Wednesday, June 30, 2010

9 Weeks

I can't believe that soon, we'll be in the double digit weeks! Praise the Lord for His gifts!

Here's what's happening with baby at 9 weeks.

Congratulations! Your amazing growing baby has been accepted into to the fetus-club, a very exclusive and exiting new stage in their prenatal development. Basically, this means the little sweet pea has graduated from swimming embryo creature to a recognizable human being! This week in particular, the irises of their little eyes can function, but (frustratingly for them?) their eyelids remain fused shut for a while yet. Their external ears are formed and their inner ears are now filled with fluid—so your little one is already developing their sense of balance. Your baby's little swimmer legs are still relatively, although other bodily developments are going forward at a nice pace: their kidney is actually functioning now, which means they’ve started urinating (this might seem charming now but wait till you have to start buying diapers!).

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Appointment Update

I don't know why, but I was really, really nervous going into this appointment. I was feeling so remarkably better, the blood I had the other day was bright red, and I was having some pains. I was dreading the appointment, for sure that I'd hear the worst. I don't know why-I wasn't like that last night, and every other ultrasound has given us every reason to think that everything was fine, but I still was growing in fear.

Would you pray with me? I feel my fear growing. I thought it would lessen as the pregnancy went on, but as I get more attached to this baby, as I get to experience more with him or her, as he or she starts resembling a baby more and more, I'm more cognizant of how difficult it would be to lose him or her now. The genetic mom had a miscarriage at this point in pregnancy. My sweet friend was farther along than I am and just lost her baby. I don't know--I just feel so much fear. I'm trying to leave it at the cross and I really have no reason to think that there is anything wrong, but I'd appreciate your intercession that this fear be taken from me because I'm weak and don't think I can give it up on my own.

The rest of this is TMI but I'm posting it for the benefit of other women who may google these symptoms. (My older relatives must think I'm terribly immodest for posting such things for all the world to read! I guess 6 years of everyone poking and prodding in your ladyparts and innermost thoughts kind of removes your bashfulness! My apologies if I offend you and please don't think of me as too terribly impolite).

The good news is that baby is just fine. He determined I have a friable cervix, which is not to be confused with a frYable cervix (which is what I thought he said at first! ;) )

From googling the explanation I find is that my cervix gland cells are exposed rather than protected by the cervix skin cells. That means that my cervix is easily irritated and bleeds easily. I'm experiencing it now because of the increased blood flow to the region, but anything from exercise, to sex, to an exam, to other high activity can just agitate it and cause me to bleed a little. From what I understand, women with more severe cases of this bleed all the time, but mine seems to be just with the extra blood flow from the pregnancy. What he said is that it's nothing to be concerned about and how much I limit my activity is up to me and how much I want to deal with it. He tells me to just gauge based on my stress level--he doesn't want my stress levels elevated at all but if I can deal with the bleeding and not stress, then I don't need to restrict myself at all. So if you have this condition, breath easier!

He said that now he won't be concerned if I have more spotting so he won't call me in anymore unless something dramatically changes. So that means no more peeks at baby for a while.

He did do an ultrasound today, and it was my first external one--you know, jelly on the belly, little handheld wand running over your tummy, etc. Because I'm heavy (so the waves have to penetrate more) and because baby is so small still (a lot of times they'd still do an internal ultrasound at this point) and because he discovered today that baby is also sitting at the back of my uterus (which is tilted backwards), the image quality is really crummy. Honestly, I can't hardly make anything out. I was really hoping for an internal ultrasound (who hopes for one of those?) because baby is really starting to look like a baby now. I think he was staying away from it to prevent more bleeding. So, we still have our cute little blob instead.

He didn't even really show us this ultrasound. Hubby and I both took a peek, but we couldn't make out anything. We couldn't even see the flicker of the heartbeat this time, which totally freaked me out, but the doctor was able to find and measure it some other way using a reading of the soundwaves rather than an image of them. He said that's no reason to be concerned-it's just because it was early and baby is buried deep. The heart rate was 174 and baby measures 2cm. We've graduated from mm to cm! :)

He also put me back at 9w1d (I guess developmentally?), even though baby is measuring at 8w5d in size, which I totally don't understand but it means I get to rollover another week on the countdown calculator, a couple days early! :)

He also said that the reason I'm feeling so significantly better is because my progesterone dosage was cut in half by the RE at the time of our appointment with him-which is precisely when I started to feel better. So that encouraged me that 1) my decrease in symptoms is not cause for concern and 2)in two weeks when I go off it completely, hopefully I'll feel even better, still!

I think the next couple weeks of "going dark" will be a good exercise in my faith. I really am grateful to God for all these reassurances and I know I've had a lot more glimpses than I should have, but I also don't want to be dependent on them to tell me that all is well. I want to continue to look for the Lord for that. I know these have been His gifts to me but I want to focus on the Giver, not the gifts, so I'm praying He grows me in these next few weeks of silence.

Thanks for such a great discussion in the comments on my last post. I hope I didn't offend anyone and I appreciate the many different perspectives all of you offered. You are all such terrific moms, and you're all so very different from each other, so I love having the beauty of the mosaic of differences. This is one way the body CAN be so beautiful and you all show me that regularly. I have much to learn from each of you!

Love to you all...

Monday, June 28, 2010

General Update

Thank you for following me to the new blog and for the anniversary wishes. I truly have the sweetest husband on the planet. I came home from work today to 3 dozen roses-a dozen for faith, a dozen for hope, and a dozen for love.

These were our wedding invitations:

And the same "Faith, Hope, Love" theme was in our readings, on our cake, on our bookmark favors, and several other places so he was playing off of that. And I carried purple roses, and one of the bouquets was purple. We had reservations to go to the Melting Pot, which is where we like to go, but close to when we were leaving, I got sick again, so we canceled and we just stayed in playing games, reading, and just hanging out-no expectations, no disappointment, just being together. I love how thoughtful and sensitive and gentle he is.

I'm generally feeling a little bit better. I seem to go longer between episodes, but when I have them, they are more severe. However, I think I'll take the severity-with-breaks as opposed to the ongoing version I've been having. However, I have lost 6 pounds, and I was having some more bleeding over the weekend so my doctor wants me to come in again, tomorrow. Woohoo, another look at baby! Honestly, I'm not worried-I called for informational purposes because I had a couple of questions, not because I'm worried. The only thing that gives me cause for worry is that HE is worried.

Our friend Mike was back in the hospital over the weekend--please pray for him. He's home now while they wait for the tumor board to meet, but we're not sure what the tests they ran this weekend will show and we're praying it's not another tumor. Thank you for praying!

We did have the kids on Sunday as a result. Their daughter absolutely ADORES Todd. Like to the point that I think she'll be crushed when she becomes old enough to realize he's taken. They're both equally wrapped around the other's finger. He's great with kids in general but I particularly love watching him with me such a sweet picture of what our life will be like with our own kids.

I am grateful to have lost a little more weight so that when I put it all back on (and then some), I'll be a little ahead of where I was. But I'm also sort of secretly anxious for a "baby bump" too. I know it will take forever, because I have a rather substantial "too much bad food plus too little exercise plus a hormone imbalance" bump already that baby first has to overcome, but I'm still looking forward to looking pregnant.

