Tuesday, October 27, 2015

A Very Happy (and Belated) 10th Birthday Cori!

 My dark haired, blue eyed little boy is now a decade old! Hard to believe isn't it?!

He is still very much the sme boy hes' always been. He loves to "collect" random and odds bits of things like keys, chains, marbles, pretty much anything he can find. He also has a very well developed sense of sarcasm, courtesy of his father, I'm sure. He is very much a tease and likes to joke around with others, but especially adults.

He has these big, bright, eyes, that sparkle when he's up to something...usually that he's not supposed to be up to. Did I mention he likes to tease?

Cori is still one of the neatest of our kiddos, preferring to keep his stuff tucked neatly away where no one will find it. He likes to be goofy and silly which can sometimes get him in trouble. His favorite books to read are about disasters, and he currently is fascinated with the Titanic shipwreck. You can often hear him singing all over the house as he goes about his day, which might annoy his siblings just a little bit, but I happen to enjoy.

One of my favorite things about Cori is how much he loves little kids and babies. He just loves to help them and take care of them. If there are younger kids around, it a good bet that you'll find them with Cori. I also have loved getting to home school him this school year. He is very smart and picks up on things quickly, especially math, as long as we skip the Common Core method and do it the right way.

Cori is very loving and likes to help others out. He often tries to keep his younger siblings happy and plays with them outside often. Despite his ornery side, he is a very loving and sweet boy. We're so glad he's part of our family!

All About Me
1. Who is your favorite person in the whole world? Mom
2 What is your favorite color? Blue
3. What is your favorite show? Multiplicity
4. What is your favorite thing to wear? My shoes
5. What song do you love best? A Child's Prayer
6. What's your favorite breakfast?  Pancakes
7. Who's your best friend? Chase
8. What do you want to be when you grow up? Chef
9. What's your favorite book? I Survived
10. What are you really good at? Math
11. Where do you want to go on vacation? Disney World
12. What would you buy if you had $1000? A mansion
13. What is you best memory? Going to the Trampolazerockball Park
14. What vegetable do you hate the most? Broccoli
15. What would you wish for? A phone
16. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Cookies and Cream
17. Who is your biggest hero? Batman
18. What do you like to do with your friends? Play games
19. What is your favorite sport? Soccer
20. What would you like to do before your next birthday? Go to Montana

And now his perceptions of us:

All about my Mom
1. How old is your Mom? 37 years old
2. What is your Mom's favorite color? Blue
3. What is your Mom's favorite food? Waffles
4. How tall is your Mom? 5 foot 7 inches
5. What shoe size does she wear? 10
6. What is her favorite TV show? Sherlock 
7. What time does your Mom wake up in the morning? 7
8. What does you Mom do while you're at school? Teach me!
9. What is your Mom's first name? Jennifer
10. What do you like best about your mom? She's fun!

All about my Dad
1. How old is your dad? 39
2. How much does dad weigh? 109lbs
3. What is Dad's favorite food? Donuts
4. How much can your Dad lift? 100lbs
5. What's Dad's job? Engineer
6. What does Dad do at work? Math
7. What is your favorite thing to do with Dad? Help him.
8. How tall is your Dad? 5 foot 10 inches
9. What do you like best about your Dad? He's creative.
10. What is your Dad's first name? Robert


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Happy Belated 11th Birthday Josiah!

Our little Joe is growing up so fast! 11 years ago we welcomed Joe into our family and here we are celebrating his 11th birthday. He has grown into such a wonderful boy. Soon, I'll have to stop calling him a boy and switch to young man!

He is a very smart boy who loves to read and does well in school. In fact, he's been known to hide a book behind his textbook and read while his teacher is trying to teach. And although he excels in math and reading he has a special love of history. He's our resident tank expert, in fact. He loves to watch shows about past wars and then talk about the tanks they used and why. It amazes me how quickly he learns and how easily he remembers.

He also loves to play soccer. He's been playing since he was about 4 years old and, man, he's good. He plays on a team with kids who are up to 3 years older than him and quite a bit taller too, but he can hold his own. He is one tough kid!

Joe is also a very kind and loving brother, cousin and friend. He likes to make others happy and doesn't mind playing with the younger kids. He can often be found helping out one of his younger siblings or playing outside with them, And he absolutely adores our dogs, especially Dixie. Every night he calls Dixie up to his bed and lays his head on her side and rubs her ear while he falls asleep. He often times gets up and takes the dogs out to the bathroom and feeds them before anyone else gets up.

He is also the cuddliest kid in the Bidwell Crew. He loves to find his brother or sister at school when he has the chance and give them a quick hug and, if they'll allow it, a kiss. Joe just loves to be loved and is quick to try and make those around him feel loved too. We are so grateful that we have been blessed to have Josiah in our family!

