Sunday, October 28, 2012

Snippets Of Where I Was...

I wrote this letter to Luke a month and three days before he was born.  Thirty-five months ago, today, his brother was born.  So much different; so much the same.

Sweet Little Luke,
It’s important you know how Mommy was feeling today. I know that you will grow up in a slightly different way than many others, though you should also know that all of us pretty much do!  You, however, will grow up with a big brother you never knew and it’s my job to make sure you know as much about him and his place in our family as you can.

I cleaned out your brother’s room today.  I know it will be your room also, but it was and always will be Matthew’s first.  This is not written to be disrespectful to you; it’s simply the way it is.  I don’t think anyone finds it ok to say, “Well, mom’s dead so the next mom can have all her stuff.”  Therefore, I don’t find it ok to think that because your brother is dead, we need to pretend that room has always been meant for you, or things bought for him were somehow ‘meant’ to be bought for you because he died and you lived.  Acknowledging that it was Matthew’s nursery and Matthew’s things I cleaned out is just acknowledging life.  More specifically, his life, and I won’t ever, ever, ever act as if everything said, done, felt or bought for Matthew wasn’t and isn’t real and true.  The length of life lived does not determine one’s standing in the family, nor is it interchangeable or replaceable. 

But that doesn’t mean that it will not be any less yours.  Several things are in the works for you.  Our sweet friend Miss Amy is making your nursery set.  It’s really adorable, an Under the Sea theme, and your daddy and I love it.  I’ve also ordered some sweet decals for your walls, and Miss Stephanie is making you some awesome art with your name to match your room.  You’ve received several kind and thoughtful gifts, and mommy has been buying things for you since the day we found out you were part of our lives.  I’ve been meaning and meaning to take pictures of things you’ve been given and that I’ve bought for you and I was able to today after I took Matthew’s things down and out of the room.   There are a lot of pictures, obviously, but I want you to always know that you’ve been very loved and very hoped for before you even existed.  I never want you to doubt that.

Though hard, I can’t say that cleaning the room out was the hardest thing I’ve had to do.  I can’t even say it’s at the top of the list.  I’ve had  to hear your daddy say, “He’s not breathing, Lori.  They’re doing CPR,” and “Lori, I’m so sorry.  He’s gone.  I’m so sorry.”  I’ve had to hear the NICU doctor tell me, “Your son is a very, very sick little boy and we’re going to try to do what we can to save him,” as she looked at me knowing that I’d never see him again.  I’ve had to decide what songs to play at my son’s funeral…pick out what he’d wear in his coffin.  I’ve had smile even though my world was shattered.  I bring flowers to a grave that marks where your brother’s body is.

Cleaning out the nursery was hard, but sadly, just one more in the list of things that breaks my heart.  I’m getting to the point where I think I’m just numb to them. I didn’t cry for the most part…but when I came across Matthew’s First Thanksgiving outfit, I did.  When I cleaned out his diaper bag, I did.  When I read what your daddy wrote to him in the book he bought for him, I did.  When I took his curtains down, I did.  When I took all his first Christmas outfits out of the room, I did. 

I guess I cried more than I thought. 

I took a ton of pictures before and took video.  One of my fears is that I won’t be able to remember.  I can’t remember where my keys are most days…I can only imagine how time will chip away my memories of all the happy preparations that were made in anticipation of Matthew.  I don’t want to lose any of that.

So, his room is now ready for you, his little brother.  I anticipate it will be decorated in the next few weeks, and most everything that we’ll need to use with you for the first several weeks is waiting to be used.  It’s been waiting for nearly a year to be used, and unlike me, holds no attachment for whom it was meant to be used.  I can say that as time has passed, I am able to lose some of the attachment as well.  After Matthew died, I couldn’t dream of using just about anything of his for any one else, much less another child.  When your only child dies, the only things he gets to ‘keep’ are those you make sure are only his—clothes, toys, ornaments, shower venues, certain books…different things.  I’ve been able to get to the point where some things I can now contemplate sharing with you.  Not because I probably would have passed them on to you anyway (I HATE THAT ARGUMENT!), but because I know that they are just clothes.  Some clothes are special for Matthew only, and had he lived, would have been that way regardless.  But most clothes do not hold the memories they would had he lived and worn them, and I can see them for what they are—clothes with maybe  a vague memory of me buying them. 