We've started talking about names. I sort of window-shopped around the net the other day at nursery bedding and furniture. Tonight I did a lot of reading on cloth diapering. It's overwhelming! I'm not "crunchy" by any means, but holy cow, the chemicals in disposable diapers are terrible! Cloth diapering grosses me out a little bit, but the thought of all those chemicals and all that extra landfill I think grosses me out more. We'll see. We know which doctor we're using and which hospital we'll deliver at but beyond that, I keep changing my mind on birthing methods, intervention preferences, etc.

Which brings me to a frustration. I don't understand this movement in the Christian mothering world to be militant and one-size-fits all. I'm just not like that. And I only see it on one side of the spectrum. I feel so much pressure within the Christian community to only do things one way--Bradley method, unassisted or midwife assisted, drug-free home birth, after which I need to cloth diaper my baby, buy the nearest organic baby carrier and swear off strollers, join the La Leche league, feed them only breast milk and food I make myself, and then homeschool them.

I've already deviated from some of those choices and intend to deviate from several more. I hate that there's this sort of morality associated with it-like "this is the only way Good Christian moms do things." I don't understand why there's this sort of spiritual snobbery and underlying current that women who do those things love their children more, and why judgment comes on those who don't practice any or all of those things. Honestly, though I have good friends active in those movements and many others who birthed/raise their children according to those principles and who are NOT jerks about it, the general attitude that permeates from the movements as a whole is a huge turn-off for me.

Here's the thing. I want to do as many organic or chemical-free things as I can for baby. I want to take Bradley classes because they seem to give me the best understanding of what happens with my body and baby's. But I have no idea if I want an epidural or not. I'm terrified of having a c-section, but don't think it's a moral choice. I could never in a million years go through birth without a medical professional nearby. The idea of a hospital is comforting to me-the thought of a home birth terrifies me. I think Moby wraps are pretty cool but I hate most of the other wraps I've seen-they look so uncomfortable for mom and baby! I don't think I'll scar my child for life if I employ the moderate use of a stroller. I want to breastfeed, but if for some reason I can't adequately provide for baby, I want the freedom to explore other options. I might make my own baby food, or I might buy it in jars. I will not be joining La Leche and we have no intention of homeschooling.

Some people would read that and immediately gasp and start praying for us. And I just don't get it. I firmly believe that the choices a family makes are between the husband and wife, God, and their children and that they depend on what God is directing them to do and what is best for each child. And since no two parents, no two walks with God, and no two children are alike, how on earth could the answers to non-moral, non-doctrinal issues be universal? I don't have any ideological or moral objections to any of those things I mentioned, or their opposites. I just don't think they're moral issues at all.

I think it's part of a greater idea that I've become increasingly uncomfortable with. I think the American Protestant culture has become increasingly preoccupied with religi-fying society. We've become obsessed with keeping God in our pledge and on our money and in our schools, with pulling our kids out of those schools, with getting people to vote Republican, with trying to bully the President into participating in a prayer ceremony he doesn't believe in anyway, with banning gay marriage and gambling, etc, etc, etc, all because "God wants us to" and it's "the Christian way." Why aren't we devoting that same passion to genuinely spreading the gospel and the stories God has given each one of us to tell? I can't find anything in scripture to support ANY of those things. That's not to say they're unchristian or unbiblical, just that they're extra-biblical and where scripture is silent, I believe it is up to each person and each family to discern what God would have them do on those subjects.

Becoming militant about anything, especially non-salvation issues, isn't doing the cause of Christ any good. Goodness, I'm a Christian and I'm turned off! I just don't get it. That's not to say that I don't think there's a place for Christians in government or Christians in social causes or whatever, but I think our process of "Christianizing" as much as we can has eclipsed our primary purpose. If there was a true revival in this nation, we wouldn't need to fight the courts to keep God's name on our dollar bills. We need to be active in encouraging our friends as they spiritually parent their children, not in becoming invested in their diapering choices!

Thinking on those things lately has really been convicting, because I my personality CAN be a crusader-type. I'm passionate and pro-active and articulate and it's easy for me to get on a soapbox or a bandwagon. I don't want to be known by my cause unless that cause is Christ. I want the focus of our home to be on the Lord, not on some social structure and set of rules. I want to make parenting choices according to what is best for our kids, even if that's counter-cultural or different from child to child. And I want to be the kind of person that gives that same freedom to the parents around me and I want us to sojourn together as we each seek the Lord's best for our families.

Man, I had no idea this post was going to go this direction! Hubby is home from picking up a very late dinner so I'm gonna get back to him! Thanks for sticking with me.

I'll post tomorrow after our appointment!

Happy Anniversary

 years ago, I married my sweetie pie, after nearly 3 years of dating. This fall, we'll have been together 10 years! I can't even believe it! These 10 years have been so crazy. Never would I have imagined the path our life has taken. God has blessed us incredibly over our journey, and He has graciously grown us in faith, hope, and love. I'm so grateful for this wonderful  man He gave to me. I love you, sweetheart! I'm copying Emily with this little meme: Year 1 (2003-2004): We got married. I followed Todd to Arizona, where he had moved 6 months earlier to take a job. We get a position with our apartments as a CARES team, which is a ministry program to encourage community and lasting relationships and provide opportunities to share the gospel with residents. We also add Lewis to our family! Year 2 (2004-2005): Todd spends our first anniversary in bed with pneumonia! Several occasions and general homesickness had brought us back to California multiple times in the previous year, but the reality that Arizona is "home" begins to sink in for Jen.  Jen gets a job with Right to Life and Todd continues to receive promotions at work. We also begin to try to grow our family. Year 3 (2005-2006): We buy our home and decide to finally leave the church we'd been attending. A week later, God brought us to our wonderful church home, where we still are, today. Year 4 (2006-2007): Jen becomes an entrepreneur and begins Cafe Prima, which operates, with Todd's help, for two years as one of the web's most popular scrapbook supply stores. We later close it down as we begin adoption plans and do not want to continue the high time investment required. We also meet our best friends in this time and build a rich friendship and enjoy the fellowship of having "couple friends." Year 5 (2007-2008): We receive our diagnosis of permanent infertility. We adopt our babies and our lives are forever changed. We also spend a wonderful vacation in Hawaii, celebrating our 5th Anniversary. Year 6 (2008-2009): We travel to Michigan, 3 times! Todd loses his job that brought us to Arizona. God gives him the desire and resources to start his own company, and we adjust to the many changes that brings, and appreciate the extra time it gives us to spend with each other, and in ministry,. We spend much of the year with Mike and his family through his illness and we are grateful for the flexibility of self-employment. We also lose our first 2 children. Year 7: (2009-Present): We lose 3 more children and are expecting our 6th, the first we'll get an opportunity to meet on this earth.  We've had some high highs, and some low lows, but God's character and faithfulness has remained steady through it all, and my sweet husband has stuck by my side in it all. Thank you for choosing me, Hunny. Marrying you was one of the best decisions I've ever made and I'm so grateful for you. I love you! And on our Honeymoon: And the most recent photo I have of us, from March of this year, at another friend's wedding.

