Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Is it over yet?!?

I am so ready for the weekend. Seriously. Not that I have much of a weekend. I just want this week to be over. It's been a long one.

Saturday made four years since my Dad passed away. And I had to work. Needless to say, it was a bad day. It just set the tone too. Sunday church was cancelled because of snow. The roads were NASTY and we were stuck at home. I shoveled way too much snow and ended up with my shoulder hurting.

Sunday night I had a dream. A dream that maybe should have given me hope, but instead just caused more heartbreak. I dreamed of twins. Two beautiful little girls. Hannah and Sarah. They both had dark hair just like Matt. They were perfect. They were born early though, and the doctors told me that Sarah wasn't going to make it. I wasn't worried though. I knew in my heart that my girl was a fighter. I knew it would be fine. In my dream I watched my girls get bigger and grow stronger. I was able to take both girls home with me and they continued to thrive.

The dream was so realistic that when I woke up, I looked around for them. I didn't see them, so I thought Matt must have them, letting me sleep. As I opened the bedroom door and looked into the livingroom there wasn't any babies, toys, bassinetts or anything..... then it hit me. There were no babies. It was just a dream. I didn't have a Hannah or a Sarah. It was like a sucker punch to the gut. I started crying before Matt even realized I was in the room. Not just tears. Gut wrenching sobs. I couldn't help it. My heart was breaking. This was the most realistic dream I had ever had, and I spent most of the day Monday in bed, grieving for two beautiful little girls I've never even had. I could not even force myself to get up until nearly 3pm when I HAD to get up for work. Even as I type this, I cry. Tears for those two little babies. Maybe it's stupid, but I fell in love with those two girls during that dream, and the pain from "losing" them is just as bad as the pain I've experienced with my chemical pregnancies.

I have been in mourning all week. Grieving for children I never carried, never saw, never held in my arms. Grieving for children who never even exsisted, but whom I loved more than I can even explain. I have cried at random times all week thinking about Hannah and Sarah. I would give ANYTHING to have them. Matt thinks that the dream was a sign and should give me hope. After all, I should have ovulated Saturday or Sunday. We covered our bases from a TTC standpoint. He thinks I should be happy, but the fact is, it just reminds me of what we have been working for during the past 5 years. What we have tried for time after time, and what we still don't have.

Tonight I was on youtube surfing around and decided to watch the memorial video that I posted for my Dad. That is when I realized that a week ago (so right around the anniversary of his passing) some douchebag posted HORRIBLE comments on the video. Comments that I won't even repeat, but that I will never be able to erase from my memory. It pisses me off and breaks my heart.

Once again, I sit here with tears streaming down my face. Tears for my Dad and for my girls. For my precious Hannah and Sarah. Beautiful babies that I would do anything to have. Babies that I don't think I'll ever get to have. After five years, I just don't know how to be hopeful anymore. I'm broken. My belief that EVERYONE will eventually get the babies they want is gone. My faith that one day I will hold a baby of my own is gone. I'm broken, and I don't know if I will ever be whole again.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Four Years

Four years ago I said goodbye to my Dad. It was by far one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. Today my son and I sat and talked about my Dad. It breaks my heart to realize that my son has very few memories of my Dad. He was five and a half when Dad passed away, but we had already been living in Iowa for a year, and he hadn't seen him during that time. I was 5 when my grandfather passed, so I guess I should have realized. It just hadn't thought about it I guess.

It makes me so sad, to think about the things that Will has missed out on with his Pap. I wish he had been able to spend more time with him. I wish he didn't have to depend on my memories to learn about his Pap. At the same time, realizing how much he is missing out on makes me sad for me too. For the first time, it has really dawned on me just how much I missed out on with my Pap. As I said, I was 5 when he passed, and I while I know that he and I were extremely close, I have only a few very brief memories of him. I don't remember his funeral or his death. I don't remember much at all really. In a way, I guess that I am not only grieving for my father, but for the first time, I am also grieving for my Pap. Maybe that is why this year was so much harder on me than any other year so far.

I miss my Dad so much. My husband only met him one time, for a very brief period. My son doesn't remember much about him. The reality is, my daughter is the only of his five grandchildren who will actually remember him. One of his grandsons was born just 5 days before he passed, my son was 5 and my neice was 2 and the fifth never got to meet him at all. It just doesn't seem fair. I wish they all could have known what an amazing man he was.

My Daddy

Walking me down the aisle during my first wedding.

His final resting place
A blinkie that I made for Dad.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


It's not a big secret (at least I don't think) that my faith has taken a BIG hit over the past few years. Between multiple miscarriages, my parents' divorce, the death of my father, my uncle, two of my grandmothers.... It's been a long couple of years. There have been times where I nearly gave up. I came so close to giving up completely so many times.

