Sunday, May 22, 2016

Holding on So Tight

I have learned that lately I have been holding on to my dreams and desires; to the point where it is unhealthy. I want a baby SO bad that I can't deal with the months I can't get pregnant.  Because I want a baby SO bad I am scared to even pregnant again with the huge fear of losing again.  The fear is crippling me.  It is what keeps me up at night.  It is what gives me anxiety throughout the day.  The unknown.  The fear.  It is holding me in captivity.

I will admit the journey to conceive is different for each person.  For some, it will be a joyous experience and memory as she can conceive right away without any trouble.  However for some it is a difficult and challenging experience as she cannot conceive right away as the months and years pass.  Each month becomes more emotional and fearful of her heart's desire not coming to pass.  It is the fear of the unknown. For some women, they will face infertility and seek fertility treatments or seek foster/adoption.  None of these situations guarantee her child. For some women, they will go through one or multiple miscarriages.  Each day they live in fear and anxiety not knowing what will happen when all she wants is to keep this baby.

Being on this journey for 2 years as taught me so much.  It has taught me that God is the one in the control. He creates the miracle of life.  And creating a baby is a lot harder then most of us think. Most of us experience the heartache of trying to conceive. Most of all, it has taught me tonight to let go.  To let go to all the fears I have in going through another loss. A miscarriage at any stage is traumatic. And you never really get over any of them. God does create life right at conception.  So I strongly believe that that child was created for a greater purpose sometimes that we will never understand.  They are called home early for special callings in heaven.  And how blessed are we to someday meet them.

To all those who have experienced one or multiple miscarriages, NEVER give up.  My mother lived through numerous miscarriages and one baby that died minutes after-if she gave up-I would not be here today. God can do miracles. He can.  And He will. We just have to keep waiting and putting our life in God's hands, because He is in control- we are NOT.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Start Asking- Infertility Awareness Week- Sharing Our Story

Thank you for taking the time to reading our story as we are still on our journey on trying for our baby.  This past week was Infertility Awareness Week and wanted to share our story.  Thank you to all of you TTC sisters that have inspired me to share our story and to tell you how much I admire all of you ladies that are or have been on this journey.  It takes a lot of extra hope, extra faith, extra belief, extra positivity, and extra strength to keep doing what you are doing to make your dreams come true. I am very thankful that I have found such an amazing sisterhood community on Instagram!

Our story is still in the works. God is NOT finished with us yet and neither is He NOT finished with you yet. He has a beautiful story He is unfolding that I know we cannot see, but instead we are just told to walk each day in this life we are given along with the trials and great times we will face. My husband, John and I got married a few months after his dad passed away suddenly- I figured this would be the last trial to face for awhile at least.  After a little less then a year, we decided let's start to build our family. It did not go at all as I thought.  I figured it would take some time to get pregnant, but I was not aware how hard and emotional it was going to be. After a year passed, I really felt discouraged.  We figured at some point we should reach out to a doctor. However, to even take that trip to the doctor was really scary for the both of us, and we were just BOTH NOT emotionally ready to hear any news and then to make decisions from there.  So as a married couple, we decided to give it a few more months and then let's take the leap.  Around Thanksgiving time, I really thought we probably could not get pregnant naturally, and I was very open to adoption and going that route.

In December, boy was I shocked when AF (Aunt Flo) was LATE, and my cycles are pretty regular so that NEVER happens.  I finally decided let's take a pregnancy test and to my HUGE surprise, I finally got my positive pregnancy test. A few days passed, I took another one and still positive! During this time, I was feeling every emotion!  Tons of anxiety and tons of excitement and tons of fear! I understood that things could also go wrong during pregnancy, and there is always a risk of miscarriage.  My mother had numerous miscarriages along with a still born before she even had me. A few days passed and I just had this weird feeling and I prayed.  I had a feeling something could go wrong.  (And it wasn't just me being negative either).  Christmas Eve we took another pregnancy test-the digital one- and it said YES! So, we decided let's enjoy this moment and try not to worry about all the things that could happen.  I got so excited!  I was already thinking of ways to announce to people.  FINALLY-after 18 months of trying- we finally got our positive test! That night I was looking through the gifts I had for my husband for Christmas.  And I already had for awhile a gift for my husband that was a cute onesie that had a phrase on it about fishing.  I wanted to give it to my husband to let him know that he will make a great dad.  But something deep down made me unwrap it and not give it to him quite yet.  (He already knew we were pregnant-just wanted to give him something extra special). Boy was my gut right. Christmas morning, I started bleeding really bad and severe cramps along with blood clots and tissue...just the whole thing.  I knew we were losing our baby.

