September 9, 2013

On the Eve Of You

My dear boy,

We are just weeks- or maybe days- away from meeting you and I have so much to tell you before you get here.

More than anything, I want you to know how excited we are to see your sweet face and hold you and lock eyes with you.  Each night we crawl into bed and talk about you and what it will be like to have you home with us.  I always say that I can’t wait to hold you and your daddy, well he is so silly, because he talks about wanting to poke at you and take you to Starbucks in the baby carrier to get a gold card.

We just want you here with us and still can’t quite comprehend how real you are.

These last couple of months, you have been truly celebrated.  Friends and neighbors held celebrations in your honor and we have been overwhelmed by all of the love and excitement they have shown in awaiting your arrival.  People we do not know have sent you gifts or sent us messages congratulating us.  They heard our story and know what a miracle you are and they just want to be a part of our joy.  

It’s almost as if you are everyone’s baby, but how blessed we are that you are ours.

Lately, you and I have been meeting in my dreams.  I hold you and we go for walks and there is always a lot of kissing and cooing.  I love those dreams and our time together in them.  

Could a mother love her son anymore than I love you?  I just don’t see how it’s possible.

I keep thinking about how this time last year I was resigned to the idea that we would never have a baby and although it was not what I wanted, I was beginning to settle in with that.  But your daddy always had hope and he- along with the hopes and prayers of so many others- believed it was not yet the end for us.  

That kind of hope comes from GOD and it is because of HIM you are here, my sweet baby.  

These last nine months have been so redemptive for me physically.  I have spent the last three years mourning (and sometimes hating) my body and what it would not do and now I get to revel in all the ways it has changed because of you.

And I cannot help but think of the babies we have lost.  They are your brothers and sisters and you will never meet them, but we will talk about them.  They will be important for you to know about because their lives- and their deaths- changed me in ways that have shaped the woman I am now; the mother I will become; and the follower of CHRIST I am called to be.

Grief changes a person- it has to- and the choice I had to make was if I was going to let it make me bitter or softer.  I never wanted bitterness to be my legacy and that is not something I will pass on to you.

And so, on the eve of you, I want you to know that you are treasured beyond riches and wanted beyond desires.  You are our miracle and an embodiment of GOD’s promise to make all things new.  

I love you so much, dear boy.

July 8, 2013

The Seasons of My Son

I enjoy winter.  Unlike most people I know, I look forward to the bare branches, white lawns, and grey skies.  I suppose it is the melancholy side of me that needs some months of the year to appease me and match my reflections and thoughts.  

And I like to bundle up in layers, cover my head, and hole up in our cozy place in the sky.  I need privacy and a chance to retreat because unlike what most people would think, I am not an extrovert and relish time alone- like really truly alone or with my love.

We learned I was pregnant on January 22 while we were away visiting family.  The news was welcomed but both Jason and I settled into our customary line of thinking: let’s just see where this goes before we think about it too much. 

And so for me, it felt so fitting to begin my 7th pregnancy in the season of winter.  I was feeling anxious about what would come of my baby and could not fathom seeing bright flowers and sunny skies when I knew this could sadly come to an end for us.  Once I was 6 weeks along, nausea and extreme fatigue kicked in and I was grateful for the excuse of winter to stay home and retreat.

I spent the time watching and waiting, hoping and praying, and crying and laughing through my anxiety in what would become the Winter of all Winters.  

It must be universal that spring signifies the promise of new beginnings and the hope that comes with that.  I am reminded of GOD’s promise to make all things new most in the springtime.  HE alone can end the winters of our hearts and minds.

As the weeks went by and after two good reports from the midwives on the status of this pregnancy, it felt right to be in the season of spring.  Flowers were budding on the trees, lawns were starting to show as the snow melted, and the sun was peeking through the clouds more and more.  

These things were happening as my baby did something so unexpected: he made it past the first trimester and continued to prove strong and valiant as the second trimester quickly came upon us. 

