Toddler Time: Let’s Be Real

The purpose of my Toddler Time Posts is to show everyone it isn’t always cute poses, sing-alongs, and happy hugs. This is just a peek inside the crazy life I live. My non-sugarcoated way of proving I do not have it all together. 

 

It never fails. Anytime I am out in public with Ryker and Averlee, it always happens. At least one person will stop me and say, “You have your hands full!”. My response is always the same. “I do but I love it!” I then smile and go back refereeing their shopping buggy quarrels.

The truth is, I do have my hands full… now! Looking back on the sleepless newborn nights, days of changing diaper after diaper, pumping, then feeding, then pumping again, I cannot help but think how simple those days seem compared to what my days are now! Seriously. Now the sleepless nights are due to teething babies who cannot sleep. Even when Averlee isn’t cutting a tooth, she still insists on waking promptly between the hours of 11pm and 1am and again between 3am and 5am. When she wakes, it is usually because she lost her paci. *Yes. She’s 15 months and still has a paci. I can feel your judging eyes now. Thanks.* Sometimes it is just because she hates her crib, her room, or maybe she just hates knowing everyone is asleep and she isn’t? I’ve asked her what the issue is on numerous occasions in the wee dark hours of the night. She has yet to respond. I’m sure in a few months she will enlighten us. Maybe.

Oh and let’s not forget how mobile and independent my tiny toddlers have become! The days of carrying them where I want them to go are over. They have their own agenda now which involves (on the daily) trying to climb stairs, unplugging night lights, hiding behind curtains, opening the kitchen garbage can, stepping in the cat water, stomping dog food on the laundry room floor, and opening cabinets. Daily. We bought all of the childproofing items Lowe’s had to offer, but they are no match for the Bell twins. They work together to remove the locks on the cabinets. They get stuck IN the gate at the bottom of the stairs. I’ve even caught Ryker carrying around a makeshift stool so he can reach the photos on the entryway table. Where does he come up with this stuff?!

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Ryker and his “stool”.

The truth is- at the end of the day by 2:00pm everyday, I’m exhausted. My heart is so happy though. My hands may be full, but my heart is overflowing. There are days when I feel like I absolutely cannot say, “No Ryker. Don’t do that Averlee!” one more time. I also have days when I cannot wait for them to wake up from nap so we can play or go to the park. This is not an easy job, but I definitely cannot think of a better job for me right now. It was a long road to get here, but I’m enjoying the scenery now.

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They were chatting about outside and pointing at the pool.

 

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Prayer Request

 

 

I’ve been praying for God to show me, lead me, direct me, slap me in the face, or something of that nature. I have poured so much into my blog over the last five years; however, since the twins were born I’ve slacked. I wouldn’t call it writers’ block. I would like to call it a lack of direction. I did not want to fall into the crowd of other mom bloggers who write the play by play of the day. If you are one of those bloggers, that’s great. I probably follow you and giggle at your crazy days. I’m entertained by those women, but I just do not feel like that is me. I cannot exactly continue to write solely about infertility … well because I kicked infertility’s rear. Do you see my problem?

Where do I go?! 

A few months ago God placed a woman in my path. Maybe He placed me in her path? (We shall refer to her as C.) Either way, she reached out to me about my blog. As I got to know her and heard more of her story, it hit me. I kicked infertility’s rear and proved a few doctors wrong {pointing at the town of Tullahoma}, now it is time for me to be the hand to hold, shoulder to cry on, and encouragement someone else might need. It is time to pay it all forward. All of it.

I’ve prayed about this for several weeks. I just didn’t know what to do and it wasn’t very clear where God wanted me. In moments like that, I wish He could just send me an email or something. Like… can I get some very clear instructions here, please?! It all seemed a little fuzzy, and I wasn’t sure what direction God wanted me to take this desire. So I waited. and waited. and waited. Then my friend, Kayla, reached out to me about some thoughts she had been tossing around. I prayed over that conversation, but still didn’t “feel” the calling for my next steps. So I waited some more. THEN, it hit me. I was texting C one day. She was telling me about a support group she had attended. She told me some of the things the host said within the group. It made my heart hurt. She said things you should NEVER say to someone faced with infertility. In that moment, I knew I could do better. I knew I wanted to be an encouragement. I needed to turn this desire into action.

