New template


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Creative Juices Flowing...

Hey guys!

Well, first of all, I hope you all had a very MERRY Christmas. Our family sure did! Jason and I decided for the first time since we've been married NOT to do gifts for each other. We had talked about getting a new desktop MAC computer, but then after talking about it just decided not to. As I mentioned in a previous post, we are planning to start the adoption process soon, and because of the financial obligation, we knew that wasn't the best use of our money.

However, my mom sure did surprise me with something I NEVER thought I would get. I'm that person who thinks she can NEVER be surprised. Well, congratulations mom! She got me a Silhouette Cameo. What you might ask? Well, here she is in all her beauty:

This is a machine that can do SO many things! First, it can cut vinyl! Can you tell? The first thing I did was to buy some pink and black vinyl so I could put my initials on my Cameo. It turned out great right? Well, I got to browsing pinterest and found so many other things I could do with my cameo. I can create AWESOME art! Here are some samples I've done this week:
 Personalized coasters
 12x24" wall art (subway art)
 12x12" personalized wall art
8x10" wall art (subway art)

Crafty huh? I'm in love with this thing, and I must admit that I've kind of neglected my sweet husband because I'm so intrigued at what I can do! It's so much fun and I love making all these fun items! My mom has now created a monster...but a good monster! 

So, back to adoption. Jason and I realize how expensive adoption is, and we know that if God has brought us to this journey, He most certainly will not be stopped by financial burdens. So, I feel like He has given me all these ideas of how we can raise money to help fund our future adoption. One way is through all the art I'm excited to be making. 

Another idea I had after reading an AMAZING woman's blog on her and her husband's adoption journey is to make personalized necklaces by hand stamping them. Here's one I did last week:
 I had a little problem with the "a" in faith, but hey...this was my first one and you have to stamp every letter individually. So, I think it was pretty good for the first try! Here's one I made for my mom for Christmas:
My brother's name and my name with little jewels:)

Here's another one I did:
I love this saying! And it's so true for adoptive parents/children/EVERYONE to remember. Just because I may not be able to conceive my own biological child doesn't mean anything! Love makes a family! 

So, once I have all my materials in hand (a lot of circular blanks for me to stamp, stamp, stamp) I will start selling these too! Be on the lookout for these. 

I thank God for opening up this adoption door for us. I feel like it's been an option all along, and He knew it was a path we should take, but we had to find out for ourselves. Thank you all, friends, family, etc. who love us and support us! I can't wait to choose an agency or lawyer to work with and REALLY start this journey. We are close, and we are ready! Please keep us in your prayers when you think about us! XOXO

Katie

Friday, December 21, 2012

Where the heart is

Well, it's been a week since Jason and I found out we were not pregnant. I don't know why, but I had  a negative feeling about the results going in to have my blood work done. Maybe it was because I've NEVER seen a positive pregnancy test of my own. Maybe it was the Lord trying to tell me that it's just not time yet. But, whatever the reason, finding out you are not pregnant after all the months of preparation is devastating. It doesn't matter how prepared for the "no" you are, the words coming from my good friend's mouth were real, and I felt them deep down in my heart. I tried my best not to start crying in front of her, but I think that's expected. I tried to hold it together as long as I could, but eventually the tears fell, and they fell hard. On the way home, I continued to remember that this is a journey. It's certainly not over, and this bump/fork/stop sign, whatever you want to call it, is just that. Our journey is far from over. I came across this quote on a fellow blogger's page and thought it was appropriate:

The now...that's what today is. Now IS right on time. It's right where God intended us to be, and it is our job to rejoice in that and be happy. He is a good God who knows the future and more importantly, holds our future in the palm of his hand. Every shot, every cramp, every pill, every patch was an important part of this journey that continues. While the results were not as WE expected, God knew all along. I think He has big plans. This "no" was just the first step in our soon to be "yes."

So, what's next? Well, I think I should go back a couple years for those of you who don't know me or my heart. Before Jason and I were married (but we were dating), we went to church together one morning and it was being held in the gym because our sanctuary was being renovated. We walked in, sat down, and a few minutes later, another couple walked in with their child who was obviously adopted (internationally). She was a beautiful little Korean girl who held her daddy's hand and looked up at him with the most love and admiration. I felt a lump in my throat as I watched that sweet interaction and believe that was the first time the Lord said "Katie, I want you to adopt."

Obviously at that time I had no idea that Jason and I would have trouble conceiving a child of our own. I just figured one day after we had children of our own, and hopefully the finances to do so, we would adopt. Well, I've felt that lump or tug at my heart since then many times. After trying to conceive on our own for a year and not having an luck, I told Jason about how I felt towards adoption. He wasn't really on board. I took that kind of hard and couldn't understand why God would call me to adoption, but not my husband. Maybe he just needed some time. And time I gave him.

We never thought IVF would even be an option for us because of the expense, and since we knew adoption was also very expensive, we figured we would put our money toward adopting a child instead of running the risk of not getting pregnant with IVF. I couldn't wrap my head around spending an insane amount of money on something that wasn't for sure going to give us a child. However, after talking with my insurance company, we realized IVF was actually in reach (and less expensive than adoption with insurance coverage). While adopting was still in the back of my head, my husband and I felt the door open to try IVF. So we did, and here we are today.

Thoughts in my head are (have been): Did I disobey God's calling by doing IVF? Should we have just started adoption and not spent that money on IVF? Did I waste two and a half months of our life doing IVF just to have it fail?

Every time I have one of those questions, I just remember that God knew all along what the journey would look like. We can't go back, nor do I want to. This experience has touched not only our lives, but many lives to whom I can't even count. To God be the glory for this. I can't wait to see what happens next!

So, what are we doing now? We are looking at adoption agencies and law firms that specialize in adoption, etc. to find the best fit for us. If you know me, I want everything done yesterday, so I'm having to sometimes take a step back or just a pause to make sure what we are doing is right for us. Luckily, I have a pretty great husband who keeps me grounded and even though sometimes I don't like it, he makes me realize that maybe I'm in too much of a rush. I'm thankful for him.

Please continue to pray for us on this journey. We don't know where it leads. We are ok with that. Please pray the Lord would so clearly show us the right people to work with. Pray He will show us how the financial aspect will work out. Please pray for the child (children) He already knows will be a part of our family. Please pray for Jason and me as we open up our heart to something that may not be as comfortable as it is for others. Thank you again for all your love, all your prayers, all your comments, all your messages, and your friendship. The Lord truly blessed us with great people surrounding us.

Much love! XOXO

Friday, December 14, 2012

Not yet my child...

That's what God told us today. We took off work and went into PREG at 8:30 this morning for my blood work. I figured it would be hours until we found out, but my good friend, Lindsay, said they can do a preliminary serum test that would only take 10 minutes to find out. Then, they would continue to complete the full blood test. That 10 minutes in the waiting room felt like forever, but I couldn't help having this overwhelming feeling that it just wasn't going to happen. I hate thinking negatively and I have always prayed the test would come out positive, but deep in my soul I just wasn't feeling very positive about the results.

