Thursday, January 31, 2008

It's all a matter of choice

This morning I was checking in on Nate, Tricia and Gwenyth ( ) and something Nate said really hit me. If you are reading their blog you will know what I am talking about, if you are not... you should be. He mentioned that someone had said that Satan was the one that was responsible for all they had been through. I am so sad for the person that really believes that.

We are given trials to help us to grow, to build us up and bring us closer to The Lord. Satan will try to interfere; He will use our trials to try to draw us away from our Heavenly Father. If we let Him, if we give in to Satan, we might become angered at God for allowing something bad to happen to us. We should do the opposite. We should thank the Lord for allowing us the strength to cope with whatever it is we have been handed. We should draw nearer to Him to find peace and comfort. We should NOT give Satan the satisfaction of seeing our relationship with God become weak.

When we first found out that Avery may not live I wanted to be mad at someone. I wanted to be able to put the blame on someone and at times I even thought I was being punished. Having those thoughts in my mind made it even harder for me to face what was happening. It only took a few days for me to decide to put it all in the Lord's hands. It was still hard to accept that it all was happening but the more that I believed that there was a reason, the easier it became for me to lean on Him to get through it. Now, there is no doubt in my mind that Avery is a beautiful gift that was given to me to teach me and help me grow.

My dad said something at lunch the other day that really made sense. It made me cry, but it made sense. He asked me if I ever thought that maybe Avery volunteered to forfeit her time on this earth to help her parents. That maybe she was meant to bless our lives in a way that she wouldn't have been able to if she had stayed. We could have become bitter toward God; we could have cursed him and pulled away. Instead, that beautiful little face reminds me everyday that I am extremely blessed to have had her in my life. I thank the Lord every day for her life and the blessings that it has brought into ours. Some may think that trials are the work of Satan but I believe that it is all about how you choose to view those trials and whether or not you learn and grow from them. We should all thank our Heavenly Father daily for the trials that we have been given. They are what shape us and make us who we are.

No one is more of a testament to this than Nate, Tricia and sweet little Gwenyth Rose.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

New Beginnings

Since the first day I returned to work after Avery's birth I have felt like maybe it was time for me to find something else. It was hard to come back to a place so filled with drama and contention. In the department that I work there is always a fight going on, someone is gossiping about someone else. There is always someone who has been offended and isn't speaking to someone else. With all the emotions I was experiencing, working in that environment was draining me. I have always been the person in the office that is neutral. I try to stay out of the drama but somehow get dragged into it every time. I think it is because people have learned that they can come into my office and vent and I won't agree or disagree, I will just listen and smile and let them get it off their chest. What they don't know is that what they get off their chest, ends up weighing me down. This, on top of my missing and grieving Avery's passing, was making my life almost unbearable. When I wasn't on anti-depressants I was crying every day, and I was exhausted all the time. The anti-depressants help but they also make me numb to the emotions I need to feel to help me mourn my little girl. So, I would rather not have to take them but do so to make life bearable.

A little over a week ago I returned to work after a sick day and found that I had been passed over for a promotion and a raise. The person that had been promoted hadn't been here as long as I have and was actually hired to take some of my work load. That was the slap in the face I needed to start looking elsewhere. I applied for a job that very same day within the University and the next week I had an interview. Yesterday I was offered that job. I am so excited. In a way, I feel like it will be a chance for me to start over! I am sad about certain things I will leave behind but I look forward to a new atmosphere and some new faces. I am especially looking forward to a bigger paycheck!

In addition to all of this, I have been working especially hard on my spiritual growth. Never in my life have I been so enthusiastic about attending my church meetings and reading the scriptures. I have never been able to pass up temptation so easily. The things that used to drag me down in the past don't haunt me anymore. I almost feel free from all that has kept me from being the person I didn't know I have always wanted to be. My priorities have changed so much and I am especially proud of the fact that I have been doing so well at not spending money. After Avery was born I used online shopping as an outlet, it gave me something to look forward to. I would order something just so that I could look forward to receiving the package, but when the package came I had nothing left to look forward to. I have been clean for a month now! Every time I think I need to buy something I remind myself that I could be paying off our IVF debt and saving for another try.

Avery's life has blessed me in so many ways. I still wish, every day, that she could still be here with me. However, the things that I have learned and the change in my heart may have never come to pass if it weren't for my sweet baby girl. I make decisions now based on whether or not I would disappoint her or if I would make her proud. Because of her I am becoming a better person which will help me be a better mother to her brothers and/or sisters. Whether it's through another successful round of In Vitro or through adoption, I look forward to helping them about their know how special their beautiful big sister is.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Please Pray

Recently I came across a blog (through Renay Valiant-Thank you Renay!) that has really touched me in so many ways. Please stop by and read their story (it may take some time! Nathan is wonderful at updating). This family has been through so much and have so many trials ahead of them. Please remember them in your prayers!

To Nathan, Tricia & Gwenyth- Your strength and faith is inspiring, I will continue to check your site and pray for you! Thank you for sharing your story with us!

Monday, January 14, 2008


Thank you to everyone who commented on my last blog entry. At first I was very upset that a web-site could claim to be non-denominational and still turn away a story because it was against the Catholic faith. But, instead of getting bitter, I decided to look further into the matter. The answers that I found were exactly like those that you shared with me. I am not going to say that anyone's beliefs are wrong or right. I will say, however, that I am very sad for those that truly believe that a child born through extensive fertility treatments, such as IVF, are born against God's will and therefore miss out on the opportunity to have a child of their own flesh and blood.

