Never Enough

Evie had her 2 month well visit yesterday. I was excited to see how much she had grown since she was weighed 2 weeks ago. I swear just the other day I went to get her in the morning and she looked so much bigger. So when, not just the first scale, but the second as well, read the same weight as 2 weeks ago I was concerned.

Everything seemed to be going alright with breastfeeding, but the last week it has just seemed like she wanted to eat all the time. Being our first, we didn’t know if that was “normal” or if maybe she was going through a growth spurt, or what. We added formula in the last few days and it seemed ok.

To be honest, I was more than concerned. I was broken, once again, with feelings of shame & inadequacy. I cried as I hummed to calm her and waited for the doctor. What kind of mom am I if I cannot provide for my child’s most basic need? I failed her. At least those were my thoughts in the moment.

Just a note on the side – I would never think this of another woman. I would never think she was a horrible mom just because she’s unable to breastfeed. There are so many reasons it might not work for someone, and then there are those who have no desire to even try. I would never judge anyone for any of those things. Fed is best. How anyone goes about it is up to them. The pressure I put on myself in this area was put there by just one person, me! Not my husband. Not my family. Not my friends. Just me.

The doctor confirmed what I thought; she wasn’t getting enough to eat. She gave me a variety of solutions and we go back next month for a weight check.

After talking this over with my husband a light was shown on the path. I did fail my daughter (just hear me out). And I will again. Many times over. I cannot fulfill her. Yes, I can nurse her (which I will continue), and yes, I can give her formula (which I will also do), and her belly will be full and she will grow and develop as she should. But there is one thing I cannot give to her, one thing I cannot supply. The most important thing. I cannot save her.

I cannot grant her saving grace, through faith, in the Lord Jesus Christ. Only God can do that. I am grateful for and humbled by this reminder from the Lord. I’m sure He’ll remind me many more times, in many more ways, as we walk this road of parenthood. I cannot be my daughter’s everything. God did not create me for that role, nor did He create her so that I could try. He blessed us with her that we might be His ambassadors to her. So we could love her and raise her and teach her about Him and His great sacrifice & love. And so He could humble us, by reminding us that only He can fulfill the deepest need she will ever have.

Are you trying to be everything to someone but feeling like you don’t measure up? In all honesty, it’s because you don’t. Are you looking to someone or something else to be your everything and feel like you’re still missing out? That’s because you are. God did not make us to be what only He can be to anyone. Nor did He create anyone or anything to fulfill us the way only He can. Any relationship, career, house, experience, wealth, or anything else in this world, will never be enough. Don’t pressure yourself to try and don’t put pressure on anyone else with that expectation. Go to the Lord, knowing it is Him and Him alone who can fulfill you.

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. ~Ephesians 3:20

Love & Blessings,

KJ

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Never the Same

Eight weeks and two days ago my life changed forever.

Gone are the early nights to bed and sleeping past 5am (6am occasionally) in the morning.

Gone is having the day to myself to do what I wanted, when I wanted.

Gone are the days of only being responsible for myself.

Gone are the days of being able to leave the house in less than 10 minutes (not that I was terribly good at that before).

Gone are the moments of quiet, relatively easy to find.

Rare will be spontaneous trips out or traveling with a tiny purse.

Here are the days of a new normal.

Here are the early morning feedings, as well as those in the middle of the night.

Here are the days of caring for someone totally dependent on me.

Here are the days of changing diapers, cleaning spit-up (and things a bit more undesirable).

Here are the days of wondering “What have we done?”.

Here are the days of riddled with self doubt, thoughts of inadequacy, confusion, frustration, and sleep deprivation.

BUT

Gone are the days of longing for this blessing.

Gone are the days, racked with heartbreak for a desire unfulfilled.

Gone is the asking, “How long, O Lord?”.

Here are the days of rocking in my mama’s chair; nursing my little girl as sun beams gradually fill the room.

Here are the days of singing “Jesus Loves Me” time and again, with great hope that the Truth will be made evident in this new life.

Here are the days of seeing my husband learn how to be a daddy (discovering such tricks like humming the Star Wars theme can typically calm her down).

Here are the times of snuggling, the three of us, and the enjoyment of just being together.

Here of the days of seeing the Lord’s faithfulness, yet again, and wondering why it was ever doubted.

Here are the days of thanking the Lord (though not at all nearly enough), for this amazing blessing He’s bestowed upon us.

I always knew that being a mother wasn’t going to be easy, but it’s harder than I ever imagined. Especially when it brings to light all the sin and selfishness that’s tucked away in my heart. We are still figuring this out (and will be for the next 20 or so years, or just forever) and adjusting to our new normal, but are oh so thankful to be blessed with friends & family we can turn to for support, advice, and encouragement, and even more so for a God who is always reminding us just how great His faithfulness is.

