Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Well, we had another good report this morning at the high-risk doctors' office. We saw Dr. K. after another ultrasound. She continues to think everything looks great, especially our little angel (who continues to remain in the frank breech position!!!). I guess she knows what she likes, and maybe she is just a little stubborn like her mother. Dr. K. says that she has until 35 or 36 weeks to turn, if I can make it that far. We will see! She wants me to complete another 24 hour urine test and definitely call Dr. B. if anything seems unusual or uncomfortable in the next 3 days. I will see him on Friday morning.

My amazing sister threw me a party yesterday with the help of my mother and her wonderful home. It wasn't a shower but a Blessingway, which is designed to celebrate the mother rather than the baby. Some dear friends and family gathered for food and fellowship. Then each person presented me with a bead, shared either a Bible verse, prayer, or quotation, and then discussed why she chose the particular bead(s). My sister closed the party with a prayer and described how she was going to string the beads together to make a necklace. I can use this necklace to either wear or hold when I am in labor and recall all of the thoughts and prayers the beads represent. This necklace will help me make it through labor and stay positive and hopeful in the process. (Once the necklace is made, I will post a picture of it!)

I have never felt so much love and support---it was truly a special afternoon. I am blessed to have Laura, my sister, in my life. She is so thoughtful and always knows exactly what I need to stay focused and motivated. I continue to thank God for all of your thoughts and prayers. Our little girl will be here before we know it---probably in less than 37 days/44 days (if we make it to 37 weeks)---amazing!!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas

We made it to 30 weeks! What a wonderful Christmas present!!! This is a huge milestone for us, because we lost our sweet James on this gestational day last spring. Wade and I have been anxiously waiting for this week, wondering if we could even make it this far. We made it with God's power, lots of prayer from family and friends, and faith in this pregnancy and our little girl.
At our appointment today, Dr. B. could not have been any happier with the ultrasound report and my blood pressure readings from this week. I just heard from his nurse a few minutes ago, and my blood-work on the preeclampsia labs looks good also. So all is well. The sonographer will give us another estimate on the her weight next week.

What a gift! I think it is finally sinking in to us that we will have a baby soon--probably in the next 5-6 weeks. Wade and I are thrilled and cannot wait to see this little miracle!

Christmas had a whole new meaning to us this year. We thank God for sending his son and for blessing us with family and friends and little miracles.

Merry Christmas to all!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I'll Be Home for Christmas

It was a day full of appointments. First, we had an ultrasound at the high-risk doctor's office, and then we met with Dr. C. The baby continues to look great. She is still breech with her hands and feet up by her head. The ultrasound tech tried to get a good 4-D shot of her face, but she kept covering her face up with her hands--pretty cute!! If I can find a scanner, I will try to post the picture on the blog. She passed all of the check points on the BPP (bio-physical profile) Scan. Basically, it tests the fluid levels, the baby's movements, her breathing, and heartbeat.

Dr. C. said he was impressed with my blood pressure readings from home. The readings in his office were even pretty good. So he took my 24-hour urine sample and said that we would know the results from that test later today. If my protein levels were higher than the numbers in the hospital, then he was going to recommend that I be admitted to the hospital. Needless-to-say Wade and I were pretty anxious all afternoon waiting on the results. I would gladly go back to the hospital, if that is what the doctors recommend, but selfishly I want to be home for Christmas!!!

I met with my internist, Dr. M., later in the afternoon. He wanted to check in with me around the 30th week to check my blood pressure, heart, and swelling. Everything continued to look stable. The good news is that we have plenty of room to increase my blood pressure medication, if we need to.

