Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Six Years

Six years- since I posted last? No- but it sure feels like it. To say it's been rough since Lilli was born is the understatement of the century.

Six years. The number of years since we welcomed our first little girl into our longing arms.
Six years. The number of years that my heart has been outside of my body.
Six years. The number of years since I've been able to be a little selfish.

Six years ago I didn't have a little girl to tuck in at night. To giggle with. To hold when my arms feel empty. I didn't know nor could I possibly fathom the true meaning of love.

Six years ago our lives changed drastically. It was the most amazing, fearful, wonderful, scary day of my life.

For six years my life has not been the same...and I've never been so grateful!


Happy Birthday Beautiful Girl!


Yesterday when we were running errands for your party I said sort of hesitantly, "Bayli- tomorrow you are going to be SIX YEARS OLD!" And you replied, "But Mommy. It's ok because I will always be your little baby"

You have no idea how true that is little one!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Before I forget...part II

Backing up a tad from my previous ending...I wanted to share my thoughts on when I first caught a glimpse of my little baby. For Bayli I pushed for 3 hours and ended in an emergency c-section. I didn't get to see anything until about 15 minutes after she was born b/c her heart rate had dropped so low and so suddenly that they had to take her away to check on her, clean her, etc. So I had never seen a birth. Ever. Unless you count A Baby Story. Which I totally don't. So this time when I made it to 10 cm and the nurse asked me to do a little practice push to see how things were going and I barely pushed and she literally told me not to breath, cough, and certainly don't push b/c the head was starting to crown with my 1 little practice push, I was totally in awe. She set up the mirror and I have to be honest that I got a little freaked out at the sight of it all. So I closed my eyes during the first 2 pushes. Well, thinking that I had plenty of time to push it didn't dawn on me that I might actually MISS the birth if I didn't hurry and open my eyes. Can you imagine how disappointed I would be if I had missed it! After all this! Luckily when I had pushed the 2nd time Dr. Lafranca asked me to stop so that she could suction. I realized that the head must be out or there would be nothing to suction. So I opened my eyes and was able to see her swollen, scrunchy little face coming out of my body. I don't think there are adequate words to describe that feeling. The feeling of seeing life coming into the world. Life that you have been hibernating. Life that I brought into the world, literally while risking my own life enduring a high risk pregnancy. Life that you have been waiting for years to meet. Realizing all of this during this overwhelming moment, I said what any mother giving birth to their long awaited baby would say..."Oh my Lord! It's a BABY!" Not too eloquent, but it's all that I could think of. It was really a baby...and it was incredible. I will never forget that moment, the look of that little face. When dreaming of that moment the years leading up to it, I thought I would be on pins and needles with anticipation of whether or not it was a boy or a girl, but to be totally honest with you the thought never even entered my mind. Not once. It simply didn't matter. All that mattered was that it was a baby.

After she suctioned they asked me to push again, and suddenly I heard..."It's a Girl!" my Doctor announced. Both of our jaws dropped and I heard Jason say, "A what?!" and she repeated "A girl!" I looked at him and asked if he was ok b/c he had really wanted a boy. With tears in his eyes he looked at me and said, "How could I not be ok...she's beautiful!" Then his dream came true- he got to cut the cord. After that she laid the most beautiful creation on my chest for us to fully investigate. It was the most amazing moment in my life! I can't even begin to describe the overwhelming emotions that flooded both of our hearts. Tears streamed down both of our cheeks. There were deep cleansing tears, tears that washed away the hurts of the past. There were tears of joy. We were so overwhelmed with emotion. The only thing that I could think to share with my little girl at that moment was that we loved her so much and I kept telling her over and over again that we had been waiting so long to meet her. This pregnancy had lasted over 5 years; it was so much more than just a regular 9 month journey. This was years in the making.

I remember the nurse coming over trying to take her away to begin cleaning her and doing the Apgar testing, but my Doctor kept telling her to stand back...to give us more time. I also remember telling Jason that it seemed as though we already had her forever. She immediately felt like the perfect fit for our family. Of course she was a girl. Of course. At that moment with her laying on my chest in those few moments of life it made perfect sense. All was exactly as it was supposed to be. I couldn't wait to introduce her to Bayli- it was a moment that I had dreamed of for years. God is truly in the business of making miracles; and He cares about details. I totally "get" the verse "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." In the words of my doctor, we couldn't have written a book and had it played out any more perfect.

One of the funniest moments of the day is about 10 minutes later when my doctor is busy fixing me up a tad, and suddenly she pops her head up and said "Holly, did we cover everything in your birth plan?" Like as if we could re-do anything at that point! It was so sweet that she was so concerned with making everything go according to plan. She also showed us my placenta in great detail, which was totally a little weird. Jason got totally into it, but I just decided to keep my eyes fixed on the little life I was holding.

When we were ready the nurse went to the waiting room to get Bayli and brought her back. That is another thing that left me speechless. I can't put into words the feeling when I saw her walk into the room. I immediately began bawling all over again. I couldn't wait to embrace her and love on her and show her the little miracle we'd been blessed with. But, she pulled a fast one on us and began crying unconsolably because she had wanted a brother. I was so confused and was trying so hard to understand, but we went from the most incredible experience of our lives to a crying older sister b/c she didn't get her way. Whatever. She got over it, and now she thinks that Lilli is the most amazing thing ever, but it was pretty much a touch and go situation there for a few minutes.

After Bayli calmed down and got to hold her new little sister, the nurse went out and got the rest of the family and friends. When they came into the room Bayli got to announce to them, "I'd like for all of you to meet my new little sister Lillian Rose Moran!" Everyone broke out into cheering and clapping, then crying. It was another amazing moment, one I am so glad my sweet little Bayli got to be a part of.

I'm sorry this post is so long also, but I had to share every detail. It was a most incredible day. One we will never forget.

Friday, June 12, 2009

New Lilli Pics

Today Lilli is 4 weeks old! Already! And I haven't even finished her birth story yet...time to get my act together, huh? Anyway- I thought I'd share a few pictures. I got an awesome new camera for Mother's Day and for giving birth (yes my husband is amazing...he gives great gifts for giving birth!). Anyway- love the camera and I've been having a ball playing around with it. Now we just need to invest in a good software to edit a little more. Right now I'm just using what came on the MacBook. They turned out pretty good to me, I guess when you have such a cute little model you can't go wrong!

Sweet baby girl!! I think I'm in love!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Before I forget...

When I titled my last post before Lilli was born "Before we meet...part I" I totally assumed I'd be able to do a Part II. I guess I forgot exactly what full blown labor pains really felt like. So, forgive the lack of posting on that particular day. But, even though I didn't get to share my thoughts and feelings on that exact day, I still want to document them before I forget.

I guess I will start with technicalities, then go to the sentiments. Just to keep things organized. I can't seem to keep anything else organized at the exact present moment- so I may as well start with this! :)

I had been having problems with my amniotic fluid levels dropping. When I went to the doctor on Monday May 11th, she almost put me in then. She was very concerned about how rapidly my levels were declining. But I was only 36 weeks, and I was also very sick from a sinus infection. She gave me an antibiotic and put me on semi-bed rest for the week. I had an appointment with the specialist on Friday which she made me change to Thursday so that she could have more time to react if they found my fluid levels low again. She suggested that I bring Jason with me on that day and also suggested that we come with bags packed just in case. They gave me a kick count log, and gave me specific instructions on how many kicks I should feel per day and what to do if I didn't feel movement, etc. I had to log the kicks because that is the easiest indicator of whether or not the baby has sufficient fluid to move around in. It really was an overwhelming time- we had already been through so much. I wasn't about to lose this baby at this point in pregnancy because of low fluid levels.

Now, personally I found it hard to lay on the couch and relax knowing that the baby might very well make it here in 4 days and we didn't have the first bag packed, much less even have a car seat installed. But I was pretty sick from the sinus infection, not to mention that fatigue had totally won over. The whole nesting thing went out the window. The closest I got to nesting was giving Jason a huge to-do list and watching him from the side lines. Which, come to think of it, worked rather well for me. Anyway, we managed to get things done, in between much needed naps.

By wednesday I had been on the antibiotic for 3 days and was beginning to feel a lot better. I picked Bayli up from school, we came home and I helped her with her home work. I started fixing supper and all of a sudden I totally thought that my water was leaking. Knowing that I didn't have any extra fluid to spare I called my Dr in a panic. They wanted to see me ASAP. I was so afraid of being the woman who cried labor- but yet I knew that if I was losing more fluid and it went undetected that my baby would be in a very stressful situation. So I rushed myself to the doctor (Brilliant plan, I know...) and when they did the ultrasound it turns out that the fluid had risen by several points. I was very relieved- and the Doctor that I saw was very pleased, but they still wanted me to keep the appointments we had scheduled for the next day just to be safe.

By Thursday I was done for. I had been counting kicks all week, worried about my fluid levels, etc. I was ready for the baby to be here. I was fearful of making it even another week dealing with all of the stress and pressure we were already dealing with.

