"When a soul recognises the will of God and shows a readiness to submit to it entirely, then God gives Himself to such a soul and renders it most powerful succour under all circumstances." - Rev. Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Fall is my favorite

I love fall! Really, it's my fave fave favorite. For our last Family Day (and we call it by name since it's reallllly important these days now that Logan works 6 days a week), we went a pumpkin patch. It's probably the coolest pumpkin patch ever and Landon loved it! We brought Peanut a couple years ago and had a lot of fun, so we couldn't wait to bring Landon :)

Oh, and this is like a million pictures. Just warning you! ;)
 He didn't know where we were going, but he was excited!
 And he's obsessed with pulling the wagon around

 Yep, just had to help with the wagon

 Trying to pick out the best pumpkin!
 ....the winner!

 See ya later, buddy.
 I hope I remember to take pictures in front of this thing in future years.
 I think the jumping pillow was one of his favorite things
 And of course Daddy had to outdo Mommy ;)
 Love my boys!
 Not to brag, but I'm the master of self-timer photos :)
 I love this one!

The tunnel slide was his other favorite!

 He even went down himself!
 Self-timer whaaaaat

 Landon is a boy which means anything and everything is a weapon. Roar! (That's what he said)
So much fun. 'Til next year!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Photo Friday: fall is in the air

A little trip to the park
He was not a big fan of the swings
He is a big fan of his cousin Max, though!

Party under the table
He woke up from a nap and the only thing that made him happy was guacamole and chips. I'm not lying.
We've been having more outside time with the wonderful weather! And yes, he stayed in his pajamas all day :)
Excited about the pumpkin patch!

I'm going to do another post with just pictures from the pumpkin patch...we got some good ones!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

This may seem like a fertility post...but it's kind of not

First off, I want to say thank you for all of the kind messages received from Levi's Story. Y'all are sweet :)

So. I know you love my fertility-related posts. And if you don't, wellllll, too bad so sad.

I mentioned before how I have really long cycles. Always have. I've only had 2 full ones since Landon was born, first one started around his birthday that lasted 67 days and this last one was 72 days. The good thing about that is that I don't have to deal with my period that often. Which is nice because, well, they aren't too fun. Unless you're one of those lucky women that doesn't get bad cramps or bleed much. (Does that happen? If so, I'm jealous.)

But then the flip side of long cycles is that Logan and I have a whopping FIVE CHANCES A YEAR to get pregnant. I don't like those odds.

At this point, I still am quite content with my life, despite having the desire to have more kids. For a few months, I was not too keen about being pregnant again. Oh, the joys of a high-risk pregnancy. But I will admit, that as time passes, the desire to be pregnant again is actually growing. Although I like to say we're not not trying to get pregnant, technically we are trying. I'm not charting other than keeping track of my period, but I do know when I'm ovulating.

When this last cycle ended and fun Aunt Flo paid me a visit, I'm not going to lie - I was a little disappointed. We do want another baby. But, I wasn't devastated. I know God will bless us with another baby in His timing. In one way or another. (Y'all, I want to adopt. For real. It's always been on my heart.)

Honestly, right now I feel as if God is providing Logan and me with the opportunity to help and be available to our friends and family who are going through more difficult times. Although we only have one day a week as a family right now, we are so very blessed. We are healthy, our home is intact, and we aren't going through any major life changes right now. That has allowed us to offer both ourselves and our home to other people who can't exactly say the same right now. 

It wouldn't be so easy to do that if I was pregnant and on bed rest. And the fact that I only have one child to care for makes it easier to be available to people as well...especially now that Landon is sleeping REALLY well. Woo hoo! I have a [relatively] clean house even though it's felt like I'm running a hotel these days.

I'm not sure what point I was trying to make with all of this, but....yeah. I want kids bad and lots of them but I'm trying to be okay with the fact that it might not happen. But maybe it will and I'm just getting all teary-eyed for nothing (HORMONES, YOU SUCK). Only time will tell.

In the meantime, I'm reminding myself that God has called us to this state of life right now. Gonna live it up, baby.

"Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God." – Jim Elliot

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Levi's Story: final thoughts

Read Levi's Story here.

Part of the reason why I never posted Levi's Story is because I didn't want to just end it like that - we went home and I was miserable. I could never find the right words to explain just what happened in the months (and sadly, years) that followed.

The truth is - and if you've been following this blog from the beginning, you'll know this - the months that followed were hard. Hard because of losing Levi, hard because of the hospital experience, and hard because we didn't easily get pregnant again. At first, I wasn't even sure I wanted to get pregnant again, because the thought of experiencing the same thing over again was horrifying. I cried a lot, for many different reasons. It took a long time to feel like myself again. And honestly, it wasn't until Landon was in my arms 2 1/2 years later that I could really, really be at peace about everything.

