Sunday, December 30, 2012

New Year.... Finally!

Since about April I've wanted this year to be over. That want only grew with each new miscarriage. Today, I am more than ready for a new year! I have to admit that 2012 has been filled with so many ups and downs. We got to experience the excitement of being pregnant, a few times :) We grew so much closer and we hit the 3 year mark of marriage, had great times with our friends and family, and grew so much as individuals. It was a tough year, but many lessons learned. Regardless of all the good, I'm ready for a new year!

It's been a while since I posted so for a brief update, I've really just been trying to focus on the holidays. Thanksgiving was tough. Mostly because we should have had a newborn there with us. I had a breakdown, but after a nap, I was much better. Christmas wasn't as tough, but I think I knew what to expect. Of course, from this point on, everything will be, our baby would be this old.... etc. It's just a part of our lives now and I'm learning to deal with it. There is one exception.... I have a running New Year Resolution that I will be better at writing cards to people and I fail every year. I do hope to do that!

Now... on to 2013! At the beginning of the year, the FABS (my 4 best friends since high school) and I were talking about our New Year Resolutions. I had kinda forgot about them until I started thinking about resolutions for the new year. However, they are worth mentioning! I got quite a response out of mine... I had 3 resolutions. 1. Run a marathon; 2. Get pregnant; 3. Lose 10 pounds. Now you can see why my friends laughed. Those 3 things don't really go together. However, I'm here to proudly announce I accomplished all 3. Boom! I did run a marathon, I did get pregnant (outdid myself on this :)) and I went back and looked at my weight loss tracking and over the year, I officially lost 10 pounds. It wasn't all at one time and I did a very poor job of maintaining that loss, but it happened. So basically I learned my resolutions weren't specific enough. I should have said get pregnant and deliver a healthy baby and lose 10 pounds and keep it off. Live and learn I guess :) Now, because of our year and reflecting on these resolutions and my lack of specifics, I'm not making resolutions for 2013. My OCD will be in full drive if I do and each resolution would probably be a paragraph long with more details than even I want to think of. And I'm sure I would also be freaking out that I left a detail off. I'm pretty sure we can all predict what my resolutions would look like though. So instead of resolutions I'm going to focus on a word. This idea was brought to my attention just a couple of days ago from my friend, Jill. I didn't give it much thought for myself until now but it seems fitting. I think I am going to focus on the word grateful. No matter our circumstances, there is something to be grateful for. Best wishes to you and yours!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pressing On

I really cannot believe it is mid-November. When we found out we were pregnant in February, I thought it would feel like forever to get to the due date. While so much has happened since that time, it went by fast! I have a lot to udpate on so good luck :)

Mid to late October, Derrick and I found out we were pregnant again. Mid to late October plus 2 days, we found out we had miscarried again. That is a complete and total shock to so many of you and I apologize. I just really hit a low this time and didn't have the courage to talk about it as openly. I was mad. Actually, I was pissed. When I first suspected something was wrong, I prayed so hard that it would not be the case and that it wasn't a pregnancy but I had already seen that positive test. I knew. My heart was broken. I was so mad at God and it took so much for me to admit that. How could He do this to us, again? I'm struggling much more with the anger phase this time around.  I'm still dealing with lots of emotions, but I have also found some people to help me with that. I started attending support meetings with Rock Goodbye Angel (RGA). A friend, who has experienced her own loss, first told me about them when we lost Jessie. When we lost Myrtle, my doctor gave me some information about them. I had been looking at it and thinking about it, but I wasn't about to go to a support group meeting and be like, "Hey. I'm Lauren. I can't stay pregnant." Um... no thanks. Ashamedly, I thought I wasn't going to a support group like an alcoholic to admit anything. That is not a rip on AA! I totally support this and now I understand why those people don't want to go! But you should! They're probably like, I'm not going to meetings like those pregnancy loss people to talk about my problems. I get it.  Anyways, after losing our third, I had to go. I couldn't carry it alone anymore. Derrick is super supportive and does whatever he can, whenever he can, but I needed women who understand women. Anyways, it's been a God send. I encourage you to find some type of support group if you're dealing with anything... even if it's been years! There are women there who experienced loss so many years ago and it's always going to be a struggle and you need to know that. I still have a lot of healing to do (aka when I can quit crying the whole time!) but I know I'll get there. Most importantly, I now can confidently say that I am a mom. My life changed when I saw those positive tests, and that makes me a mom. It's definitely in a different way, and I'm not claiming to know anything about motherhood or being a mother, but I have babies and that's a title no one can take away.

Of course, we ended up back at the doctor. It should also be stated that we were not trying to get pregnant, as we still had one more month before we were supposed to. I know that's really hard for some of you to hear. Those of you who are struggling with that and my heart goes out to you. But we are thankful for the ease at which we can make babies :) Heaven is going to be so much sweeter! I didn't know Derrick's grandparents, but I just picture both my grandma's loving on our sweet babies and that is a wonderful feeling. Anyways (I think I'm ADD these days!), we ended up being really encouraged. Our doctor (who I have to remember is just a doctor!) feels that this loss was chromosomal and something was not right the baby. She thinks the others have been a progesterone deficiency, which I had started taking when we found out, but literally, the next day, I miscarried, so the baby was already gone by that time. We did have chromosomal testing done, which I have previously written about, stating that I had no interest in this. Well, that changed. We decided that we needed to know, but we also decided we didn't want to know WHO it was (btw... watching Derrick get blood drawn was VERY entertaining... I now know how to make him do what I want!) . I think we would both blame ourselves for years to come. Today, we found out that everything is completely normal on both sides. I was so relieved to hear this information and I didn't even know I had been stressed about it! Tomorrow, we should find out how my Vitamin D has progressed. At this point, if we have another miscarriage, we will be referred to a specialist. I'm hoping the next one develops normally (duh), but at least we know what's next.

Of course, we also decided to name this baby. Which I have not shared with anyone now that I think about it. Not even our families! But I'm already typing this now, so oops :) We decided to name our baby Lincoln. Which is interesting, because we also already have a weird obsession with state/city names and we realized that 2 of our babies fit under this, and we had no intention of that! Anyways, Lincoln really only comes from one reason. And I apologize in advance for the lack of discretion I'm about to show (especially to our bunk mates :)), but we know when this baby was conceived, and the area we stayed in Chicago was called Lincoln Park. We so enjoyed the experience and our time here (obviously, haha) and it just reminds us of the exciting time. I had that baby with me during the marathon, even if it was just a group of cells beginning the formation of a sweet baby.

Jessie's due date also came and went. I was so anxious over this day. November 12th was our due date, and while I know a ton of things could have changed that, I had such ownership over it once we lost Jessie. It just came so quickly! I had been encouraged to find a way to honor our babies at RGA and I am so glad for this. I had already planned to get charms for my Pandora bracelet that represented them in some way, but that wasn't a real honor, or something that would continue every year. So we decided to celebrate with a small dessert. We both got some fudge (from the yummy fudge shop) and put candles (aka matches, because you can't really expect a 26 year old without children or nephews to keep candles) in it and blew them out, with wishes! That was the saddest piece of fudge I have ever eaten, but it was good for the soul! We will continue to do that, with each child, each year. We want out future children (God willing) to know about their siblings and to one day, understand. It was a tough day but we felt your love and support!

Now for a few random comments!

Over the past 2 weeks, I have heard the best and worst responses to our situation and I just wanted to share those! The worst has been a response that referred to our situation as awkward. Um, no. Not awkward. It really ticked me off, but I got over it am getting over it. The best was the response of "You'll get the hang of it soon!" This could have been taken offensively, but it was the first time someone had the courage to make light of it and it just made me smile (and laugh!).

