Saturday, May 31, 2008


When I used to live in Victoria, I knew a couple that didn't want children (sure, that's fine) because they thought it was selfish to want "little Me's"- replicates of themselves. As a young adult, I didn't think much of their attitudes because at the time, being single was all I wanted and responsibility was the last thing on my mind.

Now, here I am, ten years later, and that conversation rings clearly in my mind. I can still tell you where that conversation took place. For all the useless chattering we experience, why did that dialogue stick?

I suppose it could be said that it is selfish to want friends... want a spouse, want a good job, want good health, want contentedness. So is it selfish to want a child? Yes, I suppose, to some extent. We did want a little person in our lives. Dan wanted a little son or daughter to invest in, to "send into a future we wouldn't see." But any (and every!) mother and father will tell you that serving a screaming infant in the middle of the night or a toddler that has a bout of diarrhea isn't selfish!

I read blogs about couples experiencing initial infertility problems... just trying to just get one little baby. I feel guilty because we do have a terrific little boy and yet we know our family isn't complete.

The couple that passed the comment all those years ago is now past their childbearing years. Now, I feel sorry for them. I'm sorry for all the moments they've missed because they believed that what they thought was true.

I know this journey is a process and telling myself that wanting another child isn't selfish is just part of it.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Busy Month of May

Nashville (May 20-24th)

No, this is not Greece, this is Nashville, Tennessee. I left Russell and Dan for four days to visit my longtime friend Laura. Alysun flew in from Portland with her little girl, Mandy. Russell spent Tuesday and Friday with friends, and Dan took care of him on Wednesday and Thursday.

Laura was a wonderful hostess and we enjoyed her home and her food:-) We visited the Opry, did some shopping, and drove by some fancy Southern mansions. I missed my boys but was glad not to have Russell on the long plane trips;-)
Memorial Day/Weekend

Above: this year- second cousins Timothy (4.5), Trevor (7m), Russell (2yr), Joanie (3.5y), Julia (1.5yr). We drove to Lodi on Sunday afternoon and stayed the night with Dan's cousins and we BBQ'd the next day. These are the only cousins that are Russell's age. The cousins in Colorado are 13, 12, and 9.
Below: last year's cousin picture...

SF Zoo- Tuesday

Yesterday, we met up with Russell's little friends at the zoo. We'd never been to this zoo and were excited to see it.

The tiger exhibit is glassed in to add 4' to the existing wall. The big cats were resting when we saw them. I can't imagine getting chased by one of these kitties!!

Mrs. Lion lives here

The gang: Russell (his hat was in the car. Oops.), Jack, Claire and Grace. Little Maddie joined us later for lunch with her mom, Julie.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

NASHVILLE, TN...5/21/08...

At approximately 5pm on the afternoon of Wednesday May 21st, Maria Sue Chapman, 5 years old and the youngest daughter to Steven and Mary Beth Chapman was struck in the driveway of the Chapman home in Franklin, TN. Maria was rushed to Vanderbilt Childrens Hospital in Nashville, transported by LifeFlight, but died of her injuries there. Maria is one of the close knit family’s six children and one of their three adopted daughters.

More than five years ago, Chapman and his wife MaryBeth founded The Shaohannah’s Hope Ministry after bringing their first adopted daughter, Shaohannah, home from China. The ministry’s goal is to help families reduce the financial barrier of adoption, and has provided grants to over 1700 families wishing to adopt orphans from around the world. Chapman is a five-time GRAMMY ® winner and 54-time Dove Award winning artist who has sold over 10 million albums and garnered 44 No. 1 singles.

The Chapman family is so grateful for the incredible outpouring of love and support at this difficult time.

If you’d like to meet Maria and express your condolences click here
By mail, send to PO Box 150156 Nashville, TN 37215.
In lieu of flowers, the Chapmans request any gifts be directed to Shaohannah’s Hope.


