Tuesday, I went to my primary doctor for my blood pregnancy test. I was feeling good that I might get a positive result. I’ve had so many symptoms similar to when I was pregnant with John Luke, I was thinking, I might even be surprised if the test were negative. I never thought before embryo adoption I’d be saying this; but since, I’ve already had a successful pregnancy, I knew what signs to look for.

Wednesday morning all the “quirks and twinges” I’ve been feeling, along with a few other symptoms (such as nausea), were validated. Mary, the IVF nurse with NEDC, called to confirm I was indeed pregnant!! My hcg was 240 and progesterone was 61. I go back to my local doctor, Thursday, for a second blood test to make sure my levels are doubling.

For now we are cautiously optimistic. We’ve only told a handful of family members and a few friends. I am guarded to post this so early…however…I know…I will share with you whatever happens. The good, the bad, and the ugly. All of us (who are warriors through infertility) have a story. Whatever happens, this is a part of my story.

We still have a few milestones: the 2nd hcg test, hearing the heartbeat, and getting through the first trimester. I’m not going to worry myself about things that may never happen. I’m feeling, I will have good news to report in the coming months.

Good luck to all those who went through this cycle. I wish you the best as well!

Here is a picture of a basket filled with baby stuff I made to tell Josh the news.





Post Mother’s Day Confession

I have a confession to make.  I don’t like Mother’s Day.  It reminds me too much of those struggling to become a mother and the pain that the day brings when what you want more than anything is strikingly out of reach.  Not to mention those who have absent or strained relationships with their mothers or who have lost a mother.  I hate it when they ask mothers to stand at church and while I reluctantly stand, I feel like I’m only driving the stake deeper into the person sitting near me who desperately wants to stand.  I vividly recall avoiding church the year Grant and Maria were born.  I couldn’t stand the thought of standing up while they were still in the NICU.  I knew I would be an emotional disaster, so I didn’t even go.  While I love and appreciate the necklaces my children made me, I would have been just as appreciative of receiving for a non-mother’s day gift.  Maybe I’m just a Mother’s Day scrooge.
I found this touching post and it helped me feel better because it honored those in the many different mothering stages or relationships.  Perhaps I’m not alone on my feelings towards Mother’s Day
The Broad Spectrum of Motherhood
By Amy Young

To those who gave birth this year to their first child—we celebrate with you

To those who lost a child this year – we mourn with you

To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food stains – we appreciate you

To those who experienced loss through miscarriage, failed adoptions, or running away—we mourn with you

To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears, and disappointment – we walk with you. Forgive us when we say foolish things. We don’t mean to make this harder than it is.

To those who are foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual moms – we need you

To those who have warm and close relationships with your children – we celebrate with you

To those who have disappointment, heart ache, and distance with your children – we sit with you

To those who lost their mothers this year – we grieve with you

To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own mother – we acknowledge your experience

To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests, and the overall testing of motherhood – we are better for having you in our midst

To those who have aborted children – we remember them and you on this day

To those who are single and long to be married and mothering your own children – we mourn that life has not turned out the way you longed for it to be

To those who step-parent – we walk with you on these complex paths

To those who envisioned lavishing love on grandchildren -yet that dream is not to be, we grieve with you

To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year – we grieve and rejoice with you

To those who placed children up for adoption — we commend you for your selflessness and remember how you hold that child in your heart

And to those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and surprising –we anticipate with you

This Mother’s Day, we walk with you. Mothering is not for the faint of heart and we have real warriors in our midst. We remember you.

– See more at: http://communitiesofshalom.org/general/an-open-letter-to-pastors-a-non-mom-speaks-about-mothers-day#sthash.3mhXYxom.dpuf



There is always a buzz around our house transfer week. It’s the anticipation of becoming pregnant. This will be my third transfer through the NEDC. My first didn’t take, but the second transfer brought my amazing son. Hopefully, this time will bring a sibling for John Luke.

Tuesday, Josh and I went to Knoxville, for my final ultrasound and blood work. My lining was 9.2 mm. Josh and I were hoping for anything over 9, so we were ecstatic with the results. My lining was only 7.76 mm when I had John Luke.

