Family

Family

Monday, September 18, 2017

I'm ok...

That's the answer I've been giving people when they ask me how I'm doing. I don't really know how to respond. So most the time, I usually say...I'm ok. Instead of saying...

I'm not good.
I'm not fine.
I'm just sad.
And I miss my babies.

I miss those sweet snow babies more than I ever even knew possible. It's hard to put into words how I can miss someone I've never seen, never held, never even named. But I miss the thought of them. The hope that existed before August 22nd. The dreams and the future that always involved them being here with us. And knowing that every future I've envisioned for the past five years involves them being here with us. I miss my babies.

And it's hard.

In-vitro is hard. It's an extremely complicated roller-coaster of emotion that can end in the most amazing way, or in the most disappointing. It's full of hormones and shots and doctor's appointments all leading up to this moment where you get the best of news, or the worst. And you never really know what the end result is going to be until you do it. We have a best case scenario...and now a worst. And trying to "come out" of the haze of emotion and hormones has been challenging, to say the least.

I used to think I was going to be upset by the wasted money or all of those terrible shots. Even going through the process this time, I kept thinking "I can't imagine someone doing all of this and it not working." Or spending so much money, and coming out empty handed. But honestly, that has bothered me very little. I miss my babies more than I miss the money. I just wish they were still here inside me. Those dreaded shots I had to take every night, I would give anything to still be doing them. Because it would mean that there was still hope. Still a future with my snow babies in it.

Then there's the flip side... I have three beautiful babies at home. And I know more than anything that I am so extremely blessed. And the truth is, they have made this process easier. They don't take away the pain of losing our pregnancy, but they bring me joy each and every day. Being their mom is the best thing I am. And I love it. They love me even when I'm sad, and they help me on the days that are the hardest.

But being a mom to three littles, doesn't change the ache of our failed in-vitro. If anything, it makes it harder. Because I know how amazing each of my children are. And knowing that, made me want these snow babies even more. I remember being THROUGH THE MOON when I found out about Colson. Not just because we were shocked we were pregnant. But because I was going to have another child to love. Tucker and Adelyn were basically the most AMAZING things I had ever laid eyes on. Getting to learn their personalities, getting to watch them change and grow was my favorite thing in the world. And finding out I was going to have another child made my heart so excited. I was excited about that in this round of in-vitro. And the reality of not getting to know those snow-babies the way I know my other 3 is hard to accept.

It's just hard.
And I'm still sad.

Days will go by and things will get easier. I know that. Having experienced a miscarriage, I (hope) there is a day that I can look back and say "Now I understand what why that had to happen." I think about my own miscarriage and know that if that pregnancy had worked out, I never would have done IVF and never would have had Tucker and Adelyn. I don't know why, but that pregnancy was not part of God's plan for us. But Tucker and Adelyn were. And I am beyond thankful for that.

But when you are standing in the middle of the "wilderness" or pain, it's hard to see or even understand the why. I simply have to trust that the God who created the heavens and the earth, the God that parted the Red Sea, the God who conquered death and reigns on high has a plan for my life. And right now, I may not understand that, but my trust is in the one who does.

I have no idea if this makes any sense or even why I feel the need to write this. I don't need sympathy...most people know I'm not the touchy-feely type. But when I started writing this blog, I promised to be honest on here. And that whatever came from this blog would be to the glory of God. It would be a whole lot easier to be one here posting about our successful in-vitro, sharing pictures of a growing baby bump, keeping everyone in the loop about a healthy pregnancy. But this is part of journey too. The hard, messy part. And maybe, just maybe...God has a plan for this part too.

When I first started the blog, I really didn't intend for it to be a way to connect with others who were going through IVF. I really just wanted it to be a way to communicate our process with friends and family and to ask for prayers. But God was able to use a very difficult process in our life and use it for his glory. So in all things, my prayer is that His power be evident through our weakness. In good times, and in bad. He is still my God, even when the answer is no.

"I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lordthe Maker of heaven and earth." Psalm 121:1-2


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Yesterday was...

...a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

The answer was no.

And I am sad.