I borrowed a book from one of the ladies at RGA that has helped me so much. It's called I'll Hold You in Heaven by Jack Hayford. It helped me to understand what the Bible says about pregnancy loss and specifically miscarriage. It answered so many questions I didn't even know I had. It gave such clarity, and I can now confidently say that when I die and go to Heaven, there will be no confusion as to who my babies are and what a sweet, sweet day that will be, for more reasons than my 3!

Continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers. We're not giving up hope yet! I also didn't proof read this post, because it's too long, so if you're reading this, I commend you and also expect you to forgive my errors :)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Chicago Marathon

Well I've been wanting to update about Chicago for a while but haven't found the time! Well, I found it and hope I don't leave out any fun details!

As you know, my training for this marathon was pretty non-exsistent. And I developed Achilles tendonitis a couple weeks prior to the race. I was still excited to be going to Chicago but very, very afraid! Derrick and I left VERY early Thursday morning and arrived in Chicago before 9am. Our friend, Jill, had arranged accommodations at a Hostel. I was slightly concerned about being shot here but it actually turned out okay! The place was overflowing with young international students. I felt old, but that's normal lately (per my facebook statuses' :)) Anyways, we couldn't check in until 3 so we explored out little town of Lincoln Park. I quickly fell in love with Chicago! As the day continued, the rest of our travel partners arrived, Jill and her friend Sophia.

The weekend continued with sight-seeing (which was not helping my Achilles tendonitis one bit)! We enjoyed Chicago Style Hot Dogs (which kinda made me sick), Garrett's Popcorn (amazing!) and Deep-dish Pizza! For a non-pizza lover, I'm convinced I would weigh 400 pounds if I lived in Chicago and so close to this pizza place. Amazing! We enjoyed Navy Pier and Millenium Park mostly. The "Bean" was quite entertaining for us. And we spent a ridiculous amount of time at the Expo because we're those people. We like free things, what can I say?! And we got to go to Second City, a comedy club where lots of famous people started.

Race day quickly approached and I was absolutely.freaking.out. I thought I might throw up but I really needed to keep the carbs down that I had consumed the night before and that morning! Not to mention that it was freezing and I already had to buy pants instead of the shorts I had prepared to wear. Any runner knows how scary it is to switch clothes on race day that you've never trained in! We were a little late getting there and storing our bags that we were running to the start corral. It was so absolutely packed that we didn't even really get to stretch. Awesome way to start a marathon! We waited in the corral for close to 30 minutes I think before crossing the start line. I was still freaking out. I really did not think I would be able to do it and quitting was not an option for me at this point. For the first 6 miles, I still wasn't sure what I was really doing. In my head, I had to come up with a game plan. I was using Jill's running plan, but I needed a little more. I decided that the first 6.5 miles were going to be for Jessie and the next 6.5 for Myrtle. I don't think I've ever experienced an easier 13 miles than I did that day (it probably helped that Chicago was extremely flat!). After mile 13, I really didn't know what would happen. I knew my competitive side would kick in and I might as well finish. But then mile 16 hit. Up until this mile, Jill and I were running together. Derrick went on at mile 6 I believe. We were running 6 miles and walking 1ish. I couldn't do this anymore. I decided to start running 4 minutes and walking 1 minute. At mile 21, I was hurting, grouchy, and hungry. We ran through so many beautiful areas that smelled so good! They should close restaurants when marathons are going on. It was freezing and the smell of coffee was overwhelming! Anyways, by mile 21 I was miserable. At some point, I ended up walking about 3 minutes to refuel. When I attempted to run again, my body hated me. I realized at that point that only walking for 1 minute was crucial. I wasn't quitting with only 5 miles left. It became a slow, slow jog. There were so many people around me way more miserable than I was, and that encouraged me ( I know, that's mean, but it did).

5 hours and 25 minutes later, I crossed the finish line. When I turned the corner to last 2 tenths of a mile, I lost it. I could barely run with the tears beginning to stream down my face and trying to hold back the tears. I had a few emotional moments throughout the course, but the end was just liberating. After all I had been through physically prior to this race, I was just so happy. I was happy I made it and I was SO incredibly happy it was over!

It truly was an amazing long weekend. From the beginning I have said I wanted to do one marathon just to say I did it. The worst part is, I already want to beat that time (which won't be hard with any training at all!) It's disgusting that I even have the desire to do another one. But it won't be anytime soon! I'm thinking 5 or 6 years from now! 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

So Long Summer Sunshine...

It looks like we may finally have some answers. Of course, I'm going to make you read all of the other stuff and strategically interweave the answer :) muahahahaha.... the beauty of blogging :)

Last time I updated about pregnancy related things, I talked about the near-death HSG test. I finally think I've recovered from the test and I've (almost) forgotten how horrible it was :) Thank goodness for that! I probably shouldn't have blogged about that in case I ever need it again. No wonder people start forgetting things so quickly. That way, in 20 years if I have to have that test again, I probably won't even remember I had it, nor will I remember I blogged about it. I probably won't even remember I have a blog, the same way I like to try and forget I ever had a Xanga. (If you remember Xanga, I'm impressed :))

Since that time, we went back to the doctor. I FINALLY found out that my blood clotting tests came back normal. No issues there. At first, I felt a twinge of sadness. I guess I wanted there to be something for the cause and something that could be fixed pretty easily. I felt like the more tests I had to have, the bigger the problem. After that short lived feeling, I realized how thankful I was I didn't have an issue with that. Who would want a blood clotting disorder?! Sometimes, my grief over the loss of our 2 babies makes me think crazy things! We spoke with the doctor and again, she confirmed that my HSG was totally normal, which was great. I was happy about this one! I was aware that some of those problems are not as easily fixed. We talked about some other things, and I mentioned my thoughts on my thyroid. I've always thought I had an underactive thyroid. I got it checked once, but it came back "normal". I explained some of the symptoms to her, which were fatigue and weight related issues. I have always thought I just require a lot of sleep. My allergist thought it was because of all the allergies I have and that my body is constantly fighting to stay healthy and to be breathe well. With allergy shots, it did get better, but I've since been instructed to stop those with pregnancy and I just have decided to quit altogether. It's definitely a sacrifice because I'm often miserable without them, but so worth it. And with the weight, I know good and well that my diet is constantly tempted. But even when I was doing great and running a ridiculous amount, I always thought I wasn't losing in the way I should. I'm sure we all think that at some point. With those symptoms, she wanted to test it. We got those back this week. I don't have a thyroid issue, but in the thyroid panel, they also test for other things. Those results came back with an answer for us. Apparently, I have a significant Vitamin D deficiency. I was so surprised to hear this, since I think I'm outside more than the average person. With all my running and workout classes, I'm outside a lot! I definitely don't drink milk but I do eat a lot of yogurt. Anyways, I was surprised.

Now, how is Vitamin D related to pregnancy? Well, good question. It's kind of a new development in recent years. It affects the lining of the uterus. Without enough Vitamin D, the lining is not thick enough, making it difficult for a baby to implant properly. It results in early term miscarriages. Of course, we will never know if that's what caused us to lose Jessie and Myrtle (hahaha, still makes me laugh), but at least we know a step to take. I've been instructed to take 5,000 IU of Vitamin D a day. In 8 weeks, they will test it again. Apparently, this Vitamin D stuff is a pretty big controversy right now. The amount that you should receive varies greatly between doctors and whoever comes up with those daily value percentages. Currently, the daily recommended value is 400 IU. However, there are many doctors who believe in more than that. Vitamin D deficiency also causes fatigue and actually is directly related to weight and allergies. I'm anxious to see if it helps in both departments. It's related to a ton of other things too, but those are the only ones I'm concerned about at this point. Although cancer was a big one, so I should probably be worried about that too. I'm just so thankful to have information that can help us that is as simple as a Vitamin supplement.

