Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Our Rainbow Baby..

Through a lot of restless nights lately, my heart and my mind keep urging me to share some of our story... to fill in the blanks of my massive blogging hiatus... and hopefully to help someone out there struggling with the very same things.

Seven years ago... seems like forever now, but at that time we were only about 6 months into our marriage when we found out that we were expecting our first baby. It almost seemed too easy... Little did we know how much our lives would change and be blessed by our little one who is now six-years old, in Kindergarten, and the absolute biggest joy in our lives. A couple of years after Colton was born, momma started getting the itch to have a second baby and after some convincing that our kiddo needed a partner in crime, we started trying again. It wasn't so easy this time... life gets in the way... Casey and I both were in the midst of big life changes... He wanted out of the fire department and had started going back to school to finish his degree. I was knee deep in learning what it took to be a head coach and had interviewed a couple of times for new positions after being super comfortable at my home school of Poteet. Needless to say, months came and went... no sign of new babies in our lives. Pretty soon after that, we started attending a new church (after 25ish years at one we practically grew up in together) and attended a service in which the speaker talked one Sunday specifically about adoption. We talked and prayed individually about if that was something that would be for us. We even looked into a few different agencies and I talked with a friend of mine who had adopted twice. Again, nothing really amounted to that but the thoughts/prayers were there in the back of our minds. So at this point, its sometime in the Spring of 2012.. I got my first head coaching job at another high school in Mesquite and left the comforts of the only "home" I had ever known. My first year (2012-2013) was rough, but I learned a lot and had started building a program that I could be proud of, and had an amazing group of girls coming back the following year. The second year started out much easier, as I knew what to expect and how to handle situations better than I had previously. Right after school began, we even found out that after four years of trying, we would be expecting baby #2 in March or April of 2014. We literally told no one though... I really still can't explain why, but I made Casey promise to wait until we were further along. Late in September, however, we learned that a newer couple in our Community Group would be delivering their first baby at 30 weeks stillborn. September 25, 2013 I attended a funeral that had the smallest casket I had ever seen and was heartbroken for this family. I went back to work that afternoon feeling extremely uneasy and felt as if something else was very wrong. I called my doctor late that afternoon and she scheduled an appointment for me the next day. By then I had started bleeding and was in the process of losing our precious one at only 8 weeks. Shortly after arriving and starting a sonogram, my fears were confirmed. I held it together somehow as we sat in the waiting room to see what the next steps would be. "Miscarriages are fairly common", I was told. "You can try again", they explained. "We are so sorry for your loss", they said. The emotional pain I experienced that day was almost unbearable. I barely remember the drive back home from the doctor, but I do know that somewhere along the way I lost it... completely... big crocodile tears that wouldn't stop flowing. I could not make sense of why or how my body had not been able to do what it had already done before. By mid-afternoon, we were back at home sitting on the couch in a silence only broken by my sobbing. "We will try again if you want, when you are ready," my husband said gently. He tried so hard to remind me of the absolutely beautiful child we already had and said that this was the best opportunity to focus on the blessing that we already had in our lives. I, however, was broken. My heart... my soul... my will-power... For whatever reason I remember insisting that I go back to work for practice that day. I will admit that my job became a great wall for me to hide behind. I buried myself in my job over the next few months and never truly dealt with the consequences of that. I refused to talk to or tell anyone about the experience at all and somehow convinced my husband to honor that wish of mine. My family... my friends... they had no idea. I struggled... I still do. That one experience led to other areas of my life being affected and pretty soon I was destroying my marriage and my family. It's truly only by the grace of God that we came out on the other side of such a dark time in our lives.. I did not handle it well then and I know now, looking back, that it was solely because I tried to do it "my way" and that never works out. We would try again... and again... and again... before we (I) truly gave the situation over to God. I think I could probably say this is true for both my husband and myself, but I know that I dove headfirst into prayer about what was next for us and where He would take us on this journey. After several frustrating months and many tearful conversations in prayer, the next step was to visit with a specialist that my OB-GYN referred me to. Dr. Karen Lee was a God-send and immediately put me at ease with conversations about where she wanted us to go from there. After a few simple tests, she found nothing significant and together we came up with a plan that allowed us to not have to dive so deep into fertility treatments just yet. At home, Casey and I had decided that this was, in fact, the best course of action for us and if it was not in God's plan, we would start considering the options of adoption that had once been placed in our hearts and minds. Of course, I was skeptical at first because this lady barely knew me or my body.. but she did know her craft. [I would never say that she created our miracle for us, but I will say that God gave her the abilities she has to assist us with a struggle that so many around the world have]. Needless to say, this past August, on the Friday before students started back to school, she told me that was the day to take a test to see if we were pregnant... Being the skeptic still, I think I piddled around as much as possible after I took that test just so I wouldn't have to face disappointment of any kind... But God is a funny, funny God... and boy is He faithful... that test was positive and our journey to have this baby girl had begun. I won't lie to anyone and say that I didn't have my doubts or that I still don't pose those hypothetical what ifs to myself.. I do... but then I remind myself that Psalm 37:4 says "Delight yourself in the Lord, And He will give you the desires of your heart." It's been a rough road and we aren't to the end yet... but He provides and He is faithful. So as we near the end of the pregnancy journey, another will begin with such a different meaning.. We experienced life with Colton like we had never known before, we experienced loss with a baby that is now resting in the arms of his/her heavenly Father, and now a new life will be brought into the world as our Rainbow Baby. If you don't know what that means or why this post was titled that in the first place, check this out! Somewhere along the way, during my personal healing process, I knew I needed to connect in some way to others who had experienced the same thing. I found the Rainbow Baby movement and knew that our sweet, little Avery Grace would be ours. The gist is that a rainbow baby is a baby that is born following a miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss. In the real world, a beautiful and bright rainbow follows a dark storm and gives us hope for a brighter tomorrow. Storms are scary... they can rock you to the core.. they can create unimaginable pain and suffering... but they don't last. When they do end, a beautiful rainbow reminding us of God's greatest promises will be waiting. He is Good. He Provides. He. Is. Faithful.

