10 May 2013

Support on Mother's Day for Moms-Yet-to-Conceive and Moms Who Have Lost Children

When I was diagnosed with multiple fertility issues at the age of 27, before I even met my husband, I was devastated. For the next several years, especially while we were actively trying to conceive and after we lost our first pregnancy, I dreaded Mother's Day. 

The whole day seemed like one big reminder of how I wasn't yet a mom. When a pastor at church asked all of the Moms to stand, I was ashamed to be in my late 20s and 20s and still sitting with all of the teenagers and men. 


Then, after we lost our first, I started standing anyway because I WAS a mom. My baby was just in heaven. 


So for those dealing with with complete infertility and those who support them, here is blurb from a website called RESOLVE The National Infertility Association


"With all of the activity on Mother's Day, people tend to forget about women who cannot become mothers. Mother's Day is an incredibly painful time for infertile women. You cannot get away from it-There are ads on the TV, posters at the stores, church sermons devoted to celebrating motherhood, and all of the plans for celebrating with your own mother and mother-in-law.

Mother's Day is an important celebration and one that I relish now that I am a mother. However, it was very painful while I was waiting for my baby. Remember your infertile friends on Mother's Day, and send them a card to let them know you are thinking of them. They will appreciate knowing that you haven't "forgotten" them."

For those trying to conceive and those supporting them, go buy yourself something special!  Trying to conceive is easy for some, and definitely not so easy for others. When you are in the middle of it, though, it is emotionally and sometimes physically exhausting. You deserve something special!

And women who have lost a child whether before or after birth or adoption, we mourn with you. We recognize that you are a mother, and you truly deserve to be honored. 

For those who support these special women, here are some tips:
Recognize their motherhood: Offer a hug and a "Happy Mother's Day". Send a card to let them know you remember they are a mother even though their child is not with them physically.

Acknowledge they have had a loss: Express the message, "I know this might be a difficult day for you. I want you to know that I am thinking about you.”

If their child was named, use their child's name in conversation.

Plant a living memorial: A tree or rose bush, like memories, will grow in beauty as the years pass.

Visit the grave site if there is one: Many mothers felt that it was "extremely thoughtful" when others visited their child's grave site and left flowers or a small pebble near the headstone.

Share a memory or pictures of the child: Give the gift of a memory. 

Send a gift of remembrance: Many mothers felt a small gift would be comforting. Suggestions included: an angel statue, jewelry, a picture frame, a library book or toy donation in the child’s name or anything personalized.

Don't try to minimize the loss: Avoid using any clich├ęs that attempt to explain the loss of a child. ("God needed another angel.") Secondly, don't try to find anything positive about the loss ("You still have two healthy children").

Encourage Self-Care: Encourage a grieving mother to take care of herself. Give her a gift certificate to a day spa or any place where she can be pampered

30 April 2013

Miracles

Sometimes God does something very cool in our lives that we weren't expecting.

For those of you who are new to our story, I will give you a brief synopsis: Before I met Stan, I was given some diagnoses that meant that I was infertile. My doctor at the time said that I could never have children on my own, even with a fertility specialist's help. Stan and I decided to try and pray for a miracle. After 3.5 years of disappointment every month, and using fertility medicine, we got pregnant. Now, in the past 4 years, I have been pregnant 4 times, all with help from fertility medicine, I have had 3 surgeries on my uterus and fallopian tubes, and we have given birth to two little girls. Our infertility and pregnancy losses were the most difficult thing I have dealt with in my life, and my two little miracles are a constant reminder of God's faithfulness and love for me.

OK! So now that we are all caught up ...

A few weeks ago, I announced that Stan and I will be adopting internationally! We are so excited about this endeavor, and we believe that it is a God-inspired effort. Part of the decision to adopt has been based on my desire to stop focusing energy on fertility medicine for now while still growing our family.

Well, here is where things get interesting!

A few days after I made that announcement, I noticed that I had a low back ache and that I was a few days late for my cycle. This is all fairly normal for me, but I picked up a pregnancy test anyway. I was pretty sure I wasn't pregnant, considering our fertility challenges, so taking the test was not a priority at all. I finally got around to taking it on a Monday morning a couple of weeks ago before the girls woke up. I took it, went back to sleep, and woke up to a crying baby and a 3-year-old

who needed to go potty NOW.

