Sunday, December 29, 2013

A Year for the Books

Hi y'all!!!  I've been a big slacker with blog post lately but between my broken computer screen and Daniel's itty bitty computer who's keys are so small I'm constantly misspelling words.... it takes a lot of time to muster up the patience to write. :) 
All is great here. I'm all healed physically (other than my nasty scar and some occasional aches and pains) and emotionally I'm doing well too. I've been dealing with a little bit of anxiety over some things but overall I'm doing well.
So this post is going back to the roots of this blog. I started this blog as a way to keep distant friends and family up to date, but more importantly to act as an online "memory book" for our little family . With that said, 2013 was a huge, just unbelievably huge, year for us..... so for memories sake, I'm going to go through a little review of everything 2013 held for us!

January/February 2013
* Daniel finished up interviews for residency and we worked together to make his final rank list. Then the waiting and waiting started...
Daniel's "oh crap I'm submitting my rank list" face
March 2013
* Match Day came! We found out that we'd soon be spending the next five years twelve hours away from family in Mobile, Alabama!
How we made the announcement to friends
How Daniels school did the revealing of where he matched
Family pictures done in South Alabama shirts for our change of address cards.

April 2013
* I lost my Mimi. Not my grandmother by birth but in my heart she was. She was the last grandparent I had so it was a rough loss and I think of her a lot
* Daniel and I ventured to Mobile in a three day spree to find a house. Found one, signed papers, had inspection done, and it was ours in record time!

Daniel's "oh crap we just bought a house" face.
May 2013
* We moved to Alabama!
* We watched via Internet as a record tornado weaved it's way in and out of our family's homes in Moore, Oklahoma. Only blocks from several family members houses. It was hours before we knew everyone was safe and sound. Being 12 hours away during such a traumatic event for your home town sure makes you feel helpless.
*Daniel graduated med school!  After lots of hard work he officially was able to sign M.D. after his name and became "Dr. Daddy"

June 2013
*We had a month off as a family so enjoyed exploring our new house and city.
 *We also found a church that we fell in love with and started calling our own. This church has been such a blessing of knowledge and relationships for us.

July 2012
* Daniel started his 80 hour work weeks as a resident. Tired.... but loving every minute of it.
* Dax and I started our own traditions...... like going out for donuts on holidays that daddy works
Fourth of July while daddy worked
* I started a new "job".  I was blessed to have a childcare job fall into my lap. I began watching a sweet little toddler girl in my own home, allowing me the opportunity to be at home and take care of things there, while also spending time with my little boy and doing a little bit of my teaching that I love.
* Daniel and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary!
The picture on the left was our first picture together 12 years ago... we were 14 years old
August 2013
* Daxton turned 3!! Daniel got his first week of vacation time at the end of the month so we went back to Oklahoma and celebrated Daxton's third birthday with a wonderful Super Why themed party!

September 2013
* Daniel started his first month of nights... .and looked like this most of the time...
 * After our year long battle with secondary infertility, we were able to conceive.  Only for that pregnancy to end up being ectopic. It ruptured and that started a very long 6 week process of recovery (There is a collection of 7 post referring back to that ordeal if you need more info). I feel so very thankful to be alive.... and thankful for that angel baby.

Added a tiny angel wing to my mothers necklace.
October 2013
* October went fast. I was busy recovering so didn't get out much.... but we did make time for Halloween of course :)
* I also took part in my first Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day in honor of our little angel baby.
November 2013
* We spent the holidays away from family, but with friends this year. We took full advantage of Skype
December 2013
* Our first Christmas in our own home.... 12 hours away from family. It was very different.... but we really enjoyed starting our own traditions..... like a Christmas Eve picnic in the living room while watching Christmas movies

Seriously.... what an insane year it's been for us. So many first and so many starts of something new. Here's to looking forward to what 2014 has in store for us.... and praying it's just a tad bit calmer :)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Tis The Season!

So a year ago I wrote this post about Balancing Christmas ... and if you haven't read it you should ;)  At that point last year Dax was barely two, so we didn't have to think much or put this idea of "Balancing Christmas" into action. But now we're in full blown Christmas tradition mode. We have a three year old little boy on our hands that is really soaking in everything about the holiday season and is already asking me everyday if Santa is coming tomorrow.
So this year I started two different things that I hope will grow into traditions for us... because I really love what they stand for and they help keep me accountable everyday to Balance Christmas for our little guy.

So this is the letter that our sweet little Elf on a Shelf brought with him Saturday morning when he made his first appearance. This is a really simplified version of what I got at in my Balancing Christmas post, and as he gets older I'll go more into detail about forgiveness, intentions, a faithful value system, and a heart like our Creator. As I mentioned before... he's barely three and this letter seemed to be on the perfect level for him.

The second thing we started this year was an advent activity. I searched all over (with no luck) for an advent calendar of some sorts that would help me in the process of Balancing Christmas. Something that would help us count down the days until the oh so fun Christmas morning, but also kept our hearts wrapped around the true meaning of the season. Luckily, yesterday I stumbled upon this site and will be using it to base our daily activities on.  So today I printed the bible versus for the countdown chain and we did the first activity with Daxton's nativity.
For the countdown chain I just used red and green scrap book paper that I had and printed these perfect little activity strips. I cut them out and glued them onto the back of the scrap book paper. I love that the strips have not only the daily verse on it, but additional readings and an activity as well.

So those are a couple traditions we started this year to help us Balance Christmas! What are some things you and your family do to keep perspective on what it should be on during the holiday seasons??

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Lessons in Faith

I've been a christian for years. A believer in a God who is loving, caring, stronger than we can ever be, and who has a complete plan for our lives laid out from the beginning.

I learned a lot over the past few months. But the biggest is that when we put all of us into Him, anything is possible.

