Wednesday, June 29, 2011

You're Invited

I'm going to have a pity party and you're invited!
My period always begins on the morning of 13 days past ovulation, I have a 12 day luteal phase.  Thanks to the super cheap pack of wondfo's I got earlier in the month, I began testing at 8DPO.  Every single last one was a big fat negative.  Stark white, not even a hint of an evaporation line.  Yesterday morning my temperature took a nose dive so I was fully prepared for my period to arrive at it's normal time.  Except that it didn't.  It didn't arrive yesterday morning, afternoon, or evening.  It still hadn't arrived this morning and my temperature jumped back above the coverline.  Nada this afternoon, too.  So while I was bored at work I decided to look up the reviews for wondfo HPTs on Amazon.  Lo and behold lots of women have complained about not getting a positive on them when they really are pregnant.  So my mind jumped into overdrive.  Maybe I really was pregnant!

Andy and I had to go over to my parent's house for dinner.  On the way home I stopped off at Target and bought a few essentials.  Deodorant, mouth wash, a five pack of digital HPTs, face wash, bread....When I got home my period still hadn't started, so I peed on one of the digitals and set it on the counter.  Right before I was going to look at the test I felt my period begin.  I checked and it had most definitely started, I didn't even need to look to know the digital was going to tell me I was "Not Pregnant".  I think I said quite a few swear words then cried on Andy's shoulder for a few minutes.

I feel like an idiot but it's time to move on, no more pity party.  God has perfect timing, I just need to keep reminding myself of that.  Things don't happen in my perfect timing because I don't know what God has in store for us.  When the time is right He will know and He will make it happen.  If we get pregnant this cycle then the baby would likely have their estimated due date on Andy's birthday.  He proposed to me on his birthday four years ago, it would be awesome to be able to give him a child five years later.  Here's to hoping and praying!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

My Faith

I think I've mentioned before that my faith in God is a very new thing.  I have never known my parents to attend church.  My dad likes to tell a story about the few months of time they attempted to take me when I was around 3 or 4 years old.  They would drop me off at the bible study classroom and when they would pick me up my dad  would ask, "what did you learn today?".  Apparently I always replied in a very bored tone, "Just more Jesus stuff".  They quickly stopped making me go, since I obviously had no interest in it.

I love my parents with all my heart and they did an absolutely fantastic job raising me.  But this is the one area where I feel that they failed me, at least a little.  I was raised by all accounts to be a christian, we just never mentioned the name God.  I remember asking my dad about it when I was a teenager and he told me that he grew up attending a strict church and hated the hypocrisy of the people he saw there every Sunday.  When he went to college he stopped attending church, and although he tried out a few from time to time, he said he continued to see the same hypocrisy.  I can't blame him for not wanting to attend a church like that, I wouldn't either.

When I met Andy this was the one sticky point between us.  He had been raised attending a wonderful Baptist church and held a very strong belief.  I remember him crying to me one day that he was terrified that we would be separated, him going to heaven and me going to hell for my lack of faith.  I remember being so offended and hurt.  He knew that I was a good person, why in the world did he think I would go to hell?  I didn't understand at the time, I wasn't ready to understand.

A year and a half ago Andy convinced me to attend a Christmas Eve service at a Baptist church in town.  Honestly, there wasn't much convincing needed.  I think he mentioned wanting to attend one, so I researched until I found a church that sounded like a good fit.  Sitting in the pews at that service I remember getting goosebumps on my arms and tears stinging my eyes.  I felt His presence.  I didn't really know what that meant at the time and Andy and I allowed excuses to keep us from going back for a little over a year.  When Christmas 2010 rolled around I was disappointed that Andy didn't want to attend the Christmas Eve service.  We had had a bunch of family over that day and would have had to rush to make it on time, but I still wanted to go.  I wanted that feeling back that I had had the previous year.  We compromised and agreed to go on Sunday. 

I don't think it's any coincidence that 12/26/10, five days before we found out we were pregnant, was the day we really began going to church together.  I remember feeling like an outsider.  I didn't want to sing the words to the songs, because I wasn't sure I believed them.  But listening to them I again got goosebumps and had to struggle not to cry.  I felt peaceful during the service and I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about God.  I wasn't sure how I really felt, or what I believed, but I knew I wanted to continue to go to church to find out. 