Finally late this afternoon, we received a message from Dr. C., and he was excited to report that actually my protein level had decreased. So he said not to worry and enjoy Christmas from the couch. Great News!!! I will continue to take it easy, take my medication, and monitor my bp, and I get to do it all from the comfort of my parents' house. God is definitely looking over this little baby and her parents, and we are so thankful to celebrate Jesus's birth from home!!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Home and Health

I am so thankful to be home for strict bed rest. Last Monday in the hospital room I was faced with a great report on my health, and I have to say that made me a little nervous. I didn't really want to go home, because it was so nice to hear my little girl's heartbeat twice a day and know that the nurses were in charge of monitoring my health. However, all of my docs felt that my bp was nice and controlled and that I could safely monitor it from home. My blood work and urinalysis also looked good for the most part.

I had a moment of intense anxiety and fear when the doctors said I should probably go home, and then I decided to let it go. I said a litte prayer and talked to Wade. My mom offered to take us in, so that my family could all pitch in and help take care of me. Therefore, Wade and I decided we could do it and go home.

Once again-I am not in control of this pregnancy. I keep repeating this to myself. I am doing every thing that the doctors tell me to do, and that is all I can do. Ironically, my brother-in-law sent me a devotion that same day titled "Choosing To Live in Hope" by Henri J. M. Nouwen. He writes, "O God, by the redemptive grace of Jesus, help us to give up our compulsions to control completely our future and to turn more of our lives to you." Those words spoke to me and described exactly what I was feeling.

So here in the middle of my 29th week of pregnancy, I am feeling more positive and hopeful than I have felt in weeks. I can do this. I can go a few more weeks. We will have a baby. Wade and I are safe in God's hands, so I am not going to fear this pregnancy anymore. We had an appointment in the Baptist Hospital triage yesterday for a non-stress test (they monitor the baby's heartbeat and movements for thirty minutes), and she looks great--very healthy! My bp was even reasonably low for being in the hospital. This morning my machine read 99/67--amazing, and that was even before I took my meds.

Keep praying---I thank God every day for my family and friends and all of your thoughts and prayers.

May the God of hope fill you all with joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

Monday, December 15, 2008

Going Home

This morning we were released from the Hospital and headed home to strict bed-rest. Melissa's parents have offered for us to stay at their home so that we can all constantly monitor her. We are trying to establish an internet connection at their house and will keep eveyone posted.

thanks for all the loving thoughts and prayers


Sunday, December 14, 2008

If Only in My Dreams

My sweet husband and I celebrated our 5th Anniversary yesterday, and although we were not in a very ideal location we still managed to have a very special day. We had always talked about returning to our honeymoon spot to celebrate our anniversary or spending a long weekend at a Bed and Breakfast or maybe even skiing. However, the last year taught us that we really don't know what each new day will bring. We can plan, but we have to understand that life is not predictable, easy, or fair. It's during those times when life doesn't go as planned that you can actually learn something about your life and your relationships.

So we started off our celebration with Star Bagel (one of our favorites). Then later in the day the nurses took us on a tour of the NICU. It was nice to familiarize ourselves with this unit and know that our little girl will receive state-of-the-art care in their new facility (if she even has to go there). For dinner I actually sat at a table, and Wade picked up a delicious meal from Flemings. Who knew they would fulfill a take-out order! We dimmed the lights and played Christmas music on our Ipod--very romantic, never mind the support stockings!

Then we cuddled in my hospital bed and watched our wedding ceremony and reception. It was so much fun to see our friends and loved ones celebrating. The footage from the reception includes many hilarious moments on the dance floor and special conversations and memories. However, watching the ceremony was my favorite part. The verses, homily, prayers, and vows now have such a different meaning in our lives. We watch this DVD every year on our anniversary, but this year those words touched me in a new way. I have a little more insight into what they mean and how they are woven into our lives because of James.

