Monday, December 31, 2012

Humor, Christmas list and my Husband

There's a song about a grown up Christmas list.  "No more lives torn apart, that wars would never start, that time would heal all hearts.  Everyone would have a friend, right would always win and love would never end.  This is my grown up Christmas list."

I missed Christmas this year.  My parents had a Christmas party the Sat before everything happened so I am thankful for that at least.  Christmas has always been very special to me.  A love passed down from my Nana, thru my Mom and to me.  This Christmas Eve I suffered a great loss and had surgery.  Christmas day was spent having a blood transfusion, watching someone else's blood go into my arm to make me better.  Creepy, gross and creepy!  I feel like I missed half a year, being sick for the most part since July.  Missing most of December in the hospital.  I would say I'm looking forward to a new year but I don't know if that would be accurate.  I'm just looking forward to a time I feel better.

Here is my Grown up Christmas list.  Imagine this was last week if you must, not New Years Eve.

1.  Healing.  Mind, body, soul.  Friendships, relationships, family.  So many people I love are hurting for so many different reasons.  Before all this happened there was deep hurt for many.  Through the loss of the boys some of those bridges were crossed and healing has started.  Not all though.  I pray that this will be a year of healing.  That egos, pride and hurts can be let go of.  That people can come back together.  That hearts, relationships and lives can be mended.

2. That humor will always take up such a big part of my life.  Jason is many things to me.  He is my very best friend, he is my strength, he is my heart.  He also makes me laugh when I most need it.  So many times when I was stuck in bed, he would come and lay beside me and we would talk and laugh until we had tears running down our faces.  That continued in the hospital.  One of the funniest things happened Christmas day.  I was having chest pains and was scared and he was laying in bed with me holding me.  A man walked in and Jason thought it was the dietary people delivering dinner so was prepared with the regular, just set it over there.  This man was someone the nurses deemed McSteamy, for good reason.  He wasn't there with a food tray, he was there to do an EKG.  I had on a tshirt and no bra.  Jason, having gone thru some EMT school, knew where McSteamy had to place the tabs.  My husband loves me.  A lot.  I have never in my life felt more valued, loved and appreciated than I do from this man.  He is also quite protective of me and will hurt anyone who looks at me wrong or inappropriately.  So I am laying on this bed, watching his reaction as this guy raises my shirt and connects me.  It wouldnt havent mattered if the guy was a troll, talk about uncomfortable.  That he wasn't a troll at all, very uncomfortable.  I wish I could have that on camera.  Jason trying so hard not to snatch the tabs and wires and do it himself.  As soon as McSteamy leaves, my mom comes running in the room to see if Jason was breathing or had the EKG guy by the throat.  Then the nurse comes in fawning all over the guy and Jason was not amused.  It was hilarious.  He handled it like a champ.

He did things for me during our hospital stay that no man should ever have to do for his wife.  I was crying at one point asking him, please still love me, please still think I'm sexy.  Being on complete bedrest he rose to the challenge.  We were in a labor and delivery room for the biggest part of our stay and the cabinets were stocked with dr gear.  He comes out at one point wearing a plastic surgery mask shield, cap and gloves.  He was the nurses favorite.  Of course.  Nearly everyday nurses that weren't mine would come in to see how we were doing and all complimented how Jason was always still there.  How most husbands were in and out and how he was always by my side.  I think he showed more than a few ladies what the true love of a husband looks like.  He was the dr's favorite.  Of course.  I love that man so much and know that laughter is healing and I know that God gave me him for so many reasons, him giving me deep belly laughter being one of the ones I love the most.

3.  The last year was the year of us getting pregnant.  The first 7 months was so emotional with IUI, IVF, tests, meds, shots, scans, appts.  Then pregnancy happened and it was sickness and appts and throwing up and worry.  We got what we wanted but it consumed us.  I don't know what this next year will bring.  It's hard to believe that we will celebrate our 2 year anniversary in a few months.  It feels like we've lived a lifetime together already.  I want this year to be the year of he and I.  Just loving each other, growing together, healing together and enjoying each other.  God will give us what we need along the way.  I pray that we can have a year of rest and a year of unexpected blessings that I know will come our way.

4. Shoes.  Haha, just kidding.

I knew we had a strong support system.  I have always had a very special relationship with my parents. When I went through so much so many years ago, they never left my side.  This was no exception.  My mom stayed at the hospital and got hardly any sleep.  Holding my hand, praying with me, talking to me, keeping me from going to a dark place, reminding me constantly of God's promises even in the midst of such loss.  Dad ran himself ragged doing chores and getting us whatever we needed.  My inlaws were so supportive, my family coming in from KY to just be here with us, My Nana coming to the hospital to hold my hand, my aunt and uncle staying with us.  So many friends, some I havent seen in 20+ years but connected with thru facebook lifting us up in prayer, sending me messages and texts of love and encouragement and hope.  Unexpected visits in the hospital.  Dr's that cried with us.  Nurses that held us and cried, got into bed with me to hold me, nurses that became friends.  People who have been on their knees in prayer for us.  Flowers, texts, calls.  We are absolutely overwhelmed with your love.  Thank you for standing with us.  I will never be able to tell you what that means to us.

I'm blessed.  Each day I feel myself getting a little bit stronger. I know when my physical being is healed that my emotional self will get stronger as well.  I am filled with sadness but also hope.  I am surrounded by such love that I can't stay down.  I have the most handsome of men holding my hand and dragging me, inch by inch, forward.

2013 won't bring what I expected but that doesn't mean that what it does bring can't be great.  I'm trusting and believing that this journey we are on will continue to take us on a path that grows us, molds us and makes us stronger.  I pray the same for you.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

In the meantime...

Right now I am back in the meantime.  It's not someplace I missed.

I don't understand anything that has happened.  I know I'm not meant to but as someone who likes to have things wrapped up in a neat little bow, none of this makes sense and I have to fight to keep the anger away.

I don't know what the purpose of the past 3 weeks is.  I never lost hope.  I never lost faith.  I still haven't.  In the midst of the greatest pain I have ever known, the heart of who I am says that God is still in control and Jason and I will have better.  Our pain isn't forever.   I get that.  Even though right now it doesn't feel that way.

I feel cheated.  I'm praying that God understands all these emotions because I'm trying my best to fight them off but right now I'm just angry and feel cheated.  I also feel naive.  I thought because of all we had been through that we were safe.  I'd lost J, surely my babies would be ok.  It took great means for us to get pregnant, that had to mean that we'd have 2 healthy babies.  I was so sick my entire pregnancy, what kind of cruel joke would it be if something happened to the babies?  In the times I was scared because I wondered what all the sickness and throwing up might be doing to my boys, in my heart I thought, well maybe that's why God gave us twins.  Something may happen to one but no way could something happen to both.

I've been stripped completely bare.  3 weeks ago I had everything I wanted.  Now I am empty.  I have my husband and I have my parents and family.  I don't understand what lesson there is in this.  I know there has to be a lesson because God isn't a mean God.  Just nothing makes sense.  In the hospital I had dreams of breastfeeding Fletcher after we lost Tucker.  I couldnt imagine that I would have such vivid dreams if it wasn't going to be.  2 nights before we lost Fletcher, one of the other moms in the hospital on bedrest gave out cards of encouragement.  Mine was a butterfly.  We all started crying, thanking God for the sign that has held and sustained us for so many years.

I'm not questioning, please know that.  At least I'm not questioning why me, why us.  I just don't understand what all this means.  I can't believe that the babies just couldnt make it and that is the end.  Up until hours before I delivered them we saw them moving, their hearts beating strong.  They both lived.  Fletcher longer than Tucker.  It was amazing to see how much bigger he was than his brother.  What a difference 11 days makes.  4 more weeks in his home inside of me and he might have had a fighting chance.

I don't understand why this is my testimony.  I don't yet see how being a mom to 2 babies that didn't make it can glorify God any bigger than if I was holding each of them in the spring.  I do know that God has placed dreams in my heart and they have done nothing but grow stronger.  I am angry but I trust that God is ok with that.  My heart is empty and broken but I know, from experience, that scar tissue is stronger than regular, unscarred tissue.  I know that for whatever reason I'm in this place, it's never been more important to not miss such an experience, such a lesson.  I just wish I knew what that was.

I'm blessed.  Right now I'm blessed because even though I've been bent further than I ever have, and as much as I feel like I'm breaking, I know I'm not.  God will use me, this experience, somehow for His good if I allow Him to.

I thank you once again for your understanding of my heart.  This blog is honest and today it's hard to be ok but I will be.  The prayers of so many people have gotten us here and I thank you.  I never expected this to be part of who I am but God brought me here, I know He'll be faithful to see us through.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Fletcher Thomas Neu

"I close my eyes and I see your face. If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place, Lord won't you give me strength to make it thru somehow...I've never been more homesick than now."

I wasn't expecting to have to write this post.

Fletcher was born on Christmas Eve, very early in the morning.  My precious husband was there with me, he really never left my side.  I'm so thankful my parents were there also.  My body had never been through so much physical pain, nor my heart.

