Sunday, February 28, 2010

Wrapping up the Weekend


It was a fabulous weekend and as we head into March, I think of the precious weeks ahead before a scheduled May deployment. H's only been home for six months and already we have to begin the preparation to say goodbye again.

Tonight at our couples bible study our prayer request was for guidance for the timing of fertility treatments. Technically we can begin in about two weeks (two weeks!!) but I get nervous with the timetable. If we are blessed and become pregnant within the first cycle or two of treatments, it would put us weeks within H arriving home from Iraq. I do not want to have another baby by myself-once was enough.

Sometimes I feel like it is hard to discern what is God's will and what is our free will. God has so obviously placed this desire on our hearts but then life gets in the way. Sometimes I have a hard time just wrapping my mind around spending another half a year without my best friend......And then I think of all of the time lost not pushing ahead and want to let God work out the details.

God, I know you are sovereign and in complete control. I just need another reminder because I place so much importance on my timing. Your will, not mine. More of you, less of me.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Don't Be Jealous

My afternoon consisted of a speculum, a catheter and a Spanish/Italian doctor with a French accent. Jealous yet?

It's not every day you get to see the inner workings of your uterus. Besides the fact that I broke out into a cold sweat just remembering this procedure seven years ago it went fairly well.

Today was another reminder why it's taken this long to jump back on the fertility-treatment-bandwagon. So far this month I have had one consultation, four panels of blood work, three vaginal (yes, I said vagina) ultrasounds, an annual exam and an HSG.

HSG stands for 'Hysterosalpingogram' and is a common procedure during the work-up phase prior to diagnosing and/or treating infertility. Because my last HSG was done prior to G over seven years ago, I had to bite the bullet (or leather strap) and have this done again at the request of my reproductive doc.

I must commend the medical field for improving this procedure and BRAVO! for my doctor for being current on technological advances! The HSG consists of (cross your legs ladies) threading a catheter into the vagina, through the cervix and into the uterus where dye is injected, the catheter inflates a small balloon trapping the contrast in the uterine cavity which then proceeds to fill with dye and spill into (hopefully) both fallopian tubes. This is done while an x-ray machine is centered over the pelvis and the results can be seen live on a separate screen. For all of my anxiety over the discomfort this was NOTHING compared to my experience years ago when the cervix was actually clamped to the side in order to make way for the catheter. Barbaric if you ask me.

So, I am learning that during all of this when I am flat on my back and cursing the process, to imagine the feel of a baby in my arms. I remember the awe of feeling a new life stirring inside me and the joy of kissing newborn toes and I take the pain. H says I'm taking one for the team and I guess that's true. Who else would endure all of this except for a mother?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thankful Thursdays


I've decided to devote one day a week to nothing but PRAISES. There are so many things to be thankful for, I can't pass up the opportunity to share! If you'd like to join in and become a "Thankful Thursday" blogger just let me know and I'll share your link each week:

Thankful: (adj) feeling or expressing gratitude; appreciative

1. I had a great opportunity to serve lunch to the men at H's squadron last Friday. Not only was it fun, but we raised money for the FRG (Family Readiness Group) in order to do some fun activities for the families during deployment.

2. H has been working so late every night but still comes home with a smile on his face and enough energy to put the kids to bed.

3. Moving to Virginia Beach was like coming home! I love being close to both of our families now and not having to wait a year to hug my mom and dad!

4. God blessed me with an opportunity to write an article for our church's newsletter and I'm really touched by the people around me who have encouraged me in that area.

5. Love, love, love that my seven year old still needs mom "snuggle" time.

6. So thankful for Prim's smile! She always has one ready for me and her laugh is infectious!

7. Watched at LEAST thirty red robins in a tree outside of our house today. I love nature!

8. Has slept like a rock for the past two weeks!

9. I have amazing friends who love me for me and keep me sane during this craziness called life (in the military :)

10. For second, third and fourth chances to become better and wiser.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My Learning Curve


I'm following Lisa's lead over at A Bushel and a Peck and pondering my "learning curves". I can't think of a season in my life when-out of sheer necessity- I have had to undergo such a huge paradigm shift in my parenting philosophy. For the past couple of months I have felt myself rebelling, pushing back and shaking my head 'no' with the same veracity as my four year old. I was committed to MY way even in the face of chaos just for the sake of being right.

