About Me

Hi everyone! My name is Sarah, and I am a Christian, saved and sustained daily by my wonderful Savior. I am a wife to my high school sweetheart, Mitch; we got married at 19! I am a daughter, a sister, a friend, an aunt, a co-worker, and a woman that struggles with infertility. God has used this struggle to completely transform my life. I have experienced fear, hope, anxiety, compassion, trust, peace, tears, excitement, pain, laughter, and many other things that come with infertility. But most of all, I have a deeper trust and friendship with my Creator and my husband, and for this, I am forever thankful. The purpose of this blog is for me to remember the ups and downs of this trial, and how my Savior has brought me through it all. For those who have never struggled in this area, I hope this blog will help you see a glimpse into the life of someone struggling with infertility, so that you might better know how to encourage them through these difficult times. I also pray that this blog will help other women struggling in this area to know that you are not alone! There is a river of peace that is found in Christ that can help you through even the darkest of circumstances, I promise!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Will You Have My Eyes?

Baby,

There are so many questions that go through a mommy's head, but I've learned that over time, those questions will change. For example, when I was a teenager, dreaming of becoming a mommy one day, the question in my head would be, "Is my baby going to be cute?" or "Will I have the cutest baby in the world?" or "Will my husband be cute enough to help me make a cute baby?" It was all about how CUTE my baby would be.

Then when I got married, my questions became, "When should we have children?" or "How should we prevent having children until we're ready?" or "How will we afford children when they come?" or "How many children should we have?"

Then when the struggle to have a child became so real, and dark, and difficult, my questions became "Will I ever have a child?" or "Will I ever be pregnant?" or "Why is God making this so difficult for us?" or "Will I ever have a baby of my own?" "Will I ever be able to hold a child that is the perfect mix of me and Mitch?" "Will my baby have my eyes?"

*The next part of my story requires a bit of a detour. When daddy and I first got married, we had baby fever, for about 2 days. Then while we were away in St. Lucia on our honeymoon, we decided we wanted to wait, and said that in maybe 5 years we would start trying. Then the topic of adoption came up. I always thought it would be really nice to adopt, but my heart for adoption was no where near as strong as daddy's. He was adamant that he wanted our first child to be an adopted child. He felt like that would give us one-on-one time with that child, to really make them feel like they were completely a part of the family. He knew for sure that he wanted our first child to be adopted. I was not sold on this idea.

I was confident that I wanted my first child to grow inside my belly. That I wanted to have a baby shower with a huge belly, and be in the hospital where all our friends and family could come visit you. I wanted to have sonograms and a baby bump and the whole-9-month-pregnant-yards.

*Fast-forward to the day we we found out that our first IVF transfer didn't work. I was desperately wanting my dream of becoming a mommy to come true. Daddy was desperately wanting that dream to come true too. Although he wanted us to have a biological child of our own, his heart was still stuck on adoption. I was never opposed to the idea, I just wanted to put all of our effort into IVF before we even considered adoption.

*Fast-forward to the day after we found out we were pregnant with your brother/sister. Our feelings completely flip flopped. My dream of becoming a mommy was finally coming true. I was finally pregnant. But it wasn't until that moment that I realized how badly I wanted to adopt. And it wasn't until that moment that daddy realized how badly he wanted me to be pregnant with our biological child.

I just kept thinking about the babies that were growing inside of the belly's of mommy's that didn't want them. I wanted them. We could love them, and give them a family, and watch them grow. The moment I got pregnant I realized that what I wanted was a baby, not just a pregnancy. I had gotten so hung up on two week waits, and ovulation, and pregnancy tests, and injections, that I was more focused on seeing two pink lines than I was on just becoming a mommy.

Daddy though, he realized for the first time how excited he actually was to have a biological child of his own. And dreamed of what our baby would look like, and what gender they would be, and who they would act more like.

This is when it his us. Why not do both? Why not knock on every door of parenthood, and trust God to open the ones He is going to open. We found an adoption agency that does not have rules about adopting while being pregnant, and our prayer is to pursue the application process in early 2015. We will still continue to pursue fertility treatments as well, and just pray that God will bless us in whatever ways He chooses to.

Although I am not a parent to a living child yet, I know that there will always be unanswered questions. And that is where faith comes in. I have had to fully put my faith in the One that knows all of my questions before I even ask or think of them. I am trusting that if there are questions that I don't need the answer to, I wont receive the answer. And that if there are questions that need answers, those answers will come in God's time. And although I have no idea how God is going to bless us with children, I have full confidence that He will give us exactly what we need to serve Him best.

And even though I have no idea if you will have my eyes or not, I can confidently say, I don't care. I don't care if you have my eyes, or daddy's nose, or either one of our skin color, I just care that you are healthy and redeemed from your sins. That's it. That's all that matters to me.

I love you so much, even though I have no idea what you will look like!

-mommy

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Less Than Half

Baby,

I know a lot of this wont make sense to you right now, but I want to remember everything that's happened throughout this process. And also, I'm sure we will spend tons of time in the future talking about all of the little things in your life, so I'm just making sure you have something to read when you want to hear about mommy's life.

