I think I have rewritten this introduction about 5 times based on the day and what new news we received about this pregnancy. The title of this blog changed from “Redemption” to “Faith In Pieces” to “Faith In Progress” and not back to “Redemption.”
Let me tell you a bit about this unique blog. I typed this blog in faith on November 27th. My intention was to simply share the very first entry titled “November 27th: Mourning into Gladness” as a normal blog entry. I figured after our pregnancy progressed a little I would post it. But as our pregnancy took a turn for the worst, I found myself documenting each moment as time went on. It has turned in to what you now see below- The whole 40 + weeks. It is more like journal entries or a “blogumentary”. So, take a trip with me back in time to November 27th all the way up until today. What you are about to read below I actually wrote on the days documented and saved until today. It’s just bits and pieces of what has been going on in my heart throughout this pregnancy. This blog covers little stories and big stories, God stories and how-we-named-her stories. Feel free to rejoice, laugh and cry with us. It’s a long blog post so feel free to read some entries, leave and come back another day to finish it up.
November 27th: Mourning into Gladness
On August 8th 2011 mine and Bretts hearts were broken as we had to deliver our two twin girls at 19 weeks gestation. It was a devastating and heart breaking day as we left the hospital in pieces. Though we felt shattered, God had spoken the word Redemption to me several times during and after my failed pregnancy. With my hope in Jesus, I clung to that promise of a redemption.
November 27th was a day long dreaded. On November 27th, today, Grace and Ellie were supposed to be born, start their life with Brett and I, and live a happily ever after. Today was supposed to be the day I held them in my arms, nursed for the first time, and bring them home to their Little Mermaid room (kidding). So after the failed pregnancy, I anticipated this day to be a day of heartache, mourning and sorrow.
But God had a redemptive plan.
I woke up this morning with a gift of redemption, redemption staring me right in the face: A positive pregnancy test. That is right. We are pregnant again. Yesterday I missed my period, took a test and saw a very faint, tiny-tiny, small pink plus sign surfaced. I hadn’t technically missed my period yet so I wanted to wait until today to be sure. Today, I took a test and there was a full strong POSITIVE. Talk about redemption. The day I thought would bring sorrow, instead brought laughter. The day I thought was going to be full of grief, was full of joy. Worship today at church was a mix of different emotions tugging at my heart but mostly full of thanks.
We are going to wait a whole month to tell our parents and family. It looks like I will be able to share my Christmas surprise after all. T0day I also met my mom for Starbucks to hang out for a bit. As she wept over the fact that Grace and Ellie are not with us, it took everything in me not to blurt out, “Don’t cry! I am pregnant!”
I sit here wondering how many little lives are in my womb. One? Two? Three? Even if there is just one, redemption rang loud today, and for that, I am so so thankful.
November 29th: Angels
Today I think I interacted with an angel. Call me crazy, that’s OK. However, don’t consider me crazy until you understand that even the Bible says that we interact with angels and even entertain them (Hebrews 13 1-2).
I was getting a coffee at Starbucks, and I was explaining to the cashier that I will need decaf because I just recently found out that I’m pregnant. While I was getting some sugar a little old lady came up to me and asked,
Lady- You are pregnant?
Lady- Well I know pregnancy can be pretty stressful, so, if I can give you some advice, just…just sit back and enjoy this one. Just relax and enjoy it.
Me- Thank you. Pregnancy is stressful for me. I think I will enjoy it!
She spoke right to my fears and in a small way dismantled them. Being pregnant before, I have had many random conversations with strangers, the stress of pregnancy was never one of them. And so, as this lady spoke so clearly to my fears, almost as if she could see my soul, I figured that maybe she was an angel sent from God to speak some truth to me.
December 4th: An Ache Only God Can Fill
I realized today that this pregnancy is not going to fix the ache that has been lingering from the loss of Grace and Ellie. I guess I thought that the longing to have my womb filled again would be resolved when I got pregnant again, but it has not. That longing will always be only for Grace and Ellie, and only to be filled and/or healed by the Lord. I guess I have a lot more healing left then I realized.
December 7th: Redemption Crushed
I am tempted to blog, “What a cruel, stupid day.” But then psalm 118: 24 popped into my head:
This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Im half tempted to just erase all of the above posts, throw my computer across the room, and write a really nasty angry blog, but, I have decided against that. I know myself well enough to know that I rather my readers see the raw me.
*Sigh* You guys, today we got an ultrasound, only to find out that the sac that surrounds the baby (one baby) is deformed and the baby has no heartbeat. The doctor was very tender to us as he told us that this pregnancy is not going to work out based on what he could see on the ultrasound, and that we will probably miscarry soon. As he saw me cry, he sat down by us and told us that he is going to start a fertility plan with us. ”Your next one will work.” He also decided against me getting any blood work done and to head over to my Ob’s office to get some pill that will abort my baby.
This particular doctor who reviewed my ultrasound seemed very spiritual as he said, “God is still good, He is in control.” The doctor did not know Brett and I are Christians.
There is a small ray of hope. After my Ob reviewed the ultrasound, she highly recommend that I wait to abort.
Ob: Are you bleeding or cramping?
Ob: how far along are you?
Me: 5 weeks 4 days
Ob: I dont want to get your hopes up but, sometimes we cant even detect a heartbeat at this point because its to early. I want you to hold off taking the pill and I want to wait to see what your body does. We might be able to detect a heartbeat later. Come get your blood taken and we will check your hormone level, then we will go from there.
I have a small shred of hope. It seems like the only thing that will save this pregnancy would be God intervening. It makes sense to me that something was wrong because I have had no pregnancy symptoms. At this point in my pregnancy with Grace and Ellie we were able to detect a heartbeat…so…..yeah.