Today was the beginning of a change though. The beginning of a new start. We had an amazing service today. There was a message that seemed to be directed right at me. It was about how America has turned their backs on God and how we are mainly just "playing church". We talked about the scripture in Luke 18 where the bible says it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. We have always read that and put ourselves in the position of the poor man. We always assume that there are these rich people out there somewhere who won't make Heaven because they are not willing to give up everything for God. If you look at it from a global point though, we are the rich ones. Very few people in America can call themselves poor from a world standpoint. We are so wealthy in this country, and we have no understanding of what poor really is.

I had already decided it was time to get serious and get back to God. between services I took a nap. I tossed and turned and wasn't getting much rest. I almost decided to stay home. Instead, I woke up from a nightmare that was so realistic that I was shaking. I had dreamt about demons. The more awake I got the more I realized that I felt a dark pressence. I literally RAN out my door. I knew I HAD to get to church right away. I thought there was a demon in my house, and I started praying. I didn't know what to do other than I knew I had to get to church.

In the end, the demon wasn't in my house. A woman who everyone in the area knows is demon possessed showed up at our church tonight. She disruppted the service repeatedly and the entire congregation came together and prayed. I would love to be able to say that we prayed the demon out of her, but the fact is, we didn't. Instead, she refused our prayers and left the church. We all stayed and talked, and explained to the kids what had happened and prayed together though. It was such a powerful moment. The minute the woman entered the church I realized that the demon was there, and not in my home. I realized that I had that overwhelming urge to run because I was needed at the church, and I am glad I went.

So often, ministers give us the scriptures all sweetened with honey and a pair of rose colored glasses to view it with. The bible does not tell us that if we are Christians everything is going to be rainbows and sunshine and daisys. The scripture clearly says that we will suffer just as Christ suffered for us. There will be good times, but there will also be times where we have to battle with evil. There will be times where Satan and his evil forces come against us. We have to be reading the word, praying daily and reaching for God. We have to have faith in Him and trust Him to meet our needs.

I know I haven't been living the life that I should be. It's time for me to draw closer to God. I need to pray more, and to study the word more. I need to learn to trust him and make him number one in my life, ahead of my children and my husband even. Today was a turning point for me and my faith. I hope that everyone reading this takes that journey with me.

If you pray, please pray for my church. Wednesday is going to be a time of prayer and fasting for us. We know that as a whole, we have to draw closer to Him. Please pray for us, and if you have a need, share it with me so that we can pray for you as well.

I hate this week.

It's officially the 16th now. I hate this week.


Four years ago today the doctors told me that there was absolutely nothing more they could do for my father. Four years ago today the doctor stood and told me it would be selfish of us to continue to keep my father alive. Four years ago today, my father's IV that was giving him fluids that were keeping him alive blew. Four years ago today I called my father's friends and family members and told them that if they wanted to see him again, they needed to come now. Dad had spent most of the month sleeping. When he did wake, he was often confused and unable to carry on a coherent conversation. I had known that eventually we would reach this point, but that didn't help to dull the pain that stabbed through my heart when the doctor said "it's time".

Less than an hour after my conversation with the doctor I went outside to smoke a ciggarette (I've been smoke free for four years next month) and make a few more phone calls. When I came back, my father, who had been sleeping for days, was sitting up, drinking a cup of coffee and talking. Not the confused babble that had become the norm, but a real, coherent, honest to goodness conversation. He appeared stronger than he had in the month I had been home. He was laughing as I walked in the room. God I miss hearing him laugh.  He saw me come in and said "Do you have any idea how long it's been since I have had anything to eat?" (Yeah, I did. He hadn't had actual food since he had entered the hospital on December 29th.) "I want a cheeseburger. Go get me a cheeseburger. A bacon cheeseburger. Two of them Go to Hardee's for me, will ya?"

I couldn't believe what I was seeing. They had just told me that they couldn't do anything. They had just said he may never even wake up again. That I probably would never have another meaningful conversation with my Dad again. Here he was asking for a cheeseburger. I went to the nurses desk and asked the nurse, Eric (who just happened to be a friend from high school and an old neighbor) what I should do. His response, "Steph, your dad is going to die. We still can't help him. If the man wants a bacon cheeseburger, go get him a bacon cheeseburger."

I did get that bacon cheeseburger. Two of them. And curly fries and a chocolate shake. And he ate every bite. The man who hadn't eaten in nearly a month ate every single bite and then, he asked when he could see his dog. After a talk with the nurses, and explaining just how big this dog (a siberian husky) was, my brother went home to bathe her and we "snuck" her into the hospital to visit Dad. At this point they are still telling us it could be as soon as a few hours, but I just didn't belive it.

Four years from tomorrow they discharged my Dad from the hospital. Four years from tomorrow I took my Dad home. It was like having a baby all over again. He needed medicine every four hours at most. His stomach had shrunk, so he could only eat very small meals (unlike the one he inhaled in the hospital that night). I was constantly having to make him something to eat, giving him meds, or helping him to the bathroom or changing a diaper. (He was still so weak that he couldn't control his bowels. He appeared to get stronger every day though. I knew that the doctors didn't know what they were talking about.