As the landscape of the physical world around me was changing, so was my body.  It began to round out and after having only speculated about what this change in me could look like, I was seeing it with my own eyes.  It was surreal and welcomed.

On May 2 we found out we where having a son and just hours later my Uncle Danny passed away.  The joy of new life mixed with the sadness of a life that had ended was a milestone in the Spring of all Springs.

I have never been a fan of summer.  I don’t like the heat or the humidity and I don’t like the sun barreling down on me.  For me, summer is much too extreme of a season and is sensory overload for the body.  One minute you are sweating profusely from the heat that rises from the pavement and the next you are shivering from the air conditioning blowing on your feet and nose.  

But most everyone loves summer.  They give summer a high-five and a nod of approval when she comes rolling in with her heat and sunshine.  The world takes notice of summer because she is hard to miss and is prominently on display.

Being this pregnant in this season of the year has been a bit of sensory overload for me.  I am less able to tolerate heat, sometimes my ankles swell and I can’t be on my feet as long as I am used to, and I am hungry all. of. the. time.  I am used to having a light appetite in the hot months but this baby demands food all day and all night.

When I walk down the street, I get smiles from old ladies, nods and winks from moms, and stares from everyone else.  It seems that most of the world takes notice of pregnant women.

I turned 35 a few days ago and while I always thought I would be done with having children by this time in life, it’s been exciting and humbling to anticipate the arrival of our son in this Summer of all Summers.

I love fall.  Always have.  Always will.  Fall brings cool breezes that put an end to summer, a color palette pleasing to any eye, and the chance to slow down after a season of playing hard and playing all day long.  Fall is the capstone of the year because it both invites reflection on the past year and anticipation of the new year to come.

Our son will be born in the fall and I am glad for that.  It seems the perfect time of year to welcome this sweet baby into our arms.  We have been waiting for this time in our lives for so very long.  We have dreamed of what it will be like and to have it be just a season away is more than we could have ever have hoped for after so much loss.

As I await the birth of this baby, I am reflective of the journey we have been on and excited for where it is leading us now.  It is safe to say that once our boy arrives, we will be living in the Fall of all Falls.

"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven."  Ecclesiastes 3:1

June 24, 2013

Spiritual Deliverance

PLEASE NOTE: I am sharing some very personal thoughts and by sharing them I am not seeking advice or input on what I should or should not do.  But words of encouragement are always welcomed!

For as long as I can remember, I have been afraid of the idea of giving birth.  I am sure TV, movies, and people’s scary stories are what led me to believe that nothing good could come from having to give birth- besides the obvious getting to hold a baby in your arms, which never really consoled my fears.

My mom tells of the times I would worry to her, “What if I marry someone when I grow up who wants to have babies?”  I was probably 6 when I started thinking about this.

Well, I did marry someone who wants to have babies (turns out I did, too!) and now I am 27 weeks pregnant and the inevitable act of having to give birth is quickly coming upon me.  And I am constantly in a state of reflection of these past few years and how they have shaped my mind and heart as I approach the impending birth of our son.

With the exception of my first miscarriage, all of our babies were miscarried in the quiet of our home because it was important to me to honor their too-short lives by allowing them to pass through my body just as they would have had they had the chance to be born full-term.  I always did this in our bathtub so I could “catch” my babies and have the chance to see them outside of my body.  Those moments were a perplexing mixture of peace, sadness, and curiosity.

Medical intervention (specifically D&C’s) was always presented to me as an option to quickly end the process and get my body back to “normal” sooner than later.  But that never was an option for me.  Not because I am some sort of super woman or look down upon such help, but because I knew even back then that though these experiences were sad ones, my miscarriages were shaping my outlook on how I would deliver a full-term baby if ever given the chance.  