This deficiency is also directly related to gluten intolerance (Celiac disease), which is crazy because my sister has recently been trying to convince me I'm going to have Celiac because she has a gluten sensitivity which could eventually lead to Celiac if she kept easting gluten. She's not, so we'll never know really (I think, it gets confusing). But if she has it, then my chances of having it are very high. Gluten can cause you to have a malabsorption of Vitamin D if you have the intolerance. I don't have an intolerance for it, but I can't help but wonder about that! Only time will tell so until them, bring on the wheat! And the sun :) 

So, I climbed Stone Mountain yesterday for a field trip and worked outside some today. Bring on the Vitamin D :) Actually, I didn't do either of those to soak up the Vitamin D, apparently I'm not soaking anything up! I should probably be asking you all to pray for me to absorb the sun, but that's weird and I'm really glad it's Fall and getting cooler, so just pray for our future, whatever that may look like :)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Marathon Training

Our marathon is coming up very soon... October 7 to be exact. I'm supposed to be on week 13 of training. I'm on week like 6. I'm absolutely screwed! I'm more nervous than I've ever been about racing.

When I first started running, it was simply to get in shape. Races quickly became a huge part of our lives. We were constantly signing up and training for races. After a handful of 5ks, I started placing. I really liked that feeling! My competitive side came out and I was running in 10ks and placing a lot of the time. Definitely wasn't placing in huge races with thousands of people, but I was doing alright. I was loving it! After miscarriage number one, and even leading up to it, I was told to quit running. I had blogged about running and pregnancy before the miscarriage but not after. Well, afterwards my mileage and endurance suffered greatly. Unless you've been through one, you don't realize that you are physically very weak for a couple of weeks. I started running again but I was struggling. We had not been doing races and I wasn't itching to get back to them since I wasn't doing as well. I was getting back in the hang of it, and got pregnant again. A good problem to have but we all know that didn't end well. Since then, I've been struggling. I wasn't even "allowed" to start running again for a couple of weeks after the 2nd one. That puts me at mid August. Since then, it's still been a struggle. It's been hard to find my motivation. I've wanted to change up my workout routine, but you really can't do that int his kind of training. While I have been running, my mileage is comparable to a half marathon training plan. I haven't even been following the training plan and I'm sick of it! It's so time consuming, and I haven't even done it! I don't think marathons are for me, but half marathons definitely are and I'm excited to be excited about it again. It'll just have to wait till October 7!

I secretly (not so secret anymore) have hoped that I would get a sprain or something so I could get out of this marathon. I know, that's awful! I really do want to do it, but I'm mad because I already know I'm not going to do well. When I first signed up, I was honestly hoping for a 4 or 4:30 time. Now I'm just hoping the sag wagon doesn't pass me and tell me to get off the course.

At this point, I'm embracing the fact that I am even running. With everything I have been through physically, I'm okay with not doing well. But I am genuinely concerned about not being prepared! I just hope my body makes it and I'm not the last to cross the finish line.

Only time will tell!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Test Updates

I have had lots of people asking, so I thought I would go ahead and update everyone! We went in for the HSG this morning, bright and early. I was feeling pretty calm about it, which is really not my nature. They had to do bloodwork first, to ensure I was not pregnant, since it's a dangerous test if you are. I went back for the test around 7:25. After I changed, we were ready to go. I was still feeling alright about it.

Before I go any further, I am warning many of you to stop reading if you do not want some serious details. Not necessarily gross details, but I will be talking about the female anatomy, and more specifically my female anatomy. It is slightly weird sharing it, but if anyone reading this is going through the same thing at this time or at some point in the future, I want the information to help them and prepare them. So make your decision to read it and embrace it or to turn away. I know a statement like this makes you want to read it now, but you can't say I didn't warn you!

When the test started, it was only slightly uncomfortable. For women reading this, it was much like a pap smear. Well, then things turned worse. I'm trying not to be dramatic in this post, or exaggerate, but it was the most horribly painful experience. I know many of you reading this are surprised since many of you told me you had gone through the same test and it was not very painful. Well, for most people, it shouldn't be. There was the initial pain of them attaching (or whatever they did) to the cervix. It was a quick pinch and once it was attached, it no longer really hurt, just uncomfortable. Well then, the nurse comes up to my face and tells me to start taking deep breaths as the doctor was going to have to dilate me because apparently I have a very small cervix. I wasn't freaking out at first because with the first miscarriage, dilation happened, and while it was very painful, there was relief in between "contractions". The next thing I know, they are handing me a wet cloth and patting my face and neck with it. I guess I looked pretty awful :) At this point, I knew it was about to get bad. (I'm getting tears in my eyes now thinking about it!) Whatever dilating entails was the worst experience ever. I was literally screaming. That is so not my nature. It was the only gut reaction I had. I was being very dramatic about my deep breaths as I wanted to concentrate on them and not the pain. Well, I ended up stuffing the washcloth in my mouth to prevent loud yells. I should probably change the word yells to gasps of "ouch". Regardless, I was not quiet throughout this process. I thought I was about to throw up and was about to ask for a trashcan until they told me the pain part is over and they were injecting the dye. The dye definitely caused me to be super crampy, but it was much more bearable. Once the dye was in, I had to rotate a little to make sure it flowed to the correct places.  I was unable to see the X Ray screen due to the set up of the room and the actual x-ray machine over me, but I ended up being okay with that.I don't think I could have focused on it anyways. After the test, I sat up and they made me sit there for a few minutes because they thought I was either about to pass out or throw up. I quickly confirmed that I was okay now, but not a few minutes ago :) I changed and on our way out, they told me that they had told Derrick to go get the car. The parking lot was not very far away at all, so I knew he would be super nervous about that, wondering what had happened! I could read it on his face that he was, but when he saw me walking out and smiling, I think he knew I was okay :)

When we got in the car, I looked to see what time it was. I was absolutely positive the test had lasted much longer than they had anticipated. I was wrong. It was 7:46. That included changing and everything! I was shocked. It seemed so much longer. I looked at Derrick and told him I just need to cry. I had held it together while in there and just needed to cry. I did for about the next 10 minutes. I was just so surprised at how much it hurt. They kept telling me how great I was doing and I remember saying "Not really, I keep yelling!" They laughed but quickly affirmed it. We go back to meet with her next week and go over everything and I plan on asking her about how I handled it. I'm just so curious now. I've really been trying to figure out my pain threshold and I think this may tell me the answer :) If I'm lucky enough to carry and deliver our children, an epidural is looking awesome right now.

The results of everything were normal, though. No abnormalities. That's good news! She mentioned something about just trying again at this point and taking progesterone once we get pregnant. I plan to discuss this much further next week. Still no results back on the blood clotting disorders. Hoping for that this week, too! All in all, I'm glad it's over. I'm super sore right now and loading up on the pain reliever :) Thanks for all the prayers. They definitely worked for everything being normal, which is the most important, but some of you need to work on your relationship with God because he didn't hear your pain-free ones :) Kidding, we appreciate them all!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Tests, Tests, and Hopefully No More Tests!

While I am determined to not make this a pregnancy and miscarriage blog, I also want to keep everyone updated. And since this is a lot of what is going on in our lives right now, it's also very much about us and what is going on. But be on the lookout for more non-baby related posts!

As you may know, our doctor's prognosis for testing in the future was to suffer through one more miscarriage before testing was needed. This seemed to be the most common answer when I talked to people. I didn't like it, but I also wanted to listen to the doctors and do whatever they recommended. A few people began reaching out to me and telling me their experiences with recurrent miscarriage and what their issues had been. At first, I was just listening, but as numerous people kept bringing this up, even when I was not the one initiating any discussion on the topic, it started to resonate with me. In the midst of these conversations was also the name of a particular doctor. I found myself in battle between following doctor's orders and taking a stand for my own health. I thought it was crazy to wait for another miscarriage, but I also was comforted by the fact that my doctor's did not consider it cause for testing just yet. Well, I decided there was no way we could lose another baby with this new information I was getting.

