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More pregnant than I’ve ever been

7 Jun

At approximately at this time of evening, this exact number of days into my pregnancy, I was arriving home from the hospital emergency room after spending the worst night of my life miscarrying our daughters. It was an experience I hope never to experience again. The miscarriage itself was alone traumatic, but doing so among the worst hospital staff I’ve ever encountered, lying there bleeding helplessly all over the place, while the staff around me refused to answer me because “the doctor would be in soon” (7 hours later!), while the worst nurse imaginable dug around in my arms for almost an hour trying to start an IV (for what, i still don’t know), none understanding why I was freaking out so much because it was “so early” and we could “always try again” was beyond what I could handle. Honestly, it was the stuff that nightmares are made of. And I’ve tried not to think about it because reliving it was too awful. Each woman needs to make her own choice, but if God does take these babies (or any future ones), I don’t want to go through the experience in a hospital again.

So all day long, I’ve sort of felt in a fog. I’ve felt a numbness for this day, and a genuine surprise that I am at the end of it without incident. It wasn’t a conscious fear; I have absolutely no reason to suspect that this pregnancy will turn out like the last one. My medications are adjusted properly (unlike last time), I weigh less, I am eating right, my doctor is better skilled, and most importantly, these are different babies than the last ones, and God has a different plan for them. But still, the scar tissue is there and it was sort of always in my head. I am now more pregnant than I have ever been. And I’m at a loss to describe how I feel. I truly don’t have any idea what tomorrow will look like. Pregnancy up til this point has been sort of familiar. But starting tomorrow, it’s all uncharted water!

I am overwhelmed with gratitude to God for the length of time we’ve had with the babies and I pray that these are just the first of many, many days. But in a lot of ways, I feel like I just found out I’m pregnant all over again. Everything from here on out is completely foreign to me. I have a sense of bewilderment as I look toward tomorrow! I don’t have anything super spiritual to say about it all… I’m just working through my feelings. I’m missing our girls. I’m excited that God has seen fit to continue this pregnancy. I’m a little bit nervous, despite the fact that my head knows Who is in charge. I’m exhilarated and terrified at the same time. I’m just processing through it all I guess. I know the Lord will sort through the thoughts and emotions with and for me, so I’m grateful that I can leave that up to Him because I feel like my head is spinning.

We had a nice day today. We went to church and were very late because morning sickness necessitated a stop (that’s not a complaint-I actually love the reminder that something is really happening). Then we had a lunch fellowship time at the church and then we came home and napped a while. I went to the gym and had a nice long workout, spent the evening with DH and now we’re on the way to bed.

I actually have to call my regular OB tomorrow and get on their calendar for my first prenatal visit. I figured I’d wait til after my ultrasound, but I was just looking at their website and they like to do their first visit at 8 weeks, which is the same week as the ultrasound, so I guess I need to schedule it! That feels surreal too–the prospect of leaving my RE and returning to a “normal” doctor is just so…sublime. After so many years of doing everything unconventionally, to know that in a few weeks, this will be treated like every other “normal” pregnancy sort of blows my mind.

I find myself rubbing my belly and talking to the babies all the time. I can’t wait til I have something external to show for it so I don’t just look like a fat lady who is clutching her tummy because she’s eaten too much or is suffering from indigestion 😉 But, it’s so wonderful to know that they’re going here and there and everywhere with me 🙂

I’d best get to bed. Goodnight everyone!



7 Jul

I started this post on 6.26.09. I didn’t have anything else to write, but I wanted to make sure the sentiment was shared.

First, thank you to everyone for your kind words about Mother’s Day. I really wasn’t trying to be a brat about it or make anyone feel bad. In my head I was just playing back a recording of how things had been–matter of fact, recitation. I didn’t mean it as a guilt issue at all! I apologize if it came across that way.


Today, July 6, 2009

Dear friends,
My heart is in despair right now. The grief of missing my girls overwhelms me and the pain grows only stronger as their due date approaches. Time had quenched some of the fire, but the knowledge that I should be preparing to hold them in my arms but instead have an empty belly and empty arms, breaks my heart right now. I am crying out to God but I confess the hurt and loneliness feels new all over again. In recent weeks I felt like the mourning season was coming to an end and now I feel like it has just begun. All I did today was read and pray and cry and sleep. I’ve half heartedly attempted our household bookkeeping tonight, but I only go a few minutes before the tears start again. Oh, how I miss them!