The following Sunday I sat through the service with my hand resting on my stomach and a secret smile inside my heart.  We were going to be parents.  Suddenly the words of the service took on an entirely new meaning, and I was ready to hear them.  A few days later when I began to miscarry our precious baby, Andy asked me if I wanted to pray.  I had never done it before, I didn't know how.  So he wrapped me in his arms and prayed out loud for me.  I cried but I felt a sense of calm and peace.  I suddenly felt that God was there listening to us.  I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that even if he wouldn't answer these particular prayers he was still listening.

Andy and I have continued to pray together this way every night since them.  I now pray on my own too.  Mostly I go outside to our tree that we planted for our baby and whisper my prayer to God.  But I find myself doing it at other times too.  When I was in Oregon, dealing with my Grandpa's rapid decline and then death I prayed a lot.  I felt that God was listening and found a great deal of comfort.  Even the plane ride to and from Oregon was tremendously different.  I am terrified of flying, I hate the bumps.  But this time I just closed my eyes and prayed to God.  I told him that I knew my life was his and that I trusted him.  I then felt a tremendous peace and wasn't afraid any more.

My faith has grown so much this year.  Once I believed in God, I got mad at him for taking away our baby.  But I've found peace with that as well.  I'm not happy that I never got to hold my baby, but I find comfort knowing that they are in heaven and I will meet them one day.  I know that God has perfect timing and a perfect plan for Andy and myself.  For our family.  I know that when his time is right we will have our healthy pregnancy and healthy baby.  It's still a struggle not to want more than God can give me right now.  But ultimately I have faith.  I know with all my heart that even if God does not answer my prayer, He is still listening.  To rip off a really good song, sometimes the best things in life come from unanswered prayers.  I don't know what the future holds, but I have faith that there is a reason certain prayers have not been answered yet.  Greater things are yet to come and greater things are yet to be done.

At the end of every service there is a call for people to come forward to profess their faith and to be baptized if they haven't been before.  Andy had lightly encouraged me for awhile, saying that when I was ready he would go forward with me.  A few weeks ago I suddenly felt that God was telling me "Now".  So I grabbed Andy's hand and we walked forward together.  After the service people came to shake our hands and I started to cry.  Again with the inappropriate reactions!  But I was just so incredibly happy and thankful to have found God and to have found a home at a wonderful church filled with amazing people.  So tomorrow I will be baptized!  I am so incredibly excited and thankful.  I know that tomorrow starts a new journey and a new life for me and for Andy.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Holy Inappropriate Reaction, Batman!

After work I got to go have dinner with a friend.  After eating far too much food and drinking a creme soda (brewed at the restaurant), I arrived home fat and happy.  Andy told me that we needed cat food and we had to go tonight.  So I changed into some comfy sweats and off we went.

At Petsmart I saw the cutest jaguar stuffed toy and just had to buy it for Zoe.  I knew she would love it!  We also picked up two bags of cat food and headed to the cashier.  She rang us up and Andy slid his card through.  Declined.

Our credit card company is a pain in the butt.  They have this fantastic fraud alert program that sends you an e-mail and calls you to let you know they think your card might be being used fraudulently.  Sounds great, right?  Except that they deactivate the card before they send the alert to you, then you have to call them to confirm your purchase and get it turned back on.  I can appreciate them trying to protect our money, but it is so incredibly embarrassing to have your credit card declined!

So Andy and I have the cashier delete our ticket and I go off to make the phone call.  I figured the fraud alert was because last night we bought plane tickets to Las Vegas and booked a hotel room.  It was a heftier charge than normally gets placed on our card.  Nope, that's not what they thought was fraudulent.  It was a $10 video game purchase Andy had made online.  Seriously?  You don't flag our card for plane tickets, but you do for a video game?

So Andy goes back through the line and purchases our goods, while I wait on hold to talk to a supervisor.  We head out to the car and Andy puts the toy and food in the back while I talk.  Turns out the supervisor can't change anything and our card will continue to be deactivated when "the system" thinks we make a fraudulent purchase.  I get off the phone and burst into tears.