After my second set of bloodwork, I got a call on my birthday to tell me that my numbers came back at 8,000. While this is nowhere close to the 0 that we need to see it's better than the 17,500 from the previous week. Basically, this means that my body could just be taking it's sweet time getting back to my pre-pregnancy levels. But, the doctor seems to think that because my levels dropped to less than half of the previous number in 1 week's time, this is potentially a good sign that I will NOT need a D&C! This would be a huge answer to prayer!! I won't get too excited until I finally get the call that my numbers are back to 0, but I will be thankful for the results I received on my birthday.

Anyways, on Tuesday, daddy and I celebrated my birthday for the 10th time together!! The first time we celebrated my birthday together was for my sweet 16 birthday party in 2005. Pappap and Mimi had moved here from Tennessee several weeks before daddy did. Long story short, Pappap, Mimi, G-momma, and Papa-J got to know each other and became friends. Pappap called daddy and told him that he had found him a wife in Florida, and that as soon as daddy and Uncle Kevin got into town, they were headed straight for my sweet 16 birthday party. They didn't have a choice. I remember the two of them walking into my party like it was yesterday. The next several weeks after that, we spent every single day together. And the rest is history :)

Rest assured, that is not the last time you will hear that story. It is my favorite story of God's providence in our lives. At least at this point it is my favorite. I know that the story of meeting you and your brothers or sisters for the first time will be pretty tough competition! It is incredible to think about God's providence, and it gives me full confidence that I will have an amazing story to blog about our children one day! I love you so much, and daddy and I pray for you every single day!

-mommy


Monday, December 15, 2014

All I Want for Christmas is no D&C

Baby,

Bad news. I feel like life is full of so much bad news. All I wanted was a healthy, full term pregnancy. Then after we found out that wasn't going to happen, all I wanted was for the miscarriage to be an easy one. I prayed, and begged God to let it pass easily and without complication. But now, I'm not even sure that is going to happen.

Long story short, after I thought the miscarriage was over, the doctor wanted to check my blood work to make sure my levels had gone back down to my pre-pregnancy level of 0. Kinda funny, all I ever wanted to see was my levels go UP, and now, I'm praying for them to go DOWN. After my blood work last week, they wanted my level to come back at 0, but it came back at a whopping 17,500. Basically what this means is that I still have remnants of your brother or sister inside of me, and they aren't wanting to let go. This would require a procedure called a D&C. The worst part is that this is a $2,500 procedure! We have already spent your entire college fund to try and become pregnant, so to have to pay money to finalize the end of our first pregnancy just flat out sucks.

Tomorrow is mommy's birthday. My 25th birthday. According to my life plan that I had written in stone at the age of 14, I should have my first child by now. Clearly, that hasn't happened. And tomorrow, on my birthday, is when I will find out whether I need the D&C or not. I am begging God for good news. Just this once, please let there be good news.

But, there is a major problem with that prayer. Deep down, I want there to be good news, because I'm scared of bad news. I'm sick of bad news. I hate bad news! But then, this verse comes to mind:

"They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them." -Psalm 112:7

Instead of being scared of bad news, I know that I need to train my heart to trust that the Lord will care for me. He has cared for me my whole life. He has cared for me since the beginning of time. So how can I not trust that He cares for me now? He cares for me even if I find out tomorrow that I need a D&C. Im so glad that this verse came to mind before I get the news tomorrow. I am constantly praying that the Lord would refine my heart, remove my fear, and replace it with full trust in His seemingly confusing plan for my life.

I am so thankful that God is teaching me these hard lessons now, and I pray that it will help make me the best mommy that I could possibly be when that amazing day finally comes! I love you so much!

-mommy

Monday, December 8, 2014

Life Is Not Perfect

Baby,

There is something that I've learned over the course of my lifetime, but it has become more and more clear in recent days. Life is not perfect. No one's life is perfect. Even when you ask someone how they are doing and they tell you they are doing great, even their life is not perfect. Even when you think you are in a rut, and everyone around you seems to be thriving, even those thriving people do not have perfect lives.

I know what technology has done to the generation I am a part of. Some things have been very good and helpful, and some things have been very harmful. I can only imagine what it will be like when you are old enough to experience social media. One thing I have noticed recently is that social media is constantly full of the positive. Constantly full of how perfect everyone's lives are. Most people only want to post about the amazing things that happen to them. Very few people write about how horrible their day was, or how much they are struggling in a certain area. Who wants to broadcast that?

I've even noticed that when you talk to people in person, and you ask how they are doing, the usual response is, "Good, how are you?". I wonder how many people say they are good, when they are not really good. Maybe they are afraid to say they aren't good because they think that everyone around them is good? Maybe they are hiding their pain because they don't think anyone will listen. Maybe they are hiding their hurt because they want people to think they have it all together. This breaks my heart.

I know there have been times when someone has asked me how I was doing, and I was having a really tough moment, but I just told them I was "good". I really want be better about this. Obviously, there is discretion about the right and wrong moments to share your heart with someone, but I want to be more real and honest in my answers. And I want others to know that they can come to me when they are having a bad day. I want people to know that they can give me a real response when I ask how they are doing. I can help carry their burdens to the cross, I spend a whole lot of time there as it is.