Lindsay came around from the other direction and motioned for me to come to her. I knew at that point the news was not good. She told me the test came back negative and that she was just so sorry. For the last 2 weeks I imagined my reaction for positive or negative news. I've had negative news (about pregnancy) for a long time so I knew how those emotions would look. Yes, I cried in front of her and we hugged and I know she was genuinely so sad for us. We were sad for us. But it is what it is. We are not pregnant, and it's ok.

Lindsay asked me if I wanted to see Dr. Payne to talk with him, and I just couldn't think of anything we could talk about. So, I declined. We had no frozen embryos. This was the only shot. What more is there to talk about? Some people may want to know what happened. What is the reasoning behind the negative test result? What could we have done better? Did I do something wrong? Not me. I don't feel that I need to know all those details. All I need to know is that God said "Not yet my child."

I have the sweetest, most loving, caring, truly amazing family and friends in the world. You all have supported us through this moment in time and I know there will be more moments at some point that you guys will continue to be with us. We really could not ask for more. God knew what He was doing when He so perfectly placed each and every one of you into our lives. Please know we love you very much and thank you for all the prayers you have lifted on our behalf. You'll never fully know the impact.

God is not finished with Jason and Katie Hill. Please do not think that because He didn't give us a child through this IVF procedure that He is not good or faithful. He is both and so much more. He will give us a child in His time, and we are content with waiting and be patient. I posted a verse on my facebook account the other day from Habakkuk 2:3. It reads:

"But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, SURELY, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, be patient! For it will surely take place. It will not be late BY A SINGLE DAY."

We humans have a problem with patience. I think it's just in our DNA. And since our world is all about NOW, NOW, NOW, many people have a hard time waiting for what they so desperately want. Many seem to give up and get mad at God when He doesn't do what He said He was going to do at the exact time WE wanted Him to do it. Shame on us for not taking the Lord at His word. Guys, He DOES amazing things. He WILL DO amazing things. But, He wants us to wait on Him. Aren't the greatest gifts you have in life the ones you waited for?

So, we take one step at a time. We ask for healing hearts. We ask the Lord to open a new door, now that He has closed this one. We ask Him to help us be patient. We ask Him to continue blessing our family for waiting on His perfect plan. We ask Him to bless others through the journey we've been on. I remember at the very beginning of this journey I wrote to you all something to the sound of: If only one person sees the goodness of the Lord through this journey, it was all worth it and I'd do it all over again. I stand to tell you I feel the same now that I did then. 

God is good, all the time. Believe. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

IVF #1 6DPT

How many of you read that title and were like "what is she talking about?" Well, most of my infertile friends know what I'm talking about! And just in case you are curious, here are a few abbreviations infertile bloggers use (often):

AF = Aunt Flo (menstruation)
ART = Assisted Reproductive Technology
BD = Baby Dance (sex)
BFN = Big Fat Negative (pregnancy test result)BFP = Big Fat Positive  (pregnancy test result)
BW, b/w = Blood work
DPO = Days Post-Ovulation
DPR = Days Post-Retrieval
DPT = Days Post-Transfer
DP3DT = Days Post 3-Day Transfer
DP3DT = Days Post 5-Day Transfer

EPT = Early Pregnancy Test
ET = Embryo Transfer

FET = Frozen Embryo Transfer
hCG, HCG = Human Chorionic Gonadotropin
HSG = Hysterosalpingogram
ICSI = Intra-cytoplasmic Sperm Injection
IF = Infertility

IUI = Intra-uterine Insemination
IVF = In Vitro Fertilization
LH = Luteinizing Hormone
PIO = Progesterone in Oil
RE = Reproductive Endocrinologist
TTC = Trying to Conceive
US, u/s = Ultrasound

Those are just a few...for more, check out this site

So, my title of this post means "Invitro Fertilization #1 6 Days past Transfer." Today is the 6th day after the transfer of my sweet little embryos back into my uterus. Some people might think the shots are the hardest part, but everyone who has gotten to the 2WW (oops, another acronym..2 week wait) probably thinks this is the hardest part. WAITING! 


Everything you feel, you analyze. What does it mean? Should I be feeling that? Have other infertiles who have been through IVF felt that? Then, you go to the web looking for the symptoms you are feeling and try to figure out if it's normal. I suppose you can keep doing this everyday, all day, but the fact is that the transfer is God's business. Well, ALL OF THIS is God's business, but my doctors can't make my embryos "stick." We've known from day 1 of this process that God's plan will ultimately prevail. Whatever His plan, we accept. If having a baby (or babies) through IVF isn't it....ok. 


We've got a little more waiting to do (a week or so) until it's time to test, so until then we are continuing to pray God will keep us in the center of His will and if it's to have a baby, we ask Him to protect those little embryos. If it's not the plan, we are praying for Him to prepare us for the results. We ask that you continue to pray for our journey and to continue to ask God for His provision over our family. 


Until next time, sticky thoughts and baby dust!!!!!






Monday, December 3, 2012

All I want for Christmas...

is for my 2 embryos to attach and allow me to become a mommy.

Today is the day after the embryo transfer, and I chose to take the day off from work (and tomorrow) to just rest and relax. The transfer went well and 2 lovely little embryos were put back into my uterus. Here's a picture of them:
It's a little crazy that I could potentially show these to my children one day and show them what they used to look like!

While we got some really good quality little guys to put back, the embryologist told me yesterday that currently there were not any embryos they could freeze. None of them were good enough quality to freeze. But, she said they would give them one more day to develop and call tomorrow (today) and let us know if any of them could be frozen. Well, I got the call, and to my dismay, there are none to freeze. So, this is it.

Tears flooded my face and still continue to fall now as I type because I'm scared. I still trust the Lord completely with our lives and with this process, but I will be honest and say that I at least wanted that "back-up plan" in case it didn't work this time. Now, we know for sure there is no back-up plan.

My husband and I understood what we were getting ourselves into when we started this process and we are going to continue to believe that we are journeying through this for a reason. I pray God will give us those two babies, but if He chooses not to, we will accept His decision and move forward. We will continue to believe that He will give us the desire to be parents somehow, someway.

Will you please pray with us during this time of waiting? This is most definitely the hardest part, and your prayers have given us strength. Will you believe with us that Jesus can and will work a miracle? This could be the best Christmas present we've ever received.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Got the call...Sunday is the BIG day!!

Today is day 3 after egg retrieval and I got a call from my friend at PREG around 6:45 this morning about whether I needed the transfer done today or Sunday. She sounded super happy when I answered so I knew everything was looking good.

All the numbers can be kind of confusing, so here they are again: They retrieved 22 eggs on retrieval day and out of those, 13 were mature enough to fertilize. On the day after retrieval they checked on those 13 and only 9 were viable embryos. So I asked you guys to really pray for those 9 embryos to stay healthy, grow appropriately, and start cell dividing correctly.

