Tuesday, February 28, 2012

So soon

Or at least that is what I keep telling myself each morning, afternoon and night! :)

Grey should be here sometime at the end of March.  She has done very well at her NSTs, ultrasounds and check-ups, so I do not think she will be arriving earlier than the end of March.  She has about one more month of "baking" and then we will get to MEET OUR DAUGHTER!!  One month IS soon, right?

Baby Grey:
Last time we measured her in an ultrasound, she was 4 pounds, although we don't measure every week...so I am guessing she is a good 4.5 at least, if not more now. 

She hosts her very own dance party around 2-4am every single night.  Feeling her move is something I will always be grateful for, even if that means we have special bonding time in the middle of the night!

Our little girl has been so low that even with all the ultrasounds we get, we still have yet to see her face.  Yesterday, we were able to capture a glimpse of her lips though, and I think they look like Chet's! :)  She was swallowing and practice breathing throughout the whole u/s. 

Even though we have yet to see if she has chubby cheeks, we have seen some chunk already on her arms and legs.  Yay!  We are praying for a healthy little "Erwin chunk"! 

Physically I feel pretty good for the most part.  Because Grey is positioned so low, I have the normal "pregnancy backache", but nothing to complain about.  Third trimester sleeping patterns have hit, so last night I was literally out by 9pm.  (Of course I woke up 12 times after that, but wow!  9pm...I'm getting old!)

Emotionally I feel more anxious now than I did months ago.  I have been praying about this a lot.  I realize that our God loves Grey infinitely more than I could ever love her (ouch, huh?), and that ultimately she is His.  Worrying does nothing but make me miserable.  I have really felt the prayers of my friends and family though, as I never get "lost" in worry.

Dried apricots (without sulfur, thank you sweet Paula!!) and Greek yogurt are daily staples in my diet.  I may never eat those two food items after she is here, but boy oh boy do I eat them a lot now.  We are still being blessed with amazing food from our church friends, which is abundantly awesome.

Grey's nursery is going to be done THIS week!  I can't wait to post photos on Friday or Saturday! :)

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7       

One and a half years

As impossible as it may seem, today marks the one and a half year mark.  I know I had blogged earlier this month about Holden's 18-month birthday, but today it really hit me that we met our little firstborn a full one and a half years ago.

I went to Holden's gravesite last week.  His headstone is already whitened by the West Texas hard water build-up.  Seeing that was a harsh reminder that it truly has been a long time since we laid his body to rest.

They say that nothing can prepare you for becoming a parent.  The same could be said of nothing on earth preparing you for becoming a parent to a child who will not take a breath on earth.  Eighteen months ago my husband, doctor, several nurses and I were huddled closely in a dim hospital room, ready to meet a boy who was already in heaven.  There has never been a time in my life that I had such trepidation in not knowing what to expect.  Since I never gave 'stillbirth' more than a passing thought during his pregnancy, I didn't even know what a baby born still would look like.  I did not know if I would be repulsed by the experience, or even if we could make it through the experience.  (On our own, without the Lord's strength, I know we would not have!)

The only sounds in the room were quiet tears from all of us when Holden arrived.  Instead of giving birth to something I viewed as scary and ugly, we were given a perfect, beautiful little boy.  We were given hope and peace and joy.  His birth certainly could be considered the most awful moment in my life, but far greater than it being the most awful moment, it was also what I gratefully consider to be one of the best moments in my life.

I am sure if I was not a Hope Mom (or Dad) reading this blog, it would be disturbing to read these intimate details.  They are details I have remembered every day for 18 months though, and are a part of our life and story.  They are details that remind me that I have been given so much grace to be able to serve a God bigger than Holden's birthday.  Holden's story did not end in a dim, tearful hospital room.  His story is something that I pray will live on and bring Jesus glory until the day we get to look into his eyes.  

Today, as every day of my life for eighteen months, I am so blessed to be a mommy to a son in heaven.  Eighteen months ago, I was given a much more real and deeper appreciation for my salvation in Jesus Christ.
This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him.  1 John 4:9

Thursday, February 9, 2012

6 weeks

The title to this post should not read "6 weeks", as I am very aware of the fact that I am not the one in control when it comes to Grey's life.  But I am going to leave it at that for the simple fact that I countdown weeks just to make myself feel better.

In approximately 6 weeks, our little girl will be born.

Chet and I were comparing ultrasound photos of Grey and Holden the other night. First of all, Holden was far more camera friendly than Grey is, and we had thought he wasn't camera friendly. ;) I do not really think they look alike as much as I thought they would. Holden's hands and arms looked much more like Chet's, and I think Grey has long, slender fingers and hands. Since Grey has yet to give us one good look at her face, I am anxiously awaiting the surprise we will get when she is born. It is fun to look forward to seeing the little person she is becoming!

We have been moved to "modified" bed rest, meaning I can move around a little more, but still cannot cook, clean, travel, etc.  All the rest has nearly completely stopped the contractions and I am beginning to think she might be cozy enough to stay put until the end of March...yay!  Chet is very tough on me when it comes to resting, and makes sure I am putting my feet up as much as possible.
Modified rest means that I am back at work, although I am not visiting students or traveling.  I am only doing work from my desk, with my feet nicely propped up.  My boss and co-workers have completely taken upon themselves all of the extra work.  I am so grateful for that!

