Saturday, October 31, 2015

What a Difference One Year Can Make: Happy Halloween!

Last October we were waiting to be matched 
with our "little pumpkin" 

 Dreaming about & praying for our "sweet Baby K"

This October we are happily soaking up every moment & milestone with the most precious "little pumpkin" EVER! 

We adore little Isabel Grace! 
She was SO worth the wait :)

What a difference a year can make… 
It's so cool to look back now & see how God was working for our good & His glory this time last year. So grateful for everyone who encouraged us & prayed for our family as we waited for news of Baby K last Fall. 

November is National Adoption Month. Over the next month we will post about some of the exciting things that happened for our family last November & also share some news with y'all ;) 

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Trust in the Lord: Jen's Story

I am honored to have my dear friend, Jen Rottier, share her heart with y'all today in our first ever guest-post in recognition of National Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month. Jen & I met in Canada in June 2012 when our husbands were playing football together for the Edmonton Eskimos (Go Esks!). We clicked right away, became close quickly & our families have built a friendship that I know will last a lifetime. Jen & her family have been wonderful friends to us over the past few years, especially throughout our journey with infertility & adoption. Our friendship has been such a blessing to me - a precious gift from the Lord. I am so grateful for you, Jen!

When praying about how to recognize & speak to women who have faced miscarriage & infant loss here on the blog this month, the Lord keep nudging me to ask Jen to share her story. As you will read below, Jen has faced a lot of loss & heartbreak over the past year and a half. Her testimony of hope & faith through hardship is powerful. I am so encouraged by the way my beautiful friend has chosen to trust in the Lord, even in the midst of deep grief & painful loss. 
 My prayer is that Jen's beautiful, vulnerable & brave words would touch the heart of everyone who reads them, especially those women who have suffered the loss of a child.   

Alright, it's now time for me to turn the blog over to Jen...


1in4 is me… It’s actually me…twice. 
1in4 woman experience miscarriage, still birth or infancy loss…that’s a lot of woman. We need each other, our stories are not shameful, and we are not alone.

October is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month and my dear friend Tyler asked if i would be comfortable sharing my story with y’all (I added southern drawl for you Ty) and I'm honored to do so. I first want to acknowledge that although many of us have gone through a miscarriage..or two, still birth or infancy loss, everyones' journey is different and unique. Maybe you are fortunate to have not had a loss but chances are you know someone who has.

There are many factors that affect how we manage the loss in our own ways, I want to be vulnerable with you and share MY story. I want to recognize this season in my life, as trying as it has been, as well as remember my precious babies. Let’s begin…

The life it drains
the pulse is gone
I sit numbly waiting
scared to move on

The pain is dull
blood not yet red
I morn this small babe
as I lay curled up in bed

The wait burns hard
the impending doom
the screen will flicker
my empty womb

The thrill, excitement
was all at it’s peak
and in a flash
it’s gone in weeks

The first time was hard
but I pressed for hope
the second time’s worse
and it’s so hard to cope

“What to do now Lord?”
try not to ask “Why?”
Try to be strong
When I just want to cry

I trust in my God
and I know of His worth
but it’s hard not to miss
our two littles on earth

My body will heal
and we’ll try to push on
but our heads and our hearts
will remember they’re gone

One day we’ll meet them
and give them a name
But for now our world
will not be the same

We will reach for Your comfort
and I’ll rest as I should
We trust and we know
You’ll work all things for good.

(Written the day of my second miscarriage, June 19, 2015)

You never forget their due dates….April 6th, 2015 and Feb 3rd, 2016. Those dates will forever be in my heart, the time when I was to finally see those tiny feet that kicked from within, those little fingers as they curl around mine and those sparkling eyes of my precious baby boy or girl.
I am blessed to know and to have experienced that feeling after having my two boys. Looking them over in amazement and wonder at how they are perfectly and wonderfully made. What miracles they are…I knew that then but I know that even more now.