And now your things will go in and wait for you.  It’s hard to believe  that won’t be very long now.  I have to admit that as I was getting things I’ve bought you ready to wash, I found it hard to believe I’d actually bring you home.  There’s no medical reason for me to believe that, it’s just very surreal still.  In any event, know you are loved and cherished and we cannot wait to meet you!

All my love,

Thursday, October 18, 2012


There's no point in trying to deny it; that's pretty much how I am functioning.

Still, though...I'm struggling.

I can't even pretend that I'm not.  I mean, I can...and sometimes I am just because life has its expectations, and that's what one does.

But I'm struggling.  Struggling to smile.  Struggling not to cry.  Struggling to keep my head above water.  Struggling to sleep.  Struggling to stay awake.  Struggling to eat.  Struggling not to throw up.  Struggling to stop struggling because MY HEAD KNOWS I AM SO LUCKY.  I AM SO BLESSED.

My heart, though?  My heart hurts.  I feel like it's just drowning in wistfulness every time I turn my head.

My mind races...making connections with everything and everyone and I hate it.  Lady in front of me at Target?  A baby about Luke's age and a big brother about Matthew's...and very visibly pregnant.

My heart screams, "It's a boy and that should be YOU!"

New babies and new pregnancies are all around me.  I am thrilled beyond thrilled for all of them.

My heart screams, "NEVER AGAIN YOU.  NO MORE FOR YOU."

We told Shady Grove that we felt like it was time to withdraw from the Shared Risk program.  I was hoping Dr. K would say something like, "Well, Lori, I certainly understand if you feel it's time.  You've been through so much.  If you should decided to keep trying, though, I still feel like we'd have success and this is what I'd do..."

Instead, I heard, "Well, the plus to the Shared Risk program is the more chances you have, the more chance you will get pregnant." (Not interested in the 'Even the Blind Squirrel Gets a Nut Theory'...Maybe our nuts were in January.)  I also heard, "Well, I think we've tweaked the medicine about as much as we can.  We'd probably just hope for better response."

Hope.  That's a fickle word.

The biggest thing I heard that makes me pretty much realize we are done with trying to have more children is Dr. K mentioning he felt I'd have much greater success with egg donation.

Don't get me wrong...blood does not make a bit of difference to me.  Before Luke, I contemplated egg donation and wouldn't blink an eye if that's what we had to do in order to raise a child.

But we don't.  We have Luke.  And while I feel like the desire to raise more children has been laid on my heart since I realized that girls can grow up to be Mommies....I begged and begged and BEGGED God to just let me have Luke.

I plead with Him for 34 weeks and one day to just let me bring that baby home and to love him and raise him...and if He did, I'd never, ever, EVER ask for another thing.

So to ask again...and to go to those lengths—more time, more trauma for my body, WAY more money in medicine and more interruption in our family—only to have either failure, or God forbid, success and then MORE loss?

I just don't know.

Well, I do know.  I have to accept this place.  This person.  This life.

I feel horrible.  There are so many horrible and terrible things going on in this world.  So much pain and suffering and loss.

My days are filled with the love and giggles of the most amazing little boy in the world...planning fall activities and trips to Disney World and things to do when Daddy deploys...

I am so blessed beyond belief, and I am ashamed of just how hard it is for me right now.  I have more than many people dream of in their wildest dreams.

And still...I'm struggling with want and heartache.  I'm struggling with grief for the losses I've had and the realization that every time I rock Luke to sleep, it may be the last night he lets me...he's growing up so fast.  My heart hurts so much missing days that haven't even happened yet.