I knew my body was capable of miscarrying on its own and did not any help.  The less people and the less intervention involved the better because for me, the process of miscarrying was not strictly medical- it was spiritual.  While my heart was crying out in pain, my body was too.  And the crying out of both my heart and body was meant for GOD to hear because only HE could deliver me through such pain as this.

So as we began to talk about how we would like our son to be born into this world, my immediate thought was to do a water birth because it felt like a way to redeem the past three and a half years and to actively see GOD’s promise to make all things new.  

I know there are so many variables in giving birth- so many things that can happen that one cannot predict or plan for- and so while I prepare for a water birth by educating myself, securing labor support, and asking the LORD for HIS help and HIS presence on that fateful day, I know all this could change.  And I am okay with that.

And I will not deny that I still carry some fear in me- fear of the unknown and what I cannot control and fear of the pain- but I am constantly reminding myself that my body was made to labor and that as my mom would so often tell me, “Labor is not pain.  Pain is your body responding to something that is not natural.  It is natural for your body to labor.  Labor is work.”

Through all of this, I am pondering this birth not as a medical condition but a chance for redemption and the opportunity to feel immeasurable joy after a season of so much sadness and grieving.  

For me, the birth of my son will be a spiritual deliverance no matter how he is delivered into my arms.

May 28, 2013

A New Bend in the Road

I am 23 weeks along in this pregnancy and I can report that it has only been in the last few weeks that I have felt more excitement than anxiety.  Getting to our 20 week ultrasound and knowing that everything is just as it should be with our sweet little boy was a hurdle I needed to jump over in order for my heart to freely and fully enter into the joy and anticipation of his arrival.

So we have begun to make plans for our son’s arrival and in doing so, we no longer talk about “if” he comes home, but “when” he will come home.  

When my baby kicks or has the hiccups, I delight in that.  And yet, I mourn what I never got to experience with our other six babies.  I am still mindful that we waited over three years for this time in our lives to come and that getting here found us losing so much.

A few times it has been said to me that the happiness and excitement we feel now must make up for all that we have endured in the past.

I assure you it does not.

The present joy of things does not diminish or erase the past hurt and losses; rather, it is the losses and pain from the past that heightens the joy of things today.

And so it seems I am turning down a new bend in the road and I am no longer a mother who only mourns.  Now I am a mother who continues to mourn, but also one who can see on the horizon something full of life being born out of my body and into our hearts.

May 2, 2013

Here I Raise My Ebenezer

Oh friends, we have such good news to share with you.  It’s so fun to be able to share good news with you!

We had our 20 week ultrasound appointment and everything looks perfect!  Everything about our little baby is just as it should be.  Everything about this body of mine is just as it should be.

How different all of this is for us.  How surreal, too.

We are grateful.  

Grateful to the medical professionals who have taken such good care of me and our baby.

Grateful for our friends and family who have hoped with us for the last few months that this time- this seventh time- would be different.

Grateful for each other because at the end of the day, when fears subside and hope surfaces, we have each other to share in it with.

And grateful to the LORD because, after all, it is HE who has done a great work here.  HE made possible what seemed impossible.  HE is making beauty from ashes.....again.

So it is here that I raise my ebenezer, thankful- beyond thankful, really- for what GOD has done, what HE is doing, and what HE will do.

I never want to forget this milestone in our lives and the life of our baby.

And so, it is with great joy that we announce to you that we are having a BOY.  A sweet baby boy!  We can hardly believe it.

I can scarcely wait for the day I can hold him and whisper to him the story of all that GOD overcame to bring him to us.

Our son is greatly loved beyond measure and deeply treasured beyond riches.  

That's our son- he has my nose and hopefully he'll have Jason's awesome hair!

April 8, 2013

Mother's Day for the Grieving and Hurting

Over the years I have come to deeply appreciate the friends (and strangers) in my life who are willing to go out on a limb and do or say something that recognize my losses.  I know that on their part they took a risk in doing or saying something that they must have wondered could have upset me or turned me off.  

