Saturday, December 24, 2011

It's Ok, He's With Me...

We are headed to Maui tomorrow. For the last several years, this has been a rough time of year. Dad passed on November 27, 2006. We sat at an empty Christmas tree in 2007, missing Dad and still no children. At Christmas 2008, we pretty much realized the adoption we'd been working on for nearly a year and a half was not going to happen, and anticipated what IVF was about to bring. Matthew was born and passed on November 28 and 29, 2009. Last year, we were hopeful, but cautious, sadly missing some of the joy of Christmas simply because we were uncertain about Luke's impending arrival.

And this year...

This year, I am taking my precious little almost one-year old on a plane bound to celebrate Christmas with family in Maui. He's standing on his own (just a few seconds at a time, and often falling with a thump), cutting four teeth at once, and talking up a storm. He insists on trying to feed himself (heck, he's insisting on trying to do everything himself) and he is such a joy there just aren't words to express it.

When people ask me how I've been able to survive, and more, survive with my faith in God in tact, it's moments like this one I am having right now...typing as that sweet boy plays with a rubber watch he finds fascinating as he wears a snowman shirt and reindeer socks. After Matthew died, my heart was so broken and so crushed, I knew that I'd never, ever, ever be able to have the same level of happiness I'd once had before.

And I was right.

But I have a deeper and different level of happiness, and that can only be from God. A few weeks ago, while having communion, and quietly praying before taking the wafer, I prayed, "Jesus, forgive me. Forgive me for wanting Heaven so badly because I want Matthew and not You. Not that I don't want You, but Lord, I want Matthew so badly. Please just forgive me for not having You at the top of my list...but know it's because my heart misses him so much."

I am not someone who 'hears' God very much.

But I did that morning. I heard, as clear as anything I've ever heard in my head, "It's ok. I know. He's with me. And I've used his little life to bring you closer to me. It's ok."

Friends, for the first time in two years, I finally, finally, finally believed that it IS ok. I felt like instead of losing Matthew, I had been given more. Not only have I been able to have a deeper relationship with God (amazing what sole dependence will do), but I've been given the most amazing gift of Luke, AND I have Matthew in Heaven too.

Instead of hurting over what I've lost, I was able to see what I've been given. I feel like I've been appreciative of every second with Luke, but for the first time, instead of feeling like I'd been totally robbed of Matthew, I was reminded that I HAD him...and one day would have him forever, and in the meantime, was blessed with so much.

That Sunday morning just a few weeks ago touched me in a way that I've been begging God for for over two years now.

And I am reminded that the best gift I've ever been given is Him.

I hope anyone who still even reads this has the most blessed of Christmases. I know many are hurting, and I remember so well that raw, intense pain.

But I know the joy I have in my life right now, and know that truly, the only way that could be is God. It's just not anything but the supernatural power of God.

All our love,

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I get it...

My husband loves his mother.

Really. I've always thought that to be a good quality, as you can really tell a lot about the way a man will treat and love his wife by how he loves and treats his mother.

My husband has always loved his mother and I think treats her well, and he does the same with me.

And frankly, I really love her too. Not in that in-law kind of way that you have to, but in the really-glad-and-grateful-to-have-another-mother-in-my-life kind of way.

Especially since my mom is gone.

But raising Luke, and praying for his future wife someday has really taught me a lot about how some mothers-in-law can get 'those' reputations.

You know, the ones that won't let go of their little boys? That insist that their boys put them first, even before their wives? Those mothers-in-law.

I get it. I don't agree with it, and I certainly hope that I am not one of those one day (and please know that my sweet mother-in-law is NOT that way either...she's wonderful!), but I get it.

Because I don't want to ever let him go. And I do love that he loves me so much. Cries for me. Wants me to get him when he is unhappy or sad or whatever. Lights up when he sees "Mama!" I love, love, love that I am his best girl. I want that forever, ha ha!

Yes, I know how 'those' mothers-in-law can be created, and I get it. I get it.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Be Specific In What You Ask...

I know I'm behind, behind, behind in keeping up with pictures and updates for Lukealicious.