The word all is what I want to stress. Not just us on Sunday. Not just us when we need something and we come to Him in prayer. Not just us when we're praising Him for something good in our life. But all of us.... all the time.

As I have previously mentioned, we have been trying for baby #2 for over a year. That year was full of prayers each month that we would get pregnant. Usually, most of those coming right after I realized that month wasn't a successful one. When we moved to Alabama in May before starting residency, we made it a mission to find a church that we would feel at home in... something we were never able to find in other cities we lived in. Luckily, we found just that place at the second church we visited, and we quickly joined the church and began going to a small group. This church gave me a drive like I have never had before to study God's word and grow in my relationship with Him. Quiet time each day, studying His word, and truly wanting to know Him in a way I haven't was now the highlight of my day. I looked forward to nap time for a different reason now... not just getting a little break, but for the opportunity to have my quiet time with God. I began praying not for us to be able to get pregnant again, but for Him to reveal His plan for the continual growth of our family, whether that be another biological child or for our "future" plans to adopt (something I've always known I would do) to be the next step for us.  I finally realized that He knew how our family was going to look, and I needed to quit trying to be in control of that and hand it over to Him completely. And I prayed this

God's hand in our life has also been revealed to me in another way. Four to five years ago He brought a new face into my life. We became friends, but because of busy lives, never had time to grow that friendship into anything really close. But over that time, we kept being pulled back together through seemingly the most random occasions. Moving to same cities, being placed together for school requirements, having kiddos a few months apart. Through all of these events we never lost connection with one another. A few months ago this sweet friend recommended the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility to me. She graciously sent me her copy, I read it in about 2 days, and instantly took the things it taught and started to apply them in our trying to conceive journey.  Two months later, I found out I was pregnant. And I know it's because of the things I learned in that book.
This same sweet friend helped me through the day to day struggle as I learned I was miscarrying and as I was recovering through my ruptured ectopic pregnancy. She sent encouragement and prayers my way and I was very thankful for that.
Almost exactly one month after I miscarried, this same friend found out she was going through something very similar. Now we were able to be there to cry with each other, ask questions to each other, and encourage each other. 
There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that God knew what he was doing 5 years ago when He placed her in my life and He made sure that throughout our busy lives we didn't lose connection with one another. Because at this chapter in our life we would need each other to make it through.

I think the biggest revealing of God's faithfulness came through the sense of peace I was given throughout the miscarriage. I have mentioned in previous post the gut feeling that something wasn't right starting the first day I knew I was pregnant. Because of this gut feeling, I instantly prayed daily for peace in whatever was to come. I didn't want to pray that the baby would be okay, because I knew that God already knew what was going to happen and there was nothing I could do to truly change that.i had given my body and my family over to Him. He was faithful enough to give me the baby, so I needed to keep up my end of the deal and continue to give my everything over to Him. I just wanted a feeling of peace within my heart at whatever the outcome was.   As I was faced with the news that I was miscarrying only days later, that sense of peace was never felt stronger. I knew He wasn't taking from me, He was only saying "not yet". I didn't break down in the hospital. I truly felt at peace with what had happened. He had revealed to me that I can in fact get pregnant, and I had to trust in Him to carry me through the next chapter. Now don't get me wrong... I've had my days of sorrow and crying.... but even in those moments I still had that peace.

Now I'm able to see God's faithfulness and hand in my life through all the things the last several months has brought upon me. He lead us to Alabama. He lead us to our church home. He put that special friend in my life and kept them there. He gave me the peace I prayed for. And in all the seemingly small things, such as Daniel being on nights when all this happened letting him be at home when I would need him the most, the original doctor I planned on seeing wasn't taking new patients therefore me taking an appointment with my wonderful doctor now, computers freezing when my mom was trying to book a ticket back home letting her be there for when my ectopic ruptured. All of these things just reaffirm the hand of God in every. single. thing. we do.

As I made a special candle holder to light on October 15th, I painted the word "Faith" on it. Because if there's one thing I have learned from my Angel Baby and God..... it's faith. True, 100% faith.

I'm a big music person and I often turn to music to say the words I can't or to help me heal. This song here....I listen to this song at least every other day. It's just so so perfect.
I come, God, I come
I return to the Lord
The one who's broken
The one who's torn me apart
You struck down to bind me up
You say You do it all in love
That I might know You in Your suffering

Though You slay me
Yet I will praise You
Though You take from me
I will bless Your name
Though You ruin me
Still I will worship
Sing a song to the one who's all I need

My heart and flesh may fail
The earth below give way
But with my eyes, with my eyes I'll see the Lord
Lifted high on that day
Behold, the Lamb that was slain
And I'll know every tear was worth it all

Though You slay me
Yet I will praise You
Though You take from me
I will bless Your name
Though You ruin me
Still I will worship
Sing a song to the one who's all I need

Though tonight I'm crying out
Let this cup pass from me now
You're still all that I need
You're enough for me
You're enough for me

Though You slay me
Yet I will praise You
Though You take from me
I will bless Your name
Though You ruin me
Still I will worship
Sing a song to the one who's all I need
Sing a song to the one who's all I need

 And I shared this video before, but these words have especially stood out to me more now than ever.

"What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy"

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Today is 4 weeks since my D&C, and Saturday will be 4 weeks since my ectopic pregnancy ruptured.

Those four weeks have been full of resting and recovering, mentally and physically. For probably the first two weeks afterwards, all of my energy was focused on healing physically. I had been through the ringer to say the least.... and every bit of energy I had mentally and physically was put towards physically healing. The past two weeks emotional healing has taken the drivers seat and continues to take me on quite the adventure.

I think the best way to break down my last four weeks in a way that will help someone else who has gone through this journey or will go through this journey is to break down my recovery, week by week.

