Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Mommy, are monsters real?

I can't keep track of how many times my 5 year old has asked me this question. And I have always told him, "No honey, Monsters aren't real."

At least not the kind of monsters he is talking about. How do you tell your children that? How do you explain to them that though Vampires, witches, werewolves, and closet monsters don't exist, that real living, breathing monsters do, without terrifying them? How do you tell them that real monsters don't look like the Frankenstein monster, but disguise themselves as people? How do you tell them that without making them frightened of every single stranger in the world? Without making them so fearful that they turn and run as fast as they can screaming "Stranger danger!" every time a new person says hello to them.

The truth is, I am VERY leery of people whom I don't know. So leery in fact, that I have to bite my lips sometimes in crowds. How do I not project that fear and mistrust on to my children, but still keep them safe and appropriately fearful?

When I was a little girl, I remember feeling afraid a lot. I thought that when I was an adult I would be so much braver. As a matter of fact, as time has marched on and I have grown, I have actually become more afraid. I no longer fear that there is a monster hiding under my bed, but because I am now aware of what goes on in the world, from watching the news or hearing stories from friends, I realize that I am afraid of a lot more than I ever was as a child. And when I had children, those anxieties heightened.

This morning, we all heard about the bombings in Boston at the Marathon. This was nationwide news. It was horrible. But this morning, one of my worst fears happened just blocks away from my house. A little girl was walking alone to school, and she disappeared. Her parents didn't find out she was missing until she didn't show up at home when school let out. Today, the nation witnessed what real monsters are capable of, and we as a community, on a smaller scale, are worried that another monster has turned up in our neighborhood and is preying on our children. I do not know if she was taken, but that is usually how the story goes. And it is what is on every parent's mind in our town tonight.

I feel like crying. I feel so helpless. I feel like that little girl I used to be, afraid of the dark and scared at every little noise I hear. How do we keep our children safe, without locking them inside the house and insisting they hold our hands until they are thirty?

Hug your children closer. Turn off the distractions. Be present in the moment. Cherish it. Because right now, there are families all over the world who are wishing and praying to have that opportunity with their children again. Fearful families who don't know what has happened to their little ones, and are terrified that their worst fears have come true. That they might not ever see their children alive again.

Are monsters real? Yes. Yes they are.

Friday, March 22, 2013

What a long, strange trip it has been

It seems like just yesterday I was bemoaning my infertile existence and begging God to give me another chance at pregnancy and the beautiful, peaceful birth that I so desperately wanted for my second (if I ever got one) child, because I allowed my anxiety to talk me out of it the first go around.

In May, at the very end of it, I got pregnant and somehow didn't realize it. You can see the post before this one to understand WHY I didn't realize it. I FELT pregnant, but let Doctors, Nurses and specialists tell me otherwise... Moving on.

I found out in October that not only was I pregnant, I was expecting another little miraculous boy, AND would be welcoming said boy in to the world in 4 1/2 short months.

I started preparing myself for a peaceful birth with a midwife and a doula with Hypnobabies. I surrounded myself with positivity and good energy. I was ready for this. I would dream about my birth and it was always so easy. One minute he was inside me, the next, he was out.

I photographed myself every single week from the moment I found out, something I didn't ever do with my first. I was SO HAPPY to finally be given this opportunity to raise another beautiful child that God had trusted me with. But I was still in a state of unbelief. How, after all these years and prayers could this be real?

I told myself, as my "due date" approached that it was okay if I went over. People go over 40 weeks ALL THE TIME and have healthy babies and CAN and DO push those bigger babies out. I listened to my positive affirmations of the birth that I wanted, and practiced my hypnosis. In the back of my mind something started to creep in though... The baby would be born via c-section. My dream of my perfect birth would not happen for me. I pushed that thought away, thinking that my anxiety was setting in, and told myself not to let those negative thoughts take root. Then I started to feel something different... The chord was wrapped around the baby's neck. TWICE. He wouldn't drop.

Now this is a very SPECIFIC feeling that I had, but I have to let you know something, my first had the same thing. The chord was wrapped around his neck twice, but I never went in to labor, so there was never any indication of distress or problems because of it.

I told myself that I was just scared of it happening again and tried (a little less successfully) to push those thoughts out of my mind.

Things went on normally. It was a fairly easy pregnancy all the way around. I was HUGE, but thankfully just in my belly. As the days pressed on, I was becoming increasingly nervous of the size of baby #2. The closer I got to week 40, the more those thoughts seemed to creep back in to my mind. C section... Chord wrapped around his neck...

On the day before I reached week 41, I had an appointment set up for a non-stress test and an AFI, (which is an ultrasound to measure the baby and the amniotic fluid). I didn't want to go. I woke up that morning just adamantly not wanting to go. BUT, even though I was reassured by my husband that it would be fine if I skipped it, those thoughts sneaked back in and I felt like, Better safe than sorry. So I went.

The non stress test was first, and we passed with flying colors. Then I had the AFI, and I was actually excited to get another look at my baby before we went through the birth together. The tech measured him at 9 lbs 8 oz, and sent me in to see the midwife. I met with someone I didn't really know very well, and she mentioned that I had more fluid than normal, and that the water looked a little cloudy. She was most concerned about the amount of fluid that I had, saying something along the lines of, "borderline too much..." or something to that effect. She told me that the cloudy fluid wasn't a big concern because at a week overdue, babies often pass merconium in to the water.  She wanted to talk to the doctor about what my options were. I refused a cervical check though, and she wasn't pleased about it.

A few hours later, I got a phone call telling me that the doctor and on call midwife thought things looked fine.

That night, I slept pretty well for pregnant sleep. The next day I woke up late and felt really tired and a little weak, and somewhat off. I had a nap a little later that day, and when I woke up, I still felt weird and tired, but I started to feel contractions, and they were starting to get consistent. I got excited thinking that perhaps that was why I was so tired and had slept so well, because my body was telling me to get ready for a marathon of labor. I texted my doula and my birth photographer to give them a heads up that today might be the day. The excited texts rolled back in from the both of them, and I started to feel really excited... but still a bit out of sorts. I blamed it on being nervous about the upcoming labor and delivery.

Husband and I decided to go out to dinner that night just the two of us, since my mother was in town and was willing to watch Z for us. So, off we went, and my contractions were not a real big deal, but were getting closer together. At this point, I had been having steady contractions for about 4 hours, but still felt a long way off because they were so far apart, and were really mild. Dinner at Outback was at 9pm and throughout dinner they started getting a little more serious, and a little closer together, but still very VERY tolerable. We smiled at eachother through dinner when I would have another one, excitement building between us that this really was it.

