Update: 33 Weeks

I know it has been a really long time since I have posted an update. I have just been so busy holding my breath and trying to get things ready for Everley. I guess I haven't wanted to jinx how well things have been going either.

So, as the title of this post says, I am 33 weeks pregnant. Around 20-24 weeks, Everley was measuring a little small and she had me pretty worried because that is simply what I do best ;) and that is just what you do when you have gone through all that we have. But, by our next growth scan at 27 weeks, Everley had caught up for the most part and the maternal fetal medicine specialist that we were seeing released us because Everley was doing so well. I am going weekly for appointments with my regular OB doctor and for non-stress tests to keep an eye on Everley's heart rate and my uterus. Everley does not always like to cooperate for her non-stress tests so that makes my visits longer some days, but she is doing great, just keeping us on our toes!

Dr. Duffy, the reproductive endocrinologist that did my uterine surgery last May, has been keeping a check on me through his nurse, which is so nice! I actually got to talk to him this past weekend and he really helped to ease my mind about some things. I can't say it enough - I love Dr. Duffy! He is just the best!

We are so thankful for everyone's continued love and support. We have been blessed and comforted by your prayers and thoughts - please keep those coming! There are always two missing pieces, Jonah and Harper...and that is something we are troubled by on a daily basis. These last several weeks are sure to be filled with anxiety for us, even as we trust God with our precious Everley...we just can't believe we have made it this far, as this is the farthest we have ever been. We cannot wait to hold Everley in our arms!

I will leave y'all with a picture of Everley Carolina Willis and her precious lips and nose!

Life Looks So Different

I have been so sad the past couple of days. I have cried harder than I have in awhile. I am trusting God with Everley, but then again, I trusted God with Jonah and Harper, too. Trusting God does not somehow make me exempt from losing Everley. That's what is so hard for people to understand. I truly am doing the best I can. My faith does not mean I won't suffer or that I won't be sad or that I won't have moments in which I struggle to breathe. 

I miss Jonah and Harper so terribly. No pregnancy or birth after them will ever close up this gaping hole in my heart. No baby in my arms will ever make the longing for Jonah and Harper in my arms go away. Life looks so different without them. Things that others would never dream could hurt me or stop me dead in my tracks do just that. Some words and actions leave me gasping for breath through the tears that are choking me out. People don't have to say it but they leave me with the impression that since I've had surgery, we've found the problem and I'm pregnant now, well that fixes everything. Oh God, how I wish it could! 

Things are awkward. People don't mention Jonah or Harper because they don't want to upset me. Do you know what upsets me? The fact that if I utter their names, people start squirming uncomfortably. I know people don't know what to say to me or to Aaron and they don't know what to do around us. But do they think about how it feels to be us? We stuggle to make it through the day a lot of times. We struggle to reconcile the little joys of life with the extreme ache we feel in every moment. Every moment is so bittersweet. We don't know what to do or say around people.

Christmas is here and so are the gatherings with family and friends. In every get-together I am reminded that Jonah and Harper are missing. And I feel that no one else notices besides Aaron. I see Aaron playing with kids because he can choke it back far better than I can, and I see those kids light up because Aaron is so fun. And then I always feel the heat flood my cheeks and the tears that start to fill my eyes as I think about how much fun Jonah and Harper would've had with Aaron. And I just can't shake the sadness. It will never be easy to live without them here. It will always be complicated. It will always hover over every part of our life. And I wish I could be sorry for other people that this upsets, but I'm not. I'm not sorry that we've changed. I'm not sorry that loving and missing them means I can't do other things. Great love changes you. Children change you and even the relationships you have, whether your children are playing in the next room or sitting at the feet of Jesus waiting to see you again. We are forever changed and forever...just not the same. 

We are hopeful that Everley will get to come home. We are trusting God. We know that Everley will bring us so much joy amidst the pain. But that is exactly what it will be: joy amidst pain. She will make us smile and laugh and wonder how we ever lived without her. She will bring light and laughter back into our home. But we will also always be sad that she won't have her big brothers here to love on her and play with her. We will always be sad that our three babies won't get to share the experience of growing up together in a home where they were each prayed for and loved so deeply. 

Living between Heaven and Earth is exhausting. Especially when we are the only ones that notice. 

You Don't Want To Skip This Post

When surgery on my uterus was first mentioned, Dr. Duffy told us that it could take up to six months until he would be ready to release us to try again. It all depended on how the surgery went and how quickly and how well I would heal. So, I had surgery in May and it was rough. But when I woke up from surgery, Dr. Duffy was so proud of how well the surgery went, even though it took much longer than he had anticipated. 

We went back about five weeks later for a saline sonogram to see how my uterus was healing. Dr. Duffy was still so proud of how everything had went and he was even more excited by how well my uterus was healing. We left that day having been told that after three more normal monthly cycles, we could start trying again. We were kind of shocked. We decided then that we would not breathe a word about this to anyone because we knew how hard the coming months would probably be. And we were right. They have been hard and they have been filled with anticipation, fear, sadness, longing and even doubt. But these weeks have not been without hope.

When we first found out we were pregnant, my progesterone levels were low so Dr. Duffy put me on progesterone twice a day to help with my levels, to help sustain the pregnancy. After my first pregnancy visit with Dr. Duffy, I began to bleed and I began to panic. I was then placed on Estradiol twice a day to help with that. It was a rollercoaster of emotions!

But here we are today and we are filled with so much joy to know that we are expecting a miracle, a blessing from God. Miss Everley Carolina Willis is expected to arrive in May 2015. We hope that people will understand why we have been cautious in telling of our news. We have learned that no pregnancy, no matter how far along, is a guarantee. We are excited but we are also nervous. We want to bring sweet Everley home so very badly. Please continue to pray for us. We are going to a maternal fetal medicine specialist next week and we would appreciate your prayers. Please pray that Everley is healthy and that my uterus is doing exactly what a normal uterus should. 

I cannot begin to tell you what it is like feeling some movements already, knowing that there was a time not so long ago when we were told I would never be able to be pregnant again. We are so thankful to our Heavenly Father for leading us to Dr. Duffy and for blessing us with another child. Our hearts are full knowing that God saw fit to bless us with three precious babies, Jonah, Harper and now Everley. Oh, how He loves us!

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: 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.