Sunday, October 28, 2012

October 29th

So it's been a long time since I've blogged.  I am feeling the pressure of work and life a lot more lately and have not felt like I've had anything enlightening to say.  I apologize for that.  I did, however, feel it was so necessary to give a nod to tomorrow.....the due date I was given for our second miscarriage.

For this baby, we have an ultrasound picture that I haven't brought myself to look at in a long time.  For this baby, my mother-in-law baked a cake with the date 'October 29th' written on it to have for dessert one day while we were all eating together to tell my brother and sister-in-law about the pregnancy.  I have a picture of that too....again, tucked away. 

After our miscarriage in early April and the TWO surgeries that followed, October 29th seemed like an eternity away, but here it is...tomorrow. 

I think having an actual due date even made this miscarriage harder than the first.  It's crazy how fresh the tears can be even after so many months. 

I know we won't know for a long time (God willing) or won't ever know why God needed this baby girl more than we did.

I continually try to look at both of my miscarriages with advice given to me by my mother.  In some ways, these babies were luckier than any others...they got to go straight to God, straight to heaven, straight to paradise. 

I'm not sure how Josh and I might decide to remember this day.  For our first baby, we decided to go on a real nice date, just him and I because the foundation of our family is the two of us and our love for one another.  Maybe we will choose to do the same...we'll see.  I know we will both find ourselves wishing we were holding a healthy term baby in our arms.   

One thing I knew for sure was that I felt like I needed to put it down in writing that tomorrow would have been  my due date and to put in writing how much I know that baby and our other miscarriage continues to watch over us and give us so much hope for the future and how much those babies were loved for the short time I had the pleasure to carry them. 

I hope this heals, teaches, and connects...

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Thoughtful Birthday Surprise

On Thursday, Josh surprised me with this note:
 
He later shared with me that we would be spending a weekend away in Ann Arbor.  I felt this was a thoughtful, smart, clever, and genius idea for so many reasons.
 
Ann Abor carries with it a lot of emotion for Josh and I all revolving around doctor's appointments.  It reminds us of statistically bad news, lots of early mornings, blood work after blood work after blood work, ultra sounds after ultra sounds after ultra sounds, and a few surgeries mixed in.  As you can see, those aren't positive memories.
 
For my birthday, Josh decided we should make positive memories in the city of Ann Abor.  We should go and enjoy the city.  He wanted us to experience Ann Arbor seperate from the Center for Reproductive Medicine.  He also wanted us to be able to see Ann Arbor during the day as opposed to 7:00am when we usually are around. 
How perfect :)
 
During the weekend, we went to the farmer's market, ate lunch at Zingerman's, walk around down town, played games, and did a lot of relaxing and exploring at our hotel. 

I'm so thankful I have such a thoughtful husband who seemed to know just what would make the perfect present.

Hoping for an amazing 29th year! :)


 We stayed at Weber Hotel, which has meaning in of itself because we pass it every single time we drive down for an appointment.  We've looked it up before and it seemed so beautiful so we've always jokes about staying there.  Our room was great.








 This is the pool area.  We spent some time here swimming, relaxing, and playing some serious games of ping pong. 


My birthday treat at Weber's Restaurant. 
 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Heartfelt Compliment ;)

If anyone asks me "how do your fertility doctors show you they care?" I have a lot of answers.  I'd say that they speak to me in a way that Josh and I can understand.  I'd say that they ask about my job and personal life, and even notice when I cut 8 inches off my hair.  I would add that they are overly cautious making sure that my body and my pregnancies received the best care and that both my Real Doctor (I need to come up with a better name for him..hmmm..) and Tall Fellow are super personable, considerate, and friendly.  Recently though, I also would mention that they give "great" compliments....

