Saturday, August 24, 2013

August 24th, 2013

A friend just reminded me that I haven't written in a while.  She asked how we are doing.  It's such a complicated answer.

First off, we had a beautiful time spreading Abby's ashes.  I'm so glad we waited a year so we could really connect with the moment.  Both sets of our parents, both of our brothers and my brothers family, and our good friend Beth were with us to remember Abigail.  They had all been very involved in our journey, so it was a fitting group.

My most meaningful moments were had during the hour before we went for a short hike.  I sat at the base of Rainier, warmed by a beautiful day, and just absorbed the mountain and it's new meaning.  My daughter is now part of that amazing mountain.  My tiny little baby, who barely had time to breath our air is now helping to nourish life on Mt. Rainier.  It's a beautiful circle.

Trever then climbed Rainier with 4 friends.  They made the push to the summit without camping (their first time doing that).  It was a long/tiring trip.  He said some of the group acknowledged they were only sticking with the climb for his benefit.  Trever was deeply touched by the commitment and generosity of the whole group.  When they made the summit they had time to remember Abby, and Trever left the last pinch of her ashes on the top.  It was a very emotional trip for him.

A week or two later we were flying home from a trip.  Trever was sitting at the window watching as we passed Mt Rainier.  He said he was completely overcome by emotion.  Tears streamed down his face as he thought of our new connection to a mountain he has loved for so long.

We are "ambushed" by grief at the most unexpected moments.  Luckily I think we both find more comfort than anguish from those moments.

The grief helps us connect to a reality that is so hard to comprehend.

The other day I was unloading the dishwasher and suddenly I was thinking, "did I really have a baby who died".

It's shocking, it's sometimes overwhelming, it has changed me deep in my soul.  And sometimes I cannot comprehend that any of this journey actually took place.  I feel so fortunate and so sad all at the same time.

I think I've mentioned it before but I am so thankful that we had 19 weeks to embrace Abigail.  I'm so thankful that we knew her story would be different.  I believe it was a gift from God.  I always believed I would not want to waste any of my time being pregnant with worry.  I knew I would obsess over the unknowns if I knew that we had complications.  I was wrong.

I cherish the memories that I created.  I cherish the fact that I was able to slow down and be present even when life was so busy around me.  I'm thankful that my kids had a deeper connection to a sister that they only shared brief moments with.

Spending time being thankful for all that we had makes me so sad for what we don't have.

Natalie told me she wished that Abigirl had spent more time with us.  She shares her thoughts at times that I cannot figure out what prompted them.  And she can't articulate it.  I'm sorry her heart hurts, and thankful she loved her sister so deeply.

And I think more than anything, I'm thankful to know that we survived.  That each of us is able to be engaged with our life, to still find joy and love and happiness.

That what I would have assumed would have easily devastated me, has really made us stronger.  We are stronger as a couple, we are changed for the better as individuals.

Our little Angel taught us so much.  And I'm so thankful we were given the chance to let her change our understanding of our world.

Some moments are filled with sadness, some with joy, most with longing.  I don't think there are many moments that I am not remembering Abby, thinking of her and relating my life to the impact she had on me.

Because we were able to embrace the joys (and spend time preparing) we are left with less pain that I would have imagined.  This is still one of my favorite quotes:

"So this is my life.  And I want you to know I am both happy and sad and I'm still trying to figure out how that could be."  The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

July 27th, 2013

Trever and I had a very interesting conversation about the pain we are feeling.  It's such an intense pain, but I feel at a loss when I want to explain it.  The experience is so complex, so much beauty mixed with the sadness and longing for Abigail.  It all happened so quickly, and really the journey was so wonderful.  I feel like a crazy person because sometimes I seriously sit and wonder where my deep sadness comes from... how can I be so sad while loving my life so much and also treasuring our beautiful story???

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

July 16th, 2013

I feel like a crazy person.

One minute I'm "fine" and the next minute I feel like my world is crumbling around me.  I'm patient and loving towards my kids, and then short and frustrated.

My pain is bubbling up through the surface.  And it's manifesting itself into anger and intolerance.  I just want to escape from myself.  I want to escape from the pain that I'm fighting to ignore, the pain that I really just want to crawl under the covers and embrace.

Oh, I just feel so damn dramatic today.

I am having so much time just living with the pain because I really can't put words to it.  I don't have clear memories to attach to the ache in my heart.  I can't describe the moments that I'm missing because there are so many.