Week 1:  I went in for the rupture on Saturday morning, and stayed at the hospital until Monday afternoon. The evening after surgery they had me stand up for the first time. That lasted about 2 minutes and I physically couldn't handle it anymore. So we waited another day and we tried again. This time I walked a few feet down the hall, and made it back to bed. The walking itself wasn't that awful... it was the getting up and down out of bed that was miserable. During my hospital stay they were coming in my room every 2 hours and checking my vitals so rest was minimal. In my 3 day hospital stay, we had several of Daniel's coworkers come by and check in on us. Through everything we've been through over the last month we have been completely reassured that this residency program is the perfect one for us. They've been so so wonderful and we couldn't be more thankful.
After coming home I was taking ibuprofen and prescription strength pain meds regularly, my moving was from the bed to the couch and back again,  and I had to sleep with literally 5 pillows around me to be comfortable. Week one the majority of my pain was from the incision spot itself. I was also very tired and got light headed really easy and fast, sometimes even when just sitting on the couch. Unfortunately my appetite remained at basically nothing (other than a few bites of my mom's meatloaf and a few sips of soup).

Week 2: This week was better.... but not anywhere near normal yet. Getting up and down was still the biggest pain, and though I could go further now, I continued to walk like the Hunch Back of Notre Dame. This week I started having some cramping as well. It wasn't all day long, but would randomly come here and there and would almost feel like a contraction that lasted a few seconds and then went away. By the end of this week I had cut back to only taking my strong pain meds at bed time and ibuprofen throughout the day. I was still dealing with exhaustion, light headedness, and loss of appetite but it was slightly better than the last week. I also had my first follow up visit this week. He said my incision looked great and I seemed to be getting around really well. I had more blood work done to see where my beta was at... 150.... so it was dropping great from the 11,000 it was at when I ruptured. When it finally falls below 5 my body should get back to normal hormone and cycle wise. He let me know that after 2 regular cycles we can begin trying to conceive again if we're ready. My risk of another ectopic does now go up an additional 15% so I'll start seeing the doctor day one next time we conceive (no waiting until 6-8 weeks like the normal person would do). And speaking of conceiving, he let me know that my chances of conceiving now drop by 30% because of only having one tube, but that he sees "lots of little Sooners running around" in our future. If we haven't conceived again in 6 months, then we'll continue on with seeing a fertility specialist.

Week 3: I could finally drive and go up and down stairs now so I feel like a new woman :)  Week three was a big turning point for me. I am no longer taking any sort of pain medication! Cramping was a lot less than the week before and now my biggest pain was not being able to be comfortable in once position very long. Because of feeling better physically (and because of my whacked out hormones trying to return to normal) I was a little more emotional this week. I had days where I was completely okay, and days where I was pretty down. I was sad that I lost a baby after trying for over a year, frustrated that all of this craziness happened to me, and worried about having lost one tube and it affecting my chances of having any future children. Pretty much you name the emotion, I had it.

Week 4: We're in week four now. Physically I'm doing great. Moving around like normal (still have restrictions on what all I can do for another 2 weeks but for the most part things are back to normal), haven't been having any cramping, and my energy level is back up. My appetite has finally returned (after losing 10lbs) and I'm only getting light headed when I get up and down. Right now my biggest pain is that I'm still pretty swollen around my incision site...making it tender and a pain to wear anything other than gym shorts (which normally I would not complain about, but right now I just want my body to feel normal again). I also have stitches poking out at each end of my incision site which are really annoying. Emotionally, I'm doing a little better than last week. I still have days where I'm down but it's much less than last week. I went to church this week for the first time in a month and that definitely lifted my spirits.I go back to see my doctor on Monday so hopefully it's all good news then as well.

Today is October 15,  Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Day.... and the first time I'm really taking part. I had heard of the date before because of a few people in my life that have lost babies,  but today is the first time that I'm truly a part of it. I have a candle lit in honor of our angel baby and all those who have ever been affected by pregnancy or infant loss. I've been so touched by the number of people who have sent me a message or who have let me know that they have a candle lit in honor of our angel. If you have a moment today.... please light a candle and say a quick prayer for all of those who are touched by today.

I'll be posting in the next few days about a few things I've learned over the past stay tuned for that.

Friday, October 4, 2013

And the Saga Continues Part 3

If you're just now making your way to the blog make sure you catch up on our full journey when you get the chance.... it's only a total of 5 post  (including this one). Our story has just began.
Also, there are going to be lots of details in here... so I apologize if you don't want to read all the nitty gritty.... but for my sake and the sake of others who may go through something similar in the future, I'm writing them. 

The next day after my first shot (Friday) I felt pretty normal. A little achyness and a little bit of cramping but nothing bad at all. In fact my doctor called me Friday afternoon to see how I was doing and I had nothing but good things to say. Friday evening came and Daniel headed off to work (remember he was on his month of night shifts). I had a sweet friend text me to see how I was doing and I began talking to her about how I was really struggling with anxiety, to the point that I was really scared taking a shower and sleeping alone because I was afraid something like a rupture was going to happen. I kept getting slammed with bad news after bad news, so I think that started taking a real tole on me... subsequently making me expect the worst. She reassured me, just like Daniel did when I addressed it with him, that it was going to be okay. 

Saturday morning (September 21st) I woke up a little after 8:00am and headed out to spend some time with my mom and Dax. I felt just like I had been.... a little achy, no appetite... but no change from the day before. Daniel got home from work around 9:00 am (ps most of these times are guesstimates, it was a lazy Saturday morning so I didn't really have any true concept of what time it was). He was spending some time with us before laying down to sleep for the day, so we were all hanging out in the living room sitting on the couches. I started getting a couple pains, more cramplike than what I had been having. About that time Daniel and my mom headed to the kitchen to get some breakfast... and I headed to the bathroom because I thought I was going to get sick. While in the bathroom it hit me strong, exactly like it did the first day I started miscarrying (back on Thursday, September 12th). I got extremely nauseous, extreme cramping, very light headed, and started seeing black. I made it a few steps out of the bathroom and was able to whisper (from what I was told) Daniel's name. He helped lower me right to the floor where I was standing and elevated my feet. The lightheadedness got better, but the pain never let up. Eventually he carried me to our bed and everything just continued. At this point we didn't think much about it. Everything seemed just like it did the first day, so I think we all figured it was just the separation pain that the doctor had told us would happen. 

