Thursday, March 29, 2012

Twenty-Eight Months Of Twenty-Eights...

How can it be? Grateful beyond words for the blessing of my sweet Matthew. Grateful for his daddy's strength 28 months ago. Don't think I could have done it...held him as he took his last breath and then gave him back to the nurses. Feel guilty he had to do it alone, but honestly... Just thinking about it haunts me.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Can I Be Honest?

Who am I kidding?  I will be honest.

It just may ruffle feathers.  I'm sorry in advance.  Especially because there are many dear, dear, dear people who have said these things to me, or to others, with the best of intentions and though I know that...I literally cringe inside every time I hear them.

"Don't be upset when God answers 'No,' just means He has something better in store for you."

"Unanswered prayers lead to bigger blessings."

"God needed that baby back."

"God needed another angel."

"Everything happens for a reason."

I just have a really, really hard time with statements like that.

I don't always disagree.  There have been lots of times that I begged God for something and it didn't happen, and later, I was able to see that had it happen, I'd have missed out on something spectacular.  I am totally able to see God's providence in that.

But telling me that God answering my pleas to let Matthew live with, "No," was because He had a bigger blessing in store?????  I realize that the intention is in the right place, but that cuts me to the core.

Luke is such a gift.  An amazing, precious, healing blessing that I am beyond grateful for.

But he is in no way a bigger blessing than Matthew was.  Nor was Matthew a bigger blessing in my life than Luke is.  Or that this new, sweet little one inside is.

Children are NOT replaceable.  To expect that one can replace the other is quite a bit of responsibility on that poor little one, not to mention an insult to a mother's heart...a mother who wants, loves and cherishes EACH of her children.

I don't believe for a second that God "needed" Matthew for anything.  The God in which I believe does not NEED a single.solitary.thing.  And I don't believe for a second that Luke was sent to us as a consolation prize.  I believe that God loves and values and adores each of my boys individually, uniquely, and wholly for who He created them to be...and for however long He allows them to live.  Telling me that God needed Matthew back just doesn't fit with my theology, and further, makes me question why He'd even send him to me in the first place.

I also don't believe that He needed 'another angel.'  I know many moms, and even many theologies believe that their lost babies are now angels in Heaven.  Let me be clear...I have no doubt that each and every single little soul that leaves this earth too soon goes directly to Heaven.  Period.  I just don't believe they go as an angel.  I think angels absolutely exist...and are created by God for specific purposes.  Just as my son was.  But they are different.  In any event, regardless of that belief, it still goes back to God 'needing' a creature more there than here.  And I just don't buy it.

My point in all of this is that I know people just want to say the right thing.  I know they want to give an explanation that soothes the heart and allows some peace.

The reality is that truly, there is only ONE who could do that.  No one else can compare.  And telling me that Matthew dying led to a bigger blessing just belittles Matthew's life and puts a really heavy burden on Luke' he's responsible for making us happy after Matthew died.

He DOES make us happy and I don't know how I'd have survived without the hope of him in our lives.

But if you aren't able, with 100% certainty, to extend those statements with the actual reasoning, then maybe just hold back on making the statement.  I used to make the very same statements....especially the everything happens for a reason one.

And I DO believe that everything happens for a reason.

I just don't have any way of knowing that reason, and there's no use in me telling someone that if I can't  go all the way.

It just seems empty now.  Even the best and most loving intentions cannot begin to fill.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

My Greatest Wish For Luke...


You were so, so, so little....

There are a million things your mommy wishes for you.  I wish you joy.  I wish you happiness.  I wish you success.  I wish you LOVE.  (I wish you bring home a woman JUST LIKE YOUR MAMA!)

I wish you every good and wonderful thing I could possibly wish for you.

But the most, most, most important thing I wish for you is that you know how special you are and how purposed you are and how amazing a gift you are.  I want you to remember that you, this good and perfect gift, were given to us by God.  I want you to grow up knowing you are ultimately HIS, and I am only the blessed one who was given the privilege of raising you.  I want you to know that when life is hard, you are not alone.  There is always One who will love you and hold you and cherish you, even when your entire world is falling apart.

You may not feel it very strongly in the middle of the heartache, but I want you to grow up knowing it so that in good or bad times, you are able to turn to Jesus.

