Cloth Diapers…

What a weird title for a RPL mom and for someone who’s currently on a TTC break. But you read it right – cloth diapers. I just ordered three cloth diapers for my future diaper stash!

Along time ago, back in 2011, when I was pregnant with Matthew, I ordered two cloth diapers from a company that was having an awesome discount on this particular brand of diapers. Of course I lost him and then my diapers arrived and it was the most heartbreaking thing to tuck those diapers back in the pretty wrapping and put them in a hidden corner in my closet. It was an odd sadness of feeling both devastated that I wouldn’t be putting him in those diapers that I ordered specifically for him as well as feeling hopeless with doubts and questions for the future. Will these diapers sit in my closet never to be used?

I debated in my mind on even keeping the diapers. In the bitterness of the loss, I wanted to toss them in the trash and not be reminded of the loss. But a little voice in my head said that maybe, just maybe, someday I’ll use these diapers for my rainbow baby.

I get emails all the time from the cloth diaper company that I ordered these two diapers from with clearance items and sales. Most of the time, I just delete them. Sometimes I’ll look and think about how cute the diapers are and wish I could order one to start my stash. But then the realistic part of me takes over and says, “You have debt to be paying off first. And you should wait until you actually have a baby on the way.”

But today, I clicked on the email and browsed the items. The diapers that were on sale, with free shipping were not only a good price, but really cute. I left my shopping window open and went out this morning with my husband to run some errands (he has a weird work schedule today). I asked him what he thought about me starting to build our diaper stash, paying attention to special diaper sales. I figured he would say no because we want to focus all of our efforts on becoming debt free, but in a total surprise he encouraged me to start working on our stash and said that he would be fine with me getting a few things here and there when there is a special deal going on.

I came home and got to work on my decision making. I can’t even believe I just ordered three diapers! This is not like me, but it was SO FUN! I can’t wait until they arrive so I can look at them and dream about the future. And I’m going to take a cue from some of my good blogging friends and go as far as to pray over these diapers and the little ones that will wear them.

I ordered this Kawaii One-Size diaper cover in light blue. If you aren’t familiar with cloth diapers, one size diapers can be adjusted to fit a baby at a small size through the toddler years (from small to medium to large). And a diaper cover is used with pre-folds or fitted diapers, which are a more frugal diapering option. I plan to mostly use pre-fold diapers with diaper covers to save money, but I will have the easier diapers for the times when someone else is caring for my baby, or for when my husband does a diaper change.

The next two diapers will be more “husband user-friendly”. I ordered the Kawaii pocket diapers in light blue and “comfy baby” which is a light yellow striped fabric. This is not a one size diaper, so it will only fit the baby from newborn to about 15 months. This diaper is more similar to a disposable diaper. When I do the laundry, I will stuff the diapers so that they are ready to just easily place on the baby, just like a normal disposable diaper.

From what I’ve read and listened to online for the last 4 years, it’s very important that you don’t purchase one brand and style of cloth diaper for your entire diaper stash. In the same way that my favorite brand and style of jeans might not work out well for another woman, cloth diapers will also work differently based on each baby and their particular size and needs.

So where I might think I would be saving money by purchasing all “one size” diapers to fit from birth to toddlerhood, I would probably quickly learn it was a mistake. So my plan is to slowly build my diaper stash, paying attention to sales and clearance items every so often so that I can have a variety of options by the time we finally have our baby.

I probably won’t be purchasing any more diapers for awhile, because my biggest focus is obviously still getting out of debt, but I am excited for this more hopeful step I’ve taken. I’ve been having a rough few days lately, remembering our first baby Abiygale and thinking about how she should be turning 3 next month. I was even watching someone’s video on YouTube the other day who talked about her birth after infertility and I started to panic thinking about all of the things that could go wrong.

And then I read this post from Elisha and Waiting for Baby Bird. I cried, hopeful tears. It was just what I needed. A beautiful reminder of truth to not focus on the chair legs of infertility and loss, but to focus instead on my amazing God and the truth of His word and His promises which are still for us today. I love that girl! She is a blessing and encouragement to so many and I can’t wait for the day when I read that baby Josiah, her promised child, is on his way to this world. Love you sweet friend!