But the pain never let up.... and continued to just get worse. So bad that it was making me sick. I remember telling Daniel multiple times that I couldn't do it anymore. It was 10 times worse than any labor pains I had before. Eventually the pain started moving up my left side, and when I told Daniel this that sent up red flags and he instantly pulled the car to the front door to take me to the hospital. I remember him and my mom trying to get me to sit up on the bed so I could go out to the car, and just feeling like jello and falling over. Daniel ended up carrying me to the car (poor guy).

The car ride is pretty much a blur to me. I remember Daniel saying my name a few times and waking up and responding to him, but I think I was sort of in and out of it most of the ride. 

We got to the ER entrance, Daniel ran in to get a wheel chair, I unlocked the door for him, heard someone say something about him being a medical student, to which Daniel quickly corrected them "I'm a physician" (this makes me laugh now),  and that's all I know for a few minutes. 

I passed out right as we got to the hospital. Talk about good timing.

The next thing I remember is being in the ER and having a nurse practitioner on my left side putting in an IV, the on call doctor on my left side putting one in (both pumping me full with fluids) and what seemed like 10 people in this little room running crazy. I remember hearing bits and pieces of Daniel's conversations with them. I remember them cutting off my shirt. I remember so many familiar faces because I had been in and out of the hospital so many times in the last week. I remember the pain stopping, but shaking uncontrollably (what I'm guessing was shock). I remember them layering tons of warm blankets on me. I remember them reading my blood pressure "70/30."  "Is that accurate?" They did it again, "Yes". I remember the wonderful nurse practitioner that I had seen the very first day I started miscarrying looking me in the eye and saying over and over, "you're going to be okay" and feeling so comforted. I remember another nurse saying "Poor baby" multiple times. I remember them doing an ultrasound. I remember Daniel telling me that I was going to have surgery and him kissing my forehead.  I remember being quickly taken back to the operating room, continuing to shake uncontrollably, the anesthesiologist letting me know that I would be falling asleep soon and that everything was going to be just fine.

The next thing I knew I was in recovery. I think Daniel said my surgery was about an hour and a half long. Recovery was pretty blurry and I only remember bits and pieces. I do know that Daniel's program director came in to check on me.... just reassuring our knowledge that this program was great.

At some point in the day I learned how serious things really were. My ectopic pregnancy had indeed ruptured my left fallopian tube. The surgery is usually done laparoscopically through a few tiny incisions in the belly and abdomen. But when they got the camera inside my abdomen, there was too much blood for them to be able to see. I had a total of 2 liters of blood in my abdomen from the rupture. They had to end up doing not only the tiny incision inside my belly button, but an incision about 6 inches long at my bikini line. I ended up loosing my entire left fallopian tube and receiving 3 units of blood.

Daniel has told me several times, "I don't think you realize how serious this was".... and he's probably really accurate. Things are still pretty surreal to me.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

And the Saga Continues Part 2

So my last post finished up on Tuesday, September 17th, the day of my first surgery, the D&C. We thought we would be in the clear and that it was finally time for us to begin healing and moving on. I didn't have much pain Tuesday or Wednesday, just a little acheyness so I tried to rest and relax as much as I could while I had my mom (her plan was to catch a flight Saturday to head back to Oklahoma).

Well Wednesday afternoon roles around and I get yet another dreaded call from my doctor. The pathology report was in from my D&C, and there were no "products of conception" in what was sent to the Pathology lab after my D&C on Tuesday. Anything that was in my uterus had been passed on it's own already, yet my beta remained SO high. This was confirmation that there was for sure an ectopic pregnancy. 

My doctor instantly got the ball rolling for me. In over 85% of cases,  shots of a medicine called Methotrexate will resolve the ectopic pregnancy without surgery. Because of such a high success rate with that, we felt confident in trying the shots before surgery (because with surgery came the chance of loosing a tube). He wanted me to get the shot first thing in the morning so that the process could be started.

Thursday, September 19th we woke up before the sun and headed to the hospital. Our doctor had left the script for us in one of the doctor lounges so Daniel could just go by there and get it instead of having to wait for the offices to open at 8am (perks to being married to a doctor for sure). We got our script and checked into the ER. Because it's such a serious medication (it's also used alongside other medications in chemotherapy) it wasn't as simple as walking in and getting a shot and walking out. I was also told it would burn really bad but in all honestly it wasn't that awful. I had prepared myself for a lot worse. The on call doctor came in and did a quick exam on me, I got my shots (one in each... *clear throat*  "cheek".... yeah that was fun), got some medication to help with nausea that's often associated with the shot, and headed out.

The plan after the shot was this....  I would have the first shot on Thursday, a second shot and beta done on Sunday, a check up with my doctor on Monday, and then betas done every Wednesday until they got below 5. I was told that about 3-4 days after my first shot (so probably around Sunday) I would have what was called "separation pains". Because of this, my mom decided to expand her trip just a few more days. We were all worried that Daniel (who was working the night shift this month) would be at work and I would be at home alone with Dax when the pain hit.

Little did we all know how thankful we would be that she expanded her trip. We had no idea what was in store for us in the coming few days.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

And the Saga Continues Part 1

Well I wasn't lying when I finished off my last post with "our family story is just getting started".