Ridiculous.  I know all of this is ridiculous and I just have to get through this.  I've had a lot going on in the last few weeks...months...year....three years...and more to come with Daddy deploying and the acceptance of different stages of our lives.  Hormones are still equalizing.  And honestly, I NEVER struggle to smile or be genuinely happy with that precious boy of mine, and I am just grateful that I have him with me all the time.  What a blessing just to be able to stay home with him and not miss anything I don't have to.

Please pray for a sweet friend who delivered her sweet little girl last week and her precious little boy today...and mourns them both as they have both died and gone to Heaven.

Please pray for the children in Kyrgyzstan who will remain there and not with their families because of political turmoil.  To know my child was alive...but without me...would tear my heart out.

Please pray for my sister.  Her lupus is really bad.

Please pray for sweet friends who have lost babies in the last months, and are having enduring complications.  Insult to injury.

Perspective.  Perspective.  Perspective.  Pray for my perspective to come back.

I may be struggling, but it could be so much worse.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Was Looking Forward To...

...another birthday in our family today.

I don't care what anyone says or how anyone feels and I sure has heck don't care about what anyone else's view on when life begins is or whether or not my heart feels as great a loss today as it will, again, on November 28.

In MY family, this little boy is and will always be as much a Big Brother as he is a Little Brother.

Sad I have to explain to him one day how that can be...grateful I'll be able to explain with full confidence where his brothers are.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Numb Is Not Always A Bad Thing...

When my mom died, I was shocked.  We knew she had cancer; knew it was serious...but she'd been in treatment for year, and her oncologist told us that even though her cancer had metastasized, she had 4-6 months left withOUT more treatment, and she was doing treatment.

So when I got the news that she died, only 4 weeks after he said that, I was shocked.


For a long time.

When John's dad died, we were not surprised.  He had been valiantly fighting his cancer for nearly 6 years, and when it metastasized to the brain, and he went into hospice, we pretty much knew what was coming...and we dreaded every phone call because it could have been the one.

Not numb.  Wishing we were.  Wishing we had that 'protection' of dumbfounded, if you will.

When Matthew died, shocked doesn't even begin to define our surprise.

Numb for a long time, that doesn't even begin to cover my emotions either.  Intense, raw and the most painful I'd ever known, and yet...

I was numb.

That's how this week has been...sort of.  Intense and raw emotions, and yet, numb at the same time.

I mean, honestly, if you look at the things going on this week, you almost have to just laugh at how ridiculously ill-timed it all is.

All in a week:
Our last cycle? Negative.  No More Babies. Ever.
A lump?  Cancer?  Maybe no more Mommy?
Oh, don't forget...tomorrow would be the big day!  Got my offer from Shutterfly in the mail today for the birth announcements I should need...probably using a picture I'd take tomorrow.

If his heart hadn't stopped beating.

I've sort of looked at this week in that way===> just ridiculously ridiculous.  So much going on it's hard to believe, and yet, nothing in my control, so I might as well remember I'm that girl who puts on the smiley face and makes the funny, often sarcastic jokes.

Coping mechanisms of my whole life...and very successful, for the most part.

So I really was not worried this morning.  Seriously.  What were the odds?  I mean, I know I am GREAT at beating them (except in the last cycle, of course), but still.  Surely, it was going to be fine.

And it was.  I was told I had nice, young looking and dense breast tissue (ha ha) and neither the mammogram nor the ultrasound showed anything but that...a place/band of really dense, thick tissue.  I'm skinny.  That's not news.  Skinnier than normal, I guess, and that means less fatty tissue and more opportunity to feel new, dense tissue.  Throw in the hormones of enormous proportion affecting the shape and molding of the dense tissue, and my ability to feel more in my thinner self...and in the end, there's nothing even really to biopsy.  The surgeon will still consult with me, but really, for measure and not concern.

I've turned off most feelings this week.  Most.  Self-preservation, whatever...grateful for every single second with my boy and focus on the fact that still, my life is so much greater than the lives of so many.

There are far worse things than pouring all your time, love, efforts and resources into one sweet little miracle.  I look at my clinic's FB page every day, and know that I am so lucky.

