Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Just an update...

I should really be cleaning up the living room right now - it looks like a strong wind blew everything around, but I was too tired to deal with it before bedtime. Basically, I broke my own clean up before we go upstairs rule tonight. I also sat in my bed with Mitchell and had a fudgesicle date. Usually a squirrely, 5 year old boy + chocolate + my bed is not going to happen, but tonight, it worked.

Anyway - I know I sort of said "Hey, I'm having an ultrasound today" and then disappeared, which wasn't very nice of me. We did have our u/s last Tuesday, but it turned out to be somewhat emotional and confusing so I just decided to avoid the update thing until we knew what was what.

Because of my *cough* age, we were having a Level II u/s done. When I scheduled the appointment, the receptionist asked if we would be doing an amnio. I said that our strong inclination was to not do one, but that I didn't feel comfortable 100% turning it down. She said she'd put us in an "amnio" spot for our appointment, which meant we could meet with a genetic counselor, get any questions answered, etc. and then if we decided to do one after the u/s we could, and if we decided not to, that was fine.

Okay - I did say I would nutshell this, right? No? Well, I'm going to try. I'm sort of too tired to relive the whole entire thing at the moment, and I *have* to clean up the living room - it's bugging me.

Short version...right...short version.

We had the u/s. 99% of everything was absolutely perfect. Amazing. Still so absolutely amazing to see that tiny little person swimming around in there! The spine is what always looks so completely awesome to me -- I'm not sure why, but I am always thinking "Wow!!! Look at that!!!" Sweet feet, precious hands, everything was just so fun to see.

Now, about the 1% that was not so perfect. Basically, they saw something called a "bright" or "ecogenic" bowel, which means that part of the bowel looked as bright white as the bone around it. This can be attributed to the baby having swallowed some "uterine debris" (ick, huh?) or possibly having some sort of infection. On the much more serious side, it's considered to be a soft marker (more coincidental than diagnostic, particularly when in isolation) for some chromosomal abnormalities, like Down Syndrome for example.

Like anyone, this difference made us a bit uncomfortable as we listened to the possible explanations and their wide range of severity. Thankfully, this was one of the first things that the u/s tech commented on and it was followed by nothing but positive, right on track measurements and development.

So. We were left with the option of having an amnio done. Or not.

They told us that if it was the uterine debris thing, most likely if we came back for a follow-up u/s in 4-5 weeks, it would be gone as the material would be reabsorbed. Would that inspire more confidence that nothing else was abnormal? No, was the answer. (This is the extremely abbreviated version.)

All I can say about the actual doctor (a reproductive genetic specialist, or something like that) is that he was loud, pompous and EXCEPTIONALLY inappopriate about voicing his opinion. Again, to shorten the story -- he pretty much downright offended us in communicating his opinion about what he would do and why. We made our decision in spite of his advice, because we felt like it was the best choice for our family. In the end, if something was seriously different with regards to our baby's health and/or development, we decided we'd like to know sooner rather than later to prepare not only ourselves, but our children and our families for some things.

We went ahead and had the amnio done -- and whoa, nelly -- that was pretty painful. I think that half of it was because the doctor had me so worked up and emotional (and keep in mind I'd been awake since 2 am that day) that I couldn't relax at all. At. All.

Today I spoke with the genetic counselor and she gave us the wonderful news that everything is fine. There are no chromosomal abnormalities, and since I tested negative for the cystic fibrosis screening -- that is not a good likelihood. It was just so nice to get that reassuring news.

Had to edit since Rebekah reminded me that I didn't share boy/girl info. *sigh* Here's the thing, I want to find out and hubby doesn't. So we decided not to. But I'll tell ya, when she asked if I wanted to know yesterday and I knew this wasn't based on a guess on the u/s but was like FACT information, I had a hard time saying no. I also had a hard time not calling back. I told Chris last night I *almost* called back. He said it was up to me and he wouldn't be mad if I just couldn't take it. I think I just need to get over it. If he wants to be surprised and it's our last hurrah, then I should give him that chance. So, it's a surprise baby. We are both guessing boy.

