May 19, 2013
Two weeks ago today, I celebrated my very first Mother’s Day. Even though I spent most of the day sick in bed, I still savored every moment from nursing Linc and Viv separately in the morning, spending just a little longer holding each of them in bed…to rocking them to sleep before laying them in their cribs that night.
I spent so many long days and months praying and hoping to become a mom. I remember feeling the deepest desire to have a baby to love. Yet even that longing didn’t prepare me for how it would feel to love my babies. The love I feel is oftentimes overwhelming because I just don’t feel like I have the capacity to be what they deserve in a mama. It’s like I can’t possibly show them how much love my heart has for them. I’m slowly learning that I can spend every day trying to convey to them through my words and actions what a treasure they are…but I also have to give them up to the Lord every single day because I truly don’t have the capacity to be what they need on my own.
I try at times to control everything in life in an effort to protect them. I feel so vulnerable having them out in the world, at risk of something bad happening to them. It’s terrifying, and if I allow myself to dwell on it, it can be crippling to me. For several weeks now, I have felt pushed in different ways to leave Linc and Viv in the nursery at church, but I’ve avoided it every time because I just don’t trust anyone. I feel this crazy intense need to be with them every moment so that I can protect them from any harm that might come their way. But I know that I have to begin to let them go in some ways. Baby steps. So I left them Sunday morning. With tears filling my eyes I walked away and prayed myself through the service to stay strong. And when I went back I found Vivian crying, tears running down her face as she lay in the nursery bed. And it tore my heart to pieces. I felt like I had deserted her with strangers. And to think that she might have wondered if I was coming back was almost more than I could handle.
I had written this post in my head two Saturdays ago, knowing just what I would say about how on Mother’s Day I took a necessary step of every mother – letting her babies go just a little bit – and how it worked out just fine and how I celebrated later. Instead I feel like I’ve been set back about ten steps. Honestly, I’m dreading taking them to the nursery again. But I know I will. And I know it will be fine. I guess this is still all part of this journey of motherhood. Learning to love my babies with open hands, holding them up to the Father and trusting that He’s protecting them and that He has a distinct plan for their lives.
I also celebrated my own mother from afar last week. We were with Jon’s mom for the weekend, but I did get to meet up with mom and spend a few minutes with her. Celebrating her came from a new perspective for me this year. I’ve always appreciated and thanked her for everything she gave up for me and all the ways she took care of me as a little girl and as I’ve grown. But this year I, for the first time, understood the complexity and depth of love she has had for me. The kind of love that keeps you up at night, hoping and praying your babies are safe and okay. The kind of love that consumes you because you literally feel like your heart is walking around outside your body. And I’m so grateful to have been loved with that kind of love. What a special and unique thing being a mother is. It’s incomparable to anything else, and I feel so blessed to have that kind of love from my own mother and to be able to pour out that kind of love to my sweet babies. It’s the best thing in the world.
Throughout the day my thoughts also kept drifiting to all the women out there waiting to be a mother. I remember like it was yesterday the emptiness that comes from not being able to fill the desire for a baby. That pain is something one cannot forget. Now that I’m on the other side of it, it only brings more intensity to the gratefulness I feel everyday to be able to touch my babies faces and kiss their heads. I think about it often…in the hard times when I’m exhausted and I’ve changed a million diapers and I just want to lay down and go to sleep…it jolts me back to reality and showers me with patience, understanding and a full heart. I wouldn’t wish infertility on anyone. But in the end I can honestly say the journey we had to walk to have our Linc and Viv has only made life that much sweeter now that we’re on the other side. So for those women I pray for peace, comfort and hope.
other posts you might enjoy...
