Tuesday, November 29, 2011

It's A...

So what do you think? Boy? Girl? :) Guess what? Not telling just yet. Sorry man.

We've sent a few pictures out with Levi and a special balloon to share with a few close friends, and today we're taking cupcakes to play group and then to church home groups tonight that are filled with a very special color frosting. We thought that may be a lot more fun than just telling everyone.

So pictures will follow sometime soon, and then you can know for sure. :) I'd love to hear the guesses though. We were so very thankful that baby cooperated this week and we could know. The doctor said with 95% assurance that she was right. So we'll take that. There's always that little chance, but really, can you ever know for sure in life until that baby shows up? :)

Some people have already asked if we have a name, and no, we don't. And I'm guessing if we do decide on 1 or 2 we won't share until baby is here and named. That's what we did with Levi, he wasn't Levi until we both held him. And honestly, Andrew needs time to process names. He's not as impetuous as his wife. :)

So hold on tight and wait for the news! Pink or Blue?!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Joy & Grief

I was reading over my last two posts and realizing I don't sound very joyful. Don't get me wrong, I am. I am SO excited for this baby. But I am also apprehensive. There are days that are so hard to not just live in fear. Because once you've lost your babies, it's hard to believe that this one is for real. And now we're depressing again...sorry. I think the best way to describe it is that once the "untouchable" things in your life have been touched, and destroyed for lack of a better word, that suddenly your life seems so fragile. I'm searching for the right description here. Maybe this story can help it make a little more sense.

Sometimes a date can sneak up on you. I was getting ready for church a few weeks ago when the fact that it was November 6th hit me like a ton of bricks. I really didn't think it would bother me. But it did. It has been a year since our second baby was given over. Way too early. We already knew the baby had died, but somehow, this day was what was significant. So I cried. I was shocked that the date hit me so hard. Here I was like 12 weeks pregnant and rejoicing in our latest baby's life, and yet sobbing uncontrollably for a baby lost a year ago. Because this Babe growing strong in my womb DOES NOT replace our other 3 children. Some people who have lost babies and then gotten pregnant again fairly quickly have said that they can't mourn their miscarriage because without it they wouldn't have the child they have. I get that, but can't I wish for both? And since it's been more than a year since our first given over baby, that doesn't apply. I physically ache at times for that baby. I want to know them, to know their personality and to kiss their tiny heads and to snuggle them close. I MISS THEM. I never knew them, but I miss them. No matter the good news, that God is sovereign, that my babies know no more pain, that they are in the presence of the Savior, I MISS THEM. Do I wish for them to be here with me? Yes and no. Yes for my sake, no for theirs. But no matter what, I miss them. And that's okay. I no longer have intense anger, but I'm still sad at times. Like that day. When it just hit me. So I cried, not just for who I had lost, but for the pain that had been experienced, both physically and emotionally. And this song I'll post, suddenly made more sense to me than it ever has, even right after we lost the babies.

The lyrics that get to me are these:
"This hand is bitterness. We want to taste it and let the hatred numb our sorrows. The wise hand opens slowly to lilies of the valley and tomorrow.
If hope is born of suffering, if this is only the beginning, can we not wait, for what our, watching for our Savior?
This is what it means to be held, how it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life, and you survive. This is what it is to be loved, and to know that the promise was, when everything fell, we'd be held."

I never understood the intense questioning that goes on in this song before. I never understood the intense feelings of anger, bitterness, and acceptance all at once. The "okayness" of questioning God but still asking to be held. And now I do.
You survive, but there are days when you feel and know life will never be the same. Because the sacred HAS been torn from your life. So I don't feel guilty for being apprehensive about this baby. I SO rejoice in it's life and can't wait to meet Baby. But there's always that nagging "what if I don't get to" feeling in the back of my heart. What if I don't get to meet this baby on this earth? So not shouting it from the rooftops helps soften the fear and potential hurt. But I love this Baby. Oh so much. The days between Dr.'s appts can't go fast enough. I can't wait to see Baby's little hands and fingers and wiggles and yawns again. I want to KNOW this Baby.

So the joy is there, and coming more everyday. The intense celebration? I may save that for the delivery date.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Blech...This word seems to sum up my life lately. I have to say, this pregnancy has been so eye opening. I thought I was sick with Levi, I thought one of the pregnancies I lost was miserable, they were nothing compared to this. And yet, I know I still had it easy compared to those who are throwing up multiple times a day. Although there were days I wished I could have thrown up, maybe I would have felt better. But most likely, probably not. But I have to say, feeling like you could puke 24/7 is NOT fun either. I may finally be on the upswing. Meaning I only feel sick 1/2 the day instead of the whole thing. Meaning I'm actually eating a few bites of dinner and not existing on cereal 24/7.

