Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Season's Greetings...

Thanksgiving has came and gone, and we are on the heels of approaching Christmas quickly--much more quickly than I'd like.  I still have so much to to be bought and wrapped, decorations to set out, cards to be addressed and mailed... I tend to get so caught up in the "season" that I forget WHO and WHAT the season represents. 

This year, I tried to be a good steward of sending out cards.  In fact, I probably sent more cards this year than in years past.  However, there is still so much room for improvement in this area, especially for Christmas.  I didn't even send out cards last year!  (Enter sad face here!)  However, I came across these photo cards, and thought they were super cute...Let's be honest, people want photos and cards--so this is a way to kill two birds with one stone!

Christmas Cards Behold Joy - Front : Holiday
Traditional Religious Cards
Born This Day Christmas Cards
Photo Collage

Winter Symbols Christmas Cards
Christmas Card Ornaments
Winter Harmony Christmas Cards
Tri-Fold Cards has some really cute holiday cards, gifts, etc.  Go check them out.  Use code HOLFS at check out to receive free shipping on orders $49+.  I'm getting ready to order some of the Christmas Ornament Cards.  Use code DECSW25 to enjoy up to 25% off orders before Decmber 6, 2012.

Happy Shopping!

Monday, December 3, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness for Infertility...conclusion

I am sorry that I am late posting my final thankfulness for Infertility... I know that many of you are hanging on the edge of your seat waiting for the conclusion...haha, I'm kidding.

So for those of you have stuck it out this far with me, Thank you!  Here's a little teaser of my list...

Things about Infertility I am Thankful for:

Thursday, November 29, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving for Infertility: Day 27-29

My 30 days of Thankfulness for Infertility is almost over.  I think my most favorite parts have been witnessing how much growth I've had--spiritually and emotionally--after infertility.  I've never really thought about what a blessing infertility could have been in my life, but now I know.  I know it was necessary, and I am thankful for it.

Day 27:
I am thankful that I never gave up trying.  We continued trying and we continued praying.  I could have let the doctor who told us pregnancy was unlikely as an excuse to never try again.  I could have let the failed pregnancy be an excuse to never try again.  But, ultimately, My desire to be a mother was greater than the risk of seeing another negative pregnancy test or losing another baby...or worse yet, never trying again. 

Day 28 and 29:
Because we continued trying, I am so thankful for these two little miracles:

Kohen (18 months) & Kade (3 years old)
I hated the wait, but I know God was putting extra special touches on my boys--and literally, the first time I heard them cry, the pain and the heartache seemed to be nothing more than a memory for me.
I know God's timing is perfect.   God could have chosen to answer my prayer sooner (or not at all), and I would not have these boys to love.  I honestly can't imagine my life without them. 

Check back here tomorrow to conclude my 30 Days of Thankfulness for Infertility!

Monday, November 26, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 24-26

30 Days of Thanksgiving for Infertility
Day 24
I am thankful for all of the negative pregnancy tests I received.  In the beginning, each one hurt a little more than the last.  But towards the end (let me remind you we were on our 5th year of trying), they hurt a little less.  I could tell that God was softening my heart--or else he was making me so much stronger.  It was still sad, but it wasn't as devastating as it once was to only see one line.

Day 25
Although I couldn't seem to come up with 2 pink lines on a pregnancy test, I was so thankful for ovulation predictors.  I could see TWO lines on them!  I could tell I was ovulating, and I could dream of the day that TWO lines would be staring back at me from a pregnancy test.  I am truly thankful for the medical advancement of ovulation tests.  I know that they have been vital in many womens' success in conceiving. 

Day 26
I am thankful for Stepping Stones which offers Christian support for couples facing infertility or pregnancy loss.  Each quarter a newsletter would arrive in my mailbox, and I would sit and savor every single word.  Their store has many books for infertility, miscarriage, adoption, etc.  Stepping Stones was probably THE best resource I had while I struggled with infertility, and I am so, so very thankful for their obedience to minister to the broken hearted prospective parents.  If you haven't already done so, please check out the website!  So much good information.  You can click here to read an excerpt from their November/December 2012 issue.