So much I don't understand.  I never will, not meant to.  The babies we prayed so hard to create, the babies we prayed so hard to survive.  I have never been more confused.  More empty.  More broken.

I don't understand.  My babies were taken too soon but I know they served a purpose.  Their short lives weren't in vain.  We had so much love and so many prayers surrounding us the past 2 weeks I can't say anything other than thank you.  It's one thing to stand in prayer with someone for something hopeful, it's another all together to share the burden and pain of ones grief.

My boys lived.  Not long but they breathed life and they opened my heart to a love I will never regret.  My Dad was carrying Fletcher after he was born and Fletch wrapped his hand around my Dad's finger.  At some point that will give me comfort.

God hasn't left us.  He hasn't forsaken us.  I don't understand so much, this is a pain greater than I know what to do with.  I know in the hospital after I delivered Tucker and Fletcher was fighting so hard, I had real and honest fear consume me that I wasn't going to survive.  I can't tell you how many times I asked mom to pray for my physical healing because the fear was so great and I wasn't ready to leave my husband.  My family.  I never had any of the "symptoms" I should have had.  I labored with Tucker and they thought I had severe gas pains before I delivered Fletcher.  I never showed physical signs of infection that they assured me was there.   The fears for myself very well could have been manifested by Satan who has been working overtime or its more than possible that my boys being born when they were saved my life.

I've never been more homesick than now.  I miss my boys so much sometimes I feel like my heart is actually broken.  But they are in heaven now for a reason and I am here for one as well.

My husband is the strongest person I have ever known.  My heart was in so much pain watching those who love me so much have to watch me suffer.  He was always there.  Even though his heart was breaking he was there holding my hand, praying with me, loving me and always making me smile.  I will never get tired of saying how special he is and how lucky I am that he is mine.

My parents have always given me comfort.  I pray for theirs now.  My inlaws, our families ,the kids.  So many hurting and sad.  But once again I will boldly say, I may feel lost but this won't break me.  I am empty now but God's promises will sustain me.  I have more questions than answers but I believe God is ok with that.  We will get through this.

I'm blessed.  Even though the tears not stop I know that God has placed the desire for me to be a mom in my heart.  And now I have 2 special boys that will always be mine.  Will always be perfect and will never know pain or fear. Only the beauty of God's love.

When the time is right I know I will hold mine and Jason's babies and all the dreams we had for TUcker and Fletcher will be passed on to them.  This isn't the way I pictured our story ending but as always, I will trust and wait.  I never wanted an ending.  Always a beautiful ending and until that day I will just do what I can.  I will hold the hand of the most beautiful man I know and we will do what we do best.  Love each other and keep moving on...

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Tucker Harris Neu

I have waited so many years, wondering what my baby would look like.  I've spent the past few years wondering what Jason and my baby would look like.  I now know.  He was absolutely the most beautiful baby I have ever seen.  He was ours.  He had my lips.  My nose.  He is our creation of a love more powerful than anything I have ever known.

I don't know what to say. For such a public forum that I've chosen to document our journey on, this is such a personal thing.  But Tucker has been my greatest accomplishment, there is no way for me not to talk about him.

The past week has without a doubt been the hardest I have ever faced.  I have gotten thru it by having the most precious man beside me.  I have loved Jason with a love that I never really knew existed.  Having his baby is my proudest accomplishment.  

We are surrounded with more love and prayers than I could ever imagine.  Texts, calls, emails, flowers, messages of prayers, encouragement, sharing our's been completely overwhelming.  Our parents, our family, our faith and most importantly, our God, has made this something that hasn't, nor will it, break us.  

"Whatever you're doing inside of me, it feels like chaos but somehow there's peace.and though its hard to surrender to what I can't see, I'm giving in to something heavenly. Whatever you're doing inside of me, it feels like chaos But I believe, You're up to something bigger than me, larger than life, something heavenly."

Our grief comes in waves because there is still so much uncertainty.  Fletcher is holding on strong and I'm trying so hard to keep it together for this little guy who now fills the deep hole of loss his brother has left.  What a huge burden for him.  I'm pretty sure my little fighter is up for the challenge. We are being told everyday the odds aren't good. But we are also being told that I've made it further with him than they expected.  We need and covet your prayers for all of us. 

We didn't have long with Tucker but I can promise that a baby has never been more loved.  I'm not ready to talk about details, not sure that I ever will be.  But I just have to say that this hasn't broken me.  This has made my love for my husband so much stronger.  This has made my faith that much bigger.  I don't understand.  My heart is broken but I haven't lost hope that God is still writing our baby story.  

I am blessed because even thought it was much too short of a time, I know what it finally feels like to be a mom to the most beautiful of babies I will ever know.

Hold tight Fletcher. Your mommy and daddy will bring you home!  

Monday, December 10, 2012

Full disclosure

These boys are wearing me out.

I'm having weird cramps, stretching, pressure, aches.  It's frustrating being pregnant like this for the first time because I have no way of knowing what is normal.  When a cramp is normal stretching or when it's time to call the dr.  Add to a twin pregnancy the hypermesis and still swollen ovaries, I'm a hot mess and more than toeing the line of neurotic.

Last week I was puking non stop again and got to where I couldnt keep liquids down so I ended up in the ER.  I got some IV fluids and meds and felt a lot better.  Yesterday was a rough day and today has been kind of worse, in a new, entirely different way.

BUT I got to see the babies this morning at the dr.  Instead of laying on top of each other, they are laying stretched out across my stomach, head to head.  It feels like maybe they are playing soccer with my ovaries and relaxing on my bladder which could explain all the weird cramps.  Regardless, prayers are appreciated that these lil guys are good and healthy and strong and everything inside me is as it should be.

Thursday we have an anatomy scan.  It's a long, detailed sonogram to make sure all the fingers and toes and kidneys and bladder and heart chambers and all look good.  It absolutely still is so amazing to me that I have 2 babies with me.  All the time.  I see them flipping and moving and waving and kicking but I can't feel them.  However, the other night, I think I felt one.  I was laying in bed and it felt like the remote control rolled off my stomach.  I went to reach for it and it wasn't there.  Then it did it again.  The remote was on the nightstand so I'm guessing it was either Fletch or Tucker rolling around inside.  Crazy!!

The night I met Jason, the first 5 mins of our conversation was him saying, "I'm divorced, 3 kids, pay x amount in child support and alimony, have an ex wife who stays actively involved in my life and yada yada yada."  I told him I was divorced, living with my parents, a little about J... Then we looked at each other and he asked, "Still want to talk?"  I said sure and the rest is history.   As we laid it all out upfront our little inside joke is "Full Disclosure."  When life gets crazy because of something we brought to the table, one of us will say, Full Disclosure, you knew what you were getting yourself into.  A little accurate but reading the chapter titles doesn't give you the full story until you delve into the book.  Much like life.

Life gets crazier and weirder by the day but it's worth it.  This pregnancy is harder and has taken so much more out of me than I expected but I wouldn't change it.  As miserable as I am a lot of the time, I love that I have 2 babies inside me.  Nice and warm and protected.  As awful and as torturous as the draining was when I hyper stimulated, I have already forgotten that pain.  I know when we hold our babies, when we kiss their cheeks, when we bring them home, all this stress and tears and puking and pains will be a distant memory as well.

I read more than I should have about what could happen with IVF, what could happen with a twin pregnancy.  I went in eyes wide open for the most part, share most all of it on here, full disclosure.  I had to date half of Jacksonville to find Jason but it was worth it to find him.  I've been blessed with the this pregnancy but just like my life with Jason, sometimes with the circumstances you're given, it's harder than I ever expected but the reward is also so much beyond what I ever dreamed I would have or deserve.

I'm so in love with Jason it's crazy.  I'm so tired of being home it's ridiculous.  I'm worrying about finances which is stupid.  Full Disclosure.  God didn't bring us this far to leave us.  I know that.  I believe it and I'm standing in that.

I'm blessed because the reason I'm so sick is because I am carrying the biggest blessings I could ever hope to have.  2 babies that will be all mine and Jasons!  I could not ask for more!!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Oh Boy!

I thought for sure I had a baby boy and girl growing inside me.  I've dreamed about both enough to think I was for sure having both.

We went for the 4D ultrasound on Wed and we told the lady we didn't want to know the sex of either.  We planned a gender reveal party that evening with the kids, our parents and our family that was in for Thanksgiving.  I laid on the table and Jason was sitting in front of a huge TV that was playing the sonogram.  It was amazing to see the little babes in 4D.  Baby A was kicking away at Baby B who lays on top.  They were flipping and moving and spooning each other.  Both babies were sucking on their thumbs which was one of the sweetest things I've ever seen.  Still kind of amazes me that I have 2 babies that are so active and I can't feel them moving.

At one point she told us to look away as she was zeroing in on the money shots.  Jason was looking and thought he knew what he was looking at.  Afterwards as I went to the bathroom he asked if he was correct in what he thought Baby A was and she confirmed it.  We both stepped out as she called the cake lady for us and told her the sexes.  Cake lady then went to work pumping in either pink or blue frosting in the middle of 2 cupcakes.

