Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Move It, Move It

20 Weeks Y'all!

We're a movin' and a groovin' over here. Baby is moving a lot and I. Am. Loving it! Feeling my little baby's powerful kicks and even SEEING my abdomen bounce with it is so completely reassuring. My midwife appointment this morning went great. Baby's heartbeat is 160, mama's feeling good, and we decided to go ahead and schedule a mid-pregnancy ultrasound. 

Next thing to tackle: childcare. I'll be returning to work after baby arrives, so we're on the hunt for a truly great babysitter/daycare provider. I'm hoping it won't be a huge problem that I'm planning to cloth diaper my little one. So...any suggestions Huntington, IN folk???

Also...pediatrician?! Yikes.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

We're Halfway There

Whooooa livin' on a prayer! Get it? Ok.

Yesterday, while leaving work, I unexpectedly found myself in tears behind the wheel. While being tired and hormonal had a hand in it all, the main culprit was gladness. 

Tomorrow, I will be 20 weeks pregnant; halfway through pregnancy. I thought of this as I was leaving work and it was as if every thought and emotion I had felt (or suppressed) throughout this pregnancy came at me full force. I feel so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so blessed right now. This pregnancy, this baby, is such a gift. I had prayed, begged, cried to grow our family and the Lord granted us this wish. It's just amazing that my God feels I'm qualified to bring a little someone into His world. 

Next, I'm disappointed. Because of the previous sadness I've had with pregnancy, and the little scares I've had even with this little one, I've found it incredibly difficult to enjoy this pregnancy. I want nothing more than to fully embrace this special time, but I simply can't seem to work past the innate uncertainty I'm holding onto. 

I'm also terrified. I'm not terrified of the "normal" things, though. I'm not afraid of parenthood, and I'm actually really looking forward to labor (I'm sure there will be plenty of you who will make sure these words come back to haunt me). I'm terrified of the here and now. Pregnancy is frightening the shit out of me. I'm even more afraid now that I've finished with my progesterone injections. While my legs were achy bricks from those shots, they served as a bit of a lifeline; a way to feel like I was preventing bad things from happening. 

As each week passes, though, I'm so very grateful. I'm grateful for health, I'm grateful for my husband who is present and can go to appointments with me, and I'm grateful for my mom who really wants to buy me maternity clothes. Beautiful people. Beautiful life.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Hello Again

Hello again! A few people have asked to see little baby's growing size, so here you are! Over the past two weeks or so I really feel like I'm starting to look pregnant. However, I mainly think I just look...big. My midwife informed me that I have a long torso (I've never considered this to be true before. Maybe?) so maybe that has something to do with why I don't think my body has that typical pregnant shape. Who knows. It could also be that I haven't even reached halfway in the pregnancy yet. 

Other than growing a little human, waiting to hear about a new job prospect, purchasing our dream stroller set (it should be here soon!), and living with my parents, we have additional big news. We bought a house! Now, we're still in the closing process and waiting to get the official thumbs up from the bank regarding our loan, but our offer was accepted, the inspection is completed, and the seller has agreed to fix EVERYTHING we asked of them! If all goes smoothly, we should close December 21st. While there are several cosmetic changes we plan to make at some time or another, I am in love with this house. It's an old brick home built in 1900. I love it. I keep envisioning myself with my growing family living in this house over the years and it brings such a smile to my face.

Lately, Phillip and I have been researching furniture, countertops, flooring, decor, etc. I'm crazy excited about a little project that Phill has taken up. I mentioned the idea of building our own dining room table out of reclaimed wood and he really loved the idea! We were able to purchase wood from a local man who is going piece by piece through an old falling down barn. I think it's just so neat to 1) Support someone local through this little project, 2) Have something substantial that we (Phill) made, & 3) Have a piece of furniture with a known history. I really think it'll turn out beautifully!

Have a great first full week of December!

Sunday, November 11, 2012


It feels like a lot of change has taken place in this little life of mine lately. I moved out of my grandpa's house into my parent's house while we're still house searching. It sounds pretty awful thinking "I live with my parents", but it doesn't really feel that awful at all. I'm sure Phillip will have a slightly different feeling about it, though. :-) 

I've still been a bit on edge with little Baby O, too. My midwife informed me last week that while all the rest of my initial lab work results were normal, my progesterone is low. I was given the choice to do nothing (as many practitioners do) or supplement the progesterone. Phill and I agreed that if there is an option of something we can do to correct this potential problem, we should do it. So, starting last Monday I'm now doing twice a week intramuscular (IM) injections at home. I'm glad I'm a nurse because, no offense, but I don't think the average person could handle the drawing up of the medication, switching needles, maintaining a clean technique, and actually administering the medication. It's not for the faint of heart. The worst part, though, is my incredibly sore thigh the next day (and the day after...)! If you see me out and about walking funny, it's likely because I'm one sore lady. It's all worth it, though, if it means we'll have a healthy newborn in the end.