In an article I read it stated that children are not something that is owed to us, they are a gift. I agree that all children are a gift. Some are gifts that are treated carelessly and tossed away, some are gifts that are taken for granted and not enjoyed and loved as they deserve to be, and some are gifts that are forgotten by some but cherished by others. A child born by the means of In Vitro are no less of a gift than those conceived by natural means. If anything, in some cases, they may be considered more. I was devastated when I was told that I would not be able to have children naturally. That I would have to go through extensive treatments and even those weren't a guarantee. The opportunity for couples to bear children, even after they have been told they would never be able to, is truly a gift from God. And, those children are gifts that are cherished above all things because they are miraculous. Now this doesn't mean that I think children that are conceived naturally are not miraculous gifts from God, because they are. All children are miracles and they are all the most precious gift we could ever receive.

I believe that if God did not want me to have a child, the In Vitro would have never worked. If His plan did not consist of us having a child of our own flesh and blood then He would have never allowed those little embryos to latch on and grow and develop. Avery did not come to us naturally because she was meant to be so much more than just a gift to us, she was meant to change our lives in a way that we could have never expected. The fact that she was conceived via IVF made us cherish her so much more because we were told we may never have a child.

Some would argue that if you are not able to have children of your own you should just adopt. I am not against adoption. I plan on adopting, I have always wanted to adopt. I made the choice to do In Vitro because something deep down in my soul told me that I needed to. We didn't have the means to pay for it, but we found a way. We did it because we knew our chances were better if we did so while we were young. Age doesn't have a big impact on adoption. That is something that I can do for years to come. I knew that there was a child waiting for us, so we made the decision to have IVF done before we even knew how we would pay for it. Even if our next attempt at IVF does not result in a pregnancy, I will never regret our decision to do In Vitro. Avery is and always will be my daughter and I would do it all over again just to be able to carry her inside of me and hold her for that very short time.

Thank you all for your kind words and for your love for my little girl. I am so glad that it is not against my faith to have IVF, because I would have gone against my faith in a heartbeat. I know that it sounds terrible, but I wanted a child so very badly I would have tried just about anything!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Question- I would like your input please

A few days ago I was asked to share Avery's story on a website designed to help mothers and families who have been given a poor prenatal diagnosis. They have yet to have any stories on Skeletal Dysplasias. I am a Christian but I am not Catholic. After submitting my story and photos I was told that the website was a non-denominational but because their board members were Catholic it would be against their faith to post a story about a child that was conceived by In Vitro Fertilization.
For some reason this really upset me and I am trying to figure out why. I guess I don't understand why it would be "against" any faith to just post a story such as ours. Is it In Vitro or is it all fertility treatments? Where is the line drawn? I don't want to offend anyone, I am not saying that your beliefs are wrong if you are Catholic, I just want to understand where this belief comes from and why. Now I am going to have to look deeper into my own religion and see if there are any guidelines for those of us that are unable to conceive naturally. Does this mean that Catholics are told not to use other methods to conceive if they are told that they are unable to do so with "normal" methods? I find this very hard to believe. I also have a hard time believing that every single story I read on that website started with 100% natural conception.
I hope that I have not offended anyone. I would just like to understand why Avery's story was rejected because of my choice to do IVF. I would appreciate your input. I don't want a battle of the religions to start I just want to know where this comes from and why so that I don't have to be upset anymore.

Thank you!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Welcome 2008

I didn't realize until today, how long it had been since I had written down my thoughts. The holidays passed uneventfully, which I am happy about. It was almost like I had been holding my breath and was finally able to exhale once it was over. Avery was on my mind all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I think I expected everyone to be the same way but they weren't. To all those around me it was just another Christmas day. Which is fine, I don't expect anyone to have the same feelings as mine. But, as Skeet and I visited Avery's grave, I couldn't help but think of what was missing this Christmas. It was something that stuck with me the whole day. I couldn't really enjoy watching my nieces and nephews open their gifts, or even watching someone open a gift from me... which is usually my favorite part of Christmas. The one gift that I gave everyone that I did enjoy watching them open was a book of Avery that I had made off of It turned out beautiful, it had photos, poems and even scriptures. And even though it made everyone cry... at least it brought the spirit of Avery into everyone's heart that day.

I start this new year with a little bit of relief and a lot of apprehension. I don't know what the coming year will bring but I can only pray that it doesn't involve as much sadness, stress and especially medical bills; as the past year has. I have no regrets of the last year but I don't know if I could live it all over again unless I was guaranteed a happier outcome. I have a couple of resolutions that I have already put in place and I pray I can keep them throughout the year. The first is to have a better attitude; about people, work, school, pretty much just life in general. The second is to continue to gain a better relationship with my Father in Heaven and His Son. This will include continuing to attend church, studying the scriptures and praying daily. I would also like to at least receive my patriarchal blessing this year. My third resolution is to lose 15 pounds. I would like to be in very good shape and be healthy physically and emotionally before we try our second round of In Vitro in August. There is a huge plus to this last one too! I will get a whole new wardrobe because there is no way my pants will fit if I lose 15 lbs.!!

I am so thankful for all the new friends that I have made in the past year! I hope that I can continue to build on those friendships. Becoming a mother has changed me in so many ways and I now appreciate the true friends I have so much more. I want you all to know how proud I am to be Avery's mom, and because of that I will most likely continue to write because it helps me to stay close to her and keep you all close to her as well.

Much love and prayers,