Thursday, September 3, 2015

Secret Admirer

These sweet little spirits already have an admirer.

The past 2 weeks we have been gifted a sweet surprise in our mailbox.

I have my suspicions on who this person could be, but I am probably way off. The only clues are that someone knows where I live, and that I was waiting until now to really start celebrating.
And...they are creative wrappers.

When I first got the little white onesies, I laid them out and just kept looking at how small they were.
I was in awe that one day, soon, there were going to be little bodies, actual little bodies, in them.
And that they were going to be mine (ours).

It made it feel so real.
And so soon.

We are in our 16th week.
Huge milestone for me.
And I have so much peace in my heart.
In my head.

Our babies are in the Lord's hand and close to Ashley's heart.
They are exactly where they should be.
And I am so grateful.

The past few days I have been thinking of all the exciting moments to come.
I tear up every time.
Ok, maybe more than just tear up, I bawl.
But it's a good cry.
An exciting, hopeful, the spirit fills my heart kind of cry.

I like to think about the day of their birth.
Being in the hospital.
Waiting for their first cry.
Looking at their sweet faces.
Who's lips will we see?
Will they have crazy Asian hair?
Will one have my blue eyes.

Holding them.
Oh, holding their warm bodies.
Feeling their hearts beat.
Being skin on skin.
Smelling their newborn smell.

I like to think about their Blessing Day and our Sealing Day.
Dressing them in white.
Presenting them to the Lord to be ours for time and all eternity.
Making those covenants.
Hearing the words from my husband as he stands in the circle.
Feeling the spirit and knowing our other children are with us.
Being surrounded my our family and friends.

I like to think about my nieces and nephews.
How this act of service will influence them in their lives.
The college essays they could write.
The testimony they will bear to those when they serve a mission.
The love and compassion they will have for others because of the example their parents have shown them.

 I think about the relationship they will build with these babies.
The bond they will share.
The memories they will create.

So many people have been on this journey with us.
So many people have been there to celebrate with us and to pick up the broken pieces.
These babies are so loved already.
And they will continue to bring people together because of how they were brought into this world.

I feel so blessed.
I feel so grateful that I get this unique experience.
This is the story I am meant to tell.

So whoever our admirer is, whoever is making this experience even more special for me (us)....


I can't wait to be a mom.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

DON'T Curb Your Enthusiasm


Jason and I are so grateful for all of the positive and enthusiastic comments, well wishes, prayers, thoughts, notes, tweets, likes, emojis and LOVE that EVERYONE has displayed since we made our big announcement.


We are even more grateful for the understanding and accepting of our situation and having a family member help us out. 
We feel so blessed to have Ashley do this for us and it is very confirming to have so many other people agree.

Sometimes, all you want is a little enthusiasm.

Example: While on family vacation a few weeks ago, I explained to my nephew what was "happening". How he was going to have cousins. And that it was not just one, but TWO!

He processed the information well. Better than most adults.
Later in the week, while at dinner, he looked up from coloring his menu and exclaimed, 
"Aunt Mo, you're going to be a MOM!"
(all done in a very cutesy almost cheesy voice)

My heart melted.
My spirit soared.

All I had been looking for (especially from those close to us) was a little enthusiasm.

The day a close friend saw a video (or I should say, TWO videos) of our first ultrasound.

And she screamed. 
Belted out a sob of joy.
Grabbed me and squeezed me tight.
Tears in her eyes.

Now that is enthusiasm.


Even my niece and nephews, Ashley's kids. From the time Ashley and Rob asked how they would feel about her doing this amazing act for us to now, they have had nothing, but pure enthusiasm.


The ENTHUSIASM award goes to my sweet nephew Klein. Since it "worked" he has wanted to tell everyone about it.
During our family trip to DC he said proudly, "there are 9 people in the car". And there were. But then he proudly proclaimed, in a whisper, "Actually, there are 11!"

He even made a chart and very enthusiastically wanted to take it to church, before we had made our announcement.
Sadly, he was told he couldn't, and he was so upset.

What a sweetheart.
He is so excited and so proud to have his cousins in his mom's belly.


That's all we have hoped for.
That after all we had been through.....that others would be excited that something had finally worked.
And as unconventional as it is, it is magnificent and truly a blessing.

That someone would do this, out of the kindness of their heart, out of pure love, with no agenda.
Because that's exactly what is happening.
And because of her......our babies,
our last 2 babies,
have a chance.

We have a chance,
to be a family here on Earth.

And in Heaven.