When we left the restaurant it was around 10 or 10:15. Husband called his sister to make arrangements for me to labor up at her house, because they had a jetted tub, and she had offered it to me a few weeks before. We went home to pack our hospital bags and get my labor clothes and were planning to head up asap. I got on the computer and was trying to figure out the new layout on itunes to create a hypnobabies playlist, (admittedly something I should have done beforehand) and after about 20 minutes of me cursing apple and swearing like a sailor in frustration, I felt a small burst and immediately knew that my water had broken. I stood up as fast as possible and ran in to the hallway so that I wouldn't get the carpet anymore messy than I already had. I felt a HUGE gush of fluid leave my body and pour down my legs, filling my shoes. I let out a yelp, and my mom and husband came running. They were so excited. I looked down at my shoes and at the trail I had left from the computer to the hall and knew immediately that something wasn't right.

It looked like straight blood.

I knew it couldn't possibly be JUST blood, that there was amniotic fluid in there too, but at that point I had witnessed 4 women's waters break, and not one of them looked like that. I called Sherri, my doula and, (as calmly as I could) explained the situation to her. She reassured me that sometimes there is blood in the fluid and not to worry so much. She told me get cleaned up and to the hospital as soon as I could, because while I was on the phone with her, I had had 2 contractions, and she knew that they were coming pretty fast at this point. I got in the tub to rinse off, and another HUGE gush of fluid came out, I looked down, and this time it looked to be only blood. I kept telling myself that things were fine, but I knew they weren't. Husband kept reassuring me that things were okay, but I knew he had never seen someone's water break, and didn't know that this didn't look right.

Another gush.

I got dried off, and put on one of the adult diapers I had purchased for my postpartum bleeding, and husband ran out to put towels and plastic bags down on the seats in the car. My mom helped me get dressed in my sarong, and got me different shoes to wear. As I walked out to the car, I felt 2 or 3 more huge gushes and could tell that the diaper had filled to capacity already. As I sat down in the car, I knew that if it kept coming out like that that the car seats would be ruined.

It is a 15-20 minute drive to the hospital I was delivering at, and I have never seen my husband drive so fast in my life, or run red lights before... But he did because I could tell he thought I was going to have the baby in the car. My contractions were now about a minute and a half apart, and they were getting intense! I was on the phone with Sherri, my doula, most of the way up there, and the blood kept pouring out of my body. By the time we got to the hospital, blood and fluid were running down and pooling at my feet, and the towel, my sarong, and my diaper were all saturated.

A nurse was coming out as my husband ran in to look for a wheelchair. She came over to help, and when she opened the door and saw the blood I looked at her face. It went pale. She smiled and stayed calm, but I knew my suspicions were correct. Something was wrong. She got me in the wheelchair while husband parked the car. She raced through the lobby, while I apologized profusely for the mess I was making. The entire time, blood and fluid were just pouring from my body, leaving a very scary looking trail behind us. She got me on the elevator so fast, and then in on to the labor and delivery floor as fast as her legs could push me. Sherri was waiting for me in the waiting area. She smiled and I tried to smile back. I was scared. They raced me to my room, and the nurses came in. Christa, who is an RN at the hospital was my nurse at that point, and I saw her face too. Everyone of those nurses who came in took one look at me, and my soiled clothing and towels and I could tell they knew something was up. Sherri looked at me, and said, "Wow, Susan you weren't kidding. This is a lot of blood." But she stayed calm. She didn't seem worried to me, and that helped calm me down. At this point there were a lot of nurses in my room, and they had hooked me up to monitors and were asking me all sorts of questions. My husband ran in to the room and told me he found me by following the trail of blood. I am not kidding when I say it looked like a murder scene.

Pretty soon, I started seeing knowing glances across the room, and then Christa said something about a c-section. I looked at her and asked why? She told me that the baby was in distress and that she just wanted to prepare me for that option. I couldn't believe it because my contractions were now a minute apart and they were crazy hard. Sherri was pretty sure that I was ready to push that baby out any second now. She asked me if I felt the need to push. I didn't.

Then Christa pulled the oxygen mask out and placed it on my face. My nightmares were coming true. The baby was in trouble, and I was freaking out that he was going to die. Again, in that moment of frantic realization that things were getting hairy, I felt what I had been pushing out of my mind again, very clearly.

The baby's chord is wrapped around his neck twice. He won't drop. This will end in a c-section.

They had me turn on my side. More questions. More paperwork to sign. At some point Ginger, our birth photographer showed up. Faster, harder contractions.

Sherri asked if someone could check me so we could know how dilated I was. Christa said no. We had to wait for the midwife to show up to do that because they didn't want to risk infection since my water had already broken. The wait for the midwife to show up felt like an eternity because I was worried about the baby, and the contractions were crazy fast and intense. Not to mention, I still felt a ton of fluid leaving my body, and I knew I was losing a lot of blood.

Christa turned to me and gave me an option. I could continue laboring until the midwife came and assessed everything, or I could get a shot to stop contractions so that we could have the c-section. I didn't know what to do. I looked at Sherri, she told me there was no turning back if I got the shot, but that it was my call. We both looked at husband. He didn't know what to do either. I had two or three more contractions and then turned to Christa and said, I know I need a c-section. Give me the shot. It was so clear in my mind, but still so scary. They started prepping me for surgery. She gave me the shot. It did NOT stop my contractions. About 3 minutes later, the midwife and my doctor, (head of the clinic) came through the door. I saw their faces. Wide eyed and knowing. Christa looked at them, with the same knowing look on her face, and I knew that they didn't want to scare me.

The midwife checked me, and I was dilated to a ONE. I thought to myself, I can't go on like this. There is no way that I can make it through labor if I am only at a one. Dr. Parker walked over to me and started out by saying something like, "I know this isn't the VBAC you wanted..." I interrupted him and said, with tears running down my face, "Dr. Parker, my baby is in distress. I want him out alive. Let's do the c-section. I don't care about what kind of labor I have. I just want my baby to be okay." He said okay, and told them to prep some blood in case I needed a transfusion, and then they wheeled me out of the room, and in to the OR which was a short jaunt down the hall.

I said my goodbyes to Sherri who got the call that her own daughter was in labor too, and she was needed at home to attend her birth as the midwife. I was so grateful that she had been a calming presence to me during a very emotional and scary time in my life.