Little Maria is being held by Steven in this picture. Such tragedy is unbelievable. I can't imagine the sorrow that the son will have for the rest of his life over the accident. It is so hard to believe that all things work together for the good for those that love God in this situation.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


Just as an update, the bloodwork taken last week resulted in normal/negative results:-) Dan and I still haven't done the DNA tests, though. The dr. isn't too worried about those since we had a healthy, live birth.

Total tests done:
Factor V Leiden- negative
Homocysteine- normal (5.6)
MTHFR (hetero- A1298C)
Protein C- normal (88)
Protein S- normal (62)
Prothrombin 20210- negative

cardiolipin- negative
lupus anticoagulant- negative
PTT Screen (LAC)- 45 (above normal, but corrected with DRVVT screen to 32)
3rd gen. TSH= 2.41 (normal)
Progesterone= 21.3 (normal)
Anti-Nuclear Antibodies- negative
Blood glucose- 83 (normal)
mycoplasma hominis- negative
ureaplasma urealyticum- negative
complete ultrasound

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


I had another consultation with my OB/GYN this morning. I always have to wait in the office longer than I'd like but I really like him so it is worth it. The play-group gals took care of Russell for the morning.

After all my research online and in books, I took my list of recommended (some, controversial) tests with me. The doctor called a reproductive endocrinologist in the area and he then ordered some of the tests I asked for, in addition to what the RE recommended. The doctor said there is a good likelihood of me having an immune problem of which I am not thrilled, but at this point, we are just looking for answers. We can deal with the solution later. The controversial tests/remedies (not covered by insurance) could run into the thousands financially speaking so we will not pursue those at this time.

From my experience last fall, the tests take awhile to get back once they've been taken.

All this to say, I feel encouraged. I feel like the doctor is taking me seriously, and not just assuming chromosomal abnormality (after four losses), although, I conceed, that is still a plausible reason. So, for now, we wait. I don't mind. I need to be still and remember that God is ultimately the giver and taker of life.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Cost of Living in Arkansas

Michelle Duggar, 41, is due on New Year's Day, and the latest addition will join seven sisters and 10 brothers. There are two sets of twins.

"We've had three in January, three in December. Those two months are a busy time for us," she said, laughing.

The Duggars' oldest child, Josh, is 20, and the youngest, Jennifer, is nine months old.

The fast-growing family lives in Tontitown in northwest Arkansas in a 7,000-square-foot home. All the children — whose names start with the letter J — are home-schooled.

Duggar said she's six weeks along and the pregnancy is going well. She and her husband, Jim Bob Duggar, said they'll keep having children as long as God wills it.

"The success in a family is first off, a love for God, and secondly, treating each other like you want to be treated," Jim Bob Duggar said. "Our goal is for each one of our children to be best friends, and everybody working together to serve each other makes that happen."

The other Duggar children, in between Joshua and Jennifer, are Jana, 18; John-David, 18; Jill, 16; Jessa, 15; Jinger, 14; Joseph, 13; Josiah, 11; Joy-Anna, 10; Jeremiah, 9; Jedidiah, 9; Jason, 7; James, 6; Justin, 5; Jackson, 3; and Johannah, 9 months.

I wonder what it must be like to live in a family like the Duggars. Even being one of five children was sometimes difficult. Little privacy, lots of responsibility, and little one-on-one time with parents. On the plus side, there was always someone to tag around with. And get-togethers are more enjoyable considering we didn't have cousins growing up (Russell is older than my two youngest cousins).

The cost of living in California (well, in an overpopulated area) is high. I buy groceries twice a week (TJ's and Safeway) just because produce doesn't keep long (we eat a lot of berries and bananas and avacados) and I like to buy some junk food (chips, hot dogs, drinks) for the weekend when Dan is home. He puts up with the healthy meals during the week so I don't mind;-) Gas is now over $4/gallon. Thankfully, our gas bill is only about $150/month because Dan's commute is only 20 minutes and I just putter around town (we used to spend $40/month when we lived in SD and Dan was deployed and we only had the one car).

I suppose in Arkansas, providing for 18 children is still tight, but living on a farm would help. The land is pretty out there (in a flat, endless kinda way). Too far from an ocean, though. I went out to Arkansas in 1999 to visit friends from my days at Palomar Camp. With the solid foundation the Duggar children are getting, I am sure they will all succeed in where God leads them. I'm sure they know how to deal with selfishness!