Mommy and Daddy can't wait to meet you Avery Grace. You are our rainbow baby and we have been praying for you...

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A-Z: About me!

A. Age: 27
B. Bed size: King
C. Chore that you hate: Folding Laundry
D. Dogs: 2 - Maddie (Mini Dachshound) and Staten (Golden Retriever mix)
E. Essential start to your day: STARBUCKS Caramel Macchiato
F. Favorite color: Blue
G. Gold or Silver: Silver
H. Height: 5'6"
I. Instruments you play: Piano
J. Job title: High School Math Teacher & Volleyball/Track Coach
K. Kids: one - Colton (turns 2 next month!)
L. Live: Mesquite, Texas
M. Mother’s name: Cyndi
N. Nicknames: Ash, Coach Boots - this one is from my athletes... LOL
O. Overnight hospital stays: when I had my little boy :)
P. Pet peeves: inconsiderate people
Q. Quote from a movie: "
The best love is the kind that awakens the soul and makes us reach for more, that plants a fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds, and that's what you've given me." The Notebook
R. Right or left handed: Right
S. Siblings: Little Sister - Mackenzie
T. Time you wake up: 6:15
U. Underwear: every day LOL
V. Vegetable you hate: Peas - the smell is SO GROSS
W. What makes you run late: not getting out of bed when my alarm goes off
X. X-Rays you’ve had: Back (after a very dumb rookie cop totalled my car)
Y. Yummy food that you make: Super Easy Apple/Peach Cobbler (thanks Ashley), Cinnamon Cheesecake, Key Lime Pie
Z. Zoo animal: elephants :)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Song-filled Sundays

