Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Obviously, it's been a bit rough around here lately. We're all about putting one foot in front of the other and picking up the pieces, but it doesn't mean that we aren't grieving. We do plenty of that, too.

This weekend we took a quick trip to the Cities and stayed downtown. I was a bit mopey on Saturday morning thinking about how painful and sad it was to have to go thorough this AGAIN, I really thought that this pregnancy was "meant to be". Jamie responded to my mopeyness with, "Heather, there will be a frickin' happy ending to our story, I know there will be."

Today I was having a rough spell again. During spin class I kept thinking about how sad it was that we were thrilled to be on the adoption route, got surprised with a pregnancy (!!!), only to be let down yet again. I thought about it more in the shower at the Y and cried and cried and cried. (And, yes, I sucked it up and got ready tear free just like any other morning at the Y.) Jamie called to talk about our evening plans and I mentioned that I was having a tough day. His response, "Heather, I promise that we will have another baby, maybe two."

My husband keeps promises. So, I believe him.

If I was Normal

I'd be thinking I was one of the lucky ones that was getting thorough my first trimester without morning sickness. I'd be journaling in my new, crisp pregnancy journal. I'd be crossing off another day on the calendar, smiling because in 4 weeks I'd be sharing my pregnancy news with others.

But, I'm not "normal". I'm infertile. So, instead, I get prime treatment at the doctor's office. And, because I get prime treatment I found out early on that there was little hope for our baby. I know that my lack of nausea isn't good fortune, it's because my baby isn't growing. I journal in a book with lots of blank lines....not fun facts about how much my baby has grown in the last few days. I don't cross days off on my calendar, because, for now, I don't have anything to count down for. But someday, someday I will have a countdown to something really good, really special, our baby story. Someday.

I wish I was normal.

That would be happy!

The three of us went out to dinner tonight. Griffin looked at me, with ketsup all over around his mouth, and said, "Mommy, right now there are 3 of us and if we have a baby there will be 4 of us."
Me: "Yes, Griffin, there would be 4 of us."
Griffin: "That would be happy!"
Me, in my mind: "Oh yes, that would be very happy. The happiest thing I can ever imagine."
I smiled at Jamie and said, "Yes, Griffin that would be happy."

4 of us. Someday there will be 4...of us.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Giving God a Little Credit

It seems like I've heard it all through our infertility struggles, and mostly losses.

"God only give you what you can handle."
"Maybe you aren't meant for more."
"God must be trying to tell you something."
"God has a different plan for you."

I am sure people are just trying to give me comfort. But, really, these statements get me more worked up than anything.

Only giving me what I can handle? Really, really? God knows that I will somehow manage to get through our pregnancy losses so He keeps giving them to me? Sorry, I choose to believe that God isn't a jerk. I was reading a magazine at my mother-in-law's home the other day and found a saying on a great sign, "God doesn't give us what we can handle, God helps us handle what we are given." Yes, and thank you. This is how I choose to think, for if thought the other way I'm certain I would be angry and bitter all of the time. Not just some of the time.

Aren't meant for more? Oh, and how many kids do you have? 2? 3? So, God thinks you were meant for more, but not us? Please explain. PLENTY of people in this world have multiple children and don't take care of them....even abuse them. So to hear that I wasn't "meant" for more is tough, very tough.

Telling me something? OK, I agree, I wonder if He's telling me that I can't carry another baby. But, then why do I want to have another one so badly? We were happily on the road to adoption, we felt firm and confident in our decision, then we find out we were pregnant, only to have it lead to another loss. If He was trying to tell me something, I already heard the message, remember? We applied for adoption, didn't sign up for another IVF and got pregnant anyway. So, then I start to wonder, did He want me to get pregnant so that I could remember the joy of pregnancy and that we should, indeed, try again someday? See, this one could spin either way. It's really mind boggling if you try to figure it out. So, I'm not.

A different plan. Plan. What plan? We threw plans out the door a long, long time ago. You know those people that plan a pregnancy so they are due at a certain time....yeah, those people? We aren't them. We have no plan. We have hope. Hope that our family will get bigger and that we'll have to stay up all hours of the night rocking a baby. Hope that Griffin can be a big brother. Hope that we can watch another miracle unfold before our very eyes.