Friday, November 23, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 21-23

Day 21
I am thankful for my dear friends who had kids during our struggles.  It gave me an opportunity to love on some very special kids and channel my heartache energy into something positive. 

Day 22
I am thankful for my co-workers who often heard me venting about our journey.  More often than not, they had no choice.  I would come into work and vent--about anything--to my coworkers.  I was allowed to be real with them.  I didn't have to hide my emotions or disappointments.  They genuinely cared for me and our situation.  I give them most of the credit for my ability to retain my sanity more than once.

Day 23
I am thankful that as I sit here and note things to be thankful for during our infertility journey that I can see how much I've grown as a Christian, friend, and woman.  I mean, I know I've grown--but because I wrote down so much of our journey, I can actually see where/how infertility has shaped me.  God has brought me so far--from hardly being able to look at pregnant women to accepting life without children to now being a mother--it's been a really crazy roller coaster, but I've definitely grown into a much stronger person now having walked it. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 19-20

Day 19
I am thankful for the doctor who told me "It will likely never happen with your eggs."  It was a huge dose of reality for me and a true testing of my faith.  It also set into motion my finding Dr. R who gave me back my hope.

Day 20
I am thankful that I was allowed the opportunity to go back to school and focus on another dream I had:  becoming a teacher.  I had felt a nudging from the Lord for many years to teach.  I love to learn, and going to school has somewhat became a hobby of mine.  So, I finally gave in and decided to be obedient.  I didn't know the first thing about being a teacher, but I knew if God wanted me to do it, He would equip me.  Going back to school also gave me another way to occupy my mind.  When I had overwhelming free time, I would think = cry = go to bed and feel sorry for myself.  I was excited to return to school, and I was ready to love a classroom of kids if God didn't want to give me children of my own.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 16-18

I'm continuing with 30 Days of Thanksgiving for Infertility... 

Day 16
When we were trying to get pregnant, it become very clear that we needed more than medical intervention.  We were in need of a miracle.  I'm thankful that the following bible verse explained how God utilizes miracles:

"I would seek unto God, and unto God
 would I commit my cause:
Which doeth great things and unsearchable;
marvellous things without number:"
Job 5:8-9

This verse gave me hope because I discovered that the Lord preforms miracles without number.  I'm so thankful that  He can never ever run out of miracles!  I know that miracles happen differently for different people.  But, I also know that all miracles are generous acts of God's mercy and grace toward us.

Day 17
Speaking of miracles, I'm thankful that the Lord softened my hardened heart towards people who had what I wanted.  I can remember feeling so bitter towards people who had young children.  I was especially bitter towards women who were pregnant.  I couldn't understand how "it" became so easy for some, while it was so difficult for others.  God worked a miracle in my life as He removed this bitterness and replaced it with compassion and love.  One day, it just didn't hurt as much.  I stopped asking God, "Why me?" and started asking myself, "Why not me?"

Day 18
Even though we needed more than medical intervention, I am thankful for the advancement of medicine.  We were given the opportunity to undergo IUI's four different times.  Although it did not work for us, I know people personally who have had success with IUI's.  I am thankful for the medicine advancements and for Clomid and Fermera.  I'm thankful for the injectable medicine Follistim and the HCG shot.  I know that God has given doctors the wisdom to use these interventions to expedite the waiting processes, and more often than not, they are essential in helping women conceive, especially if there is a female factor (like it was for us).   

Thank you to those of you who have stuck around for the past 18 days...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 14-15

30 Days of Thanksgiving for Infertility

Day 13 I blogged about how I was thankful for people who prayed for me when I could no longer pray for myself.  Today's post goes hand in hand with Day 13.

Day 14
I am thankful that the Lord intercedes on our behalf and knows our heart when we can't put our feelings into words.  I am so thankful that He could put into words what I could not.

