Monday, July 14, 2014

- Sleepless in Arkansas -

Well folks, we have entered the terrible two's. They came knocking at our door about a week ago in the form of bedtime woes. Jack will be 3 in a couple months, I was sure we had just gotten lucky and skipped over the dreaded terrible two's! Oh how blissful my ignorance was...

Jack has ALWAYS been a good sleeper. From the day he was born, in fact. He has taken great naps every day and slept through the night for quite some time now. We have never let him cry it out, and I take pride in that. However the tables have drastically turned on us. Our perfect little sleeper learned how to climb out of bed, throw a tantrum and down right REFUSE sleep. At first I was concerned at how sudden his bedtime behavior sprung up, but I have been assured by many Mama's that the sudden onset is quite normal. Nap time and bedtime take several hours now, and even once he is asleep we are not in the safe zone, because you can bet your money that he will WAKE UP again.

Anyway, I will not bore you will the details of how awful our last week as parents has been, there are a lot of things I could tell you, but most of you have been there... so I'll just say, it's been ROUGH.

With baby Charlotte's arrival approaching I am overwhelmed with my brand new toddler. I am terrified of what our days and nights will look like when I have another teeny tiny human being to tend to and nurse throughout the night. In fact, I cry every time I think about whats to come. Unlike most pregnant moms I can assure you I am in no hurry for Charlie to get here! She can take her sweet time while I figure out how to manage her older brother!

This week has been a struggle with exhaustion, yes. But it has also been a struggle in my work to glorify God through my mothering. To make each daily task important, and God honoring. This, my friends, is tough! And I failed many, many, many times this week as I dreaded each day with my toddler. My attitude was sour, and I sank into sadness and self loathing. I was stuck there for days, wondering how Moms out there are able to find joy in their Mothering, especially full time Moms like me.

Then church happened. We attend an amazing Church Community in Rogers that we LOVE! After a looooooooong night with Jack, I managed to slap some makeup on my unwashed face, throw some clothes on Jack, wake up Tyler from Jack's bed (yes that describes how our night went) and we all headed to church! The message was on violence and sin. I will not re-hash the whole message, but it was eye opening. Reminding me of the sin that lives inside my heart. I am not, by nature, a perfect mother. It is through Christ I find my joy and fulfillment, and that joy can spill over into every aspect of my life, including my "job" as a Mom. I tried far too many times last week to rid of my sin and selfishness on my own. How silly and useless is that?

So this week I will draw my strength, joy, fulfillment, patience and energy from the one who made me. The one who shaped my Motherly heart, and gave me Jack and a wonderful baby girl to take care of. It is my duty to teach my children to love God and love others, but how can I do that without God's help? It is impossible, believe me, I have tried! First I need to allow God to fill ME before I can pour into Jack.

So I began to pray throughout the day. I prayed for God to fill me with patience and extra cuddles for Jack. I prayed for patience and peace for Tyler. I prayed for Jack and his tired little body. I prayed, prayed, prayed throughout the day, not for Jack to magically go to sleep perfectly, but for my heart to turn and treat Jack the way Jesus treats our tantrums and struggles: with much Grace and Patience!

If you are a suffering Mama who needs some encouragement, reach out!
If it weren't for my friend Kalynn, my Sister Shannon and my own Mama I would have been much deeper in my frustration. There are Mamas who can relate and pour into you. Yes, it's hard to reach out and admit your defeat, but do it for your children, they deserve to have a Mom who is striving to learn how to best care for them.