Love & Blessings,

KJ

November 14, 2018

I was waiting to post this in order of our story, chronologically, but that has just gone out the window – I suppose I’ll try to catch up one day, but more important things have come along 😊

Today it became real to me. There is a new life growing inside of me. One, Lord willing, I will get to care for, nurture, teach, and love. I’m going to be a mom.

Up until now I don’t think I let myself truly believe it. I feared miscarriage (though that’s still possible). I feared getting attached to something someone that I might never meet this side of heaven. I’ve spent the past year and a half trying not to get my hopes up and I think that mentality stuck around, even after I found out I was pregnant.

Today was out last appointment with the fertility specialist. He’s been keeping a close watch on things and I had my fourth ultrasound today. And today that little tiny life looked much less like a tiny blob and much more like a baby. My baby. Our baby. They put one of the ultrasound photos in a cute frame for us and happily sent us on our way into the hands of a regular OB. Their work was done. I tried to hold it together as I went back into the waiting room where other women sat, where I had so many times before. I would not be coming back.

We got into the parking lot and I lost it. I sobbed into Steve’s shoulder for a good minute or so. I remember him asking if they were happy tears and I nodded. They were really more of amazement and gratitude. “This is really real, isn’t it?” It had finally sunk in.

I’m not at all sure what we’re in for, besides a kid that’s got to be at least a little crazy. I still can’t think much more past today, and that is ok by me.

Love & Blessings,

KJ

Idols Unveiled

We have just about a month (hopefully) before the arrival of our little girl and I’ve been horrible at keeping up with this – I haven’t even gotten to the part when we actually found out we were pregnant 🙂 That will be the next one; I promise (most likely).

One of the most difficult times in all of our fertility treatment was when we went in for a second consult with the doctor to talk about what to do next. It was the week after our third IUI and I was at the point where I didn’t know if I wanted to bother with it anymore. We were veering away from IVF, but still wanted to know what other options we had.

Our doctor was very well spoken and had a great way of explaining things with clarity. He told us more about IVF and the more he said, the more it made sense to me. If they limited the embryos and we used them all, surely there could be no wrong in that. As my mind was being changed I looked at Steve and couldn’t really read him. We had talked about it before and how we weren’t that comfortable with it. Amidst all the emotions I couldn’t help but cry, then and there, my heart and mind at odds with each other. The doctor was compassionate and apologized for going anywhere we didn’t want to, but said he was just giving us the facts (which he was; he was not at all pushy or manipulative). He moved on to talk to us about injectable medication and how all of that would work. It seemed way involved; lots of monitoring to make sure there weren’t too many eggs maturing (quadruplets were not the goal) and how if multiples occurred they could do selective reduction. That part was a hard pass and we told him so. Still, it seemed that injectables might be worth a shot (haha), though the thought of giving myself one was not my favorite. The only thing was we would have to order them soon because all of that starts earlier in the cycle than Clomid had and we would need them on hand. And then there was the thought or what would we do with the meds if we got them and then didn’t need them. We did not make any decisions right then; there was too much to talk about.

As we left, my fear was confirmed. Steve told me how he was still against IVF as I told him that I might be ok with it.

Before I go further, please hear this: I do not and will not judge anyone for going the IVF route. God uses what means He will; and that is totally a decision made between you, your spouse, and the Good Lord. If IVF worked for you, I praise God for the precious life He brought into your family through it!

We had sought insight from our pastor before we had this meeting. Probably even before we started down much of this road. We just wanted to make sure our perspective wasn’t skewed or we weren’t blinded by what we longed for. His suggestion (that stuck with me) was that because IVF could be really expensive, we should consider putting the money we would use for that toward adoption instead. At that time, this made sense to me. But as we came out of the consult, totally not on the same page, all I could think of was the fact that our insurance would pay for IVF while funds for adoption would have to be raised on our own.

To be completely honest, I was bitter on that drive home. Steve and I talked it over, he expressing why he didn’t want to do it, and me trying to convince him it would be ok. In the end (or maybe even at the beginning of it all) I knew it wasn’t going to be an option. I knew I would submit to my husband’s decision, because that is what I promised to do, but it torn me up inside. We all know it takes two people to make a baby; we both needed to be on board. I couldn’t do it without him and I knew arguing about it wasn’t going to do any good. Plus I knew, above all, the covenant I made, to love and respect him as the head of our home, was not made lightly. It is something I believe wholeheartedly in.

