Wednesday, May 27, 2015

My Weekend (& baby showers)

This weekend was kind of amazing. I mean, nothing major happened. Just a fun weekend with good friends. I thought I'd tell you all about it. I know you're so excited. Right?! But maybe this is the start of me getting back to consistent blogging! #yeahright #probablynot #whoamikidding

Oops, sorry about the hashtags. Won't let it happen again. But they just work so well for things I would rather mumble under my breath than actually say out loud. Ya know?

Anyway. Saturday morning, I got up and ran a few errands. Then I headed to my friend Mary Claire's house to ride with her and a few other girls to a baby shower about an hour away. Some of you may be surprised to hear that I went to a baby shower. Others may be surprised to find out I do not normally go to them. So let me explain. I don't normally go to them because I just can't. That's really all I can say. Baby showers are just very very difficult for a woman going through infertility, to say the least. The best way I know how to explain it is this: to sit in a room full of women who are all moms (some of them 10-16 years younger than you!), surrounded by all things baby, honoring a mom-to-be is incredibly overwhelming. Because of the nature of the event, the conversation naturally is about all things new moms experience. So basically it is sitting in a room surrounded by talk of labor, delivery, C-sections, breastfeeding, diapering, baby-wearing, potty-training...and that is only the beginning. It is many, many stories of parenting triumphs and woes. And it's hard because I can't contribute to a single conversation, I can only hear about all the wonderful (and scary and hard and difficult) things I am missing out on in the beautiful world of motherhood. So I sit there with a fake smile plastered to my face, praying I can make it through the next hour or two. (I didn't always feel this way... for me, this has been something that has gotten harder the longer infertility has gone on. I realize not all women going through infertility feel this way about baby showers. But many do.)

I worry that friends will feel I am being selfish. After all, the baby shower isn't about me, it's about the mom-to-be that is being honored. And I get that. I do. But infertility is devastating, and sometimes you have to do what is best for you. Thankfully I have had friends completely understand and offer me much grace & love when it comes to their baby showers.

Trust me, I don't WANT to miss a good friend's baby shower. In fact, there have been a couple of them that have had me truly heartbroken over not being able to go, because sometimes they are for dear friends that I love and that I do want to honor & celebrate. But I have to find a different way to do that. Usually it is by bringing them a meal and baby gift shortly after the baby is born. For some reason the same topics discussed at a baby shower aren't as bad when it's just me and the mom-to-be. But put me in a room with 10-20 moms and I feel overwhelmed, heartbroken, and completely alone. I am SO THANKFUL to have had many friends completely understand this, some of them even talking to me and giving me an out, before I even got a chance to explain why I wouldn't be able to make it. (Side note: This is not a bad idea...sending your friend like me the invitation but also letting them know that you totally understand if they can't make it. It is so thoughtful and it really means a lot!)

So there you have it! Why I don't do baby showers. BUT this weekend, I made an exception. This weekend was my friend Heather's shower. She is one of my friends from my infertility support group, and she is adopting. Because of this, I figured the conversations would be a little different than the ones at other baby showers. Plus, I would be going with three other friends from support group. So I figured even if something was difficult about the shower, at least we would be together! And so we went and had a wonderful time, and I know Heather was thrilled to have us there. I cannot wait to meet this baby girl... please say a prayer that all goes well with the baby's birth and adoption! (You can read more about Heather's adoption on her blog!)

So here are a few pictures from the day.



I love this picture SO MUCH! This is Katie, Mary Claire, Heather, Kasie & me. I am so thankful to have a support group and to have made such good friendships with the girls in it. We support each other, we encourage each other, and we pray for each other. They have been a God-send, and I pray that one day we will "graduate" from infertility sisters to mom-friends. :)


So Saturday was really an amazing day, even the drive down & back was a blast!!

Sunday was church, and afterwards we went with our favorites, Billy & Mandy, to lunch! I had been CRAVING Mexican food for MONTHS. It finally happened! Haha! Yay!





Did I mention we are going on vacation with  Billy & Mandy in November?!?! Ahhhhh! So excited. 159 days. Yep, I am counting down!


Sunday afternoon I took a wonderful nap, caught up on some editing, and watched my latest addiction...Chicago Fire. :) I'm on Season One and it's so good!


