"When a soul recognises the will of God and shows a readiness to submit to it entirely, then God gives Himself to such a soul and renders it most powerful succour under all circumstances." - Rev. Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 in Pictures

This was quite an event-filled year for us - our first with Marley (since we got her for Christmas last year), we fostered Bamm Bamm and Peanut, we welcomed another nephew into the world, went on a couple vacations, and now we're expecting a baby of our own. Unfortunately, some of our best pictures from this year include Bamm Bamm and Peanut, so I can't post those...but hopefully the ones you do get to see will be a pretty accurate description of our exciting year.
 Seriously, could she be any cuter??
At the Strawberry Festival
 New Orleans Hornets game
Max and Marley are so cute together 
 And I'm very thankful that Marley is good with kids :)
 My loves :)
 Ziplining in Branson
Peanut's birthday party
 Our nephew! Dominic 
 Logan is a proud godfather :)
 Dominic with his parents and godparents
 Goofing off on the beach in Hilton Head, South Carolina
 Hilton Head Island
 Max loves his little brother!
 Our baby :)
 My parents' dog likes to take Marley's bed when they visit
It's been a great year - can't wait for 2012! Happy New Year everybody!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Our little saint in heaven

I'm pleased to report that Logan and I survived on Thursday. Logan was extra paranoid that something was going to happen with this pregnancy, and I did have my tearful moment when looking at Levi's pictures and ultrasounds, but overall, it was a good day. Thanks to everyone for their thoughts and prayers.

I'm realizing that it'll always be a bittersweet day, because as much as we wish Levi were here with us, we know he's in heaven - which is just so much better. I thought being pregnant this year would make things easier, but it really didn't. We are beyond thankful to still have this baby with us, but it doesn't change the fact that we didn't get to see our first baby grow up. And it scares the heck out of me to think that we might not get to see this second baby grow up either. I know things are looking much better this time around, and I'm grateful...but anybody who has lost a baby will tell you that the possibility of losing another is always on their mind. Maybe that will change once we have a successful pregnancy...but what won't change is how much we miss our son.

It'll never cease to amaze me how much I miss a baby that I carried for just 5 months. I'm already in love with this baby too, and it's only been 3 months. I don't know what we're going to do when we get to hold a healthy baby in our arms. It makes me teary-eyed just thinking about it.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

We'll never forget

Logan and I had a really enjoyable Christmas. But I'm not going to lie, we both couldn't help but think about 2 years ago. I was pregnant with Levi, we had a wonderful 1st Christmas together as a married couple, and it was so exciting to think that the following year we'd get to celebrate the holidays with a baby.

Never in a million years did we think 4 days later, we'd be in the hospital, holding our son and having to let him go. I still can't even think about it without getting emotional.

Here we are, 2 years later, and things are feeling eerily similar. I'm pregnant again (15 weeks this time as opposed to 22 weeks last time), we celebrated Christmas at home just like last time, and heck, even the New Orleans Saints are having a similar season as they did 2 years ago - NFC South Champs, and assuming they win on Sunday, they'll have the same record. Hopefully they'll win another Superbowl too. :)

Let's just pray the big difference is that I'm not in the hospital until June, this time with a much better outcome. We're trying not to think about it, but it's hard not to with all the similarities. I really miss Levi -always will - but we feel abundantly blessed to have this baby with us now. If there's anything we learned from losing Levi, it's to enjoy the time you have with what you've been given.

1 Corinthians 7:24- In whatever condition you were called, brothers and sisters, there remain with God.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Week 14

Yesterday I saw Dr. C (high-risk doctor) for the first time since the cerclage. Although my cervix is actually dilated 3mm (not cm, whew), the stitches should prevent it from opening any more. Dr. C said everything looked good, so I'm fine with that. For the next 2 weeks, I have to take progesterone pills everyday, and then I'll start taking those fun progesterone shots. I'm not sure how that's going to go along with work, since I need to go to Dr. C's office every week just to get a shot. Not the most convenient thing in the world, but I'll do what I have to.

Oh, and I actually thought to ask what the progesterone was for exactly, and it's supposed to help my cervix. Once she saw that my cervix was slightly open, Dr. C said I needed the shots. They don't work until 16 weeks or so, which is why I'm taking the pills until then. Just in case you wanted to know. ;)

I saw Dr. H afterwards, as I always do, and I'll see him again in 2 weeks after my first progesterone shot. I won't see Dr. C for another 4 weeks, even though I'll be going to her office a couple times before that. But that's totally fine by me, because it must mean things are looking good so she doesn't need to see me as often.

