Thursday, October 31, 2013

With a Heavy Heart

Holly's sweet daughter Brinly passed away on Monday and was delivered Wednesday, October 30th. Thankfully, her contractions have stopped and her son, Jude, is still alive and well. Praying for the whole family.

Happy Halloween

Hope everyone has a fun, safe night!

The perfect blend of villains and musical theater for a silly, spooky evening.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Tough Day: Update

Thank you all for your encouragement and prayers yesterday afternoon. I'm happy to say that the conference with Mrs. C went very well! Although she did not specifically address my concerns from the three incidents mentioned previously, she was very open to the new direction and manner of interacting with/speaking to Little K. She was concerned to hear that Little K takes criticism or direct correction as an attack on her core character/worth and that seemed to help her take the whole meeting very seriously.

I was very happy to have located the below information prior to our meeting and it seemed to be key in Mrs. C's commitment to this new course:

Dialectic Behavioral Therapy
The therapist should try to interact with the patient in a way that is:
  • Accepting of the patient as she is but which encourages change.
  • Centered and firm yet flexible when the circumstances require it.
  • Nurturing but benevolently demanding.

While I did change the wording from therapist to authority figure and patient to child, it felt good to be able to walk into the meeting with some science to back up Little K's needs. We call DBT "Loving Correction" in our home and have been raising Little K this way for several years. We have seen a HUGE difference in her when we parent this way and expect to see improvement in her classroom, too, as her teacher commits to this process.

Mrs. C and I talked through some classroom scenarios and discussed ways to incorporate this new way of managing Little K into the classroom language. We were able to incorporate DBT into the new classroom strategy in this way:
  • Begin with affirmation of whatever Little K has been able to accomplish or do correctly.
  • Request change or correction in a positive tone.
  • Provide encouragement to complete the change/correction.

For example:

Problem: Little K is dawdling in putting away her backpack and getting started with morning work.
Affirmation: Good morning, Little K! I'm so glad to see you today!
Request: Please go ahead and put away your backpack so you can get started with our morning work.
Encouragement: Because I know you will want time to talk with your friends before class starts.

Problem: Little K has gotten distracted during independent work.
Affirmation: Wow, Little K, look at how much you have gotten done already!
Request: Please focus on completing the rest of your worksheet.
Encouragement: Because I know you are looking forward to reading your book once you are done.

These are things that come very naturally for us here at home and I was encouraged to hear from the teacher that she was planning on implementing these with Little K immediately. She even mentioned that this would work with some of her other tougher students, too, so I'm hoping that translates into seeing long term change in the classroom.

I came home and talked with Little K about the meeting, telling her that Mrs. C was sorry to have made her feel stupid and thinks that Little K is a very bright child. I told her that Mrs. C was going to work on using her words to show Little K that she cares about her and thinks she is smart. I also told Little K that we were going to work on her being able to stay focused in class and follow the classroom rules. When I was done, I asked her how she felt about all of that and she said she felt good. She was in a great mood the rest of the day.

I plan on following up with the teacher mid/end of next week to see how she feels and if she is seeing positive change. Overall, I feel really good about our meeting and am praying that we begin to see Little K enjoying second grade.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Kind of a Tough Day

Little K had a tough day at school yesterday and I'm starting to feel like it isn't entirely her fault. I have had concerns about her teacher for a while now and finally called yesterday to set up a parent-teacher conference. Praying that I am able to stay calm (not cry) and professional (not get angry) when we talk today. I am going in with some notes about the best way to interact with Little K and an attitude of "let's work together for a successful year". My notes are below. While I don't plan on reading them verbatim and will be asking her teacher to share her version of events, I am prepared to take these notes to a higher office if her teacher in unresponsive or dismissive. Something has to change.

Of course, my mommy guilt has been kicking in. Little K has a cold but not a fever - maybe if I had kept her home yesterday when she wasn't feeling well, we could have avoided this issue. But it's important for her to attend school and she didn't have a fever... I have to keep working, so homeschooling is not an option. Our family budget can't afford private school, but I have received information about a free charter school near us and will be completing an application for next year.

I just wish that this year was more like Kindergarten and First Grade. She loved school and looked forward to going every day. I hate that she doesn't feel that way this year. I want to make it better but am feeling pretty lost.