Abigail would probably be trying to learn to walk.  She'd be watching her sibling and wishing she could keep up.  I would be overwhelmed and distracted, I wouldn't realize how lucky I was.

I'm left feeling thankful, lucky and sad.

I was asking Andrew to get some plates for Nathan and Natalie this evening.  I wondered what it would sound like to ask someone to get plates for Andrew and Abigail.  They would have become little buddies. When Natalie and Nathan were gone to school they would have developed a partnership.

We're talking about Abigail more lately since her birthday is coming up.  We'll be spreading her ashes next week.  I can't even fathom it.  I want to make sure I'm really present in the moment, that I don't distract myself worrying about anyone else.  I get that right, don't I?  Everyone will have their own experience to work through, but I don't want to hold anyone's hand.  I don't want any expectations on me, and I don't really give a damn if I disappoint anyone.  But I will care afterward.  And I'll be frustrated.  I hope no one puts me in that situation.

Right now my anger is palpable.  I want to say that I'm not angry about losing Abby.  But maybe I am, maybe I still haven't given myself permission to be angry and I need to.  I'm just consumed with my sadness and empty arms... but I feel angry at the people around me.

I'm so thankful that I don't feel any anger at Trever.  Not being angry at him is one of the many blessings in my life, in this story.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

July 3rd, 2013

There are moments that crush my soul.  It's often a moment that is so beautiful feels devastating.

Today the kids and I went to the river with my dad.  As we walked into the camper Natalie said "Look it's Abby" (or maybe she said "Look, Abby is in here").  Nathan instantly perked up and swung around saying "where?".

When Natalie showed him that she was talking about a picture of Abigail he visibly deflated.  Then he said "Oh, I thought she was really here. I wish she was here."  He went to say something about how amazing that would have been.  You could see that his little heart had really responded to Natalie's first comment.

All I could say was that I wish she was here too.

I keep a wall up most days, when the wall cracks and I get a glimpse into my pain it's almost too much to handle.

I can't believe it's almost been a year.

Monday, June 17, 2013

June 17th, 2013

Abigail's birthday is getting closer.  I feel myself getting anxious.

We're planning to spread her ashes on her birthday.  I just know it's going to be a big mix of emotions.

It will be so unsettling to hold that little bit of her, to revisit the intensity from a year ago.  Not that I don't revisit our experience often, but this will be different.

I can't believe it's almost been a year.  I can't believe it's really over, that we met Abby and she left us.

I still ache for the chance to meet her again, to hold her, kiss her and stare at her.  I still ache for the hope of another child.  Not a hope for another child, but the hope we had at the start of our pregnancy with Abigail.

I can so clearly remember the day I realized we were probably pregnant.  And the moment we knew.  I "knew" she was a girl.  I had never felt a belief like that with my previous pregnancies.  I'm not sure what made me believe there was a baby girl growing in me, maybe it was just an unacknowledged desire.

And the moment we found out the baby really was a little girl.  Our little moment of joy after learning that the baby had Trisomy 18.  It exhausts me just remembering back to the intensity of those days.

I can't believe the journey we've had.  What I wouldn't do to go back.  To experience life when I thought I would have four babies in my house.  To go back and just feel Abigail moving around in me.  The hope, the fear, the everything about it.  I think the anxiety of being around people, being in public, was the worst part.  Clearly not the *worst*, but really it kind of was.

A year ago I wanted time to go as slow as possible.  I wanted my little girl to stay safe in my belly.

Some things have stayed the same.  I'm still begging for time to go slowly. So I can embrace each of my kids, so I can try to connect with each of them daily, so I can not acknowledge that it's been a year since I've held my littlest baby girl.

Friday, May 24, 2013

May 24th, 2013

I was just staring at Abigails picture.  It's strange how long I can go through the days just knowing her picture is in front of me but not really looking at it.

And then when I start to look at her, I can't turn my eyes away.  I want to touch her so badly, I think I stare at her in hopes that I can feel her through my eyes.

It's been 10 months.  It's hard not to play the what if game.  What would Abigail be like at 10 months?  We'd be getting ready to take her picture with a sign for her age.  Would she be pulling herself up, grabbing all her siblings toys?  Drooling on her sister's babies.  Natalie wants a sister so badly, would she have been more patient with her baby stages?