Several people have mentioned that they wanted to say something, or ask me how we’re doing or ask me about the girls, but didn’t know if they could, or should.

I can’t speak for every grieving mom, but for me, someone mentioning them helps. It helps me to know they and we are not forgotten. So please, always feel free to ask if you want. If you don’t want to ask for your own sake, that’s ok, but know it’s always ok with me if you do want to. Silence hurts worse than any questions…

I love you all.


Infant Loss Memorial Service Date Change

12 Jan

Because I’ve gone back to work, a scheduling conflict was created with our original Infant Loss Memorial Service Date. The new date is Saturday, March 14th at 1:30 pm, at Chandler Bible Church. The rest of the information remains the same. You can see the website here.

Long update, and some thanks and changes

7 Jan

I’ve sat down to write so many, many times. Sometimes I was prevented by busyness. Other times by fatigue. Other times by fear. Sometimes by sheer lack of anything to say. But, here we go.

First, let me start by saying that I pray you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year.

I haven’t written much since we lost the girls and in my silence I’ve refrained from taking the opportunity to publicly share about the Lord’s generosity in ministering to our spirits in our grief, specifically through the tangible actions and gifts of both friends and strangers. Shortly before we lost them, we received in the mail the beautiful Gymboree Snowflake Outfit that I’d posted here before. It was a gift from someone we’ve never met but who wanted to bless us. I’m still overwhelmed at the thought.

After we lost them, we received countless cards, handmade crocheted snowflakes from our adoption agency, personalized ornaments from my mom, donations and organizational fundraising in their honor to Snowflakes and to other causes from friends and family, ornaments from our genetic family, a beautiful handmade figurine from my college roommate, precious flowers from my mentor and the most beautiful snowglobe I’ve ever seen with a gorgeous snowflake inside from a dear sister. God has been so generous to us in these tangible acts of kindness. If I’ve forgotten something, please forgive me.

My biggest fear in losing the girls was that people wouldn’t remember them. That the world would never know they existed. That their lives wouldn’t matter to anyone but us. That they’d be treated as disposable or replaceable. That they wouldn’t be known.

Well, we’ll never know them this side of Heaven but God was so generous to us in showering us with tangible acknowledgments of the knowledge that these girls existed and mattered and were loved by so many. That is the most precious gift we could have been given. So to everyone who shared your kindness and time with us in reaching out, thank you. Thank you for honoring our girls and loving us. I wish I could compose myself enough to write something poetic or at least proportionally deep to the amount of emotion I feel but all I can do is sit here and weep at your kindness.

People ask me if I’m over it or better yet. I’m not better yet, and I’ll never be over it. They’ll always be a part of our story and I never want to be over this. I want to hurt less from it, but I hate the very implication that they’re “get over-able.”

In truth, I do hurt less from it. The gifts and cards we received were so monumentally helpful in my healing process because they helped me let go of my biggest fear of moving forward. I wish I could explain it better.

I am saddened to report that two of my dear sisters, who were pregnant at the same time with adopted embryos, and one of whom was due the same day as we were, have both lost their precious babies too. Please remember their families in your prayers. Dear sisters, we love you. At least our babies are in good company with each other. Heaven will be one amazing reunion.

My cycle returned last week and I had a final blood draw yesterday so from a medical perspective, the miscarriage is now considered completed and things are back to “normal.”

People ask us when we’ll try again. We do still have the 10 other babies still waiting for us so we WILL try again…as many as 6 more times (we have 4 pair left and two singletons). But when is a little bit harder to answer. We don’t mind sharing, we just don’t know. Right now the earliest we COULD proceed with another transfer is sometime in March, but there are a few variables with scheduling because of my job and their major event that month as well as the Infant Loss Memorial and the fact that I will NEVER see Dr. Jerk again so I’ll wait as long as I need to to be on the schedule when it’s someone else’s turn for surgery, so nothing is in stone but we’re working toward that end. But it’s also possible we’ll get to March and not be ready to start again, so we’re just taking it one day at a time. A March transfer means we start all the hormone therapy over again next month so that’s when we’ll need to decide. Right now we’re just waiting and enjoying the fact that we don’t have to decide yet. We’ll see. I’m actually optimistic about it but am trying to take it slowly so that we don’t jump into anything.