And noooooo way could I keep that secret. No. Possible. Way.

And now I'll be writing a letter to the doctor about his behavior and lack of professionalism. He disgusted me and I'm appalled every time I reflect on his words and attitude. Just awful and simply unacceptable. Ack. Almost went into detail. Can't! Must go clean!!!!

ANYWAY - there you go. (And trust me, this truly was the biggest nutshell ever.) I came down with a pretty nasty virus/cold thing the same night as my u/s -- I think between being awake for 20 straight hours (I took Chris to a basketball game that night) and my emotional state being completely out of whack, my immune system was pretty weak. Now that I'm almost over it, I'm feeling pretty good again.

So, I'm off to clean the living room - here's a bonus -- especially for you, Jennifer P -- a picture of me right after Georgia's 2nd birthday party (that will be another post this week). We un-invited both our brothers/their kids and my grandparents since I was a sickie. Both of our parents decided to throw caution to the wind and still came -- my dad took this picture as they were leaving. I was absolutely exhausted and literally just climbed into bed (clothes and all) for a nap about 2 minutes after he took this. Enjoy the belly -- 18 weeks exactly in this photo.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

It's that time again... in, the middle of the night. *sigh*

Most of my 2005 posts were probably made between the hours of 10 pm and 8 am. I was pregnant.

Hi. It's 3:25 a.m. at the moment. I'm pregnant. *yawn*

I'm just sayin'...this seems to be my thing. I believe that I brought tonight upon myself as I ate too late (and something a little sweet) and had horrid heartburn and well -- here I am. Law & Order is always on almost all night and usually will put me back to sleep. Not tonight.

As long as I'm up, here are two (as Chris calls them) "bloggable" moments from this week in our house.
Here's an almost hourly conversation with Georgia this week. NO idea what it means or where it came from but she's pretty satisfied every time I play along.
Georgia: Guess what, Mommy!
Mommy: What?
Georgia: Charlie Brown! (cha-ee bon)
Mommy: Charlie Brown?
Georgia: Yeah.
(Uhhhh, nope. You're not missing anything. That's it. That's where she happily runs off.)

Mitchell made me get all teary-eyed at dinner on Valentine's Day. I made breakfast for dinner and the highlight for the kids was the pink, heart-shaped pancakes that I made. (In hindsight, very strange. I try pretty hard to not give them red food dye if I can help it and then I gave it to them on purpose. Go figure. I had planned the heart-shape thing earlier, but the pink idea came to me at the last minute. Next year, it's raspberry and/or strawberry puree in the batter, baby.)

Anyway, he was getting himself another pancake from the kitchen and Georgia said "More cakes?" as he was getting up. He brought the whole plate back to the table with him and said "Maybe we can share one, Georgia!"

We then watched with pride as he completely unprompted proceeded to tear a pancake in half. He put one half on his plate, then put the other half down on his placemat. He asked Georgia for her fork and began trying to cut the other half of the pancake into smaller pieces for her. He was pretty unsuccesful at that, so he put the fork down and began tearing off bite-sized pieces for her. Every time he'd hand her one she'd say, "Ank u, Mitcho" and he'd smile so big and tell her "You're welcome, sweetheart."

*sniffle* It was seriously just the sweetest thing. Chris and I just sat there and watched. Well, he sat and watched with a smile. I watched, smiled, and cried...'cause, well - that's what I do.

I'll leave you on a good note: I have my big ultrasound this morning. In 4 hours. Guess I better try again for some sleep, huh? Oh, and no - not finding out what we're having but praying for a healthy whoever is in there. I'll update you on that front soon.

Night, night. (See -- look at me, being all optomistic and stuff. Pretty cheery for 3:39 a.m., huh?)

Monday, February 11, 2008

A Little Meme Action

Nichole (who I didn't even know had a blog until the other day) tagged me for a Meme. Okay, I say...I have nothing else to write about at the moment, so here goes.