This post is going to be full of dates and details ..... but I want to record and share our stories... all the details... so that maybe I can help someone else that will be going through this as well. Because it's so heavy in details and dates I'm going to break this part of our story up into a couple different post, so hang with me for a few days.

I left off our last post mentioning that I would be going to the doctor for a follow up on Monday, September 16th to discuss the next steps. When I got there he wanted to do a follow up ultrasound to see how the miscarriage was going naturally. We thought our biggest decision this week was going to be whether to let the miscarriage happen naturally, or to go ahead and have a D&C to complete the process. Little did we know.

During the ultrasound the tech was great at telling me exactly what she was seeing. We were still able to see the sac in my uterus, but could tell that it had made some progress and didn't look as defined as it did on Thursday. But while she was checking around a little more she saw a spot by my left ovary that she was a little concerned about. So she called the doctor in and they discussed it together with me. The consensus was that it could possibly be an ectopic pregnancy, but it wasn't as defined as he thought it should have been based off how high my beta (in layman's terms my pregnancy hormones) was. He sent me right over to the hospital to have another beta done.

A little back story on my beta..... when I went in on Thursday, September 12, my beta was over 10,200.  I had it tested again on Saturday, September 14th and it had dropped by 100. This is what you want to happen during a miscarriage. Once it's all the way back below 5 that your considered not pregnant anymore.

Well I received a call Monday evening from my doctor telling me my beta had gone up almost 1000 points since Saturday... mind you that is NOT what you want to see. Because of this he scheduled me for surgery first thing Tuesday morning to have a D&C done. This would get everything out of my uterus and help us know for sure on whether or not I had an ectopic pregnancy. If my hormone levels dropped after the D&C, we knew we were in the clear. But if they didn't or if the pathology report came back with bad news then we knew for sure I was having an ectopic pregnancy.  Ectopics can be pretty dangerous so he wanted to get things figured out as quickly as possible.

Living in a city where you have no family made everything just a bit more stressful. My mom couldn't get a flight that would get her here in time for the surgery, but we lucked out in the babysitter department and she was able to come over at 5:00am on Tuesday morning to stay with Dax.

The next day came quickly and I was as prepared as could possibly be for the D&C. My doctor is absolutely wonderful so I knew I was going to be taken great care of. I did have to be put under general anesthesia, but the procedure itself was outpatient. I was taken back to prep for the surgery a little after 7, and was home by 10. My mom got into town that afternoon and I spent most of the day resting and starting my road to recovery.

I thought I was done... for the second time, and thought we could start moving on... for the second time. But come to find out we really had no idea what was in store for us the rest of the week.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Becoming Unsilenced Part 2

So part one was written on a Sunday night.... and sat in my draft folder for 5 days.

That's because when I woke up Monday morning everything changed for us.

Our run with secondary infertility was done. Finished. Finito.

I had a positive pregnancy test.

I anxiously waited two hours for Daniel to get home from work so I could break the news to him. Needless to say that was two of the longest hours of my life.

To say we were both surprised and completely shocked is an understatement. Daniel's exact words were, "is this for real??"

But beneath all the excitement I stayed cautious. I told Daniel that evening that I just had a bad feeling and was nervous. I never had this feeling with my first pregnancy. But for some reason, I did this time.

To make a long story short, four days later we spent the day at the emergency room, and soon found out that I was miscarrying.

We have such great great support through our family and close friends (and I feel very blessed that Daniel's residency program was also extremely supportive) ... and that has made this whole experience much easier to handle.  Emotionally, I had prepared myself for this from day one (remember that "gut feeling" that something wasn't right) so I actually handled the news really well. What I wasn't prepared for was the physical toll this would take on my body. Miscarriage was definitely not "as seen on TV" that's for sure. I'm on day four after finding out and today is the first day I've felt okay. It comes and goes.  We've already had one follow up visit and go again tomorrow to discuss the next steps for us.

I wanted to be open and share this with everyone because I've had so many people message me after my last post about our infertility struggles letting me know how helpful it was and letting me know that we have their thoughts and prayers. And if there's one thing I know now, it's that building these relationships with women going through similar situations is so beneficial in healing. And also that the more people we have praying for us, the better.

So yes, right now, we're taking life day by day. And we know our journey to building our family isn't over. There is a silver lining in this, and that is that we now know that we can get pregnant again... and that is such a relief for us.

So stay tuned... because we know in our hearts that our family story is just getting started.

And again I wanted to share a few links with you guys incase you're interested.
When a Friend Loses a Baby
Miscarriage Statistics
After a Miscarriage: Supporting Friends and Family Through Loss

Friday, September 13, 2013

Becoming Unsilenced Part 1

It's been awhile since I've posted...

partly because life has been nuts. We bought our first house, moved 12 hours away, Daniel started residency, I started watching a toddler in our home during the day, and we are all trying to adjust to our completely new, and insane life.

But another reason is because I just haven't had the spirit to write.

I like to blog as a way to express myself, keep in contact with our family and friends, and reflect on what's happening in our lives.

But the past several months my mind has been preoccupied with something else. Something that I didn't want to bother others with, something no one else would possibly be interested in reading, something that is too deep for my happy-go-lucky self.

But finally after a month of signing into blogger, opening up the "new post" page, and then signing back out again.... I feel like I'm finally ready to talk about it.

I'm not sure why I haven't talked about it to anyone (other than a few close friends and few family members). But I just haven't. It's been a really sensitive spot for me and I think not telling anyone was a way of protecting myself from having to talk about it and face all the emotions.

But I've been reading and listening to songs a ton.... and I realized that talking about it is not only going to help me, but may help someone else going through the same thing as me.

Infertility is such a silenced disease.

