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Introducing…Annabelle Nicole Faith!!!  Born 9/21/16 at 1:07pm.  5.5 lbs and 18.9 inches long.  She is in NICU but doing well.  Just waiting on her to up her feelings a bit and she will hopefully be discharged tomorrow.  As you may know from past adoption posts, they do have until the court date in 30 or so days to change their minds so if you could pray/send positive vibes that they don’t and all goes smoothly…we sure would appreciate it!!!

P.S.  I should add that if we’re friends in FB or Instagram, please don’t say anything about it on there.  We are waiting for TPR date to announce on FB.

Guilt and Gratitude

Mom guilt…it’s very real even when your child is not on this earth with you.  Sunday, August 23rd was our due date and the day came and went without me even remembering what day it was.  In fact, I had a fantastic day that day and when I realized it yesterday, I cried.  I can’t believe that I didn’t remember what day it was.  I should have done something in remembrance of our baby.

Despite feeling guilt right now, I’m also feeling immense gratitude.  A friend of mine messaged me this morning asking me to call him when I had 30 seconds.  This man is one of the sweetest, kindest men I know and is constantly doing good in our hometown community.  Each Fall, he does a Packer board to raise money for Alzheimer’s because his father had it.  Today, he asked if he could do a Packer board for us instead this year.  Tears of gratitude sprang forth.  He put this status up a little bit ago and the response has been wonderful:

Around this time every year, I run a Packer board to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association, and because of my amazing friends over the last few years we have raised over $8000 for the cause. Don’t know why, but dad and the topic of Alzheimer’s has been on my mind a lot lately. I was thinking about what it is I was going to do this year when I read a post from a friend of mine, Dawn . Dawn and her husband J, have tried everything in their power, including tremendously expensive procedures, to have a family of their own, and it just hasn’t worked for them. Honestly, I know J only from what I read and see on Facebook, but I have known Dawn for years, and I know that, if any 2 people are prepared and deserving to shower the love of a family on a child, it is them.
I am the youngest of 10 kids and I love my parents eternally, and wouldn’t trade being raised by them for anything in this world…all children deserve the opportunity for that kind of love. I know family was important to my dad, and he would support this 100%…and would do whatever he could to help….that is why I am foregoing the Alzheimer’s board this year and directing it toward this cause.
I think J & Dawn deserve the opportunity to show their unending love to a child…and at this point they are faced with a bill of $8500 to continue in the adoption process. I am hoping you will support this years fundraiser, which will benefit not only J & Dawn, but that unknown child that is so deserving of their love.
I am in the process of acquiring prizes for a Packer board that will raise $2500 for this family and will let you know when the $25 squares go on sale. If you know anyone that would like to donate a prize or be part of this, please let me know…MUCH LOVE TO YOU ALL!!

God truly does answer prayers in the most spectacular ways!

Lots of Love~Dawn

Weekend Recap 8/21-8/23

In an effort to encourage us to take more pictures and be more present on our days off, I am going to start doing a weekend recap each Monday.  This weekend was a great one!

Friday night~Not much happened.  J and I actually argued a bit because he wanted to go play in a pool tournament and I felt like he’d rather be doing anything but hanging out with me.  He did end up going and I had a quiet night on the couch with the pups; reading and watching some tv.

Saturday~We hosted a BBQ.  We try to have one at least once a summer and hadn’t had a chance to have any this year.  Quite a few people showed up and they were from all different groups of people so it was actually a bit difficult trying to make sure you got in time with everyone.  It brought me back to our Wedding day all over again, lol.  A great time was had by all though.  I brought the camera out but forgot to take pics during the actual party but here are some before and afters.

J and I before the party got going.

J and I before the party got going.

Bandit was tuckered out after being picked up (and dropped), chased and loved  on by several children.

Bandit was tuckered out after being picked up (and dropped), chased and loved on by several children.

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You know it was a good party when all the empty crockpots and dishes are sitting on the counter the next morning!

You know it was a good party when all the empty crockpots and dishes are sitting on the counter the next morning!

This is just the playroom on the first floor.  The basement playroom is destroyed too.  There were so many kids here and they clearly had a wonderful time, lol.

This is just the playroom on the first floor. The basement playroom is destroyed too. There were so many kids here and they clearly had a wonderful time, lol.

We also got to make this announcement after receiving this in the mail earlier that day:

Wahoo!!!!  We're live!!!!!

Wahoo!!!! We’re live!!!!!

Sunday~This was my favorite day of the weekend.  Seeing everyone on Saturday was fantastic but today was just J and I and it was sorely needed.  I woke up before him and had a couple cups of coffee while continuing to try and catch up on all your blogs.  I also had a good chat with my friend Tracy from CT.  When J got up we started cleaning up and getting the yard and kitchen all picked up.  We headed out to this little diner nearby for breakfast and then came home to watch our Pack!