Saturday, June 28, 2014

:: Charlotte's Web ::

Sorry it's taken me a while to write a new blog post. First things first, I'll update on my pregnancy:

I am 19 weeks pregnant with a baby GIRL! We have decided to name her Charlotte Dean. Charley for short. So far we know she is healthy and growing on track. I have yet to gain any weight (woo!!) but my belly has popped forward for sure! I have had a pretty easy pregnancy. Morning sickness still comes around every once in a while and I always have to pee, but other than that I feel great! I'm sure that will all change in the coming weeks and months ;)

I am finally feeling little kicks from Charley! I had felt little flutters every now and then, but I wasn't entirely sure they were bubbles of baby kicks or gas ;) Last night I felt my first real KICK! In fact now she won't stop moving! I feel her all the time! It's an amazingly beautiful feeling. With each little kick I thank God for blessing us with this pregnancy. Words cannot describe how grateful I am for God giving me a chance to grow this precious life. I know many women who would give anything to be in my shoes, and that is why I do not take one moment of this pregnancy for granted.

Honestly, that is a big reason why I am finding it hard to blog about my pregnancy. I try not to put too much on my Facebook about baby Charley, and I abandoned my blogging for a while.
I am feeling a lot of guilt. Guilt for being chosen to grow another life, when many other women have not been able to grow even one. I feel guilty for praying for a girl, and receiving a healthy girl in return. I even feel guilty for being so excited to mother another child. My heart still aches greatly for women who are not given this opportunity.

A friend once told me that my Infertility may still affect me if I were to ever get pregnant, and she was right. My eyes have been opened to the pain of Infertility, negative pee sticks, and child loss. It's something I will never forget. Although I am extremely thankful to finally get pregnant, I can't help but still ache for women who cannot conceive or carry a baby to term.

I worry about Charley constantly. I bought a Doppler Heart rate Monitor so I can check in on her every few days. I will always be afraid of losing her. When I start to get attached to those kicks and fall in love with the sound of her heart, I try and stop myself. It is a constant battle, and I know there are women who can relate to those feelings. I know God will even out these emotions in time. But I don't want to ever forget about the women who are still fighting the battle. Heck, I'm still fighting the battle... I will always worry about my children.
I'm sure I'll be the helicopter mom everyone makes fun of. But I'll learn to let God take control... eventually!

If you know someone who struggles with Infertility, Miscarriages, or Child Loss... Pray for them and reach out to them. Send Flowers and offer a hug. Don't let it be easy to move on if you have children. There are women still stuck at the starting line with a lot of pain in their hearts and empty arms. 


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Two Pink Lines... No more Whine!

Well Everyone... I'M PREGNANT!!!!!!! About 6 weeks ago we saw those two BEAUTIFUL pink lines we have been desperately praying for! Most days I am still in shock!!


I've been so excited to share details with you all! We had a scare around 6 weeks and were told we lost the baby (I'll blog that story another time) so we wanted to wait until things were remaining positive to make our news public!

Up to Date Details:

-I am due November 25th-- So I am currently 9 weeks.
-Battling with pretty bad morning sickness, yes it's worth it, but still pretty miserable!
-We WILL find out the gender, probably sometime in June
-Jack is so excited when we mention the baby, but he doesn't quite understand whats about to happen to his world!

Now for the conception story... no no I'm not sharing the intimate stuff!! Just the appropriate details:

In January we did our last medicated cycle, and it failed. Now when I say it failed, not only did it NOT result in pregnancy, it failed to cause ovulation. I was so hopeful that last cycle would work, so when it didn't you can imagine how disappointed I was.

Well that was it, we had decided to let go and move on. My body clearly was not cooperating, and I needed to focus on life, and bring myself out of my Infertility coma.

The month of February was the most relaxing, normal, joyful month I have had in TWO YEARS. Tyler was FINALLY home from Branson and had a 9-6 work schedule with Sunday's off. We had family dinner every night and it was marvelous! This was the month we concieved... on our own...WITHOUT medication!

I was still charting and was able to confirm ovulation FOR THE FIRST TIME! We were shocked!! But so hopeful. We began to pray pray pray that this little egg would result in a baby. I began taking progesterone a few days after ovulation and I am still taking it. I believe this helped immensely! My doctor had suggested it a few months ago because she suspected a severe progesterone deficiency.

