Monday, December 31, 2012

"Beautiful Heartbreak"

Well I posted my loss story here yesterday and I also sent it off to the people who run this site The Amethyst Network. And today they wrote me back, thanked me for my submission and let me know that they had added my story to their site.I posted the story here figuring that someone out there like me might be cruising the Internet looking for some comfort, or just to know that there was someone out there who felt a similar pain as them. I'm hoping that in the new year my posts will be happier. In fact I'm working on a pretty happy one in my head right now. Maybe you'll see it soon.

I've been told that my story is Heartbreakingly Beautiful AND that reminded me of this song- which I feel in love with this last spring when I sang in a choir for musical performance during BYU's Women's Conference with Hillary Weeks - It's called "Beautiful Heartbreak"

And Wow- it's amazing how much this song expresses exactly what I feel and want and hope to someday feel. I still feel like I'm in the middle of it- but someday I will see the amazing view that the Lord wants to show me, I just have to keep moving down this road that he has placed me on.

Well, It's the last day of 2012. I wish you and yours an Amazing and Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sharing is Caring

Earlier this month I decided to attend a meeting of Share, a pregnancy and infant loss support group. I just felt like I needed to talk, or maybe more that I needed to cry around people who understood why I was crying. It was a great experience. Prior to finding that local support group I had looked for some kind of support or understanding online. In my online searches I found several blogs and websites filled with stories. I decided to write my own story- in the hopes that it would be a cathartic experience. I submitted it to a site that was looking for women to share their experiences with early loss and first trimester miscarriage. I've only shared it with Ken so far but I've felt like I should share it here too. So here goes.

Waiting to hold my Angels

In March of 2012 I became very baby hungry. At the time our boys were 4 years and 19 months old. I had gestational diabetes when I was pregnant with our second son and the doctors had advised me to let my body and pancreas rest for 2 years before getting pregnant again. I had also been advised to lose some weight and get a little healthier and I was very proud that I had. Over the 18 months since I was given the okay to exercise I had discovered a love of running and I had lost 33 pounds.  My husband and I discussed my desire for another baby and we decided that I would have my IUD removed a little early and we would see what happened. It had taken us a little over a year to become pregnant with our oldest boy. I felt a little like maybe this urge to have a baby was helping me get a jump start on “the wait” to get pregnant.

I went in on May 2nd to have my IUD removed and long story short- it wasn’t easy. My doctor pulled on the strings and they broke.  He tried to pull the IUD out with forceps but he finally decided that it was embedded and that he wouldn’t be able, in his family practice office, to get it out. He gave me a referral to an OB whom he had complete confidence in……skip forward 30 days, 2 more doctors,  2 surgeries and one overnight stay in the hospital and I was IUD free! (It had been located via x-ray and later CT scan, in my pelvis). As I was talking to my new OB when he was discharging me from the hospital after that second MIRACLE surgery, I asked him when I could start trying for a baby, and he told me that my husband and I could start immediately. This made me very happy.

Two cycles later I knew I was pregnant and a Dollar store pregnancy test confirmed it. It was a light pink line, but it was there. That was Wednesday, July 25th.  I showed my husband the test and he was quite surprised, but he is always surprised when I tell him I’m pregnant.  I wasn’t expecting my period for 2 more days and my FP had encouraged me to come into his office for a free pregnancy test if needed and I felt the need for some reassurance so I went into his office on Friday the 27th and I was told that the positive result on their test was very strong. I was over the moon.  I was due the first week of April and if this pregnancy was anything like my last there was a good chance this baby would be born during the same week in March that my husband, my oldest son and I all celebrated our birthdays. I was excited at the possibility of our 3 birthdays in 4 days turning into 4 birthdays in 4 days.

I told my Mom. But, unlike my first two pregnancies when we pretty much told the world about our pregnancy as soon as the first test was positive, I decided I would wait until after the first trimester to announce this pregnancy. That weekend we had a family reunion and I kept my special little secret to myself- I wanted to tell everyone, just like I had at that same reunion, 5 years earlier, with my first pregnancy, but I didn’t. I kept my secret in my very happy little heart.

The next Monday I noticed some pink staining on the toilet paper as I used bathroom. I had had some bleeding at about 7 weeks while I was pregnant with my first son, I remember then praying, begging for a miracle, begging to keep my baby. I was given that miracle then and so I prayed for that same miracle this time too. On Tuesday I just felt off and then, exactly one week after finding out I was pregnant, I started to bleed. It happened in the middle of the night. There was way too much blood, I knew that I had miscarried and I was crushed. I cleaned myself up as best I could and went back to bed and cried myself to sleep in my husband’s arms.  I’d never experienced anything like that before and I was heartbroken. The next day I called my OB’s office and they had me come in for some blood work that confirmed the miscarriage. Because it was so early, just a day or so shy of 5 weeks; they told me that I didn’t need to wait to keep trying. I wasn’t sure if I ever wanted to try to get pregnant again. Could my heart take another loss like this? I never wanted to hurt this way again. But that urge to have another baby was still there and so we kept trying. I told people who asked how I was doing that I now knew I could get pregnant, much more easily than I had expected too, and so now my focus was on staying pregnant.

I was a week late the next month and I was once again over the moon. We had a family vacation planned for the week of my period (amazing timing! I know) and so I brought lots of supplies for that plus a pregnancy test- this time I decided that I would wait a full week before testing.  So on the 7th day of waiting with absolutely no signs of my period starting, I took the test. It was negative. I was so mad! I once again went back to bed and cried myself to sleep, (it was about midnight when I took the test) the next morning the cramps started. I was quite surprised the next day when my husband wasn’t as upset as I was, he told me that he really hadn’t expected us to get pregnant before September. I didn’t feel that way I wasn’t really sure how to feel, I really didn’t understand what was happening. I had been so regular for months, why had my body played this awful trick on me; you would think my body would like me. I had a few really awful down days and I didn’t know how to explain why I felt the way I did other than to say that I felt like God had dropped me in the middle of the desert and the only map I had was the one I had made for myself, for the life I had planned have over the next year or so and that desert was nowhere on my map. I was lost and I felt so alone.