Now for his yearly interview:

All About Me
1. Who is your favorite person in the whole world? Mom
2 What is your favorite color? Pink 
3. What is your favorite show? Dr Who and Top Gear
4. What is your favorite thing to wear? My Zombie shirts
5. What song do you love best? I Am A Child Of God
6. What's your favorite breakfast?  Pancakes
7. Who's your best friend? Kyler, Ethan and Nathan
8. What do you want to be when you grow up? Professional soccer player
9. What's your favorite book? "Rumors of War" by Dean Hughes
10. What are you really good at? Soccer
11. Where do you want to go on vacation? Washington D.C.
12. What would you buy if you had $1000? Food, Xbox and some water
13. What is you best memory? When I was baptized
14. What vegetable do you hate the most? Broccoli
15. What would you wish for? An Xbox
16. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Cookie Dough
17. Who is your biggest hero? Batman
18. What do you like to do with your friends? Talk
19. What is your favorite sport? Soccer
20. What would you like to do before your next birthday? I would like to go to the Trampolazerockball park

And now his perceptions of us:

All about my Mom
1. How old is your Mom? 35 years old
2. What is your Mom's favorite color? Blue
3. What is your Mom's favorite food? I don't know...sauteed zucchini?
4. How tall is your Mom? 5 foot 2 inches
5. What shoe size does she wear? 12
6. What is her favorite TV show? Sherlock Holmes
7. What time does your Mom wake up in the morning? Like 7:20, 7:30
8. What does you Mom do while you're at school? Go to the gym, clean up around the house. Take naps.
9. What is your Mom's first name? Jennifer
10. What do you like best about your mom? She's pretty.

All about my Dad
1. How old is your dad? 38
2. How much does dad weigh? 130lbs
3. What is Dad's favorite food? I don't know....Mexican Turkey Roll Ups?
4. How strong is your Dad? Really strong!
5. What's Dad's job? He's a road engineer for the state.
6. What does Dad do at work? He designs roads.
7. What is your favorite thing to do with Dad? Going to soccer practice with him.
8. How tall is your Dad? 6 foot 10 inches
9. What do you like best about your Dad? That he's awesome!
10. What is your Dad's first name? Robert

Happy 11th Birthday Joe!
We love you so much and
 are glad you're a part of our family!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Journey Into Darkness Isn't Without A Purpose

I've spent so much time recently thinking about the "Why?" of losing all the babies I have. I've often felt so alone and abandoned by others and even by my Savior and Heavenly Father. I've tried so hard to understand why this is the trial that I was asked to bare, and why so many times. I know that trials are part of life but so often I wanted to scream, "Please choose another one for me! Not this one again!" No one wants to travel this path. . . NO ONE!

Yet every time I walk it, it's changed me in some fundamental and permanent way. Each time I've journeyed into this darkness, I've found that I've become closer to my Savior and that I choose to walk closer to him. Each time I've lost one of my babies I've found that it draws me closer to the only one who truly understands my sorrow, my grief and my despair. This was a mountain that I didn't want to climb, a path I would have willingly turned away from if I could have, but I would have missed out on some of the most spiritual experiences, and greatest blessings I've ever had.

There is a price that must be paid to have the beautiful view from the mountain top, and that price is the journey there. A hard journey, for sure, full of difficulty, stumbling and even pain and anguish but once you reach the top and look out, suddenly you find that it was all worth it and that you wouldn't give it up.

If I'd been asked before losing Robert Allen if I wanted to go through this, my answer would have been a resounding "NO!" However, if you ask me now if I would change it if I could, it would be an equally fervent, "NO!" How could I go back? How could I take from Robert Allen the exaltation that is his? And how could I give up the things that I've learned and the person I've become? I'm a better person because of this and I'm closer to my Redeemer and Heavenly Father. Why would I throw it all away for the easier path? Yes, the path would be easier, but the glory at the end would be far less than what's at the end of this one.

