Sunday, July 25, 2010

Cord Blood Banking

Cord blood is amazing. For those who aren't familiar with it, it's the blood in your baby's umbilical cord. Because of it's source, it's only available immediately after birth. It's chock-full of stem-cells, w

Saturday, July 24, 2010

General Updates

Hi Everyone!

I've been lurking on your blogs-it looks like most of you are well. I've noticed that the feature on blogger that tells me when you last updated can be a little annoying because I find myself checking it far more often than when I would just do once-or-twice weekly blog rounds. Get blogging people! :D You're too quiet!

I can't believe that I'm almost at the end of my first trimester. And, I went the entire week without calling the doctor. That's not happened during this entire pregnancy. I'm sure they were glad to go a week without hearing from me, and I was sure glad to not have a reason to call them. Was missing getting another glimpse of baby, though. But I prefer this "going dark" period to him/her giving me a reason to worry!

I can't decide how I'm feeling. Some days I go, "Wow, I'm finally starting to feel better" and then other days, I feel as bad as ever. I do notice I get sick within like 30 seconds of the Reg.lan wearing off-it makes me a little uncomfortable to be that dependent on it, but the times it does work for some relief have been welcome. Jury is still ultimately out though. My doctor is getting married in 3 weeks and will be gone for a while with the wedding and honeymoon festivities, so I need to make a decision so that I can go on something else in plenty of time before he leaves, if necessary.

We've had a little fun this week. We've been trying to budget for baby expenses, and so I'm trying to be super militant about watching for sales and stuff so I can buy things a little at a time. It became a mess trying to track items individually, so we went to BRU this week and opened a registry. It's super early for that but we did it so I can have a list of all the items in one place and then just check it regularly for price changes and snatch things up as they go on sale. It doesn't have much on it yet because we want some gender-specific things, and we plan to choose the less expensive things like blankets and feeding accessories at Tar.get and Wal.mart, but it was still fun to wander through the store and make some decisions on what we want. We're trying to be super careful about collecting too much stuff. We're both terrible stuff-collectors and mess-makers, which together is a recipe for disaster any time, much less when you have a reason as cute as a baby to indulge those tendencies. But, man, that was hard, especially when you look at their "must have" list!

DH kept trying to scan my belly :)

The other fun game to play when registering is coming home to check it on the computer to see the goofy things your DH scanned when you weren't looking.

Though we're trying to keep the "stuff" to a minimum, we did choose some toys...well, because they're so cute! Today we went back for one particular toy that we really liked because we found it's not actually supposed to be sold in the store and the online price is almost twice as much, and we had a coupon and a gift card we got just for registering, so we went and had a little fun. So here is baby's first toy. Todd actually was having fun, but this was his "I can't believe you're photographing this" face. Oh, DH, brace yourself. This is only the beginning! :D

Here's the toy itself. Isn't it cute? It rolls around and makes music, and the thing on its back comes off and becomes a rattle and a stacker toy, too. I've discovered I'm a sucker for brightly colored, cute animals.

It was also fun to do something like that with Todd. It's been hard for him because for so much of the pregnancy baby and I are the only ones who feel anything so this was something bonding we could do together.

So, that was our fun week.

On a totally random note, I was thinking about clouds this week. Arizona gets monsoons in the summer. If you're not familiar with them, they're high-intensity, sudden-onset, usually evening-occurring, warm-weather electrical storms. They're almost like a mini-hurricane. They have really high winds, lots of thunder and lighting, and heavy-volume, fast-falling rain. I'd never experienced anything like one before moving to Arizona.

And monsoon rain comes from the most beautiful clouds you've ever seen. They're not like loose-formed cotton-candy clouds like the clouds of a regular day, and they're not heavy gray amoebas like regular rain clouds. They're like piles and piles of individual cotton balls, piled together in all sorts of shapes, with the most wonderful definition in them. And they pile into the sky as high as the eye can see and they just get bigger and bigger as the storm builds.

These are some photos I found on flickr but it's impossible to capture the true majesty of a monsoon cloud in a flat image. But this gives you an idea.

