Friday, December 31, 2010

A Year In Review

Good Bye 2010 and HELLO 2011!!!

It's been a year full of ups and downs.  A year full of grief and heartbreak.  A year full of tears and too few smiles.  A year of hopes lost and dreams dashed.  Good riddance 2010.  And here's to a year of renewed hope and new beginnings.   Praying (without ceasing) for a happy 2011!!!

OUR YEAR IN REVIEW:
Nov 2009...IUI #1...BFN
Dec 2009...IUI #2...BFN
Jan 19, 2010...Start medications for IVF cycle #1
Feb 13, 2010...2 perfect lil embies implanted...


Feb 24, 2010...BFP!!!
March 8, 2010...TWINS!!!


May 18, 2010...Baby B is a GIRL!!!
June 15, 2010...The day our lives were forever changed.  Found out that baby A is a GIRL.
June 24, 2010...Alayna Joy Helmholdt enters the world alive.  Love at first sight!!!

born at 9:30am on 6/24/10
14oz and 10 1/4 in

June 30, 2010...Ella Adrianna Helmholdt enters the world alive.  We love you baby girl!

born at 9:36am on 6/30/10
14.7oz and 10in

July 7, 2010...the day we buried our beloved baby girls.


July 26, 2010...met with RE about "the future."
Aug 10, 2010...met with High Risk Doctor about "the future."
Sept 2010...FET #1 canceled
October 2010...FET #1 (1 lil embie transfered)...BFN
November 2010...FET #2 (2 lil embies transfered)...


"I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry." Psalm 40:1

December 8, 2010...BFP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And since I have never had a positive hpt (never took one with the girls) I bought one at the store...peed on the stick and voila...

what a wonderful feeling and the perfect Christmas gift

Dec 23, 2010...first US and all we know is 1 lil embie stuck and 1 lil embie didn't...BUT the same lil embie that stuck also decided to split (YIKES).  But Dr. D can't tell (yet) if it was a failed split or if baby B is just hiding.

6 week ultrasound

Dec 30, 2010...and the result is...we STILL don't know whether we'll soon be a family of 5 or 6.  It's looking like just one lil bug but hopefully our ultrasound on the 5th gives us a definite answer.  All I can say is that August 18th cannot come soon enough!!!

7 week ultrasound

Happy New Years!!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ella's 6 Month Angelversary

An Angel in the book of life wrote down my babys birth, and wispered as she closed it "to beautiful for earth."

Happy 6th month Angelversary my sweet little angel.  These last 6 months have been nothing short of painful.  I truly cannot believe that it's been 6 months already.  Six long months since I last held you. And the fact that I only got to hold you for a day (a few hours actually) brings tears to my eyes.  And being that your 6 month angelversary falls right during the holidays hasn't made it any easier.  Because this was suppose to be the bestest Christmas ever.  Hard to believe that you in did in fact have the bestest Christmas ever but just without mommy and daddy.  And that makes me sad too.  

You know what I have been thinking a lot about lately...I remember listening to your little heartbeat for the last time the day before you were born.  What a sweet (heavenly) sound.  But when they asked me on Wednesday if I wanted to hear it one last time I said no...I just couldn't do it.  I remember different nurses coming in and asking where we could hear it best and mommy always knew right where your heart was beating.  Oh I miss you soooo much Ella girl.  I also remember saying in June that I just wanted this first year to be over...and I guess we're half way there.  Praying for another fast 6 months. 

How can I say Good Bye
When I never said Hello,
Why does my heart grieve
For the child I'll never know?...

You were a part of me
For just a little while.
I grieve because I'll never see
The magic in your smile.

I grieve for all the unsaid words
That you will never say.
I grieve that I will never see
You happily at play.

I grieve for all the lullabies
That will remain unsung.
I grieve because I'll never see
Your face gleaming like the sun.

I grieve because you will never know
The comfort of my touch.
I grieve because you will never know
That you were loved so much.

I grieve for all the tomorrows
That will never be.
I grieve because God chose
To take you back from me.

You live among the Angels now
Your earthly mission done,
You will be so dearly missed
Good-Bye my little one.

(author unknown)

"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Luke 12:34

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Little Angels

For some reason I was just sitting on the couch (this morning) catching up on some blogs and I came across an entry that made me cry.  (***Hopefully the hubby will miss this entry of mine because he tells me to stop reading blogs if they make me cry.***)  But I just cannot help it.  And I am fine now so its all good. 

But anyways I follow a blog about a girl who also lost twin daughters and sometimes her entry's make me cry.  Because what she writes about her daughters are EXACTLY the same thoughts and feelings I have about losing Layna and Ella.  I miss them so much.  And I hate knowing that next year and all the years to follow that the girls will be missing from the picture.  They won't be at Christmas 2011 or Thanksgiving 2016 or the birth(s) of their baby brother(s) or sister(s).  They won't go camping to Holland State Park or do Labor Day in the UP with the Vugteveen clan or go to Disney World.  They will never graduate from kindergarten or eighth grade or high school or college.  They will never go to prom or get married or have kids.  They will just be a memory.  And that hurts.  Our family will never be complete and I have to live with the pain of knowing that it never will be complete (until heaven). 

