Friday, November 12, 2010

Fertility is fickle

Well, Keith and I found out a few months ago that we're expecting another baby in May. We are thrilled beyond belief. We've always wanted a semi-big family (not Duggar big, but enough to keep things busy and interesting) and we can't wait to meet our newest member. What I haven't told most people though, is that this baby took us 10 months to conceive. True, that isn't very long, but it felt like forever to us.

At the risk of over-sharing, Jory was conceived just a mere 2 weeks after we got married and we were actively NOT trying to have a baby. After getting over the initial shock, we were super thrilled though. With Ryder, we decided to have a baby in August and by September we had a positive pregnancy test. So I just assumed that we were very fertile and the minute we thought about getting pregnant, we could do it.

This last year has been a really hard one for me. At first, we stayed positive and kept telling ourselves that this is normal, that we're getting a little older and that it's going to happen eventually. But after months and months of waiting, I have to admit that I lost my optimism. I just felt that something was really wrong and this wasn't just going to resolve. I felt like my body was failing me and I was angry at it. After the angry feelings left, I just felt depressed. I absolutely gave up hope.

However, there were some good things that came with this trial. For one, I looked at my children totally differently. They weren't just something that my husband and I gave each other, they weren't a deserved right that came along with marriage. They were a gift from God, and I was so so so lucky to have them. Now, really, I always knew this, but I didn't think about it as often as I do now. When I would feel sad or frustrated, I would look at them and think about how grateful I should be.

Secondly, I learned patience. I learned that life doesn't always happen the way you plan it to. Again, I knew this all along, but it was certainly reinforced. I realized that looking to the future can be great, but we can spend so much time looking to the future that sometimes we forget to love the present. It reminds me of Dr. Suess' "Oh, the places you'll go!" book and the waiting room. "Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting." (I LOVE that book by the way) but I learned not to focus too much on what I want in life and just appreciate what I have.

I looked around at people in my life who have had trouble with conceiving and I feel like I can understand just a teensy fraction of what they are going through,. (although not even close because I already have 2 healthy children, I know) My heart breaks for them. I also learned to shake off the "It's about time for you guys to have another one!!" comments that at first made me want to cry. I vow to never say that to anyone. EVER.

Lastly, I learned to just trust in my Heavenly Father and know that what happens is for the best. I am independent by nature and have a hard time not just trying to solve everything by myself. Keith and I started researching fertility doctors in August and finally made some calls and stopped by the office. They wanted me to fill out some extensive and very personal health history forms before they even made an appointment. They sent me home with a packet and stapled to the very top was the list of prices. Our stomachs sunk when we saw the prices and realized our insurance covered NONE of it. We absolutely couldn't afford it.

It was about this time when we talked in Young Women's about relying on our Savior. We had to journal about a trial we had been through and how we had done all we could do and left the rest to our Savior, who was there to help carry our burdens. This really hit me hard because I realized that I was in the middle of such a burden but I was trying to take it on all by myself. I then started praying that I felt I had done absolutely everything I could do and that I couldn't do it anymore and I began to share that burden. It was a strange feeling, letting go of the control and trusting in my Heavenly Father to help me overcome the rest. But I did, and just a few weeks later found out I was pregnant.

The relief was not immediate, I expected at this point that something would go wrong, or I had a horrible fear of miscarriage, or a hysterical pregnancy like I saw on Glee....and I still haven't shaken that completely. But I've heard the heartbeat, so I know there's really something in there. And I'm trying to have faith that everything is going to work out. I'm so grateful for this chance I have to bring another child into our home. I will not take it for granted ever again. I won't look at motherhood the same again. I don't care if it's a boy or a girl, I just want the child to be healthy and come here safely. I've learned to never assume that things won't happen to me. And I will love this child like it's my last because who knows what the future holds.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pac Man cake

My baby brother Adam turned 16 last month and they threw him a totally radical 80's party. I volunteered to make him a cake and settled on a true 80's icon: Pac-Man. (and yes, I googled it just to be sure, it was released in 1980)

It was a lot more work than I thought. In fact, most of my cakes end up being a lot more work than I think. But I was pleased with the result, and that isn't too common. I made marshmallow fondant because I love the taste and its dirt cheap. It was fine at first, but to turn it black I had to knead it to death and it messed up the texture a little. But it was a lot of fun to make, and tasted pretty good too (the top tier was funfetti and the bottom was chocolate with a strawberry filling.)

Happy birthday Adam, this is how much I love you. (I don't know why I say that, I'm sure he won't even read this.) Keith is not too happy that he didn't get a stellar cake for his birthday, but can I help it that his birthday fell right smack in the middle of the two huge wedding cakes I made for Alex and Alia?!! I can't do everything. So he got "better than tractor cake" as we called it for the kids sake. Sorry hun, maybe next year??


Yes, I know, my halloween post is about a week and half later than all the other moms out there, but here you go....our halloween weekend started out at the Dalton Ward party (no pictures)...and continued the next day with the pumpkin fun run. It was put on by our ward as a missionary effort/food drive. It turned out really great. I thought there was a costume contest, but they forgot the contest part...anyways... a lot of people dressed up and it was really fun. I wanted to be a zombie. Apparently I looked so bad most people didn't recognize me (probably a good thing) but what can I say, I like to dress up!
Ryder was a little scared at first, but as long as I smiled and talked like mommy, he thought I was funny. If I did my zombie walk, he started to cry.
Later that night, we did some trick or treating at some ward members houses. It was really fun and they got tons of candy, but it was kind of a pain having to buckle them in between every house and we don't know our ward very well yet so we got lost a few times. But overall it was a success and the boys had a blast.

This year, I had planned for the boys to be teenage mutant ninja turtles, but it didn't work out (maybe next year) so instead, we took them to walmart and let them get whatever they wanted. Jory was a dragon from how to train your dragon, and Ryder is a dinosaur. Jory's costume came with a mask, but it was kinda weird and it annoyed him, so instead we spiked his hair and dyed it blue. He loved that. They look pretty cute huh?
In the car, driving around.....
Knocking on doors...
And all pooped out after driving to over 30 houses. It was a fun night! Happy Halloween!