Lord, who do I believe You are? Who do I trust You to be? Are you my Lord only when life is going my way? Will I only take Your blessings and not the difficult times as well? Are you not Lord over the good, the bad and the ugly? You say Your plans are not to harm me. I feel harmed, crushed, abused. Finding out I was pregnant on Grace and Ellies birthday, only for it to end with yet another failed pregnancy….that feels cruel, mean and abusive. Just being honest.
But, I also believe you are a God of Hope, salvation, and making the impossible possible. Can, no, WILL You make this little ones heart beat? Will you fix this little ones deformed amniotic sac? Or is it Your plan to have a little sister or brother to be with You, Grace and Ellie. 3 little tiny ones waiting for us in heaven? Above all else we want Your will to be done, but, we would also like to see a miracle. Will You send a little evidence our way, some evidence of your redemption and kindness? Though my heart is having a hard time feeling this, I will proclaim it anyway: You are good. You are kind. You are loving. You are sovereign. You are all knowing full of wisdom. You LOVE Brett and I AND this little one. You are the God that makes the impossible possible. You are the God who gives grace when it’s needed. Please please please shed loads and LOADS of your grace on me when or if I miscarry this little baby.
December 8th: Working Through Disappointment
I walked through some feelings and emotions that I didn’t ever want to feel again again. I woke up this morning thinking, ’Oh yeah, this really is happening. It’s not a dream. This baby inside me is not alive.” It was the same feelings that I felt the morning I woke up after delivering Grace and Ellie. The feeling was speaking to me:
This is real. Your pregnancy did not or is not going to work out.
So at this point I’m just kinda waiting for my body to pass this child. I just hope it doesn’t happen on Saturday morning. I have an event at work that I’m running.
I need to remember that Brett is going through this too. I forget that this isn’t just affecting me. Men sure have it easy when it comes to this baby making stuff though. However, he did remind me today that he has the job of carrying and supporting me as I watch my body go through whatever it needs to go through. That is a weight I don’t have to bare. True, true. What a man. He is strong and caring.
We told my family yesterday so that we could have people praying for us. I called my sister after she got out of work and we went to my parents in the evening. As we shared, I watched my Christmas surprise smash to pieces. Baaahhhh
Brett and I have decided to name this baby. It’s not going to be any names we have chosen for future children that hopefully will live here on earth with us one day. It’s just going to be a simple gender neutral name to remember this baby by.
I hope I don’t absolutely hate the month of August by the time next one rolls around. This baby would have been due August 4th, just .a few days shy of when Grace and Ellie were born (August 8th).
Please Lord, help me fight this anger I am having towards You. You are good. You are good. You are good.
December 9th: Hopeful
I got my blood work back today and, well, my hormone levels are very good. They wanted to make sure that my levels were not dropping and/or still where they should be. Well, my levels are just fine, in fact, they are higher then normal. The level I’m supposed to be at should be around 7,000…they are at 42,000, which the nurse said was very good but was also baffled as to why they were so high. I do know that high hcg levels sometimes indicate a Molar Pregnancy (a pregnancy where there is no baby just a bunch of dividing cells). I was ordered to come in today to get my levels checked again. If they are going down, then I most likely will miscarry. If they double, well, then that means my baby is probably still alive….or….?
December 12th: Is There Still Hope?
Today I got my second round of blood work results. The pregnancy hormone did not double, it didn’t even increase by a half. It went from 42000 to only 55000. It needed to go up to 84000 in order for us to have any reason to believe that this pregnancy is progressing positively. Its seems that unless God steps in and changes the coarse of this pregnancy, it will end here soon. My OB wants me to come in one last time just to be sure there is no heartbeat before we decide to move forward.
I hope in my Gods goodness.
Job answered God: “I’m convinced: You can do anything and everything. Nothing and no one can upset your plans.”
December 13th: Praying For Baby #3
By now, you all know I’m pregnant. Yesterday Brett and I came to a point where we didn’t know what else to pray or do except to ask more people to pray. This was supposed to be the “revealing” blog, but, at this point I’m still not sure I even want to post it, so that’s why I posted the Pray for Baby #3 Blog, yesterday. My morning sickness has kicked in but was also a little lighter today, which, may indicate my pregnancy is probably in the beginning stages of the end–?? I think?
How does one have hope without getting their hopes up?
December 14th: Peace That Surpasses Understanding
Today I had a deep peace about loosing the pregnancy. I’m not quite sure if that means this pregnancy is going to fail, but the peace speaks to me that I will be OK. And I was able to walk in joy today. Right now it’s 5 am and I’ve been up since 2 with nausea (dry-heaving included) and some stomach cramping, which I thought might have been the miscarriage starting but turns out might just be some Jimmy Johns I had tonight. Either way, I KNOW I have some major morning sickness going on. What is going on?!
December 15th: Beating Little Heart!
Well as you all know now, there is a heartbeat and the sac appears “normal”!!! Praise the LORD!
I haven’t forgotten about you, dear friends, who have miscarried recently and/or have been trying to conceive for years. All of you have been praying for miracles that you have not seen yet. My heart still breaks with you. And I too, am confused as to why God does what He does and how He chooses what He does in His wisdom. I still wonder these things even when it comes to the outcome of my last pregnancy. How I long to mother, not just any baby, but Grace and Ellie. And I still wonder why God didn’t pull a miracle for me during those horrible 2 days back in August.
And so, I am not sure what to say other then I’m still grieving deeply with you all and will continue to pray for peace for your situations. You, too are highly favored. Please remember that.
December 29th: Let the Past be the Past
We have an ultrasound tomorrow. I know the baby is growing and MUST be doing well because I’m starting to pop a little bit. I’m anxious to see that heartbeat again….
When I let my mind wander, I start to worry about what week 19 will look like. The first day of my 19th week is when I went into labor with Grace and Ellie. If I don’t let my mind be captive to Christ, this simple thought WILL spiral out of control. I can not and will not let it.