Andy looks at me like I've grown a second head and asks if I'm okay.  No, I'm not okay!  Does it look like I'm okay?  It takes me all of 30 seconds to realize I have no reason to be crying and I don't know why I am.  I was back to being happy in less than a minute.  Talk about an inappropriate reaction!  Oh well, at least Zoe likes her jaguar.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


I was sitting in my office at work today when I just happened to poke my left breast.  It's sore!  Woohoo!  That's definitely a sign that this is the cycle. Then I yawn. I'm tired too! And my head hurts, I'm thirsty, and I really need to pee. More symptoms! Hmm, do I have excess saliva too?  I hold it in my mouth for a minute and swish it around.  Definitely have excess saliva too!  I must be pregnant!
On TTCAL there is an acronym for the fantasy symptoms women commonly get during the two week wait.  It is MF, which stands for mind fetus.  My mind has made up one heck of a fetus this month!

I am only slightly ashamed to admit that I have been feeling myself up nonstop for a couple days now. In my office, in the car when stopped at a red light, in the shower...No area is safe from me manhandling my boobs! I'm pretty sure a coworker saw me squeeze my boob in the hallway this afternoon...All that poking and squeezing could definitely be the culprit for the soreness.

As for my fatigue and headache, I would be surprised if it wasn't due to the fact that I haven't slept through an entire night in at least a month. Something (usually chubba bubba Asthma Boy) never fails to wake me up at 3 or 4am, and since I'm charting that means I have to take my temperature. I know I won't get a solid three hours of sleep before 6am. So I fumble for my thermometer and stick it in my mouth. When it beeps I use the brightness of my phone's screen to look at the temperature, then enter it into my app. After that I have to sync it to Fertility Friend and look at my chart. 10 minutes later I'm trying to fall back asleep, with the bright light of my phone still burned into my retina. Let me tell you, falling asleep in a queen sized bed with a husband and five furbabies is TOUGH stuff! Andy on one side with Cody wedged between us, Asthma Boy on my pillow purring away, Pixel on my other side spooning with Lion, and Zoe at my feet. I start to feel a little hot and claustrophobic, so I have to kick the covers off. Then I get cold and have to put them back on. Falling back asleep is a real process, so when I have to wake up at 6am for work I'm never well rested.
I live in Texas, so even after yesterdays rain, it's still HOT here. So of course I'm more thirsty than I was a few months ago when it was cooler. Pop quiz! What happens when you drink more? Umm uhhh pee more! Then my excess saliva symptom is just dumb. Of course when you hold it in your mouth for a few seconds it will seem like you have extra!

Okay, so maybe all those other symptoms are made up.  Fine.  But my stomach has been upset off an on for four days.  That definitely means I'm pregnant.  No way it could be related to all the mexican food (including Taco Bell!) I've eaten within those four days, right?
 The two week wait sucks.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Take It Off

"If the weight of the world is on your shoulders
got a week of worries on your mind
go on do what you wanna do
soak you up a little sunshine
dig your hand down in a cooler
grab a cold one and twist the top
take it off" 
~ Joe Nichols, Take It Off

I hope Maria at Every Day Is A Country Song doesn't think I'm ripping off her blog idea with this post!  She does an amazing job matching country songs to what is going on in her life, and I certainly am not trying to compete.  I couldn't, even if I wanted to!

But I love this song and it has inspired me.  I really feel like I have been walking around with the weight of the world on my shoulders and far more than a week of worries on my mind!  I'm ready to unload and take it all off. 

I feel that:
I am responsible for losing our baby.  
I will never get pregnant again.
There must be something wrong with my body. 
If I do get pregnant again, I will have another miscarriage.
I am a failure because my body cannot support a healthy pregnancy. 
Andy is going to end up hating me because my body and a child are not compatible.
My friends do not like the person I have become. 
My parents are getting older.  After seeing my grandpa's rapid decline I'm scared.
I should have known my grandpa's health was declining.  I should have made my mom and uncle act sooner.
I'm a selfish person for not wanting to be around anyone who is currently pregnant and due near my EDD. 

Just writing those out, even knowing that a lot of them are irrational, makes me feel so much lighter.  I think when you experience something traumatic it's human instinct to want to know the reason.  For lack of outside sources for our pain we then look inward.  We then blame ourselves.  My mom is what I like to call a "super woman".  She has always been strong for others, doing more and giving more than she should.  I am a lot like her and as a result I am so much harder on myself than on anyone else.  I have high expectations for those around me, but I set the bar for myself so much higher.  It's pretty much impossible for me to meet my expectations for myself, let alone exceed them.  I need to stop.  I need to take off the expectations and the self imposed pressure. 