And I thought-how cool of God? I mean, as far as we're concerned, clouds could just be clouds, and we'd never know the difference. They could all do their different jobs but all look relatively the same, and we'd be none the wiser. But God, in His infinite creativity and display of His majesty, gave us these incredible works of arts that are just a pleasure and delight to feast our eyes upon. These ones are different than those ones, which are different than this third kind, and so on. Beauty is such a gift. And we only see through a glass darkly, now. Can you imagine the full, unobscured version?

I love that verse in Romans 1:30 that says,

Since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

Wow. I think the same thing about babies, or people in general. This baby has genetic siblings, who all look like each other, and this one will probably look like them too, and yet, they are each very different from each other too. It absolutely baffles me that God decided to make us each unique. There will never be another child who looks like this one, even though there have been billions upon billions of opportunities for repeat. God's creativity and tender-attention to each of us, and to all of His creation, just astounds me. I've been thankful for that reminder, courtesy of His monsoon clouds.

Anyway, I had a migraine earlier, and it did go away (thankfully), but I should go to bed lest I invite trouble back.

Nighty night!

ETA: I noticed a couple of you asked me about Cord Blood Banking. I meant to mention it in this post but forgot so I'll try to put my thoughts on it together in a post soon.

12 Weeks!

Almost through with the first trimester! I can't believe it! And, the countdown over there ---> rolled to under 200 days. That was pretty cool to pass, too.

Here's what's going on with baby at 12 weeks:

Even though your little Einstein’s body is still growing quite rapidly (it's 2 inches long right now), the overall super-speedy growth of their amazing brain continues to leave the head proportionately larger than the body— and is actually slightly more than one third of their total body mass! The head and neck are still straightening at this point as can be seen by their little chin lifting off of the chest. Your baby is also actively rehearsing “breathing” by using amniotic fluid to prepare the lungs for future air respiration.

The big news: your little pooper is now officially going to need diapers!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Weekend Checkin

Hi Folks,

First, I have to start with a funny story. I don't have the knack of telling it in a clever way, but if you imagine the visuals, it's funny.

Yesterday, mom and I were leaving a store and we found a man passed out drunk in the parking lot. We got him water, waited for emergency, etc. We were standing under a tree.

We got in the car and started to drive away and suddenly my chest hurt really bad (externally). It felt like something got trapped between the band of my bra (which is a little snug these days!) and the breast. I just thought something had fallen off the tree and right down my V-neck top and into my bra.

I pulled over to get it out, and when I reach in, I sliced my finger bad, right at the cuticle line (ouch!). The underwire had snapped and was stabbing me. It hadn't hurt like it usually does when that happens, so I'd exercised no caution at all in sticking my hand down there.

My hand is literally gushing. I sliced it at just the right angle that there was just a ton of blood, even though the injury itself was minor. I'm bleeding everywhere and my mom is frantically searching through her purse for something to wrap it with. It was too much blood for just a bandaid and I had no napkins or kleenex in the car, and we'd doused the towel I keep in the car in cold water and left it with the drunk man.

Finally, she remembers she has a maxi pad and we unfold that and wrap it around my finger and seal it with the bandaid.

It was throbbing pretty good and still bleeding something fierce so I'm trying to hold it up. I've got my elbow on the window sill and trying to keep my arm at a 90 degree angle, up. Problem is that I'm so tall that I couldn't hold my hand stretched without crashing into the roof of the car and to put my elbow down lower brought my hand too low down and didn't serve to elevate it above my heart. I go back and forth several times before I finally decide to crack the window at the top and slip my fingers out the top. Problem is that the maxi pad was so bulky that it separated that finger (the middle one) from all the others by a lot, so it just looked like I was driving down the freeway, flipping everyone off with a bloody maxipad :P

The good news (for us) is that there was a horrible, horrible 5 or 6 car accident on the freeway. Had the drunk man and the finger not delayed us, we very well could have been in the accident because it was in the lane I usually travel in, and occurred right about the time we would have been going through there had we left when we started to.

So, that's my story :D My dad and DH got a huge laugh at my expense last night.