My husband had to stay behind and get prepped for the OR and I had to go and get the IV's and spinal block alone. I was terrified. My entire body was shaking. I could not control my sobbing. I was so worried about the baby.

In came husband. They wouldn't let our photographer in the OR, much to my disappointment. I so wanted to get my husband's face captured when he first saw our little boy. I wanted these moments captured. Our worry, our elation, everything.

We sat there together, holding hands and I stared in to my loving husband's eyes, terrified, and waiting to hear that first cry. I was still shaking uncontrollably. I felt the doctor and midwife shaking my body and pushing on my diaphragm to get the baby down and out. It all felt so violent. (And trust me I would feel all that pushing and pulling in a few days). Then, after what seemed like an eternity, we heard the doctor say, "He's out!" And we waited for that cry...

And we waited...

I said, "What is happening?! Why isn't he crying?!"

Meanwhile, unbeknownst to us, sirens and alarms were calling all staff in to the OR. The baby wasn't breathing.

No one answered me. I asked again a little louder. "WHAT IS HAPPENING?! WHY ISN'T HE CRYING?!"

Finally the nurse said, "He has a mask over his face, that's why you don't hear anything."

Then we heard it... Not a cry, but a woman counting. She was doing chest compressions on my baby. She was performing CPR on my brand new baby because he wasn't breathing. Was he dead? I couldn't see anything, and I have to tell you that my husband and I sat there waiting to hear that cry.

Then we heard him. He let out a whimper. Then he let out a real cry. We looked at each other and relief and joy came out in tears.

There were so many people in that OR, rushing around. No one really talked to me about anything. I would find out later that he was born with an apgar score of 1. That after a few minutes his score went up to a 5, and it kept going up. But he wasn't breathing right. They ordered him to the nursery to be monitored, and I knew at that moment it would be a long time before I would be able to hold him.

Husband went over and took some pictures and they finally let our photographer in to capture a few more,

and then they bundled him up and brought him over to me. I kissed his face and showered him in my tears for about 15 seconds before they whisked him away again.

My arms ached. I wanted to hold him close to me. To tell him all that I had planned to tell him in those first few minutes I would have with him after the birth. How we had waited for him, how happy we were to have him, how perfect he was... And I couldn't. I longed to be near him and any separation felt like agony throughout my entire body. Every part of me hurt and shook. I wanted to scream out so that I could get the emotional anguish out of my body. Husband left with the baby and I was left alone again with the hospital staff. I cried. I was inconsolable. I felt so empty and so alone. I didn't know if he was okay. I actually thought, what if he dies and I am not there? What if he never gets to feel my arms around him?

Time slowed to a halt and each minute that ticked by felt like an eternity. Finally they finished with me in the OR and wheeled me back to the delivery room to monitor me for the next hour. Christa was there and told me what had happened. My placenta had abrupted, which means that it was starting to pull away from the uterus. That is what caused the massive amount of blood loss, and the hard contractions. She told me she knew immediately when she saw me what was going on, but had hoped that she was wrong.

Then Husband came back to me to reassure me that the baby was okay but that he was hooked up to breathing machines and was on an IV in the NICU, and would have to stay there for a while. But that he was okay, and was already doing much better than he was.

Dr. Parker came in to check on me and talk to us. He is such a kind, gentle man. He has delivered over 8,000 babies in his career, and I was so relieved when I saw his face come through the door with the midwife while I was in labor. He talked to me about counting my blessings and not worrying so much about the loss of my perfect birth. He spoke of a family who was burying their tiny baby because he had been stillborn earlier that week. He was attending the funeral later that day. He said through my tears and sobbing that we were lucky to live in the time of modern medicine because if we lived during the time of the pioneers, my husband would be burying both me and the baby that day. Instead, he told us, I was alive, and things were under control, and the baby, though in the NICU and not in my arms, would pull through just fine.

He told me also that the baby's chord WAS wrapped around his neck twice, and that the murkiness of the water from the day before was probably a little blood because the placenta was probably starting to pull away the day before. But he also said that the baby didn't appear to have gone very long without oxygen, as the umbilical chord was not flat or strained.

Finally, after many "Thank you, Dr. Parker for saving my life and the life of my son" and "I thank God you were here and that things are alright" He left, and Husband went down to the NICU to be with the baby. I was wheeled down to my new room, and then they wheeled my bed in to the NICU so that I could see my baby.

I couldn't hold him. I could only hold his hand. He was hooked up to so many monitors and he had IV's and wires all over. He had a CPAP mask on his face, so I couldn't see him very well, but he could see me, and our eyes met, and he looked so lovingly at me. I spoke what I could get out, and told him how much I loved him. I cried because I just wanted to hold his little body in my arms.

When we left, it felt like someone took an ax and cut me in half. I felt so broken. Emotionally, physically...BROKEN. My heart ached for my son who just wanted his mommy.

That first night was horrific. I sobbed and sobbed until I couldn't anymore. Then the numbness would set in, and that is when I could muster the ability to post updates on facebook. Things like, "Will update when I know more..." were all I could get out, because I was just so lost as to what was REALLY happening.

I went in to see him once I could stand up and move from the bed to a wheel chair, but I still couldn't hold him.

Finally, at 11am, (10 hours after I delivered) I got to hold my son for the first time.

It was magic. I fell in love so instantly. He was beautiful. I knew he was perfect. He had an oxygen tube coming out of his nose, and an IV in one of his little hands, and wires monitoring everything from his heartrate to his oxygen levels to his blood pressure to his body temperature. But he was whole. He was intact. He was perfect.

I cannot even put in to words what it felt like to hold him for the first time. This perfect little person in my arms, fresh from Heaven. It was like the sky opened and I felt the Savior with me. He was holding me while I was holding my little baby. The baby that I had prayed for. The baby that I longed to hold the moment I realized I wanted another baby. The baby that I had carried in my body. The baby whose eyes reflected my eternal life as a mother. The baby that our Heavenly Parents had entrusted me with. The joy was immeasurable.

When I finally put him down and was again wheeled away from him, the joy seemed to stay behind with my new son, and grief and guilt began to settle inside of me in it's place.

I was the reason all of this was happening. My own ideas of what birth should be like prevented me from hearing the clear revelation that Heavenly Father was giving me. My pride shrugged it off as anxiety and I had CHOSEN to ignore it continue to pursue something that I was told would end up this way. I wasn't just broken anymore. I was shattered in to a million indiscernible pieces, and felt as though I would NEVER be able to pick myself up and put myself back together again. It was all my fault. My son was needlessly suffering because I had been so headstrong in my desire to have this "PERFECT BIRTH" instead of opting at week 40 for the elective c-section that would have prevented all of this separation and turmoil for both me and the baby. At week 40 he would have been just fine, I told myself. The placenta was still intact at week 40. This all could have been prevented.