At one point in my journey of heartbreak a wonderful home teacher from church felt inspired to share a quote with me that he'd come across. He said he didn't know why but after I read it I understood exactly why he'd been prompted to share because it gave an answer to questions I'd been asking the Lord about why He wouldn't just heal me and take my pain away. Although Philip Harrison, the author, was writing this in particular about addiction recovery it was perfectly applicable to me and all of us in our mortal journey:
One of the most powerful and most comforting witnesses I have received from the Lord in all this long, painful journey of recovery, is this: He misses me. Jesus is my older brother, who through eons of time has known and adored me. I trusted and adored Him. I sat at His knee in the eternal courts and learned from Him as one of my most influential teachers.
I sense that, with great interest, Christ has watched me grow through all the long ages of preparation for this life. He has also sorrowfully watched me stumble and fall as I have gone through this mortal probation, and has ached with my pains and wept with my sorrows. And after all this, it is now time for me to come back to Him. He is calling me, inviting me. But He doesn’t want to just give me some quick help, so that once healed I can run off to play and never think of Him again. His power is real in my life, each and every time I ask for it, but it is designed to be short-lived in order to encourage me to reach for Him daily, to stay near Him and continue to learn directly from Him. He wants me, my entire person, to come to Him so that He can make me a new person.
It's taken me years to get here. YEARS! I didn't arrive here after losing Robert Allen, or after the first or second miscarriage. It has taken me 9 long years of working through the grief and anguish, asking "Why?" a million times, it has cost me oceans of tears and 5 babies to finally begin to understand what this may all be about. The journey into darkness isn't without a purpose! It's at least, in part, about me remembering to turn to my Savior, to go to Him and not forget that I need Him, daily, hourly, every single moment! It's about reminding me that with Him, everything is possible including overcoming the greatest trials and griefs that I experience. It is also about me becoming the person who He knows I am capable of being. He is not interested in me being "comfortable" at the expense of my eternal progression and salvation; That was never the plan. The plan, the one I agreed to before coming to this earth, is that I would grow and stretch, be tried and learn. This plan even involved pain and suffering but it was all to the end of becoming like my Savior whose suffering far surpassed anything that I can even fathom. And if it was necessary for Him, the epitome of perfection, to suffer, how could I expect to be exempt?

I know that my Redeemer is my greatest ally, my greatest comfort and protector. He loves me in all my glorious imperfection while always encouraging me to be better and do better; always pushing me to become what he knows I am capable of. He has never given up on me, even when I've given up, whether on Him or myself. He sees the end from the beginning and guides me there, even when He knows that it will be hard because He also knows that struggles can purify. As fire purifies gold, so do trials purify the soul. I know that He stands ever ready to lift me, to console me, to advocate for me. I know that He lives and that through His atonement all of life's sorrows and trials, all of my sins and mistakes, will be made right.

I love my Savior. I love my Heavenly Father. I have felt them so close to me in all this, even in my greatest moments of anguish! They have carried me and this burden. It is through my suffering that I have come to know and love my Savior and Heavenly Father and that I have felt their love for me. This seemingly impossible climb has turned out to have the most astonishing view and it's been worth every heartbreak, every tear shed and every sacrifice I've made. I wouldn't go back, even if I could.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Happy 9th Birthday Robert Allen!

My baby Robert Allen, 
Another year has passed and I am one year farther from the first, last and only time I got to hold you. It makes me so sad as I try to remember everything about you. How you looked, the feel of your skin on mine, your tiny heel and the little arch in your foot. It's so hard to remember it all! And I hate that! I wish I could remember those hours with you perfectly!!

But the other side to each passing year is that I am one year closer to finally getting to see you again! And not just see you, but hold you and get to know you! It is so hard to have a child that you never got to know. 
I wonder what you would look like. Your dad? Me? Or perhaps one of your siblings? Would you have blond hair like most of your brothers and sisters do or would you be like Cori with dark, almost black hair? I'd bet he'd like to have a brother who shared his hair color. I'm sure you'd have beautiful, blue eyes. . .all of your siblings do. But would they be more grey like mine and Sterling's or a bright blue like Emmy's or Cori's? Would you have a lot of freckles across your nose like Emmy, Sterling or Kailyn or just a few? I try to imagine you but I just can't. I only see the impossibly, tiny baby that I briefly held and tried to memorize in those very short hours before we had to leave.
And what would you be like? Would you love soccer and sports? Or would you prefer music and books? Or a combination? Would you be a momma's boy or a daddy's boy? What would your favorite subject be in school? Would you be a cuddler like Eddie and Joe? Who would you be? 

I think the thing that I look most forward to is one day getting to hug and kiss you! To look into your eyes and hear you say "I love you, Mom". To finally get to discover who my little boy is. I don't know you but I love you as much as I love any of your siblings and I just can't wait to find out who you are. 

I hope that you know that I think of you every day, and that is not an exaggeration. Not a day passes that you aren't in my thoughts. You are as much a part of me as each of your brothers and sisters. I love you because you are my son. 

I wish so much that you were here, and that I could watch as you grow up. I wish that I had more memories of you than just a lifeless body. What I would have given to have had even a few moments with you in this life! To have felt your breath and heard your heartbeat! It is so hard that those are experiences that I will wait a lifetime to have!

