Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 - How I Want to Hate You

2014...

Easily the worst year of mine and my husband's entire life.  But, on the other hand, a year that brought us the most happiness we've ever experienced. 

The year started off January 3rd with a non-responsive and cancelled IUI.  February brought us our third IUI.  March, another non-responsive and cancelled IUI.  So far, 2014, you have sucked.

April brought us something to look forward to, as we started moving, although very slowly, towards IVF.  May, we began injections and were filled with hope! 

June was easily the happiest month of our entire lives.  June 1, we transferred two 3-day embryos back to momma, and got our first glance of Itty & Bitty, when they were just 6 cells and 8 cells.  June 10th, I got my BFP!  June 11th, after the lines got darker on my test, I told Dusty the wonderful news.  June 12th, we got the results back from my beta and had an amazingly strong number and wondered if both embryos "stuck".  June 15th, 2nd beta confirmed the embryo(s) was(were) growing!  June 27th, we had our first ultrasound and saw two sacks.  We were overjoyed! 

July started amazingly, as on July 2nd, we saw two heartbeats.  We couldn't have been happier.  We were never scared about having twins, not even for a second! 

July then took a downward turn, as late in July, Dusty was basically told he had 30 days until he'd be fired.  Then, in August, Dusty was fired.  Pregnant with twins, and now our income would be nearly cut in half.  We were scared, but had faith God would take care of us and something would work out.

September was rough, as Dusty was interviewing and searching for a job constantly, but never got good news.  We still had faith, and knew something would work out.  But, September also brought our gender reveal party, on September 14th, where we told our family what we had found out on September 5th, we were having a boy and a girl!  We were so happy!  I couldn't wait to buy little girl dresses and cute boy clothes!!  Our family was thrilled.  It was perfect!

October started off incredible.  Our babies were growing and doing amazing!  I got promoted at work, which was completely unexpected.  Then, early in October, Dusty was offered a job.  We were thrilled.  Life was back on track, thank God.  Everything was going to be great. 

Then...October 20th came.  We met our sweet babies that day.  Months early.  Two months shy of my Christmas Day goal.  October 21st, sweet Paisley went to Heaven.  Hours later, October 22nd, strong Chandler followed.  Our world has been so dark since then. 

I can't even tell you what has happened since October.  Dusty and I have fought to keep our faith; to trust God has a plan.  We've cried countless tears.  We've died inside.  We've struggled to find hope.  But, we've been lifted up by family and friends.  We've met amazing, Godly people that I know have been introduced to us for a very specific reason.  We've found a deeper relationship with God.  Somehow, we've managed to continue to breathe.

As my SIL posted on Facebook today, this year has been bittersweet.  The bitter has been much stronger than the sweet, but I'm so glad to have met and held me & Dusty's beautiful babies.  I wouldn't trade that for anything in the world, although I'd give up everything to have our babies here, instead of waiting for us in Heaven.  In chatting with a friend who also lost her baby in October, we talked about how we feel like turning the page and starting another year is leaving our babies behind, but it isn't.  Nothing will ever cause us to leave our babies behind.  Instead, we're just moving one day closer to seeing our babies again.

Not any different than I've ended each year since 2012, I am hoping next year brings us happiness. 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Chandler and Paisley's Christmas

Well, Christmas is passed.  We survived it, somehow, someway.  Barely, at times.  I know friends were praying for us, lifting us up.  We couldn't have made it without that.

Our first Christmas as parents...Chandler and Paisley's first Christmas...in Heaven.

This certainly isn't how we thought we'd be spending this Christmas.  As I said in my previous post, we thought this Christmas would be full of presents for the babies, and probably even be spent in the hospital. 

We weren't even planning to put up a Christmas tree this year, but after a little nudge from my good friend Sarah, along with two beautiful ornaments she got us with our babies' names on them, we decided to put up a Chandler & Paisley tree. We got a white tree, and pink and blue lights.  Our neighbor, whose friend ended up retouching our Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep pictures had the photographer make for us a beautiful silver ornament with their picture on it.  We slowly collected more ornaments for the babies, even baby's first Christmas ornaments, which were really hard to buy, but we did, because our babies are real, and this is their first Christmas, it is just in Heaven, not here. 


