Monday, December 30, 2013


Nearly every cycle this past year, I had ultrasounds which showed beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was not ovulating. Though getting this news every month was disappointing, the certainty of the bad news offered protection. The past year, I never had to face the 2WW. I didn't even take more than a couple pregnancy tests all year (compared to probably 30+ tests the year before).

The past 12 months I've been busy building a wall around my heart. I know things won't work out and so I don't have to feel the let-down when things do indeed "not work out." This month there were no ultrasounds- only half-assed charting. My charting showed I was not ovulating and yet without that proof from an ultrasound that I've grown so used to having, I let myself hope. Hope that we may just be pregnant.

Conversation with girlfriends this weekend only got my hopes up further. "Everything can go wrong in a cycle and you can still get pregnant. It's all up to God in the end," was the take-away from the conversation.

I had been feeling unusually tired the past couple weeks. I was super-close to CD 28 and I wasn't noticing the usual pre-AF cramping... could it be? Was God trying to tell me something through my friend?

I let myself fall into this all-to familiar monologue of gathering evidence for pregnancy. And then... the spotting began.

I have never been so upset by AF before. For the first time in along time, I allowed myself to grieve the child that might have been. I cried. And cried. And thanks be to God, my husband held me. All I could think of was Rachel crying out "Give me children or I shall die." I didn't understand where all the pain was coming from. It just felt like I could be swallowed up by it at any moment.

And then I finally opened an email a friend sent me the other week:

"They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength." -Isaiah 40:31, RSV-CE

How do we wait for something we need so badly, something we know for certain is God's will, and something that we just can't live another day without? We must wait patiently and confidently, not complaining. To do otherwise would be to insult God by displaying a lack of faith in His ability to deliver. We renew our strength by "waiting" for the Lord (Is 40:31, RSV-CE).

The Hebrew word translated as "wait" or "hope" in Isaiah 40:31 can mean to twist together, as cords of a rope are intertwined. In our waiting, then, we wrap ourselves around the Lord and He wraps Himself around us. When discouraging forces pull at us, we are not pulled apart. Instead, like strands of a rope, we and the Lord are pulled more tightly together and grow in strength. We never "come to the end of our rope" because the Lord has roped us tightly into His presence.

"Hence do not grow despondent or abandon the struggle" (Heb 12:3). Stay focused on Jesus (Heb 12:2) and confident in Him. Don't even move an inch out of your position of hope. 

And I have to believe that even if it means pain and grief and monthly loss- God wants me to hope right now. And ultimately if my hope for a child remains unfulfilled- it will not have been in vain. At the end of this road, I hope you will find me firmly intertwined with Our Lord- wailing and grieving maybe- but wrapped in His arms standing firm in hope.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Magic Blanket

I have lots and lots of trouble sleeping. If you've read my other posts you may have noticed. I have always relied on B.enadryl to fall asleep and a few months ago- after years of me asking doctors if it could cause problems with fertility- a nurse at PPVI told me it could interfere with fertile CM. So...I've been trying to eliminate that and have been relying on L.unesta the past couple of months. L.unesta is not meant to be used long term but I'm trying to fight one battle at a time. And I can't really fight if I'm not sleeping so... stopping the L.unesta will have to wait. I've tried all the natural sleeping remedies, some help, some don't, some make the restlessness worse but I have finally found a miracle solution! The 'Magic Blanket.'

The 'Magic Blanket' is a weighted blanket- filled with a bean like material. Mine weighs 12 pounds but they recommend different weights depending on your own height and weight. According to their website- and this is common knowledge among Occupational Therapists- weighted blankets can cause the brain to release more serotonin and dopamine. "These neurotransmitters have calming effects which have proven to be beneficial for people experiencing sensory integration disorder, anxiety, stress, Asperger's Syndrome, ADHD, and Rett Syndrome.  It's important to note that The Magic Blanket is not a substitute for care from an occupational therapist or mental health professional."

I am telling you this blanket works wonders! I have never slept so deeply. I've never felt so refreshed during the day. For the first time that I can remember, my brain doesn't feel foggy and my bones don't feel tired and achey. I am in heaven!  I definitely recommend this for anyone with sleep issues, anxiety, etc. 