Would Abigail have been giggly and excited every time her siblings came around.  Would she be sleeping through the night? (My kids have never slept through the night as early as I would have liked, but I treasured those cuddles in the darkness).

I wish I could transport myself back and relive that one amazing day.  I wish I could feel her in my arms and run my finger along every inch of her body.  To memorize every little thing.  I wish I had gotten more sleep in the days we were waiting for her, so I could have been more alert, more connected to the time we were able to share with her.

It's hard not to let the regrets and disappointments become overwhelming.  It's hard to just accept what was, and embrace the positive moments.  To know that I did hold her, stare at her, love her with every ounce that I could.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

March 30, 2013

I was staring at our screen saver this afternoon.  It's a picture from when Andrew was 3 months old.  (Maybe I should update???)

I often find myself thinking in terms of Before v. After.  That picture was taken Before.

What if we had stopped growing our family at 3 children?

We would have missed so much.  We wouldn't have known it, but our lives wouldn't be as wonderful.  We would have missed the opportunity to learn so much, to love so much, to embrace the pain and the joy.

I'm so thankful that we decided to open our hearts to another child.

And I'm so thankful that we opened our hearts to loving Abigail.  Our lives are rich with the gifts she brought to us.

Some days I can feel my love for her, other days my walls are up and I can only think about my love.

I feel distant from Abigail today.  I can't feel her in my arms.  I can't get to that special place that I share with her.  It makes me feel sad to be distant from her, to realize that my heart is distracted.

Maybe I'll go snuggle all my kids and then spend some time with my Abby Bear.

Monday, March 18, 2013

March 18th, 2013

March is Trisomy Awareness month.  I remember learning a few years ago that March 21st was Down Sydrome awareness day.  At the time I didn't realize that each of the first 23 days of march held a different significance.

March 18th will probably always feel different to me.  (March because it is the 3rd month and Trisomy is a condition with a 3rd copy of a chromosome... just in case this isn't making sense.)

I spent time watching our video from Abigails service.  I watched it with Natalie.  We both with Abigail had stayed with us.  My heart is so sad for Natalie, and for myself (and the rest of the family) when I hear her say "I wish Abigail had stayed".  What a loving a precious sister Natalie is, I wish she had been given more time to love on Abigail.

I remember being so thankful we were at the hospital.  But I'm always torn when I look back.  Wishing we had been at home, that our kids could have come and gone from the room.  Living their life and interacting with their sister more.

It's not healthy to think too much about those thoughts.  The past can't be changed.  And I know at the time we were very peaceful and thankful for how the story unfolded.  I'm just so thankful we had the kids come back to the hospital to spend more time with Abigail.

In the video it's so obvious which pictures were taken when she was still strong and which came later when her body was working so hard to live.  It's clear why we felt so confident in her life those first hours.  What a gift, to feel so much hope.

My feeling of being incomplete isn't as strong lately.  My heart aches for Abigail, but it also feels peace from the love that still surrounds me.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

March 13th, 2013

It was one year ago today that I talked to our doctor about the concerns regarding our baby.

I can go back to that moment so easily.

The tension of sitting and waiting for the call, while trying to interact and remain present with my friends.  The apprehension as the phone rang, and walking over to the other side of the pool to have the conversation with Dr. Sears.

Hearing the list of concerns.

Being both overwhelmed by the intensity of the emotions, while also feeling numb.  Utter disbelief.

Sobbing so hard that she had to sit and wait for me to catch my breath.

The rest of the night I was in shock.  Knowing our life had just shifted, but not knowing what the journey would look like.

Just thinking back to one year ago brings tears to my eyes.  My chest is tight.  I ache for the days before our reality became known.  For the morning that we ate birthday cake, celebrating our first son and getting ready to go for our ultrasound to meet our youngest baby.

I had no way of knowing that although our news was devastating, the journey would hold beauty.  Our story didn't revolve around the loss and sadness.  There was so much love, so many precious memories to be made.  Memories that I get to hold onto for all of my years.

The worst chapter that I ever want to experience in my life was also filled with so many blessings.  Lessons about life, about love, about embracing the journey.

I'm so glad we got to meet our little Abigail.  To hold her and love her.  To cherish her while we grew her.  To know that she touched so many and she will always be in our hearts.