I decided to keep trying and I was rewarded when the very next month a dollar store pregnancy test once again confirmed what my heart had already been telling me. I was pregnant. This time I called the OB and asked for a Quantitative HCG. I was scared a little when the nurse called after the first test, she said the results were good, I had an HCG level of 50 (I thought she said) lower than expected but that probably just meant that I wasn’t as far along as I thought I was. Considering that I had had a positive pregnancy test at 3 weeks 3 days with my second pregnancy- knowing early wasn’t new to me. So I went back in for the second blood test and waited. My doctor was the one who called with the results this time. My heart sank when I heard his voice. I steadied myself for what I knew was coming, he would tell me that the numbers had dropped. But no! He said that they had more than doubled, more than tripled really. He said my first result was 150 and the second result was 850, then he asked if there were any multiples in my family. The answer to that is no. Knowing that I had recently had an early miscarriage he invited me to make an appointment the next week, we could do an ultrasound and make sure that it wasn’t an ectopic pregnancy and maybe even check to see if there was more than one egg sac visible. It was the best day I’d had all year! I told my Mom, but once again we felt like we should keep this pregnancy to ourselves a little longer.
I went in that next week and saw one sweet little bubble on the ultrasound screen. My husband and I started to refer to our baby as bubbles. The doctor told me I could come back two weeks later for another ultrasound, I did and at 7 weeks I saw the most beautiful little heartbeat ever.  I told my sisters; sisters ought to know, at least that is how I felt. My doctor told me I could come back again at 9 weeks for one more ultrasound before I started my regular- only go to the doctor ever 4 weeks- prenatal visits.

And so on Election Day I was back in his office, I was proud to announce that I had a pretty good case of morning sickness and I quickly became even more sick when he couldn’t find a heartbeat. He told me that the particular machine he was using had been giving him problems and then he ran down the hall to their ultrasound room where the ultrasounds were done later in pregnancy. The tech there had just finished up with a patient and had a few minutes before the next and so I was hurried into the room. Her machine was much bigger and it certainly had a better picture- there was my baby, head, arms and legs, but no beating heart.  Size wise it measured slightly larger than my dates. The doctor told me this was normal that after the baby died the tissues tended to swell up a bit and then they would shrink. He walked me down to his office and we talked, my baby had died and eventually, sometime in the next few days, I would miscarry and physically lose my baby. I remember he cried, he knew how much I wanted a baby. I was in shock; I didn’t start crying until I was trying to make a follow up appointment for the next week.  The doctor had given me a prescription for some Misoprostol, instructing me to take it once I started bleeding to help speed up the process. I woke up at 3 AM the next morning with horrible abdominal cramps. I actually felt a little relieved that I knew it was coming. It felt like a tender mercy from the Lord- if I hadn’t been expecting to miscarry I think I would have been out of my mind that morning. Instead I got myself a heating pad and waited to lose my baby. The cramps eventually went away and nothing ever happened. My husband and I returned to the doctor a little over a week after that last ultrasound, Thanksgiving was just over a week away and emotionally I was a wreck. Never knowing when I would physically lose my baby was hard on me. I had been going through the stages of grief and I felt like I was stuck. Waiting.

We decided to schedule a D&C for the next afternoon and then try to get things going naturally that night in the hopes that we wouldn’t need to have the procedure. When my husband and I got home from the doctors the hospital had already called to say I scheduled for late the next morning and that they were very sorry for our loss. I don’t know if surgeries are ever happy but I’m guessing D&C’s are probably pretty high on the list of procedures nurses wish women never had have. Anyway, at dinner time I took 4 of the Misoprostol pills and I texted back and forth with the doctor that night about how things were progressing. I started to have some pretty strong cramping; I took more pills before bed that night. I woke up at about 2 AM and I had some light bleeding, I took some more of the pills. But by the next morning nothing more had really happened and the cramping and bleeding had pretty much stopped. I let the doctor know and he texted back that he would meet us at the hospital.

And so we dropped our boys off with a neighbor and headed back to the hospital for my 4th surgery of the year.  With my other surgeries I tried to look nice, but I don’t even remember brushing my hair that morning, I wore my pajamas, I probably looked exactly like the mess I felt.  It was a pretty normal check in process and eventually I found myself alone, lying on a gurney, outside a surgical suite.  My nurse came out and talked to me, and then the anesthesiologist came to talk with me. I remember he told me that it was perfectly acceptable for me to cry and that I shouldn’t be embarrassed. I was crying. I had been the whole time I was waiting there. I knew my baby was gone, but this was the end of my pregnancy and it was by no means the end I ever wanted to have.  I kept crying, and it was okay. Before I knew it I was in the surgical suite talking with the doctors and nurses and then I was waking up in the post anesthesia area. I think for the next few hours I was just numb. I didn’t have to wonder when it was going to happen anymore, when I would start to bleed, whether or not it would be painful or if I would hemorrhage.  I felt relieved. Sad, but relieved.
As I went to bed that night I prayed and I found that all I could pray about was how grateful I was for what I had. I was grateful for my sweet husband and for my precious boys. I was grateful that I hadn’t gone crazy during the past week and a half. I was grateful to be alive. I was sad, but I was grateful.  I couldn’t sleep, which was completely annoying to me because other than my anesthesia induced nap that day I had pretty much been awake for 2 days.  I went to watch TV but I couldn’t really paying attention; instead I was crying but they were joyful tears this time. I was sitting in my dark basement and thoughts kept popping into my head about how much I loved my husband, how amazing he had been over the past year, how he had taken time off work to care for me after each surgery and after that first early miscarriage. I felt so strongly the feeling that God had blessed me with Ken as my husband because he knew how much love and care I would need during this time of my life and Ken was just the man for the job. It was an amazing, wonderful feeling, even more so knowing just how low I had felt in the hours and days before.  I woke Ken up and told him all about it.