Jason has been pestering me for a long time that we should find out and act surprised.  Acting is not one of his God given talents.  And that man cannot stand to not know what gifts are or surprises or anything.  So he spends the afternoon knowing at least one sex.

Family gets here, we facetime with some out of town family and we gather around the table.  Jason and I grab our cupcakes and I take a huge bite not knowing how far back the icing is and not wanting to miss it.  I see blue and turn the cupcake to him so he can see, as he's doing the same and I'm fulling expecting to see pink and to everyone's surprise there is his half eaten cupcake with blue icing!!  I screamed, I laughed and then it hit me that I am carrying Jason's 2 sons and I nearly started sobbing.  I will never forget that moment of realizing I'm going to have 2 little boys!

There hasn't been a lot of planned announcements with this pregnancy.  Found out I was pregnant kind of by accident because of the OHSS.  Found out when I was in so much pain and being drained that we were having 2.  Finding out, completely surprised, surrounded by the people who mean the most to us was one of the sweetest moments of this pregnancy and one I will replay in my mind often.  I've watched the video hundreds of times.

I thought I wanted a boy and girl because I thought that's what I was having.  I was thinking through all scenarios of boy/boy, girl/girl and boy/girl and wondered if I'd be ok with whatever we have.  Heading to the sonogram I told Jason that I always thought people were lying when they said it didn't matter as long as they were healthy but it's so true.  I know that of the 24 embryos that were viable, we have the 2 that God decided were the best babies for us.  It's amazing the peace that comes with knowing God is giving you what you need.

2 boys.  Oh my goodness!!  We are going to have our hands full and I can't wait.  I had a very special bond with both my nephews but one of them really was attached to me.  The bond I had with J during those 4 years I will never forget.  That I am going to have 2 little, rugged, bruisers of boys that will have the sweet spirit of their Daddy makes me feel more blessed than I ever thought possible.

I've always loved Jason.  During this time of IVF and pregnancy and all we've been through, my love for him has grown.  Knowing that I am carrying his sons has placed a pride and love in my heart I have never had.

I'm going to have 2 baby boys, all mine.  They are going to love their Mama.  That's me!  I'm going to be the Mom to 2 boys.

So beyond blessed that once again, God has shown me what I needed and it was so much more than I expected or deserve!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

UMM...I'm in a national magazine.

Kind of.

I was in contact with the articles editor at Redbook Magazine (completely cool in and of itself) and she asked me to submit a video blog of my experience with infertility up until that point.  It's a Truth in Trying campaign to make couples feel less alone going through a process no one really talks about.  Very humbling to be included in such an important thing and seeing myself, sitting on my couch, on a video that Jason took, with Redbook in the corner of the screen, Crazy!!!

My dream of being published wasn't quite fulfilled in the way I had envisioned but I will take it.  Feels really good when something you want and work towards happens, even if differently than you expected.

Had another Dr appt today.  Still throwing up.  Still sick.  Still nauseated.  So frustrating.  I had a good day on Saturday, felt like I turned the corner and was going to be able to get back to normal.  Had lunch with the families and got really sick on the way home and it hasn't stopped.  I have tried every med they have suggested so as a last ditch effort, they have recommended a pump.  Kind of like an insulin pump, it's going to be in my belly and will give me meds more directly and quickly.  This is what they use a lot of times with cancer patients who get sick from chemo so I'm praying it works.  Home health will be contacting me in the next day or so to set it up.

I broke down (again) at the Dr because I'm just so tired of feeling like this.  It's like the worst car sick feeling that wont go away.  For 3.5 months!  I try not to talk of it much because who wants to hear anyone complain when they have what they have prayed for and asked so many others to join them in prayer for.  But this isn't complaining...this is real life.  I throw up 4-10 times a day, I'm dizzy and I'm just sick.  My attitude lately has been less than pleasant because wanting to enjoy something you wanted to badly only to be stuck in bed or over a toilet sucks!  Dr made me feel better and said it's not complaining when you've been through 4 months of hell with IVF and the drugs that mess with your hormones and then OHSS and then twins that mess even more with hormones.  

Speaking of twins, they were bouncing ALL over the place today.  Next week we find out if mama's intuition of boy and girl are correct.  If they cooperate.  Jason swears he saw the girly parts of Baby B today.  We shall see!

I freaked out a little today.  My life has been on hold for about 4 months.  Not even on hold.  Passing me by.  I've missed a lot.  I havent worked in a long time.  My short term disability is about to run out and they are putting me on long term disability.  I never imagined this to be part of my baby story but I wouldnt be going through all of this if I wasn't pregnant, with 2 babies at that, so I will never wish that I wasn't walking this path.  If I've learned anything, it's that God's purpose is always greater than the circumstances.

I was in the car, crying of course, and Jeremy Camp was on the radio.  "I will walk by faith, even when I don't see.  And because this broken road, prepares your will for me."  I will continue to walk by faith. I have no idea what lays before me.  But looking behind me I know that in my darkest hours, in my lowest times, in the moments that couldn't possibly make sense, He was always preparing me.  For something bigger than I could imagine for myself.

Twins, anyone?

I am blessed because through trying times I have a God who answers prayers in a bigger way than I even know to pray.  I have my face on a magazine's website for a campaign I never imagined to be part of because of 2 babies I have prayed into existence.  God is good and my life is in His hands.  Can't be mad about that.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Therapy, maternity jeans and birthdays

So my trick of using a hair tie to extend my jeans along with a belly band stopped being effective.  I am now 100% in maternity clothes.  Wow, there are some really ugly clothes.  But amazing how much more comfy maternity jeans are.  I went to get a few necessary items with Mom last week and I was in the fitting room trying on jeans and I lost my belly band.  It's like a half tube top that is fitted and helps extend the life of your regular pants.  I lost it.  I looked everywhere in the fitting room.  Finally I asked Mom if she had it maybe in the jeans I had given her that I'd tried on.  She looked through them and next thing you know the sales staff is looking for my belly band.  One lady asks me, "Are you sure it's not on you?"  I said, yea, cause I'm that stupid that I wouldnt be able to find a band on my body.  Guess who's that stupid!?  It had made its way up under my bra.  Where my maternity jeans now sit.


I'm 34 today.  Crazy, age is relative I guess to how you feel.  I'm feeling 34 right now.  I'm still quite the mess.  I went all day Wed without throwing up and Jason announces to everyone, "Missy went a whole day without puking."  Jinxed me and I've thrown up more the past 2 days than I have in a few weeks.  I have a busted blood vessel in my eye for effect.

Had an appt with the high risk dr for my first trimester screen.  We got to spend about 30 minutes with the babies, watching them move and flip and wiggle and dance.  Absolutely still amazes me that this is going on, inside my body!!  Baby B was laying right on top of Baby A.  I'll never forget finding out we had twins.  I was getting my first draining and Jason was at my head and Dr B had already told us he was certain we only had 1 baby. I told him I was certain he was wrong, that there were 2.  He has the ultrasound moving around and says, oh look, there's the sac for the baby.  And a few seconds later he says, and there is the other sac.  Amazing when you pray for something and you know, even thru the hard times and seasons of fear and frustration, that you will have your answer to your prayers, hearing it announced is a feeling that I can't describe.  And then hearing my mother's intuition was correct with 2 babies, speechless.

Yesterday we had dinner with the parents and kids.  I got my coveted Michael Kors bracelet from the kids, handpicked cards from each of them, a Willow Tree figurine of a couple with a pregnant mom and the last card I got was one Jason had from the babies.  He wrote me a note from them and when it started "Dear Mommy," I lost it.  I'm going to be someone's mommy.  Finally.

We are going through some strange seasons.  As everyone does.  And we are trying to figure out best we can how to make sure everyone is on the right track, no one gets left behind and everyone knows their place in the family.  We sought the help of a family counselor to help guide us.  I won't say much other than, when you pray about something and you know it to be true, it's ok to listen to your heart.  When you are given circumstances and you do the best you can, it's ok to fail if you learn from your mistakes and move forward.  You get out of what you put into life.  If you put in hard work and effort and blood, sweat and tears, you'll most likely reap some benefits.  If you go through life manipulating, controlling and being sneaky, my belief is that too will catch up to you.  If you have the desire to make your family as well rounded, God fearing and God loving as you can, my trust and belief is that you will have a loving, kind family.

Blood, sweat and tears.  That about sums up life right now.  Through swollen ovaries, (still) busted blood vessels, gifts that make you so happy they make you cry, and circumstances that make you want to beat your head against a wall, life is still, and always, beautiful.

I'm blessed.  This year I will give birth to 2 little blessings that will know me, love me and call me Momma.  There is nothing else I need!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Half Past Crazy and High Risk

Jason went to Walgreens for me the other day.  He came home with pee pads, starburst and a netty pot.  Apparently he told the cashier he was shopping for his grandmother.  Thanks babe!

Had our first appointment with the high risk dr today.  There were 2 ladies in the waiting room with us at one point.  They were both in their late 40's I'd guess and both were working on 7 kids.  One lady was pregnant with her 3rd set of twins.  Yowza!