And I don't feel it (the pain) as much everyday but it's still always there.  I never knew what true pain was until I lost the girls.  You fall and skin a knee but you pick yourself up and a few days later...you're fine.  You have surgery (and I have had 2 ACL repairs so I do know surgery "pain") but you rehab and a few weeks later...you're fine.  But losing a child hurts...and hurts...and hurts.  It's something you MUST live with for THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.  And it's hard...soooo hard.  I wish NO one had to feel this pain because its awful...just awful.  I know the pain will dim and the girls will become a fond memory instead of a sad memory but its still too fresh.  So I apologize that this is a sad entry but I am allowed to be sad here and there and this morning I am a little sad.  I am okay but today I am also missing my sweets like crazy and wishing that life had turned out differently.  But all will be well because God IS IN CONTROL!!! 

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28
 
Now I best get in the shower to meet my friend Kami for lunch...another angel mommy who gets the pain and who gets ME.  And I am very thankful for her friendship!!!

Little Angels

When God calls little children to dwell with Him above,
We mortals sometimes question the wisdom of His love.
For no heartache compares with the death of one small child,
Who does so much to make our world, seem wonderful and mild.

Perhaps God tires of calling the aged to his fold.
So He picks a rosebud, before it can grow old.
God knows how much we need them, and so He takes but few.
To make the land of Heaven more beautiful to view.

Believing this is difficult, still somehow we must try.
The saddest word mankind knows will always be "Goodbye".
So when a little child departs, we who are left behind,
Must realize God loves children, and
That Angels are hard to find.

(Author Unknown)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Eve with My Family

Christmas Eve (and Christmas for that matter) was a might bit different this year than what had I originally thought it would look like back in February.  I cried a bit in the morning (but it was also Alayna's 6th month angelversary which made it twice as hard).  But as the day progressed so did I.  We stopped by the cemetery and dropped off a birthday rose for Alayna in the afternoon and then the evening was spent with my family celebrating Christmas.  I almost cried when I walked in the door but then the laughter of the little ones put a smile on my face.  They were so excited for Christmas!!!  And the fact that my parents still got Alayna and Ella Christmas presents made all the difference.  So happy that my little ones were not forgotten. 

And now youngest to oldest my precious nephews and nieces... 
 Easton's 1st Christmas

 It was a bit challenging getting a picture of Cole this year...

Addi and Cambrey with their Toddler Bibles and M&M's

Kylynn with her Princess Bible

Yes the little ones received Bibles this year from Uncle Brian and Aunt Linnie...and for the most part they loved them.  The M&M's on top of the present didn't hurt though :)  Easton and Cole weren't too interested in presents this year but the girl's excitement was more than enough for all 5!!!  Cole just wanted to throw the wrapped presents in the trash and jump on all the big boxes and Easton just wanted to eat or sleep.  Each Vugteveen Christmas gets a little (errrr lot) louder and a little more interesting with a new little one added (every year since 2006).  So here's to praying for a little Helmholdt in 2011.

The Alayna and Ella ornament (from sis-in-law Kristi) 

Close-up

Alayna and Ella's gifts from Papa and Grandma V

Close-up of Alayna, Mommy and Ella's Ornaments

Bailey the Butterfly (Miss Layna's) and Ella the Elephant (Miss Ella's)

The LORD is good to those who wait for Him...
Lamentations 3:25

Sunday, December 26, 2010

(Should have been posted) 12/24/10

Happy 6th Month Birthday
Alayna Joy


We stopped by the cemetery on Christmas Eve for 2 reasons.  First because we wanted to remember the girls on/around Christmas...and since I worked Christmas Day...Christmas Eve it was.  And that just so happened to work out perfectly since Alayna's 6th month angelversary fell on Christmas Eve.  So we picked up a single rose for Miss Alayna's (half) birthday! Love you Layna girl and hope you had the bestest (half) birthday ever!!!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Alayna and Ella's First Christmas in Heaven

Wishing that instead of heading to work on this beautiful (but sadly mostly snow-less) Christmas Day I was spending it (on maternity leave) with my beautiful baby girls (and that handsome daddy of theirs too).  But that wasn't God's plan and since His plan is perfect...this mommy is off to work.  Merry Christmas my little angels!!!  

My First Christmas in Heaven

I see the countless
Christmas trees
around the world below
With tiny lights, like Heaven's stars,
reflecting on the snow

The sight is so spectacular,
please wipe away the tear
For I am spending Christmas with
Jesus Christ this year.

I hear the many Christmas songs
that people hold so dear
But the sounds of music can't compare
with the Christmas choir up here.

I have no words to tell you,
the joy their voices bring,
For it is beyond description,
to hear the angels sing.

I know how much you miss me,
I see the pain inside your heart.
But I am not so far away,
We really aren't apart.

So be happy for me, dear ones,
You know I hold you dear.
And be glad I'm spending Christmas
with Jesus Christ this year.

I sent you each a special gift,
from my heavenly home above.
I sent you each a memory
of my undying love.

After all, love is a gift more precious
than pure gold.
was always most important
in the stories Jesus told.

Please love and keep each other,
my Father said to do.
I can't count the blessing or love
He has for each of you.

So have a Merry Christmas and
Wipe away that tear
Remember, I am spending Christmas with
Jesus Christ this year.

"You will have great joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth."
Luke 1:14

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Celebrations and Gifts

First, since I am posting 2 posts back to back I don't want you to miss Alayna's 6th Month Angelversary post.  Be sure to check it out but now on to post #2 for the day.