Seriously,'s because I am just enjoying every second with him and in those few minutes here and there during the day that he's napping or gobbling up some goodies in his high chair, I am trying to at least keep up with the unholy amount of dog hair that piles up on the floor each day. I will sweep, Swiffer, vacuum (with my NEW Dyson 35 Slim Digital—not impressed) and swiffer again, and yet, that boy crawls around for 5 minutes and he's wearing enough fur to build a new dog.

I digress.

ANYWAY...we also have been pretty busy doing some testing to see whether or not we were eligible for Shady Grove's Shared Risk program again. It's been a few months worth of preparation—from weaning Luke (which really and truly was so easy in the big scheme of things) to hoping my body falls into semi-regular cycles (TOTALLY. TOTALLY did. On its own. Crazy.) to just managing when/where/how to have the testing's been a process.

A super duper easy process, though.

Yep, easy. Very easy. Like I said, Luke practically weaned himself. My body became so normal so quickly and surprisingly. The day I needed to have testing done to be the day after Thanksgiving and we were ever so conveniently about 30 minutes away from Shady Grove. We walked into the office, had bloodwork done and then an ultrasound. My ultrasound was to determine how many antral follicles I had and they found 22. Not too shabby for a gal my age, and the tech said not too shabby for a gal in her 20s!

A few days later, on Matthew's birthday, my nurse called and told me the preliminary blood work was fabulous. FSH was 7.5, estrogen was 45, LH was 10...just all in all, super bloodwork, again for someone my age. She (knowing it was Matthew's birthday) said, "Maybe he decided to let you know on his birthday he has a brother or sister up there waiting to come down to you."


The only thing we've been waiting on is the Ovarian Assessment Score. It's new for me in the IVF cycling, and was the determining factor as to whether or not we'd be accepted into Shared Risk. We've decided to go with Shared Risk again because we felt like as much as Shady Grove loves us (and we love them!), they ARE a business. If they don't feel like I'm going to be somewhat profitable for both their numbers and pocketbooks, they are not going to accept me. In my eyes, I'd rather have them say, "Sorry, Lori...not saying you can't get pregnant again, just saying we aren't that confident in it...and it may take 3 or 4 tries at that." because John and I decided that if that was the case, we'd look into other options that we were more than ok with.

Sooo....driving down 95 yesterday and flipping through the channels, I came across Focal Point and the pastor was talking about prayer. He was basically saying that God wants us to be specific...not just, "Thanks for a good day, God," or "God, please fix this," but really specific..."Thanks for that awesome conversation I got to have at lunch today," or "God, please open the job that I really feel I'd fit well in up for me."

I am a bit embarrassed to say this, but hearing that, I rather flippantly said, out loud, "Ok,'s this? I'd like a baby brother or sister. I'd LOVE a healthy and happy baby brother or sister for Matthew and Luke."

Would you believe that in fewer than 10 minutes, my nurse called me and told me my score had come back (not expecting to hear from her that day) and it was GOOD?! It was a 13, which was the highest score she's seen!!! The score ranges are Excellent, Good, Fair and Poor and she said the only thing that dragged me down was my age (gosh darnit!). I was expecting Fair, but really dreaming of Good...and there it was!

(Ummm...did I also mention the little prism of rainbow Mom and I saw in the sky the day before as we were just driving and there really was no reason for a rainbow to be out but perhaps a lovely little sign of things to come?)

Lesson learned in specificity.

And get this...we are moving FAST! In about a week and a half or so, I'll start birth control. Two weeks later, the lupron. About two weeks later, the hormones....we are looking at a retrieval and transfer sometime in January/February.


John, of course, will probably be gone, but that's ok. We can work around that, ha ha.

That's some of the goings on of late in a nutshell.

We are going to try and add a new little brother or sister to our family.

And seriously...look at this boy....this amazing, fun, fabulous, precious little boy....

Picture his brother...God gives us some pretty incredible babies.

How could we not at least ask him for one more? I know when pregnant with Luke, I prayed so many grateful prayers but ones that always included, "If you just let me bring him home and have him healthy, I'll never ask for another thing again," and here I am, asking for one more thing.

But I'm being specific. We would so, so, so cherish another baby.

And that's where the specificity ends. Gender doesn't matter!

If you pray, and pray for us, please pray for these next several weeks. They hold the potential for so much.
Pray for us to accept whatever they bring with open and grateful hearts and to remember that God works all things for our good.