I have mentioned before (I think) that my doctor's were interested in chromosomal testing if a third miscarriage was to occur. I started thinking about this, and for me, chromosome testing was not what I wanted at this point. Now, I am speaking on my view of what this entails. I never discussed it further with our doctor as it was not something we would do just yet. With that said, I could be completely wrong on what the results would tell me or the types of tests we would do. To me, chromosome testing would test our chromosomes (obviously) and let us know if there were any issues with those. In my head, this only told us who the problem was stemming from, and really would not offer any solutions. I know it would give us more information, but at this point, I wanted to rule out things first. This new doctor was known for being much more proactive and finding more answers. After one of the conversations I was having with someone, I called and made the appointment, which so happens to be in Dahlonega, which is very strange to me!

Less than one week later, I was sitting in the doctor's office with Derrick, making a plan with this doctor. Now, it should be stated that I'm not jumping doctors. I still really like the doctors we switched to but I didn't like their plan for testing. At this point, I have not made a real decision as to who we will continue to see. Right now, we're taking it one step at a time. The only negative about this new doctor is that she does things at Chestatee Hospital, which is not okay with me :) A few days before this appointment, I was at the other office, getting the blood work done that was originally in the plan. It tests for blood clotting disorders. This was also the first step the new doctor wanted to try. However, her next step was to do a Hysterosalpingogram (dye test) if the bloodwork came back normal. The dye test is where they inject dye into my uterus and look at X Rays to see where the dye went. This will show if there are any abnormalities within the uterus or surrounding areas that may be affecting a baby being able to implant properly and thrive. There could be a number of answers from this test. The test takes about 15 minutes and we will have answers immediately. That part is super exciting, as I will leave knowing the results and the next steps. I was advised to take some pain meds before going in, which of course has me worried. That prompted me to google it, which was a bad idea. I'm thinking about a couple glasses of wine at 5:30am :) Just kidding! I go in for that tomorrow morning at 6am! Unfortunately, I will have to do it at Chestatee. If you know the Dahlonega area, you know why that is scary! But they aren't putting me to sleep or anything, so hopefully I survive :) Actually, I'm slightly okay with going here so I can form my own opinion about the hospital and not the horror stories I have heard! The results of the blood clotting bloodwork have not come back yet. Some of them did, and they are normal, but apparently the 2 big ones they are looking for are still at the lab. We're going to go ahead with the dye test, regardless. So hopefully by tomorrow late afternoon, we will have dye test answers as well as blood clotting answers.

I'm so excited to be moving forward with some of this and finding answers. I hope we get answers quickly, but I am also aware that all of these tests may come back normal. One big thing we found out from this doctor is that the chance of another miscarriage within 3 months of a miscarriage, is over 60% higher. It may have been more than that, possibly 80%, I can't remember. While that totally sucks that we didn't know that before, it kinda puts us back at the first miscarriage being a "fluke" and the 2nd one resulting in us getting pregnant too quickly. Some people have asked me about that, but according to both previous doctors, there were differing opinions on the waiting period. To me, it makes sense. But in our drive to have a baby, we listened to the doctors without doing much research on our own.

It was hard to make the decision to see this new , as I wanted to seek God's will. It's hard to differentiate between "signs", but I like to think of those as God. I hope we're making the right decision by going through some of these tests. It's exciting to me, so I hope that's a good sign :) Stay tuned for results and updates!

Monday, August 13, 2012

And the Naming Continues...

Most of you know that we named our last baby.  I'm definitely not going to go into the reasons as to why we made this decision but if you want to read more about that, you can do so here.  A few of you have asked me if we were going to name this baby as well.  At first, I wasn't ready to think about it. And to be quite honest, I did not feel as inclined to do so. I also didn't think I'd ever have to make that decision, but here I am. I started thinking about how much I hated naming one and not the other. I read back over the reasons we decided to name Jessie, and my heart was once again broken in my thoughts to not name this baby. But honestly, I've just been in a pretty bitter mood about the whole situation. So long story short, I decided I wanted a name for this baby too.

I was back to the drawing board for name choices. This time, I wanted to intentionally choose a name that had meaning. When I started looking those up, it just made me sad. I immediately quit looking and moved on through my day. I am just so tired of being sad about all the things going on. So then I started thinking....

I want to preface everything I am about to tell you. I shouldn't even really care what you think, but I kinda do. Only because some of you don't know my and Derrick's personalities well enough to know our decisions behind things. Basically, we're both pretty sarcastic and that can be taken in a couple of different ways. Our take on miscarriage is obviously not one that is taken lightly. Our hearts are broken as we try to expand our family and keep getting let down. It is a horrible situation to find yourself in and our hearts go out to anyone who has or will experience miscarriage. Our first loss was definitely a lot more shocking than the second one, but the hurt was still very abundant. With that being said, we're also trying not to dwell.

And with that being said, we decided to name our baby Myrtle. ha ... It's okay to laugh :) Now let me explain. Derrick and I found out we were pregnant while in Myrtle Beach on vacation. Derrick kept giving me a really hard time that if it was a girl, he wanted to name it Myrtle. I'm sorry if your name is Myrtle, or if your great grandmother's, that you so lovingly adore, has that name, but it kinda sucks...  Let's be honest :) Anyways, it became a big joke and while Derrick was not serious, it irked me, but in a funny way. When I first thought about that name for our baby, I was like oh, heck no! I had been praying about a name just coming to me because I couldn't just search for one again. I briefly questioned God on putting this name in my head. I mean, seriously? I let the thought pass but then I couldn't quit thinking about it. I would NEVER name a child Myrtle, but much less, a boy. But then I decided either way, the kid would be ticked, so why not?! It reminded me of the fun, exciting part of being pregnant and not the sad part of losing the baby. I brought it up to Derrick, of course prepping him for the direction in which the conversation was about to go, and he was actually on board.

We love Myrtle just as much as we love Jessie, even if we burst out laughing every time we say the name :)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Day by Day

What a whirlwind of a few days it has been. I have actually been blogging and not posting for a couple of weeks now. Those posts are now below if you're interested in catching up on the whole story. I blogged a couple nights ago and was definitely not in a great state of mind. It felt so good to get it all out though! I am definitely still very confused about the situation we are finding ourselves in but I learning to take it day by day. I am definitely dealing more with the anger than the sadness this time around. To jump right in, and in case you aren't reading below, Derrick and I found out a couple of weeks ago that we were 6 weeks pregnant. On Saturday, we miscarried... again.

To fill you in medically, my levels are already back to normal and those of you who have been following this story for a while now, this miscarriage was no where like the previous. It was much quicker and much less painful. According to the doctors, 2 miscarriages still does not constitute a huge concern for recurrent ones. However, I am trying not to find peace in that. I want the Lord's direction. However, medically speaking, that means that until a 3rd one happens, there is no need to do extensive testing. I'm happy about that. I will have some blood work done to test for a blood clotting disorder. Now that I am typing this, I feel like I wrote about it in one of my last posts, but I warned you that those were when my hands were winning the battle and typing without thinking. There are no obvious reasons as to why this happened a 2nd time. It's comforting to know that at this point. However, it's not comforting to know we may have to endure this a 3rd time to get real answers. I'm working on that battle.

We have been very hesitant to share this news and we just found ourselves in an awkward situation. We had been able to tell a few of people the exciting news but we were keeping it a bit more quiet. But then the miscarriage happened and we just didn't know how or whether to share that news. Well, obviously we are. And honestly, I'm doing it for the sole fact that I am so tired of answering all the questions over and over again. I am in no way annoyed with the people who have been reaching out and wanting to know what is going on, but I'm ready to have a one stop shop for people. I'm ready to move on. We do not want you feeling sorry for us, acting differently around us, or sending your wishes of love and support. We know those things and we appreciate it so much. But it makes it very hard to move on. The best thing you can do for us right now is to pray. We want to see God's plan in all of this and I personally need to be seeking God more for my strength and peace. My hearts desire is that I will carry our babies one day, but I am fully aware that may not be in God's plan for our lives. If that's the case, I want to seek that answer from Him. I have spent far too much time googling things and looking for comfort in the stories of others.