But they always do the opposite- they endear me to them and serve as sweet reminders that though not everyone can know what it’s like to walk the road I have, they can walk a few steps on it with me and in turn become a part of the healing my heart is longing for.

With Mother’s Day just around the corner and knowing that so many of you know someone who has had a pregnancy loss or is struggling with infertility, I wanted to share some ideas on how you might be able to walk a few steps with these women and make what can be a dreaded day one that reminds them they are loved and thought of.
  • Give them a card, or write them a note.  I always vote for something hand-written because it’s something that they can come back to again and again, especially on days when they feel alone in their pain and need a reminder that others are carrying some of this hurt with them.  
  • Give them a hug.  It’s amazing just how much physical touch can communicate without any words being said and the emotions it can bring out.  So don’t be alarmed or ashamed if in giving a hug to someone who has lost a baby or is struggling with infertility you pull back and see tears.  Those tears are necessary and are a part of their healing.
  • Give them a gift.  It could be flowers or something personal like a necklace or charm.  I have been the recipient of a few beautiful necklaces that pay tribute to my babies and my mother’s heart.  I do not wear them every day, but even just to look at them is such a sweet gift.  One year a friend sent me two felt birds in the mail on the Mother’s Day after my second miscarriage and now birds have been a way that we commemorate the lives and losses of our babies- each year we put our 6 felt birds on our Christmas tree.  And in turn, I have given a few friends who have lost babies their own felt birds to remember their babies by.  For one friend, I knew the months her babies were due to be born, so I did birds in the colors of those months’ birthstones.  Etsy has so many choices for customized jewelry and things like felt birds and at very affordable prices
  • Say something.  Anyone who has lost a baby or who has struggled with infertility will tell you that one of the hardest parts about it is that so often their pain goes unrecognized.  You can imagine how Mother’s Day only heightens that pain.  Don’t worry about saying anything profound or uber-spiritual.  Just saying “I know this day must be hard for you.  I love you and I am thinking of you” goes a long way.
If you know the name of your friend’s baby who passed away, then say their name, write it in your card or note, or considering using it on a necklace or other commemorative gift.  While this may seem like something that would be far too upsetting for a woman, it is actually just the opposite.  When a woman has lost her baby and has given them a name that they have shared with others, saying or writing that baby’s name only helps her to feel that others acknowledge her loss and are entering into some of her mourning.  It’s a beautiful thing you are doing, I promise.

And these are things you can do any time of the can never communicate enough to a woman who has lost a baby or is struggling with infertility that you are thinking of them.

One last thought: If you are a part of a church community and have noticed that women who have lost babies or are in the throws of infertility are not recognized, then ask your church leadership to do something on Mother's Day that acknowledges these women.  At our church, we give flowers to all of the moms and the ones who have lost babies get white ones.  We also say something from the front that pays tribute to moms who have children to hold in their arms and that also acknowledges the women have lost or are still waiting for their own children.  It's simple but very meaningful.

April 1, 2013

And Here We Are Today

Over the last couple of years, women (and some men) have asked me what we have done medically to address my recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL), which is a form of infertility.  And so, in an effort to help others- or help others help someone else- I am going to share all that we have done in the last few years with the hopes that it will help others.

After my second miscarriage:
We sent in our baby’s remains for testing to see if we could get any answers as to why we lost this baby.  The results came back “not viable for testing,” which meant we would not get any answers or know if this was a chromosomal issue or something else.

You do not have to have a D&C done to have your baby’s remains tested.  I miscarried naturally at home with all of my pregnancies and the key is to put everything you collect in the refrigerator and get it to your doctor/midwife immediately.  

I had extensive blood work to check for any auto-immune diseases and/or blood clotting disorders.  Everything came back “normal.”

Some doctors will have you wait until your third miscarriage to have the testing done, but don’t do that if you do not have to.  If your insurance will cover it (some may force you to wait until your third miscarriage), I urge you to get the testing done before your third pregnancy.   If you have a family history of auto-immune diseases and/or blood clotting disorders, then get tested before you get pregnant the first time.