Anyway....I swear I think my mother in law is going to disown me for all the uncouth stuff I post on this blog. She's so refined and polite. Sorry mom! :) (Just kidding--my mother in law is a wonderful woman! Good thing she is so polite, so she CAN'T disown me ;) :) )

My mom came up last weekend and caught me up on my cleaning again. Fortunately, I'd been too sick to really mess it up since the time before! Then this Friday my dad had to work here in our town, so she rode up with him and we spent the day playing. We went to Bab.iesR.Us and just walked around for 2 hours, looking at stuff and sort of getting an idea of what I like, what I might need, what stuff is ridiculous, etc. After two hours, we'd spent a grand total of... $6! :) We found these on clearance and I had to get them--I just giggled a lot. :D

We found some little socks with snowflakes and a little beret that will be so cute if baby's a girl, and if baby isn't, the hat was only $1. We were quite proud of ourselves for not going nuts, though we easily could have if we had known baby's gender.

It was so fun to just walk around and feel like I belonged there. I've tried to avoid baby stores in recent years, and when I've had to buy a baby gift, I shop at a department store or boxmart store, so the baby-ness is confined to one area, rather than a whole store. But yesterday I was able to go in and not feel like an impostor. It was so fun, and to do it with my mom added to it.

On the how-I'm-feeling front, I'm not convinced Reg.lan has done any good. I did go two days without vomiting, but I digestive issues. Then those died down some, and the vomiting started right back up again. It did decrease in frequency a little so I've been able to eat a little more, but I'm still not able to eat much that's nutritious, which continues to bother me. Fruit and vegetables seem to upset me more violently than anything else, followed by protein. Carbs and sugar are the only things that seem to stay put with any sort of regularity, which is a disaster for a pre-dia.betic. So, I'm going to try to give it a few more days, and then ask my doctor for something different. I'm trying to be reasonable with my expectations; the reality of it is that I can't expect to be completely sickness-free. Some sickness just goes with the territory. My priority right now is getting to the point where I can eat healthy food. So, we'll see what he says. For those of you who suggested Zo.fran; I do know about it, but it's like the 5th line of defense in my doctor's practice. He has you try the natural "home remedies" first, then the Uni.som/B6 combination, then the Reg.lan, then something else, and then if that doesn't work, Zo.fran after that. So I'm trying to follow what he thinks is best. We'll see what he says.

Thanks to all of you who left comments and sent me encouraging emails when I was wrestling so much. I can be such a fear and guilt driven person and I was really allowing that to trap me, so thank you for your encouragement and admonishment and prayers. I really do appreciate you knocking some sense into me.

DH is on another late-night "I think maybe I could keep this down, could you get some for me while I hang out in the bathroom" run to the store. He's so sweet. I know a lot of people complain that their husbands don't "get" it but this man totally does. I'm not surprised; he's always been one of the sweetest, most patient, generous people I know. But this pregnancy, he's just going above and beyond the call of duty. If I don't quite get to the bathroom before I'm sick, he cleans up after me. He brings me whatever I need or want. He caresses my back and snuggles me when I feel lousy. He rubs my feet if they hurt. He's gracious to me when I feel like all I can do is lie in bed. He makes endless trips to restaurants and grocery stores when I think of something that sounds like it won't make me sick. He goes to all my doctor's appointments with me. He kisses baby goodnight. He works his tail off for us. He really is the most wonderful man. I feel like such a mooch, but he keeps telling me I'm doing the hard part. Even his attitude is wonderful.

Speaking of wonderful, he surprised me today with the information that he'd earned enough extra money this month for us to pay off the last of our debt. We're now consumer-debt free and all that remains is my student loan and our mortgage. We've been living on a pretty frugal budget since January, trying to pay off a pretty substantial debt. We implemented a lot of things we learned from reading Dave Ramsey (though we don't agree with everything he says), and those things, and us both buckling down on both our spending and our earning (me more when I was working two jobs and not pregnant), and that allowed us to have our transfer (that resulted in this pregnancy) much sooner, and pay off this debt. God has been really generous in providing for us. While I've contributed from the money management/decrease spending issue, from since I quit my second job, the final payoff has really been completely DH's doing. He's been working so hard for us, and when you factor in that it's 115 out and he has an outside job, it's just pretty incredible. I truly couldn't have asked for a better husband. He shows Jesus to me in so many ways.