It’s been 6 weeks since my D&C.  I’ve had bad days and good day. I’ve had times when all I’ve wanted to do was erase the past and be normal. I’ve discovered that way more friends and neighbors than I ever knew had experienced the loss of miscarriage. I’ve felt empty and broken and I’ve had times when I felt like I was healing.  I dreaded Christmas coming. If I hadn’t had that early miscarriage I wouldn’t have been 26 weeks pregnant, but that wasn’t meant to be. If I hadn’t lost that second pregnancy I would have been 17 weeks pregnant.  I would have been feeling my sweet baby’s movements.  But I knew I wouldn’t. It made me sad; I didn’t want to be sad at Christmas. 

I’ve wondered a lot over the past few weeks about what I lost. I had miscarriages, I lost pregnancies. I love being pregnant, I love that I get to take part in creating a body for my child. I believe that our spirits exist before we are born, I even believe that out there, waiting for me are the spirits of some wonderful people who have chosen my husband and I to be their parents. So what did I lose, did I just lose the tiny body that I was helping to create or did I lose the chance to be a mother to that spirit, that child? I’ve wondered, I’ve prayed and eventually I really feel like I got an answer. I don’t feel like I’ve lost the blessing of mothering this child, or these children. I don’t know when I will meet them, but whether I meet them as a small baby in this life or as a beautiful glorious being in heaven, I have not truly lost them. In my heart I hope that I get to meet them in baby form.

I had thought that buying a couple of angel ornaments would help me to honor these lost babies, but as the month when on, and as I came to feel in my heart that I hadn’t truly lost them, my search for an ornament kind of changed too. I eventually found one that showed a little angle holding a heart- it said that it was for those who love and who are loved (it’s the Willow Tree “Angel of the Heart” ornament) and it spoke to me. I love my children, those who I can hold in my arms and I also love the ones who I’ve only been able to cradle in my womb for a short time, but who I will always hold him my heart.

And that’s where I am now.  We hope to be able to start trying to get pregnant in February. I have a lot of fear still, I’m sure that if and when I am able to get pregnant again I will continue to worry but I have had miracles before and I still believe in miracles. I know that someday I will have all of my children with me; I just hope that day is sooner than later.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas 2012

Christmas! It's a wonderful time of year. We tried to teach the boys about why we celebrate Christmas and why we get presents. They are good parrots and so when we asked why we have Christmas they will say "Because Jesus was born!". I got a few different answers when I asked why we get presents "Because we are GOOD!" "Because you love me" for example. These are all good answers, I told the boys that we give each other presents because the Three Wise Men brought gifts to Jesus, but I am thinking that I truly give them presents just because I love them. 

Hopefully over the next few years of their lives we can bring the Savior more and more into the center of our children's Christmas celebrations. For now though, they are pretty amazingly focused on presents- which for a 2 and 4 year old is probably pretty normal. They also seem to enjoy the extra family time we have at Christmas- so that is good.

At the beginning of December J and I went to our church Christmas party- it was an evening in Bethlehem. Dressing up was optional but since I was part of the musical program that night I decided that I would wear a costume I had leftover from a show about the parable of the ten virgins that I was in a few years ago. J wanted to dress up too, so dressed him as a shepherd, in a short yellow robe of mine and a head scarf. It was a fantastic night.

I don't know if it was something that Ken and I should have discussed before we had kids, but we really hadn't decided how we were going to handle Santa. But Santa is everywhere and J really got excited about Santa this year. He got really worried about the fact that our house doesn't have a fireplace, and as such we don't have a chimney! I cannot count how many times I was asked how Santa was going to get into our house. A friend of mine told me about the Santa key that her family has. It's a magic key and when Santa (and only Santa) uses it, it will let him into our house. So I found some old looking keys at Hobby Lobby and made our family a Santa Key- On the morning of Christmas Eve, J put the key out on the door. It worked, on Christmas morning the boys discovered that Santa had left the key right next to the plate of cookies we had left out for him- he even ate a few of the cookies!
Later that day we gathered with the Turner family to participate in the traditional Turner family Christmas Eve dinner- Fried Chicken, Panettone and hot cocoa. The food was great and the company was fabulous. We let the boys open one gift a piece on Christmas Eve night. Pajama's of course! The next morning the boys were awake dark and early- it was 6, maybe 6:30. J sneaked downstairs and discovered that lots of presents had magically appeared overnight! He was very excited. 
 My dad, Grandpa Turner made each of the boys a beautiful wooden toy- B got a truck and J received exactly what he asked for "A Train with Wings"
 Here is B with his new Giraffe "Tufty" I saw this stuffed animal and I HAD to get it for my little boy who once had a little tuft of hair right on top of his head. I know he has more hair now, but he will always be that sweet almost hairless boy to his mommy.
On the day after Christmas the boys cousin A came to stay with us for a few days. The boys had tons of fun with her, J didn't get to say goodbye when she left a little earlier today and he cried when he found out she was gone. I hope that they always love their cousins as much as they do right now when they are small
So, That is Christmas 2012- I was a little worried about Christmas this year. I wasn't sure I had it in me to make it special for my boys. My heart still hurt a little. If all had gone well with our first pregnancy this year I would be about 26 weeks pregnant.  If the second pregnancy had been viable I would have been 16 weeks along at Christmas time, that's right about the time I start to feel my babies movements. But that wasn't meant to be. I've had some very tender moments over the past few weeks and I am feeling a little better about those lost pregnancies. I feel more at peace and all in all I had a wonderful Christmas. I know why I celebrate Christmas- I want to celebrate my Savior Jesus Christ. He was born! He came into this world as a baby and he grew and learned and served and suffered and eventually died then rose again! He did all that for me and for you. I am grateful that this year at Christmas I was blessed to experience the healing power of his atonement at work in my life, in my heart. I love my Savior.

A New Family Tradition

A few years ago I bought some shatter proof ornaments- they served us well all through J's toddler-hood. Little B on the other hand is much more destructive. And so I decided to start a new tradition- since our ornaments were dwindling in number, we would just buy a few more each year, that way by the time all the old were gone we would have a whole tree full of ornaments that have special meaning to us!