I have PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and was initially told that I would not be able to conceive. I did not buy that for a second and switched doctors and went to work researching how to fight my odds of starting a family.
With my health at the forefront, my supportive friends and family and my faith in knowing God had a plan, I felt peace.
After over a year or trying and experimenting with different fertility drugs we conceived my now 4yr old son Townes Christopher. What a tall, smiley, rambunctious, loud and outgoing gift.
Two years later with the same combination of drugs we conceived our second son, now 2yrs old, Rushton Elijah. <3 Our big, sweet, coy, cuddly and very determined guy.

It was almost a year later when to our SURPRISE we found out again…..we were pregnant! (without the use of fertility drugs!) Besides being slightly overwhelmed at having my children so close together, my husband and I were over the moon excited and at 7 weeks we shared with our closest friends and family. All my best friends (all 6 of them) just happened to be pregnant at the same time and I was so
excited to join them! 

I was nervous though as women with PCOS have an even higher chance of miscarrying…up to 50%. In my previous pregnancies I had taken Metformin until the end of my first trimester to help prevent miscarriage and obviously I felt confident in its work as I had two handsome boys.
I was not taking Metformin this time….I was more aware that this push to the 12 week mark was really going to be on my mind and heart. Maybe He was already whispering to my Mama heart…I just felt uneasy.

It was 5:30am, for one of those annoying early morning bathroom trips, that I found I was bleeding. I knew….I just knew. I was 8.5 weeks pregnant when we lost him/her.
Lots of crying, cuddling, praying and being loved on by others occurred in those next days and weeks. As hard as it was to have just shared our glorious news I was so glad I had as now we had an army surrounding us in love, prayers and support….it acknowledged that this little one was celebrated and loved…and was now missed.

Fast forward to February of 2015. We were praying about trying for another and decided to give it a go…we still felt the loss and wanted a third baby. I got back on the fertility drugs and 3 months later conceived in May. We were so excited…our boys were so excited! They were the ones to deliver the positive test stick to Daddy as he arrived home from work!

Once again we shared our exciting news with close friends and family and asked for prayers to cover this baby. I asked my Dr. to get my progesterone checked as I was unsure if that had anything to do with our last loss…all came back fine! I was on the Metformin and kept pushing that fear of loss out of my mind…I did NOT want fear to follow me in this pregnancy.

It was early in the morning when God literally woke me up from sleep and whispered “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6) It was so weird but as I fell back asleep it repeated over and over, like He was trying to engrave it into my heart.

Unfortunately around 2pm that afternoon I started to spot….this time I didn’t ‘just know’. It started, it stopped…brown….a bit red? I was holding onto hope, that verse was on repeat. I was again…exactly 8.5weeks. I got in to see my doctor who got me an urgent ultrasound…..blank screen, empty womb, no baby.

This turned out NOT to be a textbook miscarriage….this was ectopic…..but we didn't find that out until 3 weeks later. My HCG levels kept rising after that initial bleed…more ultrasounds, more spotting, so many more blood tests, feeling pregnant that whole time and finally the methotrexate shot that would end it all. It was a long, painful, drawn out process…..But that verse kept me He knew it would. 
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding…”
He was with me, I was not to understand ….but to trust. I felt peace in-between the hard places…He would always bring me back.

Again supported and loved by our army….and by our God.

Townes asks about his siblings in heaven every now and again….we’ve talked about life not being fair, that we don’t always get what we want, that God gives and takes away…talking him through it was healing for me as I listened to His truth come out of my mouth as I tried share in a simple way a 4yr old could understand.

I often think about who our little ones were or would have been…boy or girl, hair color, eyes….personality…what the world is missing without them. I believe one day I will meet them…and what a glorious homecoming it will be.

We’re considering trying again…and again I will not let fear be a reason we won’t. His words still pressed upon my heart..I trust Him…through it all….I hope my dear friends you can too. Because He loves you, He is with you and He holds us and our little ones in His hands….and
that is the best seat in the house.

