Monday, September 30, 2013

What is the worst case?

Sorry have been MIA, I am trying to apply for jobs, finish my dissertation, and write as many journal articles as possible between now and November 1!!!

I had a great conversation with a friend today and I just had to write it down.  We are still waiting for our test results. The results that will indicate if it is medically recommended for us to conceive biological children.  As we were talking I told her about our plans if the tests come back that we should not.  She indicated that she did not want to think that way for us, but pray for a positive outcome. That is when it hit me: what is the worst case situation? Some would say it is if we can't have biological children, but really is that bad?  It would mean that we would adopt a child whose biological parents are not able to be parents at the moment.  That is not a bad thing! That is a miracle in of up it's self!  That is God working for the good of those who love Him.  There is nothing greater than that in this world.  The Bible talks about adoption more often than I ever realized. 

Jame 1:27 says "Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you".

Matthew 18:5 says "And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me."

We all love the story of baby Moses in the basket, but we often ignore the fact that Moses himself was adopted: Later, when the boy was older, his mother brought him back to Pharaoh's daughter, who adopted him as her own son. The princess named him Moses, for she explained, "I lifted him out of the water." (Exodus 2:10).

Another example of a famous Biblical individual who was adopted: "This man had a very beautiful and lovely young cousin, Hadassah, who was also called Esther. When her father and mother died, Mordecai adopted her into his family and raised her as his own daughter." (Esther 2:7).

To have the opportunity to adopt would be a blessing and is in no way a negative outcome from the tests.  Keeping this in mind, we will wait for the results and pray accordingly for God to lead us according to His plan for our lives. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

One step forward, two steps back

I honestly feel that we are taking one step forward and two steps back all the time. We met with Dr. Gregg today and let me tell you my prayer from earlier today was spot on.  Patience is not something I am great at, but it is something I am/have been working on.  Well I am going to need it. 

Without going into a ton of detail (mainly because it is boring and I don't think I could explain it very well) we need to do more genetic testing on the two of us before we proceed.  The results from Jackson indicate that this is best decision before we proceed with trying to have biological children.  I know without a doubt that this is the best decision, but I am frustrated that there is even a need for us to do this. I want to know with as much certainty as possible that we are genetically compatible.  Right now we do not know this. 

Of course to do this there is a nice price tag attached.  The genetic counselor we work with during our last pregnancy is so great and is working with the lab to try and work out a financial deal for us given the situation.  So pray for this as finances are really starting to become an issue. 

Based on the results of the genetic testing we will either proceed with a FET or move towards adoption.  We are open to both and if infertility was off the table we have always considered adoption.  Adoption is such a great blessing and we have always felt called to adopt, so this maybe God's way of showing us this is His plan for us.

Right now we are praying for us to be still and listen.  We know that God has a plan for us and for our family, and when we are still and patient and listen we will know what His plan is.  We really would like to be able to do FET, but if that is not what God has planned for our lives we will move forward with adoption.

Dear God,

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you so much for the amazing gift we received yesterday with our next FET cycle being covered.  Lord, this opportunity has been our prayer for many weeks now and we thank you for being so faithful. 

We pray Lord this week that we will be still and listen to your plans Lord and not to our desires.  We are leaving shortly Lord to visit with Dr. Gregg and review Jackson's autopsy report and to hear how he would proceed with another pregnancy.  We know Lord that he is a man of faith and we praise you for this.  We pray for him as he guides us towards our future that he will listen to you and follow your plan for our lives.  We pray for our full understanding of the results, they will be bring us additional comfort during this time.

Lord as the week continues we will meet with Dr. Williams to discuss doing FET.  You have been so great to us with providing us amazing doctors who all believe in you and we thank you for this.  We pray Lord that we are open to his suggestions and are willingly to listen to you.  We pray that we listen with our hearts, our heads, and our souls. 

We thank you for all that you have provided us with and we pray that we are able to continue to listen to your plan for our lives. 


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

But I don't like that one

I maybe about to sound like I have completely lost it but I am going to share anyways.