Albert Eisnstein said, "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used to create them". I know I didn't create Prim's fear, but I also know that there have been moments when my sense of being 'right' was more important than her need to be soothed and comforted. It's a tough pill to swallow when I think of how I could have made some things easier for all of us.....if only I hadn't been so intent on parenting according to my needs instead of her needs.

Sarah is teaching me that 'giving' is not the same at 'giving in'. Now when Prim asks for her second or third glass of milk at dinner, she receives it with a smile and affirmation that I am happy to get it for her because I understand that it is comforting. In the morning when I ask her to get dressed and she resists, crying that she doesn't want to go upstairs by herself, I put down what I'm doing and accompany her instead of trying to convince her there is no reason to be scared. I am trying to anticipate her needs before she vocalizes them, ( i.e. crying or whining) just as I did with G when he was an infant. My learning curve continues to expand.

Yesterday we only had one (short lived) meltdown. I felt empowered because I didn't resist the physical embrace Prim needed to calm herself down. I took her into my arms without conditions and loved on her as she cried. I have had to learn that doing this is not indulging her defiance but giving her the tools she needs to become regulated so that later we can have a teachable moment.

I have said this so many times but my children are teaching me how to be a better person. If it weren't for my daughter, my strong-willed wild orchid, I think I would have become stagnant in my parenting, stuck in a self-imposed idealistic box. I can't imagine this life without them and the lessons they teach me daily.

Monday, February 22, 2010

My Light

One night last week I stood over the stove sauteing onions and chicken. When I realized that I was squinting to see the contents of my pan I quickly turned on the overhead light. I was amazed at the transformation! What I had seen in almost black and white from darkness was now colorful in the light. I had been going on blind faith that the chicken was cooking, the onions were becoming translucent in the juices. My eyes had become so accustomed to the dark I had not seen what was right in front of me. Now, with the light, I saw that the chicken had overcooked, the onions too well done.

This is what Faith in Jesus is to me. Light in a world that is filled with darkness and a lamp to my feet to guide the way. Before I understood the full scope of grace and salvation I moved as if wearing sun glasses. It took understanding the cost of that redemption, salvation and grace to truly take away those glasses to let in the Light.

I understand now how my perspective has changed these past fifteen years. I see clearly those things which I saw only partially illuminated. The path to eternity is lit by the hand of a mighty Master, a gentle Savior and a moving Spirit. For me, there is no extinguishing the Light. It has given me too beautiful a view, too bright a future and too precious a gift.

As if to feel the warmth of the sun on my face I find myself constantly looking up. One day I will bask in the glory of perfect Peace, but for now I will look for the Light in the face of my children and the eyes of my husband. For now, I will pray that the Lord uses me in a small way as a light for His kingdom and good purposes.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Renew


This has to be brief but I am home and refreshed from this weekends retreat. What a blessing to be in the company of such amazing women, and to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in a ballroom at the Sheraton Hotel is a testimony to God's willingness to meet us ANYWHERE.
It was, again, a reminder to me that I am a precious child of God. That I am loved, cared for and adored by Abba, our Father.
I leave you with the lyrics of a song that I cling to like the air I breathe:


In Christ Alone


In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save
‘Til on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
‘til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand

Friday, February 19, 2010

Retreating


This weekend I am attending our church's Women's Retreat and man, am I way overdue. (Is it wrong if I click my heels on the way out the door tomorrow morning?) For anyone who has never participated in an this kind of event I beg of you to make the time. There is nothing more renewing of your spirit than worshiping, learning and praising God in the company of other women who are there for the very same reasons: to grow, to reconnect, to rest.

The beginning of Psalm 139 says:

O Lord, you have searched me and known me. 2You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from far away. 3You search out my path and my lying down,
and are acquainted with all my ways. 4Even before a word is on my tongue,
O Lord, you know it completely. 5You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.