This much rest and health for our child would not be nearly as 'possible' if we were not blessed by the Sunday School class that we are a part of.  They have provided all of our dinners, which has allowed my body to relax completely at night.  Chet and I will both be working off some serious weight in a few months with the wonderful cooking we have received. ;)

We have started NST at Snyder's hospital once a week on Thursdays.  It has been fun to get to know the nurses here, and I am grateful for a chance to check on Grey in the middle of the week too.  We will continue to visit our doctors in Lubbock each Monday until she arrives.  Maybe with all the ultrasounds we get, we will catch Grey off guard and she will let us get a sneak peak of her face. 

Grey's growth is wonderful, and on Monday we were able to see her "practice breathing" on the ultrasound.  My heart literally jumped at that awesome sight.   

Chet set up her swing last night.  It's the sweetest swing I have ever seen, and even sweeter since Chet picked it out and bought it completely by himself.  I love that he chose one with birds in the mobile, because it was "girly".

Our bags are packed.  Our hearts are ready.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.  In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ. Ephesians 1:3-10

18 months later....

As I look at this month's '28th' coming up, I am surprised our son is nearly 18 months old already.

I do not believe for one second that we would be about 6 weeks away from having a sibling for Holden, if he were a busy, toddling 18 month-old on earth.  Okay, I am positive about that. :)  Grey's life is another testament of God's grace and love to us, and how He is blessing us through Holden's life.  I cannot thank the Lord for Grey, without knowing her sweet existence is here because of how her brother's life is. 

I also do not believe that I would understand humility like I do now.  We have been surrounded by so much love, care, compassion, truth and wisdom from our friends and family in the last 18 months, it is difficult to swallow at times.  I could include this fact in every blog post, since it resonates so true with the way our life has been for 18 months.   Countless times I have told Chet that I feel like I am a "walking, living, breathing thank you card", but one that is terribly lame compared to what we have been given.  Basically we do not have enough days on this earth to start the process of paying forward what God has provided us through His body of believers.  Talk about a humbling challenge...

I believe there are so many amazing, intricate details woven in God's plan for Holden's life, that we are just now discovering and understanding a few of them; and that we won't fully understand all of them until we meet our Savior face to face.

I know you have never counted time like we have, but I love that each month I can celebrate your life in a special way on the 28th.  I thought about potty training you today, and how much I would probably be planning that soon.  When I think about silly things like potty training though, I am reminded of how much better Heaven is than earth for you.
As we are about to meet your sister, I pray that her life will bring God glory like yours has.  It is so special to my heart that you and Jesus get to talk about your little sister, and her life plans.  18 months ago I did not ever believe I would be carrying your sibling...but then again, 18 months ago I did not understand how much you would change my life.
Thank you for being a gift to us every day.
Happy 18 months sweetheart.  Daddy and I love you forever.

Sovereign LORD, you have begun to show to your servant your greatness and your strong hand. For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do the deeds and mighty works you do? Deuteronomy 3:24 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Better late than never...

This evening we [more like Chet] lugged out the totes of baby stuff we have had in storage.  I supervised in my bedridden state, while he sorted through the totes.

There are a few things I must say:
#1 Holden was a spoiled little guy.  Oh my gosh... I am so relieved and joyed that we have some good friends with a little boy on the way who can use all of the boy clothes!  I was surprised at how much it still hurt to go through all of those cute outfits.  What a blessing they can be used and loved though.
#2. I wish we would have done this much earlier.  I am really overwhelmed, emotional and on the verge of tears with the whole recreating a nursery process.  I have a Pinterest vision, with a Wal-Mart budget...and sloth energy right now. :)
#3.  We have a lot to do before Grey arrives.  A lot.

We still do not have anywhere to put the baby stuff, as we are waiting on the furniture to be painted, but at least we have placed the totes in her nursery with the stuff we are keeping.

I had grandeur plans to spend my entire Spring Break painting a bookshelf, hanging up white frames to create a wall collage, painting a mirror frame, etc. to get her nursery ready.  With bed rest and a possible early-arriving little girl, I suppose we may have a baby come before a nursery is done.  I won't let Grey read this part of my blog one day...shhh. ;)  She can't know how bad of a Mommy I was for the seven months I had prior to bed rest.

Very sweet friends have given Grey the most adorable outfits, so I finally broke down and removed tags from the preemie and newborn ones tonight.  Removing tags and washing clothes seems so "real".  It's about time, huh?  She will have a hospital bag before her arrival.  It made me feel much better to have this done for her...hopefully the bag will be ready this weekend.  :)

My patient and amazing husband has promised to get her nursery done as soon as the furniture arrives.  Decorating is NOT his (or mine for that matter) forte, so I think it's even sweeter that he will be decorating her nursery just because he loves us.  We came up with our shopping list of things we still need, and he is going to be a Super Dad and do the shopping next time he is out of town.  Grey's got the best Daddy! :)

I continue to be an oven baking a slow roaster.  It is really difficult to accept so many people doing EVERYTHING for me/us.  Our door is never short of people bringing over food (I may need to be rolled to the hospital because of how much I have enjoyed all the yumminess) and sweet gifts of love.  I believe my life is a constant recipient of blessings...and it's a bit overwhelming to know I cannot ever repay them all back in one lifetime.

I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to 'know' Grey more through all of this rest.  I can time her sleep patterns and her wake times.  Her movements are so very, very, very sweet.  I do not ever get tired of feeling them.  It's the most amazing feeling in the world, each and every time!

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!  2 Corinthians 9:15