Silver Linings

It's been quite a break I've taken...and still not sure what I'm doing with a blog.

We had been on the fence since last summer about adding another to our little pack and were up and down for so many months.  I was actually waiting for my period to come so I could schedule to have another Mirena inserted...but then again, I kept saying that too.  Still, it was hard for my ovaries NOT to hurt seeing my gorgeous and amazing little niece...and seeing how much of a little sister she is to my two.  It was is hard seeing my "babies" becoming big kids and barely retaining any of that "babiness" they once had.

We found out we were pregnant in April.  I think being older (in comparison to being pregnant with K&J) I felt a little trepidation about this pregnancy and tried to resist sharing it as soon as we found we did with the first two.  We did confide in close family and friends (who are family to us anyway) but still tried to keep it relatively quiet.

At my 10-week ultrasound on May 13, they discovered I had a blighted ovum...basically, due to chromosomal defects, the embryo (most likely en embryo since might not have been able to even reach the fetus stage) had stopped developing.  It was a really rough weekend since my nurse practitioner was cautious and wanted to check my blood hormone levels before making a definitive diagnosis.  I had already started mourning the loss of what/who could've been and began researching blighted ovums like crazy.  At the end of the weekend, I had a complete calm wash over me and just felt more grateful than ever for just knowing the fact of why this pregnancy would not come to fruition.  The tests confirmed the blighted ovum and I was given the options of miscarrying naturally, medication to speed up the process, or surgery to remove my uterine contents.  I decided to let Nature do its own thing.  Little did I know that Nature wanted little to do with my uterus.

Apparently, I have a stubborn uterus and I took my first round of meds last Wednesday and ended up in the ER a few hours later after losing too much tissue and blood at such an extreme rate.  Sean and I were a bit worried he'd go home a single parent that day.  So, how much more (esp. for Sean) to find out a few days later that I had to repeat the meds since they still found tissue in my uterus.  The ER doc (civilian hospital since I'd never be able to make it to the military hospital) was especially "helpful" in asking me if I knew (or if my docs told me) that the bleeding/tissue-loss would be heavier than a period.  I think with him never having to experience a period and following my docs' orders of going to the ER if I soaked more than one pad an hour (which I did in about 5-10 mins. easily...not to mention the extreme gush of tissue/blood that occurred every time I went to the bathroom) made him a not-so-great authority on this issue...despite his medical schooling and training.  Those in the military tend to not think very high of military medicine, but with my experience in all this I have come away thinking the military medical staff has been nothing less than stellar.  So, thank you Naval Medical Center Portsmouth for making this difficult time more bearable.

Saturday, I took my second dose and it was way easier in comparison to Wednesday's experience.  Still lots of painful cramping and tissue/blood-loss...but NOTHING like Wednesday.

This morning they found out that instead of having the paper-thin uterine lining they wanted to see, it was extremely thick.  I've been scheduled for surgery on Monday morning...since I wanted to be in DC this weekend.  Mom will come down to make sure someone is home for the kiddies.  It's minor, no worries.  It's been a pretty emotional few weeks and we're doing ok.  Personally, I have been at peace ever since the diagnosis since I feel very fortunate to have found out the reason for this missed abortion (the medical term for it) and know that I would've been driven crazy and racked with guilt had I started miscarrying and had no answers.  It has been a bit of a process for Sean and this last week really took a toll on him.  The kids were sad to find out that they weren't going to have a sibling, but seem to be coping well.  We talk to them often and check up to see how they have been doing with all these adult situations.  We've been so thankful to The Fam who have been so supportive and checking up on us everyday...always going beyond the definition of family.

No worries here.  We are ok and just grateful for all the blessings in our lives.


Earthquakes & Tsunamis

Right now, along with the entire global community, I sit and pray for those who suffering in Japan from this historic natural disaster.  After an early check-in, I know our relatives and friends who are stationed in Japan are safe.  Thank God.

Through these disasters, I am naturally inclined to think of our military families.  I've already heard reports of ships being sent out to sea to prevent damage to them along the coastline in CA and subs being torn away from their mooring lines in Guam.  When natural disasters strike or are threatened to strike, Navy vessels often have to leave port to prevent damage to the ports or vessels.  But, while the men & women aboard these ships are getting them secured, their spouses are left behind with the job of making sure that their families are secure.  There is always the risk of families being separated during natural disasters, but with our military families, this separation is also a necessary evil to maintain the safety of our country's biggest investments (thereby the safety of our country).  I think being quasi-landlocked at this point in our military fam lives that sometimes I forget those times of being a single married spouse/parent and take them for granted.  Nothing like being home alone when there's been an attempted child abduction and the perps have taken a good look @ you AND your kids or being pregos & about to give birth while the city is about to be evacuated during a hurricane and your hubby is stuck in a steel tube out at sea or having someone try to break into your house while said hubby is out to sea AND while YOU are at home alone with your children (only to have the local nimcompoop sheriff tell you that it must have been a racoon bumping into your door...yeah, a giant 160+ lb. raccoon who knows there's a woman and small children home alone)....or the Noreaster that wreaks havoc and shuts down 7 cities but your husband can't leave the submarine that's drydocked because they are responsible for her safety...all the while the entire area is flooding around him and wondering if the sub will just drop him off at our doorstep since cars are being trapped in floods left and right.  But the thing is, you can never freak out about being separated during these times because ultimately, you are responsible for the health & welfare...and SANITY of yourself and any little human beings (and fur babies) you may have.  Start adopting a bad attitude and/or stress about it and your kids are sure to follow suit.

