13 Week update

Size of baby: Peach (I think this will become my new nickname for baby!)

Symptoms: Exhausted. occasional nausea, no longer taking the medicine, just using oils as needed. Still have the mix between feeling so full, but also hungry at the same time, even hours after eating. Headaches, so many headaches. Lavender and peppermint essential oils are helping. Sensitive nose that smells practically everything. Hip and back pain, also some other joint pain- all caused by the hormone “relaxin”. Occasional abdominal pain because my insides are being pushed out the way, and frequent visits to toilet. Pain when I lay on my side. Still so much forgetfulness, I struggle with finding the right words, remembering things, and focusing- pregnancy brain is real!!

Cravings: Still Asian food. Yesterday I was craving a yummy salad! That’s good, right!?

Aversions: Chicken has been the main one still. Beans has been another one. Cooked/cooking onions is something I can’t stand. Bacon and tomato sandwiches are no longer acceptable in my house… I threw up EVERY WHERE after eating it for dinner… Literally, everywhere. I deep cleaned my bathroom at midnight, that’s a plus.

Something I miss: Baby B. getting comfortable to sleep. Laying down on my sides hurt

Weight gain: -10 pounds. I’ve lost 10 pounds since finding out I’m pregnant. Between the nausea, vomiting, and food aversions I haven’t gained. My doctor says that it’s totally fine though and I’ll make up for it in the second trimester. For now she wants me to just eat whatever I can keep down. Works for me. 🙂

Bump: Nope, but my lower abdomen where baby is is definitely firmer.

Sleep: Once I get comfortable I sleep fine. I am not having to wake up to pee as often anymore thankfully. It just takes quite sometime to get comfy.

Milestones: Baby can suck his or her thumb.

Looking forward to: getting to hear the heartbeat and not just “see” it. I got an extra ultrasound at my last appointment because the nurse couldn’t find the heartbeat with the doppler. Finding out the sex!

Maternity clothes: not really needed, but my hips are loving leggings and comfy pjs.

Movement: too soon!

Fun fact: Baby can suck his or her thumb!

Other notes: It’s so hard to know what to feel. I am deeply sad that Baby B died, I am also exceedingly thankful that Baby A is growing and thriving. Now that I am back to a singleton pregnancy, I will have fewer ultrasounds, appointments, and risks.


Sometimes life is a rollercoaster, full of high “highs” and really low “lows”.

The day after my last post announcing that we were having twins I went for an ultrasound at the sonography school. They give free ultrasounds for volunteers who are willing to let students practice on them. It was at that ultrasound that I was hit with news that would break mine and Alex’s hearts. After getting to see Baby A, the instructor took over because the student was having a hard time finding Baby B. I could tell from looking at the screen that Baby B was smaller that Baby A. The instructor wiped the jelly off my stomach and told me that it looked like Baby B was much smaller than what was supposed to be at 10, nearly 11 weeks and that he wanted me to call my OB immediately. Alex and I left. I was stunned. In shock. Broken. I called my OB and after explaining my situation three times, to three different people, sitting on hold for what seemed like an eternity as she tried to find an OB who was available to see me and a ultrasound tech who could squeeze me in. By the time my midwife’s nurse got on the phone, we were already at my doctor’s office, so she had us come it to talk to her in person. Once again, I explained everything to her and she told us that there was a tech and a OB who could squeeze me in at the branch about 10 minutes away. So we went there. I cried the entire way, pleading with God to let my baby be alive, bargaining, begging, pleading. Everything in me hoped that the school just wasn’t pressing hard enough and that my baby was fine. Baby B was hiding in the first ultrasound anyway, so I tried to be hopeful, all the while, dreading, knowing, the truth. During the ultrasound, I knew exactly what the tech was looking at. I had just heard the instructor walk the students through it. I saw the strong heartbeat on Baby A and no heartbeat on a very tiny Baby B. From there we were taken to see the OB who would deliver confirmation for what we already knew. One of our babies died.

My world froze in that moment. I don’t remember what was said. I just remember being so sad. The OB was not the most comforting doctor I’ve ever seen. I remember he told me to “move on with my life”. I asked him “what do we do now?” and his words were, “Well, you move on with your life, it happens.” Who tells someone who has just lost a child to “move on”? He also told us that when one twin dies, it increases the risk of miscarriage of the whole pregnancy. There was no comforting words spoken except for the obligatory “I’m sorry for your loss.” Thankfully, he is not my OB and I never have to see him again.

I cried the whole way home. Alex was wonderful, offering to get me anything I could imagine. But all I wanted was for my baby to come back to life. All I wanted was to wake up from this nightmare.