My sweet friend Sarah gave me these the other day at work...
 Be Healthy Be Happy

So very thoughtful and such a sweet gesture!!!  THANK YOU Sarah!!!  And better yet all the money goes to March of Dimes...(which in my opinion) it's the best charity foundation out there.

And last night we celebrated Christmas with Brian's parents.  Yes we are a small family of six (missing our 2 little angels).  The night was quiet...no crying...no baby noises...no sweet lil sounds like I had expected to hear this year.  Here's to praying for a happier Christmas 2011 FILLED WITH NOISE!!!

taking our annual family picture in front of the tree
My new Vera Bradley overnight bag...can't wait to go away so I can use it!!! 
Our new Northface jackets!!! 
Since we can't dress the girls as twins...we'll dress ourselves as twins...haha!!!

And then this morning after sleeping in and making a yummy egg, bacon, and toast breakfast the hubby and I opened our gifts to each other. We decided to do simple this year (again) since we're in the midst of fertility (again) just like last year.  Do enjoy the first picture but beware it isn't pretty...no getting ready was had...

Me and all my beauty

Don't you love how the hubby wrapped my gifts in the Dora paper I bought for my nieces.  And the funnier thing is...he didn't even notice until I said something to him...ohhh men.  But he did good.  Cute but comfy sweats, slippers, and a new lunch bag...all for $50!!!


And then the hubby with his one BUT oh sooooo very precious gift...

And since you can't see it good in the picture...I zoomed in for you to all get a better look...

A keychain to carry with him everywhere he goes

I really wanted it to say "daddy's angels" but it wouldn't fit so I settled on dad's angels.  And if you don't already have Luke 12:34 memorized this is what it says:

"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

So here's to wishing you all a very Merry Christmas Eve with your loved ones...

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." Luke 2:14

Alayna's 6 Month Angelversary

Happy 6th month birthday in Heaven my sweet Layna girl.  You are about to have the biggest and bestest celebration ever.  I can only imagine the joy and excitement in heaven on this blessed Christmas Eve.  The day before our Savior's birth. 

Missing you like crazy and wishing like anything that you were celebrating Christmas with mommy and daddy this year.  You will be missed tonight (and so will Ella bug) as we celebrate Christmas with Papa and Grandma Vugteveen and all your uncles, aunts, and cousins.  Please keep mommy strong so that not too many tears will fall.  I am a lil sad today...I remember back in February saying how this year we would have 3 new grandbabe's in front of the Christmas tree and now there is just 1...your adorable lil cuz Easton.  But you know what's even sweeter is that I heard your cousin Cambrey talked to you the other day.  This is the email that aunt Courtney gave me and it sure made mommy happy:

Cambrey came out of her bedroom and said, I was just in heaven for 14 minutes.  I said, oh, who did you see in heaven?  I seen Ella and Layna.

I am so thankful for the reminders of where you are my precious little girl.  And someday I cannot wait to hold you in Heaven for forever.
A Letter from Heaven

I'm writing you from Heaven
Where I dwell with God above,
Where there's no more tears or sadness
There's just eternal love.

Please do not be unhappy
Just because I'm out of sight,
Remember that I'm with you
Every morning, noon, and night.

That day I had to leave you
When my life on earth was through,
God picked me up and hugged me
And He said, "I welcome you".

"It's good to have you back again
You were missed while you were gone,
As for your dearest family
They'll be here later on."

"I need you here so badly
As part of My big plan,
There's so much that we have to do
To help our mortal man."

Then God gave me a list of things
He wished for me to do,
And foremost on that list of mine
Is to watch and care for you.

And I will be beside you
Every day and week and year,
And when you're sad I'm standing there
To wipe away that tear.

But do not be afraid to cry
It does relieve the pain,
Remember there would be no flowers
Unless there was some rain.

I wish that I could tell you
Of all that God has planned,
But if I were to tell you
You wouldn't understand.

But one thing is for certain
Though my life on earth is o'er,
I am closer to you now
Than I ever was before.

And to my very dearest friends
Trust God for He knows best,
I'm still not far away from you
I'm just beyond the crest.

There are many rocky roads ahead of you
And many hills to climb,
But together we can do it
Taking one day at a time.

When you are walking down the street
And you've got me on your mind,
I'm walking in your footsteps
Only half a step behind.

And when you feel that gentle breeze
Or the wind upon your face,
That's me giving you a great big hug
Or just a soft embrace.

And when it's time for you to go
From that body to be free,
Remember you're not going...
You are coming here to me!

And I will always love you
From that land way up above,
I'll be in touch again soon
P.S....God sends His love.

I am so sorry....but, remember....God knows best!
My prayers and thoughts are with you always.
I love you more than you will ever know

(Unknown author)

Monday, December 20, 2010

My Nieces

Nothing makes me happier than talking about my girls (which most of you know by now).  My sweet little angels who lives were oh too short here on earth (according to me) but God knew the length of their lives. 

Your eyes saw me when I was only a fetus. Every day of my life was recorded in your book before one of them had taken place. Psalm 139:16 

But I am very thankful to my Lord and Savior because someday I will be with them forever!  What a wonderful promise!!!  But today I wanted to thank my sister and sister-in-law (Kristi) for talking about my girls to my nieces.  Because all 3 of them know exactly who Alayna and Ella are.  And the things they say (about their angel cousins) are oh so very sweet.  Sometimes their sweet little words brings tears to my eyes and other times their words just bring a huge smile to my face!

