Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Move Down, Step In and Shut Up!

So here I sit at DIA for the fourth time in four days.

While the rest of Colorado is celebrating an official "Snow Day", I made it quite quickly to the airport, flew through security, grabbed a bagel and orange juice and am now somewhat patiently awaiting my flight to Erie, PA through Detroit, so I can rent a car and drive to Jamestown, NY.

Part of me really covets that "Snow Day".

But, I do love what I do, in spite of the long days of travel. I wonder if my thoughts on my job will change once there's a baby at home. When I left this morning at 5:45am, I tried to imagine preparing and saying goodbye to a little one, as well as trying to get myself out the door at that ungodly hour. Hmm ... we shall see. The up side is the many days I'm not traveling and get to just be at home. It's an interesting trade. 24 hours after 24 hours of being home, broken up by maybe 2-3, 1-2 day trips a month. Very very interesting ... only time will tell!

Well, I wanted to share some random musings about airport life:

Why did DIA put red carpet on Concourse C, the color of what can only be described as stale tomato juice? It's fairly revolting.

I love it when little kids have their own miniature rolly-bags. It cracks me up. A little 3 year old boy just strutted by with his very own Spiderman bag on wheels. He was very proud. I'm sure all the 2 year old girls are checking him out.

Oh my gosh, I HATE IT when people don't scoot down after their bins/bags come through security. They stand there, putting on their belt, adjusting their collars, putting away their laptop, tying their shoes....all while my stuff if just out of reach inside the metal tunnel. MOVE DOWN!!!

Why when people get on the train do they stand right next to the first pole by the door jam? Don't they see the 50 other people waiting to get on the train? And then they glare if one of the 50 gets stuck in the door and the Man on the Speaker who plays the really odd music says, "YOU are delaying the departure of this train. Please stand clear of the doors." Again I teach--STEP IN PEOPLE!

It was a heart stopping moment when I crested the escaltor on Concourse C (I'm rarely on Concourse C because my primary airline, United, is on B), expecting to see Einstein Bagels, but only saw, gag me, McDonalds. Then I realized I came up on the opposite escalator than normal. I walked to my left and straight ahead, my bagels. The world was set right again.

Seriously, the things people sneak on these days as carry ons is a crime. There should be police for this.

Why is there only a Caribou on Concourse A? Now that's just unfair.

It's really quite irritiating that every time I settle somewhere, I have to completely unsettle to go to the restroom. This is far worse now that I'm pregnant.

I've mastered the art of touching the bathroom stalls as little as possible. I use my shoulder to push open the door, step in, twirl my bag in and around and use it to shove the door shut. I don't even lock it--just lean the suitcase. It's a wonderful little routine. Until the latch is missing or broken, which is often the case, and the door proceeds to swing outward, due to the pressure from the suitcase, just as I'm sitting down. How irritating.

Do you know how annoying it is when, on a plane of 150 people, I happen to sit right near the two guys or two gals who decide to be chummy and talk the ENTIRE TIME? Again, we need police.

I wish I lived in Kansas City. No, strike that, I wish that airport would swap with DIA, so I could still live here, but use the Kansas City Airport. Which I guess, in this scenario, would be DIA. Point is, DIA was laid out by crazy people who don't travel multiple times in a week, and Kansas City was laid out by angels.

Deciding what to wear to travel is one of the most stressful events of any given travel week. Jeans or business pants? Sneakers or painful "appropriate" black shoes? Tshirt or sweater? Layers or not? Jacket? Gloves? Socks? Today I opted for socks instead of nylons with my slip on black shoes, (cold feet on a plane=crabby me), jeans, a Tshirt with a sweater, a scarf, mittens and a light nylon-rain jacket. I think this was a pretty good decision. Professional enough, but still comfortable. The worst is when opt for a hoodie, jeans and comfy shoes, and I meet with a prospect. Like a VP of Sales from Qwest. I don't think I'm very convincing when I say I'm a professional speaker/training when I'm wearing my college clothes.

I could go on forever about travel ... but alas, the bathroom calls. So I'll have to pack up and relocate. Maybe after that I'll take a nap, somehow, while leaning over the armrest, attempting to cushion the discomfort with my sweater and light nylon-rain coat. Or I'll just go get coffee.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A View of the Mountains and Blue Like Jazz

I'm almost done reading Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller. For the first time. Yes, I am behind the times, or whatever. People all around me have read this book multiple times, years ago, and I'm just getting to it.

