Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Family Photo and Christmas Break

The first half of the school year is winding down and Christmas break starts Friday.

We're taking a break from baby making, too. 

We're just...tired. And a little weary. And not even sure of what we want.

So, we're going to enjoy the season, enjoy our family of four and rest in God's goodness.

Speaking of our family, here are our latest pictures!

The four of us. Andrew is now 8 and Ethan is 4.

Me and my Ethan.

 Our family of four!

Merry Christmas and I hope you are enjoying the season, too! 


Saturday, November 2, 2013

This is getting old

Yup, another cycle has come and gone with no good news.

I barely even tracked anything this cycle and didn't even bother testing. Not much PMS to speak of, thankfully.

I was teary a bit and felt a bit drained for the first few days of this cycle, but fine over all. This period has been REALLY heavy, so I'm not sure what's going on there. Today was cycle day 4 and I was achy, nauseated and just "blech." It's been a doozy. I've also been pushing myself pretty hard, though.

Of course there are the usual "Is this EVER going to happen?" and "Do I even really WANT this?!" and "Is something wrong?" questions. And another dear and lovely friend turned up pregnant--that keeps happening.

I'm a little discouraged. I'm a little tired.

I know God's timing is best and I absolutely trust in His plan, but I don't have to pretend that this doesn't kinda stink. A lot.

I suppose we'll just keep trying! This cycle, we'll have news right after my birthday and would be due in August.

Every month that passes, I remind myself that whatever good reason I had for THIS cycle being "it" (like for this one, we could have announced at Thanksgiving and I would have been due on my grandmother's birthday), there must be an even BETTER reason. That is reassuring, because every pregnancy up until now was perfectly timed--even the miscarriage.

Maybe I'll find out on my birthday (November 29th). That would be fun.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Honoring Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

{Preface...I know that every woman handles the loss of her baby differently and that is absolutely OK. This is just my story.}

I remember right after it happened, I had the thought of, "Now I'm 'that woman' who had a miscarriage." 

Sometimes it's still hard for me to believe. I had a miscarriage. 

And I did. Back in May, 2008, over Mother's Day weekend. I still remember it so vividly, the sights and sounds and the gut-wrenching pain. And my heart. Ooooh, my heart.

I still, literally, right this second, tear up at the thought of it--but probably not for the reason you would think.

Here's the thing. My miscarriage experience itself was relatively "easy." I was only six weeks along, just long enough to fill out my pregnancy journal and start dreaming about whether I'd have the baby in 2008 or 2009 (my due date would have been December 28th and my first son was born six days "late") and whether our first son would get a brother or a sister.

The bleeding started on a Friday and I spent the weekend (Mother's Day weekend) feeling like I had the flu. When my body actually purged the tissue on Tuesday, I felt relieved. I will never forget that day. It was May 13th, 2008. I never went to see a doctor and I even attended church and celebrated Mother's Day with my son (pictured below) and my mom. I was incredibly fortunate.

I say that the miscarriage was like getting sucker punched at a Sunday School picnic. 

It was a huge turning point in my life and served as a necessary wake-up call that allowed me to see life in a different way. It also allowed me to see God's grace in a different way, and I am forever changed.

I get emotional because I don't even recognize myself anymore. The miscarriage ushered a season of fear (and eventually full-blown anxiety) into my life that took me many months (years, really) to get past. In fact, I still fight anxiety almost every day. 

That season afforded me the opportunity to ask some hard questions and make some hard choices--ones that many people don't confront until they hit rock bottom. My rock bottom, by the grace of God, was mercifully minor.

I was able to make many positive changes over a long period of time, and grow closer to God in the process. I am so grateful that God gently pruned me the way He did and the growth since then has been astounding. 

By the way, the story had a happy ending. On May 13, 2009 (a year to the day later), our redemption baby came home from the hospital. God didn't have to do that. He is very, very good to me.

My heart aches for the mothers who suffer the loss of a child, in ANY form. Every story is unique and every baby deserves to be celebrated and remembered. 

So much of my life is different because of that miscarriage. It is actually better because of it.

I write on this blog to encourage other women to try to see God's grace in their experience, too. The healing process is long and it is hard. Allowing God in to minister to you and encourage you makes all the difference.

Read my miscarriage redemption story on my These Heels Are Made For Walking blog.

Please contact me if I can help you on your journey in any way.

Monday, October 7, 2013

It's a no. Again.

Another 31 day cycle came and went and in a way, it gets easier because you just get use to another month going by and no good news.

I felt lousy in the days leading up to the arrival of my period, complete with nausea, moodiness, cramping and a restless night of sleep. But, as always, I held out hope until the bitter end.