We are approaching 16 weeks on Wed.
I never made it past 16 weeks.
I lost Jack at 15 weeks and 6 days.
(read about it here)

This is my milestone.
Where I commit.

When I start being enthusiastic.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Slowing Down

I apologize for not writing. I have spent this last week doing laundry, cleaning up vomit, cleaning up diarrhea, rushing to the ER (twice), picking up meds, administering meds, changing bedding, sleeping on the floor, skipping the gym and hoping and praying my little pup is on the mend.

Holy Cow! I am a mom.

I won't lie. It has been an adjustment. I have been mostly home bound. I haven't really talked to many people. I have done some backyard workouts and have wanted to shove a whole cake in my mouth (but I didn't). This week is definitely not a normal for me.

Yep, I am getting a taste of what is to be.

Still won't lie. Not my favorite. But yet, there have been a few moments I have enjoyed having to slow down.

Slow down and just be. 

Unlike most women expecting, I don't think about my impending arrivals every day. It is nice that it is not smothering every moment of my every day, but it is a bit intimidating.

One day I will just have babies. They will just be here.

And that is kind of freaky.

I am not going to have that day by day growth or change. I won't see my belly or even Ashley's belly slowly swell. I won't have sleepless uncomfortable nights or achy backs during the day. I won't have tired feet or swollen ankles. (Sorry Ashley.)

One day I will just have babies.

So while I can....while there is time, even amidst the planning and buying and prepping and shopping, I am going to slow down.

I am going to enjoy where I am at, while I can be here.

The last (almost) 9 years being married have been amazing. The relationship Jason and I have built, even amongst the struggles, isn't one I would trade for anything.

We are solid.
We are a team.
And we are in love more than ever.

Together we will approach this next stage, not with the attitude of "why did we decide to do this", but with the attitude, "how lucky are we that we get to do this".

Yes, it has been a struggle and even has been something we didn't think we would get to experience. And I realize more than ever that many still are in that phase - the unsure phase. The standing still phase. And as hard as that phase it - my recommendation?


Because one day, it will change. Things have to change. And they won't always be "for the better'. There will be days where you are swamped in laundry, poo and puke. Days when you never walk out your front door. Days when you want to eat a whole cake.

And that's ok.

I think I will slow down and try to enjoy those moments too.

Because THIS is where I want to be.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Catch-Up: What It Takes and The First Steps

You would think that once you have someone willing to carry a baby or babies for you that things would go rather quickly.

Drug them up. Knock them up.
9 months later you get a baby.


It is hard to find someone. There are requirements that need to be met.

CCRM has an ideal candidate.

Non-drug user.
Healthy BMI (body fat percentage).
Healthy mentally.
Healthy physically.
Healthy emotionally.
Healthy spiritually (this was one of my requirements).
Social media conscious (and appropriate).
Not older than 40.
Had successful pregnancies.
Willing. Able. Ready.

Needle in a haystack!

We were lucky to have had people offer.  It is such a kind gesture. It always made me emotional when someone would tell me that they would - regardless if they knew they really could. It is such a heartfelt gift.

I was not set on it being a family member.
It didn't even have to be someone we knew.

It just had to be the right fit.
Even though it is an emotional and physical experience, it is also a transaction.
Money, whether it is with bills or compensation, is involved, so everyone needs to be on the same page.

It is very daunting.
Very draining.
It feels that within any moment, someone could change their mind or something could prohibit the process from going forward.

But once you find someone and that decision is reached,

then there is the joy of....

Consents - lots of signatures.
Insurance policies.
And more drugs.
And waiting....
lots of waiting.

I have been so extremely grateful for Ashley's "tell me what to do next" attitude.
 Even better? Once you tell her what has to happen, she gets it done.

Her willingness.
Her attitude.
Her positive mindset.

As much as I have tried accomplish everything and just leave the "getting pregnant" to her, I couldn't have done it without her getting more involved.

Whether it was finding a "one-day turnaround" for labs.
Trips for blood draws multiple times a week.
Not working out.
Limiting other "activities".
Phone calls and texts updating me.
She has made this process so much easier and has given me so much peace along that way. I can't tell you how much that has meant to me. To know that a task given is a task completed with a willing heart.

She is amazing.

So getting back to that "first day".

Once we had established that this was going to happen, we had to schedule a day for Ashley and her husband to come out for a One-Day workup. Blood tests, psychological evals, paps, hysteroscopy, forms, waivers, consents.......not to mention the BIG NOTEBOOK they bring out that explains EVERYTHING.

