Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Welcome to My Blog!

Welcome to my blog! I'm glad you found me.  This site was created towards the end of my four year journey through infertility and miscarriage.  I designed it to be devotional style and wrote about a specific topic related to infertility in each post.  I am so happy to have been blessed with a precious baby boy and at this point, the blog will remain dormant, at least until I start trying for #2.  I invite anyone struggling with infertility and pregnancy loss to read through my blog. 

If you want to keep up with where I am right now, you can read my new blog: http://john15-11.blogspot.com/. As a warning, this blog is full of pictures and gushing about my baby boy, so if you don't feel up for that, you may not want to hop over there. 

I continue to pray for those struggling with infertility and pregnancy loss each day.  Draw near to the Lord, He will draw near to you.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

2 Months and a New Blog

It is hard to believe that this little guy

is already 2 months old!

Actually, this picture is from a couple weeks ago, but it is so cute I just had to post it.

Now that I am getting settled in, I am starting a new blog. It took several weeks to find a blog title. I guess I should have started thinking about a new title months ago, but that didn't happen. It doesn't help that there are so many bloggers these days that the few titles I came up with were already taken. For a little while I was tempted to just continue using this blog, but then I remembered that I do not want my family and fertile friends to read what amounts to my very personal (though public) diary from the last couple years.

After having no luck with a blog name, I finally decided to take a look at the readings from our wedding.  Since Jeremiah 29:11 was already taken...I looked at the gospel.  When I read it, two words stuck out:  Joy Complete!  I knew I had found my new blog's name. 

Having joy in the title is so appropriate because when we found out we were expecting, we both felt an overwhelming sense of joy.  This can be hard for an infertile in the first trimester, and especially for someone who has had a miscarriage.  We are so used to guarding our hearts.  Perhaps we both had some intuition that this was finally going to be our take home baby.  We felt so much joy about this pregnancy that we decided if the baby was a girl, her middle name would be joy. 

Of course, the blog address Joy Complete was already taken, so my new blog address uses the bible verse.  Come visit me at http://john15-11.blogspot.com/ if you would like to keep up with us. 

As for this blog, I feel that the devotionals I wrote are (this is not meant to sound conceited) "timeless" in that anyone who is experiencing infertility and pregnancy loss could relate to them.  So I will be keeping this site up and adding a welcome/explanation post for anyone who happens upon this blog in the future. You won't see this blog listed under my profile from here on out in an effort to continue keeping this little project a secret from my family/IRL friends!

For posterity's sake, I wrote out my IF history and added it to my sidebar for anyone who is interested.

I have always felt that God placed certain circumstances in my life and my friend's lives so that I could be a prayer warrior for those specific intentions.  I think I will always pray for those experiencing infertility and miscarriage because it has touched me so deeply. At one point I shared on this blog that I began to specifically pray for my healing from m/c and IF immediately after receiving the Eucharist.  I knew that this was the time I was physically closest to Christ, so I felt I should pray for my most personal intentions.  I conceived and lost our third baby only a few months after beginning that devotion, but I continued it and soon became pregnant again.  I prayed for my healing and the healing of others experiencing IF all throughout my pregnancy and I know that the Lord heard my prayer.  It is so engrained in me to pray for healing from IF/miscarriage after receiving the Eucharist, that I continue to do so even now, not for myself, but for all of you.  I'm amazed at how many miracles God has worked in this blogging community over the past year, and I know there are more to come.  I'll keep praying for you, please keep praying for me.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

He's Here!!!

Philip Andrew

Born Monday, July 19, 2010
7 lbs. 1 oz.
20 inches

Thank you to everyone who prayed for us. I prayed for all of your intentions during labor, and prayed in general for all those suffering with infertility and pregnancy loss.

