Thursday, November 4, 2010

Family Picture Time!

Joel's parents came in town a couple of weeks ago, and while they were here, I really wanted to get some family pics! And definitely a 3-generation pic with Joel's dad, Joel, and the boys. So we headed over to JCP, Joels parents, my parents, and the 4 of us! We did black shirts and jeans, and the pics turned out great! I normally HATE pictures of myself, but these actually didnt turn out too bad!! Enjoy...
(just wish Joel would have closed his eyes!! LOL!!!)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Scrapbook Blogging?!

Well, I used to be an avid scrapbooker, until I got pregnant with Decklan...ok, a little before that! Life just got too crazy to have time to spend doing it! Those of you that are scrappers know it can take a loooong time, just to do one page! Well, since scrapping doesnt look like it will be happening anytime in the near future, I decided to try to replace at least the journaling part of scrapping, with blogging! I can always look back and refer to the blog when I do get time to scrap! So, this is my first attempt at 'blog scrapping'! LOL! I'm sure there's a more technical way to do it, but this is good for now!

I'm not even sure if anyone reads this blog, but that's ok, its still fun!!!

So lately we've been trying to teach Decklan to wave 'bye bye'. He gets it some of the time! He waves his entire arm, from his shoulder. His arm stays stiff and straight, but it goes up and down! Well, we've been having some struggles at nap time, and today was no exception. Let's just say he did NOT want to be in his crib today! But mommy won that battle! :) After his nap, I picked him up out of his crib and he looked at his crib, then looked at the middle of his room and started waving 'bye bye'! He didnt want to be in his room anymore, he wanted it to go 'bye bye'! When we came out of the room, he stopped waving! Sooo funny!!!

Here's a semi-recent pic of the two boys at church...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Heartbreak Continues...

Well, as if experiencing the two miscarriages wasn't enough...little did we know, we weren't done yet.

After a while, a year actually, we decided to try one more time. In December 2006 we got pregnant once again. Because of the two previous miscarriages, the Dr. immediately put me on baby aspirin and progesterone. The baby aspirin acts as a blood thinner. I know youre thinking, why on earth would you take a blood thinner during pregnancy? Especially when it says on the bottle, 'do not take while pregnant'! Because there was no medical reason for the previous miscarriages, the Dr was trying anything he could that he thought may make the difference. One possible cause, he thought, was that my blood was too thick to flow through the placenta to the baby, thus causing the losses. So it was baby aspirin once a day. He also put me on progesterone supplements as well. Progesterone basically creates a 'perfect little nest' for a developing baby. Again, hoping the increase in progesterone would help the pregnancy progress to term.

My prayer since the positive pregnancy test was that this baby would implant so deeply into my uterus, there was no way it would come out before it was time. Well, oddly enough, part of my prayer did come true. During a early-term ultrasound, the Dr. noticed a subchorionic hemorrhage. Which in layman's terms basically means that the baby implanted so deeply into my uterus, that it caused a small bruise. No harm to the baby whatsoever. However, it is possible that it could pop and I would begin bleeding. This bleeding could last a few days to a few months.

So the first few weeks were fine. Progressing normally...for now. Then, the unthinkable happened. I began spotting...again. My parents moved into their new house on Valentine's Day 2007. We were over at their house when the spotting began. Nothing big, and we all thought/hoped/prayed it was the hemorrhage popping. But on Friday, the 16th, the spotting turned to full bleeding. Bright red and lots of it. I called the Dr. He said as long as there is no cramping, I shouldn't be too worried. I asked if it could just be the hemorrhage popping and he said 'maybe, but I think you're losing the baby'. I was so scared. We went home and went to bed that night scared. You guessed it. I woke up all throughout the night cramping...hard.

We woke up Saturday morning in labor. I know it sounds weird to be in labor when you're so early in pregnancy, but your body doesn't care how far along you are, or how big the baby is. I was in full labor, having contractions, back labor, and everything. We took Tyler to my parents house to stay with my dad, picked up my mom, and were on our way to the hospital.