It's probably obvious now why it took me years to share the details. Although it was hard for Logan and me to both reread - and in a sense, relive - this whole experience, we know without a doubt that it was all part of God's plan all along. We knew that back then, but it was hard to see when everything was so new.

"When there’s something that you want and believe in so much – trusting that God will do it – and for some reason He chooses not to give it to you, that’s when you walk by faith. You decide to still trust that God knows what He’s doing." – Jeremy Camp

So, this was our story. [I hope you aren't too traumatized!] One thing I feel passionately about is that everyone has their own story with different circumstances that make the "recovery time" a little different. Here were my circumstances:

Back then, I didn't have anyone I knew personally that had gone through a similar experience. I knew people who had miscarriages, but it wasn't the same thing. I'm not saying what I went through was harder - because I know losing a baby is hard no matter when or how it happens - but it really would have helped knowing other people went through the same thing. The physical pain, the delivery, etc.

Logan and I had been married for less than 7 months when we lost Levi. And I know now how much of a miracle it is that we are still together. Nobody expects to deal with that kind of thing, much less in the first year of marriage. And I will honestly tell you that it, along with our trying-to-conceive journey, has made a lot of things hard in our marriage - sex, to be specific. But that's a topic for another day. [Okay, honestly, I probably won't ever write about that - our parents do read this. ;)]

This one can't be helped, and I know some of my friends who have yet to conceive a child deal with the same thing, but...babies are everywhere. Pregnant bellies, ultrasound pictures, babies, kids - you just can't escape all of it. And unfortunately it can be a reminder of what you lost or don't yet have. I had several friends pregnant at the same time as me, so that meant they were still pregnant while I was not. It was definitely bittersweet, because I was happy for them...but it was hard seeing people with what I lost.

Another thing that made it hard was the fact that it was our first baby. I know if I lose another baby it will still be hard, but there's no doubt in my mind that having Landon will make it just a tad bit easier - I won't have those questions like, "Will I ever have a healthy baby?" "What if we won't have anymore biological children?"

But then I know it's also hard to lose babies when you already have children because then you have to explain it to them. I can't imagine what it'd be like to have to explain to your children that they won't get to meet their new baby brother or sister after all, because now he/she is with Jesus. I can't imagine.

I also can't imagine trying several months or years to get pregnant, only to lose that "miracle baby." Seriously, I can't imagine. I got pregnant with Levi 2 months after we got married, and that was hard enough!

I should also mention that in a way, Logan and I are blessed in the fact that we knew we were having a boy, and we did get to see him - although not in the way we expected. Women who lose babies early on don't always know if the baby was a boy or girl, and I'm assuming that only adds to the pain.

The point I'm making is that we all have our own unique story with different circumstances. That's part of the reason why that phrase "I know what you're going through" is not exactly my favorite. Yes, we may be able to relate to each other, but nobody ever knows everything a person is going through. We only know when they tell us their story....and we listen.

What's your story? I'd love to hear :)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Levi's Story: Part 4

Read Part 1, 2, and 3 right here.

A couple hours later, I started to wake up. Everything was blurry, and I remember being back in the room where I had spent the entire night. Logan was sitting in the chair on one side of me, and a blonde woman (the day shift nurse, come to find out) was standing on the other side of the bed. After my eyes were open for a second, everything that had happened that night came back to me, and I closed my eyes again. I didn’t want to wake up and think about how my son was gone…the son I never got to meet. The anesthesia was still lingering in my system, so I let myself fall back asleep.

When I finally woke up for good, Logan and the nurse (I'll call her Jackie) were still looking at me as if they had been waiting for me to wake up. I realized I was now wearing a nasal cannula for oxygen as well as a pulse oximeter to measure my oxygen saturation. My catheter was still in and so was the IV. It felt a bit surreal to be hooked up to everything like that, since I had never been hospitalized before. My oxygen level was fine, so it didn’t take me long to take off the oxygen and pulse oximeter (I know, nurses are the worst patients). Logan’s parents, Michael, Lindsey, and Max all came in the room to see how I was doing.

I’m not sure how long it was after I woke up, but Jackie explained that we could hold Levi’s body if we wanted. There was no doubt in our mind that we wanted to see our son. As the nurse left the room to get Levi, I had all these thoughts going through my head. What was he going to look like? Would I be freaked out? Could I handle it? I knew what happened to a body once a person died, especially after a few hours, but I didn’t know what to expect with my own son’s body.