I could easily say it's not fair that we lost Matthew...and Trey...and that of the four fresh transfers I've done, the one that DOESN'T work is of course, our last.  I could say that losing my mother and John losing his father to cancer isn't fair.

Oh, there's so much I could say isn't fair.  And it is SO not.

Neither are innocent children dying all over the world because their mothers can't feed or hydrate them.
Neither are people who are persecuted simply because they believe.
Neither are those who suffer neglect, cruelty and abuse in epic proportions.
Neither are people suffering life-threatening illnesses...especially little ones with long lives they should live.


I am beyond grateful that the pain of so many others is not my pain.

And I'm grateful for being numb sometimes.  It's not always a bad thing.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The End.

I went ahead and had my blood drawn yesterday afternoon.  A few hours isn't going to make a difference.

It was negative.

I will never again carry a miracle within me.  Never know again what sweet little baby kicks feel like when Mommy eats Skittles (which, by the way, Luke loves).  Never be able to scan another face, desperate for any signs of Matthew or what Trey may have looked like.  Never watch Daddy lose all hints of "Manly Marine" and go goo-goo ga-ga over his precious newborn.

No Hannah.  No William. (The names another boy and girl would have had.)

I'm sure many are thinking, "Don't count yourself out...." and have some story of some woman who ended up with a surprise pregnancy when she least expected it.

Yeah, not interested.  When you spend as many years and dollars as we have pursuing just about every modern technology available to bring children into your lives, you don't give 'those' stories credence.

Of course, they happen.

Just not to me.  I'm the story of the lady with babies who die.


I'm also the story of the lady who is blessed beyond measure.  A dear friend told me that when she read about how I was saying it would be just my luck to end up with cancer, she was thinking about how lucky I was with Luke.

And she is SO right.  He is the song in my heart and one of the most amazing gifts I've ever been given.  He is proof that God can and does create all things new and I am often just at a loss for words to describe just what he does for my heart and soul.  For his Daddy's too.

I told another friend light of how it ALL has turned out...I still would not change a thing.  I'd do every treatment, go through every heartache and roller coaster ride, cry every tear and plea every plea all over again just for the privilege I've been given to mother the babies I have.  I'd obviously prefer that ALL were with me here on this earth.

Given that they aren't, the joy of knowing and loving them for whatever time I was given is enough to last my lifetime.

And it will.


We have several more opportunities to do more fresh cycles.  We are withdrawing from the program, though.  The last two cycles have been pretty indicative of what is going on with my body as it ages (gasp, I know...39) and my plea to God was to have 'one last shot' at bringing a brother or sister Luke could grow up with into our lives.  Two weeks ago, I was begging Him to allow us to have at least two beautiful embryos to transfer and to accept whatever happened after.

God is good.  I was given exactly what I asked for and more.  Not only did I have two—two BEAUTIFUL, perfect looking embryos (even prettier than Matthew's and Luke's!), I had a third.  God gave that lab a miraculous ability to rescue more embryos and we had a THIRD embryo to transfer.  I didn't mention it, but another embryo actually kept growing a few more days, which was, in itself a miracle and we thought we might be able to freeze it.  Sadly, it arrested right before freeze.  And still, a dear friend told me, "What an opportunity to give God glory."

So right.  Though I would love nothing more than to bring another baby into our lives, I am not willing to put our family (or my body, in light of this lump) through any more more interruptions in our lives because of treatments.  No more copious and crazy amounts of money on drugs—money that should and could go to Luke.

We are blessed.  We've always thought raising another child would just be icing on the cake that is Luke.

Not that I would not love more of that icing.  Who wouldn't?  It's so flipping delicious that it makes you CRAVE it.

But I'm grateful for the cake I's sweeter than I ever imagined it could be.


