Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye 2010...hello future.

~Jeremiah 29:11~
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.




You may read what I'm about to say, and laugh. And that's okay. Because this is how I feel, regardless of how it sounds.



I'm 22... exactly a month away from being 23 years old. I haven't lived a "long" life, compared to some people. But I feel old. Ancient, actually.


The year 2010 has been a long, hard year for me (and Clif!). The first part of the year was spent in a daze of sorts. We both felt completely numb to everything around us. And then, as the year went on...the numbness started to wear, and the real pain began. That's where we're at now. Constant pain...constant grief.


I'm afraid that the year 2011 will be much the same. It may not be as intense as 2010... but I expect the dull ache to remain.


But I also have hope for this coming year. For our future. I believe that God has a plan for us... I can taste it! I know that He does not want to Harm us. He wants us to be happy. I truly believe that God will answer our hearts desire in 2011.


I ask that if you are reading these words, that you will say a prayer for us in this coming year. That God may give us our hearts desire, a second (and possible third?) blessing. A child.


I hope that each of you have a wonderful New Years Eve. Be safe - there are a lot of crazies out there...especially late at night.


As for Clif & me...we are headed to his aunts house to spend the evening. It'll be a night full of friends,family, food and fun. :) Good, clean...non alcoholic fun!! I really am looking forward to it. God bless you all... and may God bless you in 2011.
 







prayers...again.

Please say a prayer for a friend of ours, "A", that lost his mother yesterday. I don't really know any of the details, I just know that this family need prayer.

Thanks!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

14 days = eternity

It seems that with every passing moment I become more and more nervous. Nervous for January to get here...nervous to be disappointed once again. Nervous about it not being a disappointment. Nervous that we may have our prayers answered.


I'm torn on how to feel about this. I want to think that we'll receive the news that we've been waiting to hear. But then this little voice in the back of my head tells me that I'll never have it. Should I really be happy?? I mean...afterall, my daughter did die a year ago. Should be I be trying to have another baby?

As the fourteen day mark approaches... I feel like throwing up. Not literally...though I wish it was!! I don't want to test. I don't want to see another big fat "no". People keep asking me how I'm feeling...and I honestly don't feel much different than any other day. I did have some sharp pains in my left ovary yesterday... but that's par for the course with my body!

**sigh** If you think of it...please say a prayer for me. Pray that God will prepare my heart for what the days ahead may hold. That He will give us wisdom & discernment. And if you think of it, say a prayer for Clif too! I know that this has to be just as gut wrenching for him.

If this cycle doesn't work, I don't know what our game plan will be for the next month. I'm praying that it won't be the shots...because if it is... we won't be going that route until we can save up the money.




This is the prayer of my heart...



"Dear Lord, I come to You asking You to calm my heart and calm my nerves. Father I ask that if it be Your will, that this month may be "the month" for Clif and me. That you may bless us with a second (and maybe third?) bundle of joy. Lord I ask that you will give me wisdom and discernment in the upcoming days...and as we may be faced with some tough decisions....including having to stop "trying" for a while. I ask that if it comes to the shots, I just ask that You will provide the funds. Lord, you've been so good to us... and I know that You aren't stopping now! I believe with all of my heart that You have great plans for us in the future...and God, I believe that the future includes more biological children. I know that You hear my prayers, and though I may not always receive the answer that I want, I believe that you DO answer. Lord I thank You for the things that You have already done in my life, and thank You for the things You are going to do."

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

still breathing...

just extremely busy :) will write soon. Clif starts night shift back on Monday, so I'm sure I'll have a lot of free time!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas From The Smith's

Clif and I would like to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas! We hope and pray that you all have a blessed Holiday...filled with family,friends, and love.
We also pray that you all will remember the reason for celebrating today. It's not the gifts, it's not the lights... the trees, the food...or even the family. It's about the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ! Clif and I are so privileged to be born again Christians, and know that because God sent his Son into the world...that we have an eternal home.
Our wish for you this Christmas is, that if you don't know Jesus as your own personal Savior...that you may not wait another day. That you might ask Him to come into your heart and save you. There is no promise of tomorrow...don't wait until it's too late!!
Merry Christmas to you all. May God bless you on this very special day.

Friday, December 24, 2010

ready or not, here it comes...

Christmas that is.

I'm not sure how I feel about Christmas this year. It's a mix of emotions, to say the least. First of all, I do recognize that it's a celebration of our Saviour's birth, and that it's not about me. It's not about anyone, or anything.

I'm sad...yet, excited.

Sad, of course because of the emotions that still remain from loosing Lilly. Each day is hard for us, but the Holidays always bring a pain of their own. Excited, because of what may be. Or just excited because my body produced eggs and did what it's supposed to do!

I feel like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel...for the first time in a long time, I am experiencing excitement. There is hope. And dare I say, I'm happy.

Lillian Joy will be missed forever, and remembered too. Last year was tough, but this year is different. Pain still remains, but right beside it sits hope.

I pray that each and every one of you have a wonderful Christmas filled with family, love, joy & hope. And remember...JESUS is the reason for the season!! God bless.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

the inseminator :)

IUI =  intrauterine insemination = all together new experience. :)

I won't say that it was horrible...because I have been through worse. But it wasn't fun by any means. It was actually painful...which I didn't even think about it being. Mainly because of the clamps. :( It's actually pretty cool how they "wash" the semen, and just all around cool how they do it. There were two nurse practitioners that came in the exam room with Dr S this morning. He said that they wanted to observe. Oh goody. He started telling them about how they USED to inseminate women. SCARY! They actually used to insert a cup with a straw hanging from it. They'd insert the semen through the straw, and then LEAVE it there for like 8 hours. The women then had to take it out herself. I don't think so!

Anyway...Dr S said that the sample looked good, and that if I didn't have a period in the next 14 days that I could test then. So keep your fingers crossed for us, and say a few prayers!! I'm really praying that this IUI will do the trick this month. :)

Okay...now that I have all the "good" stuff out of the way - let me tell you all about the nurse practitioners that came in with Dr S. It was two women, which was fine. They were both between the age of 20-30 (if I had to guess). Well...in they walk, he introduces us, and then I see the first one...who was probably a good eight months pregnant. Really??? Wow. Of course I handled it fine...it was no big deal. But if you get someone who is not very stable in the grieving process, or someone who is having all around problems with fertility... they could have easily lost it, completely! I was in shock. As soon as they left the room, I looked and Clif... and didn't even have to say anything. When I tell you that this chick was pregnant....she was pregnant. So yeah, they really might want to think that through...geez.

But all that aside, it's done. :) I don't know if it'll work...but I pray that it does.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

don't assume.

"Every parent has done this..."

I love hate when I hear people say those words. Well, every parent has done this at some time or another. Umm actually, no...they haven't. We haven't.

I know that most people don't mean anything by the things they say. They don't mean for it to burn...at least I hope they don't! :) It's just hard to swallow sometimes when you hear someone so flippantly throwing words around. Being flippant about parenthood - like it's the same for everyone. Bleh, just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Clif and I are parents. We have been for over a year now. No, we don't have a child here on earth... but we still have a daughter! So no...every parent hasn't done "this" at some time or another. The only thing we did was carry Lilly for nine months, give birth, say goodbye and bury her. That's it.

Sorry...heard this and it just really rubbed me the wrong way :) I'm good now...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

counting eggs before they hatch

No pun intended. :)

But that's what I've been doing all day long...actually, ever since I took this last round of Clomid. From the beginning, Clif and I have had a really good feeling about this cycle.

It's been a long & stressful few days. I'll start off with tell you all about my adventure last night after work >.<
My parents are out of town - they actually went to the beach and are staying the same place that we stayed. Anyway...we still have snow at our house. And so do my parents. And unfortunately, Clif and I live on a hill, and my parents live at the top of a mountain. Needless to say, it's been slick.

Since my parents are out of town...I was elected to take care of their dog. Her name is Cinnamon. When I got off of work last night, I went to let Cinnamon outside & feed her. (I have my parents SUV, so I was in four wheel drive) I made it three quarters of the way up their mountain and got stuck. I knew I was going to have to back down the mountain. That's not the scary part. I started backing down...and of course I started sliding. I slid into a ditch (thankfully I was able to get out)...and almost over a creek bed. I was pretty shaken up. So I called my mom and told her that I would not be going to check on Cinnamon last night.