I've thought about how I would write a blog like this for a very long time. I worried about it in 2012. What would I say? How could I come here and tell people the answer was no? How can I give glory to God when He didn't do what we asked him to do? I can honestly say, I'm thankful that I did not have to write this blog in 2012, but that doesn't make it all that much easier in 2017.

One of the hardest things about hearing the results yesterday was that we have "known" these embryos since they were made in 2012. They have been a part of our thoughts. Our dreams. Our prayers. Our plans. We have prepared for this for a long time. We've talked about them constantly. And never in the past 5 years did we ever think the outcome would be this. We just "knew" that God had made these embryos for a purpose. To make our family complete. To bless us with another child or children. And coming to grips with a future that is different from what we have thought for 5 years is hard right now. It's confusing. It hurts.

The "Why?" is there. God, WHY??? If these embryos weren't going to make it then WHY did you let them freeze? Why not let them just stop growing in 2012? Or not make it through the thawing process? Why did we have to go through so much to gain so little? So much time, worry, money, a surgery, IVF, leaving our kids, shots, pills....the list goes on and on. God couldn't you have saved us a WHOLE lot of pain and suffering and just NOT let these embryos make it?

GOD, I DON'T UNDERSTAND!!!

And unfortunately...I don't know if I will. It's HARD to understand the WHY and the PAIN when you're in it. There MAY be a day in the future that I can look back and point to this moment and say "Hey...I can see what God was doing there." But for now, I'll be real honest...I just don't understand. And you know what...it's ok. God's big enough to handle my frustration. He can handle my sadness. He can take my anger. He knows I'm hurting, and through it all, I know He's still there. Just like I said before...God is still good...even when the answer is no. I may be frustrated...but I do trust that His plan is better than my own. Even when I can't see or understand.

Yesterday was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

But it ended, with me being surrounded by my loves. I can't tell you how much it meant to come home from work and have four little arms wrapped around my neck. (Colson was too busy trying to figure out how an iPhone charger worked) The twins wrapped me in love, brought me tinker toy flowers, blankets, and told me "I was the best Mommy ever." Even in the sadness, I can't deny for a second that I am the most BLESSED mommy on the planet. God has blessed us beyond belief with the three most beautiful babies I have ever seen. And even though our road to them was long and full of no good, very bad days, the days after becoming their mommy have been the very best of my life. I do not for a second take for granted what a blessing they are and really can't fathom how much harder yesterday would have been without those three in my life. My heart aches for all of those who have to experience failed IVF and are still waiting to become Mommies. Truly aches.

I can also attest, that there is a rawness in putting myself out there like I have through this blog. I knew when I started that this was a possibility. I knew that one day I may have to come and blog about a no good, very bad day. And it's hard. But I can honestly say, I wouldn't take it back just to make this process easier. As hard as yesterday was, I was surrounded by people who loved me. Even if I couldn't talk to them because I had to hold it together to make it through work. I had dozens of people checking on me. Commenting. Sending messages. Phone calls. Dinner was at my door within the hour. It would have been easy to feel like God didn't love me yesterday, but he made sure that I knew I was loved. So thank you.

So for now...I am sad. We are sad. It's going to take some time to figure out what this looks like for us. All of the ideas and plans we had for this year revolved around me being pregnant. And that "picture" I had in my head will have to change. It hurts. It's still raw. And I know it will for awhile. It's going to take some time to say goodbye to these sweet little snowflake babies that we have loved for the past five years. I don't know when or how to do that...but I know it will take some time.

Thank you all for loving us through this. Thank you for the prayers. Even though the answer was no, I don't for one second believe that it is because your prayers weren't heard. We believe that God's plan is better than our own. So for now, we hold tight to that promise and wait to see what He has in store for us.

"The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18




Monday, August 21, 2017

Tomorrow's the Day!

I can honestly say the past 12 days have gone WAY faster than the last time we were in this situation! A combination of 3 littles, Derek starting school, and me heading back to work have caused this time "in wait" to move much quicker! Still the anxiety is there and I am READY for tomorrow!

TOMORROW IS THE DAY!