It is amazing how much He knows me and I long to know Him the same way. I am so thankful that He remains connected to me even in my moments of pulling away and can not wait to meet Him in worship this weekend. More of You and less of me......

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Justifiable Pornography

This was the magazine in the check-out line AT EYE LEVEL to my children at the commissary today. I was absolutely mortified. Call me prude, old fashioned, stuck in the 50's-I don't care. This was not what I wanted my seven year old son to be looking at as I hurriedly loaded groceries onto the conveyor belt.

How can we complain that women are objectified on a daily basis when we are raising our daughters to think that this is okay? I see this magazine cover and wonder why anyone questions how we came to this place where the female body MUST be sexualized to be appreciated. We allow our boys to be exposed to thousands upon thousands of television and print images that border on pornographic yet expect them to grow into men who will enter into healthy, monogamous relationships.

It is difficult to teach modesty is today's age. It will be even more difficult (but not impossible with God's guidance) to teach purity to my children when it is not revered by society. Instead we have Planned Parenthood fighting for the right to teach ten year old children that they are sexual beings:

"Young people's sexuality is still contentious for many religious institutions. Fundamentalist and other religious groups the — Catholic Church and madrasas (Islamic schools) for example — have imposed tremendous barriers that prevent young people, particularly, from obtaining information and services related to sex and reproduction. Currently, many religious teachings deny the pleasurable and positive aspects of sex and limited guidelines for sexual education often focus on abstinence before marriage…"

If you've ever watched The Duggar Family in '19 Kids and Counting' you may notice that they do not dance. I always wondered why and recently happened on a rerun where they answer viewers questions and this topic came up. The parents believe that dancing brings attention to the body and not the face so their family chooses not to do it. I thought about this for a while. The Bible mentions dancing on many occasions in ways of both praise and worship so why the fuss?? I know I'm getting off topic from the SI cover so I'll make my point quickly. What is dancing? Intimate, touching, gyrating, bouncing, enticing maybe unknowingly. I get it. I see why they choose to take an extra step in protecting their children's purity.

I know the world can't (and shouldn't) conform to me. But what I wish is that there was a return to decency. That this cover of a beautiful young women would be just as successful for her face and heart as it is for her breasts, hips and thighs. I wish my son didn't have to see something that may stir premature desire in him. He's only young for such a short period of time and in these times when kids are boyfriend and girlfriend in the first grade, and oral sex is happening in elementary school, I wish for him the opportunity of just being a child. I want to do it my way without the world's help.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Love and Loss in Adoption


I jumped over to Adrienne's blog and read this heartbreaking story of a Haitian adoption as reported by the Times Online. Read with tissues....

After a tortuous adoption process lasting five years, Rowena and Richard Pet finally knew that their long wait was over when they saw Arno toddle nervously towards them for the first time. To their delight, the little boy’s favourite possession was a distinctive blue and yellow fluffy toy that the couple had sent to the orphanage in Haiti almost two years earlier to start building a special bond between them. Mr Penguin was inscribed with a single word: “Love.”

Arno was shy at first but within 30 minutes of meeting his adoptive parents he reached for Rowena’s hand and took the Dutch couple on a tour of the orphanage in Port-au-Prince where he had spent most of his short life. He began to call them Mummy and Daddy.

Richard, 35, in an an e-mail to his best friend Chris Spaansen on January 11, described the couple’s intense emotions when that longed-for day at last arrived.

“We got to the orphanage feeling a bit strange. We went around a corner and immediately saw Arno walking towards us. He was OK until he was about half a metre away, but then he panicked. The woman from the orphanage helped out and half an hour later he took Rowena’s hand for the first time. I’m sorry but I can’t help crying at the moment as I type this. Arno has been showing us everything in the orphanage. He showed us an old car they have for the children to play on. He was holding a birthday card we sent for his second birthday.” Spaansen’s voice fades to a whisper as he recounts the events leading up to the earthquake that would end and devastate so many lives. “Richard and Rowena had a long dream of getting a baby. But it was just not possible. They tried for about eight years and you can understand that when you want something so badly, the dream becomes bigger and bigger, so they decided about five years ago to go for adoption.”