Loving it.

And I'm not reading it because it's trendy to do so. In fact, that's probably part of why I didn't read it for so long. I hate it when people read stuff and talk about stuff just because we feel like we need to to be "cool".

But, on that note, I will probably read Blue Like Jazz again.

The first Miller book I read, Searching for God Knows What, was really good, but it took me longer to get through it. The second book of his that I read, Through Painted Deserts...well, let's just say I'm not sure where it is. That one didn't grab me as much. But Blue Like Jazz ... I flew to Kansas City and back and am almost through the book. That says a lot about this book. Novels I fly through. Christian murder mystery novels I read again and again, as long as enough time has passed for me to forget the exact plot. But whatever this genre is, I normally plod through and usually never finish.

So what's my point? As I flew in from Kansas around 9:30 this morning, I caught an amazing glimpse of the freshly snow-dusted Rocky mountains. They really are "purple mountain majesties" and I love that. I thought to myself, Wow--what could be better than Blue Like Jazz, a view of the mountains, and a United flight that actually arrives on time?

Nothing, my friend, nothing.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Week 12: Sick as a ...

So, here's the deal. I don't have morning sickness. I don't have sickness at all--it's AWESOME. I have horrendous heartburn, and have started getting some pretty wicked headaches, but absolutely no nausea to speak of.

But this week, magical week 12, I did not want food. Ugh. Gross. I thought and thought and thought on Wednesday until I realized the only thing I could eat that I actually wanted to eat was Chick-Fil-A waffle fries. MMMMmmmm! Literally, nothing else sounded good. If my couple day aversion to food was even a glimpse into what some pregnant women deal with, WOW am I thankful that I'm not sick as a ... pregnant woman!

I got to see Bubba again yesterday. My doctor's office was involved in a certification or something, so they needed women at my stage to practice their technique. I got $50 bucks and like 30 minutes of watching Bubba flip and wiggle and wave and jump--he even kinda sat up straight up and down at one point! It just baffles me that all of this is going on inside of me, all the time, and I can't feel a thing! It's absolutely phenomenal. Near the end, he was getting stubborn and refused to move into the right position. Then we noticed he had the hiccups! Poor little guy--his whole tiny little 2 inch self would convulse every time he hiccuped! I can't wait til I can feel all of this, as uncomfortable as it will be. What an amazing experience!

My Mom came with me to the U/S. That was sooo special; I'm so glad she could come! When we were done, she teared up a little bit and mentioned how she just can't understand how anyone could look at that little tiny being, and abort it. How in the world?! He's in there--moving around, waving his hands, opening and closing his mouth ... how could anyone deny that it is alive? I just can't comprehend. God must be so heart broken when people choose to abort. It's so heartless ...

This blog really doesn't have a "point" today. I kinda wish it did--I've felt a little aimless in my blogs lately! I feel one brewing though, slightly based on today's sermon at church. We'll see if it comes to anything ... until I get my groove back, you'll just all have to read my random thoughts about Bubba! Week 12 and counting!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Week 11: Youth

I’m into a bad pattern—I write my “Weekly Logs” so late in my week that I’m basically to the next week already!That’s okay. I’ll give myself grace, something I’m not very good at doing…

Week 11….hmmm…well, let’s just say that I am SO GLAD to be past week 10! What a milestone, for pregnant women in general, but for me especially after having lost one at 10 weeks. So…Yay for Bubba!

I just spent the weekend at EPIC, a youth retreat that my husband and our neighbor, who is a youth pastor as well, directed. I love those teens. Seriously. Such ­great kids! A good number of our teens come from great families…and a good number of our teens come from broken families.
There are moments when I catch a glimpse of the deep sadness that lives inside these students, and I am shaken to my core.

Parents, do we realize the depth of our role? The importance of our choices? The incredible weight of our relationships with our teens? Far too many parents of teens check out—assume their adolescents are either a lost cause, or will be just fine. Or worse—parents assume they know and already understand what they’re teens are dealing with. They assume and don’t ask. Please hear me: This is when your children need you the most! Ask! Listen! And really hear what it is that your teen is dealing with!

I know I’m not a parent…I’m quite aware. No need to tell me. But I am with teens often. I am with them in their happy moments, their silly moments, their disobedient moments and their heart-breakingly sad moments. And these kids? They need their parents. Both of them.