 


A few weeks ago, we received one of the most touching gifts.  We came home and had received a card and a package from the NICU.  The card was filled with the sweetest messages from the NICU nurses and doctor.  I stood in the kitchen and just cried and cried reading their sweet messages.  I couldn't believe it, how very sweet of the nurses and doctor to take time to send that to us.  And then, we opened the package.  When we opened it, I couldn't believe it.  There were the sweetest, most beautiful shoes, pink and blue, for Chandler and Paisley.  Then I turned them over and absolutely lost it.  On the back, somebody had written their names, date of birth, length and weight, and the best part, their nicknames!  They even got their nicknames right, with Chandler being Bitty and Paisley being Itty.  How in the world the NICU remembered, or even knew, I have no idea.  We will cherish these ornaments forever.  They are absolutely beautiful, and the most touching gift.  Words are completely inadequate to describe how touched we are by that gift. 



 
Our Christmas Day, Dusty and I were home by ourselves.  We finished tying ribbons on teddy bears for Holy Sews (I'll post more about this later).  Then, we baked cookies to take to the NICU nurses and doctors.  I thought I may have a breakdown going into the NICU unit, but managed to hold it together.  It did bring back such a horrible flood of memories.  Pushing the button to call in to ask for the doors to be unlocked, where we typically answered that we were there to visit Chandler and Paisley, then saying we were there to visit Chandler, oh how that hurt when we had to answer like that.  I remember I even started to say "and Paisley" after saying Chandler's name. 
 
Somehow, I didn't panic, I made it.  And I'm so glad we did that.  I think Dusty and I have found a new Christmas tradition.  In some way, it helped bring us comfort.       


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

When there is no Merry in your Christmas

Merry - Full of cheerfulness or gaiety; joyous in disposition or spirit

It is Christmas time.  I usually love this time of year.  I love seeing all of the beautiful Christmas lights.  I love singing (even though I can't sing) the Christmas songs and celebrating Jesus' birth at church.  I love spending time with family.  I love getting & sending Christmas cards.

This year, I just want it all to be over.  I can't even really muster up the ability to tell anyone "Merry" Christmas.  It just hurts too much.  So most of my messages have said something like, I hope you have a good Christmas.  There is no merry in my Christmas. 

Last Christmas was supposed to be our last Christmas without presents under the tree for our children.  Starting this year, we were supposed to have children to spoil rotten, because, well, we finally had children and we didn't care about spoiling them.  Instead of toys, we have bought mementos to help keep our children's memories alive.  Instead of clothes, we bought our children a headstone. 

At the shower my work threw for us, we played a game where we guessed what day I would deliver.  Given that I was pregnant with twins, we had a three month range, December, January and February.  Dusty guessed I would deliver on Christmas day, he was convinced we'd be celebrating Christmas in the hospital and we didn't care at all!

I guessed December 29th.  Mom guessed Valentine's Day.  Nobody guessed October 20th.  October wasn't even an option.  October never should have been an option.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

God-things...and I may be a crazy lady....

You know those times when you think about a certain person you haven't talked to for years, and then you run into that person out of the blue?  Or when somebody brings up a subject matter you've been meaning to ask them about, but kept putting off?  If you're like me, you probably say or think to yourself, what a coincidence! 

But...is it really?  What about the times when it isn't "just a coincidence"? 

When times are dark, and you feel God has abandoned you, you have to look for him, wherever he may show himself to you.  Let me tell you, times don't get any darker than when you've delivered your children into this world and you leave the hospital without them.  It doesn't get any darker than when you've just made the decision to hold your children in your arms as they take their last tiny little breath, and their little hearts beat their last beats.  That, that is the absolute darkest.  I can say, I have been to hell and back. 

