Saturday, July 31, 2010

Monitor Time

Along with placenta previa comes the risk of placenta accreta, which has been described to me so many times that I just feel like {insert something that you would do when you are really irritated about being told something 20 different times}. Basically, there is a high risk of maternal hemorrhage while delivering the placenta and if they can't get the bleeding to stop then they have to remove the uterus. Whoa! If I don't have a uterus doesn't that mean that I can't have any more biological children? Even if I don't have placenta accreta, God might decide that we won't have any more biological children. I tell you all of that not because I am worrying into the future but just because it puts pregnancy into a whole new perspective when there is an obvious chance it could be my last. God laid it on my heart a while ago (before I ended up in the hospital) to enjoy this pregnancy as much as possible. After being put in the hospital, I feel like I have been given a very unique opportunity to enjoy the pregnancy and really bond with Garrett. I get hooked up to the monitor twice a day for an hour. It can sort of feel like I am tied down because it is more difficult to move around and sometimes the belts get itchy. However, I try really hard to be intentional with this time and for the most part look forward to it being a "date with Garrett." What a gift it is to be able to sit back and relax while listening to his heartbeat for an hour. Some of the things I do to make the most of monitor time are:

  • Lay back, relax, close my eyes and try to visualize what Garrett will look like
  • Sing a song
  • Write Garrett a letter
  • Talk to Garrett (this sometimes makes me feel like maybe I have lost my mind)
  • Write in my prayer journal
  • Write in my journal
  • Pray in thought
  • Pray reading through a book For This Child I Prayed by Stormie Omartian
  • I must admit that every now and then I do check out and just watch TV or read a book but for the most part I try to be very intentional and not just pass monitor time but really enjoy and savor it.
  • Friday, July 30, 2010

    Random & Goofiness at the Hospital

    This is a picture of the sun reflecting off of one of the buildings downtown:

    Braedon was being totally goofy sitting on daddy's lap the other day. We don't really know what he was doing but he sure was having fun.

    Here is Kaley carrying around mommy's purse.


    Have you ever had your hair touch your belly before? You actually may not notice and I almost didn't because I wear it up so often but my hair is long enough to touch my belly. There is something I know you couldn't sleep without knowing! :-) I was joking with some of my friends while they were visiting the other day and saying that I need to start blogging about every random thing that I can think of just to add a bit of humor (and make people wonder if I had lost my mind). So, there you have it. {hee hee}

    Thursday, July 29, 2010

    Making the Most of It

    I love, love, love the beach and want so badly to go whenever we have the chance. Around this time last year, we took a trip to the beach and besides getting some cute photos and sparse moments of relaxation it was pretty much a horrible experience. I can't even remember too many specifics but I know we ended up arguing and then just packed up and left mad. Apparently, two kids, sunscreen, sand, and two stressed out parents doesn't make a lovely combination for the beach. I was truly disappointed that our trip to the beach wasn't all beautiful and fun and I kept asking myself it's the beach, why can't we just make the most of it instead of getting all stressed out. God revealed to me one word...immaturity. The more I prayed about it the more convinced I was that we were a really immature couple who just was not able to respond well under stressful circumstances. After a few more stressful situations where we responded in a less than desirable manner, I started really asking God to mature us and give us the strength to respond well no matter what the situation is. I want so bad for us to be able to make the most of our time and see the blessing in everything...even a less than desirable situation. Now, from a hospital room where I have spent the last 3 1/2 weeks and will spend the next week awaiting the c-section birth of our 3rd child I can proudly celebrate what God has done in maturing us as a couple through the experiences leading up to this hospital stay and the hospital stay itself. We are making the most of it despite it being a less than desirable situation. We certainly have not "arrived" by any means because we still need plenty of work. But, God has moved us from a place where we were unable to make the most of a beach trip to a place where we are making the most of a month long hospital stay. I am so grateful and celebrate the wonderful work God is doing in our lives. I was talking to a minister from our church the other day and he was encouraging me and telling me that God can use this and we will be a stronger couple on the other side of this experience. That prompted my memory that I had been praying for us to become a more mature couple. It never ceases to amaze me how creatively God answers prayers.