The meeting is at 3:30 today and I would appreciate your prayers.


Home Life
Little K’ father and I are divorced. Her father lives in Florida and she visits him for Summer Break, Winter Break, and Spring Break. We are aware that he has a different household than we do, without much thought to childhood development or the appropriateness of language/media she is exposed to in his home. Their household is run in a very strict disciplinary manner. Although she loves her father, she comes home from visiting him in a heightened emotional state, having frequent emotional breakdowns, feeling unheard or misunderstood, and taking attempts at correction very personally as if aimed at belittling her core worth or character rather than directed at changing her outward action. We call this her Stress Behavior and it usually takes two weeks for her to readjust to being home.

In contrast, Little K spends the other nine months of the year in our home in North Carolina. We are a Christian household and hold Biblical principles in the raising of our children. This is characterized, not only by being mindful of our children’s development and language/media they are exposed to, but also in our interactions with our children. Everything we say to our children, whether praise or correction, is done in a loving manner with the goal of reinforcing their sense of worth in our eyes and in God’s eyes. When Little K is treated in this manner, we have few, if any, emotional outbursts and we see quick adjustment to her behavior as she realigns with our expectations.

If you were to summarize the difference between these two households, you could describe it as Strict Discipline verses Loving Correction. When Little K is treated with Strict Discipline, she feels that her core character or worth is being called into question, causing her to react emotionally, either immediately or by internalizing and releasing these emotions when she comes back to her safe place: our home. However, when Little K is treated with Loving Correction, she understands that the adult still values and cares for her as a person and will adjust her behavior in order to reinforce the adult’s positive opinion and perception of her.

One of the ways we accomplish this is by using I-Statements and Reminders with Little K. For example, if Little K is having trouble focusing on brushing her teeth in the morning, I will tell her, “I am ready to do your hair but I need you to focus and finish brushing your teeth before I can do that.” The combination of an I-Statement from me (which reinforces that Little K will be helping to meet my needs by finishing her task), a reminder of what she is supposed to be doing, and the word “focus” work together to help Little K set aside distractions and complete the task at hand.

We have noticed that, since starting Second Grade, Little K has been operating out of her Stress Behavior rather than the usual calm, cooperative behavior we have come to expect when she is in North Carolina. We are concerned that this is due to her classroom environment. While we fully expect Little K to be held to classroom rules, we are concerned that the manner in which these rules are enforced is having a negative impact on Little K. Although the above method of Loving Correction takes more time, it yields a faster change in Little K’ behavior and helps to improve her emotional health.

2013-2014 School Year
Throughout Kindergarten and First Grade, Little K looked forward to school. She had good relationships with her teachers, to the point of telling them “I love you” and excitedly informing them of her brother who is on the way. With very few exceptions, she brought home papers marked Mastery. Although abiding by the classroom rules has always been a struggle for her, her teachers and teacher aids worked in cooperation with Little K and I in order to improve her behavior and stay focused on the task at hand. She loves to learn, makes up math problems to solve, and reads constantly. We see evidence that she is a bright child and an active learner.

Since starting Second Grade, Little K has been saying that she doesn’t like school and has been having frequent emotional breakdowns when coming home from school. Little K has said that, with the way Mrs. C treats her, she must think Little K is stupid. She feels like Mrs. C is more strict with her than any of the other girls or students in the class. She feels like Mrs. C mixes up her voice with other girls in the classroom and calls on her for talking when she is not talking.

Little K often talks about how Mrs. C treats her and the things she tells us makes us concerned that this classroom is not a good fit for her. Some recent examples are below:

Shoe Situation, Mid-October
Little K was unaware that her shoelaces were untied. While sitting in class, Little K lifted one foot and her shoe came off. When Little K went under desk to pick it up, Mrs. C saw that she was out of her seat and got very upset. Instead of telling her to put her shoe back on, Mrs. C told Little K to place her shoe in front of the cubbies. Little K wasn’t allowed to put her shoe back on until it was time to leave.

Result: Little K was in tears when I picked her up from school, saying that Mrs. C humiliated her. Once we got home and Little K had calmed down, we talked about possible solutions in order to keep this from happening again. Little K became an active problem-solver and decided that we should try triple-knotting her laces, since the double-knots were still coming untied. We have triple-knotted her laces since then and have had no more shoe issues.