We are so thankful for each of you and while we are sad, angry, and a mix of other emotions, we are strong and we are doing just fine. Keep us in your prayers and we will keep you updated with any new information that we may have. We are not stopping in our attempts to have a baby, at least not at this point. However, if we do find ourselves pregnant with a healthy baby on the way, do not expect to know that information for at least 3 to 4 months :) Our lips are sealed and we know you will respect that!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Here We Go Again

 It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Yeah, that's how I feel right now. I've been blogging but not posting since we weren't sharing any news. Those blogs are below so feel free to catch yourself up. I wish I wasn't writing this blog right now, but I am. It's a part of our story and I refuse to sit in silence. This blog helps me to work through my emotions and you're either welcome to read it or to ignore it. Your decision.

Many of you are going to be completely shocked as we hadn't even had the opportunity to share that we were expecting baby #2. Many of you are close enough to us that you should have known this but we were guarding our own hearts in sharing. And maybe there's a better protocol for notifying but screw protocols right now. Unfortunately, Derrick and I have suffered through miscarriage #2. At this point, I have so many emotions going on that I can't even sort through them all. I can guarantee that I'm going to offend some of you, but this blog is for me, and right now, I couldn't really care less. I probably shouldn't even really blog in the emotional state I am in right now, but I am. It's true emotion and I don't want to sugarcoat and pretend everything is just fine. So if I do offend you personally, that was not my intention.

On Friday, July 27th, I started spotting. Immediately freaked out but tried to remain calm. I've previously posted about my struggle to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Well, hello worst! Anyways, I called the doctor and knew what they would say but needed to hear it from them. I didn't need to freak, just needed to monitor things. Woke up on Saturday morning to find that a miscarriage was in full force. Fortunately (if there is one of those in this situation), the process was not comparable pain-wise to the first miscarriage. I think that's because I was not very far along in this pregnancy (6 weeks for those of you wondering). Thankful for that. We didn't go to the doctor until Monday morning. It was the same story. They did an ultrasound and weren't completely sure. They were 90% sure, but needed blood work to confirm. Still waiting on those results, but we know the answer.

The doctors aren't very concerned at this point. Again, thankful that there are no obvious reasons as to why this happened again. However, full testing is not typically done until after 3 miscarriages. They are going to do some blood work to figure out if it's a blood clotting disorder which should be an easy fix. However, I also shouldn't have had another miscarriage so we'll see how that goes.

My mood right now is pretty pessimistic. I usually try to avoid blogging in this type of mood, but clearly not tonight. One minute, I'm content in the Lord's will for our baby making future and the next I'm blaring God songs in my car trying to remind myself that His promises are true. One minute I'm prayerful and hopeful and the next I want to punch pregnant women in the face for complaining about their pregnancy. Yes, it must be so hard to be so pregnant with a healthy baby on the way. Yeah, not feeling very sorry for you right now. One minute I'm calm and at peace with what is going on and the next I'm all worked up and blogging about how much I'm questioning God's purpose in all of this.

I'm trying, I really am. But I'm struggling. I don't think I anticipated exactly how I would feel after another miscarriage. I guess you don't typically envision that though but I guess I assumed I would feel the same ways. In a lot of ways, I do. But in a lot of ways, I'm much more perplexed as to why God felt we needed to suffer 2 miscarriages. Am I still thankful for many of the things He did shield us from, such as a further along pregnancy, the pain, etc.? Absolutely. But am I mad that we're on #2 while everyone around me seems to be getting pregnant and having no complications? Absolutely. I'm working hard to find the good in all of this. I know I may not see it for a while. Sometimes, I try to convince myself that I'm okay without ever having children but that is so not the truth. Sometimes, I try to convince myself that adoption is sufficient for us. Right now, that's not where my heart is. I want to carry my own baby. I want to be fat with stretch marks and all the other glorious things I don't know about yet brought on by delivering a precious baby. Ok, I don't want to be fat but you get the picture.

I'm tired of constantly giving up my own desires and plans only to find out a few weeks later that I can go back to those. I'm tired of it all. I want to know God's purpose for this and I want to know if we'll ever have our own babies. I know all the pain and anguish will be worth it when I hold my own baby in my arms, but how long can I hope for that? I'm certainly not ready to give up but I'm also not ready for miscarriage #3. More than anything, I need your prayers because I'm having trouble finding God in these things right now.

For those of you with children of your own, love on them tonight. Be thankful that they are at home with you and you can hold them in your arms. I would give anything to have that feeling. For those of you pregnant, embrace all the changes. Be thankful for that little life inside of you. I would do anything to be in your shoes.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Visit

I wasn't actually prepared for how nervous I would be to go to the doctor and have everything confirmed. Derrick and I went first thing Monday (7/23/12) morning to our new doctor. On the drive there, I thought I was going to throw up. Of course, it was early and I was downing water so they could do a test but my nerves started setting in. I became absolutely terrified that they were going to say, "You're not pregnant". It was such a relief when they said "Your test is positive". I was convinced they were going to say otherwise... apparently Derrick was too. In that moment, I think I felt my first bit of pure excitement. Anyways, we went on to meet with the doctor and go over a few things. Unfortunately, my Chicago marathon is out. I'm not allowed to increase my mileage. I'm a little bummed but so much more happy to be pregnant! I'll do anything to keep this baby healthy and growing! We go back in 3 weeks to (hopefully) hear a strong beating heart! My heart in anxious but I'm confident in the Lord's plan for our lives and for this baby's life.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Hoping For The Best, Preparing For The Worst

This has been my little motto (for lack of a better word) since we first found out something was wrong with our first pregnancy. I remember crying on the phone to my mom telling her I didn't know how to balance this out. At that time, I was not capable of doing both. Maybe it was because I knew in my heart and soul what was happening, but honestly I don't think this is something that can be perfected. Instead, I had to focus on God for the strength to carry me through. I was not capable of hoping our baby would be okay while also preparing my heart for the reality that was happening. I quickly learned to pray in those moments... that there really was no other option! Goodness... my jaw line is aching now holding back those tears! Just proof that you don't heal from something like we went through, but only it hurts a little less. Anyways.... I had been thinking about writing this post for a while now but just never sat down to write it. Life has been crazy these past few months. Let's have a little udpate:

Sometime in May, Derrick and I went to a new doctor. We got their advice on what to do from that point on. Basically, they advised us to wait 3 months until we started trying again. That would mean this month. He went over so many details of miscarriage and what that looks like for us now. For those of you wondering, the chance of another one is only slightly higher if you've had one. And the chance for a third one is only a little bit higher after that. Those statistics can be comforting, but I really don't think they provide me a lot of comfort. Regardless, we had a great feeling about them and decided to start using them as our provider. May also meant wrapping up the school year for me. It was a crazy year, but it was so great. In June, we took our small groups through our church down to Panama for a retreat. It was a crazy week but it was so fun! And we just got back from a week long trip to Myrtle Beach. I am in the process of wrapping up my specialist degree! 5 days left! And tomorrow, I start back to work. And that's pretty much it, in a nutshell!

                                               Well, minus one thing.... we're pregnant! 
It's so surreal to even type that. Apparently it was surreal when we found out too, because I took multiple tests. We found out the first full day of our beach trip to Myrtle. As I type this, I'm one day shy of 5 weeks. Honestly, I don't know what emotions to feel. I want to be excited, and I am to an extent, but I'm also very hesitant to feel anything. My little motto is holding true. It is so hard to hope that this baby is going to develop normally while also preparing that the same thing could happen again. I'm not sure how my heart would handle it, but I do know that it is in God's hands. I'm trying not to focus on anything really. I don't want to let myself get caught up in the pregnancy and have the same thing happen, but I also don't want to think of it as nothing! It's a very difficult place to be in, but one I'm so happy to be in.