We went to the scheduled appointment, and as I lay on the ultrasound table the technician measured that my fluid had dropped another 5 points from the day before. I was so frustrated. My fluid was now at the absolute lowest it could be without causing harm to the baby. To make matters worse, they couldn't get the baby to respond. We spent almost 10 terrorizing minutes, moving me from my right side, to my left, back to my right again- she had the buzzer from the ultrasound machine that she kept trying to wake the baby up with. Buzz, buzz, buzz- no response. I would change positions. Repeat. Nothing. The heart was beating, so was still alive- but the no response totally freaked me out. She got so desperate to see movement, she put both hands on my belly and shook it for all it was worth to try to get this little one to move and do the practice breathing they needed to see. I can still see the look on my husbands face. I was trying to stay calm, so I kept looking in his eyes for strength, but all I found was fear and confusion. I have never felt such pain and fear in my heart before- and I hope I never experience it again. Finally, we were able to see a small flicker of movement and a few practice breaths. Relief swept through everyone in the room.

We waited for the report, then hopped on the elevator to see my OB. I felt certain that these would be the last few hours before we'd get to meet our little one. I knew that when she saw the fluid levels and that when she heard of our harrowing tale from the ultrasound room that she would act quickly. And I was right. She checked me and I was 1 1/2 CM and 70% effaced...which for 37 weeks is moving right along. She was a little concerned about inducing bc of my past C Section, so we talked and weighed our options. At this point, as much as my heart desired a nice, normal birth; I was totally ok with whatever needed to happen because I was so afraid something would happen to the baby. After talking for about 15 minutes, my Dr stepped out of the room to gather her thoughts and pray about the decision to be made. (I LOVE that woman!) And she came back in, calm and totally in charge and laid out the game plan. We were to head straight to the hospital and begin the induction.

By this point it was 5:00 in the evening and we were exhausted and starving. We walked over to labor and delivery and began the process of checking in, starting the IV (Never an easy process for me) and beginning the slow drip of Pitocin. Dr. LaFranca was on call that night, which made things even better in case there were to be any complications or if my labor were to take off suddenly she would be there to handle every thing. I had total peace that we were making the right call and doing the right thing. There was, however, one brief moment when I heard Dr. LaFranca on the phone reserving 4 units of blood in my name and also telling the nurse to have an OR on stand-by just in case as well. Not long after she left my in-laws came up with Bayli to visit us. I had her lying in the bed with me and I thought- is it worth risking this, and the possibility of something happening to me or the baby, and poor Bayli could be left without a mother? But then peace swept over me again. There is always risk; I just had to remember who was ultimately in charge. I knew He would protect us. Even if we would have decided to to a section, there still would be risk.

They ran the Pit from 7:00 until 11:00, then I was able to eat and try to rest. I had contractions on my own until about 1:00 in the morning which were mild enough that I could doze off and on during them. At 1:00 I was finally able to get some sleep until 3:00 when they came back in to start the Pit again. From 3:00-7:00 was still the slow drip, mild contractions that I could sleep through but not able to totally rest.

The entire night I kept thinking about how incredible it was that we had finally made it full circle. We were finally going to welcome another baby into our lives. The moment we had been waiting for would be just around the corner. I laid the entire night with both hands on my belly, wishing and praying for the magic of pregnancy not to end, but yet for it to hurry and end so that we could finally be face to face with the little one growing inside of me. There was so much that I wanted to say that night, but every time I would try to speak tears would flow. I was absolutely in awe. I have never in my life felt the hand of God so firmly in my life. There was peace in our room that night and God's love and power could be felt so strongly upon entering the room. He was there.

At 7:00 am there was a shift change. A sweet little strawberry blonde haired girl named Allyson became my nurse. She was adorable and so supportive of my trying to deliver vaginally. She was a Christian and listened to the story of our years of struggles. She was an absolute blessing to have that day. At one point during the morning she even came to me to pray for her sister in law who was pregnant and threatening to miscarry for the 2nd time. While she was in my room she called her sister in law and told her that she had a patient who was about to give birth after having had 4 miscarriages and numerous complications. She just wanted to encourage her with my testimony. I totally did not sign up for this testimony, but I am honored for God to use it at any given time. What an honor to be in labor for this sweet little baby and have your nurse ask you to pray for someone she loves because she knows that I've been there- and I understand. I totally love God and His plans...He really is incredible.

Soon after my Doctor came in and broke my water. That is where the real fun began! They cranked up the Pitocin because the baby was fine and I was tolerating everything fine. At 9:00 I got the epidural and by 10:30 I was 9 CM and almost ready to begin pushing! I had to frantically call my husband who was taking a coffee break, and also call my dear friend Christine who was to be the photographer that day. Within 15 minutes I was complete and ready to push.

The problem was, I couldn't push because we had to wait for Christine to make it to the hospital. I wasn't having this baby without proper photographic documentation! It took her almost 45 minutes to get to the hospital; during which the nurse took her time getting things set up. Christine finally made it at 11:45, Dr. Lafranca made it a few minutes later and by 11:55, only 4 short easy pushes later, they announced the words we had been waiting to hear!

It's a girl!!

more to come...I promise.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Introducing...



Lillian Rose Moran (can you believe it's a girl?!)



7 lb 9 oz
19 inches long
Born Friday May 15, 2009
11:55 am



In summary, one of the most amazing moments of our lives! God has certainly heard every cry and petition and made all of our dreams come true! She is a blessing, nothing short of a miracle! I have not updated because I am completely enthralled and captivated with her sweetness and beauty! I promise to share more as soon as I can manage to get all of my thoughts together. Thank you all for your prayers and support!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Before we meet you... part 1

I went today for the scheduled appointment with the specialist then to my OB. She was not pleased to find out that my fluid had dropped again. We discussed the options available and basically decided that it was not worth the risk, after all that we've been through, to allow the pregnancy to continue. We decided upon a course of action for delivery, which is basically that we will induce slowly, mild pitocin for a few hours tonight. Followed by a little rest, then we will pick back up in the morning. I will be limited as far as how much actual "inducing" we are able to do- as there is the chance that my c-section scar might rupture if the pitocin is too strong. I am well aware that we might end up doing a repeat section at any point during this time frame. And I am totally ok with it.

The past 4 days of monitoring every kick to make sure that the baby had adequate fluid, combined with today's visit when they had to use the buzzer about 10 times to try to get the baby to respond was enough to do me in. I was physically and emotionally spent and couldn't handle much more. I was so afraid of losing this baby after we've gone this far. Needless to say, as much as I hope and pray for a vaginal delivery- I am totally ok with whatever happens just to be able to hold this little one in my arms.

11:45 PM- the nurse just came in to unplug the monitors and remove the "pit"- as it turns out I am contracting pretty regularly on my own right now. About 3 minutes apart, but only lasting about 40 seconds or so. This will make resting difficult tonight, but will be good for the desired end result. I tried to load a pic or two, but Blogger is being difficult...I will be back sometime tomorrow with an update.

Why everyone needs a little girl...

Mother's Day was Bayli's dance recital. And because I absolutely LOVE and adore any and all things GIRL- I didn't even mind sharing my special day with my special little girl.

She was precious- as were the other 150+ little girls who attend her dance school. And, even though it was a very long, hot, day- we had a ball watching her in her element...showing off while looking cute! It's what she does best. And, as she put it, "Mommy- this was my best Mother's Day yet!"

Monday, May 11, 2009

The state of the union...

I went today for my weekly biophysical ultrasound and OB visit. I am now 36 weeks...and will either be 37 weeks or a new Mommy on Thursday.

Let me catch everyone up. Last Thursday I went to the specialist for what I expected to be my last appointment with him; where I assumed I would pass with flying colors, be released back to my OB to take back over my care 100%, and finish up the remainder of my pregnancy. Instead, he didn't feel comfortable releasing me because my amniotic fluid had dropped from 13 to 9, which isn't a bad level but he was concerned because it was a big drop in a short amount of time. So, we scheduled another appointment for later this week, just to be safe.

So, today when I went to see my OB- we did the scheduled ultrasound just to find out that my fluid has dropped again; to a 7. 7 is still safe, 5 is not- so we are very close to a not so safe range, and my Dr. is concerned that it might continue to drop.

So, I go back to the specialist Thursday at 2:00 for another biophysical ultrasound, then to my OB to determine whether or not we will deliver or be safe to keep going through the weekend. As of today, the baby is measuring 7 lbs 9 oz, which isn't very small at all for 36 1/2 weeks, and the lungs should be developed; so I'm not sure why I'm still a little freaked out. Currently I am 1 cm and 60% effaced, which is great progress for 36 weeks. The jury is still out as to whether she will let me labor or just do a repeat c-section. It depends on where the fluid levels stand, and probably how much progress I make between now and Thursday.

And, of course- I might go Thursday and the fluid levels have risen to a safer level and she will let things ride a little longer. Either way- God knows...He has all of this under control. I know that none of this is a surprise to Him, He has this baby in His hands- He will continue to make a way to keep me and this baby safe; whether we give birth- or continue to be pregnant for a little while longer. Either way God will make a way for His perfect plan.

