Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The birth story.

Here are all the knitty-gritty details of Aliah's birth...

How it all started: Early on Sunday morning I woke up at 3am, went to the bathroom, and realized that I was having mild contractions. They were coming about every five minutes. My first thought was “YES! Let’s get this over with!” I was so excited to finally end this pregnancy and have a baby in my arms.
Too excited to go back to sleep, I got up and made sure my hospital bag was ready, packed up the camera bag, and wrote out directions for my mother to get to the hospital. Took care of some bills and things on the computer, then at 4:30 am I woke up Mike. I shook his arm: “Honey, wake up”, but he didn’t move. Louder, I said “Wake up, we need to go the hospital soon, I’m having contractions!” He didn’t believe me; he mumbled something like “No you’re not. You’re kidding, you’re lying to me. Go back to sleep.” Finally he got up and stumbled to the kitchen, made some coffee.
I called the midwife to let her know that we’d be coming soon. She said “You sound too cheerful and friendly on the phone”, and didn’t believe that I was in real labor! She told me to take a walk for 20 or 30 minutes and call me back. So, at 5 am, there I was, walking around our neighborhood in the dark, by myself, completely alone (I did take my cell phone, just in case). The only other living thing I saw out there was a deer. I just enjoyed the early morning quiet. I spent some time praying. I walked about two miles.
When I got back to the house, I called back to confirm that I was indeed having contraction, coming ever 3 or 4 minutes now, and she agreed to meet me at the hospital. We got there around 6am, parked, and found our way to L&D. The sun was still down. Everything was very quiet and surreal.
By the time I finished signing consent forms and got into triage, it was 6:30. The midwife examined me at 7am and I was 6cm dilated. Nice! I was excited! They admitted me to a room, we got settled in, and took some more laps around the hospital.
Nothing much happened for the next 4 or 5 hours. I was still having contractions every 3 minutes, but they weren’t really getting stronger. We made jokes about how boring it was to wait around the hospital for the baby to come. The nurse and midwife kept saying “I can’t believe you’re in labor, you’re so calm and happy!” Mike watched a marathon of “HOUSE” on tv. I remember hearing another woman laboring in the next room, and shortly after, the cries of a newborn baby.
When we checked at 12:30pm I was still only 7 cm dilated. I was anxious to get things going, and at that point I was getting tired of just sitting and waiting for things to get moving, so we decided to break my water around 1pm. And from then on, it got very intense.
Contractions got much longer and harder and faster. Everything went really quickly. Tried a birthing ball but it didn’t feel right. For a little while I was walking around the room, leaning onto things for support, rocking my hips back and forth and panting through the pressure. But after maybe 20 minutes of that, my legs and feet were getting really tired, walking around so much, and it just wasn’t comfortable. After that, I mostly labored sitting up in bed. I sat up, with my back straight up, cross-legged on the bed, and each time a contraction would hit, I would push up on my hands, rock back and forth with my hips, and let gravity take over.
It took a very short time to go from 8cm to fully dilated. Soon I started moaning and groaning and growling, and I knew that it was time to start pushing. I had a VERY STRONG urge to push, but they made me wait through a few more contractions. The midwife helped push back a small bit of my cervix, and immediately, I was determined to get that baby out.
It was very empowering, to labor with no medical interventions, no pain meds, nothing hindering me. The only people in the room besides Mike and I were the midwife and a nurse. The atmosphere was very calm and serene. I couldn’t have been more pleased about this birth experience. I started pushing a little after 2:30pm, and our baby was born at 2:57 pm. And it was a girl! Mike couldn’t have been more surprised! He had us all convinced that we were having a boy, and when the baby came out and Meg held it up, he said “It’s a girl? We have a girl?” We weren't disappointed though!
ALIAH GRACE HUMMEL entered the world!
Mike cut the umbilical cord. There was a true knot in the cord. Another anomaly was that she came out sideways. She has a small bump on her head from trying to come out sideways. She was head-up, facing her daddy.
Four minutes after she was born, out came the placenta. I had a second-degree tear somewhere internally, so they spent a little while stitching me up.
She is such a miracle baby. We are just so thankful that she is healthy and well! She weighed 8lbs, 10.9 oz and was 21 ¼ inches long. (And with a 14 inch head, no wonder I’m so sore!) This was no small baby!
Hannah got the news right away, and was absolutely ecstatic that she now has a baby sister. She jumped up and down and said “IT’S A GIRL! I WAS RIGHT!” Must have been so cute, I’m sorry that I missed it!
Hannah and my mother were our first visitors. They arrived at the hospital about half an hour after the baby was born, and big sister Hannah got to help push the new baby in the bassinette, into the new hospital room. They weighed her again when we were moved into a recovery room, and she had somehow gained an ounce!
Mom and Baby had to stay in the hospital for 24 hours because there was some meconium, and they just wanted to make sure that everything was fine. At 3pm the next day, they did a hearing test and a newborn screening test with all kinds of blood draws, and finally let us go home.
It is very nice to be home, and we are all adjustong pretty well to being a family of four. Aliah is a good little eater, sleeps all the time, and seems to be a very content baby. My mom is here with us this week, and she has been a tremendous help.