We were so blessed to have time with our angel.  But, oh what I would do for just a few more moments.  To feel her in my arms, to touch her soft skin.  To tell her how much I treasure her, how much I miss her.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

March 6th, 2013

We're getting close to the date when we started to get to know Abby.  I remember that we had birthday cake in the morning for Nathan before we headed off to the ultrasound.  Since Trever wasn't able to be here on his birthday we started bright and early the next morning.

I can't help thinking about the complexity of that day when I see those pictures.

Today I had two little Abigail moments. Both totally out of the blue.

First, as I was preparing dinner Nathan walked up and showed me a note he had just written.  He had found the paper that my friend Katie made for us to write notes to Abigail and attach to a balloon at her celebration.  My heart feels a strange mix of calm/appreciation/sadness/overwhelming love when one of the kids shows love to their little sister.  I'm so thankful she is in their heart.

"Thank you Abby for coming to live with us for a day.  Have fun up there! We love you!"

And then just a minute ago I was copying my name from Pintrest, which reads "JenKissel".  As I pasted it, what I saw was "Abigail Ann Kissel, born July 25, 2012".

I tried it again, copying and pasting into a new browser window.

This one really has me feeling strange.  I have no idea how it happened.

I guess I can just decide to let my heart feel warm with thoughts of my darling girl.  Some things in life don't need an explanation.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

February 28th, 2013

The last week or so have been wonderful.

I've found my stride in being able to answer the question "how many children do you have?".  That is a big one for me.  And I don't always give the same answer.  I've finally found peace with saying whatever works for the moment.

On Abigail's 7 month birthday I felt peace.  I think of her constantly.  I yearn for her.  But I also feel a calm that I've been missing.

And then...
As I was sitting by the pool, moments from getting ready to get ready to fly home from Kona, my husband .... hmm, how do I even say it?  He didn't drop a bomb, and he didn't crack my world open, I can't think of what to say.  So here it is.

There is a chance that we might adopt a baby.

It's a small chance.  I'm saying about 25% possibility.

We're feeling it out with the family.  She isn't sure, we still need to process.

But it's there.  This opportunity to embrace life.  It feels fresh, exciting, scary.  I've felt so light yesterday and today.

We're far from decided, I don't have "my hopes up" (although it would be fine if I did).  I just feel alive.

If we decide to adopt this little baby it will throw our lives upside down.  We've gotten rid of all baby stuff (that isn't being used).  We're nearly out of baby mode... and it will be so strange to just wake up one day with a little baby in the house.  So different than preparing for our other children.

There will be sleepless nights, stresses, feeling overwhelmed by balancing the needs of 4 children...

And there will be emotions that I can't grasp right now.  Heartache renewed.

But there will be so much love, so many amazing moments.  So much discovery.  There will be living, embracing life, taking one step at a time.

I'm just so excited that I feel like we are in great balance right now.  I feel like we're at peace, we're open to life and we are taking each step together... as friends, partners, lovers... parents.

Life is so amazing.

Monday, February 18, 2013

February 18th, 2013

Last night I had an intensely vivid dream.  It has stayed with me all day.

I was with some friends from college.  I was saying something about the book Bloom, and Kelle Hampton. My friend said something like "whatever, those kids don't have value anyway".  My heart stopped, as I was literally leaping onto her I asked if she realized that Abigail had the same "thing" but with a different chromosome.  She (with a somewhat startled look on her face) said "yes".  Maybe there were more words, all I can remember is that I literally started attacking my friend, beating the shit out of her, pummeling her.

I was on fire with fury.  My friends pulled me off of her.  In the next moment I was in her kitchen, leaving her house.  And I wanted to destroy something.  I was filled with so much anger, near hate.

I did something to her refrigerator, something that showed restraint but still communicated my intense emotion.  (I don't know what I did, and I have no idea why I targeted that appliance?  Strange.  I remember her kitchen was very white, with a white refrigerator.)

After that I was riding a bike, trying to bring myself back into myself.  It made sense in the dream.  I was crying, and riding through neighborhoods that I had heard about.  I was getting to see places I had only known in my mind.  They felt so familiar.

I didn't wake up in the middle of the night tense, or crying.  I don't really remember if I woke quickly after the dream or not.

But my day pretty much sucked.  Trever didn't have a chance.  He couldn't do anything "right".  I just hid out in our room while he took the kids outside.  I crawled into bed, snuggled up to our AbbyBear and cried.

My heart ached so deeply.  My soul felt broken in pieces.

