Why?

My heart is heavy.  I know I’ve been quiet for a while, but with so much happening in the past 2 weeks, I had to write.  So much tragedy this month makes me wonder, why?

June 12, 2016, a man…ONE man shot and killed 49 people at a night club in Miami and injured many, many more.  So much hate.  A man that has a past…  was on an FBI watch list.  How did we fail so many people?  What can we do to share more love and block out the hate?  I don’t have the answers, but I wonder and I know if we somehow we are able to do this, it’s what is needed…more love and less hate in our world.

IMG_8264

June 14, 2016, a little boy is dragged from a Disney lagoon by an alligator and his with his family watching and his father was unable to save his child.  Again, so many are blaming this poor family’s parents.  Really?!?!  They just lost their son!!!  Where is your heart?  Parents share photos of their children in this same spot where the child was taken.  There were no signs warning of the wildlife, just “no swimming”(this has since been rectified), which this child was not doing.  Now, many of us familiar with Florida know that where there is fresh water, there is a risk of encountering reptiles and alligators.  I would think these folks were not, or we confident that Disney would take measures to ensure the safety of their guests (not knowing, this can be impossible).  These people were on a vacation, enjoying family time.  Happy time.  Now, they’re living a nightmare and I’m sure, hoping to wake up to find something different.  Please, less judgement, less hate and more love.

June 19th, a 17 month old drowned in a nearby town on Sunday, Father’s Day.  His mother found him and was the one who started CPR.  This was the family pool.  Celebrating Father’s Day, attending other children…the 17 month old was lost track of.  Tragic.  Heart breaking.

Also on June 19th, a 4 year old girl at a Swim and Racquet club also drowned in another nearby town Sunday, Father’s Day.

So much tragedy all around us.  So many stones to throw and so much blame to hand out.  BUT, there’s so much suffering already.  Can we not just love?  I don’t know any parent who is perfect.  I know more than not have been right there when our little loves have fallen or gotten hurt…when you lose sight for 2 seconds and suddenly your breath is taken away.  Why do so many people have to suffer, have to hurt?

Then I saw this posted on Facebook the other day and the tears just came. 16. Why does a 16 year old girl have to fight ovarian cancer? But look… in this tragedy, there is hope…there is light…there is love…

Resiliance.

Thank you for hearing me.  Thank you for reading what’s on my heart.  More love.  Less hate.  More tolerance.  Less judgement.  Lets help each other more and ignore each other less.

God’s Peace to you.

 

 

 

Why I March…

IMG_4614

Many of you know that we gave birth to this beautiful baby boy at 27 weeks last February.  This precious boy was 1 pound, 15 ounces at birth.  This picture is the first time I was finally able to see my little boy.  I was too sick to see him for the first 2 days.  He is 3 days old here.  Prematurity is near and dear to our hearts.  After spending 3 months in the NICU, we witnessed so much.  We were certainly blessed to have not only survived such an early birth, but to have thrived.  Many babies are surviving such young gestation because of the work of March of Dimes.  But, there are many that don’t and babies who struggle even more than my beloved boy.

In honor of these babies, I am marching in the March of Dimes walk to help raise money for babies who struggle with prematurity, babies born with birth defects, and to raise funds, awareness and research for early infant mortality.

I walk to honor my son.

I walk in memory of Baby Jesse Amandus.

I walk in Thanks to Adventist Hinsdale Hospital and all of the hands who have played and continue to play a role in our journey.  They not only help us survive, but to thrive.  As always, a special shout out to CHN for all of the continued love and support.

If you or anyone you think may be interested in supporting our cause.  I invite you to visit our page (simply click on the link):

March for Babies

Thank You!!!

 

We’re all Here

IMG_6444

Almighty God,
bless this dear child,
born before his time,
yet made in your image
and perfect in your sight
and Father, we ask that if it be
Thy will, that this beautiful
infant grow stronger and
healthier with each passing day.
Give us, O Lord, the strength
to entrust to your care,
this precious little one
so very much beloved,
and grant us the grace
to pray as Jesus taught us,
that “Thy will be done”.
by: ukok

Friends,
I’d like to introduce a very special baby. His name is Jesse.

IMG_6413

Jesse was born last Sunday, December 13, 2015 at 4:25am weighing 1lb, 15oz. He only 24 weeks and 6 days to grow and develop inside his Mommy.  Today, Jesse is 1 week old, with a corrected age of 27 weeks and 6 days.  He’s a miracle.  He’s a fighter.  He’s a survivor.  I invite you to continue to pray for this precious baby boy and for those giving him care.

Church of the Holy Nativity, also known as CHN, had a Prayer Vigil for Jesse on Tuesday and we tied prayer knots in this blanket for him.  It now covers his isolette.  Each candle also represents someone praying for this amazing boy.  We want his mommies to know we are lifting them up in prayer as well.  I will update you as I get information, but for now please lift him up in prayer.