Does that mean I had no trouble putting IVF out of my mind? Absolutely not. The answer just seemed so easy, so right there in front of us…

Of course, nothing is ever really that easy.

Over the next few days I talked it over with a friend. My broken-heartedness over not being able to try something that could result in us having a child was raw and real. But as I spoke about the process, as I heard myself saying the words the doctor had spoken to us, I began to understand why it wasn’t right for us. I had done some research myself, months earlier, but just didn’t want to think about the possible disappointment in it all. Sure chances of getting pregnant with IVF are higher, but they are not guaranteed. I was already a basket case at least twice every 28 days, could I really handle going through with that IVF entailed; mentally & spiritually? And I knew my husband was right.

I wanted a child so badly, and IVF seemed like such an easy answer; we wouldn’t have to pay for it and it had a higher success rate than what we had been trying.  I wanted it so bad I was blind to reason. I was blind to the effect it would have on my well-being. I was blind to my husband’s conviction that it wasn’t right for us. I was blind to the Holy Spirit’s conviction within myself. This desire had become an idol (and not for the first time) and I was willing to look past the means as long as they met the end I wanted.

Laying down an idol is not easy. Nor is accepting truth you don’t want to believe. Admitting you were wrong, not only to the Lord but also to your spouse, is painful. Repentance and asking for forgiveness is difficult. Going through this whole process was the hardest thing I have ever done. The Lord reminded me through it all that He is in control, not I. He can see the whole picture, not I. He knows what is best, definitely not I.

I am ever so thankful to my husband for not caving in and standing firm in his convictions. Even more so for the gentleness and love with which he expressed them to me when I may or may not have been completely rational. In the end we decided to stick with Clomid and try one more IUI before moving on to injectables. Though we didn’t know it at the time, we would be dealing with any of that. The easy part was done and our lives would never be the same.

If you have ever been in a spot when an idol has taken over the Lord rightful place in your heart, you know how difficult it can be to dethrone it. If you haven’t, you might want to examine your heart… Oh so often the things we place as idols in our lives are not bad things; a child, a relationship, a career. It is when these become ruling things that there is a problem. Seek the Lord; all of the children, spouses, and money in the world cannot fulfill you like He can.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.

Love & Blessings, dear friends,

KJ

August 28 – September 1

Fertility meds are no joke! I know I’ve mentioned before about Clomid and the effects of that, but recently I received my first meds through the mail. Talk about intimidating! A couple of vials that have to be mixed just so, a variety of needles & syringes, and a mini sharps container. We have moved on from just Clomid, to Clomid, a trigger shot, and then IUI. If all that sounds foreign to you, here’s a basic rundown.

I take Clomid for 5 days, typically days 5-10 of my cycle. Then on day 12 or 13 we go in for an ultrasound to see where the follicles are developing. If there’s at least one on the right side that is of a mature size, I get a trigger shot (HCG, the pregnancy hormone, which will ensure ovulation in 36 hours). We go in the next day, sperm in hand (or rather sterile container). They wash the sperm to get rid of ones that are already dead and perform an IUI (intrauterine insemination), in which the lively sperm are injected right close to where they need to be to be able to get to the egg when it appears. We leave the office, scheduling a blood test for two weeks later to see if it was a success and go on our merry way.

That’s the basics of it. I will admit, it’s a little awkward. We just had our second go around with this procedure and it was the first time I got the trigger shot delivered right to our house, along with all of the paraphernalia. The thought of having to give it to myself was somewhat daunting. The first time around they did it in the office and it was no big deal. This time, the doc wasn’t in when they did the ultrasound, so they needed to get a hold of him and see what the procedure should be, which meant I didn’t get it right then in the office. It also meant I didn’t take our handy container on the way out because they didn’t schedule the IUI before we left. I got the call a couple hours later saying that I should take the trigger shot and we’d do the IUI the next day.

Steve had gone to work, so I called him and tried to work up the nerve to jab myself with a needle. I read through the instructions, was confused, and then called the office for confirmation for how it was supposed to work. They asked if I had ever done it before (nope), put me on hold for a moment, and said I could just come in and they would do it for me. It was a great relief, plus I was then able to pick up the container as well. All was well and I didn’t have to do it on my own.

We went in the next morning for the IUI and one of the nurses did the procedure as the doctor wasn’t in. Having asked us if this was the first time, we told her it was the second. “Well, this is the one that’s going to take. And I want credit for it,” she told us with a smile. All we can do is wait and pray and see what’s to come. The only One who deserves credit for any of this is the Good Lord Himself…and in that knowledge we wait with hope and assurance that He’s got a plan for all of this.