My life is so blessed, but I'm still so broken at times.  I cried for the realization that I had never been able to lay next to Abigail.  I never had those precious moments of staring at her during a late night feeding.  Of laying next to her and just watching her breath, touching her hands.  Feeling content, believing there were promised moments to share in our future.

I don't actually feel the pain of our loss on a regular basis.  When I do, it is crushing.  It is overwhelming.  It is nearly unbearable.

Later in the day, when I still couldn't tell him what was happening I just laid in bed.  I needed to talk with Trever but could not will myself to say the words.  To bring him into my world.  To acknowledge where I was in my world.

We finally connected.  He just rubbed my back as I cried.  Then I told him about the dream, about my sadness, about my pain.

I can't say I feel great.  But I do feel better.

Trever said it's probably normal for me to have anger built up.  I know he's right.  I know I have to live through each emotion, it's just not easy.

And I felt terrible today when I was on Facebook and saw my college friend make a post.  All I could think of was the anger I had unleashed on her.  Clearly my dreams are too vivid.

Have I mentioned how thankful I am that Trever is my partner in this craziness.  He doesn't try to fix me, encourage me, or change me.  He just listens and validates me.  He just loves me.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

February 9th, 2013

I haven't been able to figure out why work has felt so strange.  I've been able to say it's because I'm adjusting to going back to work, but that didn't really seem like the right answer.  Today I started to see what was happening.

As always, emotions ebb and flow.  I think lately I've been experiencing some low level depression.  I think it's okay, I'm not too worried.

Which leads to what I told a couple of my friends tonight.  "I would say that I'm fighting depression... except that I'm not really fighting it."  I just feel comfortable where I am.  I'm okay with it right now.

I don't think it's all due to Abigail.  But I realize I've been thinking of her a lot lately.  I've been evaluating our life, our loss and our future.  I've been feeling numb and detached.  I haven't been able to figure out why I feel so strange, why I can't seem to connect.  But now I get it, now I recognize this feeling.

Tonight I went out with girlfriends.  I really had no desire to go out.  But they are my oldest friends (by longevity, not age... well, maybe age too).  And I know they would understand if I bailed, but I really didn't want to miss out.  So I forced myself out the door, because I know that sometimes you just have to fight your desires (for a good glass of wine and a warm bath) and do what you know you should do.

Of course I had a good time.  I even noticed that there were moments where I truly felt present.  But there were lots of times where I felt like I was observing (even as I was interacting).  It was worth it to go out.  And it was great to leave early.  Normally I would feel torn. But I didn't, not in the least, tonight.  It was easy just to walk away.

I just feel sad.  And I kind of want to cozy up with my feelings by myself.

I wish I had more memories of Abigail.  I'm so glad I have so many memories of her snug in my belly.  I'm so glad we captured and embraced so many moments when she was in our arms.

I'm so sad that I don't have a darling little girl who is learning to sit up, who smiles and giggles.  I can't think those thoughts without always feeling thankful for what we did have.  For the time I was able to grow her in my belly, for the kicks and hiccups.  For the pure joy we felt during the early hours with Abigail.  For the many visitors that shared in our joy.  For the visitors (family and friends) who helped us embrace her when we knew she wouldn't live much longer.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Celebrate children

Trever and I talked last year about celebrating Abby's birthday each year.  Doing something to honor her place in our life.  To celebrate the wonder of life.

I loved our kid's celebration that we had after her services. 

So I've been talking with friends about doing another party this summer.  A festive get together to celebrate the wonderful children that bless our lives. 

I'm thankful to hold on to the lessons of appreciation that we learned from loving Abby.  That each day is so blessed, that we have the opportunity to cherish each day, each life.  That it is essential to be present in the moment because it will pass so quickly.

I am so excited for the party this summer!!  And so excited that I have a friend who will actually plan the details to make it extra special.  I have great visions for planning parties... but not so much in the follow through area.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

February 2nd, 2013

I've gone back to work.  I'm glad that I took time to be with family and to somewhat protect myself from the masses for a while.  I feel like I'm in a comfortable spot now, so it's good to be back.  Even if there are emotional challenges.

On my last trip there was a family of 6 that caught my eye in the airport.  The kids were similar in age to my kids, and the youngest was in an infant carrier.  It's impossible for me to see a family like that and not think about our loss.  To know that I thought I would have a growing baby, about 6 months old. 