The official screening process was intense but Richard and Rowena, 34, passed with flying colours, thanks partly to warm testimonials from family and friends. The couple met while working for the Dutch bank DSB and settled three years ago in the tiny town of Winkel, in the north of the Netherlands, from where Rowena ran an online mail-order shirt company and Richard was setting up his own business as a media consultant after leaving the bank.

“It was very hard over those five years to come as far as they had come because it is so difficult to get an adoption, ” Spaansen says. “There are a lot of rules.”

The first two years of the adoption process were taken up with background checks, interviews and paperwork, but almost three years ago they were ready to be matched with baby Arno, then just two months old. It seemed that the couple’s prayers had been answered. And then another miracle: Rowena fell pregnant.

“It was unbelievable but after eight years they got pregnant — we had a big party but it was also tough because the adoption was under way,” Spaansen says. “We all spoke about it. It was just not possible that they would have kids of their own, but maybe because they were more relaxed about it because of Arno . . . who knows?” The period after the birth of Jim last August was also an especially nerve-racking time for Richard and Rowena, who decided to conceal their new arrival from the authorities in case it wrecked their hopes of adopting Arno, with whom they felt a strong bond and an unbreakable responsibility.

With everything in place, the couple gathered with their friends for a send-off party, leaving baby Jim with relatives in the Netherlands. “The evening before they left, we as friends drank and we had fun. But Richard and Rowena were very tense. They had lived five years for this moment,” Spaansen says.

Richard sent friends regular e-mail updates from Haiti. “Another few days and the family is complete,” he wrote on January 12, just a few hours before the earthquake struck. Tragically it was to be his last message home.

The couple had been staying at the Hotel Villa Therese, in the PĂ©tionville district of Port-au-Prince, a popular choice with many adoptive parents, but which collapsed in seconds when the powerful tremors hit Haiti. Rowena and Richard’s parents issued desperate appeals through the media for rescuers to try to find them.

AndrĂ© Frensch, Rowena’s father, speaking during those agonising days to a Dutch newspaper, said: “A few hours before the earthquake we had an e-mail. It said that the little boy was beginning to get used to them and that they were going to sleep.”

Her mother added: “No earthquake for 200 years and they are there for four days . . . it is just incomprehensible.”

Dutch TV cameras were on hand during the frantic search by an international rescue team with members from the Netherlands, Britain and Canada. “They showed the moment on television,” Spaansen says, recalling how close friends and family were gathered round the TV screen four days after the catastrophe.

Lying there amid the rubble was the unmistakable blue and yellow toy bird, Mr Penguin, marked with the word “Love”, that went everywhere with Arno. “That toy helped them to make their first contact with the little boy. It had a really special place in the family. It was a very emotional moment for all of us,” Spaansen says.

What the cameras did not show were the three bodies, found intertwined together, as if Rowena and Richard had tried to put protective arms around Arno as the masonry began to fall. The disaster cruelly destroyed the new family, creating its own orphan back in the Netherlands. Jim, just five months old, will be brought up by Rowena’s sister, who already has her own three-year-old boy.

“There are lots of orphans in Haiti because of the poor situation of the country. But what exactly the reason was for Arno, we don’t know,” says Spaansen, who has now helped to start a foundation to keep alive the memory of Rowena and Richard, one of two Dutch couples killed with their Haitian children in the disaster.

Even before the earthquake, there were 50,000 parentless youngsters living in orphanages in Haiti, according to Unicef, the United Nations children’s agency. A further 380,000 were officially classified as orphans because they had just one parent who was not able to look after them. The pace of international adoptions from Haiti had been increasing: the Ministry of Social Affairs processed 720 in 2003 ,which rose to 1,404 in 2006 — but clearly it remained a small percentage of the country’s orphans.

In the post-earthquake crisis thousands of children have been brought to orphanages because their families cannot provide them with food or shelter. The Haitian Government last week restricted international adoptions because of fears of people-trafficking amid controversy over the arrest of ten US missionaries taking a group of undocumented children to the neighbouring Dominican Republic.