I did not cause my miscarriage.  
I will get pregnant again.  
I can't say for sure that I won't miscarry again, but I certainly hope not.  We have a plan in place for when I do get pregnant again and a plan is the best I can do right now.  God has perfect timing.  
Andy loves me and will continue to love me no matter what.  We will have living children one day, no matter what.
My true friends love me and will support me throughout all of the ups and downs of life.
Hindsight is 20/20 and blaming myself for my grandpa is not of any use to anyone.  
My parents are aging but worrying about it doesn't do anyone any good.
It's okay to feel sad and a little jealous around those due near my EDD.  It's human nature and there is no way to stop feeling that way.  But I can and will do my best to treat them the way I would want them to treat me if the situations were reversed.

Now where is that cold one?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day

My husband is a father.

He is a father to five wonderful furbabies (and one foster furbaby).

He is a father to our baby in heaven.

Andy is an amazing man, with so much love in his heart.  I am so incredibly blessed to be his wife.  I hope and pray that next year I can make him a father to a living child.  I know that he will be the greatest father ever.

 My dad is both a father to me and a grandfather to an angel baby.

He raised me to be hardworking, thoughtful, and considerate.  He raised me not to be afraid to love with all my heart.  I hope that next year I can make him a grandfather to a living child.

My grandfather is in heaven today, it's our first father's day without him.  I miss him with all my heart.

But I know that he is holding our baby in his lap and telling them all about us.  Together they are watching us from heaven.

I am eternally grateful that I have been blessed with so many wonderful fathers in my life.  Happy father's day to all of you!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Get To Know You Post...With Pictures!

I love how a lot of other blogs I read include pictures throughout the entries, it makes it so much more personal.  So my blogging goal for the month is to include more pictures!  To kick it off I decided it would be neat to tell everyone a little bit more about my family.

Andy and I at a park not too far from our house.

I call this our "Family Portrait".  I had been sick with food poisoning, then the flu, then bronchitis at the end of 2009/early 2010.  I was finally feeling better, but I had turned the couch into my sick bed.  I was watching a movie when I realized that all five of our furbabies were snuggling on the couch with me!  Andy grabbed the camera, and slid in for the portrait.

Our three cats.  Cody is the one on the left.  She's about 11 years old, and not the brightest crayon in the box.  She was dropped on her head as a kitten, and as a result she has a few quirks.  Asthma Boy is the middle cat.  He's the only mama's boy out of the three.  I like to call him my first born, since he was my first furbaby.  When I got him he was a pitiful kitten, just getting over an upper respiratory infection and ring worm all over his body.  He continues to have asthma attacks, and snot issues to this day.  He's pretty gross, and a bit of a jerk, but I love him.

He's also a tad on the fat side.

Lion is the third cat.  He was born into a feral cat colony at my first apartment in 2003.  He would crawl under the patio fence to sit on my lawn chair all day long.  He brought me dead mice and lizards, and would play with Asthma Boy through the window.  I began trapping, spaying/neutering, and releasing cats in the colony.  When I caught Lion I couldn't resist keeping him.  It took me six months for him to let me pet him!  The first time Andy came over to my house Lion was in his lap within 30 minutes.  It was love at first sight, and as you can see from the picture it continues to this day.

Zoe and Pixel are our two dogs.  Zoe is my best friend, I call her my "puppy soul mate".  I try not to play favorites with my kiddos, but it's undeniable that Zoe is at the top.  She is just so darn cute, cuddly, and lovable.  She is able to smell my tears from a mile away and will come running the second I start to sniffle.  She is a fantastic nurse and won't leave my side if I'm not feeling well.

She is a total sucker for belly rubs.  She taught herself to stand up on her hind legs and balance perfectly for them.  When she wants a belly rub she will hop up onto your lap and strike this pose.  We joke that her tongue is too long for her mouth, because it's always sticking out!

Pixel is a daddy's girl.  She's our resident guard dog, she's constantly looking out the windows and letting us know of any threats.  She has the most hilarious whine/bark/singing noise that she makes!  I keep telling Andy that we need to videotape it and put it on youtube.  Maybe she'll be the next viral star!

Our furbabies get along really well.