With that being said, I have found myself seeing God's work where I probably wouldn't have noticed it, or looked for it, before.  I've had so many "God-things" happen that I am sure I can't even remember all of them.  Some have been more powerful than others.  Some couldn't be more obvious.  Some, I don't think I can even do justice by explaining here, but I'm still going to try, because I don't want to forget them.

First, there has been the love of God displayed through the Godly people that Dusty and I are surrounded by.  We had so many family members & friends visit and bring us food while we were there.  April was there by my side the entire time.  Eric and April helped take care of things at our house.  My aunt and uncle got my mom there as soon as possible the day the babies were born.  Eric and April took care of getting mom back and forth, even at 2:00 am when sweet Chandler was passing away.  We had countless people from across the states posting about our sweet babies, asking for prayers for them.  The network of people that have prayed for us and our babies is absolutely overwhelming. 

Then, after we were home, friends continued to bring us meals.  Once our friends ended bringing meals to us, a sweet family in our neighborhood organized dinners for us, from other amazing families in our neighborhood.  Most of which, we hadn't even met.  Given that we don't have children, we've not really met people in our neighborhood.  We don't go to the pool (mostly because we go to Eric and April's) and we don't join the movie night, which is where we'd likely meet a lot of neighbors.  But, nonetheless, the most Godly family reached out to us, and asked if they could arrange for neighbors to bring us meals.  This was such a blessing and so incredibly thoughtful.  We've met and become friends with so many neighbors.  Although I absolutely hate the reason why, I am so grateful for meeting them and the friendships we've developed.  Through this, I've told our story, learned of others' struggles with child loss and infertility, and become friends with amazing neighbors that have reached out to us, sat with us at church, and prayed for us.  Growing up, this type of thing happened in my tiny hometown, but was something I had always thought I'd miss when moving to a larger town.  It was incredible to see how great the people are in our neighborhood!

Through this, I met a women in our neighborhood whose daughter passed away a few years ago from anencephaly.  Her precious daughter lived around 30 hours.  Neighbors had told us earlier in the week about her daughter, and I was looking forward to meeting her.  On her night to bring us a meal, she had to drop it off before my husband and I were home.  We came home to find it on our doorstep.  In the basket, she also included a card telling a little bit of her family's loss, and two books, Have Heart and Heaven is for Real.  I found her on facebook and messaged her, thanking her for the meal.  We messaged back and forth, and exchanged phone numbers. 

{This next part is where the crazy lady in me (see title) comes to light in this story}

The next morning, Dusty left for Charlotte for an overnight business trip.  This would be my first night home alone since losing the babies.  Let me tell you, I turned into a certifiable crazy lady that morning that Dusty left for the airport.  I think I had my first ever anxiety attack.  I suddenly had this overwhelming fear our house would burn down and we'd lose our babies' ashes, and the other tangible memories we have of our babies.  So...doing what any crazy lady would do, I may or may not have taken a cute little giftbox which my sweet friend Sarah had given us ornaments in a few days before, and replaced the ornaments with our babies ashes...and their teddy bears...and their ultrasound pictures...and their petri dish.  Then said to myself, I am crazy, but that didn't stop me.  I then decided I couldn't just take the white box to work with me.  It needed a ribbon tied around it, of course...so, I took the ribbon off of a bouquet of flowers and tied it in a pretty bow around the box, and decided if anyone asked, I'd just say it was a gift I had received.  Nobody needed to know I was carrying around my children's ashes for fear of my house burning down.  Right???  Told you, certifiable...

Well, about lunch time that day, I was still incredibly anxious.  I then get a text from our neighbor, who brought us dinner the night before and at this point, I still hadn't met, only messaged on facebook.  Her text told me that when she was praying for me that morning, a certain verse came to her mind, which was Philippians 4:5-7, which says, The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with Thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Seriously?  The day I have my first ever anxiety attack, she sends me a verse about anxiety?  How incredible was that?  I just couldn't believe it when I read that text.

