Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Birth of Beau: Part One

September 22, 2011 our lives changed forever. We were blessed with the most precious, perfect little bundle we ever could have imagined. Chris and I felt complete awe as we stared into the face of the little baby we had prayer for and prayed over as he spent almost eight months growing inside of me.

The day started as my fourth day in the hospital as the doctors monitored my contractions and amniotic fluid. For the previous three days, I had laid in the hospital bed with Chris beside me, praying Beau would wait just a little while more to come out.

Our doctor came in early that morning around seven. I had previously had a night interrupted with nurses coming in and out and still had the effects of a sleeping pill in my system. But despite the drowsiness of the morning I remember telling the doc that nothing had really changed overnight, and I was holding steady. We discussed plans for if I made it through to the next week, and my doctor seemed fairly confidant that we could hold on a little longer.

Not more than an hour had passed that I noticed my amniotic fluid was leaking considerably more than normal…in fact it was a steady pour. I went back in forth to the bathroom trying to stay somewhat clean and finally begged the nurses for a shower, which they kindly indulged. All the while, I noticed that I seemed to have more pressure in my lower abdomen when I would have a contraction (my mom will laugh when she reads this because I have a problem of always describing my pain to a doctor or nurse as “pressure”. The whole time I was in the hospital she kept telling me I had to be more specific about what kind of pain I was having rather than use “pressure” all the time. I guess it is time to brush up on my vocabulary).

No sooner had I gotten out of the shower that I decided that yes indeed, I was having some pain associated with contractions. I called in my nurse and she strapped me up to measure contractions. I wish I could give a time frame, but from that moment on the contractions continued to get worse and I knew that this sweet baby was not going to wait.

Chris quickly called my mom, in San Antonio, and told her to get on the road immediately. She hopped in the car and sped over to Houston as fast as her little tires would take her. In the meantime, I was transferred to labor and delivery and prepared to meet our little one. To be continued...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A New Temporary Home

Well hello everyone! Just wanted to update everyone on our current status...we have a new home...at least for a little while! I have now been admitted to the hospital for the remainder of the pregnancy, so we are getting used to a new normal. A little bit of the background...

Monday morning I woke up to a rush of liquid and thought...hmmm that doesn't feel normal. Sure enough after groggily getting up to go to the bathroom I realized I had quite a bit of blood and liquid that had just been released. After waking Chris up, we called the doctor and he said to go ahead and come in to be checked.

Honestly, I felt great, and Chris and I were completely calm as we got ready and headed up to Texas Women's. I truly thought the doctor would check it out and say I was good and to go back home or that we would have a baby that day. But that wasn't to be!

Once we got there all of my vitals were checked and it was discovered that I was having some small but steady contractions. So, I was pumped with all sorts of fun medicines which literally knocked me out. All day, I felt like all I could do was sleep and the hours sped by. Before I knew it, we were moved up from an observation room to a antepartum room which we will now call home.

The main reasons for me staying are leaking of amniotic fluid and mucous and the need to monitor all of that for infection. If I do get infected, they will induce labor, but we would really like Beau to hang out for another week! Still praying for no NICU :) Other than that I am having uterine irratability and plenty of Braxton Hick contractions but no labor contractions due to the medicine I am on.

Overall, Chris and I are doing good (he has been amazing) but I will say hospital stays are no fun...lol! But honestly, as long as Beau is good (and he is) I will lay here as long as it takes! The nurses have been awesome and that really helps. I will try to post update as I get them! And just for fun, and for memories sake here is a 35 week picture Chris took of me yesterday!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Baby Gifts

We have hit the 35 week mark! I cannot begin to tell you how exciting it is to know we are soooo close to the end! My body is screaming for me to get off my back so I am looking forward to that! We have had a super fun week...Chris' Nina, Aunt Jenny, and sister Chelsea all pitched in to buy us our stroller and carrier. We are so thankful, especially considering we can't leave the hospital with Beau unless he has his carrier. Here is a picture of what we received; I think he will look just precious riding in them!

In addition to the fun of receiving the stroller and carrier, I ordered one of my favorite things I have bought for Beau so far! Chris and I want to make sure that from the beginning we begin installing values that we feel are important, so we purchased the highly recommended Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones. It is a tremendous book which is not only well-written but also extremely theologically accurate. I can't wait to read to Beau from it beginning Day 1. I pray that some of his first memories are his Mom and Dad reading to him about God.

Since the book came in the mail, I have been enthralled with the beautiful pictures and expressive writing. So, I had to get a head start and have already been reading to him from it. He will definitely know his momma's voice when he is born! I would highly recommend this storybook Bible if you or someone you know is looking for a resource to instill a strong Biblical foundation for children!

And one last thing I cannot help but be excited about today is that we are 100 days away from Christmas- my absolute favorite holiday! My sweet Nannie, who is now in heaven, used to count down the months, starting in January. Her holiday spirit was infectious, and the traditions she instilled in her family are especially meaningful. I am excited to pass those generations down to the next generation and start some of our own! It is sure to be an exciting next few months!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

34 Week Doctor Appointment and Update

Today, we just got back from the doctor, and I am back on my couch! It was nice to be out and about for awhile! The appointment went about like I expected. I have been feeling some extra pressure the last couple days so I knew something was probably going on. Sure enough, I am a finger-tip dilated and his little head is about as far down as it could go.

So...we will see how long he decides to stay in there! The great news is that the cerclage is still holding and doing its job, and my doctor is overall satisfied with where we are despite the continuous changes. He was so kind and encouraging to me today, saying that most women can't or won't do what I have done. Honestly, it was nice to hear that he appreciates the work I have put in to keep this baby cooking and healthy! I really think that if I stay on my back I can make it two more weeks, which would almost eliminate the possibility of a NICU stay unless something random happened.

On a totally different note, doc said I needed to gain more weight...SERIOUSLY??? I don't know how that is possible...I am eating six times a day, including lots of nuts, peanut butter and almond butter. I don't really know of any way to get more "good for you" high-calorie food into my system, but I guess I will try :) I guess it is better than the alternative of him suggesting I lose weight...lol!

By far, the best news from today, is that if I can make it for two more weeks, I will have the stitch's removed and have my restrictions lifted! Fourteen more days is almost nothing compared to how far we have come, so I am thrilled. The end is sooo close! We are truly thanking God for bringing us this far...we consider this journey to be a miracle and can't wait to meet Beau! Y'all pray he holds still for two more weeks!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Beau's Beautiful Bed

Today was such an amazing day!!! When we found out we were pregnant, our dear friends Gary and Pat told us they were taking care of the bed! The most amazing part is that Gary does incredible wood work, and he just told us to send him a picture of what we would like and he would make it. So I poured over pictures online, and found one I thought would be perfect for our little Beau.