4 years ago in January, the month before we got married actually, I had my second laparoscopic surgery. My first surgery in 2009, was to remove an ovarian cyst. I was diagnosed with endometriosis at the time and fell in despair worrying about infertility. But during my second surgery, the doctor removed a septum and discovered that I no longer had endometriosis. It was a miracle and a miracle that I didn’t even know was possible. Years of painful periods and finally I was healed. I didn’t believe it, but after having normal periods month after month over the next few years, it started to sink in that God had really done this for me. I can remember being so sick every single month and throwing up and passing out from the pain of my periods. Every month when I don’t get sick like that and just have normal, minor cramps, I always remember what it was like and feel so completely grateful to not suffer like that any longer.

I know that God healing me of this disease only to go on to miscarry 5 times might seem weird, but to me, I believe that He is working all things out for good and someday I’ll truly understand His will. But for now, the first part of my healing, the healing from endometriosis, gives me hope and reminds me that God can do all things. He healed me once, and He can heal me again in His perfect timing.

And I don’t believe for one second that these diapers will sit in my closet unused. These diapers are going to be prayed over and God will not waste these diapers ordered with faith and hope. I believe they will be used for my miracle(s), but who knows, maybe they will be used in ways I can’t even imagine. Perhaps we will be able to foster children or even adopt. Whatever God’s will is, I’m believing in faith that these diapers are going to be a blessing for our family!

Have hope my friends! The plan might not look like what we dreamed it would, but with God, it will be a beautiful unfolding, I can promise that!

Blessings,

Amber

 

The Glory Days

I hate when I go weeks without blogging because then there is usually so much to catch up on and I don’t always know where to begin. Sigh!

Christmas was busy and I was glad to get the holidays over with. Jonathan actually had a 6 day vacation starting on Christmas day, so we drove to see my mom and grandmother. My grandmother is still recovering from her knee surgery so it was an uneventful trip, but it was nice to see her out of the hospital and doing well.

Jon’s 6 day vacation wasn’t very restful, however, as we had to purchase an entire new wardrobe for his work clothing. He used to wear his police uniform, but the detective job requires business attire with ties as well as suits and ties for court. Thankfully, there was no shortage of overtime opportunities in November and we had plenty of money to go crazy with.

I thought it would be really fun shopping for him, but then we started paying for everything, and my frugal nature wanted to scream and run away. But my husband is 6’5, we were short on time to get everything, and we couldn’t be picky. There was a lot of sales, thankfully, but it was still a pretty penny. You better believe I saved all of the receipts for a tax write-off! And we got all of our shopping done before the 1st of the year :-)

The last few days of Jonathan being on patrol made me nervous. I stayed up every night listening to my police scanner app. Yeah – I’m not going to miss that at all.

On January 5th, we woke up at 5:30 am (the time we sometimes GO to bed with his weird patrol schedule) and Jonathan started his new detective job. I think I got about an hour of sleep, but ended up staying up all day because I was just that excited about his new position. I made him his favorite meal of chicken fajitas and a key lime pie to celebrate his first day of detective work. He loved it!

I have to say that being on a normal day shift schedule makes life considerably easier. Meal prep, keeping the house clean and organized, and still doing a few ministry events is much more enjoyable with his new schedule.

Detective work is still police work though and when Jonathan is on call, he could be gone for hours or even days working on a case. This week, he was home late Monday and Tuesday. Monday he didn’t even get home until after 10 pm. While his schedule will always be somewhat weird, it’s still easier for me because no matter what, he has to be up at 5:30am to get to work in time. Therefore, I can go to bed early, and just have food in the fridge for him to re-heat when he comes home.

What else? We are officially on a TTC break and we actually remembered to buy protection this month. I’m not going on birth control. In 2013, I tried getting on a continuous birth control so that I wouldn’t have to endure a period every month, and it was an epic fail. I ended up spotting all month long and STILL had a period every month. And had an awful headache, which I’ve always had from multiple types of birth control (I use to take it to control endometriosis). So we are just sticking to protection and I have to say that I’m already feeling much more at peace.