I was having contractions the entire way to the hospital. We called the doctor on our way, and he said he would meet us there. Because it was so early in pregnancy, we went to the ER instead of L&D. I signed in and was told to take a seat and wait my turn. They didn't care that I was loosing my baby...again. I had to wait just like someone with a broken leg or stomach flu.

When they finally called my name, Joel and I stood up, and I motioned for my mom to come with us. The nurse said she wasn't allowed in. She said there wouldn't be room in the room for her. I was so hurt and angry. I needed my mom. We finally got into a room in the ER, the pain was so intense. It took about 20-30 more minutes at least, before the Dr. even came into the room. Right there, in the emergency room hospital bed, the Dr. removed my baby from me. Forceps and a little metal bowl later, it was all over. The pain in my heart was overwhelming. All I could do was cry. I cried so hard I couldn't breathe, and my body was shaking. It wasn't a 'normal' cry when you are sad or hurt, it was a cry that came from deeper inside me than I even knew existed. After the 'procedure' was over, I asked if my mom could finally come in. The Dr was not happy to learn that the nurse hadn't let my mom in earlier. They immediately went to get her, and brought her in. She came right to me and held me and hugged me while we both sobbed. It was a heart wrenching loss for me, but also for her. She lost yet another grandchild, and her own child was hurting. I'm sure it brought back memories from her losses as well. I don't even know how long we sat holding each other crying. It felt like time stood still.

As I type this, I can remember so vividly. I remember the layout of the room, the counter with the little metal bowl that contained my baby, the tray with the forceps, everything. I decided not to look in the bowl. It was the best decision, I'm certain. They wheeled me over to do an ultrasound to make sure they 'got it all'. Then they put me in recovery. I was in the recovery room for a couple of hours before they let us go home.

One thing I forgot to mention, is that the Dr that removed my baby wasn't my doctor. He was just an ER doctor in the hospital. He didn't know me, didn't know my medical history, or the history of the miscarriages, he wasn't even an OB/GYN. It wasn't until in the recovery room that I finally saw MY doctor. The look on his face is one I will not forget, even now I can see the sadness and hurt on his face. He was genuinely sad and disappointed for us. He knew how much we wanted this.

On top of this horrible day, it was the Saturday before our wedding anniversary, and we had planned to go celebrate. I thought it would be better for me to go ahead with our plans, instead of just going home and wallowing in the hurt. So we went ahead and went to lunch and a movie. BIG MISTAKE!!! I was in so much physical pain from the procedure I could hardly walk, much less come out of the 'fog' I was in. It was like I was in a trance from the emotional trauma I had just experienced.

But finally, this horrible ordeal was over. Right then I had decided, we were done. We were NOT going to try again. This was too much. Too much pain physically, emotionally, and mentally. I could NOT do this again.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Where do we go from here?!

Sorry the blog updating has been delayed...we've been a house full of sickies! But I think we're all on the mend now...finally!!!

Anyway...So Where do we go from here?!

After experiencing such a tragedy, the last thing on our minds was 'trying again'. There was a time of disbelief. How could this happen to us? We're good people. Etc etc. My mom had experienced multiple miscarriages, but I was told that didnt matter, its not something that is genetic or inherited. Regardless of my moms history, that had no impact on my health when it came to pregnancies. The most frustrating thing was not having any answers. No answer to the one question I needed an answer to...Why? What happened and how can I make sure it doesnt happen again? Assuming we would ever want to try again anyway. It was the one question no one could answer. No doctors were able to give us any answers. Just the medical terminology that 'something was probably wrong with the 'fetus' and it was 'natures way' of 'taking care of it''. Those words seem so cold and impersonable. They werent just a 'fetus'. They were babies. I wont get on my pro-life soap box now, but in my mind, from the instant conception occurs, it is a baby. A live human being. And 'natures way' of 'taking care of it' was such a cold, lifeless response. Its not like doing the dishes or folding the laundry. Those are things that you just 'take care of'. Not a human life. Especially a precious, innocent baby. But, I understand doctors have to speak from a medical/scientific standpoint, because thats where their training is. But the hardest part was, I couldnt even get an answer from God. It is one of those things I'll never know the real answer to this side of Heaven. Either way, we are left answer-less. No way to know what caused it, or how I can prevent it from happening again.