So when we got back from our trip, I was hoping to be put back on medicine.  Unfortunately, my uterus seemed to look a bit "abnormal" on the ultrasound so they told me to take yet another cycle off...GRRRRR! I went back in to get a scope and had the pleasure of taking my mom to Ann Arbor with me this time instead of Josh, who had an important meeting I told him he had to go to :) 

On the drive down I briefed my mom on what she would see and who she might meet.  I told her about which people can get my blood drawn with only one poke (I have horribly terribly skinny veins that love to wiggle and move around) and who usually pokes me four times before sending me to another building.  I took her on a sightseeing tour of 127 South and 94 East and showed her highlights such as the Mason Water Tower, Leslie High School, the "bustling" streets of Jackson, and the Briarwood Mall in Ann Arbor.  I explained what she would see while in the doctor's office: all of the insides of my female anatomy broadcasted in color and HD on a huge screen, and finally, I told her I was hoping she'd meet my Real Doctor and Tall Fellow.

My Real Doctor did the hysteroscopy and my uterus looked completely normal, which was great news for the future.  While he was fishing around we chatted about our Europe trip and where we thought the best food was in Italy, etc and then it was finished.  My  mom enjoyed every minute. 

Upon leaving, Real Doctor said "You have a truly beautiful uterine cavity" 

We all laughed and I thanked him for saying such a nice thing about me. 

He answered with, "See?  There are compliments that only I can give you." 

He is so right.  So now, I know my doctors in Ann Arbor care about me because they give me genuine compliments.  I would've never thought, in a MILLION years, that I would be grinning ear-to-ear  and feel my self-esteem rise when someone said something nice about my uterus. Who knew a doctor of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Reproductive Endocrinology could make you feel so good?! ;)

I hope this teaches, heals, and connects...

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Some New Endeavours

I'm a teacher.  What this brings is a great blessing we call summer.  This leaves me a lot more time than I'm used to.  The hope for the past three summers was that I could spend that extra time getting pregnant and going to whatever doctor's appointments I needed to.  I could be at the Center for Reproductive Medicine's beck and call.  Unfortunately, these past three summers have turned out to be somewhat wasteful.  I have been able to try one month out of these summers at the most.  This is annoying...period. 

I need to always be doing something to move me forward in this journey.  So this summer, I've been dabbling in two new endeavours that I thought I'd share....adoption and acupuncture. 

I checked out many books from the library about adoption and have been taking vigorous notes.  I wanted to use this summer to get knowledgeable about adoption in general because I know so little.  That way, whenever Josh and I feel it's time, we can hit the ground running.  What an eye-opening experience so far. 

I also used summer as an excuse to try acupuncture.  My friend Stacey suggested it to me a while back and one of the blogs I love reading, http://babiesplease.blogspot.com/ speaks of using acupuncture to help with fertility challenges.  If this could help me get/stay pregnant, sign me up!  I chose to go to a women in East Lansing and that 90 minute visit was enlightening.  My qi is ALL messed up and I am stressed, who knew? ;)  She ran a lot of scans on me to see how equal my acupuncture points were only to find that I had all yellow points (stressed) and one red point (way out of whack).  The red point was none other than my uterine puncture point.  DING DING DING. 

So with the addition of acupuncture to my life, I will be trying to change my diet a bit.  Based on the information she got from me and my blood type, she recommended I eat sugar of the cane and go gluten free!  GASP.  Honestly, when I'm not eating fruits, veggies, or ice cream, my main food groups are cereal, sandwiches, and pasta.  Whoops. I don't know that I can fully 100% commit to this right now.  I can't see myself not eating gluten products at a get together or a restaurant, but I am committing to make some changes in my own house in my own pantry.

I am truly willing to do whatever it takes (yes Dad, as long it's not illegal, immoral, or dangerous) to help Josh and I have a family. 

Hopefully these two new endeavours will give me a lot of knowledge, calm energy, and great blood flow.  Only time will tell!

I hope this heals, teaches, and connects...

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Europe Trip- Day 14: July 11, 2012

PARIS
By Josh

WOW!  We can't believe that it is time for us to head home.  Just like the contrasts we saw throughout Europe, we are having contrasts about the end of our vacation.  We are sad to be done with the AMAZING sights and wonderful times together, but happy to see Primrose, our families, our friends, our flowers, Quality Dairy, and to have a glass of ICE COLD water. 