Love the Dr and his staff.  He wasn't overly concerned with my "huge ovaries" and extra fluid but he said that with me having severe OHSS (severe, good to know it was a lot worse than I knew) and twins he was going to be keeping a very close eye on us, this was going to be fun and he read my chart and knew we were trouble.  Awesome.  He has a good sense of humor which I appreciate and great bedside manner.  His foreign accent didn't hurt either!

I'll be seeing them every 4 weeks.  And my regular OB every 4 weeks and they are staggered so looks like we are going to get to see the nuggets every 2 weeks.  Hearing their heartbeats is always exciting but today they were moving all over the place.  They had us in a super fancy room and had the monitor linked to a big screen tv so we got to see the babies on the big screen moving and wiggling all around.  Simply amazing.  I have 2 healthy, mobile babies growing inside of me.  Blows my mind.  The nurse was trying to measure them and baby A was moving so much she had a hard time.  They were laughing and said we were going to have our hands full.  Better full than empty I say.

The amount of crazy I see and hear and am part of or a by product of lately is blowing my mind.  Seriously.  I have a short fuse from being couped up for the better part of 2 months and I guess just the normal hormonal changes going on inside me but seriously, I can't take it.  Watching the debates and presidential candidates commercials and all is about to drive me over the edge.  Having people in my life who are sick and have brainwashed people I love makes me want to punch something.  I don't know how it's possible for people to turn so ugly and mean and disgusting.  I don't know how others have so much control and power.  I despise people that are praying on what they determine the weak to be when in all honesty they aren't weak, they are loving, kind, caring people who are getting nothing but the crap end of the stick.

Over it.

I can control what I can control and I have to let go of what I can't.  For me, for my babies, for my sanity.  There is so much good, so many loving people, so many wonderful things that are happening in our lives, I'm trying desperately not to let the actions of a few people wear me down too much.  When you expect better of people, when you know they should be decent and instead are demented it can take you to a dark place.  I'm praying God guides my prayers in the right way for these people, for my heart not to be hardened and for my family to be put back together as it should. 

Satan finds any crack, any opening, any opportunity to wreck havoc on those who love and live for God.  Living proof of that right now.  Not going to give him an opening.  My feet are planted firmly on solid ground, littered with starburst wrappers.

Blessed because even though my life has crazy in it, crazy is at arm's length and I can step back.  My babies will be brought into a loving environment full of the people that matter.  Parents, siblings, grandparents, family and friends.  Satan is not invited. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Step Monster and Limes

Our babies are the size of limes.  Matched with my ovaries that are the size of grapefruits it's no surprise I pee all the time.  I worry I will soon start to smell like a nursing home.  The pressure is getting greater, hopefully from the babies becoming fruit and not my ovaries growing more.

7% of woman have pee problems this soon in pregnancy.  I have pretty much hit and exceeded all the low percentage of things happening during IVF and pregnancy.  These babies are worth it.  Makes for good stories at least.  And I'll be keeping the granny panty companies in business for the next 6 months.

I have a pretty good idea of what kind of mother I'll be.  One who encourages and is involved and is creative and fun.  Who loses her temper when pushed to the edge.  Who cries when her babies are hurting and she can't help or make it better.  Who prays for her kids every day and night that they will be what God has made them to be, that she will be able to raise them with love, grace, compassion and unconditional acceptance, and will always push them to find the good in people. 

I've been a step mother 2 times in my life.  The first time was deceptive to what being a step parent means because I got the pleasure and joy of raising J alone a lot of the time.  I potty trained, I taught abc's, I disciplined, I loved, we made memories, we had fun, we did what we wanted to do with not a lot of outside influence. 

This time is different.  The kids are older, their personalities were already set when I came into their lives.  We don't have them full time.  They have a life outside of Jason and I and we try to make the time we have with them as great as we can.  But it's not a party at the Neu's when we have them.  We don't try to put as much into a night or weekend as we can.  We do family things.  We have fun.  We do crafts.  We play.  We do homework.  We clean house.  We disagree about things.  We pray together.  We laugh together.  We get frustrated.  We cry.  We make memories.  We have rules and we have expectations of how we are going to be and treat each other.  Some times we stumble.  We never stop trying. 

We are pregnant, yes.  We're going to have 2 more kids to add to the chaos and love and crazy and fun.  We will face some growing times and some growing pains.  I know we'll have a wonderful life with 7 people who love, respect and appreciate each other.  I know that we will work on that, pray for that and strive for that everyday.  In the face of trials and struggle and pain that faces every family we will never give up and never throw in the towel. 

Life changes.  You can control some things, others you can't.  I have people in my life that break my heart.  I have hurt and pain that some people I expected to be beside me on this pregnancy journey have decided not to make the trek along with me, it's not my loss.  They say they pray for me.  I'd rather maybe they just talk to me.  Others won't say a word to me but assume they know me, they don't.  I'm not a monster, I'm not a fake, I'm not a nasty person.  I'm someone who has been given a lot and when much is given much is expected.  I'm doing the best I can.  And I'm learning, slowly and daily, that I can control what I can and God will and always has taken care of the rest.

Blessed because at the end of the day I have a beautiful man who is the father of my children, loving families and a wonderful life.  For that, I can't be mad. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Oh what beautiful blobs

Well folks, it's legit.  I have pamphlets and everything.  Oh and how'd that pic of my babies get put in there?  Ha, get used to seeing that.  I will be only slightly more than completely obnoxious with pictures of my beautiful babies.  Who are perfect, btw.  Heartbeats were 174 and 168, they are measuring right at 9w2d, well the one who will be the overachiever measured 9w4d but Dr says everything was absolutely great.  Thankfully I had Jason there to point out what the blobs were.  He is good at telling heads from tails, literally.  Me, not so much. 

Do you know what this means?   I'm still really pregnant.  And we're really going to have 2 babies come next year.  Holy crap!  We do it big around here!  I mean, duh, clearly I've been pregnant but I had a real appt where they talked to me about how much weight to gain during pregnancy, funny story there, about my csection, birthing classes, hospital tours, high rish Dr's I will be seeing....It's REAL!!

Real scary.

But exciting.

But scary.

Maybe I shouldn't have taken to youtube to reseach tandem breastfeeding.  Yikes!

Have a nice day.

I don't think it had completely sunk in because I have just felt so completely out of sorts lately.  For the better part of 2 months I have felt awful, have been mostly in bed and just really sick. I went from the OHSS to extreme morning sickness that is relentless.  I was starting to feel a lil crazy. 

Today we had our first official prenatal visit at the OB's office and I have been to an OBGYN since I was like 13 (thanks awful periods) so I'm quite familiar there but going as a pregnany lady..DIFFERENT!!  SO emotional.  It really does mama's heart good to hear her babies hearts beating so excitedly.  It's still amazing to me that God has trusted me with such a beautiful and amazing gift.  Times two! 

So I still have left over fluid.  Clearly as I'm still up on the scale, even though I'm down from vomitting.  Nothing is ever as it should be.  My prepregnancy weight was 20 lbs less than what I weigh now.  Now I need to remind you for my sanity and vanity that I gained 23 lbs in a week.  1 week.  23 lbs.  And today after the ultrasound they see that I still have extra fluid waiting to be sucked back in.  And also my ovaries that should be the size of prunes are the size of grapefruits.  Times Two.  Two oversized ovaries causing me pain when I move, pressing on my stomach and making me sick on top of severe morning sickness.  I digress.  I am supposed to keep my total weight gain around 30 lbs.  Ha.  No problem.  7 months, 10 lbs.  She told me that then was like, uh well, this extra fluid has kind of thrown a wrench in that.  I'll probably grow to be the size of a barn but know why?  CAUSE I'M PREGNANT WITH TWINS.  Never gets old saying that!  

I'm having Jason's babies.  2 of them.  Absolustely amazed and humbled.  I don't know what God saw in us to trust us with such a big blessing but I won't question, I'll just thank Him, as I do everyday.  I am growing babies.  They have hearts and arms and legs and elbows.  It's simply amazing and I'm just so in love.

I'm blessed because even through I never doubted that God would answer the dream He placed so strongly in my heart, the overwhelming joy of being in the middle of His grace and blessing and favor takes this gal back.  I have a loving husband, we have supportive families and friends who are so excited for us.  And God is preparing us for even more that we can't even imagine.  I know that, I am living that.

Pregnant.  With twins.  So in love already! 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Head in the clouds. And toilet

Well the good new is I am definitely pregnant.  And I have heard that bad morning sickness is a good indication that the babies are doing well.  As true to form with our overachieving babies, they must be super healthy as I am super pukey for the better part of 24/7.

Last week I spent some time in the hospital.  Couldn't keep anything down and was getting dehydrated. So I was hooked up to IV fluids and anti nausea meds.  They wanted to keep my longer than they did but I was so seriously *this close* to losing it, they sent me home with a script for 2 meds.

I'd like to say that has helped but it hasn't.  They added a 3rd medicine into the mix and I think it's starting to work.  I'm down to throwing up 4-5 times a day.