Everyone decided that Logan and I should have some time to ourselves, so they left us alone when Jackie returned with Levi. She handed him to me, wrapped up in a blanket with a cap on his head. Logan was next to me as I held my son’s body and cried. He looked like he was sleeping, and I wanted more than anything for him to just wake up, as if everything was normal. It didn’t seem real – a few hours ago I was 5 months pregnant, and now I was holding my dead son.

After Logan held Levi, I composed myself enough so our family could come back in. We took turns holding him for awhile, and Lindsey took some pictures (Thankfully I always have my camera in my purse...this was before everyone had smartphones). I was holding Levi, and Logan was next to me. It was our first (and only) family picture. I wanted to smile, and I tried to, but I just couldn’t. I remember thinking about how it wasn’t supposed to be like this – delivering a stillborn baby and taking a picture where you didn’t feel like smiling. In my head, I pictured us having a normal birth with a healthy baby in our arms. I wanted a happy family picture. But that, of course, wasn’t going to happen.

One of the hospital’s chaplains came in to say some encouraging words. She was very kind and even came back later on to offer Logan and I some advice to protect our marriage in the future. We truly appreciated it.

We let the nurse take Levi’s body away after a little while. We informed her about my parents coming, so she said she could bring his body back when they arrived. It took a couple more hours until my parents got there, so Logan brought me something to eat, and Logan’s parents brought me some new clothes.

Dr. H stopped by to see how we were doing, and he explained how he thought I had a placental abruption, due to the huge blood clot he found under the placenta. I was instructed not to do much of anything for 3 weeks, including working. Dr. H said my body would recover more quickly than my mind, which is completely true. He explained the possible causes for the abruption (including an incompetent cervix, imagine that) and said he wanted me to see the high-risk OB/GYN.

It was a lot of information to take in, but Dr. H took his time and answered all of our questions. He also said to wait about 6 months to try to conceive again. That freaked me out, because I really didn’t want to wait that long – and neither did Logan. We were supposed to have a baby in 4 months, and now we were supposed to wait 6 months to even try to get pregnant again? I asked Dr. H if it would be a bad thing to get pregnant before 6 months had passed. Since he could tell we didn’t like the idea of waiting that long, he said to wait at least 3 months, because my uterus needs time to recover. That made me feel a little bit better. He knew my parents were on their way, so he told us to visit for awhile and that he’d be back before dinner to discharge me.

My parents got to the hospital after lunch sometime – I don’t think I had ever been so glad to see them. They both hugged me, and my mom and I tearfully said how we had never expected things to end like this. Once I made it to the second trimester, we both had breathed a sigh of relief in a sense since we knew the chances of miscarrying after that was much lower. But here we were.

After a minute, I asked my parents, “Do you want to see him?” They did, of course, so we had the nurse bring us Levi’s body again. It was somewhat easier this time, but I still was just wishing he’d wake up and be a normal little baby. We looked at all of his little limbs and body parts, and pointed out whom he took after. We decided his nose, chin, and thighs were from me, while his arms and hands were from Logan. Levi really was a beautiful baby, despite not being completely matured. Logan’s mom even told us, “At least we know y’all make beautiful babies.” We only wished we could have seen him at full-term.

Dr. H came back to the room just before 6:00 p.m. to give me my prescriptions and reiterate everything from before. He also explained things again for my parents to hear. We didn’t waste any time leaving, because Logan and I were both ready to go home. Logan was going to stop on the way home to get my prescriptions filled, so I rode with my parents to our house. Jackie wheeled me to the parking garage and waited until my dad drove up. We expressed our gratitude to Jackie for everything, and she said how she hoped we’d be back next year - in better circumstances, of course. [Funny story - Jackie was actually my nurse when I had my cerclage done during my pregnancy with Landon...almost 2 years later.]

As soon as I climbed in the backseat and we drove off, it suddenly hit me that I was no longer pregnant. I wasn’t bringing home a baby boy. Levi wasn’t with me anymore. The tears came as we rode home in silence. I was thankful that it was dark outside so that nobody could see me crying and also that nobody was in a talkative mood. I didn’t want to talk. As soon as we got home, I took a shower and cried even more. I couldn’t believe it was happening to me. I kept wishing I’d just wake up from a very long and terrible dream. But I didn’t, because it was all very real.

One more! To be continued

Friday, October 18, 2013

Photo Friday: goofy kid, yeah

Y'all, this is one of his favorite things to do now. Scribble on paper.

Landon was going crazy right before bed one night, and poor Marley was the victim.
They crack us up sometimes.
He was stuck, obviously, and was not happy about it...but he did smile for the picture when I asked. And once I helped him out he proceeded to get stuck again...and again...and again....

Movie time with Mommy


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