One day, though, I will have them. . .it may seem like an eternity, but someday I'll look back on this and realize that it was just a blink. 

Thank you for all the things that you taught me about being a mom and appreciating the moments that I do have. Because of you, I learned how to understand grief in a new way and to really empathize with those who have gone through the loss of a child. I've learned that even though no two circumstances are the same, the loss of a child whether in pregnancy or after birth, is the same. It is the grieving of all the things that we will miss. Breaths, heartbeats, first smiles, first words or steps, riding a bike, going to school, dating, weddings and grandchildren. All those milestones and memories that inevitably are lost with the death of a child, those are what we grieve. We don't grieve the memories we already have, just the chance to make more. 

I miss you baby boy! More than I could ever tell you! More than I could even hope to show you! You are my sorrow and my joy; my despair and my hope. You are the child we never had, the one that we let go and said goodbye to before we ever got to say hello. Yet, you're the one that is always with us. I carried you while your heart beat and now I carry you in my heart. 

I love you sweet angel! And someday, our family will be together forever but until then, know that you are loved and never forgotten!!

Love Forever, 
Your Mommy

Friday, July 10, 2015

A Not So Happy Birthday

It's my birthday today which you'd think would make me pretty happy, or at least cheerful. . . but I'm not. And honestly, the day has been pretty good. My kids and hubby sang me Happy Birthday when I woke up. There were cupcakes from the Sister Missionaries this morning along with another stirring rendition of Happy Birthday. I had an awesome time this afternoon when several of my friends surprised me with going out to lunch which also included a birthday hat, light up glasses, a large birthday button for me and more yummy cupcakes! (Thanks Katie and Brooke!) There was also the video text from my sister in law singing to me or the phone call from my best friend Danna. And there was also the encore chorus of Happy Birthday from my family with the cupcakes Rob got for after dinner. I should feel happy...

But I'm just not feeling it today.

Today, even though it's my birthday, all I can think about is that two weeks ago I had to have emergency surgery to remove my ectopic pregnancy. . . my baby. And as hard as it was last fall to miscarry this is even worse and I think it's because this time I let myself hope. 

Last September I had started to miscarry within days of finding out I was pregnant. Not much time to be hopeful. This time I had over a week to hope that everything was ok. 

Sometimes I don't like hope.
Sometimes hope just hurts.

I really just hate this whole thing and can't help but be kind of angry about it. You can tell me all you want about God's plan or how everything happens for a reason. I get that! I KNOW that with every fiber of my being! But what some people may not understand is that even with all my faith and all my understanding of the Plan of Salvation and knowing that my Heavenly Father loves me and that there is a purpose and a plan; even with all that, it still hurts. . . a lot!! The Gospel simply doesn't insulate, protect or prevent us from having to grieve and feel the same pain as anyone else who suffers a loss. 

This is a kind of pain that no one can understand unless they've been there. Even then, those who have been here, all handle and experience things differently. And that's ok! But part of the process in grieving is FEELING all of it. The Gospel does not remove the excruciating pain of grief. Even Christ wept when Lazurus died and He knew he was going to bring him back to life. I mean, you want an eternal perspective, you can't get much better than Christ himself and He still wept in sorrow. Even He who knows the plan from beginning to end grieved, so why would it be any different for us?

I have faith in my Heavenly Father's love for me. . . but I doubt it too.
I know my Heavenly Father loves me. . . but it feels like he hates me sometimes.
I know He doesn't hate me. . . but I'm sure pissed that this happened again.

Basically, I'm angry that despite trying to avoid having to go through this kind of suffering I have to do it again.

I'm hurt that He let this happen. He has the power to have prevented this, to have performed a miracle and saved this baby or He could have stopped my tubes from ever reopening, or He could have ensured that they'd opened completely allowing the baby to implant in my uterus and not my tube. There are any number of points in time in which He could have intervened and saved me from this heartache. . .He could have prevented all of this, both times, but He didn't. And, yes, that makes me sad and hurt and angry. And I suspect that this may bother some people to hear. Or it may make them worry about my mental health or the strength of my testimony. Rest assured, I'm ok, or at least as ok as I can be.

My faith is strong. My testimony is intact but as my best friend pointed out when I discussed this with her, "Grieving is ugly!" Yep, really, really ugly. Feel lucky that even if anyone reads this you are getting only a tiny dose of all that ugliness. There's so much that I don't say, that I don't tell and that you simply can't see because it's also very private and personal. Sometimes, though I just need to vent; not for the benefit of anyone reading but for me.

So, you don't need to worry that I'm going to stop believing in God or leave the Church. I am secure in my understanding and knowledge of the truth of the Gospel. I know that eventually, with time, I won't be angry. I also know, because I've been here so many times before, that this is simply part of the ugly process of grieving.