Pregnancy brain is a very real thing.  I have pretty much lost my mind and any common sense I had, which we all know wasn't much.  I am not able to do much.  I go from tired to exhausted in 2 seconds and get dizzy and light headed.  I pass out too, fun times for all.  I haven't worked in a long time, I've been on bed rest for the better part of 2 months it seems.  Going from the OHSS where I was absolutely miserable in pain and bloated to non stop motion sickness which I am pretty sure is the worst kind of sick to be.

Why has it been so long since I've blogged?  Because I haven't wanted to complain.  I am trying so hard not to complain but I am so over being sick and tired and confined to my bed for 20 hours of the day.  Jason has stepped up major with the housework.  He has to.  Because the 1 time I tried to do something I almost cost us hundreds of dollars.

I decided since I was spending so much time with my face in the toilet that I needed to clean it.  We had these disposable toilet wand cleaner things that work well.  You  flush them after you use them.  Then we bought some cleaning toilet bowl sponge things that you don't flush.  Guess which ones I used.  And then flushed.  And then tried to stop from going down the drain with the stick.  Didn't work.  Then I threw up in the toilet. Which didn't flush so well.  Because some idiot flushed a sponge.  So, I had to admit to Jason what I had done.  He was not too happy that 1. I had flushed it and 2. That I waited until after I threw up on top of what I had flushed to let him know that he had to go in after it.  I'm pretty sure he wanted to kill me.  I actually saw it in his eyes.  He doesn't do vomit.  At all.  He was a trooper and tried to get it.  After he had put a garbage bag over his arm with 2 rubber gloves TAPED with electrical tape.  He didn't get it.  He had to take the toilet apart.

I have gotten out of housework.

I am also bi-polar and crazy.  And of the 3 dinners I eat each night, 1 usually stays down.  I cry a lot, I am frustrated a lot, I am annoyed very easily.  I'm trying to enjoy this pregnancy because it is such an answer to so so many prayers but let's be honest, right now I'm doing well not to throw up at every smell, sound and smell.  Seriously, what is up with the super human smell ability? I don't need or want this.

When I was in the hospital and nurses came in they would ask if I was pregnant and I've always been so used to saying no that it took some getting used to saying yes.  And then I got to say over and over I have twins.  I have TWO babies growing strong inside me.  Amazing.  During the ultrasosund in the hospital it was pretty scary.  The tech wasn't exactly sure what she was looking at because I guess I am still a complete wreck inside.  My ovaries are still huge, they are covered with cysts and I still had a lot of fluid in there.  She looks confused and when I asked if she saw the babies and were they ok, she said she wasn't sure she'd have to get the Dr.  My heart dropped and I looked at Jason and he looked panicked and then I had a peace wash over me.  Then when she got her bearings inside the chaos that is my insides, she saw Baby A and Baby B and they both looked beautiful and strong with strong heartbeats.

I never take the easy path.  Ever.  But I have come to find that my endings are always more than I expected.  These babies just want me to think of them, constantly and always I guess.  Jason read them their first bedtime story the other night.  How it is so possible to already be so in love with 2 babies that make me puke my guts out, cry more than not and sleep more than I thought possible, I cannot even imagine how much my heart will explode when I am holding mine and Jason's miracles...

That day can't get here fast enough.  Blessed because God saw us fit to make that our reality.   Now if you'll excuse me, I have some ice cream to eat before I throw it up.  Xo

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

We got twins y'all

My babies first picture!  Wow!  That is my name in the top left corner and those are pictures of my babies that are growing in my belly!  Amazed!

We went in for an ultrasound this morning and was told it may be too soon to hear the heartbeats.  Babies knew now badly we wanted to hear them, so the overachievers that they are, didn't disappoint.  Can't even put into words what it felt like laying there looking at my babies hearts beating!  And then to hear them!  Amazed!!

The kids are so excited.  We had them this weekend and they all climbed up in bed and we talked about baby names.  Every few hours L would come in bed and say, "You want to go over your favorite names again?"  I am so happy that they are so excited about their baby siblings!

They are also loving that I am having cravings.  Sat we had pizza for lunch and then their Nana took them for ice cream.  Then the ice cream man came through the neighborhood and we got some sno cones before dinner.  They were loving it.  Sunday we had to go to Target before dinner to find me some pants that fit and I was hungry so we got a pretzel and icee.  K was like, I LOVE you being pregnant and us getting snacks like this before dinner.  Setting a great example!

The kids got me our first baby gift.  Some onesies and bibs.  So cute.  I am so amazed that I am where I am.  Married to my best friend, surrounded by more love and encouragement from friends and family than we could imagine, the kids so beyond excited and 2 miracles growing strong inside of my body.

They are sucking the life out of me.  They are making me sick.  They are making me crave weird things.  They are making me weepy.  They are making me crazy.  I couldnt figure out how to get out of Target the other day.  I kept walking back and forth between the 2 sets of doors because I couldnt figure which one was the exit.  K was finally like, uh, Melissa, we can go out either.  They are making me feel more, love more and believe more.  Through sheer will, determination, love, miracle, prayer and strength we have what we have been hoping for.  I am carrying my husbands babies!!

We are released to the obgyn.  The nurses and dr's were hugging us and congratulating us and it just felt like we were part of something so special.  We created life.  Inside of me.  Absolutely amazing.

I'm blessed with so much more than I deserve.  God placed this on my heart long ago and to have Him trust me to be the momma to 2 baby tadpoles right now is the most humbling of experiences I've ever had.  My cup (my cups actually, whoa my boobs are rapidly growing!) is seriously running over!

Amazing, Amazing, Amazing!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Who gains 23lbs in 1 week?

This Girl!!

So I've got this dreaded OHSS and I've been in bed for a week.  I'm going absolutely stir crazy.  But why do I have this dreaded OHSS?  Because I'm pregnant!!  And if this is the crap I have to put up with for a few more weeks, I will do it.

I'm on a high salt diet still.  Doesn't help the weight gain but apparently it's helping keep the fluid in my blood and out of my stomach.  You wouldn't know it by looking at me.  I'm praying that the bloating and swelling starts to subside because I really don't think I could take another "tapping" on Wednesday as is currently the plan. 

I'm choosing to look on the positive side of things.  I know when I was young I used to put a pillow under my shirt to try to get an idea of what I would look like pregnant.  Well I'm getting a pretty solid glimpse into what my pregnant belly will look like at 5/6 months.  Who gets that glimpse so early in their pregnancy?

I can't wait to feel the baby/babies moving around.  Can't wait to find out how many we have growing inside me. I can't wait to see what these little miracles are going to look like.  One thing I do know, God has some special plans for our baby.  Everything we have been through has been a testament to that.  We haven't given up, we've never stopped believing and we pray everyday for the life that I'm growing. 

Maybe shopping for maternity clothes and granny panties isn't what most pregnant mommas are doing so soon but that hasn't stopped me.  I have never done anything by the book.  This stupid OHSS isn't common and I got it, of course.  For some reason, I'm not sure of the why's other than the obvious.  The PCOS I have, the amount of eggs they got.  But it's all good.  Everything up until this point happened to get me pregnant, this is as bad as it is because I'm pregnant and ARE YOU READING ME I'M PREGNANT!!! 

I don't know that I will ever get tired of saying that.  I'm so blessed.  God has given me so much and I'm so in awe of how much He loves me.  How much He cares for me.  How much He wants to show me.  This week in bed has given me the quiet time I needed to praise my God, thank my God and reflect on all I have. 

So.  Hopefully we all know I'm thankful and blessed and have a GREAT idea of what I'll look like at 6 months pregnant and hopefully this week I can get back to my life.  To work, to feeling human, to being able to get out of bed for more than an hour.  But regardless, whereever I am, I AM PREGNANT and looking forward to and believing I will be strong and healthy in this pregnancy for the next 8 months!!


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Pregnant and TMI

I don't even know if it's hit me yet that I'm pregnant.  I have known all along that I was.  God has planted so many dreams in my heart that for the answer to be anything other than positive just wasn't possible.  I have the symptoms, moody being the most prevelant, I know it in my heart, I heard the nurse and doc confirm it, it's just still a little hard to believe.


I can't put into words what I feel for everyone who has so faithfully stood in prayer with us for this miracle.  Overwhelmed for sure.  Humbled, inspired, so appreciative.  How great it is to be able to share with people an answer to the very prayer that they have prayed you to.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

So, that's the rainbows and butterflies.  Of which my mom has seen many the past few weeks.  When I asked ladies about their IVF journey I was told it wasn't too bad and it was worth it.  My answer is probably a little different but then I think, when the prize is a baby, the fight doesn't compare.  So I understand their answers weren't flippant, they were sincere.  It is worth it.

With that being said, I don't know that I've ever had such a hard 3 weeks.  I don't want this to overshadow the pure joy we feel but this has been an honest blog and will continue to be.  And I need my prayer warriors to continue to stand with us. 