When it was officially over, I felt sort of numb and haven't really even thought much about it since. Maybe it's a coping mechanism, maybe it's a way of repressing emotions--I don't know.

Again, near the end, I was in hell, wondering if I was PMS-ing or experiencing early pregnancy symptoms. Like always, you hope, hope, HOPE you're pregnant but feel like you're probably not. You know realistically that the odds are not in your favor. That's why every positive test I've ever had has been such a shock--you really cannot believe that it's positive, because deep down, you just can't believe it's real--until it's real. Every time, it has taken some getting use to.

I know God withholds nothing good so I have to accept that, for whatever reason, it isn't good yet. 

The "feeling lousy" part makes me wonder if perhaps I'm not healthy enough to carry a healthy baby at this point. I am almost 36, I don't exercise and I could use to lose a good 5-10 lbs. I probably need to cut back on more activities, practice resting and eat a more nutritious diet. So I'm taking the "no" as a chance to get healthier, find more balance and truly prepare for the implications of adding another child to our family.

It's daunting, at best. And of course I wonder if this really is the right thing for us and if I really want to do the whole new baby thing all over again.

I've had these thought before and then every time I reach my fertile phase again, I'm ready to give it another try. We'll see what happens this time, a year after we started "trying." Yes, my hopes will be up. Again.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Being happy for them

This is cycle #12 since we "started trying." Has it really been that long?!?

I just looked back and we had five legit tries, three not-so-great tries (due to bad timing and a variety of other factors) and three months where we didn't try at all (mostly to avoid a November/December due date).
I definitely didn't foresee this taking quite so long BUT I will admit that the months have gone by very quickly and I'm still feeling hopeful and encouraged.

Within the last week, a dear friend texted that she'd gotten pregnant with her fifth child, a friend I met in 2001 messaged me that SHE became unexpectedly pregnant (they are over the moon!) AND I ran into a sweet acquaintance I haven't seen in a while at an event who is 18 weeks pregnant.

The first one already posted adorable announcement pictures on Facebook and I'm meeting the second one this weekend to tell her my stories and pass along my pregnancy and breastfeeding books. Siiiigghh.

You know the old saying that when all you have is a hammer, everything becomes a nail? Well, when you're trying to get pregnant, it seems like there are pregnant ladies EVERYWHERE. When it's people who are close to you, however, it hits home a little more.

I could let it get to me. You wonder "Why them and why not me?" You see them post their pictures and feel like it should be you. You wonder when it will be your turn. They reassure you, "It will happen for you soon!" You feel like when you DO announce your news, you'll look like you're just jumping on the baby band wagon or no one will notice because they're caught up in their own pregnancy journeys. You wonder if you should be telling people you're "trying" just to get some sympathy. 

If you happen to BE pregnant, just be aware that people who are TTC or who have lost a child are sensitive and need a little compassion. They usually do, however, want to celebrate your good news, so don't feel like you have to leave them out of the loop to spare their feelings.

If you are TTC yourself, it's important to be happy for people and know that your story will be told, too, and there will be people watching your journey someday and wondering, "Why her and not me?"

This process is heart-wrenching at times. It can be lonely. It can take longer than you thought it would. But you have to just keep your hopes up and try, try again. Just like I am. After all, what else can you do??


Friday, August 30, 2013

No Dice

Nope, not pregnant.

I had a teeny bit of spotting before bed last night and told Drew, "I think it's over." Woke up this morning and first thing, it was official.

I was emotional this morning--some tears here and here (even as I sat at the Starbucks in Target--so I turned to face the windows so they didn't think their coffee was THAT good!). Overall, I feel OK and at peace. By the grace of God.

I'm just feeling kind of...tired. Tired of the roller coaster, tired of waiting. Just tired. But, we trust in God's plan for us and we know all things work together for good. And before ya know it, we'll be "trying" again!

I remember the waiting and wondering from pregnancies past, and it makes that positive test all the more surreal. I know I will have that moment again...someday. I hope.

I know that God withholds nothing good from us...so for reasons we may never know, now is not good.
And when it happens, it WILL be good.

I'm good with that.


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Labor Day??

So here we are, cycle day 31 and 12 dpo.

A less patient woman would have tested today. Or a woman who had had a chance to get to the store for a test.

It's just as well, because the longer you can wait is, of course, the better.

Tomorrow is 13 dpo and cycle day 32, which was precisely the day we got our Big Fat Positive with Andrew. In fact, his fertility chart and my current one are almost an exact match. Does that mean something??