Well...Gary did not disappoint! In fact, the bed is beyond my expectations! Gary and Pat drove in today and brought us Outback...yum! And then the boys got to work while Pat and I caught up!

Gary starting to get all the pieces laid out and ready to put together!

And Chris pitched in to help, and also learn how to set it up!

And of course, it wouldn't be official without the "G-Daddy" Stamp! How cool is that!

And the finished product! I am so grateful for the beautiful gift and know that many hard hours were put into making it so special for us! So, thank you Gary and Pat...we love it and are truly grateful!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Leaning on the Everlasting Arms

The more I learn about having an incompetent cervix the more I realize how unique a situation it is depending on the person. For months, I have read up on information, participated in online forums, and questioned my doctor about what I can expect and how things will progress. While I have learned a ton, and feel more knowledgeable on the subject, I am quickly learning that I cannot predict what will happen with an incompetent cervix, I cannot compare it to a regular pregnancy and most importantly I have to rest knowing that the Lord has a perfect plan even though sometimes I have no clue what it is :)

All of that to say, after last week's encouraging appointment this week's was a little difficult for me to swallow. The best and most important news is that Beau is doing great! Obviously, as long as he is good, this mama will go through anything to get him here safely! The more disappointing news is that my cervix is continuing to thin pretty drastically. I don't have specific numbers this week, because my doctor didn't want to agitate it any further. As he put it, I could have this baby tomorrow or in six weeks. There truly is no way to tell with an incompetent cervix how things will change from day to day or how long it will hold out. That perhaps is one of the most difficult parts for me.

The other sad news is that my doctor told me I would need to postpone my shower this weekend until after the baby is born. In the grand scheme of things, I know it is not a big deal, but it was pretty emotional for my hormone crazy body. I guess it was the last bit of a "normal pregnancy experience" that I had so it was a little hard to let go of. After talking to Chris and praying about it, I feel much better about everything! Chris reminded me that I am weak and on my own this is really difficult, but through Christ I find my strength...that is where my focus must be!

The biggest praise is we have made it through the most critical period for Beau. He is growing and doing well, but we would like for him to stay in as long as possible so that his lungs will develop fully. I am praying for no NICU stay, and know that with the Lord we can get there. Each and every day is a step in the right direction. For now, I have now idea when my body will decide to fully progress into labor, but we will see each day as a blessing until then! Who knows, maybe the Lord will surprise us and take us to 40 weeks...wouldn't that be amazing! So, in the meantime, I will keep laying here and appreciate each day Beau is able to stay in!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Doctor's Appt: A Play-by-Play

Well, we are finished with another week and starting our 33rd week! Unbelievable how time flies!!! This week I have been blessed beyond measure, with sweet people visiting, bringing meals, and a great doctor's visit. My sister-in-law Becky has been a HUGE blessing. She has been coming over every.single.day to help out and hang out! Not only is this helping our house stay reasonably picked up, it is also helping me stay sane as we can sit and chat. My days are flying by because of this, and I am so grateful for the sacrifice she is making to make this easier for me! Love you Becky!!!

Tuesday, we celebrated Chris' birthday (which was actually on Wednesday) with family and a few friends. They all came here since I couldn't go anywhere and we had BBQ and ice cream cake. Here is a pic of us from that night! I told Chris I had to at least get dressed that night and stand up to take a picture, because we have literally no pics of the latter part of my pregnancy.

Sooo...I thought this week, since we had a great visit to the doctor, I would give you a little play by play of how our day went! So, buckle up...here we go:

6:00 AM- Alarm goes off, and I groggily look at my phone wondering why it is screaming at me this early. I promptly push snooze and realize that I probably haven't used an alarm in over a month...there is just no need to when you lay around all day :)

6:15- I finally crawl out of bed determining I had better get ready if we are ever going to get out the door. I take a quick shower with my handy dandy shower chair. Shower's are a luxury these days, so I enjoy every minute.

6:35- I get out of the shower and realize that my "quick" shower must not have been as quick as I thought it was...oh well. I half-sit, half-lay on the bed and attempt to get mousse in my hair and a few minutes of blow-dry time.

6:45- I quickly realize we need to leave in 15 minutes and I have got to pick up the pace. I throw some clothes on from my VERY limited wardrobe and decide my make-up will have to be done in the car!

7:04- We finally pull out of the driveway with hospital bags, pillow, and anything else we may need packed. I have decided to just leave the bags in the car so that whenever the time comes, we just have to hop in and go!

7:13- A quick run through Starbucks (mmm...my fave) and we are ready to go

8:00- At exactly 8 o'clock I walk through the doors to the ultrasound office after barely making it there on time. I hate it when we don't get there early, but Starbucks made it worth it. After signing in, I get comfy expecting a long wait. Usually, I sit in the waiting room for at least an hour, but this morning they are on top of things!

8:25- I am called back to change into the gloriously fashionable gowns and to sit in the second waiting room. I suspect that I may be in here for quite some time, based on past experiences, but fortunately about 10 minutes later they are ready for me. Ladies and Gentlemen...this is a world record time for these two waiting rooms combined! I could just feel the favor of God that morning!!!

8:30- I talk to the ultrasound tech reminding her of my cerclage and 80% effacement. She assures me she will be careful and proceeds with all of the measurements. Let me just tell you...I was NERVOUS! The last several appointments haven't been the most encouraging, so I was a little afraid we would get more bad news. But, the ultrasound went great. Our little Beau is not so little...4lbs. 14 ounces!!! Woohoo! We were thrilled to learn he is healthy and growing. I do feel a little bad for him, he has absolutely no room in my tummy. I am very short-waisted and the tech was amazed at how "tightly wedged" he was in there. Let's just say there is no room for me to grow but out!

9:15- Our ultrasound appointment wraps up and we head up to my doctor's office. After a little wait in the docs waiting room we get ready to go in for the rest of the results.

9:40- We get settled, check my weight and blood pressure and sit waiting for our turn to talk to our doctor.

10:05- Dr. Anding comes in and was sooo pleased with where we are at! This is a complete turn-around from my last appointment. My cervix is still 80% effaced but measuring 1.2 cm. For a normal pregnant gal, this wouldn't be good, but for me it is great! It means we are holding steady and haven't digressed further! Praise the Lord. We were told Dr. Anding is now going to keep my cerclage in place until 37 weeks (if I make it that far), so that Beau's lungs can develop a little longer. I believe that with gestational diabetes it takes a bit more time for lungs to develop and that is his reasoning for pushing it back a week. So overall, our visit with the doctor was very positive.