Monday 10-28-13, Rough Draft/Question Issue
Little K came home very upset, saying that Mrs. C never listens to what she is trying say. She explained that the class was reviewing their final copies of a writing assignment which Little K was not finished with, since she was still working on corrections on her rough draft. When Mrs. C asked her why it wasn’t done, Little K tried to answer but said Mrs. C kept interrupting her and not listening to her answer. Little K felt that Mrs. C was ignoring her and interrupting her when she was just trying to answer the question Mrs. C asked her.

Result: Little K remained upset for quite some time at home, going to her room and crying that she hates school and that Mrs. C is rude and mean. Once Little K was calm again, we were able to work on her homework and corrections in her weekly folder. Even during this time, Little K would have bursts of negative emotions which made it difficult to work through these assignments in a timely manner. In all, it took over two hours to calm down and finish the assignments.

Monday 10-28-13, Cold: Hand Sanitizer and Tissues
Little K says that she had her hand sanitizer attached to a band on her wrist since she has a cold and did not want to spread germs. She says that Mrs. C took her hand sanitizer and did not give it back at the end of the day. When I asked if Mrs. C gave her a warning or asked her to put it in her desk before taking it, Little K said that she did not.

Result: Little K’ hand sanitizer was not returned to her at the end of the day and she is afraid that she is spreading germs to her friends.

Little K currently has a cold with a very stuffy nose. As a result, she needed to blow her nose several times on Monday. Little K said that Mrs. C stopped allowing her to get tissues to blow her nose, causing Little K to have to sit at her desk and sniffle her nose. She then said that Mrs. C got upset with her for making noise with her sniffling. Little K feels that, if Mrs. C had allowed her to get tissues as needed, she would not have gotten in trouble for sniffling.

Result: Little K is getting in trouble for something that could be easily avoided if she was given access to the classroom supply of tissues.

Recent Parent-Teach Conference, Beginning of October
I attended a parent-teacher conference with Mrs. C the beginning of October. In this conference, Mrs. C and I talked a bit about Little K’ struggles in the classroom and I requested a copy of the classroom rules so that I could work on reinforcing classroom expectations with Little K at home. I have not yet received the requested copy of the classroom rules.

Since the parent-teacher conference, I have worked with Little K on the specific issues Mrs. C brought up: talking during class, staying focused during centers, and reading at inappropriate times. At home, we regularly reinforce that the classroom rules come first, before being social with her friends or even good manners (responding when a classmate asks her a question). We have told her that it seems like following the rules is the most important thing in Mrs. C’s classroom and to focus on following the rules in order to avoid being called on. Little K feels that she has improved with reading at inappropriate times and her behavior during centers. Little K feels she is getting better at talking during class.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Music Monday: Bless His Name

We had a great set this past week at church and I was blessed to be scheduled to sing some new favorite songs that day. One song particularly spoke to me, especially in light of all of the recent loss and pain in the ALI community.

Unfortunately, I am unable to find a good video of the song on YouTube, but I'm hoping that you'll take the time to click through and listen to this recording of Bless His Name. The chorus is particularly powerful:

I will bless His name every morning, night, and day
Forever I will choose to say the Lord is greatly to be praised
When troubles surround me and all the blessings seem to cease
Forever I will choose to say the Lord is greatly to be praised

The lyrics are written from Psalm 145.

As I have read the stories of Holly, Conceptionally Challenged, Lucky as Sunshine, and Vapor and Mist, it becomes so hard not to question God. It's easy to doubt His goodness and question who He is to allow so much pain and fear.

As I sang on stage this past weekend, the Lord brought each of these women to mind as we came to the chorus over and over:

When troubles surround me and all the blessings seem to cease
Forever I will choose to say the Lord is greatly to be praised

That praising God is a choice. No matter the tragedy and hurts and fears and questions that rise up, that I am called to make the conscious CHOICE to praise the Lord.

Even when I don't understand, He is still greatly to be praised.


I want to be clear that this is what God has been saying to ME, not my message to the mothers and families above.