Here is the birth story:
I woke up at 1:45 last Monday morning and knew something was different. Within the hour I knew I was in labor. He was a week early which took me by surprise as both my sister and I were two weeks late. Being this was my first baby I figured I would follow suit. We went into the hospital around 8:00 am when contractions were only 3.5 minutes apart. When they hooked me up to the monitors they found that the baby's heart rate was decelerating down to about 50-60 during contractions, then going up to 160-200 afterwards. So, I was stuck to laboring in bed with constant fetal monitoring. I was only able to lay on my right side because the heart rate declerated in any other position. At around 4:00 pm I was up to 7 cm, but labor stalled. They tried Pitocin and laid me in different positions, but nothing was changing. The doctor decided to give me until 8:00 pm and wanted me to be about ready to push when she returned. At 8:00, I was still at a 7 and the heart rate declerations were very consistent, no matter what position they put me in. The doctor told us she was concerned that if we let the labor progress, the baby may be too exhausted to get through the pushing stage. She recommended that we consider a c-section as opposed to waiting it out and potentially having to go in for an emergency c-section. We knew this recommendation was coming and we were fine with having the surgery - we just wanted our baby. We were told we would have the baby in less than an hour - what an overwhelming feeling! Surgery went well. Hearing my sweet baby's first cries was amazing - I was in love and hadn't even seen him yet! My husband and the baby were whisked away while I was being stiched up. That is when the doctor told me that when he was delivered, they found his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck twice. He was also sunny-side up which could explain why my contractions felt so intense so early in the day. Needless to say, we are so happy that we decided to go with the surgery and that our baby was born with no complications!

The past week and a half have been amazing. I am so happy to be a mother and to hold my newborn. I cry for joy each day when holding him and looking at his sweet face. Ladies, I want to let you know that everything you are doing and going through is so worth it in the end. You will have a unique appreciation for pregnancy/birth or adoption and being a mother that you wouldn't have felt without bearing the cross of infertility. I will continue praying for you, and hopefully once I get my feet on the ground, I will be a lot more active on the blogs.

Here is one final picture of my first time seeing baby Philip:

"Those who sew in tears will reap with cries of joy." Psalms 126:5

Monday, July 12, 2010

Now Open for Prayer Requests!

It has been a long time, but it has gone by so quickly! I am now just two weeks shy of my due date (July 25th) and wanted to start collecting any prayer requests that you ladies have. I'll be keeping them with me to offer up during the pains of labor. If you have any specific intentions, please leave a comment or you can pull my email address off of my profile. I'll actually get started on the prayers right away as I am in a decent amount of pain throughout these days. It is amazing what an extra 30+ pounds will do to a body!

Everything has gone really smoothly with the pregnancy. It got much easier over time as I was able to wean off of various meds and relax some of my monitoring. I have found such peace and joy during this time. The pregnancy has helped to heal many wounds and I am praying that each of you get to experience the same thing one day. We are still in amazement that this is actually happening. Just the other weekend, the hubs and I got to talking about how different things are now than they were just a year ago. Our cat had emergency surgery on the 4th of July and was in rough shape. We lost our third baby a year ago this weekend. The day after I had my D&C, we left for family vacation and had to put on a happy face for the week admist 30-40 of our family members, about half of whom were babies and children. I cried myself to sleep the first night of our vacation because when we entered our bedroom, the first thing I saw was a crib that had not been in there the last time we had stayed in that room (my husband disassembled it and put it in the closet that night - God bless him!). It was such a difficult time and to think that it is just a year later and we are moments away from meeting our baby boy is so amazing!

In practical news, I was able to negotiate a 10-hour work from home gig after my maternity leave. I am so happy that my company was willing to work with me on this. I have always wanted to be a stay at home mom, and it is mind-boggling to think that I only have a couple more weeks left in the office! If things aren't working well, my husband is more than willing to let me quit my job, but it is nice to have the extra security right now.

You may recall that my sister was expecting a baby just a month before me. Baby Olivia Ann was born over a month early! She weighed just 4 lbs. 7 oz., but is absolutely perfect. She and my sister spent about a week in the hospital while they both worked through some medical issues. Olivia is now 7 weeks old and over 8 lbs! I have yet to meet her in person as they live halfway across the country. We are looking forward to meeting her this fall when we have our baptisms.

