Thursday, January 20, 2011

14 Weeks

It's here... my SECOND TRIMESTER!

Whew!  I cannot tell you just how excited that I am.  I am saying goodbye to morning/ all day sickness and exhaustion, well for the most part (they still visit from time to time) and hello to more energy and well some headaches.  Hey... at least I'm not sick all the time anymore.

Since today I am officially 14 weeks along, I thought it would be fun to see what my little sweet pea is up to...

Lilypie Maternity tickers

According to different books, websites, and iPhone apps, this is what is going on with my little sweet pea right now:

Sweet pea is about the size of a small lemon
weighs about 1.5-2.4 ounces
is 2.5-3.5 inches long

She (I'm hoping) is starting to make facial expressions
maybe suck her thumb
wiggling her toes
and, well started peeing

So sweet and so surreal to think of all the amazing little things going on inside me right now.

We have even started picking out some names for our sweet pea, but indecisive me is struggling with that task.  I'll have to post our top choices soon and get your opinions on them.

As for me, I do have an obvious little baby bump now.  Not quite ready for maternity clothes, but have been depending on a belly band to keep my unbuttoned non-maternity jeans up.  Like I said earlier, I am feeling much better and have actually gained a little energy.  I'm just being annoyed from some pesky headaches which I have read is completely normal.

What is killing me is the decision I made to not find out the gender of our sweet pea until it's born.  I want to be surprised, but at the same time I am just exploding with my desires to start shopping for the baby.  Everytime I am in a store, I can't help but wonder through the baby department, especially the little girl section.  Oh, how I so pray for some "pink" things to be in the house this summer.

There is stuff we will really need that is not necessarily dictated by gender.  We need new baby furniture, a new carrier/car seat, a double stroller, and a bassinet.  I saved a lot of Jude's stuff, but some stuff was already hand-me-down and on its last leg.  And it has been four years since I have even thought about baby gear.

So I have decided in order to curve my appetite for baby shopping, I am going to stop by Babies R Us and purchase say a $25 gift card everytime I feel the need to shop for the baby.  That way when my due date gets closer or we have the baby and know if it's a boy or girl, I'll have me a nice little Babies R Us savings fund for the things we need.  I don't know if it's the Dave Ramsey way, but it sounds like a good idea to me.

Well, thanks for listening to me ramble.  I am just starting to feel like I can finally relax and truly enjoy this pregnancy so I am getting even more excited.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011

His ways are good and He is kind

"He is kind in all of His ways so you don't have to worry that He may take advantage of your loyalty."
                                                        -Priscilla Shirer

Okay... It's killing me.  I just have to give reason as to why that explanation of Psalm 145:17 has just touched my heart.

You see, through all my desires of having a child, I feel excuse me, I KNOW that God gave me some specific scripture from Ecclesiastes as an encouragement to have more children in the natural way he intended.  Yet I continued to carry this burden of doubt and was very fearful of conceiving a child.

Now my fear for following the Lord's direction was not because I doubted the Lord would make good on His promises.  {He didn't specifically promise to give me healthy children, but only directed me to [plant my seeds without worry because I do not know which ones will do well or not just as I don't know how He works His plans] Ecclesiastes 11:4-6}

I have faith that the Lord's plans are good even if I don't understand them.  But, you see Satan had misconstrued my vision on how the Lord works His plans.  In my twisted, untruthful thought pattern, I imagined that even though the Lord knew I was his faithful follower, He would continue to test me and try to break me at every angle.  That He would give me another child with probably even more medical needs just to test my love and devotion to Him.  That He would give me exactly opposite of what my heart desires just to see me prove my "loyalty" to Him.

Okay.  I am here to publicly and unapologetically announce that THAT IS A LIE FROM SATAN HIMSELF!!  And I have been believing that lie for three years now.  It has kept me from having what the Lord so obviously wants me to have... another child.  And to me this is just another testament that any child or children the Lord blesses me with are going to accomplish things that have eternal impacts.  

How timely is this study of Jonah by Priscilla Shirer in my own life.  A prophet, Jonah, heard directly from God and ran from His will.  Yet with provision after miraculous provision, Jonah made it to Nineveh and brought thousands and thousands of people to the Lord, saving the city.