Hope you had an amazing weekend, too!



Saturday, May 16, 2015

March Happenings

Remember that time I did a whole post on the month of January & another whole post on the month of February, just because I was so behind on blogging? And i was going to do one more on March, and then we would be good to go? Well, the March one didn't happen. I blogged a little between then and now, but I still gotta catch you up on March. Because, I mean, March is birthday month. So. Hopefully this one won't be too boring for you! I'm just gonna share the highlights!

-MARCH-

03.02.15 - So, March started off with my birthday. Last year, my birthday was not good. I had just learned that I was going to miscarry, but was hoping that it was all a big mistake and that our baby would stick. So on my actual birthday, I was in that awful place of hoping we had a baby but worried that we didn't. I was loved, I was comforted, I was surrounded by family, but it was still a scary time. I knew this year, my birthday would be much better. Even though I still do not have a baby in my arms, I was in a great frame of mind, AND my dear friend Laura was still in town!!
 
So I did actually blog about my birthday, and that post has all the good pics! But here is one of the ones from my phone. Me & Brad sharing my birthday dessert. (I picked The Cheesecake Bistro, because I was really wanting cheesecake for my birthday... and then I ordered a hot fudge brownie with ice cream instead. I don't know what happened!) 


And one of me & Laura. :)


03.07.15 - Did Charissa's senior session! Her mom & 2 sisters came with and we had a blast. Love this family!

03.08.15 - Had lunch outside on the porch because the weather was awesome! 

03.11.15 - Brad & I started a whole90. Which is a whole30, but for 90 days. More on that soon!

03.14.15 - I did Lauryn's senior session! Oh my goodness, she is a doll! I absolutely loved her shoot!

03.14.15 - Lunch after church with our favorite couple!


03.20.15 - Went on a date night to see Company at Theatre Baton Rouge. It was VERY GOOD! I've missed that place!

03.21.15 - Brad & I took breakfast to our friends Andy & Ashley, and we got to meet their brand new baby girl, born March 14th. Isn't she beautiful!? I love her. 



03.23.15 - Cut the grass for the very first time in my LIFE. (I probably should be more ashamed of that fact than I am!) ACTUALLY, Brad was cutting the grass when I got home from work, and I just stepped in for like 5 seconds. Then i posted this picture on Facebook as my pic-of-the-day, and I got more comments than I think I've gotten on any picture I've ever posted! Ha! No, people, i didn't REALLY mow the lawn. But I will. PROMISE! (Really.) 

03.24.15 - Got this sweet gift in the mail. Had been wanting to read it! :)(This is a shame, but I haven't finished it yet. I've been a procrastinator with reading lately, I don't know why!)

03.27.15 - Met up with my friend Becca to do a short family session! The mosquitos ate us up!! But we had fun. Love her! 

03.28.15 - Went to see Evie Kate again! This time it was with my mom & we brought dinner. :) 



03.29.15 - I had two photo sessions on this day! One was a senior named Michael, and then I did my friend Amy's engagement session! So fun! 


Awesome month!!! How was your March? Oh, wait. That was like two months ago! How is your May, then? I promise I'll catch up on this blog one of these days!

Have a good weekend!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Kindness, Compassion, and Infertility

Today is the last day of National Infertility Awareness Week. I had hoped to write a post a day, or at least every other day, but that didn't happen! However, here is one more. I know a lot of you would never say some of these, but considering they're still constantly being said, I thought it was worth sharing.

I know there are posts like this one all over the internet. People have put this so much more eloquently than I have, or with a much greater sense of humor. But I've wanted to tell this in my own words, with my own voice. So here we go... a little list of things you can say or do to support your friend who is dealing with infertility, and some things you definitely should NOT say or do when it comes to your friend who is dealing with infertility.



Your words matter. They just do. It is not easy sharing my story. It is not easy to open my heart and tell you our story, or about our RE consult, or how our IUI went. It's not easy telling you how long we've been trying. Yes, I choose to tell my story. Yes, it is my choice. And, honestly, it's been one of the best decisions I have made. It's been hard, but infertility is hard anyway. I don't think being public has made it harder. It's actually been very freeing for me. I am able to spread awareness. I am able to share what is hard for me, and what isn't, what hurts my heart, and what doesn't really bother me at all. I have received an abundance of prayers and support from family and friends, and also from people I never would have expected it from! That has been a huge blessing. And I am able to be a voice for those who do not feel like they can become public with their own infertility stories.

