Monday, December 27, 2010

I Have Loved You From the Very Start

I loved you from the very start…

You stole my breath, embraced my heart.

Our life together has just begun,

You’re part of me, my little one.

As mother with child, each day I knew

My mind would be filled with thoughts of you.

I’m daydreaming of the things we’ll share,

Like late-night bottles and teddy bears.

Like first steps and skinned knees,

Like bedtime stories and ABC’s.

I’m thinking of things you’ll want to know,

Like how birds fly and flowers grow.

I’ve thought of lessons I’ll need to share,

Like standing tall and playing fair.

When I first see your precious face,

I’ll pray your life be touched with grace.

I’ll thank the angels from above,

And promise you unending love.

Each night I’ll lay you down to sleep,

I’ll gently kiss your head and cheek.

I’ll count your little fingers and toes,

I’ll memorize your eyes and nose.

I will linger at your nursery door,

Awed each day that I love you more.

Through misty eyes, I’ll dim the light,

And whisper, “I love you” every night.

As mother with child our journey’s begun,

My heart’s yours forever, little one.

I loved you from the very start…

You stole my breath, embraced my heart.

Awaiting my expected end,

Friday, December 24, 2010

Big Step!

Call me crazy or call me optimistic (I choose optimism). This morning hubby and I made a HUGE step (huge to us). We removed two large rubber.maid containers from the back of the closet. What are in these containers you may ask? All my maternity clothes that I wore with Alyssa-Joy and Evan. We removed all my "regular" clothes from the hangers, folded them, and replaced them with the mounds of maternity clothes I had stored.

Truly, my regular clothes were not cutting it anymore. No one knows that I am pregnant and I usually cover my "regular" clothes with a large sweater. It seems that my bump grew overnight and the choice was made to start wearing the maternity outfits. We still choose to not tell anyone until 24 weeks.

I consider this a huge step and I am optimistic that I will get to enjoy wearing them for the next 4 and a half months.

Awaiting my expected end,

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Today I am 20 weeks, 4 days. I am more pregnant than I have ever been in the past. I am quite emotional today with gratitude, elation, and I'm somewhat relieved. Two major milestones have passed and now the countdown begins to 24 weeks (only 30 days away). It is so close I can smell it. I am really starting to believe that we will being this baby home.

For I know the thoughts I think towards you Saith the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil to give you an expected end. Jeremiah 29:11

Awaiting my expected end,

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Appointment Update

Psalm 147:13 - For he hath strengthened the bars of thy gates; he hath blessed thy children within thee.

My heavens! Cervix is measuring 4.03 cm! Praise God! It has been consistently measuring at 3.5 and now, 2 weeks later it is 4.03 cm. All I can say is wow! Everything looks good, I gained 3lbs total (177) so far and blood pressure is good.
Baby weighs 13 oz , is measuring 2 days ahead, and everything looks good. The downside is my next appointment is in 4 weeks instead of 2 weeks. Thats okay, I can always ask my OB for a c/l check for peace of mind. The MFM did remind to keep taking it easy, as some women when they see their cervical length remaining stable, they start to act like a normal pregnant women. Um... does he know who is talking to? The Queen of Anxious! I will definitely not be taking any liberties.

I did promise myself that I will relax after this appointment, so now I am trying to find a way to reward myself. What to do or buy? Any suggestions?

In other news, I am planning a slumber party for the women in my family and have no idea what to do. Yes, can you believe I have never attended a slumber party so I need some suggestions or advice on some things to do. Thanks!

Awaiting my expected end,

Monday, December 20, 2010

1 Down, 1 to Go...

Sorry it took so long to update gang! I have had so much to do preparing for the winter break. :-)

Well, I made it through the first milestone. It was nerve-wracking to say the least. I prayed a lot last Wednesday, sat a lot, pleaded a lot, and drank TONS of water. Praise God, I made it through.

Had an appointment on Thursday (no u/s, just regular OB appointment), and according to the nurse I gained TEN pounds. Ummm no. I don't agree. I weigh myself every morning and my scale says 3lbs and besides it was 50 degrees that day and I had on many layers. When she told me that, my blood pressure shot through the roof! Heartbeat was well and fundal height was right on target.

My next milestone is this coming Wednesday (20 week, 3 days). I have an appointment with the MFM tomorrow morning at 8:30 am and as usual, my heart is doing the anxiety ridden tap dance. I did promise myself that if my 20 week u/s showed a stable cervix, I was going to *try* to relax and enjoy this pregnancy. I have been doing really well with laying down as much as possible and taking it easy. Hoping for a good appointment and a stable cervical length measurement tomorrow! Praising God for his goodness and grace.

For those of you with a cerclage (vaginal or abdominal), did your Dr. apply pressure to the stomach when measuring the cervical length? When I was pregnant with Evan, at my 20 week appointment, the MFM applied pressure to my stomach and that is when we noticed the cerclage was failing and the sac was descending. Of course we know how that ended, so I am undoubtedly nervous that he will apply pressure. Is this customary for them to do?

Brief note - hubby and I are back at square one :-(. They were not approved to advertise for the position and the hiring department was apologetic and stated that when they do get additional funding they will keep him in mind. Bummer! We are okay though. We are trusting God and his plans. Please pray for my husband. It is hard for a man who is used to working from the age of 16 to suddenly not working for 8 months. He is getting discouraged so please whisper his name when you meet with the Master in your secret place.

Thanks in advance gang and I will update you after my appointment tomorrow.

Awaiting my expected end,

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

19 weeks, 3 days

Well, its here and boy am I nervous! Hoping I get through the day unscathed without any mental breakdowns. Hubby and I got up early this morning to pray and I left my house singing "create in me a clean heart and purify me....". This song keeps resonating in my head and heart this morning. I covet your prayers eagerly this morning.

Also, please pray for hubby as he goes in today to negotiate his salary for his new job. We are praying for favor with this matter. If he can get to as close to what he was making before, we will be grateful.

Psalm 5:12
Surely, LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your
favor as with a shield.

