Friday, October 12, 2012

The Abba Cry

 As you know, I separated from my church family this summer. It seems like forever ago, but it's only been just over 2 months.

I feel like a reject, because I haven't found it easy to immediately bloom where I'm being planted. I thought the church I was in wouldn't matter, because God's presence is everywhere, and besides, it was more important for Randy to feel connected. I'm the easy one.

I have to confess, this is the last church Jesus himself would visit. Not because they're not on fire for the Lord, but because everything is perfect. This operation is the pinnacle of efficiency, technology, competence, quality speakers, community outreach, mission....

The worship is so clean and professional. Very high quality musicians and singers. Great production, etc. too. I'm just not moved by it. It doesn't seem like someone should need to feel a connection to music in a church, right? It's just part of the package, right?

Music became such a fundamental part of how I acknowledged my devotion to God. There is just something about worship that completely cleanses the worshiper, if they enter in. Learning this practice revolutionized my relationship with God, and although I wasn't that talented a musician or singer, it's the end, not the means, that's important here.

Maybe some people can feel it, but I can't detect the holy spirit in the new sanctuary. Nowhere! I am emotional, all right, because maybe they just sung a song that usually "did it" for me, and now I feel nothing.

I have a pent up longing for a connection I haven't been making.  I need to re-train myself how to have fellowship with God.

I went into my room and fell to my knees and poured out to Him with my hands held up, like a toddler asking their parent to pick them up. The Abba cry.

This is one of those songs that helps me out. I started crying like a baby, or like a mentally and emotionally exhausted traveler, or a desperate hormonal woman, be it the case...

Away from the noise
Alone with you
Away to hear Your voice
And meet with You
Nothing else matters
My one desire is

To worship You I live
To worship You I live
I live to Worship You

Away ... away from the noise
Alone with You
Away... Away to hear your voice
And meet with you
Meet with you
It's been awhile
But hear my heart cry again

To worship You I live
To worship You I live
I live to Worship You

Nothing else matters

And when you have no words left just say OH

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

How on earth

How on earth am I going to share my heart with another Penn?

Love grows!!!

And the time is right, I feel nothing but happiness.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


I'm glad for a couple reasons. I've had more good than bad days. It's been 3 weeks since my ectopic surgery. It's been ONLY 4 months since miscarriage number 3. It's been 13 months since number 2, and over 4 years since the first.

I'm glad because my husband finally picked up the book I read about adoption called "Adopted for Life."

I'm glad because I am on the pill, with no more worry, for now, of losing another pregnancy. Please, let me just come up for a breath or air.

I'm glad because there are doctors now who will take my losses seriously.

I'm sad there has to be an awareness month for loss. I'm sad I'll pay out the nose for a surgery I didn't ask for, but couldn't have been avoided. I'm sad I can't seem to live a life that doesn't focus on this - parenthood, family, dreams, loss- quite so often.

I'm sad I've been led here again by my Lord, although I know He's here. It's still raining.

But it's October, my favorite time of year. I'll go with my comadre to pick out my Godson's costume this weekend. I get to kiss his fat cheeks, and I'll be happy.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


I am no longer expecting.

I am lucky to be alive.

The fire that I had inside me to fight to save my pregnancy saved me from a terrible danger. I fought to get progesterone at 3.5 weeks when I saw spotting. My pcp wasn't comfortable giving it to me, seeing as it's an OB issue and didn't want to harm me by giving me an inappropriate dose for my case. She thought I should really be seeing a high risk OB given the number of losses I've had. She gave me the number for Phoenix Perinatal Associates and advised they would probably see me right away. Luckily, they agreed to see me the next day for a consult. My pcp drew blood and requested the results be sent to that new practice the next day.

The next day comes and I am having more spotting, red. I am discouraged, but make my way to the new OB. I state my case and he agrees to help me. Before he does, he wants to peek at the blood results. His eyes almost flew off his face when he saw my HCG > 15000! Within seconds, I was undressed and having an ultrasound in the next room.

Sure enough, I was further along. 6w1d based on the measurements. Then I saw it. A perfect heartbeat. 136 bpm. The ultrasound tech told me the doctor was going to review my photos and come in with me in a minute or two. I was positively over the moon. Which is why I thought he just was a bad joker when he came in the room and said we have a serious problem. He drew a diagram and explained I had an ectopic pregnancy. My baby was comfortable, was thriving, had a good blood supply, just in the wrong part of my body. I asked if there was a way to just nudge it along. Of course, you can't do that. The OB explained that's why I was spotting, and I would need emergency surgery because the sac was so large now it could burst at any moment.

I had some time alone before my surgery. I talked to the baby and apologized for what was going to happen. I said it wasn't its fault. I loved it, I was happy to know it came to be with me for so long. I told it how pretty it was in Greer and Pinetop, and how sick they made me up there. I told it I enjoyed being pregnant and I loved them very much. I told them about Jesus, and heaven. I told them they have 3 siblings and lots of family already waiting for them, and they would be just fine until I got there to be with them. I told them not to be afraid when Jesus took them home.

I had my entire right fallopian tube removed to prevent scar tissue and possible future ectopic pregnancy. The remaining tube should float freely and pick up any eggs released from my right ovary. I need to wait a few months before trying again. He also recommended losing weight ("Hello, My name is Jessica, nice to meet you.").

I am home and sore and in shock. I had a perfectly good 6w old baby who made it through without progesterone. It just missed the mark. I am heartbroken I had to let it go, but neither of us would have survived.

So there you go. This is how the story continues. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Racing to tomorrow

Yesterday and today I have been SO SICK

I choose to chalk it up to pregnancy nausea. Maybe I'm actually sick, but I want to believe this thing is actually switched ON and actively participate, good or bad feelings involved.

