Saturday, September 25, 2010


We're at the end of September already and a new school year has already begun! Michael is now 9 years old and in the 4th grade. Briana is 7 years old and in 2nd grade. Alexa is 3 1/2 and still at home with me. She helps take care of her little 3 month old cousin, Victoria, who I babysit Monday through Friday. I also babysit a 2 year old around 15 hours a week. Let's just say I keep busy! John is in the police academy and is gone Monday through Friday but gets to return home most weekends. It's not always easy, but God gives us strength to get through each day.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Easter Sunday 2010

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I just wanted to let everyone know that John starts a new job tomorrow! This is a HUGE answer to prayer! He has been out of work for a month and a half now, so we are very happy and thankful for this job opportunity! Praise the Lord! Thank you to everyone who has been praying for us!

Monday, April 12, 2010


On the morning of Thursday March 25th, I started bleeding... again. My heart sank. How could this be happening again? I tried to think positively, knowing that many women experience bleeding in their first trimester and go on to have healthy babies, but deep down, I was bracing myself for more bad news. I called the doctor's office immediately and they scheduled me for an ultrasound at 12:30 that afternoon. John and Alexa went with me. The sonographer was the same lady that did my ultrasounds less than 7 months ago. She recognized me and was sad to see me there again. I was praying that she would have reassuring news for me. We got started and it was different this time. In September, she was silent. This time, she kept asking me questions and I knew something wasn't right. She then did a trans-vaginal ultrasound and didn't talk. When she got done she said that she wasn't supposed to tell us anything, but when I started to sit up on the table, I saw her look at John and very slightly shake her head.

We took the elevator upstairs to the doctor's office. When I finally got called back, I met and was examined by Dr. Hussein (Dr. Goodman was not there that day). After the exam, we met in her office. She told me that my cervix was closed and that my uterus was enlarged to where it should have been at 7 weeks, but no sac had been found on the ultrasounds. All the questions the sonographer had asked now made sense. She couldn't find anything. I was told to get blood work done so they could check my hormone level. I couldn't get it done that day because Michael and Briana had dentist appointments at 3pm and we still had to pick them up from school. I kept my composure until we got in the truck and Alexa couldn't see my face. She wouldn't have understood why Mommy was crying.

Friday morning, March 26th, I went and got the blood work done. Dr. Goodman called me and explained that if my hormone level was above 2,000, there was a higher chance of an ectopic (or tubal) pregnancy. If it was below 2,000, there was a good chance that it was on it's way back down to 0 and it would be labeled a miscarriage. So now I'm not sure how to feel. If it's above 2,000 then I'll probably have to have surgery to check my tubes for an ectopic pregnancy. If it's below 2,000 it doesn't explain why no sac could be found.

At 10am on Saturday the 27th, we got to church for our Easter cantata practice. About 20 minutes later, Dr. Goodman called me with my blood work results. My hormone level was right at 2,000. Of course. We discussed a few options and he said he would check back with me that afternoon to see how I felt. 20 minutes later, he called me back and said he wanted me to come to the E.R. to get my hormone level checked again. We would see if it had gone up or down and go from there. So we left church, took the kids to a friend's house and went to the E.R. They started an IV and took my blood and then we had to wait. While waiting, I told Dr. Goodman about some shoulder pain I had been having for the last 5 days. A friend had mentioned to me that shoulder pain was a sign of an ectopic pregnancy and I had looked it up on WebMD. He confirmed it, but also explained that my abdomen was not filled with blood which is usually the cause of the pain. I had nothing else that would explain the shoulder pain, but trusted in what he said. When the result finally came back, Dr. Goodman came to see us. He told me that the level had gone up to 2,600 and recommended doing a laparoscopy to check for an ectopic pregnancy. I agreed and was prepped for surgery.

When I woke up, the doctor had some interesting news for me. After searching in every place that an ectopic pregnancy could be, NO SAC WAS FOUND. I was totally confused. So was the doctor. He had also done a D&C and said he did find some tissue and sent it to pathology to see if it was placental tissue. I was sent home that night to recover.

On Friday April 2nd, I had a post-op appointment with Dr. Goodman and then went to get more blood work done. He wanted to make sure that my hormone level was going back down. I got the results the following Monday - it had gone from 2,600 down to 40. That was a huge difference, but the nurse told me that they wanted the number to be under 2. So, I went back on Friday April 9th for more blood work. On Monday, April 12th, Dr. Goodman called with my results. My hormone level was 0 and the pathology report showed that it WAS placental tissue and it was ruled a miscarriage. Why there was no sac is still a mystery to us, but God knows.