Praying for Brinly's sac to reseal, for replenishment of amniotic fluid, and protection from infection for all three.

Still praying for healing and peace for all who have lost their precious children recently; your stories continue to bring tears to my eyes and heaviness to my heart.

Friday, October 25, 2013

21 Weeks: Preparing to Prepare for Childbirth

This post is about pregnancy. If you're not in a good place, please feel free to pass. Take care of you!

Yes, you read that right: preparing to prepare for childbirth.

Hearing that I have marginal placenta previa during our ultrasound was a shock to me and really threw off my commitment to HypnoBabies. I mean, if there's a chance that I will need a scheduled c-section, then why bother getting attached to a drug-free birthplan, right?

But the Lord has been reminding me that He is in control of all things. He already know when and how Aaron will be born. Our ultrasound in January will not change His plan. So, why worry?

Instead of focusing on HypnoBabies right now, I'm focusing on preparing my spirit for childbirth. At Caroline's suggestion, I revisited the reviews for Supernatural Childbirth as well as Redeeming Childbirth. I also searched online and found a great website with scriptures for preparing for childbirth.

When I first started planning on a HypnoBabies birth, I knew I wanted to supplement the materials with scripture. However, I was/am not confident in my ability to recall scripture by memory during labor. While I was on Amazon, I saw a link to Hidden in My Heart: A Lullaby Journey through Scripture. Intrigued, I read the reviews and then I looked up some of the songs on YouTube.

Love it! The melodies are simple without being childish. The lyrics consist of one scripture verse per song. And many of the scripture references are verses that I had already been thinking of using. I think I may have just found my supplemental tracks!

Although I wanted to order these materials right away, we have tightened our budget as a part of our financial plan and tithing. Well, SURPRISE! I randomly received a $50 gift card from completing my online health assessment for our insurance 6 weeks ago. Guess who's ordering on Amazon? The Lord is so creative in how He provides for us!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Praying for Holly

Please join in lifting Holly up in prayer. She is 17 weeks pregnant with twins and her water broke. Praying for God's miraculous hand of healing to save both of her children, specifically for the sac to reseal, amniotic fluid to replenish, and no infection.

Monday, October 21, 2013

One Minute Monday

That moment in pregnancy when you realize you can no longer avoid purchasing larger underwear.


Friday, October 18, 2013

20 Weeks: Flying By and Thankful (Bump Warning)

This post is about pregnancy. If you're not in a good place, please feel free to pass! Take care of you!

20 Week Bump

Wow. Wow, wow, wow! I can't believe this pregnancy is halfway over!

Here's the thing: I love being pregnant! I know pregnancy is really hard sometimes and that some people can be (physically) miserable the entire nine months. Goodness, even my sister had a really rough time. But, for me, pregnancy is pretty easy. Although I had some GI issues in the first trimester, it never came to actual morning sickness. I expect that my hips and feet will start bothering me more and more as things progress. But, overall, pregnancy is simple and fun.

So part of me gets sad that we're halfway done. I know that, unless God changes my heart (and R's heart, and our financial situation, and our living situation), we will not be having anymore children. That this is my last pregnancy. As much as I'm looking forward to meeting Aaron, I want to wait.

Aaron, please take as long as you need cooking in there! Let me enjoy even one more kick before you decide to be born!

We've started collecting baby things with a bit more earnest. We now have a swing, diaper clutch, rocker/bouncer combo, activity mirror, white noise machine, a few books, a couple of stuffed animals, a box of size 1 diapers, and some clothes. Our registries are complete (Target and Amazon). My parents have committed to purchasing our (expensive, oops!) stroller. The baby shower has a definite date and is being planned by our neighbor. I'm collecting the info for the guest list.

It's all really happening!

Sometimes I can't believe how blessed we are.

The Lord has been so good to us. He has provided a solution to pay for birth/delivery that R and I are both comfortable with. He has provided a solution for our health insurance in 2014 that is affordable and offers better coverage with our same doctors. With these two solutions, the Lord has shown us how to pay off all of our debts, except for the mortgage, within the next five years. God is so good!