Thank you so very much.

Awaiting OUR expected end,

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Dreaded Gestation.....

..... is here! Yikes!

I am 19 weeks 1 day today. In 2008, I went in to labor with Alyssa-Joy at 19 weeks, 3 days and she was delivered and returned to our Savior at 19 weeks, 4 days. In 2009, Evan died from an infection at 20 weeks, 2 days and was delivered at 20 weeks, 3 days. To say that so far I am an emotional wreck is an understatement. I keep reminding myself; "I have the TAC! I have the TAC! I have the TAC! I have the TAC! I have the TAC!"

Please pray for my sanity these next few days as the apprehension is at an all time high (through the roof actually). I want to blink and these next two weeks have passed.

In other news, 4 more school days until Christmas vacation, 7 more days until my next c/l measurement, 5 more weeks until 24 weeks............

Oh Lord, thou hast searched me and known me.
Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thoughts afar off. - Psalm 139

Awaiting my expected end (great c/l and still working!)

Friday, December 10, 2010

My Life These Days

I have always prided myself as being independent and find it quite comical and irritating that the things that I am usually able to do, I have to be "assisted".

These days I can be found with this - (go.ogle image)
The perk - parking right at the door of any building I frequent.
The downside - having everyone look at me funny to see what my disability is.

These days I can be found doing this -
(please excuse the irritated look on my face)

The perk - not having to maneuver the entire store.
The downside - bumping into EVERYTHING!

These days I can be found doing this -
No judgement please regarding the satin cap on my head or the wearing of dh's sweater- it was a lazy Saturday morning!

The perk -getting help in the kitchen from hubby
The downside - maneuvering around the kitchen is quite tough on a computer chair!

These days I can be found doing this -
(Go.ogle image)
This is how I teach most days. Yes. On a stool.

The perk - knowing that I am not on my feet too much (gravity is not my friend!)
The downside - Feeling guilty about not being able to circulate like I used to. I am a hands on teacher and believe in circulation and close proximity. I walk around periodically throughout, but other than that my tush is parked.

When I get home, my tush is always here-
(another goog.le image, but hey it looks just like me bedroom set)

The perk - being catered to.
The downside - losing much of my independence.

Each Saturday morning at 8:00 am, I can be found anxiously waiting on this -

(goog.le image)
Yup! A shot in the ass (pardon my french).

The perk - a calm uterus.
The downside - the pinch of the needle, the burning sensation and the soreness of my posterior for days.

Despite all these changes, I am still blessed and count it all joy! It will be soooo worth it in the end. I promise you - I don't always look this bad. I am quite fly when I put my mind to it, but these days the fatigue is wearing me out and most days at home I have on no make-up, hair is not done, and I am wearing hubby sweaters since for the past few days is has been 30+ degrees in Florida!

Hope you all got a laugh at my expense today :-).

Awaiting my expected end (great c/l and still working!),

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Due Date

Today my heart is heavy. Today was the day I was supposed to meet my son last year. The day that we all looked forward to, we planned for, we just knew would come. Sadly, it did not. December 9th, will never mean the same to us again. It is a reminder of how our hearts are shattered and are still mending. It is a reminder of dreams lost, faith diminished, bitterness, sadness.
Despite the sadness of this day, we know our son is being taken care of by our almighty Savior. We take comfort knowing that we will spend eternity with him giving him the hugs, kisses and cuddles we longed to give him. His time with us on Earth was short, but we know that forever has no end and we look forward to that day.

My Little Angel

You’ve just walked on ahead of me
And I’ve got to understand
You must release the ones you love
And let go of their hand.
I try and cope the best I can
But I’m missing you so much
If I could only see you
And once more feel your touch.
Yes, you’ve just walked on ahead of me
Don’t worry I’ll be fine
But now and then I swear I feel
Your hand slip into mine.
- author unknown

We love and miss you Evan!

Awaiting my expected end,

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Appointment Update

How precious are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee. - Psalm 139

Can I just say I love my blog family??? I was always wary about "putting my business out there" and meeting people on the net. When a friend told me years ago that she was trying online dating, my response to her was; "ARE YOU CRAZY!!!! Do you know how many psychos troll the net?". Who would have thought that I would have met so many who would be my biggest supporters over the net? Women (maybe men too?) who probably know more than my husband and family. Women who know my most intimate thoughts. The net can be a wonderful place!
Thank you so much for the comments. I read them repeatedly and shed some tears. It is great to know that I am not alone and others share the same feelings. THANK YOU ALL.

Every appointment for me is nerve wracking. I literally lay on the tiny bed (why are they so tiny anyway?) shivering in fear. I kept repeating the scripture "for God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind" over and over again while clenching my hands behind my head.
My poor husband sits there shaking his head and rubbing my arms because he knows I am panicking deep inside. I am soo grateful that I have a Dr. who is willing to see me whenever I need reassurance. Cervix is STILL stable measuring over 3.5 cm. It is still long, curved and closed with no funneling in sight! Praise God! Baby had its legs crossed and weighs a whopping 9 oz! Unofficially (since it was an unofficial u/s - off the record) everything looks great, lips, heart, brain, spine, fingers, toes, the whole works. So far we have a healthy baby and we are happy!
I left the appointment emotional because I am in awe that God continues to show us he is in control of every situation. I am still working, completing my Ph.D at nights, am still upright and so on. I am so thankful and I'm starting to believe that I am bringing this baby home come April/May.

Thank you so much for the good thoughts, prayers, and well wishes. They are very much appreciated.

Awaiting my expected end (great c/l and still working!),

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Barrage of emotions

Hello ladies!

Has it really been two weeks since my last post? Good grief! I have deliberately been laying low these past few weeks though. Thanksgiving was tough, Alyssa-Joy's birthday and angelversary, Evan's birthday coming up, and the approach of the gestations when I gave birth has really gotten me down in the dumps. I have been ridden with anxiety lately. E-X-T-R-E-M-E anxiety. So much that I find myself crying at odd times throughout the day. Thank heavens for my students! They keep the most of the tears at bay. I am currently experiencing a barrage of emotions and I am a mess!