I'll be the first to admit that my idea of pregnancy and conception and all that was so skewed. So many friends were getting pregnant and were always so thankful to God about that. Of course, I was in the same boat, however my mind often had other thoughts. When people would talk about being pregnant and how much of a miracle it was, I always thought to myself, Yeah, but I mean, that's what's supposed to happen. You're supposed to be able to get pregnant and have babies and that's how God intended it. Boy were my thoughts off! I really, truly was not in the mindset of thinking it was a miracle. Miscarriage was foreign to me. I thought it more so meant that there was something wrong with one of the partners. However as I started to research it, I found how untrue that was. It is a miracle, and it's about that precious baby forming and being created perfectly by the hands of God. Andy Stanley (our pastor) was preaching not too long ago about how God will use anything to get your attention. That really stuck out to me and hit me hard. Maybe God used our miscarriage to get my attention. I am also very guilty of thinking that it was going to be my baby, our baby. Not God's child. I'm pretty baby crazy in general so this was a hard concept for me. I think God used that situation to capture my attention and to put this whole perspective of pregnancy correctly in my mind. Now, I also should say that I'm not saying I was being punished. It was simply used to get my attention. And I'm not going to justify that thought really. It's something I believe deep in my heart and it's a comforting thought to me.

I'm writing this post with no real thought of when I'm going to actually share it with everyone, but whenever I do share it, no matter what has happened between now and then, I ask for your prayers. Prayers for peace, comfort, and strength. Of course, my hope is that all those are for a continued happy, healthy pregnancy, but if not, I know that we will get through.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Decision to Name

I mentioned in my last post about the decision to possibly name our sweet baby. Don't get me wrong, I totally get that it's slightly weird. I understand that it may not be typical. I understand you may think it doesn't change anything, but to me, it changes everything. Let me explain:

Just a few days after the miscarriage, I was getting so tired of referring to my baby as "it". This hadn't bothered me in the weeks I was pregnant as I knew I would be finding out soon what we would be having. Well, quickly thereafter, it began to drive me insane. So many people reaching out to us, even those with their own babies in heaven, would refer to their he or she. I just hated it. It's completely a personal opinion. For me, it's been a huge part of my healing (not that you ever heal from something like this, but the wound hurts a little less).

With this new annoyance, I had the fleeting thought of naming the baby. I had purchased an adorable picture frame when we first found out we were pregnant and I was ecstatic to put an ultrasound picture in there soon! Well, that wasn't going to be happening. At first, I figured I would just use it "next time". Now, that thought makes me so sad. I had wanted that picture frame for this baby, not another one. From that moment, I knew I needed a name. However, I was still in my own mind enough to know it was kinda weird. I had not really heard of anyone doing this (until I googled it)! And even then, it seemed like it was for people who miscarried much later on in the pregnancy. I thought I was being dramatic and let the thought pass. It creeped into my mind a few times but I decided I needed to wait until I wasn't so sad and see if it actually made sense.

Well, as time went on (and by time, I mean a couple of days), I couldn't push that thought out of my mind. I decided it wasn't AS weird anymore, and it didn't matter what other people did. I also knew I didn't want to go around telling people I had a baby and referring to its name all the time, however, for my heart to heal a little, it helped to have a name. I decided I would bring it up to Derrick. However, still acknowledging it was slightly strange, I also decided I should have an idea of what I was wanting the name to be. I couldn't really think of anything. I wanted it to be gender-neutral, obviously. I decided to just wait and think about it some more. The next night, I was lying in bed, not even thinking about this decision, and all of a sudden a name came to me. It was not a name I had ever imagined naming one of my babies. Honestly, it wasn't even a name I loved. Until now that is. I thought it was kind of weird, but in my heart, I knew that was the name I wanted for our baby. Now to convince Derrick :)

The next day, I decided to mention it to Derrick, to get his reaction. Of course, he was super supportive and told me we could do whatever we needed to if it helped me. At this point, I was glad I had thought on the name a little, or he would have named the baby something strange :) Of course, my mind had already been made up, but I wanted Derrick on board. I told him the name and he was actually okay with it. We decided to look it up to see what it meant. I'm also not sure why this occurred to me, as I'm not one to care what names mean. Well, after looking it up, tears streamed down my face for about 5 minutes, and every time I think about it, I have the same reaction. The name we chose for our baby means "God's gracious gift". That baby was a gift and we were so blessed to experience the short time that we did. We will never get to know our baby on this Earth, but I completely believe that babies have souls at conception and when I get to Heaven, I want to call my baby by name. And I will.

Now, that sweet picture frame I bought for this baby will no longer sit in a closet waiting to be used. I'm going to create a little note and place it in the frame. It will forever be our memento of our first little one, Jessie Holmes, God's gracious gift to us.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Aftermath

According to Wikipedia, which all we know to be completely accurate :), aftermath refers to "A period of time following a disastrous event". First of all, I'm clearly in a grad school mode as I give a reference in my personal blog. Or maybe that means I'm legit. I'm not sure. Either way, aftermath is certainly an accurate term to me.

First of all, I want to express gratitude for all of you who have reached out to us during this time. We have had so many calls, texts, messages, etc. We have been completely overwhelmed and are so thankful. Your prayers mean more to us than anything and we would certainly not be making it without them.

Over the past couple of weeks, my emotions have been on a roller coaster. I'm not a crier. I usually get angry instead of crying. Ask Derrick. He's usually victim to this. I just don't enjoy crying. I tell myself to man up and move on. Unless you worked with me at Mossy Creek Elementary, you would not know I was a crier :) Well, I am now, and I'm okay with it. It's helping me deal with it all. There have been very few events in my life that made me cry continuously. Honestly, at the moment, I can only think of one; a heartbreak back in high school. I can already tell how much better I am handling this emotionally, relying on our faith and each other. The one amazing thing coming out of all this is how much closer I feel to Derrick. I'm a bit of a control freak and I've really had to rely on him for strength and to make decisions. I look more to him for guidance than I did before, which is an amazing feeling. It was something I had been praying about for a while, but was so difficult for me. It's much easier now. I'm trying to leave it that way!

I'm putting on a good face the majority of the time that I am around lots of people. Each day gets better, and I don't just sit around and cry anymore, but some days, I just don't want to go to all the trouble of smiling when I don't feel like it. Right now, I'm coming off a wonderful wedding weekend of one of my best friends. It was so amazing to be a part of it all. It was a distraction to the heartbreak in my own life. However, that's all it was. When it was all said and done, I was left very tired from the lack of sleep after all the shenanigans :) and left to face the reality. That did not bode well for Sunday night.  Luckily, I was cleared for exercise so Monday I had the excitement of getting in a run and being able to push myself again! It was nice, in a way. I wasn't planning on that back in March when we found out we were expecting, but I was thankful for it. I went for an hour long walk today with a friend but was left more crampy than I had hoped. At this point, it's hard to tell what is soreness from not running in almost 3 weeks or what is my body telling me to cool it.

I've struggled with so many thoughts over the past couple of weeks. I'm not blaming myself. I know this baby was not forming correctly and it was God's way of taking care of it. However, the future absolutely terrifies me. That is going to be my biggest struggle for the many years to come. I'm scared of it happening again. I'm scared of never having babies. I'm scared of forgetting this baby (which is leading me to the possibility of naming this baby. It may be odd, but we'll see).  I'm scared of it all. I'm not opposed to adoption at all, however, it would take much longer for us to have a baby if that is the case. Financially, we would have to wait much longer. We're praying for God's will, even though in my heart, I want to carry a baby. I'm already stressed about the possibility of another pregnancy and how I won't be able to enjoy it. I pray my heart changes between now and then and I can rely on the Lord for strength. However, I know that I can't obsess over these things.