I do have to say...the thought of meeting this little life in just 3 short days is a little exciting! Finding out if it's a boy or another little girl. How exciting!

God I pray that you guide my Doctor- give her wisdom, that she will know exactly what to do given the circumstances that we might face on Thursday. Father God, I know that your perfect plan will come to pass- and that we will be blessed with a happy, healthy baby. God we pray for a good delivery and a happy experience- regardless of how the baby gets here. Thank you for blessing us and for giving us the desires of our hearts! We look forward to meeting our "New Moran", whether it be Thursday or maybe a few more weeks. Either way- we continue to put it all in your hands! We love you and praise you!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I'm making a list and checking it twice

The time is getting close! I will be 36 weeks tomorrow and according to my Doctor on Monday- she thinks the time will be sooner rather than later. I am almost 1 cm & 40% effaced already! Now, for clarity- I am perfectly aware that I could totally "Hang out" here at this point for the next couple of weeks without any change at all. But she seems fairly certain that will not be the case. I do pray she's right- because I'm getting pretty uncomfortable. Especially at night.

Last night I only slept about 4 hours. And, while we're on that topic- let me just say that there should be a clause somewhere that pregnant women should not have to get sick. At all. Ever. It's totally unfair to take a 9 month pregnant woman, who has to work very hard to breath while sleeping to begin with, and give her some sort of sinus infection that makes her gag, choke, cough, sniff, gasp for air- all at the same time. My husband was rather panicked last night a couple of different times because apparently I woke him up with my gasping for air technique that I was working to perfect.

Anyway, I finally decided to lay on the couch so I could possibly prop my head up a little better. It finally worked, but not until 3:00 am. Meanwhile, I lay on the couch and instead of counting sheep or anything like that, I decided to totally stress myself out with all of the stuff left to do before this baby comes. I began thinking about the glider that I'd like to purchase, then I started thinking about maybe packing a bag or two for me & Jason at the hospital; and for Bayli as well. Then that led my brain totally in a different, but equally important direction. And I totally made a list of things that I plan on eating AS SOON as I give birth to this here child. You see, the other thing that's totally unfair about pregnancy is when you are borderline Gestational diabetic, and can't have anything good or fun to eat, since i have been 22 weeks. I am so tired of eating the same old things and apparently I've had a mental file going somewhere of things I plan to eat as soon as possible after the birth of the baby.

So, without further adieu, and totally in the exact order of importance:

  • A piece, or 2, of Chantilly Cake from Whole Foods
  • A Snickers Blast from Sonic
  • A Baskin Robbins Ice Cream Cake (Ok- maybe not the whole cake :)
  • A Reese's Peanut Butter Egg
  • A 3 Musketeers
  • An Orange flavored snow ball with condensed milk...make mine a large please :)
  • 18 grapes. You laugh- but I can only have 17 a day right now. I feel like being a rebel!
  • Some caramel dip with my apples.
  • Blue Bell Cherry Amaretto ice cream
  • A Broccoli and Cheese baked potato from Jason's Deli
  • More than my fair share of noodles from Tokyo Cafe'
  • Also, I was totally ripped off during King Cake season, so maybe we can work something out there too.

Call it retarded, call it random. Call it whatever you may. I simply refer to it as getting all of my ducks in a row. I feel so much better now that I have a clear, concise plan. And, anyone of you who live near by and plan on visiting us in the hospital- forget the baby gift- I would LOVE a snickers blast from Sonic! (I tease! Ok, maybe I don't! :) Just play it safe and bring food...no telling what these hormones will be like those days!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Ultrasound Pic

Well, I figured since it took me a month to post, I might as well post 2 days in a row. At least that way I can get a head start in case I accidentally take another break.



Since we've been doing weekly ultrasounds for a while, I decided it was time to finally scan one and put it up for everyone to see. This is a sweet little picture of the chubbiest little face I believe I've ever seen!





Can't wait to meet you little one!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Lest all 2 of you forget that I actually Blog here...

Well, it's been almost 1 month to the date since my last entry. That has to be some sort of a record. I think I've mentioned before that whenever I have a lot on my mind I tend to close up, rather than just spilling my guts here. Something about the thought of actual people possibly reading my thoughts makes me a little nervous about recording them at times; even though I'm mostly pretty transparent.

Clear as mud. Doesn't make a lick of sense at all...just call me Paula Abdul.

Sorry...couldn't resist. ;)

So, we are 33 weeks 6 days. I've been having a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions over the past week. I guess that's a good sign. As much as I am anticipating seeing this little baby, I am sad to see the pregnancy come to an end. I love being pregnant and I'm pretty sure this is it for us, not by choice- but medically speaking. Regardless, we are blessed!

I am starting to get a little nervous about fitting this new life into our existing lives. Bayli is 5 1/2- she doesn't slow us down one bit. I am scared to death about starting over with an infant. Not sure if I even remember how to change a diaper, much less calm a screaming infant and the whole getting up to tend to the baby in the middle of the night thing- it's been a long time since we've done any of those things. Don't get me wrong, I am thrilled to pieces- but I am also fearful of the reality of it all.

I would also ask for all of you to begin to pray for me regarding the delivery. It is my deepest desire to have a good experience this time. My delivery with Bayli was simply awful. Emergency C-section after 3 hours of pushing, forceps, etc. As a matter of fact, if for some reason we had been filming for "The Baby Story"- I'm pretty sure they would have cut our story completely from the line-up. I'm not known for doing things the easy way- ever- and this was no exception.

We have a lot of complicated issues to work out regarding stopping the heparin in enough time, but not too soon; and the borderline gestational diabetes thing (which tends to produce a bigger baby plus after 38 weeks the placenta might begin to fail) so because of that they normally would induce, but because of the previous C-section they don't like to induce because of the trauma on my uterus.

So many people have given me so much grief over it all. Just forget my desires and schedule a repeat section. I am ok with that if that's what absolutely must happen. Trust me when I say that I haven't made it this far to mess it all up now over a delivery story. However, I also know that God cares for my desires. He is the one who placed the desires in my heart to begin with. I have a very strong to desire to experience a non-surgical, non- complicated birth. I desire to have an easier recovery than the 2-3 weeks that I experienced before; after all I have a 5 year old to consider as well. I think that the God that I serve is big enough to work all of this out, after all- He has blessed my womb after years of heartbreak. I'm sorry if it comes across as selfish- that is not my intentions. I simply want a good experience. I am blessed with a Doctor that is willing to work with me- regardless if a section is inevitable, then she has asked me to write down a few desires/wishes so that she can meet me half way in trying to create a positive experience. What a blessing and an answered prayer she is! How many Doctors would care that much? So, I am still praying and believing for Plan A, but we have some things in place to make Plan B better if necessary also.

Regardless of how it all pans out- we will be having a baby in a few short weeks! I have spent years trying to come to terms with the fact that I might never be able to say that; but God is faithful! And here I sit as proof that God does care, and He does answer prayers!

Monday, March 23, 2009

We have a nursery

Well, we finally took the time to set up the nursery. Of course, it looks sort of scarce considering we have no comforter or anything, but all of that will come soon enough.

I will be 30 weeks this Thursday- my Doctor told me a few weeks ago that she probably won't let me go too far past 38 weeks- so we are really entering the home stretch! We finally have decided 100% on a boy set and a little girl set for the nursery- so after the baby is born my husband will head down the street to either Babies R Us or the local Baby store to make our purchase- depending on whether it's a boy or a girl.

I have to say, it was very emotional for us when we set up that baby bed. When we took it down a few years ago, we had just lost baby #3. I was so angry over having to take that bed down and find a place to store it. I can promise you that a big piece of our hearts was put away along with the baby bed that day.

When I came home from the neighbors house Friday night Jason had just got the bed down and was wiping the dust off it. He had tears in his eyes when he looked at me and said, "We have waited a long time for this...too long." Honestly, as hard as it's been for me over the years dealing with all of the loss and heartache- it makes it even harder for me when I am reminded how much my husband and daughter have hurt too.

Since Friday night I have passed by the nursery about 50 some odd times, and it still takes me by surprise when I catch a glimpse of that baby bed out of the corner of my eye. I thank God that He has brought us so far in this journey. And I am very excited to be able to welcome a new little one into our lives in just a few short weeks!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Anatomy of a Bladder

Has anyone out there ever wondered why the heck the bladder is made of such a material to be confused as a trampoline by a growing fetus?

Well, at 2:30, 3:45, and 5:00 this morning...I wondered that exact thing.

Cause here's the deal. I mean, He's God. He designs perfect creations- without any flaw. Who are we to questions His intentions and/or designs? However, I distinctly felt a foot pounce onto my bladder more than once last night. And when you are jolted awake by such things, so many times in one night, you can't help but question God's choice of material used in the making of a bladder. I mean, right off the top of my head... steel might have been a good choice. I'm thinking that wouldn't cave under the pressure of a 2 lb 9 oz baby's foot. My other, very logical suggestion that came to me during yet another sleepless night of bathrooms breaks, was that maybe, just maybe God could have figured out a way to have a woman's bladder be a tad higher up. Oh, I don't know... say just a little higher in the chest cavity area- or maybe under your armpit. He's God...He could totally make it work!