When you are getting ready in the morning and really want to wear an outfit to work, do you ever not wear it because of the bra you have to wear with it?  We all have favorite bras right (again I maybe sounding crazy!), but we all have some we prefer not to wear.  I have these two great maxi dresses that I got at Ann Taylor Loft Outlet, but I have to wear either a strapless bra or a criss-cross bra with them.  I just want to be able to wear a regular bra with them.  As a result I end of not wearing them as often as I would like.  I have several shirts and dresses that this happens with. 

Guess I just need to go bra shopping....  

Girl problems that really compared to everything else in the world are no big deal, but if we aren't careful we allow them to take over our lives. We must remain focused on what's important in life, which in most cases is not what bra we are wearing, unless of course we aren't wearing one. 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Two more join the trenches

My friend, AG, who I mentioned a few weeks ago was pregnant had a miscarriage.  We were pretty sure she was about two weeks ago, but she found out for sure this week that she did.  I really hate this for her and her husband.  While they got pregnant the first month they even "tried" which I am pretty sure consisted of let's have sex, I still hurt for them. Fortunately she did not need any medications or D&C and has been cleared to try again whenever they would like. 

Another family friend and his wife experienced a miscarriage about a week ago as well.  She was about 9 weeks along with their first and had to have a D&C.  My mom is close to his mom and is just do devastated as this would have been their first grandchild.  I have emailed with him a little bit and they seem to be doing well. 

Both couples are amazingly strong Christians and have spoken about how they know God has a plan even bigger than ours.  I hate that two more couples have had to join the trenches and know the pain of losing a child, but I am so thankful for their faith.  God is truly using all of us through these experiences.  We may not know how or why, but that is why we must have faith.  As Hebrews 11:1 reminds us "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." With time we will begin to understand God's plan for our lives, but until we must have faith that His plan is greater than ours. 

One thing I have learned through their loss is that people are afraid to talk to DeWayne and I about their losses, when they have early miscarriages.  They feel their loss is so insignificant compared to ours.  Initially I thought, "yes it is you are right", but I have realized that it is not really all that different.  We have all lost children who we had prayed for and were already in love with. We have all lost the dream of becoming parents in the near future.  In many ways I feel like it would be harder to lose a child during an early miscarriage, because it is harder to find a purpose in the loss.  I spoke with a friend, who has experienced the loss from an early miscarriage and the loss at 25 weeks.  He said in so many ways the early miscarriage was harder for him and his wife to understand, but they have realized that both losses had amazing purposes.  He said had it not been for their losses their marriage would not be as strong as it is today.  They would not be the same parents they are today to their 1 year old little boy.  He is an assistant professor and says that before the losses he worked way too much, but now he realizes that spending time with his wife and son is the most important thing in the world.  His wife is actually the one I have blogged about before (regarding the loss of their little girl), and they are an amazing example of a great Christian couple for AG and I (she works with him as well). 

I am so thankful for all the individuals we have been able to talk with and share with during this experience.  I wish we did not have so many friends who were going through losses, but I am thankful for the opportunity to talk and pray with them.  For me I have to believe this is part of God's purpose in Jackson's life and part of His plan for my life.

Outer Banks Vacation

I love the state of North Carolina.  It has mountains where I can ski and the beach where DeWayne can fish. And the best basketball around!  What more could a southern girl want?? (Ok the football isn't great, but I can't have it all). I lived in Wake Forest, NC for several years growing up and just fell hard for the state. DeWayne has been to the mountains several times with me and to watch Carolina basketball, but we had not been to what would probably be his favorite part of the state: the beach. 

We decided after Jackson's birth we really needed to get away and just enjoy time together. We left the Wednesday night before Labor Day after I got off teaching at 8pm and headed north. We made it to about Savannah that night which left us with almost 10 hours for Thursday.