So, people, let's give God a little credit. He's helping us to handle the tough road that we've been on. He's hurting right along with us.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Empty Arms

Tears started falling when I read the first two words of this video, and they didn't stop. I feel so understood.

Empty Arms

Saturday, May 21, 2011

One Day at a Time, One Foot in Front of the Other

The day started rainy and gloomy. I felt rainy and gloomy. Why oh why or why do we have to keep going through this? It's so hard to make sense out of it. I can't make sense out of it.

I spent the morning shopping for flowers with my mom. Jamie knows that being productive is one of the ways I cope with our infertility struggles and our devastating losses, and he has warmly embraced that philosophy, too. So, up went our new flower boxes. (Thanks, Stacy, for the idea!)

Then, we had a surprise lakeside visit from my dad in their new pontoon we didn't know anything about!

My parents brought over dinner. My mom planted with me. My dad helped to entertain Griffin and Jamie mowed the lawn.

I felt less gloomy and saw this:

Just the sign I needed to see, that everything would be ok. It wasn't going to be easy, but it was going to be ok.

Perfect Find

I found this little sign at a garage sale today, and since it said almost exactly what I was feeling, thought it should be mine. Someday, I'll feel differently, and it will make a great gift for a friend that needs a little pick me up. Until then, I'll look at it and smile.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Our Nightstands are Having an Identity Crisis

I told Jamie the other day that our night stands appear to be having an identity crisis. In between the Real Simple and ESPN magazines are books about miscarriages, pregnancy, getting pregnant naturally and adoption. I am sure our cleaning lady thinks we are nuts. Heck, I think we are nuts. I put the pregnancy books away tonight. I am tired of taking them in and out of the bin in our basement. Maybe it's time to send them to Good Will. Or better yet, sell them in an adoption garage sale. How ironic.

Holding on to Hope.

So, you may think that these t-shirts are dorky. But, as a women fighting with all of her might to give her child a sibling, I think they are mighty cool. About a month and a half ago Griffin and I were shopping and I was looking at this shirt. A woman noticed and smiled and asked if I was expecting. I said no, but that we had applied for adoption. I set it back down and she said, "Oh, you have to buy it!" So, I did. I was about to check out and I went back to get a bigger size. A 7. Griffin is wearing a 4 right now. I have hope, but I am trying to be realistic! I hope I don't have to squeeze him into it when he's 10 or something.

This is what we do.

So, we're the kind of family that puts on foot in front of the other (even if tears are flowing down our faces). We keep moving. And, when life is spinning out of control I like to organize and purge things. Tonight, we did just that. Here are the boys in our very messy garage, putting one foot in front of the other. The garbage is full of junk and a little place in our life seems like it's a little more under control.

And I drank a coke. So there.

Hope on Hold.

So, we had our first home study meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Jamie and I were looking forward to meeting our adoption social worker and were 100% on board with our plans for adoption. Then, life threw us a curve ball. And, it was a great curve ball...for about two weeks. Then, it lead to more sorrow and loss. I thought we were done with that. No. Such. Luck.

Here's the story.

My cycle has been a bit out of whack since the D&C, so it has been hard to tell what has been going on. But, one thing was for sure, it seemed like I was a bit "late". So, I did what every good woman that has peed on way too many negative pregnancy tests would do--waited. About 6 days went by and I asked Jamie what he thought we should do. His idea? Wait more. Yeah, but. What about that event I had to go to and be a bus hostess with all of the wine? Yeah, better not be downing too much of that IF I actually was pregnant. And the running, better put a kibosh on that, too. So, we decided it would be a good idea to take a test. I had a "feeling" I was pregnant, but after everything we have been through I don't exactly trust my body.

On Mother's Day evening we found out we were pregnant. SHOCK! We are THOSE people. Those ones that apply for adoption and get pregnant. Holy Cow. I was secretly hoping that we'd adopt a baby and BAM be surprised with a pregnancy, but this was over the top--we didn't even get to the home study.

But, here's the thing. We WANT to adopt. We are mentally invested in adoption. We know we want to grow our family through adoption. It's on our hearts.

