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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Christmas Blessing

I am overwhelmed at the blessings I have received this Christmas season. This year has been one heck of a ride. This was a time for a true test of faith, endurance, perseverance, and testimony. It is so hard to formulate into words all of the emotions I have experienced through this year. In reading over my previous blog posts starting in January, I think I have done a decent job at piecing together this year of enormous spiritual growth through trial. In my last post, I described the condition that I was diagnosed with during this pregnancy, and how I got to that point. Since then, I have been through much more. I will try to start where I left off.

After being diagnosed with Vasa Previa, I endeavored to find out any and all information that I could about this condition. I read countless medical articles, various websites, blogs, news articles, etc. I needed to know everything I possibly could about my condition, so I could make the very best decisions regarding my doctors, specialists, and hospital I'd now have to choose to recieve the very best chance at getting this baby here safely.

After lots of research, I chose to transfer my care to Intermountain Medical Center in Murray. It's one of the highest ranking hospitals in the nation, and has an excellent NICU and beautiful new accommodations for new mommies. I also noted it had a couple of Maternal Fetal  Medicine doctors that made the national list, and after praying a lot about it, we decided to go up there and see if we could take a tour. While there, I was able to talk to the best of the best. One mention of Vasa Previa, and she was called down to see me. I had my records transferred over there, and she took on my case. The very next week I was able to get in and see her, and after a thorough ultrasound and exam, she confirmed that it was Vasa Previa, but that she was not certain that the best course of action would be to admit me to the hospital for 5 weeks. She said it would depend on my body, and whether or not there were any signs of preterm labor or stress on the baby. Only time would tell. But she said to plan on being admitted at 30 to 32 weeks. I prepared myself to miss Christmas, to miss the entire month of December. This in many ways was difficult. I'd have to find people to care for my son while my husband worked. I would miss everything. I would miss all the traditions, the whole season. My son's face on Christmas morning. And I'd have to stop working, which meant money would be extremely tight. It might sound like a nice break to some, being able to go to the hospital and have no responsibilities: watch movies, read books, sleep, etc all day... but you know what? I want my responsibilities. As nice as a break is once in awhile, I would never ever want to stop being my son's mommy, my husband's wife, the homemaker, the Massage Therapist. I love my jobs. And I was about to have all of that taken away. Of course I knew it was for the best cause; to get this baby here safely. And I was willing to do it, no matter how difficult it would be.

So every week, I have to go in and "pass my tests," meaning the non stress test for the baby and the ultrasound to make sure there are no indications that my body is getting ready for labor. The deal is, that if I keep passing these (now twice weekly) tests, I get to be home. December came, and now at 33 weeks, I am still here at home. Every time I've had to go in, it has been an emotional roller coaster not knowing if I'd come home that day or end up being admitted. It has truly helped me to live in the moment as much as I can, and cherish every second I have with my son and husband. It's been a true test of faith, that the Lord would guide and direct both me and the doctor to be inspired to know when and if I need to be admitted. In many ways, it's been a game of chance, which has been the most stressful part. My doctor said that you never know what could happen. Worst case scenario, my water could break without warning and I wouldn't get to the hospital in time to save the baby. But the likelihood of that happening, with as good as I look is very rare. And after many blessings, I know the Lord will tell me if and when I need to be in the hospital. But like I said, this has been a true test of faith.

The prospect of being home for Christmas is absolutely unbelievable. I never even considered that as a possibility. I am so beyond grateful that I have made it this far, and been able to experience things I never thought would be possible this season, like seeing the Mormon Tab. Christmas concert, (even though I had to go in a wheel chair.) It's been a humbling experience to rely on so many for help. I am so blessed, it just amazes me. In looking back on this year, sometimes I have sat there and really wondered if it was even possible for me to make it through, if this wasn't too much to bear. I know, that there is no way I could have ever made it through without my Savior Jesus Christ believing in ME. He never left me, not once. Even in my darkest moments, He was the one constant flicker of light. He never asked me to do it alone.

Although I am not in the hospital, I have to take it very easy. This has been the hardest for me. I am such a do and go type of person. I am not a homebody. And I don't like a dirty house. I hate looking at the dishes, the bathrooms, the floors, etc. and not cleaning them. But I am trying to do my best. I still have to have a C section delivery. There is no other way around that, and it must be done early enough to avoid me going into labor, but late enough that this baby won't be severely premature. Between 35-36 weeks is recommended  so we scheduled it for January 4th, 35 weeks and 2 days. I didn't have a C section with Carson, and in many ways I am quite terrified of the whole procedure. I am not out of the woods just yet. But I do know, without a doubt, that I won't have to do this alone. I know that the Lord will take care of me and my baby Ethan, and I know I can put my faith and trust in him. I also know, that no matter what I go through, He will make it possible for me to get through it, and learn and become stronger in faith and testimony if I only trust him.