Who knows, maybe before Eve sinned the bladder might have been in a different location. Or maybe made of a little tougher material. And ever since the fall of man pregnant women have been running to the bathroom all hours of the day AND NIGHT; because let's face it... the current bladder positioning is perfect for the foot stomping.

You know, now that I think about it- it's all just part of the training. Waking up 4 or 5 times a night for the last few months of pregnancy, when you could actually be banking some serious sleep hours, is good training for when you have to get up in the middle of the night with a hungry crying baby. And, getting your bladder stomped on by a little bitty foot is just practice for the times that you'll get kicked, bowled over or toes stomped on by a moving child. Yesterday I substituted for Bayli's kindergarten class in an emergency situation, and I kid you not my feet and toes got stepped on at least 6 times in 3 1/2 hours. (Which is really saying something considering they napped for 1 of those hours.)

I guess that's all part of God's plan...it's just a practice run for the journey ahead. Not a bad trade off, now that I think about it!

And as much as I'd love to finish my thoughts on this delicate subject...I must run...F.I.B. (foot in bladder :)

Friday, February 27, 2009

A Hidden Jewel

A few days ago my sweet little girl got into the car with a huge grin on her face. She had a surprise for me hiding in her pocket. Since we were in the car pool line, I told her that I would love to see it as soon as we got home.

So, we walk through the door, and with a big smile she produces my prize.


The picture isn't the best, but it's a little heart shaped candy. She found it on the playground during recess. It was full of dirt, so she cleaned it with her spit. Now it's shiny and good as new! And it made her think of me. She kept it in her pocket all day, keeping it safe for me.

Who said motherhood is not a paid job? Because, my friends, little gifts and tokens like these are priceless, irreplacable jewels! This little beauty has a place of honor on the window sill by my kitchen window. Every day when I'm washing up some dishes I think about that little smile, or the sweet little girl who took the time to spit shine it for me!
Funny, when you think about it, we were taken from the mirey clay too. But now we have a place of honor. We all once were hidden jewels, now we can shine for all the world to see!


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

For Her

I lay in bed this morning thinking of a sweet little girl; who incidentally, was lying in the crook of my arm.  This sweet little girl is about to have the only world she's ever known rocked to the core.  She's also about to experience the greatest joy- and something that she's asked for since she learned to speak.

I remember very clearly the times that she was barely a few feet tall- yet begging for a little sister or brother.  I remember very clearly her asking why she couldn't have one.  I remember my overwhelming feelings of inadequacy when we were struggling through those couple of years of unexplained infertility.  When pregnancy had come so easily before, yet now just couldn't happen.  And I would spend many of hours crying, pouring my heart out to the Lord, like Hannah.  Praying that He would hear my prayers and answer them.  And that little intuitive spirit, in that tiny 3 year old little body... wise beyond her years.  One day as the tears stained my cheeks she looked up from the TV, came over and wiped my eyes and said, "Mommy, I know why your heart hurts today.  Because you want a baby and you can't have one."  I was awestruck as I was very careful not to ever say anything in front of her to indicate there was a problem.  

Still, she continued to ask.  And we had to come to terms with the fact that it might just be that for some unknown reason a sibling would be the one thing on this earth that we wouldn't be able to give to her.  

I never wanted to be the mother of an only child.  I never wanted her to grow up alone.  My heart would ache.  With every milestone, every new thing she learned to do; everything that should have been celebrated, was only celebrated superficially.  Deep down inside I grieved her growing up.  The only baby that I was able to bring to this earth was growing up before our very eyes and I just couldn't stand it.

I remember the months of unsuccessful fertility treatments.  The crazy hormones.  The times that my patience was way too thin for such a sweet little girl.  With each and every unsuccessful round of treatment- hopes dashed yet again.  My heart was filled with such grief, yet so much love for the one that I had been blessed with, the one that was so sweet and perfect, the one that kept asking for a sibling to love and to play with... for her.

Then, finally!  Success!  The positive pregnancy test!  We never hesitated to tell her the news!  That finally- we were going to be able to grant her greatest wish!  The sibling that she desired for so long was finally on it's way.  It never even dawned on us to guard her little heart, even though we had already had 2 miscarriages at this point.  Certainly after 15 months of trying this one would work!  We talked about baby things, and baby names... and she was over the moon with excitement for this little sibling that she had been desiring!  She was going to be the Big Sister!  

The strong lab results, the strong heartbeat, the beautiful ultrasound image.  Followed by pain.  A life too short, taken from us again.  But this time it was different.  It didn't just hurt me, and it didn't just hurt Jason, it hurt her.  We thought that since she had just turned 3 years old that she might just forget about the baby if we stopped talking about it.  Not this girl, not the one with the memory like an elephant.  She remembered, and remembered well.  Daily she spoke of the baby with such excitement, unknowingly pouring salt into my seeping wounds.  One day out of the blue, that all too smart little mind finally caught on to what was happening.  Out of the blue she said, "Mommy, do you have a baby in your belly or what?"  I was rendered speechless yet again.  Her beautiful blue eyes piercing mine, waiting patiently for a response.  We had already decided upon adoption, so we lovingly told her what we should have shared with her a few weeks ago.  That the baby we all had wanted for so long was gone.  It was in Heaven with Jesus.  

Yes, sweetheart, I know that you wanted it here.  So did we.  My grief was so strong I could hardly comfort her.

For her.  The one who, still to this day, has a helium balloon for a day or so, then decides to let it go to fly up to heaven for Jesus and for her sibling that she wanted so badly.  

For her.  The one who quietly sat in the backseat with tears streaming down her face and chin quivering as we left the hospital when visiting her new cousin 18 months ago.  She spoke up finally, with voice trembling, and said, "But... Mommy and Daddy...I wanted us to be the ones who were so excited!  I wanted us to be the ones to have the new baby to hold!"

My resolve had worn out years ago.  I was weary from this fight known as infertility and miscarriage.  My arms were tired from holding them up during the battle.  My heart was shattered one too many times.  I had decided that I was going to just love Jesus and trust Him.  And that regardless if He ever decided to bless my womb again, or if He ever decided to grace my arms with the warmth of a newborn little life that was my own... I was going to serve Him and love Him and praise Him.  Regardless of the outcome of it all.  After all, He had already done so much.

But, for her.  I just couldn't stop myself from trying again to give her the sibling that she wanted, the child that of course we wanted too.  

The sweet tender spirit who talks to my belly, then listens in my mouth waiting to hear the baby speak.  The sweet little girl who can't keep her hands off of my growing belly.  The one who tells me how beautiful I look every day.  The one who prays for me and for this little life without any prompting.

For her... my firstborn, my love, my heart.


Friday, February 20, 2009

25 Weeks

My heart is smiling.  That is the only way to describe the joy that I am feeling right now.  This little life is moving constantly.  He or she is now kicking so strongly you can watch my belly move!  It is such an unbelievable feeling.  And as difficult as this pregnancy is for me, I am still so very blessed and honored that God has allowed me this opportunity.  And it is an opportunity that I absolutely refuse to take for granted.

Also, let me apologize for sounding so whiny last week when I bore my soul about the gestational diabetes issues.  Whenever life hands me lemons it usually takes me a week or so to figure out how to make the darn lemonade.  That just seems to be how I roll.  Things are much better now.  I had a small problem this morning where after breakfast my blood sugar was 185 instead of 120 or below- but I think I've figured out the problem and aside from that I'm doing well.  I have only had 2 times this week where my fasting blood sugar has been at the right level, so I have spoken to the nutritionist and she has me logging all of my food so they can analyze the problem to see if I need to be on medication at night.  I certainly hope that we can figure it out.  I REALLY do not want to take any more medication.  I have to tell you that after I vented last week and got all of my frustrations out, I was able to think a little more clearly and I simply made the decision to speak life to this situation.  It has made all of the difference in the world.  My attitude is better and God is able to move through it.

Last night a friend of mine blessed me with two sweet little onesies!  Since we aren't finding out what we are having I've been panicking a little bit because it is SO hard to find neutral things.  And I don't want a ton of neutral things because we have so much little girl stuff if it's a girl, and if it's a boy I want to be able to buy a bunch of sweet boy things.  But- the child will need some clothes in the hospital- clothes that are washed and ready to go!  So I was so excited to receive my first baby gift last night!  It really hit me...we are going to have a baby!  And it's going to be either a boy or a girl!  And he or she will inhabit our house and our hearts!  How blessed we are!

I know this is short and sweet, and rather boring too- but I just wanted to check in to say that I am doing so much better.  My heart is smiling, my belly is swelling and I just love every minute of it!  Y'all have a wonderful weekend!

