Tuesday, April 18, 2017

What? Pregnant after vasectomy?

It's true!  It happened!  I blogged about it 5 years ago and wanted to summarize some fun moments since then.  We are joining The Honest Company in sharing big moments of our lives!  So welcome to anyone visiting for the first time!  #honestmoments

This month is a special month! Our 3rd child who was conceived after a "successful" vasectomy is turning 7!  Say what?!  Yes!  I got pregnant months after the procedure!  I never expected to be a mom of three especially after we “finalized” things.  As much as we joked about getting pregnant, we never thought it’d really happen!  Number 1 and number “done” we’d say referring to our daughter and son who were 4 and 2 at the time. But God had other plans for our family.

Jay had a vasectomy in January 2009 but I got pregnant months after getting the “all clear” from his urologist.  I was certain that his vas deferens grew back. He went to his urologist in September 2009 to get retested so we could fix the problem.  The doctor called Jay to tell him that he didn’t have any live sperm in his lab work.  He did have one dead one but a normal sample would have millions and he couldn't get someone pregnant {said the doctor – ha!}.  After my husband got off the phone and filled me in, I called them right back and spoke to a nurse because I was utterly confused!  I wanted to know if Jay could get an ultrasound or something to double check.  She said it wouldn’t be necessary because the vasectomy was a success based on the lab results.  I asked why there'd be one dead sperm?  She responded that it probably got hung up somewhere.  {How does THAT get hung up for months?}  I asked her what I was supposed to do for birth control as I didn’t want to have kids til I hit menopause!  Her response was and I quote:  “This sort of thing doesn’t happen unless someone else is involved.”  I was too shocked to reply.  I was just accused of infidelity!  Again my kids were 4 and 2 and I had hardly any energy for one man let alone two.  That’s absurd!  I didn’t need a man for THAT!  {I needed a personal chef or a housekeeper though!}  Besides, my man is HOT!

In March 2010, we went to a different urologist for a second opinion.  The lab results came back and Jay had zero sperm in his lab work confirming that it definitely was a “successful vasectomy”.  *Insert blank stare*  Ok seriously though... why was I pregnant???  Most people get pregnant because they didn’t wait for the all clear after the procedure or their vas deferens grew back... but neither happened to us.  Urologists say that vasectomies are 99.9% effective but no one has ever collected our data so I question that statistic now.

I get that most people reading this don’t know me and may think there must be another man and my husband is a fool.  Before we could tell this story, we decided to have DNA testing done for credibility.  Colin is indeed Jay’s son.  {Now he jokes that he’s not sure of the other two.  Haha!}  Thankfully our marriage was in a good place and he chose to trust me even before the DNA test.  I'm a very honest and direct person and he said that I had never given him any reason in our history of marriage to doubt me.

Our son was born in April 2010.  I first blogged {here} about being pregnant after a successful vasectomy in January 2012.  A reporter at the Huffington Post found it and had me on Huff Post Live {my recap here} in August 2014.  A producer for The Doctors saw that clip and invited my husband and I out to Hollywood, CA to be on the show.  So off we went to share our story with the world which aired in October 2014.  You can watch the clip {here} but the last minute was cut from what actually aired.  

Below is the last bit transcribed to read after you watch the clip.  I like how Dr. Travis recaps it:

Dr. Travis:  So this is rare enough that if people are at home, they’ve had a vasectomy and they’re thinking “Oh my gosh do I need to start using a secondary form of birth control?”
Dr. Spitz: Ya
Dr. Travis: You’re not telling people to do that right?
Dr. Spitz: The incidents of this is about 1 in 2000. And interestingly in my personal experience I’ve encountered a patient or two who’s had a scenario of a pregnancy after a vasectomy, more often than not they’re grateful they have the child.
Dr. Travis: And what’s cool about this story is Mary and Jay I think you’re saying loud and clear, this was meant to be and this was in the end a blessing.
Mary: Absolutely.
Jay: Absolutely yeah.
Dr. Travis: And that’s what matters.
Dr. Spitz: Watch that child. He’s got a bright future.
{The Doctors show aired 10/3/14. This is last minute that was cut from the segment of the show that’s posted on their website.}

He does have a bright future, as do all our children!  I can't imagine NOT having them all!

Today we share our story again not just because it’s a 7th birthday but to participate in an Honest Moment c/o The Honest Company.  My son’s conception story is just one of those moments that changed us and our family forever.   We also know we aren't the only ones to go through this. When we did an internet search after our mystery conception, there was only one other person we found in a similar situation.  When I reached out to her she said she couldn’t talk to me because she was involved in a lawsuit.  They were suing her husband’s doctor for “wrongful birth”.  We had no desire to pursue that course of action but we did want others to find us so they would know that it does happen and they aren’t alone!  I have received a few comments on that original post and it’s a hard thing to go through especially when the medical community tells you that it’s highly unlikely.

Check out The Honest Company.  And enjoy this beautiful video that celebrates the gift of pregnancy, birth and life.  Because whether planned or a surprise, it's pretty amazing!