We have definitely been put through the fire so to speak these past 4 weeks. On March 12th, John was put on administrative leave based on a false accusation and on March 19th he was terminated. We were shocked. He is looking for another job but so far has not found anything. We have had our house in Tennessee on the market for nearly 3 years now and it is a burden that we want to get off our hands. And then this - my second miscarriage in less than 7 months. Sometimes I feel that this is all more than we can bear, but it is in those times of despair that I must learn to trust in God and remember that He never gives us more than He will help us bear. He has taught me many things in the last 4 weeks. I know that my devotional life and prayer life aren't what they need to be. He has shown me that, all too often, I place so many things before Him instead of putting Him first in my life. I shouldn't speculate, but maybe this is just God's way of telling me that He wants to be first in my life and that I've been neglecting Him long enough.

If you have stayed and read this long story all the way to the end, I thank you and I ask that you would pray for John and I and also Michael, Briana and Alexa. I want to thank all of our family and friends that have been praying for us and supporting us. In the week following John's job loss and the miscarriage, people in my home church visited, brought meals and gave us nearly $500 in cash. What a show of love and mercy. Thank you all!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


God's timing is DEFINITELY NOT my timing. Wednesday March 17th (tomorrow from when I'm writing this) was my due date for J.L.C. and I know it's going to be a melancholy day for me. God has taught me some patience in the last 6 months since the miscarriage. Part of me wanted to get pregnant again right away and part of me just wanted to take time to mourn the loss of our baby. Knowing that my not-to-be due date was approaching, I started to feel sad and even a little depressed. Reading my Bible has been a great help as God gave me verses of comfort. He has always been there waiting for me to lean on Him and trust Him. I can't say that I always turned to Him as I should have, but He has never forsaken me. God is so good.

Last Wednesday (March 10), exactly one week before the due date, I found out that I am expecting again. John and I are so excited! At first I worried that the same thing would happen again, but God is continuing to strengthen and help me to trust Him for the outcome. Would you please join us in praying for this new little one that God has blessed us with? My new due date is November 10, 2010. GOD IS SO GOOD - ALL THE TIME!