I have something called OHSS.  Basically my ovaries are still VERY large and now that my body is making it's own hormones due to my pregnancy, it is really causing a lot of problems.  I gained 15 lbs after my egg retrieval.  All in my belly, it was hard to breathe, I couldnt go to the bathroom, blah blah.  Then it subsided and I felt good.  Sunday at work I started cramping and as the night went on the worse I felt.  Monday I was miserable and bloated, sick to my stomach and faint.  Tuesday I tried to go to work and lasted an hour.  Called the dr and they wanted to see me that day. I hyperstimulated.  My stomach is full of fluid and that's why I couldnt breathe.  The good news was this happens when you are pregnant so we had a good feeling that the blood test they did would give us positive results.  Dr suggested "tapping" me on Fri to drain some of that fluid.  He also told me not to drink water as it leaks out of my blood into my stomach, to drink only half a gallon of gatorade.  Jason's ears perked up when he told me to eat a diet high in salt.  Chips, fries, Mexican, BBQ, chicken, Pizza... The salt in the food would absorb the extra water.  Sounds good huh?  Except I was now up 13 lbs in 3 days and absolutely miserable.  They decided to drain me this morning. 

Those who have a queezy stomach, I'd suggest you exit now.

I'm laying on the same table they did my retrieval and transfer on only this time the Dr pulls out a needle that is 2' long.  That't not inches.  And it's not the width or guage or whatever of the needles I've been shooting myself with the past month.  This is huge.  He inserts it where things shouldnt be inserted and tells me to cough and when I cough, which feels like I'm being gutted because I'm so bloated, he inserts that needle.  WORST. PAIN. EVER!  Swear to you it feels worse than it sounds.  He drained 9 bottles and thought he was done and pulls out the needle.  I'm screaming on the table at this point and cant stop sobbing.  Then he sees more fluid in another location so stabs me again and it was worse than the first time.  All together they got 11 bottles of fluid out of me.  That equalled a 7lb weight loss if anyone cares.  I went from looking 5 months pregnant to 3.  Unfortunately the stomach will fill back up and I will probably have to go through this again next Wed.  But my God is big enough to get rid of this OHSS. 

It's early to be sharing pregnancy news, I know.  But with all that we have been through and will this now, I felt it important to share so that those who feel lead can continue to lift us up in prayer.  We find out in 2 weeks how many babies we have.  Dr seems to think 1.  I am feeling like there are twins but regardless, the miracle growing inside me will be more than enough.

I am so blessed because for whatever reason God has placed me on this journey, He has paved the side lines with the most amazing prayer friends I could have ever hoped for.  Where 2 or more are gathered, the more people to celebrate the amazing answer to prayer that is me being pregnant with my handsome husband's baby.  And everything else will fall back as only a small part of my baby story when we are holding our answers to so many prayers this spring.

xoxo Momma Neu :)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

You can call me Momma

So my emotions are kind of all over the place.  Shocking to all who know me, right?  For whatever reason I wasn't super emotional during the shooting up with tons of hormones portion of the IVF fun.  I was very emotional when I was going through this a few months back but I wasn't weepy.  I was down right mean but I don't put that in the emotional category.  Lately I've been kind of weepy.  I'm assuming I will be that way for the foreseeable future.

We took the kids to see the Odd Life of Timothy Green.  It was a good movie with a great story.   It hit me pretty hard for many reasons.  I love the kids I have in my life.  They are very sweet, they are funny, they are good.  I feel blessed to be part of their life.  I miss the one little guy who I'm sure is no longer so little that is no longer part of my life. He is forever and always part of my heart and in so many memories but I miss him.  All the time.  The kids have taken a liking to laying in bed with us and lounging and laughing and just being a family who lays in the parents bed and talks to each other.  Doesn't sound like that big of a deal to most parents I'm sure. One of those things you take for granted because you've always done it.  We haven't.  I don't know if they weren't comfortable, if I wasn't comfortable or if it's just a place we had to get to.  I have missed having kids in my bed.  Some of my fondest memories of me and J were us laying together in my bed and telling stories to each other.  About everything.  Nothing fancy, nothing expected, nothing more than just a mom and her boy loving being together.  I've missed that.  I miss him.  So much.

He taught me to love.  He taught me what it means to love someone in a such a different, whole, completely unconditional way.  He was my best bud.  He was the light of my life.  He taught me that I was always enough.  More than enough.  I was his Missy.  The mom I am today to those 3 special kids is because I got 4 years with a very special boy who has my heart somewhere in NC.  He taught me so much.

I've loved 4 kids as a mom.  I've had a hand in raising all of them, of loving them, of trying to be a Christian example, a fun, creative mom who gets to spend some time with them each week or most of the week or not for a few years but loving and praying from a far, I've learned how to love with a mother's heart because those 4 kids have let me love them. 

I can't even put into words how much I'm looking forward to loving the babies that will come from me and Jason.  Kids that don't have to go away or we only get to see some of the time or kids we only can love from a distance.  And we get to share our babies with 3 of the sweetest kids I know.  Who are so looking forward to having a baby brother or sister or both or more.  They are immune to the ugly that tries to taint their minds and hearts.  They are comfortable enough in our love for them that they know we are growing our family to share the love we have.  Not to take anything away from what we have with them.

God has been preparing me for this beginning for a very long time.  I"ve been a Missy, I've been a Melissa, I know with all that I am that so very soon, with God's blessing, I will be a Momma to some very sweet babies.

Blessed because I am constantly reminded of God's grace, mercy and love.  And in the next week I am praying that we will celebrate what I already know in my heart to be true.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Overachieving embryos

I got baby embryos growing in my belly!  I'm standing in faith believing that!  Plus I look 6 months pregnant so that helps!

Crazy few days.  It's absolutely overwhelming how everything is working together.  "Where 2 or 3 are gathered." "He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it."  "For I know the plans I have for you..."

I just want to say thank you to everyone who is in this with us.  I called Mom at work last week to tell her we had 22 embryos and she was in the office with a lot of people around her and she says out loud "22 embryos" and I hear loud yells of excitement go up from people I know have been praying us through this.  And the emails and texts and messages have been so uplifting.  When we started this process and I prayed about whether to talk about this or not, this is more than I expected.  So, thank you!  What a blessing you all have been to me and Jason.

With that being said, it wasn't a fun week.  We were like the bedridden wounded.  I have been so incredibly bloated that I haven't been able to do anything.  Breathing takes work.  Jason has been taking great care of me and we have only threatened to kill each other a few times. 

Sunday was the day.  I didn't get much sleep as I was praying a lot and wondering.  We didn't know anything about the embryos other than we had 22 on Thursday and they had a lot of work to do before Sunday.  I have to tell you, I have had a very calming peace around me this whole time.  This is not like me at all.  God has given me a patience I've never really had.  It's a nice change from the neurotic I'm used to.   There was never really a question in my heart of whether we would have enough embryos.  Whether things would work out.  It wasn't naivety, it was God's comfort and maybe a little dose of Holy Boldness. 

We got to the fertility clinic and I'm laying in the stirrups ready to get everything started.  Jason is at my head kind of holding my hand, the nurse has the ultrasound on my belly and Dr B is ready for action.  The embryologist comes out of his secret den of miracle babies and asks me my name and birthday to make sure it's me.  He confirms and goes back in to get our babies.  Dr B asks how old I am and I said I'd be 33 in November.  Jason was quick to point out I'll be 34 in November.  Oops.  Thanks babe!

We have a little conversation and Dr B says we have 18 embryos!  18!!!!  So lets put this in perspective.  I'm clearly no expert but I've done quite a bit of research.  Average egg retrieval is 5-10.  I had 24.  GOOD eggs.  Most couples hope for 3-5 embryos.  I had 18.  And many of them were the best grade they give.  I'm telling you, our babies are already showing off.  Dr B sounded kind of giddy almost with how great everything has gone.  As a Christian man and Dr I know that he believes that God has been all over this as much as we do. 

So.  I am with embryos.  I have had to take it easy the past few days and the next few weeks will be much of the same.  These little baby embryos need to get comfy and make themselves at home over the next 9 months.  We find out in 2 weeks how things are progressing and continue to pray expectantly.

God is so good.  I have no doubt that we have growing inside me what we have been praying for.  That will be confirmed in a few weeks with a blood test.  I appreciate the prayers of so many people who continue to share our excitement, our prayers that my body is healthy and the babies will grow, and who will celebrate with us when we get the wonderful news we are expecting.  Standing firm in that belief!

I have never been more in love with my husband than I am now.  We have been on bed rest which might suck if you weren't laying there with your best friend and the absolute love of your life.  We have laughed until we've cried, we've prayed, we've talked about the future and we've just really taken the time to appreciate all that we have been shown and given through this journey we are on.   I love him so much as my husband and best friend.  I love him for so many reasons.  I can't wait to love him as my baby's daddy!

Blessed so beyond anything I could have hoped for because right now I know how much we are loved and taken care of and protected.  By God, our family and sweet friends.  And whatever pain and discomfort we've been through is already forgotten as in my heart I know that God has blessed us with what we have so faithfully prayed for.  Whether it's 1, 2 or 18 babies in God's timing we'll be holding those blessings!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Labor of Love.

Oy Vay.

Before I started this process I got the opinions of many.  Some shocked me, others kind of terrified me but most were reassuring.  I can tell you pretty candily, I hope no one asks my honest opinion anytime soon.  Girl needs to decompress.  And it's not even finished yet.

