Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Getting the News

Life takes U-turns sometimes. I am in the midst of a pretty big one. I thought that I would be sharing happy news this week, but that is not the case. Let me back up a bit and give you the whole story.

James and I had really been praying and discussing God's plans for our family. We both knew that we wanted to adopt at some point. However, we had never both felt God's peace (at the same time) that we were done with our biological family. Many adoption agencies will stop your adoption if you become pregnant during the adoption process so I felt that we needed to make a decision about our biological family before proceeding with adoption. We were in the midst of praying this through and had actually decided to sign up for foster parent classes when I had a feeling many women will understand. I took a pregnancy test on May 7th and it was positive. I was incredulous so I took two more and they were both positive as well. I told James as soon as he got home from work. We were both in a state of shock, but very excited as well. We kept the news to ourselves until that Friday when we told both of our sisters. We told our parents that following Sunday (Mother's Day) and a few friends over the next few weeks. We decided to wait until after our first ultrasound, which was scheduled for June 19th, to make any announcements.
I was feeling pretty well. I had only had minor nausea with the girls and it was the same this time. I had several other symptoms and a growing lower abdomen to reassure me. However, from the beginning I was nervous about this pregnancy. I lead a women's Bible study of about 15 and we had three women in it have miscarriages this year alone. Several more had miscarriages in previous years. I was trying to trust in God as we both felt He had made his plan clear for our family. This week (9 weeks pregnant) was the hardest as my two closest friends had experienced their miscarriages at 9 weeks. James had been both encouraging and supportive and we had begun praying together every night for our family and especially this newest blessing. The night of June 13 was a particularly difficult one for me. I struggled with sleep and was experiencing some lower back pain. The next morning, I discovered I was bleeding and called the Dr. They were able to get me in only 45 minutes after they opened and I reclined on the table for an ultrasound. The technician was great and told me that she would let us know right away either way. After taking a look she said that one of two thing was happening. First, was there any way my dates were off and I was only 5 1/2 weeks along? I knew then that our baby was gone. There was no way I could have only been 5 1/2 weeks having had 3 positive tests on May 7th. I would have to be at least 8 weeks and based on my dates I thought I was more like 10 weeks. She said in that case it looked like things had started well, but for some reason the baby had stopped developing at a 5 1/2 week size. The Dr came in and in what seems like a blur told us all the stuff I already knew: it was probably due to a chromosomal problem, there was nothing we could have done differently, it happened in 20-25% of pregnancies, etc. They offered several options to confirm and we chose a blood test for now, which we will have to repeat in a few days. We were nothing short of devastated. James kept trying to talk to me in the office, but I just had to hold it in because I knew once the tears came they would not stop. We made it out the door of the office and I lost it...

Friday, June 15, 2012

A Club I Never Wanted To Join

If you watch Grey's Anatomy you may remember this episode:

"There's a club...the dead dad's club and you can't be in it til you're in it. You can try to understand; you can sympathize, but until you feel that loss...I'm really sorry you had to join the club"

This is how I feel today after finding out that our baby, with whom I am nine weeks pregnant, stopped growing at 5 1/2 weeks. My baby is dead. I really didn't want to join this club. I have many friends who joined it before me. I tried to understand and sympathize, but it is so true. You can't be in it til you're in it.

I miss my baby. I know that may sound crazy since never got to meet him or her and will never know this side of heaven whether we lost a baby boy or girl. Everything has changed. When you get pregnant, at least for me, all time becomes relative to your pregnancy. I thought,

"Right before the girls go back to school this fall we will have the ultrasound and name the baby"
"When I turn 35 in October I will be beginning my third trimester"
"At Christmas I will be 37 weeks"
"By the end of January we will be home with our three children"

All those events seem so unbearable to me now. I know that time will soften the grief, but it is so palpable now. 

When I grieve, which I have done my fair share of recently, it always reminds me of seasons of grief from before. In honor of some of those that have gone before here is my wish for my baby:

My Hope for Heaven
I hope your Grandpa K (Sept 2000) will whistle you a tune to help you sleep
I hope your ears delight in the music of Andy's (May 2003) guitar 
I hope you play on those golden streets with Kamryn, Connor & Caleb (Dec 2004) and your cousins Gabrielle (Mar 2005) and Christian (Sept 2006)
I hope Uncle Tom (8/2008) tells you all about trains
I hope you run with Elli (10/2008) who couldn't walk much on this earth, but runs in Jesus' presence
I hope Great, Great Grandma M (5/2011) sings you "I love you a bushel and a peck" 
I hope Great Grandma R (1/2012) has a kitchen up there and can bake you something wonderful
I hope you sit at the feet of Jesus with all the babies that all mom and dad's friends have lost as you wait for us...
I'll see you soon my baby

Monday, January 3, 2011

33 Blessings - Catching up

Since life pulled me away from blogging for a while, I will finish up my previous series with one post. To learn more about this series read this. I was able to change my Power Point presentation into photos so I will upload them here as the full list of my 33 blessings:

Saturday, October 9, 2010

33 Blessings - #5 My Salvation

My parents are both Christians so I went to church pretty much from the time I was born. The first church I remember attending is First Alliance in Mansfield, OH. We went there from the time I was 18 months until I was 11. At some point when I was very young (about 4) I made the decision to personally trust in Jesus Christ for my salvation. While I am sure that I did not understand all the finer points of doctrine at such a young age, I accepted it with child-like faith. Since that point I have been a constant "work-in-progress." God has been teaching me who He is and who He wants me to be. I believe that my salvation comes from the grace of God which I receive through my faith in the death of Jesus Christ as atonement for the sins which I have committed.