So, here we are back on the journey after dealing with our loss. At this time, I decided to create a private account on Instagram as I have heard about this community of women dealing with infertility and pregnancy loss. I am so glad I made that decision.  I have gained so much awareness that I was not familiar with before from fertility treatments, to pregnancy loss, and to small businesses that are creating beautiful pieces of art for women going through exactly what we were dealing with.  Of course, this season is tough and we are back to square one I feel, but I am very thankful for this time as it has given me a lot more understanding and awareness to what many women are facing.  At this time, I started a business in event planning and decided a few months before our miscarriage to create cards.  After our miscarriage, we really didn't receive any support from our family and friends.  No one knows what to do or say until you have been through it yourself on how to support.  My heart realized cards would have been so nice to have received. A miscarriage is a loss.  And you do go through the grief process for months and months.  We felt very few people acknowledged that we lost our child.  And we were sharing with our family and friends not just about our loss, but about our struggle in just being able to conceive. Therefore, I started to create cards for women dealing with infertility and pregnancy loss.  I want to create cards so we, as women dealing with these struggles, don't feel alone.  It is important for us to feel support by our loved ones. Because of this season in life, I am now able to create cards for people dealing with infertility and pregnancy loss.  Of course I am in the beginning stages of creating cards, but my heart is heavy and huge for this topic(s) and now my cards have a greater purpose.  Find me on Instagram @fromthehearteventplanning and/or @waitingforourlittleone    Interested in cards: contact me!  We are also on Facebook: From the Heart Event Planning which has a list of our cards.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

One Moment

All it takes is one moment to change your life forever......

the person you meet through someone that you start dating
the friend that you just met at the store that ends up being like a sister to you
the engagement ring
that present
the hug from a loved one
the good news from the doctor
the positive pregnancy test

And all it takes again is one moment to change your life forever....

the text from a spouse about the dreaded physical state of a friend
the person you loved that made the decision to leave
the phone call from the doctor
that call you never receive from your friend again
the engagement ring gone
the wedding that the other person you loved who never showed up
that fight that tore you away from a loved one
the hospital visit that turned into your last visit with a loved one
the previous positive pregnancy test that just turned negative

Our Christmas holiday was suppose to be a time of rejoicing with each other that the most amazing gift God could give to my husband and I was a baby.  And one week before Christmas we finally received that precious gift that we had been waiting for. My husband and I have been trying for one year and a half to have a baby, which is pretty long in the world of trying to conceive.  We figured out that we probably had infertility issues as it has been past the year mark. We thought that 2016 was going to be a really tough year in regards to seeing fertility specialists and making some huge decisions in regard to how we were going to start building our family.  Would we need surgery?  Would we go the IVF and IUI treatments?  Would we adopt? It already is emotional and has been such a hard road not being able to conceive and start a family especially when so many people I know had no problem.  It was just another discouraging road.

However, we got a huge surprise in mid December. Getting pregnant was not even an option for us as we just assumed we probably couldn't do it naturally on our own. So when we finally got a positive pregnancy test, we were beyond shocked and hard to believe we really could be.  After testing 3 times and still positive, we were feeling all the new emotions anyone feels when you find out there is a huge possibility you could be parents. Excitement, as we start to imagine what life would feel like with a baby in our home.  Dreaming of decorating the baby's room. Imagining holding our little one. Anxiety, tons of anxiety-what will pregnancy be like?  What if something happens during my pregnancy how will I cope, delivery what will it be like?  Every thing I could think of was popping into my head and honestly we were really scared of the entire new experience and the unknown.  And I have seen loved ones go through some really scary pregnancy losses and pregnancy delivery stories. Finding out you are pregnant is seriously an overwhelming time as you just do not know what will happen and the unknown.  And it is a time in life that one has no control over at all.  But it is also a magically time especially if you have been waiting and waiting for a positive pregnancy test.