So, in time, we decided we were going to try again. It was December of the same year we had the twin miscarraiges. Actually, now that I think about it, It was pretty close to what would have been our original due date. Ironic huh?! But, nevertheless, we tried again, and got pregnant. Of course, the fear was instant, but so was the joy. Cautious joy, but joy none the less. For the first couple of days anyway. Approximately 2 weeks after conception, I started cramping and bleeding. Much different than the last time. This felt more like a super bad menstrual cycle. Extremely bad cramping. I knew what was happening. There was no denying. We were miscarrying again. I was devastated. Devastated and in shock that this could be happening to me again. It was almost too much to even wrap my head around. The hurt was overwhelming. Again, the same emotions from before began to emerge. Anger, guilt, sadness, etc. They were all there. And just like before, I had to deal with them before they would go away. And I dealt with them in much the same way I had before. That isnt really something you want to be a 'pro' at. But it seemed different this time for some reason. Most likely because I wasnt ever able to 'see' this baby in me using an ultrasound. Never heard the heartbeat or saw the proof of life. I guess that made it a bit easier, if its possible for anything about a miscarriage to be 'easy'.

There were people all around us having babies. Friends of mine, and people I didnt really know. Seemed like life was anything but fair. And of course, like adding insult to injury, the stories of child abuse and neglect on the news were heart wrenching. Here we were, wanting a baby to raise, a baby to nurture, a baby to love. We wanted a baby, but couldnt have one. And we hear of those people who had plenty of them, and didnt love them, nurture them, or even want them. Wow. Sure sounds fair to me.

That began to be my biggest 'issue' with God. Then my mom said something to me that I'll never forget. She said 'It rains on the just and the unjust'. At first I didnt really understand what she meant. But after some discussion with her, the meaning was clear, and true. Good things happen to bad people, and bad things happen to good people. If serving God meant having an 'easy' or 'good' life, then thats the reason people would serve Him. And that's definitely NOT the reason to serve God! God is a just and fair God. And just because bad things happen to good people, doesnt mean He isnt still God who is sitting on His throne holding the world in the palm of His hand. He still loves me, still cares for me, and still wants the best for me. That was a really hard thing to comprehend, and as I write this, I wonder if people reading it will fully understand what I'm trying to say. I dont know how else to explain it though. Its just one of those things that finally made sense to me.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Where it all began...Kind of!

Joel and I always knew we wanted a family. It was one of the first things we discussed when we met, almost 9 years ago. God was faithful, and shortly before our 2 year wedding anniversary, we were blessed with the birth of Tyler! Pregnancy was relatively text book, with the exception of pre-term labor at 24 weeks. Praise God they were able to stop contractions, and I was able to carry Tyler to full term. Delivery however, was NOT textbook! Many complications during and after delivery made recovery very difficult, but not a moment went by that we werent so grateful to God for our blessing. Life as we knew it was definitely going to change, but sooooo much for the better! And we are still thankful to this day for God allowing us the opportunity to raise and love Tyler.