Friday, June 25, 2010


Welcome to the new blog! Those of you who have followed me for a long time have been through several moves with me. Thanks so much for your patience. I think we're here to stay this time!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

8 Weeks!

Woohoo! You've got one whole inch of baby inside of you! Your little embryo has finally reached the one-inch mark (30mm). And if it were possible to take a peek, you could actually see your tiny baby without a telescope! What’s more, your baby is finally starting to take on some very distinct human features. For starters, their little tail (really just the spinal cord) has disappeared completely. It’s nice to know your baby can no longer be mistaken for a sea creature! Additionally, both their toes and fingers are prominent with very little, if any, webbing. Upper and lower limbs all show recognizable joints (elbows and knees) and the lower limb bones are starting to ossify. But don’t expect your baby to resemble either parent quite yet. Right now, your baby’s head is disproportionately larger than the rest of their body--making up almost half of your little one’s height and weight!

And I have an app on my ipod that says this:

More facial features become apparent, such as the upper lip, tip of the nose, and the eyelids. If you were to peer at your baby very closely you could actually start seeing a tiny mouth. Inside this mouth your baby's tongue is starting to take shape. Your baby's eyes also start taking on a more natural appearance, as the retina begins to shape and form. Week eight finds retinas developing as well as eye pigment. Fingers and toes form on the ends of the little arms and legs that formed from the tiny buds. The baby's genitals are developing, too, but it's too early to determine the gender. The embryo is now as big as a raspberry.

In other news, I am thinking of moving my blog back to blogger. I really don't like wordpress and I only moved for security reasons, which I don't think are a concern anymore. Would it be a major pain for people if I moved again?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Naming Baby

One "side effect" of 6 years of infertility is that we've had a LONG time to think about baby names. So, though we're barely 8 weeks, we've got our baby name list narrowed down to 3 girls' names, and 1 boy name. We're pretty sure that's our only boy choice, but he needs a middle name. There was another name that I love, but DH has a really strong opinion on the boy name, so I'm deferring to him and saving that name for hopefully a future child. With the girl names, there are two that are neck and neck, and a close third. It will be hard to choose one because we love them all. We're pretty certain of the girl middle name, too.

DH doesn't want me to post them yet. Once we actually decide, we're not going to keep them secret. We thought about it, but I don't like the way I've felt when I've been the one on the other end of that practice (no offense to those of you who've done it), so we do plan on sharing the name. But he's not ready for me to post them yet. He wants us to make up our mind, sans outside input. So, guess I'll post them when we decide and/or he gives me the all-clear :)

But, we did have a really fun discussion about names. He's decided he wants to remove the I from our last name, so we're just WRGHT. He said it's more economical that way. I said at that point, the W was extra, too. But he said he doesn't want the countless people who spell our name R-I-G-H-T to win (seriously, who does that?). Then he thought he could just go by T-W. I said if we're going for economy, he could cut those letters in half and just go by IV. Guess you had to be there, but it was so fun and silly and just wonderful to spend the evening giggling with him. When he wants to be, he is the silliest, goofiest guy I know and I absolutely love that about him.

He's also a fan of 80s girl names--Tiffany, Brittany, Hillary, Courtney, etc. I really don't like any of those names because I guess I think of them as so specific to that decade. Don't worry, I put my own name in there too and I don't like it any better. I tend to like more classic, borderline old-people names-usually of English or Hebrew origin. I seem to be winning in the name game because all 4 of our choices fall into that description but he assures me he likes them as well as I do.

Then he threw out Pope names. He said we'll have a Pious, and then John Paul I, John Paul II, John Paul III, etc. No dear, we are not George Foreman. Like I said, you probably had to be there, because when it was happening, it was positively hysterical but it's probably really lame sounding when you read it.

We'll see what sticks. People kept telling me that once we actually got pregnant, all the names we've loved over the years would go out the window. We entertained a few other choices for like 10 seconds, but I guess when you've thought about it for so long and always though things would go this way or that way, it's hard to think differently. Guess we'll see if things change as time goes on. :)

I still have moments of "this is actually happening." I just can't believe we're actually getting to talk about names.

Oh, and movement, too!

One thing I forgot that happened during the ultrasound was that the baby moved. It's still way too early for me to feel it, but we were able to see it! (S)he actually moved a lot. Doctor or the coordinator called it "gross movement" and even they seemed a little (pleasantly) surprised to see it so early. It was soooo cool to see!

Ultrasound Update

We went for our third ultrasound yesterday. It was also my last appointment with my RE! That was bittersweet because I really do like him and his staff, and I really feel well taken care of. But he also said, "you're just a regular ol' pregnant woman now," which was music to my ears. Still, it was a little nerve wracking to leave his care. I have complete confidence in my OB so that's not the issue, but something about being in the care of a specialist, more specifically, the specialist who put this baby in me, was extra comforting to me. On the other hand, I'm thrilled. In 3 weeks, we'll be done with all of the medications. My body and baby will have taken over the process the way it's supposed to be. I get to drive 20 minutes instead of 2 hours for an appointment. And my OB is great, so seeing him is swell too.

Call me cheesy, but I took a picture with our doctor and the coordinator for our baby book :)

The appointment went well. Baby is measuring 13.84mm. That's almost twice what it was 5 days ago! It's amazing how fast they grow at this stage of development. The heartbeat was nice and strong, coming in at 147bpm. The yolk sac is appropriately shrinking (which means the placenta is doing its job and taking over the job of feeding the baby), and the gestational sac (the long water-balloon shaped dark space), is nicely sized, too.

Baby is between the two + signs. The little white dot toward the left side is the heart. The round shape on the right side of the right + is the yolk sac, not the head (which is what I thought when I saw it was round). The doctor and the coordinator said they could see the spinal cord and limb buds, too, but all we see is a cute little blob.

They put my due date as February 3rd, rather than January 31/February 1 (where my OB put it), which makes sense since the baby was measuring 3 days smaller than the Jan 31/Feb 1 date we were working off. They said that size-wise, baby was measuring 7w4days (and by the Feb 1 due date I would have been 7w6d), but they also said that developmentally, baby was right on track for 8 weeks. He also said that he wasn't confirmed about the difference in size either and said it's very likely baby will make up the difference. So, who knows. Baby apparently has a mind of his/her own and will come whenever he/she wants to. But I did change my ticker to reflect the Feb 3 due date.

The coolest part of the whole appointment was when he flipped a switch and we could HEAR the heartbeat as we watched it. We had seen it twice before, but we'd never heard it before. Lots of things I'd read and even my OBs office said it's difficult to hear at this point, so we weren't expecting to be able to hear it until our appointment in a few weeks. But, because this doctor deals exclusively in early life, his machines are more sophisticated. It was such a nice surprise! He let it run for a while so we could really soak it in. And we had invited my mom to come along, so it was neat for her to be there, too.

The *only* bummer is that now, we don't get to see baby again until 18-20 weeks! I've gotten rather attached to seeing our little one on a weekly basis! But now, since I'm a "regular ol' pregnant woman," I only get to see what other "regular" pregnant women get to see! There's a slight chance we'll get one more peek at 10 weeks--my doctor will do a doppler check for a heartbeat and if he can't find it (which is possible since I have, err, um, lots of insulation), then he'll do an ultrasound. I'm sort of secretly hoping that the doppler isn't sufficient so we get another look ;)

I have a huge praise. My NVP was getting really bad and I was vomiting all day, every day, for almost a week. Saturday and Sunday, I literally threw up after every time I ate. Yesterday, I got a nice break and while I was queasy all day, I didn't vomit once, and so far, today has been a good day too, so I am SO thankful for the reprieve and am enjoying it as long as it lasts! God has been very generous with this "break."