This baby has definitely been my Nineveh.  I heard from the Lord, yet lacked obedience in faith in His power until He finally gave me a baby without my own planning involved (which, don't get me wrong, is an answered prayer in itself).  And my life was already interrupted with the GIFT of a special needs child to care for, but it was God's plan, and I have completely submitted to that; therefore, making it a Divine Intervention and not a rude interruption.  And for that reason alone I am already seeing the eternal gifts I have been given and impacts being made.  

So to read this statement in the doctor's office today:

"He is kind in all of His ways so you don't have to worry the He may take advantage of your loyalty."

truly opened my eyes to the wrong and fearful way I was viewing God's plan for my life.  He loves me.  Whatever child He gives me is truly a complete gift of love on His part.  He did not give me Jude to hurt me or test my love for Him, but because He loves me and He loves Jude, and He knew that we were the perfect match for each other- That together, with His help, we can make eternal impacts on this world.  And the story and blessing will be no less regardless of the health of our new baby.

Okay.. that's it.  Thanks for reading because this new truthful view of my sweet loving Father just has me bursting at the seams.

At His Feet,
Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I've got some news...

and it’s good!
The doctor’s appointment for our little sweet pea went wonderful today.  The doctor said I am measuring perfectly for my 13 weeks gestational age!  She saw no reason for any concerns at this point.
I also got to hear its sweet heartbeat again, which is still very fast.
I talked to the doctor about the nuchal screening and she has decided to not go forth with the screening unless I really want it done.  The doctor explained that the screening is not definitive enough to put me through the stress of worrying over the test results.
We see her again in 4 weeks which will put me at 17 weeks (we found out about Jude’s uniqueness around the 17th week); however, since we aren’t finding out the gender of the baby, there is no big rush to do an ultrasound at that point.  The plan is to do an in depth anatomy scan via ultrasound around the 20-21 week range when the baby will be bigger and easier to look at. So we will actually get our next ultrasound in the pediatric cardiologist office at the beginning of March.
On some Jude news..
He has been doing wonderful.  He’s going and getting everywhere in his gait trainer.
He also has still been eating well.  We decided to keeping him on the Stage 3 and oatmeal textured food for a couple of months or so.  We just don’t want to freak him out on textures and reverse his progress.  
He is also learning to get into standing position and pull up on things at therapy.  As soon as he masters this skill, he will probably start cruising along the sofa and coffee table.  *I wait for over three years for this child to walk, and he’ll probably decide to do it about the same time I get a newborn in the house.  So funny.
Oh and just yesterday, Jude has decided to start nodding his head yes to things.  He’s gotten the “shaking his head no” down pat, so we were so excited to see this new skill arrive.  
I talked to Jude’s coordinator for school today and it looks like we will be doing his IEP in the next week or so.  He qualified for all services offered.  So next month our schedule will get completely revamped and we will get to meet some new therapists.  Very exciting time.
That’s it for now.  Thank you so much for all your prayers.  I cannot verbally express the value we place in them.  Someone today was definitely praying for some peace for me because I felt great for the appointment and not a nervous at all.  Whoever you are, THANK YOU!

This morning while I was waiting to see the doctor, I was reviewing over my bible study I just started and let’s just say God had a great message in it for me.  We are studying “Jonah” right now by Priscilla Shirer and a “life interrupted.”  She gave us a scripture from Psalm 145:17 which states “The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.”  She went on to give this explanation for that scripture:  He is kind in all His ways so you don’t have to worry that He will take advantage of your loyalty.
After reading this, I just know that everything is going to be alright.  

Monday, January 17, 2011


This is just a short and simple prayer request...

I go back to the doctor for my sweet pea tomorrow, (WOW, has it already been 5 weeks?!) and I am just requesting some prayers.

While we talked about doing a nuchal screening- a simple screening done via ultrasound to check the fluid in the back of the baby's neck. This is just a screening and it can give false positives, but it can also give us some "hints" or "clues" on how the baby is developing or if their is a chromosome issue.

Now I am not for sure that this screening will be done tomorrow, but if not tomorrow than within this week or the next. 

Please pray that everything looks wonderful and we don't receive any scary news.

Please pray for peace for Lane and me for this time.

Please thank God for His grace that He will lavish on us regardless of what the screening results are.

These prayers mean everything to us!  

Thank you,
Saturday, January 15, 2011

Picture of the Day

It's been so cold here; cold enough for a very cute bomber hat on my very cute redhead.

I'm so ready to dress him in some spring outfits, but at least his winter wardrobe is pretty cute too.