Unfortunately, our dreaming and hope was gone on Christmas morning as I started to bleed and I just knew that our dream was over of having our  baby in August.  It was such a hard day and a hard holiday.  Why would God take our baby away when we have been trying for so long?  It is crazy how in just ONE week we went from overjoyed hope and surprise to complete lost of hope and devastation.  Now 2016 was not looking as hopeful and here we are back on the journey.  Back on the journey of the unknown and doctor visits and treatments.  We will never understand why sometimes we have to go through such hard moments filled with loss and unfilled dreams.  All we can take away is that we do not always have control over the destiny of our lives.  We can do what we can, but ultimately God has the final say and we have to trust and believe that even the little ones we have for a short time have a greater purpose in heaven.  And that was God's purpose for them all along to be angels in heaven for His greater purpose. Our hearts are broken this holiday season, but we are filled with more hope knowing WE CAN conceive and we are hopeful we will in the future with a doctor's help.  And to all those who have experienced pregnancy loss at any stage-what an honor we all have-to have angels that had a greater purpose to be brought to heaven so soon and most of all we have the hope of meeting them one day along with Jesus face to face.  We are the lucky ones that God chose us to carry them for a short time-even as our hearts brake longing to hold them on earth.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Here we go again.....waiting!

When you look at many Bible stories, one common theme that many of the people endured were waiting seasons.  Noah waited and obeyed God for 100 years to build this enormous, crazy ark! Sarah and Abraham were waiting for God to bless them with a child.  And He did after waiting many and many years! Jonah was inside the belly of a fish!  He had to wait until God saved him.  God told Joseph that he would be a leader, however that did not happen overnight. His brothers actually sold him as a slave! He had to wait and endure some very difficult challenges, and at some point he became one of the most powerful leaders.  Job had to wait when he was afflicted to be healed. And the list goes on and on!

When I endure another season of waiting, I get extremely impatience as I feel "what am I doing here again?" And I tend to compare my situation to my friends and that is when the distress continues even harder.  I think "did I do something wrong in my previous waiting season?" But the more we fellowship we each other and listen to God's word, we see how each Bible character endured numerous waiting seasons.  Waiting tends to be apart of life.  When we look at our waiting periods in our life, we can understand that there is a purpose in the wait. Yet, when we going through "the wait" it does not FEEL comfortable or good.  It doesn't give us warm and fuzzy emotions. Instead, it hurts,  It is painful! It causes tears and confusion. It is easier to hear the negative voices instead of holding on to God's words and promises. Waiting is one of the hardest experiences in life, because in certain circumstances it shows us as humans that there are certain things we cannot control. It is easier to praise God when He blesses us, but it is very hard to praise God in the wait, especially as months and years go on and we see no change. Yet, have we ever thought that maybe when we endure a season or a couple of seasons of waiting that just maybe it IS God's blessing in our life, because during that time, HE is doing something.  He is moving when we don't see it, when we don't hear it, when we don't understand- God IS moving in a way we never imagined.  He is desiring us to draw closer to Him during our confusion and brokenness we find ourselves in when we are waiting.  There are hidden blessings we are experiencing that we may never see fully or understand that we may not have experienced if got what we wanted and needed when we wanted it. Maybe your greater purpose in life is linked to this waiting period you are enduring.  

For example, I never would understand the struggle and heartache of infertility if we had our baby when we wanted it!  I never would have that specific empathy for couples and women that are unable to have children or are waiting patiently for a child.  I could never really understand, because you really can't understand what someone is enduring until you have walked that same path.  And God uses our pain for a purpose, even if it is to reach someone to the Lord-He will use YOU to help others draw into an intimate walk with Christ and know Him deeply. When we experience the pain of waiting, we grow- we grow in our relationship with God deeper. we grow as a person gaining more empathy, care, and love toward others, we grow in relationship with others as we build new friends and grow deeper with other friends when we share our pain with others.  The bottom line is waiting is painful and it fills empty, sad, and hopeless at times, but we can be encouraged knowing God allows His children to wait for a purpose and reason greater then we will ever know.  We can trust God.  He is thinking of us and there are blessings we are experiencing without even seeing it!

Hold on even when you feel like you can't hold on anymore, because God has each season in your life planned and each for a beautiful purpose greater then you will ever know or understand! Let us praise Him for the blessings we are in while waiting.  And may our perspective change on waiting and knowing at some point of our lives; we are all waiting for something and waiting is part of life!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Speaking Out Against the Silence

This letter is for you- 
to the woman who cries at night or from time to time, because of the pain she faces.  
to the woman whose pain is so deep that even your husband has no clue how much you are hurting, 
to the woman who feels she can't share her previous experience, because it was so heartbreaking 
to the woman who does not want to burden her friends
to the woman who feels alone 
to the woman who is afraid to share her deepest heartache.........