Which always leaves me with the big question of "Why?" Why did it happen and why didn't He intervene?

I've been told that sometimes these things "just happen" and I do believe that as a consequence of living in a mortal and fallen world, these things do happen. But I also have to believe that if He chose not to intervene that He has a reason and a plan (and it better be REALLY good!). If I have to do this, then He must have a purpose. Otherwise I'd be left with the reality that He didn't intervene because it didn't matter or He didn't care, neither of which can be true. Because Heavenly Father would never allow us to suffer unnecessarily. There is always a plan and a purpose. Sometimes (a lot of the time) we just don't get to know all the answers. That's the hard part because if I could just understand the "Why?" then maybe I could get on with life faster and suffer just a little less.

So that is where I'm at right now. A day that I should be celebrating I'm left grieving and a little angry. But slowly, surely, maybe tomorrow or next week or next year I will move on. The peace that the Gospel brings and the knowledge of Heavenly Father's love for me will soften my anger and bring peace to me. I will get there. The journey isn't a pleasant one but it is survivable. And I'll probably even be a better person for it.

But for right now, for tonight, I'm just going to be a little angry and a lot sad.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Sometimes Practice Does NOT Make Perfect

In case anyone is wondering, there are just some things in life that doing over and over and over does not make you any better at. Pregnancy loss would be one of those. In this instance practice most definitely does not make perfect, well, at least in respect to handling it. Frankly, I suppose I'm really good at the miscarrying part, just not at the coping part.

It's been a really rough week or so for me. Physically my healing is going great. My incisions seem to be doing well. I'm back to driving and doing normal daily things. I'm not quite up to going back to the gym yet, but give it another week or two and I'll be there too....but my heart...it's just not healed. Not that I'd expect it to be or maybe even really want it to be.

I guess some people may think that's really weird, I mean, who wants to feel sad, right? But it's all I have left of this baby. Well, that and a pregnancy test which I can't bring myself to throw away because then it's like this baby never was. (Go ahead, judge me, I don't mind.) For those who don't understand you should read "The Myth of Getting Over It" by Steven Kalas (or click HERE for an audio version on youtube). It's a very short read but very profound and an excellent explanation of grief. Anyway, there's a part in there that I think perfectly describes the way I feel:
You don’t want to get over it. Don’t act surprised. As awful a burden as grief is, you know intuitively that it matters, that it is profoundly important to be grieving. Your grief plays a crucial part in staying connected to your child’s life. To give up your grief would mean losing your child yet again. If I had the power to take your grief away, you’d fight me to keep it. Your grief is awful, but it is also holy. And somewhere inside you, you know that. (emphasis added)
So, although I don't want to be sad, to not be sad would, in essence, be like losing this baby all over again. Eventually, I know that I'll go on with my life. You never actually "get over it" but you do "live on". Right now though, I've spent the last week reliving the previous week (does that make sense?) On Tuesday I was thinking, "One week ago I was still pregnant and thought everything was fine." Then on Wednesday I thought, "One week ago it all fell apart. It all started in Walmart...the first time I spotted" (Which is slightly ironic since I was also in Walmart the first time I started bleeding when I was pregnant with Robert Allen. Note to self: Walmart is bad for pregnancy.) And then Thursday...it all came crashing down. At some point I'll stop looking back at the calendar thinking, "One week ago_________."or "I would be _____ weeks along now." For now, I just feel bipolar. Fine one minute, sad the next. And I can't help going over the events of Wednesday and Thursday over and over in my mind. It's enough to make me crazy.

Anyway, you'd think that'd with all my practice in the arena of miscarriage and loss that I'd have it down. The grieving process, I mean. But every time, it catches me off guard and I wonder how it can hurt so much! How is it that I can hurt so badly and still go on with my life like it's just another day. And then the roller coaster of it all! Ugh!

Sometimes I'll be going through my day and I'm like, "Hey, I'm feeling ok today...maybe this won't be so bad." Then an hour later it hits me, "Jennifer, you lost a baby. Remember how you had already started to choose names? And your kids were so excited!! And now Kailyn and Eddie want to know where the baby is and why it's not coming and where the doctor put it when she took it out. And by the way, what kind of idiot tells their kids they're pregnant ESPECIALLY when they have a history of miscarriage??"

And in those moments I just cry.
And it's painful and ugly and raw.
And no one wants to see that.
And I don't want anyone to see it either.
It's just too raw to share.
But it's just too heavy to carry alone.
It's just not FAIR!

