Monday, September 12, 2016

A Final Pregnancy Update

It's been an incredible journey - 9 months of hard, bliss, extraordinary love, exhaustion, and joy. We wouldn't have it any other way.

We've grown a lot these 9 months, and I don't just mean my belly! Elijah has grown by leaps and bounds since that first picture we took in January announcing he was going to be a big brother. And now that the day is nearly here, we feel overwhelmed and so very thankful he's adapted so well and is ready to meet his baby brother (well, most of the time anyway...)!

I'm 39 weeks + 3 days today. My OB sent me to the hospital on Friday to be more closely evaluated for some concerns, but everything came back fine and I was released a few hours later. Today's appointment went well, but he continues to watch me very closely and we are back yet again tomorrow to discuss some lab results and figure out next steps.

My due date is this Friday. I can't believe it. We made it this far!! We're beyond thankful, but we also know he's not going to let me go much further. I'm praying he doesn't want to do a c-section tomorrow, but we are trusting the Lord and we trust our OB. Whatever he thinks is best for my health and the baby's, we'll need to follow. Depending on the test results, we may fight it some or push back the amount of days we can wait, but we might just be approaching an inevitable second c-section.

Our dream isn't that. But we know God's ways are higher than our ways, and if it's a concern about our chance of survival... we'd much rather be safe than sorry. This OB is different than our last one and I know I can trust his 30 years of experience. He does not push c-sections. But with a previous c-section, he also can't push for an induction or risk uterine rupture.

So now we just wait. And pray. And hope.

We are grateful for excellent medical care!

But perhaps pray along with us that we can avoid a c-section, that baby will come on his own (along with our 3x/week acupuncture and chiropractic adjustments!), and that our labor & delivery experience won't be as traumatic as last time. Either way though, ultimately, may God's will be done and his glory revealed!

Not much longer before we meet our 2nd baby boy!

Pictures taken by SherahG* Photography.
(c) 2016. Used by permission.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Pregnancy Update - 37 Weeks

Wow, am I ever behind on here!! Yikes.

If it counts for anything, I have managed to start and save 9 drafts over the months... but have yet to publish any of them. Google Chrome has been really goofy for me lately and has locked me out of my blog, so I can only write on here when I open a different browser. It's just enough of a pain, I haven't felt like messing with it much. And then I delay long enough that the drafts don't really apply anymore.

Also, last night was the first time since MAY when I've plugged my phone into my computer and finally uploaded all of my pictures!!! Yowsa.

I think it's safe to say I'm pretty far behind on all of life, these days!

But this space is long overdue for a pregnancy update, for anyone still wondering. :)

I'm officially 38 weeks tomorrow (Friday 9/2). I've been doing well - am just super tired these days and struggling to stay awake practically every moment of the day and cannot sleep at night to save my life. Ughhhh!

I've been having random changes in cravings (my biggest ones lately are shredded chicken grilled burritos from Taco Bell, Hershey's chocolate pie from Burger King, Pad Thai, and all the bagels/bread in the world). I'm swollen and feeling huge, but love every single move that baby makes. Nasal congestion, indigestion, numbness/tingling in my hands, insomnia/exhaustion, Fibro pain and fatigue, and regular Braxton Hicks contractions are my biggest battles right now.

But I'm trying to soak it all in before it's over and yet I've been soooo ready to be done (!!!). If baby continues to hang in there, my last work day is next Thursday 9/8 and my due date is the following Friday 9/16. I can hardly believe it and am so grateful to have made it so far!!!

Below is a side-by-side pregnancy comparison, though 1 week apart (left: 1st pregnancy at 36 weeks, right: 2nd pregnancy at 37 weeks).

Last pregnancy, I was forced by my overly concerned, hyper-sensitive OB to get induced just after 38 weeks (due to going into pregnancy with high[ish] blood pressure and medication). I went to the hospital the evening of 38 + 1, and about 24 hours later at 38 + 2 it was determined that I hadn't progressed and needed a c-section.

This time I researched and found a highly-respected and trusted OB who would let me try for a VBAC, without any threat of induction unless in case of emergency or complications.

I've had no bad reports, all tests have come back good, no complications or concerns, and regularly have had good blood pressure. So at this point, there's still no reason to do anything but wait and pray, hope and see. If something changes into an emergency or complication, then obviously we'll have to do what we need to do. Otherwise, we're waiting until I hit 40 weeks. At that time, there might need to be more conversation and monitoring to see whether we just head straight into a c-section, due to a failed induction last time.

This time I'm on a better vitamin regimen, am regularly seeing a natural doc/chiropractor who will soon start natural induction methods, and that I've had enough BH contractions that many think my body will go into labor on its own regardless of what happened last time. But there's no guarantees and I'm trying not to get my hopes up while also hoping for the best at the same time!