So I took the boys shopping, J picked out this train- with a happy little engineer who LOVES ice cream- I think that this ornament perfectly depicts the life J dreams of having some day.

 A story to go along with this ornament- J bought this ornament with his own money, he paid for it and was asked if he wanted it wrapped in paper or if he just wanted to hold it, he chose the second option. Within seconds he had dropped it and the two front wheels and the ice cream cone broke off. It was the only one of it's kind at hobby lobby and he couldn't find another ornament he wanted so we decided to keep it and I was able to super glue it back together. I'm glad that we chose to keep this ornament. Hopefully it will help us remember that sometimes we break but with love and patience we can be put back together.

I wouldn't let B out of the cart at the store, I was planning on pushing him along the aisle so he could see the ornaments but while I was looking for one for myself J picked out this beautiful cow ornament for his brother.

 I was about to put the ornament back when J showed it to B and his reaction proved to me that it was the perfect ornament for my little 2 year old- "COW!" he screamed. And here is the reason why. The boys have been telling knock knock jokes- J almost understands that there needs to be a punchline- most of his punchlines have something to do with dirty diapers. B on the other hand just seems to shout out random words, BUT he has come up with one knock knock joke that he tells quite frequently- probably because the very first time he told it Ken and I laughed pretty heartily. "Knock, Knock. Who's there? Cow. Cow who? DINNER!" We thought it was amazing. So this ornament will forever commemorate B's knock knock joke.

My sister Jenette is starting an ornament tradition as well, she plans to give her nieces and nephews an ornament each year for Christmas. These next two are the boys from this year- Penguins are big favorites for our little family.

This first one is J's.

This one is little B's. Jenette said that she chose this for B because of the little tuft of penguin hair that stuck out on top.......

....oddly enough I bought this little giraffe for B because of the little tuft of hair on top of it's head......

.....I wonder why tufts of hair remind us of B? Well, to be completely honest, I don't have to wonder- This is B at about 10 months old. I love this picture- I call him my little "Tufty"

Now, onto my ornament. I wanted an angel. At first I was looking for two little angels- to remember the two pregnancies I lost this year BUT as I pondered it, I don't truly feel like I have lost any babies, I've just had a postponement of the time when I will be able to carry those little babies and eventually meet them. And so when I found this ornament I knew it was for me.

It's called "Angel of the Heart" and it has the little post script of  "For those who love and are loved".  This ornament reminds me of my little angels who have yet to be held in my arms but who I always hold in my heart.

Ken hasn't found his ornament yet BUT I am 99.9% sure it will look something like this.
image from
And I haven't told him yet but I'm okay if he wants to get an ornament to commemorate the Giants 2010 World Series Championship as well.

So that is our new ornament tradition. I hope that it turns out to be a fun tradition for our little family. Maybe when our kids grow up and have homes and families of their own I will give them their ornaments complete with the stories that go along with the.

I love Christmas. More about Christmas will come in another post soon!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Strong Hearts

Today at Church we discussed "Righteous Living in Perilous Times"  (the last chapter/lesson from the Teaching of the Presidents of the Church: George Albert Smith manual). It was a wonderful lesson, and very timely considering the recent tragedy in Connecticut, the hearts and minds of everyone in the class had been focused on the pain and heartache associated with the horrible things that happen at times in this world.

I found myself struck with a thought, two thoughts really- These are the times that try men's hearts, these are the times when men's hearts will fail them. (I know that I am combining two thoughts from two different sources AND that the actual quote is "Soul" instead of heart in the first part, but my mind said heart and it goes very well with the rest of my thoughts- so bear with me) SO- I'm listening and it keeps playing over and over in my head -These are the times that try men's hearts, these are the times when men's hearts will fail them, and then another thought popped in my mind. When I was in the hospital last summer, after my 3rd surgery of the year, my nurses (as good nurses always do) checked my vitals regularly. But this time was different from other times I've been in the hospital, this time my nurses were concerned about my heart rate and my blood pressure. They would take my blood pressure and then talk to each other and take it again. They felt that both readings were too low. I asked the doctor if I should worry about that, he quickly said that he wasn't worried because I had the heart of a runner. I had a strong heart. Strong hearts pump well, and so they don't have to pump as much (thus the lower heart rate.....I have no idea about lower blood pressure though, but we won't worry about that too much right now....back to the story).

So, I have a strong heart. Why? Because I have been trying my best to exercise. I run 3 times a week and I try to do some kind of cross training twice a week. It worked really well a in 2011, for the first 6 months of this year not so much, but anyway you look at it, that exercise has been good to my heart. Why am I talking about exercise? Because these are the times that try our hearts, these are the times when our hearts might fail us. When I thought that I wasn't thinking about our physical hearts, I was thinking about our spiritual hearts, our souls. How can we strengthen our hearts so that, not only can we survive these times, but thrive in these perilous times. The answer, I believe, is that we must exercise our faith in our Savior Jesus Christ. We need to exercise our trust in him and his ability to lead us on a safe path. Life will not be easy. This world is not going to get any better. Horrible things will happen. We will feel pain and anguish, BUT if we have exercised our faith and trust and followed our Savior, when the hard times hit, our hearts will not fail us and we will be able to help those around us.

So those were my thoughts today, I thought I'd share.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmastime is here again!

Okay, so this first picture doesn't show anything Christmas-y, but it does show my favorite things about Christmas- The Wheeler Boys.
 We set up our tree today, and for the first time ever we let the boys decorate the tree. 
 Ken helped them put the ornaments up high.
 We set out 4 different nativities- our little Willow Tree (below), our snowman nativity, our Fisher Price and B has a little plush stuffed animal nativity that I bought when I was pregnant with J. I love the nativities.
 And since our tree is down in our basement, we put up our alpine trees in the front window, with a snowman friend for some extra fun. My Dad helped me make a two legged table today that extended the windowsill just enough for this display- it's perfect. Thanks Dad! 
May your holiday season be merry and bright! We love the Lord, Jesus Christ. We are so thankful to be able to celebrate his birth as a family.