I sat alone in my inconsolable state, unable and unwilling to express what I was feeling. And then I told my husband, and he told me not to blame myself, because even with those promptings it would seem a little strange to just think that you should opt out of the VBAC. Anyone would assume it was their trepidations about the birth, and that he doubted that anyone would think that another c-section would truly be what was best for a baby versus a natural, drug-free delivery... I felt a little better. But admittedly, not much.

The pediatrician came in to talk to me around 2 that day and told me that he wanted me to start breastfeeding, because he thought that it would be good for both me and the baby to bond and to spend more time together. I was elated. I went down the hall to the NICU as soon as I could and held my son in my arms and held him close while he nursed. The joy came back, along with a peaceful feeling that all was as it should be, and that I did nothing wrong. Of course, those feelings only lasted while I was with my son. They quickly disappeared once I left him... Which is why I wanted to be in the NICU with him as much as possible. Something that I couldn't really explain to people who insisted that I get more rest than I was getting... (also that is laughable given that as soon as my eyes would close, another nurse or hospital worker would pop in for something... Resting at a hospital is impossible)!

Sherri called me the next day to see how everything had gone and how I was feeling and to find out what had happened to cause so much blood. We talked for a while, and I explained to her how I had felt so guilty, and she told me to stop. She said that those promptings were Heavenly Father's way of preparing me to make the decision to get the c-section quickly. That if I hadn't had those promptings beforehand, we would have lost precious minutes that could have been the difference between life and death for the baby. That those feelings were blessings and not meant to torture me. I HAD listened to them, and that had allowed me to know exactly what to do the MOMENT I needed to know what to do. I felt so much better after that conversation. I knew I was looking at things the wrong way.

The next day, Christa came to check on me. I thought it was so thoughtful that she had cared enough about my situation to come and see how we were doing. I was glad to see her. She told me that she couldn't stop thinking about me and all that had happened. She also told me about another miracle that had happened the night I was wheeled in to that hospital that I didn't know about...

The labor and delivery floor was empty of patients with one exception... ME. I was the only patient that night at that time, and this allowed all the nurses and caregivers to prepare everything and get me in to the OR as fast as possible, and to take care of the baby without worrying about neglecting someone else. There were no other people distracting them from the task of getting my son out alive. I knew right then and there that God was looking out for us. How on EARTH is it possible that in the middle of UTAH COUNTY, UTAH (the birth capital of the USA-ask anyone) there was a hospital that had an EMPTY labor and delivery ward?!

On Monday, they released our son to be in our room with us. They had taken him off of oxygen and he was doing well enough that the pediatrician on call was willing to give him the OK to room with us for the rest of the time. I was ELATED! No more separation! No more having to walk away from my baby.

We called his brother, who had been so anxiously anticipating his brother's arrival, that finally after 2 days, he would be able to hold him and not have to wave at him through a glass window. He was so excited. Truthfully, the only thing that ever cheered me up while I was in the hospital were my daily visits from Z and my visits to the NICU. The entire experience had made me want nothing more that to wrap my children in my arms and never let them go. They are truly the most incredible gifts I have ever been given.

I called our birth photographer, Earthside Birth Photography and she agreed to come down to the hospital for a little family session that night. I was so happy. My baby was going to be just fine. All the prayer requests had worked. My wonderful friends and family had banded together to think on and pray for our little dude, and he was doing so well!

Ginger captured some beautiful moments for our family, and I cannot thank her enough for her time and talents.

The next day, was the day before we were scheduled to leave the hospital. We were taking a nap in the afternoon, and the nurses came in to do one of their frequent checks of me and the baby. All of a sudden, they told me after listening to his breathing while he was asleep that they wanted to take him down to the nursery to be monitored because he was breathing funny. I was terrified. I started crying and could no longer rest for a second knowing that he was out of my arms reach for an undetermined amount of time.

I called down to the nursery and they told me that he was losing oxygen while he slept and that it was necessary to run some tests. They had hooked him back up to oxygen and had done a chest x-ray and blood work. About an hour later I walked down to the nursery myself and wanted to know what the news was. The x-ray had come back clear, and so had the bloodwork, meaning he didn't have pneumonia or any other infection and wouldn't need antibiotics, (something I feared would be needed, and which would require a longer hospital stay for him after we were released). The truth was, they weren't sure why he was losing oxygen, other than his lungs might be irritated because he had inhaled blood from the amniotic fluid in them, or because he was such a large baby and his lungs weren't strong enough to keep up with the demands of oxygen for him. But either way, it would clear up with a little time. But he HAD to stay in the NICU until we were released the next day. I was devastated. DEVASTATED. I didn't want to walk away from him. I didn't want to see him lying there reaching out to me, watching me turn my back on him and leave him with strangers. It was so hard.

But, on the bright side, (everyone reminded me) he would be leaving with us and not staying behind after we were released.

Peace came to me knowing that I had my husband next to me, there for everything I needed, and my oldest son was at home being cared for by his grandmother, and my newest son was being cared for by wonderful nurses in the NICU. I knew we were all in good hands. I tried to put my heart in the Savior's hands so that I could calm down and feel more peace. I did my best.

The next day, we were told we couldn't leave until we learned infant CPR and our baby passed the home monitor test. We were talked to by every doctor and specialist and nurse there was it seemed. But I was so glad that we would be coming home to our little Z and we would be together forever from that moment on.

We left the hospital, dragging an oxygen tank, and leaving a phone charger behind, (we got it back the next day) and on our way to meet the home healthcare worker at our house to get all the oxygen tanks and the monitor. That first night was daunting to say the least. So many wires and tubes to keep track of... But we were home, and we were together.

He continues to improve every day. He is truly a miracle. And me? Well, emotionally I am doing a lot better, and spiritually I feel better too. I know that we have been provided for by Heavenly Father. The miracles that happened cannot be dismissed. And physically, I am doing great! It was a little dodgy there for a while. The pain was a little more severe than the last go around, given the crazy circumstances that happened, but all in all I am doing very well indeed.

The baby is a super eater, and had surpassed his birthweight by the 6th day of his life, instead of the 2 weeks that the doctors hope for... And because of his enormous appetite, I was down to below my pre-pregnancy weight by the end of the first week!

