Journal Entry: July 30, 2008 Call from Katie

Got a call from Katie in Genetics. Her familiar soft voice reassured me today. She offered me a Level II Ultrasound at 18 weeks. She also explained that there is a couple of additional screening tests that can be done sooner than that. They would only indicate the probability of Down's or Trisomy, and following that, an amnio is suggested. But she remembered how I adamently declined these tests with Charlotte and understands if I decline them now.

She actually said she thought I was *brave* and that she respected my decision to stand my ground for myself in declining further testing... way back when. **sigh**.

I never thought I'd be rootin' for Trisomy, but today I am.

Apparently the likelihood of having another child with some or all of the genetic problems that Charlotte had WITHOUT there being a Trisomy is greater than if Charlotte did have T18. If she did not have T18 and had those particular problems, the chance is greater that they could repeat themselves in subsequent children.

If she did indeed have T18 it could have been a total *fluke* or one of us could have carried it. We've already ruled out me being a carrier. It's almost a moot point right now if B carries it. Wouldn't change anything anyway.

But for now, if it's settled that she did have it then there is a 1% chance it could ever happen again. That brought me some relief today. At least until my next appointment. Here we go...

Journal Entry: July 23, 2008 Does this story have a happy ending?

I don't even know what to say.
I am so excited, nervous and scared. I found out Monday morning. Waited all day to tell B. I was so scared of his reaction. Of all the ways I could tell him, I emailed him. The irony in that is that he has been complaining to me about how much time I spend on the computer. Just recently he got a promotion from work and has been learning how to send and recieve emails. So I wrote him a note that says : How many lines do you see? and I'm wondering if you can see what I can see??

I waited for him to come home and kept urging him to check his email as he had something from his boss on there. He took his time in checking it. I finally told him to check it because we were waiting for an email from his dad. So he opens it up and reads it. Looks at the picture and shrugs his shoulders. "I don't get it" he says. Oi Vey!

So I sat there in silence, waiting for it to dawn on him. Then he lookes over at me and says "Is this from you?". Yep. So much for the hooplah. He sat back in the office chair and rubbed his forehead. After a few minutes had passed he stood up, gave me a hug and said that we are walking in the *shadow of death*. Gulp. He also said that he was 1.) excited 2.) nervous and 3.) scared. I confirmed that he is at least a *little* excited and we agreed to rest on that.

Now it's been only 2 days since I found out and I've already had my share of tears.

I have so many mixed emotions about this. I had just succumbed to the idea that maybe there were no more babies for us back in April or May. I had just witnessed my dear friend give birth last month and realized that labor is painful! I think I'm good. All done here! I started accepting the fact that I'm not getting pregnant.

Since last October, or there abouts, I had been ACTIVELY trying to get pregnant. For at least 6-8 months I was trying to no avail. I have to admit, Brian didn't really know when I ovulated or anything like that, but I did. I'd figured if he wasn't too worried about me NOT getting pregnant, they hey, why not stack the odds?? I didn't do anything devious, I just *lived my life* with my husband. There were no other explanations for not getting pregnant other than it was not God's timing. So I just assumed that we were done. Somewhere in the middle of it, I had gotten really angry and resentful. I shrugged it off and moved along.

B had even told a lot of people that we were done and he was adament about getting the 'ol snippity-snip. For a time that broke my heart. Then I felt peace that God was reminding me that B hadn't even called for an appointment for this and to relax. He had it under control. But still, I thought He was done with us. I even asked B if he was still planning on doing it... three or four days before I found out I was pregnant.

Then Monday came. I was only late by 1 day. But I just KNEW. I don't know why or how, but I did. I think I even know the exact moment. I had this thought of "Oh my gosh, you just got me pregnant!" but I didn't say anything to him. It was just a completely different feeling I had afterwards.

I expected to have a wide range of emotions about this. But I am quite surprised at the ones I've had so far.

In a way, I feel guilty.

I know that I have been blessed. I have good friends, close family, a nice home, healthy children, etc. I know a lot of people are not as fortunate as I am. That's when I start to feel bad. Like I already have *enough*. I have had so many people cover me in prayer and love on me from what had happened with Charlotte.. now people are loving on me and covering me in prayer over this baby too. I personally know of women that don't have people cheering them on when they get pregnant. Now I do. I don't know why I feel so guilty by that, but I do.