We also know the Spirit makes intercession for us because the bible tells us so:

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for
 we know not what we should pray
 for as we ought: but the
Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings
 which cannot be uttered.
And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit,
because he maketh intercession for the saints
 according to the will of God.
Romans 8:26-27

Day 15
I spent the majority of my infertility years feeling down on myself.  I was often the host of a pity party which you were lucky enough to remain uninvited to.  Honestly, that's just how it was.  I'd go through some good days at the first of the month ("Oh, we are trying again.  This WILL be the month.").  The middle of the month was okay.  ("We need to schedule "quality time" on this, this, and this day.).  The end of the month was filled with stress. (Could I be?  I'm not...I know I'm not.) And, the end of the month was almost always the same outcome.  (Shut door.  Cry myself to sleep.  Yell at God.  Cry some more.)  But after a few days, I'd snap out of it and the cycle rollercoaster would start over.  During my good days (and because our cycles weren't together), I was able to encourage other people who I'd met blogging.  Even if it's just a comment saying, "I'm praying for you,"  I am humbled to know that God used me to encourage others when I allowed Him to do so--which wasn't nearly often enough--and He used me when I felt unuseable.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 13

I have to admit, as the days are passing its getting a little harder to find things about infertility that I am thankful for.  For the past 12 days, I mentioned how I am thankful for:
Day 13
Today, I am thankful for all of the people who prayed for me.  I've often mentioned that I came to a crossroads in my infertility walk and walk with the Lord.  There came a time in my life when I just couldn't pray about our situation any longer.  I had prayed millions of countless times.  I honestly didn't know what I could possibly say that I hadn't said 152 times before.  I know that God knows our heart, even when we can't pray.  But, I am thankful for the people who faithfully prayed for me.  They would send me cards or text messages to let me know they were thinking of me, and I felt them.  I am so thankful for the people who cared enough about me to pray.  Thank you so, so much!  I am thankful for those who pray for others when people can't pray for themselves.

Monday, November 12, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Days 10-12

30 Days of Thanksgiving
30 Days of Thanksgiving for Infertility continues...

Day 10

I am thankful that my circumstances brought me closer to God. There was a time in my life when infertility had the opposite affect. I was angry at God and chose to deal with my situation by pulling away from God. I don't know why I thought the world could bring me comfort during this trying period in my life. It didn't. I am thankful that even though there were many instances when I felt alone, that God was always with me.

Day 11

I'm thankful for the journey. I don't think I would be as aware of "the wilderness" had I not gone through infertility. I learned what it really means that if the Lord leads you to the wilderness, He will also lead you through it! It will forever remind me that when I am struggling in this life, He is walking right beside of me for good.

Day 12

I am thankful for Dr. R (aka Dr. Wonderful). God has given him the best bed side manner. He was the first doctor I went to see who I felt truly saw me as a person and not a patient. He knew me by name...He knew my husband by name too. God has gifted Dr. R with the ability to help people--and I am very thankful that he has that gift and that I picked him out of the yellow pages randomly one day. (God had his hand all over that situation.)

Friday, November 9, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 9

During Infertility, I was very thankful for this song.  It seemed to sum up everything I felt.

Really listen to the lyrics.  It's so hard to praise God in the Storm.  Sometimes, I did.  Sometimes I didn't.  But, I am so thankful for this song and I still hold it very close to my heart. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 7-8

Day 7
I'm thankful for the waiting.  Infertility gave my husband and I much needed alone time.  Although I wanted to grow our family from the moment we said "I do," I am now thankful that Kyle and I had this time together by ourselves.  We were adjusting to blending our lifestyles and schedules.  We had time to focus on "us."  I think this time together really cultivated our marriage for success. 

Day 8
Infertility tried to bend our marriage, but it was our first test in overcoming obstacles as a couple.  During the beginning of our journey, I was so insecure that I thought Kyle would stop loving me if I couldn't give him children.  I once even gave him permission to stop loving me.  Crazy, huh?  However, the longer we went through infertility the more God revealed Kyle's love for me.  We were tested and twisted, yet we triumphed.  There is no doubt in my mind that we can get through anything together.  I am thankful that infertility gave me security in my husband's love for me.   