Alex ended up getting bereavement at work. We went to Biloxi for a couple days to just get away. Alex and I spent the next couple days just being with each other, trying to stay distracted, crying together. I felt so horrible for being so sad when I still had one living baby. I felt like a horrible person. But the reality is, one of my babies, one of our children died. It sucks. It hurts. It’s not fair. I don’t understand it. Yes, I still have one baby, but both were wanted. Yes, I am thankful that one is living. Yes, it hurts that one died.

We have two babies waiting for us in heaven. Two little gifts who are waiting for us. Two little gems who opened their eyes to see Jesus’ face. Two little ones who never had to hurt. Two little ones who were loved for every day of their short lives and will be remembered and loved for the rest of ours. I have two little babies who have forever changed me. I will be a different mom because I lost two babies, I know this for certain. I am different because those two babies lived, even for a short time in my womb. I excitedly wait getting to meet them in heaven.

Baby B died the day after we found out there were two. We found out two weeks later. I still carry both babies A and B in my womb. And I carry Enoch Matthis and Baby B in my heart. We haven’t named Baby B yet. We will one day, but not today.

This time has really sucked. I still hurt every day, constantly. I still cry everyday. I can’t imagine going through this without faith in Jesus. I can’t imagine what the depth of sadness would be without the knowledge that I will see them in eternity.

My pain is deep, God’s grace is deeper still.

baby b

10 weeks!

Today I am 10 weeks 6 days! I feel like this pregnancy is flying by, but at the same time I feel like it is draaaaging on so loonngg!!!!!

I have had a rough first trimester. I’ve had a lot of nausea, but my doctor prescribed me phenergan which has been helpful. As long as I don’t let myself get hungry I do pretty well. I am exhausted. Constantly. And have been since week 5. I feel like I could sleep all day long.

Size of baby: Kumquat fruit. or since no one know what that is… a lego man! (A little over 1 inch long)

Symptoms: Exhausted. Nausea, but phenergan helps a lot and is safe for pregnancy. A mix between feeling so full, but also hungry at the same time, even hours after eating. Headaches, sensitive nose that smells practically everything, some hip pain, abdominal pain because my insides are being pushed out the way, and frequent visits to toilet. And forgetfulness, I struggle with finding the right words, remembering things, and focusing.

Cravings: Jello!!! Asian food, and roasted marshmallows! but since the weather is not conducive to roasting marshmallows over and open fire, I have settled for broiling them in the oven. Works just as well and they are delish!

Aversions: Chicken has been the main one. Beans has been another one. Cooked/cooking onions is something I can’t stand. And I can’t eat bacon anymore, I’ve eaten it twice since being pregnant and both times I had horrible indigestion and burped bacon for the next 5 hours. Dang. I like bacon. 😦

Something I miss: not being nauseous! ha! Other than that, nothing. I am so thankful to finally be pregnant!

Weight gain: -8 pounds. I’ve lost 8 pounds since finding out I’m pregnant. Between the nausea, vomiting, and food aversions I haven’t gained. My doctor says that it’s totally fine though and I’ll make up for it in the second trimester. For now she wants me to just eat whatever I can keep down. Works for me. 🙂

Bump: nope. I don’t figure I will really start showing for quite some time, since I’m already plus size.

Sleep: I have no problem sleeping right now! Except for having to wake up a couple times a night to pee.

Milestones: We’ve told everyone and shared on Facebook. All tests and such have come back great!

Looking forward to: getting to hear the heartbeat and not just “see” it. Hopefully I’ll get to do that tomorrow at my second ultrasound. And of course finding out their sex.

Maternity clothes: not really needed, but my hips are loving leggings.

Movement: too soon!

Fun fact: Their nails are starting to form. They are beginning to touch their faces with their little hands. (So cute!)

Other notes: They don’t tell you how scary pregnancy after loss and infertility is. Seriously, every day I am afraid that something is going to happen and I will lose these precious little gems in my womb. I trust God to keep us and He has His hand in this pregnancy. It is a really difficult thing though, even though I have had literally no negative signs, and even though my midwife assures me that everything is perfect, I still worry every day. I think after I hear their little heartbeats I will feel better though. (hopefully!)

First Ultrasound

So last month I posted that we are pregnant. A couple weeks later we went in for our first ultrasound. I was so nervous the whole way there. As we sat and waited for them to call us back for the ultrasound I prayed nervously that the ultrasound tech would be able to find our little baby and that there would be a heart beat. We finally get called back (let’s be honest, it was only like a 5 minute wait) and the tech started the ultrasound. She was really quiet. I was panicking. Quiet doesn’t usually mean good news. She took a couple pictures and was just quiet. I looked at the screen several times, but had no clue what I was supposed to be seeing. Finally, she said something like, “well, I wanted to be sure before I said anything, but it looks like you are having twins!” We were stunned!! I don’t totally remember what happened next. I know that my hubs said “You’re the worst!” to the tech. I was so shocked!

