Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Love & Marriage - Faith

Today is the last of the Love & Marriage Series.  This is the first series I have actually kept up with and done the entire way through.  Aren't you proud of me?  I've really enjoyed this series.  I have loved reading all the other bloggers posts so much and I always think reflecting on ones own marriage is a good thing!

Today's post is about wrapping it all up.  And when I think of our marriage, one word comes to mind...Faith.  As most know, Andrew and I have been together for forever it seems.  We were together a long time before we got married.  We became great friends before we started dating and we even went to prom together.  There was a point or two in our dating relationship tenure where I didn't know if he was the one though.  I wanted him to be so very badly, but it just seemed at the time that things weren't lining up. Without going into too much detail, lets just say that things were happening that were preventing us to be together.  There was a time, when I was struggling so very badly with the thought of him not being my future husband, that I hit a very very low point in my life.  Thankfully, God placed some amazing people in my life at this time to bring me up.  One person in particular, a very very dear friend, was a Godsend.  She would speak to me for hours and just listen to me.  One piece of advice she gave me though, spoke mountains to me.  She told me that if I could see Andrew as the father of my children, then I shouldn't give up.  This was huge to me.  At that point I turned my situation over to God, like my stubborn self should have done in the first place.  I can tell you that I truly felt a sense of relief come over me.  I knew then, that if we were meant to be, then we would be, but that I had to let God be in control of the details.  

Fast forward to a few years later, we are married and  wanting to start a family.  After we had been struggling with infertility for quite some time, I once again gave up my stubborn controlness and turned the situation over to God.   After a year and a half of infertility struggles, we were blessed with our little blessing at the perfect time.  God sure knows what he is doing, huh?!?

Why do I tell you all this?  Most that really know me, know that I have the mentality that everything always works out as it is supposed to.  We are given these difficult life circumstances because they are what bring us to the most amazing blessings in life.  If Andrew and I hadn't have gone through the things we went through before we got married, our marriage wouldn't be as strong as it is now.  Without going through the struggles of infertility, I wouldn't be able to help and encourage others going through the same thing, nor would I appreciate the little things that I do now.  However, I may be a little less crazy and anxious of a mom, but thats a different post for a different day...all I can say is at least I admit it.  No denial here!  ;)

Faith has been what has gotten us through.  It is what is getting us through where we are now.  It has made us the couple we are today and blessed us with more than we deserve.  I feel so blessed that God has given  me Andrew to be my partner, my one and only.  Sure we have our problems, our struggles, we aren't perfect, but we just work so well together.  Marriage is HARD work.  Any person in a good marriage will tell you the same thing.  I think the key is that we truly love each other and want the best for each other.  We have faith and pray.  And in case you were wondering, Andrew is the best daddy in the whole world! 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Love & Marriage - Week 3 Keeping Things Interesting

Today is week 3 of the Love & Marriage Series.  You can read about week 2 and week 1 here. This week is about keeping things interesting.  I found that as I was reading everyone else's post this morning that they all had the same common theme..."how to keep marriage interesting after having a baby."  I am so glad I am not the only one that struggles with this.  It seems that ALL new moms do as well. 

When Andrew and I first got married, we were so good about keeping things interesting.  Despite both of our gruesome work schedules, we always found time to spend with each other.  Over time, we started exercising together and I even convinced him to train for a marathon with me!  Andrew grew to love my love for travel and we have been all over. Lucky for us, we travel so well together.  The vacations that we have went on are some of my most treasured memories of us.  I am soo glad we made time for this before we had children.

We have always been good about making time for each other and going out on date nights.  In June of last year, we went on our last vacation as a family of two to Hawaii for a babymoon. 

In October, we welcomed our baby girl into this world.  Our priorities changed, and she became the center of our world.  We simply adore her.  She is the light of our life and coming home to her everyday is the best part of our day.  However, I know we need to make our marriage more of a priority. 

Since I have became a mom, I have wanted nothing more than to take care of my baby.  We prayed so long and so hard for her, that I just want to soak up every minute I have with her, I know she will be grown up before I know it.  Unfortunately, since I am a working mom, I find that I value the time I have with her even more.  It is very hard for me to grasp the fact that my only job is not just to raise my child(ren).  Raising my child, loving her more than life itself, kissing her, and cuddling with her is very important, but so is my spouse.  For it is together, that God gave us her.  I must remember, that while I am a mother, I am also a wife. 

