Tuesday, February 2, 2016

A happy ending...

In my last post, I basically bore my soul about my journey, and struggle, with infertility. I still get butterflies at the thought of all those feelings being out there in the open now. My family and a few choice friends have been there with me through it all, but it was always something so private in my life. I do feel good about it though, and I'm still trying to serve and live joyfully in the now.

I am so grateful for the outpouring of support that I received after posting about it! My main goal was to show people that we can do hard things and still be ok. We all have trials to endure, but we can still find happiness in life. My struggle with infertility was HARD, but I wanted everyone to know that I'm OK. My family and I, we found happiness through it all.

But now I need to continue on with the next chapter of my story. It could've ended there, where I left off the other day, but I am blessed beyond measure that there was a secret epilogue waiting for me. And it may seem insensitive to be sharing this after that post, but for me, there isn't one without the other.

If you read the last post, I mentioned my good friend who was pregnant. Well, the day finally came for her baby to come! She said that I could tag along with her family at the hospital for the birth and I was giddy with excitement that entire day. Around this same time, I was finishing up yet another round of fertility drugs, shots, and ultrasounds. I read up on a bunch of old wives tales on helping your follicles to grow (tmi?) and did them all. I put my feet up on the wall, held a warm compress on my stomach, and drank tons of milk every night. I felt pretty silly and was still pretty pessimistic about the outcome, but I had to do what I could. We were running out of options as far as procedures went and I had to make this round count!

The morning of my friend's delivery day, I had to babysit, run errands, and do preschool and school carpooling before I could head over to the hospital. It was such a hard wait! I was so excited for her and to experience a birth from the "other" side (well...not that side, but the side behind her head). While I was out running errands, I also couldn't stop thinking about the pregnancy test burning a hole in the bottom of my purse. I didn't want to ruin the day with disappointment but I took it anyway. When I first looked, the usual one line showed up. I threw it back in my purse and headed out of the store. Later, during lunch, I convinced myself to look at it again. And this time, TWO LINES.

What!?!?

I was cautiously optimistic, but I gushed to Curtis about it anyway and then got to join my friend in the seriously magical experience of birth. Her baby was perfect, I felt so honored to be a part of it, and inside I was leaping for joy that I might finally have a chance to go through that again myself.



I am now almost 16 weeks pregnant. I get these overwhelming feelings of gratitude wash over me several times each day. I don't really understand all of the reasons why I had to wait two years for this outcome, but as I said in my post about infertility, I had a whole lot to learn. I had a lot of growing to do and even though it was the longest, hardest, most tearful wait, I'm glad that I'm now a little bit better of a person for it. And hopefully that will help me be a little bit better as a mother to this blessed new baby and the three awesome boys already here!





(cute calendar printable by Montgomery Fest)

Friday, January 29, 2016

Live Joyfully Now!


 This is a post that I've started and stopped several times over. I've written a hundred different versions in my head over the past year or two. For some reason, I always stop myself from posting. I hate feeling vulnerable, and this is a post of the  most personal and vulnerable kind. The rational side of me thinks that I'm nuts for even thinking about blogging about this. Even as I sit here writing this, right now, I am second guessing myself. I can't even get through the first paragraph without getting up, wiping down the kitchen counters, grabbing some Mike & Ikes, and staring out the window. But there's another side of me too, the side that can't put it out of my mind. The side that knows this won't just help me, but could potentially be helpful for many other women and families out there. And that's the side that I'm gonna go with.


If you follow along with me on Instagram, you may have noticed a couple times where I've mentioned going through some struggles, or having a hard time. And it's true. The past couple years were two of the hardest that I can remember. My life was actually pretty perfect with a loving, fun husband, three amazing little boys, supportive family, a cozy home, new friends that will be best friends for the rest of my life, and a hobby turned business that I loved to do. It was all perfect except for one thing. I wanted a baby... and it just wasn't happening.


I've known since high school that my body was all out of wack, and that having children was going to be a little more work than is normal. I remember being somewhat concerned when Curtis and I first got married, but before we could give it a second thought, along came Anderson! We knew he was a miracle and were hopeful that just maybe we'd have a few more miracles too. The second time around was a little more work, with a few medications involved. But what seemed like an eternity then, was only a few short months before we were excited about Owen, baby boy number two! And then, if you can believe it, we were blessed with yet another little miracle. Another baby boy who  wasn't expected, but was welcomed with the biggest open arms. These blessings gave us so much hope, made us feel like we could beat this PCOS that could've kept me childless.

When Milo was one, I was ready to start trying for another baby. I knew exactly what to do. I went straight to the doctor, asked for the Clomid (first line of defense fertility medication), and was ready to beat the odds again. The problem this time, was that Heavenly Father had other plans for me. For the several months I tried so hard to make MY plans happen. I didn't want to trust His plan because I thought I knew what we needed. I started seeing a fertility specialist (or two) and went to countless appointments, took countless medications, and had countless disappointments. It was so hard, I was depressed and angry. And along with it came the guilt of knowing I already had three wonderful kids. How could I even be so selfish to ask for one more when there are so many that are struggling for just one?



But in the midst of all that self pity and self doubt, there was something wonderful brewing. One of my closest friends became pregnant and I somehow didn't feel jealous or sad or depressed about it. I was blessed with this overwhelming desire to serve and be a good friend. Charity isn't something that comes naturally to me and I see now that this feeling was the answer to all of the prayers that I thought were going unheard.


This friend, and the change of heart I experienced, saved me. I began to feel happier and more motivated. I started to see the beauty in life, even among the hard things. Life could still be good even if I didn't yet have all that I hoped for. Somewhere in there I started reciting a little "mantra" in my mind to help me remember my new outlook. I tell myself to "Live Joyfully NOW." Not later, when all my wants and prayers have been answered, but to find joy in the everyday! Don't wait for it to come to you!


So that's what I've been doing ever since. I try to be a good friend, a good wife, a good mom, a good sister, a good daughter. I'm definitely not perfect and I sometimes forget to think of others before myself. But I can see how different, and amazing, I can feel when my thoughts are focused outwards and I remember to see and enjoy the little blessings of life. If you're struggling with something like fertility, or depression, or motherhood in general, I definitely believe that a little service goes a long way.



I created this fun, free phone or desktop wallpaper to put as your background for your own reminder. (Owen created the watercolor artwork for the photo and I love it dearly.) If you need a little nudge, like me, then click the link for the size you want to download and enjoy!










.....And if you need a some encouragement from someone who has been there, and who is struggling too, please come to me! Email me, tag me, whatever you have to do. I promise I'll listen.....




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