Friday, November 30, 2012

My New Picture

I was at my parents house earlier this week. It was a very fun time. I got to work out in the garage with my dad for a little bit, he helped me make a gift for Ken. (AND I've got a few more wood working projects that I've decided I need to do, Dad doesn't know it yet, but we are going to spend some more time out in the garage :) I love my Dad. I love my Mom too, and this next part is because of her ) After finishing up my little project I found my Mom down in her little craft area. That place is full of interesting things, it's never the same place twice. This time I was looking at a stack of pictures and things and I came across this picture.

It's a picture of depicting this short, yet very meaningful to me, story from the New Testament-Matthew Chapter 9.
 20 And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an aissue ofbblood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment:
 21 For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be awhole.
 22 But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee awhole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.
( I copied and pasted that from an online version of the New Testament)

So- I saw this picture and I knew the story, but in the moment, my heart wanted that woman to be me. I still feel so broken. I don't know what was wrong, or if anything was wrong, with me, with those little babies I wanted so badly to help to make. I have moments when I feel whole and normal and even hopeful. But then there are other times when I feel so very empty. I want to feel full of life again, I want to feel like me. It's my "issue". 

I loved this picture and I decided I needed it. My Mom said that it was the only one at the store near her house BUT I have the same type store near me, so today I went down to that store and looked hopefully through their unframed pictures and I FOUND IT! Then I went down to the local thrift sore and I found a frame that I thought would look nice with it. Now, it is on my living room wall. I will look at it and remember that I can and will be whole. 

Thanks Mom!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Anesthesia and Me

There is something I've learned over the past 7 months of my life, Anesthesia and me are pretty much frenemies (or frienemies- how every you spell a made up word). I am grateful for anesthesia because it is very, very helpful during surgeries. BUT I get some side effects that I am not to pleased with. nausea and vomiting- I can deal with, but I get insomnia. BOOO, Booo to you insomnia. The fact that you come after a bad nights sleep (can you sleep before surgery?) only makes it that much worse. I Googled insomnia after surgery and sure enough, totally real, and good news- it should clear up within 2-3 weeks. yeah......  Is that enough complaining? I think so.

So, yeah, I had surgery yesterday, there were no signs of anything happening anytime soon with the loss of the pregnancy. It had been over a week since we found out that the baby no longer had a heartbeat and so on Wednesday, Ken and I went to a follow up appointment with my doctor. Nothing was happening, no cramps, no signs of impending anything. So we set up an appointment for a d&c at the hospital for the next day. The doctor hoped that we could still avoid the surgery and he had me try taking some large doses of Misoprostol (aka Cytotec) on Wednesday night in the hopes that it would get everything going and we could cancel the d&c. I spent a long night not feeling so great- first it was nausea, then 3 hours of something close to labor and then......pretty much nothing. In the morning I told the doctor how the night had gone and he said he would meet us at the hospital. So off we went, and everything went fine.

I was very well taken care of. My Anesthesiologist, after explaining all that would go on anesthesia-wise, took a moment to let me know that it was totally okay for me to cry after it was all over- I'm really not explaining that right. What did he say, he said something about how sometimes people feel very agitated after any anesthesia, but when you add the loss of a pregnancy on top of that, well, there is a very good chance for a lot of tears and that I shouldn't feel self-conscious if I should feel like crying, in fact if I did the doctors and nurses would cry right along with me. That really touched me (considering that I had already been crying as I lay on my gurney outside the surgical suite.)

It had been a long week, I had done a lot of grieving. I don't know if I've been through all the stages or if I took them in any order in particular, but I was sad, then I was angry, I don't know if bargained- I don't know what I would bargain for, then I was in denial (on Wednesday I knew the doctor would do another ultrasound and part of my heart really wanted to believe that he would start cheering and say he saw a heartbeat- yep, there's denial for you) and at a point last week I felt acceptance- I was really confused as to why I had to wait and wait and wait, never knowing where I would be when I started to physically lose the baby. I was angry for a little bit and then I realized I was angry at this poor little body inside me, when just days before I had been so grateful for that sweet little baby. I felt weird, I felt like I was a walking tomb. This  thought made me feel even weirder, for about 30 seconds, and then I thought about a tomb, about Christ, my savior, he rose from the tomb, I thought about how tombs are sacred places and I know it's really, really odd, BUT, I didn't feel so weird anymore and I kind of felt a little sacred myself. I had been blessed to be able to cherish this baby for the few weeks that it grew inside me and I was blessed to be able to continue to cradle its little body until I was ready to let go. And I was ready to let go.

All night on Wednesday night I prayed that whatever happened, it would be the right thing. If the pills worked I prayed that everything would go smoothly and I would  be able handle whatever happened. If the pills didn't work, I prayed that the procedure wouldn't be horrible, I had no idea what it would be like, what I would like, during and after either situation. Like I said earlier, I cried while I waited to be taken in for the procedure, but I really felt at ease after talking to the Anesthesiologist and my Doctor, my nurses were all very nice and comforting. And then I was waking up in the PACU with another comforting nurse, who eventually brought me down to the post-op area where Ken could be with me. After proving that I could keep clear liquids and soda crackers down (plus a couple other things) we got the okay to come home. And we did.

I don't know why, but I had the impression that I would feel empty inside, but I didn't. I can only assume that the timing had been right. I'm sure I still have grieving to do and I have vowed to let my self heal as much as I can, emotionally and physically. I still have aches and pains from the laparotomy at the end of May- so a few extra months of waiting before we try again will help with that too, I assume. The Doctor told Ken that he would like us to wait at least 3 months possibly up to 6 months, and I feel like that is going to be okay. Our baby will come when the time is right, and right now, for whatever reason, it's not the time.

