Sunday, December 22, 2013

The T word

There are moments in life that take your breath away. Sometimes in a good way and other times in a terrible way. When you lose a loved one unexpectedly it's as if all the oxygen in the room has been sucked out leaving you grasping for breath.
Thursday I experienced this on another level...the good level...the terrifying level.
We went in for our first sonogram since the positive pregnancy test. THE test that would tell us how many eggs took hold.
I'm sure you can see where I'm going with this.
Dr. Servy inserted the probe and bam...there they were. Two separate hollow spots on the screen with a tiny cashew in the middle of each.
He's a slight comedian, Dr. Servy, as he sang part of a Christmas song:
"Do you see what I see?" He was staring right at Michael.
The picture started bouncing was moving because I was laughing. Not quite joyful, but a nervous, can't believe what I'm seeing sort of laugh that shook my whole body and the sonogram picture. Pictures were taken, measurements made and much to my surprise....we could hear heartbeats on both..ALREADY!
That swishing sound was the sound of hope and terror all rolled into one.
After the doctor left, Michael and I looked at each other with wide-eyed wonderment.
"Wow. Two babies. Twins." he said.
And then the gates opened and I cried. More like wept or bawled. It was an ugly cry either way.
Don't get the wrong idea, I was not upset. I was happy.
I was also scared to death!!
So many scenarios of two against one flashed in my mind so rapidly. The realization that I may not sleep soundly for the next year. The overwhelming thought of "Can I handle two at once and maintain my sanity?" So I cried. And cried.
The doctor came back in after 10 minutes or so to check on us and see if we were ever coming out.
I was not naive enough to think that this could not happen, but I was not prepared for the actual reality of it all. Our small family of 3 blossoming into a family of 5. A dream come true really. We would, one day, have that massive Christmas dinner with everyone and their spouses and kids. I would have that large family and plenty of children to love. I would be considered a real mom... a status that sometimes seems elusive because I am only mother to one child.
It took the rest of the day to soak in and every person I told had to participate in another cry fest. But hey, it was therapy. The more I said the word "twins", the more comfortable I was with the concept.
Michael was in shock too. The entire day a fog for him as he tried to maintain normal tasks and come to grip with two babies.
We have talked a lot and are quite confident that we can do this now.
Addison is over the moon excited. She is still very adamant that we have her a sister. For her sake, I hope one of them is a girl or she'll be mad at me for a bit.

My favorite saying from her this week is, "Mommy I'll feed the babies, but you change the diapers. Poo poo is not my favorite."
She cracks me up.
She also told me that God didn't listen. I asked what she meant.
She said "I prayed for one baby (Holding up her finger). God didn't listen."
I assured her that God knows what he's doing and that he gave us two babies because he knew we'd be a great family for them. And that's what I keep telling myself.

So, here I am, consumed every minute of every day with the fact that I am carrying two children. In one respect I glad for the fact because all my pants were already too tight at 6 weeks. I was afraid I was ballooning already. However, with the justification that I have 2 children growing in there, I have confidently already started wearing maternity pants. Goodness I've missed these things. I am pretty sick on a regular basis. The urge to vomit invades my every waking moment. Sometimes I can stave it off, other times it wins. Not fun either way. I do know this. These babies love milk and meat...beef mainly. No sweets, no carbs, no veggies...just meat. I feel live a ravenous carnivore at times. I need my own cows for many reasons at this point.
Here's our first live shot of the TWINS....there's that word again. Whew!


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Another Chapter, Another Wild Ride

Where to start....

