Category Archives: Infertility

Depth of Pain to Fullness of Joy

I’ve got 3 of my closest friends going through some incredibly hard and painful situations right now. They are weighing so much on my heart and I wish I could take all the pain, fear, and uncertainty away.

But while I’ve been processing these situations, one recurring thing I want to share with them all keeps coming back to me.

Over the last nearly 3 years I have seen some of my deepest, darkest days, as well as some of my brightest, most joyful days. Infertility is something you can’t fully understand until you’ve been there. The pain, the fear, the uncertainty – it’s so real and so raw.

A friend of mine just asked on an infertility board we’re both on a while back to those still trying to conceive their first, “Have any of you started to picture your life without ever having children?” I remember those days. That question brought me to the darkest places my heart has ever been. I couldn’t picture it. It wasn’t me. Everything about everything I had ever done was to the end of having my own children. Of being a mom. A life without kids was not a life I wanted to live. I felt absolutely forgotten, ignored, hopeless, hurt, and angry. Why didn’t God get it? Why did he put this unquenchably strong desire in my heart, only to keep the prize at arms length? It wasn’t fair.

But what I know on this side of it is if I hadn’t experienced the depth of the pain, the darkness of those days – I could never experience the fullness of the joy and light I’m experiencing now. God knew it’s what my heart needed. It was pain with a purpose. A purpose I couldn’t see, try as I did.

I think it’s ok to feel that anger, let yourself experience that pain. It will stretch your heart to new limits – in the capacity for pain so deep you’ve never experienced anything like it, but also in the capacity for joy.

I wish I could show you all the big picture. I wish I could say exactly how that joy is coming. And when it’s coming. All I know is that it is. And it’s going to be so much more beautiful than you can even imagine.


5 months

This big boy is 5 months! He is around 12.5 pounds, 22.5 inches long.



He has changed so much in the past month. He now laughs, rolls from belly to back, “talks” non-stop – he is so fun!



Joey got to go for his first plane ride(s) this month when the two of us traveled to Chicago! We met up with 6 other girls I met through an infertility group about a year and a half ago. We’ve chatted almost daily for so long, gone through lots together, and it was so great to meet them in person! We enjoyed a day exploring around Navy Pier.





We also started a fitness class called Burn Baby Burn this month. It is awesome! Joey stays with me in the class and the instructor utilizes the babies as weights for us! It’s a great chance to get out of the house, meet fun friends, and get some exercise!


Happy 5 months, sweet boy!




Mother’s Day

There is so much in my head and in my heart on this very important day. Mothers are amazing people, and I’m honored to have joined their ranks. In some ways my journey has just begun, and yet every piece of life has been leading to this time. There are so many who have touched and shaped my life in ways that impact the mom I am to my son. So on this Mother’s Day…

To my mama: it all starts with you. Without you, there would be no me, and there would be no Joey. Your patience, guidance, and love have modeled for me the mom I want to be for my son. “Thanks mom for life!”


To Andy’s mama: thank you for raising the man I had the privilege of marrying. I pray someday Joey’s future wife will be as blessed by the way he was raised as I am by the way you raised your son. He’s an amazing guy and I know so much of that credit goes straight to you.


To my godmother: thank you for always loving and supporting me in a way like none other. You have so perfectly embodied the role of godmother – leading my life toward Christ, and loving me like a mom.


To my grandmas, great-grandmas, aunts, and cousins: thank you for being wonderful examples of women and mothers in my life. Our family tree is rich with love and devotion and I am who I am because of your influence.



To the moms I used to come over and help out with your kids while I was growing up: you may have thought I was helping you, but really you were helping me. While I was learning to love by investing in your kiddos, I was also watching you and learning from you. Those experiences are still with me today and have molded me into the mom I am and will be.

To the moms I nannied and did daycare for: wow. As a mom myself now, I can see just what it took to entrust your kiddos with me every day. I had so much love to give, but no babies of my own, so thank you for sharing yours every day. My experiences with your kids taught me a ton, and I’m grateful for the time I got to spend with them. They’re all amazing kids and were (are!) a blessing in my life.


To all my mom friends: thank you for walking this road before me and opening your lives to me to ask any questions I need to, and for your constant encouragement and support. Joey thanks you for keeping his mama grounded.

To my photographers, Jessica and Alyisa: no words can describe the gift you’ve given me as a mom. The moments you’ve captured I will hold in my heart forever, and I’ve got a photo to remember it. Thank you for loving on me as a new mom, and for taking the time and care to capture perfect moments with my boy.



