Sunday, August 29, 2010

How Our Family Started: Prologue

This is the first installment of three on How Our Family Started.

Stacy and I met in High School. I had been praying fervently that I would meet my spouse soon, and in His divine and perfect irony, God granted my prayer: Both of us attended classes at the same co-op, but never spoke. Then Stacy graduated.

Two years went by...

We re-met at church. We had several mutual friends, which allowed us to strike up conversation. The conversations lead to a friendship, the friendship a relationship. After dating for 4 months and being engaged for 3, the relationship led to marriage.

While we were dating we attempted to discuss everything with full disclosure (Communication is a KEY component of a marriage). Stacy brought up that, for medical reasons, it might be difficult for us to have "our own" kids. This lead to us agreeing that, if this was the case, we were ok with adoption and that we both were interested in adopting, even if we did have "our own" children. While this was a true sentiment, we both did not grasp fully the implications or weight of either infertility or adoption.

After getting married in 2005, we did not immediately try to start a family. It wasn't until several months later that, between a better understanding of God's will and a convicting talk (ironically enough: about abstinence) at a high school retreat we were staffing, we changed our minds (It must be noted that abstinence was not the birth control method we were using...).

It was soon very clear that difficult was an understatement when it came to the chances of our getting pregnant. After a workup at the doctor and more than a year of trying low-key treatments, the physician indicated that the only option they had left to offer was IVF.

This left us confused, sad, and unsure of what to do next: infertility and miscarriage bring a pain that is hard to explain or deal with.

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You grieve for the children you might have had, or were carrying and lost. You grieve for feeling alone, or useless, broken, or to somehow to blame. You grieve when others who have children complain, or take them for granted. You grieve for the uncertainty of the future, the starkness of the present, and the dashed hopes of the past.

Frequently the pain is brought up sharply: "If you don't have children, get busy." "You've been marrried how long? Where are all the kids?" "I knew someone that ____ and then they found out they were pregnant!" Conversely, some people suggest that you are "not supposed to have a family," or even twist scripture to indicate that you are being punished.

Other times the trigger is subtle: Attending a wedding, and then the though of never giving away a daughter. Watching a sports game, and then the thought of never playing soccer with a son. A friend joyfully (and rightly so) announcing that they are expecting a child. Baby furniture received as a gift, still sitting empty.

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All that is you, your faith, identity, and being are tried and challenged.

Through this time, we did know that God still loved us and His plan for us had not changed, but it was still hard to always find joy in Him. Admittedly, the reponse to the pain of infertility easily turns to anger, jealousy, or defensiveness. Though sinful beings, hopefully Stacy and I have weathered the pain well and, through Jesus grace, to His glory.

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This will be continued in part 2: Questions and Answers

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Thanks Mom!

My Mom sewed these cute cradle goodies for Haly! We got the cradle the day before I was admitted to the hospital a few months back. The plan had been for me to make a bumper and some sheets for it, but bed rest did not allow that! My Mom volunteered to sew them for us! I think it's the cutest cradle set I've seen!



Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Liberties

Last Friday I had my almost 2 month post-cerclage appointment. The doctor did another anatomy scan of Haly. She is growing just like they want. The measurements they took showed that she weighed exactly 2 pounds! My cervix is also looking more normal and has stayed long and steady for the past 3 checks. The best part was getting to see Haly wiggling around. She has the cutest little button nose! I can't wait to see it for real!


The doctor also gave me some more liberties! I get to walk for 20 minutes a day, drive a few short trips, and can start extending my sitting-up time by half an hour every few days as long as things don't feel stressed. I go back for another re-check in 2 weeks.

This coming weekend will be 28 weeks. This will be a huge milestone for Haly's brain development, getting her even closer to being ready for birth!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Saturday Sun

Yesterday was Tom's company picnic at Woodland Park Zoo. We figured out that if we could get a handicapped parking space near the West entrance it would be a short enough distance to the picnic area that I could probably go as long as we had my lounging lawn chair. The zoo was crazy busy. It took several drives through the parking to find a free handicapped space. (They only had 2 for each entrance!?) We parked and walked in, Tom set up my lawn chair, and I got to enjoy the fresh air and a little sun. We got to enjoy yummy alder smoked salmon, strawberry shortcake, fresh fruit, and salads. Tom made name tags for both Haly and I.


There was an old carousel right next to the picnic area that we got to ride. Tom and I sat on one of the "chariots" rather than the horses. Either the music or the spinning made Haly wake up and start bouncing.


Because I'm not supposed to walk we didn't get to enjoy all the animals on this trip. However, the new penguin exhibit is right next to the exit, so we walked past them on our way out. Watching them swim in the cool water really made me wish I could go swimming!


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Guess What He Did?


This cute, generally sweet little kitty thought he was taking care of me. He was sleeping in my lap the other day with his head curled up on my tummy. Halcyone woke up and started wiggling around, startling Orangey. Thinking he could stop the wiggling he was observing, he bit my tummy where Haly was moving, then looked at me and smiled! What a silly little kitty. Tom has since informed him that was not acceptable behavior.

Monday, August 9, 2010

25 Weeks

This weekend marked 25 weeks of baby Haly growth! She should be about 13 inches long, and should weigh about 1.5 pounds. This week her hair is supposed to start growing.

Last Thursday we had our 1 month post-op appointment, which included our 15th ultrasound. Halcyone had again flipped over and was head down. She seems to flip every week. This time she had her legs bent over her body, criss-crossed, with her toes on her forehead! The doctor said she is looking good and so is my cervix. I don't need to go in weekly now; I can go back to every 2 weeks for a while. I was also given permission to sit upright for an hour at a time, 3 times a day. So far I haven't pushed the sitting up, but I've done it a few times! Tom even took me out to Red Robin last Friday night for a date!

We've started the search for a car seat that will fit in our Forester without needing the front passenger seat to be pushed all the way forward. Who would have thought that a Forester is not a "family car?!" We've had a few recommendations from friends who also have Subarus, so will probably try a Graco Snugride seat to see how it fits. Hopefully it works!

Other than that, not much new has happened. I've still been reading, knitting, and doing a little hand sewing. Below is a picture Tom took last week of Halcyone and I.