Sadness - I am sad to celebrate another holiday childless. I am sad that we had to light a candle in remembrance instead of lighting a candle on a birthday cake. I am sad to be known as a BLM.

Anxiety - I am really anxious these days! I am currently 18 weeks, 2 days and I am fearing the unknown.

Fear - Every twinge I feel - I ask myself "is this it?". I know I have the TAC, but the fear is still there.

Guilt - I feel guilty as well (does that make any sense?). I ask myself, "why me?". There are so many others so much more deserving than me who should be experiencing another pregnancy.
Many who are still struggling to conceive, dealing with the memory of fresh losses, recurrent miscarriage, and so on. Every day that I am still upright, I praise God, but cannot believe that I will make it through this pregnancy unscathed. My cervix continues to stay stable and above 3.5 (at least from the last appointment) and I am still working.

Happiness - I am happy to be expecting again and pray that this results in a rainbow.

There are so many more emotions that I am experiencing right now, but worry is the main one. I worry about EVERYTHING! In fact, I have another cervical length check today and I am worried about that! I find myself asking "what if?". Hubby says I worry too much and everything will turn out fine, and my come back to that is "I don't think you understand how I feel!"

I have made the painstaking and final decision to tie my tubes at the end of this pregnancy. Mentally, I cannot go through another pregnancy and have begun the process of getting all the paperwork in order. Do you know that at 26 they hesitate to tie your tubes? That I have to get a mental health evaluation and prove that I am of sound mind? Amazing.

Please keep us in prayer that at today's appointment, my cervix is stable, long, strong, and above 3.5 cm.

Awaiting my expected end

Thursday, November 25, 2010

So Much......

I have so much to be thankful for on this day. I thank our Savior everyday, but on this day of thanksgiving, I am overwhelmed.

I am thankful for my husband. We have our ups and downs and are by no means perfect, but we work hard to understand each other, we respect each other and we love each other.

I am thankful for my family. My stepmom, dad, sisters, and brother are my life. As opinionated as they are, they are always there loving me, supporting me.

I am thankful for my angels. Alyssa-Joy and Evan have taught me unconditional love. They have made me a better person, wife, daughter, sister, teacher, friend.

I am thankful for jobs. Yup! You read that right! We BOTH have jobs. Praise God!

I am thankful for my savior and his provisions. Hubby had been unemployed for 8 months, but God provided in unmeasurable ways. We were never without want.

I am thankful for a super long cervix. At my appointment yesterday, my cervix measured 3.58 cm. It was long, curved and closed tight. At this gestation last year, 16 weeks, I was on bedrest completely funneled to the stitch. God is indeed good.

I am thankful for the struggles I have had in life. The good and the bad has defined who I am today.

I am thankful for all of you. My IC sisters, my ABBY sisters, and my blog sisters. Thank you for your many prayers, well wishes, good thoughts, and constant support. I could not have walked this journey without all of you.

Happy Thanksgiving! May your day be filled with joy, bittersweet happiness, may it be uneventful, and may peace reside in your hearts.

Awaiting my expected end (great c/l and still working!),

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Please send some love to Mattie....

I logged on to face book this morning and my heart sank. Please stop by and send Mattie some love. Her rainbow baby went back to be with our Savior in front of their eyes yesterday afternoon. She is being induced today. In September 2009 she lost her little girl Shyla Joy and now Jakin has left to be with his sister. God healed his heart, just not the way we wanted.
Let us flood her with some love.

Thank you so very much.

Awaiting my expected end (great c/l and still working!),

Friday, November 19, 2010

Shocked, blessed, thankful.......

I am sitting on my lunch break eating a delicious Thanksgiving meal that our Social Committee provided. While giving thanks, how appropriate that something awesome should happen when I least expect it. I am even now more convinced that God knows the desires of our hearts and makes a way before we even know about it.

I got a phone call from an unknown number. Usually, if I don't recognize a number I let it go to voicemail. If they don't leave a message then obviously the call was not important. I let this call go to voicemail and listened to the message that was left.
Lo and behold it was a message from my insurance company asking me to call them. I called the number that was given and spoke to Rose.lyn. Rose.lyn is the OB Nurse Coordinator. These individuals (to my knowledge) almost never deal with clients. Ladies, what she said was shock and a blessing which left me thankful - hence the title of this post.

After she verified my information, she stated who she was and the first thing she said was that she was personally taking on my case. She said she reviewed my history and felt compelled to be my personal case manager. She expressed her condolences for my losses and stated that she is prepared to do everything in her power to "not let me have another 20 week delivery". She stated that she will personally work with my OB and the MFM to coordinate the best possible care. She asked if I was on bedrest and I told her no. I had surgery in April to decrease the likelihood of that happening. She said "good girl - great planning". I let her know that this pregnancy was actually a surprise and her response was "God bless you". She said that if there was any possibility of me going on bedrest, she will work with my employers to get me the best short term disability they have to offer (with sufficient payment). She has worked with the school board before and know how they operate so if the need arises, there should be no roadblocks. If necessary, she will also find someone to come to my house to cook and clean and they will cover the cost if no one is available to help me.

I told her about my P17 shots that I am supposed to be getting next week and she said that she will write up the authorization immediately so that when I get to my OB's office for my appointment next week, they will have to go through no red tape. She gave me her office and cell phone number and told me to call her anytime if I have any concerns or questions. She reiterated that she will not let me have another 20 week delivery without putting up a fight, and reminded me to eat lots of fruits and vegetables to ward off constipation, to drink oodles of water to ward off contractions and UTI's as these increase the chances for premature contractions.
A Matria Nurse is available to come to the house to administer the p17 shots or I can arrange with my OB to have the shots done at his office. Whatever we decide I should let her know.

