Monday, October 12, 2015

Our Little Love

Hi there! It's been a while friends! Our lives have completely changed since my last post. First of all, we found out we were expecting a little boy in March at our gender reveal party. Finding out the gender with all of our closest friends and family was absolutely one of the most exciting times in our lives. We had no clue because we had the ultrasound tech put the gender in an envelope. One of my Mom's best friends was the only person who knew because she had to put the confetti in the balloon. It was amazing!! Once we found out we would be having a boy, it was go time for shopping and preparing for his arrival. Now that I look back on things, I probably went way overboard. But, he is our first baby and what the heck!

Fast forward seven months and here we are today! We moved from San Diego to Virginia Beach in June. We are loving our new city but definitely miss our old one! We bought a beautiful house here in Virginia and look forward to all the memories to come. We welcomed our handsome little boy on Wednesday, August 26, 2015 at 5:12 AM. He weighed 7 lbs 8 ounces. I labored for 25 hours and got all the way to 9 cm before my body shut down and didn't want to finish the job. Jerk. I was given pitocin to speed things along and within a few hours, we were welcoming our little one into the world! Everyone says it but I really never knew how much you could love someone until I held him in my arms. My whole entire world changed at that very moment! 

In the six short weeks that we have become parents, we have consumed outrageous amounts of coffee and functioned on minuscule amounts of sleep - I don't even know how I am typing this right now. But, it's great. Our life is wonderful and we are so blessed. Parenthood is incredible and I can't wait for all things to come! Well, I think that's it for now. I need to go give Daddy a break! Cheers friends. 

Welcome to the world, Andrew Layne!
PS. Penelope adores him! XO

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Answered Prayers

We began our last try with an IUI on November 18, 2014. If this treatment was not successful, we would move to IVF which would cost us money that we did not have saved up yet. If this IUI did not work, the cost of IVF was settling in and our stress levels were rising. We wanted this treatment to work so badly for many reasons. But, most importantly, we were both so ready to be expecting parents! 

The daily injections began on November 21st and continued through December 2nd. We had four ultrasounds and three blood tests during this time frame. On December 2nd, the ultrasound revealed that we were ready to move forward with the IUI. We were scheduled on December 4th for the procedure. Without getting into too much detail, we had great numbers on the sample with 100% mobility. Yay!! For the first time, we both had a huge amount of confidence that this would be the one! I waited as long as I could to take a test. I lasted 10 days!! And, hey! That 10 days felt like FOREVER! After waiting the super long 3 minutes, I saw a faintly positive test and immediately started crying. Daniel thought it was negative until I could get the words out of my mouth that it was NOT negative! Since I tested at home on a Sunday, I had to wait until Monday to go in for a blood test. The numbers came back good on the blood test but since we went through fertility treatments, they wanted to monitor the levels over the next few days to make sure they were increasing and it was a normal pregnancy. 

Daniel's parents arrived the next day to spend a few days with us! I had to go back to the doctor several times for blood tests while they were visiting so there was no keeping the secret from them. It was so special being able to tell them in person that they would hopefully be grandparents again...very soon! They were so excited for us and his Mom even told me that she feels like this is the one and everything will be okay! On December 20th, after three more blood tests, the doctor confirmed our pregnancy! I'll never forget this moment. We were out to lunch with the parents at Seaport Village in San Diego, California. It was a chilly afternoon. Honestly, my words can not even begin to describe how I felt in that moment. I just hugged my husband and thanked God for this blessing. 

I was leaving for Florida in a few days to visit family for Christmas.  Daniel wasn't able to make it this year because of work. I had labels made for wine bottles to give to my parents, my brothers and their wives. It was the greatest news that I couldn't wait to share with our family.

When I got back from an incredible visit with family, we had our first official ultrasound. On January 5th, we heard our baby's heart beat for the very first time. From that point on, our hearts were wrapped around this incredible little miracle that we can not wait to meet and hold in our arms! In that moment, I knew that everything we went through was worth it. All the heartache, painful injections, ultrasounds, blood tests, negative pregnancy tests and years of trying for a baby- all of that had led to this very moment! We never gave up. Of course, we had our hard times. We had our days where we questioned things. But, we never stopped praying and hoping for this baby. 

We are nearing the end of our first trimester as I write this post. Today, I'm 13 weeks and 3 days. So far, I've had a pretty good pregnancy. Although, the fatigue is no joke!! I was only nauseous for the first few weeks but never got sick. Hopefully it continues on that way! Baby D did give us a little bit of a scare last week which led us to the ER. Everything checked out okay though. We went to the doctor this past week and Baby D looks healthy and has a strong heart beat! 

