Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Today, I have several heartbroken individuals on my mind, and it has given me a new perspective on being thankful. It has reminded me that I should never take for granted all the special moments I have with those I love...Brent, Chandler, my parents, my in-laws, my grandparents, my friends and relatives. We are all just a heartbeat away from death, and God can take us away whenever he so chooses. I am thankful that God has given me all the special people in my life. Each and every one of them has blessed me incredibly, and I have had a better life because of knowing them.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

On the Run

Those of you who know me know that I've never been a runner, but in the last few days, I have started trying it out. I doubt I'll ever be a marathon runner, but I'm starting to see the pleasure that can be found in running. It's a wonderful way to not only get a super workout while enjoying the great outdoors and the company of Chandler, but it's also a great way to clear my head. So far, I have walked and jogged three times this week, and I have really enjoyed it. I'll keep you posted on how things progress. Who knows...maybe I'll run a 5k one day!

A Special Day With My Little Man

Chandler is the light of my life, and I love having opportunities to spend time with him one-on-one. He's such a sweetie, and I love watching his face light up and hearing his little laugh. Today was one of those days that we got to hang out together, and we made the most of it.
First, we headed out to the Bulldog Bash at Level Grove Elementary. We played games together, he rode the train, went fishing, and had lots of fun with a water-filled yo-yo balloon (affectionately called a ball by him), and we ate some yummy pizza. Then we headed to Cornelia Park for a two mile walk and jog before going over to the play area. To end the perfect day together, we stopped by DQ and enjoyed some yummy vanilla cones.
Needless to say, by the time we got home around 2:00 p.m., it didn't take much convincing for him to be ready for a nap. We watched an episode of Curious George together, and his eyes were closed within a matter of minutes. It's days like this that I am so thankful for, and I have some memories that I will not soon forget.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Losing A Part of Myself, Part 2 (re: Miscarriages)

A lot of things have happened since I last blogged about my miscarriages. Unfortunately, I endured another one in February, just four days before Chandler's 2nd birthday. It's one of those things that can easily bring a person and even a couple down if you let it, but even in our sorrow, we hung on to the belief that God has a reason for all of this. Having one miscarriage is very common, and even having two is fairly common, but four? Like my doctor said, with sorrow in his voice and eyes, four is way too many miscarriages for anyone to have to go though. So, that's why Brent and I decided to pursue genetic testing. My doctor warned us that we may still not have any answers, because so few people in our situation do.

Then, on Valentine's Day, the day before my birthday, I got a phone call from my doctor. In the message, he said the tests definitely turned up some issues that he wanted to talk to me about. I was afraid to call him back because I had no idea what this meant. Naturally, many thoughts began swimming around in my head. What if there was something horrendously wrong with me? What if Brent or I had passed some awful genetic disorder to Chandler?

Finally, I worked up the nerve to call him back. His voice was calm and reassuring as he talked to me. He told me that Brent's tests all came back normal, but that mine showed a genetic abnormality called balanced Robertsonian translocation. With a shaking hand, I wrote this down on the notepad beside my bed. My first question was how this was going to affect me, and my second question was how this was going to affect Chandler. He told me not to worry, that this abnormality will never affect either of us except when I am trying to conceive a child. Most likely, Chandler doesn't even have this abnormality, and even if he does, there is only a slight chance that he and his future wife will have the same problems I have had with carrying babies to term.

He encouraged me to talk to others and do some research of my own to help me understand more about this genetic abnormality, and then he told me he would like for us to visit a genetic counselor as a couple so we could get more specific information so we could make informed decisions about what steps to take next. Surprisingly, I got another phone call just two days later from a perinatal genetic couselor at Northside Hospital's Women's Center with an appointment for Monday, February 20. This happened to be President's Day, and both Brent and I were off work. Now, is that a God thing, or what?

Before we went for the appointment, Brent and I agreed that if the counselor advised us not to have anymore children, then we weren't even going to try. There is no way that either of us would knowingly put a child in danger.

When the counselor came to get us in the waiting room, she was very friendly and welcoming. She made us feel comfortable right away. First, she showed us a map of Brent's chromosomes which are normal. Then, she showed us a map of my chromosomes. One pair of my chromosomes (14) is incomplete, but the missing part is attached to another chromosome (13). It's so weird! I never knew anything like this could happen. The reason this abnormality does not affect me is because my body balances everything out on it's own (hence the "balanced" Robertsonian translocation). The problem comes in when we conceive a child. If the chromosomes are not lined up correctly ("unbalanced" Robertsonian translocation), then a fetus cannot live past the first trimester because of all the defects that are present. Thus, the most probable reason why I have had four miscarriages, all within the first trimester.

Obviously, my chromosomes can line up correctly with Brent's, though. This is why we have Chandler. If you ask me, it is totally a God thing! He gave us Chandler at just the right time that he wanted us to have him, and I am so thankful that he did. He is a precious light in my life, and I am ever thankful for him.

In the long run, we were given the green light to try for more children if we desire to do so. The catch? It's like rolling a dice. It is probable that I will have more miscarriages, but is is also probable, that with enough tries, we can have another child of our own. Will we keep trying forever? I don't think so. Will be try at least one more time? If you know me, then you know the answer is yes. I am not going to give up that easily.

My main desire is to please God with the choices I make, and right now we are going to lean on him for the answers to the questions we have. Like my doctor said today at my yearly exam (the same doctor mentioned above who has been with us each time we faced miscarriage), God knows what He is doing, even when we don't completely understand, and that is enough for me.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Thankful Thursday

There are always so many things to be thankful for. Here are a few things on my list. When you're finished here, make sure you hop on over to Julia's page so you can link up, too!

1) Spring Break

It has been a glorious week away from work! If you are not in the field of education, you have no idea how important this week is for a teacher's sanity. God knew I needed this right now, and to top it all off, He has provided some beautiful sunny days to go with it.

2) A Trip to the Zoo

On one of the beautiful days this week, Brent and I took Chandler to the zoo for the first time. We all had a blast! Some of our favorites were the gorillas, orangutans, and giraffes. Chandler also loved the Reptile House. I guess he's all boy!

3) Sleeping Late and Taking Naps

Sleeping late just isn't in the schedule when you have to be at work at 7:30 a.m., and there's usually no time for naps, either (for the adults anyway), but this week I have been enjoying both. Hopefully I'm making up for lost time!

4) Just Being at Home

Although going on trips and having busy schedules are fun and sometimes necessary, it's also nice to have some down time without having to be somewhere at a certain time. There really is no place like home, and I am thankful for mine.

Monday, April 2, 2012

A Day at the Zoo

We've been wanting to take Chandler to the zoo for a while, and since it's Spring Break for me this week, we decided to head to Zoo Atlanta today.

The weather was perfect, and we had a blast introducing Chandler to a few of God's unique creations.

The Orangutans, Reptile House, and Giraffes were a few of our favorites.

Chandler even had his first Carousel ride. He laughed almost the entire time, and when I got out the camera he said, "cheese!".

Before leaving, we purchased him a cute little tiger because I just couldn't resist, and he and his new buddy were asleep within minutes of leaving the park.

Today, we created some memories together that I will cherish more many years to come. It was nice to get out and have fun with my boys!