The other day my niece Cambrey and I were sitting at Panera.  This man said...our daughters sure have different hair. (Side note my niece Cambrey has super curly hair just like me and this other little girl had pin straight hair).  I just smiled and said...they sure do.  Cambrey then turned to me and said I have hair just like you.  And I said yes you do.  The man walked away and I asked Cambrey if it was okay that I had claimed her as my daughter.  She said yes but then she said but I am still my mommy's.  So I asked her who I was a mommy to and she said to Layna and Ella.

On a different occasion we were sitting at my parent's house and I was talking to my mom about missing the girls and Cambrey said...Aunt Linnie I pray and pray and pray for you.  And all I could say was thank you Sis.

On a different day I was coloring with my niece Addi  and I asked her if she knew who Alayna and Ella were and she said (quite matter of factly) they're your little girls who are in heaven.  Totally didn't think she would put it all together but she knew exactly who they were and where they were.

And my last little story is about my niece Kylynn.  Just last week we were sitting on the couch talking.  Again the subject of my girls came up and we were talking about how many cousins there were in our family.  We were listing all the cousins (including Alayna and Ella and how they were in heaven with Jesus).  And Kylynn said but someday all the cousins will be able to play together in heaven.  And I said yes...someday we will all be together again.

 
Kylynn (4 yrs 6 mons), Addi (2 yrs 10 mons), and Cambrey (3 yrs 3 mons)

"God blesses you who weep now, for the time will come when you will laugh with joy." Luke 6:21

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Another Good Weekend

Today was just what I needed.  A day of relaxation and rest after a busy weekend.  We had a wonderful church service followed by a tasty dinner at my parents and then a long afternoon of nothing.  Well I did finish wrapping the Christmas presents, took a nice long nap, and watched lots of television.  And we're ending the night with a little Survivor finale!!!

But now I want to share a little Streams in the Desert...

Just as old soldiers compare their battle scars and stories of war when they get together, when we arrive at our heavenly home, we will tell of the goodness and faithfulness of God, who brought us through every trial along the way.  I would not like to stand with the multitude clothed in robes made "white in the blood of the Lamb" (Rev 7:14) and hear these words: "These are they who have come out of great tribulations'--all except you." 

How would you like to stand there and be pointed out as the only saint who never experienced sorrow? Never! You would feel like a stranger in the midst of a sacred fellowship.  Therefore may we be content to share in the battle, for we will soon wear a crown of reward and wave a palm branch of praise...May we also go forth to higher endeavors for Christ, never resting until we can shout from the mountaintop, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."...What nobler medal of honor could any person seek than the scars of service, personal loss for the crown of reward, disgrace for the sake of Christ, and being worn out in the Master's service!

We read this devotional a few days ago but when re-reading it today it really made me think.  I am one of God's chosen.  And I should consider it a privilege that he chose me to go through this trial.  Because when I arrive at my heavenly home I will be standing among those who have suffered but who have also kept the faith. 

Last night we celebrated Christmas with our good friends the Zeinstra's.  It's a yearly tradition to fondue so fondue we did and it was soooo yummy.  Steak and chicken with oil (fondue), bread and veggies with cheese fondue, and strawberries, bananas, pretzels, marshmallows, and cookies dipped in the chocolate fountain.  Then it was Wii time with a little chatting and a lil Quiddler too.  Ohh and a few simple gifts were exchanged as well!!!  And like I have said before...nothing makes me happier than when people remember my little girls.  So a very big thankful to Steve and Laura (and the girls) for the beautiful ornament that is already hanging on our tree!


Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Matt. 19:14

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Love is in the Air

Last night we went to the last Derby Crasher wedding.  This was the first wedding since June 4, 2010 when I was a little bit big (18 weeks big) and an oh so happy momma-to-be.  The girl's first and only wedding (here on earth) was my brother's wedding.  I am so glad that they were in all the pictures (obviously only noted by the baby bump).  And even though I still have a hard time looking at the wedding pictures, I know in years to come I will treasure the memories they hold. 

The holiday season has brought out many new emotions.  I miss them so much.  And I just wish that I could hold them again and be their mommy here.  All the dreams of what this Christmas season was suppose to hold stares me in the face every day.  Praying for strength that can only come through my Lord and Savior.  Missing you tons my sweet lil angels.

But back to the wedding from last night.  Like I mentioned above it was the last Derby Crasher wedding.  Kare (Chad) started us off in July 2006 with Krista (Nick) following in August 2007.  2008 was a big Derby year with Rach (Matt) in June, Janna (AT) in August, and Me (Brian) in December.  Melissa (Travis) quickly followed in Sept 2009...and Gretch (Rudy) finished us off with another beautiful December wedding!!!  It was a perfect wedding with a gorgeous bride and a handsome groom and I wish them only the most happiest ever after as they begin their lives as one!!!

Congrats to the Roodvoets!!!

The Men:
Brian, Travis, AT, Dan (aka...Rudy), Matt, Chad, and Nick 

The Derby Crashers:
Melissa, Janna, Gretchen, Me, Karie, Rachel, and Krista

Me and my Love!!!
 