PS- did I mention that I'm 25 weeks?!


Friday, February 13, 2009

Emotions on the loose

It's no surprise to those that have known me for a while that I am an emotional girl.  I have always been very sensitive and have always worn my heart on my sleeve (Is that the correct phrase?) 

But Lordy Mercy!  The hormones, they are ragin'!  And the tears- sheesh- they know no boundaries!!!  The bad thing is that I'm crying over nothing at all, and it's totally the 'ugly cry'.  This has been going on for the better part of a week or so.  And I'm ready to try to get a handle on it already.  Part of me thinks it has something to do with these blood sugar issues that I've been dealing with.  The other part of me thinks I'm just a freak.  Not sure which is true.

I have been having a very rough time getting the glucose junk under control.  It's a lot harder than I thought.  It's taking a lot of self control and discipline, but even more planning and preparation than I have time or energy to deal with.  I am trying so very hard, but even giving it my best efforts I'm still failing miserably.  I have been testing my blood sugar 4 times per day for the past 7 days.  Out of those 28 times, my blood sugar was high 14 times!  Everyone has told me that it takes a couple of weeks, but I am very frustrated right now.  I am only getting the desired results 50% of the time, even though I am doing things right 100% of the time!  See, in the back of my head I keep thinking that if I'm going to try this hard and work this hard and my blood sugar is still going to be high then I might as well just have fun and forget about it and just eat what I really want to eat and forget the stupid diet.  But I am such a rule follower, and I'm totally stressing myself out over it.  And I don't want to do anything to harm this baby.

This is why I think my hormonal outbursts are due to the stress of this situation.  Not to mention that whenever my blood sugar is high I just don't feel very well.  It just makes everything right for a good cry.

But I am determined to not let the devil steal my joy.  We have prayed for this pregnancy and we have fought for this pregnancy!  I am determined to not let this trial over shadow the joy that lies within.  

As I sat doing my quiet time today I asked God for His help in this situation for the first time this week.  Isn't it crazy that I would all but kill myself trying to figure this out on my own and it wouldn't even dawn on me to ask Jesus to help me?  Knowing He's been wanting to help me all along.  So, now at the top of my prayers and petitions each day will be asking God to guide me and direct me with every food choice, measurement and craving throughout the day.  After all, if He can help Barb do this; He can certainly help me!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Just to make things fun...

So, it appears that I am borderline gestational diabetic.  I was borderline when I was pregnant with Bayli, but way back then in the stone ages 5 years ago they didn't do anything about it. Apparently now when you are borderline all sorts of flashing lights and sirens go off and you are treated exactly as if you had failed the test 100%.  

I met with the dietician Thursday to learn how to try to control my blood sugar through diet.  I also met with a nurse to learn how to check my blood sugar.  Currently I am monitoring my blood sugar 4 times per day.

Can I stop now and whine just a little bit?

Good.  Because I know that I have wanted this pregnancy for a very long time, but it's just daily becoming a more and more difficult pregnancy.  I am very excited and super blessed...but I'm tired of the drama.  Honestly, I knew several miscarriages ago that I would never just "have a baby" I would always be considered high risk, and that I would never ever have a normal pregnancy.  But I did not expect this to happen in addition to all of the other stuff we've been dealing with.

However, the nurse explained to me in great detail that when my body can't tolerate or absorb the sugars properly it goes straight to the baby, mainly in the form of extra pounds.  Simply put, it just really isn't healthy for the baby.  And considering that all that I've prayed for is a healthy baby, then I have simply resolved  to suck it up and do whatever needs to be done to bring a healthy baby into the world.    

And honestly the diet isn't too bad.  I really haven't been craving sweets all that much.  My problem is that I love fresh fruits.  So, my excess sugar is coming from fruits and other carbs; like pasta and baked potatoes.  I haven't just been overloading on junk food.  But now I can't just grab an apple or a handful of grapes like I'm used to.  So it's taking a little bit of discipline. But, since the beginning of the pregnancy I've lost 22 pounds because I was so sick.  I've been joking all along that I would be the first pregnant woman in history to deliver a baby weighing less than when she got pregnant.  I guess God heard me and decided to help me out a little bit! :)

I also have been having quite a bit of pain due to my sciatic nerve.  Never knew that thing existed until a few weeks ago.  Luckily it only comes and goes, I know some people who suffer with it constantly- mine usually only bothers me 4-5 days out of the week.  The problem is, since I'm only 23 weeks, and it's been bothering me since about 18 weeks, they are afraid it might only get worse as time goes on.  So I am going to a physical therapist tomorrow to learn some exercises that I can do to relieve the pain.

On a happy note, we went Monday to the perinatologist for another ultrasound and to my regular appointment with my OB.  We got another great report from both Doctors.  (The ultrasound showed the baby as weighing 6 ounces larger than normal, but hopefully getting the insulin thing under control will help keep the baby's weight under control as well. ) Bayli was with us and she was so excited to see the baby on the screen.  She kept pointing out that she could see the heart "beeping".  She is so cute and so curious right now about everything baby related.  She always asks things like, "Mommy, does the baby know that we are watching Max and Ruby right now?" Or "Mommy, does the baby know that you just washed my hair?"  Too sweet!  My favorite still is when she talks to my belly, then listens in my mouth to 'hear the baby answer her'... how cute is that?

Well, that is the long recap of "New Moran- 23 week Update".  I am a little bummed about some things, but I will make it through this as well.  I just keep trying to remind myself of the old saying that when you have an easy pregnancy you have a difficult delivery, and when you have a hard pregnancy you usually have an easy delivery.  I am hoping to cash in on that one!  At least it's something to look forward to.  Regardless, when I was talking to my OB, and was very upset about the 'borderline gestational diabetes' thing; I told her...I just want one normal thing!  Just one thing!  And she gently reminded me, "Your baby."  And so it is.  I can take and live through just about anything for that!

Monday, January 26, 2009

I Am Free to Dream

It's no surprise to anyone that I've been fearful to become excited about this pregnancy. But over the past few weeks I have actually found myself sitting and dreaming about who this little person will become. For so long I have had to guard my heart. Pregnancy wasn't something to celebrate for us- it almost always meant a death sentence...no matter how hard we prayed, begged or pleaded it didn't always seem to go our way. This time, praise God, is different. It's been different all along, I just couldn't embrace it. When we passed the 9 week mark I knew we were on to something because we'd never made it that far, except with Bayli. When we hit the 2nd trimester, I was still only cautiously excited; I was just so afraid that something would happen.

Now here I sit, almost 22 weeks. I feel movement several times a day. I am relaxed, especially now that the heparin issue is resolved, and it hit me a few days ago...I am free to dream! I can sit back and enjoy this pregnancy as it is intended to be enjoyed. I can embrace it as a mother knowing I will welcome another child into my arms. The fear of this life leaving me and joining it's many other siblings in heaven is all but gone.

I am free to dream of... boy or girl? I am free to dream of big huge baby like it's sister? Hopefully a few pounds smaller :) I am free to dream of midnight feedings, just me and a sweet little one (yes- even that sounds exciting right now!) I am free to dream of a head full of hair- or soft, warm peach fuzz? I can sit and rub my growing belly and just wonder. And not wonder if he or she will stay with us this time. No, I am blessed enough to just be able to sit and wonder about the wonder of this life. The miracle of what is going on inside of me.

I am so glad that the fear has been replaced with wonder and excitement. I am so blessed that God has allowed this to be part of His plan. I am so glad that we didn't give up just one pregnancy ago... never to "try again"- because I can promise that I vowed that more than once!

I got giddy with excitement a few days ago when I went to Wal Mart to pick up some Gain and I passed the bottles of Dreft. I remember a post back this summer when we were waiting for God to move. When I was just recovering from yet another loss that we told only a handful of people about. When I shared my verse, the one that kept me going. When I shared my definition of armload of blessing... read more here

I am free to dream!

Friday, January 23, 2009

I'm Legal

Yesterday my dear friend, who is also our Pastor's wife, texted me to congratulate me on becoming legal.  I was so confused...but, let's be honest...it doesn't take much to confuse me most days.  Anyway- she has been keeping as good of records as I have regarding anything to do with my pregnancy.  And, she is correct- I'm legal...I'm officially 21!  

21 weeks that is!

21 weeks!  I never dreamed this would be possible again.  We have suffered so much loss, it just never seemed possible.  Yet here I sit with a little life doing it's daily aerobic activity inside of me as I type this.  Honestly and truthfully- with God all things are possible!  He has made a way where we just couldn't imagine even a few short months ago.

The past couple of weeks have been very emotional for me as I've been constantly replaying the discussion I had last with my OB, trying to decide whether or not to continue with the heparin or heed the advise of the Perinatologist and get off of all blood thinners completely.  I would love to be free from the limitations of the heparin, but yet I have been so fearful to do so.  It just seems as though the heparin is working.  We've never made it this far except for when we had Bayli...so something is different.  The only changes we've made is the heparin and the increase in folic acid.  So I couldn't understand the reasoning behind stopping it.  My heart would literally ache with fear when I would think about the possibility of stopping the medicine that I felt was keeping my baby alive.  It was an awful decision and I just couldn't feel a peace regardless of which way I leaned.