Thursday, September 24, 2009


A little after midnight on the morning of Friday July 17, 2009, I decided to take a pregnancy test. My monthly cycle was already eight days late (though I have been as many as ten days late), but I didn't really think I was pregnant. In fact, I had myself convinced that it would be negative... so why was I feeling so nervous as I waited? Three minutes pass and... two pink lines! What?!? I'm pregnant??? I just couldn't believe it. I went to bed. I think I even slept. When I got up around 8am, I decided to use the second test in the 2-pack. Again, three minutes. Again, two pink lines! I was shocked. I don't know why - we weren't doing anything to prevent it from happening - but still I was surprised.
The first person I told was John, of course. He was also surprised, but we were both very happy. We had been planning to wait until Alexa turned three in February before we started trying for another baby, but apparently God had other plans! Our reason for wanting to wait is simply because our 10th wedding anniversary is June 10, 2010 and we really wanted to get away for a week with no kids. Hmm... change of plans! THAT'S not going to happen now!
I called my OB-GYN's office that same day and scheduled my first prenatal appointment for August 10th. Though we knew it would be hard, we decided that we wouldn't tell anyone until after that doctor's appointment.
On Monday August 10th, I went to see Dr. Ampey at Capital OB-GYN Associates. By my calculation, I was 8 weeks and 5 days pregnant. They calculated the same. My due date was estimated to be March 17, 2010. The only thing she did that day was check my cervix and do a pap smear. She said everything looked great. We discussed prenatal vitamins and future appointments and I scheduled my second prenatal visit for September 9th.
It was such a relief to finally be able to tell family and friends. It had been so hard to keep it a secret! Michael, Briana and Alexa were very excited about the prospect of having a baby brother or sister. They all wanted a brother. Okay, Michael and Briana wanted a brother and Alexa just went along with it! That's a two year old for you!
A few days after my first appointment, I scheduled my first trimester screening with Maryland Perinatal Associates for September 3rd. I couldn't wait for that day because we would finally be able to hear the baby's heartbeat and have an ultrasound done. I was SOOOO excited.
On Tuesday September 1st, I noticed a tiny bit of blood on the toilet paper early that evening. It didn't happen again before I went to bed, so I shrugged it off. Wednesday September 2nd was the first day of my 12th week and it was also Briana's 6th birthday! She was so excited that morning as she got ready for school. She got to open some of her gifts and she was very happy that I was bringing cupcakes for her class later in the day. We had a Hello Kitty party planned for her that night with her friends at church. She was super-excited about that! Especially her Hello Kitty pinata!
After dropping the kids off at school, I had some errands to run. When I got home and went to the bathroom, I noticed more blood. Not a lot - just a tiny bit - but I began finding it every time I went to the bathroom. I was becoming a little concerned.
The kids get out of school at noon on Wednesdays, so I had the cupcakes there around 11:30am. (I'm sure the other parents loved me for that!) When school got out at noon, we went home for lunch and naps. I didn't want a cranky birthday girl! John was already at home sleeping after working all night.
By early afternoon, I was experiencing some mild cramping along with the bleeding. Now I was VERY concerned. I called the doctor's office. Dr. Ampey wasn't there, but another doctor, Dr. Goodman, was there and would call me back. I was pretty scared and worried at this point. I called my cousin Sherry who had had a miscarriage not too long ago and was pregnant again. Dr. Goodman is her doctor. She tried to reassure me, but my nagging fear wouldn't go away. Finally, Dr. Goodman called. I explained what was going on and he told me to come in so he could check things out. It was about 3pm.
Once at the office, Dr. Goodman checked my cervix and then lead me down the hall for an ultrasound. I watched the screen as he searched around my belly. I'm no expert by any means, but I wasn't seeing anything and Dr. Goodman wasn't saying anything. Finally, he told me that he was going to send me downstairs for another ultrasound because he couldn't find anything. He said that it was a higher resolution machine that might be able to pick up what he was missing. He was trying hard to keep me hopeful, but it wasn't working. My heart was already sinking fast and I was dreading what would happen next. In the elevator on the way to the basement
I prayed, "Please God, don't take my baby."
After getting signed in downstairs, I was lead to the ultrasound room by the technician. The screen was turned in a way that I couldn't see it very well, so I just stared at the ceiling, praying that she would have some good news for me. After several minutes of silence, I looked at the technician's face. Her grim expression never changed and I caught a very slight shaking of her head a few times. Deep in my heart I had known when I was upstairs with Dr. Goodman, but it was in those several minutes of silence downstairs that I lost it.
When the tech noticed that I was crying, she asked if I was okay, but then answered her own question by saying, "No. You're not okay." She told me that she was going to try the trans-vaginal ultrasound. After another several minutes of silence, she looked at me and said, "I'm sorry". That was the absolute, most horrible moment in my life. I mean, I knew it already, but those two words were like the nail in the coffin. I was devastated. I was heartbroken. I was alone. I woke John up before I left to tell him where I was going and why, but he was at home with the kids and no one was with me but a stranger. All I could do was cry. When I was able to speak, I asked the tech if she had seen ANYTHING. She said that there was a sac that only measured five weeks and five days. She handed me a box of tissues and left the room for a while. I don't know how long I sat in that room, but it seemed like forever. All my hopes and dreams for this pregnancy and birth were gone. My baby was gone. I didn't know what to do.
After getting dressed and composing myself somewhat, the tech offered to walk back to Dr. Goodman's office with me since I was by myself. I was very grateful because I really didn't want to have to think about where to go. My thoughts were completely lost on my baby. We got back upstairs and she waited with me until Dr. Goodman called me into his office. I felt dazed and confused. He hugged me and said he was sorry. I couldn't even look at him. I stared at a spot on his desk most of the time he was talking to me. I decided to have a D&C (dilatation and curettage) and scheduled it for the next day - September 3rd. The day that I had been looking forward to was now the day that my dead baby would be removed from my womb. I was so sad and so numb, and my daughter's birthday party was only a few hours away.
I left the doctor's office and managed to make it to the truck before the tears came raging again. My hands shook as I got on my cell phone and called John. When he answered he asked, "So what did the doctor say?" I couldn't speak right away. I cried some more before I could get the words out. Then all I could say was, "It's not good" before I started crying again. I was finally able to tell him and then I drove home. I didn't want to spoil Briana's birthday, so I put on a good face and went inside the house.
We still had the birthday party that night after we did a balloon release to honor the memory of a young man from my church, Daniel Byrd. His birthday was also September 2nd, and he would have been 19. He passed away in December 2008 at the age of 18. This was the first birthday without him. Daniel's mom, Lois, read a card that Daniel's little sister, Grace, had made. Our youth pastor, Doug Moorman, read a poem. We sang Happy Birthday and then Daniel's family and some friends released 19 red balloons, each attached with Daniel's picture, story and plan of salvation. Red was Daniel's favorite color. It was a beautiful scene.
The birthday party was a huge success and I am thankful that I was able to throw myself into it. It gave my mind and my hands something to do. Briana had a wonderful time.
Thursday September 3rd was not a good day for me. It should have been a very happy day for John and I - the day that we heard our baby's heartbeat and got the first pictures of our little bean... but it wasn't to be. My D&C was scheduled for 6:15pm. Early in the day, the bleeding started to increase and the formerly mild cramping was beginning to get worse. By about noon, I was passing blood clots every 15 minutes. I called the doctor and was told to come in for an evaluation. This time John came with me. I am so glad he did. At the office, I was told that I was already actively miscarrying and that they were going to do the D&C immediately. We went over to the hospital and I was prepped for surgery. When I woke up in recovery, it was hard for me to face reality. I didn't want to believe that it was over; that my womb was empty. I couldn't even cry anymore. At least not then.