There's a song that I love right now by Callee Reed called "The Waiting Place". I've loved it for months but it's especially poignant right now for me. The whole thing pretty much fits my life at the moment but the two verses have been repeating in my mind over and over. Initially, when I first found out I was pregnant again, the first verse stuck out to me:
In my moments alone I ask, why me?
All the hospitals, doctors and tests
The endless uncertainty
Is a miracle too much to ask
When I've been faithful in the past?
I've been faithful, I've lived my life the way I should and kept the covenants I've made.  I follow the Savior and try my best to do what I know I should. And I've stayed faithful even when I've had the most sacred things in my life ripped from me. So why can't I have my miracle? Just this one time I wanted that miracle for this baby to be born alive and healthy at full term. But then, despite my prayers and pleading and the prayers of others, His answer is no. I'm faced with walking an all too familiar path. And now, this second verse is what runs through my mind:
In his moments alone he asks, why her?
Why all the suffering and pain
When surely God has a cure?
Pleading each time he prays,
Please stop testing my weakness this way.
I know God could've performed a miracle and I could have had this baby. I KNOW that it was within his power. I also know that He has His reasons for staying His hand. But I just want to cry out to Him, "Please stop testing me this way! Pick something ELSE!" I've been here, I've done this and I can't do it anymore! Why is it always through death and loss that I get tested? My dad, Robert Allen, my now 4 miscarriages. Could I maybe have a different trial? This one is just so hard!

But we don't get to choose our trials. I guess if we did we would probably choose wrong...or at least too easy. No one really wants to suffer, right? But this seems cruel at times.

I know that God isn't cruel. I know that! One thing I have felt most sure of during this is that He LOVES me and He doesn't like or want to see me suffer or grieve. But at moments it's hard to remember that and I want to be angry at Him; to blame Him. I take some comfort in knowing that when I do feel this way, He understands and He can handle it. And when I'm done with my temper tantrum and come to my senses, He'll be there waiting to hold me and guide me through this familiar journey. I just really wish I didn't have to take this journey again because it really, really sucks! Hopefully I'll do it right this time and I won't have to do it over again. Of course, that would take a miracle of it's own since I'd have to completely regrow one or both of my Fallopian tubes! And I don't think I want that miracle.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Happy Belated 5th Birthday Eddie!!

This is late, I know. Unfortunately, June 25th this year was a very hard day for our family. I had to have an emergency surgery to remove an ectopic pregnancy and have been recovering from that. But, now that I'm feeling a little better here's Eddie's birthday post.

It's finally happened! All my kiddos are officially school age! My baby has decided to turn 5 years old and I just can't believe it!

Watching him grow up has been such a joy and pleasure to me. He is smart, silly and perhaps just a little spoiled and bossy. ;-) As the baby in the family he is pretty much everyone's favorite and can do no wrong, which is why he gets away with so much.

He has these big, beautiful, blue eyes that melt my heart! And he has this smirk that he gives you when he's up to something. He also likes to make funny faces and see if you laugh at him. He is just a goof ball!

He is also a momma's boy. . . more so than any of my other kids have ever been. When he gets hurt, he wants mommy. When he's sleepy he wants to cuddle with mommy. And when he wakes up in the middle of the night he crawls into bed in between Rob and I and grabs my pinky finger and goes back to sleep. I love when he cuddles up to me when he wakes up and says, "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy!" He is the quintessential baby of the family!

This past year he had surgery to fix his umbilical hernia which he got through with flying colors! He played soccer for the first year and loved it! He loved running up and down the field kicking the ball and being like his big brothers and sisters. He also made leaps and bounds in school. He loved going to preschool everyday for a few hours and hanging out with his friends and he learned so much! By the end of the year he not only knew his colors, shapes and letters, but he knew all the letter sounds and was able to sound out words and read! I wish I could take credit for it but the truth is, it was his amazing teachers who taught him.

He is such a fun little boy! And I'm so grateful that he's ours. He brings so much joy to our family! He makes us laugh and drives us crazy all at the same time. He loves his brothers and sisters and loves to be the center of attention. Outside, he loves to play soccer, basketball, swim and ride his bike. When he's in the house, he can be found playing beyblades, Wii, or playing with one of his brothers or sisters. He is so anxious to grow up and be one of the big kids, but this momma would really like him to slow down becuase he's our last. Every time he accomplishes a new first, it's a last for me and I just want to pretend that he'll always be my little boy. So, slow down growing up Eddie Spaghetti! We're not ready for you to be the big boy you already are but we love you soooo much!!