I had a bit of beige fluid on the exact same days, too. Day 10 may have been implantation bleeding. Same with this cycle.

A Labor Day announcement would be a riot. And a May due date?? I could wear my May Baby tee shirt, which I already took out of my "maternity" bin, just in case.

I really, REALLY hope this is it.

I remind myself that EVERY month, there are GREAT reasons for why it would be so wonderful that particular month...so, that means that #1, there will always be good reasons and #2, when it does happen, it will be the BEST one! So if it doesn't take this month, there will be some great reason for why it takes when it takes.

This last day or two is the worst! I am on pins and needles and wondering if I am feeling "symptoms" or not. Like always, I think, "This could be "it!"" Or...this could be nothing! It feels so silly to get excited over nothing, yet NOT getting excited over SOME thing is even worse! :)

I'm going  out for a few groceries, and for a test, shortly. Tomorrow's test should be conclusive either way, so I'll feel better then. I won't sleep well tonight, but I'll feel better tomorrow!

Again, I don't have a "feeling" either way except for desperately hoping that this is The One that "takes!" I want this so bad and we are so ready to move on to the next chapter!

One way or another, we'll know by Saturday!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Waiting to Wait

Cycle day 18 today and still seeming to be fertile. We've covered my fertile phase VERY well. I never go past day 19 for O day so we are close now!

The boys are still praying for a healthy baby girl--much to my parents' amusement when it comes to family prayer time!

Ethan likes to hear his story of when we knew we were pregnant with him, when we found out he was a boy, when he was born...so he's heard a lot of that. Then we're at the playground during Andrew's football practice this week and I mentioned to a fellow mom that WE are trying to have a baby girl and Ethan proudly told her, "Mammy and Daddy got me on the first day." He meant that we got pregnant on the first try. Which is true.

Gulp. I better be careful of what I say around him! 

So the Two Week Wait will commence shortly. Just two more weeks and we'll know!


Friday, August 9, 2013

Another May baby??

Strange how last month, my new cycle brought feelings of sadness and frustration whereas this time I barely even took note of it.

And my hopes were up, too!

 Maybe it's just hormones. Or a longer cycle??

Either way, we'll be trying again as of tomorrow and planning to cover my entire potential fertile window, which is now about day 12 to 20 (assuming an ovulation day between 14 and 19).

I seem to be entering the fertile phase early--I even had some spotting today that I'm not sure about. Last cycle, I had spotting day 16, then ovulated day 19. So maybe I'll ovulate three days from now on day 14??? Women's bodies are so strange.

Our EDD as of now is May 6, 2014. Ethan's due date was May 6! I believe after his ultrasound, they moved it to May 8. He was born May 12 and came home from the hospital on May 13, a year to the day after my miscarriage.

How amazing would it be to get another May baby?!?!
My Tabbatical is going well...I feel great...life is good! We'll see what happens.


Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Wait is Almost Over

Yup, when I wake up tomorrow (Sunday, 7/28, which it technically is as I write this), I will be cycle day 31 and 12 dpo--well within testing range.

 My average cycle, in fact, is 29, so I'm actually "late" already. Of course *I* know my longest are 32 days, so there's that. Drew even said I could use the $4 one tomorrow! :)

 As always, my hopes are WAAAAYYYY up. "Don't Stop Believing!" and I know my God is faithful no matter what!

So many good reasons for it to be +. People are praying, we're excited, April due date...I'm tired of waiting... 

I have felt a bit "off" all week. A little crampy/achy the last couple of day. Gas and bloating. Then the tiniest bit of pink in my CM late tonight...which, pre-AF, is usually brownish and drier. Of course now I'm hoping that was implantation bleeding.

I had pink on day 10 with Andrew and day 11 was beige, so...that's a good sign, I guess!! I'm a "late implanter!" I'm tall, maybe I have long fallopian tubes!!

Naturally, I am hoping this post is one that I read after the fact and say, "I knew it!!!" But...I've felt that way with virtually every cycle. Go figure.

I am thinking that WHEN it is +, I will either 1. say I didn't take the test or 2. say it was negative THEN surprise EVERYone, Drew and the boys included! I'm dreaming of getting pink and blue balloons and showing up at Mom and Dad's front door, THEN telling my boys to show up there--and surprising them, too! And then Dad can take some fun pictures to tell everyone else!! :) I am very excited, of course....and hoping, hoping, hoping.

Oh, and....we celebrate 11 years of marriage on August 6th....how cool would it be to celebrate this, too?? :)

I may not have shared it here, but when this process of TTC first started (sort of on a whim last October), I had a "vision" of me on my knees (imagine the yoga pose Downward Dog) in the bathroom, praising God. It would have been a total fluke that first month--but the vision has remained. I knew that when I got that + test, I would hit my knees and thank Him immediately.