The good thing is, the two of us seem to get on the same page {FAST} when it comes to family building. So, we said the same thing....if this works out, we'll have this baby, wait until he/she turns one and apply for adoption again. Yeah, great plan! I love plans. How come my plans don't seem to work out very often?

So, I head to the doctor in disbelief a week ago Wednesday and they confirmed my pregnancy. 5 weeks, 2 days with a pretty little gestational sac. Oh, I love being pregnant.

I decided this time I was going to let myself enjoy the pregnancy. So, I ordered a pregnancy journal, and gosh darn it I was going to use it! (During my last pregnancy I took the pregnancy journal I used for Griffin and wrote on the margins in a different color pen--I was afraid to get a journal, like it would jinx it or something. Pathetic.)

I was so excited. I was going to have a baby, our baby, Griffin's sibling. Did I mention I love being pregnant? I love maternity clothes...oh and I had such cute ones from the last pregnancy that I barely got to wear, some not at all! And, for Ann's wedding I'd be pregnant--how fun! Now, when July rolled around and I felt the grief from our last loss (he was due July 12), I would know that come late Dec/early Jan we would have a baby. We've prayed for blessings and we got it! We've been praying for our birth mother and it turns out our birth mother is ME! Griffin would be so excited, he wants a brother or sister so badly.

Don't get me wrong, I was NERVOUS, too. But, I kept telling myself, why would this happen if it wasn't meant to be? Why would I have to go through one more terrible thing to grow our family? It happened, out of the blue, naturally (although I was on Metformin which helps with the condition I have--PCOS.). So, clearly it was meant to be. I worked on calming my fears and enjoying the fact that I had our baby growing in me.

We had another ultrasound scheduled for today. I was afraid to go. I knew that if we got bad news everything would change, I could no longer live in the dream that we were going to have another miracle baby and that I WAS PREGNANT!

I knew within seconds that things were not looking good. The ultrasound tech wasn't talking, just clicking through different screens. I asked some questions and she commented that it was early, but she also said that I am measuring at 6 weeks. Not good. I should be at least 6 weeks, 4 days. And, my early ultrasounds have always been ahead of the actual date. No heart beat was detected. Tears fell.

I went to change in the bathroom. I could hear the ultrasound in the room next to me, "Here are the fingers..." and a cute little boy making comments. A big brother. My poor Griffin doesn't even know that he was supposed to be a big brother, but his sibling doesn't seem to have a fighting chance.

We went upstairs and talked to our doctor. There isn't much hope. Hope? But, that's what I have focused on for so long. HOPE. And, for the first time in a long time, I, too felt little hope. How could I ever try to get pregnant again knowing that I have had 4 consecutive losses? Something is wrong, and we don't know what it is.

I asked about more testing. I've done all the major tests for pregnancy loss. Unexplained. I have unexplained losses. My babies are dying and we don't know why. And, I want them oh so badly. So unfair, so unfair. I want to be a mom again. Jamie is the best dad ever. And Griffin, sweet little Griffin wants a baby in our house so badly.

So, our adoption is on hold and I am losing our baby. Our hope. I'm going to have a four sweet babies to meet when I get to heaven.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Breakfast Conversation

Griffin: Mommy, where is our baby?
Me: Oh buddy, you know where our baby is, in heaven.
Griffin: No, not that baby, the one we are going to get. Why isn't anyone giving us a baby?
Me: Don't worry buddy, we will have a baby someday, it just may take a while.

Almost 4 year olds don't have much patience! (Either do almost 35 year olds that want to have a houseful of kids, but I'm trying.)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

It's Mother's Day, and a great time to reflect on how fortunate I am to be a mom. It used to be a tough day for me, it seemed like it was a celebration of what I longed for, but didn't have. I woke up feeling positive, happy to spend the day with my boys, and my mom and dad. I received some super sweet gifts--an awesome green shirt that Griffin picked out and a nice jacket for running, perfect for this rainy spring weather. Jamie got my van detailed this week. Love my boys. My mom gave me a fun "wet suit" bag to use when I leave the Y with my swimsuit (attached to the bag was a cute homemade card signed my Griffin).