All of that being said, I don't think it's a bad thing to let people know what statements and actions are hurtful to those battling infertility...and which ones are helpful. It's 1 in 8 couples, y'all. Chances are even if you don't think you personally know someone facing infertility, you probably do. No matter what situation you are facing in life, you can probably agree with me that hurtful comments stick with you way longer than they stick with the person who said them. But encouraging, supportive words from others are a LIFELINE. They mean everything. Hurtful comments have ruined my entire day, or have had me crying as soon as the offender was out of sight. But words of support have often turned my whole day around (for the better). They have built me up. They've reminded me that I am loved and supported. Seriously, it means everything. I know my infertility sisters would say the same.

So that was quite the long intro. Here we go.

1 - Respect & try to understand that baby showers & other events are very, very difficult.

They just are. Some infertiles avoid baby showers like the plague. For me, I continued going to them for about the first two years of my infertility journey. At some point, though, it got too hard. It wasn't the baby bump or the mom-to-be opening all her gifts that was hard. It was being surrounded by mothers. Moms who could only talk about motherhood. I can't blame them. They're moms and they're at a baby shower, for crying out loud. But it was incredibly overwhelming for me. Painfully overwhelming, to the point of feeling like I might have a panic attack. The best gift you can give a friend like me is to let them know that while they are welcome to come to your shower (or your gender reveal or your kid's birthday party or whatever it is), you completely understand and are not offended if they do not make it. I have had four friends have this conversation with me - two had been through infertility and two had not. One of them mailed the invitation but sent me a text to let me know she understood if I couldn't be there. It meant SO MUCH to have them let me know I was invited but that if i chose not to attend it would be okay. When I walk away from conversations like that, I feel like a weight has been lifted. I feel respected, valued, loved. I cannot even begin to tell you how much it has meant to me. Be that kind of friend. Trust me, they wish they could be there. But they can't. It's just too hard. This doesn't mean they don't love you and don't wish they could celebrate with you. And they will, in their own time. I find it hard to attend baby showers, but a lot easier to go see the mom after the baby is born. It's a lot less overwhelming - and I bring food!

2 - Avoid certain phrases (see examples).

 

"Just relax & it will happen" or "If you don't think about it, it will happen" or "Jennifer struggled to get pregnant too, but as soon as she stopped thinking about it, she popped up pregnant!" or "If you go on a vacation and relax, it will happen!"

Just stop. Don't do it. Please don't do it! Even if you genuinely think she is too stressed out and that it's hurting her chances of conception... just don't do it! I beg of you. These types of phrases do more harm than good. First of all, they're just not true. Everybody knows somebody who just relaxed and then got pregnant, but guess what? That person was not dealing with infertility! Infertility is a medical condition. It's recognized as a disease. You can relax from here to kingdom come, and it's not going to change what is medically wrong! Also, saying that tells them that you think they're NOT relaxed. Me, personally, there have been times when I have been stressed about it, but there have also been months where I have been full of great peace. It still didn't happen! And someone insinuating that I'm not relaxed and that's why I'm not pregnant...well, it sucks. It hurts. It assigns blame, is what it does. I always want to reply, "I was relaxed until you told me to relax! Now I'm not feeling very relaxed!"

"If it's meant to be, it will happen." or "If it's God's will, it will happen." or "Maybe you're not meant to have children."

Yes, people have said these things to me. Listen, I'm a Christian. I know that when it's God's timing, nothing can stop it! But putting it like, "if it's His will" or "maybe it's not meant to be" is terribly  hurtful. First of all, going by this logic, the people who stick their babies in garbage cans or leave them in the basement to starve are MEANT to have children just because they have them. Come on, now. That doesn't even make sense. Second of all, if it's NOT God's will then He is the only one that can open my eyes to see that, and that can give me a peace about it. If I am still trying to conceive, then obviously God has not brought me to that point. Truthfully, I don't think He ever will. I do think it is His plan for me to have children. And everything in the Bible about the infertile woman supports that...they all eventually conceived. There is even scripture I like to hold on to like, "He makes the barren woman a joyful mother of children." (Psalm 113:9). As far as I am concerned, He is saying I AM going to have children. So please let God be the one to speak to me about that. Only He knows His will for my life.