I will post more pictures in a few days.

Have a very happy New Year!

Monday, December 29, 2008


Our newest addition is here!

And it's a... GIRL!!!

Meet our new daughter: ALIAH GRACE!

Mike was shocked, he had everyone but Hannah convinced that we were having a boy.

She is completely thrilled to finally be a big sister!

Our miracle baby, Aliah, was born at 2:57pm on December 28, 2008.
She weighed 8 lbs, 11 oz and is 21 1/4 inches long! This is no small baby!
((In fact, this is the size that Hannah was at 2 months old!))

Labor & delivery went well, Nicole is healing nicely and Aliah is doing great.
We are all looking forward to sleeping in our own beds tonight.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Birth Day?

I think today is a good day to have a baby!!!

Started having contractions at 3am. So far they just feel like really bad stmoach cramps, but theyre coming every 3-5 minutes.

Now I have to wake up Mike and head to the hospital soon... Im packing up our camera bag right now! IM SO EXCITED!

Please pray that the delivery goes smoothly and safely, and that Baby is healthy.

I will update as soon as can I get to a computer again.
Or if you're really special, expect a phone call from me later today!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

My mom is driving to our house today! She'll be here before bedtime. Now I don't have to worry about chidcare for Hannah when I go into labor! We'll celebrate Christmas with her, and she'll stay until after New Baby is born.... whenever that happens.

When will this baby hurry up and get here?!

I'm still not sleeping well. I'm always tired.
My head was in a funny position last night and I hurt some muscles in my neck.

I am constantly losing my patience with Hannah. I am very tired of trying to keep her entertained. Yet I feel guilty that I'm not giving her my full attention all the time. She and I both got scrapbooking supplies in our Christmas stockings, so we spent an hour making scrapbook pages last night, and that was cute. I also watched some home movies with her from 2007, and she loved seeing herself as a younger child.

Mike has also been getting on my nerves! He has spent an extravagant amount of money since he's been on vacation over the last two weeks. Then yesterday he got mad at me for putting "too much money" in our savings account! I think we're all getting restless and impatient.

Now Hannah is asking me to play princesses again...
Wake me up when it's over, please!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Day.

Merry Christmas to you and your family! I hope you had a wonderful day, celebrating Jesus' birthday!

We had a nice quiet day at home, just the three of us.
Hannah had a blast opening all her gifts.

She couldn't decide what to play with next!

She also asked me at least a dozen times: "it's Christmastime, why isnt the baby here? When is Baby coming? Soon?" Try explaining a "late" baby to a three-year-old!
Later that night, she asked "Will Baby be here in the morning?"
I told her that I don't know, we just have to wait and see.

Mike did an amazing job of cooking a turkey dinner (which he and Hannah thoroughly enjoyed eating!), as well as stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, crescent rolls, sweet potatoes, corn and green beans. I "helped" by staying out of his way, and making a fresh veggie salad (which didnt even get eaten!).
I didn't eat much; my stomach is really squished these days - but I did clean up the kitchen mess for him afterwards. We skipped baking a pie and just ate Christmas cookies for dessert instead... we still have dozens of them all around the house. And how did we get so many candy canes?

After that, we sat around and watched classic Christmas movies, like Frosty and Rudolph and A Christmas Carol. We were just really lazy.
At Hannah's bedtime, we read the story of Jesus' birth from Luke chapter 2. It is a longstanding tradition that I want to continue with my own little family.

Overall I am feeling pretty good, just tired and not sleeping well. Trying to go for long walks and get plenty of exercise, not just sit around on the couch. It is difficult for me to be patient and wait for this baby to come out, but I really am trying!

Can this belly get any bigger? 40 weeks pregnant and counting...

Christmas Eve night. We were so tired! We walked at the park for 2 hours that day!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Eve! 40 weeks pregnant.

Today is my due date, and I have to admit that I am a little disappointed that we aren't having a baby right now. I know that God's timing is much better than mine, but still, I'm finding it difficult to be patient and wait.

Still not sleeping well. This morning I slept from 12:30-5:30 am, then got up and went for a two-mile walk. I've been doing things like that a lot lately. Sometimes I'll do yoga or pilates too. My mother insists on saying that enough exercise will get this baby out. I don't know that for sure, but I'm willing to try it.