Then I went to our house...and tried our driveway. Apparently some of it had started to melt yesterday and then froze back over because I didn't get up our driveway either. And I had to back down it too. But it wasn't as bad...thank God! So I ended up driving to where Clif works and sitting in the parking lot until he got off. :) We tried getting up my parents mountain in Clif's truck...and didn't have any luck either, so we headed home. Thankfully we made it up our driveway.

Here comes the fun part. I had to park my parents SVU at a little church on the road we live on. And it's not really within walking distance...at least not when there is snow covering everything. Clif had to work this morning. He has to be at work at 5:45. So I had to get up at 5am to shower and get ready for the day, so that I could ride down our driveway with him. I arrived at Walmart around 5:30ish!! How crazy is that?? VERY!

Whew. Okay, so then I am driving to the doctors office and I realize...oh no! I forgot my Ovidrel shot! :( I didn't have time to turn around and go home...even if I had...I would have had to walk up the driveway. Geez.

I get to the office 15 minutes early, and they weren't even open yet. So I sat in the hallway until they did. I went in and checked in, and talked to "D", the nice lady who helped us with the insurance company the other day. She told me how excited she was for me that they had agreed to pay for five more visits. She also said that she got smart with the lady at Anthem, because of how they treated me when I called. :)

Yet another nurse came and called me back. She was older, and really sweet. I undressed and waited for Dr S to come in. He got the wand, she turned off the lights and ultrasound started. He was down "there" for literally 5 minutes (the longest of my life, I think)...not saying a word. He'd move the wand to the right, then the left...up, and down. He wouldn't even look at me. Just as "freak out" mode started he asked me if I had emptied my bladder before going back to his office. Uh no...I only had like two sips of sprite. So I had to wrap up in a sheet and head down the hall to the bathroom. He told me that he thought what he was seeing was my bladder, but there was a possibility that it was a very large cyst. Oh.My.Gosh.

I got back to the room, he came back in...and within seconds I was relieved! He said that it was,in fact, my bladder. Apparently he couldn't even see my right ovary because I my bladder was so full :) So...as the panic evaporated...a new feeling set in. Excitement. Why was I excited?? Because right after he told me that what he was seeing was my bladder, he started calling out follicle measurements to the nurse. I HAVE MATURED FOLLICLES!!! Actually, I have like five or six matured follicles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Can you tell I'm a little excited?

After he finished checking out the eggs, I got dressed and went in his office. He said that everything looks good... and that the follicles look very healthy, and they are of good size. He asked if I still had my Ovidrel shot, and I explained that I had left it at home. He said that it didn't matter, I will need to give myself the shot tonight...between 7&9. And then he asked if we would be trying to fertilize the little eggies the old fashioned way, or if we wanted the insemination. Before he could hardly get the question out of his mouth I was telling him that we would be back for the IUI. I go back on Thursday at 8:30. I am SO thrilled.

Now...of course I know that this is not (by any means) a done deal. I understand and accept that there is still a possibility that I will not get pregnant this month. BUT...you have to understand, to my knowledge (and the knowledge of many smart doctors)...these are the first eggs my ovaries have produced in almost two years. TWO YEARS!!! Oh my gosh. After they left the exam room, I couldn't keep the tears from coming to my eyes. We've waited SO long for this.

Even if I don't get pregnant this month I am thrilled that I at least produced not one, but 6 (?) eggs!!! SOOOOOOOO excited. :)

When Dr S was calling out the measurements, he called out one...and then was like, "not to be outdone by ___" So apparently he was pretty excited for me...excited that things look so good. I kept thanking him as I was leaving...I told him that this was the best news I had received in a while. :) He said that he knew, and that this day was a long time coming.

All the way to work all I could say was, "thank You Jesus!" I mean...over and over...thank You, Lord. My prayers were answered.

Now we wait. I think that will probably be the hardest thing about it all. And another thing is... that if I do get pregnant this month... we probably will not share it with anyone (except family) for a while...just to make sure everything goes okay. :)

Thanks to every single person who uttered a prayer for us. :) Please keep them up as Thursday approaches, and the weeks to follow. God bless!

Monday, December 20, 2010

still.

Just thought that I'd share these lyrics. A new friend (you know who you are) emailed these to me earlier today...and I absolutely LOVE it. It's weird how someone else's words can echo things felt in my heart. Hope you enjoy, Still by Gerrit Hofsink.

I've been waiting for you
For such a long time
You're always on my mind

And I'm lying awake
Most of the night
Waiting to hold you tight

Now that I do
And look at you
My heart is breaking
This can't be true

Lost you before I found you
Gone before you came
But I love you just the same
Missed you before I met you
On earth we never can
But in heaven we'll meet again

Close to my soul
Close to my heart
Right from the start


Lost in time, lost in space
Can't wait to see your face


Now that I do
And look at you
My heart is breaking
I know it's true


Sometimes I find myself wondering what to do
With this pain that I'm going through
But I know one day, God will take me away
And I'm coming home to you


And when I do
And look at you
My heart is healing
I know it's true



mid cycle nerves

I'm nervous about tomorrow.

I go to see Dr S at 8:00 in the morning. This will be the true test I guess...we'll be looking to see if we have any matured eggs.

I feel like I am constantly praying...praying that this cycle would be the one, and if not... that I would at least have matured eggs. That I would have at least ovulated this month. I've been praying, Clif's been praying, you have been praying, others have been praying, Clif and I have been praying together...let's just say that we're covered in the prayer department. :)

We are trying hard not to get our hopes up, but both of us have had a really good feeling about this cycle. We've actually had a "good" feeling since I had my surgery back in November. We're just praying...

Jesus vs. Santa

Santa lives at the North Pole ...

JESUS is everywhere.


Santa rides in a sleigh ...

JESUS rides on the wind and walks on the water.


Santa comes but once a year ...

JESUS is an ever present help.


Santa fills your stockings with goodies ...

JESUS supplies all your needs.


Santa comes down your chimney uninvited ...

JESUS stands at your door and knocks,

and then enters your heart when invited.


You have to wait in line to see Santa ...

JESUS is as close as the mention of His name.


Santa lets you sit on his lap ...

JESUS lets you rest in His arms.


Santa doesn't know your name, all he can say is

"Hi little boy or girl, what's your name?" ...

JESUS knew our name before we were born...

Not only does He know our name,

He knows our address too.

He knows our history and future and

He even knows how many hairs are on our heads.


Santa has a belly like a bowl full of jelly ...

JESUS has a heart full of love.


All Santa can offer is HO HO HO ...

JESUS offers health, help and hope.


Santa says "You better not cry" ...

JESUS says "Cast all your cares on me for I care for you."


Santa's little helpers make toys ...

JESUS makes new life, mends wounded hearts,

repairs broken homes and builds mansions.


Santa may make you chuckle but ...

JESUS gives you joy that is your strength.




While Santa puts gifts under your tree ...

JESUS became our gift and died on a tree....

The cross.



Saturday, December 18, 2010

{answered prayers}

Wow. That's all I can say. Remember in my last post how I said that I've fallen asleep praying the last several nights? Praying about becoming pregnant again...praying about paid appointments with Dr S for the future. Well...we have an answer to one so far!

Yesterday we were finally able to get in touch with my doctors office. We've had been trying to call for the last several days with no luck. One day they were randomly closed, and then the next they were closed due to the weather. Anyway...Clif and I both called - and finally Clif got through to someone. The receptionist told him that she would personally give the message to my nurse.

Within an hour the nurse called back and said that they had called the insurance company, and that they had agreed to five more appointments. {insert very large grin here} AND not only that... but they said that all we would have to do in the future is call and ask for more appointments. I'm guessing because I have PCOS, aka a valid reason to see a specialist, that they will continue to pay for it. I mean... in the long run, I'm saving them money! If I had to stop seeing him, I would more than likely have to have another surgery...and think about how much money that costs!!

