Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Baby Shower in Pictures

I promised pictures of the wonderful baby shower I was thrown, and here they are! It was so nice, and I was overwhelmed at how many ladies came. Thanks, ladies!
I especially am grateful for the ladies who hosted it and put everything together: Lorie, Mary, Debbie, and Darylann. (And I'm praying I didn't forget anyone!) If I did, please forgive my pregnant brain!




Isn't this airplane cake adorable? My pastor's wife rocks. (I super duper LOVE homemade cakes, but you probably remember that from all my kids' birthday party pics!)





Thankful for the ladies who came (and this wasn't all of them either)!


I received so many awesome gifts--many of which were hand made sweet things like this:





Fallon crammed all the gifts in her smart little bug named Ziggy!


So that's what the afternoon looked like. I wish I had felt better, but I still enjoyed all the sweet gifts and ladies who came. I really was blessed by their thoughtfulness and generosity.

Peace of Christ to you,

Monday, July 19, 2010

Pregnancy Update: Week 33

Ah, to sit down and soak in some quiet time is really quite extraordinary right now. I had another appointment with my perinatologist today and thought I'd update on how it's going:

It's not going so hot. Well, it's hot all right! And that's actually part of the problem! The heat worsens my heart condition, so I now have some new medication (a beta blocker) to deal with the more intense attacks I have. I had a weird spell at church Sunday morning where I hyperventilated (which I've never done before). We have a great nurse friend who helped me through it. My pulse was at 140, but breathing into a paper bag got it down to around 110. My face was pale, but I was sweating a lot, and my lips and arms were numb. It just felt like I'd fall over passed out that whole time. But it got better eventually.

Today I learned that in addition to that, I have high blood pressure now. I guess that'd be a major contributor to yesterday's episode. My doctor doesn't think I'll be hanging in there too much longer, so he also has given me some steroid medication for the baby as a precaution for early birth (which happened with both Keagan and Kate). I have to see him every week now, and that's a two hour drive! Whew. But he knows my history so well and will be the one delivering, so there's just no other way. We're going to take it week by week to see how far my body will go. The goal would be to make it another 2-3 weeks since I'm 33 weeks now. Another 4 weeks would be the best, but he doesn't think that will happen. I'm also contracting a lot tonight, very frequently, but not regularly, so I think it's okay. I know the Braxton Hicks contractions can be painful, so I know this is what that is. I just don't usually have this many of them.

So, I've got to try doing little and concentrating on relieving the stress that has raised my blood pressure. (Yeah right!) But I'm about to get 2 weeks off from work, and I just know that will help a ton! Thanks for your prayers. I want our baby to be healthy and safe!

Oh, and I was given the best shower Sunday afternoon! I will do another post with all the pictures from it.

Peace of Christ to you,

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Truth About Boys and Girls

A couple of posts ago, I shared some of my worries/anxieties about this pregnancy--that some of the emotions I've had are hard to categorize or even to explain to someone else...but they were definitely present. It's odd that I feel more anxiety my third pregnancy than I did with my very first one, isn't it? But I feel like the Lord let me see something the other day, and I want to share it:

My first child is a boy.

My second child is a girl.

There are generally only two options on the sex of a baby, right? I mean, my having a third one doesn't create a third gender option!

Keagan defines "son" for me, just as Kate defines "daughter" for me. In my mind, there is no other way for a son of mine to be, look, act, etc., just as there is no other way for a daughter of mine to be, look, act, etc.

So what on earth will another "son" be, look, and act like? What will I expect of him? With Keagan as the firstborn son, there was a delicate balance in letting him be babied, yet expecting him to be a strong boy. With Kate, she was purely the baby girl, the little frilly princess. I remember Matt spoiling her every night, soothing her to sleep on his chest. Keagan had been expected to fall asleep alone in his crib. We knew Kate was spoiled, but it was because she was "our baby girl."

The difference between Keagan and Kate was easy for me because it was only natural to love them differently--equally, of course, but differently. Now, it seems there is no other I'm not completely sure how to love another boy. Do I sound like a lunatic, or what?!

I'll spend the next few weeks trying to decipher the answers to my questions. I feel relief already in just defining and giving shape to my apprehensions because now I'm free to take the next step in preparing my heart for this little guy. I have no doubt that I will love him; don't picture me throwing him out a window or anything! I am a planner and an organizer; I want to have a game plan for everything. And this, obviously, is no different for me.

Peace of Christ to you,

Thursday, July 8, 2010

His Timing is Perfect; My Wailings are Not

I had my three hour glucose test Wednesday morning, and it was interesting, painful, and long...but it also had a bit of joy mixed in. I'll explain.

The test was done at 8 am when no one was at the clinic but the nurse administering it and me. Since she was coming in just for me ahead of her normal schedule, I worried that she would be on the perturbed side, but she was so nice. The first testing went kinda badly and was painful. Just picture a lot of needles and bruised finger pads, 5 of them. (ouch) Trying my best not to throw up the disgustingly sugar-concentrated liquid was not fun, either. But I prayed the entire time, asking God to be near me. And He was.

I passed the first test and had a feeling deep in my spirit that the whole thing was actually going to turn out okay. And it did. I don't have gestational diabetes, and I can't express just how happy that makes me! I have a new appreciation for people with diabetes, and I feel for them that we live in such a cruelly sugar-bombarded world! Even carbohydrates are the enemy. I felt like I couldn't eat anything that week of waiting to see whether I had it or not, which only heightened the chaos of my emotional state.