Mother & Child Are Linked At The Cellular Level

For all moms…those who have angel children and those who have living children.  Your children are imprinted in you.  I thought it was beautiful that ALL my children have left blessings in me and each other…

Please enjoy the love and hope of the article below.

Fetal cells persist in mothers, healing them well into old age.

Source: Mother & Child Are Linked At The Cellular Level

Blessings Galore!

RC_0224a

On our 4th Wedding Anniversary, we celebrate…

IMG_5201

…the homecoming of our first born! Welcome Home Baby Jonathan!

It’s been a rocky road to get here, but here we are so very blessed… not only to have each other, but to have the gift of you as well.  We started here…

Parasite2

Then you came 3 months early because Mommy became sick with HELLP Syndrome

Jonathan3

and here we are…

IMG_5233

IMG_5195
Sometimes a picture IS worth more than words…

No, I just can’t forget…

jon9

Jonathan  9.11.1977 – 8.10.1988

Who?  I’d like you to meet my brother, Jonathan.  He would have been 37 years old today.  Born in Bitburg, Germany on Bitburg Air Base, and died in Maywood, IL and Loyola University Medical Center.  My brother died tragically while riding bikes with 2 other friends.  He was hit by a car and sustained injuries that took his life.  In his death, he was able to give others life by donating organs.  Hope in the midst of absolute tragedy, devastation, and loss.  We still miss him everyday, but on days like today, he is in the forefront of our minds.  Happy Birthday little brother.  I can’t wait to see you again in the clouds.

911

9.11.2001

I’m sure you remember the tragedy and loss that people simply now only refer to as 9.11.  It definitely brought a whole new perspective to an already seared date for me.  Do you remember where you were, what you were doing, or who you were with?  I do.  I remember being in shock and saying…”we’re at war.”

I don’t know that anyone put it quite as well as Alan Jackson did.  Faith.  Hope.  Love.  God Bless you wherever you are on this September 11, 2014.  May peace shelter your souls, love fill your hearts, and hope dry your tears.

Surprise!

BlessRide35

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” ~Jeremiah 29: 11-13

Do you like surprises?  I generally like surprises, specially if they bring automatic joy.  Sometimes surprises bring uncertainty and shock.  That’s kind of what my Saturday was like. 

I got an email on Thursday afternoon that there would be an URGENT Executive Session of the Vestry this Saturday.  Now, I should preface that this is my third and final year on Vestry, and this has never happened before.  There was no other explanation, just a sense of urgency to be at the meeting.  I have to tell you, this left me with some anxiety regarding what this meeting would be about. 

I would like to tell you about my rector and priest at Church of the Holy Nativity, The Rev. Aimee Eyer-Delevett.  Yes, you can click on the link and her bio will appear, but that is not the same as hearing personal stories.  The first time I met Rev. Aimee in the Fall of 2007, I was trying sneak in to this little church that kept compelling me to “check it out” after I had moved to the area.  I tried to sneak in, but there is really no place to sneak in this church.  I did my best and sat in the middle near an elderly couple.  As the processional started, I noticed the priest was walking in, in sneakers.  Wow, I thought, this is a really casual church.  Now after the service, the lady next to me put her arm through mine and asked if I would have a cup of coffee with her. Now remember, I was trying to sneak in and sneak out…but who am I to tell sweet little Harriet, no?  Needless to say, I found myself sitting down to a cup of coffee.  As I sat people started sitting with me and introducing themselves and next thing I knew Adult Formation was starting.  (I can’t just get up and walk out in the middle of a “talk!”….I thought)  Well, so I stayed.  As I listened to the speaker, I realized she was familiar.  So I kept staring and staring until I placed her.  I had taken care of her before in the Cardiac ICU.  She looked great!  She was thriving!  Suddenly it dawned on me, connections, God brought me here.  I was already connected in so many ways to the body (the people) of this church.  Oh, and that strange priest that led the service in her sneakers…she was prepared for Crop Walk Sunday!  This was the beginning on my journey with CHN or Church of the Holy Nativity.

Through the years, as you might imagine, I’ve gotten to know Rev. Aimee so much more and on a much deeper level.  Not only is she my priest, but she is also my friend.  She has listened to my hopes, my fears, my struggles and has been there for the joys.  She provided my husband and I marriage counseling before our marriage.  She married us.  She blessed my womb before my first IVF and embryo transfer (that so many knew nothing about), and anointed me with oil.  What is special about Rev. Aimee, is that not only did she listen to my joys, challenges and hurts, but she shared hers as well.  Most certainly not all of them, but there is a vulnerability and authenticity that just exudes from her spirit.

Saturday morning, I found out that Rev. Aimee will be taking leave from her position at CHN as rector.  October 26th will be her last day with us.  She received a call from All Saints by the Sea in Montecito, CA to be their rector and accepted the call.  This is the letter that just went out to the parish (CHN).  We are so sad, but also know that God is working through Rev. Aimee, and that in our sorrow there is also hope.  Hope for us at CHN, but also hope for those at All Saints by the Sea.  As I said to Rev. Aimee, “I can only wish for you to grow and share your leadership, love and compassion to those who need you.”  Godspeed my dear, dear friend.  Know that you will be taking a piece of my heart with you, just as you are leaving a piece of yours.