Hope y'all are staying warm!

Hugs and Kisses,
Friday, January 14, 2011

Precious Baby

Dear Sweet Baby,
Before I knew of you, I had always wondered if my heart was large enough to love another baby as much as I love my sweet Jude.  However, I am amazed at how much my heart has grown in the past two months, and how much I love you already.
Sweet baby, you are my miracle and my answered prayer.  I never knew if I would get to carry another baby.  Now I am honored to be carrying you.  I have prayed for you before you were even created, and I will continue to pray for you until I take my last breath.  I pray that you are healthy, smart, and strong.  I pray that you will love your brother as much as we do.  I already know you will.  I ask God to place a special purpose on your life, and I cannot wait to see all that you will teach me.  I ask God that you never stand in the shadows of someone or something, but that you stand only in His light and love.  I know you will change this world, yet be not of it, but something far, far bigger and better.  Most importantly, I pray that you come to know Jesus as your savior and friend, and that you live in a joyful relationship with Him.
I dream of you often.  I do not know whether I will call you son or daughter, nor have I found a name that seems good enough for you, my miracle.  However, I still imagine what life will be like once you are here.  I admit, that I do worry that life will not be easy for us in the beginning.  But that is just a worry, not a forecast and whatever plan the Lord has for us, we can handle it together.  And if we can’t, the Lord will handle it for us. 
I wonder often what you will look like.  Will you share the same striking blue eyes of your father and brother or will you have my brown eyes?  Will you look like me or your father, or will you be your brother’s little twin with his curly auburn hair?  Will you love music as much your father does, or will you be your mother’s child and have a deep affection for the written word?  I bet, whatever your passion is, that you will naturally excel at anything just as your father does.  I can’t wait to see you succeed at your endeavors.
I pray that you appreciate and understand what a blessing it is to be born into our family with Jude as your big brother.  I pray that he teaches you all the incredibly valuable life and heart lessons our family has come to know because of him.  I know that you will also be his teacher and his best friend.  I hope you will hold his hand when he is afraid and help him up when he falls.  Your brother may one day come to love and need you more than he does me or his father.  But I want you to know, that we do not expect for you to be your brother’s keeper, just to love him and see him for the blessing that he is.  You will make your own place in this world and be just as much a wonderful blessing to me, your father, and everyone who knows you.  You already are.
My darling baby, I will continue to pray for you and speak nothing but blessings and life into your own life.  I can’t wait to see all that our Father is creating you to be!  I am thankful God has loaned you to me to care for.  It’s going to be spectacular, I’m sure.
Thursday, January 13, 2011

News Worth Sharing

As most of you know, among the medical conditions that Jude faces due to his chromosome abnormality is a heart defect known as a hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, or thickness of the heart.  Well actually Jude suffers from an inoperable left ventricular obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy which means that the wall of the lower left ventricle is very thick.  So thick that it obstructs blood flow through the heart.  Of all the medical obstacles that Jude faces, this has been the most critical and life threatening hurdle in his path. 

When Jude was only three months old, this heart defect caused him to suffer from congestive heart failure.  But, as mentioned earlier, the defect is INOPERABLE!  Jude was given days to live.. some of the darkest days of our lives.  

Well we are so blessed the our Father so graciously intervened with His own special plan for Jude's life and ours... 

It's a great memory and testimony, but that isn't exactly what this post is about.  It's about a celebration on just how far we've come.

When we left the NICU with our heartbreaking diagnosis, we basically lived moment to moment.  We had no idea what the next five minutes would bring- which is a reality few of us are willing to face in everyday life.  We also came home with a ton of new medical equipment and lots of meds, and Jude's room looked less like a sweet nursery and more like hospital room.

Jude was on oxygen 24/7.  We couldn't even go from the house to the car without him being on an oxygen tank.  He was fed by a feeding pump which he was also on 24/7.  This gradually fed him because his little heart couldn't handle the stress of getting a regular feed.  And finally we added a heart/apnea monitor to the gang- and if you have ever experienced a heart monitor alarming at 3am, you have a new understanding of what true terror is.  

All this equipment had to come everywhere with us.  And we had a lot of places to go: several specialists and pediatrician visits.  Most important of these appointments were the cardiologist visits- and there were a lot of those.  We started off seeing the cardiologist twice a week.  Gradually we moved to once a week, then to twice a month, to once a month, then to once every six weeks.  As this pattern continued, Jude was also required to use his medical equipment less and less.  Eventually we graduated to seeing the cardiologist once every six months and got to say farewell to the use of the heart monitor all together.