I have a hard time eating a lot, because I immediately feel queasy, and need to lie down with air in my face. Sipping water seems to help. Crackers too.

In following with the Jessica Juice tradition of trying to bond as much as possible with the baby as early as possible, I made cookies today. However, I switched from regular chocolate chip to WCMN. Hey, if nothing changes, nothing changes...

I say I am racing to tomorrow, because I get to see my primary tomorrow and ask her for progesterone. I am putting a lot of hope in this, that it will help me stop spotting. I started spotting again today, pinky-brown. I know enough that this should be harmless, but the gloves come off when I'm trying to save my 4th pregnancy.

Thought I'd share some things of interest. Sometime during my previous cycle, I had a moment in my car where I just flat out got a wild hair up my ass about the enemy and his hold on my reproductive system. I violently (for me) broke ties left and right, and rebuked his influence on any part of my body. I even rebuked the diagnosis of PCOS and insulin resistance. I declared my body is healed, because Jesus made it His mission to take my suffering upon Himself. I decided though my body was fundamentally healed, it still needs some help, and since God led me to a helping doctor, I would remain on the Metformin rx. But this wasn't in order to fight an impossible battle against a terrible diagnosis, it was to help my physical body catch up with itself.

At the beginning of the cycle I'm in now, I had a few nights where I couldn't sleep.  I chose to spend some time in prayer to remind God that while I am keeping myself busy with other things, my heart still really longs for a child - that I didn't know or care when or how He made it happen, just as long as He knew I still wanted it for me and my family.

We spent a weekend in Pinetop. It was gorgeous!! I hadn't been that far north (desert rat) and I was just so in awe of the beauty in NE AZ. The elevation was, what, 8200? Compared to Phoenix's 1100, it took some adjusting to. I was so sick on Saturday. I swore I was getting a cold - I had a sore throat and I was just so bombed. I slept all afternoon. Sunday was a blast, and Monday morning was lovely. Interestingly enough, I got to take another unfamiliar jaunt through the salt river canyon. Beautiful!

I say interestingly, because yours truly does not fare well in canyons of any kind. Once peripheral and horizon visuals are cut off, I puke faster than a frat with a gallon of milk. Sooooo, my soon to be BIL had his car baptized that day. And so did the car behind us' windshield. I had good aim, I stuck my head out the window like a pro, but it was no less humiliating and miserable.  I can't help but think I was just a little more sick that weekend because of the pregnancy. At least then, when we re-tell this story, it will have a warmer tone.

In all, I am grateful for another chance, however terrified we are. I fully understand I am pregnant now because I let go of my old shame and started over. If I lose this pregnancy too, I will come away knowing I did everything physically possible to intervene. Because God gives me free will. I know the battle is won, but that doesn't mean I don't need to fight.

My prayer today is God, if it is Your will that I win - help my fight; if it is Your will that this baby is born -  help me to prepare; if it is Your will that this child come back home to You before it is ready to be born - make my heart brave. My battles are being fought and won in half days - I pray it is Your will to give me the victory! I also pray that I can get through this nausea and not puke up these wonderful cookies :)

Yours truly,

Mama Juice

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Against my boldest efforts

As you can see, the test line has swallowed all the ink from the control line.

CD 23

I am not telling anyone yet, but if anyone happens to read this, well then they either agree to not post on FB, or don't know me well enough to access my FB anyway.

My goals: to make it to Monday, where my primary is putting me on progesterone.

Who's for keeping this one?!

Sunday, August 26, 2012


Lessons Learned:
If someone I'm leading falls, pick them up.
Take feedback seriously.
Learn my leadership style, my teams learning styles, how I'm perceived, and make adjustments accordingly.
Continue to praise the good in others, but never sugar coat the bad.

It's been a few weeks since we left our home church, where we got saved, baptized, and set down roots with lifelong friendships. I'm still really sad I won't see some people on a regular basis. I'm more sad I feel like I failed, like we are now just another one of those families who couldn't play nice and left. One of those people who couldn't get along with her. One of those people who were obviously just too selfish to get with the program.

Of course I know we're not. I can't speak for my husband, even though I usually do anyway. I can only speak for me, and I need the record to show I gave in worship with all my heart. I gave what little I had, and what did it cost me? Humility! I couldn't sing a note (and its debatable whether I can now).  I had to practice hard and still just get by. But I laid it all out for God each opportunity I had.

And that no matter what tension was perceived, the truth was it was just time. It's allowed to be "just time," right? I am still adjusting to not going there. I can't call another church my home yet, if ever.
 Yes, I'll get over it at some point. But let me draw you a picture.

I have had experiences that I have promised to never forget. One of them was a concert I played in when I went to Europe in high school. The music was so much a part of me, and I was so happy in that moment I had to take a mental snapshot and promise myself not to forget the sound of that note, the people standing on either side of me, and how I felt at that moment. All these years later I remember I had a life changing moment in a centuries old church, that I very much liked the song we played, and that I promised to remember details I couldn't tell you now if my life depended on it.

During what I knew was my last weekend at my home church, I took the same snapshot of our worship. I have stashed a couple memories to hold onto, but if I wake up one day and forget how much that meant to me, I will be very disappointed. I don't think I'll forget letting myself turn and hug Sophia. She's the one person in a LONG time receptive to my ultra touchy feely emotional monster. I may never be a part of a musical group again. I may never stand and lead worship again. Letting go of all that and knowing that it is for the best broke my heart, but it is my absolute belief that I will have the memories and the life of those moments brought back to me when we all get together to worship in eternity. And I'll stand next to Sophia.

I have to believe the last words I sang, which was on purpose from Him for my benefit.

You make all things new, and I will follow You forward