I'll be the first to admit that I struggle with leaving my baby.  Those who know me, know the anxiety that leaving her entails.  It's bad, medication worthy, and if I wasn't still feeding her, I'd definately consider it.  While I take full responsibility for this trait, I still blame my job.  Being a pediatrician is an amazing God given gift, but it's not all roses.  I have seen things that most never see, I've seen precious precious lives of children gone within an instant.  I've seen the accidents that people always think will never happen to them, happen to them.  It's made me realize how precious this life is we are given and how quickly it can be taken away.  This realization comes with a lot of anxiety and guilt on my part to be the best working mother that I can be.

While, I don't think it is right, I do think it is completely normal to put your marriage on the backburner when you welcome a new little one into the family.  It seems every blogger in this series has said the exact same thing.  And while I am not one to make excuses, or maybe I am, I know that our living situation right now has played a big part in where we are in our marraige.  I am so blessed to have such an understanding and caring husband who loves our baby just as much as I do and who understands me better than anyone.  I love being married to him and feel that we have a great marriage, but there is always room for improvement and always something that could be better.  I pray and I know that once we are able to get settled into our own home again things will get even better.   

Bottom line:
It's important to make time for each other.  It's important to remember why you got married in the first place.  And that while that new baby is the most wonderful thing in the world, he/she wouldn't be here without the "us." 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Lolo eats real food!

I CAN NOT BELIEVE it is time to feed Lolo real food...Seriously?!?  Where did the time go?!?  I think I am still in denial about it.  sigh....

We fed her sweet potatoes (March 31) for her first meal!  She wasn't too big of a fan.  I figured she would be all for it, but not so much.  We just fed her organic ones from a baby food jar.  This next time, I am going to try to make them from scratch.  Maybe they will taste better with some milk mixed in. 

Since then, we have tried avocados...still not a huge fan.  Then bananas, which I thought she would love, not so much.  She tolerated apples more, but I think her favorite so far is sweet potatoes and blueberries mixed.  She loves her sippy cup though!  I think she looks like such a big girl holding it up with two hands. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Love & Marriage - In Good Times and In Bad

It's week 2 of the Love & Marriage series.  Todays topic is In Good Times and In Bad.  Fortunately, I feel that Andrew and I went through a lot before we got married, so once we got married everything seemed like a piece of cake.  That is until we started to think about starting a family.  It seems as if no one ever talks about anyones struggles to start a family, but when it is you who is dealing with infertility, you seem to cross the paths of so many going through the same struggle and heartbreak.  Here is our story...

Andrew and I will have been married for 5 years in July.  It's been the best 5 years of my life!  Being married to him just easy.  But it hasn't come with out its hardships.  A couple of years ago, Andrew and I decided that we were ready to start a family.  I had this plan in my head of exactly when I wanted to have a baby and that was that.  It was going to happen just as I had planned.  I just knew it.  Boy was I WRONG.  What was I thinking?!? Things never go as planned.  Month after month I became more and more disappointed that I wasn't getting pregnant.  Then came April 2011.  That was the month that I miscarried. 

I never thought having a miscarriage was a big deal.  It was God's plan, (which I still believe).  It was a baby that wasn't meant/couldn't survive outside of the womb, and that was that.  Once again, I was WRONG.  Going through that was tough.  I was devastated.  It was emotionally draining on me and for a month, I had a constant reminder that I was losing a baby, our baby.  I was working a ton at the time and surrounded by people who were pregnant or had new babies.  I was happy for them, I really was, but I was also very jealous and depressed that I wasn't able to stay pregnant.  Andrew was great during that time, I don't think he really understood the emotional toll it took on me, but he was very supportive and tried to understand what I was going through.

We both longed to have a baby.  We were ready!  But it just wasn't in Gods plan yet.  Still month after month I was very disappointed and became even more depressed.  And every month it seemed that someone else was having a baby or becoming pregnant.  It was rough!  I found that I had to withdrawl myself from a lot of situations and people that I loved that were having babies, because that was all they understandably wanted to talk about.   And it wasn't because I didn't care about them or because I wasn't happy for them, but I had to protect myself from getting into a dark hole too deep to get out.  I blamed myself for all of it.  I quit running because I thought that may be the cause.  I must have bought every fertility book known to man, including supplements that were recommended.  I had my husband lay off the biking because I was worried it may be him, it wasn't.  But he did so without any hesitation.  He was my rock.  He spent countless hours and weekends with me watching movies and hanging out with just me, because he knew how hard it was for me to be around other people at the time.  He didn't complain about it one bit either.

