing twins is almost unbearable. I now have three sweet angels in heaven, at least I know they are together. We have no answers as to why, everything had gone so well. We will try again, but I'm not sure when. We are required to take at least a one month break before starting again. The school year is beginning, we have a wedding out of state in October, and then the holidays will be here. I refuse to spend our holidays planning around IVF, so it really looks like it won't be until after the first of the year at this point. I guess we'll focus on enjoying the time between now and the next cycle and using it to get healthier and relaxed again. I am going to miss these babies, our one week with no worries was pure heaven. I wish I could have bottled it up to keep forever.

***I am grateful for
1) we are supposed to get rain tomorrow and with rain comes rainbows
2) no more ups and downs, at least we know now
3) we have each other still
4) this weekend we are planning on taking the boat out
5) God never gives us more than we can handle

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A Test of Faith

The past 10 days have tested my faith a lot, but today tested it more than I possibly imagined it could. After our two failed IVFs I was very bitter towards God. How could he allow people to have children that didn't want them or would harm them and not give us the child that we so desperately wanted? A sibling for our sweet Chase? My heart grew very cold and I got the point that I really didn't care anymore. I didn't care if we went to church, I didn't care if I prayed, I didn't care if the Lord was in my life. I was completely lost. With time the pain grew less and I found my way back to God. All along he was there with me, I just didn't see it. He has a plan, right? Then we did IVF#4 and we learned we had been given that child, that sibling for Chase we so longed for. Then we learned that our hearts were again being broken and that we were losing that child. I have prayed and tried very hard to keep God in my heart this time. I've tried to remember that he is right by me, holding my hand every moment. He loves me and does not want me to hurt, but sometimes things happen that we don't understand. This is one of those times. I just don't understand.

I don't want to think about this pregnancy and loss all the time, but I do. It haunts me. It invades my sleep and the moment I escape my dreams into reality it rushes to my mind. I love our church, I know I've said that before. However, this morning I had such a hard time getting up and ready to go. As we drove down the road it dawned on me that today was Baby Dedication Day. My heart sank and I could fill the tears welling up inside of me. I thought, "maybe no one signed up, maybe it got postponed." At least I hoped that that no one had signed up or it had been postponed. No such luck. As the families came up with their sweet babies, it was all I could do to not sob. Then, right in front of us, came the test. A family with twins, tiny, precious, perfect twin girls. I failed. I absolutely panicked, the tears flowed, and I bolted. I bolted right out of the auditorium and out of the church. I didn't know where to go or what to do, I just knew I had to get out of there. I had to get away from the babies, the joy, the celebration of life.

Jeff eventually hunted me down and we made it back to hear the sermon. The sermon was titled Overcoming the Obstacles. Could it have fit anymore? I don't know what to do. Part of me is so happy that I have Chase and he is so amazing. Yet part of me feels so sad and empty. How will I ever overcome these obstacles? I just don't know if I'm strong enough to do this.

****I am grateful for
1) today is over
2) I actually got to watch some of the Olympics this evening instead of The Dis.ney Chan.nel!
3) tomorrow we go to meet with our RE and discuss this horrible journey
4) the grocery shopping is done
5) I still believe miracles happen

Friday, August 8, 2008

No celebration today

Our BETA is back down to 190. We are stopping all meds and will go in on Monday afternoon for a blood draw and to talk directly to our RE. He still thinks it could be vanishing twin or it could be a pregnancy that is over but being sustained by the meds. My hopes are not high, I'm a reality person. I don't think I can handle the roller coaster anymore. I just want this part to end. We'll try again as soon as he gives us the all clear. I just never thought we'd be in this position and it breaks my heart.

**I am grateful for
1) tomorrow is a new day
2) time will ease the pain
3) this kind of pain is rare
4) I will go on to smile again
5) I have Chase

In less than 6 hours...

I will have the BETA results from today. They need to be at least 610 for a 60% increase and to double they need to be 762. Dear God, please let them be between these numbers (or higher)! I prayed for an hour straight in the middle of the night last night, I just couldn't sleep. I thought Wednesday was hard, but I have a feeling today may beat it. Please be a fighter baby, please.

**I am grateful for
1) It's Friday
2) Jeff will be home early
3) the good news I feel we will receive this afternoon
4) positive thinking
5) tomorrow we get to spend the day w/Duchess!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

My 200th Post and a Celebration!

The last 49.45 hours have been so terrifying to me. I have been scared to death to say the least. I was actually worried about how I would make it through the day today (kudos again to Stacy for sticking w/me!!) knowing that this could be the day I find out I am losing our precious baby. After an extended wait (darn getting those results late) I found out that our number has gone from 186 on Monday to 381 today!!! They wanted a 60% increase and it slightly more than doubled!!! Our RE has cautioned that we are not out of the woods, but that it was a very nice jump! Praise the LORD!!! We will take it one day at a time and pray a lot that this little baby is a fighter like her big brother Chase was (yes, I think it's a girl). Thank you all so very much for your kind words, encouraging stories, and prayers. I am so very thankful for each and every one of you. I am still very scared, but so hopeful that all will be OK.