How do I make it happen? 

I have all of these ideas swimming around in my mind, but I haven’t quite decided how to make them a reality. I cannot decide how to put this new venture into action. Here are some things I have to consider:

  • Location: Obviously I cannot welcome everyone into my home filled with toddler toys. As personal and private as those gatherings would be, I just do not feel like it would be the best environment for women who are struggling.
    • Another option is a local coffee shop or cafe. I just need a table, a room, anything! My concern with this option is I do not want everyone to feel like they have to buy a meal every time they come. I also wonder how private this option would be. I mean if we are all sitting around a table crying, I don’t want to scare off the other people in the cafe. I also want the women to feel comfortable sharing and discussing. I’m not sure a cafe would offer that type of comfort.
  • Will anyone actually come?: I’ve been doing a bit of research the last few weeks. One of my biggest concerns is nobody will come or everyone will come. I do not want to limit the group to only women who are dealing with infertility, but everything I’ve read says I need to do so. Maybe once I get a feel for how the group will go, we will be able to open it up to women who have recently experienced a miscarriage, couples, and maybe even women who are choosing adoption. So with all of that being said, I’ll either have nobody at the group meetings or I’ll have several. I. Just. Don’t. Know.
  • Materials: If any of you are familiar with RESOLVE, you know they have an amazing program for Peer Led Support Groups. Coincidentally, there is not a RESOLVE support group in my area. The closest one is in Nashville, which is over an hour away. I have listened to the tele-seminar on starting a peer led support group, and I’ve received the information on how to start the group. I’ve also received the application I have to submit to RESOLVE in order to be “official”. They lay everything out for you in a host packet so you can get started, BUT faith is not mentioned. RESOLVE is not founded on a particular religion; therefore, as a RESOLVE host, they would discourage me from speaking about faith. Therein lies my problem. How do I encourage women without mentioning faith? How do I close a meeting without having prayer?

I want to hear your thoughts. Those of you who have attended or are attending support groups, what are some things you like about your group? What are some things you do not necessarily like? Do you use a book? Where do you meet? Let me hear it!

Please pray for me and this desire in my heart. I feel like my mind is going in so many directions as I try to iron out the details and make this a reality.

Finding Comfort in the Uncomfortable

 

 

Thanks to the crazy Tennessee weather (and a couple toddler tantrums), I missed my regular Wednesday night prayer meeting with some amazing ladies. Have no fear. I spent time in prayer and studying yesterday, so I’m here now to share my reflections! Grab a seat. Have some coffee. Whatever.

What do we miss when we hide within our comfort zone? 

Take the word “we” out for a second. What do I miss when I hide within my comfort zone? Personally, I feel like I have missed out on relationships! I’m so guilty of not reaching out to people from time to time who might need a little boost because… well… it might require me to *gasp* talk to a stranger. This is not something new. I’ve been a little on the shy side for as long as I can remember. Once I get to know someone, and I’m comfortable around them, I open up. I’m a sealed little mystery until then though. With age, I’ve slowly begun to push myself outside of my own limits. I’m not moving mountains by any means, but I’m definitely working on it!

When I’m stuck in my comfort zone (a.k.a my own little, peaceful, drama free world), am I missing the fullness of God? YES! God wants me to be comfortable being uncomfortable! I have to step outside of my little box and have faith in God. I realize this comes easier for some than others. That’s what makes this world a beautiful place though! If we were all the same, what fun would that be? If we all lived in the same little comfortable box, how could we really accomplish what God wants us to accomplish? We wouldn’t! We would all be stuck in own little comfortable worlds.

When I decided to write about our infertility journey, I was absolutely terrified. When I hit the publish button on that super long post in 2013, my heart sank. I had prayed over it for several days and finally just took the leap. I was uncomfortable, but at the same time I had high hopes somewhere, somehow someone would read my words and it would be an encouragement one day. After that first post, the future posts became easier. It wasn’t always rainbows and sunshine though. I did hit a few bumps along the way, but in the end I felt like I was being called to share my story. I realize what I did is not something everyone feels called to do! I’m not saying we should all air our personal business online. I am saying sometimes we feel called to do things we wouldn’t necessarily think we would do. In my case, sharing all of my reproductive issues with family, friends, and strangers was what I felt I needed to do at the time.