10:45- the last stop for the day was to take an NST test (which will now become a part of my weekly visits). I was strapped up with two straps, one to measure the baby's heart rate and the other to measure my contractions. My job was to lay there for 30 minutes and click a button every time Beau moved. I was just a little bit paranoid about doing my job wrong so I might have been a little button happy...clicking away at any little movement. Oh well, overall, it went good and the doctor let me go after he reviewed my results.

Sooo...we are thrilled with the visit Wednesday! We were expecting a looong day, but after a quick bite for lunch I went back to the bed/couch until next week. I have to say I was worn out! It is funny how just a little activity now will really drain me; we may be in for an interesting ride once Beau arrives!

Hope everyone has a wonderful Labor Day weekend! Chris and I plan on relaxing and enjoying some time together!

Friday, August 26, 2011

32 Weeks...can I get an AMEN!

10 days have passed since I last posted, and praise the Lord, we are still holding steady! The big news for today…we have reached the beginning of 32 weeks!!! I am so thrilled, and getting this far makes each day laying on my back worth it all! I am so thankful that I can rest knowing that God has already planned Beau’s birthday before he was even conceived!

So, in celebration of 32 weeks, I wanted to make some lists of things I am feeling so I can remember when the pregnancy is over and I look back through this blog. Obviously, as any pregnant girl knows, hormones make one’s emotions go CRAZY, but for my sake I want to have them down, so I will remember!

Things I am loving:

- I love it when Beau kicks (except when he kicks my cervix)….each kick lets me know he is doing all right and assures me that I am doing my job!

- I love watching my tummy get bigger. Each week I grow a little more, which means our little one is growing too!

- I am loving sweet little baby boy clothes! My mom and Chris have both bought a few and I have ordered some online and they are precious! Can’t wait until we have a little baby boy to fill them!

- I love the view from the couch where I spend my days…beautiful big trees make it a little easier to enjoy the day!

- I love fresh summer fruit! I have always been a fruit eater and was afraid I wouldn’t be able to eat it with gestational diabetes. Fortunately, I can and am really enjoying it!

- I love being able to catch up on some good reading! I probably won’t get to read much after the baby gets here, so I am trying to get in as much as possible.

Things I am thankful for (this list could go on forever but I will try to keep it short):

- I am extremely thankful for each day Beau is in my tummy! Each and every day is a victory to me!

- I am thankful for the countless people who have ministered to my family. But today, I am especially thankful for two very special ladies from our church who have sacrificially served my family. First, a sweet lady named Rebecca. She has faithfully (and I mean faithfully!) brought us a meal every single week since I first found out about my incompetent cervix. I have never met someone who has so beautifully demonstrated the love of Christ to us! Thank you so much Rebecca! The other lady who has blown me away is a lady named Missy! She has become our official weekly grocery shopper. Chris appreciates this just as much as I do, since he does not like grocery shopping J Missy has also brought me lunch, sat with me, encouraged me and picked up around our house. She has served us without expecting anything in return and blesses my socks off every time I am around her!

- I am thankful for my family! Both my side of the family and Chris’ side have been absolutely amazing! Not only by calling and praying for us, but helping with the “dirty” work around the house, cooking meals, getting me my meals, helping to decorate our new house, and sooo much more! I have been astounded by the love of our family and am reminded of how wonderful it is to be related to some amazing people!

- I am truly grateful for my husband! He has ministered to me in ways he probably never imagined he would have to. From sitting with me while my hormone crazy body just wants to cry to getting up every morning to cook my breakfast, prepare my snacks, and come home to cook dinner! I have seen our relationship grow and strengthen through this time, and am so thankful I can call Chris my own!

Things I am praying about:

- I am praying for the delivery and labor progression. This is an area I am nervous about due to the fact that it is all unknown. Daily I am working on turning this over to the Lord.

- I am praying about my over-protective mindset. I find myself being extremely over-protective of Beau and he is not even born yet. I know this is part of my desire to love, protect, and nurture our little one, but I pray that once he joins us in the outside world, I will be protective but temper that mindset with trust that God has everything in control.

- I am praying for my stamina. It is difficult to get through each day, but I fear that after the baby is born I will be fairly weak, from weeks of NO activity. I am praying the Lord will help me to get my strength back quickly so that I can be the best mom possible.

- I am praying for my nightly rest. I have not been sleeping well at all due to what I think is restless leg syndrome. I don’t nap during the day, so my body is pretty drained. We are trying several different ideas to help this issue, but so far I haven’t found anything to work really well!

- And lastly, and most importantly, I am praying for Beau’s health. I pray for a strong, healthy baby who is a fighter! I believe God has huge plans for his life, and I can’t wait to see them unfold.

Things I miss:

- I miss going to church. You never realize how vital that aspect of life is until you don’t have it anymore. I look forward to jumping back into the fellowship of the believers when our family grows from two members to three.

- I miss eating out…lol! There is a long list of places I want to go to once the baby is here, so I look forward to going to each of them in the future.

- I miss dessert!!! I love chocolate, and can’t wait until I can indulge! I can have an occasional small dessert with my gestational diabetes, but overall, they are a no, no!

- I miss date nights with my hubby and shopping with friends.

- I miss dressing up, putting makeup on, and getting pedicures. At this point my wardrobe consists of comfy shirts and shorts, and my makeup is packed in the hospital bags. I guess my skin is getting a needed break from a lot of products J

- And currently, I miss walking around! Sometimes, I just wish I could take a stroll around the block J

Overall, the things I miss and the things I worry about pale in comparison to the excitement I feel over meeting our son soon. But I want to be honest, and make sure I get all of my emotions written down, so I can clearly remember this time in our lives. So, if you made it this far, sorry you had to journey through my mind and everything that is swirling around in there! Mostly today, I am rejoicing that we are 32 weeks…God is sooo good! Our next little goal is to make it to next week’s appointment where we will get to see a very clear picture of how my body is doing! Until then…

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Calling all Prayer Warriors!

Today, I went in to my doctor for my 30 week appointment...Praise the Lord! I am extremely grateful to have made it this far, but Chris and I are now asking for each of you to join us in prayer as it seems my body is progressing into labor quicker than we or my doctor would like (Note: currently I am not IN labor just headed that direction).

As of today, I am 80% effaced but not dilated at all thanks to the cerclage that has held my cervix closed. Basically, this means my cervix has thinned to around .75 centimeters and is very soft. I asked my doctor to be completely frank with me about the current situation and not to sugar coat anything. Poor guy...he probably knew the water-works could start at any moment (it wouldn't be the first time I have balled in his office).