We had the pleasure of visiting with some dear friends of ours over the Holidays, Sarah and David Humphry. Right before they left David asked if he could pray over us. I actually had had a vision of him praying for us earlier that day so I know his prayer was lead by the Lord. He prayed many wonderful things, but one sentence he prayed really spoke deep to me. As he prayed for us (in regards to our last pregnancy and this one) he said, “Let the past be the past.”
Today in the car, when I felt my heart speed up just a little more then normal at the thought of week 19, that phrase instantly came to my mind.
Let the past be the past
The past is the past, not the future. Ill rest in that.
January 8th: WHY?
I still grieve the loss of Grace and Ellie. Will I ever go a Sunday morning worship without tears? I can’t help but think of them during worship. Though my womb is beginning to pop, and im starting to feel more “inhabited” (our peanut is now a strawberry), it still feels very empty. I, or my womb perhaps (?), longs to be filled with the girls….it’s hard to explain. I am again and again hit with the reality that no pregnancy from here on out will fill the void my womb now feels. A friend of a friend once said, “My womb longs to be filled with the lost pregnancy.” Will it forever?
I’ve been fighting the “Not Fair’s” the past few days. Many sets of identical twins have ventured in to the Eagles Nest.
Why do these couples get to keep their twins? Why did I have to develop TTTT? I prayed against it with all my might, asked God to prevent it. I sit here now in tears wrestling through the big why. I just have to simply be OK with never knowing the deep, unfulfilled why. At least, not until I see God.
I struggle with longing to see the girls more then seeing Jesus. Sometimes I long for Heaven more to be reunited with them then God. It’s a battle Brett admitted to as well so I don’t feel to horrible about it. Still, that needs to change.
January 11th: Celebrating Others
Two very dear friends of mine gave birth today. Did you know we all conceived around the same time with our first pregnancies nearly 10 months ago?
February 3rd: Update
I am rounding week 14. Our baby is about the size of a peach. We got an ultrasound last week and everything looked as perfect as it could. The specialist talked with us about getting a cerclage but we have decided against it at this point. Today my OB confirmed by saying, “I really don’t think you need one. I don’t think your cervix thinned last pregnancy, you were in full on labor. A cerclage wont stop labor.”
Oh, have I mentioned yet? I think this one is a boy. We will find out in 4 weeks.
February 23rd: Scare #1
The last day of our vacation in Hawaii we had a little scare. I started getting some sensations that reminded me a lot of what I felt just days before going into labor with the girls. We came home and took it easy. Sunday I was feeling the same. I called my OB and after hearing my symptoms she suggested I see her right away on Monday morning.
Enter fear and panic, fallowed by, there is really nothing I can do except pray.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I guess I have it on a small scale. I was sitting in the airport ready to get on the plane back to the Main Land when I started to feel all those horrible cramps and pains. It was like I time-warped back to August 8th in the hospital bed. It actually felt like I was there squeezing the side railing every time a contraction hit (Shutter). It takes your breath away when it happens.
(side note: Pregnant friends or friends trying to get pregnant: Stay Hydrated, Stay Hydrated, Stay Hydrated, Stay Hydrated, Stay Hydrated, Stay Hydrated, Stay Hydrated, Stay Hydrated. That’s what caused my contraction like symptoms. Dehydration is one of the 3 most leading causes of premature labor in 2nd and 3rd trimesters. So stay hydrated!)
On Monday morning Brett and I went in to the Doctors so that they could check out my cervix. Everything looked fine. My cervix is still measuring 4.5cm which is really really good.
They snuck a peak at the sex of the baby too. Its a Girl : )
March 1st: God Owes Me Nothing
Today I remind myself that God does not owe me this pregnancy. Just because my last pregnancy did not work out doesn’t mean I deserve this one to work. I am constantly handing this pregnancy back to Jesus. I lay it at your feet lord. I am blessed by every movement I feel. Today the baby has been active. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. I still tear up sometimes that Grace and Ellie aren’t in there. At this time with my last pregnancy, we were able to see two little bumps moving back and forth in my belly. Since there is only one, I can feel it, I just can’t see it. I am one week and one day away from when I went into labor with the Twins.
Be with me this week Jesus. Remind me of your sovereignty. Please keep my cervix closed. Help me not to walk in fear this week.
PS. In one day, This baby will be the exact size Grace was when she was born, 6.9oz
March 5th: It’s a GIRL!
Today was our “midway appointment” Well, 18 week appointment, almost midway. Everything was measuring as it should. Our baby is measuring 8 oz. The Specialist said that there is no concerns that he sees. Everything is measuring and appearing as it should be. He even told us that we are the kindest patients he has. So sweet. I might even be a little sad when we are cleared from being High Risk, it has been a pleasure working with him with this pregnancy and the last. Dr. Khoury.
And it was confirmed. We are having a little girl. This was a big shock to us since I was about 90% sure we were having a boy. All my symptoms and cravings were, for the most part, different then with the girls.
My real concern is next week. I will be 19 weeks on Saturday. I went into labor the first day of my 19th week with the girls. And, coincidentally, Brett will be in Florida that day for a wedding. My instant thought was, “So I will be alone? On the one day I was fearing the most in my pregnancy??????”
Thankfully the Lords kind voice has spoke to me: ” You will not be alone that day, Colleen, I will be with you.”
March 11th: Made it!
19 Weeks 1 day : )
March 13th: God Is With Me
What a phenomenal week of redemption for me. Upon coming home from dropping Brett off at the Airport, I signed on to facebook and saw a new updated from Joyce Meyer. Her message at that moment said, “You are not alone. God is with you right now.” It was as if God had a personal message to me right from Joyce.