Recently, someone I used to know has been discussing the scientific evidence behind this life. While it saddens me, I can't imagine how people can't believe in something other than this life. I have never been more aware of the Lord's love for us. A few days after the miscarriage, I literally had an out of body experience. This was still in the days of my showering and crawling back in bed to shed a few tears before Derrick would have to leave. I literally watched myself get out of the bed and continue on with my morning routine. As one foot stepped in front of the other, I was amazed at how this was happening. I wanted to lay in bed and cry but I couldn't. I had to move on. Could I do that? Absolutely. Am I going to? Absolutely not.

Many people have said to us, "you'll have other babies!" While I hope this is true, it is the last thing I want to hear. First of all, this is our first baby. We may have never got to hold it on this Earth, or get to know it, or raise it, but we loved it and were already preparing for it. Second of all, you're not a doctor. And even a doctor doesn't know that information. So just don't tell that to someone who suffered a miscarriage. Pray for them, love on them, but don't predict their future.

This process isn't over for us. Unfortunately, we still have a journey ahead of us. My levels are not where they need to be just yet and I'm still going to be going in to get that checked. This means I still have things in my uterus that shouldn't be there. So basically, I don't go anywhere without my Loritab or a nice bathroom nearby. I feel like a drug addict, constantly checking to make sure I have my drugs with me and a private location! I'm ready to be done. I'm ready for all the "firsts" to be over and for heartache to continue to be less.

Again, I don't want to close without acknowledging the blessings in this aftermath. It is so easy to talk about all the sad and scary parts, but there have been so many good parts. After finding out it wasn't all over on the same day I left for the wedding festivities to begin, my biggest fear was having another "episode" in the midst of all the wedding excitement. That didn't happen. The focus was not on me and my sadness but on my best friend and her excitement and that was a wonderful thing. The closeness I feel to Derrick each day grows which is a very exciting thing. The support from our family and friends is overwhelming and we realize how much we are loved. I get to drink wine which is awesome. :) This may be a trivial blessing, and while it was a little sad at first, I'm fully embracing it. I get to share my story. While it is not a story I ever intended to have to share, I am so thankful for the doors it is opening and the friendships I am gaining through it. You truly cannot understand this experience until you have been through it, and while my heart breaks for those who understand it, I am so thankful for their encouragement and understanding. The strength we feel from the Lord to get through each day is overwhelming. While I never hoped I would need it in such a way, it is a feeling I cannot describe.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Unexpected

This post is raw. It is filled with the true emotion that Derrick and I have been experiencing over the past few days. Details may be too much for you and if you think that may be you, then you may not want to go on to read the rest. It will also be lengthy, but for me, I need this information written down, so that we may always remember. I'll try to keep it as "g" as possible.

Nearly 2 weeks ago, I noticed some light spotting. I was immediately concerned but was quickly reassured by my doctors that this was completely normal and unless cramping started to take my breath away or I started noticed large clots, then I was fine. Well, by that definition, I was fine. At my next appointment, I mentioned this again and they continued to not be concerned. Therefore, I tried not to be. On Monday, April 16, I called to let them know it had not stopped. Now they wanted to see me. I immediately freaked out wondering why, but tried to hold it together. I went in on Tuesday to have an ultrasound and was told that there was not a 10 week old baby in there, and there was basically no baby at all. I was devastated. They ultimately gave me some of my options but sent me on to their bigger office for an ultrasound tech to confirm the viability (aka life of the baby). However, I was also told I could come in for a D&C on Thursday, April 19. Emotion filled us. Mine more through crying, and Derrick was being strong for the both of us.
We went on to Gainesville for another ultrasound. For those of you not aware of how ultrasounds work in early trimesters, it's definitely not the gel and stomach scenario you might think. I was not excited about this, especially knowing what we had been told. Well, we waited and waited, all while the sight of all the cute pregnant women in the office immediately brought me to tears. We went back and had another ultrasound. This tech called for another set of eyes as she was not so sure. This was encouraging news, but nonetheless, it also made the unpleasant ultrasound a bit longer. Small price to pay to see if our baby was going to be okay though. These results showed that there was indeed a baby. However, it was a 6 week old baby and they couldn't find a heartbeat. This was not a huge cause for concern as the doctor believed I could only be 6 weeks and a heartbeat is not typically visible that early on. From the previous information I had received, I was completely lost at this point. We had hope and that was exciting. The doctor said at this point, they just did not know. I was to have blood drawn and come back on Thursday, April 19 (the previously scheduled D&C day) to have more blood drawn to compare my hcg levels. For those not familiar with pregnancy, hcg is what is detected in your blood and urine to determine pregnancy. If the levels had risen, things were good. If not, a miscarriage was inevitable.

So obviously, Wednesday was tough. I had a conference all day long which was nearly unbearable. I made it, but by the time I got home, I completely lost it. I couldn't quit imagining what life was now going to be like without this baby we had already made so many plans for. All of the what-ifs and how come's came crashing down like a ton of bricks. I was pretty inconsolable until I fell asleep (thanks to my husband who could calm me down enough to breathe!)! Well, waking up didn't fare too much better in this house...

On Thursday, April 19, I woke up to the previous concerns the nurses had told me to watch for. Things quickly turned even worse and I was in so much pain. I felt I could throw up at any given second (although I don't like doing this, so I kept myself from it), it hurt to sit and to stand, and there was literally no relief. Numerous things I've read and heard say it resembles labor, because my uterus was contracting, like labor pains. I'm sure it's just a degree and all of you who have actually gone through labor may state otherwise! However, it was not great. Had I been delivering a 40-week baby, I may have been able to handle it, but I wasn't. After a series of phone calls, my doctors told me to wait until Friday to come in to compare my hcg levels. Then, due to blood loss, I ended up at the doctor. Luckily, my blood levels were great and I wouldn't have to be admitted for a D&C, nor would I need a transfusion or anything else. They did another (not so great) ultrasound and it was confirmed. I had officially miscarried.

While I had known this in my heart since Tuesday afternoon, I had such a difficult time hoping for the best and preparing for the worst, however not much can prepare you for seeing everything that should have shown up on an ultrasound 2 days prior and suddenly not being able to see anything on the ultrasound. That was hard. I had since taken some meds so my pain was slowing down and I was just so happy to be able to breathe, that I made it through okay. Derrick made it through okay, too. However, I hope no one I ever know has to go through that.

There have already been so many answers to prayers during this whole process. I am so thankful I did not have to make a decision as to how to "expel" everything and that it happened naturally, at my home. There have been so many small signs of the Lord showing up in our lives. I'm not usually one for "signs" but these warrant mentioning. A sweet friend texted me very early this morning with Isiah 41:10- "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Little did she know that the process of the miscarriage had already begun. Overnight, someone had slid 2 small cards under our door, each with bible verses on them. And for those of you who don't know, we live in residence halls on NGCSU campus. We often get things under our door, but never bible verses. And no students here yet knew of our circumstances. I walked out to my car (before things turned worse) to get Chick Fil A for breakfast and there was a small note from a friend, encouraging me and praying for me. None of these people were aware of what was going on at the exact time these things appeared. Whether you are a believer or not, those are signs. Each of those was the comfort of the Lord showing up in our lives. More specifically, in my eyes, Isiah 41:10 was being brought to my attention in more ways than one.

While we are extremely sad that we will never get to meet or get to know this baby on this Earth, we can confidently say that we await the day when we get to meet our sweet baby in Heaven. As I write this with tears in my eyes, I have to say that I am already finding a strength I didn't know possible. Without Derrick by my side, I would not be making it. Without our amazing families and group of friends, we would not be making it. Without our faith, we surely would not make it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Running and Pregnancy

I could leave this post blank and that would be enough. That's what running is like, being pregnant. Empty! Blank. Worthless! It's quite frustrating. Let me explain...

