Friday, November 30, 2012


Chris and I both turned a year older in November. It's so weird to say that Chris is now 31 and I am 28! Wow! We're getting on up there!

I made Chris his birthday cheesecake. Thanks to some cheesecake advice from Lori, Chris' stepmother, it was the first pretty cheesecake that I've ever made! Usually mine tastes pretty good, but it cracks and breaks across the top and on the edges. This time it was nearly perfect. Too bad I didn't get a picture of it this time! Bummer! During Thanksgiving last year, I remember her saying that she read about a tip that worked for her. The tip was baking it with a pan of water in the oven too. I think it might be called a water bath or something like that. I looked it up, and my springform pan didn't fit within any of my other pans, so I just put a pan of water on the rack underneath. It still had the same effect, and I think that may have been what Lori said to to anyway. I also stopped cooking it before it got too toasty on top and left it in the oven for another 45 minutes or so. I read about how it's not supposed to be totally set in the middle. Usually when I pull mine out it's already browning on top. Apparently, that's overcooked for cheesecake! I go by the Philadelphia Classic Cheesecake recipe when making a regular cheesecake for anyone who's interested.

Chris wanted to have dinner with the Bailey's at Taste of Europe for his birthday. We also invited his family from E-town, but with it being a weeknight and an hour drive, we didn't expect them to show up. They were busy and told us they couldn't come, but his dad did get away from work for a few minutes and surprised us. He was there long enough to finish his drink, take some food to-go and give us both hugs before being called back in to work. He was on-call and hoping to luck out with no work calls, but unfortunately, he got called on his way down to Bowling Green. What a sweet father to at least try!

I requested a quiet evening for my birthday. I was 12 weeks pregnant and really just wanted to sleep! Chris and I went out for Olive Garden, and I had my favorite dish there, Chicken Alfredo Pizza! Yum! Chris also made me a German chocolate cake, which my co-workers were happy to finish off when I took it in to work later that week! I also got to take a bubble bath, which is pretty much all I asked for on my birthday!

Cheers to getting old!

My birthday cake!

Pretty new boots I got from Chris. Not cute with the pants I was wearing, but I had to try them on immediately!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Long Awaited Answer To Prayer!

We found out on September 18. It was a long awaited answer to prayer!

Our plan was for me to get pregnant in the summer of 2011. Well, a year later, late this summer, it finally happened! Praise God!

We had decided early in our marriage that we would wait a while before starting a family because we wanted some time to adjust to being married before bringing children into the mix. Plus, we'd been through some job changes. At that time, Chris was still seeking a full-time teaching position, but we figured that if nothing came up by the end of that summer, he'd still be able to substitute teach and with my steady employment, we'd be fine. By that point, we'd been married for almost three years. We both really wanted to start a family. Luckily, by the end of that summer, he did find a full-time teaching position. However, after doing natural family planning (NFP) for over a year and a half to avoid pregnancy, I had figured out my cycle enough to suspect that getting pregnant wouldn't be so easy for us. I had issues with my cycle being very short with a short luteal phase.

Not wanting to try for months and months while knowing there was something not quite right, I sought a physician's advice about correcting the problem before we started trying. It was a problem that I had self-diagnosed months before through reading about my symptoms. Yeah, exactly what you're not supposed to do! I also had talked to one of my sisters who had the same symptoms. She was treated and the problem had been corrected pretty easily in her case, so even though I had known about it for a while, I had never worried too much about it. I incorrectly thought that it would be an easy fix for me also! It was encouraging to know that she had still been able to have children despite it not being easy until she sought treatment.

The first thing my doctor did was an ultrasound to check for fibroid tumors, cysts and any structural problems that could be seen on an ultrasound that might cause abnormal bleeding during the second half of the cycle. The ultrasound was normal. He said it was probably just a slight hormonal imbalance and put me on a synthetic progesterone during the luteal phase. He said that a lot of women just don't have quite enough of this hormone to keep the cycle going normally for the correct length of time. This was the same medication that my sister had received, so I was very hopeful that this would be the proper treatment for me. After a couple of unsuccessful months on progesterone, he told me he didn't think that progesterone was the issue and took me off of it.

Next, he recommended going on birth control pills for a couple of months with the thought that the pills could trick my body into having the right levels of hormones for a month or two after coming off of them so I could get pregnant. We did try to get pregnant for a month while I was on the progesterone before I started the birth control pills just because I felt like I was going backwards with trying to get pregnant by going on birth control. Who has to do that?

