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Bittersweet Weekend

When I was pregnant with Harper, I was anxious all the time. I held my breath everyday and at night as I laid in bed, I would exhale just a little as I realized I had made it another day. Aaron, being the amazing man that he is, decided at some point that I needed encouragement to help me through the long, stressful days. So, each day he put a blue post-it note with a Bible verse on it inside the cabinet in our bathroom that holds all the things I need in the mornings when I am getting ready for work. I never have taken those post-it notes down.

This was the verse on the post-it note on October 18, 2012, the day I went into pre-term labor and delivered Harper at 21 weeks and 2 days:


Hard to rejoice on such a bittersweet day, or the day that follows. Sweet because Harper is my child and yesterday was his birthday and I held him on that day two years ago. Sweet because I know where he is and I know I will be with him again one day. Bitter because on October 19, 2012, a few short hours after his birth, Harper died. Bitter because I wish he was here and I wish I was recovering from his birthday party right now. Bitter because no one speaks Harper's name. No one speaks Jonah's either. It is bad enough that to hear their names, me or Aaron have to say them, otherwise they are never mentioned. That hurts. Combined with the fact that they are gone and we are here...that really hurts. 

Losing a child is not like any other loss, and I think I'm pretty qualified to say that. It turns your world upside down, but no one else's. You think about your child(ren) every second of the day for your whole life, but they never seem to cross anyone else's mind. Man that hurts.

Makes me hold them even closer to my heart. 




Dreary Day

I don't know if it's this dreary weather or the fact that Harper's birthday is quickly approaching, but I am missing Jonah and Harper extra today. And I'm not just missing the thought of them. I am missing the way they felt in my arms, like they belonged there...because they did. I am missing their precious features and tiny hands. The time we got to hold them was so short, yet I can't get those moments out of my head.



I'm Still Here

I'm still here, just in case you all were wondering. Nothing new to report, just trying to be patient as my body gets back on track. Ten days ago I thought my Sarcoidosis was flaring up for the first time in about two years but I was actually diagnosed with pneumonia...go figure. I have been on a high dose of prednisone and a strong antibiotic, hoping this will clear up the pneumonia. Other than that, I am doing well, taking things one day at a time....trying, like I said, to be patient.....the hardest part because if I am anything at all, impatient is it. Some days it seems like time is standing still. We still appreciate all of your prayers as we wait. Prayers as each day without Jonah and Harper is still hard and still hurts.

And while I'm thinking about it, I have been so amazed lately at the amount of people that have come to me and Aaron to share with us their own loss(es). It serves to remind me that there are so many people that are affected by miscarriage, stillbirth, childloss, etc. There are so many people hurting and we may have no clue. I just want to leave you with that thought today. As you post on social media and converse with people on a daily basis, I hope that you will keep it in your mind that some people are silent about their struggles, especially with infertility, childloss, stillbirth, miscarriage....and it goes a long way when we are sensitive to others around us. You never know what someone is dealing with. You never know how your words, innocent as they may be, can sting. 



A Huge Prayer Request


See this little guy? Bingo showed up at the beginning of last year. We blew up Facebook trying to find him a home. Turns out, he is right at home between me and Aaron in the bed, in the little space that Ruby leaves him. Over the past year, Bingo has really tried our patience. Everyday for like, the whole past year, Bingo has found some way to squeeze his little self out of our fence. And almost every.single.time he would travel down the road to the same house.

So, Bingo is how me and Aaron came to know who Jay and Jo-Jo Roland are. The Roland Family lives in the house that Bingo used to visit on a daily basis. I recently learned that Jo-Jo went to the hospital the Wednesday following Easter to have a scope procedure done to look around because of some stomach issues Jo-Jo was having. Her stomach was full of food, because her body apparently wasn't digesting food like it is supposed to, and this caused her to aspirate when they ran the scope. Jo-Jo spent three weeks in a coma and about two weeks ago, they were able to take her completely off of the ventilator. Her family moved her to a long term care facility a little over a week ago. Jo-Jo has a very long road of recovery ahead of her. Since learning about what has happened, I have been extremely burdened for the Roland Family. I cannot get them out of my mind and I find myself constantly asking God for mercy on this family and asking for complete healing for Jo-Jo. 

This afternoon I was thinking about this family, about how Bingo used to always travel down the road to their house and how Bingo hasn't tried to get out of our yard in roughly two months...and I immediately thought about this blog. I have seen what your prayers and generosity can do, firsthand. That is why I am blogging about the Roland Family here tonight. They so desperately need our prayers and support. I cannot for the life of me wrap my head around what they are going through. Jay and Jo-Jo have two daughters. I cannot imagine how they must feel, how Jay must feel. From what I understand, Jay is working, taking care of his daughters and checking on his wife several times a day. I know he could use our prayers for strength.

Some friends of the Roland Family have started a Go Fund Me account to raise money to help out with expenses, bills and any other needs that need meeting for Jo-Jo and her family. If you can help in any way possible, I hope that you will. Here is the link to the Go Fund Me page: http://www.gofundme.com/apsknk. If you are not able to help at this time, please pray for the Roland Family and share this post to get the word out.





Jo-Jo's sister has also started selling "Pray for Jo-Jo" t-shirts. The shirts are available in both youth and adult sizes, for men and women. For men, the shirts are available in Royal Blue and Navy Blue. For women, the shirts are available in Ocean Blue and Violet. If you would like to order a shirt, please feel free to message me on Facebook or email me through this blog and I will get the information to the proper channels. Shirts are $15.00 each.

I have also heard that some ladies in town who do couponing are collecting staple items for the family. If you have any staple items or groceries that you would like to donate to the family, you can drop those items off at The Kirbo Law Firm here in Moultrie, Georgia. 