Let me tell you, I got off the phone crying into my turkey dish. How good is my God? Is this even customary for an insurance company to do this? This call was not expected and you can imagine my shock when I spoke to her. I am so thankful. I am praising God right now for his blessings and provisions over our lives. I am thanking him for placing this on the heart of this lady. I am thanking him for the seen and unseen. I am thanking him for continually thinking of us and blessing us when we least expect him and even when we have doubt in our hearts.

Right now I am looking at a verse of scripture I have posted in my classroom : For ALL the promises of God are yea, and in him amen, unto the glory of God by us - II Corinthians 1:20.

Thank you ladies for continually keeping us in prayer. I know that there are strength in numbers, and where two or three are gathered together, he ALWAYS shows up and makes provisions.
God is indeed good!

Awaiting my expected end (great c/l and still working),

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hey gang! Thanks so much for the comments and well wishes. I have decided to speak to Larry, write my sister a letter (I am too coward to do it in person) to let them know exactly how I feel.

Today I am 15 weeks 3 days. It is at 15 weeks 6 days that I started having cervical changes with Evan and went on bedrest. My next appointment is not until 16 weeks, 2 days (MFM) and 16 weeks 3 days (OB). I will be calling my OB to see if we can move the appointment up or even push it back since it makes no sense to have appointments back to back. I am also scheduled to get my first P17 shot next week. Definitely not looking forward to that! We will also find out the gender next week.... well Larry will, I wont. Yes, I am still deciding to not find out until about 25 weeks, maybe even later.
I feel great, have had no discharge (knock on wood and praise God! - discharge for me is the enemy), no pressure, no nothing, I have not felt any kicks yet though and I usually start feeling them by week 14.
I was speaking to a friend the other day and I made a comment that I was treating the TAC like a TVC, and it occurred to me that I actually am! The TAC is no comparison to the TVC and since realizing that I have relaxed just a tad bit (just a tad).

A new bloggie friend asked the following question that got me thinking.
"Marie, Is it possible, even for a second, to not be afraid? after all we have been through? And despite being afraid, can we still not enjoy the pregnancy?" Is it possible? I think for me it will become enjoyable once I pass my critical weeks (16-21) and then once viability hits (even though it really isn't viability because 50/50 doesn't mean much) I will enjoy it even more. For me the fear comes from the unknown and I joke about the fact that I wish they sold ultrasound machines for the home so I can monitor myself. Thats the best answer I can come up with. Does anyone have a better answer? There are times throughout the day I find myself not afraid and I am optimistic about the future. Do I think I will bring this baby home? Absolutely! I refuse to believe I won't. Is it going to be easy holding on to that hope? Nope. But I have already made up my mind that for each milestone, a large purchase will be made.
My first purchase for hitting 16 weeks will be this.

Thanks for continuing to keep us in prayer.

Awaiting my expected end (great c/l and still working!),

Monday, November 15, 2010

Caught in the Middle

Remember this incident? Well, for the past few months none of them (my husband, my sister, my step-mom) have been speaking to each other. My sister stated quite strongly that day that she will never come by my house again, and she has not since June. My step-mom is not one to hold a grudge and will love you regardless, but my husband feels out of place with the family. Part of it stems from his own insecurity and embarrassment about the situation, the fact that we have moved on and my sister still won't speak to him, and the fact that he does not want to feel uncomfortable around my sister.
Let me add, that I did not initially bring them into the situation. My husband did when he called my oldest sister that day. I would have been content leaving the situation in our house. After he called my oldest sister, it all spiraled out of control and the entire family got involved.

I sort of feel stuck in the middle. I love my husband despite his faults, and we have been through extensive counseling. I have seen where my actions could have escalated the problems we were having, and he has seen where his actions have escalated the problems we were having.
We have always been close to my family, until that "event". Now, he does not go over to their house, he no longer calls my step-mom to chat, nothing that he used to do.
The holidays are coming up (which I hate and are already hard) and we usually spend the holidays with my family. Last week he said he is not spending Thanksgiving with my family, he is staying home. I do not want to spend Thanksgiving with my family by myself while my husband stays home. So my only option is to stay home too. Who wants to spend Thanksgiving alone? If I go to my family, I will have to say why he is not there and I will feel miserable knowing he is home alone. Which leaves me with the decision to stay home as well. I will not spend the day with friends because I feel that is a time for family, especially since its around the time we lost Alyssa-Joy.

Once my sister makes up her mind that she does not like someone and will no longer speak to them, she sticks to it. I have always wanted a marriage where my spouse was close to my family, but now that does not seem to be the case. If they cannot get along now, what will happen when the baby gets here?
My sister has made snide comments of late, so I kind of avoid mentioning Larry when I am speaking to her. I do not want this kind of relationship and I am caught in the middle. I feel that right now my loyalty lies with my husband. I have been praying about it and asking God for direction, but I am still stuck.

Sorry for the rambling, but has anyone been in this situation or have any advice to offer? What do I do for the Holidays? How do I "fix" this situation (because, you know I like to fix things)? I don't want a life where no one in my family gets along, and I especially don't want my child to grow up in a situation like this.

Awaiting my expected end (great c/l and still working!),

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


There is a popular scripture that says (not a direct quote) "warning comes before destruction". As I was laying in bed last night thinking about AJ and Evan, this saying popped up in my mind. Did I really receive a warning before giving birth to them?

I went back to when I was pregnant with AJ, a few weeks before I went into labor. My older sister had a dream about my mom. Keep in mind that our mom died 18 years ago at the time. She dreamt that my mom was alive and looked us up. While having a conversation with our mom she found out that our mother had another child, a daughter we knew nothing about. The odd thing was she kept speaking of the daughter in future tense. She kept saying. "she will be with me and I will love her". She kept saying how we won't know who she is and so on. At the time I thought, "oh. She is going to watch over Alyssa-Joy". Now thinking back, I find it strange that future tense was used and not past or present tense. Was that a warning? Was our mom trying to tell us something? Was she trying to prepare me for what was to come and I missed the meaning? Did I miss the warning?