Having the last of the debt gone makes me rest a little easier about upcoming baby expenses. Our medical insurance premiums are going up again in price, as are our out-of-pocket costs for copays and deductibles. Plus, we committed to the Genetic Parents that we'd bank baby's cord blood (one of their non-negotiables), which is pretty expensive, and then baby's going to need things like diapers and a place to sleep! We could have managed before, but I definitely feel like we have more breathing room, now, especially since we don't know how my remaining job will work out after baby comes, if at all (we intend for me to be primarily stay-at-home, but my job is only 15 hours a week, so we'll see if it works out to keep it).

So that's the update from us. How are all of you?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Raising the White Flag

My nausea and vomiting went away for about a week last week, then came back on Saturday, just as strong as ever. The frequency at which I'm sick seems to be increasing, rather than decreasing. I still have not gained any weight, and have stayed at the 6 pounds lost since the transfer date (thankfully I did stop losing). Last night I was supposed to take care of the kids and I ended up lying down in one of their rooms while DH did everything (on that note, he's going to SO good with our kids). I was so violently ill that I think I scared Skyler. He kept coming up to me the rest of the night and holding up my cup and putting the straw to my mouth and saying "drink more water Doodah." Then he asked for some Cheerios, so I gave him some, and then he said "you have some cheerios Doodah. Still sick Doodah?" When a 3 year old is taking care of me, rather than the other way around, I know it's time to throw in the towel. When I woke up this morning and was sick before I even got out of bed, I said, "enough is enough."

I had tried every natural method, and I'd tried the B6/Uni.som combination and had no luck. My diet consists mainly of bread, yogurt, and popsicles. I'm almost completely through this trimester, and I'm not able to nourish myself or baby, or exercise, or take my vitamins, or sleep well. I decided all of that was more detrimental than the potential side effects of drugs that are generally considered to be safe, because bad nutrition has definite side-effects; medications are only maybes.

So I called the doctor this morning and asked for help. I had been praying that I'd be able to get through this without a prescription because honestly, while I trust my doctor implicitly, taking anything makes me very, very nervous. He prescribed Re.glan, which is like the first line option after the B6/Uni.som so it's still pretty mild. I'm really praying that this does it, because for my own peace of mind, I'd really love to avoid taking anything stronger. I'd love your prayers in to that end!

The medicine is supposed to make me really drowsy, so I'd also love prayers that I can regain some sort of normalcy, even in the midst of the drowsiness. Drowsy has still got to be better than the other stuff.

Honestly, I feel like such a wimp. I struggled so long with this--I wanted to be pregnant for so long and now I feel like I can't take it! I've never ever thought that about anyone else who has needed medical help, so I don't know why I'm putting so much pressure on myself, but I am. Guess it's my first case of "mommy guilt." I guess I feel sort of obligated to suck it up and tough it out, since I asked for this. I kept telling myself that women have dealt with NVP for centuries with no help. My best friend pointed out that women also died in their 30s, so just because things were a certain way before, they weren't necessarily better, simply because they were more primitive. Another friend pointed out that if I lived centuries ago, I wouldn't even be pregnant, so why get down on modern medicine, now? They both have a point :D

So anyway, I'm about to take dose 2, and I'm just praying for physical, emotional and spiritual peace. I don't know why it's stressing me out as much as it is. But I have to keep telling myself that this has to be better than the alternative.

On a fun note, I got a diaper bag, today.

This website I go to, Baby Half Off, which is like for baby stuff, featured these bags for half price, recently, which made them only about $10 more than a basic bag at Tar.get or something. It arrived today-I'm so excited. Even though we don't know if baby is a boy or a girl, I figured that I'm the one carrying the bag, and I'm a girl, so I could go with the pink! :) It's so cute and I think it will be functional (I love the drawer and all the pockets) and it was so fun to officially buy something for baby! It's the little things, I guess!

