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2018 Year in Review

Friday, December 28, 2018

Wow.  2018 was filled with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.  It really was a bittersweet year.

Am I glad it's coming to an end?

Yes.

I entered this year grieving and hopeful and wrote a blog post about it.  We had just experienced a failed IVF round for the second time.  I felt like my body had been put through the ringer with surgery, procedures, millions (what felt like) of shots, and weight gain.  I felt terrible, I was sad, and I honestly was not looking forward to doing another round of IVF.


trying to feel normal

After my second egg retrieval in October 2017 (which was actually my third round of stim meds because my follicles didn't grow big enough the first round), I told Dustin, through lots of tears, that I was not doing another round of stims again.  I hated how they made my body feel and I hated that I had to be so careful with everything I did because I was at such a high risk for ovarian torsion (twisting of your ovaries which is extremely dangerous).  It got to the point where I had to be careful even bending down to pick up something.

Entering into the new year, I knew that 2018 would be our last embryo transfer since we still had embryos frozen from that last egg retrieval.  We went to our doctor early January to discuss the next transfer and in hindsight, I'm really glad Dustin brought up to our doctor the fact that I had started mentioning how my lower back had been killing me.  Because I feel like she's such a great doctor who listens to her patients, she said if I really wanted, we would do another laparoscopy to get any endometriosis that may have returned since my last surgery a year ago.  That way I wouldn't ever have to wonder if we didn't do the surgery and I didn't get pregnant the next transfer that if having the surgery would have made a difference.

I had surgery again on February 9 and she said it was so bad that it looked like I had never had surgery before.  The only way to give my body a break was to get pregnant.


ready for surgery and to feel better!

And like I said earlier, I was not looking forward to another round.  I voiced that to my best friend and I knew that I had to change my attitude.  I prayed that God would change my heart and about two weeks before my scheduled transfer in April, my attitude changed and I was excited about this last transfer.


 right before they wheeled me back for the transfer


two perfect babies were transferred in hopes of having twins!

Things went on as normal and I wasn't expecting a positive pregnancy test until my doctor's office called me and woke me up from a nap (should have know ha!) telling me I was PREGNANT!!!  She also told me my lab numbers were so high that we should expect a strong pregnancy and even a possibility of twins (we transferred two).  Literally the best day of my life.  All of my dreams of being a mother were finally going to come true.


after we dried our happy tears from the positive pregnancy phone call!!

And ironically, our baby's due date is today.  December 28.

I've dreaded today ever since we lost our baby girl on May 16. Actually, the entire month of December was hard for me because it was a month that I had envisioned prepping for our baby and wondering if I was going to make it past Christmas before going into labor. 

I wrote about that and processing through the grief here.

Fast forward to this summer, I enjoyed not having to fake it through school (I had to go back to work the last week of school after the miscarriage) and being able to cry whenever I wanted.  Dustin had to go out of town for two weeks for a work trip and I spent that time just doing whatever I wanted....like having lunch with my sister or walking at the park.

It was also during that time where God really worked on our hearts to lead us toward adoption.  You can read the entire story of that here.

announcing that we are adopting!

In mid to late June (I think the 20-something), we had our initial phone call with Faithful Adoption Consultants (FAC) out of Georgia.  I had done a ton of research on different consultant groups vs using an agency and ultimately Dustin and I both felt comfortable using FAC.  Through the recommendation of another adoptive mom, we used a local social worker to complete our home study.  We had been told to expect 3-4 months for that to be completed and ours literally took 5 weeks!


my first Facebook marketplace purchase!  literally the best deal I've ever found


We also celebrated Dustin's 33rd birthday and our 4 year anniversary during our vacation in Rosemary Beach!  Our vacation was exactly what we needed


breakfast one morning in Rosemary

In the meantime, we did a t-shirt fundraiser and people were so supportive of it.  I had set a goal of 100 shirts but I honestly didn't even know if we would sell 75.  We ended up selling over 200 shirts and I couldn't believe it!  Some of y'all, my sweet blog readers, bought shirts!  I was and still am so blown away by the support shown.  We did a few other fundraisers--a bbq plate dinner, a fundraiser letter, Christmas ornaments, mini photography sessions, a yard sale, a raffle, and we had a craft booth at an advent market.


my precious husband designed these shirts to represent our adoption journey

We went active late September and that wait time was a lot harder than I thought it would be.  The whole time leading up to becoming active, I was so excited to start seeing cases because I knew that meant that we could get matched soon.  But I wasn't prepared for the first few cases we got because as soon as I opened the emails and read the files, I cried.  It reiterated the brokenness of adoption and the tragedy from which it begins.  (I have a post planned on what it was like being "active" and the whole waiting.)

While waiting to be matched, I turned 31.




We were matched November 2 with a baby due late February!!  I've loved being able to pick up a few gender specific outfits and finish up the nursery.  We also bought some of the major things we will need when we travel to get the baby--car seat, stroller, diaper bag, bottles, etc.  


yay!
Christmas this year was really special since it's the last one with just the two of us.  As much as we really love it being just the two of us, we kept finding ourselves mentioning what it would be like with a baby next year 😊  I blogged about our Christmas yesterday!





Man, it's been a hard year, but God has been so good to me.  He has shown me that He gives me strength, grace upon grace, and the importance of Christian community.  I can't wait to see what 2019 holds for us!




14 comments:

  1. Excited for the new year for you all!

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  2. I'm SO excited to see this next year pan out for you guys!

    Side note, you look so much like your mom in that pic of you blowing out birthday candles!

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  3. I am so excited for February for you! And you'll carry the strength from this year into 2019 and give it all to your little one!

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  4. WOW! What a story Sarah. God is so good. Excited for you in 2019!!! XO

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  5. OH that is an emotionally fraught year! Wishing you the best in 2019!!

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  6. Love your positive outlook on everything, friend! So inspiring. And could NOT be happier for you!!!! Cheers to a family of THREE coming your way SOON!!!!

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  7. Could not be happier for you and Dustin and what is to come in 2019 for you guys!

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  8. 2019 is going to be an amazing year for you guys!!!

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  9. I cannot wait for what 2019 brings for you all!!

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  10. Im so excited and happy for you and what 2019 has in store. 2018 sure was a tough one but I have so much faith that 2019 will bring you more blessings than you can imagine!

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  11. I am so excited to see what 2019 has in store for you girl. So many people praying for you!!

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  12. Y'all truly experienced all of the emotions in 2018. I pray that 2019 is your year for nothing but JOY! You deserve it, Sarah!

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  13. 2019 is going to be your best year yet-I just know it! So looking forward to you & Dustin getting your little one-your life is going to be changed in the best way ever...it's so fun & emotional, and I am so thrilled for y'all!

    xoxo, jordyn

    Southern and Style

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  14. So happy to hear about your adoption! Can't wait to read about your journey in 2019.

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