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In God's Hands

I don't really know where to start. God has lead our family on an incredible faith journey these past 4 years. From sitting in Bethancy Christian Services office starting the domestic adoption process to now. Like Abraham we had to trust God each step of the way. Unlike Abraham God did not provide a ram. He took our sweet little one to be home with Him. On Monday late morning we learned that we were not pregnant.

I believed, as did Ricky that we were pregnant. My friend Laura encouraged me to adopt the mantra "pregnant until proven otherwise (PUPO)". I tried to embrace that as we waited those 10 days. I was having a lot of pregnancy like symptoms, I was feeling encouraged in those days of waiting.

We are grieving. This is loss that has a heavy wait on us. Monday, October 15th was National Infant and Pregnancy Loss awareness day. Many families worlwdie lite a candle at 7 PM to create a wave a light. We joined them in lighting a candle (true confession, it was after 7 PM). We have had 4 sweet embryos go to be with Jesus before we could love them here on earth.

At first, I was not sure this day applied to me. That my loss somehow felt less than families who got a positive pregnancy test and later miscarried. Or families who lost a child after delivery at any point. I was encouraged that this was life, this was "infant" loss. I know its different, but one thing I know to be true is that those were babies. Look at my sons!

If you know Caleb and Isaac they are hard to miss. They are energetic, talkative, and full a LIFE. They started the same way as the babies we have lost. The same way as the babies that are with Jesus. I am so excited to meet them someday. To share with John and Brigid our donor family in loving them.

This was our last embryo. I don't know if our family size if complete. Ricky and I are fairly certain our embryo adoption jounrey is over. We are unlikely to adopt more embryos in pursuit of having more children. This process as been grueling, especially for me. I am so blessed that God gave me the gift of pregnacy as well as nursing. I love nursing Caleb and Isaac.

It has been an incredible 4 years. We have two beautiful sons. We have had our faith tested and stretched in ways I did not know it needed to be. Yesterday, Tuesday, October 16th the YouVersion verse of the day was Hebrews 10:23,

"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithfull."

I believew that, He who promised is faithful. I have been reading through Hebrews with She Reads Truth.

On October 8th, I read Hebrews 4:16 (I am a few days behind),

"Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."

We are in a time of need.

Please join us in praying:

  1. That we would draw near to God
  2. That we would find cmofort and clarity
  3. That He would direct our family size

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Waiting

Ricky and I are thrilled to share that we transferred our last embryo today. One grade B day 6 embryo. The transfer went well and now we wait. Thank you so much for all the texts, phone calls and emails today. Folks shared words of encouragemnet, scripture and songs. It means so much to hvae so many people standing in faith and prayer with us. We have included some photos below. The first photo (left) is the thawed embryo. The second photo (right) is the transferred embyro. You can see a small white bright spot in the center of the images, that is the transferred embryo. There is a larger bright white spot on the bottom left hand corner of the image. That is the scar tissue.

  1. Join in praying for this baby. For it to implant and begin to grow.
  2. Join us in celebrating this opportunity we have been blessed with and believing that God will give us a healthy pregnancy and baby.
  3. Pray for peace during this period of waiting
  4. I have a 20 pound weight lifting restriction. We would ask for specific prayers for Caleb and Isaac. Pray that they would understand why mommy can't "carry them". I can hold them, but I need to be sitting. Honesty this feels like the hardest part. They asked to be "carried" A LOT. I have at least two days home alone with them before the beta pregnancy test.

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Laying it on the altar

We had our final pre-transfer ultrasound this morning at 10:30. All praise, glory and honnor to God who did something only He could do! The fluid is gone!! My lining was still thin, somewhere between 5.3-5.8mm.

Ricky and I understand this is less than ideal circumstances according to science. We both, idenpendently decided that if God could remove the fulid and Dr. Shanti was willing to proceed that we would transfer our last remaiing embryo. Taht is exactly what happended this morning. We are scheduled to transfer our last embryo on Friday October 5th at 10:30 AM.

We are beyond grateful that Amy, our oringinal embryonologist is going to thaw the embryo. I feel like God has continued to pave the way for this transfer. I needed to re-arrange my work schedule to accomodate the change from today (Wedneday) to Friday. Shortly after we scheduled our original transfer for October 3rd I was offered a day of vacation for October 2nd. That vacation day allowed me to trade with a co-worker to have Friday off. God has been so good to us. We have endured some challenges along the way, but today we feel blessed that the fluid is gone and we are able to proceed. We are trusting in God's perfect plan for our lives and the life of this embryo.

I am reminded of Jeremiah 1:5, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you...".

This promise to Jeremiah is true of of this emnbryo. I beleive God knows him or her. I believe He has a purpose to glorify Himself through their life. One of my cousins also did IVF recently. She shared on Facebook a saying that was on their mirror during their IVF journey. They have been blessed this children as a result of IVF and she still hssn't erased this. It reads, "God has blessed us with this opportunity and He will give us a healthy baby".