Your Great-Grandma Gosnell used to send your Mommy boxes.  The boxes always had the best and strangest stuff.  Ribbon candy, orange jelly slices, green Wrigley's gum and underpants that were about 8 sizes too big.  Seriously.  Those panties could have been state flags, they were that big.

As much as I loved getting those packages, as a grown-up Mommy, I know that the most important thing about those packages was in the letter she'd write each time.  She'd usually tell me to be sure I was minding my Mommy, your Grandma Jane, and she'd ask me if I was doing anything new in school.  She'd tell me how important it was to brush my teeth and comb my hair (which makes your daddy and me LAUGH because in her later years, Grandma Gosnell was known for having some wild hair, let me tell you.  In fact, many mornings, when Daddy and I wake up, he'll say, "Wow...that's some crazy Grandma Gosnell hair you've got going on!"

She'd end every letter like this:  "Lori darling (or honey), please ask Jesus into your heart.  Please know that Jesus loves you and wants you to ask Him into your heart so you can live with Him forever.  It's very important, honey.  Grandma loves you, and so does Jesus."

Every letter.

Those letters are priceless to me because honestly, there are days that I don't even know how I made it through, except that I was just given the grace of God.

Mommy has been missing your brother a lot these days.  I think I felt your baby brother or sister very lightly kick or punch me this morning, and it reminded me of the first time I felt him kick.  Like popcorn popping in my tummy.  This pregnancy is a LOT like Matthew's was (aren't you unique?!) and it is bringing up many things that make Mommy's heart ache.  Mainly...I wish I'd gone to Georgetown and and held Matthew.  I wish I had been able to be with him when his last heartbeat happened.  I was with him for his first...and I am so heartbroken that his last was without me.  I wonder if he knew what was going on?  Was he scared?  Was he wondering where that voice he'd heard for 10 months was?  I wonder what it felt like when he took his last breath.

I wonder so much.  This week, I heard a song that I haven't heard in a bit, but I love.  It's by Chris Rice, and it says every thing I want you to know and do in your life.  It's been ministering to Mommy's heart quite a bit lately.

When you are lost and wounded, I want you to turn to Jesus.
When you are beginning new things, and's ok.  Fall on Jesus.
When your heart hurts so much you can't stand it, cry to Jesus. (Mommy does this a lot.)
When your heart is SO full of love and joy and happiness that it spills over, sing for Jesus. (Mommy does this

And when your heartbeats for the last time, fly to Jesus.  Nothing gives me greater comfort than knowing your brother's last heartbeat set him in motion to fly directly to Jesus.

I want to raise you and shape your life for the very same to happen when you take your last breath.

There is no greater wish I have for you.

(And I have a feeling, your Great-Grandma Gosnell would agree.)

I love you sweet boy.  You are my sunshine and my renewed heart and my restored hope.  You are precious and funny and mischievous all at the same time. (Yes, you KNOW you are not supposed to drop that food on the floor for Dixie, because you look at me and GIGGLE when you do it, you little stinker!)  I am amazed by so many things you do every day and my greatest prayer is that one day, when you recognize what I am talking about, you decide that you do everything you do for the glory of God.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Days No One Remembers...

Those are the ones that hit me most.  Not because no one really remembers them...honestly, I really don't expect anyone to.  They are just super, super special to me.

But I always, always remember them.  They hit me hard.  They make me happy, but I also find myself so much more aching than I'd expect.

I expect I'll be sad on his birthday.  Really, though, I haven't been.  More wistful.

I expect I'll be sad on the day he died.

I expect I'll be a little sad on Mother's Day and Father's Day and Christmas and Easter.  Those are pretty typical markers for most people.

But in Target?  Walking up and down the aisles carrying Luke on my chest and seeing the "Pregnant" on the EPT test on aisle 11?

Buckets of tears.

(Which Luke laughs at because in the carrier, his face is SO.CLOSE to my face and he likes the way the tears feel.)

I just remember this day.  Three years ago.  I was so, so, so grateful and thrilled and IMMEDIATELY bought an EPT so I could FINALLY see the word I'd coveted for years... "PREGNANT."