Thank you for taking the time to read my story. I would be so grateful if you could pray for our future family, against fear and most of all that our journey could bring love and healing and hearts to Jesus.

Thank you Tyler for this opportunity and for your beautiful heart and friendship.


My heart goes out to every woman who is grieving & remembering the loss of a baby this month… I am praying that the Lord would meet you in your pain & bring comfort to your aching heart. Hope my friend's story touched your heart as much as it's touched mine. 

Jen, thank you for bravely sharing your heart. I am so encouraged by your perseverance & challenged by your faith. I am lifting your precious family up in prayer today. Thank you for being an incredible friend to me & a light for Christ to the world.


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Rejoice with Joyful Songs

I am not a morning person (understatement!), so whenever Isabel sleeps in, I won’t lie, a huge part of me rejoices & gladly soaks up the extra rest! However, the moment I hear her sweet little voice calling out to me every morning, I jump up realizing how truly eager I am to see her. The morning routine we’ve developed never ceases to bring me joy (except for maybe the time she woke up with a full-blown poop explosion, that wasn’t too much fun ;P). But 99% of mornings, our first few moments together are special & a time that I genuinely look forward to. 
When I first enter Isabel’s nursery, I always pause a few feet from her crib & wait for her to realize I am there. As soon as she sees me her little face breaks out in the biggest, sweetest smile & her whole body rocks with excitement. Talk about a heart-melting moment! As I scoop her up, she wraps her little legs around my waist, her arms around my neck & snuggles her face into my shoulder. It is one of my favorite moments of the day. I love that she needs me & that she’s so happy to see me. As I hold her, I rock & sing her the same songs that I’ve sung to her since she was a newborn. She turns to smile at me & touches my face as I sing. She starts to rock her little body & her brown eyes dance to my words.
We start our day delighting in one another & I cherish every second of it. For me it’s how I declare my love for her & meet her emotional needs, before meeting her physical needs for the day. It’s my opportunity to show her tender love every morning before the diaper changing, crawling chaos, baby food mess & 8-month-old-Izzy-play ensues. It’s my way of communicating through touch, expression & song: You are loved, you are cherished, you are cared for… You, Isabel Grace Koch, are so precious in my sight… Whatever today brings, I am here for you.

This morning after I finished singing to Izzy, I held her close a moment longer. In the middle of that moment, God whispered to me, “This is what I long for with you.”
That reminder took my breath away & brought tears to my eyes… The God of the universe waits for me to wake up in the morning & longs for me to spend time with Him. He wants me to delight in Him as He delights in me. He wants to sing songs over me that teach me about His goodness & love. He longs to see my eyes dance with joy as I look into His. Just as I want Isabel to know how deeply she is loved by delighting in her with tenderness & showing her how much I care for her by meeting her needs, God wants to do the same for me. And He wants to do the same for you! He is a good Father, waiting patiently for His children to wake up & dive into His arms. He wants us to experience the fullness of life that He alone offers.
For too long, I have chosen to wake up distracted. I have deprived myself & my Father these tender moments of relationship. Why would I deny myself sweet time being loved on by Him every morning? Why would I choose to start my day browsing social media, checking emails & returning texts when I could start it basking in His love? Sometimes I forget that God is a Father that longs for His children to need Him, to crave spending those tender moments with Him. I want to start the day off by being filled up with His love & sitting in His presence. I want to be reminded of who I am in Him. I want to dive into His word & know Him more. I want to hear Him tell me: You are loved, you are cherished, you are cared for… You, Tyler Koch, are so precious in my sight… Whatever today brings, I am here for you.

In the precious moments of motherhood, God is inviting me to know Him more.

Photo by Jen Menard 

“For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs."
~Zephaniah 3:17

 “Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.”

~Psalm 63:3

"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path."
~Psalm 119:105