Monday, November 25, 2013

For Thine is the Kingdom

3 Years ago yesterday we were beginning a journey of loss that just about did me in.  We had lost our precious baby.  Miscarriage.  A taboo in the world to even talk about.  But I did.  And it was very much about me.  I was very focused on my self and my brokenness.  I was lost and alone.  No one understood what I was going through despite the millions of other women who experience miscarriage.  I was selfish and full of self pity. 

I came out of it.  I learned about myself.  I learned about redemption.  And then I had David.  And I thought more about how great it was and how great he was for me.  My thoughts were still very much about me. 

When we first found out that we were pregnant, I initially was scared of miscarriage.  It's my knee jerk reaction.  And then we found out it was twins.  My friend Kate and I were texting one night about miscarriage and the fear that will taint every pregnancy that either of us will ever have.  Her comment to me rocked me.  She just said "Praying for a 'to God be the Glory' story for you all"

It was in that moment that I had a perspective shift.  I knew then that losing these twins was a possibility greater than keeping them.  Twins, especially identical twins, are very risky pregnancies.  Something told me that I was going to lose them.  And something told me it was going to be a "to God be the Glory" story.

And we did lose them.  On Monday November 11, 2013 we went in for an ultrasound.  We found that one baby  had died at 6 + weeks and one had died at 8 weeks. 

After the D&C on Tuesday afternoon, I came home and kept telling Ryan and my mother (who flew in like a rockstar!) that I was numb and I was just not feeling anything.  During the past 2 weeks I have felt guilty for not feeling more.  I was feeling like this ride of emotions that we were on for the past weeks had come to a stop and I was just happy to get off.  I was worn out and done emoting.

But that's not it.  I'm not numb.  I'm not denying reality.  I 'm not just relieved to be off the ride. 

I'm at peace.  My focus isn't on me.  I am not bitter.  I am sad but not destroyed.  My focus is on the one who is now holding more of our children than I am. 

I am mostly glad that God had just given me strength.  He has given me peace.  He has loved me.  He knows what's best for me.  Where I want to be is praising Him.  I want more than anything to shout from the rooftops of how good He is.  That He has made all things well.

We have been studying the Lord's prayer in Sunday school.  When you think about the prayer, it starts with Our Father.  It goes through Worship and acknowledging His kingdom.  And then it goes to us.  Our needs, our forgiveness, delivering us.  But then it goes back to His Kingdom. 

When I think about the past 8 weeks I can only think one thing. 

For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever.  Amen

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Get Off Google

I recently had a friend ask my advice on baby products.  Having been there and done that, I felt pretty good about answering her questions.  I know those answers.  I wrote her a lengthy email with my "pearls of wisdom" I have from parenting my 2 children.

When I got pregnant with the twins and before I knew they were twins I felt pretty confident.  I knew what I was doing.  I was an experienced mom.  Sure, the transition from 2 to 3 kids was going to be tough, but I had a level of confidence.  At least I wasn't starting at ground zero.  I had already done that.

And then I was told that we were having twins.

It is almost like starting over at ground zero.  And yet my resources of people to ask my questions to is a much smaller group.  And so I have been doing what any normal person does, I go to Google.

I was talking with a friend today about possibly changing OB/GYN offices.  There is so much to think about and I feel like I'm starting over in pregnancy too.  As we were talking about things, I was explaining how all these little questions were overwhelming me. 

She wisely told me that I was using Google and knowledge as a way to control the anxiety and worry.  I was spending so much time worrying about the future, that I wasn't enjoying the today.  My fear of tomorrow was paralyzing my today.  She wisely called this what it is...sin. 

And then she encouraged me to take a sabbatical from Google.  And to do it regularly.  And to take the time to really think about the now.  To enjoy the now.  And to most importantly, trust in the One who put us in this situation in the first place.  After all, I didn't choose this.  God chose me for this. 

I will have plenty of time for researching, just not all at once.  I really don't need to know how to wear 2 babies, or how to breastfeed 2 babies, or how to bathe 2 babies right now.  I will need to know some day. 