Please pray with us that things go smoothly, baby comes on his own before 40 weeks, and for continued good health and safety for me and baby!

Obviously we want whatever God has for us, but I also really want to have a less traumatic experience than last time. But as one friend reminded me today, birth is always traumatic and in the end, we have a baby. (I mean, really... wow!) And that's the most amazing and grateful part. I really want to keep my head on straight and stay focused on what God has in store for us as we get a front-row seat to how he's going to be glorified in all of this!

But it's hard. In my selfish heart, I really want things to go so much better, with no surgery, no NICU for baby, and a happier experience overall.

So thank you for your prayers for us and for God to be honored, no matter what.

Let me leave you with an updated pic of our adorable 3-year-old at his birthday party back in June!

Can you believe we have a 3-year-old AND about to have another baby?!!? Still seems quite surreal to us! Praise God for his overwhelming kindness to us!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Baby # 2 Is Coming!

This September, we are adding to our family!

We are SO excited!!!!

What an incredible miracle and gift Elijah was to us. It took us by surprise (though we'd been trying and certainly hoped for another baby) and we are just blown away. Thankful we get to celebrate another little life and to give Elijah a sibling.

I have too many friends saddened by infertility, miscarriages, losses, lengthy adoption processes, and lack of being able to give their only child a sibling. I completely sympathize and wish so badly it was different for them, and am not sure why it's different for us. We embrace these babies and give them back over to the Lord, praying that He'd provide us the wisdom, strength, patience, and love to raise them up to love Jesus above all else, and to be wonderful little human beings.

As always, God's timing is perfect and we are grateful for his plan for our family! Elijah's been learning more and more what being a big brother really means (through lots of talks, books, praying over baby together, kisses for baby, learning about how he can help baby, etc) and seems to be pretty excited (though we're not so sure how much he comprehends, especially the part about mommy & daddy not being able to give him their full attention).

I'm 22 weeks along today and we had our big gender/health ultrasound a week ago.

This past weekend we traveled back to my hometown and spent time with my family. We also threw a gender reveal party. Something I said I wouldn't do again and that I'd keep it simple. Well, I did keep it simpler than last time, but it was still a party! I can't seem to help myself!! I just love any excuse to celebrate babies and to have fun with it all. And it was SO fun!!!

So without further ado... baby # 2 is:


Baby is healthy and growing strong, and I'm healthy too. A healthier pregnancy already than last time without nearly as much stress or concerns (much due to our natural/alternative doc/chiropractor and a much less stressful OB who doesn't see a need for a high-risk specialist unless we have complications). It also helps that my job has been less stressful these past 3 years. And even though life is crazier, fuller, and we're running around lots more with Elijah (also possibly keeping me in better shape!)... I'm not stressed for the most part. Hooray!

I realize I haven't written much here lately, and many of my followers have left... but for anyone still around and reading this, thanks for being here! And for sharing in our joy with us!! :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

In the Silence

My apologies for being so quiet around here.

The noise and the volume out there about so many things just feels deafening lately. Unnecessary, heated, angry, battling noise.

I haven't had a lot to add. Every time I have started a post, I haven't finished it. Not even kidding, I think I have 20-30 drafts in there from recent months.

Pictures just not quite all there, can't finish my thoughts, don't have time or don't want to add to the noise so I stop my thoughts with myself instead of hitting that somewhat scary "Publish" button.

One of my favorite quotes is:

Make time for the quiet moments
as God whispers and the world is loud.

Indeed. I want more of that. Quiet stillness. Listening and really hearing what God's telling me. 

In light of wanting more quiet, it's been since *September* since I officially updated my blog. Yikes! Longest I've ever gone!

So, it's high time I gave a bit of an update:

We've been really busy. July found me working 3 full days a week in the office and usually once a week or every other week we drive the 45 minutes to our chiropractor/alternative doc's office. So our weeks were pretty full, and often our weekends too. With a very busy boy, it's meant for little down-time.

2015 ended on a pretty low note for us. Some things I can't/won't discuss here about our private lives that just made life messy, hard to swallow, feelings raging, and sucking the energy out of us. Not even sure that sentence works, but it's all the feelings I'm feeling right now.

Just, meh.

But there's been a lot of good stuff too, and by God's grace we keep moving along. We are abundantly blessed by God's mercy and his love over our lives, even when we can't always see or feel it. We know he's there, loving us unconditionally in unfathomable ways.

Whenever I think about Christ's sacrifice lately, I'm truly just blown away. Having a now 2.5 year old son (WHA?!?!?!!!!), I'm bewildered at God's gift to us in his only son.

