May 27, 2015

Dear Baby--23 Weeks


Thank y'all so much for continuing to pray for us! I have some new and continued prayer requests, and answered prayers I wanted to ask for and share. So far, every prayer has been answered and every concern has resolved itself. I am beyond grateful for the community of love that surrounds us and our baby. Please Please Please...continue to pray! Thank you, a million times over.

Answered Prayers
-At last week's ultrasound, the placenta was given a grade 1 in maturity. The scale goes up as it matures, and the weeks in grade 1 are 18-29, so we're in that range. A will continue to be monitored closely, and we are so thankful for this news.
-Baby G continues to grow and thrive in A's womb. S/he measured ahead at the last appointment and the weight is good!

Prayer Requests
-So, at the ultrasound, there was a tiny echogenic focus noted on the left ventricle of Baby's heart. A what? I didn't know either, but the doctors told me its common and usually resolves itself. They plan to do a follow up echo when the heart is fully formed, next week.
Please pray that it is nothing, that it resolves itself, and that it does not cause any harm or indicate any concern for the baby.
 Here's something else I found to explain it:
-While baby was overall measuring ahead at the last appointment, the femur length was measuring a few days behind. Now, if you've ever met me in person, you know I'm not a tall girl. Quite the opposite, in fact. My hope and prayer is that the reason baby's femurs are shorter is because s/he has shorter legs, like Mama. I hopped on the internet again (bad idea, again!) and this also can be very common and usually baby is just fine. In other cases, it can be a soft marker for down's. Since baby has had so many close looks and the NT scan/quad screening came back low risk, I feel that the short femur length is because Baby G isn't a big, tall, baby. Still, reading scary things combined with prayer request #1 made me a nervous mama today. Babies grow at different rates, and body parts can grow at different rates, too. I should also note that this measurement was with the other measurements in the report, and not brought up to me as a concern.
PLEASE PRAY that Baby is healthy, continues to get everything s/he needs from A, and that the femurs continue to grow and catch up as much as possible.

-Please pray that in all areas of growth and development, Baby G continues to grow, thrive, and get stronger and stronger.

-Please pray that the placenta remains healthy, that the calcification/maturity does not progress too fast, and that our baby is not in any danger at any time.

-Please pray that my heart returns to being calm and peaceful, and that I focus on every wonderful aspect of this beautiful life we have created, and not obsess over fears. Please pray that TJ continues to remain positive, calm, cool and collected, as he has every day!

Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my hopeful heart for your continued love and prayers!
 
Dear Baby,
 
 
Hello, my sweet love! This week you are 23 weeks, and the size of an eggplant! At your ultrasound last Thursday it was estimated you weigh 1.1lbs, which is awesome. Your beautiful heartrate was measured at 141 bpm. Over the next four weeks you should double in weight. You are over 11 inches long. At 23 weeks, your lungs, sensory functions and ability to move are developing rapidly. Billions of brain cells will develop over the next couple of weeks! In your lungs, surfactant is being produced, which helps air sacs to inflate and lungs to expand. Right now your skin has a red hue, due to developing veins and arteries underneath the skin. Keratin is being added to your skin, allowing it thicken. Right now your precious skin is a little baggy, but that will change once fat plumps you up!You can hear outside noises, and your kicks and punches are visible from the outside.
 
 
This week, Daddy and I went to our first baby class. We learned more about how to care for a newborn--a pretty important thing to learn with someone as precious as you on the way! I think we both left feeling more confident and practicing swaddling was a skill we'll need to put to use quite a bit, it seems! :) I had my third dream that you are a baby girl. We're going to be so surprised to meet you, boy or girl! I'm sure we will just be in blissful shock. We also booked our stay in India! Mimi and Papi did the same, and they'll be there with us the whole time! We haven't booked flights yet, that's the next step, and is such an exciting one!
 
This weekend, we go to California for a very quick, whirlwind trip! Your Aunt Naomi is graduating from Med School (woo!) We will also meet your  baby cousin, Julian, and visit with your other four California cousins, and your uncles and aunties, Nana and Mimi and Papi will be there, too! 
 
And, just because I can't leave out your 'big sisters', here's Sadie and Bailey showing off this week. Sadie got a much needed bath and haircut, and can you see the joy on her face in the bottom left? Just so you know, walks, parks, car rides, benches, ball,  and French fries are her love language.