So that's my little answer to prayer for this week. Thanks to each and every one of you that said a prayer concerning the doctors appointment with Dr S, and thanks in advance for all the prayers being sent up concerning conception.

Much Love!

Friday, December 17, 2010

am I ready for this?

A little late to be asking this question, huh?

But really...am I ready for this? Am I ready for the emotional roller coaster of this month. Am I ready to take more disappointment? And if I'm not faced with disappointment this month...if my prayers are answered this month...am I ready to handle the stress? The worry? Every day life?

Am I ready to be pregnant again? Is my body ready for it?

I am a firm believer when it comes to, "the Lord won't give you more than you can handle..." I want to believe that another baby wouldn't be taken from us, but...am I strong enough to make it through another tragedy? Could I go on with life if I lost another baby?

There is so much to think about...a lot to pray about.

I've prayed myself to sleep for the last few nights...prayed that the Lord would bless us {with a child} this month. That He would prepare our hearts for what we may {or may not} receive. That He will hold me close, just like He always does. I have prayed that if I do become pregnant this month {or any other month for that matter} that He will give me the strength to carry another baby...that He will calm my nerves...and my heart.

I'm wishy washy this month. In one sense...I can see myself being pregnant {again} this time next month. But then on the other hand - I don't see me ever being pregnant again.

I want this. We want this. Bad. Maybe too bad? I don't know...but we both ache for it.

While reading a fellow bloggers post this morning, it made me think of something. Some people reading my blog may think that another baby will solve my problems. But it won't...and I know that. I know that having another baby {whether biological, or by adoption} will be a long, emotional road.  No one...nothing...will ever replace my baby girl.

I think I am ready for that. I hope I am, at least.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

a dear friend.

This person may not even know how special he really is to me. I don't even really know him all that well. But the things that I do know about him are all good :) He is a good man.
We will call him "R". He actually used to be Clif's boss at a part time job. He's only a few years older than us.
"R" is a caring,generous, and all around sweet guy. One day he will make someone very happy.
The reason I am even bringing him up is because of something I thought of today. I was in the kitchen,making my fudge (that turned out very yummy, by the way!)...and I was thinking about all the people that reached out to us during the first few weeks following Lilly's death. All the calls, visits, cards...gifts...it was overwhelming.
November 13th,2009 was a long day...and by the end of that day I was spent...in every single sense of the word. But I wanted to show the world my baby, and let everyone know what happened. So Clif and I (together) logged onto facebook... not knowing what we may find when signing in.
The very first person to contact me (other than calls & visits) was "R". When I read his kind,heartfelt message I bawled like a baby. Seriously sobbed. He told me how much he was praying for us, and how loved we were by so many people. He closed with "dearly love you both".
I don't know why that stuck with me over time... but it has. Someone who had been in our lives for such a short time...a friend that truly cared.
I don't know if I've ever shared this before... but it crossed my mind. :) I am so very grateful for kind people like "R".

CrAzY iN lOvE

:)

I've been off of work for the last few days - and so was Clif. So we got to spend some much needed time together! I really really enjoyed it, especially right in the middle of a two week night shift schedule.

Monday I let him sleep in (since he was coming off of a 12 hour shift), he got up around 2:30. I spent the morning finishing up his Christmas shopping and then went to my moms house to wrap it all :) When he woke up there were three giant packages in the living room. He hasn't a CLUE as to what they are. Makes me happy. I love surprising him.

That evening was spent making Christmas candy, talking, eating home made Chicken & Dumplings, watching movies and eating popcorn. I had a blast.

Oh, and we can't forget about the wrestling! No no, not like that...get your mind out of the gutter. :) Like literally wrestling. It's so much fun. Clif had to go through an academy of sorts, so we knows a lot of "moves"... but I have busted out a few moves of my own. :) All made up by me.


Yesterday we slept in, ate some pizza...lounged around, and then headed to the mall. We walked around for an hour or so, bought him a game for his Playstation, and then we were on our way to the Daniels house for dinner :) Aleisha cooked for us - beef stirfry, rice, and apple crumb pie with icecream. YUM!

Clif had a blast playing with "T", our goddaughter. She is VERT mobile now...always running around getting into something. She is a doll :) Love her!

So the last few days have been eventful...and fun packed. :)

On a more serious note - please be praying, Clif is going to be calling my doctors office today to find out if they will call the insurance company to see if I can get more appointments. I'm really worried about this... worried that they wont give me any more appointments.

I have such high hopes for this months cycle...and I'm terrified that I'm going to be disappointed once again. I am trying to TRUST the Lord...that what happens is his will. I just...want this so bad. I can almost "taste" it.
I can see myself being pregnant again...and I haven't been able to "see" that in a while. A long while. I keep thinking of all the things that I wish I had done differently during my pregnancy with Lilly. And I know that I'm going to have SO much more stuff with my next, if the Lord sees fit to bless us again.

*sigh* I hate ending this post on such a sad note... but it's just how I'm feeling lately. When Clif is working nights, I have a lot of time to think...and that normally gets me in trouble. At least with myself.

I keep praying and praying...and hoping and then praying some more. I never thought in a million years that I would be struggling with infertility, and that I wouldn't be able to get pregnant. It breaks my heart... especially when I think of all the women who are going through the same things that I am. I hate this feeling. I hate the feeling of longing,hoping,waiting,praying...I know that it's all part of it... but it just...hurts.

I see friends with their children, and can't help but think about the way things could have been. I think back to how happy and carefree I was while pregnant with Lilly Bean. I remember the showers...and gifts, and how excited I was to bring home my little "Joy".

Crazy in love...but completely heartbroken.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

thinking.

I've been thinking about Angie Smith's book... "I Will Carry You" a lot recently.

A lot.

I think that I am going to read it again...even though I sobbed through the entire book the first time. There are so many comforting words, comforting scripture... and also comforting, hope.

The Smith's story, like many others, is absolutely heart breaking. But even after everything they have been through - watching them grow from it all, and seeing them love God that much more... is amazing.

I can only hope that one day that I can touch the hearts of others the way that Angie and her husband have. The way that Audrey touched lives...and the way that Lilly touched lives.

Yeah, I'm going to re-read it. :) I'll let you all know my thoughts when I finish it (again). If you have never read this book, I highly recommend reading it!

Monday, December 13, 2010

sweet tooth.

:) Christmas is just around the corner and I have been BUSY! But I am enjoying it!!
I took off from work today and tomorrow :) Clif is off both of these days too, so that makes it nice.
This morning I started out around eight and headed to run some errands... and to do some Christmas shopping!!! I finally got Clif's "big" gift...home and wrapped! Whew. I am pretty sure he knows what it is...BUT...I hope that I have him somewhat stumped.
Last night and today were spent making Christmas goodies. Mostly candy, but a few cheese straws too. Okay, not a few...more like two batches! As far as candy goes I have made fudge with walnuts, milk chocolate dipped ritz bitz peanut butter crackers,white chocolate dipped ritz bitz peanut butter crackers, peppermint bark, milk & white chocolate dipped potato chips, oh and we can't forget the half milk-half white chocolate dipped pretzels.
Anyway...I'll be missing in action these next few days. Being off from work, and then I am training a new hire Wednesday - Friday :) Then the weekend!!
:( Except that I have to work on Saturday. Oh well.
And as always...please pray with us concerning our current cycle :) God bless!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

...taking a deep breath.

