Friday, February 26, 2010

One Tough Decision

Anyone who's been reading here long, or who knows me well, knows I love babies. And knows the heartache and pain of years ago when we knew there'd be no more babies for us.

Sixteen years ago, when Heather was two, Marty and I began discussing having another baby. We still had not succeeded in getting pregnant by the time Heather was 3 and we were living in Missouri. We began purchasing ovulation test kits and keeping charts. By the time Heather was 4 and there was still no pregnancy and I was sure I was reading the ovulation tests wrong because I could see nowhere that indicated ovulation, we made an appointment with an infertility specialist in Arkansas (45 miles from home). My doctor first recommended testing for Marty. She explained that in many cases the problems with infertility are with the man and low sperm counts...and that test would be easiest and least expensive. The first thing ruled out was the problem definitely did not lie with Marty but with me. She had me continue with temperature charts each day and scheduled a special x-ray so she could see if there were any visible problems. Continued temperature charts revealed I was not ovulating at all (not producing any eggs). The day of the special x-ray arrived and with it, much apprehension. I'd been told what to expect before, during and after. After the x-ray I experienced the worst cramps I've ever had in my life. Thankfully they only lasted that day. Later, test results showed my left tube was completely blocked and I was told that sometimes there is no explanation and that just happens in some cases. My doctor encouraged me, saying that pregnancy is still completely possible with only one tube. Due to the lack of ovulation, she prescribed Clomid and explained the possibility of multiple births, usually twins, with the use of fertility drugs. I began to take the Clomid and excitedly continued plans for a new baby. We were so certain this was going to work. We chose names, chose items for decorating a future nursery, etc.
Once a month I drove to Arkansas to have my blood drawn check my hormone levels. My progesterone was extremely low. I was underweight. I had only the use of one fallopian tube. The odds were not looking good, but we were still encouraged. We had one child, we were sure we'd be able to have more. Each month I returned to Arkansas to meet with my doctor and go over temperature charts. Even with the Clomid I didn't always ovulate.
Month after month of sex by temperature charts took its toll. Months beginning with extreme emotional highs knowing this was going to be the month, and ending with such sadness when it turned out not to be took its toll. This went on every month for a year. At the end of that year we decided the emotional turmoil thinking the drugs were going to work was just too much. We decided such things as invitro fertilization, etc., weren't for us. We didn't give up, but we did give up the temperature charts, etc. We decided if it was God's plan for us to have another baby, He'd send us one and we then realized what a miracle Heather really was. We continued to pray for and asked our family and church family to pray for another baby.
Years later, when we moved to Texas we began to change our prayer. We asked God if another baby wasn't His plan for us to change our heart and to take the desire for another baby away. Eventually we really did find contentment with the size of our family.
Heather is now 18 and we've been looking forward to our empty nest and making plans. I've been looking forward to the time I can spend with my husband that we've really never had before. We married young and started our family very young. I was looking forward to having an empty nest "while I'm still young enough to enjoy it" is what I'd tell people. :0)
Then 2 weeks ago we questioned everything. 2 weeks ago I received a phone call asking me to pray about and consider adopting triplet infants. I cried and cried that afternoon after receiving that call. I asked "Why NOW???" I would go from being very excited about the possibility of starting over again one moment, to wanting to continue with our empty nest plans the next. I began to wonder if God was answering our long ago prayers in His time, not ours. I wondered which direction God really was sending us this time. We asked family and church family to join us in praying for God's direction. We knew we were in no financial position to add 3 more people to our household. But we also knew, if this WAS God's plan, He'd find a way to make it possible. So we prayed. And I cried. I cried for what could be, for what could be lost, and for those long ago prayers. I prayed for the triplets. I prayed for their mother. I prayed for whoever their family would be. I prayed for a clear answer from God what He wanted us to do.
Those long ago desires that I thought were long gone had crept up again. Friends told us we were crazy to even consider it. Some refused to speak of the issue at all. Some reminded us we'd be 58 years old when the babies graduate high school.  Most told us we couldn't afford 3 babies. But soooo many more became excited, and even hopeful. It was actually refreshing to see and hear excitement for what could be.
A week later we got our answer. The triplets' mother was keeping the babies. At first I was heart broken. I had begun to hope for babies again. But as time has passed I know that this was for the best because God showed us without a doubt His plan in this situation. We can move ahead with our plans for our empty nest. I can without a doubt, know that God's blessing is upon us as we plan and make time for the two of us.

Monday, February 15, 2010

I'm Behind Again

I know, I know, I'm so far behind in blogging. I have soooo many photos and events to blog! I've been spending what free time I can find painting antique windows such as this one:

I painted these three just since Saturday. And I've sold one of them, and another unpainted one just like this one:

On top of that I have 2 potential upcoming commissioned projects.

On top of all that, our family is praying about some major life-changing decisions. I'm not ready to go into that, but prayers are appreciated!

In the mean time, most late nights and early mornings can find me in my home office painting away....

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Ashley's Portraits...Part 2

Yesterday found me behind my camera lens for the morning capturing these photos of Heather's beautiful friend Ashley. I'm thinking I'm really really glad I don't have to be the one choosing which of these prints to order!
As always, click on any photo for the link to the gallery to ALL the photos!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Debutante Ball

The night we've been waiting for finally arrived Saturday. All day Friday was spent decorating and preparing for the ball (that blog post is yet to come!). Heather and the other 15 debutantes arrived early at the Coliseum with ball gowns in hand to finish getting ready for their big night.

There was last minute primping in front of the mirror...

making sure the dress had no wrinkles....

..and then the introduction...

....the oh so graceful bow....

...the presentation...

...and the waltz!
(Heather waltzing with her daddy)

(waltzing with her escort Ryan)

All 16 Mid Texas Symphohy Debutantes:

Stay tuned for more photos of this enchanting night to come soon!


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