Now for the fun part! Ultrasound pictures. :)

The first one isn't the best shot, because the baby was laying sideways or something.
The next one makes me laugh (other than the fact that the baby looks like an alien), because the hands are behind the head while the baby was sleeping. Talk about relaxing all cool!
And this one is my favorite, because it's 4D and you can see the features more. My little baby :)
I'm thrilled that things are looking good, and I'm also thrilled that my morning sickness is FINALLY easing up. Just in time for Christmas, which is what I was hoping for!

Monday, December 19, 2011

So blessed!

Dr. H checked my cervix this morning, and it's closed and the stitches are intact. He said he's glad we did the cerclage, and after my exam, he said he's happy. So I'm happy too. :) We also heard the baby's heartbeat, which of course is my favorite part. Dr. H didn't want to do an ultrasound today since I see Dr. C on Wednesday and she's going to do one then.

I was actually able to go to work after my appointment, and I have to say I was totally overwhelmed with the number of people who said they've been praying like crazy for me and my baby, and that they will continue to pray. I have the best coworkers ever.

Dr. H did say to avoid prolonged standing and lifting, and I still need to take it easy. Logan has already decided that I'll be on bedrest when I get off work each day. But that doesn't surprise me. ;)

God is so, so good. Thanks again for all of your prayers and words of encouragement!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Ultrasound pictures! Finally

I'm getting close to the 14 week mark, and these are from 11 weeks and 12 weeks. They're the most updated pictures I have though, since they didn't do an ultrasound at the hospital on Monday. First up is our baby at 11 weeks!
Dr. C gave me this next one in 4D (also 11 weeks) once she put me on bed rest so I would be motivated by looking at my "gummy bear." I thought that was pretty funny, since our baby does look like a gummy bear at this point. Still cute, though.
And this last one is from my 12 week appointment. The baby was moving all over the place, which was pretty cool.
Although it is a bit inconvenient to see my doctors every week or two (well, when I'm working anyway), I do have to say it's pretty awesome to see my baby via ultrasound this often. I love seeing how much difference there is week to week! Go back and look at week 6 and week 9 and you'll know what I mean. :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Waiting with God

My follow-up with Dr. H was scheduled for this afternoon, and I was planning to go back to work on Monday. Well. My doctor is out sick today, so I had to reschedule my appointment for Monday.

I know there are worse things in life, but man...I'm pretty bummed. Not only am I anxious to see if everything is okay (you get addicted to hearing a baby's heartbeat, not going to lie), I am also so ready to get out of this house. And I was looking forward to going back to work since next week is a short week because of Christmas.

I'm trying to enjoy this time, because I'm pretty sure it's going to be the most peaceful time in my life for quite awhile, but some days it's hard. I can't clean, exercise, or do much of anything (doctor's orders), so laying down all day makes me feel pretty unproductive.

It's going to be so worth it in the end, I know. And I've been trying to remind myself of something I read a couple of days ago...that we need to wait with God and not wait for God. There's a big difference...

2 Samuel 22:31- God’s way is unerring; the LORD’s promise is tried and true; he is a shield for all who trust in him.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Yeahhh, second trimester

We're home now, and boy, I am so thankful that it's over. I don't remember the last time I got that nervous for something.

Right before the cerclage, Dr. H checked my cervix and said there was a lot left and that it was a good thing. There weren't any problems with the procedure itself. Honestly, the worst part about the whole thing was getting the spinal anesthesia, which is similar to an epidural. First off, it hurt, and second, I didn't like not being able to feel or move my legs for a few hours. So, so weird.

I was told to expect a little bleeding and cramping the next couple of days, which is pretty nerve-wracking because those are the same symptoms for a miscarriage. But I am very relieved to report that I really haven't had to deal with that. Some women have it and others don't, so I'm one of the lucky ones. Thank you, Jesus.

This week Dr. H told me to take it easy, and I have an appointment with him on Friday to make sure everything looks good before I go back to work. I guess you can say I'm on a modified bed rest, because although I still need to stay off my feet for the most part, I can still walk around the house if I need to. Logan has banned me from doing certain things, though, like walking up the stairs. I haven't seen my bedroom in almost 2 weeks, and it doesn't look like it'll happen soon. I sure do miss my bed.