It's hard to remain optimistic and think of an actual newborn being the end result of all this. I feel like it's been a lot of walking on eggshells, not knowing whether all is well. When I noticed the spotting, it scared me, but I didn't get too worked up because I knew it could very well be nothing. While the same could be possible with my low progesterone, it was a much harder blow because this was concrete evidence that something was not up to par. I told my mom and Phill that I was still hesitant to buy baby things while there still seems to be some uncertainty. I'm presently 15.5 weeks along, but I don't feel as confident in my pregnancy as I would have expected at this point.

The silver lining to this all is that my long lost husband is returning TOMORROW. I've been excited all day thinking about it, but just now typing it out I got a little emotional. He's been gone for 6 WEEKS YOU GUYS! I'm not even sure what more to say other than I am so incredibly thankful to have him in my life and I'm so thankful he's returning to me tomorrow!

This is rather embarrassing, but I guess I forgot to mention that I had a birthday last Monday. Day one of the injections marked the 26th year of this old bird's life. I know 26 is certainly not old, but there's some chunk of my brain that screams "HOLY BEJESUS YOU IS OLD!". Meh. I'll get used to it, I'm sure.

Here's wishing you all a healthy and happy week before Thanksgiving!

**My apologies for the boring non-photo post. Apparently my computer is so low on memory and storage space that I can't even upload one photo. Either that (which is still totally true) or my iPhoto is screwy. Sorry!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sugar, Sugar

Circa 2006

This has always been a favorite picture of the two of us. This is likely due to the legit smile from my now-husband. He's a reserved kind of guy. Strong emotions and Phill do not always go hand-in-hand. He's special. He's perfect for me. I miss him so badly and I cannot wait for him to return to me on November 12th!

I'm pretty sure I just entered the I-bought-Halloween-candy-just-for-me-and-now-I'm-feeling-the-effects sugar crash. Sorry baby. That was a bad idea.

Speaking of baby: This little one has given daddio and myself quite a scare. Saturday and then again this morning I had some bleeding/spotting that quickly lightened up. I never had any cramping and it cleared up pretty quickly, but when you see something like BLOOD after using the restroom whilst carrying precious cargo...you kiiiiiiinda freak out a lot a little. After it stopped Saturday, and after doing some online research, I came to the conclusion that all was well, but if it happened again I would do something. Then came today with a repeat of Saturday's events. I called my midwife and discussed some things. Ultimately, I was able to swing by her office after work and have a little listen to Baby O. on the doppler. Welp, this little one seems to be doing just fine. Healthy heartbeat, baby moving around, appropriate uterus size...I'm feeling much better knowing that baby is alive and kicking (literally!).

I say this to ask you all to continue to pray for Phillip, myself, and little baby (who, by the way, is the size of a lemon!). Phillip has been living vicariously through me with all this baby business, home searching business, and general OUR LIFE business. It'll feel so nice to be together again and to feel like we can function more smoothly together.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Special Thanks + Crazy Pregnant Lady

I love the number of dance parties that occur with this community of friends. Birthdays + wine (not me) + Gangnam style = best night ever

The best smile I could muster after a bit of a crazy day. More on that later.

Isn't Baby Oprie kinda cute already? This was for Phill since he's gone on tour.
Most importantly, I need to say THANK YOU. Thank you all for your congratulations, your continued prayers, your hugs, and your "pregnant!" chants (you know who you are). It's a little strange having this little secret of ours out in the open now, but it's a breath of fresh air, as well. One place I had not spilled the beans was at work. I was planning on waiting it out another week or so (particularly because {surprise!} I had a job interview today in the Family Birthing Center at MGH and don't know what will become of that), but......then today happened.