I saw an Occupational Therapist about a year and a half ago for an assessment. I've always had an extremely limited diet. I've subsisted mostly on various forms of bread and cheese for the majority of my life. Eventually, my husband's knowledgeable aunt, suggested we see an OT for an assessment and possible treatment. I was diagnosed with 'Sensory Defensiveness-' a form of Sensory Processing Disorder. I highly recommend taking a few minutes to read about it, as 1 in 20 people have some form SPD. There are many little changes those SPD can make that can drastically improve quality of life. It's especially important that children with SPD get a diagnosis, as SPD can cause distress in nearly every area of life, leading to low self-esteem and depression.  SPD makes the anti-inflammatory diet especially challenging for me so I've temporarily given up on that. But maybe with this newfound energy from actually sleeping, I'll be able to focus on the diet:-). 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Misha's Story

As my posts suggest, I've been struggling in my relationship with Jesus lately. I've felt so distant, so numb. I've wrote a bit about letting God love us this past month, and for whatever reason in the past week, more details about a very important moment in my life came back to me. I've written about the moment God made it clear to me adoption was part of his plan for us. The story I heard on the radio that day was about a little boy in an orphanage- that was the main point, the biggest thing God was trying to communicate to me at that point (I thought). And so, as months and years have passed since that day, I lost track of what the story was actually about. But with all this talk I've been doing about letting God love us, it occurred to me that that story I heard so long ago, the one that had impacted me so much, had a little something to do with letting Jesus love us. I didn't remember the specifics, but I contacted the amazing people at Relevant Radio (with my vague description of the story) and they promptly sent me 'Misha's Story.' The little orphan who God used to help me see my own call to adoption, had yet another lesson to teach me...
In 1994, two Americans answered an invitation from the Russian Department of Education to teach Biblical morals and ethics in their public schools. They were invited to teach at prisons, businesses, fire and police departments, and then a large orphanage housing about a hundred boys and girls—and here’s that story:
“It was nearing the holiday season and time for the orphans to hear, for the first time, the traditional story of Christmas. We told them about Mary and Joseph arriving in Bethlehem, finding no room in the inn and going to a stable where the baby Jesus was born and placed in a manger.
“The children and orphanage staff listened in amazement. We gave the children three small pieces of cardboard to make a crude manger, and each child was given a small paper square, cut from yellow napkins that I had brought with me. No colored paper was available in the city.
“Following instructions, the children tore the paper and carefully laid strips in the manger for straw. Small squares of flannel, cut from a worn-out nightgown an American lady was throwing away as she left Russia, were used for the baby’s blanket. A doll-like baby was cut from tan felt that we had brought from the United States.
“I walked around to see if they needed any help, and I came to Misha. He looked about 6 years old, and in the little boy’s manger was not one, but two babies. I called the translator to ask him why there were two. Crossing his little arms in front of him, Misha repeated the story he had heard very seriously, and very accurately, until he came to the part where Mary put the baby Jesus in the manger—and then Misha started to ad-lib.
“He made up his own ending, and he said, ‘And as Maria laid the baby in the manger, Jesus looked at me and asked me if I had a place to stay. I told him I have no mamma and no papa, so I don’t have a place to stay. Then Jesus told me I could stay with him, but I told him I couldn’t because I didn’t have a gift to give him like everybody else did. But I wanted to stay with Jesus very much, so I thought about what I had that maybe I could use for a gift. I thought maybe, if I kept him warm, that would be a good gift.
“‘So I asked Jesus - if I keep you warm, will that be a good enough gift? And Jesus told me, ‘If you keep me warm, that will be the best gift anybody ever gave me.’ ‘So I got into the manger, and then Jesus looked at me and he told me that I could stay with him – always.’
“As little Misha finished his story, his eyes brimmed full of tears that splashed down his little cheeks. Putting his hand over his face, his head dropped to the table and his shoulders shook as he sobbed and sobbed. The little orphan had found someone who would never abandon or abuse him, someone who would stay with him – for always.

From Glen's Story Corner, Relevant Radio