 Bailey was so tuckered out after the park that I snapped this series of wide-eyed, sleepy, ..out cold in about 15 seconds time.
My darling, you are doing such an amazing job. Keep growing big and strong, and know how proud of you we are and what a gift you are to us. We love you, we love you, we love you so, Dear Baby.
 
Mommy and Daddy

May 26, 2015

The Beauty of a Rainbow


"The beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of the storm.
 
When a rainbow appears, it does not mean that the storm never happened or that the family is not still dealing with its aftermath.
 
What it means is that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds.
 
Storm clouds may still loom over, but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy, and much needed hope."
 
On May 26, 2011, we experienced a storm that changed our lives forever. Today {and everyday} my heart misses our boys, and is abundantly grateful to be their mom. And, our rainbow. Words can't express how thankful I am for our rainbow.
 
 

May 20, 2015

Dear Baby--22 Weeks


 
Dear Baby,
 
Hey, Darlin'! You are 22 weeks today. Thank you, God. This week, you are the size of a spaghetti squash, are about 11 inches long and 1 pound! Grow baby, grow! Now you can perceive light, hear sounds, and are practicing your sense of touch by holding onto your ears, nose and sometimes, umbilical cord! Your eyebrows and eye lashes are well developed. You had an OB checkup today and a scan tomorrow. Praying continuously that you are healthy, growing on track, and getting everything you need!
 
This past week, we had our sweet friends, Brent and Danielle in for a visit as they prepare to move to NYC. It was great seeing them and enjoying lots of quality time, meals and we even squeezed in a manicure. We're excited for them to move here!
 
 


Daddy and I went to a baby show on Saturday and it was lots of fun! There was a lot going on, but it was great for us to get lots of ideas. We even saw a panel of experts, including one of my favorite Today Show hosts, Erica. As we walked around we picked up a few things, including
 the-cutest-little-elephant-toy-that-I-just-had-to-have-right-that-very-minute.





Other sweet things that arrived this week were this darling handmade onesie that a sweet art teacher at school gifted us. Just so thoughtful and kind of her. Also, a miracle baby shirt for our miracle baby! We have been looking at and narrowing down cribs and are pretty much decided on a carseat. I think we're going with the cybex aton (not sure yet if we should get the 2 or Q), but we're making decisions!

We're also in touch with our medical team and are planning an early September delivery. You'll be around 37 weeks then, and we're praying you are born at the best possible time for you to have the best possible life. I saw that sentence while reading Gaby's blog, who is an incredibly courageous mama-to-be who is expecting her baby Louis while going through cancer. Her positivity and faith are awe-inspiring and I pray right along with the countless others for her health and for her baby Louis. I just have a feeling that he is going to be perfect, and that she's going to be, too. I can't imagine what it's like to be Gaby, and I don't know her personally, but I'm praying for her and little Louis. So when I saw that sentence about praying for him to be born at the best possible time to have the best possible life, I prayed it for you, too. I just have so much faith that you will be born alive and healthy into our arms at the perfect time, and I'm beyond thankful for the whole wide world that's praying for you to get there.

You keep growing big and strong, little one. We are so proud of you. We love you, we love you, we love you so, dear baby.

Mommy and Daddy

May 14, 2015

Dear Baby---21 Weeks

Thank you all so much for your words of encouragement, prayers and love sent our way after last week's post. Not only did I feel encouraged to hear from so many that everything was fine and we would have heard if it was otherwise, but I just felt so lifted and relieved that our baby is being covered in prayer. It's truly so powerful and we are so thankful to have a whole community praying our baby into our arms.The doctor assured that the calcification was not severe, and that they would be keeping a close eye on A. She and the baby will get extra ultrasounds and she is remaining at the clinic for the time being. We're all on board with that. So, thank you! Please continue to pray that our little babe gets everything he/she needs from A, and remains safe at all times. Please pray that Baby G continues to grow right on track and is healthy. Thank you, thank you, thank you!


Dear Baby,

Hey, sweetie pie! You are 21 weeks, 1 day today and you are the size of a carrot, about 10 1/2 inches long. This week your eyebrows are developed and so are your taste buds! Daddy and I joke about you eating and requesting dal. This is an awesome Indian lentil dish that we loved while we were there, and we're pretty sure you are getting some good dal regularly. It will be so interesting to see if you take an interest in Indian food!