March 15th: Pearl
We have named her. It wasn’t a long hard road, just a road of being “at odds” the whole time. To every name Brett had my response was, “Well there is this kid in the Eagles Nest with that name….and…” And every name I like, Brett’s response is, “Well there is this girl I used to make-out with that name…..and…”
But we finally choose. Her name will be Pearl. And object, yes, I know. But an object of rare beauty, one that is precious and valuable- So get over it.
You see, up until week 16 (one week after our vacation), I was convinced that this baby inside of me was a boy. Anyone who talked to me on a regular basis knew we were convinced of that. I was about 90% sure. Everything about this pregnancy was different, how I felt, what a craved. It was a boy, for sure.
But one day of vacation, Brett and I decided to venture out and do some shopping. We happened upon an area of little shops where people were trying to sell their homemade products and nick-knacks. There was a pearl stand there to. Pay 15 bucks for an oyster, open it up, see what kind of pearl you get. If you go with a significant other, they choose a oyster for their gal, and then you pry the oyster open to see what kind of pearl you get. The guy at the stand gave me a list of the different types of pearls that could be inside the oyster and what each one means according to color. And then he highly encourages us to get the pearl appraised after.
As we opened mine, we saw that ours had a pink tint to it.
Pink means Beauty.
It was then that I got this thought/feeling, “That baby inside you is a beautiful, precious Pearl.” hmmm…
We put the pearl in a little cage-type-thing that I wear around my neck. I have placed it on the same necklace that I have the two gold rings representing Grace and Ellie (Have you seen it? Her name hiding in plain sight). I couldn’t get it out of my mind how symbolic placing the pearl on that necklace was. One little representation for each of my children. That’s when I started to think that maybe this baby is not a boy, but maybe, it is a girl, and her name will be Pearl. Her gender was confirmed a week later at our ultrasound.
Getting Brett to like that name was a different story. The long and short of it was, since we couldn’t agree on a name, we decided to pray that God would give us a name. The other day we were on a date and I asked, “So whats her name?” And Brett replied, “God told me, Her name is Pearl.”
It wasn’t until that moment that I shared what happened to me at the Pearl Stand.
Pearls are valuable. Pearls are precious. Pearls are made through hurt and patience.
Do you know how pearls are made? It’s quite fascinating. A single grain of sand will enter the oyster. Because of the pain and roughness of the sand, the oysters’ Mother of Pearl (the beautiful rainbow coating on the inside of the oyster) will slowly over time coat the sand turning it into what we call Pearls. This softens the roughness of the sand causing the pain to the oyster to disappear. The oyster takes what was causing it hurt, and redeems it to this beautiful, valuable, pearl.
Brett and I have had a piece of sand placed in us back in August. And it has been a long, hard, hurtful road. But God used that hurt, coated it with His love, and redeemed it. He has made it valuable and beautiful. Part of the redeeming process has been this precious Pearl growing inside of me. And in just a little over 20 weeks, she will be in our arms. Cant wait!
March 18th: Torment and Truth
Even Christians go through doubt spells, where we ask again, “Wait, You are real God….right?” We get swept up in to the craziness of life and it to quickly becomes….normal. And after awhile you ask, “Please show me Yourself again.”
They say after you reach week 20 your chances of the pregnancy taking a turn for the worst decreases greatly. The first day of week 20 came and went and I found myself asking myself, “Did I feel her move today?” And then today. This morning I was fighting deeply with God, “What will I think or do if You decided to take this one too?” I was rocked to the core, “Im half way there God. Please let me keep her.” (I tear up right now at the thought of it). The feelings I felt were, I’ll just say it, demonic. I look back and realize I was being tormented for 2 days. Have you had those feelings? Those nasty, anxiety, OCD, fear-filled, unrealistic terror that consumes you? The feelings that make you feel like you want to vomit. The something is heavy, scary and burdening and I cant shake it type of feelings?
That’s not of God friends. That’s not even your human emotions. That is the Enemy. Recognize it, say NO and move on. Resist the Devil and he will eventually flee.
Sunday morning these feelings were all coming forth. I couldn’t shake them, I simply felt tormented. Wouldn’t it be fitting that the song playing as I walked in to church was Came To My Rescue? That is the same song God told me was “mine and Brett’s song” after the twins passed. It was the same song He said He was going to play at church for me the Sunday after the girls passed. I haven’t heard it at church since. But today, it was being played as we walked in.
So that was sign number 1.
After church I was in a group just chatting with some friends as a couple came up to me whom I have never met before. All they simply said was, “I know we don’t know you but we feel God asking us to pray for you. May we?” Lately I’ve been cautious of the”Prophecies” people have been giving me. I’m always a little cautions of general nonspecific prophecies- for my own personal reasons.
This felt different. This was specific, real, cut to the core of what has been going on in my life and our life as a couple. So I pulled Brett from the group of friends and the couple prayed:
They let me know that our baby will be born in joy and peace. They saw joy and peace in the baby’s room. They said that they felt like the Enemy was trying to be involved in this pregnancy- that he was trying to pull me away. They said that the lord is preparing a new place for us and bringing us into a new place or season. And they said that what God is about to be doing in the natural will mirror what He is doing in the spiritual, and that, as He brings us into this new place He is also bringing us into a new place spiritually.
That was Sign Number 2
Later today I was just kinda browsing facbook when I felt in my spirit that something significant was about to happen, right there in my room, at that moment. God wants to speak! is what I thought to myself. And then I felt the Lord speak to me with such intensity and authority. He said, “I have something to say to you.” It felt angered and stern. But I knew, He wasn’t angry at me, He was angry at the enemy with a holy burning anger that I have felt from Him only on other time in my life. And I felt God say, “This. Ends. Now.” The enemy was tormenting Gods little girl (Me) about this pregnancy and God had had enough.
I sensed to click on biblegateway.com. They have a scripture verse of the day every day. Today’s was this:
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. – Romans 15:13
And that was that, at that moment, I felt the enemy flee. And I knew, that I knew, that this pregnancy would work out because God promised it to me. Not only would it work out, but I don’t have to walk in fear. I now walk full of hope and joy asIi trust in God through the power of the Holy Spirit.