"Just adopt!"

Adoption is a beautiful thing, and we are not at all opposed to the idea. However, adoption is not an easy button. It's a roller coaster of emotions. It is money, lots of money. It is paperwork and interviews and homes studies and meeting babies and holding them in your arms only to have the birth mom change her mind. It is WORTH IT in the end, when it works, when you have your forever baby, but it still not an easy way out. So to just flippantly toss it out as the answer to all infertility problems is ignorant. Adoption is a beautiful and wonderful thing. It is a miracle. But a couple may need to grieve their dream of having a baby with daddy's eyes and mama's nose. And that is okay. It's between them and God. It is a decision they come to on their own. Trust me, there is no couple you say this to that hasn't thought about it already. They may even be starting the process.You just don't know.

3 - Don't feel like you have to give a "solution" (like those above). Just offer support.




One thing I have noticed: Most people feel the need to give a solution. It is very rare for someone to say something to me about infertility without adding in some sort of advice. The "advice" usually goes like this: "Oh, girl, I'm so sorry. You know, I bet if you relax and stop stressing about it, it will happen!" or "I am praying and believing with you that God is going to answer your prayers! ... Make sure after you have sex you lay with the bottom half of your body elevated so the sperm can travel!" (Yes, an actual comment to me, and yes, I know what to do after sex, thank you!!) or "You should buy my product!!! It's helping people get pregnant!" (That one is actually pretty hurtful, because it feels like you're trying to make a buck off of my infertility.) 

Usually, it's not an actual solution. It is often something ridiculous. Sometimes it is something that might help, but not something I haven't already thought about before! Some of it is things I'm already doing! Trust me. You may have just recently found out about our situation, but we have been going through it for four years. I fully believe that God has been and will continue to lead us and guide us every step of this journey. The truth is, you do not have to say anything at all. But if you want to, it can be something like this:

"I love you." "I'm so sorry y'all are going through this." "We are praying for you." "I don't know exactly what you are going through but I am here if you ever want to talk about it. Or if you just wanna go get ice cream or something."

Since my word for the year has been "believe", I have recently found that I also love comments like these: "I am praying and believing with you!" "God is going to give you the desires of your heart." "You are going to be a wonderful mother!" "I can't wait to see your announcement pop up in my newsfeed! I have no doubt it will happen!" These restore my faith. Sometimes I hear them when I am discouraged, and they're exactly what I need. They turn my whole perspective around!

Notice how these are different from the things you shouldn't say. These don't offer a half-hearted solution. They just let us know we are loved and supported. And that is really all we need.

Now, I'm not saying I am not open to new ideas or advice. I am, and if you have a burning desire to share something with me that you really believe could help me, go ahead and do it. I'm not going to hate you or anything. As a general rule of thumb, though, I would really think and pray about it first. If you are supposed to say it to me, I think it will weigh very heavily on you until you do. If not, you'll forget about it. I guess what I am trying to say is, don't just flippantly use empty advice, saying the first thing that comes to your mind. Only give the advice if you feel that it's something I haven't already considered. And don't do it at all if it involves the words, "why don't you just" or "relax". Ha!!

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * 

I know that most of the time, people's hurtful comments are unintentional. They just say what comes to mind, and usually it's just what they've heard. They don't actually think about the words they are using and what they could mean or how they could affect others. And I get it. I've said careless things to people who are facing something hard, like disability or disease. But then I found out those things are considered insensitive and I stopped saying them. Being on this infertility journey has made me very careful about the words that I say to others about their own situations. I just think that even if you can't imagine the pain of infertility, your mind can comprehend that certain words and actions are hurtful. Even if you don't understand, it is never a bad thing to have compassion.