So here's to a good possibility of being home for Christmas, and a wonderfully beautiful new baby boy to kiss and snuggle in the new year:)

Monday, October 8, 2012

A pregnancy and life update

So here is an update on the latest:

At 21 weeks we had our ultrasound where they check all the measurements of the baby and make sure everything is functioning and is placed properly. They also check gender if you are interested, but we had already found out that we were expecting little Ethan a couple of weeks before due to his heart beat not showing up on the Doppler. (little stinker, gave me a real fright!) So we were just excited to be able to see our little boy up close and personal and to make sure all was well. As the doctor moved through all the measurements, he stated that all looked normal and healthy, and exactly on schedule. There was just a couple of minor concerns. We found two cysts in little Ethan's brain. My doctor said that this was extremely normal, and that they usually disappear long before the baby is even born. But rarely, it can indicate a serious disease. But almost always, if they have this disease, they would have a great many other abnormalities that would be present in the ultrasound, which there were none. But just to be safe, he wanted to send me to a Periantologist at Utah Valley Regional to get his opinion. He told me that I really shouldn't worry at all, however. He also pointed out that I have two placentas, which is rare, and that one of them looked like it was covering my cervix, (placenta previa) but that he believed that it had a good amount of time left for it to migrate up away from my cervix, so he told me to not worry about that just yet, and that we would check it again as we got closer to delivery.

We left feeling a bit worried, but I felt nothing but peace. I knew that no matter what, we would all be ok. I felt that the baby would be healthy, and after a Priesthood blessing, my feelings were confirmed. I only had to wait a week to see the specialist, so I didn't think of it much.

Tuesday came, and Scott was able to come with me, which I was so grateful. The Ultrasound Tech performed the ultrasound first, and made a ton of notes. I loved how she explained everything she saw and why she was checking it. What a cool job. She pointed out that there was a concern with the placentas, but that the Perientologist would be in shortly to take a look. We found the cysts and she measured them. Then they Doctor came in. He did pretty much everything the Tech did. He looked at the cysts, and told us everything about the disease, and how in looking at all the rest of his stats, there is no reason why we should worry. He said that these cysts are more than likely normal. That was a relief. Then I asked him about my two placentas, and whether that would pose a problem. This is where the appointment took a turn for the worse.

He explained that with Placenta Previa, the placenta is covering the cervix. But in my case, instead of the actual placenta covering it, it is actually blood vessels coming from the placenta connecting to the other one on the other side, and thereby blocking the cervix. This condition is much worse, because if anything were to cause a tear or rupture in these blood vessels, the baby would bleed out very quickly. Things that can cause this to happen are my water breaking, too much weight from the uterus, any kind of force outside or in. This can be unpredictable, and in 75% of cases where it is not detected, the baby will die at or before birth. But the good news is that we detected it, so now we can formulate a plan that will more than likely save the baby.

The plan is, that November 13th when I am at 28 weeks we will be going in for another ultrasound to double check and make sure everything is the same, which my doctor says will more than likely be the case. From there, we will discuss all the details, but the plan is that I will be admitted to the hospital at 30 weeks, which will be the week after Thanksgiving, and stay there for 5 weeks, at which time they will take the baby 5 weeks early (about January 2nd) via c section to avoid me ever getting too far along that the vein would rupture. The risk of having a preemie is much lower than to wait till I am full term. So this is what we are planning on. This will mean I will spend the entire Christmas season in the hospital. This was quite disheartening, and quite a lot to take in. First of all, the concern for the baby was high. But also to miss Carson's Christmas, all of the activities we do and celebrations with family...I'll miss all of that. It broke my heart. But at the same time, I also have this overwhelming feeling of calmness and peace. What a blessing! I know me, and I know that typically this would have sent me over the edge, but for some reason I have been blessed to not be afraid. I believe a lot of it has to do with the trials I have experienced this year, which were almost more than I could bear. But I was strengthened. My testimony didn't increase, it matured. Faith that I never experienced was formed, from the ground up, through many paths of resistance. I discovered a strength in me, in my spirit. My spirit self was in charge, not my carnal mind that is full of doubts and weaknesses. I had to let everything go in order to overcome the greatest darkness. That is why we are here, so that God will know whether, in that moment of utter despair and darkness, when we have nothing left, we choose Him over the adversary. That we choose the light, and not give up in the darkness. That is our ultimate test, the reason he sent us here. The important thing to remember is that He never leaves us. We leave Him. He is just waiting, wishing, praying and hoping we will accept that He is the only way we can make it through even the thickest of hell. He will carry us, but we have to allow Him. I know that no matter what this life gives me, no matter what I experience, however wonderful or terrible, He will help me through. He will never leave me. All I have to do is put my TRUST and FAITH in Him. It's easier said than done, and it's something we must learn continually throughout our lives, and I know I am learning. I can do all through Him.

I am so grateful we had General Conference. what a wonderful weekend. It's amazing for me to consider where I was in my life and in my mind and spirit just 6 months ago. I had just had my miscarriage, and it was my birthday. I was so lost and bitter and hurt and depressed. I am amazed at how far I have come since then, and so grateful. Trials truly bless and strengthen us in the end, if we allow them.

Fall is here, and I am going to enjoy every minute of it! If I have to miss Christmas, I will have one heck of an Autumn! I love this time of year, and have truly enjoyed taking Carson to Cornbelly's twice, and going for a couple of drives through the Alpine Loop. I am anxious excited for Halloween and for Carson's costume. He's gonna be Superman, wearing a cape that his Oma made for his Uncle Chris when he was little. He looks adorable in it! Next is getting the boys room all painted and ready before I go in to the hospital. It's going to be so cute, if I can actually do it. Scott is leaving on a few business trips this month, so I am hoping all will be well without him, and I've just gotta stay busy so I won't get too lonely. So that is basically what is new in our little world, and I intend to keep y'all updated throughout the rest of this pregnancy. Thank you for your prayers and support. It has meant more than you could know, and I truly have felt the added strength and blessings.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

An Overwhelming Response...