That was sign number 3
April 10th: Braxton Hicks?
Oh friends, Its been a rough week of trusting God. I think I’ve had some Braxton Hicks…I’m not quite sure. Nonetheless, my OB brought me in right away. Everything looked ok. Brett and I are trying not to live in fear as we progress on to new territory with pregnancy. We are about 23 and a half weeks. Come quickly August- not because I can’t stand pregnancy, but because I want to hold this little Pearl in my arms, safe and sound, fully developed.
April 12th: Dealing With People…
two thoughts today
1. Why do people assume I want to hear about their friends (or friend of a friends) pregnancy horror story? Come on people! Don’t tell a pregnant women all the horrible things that could happen during her pregnancy (especially after she has already had her own horror story).
2. When I don’t feel Pearl moving much for the day, I freak out. WHY??? because someone shared a horror story…
Sorry about that last rant. I need to have more grace with people. They don’t realize how much fear I’m fighting with this pregnancy, and it’s not their fault.
April 20th: Trusting God
You don’t realize this but there has been at least 3 times throughout this pregnancy that I have faced such fear to the point where my OB brought me in just to hear my baby’s heart beat. She is so kind and caring towards me. The last time I was in she said, “I will bring you in once a week to hear your baby’s heartbeat if you want. I know how difficult this is for you.”
Daily I hand Pearl over to the lord. Some days I do it with sincerity, other days I do it kicking, screaming and begging God not to take her too. ”You have already taken 2 from me, please don’t make me go through that again. Just one baby…I just want one baby of my own.”
April 22nd: More Patience
THERE ARE WOMEN WHO ANNOUNCED THEIR PREGNANCY DURING MY MATERNITY IN AUGUST WHO ARE STILL PREGNANT. THIS PREGNANCY IS GOING TO TAKE FOREVER…I just want to hold her so bad. Come quick august. Love my Pearl.
April 27th: Normal
Today we were declared “normal.” We are no longer high risk. After looking at our latest ultrasound, Dr. Khoury turned to us and said, ”It looks like this is the last time I’ll be seeing you. I do not consider you high risk any more.”
It was bitter sweet. Dr. Khoury is an AMAZING specialist and has been amazing to work with. He saw us through our last pregnancy also. He is very educated and informative. I would recommend him a thousand times over.
May 12th: 3rd Trimester Sacrifice
I welcome you, 3rd trimester. With all your hip aches, possible stretch marks, 2nd round of morning sickness, sleepless nights, fat comments people have been accidentally saying…to my face, and everything in between, I welcome you.
There was a time I was not willing to give up my time, money or body for a baby. I was protective of my time, enjoyed having money, and liked my fit body with no stretch marks. I was content with life being just Brett and I. Then something change, and my heart grew to wanting children. My time has already be interrupted, mostly my sleep time. We have already accommodated our budget. Money will be tight and we are taking a hit so to speak. My body, well, its been difficult to watch it change and grow.
May 13th: I am still a mother
Today, Mother’s day, was a day of mourning and celebrating. I was not ready for the flood of emotions that I felt as I was driving to church. I can not imagine what today would have felt like if I was not pregnant. Praise the Lord for His grace and mercy. He does not break a bruised reed. I am still very much bruised.
Every Sunday, Brett and I drive past the cemetery that Grace and Ellie are buried in. Today we noticed a cop getting ready to direct all the soon to be traffic. I thought to myself, “Oh, he must be directing everyone who is going to come visit their moms grave…………and all the moms visiting their children’s graves….” With that, I lost it. I had different dreams for this mothers day.
At church, they asked all the mothers to stand so that they could be honored. I just couldn’t bring myself to stand. I don’t know why. I think I just didn’t want anyone to feel bad for me or anything like that. I didn’t want to be in the spot light. I can only take so much weight from the attention that my failed pregnancy has brought. After everyone sat down, I got up, found Brett (who was serving by helping the morning clean up crew), and just wept in his arms. I didn’t stand in honor of Grace and Ellie, and I felt guilty. They are my children. I am a mother. Why didn’t I stand?
I had different dreams for today, but I am thankful I am carrying this little one.
May 16th: Fear costs money
Many of you do not know this, but I have actually frequented the OB’s office many times, unscheduled, throughout my pregnancy because I was fearful. Since my Ob is so awesome, and since she knows how nervous I have been this pregnancy, she has not hesitated once to bring me in.
I went a few times because of cramps and Braxton Hicks, thinking I was in labor, and once because I couldn’t feel Pearl moving.
Just wanted to share that.
May 18th: More Braxton Hicks
Its 430am. I have been up since 3am counting what I am hoping are just Braxton Hicks. I think I have counted about 7 or 8 in the last hour and a half, which, is more than enough for me to call my OB about. Brett has a wedding tomorrow, and the next day and he needs his sleep. If this was not the case right now, I will be waking him up and heading to the hospital to make sure I am not in labor. I’m sitting here and I don’t know what to do. Praying and crying, that’s what I’m doing. Its 440 right now and my last contraction was at 411. That’s a good sign. I am just going to down some water and try to rest, call the Ob in the morning…..
May 21st. Water is key!
I am not having real contractions. I saw my Ob and everything was normal. What I am experiencing are Braxton Hicks and I am slowly getting used to them. Water is the key. Once you feel like you can’t drink anymore water, you then have to drink more. It’s the only thing that really helps.
May 31st: HIPPY ACHE
I spend most of my nights on the couch. People aren’t kidding when they say your hips are going to hurt real bad. The couch supports my ever widening hips very nicely. Brett, what a man, sleeps downstairs with me, just to be near me. At some point, usually around 3 or 4am, he heads to the bed. I head there around 5am. My hips can handle a few hours in our bed before severe aching sets in. It is all worth it. It really is. I can not wait to hold this long awaited baby.