When I was pregnant with Evan and on bedrest, about a week before it all went to hell, I was jerked out of sleep by the fire alarm screeching. With my heart in my throat I waddled as carefully as I could to see where the fire was. There was no fire anywhere. I opened my front door, looked around, nothing. A few minutes later the alarm stopped on its own. Needless, to say, it too a while for my heart to stop racing. Was this a warning? Was this a sign of things to come and I missed it or totally ignored it?

As confident as I am trying (forcing myself) to be this time around, I am self-consciously looking for a warning that things might go wrong. I cannot relax and enjoy this pregnancy. I cannot let my guard down and hope. I say that I trust God in one breath and in the next breath I worry. We have the opportunity to find out the gender in a few weeks, and I told hubby I don't want to know. He can find out and when I get to viability, he can tell me. Is that bad?
I sooo want to enjoy this pregnancy. I sooo want to show off my baby bump, but I am afraid of the judgements, the "oh it will be okay", the fear that if the worst happens I will have to explain to others and relive it again and again and again and again.

I stood in my house last night and rebuked the fear. Rebuked the thoughts. I made a conscious decision to *try* and enjoy it. To *try* and think of a positive future. To think that there will be no warnings because it will all turn out ok. I am praying, hoping, pleading, claiming, declaring, that ALL IS WELL and ALL WILL BE WELL.

Awaiting my expected end (awesome c/l and still working)


Sunday, November 7, 2010


Hello gang!

Thanks so much for your supportive comments. Obviously, we weren't ready for family to know about this pregnancy just yet, especially since we are still getting used to the idea ourselves :-).
I have so many unpublished posts, but I want to update you all about my appointments first.

Since we last spoke (if one can call it that), I have had 2 appointments. We had our first appointment with the MFM two Fridays ago (10/29). Can I tell you I was a nervous wreck! I was so nervous I was shaking -literally, clammy hands and all, heart racing a mile a minute. The tech did the standard NT measurement (normal a 12.5/13/3 - hank you Jesus!), took some shots of the little one, and had then had me strip from the waist down (dildo time!). Dr. R. then came in and asked questions regarding who did my TAC and so on. I was then able to ask whatever questions I had as well. The questions I asked were:
1.) How many TAC patients have you seen?
2.) How often will I be seen?
3.) Is Betamethasone shots going to be given at 24 weeks?
4.) What is your opinion regarding modified or full bedrest this pregnancy?
5.) How do you measure the cervix with TAC patients? Do you usually include the lower uterine segment which is contracted during the first trimester?
6.) To the u/s tech - Will you always be the one doing my c/l measurements?

In a nutshell, his response to the questions were, he has treated quite a few TAC patients and they have never done bedrest so he does not anticipate that I will be on bedrest, plus a TAC hold the cervix closed. If I am worried we will take it one appointment at a time. In regards to the steroid shots for the baby's lungs, it all depends on how we progress. The same protocol is used when measuring non TAC patients. He agrees with my OB's about starting the P17 shots at 16 weeks.

After this conversation, he then uttered the dreaded words, "let's take a look a his cervix". I immediately covered my eyes and remarked that my cervix and I have a love/hate relationship. ha! I did not remove my hands from my eyes until he said "good".
Now, keep in mind, my cervix measured 3.4 cm on October 24th (8 + weeks). At this appointment, it measured............................................................... ready for this?.............................................................. 3.62 cm (12 wks, 5 days) !!!!!!!!!!!!! Yup! The doggone cervix grew! Now, this may not seem much of a difference to you, but last pregnancy, my c/l measured 4.1 cm at 10 weeks, and by 12 weeks, 5 days I was measuring only 3.5 cm. I consider this a dramatic improvement! I left the appointment with a smile on my face, praising God and more confident than ever! Praise Jesus! I see the MFM again on November 23rd.

My next appointment with my OB was pretty short (11/05). I have only gained 3 pounds so far (yay!) I showed him the note from the MFM which said my c/l was 3.3 - confused but will follow up with the MFM when we see him again. Dr. C. said he probably made a mistake. We will see because I had Dr. R. repeat my c/l several times and he said it measured 3.62 cm. I am sticking with that report especially since I wrote it down.
Dr. C. then asked the next dreaded question, "what did Dr. R. say about you not working?" I quickly told him what he said. My OB is very conservative and is quick to put me on bedrest. I reminded him that the TAC should limit the need for bedrest and there is no way I went through major surgery only to end up on bedrest when my c/l is good! If it changes, sure, but I am not anticipating much change.

So, both positive appointments so far. I am taking it easy though. I come home and I am down for the rest of the night and stay down all weekend.
Thank you so much for your prayers, well wishes and good thoughts!

On another note, another blm and one of my dearest friends recently started a blog. Please stop by and leave Tonya some love!
Awaiting my expected end (great c/l and still working!)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Hello gang!

I know its been a while, but I have a good reason. :-). I want to first say WELCOME to my family members that have found this blog. Yes, my family has found my blog, and yes I am pretty sure. How do I know? The stats button is a wonderful thing! Am I happy you are here? No. Am I happy you are reading my most intimate thoughts? No. Am I happy that I can no longer maintain a level of anonymity? No. But seeing that this blog is a public record, I have no choice but to allow you to keep reading.
So welcome. One request though, whatever you read here, please let it stay here. Now that you have knowledge of this pregnancy, please continue to pretend that you have no knowledge of it and please no opinions or judgements are needed.

I did consider abandoning ship, changing the blog address, going private, and many of the other options that are available, (and blogger does not allow password protected posts ), but as I said when I first started this blog, that if any thing good comes out of my experiences, is that I am able to help someone else. If I chose any of these options, then I am limiting the effect my experiences, my faith, and AJ's and Evan's life will have on others.

I will keep blogging about this pregnancy, my struggles, my fears, my moments of enlightenment because this is my online diary and chronicle of my life. So what ever is read here, please leave it here.
I always had my suspicions, but my suspicions were confirmed a few weeks ago. I deliberately did not blog, because I did not know what route I would take. I felt sort of violated and panicked for an instant, until I spoke to my friend Fawzia (thanks Fawzia!).