This has been such an encouragement to me! Thank you for sharing this. We are trusing and believing that. God has blessed us with this opportunity and He will give us a healthy baby.

Thank you to everyone who has joined us in prayer. Please continue to join us in praying for Friday October 5th at 10:30. We are praying for God to contionue to do what ony He can do and allow this embryo to implant and grow into a healthy baby.

Blessings, Angela

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More twists and turns

In same ways, I don't know where to begin. If I am being honest, and I always try to be as transparent as possible here, I was expecting one of two outcomes this morning.

  1. My lining to be improved and for Dr. Shanti to give the green light for Friday
  2. Things to be unchanged

Again, we were met with an unexpected outcome. My lining was still thin, but improved, from 5.4mm to 5.9mm but now there is fluid, <2mm data-preserve-html-node="true" of fluid. We were not expecting that. Another ultrasound where Dr. Shanti asked us, "what do you want to do?". In some ways, this is a strange question. I think as a patient you are often TOLD what to do. We where very clear with her that this was likely our last attempt. She has remained willing to do what WE want, even if that is different than what she would advise. She would normally advise cancelling and starting over. I am, we are so grateful for a physician that we have bulit a relationship the past 3 years.

So now what? I don't totally know. Right now we are walking this journey one step at a time, which is really one day at a time. The only option to still transfer the embryo Friday as planned is to start the Progesterone and pray that the fluid is gone.

I forget what I have explained to people in perosn and what I have shared here. I hope this is not redundant. Dr. Shanti explained to us that estrogen helps thicken, progesterone organizes.

We let that office confused. I stood in the lobby of The Ridge Community Church Oak Creek Campus after leaving and was met by a dear friend from our Ridge Group who asked how I was. Without even hesitating I answered honestly. I almost instantly regreted it because it opened such a huge emotional flood gate. I wanted to be tough, to be able to attend service without answering quesitons or anyone noticing me; that became impossible.

We need an ultrasound before Friday to ensure the fulid is gone. If is is not gone by mid week the transfer would be cancelled. I like order, to plan. I want to have an idea of what the next step is. I am trying to live decision to decision right now. We don't have peace about calling it off altogether since Dr. Shanti is willing to proceed if we want her to.

Please continue to pray for us. We are stilling climbing the mountain, like Abraham waiting for God to provide for us. We are continuing to pray for God to move miracously. We are continuing to pray for His will in our lives and peace and clarity.

I was hoping this was going to be a joyful update. Honestly, we feel deeply sad and it is sobering to write all of this down. Thank you for sharing in our journey. We hugged Caleb and Issac extra tight today. We were able to sit at the table as a family of four tonight for dinner and that was such good medicine for my soul.

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Unexpected News

I know many of you were praying for our ultrasound this morning. God moved miracously and there was no fluid! All glory be to God! Ricky and I were expecting one of two outcomes.

  1. There to be fulid and the transfer to be canceled
  2. For everything to look great and to move forward as scheduled on 10/3

We did not expect what happened, a third scenario. There was no fluid! Praise the Lord! However my lining was really thin, 5.4 mm. Last week, if you recall it was 5.8 mm. Dr. Shanti said it really needs to be 6.5 mm or greter to do the transfer. Ideally it would be 7 or 8 mm. The statistics of a successful transfer are very small, almost non-existent with a lining this thin.

We were not expecting this outcome. My sister Erica, who is SO wise and I believe God has given her the gift of discernment shared with me the story of Abraham. Which part you might ask? She felt the Lord laying the story of God promising to make him the father of many nations, yet Sarah, his wife was barren. Then when God told Sarah she would have a son, she laughed. God used Abraham's faith. Sarah conceived and they had Isaac. Then God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. If you are not familiar with the story, you heard that part right, God asked Abraham to kill his only son. God led Abraham and Isaac up a mountain where he was to sacrifice him. God allowed Abraham to place Isaac on the altar, that's right, literally on the altar where Abraham was prepared to kill his only son before God provided a ram to be sacrificed in Isaac's place.

She shared with me that she feels that we, like Abraham are trusing God in faith as we journey up the mountain. Abraham did not know the outcome of his obedience, but he trusted God.

My prayer has been three-fold.

  1. That the fluid would be gone
  2. That God's will would be done in our lives
  3. That God would give us clear direction

God has already moved in ways only He can in healing my body and allowing the fluid to be gone. Now we need Him to move mightly again and to allow my linig to be thick enough for a transfer.

We are going to increase my estrogen to 3x a day and have an ultrasound to check for progress on Sunday.

Like Abraham, we don't know the outcome of Sunday. We are trusting in God's plan for our lives, for the life of this little one. I believe that God has not closed the door yet. I believe He is calling us to take this next step in faith. The first verse of "God of Miracles" says,

Let faith arise in spite of what I see Lord I believe

But help my unbelief

I choose to trust You

No matter what I feel, let faith arise

Let faith arise

For my champion's not dead, He is alive!