I thought today, "Hm, I should do that beforehand. Doesn't He deserve my praise either way??"

So I am going to do that right now, before I go to bed.

So, this is the worst of the worst with the Two Week Wait...and it stinks. But it's almost over. One more sleep!

Last thing. I love this song for a baby on the way--just ignore the tie to the Twilight stuff and listen to the words!

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Waiting!!!

The Two Week Wait just doesn't ever get any easier. 

 This is, oh, our fifth time officially timing everything correctly and I could start a new cycle in two days and beyond...or be officially "late" and take a test a week from today on cycle day 32.

 So one week and we'll know something.

 Doesn't seem like such a long time.


 Naturally, I am gassy, occasionally emotional and have twinges and aches, which leaves me wondering if #1, the "symptoms" mean nothing or #2, I ovulated earlier than I thought and am anywhere from 8-11 days past ovulation.

I was a little on edge and shaky today, and even shed a tear when I picked Andrew up from his first day of 2nd grade and watched him hug both of his former teachers. I love my boys and would love to have another child...but I sure am happy with the two I have, and I am a blessed woman!

 Odds are I was right about a day 19 ovulation day and I am at just 6 days past ovulation, which means that any "symptoms" are merely progesterone taking over (and/or lack of estrogen), not pregnancy hormones. I haven't even implanted yet!!

 And, no, I don't have a "feeling" either way (I never do), except the usual feeling of "Come on!! Let's get on with this!" I even yelled at my belly today: "Make a baby!!"

 What's done is done, so we wait.


Monday, July 15, 2013

Time Flies

Obviously the last time didn't "take." No March baby for us!

 To be honest, this last time when we covered my ENTIRE fertile window and it didn't take, I had an entire day of high emotions. Sad, mad, frustrated, you name it. Call it PMS, but still. I was crying and feeling on edge, which is very unlike me.

This is starting to get to me. In fact, this is the longest we've gone "trying" so far. We got it on maybe the fourth try with Andrew (in 2005), the first with the miscarriage (in 2008) and the first with Ethan (in 2008! We've been incredibly fortunate, I know, but that record only fuels my impatience now!

I honestly and truly don't know how women go through this for years and years.

So here we are, "trying" again!!  We're looking at an April 6th due date now.

I thought yesterday was "peak" and even had some fertile fluid mixed with a tiny bit of spotting--which is considered VERY fertile, and usually indicates that estrogen levels are dropping off just prior to ovulation. I had that with my first pregnancy.

Then, later today, I discovered more fertile fluid and a VERY high/soft/open cervix...so we baby danced again. We definitely gave it our best shot--AGAIN.

We are entering the Two Week Wait any day now. I just want to get on with it! Every day that goes by means another day before I can take a test!

In other news, I was looking at the scrapbook I made for Andrew's pregnancy (I barely got to five months along and have barely scrapbooked since!) and gasped when I saw the record the midwives kept at my appointments When I started going to them (March 2005), I was 27 years old.

Twenty seven!! So young!!

I am now 35 and will be 36 when this baby is born!

That was a bit of a shocker. I'm an..."old mom" this time!! AAACCCKKK!!

So...yeah, this may take a little longer.

But as always, we are trusting in God's perfect timing. We know that He has a better plan than we could plan for ourselves, so we wait and trust and wait some more.

In the meantime, I'm just pinning maternity clothes and baby ideas, staying distracted with work and enjoying my boys. It'll be testing time (or Aunt Flow time) before we know it!


Thursday, June 20, 2013

We Gave It Our Best Shot

We certainly made an effort to cover my fertile phase on this round!

I am counting yesterday, cycle day 18, as ovulation day. That means we can test on July 3rd. My new EDD (Estimated Due Date) is March 12. I like it! I have been six days overdue both times before, so realistically we're looking at March 18, right around St. Patrick's Day, and my FIL's birthday. Wouldn't Ryanne be such a cute name if it is?!?

I had an interesting moment yesterday, I actually envisioned Ethan holding the new baby. That was a first!I am preparing my heart for a new baby...maybe that will help my body prepare, too!

Now the Two Week Wait has begun.


Monday, June 10, 2013

Vacation Wrap-Up

We just returned from an 11-day road trip and vacation back to my home state of Florida. Being back on the beach was VERY good for me. There's nothing more relaxing than splashing in the waves, collecting shells and watching the sun set over the ocean. Aaahhhh.

Me on Jacksonville Beach, Florida. June 2013.
Me and the boys on my home turf!
So the news.