I ended up telling my neighbor how much her text meant to me and how I was very anxious because of my husband being out of town.  She invited me to stop by her house that evening.  I ran home from work and grabbed her dishes and ran over to her house.  It was so nice to sit and talk with her.  I showed her a couple of Paisley's pictures and told her we were waiting on Chandler's, and Chandler and Paisley's together to get back from the Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep (NILMDTS) photographer.  She asked me if the photographer was a woman named Lisa, which is wasn't. but little did I know I'd soon meet this photographer. 

So, speaking of NILMDTS, several weeks had passed and we still didn't have Chandler's & Chandler and Paisley's pictures back.  Different photographers took their pictures, and the photographer that took Paisley's sent them back to us the next day.  The photographer that took Chandler's and theirs together said his pictures were still being retouched the first time I checked in with him.  I was worried that Paisley's pictures weren't going to be the same quality as Chandler's and theirs together because we got Paisley's back so quickly.  Well, at the 4 week mark, I checked in with him again, and found out then that he thought he'd sent them to the retoucher, but hadn't.  He then told me that another photographer would be contacting me regarding Paisley's pictures.  Shortly after I got that message, I got a call from the other photographer, and it was Lisa that my neighbor had mentioned.  She told me she now had Chandler's pictures, and the pictures of them together, and asked that I send her Paisley's and said if there was more she could to in touching them up, she would. 

Later that same evening, I got a text from Lisa saying that she knew our story and name sounded familiar, and she had got a text from her friend asking her to pray for our babies the day they were born.  It turns out, her friend that texted her was the same neighbor that I had visited with a few nights before!  How incredible is it that so many people were praying for our babies?  People we hadn't even met at the time, and so many that we still haven't, and so many that I'm sure I don't even know of!

Several very Godly friends have also told us they truly believe God has a plan for us to have children here.  I truly believe God has given them these words and compelled them to express this to us right now in our time of need, so that we remember that and focus on that when things seem so dark and hopeless.  Somewhat related to that, the doctor told me he hoped he didn't need to do a c-section because I may lose my uterus if he did.  I think the fact that he didn't have to do a c-section shows that God has a plan.  I will need my uterus. 

I have a really close friend (Sarah that I mentioned above) who has been texting and checking in on me on a very regular basis.  She shared with me an excerpt from her devotional she is currently reading.  The devotional for that day was about Elizabeth and Zacharias and how after decades of being barren, Elizabeth conceived her son, when it seemed impossible.  That same week, in another book I'm reading, that day's lesson was about God doing the impossible for us, and also spoke of Elizabeth and Zacharias.  The following Sunday, at the service we attended, the preacher preached about how God can do the impossible, and also spoke of Elizabeth and Zacharias.  Three times in one week, Elizabeth and Zacharias' story was delivered to me.  I'm going to pray God wasn't telling me it'll be decades before we have children here, and instead, focus on how God can do the impossible, and often times, Dusty and I having children and being happy seems pretty impossible to me.

Another God-thing which involves Sarah again - She and I went to lunch recently, and I was expressing to her my fear of not having children here, how I was so scared that maybe it isn't in God's plan for Dusty and I to have children here.  She was brutally honest with me and called me on the fact that I just wasn't trusting God.  I wasn't letting go of control and believing in His plan for us.  I knew I was struggling with that, but just hadn't come face-to-face with it until she said that to me while we were eating lunch together the Friday before last.  Well, I've never had God scream at me any louder than he did the following Sunday.  At church that very Sunday, my preacher preached about how we must trust God through difficult and trying times.  I mean, really?  Was that not God just screaming at me or what?  It couldn't have been more obvious!  I felt compelled to go to the altar and pray during invitation.  The preacher asked his wife to come and pray with me, as did another friend I've gone to church with my entire life.  The preacher then asked my husband to come up front, and prayed with Dusty while I prayed at the altar.  For several days after that, I can't even describe the peace that I felt.  Unfortunately, doubt and fear can easily sink back in and take a hold of me, and since then, the peace I felt has somewhat waned, but it is something I try to remember.

