Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Call Upon HIM in Truth...

The Lord is talking to me for sure this week. My daily Bible verses are speaking straight to and from my soul. This past year we have changed a lot and although it seems a lot of crazy and bad has happened to us they have actually made way for good. Our God doesn't just give us what we want when we want it. He gives it to us on his time, the perfect time. Sometimes we have to learn something and work for it in the process. Let him show you the way and you will get there.  

I know in the midst of tragedy it's hard to understand the why's or not be angry. In a lot of cases I'm not sure I could be as strong as I've seen others be. I am trying though. I know deep in my soul that God is good and Jesus was given to us to build a bridge between us and the Lord.  

God is good, always. All things are possible through him. Just like it says in Psalm 145: 18-19, if you call upon Him in truth he will answer. He hears your struggle and will save you. One way or another. He has a plan. 

Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Lord Is My Rock...

Over the last year my walk with the Lord has gotten closer. I think Haiti helped break down what was left of the wall that made me scared to have that close walk. Well, I don't know if the right word is "scared". It's more like the devil had a hold on the tail of my clothes and wouldn't let go. Haiti gave me the strength to kick him off. I am by no means perfect, but my walk has gotten closer and pushing the devil away and his negative thoughts is easier. 

I didn't really grow up in a church going household. I use to bum rides from friends and go to their churches. Summer was my favorite time because I could go to all of the vacation bible schools that were around. I mean my parents knew God and thought of themselves as Christian, we just didn't go to one church every Sunday or pray at meals or much at all. It was always something I wanted and struggled with not having. 

When David and I got together we knew we wanted/needed a good church home in our lives. We searched for a few years and finally found the Church we are at now. We love it here and are so thankful to have found it. Our lives, marriage, and family have gotten so much better since really giving ourselves to Him and our Church. It's pretty amazing.

We are still human, though, and make mistakes. I am not at all saying we have become saints, just that my walk is closer and because of that my life is better. 

This was the verse on my phone this morning:

It is so true. 
Reading this verse got me thinking about how far I've come. 
I'm making good progress but still have a long road to walk. 
However, with the Lord with me I will make it. 


Monday, October 24, 2016

Where Did 2016 Go?!

Oh man! Where did 2016 go?

It has been a crazy year and it seems blogging got left in the dust. Our year consisted of a roller coaster surrogacy, my first miscarriage, moving in with my Mom, buying a house, getting a dog, getting a camper, and living life the best we can.

There is so much to update on it will probably take me what's left of 2016 to do so. I really want to do it though. If not for you guys but for myself. I miss being able to look back at my blog and read about things that have happened. I want to be a better blogger in 2017 but who knows if that will actually happen. 

I may go and back date these entries and then link them here. 
Hmmmm Decisions Decisions......

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Surrogacy Round 2 Try 2...

Oh Man, this surrogacy journey has been such a roller coaster. I thought my first attempt at round 2 was crazy but this one topped it for sure. 

I'll go ahead and tell you this story doesn't end it sunshine and rainbows. Well, actually, there were some rainbows but that's not what I really mean. 

You already know we met our new IPs in Oct and decided to move forward with this journey. They were/are seriously amazing people and I wanted so badly to get them a baby. After sending our "Yes" to our agency they sent my records to L&S's RE to be approved. This took a ridiculous amount of time. One side said they never got but the other side said they sent it. On and on for 6ish weeks. The agency finally sent the record certified mail and Clinic got them. I then had a phone call "meeting" with the RE and it went really well. 

In January 2016 David and I drove down to Alabama to do the medical screening. It was not at all what I was expecting and honestly felt like a waste of time. They didn't do everything they said they would and sent us home to do more tests. (This really bugs me because I had to do tests at my OB's instead of at the RE who specializes in this stuff and I had driven 5hrs to come to.) In the end after another 2 months of tests mix ups we had med clearance and moved onto contracts.