This morning, we have 8 embryos still growing, and 1 of them didn't make it. Of those 8 embryos, 2 of them are straggling behind a little bit and the other 6 look really good! This is great news and I'm hoping by day 5 (transfer day), I'll still have those really good 6 embryos still growing and moving to the blastocyst stage.

What can you pray for moving forward?
-Please pray that the 8 embryos we have will continue growing (and that the 2 stragglers will catch up).
-Please pray for me while I'm still having to take PIO (progesterone in oil) injections each morning, because they make my rear end really sore.
-Please start praying for the embryologist, doctors, and nurses that will be doing the transfer Sunday.

In the middle of me writing this entry, Lindsay JUST called me and I've got the schedule for Sunday. I have to be at PREG at 8:30am with a FULL BLADDER (oh boy!) and the transfer will be at 9am. So, those are the times I need you wonderful prayer partners to pray! Thank you again for all the love and support. It's so nice to have Christian friends and family and even people I don't know backing us and praying for success.

In case you're wondering what these embryos look like, here's a generic photo of what happens to the embryo on the days 1-5 after fertilization:

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Update after Egg Retrieval

Hey everybody:)

Thank you so much for all the prayers that were lifted up for us as we had egg retrieval yesterday. We got there at 8:45am and I went straight back to get into a lovely gown, booties, and hair net to prepare for the procedure. Here's a picture:
After getting beautified, the anesthesiologist found a vein in my hand and hooked me up to the monitor meds:) Another picture:
She took me into the procedure room, put some tubes in my nose for oxygen, and I waited for the doctor to come in. I remember the anesthesiologist telling me she was starting the meds and that I would feel a slight sting in my hand. I remember looking up to the ceiling wondering when the meds would kick in. The doctor came in, said hi, and the rest is history. I don't remember much!

After the procedure, I was wheeled into the recovery room and woke up to Jason at my bedside laughing at me and telling me that I kept asking him the same questions over and over about how his part went! HAHA! And I kept wanting him to document by taking pictures. Here's one after recovery:
And here is a video while I still had a little bit of the meds in me...lol!

Thumbs up and all smiles! After being released, Jason brought me home and I got to snuggle with this little guy for the rest of the day:
The only injection I'm on now is PIO (Progesterone in Oil) which I do (actually Jason does) each morning. I'm also on Medrol and an estrogen patch. The PIO injection is a rear end injection, so I'm a bit sore, and will be for a while since I have to do it every morning. But, it's no biggie if we can get a baby growing in my belly!

So, onto the important information...before we left yesterday, they told us 22 eggs were retrieved and they'd call me tomorrow (today) to let me know how many of those were mature enough to fertilize and how many fertilized over night. So, here's the numbers: Out of 22 eggs, 13 were mature. Of the 13 mature eggs, this morning 9 of those were fertilized and considered embryos. My good friend, Lindsay, who works at PREG called me with the news and says that's a really good number and she's really excited for us.

Now, we wait until Friday (3 days after retrieval) to here how those 9 are doing. Most likely, we are still looking at the embryo transfer to be Sunday (day 5) but in the case that they look at them Friday and we need to go in Friday to do a day 3 transfer, we will. We are really just on a day by day basis right now. Lindsay told me this morning that they don't like to take the embryos out from the dark incubator too often because they want them to grow in conditions similar to the uterus. So, we'll know more information on how our embryos are doing on Friday.

Until then, we would ask you to pray that all 9 of the embryos grow well and develop as they should to have potential to be transfered or frozen. Thanks again for all of you who have reached out and loved on us through it all. I will update again Friday when we know more. XOXO!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Calling all Prayer Warriors!

Friends,

The first procedure in the IVF process will happen tomorrow morning at 9:30am. Jason and I have to be at PREG in Greenville at 9am to get everything started. I will be sedated for the egg retrieval, and well, Jason just has to give a sperm sample. The procedure takes about 20 minutes to retrieve all the eggs, and afterwards I will be released home to rest. Hopefully, I will be fine and ready to head back to work Wednesday. Before we leave the office, we will be told how many eggs were retrieved and will get a call the next day about how many were successfully fertilized.

I have never felt the kind of love, support, and prayers lifted for us before like I have since we started this process. It brings tears to my eyes as I type to think about all the people out there that have loved on us, sent us encouragement, and prayed on our behalf. I was always somewhat apprehensive about sharing my blog with people I knew, because I thought people would think we were weird or that we had major issues. However, since posting my blog to FaceBook the very first time, I never looked back nor regretted letting you all know about our infertility struggle.

Now, we need your prayers more than we ever have. All this is getting so very real, and we are getting very close to end of the process. It seemed easier at first to talk about because it was going to be about a 2 month process and 2 months seemed quite long at the time. Now, I've injected all the stimulation medication, taken all the oral medication, and I'm ready for retrieval. It's unreal how quickly this has snuck up on us.

So how can you pray? Many of you may still be a little unsure of what this process entails, so here is a list of things you can specifically pray for tomorrow at 9:30am:

1. Pray the doctor will retrieve a lot of eggs and that most are mature enough to be fertilized.
2. Pray we will get good sperm to fertilize the eggs.
3. Pray that over the next 3-5 days as the embryos are incubated that many will survive and grow into healthy embryos that have the potential to be transferred back into the uterus.

Some of you may not understand any of that, but will you please partner with us and pray the Lord will do these things? The whole reason I ever decided to share our journey is to have people who love us and support us to pray the Lord will grant our desire to have a healthy baby. We know and have read many times that "For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them" Matthew 18:20. We also know to "Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart" Psalm 37:4. Lastly, I love this part in James that our pastor has spoken on recently (James 5:13-18)

The Prayer of Faith

13 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
17 Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.

Some people may not see infertility as a "sickness" but it is a condition that prevents couples from having children and it can be "healed" through medicine and procedures mankind has created. The Lord has gifted many men and women with the ability to help the "sick," and I am truly thankful for these kinds of people. While the Lord is fully capable to heal anyone, isn't it cool that he allows man to step in and use his/her talents/gifts to help those who need it? I think it's quite amazing:)

I love the part about "The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." Have you ever thought to yourself "oh...there are so many people praying, what's one more?" Well, let me tell you, I have witnessed many miracles through prayer, and I can attest to the power of many people lifting up prayers to the Lord on someone else's behalf. While I used to feel weird about asking people to pray for me (especially if I thought my request wasn't as important as someone else's), I covet your prayers more than ever and thank you for loving us enough to see how much this means to us!

After retrieval tomorrow, and as we get closer to the embryo transfer, I will ask for your prayers again, but they will be specific to the transfer procedure. We love you all very much and thank you in advance for praying for/with us tomorrow at 9:30!