We left for our vacation with high hopes that we could announce our pregnancy news to the family when we renewed our vows on the beach. Instead, I was met with the start of a new cycle the day we arrived into town.

Good news? I didn't have to spend the entire trip wondering if I was pregnant. 

Bad news? We're not pregnant. 

Turns out I HAD ovulated earlier than normal, on about day 14, so my cycle ended up being 27 days long. We put most of our "trying" efforts in from about day 16-21, assuming a day 19 ovulation day. Oops. Naturally, my body would decide to be "normal" when we are trying to get pregnant!

I was sad for a day or so but mostly because we didn't get the drama of a "big announcement." That, and my vacation weight-gain can't be blamed on pregnancy. Dang.

Funny story...Andrew, our seven-year-old, spilled the beans during the dinner-time prayer at my grandmother's house when he prayed for "Mommy to have a baby girl." That got quite a reaction. So the fam knows we are "trying." That's actually a relief. I don't do well with secrets.

So....we'll try again. In the meantime, my nerves were definitely a little frayed on the trip, so I felt somewhat "on edge." That makes me think I could still use a blood work-up and that I'm probably a bit too stressed and my system is still on overload. I'm working on that. Again.

We're still trusting in God's perfect plan and we will continue to ask and keep asking.


Monday, May 20, 2013

The 51/49 boy/girl issue

Most of us have heard the statistic that having a boy vs. a girl isn't exactly 50/50 but is actually 51% boy and 49% girl for any given pregnancy.

I have conversations fairly often on this topic and I always give them the synopsis of my own research (the Shettles method, adjusting the woman's pH balance, positions to use during intercourse, etc.) then end with, "It's probably just a 50/50 chance no matter what."

That goes for families with two or three of the same gender, too!

Turns out that I was probably right.

This is one of the more interesting studies I have seen about this topic from:


Some tidbits from the research:

  • The odds of having a girl seem to decrease after having each boy, but only very slightly. Even after 3 boys, you are only 6.4% more likely to have a 4th boy than a girl.

  • The odds of having a boy seem to increase after having girls, except after 2 girls, when a 3rd girl is more likely.

It looks like you are slightly more likely to have a boy, regardless of previous children. This is probably due to the overall 51/49 boy/girl birth ratio. This ratio, interestingly, varies slightly with birth order; it isn't consistent among first-borns, second-borns, etc.

Their conclusion:

The truth is, your odds stay pretty close to 50% for each child and only vary slightly. 

If you have had 2 or 3 boys, you are only about 2% to 6% more likely to have another boy. If you have had girls, you are slightly more likely to have a boy next.


For me, this means that, yes, there is a slightly (VERY slightly) higher chance of us having another boy this time around (just like ANY time around!)...but there IS a 73-75% chance that we will have a girl in our three-child mix! :) 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Are we "trying....?"

ARE we "trying" this cycle??


It's day 12 and I'd call my fluid "lotiony but on the rise." Historically, I've ovulated between day 16 and 19 so far this year. That's four to seven days from now so we're definitely "in range."

Fooling around this morning could do the trick! Whether we KEEP trying is a different question.

I've been reading pregnancy blogs this week, including my own. I definitely want to have another baby. I'd love to have a girl. So we're praying in that direction. The rest will be up to Drew!


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Still Believing

Remember me mentioning "Don't Stop Believing" the last time around? First on December 9th and again on February 7th. Well, we're still deciding whether to "try" this cycle...or EVER!

And we're sitting at a local Chinese restaurant right by our neighborhood ON Mother's Day (my family along my parents) and it came on the radio in the restaurant.


 I just had to smile. I elbowed Drew and said, "That's The Song."

I don't think he gets it.

I guess we'll keep on believing--for whatever God has in store for us!


Monday, May 6, 2013

It's Never Too Early...

...to start praying for a healthy baby!

I should be starting a new cycle at any moment--possibly the LAST cycle I have for the next two years!

No, Drew is not 100% sold on having another baby...but he knows I am not feeling "done" and he knows that time is ticking away!

The boys are both on board and will be AMAZING big brothers.

The cool thing is, if we "try" this cycle, we'd be
:: "trying" a good week before we leave for our 10-day trip to Florida
:: due in mid-February (a perfect month for us AND that would give us four months with the baby before Ethan started kindergarten)!
:: and we'd actually--get this--be taking the pregnancy test right smack dab in the middle of our trip!

We could TELL the whole family IN PERSON!!

I am considering Drew and I renewing our vows on the beach while we're there--just a short ceremony with the boys involved and cake afterward. But how fun would it be to add the "surprise" of a new baby to the occasion?!?!