It's been 2 weeks since my confession, and from the day I posted that blog I was met with an overwhelming response. I received so many, many emails from people that are very close to me, but many people that I never thought would ever care to read what I post. I almost feel I have opened the flood gates to a whole slew of women (and also some men) that can relate, and are just as desperate as I am to find a solution to this nightmare they go through with so little help. I guess the most staggering result of writing this post was finding out just how NOT alone I am, and how many people I never would have thought would go through the same thing, actually have. In reading all of the stories and experiences, I have truly felt an immense sense of empathy, and a desire to seek out more information about this common struggle. I want to DO something about it. If I can help someone get through this kind of hell and not feel lost and helpless, then I've GOT to do it. 

The day I wrote that post, I kept feeling a prompting to write. When I finally sat down at the laptop, I knew that I was going to say everything I had kept inside of me for so long. I knew that some would not understand, but it felt right. I wasn't sure why at the time. But now I know that it was not only healing to me, but a way to open doors for healing in others. The support and love that I received was the greatest source of healing that I have yet to receive. Over the course of the next few days, I felt better than any pill, any therapy session, any walk, any time alone, any night of crying ever gave me. I felt strengthened, and loved. Another surprising effect was the immediate sense of wanting to serve others. Wanting to lift someone else and relieve their burdens. 

When I acted on that, it I felt even better. I felt a strength to do it. Something I have never felt so strong before. I can't explain exactly, but I feel better. I know it's not over, but after months of complete and terrible darkness, of self-loathing and hatred and hopelessness, I have felt my first break in the clouds. The sun feels so good. I knew it still existed, but it was so hard to believe and hope in it when you are completely covered in blackness. Answers to prayers come in so many different and unexpected forms, and often not on our time table. We are faced with dark holes that seem to come out of nowhere; trials and tests that we sometimes look at and think that there is no possible way I could ever get through this. It breaks us down until we can barely breathe, starving for relief, for even a sliver of the sun. But this was MEANT to happen. We are MEANT to go through this. And even if it seems completely impossible and insurmountable, it is not. In order for us to learn, to become that stronger person, to build up a soul that can move mountains, we must be willing to endure through the pain. God needs to see if, in that moment of utter despair, we still seek after Him, that we don't give up. We seek for the sun, and not give in to the dark. This is how we become the spirits that can become Gods and Goddesses. This is a test of whether we really believe in eternity, in a life beyond this one. Because if we do, nothing, NOTHING is impossible. We will have relief, and joy. More joy then we could ever, ever imagine. It is possible. It will be worth it. Worth every single shred of pain and darkness. I can think of so many scriptures that concur with these words; many that I've read and heard a thousand times but am now starting to realize that they actually apply to me, Latissa Marie. They are the answers for my life, not just the prophets of old. MINE! Wow. 

I just want to say that I love you all so much. You have no idea the impact your words of support have meant to me. To those of you who have struggled with similar trials, I feel for you. I want to make a promise that I am starting something, something that I am not certain as yet how I am going about it, but I will find solutions. But the moist powerful solution I have yet to find is the knowledge that if I endure, no matter how impossible it seems at the time, if I never  give up, HE will never give up on me. He won't leave me there forever. There will be a light, and I will come out stronger. What I have realized is that these words are just words until you truly figure them out for yourself. No one can figure it out for you. That is part of our test. I know that there will be many more days of dark, and many other different trials, but if I can just remember that this is only for a moment, then I will not only survive, but become closer to the Goddess I know I will be someday. 

PS: I intend to write back to each and every one of you who sent me responses. Thank you, thank you, again and again.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A very personal, private struggle

I need to write. Some know, but many don't know of the struggle that I have gone through these past 4 months. In reality, all of 2012 has been an accumulation of so many trials and struggles, that at times it has been nearly more than I have literally been able to bear. I am thinking of a certain scripture that promises we will not be faced with any trial that is more than we are able to bear, but that doesn't mean you don't get crazy close. Too much happened all at once. Too much change and trial and difficulty. I have snapped many times, have broken in many places, feel too many cracks in my courage, in my drive, in my faith and perseverance. That's not to say my testimony has decreased. If anything, it has strengthened. I have felt the Lord's hand in all of this. I haven't been left alone. I've had so much support and love, more than enough. But no one can take away thoughts. No one can rescue me from myself. Jesus Christ of course knows exactly how I feel, and can strengthen me, but there is also a certain amount of free will. He can not force me to change my thoughts. He could take all my trials away if he wanted to, but he won't, because I wouldn't learn anything. So I know I must go on. But this has been a nightmare. I often feel trapped. No matter what I do, the voices in my head are there to tell me exactly what I am doing wrong, and where I fall short, and how pathetic and hopeless I am. I find myself wanting to scream. Scream louder than those voices. Movement often helps, music, distraction. But they never really go away, and sometimes nothing helps, and I'm drowning.