I am so grateful he was open and honest, as it is really helping to prepare me for what the next few weeks might look like. I won't go into the details here, but I will be on strict, strict, strict bedrest while we let our sweet baby stay in as long as possible. Our biggest goal right now is to make it to 32 weeks. Ideally, making it through August and into September will be best for the baby. So, Chris is working hard to make sure all I have to is stay laying flat and only get up a couple times a day for the bathroom.

Our prayer is that we would first make it to 32 weeks (of course each week further after that would be amazing). Please join us in praying for my progression to slow way down, and for me to be able to do my part in keeping this baby safe and sound. We believe in a BIG God who can do BIG things! We also know that God has a perfect plan and knows exactly what our baby needs. I will try to keep everyone updated, but hopefully not much will go on in the next couple weeks! No news is good news right now :) I won't go back to the doctor for two more weeks, and will stay as stationary as possible until then. Thanks again for each of you who have ministered to us as we have gone through the ups and downs of pregnancy. Your prayers, words of encouragement, meals and sweet notes have truly made the journey much easier!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Dealing with Gestational Diabetes

Good Morning! Whew! I have had quite the week! This week I went to my nutrition class, met with a dietitian, and started my new meal plan. I have learned sooo much and honestly it has been really interesting. I have always been interested in nutrition, so I have enjoyed learning more about combining proteins and carbs in order to help control my blood sugar from spiking.

I catch myself sitting in the pantry reading labels and being shocked at the carbohydrates in some items. For example, when my mom was here last weekend she bought me a bag of sugar-free candy to keep as a stash when I REALLY needed a dessert ;) We both thought this would be a great solution, if my sweet tooth kicked in. Well yesterday, I looked at the package and one piece had 26g of carbs...Yikes! Needless to say, I probably will not be eating these considering one starch that I eat should fall in the 11g-20g range. Crazy huh?

Anyway, the whole diet thing is not near as bad as I imagined. I thought I would have to majorly restrict carbs, which is totally untrue. I am measuring everything out, and making sure I combine the right kinds of foods in each meal. Overall, I have enjoyed thinking of new combination of things to eat.

The hardest part for me, and something you can pray about, is the amount of food I am supposed to eat. I feel like I am constantly eating. Three meals and three snacks a day is A LOT of food, and I am not used to eating that much. I think I am going to talk to my dietitian about decreasing the amount she has asked me to eat, as I have not been "hungry" one time in the last few days and always feel very full. I hope I don't gain 10 pounds this week...hah! I know it probably seems worse to me because I cannot exercise or move around much.

So, all that to say, the diagnosis has not been near as bad as I expected. It's kind of like a game to match everything up and gives me something to do all day :) I am still getting used to pricking my finger but even that isn't too bad. Little Baby Bradford seems to be doing good. I am still praying for no more significant softening of my cervix, so he can cook as long as possible. Hope everyone has a blessed week....I know I am!

Friday, August 5, 2011

29 and counting...

Big Day today...we are at 29 weeks! My last week in the twenties! Mom has been super busy around the house getting things set up and cleaned! I am so grateful to have her here. As each box gets unpacked and put away, this house begins to feel a little bit more like home!

Yesterday, completely out of the blue we received a surprise blessings that left me speechless. Chris received a call from a family that had a three day old tempurpedic mattress that they wanted to give us because it wasn't working for them! We were able to move our old mattress to our guest room to make room for the new one. Now we have a place for guests to sleep...which will mostly be my parents as they come to see their first new grandchild! We are sooo thankful for this sweet family and their generous gift!

On a slightly sad note, I did receive my gestational diabetes results back today. I have been diagnosed with GD. This is not a huge deal physically for me...I will have to follow a specific diet and check my blood sugar four times a day, but honestly it is more of an emotional deal for me. I did not think gestational diabetes would be an issue for me, and now that it is, I am really working to keep my thoughts positive and focused on the Lord. This will also mean a change in my doctor visits. I think I am back to weekly visits, and possibly also a second doctor. That poor hospital knows me by name :)

So, going into next week, please pray that I will confidently embrace this new phase of my pregnancy (including pricking myself four times a day...YIKES! You know me and needles). I will have a four hour appointment/class at the hospital next week where they will teach me everything I need to know. Also, pray for Chris as this will affect him as well. Not only is he working, doing everything around the house, and cooking all of our meals, he will now have to help me with this new diet. He has been such a trooper through it all, but I know that he will be glad when life is "back to normal" (as normal as it will be with a newborn...lol).

So, tonight, I am truly a little disappointed about the diagnosis but so grateful for the blessings. I know that not only does God not give us more than we can handle but also He truly does have a perfect plan. He ordained these steps before I was born and knows exactly how He will use this season in my life!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

28 week doctor update!

We are officially moved in! I am sooo excited about being in a house. Chris and I have never had this much space, so it is wonderful. I joked with him the other day that my favorite part of our new house is the fact that it has two toilets (that is a first for us)! My mom comes tonight to help unpack, organize and decorate! I am completely ready for her to get here...she is a "go-getter" and I know a lot will get done. Chris has been able to get a ton done, but there is still soo much to do.

On another note, I had my doctor's appointment Tuesday, and let me tell you, it was a doozy! At my last appointment I failed the 1-hour glucose test, so I had to take the 3-hour glucose test Tuesday. My nurse cracked me up. I usually tell nurses I am really nervous about needles and that I have been known to faint. Well, she was determined to make me get over my fear of needles. She kept saying the last time I had to give blood Chris couldn't come in. I was thinking "No way!", but when the fourth blood draw rolled around I told Chris to stay in the waiting room and faced it like a big girl! I have to say I am a pretty proud of myself! I think I can confidently say that I am not nearly as afraid of giving blood (4 times in 3 hours oughta do it!).

In between my blood draws, I saw my doctor to check on my cervix. Unfortunately, he did say it was softening some. He wasn't too concerned about it, but it did make me a little nervous. I guess because I know if it remains hard, our little baby is safe inside, but once it starts to soften we are starting the progression of my body preparing for labor. Obviously, it could take many weeks to fully soften and dilate, but this was a great reminder of why it is so important that I keep lying down and resting. It is sooo tempting to want to get up and just do little things here and there, but in the long run I have to remember it isn't worth it!