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 
Love never fails...
1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

6 Months

Today marks 6 months since that dreadful day back in June...

Six months ago I walked into my OB's office as a carefree and very excited mama-to-be.  But walked out with my world crashing down in front of me and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it.  Words cannot even begin to describe the numbness and pain I felt on that day.  Truly the only thing that keeps me strong is knowing I will see my perfect little angels again someday.  And this mama won't ever let them go.

Here is the girl's Christmas/Winter wreath (by their stone).  Our cemetery doesn't let us put anything out until the 15th...so we made it a priority to get out there today.  At least we get to keep it out all winter long!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Monday here we come...

And as another weekend comes to a close...another work week is before us.  But I am thankful for the jammed packed fun-filled weekend that we had.  Friday I blogged about here (if you want to catch up).  Saturday morning my mom and I hit up the mall.  I was expecting crazy but it wasn't terribly busy because we were there by 9:30am. I was extremely happy with my purchases and felt that I had accomplished a lot by the time we left.  Loving my new jeans!!!  Then it was off to brace more traffic as I had a few errands to run.  And then when I arrived home (after shopping and errand running for for 4 plus hours) I crashed on the couch for 3 hours.  Then to end the night we met some friends (the Witteveen's) for dinner at Monelli's and went back to their house to hang out for a bit.  Today was a special day because we got to see 2 Christmas programs.  This morning we watched the little children from our church (including some of our friend's little ones) and this evening we went to see 2 of my precious nieces in their Christmas program.  In between we went out for lunch with our friends the Zeinstra's and did a bunch of odds and ends around the house (ohhh and a nap definitely happened too)!  Now the hubby and I our doing our "normal."  Computers on laps watching a movie...a great way to end the weekend!  Hope you all had wonderful weekends too!!!     

And it means the absolute WORLD to me when people remember my little girls.  So thank you to my bestie Karie for these new "A" and "E" mini pails (filled with chocolate kisses)...

If you know someone who has lost a child, and you're afraid to mention them because you think you might make them sad by reminding them that they died--you're not reminding them. They didn't forget they died. What you're reminding them of is that you remembered that they lived, and that is a great gift." -Elizabeth Edwards

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Enjoying the Busyness

The last few days have been a blur of busyness.  Wednesday I spent the day with my mom...breakfast at Panera, pedicures, and some shopping.  And on a side not my counselor told me to do things (for myself) that make me feel good (about myself) so that is why we got pedicures in the middle of December.  But just so you all know...my toes are bright RED and I love them.  Every time I step out of the shower my toes make me smile!!!  Then Thursday was a full day of work.  And yesterday I spent the morning with my mom, Cambrey, and Cole.  We went to the play area at the mall,  Panera for chocolate chippers (my fave), and the kids picked out some candy as a treat from grandma on the way out.  Then the hubby and I spent the afternoon together before heading down to K-zoo.  And this morning the hubby went hunting and poor me couldn't fall back to sleep so I decided to blog for a bit before I hit the mall (again) this morning with my mom.  Crazy mall here we come... 

So you might be wondering why we went to K-zoo.  Well last night in celebration of 2 wonderful years of marriage we went to see...
It was awesome and I am so glad we took the opportunity to go and see it when it was showing just a mere 45 minutes from our house.  (I have wanted to see it for the last 3 years).  We enjoyed a yummy dinner at Olive Garden before the show.  And since the hubby doesn't like taking pictures in many public places...we snapped a shot before we left the house!
picture taken right after I made him change...wasn't too happy.

Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. (2 Cor 4:17)

The question is often asked, "Why is human life drenched in so much blood and soaked with so many tears?" The answer is found in the word "achieving," for these "momentary troubles are achieving for us" something very precious.  They are teaching us not only the way to victory but, better still, the law of victory--there is reward for every sorrow, and the sorrow itself produces the reward... (Streams in the Dessert)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Suppose to be Tuesday's Thoughts

But now they're Wednesday thoughts...

I walked into my parent's house the other day and my mom said, "Those pants look terrible on you.  They're 2 sizes too big"  Oh how I wish my pants were 2 sizes too small (although if they were that small I would not be wearing them) because I should still be needing to lose baby weight.

Every time I go to the mall or the grocery store or anywhere for that matter I see new mommy's pushing their precious newborns in their strollers.  O how I wish I was pushing my newborn daughters too.  And that I wasn't turning at the sight of all those happy mommies in order to prevent more tears from falling.

I wish I was buying my daughters an exuberant amount of Christmas presents this year.  It was suppose to be the best Christmas ever.  And now not so much...

I wish I could go into the girl's room (or the baby's room as it's now called) and not cry.

I picked up my journal the other day from when I was pregnant with Alayna and Ella.  The last entry was from June 15th.  I was prepared to write down my feelings from my 20 week ultrasound but all that was written was...June 15, 2010.  The rest of the page is empty because I stopped journaling on that day.  I was looking for something in particular but ended up just putting the journal down because I started crying too much.

Sometimes when I fall asleep at night I find myself hanging onto my necklace (with Alayna and Ella's initials).  Because it is the only way I can "hold" my girls.

