Thursday, June 19, 2014

Thankful Thursday: Thankful for the Gift and New Adventures

Having plenty of options is usually a good thing in life...especially when it comes growing your family. It's no secret that adding another child to our cherished family of 3 hasn't been easy. Up to this point (in the last 18 months) we have filled you in on our 2 egg retrievals, 1 fresh cycle, 3 cancelled cycles, 1 miscarriage, and 2 failed of last week, we unfortunately added the chemical pregnancy (early miscarriage) of two donated embryos to the list.

After our last failed cycle using our last two frozen embryos, we decided that perhaps using our own genetic babies wasn't going to result in holding baby number 2 for us. We found out after discussing our openness and desire to use donor embryos with our doctor that they actually had 2 donated embryos that they would give us, even though we weren't at the top of their waiting list. So within a week of our last failed cycle I was back onto our 8.5 week med protocol. On June 4th we put those little loves in and prayed for a positive outcome. We had an initial blood draw 6 days post transfer and it showed HCG (pregnancy hormone) in my system. We were cautiously excited! Our second blood draw (the official test at 9 days post transfer) still showed HCG, but the numbers hadn't risen properly...a sign that the pregnancy wouldn't continue. Three days later we had another draw and my numbers had dropped...showing the pregnancy for sure would was ending. They call it a chemical pregnancy, which is just a really, really early miscarriage.

Disappointment. Grief.

This one was a major disappointment, they all are. But this one stung even more. In fact it was downright heartbreaking. The way it all came together made it feel so right; so perfect. I fell in love with those little frozen babies from the time I heard about them. I was so ready to be their mommy and so grateful for this gift from someone we had never met. I cherished every minute they were with me, and just as with all our other losses, they will always have a little piece of my heart.

So now what? Onward and upward, friends. All we can do is choose to rejoice in our current circumstances and trust that God has a plan. Our attitude will not change our present situation, so we are choosing joy and moving forward with anticipation. There are so many incredible ways to grow a family, and we will continue to press on until we feel our family is complete...although I will say with every passing failure, I do become more and more comfortable with the idea of staying our sweet little family of three. We sure are blessed to be such a wonderful trio!!

SO while we are officially taking a little bit of time away from IVF medications (oh boy am I ready for that!!), we are pursuing another dream. We are pursuing our dream of becoming foster parents. We have always dreamed of fostering, we just planned to do it "once our family was complete." However, it's becoming more and more apparent that perhaps God's vision of complete and ours is different, and so we are no longer pushing off the call in our hearts to help little loves in need of a loving place to go. We have started the process to get certified and are excited to see where it takes us, and who it brings into our lives. Right now we are mentally preparing ourselves to foster for the sake of fostering, but are open (and excited!!) to foster to adopt if God presents that opportunity for us. All we know as of now is that we have a call in our hearts and a lot of love to give, so we are ready for whatever God has planned through the process.

We will keep you posted on this new journey in case it can help others who are looking at options to grow their family or looking to help other families in need.

And as a last note...I heard this song on Monday for the first time, right before we got the confirmation that the pregnancy was ending. It brought my heart a lot of joy and peace. I'm so thankful for songs that perfectly encourage me in times of heartache!

Two verses are my favorite are:

In my wrestling and in my doubts
In my failures You won't walk out
Your great love will lead me through
You are the peace in my troubled sea
You are the peace in my troubled sea


I won't fear what tomorrow brings
With each morning I'll rise and sing
My God's love will lead me through
You are the peace in my troubled sea
You are the peace in my troubled sea

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Started a New Routine: StrongLifts 5x5

Are you looking for a new routine to breakup the monotony of you current one? Or looking for something that is good for beginners? How about something that only has you lift weights for 3 days a week at 45 minutes a day? Something super easy and straightforward that even has an app that you can use to track your progress? Than I have the workout for you!! (Man, I definitely think they should use me to pitch their free product ;) )

I recently started the StrongLifts 5x5 program and I absolutely love have organized, easy and quick it is. The last thing I want to do in the gym is think, and this take all of the thinking out of it! I downloaded the app to track my progress and to tell me what to do every single workout and even tell me what weight to use. Couldn't be easier.

It's called the 5x5 program because there are only 5 different lifts that you have to "master" and each lift will be done at 5 sets of 5 reps (except for deadlift which is only 1 set of 5). You will only do 3 of those lifts on each day of your workout. That's it.

The five lifts are...



Bench Press

Overhead Press

Barbell Row

I'll keep you updated on my progress and would love to hear if any of you start this program as well!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Mandi Monday: Happy Father's Day

Happy (belated) Father's Day to all the dads out there! Us girls and moms would struggle to achieve our full potential without a wonderful dad in the picture.

The first father in my life I'd like to thank is my dad. He is a man among men. He was the kind of dad I thank God for every day, as I realized he helped shape me into the bold, hopeful, resilient and happy woman I am today. He showed me that being of high moral character can take you farther in life than any other character trait. He showed me what it means to work hard. He showed me how a husband should treat a wife. He showed me how to take life's punches in stride, head on. He also taught me that love can be best shown through humor and a back rub. I wasn't always the easiest daughter, but he showed me that unconditional love can be sweet and caring, and that it can also be tough love! He always has stood by my side, even when he hasn't agreed with decisions I've made. He's cried with me when I've suffered losses and he's rejoiced with me in my triumphs. A perfect illustration for his support for me was running by my side through marathon training and a marathon, despite his own injuries and discomfort because he told his little girl he would run with her.

The second, and now most important father in my life is Ronnie. When you marry a man, you pray he will be the daddy you always dreamed of for your kids. Ronnie has far surpassed my hopes and dreams as a partner in parenting. Ronnie is the parent by which other parents could be measured. I've never met a parent so patient. Ronnie is the perfect mix of fun, but with clear limits. Mckenna could not adore her daddy any more than she does. When she gets hurt, she wants a daddy snuggle. When she wants to rough house, she looks for him. When she wants a good scare, she looks for the "tickle monster" that is her daddy hiding in random spots in the house.

Happy Father's Day!