Oh, and He already knows my every need

Surely He will come and rescue me

That is what we need. We need all the prayer warriors to stand with us in faith. To pray. To stand in our unbelief; maybe in your unbelief and trust in God with us. To be praying for God to move miracously and thicken my lining. With ths change our transfer would be moved to Friday October 5th.

Thank you for each and everyone one of you who has prayed, encouraged us and come alongside of us. I know for someone of you, you have been praying for years. Thank you!

I have been encouraged to take this journey one step at a time. The next step is increasing my estrogen and Sunday's ultrasound. Beyond that, I don't know, but I think that is OK. Sharon, encouraged me to take this first step and wait on the Lord's timing. I am so grateful for the body of Christ and scripture. They way God has used both to encourage me.

Three things we are loving:

  1. Caleb and Issac are loving chicken nuggets that are shaped like animals
  2. Ellie Holcomb's new children's album, 'Sing: Creation Songs'
  3. Cooler fall weather

Blessings,

Angela

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The ups and downs

Ricky and I wanted to give a quick status update on the planned FET scheduled for 10/3/18. We had a cycle ultrasound (that is during your period) lastd Wednesday. That ultrasound is typically very routine. This time, it was nothing but routine. There was a large abnormality during the ultrasound. The nurses did this ultrasound and thought it was a clot. However, it is in the same location as where the open wound has been since the scar tissue was removed in December 2017. The nurses were concerned. They showed the ultrasound to Dr. Shanti and she was not optimistic. We felt like maybe God was preparing us for a closed door.

We had our day 6 stimulation ultrasound this morning, 9/19/18 (for those of you reading this later). Ricky and I were both prepared to see flud and ultimately make a decision to end our jounrey. That is not what happened. Dr. Shanti and a nurse performed our ultrasound together. There was a small possibility of fulid, but overall things looked good. My linig was 5.8 mm thick and goal for the transfer date is >8 mm. So off to a good start.

Honestly, it a lot to process. How do we feel? Back to cautiously optimistic I guess. As soon as Dr. Shanti left the room Ricky said, "that was more optimistic than I expected". Sunday the YouVersion verse of the day was Psalms 18:30. It reads, "This God - his way is perfect, the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him". I have been trying to rest and meditate on that. Our church is doing a 21-day prayer challenge. On day 5 the focus was praying for friends and family who are experiencing physicial pain and for healing. I prayed for myself. The person closet to me who needs physical healing is me. That may sound selfish, but it was a good reminder to pray for things only God can do. I believe with everything in me that if God wants to heal my body and allow this transfer and a successful pregnancy He can. He is God. Scripture is filled with examples where God demonstrated His power through healing.

Ricky and I made the decision not to incorporate accupuncture this time. It was logistically difficlt and making life more stressful. 3 years ago I would have told you accupuncture made the difference for us. Maybe even to go as far as to say that is way we got pregnant. Hindsight is always 20/20, so if I am being honest I was desperate to do ANYTHING that would help us get pregnant. Anything that I could control (accupunture, diet, etc.). That feels foolish now. Believing that accupuncture played a big role minimizes God's role in the pregnancy. It mimizimes what Psalms 18:30 says, his way is perfect.

This has truiy been a faith journey. Each step of the way God has deepend our faith and made us rely on Him more and more. To surrend our will to His will. That is not that easy. Especially when what we want, the desire of our heart, may not be God's wil for you.

We have a ultrasound next Wednesay, 9/26/18 at 8 AM.

  1. Please continue to join us in praying for physical healing.
  2. Join us in praying for God's will in our lives

We are grateful to have such a wonderful community that has come alongside us and encourages us. Even more so we are grateful for your prayers. We believe God answers prayers and we are so grateful that you are praying. We hope this update helps you pray for us more specifically over these next weeks.

Blessings, Angela

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Third time's a charm?

It has been almost exactly 4 months since we posted anything here. We have been taking time to pray and seek wise counsel. We thought we had made the decision to put our last remaining embryo up for adoption. In fact, we have the paperwork to "terminate our rights". Ricky and I were talking about our decision and how to move forward recently. I asked him if he ever thought out trying again. He answered honestly and told me "never". He then asked me the same question. I also answered honestly and told him "almost everyday". We have had several people enourage us to allow time for healing (physical and emiotional) and to try again.

We have decided to try one final time. If we are unable to transfer the embryo we will sign the paperwork to terminate our rights and begin the adoption process.

Tomorrow, Monday August 13th at 8:30 CST we have a saline ultrasound. Prior to August 31st we need to repeat the trial transfer we did last fall. That will be a little tricky from a scheduling standpoint since our doctor leaves for vacation for 10 days on Friday the 17th. Can you believe this Friday is the 17th already?

How can you come alongside us?