Although it is still a challenge to trust God's plan, I have to focus on trusting God, and remember all of these God-things, as hard as it is at times.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Why I Can't Give Up

Here is the reason why I can't give up.  The reason why I must keep fighting for the family that Dusty and I want.











This man, the love of my life, my rock, my everything, he deserves to be a daddy to children here.  I will do everything possible to make that happen.

I love you, Chandler & Paisley's daddy.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

October 20, 2014 ~ Part 2

On Monday morning, I had my previously scheduled appointment.  They were seeing me every 3 weeks, and my last regular appointment had been on 9/29, when we had our 20 week ultrasound.  My appointment was at 9:15, and when I got there, I didn't have to wait very long to be taken back. 

As I got in the room, I told the nurse I was concerned about my discharge, and also said I was afraid I may have a UTI, since I had got up to go to the bathroom 9 times the night before, and some of the times, nothing really came out but I still felt like I needed to go.  The nurse had me "undress from the waist down" (I can't even tell you how many times I have heard that at the doctor's office...I practically have their whole thing memorized and can tell you exactly where they keep everything in the exam rooms, as well as what room is used by whom and for what...anyway...), and she said the doctor would want to check my discharge to make sure it wasn't amniotic fluid and probably have me give a sample to check for a UTI.

The doctor came in a few minutes later and I began telling him my worries.  He had me lay back and measured my tummy.  Then, he listened to the babies' heart beats.  I wish now I could remember what they were.  I think Chandler's was 150 something and Paisley's was 160 something, but I can't remember.  I remember thinking, good, both sound great!

Then, the doctor checked my discharge, and it was negative for amniotic fluid.  Dr. H then said something like, let me just check you.  He then said, Oh, you're dilated to a 4 and I feel one of the baby's head. 

In that moment, my whole world crashed down.  Everything from that moment on is a blur, a thick fog, that to this day, I can't see through. 

He sat me up, and began explaining to me that he was admitting me, I'd be laid "upside" down, to take the pressure off, to keep my water from breaking, and hopefully, I wouldn't dilate any more. 

I suddenly needed to throw up.  I looked around the room frantically for a trash can.  I couldn't see one, and then felt silly because I already knew where it was, in the little "changing room" within the room.  Out of reach.  I tried to take a deep breath and get past the need to throw up.  As quickly as that passed, I then began to feel like I was going to pass out.  I remember looking at Dr. H and his nurse and saying, I have to lay down.  I laid down and felt all of the blood rush from my head, and the cold sweat begin.  They came over and fanned me, while telling me something.  I have absolutely no idea what. 

Once I was able to sit up again, Dr. H left the room to make a call to the high risk OBGYN and the doctor on call.  His nurse helped me get dressed.  Another nurse brought a wheel chair to take me downstairs to admit me.  I remember asking Dr. H's nurse "if these things ever turn out ok".  She said she'd seen them be ok.  Dr. H heard me, as I think I was out in the hallway at that point, and he said something like, let's focus on the positive, you're only at a 4, and your water hasn't broke. 

As I was being wheeled downstairs, I sent a text to my sister-in-law asking her to come to the hospital.  She wrote back and said she'd be there immediately.  After that, I called my mom and asked her to come.  I still to this day, do not remember that conversation at all.  I have no idea what I said to mom, how she even knew where I was, or anything.  I can't remember it at all.  I just know that it seemed like she was there in no time, even though she had at least an hour long drive. 

I do remember though, after sitting there, being admitted and deciding I needed to call Dusty.  It was Dusty's very first day of work at his new job.  I didn't want to bother him.  I was scared to call.  I didn't want his new bosses to think he had a needy wife and one that bothered him.  I finally decided to call and told Dusty what was happening.  I told him I'd be fine.  I'd see him at 5:00.  There was no need for him to come, after all, I was planning to be there in the hospital for weeks.  I was going to be there until our babies were big enough to come out.  It was no hurry. 

Next, I was wheeled to a room and April (my sister-in-law) was there when I got in the bed.  She held my hand.  I think she held my hand that entire day.  I couldn't have done it without her.  I don't think I knew how scared I was at the time. 