To my husband: you’re not a mom, but without you I wouldn’t be the mom I am today. Your unwavering faith, your patience and love, your strength and devotion, your encouragement and support are all things I am learning from and that are vital to my relationship with Joey. I’m thankful to have had you by my side for this whole crazy ride.


To my RE, midwives, OB, and labor and delivery nurses: thank you for the role you played in this big story. If you had not been there and stepped in when and how you did, I may not be celebrating today with a baby in my arms. I am incredibly grateful for your education, wisdom, love, and care. Keep doing what you’re doing, because its an amazing thing.

To my NICU nurses: thank you. From the bottom of my heart. You were mamas to my baby when I couldn’t be there, and you loved on me as a mama in a way no one else could or did. Your experience and knowledge as fellow moms and as nurses is something I’ll carry with me as I raise this boy. Thank you for loving him.

To all the mamas-to-be still waiting and hurting: I feel you. Having a baby doesn’t take all the pain away. I still hurt remembering the many years this day has passed as a painful day. Being a mom now doesn’t erase the past, but it does let me see it in a different light. Every pain, every tear, every failed cycle, every lost baby led us to here. It all brought me my boy. And I’d do it all again to be here with him. Trust that your take-home baby is coming, and every step right now is just a tiny piece of the big story unfolding in your life. I’m praying for peace and strength for you today.

To my godson, Luke: you made me a godmama for the first time this year too! I am so honored to play this role in your life. You are an amazing boy already and I can’t wait to watch you and your BFF Joey (aka Han Solo) grow up together. I’m praying for you daily, and praying for strength and wisdom to be an example in your life and love you in a unique way as your godmother. Love you, Lukey!


To my furbabies, my first kids: thank you for giving me a place to share my love. I don’t always do it right, but I absolutely love being your mama too. You are naughty and crazy, but you love so unconditionally and have taught me patience and love on a whole new level. Never stop giving an abundance of kisses and wagging your tails when I walk in the room. You’ve taken up a big part of my heart and no one could replace that.


To my two babies in heaven: I miss you. I can’t wait to rock you someday, to scoop you up in my arms and give you the kisses I never got to. I can’t wait for you to meet your little brother – your short lives were a big part of our story and paved the way for him to come into our lives. Thank you for giving me my first taste of the love I’d have to give my babies as a mom.

To Josiah, my son: you’ve added a richness and depth to my life that’s like no other. Your little life has changed mine in a big way. I am so incredibly blessed to have you here today. I pray I never for a second lose sight of the miracle of your life. I can’t wait to watch you grow up into the man you were created to be. Your life has got a big, big purpose and I’m excited to be a part of that. Thanks for making me a mama.



We are HOME. As a family of 5. (Yes, the puppies still count :))

Our first 6 days home have been amazing, challenging, busy, relaxing, tiring, wonderful, hard and fun.

Our first night home was hugely stressful. I hadn’t slept much the night before and all of a sudden was responsible for every little thing for this tiny human. We all had to adjust and figure out our new normal here at home and for Joey that meant not eating much which worried me. I think I even said “if he doesn’t eat we’re going to have to bring him back”, and to be honest I kind of wanted to. As HARD as NICU life was, it was also EASY. There was a trained medical professional literally right there if something wasn’t right. If he didn’t eat in the NICU he wouldn’t starve to death, someone would get him a new NG tube. I know now he really wouldn’t have starved to death from missing one feeding (and they would have let him skip one in the NICU too before getting him a new tube), but in my sleep-deprived-trying-to-do-everything-perfect mind at that moment I thought for sure he would. But he decided to eat late that night, and we’re all good on that front now. He spent a lot of that first night crying too… Only wanting to sleep while Andy rocked him in the rocking chair for hours. But he’s gotten over that and were all good on the front now too.

When we first started in the NICU, I hated having to spend every day with people. The nurses were nice and all, but I was so used to being home alone all day, just me and the puppies, that I couldn’t stand being with people that much of every day! Now after 5.5 weeks of being there, I am missing those wonderful nurses like crazy!! I am missing their wisdom and experience, but more importantly their friendship and conversation. We had some nurses who really went the extra mile to get to know us, love on us, and take amazing care of our boy. I am so incredibly grateful for all of them! And I miss them dearly.