Anyway, off to take dose 2 and lie down. Thanks for your prayers!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

So in love

Today was my first "real" OB visit. For some reason, my doctor's office doesn't chart you as OB until 11-12 weeks. So even though I've seen him weekly, they've all been GYN visits, so they've done the ultrasounds and not much else. But today they had to actually log me in as a pregnant person, which meant all sorts of fun blood draws, a TB test, my annual exam, some more poking and prodding, all the exciting stuff. Word to the wise-make sure you're well hydrated! I refused all the STD tests (DH and I were chaste until marriage and have been faithful to each other since so we saw no need, and some of them were already done because of FDA requirements for EA and nothing's changed since then), so that cut down on two vials, but they still drew 3 or 4 vials.

But having another peek at baby made it all worth it. He wasn't able to find the heartbeat by doppler, which he had told me was likely due to my weight and the fact that baby is hanging out way at the back of my uterus, so he did another ultrasound (can't you hear the disappointment in my voice? ;) )

I didn't think it was possible to fall more in love, but we did. (S)he was moving around so much. (S)he was waving and kicking and wiggling as if to say "Hello out there! Hi Mom and Dad!" We saw a hand that actually looked like a hand, and we saw the beginnings of his/her little facial profile, including the little eye sockets and little nose. The doctor just left it on and let us admire him/her for a couple minutes. It was so precious. I really wished we had a video of today's ultrasound. I'm definitely buying a video camera in the next several weeks to take to our big one. He did confirm that I'll have a level 2 ultrasound at 19-20 weeks, which he said will be very detailed and long, so we'll get a nice long view at him/her then, but probably nothing between now and then (unless she decides to cause more drama-no thank you, baby!)

Without further ado: (Head is on right and (s)he is sitting in a reclined position)

Monday, July 12, 2010

11 Weeks!

We've hit 11 weeks. I can't believe it, but we're almost out of the first trimester! Here's what's happening:

Maybe you’ve noticed… your baby is a super-duper grower! Your lil' fetus will be gaining a substantial amount of weight this week and has already achieved fruit-size-status comparable to a plum. What's more, your little scientist is already starting to explore their body, focusing most intently on touching their head, and especially their face and mouth. Their mouth in particular will provide them with hours of entertainment. This happens not only because your baby is gaining coordination, and is therefore able to move a hand on command, but also because their palms have gained sensation and can actually “feel” what it touches. They're also developing their swallow reflex this week. And lastly, your baby's smelling and other olfactory senses will begin developing this week, which when combined with the maturing taste buds, will provide your baby with their first experiences of taste and smell.

I'm feeling better, little by little. I went off the hormones on Saturday, which was a little nerve wracking, but also welcome. I felt so significantly better when the dose was cut in half, that I'm hoping I'll feel that much better again when this gets itself out of my system.

I was with the kids tonight, and the following conversation ensued between Skyler and I. I had a really sour stomach today, and I've found that a little bit of pop soothes it.

Their neighbor lady always lets the kids come over and have candy and pop. This doesn't make their mom very happy and the kids are sick pretty often. She pretty firmly believes that their immunity is tied to their sugar intake, so she's been telling them this week they can't have pop all the time because it will make them sick.

So I picked them up today and Skyler (3) saw that I had a pop. He asked me "Doodah, why you have pop? It makes you sick." (Side note, he calls me Doodah, because one day, he heard my DH say "Dude" and it was just when he was learning to talk, so he repeated the word, and DH said it back, and back and forth, and finally he decided to call DH Dude. So the friends tried to teach him to say "Dudette" for me. But it came out Doodah (as in Zippity). So cute.

Anyway, I told him that I had a baby in my tummy and the baby was making me sick and the pop helped me feel better.

Him: There's a baby in your mouth?
Me: No, there's a baby in my tummy.
Him: There's a baby in your tummy? How did THAT happen?
Me: God put the baby there.
Him: No, I think Lewis did!