His. son.

Wow. So incredible. Such sacrifice.

I saw something the other day on Facebook. Yet another one of those "If you hit 'like', you'll receive an immediate blessing from God" type of things.

Oh, friends. 

Do not buy into such nonsense. It's just not true. We could never do anything ourselves to fully bring blessings and mercies into our lives. Only Christ did that. We can't earn our way to heaven or earn God's favor by anything we possess or attempt.

Seeing all of those things across social media is so sad.

I found another memory today from Facebook several years ago about me taking a social media break from Facebook, Twitter, and blogging for a week. At that time I was SO wrapped up in it all that I literally had withdrawal issues that week. Now, Instagram would definitely be a hard one, but otherwise these days, I wouldn't have as much trouble with it. There's been a lot of changes in social media even in the past 5 years. It's amazing to see how far we've come and also how quickly certain fads change.

Even though I haven't posted here lately, I do still read other blogs, but comment less often. My world is much more wrapped around my son and our very full, busy lives. I do miss the connecting, but I'm also grateful for being more connected within my own little world.

In just a few weeks, I will start working in the office 4 days a week, still full-time with benefits, but reduced hours. Elijah will adjust to 4 days a week at daycare, a hard thing to wrap my head around, but a necessity. It'll be a big change, but it's something we have to do, so we'll figure it out. We know God has a plan in all of this and we just pray that Elijah gets used to it and adjusts well. (And me too, because to be honest, I've had a really hard time with it and have been quite weepy about it!)

On the plus side, it means now when I'm home, I can be fully engaged at home instead of working during any down time. Which also means more time for blogging! ;) Maybe....

So in the silence here lately, there's been a lot behind-the-scenes. A lot of struggle to put the words together, to find a way through the fog and the noise to a place of peace and joy.

I'm still here. Things are pretty good. Thanks for still being around, in the silence. Appreciate each and every one of you!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Nine Years of Fibromyalgia

It all started 9 years ago today.

I won't bore you with the details yet again, for those of you all too familiar with my story. If you want to read more about it, you can do so on the "My Fibro Story" page.

It's been a long, hard road.

And I've learned a lot.

I know I'm not who I was then and I'm thankful for that.

I enjoy reflecting and I'm glad I mark these things on the calendar.

But today, I'm not full of a lot of words. Just a bit of solemn reflection.

I went away this weekend to a women's event and I came back different. Or at least I feel different. I hope I'm different.

So I'm doing a lot of thinking, praying, reading the Bible, and focusing on Jesus. Because it's all for Him anyway. He's my entire purpose.

This isn't my home. Someday I'm going to be in heaven in a new body, with no more pain. I do truly look forward to that day!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Life This Summer - Part 1

We've been having a lot of fun this summer and a good amount of water play!

Mosquitos have been quite prevalent after some heavy rains in June and part of July, but thankfully after our county worked with a company to spray our area earlier this summer, they've been a lot better! So we've been enjoying time outside when the mosquitos haven't been out as much and when it hasn't been too hot and humid.

My Fibromyalgia sensitivities are on high alert lately! The weather roller coaster we were on a few weeks ago sure didn't help, nor does any extreme dew points or humidity levels {just like when it's bitterly cold}. Our chiropractor and my vitamin supplementations have been a fantastic help {since I know I'd be so much worse without them}, but it's still been a bit challenging to chase after an active 2-year-old!!

God's grace and strength are key to my survival on the hard days, and sometimes, admittedly, that means Elijah watches more TV than I'd like. But it's all I can do. And that's okay. I've had to come to terms with it.

So here's what's been happening lately the past couple months through pictures....

My beloved car hit the 100,000 mile mark!

My sister-in-law started selling Jamberry nail wraps and I enjoyed getting a couple of her free manicures. I'm still on the fence as to whether or not I really like it though, since I never have time to, nor do I enjoy, working on my nails. But they look pretty. :) 

He would truly be in or playing with water constantly if we let him!

Lots of car rides. Lots and lots and lots and lots. We live near hardly anyone we know and are constantly driving to everything. 45 minutes to work and friends. 30 minutes to daycare. 45 minutes to the chiropractor. 20-25 minutes to the mall between us and most friends. 30 minutes to his pediatrician. 20 minutes to his dentist. Etc etc. Sometimes I feel like we live in my car and it's exhausting {and um, messy}. Sometimes we do great, sometimes not so great. He's started to hate the sun shining, so we're glad for cloudy days. He's obsessed with crossing railroad tracks so if we cross one, we sure better cross another set soon or there will be lots and lots of whining and crying! But it is what it is and we make it work for us. Thankfully Elijah has been used to this for a long time so he mostly just goes with the flow. Mostly! We sing lots of songs, talk about what we're seeing, practice the alphabet, talk about the stoplights and what the colors mean, ad naseum. Oh and in the below picture he's practicing his spitting. Fannnntastic.