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Friday, April 7, 2017

Good Morning Girls break and ideas to keep you going

Many of you know that I have been faithfully doing Good Morning Girls for the past 5+ years. Today Courtney blogged that she is taking a break.  Click HERE to read her words. She doesn't know when she will start back up again, therefore I'll be ending my GMG Facebook group studies too.

Since the beginning I have been a facilitator of my own private Facebook group that I called "Morning Glory".   I advertised each new session on my Facebook page and various friends would join me. 

At times in the past 5 years I felt led to start groups with "strangers" and ladies found me through the forums on the Good Morning Girls website.  They often lasted only a couple sessions but they were a blessing.  It was awesome to have a place to chat with ladies after doing our reading and studying.

I'm so appreciative of the various friends and "girls" who have joined me on my journey. The accountability has given me a richer bible study time and I love starting my day in God's word. I am grateful for the format that has helped me form good habits and I couldn't have done it alone! GMG has been the highlight of my Facebook use!  I'll miss that time but look forward to a new bible study study format offline. I like change and starting fresh!

If you were a part of GMG and don't know what to do, here are some ideas!  Or if you stumbled on my blog and want to grow in your own faith too, then keep on reading.  

LOCAL CHURCHES: Check out your local churches!  Nothing beats getting together with women in person!


Bookstores are super fun because there is an abundance of options out there but I love Jesus Calling and Utmost For His Highest.  Many people start with the free one called Our Daily Bread.  You can read some of these online or subscribe by email if you don't want to buy the book.

There are many options online but, I know of these ones:
Proverbs 31 Ministries is doing Listen, Love, Repeat by Karen Ehman right now.
Hello Mornings helps you get a "life giving" morning routine going.  You can plug into a small group online.
IF Equip: IF conferences are popular but IF also have tools to help you grow spiritually & connect with people daily.
Love God Greatly: An online bible study that can plug you into groups too.

There are so many apps that you can use!  Here are two of my favs:

YouVersion Bible app not only has the bible in dozens of translations, but you'll find an abundance of devotions and bible studies!  The options are amazing!
First5 app lets you start the day with God before anything else!  There is a community of believers you can network with too.

I hope that is helpful to someone!  I am a little sad that we are on an extended break with Good Morning Girls but Courtney has been at this a long time and it's a lot of work!  She needs a break!  I'll be praying for her and her ministry because God has definitely blessed her with an incredible talent to learn and teach and love and reach so many women.  In the meantime, let's all keep learning, growing and walking with the King {Courtney's sign off phrase}.
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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

TobyMac Hits Deep Tour

I took my kids to the TobyMac concert on the weekend and it was amazing!  My son just turned 10 and it was his first concert.  It lasted over 4 hours and was soooo good!  There were EIGHT artists performing!
{Seth & Nirva not pictured}
First was Hollyn.  Seriously if you want to listen to a great album, especially if you have girls, then check out her music.  If you have Amazon Prime, you can listen to her album there.  The song she sings with TobyMac, Light Shine Bright is my cell phone ring tone. Love that song!  She has a fun pop vibe.

Capital Kings performed and it was awesome!  I love electronic dance music {EDM} and although I didn't know their songs I did know the band from my Pandora Station!  Definitely recommend them for anyone looking for an EDM hip hop sound!  Crank it when the kids have to clean their rooms!

The lead singer from Third Day, Mac Powell was there with his friends.  They do country music between his Third Day albums and were really good!  They sang country stuff but of course had to play some popular Third Day tunes!

Matt Maher and Ryan Stevenson where there and I knew their songs from the radio but had no idea it was them.  It was a real treat to sing along and hear them live!  They were so good!  Ryan Stevenson's Eye Of The Storm opened with a boom of thunder and lightning.  And Matt Maher rocked it out on the guitar and piano!  Their vibe is more contemporary Christian/worship and their lyrics are incredible.

Mandisa was there too!  I remember her from American Idol and LOVE her Overcomer album, which I own. She shared a story about her struggle with depression and sang a new song.  It was so inspirational and good!  Her dancers were fabulous.  They were happy and jumping all over the place. I really enjoyed her set and I love her upbeat Christian pop music.  Check out Overcomer if you need a great workout song!

In February I discovered Seth & Nirva when I was looking for Christian duos {inspired by Us The Duo's amazing vibe}.  I had no idea they'd be at the concert and they sang Brother which is a really good song!  I couldn't get a good shot but didn't care too much because I just wanted to enjoy their music.  Oh so good!

TobyMac came out and sang all the songs we knew.  One of my favs is Speak Life which I blogged about four years ago!  Click HERE to read what that song means to me.  I just love his music because it's upbeat and sounds like something you'd hear on a regular radio station.  He has has a reggae vibe in some of his stuff which I LOVE.  I especially love his Eye On It and This Is Not A Test albums because they are upbeat and I can dance to 'em!