Here I am today. I’ve been tossing a few ideas around for where I want my blog to go and how I want to continue. I have a very special place in my heart for women who are faced with an infertility journey, women who are dealing with pregnancy loss, and just women who just need someone to be real with! [waving hello] With that being said, I am so patiently waiting for God to show me where to go from here. I have been feeling a tiny little tug at my heart lately to start a prayer group specifically for these special women in my life. Nothing fancy. Just a little group who gathers together once a month or so just to pray with and for each other. I SO badly wanted to be a part of something like this when I was struggling along my own journey, but I never knew how, where, or when to get the ball rolling. Doing something like this will be a bit out of my comfort zone. I feel a little anxious just typing all of this out, but… but… but if we all stick with what we are comfortable with and what makes us always feel warm and fuzzy, how can we experience the fullness of God’s plan for our lives?

Ponder on this with me for a minute…
If you never step outside of the box, how can you ever really see the big picture? It isn’t about me. It isn’t about you. It is all about God. What does God want you to do? How can you use your life, your journey, your experience to help someone see God’s greatness?

Now put your coffee down and go be uncomfortable!

I’ll Hold You Tighter Today… and Always





I’ll be honest. I do not even know how to write about this. 

I sat in a very familiar waiting room yesterday waiting for my name to be called. I’ve sat in that waiting room before as I held back tears of disappointment. My husband and I sat in that waiting room numerous times when we were pregnant with R&A. Yesterday I was surrounded by few women who were sitting with what I would assume to be their mothers… maybe? Perhaps they were future grandmothers waiting to sneak a peek at their little grandchild? I noticed a few college-age young ladies scrolling through their phones too. Then there was me… 

I was there for a follow up appointment for some postpartum issues. After I told the nurse about how much better I had been feeling mentally and emotionally thanks to some new coping methods and a bit of medication, I began telling her about my periods and how terrible they had become. If you have followed my journey for very long, you know I do not have a regular period. When I do have a period, it is typically very painful, heavy, and miserable. I had high hopes some lifestyle changes (regular exercise and some dietary changes) would help alleviate the symptoms, but after several months… it just wasn’t working. When my doctor came in, I knew what we were about to discuss, but I silently prayed I was wrong. 

“You don’t want anymore kids, right?” 
With my history, I knew this would come up. I have struggled with heavy, irregular, painful periods for almost 20 years.  I KNEW eventually I would have to have this discussion. I have been tremendously blessed with three amazing children. My womb brought three miracle babies into this world. Now we are faced with the reality that I will not be carrying anymore babies in my womb. At the age of 30, I sat in a room and heard the word “hysterectomy”. I have joked with my mom for several years and said, “I wish someone would just take all of this out since it doesn’t work right anyway.” I was joking though. Now that I know I’m so close to that happening, it isn’t funny. I’m 30. I.AM.30. 

My doctor did give another option before we go to the extreme of a hysterectomy though. He suggested an endometrial ablation. He also said he will go in laparoscopically (again) to clean up any endometriosis. There is a possibility I may have some fibroids causing some issues as well, so he feels these procedures will help. He was very straight forward when he told me this might not fix it. He said it will at least buy me a few more years before a hysterectomy though. 

I did not write this in hopes someone would offer me sympathy and say, “Oh poor Kari.” Listen. I am a little overwhelmed by the fact I am facing this, but at the same time I am so thankful I was able to give my husband two beautiful babies. We both prayed and remained hopeful we would bring a child into this world. After a long, trying journey…We did. We were blessed with two at once. My reproductive organs do not function the way they should. In the bigger picture, I know taking care of this NOW will help me be a better mom and wife in the long run. It will be rough in the beginning for sure, but I am looking forward to living a life without heavy, painful periods. 

I’ll leave you with this photo of my three little miracles. . . I’m squeezing them a little tighter this week. I know I beat all odds thanks to God and His amazing plan. God is so good and I pray He will be with us as we face what’s next for me. 


To read about my last surgery here.