I feel like I was actually able to enjoy being together with my husband without fear. What a relief! I know that in the future, we are going to have to join this fight and try again, but for now, I’m enjoying my vacation. Maybe it’s an island of denial, but I’m happy in it for now.

I also feel like it’s easier to focus on my weight loss and paying off debt. When you aren’t consumed with fear of pregnancy and loss, you can actually focus on other goals. I’m also taking time to focus on my marriage.

And of course, my faith in Christ. I feel closer to God than I’ve ever felt before.

I realized that there are some serious issues in my heart and God is graciously revealing that to me and giving me the motivation and desire to change. You can put on a good show to the world and pretend everything is alright, but God knows the ugly parts of our hearts. And there is some ugliness in my heart that I honestly had no idea about until recently. It’s painful when God shows that to you, but I’m so glad that he humbled me gently so that I can be changed into who He wants me to be. Perhaps someday I’ll journal fully about this process and share the details of my struggles.

But for now, I’m enjoying this new season of my life. I’m not looking back at the past and I’m not longing for the future. For the first time in a long time, I feel like I can say that I’m honestly enjoying this moment in time. If I could describe this season of my life I would say it’s like the fall. Yes, I have a lot of work to do in my life right now, but it’s joyful laboring. Things are being made new all around me and I’m actually able to see the beauty in this current time in my life. Should I dare say, these are the glory days that I’ll someday look back on with a smile? I think so…

I hope you are all taking the time to enjoy your current season of life. I know that there might be painful events all around you, but I pray that you’ll choose to focus on the blessings instead of the struggles.

With love,

Amber

Why are people so crazy?

My blog has been private for a few weeks and I’m terribly sorry to anyone who has worried about me. I’m totally okay, first off. I needed to edit some parts of my blog for safety reasons after receiving an anti-police comment. I debated completely getting rid of my blog and YouTube channel but after talking with Jon I feel better about not running and hiding with fear.

I could write an entire blog post about the feelings I’m having regarding the anti-police agenda that’s sweeping through our nation, but I think it’s best I not.

Speaking of police, my husband interviewed for the detective position I was talking about last month and ….

…..

………

…………..

HE GOT IT!

He starts his new position in January and we are thrilled! I’m so proud of him and excited for this change in our lives! Thank you to everyone for your thoughts and prayers.

Right before his interview we had a stressful trip to the hospital to visit my grandmother. She had knee surgery the previous week and then started having some breathing problems. Thankfully she is out of the hospital now and all is well. Whew! It was scary to get that call from my mom.

My weight loss has sucked the two weeks thanks to the stress of traveling and going to the hospital, my husband’s interview, and being super busy with some church commitments I had. I’m looking forward to getting back on track. My stomach is in pain from the junk – I’m pretty sure there was some gluten cross contamination. It’s hard for me going out of town with Celiac disease even with a plan, but when it’s totally unplanned and dealing with stressful circumstances, it’s even more difficult to figure out what to eat.

What else? I actually get to be with my husband for Christmas Eve this year and later in the week we are going to visit my mom and grandma. It will be good to see my grandma out of the hospital.

Well for being busy lately, I sure don’t seem to have much to talk about on here right now. I’ll be back on Christmas to vent I’m sure. My period is due to start on, guess what day, Christmas. Of course! It started for Thanksgiving too. And Mother’s day. And my husband’s birthday. AF is really getting under my skin this year. There’s nothing like reminding you that you still don’t have a baby quite like AF on a holiday. Sigh!

I’d say here’s to hoping for a happy 2015, but I’m a little bit more bitter and annoyed this year than I was last year. If you are also bitter and SO OVER infertility, cheers to you (positive/hopeful people not welcome – just kidding, well kind of!) We can at least laugh through the cursing/crying/throwing a fit like a 2 year old at the 10 million pregnancy announcements over the holiday season :-)

Comment below if you’ve already witnessed pg announcements this season. I had two on Thanksgiving. Both at 4 weeks pregnant. Oh, to be that innocent of pregnancy loss :-/

Much love,

Amber

Thankful for my church family & for you ladies!