 Please don't tell me I need therapy; I'm getting it. Or that I need medication; I'm on it, or rather on as much as I can be on while pregnant. You don't have many options when your body is connected to another. I have literally scaled the internet and picked doctors minds many times for an answer, for help, but I always seem to run into a big, fat wall. If you are pregnant, suck it up and deal with anything you are going through, because anything and everything will/could hurt the baby. Now there are things like, "Take a walk, get some fresh air, exercise, meditation etc..." but what if that's not enough? And furthermore, what if you are so sick, taking a walk sounds like torture and is downright impossible? WHAT ELSE is there? NOTHING. I have never wanted to go to medical school and into researching so bad as I have now. I would study pregnancy, and find and do legitimate studies on women who opt to take medication and provide accurate data on the effects on the fetus before, during and after birth. Right now, the few studies that have been attempted are inconclusive or illegitimate and flawed. They end up assuming and classifying just about every drug as a Category C, which is "We don't know so, just don't take it or something might maybe could happen." The studies they have done are deeply flawed. They will be doing a study on Ambien, and have women who are taking it join the study, but don't control anything else they take, or any other harmful habits they have ie smoking, drinking etc. So how can anyone know what really caused a problem when it could have been many different substances, or just coincidence? It's very frustrating, because I know I am not the only woman that has felt this way.

Most women don't go through major depression during pregnancy, but there are still a great many who do. And guess what, it's dangerous as hell. So then women are faced with either risking their life by not treating the depression with medication when nothing else works, or risking hurting their precious baby. Which is worse? When you are so low that you can barely take care of your kids that are already here, or be a decent wife, or even sleep or eat, and you've just about lost the will to live, what is more dangerous? And WHY, WHY oh WHY can't someone figure out some drug or supplement that ISN'T harmful? Why can't we get non-smoking, non-drinking women that are not on any other medication save one and do a study on those? Of course, these women would have already decided they were going to be on it. This would show a lot more accurate results, and I cannot think of a single reason why no one has figured this out.

Now, I need to explain something very, very important. I am unimaginably grateful that I am pregnant again. I am blessed beyond belief with an absolutely adorable son who is my little shadow and helper, who is so smart and quick to please, who has slept through the night since he was two months old and takes 2+ hour naps every day, who takes care of me when he knows I'm sick, and is just my best friend. I am so amazed that I get to be his mommy. He is always the solid reason I keep going. And this little life growing inside of me is already so loved. I can feel it's little spirit, and I know it is just so excited to come here.

I guess that is why I am so concerned about being enough. Being the best mommy my children deserves. But more so than that, I am concerned that they will see mommy depressed or anxious, and not know what to do. That they will feel insecure and worried. I am concerned that both might already feel that. But I know that I am literally doing my best. I just wish that I wouldn't fall so short so many times. I wish I could break through this wall that has formed.

In my entire life, I have never experienced anything like this. If you knew me when I was younger, even up till graduating high school, you would know that this isn't the real me. I had plenty of friends that struggled with depression all growing up, and I would feel so bad for them, and try to be there for them, but I never fully understood how they felt. I just didn't get it. But it's not like I didn't see it in my own family. Depression runs rampant in my family like a disease. Most of it has been discreetly hidden, and under the radar. But I have learned more and more through an adults eyes and as I have gone through my own what my family has gone through all this time. I remember my mother pulling me aside one day and trying to tell me that one day I may experience depression, and if I ever do that I should not just try and keep it quiet and not get any help. I remember looking at her and telling her to not worry; I am just not like that. I always loved the lime light. I never had social anxiety or depression. I was confident. I was free from that.

But slowly it changed. I started getting anxiety. I remember the first time it hit me. I was in a group of people, and the attention was all on me, and all of the sudden, for the first time in my life, I was anxious. I couldn't control it. I had to go in the bathroom and calm myself down. I didn't know what was happening to me. From that point on, it would hit at completely random times, sometimes out of nowhere, and sometimes physically incapacitating. I didn't understand what was happening to me. Then I got pregnant. The pregnancy was physically rough, but emotionally it wasn't anything abnormal, until I gave birth. Postpartum Depression hit me like a brick wall. It was so foreign, so scary, so NOT ME. I quickly went to the doctor and got on meds, and was able to control it. But I knew that the depression was still there, just subdued by the medication, ready to jump out in a moment of major stress.

With the desire to have another child, I slowly weened myself off of the anti depressants and anti anxiety meds, determined I was not going to use them while pregnant. I started taking this supplement, called Neuroreplete, to replace all of that. It helped. I was so happy. It worked even better than the drugs. I got pregnant, and immediately I knew something was wrong. 8 1/2 weeks into the pregnancy, I found out my baby had died at only 5 1/2 weeks, but hadn't miscarried yet. I had a D&C my birthday weekend, and with the up and down of all those hormones, and with lots of other added unrelated stress, I lost it.

Scott and I took an emergency trip to Oregon to heal. We came back and found out we had to be out of our apartment we had been in for 2 1/2 years in just a little over a month. We bought a house and moved in just 5 1/2 weeks later, and I got pregnant that month again. I just didn't have a chance. Too much change, too many hormones, too easy for the depression to sneak up. And it did, with a vengeance. Neuroreplete stopped working entirely. My sleeping pills stopped working. I turned into a person I don't even know. I was completely out of control, and it scared the hell out of me. I tried so hard not to go on meds. I remember the day I knew I couldn't go without it any longer, or I'd die. I went to the doc the very next day. I got a blessing and Scott and I prayed that we would know that we were making the right decision. I got on the meds, and I felt better in just 3 days, like my brain was literally starving for serotonin. I started taking Neuroreplete again and  seeing a therapist, which has helped quite a bit, and with all of them, I have been able to function. It literally saved my life. But the anxiety will not go away.