  1. Be praying for peace throughout this prcoess.
  2. Pray for physical healing for my body. Specifically my uterus which essentially has areas that have not healed after scar titssue was removed in early December 2017

What's new this summer with the Pease family?

  1. We have been taking swimming lessons with the boys and they love it! They are graduating to the parent/preschool class where the focus is transitioning to having them in the pool with the instructor and no parents.
  2. We eat almost every single dinner as a family on our patio. Caleb and Isaac love to eat outside!
  3. We just returned from a fabulous family vacation in Door County with my family. My parents have decided to retire their and have recently completed their retirement home. My entire family (siblings and spouses) and most of the cousins able to be there. We had a fabulous time of throwing rocks in the lake, kayaking, swimming and enjoying family meals. Click to scroll through pictures from our trip.

If things go as planned our transfer date is October 3rd.

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Hard Decisions

You may be waiting on baited breath for our update. It is hard to write this since we did not get good news. I wanted to be able to have a great title for tonight like, "full steam ahead", or "we got a green light", but we certainly got a yellow light at a minimium. In some ways today was one of the more difficult days in our journey that started in January 2014, just over 4 years ago.

Today during our final ultrasound prior to our scheduled transfer for 4/18/18 the fluid was still there and larger than last week. My lining also looked worse than a week ago (thinner). In God's perfect provision for us Dr. Shanti was the one who performed the ultrasound. She finished the ultraound and sat and talked to us about next steps for what felt like a long time. I am not actually sure how long it was, but she was extremely empathetic and did seem rushed. She took her time and answered all our questions, or at least the ones we thought to ask in the moment. She feels that the fluid is coming from where she removed the large adhesion (scar tissue) from my uterus in December 2017. That scar tissue was in the fundus, or the largest part of my uterus, where you would transfer the embryo to attempt pregnancy. Today there was two areas of fluid at either end of where the scar tissue used to be. She explained that most likely when they are giving me the high dose estrogen to prepare my body for a transfer that where the adhesion used to be is not fully healed and is responding by leaking fluid instead of the endometrium getting thicker (what needs to happen). She shared with us today that she does not have any new interventions to add and we could continue to try additional cycles but that she does not know if we would have a different outcome.

God used Dr. Shanti when we were feelingso discouraged after our unsuccessful transfer in June 2016 to encourage us to conitnue to try. At the time, it was clear to us the God was leaving the door open to continuing to attempt to achieve pregnany via embryo adoption. That very next cycle resulted in our pregnancy with Caleb and Issac. Our prayer now is the same as it was in June 2016, that God would clearly open and close doors and direct us. Please join us in praying for wisdom.

As part of the next steps we are going to reach out to Nightlight what the options for our remaining embryo are if attempting pregnancy is a closed door. You may have unanswered questions, so do we. I am confident that we have walked in obedience and that throughout the last 4 years God has strengthened our faith and given us opportunities to point others to Jesus. We feel beyond gateful for this.

Today's conservation is one we did not see coming but has affirmed in us that Caleb and Issac are truly "Miracle Minions". We are taking some time to make to pray and seek wise counsel. Is our embryo adoption journey coming to an end? That is one of the many unanswered questions that remains. One of my sisters and I talked briefly on the phone today after the ultrasoud. She shared with me that if we honor the life God has entrusted us with we cannot make a wrong decision. Erica, thank you for your wisdom and encouragement to me.

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Cautiously optimistic

I had my ultrasound yesterday. Good news, my lining looked great. The news the makes us cautiously optimistic is they saw a tiny amount of fluid. A little more good news, our nurse who performed the ultrasound did not seem concerned at all about the fluid. Even better news, I had been previoulsy unable to get into my accupuncturist on Monday, but there was a cancellation and I have an appointment Monday afternoon. These details seem small, but for Ricky and I they are God orchestrating the details of our life. Our next ultrasound is Wednesday April 11th at 11 AM.

So many of you texted or called us in the last day to see how things went. Thank you! We are so blessed to have such a loving supportive community. One of my favorite podcasts is The Happy Hour by Jamie Ivey. In honor of her podcast I am going to add 3 things The Pease Family is loving and what we are reading.

Three things we're loving:

  1. Meatballs! They are a favorite food in our house. A favorite recipe is these Skinnytaste Greek meatballs. The whole family loves meatballs, even Caleb our picky eater.
  2. Ricky and I are loving The Crown on Netflix. Is anyone else watching this? It is SO good!
  3. Ricky is loving the return of baseball season. Go Cubs! We are looking forward to going to the Cubs vs. Braves game next week at Wrigley Field and praying for warmer weather. THe current forecase for game day is low 40s. That will feel cold. I will be in my winter jacket if that is the case. Being warm is important to me.