I thought it would have been cool to have announced over Chistmas and that didn't work out, so...maybe this is the "better plan" I trusted God to have. 

I'm trusting in God's perfect timing!

Obviously I'm pretty excited.

I have cut back. I reconfigured my websites and my "offerings" to give me more flexibility, less pressure and more time to devote to the boys and the house. I'm telling people I'm cutting back and can't take on extra projects.

I'm already praying that God would allow this cycle to "clean me out" and prepare my body to conceive a healthy baby--and a girl if He's taking requests.

My main task is getting Drew completely on board.

As for me, I'm ready to get this party started!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

I Suppose I Have Something to Prove

I saw that picture on the "My Babies" page of me with Andrew in the recovery room and my heart just about fell out of my body. Nothing beats bringing another human being into the world.

Yesterday, Ethan drug a toy out of the garage that he received for his first Christmas when he was seven months old. Last night, his big brother put it together and they played with it for quite a while. I asked if Ethan wanted to see pictures of him as a baby when we first got it. We spent half an hour looking through pictures of Christmas 2009 and I couldn't stop smiling. There was a picture of me hugging seven-month-old Ethan super-tight and he looked at it and I said, "That mama loves that baby so much!" and he laughed and grabbed me for a hug. I could have melted into the floor.

The truth is, I have amazing pregnancies and I birth incredibly healthy, beautiful, happy, 'easy' babies and  I absolutely adore being a mom. Even on my worst days, which are far and few between, I always think, "I could do it all again." I don't think I'm 'done.'

The crazy thing is, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. This will be Ethan's last year before starting kindergarten and both of the boys are in phases where they are really independent and low-maintenance. I have a lot of freedom and I enjoy it and take advantage of it!

I am 35 now. I love the writing, blogging, networking and volunteering I participate in! I love my life!

So, yeah, the idea of "starting over" with a new baby is daunting. But what's even more daunting is the idea of getting one, five or twenty years down the road and wishing I had added to our family when I had the chance--which is NOW.

I'm not getting any younger and the boys would be a minimum of almost five and over eight years apart in age. The clock is ticking.

But there's a catch. My husband wants me to cut back on my work so I can focus on our boys, our home and eventually a healthy pregnancy and adding another munchkin to our brood.

It's wildly exciting. And scary.

So I have almost one full month before we go on vacation to Florida and will be fertile again so my hubby is giving me until we leave on the trip to dial back on my businesses and to figure out how to work WAY less hours and put WAY more time into our home and family. Gulp.

I am up for the challenge. I will prove to him that I am ready to start trying again and that I'm ready to have another baby (and raise another child). My mother's heart knows that I am ready and willing, God willing.

There's really nothing more important to adding to our family and now is the time.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Yes, I Will Wait

Trying to Conceive is on hold for the moment.

We're in November due date range. November is out-of-control crazy (in a good way) for our entire family. While adding one more may not be a big deal in the grand scheme of things, it isn't on my to-do list either.

I'm not really "feeling it" on the "wanting to get pregnant" thing at the moment. And my hubby is DEFINITELY not "feeling it."

So....we wait. I'm loving this song, too.

Friday, February 22, 2013

On Using Contraception

A friend posted a link to this post today on Biblical Homemaking about whether Christian should use birth control and I thought, "Gosh, I haven't written about that on God Knits! I should tell MY story!" so here I am.

I don't really write about or discuss controversial issues. EVER. In real life or on my various blogs. I do, however, tell my stories and let my readers come to their own conclusions.

Here's my story where it concerns the use of contraception. We will save the "family planning" aspect for another post.

When my husband and I got engaged, I went to my naturopathic doctor and asked her about birth control. We knew we didn't want to start a family right away. She wrote me a prescription for the Pill and I started it right away.

I felt terrible, gained weight, had headaches for the first time in my life and even threw up on the side of Thunderbird Road one night. The Pill was not kind to me.

In the meantime, I was working as an administrative assistant at a engineering firm and a kind Catholic gentleman handed me a brochure one day in the hall and said, "We never need to speak of this." It was about Natural Family Planning.

As a lifelong learner and a Bible believing Christian, I read it and did some research. I was surprised to learn about what the Pill does to a woman's body and felt betrayed by my naturopathic doctor.

That experience taught me that I am in charge of my health and must look out for what enters my body. To this day, I rarely take any type of medicine and am very careful about what goes on and in my body. As a disclaimer, I do still love Oreos and Cheezits and am by no means "all natural."