 All About Me
1. Who is your favorite person in the whole world? You (mom)!
2 What is your favorite color? Red and Blue
3. What is your favorite show? Beywheelz
4. What is your favorite outfit? I don't know.
5. What song do you love best? I am a Child of God
6. What's your favorite cereal? Froot Loops
7. Who's your best friend? Mom
8. What do you want to be when you grow up? Do jobs
9. What's your favorite book? Dinosaurs
10. What are you really good at? I'm good at soccer
11. Where do you want to go on vacation? Go out for Dinner
12. What would you buy if you had $100? Buying Candy!
13. What do you do for fun? Playing at parks
14. What is your favorite animal? Tigers and Lions
15. Why do you want to be a 5 year old? Becuase I can have dollars and quaters.

And now her perceptions of us:

All about My Mom
1. How old is your Mom? Umm...34.
2. What is your Mom's favorite color? Pink
3. What is your Mom's favorite food? Pancakes
4. How tall is your Mom? 11 size
5. What shoe size does she wear? 32
6. What is her favorite TV show? I don't know, Mom.
7. What time does your Mom wake up in the morning? 39
8. What does you Mom do while you're at school? Goes to the store
9. What is your Mom's first name?umm, Jennifer
10. What do you like best about your mom? Umm...doing bike rides

All about your Dad
1. How old is your dad? 40
2. How much does dad weigh? One hundred forty thirty
3. What is Dad's favorite food? Peaches
4. How strong is your Dad? 44
5. What's Dad's job? Doing Kitchen
6. What does Dad do at work? He gets stuff
7. What is your favorite thing to do with Dad? Help him.
8. How tall is your Dad? 49
9. What do you like best about your Dad? Squirting me
10. What is your Dad's first name? um...I don't know...umm...Rob


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Not Again! Please, Not Again!

Last Tuesday I found out that I was pregnant. Yep, again. I think it's safe to say that at least one of my tubes is no longer tied. Granted, it was not in our plans to have more kids but I can't say that I was too upset. I mean, who doesn't like babies?!?

I was excited...well, mostly excited anyway. I admit that the thought of having to start over with a baby wasn't exactly what I had in mind. But I was willing!

But then, today, the spotting started...again.

How many times will I go through this?
At what point is it enough?
Pregnant again!! Yay!!
Bleeding again! NOOO!!
What is the purpose in all this?
A million questions and so few answers.
Crying, begging, pleading...didn't I JUST do this not so long ago???
Not again!! Oh, please, NOT AGAIN!
Just how much of this can I take?
How many times do I have to go through this roller coaster? I'm done! I'm tired of it! I WANT OFF!
If only it were that easy.

So far the ultrasound they did today didn't reveal anything. No visible baby in or outside of my uterus. Unfortunately, this isn't helpful. The baby could still be too small or it could have stopped developing or never developed enough. Double unfortunately, due to my tubal ligation, I'm at an increased risk for an ectopic pregnancy. So even though they can't see anything it could be implanted in my tube or somewhere else and it could rupture. Which, by the way, is bad...leads to things like internal bleeding and emergency surgeries and stuff. Things that most people generally try to avoid.

So here I am again...playing the waiting game. The doctor ordered blood tests to see where my hcg levels are. If the numbers are up where we'd expect to see them, there might be a chance that things are ok. If they are low, it could mean the pregnancy is failing or that it's an ectopic. If they're lower than my last test it would indicate a miscarriage although it wouldn't rule out an ectopic.

Waiting....waiting....waiting. I HATE WAITING! (Perhaps you can tell that patience isn't one of my strengths?)
I'd say I can't do this again, but frankly, I don't have a choice. Whatever happens, happens and I'm just along for the ride. A long ride down a rough, lonely and emotionally draining road. There's no way around this...I just have to walk it. I HATE THIS!!


My heart hurts. I'm pretty sure it's broken in billions of pieces. It seems so unfair! (Yeah, I know, life's not fair! I'm still going to complain about it though!) I want this baby. I want to NOT lose another one. Why did I let myself have hope? It's not supposed to be like this. I want to just go back to when pregnancy = baby. That innocence is so precious and losing it affects every pregnancy from then on. And if you're unlucky enough to be one of the ones who has multiple losses...never a moments peace.

Physically, the pain of a miscarriage is awful but emotionally it can be devastating. Not for everyone, sure. I've known some women who shake it off rather quickly, but I'm apparently not one of them. I had plans...names, ideas and images of how this little person would fit into our lives and home. They're gone now.

To make it all worse...this just sets off my anxiety. Trying to tell yourself that you're not going to bleed to death from a undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy is super fun. Trying to keep yourself awake, just in case also one of my favorite things. It makes you feel kind of crazy, that's for sure.

It just hurts. All of it.

Yes, I know that God is there and He has a plan. This doesn't shake my faith in Him. He is good and loving and He is here for me. But all the knowledge doesn't lessen the pain, I still get to experience all that.