And I made arrangements to be put on progesterone the next time I found out I was pregnant.  I did 100mg daily.

The only thing I would have done differently here was have my progesterone levels tested before my second pregnancy (it’s a simple blood test done on the 21st day of your cycle) because we would have seen that my levels are very low and I could have been on the progesterone sooner.

After my third miscarriage:
We also had the remains from this miscarriage tested and still could not get any answers.  This was frustrating, to say the least, but we would later be so glad that we did this.

My husband and I underwent genetic testing.  This involved a meeting extensively going over both of our families’ histories to see if anything jumped out to the geneticist as a possible culprit and then another simple blood test that would in turn allow technicians to see if we had chromosomal abnormalities.  Everything came back “normal” for us both.

If you are African-American, or of Jewish or French-Canadian descent, get this testing done for sure as I seem to recall that a lot of the possible abnormalities that could present at the chromosomal level were in people of these descents/ethnicities.

I also made an appointment with a Reproductive Endocronoligist (RE) doctor.  These doctors specialize in infertility and can take you to the next level of testing that is available.  As much as I wanted to stay under the care of my midwives because I was comfortable with them, they had limitations of what they could medically do for me.  

When you have your first appointment with the RE doctor, bring all of your medical files, lab results, and anything else you have that will help them get a complete picture of where you have been up to that point.  Be prepared to answer a lot of personal questions about your sex life and have a good understanding of how your cycle has been since you started trying to get pregnant.  These doctors are like detectives- at least the good ones are- and they are going to want to know a lot about you to help them decide what the next step will be for you.

My RE doctor wanted me to do an hysterosalpingogram (HSG), which is an X-ray of the uterus and fallopian tubes.  This helps the doctor to see if you have a mis-shaped uterus or blocked fallopian tubes and is typically a test done on women who cannot conceive.  In my case of being able to conceive, the doctor wanted to know if I had any uterine abnormalities.  

I scheduled the appointment and got as far as the procedure room but then I walked out because it did not feel right to me to do this test.  I still cannot explain why I walked out of the room with a doctor, a nurse, and a few other medical professionals left behind trying to convince me to stay, but I knew I had to listen to my body and my body was saying “NO!” to this procedure.

The lesson here is to listen to your body.  You know what is best for your body and while it is the doctor’s job to tell you what tests they recommend, you get to decide if, when, and how you undergo those tests.

After my fourth and fifth miscarriages:
We decided it was time to take a break from getting pregnant- my body was tired but even more so, my heart was crushed and I was emotionally spent.

I began seeing an acupuncturist and she confirmed what I was already feeling- my body was depleted and it needed time to heal and restore itself.  It was costly, but we decided that I would go to acupuncture once a week and I ended up doing that for almost a year.  My acupuncturist became an integral part of our team of experts, and she used Chinese herbs and essential oils to help my body heal.  

Slowly, but steadily, we began seeing physical improvements in me- my tongue was becoming more pink and less purple; I did not feel cold in my feet and hands anymore; my energy was coming back; aches and pains I was experiencing were going away; my cycle was getting back on track and lessening in length.  All of these were signs that where there was once blood depletion (all of the miscarriages did that) and stagnation, now blood was flowing freely and as it should.

To me, the biggest win with the acupuncture was the emotional release it provided me each week.  There were sessions that I would lie on the table crying and since I could not move much because of all of the needles, I allowed the tears to fall freely.  While I had grieved all of our losses along the way, I had a great deal of grief in me centered around my body and how things were supposed to be but were not.

I cannot say it enough, listen to your body and do not underestimate the importance of taking care of yourself emotionally.  It’s normal- and I would say even inevitable- that you will need to grieve and cry over your body and how it is or is not performing.  Allow yourself the freedom, and time and space to do this grieving.  