Lastly, this song has been my go-to song to remember to stay strong through this process and through any hardship in life. I hope you'll watch the video and listen carefully to the words of this song. I claim these words as we walk through this journey!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Truly Thankful

As I sit and reflect on a day like today, I have much to thank the Lord for. I thank him for:

my sweet family
my loving husband
my faithful dog, Bentley
my health
my job
my amazing friends
a gorgeous home
vehicles to get me where I need to go
food to prepare for meals
heat for the cold winter months
a church filled with people who love and serve the Lord unselfishly
a life group I call family

and the list goes on. But as I read this list over and over, I realize that many of these things are just that, THINGS. Many are things that will just pass away. The one thing that I am forever grateful for is God sending His son, Jesus, to earth in order to die for my sins, so that I could live in Heaven with Him forever. What a price to pay! For God to look at me and think I am worth dying for is mind boggling. I am a sinner, and confess to sinning on a daily basis, and for someone to come and wipe the slate clean is quite amazing. What an incredible Love! Someone who could do something like this for me, I believe can do anything!

Believe! Lord, I believe you will do great things! Lord, I believe you will answer my prayers.

These are words I have had a hard time saying when it comes to my infertility. I have to admit this. I find myself wondering if this is REALLY going to happen this time. We've tried everything else, and it seems like THIS IS IT! So, what if it doesn't work?

Satan is really good at making us feel defeat. If we feel defeated, then we have already lost the battle. I've heard that little voice in my head lately as we get closer and closer to the big procedures. "What if it doesn't work?" "You're never going to get pregnant." "Just give up." That's exactly what Satan would love for me to do. And you know, it would definitely be easy to just wallow in self pity and let others pity me and feel sorry for me. It would be easy to just quit the journey and blame God for not allowing us to get pregnant. However, I'm not that kind of girl. Satan will have to work a little harder to get me down. I'm a princess of the King, and I BELIEVE He will answer my prayer and give me the desire of my heart.

From the last blog post, Healing, one of the things the paster said we have to do is Believe Christ will answer us. Quit questioning Him and thinking of the worst. Believe that He will work that miracle in your life. Believe He can do that for you. Believe that you are special enough to Him that He will heal your hurting heart, cure that disease, mend that relationship, get you back to work, GIVE YOU THE CHILD YOU'VE ALWAYS DREAMED OF. Just believe. Trust. Be faithful to the one who took your (my) place. He is faithful, always, to us.

So, in those moments where you question His ability, remember to believe. Remember, that through Him, anything is is possible. Remember these verses that Jesus gave us in his word:

Matthew 7:7 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.

James 1:12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

This challenge is for me and for anyone else out there facing adversity. I do not have all the answers, but through the many miracles I see and read about on a daily basis, I for one, have seen the true power of the King. He can do ALL things we thought were never possible. Just believe.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Healing

Today was a very different day at FBS. Our paster, Don Wilton, has been preaching from James for the past 3-4 weeks and we've focused on Identity Crisis. We've talked about Favoritism, the Future, Money, and today he talked about Suffering and Healing from James 5. Last week, we were challenged to bring someone, anyone, who we knew was suffering--emotionally, physically, etc. A few people definitely came to my mind, but I never asked them to come with us. I didn't realize it was actually me who needed healing.

Many of you read my blog and probably think, "She's really brave," or "She must be really strong to put all her business out there for the world to see." And I have to admit that all the strength I have only comes from above. Jesus has truly given me a mission to share my personal journey of infertility with you so that somehow, at some time, some one might see Jesus through this journey. I never thought I would ever make this blog public for my closest friends and acquaintances to read. It simply started as a  random blog for other bloggers who I would never meet to possibly read and relate. But somewhere in my journey, the Lord spoke to me and told me to share. And I chose to do just that.

However, while much of the time I put on a brave face and a big smile, there are quiet moments in the day where I'm by myself and I am scared to death--not of the injections and how some of them may hurt or make me feel. But I'm scared that if this journey doesn't give us a successful pregnancy, people may think God didn't answer our prayers. Please know, whatever the result, my God is faithful and He is Good and He will provide in His way and in His time. I trust Him completely, and I hope those of you who read will see only the strength He provides in this trying time. While a negative pregnancy test would be disappointing, I would never go back and do this stage in our lives differently. God opened this door for us for a reason. We aren't quite sure yet, but we know our job is to continue to walk.

So, back to the service this morning. Dr. Wilton gave us four points about what the Lord says in His word about Suffering and Healing. They are as follows:

1. Be believing--even in your suffering, believe God will do great things and believe He will heal you
2. Be open-hearted--don't be trapped by your circumstance, but instead, allow people to surround you, pray for you, and walk with you on your journey--don't do it alone!
3. Be humble--sometimes we allow our pride to get in the way and we decide to suffer in silence--be vocal about your struggle and seek help from others
4. Be expectant--expect that God will answer your prayers

As I went through this list, I felt as if I could put a check beside each one. At first, I wanted to do this by myself and not tell anyone about this "problem." How weird was I that I couldn't get pregnant? What would people think? Eventually, I opened up my heart and the Lord spoke. I started with my family and close friends, and then eventually posted my blog to FaceBook for my other friends to read. I thought, "I'd rather have a HUGE number of people on my side asking the Lord for the same thing than just me asking Him." And finally, I'm still getting better about being expectant. Sometimes the devil rears his head and asks me "What are you going to do if you don't get pregnant? You've waited so long and prayed so hard. Just GIVE UP." I'm learning to ignore that voice and expect that God WILL answer my prayer.

My sweet husband saw the suffering all over my face this morning as tears rolled down my cheeks and simply asked me if I wanted to go down to the alter and ask someone to pray for us. While it was in the back of my head, I kept telling myself that my "suffering" wasn't "like" other people who were sick, in pain, battling cancer, etc. I decided to go, with his leadership, and it was the sweetest time with our friend who prayed over us. Another hand landed on my back after a minute or two and I felt the Spirit of the Lord covering us with His love and grace. What a time of healing it was!

I would urge anyone who is suffering in ANY way to seek out someone you trust and ask them to pray with/for you. Don't suffer in silence and never experience the kind of healing I felt in my heart today. To know other people are walking with me and praying over me daily means the world to my husband and I. What a truly special feeling that is. As I continue to walk through this door the Lord opened for me, my prayer is that He continue to open more doors and close others that simply aren't in His plan for me. Won't you do the same? If you don't have anyone that will pray for/with you, I will be that person. Please let me know if I can ever serve any of you. It would be my pleasure.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

From one to THREE

Yesterday was the beginning of the major fertility medications to help grow my follicles that will eventually house eggs for retrieval. Since November 7th, I've been taking the Lupron injection (10 cc) each night to prevent ovulation. The goal was to keep me from ovulating so that the doctor can trigger ovulation when my follicles have grown to a good size. This past Wednesday I had an U/S and blood work done at PREG to make sure everything was still looking good and my hormone levels were where they should be. In the U/S, Stephanie (my awesome nurse), was still seeing 12-15 follicles in each ovary which means I have that many which potentially can grow and be suitable to retrieve.

