Tuesday, December 15, 2015

this is mine

This is something very personal and very real to me as it is a part of who I am and a part of how my family has come to be. Some of you may know and some may not, but children do not come easily to us. Besides losing a child this has been one of my greatest challenges in my adult years. I know many of you struggle with infertility and everyone's experience is different. This is mine.

Since I was a young girl I have wanted to be a mom. I wanted to get married right out of high school and start having babies right away. Well, I got married a few years out of high school and after being married for just over two years Brady and I decided to start a family. We tried for about a year with no success, then decided to start thinking about the possibly of infertility. We first saw our family Dr., did various tests, got asked lots of questions, then started taking Clomid and after about six months of that run around were referred to a specialist as nothing was working. More tests, more questions yet still no answers. While working with the specialist we made the decision to try Artificial Insemination. I was devastated at this point wondering if I would ever get the opportunity to be a mom, to carry a child inside and feel it move like I had always dreamed of. I was very very discouraged, to not know if you will ever be able to have a child when you long for one so desperately is a very real, very heavy battle. I felt so helpless. Something I longed for so badly was so completely out of my control.

We did three rounds of IUI (artificial insemination) with no success. The Dr. agreed to one more letting us know that if after four rounds it doesn't take our chances were dim and we would need to move onto the next phase which would be Invitro, which at the time, we did not have money for. So that would not be an option for us. The pressure and longing for a child was at its max at this point. Please God, please make this work.

Our prayers were answered.

What a glorious blessing! Nine months later came our beautiful daughter Quincy. Truly a miracle. We loved that girl with everything we had, feeling so lucky to have conceived and been given the opportunity to experience a pregnancy and parenthood, not knowing if we would ever get that chance again. We soaked up every single minute. We had talked about it on multiple occasions that if she were our only one how grateful we were to have her.

Shortly after Q's first birthday I missed a period. No way I was pregnant. Couldn't be. I don't get pregnant on my own. We weren't even trying. With one cheap pregnancy test and many grateful tears, it was true. I WAS PREGNANT! Again, with thankful hearts we were ecstatic that we would get another opportunity to grow and nurture another child. Truly another miracle.

Five months later Quincy was killed. Our lives forever changed. At this point the gratitude we had for the miracle baby boy inside was inexpressible. To have him already on his way was a greater blessing than I could have ever asked for.

After Q left and Ryder was born all I wanted was a sibling for him. I stopped nursing when he was about eight months and as soon as my cycle started again we began trying for another. Two long years and no baby. You can imagine the heartache we felt as we realized this was not going to happen on its own again.

Back to the family Dr. for Clomid, took a couple rounds and with no success we went right to the specialist. Three more rounds of IUI and still no baby. With losing Quincy I felt the longing for a baby this time was elevated beyond control. I was a complete mess. It's all I could think about all the time. Please God, please send another child. I could not handle the desperation I was feeling. I really had to work hard to stay grateful for my little Ryder and not let the longing for another overshadow him. He was here and he was so wonderful, I prayed that he would be enough. I longed for the gratitude I had felt for Q if she were our only one and worked so hard to feel that same gratitude and completeness with Ryder.

The longing continued to grow and we decided it was time to take the next step. Invitro. I didn't want to accept that we would have to do this to have another child. Not to mention the cost, but the chance it might not work along with the emotion and the process in its entirety. Didn't want to do it. I am a pretty religious girl and this is hard to admit, but I also really struggled with the fact that a Dr. would be creating this process that should happen naturally. It was very hard for me to wrap my head around and accept what we were about to do.

The desire for a child won and there we were at the Fertility Clinic, starting the IVF process. So many shots. So many meds. So many Dr. appointments. So invasive and so unnatural. But truly so amazing. I tried not to think of it as weird and uncomfortable but to learn from it. And I did. I learned so much about my body and the process of creation. It is truly unbelievable and I am now grateful for what I know.

Everything went pretty smoothly but at the end the process was prolonged a few months as the day came to implant the eggs I had the flu. They were frozen for another cycle and as I came back to prepare for the implantation again I had too many cysts on my ovaries. Another months wait. This seemed like ETERNITY! But finally the time came and in they went. Two perfect healthy eggs. Then the wait. >>>Oh the wait<<< During this time I had a lot of spotting and cramping. I was certain that they did not take and was preparing myself for another disappointment.

But again, another miracle. One healthy, tiny little embryo, hanging on for dear life. You could imagine our joy on this day, Once again we are being blessed with another pregnancy. Another child. A SIBLING!!!