This is a problem I wish I could solve, and I'm working on it daily. I have ideas of what the cause is, but I haven't been able to fix it. I have moments where I hate my house. I feel trapped, caged in. I get so sick of being home. My husband doesn't understand this. He can't imagine why I would hate being here. Four walls drive me nuts after awhile. I hate seeing everything I should be cleaning or fixing, everything that really needs to get done, but I don't/can't do it. It's overwhelming.

I am thinking this won't last forever. And I truly do love my life, my kids and my husband. I am perfectly aware of how blessed my life is, and I guess that is the most frustrating part. With everything I have, With all the love and blessings and people I share this life with, why on EARTH would I be depressed/anxious?! WHY? It makes no logical sense.

I know all of this was deeply personal. I know that some may not want to know this or shy away from it because they don't know how to respond or how to help, and that is just fine. I have wanted to keep this away, but I guess this is a personal cry for help from anyone who has gone through something similar, but also I believe it helps so much to read about other peoples difficulties, knowing you are not the only one, and if I can help someone know that, then this is worth it. I hate feeling alone.

Note to reader: I do not always feel like this. I have lots of really good days too. And I cherish those days.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Life is all about how you handle Plan B

Plan A is always my first choice...the one where everything works out. But more often than not, I find myself dealing with the upside-down, inside-out version where nothing goes as it should.

This is where the real test of my character comes in. Do I sink or do I swim? Do I wallow in self-pity or simply shift gears and make the best of the situation? The choice is mine. After is all about how you handle Plan B.
- Suzy Toronto

I found this quote in a gift shop in Oregon last week. It hit me pretty hard. I knew that this quote was speaking directly to me, and that I was supposed to find it. After all, Plan B was what got me to Oregon in the first place. Life seems to hit you with situations that you never thought you would personally have to go through. You see others going through the same thing, but you hope and pray that you will not have that particular challenge. At least, that's how I have thought.

A little over two weeks ago, I went to see my doctor for unrelated issues to the pregnancy. I was 8 1/2 weeks along, and asked out of curiosity if he would be able to hear my baby's heart beat by now. He said they could give it a go, and when we got to talking I mentioned to him that I was feeling quite sick in the previous weeks, but that most of it had passed lately. He got that look on his face; the one when doctors are trying to keep a straight, nothing-is-wrong face, but I knew he was a little concerned. When we couldn't find the heart beat on the regular monitor, we decided to have an ultra sound. When he saw the baby, the teeny tiny sack, he measured it to be about 5 1/2 weeks along...and there was no heart beat. My heart sank, but it didn't feel real. This wasn't really happening, I must be dreaming. A miscarriage? Me? But... I thought that didn't happen, shouldn't happen, wouldn't happen to me. Tears didn't come yet, I was still in shock, still in denial of the whole thing. Why didn't I have Scott come with me today? No, this wasn't really happening. Then the doctor was going on about guilt and how I shouldn't feel it, and that miscarriages are very common, and chromosomal issues, and how my body knew what it was doing, and then something about calling my husband for support...

The tears came. I knew it was real. The fact is, I knew it, from the moment I found out i was pregnant. I knew, somehow, that there was something wrong. I feared a miscarriage from the very beginning, where as with Carson, it never even crossed my mind. I knew he would be healthy. I was just a knowledge I possessed. But something was wrong this time, and although it hurt, more than I ever thought it would, I knew this would happen.

The strange thing is, I felt bad for telling everyone I was pregnant, for announcing it on facebook. I knew I'd have to tell everyone, and I almost felt guilty, like I had somehow let everyone down. I thought it would be so hard to tell everyone, but it ended up helping me more than I thought. It helped to hear how many people have gone through the same thing, and still ended up having healthy pregnancies after. That was my biggest scare. It was hard not to worry when I knew it took us 5 months to conceive, only to have a miscarriage, where as with Carson, we barely had to try and he was there. But with a Priesthood blessing, I knew I'd be ok. I knew I'd have more children, but I knew I had to be patient, and I knew I HAD to learn something; that Heavenly Father was trying to teach me something.

The next few days were a roller coaster. With it being my birthday weekend, and conference, I tried to make the most of it, and try to enjoy some time with friends. I chose to get a D and C done, because I couldn't emotionally handle not knowing when I would eventually miscarry the baby. My levels were still so high, and decreasing so slowly, the doctor said it could take weeks, and then a couple more weeks to recover. I needed to just let this be over, and get my body healing as quick as possible. I didn't want to post-pone trying again for an extra month or two. It was still a very emotional process, and by Sunday night, my birthday, I couldn't cope. Scott and I decided to take an emergency trip to Oregon, our honeymoon spot, to heal. We hadn't been back in 4 1/2 years, and we both just felt we needed it, pronto. With the graciousness of our parents, we were able to leave Carson for a week, and spend some much-needed alone time to heal and hold on to each other. It was exactly what we both needed, and I'm so grateful we were able to do it.