NOW- if you've made it this far, I commend you and I hope that this next little bit makes all the rest of it worth it. As I said my prayers tonight I found that I was thankful, I just kept wanting to express how thankful I was. I will admit, I haven't been amazingly thankful over the past week or so, but I just felt overwhelmed with gratitude. I got in bed and struggled to sleep, eventually I did! But then, as seems to be a habit, I woke up needing to use the bathroom, I figured it was 3 or so in the morning....then I saw the clock 11:55. I tried again to sleep but couldn't, I finally decided to just get up. After a couple of hours I went back to bed but once again I couldn't sleep. I was just laying there next to my Ken, AMAZED at how wonderful he is. He has had to take quite a few days off this year to take care of me- Me the one who is the full time caregiver. And he has done it willingly. He is truly the biggest blessing in my life. So there I was, crying again, but this time it was good crying. I, being a very good wife, woke Ken up to tell him all about it. He is my best friend, he is the love of my life, he is the father of my children, he works hard to support our little family and he is AMAZING in every way. I don't feel like I deserve him, I'm sure we all feel that way about our greatest blessings, the greatest gifts that God gives us. I hope someday to prove to myself that I am worthy of such amazing love.

So, yes, I am awake in the middle of the night (actually it's past 5 AM now) but I'm not anxious, I just feel amazingly blessed. I hope that I always remember this, I don't know what I'm to learn from this whole experience, BUT I am glad I have learned this. I've known for a long time that I am a precious child of God, that he knows me, that he gave his Son for me and that Christ knows me and feels my pains with me. But tonight I think I came to understand that Eternal Love just a little bit more.

Good Intentions

Well, Here we are- at quarter to 4 in the morning. I thought- I'll blog! I got the memory card from the camera and intended to post pictures of the fun stuff we did in October......and then I quickly realized that Ken had transferred the pictures.....SO here is what I found.

Little B LOVES the computer :) and Big Boy J likes to take pictures  (see his feet there in the corner)

J likes the computer too- he likes to watch videos. He also loves those Jammies- I washed them on Friday and then again on Monday and on Wednesday he was quite upset that they were not in his pajama drawer

I'm a cowgirl! (B may be totally crying, which makes no sense because he has crackers! CRACKERS!)

On Sunday Morning B and I did some indexing- it was very enjoyable. 
 There you go- a few days in the life of the Wheeler family- we are very very interesting people :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Things I will never really understand

If you've been wondering where I've been for the last month, well, I've been keeping a secret. I was pregnant and I wanted to talk about it SO I didn't blog.

Yesterday was a horrible day. My horrible day had nothing to do with politics and everything to do with things that are beyond my understanding. Back in August I remember telling Ken that I was afraid to try to get pregnant again because I didn't know if my heart could handle losing another pregnancy. Well, We were blessed to be able to get pregnant again, pretty quickly, and this time things seemed to be going well, the lab tests more than doubled, I saw a heart beat at an early ultrasound and I even started feeling really sick. I went in yesterday for one more ultrasound and sadly, there was no heartbeat. I spent a lot of time crying yesterday. I didn't understand. I don't understand. I don't know if I ever will. I was just starting to feel comfortable, to feel like all was well and then SLAM the rug was pulled out from under me and I fell hard. It hurt. 

What made it really confusing was the fact that I was still feeling nauseated and tired and tender, I was feeling very pregnant but the ultrasound didn't lie. I was told what to expect and given instructions and then I started my wait. The wait for all those nice hormones that were making me sick and tired and tender to go away and for my body to recognize that there had been a change, and then the real fun would begin. For the moment I'm in limbo.

As I went to bed last night I really felt confused and somewhat faithless. I felt like I had been playing that trust game where you fall backwards and someone catches you, but no one caught me, and I felt like God should have caught me. I struggled, I believe in God, I have faith in him, but it's hard to trust someone who drops you. And then at about 4 AM I started to have some cramping. and I didn't freak out or anything, I was expecting it after all. When Ken woke up I told him that it was a tender mercy, I think it would have been more horrible for me to think that everything was okay and then wake up at 4 AM cramping. It's amazing how quickly my feelings changed, I went from feeling like God had abandoned me to feeling like he had softened the blow for me, he knows me and this miscarriage was going to happen and he put me in the place where my fall would be the most cushioned. And that is AMAZING! 

I'm still waiting for it all to happen. The cramps were just cramps, an early sign of what's to come. 

What else is to come? I don't know. I've told Ken that I am not sure when I am going to be ready to try again. I'm scared, I don't know how much my heart can take. Maybe I need to find a pregnancy loss support group and just talk for a while. But for now, I feel the need to take care of me, get myself back in shape- both body wise and house wise. I need to get back into a good pattern with myself and my boys and my Ken, with my house and my running. And maybe then I will feel like I'm ready to branch out and risk my heart again, but for now, I'm not so sure.

This morning I was grateful for a new day. I woke up today. I cuddled my boys today. I ate ice cream for breakfast today (well second breakfast, I had eggs for first breakfast). Come what may, I have one more day with my family, the people I love. I don't know what will happen tomorrow, but I will live it, I will live through it and I HOPE I will love it (or at least appreciate it and/or understand it at some future point).

That is all, for now.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A little Harvest

We planted a watermelon this year. I envisioned my family enjoying a couple wonderful watermelons that we grew in our own backyard. Well, this was it. As you can see a watermelon grew! A very very small watermelon. I decided last week that it wasn't going to get any bigger, so I picked it. It was about the size of a grapefruit. See a large yellow squash and a stick of margarine in the picture- for scale.
 I sliced it up. It was FABULOUS! We grow really yummy miniature watermelons!
 We also have a grape vine. I harvested as many grapes as I could reach and made some grape juice concentrate. If you factor in the amount of time I spent cleaning, prepping, cooking and squishing and cooking, then this is probably the most expensive grape juice my family will ever drink. But I enjoyed it, and I hope we enjoy drinking it through the next year. I've realized lately that I enjoy creating. I like to make things, crafts, jewelry, baked goods, I enjoy the creative process.
 Here is another thing I've been creating- but this one won't be ready to harvest for years to come. I'm making a mini me! That's right, he is a boy- and that is different from me- BUT he sleeps just like me :) pillow on his head and all. (let it be known that I do not wear buzz light year pajamas, but that might just be because I don't have any).
And that is a little bit of our harvest. I am looking forward to my butternut and acorn squash, as of right now I have 2 of each :) YAY! And our tomatoes have finally started ripening, so we had some yummy yummy salsa last week, I grew the green pepper and the Anaheim pepper that went in to the salsa as well. So, this years garden hasn't been horrible after all. Yay for harvests, even little tiny ones.