I started running in October of 2010. I became obsessed with it quickly and developed a love I never knew I had. I used to loathe running! Since that time, running became one of my biggest hobbies and soon was one of Derrick's biggest hobbies, too. We were constantly training for something and most of our weekends involved some type of race. We loved it! We still do. However, since learning of this pregnancy, my running has taken a turn for the worse. The weekend after I found I was pregnant, my 10k time was almost 10 minutes slower than 2 weeks before. Sure, maybe I'm more aware of things and being cautious. But for a competitive runner, 10 minutes is not acceptable. For the past year, I was waking up at 4:30ish to run with friend before work. Since my new job, that time was pushed to 6am, which was great. However, when you wake up feeling nauseous, running is the last thing on my mind. Luckily, I found a resolution for this. Anyways, my point is the struggle. Races just don't bring me the same excitement, knowing I won't be placing, nor will I be making a new PR.

Running used to be my stress reliever. My time to think about all the things going on in my life. When I ran with friends, it was a time to talk about life and support one another. Well, now, my runs stress me out even more! I'm learning to cope. I'm learning that I need a new plan. But it's not easy. I can no longer run with the endurance I had a mere 9 weeks ago. My run has become a slow jog, intermittent with walking. I get out of breath within 5 minutes of fast jog. I'm really not okay with this but I'm learning. Everytime I'm out there, I remind myself... at least I'm out here. I've heard over and over, "but you're pregnant now"! I don't care! Well, I do care, but I still miss my running!

I was signed up for my first marathon in early October. In the back of my head, I had convinced myself that even if I wound up pregnant before then, I could still walk/run it. I wasn't planning on being 35 weeks pregnant the day of the race. I've finally come to the conclusion it won't be happening. And mostly because I don't want to drive to Chicago and flying is not safe that late. I'm pretty bummed, but I've already decided I'm going to do one after the baby! Hopefully that keeps me motivated during the next 8 months to continue with what I can. I will be doing the Peachtree in July. I'll be 20 weeks then, so I'm sure walking will be involved, but it will still be fun!

Right now, I long for the day when I can have a "good run". Where I come back being refreshed and excited about my time! I'd make do with a nice glass of red wine, too, but that's not happening anytime soon either. :)

I really am happy I'm pregnant, but I refuse to write a blog only talking about the good things. There are negatives, but I know it will all be worth it in the end!

And I'll get that good run in, with a cute little baby in the jogging stroller with me :)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Telling the News

This past weekend, we spent telling lots of people about the big news! We were able to tell my sister on Thursday when she came over to hang out. If you know my sister, you know she's slightly dramatic. And by slightly, I mean immensely. She has a crazy idea that when you have a kid, your house is full of poop. She thinks when you go to the store that anyone within a 10 person radius will be sprayed with poop. And I'm not exaggerating. We had just been talking about this so I covered a shirt with Hershey's chocolate syrup and put it on my face. She opened the door and we proceeded to get the best video ever. It's on Derrick's phone and he's not here but I'll try to post it at some point. If you ever questioned how dramatic she is, you will no more.

Telling my parents was more complicated. Long story short, we were supposed to tell them Friday afternoon but plans kept changing so we were not able to tell them until Saturday afternoon. We had dinner with some friends on Friday night and were able to tell them that we will be joining both of them in the baby world! Yay!! Saturday morning we went to breakfast with Derrick's parents and told them immediately with a gift we had gotten them. Shock is what hit their faces! Followed by excitement! For my parents, it was the same. And my little brother immediately claimed it would be a "he". Words can't describe telling them. It was so fun!

I was even able to tell 2 of my best friends on Saturday and proceeded to make a phone call to the other 2, in which the conversation consisted of "!" over and over again. We told Derrick's sister Saturday (over the phone since she is out of state) as well and I think she cried! We were also able to inform our small group friends from church. 2 of them are expecting (one in July and one any day now), and the other is the leader, with 3 kids already! We're already baby surrounded!

Sunday, we ran a 1ok and my time is already slowing! It took me almost 10 minutes longer to complete than it did 3 weeks ago. That's gonna be tough! Worth it, but tough! My October marathon plans are over (more than likely), but I'm thinking that a marathon will be a really good chance for me to lose baby weight once the baby is here! We shall see!

At this point, a plethora of emotions constantly fill me. Last night, watching TV, I sat and cried like a baby while Derrick enjoyed laughing at that. Other than that, no major symptoms to report. Let's pray that continues!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Sooner than Later

Well... it has certainly been a while. But I don't feel bad in the least about that! I made a New Years Resolution that when I was done with grad school, I would pick this back up. It should be noted that I'm not done with grad school and I'm starting sooner. There is a reason for that.... We're expecting a baby!!

A year ago, I would have said "Not a chance....3 more years..." Well, our hearts changed. We decided to throw caution to the wind and I think we were both shocked that it only took 2 months. I was convinced I was going to have to adopt children. I have a tendency to think the worst... all the time. It's a problem, I know. Anyways, my hope is that I can keep everyone updated with what is going on with this new journey for us, through here! I'll start from the day we found out...
Actually... I'm going to back up a little bit. From the first month we decided we wanted a baby, I obsessed over every little symptom I had. Seriously... it was ridiculous. People don't tell you how hard the waiting and anticipation is. I seriously have a soft spot now for women trying to conceive, and my wait was not even long! So for about a week before we found out, I was having small symptoms that I was not letting myself obsess over and chalking it up to some reason I could find. I really was not going to let myself be disappointed for however long it took us to get pregnant! Derrick had told me I had to wait a couple days before I tested due to the amount of money we poured out on home pregnancy tests last month. Ha... he's funny. I told him I would wait till Tuesday (3/6/12) but I clearly did what I wanted to. I tested on Monday... at about 5:15 in the morning. It quickly showed that I was pregnant. And honestly, my first reaction was OMG. My next reaction was... I won't have to deal with womanly things for 9 months. Looking back on that though, I bet my opinion will completely change! Anyways, I went back to bed and was determined not to tell Derrick anything! I wanted to tell him in a fun way. So for the next hour, I downloaded a pregnancy app and started reading! Yes... I have a problem. I like to be prepared. Deal with it! That day (which is today, I'm writing and not posting till we announce), was a whirlwind of emotions. Crying at the drop of a hat has already been on the list the past week, so I teared up over EVERYTHING. Ridiculous things. I worked all day so my mind was constantly going back and forth over things. I went for a run, and was paranoid the whole time. I never went over 5.5 mph, which I normally run at 6.5 or faster. And I alternated with walking. This baby is already taking over my life! Anyways... I drove past Derrick's truck on the way to the gym and teared up thinking, "I'm about to change his whole world". I wasn't sure if I should say change or ruin... we'll let you know :)

Telling Derrick
I had come up with several silly ways to tell Derrick. Pinterest royally let me down, btw. I decided to get a card and put it on his truck and stalk him till he left work and read it. I teared up looking at cards, scared to death someone would see me and know what was up. Who cries when they're looking at baby cards? Anyways.... I followed through with the plan. Once I put the envelope on his truck, I circled the parking lot a few times looking for "the spot". I didn't just need any spot. I wanted to be in the best creeper-ability spot in the massive lot. Well, I found that spot. Only to have someone sitting in their car directly in front of me. I kept watching for Derrick, and he kept profiling me in case he needed to give a description later. As he was leaving, Derrick was approaching his truck. Creepily, I rolled down my window and only stuck my iPhone out the window to get good shots of his face reading it. The guy seriously probably reported me. Oops. Well, Derrick decided to get in the truck and read the card. So all my creeping was for nothing! I got out of the car and walked up to his truck just in time! He had the biggest grin on his face! He was like a fat kid in a candy shop :) I quickly snapped his pic and then made him read the card again. Then, I ruined the moment by telling him about my creeping abilities :) We went to dinner to celebrate and made our plans for how and when we would tell people.

We still can't really believe it. We're super excited but not sure how to feel at this moment! We're just excited to spread the news!!