We are beyond blessed with people who share their love for us and their remembrance of our precious little boy...many times on days I don't even think about. Today is not one of them. Even John didn't remember (and I am not upset about that...dates are not his forte, haha).

I remember, though.

March 19, 2009 was the day that changed my life forever.  I was given the most amazing and precious and wonderful gift and I miss him.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Pictures, Pictures, Pictures!!!!!!

Holy cow...I've not updated really on Luke in ages, nor shared many pictures, nor shared much of what we are doing or what's going on (well, except of course, the intimate details of our IVF cycle, right?)...guess that means we've just been SUPER busy...

So quick highlights and then mostly pictures:

WALKING! Still wobbly, but getting better and better every day.  Can't keep him in the crawlers room at church anymore!

TEETH!  He has NINE now...three molars and according to the doctor, several more bulges ready to pop.

WORDS!  He says Mommy, Daddy, Doggie (and in no particular order...just depends on mood!), Bap  (bath), Dixie (what he calls Dixie OR Sammy), LeLe (what he calls Grandma's dog Lola), shoes (more like shooce), juice (more like shooce), Nein (though thankfully, not a lot yet!) and lots of parroting of sounds...especially bells ringing and sirens clanging.

SINGING!  He sings.  Lots.  And especially sings himself to sleep.  Love that!

RECOGNITION!  One morning when I went to get him up, I walked in his room and smelled a diaper!  I said, "Uh oh, Luke!  Do you have a stinky diaper?" Would you believe he started patting the front of his diaper like, "Yep.  Sure do.  Here it is."?  He knows where his diaper, ears, eyes, mouth, and nose, belly, feet and hands are and he's working on those with us and on pictures in books.  He's also signing more, eat, and ALL DONE (which is universal for him...the "All Done" sign is basically his way of saying "NO!" to whatever he doesn't want any more!

He is a very serious boy all of a sudden.  He's always been very analytical, and very quizzical, but he seems like he always has such a serious furrow of his little brows.  So funny.

We've done a lot in the last few months, even though we've been sick, so here are some highlights in pictures:

Marine Corps Ball in November...he wasn't thrilled!

Enjoying this great spring weather last week!

Mommy, Lukey and Baby Brother or Sister...and yes, he was trying to reach desperately for daddy!

8 weeks 3 days...definitely getting bigger more quickly!

Mommy's birthday...He bought me a new Llama Llama book and he was thrilled with it!

We were SO excited to visit with our friends Heather and sweet little Liam!  We hung out with them at the Pine Knoll Shores Aquarium and their beach cottage at Emerald Isle (visiting from Illinois!)...Liam is a LOVE bug.  Luke, I learned...well....Luke is somewhat territorial!  Working on that!

Luke was looking at Liam like, "Kid, don't mess with my deck slat!"

He walked up to this donation bin, said "Doggie" and tried to hug the "Doggie" (aka the otter!)...silly boy!

Beach Babies!!!!  LOVE these little miracles playing together!

SOOOO serious!

Sandy crackers are the best.  (The seagulls certainly think so!)

Liam the smiley boy at the Aquarium

Ill-fated attempts to get pictures of them playing together...

Beautiful Mommy and son!!!

Hanging outside of the aquarium.  These big boys are so precious.  And three days apart!

Luke helping himself to his juice and snacks back in November.

 Daddy made Luke a rocking horse for his first birthday.  It was a HIT!  (And yes, he calls it Doggie!)

Working out dishwasher style...

Some pics from back in November...such great weather we had! (Still do!)

Visiting Flat-Iron Farm at Christmas...not AT ALL happy with that goat!

Hoping he doesn't like being behind bars!!!!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Surreality and Fear...

I sort of feel as if I am living in a very surreal life.

It is just about insanity to me that I am pregnant for the 3rd time in less than 3 years.  One week from now is another one of my favorite days—March 19.  That's the day we found out for the first time that we were pregnant and I just couldn't believe it.

Three years later, I'm at a loss.  A loss for a name if we have a baby boy, because I'd only ever had one picked out...Matthew.

Luke's name fell perfectly into our lives, and I guess I'm hoping for that again should this baby be a boy because I'm stumped.  A little girl has long been named Molly Jane...but another boy?