I wish I could say I was 100% confident in what the results will be, but the truth is...I'm not. I'm anxious, nervous, ready...ALL OF THE THINGS! I have that same feeling of panic that I felt the last time we were in these shoes and I realized that I had laid EVERYTHING OUT for the world to know and suddenly wanted to take it all back. There is something about blogging this process that is very therapeutic, but also makes me feel EXTREMELY vulnerable...especially when we come up to the "BIG" moment.

Part of me thinks it would be easier to go in and test tomorrow if no one knew what we were going through. That way if the test was negative, I didn't have to come back here and break the news. That thought looms in my head. What would I say? How will I say it? Will I still be able to give God the glory, even if the answer is no? Will I still be able to say God is good? My hope is that those answers are "yes" but my heart wonders how it will feel.

I also worry because we have included our children in this process, this time around. Tucker and Adelyn know that we put "babies" in Mommy's tummy. They have prayed constantly for those babies to grow. Adelyn has been praying for a baby sister for about a year. What if the first time they really and genuinely pray for something, the answer is "no"? How do I as a parent handle that? I think I fear telling them "bad" news worse than I fear hearing it myself. I can't even imagine.

IN all things, I (try) to hold on to the HOPE we have. Our HOPE is that the answer tomorrow is "YES!" Our prayer is that God has allowed those embryos (or embryo) to hold on, implant, and grow and develop. Our COMFORT in sharing this story is that we don't have to go through tomorrow alone. That we have friends and family all around that will be lifting us up in prayer. As scary as it is putting it all out there, there is nothing better than knowing that you have people petitioning the Father on your behalf.

So our prayer tonight, is that tomorrow is a GOOD day. Our prayer is that we get the call that we have one (or two) precious babies growing in my belly. Our prayer is that God answers the desire we have to have another child and that we get to hear the answer "YES" tomorrow. And we COVET your prayers between now and then on our behalf.

And the truth is...no matter what tomorrow brings...God Is Still GOOD. Our family will still praise Him, no matter what may come. But for now, we will pray that tomorrow we are celebrating another ANSWERED prayer!

"This is the confidence we have in approaching God; that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us." I John 5:14







Friday, August 11, 2017

The Embryos are In!

Wednesday afternoon, Derek and I loaded up and headed to San Antonio to get ready for our Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) on Thursday. We basically decided last minute on Tuesday night to go ahead and go up on Wednesday because I NEEDED to get out of San Angelo. Stress, anxiety, and worry led to me having a MAJOR breakdown (thanks for talking me down, Kristin!) and we decided that a night in a hotel, some shopping, and good food were just the thing we needed to relax! And you know what...it worked! And I have to say, one breakdown is not TOO BAD with the insane amount of hormones and stress I have going on these days. I am super thankful for my husband and the sweet time we spent together Wednesday night, although he was super confused about how a shopping trip to Kohls ended up at Kendra Scott! : )

After a good night's sleep, I woke up Thursday morning to take some medicine and get ready for the transfer. I had an ABUNDANCE of phone calls and text messages telling me they were praying for us. What an amazing feeling to know that so many people are praying for you and your babies! I love our sweet family and friends beyond measure. We stopped at Magnolia Pancake Haus for breakfast (YUM!) and then headed to the clinic. To prepare for the transfer, you have to drink a TON of water starting at 11:00 in order to have a full bladder. A full bladder helps tilt the uterus into position so that the doctor can see to transfer the embryos. When I first got to the clinic, my bladder wasn't quite full enough, so I had to walk around to see if that helped. Then the ultrasound tech came in, checked again, and thankfully it was full. I was ready to go except...

THE DOCTOR WAS NOWHERE TO BE FOUND!!!

Somehow, one doctor was on vacation (my favorite doctor!!!), another got called to the hospital, and the other was on the phone to Mexico (what the heck?!?!?). Not only was there not a doctor available, but there was another lady waiting IN FRONT of me! So I had to sit and wait with a SUPER FULL bladder for the doctor to get there, transfer the other lady, and then come to my room. I was seriously like "HANG UP MEXICO!! This is URGENT!" Although, honestly, it wasn't too terrible. I'm just a little dramatic (shocking!).

After (painfully) waiting another 30 minutes or so, Dr. Martin came in to do the transfer. THANKFULLY, once the doctor comes in, the transfer only takes about 5 minutes. The embryologist had already come in and said our embryos made it through the thawing process and looked BEAUTIFUL! Once again, I am reminded of what a NEAT process IVF really is. We got to say hi to our embryos, tell them we loved them, and watched the implant them on the screen. The ultrasound tech assured us that they were in a good spot, and then I had to lay on the table for 10 minutes before finally getting to go to the bathroom...HALLELUJAH!!! Our trip home was fairly easy- I laid in the back of the truck and dozed on and off and I am home in a quiet house taking it easy for the next 24-48 hours.

OUR BABIES ARE IN!!!

It's kind of a surreal feeling! Honestly, I feel so much better on this side of things then I did on the days leading up to the procedure. I feel like we are finally able to complete what we set out to do 5 years ago. It feels so reassuring to have our embryos reunited with us and inside my body, where they are suppose to be! They spent FIVE LONG years away from us!!! I'm glad they are back with me!!!

I also feel an incredible amount of peace. Before the transfer, I felt like we were about to jump off a cliff. For whatever reason, when I told people what we were doing, people kept asking me if I was crazy. (FYI...not the best thing to ask a hormonal person!!!) I started feeling like maybe we really were crazy. I know people don't really understand the process or what it feels like to be in this position, but we really felt like we were doing what God called us to do even though it was SCARY. Fear and doubt crept in daily. Could we really handle more children? Would we be taking away from the three we have? We may have to buy a new house. A new car. A 15 passenger van. Who knows? The what if's are enough to make a non-hormonal person crazy! Just imagine what they did to me all hopped up on estrogen and progesterone!

But oh the PEACE I feel now. Perfect peace that comes from God alone. We started this journey placing our family in God's hands. We pray daily and tell God, "WE TRUST YOU TO PROVIDE". Let this be YOUR WILL and YOUR WAY. We don't trust ourselves with this area because we are TOO WEAK. We can't see the end result. We can't fathom how it's all going to work out. The only way we can make it through is with full and complete TRUST that God's way FAR EXCEEDS our own. So in this area, and hopefully in all other areas, we are taking ourselves out of the driver seat and saying "HERE YOU GO, GOD...DO WORK".

Quick story...The other night, one of my children wet the bed. In their attempt to "remedy the situation" they changed their shorts, and took a towel to cover that area of the bed and then laid down on the bed (Bless their sweet little hearts). I heard the noise, got up and went in their room where I removed the wet sheets, put a new sheet on, changed them into new pajamas, and got them all settled in a clean, fresh bed. I leaned over the bed and told them to always come and get me when something like this happens. That I would come help them and that they could always come wake me up when they needed help. That they didn't have to do it by themselves.

I was struck by how much this is like our heavenly Father. Not that I'm saying I am God, but that our God is a GOOD, GOOD Father. He longs for us to "wake him up". He watches us struggle at our own attempts to make things better, do things our way, feeble attempts to get it right. And when we simply turn to him, He is waiting right there to make things new. His ways FAR EXCEED our own at every turn. He doesn't want us to sleep on a towel, He wants brand new sheets for us! He doesn't want fear and anxiety to rule our lives, He wants to wrap us in his arms in perfect peace.

Now I have to stop here. Because last time we went through IVF, I struggled with this. I knew God was good, but what would I have said if He didn't answer our prayers. Would I still proclaim his goodness if the test had been negative? It's so much easier to shout it out on this side of infertility then it was for me those 6 long years that we were waiting. I didn't always feel like God had my best interest at heart. I didn't always feel that his plan was best. I didn't understand why He kept telling me no, month after month, negative test after negative test. Those days of struggle were hard. Lonely. Difficult. Painful. I affirm that it is definitely easier to look back and see God at work on THIS SIDE then to acknowledge it when you are in the trenches.

However, God has not changed. He wasn't "bad" before and "good" now. God is God. And what we lack in understanding, He makes up for in grace. He loves us enough to love us through the struggle and frustration and the moments where we just don't understand. He loves me enough to teach me OVER AND OVER that He is in control when I seem to forget daily. He loves us. And he's GOOD. Even when his answer is no, even when his plan is hidden, even when we can't do anything other then cry out in frustration. He is good.

So in all things, my prayer is that God's will be done. Through this journey, through our family, with these embryos...we are trusting God to make our family complete. Whether that be one baby, two babies, or no babies. Our prayer is that we continually remind ourself of God's desire to do good in our lives, because even though I may proclaim it here over and over again, my flesh longs to be in control and in charge.

Thank you my dear sweet friends and family for walking through this journey with us. I can't tell you enough how much it means to NOT BE ALONE! What an amazing GIFT that God gives us through PEOPLE. The people he's placed in our lives intentionally (like family) and the ones he lets us choose our own (like friends). I literally would not be where I am today without the faithful prayers of so many of you. You encourage me, lift me up when I'm feeling down, and commit to praying for not only Derek and I, but our sweet snow babies. We are excited about the possibility that exists through these embryos. I think of Tucker, Adelyn, and Colson's faces and dream about what another Schoen baby would look like. I love them so much my heart feels like it could explode! I can only imagine what God may have in store.

SO what's the plan from here??? I'm taking it easy through tomorrow, and then still pretty easy the next week or so. I will have blood drawn on Tuesday to check estrogen and progesterone levels. THANKFULLY after showing the nurse my severe reaction to the estrogen patches, they were able to switch me to pills! NO MORE ITCHY PATCHES!!! I continue with the pills and progesterone shots until the pregnancy test on August 22nd. If we have a positive test, I will stay on progesterone and estrogen until around 11 weeks. SO...it's time to rest, relax and let these babies GROW GROW GROW!!! We love you ALL and we love our little snow babies!

"Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD have never forsaken those who seek you." Psalm 9:10


Relaxing at the hotel


YUM!


Waiting to go in!

Our Embryos!

This is what the twins looked like when implanted


The little arrow points to where the embryos are placed


Waiting 10 minutes to pee!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Transfer Update!

IT'S TRANSFER TIME!

Well, not officially. But we do have a DATE! Next Thursday, I will travel to San Antonio for our transfer and have our teeny tiny "snow babies" implanted! Everything has gone really smoothly this time around! The little shots are done, I have estrogen patches all over my body (not really), and we are right where we need to be for our frozen embryo transfer (FET)! I will start the BIG ol' progesterone shots this Saturday, get ready for an overload of pills next week, and our little embryos have arrived in San Antonio at the fertility center ready to implant (seriously long story there). We have childcare arranged, travel plans made, and as long as everything goes according to plan, (yeah right!) we will have a nice, relaxing transfer!

I am anxious, nervous, excited, anticipating, everything you can possibly imagine all wrapped up into one big hormonal package. My hormones have taken me from crying over the smallest thing to raging over irrational non-issues. I've had sleepless nights and moments where I have absolutely no idea how in the world we are actually going to handle all that lies before us. When I sit down and think about it, it overwhelms me. The only thing I can do right now is just take one step forward at a time. Which is hard for someone who typically has the next 100 steps of her life planned out!

TRUST

It's the one thing I keep coming back to over and over again. Last time we did in-vitro, I kept saying over and over again that I couldn't do it. Couldn't do all the shots. Couldn't do all the appointments. Couldn't handle the procedures. The only was I could make it through was by trusting in God and trusting that He would give me strength to make it through.

This time is different. I know this time I can handle IVF, I've done it before. I know I can handle the shots and procedures and appointments and all of the scary medical things before me. I've done this. I've got this. It's so easy to become overconfident in my ability to "do this" and not need to rely on God to help me through.

However, I would say more than anything, this time around, I am having to TRUST God even more than 5 years ago. God is calling us to walk out on to waters that TERRIFY me. I actually do know what it means to be a mom to 3 littles and the thought of possibly having 2 more sometimes keeps me up at night. There are days where there is simply not enough of me to go around with the family I have now. How in the world do I think I can do it with 4 children? 5 children? A new job? A husband who will be traveling farther to work? The list of doubts go on and on.

But my FEAR and DOUBT lie in my own abilities and weaknesses. Our God is BIGGER than every fear, every doubt, every tear. Trusting in God (usually) means you don't get all the answers. You don't get to see the big picture. You simply take one step at a time, following what you believe is His will, and trust that His plan is far greater than your own.

Our lives are evidence of that. If anyone had ever allowed me to "plan" out my family, I can guarantee you I wouldn't have planned out 6 years of infertility, a bazillion shots, procedures, surgeries, and IVF. I probably wouldn't have planned out having 3 kids in 2 years because that sounds a little crazy. Realistically, I doubt I would have planned a 3rd, 4th, or 5th baby. And sometimes we want so badly to "jump ahead" and get a glimpse of what lies before us so that we can make plans or know how things will turn out. I'm SO THANKFUL God didn't let me glimpse ahead of what was to come because I may have RUN for the hills!

Each and every day I get to live in the goodness of NOT getting my way. NOT planning my life. NOT getting a baby the first time I wanted one. NOT getting to be the one who called the shots. I wake up to the 3 most beautiful children in the entire woman and a smoking hot husband who loves me, even when I'm a grump. I get smothered in hugs and spend my days dancing to Moana. We laugh ALL DAY LONG! We play pretend, hunt the bad guys, rock our babies, and play like puppies. We swing high, play in the mud, ride our bikes, and eat ice cream. OUR GOD IS SO GOOD! Trusting Him means just allowing Him to HEAP blessing upon blessing that you could have never have dreamed up in your life.

I can't wait to see what God has in store for us with these 2 frozen little embryos. I still have fear. I still have doubts. I'm still human! But I know that whatever may happen in the next month, it will be to God's GLORY. One of the fears I have in being so open during this process is the fear of "What if it doesn't work?" I remember being absolutely struck with FEAR the first time around before we did our pregnancy test. I remember thinking "What if I just put all this out there and it doesn't work? What if God doesn't come through?" It was paralyzing. But I have to remember that even if the answer is "no" our God will still be glorified. His plan will still be better than my own. He knows me and knows our family and He wants good for my life. Whatever the answer may be, our household will still be serving our Lord.

That being said, my heart is a little more tender this time because of the fact that we have involved Tucker and Adelyn in the process. (Colson too, but he literally has no idea what we are talking about and would rather be a monster than a big brother) The fact that they could be disappointed is definitely harder than dealing with my own disappointment. Again, I know that God is still good and I pray that He gives us the words to say to help us through whatever may come. But for now, our prayer is that God uses these embryos and blesses us with ANOTHER child(ren)!

Y'all, we COVET your prayers. I literally have no idea if this blog made ANY sense, but you can probably tell that I am ALL OVER the place! (Blame it on the estrogen) One thing I know through this ENTIRE process, is that God has blessed us with the most amazing friends and family in our life. Seriously. You people are amazing! I cannot tell you how much it means to have sweet sisters in Christ praying for me daily. To have friends who check in with me and take me to coffee when I'm crying over the silliest things. To have a husband who is literally the most AMAZING man in the world. Seriously. He LOVES me so well during the crazy. It would take a whole other blog to write out all the ways he serves me and our family on a daily basis. Our church, our friends, our family. God has blessed us in abundance. We are so thankful for your prayers and ask you to KEEP them coming. We can't wait to see what God is going to do. Blessed be His name!

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10

Last shot!
Trying to remember to document the process

Shots HURT!


My girls! 


Ady loves to lay with me when I have a headache


Tucker started taekwondo and it's seriously the cutest thing eve

My little monster

The most wonderful man in all the world




Monday, July 17, 2017

Ready or Not....

HERE WE GO!

Last Friday, in the middle of Camp Victory, I made a quick trip up to San Antonio for an ultrasound and appointment. The ultrasound was quick and easy, I wrote a nice big 'ol check, and picked up my big box of medicine for our Frozen Embryo Transfer. Before injecting my first shot on Saturday night, I was privileged to be prayed for by a very special group of people who I had spent the week serving alongside. It was a neat and humbling experience. After the immense number of prayers we had during our first round of IVF, I knew I didn't want to take a single shot without presenting our requests at the feet of Jesus. What a kind, loving Savior we serve!