Ephesians 2:8-10 (New International Version)8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

My favorite verse is Ephesians 3:20-21:
Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
When it came to choosing a bead to represent my salvation I wanted something really significant. I finally chose to use spacer beads that I would place between all the other beads. This is really symbolic since my salvation impacts every other aspect of my life. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

33 Blessings - #4 My Sister

I have to laugh as I write this post because my sister told me that she checks for updates to my blog like 80 times a day. She knew that she was the next blessing, but she is driving to the place where they are moving and will be on the road when this posts. Sorry I didn't get it up sooner, Rach!

My sister, Rachel, had been a constant companion since the day she was born when I was 3 years 7 months old. I didn't always appreciate that companionship as much as I do now. We were 4 years apart in school. This didn't really lead to closeness growing up since we were rarely in the same school (and explains why I wanted my girls to be born closer together). However our friendship has evolved as we've gotten older. 
Rachel and I in 1981(?). Gotta love my bowl haircut!

We fought A LOT when we were younger. I remember we she was little she would climb on my back when I was watching TV and pull my hair. As we got a little older, she would crawl in bed with me at night when she was scared and I would kick her and try to get her to leave. We could get kind of violent with each other! We lived together in an apartment for a year after I finished college and she finished high school. My husband likes to remind me of the time when he and my sister's boyfriend (now husband) had to come over to our apartment to break up a fight between the two of us. Thankfully, we don't fight like that anymore.

Rach & I at my wedding in 2000. She caught the bouquet (we rigged it) and got married the following year.

Rachel and I are different in so many ways. She is outgoing and very social whereas I am more introverted and don't mind being alone. I don't really know how to explain the other differences, but rest assured they are there. However, we are alike in many ways too. I love how I can go to her house or she can come to mine and we can cook in each others' kitchens and instinctively know where everything is because we just think alike in that way. When she was commuting to Akron for college and I was home with two little girls we would talk on the phone for 30 minutes to an hour each day. 

Rach, Mom, & I last December

We support and encourage one another. When my husband and I were going through a very difficult time in our lives (more on that in another post), she dropped everything and came and stayed at our house for a week to help me take care of Sierra. I so appreciate her love and support and humor. Rachel was always the one that would have our whole family in stitches growing up. I think I appreciate that in my Raquel so much because it reminds me of Rachel. I am so thankful for her spunk and fervor, love and laughs, encouragement, and just knowing that she is there! I will miss her when she and her family move in a few weeks, but I know that there will be some long phone calls! Love you sis!

My sis and her family at Easter this year

The bead that represents my sis. I chose pink because it is her favorite color.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

33 Blessings - #3 The Konves Family

 My mom's parents were the grandparents that I saw the most growing up. From age 1.5 to almost 12 we lived only about 15 minutes from them. They were the ones that were there for all the school plays and birthday celebrations.

Me with Grandma & Grandpa

My grandma also took care of my sister and me for many years while my parents were at work.  I remember hiding grandma's shoes or her purse when it was time for her to go home because we didn't want her to leave. She used to come to our house early in the morning before our parents left and make us yummy breakfasts. I remember dressing grandpa us with bows from presents at birthdays and Christmas. He was so funny! He loved to whistle and sing and I remember him "cleaning" glasses with his beard. They took me and my cousin to Disney World when we were 5. I remember going to Circus World and getting our faces painted for a parade. My grandparents used to host most of the family dinners. I remember bartering with my cousins for candy after the Easter Egg hunts. I have such wonderful memories of being at their house for holidays, eating grandpa's mashed potatoes and grandma's yummy turkey and dressing. Some of my favorite recipes are ones my grandma makes.

Holiday Dinner circa 1985
Grandpa and Grandma with Uncle Greg

On this side of the family I also have my great grandma Miller. I spent a lot of time with her growing up. She used to babysit us when my parents went out some Friday nights. She also came to church with us. She is still with us at the 95 and the girls and I go visit her nearly every Wednesday at the nursing home. 

Rachel & I with Great Grandma Miller in about 1983

5 Generations - 2007
I don't see my aunt, uncles, cousins as often as I would like, but I have wonderful memories growing up with Brandi, Candie, Julie, Ian, Nick, and Ross.  

Uncle Greg, Aunt Lori, Brandi, Ian, and Ross - 1996

Uncle Doug, Candie holding Antonio, and Nick in 1996
The cousins (minus Candie), Great Grandma, and Grandpa in 2000

The bead that represents the Konves side of my family