That quote was a turning point for me. It hit me like a brick wall that I am and have always been bad at handing Plan B. This is my greatest weakness. I knew that this was a chance for me to be aware of it, and to change. Since then, I have been trying oh so hard to think of this, even when little things go wrong, so that I can remember that this IS a test of my true character, and what do I want my true character to be? How do I want to affect people around me when my life is falling apart? What kind of example do I want to be? These are questions I will be asking myself for the rest of my life. But who doesn't need to think of this from time to time? Life is hard sometimes, really hard, but it's never impossible. Especially when we lean on out Heavenly Father, and realize that we do not have to do it alone. We do not have to take on the burden and hurt and pain all by ourselves. Christ already did that for us. Not only did he feel our sins, he felt our pain; physical, spiritual and emotional. He knows exactly how we feel, and he's only waiting for us to realize that it's ok to lean on him. That we were never meant to go down this road alone. He sends his love and support through those around us as well, and I have felt so much of that love all around me. I am blessed to have my families, friends, visiting teachers, neighbors, etc. I have some of the best, I am certain of that. I can only hope that I can be His Hands as well, and help those around me that need Him. I know that life will get better. The rain never stays. We will see the sun again, shining and happy and blessed. We only have to have faith to live, to get to that point, even if it means all we can do is hang on to Him.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Carson's lullaby

When I'm awfully low,
And the world is cold,
I will feel a glow,
Just thinking of you,
And the way you look, tonight.

Oh but you're lovely,
With your smile so warm,
and your cheeks so soft,
There is nothing for me,
But to love you,
And the way you look tonight.

With each word, your
Tenderness grows,
Tearing my fears, apart,
and that laugh, that wrinkles your nose,
Touches my foolish heart.

Lovely, never ever change,
Keep that breathless charm,
won't you please arrange it,
Cause I love you, and the way you look tonight.
Just the way you look, tonight...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Ancient Chinese chart says it's a...

On Friday I was in the bathroom, ready to take a pregnancy test that I knew would just turn out negative, but the lack of patience and force of habit to not wait for my period to start pushed me to do it. You see, we had been trying for 5 months without any luck. This was unusual in comparison to the last time. We tried for 2 months and poof there was Carson! Easy as pie. So this second time around, I figured it would be just as easy. After 4 months of trying, I started getting a little anxious. After reading about IUD's and how they can create scar tissue and make it hard to conceive, I was terrified I had done that to myself. I had no idea IUD's could do that. So I prayed and hoped that everything was fine. So by the 5th month, I told myself I would get the ovulation pack at Wal Mart the next month if it didn't work out this month. I was prepared to see the "not pregnant" sign, when I looked down and saw one word, PREGNANT. Scott was in the shower when he heard me yell, "WHAT?!" He immediately wondered what the heck was wrong. All I could do was hand him the test. His delayed response was, "Really? I mean, is it right? Wow! Again, huh? Are you sure you're ready hun? Sweet!!" I just started laughing. It was an awesome start to the morning.

Ever since then, I have kinda been in a daze, wondering if it's really real. I mean, I took another test later that day just to see if it would show the same result. Yep, pregnant. I was so thrilled, I even went to the Women's Clinic that day to have the registration appointment where they take your blood and get you all set up. Just 4 weeks along, but I was ready to get the ball rolling! Now I have to wait till April 5th for my first OB appointment to hear the heart beat and such. It seems like such a long ways away. I know I have done this before, but this time none of it feels real. I haven't had morning sickness yet, but I am betting it's just a week away. Time seemed to be going so fast, but now, everything has slowed down. My mind is filled with a million thoughts on what to expect with this new baby. I have realized the dynamics of having one child. I know Carson and his schedule and I have come to expect a certain rhythm with him. What will adding a newborn do to that rhythm? Random questions pop into my head like, "What do I do if Carson is getting into something he shouldn't while I'm nursing? How will I ever get any sleep if I can't sleep when the baby sleeps because Carson is awake? How do I run after a toddler in the store if I'm carrying a baby too? Oh man, so many, many questions. But I know it will all work itself out. I know I will change and adjust, but it all seems so daunting to me. I am not known for dealing with change well. But with a blessing to help ease my anxieties, I feel better. I know that the Lord will be by my side, helping me through all my struggles. I am so grateful I have another little blessing growing inside of me. And no matter how sick I may get again, I know all of it will be worth it in the end.

While looking through the welcome packet I got from the doctor's office, there were many brochures and handouts, one of which was an Ancient Chinese Birth Gender Chart. It claims to have 90% accuracy in predicting the baby's gender according to the month you conceived and the age of the mother in that month. I just laughed when I saw it, but curiosity got the best of me, so I looked to see if they got Carson's gender correct. Yep, male. Interested, I checked a bunch of known genders, like mine, and Scott's and friends that knew what they were having, and they were ALL correct. What is this? Totally weirded out! So, checking my month, and age, the results for this pregnancy show that...

With 3 grand baby boys in my family, a girl would be a sweet addition! But honestly, I'd be perfectly happy with either. Guess we'll find out in a few months!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Silver Lining

So, January honestly has not been the best month so far. Far too much has happened in just 2 weeks. I found myself feeling pretty overwhelmed today, with all of the misfortunes and trials we have faced so close together. It is easy to feel that someone is after us, or something. But a thought occurred to me today. Despite all these horrible trials, the best possible outcome has occurred.

Starting with the burglary exactly 2 weeks ago, although we feel so incredibly horrible that the Edwards upstairs were robbed, we are so grateful that they weren't home, and no one was harmed, and are so lucky that he did not decide to come downstairs, into our part of the home. It could have been so much more frightening and a lot worse of an outcome. Also, the neighbors were also robbed, but not one person was harmed. This is truly a blessing.