Although I have not been keeping up with commenting on blogs, I have been following what is going on. I am so excited about all the little blessings that are coming along right now! It is amazing how many lives have changed over the last year. I continue to keep everyone who is dealing with infertility and pregnancy loss in my daily prayers. May God bless each of you with the deepest desire of your heart!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Check This Out

I'm baack! At least for a few posts. I promise a full update soon, but I wanted to share the video at the link below with you. Someone dear to me has been working on this project and from the first time I saw this video, I wanted to share it on my blog. Although not the original intention of the video, it ended up referring subtly to infertility, the fruitfulness of married couples with and without children, and openness to adoption.

Here is the link: http://www.usccb.org/marriageuniqueforareason/index.shtml

The video is 12.5 minutes long, which is much longer than most anything I'll watch online, so if you want to cut to the chase, you can skip up to about minute 8. If you are going to do that, wait for the full video to load first.

As a brief update, everything is going well with me and the baby. I am only 3.5 weeks until my due date and the baby has been looking great at all of my appointments. More details coming soon! You are all in my daily prayers.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Signing Off...Temporarily

Wow! Has it already been a month since my last post? Things have been really busy lately and I am definitely having a hard time keeping up with the blogging/commenting. In fact, the only reason I have a chance to sit down and write this post today is that I accidentally booked my flight home from a business trip for the wrong day, and now I am stuck in Albuquerque until I can fly out later this afternoon.

I have decided to take a temporary blogging break. I have several projects I want to accomplish between now and July, so I want to try to focus my "free time" on those things. However, once the baby is born and I get adjusted, I fully intend to start a new blog. I will most definitely post any important updates on here, and of course a photo once the baby is born and link to my new site. And if I get so inspired, you may see a new devotional post in the meantime. I added my email to my profile page, so if anyone ever wants to send me a private message, please feel free. For those of you bloggers out there, you will still see me in your Comment boxes!

I hear you guys on the book idea. It has actually been swirling around in my mind from the beginning. I am thinking it may be a good project once I am (hopefully) staying at home. Anyone have any contacts in the Catholic book publishing world?

So before I sign off, I better leave you with one last update. My husband and I decided not to take the job that would allow us to move back to our home state. It was a hard decision, but we both feel at peace that this is the right decision for the time being. We are left with hope that in the next couple years, an opportunity may come up that would allow us to move. We will wait for God's timing.

And, I am now 21 weeks pregnant - halfway there! It's a little boy. I never knew how overwhelming that news would be until I experienced it. Perhaps it was a little more overwhelming for me because I only have an older sister and so the thought of raising a boy is a bit intimidating for me. But I keep being reassured that boys are much easier to raise than girls and that they have a special connection to their moms. My sister is expecting a little girl. My parents are thrilled to be getting one of each and at least I have someone to buy those cute little girl outfits for.

Thank you for all of your support and friendship over the past year. I keep all of you in my prayers each day and look forward to the day when God reveals His perfect plan for your families. God bless!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Blogiversary and What To Do About the Blog?

First of all, thank you to everyone for your comments and prayers since my last post. I was truly touched by all your support! I feel so grateful that God has led me to where I am today and I am trying to really enjoy this exciting stage of life. I am so thankful that I am able to experience this. At the same time, I am keeping all of you close in prayer. I heard from a few of you for the first time and still have to stop by a few of your blogs for a visit/comment – this is coming soon!

February 2nd marked my one year anniversary of becoming a blogger. What a year it has been! It was probably last January when I decided that I wanted to start a devotional-style blog for Catholic women struggling with infertility/pregnancy loss. The August before, I was having a very difficult time (my 30th birthday and 6th wedding anniversary were that month) and I decided to get a few books to help me cope. One was a devotional book, and though it was good, it was written by an Evangelical and I found it kind of hard to relate at times. There really is something different about Catholic spirituality and of course the values we hold as far as TTC. I briefly looked online at some of the Catholic infertile blogs, and didn't find anything with a devotional style, so I decided to go for it.