This has been an exciting week full of God's wonderful answers to our prayers and the prayers of so many of our faithful family and friends.  Jason went in for surgery Monday morning at 7am and handled it like a champ.  I went back to see him in recovery and he was squalling about his dress being too short and not covering him well enough and unbeknowits to him, making the 2 woman on either side of the curtain laugh and get their mind off what they were there for.  "This dress shows my stuff, they need a man gown.  This is for girls.  My shoulders hung off the sides of the table, they need a man table.  Get me out of here, now.  I'm ready to go home.  MY butt was hanging out of the back of this gown.  MY stuff was showing."  Now, bless his heart, I probably share way too much on here but it makes me laugh.  He is such a trooper.  And yes, the gown he was wearing was a woman's large, not made for a man that is 6'6 such as himself.  And the bed he was on during surgery is mostly used for woman.  So he was kind of like an adorable bull in a fertilitly clinic china shop.  GREAT NEWS FOR JASON!!  Dr B got all he needed from that handsome man of mine. 

The next morning at 7am we are back again for me to have a go.  The ladies on either side of Jason had 8-10 eggs retrieved.  I had 24!  24 eggs!!!!  No wonder I look like a beast, I was hatching 2 dozen eggs.  Great news again!!  Thanks be to God for taking care of everything above and beyond what we hoped and prayed for.  Then I woke up.  Holy cow I was in pain.  Like serious, crying immediately pain.  Got home with some good drugs and slept most of the day and night.  The next day it was more of the same.  Everyime I moved I threw up and then kinda passed out.  Went to the Dr and the conversation goes a little something like this.  Probably TMI for everyone but I'm suffering through this and you logged on. 

"Woman think they don't have balls like men, but they do, they are just inside and are called ovaries.  They are equally as sensitive. Yours are usually the size of almonds but both are now blown up to the size of large softballs.  Everytime you move you can feel it and they are pressing on your stomach and making you throw up.  And are also pressing on your intestines and blocking you.  The pain is because I was basically spearfishing (I may be paraphasing) with a probe and a needle, puncturing the follicle, sucking out the egg and then going to the next.  24 times.  So yes, you will be in pain, stay off your feet and take it easy."


As we were laying on the table after his pep talk waiting on a script for meds, he went across the hall to do a sonogram on a newly pregnant momma.  We heard the whole thing and we could hear the heartbeat.  I kind of just lost it.  Was laying there crying, with my husband beside me, listening to a woman's miracle in the next room, knowing our miracles were growing somewhere in that building.

The next day we got the news we had...drum roll please........22 embryos!!  Holy crap!  That's great news.  We are doing a 5 day transfer which means on Sunday at 10am the best 2 of the bunch, our lil overachievers, will be transferred to my womb.  OMG!!  That sounds so legit.  I have an acupuncture appt at 9am there in the same office to really get the blood flowing.  What does one wear to get pregnant I wonder?

I feel God so all over this.  This hasn't been fun.  Looking back on everything it hasn't been terrible and I would certainly go through this and more to have our babies and we still have some ways to go but right now, it's kind of really overwhelming.  I'm laying on the floor after taking 2 enema's, 2 different stool softeners, while Jason is at the store getting me prune juice and honey (GAG) writhing in pain that only not going to the bathroom for weeks can do to one, praying I get some movement before I get myself pregnant on Sunday.  Jealous?

It's a labor of love.  I've heard more than a 1000 times, this is just preparing you for pregnancy. I know, I get it.  Just usually you put on some sexy lingerie, not a hospital gown and cap.  You drink champagne, not apple juice or God forbid, prune juice.  But whatever means this baby comes, it's coming to 2 people who already are so committed and in love with the thought that our love, our committment, our desire, our prayers and our blood, sweat and tears are bringing us the thing that we want most.  A baby or 2 dozen of our own.

Satan is throwing some roadblocks.  Of course.  We were too happy.  Had too much joy.  Satan had to throw out lies.  Jason is a bad father because he missed the kids first day of school.  Lies.  He's an amazing father and one of the first questions he asked when he woke up is if pictures of the kids first day of school had been sent to him.  Someone is trying to cause sadness and confusion in our family with more lies that only come from Satan.  What if this doesnt work?  Doubt and lies. Not from God, from Satan.  Not going to feed into it.  Can't.  I have too many blessings and too much good in my life to be bogged down by the bad.  By the lies, by the jealousy and by the mean action of others.

I got babies growing in bowls, ya'll.  And Sunday this gal here is going to get pregnant!  How do I feel right now?  Overwhelmed with the amount of love, prayers and support of those I know and don't know.  More in love with my husband than I thought possible.  More amazed everyday by a God who is showing me his blessings and grace and mercy.

This baby story isn't over.  We still need and appreciate prayers as the embroys continue to develop, that my body will receive them, that they will grow inside me and that in 9 months we'll get to kiss the faces of the babies we have prayed so hard for.

Blessed because I know that God is working in me.  Hopefully soon the prune juice and honey will be as well!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Poked, Prodded and Pregnant

Hopefully very soon on that last "P."  Oh yea!

Went to the dr yesterday for "Decision Friday" and the decision was next week all the fun begins!  YEEHAW!!  Morning started off rocky.  Nurse poked me twice and couldn't get enough blood.  I'm not good with blood draws.  I get fainty and woozy on a good day.  Stick 1 didn't get enough blood.  Stick 2 wasn't getting enough blood so she's moving the needle deeper and I'm trying not to pass out, Jason is coaching me on blood draw breathing and then I feel the needle rip out, hear the nurse scream an expletive and then look and see blood kind of gushing out of my arm.  Then saw it kind of splattered on the floor.  And my file.  I didn't pass out!  I'm getting pretty impressed with myself.  The poor nurse was mortified so I was trying to make her feel better, then my fave nurse comes in and sticks me and gets what they need.

THEN the fun!  I'm prodded and it's good news.  Very good news.  I have about 30 follicles ready to be retrieved.  The nurses are kind of high fiving us and seems we are the poster child for what IVF ovaries should look like.   It's a well earned title let me tell you.  I've moved up a size in pants and I actually felt like a demon last night.  I digress.  We are scheduled for Jason on Monday, me on Tuesday and transfer day either Fri or Sun.  OMGGGGGGGGGG!!!  This is for real. 

For such a stressful, emotional journey, I'm on cloud 9.  I had so many questions of was this the right path for us, right Dr for us yada yada and I can tell you I have never felt so sure about such a huge decision.  I credit that to the faithful prayers of all my amazing prayer warriors.  Humbled!  Thank you!  This whole IVF thing has been good.  I mean aside from my moodiness, cramps, growth, meanness, and moodiness.  But we are going to be pregnant soon!  I really believe that and I'm holding onto that.

All this has brought out the good, bad and ugly.  In me and in others.  We have so many people standing beside us and claiming baby victory with us, so many encouraging us and praying for us.  It's overwhelming.  I also have anger and bitterness and hatred directed towards me which is amazing.  I'm hated because my husband and I are happy.  Because we are growing together and growing our family.  I don't understand the ugly that is out there and sometimes it takes me back for a minute BUT WE'RE GOING TO BE PREGNANT SOON YIPPEE, so the ugly doesn't take me back for long, just long enough for me to see the ugly, acknowledge the ugly and determine that I will never allow myself to be that ugly.

So the next week will be exciting.  I know Jason will take great care of me.  I'll take great care of him and we'll take great care of each other knowing that at the end of this we will be that much closer to having what we want.  God's plan is bigger than us.  Always has been.  Sometimes we get in our own way, sometimes it takes longer than we want, sometimes it hurts more than we think it should.  We are in no way naive to the percentages and what could happen but our faith is reminding us that God will supply what we need.  In His time.  Next week, next month, next year.  In God's perfect timing.

Thank you thank you thank you all for sharing this with us.  Next week we will greatly appreciate your continued prayers as our procedures are done, our babies grow in a bowl before they grow in me and that in a few short weeks we will have our answer.  And God will be with us every step of the way!

Blessed because I am jacked up on soo many meds and hormones and I haven't acted in my urge to throat punch anyone, I have a smile on my face and I'm so excited about next week I can't stand it.  We are counting that as success!! 


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Pregnant. With follicles

Or at least that's how I look.

I don't know if I have any male readers out there but you may want to mosy on over to ESPN or something.

So I have gained 6 lbs in 3 days.  I look like I'm having a baby.  I can't go to the bathroom, everytime I stand up or move I can actually feel my ovaries dropping and I'm still somewhat emotional.  Fun times for everyone! 

Had a dr appt this morning and when you go through any kind of cycle like this you get grouped with the other people cycling that month.  So you see the same people at appts.  It's quite funny to watch the progression.  And, answer to prayer, the waiting room breakfast eater wasn't there today!!  Side note- when there is a restroom attached to the waiting room, go ahead and assume that everything that happens in the restroom will be heard in the waiting room.  And running water doesnt help!  I got a case of the laughs and Jason was trying his best to shut me up.  I think he mentioned something about me wanting to just pick on everyone.  He's so sensitive.