But not today.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Seek First His Kingdom

The diagnosis of potentially high risk twins threw me into a loop of worry and fear.  I was not letting myself attach to these precious babies in my womb.  I was so scared something was going to happen to them and was trying to guard myself against unpredictable hurt.

During that first week there was just so many things going through my head.  Trying to figure out if we quickly try to sell our 3 bedroom house for something bigger.  Trying to figure out how I nurse 2 babies at once.  Worrying about how much more my other children will need from me so they don't feel left out.  But we had 3 major things going through our heads.

First, the risk of miscarriage was still high.  We had that weird blood work  and the risks are just higher with twins.  Having been through a miscarriage before, the thought never leaves your head. 

And then I have spent way too much time researching the ins and outs of identical twins.  Google can be a blessing and a curse.  I began to play probabilities in my head.  The possibility of them being in one sac is just frightening and overwhelming. 

Thirdly, we were not planning on this pregnancy so we did not have maternity coverage.  I do have regular insurance and was planning on picking up maternity coverage at the first of the year.  But that leaves me with roughly 60 days worth of uncovered expenses.  With a normal pregnancy, this wouldn't have been a big deal.  We could have floated a couple of appointments and made it not a problem.  But with these potentially high risk twins, that's not the case.

So fear and worry began to camp out in my soul.  I cried easily.  I was just so anxiety ridden.  I called in a couple of friends to pray for me.  And God has worked in mighty ways in just a few days. 

My fear of miscarriage was probably the top of my list.  I have friends that get so sick when they are pregnant that they have no doubt that things are going well.  I on the other hand usually just feel a little off.  I specifically asked my friends to pray that I would have some physical sign that things were going well.  Literally hours after I asked them to pray for that, I was stricken by a general queasiness, nothing debilitating, but enough to know it was there.  And then there is my stomach.  Being a 3rd pregnancy and the fact that I've recently lost weight, I started showing early.  And the twins really really make a difference.  Here I am at not even 7 weeks.
My fear over the finances was taking a hold of me too.  These ultrasounds that I am going to need are going to be expensive.  And God is working here too.  He put in my path a friend of mine who actually works at the health department.  Without going into the complicated process and details of "the system", I can just tell you that God is working this out perfectly.  I have people holding my hand and leading me through this process.  

The final fear of them being in one sac was I think the most debilitating.  I turned away from Google and turned to the Word.  And like God promises, He used it in mighty ways to speak to me personally.  In Sunday school, we were talking about the Lord's prayer.  The class is taking the prayer line by line.  Since I spend every other week in the nursery, I usually miss a good bit of Sunday school.  But I was there to hear about "Your kingdom come, Your will be done."  And I was struck by how I was looking for MY kingdom and MY will.  I was having an especially hard day on Monday and so I sat down to do my BSF homework.  It brought me right back to the Lord's Prayer and to Matthew 6.  Tears were streaming down my face as God spoke to me personally through His word.  I surrendered my fear and felt a giant weight lifted from my shoulders.  I just can't explain this supernatural peace that God gave to me.  All I can say is that the Holy Spirit is at work in mighty ways.

Sitting here today at almost exactly 1 week out from the beginning of this whirlwind ride, I am struck by how much God is working.  And despite the constant fear that probably won't ever go away until the day that I die, these twins are His.  Whether I get to keep them for 7 weeks or 100 years, God only knows.  God made them and He made them for Ryan and me to care for.  And no matter how much I try to guard myself, I cannot stop the love that God has already given me for these 2 precious babies. 

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of it's own.  Matthew 6:33-34

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Say What?!?!

It's been a week.  A week I will never forget.  A week that deserves to be the fresh start of this blog. 

Ryan and I have been talking about having a third child.  We have weighed all the things that go into that decision:  the house, the schooling, my age, etc.  It's a complex decision.  I always felt like there were a million reasons why we should stay at 2 kids and yet there was something in my heart that was pulling me to have just one more. 

We hadn't fully made the decision to go for a 3rd when on a whim I took a pregnancy test.  Low and behold, we didn't have a decision to make.  I was already pregnant.  We were ecstatic and were immediately talking of a new house and how we just couldn't decide if we wanted a boy or a girl.  Things were looking good. 