Perhaps that's the miracle in all this? Despite the pain, grief and sorrow, my faith is still intact and I am even more sure of my Heavenly Father's and Savior's love for me. I have felt my Savior near me. Even in my devastation and grief He is there. I don't want to do this but I can if I have to.

But I really, really, really don't want to!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Happy 6th Birthday, Rainbow Baby!!

My Rainbow baby, my miracle child, the one I was not sure I would ever have, turned 6 years old today!! It's been an amazing and wonderful 6 years, too. She has brought such love and joy into our family and into our home. She is such a loving, giving and cheerful spirit and I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father for blessing us with her.

 She is a bit of a goofball, but you might not know that unless you spend a lot of time with her. She tends to be very quiet and reserved around those she doesn't know well, but once she loves you...that's it! She loves with her whole heart and soul. And if you're really lucky, she will decide that you are one of "her girls" and will constantly say, "I just can't stop loving you!!" or "I wish I was you!". Once you get past that shy exterior she will dance and sing for you and show you what a silly little girl she can be.
 She is also a lovey, cuddly girl who ADORES her big sissy. These two girls may be almost 7 years apart but they have a very special bond that touches my heart. I love how Emmy likes to include Kailyn with Emmy's friends and also is willing to cuddle with her at night if Kailyn is scared. She will give up her time and even her comfort to make her little sister happy. And KK is more than happy to do whatever she can to please her sister by making her pictures, or giving her hugs and kisses when Emmy is upset.

Kailyn has also been lucky enough this year to be in the Dual Language program at her elementary school. They spend about half their time in English and half in Spanish. It's simply amazing listening to her speak Spanish and realize that she's learned it all in about 5 or 6 months. Aside from her being excited about speaking spanish, I think she is most excited that she has learned to read! It's so fun to watch as she grows in her ability to read and see her excitement every time she learns a new word or sounds out a hard one. She is smart, just like her big sister and loves to read, write and draw.

Plus, perhaps I'm biased, but I also happen to think she's stinkin' ADORABLE! Basically, I just can't enough of this little princess that was chosen to come to our family and bless us with her amazingly beautiful spirit. She is a treasure and a precious daughter and sister.

And on to her birthday interview:

All About Me
1. Who is your favorite person in the whole world? You (Mom)!
2 What is your favorite color? Blue
3. What is your favorite show? Wizard of Oz
4. What is your favorite outfit? This one...it's grey and it has a black star. And I like this shirt because the sides are long and on the front and back are short. I just like this shirt!
5. What song do you love best? Round and Round
6. What's your favorite cereal? Froot Loops
7. Who's your best friend? Kate, Lily and Muntaeha
8. What do you want to be when you grow up? A ballerina. 
9. What's your favorite book? Posey
10. What are you really good at? Soccer
11. Where do you want to go on vacation? Nana's
12. What would you buy if you had $100? A phone!
13. What do you do for fun? Color
14. What is your favorite animal? Horse
15. Why do you want to be a 6 year old? Because I feel like being more like a big kid.

And now her perceptions of us:

All about My Mom
1. How old is your Mom? 34 years old
2. What is your Mom's favorite color? ummm, I don't know...wait, Green
3. What is your Mom's favorite food? Vegetables
4. How tall is your Mom? I think 40 feet tall...I think it is. I don't know how tall you are but I'm just gonna say 40 feet tall. 
5. What shoe size does she wear? 6
6. What is her favorite TV show? Dance Mom's
7. What time does your Mom wake up in the morning? 3 o'clock
8. What does you Mom do while you're at school? Go to the nursery gym and exercise.
9. What is your Mom's first name? uhhh....Mom?
10. What do you like best about your mom? I don't know what that really means but....uhhh...I...hmmm....What do you like best about your mom...I like best about you when you watch shows, when you watch Dance Mom's. I just love you mom!

All about your Dad
1. How old is your dad? I don't know how old he is but I'll just say...wait I know how old her is...Wait...38.
2. How much does dad weigh? uhh, I 'm just gonna say...uhh..wait...uh, wait..37.
3. What is Dad's favorite food? Broccoli??
4. How strong is your Dad? Like uh, 15 lbs strong.
5. What's Dad's job? To work.
6. What does Dad do at work? He eats and he uhh...and he....uhhhh...and he...ummmummum...and he works on the computer I think. I don't know what he really does so I'll just say he works on the computer. 
7. What is your favorite thing to do with Dad? Uh, watch TV.
8. How tall is your Dad? Uhh...hold on...uh, 37.
9. What do you like best about your Dad? About that he works.
10. What is your Dad's first name? Uhh...Dad?


Robert Allen