The last hour of the test (there were 3 1/2 hours total) was when I knew God had timed this by His watch, not mine. The nurse had finished her tasks, and I had finished grading my class's essays, so we had time to talk more. I learned a lot about her. She was abused for years and has been pregnant 7 times. But she only has 2 sons. That means she has 5 babies in heaven. And I was crying over the needles and the sugar. We talked about God and her church; she's Catholic. We didn't say much else about church--just random comments on how God has sustained and blessed; I didn't feel the Spirit's prompting to push it further. We hugged when it was time for me to leave.

The night before the test, I finished a book I'd bought in mid-June: "The Hiding Place"--the story of Corrie Ten Boom. I usually read very quickly, but things kept coming up to hinder my progress in the book in June. I had to read it slowly, sometimes only one chapter at a time. Now in July, I know why. And even further back than that, years ago I managed a Christian book store and heard of Corrie Ten Boom at that time. The store, of course, had her book and her devotionals, and I almost picked them up a few times to read. But something always stopped me. It wasn't time. And now I know why.

It's because of God's love and His planning for me that it wasn't time. Now was the time because I needed something to (very gently) push me toward remembering that I am blessed and that He has ordered my steps...even the hard ones when I can't eat what I want while pregnant! :) The despair and tragedy that emerged from those pages by far outweighed all the "hardships" I may endure, and were delicate reminders that God has abundantly poured Himself out to me. I have far greater reasons to rejoice than to lament.

I learned so much from this book, and I'll have to share more of them later. I'm amazed yet again that He loves me this much, that He would begin a work years ago--preventing me from reading the book too soon--because He knew I'd need the lesson to carry me through this time.

His timing is perfect. Corrie knew this. She was released from the concentration camp just days after her sister was released into heaven. She later learned that her release was a "clerical error" and that one week after she gained freedom, all the women her age were taken to the gas chamber.

His timing is perfect.
Peace of Christ to you,

Friday, July 2, 2010

Yes, Lord, I why do I feel this way?

I will try to not use this as a whine or dump session; I just wanted to update on how things have been with the pregnancy.

For a while I've been struggling with foreign emotions, some that I haven't wanted to admit and haven't known how to deal with. I thought they'd just go away soon and all would be great! But they seemed to be worsening, and I definitely hit a wall with them over the past week. Feelings of unexplained depression and anxiety were making me feel suffocated, really. I love my kids, I do enjoy my work, I like to be around people...but I was tending to gravitate toward being anti-social, inactive, and crying uncontrollably much of the time. (Poor Matt.)

I've realized that I have been missing a connection with this baby that I had with Keagan and Kate. I can barely explain it; it's just that I feel like I don't know him, I don't feel very excited for his arrival (as awful as that sounds), and I know some of the thoughts--fleeting though they are--that I've had can't be normal. At least, I never felt them before.

My final straw was when my glucose test came back too high. It didn't help that I was not counseled on it, was not told what to eat, what not to eat, what will happen next, whether it's a big deal or not, etc. I was just told that I probably have gestational diabetes and I better watch what I eat. I had been watching calories recently, and I have not been even close to reaching my recommended caloric intake. So, how could this happen? I have no idea. I'm not gaining too much weight, I'm not huge. I just felt like it was all my fault, like I've done something terrible.

And that, like I said, was my last straw.

Not to mention, the place I get the test done doesn't even open until 1:oo, and they wanted me to come do a 3 hour test at that time after not being able to eat past midnight. So I'd not be able to eat until roughly 4 pm. (My heart rate soars when I haven't eaten, which adds so much more stress on me.) I was told that I couldn't do the test anywhere else, which I just didn't believe. Turns out I was right, thank goodness. My specialist's nurse said I am NOT to do the test that way because of my heart complication, and she took time to explain it to me--that my score of 155 really wasn't that bad, it doesn't mean I do have diabetes, and what I can eat/what I should lay off for a while. I guess she knew what I would default to, not eating at all, and she was right. So she said my Dr. doesn't want me to reduce any caloric intake at all. I was just so worried, that I felt like I couldn't eat anything. (I know this is not half as dramatic as it seemed to me, but I've never dealt with this at all.)

Anyway, I still have some questions about my emotional state, but I do feel God's comfort. And I truly could "feel" that others were praying for me. Sure enough, they were. :) I forget sometimes how important praying for each other is, and how it affects that person. It's so true; prayer works. I hit a point where I could function much better yesterday evening. I think getting some straight answers contributed a lot to that. I don't want to be such a basketcase, you know? I hate being dramatic, and I don't want to be "that" person who's no fun to be around! I really do love my life; I love my kids so much. It is really difficult to explain the overwhelming sensations I was facing. It's not completely gone, but it certainly is better. I think it's just the support of being lifted up in prayer.

Sorry that was a little heavy, but I get "how is the pregnancy going?" questions a lot, and I want to be honest. Besides, I need all the prayer I can get! So, thank you if you've been or will pray for me through the remainder of my pregnancy. I've got around 6 1/2 or 7 weeks. (That's usually when I deliver with my specialist.) I do know that God is so good and He is in control. I believe it.

"Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world" (John 11:27 ESV).
Peace of Christ to you,