The NEDC called the following day to inform me to start the Progesterone. As painful as the shots can be, it’s thrilling to get the go ahead to start the PIO. It means were getting close and its “getting real.”

Josh’s parents came from Alabama on Thursday, to watch John Luke, so we could have a few days in Knoxville to ourselves. We wanted John Luke to get reacquainted with them before we left. He enjoyed all the attention given by his grandparents. By the time we left on Saturday, we felt comfortable he would be fine without us.

It was good for Josh and me to get away just the two of us. This was only the second time I’ve spent the night away from John Luke in 19 months. We did a little shopping then went out to dinner- and for me a Margarita! Hopefully, it will be my last one for 9 months!!

My transfer wasn’t until 12:30PM. We slept in that morning, then went for breakfast at the hotel. I started getting giddy that it was almost time. I was anxious to find out how many of the three embryos being thawed had survived. We went back to our room to start getting ready.

The NEDC asked us to be there 30 minutes early. We arrived at the NEDC just before noon. The nurse called us back. We were met by Dr. Keenan and Dr. Carol Sommerfelt, the embryologist. Carol handed us the picture of our embryos. All three had survived!! They were graded 4ab, 3ab, and 4bc.

They took me to the procedure room for the transfer.   Everything went well, and I got to see the embryos being transferred on the ultrasound screen. Dr. Keenan said, “The embryos looked good, and we would hope for the best. Maybe we will get as lucky this time as last time.”

The nurse wheeled me back to recovery, where I had to lay flat for 30 minutes. Feeling good and hopeful, Josh and I went for a quick lunch at Calhoun’s, then back to the hotel for bed rest.

The recovery nurse told us I could go to my primary doctor for a blood pregnancy test in 9 days, which would be on May 27th. Nine days and counting…butterflies.

photo(2) photo(3) photo(4)

Scenes from our last Kid-less vacation





Last week, we took (sniff, sniff) our last kid-less vacation, at least for a while. With baby #3 on the way, our families (who have so wonderfully watched Brae and Sienna while we’ve galavanted on other trips), have admitted that three little ones is simply too much to take on. We understand.

So, with heavy hearts, we flew off to Mexico for one last trip sans kids. Some friends joined us, and it was an amazing trip.

We talked to the kids every night, and I’m thoroughly convinced we missed them way more than they missed us.

But, when we arrived at the airport, they were there (surprise!) waiting for us. Sienna nearly teared up when she saw me. They both looked so much older – after only a week. Each was a little clingy for the first few days, but we’ve now settled back into normal life routine.

It is such a cliche, but as much as we love vacations, we also love being back home.

I returned and had a belated 28-week appointment. I passed my glucose test, but learned that I’m slightly anemic. More beans and legumes for me. But, that does explain some lightheadedness and fatigue I’ve been feeling.

I’m thrilled to be in the third trimester, and heading downhill, and just cannot wait to meet this little one – and figure out what the heck to call it.


Spring 2014 009v2 Spring 2014 011v2 Spring 2014 014v2 Spring 2014 017v2 Spring 2014 021v2 Spring 2014 022v2



Gulp…it’s that time of year again…Mother’s Day. A holiday loved or loathed. Celebrated by mother’s. Dreaded by “waiting to be” mother’s experiencing infertility.

I’m an overcomer of infertility. I found my path to becoming a mother. At times though, I still bear the scars. Three years ago on Mother’s Day, I was where you are. I was happy for all those mother’s who deserve a day to be pampered, spoiled, and put on a pedastal!! BUT– I was still so painfully aware of my own void without children. I loved all my friends and family who deserved to be celebrated, but I loathed the day.

My transfer is a week from Mother’s Day, Sunday May 18th. I find myself in a different place this year. I am now a mother to an adopted child, that I carried and delivered, but I am still taking infertility medications for a second adopted child.

I can rejoice with the mom’s out there who tirelessly give to their children, and I can weep for the waiting “momma to be”. I celebrate all YOU whose arms and hearts are empty, for your tireless efforts to keep fighting, persevering, and to not give up, until you too, hear the words you long to hear, “Happy Mother’s Day.”