Joey had his first pediatrician appointment on Wednesday. He is now 6lb 2oz! That’s 3oz gained in 3 days which is great. He’s a growing boy! I wasn’t too fond of the doctor, though. After having nurses and doctors available 24/7 in the NICU for any question or concern I might have had, I had compiled a list of questions for the doctor in the 3 days we’d been on our own. Apparently he didn’t have time for that, though, as I only got to ask one before he said “he looks great! See you in a month!” and bolted out the door. He never introduced himself when he came in the room (I actually had to look on their website where they have a picture and their names to find out who he was!) and I actually sat in there for about 5 minutes after he left dumbfounded and wondering if maybe that wasn’t even the doctor. I didn’t know if I should get Joey dressed or keep waiting or what, but finally decided we needed to just leave. So now I’m on the hunt for a new pediatrician again. Boo. 😦

Thursday he had his eye appointment. It wasn’t with a regular eye doctor like to check if he could see, it was with a retina specialist to check for something called Retinopathy of Prematurity. They needed to check the blood vessels in his eyes to make sure they looked as they should and weren’t indicating ROP. The doctor said everything is where it should be and looks great! We don’t have go back to see the retina specialist, but will see a pediatric optometrist when he is about 6 months old to check if he needs glasses.

We had to tell our first people “no you can’t hold him” the other day. It was hard and I did feel bad, but his immune system is working in overdrive right now and we can’t put it under any more stress than it needs. I was just reading something the other day that during the third trimester the mothers body starts transferring immunoglobulin to the baby’s body to boost their immune system for the first part of their life. He didn’t get to spend the third trimester on the inside so (this is my uneducated non-medical guess) his immune system is not even what it would have been had he been full term. He will eventually get there, but for now we need to be very careful to not expose him to much.

The puppies are doing great with Joey home. The first couple days they were very sad. Torq was downright depressed. He even came in the shower with me one day (this is a dog who HATES baths!) just to be by me. Poor thing. 😦 But that has changed a lot over the last couple days! They love him. When they hear him making noise they will look for him and try to peek at him to see what’s up. They are being so good about not licking him, which any of you who know them know this takes a crazy amount of self control for them! They can’t wait til Joey is bigger and can play with them. I can’t wait to watch the 3 of them grow up together 🙂




I’m going to keep blogging as Joey grows up, is that ok with you all? Will you stick with me? 🙂 Because he was born 2 months early, for a while (I think the first 2 years) his age will be stated as actual and adjusted. He is not expected to meet milestones until his adjusted age (the age he’d be if he was born on his due date) is there. Today he is 37 weeks 6 days gestation, so… still supposed to be on the inside. However, I think this boy is going to do things on his own schedule anyways. But that’s why its so amazing all the things he’s doing now, since he shouldn’t be doing ANY breathing, eating, pooping, nothing – just chillin’ in his warm bath. This boy is a rockstar. I still would have only been 38 weeks pregnant tomorrow. That thought is so weird! I can’t even imagine being huge and pregnant right now. This picture was taken at about 28 weeks, and its one of the last pictures I have of me pregnant (I have a couple from my baby shower the weekend before he was born too). I can’t imagine how big I would be right now! Haha!


Speaking of doing things on his own time schedule, (I’m fully aware this is going to make me sound like a terrible mom) yesterday I laid Joey in his crib so I could go to the bathroom quick. I laid him on his back on that burp cloth and when I came back just a couple minutes later he had ROLLED OVER! I couldn’t believe it! I promptly took all the extra junk out of his crib. I wish I had been watching on the monitor to see him do it!


I’m still in awe that this boy is mine. Forever. His parents aren’t coming to pick him up at the end of the day. He is going to grow into a toddler, a boy, a teenager, and an adult, and he’ll still be my son. God is so good.

And now the part I know you’ve all been waiting for – some pictures from our first week home:












April 4

April 4, 2012 I sat in the office of a Reproductive Endocrinologist for the very first time. The day was a scary one, but also one filled with hope. After our second incredibly painful miscarriage that past January, and nearly a year and a half of trying to get pregnant, I had been sent to an RE.

The next few months were filled with countless meds, diet changes, tests, pokes (I’m a champ at getting blood drawn now!), shots, more meds, appointments… And the list goes on. And none of it worked. I felt so defeated. As those months went on I thought we’d cross the year mark with still no baby in our arms.

And then we had to take a month break from it all, that was the soonest we could get back in to the RE for a consultation and to make a new plan with new meds, procedures, etc. And in that month? Sweet Josiah found his home in my womb.

And little did I know at the time he’d be making his appearance exactly two weeks before April 4, making my c-section follow up land on that same date just one year later.

So today I’ll be sitting back in that same doctors office, not to see the RE, but to see my amazing OB. And I’ll be reflecting on the fact that, as our pastor said to us about Josiah on Sunday, “he was right on time.”

That’s been the biggest lesson for me to learn over the last two years filled with miscarriages, infertility, and now preemie parenting – none of it is on my time, but it all happens right on time, in His perfect time.

For those of you today still in that dark, lonely, scary, empty valley – be it infertility or something else entirely – trust in the truth that His timing is always right.