All of this happened on the day that was supposed to be my due date for Enoch Matthis, the baby we miscarried last August. Crazy, right!? The day our first would have been born is the day we found out we are having two, not one.

So, We are having twins! YIKES! I have spent the last three weeks researching everything twins related. I’ve even watched several videos on youtube of labor and delivery of twins. Ouch! We are so excited though!

2017-05-22 20.45.22

Exciting News

A month or so ago I decided that I would become more public about our struggle with infertility. I shared on this blog, linked it to my twitter (because no one that I still keep up with is even on twitter), and let out the secret. We were infertile. April 5th, I peed on the 10,000th home pregnancy test just for the heck of it and an extra line showed up. Of course I didn’t believe it… so since it was my last pregnancy test in the house, I ran to walmart (at 10:30 pm) and bought 4 more tests of different brands, cause there’s no way I could be pregnant. (Even after having taken Clomid and doing everything right…) So I bought the 4 tests, a half-gallon of rocky road ice cream and drove myself back home. All the way praying. I beat my husband home, but just barely. He pulled in right behind me. I raced into the house, snuck to the bathroom with the new tests, stashed the first one under the sink, just in case (I didn’t want him to find it before I was sure), peed in the lovely cup and since my hubs had just gotten home, he was in a hurry to used the bathroom too… so I snuck out of the bathroom with my cup of pee (gross, I know, don’t judge) and I did the two more tests over the (empty) kitchen sink. (even more gross… Don’t worry, I bleached it all after. Stop judging me.) Both of the tests immediately were positive. So there was no way that all three tests, in three different brands, were all wrong. As I stood there, staring at those little pink lines, pinching myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming, I debated telling my hubs or waiting till easter or his birthday. About 15 minutes later, I decided that I wasn’t going to keep it a secret. I was so anxious. I think I was like…”So…. I took a pregnancy test… and it’s positive…all three of them…” and then I showed him my little pile of tests. He was excited of course.

For the next week, I lived in a state of constant panic attack. Every single little twinge and cramp would cause me to burst into tears of fear. I was so afraid to lose this baby. I still am, even today after having told our families. I fear. They don’t tell you that pregnancy after a loss, pregnancy after infertility, is this scary. But I trust Him. He is faithful.

I am six weeks. I know, way earlier than most people share their pregnancies, especially after a loss. But I trust God. And I trust my family and friends. Even if the unimaginable, unspeakable were to happen in the coming weeks, I trust that my family and friends will be supportive.

I will carry this baby to term. My body knows what to do. God has given me this miracle. He has answered my prayers. He is good. I will have a healthy pregnancy. I will have a healthy baby.

Waiting Sucks

Another month came and went, and still not even an evaporation line on the pregnancy test to instill the least bit of hope- believe me, I took the test out of the trash can multiple times, well past the designated expiration, just to see if maybe I missed the faintest of lines. If I could will a pink line to show up, I would have a soccer team of children. I studied that window from every angle in every light for wayy too long to be considered a sane person. …And don’t even get me started on symptom spotting!… I cycled between “definitely pregnant” to “definitely crazy” more times than I am willing to admit.

People don’t talk about the pain that comes with the wait. People don’t talk about how each time you test, even when it is entirely too early to have a positive pregnancy test, your heart is broken. And we do it to ourselves. We test, even when we know there is no way in the world that the test will be positive, and then we cry when it is negative. Infertility brings about a new level of insanity.

Last month, for the first time ever, I got a positive OPK. I was so excited. Thrilled. Hopeful. Finally, my body was doing what it is supposed to be doing, ovulating. Can’t get pregnant if you don’t ovulate. My OB did a progesterone blood test… I didn’t ovulate. It was a false positive. My hopes were dashed. I immediately spiraled. How could my body be so cruel?How could life be so cruel? How could hope be so cruel? How could God be so cruel? This journey has pushed, pressed, beat down, and assaulted everything that I ever have believed to be true about God. Another month came and went without the fulfillment of God’s promise.

This month I took my first cycle of Clomid. With it brought new emotions, new symptoms, a new level of crazy. I turned an OPK. Tomorrow I go for the blood work to see if I actually ovulated. I am terrified to have hope. I am terrified to even say I care. More than anything I want to say “Screw you, ovaries; screw you, hope; I don’t care about you.” Not hoping should soften the blow when inevitably fertility spits in my face, right? But. I. Can’t. Without hope, I have nothing.

