Thursday, January 19, 2017

Part 1: Our Little Embryo

This is Part 1 of a series of posts telling the journey to our third little miracle baby. 
Part 2 will be published soon. 

We have a frozen embryo. A beautiful "good +" blastocyst just waiting to be given a chance. When we froze it I never thought I would feel so attached.

Boston and Lyla were embryos (as everyone once was). We saw them. We have a picture. Just a bunch of cells that ended up turning into the greatest blessing we have ever received. Fully knowing an embryo's potential is what has made me so attached to the one frozen embryo we have. I am so thankful that we were able to save at least one. But I feel so bad...I feel so bad this embryo, this beginning of life, is stuck. Frozen in time. Waiting.

I truly feel a connection, like there is a perfect spirit waiting in heaven to be united with a body. A body that begins with an embryo. Our embryo.

Chris was the one that actually approached me about transferring our embryo. We want our kids to be close in age. We prayed and it just made sense. So we set up an appointment with my reproductive endocrinologist to get an idea of what a frozen embryo transfer would be like and how we need to start preparing. If Chris had his way, we would have started treatment the next day, but instead we chose a date two months later.

To be honest I'm terrified. Terrified that this embryo is our last chance. Terrified that it won't make it through the thaw. Terrified I won't get pregnant. Terrified that I won't have more children. But I know that hope is where comfort is found and hope is where miracles begin.

Fast forward one month later...

It's all happening again. The stress that comes with being infertile. The stress that comes with money and trying to work with insurance. The stress that comes with the medications. The stress of wondering if you'll have more kids. Am I being selfish? Is it selfish that I have two beautiful twins and I want more? Being a mom is everything to me. I love it.

Because I'm writing a more condensed version of this story, I'll just say we ran into a lot of problems with insurance. My fertility clinic was no longer covered and we had received no warning. With treatment already started, I was extremely stressed out. One option was to cancel the treatment, transport our embryo to a different fertility clinic that our insurance recognized and start over. I really didn't want to do that. A lot of tears were shed that day.

Long story short, we worked some things out, decided to continue my treatment and stay at my clinic. I'm so glad we were able to. Things always tend to work out, don't they?

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Happiness For My Father

Eight years ago today, my dad passed from this life. Those who know me well know what happened, but those that don't may be surprised to learn that my father took his own life. Despite the fact that he was a righteous man that filled his days by serving others, illness got the better of him. Both bodily sickness (the worse being Type 1 Diabetes) and mental illness (Chronic Depression) wore his body and spirit out. I never knew my dad without depression, but I'm eager to say he was always someone that impressed me with his integrity. I can't imagine the impression he could have had on me without the darkness that clouded his mental state. 

After he died I experienced extreme fears and anxieties that still affect me in different ways. But from the moment I learned of his passing I knew where he was: He was in heaven. Over the years I have experienced more and more comfort and understanding with death. I believe that heaven is so extraordinary, so beautiful, and filled with so much love and joy that it is by far more wonderful than anything that can be found or experienced on earth. I say heaven, but there's so much more to it then that. So much more I've learned through the Gospel of Jesus Christ and what really happens beyond this life. I truly believe that death is a progression of one's spirit.

Some might wonder, would someone that kills himself really go to heaven? Why not? Why would someone that spent his life trying his best to serve God go anywhere else? I believe Christ's atonement goes beyond this earthly life, and I'm sure my dad has used Christ's atoning sacrifice to correct anything that may have been wrong in how he left this world. 

I love my dad. Life wasn't perfect with him, but I'm so grateful to have had him. I'm grateful that I know I will see him again in a purely joyful state. I'm happy for him. So happy for him. He had a hard life from being unwanted at a young impressionable age, to being plagued with many illnesses and diseases. Through his trials he still strived after knowledge and was the most diligent man I knew when it came to serving others and doing things honestly with the upmost moral principles. He had depression, but he was not depression. I feel blessed in knowing that he will never experience that darkness again, and that I get to meet the true him someday.

I was distressed that he chose to leave me, but I have since forgiven him. I hope my forgiveness has helped him is his progression, so that he may move on and focus on the work that needs to be done in heaven. That work includes preaching to those who have passed on that did not have the opportunity to learn of Christ's gospel or those that turned away from it. I firmly believe he is doing important work and that he is filled with God's love continually. I am happy for him. Happy for the way he strived to live the Gospel of Christ through his mortality. Happy that because of Christ, his wrongs my be corrected. Happy that my family is for eternity. 

How I long to be in that place of peace and love that he is in, but I know I need to live my life to the best of my ability. I long for the day where I can experience what my father is experiencing, to be embraced by loved ones who have passed on and to be completely enveloped in God's love.

I'm happy for you dad.
I love you.

To those who struggle with depression, this is a wonderful video: 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day! I am so happy to be celebrating my first "real" Mother's Day as a mom to my twins. One year ago today, I announced that I was pregnant with them and now I get to cuddle them and reflect on everything I had to do to get Boston and Lyla here in my arms. 