We drove through some really beautiful farm land and finally made it to the Outer Banks where we stayed in Hatteras. It is so beautiful and peaceful. We stayed on the beach and were able to spend time laying out and fishing. We had an excellent dinner on Thursday complete with a beach drink overlooking the sunset.  DeWayne loves to golf, so we went to Nags Head on Friday for him to golf. It was probably the most beautiful course I have ever seen.  Afterwards we ate some really good eastern North Carolina BBQ (another reason I love the state!).  Saturday was spent on the beach and watching the Gator football game. Sunday we drove to Greenville, NC to visit friends and to check out ECU. We loved the town and are very open to moving to this area if the opportunity arises. 

On our way home we were able to see my sister dinner which was a great way to finish the trip. It was a lot of driving, but that turned out to be a blessing. We were able to spend time just the two of in the car talking and enjoying the quiet.  Here are a few pictures from our trip. 

The sound by the golf course.

Another one of the sound.

Dinner view the first night

DeWayne throwing the casting net, while I lay out and watch the pole
I realized when we got back that we never took pictures of us on the trip!  DeWayne hates to take pictures so it can be a challenge to get any of us. 


Friday, September 6, 2013

More personal

One thing I have really been thinking about for a while is being more personal on this blog. For a long time I wanted to stay anonymous. I didn't want my name out there or really any identifying information. This was mainly because I was worried that as people search for me based on my career they would come across this blog. I was worried what they would think about us doing IVF and everything because of how it might impact my career path. But I a, not worried anymore. This is all part of my story and God has called me to share my story to anyone and everyone. Academia can be harsh on women in general without having infertility as a factor. However, I don't want a job under false pretenses. I want to be a professional and I want to have children. And guess what I can and I will have both!!!! I will find a place where the administration is supportive of who I am including the infertility part. 

So let me introduce myself officially to you: my name is Caroline and I am married to the love of my life DeWayne. I am 27 and he is 28 and we live in Florida where I am finishing my PhD at UF and DeWayne is a physical therapist. We love to travel and watch Gator sporting events. We are involved with the youth group at our church and love the time we get to spend with them. 

I will work to be more open with you all as you have all opened your hearts to me during these past few weeks. Thank you all and words cannot express how much you all mean to me. 


So many thoughts so little time

I have so any blogs I want to write.  I have a tendency to think of all these things I want to say while I am driving and clearly can't post.  I have been working my butt of trying to get some of my research articles published (way easier said than done). This is my last year in my PhD program and job applications are starting to be due for next August so I really want to make my vita as robust as possible. 

With all the school stuff going on, trying to finish my dissertation, writing journal articles, teaching almost 400 students this semester, and working on a grant I have been feeling a little overwhelmed.  All of that has really helped me to feel more like myself.  I love what I do at school. I love doing research and teaching. Spending time with students makes my day! I am looking forward to getting a tenure track position (sometime in the next few years for sure).

With everything going on I haven't really been focusing on Jackson. Of course this makes me feel bad. I of course still miss him, but I am really feeling this peace about it all. I don't cry very often anymore. I can talk about him, what he looked like, what I know about him, all about his conditions without shedding a tear. I think I will always miss him, but I know this was God's plan for him and for us.  

So now what?  I am conflicted but honestly it's not because of why you think. I am conflicted because of my career. I know there is no perfect time to become a mom and I know that there is no guarantee that I can get pregnant again, but is this next year a good time???  I mean I am suppose to be graduating with my PhD and beginning my career that I have worked for since I graduated high school 9 years ago. Well we have a plan: there will be no planning. DP has says we are not making an plans based on what ifs. We are meeting with our RE on Sept 20 (2 weeks from today eekkk!!!) and whatever he suggest we are going to do. We are completely open to doing an FET in the next few months or if he thinks we should wait we will wait.  

We have realized that while we are planners by nature, God is the ultimate planner and the only one who's plans matter. If I happen to be pregnant and due at the beginning of the next school year we will deal with that when it happens. If I am not then we will deal with that when it happens. This is a huge deal for me! I plan everything and have a what if plan for absolutely everything. Well I am really trying to allow God to be the planner and me to simply follow His lead. I can't wait for our appointment in two weeks and am trusting God in the decision we will make.