I need prayer. :) Don't I always? But I need extra prayers - especially these next few weeks.
I've been excited about Christmas this year. Not about the gifts...or anything in particular really, just...excited. It's that time of year, ya know? To reflect on the giver of our salvation. I fail miserably at remembering that He is the Reason for the Season...and that nothing else matters. Material things won't last...but He will.
But today...today has been tough. And to be completely honest, I don't really know why. I'm just...so...for lack of a better word, sad. In fact, I'm just right down heartbroken.
I don't know what came over me - don't know why I got in this funk... but I did. I feel like I'm back in December of 2009. A time when I seemed "okay" on the outside, but was trying to pick up the million shattered pieces on the inside. The pain and emotion comes rushing back, reminding me of how much that time in our life hurt. It hurt all over...and it still does.
Here we are, a year later. Our second Christmas without our daughter. You all know as well as any that I always talk about my little girl. She was my world. And as guilty as I feel typing these words, I sometimes think that I get in the habit of talking about her. About my daughter who never lived outside my womb, a daughter that died the day she was supposed to breathe her first breath of life. And in talking about her, I forget the details of her. I forget that she was so tiny...just as small as a doll. How that she had a head full of brown hair... that smelled so good. I forget how soft her skin was... and how it felt to hold her limp body in my arms. I find myself struggling to remember witnessing my hopes and dreams for this little miracle, flushed down the toilet. I remember feeling absolutely helpless.
Anyway... I'm rambling and not really making any sense. I've been feeling kind of out of it for the last few days - but tonight, being home alone (Clif working night shift), I guess I just have too much time alone. And I start thinking...and dreaming, and...remembering. I pulled out a DVD that I made for Clif for Christmas last year. It's a slide show type thing. It starts with a picture the positive pregnancy test that started it all. It goes through all my belly shots, ultrasound pictures, pictures of her room...and then it switches to the morning of induction. Pictures in the waiting room at the hospital, pictures just minutes before we found out that she was gone. And then (of course) there are pictures of my precious Lilly Bean :) And watching that, it made me realize that sometimes it may seem that I'm just telling a story when I talk about her. But she was a real person. She existed. I might not have documentation like most parents do when their child is born (birth certificate), but she lived none the less.
My grief goes deep...even after all this time. It's so hard to move on...to be happy, at least for everyone else.
I do okay most times... but then there are days like today when it really just slaps me in the  face all over again.
When I get in these moods, I like to look through her things... to remember her. To keep the memories fresh so that I never forget her. Which brings me to something else...her room. Here we are, a year+ later, and I have yet to pack it up. I've yet to paint over the green walls...I've yet to move on. And I really don't know if I ever will. But you know what? I think that's okay. I deal pretty well most of the time. And I think that I'm entitled to my "off" day, just like anyone else.
I guess that's what you can call it...my off day. Whatever it is...I hope it's gone tomorrow. Though, I must admit that I always end up feeling a lot better once I get a good cry out.
Please pray for Clif & me during this holiday season. And please know, that if you are a member of the Babyloss Community - you and your families are in my prayers. I know that this is a tough time of year...
Along the line of prayer, please continue to pray for us during this new cycle. Pray that this may be the month that we have been waiting (a year) on. :) Thanks!

God Bless!

blessings in pill form :)

I can't let this go without sharing it with you all :) It was a total and complete GOD thing. There is no other explanation...only Him.

This past Friday, as most of you know, I went to the doctor. Dr S that is, he is my RE & Infertility Specialist. I received good news...along with a mighty hefty dose of Clomid to be filled.
I dropped my prescription off at the pharmacy on my lunch break, and then had to go back after work to pick it up. When I dropped it off, I asked the Pharmacist if they had it in stock - and if she could tell me how much it would cost. I explained that I knew it would be a pretty penny - and that my insurance doesn't pay anything towards it. She then told me that it was in stock, and for the thirty five pills that I need - it was going to be $90.88. Those meds only lasting seven days. I was okay with this, and prepared to spend a hundred dollars on the meds.
That afternoon when I returned to pick up the pills, there was different pharmacist working. She was busy when I first walked in, and she told me that she would be right with me. Next thing I know - me & the lady, J, and practically best friends (though she doesn't know it yet!). I gave her my name, and when she took a look at the bag, she was like..."Hun, you know that your insurance doesn't cover this, right?". I told her that I knew, and that I was also prepared to pay for it. Then she asked me, "has anyone ever told you about the Walgreens Prescription Savers Card?" Uh...NO!
The savers card costs twenty dollars a year. I don't even really understand what it is... but the way I grasp it is, that it's almost like a second form of insurance?
I don't know. But she explained to me that if I were to be prescribed something that is not covered by my insurance that I can use this card in the future to purchase medications not covered by Anthem. So the membership cost me twenty dollars. Anyone want to take a stab at how much the prescription cost me??

Ready???


TWENTY EIGHT DOLLARS! :) So, I got a year membership with the savers card...AND thirty five Clomids, and it only cost me forty eight dollars.
Needless to say, that totally made my night...

Friday, December 10, 2010

There is a time...

There’s a time to live
And a time to die
There’s a time to laugh
And a time to cry
There’s a time for war
And a time for peace
There’s a hand to hold
In the worst of these

He is with you when your faith is dead
And you can’t even get out of bed
Or your husband doesn’t kiss you anymore
He is with you when your baby’s gone
And your house is still,
And your heart’s a stone
Cryin’ God, what’d You do that for
He is with you



When thinking back on this morning, and my appointment with Dr S... I can't help but sing these words in my head. I know that there is a time for joy...and I am anxiously awaiting that time. :)
It's probably obvious by the positive note of this post that my appointment went well this morning. Or at least I'm pretty sure that it did. While showering and getting ready this morning, I was really dreading it. I went by myself...which is never any fun. And let me just say that a Reproductive endocrinologist's office probably shouldn't be in the same office (and have a shared waiting room!) with about twelve OBGYN's. Seriously not cool. And to you ladies who feel the need to bring your young children with you to the office to see your OBGYN...while waiting to get your Depo shot (or whatever the heck that thing is), ummm you probably should leave them at home. Did you not see the INFERTILITY sign on the door. You might as well prepare yourself for at least one mental breakdown of an infertile while there. I mean, it's like the people with their children are dancing around singing "lalala hahaha we have kids and we are here to prevent having any more!" Geez.

Okay...I'm done now. :)

Anyway... I went in for my baseline ultrasound which I was not looking forward to. Let's just say that I'm on day three of my cycle...and being fondled during "this time" is not one of my favorite pass times. Dr S came in, and asked me what our game plan was again. *Great* I can't really give him a hard time, because he's the only RE around (that I know of). So I told him that we had planned to do the ultrasound, see if there were any large cysts, then we were giving Clomid one more shot. We were in "there" all of 45 seconds when Dr S announced, no cysts...everything looks good! Can you imagine the huge smile that appeared on my face as he left the room so I could dress?
We discussed the Clomid, and when he wanted to see me again. He also asked if I still had the Ovidrel (which I do). As for the Clomid, he told me again that the approved dose is 150mg daily, for five days. Her prescribed me 250mg daily, for seven days. This guy really wants to get me knocked up (and I'm right there with him!). I go back on December 21st for another ultrasound to see if I have any little eggies matured/or maturing. I guess after that *if* there are eggs, we'll get the Ovidrel shot to release the eggs and induce ovulation, and then a possible IUI? Not really sure where we go from there. I'm really praying (praying, praying and praying som more!) that this will be the month for us. That all of this money will be worth it (which it is either way), and that we may be blessed with a Christmas present to remember.
I don't want to get my hopes up...but it's so hard not to. I mean - especially when I receive a good report from the Doctor. *sigh* I'm nervous. Really nervous. I want this so incredibly bad - I'm afraid that I'm going to jinx myself. But above all of that - I am excited. Really excited. :) And not just excited about potentially having a baby... but excited about what God is going to do in our lives. :) So excited about it all.
Please pray for Clif and me as we start this new month. Pray that He would give us the desire of our hearts, and that he would prepare those hearts for whatever answer He may give us.
While driving to the doctors office (alone) this morning, I played this song (on repeat) during my drive. It's sung by Tenth Avenue North, and it's called "Lift Us Up to Fall".

The first verse it the part that always hits home with me...



You move the earth
You hold the stars
Come move in us
Come hold our hearts
You send the rain
And life begins
So rain on us and reign within our lives again


We're waiting here
Waiting for you God
With our hopes and fears
We come empty hands held out
Lord draw us near
Heal these broken hearts
And lift us up to fall before everything you are

You lift the sun into the sky
You lift us up
Open our eyes
To see your face
And what you've done
You took the nails to give us love
And we stand in awe before your throne
There's no where else that we can go


We're waiting here
Waiting for you God
With our hopes and fears
We come empty hands held out
Lord draw us near
Heal these broken hearts
And lift us up to fall before everything you are

Come O Come Emmanuel
Come Lord Here to dwell
Let all your children lift one voice

We're waiting here
Waiting for you God
With our hopes and fears
We come empty hands held out
Lord draw us near
Heal these broken hearts
And lift us up to fall before everything you are


We're waiting here
Waiting for you God
With our hopes and fears
We come empty hands held out
Lord draw us near
Heal these broken hearts
And lift us up to fall before everything you are

Thursday, December 9, 2010

the true meaning of CHRISTmas.