Well, I need to go pick up Mike and Krista's son from VBS so I've gotta scoot so I'm not late. Thanks for checking in!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Ultrasound Update

:) Baby is still measuring 3 days small but that's exactly the same amount of "smallness" as last week, so at least the rate of growth is consistent. Baby was 8mm now and the tech didn't have to struggle at all to find him or her. The genetic parents are small people so it's not out of the realm of possibility that this will just be a small baby. Heart rate was 131, which is good and right on track ;D

It was a bittersweet ultrasound though. It did confirm that there is only one baby so we know we now have another one with Jesus. However, we are thanking God for the life of his or her sibling left with us! :)

Progesterone Injection Reaction-Not Normal

Warning-pictures of an unpleasant looking skin reaction are contained in this post, and they all show my flabby skin :P Feel free to skip if you want.

I'm finding that one of the harder parts of undergoing fertility treatments and being pregnant is that it's hard to determine what's normal and goes with the territory, and what is cause for concern and a call to do the doctor. How much and what kind of pain or discomfort is good and normal, and what is cause for alarm? How much barfing is too much? How much bleeding is normal, and how much is trouble?

If you have a doctor, you definitely want to utilize his or her services, but if you're like me, you also don't want to be THAT mom who calls over every little thing. I want to know when I just need to take my lumps, and do so as graciously as I can.

Such was my dilemma with a reaction I was developing at the site of my progesterone injections. I had a similar, more mild reaction last time I was on it, but they assumed it was the oil I was allergic too. So they changed to a formulation that used alcohol instead of oil.

However, I've had the reaction again, and it's much stronger this time. There must be something in the progesterone itself that I can't tolerate. I'm posting this for other women who have these shots and may wonder if what they're seeing is normal.

The pictures are poor quality and my camera wouldn't focus or really show much without the flash, but with the flash it blurred everything out, so I drew little lines around the bumps.

These are on both hips. The black dots are where my nurse friend drew for us so we'd know where we could inject.

Note: My skin is not that sallow nor that pink so that is not part of the reaction--it's just bad photography.

What I have are bright red and itchy bumps--they're not like bruises. They're also not particularly hard, like knots. The best way I can describe them is like bug bites--hot and puffy and itchy and sort of soft. And they don't seem to be going away. The side with the solid big one hasn't been injected since last Thursday. I'm also starting to notice itchy bumps on my arms, legs, and feet.

Knots, light bruising, and soreness ARE normal around injection sites. Oil is very thick and doesn't absorb well into your system. Ethel oleate is a little easier, but still tough. Don't worry-the progesterone gets to where it needs to go, but it just ditches its delivery mechanism behind to bother you. You can avoid a lot of the knots and bruising by making sure you heat your vial with body heat (put it down in your bra for about half an hour) prior to drawing the medication, having your hubby massage the area HARD after injection to break up the oil, and then using a heating pad to keep it warm and thin after he's done massaging. Also, alternate sides, and when you have to go back on the same side, get as far away from your previous injection spot as possible while still staying in the safe injection area. If you have trouble seeing where your previous spot was, mark it with a sharpie after you get the shot. Some residual soreness is just inevitable--you're poking holes in yourself every day!

I tolerated them for more than a week, because at first they started as small bumps and were few in number, and I thought they might be bug bites. But when I saw last night that that one side had become one large "mass" of a bump, I took the pictures and emailed them to my doctor's office.

The response I got was:
STOP the PROGESTERONE INJECTIONS NOW!!!!!! If you continue to do the injections you could do serious harm to your skin and the tissue underneath.

And then the nurse called me to make sure that I got the message and immediately discontinued further injections. I asked her if it was something we were doing wrong with how we were injecting and she said that no, it had nothing to do with the technique and everything to do with the medication.

So the answer to this particular question is that this is NOT normal. If you get a reaction like that, immediately call your doctor before taking further doses. You may in fact be allergic to the oil it's in (in which case there are lots of alternatives) but you may instead have a problem with the medication itself so just monitor yourself carefully.

When in doubt, always call your doctor. You know your body best. As much as I worry about being one of "those" patients, at the end of the day, you're paying for their services and expertise, so if you're concerned, call! They're there to be a resource to you, so utilize them. I'm so glad that I did!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

7 Weeks!

Here we are:

Your baby is really beginning to develop more physical definition this week – their oversized head isn’t just large and oblong anymore, it’s actually a little bit pointy. The tiny receding tail bud is now starting to be overshadowed by the growth of their legs, which are now complete with knees and the beginnings of toes. Their eyes and ears are the most visible features on their head and their miniature bones are starting to harden throughout their body. You also have some variation on a boy or a girl at this point, although their genitals won’t be visible enough to determine which color cigars you’re going to buy until around the 16th week.

Monday, June 14, 2010

My Mom Rocks

I don't have a ton of updates, but I'm trying to blog consistently, so I thought I'd post about my wonderful mom.

Wednesday and Thursday, I was severely nauseated for 48 hours, straight. I only threw-up once, but I felt like that was only by the grace of God and because I pretty much refused to move and didn't eat anything. Thursday night I was so desperate, I called my mom to ask if she'd come up to help me on the weekend get caught up on all the stuff that had fallen by the wayside while I was so tired and/or sick. She graciously agreed!

Friday, I had a much better day. I was able to clean my kitchen, make some bread dough, do a little laundry and complete a few errands. It took me all day to do that, including a long nap in the middle, but I got it done. Mom spent the day at her house cooking and baking for us. She arrived Saturday and I felt woozy, but ok. We ran some errands and she helped me do my grocery shopping, which was funny for her because I move slowly, forget things, and totally space out these days! We puttered around the house, and she attacked my kitchen. I'd cleaned it the day before but she deep cleaned it--wiped down everything on the counters, cleaned my fridge inside and out, washed my trashcan--all that stuff I never do, because, despite being born to the housekeeping Yoda, I am an epic failure at it.

Saturday night was awful. I was up most of the night with a sick tummy, and then I proceeded to throw up all day Sunday. Whoever called it morning sickness is a big fat liar! :P

While I sat on my bum doing NOTHING except puking, mom vacuumed my carpets, cleaned my tile floors (on her hands and knees--and our house is more than half tile!), dusted, rearranged my tupperware cabinet (it's always a disaster) and deep cleaned both of our bathrooms. She did other stuff I'm sure, but that's all I'm remembering. I think the only time our house was ever this clean was when 1) we moved in and 2) we had our homestudy visit.

I finally called Diana last night, who recommended a cocktail of Unisom and Vitam B6. Diana suffered from Hyperemesis Gravidarum with both of her pregnancies and is well read on all kinds of morning sickness cures, from old wives tales to heavy duty prescriptions. I tried her cocktail and finally received some relief from the vomiting, but then proceeded to be knocked into a heavy sleep (imagine that, with sleeping medicine!) I called my doctor this morning and he approves/recommends the same combination, so not long after the overnight dose worse off, I took another and proceeded to be a zombie the rest of the day.