In July 2011, I went for a yearly exam and discussed my frustrations with my doctor.  He told me if I wasn't pregnant in 6 months to call him.  That was a long 6 months.  6 months later he had me come in for an ultrasound, and we discussed our options.  I had a procedure done in December called an HSP where the insert dye into the uterus to make sure the fallopian tubes are open.  Since I had had a miscarriage he thought that maybe my tubes were blocked.  It was probably the worst 60 seconds of my life.  Talk about painful!  OMG.  But everything looked great.  My doctor told me to call him next month.  It was then that he decided to put me on Femara.  He had determined by the ultrasound that I needed the medication in order to ovulate.  With Femara and serial ultrasounds, I got pregnant that month!  February 9th remains one of the best days ever!

I know my struggle with infertility wasn't as bad or as long as most, I feel very blessed that my doctor was able to help us figure out the problem and "fix" it.  But it was still one of the hardest, emotionally draining experiences I have ever been though.  I feel that all along the way, Andrew felt the same pain as I was.  We longed to start a family so bad and it was so unbelievably hard to be around others who had no clue what we were experiencing or how we must feel.  But at the same time, we both relied on our faith to get us through.  I must have prayed this verse a million times.

   "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." Matthew 21:22

Getting through it together was definately challenging.  We, well mostly me, had many moments of ups and downs.  We, due to my emotional state, secluded ourselves a lot.  It was tough.

Looking back now, I am so thankful that God decided to bless us with a baby when he did.  Hind sight 20/20 everything makes complete sense.  Going through what we went through and truly being ready to have a baby, I feel has made us appreciate the little things in life.  We have absolutely treasured the past 6 months with our beautiful little blessing.  There isn't a day that goes by that I don't pray for her.  I thank God so much that he chose us to be her parents and for giving me Andrew, to be my partner through it all.  I think we make a pretty good team!  

There is a special place in my heart for those dealing with infertility.  It's a pain that not many understand.  I will continue to pray for those struggling to start a family and that God will bless them, as he has blessed us in so many ways. 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Lolo's first easter!

We had a great first easter with our little chunky monkey!  The easter bunny loved her this year!  She got FOUR baskets :)  We have one spoiled and LOVED little girl!  And you went right for the are definately your mothers child :)

We celebrated Easter with Andrew's mom the weekend before.  Then on Easter Sunday, Lolo got her easter basket from the easter bunny, which she loved, can't you tell by the huge smile on her face?!  Then we went to church.  It was during Lo's naptime, she made it about half way through, not too bad considering how tired she was.  When we got home we had lunch with my family and then went to Andrew's dads family to celebrate with them.  Even though Lolo's schedule was messed up and she didn't really get her naps like she usually does, she was a great baby and just smiled like crazy for everyone around her.  We are so very blessed to have such a happy little girl!  This Easter was just an amazing reminder of how blessed we really are.  So thankful for this wonderful life God has given to us. 

We decided to feed Lo her first baby food on Easter Sunday for dinner, she wasn't a huge fan, more on that later. But she sure looks like a big girl in her highchair!

We had time to take a few pics outside.  It was a gorgeous day!

So thankful for this beautiful little blessing!  Thankful for our God for allowing all this to be possible.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Lo - 6 Months

Oh my how time flies.  How do I have a 6 month old?  How is Lolo already 1/2 a year old?!?  Time, please please slow down. 

Lolo bear,

You turned 6 months old on April 5th.  Daddy and I just love you to pieces.  You are the sweetest, most content, happiest baby I have ever been around.  I don't know how we got so lucky.  You smile all the time.  You love to laugh and are very ticklish.

This past month, you have just seemed to blossum with the cutest little personality.  You have learned how to sit up on your own, and if you are laying down, you love to grab those cute toes of yours and put them in your mouth. 

I went back to work, again, this month.  You have handled the transition so well.  You love hanging out with your Aunt Allie 4 days a week, and then spending time with your nana and Aunt Shannon one day a week.  I am so glad you have people to watch you who love you so much.  It makes this transition a tiny bit better.  Leaving you everyday will never get easier though.  Getting to come home to you and daddy everyday sure is the best part about my day!

You are growing like a weed!  I haven't taken you for your 6 month check-up yet, but you are around 18lbs now!  I can't believe it! 

We fed you your first baby food just a week shy of your 6 month birthday.  You aren't too sure about it yet...more to come on that later.  But you love your sippy cup full of water! 

Lolo, you are by far the best thing that has ever happened to us.  We love you so very much and treasure these months with you.  Seeing you reach your milestones is so incredibly exciting.  You still love reading books and have started to want to hold the book and chew on one or two :)

 I could start at your sweet sleeping face for hours.  Sometimes I do.  You are just the sweetest little girl!

You are the best baby!  We just love you to pieces!  I sure wish time would slow down though.  You are growing too fast!