What we are reading:

  1. Caleb and Isaac have so many favorites. Caleb loves Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site.
  2. They both love their Jesus storybook Bibles
  3. Angela is slowly reading Slow Down by Nicole Nordeman and Artemis

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Caleb and Issac are two + an opportunity to pray

Caleb abd Issac are two! We had the opportunity to celebrate this milestone in their life with some family and it was such a joy. Caleb and Issac are incredible boys. I love that God is in charge of our lives and building our families. I believe that Caleb and Isac are meant to be our chldren. God know that their donor parents would allow them to have life and that we would be their parents.

Some things about Caleb:

  1. He practices until he figures it out or gets it right
  2. He loves oatmeal, yogurt with creamy peanut butter, bananas and chicken nuggets
  3. He loves to climb!

Some things about Isaac:

  1. He loves people!
  2. He is a conversationallist
  3. He eats everything
  4. He loves being outside

Some things about both of them:

  1. They love to read
  2. They love reading their children's Bible's
  3. They love the doughnut holes at church on Sunday
  4. They love Daniel Tiger

The next opportunity to transfer our last remaining embryo and possibly be a family of 5 is April 18, 2018. That is only two weeks from today! Time seems to go at lightening speed with kids. Tomorrow, Thursday I have my first ultrasound. This ultrasound is where they will begin to determine if my body is ready to receive our embryo. Pleae pray! Pray that my lining would be thick. Pray that there would not be fluid. Pray that my hormone levels would be in the correct range. I had to get creative to fit my ultrasound in between patients due to some scheduling challenges. Be praying that my drive to and from work for the ultrasound goes smothly (no traffic, accidents, etc.).

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April showers bring...a New Year's baby?

Valentine's Day came and went. That was 1 month since my last cycle, when I say cycle I mean period (there was some confusion after my last post). Ricky and I had talked and decided we would give it an extra week. Saturday was all the extra time my body needed. Monday morning I called the clinic. Several hours later we got the call with our new schedule and transfer date, April 18th at 11:30 AM. We are feeling cautiously optimistic. I am receiving accupuncture weekly and will increase to twice a week closer to the transfer. God has been given me so many beautiful reminders of who He is and the promises we have through faith in Him. Song, my current Bible Study, and sermons at church. Ellie Holcomb's song "He Will" is such a comfort to me. The chorus says: He'll bind up the brokenhearted Oh He will, oh He will He'll set captives free from darkness Oh He will, oh He will He'll breathe hope into the hopeless Help a restless soul be still Oh-ohh, oh-ohh He will, He will

What incredible promises! Sharon Pease, you have made me an evewn bigger Ellie Holcomb fan! Her songs are rooted in scripture. I heard someone describe her as a modern day psalmist.

Lent started on February 14th. I have been doing the She Reads Truth Lenten study and it has been such as encouragement to me. The study is on Exodus. Today's reading was on Passover. Just like the blood of that spotless lamb set the Isrealities, God's people apart. That blood spared them from death, Jesus's blood, his perfect life and sacrifice does that for us, spares us from death. He allows us to live freely through grace because of His sacrifice.

Sunday at church our pastor talked about that Jesus came to end religon, I love that! He came to have relationship with us and through that relationship create life change. I have no idea if what will happen over the next two months, but one thing I am sure of is my identity in Christ. I feel like There haven been all these tangible reminders of that, everywhere I turn I am reminded of what He did to set me free and alloiw me to live in His grace. I am not sure why there have been challenges to use this last embyro, but I do know that we are being faithful to what God has called us to do. Ricky and I continue to prayer for wisdon and guidance. This process has a lot of waiting, A lot of time in between any updates. Thakn you for praying with us and waiting along with us.

Angela

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Frozen Embryo Cycle #6

Surgery is over. Next steps are to wait for my February cycle and call on day one and map out our cycle. As I lay awake in bed, now sitting up writing this blog post, I am reflecting on that we are about to start our 6th Frozen Embryo Transfer cycle (FET).

  • We had two canceled cycles in 2015
  • One unsuccessful cycle in May 2015
  • One cycle cycle in August 2015 that led to our twin pregnancy and Caleb & Isaac

I often reflect on the courage it took for our placing family to donate these 6 embryos. The faith, the courage, the love. They loved these little ones so much that they were willing to give them up. To allow us to love them, to raise them, we are forever grateful. I am not sure words can adequately express our gratitude. To our Michigan Fan Club, we are forever grateful!

If you know Ricky, you know he would be perfectly happy with two kids. I have felt strong conviction for some time now that God entrusted us with 6 embryos and He wants us to trust Him with our family size and use all 6 embryos. Ricky and I had many conversations, often on date nights at one of our favorite restaturants about next steps. I just continued to pray for wisdom and direction. If God had a different plan for our family I wanted Him to change my heart. Well, he changed Ricky's instead. Last week during the grief of loosing my grandma and plannig for this surgery and the loss of unmet expectations he shared we me how proud he was of me. He shared with tears in both our eyes that he is impressed with my strength to fight for this last baby. To perserve despite personal inconvience and sacrifice. It was so good to hear that from my him. Ricky has been incredible throughout this journey. It is not lost on me that he agreed to endure hardship with me from day 1! He knew having a family with me would look different, even be difficult and he choose to love me anyway. We will celebrate 6 years of marriage in May and I am so grateful for our life together. I love him more now than when we got married. We have had times when we have had to work through the hard parts of marriage and honor our commitment to one another, our vows that we made to one antoher and to God.