Pediatric dentist trips are actually fun! We have to keep having his front teeth checked after his accident in April when he bashed his lip and teeth into our coffee table and got stitches. Two of his front teeth were pushed backward, and thankfully have been going back to their right places naturally {with just a bit more teething, him biting and chewing things}! We enjoy Dr. Bill though and visiting him isn't a big deal. They make it so much fun! We love the large fish tank in the waiting room and all their books. Here Elijah is watching the duck get a ride on the big chair and Dr. Bill is checking his teeth first to show Elijah there's nothing to be afraid of.

Watching the trash trucks brings major excitement in our house!! He loves waving at our trash guy and shouts "trash uck" with such glee. He dances and then gets really, really sad when they're gone. {Same thing happens when we pass them on the street. They are apparently the coolest thing ever. He's such a little boy!}

Daddy coming home after work is still the best part of the day!!

He loves running around our church. He doesn't love going into his room and goes through spurts of hating it so much we feel like we're torturing him by leaving. But he does just fine and we're grateful for the volunteers! Here's one day when he was leaving and jumping in the parking lot.

Spending time outside. Watching our neighbors across the street play badminton before bed, and cheering them along happily. :)

We live 2 blocks from the cemetery. It's super quiet and peaceful, and one of my favorite places to take walks. Tim thinks it's weird and we don't go through walks here with him ;) but I love it and Elijah does too! We pray over the section where the young children/babies are buried and I get teary-eyed every time. I have talks with God out loud and we enjoy the quiet. Elijah also loves their water fountain/stream where he can throw rocks.

There's always time for more water {when the mosquitos aren't around}! He loves jumping at the side and falling onto his bottom. Here he went all the way back and was laughing so hard afterward.

He is such a great helper! He loves helping us around the house with so many things, imitating us, and he even gets really upset if we try to do it without him!! Here he is helping Tim gather the trash around the house and take it outside to the trash bin.

He loves his outside toys {like his bubble mower} and could push them around the drive all day! I'm grateful he also likes to stop and smell the flowers. Er, pop them off. 

We love when Grandma & Grandpa C visit!!

Hammock time

My mom & stepdad stayed with Elijah overnight so that we could have a little 15th anniversary getaway in June. It was fantastic!! So relaxing and just what we needed. We found a place on Priceline that was within a half hour drive and it was the BEST place, by far, that we've ever stayed at. Amazing. If ever near a Hyatt House, we highly recommend it.

We visited the downtown of a nearby city that we'd never been to and had a really good time, though it was surprising how much we felt like we were back in a tourist town like Gatlinburg, TN! It was a bit surreal, but we enjoyed it. Had a nice dinner at a Mexican restaurant.

And enjoyed the riverfront walk.

Hotel view of the sunset. I know it's not a perfect picture, but it was just idyllic to me that night. We were so relaxed and it was such a beautiful night!

Meanwhile, mom sent us pictures along the way, and here Elijah was "talking" to us on the phone via his fork and spoon. ;) 

We both took that Monday off and enjoyed the day to ourselves - went to the nearby town where I work and had some super yummy lunch at Dickey's BBQ which is one of my favs... so very good {but lots of food}!!

We don't actually both enjoy the same things so our dates are rarely more than dinner and a movie. But this time Tim thoughtfully researched and found a Groupon for a local gun range safety class & shooting {something we both like!}. We got to spend a half hour with an instructor {though he was scary, mean, awful, and in pretty much every way a miserable part of the day} and another half hour shooting. We were really excited! Sadly the instructor was a disaster and we were bummed it didn't go better, but it was still fun and a nice stress reliever.

And Elijah was anxiously waiting for us 

We loved our time away! So grateful.

Elijah also really loves water play at daycare - here's a picture of him there.

Elijah and his Grandpa D. So great to have him visit this summer too!!

When we need something to do at home, car races are a fun go-to.

He is totally obsessed with his new wagon. But he mostly just want to pull it everywhere. So we've been doing a lot of teaching about looking both ways, checking for cars, etc. Even though we're usually closeby, I still think it's vital to teach him that lesson, especially as he tests boundaries and doesn't listen anymore when we tell him to stop at the sidewalk (gah!).

He got himself up on my work chair, turned it, pulled it up next to me in the recliner, and sat like this to watch some TV. Wow. Growing up so much!!

Time to post this. I'll get some more pictures on my computer from this past month or so and will write more later. :) Hope you're all having lots of great summer adventures!