I pray for another daughter to remind me of Alayna and Ella.  A daughter to wrap in their girlie blankets.  Blankets that we received from the hospital in remembrance of them that have their names stitched on.  To wear the one girl outfit my mom gave me when we found out that Ella was a girl (at our 16 week ultrasound).  To wear the pink bows my mom also gave me after our 16 week ultrasound.

I think and wish many things.  And I have accepted that this is my life but it's still a tough path to walk.

YOUR NEEDS AND MY RICHES are a perfect fit.  I never meant for you to be self-sufficient.  Instead, I designed you to need Me not only for daily bread but also for fulfillment of deep yearnings.  I carefully crafted your longings and feelings of incompleteness, to point you to Me.  Therefore, do not try to bury or deny these feelings.  Beware also of trying to pacify these longings with lesser gods: people, possessions, power.

Come to Me in all you neediness, with defenses down and with desire to be blessed.  As you spend time in My Presence, your deepest longings are fulfilled. Rejoice in your neediness, which enables you to find intimate completion in Me. (Jesus Calling)

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:19

Monday, December 6, 2010

Happy Anniversary

Meant to post something this morning about my (errr our) 2 years of wedded bliss but once morning arrived I was up and running.  Met a friend for a 9am coffee date, then it was off to get some groceries, and then hung out at my mom's for awhile.  Made it home a good hour before the hubby so I was able to watch my DVR'd GLEE!!!  Then as is our annual tradition the hubby and I went to Outback for a wonderful steak dinner compliments of a giftcard!!!  And now he is waiting for me to hurry up and post this so we can watch some of our DVR'd shows...as you can see we live a simple life.

But once the hubby got home this is what he received for our 2 year anniversary...
yes its just a card

And wouldn't you know that he asked if this card was for him.  Smart ass. 

And then he handed me this...

So of course I asked if this was for me.  But as always I get a little chuckle out of his card motto which is...bigger is better!  And wouldn't ya know that each of us wrote that we're praying year 3 brings us our third miracle child...praying so hard for you sweet baby Hemy!!!

before heading out for dinner

Hard to imagine that 2 years ago it was an absolute blizzard outside...
our fabulous wedding party

Friday, December 3, 2010

It's the Weekend!!!

Hopefully you all have exciting weekends planned!  Mine will be full of work so I need you all to have some fun for me.  Not that work can't be "fun" at times.  I have awesome coworkers so amongst taking care of the patients...great conversations are always had! 

But I will be taking advantage of my free Friday.  First, I am going to hang out with my mom and the Vugteveen kids (my nieces and nephew) until I head to one of the opening events for the new Helen DeVos Children's event.  Yes folks that is right...a new $300 million facility right here in little ole Grand Rapids, Michigan.  I am acting as a host for my floor (the fabulous 7th floor) this afternoon for a couple of hours!!!  Want to know more...check us out here. It's a pretty BIG deal.  Afterwards, the hubby and I are meeting his parents at Logan's (yummy) for dinner and then we have some Christmas errands/shopping to do.  And then we normally end most weekend nights watching a movie if we don't have other plans.  And then its work for me (Sat and Sun) and (I like to think) a long 2 days for the hubby who always misses me something incredible :) when I have to work all weekend long!!!

In the spirit of Christmas and giving...I have one plug.  The other day I received something in the mail.  It said:

Lindsey Helmholdt, I know I've taken a risk in sending you this dime...

There's a chance you might not return it to me along with a few dollars of your own to help us reach out to the nearly 1,500 babies born prematurely and about 330 babies born with serious birth defects each day.

But when President Franklin Roosevelt established the March of Dimes to save children from polio, it was really dime after dime, from people like you, which conquered that terrible disease.  Since polio has been beaten, why are we still asking for your dimes?

Because America's babies are still losing their lives, only now, it's due to premature birth.  Some babies delivered too soon won't survive their first month of life.  Others face lifelong disabilities from disabling birth defects like blindness or mental retardation.

Just as children once needed caring people like you to beat polio, America's babies need you now to prevent premature birth and serious birth defects.  So please, return your dime to us along with your donation.  Thank you so much for your kindness.

So if you're in the spirit of giving...please click here to make your donation.  You can even make it in honor of Alayna and Ella Helmholdt.  As I write their names I start tearing up so please consider saving another parent the devastation of losing their precious lil one(s) too soon.  THANK YOU!!!

A powerful Psalm that a friend had on her blog a few days ago...

Psalm 71

In you, LORD, I have taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
In your righteousness, rescue me and deliver me;
turn your ear to me and save me.
Be my rock of refuge,
to which I can always go;
give the command to save me,
for you are my rock and my fortress.
Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked,
from the grasp of those who are evil and cruel.

For you have been my hope, Sovereign LORD,
my confidence since my youth.
From birth I have relied on you;
you brought me forth from my mother’s womb.
I will ever praise you.
I have become a sign to many;
you are my strong refuge.
My mouth is filled with your praise,
declaring your splendor all day long.

Do not cast me away when I am old;
do not forsake me when my strength is gone.
For my enemies speak against me;
those who wait to kill me conspire together.
They say, “God has forsaken him;
pursue him and seize him,
for no one will rescue him.”
Do not be far from me, my God;
come quickly, God, to help me.
May my accusers perish in shame;
may those who want to harm me
be covered with scorn and disgrace.

As for me, I will always have hope;
I will praise you more and more.