In March, Caleb and Isaac will be two. This morning before we needed to leave for the hospital Issac was up early, before 6 AM and I was able to have time with just him. It was such a blessing to hold him in my arms, play with his "choo-choo-trains" and read books. Remember what it was like 3 years ago, while we were walking down a very similar path after our first canceled transfer, but then we still did not have children. Now our home is filled, everyday with the joy of children. New words, their spirit of heling, discovering new joys, like truly experiencing snow! Regardless of the often we are blessed. We are blessed by the love and courage of our placing family and blessed by Caleb Isaac. We are blessed by the outpouring and love and support for us. We were going to walk throug this journey more privately this time. I was quickly reminded after our first set-back in December 2017 that we needed community. Through unexpected flowers the day of surgery. Through cookies and ice cream left on our porch the day of a canceled transfer, emails and texts of prayer and encouragement we are grateful. We are grateful for your love, prayers and support. More updates to come with the details and timeline for FET cycle #6.

Angela

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You make me brave

Sunday was the first day of my cycle. I called Monday morning and within hours I received a call with a surgery date and time. Monday I was ovecome with grief. Grieveing the loss of our January 9th transfer but also the loss of my grandma. Sunday was the visitation for my grandma and Monday was her funeral. My grandma Terselic was my last living grandparent. I lost my other grandparents very young. She is really the only grandmaotehr I even knew. Sunday morning at Church we sang Bethel music's You Make Me Brave. This song seems to pretty accurately reflect where I am emotionally and in my walk with the Lord. If it was up to me I wuold stop and say this is too hard.

As I sing the song in church and listen to it as I write this post, these lyrics play over and over again in my mind:

As Your love, in wave after wave Crashes over me, crashes over me For You are for us You are not against us Champion of Heaven You made a way for all to enter in

You make me brave You make me brave You call me out beyond the shore into the waves You make me brave You make me brave No fear can hinder now that love has made a way

See the full lyrics.

I feel, maybe more than Ricky, called out beyond the shore into the waves. Waves are strong, powerful and often, if not always unpredictable. But I also believe that God is for us, not against us.

Surgery is scheduled for Monday the 22nd at 10:30 AM. We invite you to pray for wisdom for Dr. Shanit as she operates on me. Wisdom as we move forward in this process. This is uncharted terriority for us. I am reminded that life is full of challenges. One of my dearest friends is walking thorugh a very difficult time after their son was injured in an accident. Pray for his healing. My family is walking through the loss of a grandparent and parent (for my mom and her siblings). We all have our own struggles that we are facing. Part of what this journey has taught Ricky and I is to be bold in sharing our story. To be the ones who go first and share our pain and struggles. If you are walking through a difficult season would you share it with us? We would love to be praying for you.

Blessings, Angela

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If at first you don't succeed...

This morning we had our follow-up ultrasound. The fluid is still there so our planned transfer is canceled. It is very bitterswet. Ricky and I want to do want is best for this baby. We really believe it is a baby that needs to be given the best chance at life. Transfering this precious little one in an environment that is not ideal does not feel what God has for us. Understanding God's timing is very difficult sometimes. Why are there ongoing challenges? Ricky was there for the appointment which is such a blessing to me. I was so grateful for his support while we got this disappointing news. When we went through this process with Caleb & Isaac our physician had a partner. Her partner left several months ago for a differnt opportunity and she is alone right now at our clinic. One big difference from 2 years ago to now is that a nurse does all my ultrasounds. This morning was no different. A nurse did my ultrasound. But, our doctor was in the office and talked to Ricky and I about next steps! I am so grateful that she were there to talk us through the process and explain what the fluid may be from. When I had my surgery in early December 2017 she found a lot of scar tissue. She was able to cut a large band of scar tissue at the back of my uterus that was running from the top to the bottom like a large rubberband. We were all optimistic that this would be all that was needed. It is possible that that same band of scar tissue has re-formed and is now trapping fluid.

Next steps is to take medication to help me get my cycle and then schedule another surgery right away. If the scar tissue has re-formed she will remove it again but this time place a baloon to try to prevent it from re-forming as well as treat it with high dose estrogen.

I feel a lot of peace about the plan. There is disappointment but I have this overwhelming sense that God's timinig is and always will be perfect. I have been remained over the past week that obedience is not necessarily easy. We feel God's call on our life to use this last embryo regardless of the outcome. I have also been reminded this week of the negative consequences of disobedience (Jonah comes to mind right away). We want to walk in obedience and trust in God's best for us. He loves us after all! So much so that he sent Jesus to die for us. What an incrediable gift. We are so grateful for all your love and support.