Bear Lake 2012

The Turner family went up to Bear Lake the weekend before Labor day. We had tons of fun. J got this costume a couple of days before we went to bear lake. He asked if he could bring it with us to the Cabin and then he called his Grandma Turner and asked if she could bring him leash. He was a very happy and entertaining puppy.
 We watched a storm cross the lake, the picture doesn't do it justice it was pretty amazing!
 We ate lots and lots and lots of food- and B figured out the best place to sit.
 On Saturday afternoon we went down to the south side of the lake to a State Park called Rendezvous Beach. When we arrived we noticed that there were some storm clouds headed our way. We played in the water for about 10 minutes and then we started to notice that people farther down the beach were all headed  in, pretty fast, it made us wonder if they had been told to get out of the water. THEN it started to HAIL. We found out a few days later that Ken's brother from Colorado were THERE at the exact same time we were- if we had turned left when we got to the beach instead of right- we probably would have seen them!

WE took shelter for about 30 minutes, watched the storm pas, and when we couldn't see or hear lightning anymore we headed back out to the water. J didn't get too far from shore. He mostly liked to make his feet sink in the sand.
 B on the other hand thought that he should walk out as far as possible.....I wonder why? Well, lets see, he had this amazing ball, maybe he figured it would help him float......
 Or maybe he was just following the example of his Aunt Jenette. I had to use full zoom on my camera for this picture.
 I think we will go back to Rendezvous Beach again!
 There are 6 Bedroom as the Cabin- and that is pretty much just enough for each family that was there, so we set the boys up on the floor, one on each side of the bed. The first night was a little rough for B, he woke up with a bump on his head. The second night was worse, I heard B whimpering and I figured he had lost his blanket or binky. I reached down from the bed and started feeling around and to my surprise not only could I not find a binky BUT I couldn't find B. I screamed for Ken to turn on the light and then we found B- under the bed, stuck, he had a scrape on his temple and a nice bruise the next morning.
 After that we found and set up a pack and play for him, he slept great the 3rd night we were there.
It was a great weekend, we ate lots of shakes- raspberry shakes and strawberry shakes and chocolate raspberry shakes. I made Bread Bowls! They were yummy. We played games and talked and generally had a wonderful time. No one got lost this year and we even got to see people run up the mountain for the Bear Lake Monster Half Marathon. That is one Half that I will not be doing.

The ABC's of being a Pirate

Happy international speak like a Pirate day! In honor of this day, I dressed my boys like pirates and we've been saying Arghhhhhh a lot. B is actually quite good at it. J keeps telling me that pirates say OH! 

Isn't this little pirate adorable. I would most definitely let him take my ship and gold from me. I mean, who can deny a request when that smile follows it! J has decided that B is his "Matey" and he is in charge of the ship (our house) when J,"The Captain", is not there BUT, be very aware, Matey is not allowed to touch The Captains Gun! 

The captain has a gun? You ask. Yes he does, and a sword! I found the boys pants for them and they completed their own outfits, I'm actually quite amazed at how well they did, I forgot about B's skull and crossbones shirt (J actually picked that out for him), and J picked out a delightful stripped shirt for himself. It was at this point that I realized PIRATES WEAR STRIPES! It's amazing! After getting dressed I heard J start talking about needing his gun and sword, I had totally forgotten that he had a sword (made out of wood by Grandpa Turner). Here is a picture of where the Captain keeps his sword and gun.

So, on to the ABC's. Preschool started last week and tomorrow J gets to present the Sound Bag to his class. He brought the Sound bag home and it had a B attached to it. So today, J and I have been filling it with things that start with B. So far we have a Baby Bottle, a Binky, Bertie the Bus, a Blanket, a Baseball, some Bubbles, a Book, a circle of Blue fabric, a Block, and a Picture of Baby Brother B. There is a black vest that goes with the pirate pants- it had a little felt skull and crossbones glued to it, but B pulled the felt off a few weeks ago. I hung the skull and crossbones from a nail in the boys wall- so I wouldn't lose and eventually I could put it back on the vest (which I've lost). J pointed up to the skull and crossbones and said, "Mom what's that?" "That's from your Pirate vest." "Does it start with a B?" I was about to say no when I realized that we could probably print out a Buccaneers Flag.....and so we went to the computer and googled "Buccaneers Flag" and sure enough we found one, so we printed it and wrote the story about how we are dressed like pirates AKA Buccaneers! And the flag has BONES on it....I will leave it up to the teacher whether or not she wants to get into bones and buccaneers with the kids.  SO, we continue on our quest. 

"Mom, does gun start with B?"
"No, Gu, Gu, Gun. Does that sound like Bu, Bu, Bee?
"No, What about Sword, does it start with B?" 
"No, Ssss, Ssss, Sssword. Sword starts with S." 
"Oh well"
Poor "The Captain" he can't (and really shouldn't) take his gun and sword to school. 

So what have I learned from this Pirate ABC experience. Basically, I've ruined J. I started out showing him things that start with B. I would ask him what they were and he would say their names and then I would ask "Does it start with B?" and he would yell "YES!" then I started to realize that he thought EVERYTHING started with B, so I've changed, I ask him what everything is, and what letter they start with.....they still start with B.....oops. Hopefully he will get over that by the time they start learning about C.