So, the absolute highlight of our week was talking to A and seeing how you have grown! We skyped at 5:30am and you can see my face in the corner as A stood up. She looks great and feels great.  She says you are moving all the time! This made us so happy. I asked if she could tell when you are sleeping and awake and she said yes, when she's sleeping, you're awake! It's very hot in India right now, so she's craving cold foods, like ice cream. And, she is almost always eating vegetarian now, as meat is not appealing at all. This is different from her other pregnancies, and I still kind of love that. We are so thankful for your growth and movement, sweet baby.
 
Mother's Day was very sweet. Your daddy made it special, and a card, flowers, and picnic in the park made for a lovely day.

\
 
I had another dream this week where you are a girl. That's two dreams about you as a girl, but we'll see! I go back and forth so much and we'll just be so surprised when we meet you. I imagine that to be the greatest moment of our entire lives.
 
We don't have your name picked out yet, but I think we're getting close. For a girl, we've got it narrowed down to two and the middle name picked out. For a boy, we some days think we've got it picked out and other days the list grows to three. We adore them all, so how we'll decide, I don't know!
 
We now have some newborn and size 1 diapers and wipes, so that's exciting! We decided to go with The Honest Company. We haven't picked out a crib or set up your nursery yet but I am itching to do so. It's amazing to think that in approximately 3 1/2 months, you'll be in our arms. God is so good.
 
Our friends from NC, Brent and Danielle, are moving to NYC and staying with us this week while they find an apartment. We're excited to spend some time with them! Lots of restaurants, shops, and parks to show them over the next few days.  
 
Also, your baby jeans came this week and I pretty much think they are the cutest little things ever. Something about a little baby in blue jeans. Daddy and I are in trouble.
 
My darling, you're doing such a wonderful job. Keep growing big and strong and know how deeply you are loved and prayed for from all over the world. You're our miracle and we are so proud of you. We love you, we love you, we love you so, dear baby.
 
Mommy and Daddy
 


May 9, 2015

Thoughts on Being a Mother

The first time I celebrated Mother's Day (in recognition of myself as the mother) was in 2011. TJ bought me flowers and one of those Boppy body pillows. The ones that are supposed to help pregnant women sleep more comfortably. He gave me a card and wrote a message from the twins. It was a beautiful memory.

A few weeks later, we lost the twins. Mother's Day since then has been a very painful day for me. The memory that stands out the most to me took place at church. The priest asked all moms to stand up while he delivered a blessing. At first, I didn't stand up. I didn't have my children next to me in the pew like the other moms. After TJ urged me to, I reluctantly stood. The priest did something I won't ever forget. He acknowledged me. He included moms who had suffered miscarriage or lost a child at any stage, and he acknowledged those who yearn to be mothers. His message was one of hope and faith. Filled with sadness and appreciation, I began to cry and the tears flowed so freely that I had to walk out and take a moment.

Here I am in 2015, and I am preparing to meet our 7th child. This 7th child does not reside in my womb, but is every bit my own. This child will, God willing, be the first child I meet face-to-face, hold in my arms, and bring home from the hospital. Our baby is a miracle and the answer to so many prayers. My heart is filled to the brim with hope and gratitude. I'm thankful I don't feel the same sadness that I have in years past. But, there is always going to be a part of my heart that yearns and aches for the children we have lost. The ones who made me a mother, too.

Yesterday, as I was leaving school, a kind, elderly woman said "next year I'll get to wish you a Happy Mother's Day!" She knows we are expecting so I said, "well, I suppose we can celebrate this year, can't we?" Her response was "well not this year, but next!"  For some reason it made me feel the tiniest bit sad. While I understand that next Mother's Day having Baby Guy in our arms will make it the most special yet, am I not a mother already? And, I didn't want to get into the particulars at that moment, but I wanted to share with her that I've been a mother since 2011. The point of sharing this story is that I still wanted to be acknowledged. I wanted to shout "I already am a mother AND I am expecting our bundle of joy come September!"


I know this day is very painful for so many. Women who are missing the children whom they have lost, and ones on a bumpy road to parenthood. If you are already a mom, or you hope to become one, I acknowledge you. I hope that this day, which can serve as a reminder of what's missing or a reminder of the blessings before you (or hopefully both) can fill you with hope. If you're sitting in the pew, looking around at all of the other moms, waiting patiently for your turn, know that it's coming. Your desire to be a mom is there because you will be one. One way or another, you will. So, my challenge to you is to celebrate that fact this Mother's Day. And if it helps, remind yourself that those moms might have sat in your seat at one point. They might have shed tears year after year as they waited patiently for their turn. It's coming, Mama. It's on it's way and it will be right on time.