Blessings, Angela

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Do you want the good new or the bad news?

Let's start with the good news:

  1. My estrogen was great today
  2. I have not had any negative side effects from the new hormones
  3. My linig looked great

Now for the bad news:

  1. Today during my day 7 FET ultrasound they found an area of fulid

You might ask, what happens next? I continue to follow my calendar. Then on January 3rd I have another ultrasound, if the fluid is still there it is highly likely that they will cancel the FET and we will need to start over. If I am honest I feel completely devastated. I was feeling so hopeful after our surgery and the good news.We want to be faithful to what we feel God has called us to, but it is difficult right now. I feel like we are about to walk through MONTHS of appointments. It feels a lot like Deja Vu. My prayer is for the fluid to disapear.

We had a wonderful Christmas and were able to see some of both sides of the family. We hope you have had a wonderful time celebrating the holidays with family and friends. Wishing you a blessed New Year!

Angela

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Here we go again

I have been terrible about updating the blog #twintoddlers. I want to be better. Ricky and I have been praying about what to do with our last embryo. For those of you who have followed our journey from the beginning will reminder that we adopted 6 embryos total through Nightlight Christian Adoptions Snowflakes program. Our first frozen embryo transfer (FET) in May 2015 we had to thaw 3 embryos to implant 2. Our ssecond FET in August 2015 we thawed two embryos and implanted two and that resulted in our twin pregnancy of Caleb and Issac! 3+2=5 which leaves 1 more. We have decided that God entrusted us with 6 embryos and we need to trust Him with our family size and attempt a 3rd child. We are in the middle of our FET cycle for that final embryo. Where are we? What are we doing this time? We are trying to mimic our successful cycle as much as possibe. So that means accupunture for me, mild diet changes and numerous medications for me. Last week Wednesday I had a hysteroscopy (day surgery procedure) due to irregularities on my saline ultrasound the week before. Good news, Dr. Shanti only found scar tissue, no polyps. During te surgery she did our trial embryo transfer and she found an area she likes to place the final embryo. I started the first injectible medication last week. The next steps are 3 more ultrasounds. One next week. One of the week of Christmas and one the week of the New Year. It is always possible that something does not look right, there is fluid, my lining is not thick enough, etc. and the transfer could be canceled. Based on those results we will transfer our final embryo January 9th 2018.

Caleb and Issac will be 21 months on Christmas Eve. Where has time gone? They are so full of life. They both have their own unique personalities. We had our second measurable snowfall of 2017 this past weekend and Caleb and Issac both loved it! Our snowflakes enjoying snow has special signifiance for me. It is a wonderful reminder of how God has been faithful and orchestrated the deatils of our life. I reflect often on coming back to my room after delivering Caleb and Isaac and it was snowing! It makes me think of Noah and the rainbow. Those tangible reminders of His promises. Ricky and I will do our best to update this over the next few weeks. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and Holiday Season.

BLessings, Angela

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5 months

Ricky and I have settled into a nice routine with the boys. We are using the Babywise method and it has been working great for our family! I am back at work part time. During the summer we had a nanny watching the boys while we were both at work. Starting tomorrow they get to have their Nana watch them. We are so happy that family can be with them while we are at work.
It is amazing how fast they grow and change! It feels like yesterday we were bringing them home from the hospital. They are smiling, giggling, rolling over from back to tummy and tummy to back. Caleb has his first tooth! A second tooth is on its way as well so anything and everything goes in his mouth.
Yesterday the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel featured an article on embyro adoption that shared our story. It was an honor to be asked to share our story and bring awareness to embryo adoption. Caleb and Isaac are a tangible reminder of God's faithfullness in our lives and the power of prayer!
We had the pleasure of wokring with RJ Imagery for newborn pictures. They are stunning!
Keeping up with the blog has been hard as a new mom of twins, I am hoping to share a post a few times a month with picutres of the boys.
We have a few favorites right now in the Pease household. The boys love these. This is the boys favorite book, we read it several times a day! The boys spend a lot of time playing in their gym. We got the boys sunglasses, so far they keep them on most of the time :). Now that the boys are teething these are necessary!

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The twins have arrived!

Ricky and I are thrilled to announce that Caleb Richard and Isaac Henry Pease arrived on 3/24/16.

Ricky and I went to our routine biophysical profile (BPP) ultrasound followed by OB visit Thursday morning 3/24/16.
The boys did great at their BPP at got a 8/8 on their BPPs and the high risk clinic doctor said they would see us Monday and the goal was to stay pregnant for 2 more weeks, to me make it to 38 weeks.
We went to our OB visit immediately after and I could tell right away the vibe was different. The medical assistant was asking questions I had never been asked before and then shared that I had 4 + protein in my urine that day.
For those of you who aren't familiar they check your urine every OB visit during your pregnancy.

