Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Thank You!!

A HUGE thank you to everyone that posted, texted, emailed, facebooked, etc... Thank you for your honest and insightful opinions. I loved reading what you guys would do, especially since the responses covered pretty much the entire spectrum.

I'd love to be able to tell you that we have it all figured out now, but that decision will be a long time coming. For the most part, I'm ok with that. I've never really had a time in my life where I haven't had a plan, but right now we're just "letting it ride"... This is both incredibly freeing and also utterly terrifying! I'm working very hard at truly trusting God through this and I'll admit that it isn't always easy for me.

A couple of you hit on some interesting points that DJ and I have been discussing as our "options". I'll have some more posts up in the next week or so that will share our thoughts on these matters and also allow you guys to speak into the situation. (Again, your honesty is truly appreciated and I will never be offended by anyone's honest opinion on the subject at hand, as long as you guys promise not be offended that DJ and I will ultimately make the decision we feel is God is leading us towards.)

Thank you for your posts, support and frankly just for reading this. I started this blog mainly as a way to get my feelings sorted out but I am truly happy that you guys are enjoying it :-)


p.s. Not me! Monday will return next week, I promise :-)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

What would YOU do???

***Disclaimer - this post may be TMI for some of you, but as I've never been known to keep it in, here it is. I promise not to be too graphic :-)***
As some of you may know, I had a pretty important dr's appointment on Monday....yeah, I know it's already Wednesday and I'm just now getting around to posting about it but eh, I've been busy. The subject of this appointment was my (ok, OUR) reproductive future. We wanted to get an idea of what we would be dealing with if we decide to have another baby. There are other options, but those will keep for another post.

First of all, Dr. D had a diagnosis... I have an incompetent cervix.... Seriously!?! Who are you calling incompetent!?! Those of you who know me, know that word kills me! Basically, the cervix has one main job, keep the baby in...which mine did not do. (Click on the link above if you'd like more info) Dr D said that it's pretty rare given my history and the fact that there was no discernable cause, but without precautions there is a strong possibility it will fail again.

Given that, he does feel confident that with the proper precautions we will be able to have a successful pregnancy. However, nobody said those precautions would be easy...

The first precaution would be frequent visits to both him and the high risk obstetrics doctors. Most likely office visits every couple weeks and more frequent ultrasounds. (Extra pictures of the baby? Heck yeah, sign me up!) Read into this additional time off of work...bank account doesn't like that!!

The second precaution would be a "simple" procedure called a cerclage, which is basically a stitch to keep the cervix closed. This would be done between 13-15 weeks and would remain in place until I deliver (ideally-a scheduled c-section at 37 weeks). The risks associated with a cerclage are relatively low but the success rate when elective can be between 80%-90%.

The third precaution is probably the most...um...concerning (you could also substitute the words inconvenient, annoying, life-altering, money-draining or just plain pain-in-the-a$$). Bedrest. Dr D said that at the first sign of anything abnormal during the pregnancy, I would be placed on bedrest. He did mention that this could start as soon as the cerclage was placed. Now, I can do math and that could possibly equate to up to 24 weeks of bed rest. I did 6 days of bedrest with Jack and it was incredibly difficult (and boring). (Read into this that I would NOT be paid for this "vacation" from work.)

Dr D said the physically we should be ok to start trying again in another 6 months (hard to believe that it's already been 6 months since God brought Jack into our lives). Emotionally ready is an entirely different story. We don't know yet what our future holds as far as expanding our family. We are doing a lot of praying over our options and are trying to stay open to God's plan for our family. I think we both feel that our family is not complete but we just don't know yet what the next step will be. Hopefully when we are ready to take the next step God will have lead us in the right direction.

This leads to an interesting question that I would like to pose to all of you. What would you do??? Knowing the risks (preterm labor, weeks in the NICU, miscarriage, etc.) and the potential precautions (inconveniences). What would you do?? Notice I'm not asking if you would endure these if you were already pregnant, but would you intentionally put yourself in this situation?? Feel free to comment here (you can comment anonymously), on Facebook or just send me a message. I won't be offended if you tell me I'm crazy for even considering this, and understand that when push comes to shove, DJ and I will make the decision we feel is best for our family. That being said, I really would appreciate everyone's honest opinion on this.

Thank you guys for listening and I'm so glad that you guys are reading and enjoying my outlook on life :-)


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Not Me! Monday!

Sorry I missed last week, not that I didn't do anything worth fessing up to, just none of it was funny. Original concept from Mckmama.

I did NOT allow my child to have princess fruit snacks for breakfast....well, technically with breakfast...but still, totally NOT me....

I did NOT unthinkingly blurt out "Oooo, THAT cow's a boy!" in front of my 4-year old only to stammer over an explanation that didn't involve the words "testicles", "balls" or "hanging". I certainly did NOT have hurry past said cow to avoid said "unmentionables" being noticed.

I did NOT buy a giant red pickle bucket with the intention of making homemade laundry soap in it only to get it home and realize that since it was a used pickle bucket it smelled...well....like pickles.
I did NOT get so excited with the above mentioned homemade laundry soap that I proceeded to wash everything in the house... only to realize that once washed they would need to be dried, then folded and put away... duh. I most certainly am NOT sitting in between mountains of this (unfolded) laundry as I post this. Nope, not me...I fold everything immediately out of the dryer.
Hope you enjoyed my un-confessions. Feel free to share what you did NOT do this week.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

What's cooking in Jeny's kitchen...

If you guessed homemade laundry soap, you'd be correct! I'd been contemplating trying it out for a couple weeks now and since we were dangerously close to running out of detergent I figured ready or not, it was gonna happen. There are lots of recipes out there but the one I used I found on another blog: Raising Olives.