Had another doctor's appointment this morning. Everyone in the office was in such a cheery mood! I have lost one pound since last week. My bp is still borderline high.

They checked me internally (FINALLY!). I am about 2cm dilated. Baby is still head-down, but not fully engaged. I've been having some cramps and aches and pains, but no regular contractions. Now we just wait and see what happens over the next week or so.

We had to schedule an induction today, just in case: spots fill up really quickly, and they wanted to make sure that I would have a place if we need it. I would rather NOT have to be induced, but we'll see. If I don't go into labor on my own by 41.5 weeks, then I will be induced on January 2nd. So, there is an end in sight.

Come on out Baby, we can't wait to meet you!

Monday, December 22, 2008

39.5 weeks - Ready to go!

On Saturday night I was swollen, getting dizzy and having vision distrubances. My blood pressure spiked to 148/95. I was scared for a little while, but I laid down on my left side and called the nurse advice hotline, to see what they suggest I do. Mike checked my bp a few more times, and within an hour it had gone back down to 136/72, so we didnt have to go to the hospital.

My next appt is Christmas Eve at 10am. I am still very much hoping to have a baby this week, even though it looks and feels as if no progress is being made. Our bags are packed, the infant carseats are installed in my car and the minivan - we're ready for a baby!

I keep having dreams that this baby is a boy. I am also have disturbing dreams that something will go terribly wrong during delivery. I continue to pray for strength and patience during these last few days of pregnancy.

Mike's youngest brother, my brother-in-law, suddenly decided to visit us this weekend. He's never been to our house in NC before. It's really sweet, that's he's made this trip all by himself. He is one of Hannah's "fun" uncles - he is finishing his last year of college, and is just like a big kid. We keep joking that we're going to have the baby while he's here, and make him babysit Hannah while I'm in the hospital. He would have absolutely no idea how to take care of her! He is driving back to Pittsburgh on Wednesday.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

39 weeks pregnant. Appointment update & a picture.

Here I am, at 38.5 weeks pregnant:

My in-laws left yesterday. Sad to see them go (Hannah was especially sad!), but it's nice to have the house back to ourselves. They are planning to visit again at the end of January, when baby is 3 or 4 weeks old.

All the presents are wrapped, all the Christmas cards are sent, all our rooms are clean (though baby's room still needs to be reorganized a little more, I keep finding random accessories and supplies and things), and all of December's bills are paid. We have enough groceries in the house to last about a month. Everything is decorated for Christmas. And I have about 20 dozen Christmas cookies sitting around the house, begging to be eaten, thanks to MIL.

I think my next project will be to finish my pregnancy scrapbook. So far, I've gotten up to Month 4. Mike found some more baby-themed stickers in the attic yesterday (though I have no idea how they got up there!), so maybe I can work on it later tonight, whenever I'm not sleeping. You would not believe how many times I wake up during the night. It's pretty ridiculous.


I was disappointed at my doctor's visit yesterday. Mike and Hannah came along, and it was an unusually long wait. Mike actually fell asleep in the waiting room!
So, we had to wait over 30 minutes, which NEVER happens at this office (for my last few appts, Ive been completely checked out and done within 30 mins!). Hannah got pretty restless, though she didn't complain...

They weighed me, checked my bp, then we waited some more in the exam room.
My bp was much higher than usual, barely within normal range, and I have gained six pounds in the last seven days. That, combined with the swelling in my hands and feet, was a huge red flag to me that said PRE-ECLAMPSIA!
But the midwife "was not concerned" (she is a new midwife, recently hired, and my first impression of her was not incredibly favorable), and only said that we would "keep an eye on it." She did not even feel it was necessary to do a urine check (why not?!).

The whole thing was very quick and routine:
Measured fundus: check.
Baby moving? Yes.
Head Down? Yes.
Hear the heartbeat? Yes. (it was 140)
"Ok then, everything is fine."

I asked a couple questions, but the whole thing seemed absolutely pointless. I mean, I could have called the office and TOLD them all that info, instead of spending an hour driving back and forth.

Of course I'll go to the hospital if anything changes, obviously I know the warning signs. And Mike can check my bp at home, so we'll know if it gets worse. But still, I was really disappointed that she wasn't more proactive about it. Plus I am at higher risk since I had pre-eclampsia in the past. Did she not notice that? Did she really not think there was a problem? I pointed it out and she just said that she "wasn't concerned."


Then, because Baby is not completely dropped and engaged yet, she implied that I might last all the way to 42 weeks! (Although, she did not even bother to check my cervix.) I don't know if I can stand it, if I have to wait until January to have this baby! It just seems soooo long!