Sometimes, very rarely, I feel myself freak out just a little about becoming a parent. But really, most times, I am so grateful for the examples I’ve had. I have wonderful parents. And when I say wonderful, I mean really wonderful. Almost textbook. So, in my split second freak out moments, I picture my parents and know that, while yes I’ll make mistakes, and no I’m not perfect and would never claim to be, we are going to be good parents. We are going to be great parents! (Hoping for some self-fulfilling prophecy here!)

Youth ministry has taught me so much. And it will continue to. I can’t imagine not being a part of the adolescent world. WAY TOO MANY adults forget about pouring into the next generation…and it saddens me. I’m sure it’s different when an adult has his own children at home to pour into; I get that parenting is pouring into the next generation.

But it’s also so important for teens to have a loving, caring adult in their life who is not their parent. I enjoy being that adult.

It’s hard sometimes—really hard. Especially when I have to walk that line between being her friend, and her life mentor. I have to say the tough things, and speak truth. And it’s not always easy—in fact, it rarely is. But those moments where they say Thank you. Or when I see one of them come to a new understanding about Christ, life and relationships. Or when I see her make the right decision even though it’s hard…I remember the incredible weight of my relationship with these teens. The things I say and do affect them more than I realize. And I will be held accountable but Someone much higher than that teen, the other youth leaders, the parents, or Erik. I often forget to recognize the importance of my choice of words, choice of time, and choice of body language; the teens see and hear it all. Wow—what an awesome opportunity!

So, this blog is supposed to catalog my thoughts about pregnancy. But, honestly, that gets fairly repetitive and boring.

So, this week, Week 11, this is what I was pondering. One way I can associate it with pregnancy is this: I can only start to pray now that there is someone out there who God is preparing who will play this all-important role in my teens life. As much as I hate to say it, I can’t be everything for my teens. They will need someone to pour into them in a way that I can’t. I can’t wait to see how that relationship develops someday! And I will be so grateful for that person. This baby, 9 weeks and 5 days old, this baby is going to be loved. And not just by Erik and me!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Week 10: Thankful

Caught Up! Written 10-10-09

10 weeks, 4 days

Oh my gosh, it was SO FUN to announce our pregnancy on Facebook!

Surprisingly, a large amount of my emotional support during our journey with infertility came from friends on Facebook. I honestly don’t know how I would have made it if I didn’t have that avenue of friendship!

Of course my face-to-face friends and family provided vital support, but there’s something about the Facebook community that provided a totally different, yet completely necessary kind of support for me. And Erik, I believe.

Friends who I hadn’t connected with since college, even high school, would randomly message me to say that they were praying.

Or one would comment on my status and say a few encouraging words.

Often, it was hard for me to reach out to my “real life” friends
when I was in my darkest moments.

But, because I’m a writer and quite expressive, posting a status on Facebook or writing an emotional blog came easily to me.

And my FB friends responded.

The support these friends, however loose the ties may have been, and however loose those ties may still be, was crucial to my surviving this journey.

So, to every friend, whether we roomed together in college,

shared a degree program,

served as RAs,

roamed the same halls at BHS,

met through mutual friends,

are long-distance cousins,

lived on the same hall at some point,

or simply shared a moment or experience in life that brought us together---thank you.

We could not have survived without you. And we wouldn’t have wanted to!

Thank you for your hope when I lost mine. Thank you for your encouragement when I couldn’t lift my head. Thank you for your prayers when my faith was faltering. Thank you for your funny comments when I hadn’t smiled in days. And thank you for rejoicing with us in this gift—this miracle—that God has given us. May I be able to do the same for you, one day!

We are 10 weeks! I have never felt so tired, had such horrific heartburn, become breathless so easily…and I’m LOVING it!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Week 9: Giggling Still...but Very Very Nervously

written 10/4/2009

9 weeks, 5 days

I still giggle to myself unexpectedly, but not as often lately. This week, since we haven’t had any ultrasounds since 9/25, I’ve been battling fear. Not too hard core, but still … battling. It’s so hard for me to trust that little Bubba is alive in there. First of all, my symptoms are next to none. In fact, some have already come and gone. Second of all, I’ve miscarried before.

People are always like,

“Well are you cramping?”


“Are you spotting?”


“Are your progesterone readings good?”


“Well then you’re fine!”


I thought I was fine for 10 whole weeks with our first pregnancy, and I wasn’t. Well, I was, but my baby wasn’t.