First, the rules:
(1) Link to the person that tagged you.
(2) Post the rules on your blog.
(3) Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
(4) Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
(5) Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website. (I won't be doing that. If you are like me and need a random topic, I tag you!)
(6) I feel as though there should be six rules, but there are only five. Go figure.

Okay---seeing as how I've done this before, I'll try to think of some new stuff.

1. I cannot STAND the sound of nails being filed (like on an emory board) -- it makes my skin crawl. Seriously. Top 10 things I cannot stand - it makes the list.

2. Last week I ate an entire bag of those round, cherry ball things that only come out around Valentine's Day. Oh, and they were super good.

3. I am now resisting the urge to either (a) buy another bag or (b) buy a bag of the cherry things that are like gumdrops in the shape of hearts. Clearly, I have some issues over here.

4. I have been craving pepperocini peppers this pregnancy. As in, I ate an entire JAR by myself in a week. I didn't tell my mom about this, but a few weeks ago she said she had a dream that I had a baby boy who was born with shoulder length, jet black hair. The best part? We named him Pepperoni and would call him "Pepper" for short.

Seriously??????? *twilight zone music plays here*

5. I just spent my $40 iTunes gift cards in the middle of the night last night. (Georgia's been having some sleep issues, which means I've been having some sleep issues.) The code you have to type in about drove me nuts at 4 am. The 8 looked like a B. I was talking (sternly) to the computer each time it would tell me "invalid code" and I think a little too loudly. Chris got up and turned on a lamp, glared at me and said "Maybe that will help." Ohhhhh - that Cabana Boy. He needs his beauty sleep.

6. If this baby is a boy, he may very well go nameless for a few weeks. We cannot agree on boy names. Let me husband has not yet realized the amazingness of my favorite boy names. (To give you some insight regarding the seriousness of our level of disagreement -- we have both suggested each other's favorite name to each other as a future dog name. Oy.)

....annnnndddd, there you have it. A mini-blog in a Meme. Who knew it would turn out so well? I'm off to play a rousing game of Hi-Ho-Cherry-O. Wish me luck - I usually get walloped.

Like I said, if you are in the mood for a Meme - have at it!! Thanks, Nichole - it was fun!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

6 Years.

It has been 6 years since we said our vows. 6 years since I saw him nervously turned with his back against the wall so that he wouldn't see me before the wedding as I came to wait at the back of the church for the ceremony to start.

6 years. Today. Wow.

We had plans to take the kids to my in-laws' house so that we could go catch a matinee movie and have a long, leisurely, late lunch and do whatever we wanted to do before meeting up with them at church tonight. Instead, my husband is sick in bed. I don't know if it's just a bad cold, the flu, strep, bronchitis, or what...but he is not feeling well.

We're kind of striking out on enjoying special days and holidays lately.

So. Instead of waking him up, I thought I'd take a few quiet (shouldn't have written that word) moments this morning to talk about him, our marriage and what they all mean to me. We were asked at my MOPS group last week what we valued the most about our marriages. My answer was so easy -- I am married to my very best friend in the entire world. It is without a doubt, a complete luxury to be able to say that and know with all of my heart that it's true. We have our vows (we wrote our own) framed and hung above our bed. Like most of the romantic, wonderful ideas in our relationship, this was his thought. His framed vows were a gift on our first anniversary and he mounted them on the wall that night. He got my framed vows on our second anniversary.

The words that he spoke to me six years ago hang above my head while I sleep, and the words that I spoke to him six years ago hang above his head as he sleeps. I love that. I truly love that, and it's so very us. We loved writing our own vows and every single year on our anniversary, we read them out loud to each other again. I love that even more.