Once I was in the bed, they hooked me up to three monitors.  One for each baby and one for contractions.  The contraction monitor wasn't picking up on anything, which I felt good about.  Then, I had to answer all kinds of paperwork and questions, and signed what felt like 50 pages worth of information.  The nurse, which happened to be the exact same one I posted about here, told me I'd have to do it all again every 7 days.  That was frustrating, but I didn't care, as long as my babies were inside me.  (This nurse would later be the only way I got through delivery, which will be in a later post)


At some point, I started telling April how I had started feeling what I thought was the babies' pushing out on my tummy.  The nurse was standing there, and asked me to tell her the next time that happened.  It happened just a minute later, and she felt on my tummy when that happened, and told me those were contractions.  I felt devastated.  She adjusted my contraction monitor.  Shortly after that, I remember my mom arrived.  My mom got on one side of my bed and held my hand, and my sister-in-law was on the other, holding my hand and watching the contraction monitor print-out.  We'd soon realize, although they were light, I was having contractions every 3 minutes.  I have never, ever tried so hard to will my body to do something, to stop having contractions.  Shortly after that, they started me on a high dose of magnesium to try to stop the contractions. 

I laid in the bed shaking uncontrollably.  I wasn't cold, but shook like I had chills.  I couldn't believe my body was betraying me like it was.  I think at one point, they increased the dose of magnesium, but it had no effect on my body.

The ultrasound tech came into our room and I remember staring at the ultrasound screen, seeing my sweet babies were fine, with good, strong heartbeats.  This was the same tech who we saw when I visited the emergency room on September 5, who was the very one who told us that our sweet Bitty, baby A, was a boy, and sassy baby B was a girl.  She didn't talk to us much during this ultrasound.  It was a much different circumstance.  How I wish she could have printed pictures to give us. 

Having ignored my instructions, Dusty showed up during the ultrasound.  I remember he walked in and I reassured him that the babies were fine.  Thank goodness he ignored me and came to the hospital, as the outcome was so much different than what I had thought.

The memories get much harder to bring myself to type from this point on.  I want to post about it, I want to remember the details of the day I gave birth to our beautiful babies.  I will...eventually.  

Love to you all.   



Thursday, December 4, 2014

I Fight the Devil


Every.Single.Day. 
I fight satan when he places negativity in my head.  I fight him when guilt starts to set in and I feel like I let my babies down.  I fight satan when my thoughts wander to the fear of never having children here to raise. 
I am exhausted.  I am beat.  My body is physically tired from trying to stay strong and not give in.  My heart hurts.  My muscles are sore.  I am tired.  I am worn out.
I want my precious, beautiful babies back.  I want them in my belly, growing, kicking each other, fighting for room.  I want Chandler and Paisley. 
Even if I could, after they have experienced Heaven and all its glory, I wouldn’t bring them back.  That would be mean and devastating to them. 
I went for my 6 week follow-up yesterday.  I didn’t have any horror stories like other women have gone through where the nurse asked them how their babies were, nothing like that.  I don’t even really know what I did have, but whatever it was, it upset me.  It threw me into a very dark place that I am trying to fight and stay away from.
I knew I needed to give my body time to heal before trying again.  I fully expected there to be a delay in when I would be able to try again.  Our doctor asked us when we wanted to try again.  We told her as soon as it was ok.  She said 4-6 months, with 4 months being the very minimum.  I went into the appointment expecting 3-6 months.  It’s not like I heard much different.  But when she said 4-6, I felt so upset.  I really don’t know why. 
We asked her if at 4 months, we could try a frozen embryo transfer (FET).  She said maybe, but she’d need to check with Sarah at the IVF clinic and let us know.  I then asked her the protocol for doing the FET, and she said it differs.  She then gave an example where it basically took 9 embryos to get one pregnancy.  That scares me.  We only have 3 embryos. 
Honestly, I don’t know what upset me so much.  But after telling my friend Liz about it, she helped me see what it was.  We need a timeline when having to go through infertility treatments, and when I got the timeline from her, it wasn’t exactly what I expected and that upset me, along with the fear about the FET success rate. 
I’ve been fighting for so long.  Fighting to be happy.  Fighting to have children.  Fighting for what so many people take for granted.  It isn’t fair at all!  And I’m not getting any younger.  The clock is ticking…in fact, I think the alarm is going off now.  Last night, I broke down.  It became too much.  I fought with Dust as he asked me to take my prenatal vitamins like the doctor said I should (I’ve continued the folic acid, but couldn’t bring myself to take the prenatal vitamin) and became stubborn and wouldn’t take it.  I said there was no point in taking it.  I was ready to give up.  Last night, I felt like there was no point at all, to anything.  I said that Dusty and I are never going to have more children, so why pretend like we may. 
At times, I feel like God is never going to give us the children we desire, the happiness we long for.  After all, we had that.  We were doubly blessed.  We had never been happier.  And then, God allowed it to all be taken away.  Why?  And why would God give us children now?  He already did and decided to take them away.  How am I supposed to put any faith, any trust at all, in God? 