Yes, I did say that we have three cats and two dogs...but we currently have a third dog staying with us!  When my grandpa passed away almost six weeks ago I inherited his best friend, Cassie.  She is a gorgeous 8 year old dachshund.  I absolutely love and adore her, but it's become clear that we need to find a better home for her.  She's used to being the center of some one's world, and as you can tell we already have our best friends.  She's not unhappy with us, but I feel that she deserves so much better.  She was such a wonderful companion to my grandpa, she deserves that same type of love again.  So we're in the process of trying to find her a wonderful home.  But in the meantime we have a very full house!

So that's a summary of my immediate family.  Hopefully I'll include more pictures in the future.  Maybe now I can convince Andy to let me buy that pocket sized camera I'm been eying...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

2011 Part 2 Goals Check-In

 A little over two weeks ago I posted my goals for my "new year".  So far the new year is going pretty well!  So I wanted to check-in on my progress with my goals.  If I check in every once in awhile it will hopefully keep me accountable!

1. Get and stay pregnant for 9 months, get our take home baby!
  • So far so good?  I'm in the two week wait now, so only time will tell!  I feel like we really did everything possible to conceive on our own this cycle.  But it's all in God's time.
2. Continue my journey of faith. I will be baptized this month. I would like to read the bible and learn more about God. I aim to remember that God has perfect timing.
  • I'm going to be baptized on the 26th! I'm really excited for that.  I am so incredibly happy that I have found God.  I can't believe I spent 28 years of my life not having a relationship with Him.  I have not read any of the bible on my own yet, but I have read lots of inspirational verses that friends on TTCAL have posted.  The bible is rather daunting, and I'm a little intimidated.
3. Cook more food at home, eat out less.
  • Doing fairly well!  I'm using E-mealz for recipes and have so far made three home cooked meals in four days.
4. Be a better wife to my husband. Not complain to him as much about things he cannot fix.
  • I honestly think this is probably my most difficult goal.  I'll have to ask Andy, but I'm not sure I'm doing a good job so far.  I'm going to have to make this more of a focus!
5. Prioritize myself and my health. Join a gym with a swimming pool and go at least three times per week.
  • I decided not to join a gym, since there is a perfectly good neighborhood pool not too far away.  It has a lap lane.  Unfortunately I've only been one time so far.  But next week I'm going to try really hard to reach this goal!  #1 and 6 got in the way of this one.
6. Be more open to opportunities. I'm shy IRL and have social anxiety. I need to accept more invitations and not let my fears prevent me from experiencing life.
  • I think I'm doing really well so far!  I went to a coworkers wedding shower, and wedding despite my anxiety.  I also hung out with a different coworker last night.
    7. Blog about our journey. I have found strength through reading about the journeys of others. If my story can help even one person then it is worth telling.
    • I have so many things I want to blog about!  But I'm struggling with a few different things.  Do I want this to be super positive, or am I going to be brutally honest about my feelings?  Do I want to go into great detail about the process, or edit it so I don't mind family reading it?
    8. Work in my garden more.
    • Last Friday I worked a lot in my garden.  I weeded half of a flower bed, and planted yellow roses.  I pulled up dead flowers, and trimmed back over-growth.  I'm pretty proud of our yard so far!  I'm also happy to announce that my crepe myrtle bush has it's first bloom today.
    9. Thank God for my many blessings every day. Stop taking them for granted.
    • I'm really trying to remember and focus on this every day.  Despite all the bad things that have happened in the past six months, I am incredibly blessed. 
      10. Take our dogs for more walks. Zoe is getting pudgy and so am I! It would be good for both of us!
      •  This is another one that I need to focus on more.  We currently have my grandpa's dachshund, although we're trying to find a good home for her.  Two people walking three dogs is a little difficult, especially when you add in high temperatures over 100 degrees already.

      All in all I think 2011 part 2 is going to be good.  I'm excited on the progress I have already made, and look forward to working on them even more!

      Thursday, June 9, 2011

      Green Eyed Monster

      Jealousy is rearing it's ugly head within me!  I'm ashamed of myself for it, but I can't seem to stop.  I fully believe that God has perfect timing and we will get our take home baby at some point, somehow.  But that doesn't prevent me from being soooooo jealous of all the women who are currently pregnant!

      I know of four women in real life who are currently pregnant.  A coworker is due one month before our EDD, my ex boyfriend's 42 year old girlfriend (now wife) is due three weeks before our EDD, my best friend's sister is due two weeks before our EDD, and my husband's cousin is due two weeks after our EDD.  I don't know all of their stories, which I remind myself of on a daily basis.  They might have had previous losses as well.  I know my husband's cousin has had two miscarriages.  But I'm still incredibly jealous.