Now, I sit and wait to see if there will be any damage to HI.  Our friends, friends by way of the military turned family through love & time, are waiting to see what fallout from Japan's earthquake & tsunami will bring to them.  Please send your prayers/thoughts out to them.  Our brother Al escorted Jaimee and the kids to higher elevation, only to have to return back down to Pearl Harbor to man a communication center.  To be separated from your spouse and/or family during such an uncertain time is unfathomable but necessary when you are a military family.  Jaimee has encountered attempted break-ins (WHILE SHE WAS HOME ALONE WITH TWO TODDLERS...and we won't go into the joke of a 911 call that she had to place only to have them tell her that she would need to hang up and call base police...ALL WHILE THE DUDE WAS STILL TRYING TO BREAK IN), flooding, a 10-month long 6-month deployment, and other such dramas that you think would only happen on a t.v. show.  Still, this family faces everything with such grace and gratitude for the blessings in their lives...they are a constant inspiration to people, parents, and partners.  They truly epitomize the saying "when life gives you lemons...make lemonade" as I have rarely heard a complaint come from these two with whatever hardship they may face.  Their three beautiful children have always reflected their parents' beautiful souls and strength...always being THE models for our children.

Praying for your safety!


Want to do something good?

The sporadic blogger is back, but just to write about one of my dearest friend's newest endeavors.  Dharma has been one of my dearest friends since college.  We met in one of our Asian American studies classes, participated in the same student leadership groups, and comprised 2/3 of the first students to graduate with the then-newly established Asian American Studies certificate from UMD.  Since then she has been confidant, a wonderful aunt to my kiddies, and sister.  Dharms continues to help mentor, counsel, and raise young student leaders to this day, many of whom are excelling in the fields of social justice in non-profit orgs, private sector, and the government.  Now she is directing some of her endless energy and humanitarianism towards human trafficking.  I am totally and completely way late in posting about this...but better late than never.

Dharma and her friend Pareesha were inspired by another fellow Terp alum to travel to Mysore, India to volunteer for an organization called Odanadi.  They have been fundraising since October, prior to their upcoming trip this December to Mysore.  They have raised 81% (as of today) towards their goal of $5,000.  (You can find the breakdown of how the donations will be utilized here.)

Need a good cause to support this holiday season?  Check out Dharma & Pareesha's blog and consider contributing to their efforts in fighting human trafficking.  They're accepting donations thru December 8!

Thank you!

Good luck, Special Friend and thank you for making this world a better place for all!


Attempted Murder

I just wanted to let you know of the "attempted murder" that just occurred...with this woman:

I tried to visit with Jackie Warner only to have her try to kill me.  After 14 min. and some odd secs, I had enough and left.  Granted, the visit was On Demand in my family I didn't have far to go.

Hopefully I'll still be able to walk to the bus stop to get my son.

If I don't answer my phone later, you know who is responsible.

I'm sooooooooo out of shape.  Remember the WALK that almost killed me?



You were treated to a visual feast of my sister, brother, and cutie pie niece the other day.  Now, another goodie from one of my college friends and favorite blogger, Ben aka DILF-in-Training (when you visit his site, please vote for him as a top baby blog)!  Thank you very much, for these beautiful photos that we will cherish forever!

I met Tanya about a decade ago (egads!) while we were both students at the University of Maryland. What’s amazing is that despite the fact I was an obnoxious, self-righteous twenty year old prick (really…who wasn’t at that age?) who had only now transformed into a slightly-less obnoxious, self-righteous thirty year old (and only slightly prick-ish) dad, we’ve remained friends all the same. Bless her heart. Really.
Though the details escape me as of this writing, Tanya and I somehow reconnected over the years via the multitude of social networking sites and blogs that were literally at our fingertips. We kept up with each other’s journeys towards happily ever after: marriage, white picket fences and 2.5 kids. And as a fellow foodie, experimental chef and shutterbug, she reliably remained at the top of my daily reading list all these years. Naturally :).
You can follow her blog here.
Since I was going to be in the vicinity for a wedding, I proposed to meet up to introduce the fam, under one condition: they allowed me to photograph their awesomely photogenic family!  It took some arm-twisting at first (okay, maybe not), but after some back-and-forth, she graciously accepted my humble offer and we found ourselves as weekend guests at their beautiful home (with Lil Monster in tow, no less!).
As a budding shutterbug, I was grateful for even a few casual shots. But this family totally went all out!  They even got matching outfits! So without further ado, allow me to introduce the fam!
Tanya + Jaron
Tanya + Kaia
Sean + Jaron
Sean + Kaia
Admittedly, my skills as a photographer and post-production slave are still works in progress,  but this family was such an absolute joy to photograph!  If I didn’t know any better, I would venture to guess that they did this on a regular basis!  Tan & Sean, thank you so much for having us over for the weekend, and allowing us to capture and share all these fantastic moments with your family.  I’m almost tempted to suggest we make this an annual event!
What can I say? We are absolutely IN LOVE with this family!
Photo Credits: Ben and Benson Lau