So again, WELCOME.

Has anyone else found out that their families discovered their blogs? How did you feel? What was your reaction? How did you handle it?

Awaiting my expected end.

Friday, October 22, 2010

I understand

My mother died from Cervical Cancer when I was 6 years old. I still remember the night my father came home and delivered the devastating news. At the funeral, I saw my father break down and cry. Over the years, this single father of four kept his children close. Some might say we were spoiled and coddled. I say we were loved and protected.
I remember him coming into our rooms at night. I would open one eye and see him standing at the door, checking up on us before he went to bed. We were not rich by any means, but my father made sure we had all that we needed.

As we grew older, he made sure he knew how much he loved our mother and how much she loved us. Even to this day, he will send us texts (yes, my father can text - hard to believe) on their would be anniversary, on her birthday, on the day she died, and on the day her funeral was held. Even though he is remarried, he has kept her memory alive. Every year on the day she died, a memorial appears in the newspaper. He wistfully reminds us that if she were still alive, they would still be married.

I often found it strange growing up that he spoke of her as if she were still alive. He raised us the way she wanted us to be raised. He kept her memory alive for us. He made sure we had pictures, knew her personality, jokes she told, where she worked, the things she did. He made sure we never forgot our mom.

I understand. I want everyone to remember Alyssa-Joy and Evan. I want to honor their memories. I want their future sibling to know that they are directly responsible for getting his/her here safely. I want them and the effect they have had on our lives to remain and remind others that they mattered. I talk of my children daily with my husband. Their pictures hang proudly on our walls. There names are mentioned in conversation with others, they are thought of with love. I want their lives to matter, just like my father made sure my mother's life mattered.

Awaiting my expected end.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

"That Place"

To put it plainly, knowledge sucks. What I wouldn't give to be naive about pregnancies. As I sit here and reflect on this pregnancy, I am brought back to "that place". The place where I gave birth twice. That place where I held a baby who would not go home with me. When I go to "that place" my heart skips a beat, my eyes well up with tears, and fear enters my heart. "That place" is a place of grief, a place of loss, a place of hopelessness, a place I wish I had never encountered. "That place" is the place I said goodbye before even saying hello. "That place" was brought upon me so quickly I barely had time to process it. "That place" where my whole family grieved with me and said goodbye to their grandchildren, niece, nephews, son, and daughter.

Friday the 15th was Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day and I proudly wore my pins to work. But do you know what? No one asked about them. No one asked about the significance of those pins. As we lit our candles that night, I broke down. Who would have thought that a few lit candles would incite so many emotions. I cried as the flame flickered in the moonlight. I said to Dh that we should NEVER have to observe a day such as this. No one should. We should be celebrating birthdays and milestones, not a day that we have to educate others about or light candles in memory of. I simply lost it. We sat on the couch and hugged and remembered out babies together.

I want to enter a new place. A place where my shattered heart won't ache. A place where I can smile. A place where I can feel whole (if thats even possible). Will I ever get to that place? Hubby says when we bring home this little one I won't feel whole but I will enter a new place. I wonder how true that really is.
Someone asked me if I am happy about this baby. Truthfully I could not answer. Why? I am afraid to dream, to think about the future, to think of names, to even think of the possibility. I know I have a bionic cervix, but this is what two losses do to you. It takes away your confidence. It takes away your hope. I am afraid to hope. For me its a defense mechanism. I am simply trying to protect my already fragile heart.

What do you do when you go to "that place"? Do you cry? Rant? Rave? Pray? I have tried them all. When I enter that place, I repeat my favorite scripture to myself "For I know the thoughts I think towards you; thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end" - Jer 29:11. Does it help? Not always. I have to shake myself out of it and realize that I am not in control, He is. I am simply a vessel to be used. As hard as I want to steer my own ship, I have to let go of the helm.

I want to enter a new place, and I cannot wait.

Awaiting my expected end.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

This Dreaded Condition Known as Cervical Incompetence

I remember the first time I heard the term "Incompetent Cervix". My first thought was, "why would anyone call it stupid?" The poor person who came up with this term was probably so frustrated that they shouted "what an Incompetent Cervix!" and the name probably stuck - ha! At least thats my interpretation of it.

The day we were discharged after giving birth to Alyssa-Joy, I hit the Internet. For those of you who don't know me well, I love researching. If I were not a teacher, I would be a professional researcher. The Dr. who saw me and delivered the devastating news at the hospital never gave me any information, and when I spoke to my OB, I was so overcome with grief that I was unable to pay attention. The net became my friend. For hours, days, weeks, I researched this condition. I read medical journals, articles, web pages, blogs, archived messages in forums, everything I could get my hands on that would inform me about this condition. I think I have mentioned before that I now know everything that can go wrong in a pregnancy, what to look for, every medical term associated with pregnancies, every NICU term and possible conditions, I know statistics, rates of survival, success rates....... you name it, I know it.
I have always agreed with the popular saying that "Knowledge is power". Oh how I would love to be blissfully ignorant. Even though this knowledge arms me with what I need, it can be downright scary at times.

It was through this grief-induced research that I stumbled across some BLM blogs. I read these blogs and could relate, but the conditions that resulted in the losses of these women were unrelated to mine and I felt somewhat out of place. Slowly over time, I found IC blogs, and boy are there many. Below are some of the *few* that I have found so far and read frequently. I have compiled this list in hopes of helping others. If through a Goog.le search they stumble across my page, I want them to be able to find other IC blogs that they can relate to. I am not diminishing the importance of other BLM blogs, but I wanted to devote this post to he condition that I suffer from. Please note that I have not included those who have the TAC and suffer from IC. For a list of those, please see this post.

I am sure there are many more and I will be adding to this list when I find more (hopefully I can put it as a separate page or tab? - any suggestions?), these are just the ones I have found and currently read. I apologize if I inadvertently left anyone out.