November has flown by. With good reason. Michael and I, after much deliberation and negotiation, decided to try one more IVF cycle. We started in November. Not much had changed in the 6 years since I tried with Addison. Since we used up all our frozen embryos on our last attempt, we had to start at the beginning....shots and all.
It wasn't all that bad and the effects were expected at least so we were a little more prepared for the emotional roller coaster that ensued. I think back fondly of my first entries of my blog, originally drafted as therapy as I went through my first IVF cycle.
This time I decided to keep it hush hush in case it didn't work. I realized that so many people were riding the coaster with me and it really was just unneccessary to take them along on the same sort of journey just in case it didn't work. And....I was more prepared to handle it all much better this time.
Dr. Servy has become a personal friend over the years and was excited to get another opportunity to help us once more. Several of the nurses were still there and going to see them each visit was like coming home to family. He reassured me that this time I wouldn't be as sick because he knew how much medecine would overstimulate me and so he had a baseline to go by.
He was right. It was tolerable and there was no hospital visit the weekend after the retrieval. I still produced a whopping 17 eggs. I am a good egg maker.
After fertilization, 13 were viable: 7 were in excellent shape and 6 were in good shape. Everything went so smoothly and I was compliments on exactly how beautifully perfect my embryos were.
Honestly, it scared me. I had some sort of superstitious belief that it wouldn't work unless it was hard..very hard.
This was going so smoothly.
I still managed to keep the process a secret from everyone except Addison's Pre-K class. I did not shield her from the process and every day, she would go to school and update the class on mommy "trying to get a baby." Apparently they prayed for me daily.
Addison prayed too, for a sister. She was adament that she did not want a boy. I told her if she wanted a sister, she needed to talk to God. Each conversation I secretly wished and hoped that I would not have to disappoint her with no baby.
In my heart, it all just felt right. The timing, the process, the desire, the was all there and everything was seeming to go so well. I believed deep down this would work.
Our transfer was November 20th. On December 2nd, I tested positive.
We are now 5 weeks and 5 days along and every person, stranger or not, knows that I have a baby in my tummy thanks to Addison.
Michael is in awe that I am once again carrying his child. Addison is elated and talks incessantly about "the baby". I am cautious of course because it's so early. But the idea is slowly growing on me. It will be more realistic once we have the first sonogram. I really need that visual. Although, I have been so incredibly tired that its hard to function. Then there's the nausea anytime I'm the slightest bit hungry. This mustard seed sized little bit inside me is totally taking over.
It's been 6 years. I've forgotten so much. And I'm excited.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Turning 5 is awesome

 The birth of Rainbow Dash

 Absolutely love this cupcake face.
To recap her day. Woke up to mommy and daddy singing Happy Birthday. Wore a crown all day at school. Went to Build-A-Bear with Kate curly and Margaret Vernon and made her first stuffed animal...Rainbow Dash, complete with tennis shoes, cape and roller skates. Had a big birthday cookie at the mall and finished the afternoon playing at home with her best friends. Dinner was Mexican so she could have one of her favorites..."Cheese Chips" and it was topped off with cupcakes. She also got a big girl bike with training wheels. I don't think it could possibly have been a better day.

Halloween 2013

 Our First Carved Pumpkin
 Addison did the teeth.
 Hello Nurse.
 The witch...our newest decoration. She's a hoot really. Talks, moves, has a smoking cauldron.
 The cutest cowgirl ever.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Our Newest Family Member - Dakota


We are FIVE

Tonight I was beautiful. Or so I was told.
I was cleaning up my daughter's room. Trashed from a day of birthday fun, I needed to get it back in working order. Three little girls are equivalent to a small hurricane.
As I sat in the floor sorting out tiny little figurines of disney princesses and small Barbie shoes that certainly were developed by evil people who never actually had kids or at least never stepped on one of those small torturous pieces of plastic in the dark, I was told that I was about to be pretty.
I need to be pretty. Age and ailments make me feel ancient most days.
She tenderly began to put hairbow after hairbow into my hair. All colors and sizes. All types. Then she stood back and told me, "Mommy, you are beautiful."
That's my heart. She's still walking around outside my body. She has a bit more of an attitude these days. She has her own thoughts and opinions. But she is always my heart and its moments like these that keep that attachment strong.
Turning five is a big deal. She has asked me every single day during September...sometimes twice a day..."Is is my birthday yet?"
This year was a little more low key. We took two friends to Build-a-Bear and built "Rainbow Dash" then had dinner with the grandparents.
Our stuffed animal came complete with tennis shoes, a cape and roller skates thanks to the beautifully decorated examples beside the door to entice young children to whine until they get all the accessories this loaded up pony had. Brilliant really. They even had a least so that you can pull your pony on her roller skates behind you. Yes, of course we have to have that too.
But despite the hit to my wallet (which I was prepared for) and the exhaustion that has ensued from trying to herd chickens....I mean children, it was a magnificent day. Nothing can replace that gasp of surprise when she walked into the living room to find a new big girl bike with balloons attached to it.
Now, I need sleep. But first, pictures.
 Our First Carved Pumpkin
 She's practicing to be a dentist. Her first patient, the overcrowded mouth of Jack.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


