Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A note to you.

A special note to IF friends and sisters, and others who are/have been waiting with me:

Hi there. Your support and encouragement has been invaluable to me.

SO. Now I have become one of "those" women, who tried almost everything, was on a break, applied for adoption, and got pregnant out of the blue. I am praying my story does not haunt and irritate other waiting-women for years to come- but I have no control over it (I'm sorry... sigh!).

At the same time, I know this story is a miracle. I have not tracked an ovulation for the three years we've been trying, besides when on fertility drugs. I mean, I have joked about an immaculate conception, but I feel like this comes pretty close and I'm so thankful for this. I'm also so aware that the fact that we've made it to 13 weeks and 2 days of pregnancy with no complications is another miracle, after the ones we've lost early.

I don't know why God has decided to show us such grace at this time, yes we have been praying and others too, but so have you for your child, so why me and not you, and why now and not before or later, who knows?

We don't take this for granted and we are trying our best to celebrate each day of it, while praying we can carry this one to term.

When I wrote 'unexpected journey' in the little blurb under my blog title I didn't really think of this extent of the unexpected! Gosh. Yet at the same time we've been praying for it so what else was I thinking? I'm also still keen to continue this blog so we'll see what happens.

I just wanted to acknowledge you and let you know that your support and prayers are what have sustained us and continue to be needed. I also want to keep caring for you so please let me know how best I can.

Love s

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Day

Merry Christmas everyone!

(nativity set from my in-laws. first christmas that i get to display them! fun times.)

How are you doing?

I know today is a day of celebrating and enjoying time with friends and family. For us we pretty much received our gift and Christmas miracle early- our pregnancy. (um... Read previous post if you missed that.) Who knew? I still can't help but say it all seems so crazy. However I have also been thinking of those in the midst of a heart-breaking time.

I have two special friends who have gone through miscarriages this week. Each of them are very dear to me and it is heart-breaking to know they are grieving for their little child, especially right in this season of what should be joy and hope. Even though I can relate, I want so much to comfort them but words still escape me.

I also acknowledge a friend who misses her mother who has passed, and another friend who is going through a marriage separation.

These are all paths they also never imagined they'd be on. At times like Christmas, as much as it is a wonderful time, I'm sure you IF-ers know too, the realities of life can be so hard to avoid- yet another Christmas tree with no presents under it to buy for the child you imagine you'd have by now.

'I'm praying for you' is what I say, but it can seem so empty or overused when the depth of the pain appears so bottomless...

Oh Lord I continue to be thankful and overwhelmed by the infinite nature of your grace and mercy. The birth of Christ signifies the hope and life you bring. Yet I'm sure You also knew the double-edged-ness on the day of His birth, as it would mean His death and sacrifice for all of ours. (I think there is a song about this or maybe many songs but I can't remember it right now.)

You probably also had great joy and great sorrow as Jesus was welcomed to this broken world- knowing what was to come. I pray for comfort for these dear friends Lord. It can only come from You. All the words and gifts we may bring are useless and ultimately empty without You involved.

There are also so many questions we bring Lord. Could you have made it less painful? Better timing? Saved it for when we were prepared? How long more?

Anyway. We bring you these messed-up things and we know there is no other way but to let you handle them.

I know. Sorta heavy. But that's just what's on my mind. Hmmm...

It is actually already the end of Christmas day here. I had a lovely day (pancakes, presents, Skype, family, friends, etc. ) with special family here and I hope the same has been/will be for you too.

(this is what my living room is looking like...)


Friday, December 24, 2010

Spilling the Beans

** caution: pregnancy-type stuff in here**

(this was my christmas craft this year... started as just a wreath using stuff i had... became a candy cane wreath!)

It is Christmas Eve here. I don't know if this is the best time for where you are at to tell you my news, because I know how it feels to be on the receiving end of these... but I need to let you know. I've been um-ing and ah-ing for the last six weeks wanting to tell you guys this but for different reasons I had to wait.

Guys, I'm pregnant.

Joke? No. Not kidding.

Did I just use the dreaded p-word? Yes.

Ridiculous? Yes.

Madly ridiculous? Amen.

Surprise? Big time.

Miracle? OH BOY YES on multiple levels. You may know we were in a local adoption process where we were going to be 'approved' of as adoptive parents, right about now (so they will make us put that on hold)... We conceived without help! (For three years I've never ovulated on my own and suddenly here we are...) We also have made it past 12 weeks which is in another realm of miracles.