I am so grateful for the most amazing messages and texts and calls and gifts that I've been given.  Facebook has it's faults, for sure, but it also is such a nice way for a girl to feel the love.  I have to share about a gift I received yesterday—I'll ask my friend if she's ok with me sharing her company, but it's one that makes adorable scarves.  I got home from my doctor appointment yesterday and out of the blue, a package was delivered to me.  It had a sweet pink and white scarf in it and the most precious note.  I couldn't even read it because I was crying so much.  The note told me the she'd read my blog for years (we were acquaintances in college) and was touched by my post on the October 3 about how breast cancer and pregnancy loss were close to my heart.  She just felt she needed to make me a scarf, one that had been designed for her cousin, a breast cancer survivor, and that would be able to remind me of my mother when I wore it.  For my heart, and my heart alone, she added two little butterfly charms—one for Matthew and one for Trey—so they could be with me.  I don't even think she knows that my mother was a HUGE butterfly lover (she had a bumper sticker that said, "I brake for butterflies!" and on the day of her funeral, butterflies were EVERY WHERE)....nor does she probably know that when we were looking at gravesites for Matthew, standing under a beautiful poplar tulip tree on a cold, cold December day in Maryland, a sweet little yellow butterfly came by...and we knew that was the spot.  I see those little butterflies all over the place here in NC, and Luke calls them out every time.

My point?  That scarf coming to me in those colors, for that purpose, with those charms, YESTERDAY?????? God-given reminders that He is with us always.

Of that, I have no doubt.


I think that I have a lot of things to process.  I think it will not be easy, as I am a hormonal mess and there are some upcoming dates that are sure to tug at my heart.  Even once the hormones peter out, the acceptance of many things not in my control is one with which I have to deal, as do we all.

So as I do, I appreciate all the love, care and concern.  It is all such a blessing to me.

As are these sweet boys in my life.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Pregnancy Test In Perspective...

I am not really a big fan of drama, yet I always seem to somehow be in it.

So, I have kept it quiet because I wanted to see what the doctor said.  I saw him a little bit ago.

He wants an immediate ultrasound, mammogram and biopsy.

No, not talking about pregnancy testing...

On Saturday, I found a lump in my breast.  I have not really slept since then.

Since my mom died of breast cancer, I've been very diligent in doing self-checks. As I am basically doing the EXACT opposite of what her oncologist told me: "NEVER do hormone replacement therapy!", I am hyper-vigilant in monitoring myself for anything even hinting of breast cancer.

There is definitely a decent-sized lump and it is definitely new and not normal to me.

I spent most of Sunday Dr. Googling.  There was every possibility this is just something related to hormonal craziness in my body.  There still is, though...the wonderful doctor I saw today feels like it's atypical for me to start reacting to crazy hormones in my body with cysts all of a sudden.

I mean, for real.  I've been doing this a while.  Never had any 'reaction' like this.

He felt it, and was 'encouraged' by the fact that it was movable.  He did not feel it was fluid-filled, and called it a solid mass.  He said that if I was any woman off the street, he'd probably think it was fine, but given my mother's and my history, this was nothing to play around with and so he was going to be aggressive in finding out what we are dealing with and take care of it.

To the extent that we can.

I really do not like the drama factor in all of this...wouldn't that just be my luck?  "Poor Lori...all she's been through and now this?"

But it is what it is, and I'm just going to take things bit by bit as they come.

I go in for an ultrasound and mammogram (unless I am pregnant) on October 19, unless there are cancellations that can get me in sooner.  I go in for the biopsy on the 25th.

Puts a pregnancy test in perspective, huh?  As much as I'd love another baby, I'd sure like to be around for the little boy in his room fighting a nap right now.

As if this was not all fun enough, the room I sat in this morning was on the other side of a woman who was almost 39 weeks doing her NST.

THAT'S what I should have been doing there...listening to my baby's heartbeat and getting ready to deliver him Saturday.

Not all this mess.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Twenty-One Months of AMAZING!!!!

I find it harder and harder to believe that my sweet little Luke is closer to a two-year old than he is a one-year old.  I don't know how these days go by so.flipping.quickly.