I recently bought a book that I have been using as my own personal devotional for my quiet time in the mornings. It's called The Power of a Positive Wife, by Karol Ladd. I just wanted something that could really help me get through what will definitely be a year of transition for me as a wife and mother. Adding this third child to our family is exciting, but it also has stirred some feelings of anxiousness and uncertainty in me, so I thought I'd be proactive and just arm myself with thoughts, scriptures and knowledge that I can meditate on in those moments where you wonder what in the world you are doing. I am the kind of person that has a tendency to project my own feelings onto those around me, and I'm trying very hard to change the way that it happens when negative, yucky stuff comes up. We have a good marriage today. Like everyone else, we have our struggles and difficulties, but overall, I know that we both have a lot of confidence in ourselves as a couple and feel that we have a solid marriage. My hope is that we can have an even better marriage tomorrow, and I'd love to be the catalyst for that kind of change.

So, I think that I have found a little guidepost for myself in my quest to better myself as a wife. Here is an excerpt from the first chapter...the bold part essentially puts to words the desires of my heart.

Here it is: The most important ingredient in the recipe for a great wife is God-centeredness (not husband-centeredness). First and foremost, a great wife is a godly woman. Not necessarily a church lady or a Bible-study attendee or even a prayer-circle leader. All of these are good things to be, but a godly woman has the distinct characteristic of having a deep and vibrant love relationship with God. She is a woman who loves the Lord, her God, with all her heart, mind, soul and strength.
Why does a godly woman make a great wife? Let's examine the blessings that overflow from her life.
A godly wife forgives, loves, serves, and encourages her husband as a natural outpouring of her love and devotion to her heavenly Father. She isn't demanding, controlling, or overbearing, because she walks in God's grace and offers that grace freely to her husband and others. She reflects the positive qualities of the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Her walk with God allows her to keep the other areas of her life in balance. She doesn't sweat the small stuff, but focuses on things of eternal value. Nor does she live on a performance track, trying to please her husband in order to gain his approval. She looks to God, not her husband, for affirmation and acceptance. A God-centered wife enjoys her relationship with her husband, understanding that both husband and wife are God-given complements to one another. She finds her joy, peace, and inner strength from the only true source: God himself.
You may be thinking, Come on. No one is that perfect! You're right. No one is - but that's the great thing about God's redemptive power. God is in the business of taking weak, ordinary, sinful creatures; redeeming them; and changing them into beautiful new creations. His power and work in our lives make us better than we could ever hope to be on our own.
So, there you go. My blueprint for where I'd like to go and who I'd like to be.
I love my husband so very, very much and all I want to do is make this year better than the last year. It would be fantastic if I could turn this year into an opportunity to make it a foundation for improving our marriage in ways I never thought possible. I'm excited just thinking about it.
Happy Anniversary, honey. I love you so much more than I ever thought I could, and today more than yesterday. I know what you're going to say, too.
And no, I love YOU more.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Ummm - definitely need some work.

Not really time for a big post, but as I previously mentioned -- I'm in the process of digging out in many areas of life. I've been trying to find time to put back into my time in the Word and in prayer. Well, yesterday I tried (not so bright of an idea in retrospect) to do my Bible study lesson while the kids were playing quietly.

Quietly lasted about 2.2 minutes.

I have to laugh this morning because looking back, the lesson I was in the middle of was about balancing priorities, making wise choices, and spending time with family. I was really enjoying what I was reading and learning and thinking about.

When quietly ended - so did my patience. I ended up getting pretty testy with the kids. Yes, right smack dab in the middle of my Bible study lesson.

What a nerd!!

So, yeah -- I've got my shovel out and I'm digging the best I can, but there is much work still to be done around here. (Oh, and by the way, I know that pobody's nerfect and all of that - it's just so humbling to think of the fabulous timing I have.)

Hope you're all well...I'll be checking in again soon. I promise! I will even try to get a picture of my ever-growing belly. It is starting to freak me out size-wise -- it's something to behold for me as I'm much bigger than I was with the other two at this point. (I know that's typical for a 3rd baby - but whoooeeee...a little intimidating to think that I still have 25 more weeks for it to grow!)

Toodles, my friends.