After several months on the pills, I was finally put on one that regulated my cycle better than the others. It still wasn't perfect, but it was as good as it was going to get for me! My doctor still wasn't satisfied with the result. I remember asking him during one of my appointments when he was switching my pills yet again (I was on three different ones for three or so months each!) if I was just wasting my time. We hadn't really even tried yet- not for any reasonable amount of time. I asked if there was really something wrong or if I was just being overly cautious. I feared getting pregnant and having a miscarriage as this is known to happen frequently with women who have short luteal phases. He told me he didn't think I was wasting my time and that I really would have a difficult time getting pregnant if we couldn't get this straightened out.  When the birth control pills didn't produce the perfect results he was looking for, he suggested doing surgery. He said a D&C with a scope would be a good diagnostic procedure to have to get a closer look at what was going on. I was still convinced the problem was hormonal, and I didn't think a D&C would provide many answers. The next step if the D&C was inconclusive or didn't help correct the problem would be a laparoscopic surgery to look for endometriosis, which does run in my family. He knew that we hadn't tried to get pregnant for very long yet, so he wasn't recommending the laparoscopic surgery until infertility was proven.

It was at that point that I decided take a break from the medical help and give God some time to work through the situation. I didn't mind trying a few pills to see if that could get me straightened out, but I didn't want to have surgery just yet. I already knew my cycle wasn't textbook, so I didn't think trying for an entire year would be necessary. We would try for six months, and if I wasn't pregnant and still having the same symptoms, I would have the diagnostic surgery.  By then, it was already almost a year after we had wanted to start trying. I had been on birth control pills for nine of those months!

So, I stopped the pills and started charting in March, although this time it was to achieve pregnancy. All the NFP books say that if you are charting to achieve pregnancy you should be pregnant in 4-6 months. If you aren't, you're advised to see a doctor to investigate fertility issues. Of course, we already knew there could be some obstacles!

In August, I had a doctor's appointment scheduled. I had also had more time to get discouraged about the situation. It had been 6 months and still nothing had changed despite supplementing lots of B-6 and Vitex for several months. These were the home remedies for issues with a short luteal phase. The appointment was just for a regular yearly exam, but I had planned on asking about getting my hormone levels checked and being put on fertility medicine for a couple of months. I wanted to try some mild fertility drugs just in case weak ovulation was the culprit before going through with the recommended surgery. Plus, I feared eventually having to have both surgeries, and I was more interested in having both in the same calendar year for insurance purposes. I was going to ask to have the surgery in January if I wasn't pregnant before then. BUT God intervened! I ended up having a work conflict come up on the day of the scheduled appointment. It was something that couldn't be rescheduled, so I had to move my long awaited appointment. The earliest they could reschedule it for was the end of September, which was six weeks later. I was so frustrated. I think I probably cried.  Little did I know that it was by God's timing that I did not get to go to my appointment in August. I may have been put on more medicine that I didn't need! I got pregnant during the 7th cycle of trying just 3.5 weeks before my rescheduled appointment! Praise God! I didn't have to do any surgery or fertility medicine!

I wanted to share my story in case there's someone else out there struggling with similar issues. Hopefully this can be an encouragement. While doctors and medicine are certainly helpful for some, giving God some time to work is something that shouldn't be skipped over.  He has a plan that is perfect. It doesn't always feel perfect, but it is even if it means you're childless when you don't want to be. Just remember that He never gives us anything that we can't handle. And he might just surprise you with some shocking news after just about giving up all hope that it could happen naturally! Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

ultrasound at 7 weeks

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

meeting Fiona

On October 30, (yes, I am behind) my newest niece was born! Her name is Fiona Zelie Purcell! She's adorable. God must have heard my sister's prayer for the baby not to be born on Halloween because she was born the day before. We couldn't wait for the weekend to see her, so we drove down that night. We stayed a couple of hours, got to see almost the entire family (yes, at one time there was something like 12 people in their hospital room!), and drove back to Bowling Green barely in time for a decent night's sleep!

Fiona is beautiful, and Jamie looked great! She had just had the baby about four hours before we got there, but she definitely didn't look like it. Maybe she looked a little tired for getting to the hospital very early that morning, but not like she'd just had a baby!

I can't wait to go visit again and spend some more time getting to know Fiona! She is so loved already!

Here are some pictures we took while visiting at the hospital.

P.S. I still have baby fever!

Papaw with his newest grandbaby!

Fiona Zelie Purcell at about 4 hours old!

Nana meeting her newest grandbaby!
Uncle Austin and Aunt Sarah

Uncle Jason

Aunt Alicia

Uncle Chris

Aunt Melay and Cousin Emberly

Again, and in this one you can see Cousin Charis!

The Proud Parents

Momma and baby