June 1st: Wave of new Grief
“How often do you think/cry about the loss of the girls.” Once or twice a week. I often still feel robbed. I am haunted by the memories of the hospital still. I remember having to call my mom, I remember floods of church friends coming to pray for me, suffering contractions, hard ones, 10- 15 mins apart, from 10pm or so until 2 or 3pm the next day. I remember ripping the side of the bed off the hinges during one contraction. I remember yelling “DAAAMN IT” during one contraction and yelling “SHUT UP” at my mom during another. I remember God speaking a few things to me. One: ”Your thoughts are not my thoughts, nor are your ways higher then My ways.” Two: “This is how you share in the suffering of the cross.” I remember the point when I realized I’d rather die then to go through anymore pain. I was done fighting. I had given up. I remember feeling like it was a dream, and now it feels like a distant memory of a horrible event that happened to a close friend, not me. I was 9cm when I got an epidural that I didn’t even want. I remember not kissing their little faces. Oh why didn’t i kiss them? My biggest regret. I watched everyone else kiss them.. why didn’t I? They smelled, that was the main reason.
And I’m often still confused as to why God gave my dad a prophecy about me having twins just for it to end the way it did. Why did He tell my dad that I was going to have twins before I was even pregnant? Why did He tell my dad to pray for twins? That. Stings. What was I saved from? Would that pregnancy have required my life if it didn’t require theirs? These are the things I work through and think of weekly. I keep reminding myself that Pearl is not meant to replace them. She is a sign of Gods promise of redemption.
And now I sit here in tears wondering why I just dragged myself though it again.
June 6th: Not Braxton Hicks
Today the Braxton Hicks contractions I’ve been having felt slightly different. I had more, they lasted longer, and were a little more intense (just slightly). I left work and went to the Obs, yet again, to get a nonstress test. It’s a good thing I went, I am having mild contractions. I will be 32 weeks in 2 days.
I could tell as soon as the info was coming out on the paper (which looks similar to polygraph paper) The lines would spike when I was having a contraction. I looked at the tech right before she left and I said, “those are contractions arent they.” ”Yes” She replied.
There are a few things rolling around in my head right now:
1. I received a prophecy that this baby will be birthed in peace and joy (from a couple who don’t know me and had no idea of what we went through with the twins). If the prophecy is true, then I can figure that that means I won’t birth this baby any time soon.
2. I tend to trust God the most when I am least in control. I am slowly being placed in a spot with this pregnancy where I am at the mercy of the Living God. I mean, that was always my position but, God is putting me in a spot where I have to see it. I believe He is gently putting me in a spot where control is easier to give Him. Unfortunately, it’s only easiest for me to give control to God when my circumstances are the most trying. I cannot stop these contractions, only God can. Only God can delay any delivery. I still am having faith that this baby will be born on August 8th.
Lets see, what has happened since I last posted? Contractions are under control. I am still having them but my cervix has stayed closed, which is key.
Im 33 weeks and some odd days along and I just can’t wait to hold her. It seems so close yet so far away. 7 weeks. Don’t wish the summer away, Colleen!
OH, this is a bummer: I just found out that Jack Osborne, as in Ozzy Osbornes son, he frickin named his daughter Pearl. GROSS. Oh well. And I did slip and tell a kid at the Eagles Nest Pearls name, to which she replied, “That’s the name of Mr Krabs daughter from Spongebob!”
Crap. You are right. She is a big, fat, annoying whale.
This is why we are waiting to share the name… ; )
June 21st: Slow Down Fatty
It finally happened.
OB: You are gaining weight to fast now.
*sigh* I knew it wouldn’t last forever. At one time she was telling me I needed to gain more weight. I had gained 20lbs but she wanted me to gain a bit more. But gaining an extra 20lbs in just 20 days was not what she had in mind. And neither did I. In all I have gained 40lbs. With a total weight of 180 as of now. THERE! I said it. I have 6 weeks left and I am only allowed to gain 3 more lbs. I’m pretty sure I already gained it.
July 1st Shower Time
Today is my shower day! I am so very excited. I find myself telling God, “OK, God, this is it…people are committing financially now so this pregnancy HAS to work out.”
Silly isn’t it…trying to convince God of why and how something should work out in your life? But, I’ve been doing it this whole pregnancy to him. The further I get in this pregnancy, the more I beg Him not to take Pearl too. I just don’t think my heart could take it. Its stills something I greatly fear and have to give to God daily…hourly.
The other day I was walking and put my play list on random. I was just thinking and processing how I feel about my pregnancy, how I still get gripped with fear that some tragic, fluke thing is going to happen last minute. I guess that happens when you have been wounded, by the Lord, you struggle and work your way through the healing. But the Lord only wounds when He is trying to “dig” something out of your life, so to speak. Much like a doctor has to reenter a bullet wound to get that nasty bullet out. Much like you would need surgery if you have cancer. You need to be wounded and punctured in order to get better.
So as I was walking, the song, How Great Is Our God came on. This part of the song hit me deep, in a way I knew was the Lord speaking to me. The chorus went:
How great is our god/ Sing with me/ how great is our God/ and all will see how Great is our God/
Sticking with the redemption theme God has strung throughout our last pregnancy and this one, I felt deep in my spirit God speaking, saying, “All will see how great I AM through this pregnancy, and all will worship Me because of it.”
So I’m writing this in faith, hoping to God I heard him correctly. I just get the sense that people will see the goodness of God through our experience, and believe….
July 7th OOPS
Brett slipped the other day and said Pearls name in front of my sister, to which she replied, “Yeah right you would never name your baby that!” We played it off and she left believing we were kidding.
We weren’t kidding and we did name her that! LOL! Sister you are gonna laugh delivery day.