As for Z, well, he loves his baby brother more than words can express, and tries daily to get him to smile, which we continue to tell him won't happen for a little while. But that doesn't dash his spirits in the slightest. He is so happy to have his family all together...

And really, that's what it is all about, right?

With Love,

Monday, November 12, 2012

Q & A

Okay, so a few people have asked me how on EARTH I could have possibly missed the signs that I was pregnant... I mean, "HOW COULD YOU NOT KNOW?!"

Well, I assure you that I am not a total idiot, though questions like that tend to make me feel a bit like one.

Here is my answer...

I don't have regular periods, so the whole, "I missed my period! I'll take a test!" thing wasn't what popped in to my mind. In fact, it isn't unusual for me to go 5 or 6 months without having one. It's called PCOS, and it isn't pretty.

I was EXTREMELY TIRED and VERY SICK, and both of those things were written off by my doctor as thyroid related as well as gallbladder related. No one ever thought it could be possible that I was pregnant. So, instead of taking a test, I was put on a thyroid medicine, and then a supplement, and was placed on gallbladder supplements to help control the heartburn and the nausea I was feeling.

We went through two rounds of clomid and though the first one worked as planned, I didn't get pregnant from it. The second round of clomid, I was told by my doctor during the ultrasound, DID NOT WORK. So, there it was, why would I doubt the professional when he was looking at my ovaries and telling me there was no chance it would work that month? Turns out I got pregnant that month, from what my husband and I believe, was a delayed ovulation from the fertility treatments. So, I didn't expect my period to come. I didn't even second guess what I had been told.

Now, there comes a point during pregnancy that you CANNOT DENY that something is different. And I felt those things. In fact, I told my husband numerous times that it felt like my boobs were getting bigger and that I had some kind of hard growth in my abdomen, and jokingly said that it felt like I was pregnant, because IT DID feel like I was pregnant, but I had NO INDICATION that that was even a possibility. It never occurred to me to take a test because I hadn't ovulated on my own in over 4 1/2 years, and I just had a doctor tell me that the clomid wasn't going to do it for me either! I just thought I felt crappy and something was seriously wrong with me.

All of my symptoms, my doctors told me, were in line with my thyroid problem, and PCOS symptoms. No one even brought it up. I EVEN HAD A PELVIC EXAM BACK AT THE BEGINNING OF OCTOBER TO FIND OUT WHY IF IT WAS MY OVARIES THAT FELT GIGANTIC AND THE NP DIDN'T MENTION THAT THINGS DID IN FACT FEEL ODD DOWN THERE. She told me instead that everything seemed normal. Never mentioned a possibility that I was growing a tiny human.

While I was on vacation, I swore I felt fluttering that felt like baby movements. I called my husband and told him that. I was also having MAJOR digestive issues at the time, (another pregnancy symptom) and thought it HAD TO JUST BE GAS, but could not deny that it felt like a baby and not like gas. My husband and I laughed about it. We even jokingly said, "If only that were a possibility... How cool would that be?!"

It wasn't until I found a NEW AMAZING doctor's office, and an incredible Nurse Practitioner who had the bright idea to do blood work on my thyroid and my hormone levels to see where I was at that we made any kind of head way. She called me back with the lab results and told me to take the test. So I did, and sure enough I am pregnant. The ultrasound results came back and from what they can see, the baby looks healthy and is developing well.

All I can say is that now, in hind sight I can look and see that I was experiencing my first trimester, and half of my second, but at the time, I was an emotional wreck because I had NO CLUE what was wrong with me. I remember telling my mom when she was out visiting in July that I had to find out what was wrong with me because I couldn't be the mom I wanted to be for Z if I felt like this for the rest of forever. I mean, I had no indication that it would ever end. I just knew that I felt like garbage and had no energy to do anything, and I was miserable. Of course now, I see that the fatigue was because of the pregnancy, and the stomach upset was also aggravated by the pregnancy...

So, just to clarify, I'm not stupid. I just had so many people telling me it was something else. I was trying my hardest to listen to my body and figure out what was going on with it, but was somehow tuned out to it being pregnancy, even though things kept pointing to it.

Now that we know, we are so happy. SO EXCITED. And for the love, please stop telling me I should be on that TLC show. 

Much Love,

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Year of Changes

I have SO MUCH to say right now. But I don't really know where to begin. I just read through the last year of blog posts. Some of them made me cry... reliving those horrible feelings. Feeling the heartache all over again. I want to start by saying that those feelings I expressed were REAL and VALID. Infertility is no joke. If you let it, it will consume you and try to destroy you. It is a hard road to walk, and I don't wish it on any good person.

Wow. I really don't know what to say. Perhaps I will start with how happy I am right now. Right this instant. Today is my son's 5th birthday. We have spent the entire weekend celebrating him, and it continued today. He is such a wonderful child. He truly makes my life happy. He is so helpful, so kind and so loving. He is a considerate, thoughtful, and amazing little boy who has left me awestruck on a number of occasions. He is just so good. The fact that I have been a mother for 5 years to the coolest kid I have ever met is enough to make anyone happy. But for me, it just leaves me breathless.

Dear Z,

You are so wonderful. You are everything that daddy and I asked Heavenly Father for and more. You have brought so much more love and happiness to our family than we ever knew possible. You have given us the incredible gift of you. I have loved these past 5 years, and I can't wait to see what you do this year. I love watching you grow and learn. But it does make my heart ache a little, because I know that this is all moving too fast.

I love you more than I can ever express. You are an angel.


It is amazing what emotions his birthday brings up every single year. The sheer excitement of his birth after years of trying. The immense love I felt for him so instantaneously. The utter gratitude I felt to my Heavenly Father for giving me such a blessing. And usually there is a twinge of sadness that I may never feel those feelings again... Until this year.

Last Monday, I found out that I am pregnant. It came as a total and complete shock. I had gone in to the doctor the week before because I was having some thyroid issues and wanted to change my medicine. She ordered blood work, and it came back on Monday. She told me that my hormone levels were very high and indicative of pregnancy. I honestly didn't believe her. It had been 5 years and nothing, and she was going to tell me that I was PREGNANT and didn't even know it?! Yeah right.

She told me to take a test and then call her back. So, I did begrudgingly. This is what I saw after 2 seconds.

I couldn't believe it. 5 years. And now, a baby. A BABY IN MY BELLY! And I had NO IDEA. All that time this summer that I felt so crummy because of what I thought was my thyroid turned out to be because I was pregnant. I had honestly given up, so I thought there was no feasible way that I could ever be carrying a baby.