That’s it for all! My fingers are the typing equivalent of out of breath! I’ll try to check in again sooner between updates henceforth.

I pray this finds you all well and I offer you my sincerest gratitude for your continued faithfulness, friendship, interest, support, encouragement and prayers.

Love to you all…

Miscarriage Update

11 Dec

People are asking how I’m feeling. I haven’t had any real pain since Thanksgiving weekend, thankfully! Thank you for asking and I praise God for His respite. I had another blood draw a couple days ago and got the word today that my HCG levels are back to negative, which is the healthy non-pregnant state. It confirms that, barring anything really bizarre or unforeseen, everything is complete. I will have another ultrasound after my cycle finishes–I guess they want to be double-triple sure. But my quickly decelerating numbers and return to “normal” combined with two other ultrasounds pretty much confirm that everything is done and we won’t need to do anything more invasive. I’m so so so thankful for that. I cried out to God that I didn’t think my heart could take that and He has answered that with generous protection from further procedures.

I’ve been busying myself around the house and exercising more, both of which have helped me feel better, too. My energy level is all but back to normal. Emotionally and spiritually I am growing stronger, too. I still find myself missing them and the reminders of pregnancy inherent in Christmas still catch my heart in my chest but I no longer feel like I’m drowning or like the pain is so acute. I know I shall always miss them and I know the road ahead is very long, but God has begun putting the pieces of my heart back together and even just the tiny bit of healing that has occurred has made it so I don’t feel quite so overwhelmed. I’m grateful for that relief.

The sleepless nights last week have totally messed with my body clock. It’s now 4:30 am! I tried to sleep for hours before I gave in to come and write and I’ll now return back to bed to try again. If I haven’t used up my prayer request quota, I’d love your prayers that I can be restored to a healthy, normal schedule again, too!

Grace, peace and love to you, dear ones!


3 Dec

Hi everyone,

Thanks for being so faithful in checking in on me!

The last couple of days have gone very well and I’ve felt relieved for that. My feelings are slowly becoming more wistful and less painful. I still miss them with my whole heart but I am slowly feeling less overwhelmed. I suppose like any grief it will ebb and flow–grow almost dormant at times and then show itself with a fury at others. But for now I’m glad for the respite.

I wanted to share my idea that I mentioned a few days ago.

It’s on my heart to plan an Infant Loss Memorial Service for our community and all in it who have lost children to ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, late term pregnancy loss, still birth, abortion and adoption loss. One of the difficult things about this kind of loss is that it’s virtually ignored by most of the world. We’ve been blessed and have had wonderful friends and family come along side us and express their condolences and love but we know many others who have endured their loss alone. Another missing element is a tangible expression of closure. When someone dies after birth, the family holds a memorial service to honor the deceased and to help give the family closure. In most cases, nothing like that exists for pregnancy losses. This is a source of frustration because there is a desire to acknowledge to the world that your child existed, and to be able to say goodbye and not have that be through some medical procedure or drain flush.

It’s my desire to plan a program that will be open to the parents and loved ones of all who have lost a baby. I desire for this to be a ministry to the hurting parents and families. I desire for this to be a comfort to them-something practical and tangible to give them in their grief. I desire for it to be an opportunity to share the hope of God’s sovereignty and goodness. I desire for it to be a way to proclaim that these precious lives mattered.

I have lots of ideas for the actual execution of the event but I’ll share those later.

I submitted my proposal to the Elder Board at my church last night. I included my purpose statement, target audience, budget, plan of publicity, and other necessary details. Now I wait and see what they have to say. I’d appreciate your prayers for this plan. I do believe the idea is from God but I desire for Him to place an obstruction if it is not, and to pave the way and make it smooth if it is. I’ll keep you posted and if it is approved, I’ll have more specific prayer requests at that time!

Hope this finds you all well!

Missing in Action

30 Nov

It’s been a week since we lost the girls. 7 days since the worst night of my life. 168 hours since my heart broke more than I ever thought it could. 10,080 minutes Since I began to feel the victim of some cruel joke. 604,800 seconds since my my heart and mind began playing tricks on me.