Thankfully I didn't have to make the decision.  My OB met with the perinatologist personally to discuss the matter, and she wasn't convinced that there was enough evidence to take the risk in stopping the medicine.  Why risk a late term loss?  Why fix it if it isn't broken?  It's working- so lets keep doing it.  I began to weep when I spoke to the nurse as she relayed this information.  I knew that I had been worked up and fearful, but I didn't realize quite how much it had upset me until she called me and advised me to continue.  I was quite suddenly overcome with peace; and as it washed over me the tears began to fall.  What a relief!  I know that God's hand is upon this life, but I also know that God uses the wisdom of doctors and he also uses medicine.  I finally feel such peace.

On a side note, my Pastor's wife has been praying that if we needed to continue with the heparin that God would renew my tolerance for it.  And He has been so faithful to do that.  I haven't had a painful injection for several days now and I haven't had an injection site give me any problems for almost 3 weeks.  This is indeed a blessing!  Of course I would endure anything at all that was necessary to keep this life thriving, but the fact that the injections are a little easier right now makes it so much better.

I feel so blessed to be past the half-way point.  Thanks to all of you for praying with us and following along with us on this journey!  We are so excited!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Few Thin I"ve Learned Along the Way...Part VI

continued from previous series of posts....

During my pregnancy, I kept telling everyone that I didn't want to know the sex of the baby until delivery.  We even went as far as looking at and picking out a neutral bedding set so that I wouldn't be tempted to find out sooner.  However, we both wanted a daughter so badly, and a few weeks after our miscarriage my Dr. called with all of the test results.  They were able to determine that the baby had been lost due to a Chromosomal abnormality and they also determined the sex.  Without thinking I told her that I wanted to know the sex of the baby we lost.  It had been a little girl...our little girl.  The girl we had always dreamed of.  

Needless to say, when we were pregnant the second time, I kept thinking about the little girl we lost, and could only pray, hope and dream that this one was a girl also.  And even though the romantic notion of waiting to find out the sex was something I had always hoped for- the reality was that the closer we got to being able to find out, the closer I got to just exploding with excitement.  I couldn't stand to wait another second.  When we went for the ultrasound, the whole way there I kept saying that we weren't going to find out.  But when the time came I just couldn't stand it- and I caved.

We were thrilled to learn that this was another little girl!  The feeling was so overwhelming.  God had restored that which we lost!  I just knew this little girl was going to be my right hand.  I had so many dreams of teaching her things, spending time with her, watching her grow and raising her into a Godly young woman.  God was so good for giving me the desires of my heart!  And I think I've mentioned a time or two, that Bayli was the first little girl in 52 years on my mother-in-law's side of the family.  To say that the family was excited would be an understatement.  We couldn't wait to bring home that little girl clad in pink!

We left the Dr that day and went straight to pick out another bedding set.  Neutral green and yellow would hardly do for my little girl!  We were so excited!

Aside from the normal baby showers, decorating and making room for baby, the remainder of the pregnancy was rather uneventful.   Delivery, however, was a totally different story...

to be continued...

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Just Sayin'...

Well, the gender that lies within is really beginning to intrigue me a tad.  I still want to be surprised, but the guessing is quite fun.  And I'm just sayin'...that if a high heartbeat is truly indicative of a girl; then it appears that Princess Di might have indeed taken up residence in my womb. Either that or we happened to catch "new moran" right smack in the middle of his/her afternoon Jane Fonda Workout.  Because...

I went to visit my OB this afternoon and the heartbeat hovered in at around 183 beats per minute!!  

Either way- we are blessed- and that is one high, strong heartbeat!  And this little life is thriving and is growing stronger by the minute.  I had a really good visit with my Doctor.  After our little incident Monday with the Heparin she is going to speak personally with the perinatologist regarding whether or not we continue with the heparin therapy.  She made no mention again at all regarding switching to Lovenox, apparently we are either going to discontinue blood thinners completely, or just stay the course we're on.  I trust her judgement totally and completely.  I am very grateful to not make a change to Lovenox- after confirming with my insurance company exactly how much that liquid gold would actually cost out of our pocket; you know- pay the house note or switch to Lovenox.  Sheesh!  That stuff is costly! 

Also, on a side note.  I slept through all but the 1st quarter of the National Championship Game tonight.  Y'all...this is a record for me.  There was not a single Bowl game this season that I didn't catch some good Zz's during!  It's quite offensive to my husband.  He is very much used to me not missing a minute of any important sports matter~but the National Championship Game!  Seriously- I am ashamed of myself.  (But what is a girl to do when she is busy growing another human inside- I have to get my rest whenever I can...and I am T.I.R.E.D. all of the time!) However, I did wake up in time to catch some nice post game interviews- if that amounts to anything at all.  Here's to hopin' that he doesn't disqualify me from future sports watching events!  

Also, to seal the deal on making this the most random post in history- this is my 100th post!  I am probably the only blogger in history to take 2 years to post 100 times!  Oh well, so it takes me a while to finally be a part of the 100 + post club, at least I made it!

Have a good evening!

Monday, January 5, 2009

If anyone is listening...I'm tired

I think I mentioned before that as part of the plan to keep "new moran" thriving, I am on quite a bit of medicine, including 2 heparin injections per day.  Well, either I'm at the end of what I can tolerate, or it's just getting more difficult to administer.  Heparin is supposed to be given in the belly, in the fatty tissue.  Well, at first there was way more than enough fatty tissue to go around.  But now that my belly is growing and expanding we are so limited to areas to give the injections.  The problem with that is that my body doesn't exactly tolerate the medicine that well.  I always bruise and I'm always left with a huge knot about the size of a marble, if not larger, underneath my skin.  It usually takes about a week for the knot and bruise to clear, and with already limited spots in which to inject- we are in a real pickle.  

Well, last night I realized that I was sleeping on my back so I woke up to roll over on my left side (the preferred side during pregnancy), at which point I was met by a horrendous pain from the Sunday morning injection site.  I put ice on it, which helped with the surface pain, but this pain was different.  It would be the equivalent of what my mind would think that touching an electric fence would feel like.  It was so tender and on fire!  Jason woke up and I asked him to feel it.  The gentle touch of his fingertips about sent me into orbit...it was so painful!  Now, I realize that I am a 34 year old woman complaining about a shot, but I have been doing this for 5 months now and I've never had this bad of a reaction.  We put ice on it, and I was finally able to drift back to sleep- only to be woken by a wrong number phone call at 4:30 this morning.

The weird thing is that I am still hurting so badly today.  I spoke to the nurse at my Dr's office and she thinks that we must've injected into the muscle.  And, to top it off, for some reason the nerve endings are a little damaged too.  So, they told me to take it easy today and keep ice on it and tylenol for the pain.  Honestly, I'm on bed rest for today because of a stupid shot gone awry.  

Even worse than this, my Dr. really wants to switch me from Heparin to Lovenox.  Well, Lovenox has definite advantages, it's only once per day and the syringes come pre-filled, etc.  And apparently they come pre-filled with liquid gold.  Because the cost of a 30 day supply of Lovenox?  $1,000.  For a 30 day supply.  Of some medicine.  Y'all...its not like I'm doing cocaine or trying to get some sort of high here.  I just want to keep myself and my baby alive.  I have 4 months left, that would be $4,000!  Yes, our insurance would cover some of that, but we would still pay a big chunk...more than I would like to admit since it's a non-preferred drug.  Just the $150 per month we've been spending on the heparin has been an inconvenience to our pocketbooks, so I cannot even begin to imagine how we'd be able to do the Lovenox.  

My initial thought is that I will just go back to work.  But who will hire a woman who's in her 5th month of pregnancy that plans to quit to stay home again when the baby's born?  And who will handle all of our responsibilities at church?  And who will pick my baby up from kindergarten every day?

I am just tired.  I'm tired of worrying.  I'm tired of hurting.  And I hate complaining, because it doesn't solve a thing.  And I feel like I'm complaining- which obviously isn't solving anything.  I guess I need to go make a list or something...making a list always makes me feel better.  It makes me feel some sort of control.  However, it's only January 5th- I really can't think of any other possible list to make right now- unless I make a list to organize the lists that I made on January 1st.

All that I can do is just give up control again.  In the Word it says that Our God shall supply all our needs.  It also references the fact that if God can care for the sparrows and birds, how much more will He care for me?  He loves me, and He loves this life within me.  He will certainly provide the way to keep us all going.

I never knew it would be possible to be so excited, yet so scared all at the same time.

Friday, January 2, 2009

A Few Things I've Learned along the way...Part V

continued from previous series of posts...

I wish that I could say that over time I had totally laid all of my fears aside and trusted God totally and completely and planned out the perfect time to try again for another pregnancy.