The thing about the Pill that rocked my heart and left me feeling very convicted was discovering that one of the "benefits" of the Pill is that it thickens the uterine lining to make it inhospitable to a fertilized egg. Believing that life begins at conception meant that it was NOT OK that my body would reject a fertilized egg!! Imagining mine and my husband's cell combining and multiplying and our future baby coming down my fallopian tubes just to be met by an inhospitable environment I created was heart breaking.

I debated for a while about what to do but I couldn't escape the unsettled feeling I had about being on the Pill. As I gave it some thought, it just so happened that Phoenix was experiencing a gas shortage and I was planning to stay the night with friends to avoid the 50 mile drive home. While I was parked behind the tutoring center where I worked, my car was broken into and my backpack stolen, along with my pills. I felt like God was sending a clear message: "Stop taking the Pill." Message received. I never refilled my prescription.

I knew I wanted a long-term birth control solution that didn't involve artificial hormones, had no side effects and was easily reversible so I ordered two books: "Natural Family Planning" and "Taking Charge of Your Fertility" by Toni Weschler.  As a Christian who is not Catholic, the NFP method didn't quite gel with my beliefs. TCOYF, however, changed my life.

I started the Fertility Awareness Method immediately and have used it with great success for ten years now. We have conceived without problems three times and have not had a surprise pregnancy in all that time. What I've learned about my body because of charting is better saved for future posts but suffice it to say, I am now a self-proclaimed fertility nut and a big believer in the FAM.

Human life is precious and a decision about your birth control method (or lack of) is an important and personal one.

I will encourage you to search your own heart, ask trusted mentors, search the Bible, have a conversation with your spouse and make an informed decision. There is a lot to consider.

I'd also encourage you to extend grace to those whose method or perspective differs from yours, especially as you become more educated on the topic. Everyone is in their own phase of their journey--myself included. This is not a black and white issue for most people.

By the way, endometrial abalation destroys your uterine lining, too. Mayo Clinic's explanation of endomertial abalation is: Here. It's just something else to think about.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Starting Fresh

32 days into my last cycle and I was DONE. I just wanted to know whether I was pregnant or not and move on.

I'm not. Again.

So I filled out chart #5 for this go-around. Siiiiigh. At least I get another fresh start. I need to start taking my temperatures again to see when I REALLY ovulate. We may be timing things wrong. Or maybe I'm just older. Who knows?!?

I don't know how women do this month after month and year after year, especially when it involves shots, meds, doctor visits and inseminations. I'm barely putting any effort in and it drives me nuts! I'm about ready to throw in the towel!

Speaking of which, we are going to be taking a small break. We're into November and December due date range and I just can not will not do that to myself or my family.

So we'll start back up again (maybe) in May. Then we'd be looking at a January 2014 due date, or later. The boys would be 4.5 and 8. Yeesh.

In the meantime, I'll be publishing other fun tidbits, stories and resources. Stay tuned!

Friday, February 8, 2013

De Ja Vu

Naturally, at cycle day 31 and 14 days post-ov, I'm dying to know whether I'm preggo or about to start a new cycle any second now.

So I turned to my old TTC (Trying to Conceive) journal.

This was my last entry, after midnight before I got my two clear positives the next afternoon:

"Based on my loose calculations, I'm about 14 days post-ov and no period yet. Feeling tired and crampy but that can be pregnancy or impending period, so that's no help. No spotting, though. I'm betting I ovulated later than I think I did. I took a $1 test this a.m. and it was clearly negative. I'll give it a day or two and test again but after that, I'll know it didn't "take." I hate waiting. But God's plan is best and I'm OK with whatever. Really."

Gee, THAT sounds familiar!!! So...I may have ovulated later than I thought--again! The fertile fluid did drag on for a day or two past when I thought I had my peak day. So, I could be just 12 dpo and get a nice + test tomorrow, or later. Still no spotting, just a little white glob, which I get a lot throughout typical cycles. I am NOT tired--actually, I have more energy! More of an appetite, too, but I had that with other pregnancies.

I have to remind myself that a day makes a big difference in hormone levels this early on! And like with Ethan, I had a - test the day before two STRONG positives!!

Part of me wants to go get a stronger test...and part of me doesn't want the disappointment of a "real" negative. There's something about the not knowing that does keep hope alive.

Everything rides on hope now!

***UPDATE for Saturday, 2-9, cycle day 32: Still no news!!! No new cycle, no spotting and another negative $1 test. I bought a $4 test for tomorrow but the waiting is terrible. I feel well over all, just dying to know one way or the other!!!!


Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Wait is Almost Over

Here we are again, at that excruciating "within a few days of knowing for sure" phase. Ugh.