So, how many automatic dishwashers to you think their house has???

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Coming to Terms

Amongst my hours of researching recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL) online, I came across this book, “Coming to Term: Uncovering the Truth About Miscarriage,” by Jon Cohen. The author and his wife have also experienced four consecutive miscarriages after one live birth. He is a correspondent for Science magazine (very notable in the science community). He chronicles his journey about gathering “the most comprehensive and accurate information on miscarriage.” He focuses on three clinics; one in Vancouver, one in Boston, and one in London.

The conclusion of his findings? “After the loss of three or more miscarriages, women will, with no treatment, carry to term nearly 70% of the time.” (Assuming all tests give normal results: clotting problems, Rh factor, or other common diagnosis being treated.) This statement gives me hope. I’ve read pages and pages of unending statistics: first-born male stats, age stats, gestation stats, and stats about stats. The conclusion? The fact that a baby is conceived and delivered in full health is purely a miracle. Each. And. Every. Time.

I was amazed at Cohen’s research at IVF clinics that offered PGD (the testing and discarding of chromosomally abnormal embryos): most embryos were abnormal and had either too few or too many chromosomes. Most embryos are not normal, whether conceived in the lab or in utereo.

The sad truth that Cohen mentions is that there is comparatively little recent research about miscarriage because of the lack of funding from the government and pharmaceutical companies. There is no money to be made. Nature is nature and that is that. Any research that is done is usually because of personal interest and passion for RPL.

We have been asked how long we’ll keep trying for another child. I guess the answer to that question is “We don’t know.” If I had known what we would experience seventeen months ago, I don’t know if I would have had the strength to endure. I don’t know where we will be in our journey in 12 months, 24 months, or 36 months. The decision to not try again isn’t easy.

On the positive side, my pelvic ultrasound results came back and everything is normal. Wonderful. So why is this happening? We may never know. As my Bible study group continues to move through Daniel, I have loved the eschatology and the supremacy of God’s timing. I take comfort in that.

You ask if Cohen had a second child? He wife became pregnant (unplanned) at age 41 after ten years and delivered a little boy. She had another miracle baby at the age of 44 when she decided to end her years of birth control.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

A New Earth

Oprah's new book selection for her book club is called 'A New Earth' by E. Tolle. The book came up in last week's discussion of the Daniel and eschatology (the study of End Times). Tolle says that there is no God, only god within ourselves. I attached a YouTube video (7 minutes long) to give the 'high-lights' of the recent discussions between Oprah and Tolle. I think it is important as Christ-followers to be aware of what the world is listening to and be able to "give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you..." (1 Pet. 3.15)

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, ... lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away...
II Timothy 3:2-7

"Finally, my brothers, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities , against powers, against the rules of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore, take unto you the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day..."
Eph. 6:10-18
(This video contains a little political jab at the end... that's another debate for another day.)

Thursday, May 01, 2008

South Lake Tahoe

Our friends, Mike and Julie (and little Maddie), invited us to go with them to Tahoe for a few days. We crammed ourselves and the kids into a mini-van and off we went. We arrived late Sunday afternoon and stayed until Tuesday at noon. Travelling together made the trip a lot easier to entertain the kiddos.

Hiking behind the hotel room...
Walking the short path down to the beach...

Mike and Julie and little Maddie. Thanks for the invitation!!

Classic 'self portrait'!

Filling his shoes with sand.

Doing wheelies with Maddie in the stroller. She didn't seem to mind;-)

Russell scampered up onto the table before we even noticed:-) He loved being outdoors.

Russell was being a negative influence on Maddie. She was mesmorized by 'Curious George.'

We drove home via the north side of the lake. The wind was very cold on Tuesday but it made for a picture perfect photo shot. Dan and I had never been to Tahoe before this weekend and it gave us the desire to return later on, maybe to do some camping. Russell enjoys being outside so much but next time we'll need to bring the sunscreen.