Then we went to Sunday school. Sweet husband helped in the classroom today. Loved that, too. He read the Bible story to the kiddos and talked to them about Jesus. Kids yelled our varying things, but it was the comment from my little man that made my heart stop. "Jesus took our baby." (Let me clarify that we explained to him that our baby died and now is in heaven with Jesus...and have reiterated that Jesus didn't TAKE our baby.) It's amazing how one little phrase can change your frame of mind. I was holding back tears, looked at my co-teacher and said, "Happy Mother's Day, right?" Although Mother's Day is a day for me to celebrate what I DO have--an amazing mother and the gift of motherhood, Griffin's comment forced me to think about the three little peanuts up in heaven. And I was trying SO hard to focus on what I DO have today. My heart ached thinking about how I never got to show them how much I love them.

Although Mother's Day brings up mostly happy feelings for me, I can't help but feel sadness for the women struggling to become moms. Friends of mine, and strangers. Women I've heard about from others that are in hope/disappointment cycle that infertility brings. Women in my support group. Women that I've encountered through inspire.org. Women that want nothing more than to be called Momma. My Mother's Day wish is that all of those deserving women will one day hear the sweet sound of "Momma".

Family Photos

Those of you that know me know that I take gobs and gobs of photos, I scrapbook them, blog them and print them in excess. So, I feel like we have what we need to show potential birth parents who we are and what we are about. But, we didn't have a recent (in the last 9 months) family photo that was a close up and would work for the main photo that will be featured on LSS's website. My good friend, Mandi, came out yesterday to take a close up of us to use for the profile. Thanks, Mandi and Spencer, you two are awesome!!!

Home Study

We heard from our adoption social worker! We'll be heading to her office in St. Cloud on May 17th. We'll have a 2 hour+ meeting with her, then the next step will a meeting in our home. We're moving along.....


I was getting my hair done the other day and chatting with my hairdresser about the usualy life stuff...Griffin starting t-ball, her happiness that hockey season was over, and our adoption process. In walked another client and her hairdresser immediately began to ask how she was feeling, was she feeling less sick? She sat down next to me. There was a lump in my gut. I knew it immediately. She was pregnant. My hairdresser and I both fell silent, I am sure we both knew the obvious and didn't quite know what to say (my hairdresser was well aware of the loss of our baby...one appointment I was wearing a maternity shirt, the next appointment I was back in "normal" clothes). The woman spoke about how she found out she was pregnant just one week after her missed period--SO EARLY--so it was going to feel like she was pregnant forever, she was 8 weeks along. And, she'd be pregnant at her wedding, it was diappointing that she wouldn't be able to party. She'd been so sick it was hard to get out of bed.

I just listened and thought about how my innocence was lost. It took nearly 2 years to conveive Griffin. The thought of not knowing I was pregnant for a week doesn't even seem possible. With 3 of our 4 pregnancies I found out I was pregnant BEFORE my missed period. With the other pregnancy, I had a good inkling I was pregnant, but my Grandmother was seriously ill and passed away. I didn't want to take a test because it wasn't a time for rejoicing, it was a time for mouring.

8 weeks along. And she was so confident. I REALLY can't imagine confidently telling anyone I was pregnant at 8 weeks along! During my last pregnancy, I didn't even announce it at work (we have the tradition of bringing in pink and blue treats when you want to share the news) until I was 14 weeks along. The same day I found out our little guy was no longer alive. A miscarriage will do that to you, I don't think you can ever enjoy your pregnancy the same way after losing a baby.

So, I thought about how fortunate this woman was to have her innocence and confidence, two things I can't get back. I am sure losing them has somehow made me a better person, stronger woman and more appreciative mother. Most days I'd rather have the innocence and confidence instead, but I still am thankful for the gifts I have received through our losses.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Social Workers and Butterflies

I got an email today that we have a Social Worker assigned to us! She will be calling us soon to set up our home study. I honestly got butterflies....this is really happening! It seems like such a huge step. We will soon be meeting the woman that will help us through this process. She will be calling us to let us know if a potential birth parent wants to meet us. She'll let us know if we are "picked". And, she will most likely be there when our baby is born. Such an important person in our lives and we've never met! We're excited for the next steps of our journey!