The Lord has been answering my prayers for connection to other women in our community. Although the study we are completing at church is still not all I hoped it would be, I am really enjoying building relationships with the women in the group. The same goes for BSF. I am noticing that the women who prayed for us so much last year are still making contact on Monday nights, even though we are in different groups this year. The Lord has really been at work in me with this year's group and I'm building relationships with two women there, one of whom is still in the trenches with IF.

And, honestly, I see the Lord building relationships with women here in our IF community. I'm so grateful for all of you who are with us on this journey, commenting here and blogging your own stories. You bring hope, thankfulness, and faith into my days. Thank you for writing!! You are in my prayers daily and I love seeing how God is working in your lives!

Even with all of the loss and pain we see in the ALI community, my heart is overflowing these days with praise for who God is and how He works.

A psalm. For giving grateful praise.

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
    come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
    It is he who made us, and we are his;
    we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
    and his courts with praise;
    give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
    his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Sunshine Award

A great big Thank You to Caroline! I've been super emotional the past two days and this was just what I needed to wake up to this morning. Start off the day nice and light!

1. Night Owl or Early Bird?
I'm a Night Owl, it's true, but I would much rather be an Early Bird! I always feel so accomplished when I wake up early and get things done, as opposed to staying up late and waking up exhausted the next day.

2. How many languages do you speak?
Just one! I have a few words from three or four other languages that are a regular part of my vocabulary, but nothing even close to fluency. I would, however, love to learn French for my next trip to Europe.
3. Where were you born?
Absolutely thrilled to be able to say I was born in Paradise: Hawaii!! Although I only lived there for the first two years of my life, my tie to the place of my birth is very strong. My parents both moved to Hawaii with their extended families in grade school. Hawaii is where, by the grace of God, they met, fell in love, married, and began building a family. If given the chance, I would love to move my family to Hawaii for even a few years. There's no place like home!
4. What are you most thankful for in 2013?
The first thing I think of is, of course, Baby Aaron! But, really, I'm more thankful for the way the Lord strengthened my faith and marriage as we went through treatment. He brought us this pregnancy in His way and in His time. God's way is always so  much better than mine!

5. What is something you have never done, but would love to try?
Gosh! Although pretty tame compared to R, I feel like I've lived a very rich and (creatively) adventurous life! As for goals or unfinished projects, I would like to finally finish my degree, learn to surf, and learn to play more than one song on guitar. I would also like to attend culinary school and design school, just for fun!
6. Warm or cold weather?
Another hard one! I don't like to be sweaty but I don't like to be freezing, either. 72* year round sounds just lovely. Of course, Honolulu is pretty much 85* year round. I'll take it!
7. Youngest, Middle, Oldest or Only child?
I'm the oldest child and have one sibling. Although we were at each others throats a good amount of the time growing up, I'm so glad to say my sister and I are now best friends.
8. Do you have any nieces or nephews?
I have one adorable niece! Baby M was born this past February and is totally awesome.
9. Music or TV/Movies?
Goodness! I was a music major in college and still love to sing. I prefer music when I'm feeling emotional - whether fragile or full of joy. Music also makes the long car rides so much fun! But I fall asleep watching cartoons every night and have quite a movie collection. I would say that music stimulates/comforts me and TV/Movies help put me to sleep.
10. Beach or Mountains?
ARGH! Why must we make all these decisions?! I love the beach AND the mountains. Again, Hawaii has both!! Obviously, we need to move...

Hee! Thank you so much for something light today! And now, I have some questions for you:
  1. Sweet or savory?
  2. What is your favorite season and why?
  3. Favorite Bible verse or inspirational quote?
  4. Favorite outdoor activity?
  5. Favorite indoor activity?
  6. Any book recommendations?
  7. Do you dye your hair? If so, why and do you remember your natural hair color?
  8. Any tattoos? If so, what is the significance behind them?
  9. What has been the most significant moment/realization of your journey to parenthood this year?
  10. What are you hoping to find under the tree this Christmas?
Now, maybe it's just me, but I love providing you all with my answers to these questions, too! So, here we go:
1. Sweet or savory?
Sweet, all the way!

2. What is your favorite season and why?
 I love autumn! I think it's all of the years living without "real" seasons in Florida. The cold sneaking in during October always makes me smile!