I hadn't even been at work for an hour this morning when I had a hunger pang. I had already eaten breakfast before work so I decided to wait it out for a bit since it was still so early. I was standing at the nurse desk sorting paperwork when I started seeing a little bit of darkness. It was getting fuzzy and dark and I knew it was going to be bad. "Can someone get me a chair?", I asked slowly. Right away, I couldn't see anything but blackness and my coworkers and supervisor were helping me to sit in a chair. Thankfully, I was able to sit before fully fainting. Once I sat and started to recover, everyone was remarking that I was looking pale and I felt beads of sweat on my face. Then, I started feeling quite ridiculous once they helped me over to a bed, took my blood sugar and blood pressure, and everything was appearing to be fine. Since I told them I was hungry they assumed this all happened due to low blood sugar. They were baffled, too, when I told them it had never happened before. When I over heard my supervisor guessing whether I had ever had seizures, I figured it was time to come clean. I said that even though this had never happened before, I was pretty sure I knew why it happened. They all had questioning looks on their faces, which quickly turned to surprise and total understanding once I explained I was nearly 12 weeks pregnant. I felt fine (albeit ceaselessly hungry) the rest of the day.

I drove straight to Marion after work for my interview. It went alright and now I just have to wait a bit for a call to set up a peer interview. My day was additionally screwy, though, once I got back into town and nearly had a really bad accident because I was being stupid. I ran a red light. Accidental, but blatant. When I was approaching the light I saw the car ahead of me turn right, but I didn't pay attention to the fact that he had stopped first. So, without paying near enough attention I proceeded into the intersection only to panic when I saw a red light above me. I put on the brakes right as an oncoming car braked rapidly as they were heading right for me. We did make contact, but it was light and very minimal damage was suffered. The other driver said not to even worry about anything so we both simply went our separate ways, but I surely felt a bit shaken up and embarrassed.

Whew! I'm pretty exhausted now, but I have my sweats on, a full meal in my belly, my puppy beside me, and I'm about to indulge in some delicious peppermint ice cream. I think I'm survive just fine.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Come What MAY

Most days, now, I go about my daily life thinking of baby and work and homes and friends and whathaveyou. But at least once a day, I am astounded. At least once a day I pray to God, "Thank you so much for this little baby. Please let this baby grow healthy and strong. Please keep special watch over this baby, Lord."

While these are words I'm sure many people state in prayers while pregnant, I find that pregnancy after miscarriage is a funny (but not so funny) thing. Each day I wonder. As I type this I am 9 weeks 2 days pregnant and I am looking forward to that 12 week ultrasound with a fiery passion (technically only a 11w1d ultrasound). I yearn for the next few weeks to fly right by. Since you are reading this, apparently the ultrasound went well (Praise God!). Our first ultrasound of this pregnancy was amazing. As many of you know, my first ever ultrasound in May was the worst day of my life. Therefore, this time around I was as nervous as nervous gets. The difference was this special baby had a rapid, splendid heartbeat. Remembering that heartbeat flickering on the screen brings a smile to my face.

While I can't help but be a ball of nerves at times, I also have great hope. This baby is thriving inside my belly due to love and prayer. There were no hormones, medications, or ovulation tests. I'm finding it hard to describe just how blessed I feel knowing God has given us hope. Much can go wrong with pregnancy and childbirth, but for now, I'm focusing on the good. A new life has been created! This baby is wanted so badly I almost wish the next 30 or so weeks would hurry up and be over so I can meet our little one. Our prayers have been answered and I'll continue to pray to see that this little baby continues to grow into a healthy and strong child.

**Special side note: A big THANK YOU is owed to all of you who have kept Phillip and I in your prayers throughout the past several months. So many people came out of the woodwork offering up prayers and support. It has truly blown me away and left me feeling beyond blessed. We've experienced so much up and down and I firmly believe that the thoughts and prayers of all of you have kept us strong and afloat. Thank you. Bless you.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

So Much!

Missing this boy

You guys. Many of you are local so you get to keep up with the day to day life of the Oprie duo, but if you haven't been in the loop, I apologize (why do I always try to spell it appologize?!).

I'm not even sure where to begin really! How's this: I have a job! I'm a week and a half in and it's going great so far! I'm working in the endoscopy department at Lutheran Hospital in Ft. Wayne. It's way less stressful than working the floor. This...is an excellent thing.

Next news: Phillip is on the road! He's on tour with Gungor doing lights and various stage/tech work. He left Sunday September 30th and he'll be gone a total of 6 weeks. So, we're a week a half down. He's having a great time and he's gaining invaluable experience so I am MORE than okay to be missing him for the next few weeks.

Next up: We are house hunting and I don't like it. There was a house we were liking, but when I called the realtor he informed me that an accepted offer had already been put on the house. Loads of poop everywhere. Oh well. We'll keep looking. And by 'we' I mean me since Phill is gone.