I have to add that I have been so grateful to the fertile friends of mine who have been extremely supportive, who have said all right things, who have showed me much grace and love. You are a treasure, a gift, and a true friend. I would call you out, but you know you are. I really do not know what I would do without you!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Our Journey to Parenthood {an infertility story}

April 19th through 25th is National Infertility Awareness Week. Last year, I told my infertility story on another blog, as a guest blogger, but I recently realized that I never shared that story here! Yes, I've talked about some of the lessons I've learned, and I shared about our miscarriage, but our whole story hasn't been shared here. I thought National Infertility Awareness Week might be a good time to share it. A lot of this will be taken from that guest post last year, so pardon me if some of it sounds familiar. And also, because this post is about infertility, there will be talk of sex and sperm and that time of month. Just in case you aren't comfortable with that. Now you know!

*   *   *   *  *   *   *   *   *   *

I have always wanted to be a mom. I know that sounds cliché, but it is true. There is nothing else I wanted more. I remember that I took my baby dolls everywhere. I remember all through my teens and twenties I would write down all my children's names. I wanted eight kids when i was young, then changed it to seven, and then after some years of babysitting and daycare working, I changed it to four! And it stayed at four for many, many years. I remember when my sister started getting babysitting jobs and i was so jealous. Mom kept telling me, "your time will come" and it sure did! I became the babysitting queen, a nickname given to me by friends, because I would miss Friday nights with friends to babysit. I loved it. LOVED IT. I taught 3 year olds at a daycare, then had the baby class, and then later, had the elementary age kids. I ended up nanny-ing for a wonderful family for about 3 years, and when they moved, I started working with another family. I guess you can see what I'm saying by now. I loved kids. And I definitely wanted a few!

I spent all of my twenties as a single woman. I could not wait to meet the man God had for me, and was completely surprised when it was someone I had known my entire life, someone I had even dated when I was 18. Our love story was kind of a whirlwind. He came back into my life in December 2007, we were an official couple in February 2008, engaged in March 2008, and married that November. But for us, the saying was true: When you know, you know.


As much as I wanted kids, I definitely wanted a couple of years of just me and Brad. So we decided we would wait two years and then start trying. I would be 32 at that point, but that's still early enough. I could still have my babies before I turned 35...which I thought was pretty important. As it got closer to the two year mark, we began to discuss it, and Brad agreed that we could start trying in April (of 2011). In November of 2010, I decided to go ahead and get off the pill. I knew it could take up to 6 months for your cycle to regulate after coming off of the pill, and i wanted my cycles to be completely regulated by April so we could start trying right away. That way, you know, we'd be pregnant by May or so. Easy peasy! Right? Wrong.

Two things happened. Number one is that in January of 2011 I began to really focus on losing weight. I had been trying to lose weight for years but nothing would work. People had suggested I see a doctor, but i kept thinking things like, "Well, I haven't cut out sugar." or "Well, I haven't done any strength training.". I just wanted to try everything I could before I went to a doctor about it. So that January I got serious. I signed up for a bootcamp class. It was 3 days a week. I signed up for zumba, 2 days a week. I counted every single calorie that went in my mouth. And at the end of 15 weeks of doing that, I had gained one pound. That's when I knew something was wrong. I called my general practitioner and made an appointment. That March, I went to him and he told me he would check my thyroid, and run other tests, but that I seemed to be doing everything right and I just needed to keep going. (He thought I had hit a plateau which made no sense since I had not lost any weight at all!) He ran a bunch of tests, and everything came back normal.

The other thing that happened is my period would not start. I came off the pill in November, so my cycles should have been regulated by May. I read to call your gynecologist if your cycle still had not regulated after 6 months after coming off the pill, so I did. After telling the nurse my situation, our conversation went like this:  

Nurse: I think you need to come in and have some tests run, it sounds like you may have insulin resistance.
Me: Well, my GP just ran a bunch of tests on me because I'm also having trouble losing weight, and everything came back normal. (I didn't know it but this probably confirmed her theory of IR.)
Nurse: Did he run a glucose test?
Me: Um...I don't know.
Nurse: Did he have you drink a really sweet koolaid-looking drink?
Me: Noooo...
Nurse: Then let's make you an appointment. It sounds like insulin resistance, which is an easy fix.