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 6

If you are just stopping by, I have decided to list 30 things I am thankful for during my Infertility journey. You can read more about that here, here, and here.

Day 6
Today, I am thankful that infertility led me to blogging.  It gave me friends who fully understood my struggles, but most important it gave me people to pray for who would be praying for me in return.  When I first began blogging, I quickly befriended Joannah, Jill, and Janna.  We were all struggling with infertility at the same time.  So without infertility and blogging, I would never connected with these amazing women (and so many others!).  They aren't just virtual friends...  I genuinely care about many of the women whose blogs I read.  It's amazing that I can take a glimpse inside of their lives and others glimpse in my life.  It's a support group at its best!    

Blogging also gave me a healthy way to voice my opinions.  It was healing to be able to just "talk" (or type) about what I was going through.  Blogging didn't lift me out of that darkness, but I knew I wasn't alone in my journey.  Writing about it helped make infertility hurt a little, if you are reading this, "Thank you!"  Today I am thankful for you!  I'm so humbled that you have read what I've had to say.  Know that you are prayed for and thought of often.

Monday, November 5, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 3-5

30 Days of Thanksgiving
Day 3 & 4
I am thankful that because I have experienced miscarriages, I truly know how precious life is.  Please don't misconstrue what I'm saying--I loved deeply both of the babies I loss to miscarriage.  However, because I've experienced how quickly life can be taken away, I also feel as if I love Kade and Kohen a little differently than people who have not experienced loss or infertility.  I have a little more patience with them.  I pick up on things I may have otherwise missed.  I try to soak up each and every moment with them. 

I am also thankful that when I thought I was ready to be a parent that God intervened.  Although I totally disagreed (at that time) with His decision, I know that He was working our circumstances out for good.  I am a better parent now than I would have been back then.  I don't feel as though I was financially, emotionally, or physically ready to be a parent and assuming the responsibility of raising children.  God knew me better than I did.  Even though my heart was broken both times I miscarried, I realize now that God was bringing Himself glory.  I know that nothing gets to me unless it first passes through Him.  He knew it would break my heart, but He also knew it would draw me closer to Him

Day 5
I am thankful for this bible verse which brought me comfort after miscarriage:

"He shall feed his flock like a shepherd:
he shall gather the lambs with his arm,
and carry them in his bosom,
and shall gently lead those that are with young." 
Isaiah 40:11, KJV

Lord, if I've never told you before, thank you for allowing me to experience such a heartbreaking circumstance.  I was totally broken after experiencing miscarriages, but You used this time in my life to force me to only see You.  Thank you for giving me two extra reasons to look forward to eternity with You.  Thank you for carrying my babies in your bosom when I couldn't carry them in mine.  Thank you for always gently leading me to You.  I praise you for your goodness and your grace to face every heartbreaking circumstance.  I love you Lord, and I thank you for the wisdom I've gained during these heartbreaking moments.  Amen.    

Friday, November 2, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 2

30 Days of Thanksgiving For Infertility
Day 2
As I began this journey yesterday, I told you I was thankful for a diagnosis of "unexplained" infertility. 

Today, I am thankful for every tear that fell from my eyes (and there where many).  That may seem silly, but hear me out: 

Each tear helped me express my heartache.  Each tear helped me cope with the longing and the desires of my heart to be a mommy.  I know that the stress was so overwhelming for me that there were times I wondered if any of them (my tears) mattered to anyone.  Now, I'm so thankful that I chose to express my feelings in a healthy way...just having a good cry when I needed it, and to not be embarrassed by that act.  I would cry in the shower.  I would cry driving down the road.  I would cry when I talked to my friends about it.  I cried when I looked at my husband.  I cried so often, my life seemed incomplete.  But one things for certain--it was when my heart was truly broken and tears would stream down my face that I could call out to God in prayer and I felt His presence.  I knew that His heart was breaking for me.  He had once wept too.  And somehow, I felt that God and I were in unison during some of those moments.  I believe He fully understood how I felt, and I knew His heart was breaking for me too.  I knew despite all of those things that He loved me and that everything was going to be okay--because eventually the tears would stop and I'd find myself smiling again. 