I have learned in this to be so thankful for certain things in my life.
~Like my husband. He's been so patient and understanding and compassionate. Not expecting supper freshly made every night. Not being offended when I serve him his dinner and go check out in the other room so I didn't have to smell it anymore. Not minding taking extra care of Levi in the evenings when I felt the worst. Isn't that bizarre? I feel worse as the day goes on. So much for "morning sickness" Andrew's been a hero, rubbing my back, being VERY sympathetic and undemanding. No guilt whatsoever. I love that man and his tender heart.
~Secondly I'm so thankful to be a stay-at-home Momma this time around. So that on the worst days the biggest demands on my time were someone wanting to read or play with me. Not lots of customers wanting their lattes RIGHT NOW. So that what little energy I do have, I can pour into my son and husband first and foremost. No, it's not easy financially or emotionally always to be home and not working. But when I see Levi and the things he learns everyday and the joy of sharing that with Andrew, well it's all worth it. Some people may say I'm not "contributing" to our household financially. Well, so what? Because I am contributing to the upbringing of our legacy. I'll take that over false financial guilt anyday. And so would Andrew.
~Thirdly I am SO thankful for our amazing OB/GYN. She's been with us ever since I was trying to get pregnant with Levi. She walked that whole ridiculous path with us, even though she didn't get to deliver Levi, she made sure we were in good hands when transferred. She walked us through the dark days of miscarriage, twice. She looked extra hard to see our twins, even though they were gone, to give us hope that we had conceived miracles. And she rejoiced in this pregnancy with us and looked from the very beginning at the ultrasounds for every positive thing she could find to encourage us. She scheduled 2 appointments for us the week we had lost the other pregnancies, to let us sleep at night. I ran into a labor and delivery nurse today that I had known through the 'Bou and had when in the hospital before Levi was born. And shared our good news and chatted about my Dr. You know how wonderful it is to know that the nurses love your Dr. too? If they have good things to say, and they see it all, the good, the bad, the ugly, and the weird, then you know you're getting the true story. God has blessed our hearts with our Dr. She's cared for us above and beyond necessity.

Someone asked me why I didn't "announce" on Facebook, just linked to my blog there. Truth be told, I hesitated even to do that. Because of the following thoughts...
~First, I have to say this. I DO NOT resent anyone who has announced their pregnancy on Facebook. Or who is pregnant.
~Secondly, while the above it true, this is also true. When you have lost a baby, hearing in person about someone's pregnancy is hard, but reading it on an impersonal media site? Devastating. Maybe this will help you understand better. This is copied from a blog post I linked to several months ago when a game was going around on Facebook. About posting a hypothetical "pregnancy" to raise awareness for Breast Cancer. Frist of all it's ridiculous to think that would work, and it's also hurtful. This gal sums up why:
"If you played the game, I guarantee you there is someone on your friends list who saw you post your fake pregnancy, and for a moment, she was reminded of her empty aching womb, preparing herself to congratulate you, because she loves you, and yes, she IS truly happy for you. If you ever do get pregnant, please know that. She went through the emotions that come with such a sensitive situation for her, and she probably cried. And when she found out it was all a joke, she probably felt anger and pain and learned NOTHING about Breast Cancer Awareness."
Copied from this blog: http://cgwardphotography.blogspot.com/2011/08/regarding-facebook-breast-cancer.html?spref=fb

I can't really say it any better. I've always been excited and thankful for those who can get pregnant and have healthy babies. And I've prayed for them, that they won't experience the losses I have.

But it still hurts. Especially 2 days after undergoing surgery to remove your 2nd lost pregnancy. When you see someone is now announcing their pregnancy and is due 2 days before you were. Or 3 weeks. Or anytime in the vicinity. Because it IS a painful reminder of all you've lost.

So no, I don't resent anyone who's announced their pregnancy on Facebook. But I choose not to. At some point it will become impossible to keep quiet. And I did choose to link to my blog post, even knowing comments would come on that link. I just choose to not proclaim from the rooftops that I have something someone else may be longing for. Because we DON'T know what someone else is going through. Baby loss is still a taboo subject to many. Now, this post recently circulated Facebook, and this one I was proud to post:
Today we remember the babies who were born asleep, or whom we carried but never met, or those we have held but could not take home, or the ones who made it home, but didn't stay. Make this your profile status if you or someone you know has suffered the loss of a baby. The majority of you won't do it, because unlike cancer, baby loss is still a taboo subject. Break the silence. In memory of all lost ones ♥

So, ever since the losses I've kept a lot of my life off Facebook. Because I don't want to hurt anyone to be hurt by me, intentionaly or unintentionaly.