July 12th: Active
She is an active little bundle of joy. Sometimes I wonder when or if she sleeps. She must do it when I do because most of the day she is flipping my belly this way and that. I’m so excited to see and meet her. I cant wait to hold her. She cant come in the next 4 days though because Brett is going to be out of town for a wedding in Connecticut. She hasn’t dropped yet though so I think we will be OK.
I’m getting so used to her little movements. She pushes her hands or “something” into my left hip which causes her little butt to lift up on my top right side. And her hiccups, they are like clock work. I eat something spicy and with in about 3 minutes she is hiccuping. Every morning I get a wake up call from her as she kicks about. I love it. In fact right now it looks like she is trying to break out of my belly. She is lower then average pregnancies, I think, because I have yet to have a foot in the rib. I do get to see a foot pop out once in a while though.
July 12th: Part 2
Hey baby whats up? So, you cant come in the next few days…mamma’s orders OK? Daddy is going to be gone for 4 days. It seems you have dropped and I am 1cm dilated. Ob said you may make your arrival any day or in the next few weeks. She said it’s a toss up. She also said she could feel your head. That half tempted me to try and feel myself cuz…well…I want to feel your head. She thinks it will be a quick delivery for me..so YAY! You can probably thank your sisters for that one.
I thought I was feeling some funky cramps last night. I had a little more cramping then usual and they were a little more intense. Lets not tell your father that one right now though, he needs to stay focused on the wedding at hand.
I kept my weight, baby, so I celebrated and treated us with a huge scoop of our favorite- Baskin Robbins Chocolate Peanut butter Ice Cream. I told the guy one scoop but he “accidentally” gave me two. I can’t let good ice cream go to waist when there are children starving in other countries so I did my American duty and ate it all.
See ya soon
July 16th Torn
I am torn between wanting her to come right now, and wanting to wait to see if God brings her August 8th, which, in my opinion, will really complete the redemption of this pregnancy.
Cuz Remember? The week the girls were supposed to be born, November 27th, a day dreaded, was a day of rejoicing when we found out we were pregnant with Pearl. And it just so happens Pearls due date is just 4 days shy of the day Grace and Ellie Actually came into the world, August 8th; another day dreaded. God Redeemed November 27th for me, I cant help but wonder if August 8th will be redeemed. I wouldn’t have thought that was His plan, except for the fact that He kept telling me He was going to redeem the Twin pregnancy. To have this baby born on the day the girls were born, to have a “normal” birthing and delivery experience, to be able to actually take a live well baby home instead of leaving the hospital empty handed…On they day I wasn’t able to last year…well thats pretty redemptive.
But I want her now ; ) Cuz I can’t wait to hold her, breastfeed, snuggle, care for her, for my life to finally have a child in it.
July 17th Energy and Beauty
I’ll tell you what. Now that I know I’m not high risk anymore, I will be working out through my next pregnancy. I have absolutely NO energy at all. By the time I get out of bed, make breakfast and style my hair, I’m out of breath. I’m used to being very in shape. Its been weird for me to experience this.
And now to get a bit personal, Or more personal then usual. Intimacy has been difficult, emotionally. How can one be seductive if one doesn’t feel it? I look at my body and think, “I wouldn’t want to get with this….why would my husband?” It’s caused fights. I hide from him, figuratively and literally (Under the sheets so that he cant see my body. ”TURN THE LIGHTS OFF!”), and he has been fighting for me to feel beautiful since day one. Can you believe, when he tells me how beautiful my pregnant body is, the first word out of my mouth is “no.” And I think, “He’s lying. I’ve seen this body and well…it’s not sexy.” Like I said, its caused fights.
“Why cant you just believe me that I think you are beautiful. Am I a man who lies?” He says
No, you are not Babe. I’m sorry for accusing your character.
Ladies and Gentlemen who have not experienced pregnancy, as beautiful as it is, its not beautiful, at least it hasn’t been for my body. My body just got so….distorted…everywhere. Parts change, cute parts become big and don’t look cute anymore, My cellulite has doubled. I’m swollen and walk like im 80 years old. And to think some people get stretch marks on top off all of that. Thankfully, I have not.
Please don’t mistake this as complaining. Pregnant women who complain eerk me. For me, what I shared above is more the shock of the reality of pregnancy that I didn’t realize. And, I want to share those things. I am really shocked at the way my body looks, took me by surprise. I mean, I knew my body was going to change, I just didn’t realize I’d be so insecure about it. Pregnancy really is a sacrifice.
All that to say, My plan is to get back into shape before having the next baby. We wanted to pop them out one right after the other. I have COMPLETELY changed my mind about that. If I can help it, the next one wont come before I’m back in my bikini. I have one year. In one year I’ll be lying on the beach with Brett, my one year old, and in my bikini.
July 19th: False Labor
On monday night I started noticing that my “Braxton hicks” started to feel really strong, and even a bit painful. Not painful enough that I couldn’t walk around the house and get stuff done, but painful enough that I did have to take a step back and slightly brace myself. They were pretty consistent too, every 5-6 mins. I thought for sure that labor was happening that night or the next day.
But then I fell asleep. And I woke up the next morning fine.
July 22nd: Any Day Now
I have dilated another centimeter placing me at 2cm dilated and I am 60% effaced. My Ob said I can go into labor at anytime. As of today I am 38 weeks. I am SO excited to hold her.
The past week I’ve been having spouts of period-like cramps everyday that last for a few hours that eventually slow down and stop. They are nothing horrible, but are strong enough for me have to concentrate through them. For the first time in my life, I’m not fearful of them; that is so relieving and redemptive. I welcome each contraction this time around, happily. It seems as though these “sessions” of contractions, though they end, are pushing me in the right direction… so we are just kinda waiting.