It was extremely difficult for John and I to say goodbye to our 4th child. After three pregnancies with healthy children, I guess I felt like a miscarriage could never happen to me... but it has. I never realized how devastating it is to lose a child in this way. It is very tough to say the least. Many people seem to think that a Christian should just grin and bear it because God is in control and He never does anything without a reason. Already I've had well meaning people say to me, "It wasn't God's will." "It wasn't meant to be." "Be strong." Well, let me just put my feelings out there: I believe with all my heart that God is in control and that there is a specific reason to all He allows in our lives. I have already figured out (all by myself may I remind you) that it obviously wasn't God's will for this child to live. I don't need to be reminded of that. It doesn't make losing a child any easier. I am NOT strong and I don't need to be right now. God said that His strength is made perfect in my weakness, and let me tell you how weak and vulnerable I am right now: VERY MUCH SO! This is the hardest thing I've ever been through in my life. This is the hardest thing that John has ever been through. Many people tend to forget that there is a daddy who is grieving right alongside the mommy. Please don't forget John. He took three days off of work so he could be right beside me, praying with me and doing all he can for me while at the same time trying to work through his own grief. We really appreciate all of you who have been a help to us. Most importantly, we appreciate everyone's prayers. We will be able to get through this because of the prayers of our family and friends. Sometimes, prayer is the only thing you can do to help someone through their grief. We sincerely thank all of you who are praying. We have a long road of healing ahead of us, but God will see us through.
Does my heart ache for the child I lost? Yes. Am I angry at God? No. Do I feel like a part of me is missing? Yes. Am I bitter? No. Is God always in control? Yes. Do I always understand His ways? No. But I don't have to because He gives me the peace that passes all understanding. God chose to take my baby instead of allowing him or her to fully develop inside my womb. I have no idea why. I don't understand. But I have two choices: I can question my Heavenly Father - the Ultimate Creator of life, or I can trust Him that He has better plans for my child than I could ever dream. Have I questioned God? Yes. It's only natural. But now I choose to trust because, though I have failed Him many times, He has never - AND WILL NEVER - fail me. My baby will never have to experience the evil in this sinful world. My precious little angel is in Heaven... and outside of my arms or John's, there is no better place for our baby to be.

Estimated due date: March 17, 2010
J.L.C.'s graduation to Heaven: September 3, 2009

We didn't know if we were going to have a boy or a girl, so I chose 2 names:
Girl - Jaedyn Leann
Boy - Jaden Lemuel

Jaedyn Leann is the name we had picked out for a girl. After the baby went to Heaven, I wanted to have a name picked out for either a boy or girl. We decided to keep our girl's name and since the first name can go either way, I changed the spelling for a boy and had to choose a middle name. I wanted to keep the same initials. When I discovered that Lemuel means "dedicated to God", I knew I had found the right name.

"Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I." - Psalm 61:1-2

"Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:6-7

Saturday, August 15, 2009

I AM.......

.......such a terrible blogger!!! I blame it on Facebook. :) If you're not on FB or you haven't added me as a friend yet, what are you waiting for?!?!?

I do have some great news for any of you who haven't heard yet..... around the middle of March, we will be welcoming another little Cabrera into the world!!! Michael, Briana and Alexa want a little brother. Well, Michael and Briana do. Alexa just says what they say! I guess we'll have to change our blog's name to SIX CRAZY CABRERAS!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


We haven't had internet access to post pics, so I'll have to do that later. I'll just give a quick run-down: The trip down to Jacksonville took us about 14 hours with 4 kids. They did exceptionally well. We were VERY grateful for that! We got to our hotel around 11:30 Thursday night. It was a very nice hotel. It's too bad we didn't get to stay there more than one night. We left Friday morning and drove the last 3 hours to our hotel in Kissimmee. My mother-in-law met us (she lives in the Tampa area), and we went to the All Star Music Disney Resort where she stayed with all 4 kids! Thanks, Mom! The kids loved the pool there. On Saturday, we went to Magic Kingdom. Sunday, to Hollywood Studios and Monday, we went to Epcot before driving to Daytona Beach. We spent 3 wonderful days at the beach. It was so much fun! We left yesterday around noon. I am typing this in the lobby of our hotel in North Carolina where we stopped for the night. We are getting ready to continue our trip home and then I'll be able to post pics. Although most of the pics will be on Facebook!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

JUNE 10, 2009

Nine years ago today, I married my best friend. It was the greatest day of my life. I love you, Baby!
Tomorrow we will be leaving for Disney World to celebrate not only our anniversary, but also our daughter and neice's kindergarten graduations. I'm going to TRY to blog each day of our vacation... we'll see how THAT goes!
Me :)