So, if you think about it pray for my gestational diabetes results (I should get them tomorrow or Monday). I would love it if I didn't have GD. Of course, if I do, I know the Lord will prepare the way and help me through one more hurdle. Also pray that my cervix doesn't soften much more or dilate any further for several more weeks. We want to keep Baby Bradford cooking as LONG as possible. My doctor gave me my next "goal" - to make it to 32 to weeks...which I believe is 22 more days. After the 32 week mark our goal will be 36 weeks when my cerclage comes out. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can :) And ultimately, we know the Lord definitely can!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Well the big news for us this week is...we are moving! I am very excited to make the move, especially since I don't have to lift a thing. ;) We decided to move in two phases, the first which included all non-essentials was done yesterday. Chris will be moving everything else on Friday, while I will be at a friends house (I didn't think I could handle hanging out around here...I would want to help when I know I can't).

Chris and I were talking this morning before he left for work about how special this move will be. This house will be the place where our family grows from being a family of two to a family of three (and maybe more in the future). So, not only is it a new place for us to live, but this house will also be Baby Bradford's first home! I can still remember my parents taking me back to visit a little trailer in the middle of the country sitting right smack dab in a cotton field...my first home. My mom would tell me stories of mice running across the roof and other such adventures that come from living in such a small place in the middle of nowhere. I can remember asking my dad how big it was and he would stretch his arms wide and tell me that he could practically touch both sides of the trailer when his arms were fully outstretched. I also remember asking my mom what my room looked like. She would describe the bright primary colors and teddy bears which filled the room...the closet filled with clothes that were bought by grandparents who wanted to spoil their first grandchild. As a child, I loved going back to visit my first home. Oh the good days...when life is not about the number on your paycheck or the grandeur of your home but rather the love that is found within and the memories that you make.

I pray that this new home will symbolize a place where our little one will look back with fond memories and beg us to tell him more about "his first home". I hope that his memories of his first home will be full of love and family. I want him to ask about his first room, and beg to go back and see his first home. "Home" is a special place, but truly only made special because of the people and relationships that fill it. So, this week, amid the hectic process of getting everything from point A to B, I am so grateful to start a new little chapter, in a new little home.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Week 26 Doctor's Appt. Recap

Hello there! I hope everyone is having a great week...we have been getting rain here which is a blessing. I know our ground needs it, and hopefully it will help the temperatures some too. I am not outside much these days, but when I am, I kind of go into heat shock! Sunday, I thought I would sweat through my dress during my weekly church outing. I guess my body isn't quite adjusted to the summer heat because I am not in it every day. Chris joked yesterday that every time he walks outside he sweats through his shirt...we are definitely in the humid, hot South!

Well, I had my appointments yesterday, and they went really good! The one negative is that the appointment lady (I don't know her real title) accidentally scheduled me for Wednesday rather than Tuesday, even though I go every single Tuesday. I felt stupid for not catching it either, but they worked me in and everything was straightened out. I happened to get the grumpy nurse yesterday which didn't make the situation any better. If you go to the same doctor that I do you totally know which nurse I am talking about ;) Poor thing...I have never seen her in a good mood! My goal is to kill her with kindness every time I go in there!

Anyway, Dr. Anding gave me great news, my stitches from my cerclage are holding strong, I am measuring right on track, and I now only have to go for check-ups bi-weekly rather than weekly! Praise the Lord!!! Since I am finishing up my 26th week, that should mean I will go in at 28, 30, 32, 34 and 36 weeks. Only five more appointments until the stitch is removed at 36 weeks. At that point we will let nature take its course and let Baby Bradford make his appearance! One positive aspect to my incompetent cervix, is that my doctor said that typically labor is very quick for women with shortened cervix (for obvious reasons)...hopefully that will be true in my case!

I did have to take the glucose test yesterday, but honestly it was not near as bad as I had anticipated. I drank the fruit punch flavored drink which is supposedly the best. Since I hadn't had any sugar for two days and I had really been wanting some it wasn't too awful. And being the big baby I am, I had Chris hold my hand when I gave blood. I will be honest, I have a fairly high pain tolerance, but when it comes to needles, I get soooo worked up. It's ridiculous and completely all in my head I know, so hopefully I will get over it soon. I made Chris take a picture of me with my pouty face...

And here is my official 26 week 5 day picture! Y'all excuse my hair, I am not sure what happened! I will just blame it on the wind ;)

I cannot believe Friday starts the last week of my second trimester! I am just now realizing how much there is to do, and how little time I have to do it. I am VERY limited on to what I can do, so I am going to really rely on my sweet family to help out. We will be moving in a couple weeks into our new little house! I am thrilled but also a little nervous, because everything will be in disarray and I can't do a thing about it. My mom is going to come in and help get some things set up so that should help! And the nursery is a whole other story! I am just choosing not to worry about it! Hopefully, everything will come together in the last few weeks! If it doesn't...I don't think Baby Bradford will ever know if I have to finish up everything after he is born!

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Little Life Update

I have started to write a post about five times this week, but can't find my cord to download pictures from my camera. Fortunately, Chris came to the rescue with his computer and showed me how the SIM card can hook right into it without a cord. So, since he saved the day, I thought I would share with you his newest hobby...

Chris has officially taken up cycling. After getting outfitted with all the right gear and picking out his new bike, he has been hitting the road recently and loving it! I never thought I would say this, but now that I can't do anything, I am kind of jealous of all the exercise he is getting...hah!

In other news, I head to my last weekly appointment tomorrow, because after this I get to move to bi-weekly for awhile! Woohoo!!! I do have to give blood tomorrow, which I am bummed about...anybody who knows me knows I hate needles. I hope everything comes back good, so I don't have to do anymore in the near future.

Baby Bradford and I are GROWING! I literally feel like I am growing bigger each.and.every day! My doctor says I am right on track, so I am thankful, but I can't help but wonder how big this bump is going to get by the end of this pregnancy ;) So, I will leave you with my most recent picture...this one was actually taken last week, which means I probably should take another one tomorrow!!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Part of the Body

Well, time is flying and I have finished my sixth week of bed rest! Hard to believe! Over the past few weeks I have been able to see just how unique, supportive, and special the body of Christ is to a believer. Many times, growing up in the ministry, I have been on the "giving" side but I have not ever had to be in the "receiving" end quite like I am today. I have experienced parts of the ministry of the body when a relative has passed and when my brother was involved in a bad accident, but only now am I fully realizing how special being part of the church is.

Brothers and sisters in Christ have reached out to me in such an amazing way, that I feel beyond blessed! Last week, my sweet college friend Angela came and visited and brought me dinner while Chris was at church. She recently moved into the area, which I am thrilled about! We had a great evening of catching up and laughing over old memories! Here we are after Chris got home to take a picture (excuse my total lack of make-up, my work out clothes and crazy hair...it was just one of those days!)