To me, the absence of cramps and spotting is
nothing to jump for joy over.

I’ve had the absence of cramps and spotting before … and it did not mean that my baby had a heartbeat. It did not mean that my baby was growing and developing. It did not mean that I would give birth 7 months later. No, instead it just meant that my body hadn’t yet chosen to inform me of my failed pregnancy.

Of course, I’m being monitored closely with this pregnancy. I’m on all sorts of preventative measures with this pregnancy. I have had the reassurance and joy of seeing my Bubba’s heartbeat—twice. But a week and two days after seeing that little life inside me, I’m still scared that it has or will soon fade away.

It’s so hard to trust. But I’m trying!

Week 8: I've Got the Giggles

Written 9/24
8 weeks

I find myself giggling to myself at the strangest of times.

Going through airport security, walking in the beautiful Fall weather, speaking to 70 people, going to the bathroom at 3am …

Suddenly the joy inside of me that I’ve tried to calm for almost a month now bubbles up from my stomach, fills my heart with warmth and reaches my mouth and causes me to burst into a wide smile and exclaim to no one in particular, “I’m pregnant!”

Sometimes there is a hint of a question in the statement, “I’m pregnant?!”, because I still just cannot believe that this gift has been given to me. As I sit here right now, my symptoms of pregnancy are present. I have to pee—again. I feel like my esophagus is being burned by a dragon, and my eyes are foggy and so badly want to rest. My mid section is bloated beyond belief, and due to my messed up blood chromosomes, I have little red-purplish dots all over my belly: burst blood vessels and bruising from my daily shot of blood thinners.

I am so incredibly blessed!

After the ER stint last Saturday/Sunday, we went in for a “real” ultrasound with my doctor’s office. This was the correct U/S experience—the screen was turned toward me, the lights were on, the nurse spoke, she answered my questions, she pointed things out, she told us what she was measuring … and then, there it was.

My little baby. My little blob, just chilling in a sac of fluid. All my worries, all my concerns, all my fretting over the previous 3 weeks….and the baby was perfectly fine.

Friday night (before the ER happened), I remember praying and telling God, “I know You see my little one, and You know if the baby is attached well. You know if there is a heartbeat. You know…so could you just whisper in my ear that everything is okay?”

(I’m now wondering if God, in His infinitely hard to understand ways, decided to “whisper” through spotting, the ER, a killer shot that might save my life and the baby’s and a healthy report. I guess I’ll never know….)

And guess what? I was right. God did know. And there’s the little “it”. I saw the fluttering. I heard the heartbeat. I still cannot believe that there is a second heart beating inside of me. It’s kind of creepy, actually. But so totally cool.

Meet “Bubba the Shrimp”. We call it just Bubba for short. 7w5d, 14.3 MM, HR 153, U/S 9/21

Bubba again, 9/25, due moved from May 7th to May 4th!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Week 7

Catching up! Written 9/20/09

7 weeks, 2 days.

My baby has a heartbeat.

Those are the most beautiful words I have heard since “You are beautifully pregnant”.

Strong fetal heartbeat of 141. And I only had to sit in an ER for 5 hours to find that out.

And two more hours of sitting entitled me to a killer shot.

But it’s all worth it because my baby has a heartbeat.

I was so sure it was over. But was I? Deep in my soul did I really think it was over? I’m not sure. I saw blood, I panicked … it’s not like I had a whole lot of time for soul searching. I was too busy assuming the worst, and going to the bathroom. And washing my hands to avoid the Swine Flu. Emergency rooms are gross.

I just remember saying over and over and over … I can’t believe it. This sucks. I can’t believe this is happening. This is so unfair. I can’t believe it. Is this really happening?

I remember at one point thinking, Wow, you sure were dead wrong—you really thought this one was going to stick. Sucks to be you. Or me. Whatever.

Sitting in the hospital, I couldn’t tell if my hopes were rising and peace was settling in my soul, or if Mike and Kelly were just making me laugh a lot and stay distracted. The one time Erik and I went into a triage room without Kelly and Mike, the reality of why we were there struck us both, and I started crying. I just can’t lose another pregnancy. I’m so grateful for friends who stuck with us for 7 hours in the ER. Who does that?!

This is my favorite quote ever: Up to a quarter of pregnant women have some spotting or bleeding in early pregnancy, and about half of these women miscarry. But if you have an ultrasound that shows a normal heartbeat between 7 and 11 weeks, your chances of continuing the pregnancy are greater than 90 percent.