Who knew the dog had a day job as the stork. Maybe that's why he's so tired all the time! :D

Fortunately, by then, we were laughing so hard that Skyler became pleased with his own apparent humor, and dropped the subject.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

10 Weeks and a Book Recommendation

I'm awe that God has brought us to double-digit weeks! Here's what's going on with baby at 10 weeks:

Your astonishingly tiny baby has been hard at work growing as fast as possible—almost doubling in size in the past three weeks! Amazingly, you’re in for a repeat size doubling performance within the next three weeks! Your tiny champion still weighs less than a quarter of an ounce but has already completed the most critical stage of their development. Using Doppler technology, your doctor or gynecologist can let you hear their tiny rapid fetal heartbeats this week (145-165 beats per minute!). Chances for miscarriage are greatly reduced when the heartbeat can be detected, so take a sigh of relief if you’ve been needing one—it hasn’t been an easy ten weeks! What’s more, they’re getting ready to make their first baby poop! Your little one’s major organ systems are developing, including a functioning digestive tract capable of moving food all the way through their bowels. The final shiny gold star on their fetal behavior chart for the week: your little scrapper has already developed defense mechanisms to protect them on reflex!

and my IPOD App says this:

This week your baby is officially considered a foetus, which means "little one." Vital organs are formed and are starting to work together. Your baby is now aw big as a prune. Tiny toes have formed. External genitalia is beginning to differentiate. External ears are formed, as is the upper lip. The biggest accomplishment this week is the disappearance of the tail!

I also have a book recommendation:

Expecting: Praying for Your Child's Development-Body and Soul is a devotional that walks you through what is happening with your child's physical development, and then includes a devotional on praying for that specific trait, both physically and spiritually.

For example, this week's entry focused on the upper lip. And the devotional included suggestions to pray for your child's facial development and for her self-esteem, that she would always see herself as beautiful in God's sight. It then guided the reader through a devotional and prayer that your child would always use her mouth to speak the words of the Lord, to speak praise and love to people, and to refrain from unkind and unclean talk. In another section where it talked about ears and eyes, she suggested praying that your child would hear the Lord, and see people as Jesus sees them. In the week on the formation of the brain, she suggests that you pray that your child would use her mind, whatever its capacity, to the best of her abilities, and that she would have the mind of Christ.

There's also a devotional for the mom to pray for HER growing body changes, too. When it talks about your growing womb that protects your baby, it teaches you to pray about protecting your child all the days of her life.

I've really enjoyed it and it's really helped me pray for our baby more specifically. The chapters are short (3-4 pages) and it's just one chapter per week. There's also a space at the end of each chapter to journal. It's just a really neat little book and if you're pregnant or know someone who is, I would recommend it.

I will put a disclaimer here and say that I've only read 1/4 of it because I don't want to read ahead, so forgive me if the book suddenly goes sour, but I really don't think it will.

On the other hand, I do NOT recommend this book: Praying Through Your Pregnancy: An Inspirational Week-by-Week Guide for Moms-to-Be. I'm equally as far through this book (through 10 weeks) and my major complaint with it is that it's very "name it and claim it," which readers know from past reviews, is a theology I have a huge problem with. She claims a right to a quick ability to get pregnant, an easy, complication-free pregnancy, and a perfectly-formed child. While I'm sure we all would love these things, and want them, it's not something I see scriptural evidence that we're entitled to, and anecdotal evidence from the lives of many Christians demonstrates that God doesn't always work that way. My IF friends will also have a hard time because she spends the first few chapters talking about her "difficulty to get pregnant," which means, it took her 4 months. Definitely take a pass on this book.

I have to be at work in 40 minutes so I need to sign off! But definitely check out that first book if you can!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Hi Everyone,

Well, my friend says this one must be a girl because she's given us nothing but drama.

Everything was fine. Heartrate was fine, growth was fine, and today, we could even recognize her features (head on left, arm sticking up in the middle, foot on right)

Ironically enough Lewis sleeps the same way ;)

He had no explanation for the bleeding. He could tell it wasn't related to the friable issue. His best guess was perhaps the placenta separated a little (from what, I don't know) and the cervix opened to let that blood out, but he said today everything was shut tight the way it should be. But even at that, the cause was just a guess-it was just some kind of freak thing, but it had no lasting effects on baby.

Thank you for your prayers. It's been an emotionally exhausting several days, so we're off to go rest.