Confused? Totally. I have felt very much like Zechariah and Elizabeth in Luke 1 in the Bible- speechless and shown great mercy.

Celebrating? Yes.

Thankful? Yes.

Cautious about how I feel? Sadly, because of our history still yes, but trying to enjoy it too.

I have SO MANY SO MANY thoughts, so many posts I've imagined in my head and things I want to say but I'm going to keep this post short because I have a knack for making things complicated and this needs to be simple for now haha.

I'm also thinking of you as it is Christmas and this is a bittersweet time for many.

I love this song Christmas Offering by Casting Crowns, let's see if I know how to embed a video in a post... hmmm...

Talk more soon guys... Have a wonderful Christmas Eve/eve-of-the-eve.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Five In One

Okay so the problem with not keeping up with blogging is that there starts to be so many things to say! Today I'm going to list- just to 5.

(this star has 5-points too. i know. deep.)

Stick with me people, there's some exciting stuff to be shared! Warning: lots of links so be prepared to right-click and 'open in new tab' (hopefully haha), lots of things relating to Christmas. (If you don't have the stamina for this list today, at least read point 1!)

1. CELEBRATION TIME! Grace and her husband at Chois-R-Us who are adopting have finally finally gotten their call to go to Korea.

She has been waiting for her son to come home for so long. Many of us have been waiting with her. She is a fabulous blogger and never fails to make me laugh. I'm just so stoked for her and her husband that their journey to bringing their dear boy home is at a final stage. Praying that things continue smoothly from here on and there are no hiccups. Woopwoop!

2. SHOPPING IDEA. Online shopping can be so good. Through Grace, I found this blog by Kelly- Life with Briar. They have also adopted and this blog is about life with their daughter. What's also fun is that Kelly makes crochet hats, clips and other fun accessories! Her Etsy shop is called BriarClaire (and I've already bought a couple things for my nieces overseas hehe).

3. CHRISTMAS. Christmas trees are going up all around us! Have you done yours? For the first few years of marriage, the husband and I delayed getting a Christmas tree because we (like many other couples) thought to wait until we had kids.

About a year into our infertility journey, we realised we could be waiting for a long time... so we decided to 'stuff it' and get a tree. I love that we made that decision to start enjoying what Christmas is about (like not simply about children) and creating our own traditions with or without kids. It was actually also good for us because it reminded us that we are a whole and complete family unit even as two.

4. IF AND CHRISTMAS. For those dealing with infertility or loss, Christmas is a hard time because there are so many reminders of things we are waiting for or miss. What are some aspects you struggle with? How are you coping? What are some ways you've found that help?

I don't have any great thoughts right at this moment but I'd love to come up with a 'guide' so if you have any ideas let me know.

Here are a few links that have caught my attention:
  • Stirrup Queens wrote a post a week ago, 'Fire and Ice', thinking through whether to go to possibly-difficult baby-related events or not... not totally related to Christmas but sorta is... and is interesting.
  • My recent favourite The Nester writes this post about doing less and enjoying more this season- not related to infertility or baby loss but something to think about for those like me who can tend to make life more complicated than necessary sometimes! 
  • (She also has awesome ideas for wreaths and other 'crafts' if you like that sorta stuff. See the bottom of this post.)
  • Beckie's Infertility Diaries posts about how it is so easy to think other people have had an easier time when maybe they didn't. TOTALLY.  Overly beautiful pregnant women, sweet happy families with tons of kids, perky parents of newborns, um... yup I'm horrible I know I know. But how many times have I walked past with so much seething envy? ALL based on assumptions that it was a smooth ride for them, when I have no idea. This, unlike me sigh, is a sweet post. 

5. BODY STUFF. On quite a different note, after a Christmas meal or not, I often struggle with dealing with how I look, and weight issues, my imperfections in general etc.

I waste a lot of precious energy concerned about this stuff and am continually having to go to God about this. I've come a long way but this has been a life-long thing for me- and probably will be.

This post, 'The Scale', at (in)courage is a good reminder, as when we let our minds get too preoccupied with 'fat or not fat', 'heavy or too heavy', 'eat this or not', not just are we doing damage to ourselves but also to others who see us as an example- daughters, friends, those we mentor, other women around us etc. 

This topic really gets me going so I can go on about it for a while, haha, but I will leave it for another day! 

So that's me for now. Hopefully not too long until the next post.