I immediately came up with all sorts of topics and fun titles for my blog posts. I found it interesting that although I started by using those initial brainstorm ideas, for the most part, life brought about topics for each week's blog posts and I rarely had to dig into my "blog brainstorm" file for an idea. I had a laparoscopy/hysteroscopy/selective HSG at the end of January, and starting this blog was one of my projects during my week off from work. I knew absolutely nothing about blogging and had only briefly visited a few blogs at that point. My how times have changed!

It has been great to meet so many of you online and to even meet a few of you in person! What a connection we share through our experiences even if we don't know each other IRL. It seems that every thought and emotion that you ladies have posted this year, I have experienced myself. On days when big news was coming, I would sit at work repeatedly refreshing your blog pages for the latest news. I have been so happy for some of you, your successes have brought tears to my eyes and for those who had difficult times, I found another types of tears pouring forth.

At times I wished I had another type of blog. One where I could just post about what was going on in my life, to pose questions that I knew I could get knowledgeable answers to from experienced women. But except for a few extenuating circumstances, I tried to keep to my format. I often wondered what people might think of me, if I was coming off as "holier than thou" in writing only devotional posts. If people thought that I had devotions to all the different prayers at the end of my posts, when in reality I had often just found them through a Google search moments before posting! I am certainly not a model of faith and have a lot of room for improvement – believe me. These blog posts were often the first time I really meditated on what God was trying to teach me through my sufferings. I suppose anyone who was turned off to my blog format doesn't read my posts anyway, so I need not worry.

At any rate, this anniversary comes at a critical time because obviously things are changing in my life. Although I still have a lot of feelings that I think I could work through, I am trying to decide what to do with this blog. I will certainly keep the blog active so that I can post comments on all of your sites; however, my news posts will probably be few and far between. I would like to keep up working through my post ideas and hopefully providing support to others through the blog, but it is time-consuming. I have a lot going on right now both personally and professionally that will keep me from my original goal of posting once a week. I am also a bit nervous about some new person finding my site one day and posting supportive comments, only to find out later that I am pregnant and feel like they were "lied" to.

Will I start a new blog? I'm not sure. I would like to be able to post some updates for anyone who would like to follow along with me. I know at times over the year, I had wished I had a "regular" blog so I could post about funny things that were happening in my life, but now, I'm not quite sure what I would write about in a new blog (other than the obvious). One of my IRL friends who blogs recently posted with questions about what purpose blogging serves. Does it do help me in any way? Am I a better person because of it? Does it make someone else's life better? The answers are different for each person/blog. This is part of my quandary about whether to start a new blog at this point. If I just post with pregnancy updates, would that really be helpful for me or others? I know all the comments/camaraderie are definitely helpful, but is the time spent worthwhile right now?

I wish there was some way to write posts that don't necessarily get posted on my main page, but that could be linked on the side. Anyone know how to do that? I tried to figure that out for my pregnancy announcement, but couldn't find anything. I'm sure that once this baby is born, I will start up a new blog, but I may go on a hiatus in the meantime as there is a lot to do, and I find it hard to keep up with blogging/commenting as it is now. So, what to do, what to do? Any thoughts are welcome.

On an unrelated note, I know that there are a lot of more urgent prayer requests right now, but if you happen to remember, please say a prayer for my husband and I's discernment. We are trying to decide whether my husband should take a new job position (if offered) which we had always thought would be the "dream job." Of course, nothing is perfect, and taking the job would involve a lot of risk and sacrifice. It would also mean we could move close to family which would be awesome at this stage of our life. Last week we were leaning one way, but this week we are leaning in the opposite direction, and both feeling at peace with it. However, we don't have the offer yet, and still want to get some questions answered and make sure we thoroughly think through all the benefits/drawbacks so that we come to the right decision. Thank you in advance for any prayers you can spare!