Well yesterday, just three days after the three year anniversary of Jude's devastating heart diagnosis, we saw Jude's cardiologist for his regular six month follow up... Well he had wonderful news for us.  The cardiologist feels like Jude looks so well that we don't have to see him for an entire year.  He also said that he has a plan in place to let Jude gradually grow out of his heart med dosage.  This is a low risk trial and we won't know for a year or two how this will go.  Regardless, this is very very good news.  

I am just elated with joy when I realize how far Jude has come and how far we have come as a family over the past three years.

Let me sing some praises for our cardiologist.

He has been a part of our family since Jude was born.  And naturally our situation has been a complex story of grief and total surrender; one situation that the cardiologist has even mentioned he feels a particular fondness of our family.  

Well yesterday, I nervously asked the doctor to confirm that he felt that Jude's heart problems were directly related to his chromosome abnormality or CMV diagnosis.  He agreed to this.  

Well I anxiously explained that we were expecting again and it was a concern of mine.  Anxious because I have had another specialist of Jude's react rather discouraging upon hearing the news that Jude was going to be a big brother.  I left that office full of unnecessary embarrassment and shame over my little miracle.  So you can imagine my reluctance to share our news with another doctor.  

On top of that experience, I would be lying if I didn't admit to the worry over the health of my little sweet pea.  I believe that the Lord's plan is perfect for my life, but I just don't think that any mom would not be somewhat worried and very prayerful for a healthy baby.

Well to my complete surprise, the cardiologist was extremely pleased with our pregnancy.  I told him I was surprised by his reaction.  He said he was very happy that we made this decision to add to our family.  I explained that God made the decision for us, but we were excited nonetheless.

Then the cardiologist said that he encourages families with genetic health risks to have more children all the time.  His exact words were, "You could be blessed with a normal baby.  And if you were to have another special needs baby, then what better parent to give it to."

He finished the conversation by saying this was great news and he thinks we should do this two or three more times!  WHOA!  Slow down, Dr. C!  

It was a great day.  With the news of Jude's progress and the encouragement from the doctor, I left the office on cloud 9.

On some super cute Jude news: we are increasing the amount of time Jude is in his gait trainer- the equipment that is teaching him how to walk.  I brought Jude in his gait trainer to his appointment yesterday and he was so cute in it.  When we were leaving, he held my hand and hopped to the the truck.  Everyone stopped to say how cute he was.  

We also brought Jude to church in his gait trainer for the first time.  In some weird way, I felt like I was bringing Jude to school for the first time.  I was so excited to bring him to his big boy class.  He was in a class with children his age for the first time in a couple years.  He played so well with the other children.  I was SO PROUD OF HIM!  Then we picked him up and he once again hopped all the way to the truck.

It was truly the best day of the year... and we are just getting started ;-)
Monday, January 10, 2011

Picture of the Day

Jude watching his favorite show "Wilbur".  We put him at the back of the living room and he slowly scoots until he's right in front of the television.  We move him back and the process starts all over again.
Saturday, January 8, 2011


With Spring in the Deep South also comes

Yep!  I can't wait for those either!


With the approaching of my twelve week mark, my morning {all day} sickness and exhaustion has started to fade away and I am feeling like Angel again.  That project loving girl is coming back to life slowly but surely. 

The reviving of my sleepy spirit has also left me greatly anticipating the arrival of a sweet something: 


I know we are in the very beginnings of a new year and not even half-way though with winter, but I have been daydreaming about the arrival of Spring for sometime now.   I knew that I would be back to myself and ready to face the projects necessary to prepare our home for our new baby; however, I have been surprisingly dreaming of other things that come with that sweet new season.

I can't wait to hang baskets of beautiful plants on my new porch.  The porch and deck that we'll go outside and play on more since the weather will be warmer.  The porch where we will visit with sweet friend while we barbeque and watch the kids play.  AHHH... it sounds like heaven.

I can't wait until the grass starts turning from this dead brown to a bright green.  I can almost smell that fresh cut grass as Lane cuts the yard.

I am ready to wear dresses and sandals.  I am waiting to dress my redhead in seersucker outfits and precious little jonjons.  I am waiting to dye and hide eggs. But most importantly, I am eager to celebrate the real reason behind all fresh starts and new beginnings, the rising of Jesus, my Savior.