 I was on vacation in Colorado visiting my family when I got that positive test... and 7 others... ;) When I saw that sencond faint pink line I was shocked, excited, tearful, joyful, worried, oh and did I mention SHOCKED!?... I carried the test around with me all day just to make sure I wasn't dreaming! I got a funny look from my mom every time I peeped in my purse at the test just to be sure! :)

When I saw my doctor for the first time around 6 weeks she walked in and said, "What do doctors know... we know nothing! We tell you one things and God proves another!"... she is ABSOLUTELY right!! I keep going back and trying to figure out how this happened! But I can't. God gets all the credit for providing us with a miracle! There is no way my body should have randomly ovulated on it's own and from that, make a baby! It truly is a miracle. Praise the Creator of Life for blessing our family with a second child. I will Praise Him daily for this little baby joining our family, and for giving Jack the  sibling I have desperately prayed for :) Oh how I love typing those words!!

There is A LOT more deatil I could share about these last 3 months, so I'll let most of it slowly trickle out in differnt blogs. For now I wanted to share our good news and shout from the rooftop... WE ARE HAVING A BABY!!!!!! <3


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

^^ Every Storm Runs out of Rain ^^

Well it's about time I update you all on the ugly "I" word...

Last month I decided to do a medicated cycle with a medicine called Letrozole, paired with an HCG trigger shot. The Letrozole did it's work and gave me one mature follicle (house that holds the egg) and we were able to trigger it to release the egg on day 12 of my cycle. I'll never know if I ovulated that cycle since I was immediately put on a Progesterone supplements a few days after the trigger shot (checking progesterone levels is how they confirm ovulation) I was very hopeful up until a few days after the trigger I started feeling sharp pains, familiar pains, on my right side where the follicle was... a cyst. I just knew it. I tested negative (many, many times) and went on to get, yet another, period.
Our plan was to do this two more times, adjusting details as we go. I was very hopeful we would get the timing right and these medications would work!

Well Insurance thought other wise. I was recently informed we have reached our cap for Infertility treatments under my Insurance. So all in one swift Walmart run to pick up my prescription, the opportunity to do a few more medicated cycles was stripped away. Insurance was refusing to cover my medication, and it is too expensive to purchase out of pocket. I put a brave face on, thanked the Pharmacist for doing everything she could, went around the corner and bawled right there in the tampon isle, clutching to a box of Tampax Tampons... knowing I will be making this purchase again next month, then the next, and... *sigh*

I know my journey is hard to understand, but this was not the ending I had in mind.

Before struggling with Infertility I was confused why so many couples only tried to conceive for a few years before giving up and moving on... why didn't they try everything they could, IVF is cheaper than adoption, save up your money and try it all for Pete's sake!

But being on this side of things I am singing a COMPLETELY different tune. THIS JOURNEY SUCKS. Never tell an Infertile otherwise, you'll see an ugly side of her. Haha.
And at some point you have to decide to let go and live your life..."trying" (and failing) is exhausting, time consuming, costly and completely draining in every sense of the meaning.

Our chances of conceiving naturally are slimmest of slim. After 20 cycles total, 11 of them medicated, I should know. That does not mean I will not pray like I have never prayed for my BIG GOD to bless my womb. But it means choosing where to go from here is a tough decision to make. What is my new normal?

I will continue to pray to a God who is bigger than technology and medications. My HOPE is in Him, and I will rest in his ever flowing GRACE and PEACE.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Wife as a House

Stay at Home Mom.

That is my title, and that is exactly what I do. I am a Mother, and I stay at Home with my child. Day in, and day out. I do not get sick days, or vacation. I go weeks without seeing a single Friend but my husband. And if it weren't for Facebook and texting, the world may not realize I am still alive and kicking. 
I plan our days, meals, activities, clean-up, play and sleep time. This routine is consistent down to the hour, and Play dates and extravagant outings are far and few between. 

I have chosen to devote my life to raising our child within the home, and Tyler and I agree that it was the BEST decision we have ever made. I LOVE my child, and I LOVE being a Stay at Home Mom. But like any career choice, it comes with difficulties and sacrifice. 