Then again, my mom said "You never know, you could still have the baby tomorrow!"

So, we continue to wait and see.
I am asking God for lots of patience right now.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

"Two Are Better Than One": 911

"Two Are Better Than One": 911
Wow, thank you God for saving Jonathan's life!
Im so glad he turned around quickly and didnt need medical transport or anything else.A
And way to go Krissy, for being calm enough to remember what to do! How neat, that the medic mom had quads! I might be married to a medic, but that doesn't mean that I don't need a little refresher, too. It's been almost 5 years since I took a CPR course, ooops.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Pictures of the week.

This morning, Hannah and I went to a "Happy Birthday Jesus" party! It was very kid-friendly. We made crafts, sang Christmas songs, ate cake, and we had fun visiting with our MOPS friends.

Hannah was a bit confused though: "Where IS Baby Jesus? Can we see him? Is he here?" And she also asked "Is he still a baby? How old is Jesus right now?"
It's hard for me to explain these sorts of things to her in ways that she can understand. But she doesn't know how serious and complicated her questions are!

The in-laws will be here in a few minutes.... Have a good weekend!

Here are some pictures from earlier this week:

Friday, December 12, 2008

38 weeks

I'm 38 weeks pregnant now.
Baby and I are both healthy and doing well.
I am feeling fine, just tired, because I can't sleep well.
And of course I'm hungry every hour, but that's nothing new.

I just finished wrapping alllll the Christmas gifts. It feels really nice to be done with that. I've been trying to finish up all my little lists of errands and crafts and cleaning projects and things that need to be done before the baby comes, and there isn't too much more to do. Making progress! It helps me to do a little bit at a time, so that I don't get too overwhelmed.
My current list: drop-off Goodwill donations, organize Hannah's and New Baby's closets, install the infant carseat into my car. And start writing Christmas cards, maybe?

Today will be my last day of babysitting. I didn't realize it, but I've worked quite a bit since Thanksgiving - I made $350 in the last 2 weeks! Nice.
Yesterday I helped the kids make Christmas ornaments for their parents and grandparents. It was a simple project, but they had such a great time! And it really impressed their parents, too. I try to tell them that I love doing activities like that with the kids, but they act like it's "so much work". Whatever.

Yesterday was Mike's last day of work, now he has SIX WEEKS of vacation time! He doesn't have to go back until the end of January! I think he might drive me crazy, sitting at home for the next two weeks... but it will be so nice to spend lots of quality family time together. I know it will be good for Hannah - she loves her daddy, and misses him "so very much" when he's working all the time.

Mike's parents will be visiting us this weekend. We'll celebrate Christmas with them on Monday. They were joking with me about how there's a full moon this weekend, so maybe I could have the baby while they're here? I could, but it doesn't seem likely at this point.

I am getting really tired of answering "When are you due?" and "When is this baby coming?" As if I have already chosen his or her birthdate! Isn't that kind of the whole point of natural childbirth, the fact that you DON'T KNOW when the baby is coming?!

I feel like I should just wear a huge nametag everywhere I go, that says something like "HI MY NAME IS... Due December 24th." It would eliminate a lot of repetitive Q&A.

I will write again after my doctor's appointment on Tuesday afternoon.

Have a good weekend :)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

One year ago...

My sweet, precious, beloved third angel baby...
It was one year ago when I found out about you, little one. I miss you all the time. I ache because you are not here with us. I know that you are safe and secure with God in heaven now, but I still miss you like crazy. I miss you every day, but especially now, at Christmastime. The Christmas season will always remind me of you, such a great loss.

You are my first December child. There will be a new baby in our family very soon, but they will never ever take the place where I hold you in my heart. I miss you, sweet baby, and I love you more than words can say. You are precious and loved.

Four years ago on this day, I had my first-ever ultrasound. We got to see our first and only glimpse of Hannah, our Baby Surprise, in the womb.

One year ago I took another positive pregnancy test - which ended in miscarriage later in the month.

I have been thinking that I might need to resort to taking Zoloft again. I stopped taking it in May, so it's been seven long months.

PPD can be a very dangerous thing, and I'd like to prevent it if I can - but those dark, evil, overwhelming thoughts have been sneaking up on me more and more lately. I'm going to talk to the midwives about it at my next appointment on Tuesday.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

37 week belly pictures.

Here is me at 37 weeks pregnant:

And here is Hannah!

My mom laughed SO HARD when she saw these pictures!!!

Everything is going well at our house.
One more week until Mike and I are both on maternity/paternity leave... we're just counting down the days! Still need to rearrange some furniture - well, *I* wont be moving any furniture, that's Mike's job, and I will supervise. But for the most part, we are all ready for New Baby to come!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

37 week appointment, December plans.