I’m so angry. There, I said it. I’m angry at myself. Is there anything I could have done differently or better? I’m angry at the doctors and their lack of compassion and what I believe was an attitude of not-concerned enough when I called about bleeding almost a week before the actual miscarriage. I’m angry at God for giving them to us only to take them away. I’m angry at most of the world who can’t possibly know that we’re in mourning and (rightfully) behaves like everything is well (because for them it probably is!) and I’m angry that I just can’t make things stop so we can breath for a second. I’m angry that I continue to feel yucky, though I have nothing to show for it. I’m angry that the world doesn’t recognize miscarriage as a grievable loss. I catch myself subconsciously still behaving like I’m going to meet our children in 8 months. I realized the other day that we lost them exactly 8 months before my due date.

I find that I have one of two modes right now. One is to ignore that anything happened and refuse to talk/think/feel about it. The other is to totally and completely shut down. For reasons mainly having to do with aversion to more pain and sheer practicality I tend to choose the former most of the time. I hate that there’s no middle ground. If I go on as though everything is normal, I feel like I’m forgetting or dishonoring them, and I am fully aware of how unhealthy the choice is so I am stressed about the future fall out too. But if I indulge my thoughts and pain, I can’t hardly function. It’s a miserable place to be.

I feel sort of like I’m watching myself. I feel so disconnected and numb from everything. I’m cognitively aware that my heart is broken but I just feel cold. So I feel like I’m outside myself, just watching myself go through the motions. My brain is screaming out “NO! NO NO NO!” Sometimes I feel like I’m in a bad dream and I’ll just wake up. Other times I liken it to watching a movie of myself and at any moment I’ll be able to turn it off and go back to my “real, better” life where the babies are still here. They’re missing now, I’m missing them, and I feel like *I’m* missing in action.

My family was here the last few days and that was good. And DH’s birthday was this week (though our first ultrasound was to be that day–we still had it, but we were looking for emptiness, not babies), as was Thanksgiving, so we had a lot of activity. It was easy to ignore that all of this was going on and just have fun playing games, hanging out, doing things we love to do–just like we always have. Life was “normal.” But every now and then I would catch myself and say “no, life is NOT normal now. This shouldn’t be our normal anymore!” We’d go out for dinner somewhere or be in a room together and someone would say “Party of _______?” or “Look all ______ of us are together” and in my mind I’d cry out “no! It should be two more!” But at other times it was a really good diversion to have something to do other than sit and think and cry.

Our Pastor preached last week on 2 Thessalonians:

Rejoice always;
pray without ceasing;
in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

II Thessalonians 5:16-18

I’ve been meditating on that. I really have. But that’s another one of those areas I feel so disconnected. I know in my head that this was God’s will. That it’s somehow for His glory. That it will contribute to my sanctification if I let Him use it. That my baby girls are safe in the arms of Jesus. That because He chose not to save them, there must be something about this outcome that is better. That I have much to be thankful for in the time we did have with them, the things we’ve learned about Him and ourselves in this entire process, for the sweet genetic parents, for the love and support of our friends and family, for His ability to use their stories to testify to Himself, for the way we might be able to minister to someone else out of our pain sometime in the future, for His gift of salvation, for His common and specific grace, for His coming return… And in my head I AM thankful for all those things. But right now I can’t seem to feel past either the pain or numbness (seemingly mutually exclusive yet somehow both present). I can’t feel anything better or greater and I hate that. I’m just so broken hearted. I want it to be healed but I’m afraid because I don’t want them to be left behind. I feel closest to them in my brokenness. Yet I feel so far from God. I know life is not about feelings (really, truly, praise God for that! Feelings are so deceptive!). But I guess I wish I had some comfort there. But right now I just hurt.

I might go see my best friend next week in Chicago. I want so much to see her, especially now. How much I’ve longed for her to still live here (and have admittedly added the fact that she doesn’t to my list of gripes with God)! And there are days when I really want to hug my godson close and snuggle in all his baby-ness and all the things I’ve missed since they moved. But there are days I think I would absolutely fall irreparably apart if I was around a baby, especially one I love as much as him. And there are days I don’t think I’d do well being far from my DH. Right now I’m too afraid to do or decide anything and that seems to be the overarching theme of everything these days so I’d appreciate your prayers for wisdom in all things and release from this guilt and fear.