Awaiting my expected end.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Don't forget....

Please remember to light your candles at 7:00 pm tonight in memory of all our little ones born too soon.

My candles will be burning bright in honor of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.

Awaiting my expected end.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Awareness (link overload!)

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. It is a month we all wished we NEVER had to acknowledge. It is a month that we let the world know about the losses many of us experience. It is a month that we let people know, "hey, babies die and it is not always the fault of the mother". Even though it is a month of awareness, I still feel it is not acknowledged enough.
Everywhere I turn, I hear proclamations of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, but the only places I hear about Pregnancy and Infant Loss is in blogverse or on the pages of other BLM's.

I remember when I first started out on this journey. The only place I managed to stumble across about an Incompetent Cervix was the IC Forum (which I found after a random search). There were not many blogs about IC, and I felt like an outsider. Yes, there were other BLM blogs, but there losses stemmed from other misfortunes.
Before getting my TAC, the only TAC blog I knew about was Mrs. Muelly's. After a few months, Alyson got her TAC. Then little by little, I started finding other TAC blogs! As this procedure becomes more popular, more and more women affected by IC are journaling their experiences. I am happy to say that I have found 12 blogs (and counting!) from women who have had this procedure done. I am happy that so many women are contributing to making other women aware that there is still hope, and that our cervix (cervii?) can become bionic with the help of the mersiline band.

A few TAC blogs that are now "around" are:

I am happy to see so many women discussing their experiences with the TAC. The resounding theme from all these blogs is HOPE. We all have hope and our hope maketh not ashamed.

I am so excited to walk this journey with all of you. Tomorrow, I am going to do a post about the MANY IC blogs that I have found, and boy are there many!

Awaiting my expected end.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Horrible blogger

I promise to start blogging more and updating as soon as things happen. I do have an excuse though! I have been soooo busy! This year seems more busy than the last few years.

So my appointment on Friday went well. We did give the u/s tech quite a scare thought! They usually have the screen turned away from us (I guess to protect us if something ends up being wrong?) but my husband was watching the screen and I was watching his face because his face always gives it away - ha! All of a sudden during the u/s, I saw his jaw drop! Needless to say my heart started racing. He looked at the tech and asked "Is that what I think it is?" The tech then said, "let me look some more." What could it be? She thought she saw TWINS!!!!! Well, when he told me this I said "heck no! I will commit myself to the hospital now!"
After looking around some more, there turned out to be only one :-).

Bub looked good, heart rate was 145pm, I was measuring 7 weeks, 5 days (today I am 8 weeks, 3 days) which pushed my due date back a few days - now May 10th. The baby is definitely no longer the size of a grape now!

Now on to the cervix news. I walked into the appointment with my "Medical Journal". A composition book that has notes from Dr. Davis in regards to everything TAC related. Whats normal, what should happen, what should not happen, even when and how to deliver! I also had normal CL measurements vs measurements for women with IC. I asked tons of questions especially how she measured the cervix, does she measure the contracted part as well? Does she measure from the TAC down or does she measure from the top (which is the contracted part) to the bottom?
After she gave me my CL length, she realized she had done it wrong when she checked my notebook. Protocol is to not put pressure on the cervix with the wand, to take 3 measurements and use the shortest one as the official length. She took one measurement and applied pressure during the scan. I also let her know that if it was short, then thats ok because CL scans in the first trimester is not accurate and is no indicator of preterm labor.
Well, my staring CL was 3.5 cm, which is ok, but again, the next scan in the 2nd trimester will be a better indicator so I am not stressing.

I also got to see what was left of the TAC! To my untrained eye, it was barely visible (and the tech could barely see it as well). I told her thats to be expected, because the body builds a layer of flesh around a foreign object when put in.
I of course apologized to her for annoying her, but we let her know that after 2 traumatic experiences, that we have armed ourselves with knowledge to give this child a chance. I also requested that she do every CL check because I want consistency and everyone has their own way of measuring the cervix.
My OB seemed to think this was a good length, but we are believing that it will grow, and stay long and strong!

Morning sickness is still rampant, but I am dealing with it better (thanks for the advice girls!). I am sitting down more at work (which I hate, but I am trying to form a habit). I actually timed myself the other day. Throughout the entire 6 hour day (when I see students) I stand for a total of 1 hour! I sit on my stool, utilize my intern more, assign students to pick up my primary students when I need them, and so on. I hate it, but I am learning to take it easy.

The experts say it takes about 6 months to replace a job lost, and it is coming up on six months that hubby has been unemployed. I remind myself daily that this is temporary, he can't be unemployed forever! (right?) Daily, we fill out tons of applications and fax resumes, and nothing! Right now we are exploring another avenue, so please keep him in prayer.
I know I should be grateful and I am, especially when others are in worse positions. Believe me, I thank God daily! But being a control freak and having no control on the job situation right now is tough! :-) We know and believe that God has something in store, not in our time, but his time, and I do believe he is working on me giving full control to him. I'm trying Lord!

Thanks for all the kind words, thoughts, and prayers.

Awaiting my expected end

Friday, September 24, 2010


.... its creeping in.

I have an appointment this afternoon for an official cervical length check and I am nervous, scared, fearful, hopeful. The one question that keeps coming to mind is; "what if its already short?". I have been so positive lately and now the devil is trying to place doubt in my mind.

Please pray that my mind continues to be at ease and believe with us that my starting CL is >4.5 cm.

Awaiting my expected end.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sorry ;-)

* I have had this post typed for the past week and could not upload it via my I.POD.

Hello everyone! So so sorry for leaving you all in suspense. A HUGE thank you to all of you who sent emails, comments, and texts of concerns.

I can be found these days hugging the toilet seat - lol. Morning sickness is kicking my butt! I never had m/s with Alyssa or Evan, but now I can barely function. This is new territory for me..... pray for me. Ha!