While at the hospital, I got a progesterone shot, and Dr. H said I'm a candidate to get the shots weekly once I'm 15 or 16 weeks. I didn't ask what they were for -silly me - but after doing some research, it looks like the prosterone is supposed to keep me from going into premature labor. Whatever works, I guess - it just stinks because the shots are given in your bottom, and I'm still very sore from the shot yesterday. Like, I have trouble walking. TMI, I know...sorry. But at least now you can pray for me and my sore butt, because I would love to be able to walk like a normal person again.

I think that's enough details for one day, don't you think? ;)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Irony and success

My cerclage went well! We're still at the hospital, so details will come later, but I just wanted to let everyone know things are good. Dr. H should be coming by in a little bit to talk, and hopefully we'll be heading home before it gets too late.

Let me just say that irony seems to be a frequent part of Logan's and my life together. Because we are most definitely in the same exact room we were in 2 years ago. AND we have the same nurse (who totally remembered us, by the way). WHAT ARE THE ODDS?

We can't really complain, though, because our nurse is really good, and it was actually pretty cool already knowing her and having her know our history.

Thank you again for all the prayers. We love you all!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Yes, I'm nervous

65 hours until my cerclage. Yes, my husband is special since he put yet another countdown on his phone. I do love him though. :)

I know I'm a nurse and everything, but thinking about the cerclage is starting to make me nervous. There's only two times (that I remember) where I was actually a patient in the hospital, and not a nurse or visitor. First time it was a quick ER trip for stitches (on Christmas day, I might add), and of course the other time was when we lost Levi. On Monday I'll be on the same unit as we were almost 2 years ago, since the procedure is done in Labor & Delivery. Maybe that's a good thing, so we can get all our negative feelings about the place out of the way. I don't know.

Dr. H said I'll be getting spinal anesthesia for the cerclage, which I'm not all excited about. But I suppose that's a small price to pay for a potentially life-saving procedure for my baby. It always goes back to that...that anything I have to go through is worth it for this little life inside me. Totally puts things into perspective.

1 Peter 3:17- For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that be the will of God, than for doing evil.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I have good doctors. Just saying.

So, my appointments went rather well. They always do an ultrasound when I go to Dr. C's office, since high-risk doctors keep a close eye on the cervix. My cervix actually looked a little better (or so Dr. C said, it looked the same to me), but I still need a cerclage. It's a little nerve-wracking, since she told me my cervix tries to open every time I bear down. But the good news is that things haven't gotten any worse. Praise God.

Dr. H is doing my cerclage on Monday, and he's pretty optimistic about it. I just have to say that there is a chance that it won't work, but after he explained the procedure in detail, I felt better. I honestly think the worst part about it is that I have to fast after midnight the night before. That wouldn't be so bad if the procedure was scheduled in the morning...but of course it's in the middle of the day. And heck, I'm pregnant. Plus I still have the whole nausea thing going on, and if I go too long without eating, welllll...it's not pretty. But I guess in the big scheme of things, I shouldn't complain.

As of now, it looks like I'll be off bed rest after the cerclage is done. Dr. C even thinks going back to work will be okay, as long as I take it easy and sit down a lot. Thankfully I don't have a typical nursing job that requires me to be on my feet 12 hours a day. Gotta love working in a school. :)

Oh, and the baby is doing great and was totally moving all over the place. Maybe I can get Logan to post the ultrasound pictures...

Thank you all so very much for the prayers. Please also say a prayer for 2 women I know who've lost babies in the last few days. It just breaks my heart, since I know how devastating it is to lose a baby. And it's also pretty scary since both of these women had due dates in June like me.

Isaiah 55:8-9- For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor or your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tomorrow is only a day away

Oh, I hope tomorrow gets here soon. My nerves are getting worse the closer it gets, since last time I went to the doctor my world was rocked. At least this time I'm not going to the appointment alone- my mom has been here for a few days and is going with me. Whew.

Today makes 12 weeks in my pregnancy. Last time I was pregnant I breathed a sigh of relief at this point, since I know the chances of miscarriage go way down.

Needless to say, I'm not sighing with relief this time around. I probably won't be doing that with any pregnancy now until I'm actually holding a healthy baby in my arms. It kind of stinks to think about how I'll probably never have a normal pregnancy, but then I think about how some women aren't ever able to get pregnant. So I definitely know I'm blessed. It just goes to show you how everyone has their own thing to struggle with in life.