Jean-Max Bellerive, the Prime Minister of Haiti, has pledged to sign off personally on all children before they leave the country to ensure that all the necessary checks had been made. The UN advises that two years should elapse for family members to be traced before adoption is permitted.

“This foundation is for the orphans who have a poor standard of living before and which has got even worse now after the earthquake,” Spaansen says. “The money will go to Dutch companies who work locally with them already so we know exactly where it will be spent. It will go towards toys and playground equipment, to make their lives better.”

The foundation website declares: “We know that Richard and Rowena wanted to give their child Arno a wonderful future, but deep in their hearts they also had the greatest desire to help all the kids there. Because of what happened to them, there is nothing that we as friends could do other than to continue the mission.”

Far away from the chaos and poverty of Port-au-Prince, the remains of Rowena and Richard arrived back in the Netherlands last week and will be cremated in a private ceremony today. The body of Arno, who would have turned 3 last Friday, travelled back with his adoptive parents so that his ashes would always be with theirs.

Monday, February 15, 2010

When I Grow Up...


Do you ever feel like you're at a crossroads inside of a perfect life? How is it possible, I ask myself, to feel uncertain when I am doing what I most desire and have dreamed of since I was a child? I am a wife and a mother. There is nothing that makes me more proud than to say that I spend my days taking care of our family. Why then, do I sometimes ask myself if "this is it"?
G asked me THE question I have been (silently) avoiding/dreading for many years. "Mommy, which college did you graduate from?". He knows that Daddy went to the Naval Academy and realized at the UVA bookstore this weekend that he didn't know where I went to college. (Because we have made it the natural next step in education after high school, our children have yet to realize that college is a choice, not a requirement). Oh my how my heart fluttered with trepidation in that moment. My honest-to-goodness gut instinct was to pretend I hadn't heard him and distract him with a counter question regarding Star Wars. That would have thrown him off of the trail for a while but I knew, inevitably, that I would have to answer for my lack of a college Alma Mater. I stumbled over my answer, balancing my pride, ego and shame all in one sentence. He seemed satisfied (after pointing out that I am too old now to go anyway) and went back to shopping for tshirts. I had tears in my eyes on the drive home because I knew that my answer wasn't good enough for him because it has never been good enough for me. I quite. I am a quitter. I stopped because my life was messy at the time, I was distracted and self absorbed and didn't care to sit in a lecture hall with hundreds of other students knowing I had to work until midnight that very same night to pay for the same class I couldn't stand. It wasn't worth the effort and I have regretted that decision ever since.
H held my hand the entire way home. He knows how much this subject gets me. He has encouraged me time and time again to start over and to do it for myself. What would I do? Why go back if I know I will stay home anyway? I ask him. I feel like it is my responsibility as a mother to be here for the children we chose to have. And what about the deployments, long hours and work travel. What could I do that would allow me the flexibility I needed? H's next obvious question was-well, what is it you want to do? What will make you feel more satisfied? I have what I want! To be a mom! I say and around and around we go. It's not that I'm dissatisfied with "mothering". It's that I wonder if I should be doing MORE. Is it okay to go back to school if it takes time away from our children? If I fill myself with more of Him and less of me won't I feel complete? Do other Christian women, who try to live according to His desires for our lives, feel this way too? Is it really okay that I'm not college material or am I just taking the easy way out. Sometimes it seems easier to assume I can't do it than to actually do it.
I am a mother who deep down still dreams of being a kick-ass, gun carrying, life saving, bad-guy-getting agent of the law. I should be satisfied. Right?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Blogging From Charlottesville...