Please, God, let that be us.

Right after finding out the baby was alive!

Our awesome friends, Mike and Kelly, would distracted us all night!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

So I've Been a Little Quiet Lately ...

Been wondering why?

We're PREGNANT!!!!

On August 29th, I took the test, and we discovered the seemingly impossible had finally occurred--God had answered our prayers and blessed us with a baby. I am 10 weeks, 2 days today!

Of course, I hyperventilated. :)

Being that blogging helps keep me sane, I've been a little INsane not being able to blog. So I kept up on my writing, and recorded my thoughts for each week. I'll post my 6 week musings for you here today.

September 12, 2009

6 weeks. I am 6 weeks (and one day) pregnant. I don’t think it has quite sunk in yet. God answered our prayers. Our prayers that were prayed for a very very long time by a quite large amount of people. He answered. Did I doubt that He would? No. Never. But I did, of course, wonder if perhaps His answer would forever be “wait”, and someday actually be “no”. So to have His answer be “yes” … well, that’s just still shocking for me.

We first found out when I was 4 weeks and one day pregnant. 4 weeks and one day.

That’s hardly pregnant at all! I flipped.

When I saw that positive pregnancy test on August 29th, I literally flipped. I walked to the kitchen, whispered Erik’s name and showed it to him. I remember saying I don’t trust it. I don’t believe it. I can’t believe it. It’s gotta be the drugs. And then, I pretty much hyperventilated. I can’t do this, I can’t do this … that’s all I could say, that’s all I could think. I can’t do this—I can’t deal with a false positive, I can’t wait until Monday to have my blood tested, and if it’s really positive, and I really am pregnant …. I can’t do this. I can’t go through the waiting…again. I can’t reach 8 weeks …. again. I can’t get hopeful….again. I can’t dream of a baby….again.

As crappy as infertility is, and was,
I just didn’t think I could do pregnancy.

Isn’t that funny? It had been two full years, almost to the week, since I had last conceived. I had hoped, and wished, and prayed, and demanded, and screamed for pregnancy. Now I (most likely) had it, and I didn’t think I could do it. The fear was just too much. The unknown was just too much. At least with the unknowns of infertility, a little life wasn’t at stake. My child wasn’t at stake. But with pregnancy… the fear of never being pregnant, of never being blessed with a child of my own…that’s very different than the fear of losing another pregnancy. Or losing an actual child. Or having something be wrong with that child.

I was never naive enough to think that once I conceived, life would be bliss. That pregnancy would feel great, look great on me, and that I would never fear or worry again.

I’m not that stupid, people.

But, now that it’s here—the pregnancy—I’m daily coming to grips with all the new fears to consider. They don’t surprise me by any means—remember, I have been pregnant before, which actually makes my early pregnancy fears all the more compelling as opposed to someone who still has the innocent happy excitement of finding out—but they are something to reckon with.

For the past two weeks (have we only known two weeks?! It seems like so much longer … ) I kept urging myself to write. To jot down what I was thinking and feeling. I’ve been in such a fog. The first few days, I was paralyzed by fear. I laid on the couch and watched Friends (thank God for Friends!) I was so tired, had such horrible heartburn, that I didn’t want to do anything. I blamed my laziness on the fatigue, but when it comes right down to it, I’m terrified. I was paralyzed by fear. I remember at one point, on Labor Day, I think, saying to my mom that I really needed to just get on with my life. I needed to get back to living.

To find out I was pregnant for the first time in two years was almost debilitating.

Time stood still for about a week. I was literally paralyzed. I wasn’t sure how to move forward. Every minute was spent mentally battling between excitement and dread. The hope of “this is really going to happen” and the certain depression of “I’ve lost two…why would this one stick?”
Two days ago, my sister in law asked me how I was doing. I told her that that day had been a good day—I’d gotten up, worked out a little, had lunch with a friend and cleaned a bathroom before the fear caught up to me and landed me on the couch in front of Friends. So, it gets better.

Day by day, I’m learning to move forward.
To be excited! and to HOPE.

To hope and to pray, but to still live my life. I’m pregnant. Sometimes I just say it out loud and giggle. Sometimes I say it to Erik and we smile tentatively together.

Sometimes, sometimes, I think May 4th is going to be a really good day.

More to come!!! Thank you for all your prayers and support!!!!