My brother Landon ended up in the ER the following Friday night due to overdose of Heroine. He arrived at the hospital completely unconscious and not breathing. He had been without oxygen for too long, and the doctors were afraid it was too late to save him, and even if they did stabilize him, his brain would probably have suffered damage due to the lack of oxygen, and he could end up a vegetable or have some sort of mental incapacitates. I got the phone call at 12:30 am, just as I had taken a sleeping pill. My heart sank as I listened to my mother tell me what was happening, and that I needed to get to the hospital asap, as we did not know if Landon would make it. Scott called his brother to come over and be here for Carson, so that we could go together. We rushed there, and it was all a haze. I remember seeing my brother, hooked up to all sorts of tubes, many doctors and nurses racing around him. I was in shock. There was a cop in a separate room talking with Landon's so called "friends" about what had happened, but of course he was not getting a straight story. I remember thinking that if I was not drugged at the moment, nothing would have stopped me from beating the hell out of all them, regardless of whose fault it was. We were sent to a waiting room, and Landon was stabilized, and transferred to the ICU. When I was able to go in and see him, I remember whispering in his ear, begging him to make it. Asking him if he could hear me, pleading with him to squeeze my hand. I didn't want to believe that it was possible to lose him. Stuff like this happens to other people. Not your family. I kept wishing I wasn't so drugged, so I could focus, and do something. As I walked back to the waiting room, I saw his "friends", sitting outside, pathetic faces, fake with concern. I hated them. I hated their presence. What right did they have to be here? They had the NERVE to stick around, with his family that was hurting, hurting SO DEEPLY, because of their influence. If looks could kill, they would have been dead, but not before being tortured. Looking back, it was again, a blessing that I was drugged, or I probably would have been escorted from the hospital. Later I came to find out, that the three on the right were Landon's heroes, that brought him to the hospital. The one on the left however, Landon's "best friend," was the one who dealt him the drug, and was too scared to call 911 to save his friend, because then they would find the drugs, and he would be nailed. It was because of him that Landon almost died. That coward. He had to call someone else to drive there, pick Landon up, and take him in, which wasted precious minutes. He almost killed him. My mother found out it was him, and has proof from a text message. He ran away quickly when he found that out. I hope I never see his face again.

The next day, Landon woke up. He was coherent, and acting normal, besides feeling horrible. He was diagnosed with pneumonia, and was not breathing well, and coughing up blood. He would need to be in the hospital for awhile longer, but he suffered no brain damage. We were all so grateful. Landon was pretty shaken up about it. He was in shock, not believing that he almost died. The first thing I asked him when he woke, was "Why? Did you do this on purpose? Were you trying to die?" Thankfully, he wasn't suicidal. He had no idea this would happen. We had a long conversation, and I know he realized that what he did was completely stupid. I know it scared the crap out of him. I told him that every time you do something like this, you are risking your life. Drugs on the street are often laced with other drugs, and their potency can vary from dealer to dealer, so you may think you are getting a certain drug and amount, but it could be completely wrong. They aren't clean, and from a doctor that cares for your well-being. These people care less about your life. They just want your money.

Over the next few days, Landon was visited by many friends, family, and ward members. I think it really overwhelmed him at how many people truly care for Landon, and how many people he scared and hurt by his actions. He continued to improve, and was released a week ago from the hospital, and has been making every effort to fix his life, and cooperate with the police, and stay away from all the bad people in his life. I pray every night that he will know how very much he is loved, and that he will know his worth, and that he will realize that this life is a gift, and he has so much more potential. So despite this horrible event, the silver lining is that I didn't lose my brother, that the best possible outcome came to past, that he is not disabled, or scarred. He has a second chance, and I am overwhelmingly grateful for this.

Lastly, last night was another nightmare. I have suffered my whole life with sleeping, and have been off and on medications to help me sleep. I have recently tried to stop taking Ambien, and switch to a safer drug for pregnancy, because we have been trying to conceive as of the last few months. I took the new drug last night, at about 3:30 am after not having any luck sleeping. A few minutes later, I started to feel like my breathing was becoming quite difficult, and my heart was starting to race. I decided to get out of bed because I didn't want to wake Scott. On my way to the living room, my heart started racing very fast, and I could hardly breathe. I was incredibly dizzy, and my vision was blurred. I sat down on the couch and then realized i was very nauseous, so I stumbled to the bathroom and stubbed my toe really hard, almost falling every step. I made it to the bathroom, and immediately felt that I was going to lose conciousness. I sat down on the bathroom floor, head between my legs, ears ringing, and could hardly breathe. I knew I should call for Scott, but I was terrified i was going to pass out if I didn't focus all my energies on staying concious. I prayed a million times, and recited children's hymns in my head to make myself focus. I was so terryfied that this was it, that Scott would find me on the bathroom floor, dead the next morning. That I would never see my baby again, that this wasn't fair, that I wasn't ready for this. After about 30 minutes, I started to feel like the worst was over. I stumbled to the living room agian, and looked up adverse side effects, and allergic reations to the drug. Turns out, I had all the symptoms of a very rare and sometimes fatal condition caused by the drug, called QT prolongation. I crawled back in bed, even though I should have woken Scott. After a few hours Scott woke up and I told him what happened. I just started bawling, so grateful I didn't die. I felt so horrible though, still recovering from the effects. Scott was just upset I didn't wake him. I don't really know what I was thinking. I have not felt great today, and am seeing the doctor tomorrow to discuss what happened, but the silver lining is that I didn't die, that I am here today. I know that prayer got me through that ordeal, and that it wasn't my time to go.