So back to what I was saying, Monday everyone shows up to the appt dressed cute, put together, excited, yada yada yada.  Today the wives looked a little less comfortable, clothes were a little more baggy, the husbands looked a little more beat down.  One couple across from us caught my eye when the husband sneezed and the wife looked at him like "die, die now!" and he was like "it was a sneeze, relax!"  I wanted to high five the woman and Jason looked like he wanted to give the poor guy a hug.  I can't wait til Friday.  Wages are in that the ladies will be in yoga pants and tshirts and the men will have bruises!

I'm pretty sure my husband is the office favorite.  All the nurses are always so "your husband is so funny" and "oh my goodness he must keep you in stitches, you're so lucky."  I feel very lucky as they are poking me with the pokey thing measuring my follicles.  Jason sits there in his chair beaming at his fans.  At one point he mentioned something to the effect that he'd been through a lot with this.  As I'm laying half naked, finding out how many follicles I have growing rapidly, bruised from bloodwork, rash on my chest from the meds, constipated because my huge ovaries are blocking any movement, and sweating because I'm a big sweaty pig but yes, he's had it rough. 

So sometimes we go through crappy times and never get to know the reason why.  Other times it's revealed and you feel very protected and doubly blessed.  When we went through the last round of everything for it to end the way it did was devastating.  We went through rounds of medicine, shots, scans, bloodwork for nothing it seemed and up until very recently I was still a little concerned about the why's.  But Jason and I have said over and over how right this feels.  How prepared our hearts feel for this.  When I was going through insem it was a guessing game as to dosages and meds and how my body, with the PCOS would respond.  When we were on that path I needed 2 or 3 follicles at 14-18 whatever.  I overstimulated one month and we had to scrap it because I had so many.  The next month they knew a little better what to try.  It was frustrating and disappointing but we were dealing with $1000 a month only.  Only, ha, right!?  Well I see why we went through that now.  I was on my schedule for IVF meds that they put everyone on to start.  But I had a sit down with Dr B 2 weeks ago and we talked about how my body responds so strongly and he dropped the dosage based on what we knew by what I'd been through.   Mon they called and lowered my dosage even more.  Now it seems I'm exactly where I need to be.  Today I had something like 20 follicles from 6-15 whatever.  Say hello to the 6lb follicles baby!  The meds I'm on now are 4x the amount of what I was on before.  It cost us some time and tears but I'm at a huge advantage now knowing what we do and not overstimulating because we weren't going in blindly.

I feel like I am exactly at the place that God has for me and whatever happens I know with everything I am, we will have our beautiful ending to this journey that will be the start of a beautiful beginning....

The nurse told us that Dr B heard that laughter helps pregnancy rates increase so he was considering bringing a clown in and doing balloon animals.  Jason very firmly and adamantly told them how stupid of an idea that was to put someone noisy and loud in a room full of crazy woman and how I nearly stabbed the server at dinner one night when he was in the middle of making a balloon flower. 

If laughter helps increase pregnancy chances, then that is just another butterfly moment from MY God showing me why he placed such a funny, loving, caring man in my life to walk this journey with me. 

Seriously, give the man a hug, he needs one.

Blessed because I'm covered in prayer and God's favor.  What better place to be?!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

BUI- Blogging under the Influence

I am Blogging Under the Infuence of some pretty crazy drugs.  I can track like clockwork, I take my shots and within 20 minutes I can feel the meanness coursing through my veins.  Poor Jason gets the brunt of it as I take my meds at night and he's the one laying in bed with me.  That may be short lived.  There've been threats of him moving to the guest room thrown around, whatev.

Dr's appts are going well.  Bloodwork and scans and readjusting dosages and I'm on track it appears.  Have another appt tomorrow so we'll continue to pray that we stay as we should be.  And also will pray that no one in the waiting room decides to eat her very noisy, smelly, breakfast in the chair across from me!!!  Who does that?!  These meds are no joke!  One makes me crazy.  The other makes me crampy and bloated and have horrible headaches and perhaps somewhat emotional.  The other makes me cry over animal commercials.  Seriously, that happened.  Can I see a show of hands who is jealous of Jason right now? 

Some people like to remind that I havent given birth to a baby so I'm not a real mom.  I'm so glad I have people like that in my life, I mean, I almost forgot I hadn't birthed any kids.  Know what makes me laugh?  That in a short time some people who love throwing that in my face are going to have to come up with something else to hold over my head.  -insert evil laugh-

Have had some dreams about J lately.  I havent dreamed of him in a long time.  He's getting extra prayers here lately.  I so miss that sweet kid. 

Meds also give me ADD.  A few parenting tips I will hope to implement once I am a real mother.  -still evil laughing-

1.  Put responsibility on a kids shoulders to keep their feet on the ground.  I love that.  Our kids love doing chores.  A is always asking to do laundry or help organize.  K likes to do stuff in the kitchen for dinner.  L loves doing manly things with his daddy.  I love that manly chores range from mowing the grass to folding clothes. 

2.  Jealousy robs you of what you have when you focus on what other's have.  In today's world where 5 year olds have more electronics than I do it's hard to teach kids the value of things that don't cost money and how to enjoy what you have.  It's even harder when adults haven't figured that out.  There's a lot of bratty, spoiled people out there. 

3. The art of not cheating.  There's something to be said for working hard and getting somewhere on your own without quitting and without cheating.  Know what I love about life lessons?  They can run the gamut.  This applies to relationships, school, work, friendships.

4.  The joy of spoiling your kids.  Not with things, with love.  With time.  With attention.  Some of the best times we've had with the kids, by their own admission, have been times we've done things that haven't cost a dime. 

5.  The better your life is the more sad people will not like you.  Bullies, blah.  There will always be someone out there who didn't have loving, caring, Christian, nurturing parents to guide them in how to be loving and respectful to others.  Then there will be those who were raised in loving, caring, Christian, nurturing households who will still turn out to be mean people.  Lesson-haters gonna hate and the better your life, the meaner they get.  True story.

SO- We've learned today that Jason deserves a gold star of bravery if he makes it through this in one piece.  I mean when he makes it through this in one piece.  My bad.  Hopefully he will soon understand that he simply can't eat, drink or breath around me and we'll be good to go.

Blessed because through the crazy, my handsome husband is talking me down off all kinds of ledges.  I love that man, my soon to be baby daddy!!  We have all sorts of excitement surrounding us and I love the life we have together!  

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Blind faith

The meds have entered my body.  And made themselves known.  I'm only on one shot right now, I start the others on Friday.  The one now is the one that sends my body into a fake menopause.  And then I got my period.  Bad.  Full force.  This is one crazy ride let me tell you.  Only real side effect I've had so far have been headaches.  They got pretty bad and then Sunday night it was more than I could handle.  I cried, I threw up, I honestly felt like my head was going to explode.  I couldn't stand any noise, any light.  Jason rubbed my head and tried to make it better.  Finally found that if I wrapped a pashmina scarf around my head tightly 3 times it helped.  Who knew fashion could be so functional during IVF.

I was beyond frustrated.  I couldn't work yesterday as my head was still throbbing, my face and eyes were swollen.  Not sure if from the migraine, they tears or the puking but I was a sight.  I had talked to mom and dad the night before to get suggestions that only parents can give when you don't feel well, so they knew from my voice how bad I felt.  I was covered in prayer before I got off the phone.

Mom prayed for me, amongst other things, that I would one day soon be holding our baby.  She was sharing my headache pain with a coworker and asking for prayer for me and he made the comment that when I was holding my baby I'd forget all I went through to get there.  God is constantly reminding me, through others when I need it, that I will have our baby.  I believe that!

Sales have been hard to come by lately.  Another huge source of frustration.  Sat I had a buyer who I knew was visually impaired.  I walked him and his wife and son through a few houses and he was leaning on me quite a bit.  I was holding his hand through the house and was walking him through the plans room by room explaining the windows and the layout. I was under the impression that he could see some, just not great.  He came back today and I sold that sweet family a home.  I also found out during our time together that he is completely blind.  He was leaning on me to help him see what he had no way of seeing with his own eyes.  As I was describing the light coming through the windows, the trees overlooking the back lanai, he had a smile on his face and looked very content.

He trusted me.  He couldn't see what I was telling him.  He couldn't see the house we were standing in but he knew we were there.  He could get a sense of what it was like from the sounds and smells and echos.  He wasn't freaking out about the what ifs and the whys and how's.  He told me what was important to him, I explained we could get him what he wanted, and he trusted me.  When I gave him a hug after we were finished he held on tight and kind of took me by surprise.  He was feeling on me then he touched my hair.  I realized he was seeing me the only way he could.

I am believing the only way I can.  I know our babies will be sitting in my lap.  I can see them, I can feel them, I can smell them.  Right now that's through my dreams.  Not because I have experienced that yet but because God has placed such a real desire in my heart that only can come from Him. 

I was taught today a real life lesson in blind faith.  I will never again doubt in the dark what God shows me in the light.  So blessed because I am loved, encouraged and right exactly where I am meant to be.  With my beautiful, loving husband by my side holding my hand on our journey to get to our baby.