I do not know Jay and Jo-Jo very well, we are acquaintances really, all because of little Bingo...and I am in no way speaking for the family, although I did make sure it was okay before posting this. I just know that we can help the Roland Family. So many people read this blog and share it and have prayed for us and continue to do so. So, I know that you will also pray for this family in their time of great need.  And I know that if you were so willing to help me and Aaron, you will do the same for the Roland Family.   
 


Surgery

I had surgery a few weeks ago to correct my septated uterus. Dr. Duffy had told me that the only way to be sure that my uterus was septated and not bicornuate would be to have the laparoscopic/hysteroscopic surgery. And thankfully, my uterus was indeed septated. Dr. Duffy removed 90-95% of the septum and he also removed some endometriosis while he was in there. For different reasons, my surgery lasted about three and a half hours instead of 45 minutes like we thought. So, I felt rough for a solid two weeks. Dr. Duffy left a balloon catheter in my uterus for four days following surgery, to help make sure my uterus started to heal up properly and once it was removed I felt a little better but I honestly felt sore, drained, crampy and bloated for two weeks. 

I went back to Dr. Duffy recently for a checkup and everything looks really good via ultrasound. But, this is just the first step. I have been on lots of estrogen since the surgery and after my appointment Dr. Duffy also put me on progesterone for a little while. After all of this medicine is over, I will be on birth control for several months as my body adjusts and gets back to a normal cycle. We have quite a bit ahead of us before we can try for a baby, but I still can't believe that it is possible. Please pray that my body continues to heal and that God will prepare me me and Aaron for whatever lies ahead. Also, if anyone who reads this blog (even if it is 10 years from now) ever has any questions about the surgery and all, please message me or email me and I will gladly answer any questions I can. One of the purposes of this blog is to help others who may find themselves in a similar situation and there is not much information out there, believe me, I've searched!

I'm so thankful the surgery is behind me and I am so very thankful that God led me to Dr. Duffy! 

May 4

Fabric swatches from Jonah's bedding

May 4 was my due date with Jonah. And I am positive that no matter how many years pass by, that is the first thing that will come to my mind when I hear or see the date of May 4. It will always be the day that my Jonah was supposed to be in my arms. On May 4, 2012, Jonah had long been in the arms of The Lord, for three months to be exact. May 4 is a bittersweet day knowing Jonah is In Heaven and safe and loved...but oh how my arms ache on days like today.




What Is Next

So, I went a couple weeks ago to Jacksonville and had a Saline Sonogram done by Dr. Duffy. He wanted to look for himself at my uterus and he told me that this type of ultrasound would tell us much more than just a regular ultrasound. During the procedure, Dr. Duffy showed me, after looking for quite a while, that it appears to him as if my uterus is septated. He then looked at the images from the MRI that I had done in 2012 with me and Aaron and he showed us on those images why he thinks my uterus is septated and not bicornuate.

If you are confused, maybe this will help: If my uterus is bicornuate, the surgery to correct it is controversial at best and it will still not make it to where I can carry a pregnancy on my own, which is why we have been pursuing IVF with a gestational carrier, Kristi. We were doing this because this was the only way we could have our own child since surgery was not going to help. If my uterus is actually septated, this changes everything. Surgery to correct a septated uterus is done laparoscopically and vaginally so it is not as invasive. So, recovery is quicker and surgery is not quite as scary. On top of that, correcting my uterus (if it is septated) will make it possible for me to carry my own child and change my pregnancy outcomes to that of a normal 27 year old woman with a normal uterus. Like I said, this could change everything.

These days, from what Dr. Duffy has told me, 3D ultrasound is considered the gold standard when trying to distinguish between a bicornuate uterus and a septated uterus. The clinic I go to does not have the 3D equipment to do a 3D ultrasound though. But, Dr. Duffy was trying out the equipment in his office last week with the help of some sonographers and he invited me to come so that he could get a really good look at my uterus. So, me and Aaron went and Dr. Duffy was so thrilled with this new technology and the clarity the pictures provided. After the 3D ultrasound Dr. Duffy is certain that my uterus is septated, not bicornuate. And all hope is not lost.

I will be having surgery to correct my septated uterus. We are still working on the details of when. I have wrestled with thoughts of how all of this will sound to people. I have wrestled with thoughts about all that people have done for us and given to us so that we could do IVF four times with Kristi. But I have come to this conclusion: not one bit of any of it has been a waste. Not one dime. Not one minute of this IVF journey. We have met so many people and shared our story of hope and longing with so.many.people. We have seen over and over how much people care about us and every bit of help we have received has blessed our hearts and helped us get to this point. We have gotten to know all the nurses and lab techs at the FIRM in Jacksonville. They have all watched us smile through the tears and the hurt over this past year and I hope that the way we have lived out all of this, thus far, has done nothing short of point them to Jesus Christ and the hope that only He can give. We have gotten to know Eric and Kristi and their beautiful family over the past year and we are so grateful for this friendship. We will always be grateful for how Kristi has sacrificed so much over the last year to help us.  Kristi holds a special place in our hearts, and she will forever.

We are being cautiously optimistic. We are looking forward to surgery because of the hope it brings, but it will be no walk in the park. We do not know how long the healing process will take, as we are still sorting through all of the information and scheduling the surgery. So, we don't know when we will be able to start trying on our own to get pregnant. Typing this makes my heart skip a beat and sink at the same time. I never thought I would be able to try to get pregnant again. And while it is amazing to hear, it is terrifying. 

So, please keep praying for us. Please pray for Dr. Duffy as he will be doing my surgery. Please pray for me and Aaron because the days are long and too much sometimes, even despite the encouraging news of a septated uterus instead of a bicornuate one. 

What a journey this is.