I also feel so unworthy.

I have a completely different perspective of children now. I do truly see them as gifts. Why have
I been given this gift when I don't deserve it? I have not prayed to become pregnant in (what seems like) a very long time (actually it's only been a couple of months). And now, here I am. Why is God blessing me this way? OR... is this going to be another faith tester? Gosh, I hope not! What if something is wrong. Or goes wrong? What if I miscarry? What if my health suffers? What if, what if, what if.

This sucks.

I can't even have an imaginary hallmark date. So what if I find out at 9, 12, 15 and 18 weeks that she is (oops, Freudian slip..haha) that the baby is ok. I'm still not out of the woods. Charlotte's heart stopped at 36 weeks! Oh Jesus, give me peace. I need to know that this will be ok. That I will not crack up in the meantime. what now?

Journal Entry: July 21, 2008 The puppies are here!

Just wanted to update really quickly that Coco had her puppies! They were born July 13th.
She indeed had 3. Two boys and one girl. The little girl is just darling. Her coat is beautiful. Chocolate brown and white. One brother is taffy and white and the other is a polka dotted black and white cow. They are all named and very much loved. Little Boy #1 is named Butters. Little Boy #2 Is Bon Bon (Named by my daughter, however I was calling him Oliver). And Little Miss is named Curry. So precious.
Our family went to a soccer game and when we came home, the first little boy was already born and literally hanging out of Coco, only attached by the cord. I'll spare all of the gorey details, but I will say that I was able to help deliver the second and third pup.

They are growing so fast already. They're eyes are still closed, but their bellies are getting soft and round.
I think I'm in love...

Journal Entry: July 11th, 2008 Unrealistic Anxiety

Today I took Coco to the vet. She is pregnant with her first litter and I went in to see if the Doc could count how many puppies she would have. Well, while she was out getting X rayed... I sat alone in the examination room. There was a nicely framed picture of a beagle puppy that was adorable! I blankly gazed at the ceiling it was so cute...they had paw prints embossed into the tiles. Anyway, I was looking around, praying that God would allow the puppies to be born healthy and that there would be the right number of them in there. I have had every puppy spoken for since before she was pregnant, and I din't know how I was going to pick and choose who would get what. I was hoping for a minimum of 5.

Then I had the idea of asking Brian if I could actually breed dogs. We could convert the garage into the space necessary since it's all finished off in there. But the idea is to sell them at a minimal cost (just to cover expenses) to bereaved families of those who have lost a baby or an infant. I don't know.. it was just a thought.

Well, as Coco was out of the room, I noticed it was taking a long time for the doctor to come back with the results. There was a flurry of activity outside the exam room door. The nurses were talking to each other and I could see them walking at an almost frantic pace past the room I was in. There is a small window in the door, just big enough to see slivers of people walking by. The voices were muffled so I couldn't hear what anyone was saying, but all of the sudden, I had anxiety that surprised me. My heart was racing and my eyes quickly filled up with tears. Where the heck was this coming from??

Where was my dog? Was she ok? What if they were xraying her and saw that the puppies died? What if all of the sudden she started convulsing? Were the nurses tending to her? Is this why they were rushing into the other room??

I had the sharpest pain in my chest. I couldn't catch my breath. What was I doing??

All of this only lasted about 5 minutes. Then I'd realized that this was Coco, not me. I calmed down and took a breath. Just then the doctor walked in. He said there are 3 puppies in there. He showed me the 2 views on X ray and we counted 3 little skulls with lots and lots of little bones.

Knowing how many she's expecting takes off a lot of pressure. I know exactly who is getting them now, I don't have to pick and choose.

But the doctor did warn me that there is a danger of only having 3 in there because they may grow too big and have trouble coming out. He told me what to watch for and how long to wait before we take her to the hospital, if we have to. This is sounding all too familiar.

But I feel much better now. The puppies should be here with in the next 3-6 days. :)

Journal Entry: July 1, 2008 Ash Heap

I'm sitting on a huge ash heap. It feels like it anyway. I have conquered the flames and am left sitting on top of a pile of smoldering ashes. I'm filthy dirty and my hair is cinged. But at least I am on top of the pile and not under it, right?

I'm writing this down tonight knowing there is a possibility of someone reading this that may get their feelings hurt. I am going to try to be as vague as possible about a *confession* I have to make just to try to protect another person. But I feel like I have to write it down, lest I forget the lesson.