Finally: Leaves are on the ground, chill is in the air, the heater is on, everyone has their Northface on, and I am starting to regret packing our coats in the storage unit. Fall is my friend.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Apples and Autumn

On Saturday, Phill and I went with my mom and dad up to the Johnny Appleseed Festival in Ft. Wayne. I was super excited because I love festivals yet I had somehow managed to never go to the JAF (as it shall hence be known) before! My dad was SUPER excited, however, because his bagpipe gang was playing. I love that my dad has this hobby. Also, did you see that dagger in the sock?! These guys (and gals) are pretty rad. I had apple cider and an apple dumpling with cinnamon ice cream so I was happy. Phill had homemade root beer. We all enjoyed the beautiful transition weather.

Autumn is so beautiful, right?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Run Like the Wind

Ok, so I'm definitely not running like the wind, but I'm sure as hell running! I've been exercising regularly since we moved to Arizona, but most of that activity was on the eliptical in the gym of our apartment complex. When we moved back, I had no eliptical. Therefore, I took to the streets. I was running about 3-3.5 miles regularly, once a week running with an awesome running group from the 509. It was suggested that maybe some of us from the 509 running club could run a half-marathon in the near future. While I am was intimidated out of my mind, apparently I've committed to this thing. While it's not set in stone, it looks like this may all be going down around Halloween. This actually means I can cool my jets a bit! I'm so, so, so, so impressed with this body of mine. Whenever I heard of someone running long distances like that, it literally seemed impossible. Crazy hooligans.

But here I am. This body that God has provided me is capable of some pretty incredible things. I set out on my long run of the week last night and decided to push myself further than before and go ahead and run a full 10 miles. 10 miles. It's one of those things where I was already planning on 9, and I felt pretty great, so I decided to add a bit more to increase my mileage. WHO AM I?!

My self-confidence is boosted. I mean, those endorphin things are real. If anyone wants to go for a run, I'm game. Just know that I'm not speedy. I just go.

**Side note: It's been a week and the blisters are healing up nicely!

Friday, August 24, 2012


Some lively iPhone photos with my family from my amazing mama's 5 year work anniversary party. Congratulations Coach House Day Spa staff!

Life has been a little quirky lately. The big answer: we're both still job searching. We spent last week with my dear Tash and her new HUSBAND Jon (is this real life?!) in Nashville. I'd never been, so it was pretty exciting to be introduced to a new city. We've considered Nashville as a possible/potential/not-sure-if-I-can-really-handle-it place to live. Phill would likely have more opportunities in the tech/media/production job industry, we'd have some established friends in the area already, and we're only 6 hours from family. My first choice is to stay in the Huntington/Ft. Wayne area, but I know I shouldn't shelter our possibilities like that. 

So guess what? I actually have a job interview next Wednesday at Centennial Medical Center in Nashville! At this point I'm more nervous and confused than excited. It's exciting to have someone finally seek me out, but I'm just not completely sold yet. I was told that Centennial (like so many other butthead facilities) require 1 year of OB experience in order to work in their OB department, so I can't be considered for any of those positions. GIVE ME THE EXPERIENCE! Anyway, I'm interviewing for a post-op women's floor but over the phone I was told they also do post-op eye and bariatric. I don't know about all that, but I'll have the opportunity to answer all my questions at the interview. I feel that if they offer me a position I'm really in no present situation to turn it down. We wouldn't even have to move all our stuff down if we're concerned we won't love it. If we would take the risk and not love it, who says we have to stay, yaknowwhatimean?

Beside all of that craziness, Phillip and I are both really looking forward to spending Labor Day weekend with my big ol' Carmien side of the family at the family cottage in Bay View. Everyone in the above photos plus SO MANY more will be there. For the first time in a long time everyone will be there! It'll be crowded and amazing. The cottage is for sleeping, garage sales, games, food, Kilwin's, & bike rides. We'll be in the car a lot next week, but it'll be worth it.

Friday, August 10, 2012


We celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary yesterday.

It didn't start so great with a literal wake up call from the hospital stating I was not selected for the job I had been interviewing for. While it really, really stinks, I kinda already knew in my gut.

It went up from there, though, with a trip to the IMA, dinner at 3 Sisters, a little stop at REI, ice cream sundaes at Ivanhoe's, and a storm to close out the night.