In this year of taking a break, I was diagnosed with having a blood disorder called Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR).  I won’t bore you with the details about this, but the biggest problem (in my opinion) with MTHFR is that doctors cannot seem to agree on what role it could or does play in RPL, amongst other things.  To this day I still cannot get a straight answer on what role MTHFR has posed or could pose in my past or future pregnancies.

I have done my own research and have decided that not only is MTHFR something to address in my pregnancies, but also in my day-to-day living, so I take Methyl-Guard each day.  This is me being my own advocate and deciding what is best for my body and my baby.

After a year of waiting, we got pregnant for the 6th time.  I elected to not return to the RE doctor I had been seeing because I was not happy with my care or his course of action.  I felt like another case and like he was not willing to think outside the box.  That’s not the kind of person I wanted on my team.

Do not be afraid to “fire” your doctor and find a new one.  They are working for you and if you feel like you are not getting the care you need, well then you probably are not and you should find someone new who will offer you that level of care.  You have to be your own advocate.

This pregnancy was the furthest I had ever gotten (I made it to 10 weeks) but when we went in for our first ultrasound, there was no heartbeat.  We don’t know why this happened again but we do know that we did everything possible on our end to get my body ready for this pregnancy.

After my 6th miscarriage:
We went to see a doctor who was a specialist in RPL.  She reviewed all of my medical files and after a long first appointment, she recommended a hysteroscopy (another way of doing the HSG) and a uterine biopsy to see if I had infection in the lining of my uterus.

She also noticed that I had never been tested to see if I was a carrier for the Cystic Fibrosis gene.  That test came back as “no” and we were able to eliminate another possible culprit.

The other thing she wanted to do was request the remains of our second and third pregnancies from the hospital we had them tested at (we learned that after they do testing on the remains, they put them in wax blocks for a period of time).  The paperwork went through and the remains were sent to a lab in California for more extensive testing and what we found out would prove to be important for my next pregnancy.

I had the procedures she recommended done in August 2012 and both came back “normal.”  

That fall, my husband and I were told that there was nothing left to be done for us in trying to find answers to the reason why I kept miscarrying and that with any future pregnancies we had a 30-40% chance of miscarrying again (the average population is in the range of 15-20%).  

But we were also told that the next time I become pregnant that I was to take 200mg of progesterone and a baby aspirin each day.  The aspirin was because one of the tests done on the pregnancy remains revealed some clotting in the placenta which could have easily caused the blood supply to my baby to be cut off.  This was a huge find (in my mind) because it was an answer of sorts.

And here we are today.....
Today I am 15 weeks pregnant with a healthy baby.  I am back with the midwives I started off with and I was carefully followed throughout my first trimester.  I took 200mg of progesterone until I was 12 weeks and will continue the baby aspirin until I am 36 weeks.  I can go in and hear the heartbeat as much as I want and have been treated with the utmost care and understanding by the midwives.

So are the double dosages of progesterone or daily aspirin the things that made the difference this time?  Could be.  I will never say they were not, but I also will never give them all the credit.

This baby is our miracle baby and GOD gets all the credit for their strong heartbeat and little legs that kick inside of me.  Honestly, I believe HE has put us on this journey for purposes we can see now and ones that I believe we may never know this side of heaven.

I was never promised a baby (I still am not) but I was promised HIM and through all of this- through all of the testing, waiting, hoping, despairing, longing, and grieving- HE showed up and proved to do what HE says HE always will for the good of those who love HIM.

How do the deaths of six babies demonstrate the goodness of GOD?  The answer does not lie in my understanding of things alone, but in the truth of who HE is.  

I am grateful for this journey in ways that may not make sense to some and I’ll leave those thoughts for another post, but what I want you to know is that if you are on a similar journey- or if you know someone who is- this does not just have to be just a quest for having a baby.  This journey can be so much more than doctor appointments, support groups, crying, and waiting.....