The two additional injections added to the regimen yesterday were low dose HCG and the Gonal-F Pen. What is this you may ask? Well, to put it simply, us women have hormones in our body that help stimulate follicle growth called FSH and LH. So, for those of us infertiles who need a boost, these medications do what our body is not doing for us. Some of you may have heard of the "LH surge" before. For those of you lucky enough to use ovulation predictor kits to predict when you will ovulate, that smiley face that shows up on the stick is there because of the LH hormone. It surges anywhere from 24-48 hours before ovulation and then ovulation follows. So, all of these injections are just helping us women who aren't so lucky.

So far, I have felt completely normal through this entire process. The process has included folic acid every day, birth control for about a month to keep me from ovulating, Lupron overlaped the birth control for several days which I continue to take (birth control has stopped), now I'm taking Doxycycline and 81mg of Asprin in the morning with breakfast, and yesterday was the first day adding the low dose HCG and Gonal-F Pen. After egg retrieval, there will be more. I feel really good and hope I continue to have a wonderful IVF experience. It's really been very easy.

I had a good friend, Susie, ask me to go see Twilight "Breaking Dawn Part 2" last night and told me it started at 7:40pm. I have been taking my injection(s) at 8pm each night and wondered if I could take them a little earlier so I could have a GNO. The nurse said that was no biggie, so I rounded up all my meds (HCG and Gonal-F must be refrigerated so they traveled with me in a cooler) and headed for the theater. I stopped at Rite Aid to grab some goodies and decided to hang out in the parking lot to do my injections before heading to the theater. Enjoy the video:)
By the way, Breaking Dawn part 2 was really awesome and even though it was the last of the Twilight Saga, the ending was really perfect!

Next week, I've got a 7:30am appt at PREG to see how the meds are working and to re-evaluate the dosage of each medication. I will have an appointment every other day or so for them to continue monitoring me and making sure the follicle growth is progressing as it should be. Keep praying for us and for a successful pregnancy to come from this. We put all our faith in Jesus Christ and know He will be glorified through this process regardless of the results.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

1st Lupron Injection of IVF cycle November 2012

Wow, I can't believe the time is finally here for us to start injections. It seems like just yesterday that we were heading to PREG for our new patient meeting with Dr. Payne, and today I gave myself my first injection. Toward the end of the month is when we'll do the egg retrieval and the transfer 5 days later. Could all my dreams be coming true before Christmas? I sure hope and pray the Lord will give us a child (children :) ) through this process! What a Christmas present that would be!

Well, I decided to document each step of this process mainly so I can remember everything I go through, but also to help those of my friends, family, acquaintances, and people I don't even know who follow my blog and pray for us to understand what IVF is like. I want to give as much support to those going through infertility as I can, because I've been there when you feel like you're all alone! Please know I'm more than happy to talk with you or just be there to listen to you if you need a friend along the same journey.

Well, here's the video from tonight:) I kinda look like a pro, but this is the FIRST time I've ever given myself an injection. It's truly as they say.."Not bad at all!"

P.S. "The Soup" was on TV in the background and I found myself starring at the hilarity going on there!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Meds, meds, and MORE meds

We met with my personal nurse who is my "go to" nurse through this entire process on Monday. This was the day we were going to be told about all our meds, learn how to inject, ingest, etc. the meds, and when to take said meds. And let me just say...I've never seen so many meds one person has to take in a 2-3 week period of time. But hey, it's worth it, right?

So, I continue to take my birth control pill until Nov 12th. However, I will start an injection called Lupron on Nov 7th while still on the birth control. This is one of the small needles that will be injected into the stomach area. No biggie, right? I guess we'll see! I'll have an ultrasound on Nov 14th to see how everything looks, and start my other 2 injections on Nov 16th. So, at this point, I'll be doing 3 injections a night (Lupron, Gonal-F, and Low dose hCG), each of which are injected in the stomach area. I hope after the first few, it will be like second nature:) Also while doing these injections, I will be on Doxycycline (antibiotic-to keep me as healthy as possible) and Aspirin.
The following video is an example of several injections I will do in the stomach area.
While on these meds, I will have appointments for blood work and ultrasounds every couple of days to monitor the follicles and measure their growth. They will look for the follicles to grow to be around 18-21 mm in diameter before deciding when the egg retrieval will be. The goal of all these injections is to stimulate the follicles enough so that the doctor can retrieve a good number to be fertilized.

Now, this is just an estimate, but retrieval could be around Nov 27th. I will get some good 'ol anesthesia   during the retrieval because they use a small needle to pierce the ovaries and suck the eggs out. I can't imagine being awake for that. OUCH! The big OUCH, however, will be the lovely Progesterone shot (in oil) I will be getting each morning every day after the retrieval. For those of you who don't know, your body naturally produces Progesterone after ovulating, but the more you have the better. You need Progesterone for implantation to be successful. The bad part is that this needle is LONG and BIG and it's oil going in which is thicker than other solutions. AND...it goes in your backside. I'm sure Jason will enjoy giving those!
Here is an example of what the Progesterone in Oil (PIO) shot looks like...
While taking the Progesterone shots daily, I will also have an estrogen patch I will wear (changing out every other day). Lastly, the embryologist will decide whether to transfer the embryos back to the uterus either 3 days after retrieval or 5 days after. Most of the time, if you have a good number of embryos, they will wait until day 5. The reason is because if the embryos can grow well and cells are dividing well in the lab by day 5, they have a really good chance of becoming a successful pregnancy. Day 3 transfers are usually done when someone doesn't have a ton of embryos and they don't want to wait two extra days incase some of those don't make it to day 5.

The fun part! On the day of the transfer, I get to take a Valium to relax my body (mostly my uterus so it doesn't contract and cause problems after the transfer). So, I'll definitely be taking a few days off work to just chill and let that (those) embryos implant into the endometrium lining. God willing, we will have a baby (babies) in Sept of 2013.

Thank you all for your continued prayers. We covet all of the sweet messages and notes. You guys mean more to us than you'll know! We love you!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Blood work, U/S...next step, IVF Orientation

Friday, I took off work and went to PREG for an appt to take more blood and do an initial ultrasound. Jason went with me because he had to get some blood work done as well (the only time he has to be stuck-lucky him). I finally met the nurse I will be working closely with through the process, and I just love her already. She is just very sweet, compassionate, caring, and knows how to answer all my questions in just the right way! Having a good nurse/doctor makes this experience much easier!

During my ultrasound, she looked at my endometrium and both ovaries to see how many follicles I was producing. Obviously, since I'm on birth control right now my endometrium lining was thin (as it should be) but once I start taking some of the meds, it will thicken up and be ready for implantation. She saw 10-12 follicles on each side, so once I'm on the meds, hopefully I'll have good numbers of follicles to grow nice and big!