I love him so much. He's always been there for me and I know, with absolute certainty, that he'll continue to be here forever. He even told me last night. :-)

Saturday, August 4, 2012



Life has been more of the same lately. Phillip and I have done a lot of Olympics watching. On the job front...ugh. Phillip doesn't have much to share. I have been growing ever impatient with Parkview since they STILL have not contacted me to tell me yea or nay on the job I interviewed for. I called the Birthing Center supervisor the week after my peer interview, but had to leave a voicemail and did not receive a call back. So I waited more. Then, on Thursday, I called HR. I spoke to a very nice man who said he knew there had been job availabilities so he asked for my phone number, said he would talk to the supervisor, and then get back with me. Today is Saturday. He hasn't gotten back with me. So? I guess I'm going to call again on Monday. I mean, come on guys! I want to work for you so badly! Don't you think you should hire me for my passion alone?!

Aside from those frustrations, we've been enjoying more community time, family, friendships. Oh and MY DEAREST FRIEND GOT MARRIED LAST WEEK! Pictures are all over Facebook and my Instagram so you can check those out.

Well wishes are appreciated! Have a happy weekend!

**As you can see, I not only changed this little blog's layout and design, but I changed the title, too. I actually kinda hated the old one. Long, unoriginal, dumb. For ease of transition, though, I did keep the same URL. Whatevs. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Dollar by Dollar

I don't know Katie.

I do know, however, that I feel strangely drawn to help a sister out. You can (and please do!) read all about her situation HERE, but essentially she has no funds to finish her final year of college. She has started an ingenious mission to try and raise the tuition cost not covered by grants and scholarships. From all I've read and heard from my friends who know Katie well, this girl is awesome.

Therefore, I'm asking each and every one of you reading this to give as little as just $1. We can all spare a few bucks.

Friday, July 13, 2012


Life has been interesting as of late. So much good with a touch of anxiety. The main thing that has been blessing me has been the abundance of family and community. This is exactly what I was anticipating when we moved back. Not only have I been spending some much needed time with my favorite friends from forever and ever, but Phillip and I have been connecting with, and growing deeper in our relationships with, some others in the 509 community while also meeting so many new people.

Lake lounging, adapting to townie life, laughter, worship, fireworks, a good friend's wedding, diners, Cedar Point, drinks, running, prepping for my best friend's wedding (!!!), biking all over town, evening hikes with new friends, and, of course, ice cream.

The anxiety? Being jobless for an indefinite amount of time. I've interviewed for my dream job in Labor and Delivery at the new Parkview Regional Medical Center and I have a follow-up peer interview on Monday. So, prayers por favor!  For now, I'm sticking to accomplishing my matron of honor duties, embracing my free time, and not worrying about what I can't control.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

So Many Things

Typically, I'm searching for interesting things from my life to share on this blog. This time, though, I'm trying to figure how I can fit it all in without overloading you readers. We've been busy (hence the lack of posting)!

First, we started to wrap up our jobs in Arizona. I said goodbye to my job and we started on an adventure for Phill's last hurrah with his job: Houseboat Camp!

While exhausting and sometimes frustrating, I had a blast. I'd rather not speak for Phill ;-). He was one busy man RUNNING WORSHIP SERVICES ON THE LAKE. We're talking sounds lights, cords, full band...all of it. He's amazing. I was cook for our boat (of course we had the most people on our boat) and I led a small group for my boat's girls and one of five breakout groups all students could choose to attend where we talked about self-image. I miss those crazy kids! You should see the sweet stack of encouraging, sweet notes Phillip and I each received. They're awesome kids.

The week after camp was filled with packing and parties. I also went to work to help teach some classes. Any last minute pay, you know?!

Then, after many tears, we left. Lots of hugs (Phill even received a couple awkward kisses) and kind words were given and received. We left Sunday evening and stayed the night in Utah. We dropped Margot off at a pet resort and spent all day Monday hiking at Utah's The Narrows at Zion National Park. It was fabulous. I'll have to post some picture later. Its SUCH beauty.

After we camped at the park that night, we picked Margot up the next morning and started the long haul drive back home! We arrived Thursday just in time for lunch with my momma :D

Since being back, we've kept pretty busy, too! We had Huntington Heritage Days festivities, an Indiana welcome home party, a cookout, I went to the lake with girlfriends, Phill went to the ER after stabbing his hand, I deep cleaned the house, went to some friends' show, celebrated Phillip's 26th (!!!) birthday, celebrated with our Ohio family, and now we're planning to spend more family time on the lake! Last, but CERTAINLY not least, Phillip and I are going to Cedar Point tomorrow!!! I have been looking forward to this for years, you guys. I love CP. I hope the weather cooperates! Please oh please!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Alyssa's Summer Desires