So, today, I am thankful for the body of Christ...I am reminded of the early New Testament church in Acts 3 who literally did life together. Their love for one another and devotion to God went beyond a weekly service or prayer meeting; it found its way into every area of their lives. What a blessing to be bound together in the love that comes only from Christ Jesus...I am thankful!

And on a completely different note, I have my weekly doctors appointment! I am excited to hear that little heartbeat and get everything checked out! I will be back soon with an update and hopefully a few pics of my ever-growing baby belly!

Friday, July 1, 2011

24 Weeks!!!

Today is a BIG day in the life of Baby Bradford! He is 24 weeks old, which is a great milestone during pregnancy. When I first was diagnosed with incompetent cervix, I prayed I would make it to 24 weeks. I can't believe that day is here, and I am praising the Lord we have made it this far. As my doctor put it, at 24 weeks, the medical world will officially say the baby has a "chance" at survival if born prematurely. Obviously, we are praying that Baby Bradford will stay in much, much longer, but I am thrilled with having made to this milestone.

We are in for an exciting week around our household. Chris and his Dad are painting the house we will be moving into next month so that everything will be fresh. I sooo wish I could be over there, but I will have to do with updates via Chris' phone! Fourth of July will be quiet and restful. I am hoping that I can convince Chris to grill burgers as I have been craving them! Have a great 4th and I will be back soon!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Back to Normal!

Well, hello there! Let me first say, that all is right in the world! My husband is back from camp (I can hear him singing in the other room) and I am sooooo glad! I really am quite pathetic when he is gone!

Chris just finished a run-down of how camp went and I am so thankful for the way God worked in our student's lives. Then, I hopped on Facebook a second ago, and almost my whole newsfeed was full of our students talking about how the Lord changed them this last week...it really blessed my heart! I am praying that the seeds that were planted will take root and grow and that our students would grow passionately in their love and devotion to the Lord!

So, for the last week while Chris has been gone, I was blessed with the best house guests, my parents for the first few days and my awesome friend Kim for the last couple days! They made sure the week went by fairly quickly by hanging out with me! My mom packed alot of our bedroom up so that when we move next month not too much of that will have to be done. I am hoping I can convince her to come again in July to pack up a few other areas since I can't lift anything! I have decided my Dad completely takes after my grandpa who passed away this spring. My grandpa was known for making sure everyone had everything they needed...seeing my Dad run to the store for this or that reminded me of him! I can't tell you the random things my sweet Dad brought home from the grocery store just "in case" I needed them! Anyway, life is back to normal, and I am so thankful I had my parents and Kim to keep me company this last weekend! Thanks y'all!

This afternoon I had my weekly doctors appointment, and everything is still looking good. My cervix has shifted to the left a little, but my doctor didn't seem too concerned, so I won't be either! As of tomorrow I will have completed four weeks on bedrest...craziness! Honestly, it has gone faster than I imagined it would. The fourth week completed marks the 25% mark...only twelve more to go! If it wasn't for all the sweet visitors, phone calls, meals, and emails, I know it would have been much more difficult! I am so thankful for our friends and family who have literally showered us with love.

And because it wouldn't be right to not post a few pictures...here is my increasingly large belly at 23.5 weeks. I definitely feel like I "popped" out! There is no denying I am pregnant :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Doctors Appointment and Nursery Finds!

Today I had a great doctors appointment! My doctor came back with a positive report which we are sooo thankful for! I have decided that my doctor must not sleep or have a life outside of work...he is always sooo busy! It amazes me. One day Chris asked him how long his work day was, and he responded that he usually came into the office around 6:30 AM and stays until 8 or 9 PM (and that does not include emergency operations/procedures). During that time each day he is constantly running. Today, he was a little behind because a surgery he was performing ran long. Honestly, I have so much respect for the work he does! I have never been so grateful for great medical personnel in my life! It is good to know we are in such good hands. So for now, I am supposed to continue resting and taking it easy while this baby continues to grow strong!

On a completely different note, I have had fun scouting out finds for our airplane nursery online this last week. Craigslist has quickly become my friend! I negotiate the deal and Chris goes and picks it up! The first thing I found was a super cute Pottery Barn propeller hook rack. It is actually a darker red in real life than the pic shows.

Isn't it adorable!!! The second steal I found is a wooden airplane shelf! This will be sooo cute hanging on Baby Bradford's wall...I can't wait!

I had no clue what I would do for the nursery when I found out it was a boy, but honestly I am having fun now that I know which direction I am going! I hope to get started on some craft projects in the next couple weeks while I have so much down time and will post those as I get to them!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Quick Update

Yikes...it has been awhile since I gave an update! It is funny...you would think being at home all day leaves me bored with not much to do. While there are those moments, I have actually felt busy because we have had so many sweet visitors who come to chat or bring me lunch...I am sooo spoiled :) So, all that to say, I haven't posted since last Wednesday!

We are now in our 22nd week...woohoo! This is so exciting for me because each week that goes by is more time for our baby to grow and develop. When we first found out about my incompetent cervix I just prayed to make it this far! The Lord has been so good and has really continued to sustain us and help my body to remain steady!

Chris had his first Father's Day yesterday even though our little one is still baking. He is already a GREAT dad! He will talk to my tummy and pray for our son and he cares for me without a fault. I am really blessed!

We have our weekly appointment tomorrow. I am excited because it allows me to get out of the house and check on Baby Bradford's progress. Who knows, we might even get a few sonogram pics to take home!

We are in for a busy week around the house. Chris leaves for camp this week, so my parents are coming in to stay with me! I already have a Hobby Lobby list for my mom so that she can get me some crafting supplies to occupy my time when they are gone...lol. I also have several sweet friends who will be visiting! I am so thankful to be surrounded by so many family and friends who love us! I'll be back soon with a doctor's appointment update!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Contemplations from the Couch 1 Peter 1:3-7

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:3a)

Entering my third week of bed rest, I am quickly learning many realities about myself that I may not have ever discovered had I not had this time alone. What a blessing, for the Lord to so position me that I have endless amounts of time to think, pray, praise, and reflect. While it is easy to begin wishful thinking of being up and around, out and about, socializing and fellowshipping, I have to trust that I am exactly where God wants me today!

I began studying 1 Peter today, and didn’t get very far. I just want to sit and soak up each word and truth found in the first verses, and not miss one thing God has to show me through His Word. To begin, I am learning that every day of my life and every situation I find myself in must begin and end in praise. It is imperative that praise to God is at the forefront of my life. Some may find this hard to digest…how can a person praise when faced with a difficult circumstance? Can a person praise when persecuted or in the midst of trials? Absolutely, for the key to true praise is having complete attention and focus on the One who deserves our praise. If praise is centered on self or situations, then the object of my attention has been wrongly placed. My praise to God is not based on who I am, what I have done, or where I am, but rather is completely based on who He is, what He has done, where He is…He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, His works are matchless for He is all-mighty and all-powerful, and He is seated high upon a throne in the heavens above. That is where my praise is focused…it is all about Him and all for Him.