TUESDAY: Boring doctor's appointment. Hannah was with me, and got to hear Baby's heartbeat again. About 150 bpm. I thought it was cool, but she wasn't so impressed.
Haven't gained any weight since last week, so Im still at the grand total of 32 lbs. My bp was perfect: 120/62! Urine clear, no signs of pre-eclampsia. Awesome.
I had to make weekly appointments for the next three weeks. So I get to go back every Tuesday aftrnoon until the baby is born. I'm actually hoping that I wont quite make it to Christmas Eve. I'd love to have this baby BEFORE Christmas.... but we'll see. It's not up to me.

Great news: My last day of babysitting is Dec 11, and Mike's last day of work is December 12th! He had already requested to be off for the last 2 weeks in December, before we knew I was pregnant, because it was going to be our annual Christmas trek up and down the east coast. But now he will have almost SIX WEEKS OFF to spend at home with us when the baby is born! I think it will really help us get adjusted and bond as a family - and I think it will make everything easier on Hannah, too. It will be like a really long vacation.... where we don't actually go anywhere. Haha.
Well, we might be brave and go to my SIL's baby shower in Pittsburgh at the end of January, and let everyone meet New Baby - we'll see.

My in-laws are planning to visit us the first week that Mike is off and my mom will probably be with us the week of Christmas. She REALLY wants to be here with us when the baby is born - which is fine with me!

Today, Wednesday: Babysitting for 3 hours this afternoon. Bible Study tonight at church. Mike is working the night shift this week, so we have to be quiet around the house to let him sleep during the day.
This morning I let Hannah do some crafts and drawings, and wrap the grandparents' Christmas gifts, and now I'm running out of ideas of things to do before lunchtime! Maybe I will be brave and let her play outside for awhile. I'm lazy, I just hate going outside when it feels so cold!


Monday, December 1, 2008

silly pictures

Got some funny pictures of us on Thanksgiving Day.
First, here's Hannah and I, crashed out on the couch after our big meal:

Then there's Hannah the ballerina princess:

Hannah's new shoes:
We bought them this weekend and she cries whenever I make her take them off!

New PJS from Nana:

I know its mean, to flash a camera in front of her face right after she's just fallen asleep - but I couldnt help it, she was just so cute!

In pregnancy news: Nothing new to report. I am still eating every hour or two, and visiting the bathroom even more often than that. Cramping every night, but nothing special. This baby is going to stay nice and warm in my tummy for a little while longer.

At our Thanksgiving service last week, during our time of sharing, I announced to everyone that I was thankful to be 36 weeks pregnant. Now, Im sort of sorry that I said it, because EVERYONE was asking me at church this morning: "when is your baby coming? How much longer do you have?". As if I have a choice, and I've conveniently planned the birthdate! When you have to answer the same question over and over and over again, it's not so much fun.

Seriously, I feel so very blessed that this baby and I are so HEALTHY! With my first pregnancy, I had severe pre-eclampsia, edema, was bloated like a hot-air balloon, dizziness, double vision - not good. Then there was the horrible nightmare of 2007.... and now, this Miracle Baby. This pregnancy has been so sweet and easy! And I'm not even tired of it yet! :) It really is amazing. I am so thankful for our blessings.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Our pastor had a Thanksgiving service on Wednesday night. It was really nice to join with the other members of the congregation and give thanks for all the ways that God has blessed us. He spoke about being thankful not just for the good things, but for the hardships and challenges and setbacks as well - because those are ultimately what bring us closer to God, and closer to a deeper faith.
It make me think of all the struggles I went through in 2007, with infertility and miscarriages... and now the ultimate blessing of a healthy pregnancy and a new baby on the way. It inspired me to keep on writing my book. And it especially reaffirmed all the amazing things that God is doing in our lives.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend, and that you can celebrate your blessings with family and friends.

Monday, November 24, 2008

36 weeks. One month to go....

Im 36 weeks today, and I am so, so very thankful that everything is still going well. No signs of pre-eclampsia! Am I really having a healthy baby? I can barely believe it.

Completely uneventfull appointment this afternoon. All the regular stuff: Peed in a cup, got weighed, checked bp, everything is fine. Baby's hr was 148bpm. I've gained 32 pounds altogether - not bad. Im hoping to stay around 35 lbs. (When pregnant with Hannah, I gained almost 50, so Im pretty proud of myself!) Midwife said that baby is definitely head-down, but NOT engaged or dropped yet. Decided not to do a vaginal exam - she said it is not standard procedure, and she didnt want to mess with my cervix yet if it wasnt absolutely medically necessary.