3. Favorite Bible verse or inspirational quote?
 Ephesians 3:20 (MSG): God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.
4. Favorite outdoor activity?
Gardening! Honestly, I absolutely love planting, whether it's bulbs in the Fall, pansies in Winter, or veggies in Spring/Summer. Add in the fact that Little K wants to be out there helping and I'm a happy momma!

5. Favorite indoor activity?
Reading by the fire in Fall/Winter. I feel like I'm sitting in an old photograph!

6. Any book recommendations? (Provide links, if possible!)
My favorite prolific writer is Anne McCaffrey. She writes Sci-Fi with very strong female characters. I especially love her Talent Series. (Link is to first of five books.)
For Christian allegory, I highly recommend Robin Hardy. I've read The Annals of Lystra original trilogy and the Strieker Saga original trilogy. Both are fantastic!

7. Do you dye your hair? If so, why and do you remember your natural hair color?
I've been dying my hair since high school! Originally, it was just for fun but my paternal grandmother went gray VERY early and guess who got her genes? I dye my hair every 4 weeks. I'm naturally very dark brown and dye my roots to match my natural color.

8. Any tattoos? If so, what is the significance behind them?
I have several tattoos. My favorite is a large cluster of plumeria with leaves on my left hip. The leaves are for my parents and the three flowers represent me, my sister, and Little K. Once I'm done breastfeeding, I will be adding two buds: one for Baby M and another for Aaron.

9. What has been the most significant moment/realization of your journey to parenthood this year?
Going into our IUI cycle and knowing that, whatever the outcome, it would be God's plan for us and I would be okay. The peace that came with leaving everything in the Lord's hand was overwhelming and brought incredible comfort. Even now, I'm daily leaving my worries in His hand and love watching how creative our God is as He meets our needs!

10. What are you hoping to find under the tree this Christmas?
Honestly, this diaper bag! R and I do stockings plus one gift for each other and this is the only thing I've asked for. 

Some nominations for those of you who regularly comment (minus Caroline and Erika since ya'll are already taken care of!): 

JustMe at Bits and Pieces
Mrs. Lost at Where is That Bird?
Sara-Lynn at Wild Island Love
Gypsy Mama at The Gypsy Mama

If I've forgotten you, please post anyway!!

Now, I know some of you may have already received this or are, like, about to give birth. This isn't to stress you out! Hopefully, you enjoy the freedom of an easy, fun post. Comment back here so we can go see your answers!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Today's The Day: 2013 Creme de la Creme Submissions

Hooray! I really want to encourage everyone to submit a post for the 2013 Creme de la Creme. If you have any questions, Mel has a whole description and FAQ up at her site. The list is incredible (you can see the past two years on the sidebar here). Having ALI (adoption-loss-infertility) bloggers choose their own Best Post for the year is a very powerful thing!

Consider this: What was your best moment of 2013? Your hardest? Where/when did you see God move in a mighty way this past year? How has the Lord challenged you to trust Him with your journey to parenthood? What message of hope has the Lord placed on your heart?

As Mel puts it:

There is no such thing as a boring blog. Even if you don’t think you have any readers because you’ve never received a comment, you have a best post. The one that you felt really good about when you hit publish. The one that would be the post you’d put forward if an editor called you tomorrow and said, “I have this great writing job for you that will pay a million dollars an hour. You just need to submit one blog entry to get this job so we can check your writing style.”

Just a note that, since it is an ALI list, your post should relate in some way back to your journey to parenthood.

I really hope that you submit a post for this year's list. Submissions will be received through December 15th. The list goes live on January 1st.

See you there!!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Little Things

This post is about pregnancy and loss, which may be triggering for some. If you're not in a good place, please feel free to pass.

The little things have been touching my heart recently. Aaron's little pokes and rolls as we wake up in the morning. Picking up two stuffed animals for him over the weekend. Little K kissing my belly to be close to her brother. Ordering the first of Aaron's baby clothes. Buying the first box of diapers.

We visited Hillridge Farm this past weekend and I remembered being there last year, jealous of all of the baby bumps I saw. And now, there I was with a bump of my own. Last year it was a distant hope and recurring prayer that R and I would agree on whether to pursue treatment. This year, I was walking around 19 weeks pregnant. I was overwhelmed with gratefulness for how the Lord has worked in our lives over the past 12 months.