I went to my obgyn, and she immediately diagnosed me as insulin resistant. She only needed the test to confirm it, and it did. She put me on metformin, and told me it would regulate my cycles, increase fertility and help me to lose weight. I have to admit I got really excited. A diagnosis! A pill that would fix it! For me, all of this meant one thing: A BABY. Well, it did regulate my cycles and it has made it possible (but not easy!) to lose weight. My fertility has increased I am sure, just because I wasn't ovulating then, and I do (usually) ovulate now. But still, no baby. 

 September 2013

That was in May of 2011, so we tried to conceive naturally for over two years. We went back to my obgyn in September of 2013. I had lost some weight and had hit 35, so my doctor agreed it was time to move forward. She ordered an ultrasound for me and a sperm analysis for my husband. This is all very standard. I figured everything would turn out fine, she would put me on clomid, and wa-lah! I would finally get that baby I had been longing for. I am sure you can guess by now that isn't what happened either. 

I got my ultrasound results back and we found out that I have PCOS. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, one of the leading causes of infertility. A couple of weeks later we got Brad's sperm analysis back. Up until that point, the plan had been for me to try clomid. But the added diagnosis of PCOS & low sperm count/motility moved us straight to an IUI. As you might be able to imagine, this was a very difficult time for us. It just felt like another mountain in our quest to become parents. I remember thinking that every time we had tests run, the results were not in our favor! I remember wondering if we would ever become parents. 

We had our first IUI with my obgyn in October of 2013. It did not work. I called and left a message that I had started my period and was ready to move forward with IUI #2. They called me back and explained that instead they would be referring me to the Reproductive Endocrinologist. No! I didn't want to. I loved my obgyn. She knew my whole story. I trusted her. I wanted to stay with her. But my nurse explained that they could only do so much. An RE's specialty is getting women pregnant. They are able to time everything perfectly. Most of the girls in my support group went to the same RE and all of them absolutely loved him. But it still was just another THING to me, another step in this world called infertility. Most people start seeing an RE after trying on their own for a year. But we had already been trying for 2 1/2 years at this point. So really, it was about time. But I walked out of my workplace, sat down on the curb in the parking lot, and cried. I felt so alone and sad and confused. How could this be happening? Doesn't God understand that I've wanted to be a mom since I was a child? Doesn't he understand that I'm already 35?! 

Our first appointment was with the RE in December of 2013. We both liked him immediately. Everything started happening right away. I had an HSG test to make sure my tubes weren't blocked - they weren't. We had tests run to see if we were carriers of any genetic diseases. We weren't. I had my second IUI in December. It was unsuccessful. It was much harder on me than our first failed IUI.

I feel like this post is way too long already! So here is the short but painful story of 2014. I had my last IUI in January of 2014. On February 17th, I found out we were pregnant. I was elated! Ecstatic! Full of joy. The thought of me having a miscarriage had not entered my mind. The journey of infertility was OVER, I was going to be a mom! 


This pic is from Resolve's Walk for Infertility. I had found out I was pregnant a week before this event. My balloon is for the walk's balloon release, and it has our baby's due date. It is crazy for me to think about the fact that I am pregnant in this picture.

On February 27th, I found out something didn't look right on my ultrasound and that I was possibly facing an ectopic pregnancy. On March 3rd, I found out that it was not ectopic but it was indeed a miscarriage. I remember my RE telling me that if i had any pain or cramping at all over the weekend (my birthday weekend), to call immediately. They were worried about ectopic, which can be very dangerous! My whole weekend passed and i felt fine. I had decided that it was just too early for them to see what they needed to see on the ultrasound. I had decided that everything was going to be fine. But that Sunday night, or early Monday morning, I woke up with the most intense cramping I have ever felt (and trust me, cramps with PCOS are no picnic!). I called and spoke with my RE. Based on my description of the pain, he said it sounded more like a miscarriage than an ectopic pregnancy. And it was. I cannot even begin to adequately explain the devastation of a miscarriage, and after almost 3 years of infertility...  It is heartbreaking, to say the least. Physically painful, but emotionally devastating. There really are no words. 