In just a few short weeks this baby is going to join our family. I know I have said it a million times, but the gratitude I have to have this opportunity not one but three times is beyond explanation. I feel so blessed to have had the chance to be a mom to three beautiful children. Each of them a miracle and a blessing to me. I cannot wait to meet this child and feel my heart explode once again.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

three years old


Last month you turned three! I cannot believe you are three. The years have flown by. At your three year old checkup you weighed 32 lbs and were 37 in tall, making you about 50% for each. Just right where you should be. You are growing up to be such a handsome little boy and your freckles are to die for!
We celebrated your birthday by taking you to the zoo, to lunch and then to the Tractor Supply Store, per your request. That is your favorite store and you had your eye on a truck and trailer toy. I think that stop was the highlight of your day! That night we celebrated your three years here with us with a family part, complete with a BBQ, pinata and lots of presents. You were so excited about everything. Your enthusiasm is so exhilarating and it makes it so fun to be able to do things for you. You loved everything you got and finished the night with a little impromptu celebration dance.
Oh Ryder, I could write pages and pages about you. You are so full of life and keep us laughing constantly. You are silly and love to be the center of the show. You like to tease (just like your dad) and you love to play fight. You like to punch and kick and wrestle. We are trying to steer energy into a controlled fighting as we just enrolled you in Little Wasp Wrestling.
You continue to love to play with trucks and cars, but mostly tractors and fire trucks. You have also recently started getting into super heroes and like to fight the bad guys. It is so fun to watch you start to use your imagination. You love to ride your bike and can balance great! I think you are ready for a pedal bike in the spring. You still eat well and sleep and nap well. I'm holding onto those naps as long as I can! You just recently learned that you can get out of your bed yourself. You used to wait there and yell that you were up until we came and got you out. I was nice, but I love hearing your little pitter patter in the morning as I am waking up. You always come into our room for morning cuddles, my favorite part of the day.
At the beginning of September you started Pre School! You were so excited to wear a backpack and go to school like a big kid and you continue to get excited every time you go. You are learning so much and I am loving watching your mind grow. You can't wait to open your backpack and show us what did each day when you come home. Your teacher has told a few times that you have "lots of personality". You also had your first visit to the dentist. You did so well and sat so still, the dentist was amazed that you let them do a full exam without any fuss. You were so excited about getting your teeth cleaned and getting a new tooth
brush. You are enthusiastic about everything and that makes you so much fun!
Ryder, you are the best. Honestly can't believe we have had three years with you. I hope we get ninety more. You are a good boy and try your best to obey, brightening up every minute of dad and I's life. You are happy and gracious and lovable and fun and feisty. You are everything I could have dreamed of in a son. I cannot wait to see you as a big brother, as I have seen glimpses of your tender side with your new baby cousin. Daddy and I love you little buddy, with every tiny piece of our souls.You are a blessing to us and we thank the Lord for you every day.

Love you lots.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

to write

I haven't been writing on my blog for quite a while. And to be honest I have missed it. There is so much to say and so much I want to write.

I have had a bit of a writers cramp the last, well I guess it's been about a year now. I had someone tell me that I should not write the things I write on my blog, that it is sad and depressing and that it is not good for me. I have thought a lot about this and to be honest, have had a really hard time expressing myself since. I have started multiple posts and deleted them because I could not get the words out the way I wanted them, worrying I would say the wrong thing. Some of my posts are sad. And deep. But....it's real. It's my life. It's me.

Grief is a heavy heavy burden to carry throughout life. Yes, time has helped me learn how to carry that grief and to hopefully do so gracefully, but it is always there and I always carry it. And I will as long as I am alive, because I love that little girl more than anything.

So here I am, back to the blog. I love to write. I need to write. I know there are some that do not understand why it helps so much to write down such personal and intimate feelings and those that don't like to read it. Well, then don't. For those that do understand, this blog is for you. It's a record of grief and joy. Of sadness and hope. Of life and learning. A journal of my journey here on this earth.

This is me.

two and a half

>>>I typed this back in March when Ryder was indeed two and a half.....never got it posted....figured I better get it up before his three year old post!


You are halfway to three! As I look back at your 24 month post I am amazed at how much you have grown up in just six months. You are big and tall and healthy. You have big feet, big hands and a big heart. You are are silly and happy and like to tease just like your dad. You are a big time mamma's boy and follow me around everywhere. You love to help me with anything I will let you do. I truly enjoy your company and try to involve you in most everything. You are a lover and a cuddler. You love to hug and kiss everyone. You have a sweet sweet heart.
You love to eat and are still a really good eater. Some of your favorite foods right now are macaroni and cheese with hot dogs, chicken nuggets, fries, corn, fruit of any kind and CHOCOLATE. You are obsessed with chocolate anything. You love going to the Dairy Keen and eating a corn dog and fries and root beer. Other than an occasional soda you will still not drink anything but water. Not even juice, punch, gatorade, crystal light, nothing with any kind of flavor. So weird for a little kid. But I am not complaining, less sugar I guess. The day will come you will love it I'm sure.
Not too long after your second birthday the potty training clicked! You are officially potty trained! You now come to me and tell me when you need to go or just take yourself. It's so nice. You can hold it for hours (sometimes too long while playing) and have every only had one accident during naps and night time. I am so proud of you. You seem so big in your cute little undies.