Romans 8:28-We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Another daily update (I have too much time on my hands)

Dr.H called me first thing this morning- he was out of town all weekend. He thinks it's a good thing that we know that I need a cerclage now, since there was a lot of back and forth about it. I'm going to see him after I see Dr.C on Wednesday, and we'll probably schedule the cerclage then. Dr. H thinks we'll probably do the procedure on Friday or next Monday.

I wish I could see what my cervix looks like now, since I'm slightly paranoid that things could have gotten worse. It's hard not to be paranoid, with all the different things I've been feeling down there. That's part of pregnancy to begin with, but having this cervix issue makes me over-analyze every little twinge and cramp.

46 more hours until I see the doctor. Logan must be rubbing off on me.

Psalm 62:8-Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

My brain needs an off/on switch

64 hours until my next doctor appointment. Logan thinks having a countdown will make time go by more quickly. I'm not so sure it works like that...

I have to say that the first two days of bed rest are the worst. There are still several moments where I feel like I'm going crazy, but trying to keep busy is helpful. I think I'll be catching up on some reading.

It is very hard not to think too far in the future. Will I make it to the cerclage? Will the cerclage work? Is this whole bed rest thing going to last longer than another week or two? HOW IS THIS ALL GOING TO END?

Oh, how I would love to turn off my brain sometimes.

It's depressing to be in the season of Advent, my favorite, and not able to go to mass. I nearly lost it this morning because I was trying to watch mass online, and it wouldn't work. SO FRUSTRATING.

All things considering, I guess you could say I'm doing alright. God gives us the grace we need, when we need it.

Romans 8:25- But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Friday, December 2, 2011

It's a good thing this dog is cute

I think God wants me to work on the whole humility thing. Because I'm having to rely on other people to do pretty much everything. I'm very fortunate, though, to be surrounded with many wonderful people who are willing to bring me food and pray for our baby. Thank you, Jesus.

We've been leaving Marley in her kennel whenever I'm home by myself since I can't chase her around or let her outside. And I seriously think that it's one of the worst things about being on bed rest- I have to listen to her whimper all day because she knows I'm home. Poor puppy.

Due to Marley's frequent "imprisonment", I let her lay down with me while Logan ran a couple of errands. Everything was going really well, since she fell asleep. Then she randomly woke up and started heaving, which happens when she's about to throw up. I didn't know what to do, since I can't do any heavy lifting and wasn't about to push my 25-pound dog to the floor. I managed to put a blanket under her mouth as she threw up, but somehow I still ended up with dog puke on my hand, arm, and pillow.

Not exactly the best scenario for someone who isn't supposed to be moving. And can you believe Marley just curled up and fell back asleep on the puke-covered blanket? So I got to lay there for 20 more minutes until Logan got home to rescue me.

Did I mention that I think God is teaching me humility?

Well, the good news is that Logan came home with my early Christmas present...a Kindle Fire! It's so, so cool. And I'm actually using it now. :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Bed rest = insanity

It's only been one day, and I'm already losing my mind. But thankfully I have a very, very good reason for being stuck in bed all day. Dr. C even gave me a 4D ultrasound picture to look at for motivation, which is awesome, but it totally makes me cry when I look at it. I really want this baby to make it.

Now that I'm past the initial shock of the whole situation (yeah, yesterday morning was rough), I just want to share a few more details about the appointment. Dr. C also said that my placenta is over my cervix - AKA placenta previa - and that if my cervix keeps opening, I'll lose the baby. And that statement right there made me lose it because all I could think about was how we lost Levi and how I really, really don't want to go through that again.

But that's where faith comes in. God is giving Logan and myself the opportunity to cling to Him, and He's giving me all the time in the world to spend with Him. [One of the first things Logan told me when I was put on bed rest was, "You get to spend more time with Jesus. Lucky."] And I'm praying that I will be at peace with whatever happens, because ultimately God has reasons for why we're going through this.

I'm just trying to stay positive (key word is trying). Can you tell? ;)

People have been asking why we have to wait to put in the cerclage, and the reason is that the baby needs to be fully formed, which isn't until the 2nd trimester. Plus they want to make sure I don't have a natural miscarriage that can happen in the 1st trimester. It's all about the timing - you don't want to stitch up the cervix too early or too late.

Isaiah 26: 4 - Trust in the Lord forever! For the Lord is an eternal rock.

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