Two days later we went in as a family to the hospital for an ultrasound to determine how far along I am. The technician told us I was measuring at 22 weeks! 5 1/2 MONTHS and I never knew. 5 1/2 months of grieving something that I had the entire time. We also found out we are having a little boy. I am overcome with happiness again. We conceived sometime at the end of May/Beginning of June. I am due at the end of February! It has been one crazy week, I tell you!

Tonight I am sitting here, pondering what this next year in our family's life will bring. It will bring a new baby. It will bring school for Z. It will bring all sorts of new dynamics for our family, and I say, "BRING IT ON!" We have a beautiful little boy whom we cherish, and another on the way whom we can't wait to meet. It will be amazing to see his little face for the first time. Just like it was when I saw Z's face for the first time. He will be perfect just like his brother.

I feel abundantly blessed, and happy to know that the Lord does love me and care for me. He is looking out for my family and knows when the perfect time for all things is. I am so overcome with gratitude for my family and the ways in which the Lord has blessed us.

Much Love,

Monday, May 28, 2012

I remain unbroken...

When I am left alone with my thoughts, it is very rarely a good thing... Sure I have my moments of clarity and quiet reflection, but often it gives me too much time to dwell on things. The truth is, I feel broken. And what's worse is that I feel that it is my own fault that I am. I worry that my past has made me unable to plan my family. I think about those reckless days of my youth, fraught with eating disorders, no sleep, bad nutrition, OTC drug abuse, and artificial hormones in the form of birth control. Have I destroyed my body?

But really, what use is it to worry about it? I mean, I can't change it, now can I? What is done is done. I have changed a lot. I no longer go out of my way to do things that are bad for me. I mean, yes of course I still eat the wrong things and don't exercise enough, but I don't try to hurt myself. The only thing I can do now is move forward, right? Just set my mind to refusing to make the same mistakes again and again.

In April, I had a secret. I started fertility treatments. (I didn't tell anyone for fear of having to answer a LOT of questions that I didn't want to answer. Namely, having to break the news a thousand times that if it didn't work... That is always so hard on me).  I began seeing a specialist up in Salt Lake City who wanted to start me on an aggressive amount of clomid and a steroid. I had let what I wanted, (a baby) decide for me to go against all that I feared about that drug and trust the doctor. I began taking my medication, and I suffered through the side effects, and went in for my ultrasound, only to find out that the clomid had been tremendously successful and I had TWO eggs that would ovulate that month. My chances looked very very good, the doctor told me. He was so happy that it had worked so well for me. He was very hopeful... and so was I. I left the doctor's office so elated and excited. I knew it would work... and what about TWINS?! What if we got twins? Wouldn't that be amazing?! (And scary)... Honestly, this was the first time I ovulated in over 5 years and I really thought it would just be that easy... I mean, the first time I ovulated when we were trying the first time to get pregnant was when we conceived.

So Mr. Darling and I were sure this was our answer. We were sure I would get pregnant. And then, I started getting symptoms that I was. I was nauseated, I was so tired, I had heartburn (which I never really get except when I am pregnant) and a few other things that I won't mention... We were so excited. And then, I decided to take a test. I took it early, confident that it would be positive. My husband was out of town and I wanted to do something for when he came home... Like make a t-shirt for Z to wear that said "Big Brother" or something. Negative. I was crushed. But I told myself that it was still too early, and I had jumped the gun.

The time came for me to take it (for real this time), but this time I was sure that the negative test had been correct. I took one anyway, this time with my sweetheart right there with me. Negative. I sat and watched my husband (who never really seems too affected by this sort of thing),  openly cry, and say "I was so sure you were" and I lost it. I lost it for a while. I felt cheated and robbed, and well, quite stupid.

I also didn't like how I felt on the medication. I decided that we would give it one more try and if it didn't work then we would stop.

So this month I took it again. But this month, I felt different. I felt much less hopeful... In fact, I felt the opposite of hopeful. I felt like it wasn't going to work at all. Back up to SLC I drove for another ultrasound only to find out that the clomid had stopped working all together. My body wasn't responding to it anymore. I had not produced a single viable egg this month. I was devastated. Again.

I took both of these much harder than I thought I would. I honestly thought I was stronger. I honestly believed that I could remain unaffected if it didn't work. I thought that I had reached a point where I would be okay if it didn't work. And both times I felt like I would break in half it hurt so badly.

Even now, after 4 days have gone by since the ultrasound, I have my moments where I just burst in to tears. It just feels so final.

This morning, I woke up sick. I didn't make it to church, though I think I really could have benefited from it. I looked at the June issue of the Ensign (which is an LDS church distributed magazine) still in the plastic that it was delivered in. I decided to sift through the pages to try and find something to help ease my broken soul. I flipped through the pages and landed on this:

I was sitting on the couch next to Mr. Darling, and he must have heard me gasp because he looked over at me just as I started weeping. He put his hand on my back, and I sobbed, "I was not expecting that." It was an answer to the ache I felt. Just seeing those words on the page brought me more comfort than I can even express.  It was as though the Savior himself grabbed my face between his hands and said, "I know very well what you want. I know very well how you hurt. And I AM HERE."

The article was beautifully written by a woman who suffered with infertility... She eventually went on to have three sons with her husband... It focused mainly on accepting the Lord's time frame in all things. Here is a link to read the article online... Learning to Cope with Infertility By Carolynn R. Spencer

She says some things that really hit close to home, like,
"...I cringed when I listened to women complain about their pregnancies or their children or the responsibilities of mothering. Didn't they realize how blessed they were? Didn't they realize that others longed to be in their shoes? Month after month, and then year after year, Tim and I rode waves of hope, only to feel them come crashing down when our dreams failed to materialize."

Oh how I relate to that statement...

She quoted Elder Neal A. Maxwell (who was an apostle in the LDS church until his death in 2004)
"The issue for us is trusting God enough to trust also His timing. If we can truly believe He has our welfare at heart, may we not let His plans unfold as He thinks best?"

That touched me so deeply. Of course I've known this. I know it's His time, and not mine, but for some reason those words really opened my eyes today.

She also referenced many women from the bible who suffered with infertility, and man did that help me tremendously... She said:

"...From Abraham's wife, Sarah, I learned that miracles do happen, that nothing is 'too hard for the Lord...From Isaac's wife, Rebekah, I learned that if my prayers weren't answered right away, I still needed to keep praying... From Zacharias's wife, Elisabeth, I learned that infertility was not God's punishment for imperfections, weaknesses, or unworthiness to be a mother...I learned from Hannah's despair that it makes no sense to let gratitude for the blessings we do have be crowded out by sorrow over the one thing we lack...From all of these women in the scriptures, I learned that I was not alone in my heartache; other women who had gone before knew just how I felt, and surely there were others surrounding me who knew as well. Most of all, the Savior knew; not only could He comfort me in my burden of sorrow, but He could ease it for me as Isaiah promised: 'Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows.'..."