When I finally got around to checking it, there was a very thin, faint line where the test line would be if I were pregnant. Of course, this was about 15-30 minutes after I took the test, and it was a Dollar Tree test, AND it was not even possible that I was pregnant considering I don't ovulate and I was nursing an 11-month-old. SO I mentioned it to Stan, and went about my day of running Abigail to gymnastics and going to the grocery store. But I did pick up an EPT from the store while I was there.

To my shock and surprise, the 2nd, 3rd ....and yes 4th test were all positive as well.

SO yes! Me, a woman who was once told I would never be able to get pregnant, is now pregnant for the 5th time in 4 years. And this time, no fertility doctor can take pride in helping me. And God did this as a total miracle in the most unlikely time. AND WE ARE ELATED!!!

Details: We are 6 weeks pregnant, with a due date of December 22. Our baby has a very strong heartbeat. YES, we want a boy, but we will be pleased with any baby God has decided to bless us with :) I am still considered high risk for this pregnancy because 1. I am now of "advanced maternal age", and 2. we had preterm labor with both of our girls. However, we won't have to go to see the high risk doctor nearly as many times because our last pregnancy was pretty uneventful in comparison to our previous 3.

Please keep us and our pregnancy in prayer!

As for the adoption, we are still pursuing adoption, but we are praying for God's perfect timing. More to come on this ...when we know!

More than anything, this miraculous pregnancy has filled me with a realization that God is giving me another beautiful gift, and the method by which he is giving me this one is simply amazing :)


07 April 2013

Adopting from Africa


So for those of you who have been wondering what we have been up to, here it is:


We are adopting from 
AFRICA!!!


I was reluctant to announce this until we were sure it was going to happen. So I have been holding back since November when we started this process!!

Adoption is something I have always felt called to, and so when Stan decided he was ready to adopt, we got started! We have been praying, researching and preparing for this since November of last year. We have chosen a country and an adoption agency, and we are almost finished with our Home Study. We will be adopting 1 or 2 children under the age of 3.

I am outlining some FAQs that we are anticipating:

Q: Why adopt now instead of fertility treatments again?
A: Right now, we feel like adoption is the right path for our family. We may pursue pregnancy again in the future, and we may use fertility methods to achieve pregnancy. But right now, we are adopting.

Q: When will your child or children be coming home?
A:  Long story short, it may be about 12 months until we travel and bring our kids home! I am going to post the timeline as a separate blog.

Q: Why international adoption? Why Africa? Why not adopt from the U.S?
A: The country from which we have decided to adopt from has a mortality rate of almost 17% for children younger than 5, which means 1 in 5 or 6 children die before they reach 5 years of age. There are also approximately 5 million orphans in the country, which is equivalent to the entire population of Scotland!

Q: What does Abigail think of this? How are you helping prepare her and Naomi for more siblings?
A: Abigail is very excited about having more siblings! We have shown her several videos of other families bringing home children from Africa and she has asked me when I can go get her a brother or sister. Naomi is young enough still that she will never remember life without her new siblings.

Q: Wouldn’t it be better for the kids to be adopted by people in their own country?
A: There will likely always be more kids in need of a forever family than there are families, all over the world. It would be fabulous if more people in the local African community had the means and ability to adopt. Until there is less war and conflict, more access to clean water, more education and development, the situation in the country we are adopting from will not improve significantly enough to help the orphans and really change their lives or give them a forever family.

There are no unwanted children, there are just unfound families.

Q: Doesn't adopting internationally cost a lot of money?
A: YES!!!
This adoption will cost approximately $35,000-47,500 depending on the number of children and the length of the time it takes to get these children home with us.
Here is the approximate fee breakdown:
Agency fees:                                          $6500
Home Study and Post Placement Visits: $3300
US Immigration:                                     $1200
Travel and Translations:                       $8000
Country fees:                                      $16000
2nd Child's fees:                                 $12500

Q:Where will the money come from?
A: We are trusting God to help us come up with the money for this adoption!!! We have a little bit saved up, and we will be doing some fundraising, and applying for some grants.
I will be posting more about fund raisers and such on my Facebook page and here.

Q: Why aren't you telling us what country you are adopting from?
A: Since this blog is public, we will be keeping some of the details about our adoption private in order to protect our adoption from any one out there who has a negative opinion of international adoption. We don't want anyone to twist any of the information about our adoption into something it is not. We will also not be posting any full photos of our children that would allow them to be identified. We will be happy to share photos with close friends or family.

Lastly, if you have any questions, please feel free to email me: kyrnapuc@gmail.com