This part didn't take a crazy long time but there were things that had to be tweaked. This contract looked like some cookie cutter thing the agency used for everyone. So we had to reword and take out things that didn't work for all of us. It wasn't horribly hard, just annoying. 

When that was done I thought we were good and would get a calendar soon. NOPE. It took another 2 months before we got a calendar and another month after that before I started medications. The lab happened to be shut down the week we needed so they pushed our cycle back a month. 

I finally started meds (Lupron Injections) June 22. Then after a good baseline on July 5 I started Estrace tabs. This went well and on July 18 I went in for my last lining check, which was 11.3! That was perfect so I was able to stop Lupron and started progesterone injections. Transfer was set for July 25. 

David and I set out for Alabama on July 24 to be ready for transfer the next morning. We had no clue what crazy was about to begin the next day. Everything seemed good until we woke up on July 25. After getting ready we got a phone call that the 2 embryos that had made it to this point weren't looking good. The RE wanted us to wait an extra day and see if they would be any better the next morning. This was crushing for all of us. This was L&S's 3rd attempt at making embryos and it wasn't looking any better than the previous times. For us we had planned a vacation and our kids were at a friends house because my Mom (who was suppose to have them) had gotten sick. It was crazy and we were all freaking out a little while praying for peace and strength through this. 

Little did me know that would be the biggest focus of our prayers over the next few weeks. 

We woke July 26 and were told neither embryo made it. They had one embryo that wasn't great quality but had been frozen. we decided to give it a shot. We were already there and ready why not give it shot?

We got the clinic and prayed this little embie would make it through the thaw. To everyone's happiness it DID! We then transferred the little guy (that would later be nick names "Pip"). That part went perfectly and Dr. H prayed over us. We were on our way home after that. There was no bed rest required so we just made our way back home to enjoy our vacation while this baby (hopefully) settled in. 

Here's where the hardest part comes in. 

I started testing super early so I could see when a line showed up if it was going to. We got our first faint line at 6dpt. I had an ok line on BETA day (8dpt) but it wasn't dark at all. I expected a low BETA but not the 18.6 we got that day. I was definitly worried at this point but the tests were very slowly getting darker. My BETAs went up but very very slowly. It was so nerve wrecking and hard to watch. We kept being told it could be a slow bloomer and just needed time. 

This went on for 4 weeks. My BETA's were
• 8dpt = 18.3 
• 13dpt = 27
• 16dpt = 45
• 20dpt = 137
• 23dpt = 214

At  30dpt I was suppose to be 6 weeks 6 days pregnant. We went in for an ultrasound. This really threw us for a loop. The RE found TWO gestational sacs. Both measuring 5wks2days but nothing could be seen in either of them. This left us in limbo again. We had to wait on the RE to tell us what she thought and what the plan was. This was another thing that mad this all a lot harder. The lack of communication and being able to get things done on the clinics side. It was a crazy mess of nonsense. 

Finally on August 30 (35 days after transfer) I was told to stop meds. The RE said it was likely a blighted ovum and wouldn't continue to grow. She told us it was best to stop now so I could avoid pills or surgery. L agreed and that was it. 

Three days later I had my first (and I pray the last) miscarriage. It was painful and heartbreaking. I think I was lucky though. I've heard horrible stories about miscarriages but for me it all happened pretty fast. It all started around 5am, by midday I completely miscarried, and by that evening the pain had subsided considerably. 

L & S decided not to try again so we split ways as far as surrogacy goes. I still think they are amazing people and pray there path is beautiful from here. 

Written 10/25/16

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Point South KOA

We spent the Labor Day Holiday at Point South KOA in Yemassee, SC.