He is 21 months today.  Twenty-one months!!!!!!  He is seriously more and more fun every day.  He has brought us so much joy and happiness, and I honestly just don't know that I ever would have believed I could be so madly in love with him.  There has never, ever been any doubt that I would love any and all babies entrusted to me as a mother, but the healing that Luke has brought into our lives and in my heart is nothing short of miraculous.

Truly, I was given a new heart, and this little boy has every single inch of it covered with my devotion.

He is a funny boy.  He loves to laugh, and somewhat sadistically, he laughs at us when we 'cry,' or rather, when we pretend to.  We joke about how he shouldn't get so much glee out of us bumping our knee on the table and screaming, "Ouuuuuuuccccccchhhhh!" but he does...and it's hard not to laugh at his laughing at us.

More, he does NOT like it when I cry.  He gets a very, very, very uncomfortable look on his face, and it's because he does not really ever see me cry and it makes him feel unsettled.  This makes my heart so happy—not that he is unsettled, but that me crying is such a foreign thing to him that he doesn't know what to make of it.

And let's face it—there is never any reason but to be completely joy-filled when I am with him.

He is talking, talking, talking.  Non-stop.  All the time.  Babble, words...makes no difference.  He just talks or sings  I could not be happier.  I joke that when he starts making sense, I am in big trouble!  He repeats the last word of EVERY thing he hears and everyone notes it—"Wow, he repeats everything, doesn't he?"

Yes.  Yes he does!  Still not putting too many two-word phrases together, but I'm not really worried.  His vocabulary is strong enough and he talks so much (and so quickly, again, like his mama) that he could do just fine communicating with individual words for the rest of his life.

Like his daddy, ba dum dum.

He is thinning out...still has his chubby little chipmunk cheeks, but his little body is getting leaner and leaner.  We are calling him "Droopy Drawers" because his little bum won't keep pants up for anything. Adjustable waist is our new best friend!

Eating?  He just doesn't want to eat more than his 6 or 7 staples.  Nothing.  No way, no how, nothing doing.  I've tried EVERYTHING, believe me.  We've joked that he's a lazy eater, his teachers have commented that he's definitely pickier than most and may have an issue with chewing, and frankly, the list of things he will eat is getting too small for my comfort level.

Add that in with some sensory issues I feel he may be having and I've decided to have him evaluated by our local Occupational/Speech Language Therapists.

I put this out here fully expecting to hear, read or know that people are thinking, "She's nuts.  Every kid is picky.  It's a battle of the wills.  Leave him alone.  He'll eat when he's hungry.  She's being neurotic."

I hope all of the above is what his lack of eating and issues with clothing and textures turns out to be.  I would love nothing more than to be told, by professionals, that I am just worrying over nothing.

But I'll let them do that.  And if they have to tell me something different, and that there are things we need to work on, well, then, that's what we will do.

It's my responsibility as his parent to do so.  Whether I'm being neurotic or not, I'm tired of worrying about being thought of that way and then regretting not doing something I wish I had.

Call me crazy.
When the professionals do so, I'll listen.

He loves doggies, trucks, his daddy and all things outside.  One of his favorite things is to get in Daddy's truck and jam in the driver's seat to some crazy tunes.  Currently, it's "The Lint Song," and let me tell you, that is one weird song on a kids' CD.  But he loves it.  He loves, loves, loves music and to sing and bounce to a beat.  Yesterday, in a parking lot, a truck drove by blasting some rap song.  He was in the cart as we were headed to our car, and he just started bouncing up and down to the beat.  The people got out and were laughing and I said, "What can I say?  The boy loves a good beat!"

All day long, yesterday, he kept saying, "Beat? Beat? Beat?" and bouncing.  He cracks me up.

Still a big reader.  He climbs in his chair, opens his book (Still loving Llama Llama!), makes sure it is oriented the correct way, and starts "reading."  I know I am biased, but as a reading teacher, I'm impressed with his ability to mimic our reading at just the right places when he is 'reading' the same book.  I am so glad he loves books like his mama.

