Wednesday, August 26, 2009

August 26

One year after Chase's due date. Rough day. So thankful to have Jocelyn in my arms this year!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Change of Seasons

A year ago I was hitting the end of fertility treatments. I'd never liked the idea of my babies being frozen, but with IVF that was the only thing I could do to give my babies a shot at life...So when Chase died my heart and mind turned to those frozen babies sitting in their test tubes. I had failed one baby and wanted to rescue the others as soon as I was healthy. But that took longer than I'd hoped. Last June when I went in to get ready to start a cycle for a frozen embryo transfer (FET) they found a large cyst on my ovary. The doctor didn't want to move forward with the cycle until that cyst cleared up because the hormones released by the ovary could affect an embryo's ability to implant. So I was prescribed birth control pills. I took them for two weeks hoping that they'd shrink my cyst. Instead, when I went back to the doctor I had 4 more cysts (much smaller than the first). I left completely discouraged because my doctor's only advice was to stay on the birth control and wait.

I had reached the end of my rope. I couldn't do it. Birth control pills aren't my favorite anyway because they give me awful canker sores in my mouth and on my tongue--and besides, if they were supposed to keep my body from making more cysts they obviously weren't doing their job! So in tears I called my doctor's office and told them I was taking a break. The nurse agreed with me (I'm sure I sounded a little unbalanced on that phone call!)

That summer I was refreshed and renewed. I exercised and counted calories (not that it helped me lose weight, but I was finally in control of something in my life and it felt good!).

This June is different:But in many ways God has restored what has been lost. I'll always miss my son...and it will hit me at moments like this when I look at the picture of Melissa and me and realize there should be one in the photo album of Nikki and me (we were due days apart too)...But what a blessing to have another friend to share the excitement of pregnancy with me! What a blessing to be expecting the daughter I never thought I'd have. My babies are all home now, one way or another. Many of them I won't see until I reach heaven's gates--but they are in good Hands...

For those who grieve, it doesn't really end, but it does get gentler. It's the strangest things that bring that ache back too...I catch myself saying that I don't know what I'd do with 2 boys (you know...when Aiden is riding helter skelter down the driveway and nearly flipping his tricycle)...and then my eyes well up because I feel like I should never even think that. I was blessed to have my 2nd boy and I feel as though I've been a traitor to his memory for even thinking that two boys would be too much! Even so, the pain isn't that heavy, can't-breathe-anymore pain that I had at first. It's gentler--kind of like the misty rain that brings on the rainbow and soaks gardens in the spring to bear fruit in the summer...Seasons change...winter brings spring and spring turns to summer. As long as God wills it, life goes on...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

He is Risen Indeed!

Easter will always be a time of mixed emotions for me. It was Easter Sunday that Mike and I rushed to the ER and that's a sad memory, but at the same time, without the risen Son, Chase's death would have been a tragedy. Instead, we stand firm on the promises of God knowing that because Christ died for our sins, Chase has a home in heaven and we'll see him there.

This Easter our small church has been shattered by another loss. One of the men in our church died suddenly of a heart attack this past week. He leaves behind a sweet wife (who incidentally was very supportive when I lost Chase b/c she had endured losing 2 of her babies at later stages of pregnancy as well)and 3 young children. In some ways I can't fathom such loss, the loss of a lover and best friend, and in other ways I know I've experienced life-shattering loss and found that indeed, there is no victory for the grave and no sting in death. The only reason for that is Christ's resurrection! He is risen indeed!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Uncharted territory

Tomorrow marks 27 weeks and I had an OB visit today. She was SO excited to see me at this point. Uncharted territory is what she called it. It HAS been 4 years!

Things are going well. I do have a low-lying placenta, which isn't as dangerous as the placenta previa I had with Chase's pregnancy, but it still warrants watching. I'm measuring larger than normal too. As the doctor said, this girl's an over-achiever...I think someone told her that she was only rated a 3- or 2+ on a 5 point scale as an embryo and she's making up for lost growing time :-).