But Mother's Day isn't all about celebrating yourself and all the work you have to do as a mom. It's about celebrating the wonderful women in your life. I looked up definitions of mother and I really like this one I found: "one who looks after kindly and protectively." I've been fortunate to have many wonderful women in my life that look after me.
  • She is one of the many women that have touched my life for good. Taught me, supported me, fought for me.
  • She is my life-long family friend that would drop everything just to help me with my high school math homework.
  • She is my best friend's mom that fed me, helped me, and treated me as her own.
  • She is my childhood Sunday school teacher that still cares for me and follows my life.
  • She is my friend. Whether an experienced mom, first time mom, soon to be mom, or someday mom.
  • She is my grandma. The only one I got to meet and is now watching me from above. 
  • She is my sister. The best aunt in the world because she treats her nephews and nieces just as lovingly as her own.
  •  She is my birth mother, the best of them all because she sacrificed and continues to sacrifice everything for me and my family. She exceeds her calling as a mother by being the best grandma I could ever ask for to my children. It's no coincidence her name is Grace. 
Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful women in my life. You don't have to bare a child to be a mom. If you have cared for another with unconditional love, celebrate this special day because you have a mother's heart. 

I love you mom!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Thoughts On Exclusively Pumping

First off, happy half-birthday to my cute little twins! Boston and Lyla are 6 months old! I can't believe they've blessed my life for already half a year! They LOVE bananas, Boston loves to roll around, and Lyla has become the binky thief!

Before I had the twins I planned on just nursing them. That's what you do when you have babies right? Just nurse. Just. Ha. While in the hospital I would try to nurse Lyla but she wouldn't nurse long enough and wasn't gaining enough weight. Boston was having a difficult time nursing too. I was told to pump for 10 minutes after each time I nursed but that usually got lost in the hustle and bustle of juggling two babies that were 3 floors apart. When we got discharged I was so overwhelmed with family being around wanting to hold them that I would just go in the other room to pump so they could be held instead of trying to nurse them. It was a downward spiral from the beginning between having two very sleepy and tiny babies that weren't interested in nursing and not understanding the discipline it took. So I became one of those exclusive pumpers. Yeah thats a thing. It's not widely known and there are not many resources on the topic. When my milk really started to come in I wasn't worried at all. Then a week later it seemed like my milk production was going down the drain. I spoke with a lactation consultant and she suggested a few tricks. Ever since then I take fenugreek every day, I eat oatmeal twice a day, drink Mother's Milk Tea, make lactation cookies (my favorite recipe is here), and try to drink lots of water. Ever since then it's been a battle to keep up enough supply to feed two babies. I set a goal to exclusively give the twins breast milk for 6 months, which meant a lot a lot a lot of pumping. Every now and then I would try to nurse them again, but it never really worked out. Plus can you imagine nursing two babies at once? It's hard!

Well, I made it to my goal. I have exclusively pumped for 6 months. I spend a minimum of 5 1/2 hours sitting and pumping a day. For me it takes a full hour to pump enough for 1 feeding for the twins. I'm not a pumping supermom, but I'm trying my hardest so my babies can eat what's best for them. People have judged me, others have applauded me, but the truth is I'm pretty exhausted. My pumping "schedule" (currently every 4 hours, except for at night) dictates what I can and can't do each day...where I can go, how long I can be out for. Part of me wants to quit since I reached my goal, and the other part of me thinks, "I've made it this far, what's six more months?" I know there are so many mothers out there that wish they could give their baby breast milk but are unable to. Since I am able to I feel like I should and that I need to keep going. I'm still not sure what I'm going to do moving forward. My mom nursed me for 2 years! There's no way I could ever make it that long, but I'm happy I made it to 6 months. If I can have more children I will definitely try again to nurse, but I don't think I will ever exclusively pump again. I have spent enough time with the constant sound of "ehh err ehh err". Exclusively pumping is hard. It takes a lot of planning ahead. I can't do things on the fly. I can't just go to the mall and whip out a boob when they're hungry. It's exhausting, time consuming, restricting, but I think I should be proud of myself for trying to do what's best for my little ones.

If you have any questions about exclusively pumping feel free to contact me!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Our Favorite Bedtime Songs

We finally have a good little routine going at bedtime! The babies go down at 9pm each night. First I change their diapers and tuck them into their zipadee-zips (it totally makes them look like they have penguin wings. It's hilarious), then I put them down in their crib and give them their bottles while I sing along to our favorite bedtime songs. Eventually I leave the room and let the songs play on repeat until they fall asleep. I think it would be cool to eventually record me singing these songs, but I cannot find the instrumental versions nor do I have a few hours of complete silence. Either way, I hope these are songs they will treasure forever!

Golden Slumbers sung by Mindy Gledhill
I used to be obsessed with The Beatles so I love this song and I especially love Mindy Gledhill's version of it. 

Child of Light - Mindy Gledhill

More Than the World - Mindy Gledhill
Okay...I really like Mindy's voice and how calming it is. Nice and peaceful to fall asleep to!

Dream - Priscilla Ahn

You'll Be In My Heart - Celtic Woman
I would sing this song to Boston and Lyla just after they were born. My hormones were crazy and I would just bawl my eyes out singing it to them. Love this version.

Sometimes I read to them too if they're not acting sleepy or I'll sing primary songs like "I Am a Child of God" and "A Child's Prayer". Such precious moments!

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