May 6, 2015

Dear Baby--19 & 20 Weeks

I'm so thankful to have this blog as a way to connect with others. Sharing our journey with so many people who love us, our baby and keep us all in continual positive thoughts and prayers means more than words can ever articulate. Some of you have been following along with this blog from the beginning, almost four years ago when a heartbroken mom didn't know what else to do other than write. I'm so thankful that our beautiful baby is making me a mom again. We are 20 weeks today. I am in awe of each milestone we hit and I do not take one minute for granted. It's a miracle in the making. I have some prayer requests today, and if you would please lift us up with these prayers, we would appreciate it so much.

Prayer Requests:
*There was a note on a report from the 18 week ultrasound that placental calcification was present. A quick internet search scared me, so I stopped. Basically, placental calcification occurs when the placenta is aging. Finding this halfway through the pregnancy may indicate that it's aging prematurely. Our doctors are very thorough, and I'm thankful for that. Since it was noted on the report, and not pointed out to us otherwise, we are hoping and praying that it was only a tiny spot of calcification, and that it wasn't severe. We will hear from the doctor by the morning to know in more detail about what was found.
Please Pray:
That there is hardly any placental calcification.
That if there is, it will not progress or it will progress very slowly.
That our baby will continue to gain all oxygen and nutrients from A's placenta.
That our baby will not be in danger at any time, that the doctors will closely monitor A, our baby's movement and development.
That our baby will continue to grow and measure on track, by all parameters measured.
That God will keep our baby safe and that we will meet, bring home  and raise, our live, healthy baby.

Thank you. All we can do is trust, stay hopeful and pray. Please trust, stay hopeful and pray with us. Love you all.

"With God, all things are possible."

Where there is hope there is faith. Where there is faith, miracles. happen.



Dear Baby,

Hey, Darlin'. At 19 weeks you are the size of an heirloom tomato. Goodness, I love heirloom tomatoes. Anyhow, this week your brain is designating areas for smell, taste, hearing, vision and touch. Your kidneys continue to make urine and the hair on your scalp is sprouting! I wonder what color it will be. You are also developing regular sleep and awake patterns in the womb.

We heard this week that the placenta is no longer low lying! Great news. You are measuring right on track, baby G, and your heart rate was 140 bpm.

A is at the clinic still, and will likely stay for a while now. We're just so thankful for the doctors and team who care for you so much! It takes a village, my dear, and you are loved so so much.

Here's a little about what mommy and daddy have been up to this week:

First, I can't stay off Zulily. It's all too cute. Daddy was out of town this week and I sent him this message:


                                                               #cantstopwontstop


We have been spending LOTS of time in Central Park! Probably my favorite thing about living in NYC is living close to this beautiful park. I love walking through it every season, but this spring feels especially lovely in the park. Your big sisters (dog sisters, that is) l-o-v-e it.
 
 
 
first pair of booties from Nana
We watched the Kentucky Derby with our friends Lindsey and Misha and I made April's chicken and waffles appetizer before we left.

My little love bug, we are so proud of you. Keep growing big and strong and know that we all pray for you non-stop. You are our miracle and we love you, we love you, we love you so, dear baby.

Mommy and Daddy


 
Dear Baby,
 
You are 20 WEEKS! Ohh Ohh, half way there... OHHH OHHH! Living on a prayer! Sweet baby, this week you are the size of a banana, or a small cantaloupe, depending on who you ask. :) You weigh as much as a coconut!
 
You're swallowing more, which is good practice for your digestive system. You're also producing meconium. Your eyes, which have been sealed shut for weeks, may open this week. Or, they may stay shut for a bit longer. Your skin is covered and protected by a waxy coating called vernex caseos. Your hair, eyebrows and nails continue to sprout! At this point in the pregnancy it is very clear whether you are a sweet boy or girl, but we aren't finding out so we won't know for a while! For the record, I completely think you're a boy this week. I'm all over the map!
 
Mommy is feeling some nerves this week because I spotted a few words on the ultrasound report about placental calcification. I ran to google which is a BAD IDEA! Anyhow, you just need to know that you have a huge village praying for you, sweetheart, and that you're going to be fine. I trust in God that He is taking care of you and A and that He will usher you safely into our arms when the time is right. I pray that you stay inside of A for as long as possible and that you get all of the oxygen and nutrients you need to grow big and strong. So far, you've been doing just that. You keep it up, okay? We're so proud of you.
 
You're our miracle and we love you, we love you, we love you so, dear baby.
 
Mommy and Daddy

 
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