12% of women, or 1 in 8 married couples face infertility issues. With more than half of those infertility cases being secondary infertility (not being able to conceive after already having a child). That's way more common than I ever thought.... and that's because most of these people don't talk about it. Like I mentioned, it's a very silenced disease.

Daniel and I have been trying to get pregnant for over a year now. With Dax it took us 6 months, completely normal for a first pregnancy, but this time around things have been different. We've done everything that is suppose to work, charting basil body temperatures, watching ovulation, etc. For awhile I kept putting it off to busy schedules, stress, work.... anything. But as my doctor has confirmed, even considering those things, it should take 8 months max for a second pregnancy to occur.

So here we are. We've began the process of trying to figure out what the problem is. We've had some lab work ran that hasn't showed anything yet, and will soon be seeing a fertility specialist.

Infertility is such an emotional rollercoaster. You're happy and hopeful one minute, depressed and pessimistic the next. It's a constant monthly waiting game filled with ups and downs. You learn real fast that you can't go through it on your own. For me that has meant turning to my faith. I've been reading the bible and praying and searching for praise and worship songs that fit what I'm going through. I'm surprised almost daily by the messages God is sending me. And while I know God has a plan, and that we will grow our family in one way or another, it doesn't take away from the frustration and pain that the infertility journey brings.

Here are a few links I want to leave all you guys with in case you want to do a little more reading about infertility.
Secondary Infertility
8 Things That Will Not Support Your Friend with Secondary Infertility
Secondary Infertility: Being the Best Kind of Supportive Friend
Infertility Etiquette

More on our journey in the next few days....

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Liebster Award

So a blog "friend" of mine (I feel like we're all "friends" in our little blogging community of medical wives) nominated me for the Liebster Award!
And if she hadn't already received it I would definitely nominate her as well! Mandy at The Boyer Family has a great, happy, uplifting blog about her family (two super adorable kids) and day to day life (parenting, faith, crafts, etc) during their journey of med school!
The Liebster Award is an award that small bloggers (less than 200 followers) are giving out to one another to recognize their cute blogs and honor their stories they tell on them. 

And it sort of reminds me of those fun chain emails we use to all do years ago.... and who doesn't love a little nostalgia?!

So the Liebster goes something like this...
1. Post 11 random facts about yourself.
2. Answer 11 questions the tagger has given you, and write 11 questions for the blogs your tag.
3. Choose 11 deserving bloggers (or however many you can) that have less than 200 followers.
4. Tell them you've tagged them by commenting on their blog.
5. No tag backs.
6. Grab a Liebster Award button and display it on your page!

So here it goes!! 11 random facts about me...
1. I'm an awful cook. Bake… I can do. But cooking, not so much. I think it comes down to a) my inability to make decisions, and b) a fear of failure
2 My favorite outfits consist of leggings and Daniel's big tshirt… I'm pretty fancy… what can I say??
3. I can't make decisions. Ever. It drives Daniel crazy. But really it's just because I'm super easy to please and don't really have a strong opinion on most things
4. I lived in the same house from birth until moving out for collage…. only 20 minutes away :)
5. I became an aunt at age 3. I now have  3 nieces (plus one step niece and one little one on the way), 2 nephews, and 2 great nephews… bringing my count to 9. I felt completely comfortable becoming a mom bc I was basically changing diapers while I was still in diapers ;)
6. My BFF and I have been friends since 1st grade (we're now almost 26), and since the age of 13 have lived thousands of miles apart. Truly a gift.
7. I'm super shy and awkward when first meeting people. It takes me awhile to warm up and completely feel comfortable. But when I'm do I'm pretty sarcastic and love to laugh.
8. I'm super empathetic… .to the point of being ridiculous. I can't even watch anything with any sort of violence or injustice or such because it literally makes my heart hurt. I guess it's a good trait…. but it def. gets annoying sometimes.
9. I'm not a good communicator… at all. Unless through writing (hints my love for blogging).
10. I have a really progressive look at education…. and despite being an early childhood educator (who for the most part work in elementary schools) I really dislike what probably 98% of elementary schools are doing and it's going to kill me when Dax has to start going to one… or if I ever have to start working in one.
11. I'm happy and feel more fulfilled being a stay at home mom than I ever did working.

11 Questions from Mandy!
1. Morning or night person?
     Morning if I can just be lazy (aka never with a kiddo at home)… but night any other time.
2. Do you want a big or little family?
     I've learned that what you want doesn't really matter because God has a plan larger than your wants or needs. But with that said, I have always seen myself adopting in the future.
3. What always puts you in a good mood?
     A hug from my monkey…. and Starbucks :)
4. What is your biggest fear?
     Car crashes. I have no idea why. But it is def. a constant fear of mine anytime I'm in a car.
5. Favorite Movie?
     Grease… hands down :)  If I could make my life a musical I would. No doubt about it.
6. Road tripper or flyer?
     I've only flew a few times… but I still prefer road trips. Love riding in a car with the family and seeing a ton of new things.
7. What is your favorite quote or scripture?
     Be the change you wish to see in the world - Gandhi.  I love it so much that I had "Be the Change" on the top of my graduation cap and plan on having it on the walls in Daxtons new room
8. If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
     My irrational fear of failure for sure. I would do so much more.
9. Matthew McConaughey or Christan Bale? 
     Tough one. I'm usually a tall dark and handsome kind of girl (which would be Christian Bale)… but something about the charm of Matthew McConaughey wins me over.
10. Favorite work out to do?
     Pilates… by far. Basically the only work out I'll do :)
11. Favorite cleaning tip learned or that you've heard of?
     We keep a "stuff" basket of the corner of our kitchen cabinet (the spot in our house that would catch all of our random junk). We put our stuff in there now (so at least that corner isn't all cluttered up) and empty the basket out every now and then, taking stuff back to it's original home.