I adore him.  Just adore him.  He's starting to realize that he doesn't have to actually listen to me or what I say, and when he tries to exert his will, he's pretty easily redirected.  Oh, we have our little tantrums here and there, but they are few and far between.  And really, when they happen, I find it so easy to just get down on his level, give him a hug, tell him I know he's upset and that we can work on making it better, and just working through it.  I want him to be parented with love and mercy and grace and he makes it very easy to do so.

Except when he's whining, ha ha!  A new thing he picked up from school.  He just has this ghastly moan...not a crier, which has always been nice, but this moan!!  Working on curbing that!  He does love school, though, and though I miss him, I am glad we did it.  He learns things and is always happy and his teachers are both really wonderful.  I feel fully that he is in great hands and since he loves it, I love it too.

Happy 21 months, sweet boy of mine.  You are the most amazing little thing in the world and I am so, so, so grateful you call me Mama.

So grateful.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Lot Going On, Not A Lot To Say...

I know, I know...I've been quiet.

Not really, I've just not been very public.

Lots of thoughts...Breast Cancer Awareness, Pregnancy Loss Awareness—dueling cause month.  Of course, as there are only 12, every month is dueling cause month, but these two causes are obviously sensitive and close to my heart.

It's hard for me to not look at every.single.little newborn and not think about how that should be me in ten days.  It's not really jealousy...just wistful.


Happy for the new mom.  Sad. For me.

When we were told by our adoption agency that we were a week away from a referral, we bought a stuffed sunshine that plays, "You are My Sunshine."

John and I used to sing or write that to each other a million years ago, and we thought a little Emma would like it.

A year and a half later, we prayed a little Matthew would like it and I'd play it for him while he was in my womb.  He definitely recognized it, as he'd always start kicking with glee when he heard it.

A year later, I put it to my stomach every night just praying I'd see a little Luke take a breath...him liking this little sunshine would just be gravy.

When he was born, I played it for him over and over.  He seemed to recognize it, and every now and then, I'd sing, "You are my sunshine," to him.  I won't lie; I could never sing, "My ONLY Sunshine..." I'd replace it with, "My LITTLE Sunshine," because that was such betrayal in my eyes....Replace Matthew with Luke as My Only Sunshine?  Couldn't do it.  He doesn't even know the difference in the words.

I used to, a zillion years ago, know the second verse.  Or, I thought I did.  Something about when skies are cloudy, I think of you, dear, blah, blah, blah.  Luke has a renewed interest in the song; he lights up when I start singing it, so I wanted to see what the second verse really was...

Felt like a punch in the gut.

"The other night, dear, as I lay sleeping...I dreamed I held you in my arms.  When I woke up dear, I was I hung my head and cried."

Dear Lord.  I'll never, ever be able to sing those words.  To type them makes my throat fill up with a softball-sized gulp and big tears on my cheeks.

Lest we forget about the hormones that are outrageously running through my body right now, I'll say that they don't help emotions right now.

John's been crazy busy and every day seems like his career may take a new direction.  It makes my head spin, but it keeps us busy, so that's nice, I guess.

Which all leads to the fact that the pregnancy test is a week from today.  No feelings whatsoever.  Whenever I feel positive, it's negative.  Whenever I feel negative, it's positive.  I sort of feel like it's positive, so I'm not sure how I like feeling that way with my record, but whatever.  It's way too early to tell and next week will be here soon enough.

Funny, huh?  I'm in no hurry for next week.  Either way, it changes a lot of things in my life.  Pregnant...all the emotions/anxiety/and really, expectation of loss that comes with that.  Not pregnant?  The last of our attempts for another baby, and that point in life that every woman comes to, regardless of her fertility issues:  Accepting that a phase in life is over.  Gone forever.  And all that comes with that...

So, yes....lots going on, and not a lot but a ton (in looking at the length of this post!) to say about it all at the same time.  A good friend told me that God told her I needed to rest.

I like that, and am taking that to heart.  Time for me to be still.  Be quiet.  Enjoy all the mundane and crazy and take time to rest and recharge.

Thanks for all the messages!  Hanging in and doing ok. xoxoxoxoxoxo