Members of our community have suffered loss in the past few weeks. Two of these women were just a few weeks further along in their pregnancies than I am now. Your heart breaks as you read their stories. You wonder 'why them' and 'will that be me'?

So I sit down and try to find the words to pray. Peace and comfort for hurting families and broken women. I rub my belly and ask the Lord for His continued protection over this pregnancy. And I remain thankful for every little thing that Aaron has already brought into our lives.

Prayers for the recent losses for Conceptionally Challenged and Lucky as Sunshine. Continued prayers for Vapor and Mist.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Anatomy Scan Details (Ultrasound Pic Warning)

This post is about pregnancy. If you're not in a good place, please feel free to pass. Take care of you!

So, yesterday, huh? What a surprise! Although R and I have been slipping into calling this baby Aaron since the first positive test, I was still shocked. What do you mean, a boy? I grow baby girls! But there was the proof, looking VERY different than what I saw at Little K's ultrasound. No denying who's in there!

Not to worry, I will not be showing ya'll the proof. But I will be sharing two pictures of my sweet baby boy. But first! To protect the dashboard:

Baby clothes!

Target, I love you! Just when I thought cute baby boy clothes (as in, not featuring monkeys, footballs, or dogs) were a myth, you came to renew my hope! I especially love the bowtie onesie with matching cardigan. *swoon*

Okay, on to the anatomy scan.

So, Aaron is totally fine. Perfect, even! Heart with four chambers, two hemispheres of the brain with no lesions, two functioning kidneys, umbilical cord looks great. Arms, legs, torso all look good. Everything is measuring prefectly, including the amniotic fluid. Praise God!

The only concern is the current location of the placenta. It is low and the leading southern edge is covering the cervix. When the MFM came in to talk about the results, he was very reassuring that there is a 95% chance it will migrate by 30 weeks. However, if it doesn't, we are looking at a scheduled c-section.

Although not the best news, I'm surprisingly okay with it. Placenta previa is the only way I would consent to a c-section. I realize that it is a serious condition and life threatening should I begin to dilate. If the placenta doesn't migrate, I am 100% on board with this plan. It would also mean that Aaron would be born a week or two early, just to be safe. Hello, February baby!

So, anyway. We'll just wait and see. I have a midwife appointment tomorrow morning and will get their thoughts. We have an ultrasound scheduled at 29w6d (January 2nd) and will make the final call then. While I would prefer a vaginal birth (OBviously, since we are working with a birth center and med-free labor/delivery), this is something I have no control over. I refuse to worry. God is in control. Healthy baby, healthy mommy. Period.

I still owe you pictures! He is SO cute. I can't wait for you to see him!

Oh! But I haven't told you about Little K's reaction! She couldn't wait to know if it was a boy or girl. We didn't even make it out of school before I finally told her. Her first reaction was "Aw, man!" But then she was bouncing to be able to see his pictures. Her next "Awwww!" was completely different and all about how cute her little brother is. So sweet!

Here's the pic we shared on FB yesterday:

She is so excited about her baby brother! When I tucked her in last night, she asked to say goodnight to Aaron. Of course I said ok, so she hugged my belly, gave it a kiss, and said "Goodnight, Aaron!" *SWOON* She is going to be an amazing big sister!!!

As you can see above, Aaron's middle name is David. Although his first name was a relatively new decision for us, I've had David picked out as a middle name since I was pregnant with Little K. My father's name is David and he is the most amazing man I've ever known. He loves his wife, loves his daughters, and loves the Lord. There just aren't enough words for how blessed I am to have him as my father. I'm so excited to give him a grandson who will bear his name!

Aaron will, most likely, have a second middle name. The girls in our family have Hawaiian middle names, given by my mother. I know that, for Little K and Baby M, she spent months in prayer seeking God's direction on naming our girls. When we told my parents about this pregnancy, she asked if a boy would have a Hawaiian name, too. Of course, I said yes! I *think* she already has a name picked out for him. Unfortunately, we don't find out the name until the baby is born. Can't wait!!

Okay, seriously this time, here are Aaron's pictures. He is SO cute!

Aaron, my sweet boy, I can't wait to meet you!!