Although it seems that me and my family have gone through so much, and it's easy to let it depress you, and feel that you are being picked on, that life is too hard sometimes, the one thing that makes it possible to get through anything, is our Heavenly Father's love. No matter what trial we are presented with, no matter how hopeless it may seem, He is there, waiting to comfort, waiting for you to accept the atonement, and the fact that he knows exactly what you are going through, and knows EXACTLY how you feel. He will never desert you. He will never leave you, even in your darkest hour. He always gives you a way to find peace, and hope, and forgiveness. He will always send you help. And even though the past two weeks have been rough, I can see the silver lining in all those events. I have felt His love, and His strength, and he has been there through it all. I don't think I would have been able to feel so much comfort if I didn't have this knowledge, and the peacefulness that the scriptures and Priesthood blessings, and prayers from so many brings me. I want to thank each and every one of you who have been a support and given your prayers to all of us. We truly are SO blessed, and I am just grateful. I know that life is sometimes hard, and some things seems impossible to overcome, but He does and will, ALWAYS provide a way.

Here's to a better February....

Sunday, January 1, 2012

What a wonderful season of Joy

What the tree looked like before Carson came in.

Christmas came and went so fast, but I loved every second. Carson had such a blast opening all his gifts. We chose to open presents on Christmas Eve morning, since Christmas was on Sunday, and Elder James would be calling at 8 am, with church following directly after and parties throughout the day. It was so nice, because we were in no rush and had my parents and brother and sister over to watch Carson. He's still too young to understand who Santa is, but he caught onto opening the presents and knowing that there was something fun waiting for him underneath real quick. The cute little boy was overwhemled I think, by so many fun things to play with at the same time. He was just in awe! It was so darling. My parents gave him a tent with a tunnel, and that was definitely a big hit this year! he was so spoiled, and now we have to purchase some toy bins and figure out how to organize everything, because right now his room is a complete mess. Christmas is so much more fun when you have a child. The magic comes back to life :)

We were especially blessed this year to have our extended family in town. My Dad's siblings have always lived here in Utah, and we have been accustomed to seeing them at least monthly for family parties and other events for my whole life. But in June/July, they all ended up having to move, one to Texas and the other to Indiana, and have left a huge hole in our lives. It has been very hard and sad to not see them so often, but they were both able to come and stay with my parents for Christmas break. It was so emotional to have everyone together again on Christmas Eve, doing our cherished traditions and gathering together. I think I had tears streaming down my face 3 different times throughout the night, and I know I wasn't the only one. And on top of that, my mother's brother, who has been estranged from the family for 8 or 9 years, has recently come back into our lives, which we never ever thought would happen. He was also there for all our celebrations and get togethers, and I know that added to the emotions of gratefulness and love that was shared so strongly this Christmas. I remember looking around the room, and seeing every one, and feeling so incredibly blessed that we all have each other. We only wished we could have my Uncle Richard and Aunt Natasha and their girls from Hawaii, and then we would have been complete. My Grammie's presence was felt very strongly in the room that night as well, and we all missed her so much. But we know she is our guardian angel in Heaven, and we can't wait to see her again someday. I love this time of year, and feel so fortunate and blessed to be with all those I love and to have everything and everyone I have. I hope all of you had a blessed Christmas as well, and keep all these blessings and love in our hearts.

I blinked, and a new year came

I really don't understand how time can just fly by without barely a breath taken. I sometimes wish I could pack my family up and move to a place in the middle of nowhere, nestled in some forest, away from every little thing that speeds time up so fast. No media, no television, no electronics, not even a clock. Tucked away, unbothered from the demands that we subject ourselves to every day. Can't we live a simple life, that is slow, and focused on the here and now, never pushing for the latest and greatest, the most up to date time waster? I wish I could capture how it feels to go camping, in the silence and the peacefulness of the mountains. Maybe someday, over-the-rainbow...

But for now, maybe it is time to try and do the best I can. Turn Barney off and go explore outside with my toddler. Give facebook a rest, and read some real books, stop making every excuse known to man of why I am not reading my scriptures, and saying personal prayers, and just do it. Go to the temple instead of that movie. Spend time teaching my son, and playing with him more, instead of making sure the house is perfect. All these things are so simple, and yet so difficult to remember. It's like we forget that there is any other way to function but to move and do and go and have and get. Time becomes more and more precious to me as I watch my little baby grow into a boy. It breaks my heart to know that I will never get that time back again, and he will be gone, out of my arms, before I have a chance to really, truly enjoy those kisses, those pleading eyes that want a book read to him, that just want to play and explore, to cuddle, to want to be with me. I know he will grow up, and not need me as much as he does now. So I've got to SLOW DOWN, and savor EVERY SECOND, because it will be gone, in a blink of an eye...

If there are any real resolutions I have for this year, anything meaningful, and worth giving it my best, it is for me to SAVOR, and slow down. My baby is 19 months, and I can't bare to miss a single thing.