Cycle day 30, approximately 13 days past ovulation. I've had + tests at day 13 in the past and got a BFN (Big Fat Negative) today with a $1 at about 4:00pm. Naturally, I'm not going to take that too seriously since it was so late in the day.

Either way, my cycles for well over a year have been 30, 31, and once or twice 32 days long, so we're definitely in the home stretch. At this point in every cycle, I want to just KNOW and move on, even if it's negative. Even a fresh start is better than wondering.

The last two days, I've had a couple of very inconclusive and nearly imperceptible "symptoms" but over all, I feel great! I actually have NOT been nauseated, and my appetite has been better--which is very un-pregnant like. My sense of smell does seem elevated and I've had a few 'twinges' here and there but nothing major.

I know I'll want to test over the next day or two as I wait for the start of a new cycle, so I went out to get a few $1 tests and what came on the radio in the precise six minutes that I spent driving to the store?? "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey. My sort of 'trying to conceive anthem.' Do I think that means I'm definitely pregnant? In a word, no. It means, however, that God wants me to remember to 'keep my hopes up' and keep trusting in His perfect timing. It was like a little reminder to me today as I wait..."Don't Stop Believing" and it blessed me tremendously. I can't stop smiling.

I'll probably collect a specimen in the morning and wait to see if a new cycle starts before lunch like it almost always does. Or I may just go ahead and test. I'll probably just test.

I really truly don't have a strong feeling either way. The few barely-there symptoms definitely make me wonder, and announcing for Valentine's Day and being due in October would definitely be cool. As always, we know that God's timing is best!

We shall see!!

P.S. Even as I sit here, I feel a little crampy. Could be anything, though.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Time Flies

I did my journal entry on Countdown to Pregnancy tonight and realized that it was the first one for this cycle. I'm already at CD 16, almost at the start of the Two Week Wait already!

It's not that I've been busy...I just haven't been as focused on getting pregnant. I've barely picked up my chart and I've only recorded a few pertinent details here and there. I seem to actually be....relaxed!

We are "trying" for this cycle, with an October 18th EDD (Expected Due Date). There's nothing particularly special about getting pregnant this cycle, or about the due date. Again, I don't have a "feeling" either way.

We're kind of in a "what will be, will be" mode, and that's fine by me!

P.S. Age 35 and conception in January?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The place between fear and joy

One moment I think about the possibility of bringing another human into the world and my heart soars. The next moment, I think about pregnancy aches and pains, giving birth, caring for a newborn, another 18 years added to the clock, the world we're leaving to our grandchildren and the rising costs of raising a child and I break out into a cold sweat.

Every time I start a new cycle, there is a tiny little shred of "Phew, dodged a bullet on that one" yet every time I get to the end of a cycle, all I can hope for is that second line on a pregnancy test.

I had a hard time toward the end of my last pregnancy, including loss of appetite, anxiety, losing weight and spending entire days at a time on the couch while my son watched movies all day.

I give every new baby two years with me--nursing on demand, no overnight trips and even sleeping in the same bed. Two years of baby as #1. I love it that way, but it is a non-negotiable, which means that husband, hobbies and 'work' come after Baby.

Having another baby is undeniably scary. And once you GET pregnant, there's no turning back!

But, oooohhhh....babies. Children!!! My offspring!! The JOY!!! Being able to be pregnant, give birth and raise another child is an honor and a privilege that I do not take lightly.

You get to birth a brand new human into the world. You get a baby to hold and nurse and smell and cuddle. You get to experience every milestone and enjoy other people enjoying your child. There are celebrations, lessons learned, teaching, playing, family events, cousins, trips, holidays....the JOY! You get to watch siblings interact and personalities emerge and dream about how your munchkin will change the world someday. It is truly a miracle.

Fear, shmear. Give me JOY!

Two Week Wait: no news yet

Only 11 days past ovulation, cycle day 28, still 3-4 days until I would start a new cycle.****

Had to try with a $1 today because if we conceive this cycle, there's a surprise involved...and I could have passed on the news today and it would have been really fun!

But, alas, no news yet.

As I've mentioned before, I got a lot of negatives with $1 tests, even the same day I got a + on other tests, so... I'll keep on hoping for the best!

I was also about 13-14 dpo with past pregnancies, so I may just implant late.

Here's my most recent test on Countdown To Pregnancy: http://www.countdowntopregnancy.com/pregnancy-test-gallery/my-pregnancy-test85978

****UPDATE! This cycle ended two days later on January 8th. The news would have been that I was due on my dad's birthday but, alas, that didn't happen. We'll have to see how the story unfolds!