From drug injections to mock calendars. I have 2 of these notebooks and Ashley joined the club when she received hers.

That happened in February. It was a quick trip sadly. Hard for her husband to find time off of work, kids, school etc. Life still was going on.

We tried to make it exciting with the little bit of extra time we had. But it was an emotional day. Lots of angst and excitement surrounded us. We all had to get tested. We met individually, as couples and then as a four-some.

It was a great day all in all. Ashley and her husband got a glimpse of what Jason and I have endured over the past few years. I won't lie, it was nice to feel a bit validated for what I/we have had to go through.

It was also nice to meet as a foursome with the psychologist. It was a chance for all of us to really talk and be heard at the same time.

I was determined to have Ashley and her husband understand that I was not counting on this to work. That her safety and health was more important to me than anything. And that she had to let me do things for her throughout the pregnancy. I mean, how can you ever really thank someone for this amazing gift?

And her feelings and thoughts were important as well. She was determined to let me know that she was doing this for no other reason than to help us have a family. She wasn't looking for fame, fortune or even gifts. She was doing this because she felt that it was the right thing to do. She didn't want me feeling the I "owed" her for the rest of my life.

I told you....she's amazing.

So we made an agreement.

I wouldn't spend my days saying, "but you did this for me."
And she wouldn't spend her days saying, "but I did this for you."

Her husband's concerns echoed the same. Ashley's health was what mattered to him most. Otherwise he supported her in everything because he knows she's strong enough, capable enough and determined. (yep, he's a stud too.)

Jason fell into the same realm. Ashley's safety was number one priority. We could deal with any sort of aftermath regardless of what it was, good or bad.

There were tears shed that day. Lots of them. Mostly mine. Being back in the medical offices and going through the battery of tests was draining.
But yet, peace surrounded my heart.
The spirit lightened up my soul.

We were moving in a direction.
The right direction.

Progress never felt so good.
We didn't even know if it would work, but to take a step, to move forward, to progress -

This was our/my best chance.
This was our babies best chance.
If this didn't work, then I knew the Lord had other plans for us.
We could walk away.
We could know we tried.

If it did work?
If we did get our miracle(s)?
All of our lives would be changed forever.
For the better.

All because ONE person, ONE family, wanted US to have what they had.

Talk about total love and selfless service.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Prepping for Parenthood

I got my first real dose of parenthood yesterday, last night and today.

They say a puppy is a great way to prepare you for parenthood.

1) You have to care for something besides yourself or spouse.
2) You have to plan your day/time away.
3) Potty-training
4) You learn to love something greater than you have ever loved.

Penny did that for us. And she definitely continues to do that for me.

If you ask, I will say that "Penny saved me". She did. She came into our lives over 5 years ago in between miscarriages. She gave me something/someone to take care of. I poured my heart and soul into her. And if you have met her and seen us together, you would see - she is my best friend, my companion, my girl - my heart.

Penny was an easy puppy. She is an easy dog. People always comment on her behavior and how calm she is. Well, she should be. I have been very blessed to devote a lot of time to training her, exercising her and giving her complete attention.

We all know that will change - to an extent. 

But last night, oh....last night, I got my first dose (tiny in comparison) of parenthood.

 Saturday evening we were invited over for s'mores and Penny was included. We brought some cow ears (a favorite treat) to share with the host's dog as well. The pups happily chewed on the ears, we happily gobbled down s'mores - it was a great night.

Sunday after church Penny was given another cow ear (not uncommon to eat back to back days) while we laid in the afternoon sun.

About an hour later - she threw it up.

Ok, again, not uncommon. She sometimes eats fast and doesn't "savor the moment" so it has happened before. I thought nothing of it.

Then she vomited again.
And again.
And again.

You get the picture.

I felt horrible!

Once the vomiting somewhat subsided we retreated inside the house to get ready for bed.
She attempted to drink some water and moments later, vomit.



I decided to sleep on the floor with her that night.

She woke up a few times to dry heave. I was right by her side.
I never really slept.
I just kept rubbing her back and belly and telling her it was ok.

We stayed there all night.
On the floor.

My poor girl.

Morning came and I had to go teach spin. Lucky Jason was home to keep an eye on her.

She tried to drink more water.


All over her bed, bedding, blankets, carpet. 

So guess how I am spending my Monday.

Cleaning carpets.
Running for Pedialyte and Pepto (yes, you can give a dog both).

Just keeping her comfortable and trying to make her poop and pee.


(this was Jason's reaction today)

Feel better my girl.