You love love love cars and tractors. You are almost always playing with a truck or car or motorcycle or anything with wheels. We took you to the Monster Jam this year and you absolutely LOVED it! You have been playing with monster trucks non stop since we went, ruffling the rug so it can have a jump. You are really starting to use your imagination and it is fun to watch you play. You talk in a high pitched squeaky voice when you are playing. It's cute.
You love to read stories at bedtime and still don't know that you can get out of your bed by yourself. It's awesome. When you wake up in the morning you just yell until we come get you. One day you will figure it out but for now we are okay with it. You still sleep well which we are very thankful for.

You got a balance bike last year for your birthday and didn't ride it much as we were on our way into winter but we recently got it out and you are awesome! You got that balance thing down so quick! You are such a boy. You love to ride that and your Power Wheels 4 Wheeler and already try to do tricks. Your dad is proud, I am nervous.
Ryder, you are the best. Every day I am more and more convinced what a miracle and blessing you are to our family. As you have grown and learned to talk and carry on conversations I have really enjoyed getting to know you. You are funny and witty and happy. You are a joy to me and dad and we have loved watching you grow and learn. You are smart and pick up on things so quickly. You impress me every day. How lucky we are to have you. You are teaching us so much about life and keeping us going day to day.

Love you lots.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

birthday girl

Today is Quincy's fifth birthday. The big 5. What a glorious day! I know I write this in every birthday post, but I sit here and imagine how different this day would be if she were here. I daydream of what her party would be like and what it would be like to wake her up on her 5th birthday. She would be such a big girl and as we get farther from her passing its getting harder for me to imagine what she might look and act like. But I still think and dream about her always. It's almost as if she is here because I think about her so often.
 I have the same birthday wish this year as I did last, making this a yearly tradition I took this next little bit from my blog post last year on Q's birthday.

There are many things I have learned over the past two years as I have struggled with grief and growth. I feel that I have changed tremendously as an individual in ways that others may not necessarily see, but in ways that I think, ways that I am. Of all the life lessons I am learning one of the most valuable is that of truly living. Living the life we are given. Living each day to the fullest. Taking time to truly live.

We are all so caught up in everything around us. We are busy. Life is fast paced. We are often running, chasing, working, texting, chatting, shopping. We are in a world where we are constantly searching for more, we are rarely satisfied. We are often wanting something bigger, something better, something more. More clothes, more money, bigger house, more toys, better job, more friends, better everything. We want to be skinnier, prettier, happier, smarter, healthier. It’s not all bad things we are chasing, there’s a lot of good that keeps us busy but are we truly living or are we skimming by, hanging on to whatever takes us to the next thing?

Let’s take a time out.

On this day, the 19th day of August, the birthday of my angel Quincy, I ask everyone to slow down and take a time out. Set down your cell phone, turn off the TV, leave work an hour early, miss a meeting or an appointment and take some time with your little ones. Sit on the floor and do a puzzle, put together that train track or dress that baby doll in fifteen different outfits. Don’t rush, just do it and enjoy it. Tickle toes, paint nails and color pictures, laugh at jokes and read some books, look at photos. Take time to focus on what’s truly important, the little things that are right in front of us.

Life moves so quickly and we don’t know what each day will bring. I never in a million years thought I would live my life without all my children. If there is one thing anyone can learn from me, from my trial, I hope that it is to take time. Take time for the things that truly matter. Be gracious and grateful for what you have. Be content and humble. Every day, take time out. Whether its 10 min or 2 hours, just take some time to slow down, sit down and do something, anything to make the most of that day. There is absolutely nothing more important. Nothing.
Quincy, so much has changed since you left. Life is good, but there is always a sting, always a tinge of sadness that still lingers. I believe there always will be because our hearts miss you so very much. We are doing our best to live our lives in a way we would if you were still here, as if we weren't carrying sadness. We know we will see you again and that is what keeps us moving forward each day with joy.

We wish you were here Quincy. More than anything, we wish you were still here. We love you darling. Hope they celebrate you a little more up there in heaven today. Happy Birthday.