And here are my nominations for The Liebster Award!
1. Stacy @ Stacy & Charlie
3. Melissa @ Our Lovely Story (this is my BFF... and she doesn't blog much anymore because she pretty occupied with this gem... but there are some great resources on there in her past post)
4. Ivory @ Mack Attack
5. Lindsay @ Baby Mama Drama
8. Hillary @ Homegrown in KY

And here are my questions for my nominees!
1. What's your guilty pleasure (reality TV, junk food, etc)?
2. What's your absolute favorite blog to read?
3. Your dream house…. big and fancy, or simple and quaint?
4. If you wanted to/ could go back to collage… what would you study?
5. Favorite song and why?  Sorry… I"m a music person :)
6. First thing you would do if you won the lottery?
7. Your perfect day looks like………..
8. Channing Tatum or Adam Levine?
9. Favorite place to do some online shopping at?  :)
10. Favorite go to family meal? (I need ideas folks!)
11.  And the question we've all thought about before… if you were stuck on a deserted island… what 3 things would you want to have with you?

Monday, April 1, 2013

Medical Mondays: A little moving advice

First off... it's Medical Monday!! 
If your a friend or family member, Medical Mondays is a blog hop for anyone associated with the medical field whatsoever. It's a great way to connect with other women who are going through or have gone through life as a medical spouse (because I truly feel like there's no way for anyone to understand what life during training is like unless you're married into medicine or the military).
And for visitors from the blog hop.... welcome!! A quick introduction.... I'm Kandice, started dating my now husband at the age of 14, got married in undergrad, had our son at the beginning of MS2, moved 2 hours away from family for MS3 & MS4, and just recently found out that we matched for General Surgery in Mobile, AL. Other than medicine.... I have a degree in Early Childhood Education but am currently staying home with our little boy, I love crafting & photography & the outdoors... now if only I had more time for all that :)

Now on to the good stuff! Sorry I've been a little MIA... but as you can imagine life has been crazy as fourth year comes to an end.  Two huge things that are a big part of our life right now is preparing to buy our first home and preparing Dax for the big move.... and I would lovvve your input on both of those things!

This time next week we'll be in the midst of our 12 hour drive to Mobile to spend a few days looking at houses and hopefully putting an offer in on one. We have a narrowed down list and our realtor also has some she'd like to show us. We've been renters up until this point so this is a whole new world for us! And frankly... only having 2-3 days to look at houses in person makes me pretty nervous! So.... for you ladies that have bought houses.... what did you do to make it more successful... AND, what are some things we should make sure to look at/check before committing to a house?

And the second thing I would love your input on is preparing our 2 1/2 year old for the move. We have a map and have showing him and talking to him about "our new home"(check out a precious video of that here). We've also tried to include him in the packing. I've been letting him help me pack boxes and tape them shut. And I also bought 3 new books for him... Boomer's Big Day, Melanie Mouses Moving Day, and Berenstain Bears' Moving Day. We've been reading these at least once a day (initiated by him) and make connections between what's happening in the book and what we're doing. We're also redoing his room at the new house so we've been showing him all the things for his new room... and that seems to be helping get him excited for it. He asked me at snack time the other day, "We have a new snack at our new home?" Not surprised that his main focus is on what he's going to get to eat there :)    Again for you medical moms (and any other moms for that matter) that have gone through a big move with your little one.... what did you do to help prepare your little one?

And to end the post.... here's a little cuteness to brighten your day!
PS.... I just got set up with Bloglovin' so follow me there!
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Monday, March 18, 2013

Hello Forrest!

As you all know from my countdown I've had going for months now, Match Day was this last Friday.  It was a very exciting day from sun up to well past sun down.

Daniel was up and ready to go by 8:30.....

we didn't have to leave until 10:00 (someone was a little excited).

My parents came by and picked up Dax for him to spend the evening and next day with them (his first time to sleep anyone other than home without mom and dad). Our day and night were full of Match Day festivities and we planned on spending Saturday packing and sorting through toys.

Daniel's class saved up most of their student fees over the years to have an awesome Match week/day. They had fun activities planned every night and a beautiful day planned for Match Day.
The day started out with mimosas, beer, coffee, and chitchatting/peeing your pants from the anxiety of what was about to happen. At about 11:50 we sat down for a few words from a few people and close to noon they started the countdown video... you could hear a pin drop!

At then end of the countdown it said something about their fate being in their pot of gold...
So Daniel poured this bowl out all of the table as fast as he could could and pulled out puzzle pieces to put together this...
We're going to Mobile, Alabama (hints the Forrest Gump reference in the blog title)!!!! This was Daniel's #2 pick (the only reason it wasn't #1 was because there was a location that was a little closer to friends) but in his heart it was his #1!  Daniel was so ecstatic and I think I was in shock for awhile!  I cried a little.... Daniel teared up some and there was lots of hugging and saying, "OMG we're going to Alabama".
This was the only program that I went to the interview with Daniel (that must have been a sign or something there). They were so, so welcoming to the spouses and even gave me a tour of the city while Daniel interviewed during the day. We both loved the people and could tell that this program would be very family friendly (something hard to find in surgery programs). 

Daniel also has a friend that matched in Mobile with him so that was very exciting as well. We'll be an hour from super nice beaches. We're living on the Gulf of Mexico.  I never in a million years thought I would be living by the ocean (Up until a few years ago I had never even been to the ocean... and my trip to Daniel's interview in Mobile was my first flight ever). If I had a dollar for every time in the past 3 days that I've said, "We're moving to Mobile" I think I would be rich. I don't think it really sunk in until last night. This thing called med school is one crazy ride that's for sure. 
The rest of the day included a nap, dinner on the patio at Pei Wei, a party bus, and a night of celebrating at the boathouse in OKC (like I said, hubbys school saved up the student fees to make sure they had a memorable Match Day). 