I just want to take a little time to thank each and every one of you who prayed for us, thought of us, cried with us and supported us through this journey! We hold each and every one of you very near and dear to our hearts! XO 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Round 4...But, who's counting?!

As I am sitting here, patiently waiting for our doctors appointment to hurry up and get here, all I can think about is this whole process. It's been a long road. It's been emotional and exhausting. However, I have to remind myself on a daily basis that God has a plan for us. I also remind myself that we are so fortunate to have medical coverage for everything thus far. I hope and pray that continues to be the case. Recently, I have heard that not all military installations cover fertility costs. Apparently, San Diego is one of the largest facilities that actually does cover it. My mind sure does like to wander-maybe this is why we got orders to San Diego. God knew we would need to be at one of the best fertility clinics within the military community. It breaks my heart that there are people out there who don't have the chance at fertility treatments. I've known people that have used their retirement funds and life savings just for the chance at parenthood. It's sad that so many take such an incredible miracle for granted. 

We will begin our 4th treatment today. It will be the final try with an IUI. The next step will be IVF. Usually, I am really excited to begin our next treatment but not this time. Maybe I am scared to be let down again. Why should this one work when the last 3 treatments haven't worked? I know you are suppose to be positive in these situations but quite frankly...I have been positive for several years now and I just don't have it in me today. Of course, I want more than anything for this treatment to work. Hopefully, come 2:00 PM today and ultrasound positive attitude kicks in! 

For the VERY first time, I have begun to think about what if I just wasn't meant to have my own children. It's extremely difficult for me to stomach. Are these thoughts normal? In allllll my life, I have always known I was meant to be a Mom. I still do. Again, maybe this is just me preparing myself for the worst. I know adoption is an option so please don't think I haven't thought about all of our options. But, I have also thought that maybe I'm just meant to be a Mom to fur babies. You all know that I treat them just like humans. Ha! 

Goodness. Who knows? This treatment may be the one. However, after so many let's the greatest battle of all to remain optimistic. I will try my very best though! I mean...what's the alternative? I guess I could be depressed and negative about the whole situation but why? I've never been one to live my life in that way. And, I refuse to start now. Yes. Parenthood won't come easy to Daniel and I. We will give it our all and keep trying until we have exhausted every single outlet. Will we have our pity days? You betcha! That's normal, right? Anyway, if you pray-please say a little prayer for our treatment! If you don't, positive vibes are greatly appreciated!! ;)

I've always turned to music to brighten my mood and soothe my soul. I just stumbled upon this song. It hit close to home for me today. 

Silver Lining: Kacey Musgraves

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Storm

I put on a brave face and smiles are what you see on the outside. It's a constant battle within myself to remain positive. There are days that I don't want to be positive. Fighting anger recently has been extremely difficult for me. There are times when bitterness gets the best of me. I have to remind myself that God only gives you what you can handle so suck it up and keep smiling. During the smallest things like wiping down the counters or picking up dog toys, I will completely break down. Since we started trying to have a baby, I have been dedicated to keeping my strength and not allowing this battle to break me. I have clinched my teeth and held back tears more times than I can count. I have walked in another room so no one would see me cry when I can no longer fight the emotion. Every time someone asks me when do we plan on starting a family? I smile and say one day. While deep inside, I am crumbling apart because I want that one day to be today. I plan lots of trips or weekend getaways because it gives me something to look forward to because I have felt let down looking forward to getting pregnant. 

This past week, I believe all of those strong moments came crashing down. It was the simplest thing. I was scrolling through Facebook and saw a picture of an adorable baby boy. He was cuddled up and looking absolutely precious. I was smiling and the next thing I knew, I was sobbing. All of a sudden, my head was filled with thoughts. What will our baby look like? Will we be blessed with a baby on our next fertility treatment? Or, will we get lucky and get pregnant on our own? Since our last fertility treatment, I have started Daniel and I on a few natural supplements. I journal or blog for therapy. I have started doing mediation to relax my mind and body. We will be signing up for our first acupuncture treatment this month. We are eating healthier and exercising on a regular basis. We are doing pretty much everything that I've read or been told we should be doing to get pregnant. 

Lately, I have been asking myself why a lot. Why us? Why is God not wanting us to have a baby yet? Why is he punishing us? Why is he testing our patience? Some of the "whys" are ridiculous. I know. But, when you are an emotional ask ridiculous questions. 

Don't worry. I still remain extremely hopeful. I'm still confident that God put me on this Earth to become a Mother. But, I'm sad too. I'm angry. I'm hurt. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Struggle is Part of the Story

Well, another round of fertility treatments ended for us two weeks ago. This time, my stomach bruised from all the injections, my arms sore from the numerous blood draws and more than I can even remember of ultrasounds. 

