When Happy Places Turn Sad

This past October of 2015 my husband, Brett, and I had reached a point in infertility treatments that we decided to move on from just medications and injections to IUI (Introuterine Incemination, Read more about each of our treatments in my blog post Pins and Needles). The specialist we were working with was very optimistic about this cycle. Me being me, I didn’t want to get my hopes up. But I was really looking forward to the fact that things were looking up for us and that we really did have a chance with this! And besides, having kids was something that we had prayed for and longed for, so why would it not work.

Around the time that we were going to do the procedure it was exactly 2 weeks before we were going to go to Florida to visit my parents and go to Disney. The day of the procedure came around and I was so nervous. All the ultrasounds leading up to this day looked great and there was nothing to cause alarm. So we were a go! Next phase…the dreaded 2 week wait! 

For anyone who has ever gone through fertility treatments before, these two weeks of waiting for the pregnancy test can be somewhat annoying and bring on anxiety you would not believe. Luckily, I didn’t have it quite as bad this time around because I was preparing for our trip. A trip to one of my favorite places. 

The day of the HCG blood test landed on the same day as the day we were going to be driving out to leave for Florida. So we stopped by the clinic on our way out of town to do the test and the whole day I was so antsy in the carto hear the news. And then we got the call that afternoon. It was positive! We just looked at each in the car and were so excited! Now was going to be the fun part, they wanted to track the hormone levels so they wanted a blood test every 2 days. Fun trying to do that while on vacation, but we figured it out, and we did it! 

The first 2 were normal and nothing to be alarmed about. The nurse said that they weren’t rising as fast as they would have liked but they were still rising and not dropping so that was good. Then the 3rd test came around. We went to the lab that morning and went to spend the day at Disney Springs. This is one of my favorite places to hang out and just enjoy the day. While we were there with my parents, I got a phone call I will never forget. I was standing right outside the World of Disney store. 

The nurse came on the phone and told me the hormone levels had dropped to zero, meaning I had lost the pregnancy. 

Miscarriage. Again.

I fumbled through the phone call and when I hung up, I just lost it. Not the way I wanted to end an evening. I had so many thoughts going through my mind right then that none of it made sense. I had so many hopes that were built up in me because of this. Already planning for life with a baby. All taken away from me with one phone call. We got through the rest of the night but it really wasn’t the same mood. Not as exciting and fun as it was the moments before the phone call. 

We now live in Florida and work and Disney World and are at Disney Springs quite often. That phone call runs through my mind every time I go. No matter how hard I try and push it out. It is always there. But then I think, maybe that is a good thing. Maybe it’s God’s way of keeping that precious little life apart of our family. A part of our story. 

We named her Annabelle. Anna meaning Merciful and Belle meaning Beauty. Our little Annabelle will never be forgotten and will always be loved even for the short amount of time that we had with her. 

So that happy place that turned sad will never be same for me. But, sad and depressing moments are also used to grow us. To turn us into who we are today. And, that sad memory is now a way for me to remember that precious life that was used to help us grow our faith and grow closer together as a couple. 

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This is Life, This is Love

On the 22nd of June, it was my birthday. And let’s just say that sometimes we make plans and think everything is going to go just perfect! And then…

They don’t. Life just, happens. 

I had thought of these plans and made sure I was able to give away my shift for that day so I could have the day off. I ended up doing it on the 23rd instead because Brett was already supposed to have off that day and then we could spend the whole day together. But then…

We can’t. Life just, happens.

When Brett rechecked his schedule at the beginning of this week. He got scheduled to work that day. I was so upset. I had already given that day away to work myself so now we were back to the normal, I finally have a day off and you have to work but he doesn’t senario that has now become our life. Until something better than I could have planned myself ends up coming into play. 


A coworker of mine found out that my husband got scheduled on his day off and that I then had no one to hang out with during the day and was able to come and hang out with me for the day at Hollywood Studios! It turned into being a great day getting to know a new friend. After Brett got off work, he was able to meet us for a bit at the park and then my new friend had somewhere to be that evening so we parted ways. From there…

Disaster. Life just, happens.

We get to the parking lot and Brett says, “Please don’t be upset, but I forgot to get your birthday gift.” And if I am going to be honest, I was more than a little upset. Gifts is one of my top love languages and the fact that he forgot the gift for my birthday night together, well I was upset, no matter how hard I tried not to be. But we moved on. 