When in my wildest dreams would I have imagined three baby boys in my life?  Three baby boy names????

It just feels very surreal.

Really, this whole pregnancy seems that way.  I have to say that I went through most of the IVF cycle banking on it working.  Don't ask why, but I just felt like it would.

But fear is trying to creep back in, which is really strange because honestly, I don't remember feeling more fear than excitement with Luke.

I know that's crazy, but it's true.  I REFUSED to allow my fear to steal one single second of my joy over that second pregnancy test.  I just reread what I wrote HERE and it's funny how it's somewhat similar but quite different from how I am feeling now.

Obviously, fourteen months raising an amazing little boy has given me purpose again...unimaginable joy and happiness.  I couldn't even have imagined that then because my heart was so heavy.

It's not as heavy now.  Two years have gone by and so many people share their love of our Matthew with us nearly every day...somehow...whether a quick email or FB "thinking of you" or picture from the cemetery or whatever...we are so blessed by people who remind us that Matthew MATTERED.  His life is not just one that's gone and made no impact.  We are grateful.

I think with Luke, though...I tried to reinforce my remembrance of odds...that MOST babies go home just fine and seriously?  What were the odds of another catastrophic happening back to back?

We're not back to back anymore.

I feel joyful and happy so, so much of the time.

Life feels different than it should...but it still feels good.  Amazing, actually.

That FLIPPING SHOE just keeps hanging...dangling...taunting.

I still am not feeling all that pregnant.  Thankfully the OHSS has simmered mostly down (though ovaries are still pretty big, most fluid is gone) and I've been so sick in the last several weeks that I've lost several pounds.  I was 92 pounds at retrieval and am currently about 86.

No one needs to get in a dither about that.  The baby is fine.  Fabulous.  Taking everything it possibly needs from me.  I am getting full daily amounts of all vitamins and minerals I need, and though eating has not been easy for me, I am certainly making sure I do my best to keep fed and hydrated.

I'm just small.  Skinny, really.  John keeps saying we need a picture.  I know, we do.

Just not feeling up to it these days.

Which of course makes me twitch a bit because it's soooo like most would laugh about and say, "Yep...second child syndrome.  They never get all the pictures and documentation and attention like the first."

Except this is not our second child.  Our first is dead and his little brother is basically being raised as a first/only child.

Anyway, just not feeling or looking pregnant.  I know we are early...8w2d today, but other than being really tired, I'd not believe I was pregnant except for the wonderful ultrasounds I had on Friday.  I was terrified that we'd go in and find that the growth had stopped.

Nope.  It was perfect.  Measured exactly as I was...7w6d with a lovely, lovely heartrate of 160.

Of course everyone thinks "girl" because that's a bit faster, but I don't believe that for a second...Matthew's at that 8 week appointment was 162 and Luke's at the 8 week appointment was 169!

Both all boy.  In fact, none of the old wives' tales ever I carried, what their heartrates were, whether or not I had heartburn... (and yes, HORRIBLE with Luke and the boy is STILL bald!)

So...we'll see...we go back to see our beloved Dr. Sweeney Easter weekend for the NT scan and then...we're done with the first trimester!

Friends, that is LESS than a month!!!!  Another surreality...that I'm a little less than 4 weeks from being out of the 1st trimester already!!!

Holy cow.

As for the one got it!  Not one got right beside it.  So, I just took the entries on time order and drew a random number.  The number was 11 and that was by dayzeegirrl (J!) at 7:08, March 7!  Friend, I messaged you on HP, but was having a hard time finding you on FB, so email me your address so I may send the cd!!  Congrats!

No fear.  No fear.  No fear.
Working on it.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Who I Am Today...

Today, I am 39 years old. (Gasp.)

I am a shell of who I used to be.

I am stronger than I ever wanted to be.

I am a former an introvert with super acting skills.

I am a former social butterfly who could befriend just about anyone but now, a self-proclaimed hermit.

I used to enjoy and be energized by new people and new circumstances where I could roar.

Now, no one really wants to hear what I feel like roaring.  I don't blame them.  I wish it didn't pulse through my veins with every beat of my heart.





I am a mother. Unbelievably, and against many odds, I am a mother.

And though I want to just scream with agony at the top of my lungs sometimes....