Backing up just a bit, I had struggled for years with endometriosis, which is supposed to make it much more difficult to get pregnant. Yet another reason to give God all the praise for Tyler! I had surgery, and we had taken care of the problem, but it was only a temporary fix. Approximately 18 months after we had Tyler, the dr. said that the endometriosis I had struggled with, would come back, and when it came back, it would come back worse and more painful, so if we wanted more children, we should get on the ball. Joel and I discussed it, and although we knew we wanted more children, we werent sure we were ready for them this soon! Oh well, we took the drs news as Gods way of telling us that it doesnt matter if we are ready or not, we better get pregnant while we could. Notice, I never said we prayed about it. Never really sought God's face and His will for our life. So, we got pregnant. Immediately I started spotting. I was scared out of my mind, as was Joel. Instantly the joy and excitement of seeing a positive pregnancy test was completly overridden with fear and worry. The spotting started and stopped several times in those first few weeks. After many calls to the dr. we scheduled an ultrasound. The ultrasound showed that I was indeed pregnant, but there was a surprise. We were pregnant with twins! But the joy that should have completely covered this moment was not there. One of the twins had not survived, and therefore on the ultrasound screen we saw a healthy beating heart of one baby, and an empty sac, where the other baby had been. Two words can only describe what we felt...devastation and joy. Devastation that we would never get to meet one of our little angels, but joy that we would get to see the other one! This joy was short lived. The spotting soon returned, along with the fear, and a trip to the ultrasound office again. What we saw on the screen, that image, will NEVER leave my mind. It is burned there forever. We saw the baby, but no heartbeat. Nothing can prepare you for seeing your baby on the screen, and not seeing the one vital thing that assures you all is well. The dr. did some measurements, and the baby had passed away approximately 2 weeks earlier, but my body didnt know. On top of this news, the day we had this ultrasound was the Saturday before Father's Day.

Because my body didnt know, and was still functioning like a normal pregnancy, we had a D&C. The procedure where the dr. goes in and removes the baby. This procedure is typically associated with an abortion, or unwanted pregnancy. However, this was definitely not the case with us. We wanted the baby, both babies, but it wasn't in God's plan.

The last thing I remember before undergoing the surgery, was crying. Uncontrollable, unstoppable crying. I was hearbroken. Heartbroken for the cries I would never console, the giggles I would never hear, the babies I would never hold. After the anesthesia was wearing off, and I was coming to, I remember nothing but crying. I couldnt stop. The surgery took place on Tuesday. Saturday morning I woke up hemorrhaging. Bleeding so heavy and so much it was dangerous. So we called the dr on the way to the ER. After experiencing all we had gone through the last week, the last thing I wanted to do was to sit in the emergency room for 10 hours, but that is exactly what we did. (No, I wont go back to that ER!) People with strep throat were being taken care of while I was bleeding out. The bleeding finally stopped, and we were allowed to go home.

What I have intentionally left out up to this point, is that Joel was not present with me for the D&C or the hemorrhaging in the ER. At first I was angry with him. I am his wife after all. Shouldnt I be his priority?! Shouldnt he be here suffereing with me, experiencing this loss with me?! I do thank God my parents were available to be with me during these times, but some part of me wanted my husband. I was sad he wasnt there. I was angry he wasnt there. How dare he not be with me. How dare he not be my support. I didnt understand. I didnt understand that he COULDNT be there. It wasnt that he didnt WANT to be there, he COULDNT be there. We were still somewhat early on in our marriage, and I hadnt fully understood that men deal with tragedy differently than women. He couldnt see me go through what I was going through. He didnt know how to handle it.

I dont want you to judge him. Dont worry about if you agree or disagree with his decision to be at work during these times. It's not up to you to agree or disagree. This is our life, and I'm just sharing it with you. I pray you can understand, but if not, thats ok.

After some time, I grew to understand his reasons, and not only understood them, but respected them. He was right not to be there. He handled it the best way he knew how, which turned out to be the best way for us both.

But my anger didnt stop there. It continued. Anger was only one of the many emotions I was feeling. The strongest emotions were anger, guilt, and sadness. Sadness obviously because we had just suffered a loss of two precious, innocent babies. Guilt because they were inside me. My body. So something I did, or didnt do, had to have caused this double-tragedy. There was no other way. It was my fault. (I know, I can already hear you telling me that's not true, just wait...I'm not done!)