From there we went to Disney Springs for dinner to eat at one of my favorite sandwich places. That was good and nothing went wrong there. Just yummy food and great company with the hubby! 

After dinner was the one thing I was actually looking forward to the whole day. There was a comedian that performs a free show at one of the resorts on Wednesday through Sunday nights. All of which I am usually working. So I was super excited the day I took off was a night he was supposed to be there. There is a 20 min river cruise that goes from Disney Springs to the resort that was nice and relaxing. 

On the River Cruise


Well, we get there and he wasn’t there that night. He was off for this weekend. I was so crushed. The whole reason I took off when I did and he wasn’t there. I didn’t know what to do after that. Brett had found out before we got there that there was carriage rides and so he took me over to go and do that. And…you guessed it…they were booked up for the night. With all of this, I just wanted to go home, so we did. 

My night that I had waited for, for over a week had turned into what I thought was just the worst night ever. Great day but not a fun night. But then…

The unexpected. Love just, happens! 

The following day, I was scheduled for a day shift and Brett had off. He surprised me that morning and told me he would take me to and from work so I didn’t have to drive that day. Such a gentleman. When he picked me up that afternoon, and we arrived home, there was a meal of homemade French dip sandwiches, gifts all wrapped nice and neat on the counter, and the table set for two. 

He felt bad about the fact that the main thing that I was looking forward to the night before hadn’t happened. So he put together a dinner (with some help form my mom) and bought a DVD of one our favorite comedians and we had a comedy night at the house just us! That night was so much better than I could have planned by myself! All that I was upset about the day before all seemed so small and insignificant after coming home to that. I am truly blessed with such a caring and loving husband that really does care about my feelings. 

All this was a reminder of something. Something that is hard to remember sometimes. We make plans for a lot of things both big and small in life. Thinking that the world will come to an end if it doesn’t. But what does happen is better than what we origanlly planned. For instance, staring our family. I still have not learned why God made as long as we did or go through all that we did to get where we are ( and I may not ever learn), but I do know that God’s timing is always perfect and His plans are better than our own. Just like my husband’s planned night in was better than what I had planned out the night before. 

This is life, this is love! 

my gifts from my hubby!

Bed Rest, Rest for the Weary

“Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

A few weeks ago, I ended up in the ER for severe abdominal pains. I couldn’t stand up straight. I couldn’t walk without pain from each step. I was just overall in a lot of pain. Through an ultrasound, the doctor said that they found bleeding in my uterus that was the source of my pain. He said that it was probably nothing, but put me on best rest for 7 days just to be safe. 

To say I was very nervous about it would be an understatement. As much as the doctor thought it was nothing, he did say that there was a chance that bleeding is also a sign of an impending miscarriage. 

There was that word again, “miscarriage.” 

The thoughts that went through my mind as that word came out of his mouth were that of dread and anxiety. 

“Here we go again,” I thought to myself as I was trying to hold back the tears. I knew deep down, though, that we hadn’t come this far into the pregnancy for it to end, yet again. The last two pregnancies got as far as about 6 weeks each. Both ending before I got to ever see them on an ultrasound or feel them moving in my belly. But both, just as precious to me as this one. I was not ready to loose yet another baby. 

I started praying. 

A lot!

And everyday of being on bed rest, I started to realize something. God started showing me what true rest really is. All the anxiety and stress about the pregnancy and the burden of always thinking the worst will end up happening was taken away. Through my prayer that week, I was given a peace that only God can give. A peace that truly put my mind, not just my body, at rest. 

Sometimes, when we think of rest we think of a physical rest. Which is true at some points in life. But have you ever thought of the fact that maybe He was more talking about putting your mind at rest? I know that sometimes my mind will go a thousand different directions going from one thought to the next about the future, about jobs, about the baby, etc that it never slows down to reflect what is going on in that moment and all that God has brought us through already. 

God showed me that week, that slowing down my mind and giving all those thoughts to Him, will be the most restful thing that I could ever do. Like it says in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.” If God has already worked out a plan for our lives, then why should we worry about and be distraught about the future? Why not just lay it down and accept the gifts of peace and rest that He is so willingly able to give and know that He has it all worked out? 