I've been thinking a lot about Christmas. About the true meaning of Christmas. Nowadays, people get so wrapped up in the hustle & bustle of everything going on around them - and they just don't stop to really think about the reason that celebrate Christmas.
I have caught myself getting wrapped up in gift buying, and stressing, wondering if I will have enough money to buy everyone what I want to get them. I think the thing that I've caught myself doing the most is stressing. And I hate that.
I keep having to remind myself that Christmas is not about those things. Christmas isn't about shopping or buying the perfect gift. It's not about Christmas parties, or candies. It's a celebration of His birth :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Oh what fun it is to...be poked and prodded?


So...AF has arrived. Kinda. And as always, it was medicine induced. My last cycle (pre surgery) was weird, and this one is too. I think it's because when I used to see Dr G, he would have me take the Provera for ten days. Because there was lack of time before my surgery, Dr S had me take five days worth. That's what I did this time too. Has anyone else heard taken Provera (progesterone) for just five days? Anyways, it's got my cycles all screwed up and weird - but on the bright side of things, the side effects are so much less severe. :)
I called the doctors office to talk to "K", Dr S's nurse. And when they transferred me to her voicemail (I asked for Dr S's nurse), it wasn't her. :( It's still a "K"...but it's not the original "K". And when I talked to the new nurse, she said that "K" wasn't there, and that she didn't have access to the appointment calendar yet... and then transferred me to the front desk. Hm. I really don't want to have to go through meeting another nurse, telling her my story, and for her to deal with my screwed up body. Geez. I'm really hoping that she meant that "K" is on vacation, or leave or something...and not gone for good. She was young, and had experienced loss as well. She "got" me. Of course, I guess if you are going to be Dr S's nurse...that you kinda have to be nice to women like me. It's your job to deal with all the infertiles of the world. Okay, maybe not of the world... but at least a good number of women within the area.
That all said, I have an appointment at 8:15 on Friday for my baseline ultrasound. Apparently they have never called it that before, because after I hung up I was confused. :) So what did I do? Ask Dr Google of course! This is what I found...

Baseline Ultrasound•An ultrasound examination conducted at the outset of therapy in order to determine the general position and condition of the ovaries.

Apparently...I've been having these for almost three years now. And oh what FUN they are (not)! Oh well, at this point, I feel that everyone has seen "it"... and it doesn't even phase me anymore. Unless the doctor, plus several interns happen to see my peanut butter & jelly undies. :)
After my appointment, as long as there are no large cysts, I will be starting round 6 of Clomid sometime in the next few days. Whew...
Please begin praying with Clif and me, that if it be His will... that this month might be the month. :) What an awesome early birthday present that would be!
God bless!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

who would have thought...

forever could be severed by...

                         the sharp knife...

                                             of a short life....



So out of the blue these lyrics popped into my head. It's a song that I've shared here before. It's called "If I die Young" by The Band Perry.
The first words that really caught me were...

"Lord make me a rainbow, I'll shine down on my mother
She'll know I'm safe with you when she stands under my colors, oh and
Life aint always what you think it ought to be, no
Aint even gray but she buries her baby..."

Rain and rainbows have really been big for me since losing Lilly. Rain symbolizing the "storms" that we have endured during our life, mostly this past year. And rainbows symbolizing things that have yet to come.

Anyway...back to my main reason for writing this post. The words, who would have thought forever could be severed by the sharp knife of a short life. Talk about hitting home.

I haven't been in her room for a while... it seems that it gets harder and harder every time I think about it. But tonight I opened her door, turned on her light, and quietly hummed/sang those words to her.

I can't help but think about what those words mean to me. I mean, seriously... who would have thought? I never tought that my future would include grieving daily for my baby girl. I never would have dreamed that her life would be cut short. That she'd never breath a breath this side of Heaven. Would would have thought?

Hmmm...I've got a lot of thoughts rolling around in my head :) Should keep me busy for a while. Oh, how I hate night shift...gives me way too much time to myself! :) Night all!

KY Products :a little T.M.I perhaps?

Okay I'll make this short and sweet :) But as soon as I was told this (by a very reliable source - someone who has been in my/our shoes) I knew that I had to share with you guys!
If you are currently on the road of TTC (trying to conceive), please listen up! I would highly suggest that if you are using "KY" products (there are a ton!) that you stop.
I was told that it can cause a mans sperm count to bottom out. Reason being, with habitual use - it can clog up the "plumbing" so to speak (oh my gosh I cannot believe I just typed that!). But apparently the clogging causes the sperm to be non existent.
Anyways...that's all I'm going to say about that. But I wanted all of you to know...just in case! So sorry for all the unwanted information!

Monday, December 6, 2010

wow :)

So I was just looking at my "dashboard" and realized... hey! I have 87 lovely followers (I remember when I was excited about 15!). How awesome is that?? Eighty seven of you who (at some point) have taken time to read about me, and my daughter... and subscribe to my blog.

You guys are awesome!

Friday, December 3, 2010

a Merry Christmas afterall...

So....Clif just talked to my doctors office. Dr S that is. The RE. ANYWAYS...so the receptionist said that my pre & post op appointments were covered under my surgery (which we already knew), and did not count towards my five covered visits. Therefore I have one paid appointment left **enter huge smile here**
So that relieves some stress for next week anyways! She also told Clif that they can always call Anthem and request more visits.
I cannot begin to tell you how much better I feel after hearing that! So maybe it won't be too complicated to get extra visits after all!
This really puts me back into the Christmas spirit! On with buying Christmas gifts, decorating, and spending time with family. I can let my mind rest...knowing that at least for now, everything is "ok".
Thanks to all who said a prayer for me! Please continue!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

It's Only Temporary.

2 Corinthians 4:17-18
For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.






No matter what title your affliction has, it is preparing you to be stronger in the fight against it. Since we are unable to see God's revelation beforehand, we must not give up too early. Until then, know that today's afflictions are only temporary and will not always be with you. Today, don't stay focused on your issue, but know that only God can provide an immeasurable amount of favor to get you through.

**Borrowed from Rev.O**

you're a mean one...Mr. Grinch.

So right after I went back to work this past January, I had one of my customers say, "Honey, aren't you due yet??" I had to tell him (through tears) that I had already delivered, and that Lilly had quietly passed away in my womb just a few hours before I was to be induced. Heartbreaking.

This same customer came in yesterday and while talking about the holidays, he asked, "do you have any children?" Really? Wow. I told him no. And then I felt guilty. But I just didn't want to go through all the explaining AND the questions that everyone always asks. Oh, what happened? I don't know. How far along were you? I was four days PAST my due date. BLAH blah freaking blah. Then on top of the "kid question", he was like...well, how long have you been married? Going on four years. Well...he didn't leave it at that. He went on to tell me that I'd been married for almost four years...it was probably about time to start having kids.

Wow. All I could do is smile and say that we were thinking about it. How do you tell a (practically) complete stranger. Well, my only child died a year ago...and my husband and I HAVE been trying to get pregnant (again) for a year now with no luck. That since last November we have struggled with heartache AND fertility.

Geez. I know that these "old" people (no offense to anyone) mean well... but my gosh... a heart can only take so much before it completely shatters into a million pieces.

And you know what's sad?? It's not even Christmas yet...and I'm already dreading May/Mothers day. I wish that I could just skip every holiday known to man. I hate being asked painful questions...can't they just all go away?

And as for December... I'm pretty sure that it can just go away too. Life would be so much easier, and less painful. And then on the other hand I feel so guilty for thinking these things. It's Christmas... the time of year that we celebrate the birth of our Savior. How could I want to SKIP that? *sigh* I don't... I think it's because what the world has made Christmas into. About the family...the gifts...all the hoopla. It's making me resemble the Grinch more and more every day. :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

bah humbug.