So we went to our appointment last Friday and while in the waiting room I kept saying, "maybe the tests were wrong. Maybe my body is tricking itself into believing I am pregnant". Ha! "Congratulations" were the first thing out of the nurses mouth after the urine test was done.
I still say that my OB is awesome! I went in there ready with a list of demands, and before I could open my mouth, he already had a plan that aligned with mine. He was so happy to see us..... he even remembered the room number where we delivered Evan :-(. He called all his nurses and partners (we were the last appointment) to let them know about us and the fact that we have the TAC. He also wanted them to know that if we called or came in, we are to be seen immediately (I love this man). He vowed to hand us a live baby in our arms nine months from now and no a minute sooner!

The plan:
* visits and ultrasounds every other week along with CL checks
* 17P shots starting at 16 weeks
*bedrest of my cervix gets between 2.5 - 3.0 cm

At first, he had said "the further along you get I am putting you in full disability" until he saw my face! I said, "I have the TAC! I won't need bedrest, but I will take it easy". I have every faith in my God and the TAC so I am standing and saying that I will not need bedrest. I am walking by FAITH and not SIGHT!
Between him and the MFM, I will be seen weekly starting at 14 weeks.

So.... according to the informal u/s that was done, I am 7 weeks, 2 days today. Our next official u/s is on Friday (Sept 24) where we will get a more accurate date and beginning CL check.
My husband is also driving me crazy! He checks my temp everyday and demands that I call him to inspect the tp every time I pee. now he's the tp watcher -ha!
So, right now we are just hanging out around the commode waiting for something exciting to happen! I have tried everything! Sea bands (work when they want to), jolly.ranchers (leave a nasty taste in my mouth), sal.tine crackers (leaves my mouth dry), and now we are trying ginger tea.

On the job front..... still nothing yet, but we are not panicking. God has something in store and as anxious as we are to see what it is (because you know, me being a literal person and all), we have to remind ourselves that all in his timing, not ours.
I asked the dh the other day, "why did he choose for us to go through this now?" We have no answer yet, but we are holding on and believing something miraculous is about to take place in our lives. Please continue to lift us up in prayer as we do the same for you.

Awaiting my expected end.

Monday, September 6, 2010


A HUGE thank you for all the kind comments, stories, and prayers. Some of the comments I really needed to hear!
As I re-read the post, I realize that I sound somewhat ungrateful, and I hope no one was offended. I know many of you are still trying and I pray that God fulfill the desires of your heart.
So many of you have reached out to me and have checked up on me. All the texts, chats, posts, and emails are greatly appreciated.

The shock has not worn off. I am still scared (but oddly enough, not about losing another child). I am scared because I have no control over what the next few months will bring. I am scared to tell my family (more scared to tell my step-mother). My sisters are awesome and I know they will encourage me and let me know all will be well, but I know they will be shocked as well. My step-mother is quite opinionated and she is the one I fear the most.

This is not supposed to happen this way. I am supposed to be finished with school, my husband is supposed to have a great job, we are supposed to be in a new house, our savings should be overflowing before we have another child. Someone reminded me of the saying "If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans". Well he sure is laughing now!
Some of you made suggestions that were great, but not for me. I am very independent. I have never asked anyone for financial help and will find it hard to start now. I bought my condo myself, furnished my home by myself, paid for school myself (with the help of robber baron Ma.e) we paid for our wedding ourselves, and I have always prided myself on being able to do it all by myself, and cannot imagine even asking for anyone, not even family for financial help. The suggestions were appreciated though. :-)

The funny thing is, when I had it all together, I could not stay pregnant, and now that I don't have it all together......... Someday I will reread this post and laugh. But for now, laughter is nowhere near.

I have no idea how far I am exactly, but based on my calculations, I am probably 5 weeks and some days, and have made an appointment for Friday. I am nervous, scared, shaking in my boots...... the whole nine yards. I have my moments of calm and my moments of panic.
This really is bad timing, but when I check the dates, the timing is good. My only fear is bedrest. I am not claiming it and I have to remind myself that I have the TAC so the chances of bedrest is slim. My danger zone is right over Christmas break, and my due date would be around the beginning of May. I also have great disability which because of this due date would allow me to get paid until the beginning of August, if bedrest does not become a factor. I know it wont because of the promises I have already gotten.

For the past few weeks, our church has been experiencing revival. A few weeks ago, a visiting minister came and prophesied into Larry's life. She said to him "no more death" and that to continue trusting because everything will be well, and will work out to our benefit. This was from someone who knows nothing about us and does not even live in the United States.
Three weeks ago, during that revival, an older mother of the church came to me and prophesied into my life. She said to "stick by your husband and God is going to give us the thing we desire the most". I received it, thanked God for it and moved on. No one knows we were seeing a counselor, and everyone thought we were done trying for children. I told Larry later that night, and said yea, in a few years when we are ready everything will be alright because of his words. I NEVER thought it would be this soon!
I have also had this recurring dream about September, more specifically September 13th. In May, I made the following note on my calendar under September 13th: "something phenomenal"? I am now hoping something awesome happens on that date!

God has also been inadvertently preparing us these past few months as well. After Larry lost his job, we used some of our savings to pay off our three major bills, and are able to save even more per months off of one salary.

So for right now, we have a *plan* and I use this term loosely, because our plans are not God's plans and this is evidence enough. The plan is to save a much as possible over the next nine months. We can save up to $1,000 monthly, and if we continue to be really frugal (which thank heavens I am quite good at!) even more. The job search is now on again full force! Larry is once again making some follow-up calls so please pray for him this week that he gets a job.
Someone asked me this question, "if your husband were working, would you be happy about this pregnancy?" Absolutely! The unemployment is my only hang-up.

I have lamented over the past few months about when we will re-start our family and how things keep happening to push us back, but I had accepted it, and now this. We never planned this, but if this is what God has allowed to happen (and I still don't know how-unless it was some superman swimmies hanging around for a whole week and a half), then we must accept it and trust that he will see us through.
I ask that you all continue to pray for us, more specifically for peace of mind, provisions, and a healthy, safe, and uneventful pregnancy.

Awaiting my expected end.