Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Countdown Chain

When I was pregnant with Laura Anne, I made a countdown chain about a month and a half or so before her due date. It's that time again! This time, I had a little helper. Laura Anne helped me cut the paper, staple the chains and place the stickers. She's a very proud big sister, and she loves to wear her "big sister" shirt. The elephant she's holding is very special. I bought it shortly after I found out I was pregnant, just hoping the baby would be a boy. The reason he is so special is because the name on his tag is "Dewberry" and that just happens to be the name of the company that Chris works for!! It was meant to be, and this little elephant will be making the trip to the hospital with us when Caleb is born.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Message To Someone Special

Fishy Mask

We had to take a trip to the pediatrician on Friday. Laura Anne started having cold symptoms on Tuesday, then on Thursday she woke up from her nap wheezing. She was still wheezing and coughing Friday morning so I took her in to see the doctor first thing. They think she might have asthma, although it's hard to tell since this is the first time it has happened. She might just have cold-induced asthma, meaning that whenever she gets a cold, it could flare up some asthma. We'll just have to see. Anyway, her oxygen level was low so they gave her 2 breathing treatments while we were in the office. She got to wear a little fishy mask and surprisingly, she loved it! We had to rent a nebulizer for the weekend and we have to give her 3 treatments a day. It's actually a fun time for me and her because we always read a book together. She's breathing a lot better now and her cough is trying to work its way out. We go back to the pediatrician Monday to get her checked out again. In the meantime, she loves using her fishy mask!

She Loves Her Daddy

Daddy is so fun!
There's nothing sweeter...
Now here's a picture for the memory books!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Our Valentine's Day

Just a word of advice--don't attempt to go to a nice restaurant on Valentine's Day unless you have reservations already. We tried three different restaurants and found that they all had at least a one hour wait before we settled on Chick-fil-A. Romantic, right? It actually turned out really fun! There weren't many people there and after we ate, we let Laura Anne play in the play ground. She was the only child there so it was lots of fun. The three of us plus our friends, Jerry and Ellen, had a great time acting foolish! Here are some pictures of our lovely time.

p.s. I just have to put a plug in for my mom's handiwork. She made Laura Anne's dress, complete with initials! Isn't it lovely?

Now She Knows Her ABC's

Pardon her hiccups. :o) It's the best video of her saying her ABC's I've been able to get so far.

Saturday, February 9, 2008


Two years ago, on this day, I experienced one of the hardest things I've ever had to go through. Some of you may remember this, some of you don't. So I will give a "brief" recap of the events from February 2006.

It started with Chris developing a stomachache during the evening of February 8th. He thought he ate something bad. We went to bed around 11 or so that night. I awoke around 2 or 2:30 AM to feed Laura Anne, who was then only 7 weeks old. Chris was still up and feeling a lot worse. I asked him if we needed to go to the hospital and when he had to think about it first, I started to panic. He said yes, so we got dressed, got some things together for Laura Anne and left for the ER. Once we were there, I decided to call our pastor to let him know what was going on. He showed up by 4 AM, and by that time we were in a "room" in the ER waiting to see a doctor. The doctor that was on call did not know what was wrong with Chris. He thought it might be his appendix. They did an x-ray that showed blockage in his small intestine. Then they put an NG tube through his nose, down his throat and into his stomach (I think it went to his stomach). That was a horrible ordeal even for me and I was down the hall. When I saw Chris his eyes were bloodshot and he looked terrible. He could barely talk to me because of the tube. He was on morphine by now, so he could rest a little. Now we had to wait for a different doctor to determine what to do next.
I'm so thankful for the friends we have in our church. The pastor's wife brought diapers and wipes for Laura Anne, and offered to take her for the afternoon so I could sit with Chris. Another friend bought formula for Laura Anne to eat while she wasn't with me. It was her first time drinking formula. I am thankful she did well. Other friends just came to the hospital to sit with me during the awful waiting period. By around 3 PM or so on the 9th the doctor decided surgery was necessary to remove the blockage, even though he wasn't positive what the blockage was. I was scared to death. I walked alongside Chris as far as they would let me before he was wheeled into surgery around 4:00 that afternoon.
Then began the longest 2 hours of my life, in the waiting room just waiting and waiting. I was able to get a little sleep. When I woke up at around 6 I wasn't sure where I was at first. Then it dawned on me, and I just started crying. What surprised me was the room full of people I recognized, all from our church. They were there for me, and that moved me so much. Laura Anne was back from her afternoon away from me, and while I was so relieved to see her and hold her, I felt so empty.
Not much later, the doctor came in to tell us how surgery went. What he found out was that Chris had Meckels Diverticulitis. I'm sure you know exactly what that is. I'm not even positive what it is, but basically it has something to do with the way Chris' belly button healed after he was born. Typically, doctors see this in young kids, so why Chris' waited until he was 26, I don't know. Anyway, they had to cut out 4 inches of his small intestine and he was to stay in the hospital for at least 4 days with the NG tube still in.
I was able to see Chris briefly before I left to sleep at a friend's house. He was still drugged, but when he saw me, his eyes lit up and he said "hey baby!" I'm getting teary eyed now, just remembering that. It was the hardest thing I could do to leave him there that night. Thankfully, two of our friends from church, one of whom is a nurse, offered to stay overnight with him and take care of him for me. Of course, I don't really have to mention that I had a hard time sleeping that night without Chris by side, knowing he was in the hospital.
The next couple days went by slowly, and painfully. I had many friends come by to comfort us, and some babysat Laura Anne when I just needed some uninterrupted time with Chris. I believe it was Sunday the 12th when Chris' NG tube could finally come out. We both were so relieved. We thought he would get to go home Monday, but for whatever reason that didn't happen. He wasn't able to go home Tuesday either.
We were able to have a "date" Tuesday night, though, just the 3 of us at the hospital. It was Valentine's Day and we asked that no one come by for a couple hours that evening. We ordered hospital food and ate dinner together. Well, I ate. He tried but couldn't eat much at all. It was definitely a Valentine's Day to remember.
To try to finish this story, Chris was released on Wednesday afternoon, the 15th of February. He had spent almost a whole week in the hospital. We were relieved to come home, but we still had a long road ahead of us. Chris' bandages had to be replaced twice a day, and his incision had to be cleaned to prevent infection. I got nauseous at the mention of the word "incision" so we were very thankful that 2 of our nurse friends from church went out of their way to come to our house twice a day to take care his bandaging. The incision did end up getting a little infected, which was no fun at all, but slowly he was healing and he finally was able to go back to work and play with Laura Anne and do normal things.
Looking back now, it is still hard to think about all that happened. It came so unexpectedly, and we were so unsure of what was to come, we really had to rely on God to get us through. He provided us with the best friends we could ask for in the absence of our families. We were so blessed by all that everyone did for us, our words of thanks hardly seemed appropriate. God was faithful to us and we grew closer as a family during that trying time.
I would like to end this by saying something to my husband: Chris, I love you so much and I'm so glad that you are here with me and we are about to celebrate a new addition to our family. You mean so much to me, I don't know what I would do without you. Every time I see your scar I'm reminded of all that we've been through together and am so thankful that God chose to keep you here with me for a while longer. I love you. I love you. I love you! No tricks after this baby is born, though, okay?! :o)