This is the first time in I seriously don't know how long that J and I laid on the couch together.  Thank God for football season coming back!

This is the first time in I seriously don’t know how long that J and I laid on the couch together. Thank God for football season coming back!

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Even Rocky was on the couch being lazy with us and watching the game.

Unfortunately, one of our very Best players, our beloved Jordy Nelson was injured right in the beginning of the game and if it’s as bad as they are speculating, it could seriously hurt our chances for a great season.  😦  Hopefully, he’s okay and back on the field soon.  We also ended up losing which totally sucked, but at least it’s pre-season.

2 of my 3 boys hugging it out.  :)

2 of my 3 boys hugging it out. 🙂

After the game (with a little nap during it), we finished cleaning up and then headed out on some errands.  We decided to stop by B-Dubs to grab some food to take home and found the best crowns there.  It’s been a long time since we’ve just let loose and gotten silly.

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Long overdue silliness between the Buffalo Princess and the #1 Pick! Love this man!!!

As the summer comes to a close (J heads back into school tomorrow to start meetings and preparing for students), this weekend was just what we needed.  I hope y’all had a great weekend also!

Lots of Love~Dawn

Orphan Sunday

Yesterday, Nov. 2, was Orphan Sunday.  Our Church is one that participates and had all sorts of tables set up to learn about different ways that we can help orphans.  There were tables for foster care, a couple of adoption agencies (including the one we plan on using), ways to financially support, etc.

Did you know that if just 8% of Christians adopted, there would be no orphans?  And that’s just Christians!  That doesn’t count people that adopt that don’t consider themselves Christian.

As we were sitting, waiting for the sermon to start yesterday, a thought ran through my head.  Why are we spending all this money to try and have our own children, when there are so many out there already that need a loving family?  Now, I know adoption is not for everyone and I’m not trying to make anyone else feel bad about not choosing it.  Everyone is different and everyone needs to do what’s best for them.  However, J and I know it’s something that we can do.  We know it’s something we’ve always wanted to do.  We just didn’t plan on it being because we couldn’t have our own children.

I’m finally at peace with our decision.  I feel like we finally have our answer for this stage in our life.  We are still going in on Wednesday to speak with Dr. Ryan.  We want to make sure we have all the facts in case finances allow us at some point to do more medical treatments.  But at this point in time, we are happy and at peace to move forward with adoption.  I sent an email to our adoption agency this morning asking that we be placed in the January lottery to be able to move forward with the process.

Now I can’t wait for January to get here.  I hope upon hope that we are picked to get started.  If we aren’t, I think we will begin the process of finishing up getting licensed to be foster parents so we can provide respite care on the weekends for other foster parents.  Now all I need is for God to work out the financial aspects and the timing of it all with my daycare kids.  I think in order for all of this to work out, I’m going to have to let go of 1 or 2, but I’m really hoping that God will work it all out and I will lose a couple because of their own circumstances at just the right time.  I don’t WANT to lose any of them or have to let any of them go but because of ages and numbers and licensing, I will probably have to.  This is the biggest thing I’m worried about right now and I just need to give it to God and trust that He will take care of it.

Hugs~Dawn

The Whole Armor of God

Ephesians 6:10-17

10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil.  Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes for the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

As I just read these words a few minutes ago, they really spoke to me.  For J and I, we are in one of the biggest battles of our life.  J actually has 2 huge battles going on in his life at this moment and you can bet I will be sharing these verses with him today.  I like write them on post its and put them on our bathroom mirror to help him to stay encouraged.  Infertility feels like war…each cycle is a new battle.  We may get knocked down over and over but it will not kill us…Ultimately, we will not lose this war.

I feel like the only way we can truly lose this war is if we let it destroy our marriage and our lives.  I believe God can heal me.  I believe that God’s will may be that we become parents through adoption.  Adoption is not for everyone but J and I have been talking about adopting since we met and we both have the hearts for it.  I believe that no matter how our children come to us, God meant for those children to be ours.

In the meantime, we have many children who’s lives we are apart of.  We have 11 nieces and nephews between us.  We have cousins and best friends that consider us to be Auntie and Uncle to their children.  J has his students and I have numerous daycare kids who’s lives I get to be a part of.  I have my kids (okay, 2 of them are adults now, but they’ll always be my kids) that I nannied for 10 years and played a huge part in raising them and helping to teach them values.   No matter what happens, no matter where God’s plan takes us, we will be okay as long as we stay strong in our marriage and have each other.

IUI #5 is NOT a Go :(

$300 worth of follistim in my fridge that is open because we had to use a whole 25 iu’s of it last cycle.  $300 worth of follistim that I don’t get to use for IUI #5 because it will go bad by then.  Cysts on both ovaries this month so they didn’t want to do the cycle.  $300 worth of follistim that even though I probably shouldn’t…I AM going to use unmonitored.  I CANNOT throw $300 out the window right now.

