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Hope During the Storm

Last week I was having a day. You know, those days where you just feel sorry for yourself and can’t seem to get it together. Our upstairs AC had gone out the week before which caused us to replace the whole thing. Yes, that was a big financial strain, but more than that I was so anxious about someone being in our house. Someone that I had no idea where he’d been and who he’d been in contact with, coming in and out. And then our dryer quit working, just as I was about to start the 8 loads of laundry I had been putting off for two weeks. So we’d have one more repair person in the house. And then the babies fought their naps all day. I was just over it all. So I grabbed my last pair of clean ankle socks from the drawer and took babies outside to sit in the empty blow-up baby pool for snack time. The weather was perfect, so I was hoping that would help us all. I got us all situated in the baby pool and looked down to realize which socks I had on. Socks I hadn’t worn since September o
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After the Storm

I’ve stared at a blank page on my screen several times over the last few weeks, trying to find the words. Today I’m committed to sharing, no matter how those words come out. So please bear with me. Over the last few months, I’ve dealt with some serious anxiety. And I’ve avoided sharing. Because I had babies recently. And often the response is, “You’re a new mom, it’s normal to have anxiety.” And that’s true. It is normal to have “new mom” anxiety, and to have a new level of stress that comes with raising tiny humans. However, what I’ve been dealing with is so much more. I wake up in the middle of the night with a pit in my stomach and have to catch my breath. I often think about losing my husband or one of our babies, and I spiral into a pit of anxiety. Every time I walk up and down the stairs with a baby in my arms, I am anxious that they are suddenly going to throw themselves out of my arms and go over the railing. If Reid doesn’t do something for the babies the exact way I wou

Life Update and the Holiday Season

I've been pretty quiet over here lately. Truth is, I'm somewhere in between wanting to soak up every single second I have with these babies (and making the most of what free time I do have) and knowing I have an amazing opportunity to educate others on post transplant and post "trying-to-conceive" life. And I struggle with sharing the hard days because as hard as some of them feel, I constantly have a voice in the back of my head saying, "but these struggles are for good reasons". As we get closer to Christmas I have such mixed feelings. I have butterflies in my stomach thinking about the fact that this is our first Christmas with not one but TWO babies. And Reid is almost one year post liver transplant (how is that possible?!) And then I think of all of the families, the Sparks in particular, that will be experiencing their first Christmas without a loved one. And the couples who thought for sure THIS would be the Christmas that they'd have a baby in

Our Tiny Miracle - Kaylee June

Let me tell you about a little girl who has stolen our hearts, but almost never came to be. After three natural pregnancy losses and two rounds of IVF (in-vitro fertilization), we started our third round of IVF in the summer of 2018. Two of our pregnancy losses were due to chromosome issues so we did PGS (Pre-implantation Genetic Screening – checking the chromosomes of embryos for abnormalities) testing for our first two rounds of IVF. All (4) of those embryos were deemed “abnormal”… they either had an extra chromosome or they were missing one. And they were all issues that were not compatible with life. So going into round 3 we were looking for a “fresh start”. To our surprise, our doctor (who is amazing at thinking “outside of the box”) suggested we forgo the PGS testing for our 3 rd round. Each of our chromosome abnormalities, including two of the pregnancy losses, were all different abnormalities (it was a different chromosome missing or extra each time). So he thought it wa

One Month Liver-versary

Today marks one month since Reid was wheeled into the Operating Room for his liver transplant. One month since our lives changed forever. That was the best day, but I’ll be honest – it was also the hardest day of my life. I don’t think we were fully prepared for the emotions that would surround that day. And it’s just now catching up to us that this happened. One month ago he received the ultimate gift. He received the gift of life. The gift of not living with his disease, Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis, and all of the symptoms that came with it. The gift of not having to worry every day that cancer was taking over his liver. The gift of looking forward to watching his babies be born, and not having to worry how long he’d be around to raise them. The gift of no longer wondering whether he would ever get the liver transplant he needed. An absolutely priceless gift. I don’t even know that I can properly vocalize the emotions we felt in the 33 hours leading up to him being taken bac

Our Current Situation

It’s been quite a while since I’ve given a general update on us. If you’ve been following our Facebook or Instagram pages, then you know that our final embryo transfer took and we are pregnant with twins! We are thrilled, and so far everything has looked great as we are a little over 17 weeks today. While we are so grateful for the two miracles growing inside of me, I would be lying if I said we don’t have some added stress. And I’m not just talking about the regular stress of having a baby, or the extra stress of having two at once. There’s always this looming question of “what will happen with Reid’s health?” Over the last several weeks that stress has intensified as we get closer to “crunch time”. Last week we went to Reid’s 3-month check in with the Houston transplant team. As I sat in the waiting room and took my typical picture of my “expect miracles” shirt, I saw my bump. And the reality hit me even harder, that we are bringing twins into this world and my husband is st

PSC Awareness Day: Reid's Story

In June of 2014, just three months after we were married, Reid was diagnosed with Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC).  His doctor explained that PSC is an auto-immune condition in which the bile ducts in his liver were very scarred, and could eventually lead to a liver transplant (the only treatment for this disease) or cancer in the bile ducts (cholangiocarcinoma), which is very deadly. There is no cure for PSC, and it would be a waiting game to see how it would affect his body. There was no "typical" timeline as the disease affects everyone differently. At the time, we weren't exactly sure what to expect. I remember we went to breakfast after that doctor's appointment, to discuss what we learned and process it. To be totally honest, Reid was quite upset. He saw it as a death certificate (which is completely opposite of his usually optimistic attitude). I was of the mindset that it was all a MAYBE. Maybe he would need a liver transplant. Maybe he would