Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Hi Friends

Hi Friends,
I'm still here. My blog says that 75 people checked this blog today...why, I don't know. But it touches me to know you are all still out there and still care.

To be honest, I am struggling. A lot. I want to be authentic here, but I also want to be responsible with my story, my testimony, and my grief, and right now my heart is so dark, that I don't think it would be wise to put that all out there. I'm trying to take a more "Mary pondered these things in her heart" approach to this. Some of it is self-preservation, some of it is not wanting to be a bad example to others in grief, and some of it is sheer lack of ability to put everything into words.

So, I appreciate that you all have continued to check on me. The miscarriage was pretty physically traumatic. I don't know why it was 10 times worse than the one I had before I had Matthew and I was pretty unprepared.  But, it seems to have resolved itself and physically I am all back to normal. I'm grateful that it all occurred on its own and I didn't need drugs or surgery.

Husband is in about the same place I am. Matthew is pretty unaware of what happened. He did ask me recently if he is still a big brother and that broke my heart. He's also asked twice in the last week why we don't have any kids in our house for him. That's been hard to manage. I don't want to explain too much to him and break his heart more than it needs to be broken.

So, here we are. Thank you for your prayers...

Monday, December 15, 2014

Miscarriage...Again

I miscarried over the weekend. We've determined that I can't ever go through this again so this is the end of our Embryo Adoption journey. That's all we know now. Thanks for your prayers.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Rescinding

We've all heard of false positives and false negatives when it comes to pregnancy tests, but I have just experienced a

FALSE MISCARRIAGE!

I am so thankful for the God-given gift of maternal instinct, and the prompting of the Holy Spirit that encouraged me to hold out hope, keep taking my medicines, and ask for another test. The repeat test showed that my levels have now *multiplied exactly as they were supposed to* and, from everything we can know right now through lab work, the baby is JUST FINE. We're not sure what I experienced over the weekend or why the levels did what they did and there are some abnormal markers that they really would like to see improve, so we can still really use your fervent prayers, but hope is not lost, and baby is still here and growing!

I am so frustrated that my hand prevents me from typing everything that has happened in the last few weeks (I do my updates on my phone) so I am seriously considering vlogging it because there is so much glory and miracle to tell of!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Beta drop

My beta in Monday was 29. I got word today that it was 27 on Wednesday. Morning sickness set in last night (Thursday). Doctor said to expect a miscarriage this weekend. We are praying for a miracle. Doctor said there isn't any hope but said I could continue my meds and test again on Monday if I want. I know a miracle can defy every impossibility. Would you pray that God spares this little one's life?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Checking In

Hi All,
I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving! We did, but then


It's my dominant hand so I am super restricted in my activity and can't type easily. Texting is a little easier because I can access the whole keyboard with one hand. But, needless to say, that's why I haven't posted.

I got negative home pregnancy tests every day of my 2ww. Then my beta was yesterday and the doctor called today:


The story of God's journey with my heart this week is pretty incredible and I can't wait to tell it when I can type more. 

The reason the home tests were negative is that my blood count hormone is really low. That could mean nothing at all but it could also mean baby is struggling. So we are asking you all to pray with us. Grow baby, grow!

Thanks friends!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Advent for Little Ones: Truth in the Tinsel

Christmas is coming. I've recently begun blogging with another blogging team, and I was working on an article yesterday. This is how I introduced my love of Christmas:

"I love Christmas. Like, Deck the Halls til the beams are sagging, start Christmas Carols in October, Clark Griswold, collect dozens of nativities love Christmas. It’s second only to Easter in my list of favorite days. I always loved it as a child because there was something about the child Jesus that made me able to identify with Him. “Hey! He’s a baby like I was a baby! He’s little like me!” He always seemed more understandable to me than “old” “grown up” Jesus.  As I grew up and developed a deep love of Hymns, Christmas Carols quickly became some of my favorites. They’rso rich in theology. “Veiled in flesh the godhead see, hail the incarnate deity!” How amazing is that? One of my primary love languages is gift giving, so that part of me especially loves Christmas.
Suffice it to say, we make a BIG deal of Christmas in our home. Because Christmas IS a big deal. What God did in coming to earth as the Christ Child is the biggest deal the world has ever known. I love to flood our home with light that reminds us of The Light, of Music that sings of His love, of gifts that remind us of his generosity.  My house sort of looks like the Christmas section at Target threw up all over it."

I want to make a big deal of it, but I want Matthew to know WHY we make a big deal of it. Sure, it's pretty, and festive, and fun to do everything, but I really want to impress on him exactly what it is we're celebrating.

A friend introduced me to Truth in the Tinsel, which is a daily advent activity for small children. It's an affordable, downloadable e-book full of devotions and instructions for teaching advent. To be honest, I had never done daily advent before, so I was sure I was going to drop the ball. However, the wonderful thing about Truth in the Tinsel is that it's manageable, even when you have limited time and little ones with limited attention.

The basic format of TinT is that you read the relevant scripture from the Bible with your child, and then you create an ornament, so at the end of the experience, you have 24 ornaments to retell the Christmas story. I added a reading of the same part of scripture from a Children's story Bible so that I could correspond pictures to what we were doing.



We didn't get through all 24, but we got all of the major players. That's one thing I really like. We didn't get all 24 done, but it's not an "all or nothing" kind of program. A few days are a little redundant and a few went a little over his head, but he still came away having a very good grasp on the Christmas story. This is a video I took of him when we had completed a few days.



The crafts are simple and quick, and use basic materials that are easy to find at most stores.  The author, Amanda, even provides a checklist of supplies so that you can plan all at once. Last year, I bought a 3" notebook and some page protectors and printed out the entire book. Then I put one day on each side of each sleeve, and I put in as many of the supplies necessary for that day in each sleeve with the instructions for that day. I also used a dry erase marker to make any notes on that day. This was especially useful if I planned to deviate from the author's plan at all, which I didn't do often, but I did do a few times. I kept a small box that had glue, scissors, crayons, and the few bulkier items like bells and toilet paper tubes.



Every day we got out the box, the notebook, and the Bible, and worked through our lesson. Matthew really loved it, and really retained it. He was excited to see the book each day. He was not even 3 years old at the time, and he can still tell me salient parts of the story based on what we learned. He was able to do most of the activities. I adapted a few to be more concrete and age-appropriate for a 2 year old literal thinker but for the most part, we were able to just follow the instructions exactly. But it wasn't so young that we can't use it again this year, or probably even next year. My friend Hannah had the good idea of photographing the year's ornaments, but then tossing them so you can start over the next year.  I'm too much of a packrat to actually execute that, but I'm with her in theory!

If this sounds a little overwhelming, think of this. Last year at Christmas, we were living in a hotel. Providentially, I had created the notebook before our house damage, so I just took the notebook and box of supplies with us. But the projects were manageable enough that we were able to do them in a hotel room with limited space and resources, and without damaging the hotel. If I could do that, I think anyone can do this. And if it's still more than you want to bite off, Amanda also offers printable ornaments that you can just have your child color after the story each day. Matthew doesn't love coloring enough that coloring an ornament each day was interesting to him, but it may work for you.

The other recommendation I have is to like Truth in the Tinsel on Facebook, where you can see ideas and reminders from other TinT parents and from the author.

If you're a Sunday School Teacher, there's also a TinT program formatted for church.

I investigated a few other advent programs this year, including Melk the Christmas Monkey, but TinT still wins hands down for us so we'll be using it again. Truth in the Tinsel doesn't start for almost another week so there's still time to jump in if you want to join us!

What do you do in your family to prepare for Advent?





*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.