The rest I now feel in my mind about the duration of this pregnancy is something that I could have never come to on my own. God has been with me through and I am daily reminded that He has never left in the first place. 

No matter what you are going through, know that God is there and ready to give you peace and rest in any situation. Just lean on Him and lay it down before. He has been there and always will be there for you!

Pam’s Story

Pam is a family friend that has been friend’s with my mom’s parents since my mom was a little girl. Needless to say, I have known her and her husband Jerry my whole life. They are like a second family to me. Recently, Pam had read my blog post, “What’s in a name?.” This blog was the story about my husband and I’s first miscarriage and how we named that baby. After reading it, I received an email of her sharing her story about a miscarriage her and her husband went through and asked if I could share with all of you. I am just going to copy and paste the whole letter here. There is no other words I could say to better explain and show her heart. Be encouraged by her story…

Hi Vanessa,

Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you. I didn’t see your message until today and decided to write this as an attachment because of the length. I loved your blog about naming Jonathan. Your messages are about hope to the many women whose hearts are breaking because of infertility. You also express yourself beautifully and from the heart. The Lord is using you more than you know.

Several years after having our second son, Scott (goes by Spencer now), I found myself pregnant. We had used birth control, so this was quite a surprise. We were excited and I had never had any problems with pregnancy – other than the daily morning sickness. I was 3-4 months along when I started to spot. When I went to the doctor, he told me that they could no longer hear a heartbeat. They also wanted me to abort the pregnancy naturally, so I went home expecting this to happen soon.

 After a month, and no miscarriage, I went back to the doctor and pleaded with him to end the pregnancy. It was so devastating to carry this baby that no longer had life in his being. It took quite an emotional toll on both Jerry and me. I also felt that this was the little girl that would complete our family.

 A number of years later, I was thinking about the baby and decided to name her. I have always loved the name Rachel (innocent as a lamb), and so Rachel she became. When Jeff and Jannah were pregnant with their first child, they asked us to help pick out names. Jeff asked me what my favorite girls name was and I said “Rachel.” They discussed quite a few options and let us know their decision. Thus, our oldest granddaughter is named Raechel.  

 Not only do we have our Rachel in heaven, but our Raechel here on earth. She is a wonderful, young woman, with an innocence that is uncommon today. She just turned 21 and loves the Lord with her whole heart. We are so proud of her and couldn’t love her more!

 Many years ago, the Lord revealed a very special thing about our Rachel. He showed me that these babies who are miscarried will be waiting in heaven for their parents. We will spend eternity with these precious ones. They have souls, so I believe they will also have bodies. We will be able to o embrace them for the first and never-ending time.

 Sweet Vanessa, you and Brett have had quite a journey. Out of trial comes transformation. Your precious little Jonathan will be waiting for you with arms open wide. Your heartache will be exchanged for unimaginable joy and your tears for love and laughter.  

 You and Brett are precious to the Lord, and he knows your pain…He has also lost a Son!!! I’m praying that the Lord will perfectly knit together your cherished child. As it says in Psalms 139:13-16:

 Psalm 139:13 It was you who formed my internal organs, fashioning me within my mother’s

womb

Psa 139:15 My frame was not hidden from you while I was being crafted in a hidden place, knit

   together in the depths of the earth.

Psa 139:16 Your eyes looked upon my embryo, and everything was recorded in your book. The

   days scheduled for my formation were inscribed, even though not one of them had come yet.

 I will close with the fact that the Lord is carrying you during this time. The Footprints poem is so perfect. Hang in there, Honey. You have many people praying for all of you.

 

​Love n’ hugs, Pam

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Footprints  in the Sand Poem

By Mary Stevenson

One night I dreamed a dream.

As I was walking along the beach with my Lord.

Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.

For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,

One belonging to me and one to my Lord.
After the last scene of my life flashed before me,

I looked back at the footprints in the sand.

I noticed that at many times along the path of my life,

especially at the very lowest and saddest times,

there was only one set of footprints.
This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it. 

“Lord, you said once I decided to follow you,

You’d walk with me all the way.

But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life,

there was only one set of footprints.

I don’t understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me.”
He whispered, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you

Never, ever, during your trials and testings.

When you saw only one set of footprints,

It was then that I carried you.”