We had really good seats right between the two stages and in front of the walkway between the two.  We knew other people who went so got to say hi during the break.  My daughter said she enjoyed this concert more than the Pentatonix concert we saw last fall!!!  We knew all the songs and everyone was so happy and there was worship time.  It was just soooo good and great night out.  So worth getting home at midnight!  My youngest stayed home for a "Daddy Day" but I'm grateful to have older kids so we can do this sort of thing together!  Looking forward to when we can all go as a family of 5!
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Saturday, March 25, 2017

My Mandy Memories

Welcome... You can read my post below or listen to me read it to you by clicking HERE.
Last week, on Tuesday March 21st, Mandy Kelly, her husband, her 9 year old daughter and her 10 month old son all died in a tragic house fire.  Her 16yo daughter and 12yo son escaped along with her husband's mother. {News video link here.}  I am in shock.  I know her through Good Morning Girls {GMG}, which is the online bible study I've been a part of for over 5 years.  She was a gifted blogger at Worshipful Living so in honor of her memory, many of us bloggers are coming together to share what we've learned from Mandy.

From Mandy's Facebook page
Since joining GMG, I have been on a private Facebook group for leaders.  It's a great resource and a wonderful support system which I've been pretty active on from the very beginning.  Courtney Joseph is the creator of Good Morning Girls but for the past couple years she's had four women help with running the online outreach portion.  At one point those girls needed extra help so I, along with some other ladies were their support; we were called "Helping Hands" {HH} on the Leadership Group.  We answered people's questions, shared helpful links, commented on our daily reading and offered prayer support.  The leadership coordinator was Mandy Kelly. Because of my role in the leaders group and HH, Mandy and I had many private conversations.  One of the first was when she wanted me to be on the HH team!  I was honored!

One of my responsibilities was helping with the prayer requests.  I had an organized system for tracking them all and Mandy asked me to write a guest post on her blog explaining my method. {Click HERE to read about it on Mandy's blog.}

I prayed for Mandy through many things, from GMG leadership concerns to personal requests like waiting to adopt a baby.  {Just to give a bit of background, Mandy was single for a long time and married Scott, a widower with three children.  They married but felt led to adopt a baby.}  One night a couple years ago I sent her a private message to say I was praying:

That was back in 2015 when she was "matched" with a girl.  The birth mom ended up changing her mind right after the birth and Mandy had already met the baby.  It was a heart-breaking but Mandy always trusted God's timing.  You can read the blog post HERE where she wrote about how she felt after this happened.  Despite the pain, Mandy trusted that God was at work and we all continued praying for His perfect timing for her family to grow.  God answered all our prayers last year!  Little Judah was born, and it was awesome to see her get the longing of her heart fulfilled via adoption.

I never met Mandy but I am going to miss her so much.  The GMG leaders group is not going to be the same without her.  She was such an encouragement, and people are sharing lots of stories of what she meant to them.  Many stories on her Facebook profile are from people she knew in real life but there are a bunch of us online who never met her.  Similarly, we have "Mandy Memories" to add to her treasure box o' influence!  She invested TIME and put out lots of love even with little comments like this that made me smile when I was having a bum day.
One thing I've learned from Mandy's early death is that I too have LIMITED time on earth.  I don't know when my last day will be so when I tuck my kids in each night, it will be with more love and not so rushed.  {The fire happened through the night so I want my last moments with my family to be good.}
I want to live my life WELL like she did.  I want to LOVE the people in my life better too.  The stories and photos that are all over her Facebook profile and blog page are so sweet and encouraging. She really poured God's love into everyone she knew!  She paid it forward if you will!
And lastly, just a little lighter... I've been praying for direction with my blog and I know now that I want to continue to write. I enjoy it and if something does happen to me sooner than later, it's nice to know that this could be like a memory album for my kids and family.

Mandy's blog is Worshipful Living and what a treat her posts are now that she's gone.  She posted tons of videos if you wanted to hear her speak.  I told her I liked her voice... rusty little tone to it.  Her Facebook page is good too and she scheduled a bunch of posts so they are still publishing even though she's gone.  Some have been oh so applicable.  She encourages us on earth even though she's left us!
Website: http://worshipfulliving.com/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/WorshipfulLiving/

All she wanted to to do was sow seeds of faith wherever she went.  She definitely touched my life as a wonderful example of a faithful follower of Jesus.  She loved God with her whole heart and it overflowed to everyone she met, in person and online.

Mandy... I will worship with my life too.  Thanks for being a great example!!

Please pray for the kids left behind.  Mandy was their 2nd mother.  They lost their birth mom a few years ago so they and their whole family have been through so much loss already.  Thankfully they are leaning on God for strength.

If you wish to support the Kelly Family, their church is accepting donations.
Go to:  
Click on the green "Give" button and designate your donation for The Kelly Family.  

I appreciate you reading my thoughts as I wanted to contribute to the treasure of "Mandy Memories" that are being passed around.  

Rest well good and faithful servant.

Starting March 29th, feel free to read other's post about their own "Mandy Memories":

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