Meanwhile, my mom made us a crockpot full of stew, a casserole, three other meals, and chopped all our fruits and veggies for easy consumption this week. Each of those dishes makes two meals (or more, if DH is the only one eating them). She also had brought up another casserole and a couple pounds of cooked taco meat with her and two dozen whole grain muffins (easy on my tummy). So now we have almost three weeks worth of dinners so that if I don't feel up to or can't stomach cooking, DH can just pull something out of the freezer and microwave it and I don't have to feel bad about leaving him to fend for himself! I'm so grateful for my sweet mom, who gave of herself so selflessly this weekend! Thank you mom! I can't say that enough. She did have to go home today--and probably for the best because after this weekend, she needs a break!

The Unisom wore off this afternoon and I didn't feel sick enough to take another dose so I was finally able to come out my zombie state and go to work for a few hours, so it was nice to feel productive.

If you're struggling with morning sickness/NVP, here are some things I've tried that have helped:

1. Eat often
2. When you do eat, eat small and eat well.
3. Eat a few crackers before you get up in the morning. When you do get up, rise slowly so you don't jar your tummy too much. If you wake up in the middle of the night, eat a couple crackers then, too--keeping your stomach from getting totally empty seems to be key and night time is the longest your tummy goes unattended.
4. Eat a little, right before bed, so your tummy has something to work on overnight rather than completely emptying itself out.
5. Have mint gum handy at all times. I now have packages of it stashed in near every room of my house and I can't tell you how many episodes it warded off this weekend. Costco sells it in bulk. No, really :)
6. Stay well hydrated
7. If you have a problem of producing excess saliva (a side effect of pregnancy that some, myself included, experience), spit it out rather than swallowing it because the extra fluids can aggravate your tummy. Make sure you stay well-hydrated though. And the gum can be counter-productive to the minimizing excess production, but for me, it's worth it anyway.
8. Figure out what your instant-fixes or deterrents are (if you have any) and have them handy-put some in your purse, in your desk drawer, etc
9. Complex carbs are your friend. But all carbs are not created equal. Just because that piece of wonder bread or those mashed potatoes sound like they'll be soothing, they probably won't be. Try whole grain bread or oatmeal or something else. I've found that white starches just sit in my stomach and mock me.
10. Avoid fried foods

Saltines and 7 Up have helped a little but not much. I've been afraid to try ginger, as it gets mixed reviews on whether or not it can lead to miscarriage. The mint gum works wonders. Citrus and sucking on a lemon has not worked at all. Sometimes, something sweet helps, other times, it doesn't. Teas are hit or miss, too.

Find the snacks that work for you. For me they are:
Fruit Snacks
Popsicles (they make 100% fruit, no sugar added ones)
Carrot Sticks
Chicken Lunch Meat
Oatmeal with Walnuts and Raisins
Chocolate Milk
Cold pudding
Flavored Yogurt

I keep peanuts and fruit snacks in my purse at all times. Any time you feel yourself getting even the slightest bit hungry, eat something!

One of my books also said to experiment with different textures and temperatures. I've found that I do best with frozen stuff, and with hard crunchy stuff. The softer, in-between textures are hit or miss. I can do yogurt and pudding, but I can't do bananas and smoothies. I can eat cantaloupe and watermelon if it's cold, but not if it's room temperature. And then there are days when this all goes out the window and you just barf anyway ;)

In all honesty, I feel like the biggest wimp on the planet. I've had what I would describe as a few tough days, 2 hard days, and one pretty terrible day, plus quite a few days when I've felt fine and have just been too tired to do anything, and I'm already feeling overwhelmed. I've also developed hives of some sort (I think related to the progesterone), for which the doc said I can take Benadryl but not hydrocortizone. Benadryl knocks me out too, so between that and the Unisom, I'm often in a state of zombie! I was truly unprepared for how different I would feel this quickly. I don't want to have a complaining spirit and in a lot of ways, I really am still grateful for the continued "reminders" of pregnancy so I'm just praying for God's strength and sustaining power, a heart of gratitude, His provision of physical reprieve when I need it, and gratitude for the love and help of friends and family.

We get another peek at little-love-bug on Wednesday morning and I can't wait. While most women don't get to see their babies for several more weeks, we get several "previews." I guess that's one of the few perks of infertility ;)

Thanks for checking in! I'll post Wednesday after our ultrasound!

Friday, June 11, 2010


Portions of my blog entry, Shame on You Arizona Right to Life were recently printed in the most recent edition of "The Caleb Report," a newsletter by Life Decisions International, a major player in the pro-life world.

However, it leaves off my last name with the caption "last name withheld by request." There must be some confusion or breakdown in communication on their part, because no one ever contacted me regarding reprinting my text, or to inquire about what my last name is. While I do give permission (in the footer of this blog) for portions of my blog to be reprinted, and I have no issues with the fact that they did reprint it (the more people who can get the information, the better), it gives the impression that I am unwilling to stand by my words, which is simply untrue. I was never contacted, and I never declined revealing my name. It's just silly anyway, because as I was with the organization for 5 years, most of their active members know my last name anyway.

For the record, my name is Jennifer Wright.

Edited to Add, correction 2: In my first draft, I mistakenly linked to Life Dynamics, Incorporated, rather than Life Decisions International. There are two pro-life LDIs, and I mixed up their links. I have since corrected my error.

Morning Sickness and Meditations

Morning all!

First, I want to go on record and say that "Morning Sickness" is a big fat lie. It should be titled, "morning-noon-and-night sickness!" I think I was truly unprepared for how challenging pregnancy would be. I'm not even a week farther along than we made it the first time and I feel so incredibly different than I did that time.

It's weird actually being pregnant after so many years of wanting to be pregnant. The last few days, I've felt really pretty awful. I went from Tuesday night through last night in constant sickness, with no reprieve. I made it to work for a coupkl

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Update on our Friends

Our friends lost their sweet little one today. It's not the outcome we were all praying for but they are believers too and know their baby is with Jesus. Please pray for them as they celebrate this little life and mourn their loss. Thank you for your prayers for them.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Afternoon Update

I called my OB this morning to talk to my nurse because when I called on Monday, she had specifically asked, several times about spotting. Since she'd specifically wanted to know about it, I thought I'd call and chat with her about it. She was with a patient, so the receptionist took a message. About half an hour later, the receptionist called back and said that the doctor wanted me to come in this afternoon. I was a little alarmed by the urgency, but my friends told me that it's pretty standard procedure for an OB to want to check things out with spotting. That was one thing that was so refreshingly different. The reason we chose this doctor (aside from his medical skill) is because he's as pro-life as we are. This was a baby to him, not a "product of conception" or a "fetus." I loved that. I didn't feel like he thought I was crazy or overreacting. An RE's office is just different. Don't get me wrong--my RE is a WONDERFUL practitioner and I can't say enough good things about him. But in their field, the way early life is viewed is just much more clinical. And statistics brace them and their patients for the worst, not the best (case in point, my first phone call with the nurse down there). My OB is the exact opposite, which was wonderful for my heart.

So, I went in. It took him a really long time to find anything. After a long time of looking, he said "I'm not seeing anything in your sac." I just closed my eyes and lay there praying that God would give me strength to hear the news I thought was coming.