Although the begining was a little scary,

(You'll notice that the pretty red pickle bucket is absent from subsequent photos. This is due to the fact that since it is a $2 pickle bucket it smelled....well, like a $2 pickle bucket. Should have thought that through a little better...oh and don't worry, the garbage can was cleaned out REALLY well!)

It ended up being a lot easier than I thought it would be. Even Mackenzie and DJ got involved,

Although DJ got a little TOO involved!

Luckily I had a couple empty detergent bottles floating around but ended up using anything that I could find with a lid! The finished product looks good and the test batch of laundry is rinsing as I post this. I'll let you know how well it works. Feel free to share any helpful suggestions that you have.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Beta House

I continue to be amazed at the daily encouragements that God gives me.
Tonight we served at the Beta House. (If you're not familiar with what the Beta House does, I encourage you to visit their website - basically it is a group home for teens who are pregnant or raising their babies) I was a little worried that I would have a break down, but God gave me my own little ray of sunshine...
We went to serve a meal to the girls who live there and to do some general chores around the center. It was a really great experience to interact with these girls that are in such a tough position but still trying to do the best for their children. I was really worried that being around little kids and babies would be difficult for me emotionally (especially considering that my little man would have been 6 months old today) I ended up having an amazing experience with one of the little kids there, "J" (as he is not mine, I'll avoid posting his full name). From the moment I walked in, he made eye contact with me and proceeded to follow me around insisting on being held. I have no doubt in my mind that this interaction was orchestrated by God.
God continues to put children in my path that I am able to connect with. I feel He is opening my heart back up and with each encounter I feel myself healing a little more. While I don't know how our future looks on the family-building front, I feel confident that God is preparing my heart to be ready for whatever it looks like.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Mackenzie's Playlist

Thought you guys might appreciate this. Mackenzie has always been very musically inclined, quick to pick up songs and always singing to herself. So it was only a matter of time before she wanted her own cd with "her" songs. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised by her selections, but I can't help but be proud of them :@) Most of them are songs that I listen to in the car (2,3,4,7,8), but some of them come from her own tastes (1,5,6,12) and a couple are our "special songs" (9,10,11). Anyway, I tried finding a playlist to put them on here, but got frustrated very quickly. All of them came from iTunes if you want to listen :-)

1. Hosanna by Hillsong United
2. Lead me to the Cross by Francesca Battlistelli
3. Never Alone by BarlowGirl (The one she calls "That mommy song")
4. Something Beautiful by Needtobreathe (Mommy's Song)
5. You're the One by Chris and Conrad (This one she heard on the radio and insisted she have - seriously, how could I say no???)
6. Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole
7. Your Hands by JJ Heller
8. Better than a Hallelujah by Amy Grant
9. Find Your Wings by Mark Harris (The Mackenzie Song)
10. Smile by Chris Rice (She calls this one "The song from when I was in your tummy-long story!!)
11. Save a Place for Me by Matthew West (The Jack song)
12. Jesus Loves Me from VeggieTales


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Not Me! Monday!

Ok, so I totally borrowed this from another blog, but I love the idea and I have PLENTY to confess. Original ideas from Kekukila and MckMama

I did NOT post this a day late because I did NOT totally lose track of my days and forget that today was not Monday but Tuesday. Nope, not me.

I did NOT stay up until 3am on a work night to see a silly movie with a theater full of screaming teenagers (and my BFF). Nope, not me. After all, I'm a grown up...right?

I most certainly did NOT drink so much coffee the next day to keep myself awake that the heartburn rendered me useless for the remainder of the day. Nope, not me. (BTW, someone remind me I need to buy more Tums)

I did NOT let my child eat a lunchable for dinner and make myself feel less guilty by making her eat cottage cheese with it. (That's healthy right?) And I most certainly did NOT allow this to happen the following day as well.

I did NOT totally lose it on my husband when I woke up from my nap on the 4th to find my daughter's room a certified disaster area and that he had (GASP) cooked the cheesey potatoes we were supposed to take that night by himself. Nope, not me. I would never do anything that ungrateful.

Wow, that felt really good! Thanks for listening and feel free to share your own :-)

Slaying the dragons...

So this has been an eventful week for me. I slayed a couple of really big dragons over the weekend. On Friday we went to a wedding at the church where we had Jack's service. It was both beautiful and very difficult at the same time. It took a tremendous amount of effort to even get out of the car. Fortunately there were a lot of people there from church that understood what was going on. Unfortunately there were also a lot of people who didn't know that were wondering "Who is that crazy lady? Why is she crying even though the ceremony hasn't started yet? Why does she look like she's going to bolt down the aisle at any moment?" (Answer to that last one is because I almost did)

The second really big dragon happened shortly after the first. I held a baby at the reception...yeah I know woah, big scary baby...no dagger-like claws, no sharpened teeth (yet)...but utterly terrifying just the same. As a general rule I have avoided babies for the past couple months because the thought of holding another baby terrifies me. I knew it would not be pretty and I was right. But once again, I was surrounded by people that I trusted and who really understood what a monumental moment this was for me (and I'm sure a couple people saying "Look, it's that crazy lady from the church").

This truly was a huge moment for me. One of the main things that has been bothering me (next to the obvious of course) was that I don't feel like the me I was before we lost Jack. The old me was drawn to babies. I loved to cuddle them, to hold them, to smell the soft fuzz of their hair and feel those tiny fingers curl around mine. I was terrified that that part of me would never come back, but there was a moment as I held that tiny little guy where I knew that my heart would heal. Probably never entirely and I know I'll always have a Jack sized scar there, but at least I know that parts of me will come back.

Through this whole journey God has been surrounding us by wonderfully supportive and encouraging people. I truly feel His reassurance during the times that are the hardest and it is His strength that I draw on.