But by far, the emotion I felt strongest was anger. And here's the scary part...I was angry at God. The God of the universe. The God who spoke the world into existence. The God who holds the world in the palm of His hand. I was angry at Him. Why? How could He let this happen? If He's such a loving God, then why did He have to take away something so dear and precious to us? We're good people. We go to church. Why? These questions resounded in my head over and over and over. I actually remember going to church shortly after everything had happened, and being up on the platform helping with Praise & Worship. We sang a song called 'In Moments Like These'. A few lines from the song go something like this...'In moments like these I lift up my hands"..."In moments like these I sing out a song". I could sing those lines. I could sing lines like that during this song, but then the chorus started. The chorus goes 'Singing I love You Lord. Singing I love You Lord. Singing I love You Lord. I love You.' Simple words really. Basically 'I love you' just repeated over and over. But I couldnt do it. I couldnt stand up on the platform and sing a song, leading others in worship, with a song I didnt even believe. I couldnt say 'I love You Lord' because I didnt. Yep, I said it right. I didnt love God at that moment. So I sure wasnt going to pretend. I was mad. I was mad and I wanted God to know it. I know thats dangerous ground to be walking on, but I walked on it!

People kept saying 'Dont be angry at God'. 'Be careful what you say.' 'You dont mean it.' and on and on. but I did mean it, and people telling me not to be angry didnt do anything to change my mind. They didnt understand. Not many people could understand. To me, this wasnt just a miscarriage. I actually saw my baby (the one that was still alive) with a strong healthy heartbeat, then just a few weeks later, saw that same baby, lifeless. This wasnt your 'typical miscarraige'. Not many people actually see the life living and growing inside them, then see it 'gone'. If you have suffered a miscarriage, My thoughts and prayers are with you, and this is in no way to make your experience seem less tragic. I'm just writing from my perspective.

So after a while of being angry at God, my hurt started to heal. My loss and empty part of my heart will never go away completely, but my hurt started to heal just a little. My anger toward God started to decrease, just a little. And I started to realize something vitally important...You have to deal with the emotions as they come. You can't skip them, or pretend they're not there. You have to handle them as they come at you. For me, I had to realize its OK to be angry. God already knows what you're thinking, so why try and hide it. During my prayer times, I would flat out tell God 'I'm mad at you! You didnt have to allow me to get pregnant at all if it was going to end so tragically. You had the power to make everything perfect, and you didnt. You could have stopped the hurt, and you didnt. I'm mad at you.' It was when I started talking to God and telling Him exactly what I was feeling, that the anger started going away. I dealt with the anger, then I was able to move on to the guilt.

I had to deal with the guilt. It didnt just go away. Dealing with the guilt was a little more 'logical'. There are sooooo many reasons why miscarriages occur, and there is virtually NO WAY to determine what caused ours. After reading so much information, and having more than one dr. tell me from a medical/scientific standpoint, I began to understand, nothing I could have done could have caused it, and nothing I could have done could have stopped it. It just happened. Its an unanswered question. It is something I may never know this side of heaven, and on that side of heaven, I'm not sure it will even matter. But after time, the guilt went away.

The sadness was the last emotion to leave. And if I'm honest with you, it never fully left. There is still an empty section of my heart, and there always will be. I will never forget those two sweet precious babies. And I long to see them when I get to heaven. But over time, the sadness became lighter. It didnt completely weigh me down and consume all my thoughts any more. Day by day, with prayer, it became easier and easier to breathe. Yes, we are still sad sometimes, but we have the hope that we'll be reunited with our twins someday.

Next...Where do we go from here?!

Reviving the blog!

Well, after some thought, I've decided to revive my blogging days. Regardless if anyone reads this or not, its a great way to escape for a while, and put thoughts onto 'paper' kinda!

The birth of Decklan has really got me thinking, and has revived some old feelings. I thought I would use this blog as an avenue to share our story with you. I have been thinking and praying about this a lot lately, and feel it is something God is leading me to do. My prayer, before I even get started, is that our story will reach someone, wherever they are, and help them through whatever battle they may be facing, and bring some hope and encouragement. I invite you to read and relive our experiences with us. And as always...comments are always welcome!