I sing every.single. day.

Every day.  Imagine Snow White with birds fluttering around and silly squirrels happily twittering.

Because I am so often overwhelmed with gratitude and love and joy for the precious little brother who also leaves me not breathing...gasping for air because he makes me laugh so much I nearly cry.

Happy tears.  Joyful tears.  Bittersweet tears.  But sweet nonetheless.

I am a tornado.  Emotions raging through me so strongly I can't contain them sometimes.

Injustice??????  LET ME AT IT.

Threaten harm to my family?  Consider yourself in a war you will not win.

Tenacious?  So I've been told.

But tamed.

Tamed by the knowledge that everyone has a story.  Some, we just don't know.

Tamed by the arrogant way I so easily threw around, "Everything happens for a reason," as I would console someone...and how those words now sear my skin.  Then, I thought, "Oh...if only this person had the faith that *I* have...their hearts would be comforted."  The arrogance has me humbled and tamed.

Just tamed.

I am defeated.

I am a winner.

I am able to accept it all.

I am not able to happily accept it all.

I have smiled more in the last 14 months than I have in my entire life.

I have cried more in the last two years than I have in my entire life.

I am barely a newlywed in my head.

I am old enough to be the grandmother of some of the little ones in some of Luke's playgroups. (And I'm not talking 12 year-old motherhood either.  Like seriously, I was in college when some moms were born!)

I feel I was targeted.  I feel I was tested.  I feel I was punished.

I feel I am blessed beyond measure.  I am so, so grateful that I don't have to worry about food or clothes or a roof over our head.  We have amazing things and an amazing life.

I am well-traveled.

I just don't really feel like going many places anymore.

I am well-educated.

But I can't find my keys or wallet half the time, much less do anything more taxing with my brain.

I feel like I am capable of doing so much more in my life.

But don't even know what more I'd want to do.  I never want to be away from Luke.

I am infertile.

But... infertile women don't have children.

Yes,we do.  And I am.  Still.  

I am a person completely different than I was November 28, 2009.

But the same.  Same face, more wrinkles.  Same hair, now with gray.  Same eyes, only without the same sparkle.  Same laugh, just more guarded about its use.  Same body, but with scarring reminders of what it's been through and what it's given up.

So very much the same and so very much different.

Any time I hear the Kenny Chesney song, "Who you'd be today," I always wonder just who I am?  Today?

And all I ever can answer is that I am in the Great I Am's hands.

Every day, who I am changes, but being held never does.  It feels different at different times, and that doesn't always settle as well with me as I'd like it to.

But I believe Him for who He says He is.

One who does not plan to harm me.  One who has great plans for my future.  One who has given me the strength to wake up every single day for 39 years.  One who has given me the most amazing miracles I could ever fathom.

One who knows who I am.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Remembering with Anguish and Joy...and Another Giveaway

I'm doing the Beth Moore Bible study on James.  The concept that has struck me to my inner core so far is the concept of living with anguish and the very nature of our humanness unfortunately means that we can experience such joy and glee that makes our heart sing...while at the same time, know in the depths of our hearts an anguish that seems unquenchable...never able to heal...never able from which to recover.

How those two completely opposite, heavy and all-encompassing emotions can co-exist in so many lives.

And how we are to count it ALL as joy...even the anguish.

I admit.  I've struggled at times in this study because it really hits home.  Beth's example of a time that she's experienced an anguish that was gut-wrenching was far, far, far different than mine.  And in her situation...all lived.

(Don't get me wrong...I LOVE BETH MOORE!  She has gone through struggles and trials unfathomable herself, and still praises Him beautifully.  I'm just saying that as she was taking us to that 'place of anguish' in her video, mine was much, much, much deeper and soul-crushing.)

Anyway. Remembering. THIS POST is from this day exactly three years ago.  I just reread it.  I cried.  Even more than this morning when I updated Facebook, remembering this day.

This was the day I became a mother.  I remember it so vividly.  I was terrified we were going to have a difficult time getting to Rockville because of the two feet of snow we'd just gotten.  I had no idea what to expect.  And really...I just couldn't believe that it would work our first try.

As I reread...I am also struck by my feelings then...God's will...what will be, will ease and ability to so carelessly toss it all into that big bin of "God is in control," and really believe that.