2014 was by far the hardest year of my life. My faith took a beating. I was angry. I was sad. I grieved, a lot. There were times when I felt like I would suffocate from the weight on my chest. I cried more tears last year than I probably have the last 5 years! I was jealous of others. Pregnancy announcements felt like someone punched me in the stomach. Being honest, they still often do. Baby showers got too overwhelming...and they still are. But there was a point, towards the end of the year, that things began to turn around in my mind. I forgave God, my anger subsided, and I began to praise and worship him through the pain. I had heard a speaker (I believe Christine Caine) say, "In your pain, you can either run to God, or you can run away from Him." I remember thinking about that, and deciding right then that no matter what I would run TO Him. No matter how hard, no matter the storm. And so I began to really seek Him and pray to Him and praise Him, even when it was hard. Even when I was so mad at Him that I didn't know what to say. I went public with our story after our miscarriage and got more support than I ever thought possible. But I still struggled to believe that God would change our situation. I knew He could if he wanted to, but I didn't know if he would. I just didn't know. 

 November 2014 at the Baby Steps Walk for Infertility

After a year away, my husband & I went back to Dr. Webster in March 2015 for a consultation, and in a few months we plan to start treatment again. But this time things are different. I BELIEVE. I believe that not only CAN God heal me, but he WILL. I believe that not only CAN God give us the desires of our hearts, I believe that HE WILL. There are still hard days, but most days my faith is strong because I KNOW He is on this journey with me, I KNOW He cares about what we are facing, and I KNOW He loves us. I know that these things don't mean He is going to answer our prayers exactly how we want Him to at exactly the time we want Him to. That much is clear! But I am encouraged in so many ways. BELIEVE became my word for the year, and since then I have prayed for him to help my unbelief. And He has! And He continues to do so! He constantly points me to scripture that tells of His miracles, that tells of His power, that reminds me of what it means to have faith! He shows me stories in the Bible about women who also faced infertility. This alone shows me that he CARES about my infertility story. 


I have so much more to say... I want to tell you about the blessings that have come through infertility - because they are there! I want to tell you about how you can help & support people you know who are facing infertility. I want to tell you about my support group. So stay tuned. More on this to come, especially this week.

And if you are still reading, bless you!!




 




Friday, April 10, 2015

February Happenings {part two}

If you didn't catch the last two posts, go ahead & read about my January & the first half of February. I'm doing this because i have been slacking bigtime when it comes to blogging, but i have so much to tell you!!! I mean, this year started off RIGHT, and I want to share all that's gone on so far in 2015.

So... here we go.

- FEBRUARY - 
(part two)

02.17.15 - On the 17th, we had our monthly meeting for the ladies of our church. Although we took a break through the holidays so we haven't had one in a few months! I love going to them, we usually do praise & worship, watch a video & then pray for each other. We've been watching the videos from the Women of Faith conference I went to last year. That night we watched Christine Caine...she is awesome!! Anyway, i love these ladies!

02.19.15 - My friend Mary Claire and I went to Healing Place Church for Bethel Music's Night of Worship. OH MY GOSH. Words do not express what an AMAZING night!! First of all, neither of us knew any of Bethel Music's songs. At least we didn't think we did. So we met for dinner first and took our slow precious time, and then got to the concert about 30 minutes early. Y'all. The line went out the door and around the building!!! We were like, What in the World??? Well, we see why now. Bethel Music is AMAZING. They are so anointed, so passionate, so on fire for Jesus. They prayed for healing and specifically prayed for those dealing with infertility and we were SHOCKED. I wrote more about that here, if you missed it! But the whole night service was just wonderful. I got their cd & it's been playing in my car ever since!

 Outside in line ... see all the people behind us?! 

worship buddies

02.22.15 - That Sunday, we went to a Dare to Be event at Bethany, another local church. Haha! Okay, so i realize it seems like i just go to church things all the time! I really don't. I mean, I love them, but it's rare that these events all come to BR within a few months/weeks/days of each other! I went to the Lisa Harper conference and then two weeks later was Bethel Music, and then when I heard Dare to Be was in Baton Rouge, I HAD to go, because i LOVE Charlotte Gambill. And Natalie Grant is pretty cool too. So I went with Mary Claire & Kasie, another friend from our infertility support group. I'm glad I did! It was a great night! 


02.22.15 - I had two friends give me a coffee mug...I got them on the same day! My friend Amanda saw the teal/mint one and thought of me. My favorite colors! And my friend Rebecca saw the Jesus + Coffee one and mailed it to me for my birthday. I love them! And thankful for friends that understand my need for more coffee mugs. :) 

02.24.15 - We celebrated my mother-in-law's birthday. I just love her! 