Because I didn't really know when my last month's period was, I didn't really know how far along I was.  This all happened because I was weaning David and messed my cycle up.  The plan was to take some blood work and make sure I was far enough that we would see something on an ultrasound. 

So we took blood work on Tuesday and then again on Thursday.  HCG numbers are supposed to roughly double during a 48 hour period of time.  The midwife called me on Thursday and said my numbers had gone slightly down and that I should come to the hospital for an ultrasound. 

I knew what this meant.  I was headed down the road of another miscarriage. 

I called Ryan and he came home from work.  The kids went to Grandma's house and we somberly checked into the ER.  I wasn't a wreck but I was very sad.  I just knew we had lost the baby.  My first thoughts were making sure we got a D&C this time because I wasn't going to go through what I went to last time. 

We sat in the triage room for what felt like forever.  They finally brought us back to ultrasound.  The ultrasound tech informed us that she was legally not allowed to tell us anything so just sit back and relax.  The room was dark and quiet.  I was crying off and on.  Ryan held my hand.  We couldn't see the screen.  We just looked at each other and tried to make light hearted conversation.

We finished up and I scrubbed all the ultrasound gel off.  We walked back to the ER and waited some more.  I just wanted this to be over.  I wanted to rip the band aid off and be done with this whole horrible experience. 

The nurse came in to check on us and asked what was taking so long.  She pulled up the ultrasound pics on the computer in the room.  She called Ryan over and said, do you see what I see?  Ryan has never been good with ultrasounds so he had no idea what he was looking at.  She said I think I see 2 babies with 2 heartbeats.  He looked at me and I just said "Oh Sh!t". 

And just like that she left the room and told us to hold on she would see what was taking so long.  Ryan and I looked at each other and just said "What just happened?"  But there was still probably something wrong so we shouldn't get our hopes up.  This next 20 minutes of waiting seemed to take forever.  Was it twins?  Were they ok?  What was going on?

The midwife did come back in eventually and told us that yes indeed we were pregnant with twins and they both look great.  She has no explanation for my HCG levels.  But these identical twins were doing great. 

We talked about the different types of twins and the chances of these babies being in one sac (Mono/Mono).  We were on our way into a potentially very high risk and scary pregnancy.  We were told to go home and rest and get checked with our regular OB in a 4 weeks. 

We left the hospital cautiously optimistic.  We were excited.  We were shocked.  We were scared.  Pretty much exactly what you would expect. 

But one thing for sure, we were not the same people that walked in 4 hours earlier. 

3D picture of 2 babies.  Very hard to see.

                Baby A                                                                                     Baby B

2 Yolk Sacs.  Hopefully a sign of 2 future Gestational Sacs

Saturday, March 30, 2013


As you may be aware, we have chickens in our backyard.  We bought a coop that is supposed to be moved around the yard.  Technically it's called a chicken tractor.  We have done this every Spring through Fall for 3 years.  During the Winter we move it into our garden. 

The problem is that when you move it, you leave a day's worth of chicken poop on the grass.  It's never been a big deal.  We have had dogs that used to "take care of it" (sorry that's really gross!) but they are both gone now.  And before I quit my job, we never really played out there. 

Last summer Ryan and our friend Rob built the kids a swing set.  We used it some through the Fall.  Ainsley knew how to watch out for poop.  We tried to keep the coop a good distance from the swing set too.

And then this week, David discovered that we have a back yard.  The swing set blew his mind.  He loves it.  Especially the slide.  And so my fear of my kid sliding into poop resurfaced.  Or even worse, my kid picking up a piece of poop and eating it.  Oh the horror!

Enter the "Chunnel".  I know that's not a real word.  It's a chicken tunnel.  A Chunnel.  My friend Caroline had sent me a link to one about a year ago.  I pulled it out of the memory vault and just knew I had to build one.  The idea was all of a sudden brilliant!  It took 2 trips to Lowes and a quite a bit of work, but it's done. 

And it's spectacular!  It goes the full length of the outside of our back yard.  It even curves. 

It connects into the coop and gives them an extra 15 feet beyond that.
Before we let the chickens in, Ainsley had to try it out.  This is the last time she will ever be allowed in it!