Oct 30, 2012
Jon and I were shopping around in the Plaza District and we ended up in a store that carries some handmade items. At the time we were trying really hard to have a baby with no luck at all, and were on the cusp of our infertility journey. As we were shopping I spotted the sweetest little crocheted purple and white hat, and the second I laid eyes on it I knew I had to have it. Feeling a bit silly, I splurged on this sweet little gift for the future baby we didn’t even know if we would have. I went home that day (we were living with my parents at the time) and tucked the brown paper bag away, knowing that if I looked at it everyday it would just make me sad. A matter of months later we finally moved into our new house, and I found a special place on my closet shelf. Oftentimes I would glimpse the edge of the bag as I was hanging up clothes or debating over what to wear to work, and I’d feel a tinge of sadness, but also a surge of hope.
After many months of waiting and uncertainty, a long pregnancy complete with bedrest at home, time in the hospital, 17 days in the NICU and a glorious 4 months with my sweet baby girl, I finally got to fish the little hat out of my closet and plop it on her perfect little head.
My heart is full.
other posts you might enjoy...
May 13, 2012
today was such a sweet day. every single text message and happy mother’s day wish I received was like a ray of sunlight. more than anything today I just keep thinking about how thankful i am that i have these two little ones. that god created them to be mine and jon’s and that we get to be their parents forever. every single movement inside me and every ache and pain is a reminder of what an honor it is to have this new title. i get teary eyed just thinking about it.
to our babies -
i am so proud and joyful to be your mama already. even though we have yet to meet, i feel like i already know you. your daddy and i have waited so long to know you, and we’ve never been more thankful for anything in our lives. i promise to do everything i can to be the best mama i can be to you. i will definitely make mistakes and you’ll have to show me some grace (you know this is my first time). i pray that you’ll see jesus in me and that you’ll learn from me to love others like he loves us. i hope to show you the world and teach you that god has made every person special regardless of what they look like on the outside or how much money they have. i hope you never doubt how much i love you and that you always know i’m here for you no matter what. i can’t wait to meet you, but please stay in there for and get bigger and stronger for at least 8 more weeks!
lots of love, mama
another sweet part of today was getting to wish a happy mother’s day to my mom and mother-in-law. i feel so blessed to have such amazing moms who love jon and i unconditionally and who have sacrificed so much for us over the years. for the twins i hope i can be as sacrificial and loving as they have been. then i will definitely count myself a successful mama. happy mother’s day mom and debbie. i love you both!
lastly, this day was a reminder of the long wait and the pain of waiting to see how god would choose to give us babies. it was a reminder of all those still out there wondering and waiting. i remember vividly how difficult mother’s day can be when all you want is to be called mama, but you have no choice in the matter. it feels so hurtful and hopeless. so to any of you reading this who are feeling that pain today, i’m praying for you and i hope you remember that someday god will bless you in the greatest way possible. it may not be how you imagined, but he has not forgotten you. and it will be worth the wait.
other posts you might enjoy...
Apr 19, 2012
So this weekend a random man in Home Depot said I looked like I could just “deliver that baby right then and there.”
Um….thanks? I guess that means I’m getting bigger. I’m going to choose to take that as a compliment ’cause these babies are growing!
And for an extremely far overdue announcement – little miss Olive is getting a…
BABY SISTER and BABY BROTHER!
A mini Candice and a mini Jon will be joining us in just a few short months, and we couldn’t be more excited! And just for the record, I guessed it;)
week 24 (left) and week 25 (right)
I always wondered why pregnant girls would stand like I am on the left. But every week I felt more and more awkward trying to pose. Before I even knew what I was doing last week, up went the right arm and the left followed. And there I was. Now I know.
How can I possible still have 15 weeks left to grow? Where are these babies going to go? The questions I ask myself a million times a day.
So many fun things from the last few weeks. Best of all – Jon felt baby girl move! Several times I had tried to call him over to feel, but the second he got close, they’d get all shy. Finally, just a few days ago, our sweet baby girl decided to give her daddy a good, hard kick. yay!
We’ve also made several fun purchases as of recent – a chair big enough for our entire family of 5, sheets, a sweet little doll and our first cloth diaper.
And today I received an invitation to the first one of my showers!