Peter gives two reasons we can praise in verses 3 and 5 of chapter 1. Two reasons to praise God are because of the new birth we have received because of His mercy and because of the protection we receive by God’s power! Honestly, if I had never been born again and brought into new life in Christ, I cannot imagine the inner turmoil, lack of trust, worry and distress I would be in. There is simply no other way to live than in the arms of Christ as one of His beloved children.

Regarding this new birth, Peter gives two descriptions of what we are born into. First, I am born into a living hope! I LOVE this!!! Because of Christ’s resurrection from the dead, my hope, faith, and belief are not resting on a “god” who is dead and powerless, rather my faith is based on the One who has conquered death and reigns victoriously. It is because of His resurrection that I can live triumphantly! Hallelujah! So, first we are born into a living hope (Amen!) but second we are born into an everlasting inheritance…one that can never perish, spoil or fade. This is the inheritance we will receive once we pass from this life into eternity. I am so thankful that not only does God have a victorious life for the believer in the here and now, but He also promises an everlasting inheritance in eternity. There is truly no other life that I would rather live than this one.

So we praise God for the new birth we have been given, and we also praise Him for the protection we are provided with by God’s power (vs. 5). I believe many people misunderstand this protection. Many times, when faced with a difficult circumstance or trial a believer will be tempted to think that God has let them down…that He did not come through, but Peter dispels this lie and gives clarity to why believers go through trials. Peter says, “In this (speaking of the shield we receive by God’s power), you greatly rejoice, though now, for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials” (1:6). He makes clear that believers will face trials, but gives the reason in verse 7, “these have come so that your faith…may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus is revealed”. I pray that my faith is being proved genuine. Looking around, there are people who face much greater challenges, crises, and circumstances than I do, but in my own way, through my own challenges, I desire that my faith is proven to be real, lasting, genuine, and strong. And as a result of that faith, that Jesus would receive complete praise, glory and honor in my life! If that is not something to live for I don’t know what is…may He be exalted and lifted high!!!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Bedrest- Days 10-12...Almost 2 wks. down!!!

I cannot believe it, but I have been at this bed rest thing for almost two weeks! I have to say...time has flown! I have been blessed by so many sweet people who have visited me, brought me food, and spent time chatting with me on the phone! Friday flew by with a visit from my friend Tiffany during the day. She brought me GORGEOUS flowers, cooked me lunch, and hung out for the afternoon...I have to say it was sooo relaxing and a huge blessing. That night our friends Austin and Kim came over and Chris picked up wings. I love hanging out with them :)

Saturday, my sweet sis-in-law Chelsea came over for a visit. She also got our mail that I was dying for someone to pick up because it had a Gymboree box in it (I have gone a little crazy with online shopping...lol). A family from our church who has been down a similar road as we currently on brought us delicious food and chatted with us for a while about everything we are going through. It feels so good to be able to talk with someone who understands where we are! Thank you Blockers for your advice and encouragement…y’all are a huge blessing!

Finally, perhaps my biggest highlight of the weekend was going to church this morning! My doctor has given me permission to attend one service a week, and I can’t tell you what an encouragement it was. Of course, I had to start this morning with a trip through the Starbucks drive-through on the way there…it’s the little things that make life good :) Anyway, this morning wore me out so I am in bed for the rest of the day. I plan on relaxing all day tomorrow, and can’t wait for our appointment on Tuesday. I am so thankful for our weekly check-ups. It helps to know that the doctor makes sure everything is going well every week. Well, until then I’ll be resting away! To sign off, here is a verse I have been claiming today: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (NIV).

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Bedrest- Days 6-9

I have had a great few days on bed rest! The days have passed fairly quickly...and wow! I can't believe it has already been nine days. God has been gracious. This week I have received so many blessings, I want to make sure and record them all!

First of all, we had a post-operation follow up appointment Tuesday afternoon. Honestly, I went in now knowing what to expect. Feeling a little nervous, I just prayed that everything would be okay! The Lord completely exceeded my expectations! He is sooo good! First of all, I LOVE my doctor! He is such a blessing, and I always walk out feeling better about things than when I go in.

After doing the usual blood pressure and weight gain checks, Dr. Anding checked my cervix, and praise the Lord it has grown from 21mm to 33.5mm! That is huge in my mind, and while I do know that it is expected for it to get smaller, I was greatly relieved. I couldn't help but laughing in the office, I felt so thankful for the growth. Receiving such positive news helps me to breathe easier and rejoice in this season where God has me.

Here is a picture of me at our appointment...20 weeks and 5 days!

So, after my outing for the week, I have settled back in at home. We had a sweet lady at our church give us soup, zucchini bread, cookies, and grape tomatoes from her garden. It has been wonderful and helps so much to be able to grab something quick to eat, and not have to worry about Chris trying to cook...lol!

Wednesday, I had two special visitors. My good friend Kim came over while Chris was church. We ordered a pizza and chatted the night away! I am so thankful for good friends who are willing to come "entertain" me. And then, one of my youth girls Jessica, came over with her boyfriend and brought me a cookie cake!!! If you know me at all, you know I LOVE cookie cakes. I am trying not to eat it all, but it is sooo good! Thanks Jessica...you are the BEST!

My last visitor of the week came today! My sister-in-law Becky came by with my niece Kenlee and surprised me with Chick-fil-a for lunch today! I had a wonderful time, and it made the day fly by. Kenlee is sooo cute, and she is at a really fun stage in life. She giggled and gabbed the time away...love them!

And finally, I am sooo excited our nursery bedding came in the mail today. One of the fun things about being in bed all day is internet shopping (Chris may not think it is so fun if I don't slow down)! I found the bedding I wanted last week and went ahead and ordered it from Janie and Jack. I adore that store! I couldn't be happier. Here is a picture from their website:

Isn't it precious? I love it! So sweet and soft. I can't wait until our little Baby Bradford can be in his nursery! Now I just have to pick paint colors and work on some fun craft projects for the room!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Bedrest- Days 2-5...A New Normal

I am on Day 5 of bedrest...amazingly it has gone by fairly swiftly thanks to a visit from my parents and friends coming over. My parents arrived Thursday night and I was sooo grateful to have them here. They bought groceries, organized our bedroom, bought different lap tables and pillows for me to use, and overall really helped this transition into staying at home all the time. Since I can't leave, it was really nice to just talk and hang out!