Not doing quite so well today

I'm having a little trouble keeping my thoughts in check today. I think I'm just not ready to deal with the fact that today's appointment could be very final in nature. So, I'd really appreciate your prayers for my heart and mind. Please do also pray that he can fit me in today so that we don't have to continue to wait. He doesn't even open until noon so we won't know for a few more hours if he can even see us. Thank you...

Monday, July 5, 2010

Rough Day

Yesterday was a positively rotten day, but in the rottenness, God's glory really shined.

It started out harmlessly enough. We went to church and my friend pulled me into a room and said she had to talk to me. She told me she has breast cancer. Then, during the Sunday school hour, so many of our church family members shared truly heartbreaking, life changing, serious prayer requests. Several people are dying, another woman was rushed to the hospital during church yesterday, others are facing other types of loss. It was just lousy for everyone! And I was already upset about Mike (news is not good), and the floodgates just opened. I cried, and cried, and cried, and so did several other women in the room. Then Mike and Krista arrived, and he was looking terrible, and she gave me more of an update, and the whole thing stunk.

It was M&K's anniversary, so we took the kids to lunch so they could go to lunch together alone. And it was so wonderful. I love those kids more than life itself, but yesterday, the time was even more enjoyable than usual. They were just sweet and snuggly and cuddly and we just had a nice time with them. Little kid hugs are the best medicine. Then we brought them back to the house and when Mike and Krista came home from lunch, we just sat around visiting for hours. It was wonderful. Mike was actually himself (rare these days), Krista was relaxed (also rare!) and we just enjoyed rich fellowship. It was so fruitful, and precious. They're in for a rough week this week as he has another surgery, so it was really great to just have some quality time with them. Then the kids woke up and we spent time playing and giggling and it was so nice.

Krista shared something she's been learning. We spend so much of our prayer life and spiritual activities on the physical world and not a lot on the spiritual world. But even when Christ was on earth, He ruled the spiritual, not the physical. So while our first instinct is to pray for Mike's healing, they've been praying for their peace. That really challenged me a lot. And was very timely...

DH and I left their house and stopped on the way home from dinner. I used the ladies' room and everything was fine. We had a nice, quick meal. 45 minutes later, when we got home, I used the bathroom and found that I was bleeding everywhere. It was a ton more than I had bled previously with this pregnancy, and way more than the doctor had told me was safe and acceptable. I bled for about an hour constantly, and was convinced that miscarriage #2 had started. I sent a quick text message to a couple of prayer warrior friends, and I posted a prayer request online with some other friends, and DH and I started praying.

And God was so good in directing our prayers. He guided us to pray for our peace, and for His will, and THEN for our baby. As I prayed He gave me the courage to tell Him that I would accept whatever was in store for us that night. He keeps teaching me again and again that He KNOWS our heart's desire, and what we need to be focused on is aligning that desire with His will, not telling Him the obvious. I cried some more and then we just left it alone. I talked to the doctor on call, who said there was nothing we could do but wait and see.

I couldn't help but think about how timely the conversation with Krista had been.

But miraculously, by the end of the next hour, the blood flow had stopped and and reduced to spotting. By the time we'd gone to bed, even that had stopped. I don't think the timing was coincidental; I believe that was God intervening for us. When I woke up this morning, I was back to feeling completely normal, with no signs of the issues from last night.

My doctor's office is closed today, so I really could do nothing but wait and pray. And He's given me a peace that could only come from Him. We really don't know if everything is ok. The amount of blood I lost was a lot for pregnancy and way over the amount the doctor had told me to be concerned about if I saw, but it was less than I lost with my miscarriage.

A friend is an OB in another state and she checked on me this morning. She said that given the sudden onset, the high volume relative to the time, and the quick stop, she thinks it could have been some sort of placental hemorrhage or bruise, both of which I guess can be perfectly normal. Especially given the emotional stress of the day, and the activity of lifting the kids and such, I may have just provoked something, or it could have had nothing to do with those things, but how tired I was could have made it freak me out more than it might have another time. It wasn't enough blood to have been a complete miscarriage, and if it was just the start of a miscarriage, she said I likely would have started bleeding again by now. So she said there's a really strong possibility that everything is fine.