Once we opened it up to the chickens, they began to explore.  It took them a bit to really go out there.  I was a little disappointed, but then they got it.  Pretty soon they were digging and running. 

The grass that's there probably won't last long.  But it's ok.  They will still enjoy the place to run and move around outside of the small coop.  And there will be no more moving of the coop.

After it was done and the chickens were happily playing in it, I let David come outside.  He went right to it.  He looked at the chickens and followed them down the outside of the chunnel for a bit and then just left them alone. 

Chickens and children in complete harmony with out the threat of disease!

The one downfall is that my hands and arms are now killing me.  I'm scratched and scraped.  I'm cut and bruised.  Metal fencing is no joke.
These cuts and bruises will last a short time and yet the happiness the chunnel will bring us will last way longer than that! 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Get Outside

Ainsley is an inside girl.  She really doesn't care if she ever goes outside.  At least that's how she used to be.  When I used to work, her nanny had 2 little boys who loved to be outside so she would go out and pretty much just sit there.  I never really minded this much.  I'm mostly an inside girl myself.  I prefer to be in the kitchen or on the computer.  If I had time, I would love to curl up on the couch and read a book (but who in the world has time for that!)

When David was born and he was indeed a "he", I knew my life as an insider was probably over. 

I have taken him outside some but taking a kid who can't walk outside is really just messy.  We have been to the park and it took everything I had to let him play in the sandbox.  But I did.  And he got messy.  And had to ride home in just his diaper.  But I did it.  And I was pretty proud of myself.

This past weekend was gorgeous!  Ryan and I took both kids to a local park.  While Ryan was up on the top of the playground essentially forcing Ainsley down the big slide, I was following David around.  Now that he's walking with ease, he just had a blast walking around all the kids.  I put him on the top of the baby slide and gave him a little nudge.  He literally squealed.  So I put him up there again and before I could even nudge him, he had figured out how to get himself going. 


All that to say, that my time is now going to be spent more outside than I probably would like.  But that's ok.  Because to see this kid happy is worth every bit of it. 

Listening to him laugh and squeal as the wind hits his face or when he sees something in the woods (like 15 deer running by or a wild turkey chilling out in our neighborhood).


Seeing him light up and point as the school bus drives by..

Or maybe just seeing the biggest smile ever.

And frankly it's good for me.  And it was actually fun.  I think my inside girl even enjoyed herself. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Don't Say Things Like That

This past Friday David had an incident with a hanger.  I won't go into the details, but it was gross.  I thought for sure we were going to the ER.  But he was ok.  And then he took a face plant on our train table.  But he was fine.  I was on the phone with my mom later that day and said something along the lines of "I can't believe we have never been to the ER with my kids.  I'm sure David is going to make us go there quite a bit"

David has had a fever and a cough since Sunday afternoon.  The fever has gotten high.  But it is responding well to medicine.  I still took him to the doctor on Tuesday morning.  He said that he was wheezing some but not enough to do anything.  The doctor wanted us to let him know if things changed.

By the afternoon, David was wheezing more and just generally miserable.  You could see his stomach heaving as he was trying to get air.  And his fever was just persistent.  So I put him in the tub to see if it would make him get any better. 

It just made him shake and get cold but didn't take his fever down.  I put him to bed and he fell right to sleep.  I told Ryan I was a bit concerned about his breathing and I was just going to call the doctor to see what he said. 
One piece of back information is that my pediatrician is very low intervention.  He rarely prescribes anything.  He is a proponent of letting the body do what the body knows how to do.  This is actually one of the reasons we love him.
So when I called him last night and he said that we needed to take him to the ER, I was shocked.  But I also knew that we needed to go.  When he jumps, so do we.  We dropped Ainsley off at Grandma's house for the night and off we went. 

It was a fairly easy experience. They gave him a breathing treatment and did a chest X-ray. He lungs were clear.  It was viral and we just needed to wait it out.  We were home by midnight with an inhaler and instructions to keep up the Ibuprofen. 
Serves me right to say things like that. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Fear or Free

It's amazing to me how Satan can use just about anything in our lives to completely wreck us.  And that is just what has happened to me this week.