Has anyone else ever done anything like this?  (Please make me feel better by saying yes, lol.)

I think it can only do good, not be harmful.  If I would have insisted, they would have let me cycle but they didn’t recommend it.  Oils were immediately applied to ovaries to hopefully help them shrink instead of getting bigger and bursting.  I really don’t want to go through that pain.  Hoping my Sister has clove oil that I can get from her so I can do the oral option too and not just topical.  If anyone wants that protocol it is:  rub orange, then frankincense and the basil on your lower abdomen.  It smells really good til you put the basil on, lol.  For some reason, I just do not love the smell of the basil oil.

In all honesty, Ladies, I was a hot mess yesterday.  I was such a hot mess, that I couldn’t even sit down to write this post.  Cycles get cancelled all the time, I get that.  It had more to do with the stress of money and throwing out that medicine then having to sit out a month.  On top of that, I didn’t see my usual Dr., I saw the one that comes from Madison to do the IVF cycles.  I’d never met her before and although she was nice enough, she wasn’t Dr. R  or even Megan or Jamie who usually do my IUI’s.  She didn’t really know my story so it was just hard to take that news from her.

She also said that she doesn’t see many follicles in (or on, not sure the right word for it) my ovaries.  Just by looking at the ultrasounds she doesn’t think our chances with IVF are very good, maybe 35%.  She had me go to the lab for a blood draw so they could test my AMH and she wants us to come in for an IVF consult week after next (more about that later).  Now, we were leaning more towards adoption then IVF anyways, but Girls, I was devastated….DEVASTATED!!!!   To feel like that option was just ripped away from us in case we did find the money to do it just tore me apart.  I bawled all the way home and in J’s arms for quite a while after I got home.  And on the phone with my Mom after J left to go to some benefit thing.

J doesn’t want to go to the IVF consult…he doesn’t want to go to any Dr. this month because he says I just get stressed out and he just wants to take the month off.  What he doesn’t seem to grasp is that just because we’re taking the month off from IUI’s and dr.’s, doesn’t mean I’m not going to stress (I REALLY SUCK at giving my worries over to God).

So where does this leave us?  I don’t totally know.  I’ll finish up the follistim because I can’t stand to waste it.  Do OPK’s and TI and Pray, Pray, Pray!  Hopefully the cysts will go away peacefully and gently without pain and we will be ready to do IUI#5 next cycle.  I don’t know how many more J will let me do.  Again, he’s totally freaking out about money and credit card debt.  I can’t really blame him though, it is a little scary.  If we’re not pregnant by the end of the year, we will put our names in to hopefully start the adoption process in January.

I need to Thank you Ladies for all the comments and Love you send my way.  They mean so, so, so much to me.  Although most of my friends and family are very supportive, no one, not even J, can understand the way you Girls can.  Sending much Love, thoughts, Prayers, Baby Dust and Hugs to you all!!!!

On Hold

Good news….I get to put the IVF vs. Adoption decision on hold, at least for awhile.  I went to the clinic on Tuesday for a general ultrasound.  I also met the Dr. for the first time (I’ve always had a N.P or P.A. til now).  I really like her, although, I really like everyone I’ve worked with at the new clinic.  After looking at the pics from my ultrasound, she believes I have stage 2 or 3 endometriosis.  It amazes me that they are the first to suggest this when I’ve been having some of the symptoms since I was 15 or 16 years old!  I’m 37 now, that’s a lot of years!

Anyways, surgery is scheduled for June 6th.  Dr. Ryan believes that our chances of getting pregnant will go up about 30% after the surgery, she did not say whether this is naturally or through IUI but she did say that she doesn’t think we even need to contemplate IVF for at least 6 months.  I am on bcp until the surgery and then we can try on our own the cycle immediately following surgery.  We will also be on vacation then so maybe that will be helpful.  She said they will also dilate my cervix more than it needs to be so that should help with the cervical stenosis problem the month we try on our own and that just leaves the cervical fluid problem.  Hopefully, preseed will help with that.  She also said that if/when we do the next IUI, we will just use follistim.  She believes that the pills are really messing with my lining because they block estrogen and follistim will not do that.

I know most people do not look forward to surgery, but I am.  I wish schedules would allow me to get in sooner.  I am so happy to have some kind of answer on why the IUI’s haven’t been working.  I know this doesn’t guarantee that we will get pregnant naturally or with an IUI, but it gives me more hope that an IUI will work eventually.  Praying that I never have to make that IVF/Adoption decision.  We would still love to adopt one day, it’s something we planned on doing before we knew were infertile, but then we could do it on our own timeline.