It's easy to believe it when it hasn't been really challenged.

Oh, it was challenged when my mom died and when John's dad died...cancer...a sick, evil word.  Two precious people gone way before they should have been.

But they were parents.  We expect our parents to go before we do.

We do not expect that we will have to be sure the 'baby' coffin we pick out for our son is long enough for his tiny body because he was so tall.

THAT challenged my ease of belief.

Regardless, March 6 is one of my favorite, favorite days.  March 6 gave me the best early birthday present ever...a sweet little one nestled in his mommy's tummy...allowing me the honor of protecting and serving him until we met.  Even if just in a caress of a shoulder months later.

To honor Matthew, I'd like to do another giveaway.  Several months ago, a talented pianist named John Albert offered, out of the generosity of his heart, beautiful music made in honor of bereaved parents...parents he'd found out about through Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep...and parents everywhere who knew the grief in losing a little one far too soon.  He was (and I believe still may be) offering FREE downloads of the music, as well as the option to purchase the beautiful CD versions to honor several little ones.  I thought it was so kind of him to do so that I bought two.  One for myself and one to day.

Today is the day.  We have another ultrasound and visit with our amazing doctors in Maryland on Friday.  We graduate from Shady Grove, and also get to see our beloved Dr. Sweeney so he can tell us this little one looks like a million bucks.  To enter this giveaway, just give me another guess at the heartbeat rate.  Honestly, I'm trying to stay away from Dr. Google, so I don't even know what the average heartbeat rate at 7w6d is, so I can't help with guesses.  Whoever gets it, or comes closest, wins.

And as we wait for the winning answer...please say a little prayer for my anxiety.  I admit I'm worried about having a good ultrasound on Friday.  There's no reason we shouldn't, but I'm having a hard time keeping the fear at bay.

Friday, March 2, 2012


So, I had 41 people enter (several gave 'for fun' guesses, but did not want to receive the DVD) to win the Praise Baby DVD by guessing Dash-3's heartbeat.

Do you know that not a single person got it?  I'm surprised!  I had two guess 123 and two guess 121, but no one got 122.  Frankly, I think that's high, so I'd never have guessed that either. (And I don't give two cents' worth of belief in that girls have higher heartrates...both Matthew and Luke's were initially slower, but after the first one, for both of them, they were always super high and everyone kept saying, "Girl! Girl!").

In any event, I want a winner!!!  So, I basically took the time stamp from each FB post and blog comment and put them in order.  Then I did a random number generator and picked.

And because we had a little twin that was trying to make it but just couldn't...sigh...I'm giving away TWO.  So I picked ANOTHER number!

The winners are: (These winners know who they are, so abbreviating some info for their privacy!)

Loribeth S !!! (Mommy of the ADORABLE little LK and super lucky...she just won an awesome smocked outfit contest too!!!).  She guessed 103 at 6:39 and that was the 9th guess of the contest! I hope LK loves this video as much as Luke does!

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2012-03-02 16:17:39 UTC

The next winner makes me SO glad I decided to do two...Crystal P. was the 35th guesser of the game, and though she didn't want it, if she won, she wanted her 'prize' to go to my sweet, sweet friend Shandrea...who is soon welcoming her sweet J into the world.  I am thrilled to do so, Crystal!!!

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2012-03-02 16:24:52 UTC

Loribeth and Shandrea, I am pretty sure I have both of your addresses, but would you be kind to me and save some looking time for me by messaging them to me really quickly?  I'll order the videos from Amazon, and you should have them in a couple of days!!

I have to say...I LOVE doing giveaways...I might have to try and figure out how to do more!!!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Dash-3 Is ON BOARD!

So, if you want to truly know what receiving a miraculous answer to prayer feels like, post something on FB, have a ton of people offer encouragement, support and mostly, PRAYER...get on your knees and beg God to listen to your and others' prayers and wait.

(Which of course, is the excruciating part!)

Yesterday morning, I was pretty sure I was miscarrying.  I have no experience with miscarriage, but I know that bright red blood and cramping are not usually great things, nor were they anything I experienced with Matthew or Luke.  Considering how miserable I've felt (and really...I've been SICK!  Almost as bad as when I had H1N1 last year!) and how worried I was about how my illness could have affected the baby, when you throw in the blood and the I said, pretty much felt it was over.