Last week I was up at the church on Friday morning finishing a ministry project that the youth girls worked on and I was getting some help from the children’s minister. We were talking about being sick and I was joking about what a baby Jonathan is when he gets sick and somehow the conversation turned to her saying everything else was easy after having a baby and going through that experience.

For the first time, like ever, someone realized, on the spot what they had said to me. She immediately acknowledged that she had just put her foot in her mouth and was incredibly apologetic. I wasn’t upset in the least and was just happy that someone took the time to understand how I might be feeling and to apologize for saying anything that might upset me.

The following day, I was surprised when I received a card in the mail from this friend/sister-in-Christ. It was an apology note from the day before. It was the most thoughtful gesture I have ever received. The next day I found her at church and told her thank you and how much the card meant to me. She had tears in her eyes telling me how worried she felt all weekend wondering if she had caused me pain. I just was in so much shock that someone could actually care about me and my pain to the point where they would cry for me and be concerned with how I’m feeling.

I’ll admit that the situation did end up making me sad, but it was not because of anything she said, but because we started talking afterwards about covering up our feelings as a coping mechanism. It made me realize that I’ve been putting up a wall and hiding the way I’m really feeling about this journey. And so that night, I allowed myself to cry, and that’s a good thing.

Sometimes we just need to fall apart so that we can truly heal. And I’m thankful to have a sister-in-Christ who loves me and cares about what I’m going through. I need to open myself up to people and let them know what’s really going on inside, because there are amazing people in my life, gifts from God, who love me and want to be there for me. And for that, I am very, very thankful.

Today, I’m not so thankful that AF is starting and I have about 5 million things going on at once. But I am thankful for pain medicine!!

Today I am also thankful that my husband is moving to a new shift at work. I’m nervous for this new change, but thankful for a new season of life and curious to see what this will bring.

And today, I am thankful for all of you. Your loving and supportive comments mean the world to me. I love you all so much!

Happy Turkey day to you all,

Amber

TTC break again?

Hi ladies, I hope you are all doing well and having a great week!

I have been sick for the last 8 days and it sucks big time. I’m in the home stretch now and getting better every day, but man am I ready to feel better. I had plans to go to Houston to visit my family and go wedding dress shopping with my best friend. I got sick the day before and missed out on all the fun. I’m still really bummed about it! Stupid immune system :-/

But through the sickness, I have been keeping myself occupied with starting my weight loss videos again on my YouTube channel. On top of doing Weigh-In Wednesday videos, I will now be doing a weight loss diary series to help me work through some of my struggles and deal with the emotions that go along with this process. I really shouldn’t embarrass myself posting videos of me while I’m sick, but I just knew that if I didn’t get it started again right then and there, I was never going to work up the courage to just dive in, head first.

If you want to check out the videos on my channel, you can click here.

I’m in my two week wait right now which makes me very unhappy. I wanted to prevent pregnancy this month and for the next several months while I lose weight. However, my husband just happened to be in the mood during my ovulation and I didn’t stop him, so now I’m really regretting not sitting down with him before ovulation to talk about my desire to prevent pregnancy for a little while.

I hope that I’m not pregnant. I just really want to focus on losing weight and if I get pregnant again and miscarry, it’s just going to be another set back in a sea of setbacks. The hopefulness I felt several months ago about getting pregnant and actually carrying to term is long gone. I feel like maybe if I lose weight I’ll have a chance of getting my miracle baby, but right now, it seems impossible. And even if things do go well, I’m so depressed over my weight that it would steal a lot of the joy of finally having a baby.

I just don’t want to worry every single month if I’m pregnant. I want to devote all of myself to losing weight and I can’t focus on anything when my mind is consumed with fear of losing another baby.