    Tuesday, July 27, 2010

    Skyline Chili

    If you are from the South you may never have heard of it's a mid-west thing. The way I like my skyline chili is a bed of spaghetti noodles topped with skyline chili then topped with lots and lots of shredded cheddar cheese. Of course, we can't forget the oyster crackers on the side. In the restaurant, this is called a 3-way. There are not any Skyline Chili restaurants in the South but they sell it in a can. So, you can just boil some spaghetti, heat up the sauce, get out the cheese and crackers, and voila! Andrew tells me a few days ago that he has a surprise dinner for me and it is one of my favorites. I don't like to spoil surprises so I intentionally try not to think about what it is. In the back of my mind though I am thinking how in the world is he going to prepare a seafood meal for me and bring it to the hospital (seafood is my absolute favorite). I know he doesn't have time for that. I was pleasantly surprised when he showed up with my second favorite (and much, much easier) meal of Skyline Chili. It was so sweet and thoughtful. Thanks, Honey!

    Monday, July 26, 2010

    Family Pictures

    Check out our family photos we had taken in a garden at the hospital. We wanted to capture the belly in the photos and since I will be in the hospital up until baby Garrett's birthday we had to do them here. It turned out great because this beautiful garden made a great setting. Click here to see the pictures.
    It is so neat to see the change from year to year. Click here to see a few Feb 09 photos.

    Saturday, July 24, 2010

    My Husband, My Gift From God

    God never fails to amaze me at the strength that He gives my wonderful husband to step in and take over things when he needs to. The first very significant life event was the c-section birth of our first child. Obviously, Andrew was a brand new dad and I was pretty much out of commission while recovering from major surgery. Andrew stepped up like he was an old pro. I can't even remember how long it was before I even changed a diaper, not to mention the many other things that went along with that. Now, since being in the hospital on bed rest with our third child, Andrew is having to take care of the home front with both little ones. Thanks to God that we are not alone during this time. We have an AMAZING support group that has helped with childcare, meals, yard work, and housework. I could not be more grateful for the stress relief it has been on my husband and therefore our whole family. It is still a stressful time though even when most of the tangible things are taken care of but Andrew has yet to complain. He tells me not to worry and just relax and get my rest. He makes sure that the kids come to the hospital to see me at least once a day, sometimes twice on the weekends. We eat dinner together at the hospital, which means he is transporting food and then heating it up and fixing plates at dinner time. I am sure it would be much easier to stay home. I know how difficult it is to get the kids up and ready for church, back home, lunch, nap when both of us are home. Andrew has done it by himself for the past three weeks. Again, I am sure it would be much easier to stay home. What a gift of a husband who cares more about worshipping God and family togetherness than his own ease and comfort. Honey, you are the love of my life and the man of my dreams. Thank you for all you have stepped up to do. For the gift of you...I thank God!

    Wednesday, July 21, 2010

    Unknown Expectations

    We had an ultrasound today to look and see if I still have vasa previa and determine what the go forward plan would be. In anticipation of the ultrasound I really feel like I didn't have any expectations. There were a couple of possible outcomes and I felt really open to any of them and just wanted to know. The placenta could have migrated more toward the top of my uterus and the vessels would have followed and the situation would not be as risky. In that case, delivery would have been postponed to later than 34 weeks...possibly 36 weeks. I probably still would have been on bedrest but maybe at home and not at the hospital. Or, the vasa previa would still be so evident that the doctor would stick to the original plan of delivering Garrett at 34 weeks. The doctor determined the later. He said that he is actually more convinced with this ultrasound than the last one (3 weeks ago) that it is a clear vasa previa and we should not take any chances. Therefore, barring an emergency situation, I am going to have a baby in two weeks (on or around Aug 5). WHOA! I realize now that I did have an expectation and that was that things would look at least a little better. Better enough that the doctor would want to look again before we actually delivered Garrett. However, he said that even if the vessels moved a little in the next two weeks it would not be enough for him to consider it safe to postpone delivery. I also think that I unintentionally got my hopes up about going home. I think I was trying to convince myself that I didn't have an expectations. In reality, I was hopeful about going home and really expecting that things had gotten better and not stayed the same. That must by why I feel like crying right now. Although, I am fairly anxious and somewhat emotional about the unknowns right now, it really isn't that big of a deal. I will have only been in the hospital for a month and 34 week babies are usually very healthy and don't have any serious issues. According to the ultrasound, Garrett weighs 4 lbs 14 oz. Which means that in two weeks he should be well over 5 lbs. The doctor said that the measurements per the ultrasound tend to break down and could be off a pound or more for bigger babies but with the size of mine if it is off at all it should only be off by a few ounces. I am praying for the steroids to have done their job for Garrett's lung development and he will not develop any respiratory issues. When I saw the neonatologist the other day she said weight and lungs were the two biggest things that they consider when deciding if a pre-term baby needs to be admitted to the NICU. Of course, I don't want him to go to the NICU and be able to room with me. I want him to be able to feed normally but they say the suck/swallow coordination is not developed until 36 or 37 weeks. I have the best laid plans figured out in my head already. However, the Lord keeps reminding me that my plans are not His plans. I know and trust that His plans are always perfect. Again, I sacrifice the unknowns to the Lord, have complete trust and dependence on Him, and humbly ask for Him to shower His grace and peace on us once again.