Which brings me to a unique question, that I've already been asked several times. "Y'all want more kids????" It's kind of funny when people ask me that, because deep down I'm wondering if they really want to ask me, "Are y'all crazy???" I usually laugh when people say it and I'm sure I haven't given the best answers to those who ask. Last night, I thought about it and I think I've come up with a good answer. So when people ask, "Y'all want more kids?", my new response will be:

We want to do the will of God. 

Plain and simple. We are not doing this frozen transfer because 3 children is not enough for us. We are OVERWHELMING blessed by the 3 beautiful children God has given us. But God also blessed us with 2 frozen embryos in this process. 6 day old embryos that are Tucker, Adelyn, and Colson's genetic siblings. And while I know that this may be a touchy issue or a confusing one, we are simply not comfortable with any other decision other than implanting those embryos. We believe that God has a very special plan for our family, and that includes implanting these two precious "snow" babies.

And yes, I actually DO WANT more kids! I LOVE the idea of more children. I know that makes me sound CRAZY, but I have never felt like I was "done". I see newborns and my heart aches. I always knew we would implant these embryos, so I never cut off the idea of welcoming another baby to the Schoen family. And if my past experience is any indication, every time I try and take control of "planning" our family, God shows up and shows me who's really in control. We have decided to trust God in this area of our life and we are thankful that His plan is ALWAYS better than our own!

SO....READY OR NOT....HERE WE GO!!!

The shots I am right now are designed to "shut down" my system. I have 2 more ultrasounds and some bloodwork scheduled to make sure that is actually happening. Next week, I will start adding some hormones in to get ready for the transfer. Right now, the transfer is scheduled for the week of August 7th, depending on how everything responds.

It's amazing how much calmer I have been during this process. Perhaps, because I've been here before. Perhaps because I have so many other things and people to keep track of. I actually told Derek to make sure I remember to do the shots each night, which is NOT at all how I was last time. 5 years ago, each shot was the MAJOR event to the day! Now, I have 3 other little blessings to chase after and keep up with.

Regardless of where we are and how much life has changed, I know one thing is for sure. I don't want to go through this process with the prayers of others. We are so blessed with a loving family and faith community that have walked beside us through the highs and lows of this process. We are hopeful, excited, and (admittedly) a little nervous about how this process will go and what it will mean for our family. But in all things we do, we trust in a God is able to do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine! So thank you for joining us in prayer as we prepare to implant these little "ice" babies! Love you all!!!

"This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us." 1 John 5:14







These pictures were actually from our first appointment and consult in San Antonio, but I didn't have time to take a picture this last time!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

A long overdue update...

I don't even know where to start. Do I go back and give an update on all that has happened in the last year? Do I catch up to the present and clue y'all in on what's going on now? Or do I fast forward to the exciting times that lay ahead? Do I apologize for lack of blogging? Or just pretend that I have been so busy that I haven't had time to blog.

The answer is....yes. I will try and do all of the above.

So here's a quick update into what has been going on...

This past school year was absolutely the best of my life. I stayed home with my babies, we followed Derek around as he went to state and did amazing things and cheered loudly for all of his kids. Our days at home were filled with love and laughter, trips to the park and library, play-dates, and joy. I loved every single minute of it. I started adjuncting at ASU in the Fall and absolutely love what I do. As the Spring went on, I was given more classes, and an opportunity to move into a full time position this fall.

Can I stop there for a minute?

HOW GOOD IS OUR GOD??? Seriously??? I can remember having anxiety and a near panic attack last August when my last paycheck came from the school. I knew God was calling me to stay home, but the sheer weight of providing for a family of 5 on one paycheck was daunting. We had turned down a position that would have allowed for a bigger paycheck, but would have included a move away from family and church. We committed to staying here and making it work and trusting God with our livelihood. The best part about it all??? Watching God provide. Over and over again. In little things and in big. To say that God has heaped out his blessing on us this past year is an understatement. He is a GOOD good Father.

Which brings me to another sidebar....why haven't I blogged???

The easy answer is "I've been too busy". Surely everyone can relate to that. I have three VERY active kids. Sitting down and blogging doesn't exactly lend itself to that lifestyle very often. But if I'm being honest with myself, and with you, that's really not the reason. The reason is much harder to admit...especially in this forum. 