I will call my OB tomorrow but I was really dreading waiting through today and God was really gracious in passing the time quickly and restfully. What's done is already done and all we can do is wait, and He's been carrying our worry for us.

Thank you to everyone who prayed and who will keep praying. Obviously, I have a preference as to the outcome. It was a rough day, but God's mercies were overwhelming and we saw His strength in our weakness. We are praying for good news tomorrow, but more than that, we are continuing to seek His will for us and for our baby. We'd love for you to join us in those prayers, and also in prayer for our friends with the cancer issues.

Love to you all...

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Generosity of Friends

This baby is already SO loved. And I love that so much.

People have been lining up to bless us with their generosity. Between a combination of hand-me-downs and presents, this baby is already sitting pretty!

Mike and Krista have given us boxes and boxes of clothes that their kids have outgrown. They also gave us their Pack-N-Play (and it's a really cute one, too!), bouncer and glider rocker with ottoman. An old friend gave us their bassinet. I hung out with another friend yesterday, who gave us her baby monitor, a white noise machine, and very nice nursing pillow. Still another friend offered us her breast pump when she's done and gave us a huge stash of Tot-Locks (child-proofing locks for cabinet doors). Those are several huge purchases we won't have to make.

We've begun to receive gifts, too! A friend of my mother in law mailed us a beautiful little sleeping gown and picture frame. When we were pregnant before, my sister in law gave us some darling little clothes and a blanket that are still waiting to be used. If baby's a girl, we've got a beautiful dress waiting for it that my mom bought, and another beautiful dress from a blog reader. Another friend has already emailed to say that she and her daughter are going to crochet us a blanket when we know if it's a girl or a boy and still another friend is making us booties. Still another friend made us clips that can make anything at all into a nursing cover. My friend Henrietta crocheted us this adorable little elephant. Isn't it darling?

And my brother and his girlfriend bought us these cute little slippers a long time ago and believed that they'd get to give them to us one day

We're just overwhelmed! We didn't expect any of this and we have been so surprised. While the gifts are nice, what really blesses us is the knowledge that this baby is already loved and prayed for by so many. That's the best gift anyone could give us--thank you so much for knocking our socks off with your generosity of love and spirit!

On a side note, there's a distinct possibility that the heartrate I posted the other day is in fact, my own. Someone listened to it and commented that it's too slow to be a fetal heartrate. Sure enough, when I counted, it was almost 75 bpm less than what the doctor counted two days earlier. I feel a little sheepish!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Product Recommendation

Heather mentioned to me that she'd found an inexpensive at-home doppler for listening to the baby's heartbeat. When she told me the price, I couldn't believe the thing would actually work, but she played her baby's heartbeat for me and the recording sounded great.

So, I ordered one. A lot of the reviews I read said that it was a great way for DH to bond with baby, especially this early on, since he won't get to actually feel anything until this is almost halfway over.

So I ordered one. This thing is awesome!

This is the specific product:

I was also prepared for it to not work yet, as I'm only 9.5 weeks along and I'm overweight.

I also bought this gel.

This thing is awesome! My gel got shipped somewhere else by mistake yesterday, so yesterday I just used a gel I had here (the reviews say you can use anything, even water), and it didn't work. But the regular gel came today, I applied it generously, and I was able to find baby's heartbeat, multiple times.

The doppler comes with everything you need, except the gel. It comes with a battery, a set of headphones, a jack to plug it into your computer if you want to record, and two blank mini cds. The doppler has a second jack on it so you can add a second pair of headphones for your DH to listen.

I just downloaded free sound recorder and I was able to record the sound as an mp3.

It was so cool to just hang out today, listening to baby I checked with my doctor and he said it's perfectly safe for use. Heather said the info she found was that it emits about the same amount of waves as an FM radio.

Just thought I'd pass it on in case anyone else was interested! DH and I sat and enjoyed listening to it together and then I was able to send the mp3 to the grandparents.

Here is the recording, if you care. :) Then I sent it to my cell phone so I can take it with me :)