There are only a handful of people in this world that I can completely pour my heart out to no matter what time of day. That I can answer with honesty every time those people ask me how I'm doing. One of those people is your G-momma. No matter what, I can tell her the truth. I can give her a real answer. And I absolutely cannot wait to have that kind of relationship with you. I cannot wait for you to call me every day and give me the scoop on all the little details of your life, because I care about every single one. You aren't even born yet and I already care about how your day was.

While I want every single person in my life to know that they can come to me with honest and real answers about their life and their good days and their bad days; I cannot wait to hear those answers from you!

-mommy

Friday, December 5, 2014

Patience and Infertility

Baby,

There are several lessons that I am learning through this process, and most of them can relate to other areas of life as well, not just infertility. One of those lessons that has really laid on my heart lately is about patience. Several ares of life require patience, but especially when it comes to infertility.

*** Side Note *** One of the most "annoying" things someone can say to me is, "Just be patient" or "If you are patient, it will happen".

Most people do not know how much patience it takes to tackle fertility treatments. Or how much patience it has taken me to have my blood drawn over 30 times, or to have over 20 sonograms, or to have 2 weeks of injections twice a day, or to take my temperature every single day for 180 days, or to have to sit on the phone for 2 hours and fight my insurance to get them to finally pay $100 out of $15,000 worth of treatments, or to have to wait 13 days for the results of a test that would determine our final cause of infertility, or to have to wait 11 days after the first sight of blood to have a doctor confirm that our first baby was indeed gone, then to have to wait 5 more days before the physical side of that loss came in full force.

Patience.

All of this took an extreme amount of patience. Patience that I thought I could never possess. If you had told me 3 years ago that this is where my life would be now, I would have told you there was no way I could survive this. But here I am.

The comments about patience are just not necessary, and here's why. It's almost as if those comments are making fertility treatments equivalent to impatience. Telling someone going through infertility to just "be patient" is like telling someone who just got married to just "be excited". Patience is the essence of infertility, just like excitement is the essence of getting married, or buying a house, or having a baby.

Fertility treatments do not equal impatience. Just like chemo treatments do not equal impatience.

Sometimes, its not as simple as just sitting back and relaxing and kicking your feet up and waiting for a baby to appear. Sometimes, it takes work. Sometimes, it takes help. Just because someone seeks help with their fertility does not mean they are being impatient. In our case, it means we are prayerfully accepting the reality of our situation. We know and believe 100% that God can take our 1% chance of conception, and give us as many children and He wants. With or without treatments. Just like I fully believe that God can heal someone that has cancer, with or without treatments.

However, there comes a time when faith, trust, reality and proactive involvement have to meet. For us, those things, along with a massive amount of prayer, have led us to IVF. Not because we think God is incapable, but because we believe that this is the means He will use to bless us with children.

All of that to say, we are being patient. Every day, we are patiently praying and waiting to meet you. Every day, we are practicing patience in a way that I never dreamed of, and in a way that I would never wish on my worst enemy. Every day that your room remains empty, we are being patient.

-mommy

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Stepping Stone

Baby,

There is something that feels different about writing you now. It's almost as if I'm writing to a different person than I have been all year. The first baby I was writing to came into our lives with so much joy, and also left this world more quickly than we expected. It's been just over a week since we lost our first sweet baby, and this week has been filled with a lot of emotions and questions and prayer and silence and tears and peace.

It's almost as if I'm writing to a new baby now. Our first baby has a part of me that cannot be replaced. But, you, you hold a new place in my heart. I am praying that you will be the baby that I will be able to hold, and rock to sleep, and give you a bath, and watch you grow. Nothing will ever take the place of our first baby, but we are praying that you, our second baby, will be one that we spend a lifetime of days with.

We have heard several people say to us over the past week, "So sorry about your loss, but you know, a lot of people lose their first baby and then go on to have several healthy babies." While this is true, we are not viewing our first baby as a "stepping stone" to our future children. The doctor tried to encourage us that although this miscarriage was disheartening, it was a major "step" in our infertility journey. Obviously, to some degree, I have learned to take what doctors say with a grain of salt (especially those that lack bedside manner.) While he might picture our first baby as a "step", I still picture their toes, and fingers, and nose, and belly button, and cheeks, and chunky legs. And I can still smell the Aveno baby lotion that daddy and I picked out just 1 week after we found out we were pregnant. And I can still feel the heartache that we felt, staring at a sonogram screen, as the Dr. told us we had lost our first baby.

A miscarried baby is not a stepping stone. It is a life. A life that made me a mommy. A life that made my best friend a daddy. A life that God has used to impact the lives of so many other people. This baby was so much more than a stepping stone to me. It was our first little snowflake, and it was your first brother or sister. I am praying every day for you and for our other future snowflakes, and that no matter how long your lives are, you will all spend eternity with me, daddy, and most importantly our Savior.

-mommy