Throughout the day, I got email after email/text/message telling me not to give up hope because this was common and there were other reasons than just losing the baby that I could be bleeding.

I wasn't so sure, but honestly, as the day wore on, I felt more and more encouraged.  The bleeding pretty much stopped (and I figured if it was miscarriage, it would get worse) and the cramping lessened.  By the end of the night, I started to feel like maybe...just maybe...maybe we could still have a miracle.

John seemed pretty upbeat, and even though I didn't want to get my hopes up, truly, my gut said to just hold on.

You know, though, what kind of speaking terms my gut and I have been on lately, of course.  Not so easy.

But then I thought, maybe it wasn't my gut.  I really feel like God was just telling me to wait.

I sort of had some internal conversation with God...

"Lori, trust Me.  You specifically asked for a healthy brother or sister for Luke and Matthew.  I think I've made it pretty clear with how amazing things have turned that I'm working that for you."

"I know, God...but You promised me Matthew too."

"I gave him to you."

"You didn't let me keep him."

"I never tell anyone how long they get to keep anyone.  Not your business...Mine.  Make the most of every second I give you with anyone you love."

"Well I love this baby.  I want this baby.  This baby is a miracle."

"Umm...I KNOW!  I gave her (yes, I think it's a girl) to you.  Wait in me.  Strength will rise when you wait on me."

(Cue music again...and by the way, the week we found out we were pregnant, we sang that song at before we found out Luke was coming and right after we found out this baby was coming!)

"Lori.  You said you wouldn't worry about anything until you had a reason to worry.  Don't live through a miscarriage you may not even have.  Deal with it tomorrow, if that's what happens.  But treasure that baby now."

"Gulp.  Ok."

So, even though I was nervous, nervous, nervous...I oddly felt like this was going to be one of those miracles.  I didn't know how...but I just felt like it could be.


The doctor had a difficult time finding anything initially because she didn't have enough gel (she was a resident, and very nice!) so the sonographer helped her and helped her move me up on the table.  At first, the only thing obvious was that my ovaries are still VERY enlarged (did NOT need an ultrasound for that, trust me... I feel it!)...but I didn't see anything.  Nothing.  NOTHING.  I started to tear up and then all of a sudden, the tech said, "Hey, hey...there's your peanut!!!"  and then John said, "I see the heartbeat!!!"


There was a sweet little baby with a sweet little heartbeat and I was overjoyed.  As I thanked God, I then said, "Well, why am I bleeding??? What's going on????"  The doctor and tech said it looked as if there were the 'remains' (such a harsh word) of another and it just didn't, that would explain why my HCG levels were off the charts...and also explain why I was bleeding.  They suspect it was a twin.  She said that often, there may not even be any blood..."Disappearing Twin" and that it actually was fairly common in IVF pregnancies, especially when two embryos were transferred.  The official terminology was "a sonolucent area representing a 2nd gestational sac with no fetal pole."

So, of course.  That is sad.  Sad, sad, sad.  And worse, I feel so terrible because as sad as that makes me, I am just so overjoyed and relieved that the peanut we saw on Friday shared a beautiful heartbeat with us today! 122!!!

Dr. P talked to us after and said it was very common to miss a twin (especially one that was not going to make it) when we scanned at 5w5d and so that a lot of things made sense and today was great news.

You know, here's a secret.  I only told John...not even my doctors...on Thursday, I had a little bit of bleeding too.  I won't get graphic, but it was weird.  Sort of out of the blue and not really much of anything I gave any credence to because it was just so weird.  It wasn't a lot, and I just thought, "Hmm. Well, blood sometimes happens."  Now, knowing what we know and seeing what we saw today...I think even then we were losing that little one.

This all boils down to....DASH-3 is ON BOARD!!!  We are thrilled and just so, so grateful.

Thank you ALL for the prayers.  Isn't it amazing what things can be done when asked for in His name?

Here are a few pics of our little one...already giving us a run for our money!

To me, this looks like a parrot sitting on it's ring...the baby is the parrot part and the ring is the yolk sac.

Welcome to our family, little one!!!