Last night, our sweet friends Austin and Kim came over and Kim brought me a fun craft kit to crochet little stuffed animals! They are adorable, and I look forward to trying my hand at them. I think they will be fun to have in the nursery and special for our little one to know his mama made them while she was waiting for him to come out :) We were also blessed to have our friend Becky bring the most awesome enchiladas last night...they were sooo good! Cooking will be interesting in our house for the next four or five months. I am allowed to get up to go to the kitchen and get a snack or drink, but I cannot stand on my feet for long periods of time or lift anything like pots or pans...so that leaves it up to take out, Chris grilling, or lots of easy foods like sandwiches :) We will see how it goes! Fortunately, my dad was sweet to stock us up on quick easy foods and a million paper products so too many dishes won't have to be done! My mom also spent some time while they were here making up some burritos and smoothies to freeze so I can grab those for lunch or a snack!

Overall, I feel very blessed! I am really praying about how God wants to use this time in my life. I want to make sure to prioritize my time so it is not wasted on endless hours of tv or internet surfing (although I am sure I will be doing some of that). Some areas I would like to really spend some time in are: Bible study, reading, writing, continuing relationships through social media, phone calls, and letters, planning our nursery (without breaking the bank :), and finding ways to still be involved with my youth girls as much as possible. I also would like to pick up some new crafting hobbies, and of course working from home as much as possible.

VBS starts at our church tonight. I was in charge of the event, until all of this happened so I am a sad I will not be there to see how it all goes! It has been wonderful to see how many people have stepped in to get everything done and set up, since the last two weeks of our lives have been emotionally draining and much of our time was spent at the doctors office and hospital and now at home. We truly have an amazing church with awesome servants who are very willing to pitch in!

A verse I have been thinking a lot of the past couple days and which might be our theme verse for the nursery is Isaiah 40:31, "But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint."

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Incompetent Cervix and Bedrest Day 1

Today is my first day on bed rest as a pregnant momma! Laying in bed, I am so thankful to just sit and contemplate how good God has been and is to me. Today, I experienced alot of firsts...first time to be a hospital patient (other than when I was born...lol), first time with an IV, first time to have anesthesia, first time to have surgery. Faced with all these firsts, my typical response would be to freak out and become really worried. BUT God is sooo good, I will not say I wasn't emotional, but the Lord carried me through the whole thing with grace and peace. So that I will not forget this day and the details which occurred, let me post a quick rundown:

We arrived at my doctors office at 9, only to be ushered in the financial office to experience sticker shock for the price of my little surgery. For this frugal girl who has only ever paid a $15 copay, I had to take a deep breath and thank God that He was in control and thank our church for providing us with insurance :) After that fun introduction, my sweet doctor patiently answered all my questions and reassured me of the procedure he would do. I thank the Lord for my doctor...he has been such a blessing!

After finishing at the doctors office, we went to the hospital across the street so that we could fill out enough papers to fill a book and prep for my first ever surgery. If you know me at all you know I hate needles, so all morning I mentally prepared myself for the IV...what I didn't prepare for was the antibiotic shot! Fortunately, I received that shot without the mishap of fainting, screaming, jerking or crying so I felt like a champ...hah! After the shot, I went to a changing area to change into the the most hilarious hospital gown around. Part paper, part fabric this unusual outfit did nothing for my growing figure, but it did it's job I suppose. After checking on the baby's heartbeat, I was wheeled away in style with the most hilarious nurse. She definitely put me at ease and i almost forgot I was having surgery at all...until Chris had to kiss me goodbye and I was wheeled into a prep room.

From this point on, I have to say the Lord took over. My nerves would normally be through the roof, but God was soooo good to me. I felt nothing but peace; even with the IV (which scared me the most). And props goes to my doctor! He knew I was nervous earlier about the surgery and he came in when the nurses were working on prepping me and held my hand and talked with me for about 15 minutes...just to reassure me! I am so thankful to be in such competent and capable hands. After the doctor left, I was wheeled in the "surgery room" (I have no idea what the technical name might be). I felt like I was on an episode of a medical tv series. It was cracking me up...looking up into all the masked faces and covered heads. As soon as I started to receive the anethesia I dropped off and can't tell you a thing until I woke up. All I know, is that the surgery was successful!!! Praise the Lord! I received a cerclage in two places of my cervix to help reinforce it and hopefully stabilize it to prevent further premature shrinking.

The moment I woke up, I asked the faces bending over me..."Is the baby okay?" They assured me that everything went great! And just to prove the baby was great...they found his heartbeat! He is an active fellow; let me tell you that! After laying in recovery and waking up fully for around an hour or so, I was able to see Chris and wheeled away for my last stop. I was taking back to the changing area. I had to prove that a could get up and use the restroom (thanks to the Diet Coke I drank in recovery...this wasn't too difficult). We heard the heartbeat one more time and around an hour later I was changed and wheeled back to the car!

I have to say that I feel so blessed as I lay here writing. I have had practically no pain at all. The most significant discomfort is a sore throat I have which is due to a tube that was inserted in my throat after the anesthesia was put in place. I am trying not to cough to much so that my core muscles aren't being used. I honestly thought, I would be much more sore, but it has been a blessing to rest easy without a lot of pain!

Chris was wonderful today. He stepped right in and has been taking care of me in every way possible! I am blessed to have him by my side, and our little boy will be sooo blessed to have him as a Daddy! This has been long, but I knew if I didn't get it all down I would forget!

Tonight, my heart resonates with one of my all-time favorite passages, Psalm 103:1-4:

Praise the LORD, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I'm Back!

Life has been BUSY!!! After moving to Deer Park in the Fall, Chris and I threw ourselves into building our new ministry at Central and blogging was put to the side :) I have never been the best at updating but I have the best intentions. So, the months slipped by and we fell in love with the community we have been planted into. So many wonderful people who made us feel right at home.

In December, Chris and I graduated from Southwestern with our Master of Divinity Degrees. It was such a great accomplishment for us, and we still find ourselves thinking we should be doing Hebrew or Greek homework! It is wonderful to enter into a season of life that is less stressful academically...it has enabled us to pour into the relationships around us. To celebrate, we took a cruise to the Caribbean last week. It was our first real vacation since our honeymoon with just the two of us. I can truly say it was one of the most fun and relaxing weeks I have had in a long time. I will try and get pictures up this week...soo many great memories! Anyway, we are thriving and feeling blessed to be where we are. God is doing great things, and I can't wait to see what He has in store for us in the coming months!