My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds,
of your saving acts all day long—
though I know not how to relate them all.
I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, Sovereign LORD;
I will proclaim your righteous deeds, yours alone.
Since my youth, God, you have taught me,
and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds.
Even when I am old and gray,
do not forsake me, my God,
till I declare your power to the next generation,
your mighty acts to all who are to come.

Your righteousness, God, reaches to the heavens,
you who have done great things.
Who is like you, God?
Though you have made me see troubles,
many and bitter,
you will restore my life again;
from the depths of the earth
you will again bring me up.
You will increase my honor
and comfort me once more.

I will praise you with the harp
for your faithfulness, my God;
I will sing praise to you with the lyre,
Holy One of Israel.
My lips will shout for joy
when I sing praise to you
I whom you have delivered.
My tongue will tell of your righteous acts
all day long,
for those who wanted to harm me
have been put to shame and confusion.

And the prayer offered in faith will make them well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.  James 5:15-16

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Comfort (Part 2 of 2)

HAPPY DECEMBER 1ST!!! And folks the snow has finally arrived...not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing but Christmas isn't Christmas without it!!! Today I just wanted to say that I am thankful that I made it through the end of another month. The end of each month tends to be a bit more difficult since Alayna and Ella's birthdays are on the 24th and 30th respectively but once again God has carried us through to this new month. And in continuation from yesterday's post...

2 Corinthians 1:3-7:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

I love love verse four. And I praise God that I have become a more compassionate person because of all I have experienced. How amazing that I will be able to comfort others because of the comfort I myself have received. And even though I am still hurting, I am thankful to be hurting safely in the arms of my Savior who wipes every tear from my eyes.

This passage is so powerful. And it has taken on a whole new meaning since June 15th. People pretend to understand our pain. People pretend to be compassionate. But absolutely NO one understands the pain of losing a child (unless you've lost a child) . And absolutely NO one understands the struggle of not being able to conceive naturally (unless you've struggled to get pregnant). And absolutely NO one understand what the dreaded 2 week wait period feels like after IVF. Add it all together and absolutely NO one understands the excruciating pain that Brian and I have lived with for the last 6 months. And I pray that very few have to experience all we have. And if you do have to experience all three, then I pray that you know our Lord and Savior because that is the only reason we are still breathing today. We are on our knees praying the prayer of King Hezekiah. We pray that God "heals" my body just like Hezekiah prayed for healing of his body. But by healing my body we mean becoming pregnant with our miracle baby...a baby that will be a true gift from God!

Glad to report that my first counseling session was a success. And I already have my next scheduled. My counselor said that I have dealt exceeding well with everything that has happened these last 6 months. Some of you know that we have been back on the fertility bandwagon but not many know that we have been back on since September (with no success obviously). We had a canceled cycle in September because of a broken blood vessel (totally random and crazy) and a failed cycle in October/November. Both times brought me to the brink of depression but through the grace of God he kept me above the sinking waters. He loves me and cares immensely for me. I am so thankful that I am a child of God. Praying for a better November/December!!!

"For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their prayer...."
I Peter 3:12

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

THANK YOU

Thank you...Thank you...Thank you
When I got home tonight I had a package waiting for me on the table from my sweet friend Kami.  And I just wanted to say THANK YOU (to her) for the precious A and E ornaments!!!  I love them to pieces and already have them on the tree...front and center!

 



Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. 1 Chronicles 16:34

Deliver Us (Part 1 of 2)

God cradles us in His careful hands as He stitches our broken pieces back together again, forming a new and far more beautiful garment.

We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.  2 Corinthians 1:8-11

Really nothing more needs to be said.  This scripture passage says it all.  It feels like Brian and I have received "the sentence of death."  But God is only teaching us to rely 100% on Him.  Because He wants us to know that He is who He says He is and He can do what He says he can do.  He has delivered us time and time again so I know He WILL deliver us from this peril too.  Yes, the waiting is hard.  Oh the waiting is hard but in His perfect timing I know He will deliver us.  And soon we will be singing His praises from the mountain top...(my constant prayer).  But we can only handle this with the combination of your prayers too.  So please do not stop...keep showering us with your prayers of love and encouragement...they are needed now more than ever.

Off to my first counseling session...

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ouch

And the roller-coaster of grief AND infertility continues.  I wonder when it will end.  I wonder when I will feel happy again. I have said it before and I will say it again...this journey is emotionally exhausting and I really don't know how much more I can take.  It seems like I keep getting kicked.  One kick on top of another with no breaks in between.  And the kicks don't stop even though I am already on my knees praying for it to all end.

"This is what the Lord says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover."  Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, "Remember, O Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes."  And Hezekiah wept bitterly....Go back and tell Hezekiah, the leader of my people, 'This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you....I will add 15 years to your life. 2 Kings 20:1b-6a

So this is my new prayer...

Hear your faithful servant calling out to you O Lord.  Hear my pleas.  See my tears.  Restore my smile.  And renew my life. AMEN!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

More to be Thankful for.

I just had to add a couple more things that I am thankful for.  Read here for my earlier Thanksgiving post.

5 more reasons to be specific...
Easton with Addi, Kylynn, Cambrey, and Cole
 sisterly love
 cousinly love
Me with my oldest niece who is so grown up!

And one other thing that I am very thankful for is my fertility office, my RE and all my IVF nurses!!!