He looked some more than then he said, "Wait, there's a little flicker." And we saw it briefly, but then it was gone again. So he moved the wand some more and all the sudden, it was dead center, flickering away, plain as day.

We saw one heartbeat. Then he said the baby measured 5 weeks, 5 days, and I should technically be 6 weeks 1 day, but he said he didn't think that was cause for concern. The heart looked like it was beating really slow and I told him that and he said it was ok because it's early. But then when I asked for the rate, he said it was 116-which isn't slow and is right where it should be!

He also said that the fact that we only saw one is not conclusive about whether both implanted or not since it's so early.

So, he's doing another ultrasound next week. (Oh darn, we get to see baby again). He said he just thinks it will tell us more. He said he could see some spotting still up in there preparing to come down but he didn't think it was cause for worry.

He told me to cool it at the gym (again, oh darn) and just rest and come back next week.

I'm exhausted after all the emotional ups and downs of the appointment. But, so far, it's good news! Not the "all clear" we were hoping for, but definitely good! Please keep praying though that baby's just small and that this really isn't anything to worry about! 2 days is not really a huge difference but it seems so significant when their size and everything is so dramatically different from day to day. But, I refuse to go looking for worry, so, we're focusing on the good news.

I feel absolutely awful today, (in a good way), so that's hampering my ability to feel much of anything except barfy, but we really are excited!

The dot between the two + signs is the baby! Baby is SOO tiny! It's crazy!

Morning Update

Thank you all for your prayers. It blesses us so much to know our babies have so many prayer warriors on their sides! We really felt God's presence and I was able to focus my prayers on asking for His will, His strength, His peace, and trust and faith in Him, rather than on sparing their lives. Because ultimately, we want His will, not ours. And I know that desire comes from Him, too. So thanks for your intercession. I truly believed God used the strength and peace you prayed for to direct my thoughts and prayers.

By the time I fell asleep last night, the cramping had stopped. I was still spotting, but a few hours later when I woke up to use the bathroom, it had stopped and it has remained gone this morning.

This morning, my morning sickness nausea turned into full-blown morning sickness barfing, which I took as a good sign that hormones are still increasing. So I'm actually grateful to be feeling so yucky. I'm pretty sleepy from being up a lot last night so I'm just going to try to take it easy today-just working and then resting, no gym tonight. I will call my doctor in when he opens in a few minutes to see if he wants me to do anything, but we're believing in faith that everything is still ok.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Prayer Request

After working out tonight I had a little bit of spotting and cramping. It was very mild and the spotting only happened once and not since so I am trying not to worry. My workout was really easy (swimming, easy bike and treadmill, and body-weight only exercises and stretches) and I'm going to take it easy the rest of the night.

We of course want to pray that this is nothing, but more than that, we pray for the Lord's will to be done in our lives, and in theirs. We'd love it if you would join us in intercession.

Thank you!

Cute story

I used to see an OB for my annual exams and for treatment/maintenance of my PCOS. Once we got our IF diagnosis and decided to pursue EA, I transferred my care to an RE. I haven't been back to my OB since, as my RE just did my annual exams, too.

So, it's been years since I was there. I called yesterday to make an appointment and I (happily) spoke to a nurse who was my favorite from before. I said "Hi Maria, this is Jennifer _________. How are you?" Like my first name, my last name is pretty generic, and it's been years since we spoke so I didn't expect her to remember me. And at first, she didn't. There was no recognition in her voice.

But, my OB's office takes your picture for your file. It took her a minute to pull up my file and suddenly she exclaimed, "Oh my God, Jennifer!!!!" She literally squealed with delight when I told her we were pregnant. She asked me over and over and over again if I was feeling alright and if I was bleeding at all and I kept assuring her that I feel great. She was so excited! I was so grateful for her little celebration.

We'd also been vacillating on whether or not to return to this OB--he's a wonderful practitioner, but we have ideological differences, especially on the morality of EA. But I know he gives wonderful care, I like that I know him, I like the hospital he delivers at, so we decided to stick with him. The conversation with Maria eased my concerns and confirmed that staying with him is the best thing for us.

So, I was just tickled pink and so honored that she would be so happy for us.

I think I'm finally starting to feel really pregnant. When you undergo an FET, you know you're pregnant MUCH earlier than a woman who gets pregnant the good old fashioned way does, simply because you don't have to wait until a missed period to start testing, and you have a doctor-ordered blood test confirmation right away. So, I'd tell people (strangers-not my friends, they're very supportive) I am pregnant and they'd ask me how far along I am and I'd say "4 weeks" or something like that and people would just look at me cross-eyed. I think a lot of people adopt the attitude that you shouldn't celebrate that early, and a lot of people just flat out don't know that early, so I was an oddball.

But 6 weeks feels like a "legitimately pregnant" number (so far as the world is concerned)--normal women know they're pregnant by now. First trimester effects are in full swing. Other people know they're due in early February by now, too. Now when I tell people, I get a loving or a knowing "oh, that's nice" look instead of a "wow, you're weird" look. I don't know--not that the babies' lives weren't legitimate before, because they were and are. It just feels like I'm entering an exclusive club that I've previously been left out of. The club of normal! It's actually kind of nice!

Today's my day off so I'd better boogie and get some work done this morning while my energy is high. TTFN!

Continuing to celebrate today, and praise the Creator of this day.

6 Weeks!

We're 6 Weeks Today!!

This is going to be a busy week for your amazing little embryo. Their brain is still growing remarkably fast; miniature hand plates are starting to develop and the early formations of what will be their fingers are already visible. Also, the lower limbs do not develop quite as fast, so they’re pretty much still flippers. Up until this point, your baby has been very curled up with the head and tail in close proximity, but this week their trunk and neck are beginning to grow and straighten as their tail recedes into its resting position in the back. Even though your little miracle is only 6 weeks old, they’re already capable of demonstrating reflex responses to touch!


Baby's now the size of a sweet pea! Growing like crazy, baby is starting to sprout eyes, ears, nose, cheeks, and chin. Those little hands and feet -- still webbed like paddles -- might wiggle by week's end, the heart is beating (almost twice as fast as yours!), and blood is starting to circulate.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

More pregnant than I've ever been

At approximately at this time of evening, this exact number of days into my pregnancy, I was arriving home from the hospital emergency room after spending the worst night of my life miscarrying our daughters. It was an experience I hope never to experience again. The miscarriage itself was alone traumatic, but doing so among the worst hospital staff I've ever encountered, lying there bleeding helplessly all over the place, while the staff around me refused to answer me because "the doctor would be in soon" (7 hours later!), while the worst nurse imaginable dug around in my arms for almost an hour trying to start an IV (for what, i still don't know), none understanding why I was freaking out so much because it was "so early" and we could "always try again" was beyond what I could handle. Honestly, it was the stuff that nightmares are made of. And I've tried not to think about it because reliving it was too awful. Each woman needs to make her own choice, but if God does take these babies (or any future ones), I don't want to go through the experience in a hospital again.