I really don’t think I’m pregnant this month and I hope I’m right, but knowing that there is a chance I could be makes me nervous and stressed out. I just can’t deal with this while I’m losing weight. I need my head to be completely in the game. There are still going to be struggles with my past history of loss and empty arms that I’ll have to deal with during my weight loss journey but if I can remove the stress of worrying about pregnancy and possible miscarriage it will take some pressure off of my shoulders.

So we are on a TTC break, yet again! And hopefully I’m not pregnant!

In other news, my husband is moving to a new shift at work and I’m thrilled. We are going to have so much time together and I will actually be on a normal sleep schedule again. Also, he still has a good chance of becoming a detective. His interview is in December and he heard through the rumor mill at work that he is one of the top candidates being considered. They have two open positions so there is a chance he might get the job. We have a friend at church that works for a different police department in the area and he is a detective so he gave Jonathan some books to study for his interview. I think that is going to give Jonathan a huge edge over the other candidates. But we will see. I’m trying not to get my hopes up right now. I’m just excited about his new shift that he will be starting next week and thankful that he was willing to make that sacrifice for me. He’s a good husband :-)

I’m going to wrap this up now but I hope you are all doing well and have a fun weekend! What are your plans for Thanksgiving? I’m going to serve food at a food ministry in town in the morning and afternoon and then that evening I’ll have a little Thanksgiving meal with Jonathan before he leaves for work. EEK – I actually get to have Thanksgiving with my husband this year thanks to his new work schedule! YAY!

Love and prayers to you all,

Amber

Lazy Blogger

Hi friends, I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying life. I know it’s a Monday and that’s hard to do since:

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Yup!

Today is actually the start of Jonathan’s 4 day weekend. Only, it’s not really a 4 day weekend thanks to some overtime opportunities. Today he’s working at one of the high schools, tomorrow he has a Veteran’s day parade to work for a few hours, and Thursday he’s working at the high school again. In case you don’t know, Jonathan is a police officer. One of the biggest perks of being a police officer, in my opinion, is the overtime opportunities. There’s always plenty of opportunities for overtime on patrol (what he normally does) but often businesses and school districts will ask for police services for security.

The overtime is awesome for helping us get out of debt. Jonathan can make in a day working overtime what I used to make in a week working in property management. FYI: I miss my job SO much! I really wish I had not quit in 2012, but I can’t change it now. Sigh!

So what have I been up to lately?

Not a whole lot, really. We have now went through 7 cycles without a pregnancy and I’m feeling a bit relieved to be honest with you. This is the longest we have ever went without getting pregnant and I finally feel like I’m maybe catching a break. The first time we got pregnant in 2011, it took 2-3 cycles to get pregnant, the second time, it took 3 cycles, the third time only 1 cycle, and the 4th and 5th pregnancies happened on our first try after coming off of TTC breaks.

After our 5th miscarriage in February, we prevented again for a few months before trying again. I say trying again, but we aren’t planning or putting effort into “trying” to get pregnant. We just aren’t doing anything to prevent pregnancy.

Even though it has been 7 cycles, I’m still afraid of getting pregnant again and losing another baby. The fear is getting better with each passing month that we don’t get pregnant, but I don’t think it will ever go away fully.

It’s weird to me that when I had endometriosis I was terrified of infertility and worried I would never get pregnant. Now it feels like the lesser of two evils and I’m just thankful that, as much as a negative pregnancy test hurts, it’s not anything compared to the pain of miscarriage.

I really hope that it will continue to be this way. I honestly feel like I’m at a place where I’m just so over caring about having a baby. Of course I still want a baby, I’m just over doing anything about it. I just don’t care enough anymore when it happens and I feel a little bitter that pregnancy and miscarriage has robbed me of the joy of my first few years of marriage.

I was only 24 when I first got pregnant. I was just a newlywed. We had our 3rd miscarriage on our 1 year wedding anniversary. In 9 months time when we should have had our first baby, we instead had 3 miscarriages.

I’m 27 now and maybe I should be thinking about getting older and the chances of having a baby getting smaller, but I’m just angry that I lost these precious years of my youth and my marriage and I find it hard to care about the biological clock ticking away.

I want the years I lost back. I want to make up for lost time with my husband. I want to be happy again.