      On the website I mentioned previously I am "buddies" with three women.  We have a really cute badge and everything.  This week two of them have announced that they're pregnant.  I am beyond thrilled for them, since I know how difficult this journey has been for them.  But I'm sad for me.  My third buddy is currently trying to avoid.  Yep, so I'm the only one trying and failing in our group!

      I sometimes hate the person my loss has made me.  I'm bitter, jealous, and sad.  Those are not qualities I want to associate with myself.  But how do I go about fixing it?  Venting seems like a good start.  I tend to bottle up these icky emotions that I'm not proud of, then at some point they overflow.  I think the major overflow is worse in the long run, compared to occasionally admitting my feelings. So for tonight I'm embracing my green eyed monster, because tomorrow I'm putting it back in it's box!

      Sunday, June 5, 2011

      TRYING To Conceive

      I have officially become that woman.  I never thought that I would become that woman.  But here I am, and I'm embracing it! 

      When Andy and I first began trying to conceive I got a little over zealous, he had to lay down the law and tell me to chill out.  Low and behold, our 5th month trying but not trying we conceived.  Since we lost our first baby, I've managed to hold onto a little bit of my sanity (although Andy would probably disagree).  I've used Clear Blue Easy Digital OPKs, but that it's.  I have to admit that I kind of like peeing on sticks.  Is that so wrong?  The CBE OPKs are awesome too, because they give you an adorable smiley face when positive.  I really love that smiley, it makes me happy every time!

      This month I have completely gone off the TTC deep end.  We have now tried for 5 cycles since our loss, and have nothing to show for it.  So this month I'm drinking pomegranate juice every day.  It's supposed to help thicken your lining, which will give an embryo more to burrow into.  You drink it from cycle day 1 until ovulation.  So far I have been mixing the pomegranate juice with either Smirnoff or sprite.  I have to admit that the Smirnoff tastes way better with it, and I enjoy drinking it a lot more!  But I can't justify the alcohol every day, as much as I would like to.

      Thanks to my trusty OPKs I have a really good idea of when I ovulate.  But this month I have decided to take it one step further.  Charting!  You can find my Fertility Friend link at the bottom of my blog.  I have learned so many interesting things about my body through this journey.  I never knew that just by taking your temperature every morning you could find out so much about what your body is doing!

      I have also ordered Preeseed.  It's a sperm friendly lube.  I usually have decent quality egg white cervical mucous (not to brag or anything!), but I decided I'm all in this month.  If it can help, I'm willing to try it!

      If this cycle is a bust then we will officially have been trying to conceive after a loss for six months.  That's a really depressing thought.  I really don't want to reach that point!  I know a lot of people say the generic, "relax, it'll happen".  Those people have obviously never lost a baby.  I should be 26 weeks pregnant right now.  I should be planning my baby shower, my nursery, and delivery.  Instead I'm still hoping and praying for a baby.  I now know that even if we get pregnant again, there is no guarantee we will get our take home baby.

      But despite all my crazy attempts to conceive this cycle, I still know deep down in my heart that God has perfect timing.  I just hope his timing means a healthy baby conceived this month!

      Thursday, June 2, 2011

      Bump Date!

      I have been an active member of The Bump's TTCAL board for the past two months.  The women there have been a complete lifesaver for me.  I absolutely hate that anyone has to go through a miscarriage, but I am so thankful for the comfort and support these women have provided. 

      About a week ago one of the women contacted me through private message.  She is from Houston, but was going to be visiting my city this week.  She asked if I would like to meet up for coffee sometime.  I had been having a rough time, so for someone to reach out to me out of the blue was an amazing thing.  I replied yes, and we set up a coffee date for today at 4:15pm.  Over two hours later we were still talking!  I had such a wonderful time.  She brought me a gift, which was very sweet.  It's the Willow Tree Angel of Hope.  So perfect! 

      I can't believe how happy and hopeful I feel after my conversation with her.  It was a wonderful thing to have another woman to talk to face to face about our losses, and to have someone just understand.  I am so thankful that I was given the opportunity to meet her!  I hate that I am on this path, but at the same time I'm thankful for the people I am meeting along the way.