Gosh, this turned out a lot more blubbery than I thought it would. I’m debating even posting it. Writing for me has become so cathartic. It helps me discover thoughts I didn’t even know I had–I do praise God for that. Maybe somehow this is helping.

Love to you all, dear friends. I really am okay (or will be) even though this post doesn’t sound like it. God is still God, and He’s still Good. That’s reason enough to praise Him and I am trying desperately to cling to that.

Business and Ideas

26 Nov

As I shared, the meeting this morning went ok, at least from a medical perspective.

I was unprepared to go back in to the room where just three weeks ago they had transferred the babies to me. Entering in there overwhelmed and I burst in to tears, a little bit to the shock of the somewhat less-than-compassionate medical staff. Still, I was grateful for the tears. I must have cried an ocean in the first 24 hours but then not since, and my tendency is to just shut it away in a box and pretend it’s not there. I don’t want to do it and it’s not a conscious choice, but it’s a coping mechanism that inevitably kicks in when I experience grief. The problem is that every now and then something will knock the lid off the box and it will explode all over everything, as strongly as if the source of the grief were just moments before, regardless of their actual age.

But because it’s in a box, I’ve “felt” ok, even though I know I’m not. So I was glad to have the box overturned again. Every time it is, I process a little more.

It’s still not real. I catch myself thinking about next July, about pregnancy, about questions to ask the doctor at my first appointment, about ultrasounds, etc. Then I’ll suddenly realize “wait, that’s not me anymore.” Each time it’s like falling in to the nightmare again. I haven’t quite decided if the constant plunging and emergence, over and over again, is worse, or if it would be worse to be in the constant state of nightmare. At least the constant state wouldn’t be so surprising, though I think it would be more overwhelming.

Anyway, I was glad to have the box toppled again because when things go on too normally, I feel a different sort of grief–the unhealthy, guilt kind, coupled with the nagging worry that comes with knowing that I’m about to crash in to an iceberg yet somehow my auto pilot is sailing merrily along just the same. So I was glad to purge a little more today.

The meeting was odd though too. Our FSA (pretax medical expense savings plan via payroll deductions) enrollment papers are due next week wherein we have to decide how much money to withhold over the course of next year. If you don’t use it all, you lose anything remaining at the end of the year. You can’t change the amount once you enroll.

This year we used the money to pay for a lot of the medical side of our adoption, as well as the diagnostic tests earlier in the year. It would have been an easy decision to make if our expenses were going to be pregnancy and birth expenses.

But now we have to make very business like decisions of when we might consider trying again, and will that be early enough in the year to also deliver that same year, or will it be later? And do we reserve enough for one try or two? It was just such a surreal feeling to be talking such business at this time. Right now I can’t even consider going through another transfer soon. But yet we must make at least tentative decisions by next week, at least as far as finances are concerned, which is a heavy consideration given the cost of the various procedures needed (which are 100% out of pocket) for us.

We find ourself on sort of a teeter totter. There’s the desire we’ve long had for children. That part of us wants to move on and try again, sooner rather than later. Our hearts still long to hold children in our arms. On that same side is the commitment we’ve made to our remaining 10 babies that we WILL try again and give them the same chance for life that their sisters had.

On the other side is the missing and longing for these specific children. They had begun to form identities in our hearts and were more than just a “concept.” Though we love their siblings, they are not the girls’ replacement. That side of us can’t even fathom moving on any time in the forseable future. So it’s a hard balancing act.

Throw in a bunch of hormones to the mix and it’s just a sticky situation! So, we’d appreciate your prayers for wisdom!

I’m a “fixer” and a “do-er” when it comes to managing negative emotions and thoughts. I started this blog a year ago when we got our most significant IF diagnosis because I needed something to DO with my grief. I can’t just sit and stew or I get overwhelmed and crazy. This blog has become such an important part of my personal journey, and God has also given me the opportunity to minister to a few other women who’ve written to me through it and shared that they’ve been encouraged. Thank you God, for that gift!