The truth of the matter is...my next pregnancy happened totally on a whim.  Actually, my sweet husband commented that we shouldn't be fearful and that he really wanted to try again for another baby.  That was on cycle day 3.  After that I sort of panicked again, and told him I'd rather wait until I was certain that I was ready for the emotion of trying again.  I realize that they say that God is the one who opens and closes the womb- and apparently that is correct. Because medically, um...it just shouldn't have happened.

But it did.  And I am ever so glad.

We found out in January 2003 that we were indeed pregnant again.  Since our first pregnancy ended in miscarriage, my Doctor ordered some early blood work and an early ultrasound.  The labs came back ok, but the ultrasound was borderline.  The heartbeat was 99 beats per minute. We were told that there was a 50/50 chance of survival.  We had to go home and wait it out for the next 2 weeks.  We had made the decision at that point not to tell anyone at all about this pregnancy.  So it was literally me, Jason and God for the next 14 days.  It was one of the scariest times of my life.

During that time, we learned that a good friend of  ours from church had lost her 2nd baby.  She lost her first one 1 week before I lost mine.  Ironically, we had been pregnant together again, but neither of us had told anyone, so we didn't know it.  We called for permission to go visit with them and they allowed us to go.  Their grief was horrible.  The grief was so thick in the air, you could feel it upon entering their house.  I sat and talked with her for several hours, trying my best to comfort her.  I was pregnant, but she didn't know it; and we weren't even sure if our little life was going to make it.  As I sat there with her- the tears streaming both of our faces she shared with me that an early ultrasound of theirs showed their baby with a heartbeat of 99 beats per minute.  They were given the same odds as us.  And their sweet little baby didn't make it.  I remember excusing myself to the restroom literally gasping for air, praying and pleading with God to allow our life to make it; and feeling guilty for asking that knowing that on the other side of the door sat a dear friend of mine who had just lost hers.

Needless to say the next 2 weeks we were on pins and needles.  I would love to say that I was full of confidence and relied totally on God's grace- but that would be a lie.  I was scared out of my mind that our next ultrasound would show another still heartbeat.  My prayers were more like begging and pleading rather than praying and believing anything that God said in His word.
It was a very difficult time to walk through, but we made it, and God blessed us.  The next ultrasound did not show a still heartbeat, but instead a thriving pregnancy with a beautiful heartbeat!  160+ beats per minute.  I was 9 weeks and 1 day and we were ready to rejoice!

Our original plans had been to wait until we were 12 weeks to share the news, but we both had peace that since we were farther along than we were when we lost the first baby, then certainly we must be ok.  We were ready to spread the news!  So we did exactly that.  We told anyone who would listen.  I carried ultrasound pictures with me in my purse and was thrilled to show anyone and everyone.  The baby at that point looked like a little Teddy Graham snack cracker- so that was our loving term of endearment that we used when referring to the baby.

We never looked back, and the fear never returned during this pregnancy.  We went full steam ahead planning for this baby that would join our family.  We were overjoyed to say the least!

to be continued...

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Our Baby is Perfect!

We just returned from the visit with the Perinatologist and in his exact words, "If I have to give my honest, professional opinion, I totally believe that we will see a healthy baby born into this world in late May/early June 2009.  Nothing that I am seeing here alarms me or gives me any indication otherwise."

At which point I begin to sob.  Because those are words that I have waited to hear for years! 
 
My heart is overjoyed!  And I look forward to getting some much needed rest now.  I feel certain that I should be able to relax enough to take that long winter's nap that I kept hearing about but haven't been able to witness first hand.

And, on a side note, we opted NOT to find out the sex of the baby.  Jason was a bit disappointed, but this is another thing that I've wanted for years...that element of surprise when going into the delivery room.  We go back for another ultrasound with the Perinatologist in about 4 weeks, so we have a little more time to discuss it and change our minds if we decide to.  I guess I'm just so happy to be carrying a healthy baby that the sex doesn't matter at all to me either way.  I would love a little boy since we already have Bayli and then Grayci will be on her way from El Salvador one day.  But I'd also be perfectly content with a houseful of girls.  

We'll see.  God has obviously already determined the perfect little life to join our family and for now it is our plan to wait to open and marvel at that gift at the time it enters our world.  Boy or Girl, what'll it be??  I guess we'll have to wait and see!

Thank you all for your prayers!  And thank you Jesus...giver of all wonderful and perfect gifts!  Thank you for blessing us.  It is still a little hard to digest this news after so much heartache and heartbreak, but I am more determined than ever to just live in the moment and enjoy the blessing before us!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

An Update

Hey Everyone,

Just wanted to ask for all of your prayers tomorrow morning as we are going to see a specialist that will more than likely be co-monitoring me, along with my regular OB, throughout the remainder of my pregnancy.
I know I've spent a lot of time recently re-living a little bit of past, but the truth is, I'm still pretty freaked out about the present.  I am very excited about our pregnancy- but yet there are many times a day when the fear that grips my heart is so overwhelming I can barely catch my breath.  There are many times when the words leave me and all that I can do is barely whisper "Life...God I pray for Life".  Maybe it's not the most eloquent of prayers, but I don't think that matters.  
I haven't been sleeping real good the past few nights because all that I can think about is what we will find out tomorrow.  I pray that it is a good report...no complications...and quite simply- I pray for life.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A few things I've learned along the way...Part IV

continued from previous post...

If you remember, we had just celebrated our 7 year anniversary. I remember sitting in the break room at my job when my supervisor told me that I should beware because he had heard that the 7th year of marriage was the toughest...that's when most divorces occur. Funny- we were in the middle of the most difficult thing our 7 year old marriage ever knew. But, apparently it was going to get worse before it got better.

I was sitting at my desk when Jason called me suddenly one day to tell me that he had been laid off from his job. He was going to finish out that week, collect that paycheck and then he'd receive 4 weeks severance pay.

Ok, in case you need help keeping score...brand new house, with a brand new house note; still dealing with the very difficult loss of our first pregnancy and now the loss of our main source of income. Wow- happy 7 year anniversary!!

I guess that this news, although a little overwhelming at the time, came at a good time because it forced us out of our pity-party. It also brought us closer together, we worked together on our budget and things to cut if necessary. We prayed together more and decided that no matter what happened, we would never short change God. Our tithe would still be the first bill we would pay, regardless of how tight things became.  We were very blessed, though, because it never became necessary to go to that extreme. By the time that the severance pay had been used up, God had blessed Jason with a new job that was only a mile or two from our house and he received a $6000 per year increase in pay.

Although focusing on and dealing with Jason's change of jobs had forced us out of the pity-party with the loss of our baby; we did have another challenge to deal with. Jason's brother and his wife had their first baby. I was responsible for giving her their baby shower. Although it was an exciting time for all of us in our family, there was no hiding the fact that my heart was hurting over our loss during this time. The day that my sweet nephew was welcomed into the world was bitter sweet for us. We were so very happy for them, and loved him so much, but it was such a hard time for us. Please don't misunderstand, I love that little boy like crazy- I have from the beginning; but no matter how much you love someone and no matter how happy you are for someone else- it becomes very difficult to watch someone so close to you receive the blessing that you yourself have wanted for so long.  But, as hard as it was, the most amazing thing happened...the minute I held that sweet bundle of joy my heart began aching again- but in a different way.  I realized more than ever what we were missing out on.  I realized what had been stolen from us.  And I started rounding the corner of maybe, possibly being able to give another pregnancy another try.

If God had allowed us to become pregnant the first time, certainly he could allow it again, right?  And, even though we were still scared out of our minds, there was no guarantee that what happened before would happen again.  Maybe, just maybe I was ready to try again??

to be continued.... 

Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas...a tad late

Christmas 2008 was wonderful for the Moran family!  I lay awake several hours on Christmas Eve thinking about the day ahead of us.  I was so excited for Bayli-bug.  I just knew that she was going to have the time of her life opening gifts.  I was also so overwhelmed as I lay in bed and felt the little life inside of me fluttering a few times.  If you had told me even 6 short months ago that we would be at this place this Christmas I wouldn't have been able to believe you.  I believed that God would answer our prayers, but yet we have been so programmed to just accept our situation, like it or not, that truly realizing, accepting and processing this information has been , oddly enough...almost a challenge.  Allowing the joy to overshadow the fear- it's taken quite a bit of prayer.

We also started a new tradition with our Jesse tree.  It was so much fun making the ornaments and putting it all together.  Every night we looked forward to that time as a family.  We will look forward to this for many years to come!

I have to tell you about the funniest thing that happened Christmas morning!  We had 1 present that was really big that couldn't fit under the tree so we set it beside the entertainment center.  I had wrapped it and put a bow on it, but didn't put the name tag on it.  I started to do it Christmas Eve, but Jason told me not to.  He just wanted me to surprise her.  So bright and early Christmas morning Bayli knocked on our door and said, "It's Christmas morning and time to open presents!  And guess, what?  There is a BIG present beside the TV and there is no name on it.  Is it for me?"  All morning she kept asking who the big present was for and we just told her we weren't sure, we'd open it all together after we opened all of the other gifts.  Eventually she quit asking, but when all of the presents were opened she asked to open the big gift.  Luckily I grabbed my flip video because what happened next might go down in history as the most excited gift opening experience of a lifetime! Enjoy!