“Blessed is she who believed that God would fulfill His promise to her.” (Luke 1:45)

“Blessed [is she] who mourns, [she] will be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4)

“Let us holdfast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is Faithful.” (Hebrews 10:23)

These two weeks, the longest two weeks of my life. I go through them every month. Each month brings with it another trip through all of the stages of grief. Denial. Bargaining. Anger. Depression. Acceptance. Every month. Then we go through it again the next month.

Everyday is a battle to believe that God is good. Everyday is a struggle to trust in His goodness. Everyday is a fight to lift my eyes, through the tears, to He who my help comes from.

At the end of the day, I know that Hope is my Anchor and Truth is my Keel.

Intentions and reflections

I started this blog not long before I got married to my Mister. It was going to document our life as a growing family. I was going to post about our pregnancies, babies, kids, and eventually about homeschooling and taking care of a tiny farm with chickens and veggies. I had big dreams for my little family and was thrilled to get to be a wife and mom. I had always wanted to be a mom. If you had told me then that I would sit here, over a year later, childless, with an empty womb, I would have laughed at you. But here I am. Empty arms. Broken heart. One baby in heaven. None on earth. I have to remind myself daily that God is still good. If you had told me before that I would question His goodness, I probably would have slapped you. If you had told me that I would struggle with infertility, I definitely would have told you to get lost as that was impossible for someone who had dreamed of being a mom and knew that God promised she would be a mother of many. But here I am.

And y’all, it sucks.

We haven’t been extremely public with this because it hurts. It’s hard. I don’t want to hear the “stop trying and it will happen” or the “just adopt, you’ll get pregnant then”. I don’t want to put the burden of knowing on those around me.

But I realized something this week. I am not alone. I mean, I knew that already, but I realized that there are other women out there who are hurting. Just like me. I realized that there are other women who search the interwebs, looking for comfort and hope, just like me. I realized that there are women in my town, in my church, in my community, who desperately want to just sit down with another broken hearted woman and have coffee. They want to have someone who understands, to laugh with, cry with, be angry with, and vent with. Just like me.

So, I am going to start this journey. I am going to have open hands. An open heart. And a willingness to be vulnerable about the biggest pain I have ever known.

So here it goes.

Wet Kisses

I have many favorite bible passages, but my favorite parable in the entire New Testament is one that we are all familiar with. Pretty much anyone who has spent any time around Christians or the church has at least heard this one twice. It’s that familiar. I’m going paraphrase it, I’m sure you will know the one I’m talking about within the first sentence.
(If not, check out Luke 15)
There was this really rich guy who had two sons. His younger son approached him one day and said, “Pops, I know you aren’t dead yet, but let’s pretend you are dead to me and go ahead and give me all my inheritance. I want all my half of what you got.” The father, being a good father, obliged and let the teenager have his inheritance early to do with it as he pleased. The boy ran off and spent all the money on alcohol, drugs, sex, and the like. Basically he spent the money on filthy things that his dad probably would never have approved of. Finally, the boy found himself working for another man, doing the nasty work- feeding the pigs and cleaning up after them. He had spent all his money and had no food. He was so hungry that even the slop he fed the pigs looked delicious. The boy finally wises up and realizes that even his dad’s hired slaves have it better than he does now. He decides to return home and beg his dad to take him in as a slave.
The father sees the boy from way down the road, the bible says a long way off, and the father begins to run towards his son. He is sprinting, whooping and hollering from deep wells of joy and pleasure- His son has come home!
Before the boy can even get a word out of his mouth, the father plants a big, sloppy kiss on his filthy, pig-crap covered cheek, throws a robe and ring (of authority) on him and hollers for someone to kill the prized calf for the biggest block celebration party in history.
The boy’s older brother got pretty ticked off at the father because he was faithful and loyal and did everything right but never got this kind of celebration before. The father reaffirms his love for him and tells him that he’s great and has access to all his brother is getting and more simply because he’s a son.
And the party goes on.
This story is referenced in nearly every altar call in the church. Everyone has been one of the brothers, well, really both of them, at one point or another in their life. It’s a sweet story where the boy is forgiven, but I think we sometimes miss the big picture.
The parable is known as the prodigal son. If you ask someone about it, they will tell you “oh, it’s about this kid who wasted everything and then got back on track and his dad threw a party”.
But if I can change the title of this parable, if I can help you see that this parable isn’t at all what we have come to accept it to be, please give me that honor.
This story isn’t about the son.
It’s not about the filthy son.
 It’s not about the faithful son.
It’s not about throwing really rad parties.
This story is about the Father. He is the point if the story.
The story is about the Father’s goodness, not about the sons’ filth or faithfulness.
Thank God! Thank God that our Father in heaven is that good Father! Thank God that when we were filthy in sin he ran down the road to plant a big, wet redeeming kiss on our cheek. Thank God that when we pout and complain that it’s not fair that we have been so good while others have been so bad he lifts up our chin, and sings songs of delight and extravagant love over us and speaks to our identity as sons and daughters.
Thank God that he is good-er than we ever imagined!!!
The son thought he would beg to be a slave, but the Father surprised him big. The Father gave him the authority of his name. The son didn’t have to earn the Father’s trust back. He didn’t have to prove himself. He didn’t have to beg and plead. The Father was watching and waiting for the day that the son would carry his name, his identity, and walk in the authority that is his, simply because he is a son.
So today, where ever we are, whoever we feel we identify most with, forget it. Forget who you feel most like.
Quiet your heart and mind.
Hear that?
That sound is the pounding of the Father’s feet coming down the dirt road to plant a big kiss on your cheek.
That’s the rhythm of Him singing his pleasure over you.
He is more good than you ever wished you could imagine.
Step into your identity as a beloved son or daughter of a really, really, good, glad, kind, loving, dad. You dad is in a really good mood.