It's Saturday nighta and we are all tired. H is snoring in the hotel bed next to me, the kids are finally settled a bit and playing with toys....both of them have been acting like someone slipped them silly pills all weekend. We're in Charlottesville for a medical appointment for me. After a dissapointing visit with an Endocronologist in Va Beach I decided to go big or go home and come straight to UVA. I don't have the time or inclination to keep trying to convince someone that I'm too tired all of the time, that I can't loose weight and that anxiety leaves my body in chaos for weeks if not months. Anyways, the appointment was fine and I've got some testing to do over the next few weeks so we'll see...
Now, onto the fun part! We were so excited to be able to spend time with our nephew who is in his second year at UVA. My sister and brother-in-law came down to pick up D and bring him home for the weekend so we got to have dinner together and talk politics (our favorite topic of conversation!).
Today we spent over five hours with a realtor. As H and I come closer to his 20 year mark we find ourselves evaluating our options for retirement. This past cross country move we both came to the realization that we really like Charlottesville even though we had only been here one time each and separately to boot. We loved the college town feel here and also the mix in age groups and thought maybe this is a place we can settle down. So, for today we spent hours driving around getting a good idea of Albemarle County and a feel for the surrounding areas. In a perfect world, we would find some place to come on the weekends and eventually settle down after H's retirement from the Navy. In a realistic world we may only be able to afford some land and hopefully be able to build on it in 7-10 years. Either way, we felt like grown-ups today and love the thought of being able to walk out our front door and feel inspired by what we see. Right now we are dreaming of a place with wide open spaces........

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

I Made It All About Me



I have two children. One biological and one adopted. The funny thing is, with my son, I never wonder if my love is enough to take him through life. I can honestly say that no matter what, I know that my kisses and hugs can cover his boo-boos and heartache, first crushes or broken bones. Prim, however, leaves me wondering if I can love her as much as she needs to feel whole. For every kiss or cuddle she clings to me tighter and I think, "how can I lover her more?". Lately my little one is more demanding of my time. I will walk by her and she will throw herself in my direction, hanging on to my leg or begging me to hold her. I have begun to cringe in anticipation of her fierce need for my affection. The more she presses the more I feel myself pull away.

Last week I asked Sarah, our counselor, about this. What can I do, how much more can I show my love for her? I feel selfish, insecure in my mothering. Her reply was that I am (at times) parenting out of fear. That my expectations, my validation as a mother is married to how well I perceive Prim to be adjusting. I confessed to her, in the way you might confess your darkest secret, that sometimes I see my daughter and parent her as if she is going down the road of promiscuity and drug use. I see the road before her with only two clear choices-normalcy or inadequacy- and feel ultimately responsible for both. One way I do right by her, the other I fail.

How can I possible think this way about my four year old? She has her entire life ahead of her with as much possibility for success as her brother. Why then do I jump to fear? Mostly I guess because I have seen the stories, read the admissions of some adopted children who go through life feeling incomplete and lost and I see the worst case scenario for my daughter. I see what the trauma of two broken attachments has done to her. I couldn't protect her from the pain. I can't take away what has already happened to her, what she has lost and it breaks my heart into a million pieces. She is beautiful and funny and loving and yet I can see in her eyes that she fears being left. Again.

In these moments, I forget that I am not the center of the universe. I forget that there is a bigger part of our equation. God. He is the love that will bridge the gap. He is Who will fill in for my failures. After talking with Sarah I realized that my pulling away was not because I did not want to hold my daughter, but because I feared doing it and failing anyway. How simple I made Prim's life. Do this and she succeeds, don't do this right and she is lost to her circumstances. I forgot the God Who created her. The God who brought us together and I feel ashamed. He used Sarah as a reminder to me that she will be blessed because of Him, not in spite of Him. Thank you, God, for your mercy and patience during my learning curve in parenting our remarkable gift.

Monday, February 08, 2010

The Evolution of a Red Velvet Cupcake








Recipe:

One sweet little girl
One on one time with mommy
A camera
LOTS of kisses

Put them all together for a memorable afternoon with my favorite girl! Oh! and the cupcakes were ok...... :)

Friday, February 05, 2010

Planet Earth



For anyone who hasn't seen the series, Planet Earth, I highly recommend it. It is a beautiful piece for work that, in my opinion, optimizes God's greatest and most intricate creation save mankind. I find our planet to be awe inspiring. The delicate balance of our ecosystem to me is proof that a higher power exists. The complexity of our bodies is comparable to the remarkable way in which all forms of life are dependent upon each other for existence. Watching this series really gave me profound insight to God's character. He created a home for us that is beautiful beyond compare and for that I am so grateful. It is a gift to be able to wake up and see the sun creep above the horizon or watch a ladybug crawl across my finger. It reminds me daily to thank Him for not only my life and the life of my family, but for the beauty He created as a reminder of His love for us.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Speculums Are A Torture Device

If there are any men reading this blog you may want to just skip this one and check back in tomorrow......