Stressed doesn't even begin to cover what I'm feeling right now - and honestly, I don't really know why I feel like this in the first place. Well... I guess there are a few things that are beginning to stress/worry me.
Like, I started taking round seven of Provera today. Which means within a week or so I will have to go to the doctor. Which makes me worry...will this visit be paid for?? Remember back with Anthem said that they would pay for five visits (or thru October 31st) with Dr S? Well I only had four actual visits, and then of course I had my pre & post op appointments (which were covered under my surgery). So that means that I have one left, right?? Oh I sure hope so...
Then there is the whole stress of buying Christmas gifts...making sure you get something that everyone will like, and not run out of money while you're doing it.
And then there is the worry in the pit of my stomach that I've been fighting these past days...will I ever get pregnant again? What if we can't have kids of our own? Will we be able to afford adoption? Will we find an adoption agency find us "fit" enough to adopt a child? There is SO much on my mind these days... I'm really surprised my head doesn't explode. :)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I walk the line...

I'm actually quite familiar with this "line", as I see it about once or twice a month. I'd love a change of scenery...but once again I walk the much hated road of negatives.
Somewhere deep down inside, I feel that God will grant us our desires. That one day I'll walk out of the bathroom (just like I did almost two years ago) with a little white stick bearing a pink plus sign. But on the surface...when facing month after month of heartbreak, I can't help but be overwhelmed by a feeling. A feeling that tells me that I'll never experience that joy and excitement again.
I hate this roller coaster of emotions. I know it's not good for me. But what do you do? I don't want to become numb to it all...I know that's not good for me either. So where's the "happy" (
Funny thing is...I was *almost* positive that the test was going to be negative. But there is always that little bit of hope tucked away in the corner of my heart. The same corner that longs to be a mother to a living baby.
*sigh* I have a feeling that it's going to be a long day...

Monday, November 29, 2010

...the cycle continues.

Well...tomorrow is the day. Cycle day #35 - and time to test. I keep praying that if I'm not pregnant (which I am fairly certain I am not) that my period will start today or tomorrow. Just having my body do what it's supposed to do for once would be a glimpse of hope for me.
If it doesn't start today or tomorrow, and my test comes back negative - I will start round #7 of Provera. That's a little depressing. Seven rounds of medication, and still no baby. I am trying to remain positive... it's just SO hard when things are constantly thrown at me.
So that's my prayer today...that if I am NOT pregnant, my period will start within the next few days. That's what happened when I got pregnant with Lilly. I took two rounds of Provera, and before I could take the third, everything started on it's own. That's when I got pregnant. I was really praying that's what would happen this time.
If thought of, please say a prayer for us as we prepare to face medications again. And potential heart break. It's a vicious cycle, and I can only pray that one day in the near future that the cycle will be broken and that our prayers will be answered.

Much Love!

baby, it's cold outside!

Thanksgiving was hard...but not much different from any other day of our lives. It was rough seeing family members with their children, and knowing that everyone was remembering that we didn't have ours with us.
But I must say, it was so nice being surrounded by people who love and care about us on Thursday, and Friday...and Saturday for that matter.
All in all, our Thanksgiving weekend was good. A few bumps along that way (as always), but nice none the less.
Wednesday night was a blessing :) We attended a "Thanksgiving" dinner at church. Very nontraditional as we had Chili & Cornbread. But it was a nice switch up considering all the turkey that we consumed! We ate, had a time of sharing, and just spent time together with a very small group of tight knit church members. It was great. After church we headed home and JB (cousin) and I dove right into deviled egg making. We made eighty four deviled eggs. Is that not absolutely ridiculous?? :) It was fun though - we gave Clif such a hard time about staying out of the kitchen, because it was our "bonding time". I took a million pictures of the egg making process, I'll have to post them sometime!
Thursday morning started off with Clif and me making a mad dash to Food Lion to buy frozen broccoli. Apparently I didn't read the recipe thoroughly because I had planned on making a broccoli cheese casserole for both families get together's. :) Each batch needed TWO bags of broccoli. Oops. They turned out really well, so that was nice! The rest of Thursday consisted of going from my parents house to his aunt & uncle's house. We had a blast.
Then came looking at the sales papers :) I will admit up front that we are nuts. My mother in law and I saw that in Walmart sales started at midnight. And there were several things that we wanted to get. SO us being the smarties that we are (ha!) decided hey! Since we are going out at Midnight, we might as well just stay out all night. Ya see, there were 5am items that both of us wanted to get. I stood in line for 5 hours to get my laptop (from Clif...and I'm not allowed to have it until Christmas), and my mom, friend (practically sister in law), and mother stood in line for 5 hours for GPS. CRAZY, I know.
So needless to say we stayed out shopping for over 12 hours. We started at 10:45 and finished up around 1:30. I was home by two, but didn't want to go to sleep (for fear of not being able to sleep that night). Needless to say, I was up for 38 hours straight. By 8:30 I was delirious. :)
Saturday I got much needed sleep - sleeping in until ten. Then my niece called and said that they were near by, and wanted to come by and see me (haven't seen them since June). So they came over, and we all loaded up into their new truck and went to meet our parents for lunch. Mom took me home afterwards, and I took her inside the house to show her my Christmas decorations. My MIL called saying that they went to get her tree out of storage and it was gone! :) So I had one from last year (bought a new one this year), mom and I loaded it up and took it to her.
Saturday afternoon my friend (again, should be sister in law) came over to my house and hung out until Clif got off of work.Then he and I headed to the Christmas dinner for my work/branch.
Yesterday was spent at the mall :) Where I spent an additional *almost* hundred dollars. Craziness. Good thing though, I'm almost done with my shopping!
Whew. It was so nice to stay busy this weekend. :) So very thankful. So...how was your Thanksgiving??
 Aside from all that...it is FREEZING outside. Brrr!! And since it's SO cold... I just HAD to buy myself a new coat yesterday! :)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Lord has done great things for us...

I'm sure a lot of people think that I'm not thankful for anything. Everything that I've been through, how can I be thankful for anything. Right?

Wrong.

So...in honor of the upcoming holiday, here is a little list of things that I am thankful for.


  • I am thankful for my salvation - and my personal relationship with my Savior. If it wasn't for that, I honestly don't think that I would be sitting here typing today.
  • I am thankful for my parents who raised me to do right. For the love that they showed me over the years, and continue to do on a daily basis.
  • I am thankful for my brothers, and their families that came along a few years later. Though we may not see one another often, I am still thankful that the Lord gave me family.
  • I am thankful for my husband of 3 wonderful years. It's been bumpy at times, but I wouldn't be me without him.
  • I am thankful for the *almost* ten months that God allowed me to spend with my baby girl. My little Joy. I am thankful for her as well, and for the way she has changed my life...and the lives of many others.
  • I am thankful for my family members. Immediate,distant, and the ones that I gained when marrying Clif. :) I love them all so much!
  • I am thankful for the job that God allowed me to find. And for the people that I work with.
  • I am thankful for my health, and my husbands.
  • I am thankful for my friends. The old ones and the new ones too! You all have been such a blessing!
  • I am thankful that I stumbled upon the blogger & BLM community. All of you have been a tremendous help & comfort to my heart during this last year. :) Even though I have never met you all, I love each and every one of you!
  • I am thankful for my church family...who has supported me all my life. :) I will forever be grateful to each and every one of you.
  • If you are reading this, in some way or another you have touched my life...and I am thankful for YOU.


I hope and pray that each and everyone of you has a blessed Thanksgiving holiday with all those that you love and care for most. :) Eat lots of turkey! And to those of you who are venturing out on Friday (aka-nuts like me!) good luck!!! God bless you all.

xoxox

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

pins and needles??

So there is something "new" that I am toying with. Not sure if I'll go through with it. But I have the information at my fingertips (thanks for thinking about me Jamie!).

Acupuncture.

Has anyone tried it before?? I am really interested in it. For fertility reasons, that is. :) I've had a couple of different people tell me about acupuncture for PCOS...well, mainly for ovulation therapy.