Last Christmas we dreamt of this year and how different it would be. Our little man would adorn our Christmas card. We would take his first picture with Santa. Our family would attend the earlier service on Christmas Eve, so that we could take sweet James. They were wonderful dreams, and although we do not get to experience them this year I feel a sense of comfort. I know that God will continue to surprise us with gifts--ones that we desire so dearly and ones that we do not even know of yet. We did not get the relaxing trip on an island or the romantic meal in the mountains, but Wade and I still have each other, our dreams, and hope that the Lord will provide us with our desire to have children.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Day 4

Good Morning! Yesterday afternoon was a little hectic, because I had another ultrasound. However, it was on my legs this time. The nurses were a little worried that I might have a blood clot in my legs. Luckily, the results were negative and all looks good. I will continue to wear these support hose and stretch my legs occasionally.
Later in the day, I started developing a rash on my face and skin and experienced a number of headaches; both symptoms can be side-effects from procardia (my new bp medication) and/or the steroid shots. Either way I woke up this morning without the "sunburn" and headaches and feel much better. We'll see if I develop those symptoms again after I take my daily dose of procardia--hopefully not!
That's about it for now--I am going to sit back and listen to my little sweetheart on the monitor. I love hearing that precious heartbeat! God is good!

Update: Dr. C. thinks I might have sinusitis, so he is starting me on antibiotics. Taking all precautions!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Day 3

Well for a short time this morning it looked like I might go home today, but my group of doctors met and decided it might be best for me to stick around through the weekend. Knowing that I tend to have high bp (it seems to be pretty regulated right now), some protein in my urine, and some headaches, they want to collect another 24 hour urine sample and do the monitoring of my bp and the baby here. This decision makes both Wade and I feel much more comfortable. I was really nervous about trying to monitor myself from home over the weekend.

So we are settling into our fabulous room and hope to get some good reports throughout the weekend. Dr. K. (Dr. C.'s colleague) doesn't think we will have to induce in the near future. Let's give our little sweetheart as much time as possible to fatten-up and grow. I had another ultrasound this morning, and she looks great. She is practicing her breathing, has good movements, and has a beautiful healthy heart!

One of my new dear friends, Danielle, (I met in Dr. B.'s office a few months ago--we share some similar experiences) reminded me to keep repeating Psalm 121. So I have been saying it all morning, and I continue to feel peace and comfort.

Thank you all for your kind emails and comments! Wade and I feel so much love and support from our amazing friends and family. We'll let you know if there are any more updates later today.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Day 2 -Bigger Room

Well-it was a pretty uneventful day here in the hospital. I couldn't sleep last night due to the steroid shot, so I spent most of the night watching Wade sleep. Both doctors stopped by this morning to give their reports. Dr. B. even came in on his day off- the nicest man in the world!!!

They were both super excited about the health of the baby and the way my blood pressure had cooperated during the night. My early morning blood work showed some increase in my uric acid levels. They are not high enough to cause a concern right now, but Dr. B. wants to check my levels in the morning to watch for an increase. Dr. C. didn't seem worried about the uric acid at all; he is more comcerned with my 24 hour urine test to see if their is any protein in my urine (this is a major sign for preeclampsia).

So we turned in my collection late this evening and heard back from the lab around 8 PM. Unlike yesterday, there are some traces of protein in my urine--not too much but it is there. So they wanted me to stay over night, and I will meet with Dr. B. in the morning to discuss my future here. The nurses seem to think that I might be here for the long haul until the baby comes, because of my history with preeclampsia and losing James so suddenly. We will have to wait and see in the morning. In the mean time, they have moved me down to a larger room with a nice view!

I have always wanted them to go ahead and hospitalize me for the last few weeks just so someone else could monitor me, but now that I am actually here I am a little anxious and depressed about missing out on all of our regular Christmas festivities and family time. Wade and I celebrate our 5th year anniversary this Saturday, and we were looking forward to eating out in a fine restaurant. However, we will just have to turn this larger room into our own romantic dining room. We will remember this anniversary and Chrjstmas forever, and hopefully in January or early February we will hold our precious little girl---the most meanigful gift we will ever receive!

