Man, I'm a slacker! Not a single post since before Thanksgiving -- ay de mi! My apologies to the blogging community for such outright negligence. Hope you'll forgive me.
So what have the last few months looked like in my world? Here's a quick rundown:
Thanksgiving: Made the trek from Atlanta to Memphis with our two dogs for Turkey Day with my entire extended family. It was wonderful -- up until the point that DH and I came down with my niece & nephew's stomach bug they'd caught at school. Thankfully, we'd traveled home on Saturday and woke up with it on Sunday -- so at least we were in the comfort of our own home while sick. Two and a half days of sickness definitely ensured that I didn't gain any 'excess holiday weight' for my next OB appointment though!
My friend A got married on the 4th. It was beautiful... an intimate service with about 25 guests, at a quaint little stone church in town. The only unexpected (and thus bad) surprise was that my dress - which I'd bought a mere 4 weeks before the event--fit quite differently on the wedding day than when I'd bought it. ...while I had anticipated a bigger belly to fill out the front, I had NOT anticipated that my girls would also increased in size...and thus ended up on greater display than previously imagined. Let's just say that I wore a wrap for the remainder of the night, post-wedding service.
The next weekend, the 11th, was the weekend my friend G was supposed to get married. I continue to call and email, but with no response. My heart still hurts so much for her, and for the pain and disappointment she must be going through right now. Still praying that she'll decide to let me in a little, and respond to one of my attempts at communication...
My hairdresser decided to retire and move to Peachtree City (about an hour south of Atlanta -- which would be about 1.5 hours+ south of where we live)... I am devestated. She was a curly hair genius, and so very sweet. She, too, had struggled with IF to get pregnant, had suffered a miscarriage in her 2nd trimester, and then thankfully went on to carry her sweet and healthy son to full term... so she and i had lots to share with each other when we'd meet for haircuts. I am going to miss her friendship and presence greatly-- AND her magical touch with my wayward curls.
The rest of Christmas was a blur of work... I tried to honor the dr's wishes and not work beyond 10 hours a day, but in the thick of our busiest time of year, it was hard to do. Thanks to having an extra temp around the office (thank you Lord!), the longest I would go was 12 hours... then I'd head home, sit like a zombie on the couch for an hour, and hit the sack.
Worst of all was the fact that I caught some sort of cold on the 21st, and it just kept dragging on and morphing into something worse. I had it through Christmas (a lovely 4 day reprieve from work, spent at my in-law's -- and the first white christmas Atl has seen in 120-odd years!), and it just kept hanging on through New Year's. That weekend I was so miserable that DH woke up to me crying in bed.. I was so over being sick, and my cough kept me up and not able to breathe that well, that I hadn't slept well in days... topping it off with being pregnant, not being able to get comfortable, and not being able to take anything to knock out the cold, and I was at the end of my rope. Needless to say, after that night, I showed up bright and early at the dr's office on Monday morning, and they were able to give me an antibiotic for my cold-morphed-sinus infection/ear infection. Sweet relief!
NYE itself wasn't too bad. I had to work 'til 8 -- which is rather early, in comparison to years' past. Then I drove home to a clean house and got ready to have a few friends over to celebrate the New Year. It was nice, small, and not too rowdy -- which is exactly what I needed.
It's hard to believe that 2011 is here... and that I will be meeting my Little Miss in just 10 short weeks. Looking back at 2010, it's amazing to me to look back on all that we went through, and where God has us now.
At the outset of 2010, we were feeling hopeful to begin our first round of IVF...only to have a rough first start with meds in February and have to stop... then our abismal failure of round #1 in April... and to have to convince ourselves to move foward and maintain hope (and not get our hopes up) for our (blessedly successful) round #2 in June.
Then, miracle of all miracles, we found ourselves with a positive pregnancy in July... and our hopes and fears suddenly took on a different tone and meaning. We found ourselves in unchartered territory. I'd spent 44 months reading up on IF and how to GET pregnant. I knew nothing about being pregnant, or what to expect, what to look for in terms of warning signs if something went wrong, what I should/shouldn't do/eat, whatever. I was so anxious about Baby J, and whether or not she would make it through the first trimester, then through 24 weeks (point of viability).
Here in 2011, I find myself still praying for her continued health and growth... that she develop and grow as she should for the next 10 weeks. That the birth go well and there not be any medical issues for little miss. That she be born healthy and strong... and a good sleeper (please God!).
One of my favorite verses in the bible is Colossians 1:17, which says "He is before all things, and in Him, all things hold together."
To me, it is a true reflection of life. He goes before me, and is always there, paving our way. We may not understand (or appreciate!) His timing with how life goes, or why it takes so long for some prayers to be answered, but I have no doubt that in the end, "in Him, all things hold together." He held me together for those 44 months of desperate cries and pleadings for a baby. He held me together on those days when I couldn't help but cry in the bathroom at work, or while walking the dogs, or when I was hiding my tears from DH in the shower. He held me together when I was overwhelmed with anger and bitterness and resentment at our situation, with even having to deal with IF at all -- and feeling so entitled to kids, compared to others that I saw around me that seemingly got knocked up just by thinking of se.x.
He held me together when our first round of IVF failed, and I wasn't sure I could take the pain of IF and treatments and the unfairness of our situation any longer. He held me together when I was petrified of starting round #2, for fear of similar failures awaiting us.
He held me together when I dared to allow hope to take root in my heart, despite the cost I knew I would pay, if it should all go awry. He held me together when we made it through our ER successfully, then our ET... and with our positive beta test.
He's held me through every step in these last 30 weeks of pregnancy... and I have no doubt that whatever 2011 has to bring (and beyond), that He will continue to hold us together through it all.
Blessings come in all shapes and sizes, and while none of us would ever wish for blessings to come in the form of struggles or misfortunes, I know that God has blessed us greatly through our struggles with IF, and our failures and trials over the course of 2010 (and prior). And as painful as they were, I would not trade them for anything. They have brought us to where we are today, and as I sit here and consider all that we have to anticipate in 2011, we are richly blessed, indeed.