Lilypie - Third Birthday

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Holiday Spirit

Instead of apologizing like I always do for my lapse in blog updates, I'm going to pretend like I didn't just let another 7 months didn't go by without a single post.  I've been reading some of my old posts and its interesting how life has changed since I started this blog 3 years ago.  All those posts about wanting a baby so bad and then being happy childless look so different now.  I'm glad I can look back on it and see how God does answer prayers.  Now I have a 1.5 year old and all those blog posts I wrote with tears running down my face seem so far away.  But I can see how important infertility has been, I've learned a lot of lessons that apply to so many other situations in life.  My faith used to be such a huge part of who I was.  Somehow since J came to live with us and I became a mommy, I've begun to rely less on God and more on myself.  Its hard to listen in church while dealing with a child and the days get so busy I don't have much time to sit and reflect on spiritual things the way I used to.  And relying on myself has not been working out that great, life is way harder that way.  I need to work on this.

Christmas is a few days away and I'm lacking the usual Christmas spirit.  Which is crazy because I have a toddler who gets excited about nearly everything and isn't the joy of watching your children enjoy Christmas suppose to be better than any other time of year?  Yet our house has no signs of the holiday season, no tree, no lights, no Christmas cookies, no nothing.  This morning as I sat in church trying to listen to the sermon about the real reason for Christmas, I was reflecting on why I don't get into the spirit of the season more.  I used to love Christmas, I used to get excited to buy everyone gifts and celebrate with our family, I even used to decorate the house!  So what happened?  I can't blame our infertility for everything but the fact is that it changed me so much as a person and made me grow up and become a realist in so many ways that I have to go back to that.  I just don't look at life the same way anymore.  I don't believe in the magic of Christmas because its just another day, a day when we are suppose to remember the magic that happened 2000 years ago not buy each other more crap we don't really need and that won't really make us happy.  But so many people over look that and in some ways I think I boycott Christmas because of it.  As for gift giving, my dear friend says it best in one of her blog posts, The Best Gifts Are The Ones You Never Even Knew You Wanted.

Here's another reason for my lack of Christmas spirit.  Several years ago DH and I had a huge fight with my family over Christmas Eve.  We wanted to go to church even though it would make us late for dinner with my family.  They told us we couldn't go to church.  We went anyway.  Tons of drama, awful things were said, it took days for things to cool down and no apologies were ever made.  Every year since then we go to church on Christmas Eve and everyone accepts it but there is tension like DH and I commit some sort of unspeakable crime each year.  Its become better now that my niece and nephew are in the Christmas Eve program so we all go to see them but Christmas is never the same.  My own family, who raised me to put Jesus first in my life,  threatened to disown me if I ruined their Christmas by going to church first.  Its crazy!   I put up a fight, DH stood by my side but my Christmas spirit died that year.  I resent all the misguided souls who believe the spirit of the season means holiday shopping, gifts, treats, decorations, family dinners and being nice to each other for a couple weeks in December each year and just maybe attending church for possibly the first time all year.  The spirit of season is Jesus you fools and you should all be in church remembering that!  Then I feel like a bad person.  There is nothing wrong with any of those things and there is nothing wrong with celebrating Christmas in whatever way your family chooses to celebrate it.   Perhaps as J gets older we will celebrate more, I don't know.  But I do know my kid will be the one in school telling all the others that Santa isn't real. 

Don't interpret this as negativity towards Christmas.  I do love Christmas, after all where would we be without it?  And the world definitely needs a season each year where people think of others first and are joyful.   But even Christmas fails in comparison to the Easter season.  Its amazing and miraculous how God chose to have His Son come into this world but even that sweet little baby in the manger fails in comparison to the man that hung on the cross for my sins.  And believe me, I got some sins.  So I apologize to those who feel I drag them down at Christmas with my lack of festive spirit but I'm a realist and I'm just looking at the big picture.  The miracle may have started when Jesus was born and came into this world to save my soul but the miracle wasn't complete until He hung on the cross, conquered hell and left this world.  And that's something we should celebrate 365 days a year with the Holy Spirit, a joyful and giving heart, kindness towards others, forgiveness and appreciation for family.

P.S.  J is the most awesome kid ever, here's an update in pictures :)










Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Birthmother's Day / Mother's Day

I've heard that the Saturday before Mother's Day is considered Birthmother's Day.  We haven't talked to our bmom much since our last visit.  She practically never even texts me anymore.  I'm not sure if I had offended her in some way or if she is just moving on.  But I wanted to recognize this day for her so I got her some chocolate truffles, a picture frame, a card that says "May you feel special today....because you are! Happy Mother's Day" and J painted her some crafts (ok I may have done 99% of it myself).  Then we made a card for the Grandmas.  Check it out!  I got these ideas from the internet and modified the poem a little to make it appropriate for bmom. 


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Why do I still cry about this?

So my friends that are having a baby and made me cry so hard on Valentine's Day had their gender ultrasound and told me about it via text again.  He was going on and on about how cool it was to see the baby and finally I said "yeah I bet that is exciting.  I wouldn't know since the only ultrasound I ever got to see was of my dead baby."  Can a texting conversation be awkward?  Well it was, I don't know why I said that and then starting crying again.  Geez, I need to grow up sometimes!  

Monday, April 29, 2013

A Better Me, A Better Mommy

In a recent post I wrote about becoming a new version of the old me.  And if your a long term follower you'll know that I'm always trying to lose weight and get fit and I always lose motivation faster that I do weight.  When J started eating table food I realized that I had to get committed and be serious about it for real this time, as a lifestyle change not a short term weight loss goal.  I'm not sure how much I believe that obesity is genetic vs poor lifestyle choices but J's bmom is bigger and so is her sister.   There is nothing wrong with a healthy chubby baby but a chubby 6 year old is not healthy.  So whether or not he's inherited big genetics from his birthfamily, we definitely don't need to be adding poor lifestyle choices to it.  We need to be the example.  The best way to make him eat his vegetables and play active games outside is to show him that's what mommy and daddy do.  Although J does still watch more tv with daddy than I would like, we're working on that. 

I've always been the kinda girl that thinks I have to go to the gym to get a good workout.  I've tried doing stuff at home but other than a run with the dogs I've always lost motivation.  When we brought J home that was the end of my gym membership.  Even if I had the time to go to the gym, no way did I have the energy.  I had the Insanity DVDs from a friend and never used them.  So in January  my New Year's resolution was do to the first 30 days of the program.  All 6 days of the week for 4 weeks, doesn't sound so bad right?  Well it was brutal but I did it!  Then I decided to keep going and do the entire 60 day program and I'm proud to say I did it!  Lost 14 lbs and gained muscles I didn't know I had.  All the crunches and gym exercises in the world never gave me core muscles like I have now, even when I was at my lowest weight ever I didn't have these muscles.  Turns out I love doing home workouts!  Did I mention how much easier it is to chase and carry around a 9 month old when your in shape?!   Now I'm doing the Turbofire program which is way more fun than Insanity but I'm not losing weight as fast and I have a long way to go yet.  But I'm not discouraged, its a lifestyle change and not all about being skinnier.  I'm so much happier and have so much more energy and patience for J when I get a good sweat every day. 

I've also been drinking Shakeology, which is a health shake made by the creators of the Insanity and Turbofire workouts.  I didn't love the taste at first but its definitely grown on me and now I love it!  It has all the vitamins and nutrients I need and covers all my servings of fruits and veggies so everything else I eat is just a bonus.  I'm a huge fan of Beachbody products.  I generally think anything on an infomercial is a scam but Beachbody lays everything out there for you and if you follow their program and nutrition guide, you'll get the results they promise.  And there is a money back guarantee on all their products, even if you use them. 

I signed up to be a coach so I can help others and get the awesome discounts.  So if anyone is interested check out my website, www.beachbodycoach.com/jenlindsey or the Shakeology site www.myshakeology.com/jenlindsey

I'm giving out free Shakeology samples, so if you want one, email me your address:  behealthybehappy@outlook.com



Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Shaking Off That Mommy Feeling

Today is our 9 year wedding anniversary.  I can't believe all that has changed from the person I was 9 years ago.  And if you had told me I'd be married for 9 years before becoming a mom I probably would have cried.  I'm so glad God doesn't show us our future, really its better left a mystery.  We celebrated our anniversary last weekend by renting a hotel room about an hour from home and leaving J with his aunt for his first ever sleep over.  He was an angel, apparently didn't miss me at all!  He even slept all night for them.  I had a hard time leaving but once we got away I forgot about it and had a nice night.  When we were driving to the hotel, it just didn't feel right to leave the dogs and our baby with someone else and go away alone.  I felt guilty, I felt like it wasn't worth it and I just couldn't shake the feeling that I was missing something.  When we got to the hotel I sat next to DH and said "now what?  its weird just the two of us".  But we found stuff to do ;)  We went to dinner at a new place, relaxed in the hotel hot tub, and had a few drinks and dancing at the nightclub next to our hotel.  We enjoyed our night away and it was good for J too.  I want him to be the kind of kid that is happy to stay at grandma's house or auntie's house and not cry for mommy all night.  Everyone always comments how good he is and DH said to my mom that maybe Jen is doing something right and my mom says no you guys just got blessed with a really good baby.  Really, my own mother can't even give me any credit?  Funny how when kids behave badly parents get all the blame but when you have a good kid, your just lucky!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Let's Try This Again

I have so much good intention of keeping this blog updated, even if no one reads it, its good for me to write down my feelings.  I should have blogged more last fall about my struggle to become mommy.  Even if the mothering part comes natural I think it takes everyone time to change into that role in their own minds.  It wasn't easy to make the overnight change from the infertile wife with babies in heaven to the infertile wife with a real live baby to be mommy to.  With the stress and exhaustion of having a newborn to care for with a husband always at work, I got sort of lost.  I didn't feel like mom yet but I was responsible for a child and no longer felt young and carefree either.  Trying to find myself and adjust to my new future wasn't easy.  I did some dumb things, I put added strain on our marriage and I looked for answers in the wrong place.  Spending my time in church caring for J and not listening didn't help either at time when I needed to be closer to God and rely on my faith.  But now that I feel like I'm back to being a new version of the old me, I can see that God has used that to help me and my relationship with DH grow in a way I didn't expect, just like He always does with challenges in my life.  J is almost 9 months old and we are all in such a good place.  He is so much fun at this age, I'm well adjusted to being his mommy and love him more than I thought I could. 

 
So here's what else has been going on the last few months...... We've been to two speaking events about adoption.  The first was a training at our agency and we spoke to other adoptive couples just beginning their journey.  It was almost one year to the day that I was sitting in that same training just starting our journey.  I never would have imagined that a year later I would be standing up front with my six month old sharing our story.  The second event was at a crisis pregnancy center adoption night.  They had a rep from another agency, a lawyer, an adult adoptee and us.  We spoke about our open adoption experience and what our relationship with the birthparents is like.  I was nervous about this one, even though we weren't there to convince anyone to choose adoption.  Of course no one heard what I said because J was giggling and smiling at everyone, he totally stole the show!  Given my bitterness towards pregnant women (more on that in a second), I was surprised that I just felt an overwhelming love for these young women.  They have chosen to give their babies life despite difficult circumstances, even if they choose to parent instead of adoption.  I can't explain why I felt the way I did around them but it had to be a God thing.  I don't really feel like I made a difference in anything I said but I know God put us there for a reason that night and I may never know whether I had any impact on anyone.  Or the reason we were there could have been for us to meet the lawyer.  We talked to her for a while after and she convinced me to go the private route when we adopt our next child.  I'm glad we went with the agency the first time but if we can save $10k next time, we're willing to try going through the lawyer.  She said that we can say how much we are willing to spend and they will not present us to situations that would cost more.  And even though they are part of a nationwide network we can choose to only adopt locally if we want.  I thought if we went privately that we'd have to find our own birthmom but they take profile books to show to the birthmoms that get referred to them through doctors and places like this crisis pregnancy center. 

I can honestly say that I have no desire to get pregnant or ever carry my own child.  I'm convinced that adoption is the best way to go.  I really thought I was over my bitterness towards pregnant women, especially now that I have my own baby, after all that was the goal right?  But I will always carry the hurt of our infertility struggles, the loss of our baby by miscarriage and I'll always be a little bitter towards women who can conceive just because I'm jealous they can do something I can't.  Even though its not something I want to do anymore.  I know, real mature right?  It was around Valentine's Day several years ago when we found out that we were pregnant after IVF.  So every Valentine's Day I think about that and I think about our baby and the long and difficult time I had with the following miscarriage.  I also think about our baby every October because that's when my due date would have been.  Its just something that people who have lost babies remember, it might not always be a memory that I cry over but its something I always think about.  Well this Valentine's Day the last of my friends without kids announced that they were expecting.  Which I could have handled even though it was a total surprise since they had just lied to me and said they were still trying and not having any luck.  But she announced it by texting an ultrasound picture the night before Valentine's Day.  I was already thinking about our own loss and then I got an ultrasound picture of someone else's healthy baby reminding me of the day we went for our first ultrasound and were told that our baby had stopped developing and that we weren't going to have a baby after all.  Every woman's worst nightmare, even worse after all we had gone through to get that far.  So I cried... a lot.  Thank God it was a text and I could easily respond a nice congrats while tears were streaming down my face.   I may be healed enough to accept others pregnancy announcements but ultrasound pictures are still a painful knife to the heart.  The timing on this announcement could not have been worse.  When DH got home he asked why I was crying since I don't want to be pregnant anyway.  I don't know, I thought I was past that too, I mean we have our child, what's my problem?!  I think maybe I'm just jealous that they get to experience a joy and anticipation I will never get.  With J we were never sure enough that we'd get to keep him to be that excited and announce it to everyone.  Even after we brought him home there was always the chance that he'd get taken away.  Now I'm still having a hard time being friendly to this friend.  And my SIL is trying for their third child.  I'm not past my infertility, probably never will be. 

There are some things in this life that we can't fix and just have to live with.  There are mistakes, feelings, pain and sins that we can't undo or make go away.   We have to find a way to live with them and carry on.   I wish we could all live perfect happy lives but then how shallow would we be?  The most meaningful people in my life that I couldn't do without are the ones that are broken and walked through some pretty dark places.  Those people have such a deeper understanding of life, who they are and their faith.   I can't imagine how people who don't have the comfort of knowing Jesus live with themselves.   He paid for my mistakes and my sins with His life so that I can be forgiven.  The scars of past hurts will always be there but without the Healer I would never be able to get out of bed each morning and start a new day.  There are so many things to be thankful for and He has blessed me with such amazing friends and family. 

Thank you Lord for the dark places, for breaking me and putting me back together, for showing me the depth of my sinfulness and for making me realize how badly I need Your Son and just how important it was that He hung on the cross for my sins.