Women, that silent pain is usually the pain linked to the issue of childbearing.

Before I was married, this was a pain I knew nothing about.  I thought the pain of singleness and waiting was hard enough to bear.  And guess what?  It was.  I thought when I met the love of my life that deep sadness, heartache, and pain of waiting would never come back.  But guess what I was wrong.  After a year of being married, we decided to start a family.  Little did I know, we both would be enduring the pain, heartache, and deep sadness that infertility brings to us.  It is a different type of waiting period.  A waiting period filled with the unknown.  The unknown to whether your body can even give you what you deeply desire as a woman. It is one of the most scariest things to endure: infertility.  Of course, infertility is never the end to seeing your heart's desire and the cry of your womb.  There is always hope and the beautiful stories that couples have shared even years after waiting and waiting.  But in the wait, there is an unknown and uneasy feeling when you are not sure if your dream will come to pass or if it will be shattered.  Infertility is a silent emotional killer for us women.  At first, I shared the struggles with my best friends each month as it got harder and harder.  Then they were announcing their own pregnancies and it became harder for me to share.  I didn't want to damper their joy and happiness by sharing my sadness as I miss out of sharing that experience with them. 

And then there is the other silent emotional killer that many women have experienced and that is of losing a baby before they even got to hold their precious babe: Miscarriage and still born.  I have never experienced firsthand, but my mother endured several miscarriages and stillborn as well as good friends of mine.  Again, some women may not want to share, since the pain of enduring this tragedy is one that we can never ever truly explain to someone unless they have personally been in.

How do we find the peace each day to continue pressing on when our heart's desire is to be a mother?  It is a hard journey and one that I wish people were open to sharing.  I think if all of us women could find our voice and share the pain we have experienced, are currently facing, and maybe will face will help us to regain hope, encouragement, and the strength to find our purpose outside of motherhood and in motherhood but in different ways then what we may originally thought.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

some random thoughts....for my ladies

Today I sat in sorrow.  I sat in sadness.  Because I am here again waiting, waiting AGAIN for God to answer the cry and desires of my heart.  Waiting for my heart to be filled with not only ONE desire to be fulfilled, but many prayers and many desires.  The desire to build a community with believers; the hunt and search for churches is always a hard and long journey and is also a waiting period to see if this or that church is the right fit for us.  The desire to see restoration in my husband's family and into our family.  The desire to have a family.  The desire to have friendships. The desire to see my past friends.  The girls I considered my sisters.  My heart longs for connection, fulfillment, and satisfaction.  However, my heart is not content.  It is not fulfilled.  It is not satisfied. 

This summer has been hard.  It has been challenging.  It has been painful.  We don't have loved ones asking us how we are doing. They assume we are great, because we are not alone.  We have each other.  However, the one thing I learned in marriage is that no matter how much a married couple is on the same team and supports each other, they still need others on the outside to support them.  It is difficult when other people don't ask the hard questions.  The "how are you" questions are sometimes the most important.  Because sometimes even the people that appear to be blessed from our perspective still are people.  They are still hurt people.  They are still struggling people. We need family.  We need support.  We need friendships in all seasons of life.  Sometimes, when a married couple does not have that outside support, it can be hard to encourage each other.  It is hard to encourage my spouse and for my spouse to encourage me when we are both discouraged and down about the same situation we are both facing together.

The purpose of this blog is to not only share my feelings, but to speak to the church.  To share how we all need each other.  We all need one another whether we are single, married, divorced, widowed, have a million children or are barren or are homeless or have a mansion.  We need each other badly.  We need to listen and to love one another.  We need to show empathy to everyone we come in contact with, but most importantly to demonstrate this in the church.  You see in the church is where I feel unaccepted and alone. Whatever church we attend, there is loneliness instead of community.  There is isolation instead of embracing one another.  In the church is where there are divisions.  Divisions amongst the ladies.  Ladies only spending time with ladies in the same circumstance as themselves. Yet, God calls us to embrace each person in any season of life.  We are suppose to carry each other burdens. Yet in my struggle I feel there is not a church or community of ladies I can run to who will embrace me in my time of need.  Instead I find either no one or women who feel uncomfortable around me, because they don't know what to say to me in my present circumstance. So, church and ladies, let's stand for all women everywhere.  Let's try to stand with a fellow lady that we may not understand how they are feeling or what they are feeling, but we can try.  We can try to by loving them and embracing them right where they are at. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Preparing Your Heart for Your Heart's Desires