Talk about a brick to the face.

This article wasn't written by a prophet, or an apostle. This article was written by a woman who knows the pain of infertility. But this was no less prophetic to me... This was a true answer to the desires of my heart. The Lord heard and answered me through this woman's words.

The truth is, I don't know what the future holds for me. What I do know is that I have it in me to be okay with whatever it is. I have the ability in me to enjoy the ride and hope for the best. I also know that I am done with fertility treatments for a while. I don't want to do anything else to my body like that for a long time.

You know what else? I know I'm NOT broken. I might be a little damaged. I have some scars, (emotional, physical and spiritual) but I remain unbroken. 

I remain unbroken.

With Love,

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Hello again, my little old blog.

I have much to report. Where to begin? I guess I should probably pick up where that last blog post left off.

For about 3 or 4 (or maybe more) months, (most of them leading up to that blog post) I was feeling really down, and I wasn't entirely sure why. Truth is, I didn't call anyone or make any kind of effort to keep in touch. Facebook was pretty much the only thing I stayed current on, and that was mostly because it was much easier to write a small status update than call someone and sound pitiful. I was lonely, and sad about a number of things, one of those things being that I want to get pregnant. But, no matter what I tried I couldn't shake it. No one called me really, and I didn't call anyone either. I just stayed in this little funk for a while.

In November I got a lot of lab work done. I was starting to see if fertility treatments were a good option (I remain very nervous about them), and my doctor wanted to make sure he was covering all the bases. One of the tests came back that I was hypothyroid... BIG surprise... I mean, I only had EVERY SINGLE SYMPTOM and didn't know it. So, I started taking herbs, and things started to get a little more even all the way around. I wasn't as tired, or as achy, but something was still off. In January, I was tested for Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. Yup. I have it. It's an auto immune disorder that is the cause of my hypothyroid problems. My immune system actually ATTACKS my thyroid. It's all so lovely. But, with that news, also came great news! The herbs were working to manage my thyroid function. My thyroid was back in normal levels. I was pretty shocked.

But what did the Hashimoto diagnosis mean? What else could I do about it? What did I need to change? I was overwhelmed. I looked online for answers, and became even more overwhelmed. There is SO much information out there, and a lot of it contradicts other info, and so on. But, there was one thing that I found that was across the board recommended and sounded like the answer I was looking for.

The Paleo Diet. No grains (especially gluten!) No dairy, No refined sugar, No soy. What can I eat? A diet rich in omega 3's, fresh whole fruits, fresh whole vegetables, lean meat, (especially wild caught fatty fish) and nuts and seeds. I started immediately, and within 10 days I was down 12 pounds (I had been tip toeing around the same weight for years, no matter what I did). Not only was I losing weight, I was feeling better than I had in, well, better than I could ever remember feeling. It was a miracle.

I am still following the Paleo Diet, though I will admit that tonight I did have a gluten free cupcake (I promise you this is the first taste of cane sugar I have had in two months, and I honestly feel like poo now because of it. Low energy, headache, blah. I won't make that mistake again). My energy levels are up, I feel pretty great most of the time, and I have lost a total of 26 pounds since January. It's pretty amazing.

I just posted this picture comparison of when I started vs what I look like now on Facebook, but I'm going to post it here to document where I am in this.

My face is a lot less round now. It's great. My pants are getting to be too big, which kind of sucks, because I'm in between sizes right now. But the good news is that now I can work out because I actually feel well enough to do it! I want to keep going on this, because I want to be healthy.

Then today, after thinking about it for weeks and months, I decided to cut my bangs. I am cheap though, (thanks to Mr. Darling) and I didn't want to pay someone just to cut my bangs, so what did I do? I remembered a LOOOOONG time ago in an Allure magazine there was a tutorial on cutting your own bangs. Ha ha. So from memory, I grabbed some hair (I carefully decided which hair, but you get the idea) placed my left thumb where it needed to be, and took some scissors and cut around it. Here is the result.

Not too shabby. I am happy with them. I feel attractive again. Which is a weird feeling because it's been a LONG time since I have felt that way. But, I'm losing weight and feeling better, and now I have cute bangs to help me feel even better!

My 4 year old DID tell me that my hair looked crazy and funny after I cut it, but that's okay. I think those are compliments from him. Because after he said that, he told me that I looked beautiful. He's a funny duck.

I am feeling better emotionally. Which is the most important thing. I have grieved and grieved from the infertility, and I have my ups and downs. My last down was just compacted by my thyroid, which has depression as one of it's generous side effects.

Honestly, I just want answers. There is just so much up in the air right now, and it is hard. But, I feel optimistic for the first time in a while. I feel like things will work out. If I am not supposed to get pregnant again, I am okay with that. I just would like to know my plan B, and know that that coincides with Heavenly Father's plan too. It's just hard when you don't know what to do about anything.

One thing remains sure in all this hullabaloo: I love my family. They are so wonderful. I couldn't get through any of this without those two.

You know, I have liked a lot of boys in my life. Some I was so sure were something more than they ever were in my life, and I have dated some boys too that were more than they ever SHOULD have been in my life. But you know something? Mr. Darling is my soul mate. And no matter who those other boys were or are, what they meant to me at some point in my life, I wouldn't want ANY of them. Mr. Darling is without a doubt, 100% better for me than ANY of those other dorks were. In fact, once I met him, there was no comparison. He blew everyone else away. No one has ever respected me like he does. No one has ever taken care of me and loved me so completely as he does, and I don't WANT anyone else. I want him. I want ONLY him. I'm not saying I have guys lining up to have me or anything... I just mean that I thought I wanted certain things for so long, and then I met him, and he was a real game changer. He looked at me differently. He loved me immediately. He has taken care of me from day one, and he is only getting better at it. I feel like every other girl should be jealous of me because I have such an amazing man. I am so lucky.

That was quite the tangent. But, what I mean is that, for me, in this entire universe, there is ONE person who is PERFECT FOR ME... and that is the person who I was lucky enough to find at 21 years of age, and who I was smart enough to marry 8 months later. My sweetheart has pulled me out of the fire so many times, and he shows no signs of stopping any time soon.