It has definitely been a big couple of weeks as far as baby progress. I still have to stop and tell myself that this is really happening quite often. The days of wondering if we would ever have a little McCoy are still far too fresh in my mind. It’s still really hard for me to digest that God has really given us two babies.
I know we don’t deserve it, and I only wish I could make the same thing happen for all the sweet girls I know who are longing for this very thing.
I do promise one thing, though. I will never ever take this baby boy or girl for granted. I’ll never forget what it felt like to want them so badly and not know if God would ever bring them to me. And for that reason alone, I am thankful for the experience of infertility.
Aside from the big “countdown to babies,” I’m also pretty focused on counting down to the last day of school. Only 23 days left. I can hardly believe it. Honestly, this has been such a great year of school. If you’ve read my blog in the past, you know that teaching and I have not always gotten along super well. But this year has been different. I have some seriously amazing kids, and I think having an extra year of experience under my belt didn’t hurt. Either way, I’m really going to miss it.
When I told my principal I was leaving, I said “a baby is the only thing that could take me away from here.” And I actually meant it. I’m really thankful to be leaving on a good note. I’m not sure if I’ll go back someday or not…who knows where life will take us. But what a relief to not be running away this time.
I will be kind of relieved when this rollercoaster of teaching/not teaching/teaching again decides to level off. I think having a couple of sweet babies to occupy my time should take care of that!
other posts you might enjoy...
Mar 14, 2012
Thanks so much for all the sweet congrats on my last post. I’ve waited what seems like a lifetime to make that announcement, and I’m so thankful and humbled that God finally allowed it to happen! You all just made it that much sweeter.
So, here’s a quick breakdown of the last few months:
November 12, 2011 – We had our embryos transferred and felt like we were already pregnant. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel scared that it wouldn’t work…but from the moment we left the hospital, we never stopped praying for our babies. I would lay on the couch and talk to them all the time, envisioning them as strong, healthy babies. From day one it felt like they were here to stay.
November 21, 2011: We both left work a little early and met at home to wait for the call. We waited…and waited…and waited. And finally about 15 minutes after we were supposed to receive the call, we broke down and dialed the clinic. After identifying myself and holding for eternity, the nurse answered the phone with a “congratulations!” We’ve never felt so full of joy. I was considered 4 weeks already:) We drove straight to Baby Gap and bought onesies.
November 24 – 25, 2011: Shared with the family and gave so many thanks.
December 12, 2011: Week 7. All day nausea set in. Sick in the morning…sick at night. I had no appetite at all, and the only things that sounded somewhat edible were things I would usually never consider putting in my body. Sorry babies.
December 22, 2011: Week 8. Went for our 2nd ultrasound and got the biggest surprise of our lives – not 1 but 2 babies! Praise the Lord. We spent the following 2 weeks celebrating Christmas and sharing our 2nd piece of amazing news with our families. Oh, and of course every 10 minutes saying to each other “are we really having twins???”
sadly, we didn’t get any pics when we told mom and dad McCoy
Weeks 9- 13: Sick. sick. sick. But oh, so happy. I literally did almost nothing besides go to work and come home and lay on the couch for over a month. Jon gets major daddy/husband points for keeping the house running and going on wild goose chases to find anything I could eat. Oh, and lots and lots of backrubs. I’ve heard people say that a woman becomes a mom when she gets pregnant, but a man doesn’t become a dad until the baby (ies:) is born. Not true for my husband. In a way, he’s been taking care of these babies for months already!
Week 14: Started to feel a tiny bit better. We decided to make the big announcement on Facebook and the blog. Up until this point, I was so so thankful for the little babies inside me, but I had a really hard time letting go of my fear and just trusting God. For 18 months I had longed to be pregnant, and in my mind I think I had decided that it could never really happen. Every month had brought so much hurt, and it seemed impossible that it could have finally happened. I know that sounds kind of crazy, but the fear of losing them terrified me. When we announced our news to the world, I felt like a huge burden was lifted off my shoulders. It finally felt real, and I finally started really believing that our babies were going to be okay.
Week 15: Took my first picture of the bump!