So I guess ready or not.... here we come Mobile!!

Thursday, March 14, 2013


Well tomorrows the day.

Tomorrow, the madness of our world completely changing will start and we'll start endlessly researching and thinking about the new town we'll be spending the next 5 years in.

I go into tomorrow with just a roller coaster of emotions building up inside me. I'm excited for this next chapter. I'm proud of Daniel for reaching his dreams. I'm eager to begin planning. I'm happy to try something new.
But I think the emotions that are taking over the most here lately (up until this point I've been really excited... I guess maybe it's just becoming more real) are those of fear, anxiety, and sadness.  I am terrified of starting over somewhere I know nothing about. I'm anxious about moving somewhere I don't know a single soul. And I'm extremely sad to be so far away from my family.

But I know this is all just part of the journey. Only a small segment of what our life holds. And I know we will grow so much as individuals and as a family through this experience. We can do anything for 5 years.

Maybe after tomorrow I'll feel better. Maybe it's just the unknown right now that's freaking me out.

But whatever it is I know we're going to be just fine. This is just part of the journey.

"Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing."  James 1: 2-8   (This verse. Wow.)

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:6-8

Monday, March 11, 2013

"If" Day!

So how's your Monday been going?

Oh until 11:00 am ours was not so hot. Hubby slept very little... and I had a stomach full of butterflies.

But then 11:00am came and boy how quickly our Monday changed...

Daniel matched!!! Woohoo! All of his hard work over the past 4 years and money spent on interview season paid off. He officially gets to do what he loves (be a surgeon) for the rest of his life and he has a job come July 1st!

After being swept off my feet and spun in circles... we celebrated with a toast of champagne and then headed out for a celebratory lunch!

At lunch I asked him how he was feeling.... "I feel like I'm on cloud 19"

What a wonderful day. I couldn't be more proud of my husband.

Now only 4 more days of waiting to see where we matched at (again... cruel and unusual punishment... why not just tell us now?).

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

30 Months

As I've mentioned before... one of the purposes of this blog is to keep our friends and family up to date on our little man and to serve as a "memory book" sort of thing for myself.  With that said... my little boy is officially 2 1/2 (30 months) so here are 30 facts about him...

1. He's quirky to say the least. He likes random hats (the more bizarre the better), sunglasses, goggles... you think quirky... and it fits him to a T.

2. He loves to ride his bike.... and he ask to do it about 50 times a day. But how can I say no when he looks that rockin in his shark helmet and shades?
3. He finally.... at 30 months... has all of his teeth! This boy didn't get his first tooth until he turned one.... and only had 8 until about a month ago... and bam... they all came in at once!
4. He is a wild man for sure. 110% little boy. Wrestling and racing are some of his favorite activities. Luckily he has figured out that those games are more fun when Daddy is home so most of it only takes place in the evening when I can run and hid.
5. He, for the most part, is really, really easy to discipline. He doesn't argue much and will usually only protest once ("I don't want to clean up") but as soon as we tell him that's not a choice and he has to... he does. Hopefully this personality trait stays around for awhile longer!
6. He has a huge, huge heart. I can so much as look at him wrong and his heart just breaks. Precious boy.
7. He's potty trained!!!!  Almost...   He's been in underwear for a week now and is doing awesome. The only issue is with #2... which is typical for kiddos. He's even waking up to go potty and is telling us when we're out running errands and he needs to go.
8. He requires a lot of accessories at night time.... music box, puppy light, cars blanket, pillow, nahnees, cup of water, and usually 2 small toys.
9. He still loves his "nahnees"  (his blankets he's had since he was born). I hope this doesn't end for a very long time. I love it.
10. He also still loves being outside. He would stay out all day, every day if I let him. You can bet that when spring gets here I will.
11. He is starting to become a daddy's boy. I love it and I'm pretty sure daddy does too. He still wants me most of the time when he's tired or hurt...  but he certainly thinks his daddy is pretty awesome.
12. He loves anything Cars.... but just sort of loves the movie. It's the personification of the cars that intrigues him a lot.
13. He always has been and still is a little chunker. He has some major thunder thighs (thanks to a mommy and daddy who both had them as well). We actually have to go up a size in underwear (he has 2T/3T but we're going to have to get 4T) because his little booty and legs are so big.
14. He still has the strange fascination with school buses.
15. He's starting to come up with great excuses lines... like saying "I'll love it tomorrow" when he doesn't like something.... "My tummies full of ____" fill in the blank with whatever activity he doesn't want to do (pottying, cleaning, sleeping, etc).... and "______ said I need to" fill in the blank with Mommy or Daddy or Sophie (our dog), but really no one told him anything. This last one happens usually when one parent tells him no to something.
16. He's really goofy..... yet cautious and a thinker too.
17. He loves making his toys talk. They have really deep conversations with each other
18. Loves to fish (he's mommas boy for sure!)
19. Likes to pretend he's an airplane and "fly" around the house. He usually has mommy or daddy doing it with him. I make sure the windows are closed when this is happening.
20. Color: Orange
21. Food: Pizza
22. Fruit: Blueberries and Watermelon
23. Veggie: Corn on the cob
24. Book: Dinosaur Diner & Goodnight Train
25. Show: He is limited on TV still... but he really likes Bob the Builder and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Mommy doesn't like either of these so I try and encourage Barney. He loves Barney.
26. Drink: Juice (ugh).. he's limited to one small cup a day.
27. Song to sing: Wheels on the Bus... again with the bus fascination
28. Toy: A wooden Cars track he got for Christmas, unit blocks, and puzzles.
29. Animal: Dogs... he loves his "sisters"
30. Place to go: Mall and Reasors (grocery store with race car shopping carts)

Well that's my boy.... he's growing way too fast and it makes me super sad....