So....what do you guys think??? I need major input from my readers. If I do decide to check into it - it'll probably be sometime after Christmas. There is just way too much stuff going on with holidays approaching, work, home life...ect.

As a side note...we received a bill from the hospital (for my surgery). **Drum roll please** The total cost of my surgery was almost $18,000 - before insurance of course. As far as we can tell (we have received two documents, that agree with one another)...our part is only $250!!! How awesome is that?? Now knowing my luck, we'll get a zillion other bills later on. But for now, I'm really excited! Praise the Lord!

Thanksgiving is approaching quickly, and so is BLACK FRIDAY! :) Yes. I am one of those nuts that drags myself out of bed at like 3:00 in the morning to go shopping. I have been every year for as long as I can remember. This year I am on a mission to buy a new laptop, my Christmas present from Clif. I'm really excited about it, mainly because my current laptop is almost five years old - and on it's last leg. Actually, I've been waiting for it to just die.

Our week has been busy already. Yesterday was a crazy busy day at work, I actually ended up having to go in like thirty minutes early. I got off around 4:30, headed to get my eye brow's waxed...went to the grocery store, hurried home to cook dinner. Then today I'm getting my hair cut at 5:15, running home to fix dinner for Clif (gets off of work at 6:30). Then after dinner we are putting our new tree together and decorating it. :)
Tomorrow I work all day, he is off. Then I rush home to cook chilli & cornbread for a church gathering. After church we are headed home for me to make food for Thursday (both families) which includes my new tradition of making deviled eggs (a secret recipe, or actually a make-up-as-we-go recipe) with Clif's cousin, Jay. Last year we "bonded" over our deviled egg adventure...and Clif gives us a hard time about it. Poor thing, we wouldn't let him in the kitchen while we worked.

Whew...I have a busy next few days ahead of me, but at least it will keep my mind busy during the holidays. If I don't post again before Thursday, I hope each and every one of you have a WONDERFUL Turkey Day!

Monday, November 22, 2010

I even surprise myself sometimes!

I feel very... proud? I don't really know how to explain it, other than I am proud of myself.

Today I overcame something HUGE. If you had asked me yesterday how I would have handled the situation, I would have told you that I had no clue. Heck, if you had asked me this morning how I'd react, I would have had NO clue. :) In fact, walking into the situation I didn't know how it would be.

But I am proud to say, I managed....actually I think it went really good. :) I saw the others watching how I'd react...wondering if I would be able hold it together. And I did.

What the heck am I talking about???

Today...for the first time since Lilly died (actually before that)... I held a newborn baby...and enjoyed it. :)

Thanks "A" for not being afraid to ask if I wanted to hold him. ;) I'm glad I did.

Ah, short and sweet but to the point. Just wanted to share that with you all. Thanks to everyone who has continued to email,facebook, blog comment...text for all our kind words and prayers.

God Bless!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

11/18



One year ago today we made our way to the cemetery office to choose Lilly's headstone. Of course, none of their designs came close to being good enough for her. So we designed this one, especially for her. :) Her room was/is decorated with butterflies...and of course, the lilies because of her name.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

11.17.2010

Along with 11/13 (and just about every other day), 11/17 holds a lot of memories for me. Memories...and pain.
One year ago today, we saw the precious face of our baby girl for the last time. We kissed her and talked to her through tears. One year ago today, we left the tiny body of Lillian Joy here...


I remember the morning of 11/17/09 like it was yesterday. I remember the alarm clock sounding. No parent should ever have to set an alarm to wake them so they aren't late for their own child's funeral.
When I got out of bed that morning I felt an overwhelming sense of peace. Though I ached (and still do), I had a feeling... a feeling that there was a bigger picture... that everything was going to be "okay".
I remember getting ready that morning. My body still recovering from a c-section, just four short days before, Clif had to bathe me. He had to shave my legs for me, wash my hair, dry my hair...and help me get dressed. To this day, I still haven't been able to bring myself to wear the dress I wore to her funeral.
I remember stopping at little mom & pop store near our house, for something to drink. The owner who we have known for years (because of stopping by his store all the time) didn't know... I remember the sympathetic look in his eyes when Clif had to tell him why we were "all dressed up".
We were quiet on the drive there...not many words passed between us. We just held hands...trying with everything within us to hold one another together.
I remember pulling up to the funeral home...all my family there waiting for me. Most had never even seen Lilly until that morning (aside from a few pictures from the hospital). I remember an older man that used to go to our church, he was there...he was there for us. I don't think I'll ever forget that. He just stood in the background, and made sure that we knew he was there for us if we needed him.
I remember walking into the chapel that morning, all of our family with us. I can still feel the air being sucked from my wind pipes when we walked in and saw her tiny casket filled with her tiny body. I remember the sob that escaped my lips involuntarily. I can still feel the overwhelming sense of being helpless, hopeless.
Aside from her breath-taking beauty - there is one thing that I remember most. That's the people. I can't even begin to express how my heart felt when Clif and I saw all the people pouring in (both) doors of the chapel. People we hadn't seen in years...friends that we saw all the time...and complete strangers.
I remember Jeff, the funeral director, telling us that it was time for the family to meet. I knew that they would close the casket, and that killed me. I didn't want to leave her side. I remember seeing "P" come through the back doors, and telling them that I had to see just one more person. I remember hugging him...and crying. I remember the prayers during the time with family.
I remember walking out into the chapel after everyone had been seated. I can still feel all eyes on us. I remember being taken back by the number of people in that room. Pews filled, and people standing in the back. There were people there that we didn't even get a chance to speak to. I felt so loved at that moment...and so proud to be the mommy of Lillian Joy.
I remember the silence when people heard the words of "Glory Baby" before any words were spoken. I remember seeing and hearing my dad struggle through the words that he said. I remember Foster singing...and the whole congregation joining him in singing, "Jesus Loves Me". I remember Pastor Greg speaking and sharing the gospel.
I remember after the service, after everyone (but the family) were gone - they opened the casket again for us all to say goodbye. We asked our family members to leave us - so we could say bye to our baby girl. I remember tears falling from my own face onto hers. I remember kissing her cold chubby cheeks...and telling her that I love her. I remember witnessing Clif do similar things. I remember feeling completely broken.
These feelings and memories, though painful beyond measure, are feelings and memories that I never want to forget. Not for one minute.
I remember the quiet ride to the cemetery. I remember feeling respected as the SPD Policemen stopped traffic at intersections and saluted as we drove by.
I remember pulling up to the grave side and thinking, "I don't know if I can do this". I remember Gina (funeral director, and the precious lady who prepared Lilly's body) handing me the Lilies that my parents had gotten...complete with a ribbon reading "Lilly Bean". And I remember Clif being handed her casket. I remember walking along side him, carrying our baby girl, to her final resting place.
I remember seeing the Vaughan's standing at the graveside. I remember them coming to us, loving us.
I don't remember much of the graveside service. I just remember sitting there, in the cool air, begging to wake up from the nightmare I had been living the last four days.
I remember meeting two men after the graveside service. Foutz & Reid (last names...that's how I was introduced to them). Both of these men hold a very special place in my heart - and I don't know if they will ever know it. You see, Clif had just started a new job in mid September. These men barely knew my husband...but they came to support him. They cared. They shed tears of their own, and even extended their love to me....not ever having met me before.
November 17th,2009 was one of the longest days of my life. It was physically and emotionally exhausting. I remember feeling the remaining physical pain that night, from being on my feet so much during the day. I remember the burning...
Most of all I remember my baby girl. And I thank God for those memories.

Tonight, one year later... I'm home alone. I'm not really sure how I feel about it... but I *think* I'm okay with it. It's hard... but this day, like many others, has just made me stronger.

Rest in peace sweet Lilly Bean. Mommy loves you, all my heart. Can't wait to see you one day soon.

xoxox

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

goodbye vacation, hello reality.