I learned last Monday morning through a friend of mine that a famous mommy blog's youngest child died of SIDS.  I had never read her blog before.  I had never even heard of her before.  And yet her baby was a month older than David.  (And for your sake, I am not linking to that blog)

There were a few things about this that absolutely wrecked me emotionally for the week.

1.  I didn't know that a baby could die of SIDS past 6 months.
2.  The baby was essentially the same age as my baby and looked like my baby and was doing the things that my baby is doing
3.  I am leaving my baby overnight for the first time this week for not just one night, but 4.

I have spent the week gripped in fear.  I have checked on him at night.  I have been worried when his naps have stretched longer than usual.  I was actually looking through pictures on her blog from happier days just last night.  It has consumed my thoughts. 

Everyone keeps telling me to stop looking.  But I just couldn't.  I mean he looked like David.  And David could die.  Have I taken enough pictures?  Have I written enough about him?  Does he know just how much I love him?


In church today, our pastor preached on the Fall of Man.  I've recently studied this in BSF.  I thought I wouldn't get much out of it but I was excited to just be in church for the first time in 3 weeks.  As he preached, I could feel the presence of God come.  I'm not sure if that sermon was for anyone else but me.  I needed to hear it.

Essentially, I was being conned by the greatest con artist there is.  And I let it happen.  I let him start the conversation with me.  I let him change what I knew was truth.  David isn't mine.  He is His.  And I can't let this fear grip me. 

As he closed the sermon and the closing song was being sung, I felt the weight of the world lift from my shoulders.  I was no longer standing in the shadow of fear.  I was standing in the shadow of the cross.  Tears streaming down my face. 


There was another post from this mommy blogger this afternoon.  I read it.  But I was not wrecked by it. 

Thank you Lord for your love and conviction.

Monday, January 21, 2013

My Hands

I used to have desk job hands.  They had fingernails that were never chipped or broken.  They were pretty.  They even showcased a beautiful engagement and wedding ring.

This week, the wind was knocked out of my sales.  I found out that my replacement was promoted within 6 months of being at the company.  A promotion I never got.  Maybe that was because I was part time.  But maybe it wasn't.  My self doubt went haywire.  I went through a funk.  I cried.  I got mad at my husband. 

Today I wasn't really thinking about it at all when I was putting together boxes for our "side busines".  I had a lot today.  40 to be exact.  I was just doing my thing.  Taping, stuffing with newspaper, wrapping bottles, taping.  Pretty mundane stuff.

When I finished the 40 boxes, I looked at my hands.  They were ashy and dry.  Cracked.  Black from newspaper print. Fingernails all crooked and broken.  My rings were on my dresser like they always are except for when we go out somewhere out of the ordinary or to church.  Definitely not the hands of my old life.

And yes, my life is different now.  There are no hopes and disappointments of promotions.  But there is money in the bank from our side business.  There are 2 very happy children.  There is a husband who gets cared for much better. 

Overall, those messed up, tired, nasty looking hands tell me that my life if happy and good. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

My Snuggly Boy

It was one year ago today, that you came into my life.  I was scared of you at first.  You were different from what I knew.  You were the scary boy.

And slowly you worked your way into my heart.  Maybe it was the first time you peed on me.  Nope, that wasn't it.  Maybe it was the first time you laughed at your own fart.  Nope, not it.  Maybe it was the first time you pushed a truck across the room.  Nope, not that either. 

All those things were different from what I had known before.  But there is one thing that makes you different that really does melt my heart.  It's the way that you snuggle in and cuddle with me.  You love to be held and not just by anyone.  You love to be held by me.  In the beginning that meant a lot of baby wearing.

But then it was just being held on my lap.  Sometimes asleep.  Sometimes wide awake.  When you get fussy, I know all I need to do is pick you up and give you some cuddles.  You always stop crying.  

I know some day soon, I won't be able to hold you the way I do now.  You will be too big.  But I will always be there for snuggles and hugs.  I hope you never stop loving it.

I know I won't.  

Happy Birthday Snuggly Boy!

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