Hope you all had a wonderful day celebrating with those you love.  Now I'm off to snuggle with the love of my life and watch a movie...

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine...
Ephesians 3:20

Happy Thanksgiving

Today I am thankful for many things.  And on the top of the list would be my Heavenly Father, my Savior, my Prince of Peace, my Alpha & Omega... 

I am so thankful that He has sustained me through these last 5 plus months.  Without Him I would have crumbled to pieces and would have given up on life all together.  Because the pain of losing a child is almost more than a simple human can bear.  But He has upheld me with His righteous right hand just as He promised in Isaiah 41:10, "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

I am also thankful for my family.  Where would we be without the support of our family?  They have been there for us on our darkest days...when it seemed like the cloud would never lift.  My mom and sister have answered the phone many of times only to hear me bawling on the other end.  They have listened to me and they have cried with me.  I will never forget June 26.  It was a Saturday morning and the doctor and her posse came in (which I knew was not going to be a good thing) to tell me that my labs were getting much worse.  And that we needed to start thinking about inducing.  All I could do was cry and cry and cry...heartbreaking sobs as Brian and my mom held me.  Here I was fighting for my sweet baby and they were telling me she didn't have a chance.  I fought for 4 more days before they told me I no longer had a choice...my life was now in jeopardy.  And you know what I almost didn't care...that is how sad I was.  But here we are 5 months later still living life (the best we can) and praying for our Rainbow baby to happen in the good Lord's perfect timing.

I am thankful for my new and old friends.  To Kami, Erin, and Andrea I am blessed to be connected to the 3 of you through the loss of our angel babies.  One of the few good things to come out of such heartbreak.  You guys are the absolute BEST.  You have given me encouragement on my darkest days and you are walking this road with me...and I THANK YOU for that!  I am soooo excited for baby U to arrive next spring!!!  And praying everyday for baby A, baby P (and baby H)!!!

"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up." Ecclesiastes 4:9-10.

To Karie, Lacey, Amy, and Krista I am blessed to call you my friends.  Thank you for the never ending emails, phone calls, and cards of encouragement, for the care packages, and meals.  You have listened to me on my best and worst days...you have sat there with me silently while I cried.  Today I am thanking God for each one of you. 

"A friend is one who strengthens you with prayers, blesses you with love and encourages you with hope."

To my coworker friends (who are way more than just coworkers)...Kara, Melissa, Jen K and Marne (my IVF buddies), Jen K (my cuz), Tammy, J Lo, Amy, Angela, Kate D, and Sarah thank you for always listening to me.  For wanting to hear my story and for the constant encouragement.  I heart you guys so much and I am so blessed to work with each and every one of you.  And to Gretchen my manager, and Liz and Jen my supervisors...I cannot thank you enough for constantly rearranging my work schedule around all my fertility appointments.  I am so thankful to have management that is so understanding and supportive and most importantly a team who prays for me!!!
 
I am thankful for my church family and my Pastor and his wonderful wife.  I am blessed to live in a community of believers.  I am blessed by the new friendships I have made at Sunrise.  I am blessed to have a pastor who calls to check in on us frequently.  I am blessed that Linda (pastor's wife) sends me encouraging cards and invites us over for dinner.  I am blessed to be part of the Young Ladies Beth Moore Bible Study.  Simply put Sunrise has enriched my life tremendously and for this I am very thankful.
 
I am thankful for my Bible.  The freedom I have to read it whenever I choose.  I am thankful for the stories I read in the Bible that remind me that others have felt my pain (that we are not alone).  The latest story being from 2 Kings 4...
 
One day Elisha came, he went up to his room and lay down there. He said to his servant Gehazi, "Call the Shunammite." So he called her, and she stood before him. Elisha said to him, "Tell her, 'You have gone to all this trouble for us. Now what can be done for you? Can we speak on your behalf to the king or commander of the army?'" She replied, "I have a home among my own people." "What can be done for her?" Elisha asked. Gehazi said, "Well, she has no son and her husband is old." Then Elisha said, "Call her." So he called her, and she stood in the doorway. "About this time next year," Elisha said, "you will hold a son in your arms." "No, my lord," she objected. "Don't mislead your servant, O man of God!" But the woman became pregnant, and the next year about that same time she gave birth to a son, just as Elisha had told her. The child grew, and one day he went out to his father, who was with the reapers. "My head! My head!" he said to his father. His father told a servant, "Carry him to his mother." After the servant had lifted him up and carried him to his mother, the boy sat on her lap until noon, and then he died....When she reached the man of God at the mountain, she took hold of his feet. Gehazi came over to push her away, but the man of God said, "Leave her alone! She is in bitter distress, but the Lord has hidden it from me and has not told me why." "Did I ask you for a son, my lord?" she said.  "Didn't I tell you, 'Don't raise my hopes'?"....Elisha turned away and walked back and forth in the room and then got on the bed and stretched out upon him once more. The boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes.  Elisha summoned Gehazi and said, "Call the Shunammite." And he did. When she came, he said, "Take your son." She came in, fell at his feet and bowed to the ground. Then she took her son and went out.
 
Truly there is much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving Day.  Our health. Our jobs. Our home. Our marriage.  The feast we are about to eat (thanks mom and dad)! And the list could go on and on.  But above all else I am thankful that my girls are celebrating their first Thanksgiving with Jesus.
 
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18