Today we told our home church of 20+ years that next week would be our last week... My mom cried... My MIL cried... and I'm sure my dad and FIL felt a little sadness as well. And although I am sad to say goodbye, I am extremely pumped to see what God has in store for us. Next Sunday marks Casey's two year anniversary as the interim music minister and with that - it also marks the end of our membership at RBC. That church has been home since I can remember... for both of us - without it, I might not be married to the man I am today. We've been through a lot together, but for Casey and I the ride stops in 7 days. Our pastor used a verse this morning that said this - "where your treasure is, your heart will be also" and HOW TRUE is that. My treasure - my family, friends, comfort has been in RBC for so long and I know my heart will remain there for a long while. I am looking forward to our future, wherever that might be, but like I have said so many times before - goodbyes are never easy. SO, if you are the praying kind, keep my hubby and me in mind this week (and the weeks to come). To all of our friends at RBC, we love you and we appreciate the support you guys have given us growing up, in our marriage, and now with our own family.

And now, so I can leave you on a happy note...

My son truly takes after us, don't you think?? He has music in his SOUL!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

goodbyes still aren't easy the 3rd time around...

my blogging hiatus ends TODAY!! sorry for the long-time no post era... but it's over I promise!

Today, tonight actually, this little stinker -

helped his Aunt ZZ pack up her things to head back to Arkansas. He did not want them to take the U-haul away and had a blast pretending to drive the big truck!

So to my sister... my best friend -

I know this summer might not have been what you had expected or even what you had hoped, but God knew exactly what you needed and every single millisecond was planned many years ago. Get back to Arkansas and continue to finish what you started there... don't let anyone tell you can't do something - because you can. Dream big - bigger than you ever imagined before. Think with your head, but let your heart lead - it is truly the size of Texas and it was made that way for a reason.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Day 3 - First Love

Well my first love has to be Dr. Pepper... I mean I hardly ever go a day without having one... Kidding... kinda :)

But seriously....

This post might be a difficult one for me... but here it goes.

Strangely enough, I was thinking about this very topic a couple of nights ago while I listened to the speaker at our church's Disciple Now. He started by asking the students if they thought they knew what love meant and several of them raised their hands. From there, he didn't try to tell them that they were wrong or they really didn't know what love was, he simply said that our idea of love changes over time. When we are young, love is for our parents, siblings, and other members of our family. It's also used to describe how we feel about ice cream, pizza, swimming, and presents. Love is just a feeling that we are taught to use for things that we enjoy. Then a few years later, we discover the opposite sex and we might have a few "serious" relationships and our view of love changes again. We think that love is about kisses, hugs, love notes, late night phone-calls (I guess texts would be more correct theses days), and prom dates. I'm not going to lie and say that I didn't fall into this very category in high school and even college. I dated a guy for almost three years that I thought I would "love" him forever. I won't ever deny that I cared for him on a deeper level than my other friends, but neither one of us really knew what love was truly about. [I can say that without reservation since both of us are very happily married these days.] Anyway, college was about the same for me... I wasn't the dating type and I only got into a relationship that I could see myself in for the long run. There was a time right after college where I hit, what I thought to be, rock-bottom in relationship world. I remember telling my mom that I was tired of being alone and that the true desire of my heart was to be married and eventually have children. Her response? If that was the true desire of my heart, then I needed to pray about it. Me, being the most incredibly impatient person that I am, did NOT like this response because I was already tired of waiting... so why should I wait some more. I didn't want to be an older bride, and eventually an older mom. But, low and behold, the dream I had was too small for the man upstairs... His plan was already in effect and within a week, I was re-united with the guy that I would soon call my husband. I can't say that from that day on it was candy and roses because it definitely was not. He and I were what I like to call "damaged goods." We had trust issues because we had both been burned before and that took a toll on us for a long time. BUT, when you wake up one day and you absolutely cannot imagine your life without that person.... That is love. When you find someone who is honest with you about even your worst attributes and you still can't imagine life without them... That is love. When you bring a new life into the world together and it turns your world upside down, but you still can't imagine life with anyone else... That is LOVE. There are many things that I love about my husband, but the one thing, above all else, that I love is that he teaches me daily how to love more than already know how. So for that, I believe, that Casey is my first TRUE love.

Casey Deree Pruitt, I love with with my whole heart and I can't imagine my life without you. Thank you for putting up with me every day and loving me back.