So what's the real reason? Ugh...writing it out seems so harsh. But the truth is I feel guilty sometimes. This blog started out as a desire to have children and God has made that reality come true...THREEFOLD! I should want to shout it from the rooftop, sing it from the hills, bask in the glory of motherhood. And I do...most of the time. But I also admit in my own weakness, that being a mother to 3 littles has been hard. Sometimes I don't trust myself to blog because all I want to say is "ITS TOO HARD". And then I feel the guilt. Motherhood is the hardest gift I have ever prayed without ceasing for! Each and everyday, I give everything I have to raising these 3 littles and sometimes....it's not enough! There's not enough of me to go around...my patience runs thin, I do and say things that I regret.

And that's hard to admit. The girl that was begging and pleading God for a baby 5 short years ago sometimes cries out to God "PLEASE help me God. It's TOO MUCH to handle!!" Oh how thankful I am for God's grace. It's hard to admit that I can't handle it all. I hate even uttering a complaint knowing there are women out there who are still waiting for God to answer their prayers. It feels selfish and self-seeking and most days, I feel like I just can't make it all work. 

Thank you God for your Grace. I'm so thankful to serve a God who does not require perfection. I struggle each and everyday with measuring up to this image I have in my head of what a perfect mom should be. I'm not talking Pinterest mom...I know I'll never be that. But I desire to be a mom who loves her children and shows them Jesus. Each and every day. Soft and gentle, kind and disciplining. And I fall short all the time...but I just keep trying. Thank you God for patience.

OK....next item of business....what's going on now?

We've had a great summer up to this point, full of VBS, pool playing, trips to Mimi and Papa's and lots of playing with our cousins. I feel like we are directly in a crossroads professionally this summer. Derek has accepted a position at Irion County (Mertzon) as the elementary PE teacher and Cross Country coach. As a coaching family, it is pretty remarkable to say that we have been to 3 different schools and stayed in the same house and church. I'm beyond thankful for that. The twins still have one more year at home before kindergarten, so at this point we are planning on staying in our house for the time being with the goal of moving out to Mertzon by next August. I will be taking on more responsibility at ASU as a full-time instructor. We don't have all the answers yet as to what that will look like for our family, but we are excited for the opportunity and what it will mean for our family. 

And now for the real news...

Another reason I feel like I haven't blogged is because most of this blog was about doing in-vitro the first time. Somehow, I sometimes feel like if I'm not talking about that, no one cares. I have no idea if that is true or it's just me.

So for all of you who ARE wondering...we are actually getting ready for our next round of IN-VITRO!!! Crazy enough for you people? It's almost comical thinking of all the other things we have going on in life. But we have planned this and prayed for this for a long time and feel like this is the best time for our family. So ready or not...here we go!

I had a consult in San Antonio back in May to make sure we were ready to implant. Part of the process included a hysterogram which came back abnormal- meaning there was something going on in my uterus. In order to implant, my uterine lining must be smooth. So this past Tuesday, I had a day surgery to clean out anything abnormal on my uterine lining. All went well and I am recovering nicely. 

In a few short weeks, I will begin shots and medicine to prepare for our frozen transfer. For those of you who don't remember, we have 2 frozen embryos from when the twins were made. Our initial goal was to use them about 3 years ago when I found out I was already pregnant with Colson. So we now ready to use these "snow" babies and see what God has in store for our family.

How are we feeling? Nervous? Absolutely! Excited? Absolutely! Adelyn is beyond excited about the possibility of a baby sister. I think she already tells anyone who will listen that she is having a baby sister. She prays everyday for one. We are echoing that prayer to God saying "Please God give her a baby sister" although we know we will be happy with whatever He has in store for us! 

So there's a crazy update, year wrap-up, future endeavors all in one. We covet your prayers during these next few busy months for our family. We thank you all for bearing with us, loving us, and encouraging us for the past 5 years! I wonder each and everyday how people do life in this world with out Christian brothers and sisters to love them. 

"Give thanks to the LORD for he is good; his love endures forever." Psalms 107:1