1. Be the best matron of honor that ever existed in the history of ever for Tash's wedding in July

2. Sit around the fire pit at mom and dad's

3. Get pregnant (please and thank you, Jesus!)

4. Go to Red Eye and Steak & Shake just like the good ol' days

5. Dbo's wedding!

6. Complete (or at least make a significant dent) in the reading list I've started

7. Relearn humidity and cloudy

8. Remain calm with all the uncertainties of life

9. Ride bikes with friends

10. Hug everyone so hard

...to be continued...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Life, Resumed

I'm doing well. I'm doing well in an I-Really-Am-Doing-Well-I'm-Not-Just-Pretending sort of way. When I went to work last Wednesday, I certainly had a different attitude than Monday. Nervous, yes, but I kinda knew it would be okay. And it was. And Thursday was okay, too. Just like us. We're doing okay. I told Phill the other day that sometimes I'm almost worried I'm too okay. Honestly, though, I think part of it is that I'm a bit obsessed with moving forward. My follow-up appointment with my OB/GYN is Thursday and I'm hoping after that I'll learn that my body is perfect! I'm ready to bring on the babies! And then, in LITERALLY NO TIME AT ALL I'll be pregnant again!

If you couldn't tell by the end of that last paragraph, I'm a bit nervous that it'll take me forever to get pregnant. As I mentioned before, my body was never "normal" after being off birth control. My doctor told me that after being pregnant the body generally "resets" itself, but what if it doesn't? I'm actually pretty sure I'll be looking at hormone therapies again and I hate that because it makes each opportunity to try for a baby take so long.

Anyway, we're okay. I just had to rant there a bit.

Lately, it's all talk of the big move. We announced we were leaving to all the kids at church on Sunday. Phill is planning our trip home itinerary. I'm dreaming Midwest dreams.

Midwest storms

Classy Huntington joints (and my awesome momma)
Getting to spend legitimate time here!

THESE PEOPLE and so, so many more

Monday, May 7, 2012



Thank You. Thank you all so very much for your concern, for your sweet words, and for your greatly appreciated prayers.

Phillip and I were able to make it through the weekend alright. Phillip was busy catching up on work Saturday and I kept myself occupied with various odds and ends including cleaning this apartment harder than it has every been cleaned in the whole past year. Sunday, Phillip was busy with his usual Sunday things. I came to the church for a youth ministry leadership meeting. I didn't love it. I kept close to Phill the whole time and I didn't talk much.

I think, subconsciously, I just didn't don't know what to do with myself. Normally, when I'm not at work I browse online, get to the gym, shower and get ready for the day, and then head to the grocery store or do some other errand. Now, once I've reached the end of the Internet, I have to search out things since my daily workout is on hold. So, after the meeting yesterday I decided maybe I could put some of my gift cards to use. I went to Target first, found nothing I really wanted to have, and then headed to the mall.

**I feel I should also note that I'm not loving my body at this moment. I haven't been super happy since I've gained weight over the past several months, but it's hit a peak now where I realize many of my clothes don't fit quite right and all I want to wear are things that are huge. I'm coping,  I suppose.**

While at the mall, Forever XXI to be exact, everything started out fine, but once I had searched through everything I wanted to see I was SO READY to be home. Being around all those people started creating an anxiety in me. Obviously, no one in Forever XXI knows what I'm dealing with, but I feel so out of place, empty, and uncomfortable, that I was really looking forward to getting the heck out of there. That scenario made me really nervous looking forward to today. Monday = Back to work. The anxiety I felt at the mall remained as I thought ahead to my work day in the morning. More people. These people I know. I have to care for other people. I have to try to be happy???

I was pretty nervous on my way into work this morning. I was definitely feeling the anxiety bubbling up, causing the tears to swell on my drive in. I knew I needed to work. I had to try to make it work. Shortly after getting report in the morning I went to the bathroom and called Phillip. Crying, I explained I don't know how I'm going to make it. After some sweet words and deep breaths, I said goodbye and faced it all again. I decided to ask the charge nurse if there was anyone available who could come in to work and, luckily, there was. It became evident that I was going to have one hell of a day if I kept running into the bathroom to bawl my eyes out. I am so grateful to Dolores for coming in, and for Stephanie for calling her. I told Steph what had happened and she immediately gave me a huge hug and, with tears in her eyes, told me to let her know if I needed anything. Thank you.

So, I'm home now. First day back into normalcy was not a success. Today is definitely the most I've cried since this all began. I have the rest of today and tomorrow to find a peace within. That is, a peace well enough to allow me to work. I think I can do it. I know I have to do it. So many women face this same exact issue every day without an accommodating job. I need to take this time to relax, cry, and find some relief.