I will let you know in the morning what Dr. B. says. I took an ambien tonight (due to my second steroid shot), and it is really kicking in--sorry if this post doesn't make sense.
Take care and keep praying!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Visit to Baptist

Well it was a wonderful morning. I tutored my one precious student before school at OHS, shopped for some Christmas decorations and wrappings, and spent almost an hour and a half in Katy's Hallmark (It is amazing how that place can suck you in--I really don't know what all I bought there today, but apparently I needed it). Finally, I went home, put my feet up, and watched the refrigerator repair man fix the freezer fan.

After the frig was fixed, I decided to take my afternoon medication and check my blood pressure. Unfortunately, it was pretty high, which was surprising to me because my swelling was down and I didn't feel any side-effects. I waited a few minutes and then took another reading. It was even higher this second time, so I decided to call Dr. B. and let him know.

He said that it was too late to try to check me into his office, so he sent me down to the triage at Baptist Hospital. The thing about blood pressure is that it doesn't help it to be sent to the triage, especially when your last visit to the triage ended in tragedy. So I tried all of the breathing techniques I knew to drive down to the triage and told Wade to meet me there. When I finally settled into the temporary triage room, the nurses emptied my bladder with a catheter, measured my blood pressure, took a sample of my blood to check for preeclampsia, and monitored the baby's heartbeat for an hour or so. My blood pressure was high due to my hypertension, but the baby maintained a healthy heartbeat!

Then the nurse walked me down to another room for an ultrasound with Dr. C.'s nurse. She checked everything thoroughly including the amniotic fluid, baby's breathing, movement, and size. Everything looked great. She is about 2 lbs. 11 oz. and in the 69th percentile for her size. I am measuring right with my due date (27 weeks and 4 days).

An hour or so later Dr. B. met us in the triage room and discussed all of my blood work, the ultrasound, and my urine sample. He said that I got an A+ on my ultrasound, my blood work showed no signs for preeclampsia, and there was absolutely no protein in my urine. So everything looks great, except for my pesky blood pressure. Dr. B. and Dr. C. decided that it would be best for me to stay in the hospital for the next 48 hours on bed-rest, so that they could take a 24 hour urine sample and administer 2 rounds of steroids to help the baby's lungs mature (just in case we have to have a sudden delivery in the future). The steroids won't hurt the baby if we go all the way to full term, but they will definitely help her if we have to deliver early. They also started me on another blood pressure med in addition to my other medication.

So that is all I know for now. It was pretty scary for a second, because we are so close to the gestational age of when we lost James. Please continue to pray for my health, so that I can help this baby stay inside of me as long as possible. We love her so much already and can't wait to hold her! God is watching over us, and He will continue to hold both of our sweet children.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Third Trimester

Since I am about to enter the third trimester of my second pregnancy, I've decided to start writing about this little one growing inside of me. I will continue to write about James and his gifts, but I also want to include details about my little girl and give updates on her health.

They (doctors, books, nurses, friends, etc.) say every little day counts, and so that is my goal right now. Every morning I look at my calendar and draw a smiley face on the day before symbolizing my pleasure on surviving another day in this pregnancy. I want this little girl to have as much time as possible inside of me. The doctors have warned us that I will have to be hospitalized and induced if I develop preeclampsia again. They might let me go a few days or weeks in the hospital without inducing, if the disease is not too severe and the baby's health is fine, but it all depends on what happens.

One of the hardest lessons that I continue to struggle with is that I am not in control. My family struggled with this lesson just this week. Thursday morning we woke up to find that my grandmother had passed away in the early morning. My father was by her side during her passing. What a beautiful moment-grandmother was with him during his first breath of life, and he was with her during her last. She lived 84 wonderful years and suffered with dementia during the last 5 or so. My father shared with us yesterday what one of his friends had said. That we celebrate her life, but it is so hard to say goodbye to a whole generation. I hate that my father has to experience so much pain, but I know that she is with the Lord and that we are not in control of what happens in our lives.