It is my identity. My whole identity. Somewhere in the last 2 years I have lost Robyn. Spontaneous and carefree wife, supportive and consistently encouraging Friend... Robyn. She is there, begging to be free! But when it comes down to it, and she has a chance to escape, the fear of stepping outside the comforting bounds of "stay at home mom" world, keeps her locked up. Robyn bubbles up every now and again, but in a flash she is replaced with potty training and toddler tickles! These are wonderful things, fabulous and fulfilling in fact, and my daily dose of Jack is never too much! But finding the balance between these worlds was something I didn't see coming when I decided to become a SAHM. Who I used to be before I became a mother was replaced with... becoming a mother. The two worlds crowd each other, and have trouble co-existing. So my "Mom world" took precedence. 

I know I am not alone, and I KNOW there are Moms who will read this and think, "ME TOO, ME TOO"... But what do we do about it? How do we support one another? How do we find the balance between WIFE, MOM, FRIEND and ME? If someone has the answers for us... please share!

Moms-- some days are great, right? In fact, most days you watch your children play and learn, and think, "how lucky am I?" But there are days that fall on the Calendar too often that are down right lonely, depressing and confining. One day like that, no problem... two, okay I can deal... three, that's life as a mom... but then you get used to it, and it eats at your other world, and your identity. That is where I am... I'm in too deep. Escaping the comfy, lonely hole I have crawled into will be hard. But is IS necessary, for my son, my husband, my friends, family and myself. 

The reason I write all this will seem off topic... But it connects, I promise.

I have recently decided to limit my Social Media use. *Confession: I am on Facebook A LOT.* But the reasoning behind it is what caused me to question my identity as "mom". You see, I use Facebook as a way to see into Society. To see what my Friends and Family are up to, and to let them all know I am here. But I do it from a distance. I can safely "stay at home" and pretend I am a part of society. It makes me feel like people can peek into my life and be apart of it somehow. Being a SAHM is lonely, very lonely. But here is my problem... My life is going to remain lonely if I am only staying connected with the world through Facebook and Instagram. I NEED to be a part of the world outside my home. I NEED Robyn to re-enter my daily routine. 

How that will look, I have no idea. What will change about our daily routine, not a clue. I'm still gaining courage to figure that out, and if I find the magic answer to being the perfect person, I'll let you all in! Until then... we can rejoice in the eagerness for positive change, even if it takes time. :)

Monday, December 23, 2013

1 Step Forward... 2 Steps Back... 1 Step Forward

Woah woah woah... VERY emotional, stressful, overwhelming and confusing few weeks. Many tears have been shed, and I have realized my strength is merely... survival.

So... I'll dive right in. We have decided NOT to do the injectable cycle in Tulsa. I have already cancelled all of my appointments with the Tulsa Center. That door is closed, and we are relieved and at peace with that decision.

There were MANY reasons why we decided against the treatment Tulsa was offering. I listed them in my last blog. But what caused us to quit on Tulsa completely? The whopper that made us take a GIANT leap back from the hormonal injections? Honestly... I don't have the mental and emotional strength to handle it. Sure, I could endure. But not without hitting rock bottom and taking my son and husband down with me. That's not fair to them, and it is not fair to me. We all need a break! These past 2 years have been nothing short of exhausting. I feel down right worn out, mentally, physically and emotionally. About a week ago I discovered I have reached my breaking point. I was emotionally incapable of pushing myself further, and I had no choice but to take a step back. It felt gooooood.

I visited with a Fertility Specialist in Bentonville, AR last week. I had made the appointment months ago and forgot all about it. As it approached and my feelings toward Tulsa became sour, I decided to meet with this new doctor on a whim. I told her EVERYTHING I had been through. I told her about my emotional and mental stress, all the fertility treatments I had been through so far, and that I was NOT willing to drive 3.5 hours to see a doctor who is going to charge me $100 just to hear my husbands test results over the phone. I said I want to start small and work our way up, and I am not willing to give up on my body and I have faith in my ovaries, no matter their condition. We talked for over an hour and for the FIRST time, I FELT HEARD. She was caring, kind, understanding, sympathetic, and the best part is I didn't feel pushed to do anything she suggested. The choice was allll mine! FINALLY. After 4 doctors, I have found the one! *applause*

