Infertility Week

One out of eight people struggle with infertility. I am a 1 in 8 and understand the struggle all to well. I have the extra label of “unexplained infertility”. For years I kept this struggle a secret. People would joke about not knowing how to make a baby. They would ask when we were going to have kids not knowing that another month had gone by with a negative pregnancy test. Not even my family knew the hardship we were having to conceive. I don’t know why I didn’t share. Maybe because I was scared they would think badly of me. Maybe because I was ashamed. Maybe because I thought that my burdens didn’t need to be anyone else’s problem. I regret not telling people sooner. Without a support system, I found myself crumbling into a pile of tears constantly with no one to turn to. Sadly I didn’t even keep my husband fully in the know. After two years of hiding our inability to get pregnant I began to tell people publicly about my hope to have a biological baby. I would share with people in my prayer circle, family, friends, Facebook, ANYONE! It made the walk bearable. Now I look back and know that every tear, pill, needle, test, ultrasound, doctor’s appointment, sleepless night, and prayer was worth it. God heard my prayers and granted me the desires of my heart. 
If you are a 1 in 8 like me, know that you are not alone. People everywhere are walking through infertility too. Don’t be scared to talk about it. It helps to say your fears, frustrations, hopes, and heartaches.

If you have a friend or family member who is walking this path, support them in whatever decisions they make. It is not up to you how they choose to approach having a family. Listen, pray, hangout…just be there for them. 

Infertility was the path God placed me on for a reason. I may never know what that reason was but this baby girl was worth it! 

Due Date


Today is Hannah’s due date and yet I’m still pregnant…to say that I have officially hit impatient would be an understatement. I am beyond ready to hold her in my arms instead of in my belly. I want to see her daddy’s face as he kisses her the first time and her grandparents as they take on a new title in life. I am anxious, emotional, and tired. But I know she is healthy where she is (and quiet) and that she will be here in God’s timing (He is still trying to teach me to let go of my need to control…I’m stubborn ūüėē). 

I Survived My Nightmare

Since finding out I was pregnant, and having the doctors confirm my due date (August 6), I have had a few nightmares, but one has reoccurred too many times to count. My water breaking as I’m meeting parents and students at open house. That may seem silly, but it has been my struggle. I have known since week four that at week 39 I would endure open house and the first week of school. For some reason the idea of the first week of school is less scary of a time for my water to break than open house. 

Last night was open house…and I survived my nightmare, or I guess my nightmare never occurred in real life! I’m so excited/relieved! As I met my 25 fifth graders and several of my teaching partner’s students as well, I was thrilled at how well they handled my very round belly and the fact that my due date is Saturday. Sure, at the end of the night my feet hurt, my back ached, and all I wanted was to lie down and sleep…but I would consider the night a HUGE success! Especially since my water didn’t break.

My Heart Aches

Today a friend in Sunday school shared that one of her friends from Mississippi lost their newborn baby. The mom had complications getting pregnant, endured a high risk pregnancy, knew the baby would have to have surgery right after birth, and then lost the baby at full term. I may have some information wrong, or misunderstood, but no matter what no mother should have to attend their child’s funeral. I know it happens so often, but today as I sit 39 weeks pregnant I find myself continually praying for Hannah to be okay. I hope that God will deliver her into this world happy and healthy. I thank the Lord for the great pregnancy He has blessed me with. 

As a doctor put it a few weeks ago, my perfect pregnancy has been a shock since it was so difficult to become pregnant. Infertility changed me, changed my heart, moved me in a direction I never thought I would walk with God, but pregnancy has changed me even more. My mindset about being a wife, teacher, daughter has all changed. I realized on my birthday this year that it is not only a big day in my life, but in my parents’. It’s the day they became mom and dad. The day they welcomed a new person into their home. The day God entrusted a little human into their hands. It’s a big day for them too! 

So today as I pray. I pray for a mom I will never meet. I pray God will heal her heart and bless her abundantly. I pray for several moms I know who have lost their children and know that I can never fully understand, but that God can soothe the hurt. I pray that God will give them joy in their sorrow and healing in their hurt. 

One Picture

I love photographs, but I don’t love the cost of professional photography. Over the years of Pinterest scanning I have had one picture in mind that I wanted when I became pregnant. It was nothing special, just a silouhette in front of a window. After pricing some photographers for a maternity shoot and recognizing that I am poor and would rather pay for photographs of Hannah instead of my baby bump I decided to break out my birthday present from my parents. 

After setting up the tripod, getting the camera positioned and figuring out the right angle by trial and error for about thirty pictures I grabbed the one picture I wanted. 

I am so glad to have this little reminder of how precious this time in my life is. I will never be this close with Hannah ever again and want to cherish the bond we have now (no matter how uncomfortable I am at times).

When did we switch to days?

Suddenly people have stopped asking how far along I am, or how many weeks left. Now they ask how many days? When did that happen? Months seemed like I had tons of time. Weeks made me realize how little time I had. But days… Man, days make the phrase any day now feel so much more real. 

So, to answer the question, we are 19 days away from her due date (ahhhhh!). We are so excited to meet our little girl and can’t wait to introduce her to our family and friends!

Like My Granny

Each of us sees personality traits and physical traits similar to our family members. It’s no different for me. I have my dad’s eyes and mom’s freckles. I get my love of math from my Papa and my knack for creating things with my hands from my Grandma Betty. But I discovered a new similarity between my Granny and myself a few months back. 