02.25.15 - On February 25th, LAURA CAME TO VISIT!!!! I picked her up at the airport that evening and she stayed with us for a week. We had a wonderful time! I wrote about her trip here, here, here & here!


02.27.15 - On this day, after our day trip to New Orleans, I came home to TWO packages in the mail! One was this entryway shelf I ordered on Etsy awhile back. Custom made. I LOVE IT SO MUCH!! This pic doesn't really do it justice. It's perfect! And now somewhere to hang my purse!


The other package was from LAURA! She mailed it and hoped it would arrive while she was here. She made me this BEAUTIFUL blanket for my birthday/housewarming!! I am absolutely in love with it. I've used it every single day since! I told Brad this is the kind of gift i will keep FOREVER. Seriously, you'll see me one day old and gray in a little rocking chair, covered up with this blanket. :) Excuse my gorgeousness. Ha! A long day in New Orleans is fun but exhausting!


So that about wraps up February! March is next. And then I'll be a normal blogger. If there is a such a thing. ;)

Thursday, April 9, 2015

February Happenings {part one}

If you read my last post, you know that I am giving you a few posts that are just recaps of January, February & March. Since I really have been terrible at the whole blogging thing!! After this, I'll try to actually blog things as they happen! So, anyway. Here is January, if you missed it!

And now, for February! February was a great month, y'all! It was so great, I decided to break this up into two posts!

- FEBRUARY -

02.01.15 - We started off the month with church & then lunch afterwards with our good friends, Billy & Mandy. These are seriously two of our favorite people! So thankful for them!! Anyway, we did a little photo session with my phone afterwards.


02.06.15 & 02.07.15 - I had heard Lisa Harper was going to be speaking at a local church, and i HAD to go. I first heard Lisa at Women of Faith in Houston last year, and i thought she was awesome!! I ended up going to the two day conference with my friends Mandy & Beth, and Beth's daughter, Lexie. We had a BLAST. Seriously, this was SUCH an awesome weekend!

Friday night before service... just a silly moment with Beth & Lexie!

Okay...so we were sitting on the second row, waiting for the service to start and all of a sudden LISA HARPER HERSELF plops down on the row in front of us! I didn't expect that at all, I expected them to introduce her and her come out from the side of the stage! But this was way more laid back than that! Haha! So she heard us talking and turned around and starting laughing and talking with us! Her worship leader, Laura Cooksey, was there, too. SO MUCH FUN. Then, Beth told her i'm doing a picture a day for 2015 and would die of happiness if she would be in my picture of the day. She was more than happy to oblige! (I was so embarrassed Beth asked her that...but GLAD she did! Haha!)


She was AMAZING. We had an amazing weekend!

02.07.15 - After the conference, we went to Mandeville with my parents for dinner with my sister & her husband. We ate outside because the weather was so nice! Loved it!
 my seester & our dad

  me & brad :)

 mom & dad

02.14.15 - All I really wanted to do on Valentine's Day was go on a picnic. I mean, the weather was gorgeous and i was just dying to go hang out with Brad somewhere outdoors! Haha! We grabbed burgers & fries from Five Guys (so healthy, i know!), and went to the local park. We had fun. I love him! 





I hope y'all don't mind a kissy picture. But it was Valentine's Day, so come on!

02-15-15 - That Sunday, I took my friend Ashley's maternity pictures. We had so much fun. Andy is hilarious. I will have to show you the pro pics later!

A few other random things from February...

I went to youth at church one Wednesday night... I told them i needed them to be my pic of the day, and they rocked it!!

I went to my support group! (This is twice a month, but we don't usually take a picture!) Love these ladies!  Marie, Holly, Sadie, me!, Heather & Mary Claire. Feel free to say a prayer for us!

Had dinner with my sweet friend, Ashley! Love her! 

Had dinner at Billy & Mandy's one night. Mainly so we could practice a song for church! But we managed to eat dinner and watch The Walking Dead, too. 

And, Fievel. Silly dog. This is him saying, "It's time to get up, mama!" 
 
Stay tuned!! Going to share some more from February in my next post!