Anyways, thanks to everyone who has been thinking of me lately! :)

Hannah hasn't had an accidents today - which is a huge step in the right direction. Last week she peed on the couch twice. I don't know what the regression is all about, but it's been supremely frustrating.
I don't know if I've just been extra moody and sensitive lately, or if Hannah has learned to press all my buttons simultaneously, but it seems that by 11am, she has gotten on every single one of my last nerves! I love her natural curiousity, but listening to her ask "WHY" 87 times in a row just really wears me down. The whining and disbedience make me want to throw things!!!
This is one of the weeks when we dont get much, if any, free time with Mike, so it also doesn't help that Im on kid-duty 24/7 for two weeks straight.
I left her at home with Mike for an hour, so that I could go to the doctor's office by myself (its justso much simpler that way), and she screamed and cried for 45 minutes, because "Mommy left me." I'm coming right back! Give me a break!!!

Ugh, maybe it's just one of those days.

Now I'm feeling lousy about all my food choices because Ive gained 8 lbs this month. It's not like I can help it, but now Im going to start second-guessing myself everytime I get a craving for french fries or ice cream or crackers.

Why can't life be simple?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Semi-professional photos

Ok, Im being brave and posting a few of my 35-week pregnancy pictures, taken by a local photography student.

She did a good job - but WARNING - don't look if you are afraid of stretch marks, huge bellies, or naked bodies in general.

Don't worry though, all of the essential parts are covered....

Monday, November 17, 2008

35 weeks.

I am 35 weeks pregnant today. The "nesting bug" is starting to get to me - and Mike too. We spent all morning cleaning the house, vaccuming, washing laundry and dishes, sorting stuff and putting unneeded things in the attic - and then Mike put together the crib! He's out right now, buying newborn-sized diapers and pacifiers, and laundry soap, and a few other things we will need as soon as Baby is born. He wants to make sure that we'll have everything we could possibly need (although Im sure I'll be sending him to the store a lot those first couple weeks, anyway).
It's just funny - I feel like he is more nervous about all this than I am! He acts like he's still in shock, that this is really going to happen. He watches my belly grow, touches it, talks to it, and still stares in wonder and disbelief, like it's a mirage or something.

It's cute and really sweet, the way Hannah has been getting more excited about the new baby's arrival. Over the weekend, we got a new stroller/carseat set, and she wanted to put it together the minute we got it in the door! She's been putting her baby dolls into all the baby gear (bouncy seat, carseat, stroller, crib, ect), but I have to explain to her that these are things for Real Babies, not pretend ones. She has miniature sized cribs, bouncy seats, strollers and baby carriers for her baby dolls, but I guess it's more fun to use the real stuff.

Hannah has been having regressive potty issues lately. I don't know what the problem is. It's like she doesn't want to stop playing long enough to use the bathroom. Ever since that day when she deliberately peed in her bed in the middle of the afternoon, it has only gotten worse since then. It's so incredibly frustrating!!! We've tried time-outs, taking away priveledges, even spanking her if she does it 3 times in a row. I don't know why we aren't getting through to her! Any good ideas?

In other news:
Mike took Part 1 of his National Paramedic Exam on Saturday, and passed. Im proud of him! He said only about 10% of people pass on the first try, so he is really pleased about it. Part 2 will be scheduled very soon. After completing that, he will be able to work anywhere in the country.

I got some pregnancy pictures taken today, by a photography student (which means they are free!). I think they turned out pretty nice. She will email me the edited versions later this week, and then I can share them with everyone. Stretch marks and all.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Mike hurt. Weird baby movements.

Mike went to work this morning, and pulled a muscle in his back/shoulder area. He had to come home after a couple hours because it hurt oto much to move. I had to drive him! I tried to massage his back so he could rest, but I'm afraid I didn't help much. He got some muscle relaxers and pain meds at the doctors, but he'll be laying around the house doing nothing for a few days.

Mike's national paramedic exam is on Saturday morning, and most of it is skills testing - I hope he's much better by then!

Baby didnt move much at all yesterday... until about 7pm. And after that, Baby moved around as much as ever. Maybe it was just because I'd been on my feet all day? I don't know. This morning after breakfast, s/he was really active, and again after dinner. So I'm trying not to worry about it. Still, it's taking longer than usual to complete my ten kick counts. And I've been having a lot of cramping as well.

Tonight as I was eating dinner around 6pm, I felt a contraction. It only lasted for maybe 10-15 seconds, and it wasn't painful - but it was definitely there. A few mins later, Baby was moving around like crazy again.
Im not ready to call the doctor yet, I'm not THAT worried.... it's just, it's odd. It feels so different. Much different than my first pregnancy.
Mike and I have both been having dreams about me going into labor any day now.
O know that Baby is head down, dropped, and ready to go! I keep wondering if I am already dialated, but I'm too scared (and clueless) to check myself.