Hurricane Hermine was passing by at this point so our trip down and arrival was full of rain and thunderstorms. We made it safely but by the time we actually made it to Point South it was getting late. We decided to just get dinner and get ready to sleep. We left the camper hooked up to David's truck all night. (We did get all of the necessities hooked up but doing that in the rain with an umbrella was all we wanted to deal with. 
The next morning all of the rain was gone and the sky looked like nothing had ever happened. The staff here was up early clearing debris and just making sure everything was nice and up and running. This was actually how they did things everyday. This was the most I've seen staff members at a park since we started camping. They were all very nice.  

Our Site
We were a little concerned about our site the first night because we were right beside one of the owners homes (I assume that's what it is). This made our space seem smaller than normal and we had no fire pit. The next day we realized that it really wasn't all that bad. We were busy doing other things so we didn't really need the extra space and no real time to build a fire.  

English phone booth!

This park was very nice and had a cozy feel. The kids favorite quirk was the London phone booth that kind of doubles as a library. The phone actually works too!

Can you spot the gator?
Hanging at the dog park

There is a lake on the property that was really pretty but I don't recommend hanging out at or letting your guard down. It is full of gators. We saw a 5 or 6 ranging in size from 2ft - 6ishft. None came out of the water but it was interesting to seem them out there swimming. The property also has a nice little dog park, play ground, gem mining feature, pool (not heated), and a fantastic bath house.  

Pool fun!
The water was COLD. but these two
didn't mind.

Gem Mining Station

Bath house!

Sunset at one of the landings we crabbed from
We didn't do the gem mining but we did take advantage of everything else. Although there isn't much super close to this park it isn't hard to find things to do if you want to drive a little. We went crabbing and fishing a couple of times from different landings. Poor Lucas leaned the hard way not to walk out on the mud when the tide is out. He sunk right into an oyster bed and got a pretty nasty gash in his leg. This set me out on a long trip to try and find an urgent care. The only one I found open didn't take our insurance. It really upset me at the time but it is what it is. I reused to take him into an emergency room because it's full of things that could just make him sicker or increase his chances of infection. I decided to "doctor" him up myself. With a trip to a local CVS I had my supplies and fixed him up. I did a pretty good job because now he hardly has a scar. I was scared to death at first but he was so tough and strong through it all. 

This KOA, like others, has cabins you can rent if you don't want to tent camp and don't have a RV. They were cute little things. This KOA does have two super unique cabins that would be nifty to stay in. There is one made from an old trolley car and another made from an old Caboose. Definitely neat, unique, and awesome. 

Train Caboose & Trolley cabins.

Fun in the Sun 
Playing in the sand at Hunting Beach
The third day of our trip we went to Hunting Beach State Park. It was about an hour from the KOA. This State Park is absolutely gorgeous. It was like stepping into another tropical world. Well, that's extreme but the trees and foliage made you feel like you were far away from South Carolina.  This was also another stamp in our SC State Parks book.
Loggerhead turtle nest!

  On the way here we did make a pit stop to explore some history at the Old Sheldon Church Ruins. It was so beautiful too. You could feel the history in this place. It was definitely one of those times that takes you back and makes you think about how life was back then. Makes you think of all the people in the graves around you.  The graves seem haphazardly placed all around the church.  There was probably good reason for it but I don't know what it is. 

Old Sheldon Church Ruins
This is on the front of the church now

  Thank you Point South KOA! It was very nice staying with you and we hope to make it back one day! We still have a lot to explore. 

Point South KOA


Sunday, July 31, 2016

Jellystone Park at River Bottom Farms

After leaving James Island County Park we headed to Jellystone Park at River Bottom Farms.

This park is in the middle of nowhere. There is not much at all around it. So it isn't a place to stay if you want to do anything outside of the park.

This campground was not at all what I was expecting. 

Our Site
This was the first time we had run into the "child tax". It wasn't as bad as some places but it still bugs me. Basically some parks charge you after the first 2 or 4 people for extra people. In some cases children 2 and under are free but everyone else is charged. We are a family of 5 so there is no way we are getting around that. On this trip we had 9 in our group. I expected a little extra fee but not for 5 of us. I am prepared for this in the future, though. 