I was praying yesterday for some outlet for this new grief and an idea came to me that I believe was from the Lord. I ran it past a friend who has also experienced miscarriage just to confirm that I’m not totally off my rocker (at least not in this instance 😉 ) and she thought the idea was sound (and had some awesome additions of her own to it). I prayed about it some more and did a little research and decided to get my feet wet in exploring it. I sent off a letter to my pastor whose assistance I will need if I pursue this project–we’ll see what he says! If and when I know more, I’ll share it here. But in the mean time, I’d appreciate your prayers for wisdom with this project, too!

Please also pray for my sweet DH. I’d actually never once seen my husband cry (shed actual tears) until yesterday. It was overwhelming for us both, to say the least. But my heart aches for him. Miscarriage is a lonely enough grief but women tend to share with each other enough that we can fairly easily find a kindred heart. A man’s grief is such a different ball of wax. Not only are we as women unable to understand it, but men are so silent and introspective, bearing their grief even more alone than we do (while still simultaneously trying to carry the grief of their wives, as is their heart as protectors). So pray for my sweetie pie…I long to be for him all that he is for me! God protect and heal his tender, beautiful heart!

An update on the request regarding medication and contractions. I’m about to take dose #3 of the medicine and so far it hasn’t done anything except give me cold sweats. While this is a pretty minor inconvenience and I’m grateful to not have yet had pain that would have come from contractions, it doesn’t seem that the medicine has at all been helpful for the goal of moving this miscarriage along–at least not so far as I can tell from how I feel and what I’ve seen/not seen today. Please pray that the doctor still sees tomorrow what he needs to keep us on the non-surgery path.

Thanks, friends…

Follow-Up Visit

25 Nov

I had my follow up visit to my RE today. He said it looks like things are progressing on their own-praise God! He doesn’t think I’ll need surgery. That was a very specific prayer request of ours so I’m grateful that it looks like God is going to protect us from that. The Doctor said it could still change but right now it’s not looking that way. He did say there is still a significant amount still left to pass so he gave me some medication to make me contract. (Oddly enough I’ve never bled so much in my life–I can’t imagine how there can be anything left in my whole body, much less in that area alone! The human body is amazing!)

I’d appreciate your prayers for my physical comfort with the contractions and remaining shedding. We did a Beta draw today to see where we’re at with the numbers and that should help us gauge how long this will take. We have another visit tomorrow.

Thank you for your prayers for us!


24 Nov

For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.

I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.

My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;

Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.
Psalm 139:14-16

We claim this promise for our babies. We believe they are with Jesus and we believe He called them home. We also believe He loves them and that He has always known their names.

We’ve been praying about names for them and God has answered us.

We believe that both babies were girls.

Our first daughter is Lucy. She is first in our family to see Narnia and first to receive her reward. Though we hope no more of her siblings follow her soon, we know she is waiting for any who will join her to show them around Narnia. Lucy of Narnia was compassionate, earnest, and faithful-which I hope our Lucy would have been. And like the vial Lucy Pevensie received, our Lucy brought so much joy and healing to us after many years of pain and winter. Though a new pain has accompanied her loss, she was and is a precious gift to us and the Lord healed many parts of our broken heart with the gift of her and her sister. Lucy means “light.” The story of our girls is a miracle and a testimony to the God who created them. Even in her absence her life (and that of her sister) stand as a light in the darkness.

Our second daughter is Mary. Todd named her after his Great Aunt, who was taken suddenly from this world and who he wishes I could have known. Mary was also a twin. He tells me that she would have been a precious example of Jesus for our little Mary. She was a missionary in India for many years. She was devoted and gentle and kind and spunky-exactly the kind of daughter I would have loved to have. Mary was also the mother of Jesus and the name of his beloved servant of Magdalene. After the crucifixion, Mary was the first to recognize the resurrected Jesus. Mary means “bitter” which is appropriate because the loss of her and her sister has caused us bitter tears, though we rejoice in their lives and their safety in the arms of Jesus.

We ordered this in remembrance of them. It will sit next to the 2 Angels from the same collection that my dear friends gave us when we started our adoption and next to the figurine from the same collection that I gave their daddy when I told him they were on their way.


Goodbye girls. We love you.