Prayer2

 

I won the lottery!!!

Well not literally, but statistically, it sure feels like I have!  Yesterday, my husband and I arrived at FCI hopeful, but fully prepared to receive the news that I had no normal embryos to transfer.  As 70% of my eggs would create a chromosomal abnormality, having only 2 embryos to test wasn’t in our odds.  However, God is good, and he shows us every time that he is great and what I can’t do, he can!

ControlLoss

I was happily shocked to hear that I had a normal embryo!!!  So yes, I had an embryo transfer yesterday morning.  Now I’m required to be a couch potato and rest for the next two days.  Writing this blog and letting the dog out are about as active as I’m allowed to get.  I was told I must be a princess.  My husband was even told he had to treat me like a princess…ha ha ha. 

There’s more.  Not only did I get a normal embryo, but that single lone embryo that we created from our IVF cycle this time has made it to blast.  Not only did it make it to blast, but it started hatching on it’s own, grading it a 5BA.  Wow.  I’m calling it my warrior embryo.  The chances of a single embryo surviving it to blast are so small.  It’s amazing.  They were able to biopsy that one and the freeze it.  I should get the results tomorrow.  We can’t transfer it, but that single embryo could be my next baby.

Embryo

This tiny little ball of cells, that is really the size of a spec of dust, is making a baby.  It blows me away.

Grow baby, grow!

Well, here goes!

Hope2

First, I would like to say Thank You all for your support and encouragement.  I got a phone call today with an update on my embryo.  That single embryo is still kicking (grow baby, grow!).  It’s not quite full blast yet, so they can’t to a biopsy for PGD/PGS testing quite yet.  As my ultrasound showed a perfect lining, they thawed my 4 frozen embryos from my last IVF cycle to do a biopsy and PGD/PGS testing on those.  Only 2 of the embryos survived the thaw and were able to be biopsied.  I will be arriving at FCI tomorrow morning and will receive the results of the PGD/PGS testing at that time.  If we have a normal embryo, we will do an embryo transfer in the morning.  As many of you know, the likelihood of having a normal with the low numbers I have is not very high, but I have to trust God has a plan for us.  My gut, my instinct was demanding to check and see what I have before doing another stimulation round of IVF.  I have to trust my instinct.  I have to trust God has a plan.  I don’t know what the outcome will be and my eyes are wide open.   This takes “it only takes one” to a whole new level for me.  I ask for prayers for us tomorrow.  I will post an update here as I know more.  Thanks friends.

Prayer1

Disappointment

“I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”  Mark 11: 24 (NIV)

Well, we all have disappointment in life.  That is part of living.  I had my egg retrieval on Wednesday morning.  They were only able to retrieve 5 eggs this time.  This is a significant difference from my first round of IVF.  Of the 5, only 3 were mature, and of the 3 only 1 fertilized.  My initial thought and feeling was the waste.  I just went through all of that for nothing?  I only have one embryo that I have to hope makes it to the blast stage? 

My first IVF cycle was in February.  They were able to retrieve 14 eggs, 10 of which were mature, and 9 of which fertilized.  6 embryos made it to the blast stage.  Of the six, we transferred 2 embryos in a frozen embryo cycle in April.  I was able to achieve pregnancy, only to miscarry between 9-10 weeks of pregnancy.  I was pregnant with twins.  We did testing on the miscarriage and found each baby to have trisomy.  What does that mean?  It means I have old eggs, so they produce genetic abnormalities.  The exciting thing is that I make eggs, so it is likely I will have some normal.  At this stage in my life approximately 70% of my eggs are probably not the best.  With that in mind, though I had 4 more frozen embryos, we decided to do another egg retrieval in the hopes of making more embryos and then having genetic testing so that we could try and minimize my risk for miscarriage.  Here we are, not so many more eggs or embryos.  Disappointment.  The one good thing about this cycle is that my hormone levels seemed to have behaved themselves and I have a beautiful looking lining.  I asked my physician prior to the egg retrieval what her thoughts were on possibly doing a fresh transfer, since I had a nice uterine lining, and my hormones were behaving.  She definitely thought it was a possibility since we would have to thaw my frozen embryos to do the PGD testing along with anything fresh that survived.  So now, we wait.  We Pray.  I will hear tomorrow how that single embryo is doing in the lab.  Monday morning, I will go in to have labs and ultrasound to make sure everything still looks ok.  IF we have any normals, I will go in Tuesday for an embryo transfer. 

Please pray for me.  Pray for the hands caring for my frozen babies.  Pray for wisdom in our decision making.  Thank You.

“Again I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.  For where two or three come together in my name, there I am with them.” Matthew 18: 19-20

There is nothing to do but leave it in God’s loving hands.  Blessings to all of you.

ApacheBlessing