The really exciting news is that my appointments are now 2 weeks apart. I can't believe that we're to that point already! And in other ways it seems to have taken years to get here. I have my moments where I wonder if I'll remember how to change a diaper, latch on a baby, or care for the umbilical cord (thankfully there is no circumcision to deal with here). I'm sure it'll be natural again in no time--and God's timing may not be mine--but it's perfect.

Uncharted territory isn't always a bad thing.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The day my water broke...

One year ago today it was dawning on us that we'd be losing our little boy. My water broke on March 24 sometime between 8 and 9am. I'm so thankful that it is this year and we have so many blessings to count.

It's still dawning on me how rare it was to have my water break the way it did. When your high-risk OB who performs over 10,000 procedures a year remembers consulting on your case the year before, you know it's rare. As much as I've always wished my doctors would keep things straight and remember me from one visit to the next, this wasn't exactly what I had in mind.

I'm not sure how we'll spend the day on Thursday. I'm crying myself to sleep more at night and having dreams of my little boy--so the grief is there in the quiet hours, but I also have a lot of joy to focus on, knowing that our baby is now 25 weeks along, and each day gives her a greater chance of survival--but the best news is that I've been healthy, so there is really no reason for my water to break unexpectedly.

In a way she is a link to Chase. Conceived on the same day and frozen in time until God had shown the doctors exactly what was wrong with me, in a way Chase's death brought her life...and so God works everything for good. Romans 8:28. My baby boy toddles around the streets of heaven knowing no pain and my pain is eased when our daughter's soft kicks remind me that we have a new arrival to anticipate. One day we'll all be reunited again in a world that is much better off than this one.

Monday, February 23, 2009


It has been a long time since I've updated Chase's blog. Part of it is because I'm trying to just enjoy the pregnancy of my little girl and I just don't want grief to be a part of that. Part of it is a lack of time between pregnancy fatigue, trying to lay low any time I get a smidge of cramping, and my writing business (or hobby, if you look at my taxes)...

So far our little miracle is doing great. She is well photographed due to being high-risk, but the high-risk doctor feels that our situation was just a bizarre fluke and that it doesn't put me at any higher risk this pregnancy...Still, just to be on the safe side he is monitoring our little girl very closely. We've had ultrasounds every few weeks and had the joy of finding out that we're expecting a girl around 16 weeks--much earlier than the normal 20 week ultrasound--not good since I've been shopping since I found out. My regular OB is also being extremely cautious. She has already had me on 2 rounds of antibiotics at different points and will be putting me on antibiotics during delivery just to be safe.

It did turn out that my UTI and vaginal infection (which is what most likely caused my water to break) were from the exact same bacteria. I'm printing that here only so that any of you who are pregnant and suspect a UTI will take it VERY seriously.

We are now 20 weeks and 5 days pregnant. My OB told me that 24 weeks is the point of viability for a baby. Obviously we want this little one to make it to full term, and there's no reason to believe she won't, but if she does come after 24 weeks, the prognosis is not as grim as Chase's was. So we'll be breathing easier in a few weeks.

One thing that has been difficult was the lack of exercise. I'm allowed to exercise, but neither Mike nor I feel comfortable with me doing that. Especially since I have had some worrisome cramping in the past (14 weeks and again at 17 weeks). So I've been taking things extremely easy and I feel like a blimp. I know it'll be worth it when I meet her. It's just discouraging to think of how much weight I will need to lose to feel normal again. Maybe I'll change this to a weight loss/recovery blog after she's born :-)

It is so much fun to have something to look forward to, and though I'll always know that we'd have had 2 boys and a daughter if this weren't a world damaged by sin, I'm just so thankful to be able to laugh with true joy again...We aren't revealing her name, but one thing I love about it is that it means cheerful/happy and her middle name means sweet song...I feel as though we've been given a happy song to replace the dirge in our hearts. It is a good feeling and I'm just so thankful to God for His mercies, which are new every morning. I was in need of some mercy.