**I am grateful for:
1) all of you
2) rising numbers
3) Stacy
4) miracles
5) answered prayers

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I am so sad today

I know I said I wouldn't talk about it, but my heart is so heavy. Maybe the rain from Tro.pical Storm Edo.uard is making it so gloomy that it's making my heart even heavier, I don't know. I keep thinking, I WANT this baby. I WANT Chase to be a big brother. I DON'T want to have to do IVF again, although I would in a heartbeat. I WANT THIS baby! I have tried so hard not to think about it, not to dwell on it, to accept that what will be will be. But God, it is so damn hard. I have prayed so much that my head feels like it could burst. I can't sleep because it invades my dreams. It takes all my strength to not just crawl under the covers and cry until I'm out of tears. I keep thinking, this isn't fair. It hurts too much, I can't handle it.

I know that miracles happen and everything can be OK. I want that so much... for everything to be OK. But then I pray that if we are meant to lose this baby, please Lord just take her quickly. I don't want it to draw out if it's not meant to be. Does that sound awful? I wish we were just normal people. I wish we could just have sex, get pregnant, and produce a baby. People who can do that really take it for granted. Hell if I could do that I'm sure I would take it for granted too. Why does this have to be so hard? I was so excited when I learned we were pregnant. I was so excited for us, for our family, but mostly for Chase. I want him to be a big brother so much. He wants it too. He tells me he wants a baby sister. This seems to be the one thing that I haven't been able to give him, maybe that's another reason it hurts so much. God, this is so damn hard.

***I am grateful for
1) we are definitely getting some much needed rain
2) it's not as hot today as it has been
3) I still have two weeks of summer vacation left, which means two weeks w/Chase
4) gas prices are down
5) in 7 hours Jeff will be home

Monday, August 4, 2008

I've landed smack dab in the middle of BETA hell

Today's blood work results told us nothing, not one.single.thing. My number went up from 166 to 186. Yes that's a rise, but it should be doubling every 48-72 hours. So going up just over 10% in 72 hours is not a good sign. My RE is not quite ready to throw the towel in yet, so I'll continue with my shots and go back on Wednesday for more blood work. Another 48 hours of pure hell. When Chase's number dropped, it shot back up w/in 48 hours so I'll be the first to admit that I am terrified. Chase does not like me being upset, so I am not going to cry anymore of this. Once he told his great-aunt on Saturday that his Mommy was crying and he didn't like it I knew I couldn't do it anymore. I've prayed, prayed, and prayed for this baby to be OK. Hell, I've even begged and tried to negotiate up to a point. I believed that we would have a healthy baby from this IVF. So, in order to keep from going completely insane over the next 48 hours and dragging my entire family with me I'm just going to not think about it. I'm not going to, I'm not going to email, and I'm not going to blog about it. I refuse to search for success stories (which normally give me 10 sad stories to every happy anyway). I'll continue to pray and have faith that the Lord will continue to guide us. Our RE is awesome and his office manager has already told me that if we lose this baby, they will waive all the fees except for $1750 and will even help us find the meds we'll need so that we can try again. That is so nice of them, but I want THIS baby. I guess we'll just have to wait and see if this baby is a fighter like her big brother, please let her be.

***I am grateful for
1) the hurricane is going south of us, so it's not a direct hit
2) at least Jeff's birthday wasn't totally crappy
3) our number didn't bottom out
4) the glimmer of hope we still have
5) Chase, Jeff and my mom, what would I do w/o them??

Sunday, August 3, 2008

9 days must mean we have this licked

I'm going to brag and say it, Chase is officially day-time potty trained. To be quite honest, he's just about night-time potty trained too, but we'll continue to wear pull-ups to bed for a while. I am so proud of him. It has been a full 9 days since he has worn a pull-up and in those 9 days there has not been one single accident... not one my friends! As it is, he wakes up maybe once every couple of weeks with a wet pull-up. So very impressive. I am so proud of him, what a big boy he has become!! Now if we could just convince him that he needs to wear something over his big boy underwear since he feels he should be able to see them and show them to the world!


On the pregnancy front, I've had lots of prayers coming our way and I appreciate them all. I am so scared about tomorrow. It is Jeff's birthday, I pray it will be a good one. I am on progesterone, so I wouldn't bleed no matter what. Also, because my number had been has high as it was it doesn't do any good to take a pregnancy test because they would be positive (yes, I took the last one anyway thinking maybe the color of the line would tell me something, it didn't). I pray that we have only lost one child and that we still have a healthy baby in there, fighting to be with us, just like her big brother Chase did. I'll update when I know, the next 24 hours are going to be very, very long I'm afraid.

***I am grateful for
1) Chase is such a big boy!
2) miracles happen
3) tomorrow if Jeff's birthday, God I pray it's a good one
4) Chase's hugs and kisses
5) prayers

Friday, August 1, 2008

This can't be happening!

Our BETA dropped to 166 today. I can't believe this. We have been here before with Chase. It means one of two things.

1) We are losing the pregnancy
2) We are losing a twin

Now I say the most difficult prayer, please Dear Lord, please let us only be losing a twin. I just don't understand.

**I am grateful for:
1) prayers, please please send them
2) my miracle, please don't take it away
3) Chase, when he sees my tears, he makes me smile
4) hope
5) believe that this will be ok