Our day began with an attempted departure around 8:00am, but we encountered our first rain fall of the trip and had to head back to our hotel.  During the light rain, Josh went to get a croissant, crepe, and waffle for us to share for breakfast. 

After about an hour of packing, the rain stopped and we took the subway to see Sacre Cour and Moulin Rouge.  The views from Sacre Cour were splendid.  We also saw the Montparte Cemetery and Moulin de La Galette during our time in that neighborhood, which were both hidden treasures. 


The steps we walked up to get to Sacre Cour. 
Next to the steps is a little train thing that will take you up to the top, but of course we would never take that ;)

Sacre Cour

View from Sacre Cour.  Interestingly enough, you cannot see the Eiffel Tower from here. 

Moulin Rouge...obviously
After a couple of quick sandwiches we decided it would be a better idea to walk the 7km back to the hotel instead of taking the subway.  After 1.5 hours we made it back for a well deserved nap. 

Little Champagne to celebrate our last full day in Europe
After relaxation, we went to dinner at another wonderful (Italian) restaurant.  The dinner included a strawberry tiramisu, which was out of this world!  When dinner was done, we rode the subway to see the Eiffel Tower at night, which was much more iconic than it looked during the day.  After a subway ride back that included a boom box, accordion, and puppet show (yes, we're serious) it is time for us to say Au Revoir to France and Ciao to Europe! 

Strawberry Tiramisu
Kristin's Favorite Part of the Day:
The neighborhood by Moulin de la Galette

Josh's Favorite Part of the Day:
Sacre Cour

Kristin's Biggest Surprise of the Day:
Eiffel Tower is way better at night!

Josh's Biggest Surprise of the Day:
How much better the Eiffel Tower looked at night.  

Europe Trip- Day 13: July 10, 2012

PARIS
By KMH

Today we went to Disneyland Paris!!!!  We took a long subway (about 50 minutes) and then had to wait in a long line to buy tickets.  Upon going into Disneyland a little after 10:00, it quickly felt like home: the train, Main street USA, the castle, etc. 
Entrance of Disneyland Paris


Aurora's Castle

Main street USA: just like Disney world and Disneyland in the U.S.
Luckily they had a Haunted Mansion ride although it was called the Phantom Manor.  We then navigated through that park for a bit, riding Space Mountain 2 and Buzz Lightyear and then went over to Disney's Hollywood Studios around 11:00ish.  We went straight for the Tower of Terror to get a fast pass. 

Always our favorite ride no matter which Disney we're at :)
Rockin Roller coaster...closed that day :(
After that, we went to Disney Village to eat and so some shopping.  We ate at Annie's Diner getting a burger, fries, and onion rings which totally hit the spot (God how I've missed ketchup!!!!!)

We went back to Disney Studios for a while and then ventured to Disneyland until dinner time.  We noticed there weren't a ton of people but there were way less rides than at home making lines too long for Disney Snobs like us :)

Disney Studios
Back to Disney Village we went for Earl of Sandwich then we rode the train and headed home around 10:00pm. 

We are very proud to have navigated the one of the world's largest subway systems! 

Kristin's Favorite Part of the Day:
Seeing Disneyland for the first time

Josh's Favorite Part of the Day:
Getting off the subway and seeing Disneyland

Kristin's Biggest Surprise of the Day:
How long the lines were!

Josh's Biggest Surprise of the Day:
How cold it can be in the summer.  

Europe Trip- Day 12: July 9, 2012

PARIS
By Josh

The train from Venice arrived promptly at 9:29am in Paris and we were on our way to discovery...sort of.  With Kristin's disdain for spending money and my hatred for lines, we decided it was a better idea to walk the 2.5 km to our hotel instead of riding a cab like most people would do.  Amazingly, we found the hotel and were able to get a room immediately. 