July 26th: Frustrated
Yesterday was the first day I cried about the pregnancy because I just want her out. I don’t want her out because pregnancy is hard, because my feet are swollen, because nights are sleepless, etc. Though those are all true. I want her out because I just want to hold her, hear her cry, know some freak thing wont happen in my womb. It’s hard knowing she can live outside the womb right now but isn’t here yet. I struggle with fear, that I’m going to somehow take her life or that she is going to die in my womb.
So yesterday I cried because I just can’t…pull her out. I can’t just demand her out at will. OK, I was looking at my huge swollen feet too, which made me cry more, Then I thought of my fat body that I just want back in shape, which made me cry more. And then I thoguht about how I just want to fall asleep next to Brett in our bed with our baby girl next to us, which made me cry more. Poor Brett.- trying to calm me, telling me I’m pretty, letting me know Pearl is OK.
It took everything in my to NOT say, ”DONT TOUCH ME, AND SHUT UP!” I call that the pregnancy monster.
Im 3cm and 70% effaced. It seems I dilate a centimeter a week. I used to want her born August 8th, for Gods glory… but now I want her out…like…NOW! And because I want her out now, I am becoming more and more convinced that it will be the 8th.
July 28th: EEWW
My mucus plug fell out last night. OR some of it..?? It was NASTY. I mean…what the…. Pregnancy is so neat and tidy.
I guess this means labor can come any day. But for some reason I still think its going to happen on the 8th. I have been getting some more contractions this morning so, we will see.
July 31st Tight Squeeze
So that’s the story of my pregnancy right now. I get contractions, many an hour, 5- 6 minutes apart, but they always go away. I wait to get those strong “Oh my gosh this hurts real bad” ones that I remember from my last pregnancy, but they never come; they always just fade off.
But I’m OK with that. I technically have 4 days left. In reality, what does a due date mean anyway? She might not be ready for awhile.
Also, I can tell it’s getting quite cramped in my womb. That’s all for today.
Aug 3 What to do.
So, my due date is tomorrow and im 5cm and 90% effaced. No consistent contractions. What to do…
I am contracting without pain. When I do contract there is pressure. We could go to the hospital tonight and have this baby if we really wanted to but Brett has 2 weddings this weekend. I don’t want to take control of this situation. I also don’t want to have this baby in my house or on the way to the hospital. Do I wait to see if she will come on the 8th? Or do I go in tonight and get an opinion? The last thing I want is to take matters in my own hands and cause this baby to come before the Lord wants her here. I can wait. If He is waiting for the 8th, then so am I. If Not…then me neither. What to do? I’m OK with anything as long as its Gods leading and not mine. I don’t want to induce because I can or because I’m impatient (which I am). I will only be induced if my OB really insists.
August 6th: Now We Wait
Anyone who complained about pregnancy who never made it to week 40… I… I shake my fist at you. You no complain no more…
In seriousness though, in a way, making it to week 40 is redemptive to me. I had this pregnancy app shows how you progress each week. You cant see the next week on the app until you actually get there. I never got all the way with the twins and, I always wanted to see it cross the 40 week mark, and I wanted to see it read “It’s your due date!” I got to!
Also, I need to remind myself that Brett and I have been earnestly, and repeatedly asking God for this baby to be born on the 8th. So why am I getting so mad at Him that I haven’t delivered her yet? Perhaps God is waiting for that day, and thats why my body is just doing nothing. It’s tempting not to go to the hospital. A friend of mine who was a labor and delivery nurse told me that if I go, the hospital will definitely keep me and just give me a little something to start contractions. On friday she said, “you can have that baby tonight if you want.”
But in my gut, it didn’t feel right. Last night, now that all Brett’s weddings are done, I was tempted to do the same thing. But I got that same sense again… that it just wasn’t right to go. I want to see Gods glory and redemption here. I mean, we will see His redemption regardless at this point…but I don’t want to look back and think, “If I just would have waited, would she have been born on the 8th?” I don’t want to take control here. I want to see God lifted high thought this. I want all to see how great He is. I want people to see when she is born on the 8th how redemptive our God is. Now lets hope that happens.
SO we wait, hopefully only 2 more days.
Aug 7th No contractions still
Last year on this day I woke up not feeling right. I remember climbing into bed with Brett and saying “I’m in pain and something doesn’t feel right.” With in an hour I was experiencing full blown contractions. By 1o am we were at the hospital, I was 5cm dilated, and I was given drugs from then until 4 pm the next day to try and putt off labor and delivery.
Contrast that to today. I’m 5cm with absolutely no contractions at all, begging and pleading for labor to start.
On My last day of work, I noticed one of the moms was clearly pregnant. So, I asked (Never do this by the way). Thankfully I was right.
“Im 24 weeks pregnant, with identical twin girls.”
Aug 8th: 1:11 am
I was 5cms during my last pregnancy with full blown contractions and labor. I tried my damnedest to put them off (on this day last year, at this exact time, I was screaming my head off at each contraction). Here I am today with this pregnancy, probably well over 5cm now trying my damnedest to get contractions to start. GO FIGURE! I just don’t get it, I just don’t. The last gal in the group that was preggo within a few weeks of me (meaning due after me) gave birth tonight. I don’t understand why I’m not in labor. I know, I know…Gods timing.
I just got the time to finish up this entry. WOW single moms, moms who go back to work…I give you credit. This is hard work. I do not know what I would do without Bret ts help. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t know I could get a good nap in during the day. Just last night I thought, “The only thing keeping me sane right now is knowing I can get a good nap in tomorrow.”
Anyways, August 9th 2012, little Pearl Elyse Yacovella was born around 915 weighing in at a whopping 9.1 pounds.
Pearl meaning (To us): Something made beautiful after being wounded. Elyse: Gods promise.
Birthing blog to come. I invite you to please come sit with me and join in on eating a big piece of humble pie….
I love her…