The next step happens tomorrow. We have another appointment (orientation) to meet with our nurse and discuss the IVF process and how to give all the meds. She will teach us how to mix all the medicines together, load them into the syringes, and inject myself with them. Some will be medicines I have to mix a powder substance with water, while other meds are already mixed and ready to go in a "pen" like contraption that you twist a certain many times for the correct dosage. I will be doing 3 injections a day for a good 10-14 days to stimulate the ovaries. These will be done at night at a certain hour. I'm hoping after I do the first few, it will be easy. I've watched lots of youtube videos of women giving themselves the injections and they say it's not really as bad as it seems. I have no problem with needles so I think I'll be fine:)
 I think I can, I think I can!
Mixing meds/withdrawing meds

I'm sure I've already told you all this, but November 19th is the first day of injections. We are just continuing to pray the Lord will grant us this desire to have a baby (babies??) and that we can use this experience (successful or not) to help others dealing with infertility. It can be a lonely road by yourself, but reaching out to others in your position can be comforting. I hope I can be someone others look to for advice, information, and encouragement! It's been wonderful to have that in my position! I'll let you guys know how tomorrow goes. I know we're going to learn lots of information at one time. Hopefully, I'll remember everything when next month rolls around!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

IVF Seminar and what's next...

Jason and I went to PREG's IVF Seminar last Thursday night in Greenville, and my doctor, Dr. John Payne, was the presenter for the evening. PREG puts on these seminars once a month, FOR FREE, AND...gives you a $250 credit for treatment through them. What a deal! The seminar is for anyone. You might be thinking about IVF or just want more information. All are welcome. Just go to www.pregonline.com and register.

Most of the information I felt I already knew, but it was nice for my mom, Jason, and myself to all be in the same room, hearing the same information. Most of the time it's me learning the info and having to relay it to them. So that was nice:) To start, general information was given about what needs to happen for women to get pregnant, lots of stats about pregnancy ratings and the way the female's age factors into the percentages. Then, other factors were discussed including problems women have, problems men have, and what can be done to work around these issues.

Lastly, IVF was discussed in detail and success rates were shown for the different age brackets. For those less than 35, there is a 60% chance of pregnancy when 2 embryos are transferred, 30% chance of twins, and less than 10% chance of triplets. This is compared to a 5% chance each month of pregnancy for couples who experience infertility. That's a huge increase and we are hoping we fall into the majority.

So, where am I right now in the process? Well, I currently started my new cycle and I'm required to take birth control until the start date for my injections. WHAT, you might ask? Aren't you trying to get pregnant? HA! I asked the same thing. Basically, our doctors have an injection start date each month and you must take birth control (not get pregnant on your own) until it's time for you to start those injections. This way, the doctors know you are not/have not ovulated. They are controlling your cycle so that when you start injections, that medication will tell your body what to do, and hopefully start producing lots of follicles with soon to be mature eggs inside.

So, I start my BC tomorrow and will be on that until November 17th which is my injection start date. I will do injections for 10-14 days while monitored by ultrasounds often (every couple days). The doctors keep close watch so if needed, they can change up the medication if need be. After that, they wills schedule the egg retrieval day where they will retrieve all the follicles (hoping for an egg in each one), get a sperm sample from my husband, and fertilize the eggs that day. They will watch them for 3-5 days and once they are ready to go back in, the doctors will find the best 2 (God willing there are 2 or more) and transfer them back to my uterus. NOW, their only job will be to implant.

It's going to be a crazy time, but I feel completely ready, relaxed, and pray the Lord will keep me feeling that way. We covet your prayers and hope to be pregnant by the end of the year!

Friday, September 21, 2012

You're not alone - Infertility 101 + IUI & IVF info

I have had so many people contact me and tell me how glad they are that I have blogged about my journey with infertility. Many people wonder why or how I can be so open about something that can be so devastating, embarrassing, and painful. For about a year or so, it was all three of those things. I created this blog to get my thoughts out there, but at first I had no intention of making my blog "available" for my close friends and acquaintances. I didn't understand why I was going through this and maybe, just maybe it would end soon and I would have a baby like everyone else. Well, I'm still waiting.

But the waiting is not devastating, embarrassing, or painful anymore. Through prayer to my Lord and Savior, I have learned so many things in the past 2.5-3 years. First, the Lord has a perfect plan for my life. That perfect plan is obviously not my perfect plan. I've learned to be ok with that. The Lord has blessed my family and I with such wonderful opportunities that I may not have experienced if I had gotten pregnant on my time. I'm thankful the Lord's plan trumps mine:)

I have hoped that my blog will encourage others struggling with infertility to be more vocal about it and realize that they are not alone. We are all in this together, and all of us know that strong desire for a child. For those of you who never had trouble getting pregnant, the desire infertile people have for a child may not be classified as more of a desire, but that desire grows stronger after a long time waiting.  I truly believe waiting for something makes it that much sweeter when we get it! The Lord promises us to give us our heart's desire in His timing, and the Lord's promises have no expiration people! He may not give us what we desire exactly when we desire it or how we desire it, but He'll give us exactly what we need.

Now, many of you have heard of IVF (in-vitro fertilization), but may not understand exactly what it entails. IUI (intrauterine insemination) is another treatment method some try. We have been through Clomid, Femara, and 2 rounds of IUI with no success. What's the difference between IUI and IVF? Well, the best way to describe it to you is like this:

IUI - male gives sperm sample, doctors "wash" the sperm, and use a catheter to get those sperm closer to the released egg (cuts down on the travel time for the sperm). The sperm still has to do its job--get to the egg and fertilize it.

IVF - female does injections for 10-14 days while every other day or few days is monitored via ultrasound to see how the follicles (sac that holds the egg) are growing. Once they are at a certain size indicating an egg has been produced, doctors will do a 20-30 minute egg retrieval (while patient is sedated). Male will give a sperm sample that day and embryologist will combine sperm and eggs (in certain cases, they will insert excellent, high quality sperm into each egg retrieved to ensure better chance of fertilization-ICSI-video below). Doctors/embryologist will watch the eggs for 3-5 days to see cells divide and become embryos. Certain embryos will be better that others. Once the doctor analyzes how many embryos would most likely implant well and grow into healthy babies, a determined # will be transferred back into the patient's uterus. After 12-14 days, the patient takes a pregnancy test to determine whether she is pregnant.

I don't know everything, but I've learned a lot and I hope I've helped some of you (struggling with infertility or not) understand what many infertile couples go through. Those who have not struggled with infertility sometimes want to console infertile friends by saying things like "just don't stress," "it will happen when you least expect it," "stop trying," or "it'll happen, don't worry" and no offense, but we don't want to hear that from you. We'd rather you just say something like "I'm sorry, you're going through this, it must be hard" or "I don't understand what you're going through, but I'm here for you if you need me."

Many times, fertility treatments like IUIs and IVF are the only methods some people have to get pregnant. I have the upmost respect for all the doctors and nurses at PREG who are willing to help me go through the process of IVF and hopefully become pregnant very soon. I've never met any other medical professionals in the infertility field who are as compassionate and caring as the ones at PREG. If you're looking for a clinic, you've found one at PREG!

I'm going to leave you with an animation of what IVF (with ICSI) is like. For those of you who don't know a lot about IVF, I hope this will allow you to become more informed and compassionate for those around you facing infertility. Until next time, tata!


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Hysterosalpingogram...huh?

Big word...very short procedure! Today was the day I visited the Greenville office of PREG to see if my fallopian tubes were clear or blocked. Leading up to the procedure, I asked a lot of friends/blogger friends how their experiences have been with this test. Some told me it was very painful while others said it's just uncomfortable. After disrobing and putting the fabulous open-back gown on, I sat down on the table awaiting the doctor and nurse. I was a little worried it would be excruciating, but about 2 minutes went by and it was nothing more than what a pap smear feels like (to me). I will fall into the category of "it was no biggie."

For those of you that don't want to hear the deets, click the little "X" at the top of the screen. You've been warned.

So, the doctor inserts a speculum (just as he would if he was doing a pap smear) to view the uterus. Once he had the speculum in place, he inserted a catheter. I then scooted back a bit to get myself positioned correctly under the x-ray machine. He then inserted the dye into the catheter and we were all able to watch the dye fill my uterus and flow out into the fallopian tubes then spilling out. I had NO blockage. Everything was clear and that was good news!

Something in my head wanted there to be a blockage so I would maybe KNOW why I haven't gotten pregnant, BUT the doctor said the results were great and going forward, this would be helpful in which ever decision we made. He asked Jason and me how we wanted to proceed. More IUIs? Or move straight to IVF?

We've talked about this often, and knew the answer before he asked the question. We've already done 2 IUIs and have not been successful. AND, because my tubes are fantastic, there's not a reason the IUIs we've already done shouldn't have worked. The chances of an IUI working versus the chances of IVF working is so much less (15-20%). PREG is one of the top fertility clinics in the US and their success rate with IVF in women less than 35 years old is 60% bring home!!! I can only hope when we do IVF this fall, we will be part of the 2013 success rates for PREG.

We are very exited and ready to work with such an amazing team of people who truly care about us and our desire to have a baby (or 2) :) I hope you will partner with us and pray for success. Thanks to everyone who has shown us such love and support! You'll never know how encouraging a "like" on FB is or a comment that you're praying for us is. We love all of our friends and family so much! We will update you guys when the next step happens!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

It's my BIRTHDAY and I'll blog cause I want to...

I can't believe another year has come and gone and I'm on the OTHER side of 25. It was kind of nice being stuck in the middle for a year but now I'm closer to 30 than I am 20. Yikes! Every year definitely seems to sneak up a little quicker. Yesterday, I thought back to when I was 16. I was a junior in high school and cheerleading was my life. Here's me then:
Well, I guess this was technically when I was 17, but this was about 10 years ago. It really feels like it was just yesterday. Especially since I work at my alma mater and teach girls just like me at this age...strutting around school in their cheer attire! It definitely brings back memories, AND makes me miss that BLONDE hair:) For those of you who have NEVER seen me blonde, here ya go;)

It's really neat to reminisce on the past and wonder how in the world you got to where you are now. I remember when I was 16/17 thinking I would never see the day when I would graduate college, get married, build a house...but OMG, I've done all that! In high school, I dreamed of going off to college, graduating and getting married, and starting a family of my own. I can say I have done that!

The only bump in the road has been our infertility journey. I can't complain though. Many people my age can only dream of finding the right spouse out of all the duds out there. Many people can wish they had an opportunity fall into their lap to build the house of their dreams at 25 years old. The Lord has truly blessed me more than words can ever say, and I will be satisfied with what He allows me if this is as good as it gets!

But, I do feel he has great plans for my husband and my life. I think he has called us to be parents however the children may come, and I can't wait to watch it unfold. Tuesday is my HSG test and from there we will decide on IVF as a next step or not. I feel like the Lord has given doctors such wonderful knowledge and ability to create technology to help infertile women/men and if it works, that child/children will be a true miracle from God. We will just wait and see.

Until then, my heart is full and my God has covered me with a grace that is ENOUGH. Happy 26th birthday to me!!

Monday, September 10, 2012

PREG...new patient visit

Well, I had been anticipating this appointment for 2 weeks, it finally arrived, and I really couldn't be happier with my experience thus far. From the nurse practitioner to the receptionist to the doctor-everyone was so kind and made us feel so welcome and important. I hadn't truly had this experience elsewhere.

When we sat down to talk with Dr. Payne, he had already gone through my records and knew most of what I had previously been through. We talked about the next steps, which for us mostly will be the IVF process. Next Tuesday I will have the HSG test to check for blockage in the Fallopian tubes. That test will be an eye opener for sure to see if I've had any "unseen" issues up until this point or not. I'm really curious to find out. Regardless of the results, I still think we want to go forward with IVF. We feel like we've given the IUIs a try, they didn't work, and we don't want to keep putting money there when we have a better chance with IVF.

I'm excited for this journey. I don't know what the outcome will be. I'm obviously hopeful for a successful pregnancy, but also completely desire the will of God. Whatever path He puts us on is the right one, and we completely trust that He will provide us with everything we need-when we need it.

Thank you to all our family and friends who truly support us and are rooting us on! Your love an encouragement is so very appreciated and we thank you for keeping us in your prayers.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Starting again

The house is built, everything is in it's place, and Jason and I believe it's time to jump back on the infertility treatment wagon. We have been back and forth with "should we adopt?" or "should we continue seeking fertility help?" and we have both settled on the decision to exhaust all of our options to get pregnant before we look into adoption. I think this year of not having treatments and not focusing so heavily on my infertility has been good and now we feel refreshed and ready to start again.

Having said that, I have a friend who reached out to me less than a year ago to tell me she just started working at PREG (Piedmont Reproductive Endocrinology Group), saw my blog and wanted to share the fact she works for a great group of doctors and nurses who are the best of the best in what they do. Because we were building at the time she messaged me, we decided to put it off until the stress of building a house was over. Well, it's over and we can't wait to make an appointment and see what PREG has to offer.

They have offices in Greenville AND Spartanburg, which is great because that makes the travel time shorter for most appointments. I would still have some diagnostic tests done in Greenville and if we do IVF, that will be done in Greenville also, but many appointments can be done in Spartanburg. We were happy to see this option.

I have prayed for a long time that the Lord would guide us to the perfect place/time/people to help us decide on adoption or fertility treatments and we feel like we need to give this a shot. I recently got a fortune cookie from Uncle Poons that read ":) Success is on its way to you." I immediate thought maybe the Lord could be speaking to me through a fortune cookie. He has spoken to me in so many different ways, so why not a fortune cookie? I believe the Lord can work miracles in the lives of anyone, and I certainly pray He will work a miracle for us to have a baby. Will you be in prayer for us as we start this process again?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

We are in and still alive...I promise:)

It's probably been a month or so since I last blogged! I think I've been so busy with getting in the house and getting everything situated that I just haven't had the time to sit down and blog. Let alone, I've been wanting to show all of you some pics of the furnished house and not just a new house with nothing in it. Therefore another reason I have "waited" to blog. We are still getting some rooms in place and I haven't gotten a chance to take pics, but here are a few I have taken since we moved in:


 Kitchen with all the appliances:)
 Dining room with gorgeous curtains made by mom and me
 My side of the master bathroom
 My office with cool monogrammed vinyl decal on my refurbished desk!
 Guest bathroom with custom shower curtain I got on Etsy!
My handmade art finally up in the hallway!
 Gorgeous wallpaper I had put up in another guest bathroom
 Sweet Bentley loving mommy's new bed!
 Our gorgeous master bedroom--we have blinds now by the way!
 Screened porch--I got into sewing recently and made all these pillows/cushions!
 Here's another piece on the screened porch--made these pillows/cushions too!
Cute little table/chairs! I found the table at Pier 1 but hated the chairs that came with it. So, I found these chairs at an antique store (made in the 30's) and spray painted them and made cushions to match. How cute is this??