The "Love Capsule" at the 5 Hotel.  This hotel gives you an experience for your five senses.
There are twinkle lights, bright colors, amazingly soft beds, and smells in each individual room. 
After a few minutes looking around the most different hotel room we have ever stayed in, we were off to see Paris.  We began our journey with a delicious sandwich on french bread in the Jardin du Luxembourg overlooking the Palais Du Luxembourg. This was truly a wonderful spot to eat. 


Luxembourg Garden

YUM!

We made our way to Notre Dame Cathedral, which is considered to be the heart of Paris.  This church was one of the best, or even the best church we have seen on the trip. 

Notre Dame
Following this we did a hop on/hop off boat our down the Seine River and decided to stay on for nearly the full loop from Notre Dame to the Jardin Des Plants to the Eiffel Tower and back. 

On our boat tour
When we got off the boat, we walked around the outside of the Louvre and Jardin des Tuileres and then took the long march of conquering soldiers down Champ Elyses to the Arc de Triomphe before making our way to a wonderful view of the Eiffel Tower from Trocadero. 
At the Louvre


Don't need to say what this is :)

Arc de Triomphe
We hopped back on the boat and got off to discover the Island St. Louis.  We also had a delicious dinner at an Italian restaurant on Island St. Louis. 

In addition to the sites already mentioned we saw the Grand Palais and Petit Palais, Pont Alexandra III, Hotel De Ville, Hotel Dieu, Palais De Justice, Stant Chappelle, Museo di Orsay, and the Pantheon. 

P.S.  It is 10:30pm and still light outside!!

Josh's Favorite Part of the Day:
Seeing the Eiffel Tower


Kristin's Favorite Part of the Day:
Eating our sandwich in the Luxembourg Garden


Josh's Surprise of the Day: 
How much I like Paris


Kristin's Surprise of the Day:
How pretty the Notre Dame Cathedral is

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Europe Trip- Day 11: July 8, 2012

VENICE
By JEH

On our final day in Venice and Italy, we slept in until 9:00am, which was needed and by far the latest of the trip. 

Today we were entirely on our own and after leaving bags at the hotel we walked through the two neighborhoods that we had not seen.  These two neighborhoods seemed to be less touristy and took us literally around the outer edge of Venice in a complete circle. 

On our journey, we saw the Ponte dei Tre Arche (three arches), bridge with no parapet, one of the only two bridges without a railing, the bridge called Ponte de Pongi where rivals used to fight.  We had a final venetian meal of gnocchi and pizza and of course another hearty helping of gelato. 


Ponte dei Tre Archi

Bridge with no Parapet

Ponte dei Pungi

Lastly, we went on one final walk through the center of Venice before boarding our train for Paris.  We are in a first class sleeper hoping to get lots of rest so we're fresh for tomorrow!  Ciao Venice AND Italy!

On the Academia Bridge



One last view of the Grand Canal

WE LOVE VENICE!

Our accommodations on the train to Paris

Kristin's Favorite Part of the Day:
Having an extra day in Venice.  I would've really been sad without it. 

Josh's Favorite Part of the Day:
The train ride (so far)

Kristin's Biggest Surprise of the Day:
That we literally walked around the entire island of Venice.

Josh's Biggest Surprise of the Day:
That we saw all but two of our sights! 

Gelato Count:
Josh: 1 (Kit Kat and cookie)
Kristin: 1 (Snickers and burai)

Europe Trip- Day 10: July 7, 2012

VENICE
By Venice Obsessed


This morning we took a water taxi out to a Murano glass factory.  We watched a guy blow a vase and a horse in a flash and then walked around their showroom and laughed at how expensive everything was, but my how beautiful. 



Murano Glass Factory

After, we walked around some side streets of Venice with Patricia and saw a cool hidden treasure.  We heard a folktale about a fisherman falling in love with a mermaid in a tragic love story and walked under their supposed house and touched a good luck heart.  Once we got to St. Mark's square we had free time.