More busyness tomorrow.
Have a good weekend! :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Long Day

We were babysitting for ten hours today. I am exhausted, and Hannah and her two friends got on every single last one of my nerves. I don't know why, but they were at each other's throats many times during the day, and practically in tears by 5pm because they were so tired and hungry.

Well, at least now it's almost bedtime and we can all get some rest.

Strange occurance: No baby movememnt from 8:30am-4pm. I tried to do kick counts between 4-6pm, but came up with only seven movements within that two-hour time period. Finally, after dinner, between 7:30-8pm, I got more movement.
I wasn't quite worried enough to call the doctor's office, but it did seem rather strange that I felt absolutely NO movement all day.
Mike told me not to be concerned: "maybe Baby is just tired."
Hope it doesn't happen again tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

33 weeks. Doting Daddy.

Stats from my doctor's appointment yesterday, at 33 weeks:
Weight: Gained 1/2 a pound since week 31. Not bad at all!
Total weight gain since April: 26 lbs.
Blood pressure: 119/60. Perfect!
Baby's Heartrate: 150 bpm.
Fundal height: 32 cms.

Urine sample was clear. No signs of pre-eclampsia at all. I am SO THANKFUL for our good health! My midwife says that I am doing so spectacularly well, that she doesn't want to see me again until the beginning of December! (Usually at this point, most pregnant women have appointments every week, or at least every two weeks, but she says it is completley redundant for me to keep getting check-ups if everything is going so smoothly, and nothing new is happening.) So, I will comply, and then in December I'll go to the doctor's every week until the baby is born. Sounds great to me!

Mike did a lot of cleaning and organizing today, and I was proud of him for it. He is getting rid of half the clothes in his closet, unused PS/nintendo gear, and some old toys that have been collecting dust, like legos and matchbox cars. I wish he would have cleaned out his closet last week, BEFORE my yard sale! Oh well. Maybe I'll try to sell a few of his things on Ebay.

He is so gung-ho about getting ready for New Baby. As soon as my mom leaves our house next week, I know Mike will get to work, ripping apart the guest bedroom, putting together the crib, and trying to find just the right place to put all the baby gear. I'm really glad that he's so excited, I REALLY am - I just think it's hilarious that he's so much more caught up in preparations than I am!

This afternoon, I was thinking "Hmmm, when should I pack a hospital bag for myself? Or should I even bother to pack anything?" I feel like we have PLENTY of time, but apparently Mike is feeling pressured to do things immediately. It's just funny to me.

Also, Mike has been privately referring to the baby as "he" ever since I brought home pictures from the second ultrasound, when at once, he proclaimed "That is a BOY face."

I'm getting excited to meet our newest addition!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween - Yard Sale - Odd Symptoms.

Halloween night was fun. Went trick-or-treating with friends. Hannah dressed up as a ballerina princess, and had a blast - though she got in BIG trouble before we left the house, and her punishment was "No eating candy, not even one little piece." She whined about it a little bit, but ultimately she was a very well-behaved little girl. I relented, and let her eat one piece of candy the next morning after breakfast, because she was just so good about the whole punishment!

Had a yard sale here on Saturday morning. Didn't make a ton of money, but we got rid of all our junk! Most of it went to Goodwill, but I dont care: the main objective was really to clean out our closets. I told Hannah that we are clearing out things in order to make more space for baby things and Christmas presents.
The guest room/baby room is cleaner, now I just have to get a little more organized. Mike is really pushing me to get things ready ASAP, but I feel like there is no good reason to hurry yet. We have all the things we need for the baby, it's just a matter of dragging them out of the attic. And he can do that himself, if need be.

Hannah has been incredibly inquisitive about the whole pregnancy/birth process. This morning I left out a pregnancy book, and she found it, and made me explain alllll of the pictures to her! I tried not to go into excessive details, and was kind of vague about exactly how a baby comes out of mommy's tummy. But whatever I said seemed to satisfy her curiousity. Then she asked "If the baby is laying sideways, does it come out the side of your tummy?" Ummm, kinda. You can think that if you want to!

I have a friend who's been trying to get pregnant for about a year now, and is really struggling. For some reason I've been having a difficult time talking to her about it though. She's generally a very quiet, private person. But I'm thinking about her and praying for her often, regardless.

I've been having some new and unusual pregnancy symptoms. In the past week, I have had three nosebleeds, which NEVER happens to me! Plus occassional back pain that last for half the day, cramping, decreased movement, weird twinges way down there somewhere.... Sometimes I wonder if I am dialating already. Is that possible?

