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Hard Things.

JUDES-FIRST-STITCHES

If it’s been kinda quiet over here, it’s because Life is happening all around us. Hard life.  And while it’s not really fun to write about, I do believe in the power of giving ourselves a voice. Good always comes out of bad. I believe it because God promises it and He has delivered  us time and time again in our lives.

August was kind of a rough month for us here. I traveled a lot (well, more than usual) to two conferences, and was pretty zonked by the end of Stationery Academy. And as it would turn out, I was also apparently barely pregnant when I came home from Stationery Academy, which was a total shock since we’d stopped doing any infertility treatment. I’m not going to lie – I was scared. Really scared. I’ve been down this road more times than I’d care to admit. I miscarried at 10 weeks pregnant back in 2011, which was followed by two chemical pregnancies within a year later. We began infertility treatment earlier this year in January, and it’s been nothing but a rough road. I had high hopes that maybe this pregnancy would work out, but it was not to be.  The nurse called on Tuesday with the news that my bloodwork was not looking good. It was over. The bleeding began not too long after.

So now here I am. Four miscarriages.And one amazing boy who is more and more of a miracle to me every single day. To add insult to injury on the same day of that phone conversation with the nurse, my precious little redhead ran smack into a tree at a family member’s house, splitting open his forehead and requiring 3 stitches. We sat on the couch in our living room that night looking like we’d all been hit by an emotional bus.

This has not been our week here at the Shingleton Shangri-La.

I honestly don’t know where we’ll go from here or if I’ll ever pursue any more fertility treatments. I just don’t know how much more risk and loss I can take. I don’t know if I can fathom more hormones, more drugs, more hope and then more despair. It is an ugly, dark place with zero guarantees. I don’t understand WHY it is that we’ve been chosen to carry this particular burden. I wish I could understand it or see the silver lining in it at this point. I simply don’t right now.  And on the flip side, I don’t know that I can totally close the door on having any more babies.

Yesterday as I read Mara’s post on gearing up for round 2 of IVF after a terribly disappointing first round, I was encouraged by her willingness to step out on faith again. It also reminded me of a friend of mine from high school who just started a new blog called Populating Paradise. She experienced five losses and has five precious girls here on earth and her site has been a huge encouragement to me.  Her site reminded me that I know my babies are in a better place; they won’t ever experience the pain of going to the doctor’s office for stitches like their big brother did. They are whole and perfect. And while my heart aches for them so much,  I do know I’ll see them again.

Finally I was nearly brought to tears as I read an old post from Jen Hatmaker on their journey to Ethiopia to get their two adopted kiddos. Her words below rang clear and true to me, especially the reminder of beauty from ashes.

jen-hatmaker

Beauty from ashes is a theme I can relate to, and a hope that I can cling to. He has already wrought beauty out of the ashes of my life, and I know he’ll continue to do it again.

Thanks for your love and support. I know I’m not the only one out there who’s experienced this, and I’ll certainly not be the last. Hug your kiddos, guys. I’m definitely hugging mine.

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