Friday, February 8, 2008

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Making Cookies

Laura Anne has been asking for cookies this week, so we decided to make some yesterday. She was a very big help, pouring the ingredients in the bowl and stirring it for me.

But her favorite part was tasting them to make sure they came out just right!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Practice Run

I didn't really want to go on this practice run, but we didn't have much of a choice. Sunday evening, I started having braxton-hicks contractions that were every 2-3 minutes apart and lasting 30 seconds. After talking with my midwife, she said to come to Labor and Delivery at the hospital. Sounds scary, right? Well it was. On the way to the hospital the contractions were about 3-4 minutes apart. After checking in and getting settled in a triage room, I wasn't feeling them anymore. I was put on a fetal heart monitor and a monitor to track the contractions. A few minutes later, I began to have contractions again, but this time they were beginning to hurt a little. They were small contractions, but definitely different than the ones I was experiencing at home.

My midwife had a doctor come in and the doctor decided to do an ultrasound of my cervix to get a clear idea of how far I was dilated. I was one centimeter dilated, which didn't surprise me because when I was 32 weeks with Laura Anne, I was dilated to one centimeter. The contractions slowed down and then stopped eventually. Based on the ultrasound the doctor was certain I wasn't in pre-term labor. She just said too much activity plus mild dehydration don't go well together. So now I have to drink 100 ounces of water a day (could anything be more boring than that?!), and I just have to take it easy. Thankfully, no bed rest! The good news is that Caleb is head down. Hopefully he'll stay that way. We're just thankful that he's still chilling out in my belly for now.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Finally, The Decision Has Been Made

Way back in my 28th week of pregnancy :D Chris and I were having a discussion about the midwife that I'm seeing now, and that the experience, while not unpleasant, has not been exactly what I was hoping for when we switched from my doctor. However, I was completely prepared to stay put and try something new the next time around.

Well, my husband, being the wonderful man that he is, expressed to me that he wants me to have the experience I desire and he didn't feel that time was an issue yet. Immediately we began our search for whatever it was that I was hoping for in a birth experience. I came across the birth center nearby in Chapel Hill and began to research it. I fell in love with it. The only problem was that before you can schedule your first appointment, you have to go through the tour and they couldn't schedule that until January 30th. So, obviously that took place this week and while I really liked what I saw and heard, Chris and I both felt like for this time around, it would be best that we stay where we are and the baby be delivered at the hospital. It sounds so simple when writing it, but really, these last few weeks have been an up and down roller coaster! I have been back and forth so many times, it's not even funny. But it's like my mom has been telling me: in the end, we are going to have the most precious little boy! I totally agree and now I feel relaxed and can enjoy the last two months of this pregnancy knowing that, if it's according to God's plan, Caleb will be brought into the world at the UNC Women's Hospital. I don't feel like the searching was a waste of time. It's been more of a learning experience. I know myself a little better, and I'm very thankful for a supportive husband who's willing to go through (sometimes unnecessary) stress just so Caleb and I can be healthy and happy.

Now if only I didn't have such a long to-do list! Is it really February?!?!