Us with the Bridge of Sighs



Make a wish!

Josh and I went up the bell tower and saw great views and got to see and hear the bell ring at noon.  We walked around, did some shopping, had amazing sandwiches and gelato and had to meet our group at 3pm.  At 3, we got to do a gondola ride which was awesome!!! Everything was beautiful and the gondola that housed the newlyweds from our group had a winger and guitar player.  After, we went on a water taxi on the entire Grand Canal passing many beautiful hotels, museums, and palaces.  We rested a little after and got ready for our farewell dinner. 


From the bell tower

On a fantastic gondola ride

The dinner was wonderful.  We ate with Lisa and Ryan and Debbie and Terry.  Patricia gave a great toast about friendship and it was obviously no one wanted to leave. 

After, the six of us took the Vaporetto to St. Mark's Square and went to Florian, the oldest coffee shop in the world.  We had an expensive trip: 6 Euro each just to hear the orchestra play plus a 10 Euro hot chocolate and a 12 Euro beer.  We normally would've never done that, but in the spirit of the last night we splurged.  We stayed and hung out for a while and then headed home.  I took 104 pictures today :)


Rialto bridge at night

Kristin's Favorite Part of the Day:
Gondola ride

Josh's Favorite Part of the Day:
Gondola ride

Kristin's Biggest Surprise of the Day:
How good black and white pictures turned out at night and that no one in our group wanted to leave the restaurant or go back to their rooms.  It is so great how much we all loved each other by the end of the trip.

Josh's Biggest Surprise of the Day:
that Murano Island was underwhelming

Gelato Count:
Josh: 1 (cherry)
Kristin: 1 (Kit Kat and some other European candy bar flavor)


Europe Trip- Day 9: July 6, 2012

VENICE
By Joshua Earl Hundt


*SIDEBAR= In case you didn't know, I (Kristin) have been dreaming of going to Venice it seems like my whole life.  I've been OBSESSED with it forever*


The morning started with our final goodbye to Florence and our last bus trip too, this time en route to Venice!  On our way to Venice, we stopped at the town of Ferrara for lunch.  In Ferrara we saw the castle of the Deste Family.  This castle and town were both letdowns and quite boring.


At about 3:00pm our bus dropped us off for our short water taxi to our hotel in Venice.  Our hotel is on the Grand Canal just steps from the bridge Ponte Degli Scolzi, which happened to be on the list of sights we wanted to see. 


Since Venice is so hard to maneuver we decided to just start walking and see whatever we happened to see.  With this plan we got to see many exciting sights as well as some little back alleys that aren't on any maps. 


We had a delicious dinner (Kristin got a ravioli who's recipe was from the 14th century) at the #10 ranked restaurant in Venice and Kristin was able to take many many pictures and was able to recreate a lot of the Venice photos we have in our home. 


During our journey we saw Santa Maria Glorioso dei Frari, San Pantalon, Ponte tre Ponti, Rialto Market, Rialto Bridge, piazza San Marco, Doges Palace, Basilica San Marco, The Bridge of Sighs, The Grand Canal, and countless other treasures. 


Kristin said Venice was even more picturesque than she imagined.  She took 110 pictures just in Venice :)


Kristin's Favorite Part of the Day:
Taking REAL pictures of my favorite city (I even cried at the beauty)


Josh's Favorite Part of the Day:
Walking on t he boardwalk by St. Mark's Square and seeing how excited Kristin was when we arrived in Venice.


Kristin's Biggest Surprise of the Day:
The Grand Canal...better than I ever dreamed!


Josh's Biggest Surprise of the Day:
How well we navigated even though we had no idea where we were. 


Gelato Count:
Josh: 2 (mint chocolate chip and vanilla, pineapple)
Kristin: 2 (Nutella and milk with Sprat, chocolate)

Grand Canal.  I'm sorry, this picture even gives me chills.

I was grinning from ear-to-ear all day!


The entire city of Venice is a piece of art. 


Literally, I've died and gone to heaven!