Then, this morning, I realized that was satan.  I was letting satan win this battle with me when I say things like that. 
Recently, I’ve connected with another girl who lost her baby boy a few days before I delivered Chandler and Paisley.  She and I have been trying to keep each other lifted up.  She sent me a link to a Joel Osteen podcast yesterday, and I didn’t listen to it until today.  In it, Joel talks about how we have to speak positively.  How we have to say that all is well.  When we speak positively, we are prophesying what will be our future.  When we say all is well, we show God that we are trusting him to turn what was meant to harm us into good.  As hard as that is right now, I need to remember that, and try my best to stay positive when I’m tempted to turn my back on God, as I feel he’s done with me, even though I know that isn’t true. 
Then, this morning, as I started this post, my friend Sarah sent me a link to this song, Worn, by Tenth Avenue North.  Just wow…this song is me right now.  I’m so glad Sarah shared with me.  And how fitting while I was in the middle of typing this post, where I began with stating how exhausted, how worn out I am.
The lyrics say:

“I’m tired, I’m worn
My heart is heavy
From the work it takes
To keep on breathing…
…Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause I’m worn
I know I need to lift my eyes up
But I’m too weak
Life just won’t let up…
My prayers are wearing thin…
Even before the day begins…
I’ve lost my will to fight…”

This song couldn’t say it better.  I’m so tired of fighting with everything I have.  I know I have to.  But, I thought we were past this fight.  I thought we’d been blessed with beautiful, healthy twins.  A boy and a girl.  One for each of us to hold onto tight.  How do I place my trust in God when he’s let us down? 
I know, more than anything else, I have to keep trusting.  I can’t get bitter, I can’t get down, I can’t get negative.
It’s so hard.  I’m trying, but I’m so worn.  

Monday, December 1, 2014

Where is God?

God is great, God is good, God does not wish to see His children hurting. 

Right?  Isn't that what we've all been taught? 

So, where was God?  Why did He let me go into preterm labor?  Why didn't He stop it?  Why did He allow our precious, beautiful children, gifts He gave us, be born at 22 weeks, much too early to survive?  Why didn't He let them continue to be miracles, and prove He can overcome anything?  I truly believed they were going to defy the odds, they were going to show that God really is capable of all things.  I believed that with every ounce of my being.  They already were miracles, conceived through what God has allowed modern science to achieve, spending their first few days in a petri dish, before coming home to their mommy.  Why wouldn't their miraculous story continue?  Why would God not allow them to be a living testimony of His amazing power and beat their chances of survival, which were less than 1%? 

I don't know. 

I don't think I will ever know this side of Heaven. 

Why does God allow bad things to happen to His followers?  Wouldn't it make more sense that bad things happen to those who don't love God?  Why allow those who love Him to suffer? 