The edge of our site
The sites were all out in the open, no shade at all. We had an end site so the space was great and we had a little fence around the front of us. It was all grass with a wood picnic table and raised fire pit. The sites were nice, I just personally prefer wooded sites. I didn't realize when we booked it how open it was. The only real downfall of the site (besides no shade) was the fire ants. They were bad there and made me make a side note to keep ant killer in the camper. 

We were across from the playground &
volleyball area
One the plus side the sites circled all of the amenities so the kids were able to run between our camper and the "fun stuff" and we were still able to keep an eye on them. 

This park had a pool, volley ball court, playground, jumping pillow, scheduled events, arcade, laundry,  and two fishing ponds. Lots of things to do and keep the kids busy. The pool was on the small side but this particular park isn't huge. The jumping pillow was only open at certain times and the owners were kind of ridiculous when it came to the kids jumping on it. 

That is my biggest complaint about this whole park. The owners or staff were horrible. To a be a family park filled with kids they were so unhappy and mean. There was one guy that was great and never seemed angry or mean, the women were awful though. They are the reason we will not be returning to this Jellystone. We will try out some others but not this one. 
Jumping Pillow
Horse swings at the park!

The kids did have fun. The bathhouse was very clean and taken care of. The whole park was clean and well taken care of. Those things were great. The attitudes of the women are just what turns us away. They really were awful. 


Written 10/30/16

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

James Island County Park

Sunset Surf at Folly Beach
When we got the calendar for our surrogacy transfer we figured we would make the "two week wait" a little less stressful. Transfer was set for Monday so we thought we would spend the rest of the week camping. We settled on two different campgrounds for the week.

We planned our first stop at James Island County Park near Charleston, SC. Because of the delay we had at transfer we had one less day than planned here but it was absolutely wonderful. We wished we could have just stayed the whole week. Sadly they didn't have room. 

Fish/crabbing Marsh
James Island County Park is pretty big. It's inviting though and so beautiful. The sites were nicely spaced and there were bath houses central to most of them.  It is a beachy area and sand is everywhere so the bathhouses were full of it and not the cleanest places. We ended up not really using them if we could help it. 

This campground had a load of amenities and tons of great places within driving distance. 
Amenities at the Park
• Splash Pad
• Dock in the marsh for fishing or crabbing
• Trails (Hiking, Biking, skating)
•Dog Park (which is awesome and on the lake)
• Tons of other games and game areas
• Common Area where they have scheduled activities
• Climbing Wall ($14 day pass)
• Water Park, Summer ($12 adult, $9 under 48'', $0 under 2)
• Bike, pedal boat, & kayak rentals 

Splash Pad fun!
 Waiting on Hot Dogs to get done
More Splash pad fun!

Amenities Close By
   • Charleston 
• Beaches
•  Plantations

Yumm! Food at BG's
Folly Beach Surf
While we were there we went to Folly Beach. It was so beautiful and not over crowded. They had a little market set up and that seemed to cause traffic getting onto the island but it wasn't too bad. We went to the historic part of Charleston the next day. This is one of my favorite cities. We have been here tons of times but it never gets less beautiful or less appealing. On this trip we ate at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. It was delicious, as usual. After leaving lunch we decided to take a Carriage Tour. Our guide was great and we learned new things that we hadn't learned on previous tours. 
So delicious!

Carriage Ride in Charleston
At the campground we played at the splash pad, went crabbing on the dock (which is beautiful), and had a hot dog dinner that the campground offered at the community center. We didn't really get to check out as much as we wanted because we had lost a day. This is also a public park so it did get kind of busy with daycare's and whatnot in the splash pad, water park and playground areas.  

Froggy Friend Lucas found on our last day
Family beach pic <3
On the carriage ride

This is definitely a campground we will be revisiting. 
I can't wait to check it out again. 

Written 10/30/16