I am impatiently waiting for all the azaleas 

and hydrangeas to burst out into full beautiful blooms.  I can already see how gorgeous my table will be with a fresh cut floral arrangement from my own back yard.

And for sentimental reasons, I have talked my husband into making and setting up a clothesline for me.  I can remember being a little girl and my Momma hanging the sheets and towels out to dry on the clothesline.  I would eagerly follow behind her, catching the clothespins as she would fold the towel right there and put in the basket at her feet.  My heart strongly desires to make those sweet simple memories for my own children, as old fashioned as they may be.  Plus there seems to be something so peaceful about seeing clothes blowing in the breeze on a warm sunny day.  

I know, I know... I am rushing things.  Time goes by too quickly without me rushing things.  But I can't help but to want to see the world burst with renewed growth and a new season to match my own refreshed spirit.

"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me."
Psalm  51:10

Photo Credits: Martha Stewart
Friday, January 7, 2011

My Redheaded Baby Jesus

Ok.. I finally got my hands on some pictures from some special Christmas events.

This event in particular was the Children's Choir Christmas play at our church.  It followed the story of the people who caravanned with the Wise Men to see Immanuel, God with us.  

It was so sweet to see the children singing about their Savior.

Well unlike most Christmas pageants that show the Wise Men greeting Jesus the night he was born, this musical was more realistic with the Wise Men making it to the baby king when he was around two years old.  

So to make the play more realistic, the Children's Choir director asked us if Jude could portray Jesus and Lane and I would portray Joseph and Mary.  

And of course, I am partial, but I think Jude made an adorable "toddler" Jesus.  He was also very happy to play the part.  Whenever anyone would say the name Jesus, Jude would clap loudly.

It was truly a touching play and I actually shed tears as the children sang to the Lord:

"I bring an offering of worship to my King.
No one on Earth deserves the praises that I sing.
Jesus, may you receive the honor that you're due.
Oh Lord, I bring an offering to you."

A sweet add on to that story...  my sweet Lane sang that song as a solo the morning of the children's play, and a sweet little outspoken girl in the Children's Choir approached their director and told them Lane had stolen their song.  So, so cute.

The Christmas season may be gone, but our Savior, Jesus Christ will always be with us.
Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Victory... again

I have some really good news:

Jude. Is. Eating. Again!

And this time he is eating without the aid of an appetite stimulant. He is overall just more interested in his food and eating.  Jude is also eagerly participating in meal times.  When I put him in his high chair and start making his meals, he squeals and claps with excitement!  And he has finished all his meals that we have given him.  SO THRILLING!

Oh, what joy Lane and I receive from being able to feed our son without tears, frustrations, and feelings of hopelessness!  To do something as "normal" as feeding our son is beyond fulfilling.  

Please don't take it for granted the next time you feed a messy eater or you've got a fussy, hungry toddler.

My only regret for this post is that I haven't taken any pictures of Jude eating his food like a big boy.  I will, I promise!  In fact, I must apologize for the lack of photos in my recent posts.  My camera battery has been dead since Christmas, and I shamefully haven't put the first effort into digging out the charger for it.

Oh!  Did I mention that the foods Jude is eating are huge jars of 3rd foods with bits of noodles and meat in them?!  Such a huge accomplishment!  BUT, we need to keep pushing forward with more and more solids to transition Jude to table food quickly.  (Table food has more calories than jar food.)

This is where I need the help of all my mom's who have been through this stage of eating with their baby.  I need any suggestions on easy and safe to eat table food for a baby learning to chew!  How often do you offer a baby food?  Right now, Jude is eating lunch and dinner- we are about to add breakfast to the roster and maybe a couple of small snacks between meals.  Is that too much?? So please help me,  I'm very clueless in this department.  

I am going to talk to his speech and occupational therapist next week about trying to get Jude drinking from a sippy or sports cup.  No matter how much solid food Jude eats, it is very crucial that he learns to drink as well since he will receive most of his vitamins and calories from his Pediasure.

We are praying that this time around, Jude will not quit eating, but only get better at it.  I feel in my heart that he is only going to get stronger at his eating, especially since he is enjoying it so much!

Regardless, our Father's plan and timing is perfect.  So we will wait on Him and give Him all the praise for Jude's accomplishments.

"Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him."       Psalm 34:8