So all day long, I've sort of felt in a fog. I've felt a numbness for this day, and a genuine surprise that I am at the end of it without incident. It wasn't a conscious fear; I have absolutely no reason to suspect that this pregnancy will turn out like the last one. My medications are adjusted properly (unlike last time), I weigh less, I am eating right, my doctor is better skilled, and most importantly, these are different babies than the last ones, and God has a different plan for them. But still, the scar tissue is there and it was sort of always in my head. I am now more pregnant than I have ever been. And I'm at a loss to describe how I feel. I truly don't have any idea what tomorrow will look like. Pregnancy up til this point has been sort of familiar. But starting tomorrow, it's all uncharted water!

I am overwhelmed with gratitude to God for the length of time we've had with the babies and I pray that these are just the first of many, many days. But in a lot of ways, I feel like I just found out I'm pregnant all over again. Everything from here on out is completely foreign to me. I have a sense of bewilderment as I look toward tomorrow! I don't have anything super spiritual to say about it all... I'm just working through my feelings. I'm missing our girls. I'm excited that God has seen fit to continue this pregnancy. I'm a little bit nervous, despite the fact that my head knows Who is in charge. I'm exhilarated and terrified at the same time. I'm just processing through it all I guess. I know the Lord will sort through the thoughts and emotions with and for me, so I'm grateful that I can leave that up to Him because I feel like my head is spinning.

We had a nice day today. We went to church and were very late because morning sickness necessitated a stop (that's not a complaint-I actually love the reminder that something is really happening). Then we had a lunch fellowship time at the church and then we came home and napped a while. I went to the gym and had a nice long workout, spent the evening with DH and now we're on the way to bed.

I actually have to call my regular OB tomorrow and get on their calendar for my first prenatal visit. I figured I'd wait til after my ultrasound, but I was just looking at their website and they like to do their first visit at 8 weeks, which is the same week as the ultrasound, so I guess I need to schedule it! That feels surreal too--the prospect of leaving my RE and returning to a "normal" doctor is just so...sublime. After so many years of doing everything unconventionally, to know that in a few weeks, this will be treated like every other "normal" pregnancy sort of blows my mind.

I find myself rubbing my belly and talking to the babies all the time. I can't wait til I have something external to show for it so I don't just look like a fat lady who is clutching her tummy because she's eaten too much or is suffering from indigestion ;) But, it's so wonderful to know that they're going here and there and everywhere with me :)

I'd best get to bed. Goodnight everyone!


This is completely embarrassing and humbling to confess, but in the interest of authenticity, I'm going to put it out there anyway. My walk with God is not always the strong and confident one I want it to be.

One of the medications I take for this pregnancy is fairly expensive. But, my copay is the same whether the prescription is for 1 day or 30. The first prescription was written for 2 weeks. So I filled it, and then when we did get pregnant, I asked my doctor for a 1 month prescription, so that I could maximize my copay. He gladly obliged. With our insurance, you can get medication less expensive through mail order. I only take this medication every other day, so I mailed it away with plenty of time to spare. The other prescription I filled at the same time came without issue and in plenty of time, so I figured this one would soon follow.

At 5:00pm last night (a Friday night) they called to tell me that they were out of stock of the medication, indefinitely. Last night was my last dose of it, so I asked them to transfer to prescription to a local pharmacy (our mail order service and our brick and mortar pharmacy are both Walgreens). The first 3 people told me they couldn't help me and that I just needed to call my doctor for a new prescription. I explained to them that they'd waited til 5:00 on a Friday night to call me, and the doctor's office was already closed for the weekend (and he doesn't have a paging service). I continued to escalate the call until the pharmacist, who works EST hours but who is in the next town over, told me that if I went to the local pharmacy, the pharmacist there could call him and he would verify that it was a legitimate prescription and they could fill it. He said he'd be there another 25 minutes-great! He also said he'd be there today til 2:00pm EST. We jumped in the car and drove the 2 miles away. But when we got there and they tried to call him, he'd gone for the day. I promise, it didn't take us 25 minutes to drive 2 miles. But, he was gone. And this particular pharmacy was out of stock of the medication. So they called a third pharmacy, who did indeed have it, and we explained the situation. The pharmacy there said that they would call all morning today to try to get the pharmacist on the phone and fill it. They're a 24 hour location, so I figured they'd have no problem meeting the EST deadline.

Despite my stressing the importance of the medication and the fact that I didn't have any more was beyond my control, the pharmacist basically called, left a message, and then washed his hands of the situation. When I arrived to pick the medicine up, he told me "tough luck." He said he couldn't help me because it was a weekend and then suggested I call my doctor. I laughed at and pointed out the irony of his statement.

I couldn't understand why the written prescription is in their company possession, the man with authorization to fill it is in the next town over, and they couldn't communicate with each other.

I totally lost it. By God's grace, I didn't lose my temper and I was polite but firm with the man when I told him they had royally messed this up and that a voicemail or two was not sufficient effort to correct a problem his company created when they knew I needed this medication but I was a puddle of tears with worry. I just sat down in the store and cried. And cried some more. And then I cried because I was crying. And I was angry at myself for being angry. And then I was stressed out that I had made myself too stressed out. All the while, God kept telling me "The medication doesn't keep you pregnant, I do." But though I kept repeating that in my head and out loud to myself, I just couldn't settle down. I guess you could say it was my first major episode with hormones but I hate that answer. I hated that I couldn't get a control over my emotions and allow the truth to govern. I let my emotions totally contradict the truths I've been clinging to.

It persisted for quite a while-being upset at the situation, then being upset at myself for being upset, and around and around it went.

It's 11:51 pm. In a few minutes it will be Sunday. Sunday will be the same length into pregnancy that we were when I miscarried. That's sort of been haunting me all week and I think that played into it, too. So then I had myself convinced that my meltdown was going to induce a miscarriage, and I was just a big stinking mess. I think I'll breath a sigh of relief when we make it to Monday.

My dear sweet friend Jan is moving away. They were supposed to leave first thing this morning, but their car broke down. DH spent the day fixing it, and as a result, I got to spend several hours with her. I think the whole arrangement was a God-thing. If the problem had happened with their car any later, they'd have been on the road somewhere between here and Colorado, stranded. And as a result of the two guys being tied to the car all day, we got some time and she was able to talk some sense into me. She gently, and then when I argued, not-so-gently, told me to confess, repent, and get over it and myself. I couldn't keep dwelling on the fact that I screwed up.

How crafty is it of the devil? Even when the Lord puts our sins as far as the east is from the west, the devil hangs our shame over us and binds it to it, as though our judgment is somehow more just and accurate than that of the Savior of the World. And self-flagellation feels almost sort of Holy. But it's not. Therein lies the bigger issue, (though I believe that all sins are ontologically, the same). Yes, I freaked out and allowed my worry and emotions to override my trust in the Lord. But then I made a liar out of the One who promises forgiveness by remaining chained to that first sin. But, God is so wonderful. He even forgives that, though I didn't deserve either pardon. How marvelous and generous He is! I praise Him for His forgiveness and mercy. And I praise Him for holding these babies in His hand, because I clearly am not very good at this. And I'm so grateful for the extra time I had with Jan and the truth she so consistently speaks into my life.

By the end of the day, I was exhausted, so I came home and slept for 2 hours, and things continue to be normal on the baby front (well as far as I can tell). I am missing my girls tonight, which makes carrying their sibling(s) bittersweet. But the fact that we have them here still is great cause for rejoicing so my heart is just a little bit conflicted. Praise Him for knowing that and loving me still.