Friday, May 4, 2012

When the Sacred is Torn From Your Life

Like most everyone, I have experienced immense joy and great pain in my life. However, the height of these emotions have both been felt within the past month.

For the past year, Phillip and I have been secretly trying to have a child. My poor body was confused after stopping birth control pills, so I had to see an OB/GYN last Autumn. After my visit, seemingly never ending rounds of hormonal therapies, phone calls, and fertility drugs followed all without pregnancy. I typed out my heartache, frustrations, and confusions, but, obviously, never shared any of these posts. I hated that I was having to take all these drugs in order to have a baby. I never wanted any of this. I vow (SERIOUSLY) to never take hormonal birth control pills again.

I was nervous in March of this year, as I was starting my 3rd round of the fertility medication, Clomid. You see, most often, after 3 unsuccessful rounds of Clomid, your doctor may want to consider other options. I wasn't sure exactly what those "other options" may be, but I wasn't sure I wanted to pursue anything more costly, or invasive, when I didn't even really know anything was technically wrong with me. I simply could not have a cycle without these treatments, at this time. Thus, I was nervous that this 3rd, and possibly final, round of Clomid, a medication I already knew, would be, yet again, unsuccessful.

On the morning of April 11th, I decided I might as well take a pregnancy test since it had been 2 weeks since I ovulated (I apologize if this is TMI). After 3 minutes, I took a look at that little test and took a huge gasp. I've never seen a positive test before! I ran to Phillip, showed him the test and took another 2 hours later. Another positive! Yes. Yes, indeed, this is actually happening! The next day I called the doctor's office to schedule my first appointment and ultrasound: May 3rd.

I was ecstatic, yet cautious, by our news. Phillip was stunned. Our parents were overjoyed. I loved reading up on anything and everything I could find and it was fascinating keeping track of baby. It brought such joy planning ahead for our move back to the Midwest knowing I would have my friends and family near to join in this celebration of our first pregnancy. We were anticipating a December baby! With an approximate due date of December 18, we could even be looking at a Christmas baby! Leading up to yesterday (our appointment) I was very anxious to see our little baby, but also incredibly nervous. Because I had felt so well during these past few weeks I couldn't help but feel that maybe I was making the whole thing up! Maybe I'm not really pregnant? Some people just pee a lot and get super tired, you know.

Finally, the day arrived. Phillip met me at the doctor's office. First up: the ultrasound! Based on the dates of my last (hormonally induced) period I would be approximately 7 weeks 2 days for the ultrasound. Once we were finally back there, Phillip and I both watched in awe and confusion as the ultrasound commenced. The ultrasound tech didn't talk much and we, obviously, had no idea what we were looking at. Finally, after several minutes of looking around and pressing some buttons, the lady pointed out our baby, but followed up by saying, "but I don't see a heartbeat....Would you like a picture?" Neither of us was really sure what she meant, but, yes, I did want pictures. We took our pictures with us and waited in the room to see the doctor.

Once my doctor came in, we discussed exactly what the ultrasound findings mean.

A heavy blow. The heaviest.

No heartbeat at this stage in the pregnancy means a fetal demise has occurred. Because the baby was the appropriate size, he or she had been healthy and growing like normal until just recently when, for whatever reason, the tiny heart came to a stop. If I wanted to let nature run its course, within the next week or two I would expect cramping and bleeding, possibly a large amount, which could even result in an emergency room visit. I would begin the natural process of a miscarriage. This is the worst word for a pregnant woman to hear. Miscarriage. It brings tears to my eyes just processing it all once again. In order to prevent the rough symptoms that could likely result in a D&C, the doctor recommended we schedule the procedure ahead of time. While it left a pit in my stomach, knowing exactly what a D&C means, Phillip and I agreed this was the best option. I am not a fan of intervention when a natural process is available, but in this circumstance I knew that if I didn't take this step now I would be plagued by the thoughts of "when" and "how" it would all begin. 

After discussing all of this, the doctor left Phillip and I alone. I instantly began sobbing into Phillip's shirt. So much effort! Such happiness we had felt! It's now all replaced by such a terrible ache. My poor baby! My precious first baby, still inside my abdomen, has died. This can't be happening. This isn't real.

We were sent to the perinatologist to get a confirmation ultrasound in order to verify the findings of the initial ultrasound. Unfortunately, the results were the same. No heartbeat was able to be detected. Therefore, the D&C was scheduled for today, May 4th, at 2PM.