This post will be short as today was hectic, the ultrasound technician was a bit vicious with "the probe" and I drank way too much sweet tea to stay alert during my three hour appointment with the fertility specialist whom I will now, lovingly, refer to as The Uterus Whisperer. The appointment went extremely well, it is obvious why the Uterus Whisperer has the reputation she does in this area. She is, in my humble opinion, an angel whose halo is a speculum.

Right off the bat she wanted to know if I've been tested for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I know what it is, but no, have not been tested. It was her feeling that that is a good place to start to see if there are any underlying causes for infertility that may have been overlooked. She ordered tons of blood work and had an ultrasound of the girl parts done on sight. The results being polcystic ovaries for sure but she won't know if it is a "syndrome" until the labs come back. The ultrasound also showed a swollen fallopian tube and something hangin' around my right ovary. Let's just state for the record that my right ovary has really been a nuisance over the years.

So, going forward we'll wait for the labs and then go from there. A diagnosis of PCOS would almost be a relief but I'll have to wait and see. It's nice to be in the care of someone who doesn't wait around to see if something happens. My eggs aren't getting any younger....

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

The Silent Epidemic



Infertility: Secondary, primary, unexplained, polycystic ovarian syndrome, endometriosis, male sperm factor, luteal phase defect, fibroids, hypothyroidism, fallopian tube damage, ovulation disorders, infection, caffeine, weight gain.....


I have often wondered why my body does not perform as God intended. Call me old-fashioned, but I feel honored to have been born a woman. My body can create (with a little help that is), carry and birth another human being. My curves were designed to adjust to a growing baby, feed a hungry infant and carry a toddler on my hip. When I married at twenty-one and began trying in earnest to conceive a year later, I thought; this is going to be easy. I mean, have you seen the women in my family? Getting pregnant was NOT our collective weakness.

Unfortunately, time dragged on and months turned into years. The frustration, the bitterness, the uncertainty felt unbearable at times. I would plead, beg and barter with God on my knees daily. Once a month I would find myself crying angry, frustrated tears. I was infuriated. Furious at God for being so quiet. Angry at myself for not being a size six in perfect health. Every time I turned around I saw the beautiful bump of a pregnant woman and I felt sucker-punched.

At twenty-five, after tests, procedures and more tests, we underwent our first intra-uterine insemination. It was a Sunday morning at 9am, in a doctor's office with my husband, a nurse practitioner and an ultra sound machine where we conceived G. I had finally resigned myself to God's mercy and timing and it was then that I became pregnant. I put my trust in Him, not knowing if it would work, not knowing if it would take one month, one year or ever. Today I can see that God's desire was to work on me during my wait. To mold my faith and strengthen my heart because life is not always what we hope it to be. Now I am thankful that in those moments of sorrow and pain I still found my face turned upward. I was crying, but it was still to the God of Creation. It would have been so easy to walk away and to blame Him for the loss of my heart's desire.

I read a statistic recently that one in six couples face the challenges and heartache of infertility. How is it that every year hundreds of thousands of women are unable to conceive naturally? Is is pollution, chemicals in our water, pesticides in our food? Are women starting families too late because of the (understandable) desire for a career? Is premarital sex making our girls more prone to infection that damage delicate reproductive organs? No matter the reason, it is astounding to comprehend the growing generation of children born to the modern miracles of assisted reproduction.

When G was eighteen months we tried for a second baby and failed. Although I felt sadness, I had peace that it wasn't the right time for us. One year later we were in the beginning stages of adopting our little girl and I have never regretted not getting pregnant again at that time. I have often told people that the first day we had Prim to ourselves in Thailand, I looked at her and G together and felt like someone was missing. After two and half years of Prim being home and much prayer and consideration, we are moving forward. Tomorrow is my first appointment with the reproductive endocrinologist.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.” Psalm 91:1-2

Related Posts with Thumbnails