   In life there are so many different stages and seasons we endure without really ever being prepared for it.  My husband and I are now in a new stage in our marriage and I was not really emotionally prepared or thinking I had to be emotionally prepared.  Before I share about our new stage in marriage, I think back to my past.  I think about the desires of our heart and us pursuing the desires of our heart.  And that maybe there needs to be some prep time to prepare our heart, mind, soul, and emotions, especially for us ladies.
    Before I was married, I had the strong desire to be married and as I waited day after day and month after month and year after year, my emotions were difficult to handle as I felt heavy disappointment, lack of control over the plans for my life, and utter sadness as my heart's desire was still unfilled.  I felt disappointment towards myself and towards my God, because I was seeking Him to answer my heart's desire.  Honestly at times, I blamed God for my disappointments acting like I was entitled to my heart's desire since I was following Him. Looking at it now, I realized I acted quickly on my emotions, instead of going to God with my disappointments. I was creating a barrier with my relationship with God as I was angry at Him for not giving me what I wanted when I wanted it.  Looking back now, I can see God's perfect fingerprints on bringing my husband into my life to create this beautiful love story for us and to bring him at a time in my life that I thought was hopeless and impossible, which taught me the true meaning of love and beauty. And bringing us together when we both needed each other the most.  God does know what we need and He knows when we truly need our heart's desire fulfilled much more then when we think we need our prayers answered. 
   However, there is always that still small negative voice that says to us: What if God does not answer my prayer?  What if I never get married?  I will be lonely, miserable, and unhappy.  When we look to someone or something to make us happy, we probably need to reevaluate our hearts and wonder why we cannot be happy on our own with our God. When we lean on someone or something to make us happy without even meeting him or her, we probably have made an idol without even realizing it.  Yes, I have made a marriage an idol, years before I was married and even knew who my husband was.  I thought being married would take away my pain, struggles, and hurts.  I thought being married would make me happy and remain happy. (Of course that is not true; your personal struggles do not magically go away once you fall in love!) However, when God saw this idol in my life, He said wait. Wait until your heart settles.  Wait until you are prepared.  Prepared to have your heart's desire.  And most of all God says to wait to help us prepare our hearts for our heart's desire to actually happen.  Sometimes, before God can answer a prayer of ours, He has to teach us to have a calm spirit and emotions as we try again and again to receive our heart's desire(s).
   And yet, here I am again.  Disappointment, overwhelmed, over emotional and distraught trying to make sense of the future that we do not have any control over and understanding how to tame the desires of our hearts when we cannot always pursue what we want when we want it. We desire a baby.  A new stage. A new season of life.  One that some people would say we are crazy for even pursuing.  Yet the desire for children has been always on my heart.
     But we did go into it blindly.  Not knowing (especially much more for the woman as we are much more emotional beings-thank God for my husband's amazing patience and calmness) how emotional it would and what a roller coaster ride it would be for me. Sometimes, when we desire to see our heart's desire happen, we need to prepare ourselves mentally, emotionally, and prepare our hearts for the ride and for the journey.  Because the journey usually never turns out the way we envisioned it.  I thought I would have met my husband a lot sooner then when I did, but yet I never doubted God's perfect timing after we met.  And the same goes for having our precious baby. 
     I do not know what will happen.  I do not know if we will have our own children or if we will adopt.  Or if we will never have children or have many more then I imagined.  When we pursue our heart's desires, whatever it may be for you, we need to run to our God and share with Him our pain, fears, struggles, joys, excitement, and hope. We must not look to Him to blame for when we hit the bump of disappointments and bad news that we did not plan to happen.  We must prepare our hearts and our emotions before we journey to receive our heart's desires.  Because whenever God puts dreams on your heart, there is always a battle- a spiritual battle-one that Satan does not want to see happen.  Therefore, it is a journey.  And for us women, whatever the desire of your heart is, it will always be an emotional one as God created us with emotions and the ability to feel those raw emotions so deeply.  Embrace the journey and the roadblocks that may come, but know at the end God has that perfect plan for your life that will somehow entail the desire of your heart.  It may or may not turn out the way you thought, so before you embrace and embark on your journey.  Prepare your heart.  Prepare your mind.  Prepare your loved ones.  And prepare your emotions and then venture out preparing to see God's goodness in His perfect timing.