I can take a shot tomorrow instead to make up for the medication I'm missing (I normally alternate every other day) and then I'll call the doctor on Monday and ask for a new prescription to be called in somewhere else.

Church comes early so I'd best get to bed. I'm praising God that His memory (of my sin) is short, and His mercy is boundless.

I've been worshiping to this song tonight--I hope it encourages you, too. Goodnight!

Friday, June 4, 2010

God is good, and He has a sense of humor

I've been feeling really good so far. Like, normal good. I've felt well enough that last night, I posted this on the infertility support group that I'm on:

I'm trying to take this pregnancy one day at a time and we are determined to celebrate it for as long as we have the babies...Monday will be the day we were at when we lost our girls, so I think I will feel better when we pass it.

I'm trying hard not to worry. My insurance only covers one beta. My ultrasound isn't until June 21. So I just have to hope/guess/assume that as long as there's no bleeding between now and then, that nothing is wrong. I wish they made home HCG tests! :D But God keeps telling me that I said I'm going to trust Him, and I need to do actually do that and it doesn't matter how many tests or check-ups I have or don't have. So, I'm trying to rest in that.

I don't FEEL really pregnant yet. I am really tired. [I also listed a couple other TMI symptoms] and I've gagged on two foods (spinach and plain yogurt) but other than that, I don't have a lot of symptoms. I'm focusing on counting that as a blessing, not a cause for worry.

Basically, I was a little bit afraid because I didn't really feel pregnant enough. I prayed about it a little, but honestly, not a lot. I didn't want to dwell on it and I didn't really ask for signs, because I actually don't want to be struggling with this. I just confessed to God that I am, and asked Him to handle it.

Ha! God has such a wonderful way of providing for my needs, even if He has a sense of humor while doing it.

This morning I got up and made our smoothie for breakfast, like I do every morning. (It's just pure fruit, plus some Whey powder, in the Vitamix--until recently, I included spinach, but see the aforementioned note about gagging on it). Today's smoothie was peaches and bananas--pretty innocuous, right? Wrong! In the very last swallow-full, I gagged and had to struggle not to throw it all back up (sorry for the TMI!). I proceeded to be nauseated for most of the rest of the day. I got a respite during the late afternoon enough for a little late lunch and a small dinner, and then it came back this evening. I've also had heartburn all evening (which I had a lot of in my first pregnancy), and some other areas of discomfort (the specification of which would be even less appropriate for polite company than those I've already mentioned) have increased tenfold.

CS Lewis once said that pain is God's megaphone to rouse a deaf world. Well today, nausea and heartburn were God's megaphone to rouse a deaf Jen. It's as if He was yelling, "I told you, I've got this one. But since you seem to need a reminder, here you go." And it wasn't just a little was a big, old, honkin, God-sized, Bill Engval style "Here's your sign."

And that's the wonderful thing about God. His grace is so overwhelming. If we really believe His character is Truth, then His word should be sufficient. But He, in His everlasting compassion and generosity, reassures our doubting hearts and minds anyway, with signs of His continuing faithfulness. We see examples throughout scripture, with Moses, and Gideon, and Thomas, and countless others. In each instance, their human weakness caused them to doubt His power, and rather than being offended at their mistrust, He gently demonstrated His love. What an amazing picture!

Anyway, I promised DH that I'd be quick, but I just wanted to post about what He continues to do in our lives.

I don't have an update yet on my friend I posted about the other day, but please continue to pray.

Tomorrow, I get to have brunch with my dear friend Heather, who is also a Snowflake Mommy. I'm totally excited and grateful for the opportunity for fellowship. Then my friend Brenda is coming over to hang out and scrapbook, and my friend from Sweden comes to visit next week, so I'm just being pampered all around by God's love, as shown through His people. Fellowship is such a wonderful gift, don't you think?

Lastly, I've been part of a scrapbooking message board for almost 7 years. While there are a a lot of amazing people on it, over the years I've pulled away because there's a certain sector of people who anonymously and viciously target other members on an offsite blog. I've been one of their favorite targets (mostly for being outspokenly Christian and politically conservative, and for being overweight. They pick on my DH too, which proves they're just plain crazy, since he's the most amazing man I know). I did post when I was pregnant before, and when I miscarried, and I was the subject of a lot of cruel comments.

I hesitated posting again, for that reason. It kills me to know that someone somewhere might make unkind comments about our children. But, I also have a tremendous heart for spreading the word about Embryo Adoption, and about God's overwhelming love and mercy in our story. He reminded me of those things today, so I took the plunge and posted about our pregnancy and our testimony of God's love. Anyway, no one on the board itself has said anything unkind today. (Through other means, I can tell that things are likely being said elsewhere on the net, but I've willfully not read them).

The post itself has lead to a wonderful discussion wherein lots of people have asked me questions about Embryo Adoption, including a woman who needs to make a decision about what to do with her frozen embryos and was very intrigued by what I shared. The thread has been viewed nearly 4,000 times. Even if only half of those are unique hits, that's 2,000 people who read about Embryo Adoption today. I'm so grateful that God is able to work beyond my fear and pride, and enable me to testify to His greatness. I'm grateful that He is using me to spread the word about something so near to my heart. He's already using these babies for His mighty purpose of spreading His glory. How awesome. Even when I am tempted to doubt their presence here, He is using their lives to tell His story of love.

And, nearly 200 people posted replies, all positively, and it warms this mommy's heart to know our babies have so many cheerleaders and prayer warriors (all of you included). We are truly blessed!

Our cup runneth over.

Celebrating today...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

5 Weeks Development

I've only consciously crossed the week mark twice since learning I'm pregnant, but I love it when it happens and I get to read a new stage. This is what's happening in week 5. Isn't God amazing? I constantly marvel at all that is happening so early in this process. No one but our great, magnificent, wonderful, creative, intelligent, masterful, physician God could have masterminded such an amazing process!

The changes to your growing embryo are not quite as drastic this week as they've been in the last few weeks. Growth is now largely focused on their little head, which is starting to develop much more rapidly than the rest of their tiny body. This is because their amazing brain is undergoing some very crucial and rapid development in order to effectively regulate their heart rate, blood circulation, and other vital functions. As for the rest of their miniature body, what were simple limb buds last week are limb flippers this week and the tail is more expressed. Amazingly, within a mere five weeks your little miracle is already developing the rudimentary forms of their liver, pancreas, lungs, stomach and nasal pits while their little heart is already increasing its circulation. Your baby is now a whopping 4-6mm in length.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

We have an ultrasound date!

Monday morning, June 21st! Woohoo!

Enlisting Prayer Warriors

I got an email this weekend from a beloved friend who is pregnant. However, her ultrasound revealed that one of several things could be happening and most of the options include that her baby is very near death or has already passed away. The alternate possibility is that her dates of conception are wrong and the baby is just younger than they thought it was, and is actually perfectly on track.

Would you please pray that this last option is correct and that this little one's life is spared and that his/her parents get to meet him or her in 8 months? Please also pray for the hearts and minds of his/her mommy and daddy. We know the Lord is holding all of them close--please pray that gentle reminders of this are sent their way as they walk this journey.

Thank you, prayer warriors!