The doctor came in and told us he was concerned about the protein in my urine, and that my blood pressure was a little high for me, plus I was 36 weeks pregnant with twins. He told us he wanted me admitted for observation and a 24 urine collection.
We headed downstairs to be admitted.
The nursing staff seemed underwhelmed by my blood pressure and the reason for admission being the protein in my urine.
Our OB discussed his concerns with the high risk clinic doctor who wanted a urine protein/creatinine ratio due.
The high risk clinic doctor wanted to see the ratio less than 300 and mine was approximately 1400!!!
The OB came to share our test results and told us I was getting "sour inside" from the boys and it was time to deliver the babies urgently via c-section.

We received excellent care but the situation was certainly scary for Ricky and I, since the main concern was having a healthy mom.

We were discharged from the hospital Sunday night and survived our first night at home. Ricky's mom Sharon is staying with us a few days and she has been a lifesaver! It is so nice to have an extra set of hands.
The boys followed up at the Pediatrician this afternoon and passed with flying colors. They are starting to gain the weight they lost back, nursing well, and their elevated bilirubin levels are improving!!!
They have another weight check Thursday, our prayer is that they continue to gain weight appropriately.
Ricky is staying home this week which is also great!
The boys are perfect, but of course, we are biased as parents. They each have their own personality which is so fun to discover more of each and everyday.
Thank you so much for all your persistent prayers for our miracle minions.

As a quick update the boys went to the peditrician this morning and both their weights are up! What an answer to prayer.
Caleb weighed 5 lb 8 oz and Isaac weighed 5 b 4 oz.
Another huge answer to prayer is the nursing is going really well and I have plently of milk for the boys. We have even been able to freeze some already :).
We feel beyond blessed.

Angela & Ricky

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Third Trimester

Ricky and I have not done a great job updating you lately, sorry. Hopefully you have all assumed no news was good news.
I am 30 weeks already! Where has the time gone? My mom mentioned in her morning email recently that she has taken to calling the twins the "miracle minions" which they certainly are.

Our pregnancy is going really well. Our last ultrasound was at 28 weeks, at that time the boys both weighed 2 lbs 12 oz., the weight different between them was only 9 grams. They had their echocardiograms at 24 weeks and they were both normal for any abnormalities they can detect in utero. I feel really good overall. I felt great during my second trimester! My biggest pregnancy hurdle has been my leg swelling. I am wearing compression stocking which seen to be helping, leave it to a wound care NP to have prescription strength compression stockings during her pregnancy :).

Some of our dear friends at The Ridge (our church home) through a baby shower the last Saturday in January and it was such a wonderful day.

We often get asked if we are ready? I'm not sure you can ever be 100% ready for the complete life change that occurs when you become a parent, however we are getting there.

One of the biggest projects we have left is setting up the nursery! We have one crib put together, so we at least have a start.

The details of my return to work are not yet finalized, but I will be able to stay part time working three 8 hour days per week.

We have found an in-home-day-care option that seems promising. She has been struggling with migraines and may not be able to have the boys three days a week, if that is the case we will have to continue to pursue other options for child care.

Ricky and I could not be more blessed by all the ongoing love, support, prayers and encouragement. Before we know it we will be holding our miracle minions in our arms!

 The new family friendly car!&nbsp;

The new family friendly car! 

 Shower Favors

Shower Favors

 Cake from January Shower

Cake from January Shower

 Cake from Ricky's Work Shower

Cake from Ricky's Work Shower

 30 Week Baby Bump

30 Week Baby Bump

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20 weeks

Good evening,

I know its been a while since our last update. Ricky and I had the pleasure of having our 20 week ultrasound this past Wednesday, can you even believe it? 20 weeks already, as I write this I'm 20 weeks 4 days. It was so fun to see the babies! It is really just amazing how God has designed us and knit us together. We are thrilled to announce the twins are boys!

We learned at the ultrasound that the average gestational age for twins is 35 weeks 3 days, which will be Match 19, 2016. We also learned that they will not allow me to go beyond 38 weeks, which makes our new due date April 6, 2016. That does not sound that far away.

Some prayer requests:

  1. Pray for the boys as they continue to grow and develop. During the ultrasound they did not get all the imaging of their hearts they wanted. At our 24 week ultrasound and weight check both boys are going to have echocardiograms.

  2. Pray for Ricky and I as we continue to work through the part time plan for me at work. We had hoped that I could stay 1/2 time and we are still working with my employer to try to find a part solution. Pray for wisdom.

  3. Pray for Ricky and I as we are researching childcare options. We have a few very promising leads with in home daycare providers near our home recommended by friends. Thanks Mark and Erica S.!
  4. Continue to pray for a healthy pregnancy. Twin pregnancies put me at higher risk for pregnancy related complications.

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