Only God knows what will happen and He will provide me with the strength I need during this pregnancy. I really can't do anything more to change the outcome. I already monitor my blood pressure 3-4 times a day, take my medication (right now 10 pills a day), put my feet up for at least 2-3 hours every afternoon, and watch for changes in my swelling, eyesight, and headaches. So this little girl is in God's hands, and I have to strengthen my faith and trust in the Lord. That is what James is teaching me daily--to trust in the Lord. I know he is cheering for his baby sister and wants her to make it. James will always be our little angel watching over us.

Our little girl looks good right now. We are a few days past 27 weeks, which is great!! She is in the 48th percentile in size, and all of her organs are developing appropriately. During this week's ultrasound, she showed off her incredible flexibility. She was folded in half with her legs extending beyond her head. It is truly amazing how these little miracles move and grow inside such a small space!

Dr. B. continues to monitor my blood pressure and swelling. For the last two weeks, he has ordered preclampsia lab work to monitor my levels, and both weeks they have returned normal. I also do not have gestational diabetes or anemia.

So the health of this pregnancy looks great as we start the third trimester, but honestly Wade and I are still extremely nervous. Preeclampsia is a scary disease, as we have learned. It can develop quickly without much warning, so we continue to pray and just have to trust that the Lord will take care of us.

Please pray for peace, comfort, and good health during these next few weeks. I will continue to give updates after each appointment.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving was a wonderful time for me to reflect on the year. I look back on 2008 and still cannot believe what has happened in our lives. God has blessed our family in many ways and sitting around the table on Thanksgiving staring at my precious nephew I started to think about my blessings.

Hudson (my nephew), one of the dearest five-year-olds I know, led our conversation at the table. After the prayer, he wanted to share his Kindergarten worksheet on the story of Thanksgiving. Instead of reading it once, he wanted everyone at the table to take turns reading his work. So while we treated ourselves to Mom's delicious meal, the story was repeated multiple times around the table. It was precious, but Hudson wasn't finished yet! He quickly reminded us that we needed to share what we were thankful for this year.

As my family shared their blessings, I could feel the tears starting to stream down my face. I am extremely thankful for James and for this sweet little girl growing inside of me, but it was so painful to share that evening. I will always miss James and long to know him, but I am so thankful that God gave me the opportunity to carry him. He continues to strengthen my faith in the Lord and has taught me what kind of parent I want to be. (I will write more on that one later.)

I am also so blessed and thankful to carry this little girl. At the beginning of this pregnancy, my doubts and fears overwhelmed me (and sometimes still do). I had no idea how I would get this far in the pregnancy successfully. I am now 26 1/2 weeks and in the last week of my second trimester. The baby is in the 48th percentile in size (which is great), and I continue to maintain a stable blood pressure. Wade and I both are very thankful for this pregnancy and for this miraculous health.

Of course I am thankful for my loving husband and his patience, my parents, Wade's parents, our siblings, nephews, grandparents, extended families, and friends. The community of friends and family that surrounded us after James' death has meant so much to us and given us amazing support and hope.

This morning I pulled out the basket and started to reread the cards and letters we received last spring and summer. My favorite part of the day last April, May, and June was receiving the mail. The first couple of weeks, Wade would bring me the cards when he came home for lunch, because I did not feel like going outside. Gradually, I started making the trip to the mailbox my daily outing. Reading those letters and cards filled my heart with hope and love. Just knowing that others around us were praying for our family was so comforting. When Wade would get home for lunch, we would read the cards again and cry together. Then I would add the new cards to the basket.

We received cards from church members, colleagues, various students I taught over the last seven years, current students, students from OHS I haven't taught, our former teachers, old friends, new friends, our parents' friends and colleagues, neighbors and of course family members. We truly felt loved! Throughout the summer, I would pull out the basket and begin to reread those dear notes. Even now they continue to give me inspiration and hope, and just this week we have received some new cards. We are so blessed to have such devoted friends and family in our lives, and we are extremely thankful.

Thanksgiving has a whole new meaning to us this year. We will continue to count our blessings and thank God for the gifts in our lives, especially James and this growing baby girl.