Until then.....Yo ho, Yo ho a Pirates Life for me. (P.S. I've been typing this while we watch Peter Pan.....which, by the way, doesn't start with B)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Heartbreak, Fear and Faith

So, We would like to have another baby. It took us about 16 months to get pregnant with J. During that time I stopped even bothering with pregnancy tests. I was so tired of them being negative. I realized one day that my period was about a week late. I was working at a hospital and I went down to the lab and asked for a pregnancy test- it was a blood test and took 4 hours for the results to come back. I remember calling the results line and being ELATED when they told me congratulations. I called Ken and then I told all the ladies in my office and then later that day I called my Mom and all my sisters. I was 5 weeks along at that point.

It only took a couple months to conceive B. It was kind of surprising. I really wasn't amazingly regular and I figured it would take a while to get pregnant. I started to wonder if I was pregnant when J suddenly was very clingy and I seemed really emotional (I cried during the scene in Elf where all the people on the street are singing Christmas songs- to help there be enough Christmas cheer for the sleigh to fly) and so I took a pregnancy test- I had one from the dollar store- and it was positive. Faint, but positive. I called the Doctors office to see about getting a quantitative blood test, the one where you get the test twice, 48 hours apart and you can see that your hormone levels are rising appropriately. They told me just to come in for my first appointment. I thought I was about 5 weeks pregnant, the doctor thought I was about 10 weeks, so she sent me for an ultrasound. The ultrasound was 1 week after that first appointment, so by then I should have been about 6 weeks pregnant. The ultrasound technician found the implanted egg and pointed out all the necessary things about my egg- I remember him talking about a yolk- He said that I wasn't 10 weeks pregnant, I wasn't even 6, I was less than 5 weeks pregnant. Two weeks later I went back in and there was a tiny heart beat and according to the ultrasound, at that point I was 6 weeks 6 days pregnant, this means that I found out I was pregnant when I was 3 weeks and 3 days along! WHAT? We announced that pregnancy to my family on Christmas Eve, when I was 5 weeks 2 days pregnant.

Why do I tell you this? Well, they always say that you shouldn't announce a pregnancy until the first trimester is over, with each pregnancy I've told Less people.....but I can't keep my mouth shut, I'm too happy about it.

So on July 25th of this year, I had some pretty strong suspicions that I was pregnant. I took a test and sure enough, it was positive. It was faint- but I also hadn't missed a period yet (since I knew that I had a positive test pretty darn early with B, I figured I could try a few days early now, no issues, just nice to know) because it was so faint I decided to go into the doctors office, they did another test and congratulated me. This time I had promised Ken that I would try to keep my mouth shut a little longer. BUT that promise (for any woman who makes that kind of promise) does not apply to telling your Mom. So I told my Mommy. It was a happy day. I was 4 weeks pregnant, 3 people, me, Ken and Mom, knew about it. It was such an amazing feeling. 4 days later I noticed some staining- not really bleeding, just a little pink- when I would use the bathroom, and that was scary to me, and the next morning I knew for sure. I had had an early miscarriage. I knew I was only 4 weeks and 5 days pregnant, but it broke my heart. I was having a baby, and then I wasn't. I told the world.....well, It told Facebook, so most of the people in my world. What happened. Lots of love and kind words were sent my way. It was amazing to hear how this same thing had happened to so many people. I felt loved, I prayed and cried and prayed a lot, I felt like I was going to heal. But I was still scared.

I told Ken that I was happy to know that we could conceive, we know we can fertilize an egg. Go Us! But the question that was causing me grief was whether or not my body was ready to stay pregnant. I wanted to keep trying, I truly feel like there is a baby ready, waiting to come to our family. But what if my body isn't ready and what if this happens again. Could I handle this pain again? I was afraid.

We went to church at the Young Single Adult ward that week (as part of our calling as YSA Advisers for our Stake) and the first thing said during the testimony meeting was that we need to live with Faith and not with Fear. So I decided that I needed to move past the fear and keep my faith that we will be able to have a baby. I don't know when, but I believe, I have faith that a baby will come.

Last week I went to the temple. I was filled with peace and joy. I was grateful for those feelings, I felt that my prayers were being answered. It was a wonderful, fabulous, powerful experience. I felt impressed to read the story of Zacharias and Elisabeth, I read the entire 1st chapter of Luke. When the Angel Gabriel tells Mary that her cousin Elisabeth has conceived he follows it up with "For with God nothing shall be impossible".

I am trying to live with faith, to remember that with God nothing is impossible. I am trying not to let my mind and my heart go crazy. I have intentionally NOT purchased any pregnancy tests. I will try to wait a little longer this time. Maybe until 5 weeks. I say try. I will try. And if it happens again, I will be okay and we will keep trying,

Hill Aerospace Museum, Wolf Creek and Brigham City

Back in April Ken and I went to the Wolf Creek location of our vacation club. I liked it so much that I immediately began planning a return trip with the boys, and my Parents. 

We went up on Monday and our first stop was the Hill Aerospace Museum....well, our first stop was this Russian Tank, which J hated.....with a passion.

At the Museum we looked at planes, Lost J, Found J and looked at more planes.

J put on a press conference.  

This is a B24, which is the type of plane that my Grandfather Turner flew during WWII. I've never seen one before. 
This is what my boys did while we were looking at the B24
My boys compared to the tire of a Troop Transport Plane.
Can you tell that little B had a fantastic time at the Museum?

We checked in at our condo at Wolf Creek and the boys were immediately impressed with their room, in fact at bedtime I asked "do you want to read some books" and J quickly answered "No, lets just go to bed."

The next morning Grandma Turner helped the boys make a fort.

We finished our trip by touring the new Brigham City Temple. It was beautiful. There was such an amazing spirit there, as we entered the parking garage (yep, the parking garage is where the tour started) I felt overjoyed, I almost cried. It was a great experience.
Each temple has it's own unique design theme, and the Brigham City Temples theme is Peach Blossoms. The round windows have peach blossom designed glass, and there is peach blossom stone work. So pretty.
And with that, I am pretty much caught up- picture wise :)