    Sunday, July 18, 2010

    More Flowers

    I got a couple more flower deliveries over the last week. There are two pictures of the first arrangement because there are a few different types of flowers that you can't see from the same angle.
    These are from my mom's good friend whose name just happens to be Tina:

    These are from my friend Su:


    This is the most beautiful butterfly that I have ever seen. Andrew surprised me early Saturday morning with a visit from the kids. After breakfast, we went for a wheelchair ride. On the way back to the room we took a little detour where you could walk outside on the sidewalk by some flowers and bushes. We saw this amazing butterfly flying around. I felt so blessed as if God had put it there just for us to enjoy! I told Braedon this was such a blessing because we don't see butterflies that big before. Truth is I have never seen one that big. It was two to three times bigger than butterflies I am used to seeing. I wish soooo bad that I would have had my real camera. I had my phone so I got some pictures but they completely don't do it justice since they are cell phone camera pictures. (hint: click on the middle picture to enlarge it if you can't see the butterfly). I was trying to get a picture with all of the surroundings to show how big it was. It landed for a long time just like it was posing for pictures. It was so neat!

    Saturday, July 17, 2010

    Rubber Glove Fish

    My nurse made blow up fish out of rubber gloves for the kids the other day. They LOVED them. Of course, Braedon's only lasted about 5 minutes before he popped it. Kaley's is still hanging on because she is not quite so rough with her things.

    Friday, July 16, 2010

    Am I Bored?

    This is a picture of the front of a super-cute greeting card I received appropriate. :-) The inside says "waiting with you in prayer"

    Amazingly enough, I am not bored. I have watched very little T.V. and no movies. I have browsed through the hospital materials they have given me, which include some early parenting information for pre-term babies, patient packet containing info on hospital amenities, other patient paperwork, etc...That is about as close as I have come to looking at magazines. I really have more of a desire to spend quite time with God, do bible study, pray, read, blog, journal, sleep, eat, and visit with people on the phone and in person. My dear sweet husband has been coming up with the kids for several hours each day. Of course, a 3 & 1/2 year old and 1 & 1/2 year old in a hospital room is anything but boring. I do have wheelchair privileges so we take a ride with the kids sitting on my lap and daddy pushing us. Combine all that with visiting with doctors and nurses, two hours a day of monitoring, and a shower and I really don't have much more time to pass. I also know that the purpose for me to be a light in the world includes this time while I am in the hospital. I am praying for God's leadership in that and have begun to build nice relationships with the staff who is caring for me. It is always my prayer that He be glorified in all I say and do. I am hoping and praying that people here will see His light in me.

    Thursday, July 15, 2010

    Sacrifice the Unknown

    Day 10 in the hospital-
    When I first arrived here and learned that I might be "here for a while," I knew that I needed to make the most of the time. Up until about day 8 I had no anticipation of going home soon and was just hanging out making the most of it. On Day 8 there was some talk of possibly letting me go home and managing me outpatient. Yesterday (Day 9), the doctor committee decided that due to the fragility that it was safest to keep me longer (a couple of the nurses have affectionately labeled me as their little time bomb). Between day 8 and day 9, I started to become somewhat anxious wondering if I would go home soon, if I did would it safe for me and the baby, and then about 800 more questions flooded my mind. That night, I laid back trying to focus on baby Garrett and listen to his heartbeat on the monitor. I couldn't because my mind was absolutely racing. I know and trust that God is in control. I KNOW that His timing is always perfect. It is the not knowing the details that sends my mind in all crazy directions sometimes. The more I prayed about it the more I became aware of the fact that all of the unknown can be a unique sacrifice to God. It is an opportunity to take every unknown and give it up to God in total dependence and trust in Him. So, I got out my journal and listed some of the more pressing 800 questions I have on my mind. Some of them were:

  • Will I go home soon?
  • Will it be safe for me and baby?
  • If I go home, how in the world am I going to continue to be on bed rest?
  • Will we get plan Garrett's birthday or will this turn into an emergency situation either at the hospital or later on at home?
  • How pre-term will Garrett be or is there a chance of getting to term at this point?
  • Will me and baby be safe all the way through delivery?