Reasons My Kids Are Out of Bed

I have to pee.

I have to poop.

I have a hang nail.

I still have a hang nail.

I need socks.

Something is scratching me.

Can you turn the music back on?

I can’t find my doggie.

I need to floss my teeth.

I need a tissue.

I heard you laughing.

I don’t know how to fall asleep.

I can’t get comfy.

I don’t know how to close my eyes.

I need a drink.

I need a band aid.

My butt hurts.

I need to tell you a joke.

I need to tell you something…. I love you, Mommy.



Summarization from the final week of parenting classes based on ‘The Principles of Love and Logic’ by authors Jim Fay and Charles Fay, Phd.


1) Parents are the center of the family (Solar system analogy).

2) Parents are in charge, but allow children more and more freedom with choices and decisions as they grow. Children are given choices early.

3) Parents value input from children, but have the final word. They are authoritative, not authoritarian or permissive.

4) Parents are consultants, not helicopter parents or drill sergeants.

5) Family values are established from birth. Faith is modeled and shared. Parents are the most important role models in children’s lives.

6) Manners and respect within family unit are taught and expected.

7) Love for each other is expressed in words, actions, hugs and kisses.

8) Family spends quality time together, sharing family stories, opinions and ideas, and laughing. (Eat together as much as possible)

9) Children have chores from age two or three.

10) Parents show love for each other and take time away from children to nurture their marital relationship.

Some additional notes from the class:

*Secure parents give kids security.

*Set limits once and follow through with empathy and loving actions instead of repeated warnings. Teach them how to make wise decisions the first time.

*Let kids learn from their mistakes and take consequences of their own behaviors/choices. Let them do this early when the price is small.

*It’s okay to “blow it” from time to time. We are human. Don’t dwell on it. Just get back to consistent parenting.



Grant and Maria went to their first gymnastics class…or as Grant calls it “beenastics.”   We’ve been tossing around the idea of gymnastics for a while and got to try a free class at a small gym. When I told the kids they were both very excited, but as we got closer to class time, Maria started to walk around the house with her head down seeming rather distressed.   I asked her what was wrong and she said “Mommy, I’m kind of nervous about gymnastics.” My little worry wart was worried. I tried to reassure and encourage as much as I could, but she was going to have to come to terms with it on her own.

When we got to the gym, they watched some of the bigger kids on the balance beam and uneven bars. Maria stayed pinned to me and her head down when their coach came over to introduce herself. Thankfully she said I could walk out to the floor with them when they started. The class was small – only 8 kids including Grant and Maria. They held my hand as we made our way to the trampoline and they both walked up the steps to the waiting spot while I watched. When they weren’t paying attention, I snuck away and prayed they wouldn’t flip out. They didn’t. In fact, I’m not sure they even noticed.

After completing the trampoline work, they did several other rotations and had an absolute blast. They stuck close together and the coach chuckled when they tried to come down the ladder at the same time. “You would think they were in the womb together, or something!”

They were sad when class was over and couldn’t understand why they couldn’t come back the next day. Maria stated that she wasn’t scared anymore and Grant seconded her sentiment. We will definitely be going back.

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4 photo 5






Some recent favorites from my favorite 5-year-old:

1) “Mommy, is God preparing a house for me in heaven?”


“And is He preparing a house for you?”


“When I get to heaven, I want to be your neighbor.”

2) Our beloved sister-in-law endured a miscarriage earlier this year.  Since we had told Brae about the baby before the miscarriage, we had to tell him the baby had not survived further.

“Mommy, is the baby in Auntie’s tummy in heaven?”



“Well, that’s where God wanted it.”

“Because God doesn’t have a baby of His own?”

3) “Brae, did you go to timeout today?”



(Shrugging).  “Mommy, I can’t remember how to stay out of timeout.”

4) We tell Brae it’s important to eat all his food so he grows up big and strong.  After throwing up, Brae one morning, Brae turned to me and said, “Mom, I’m a little bit smaller today.”