Those are all the pics I have right now, but I'll get more taken as other rooms continue to be organized and decorated! Sorry for the MIA business! 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The house is OURS...tomorrow!

I am beyond excited to tell you guys that we are closing on our construction loan tomorrow and the house is officially ours! I cannot believe this day is here. I feel like we have been waiting so long and now we can finally make this house our home! It hasn't come without complications, frustrations, and situations, but it's here. Period.

We had a little bit of a bump this week though. Let me explain. To move in, you have to have a final inspection and the inspector has to give you a CO, or for those of you (like me) who didn't know what that stood for, it's a Certificate of Occupancy. Basically, they tell you that it's ok to move in. Well, we had that lovely inspection and the inspector found several things that were not up to code and did not pass us. We were a little worried but the problems were remedied and the guy came back today to check out the fixes. Well, we didn't pass AGAIN. Here's the deal...

If you ever build a house, make sure this doesn't happen to you. When our cabinet guy (who is amazing by the way) was putting the lower cabinets in near the stove, the floor was somewhat uneven; therefore, he had some major adjusting to do to make sure the cabinets were level etc. Well, in doing so, code was broken. The distance from the granite to the bottom of the upper cabinets MUST be 18". Ours is 17.5". SERIOUSLY...we can't pass because of 0.5"??? Well, the inspector DID give us the CO, BUT our builder has to write a letter to the county saying he will fix the problem(s) and they will come back out 3 weeks later to make sure it's fixed.

Here's the kicker...someone please tell me how this is going to be a quick fix?? We have a backsplash up, granite in ONE piece, etc. I just can't imagine how it's going to be remedied, but I have faith it will. I just hope it's not going to be a huge inconvenience to us once we're actually living there.

Anyway, off that topic. The last coat of poly was put on the floors tonight, cleaning ladies come back tomorrow to finish cleaning, and we'll be in there tomorrow night to get a few pieces of furniture in before Directv and ADT come to set up our TV and security system Saturday. I can't wait to start posting pics of the furniture and all the decor. That's what's really going to MAKE the house!! Stay tuned!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Closing date...moving date...for REAL this time!

It seems like we have had a tentative date for a while now for moving in. First it was mid June. This was at the very beginning of the process which is always bound to change slightly. Then, once we were in the dry and getting interior stuff going, we were told it would be July when we could get in. As we got closer and were pushing to get in, my husband and I put a July 1st ultimatum on our builder, and that didn't hold either. We started to get a little worried because we have vacation planned in July and it's getting closer and closer to school starting back for me. Well, finally, my dad (also the banker) gave us great news....we got our final inspection done to say we were 100% done AND....the rates dropped to an all time low of 3.50% and WE GOT LOCKED IN AT THAT RATE!

So, long story short...we are heading to closing this coming Friday and moving in Saturday (for SURE)! We may be able to even get in Friday night to start putting some things together. Jason went ahead and scheduled Directv and ADT for Saturday morning so we kinda need to have all our TV stuff in place for Directv. All in all, we are just so pumped that this is finally happening! I can't WAIT to get in and decorate:)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

PUNCH list!

On to another week, and I have high hopes of getting the little odds and ends out of the way. This week should be all the little things getting done around the house to get us READY to move in. Not that we haven't been ready. Trust me. We are more ready than you know. Friday, my mom, dad, and Jason (AND a shout out to Thomas Ryan who helped a ton!!) moved all our stuff from storage into the garage. There was no way we were paying another month's storage rent for only having it in there a few more days into July. It was, by the way, the hottest day of the summer thus far. However, we managed to get everything tucked away neatly in the garage and it felt like a small accomplishment--getting that much closer to REALLY moving in.

Also, Friday, my favorite crew came in to finish the deck railing and screened porch system and got a few door handles etc. on. Hopefully, they'll be back tomorrow to get the shoe mold on and the rest of the hardware mounted. The deck and screened porch exceeded my expectations, and I am thrilled at the outcome! What do you think?
 Ed and Randy putting the first set of railing up:) 
 The brave Chad, standing on a "support" about 7-8 feet off the ground getting the screen system in place!
And the finished look...open decking and the screened porch (try to look past the not painted door..it will get done, SOON)!

Jason and I went to the house today to move some stuff around so the guys could get in and around where they needed to be to put all the shoe mold on tomorrow. We also found so many places in the sheetrock that needed touching up, so hopefully that will be an easy fix this week. Note to anyone wanting to build a house in the future: Be at your house OFTEN. Check every last receptacle/light switch for holes that need puddying. Look at your sheetrock with x-ray vision for imperfections, etc. Make sure everything is exactly how you want it...otherwise, YOU'LL fix it later (on your own expense).

Coming soon...a guide for those who want to build a house in the future from someone who's been through it. You won't want to miss it:) Seriously, stay tuned!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Floored about my FLOORS!

FINALLY, after over a week of anticipating having our floors stained, I can officially say they have stain and one coat of polyurethane on them. Long story short, after the first rough sanding of the floors the machine kept cutting off and they had to find someone with an "up to par" sander to borrow one from. So finally that happened yesterday and the polishing, staining, and poly"ing" happened today. I was really happy with the color. I think it looks super! What do you think?
 view of the kitchen
 from hallway into great room
 walking in from garage (mud room)
 panoramic of the dining room! love how the columns really pop!
Master bedroom

Now, we also had our second load of sod come in today. The back yard got zoysia grass because it gets more sunlight and zoysia is much more sun loving than fescue! Here's a few pics of the grass in the back:
 one picture from the right side of house
 panoramic of the right back corner
 panoramic of the entire back:)
 side yard where the fescue meets the zoysia...
 right side finished near garage
 left side as it goes around back
 left side looking across the back
lots of water going on this sod...PLEASE stay alive!

Tomorrow we have my favorite crew coming back (Joey and the framing guys) to finish the deck--adding railings and screening in the porch! This is definitely one thing I've also been waiting on. I'm really pumped about my screened porch! They will also be putting in the shoe mold around the base boards and putting all the door handles/locks on. This coming week should be filled of little odds and ends that need tying up and we should be REALLY close to CLOSING! We can't wait to move in.