    Then I prayed offering all of this and more up to God and accepting the fact that I am not in control and that I trust His perfect plan. I asked him to take the anxiety from me and give me His peace. Praise God! He has been glorified through my sacrifice and worship of Him through this time. He is always faithful and has blessed me with peace again.

  • Sand Pictures

    My sister-in-law has an iphone and used this neat picture app.

    My brother and my neices:

    Wednesday, July 14, 2010

    Hospital Update

    Today is day 9 since I have been in the hospital. Baby Garrett and I have both been stable the entire time we have been here. The bleeding had subsided soon after it started and has not returned. It has been three full days since any contractions have been detected by me or the monitors. The bedrest has helped and they are re-evaluating the plan, which means they might send me home. I will absolutely be glad to be at home in my own bed. I am sure I will continue to be on full bedrest (that is if they send me home). We'll see. I will know more by afternoon(ish) today. Update to follow soon!

    Tuesday, July 13, 2010

    Garden at the Hospital

    I am able to go for wheelchair rides at the hospital, which our family has been taking full advantage of. I love it because I get to get out of the room and spend some time outside. Even though the heat is a bit uncomfortable, being outside is my absolute favorite place to be most of the time. Of course, the kids love it too (being outside and the wheelchair rides). There is a garden that we have visited a couple of times and actually took the camera today so we could get some pictures. It was so neat to watch Braedon and Kaley completely carefree, running and jumping, putting their hands in the fountains, and laughing. It made me wonder how many other moms have been sitting there in a wheelchair with a much more grim condition than me, watching their kids playing. I was completely overwhelmed with gratitude for every moment God gives me with my family. I am so thankful that the scare didn't turn into an emergency and that my condition is not something altogether worse than it is. I spent some time thanking God and praying for all of the families who have visited the garden while being in the hospital for various reasons.

    There they go:

    Here they come:

    Daddy and his babies:

    Braedon was fascinated by the bell:

    Mama and her babies:

    This one is kind of goofy cause I am coaxing Kaley to come over and sit down for a picture. I wanted to share it because it perfectly shows all of my bling bling. I am wearing four different bracelets that cover about half of my forearm on one side. On the other arm I have an IV line started in case of an emergency. I sure will be glad to have my forearms free of these things!

    Monday, July 12, 2010

    Fun With Cousins

    Kaley got a new book and was sitting at this cute little child's table looking at it. Then, her cousin leaned in for a picture with her.

    Then, three of the four kids sat down in a circle to roll a ball back and forth to each other.

    Meanwhile, the other cousin was sitting in a baby doll can't really tell because her dress is covering it up but it was too cute. Kaley was doing it earlier but I didn't have the camera out in time to get pictures of her doing it.

    Watching Fireworks

    Here are the kiddos with the cousins watching fireworks.

    Sunday, July 11, 2010


    One of the more pleasant things about being in the hospital is receiving flowers and treats. I LOVE flowers and am so blessed by how pretty they make the room and how wonderful they smell.
    These are from my mama, brother, and aunt:

    These are from Chris and Anna:

    These are from my friend and mentor Wendy:

    These are from my dear friend Pam:

    Saturday, July 10, 2010

    Sunrise on 7-9-10

    Wednesday morning I realized that I can see the sunrise out my hospital window. Thursday I was still trying to catch up on sleep and slept in too late to see it. Friday morning though, I was awake super early spending some alone time with God by the window and watched the sun come up. Sunrise is one of my absolute favorite things to watch. It was even more special praying and listening to worship music while watching it. God is such an awesome Creator and He put me in a room with a view so I could worship Him through this part of creation! I am so blessed.

    Friday, July 9, 2010

    Thursday, July 8, 2010

    Outside Cuteness

    Just some cute pics I took of the kids outside.
    They sure do love their popsicles.
    A close up of Kaley:

    I was trying to get them to stand next to each other and hold hands or something but that didn't really work out as planned.
    Braedon is actually holding her hand but Kaley is running from him here:

    He is trying to get her to hold his hand here but she doesn't realize it:

    So, then he ends up just looking at her like he is not sure what to do: