Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Having It All Together

I like to think of myself as a happy, optimistic person, and I also really like to present a "life is all good" image of myself. I'm not sure if that mentality is because of how I grew up or if I taught it to myself, and I'm also not always sure if it's good or bad. However, 2 1/2 years ago, my world was rocked, and my "life is all good" image and positive mentality became impossible to maintain.
After having our 3 kids (2 via IVF and 1 surprise!, but that's a completely different story), we decided we were ready to use our remaining embryos. After some unexpected difficulties and MONTHS of hormone treatments and crazy drugs, we were able to transfer 2 of our frozen embryos. I knew I was pregnant within a couple of days, well before the blood test. I went in for an ultrasound at around 7 weeks, and we heard the heartbeat of our baby...and then very soon found out there was another baby hiding in the same sac. We looked, and realized the second embryo hadn't taken, but the first had split and I was now pregnant with identical twins. I was shocked, a lot overwhelmed, but also excited! Fast forward two weeks, and we went in for another ultrasound. The babies had grown to around 9 weeks, but they know longer had heartbeats. Again, I was shocked, completely overwhelmed, and devastated. I had somewhat prepared myself for the thought of losing one, but I had never even considered that we could lose both, especially with no advance notice. We told the people that already knew, but I struggled with telling other people. I wanted the world to know that my babies were gone, but in order to tell people that, I had to tell them about the babies first and it was too much of a rollercoaster that I didn't want to relive. I kept telling myself that I was glad I lost them before I was too far long, but I was also a little bit angry that I lost them before I was far enough along for people to remember them...and in my mind, care about them.
After two weeks of waiting to miscarry on my own, I had a D&C. I insisted that we have another ultrasound the day before, just to verify that there were no heartbeats. Thankfully, my doctors were very caring and understanding. Two weeks after the D&C, I ended up having complications and extreme blood loss (again, that's another long story.) Thankfully, I had a couple of friends/family who were able to come stay with my kids overnight so I could go to the hospital. That night, I realized that I was no longer scared of death, because I would get to meet my babies. However, I also realized that I was not ready to go, God must have more in store for me because He got me to the hospital in time, and my 3 kids here need me!
In the weeks following my hospital stay, I was worn down, hormonal, and I started to become very angry. I was angry about losing the babies; I was angry about being so exhausted; I was angry about a vacation my husband, brothers, and dad took; I was angry for being trapped in a hotel room with my 3 kids and mom during this vacation; I was angry when my sister-in-law announced she was pregnant; I was angry when I got the insurance statement from my hospital stay... All of this anger came out in impatience with my children, impatience with my husband, and a lot of tears! My mom actually called my husband to talk to him because she was concerned after our hotel stay. In an attempt to try to maintain my "life is all good image" in public, I stuffed feelings down to try to stay the happy person I wanted to be and especially wanted people to see. Stuffing these feelings down resulted in more anger. Unfortunately, most of this inner anger was toward my church and towards friends. I was hurt and angry that people were there for me during the loss, but seemed to disappear and not care in the aftermath. I was upset and feeling left out. I would go to church, trying to praise God for all of my blessings, but leave angry that I no longer had my babies, angry that I wasn't feeling taken care of, and angry for being angry. I'm sure my anger came out towards people and church during that time, which only made me feel more isolated. My husband tried to help in all kinds of ways - empathy, tough love, insisting (with the help of my pastor) I go see a therapist, insisting that I focus on other relationships. All of these probably helped a little bit, but I was still holding on to the pain and not wanting to admit some of it, gradually letting some go, but never enough to fully be free. Finally, I admitted all of my anger and pain I had been holding on to my church life group. Their prayers and love helped so much. I was also able to release the pain and anger with an adult mentor who encouraged me, prayed with and for me, and gave me hope for daily struggles.
With God's Grace, I am overcoming my pain from losing our babies and overcoming the anger and hurt that was in my heart. My relationships with others, while so important, is not the most important part of my life. I have learned (and am still learning daily) that my relationship with God is my most important priority. Only God is able to heal my pain. Only God is able to know what I am thinking and what I need without me asking (and sometimes without me even knowing.) The church is made up of imperfect humans, who are not mind readers, and I needed to let go of my expectations of others. (Sometimes I also need to remind myself of this with my husband and kids.)
God's Grace is enough. God's Power is made PERFECT in my weakness. In all honesty, I still struggle with knowing how losing my babies is God's perfect plan, but I know he has an amazing plan for my life. I have an amazing life and a wonderful family and friends, but I don't have it all together and I never will. It's a daily battle between "looking like I have it all together" and "being real" without letting the anger take hold, but it's something that I know God will help me with, as long as I keep letting Him.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016


Christmas is one of my absolute favorite times of year!! I love seeing the joy on my kids faces, just because it's Christmas! I love Christmas music! I love shopping! I love Christmas food! All of it! It's such a BEAUTIFUL time!
As I reflect this year, I've been thinking a lot always about the babies...what they would be doing now, how much my son would probably hate being a big brother (and especially sharing the attention), how my nurturing daughter would probably love helping with everything for the babies, and how my logical daughter would probably adore the babies but be super annoyed that they would destroy her creations.
Now, the pain is less; the joy is more. Still the bittersweet knowledge of knowing that we truly have 5 kids, but only 3 here. 3 to buy Christmas gifts for, 3 to fight with each other, 3 to hug and love.
As I think on that I was realizing how much pain our all-knowing God experienced. God sent HIS ONLY son to be a baby-- fully knowing he would experience pain, suffering, and death. And God did that for US. God's pain was MORE so our JOY could be abundant. Christmas is that time for abundant joy.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Choosing JOY

One year ago, I woke up nauseas (completely normal), ready for our ultrasound and to see the babies again. We had a LONG wait at the doctor's office, which is completely abnormal. When the nurse did our ultrasound, I could tell by the look on her face that something was wrong. She sadly told us, "I can't find heartbeats." I was in such shock I couldn't even cry. It never even crossed my mind that we could lose both of our babies...especially in the same instant. From the way they measured, how I was feeling, and the long wait in the waiting room, I am convinced they lost their heartbeats while I was in the waiting room. I'll never know for sure, but that has always been my gut feeling.

I will forever be thankful to our doctor's office for the way they handled our loss! And I'm so grateful to our friends and family for their support!

Today, we have decided to have a family day and to be grateful for our wonderful blessings. We'll have lunch at school with our firstborn daughters; we'll spend the day with our son; we'll write thank you notes and deliver cupcakes to the amazing staff at MidIowa Fertility; we'll have a pizza movie night with our kids; and we will rejoice for God's amazing grace and other blessings in our life.

We'll always mourn the loss of our twin babies, and I'm sure there will still be days of struggle, bitterness, and anger about the way things happened. TODAY, I choose joy. I have let bitterness and anger control me for far too long. TODAY, I choose to forgive. I choose to have JOY. I will choose daily, sometimes moment by moment to forgive, to move on, and to love.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Something's Wrong

November 18, 2014

**Warning -- this post is fairly graphic. Do not read if you have a sensitive stomach or are uncomfortable with medical details**

Friday was a normal day. The kids and I had a playdate in the morning, a short rest time, saw puppies in the afternoon, then Daddy came home. Friday night, however, did not start normally. We were cleaning up dinner and I ran into the bathroom. I was bleeding...more than before and brighter. We called my dr, gave him some details, and at that time, he reassured me that it was probably the start of my regular period. He also told me that if I started to feel dizzy or went through a pad in an hour to (go in or call....I can't remember what he said.) I felt better about that. We decided to have family movie night, and I put my feet up and snuggled with my girls. Later we put the kids to bed and started watching some DVRed TV. Things still felt normal, and I wasn't bleeding that much. I was feeling much more confidant that it was the start of my regular period.

Around 10:30, we started saying that we should go to bed, but 10 Things I Hate About You was on TV, and we got sucked in to watching it. I just wanted to see my favorite part (bc honestly, who doesn't want to see Heath Ledger serenade someone! So sweet!!) (This is where it starts to get graphic) I was laughing at the movie, and I started to feel more blood flow. After about 15 minutes, I ran upstairs to check. I had definitely bled through my pad. I went to the bathroom and blood wouldn't stop flowing. I yelled for my husband. There were clots and the toilet bowl had turned completely red. I knew something wasn't right. I thought "Maybe if I just go to bed, it will stop." I changed my pad, stood up, and bled through another pad in 5 minutes. I resigned myself to sitting on the toilet, crying. My husband knew it was bad and started to call people to come and sit with our kids so we could go to the ER.

He called our Dr friend from church first, he didn't answer; he called my brother, he didn't answer; he called my sister-in-law, she didn't answer; he called our friend J. from church, my brother was with him, but they were 45 minutes away. We called our friend S, and she was there within 5 minutes. We went to Methodist West. My husband dropped me off at the door and I went to check in. While checking in, I felt another rush of blood. I told the lady at the desk, I need to use your restroom immediately. My husband was walking in at the time, and she asked my permission to ask him any questions. While he was answering questions, I texted him saying, "I can't leave the toilet." Again, the blood would not stop flowing. They were prepping a room and would get me straight from the bathroom. I also texted him that I wanted my dr, knowing that wasn't likely. I would just have the ER dr that was available.

They got me into a room and told me to strip down and put on just a gown. I protested that I didn't feel comfortable with that, and i was given an adult sized diaper to lay on. Bless my nurse for giving me that! The dr came in, asked questions for a little bit, and looked relived when I told him that I had talked to my dr earlier. The dr decided to call my dr to come check on me and do any procedures necessary. He left, and a female nurse came in the room. She took my vitals and had me stand up to do a __________(special kind of) blood pressure. I remember thinking that wasn't a good idea. I stood up, holding my diaper, but after about 20 seconds, I looked at my husband, and at the nurse and told them, "I'm going to pass out." I don't remember what happened during that time. The next thing I remember is the male nurse saying, "Mindy! Good, you're back with us!" Then I heard more commotion and the words, "She's 60/40." I was with it enough then to think, "That's not good!!" They were starting an hurt, and I complained about it. They went to put in another IV and I protested!! The male nurse told me, "I know you don't want it, but if I don't give it to you, your vital organs will shut down." I shut up after that and let them do whatever they needed to do. Later I found out my blood pressure had dropped to 40/20. They had laid me down and my husband said my feet were gray and clammy bc they lowered the head of my bed to get blood flowing back to my heart and head.

My doctor came a little bit later. He arrived before midnight. I remember looking at the clock and remember asking him if we had woken him up. (We had.) Looking back, I know we left our house at 11, and he arrived before midnight, but that was the longest hour of my life. My dr immediately went to work. I have never heard him bark orders like he was doing at the nurses. "Gauze, more gauze NOW!" and "Get her something for the pain!" He was squeezing, pressing, and "massaging" my stomach/uterus, and it HURT!! My husband said he had blood up to his elbows and was all business.

I ended up having another D&C and they had 2 bags of blood in the OR ready for a blood transfusion if necessary. Thankfully it wasn't. They wheeled me to the OR, and bc of the pain meds, I threw up (all over!!) on the way there! Seriously, God bless the nurses!! They were so sweet and reassuring.

When I woke up, I heard the nurses talking. One had lost her phone....while I was throwing up. She was going to go look in the sanitation bin (disgusting!) By then, I was with it enough to remember her phone dropping. My dr had picked it up. They called him, and he had just gotten home and realized he had the phone! (Sigh). He came back to the hospital, returned the phone, checked on me, and said he would come back in the morning.

I was admitted to a hospital room, and I was so thankful to see a bed. I told my sweet husband to go home, get some sleep, see our kids in the morning and come back and see me.

When I woke up at 6, I called for a nurse to take me to the bathroom. When I went to leave, I couldn't...even with her help. I was too dizzy and nauseaus. Thankfully, there wasn't blood! I ended up on the toilet....fully exposed, head between my knees in the trash can...for about 15-20 minutes until I finally had enough strength to get back to my bed (with my nurse's help.) They checked my blood pressure - 80/ while pretty good, that explained the dizziness on the toilet. :)

Thankfully, I slept a little more, my sweet, sleep deprived husband came back, had some breakfast, and my BP started climbing back up to a more normal state. After a few more naps, some lunch, and another nap, we went home. It was time to face "normal" life again. I feel like I have a second chance at the rest of my life....but for now, I'm exhausted....physically and emotionally exhausted.

Saturday, November 1, 2014


November 1, 2014

I love singing! It's one of my favorite, I could do it all day, activities! I love praise and worship time in church and last Sunday was no different, but last Sunday, we sang a song that really hit me. I was angry, I was bitter. One line of the song...Jesus, Jesus...we want nothing more. We want nothing less. I couldn't sing it. I wanted more. I wanted my babies. They were gone, but I wanted them.

It also leads me to this dilemma...I do want more. If everything was taken away from me, I would have my Jesus, and I love Him, but I want more in my life.
I want my husband.
I want my kids.
I want my family.
I want great friends.
I want a successful business.
I want to provide fun opportunities for my family.

Is this a bad thing? I don't think it's bad to want those things, but should I be wanting them? Shouldn't I only be wanting Jesus? It's a thought that kept me up last night. I think God wants us to want the best in our life, but where is the line between wanting more and wanting only Jesus?

It's finished

November 1st, 2014

The D&C was yesterday. The procedure was so much easier than I anticipated, and in the morning, I felt great! I even told my DH we should go out to dinner! By the afternoon though, I was pretty worn out, exhausted, and looked gray (according to my sweet husband). I don't think I've napped and watched as much TV as I did yesterday for at least 4 1/2 years! :)
I came out of the surgery and immediately started crying when I woke up. It was finished. My babies were no longer with me. I cried because it was over, but I'm also grateful that we are wrapping up this process. I'll never forget hearing their heartbeats, I'll always remember their pictures, but they're my angel babies now...and at least they have each other. <3

Monday, October 27, 2014

Surgery Scheduled

October 27, 2014

My D&C is scheduled, and it's even more heartbreaking than I thought it would be. I just scheduled a surgery to get rid of my babies. I know they're not with us anymore, but now I'm getting rid of them. It's the worst feeling. I'll have an ultrasound the day before the surgery to confirm everything. I know they're gone....I don't feel pregnant anymore...but I'll always regret it if we don't check one more time. As Bubby keeps saying, "Jesus can bring the babies back." I believe He can...I don't think he will...but I do believe he could, so we're going to double check. Now the countdown begins...4 more nights. Time for trying to be "normal" for my go trick or put on a happy face for the people who don't know this is one of the hardest points of my life...