So, on Day 2 of my month of Thanksgiving, I'm thankful for tears and the ability to connect with the Lord on a personal level of empathy since He had once wept too.  The baby I once cried so often for, now cries for me.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving...

'Tis The Season of Thankfulness

Many of the blogs I follow are participating in the 30 Days of Thanksgiving.  I am making a list of all the things I am thankful for on my primary blog, Killian Corner.  However, I wanted to do something different on this blog and also try to make a list of 30 ways I am thankful (now) for infertility.  It may seem a little outlandish to some, but stick around for a little bit.  Its my sincere hope that it all will make sense to you in the end...

Day 1
I hated infertility.  I hated charting.  I hated scheduling "time" with my husband.  I hated seeing other pregnant bellies.  I hated birth announcements.  I hated fertility meds.  I hated waking up with hotflashes.  I hated Mothers Day.  I hated seeing sad news stories of children being abused.  I hated hearing that friends were expecting their 2nd child.  I hated going to work.  I hated getting out of bed.  I hated 2 week waits.  I hated BFN's.  I hated life.  I hated not understanding.  I hated people who said, "Relax and it will happen."  I hated people who asked, "...want to borrow my kids?"  I hated life.  I hated my body.  I hated everything.

After reading all of that hatred, it's puzzling to see how one could ever find gratitude in an experience that perfected ripping my heart out, month after month.  But I am thankful.

I am thankful, on Day 1, for the diagnosis of "unexplained infertility."  Not knowing who or what to blame allowed me time to relinquish all control over what the future may or may not hold.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Dancing Upon Barren Land

I stumbled upon this blog today as I was looking up Christian Infertility blogs.  It's called Dancing Upon Barren Land.  I love how its website says "It's Spiritual Nourishment for the Infertility Road."  One of my favorite characteristics about the website is that it offers devotionals which cater to infertility patients.  I could really relate to today's devotion, "Anger: Infertility's Fire Starter."

Anger was an understatement for how I felt.  Boiling.  Livid.  Rage.  Resentful. Annoyed.  Irritated.  These words describe better scratch the surface of just how angry I was during our journey to parenthood.  I harbored so much anger that I alienated myself from friends and family.  I loss important friendships over others' inability to understand our situation.  I was bitter at anyone who had what I didn't. 

I know these aren't healthy attitudes.  Believe me, they took their toll on me and anyone who was surrounding me.  Something that I found comforting though is knowing I wasn't isolated in my anger.  There are so many other couples who knew first hand what I/we were going through. 

Go check it out...

By the way, if you are an infertility blog and would like to be listed under my support circle page, please let me know.  Also, if you have a bible verse which is comforting to you, its likely to be a comfort to others.  Let me know what verse and I'll add it to the Bible Verses page.

Be blessed!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Recent God Sighting...

Hello friends!  It's been a very long time since I posted, but I will say I have continued to pray for you all over the months.  I experience God in a huge way this week regarding infertility, as a friend of mine shared she was having trouble conceiving.  She and her husband had been trying to grow their family for four years and had become licensed several months ago in foster parenting.  I had no idea...

Ever since she shared with me, I have been burdened for her and prayed for her often.  On Tuesday, I had an overwhelming burden for her...  She was so heavy on my heart.  I prayed for her and I struggled whether to share with her that I had done so, but I decided to send her an email.  I'm sooo thankful I did, because God showed up in a mighty way for her (and me!) later Tuesday morning.  It's almost as if as soon as I got the words out of my mouth, God moved...big time!  You can read more about that here.

How are all of you?  Have you seen the Lord moved recently? 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Are you full?