There is a certain someone I know that is going through a situation that is largely of their own doing. Not all of it, but a large part of it. My opinion of the matter isn't as important as what my "judgements" and attitude have been about it. The fact is, I don't agree with what was allowed to transpire, I think it is wrong. But (1.) it's none of MY business and (2.) I don't know that if I were in the same situation that I would do differently. This brings me to two images I see in the mirror. Both of which leave a lump in my throat when I realize that the reflection is of me.

In this mirror, I see a few things. One of them is a judgemental spirit. The other is hypocrisy, and yet another jealousy. Very ugly words that can be used to describe my heart these days, and honestly, very hard to swallow. In one sense I want to deny these things are part of my character. But on the other hand, they are rising to the surface like a bubble about to pop.

So in this "situation", a certain someone is claiming that the sequence of events that is happening must be "from God" because they are looking to be working out in their favor. I am so tired of hearing that, it sounds so cliche. What I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around is that the overall situation seems to go against the very character of God... meaning that this person is doing something that their heart wants to do and saying that it is all ok, and that God is... in fact... blessing it and all of these *good* things that are happening are evidence of His blessing.

What I'm struggling with is... how can it be from God when it looks to be so worldly? And yet, they are the given answers to their prayers, so it seems, so how then is it NOT from God? ? ? Glimpse in the mirror...
#1.) Judgement. uck.

So creeping quietly into the picture comes jealousy and guilt.

In this situation, I'm watching this person get "blessed" over and above what is appropriate. How ridiculous does that sound? Like I actually have a say in what God chooses to bless someone with... but these are biggies. Materialistic in nature, I know.. so lame, but it's hard to take my eyes off of that. Now, in fairness, this person is a *praying kinda person* and is pouring their requests out to God. Asking for His favor and seemingly getting it! Why can't I get it too?

#2.) Jealousy

Well, I am very fond of this person, so much so that I'd better not say more because someone may figure out who I'm referring to. But because of my relationship to them, guilt settles into the cracks. Outwardly I pretend to be excited, but inside it's eating me up. What's worse is I'm having a heck of a time not backbiting and gossiping about it.

They, a dozen times over, are getting their heart's desire... How can I not be happy for 'em? How can I not rejoice with 'em when their prayers are answered?? Inside, I'm rolling my eyes...

Sheesh! What kind of person am I? What a lousy excuse for a Christian I've become! My inner feelings have not been very Christlike at all. Guilt/shame are all now rolled into one. But in all reality... I guess I haven't *become* this type of Christian, this is they type of person I have always been and have yet to shed off. And because of Christ... I can.

#3.) Guilt

As I type this I keep thinking.. will grace not abound? Where sin abounds, how much more will grace abound? I have no right to dictate to the Lord who He will or will not bless. I know that.

***Now comes the REAL horror show part of this epiphany...***
I realized that through the fervent prayers of this person, they are being built up. Their confidence in praying is being built. The more they pray and *get*... the more they pray (or so it seems). They're getting their prayers answerd left and right and the answer is ALWAYS good.

And there is a part of me... in the pit of my being where it's dark and ugly... that does not want them to be blessed. What my flesh wants is for their heart to be broken... just as much as mine is >>ouch, hard realization there<<.

A bubble bursting effect, that is just as big as all of my hopes and dreams were a year and a half ago... and how small and shattered they still feel at times...that's how I want someone...especially this person... to feel. I don't want to suffer this alone anymore. I guess because of my relationship to this person I feel they need to see how I feel for a while. How would they like it to have their heart ripped out of their body and attached to the bottom of their shoe like an old piece of bubblegum? Day in and day out. It's almost disheartening at times.

I want someone else's prayers to go unanswered.
I want someone else to carry the burden for a while.
I want someone else to be broken and hurting.
I want someone else to be confused at times and not hear clearly the voice of God.

I want someone else to be told "No".

You see... how ugly is that?? I may not have made sense through any of this... but I know what I'm getting at. Now that it's out I know I need to ask for forgiveness from God, but I'm not yet ready. This person will hopefully never know of the ill feelings I have toward their situation. I know it would hurt them deeply to think that I actually want them to be left in a lurch. I can't believe I even have that in me. It's so ugly. I'm embarrassed to admit it. But I have to get over myself and get back ontop of my heap.