Week 16: Bump picture number 2. This was the week I finally started to really feel almost like myself again. The nausea completely subsided, and I even started to feel a little more energetic!
Week 17 was pretty monumental. I worked out for the first time in 3 months! And I felt so good about it. When I started the IVF process, I was told I shouldn’t have physical activity, and since I followed every wives tale from eating pineapple to trying to laugh a lot after transfer….eating more eggs…you name it, stopping my workouts was a no brainer. And of course it just continued from there – I felt too scared of hurting the babies in those paranoid first several weeks of being pregnant, and then I was so sick I could barely talk on the phone much less get off the couch. So finally on Monday of week 17 I pulled out the prenatal bootcamp DVD my mom got me for Christmas and then I went for a long walk on two different days after that. Sad how accomplished I feel about walking around the neighborhood. I finally feel like I’m doing something good for myself and for the twins.
This was the week we found out the gender of our little babies! I was so nervous that they wouldn’t cooperate for the ultrasound and we’d be disappointed…but they were good little babies. Let’s hope that’s a good indication of the months/years to come:) The ultrasound tech started off by just letting us see them while she took pictures to send to our doctor. Then it was baby A’s turn to be examined. It only took a matter of seconds to find out Baby A’s gender – and we were so excited!! We also learned that Baby A will be the first one to come into the world if all goes as planned. Next was Baby B’s turn. This time it took a little longer to figure it out, but in the end both genders were as clear as day! The second best part of this ultrasound was finding exactly where each baby is hanging out in there. Now I have a good idea of where they are, and knowing that plus their genders makes this that much more real. I’ll tell whether we’ll be an all boy house, all girl, or one of each in an upcoming post:)
As soon as the ultrasound was over, I had this devious feeling of wanting to keep everyone in suspense, but I resisted. We went home and called parents, brothers and sisters, grandparents, aunts and uncles and our friends to let them know the exciting news. I loved getting to tell everyone, but by the end of all the excitement, I was exhausted!
Week 19 was almost as exciting as the previous week because I felt the babies move for the first time. I’d been willing them to give me a few good hard kicks for a couple of weeks, but so far I’d felt nothing! The first few times I felt them left me excited, but also wondering if it really was them. But after it happened several more times, and I was feeling it on both sides, I realized that yes, it really was our 2 little babies making their presence known! One thing that made me doubtful at first was that it didn’t feel like a flutter like many people said it would. It felt more like a really soft little bump from the inside.
Week 20: and now I’m finally caught up!
Okay, I know I’m going to look back on this and laugh at myself, but I feel like I look huge in this picture! Not sure if it’s the stripes or if I’ve just doubled in size since last week…but either way I think the baby belly looks large and in charge:) This week we had another appointment, but no ultrasound. We did get to hear the heartbeats (which sound like little trains to me by the way) and the doctor checked me and said everything looks perfect! Yay! So far I’ve gained 12 pounds. I wasn’t really sure if that was good or not, but my nurse assured me I’m right on track. What a relief! I’ve also been getting in some really solid 3 mile walks this week, which have felt so good. And we ordered a treadmill, so I see many more walks in my future:)
And now for some randomness from the first trimester (which is obviously a little outdated, but I really wanted to document it somewhere)!
Symptoms (some known and some only I am convinced are because of pregnancy)
nausea (of course), earaches, out of control sense of smell, exhaustion,
lots of bathroom trips, congestion, increased pulse (Jon doesn’t buy this one, but it’s for real),
bad taste in my mouth
pizza, vegetables, mexican food, chips and salsa, diet coke
lime chips, mac and cheese, cheerios, pad thai, orange juice
I realize this post was a complete overload of updates, but the combination of sickness, exhaustion and most recently, pure laziness has inhibited my blogging. I am kicking myself for not being better about documenting the last few months, and now it’s time for a fresh start.
So, look for upcoming posts on our last big trip just the two of us, nursery updates, the gender reveal!, and how my eating has changed since pad thai and cheerios!
other posts you might enjoy...