Hello everyone!  I  hope you are all doing well!  New blog post here.  I invite you to check it out and become a follower of my newest blog!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Biblicial Encouragement for Couples Waiting To Conceive

I recently ran across this really great article titled "Biblical Encouragement for Couples Waiting to Conceive."  One of the best aspects of the article is how God will use our time in waiting to actually help us.  You mean to tell me through the heartache, the failed pregnancy test, the impending arrival of our period, the scheduled "quality time" with our spouse, the timing of fertility meds,...rinse...repeat...there is time for us to get help????  Absolutely!  Stick with me for a minute!

Just because I want you to read the article, I won't delve into to much detail...I'll just give you a list of a few key points:
  • Grows and Strengthens Our Faith--for me this was most important.  My faith, as is yours, was tried, twisted, trampled, and turned upside down.  I spent so much time focusing on my inability to get pregnant that ultimately I stopped recognizing God's ability to give me a child.
  • Develops Patience and Character--my hardest lesson.  I prayed for patience once, and it took me 5 years to get pregnant.  I swore off ever praying for patience again.  I will say, this time period taught me some invaluable other lessons which helped to build my character.  I learned for the first time that I am not in control.  We say all the time God is in control which sounds easy enough in theory.  However, when you are truly tested to relinquish control to Him (especially your own body), it's hard... As for patience, that's a lesson I stand to learn daily.
  • Shows Us Our True Source of Joy--the source of my joy was resting in a baby instead of Jesus Christ.  It took me a while to grasp that God had already given me a family in my husband.  I couldn't seem to see us as a family without a baby.  The part of me that wanted so much to be a mother took up residency in my heart so that it pushed everything else to the way friends, my husband, God.  I can see now that God wanted me to yearn for Him the same way I yearned for motherhood.  I hated learning this, but I know now how necessary it was.
  • Teaches us to Rest in the Lord--resting in God and know that He is working on our behalf is difficult.  When our patience is running thin, we see the "miracle of life" occurring all around us, how do you just sit back and rest in the Lord.  Well, for starters:  The Lord sees outside the box.  He wants us to rest in Him, because He already has everything worked our for us.  We are just waiting on Him to set our answer to prayer in motion...right?  Another way to look at Resting in the Lord is to just "stop trying!"
  • Shows us the Power of God's Grace--for me, this was the lesson I walked away from infertility thinking, "How on earth did I ever survive that time in my life?  The stress...The heartache....The disappointment...The sorrow...The stops and starts.  We continually sought solace in God to give us the guidance for what He would have us do next.  We had good days and bad days--but there were days that I would simply wake up and have a renewed hope and faith in His ability to give us children.  I knew that He had poured his grace and mercy over me one...more...time...
So, what are you waiting for?  Go read "Biblical Encouragement for Couples Waiting to Conceive" by
Cortni Marrazzo, Contributing Writer
Check out my other blogs also:  Are You Souled Out 4 Christ?!?  and Killian Corner  We'd love to have you become a follower or a commentor on the happenings in our lives.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Checking in...

I'm not sure anyone even reads this blog any more.  I rarely blog here any longer, although infertility is still very much a part of who I am.  It has shaped me in countless a wife, as a mother, as a friend, and as a prayer warrior.  I still follow many of my fellow IF'rs blogs.  I still pray for women who are in waiting. 

I can't bring myself to take this blog down.  It's MY journey to becoming a mother.  It may not look like YOUR journey.  I've met so many people through this blog.  However, it's sole purpose is to provide hope for the hopeless, to encourage women who need to defy science/medicine in order to become mothers, and to provide a circle of networking for women who are waiting, seeking advice, or simply wanting to compare cycles.

I have tried to update the reading lists ---> (found over there) as women have become answered prayers.  I'm trying to add women who are in waiting as I come across new blogs.  I need your help to revise these resources from you...if any of you are left reading this blog.

What are some other Infertility blogs?  Who has become an answered prayer?  We are all here to shoulder this burden for each other.  To cry during each other's failures and celebrate each other's successes. 

Who's blog are you reading?