Four years ago on the 21st my Dad quit eating.
He quit drinking.
He quit talking.
He mostly slept.
When he was awake, he just stared into space.

Four years ago on the 22nd, my mom and my aunt came to visit. I took a shower while they visited with Dad. I felt rejuvinated. I felt better than I had all week.
I walked into my Dad's room and my kids were talking to him. He told them he loved them and then they ran off to play. He motioned for me to come closer. He hugged me and told me he loved me. And then he went back to sleep.

A few hours later the hospice nurse stopped to check on us. She didn't like what she saw. As she listened to Dad's heart, he jumped and opened his eyes. He pointed and said, "It's coming! It's coming!" I tried to calm him down and told him that the nurse was just trying to listen to his heart and lungs. He just kept saying "It's coming!"
Then he closed his eyes.........
.......his breathing slowed........
......I was relieved that he had calmed down.

 And then I heard those dreaded words.

"Stephanie, it's time to say goodbye now. We're losing him. If you want to say goodbye, now is the time."

Four years ago, on January 22nd, I held my Daddy's hand and I told him I loved him.......
.......and as he took his last breath, I kissed his forehead and said goodbye.

As I sit here and write this, four years later tears are streaming down my cheeks. Four years later, and it still hurts nearly the same way as it did that day four years ago as I said goodbye.

Four years and I am still not used to the idea that you are gone.
I miss you Dad. I miss you more and more every day.
I'd give anything to have you back.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

The journey has begun!

First, a weightloss update: I have lost 3.4 pounds since the first of the year. My hubby has lost 3.8 pounds. I'm really excited about that! This is no where near as hard as I thought it was going to be. The shakes taste good, the snacks are awesome, and because we picked up the frozen meals, there is no weighing or measuring or anything. It makes it so much quicker and easier.

School starts next week. It's going to be Matt's first semester. I can't help but feel bad watching his stress out about starting school. I remember feeling these same feelings last semester. I was so stressed out that I thought it would make me sick. He is so worried, and I know that he will do fine. I am looking forward to the first week being over so that he can relax and enjoy the semester.

I am looking forward to thsi semester myself. I am not nearly as overloaded as I was during the first semester. I am looking forward to most of my classes, with the exception of speech. I think it will go a bit more smoothly this time. I did manage to keep my 4.0 last semester, but I was stressed out and sick most of the semester. My goal is to maintain my GPA but have more time to relax and enjoy myself this semester.

I received a letter in the mail today that I wasn't expecting. It was a letter from the college president. It was a letter congratulating me on being named to the President's List. I'm pretty proud of that stupid piece of paper. I worked really hard last semester to maintain those grades, and that paper acknowledges that hard work.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

A New Year

Today is not only a new day, but a new year! For the first time in a long time, I feel very hopeful about the upcoming year. I will be honest, that kind of makes me nervous. It seems like every time I have hope, something comes along to crush that hope again. For now though, I am hopeful and I am going to bask in that hope.

I make New Year's resolutions each year..... ones that while wonderful in theory..... are ones that I just cannot follow through with. This year, I made my resolutions a bit more manageable and more realistic. I also only made three resolutions this year.

1. Drink at least 64 ounces of water daily and walk on the treadmill for 10 minutes at least 4 times a week.

2. Read at least 1 book for entertainment each month. (Does not include books assigned for school.)

3. Complete a minimum of 6 Forever Warm blankets in the next year.

I am hoping that by drinking more water that will mean less soda and southern sweet tea. I am hoping that combining that with working out will mean that I will eat much healthier overall. It's been easier than I suspected it would be actually. One day into the new year and I have eaten healthier two days in a row!
Yep, I was so excited by my resolutions that I went ahead and started a day early. I've worked two days in a row, but instead of the normal junk that I eat at work I've eaten diet meals (still microwave meals, but much healthier ones) and an orange! For anyone who doesn't know me, the fact that I even took a bite of an orange is a miracle itself. Turns out I actually kind of like them though. I've had one with my dinner the past two days, and I came home and wanted a snack tonight, so I grabbed another orange instead of chips or ice cream or candy like I usually would have. And just for the record, there is plenty of all of those options in the house!

I am also hoping that I can get more blankets completed and read more books than I planned as well. I don't know about that one for sure though. With school and two jobs and kids and Matt...... I don't know that there will be time to do any more than that.

I also decided to try to complete a 100 day challenge that I read about on Facebook. Basically you just have to get up and move, be active, for 30 minutes a day. I had to move around a ton of backstock at work tonight and instead of using jacks and dollies, I did it all manually because of this challenge. I started a 365 photo blog too! I think that it could be so much fun! I always wanted to do it, but I never remembered to start it on time and I felt weird starting it late, so I haven't done it until now. Feel free to check either one out!