Is it that God is mean? There are times in the past 6 weeks when I have boldly said that. God is mean. God's mean to allow our dreams to come true and then rip it from us. Well...it sure feels that way. But, I know, deep down, He isn't mean. God hurts for us. We are His children, and seeing us hurt also hurts Him. I think of the way my sweet mother is hurting right now, not only for the deaths of Chandler and Paisley, but for the pain that Dusty and I are going through. She hurts so badly. God has to feel the same. Which just circles back to, why did He allow this to happen? Why wasn't there another way? 

The only conclusion is, that is not faith.  If all of us that call ourselves Christians and follow God always had a peachy, sunshine filled lives, what is the point of needing faith?  It's easy to trust God when everything is perfect and nothing is a challenge.  However, what that doesn't lend itself to is reaching others for Christ, or the opportunity to glorify Him. 

What kind of example would we be to others that don't follow Christ if we never had trouble and never were given the "opportunity" to display our faith?  If we never have challenges, never have worries, then how do we ever reach others?  How do we show we continue to believe in our God during our hard times?  How do we set that example?

We can't.  So, that has to be the reason why God allows these times, as horrible as they are. 

I'm not going to lie and say that brings me complete comfort.  It doesn't.  I still want my babies back more than the air I breathe.  I still think God can be glorified in other ways.  It didn't need to take this.  But, for whatever reason, this is the cross we were given to bear.  And bear it, we must.  Somehow, someway.  And we have to know that one day, in Heaven, we will see our babies again. 

October 20, 2014 ~ Part 1

As I sit here, I know what I am writing this post about.  I want to tell our babies' birth story.  I don't know if I can.  As I type this, I feel sick to my stomach.  I am fighting the tears.  I want to shut my laptop lid and not think about this, and maybe somehow, someway, it will make it not real.

But...I can't.  No matter how many times I've pray and asked God to please rewind back to a few days before I gave birth to our children, pleading with Him, telling him that only He and I need to know, it isn't going to happen.  Nothing is going to change the fact that we lost our babies.  They aren't coming back. 

So, no matter how painful it is, I want to document their birth.  Their birth story should have happened in December, at the earliest, and should have been the happiest day of mine and my husband's life.  Instead, the day we became mom & dad was a day filled with heartbreak, anxiety and fear. 

I'll start by saying, a few days before the 20th, I began noticing what I thought was the babies moving for the first time.  In fact, I even did a post about it, that I was waiting to publish.  That post will never be published now.  I thought the babies were pushing out on my tummy.  I would get bumps, or hard lumps, where our babies had been at their previous ultrasound.  I joked to Dust that they were pushing out on me and saying, Hey mommy, we need more room!  I now know those were contractions. 

Also in the days before the 20th, I began noticing a little more discharge.  I'd had discharge the entire pregnancy, and honestly, couldn't tell if it really was increasing or not.  I was also worried I was maybe leaking a little urine too...I just thought that may happen a little with pregnancy, and given my belly being so big, I thought maybe that was happening. 

I started noticing my back and hips started to hurt a little as well, but figured with my belly the size it was, and carrying twins, this was nothing unusual.  My mom and I even had a conversation about it. 

Well, the weekend before the babies were born, Dusty and I worked on covering their dresser drawers with fabric that would match the fabric that was to be used to make their crib bedding.  I also made thank you cards and wrote out thank yous for my coworkers, as they'd thrown my work shower earlier that month.  I designed the thank you cards myself, to be gray chevron, with pink and blue carriages, and their names included as well.  It took me hours to line up the design so it printed perfectly on the thank you cards.  I joked to Dust that if anyone ever said I had no patience, I would talk about this day, when I worked on our babies' thank you cards for hours. 

Throughout the weekend, I remember feeling uneasy, but not so much so that I just laid around.  I do remember though, that I told Dusty I was really glad I had an appointment the next day because if I didn't, I would probably go in to ask about the discharge and the bumps, which I was convinced was movement.  In fact, we were so convinced, I would lift my shirt and show Dusty, and Dusty would kiss and touch the bump and tell Chandler and Paisley to be easy on me.  Oh how that memory hurts me so much now.

This is all I can post for now...this is just so hard.