After my initial sobs at the office and intermittent tears over the next hour or two, my tears were dried and I was left feeling numb. We shared the news to those who knew of the pregnancy. I tried to sleep at night, with limited success. I spent my morning in bed, reading similar stories online and listening to "Held" by Natalie Grant. Finally, it was time to head to the surgicenter. I encountered some wonderful nurses in both pre-op and recovery. I made sure to get their names so I could mention them when my follow-up survey arrives. I was still in a state of numb until my emotions came to a peak when I was forced to sign a form determining what was to be done with the remains of the fetus. My poor heart. I could feel my eyes brimming over. Thankfully, Lisa, my nurse, asked me if I needed to use the restroom before getting changed. Once in the bathroom, I began weeping again. Are we sure? I haven't had any cramping! No bleeding! Is there absolutely no chance?!

No. I knew this was the answer, but I couldn't help but think these questions. Why, Lord. Why did this have to happen to our baby?

It didn't take long for the surgery to be under way. Phillip assures me it was short, but it certainly felt longer to me. Nearly immediately when I woke up in recovery to the sight of my doctor and the nurse, I began to cry. "It's all over", they said. "Everything went well."

It's all over. More tears. My wonderful recovery nurse, Lois, was a precious gift. She gave me words of encouragement and shared her own personal story with miscarriage. She told me to cry. She told me to take the weekend off (I was scheduled to work tomorrow. My doctor also gave me a note to be off work until Monday). She reminded me that it does, in fact, get easier.

Thankfully, I feel well physically. I'll experience some bleeding and cramping, but it's all incredibly mild right now. I am thankful, too, that my spirits are relatively high considering the day's events. From moment to moment, the sadness overcomes and I shed a tear or two. I know this will continue, sometimes worse than others, but I know that my God of love is with me and I have my faithful and wonderful family and friends supporting myself and my husband with prayers and well wishes. In sharing all of this, that is all I ask for: prayer. Prayer to grieve, and then find a healthy way to continue with life and look towards the future. The doctor said there is no reason I shouldn't be able to have lots of healthy babies in the future. I look forward to it with a smile. For now, though, I'll remember my first little baby, forever in Heaven with our Maker.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Bloggers for Birth Kits

Today, while trying to catch up on blogs since being gone half the week, I came across this atypical wonderful call for help on Dear Baby. I had NO IDEA how something as natural as childbirth is still such a hardship in our world. Please take a look at the link HERE and read what Melissa has to say and then head over Adriel's website for even more information!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Vegas or Bust

Goodbye, world! Phillip and I are headed to Sin City tomorrow for a few days! Neither of us have ever been so we're both pretty pumped. We have no set plans. Also, we have no money. We'll see what happens!

Friday, April 20, 2012

A Week in Review and a Look to the Future

The past week or so has been great, but tiring! Last weekend alone we had two weddings. At work, I've started precepting a new employee. While it's been a good week at work, there's a little extra added stress teaching someone the ropes. Thank goodness she's so sweet and she picks everything up so well. Wednesday, I tagged along with the staff from New Life to the Diamondback's game to hear the Tremble Clefs {yes, that's really the name} sing the National Anthem. They're a singing group comprised of Parkinson's diagnosed men and women and one of New Life's own, Dave, is a member. I cried.

Also, now we're sweating. Thanks, but no thanks, Arizona heat.

That's my segue into the important stuff. We're leaving the Arizona heat. We don't know exactly when we're leaving, yet, but we're here definitely until a week or so after Houseboat camp {Yep. High school camp is on houseboats!} which is June 4-8. Yesterday, Phill's departure was announced at his staff meeting. Today, I turned in my formal resignation letter. We don't know specifically where we're moving TO, exactly, but we know we are moving closer to our families.

Basically, we could still use a lot of prayers for all the wide open blanks in our plan. Prayers for Phill to find a job, prayers for Alyssa to find a job, prayers for health, prayers for smooth transition with finances and everything else along the way, and prayers for safe travels once the time comes!

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Bachelorette parties are commonly filled with various sorts of debauchery, as seen above. As maid (well, matron) of honor for my lovely Natasha come July, it is my duty to plan said event. Needless to say...it will look nothing like the above picture. I do, however, want this to be a super fun night for the leading lady. I looked up some stuff via the all-mighty Google, but I thought I might as well turn it over to the great, and vast, blogging world to see what YOU guys think are some classy, but still super fun ways to spend a bachelorette party!

So hit with me with your best shot, world.   

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Today, I had the best day. Here are a couple smile-inducing Pinterest images.