The Real Gospel

I have been thinking the past few days about my life and the message of the cross in my life. I grew up knowing that Jesus loved me and died for my sin so that I could go to heaven. I was taught that day in and day out throughout my childhood.  I know that’s true. Even if you don’t believe it because the Bible says so, you can look through history and you can see that it is factual. A man named Jesus was crucified as “The King of the Jews”. History meets Bible story.
But I think that somewhere the Church has gotten this Bible story wrong. I think they have missed the point. In my experience, the missing of the point created the opposite of what they were striving to do. I’ll explain what I mean.

What is the typical Sunday morning gospel or cross message?
1. God is perfect.
2. You are a sinner.
3. God hates your sin and can’t be around you because you are filthy.
4. You deserve to go to hell.
5. Jesus died on the cross so that you don’t have to go to hell (a frustrated effort to fix your sin problem).
6. Now you can be forgiven and go to heaven because Jesus rose again.

It’s been my experience that the Gospel presentation has emphasized my depravity and sin more than God’s love.
What this has done is created a sin-consciousness in the lives of Christians.
Christians are all too aware of sin in the lives of other Christians, non-believers, and themselves. This creates really ugly condemnation and judgement. Both are the opposite of what God wants for humanity.
Romans 8 says there is no condemnation
John 3 says God didn’t send Jesus to condemn the world, but to save the world because of His great love.

Sidenote: The law condemns (Romans 7), Jesus redeems.
 Romans 7:4 says we have died to the law
so that we can belong to Jesus in love.
So many well meaning believers beat themselves and others up with the law that is now powerless because of Christ’s death and resurrection. Romans 6:6-11reminds us that we died with Christ- our sinful nature is no more. We are alive with Christ. Free from sin. 2 Corinthians 5:17 calls us a new creation.
Paul shared a really beautiful, truth in Romans- to sum it up, basically it’s we do what we don’t want to do when we focus on what we don’t want to do.
When I was younger 10-12ish, I hated saying the number “six” because I was always afraid that I would accidentally say the word “sex” (and that was a super dirty word! :-p ) It never failed though, every time I tried to not say “sex” and make sure I said “six” it always ended up sounding more like “sex” than “six”. I did what I did not want to do because I was focusing on not doing rather than doing.
Another example:
When people are studying to learn how to identify counterfeit money, they study the real thing. They do not study the counterfeit or what to look for in a counterfeit bill. They gaze upon the real thing. The learn the real bill.
So many believers have gotten so focused on identifying lies they have forgotten to study the truth.
Yes, Jesus died for my sin.
But the reason He died was for love. The cross wasn’t a frustrated attempt to fix mankind. It was the goal all along. Jesus was crucified before the foundations of the earth. It was His joy to die for us because He loves us so deeply!
I haven’t heard a sin focused gospel message in a good 4 to 5 months. I am not struggling with wanting to sin either. I don’t desire sin because I have locked eyes with Love. I’m not saying I am perfect. Somedays, I really struggle with selfishness, which is sin. But I don’t desire sin on a regular basis. I can’t remember the last time that I had to make myself not sin and force myself to avoid temptation. I don’t want the lesser loves when I know Love.
Friends, don’t focus on not doing, not sinning. Focus on the Man Jesus who loves you. Don’t focus on the sin He died for. Focus on the look of love in His eyes.
Behold the man name Love.