We had our second IUI on Friday, September 5th. Prior to the doctor coming in to the room, Daniel and I held hands as he led us in prayer. It was one of the most special moments in our marriage. I go into these treatments with such a positive take on the outcome. I always seem to have this feeling like this is the one. And, when two weeks come and go, I'm let down so badly that I can hardly hold it together. There are so many emotions that run through you during this process. 

I am constantly searching for articles, blogs and quotes that will remind myself that we aren't alone in this process but also just words to bring our spirits up. The two week wait is awful. Once the wait is over and the news isn't what you were praying about...a simple quote could make a world of a difference.

I read a quote this morning that I needed to read so badly: 

"God has a purpose for your pain, a reason for your struggles and a reward for your faithfulness. Don't give up!"

We will undergo one more IUI before proceeding with IVF. We are currently on yet another wait list for our next IUI. It's hard to not let life seem like one long wait list when you are going through fertility treatments. But, from the very beginning, I vowed to myself and to my husband that I would not allow this to consume me. It's extremely hard. Do I spend the hour before bed on Pinterest looking at adorable nursery ideas? Yes. Do I think about how I will announce our pregnancy when our prayers are answered? You betcha! But, I also continue living my life with a positive outlook and keeping my faith. There is no other way for me. If I didn't have a positive outlook, the heartache of trying to have a baby for several years would consume me. 

 I truly believe that God only gives you what you can handle. And, I know God has a plan for us. I believe with my whole heart that we will be blessed with a baby one day. 

All of the thoughts and prayers from our friends and family mean the world to us! From the bottom of our hearts, thank you! XO

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Important Things in Life

It's been two years. It's been TWO WHOLE YEARS since I left my hometown. I can't believe it. Looking back, I couldn't wait to leave. I couldn't wait to explore something new and see what this crazy world had to offer a very naive southern girl. It's been an adventure, ya'll. I can remember finally making it to California and thinking...what in the world did we get ourselves into? I hated it. 

I've come to appreciate San Diego. We have had a lot of fun here. We have made some of the best memories of our lives while being stationed here in San Diego. We have been so fortunate to travel and explore this gorgeous side of the country. I've been so lucky to work with some of the most incredible people and have the most understanding, caring and laid back boss. How did I get so lucky? I often ask myself this very question. I just smile, nod my head and say thank you.

I truly believe that we were meant to come here. More importantly, I was meant to leave the comfort of home. I've grown as a person and woman more than I ever imagined. I've become a better wife. I've realized what's important to me in life. I've realized what truly matters in our far too short time on this beautiful Earth. Shore duty rekindled my marriage and brought my husband and I closer than ever. It's not normal to be apart from your spouse for such long periods of time. But, that was normal for us. That was our life as a military couple. It's funny to think that I was nervous about the idea of being together for THREE straight years. After all, sea duty was all I ever knew. I am so grateful for this short duty. Forever grateful!

Tonight, I sat in our bedroom while Daniel did school work in the other room and cried my eyes out while listening to some of my very favorite childhood country songs. As I looked out our bedroom window to our gorgeous view of Downtown San Diego, I watched several American flags flying high above buildings during a beautiful sunset. It was the first time I had ever noticed them. I cried. I cried of the idea of dropping Daniel off for that first work up or deployment once sea duty rolls around again in only one year. I cried for my dear friend that has endured back-to-back sea duties for years and who is currently undergoing yet another deployment while raising five amazing children.

The purpose of this entry to let my family and friends know just how much each and every single one of them means to me. I always knew I was lucky to have such a supportive family and group of friends that would do anything for me. But, leaving home, made me realize something that I can't even put into words. It made me realize that my hometown is truly a beautiful place. It made me realize that the Navy family that welcomed me with open arms will always be family to me. It made me realize just how much I took my family for granted and miss them every single second of every single day. It made me realize just how much I miss FSU football games. Some of my most favorite memories have been spent watching them play. Most importantly, it's who I watch the games with that make them even more special. 

We find out at the end of this year where the Navy will send us to next. Will it be home? Maybe. My heart wants to come home. I can't imagine undergoing another sea duty without the support of my family and friends in Jacksonville. But, if I have to, I know I will have support where ever we may go. 

I love each and every one of you very much. Thank you for being apart of my life.  



Sunday, June 1, 2014

Iron Mountain Hike

We spent today hiking Iron Mountain in Poway, California. It was a gorgeous, peaceful afternoon. The hike took us a little over 2.5 hours. It was around 6 miles round trip. We finally accomplished this hike and I would love to do it again! However, the next time will be early in the morning before it gets too hot. The clouds were absolutely beautiful today. The skies were clear and the sun was shining down. Life is good! 

Our day through pictures....

It was a beautiful and perfect way to spend our Sunday!