We lost our sweet Daisy this month. She was a loyal dog. Not all of them are. She merely wanted to be with us. I'm still not sure what took her. She was healthy until suddenly ill. Only three years old in human terms. Still very young in dog years.
To be the constant object of my daughter's affection must have been a sometimes tough, but rewarding job. We always knew that of the three of us, Daisy ranked first.
We will miss your sweet nature, you're constant love and the fact that you would not leave our side. See you in heaven. And as I keep telling Addison concerning you; keep on watching God make rain and make sure he walks you on your leash and most of all, feel no pain.

Sunday, August 25, 2013


Well, it's been a rough month. Besides normal stresses, I was admitted to the hospital for 7 days. That was hard on a certain 4 year old. It was probably hard on a certain daddy too, but I was the one getting probed and prodded for a week.
My sweetheart started 4 Pre-K and has all of a sudden become this little comedian. Last night we were sitting together in my chair. She was apparently chewing her thumb nail  and out of the blue asks me...hey, wanna bite?
She has an uncanny ability to catch me unaware and send me right into a laughing fit.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

My sweet silly girl

We attended my alumni weekend at Blue Ridge Assembly this year. It's Addison's 3rd year going. She and I "roughed it" with no A/C. It was phenomenal. It was a safe place that I could let her run off and play with the other children and not worry about her. There aren't too many of those left these days.
It was rainy but my love and the view were still beautiful.

But I think the rain was gettng to her. She even slept with her umbrella.

This is my favorite place to be planted during my visits to the mountain.

And there are giant bugs!  LOL

And silly faces.

And my girl just growing up right in front of me.

Blue Ridge

Some people just don't get it. They arrive on the mountain and its just another place. A collection of creaky old buildings full of outdated furniture and dust.
But if you've ever worked here...If you've ever stayed here with a group and really experienced this place, its nothing short of magic.I lost a piece of my heart here in 1995 and every year I come back and visit it. When my pieces unite, it is overwhelming and yet complete.
The entrance hasn't changed since I first stepped foot on the mountain the summer after my freshman year of college. A narrow, curvy road winds its way up through a dark canopy of trees..over a small rock bridge where tales of a troll echo. Its the entrance to another world and thus the magic begins.

Lee Hall is the mecca to which all who come here must visit merely to sit in a green rocker on a quiet porch and stare at the mountainous skyline, listen to the creek tripping over rocks and the hear the birds...such happy birds. Its green as far as the eye can see. Plush, fluffy trees blow in the breeze because there's always a breeze here.
To stay here is to jump backward in time. There is no air conditioning, no televisions, no electronics at all in the rooms of Lee Hall. I bring a fan and prop open the enormous window..that still opens and closes with ease. The chilly air that blows across the creek is one of the secret ingredients for the most peaceful sleep ever.

My first summer here was one of adventure and independence. I had completed my freshman year of college and was determined to NOT go back home. That's how I got here. The pay was little but it was far far away from the control of my parents. It was fated because that's the summer I met Scott, my first love. He drove a motorcycle. We'd take off on our free days and ride the Parkway to a river overlook. We'd swim in the icy water and go rock hopping. I made him wait two weeks for that first kiss..sweet torture from an innocent girl. We spent nights in one lawn chair staring at the stars. And when he greeted my visiting parents, he blurted out, "Hi, I'm Scott, and I love your daughter."
Needless to say my parents were a little taken aback.
But apart from the magic of the mountain, we couldn't last. Distance and difference took hold where mystery and romance once lived.
But I came back another summer. The mountains still captivated me. The feeling of thousands of souls and hundreds of years still courses through the halls. The unexplainable peace I feel...its all still here.
And so I return. To reunite my listen to my just be without interruption...and consume the magic that is this place.