And I hope and pray that each month will continue to be like the last 7 cycles. As much as I would love to have a child, I think there is a bigger part of me that knows how hard pregnancy will be because of the fear and anxiety, and I just don’t feel like I’m in the right place to handle that right now.

There has been a lot of healing in my heart over the last year, but I still have a long road ahead of me. I want to recover fully from the trauma that we experienced and I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to do just that.

Part of the pain of my miscarriages has been the struggle of learning to adjust and cope to Jonathan’s career as a police officer. It’s hard, really, really hard. I’m alone often and it’s always a heavy reminder of what we lost. My parents divorced when I was a kid and my mom went to school full time and worked her butt off to support us. But it was hard on me. I was alone often. I dreamed of growing up and having my own family to “make up for what I lost out on.” No one warned me that you don’t have control of these things.

Recently, Jonathan has decided to apply for a detective position. This is something that I have wanted him to do for a while now because it is safer and has better work hours (like he would actually be home after 5pm for dinner like a normal person!). But he enjoyed patrol and didn’t have a desire to do anything else until later in his career.

I was shocked when he told me the news that he really wants to do this now and I’m beyond excited and hopeful for the possibility of this happening.

He has a lot of competition, however, so there’s a big chance I’m going to be disappointed.

If he actually gets the job, it’s going to be a huge burden lifted off of my shoulders. I hate to let myself get overly excited about this, but I just can’t help it.

There will of course still be difficult things about the detective position. It’s still police work, after all. One week every 6 weeks he will be on call meaning he can get dispatched at any time day or night to a case (but that will also mean overtime pay, woo!). But in comparison to patrol work and his current work hours, I’ll take the detective position any day.

One of the things that I’m excited for with this opportunity is the day shift hours he will have. I’m thinking about getting a job again and then going back to finish my degree. It would be awesome if we hard similar work hours so that we could be home at the same time.

When I worked previously, I didn’t see much of Jonathan. It really sucked. It would be nice to be able to work AND still get to see my husband.

If he doesn’t get a detective position now, there will be chances in the future. But I would appreciate your prayers that he will get the job now.

So anyways, I’m sorry if this post ended up being a downer. I didn’t intend for it to be but I guess I had some suppressed emotions about everything. It’s probably why I’ve avoided blogging for the last few weeks. Sometimes it’s just easier to ignore what you are feeling instead of actually sitting down and dealing with it.

Thanks for listening to me vent and I hope you are all doing well.

Love and prayers to you all,

Amber

Tragic loss in the IF community

Hi sweet friends, today on Twitter, A Calm Persistence shared a video from an IF YouTuber who just announced her pregnancy after 7 years of infertility only to lose her husband, Royce, in a car accident before she could share the good news with him.

Kristy shared the following heartbreaking update as well as a Go Fund Me account that a fellow IF sister started for her.

Sadly, they were struggling financially and she cancelled her husband’s life insurance policy to save money just two weeks before his death, never assuming that she would lose her 35 year old husband. She is worried for the baby she now carries as she is dealing with an understandable amount of grief and is not able to fully care for her body and this baby as she would like to. Please be in prayer for the child, for peace for Kristy, for support financially and emotionally not just online but from her community in real life.

Please take the time to pray and especially take the time to give, even if it’s just a little bit. Every little bit will help and will show her that she is not alone.

The link to the Go Fund Me account can be found by clicking here.

I can’t understand why God allows tragic things like this to happen. I just will never be able to make sense of it in this life. All I can do is pray and be a source of love in the world. There are just too many hurting people to do anything less than love a world in need. And in times like this when I don’t have answers for why God allows tragedy, I rely on the truth in this verse: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Death and tragedy can’t make sense to us, we can’t understand it, and that’s okay. We don’t have to know all the answers – we just need to have faith and devote ourselves to loving deeply. That’s all any of us can do in a time like this.

So I challenge you to do that today. Send a comment to Kristy, offer a prayer to God, and give generously to make the burden of her loss a little bit lighter.

Love and prayers to you all,

Amber