When I called to tell Granny the news about being pregnant she was thrilled! But in that same conversation she told me a story I had never heard before. 

When Granny was young and a newlywed she followed her husband (my Papa) all over the country from job to job, college to college, wherever he went she did too. They never prevented having children, but simply waited for God to send them a blessing. They waited, and waited, and waited. For five years they waited for a baby. Five years of wanting and waiting, hoping and praying. 

Finally, they were gifted a baby boy (my dad). My Granny described to me the way she wondered if they would ever have kids and how she had hoped and prayed for a baby for years. I could completely relate and instantly had a connection to her testimony. 

After my dad, she had two more children within 3 years. I hope and pray that the next part of our story is like hers. 

It’s amazing to me that although I have been close with my Granny for years this was the first time I had heard this story. 

Why Hannah Marie

Long before we ever became pregnant, we had picked baby names. Luke Stephen for a boy and Adelynn Marie for a girl. When we learned we were having a girl neither of us felt like Adelynn was right. 

We talked and prayed and felt so overwhelmed with the task of becoming parents and naming our daughter. God was entrusting us with a baby. On top of that, a baby GIRL! Instantly I understood why my mom told me a daughter was different than a son (which I definitely didn’t understand when I was a teenager). 

What were we supposed to name this precious little girl? As we talked and prayed and read our bibles it became more and more clear what we were supposed to do. 

Through our journey to become pregnant I studied all of the woman who struggled to have babies in the bible. I became connected to their stories in a new way and related to them like never before. Sarah, Rachel, Hannah, Samson’s mom (who isn’t named) all struggled to have children. The woman I related to most was Hannah. 

Hannah’s story can be found in 1 Samuel 1. In verse 10 the Bible says, ‚ÄúShe was deeply distressed and prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly.‚ÄĚ I cannot begin to count or remember the number of times I cried out in prayer, wept without words, and struggled with God over wanting a child. 

  
I do not ever want to forget what it took to be blessed with my daughter. I want to be reminded of the struggle and moments where God had to carry me, lift my head, and keep me going. I never want to feel like I did this on my own, because that would be a lie. I had nothing to do with the gift of this baby girl. She is completely from the Lord. 

As I cried telling my husband my feelings about this he said It sounds like we have a name. So we chose Hannah Marie (Marie is mine and my mom’s middle name). Instantly we had a peace about her name and knew that it was God’s name for this precious blessing!

Now, each time I say her name I will be reminded of the amount of prayer that was cried out to the Lord for our sweet baby girl!!!

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It’s a ???

We honestly had no preferences in whether Baby Ruff was a boy or a girl. We wanted a happy and healthy baby! We did blood work at week 13 to check for many health issues that Kyle and I would be able to read up on, learn about, and prepare for if necessary. With this blood work would also find out the gender of the baby.

Kyle was out of town when I received the phone call from the nurse. She asked me if I wanted to know the gender. Of course! Then she asked if I felt like it was a boy or a girl. I have always felt like I would have a house full of boys. I told her this. She then told me that I was wrong. It’s a girl!!!

I was shocked. If you know my husband or his family, you know there are only three granddaughters out of 18 grandchildren. The likeliness of a Ruff having a girl is very slim. 

I called and told Kyle who was also shocked but so excited. We then invited our entire family over for a small reveal party a few days later. 

 

We come from a dance and horse background, so this theme was perfect!

 
   
   
 

The inside of the cupcakes were pink!!!


 

Our family was super excited to know that Baby Ruff was healthy and a sweet little girl!  
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Sharing Our News

Most couples wait weeks before sharing their big news with anyone…months before telling their boss…were we going to be able to keep this a secret?! NO WAY! I barely made it through Thanksgiving Day and about burst when the nurse called to confirm our pregnancy while dress shopping for my sister-in-law’s wedding dress.

On Black Friday, we rushed down to the Perimeter office to have blood work done. On the phone they told us we would find out later that day if the blood work was done before 11:00. We made it there in plenty of time, but the nurse then broke our hearts when she said it would be Saturday afternoon before we would know anything. Saturday AFTERNOON?! I was so disappointed, and mad, but we would wait.

Kyle dropped me off at the bridal shop my sister-in-law was shopping at so that I could be with her during this exciting time in her life. About an hour into her appointment I get a phone call from the doctor’s office. I stepped outside to answer and was shocked when it was the nurse, only three and half hours later, telling us WE WERE PREGNANT! Of course, I immediately called Kyle to tell him and tried not to do my happy dance where my family could see me from inside the shop! We wanted to tell them together, but how was I going to walk back in there and not just explode?

Somehow I made it through the rest of the day without blabbing about it. We then began our planning for how to tell everyone.


Each set of parents (soon to be grandparents) were given one of these at 4 weeks pregnant.



Our siblings had to follow the scavenger hunt clues to find their Christmas ornament announcing their new title of “aunt” and “uncle”right before we were 5 weeks pregnant. My boss actually knew before them. I had a scheduled meeting with him and decided to go ahead and clue him in on why had missed so much work in November.


My grandmothers were each given flower growing kits to reveal the big news at 6 weeks pregnant.


Our youth group found out with this sweet picture on the big screen one Wednesday night at 6 1/2 weeks pregnant.


My coworkers found out in an emailed poem when I was 7 weeks pregnant.

I don’t know of many people who share this kind of information this early on, but we knew that we couldn’t keep that secret after waiting for so long!

How and when did you share about your pregnancy?

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