Yes, we celebrate this baby's life. We're thankful for Baby. But we want to share in the area we feel most comfortable, and to think of others at the same time.

So I hope that makes sense without being too much of a soapbox. And I pray that next year I'll be posting pictures of our new little one. Maybe on Facebook...maybe not.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011


I know, I know, it's been a while again. Here's the thing, when you can't write about the biggest thing you want to write about, it's hard to come up with meaningful thoughts that don't revolve around that thing. Confused?










Meet the Newest Baby Preston.

And I'm crying. :) Tears of Joy. We've been waiting, and waiting to share. Even now I'm fighting the fear of "going public". I'm afraid as soon as we "announce" that something will happen to baby. Fear has been a big factor in this pregnancy. But God is gracious and patient, and I'm learning on a whole new level what trust REALLY means.

So baby is 12 1/2 weeks along. This ultrasound is with the baby facing you, so the eye sockets can look kind of creepy. You can see baby's leg all stretched out on the left and in the middle there's kind of a bright white streak of the arm and then just below that you can actually see the bones of a hand. Baby was moving all over for this ultrasound and the heart has been strong and Baby just looks great! We've been seeing the Dr. A LOT, we are so blessed with a Dr. who has walked us through every step of our family's journey and understands all we've been through. She loves letting us check on Baby every week. The scariest/most anxious week was that week between 7 and 8 weeks. We saw the Dr. twice that week, just to keep an eye out. That was the week where we'd lost the last 3 babies (2 pregnancies). By 8 weeks 2 days it was very evident this baby was still strong and growing limbs. :) I thought I'd be super relieved, and I was, but fear can be powerful. So we're praying and trusting and hoping.

It's been a rough pregnancy, I've never been so sick. People tend to say that being sick is a good sign of a healthy pregnancy. I don't totally agree because I was sick with every pregnancy, but this has definitely been the worst. I'm so thankful for a wonderful and supportive husband who knows how to cook. :) There were some really rough weeks in there where it took everything I posessed to just stay alive and care for Levi. We read lots of books in those weeks. And praise the Lord for Sesame Street and Signing Time. But I think we're on the upswing. I finally feel like actually seeing and talking to people again. And not just puking on their shoes. No matter what though, I'm so thankful to be pregnant. People can be a little less than careful shall we say, and when they hear you're sick share stories of people who were sick their entire pregnancies. Not exactly encouraging when you wonder if you'll ever have color in your cheeks again and actually WANT to eat. But even if I am sick the entire time, that's ok. Because Baby is SO worth it.

There's so much more to share, and in the days to come I will. I'll share some thoughts on the future weeks and what we expect the rest of this pregnancy to look like. But for now, some of my more predominant thoughts.

When I first saw the 2 pink positive lines on the pregnancy test, 8 weeks ago, I would be lieing if I told you I jumped for joy. In that moment I severely questioned our decision to try again for another baby. Because it had been so recent since we'd lost the twins. But in that fleeting second of "Lord, Please, I can't do this again" I chose a different attitude. I literally said in my mind "Lord, you created this life. You chose this baby for us and are forming it's parts, so let me rejoice in that miracle. I WILL rejoice in what you have made." It was so early, baby wasn't even a centimeter big yet, but I knew from the moment this baby was conceived, that God had planned it's life. So we would rejoice, no matter what. I am SO thankful that it appears we will get to meet this baby on this earth, but even if we don't, this baby has been a blessing from God.

Which leads to my second thought, bonding. I have to say that watching this baby grow is so different from Levi. I think with your first child you of course love and want this baby. But you don't quite grasp the reality of what that will look like. You don't understand that the moment you hear that child's first cry, your heart is now living outside your body. That your very being will love that child more than you can ever comprehend. Now, this time? I see Levi, I see the love and the intense emotion I experience for him. So I get it a little better. I feel like I've already bonded so much with this baby. I so anticipate every little whimper and sigh and snuggle and little fingers and toes to kiss. Yes, there will be rough days of course, but I can't wait to meet this little one. For I see the love and joy that I've experienced with Levi, and I can only imagine and anticipate how that will simply multiple for this next Baby.

So, there you have it. Finally, something to talk about. :) We do want to say that we so would appreciate all of your prayers and blessings for this Baby. We've been praying from day 1 for God's protection for this Baby and we continue to do so. We also choose to trust God's plan is best. But we do pray with hope and longing that this Babe is here to stay for now. So thank you, for sharing our joy and praying for us. We are so thankful.