On most of my flights I've had at least one baby.  I have to laugh at myself.  I just want to hold those babies, to just walk around and snuggle them (especially when the baby is a girl).  Can you imagine if I told the parents why I'm so drawn to their baby?  That my arms feel so empty. 

The strange thing is that (so far) I don't feel the same about babies that I know.  Well, other than sweet little Ava.  My arms can't get enough of her. 

Maybe I just haven't been around other babies as much. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

January 14th, 2013

Nathan is "star of the week" at school this week.

He drew his family in a house on his poster.  He started with Andrew (who he pointed out is getting bigger, and thus represented that), then added his Daddy, and then Lily (the dog).  I asked who else he was going to add, and if he was going to add Abby (yes, I'm shameless sometimes - I did add in the same tone of voice that he did not need to draw her).  He said "yes, I'm going to put her up here".  In the attic.  ;)  Clearly meant to be heaven.  She is little and she has wings.

His teacher mentioned that she liked that he had added Abby.  I did too, even if it was partly my idea.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

January 13th, 2013

Trever had a wonderful idea of lighting floating lanterns on Christmas as a way to spend time honoring Abigail.  Unfortunately Christmas had a different idea and the weather wasn't conducive to his idea.  :(

Natalie remembered the missed opportunity and noticed that it wasn't raining.  So she asked if we could light the lantern for Abigail.  She is such a sweet big sister, and has an impressive memory.

So we took ourselves out into the bitter-cold evening, lit the lantern and watched it gracefully float up into the clear sky.  I've never done one before.  It was so beautiful.  The night was perfect.  We watched the lantern for quite a while, it got as small as a star and then flickered as it went out (or got to heaven if you ask the kids).

Andrew was mesmerized by the flame.  He kept talking about it, and even mentioned "fire" a lot the next day.

Natalie and Nathan thought it was beautiful and spent some time talking about Abby in heaven.

I asked each of them what their favorite memory of Abigail was:
Natalie: "I loved singing her a song"
Nathan: "I loved that she was here with us for some time"

My favorite memory of the night?  Listening to my kids remember their sister, and being near Trever and the kids as we all spent time thinking of our little angel.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

January 2nd, 2012

I couldn't sleep last night.  I'm fairly sure we're pregnant.

I spent some serious time praying last night.  I was in a panic.  It's hard to even process all the ways in which I feel anxiety.  I'm scared to loose control over my body again, before I've even gotten it back.  I'm afraid to be in pain during this pregnancy... to have it be hard on me again.  I'm sad that I'll be out of work again (which I'll surely get over).  That I still won't be able to give Natalie a sister (not that I am actually partial to the gender myself). I'm only really thinking about the small worries.

Because right under the surface of those worries lie the bigger ones.  The fear of another problem.  The fear of Trisomy 18 again, the fear of a different problem this time.  The fear of all of the emotions that will go along with this pregnancy.

I remember being pregnant with Natalie.  We had just had a miscarriage before we got pregnant with her.  Her pregnancy was the first that I was acutely aware of the stress that could be associated with pregnancy.  I got past it, but I was never as naive during a pregnancy again.

Then there was the scare at the beginning with Andrew.

Then there was Abby.

And now?  What will this experience hold?

And are we even pregnant.  I took a test today and it was negative.  But that doesn't really sooth me since I'm still late.

But last night I prayed.  And this morning I woke up and realized that everything will be okay.  If we are pregnant I know it will be a blessing.

Our life is filled with blessings.  We are rich with life, with all the experiences that we've walked through together.

If we are pregnant than we are going to rock it... we are going to ride the waves of stress, joy and confusion.  And we are going to embrace each moment.  Holding each other up when necessary and snuggling into the joy together also.

I'll be honest, a part of me wanted to feel relief when I took the test.  And I'll probably feel relief if in fact we are not pregnant.  But right now I'm trying to stay open to the idea.  If we are pregnant I want to find the excitement as quickly as possible.

Holy shit.  I have no idea what I'm in for.  My chest is tight with fear.  My life feels like a roller coaster.  What were we thinking?????

Life's blessings usually come from the things that I did not know I needed...

UPDATE: We are not pregnant.  I think we learned a lot from this situation.  And I know we are both relieved to know we aren't pregnant.  But the relief is slowing being replaced by my confusion regarding growing our family.

When I really stop to evaluate I feel confident that we are done growing our family.  But it's so hard to believe that it my heart.  I am so conflicted in my heart.  Making a permanent decision is going to be so difficult.