My Medical Records are being faxed to my new awesome possum doctor today and she will review them with me and give us a second opinion. If we decide to move forward with a smaller treatment option with this new doc, ALL the monitoring can be done in Branson. This was the icing on the cake to a wonderful appointment. No driving! Seriously people... this is a big deal. The Tulsa doctor didn't allow any monitoring to be done outside their facility. So that alone brings my anxiety down about 17,000 notches :)

We ARE still trying to conceive. Honestly, I will never be able to fully "give up". But for now, I am comfortable with the effort we have made thus far, and I know my limits. We are praying this new, fabulous doctor can help us come up with some more simple steps towards conceiving.

Please pray for us as we continue this journey. We are headed in a new and peaceful direction, but that doesn't mean I feel better about my infertility. I feel the pain of it every day, and my lack of hope in the ability to conceive is pretty heavy on my heart. I need prayer. WE need prayer as we continue to take steps on this broken road.

Monday, December 16, 2013

*choo choo* All aboard the Potty Train!

My last few posts have been more than depressing, so I will follow them up with a happy post. Your welcome. 

Potty Training. Those two words used to stress me out. We had tried several times to get Jack out of diapers, and each time failed. I kept thinking there was something we were doing wrong! I imagined him on dates with his high school sweetie asking her to keep his diapers in her purse during their dinner and a movie outing.
So I pushed him to use the toilet, time and time again. Many "been there done that" Mamas were telling me we were doing everything right, and he just wasn't ready. Yeah yeah, thanks for the encouragement, but he IS ready because by the time he is in high school the 'big purse' fashion will be out of style, and who will carry his diapers in their bag!? So I pushed and pushed again. Ok I wasn't THAT pushy, but I did try to potty train him on multiple occasions.

Well... *drum roll please* you were right Ladies.Yes I said it, YOU WERE RIGHT! :)

Last Tuesday we tried introducing Jack to the potty one more time. It was more of a random act of curiosity than actually trying. This time though, IT CLICKED! He was ready and eager to learn. And boy oh boy did he rock the pants off potty training! No seriously, he hasn't worn pants in 7 days.

I am excited to announce he is officially potty trained! In the last week he has only had one accident, and he has pooped and peed on the potty every time he has to go! WOOOO HOOOO!! Before you start shaking your head in that 'poor woman thinks he is actually toilet trained for good' manner... I realize there will be regressions and accidents, but now I am confident that Jack has the knowledge he needs to learn from those accidents. He is so so so smart! I know every mom says that about her child, but come on guys... Jack is the smartest kid in the whole wide world :)

My Potty Training Techniques:

- First step is teaching him with our words exactly what the rules of potty training are. i.e. "Jack, no more diapers. We are going to put our pee and poo poo in the potty from now on. Where does pee and poo go?" and make him repeat the rules back to you. I still ask Jack throughout the day where his pee goes and he says, "in da potty". That way we are confident in his understanding of the process.

- Naked bottom! This is a MUST! He has not worn pants (or undies) for an entire week. We just introduced underwear today since we are having company this weekend. But the past week of him being able to go sit on the potty whenever he felt the urge was what did the trick! In fact I haven't told him to try going potty in several days. If he needs to pee, he sits on the potty and pees! We are working on teaching him how to pull down and up his undies... that's going to take a lot of practice. But he is doing good so far :)

- We rewarded BIG TIME. If he even tinkled a little in the potty we would jump up and down and do a crazy potty dance and follow it up with a treat. Hershey kisses were his treat of choice. But I switched to M&Ms since the kisses were too much sugar for a kid who pees 27 times a day ;)

For those Mamas who are climbing aboard the Potty Train: don't give up! It's a stressful thing to teach a child, but when they are ready to learn, it will click! Until then, enjoy the convenience of diapers. You will miss them!