So, I have made some big changes in my lifestyle over the last few months, but a few things remain constant in my life... namely, Mr. Darling and my increasing knowledge of the fact that we are MFEO.

With Love,

Monday, January 9, 2012

It's baaaaaack...

This post is going to seem like a simpering, pity party, but I assure you I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me. There are just days that I have to write it down or my feelings will eventually give me an anxiety attack... If you don't want to read this post, or are worried you won't know what to say or how to handle it, just please stop reading. I really don't want to make anyone uncomfortable, or feel like I am trying to get sympathy in any way. I assure you I am not.

8 years ago, I wanted a baby. I knew I was supposed to have a baby. But, well, it just didn't work out like I had planned. Then almost 7 years ago, my grandfather who meant the world to me, died suddenly, around the same time that my husband and I started trying to have a baby, (a year after I decided I wanted to start trying).

A few months later I would learn that I have infertility issues from the mouth of a fertility specialist, confirming what I already knew: My life will NEVER be how I planned it. No matter how much I thought things through, or made lists, or how many goals I wrote down, my life was not going to follow those plans. I wasn't going to be one of those people who thought, "Hmm, I would like to be a mother and get pregnant in two months and then have a baby nine months later and then have another child in exactly 24.6 months after the first baby was born...etc...etc..." And month after month I became more and more bitter about it as friend after friend became pregnant and I sat there crying on the toilet with another negative pregnancy test in my hands... weeping and cursing everything and everyone who didn't understand anything that I was going through.

And things got dark for a while... I stopped going to church, found every excuse I could think of not to go, and started feeling betrayed by God too. And let me tell you, that is a lonely, desolate place to be in. There is no end of darkness in that pit, and it is hard to climb out... but eventually I did. Eventually.

A year and a half went by, and somehow I had managed to find some sunshine to get me out of that rut. And things, though still difficult for me, were looking up. My husband and I started considering adoption, and then, as we were seriously considering it, I got the positive test... As I sit here remembering the feelings that were going through my body and my mind when I saw those two lines, I am overcome with emotion and my heart leaps in my chest. It was all I ever wanted, and here it was, staring me in the face. The wait was over. God had blessed us with a child.

I thought that my troubles in that arena were over. I thought that I had found my answers so that I would NEVER have to go through that again. But, as usual, I was wrong.

When our son was born, there was so much healing in our family, but especially in me. He was and always will be a miracle. Not just because I couldn't have a baby and then I did... as miraculous as that was, that isn't the miracle that I think of when I say it. I say he worked miracles in me. I felt closer to God and to my faith, to my husband and to this little person who was ours. The love that grew when he was born is absolutely indescribable.

Here we are, over 4 years after the birth of our son, and have never prevented pregnancy since, and here I sit, still the mother of one. I do NOT dismiss him as unimportant, I do NOT think that I can't be happy without another child. I do NOT discount the importance of my son in my life. Just because I want another child doesn't mean that I am not grateful for the one that I have. I know I am lucky. I know that there are thousands of people who wish their infertility woes would end in just one child... I am TRULY AND SINCERELY grateful for my son. Every single day. He is amazing.

Having said that, I am going to continue the thought... Last year, about 6 months ago, we decided to adopt a child to add to our family. We are still on that path, but have been informed recently that our wait time has been extended to AT LEAST three years. Do you see my frustration? I try to turn a negative in to a positive and I get another door slammed in my face. NOTHING in this area of our lives has been easy. NOTHING. Growing our family is just going to be difficult, and I'm having a hard time with it. I AM HAVING A VERY HARD TIME WITH IT. For months I have been smiling through my pain and laughing through my tears. I am trying to be brave and I am trying to be strong, but all this trying has made me tired and weak, and right now I am going to have it out with these feelings.

I AM SICK of having to deal with this. I HATE IT. I feel that there is something wrong with me. Do you know how hard it is to feel like you are to blame for something that causes so much heartache?! Do you know how hard it is to sit on one end of a phone hearing someone you thought cared about you telling you that God is punishing you for your pride?! Do you even comprehend the hurt feelings when you have to stand there and endure looks and thoughts from nosy people asking you if your one child is all you've got after 10 years of marriage, and then have them tell you that you need more?! Do you know what it is like to go to church in a family oriented community and be made to feel as though you are somehow less or your feelings and insights aren't valid because you don't have children, or only have one?! I've been called selfish, prideful, and a handful of other things because MY BODY DOESN'T WORK RIGHT. I'm selfish because we put ourselves first before having children. I'm prideful and that is why God is withholding the blessings of parenthood from us. My opinion on family values doesn't hold water because I don't have any children, or (more recently) only one child, so how could I truly know what REAL family values are?

I have tried all of the tactics before too.  Smiling, and telling myself that they are just ignorant and don't know everything. That it isn't their business anyway. I have even gotten angry and said things to people so that next time they open their big stupid mouths they might think twice. I have even tried to pray the feelings away. I have been open and honest with most people about my struggles with infertility, but there are times when it makes me so tired. I just want to be okay with things, and the constant talk about it sometimes is hard for me.

But, here I sit... I have a beautiful 4 year old, who is simply magic. I have an international adoption that is going to be a lengthy process ahead of me. And I have this desire, a very strong one, to hold another baby in my arms that I carried in my belly. And I sit here, even with the magic in the next room, and even with the dawn of bringing a child in to my home on the distant horizon, with the thoughts of holding a baby in my arms, and I cry. Some days it is ALL I can think about. It's all around me. It seems that every friend I have or have had over my life that I am still in contact with is pregnant or just had a child... and I am, admittedly JEALOUS. But, not ANGRY at them. Just SUPER JEALOUS. Why can I not be numbered with those who have it easy in this area? Why do I have to continually endure the hard road on this one? This ONE area where my heart aches the most. I love being a mother. Doesn't that count for something?

So, to all my friends out there who are reading this and enjoying the pregnancy, or cuddling your newborn, I don't mean to go on like this. I don't want to upset you, or make you think that I don't care deeply about your life and the joys you experience. I just needed to write out these feelings because my sadness is there, and I can't shake it no matter how hard I try. I don't want to make you feel uncomfortable. That's not my intention. I just am tired of bottling this up right now.

It comes in waves. There are days when I am genuinely feeling good about everything, and then there are days when all of it really gets to me, and those days are coming more frequently now...

It is my prayer and my hope that this doesn't consume me again. I will go play with my son more, and try to laugh more, and focus on all that I have. Perhaps I need to draw closer to my Heavenly Father.

With Love,