Friday, December 19, 2008

A Few Things I've Learned Along the Way...Part III

continued...

In between sobs, "Jason, I need you to come back to the Doctors office...there's no heartbeat". I was hysterical in the truest sense of the word. I couldn't believe that the little life we had so carefully planned for had slipped away from us. We watched it happen, slowly...almost daily ultrasounds- first 160+, then 120's- now silence where the flickering heartbeat had been only a few days before.

For me, losing our first pregnancy brought so many bigger fears, "what if we never are able to have children?" "what if I have to go through this again (little did I know...)" "what if I can't get pregnant again so easily next time?" "how will I tell everyone this horrible news...they are all so happy" I could have chosen to just believe good things, but instead my heart and mind reeled with the negative truth of the situation.

My heart was broken, as was Jason's...and I really felt like I had let him down.

But, by far, the absolute worse thing of all was that everyone's life just went on. The world kept turning- even though my personal world had come to a sudden halt. I was so angry at the people who called me- literally within hours of us finding out that we had lost the baby and they couldn't understand our sadness. They couldn't understand why we cried. People actually gave us words of wisdom to try again the next month! Quoted, word for word, "You guys better get busy and jump back in the saddle again right away!" Um, ok- are you guys the same breed of people who held signs at abortion rallies before?! Do you not believe that life begins at conception? Because, if you believe that...which I do too...then you are telling me to forget about the little life, the little life that was to grow into our child. The life that was living inside of me! It was a life...and it was my child! I also found it interesting there is no bereavement time at work for women who have miscarried. Even though they have miscarried a human life. But if your hubands great Aunt Sally twice removed were to pass away I could have taken 3 days off with pay. However, I had to take vacation time, and then time without pay to cover the few days that I took off to recover from my D&C .

My other personal favorite is the "well at least you didn't feel it move yet" or "at least you didn't have time to know it and/or love it yet" or "well, at least it happened now" and "this must be part of God's plan". Please people- if this is the best you've got then you should try again. Because, it's no secret that mother's are very protective of their children. And, what I felt at that moment was you attacking my child... as if my child was less than yours because it didn't make it long enough for me to feel it move. And, I did absolutely have time to fall in love with this baby. For real, please, please don't ever say these things to a woman who just lost a baby...just simply tell her that you love her and that you are praying for her...then really pray for her because more than likely she'll need it.

As far as trying again- I was scared out of my mind. The devil ate my lunch. For me personally, I had to take some time to grieve this loss. We had to take some time to find our new normal. We had been suddenly thrown feet first into a new chapter of our lives- one that we weren't prepared to handle. Those of you who have never lost a baby might think that I have over reacted, and maybe I did- but my hurt and pain was very real and I had to figure out how to deal with it.

Jason and I chose to get away for a few days in Florida. Funny thing is, I hate the beach. The sand is, quite frankly, just a little too sandy for me. However, I love nothing more than to get a beachfront room and sit on the balcony for hours reading and listening to the waves and smelling the ocean air. There is nothing like it. We also went to a Christian Book Store in Destin and picked up a devotional book entitled "Grieving the Child I Never Knew" it is a remarkable little book and I have actually purchased many of them for women I know that have lost babies. This little book, done daily with my sweet husband helped us forge our way through the fog and deal with a lot of our hurt and pain.

We were at a scary point in our lives. It was the first real problem that we had encountered in the 7 years since we were married. All of a sudden, the world that we knew was different. We no longer had the bliss of being young and naive.

We had lost our first child...

to be continued

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Spilling the Beans

We decided to tell Bayli about her new little sibling on the way a little earlier than originally planned. We were going to tell her Christmas Morning, but so many people are finding out now at Church that we were so afraid that someone would say something before we had the opportunity to. I had her Big Sister shirt and the framed pics of the ultrasound wrapped and ready to stick under the tree on Christmas Eve, but instead we surprised her last night. We all had our heads bowed and as Bayli said the blessing for dinner, I pushed her plate out of the way and placed the gift in front of her on the table. When she opened her eyes- there it was- the shiny red wrapped gift.

She opened the present- so excited- and then pulled out the shirt and sounded out the words. She was confused at first b/c she knows she's going to be a Big Sister to Grayci once the adoption goes through. But, once she saw the ultrasound pictures and we explained that Mommy had a baby in her belly she went crazy! She ran to the phone to call her Grandma and Grammy and Aunt Shelley- then she put her shirt on and we had to make our rounds to all of our neighbors to show them the picture. Some of them knew already but some of them didn't. They were all quite surprised that I was already 16 weeks and that we had kept the secret this long!

Last night was the best. We were sitting on the couch after doing our Jesse Tree for the evening. And she laid her head on my belly. Suddenly she shot up and got right in my face and said, "Now Mommy, I want you to open your mouth so that I can hear the baby!" It was hilarious! She is certainly one excited little girl!

Also, I was in Baton Rouge today finishing up some last minute Christmas shopping, so I decided to stop by my Doctor's office to hear the heartbeat again. I wanted to be sure that we were making a wise decision by telling her last night. And while I was on the table I felt the baby move twice!! It kept running away from the doppler and I could feel it- very faintly...but I still could feel it! How incredible. I've waited quite some time for that flutter...not just a few months; but instead many long years!

What an amazing day we had!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Few Things I've Learned Along the Way...Part II

What else could we possibly ask for? (continued from previous post)

1 1/2 short weeks into my pregnancy I began experiencing a lot of cramping on my right side. Afraid that I might be experiencing an ectopic pregnancy my Dr ordered an ultrasound. I was 6 weeks along and she advised me not to be discouraged if we didn't have a heartbeat yet, considering I was still so early. We went for the ultrasound to find that it was not an ectopic pregnancy- but rather a seemingly healthy pregnancy with a growing fetus that had a heartbeat of 164 beats per minute! We were thrilled...everything seemed to be falling into place just as we had planned for so many years! What a miracle to see that little life so early with the heart beating away- a miracle life created by God using me and my spouse whom I loved so much. It was the product of the two of us...what a blessing!

Our Doctor was very surprised to find such a strong heartbeat so early on- but was still mystified about the cramping. Since it didn't subside she admitted me over night for observation and an IV. Well, after my 3rd bag of IV fluids the cramping stopped. Apparently I wasn't aware of how much a little life can take right out of you. I had been dehydrating- just not taking in enough fluids to cover what the baby was taking from me. I felt like a new person the next day!

4 days later, on a Sunday afternoon, I began spotting. I was very freaked out but really had no immediate reason to be alarmed-after all we had been so careful in timing and planning this pregnancy to the very last detail. Certainly it was God's will for us to have his baby...

I went to bed that afternoon and stayed in bed until the next day when I called my Dr. She requested to see me right away and scheduled another ultrasound. We went to see her and upon examining me she really felt like everything was still ok. We saw a still strong heartbeat on the ultrasound screen- it had dropped slightly but was still in a healthy range. She advised me to continue with our regular routine and to stop worrying about the spotting. If a miscarriage were to happen there is nothing medically that can be done to stop it. It was a hard road to walk, but we took her advice. We went to work, cleaned house, grocery shopped, kept up with our regular routine...all the while I kept spotting.

Another 3 or 4 days passed and I called to request another ultrasound. The heart beat had dropped to 120. My Dr. insisted that this was still a healthy range- let's just try not to worry. I had a regualar visit scheduled for the following week- I would be 7 1/2 weeks at that point. I held on to hope that everything would be fine. After all, that's what the medical professional recommended and I trusted her. I continued to spot the entire weekend, sometimes lightly and sometimes pretty heavy. I began to dread trips to the bathroom as I knew I would be reduced to tears as I surveyed the situation. I kept my faith high- as high as possible given the situation. All that we could do was pray and hope for the best.

We went for our scheduled appointment and my Dr. insisted that all was still well. She prescribed a prenatal vitamin (isn't that funny that we hadn't done that yet?) and just to set my mind at ease I went for another ultrasound. Jason asked her if it was safe for him to return to work b/c he had missed so much work already the past couple of weeks. She assured him that everything was fine, this was just to reassure me...after all- some people spot their entire pregnancy.

I layed on the table in disbelief. The technician couldn't tell me the results- but she didn't have to. I could see with my own 2 eyes that the little flicker was gone. The flicker that had been life had been replaced with a still, blank screen.

Our little life was gone. The baby that we had hoped for, wished for, dreamed for...prayed for. It was gone. Too early. As the technician escorted me back up to my physician's office, she allowed me to use her cell phone to call my husband. My sweet unsuspecting husband who had gone back to work assuming everything was fine. I had to call him to tell him that I was so sorry; and that I felt horribly responsible even that I knew it wasn't my fault...but who else's fault could it be? My heart was broken. God had trusted me with this life, and my womb failed us...

...to be continued...