This past week was nice. Much needed for both me and Clif, I think. I really don't know how well I would have coped with being in Virginia for Lilly's first (heavenly) birthday.
Saturday was a rough day. I struggled all day to keep my mood up beat, for fear of completely losing it. :) And I did good - I'm proud of myself.
And then on the other hand, I feel horribly guilty for NOT laying around and crying my eyes out all day long. I mean, shouldn't I have been?
Clif and I had a long talk over dinner about it all Sunday night. And though I've had other people tell me the same things that he did that night, it really stuck when he said it.
No one can tell me how I should or should not grieve. He kept telling me this over and over again. He said that I should deal with the "situation" however I felt I should. And that no one should judge me because of it. That until someone has walked in our shoes for a day, that no one could tell us how to miss our daughter.
Something that I brought to the table was... I know that Saturday was her birthday. And yes, I was incredibly sad...heartbroken even. But what people *most* people don't realize is that, the feeling that we (and others) were feeling this past Saturday is a feeling that we have to endure on a daily basis. Though it was the anniversary of the worst (yet sweetest) days of our lives, the feelings really weren't that much different from any other day.
Our hearts ache for our loss every single day. And they have for the last year. Her birthday was a tough one of those days, so was her due date for that matter. I know that Thanksgiving will be hard, and so will Christmas... I know that the next twenty years...forty years...every year that passes until we die, will be hard.
We also talked about seeing our friends getting pregnant, having live healthy babies...and so on. In a way, I think it's gotten easier on us. But then in other ways, it's gotten harder on me.
I never want anyone to feel guilty, or walk on eggshells around me because they become pregnant...or when their baby is born perfectly healthy.
I think the hardest thing for me right now is seeing a pregnant woman. Not just because I was once pregnant, and really enjoyed it.... but because I am now faced with infertility. That's a hard pill to swallow, and I continuously (daily) have to give that one over to the Lord. It's like I have an open wound, and there is always something pouring salt into it.
The hardest thing on Clif is to see newborns. Which, I completely can understand. It's hard seeing people walking around with something that you long for. Something that you HAD but slipped away before you could enjoy it.

On a less depressing note... I want to say thank you to all who sent cards,emails, facebook comments & notes...to those of you who donated money in Lilly's memory. Each and every one of you hold a very special place in our hearts, and we will forever be grateful for your love & generosity.
We were completely overwhelmed by the love showered on us this past week. :) I even received a few emails from complete strangers...and they were such a blessing to me.
Will write more later, but for now...it's off to do laundry and unpacking! God bless!
PS...if you think of it, please say a prayer for my dear friend, Aleisha. :) She is right at 12 weeks pregnant (I think), and has felt "icky" pretty much all 12 weeks. She has a one year old, and baby sits another young baby. Just pray for health, strength, and that she will stay in her right mind - I know I wouldn't!!! :) Also, pray for the health of this new little life!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

11.13.2010


I don't know what it is about this picture, but it's like it says everything that my heart is feeling today. It's going to be a tough day. It will also be another day without her.

It's been a long...hard year for us. We've had many ups and downs, and we've never stopped thinking about and missing our precious little Lilly.

I'm flooded with a million different emotions as I type these words...and yet, for some reason they leave my brain as soon as my fingers touch the keys.

Lillian Joy Smith...though she was only here for 9 short months...will always be my world. She will always have my heart.

Today will be spent remembering her. And if you're reading this... I have a request for you. Remember her with us. As uncomfortable as it may make you...to remember a dead baby... remember her. And honor her by telling someone her story. Tell what an amazing little girl she still is. Tell of the lives that she has touched, and the ones that she continues to touch. And more importantly, tell of the reason that Lilly's Mommy and Daddy were able to make it through that day...and the 365 that followed. Tell of the Comforter. Tell of His love...tell of His death, and the reasoning behind it.

My one wish is that people would come to Him... because of her life. I know that she has already touched the lives of many, and I know that as long as her story is still being told...others will continue to be touched.

Happy Birthday my sweet Lilly Bean...I love you!

Happy Heavenly Birthday, Dear Lilly...





Today Clif and I are celebrating differently than we ever thought possible.

Today we celebrate the life and birth of our beautiful baby girl, Lillian Joy Smith. Lilly was unexpectedly born still on November 13,2009... a little after 10am. She was 5 pounds 9.5 ounces, and was 19 inches long. She had her Mommy's fingers and nose, and Daddy's big feet. She was the definition of beautiful. She was loved.

We never received a fatal diagnosis...we were never told anything was wrong with our little one. She, to our knowledge, died a very healthy (and beautiful...if I do say so myself!) little girl.

It's hard to celebrate something so painful... but how can we not celebrate such a special little girl??

Happy Birthday, Lilly Bean! I'm so glad that you get to spend today (and every day) with the One who made you. We love you...we will never forget you.

You are loved.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

on the road again...

Well...we are on the road. :) Off to the beach. We accidentally slept late (late being 6:30) and stopped and got breakfast at Mickey D's...so now, at 8:20, we are finally on I-81.

Last night (our visit to the cemetery) was tough. Just like I thought it would be. It's always so sad and depressing going there...not only to visit & honor our own daughter, but to see all the other children buried there. Lilly is buried in what they call "The Garden Of Innocence"...it's where the babies/young children are. Her little neighbor is a little boy that passed away in February 2010. Last night when we went, there was a "fresh" grave, couldn't have been more than a few days old. No matter how many times I go and how many new graves I see...it still breaks my heart every time.

I think that going there last night was harder on Clif than it was me. I go there pretty often, but because of his weird work schedule (and just not "liking" than kind of thing) he doesn't get to visit very often. It broke my heart seeing him hurt like he was...to see the tears streaming down his cheeks and know that there is nothing that I can do to take it away. There is nothing I can do to make it better.

There have been so many sweet people that have reached out to us the last few days. I've received phone calls, emails, facebook messages & comments... we've gotten numerous cards...from people we know & love... and strangers that we don't know...and love :) You all have been amazing in supporting us.

I thought everyone would forget...that these days would go unnoticed. But they haven't - and for that, I am so grateful.

Sunday morning when we got to church, there was a huge bouquet of white & pink lilies, and pink roses. It was beautiful. My parents had bought them in honor of Lilly...and she was mentioned in the service as well. They did this last Sunday because they knew we wouldn't be in town for church this coming up Sunday.

On Monday night Clif called me on his way out to work, and said that I had a card in the mail, and also a package from Sufficient Grace Ministries. :) The card was from a fellow BLM, and the package was the suncatcher that I won on SGM blog. The card from "J" was so sweet - and she included a little handmade gift. The suncatcher is beautiful :) It's small - so I have it hanging from the rear view mirror in my car. It has blue, clear, and pink bead like thingies...and then little silver and diamond looking things, and an awareness ribbon at the bottom.

Yesterday, my brother in law & his girlfriend (one of my bestest friends... might as well be my SIL), brought me lilies and a card. Well, it was really for me and Clif... but I'm the more sentimental of the two :) And then when we went to the cemetery, there were matching flowers there for her.  Her Uncle & Aunt had left them for her.

Last night when we got home, there were three cards in the mail. One from my grandmother, one from our aunt & uncle...and one from very special friends B & R from our church.

I am overwhelmed at how many people are remembering our sweet little girl. :) You all are amazing...and I love you for it.

I'll be checking in every now and again while we're gone... posting when I can. Thank you all in advance for all the prayers sent up for Clif & me. We love you all!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

emotional mix up.

So tomorrow morning we leave for the beach. I'm excited... and I'm dreading it at the same time. I really think that it's going to be a good thing...getting away, just the two of us - spending time one on one...during a time that we just need each other.
I am so very thankful that it worked out where we could both have a week off, at the same time, and just be able to escape reality for a while.
This afternoon is going to be a tough one. I'm leaving work early, and Clif and I are going to head to the cemetery. I want to go...I know that I need to go...but I also know that it's going to be emotional. Knowing that I won't be anywhere near here for her birthday. I feel like I'm dishonoring her in a way. But...
No matter where I find myself on November 13th...this year, and in the years to come...I know that I will never be able to escape the memories... and the pain.
I bought some fall-ish flowers, but no flower, real or silk, could ever do her justice. I'm so...lost for words. :) You all will be hearing from me at random over the next few days. If you think of us, say a prayer (or two), we'll be needing them.

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