It can be the start of having a deeper understanding of who GOD is and who you are in CHRIST.  Your sole purpose in life is not to have a baby and your worth does not lie in that.  And I believe that GOD can and wants to use where HE has you now to demonstrate HIS love to you and the promises HE has for you.

That's what HE did for me....amongst other things.

March 11, 2013

On the Fence

We want to thank you for the outpouring of love and prayers you have shown us since we shared our pregnancy news.  I have been overwhelmed by the messages, texts, phone calls, and e-mails that so many of you have sent and so many have brought tears to my eyes because I know now that Jason and I are not the only ones praying for this baby.

Thank you, friends.  Thank you for loving us and for sharing in our joy- it makes this time that much richer and oh so much sweeter.

It has felt foreign and strange to me to be on this side of the fence.  To have so many wish us well and be happy for us when my heart and my memories are still very rooted in the experiences of these past 3 1/2 years.  

We had some dear friends over to dinner and when we shared our news about this miracle baby, the husband asked the question, “If you have this baby, will you be able to move past the past?”

No one had ever asked the question before and even though I am quite the slow processor and often need time to think through my responses, my response came quickly.

The fact of the matter is that our losses and the grief that I have felt have changed me.  

For forever.

And while my circumstances may have changed with this pregnancy, I have not.

Infertility and the deaths of my six babies have changed me.  And they have permanently changed my relationship with CHRIST and how I know GOD. 

Grief changes you.  It has to.  When you become so well acquainted with the dark parts of life, you taste and see the need for a SAVIOR and the need for hope that is not to be found or had in this world.  

The change comes because you have to decide what you are going to do with that grief- are you going to become bitter and resentful and turn to temporary things to mask the pain?  Or are you going to walk through the grief and allow it to lead you to the ONE who promises peace and hope?

And my heart remains with my friends who are still waiting for their babies and mourning their own losses.  These women have become an important part of my own journey and they have been integral in helping me process and heal.  I know the pain they are in and the hurt and longing they feel on a daily basis. 

And so while it is fun to talk to other women who are or have been pregnant and to moan about the many changes to your body and the exciting things to come, my mind always goes to life on the other side of the fence.

My mind pages through the faces of my dear friends who want so badly to hold a baby of their own.  These are “my people” and they are the ones I feel closer to than anyone else right now in this part of my journey.  

I have been the recipient of their sincere expressions of happiness for us and it is their words that I treasure most because I know the place it comes from is hard and it stings with tears.

And so I think where I really am at is on the fence.  I am not on one side or the other.  After wanting for so long to be on the motherhood side and after being so long on the infertility side, I am on neither for now.  

And that’s okay, because it’s just another bend in the road for me on this journey GOD has laid out before me.  I may be on the fence, but I know HE never is.

March 5, 2013

Proof of Life!

It is with great excitement- and a heavy dose of surrealism- that we share that we are expecting our 7th baby.  We have every reason to believe and hope that this baby will not be a glory baby, but a baby that we will hold in our arms this side of heaven.  After three appointments with good reports, we have a healthy baby with a strong heartbeat.  

We have proof of life!

So many of you have loved us and prayed with us over the last 3 1/2 years and we remain grateful to you and your prayers over the course of this journey.  

The journey, at times, has been dark and unrelenting.  But we know that GOD has always been working for our good.  That HE has always loved us.  That HE always was writing a part of the story that we could not see or fully comprehend.  

HE still is and while we still do not know how our story will end, we remain grateful to the GOD who makes all things new.  To the ONE who makes beauty from ashes.  To the FATHER who heals the broken-hearted. And who promises to give us the desires of our heart.

Please keep praying for us and pray that our baby grows healthy and strong and that we can meet them in September.

"...but this happened that we might not rely on ourselves, but on GOD....on HIM we have put our hope that HE will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers.  Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many."  I Corinthians 1:9-10

That's my baby saying "Hi!"