I have another check-up in the morning, and lots of errands to run.

I wonder when I'll start going to the doctor's every week - is it 35 weeks? or 36? I dont remember. Anyways, only seven more weeks until my due date! Getting closer... Based on measurements at the last ultrasound, we figure Baby already weighs about 5.5 lbs right now. Im guessing the final birthweight will be closer to 9 lbs!

Have a good week.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A year ago today....

Oh, Dear, Sweet Baby:

You were due on this day in 2007.
You were the first of my losses, but not the last.

Sometimes, when I am feeling especially bitter, I think about how I should have a one year old crawling around in my house right about now. But sadly, I don't.
It still pains me that you are not with us. I still mourn for you, baby.

I am so very sorry that you never got to meet your parents, your big sister, or your grandparents, or take your first breaths here on earth. You were gone before we got the chance to say hello or goodbye, and it absolutely devastated me. I remember begging and pleading, crying out to God to spare you, and save your live somehow - but you were in His hands, dear Baby, not mine. It seemed so cruel that He would take you away so soon - but I know that He is sovereign, and He has bigger plans for us. Your death, no matter how difficult it was for me to go through, has taught me several valuable lessons, including how to be a better mother.

I have a special birthstone ring on my right hand that I got especially in remembrance of you. It is the one tangible thing that I have of you. I never take it off. (Even though my fingers are now swollen every morning, I still refuse to take it off, along with my wedding rings.)

I miss you every day, little one, and I think of you all the time. I hope that somehow you know that. Whenever I listen to the song "Glory Baby", I cry, and think of you. You are still loved so very much.

Even though a younger brother or sister will be joining our family soon, they will never take the place that you left empty and broken in my heart.

I love you so much, dear one.

Love Forever, Your Mommy.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Pumpkins & Pictures.

Had a really deep discussion with my mother last night about pregnancy and parenting. My parents have been through so many hardships, it sometimes amazes me that they are still together! And it's funny: the older I get, the more I understand and appreciate my mom. She has been so supportive of me, especially through my miscarriages, and I just can't thank her enough.

She's planning to come visit in a week and a half. I think we'll have an all-girls weekend: mom, me, and Hannah!

WHY do people say annoying/rude/insensitive things to pregnant women?! Yesterday I had 3 different people make comments on my size, and tell me that I didnt look big enough to be seven months pregnant. I replied with something like "Don't worry, I've gained plenty of weight, and my doctor says Im perfectly healthy."

Actually, it is funny they would say that, when I found out just last week that this baby is measuring at least a full week BIGGER than average! So there.

And now for some pictures of our pumpkin-carving fun:

Hannah didnt like the yucky, sticky insides of the pumpkin, but she watched us carve them. Surprise: She did enjoy eating the pumpkin seeds!

The finished products. Can you guess which pumpkin belongs to which person?

Mike and I also had a funny conversation last night about having more children.
He joked "Maybe you can be pregnant next year too!" Oh no, not likely, buddy!!!
Yes, we do want more children - just not immediately. That sounds like a bit much to me. I feel like for me, having kids much less than 2 years apart is really pushing it. How would I stay sane?!?

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Sunday Brunch:
After quite a hectic morning, including a rushed, lame breakfast of cold cereal, then a mad dash to church and Sunday school.... Hannah and I came home to a very quiet house (Mike was sleeping this afternoon, after working all night).
That's when I had the bright idea of "Why don't we make pancakes?"
So, she helped me gather the ingredients, we mixed up the whole wheat batter, and I even let her dump choclate chips in it, too. (They were healthy pancakes by default - I ran out of white flour today.) I added some yogurt and fruit salad to our plates, and we had an almost-balanced meal.

FUUNY MOMENT: Hannah actually FELL ASLEEP while I was cooking the pancakes on the stove! Crazy little girl!

Still, we had a fun day together. After lunch we rode bikes around the block and down the street... Hannah went almost a whole mile around the neighborhood!

Mike woke up around 3pm, and that's when things got even more fun: We carved our pumpkins! (The ones we bought at the pumpkin farm, in PA.) Hannah was scared to touch the yucky pumpkin insides. She screamed and yelled "NO!" whenever we waved our sticky, pulp-covered fingers at her. But she did play with the seeds. She even tasted them! She LIKES pumpkin seeds. Just not the orange, sticky, stringy stuff. I think her favorite part was placing them on the front porch, and putting a candle inside each one. She loved seeing the pumpkins all lit up like that.

I talked with my mom tonight, and she is planning to visit us in a week and a half. It is always fun when she visits. I think she will be the last one to stay here, in the "guest room", before it is officially turned back into a nursery again.

Friday, October 24, 2008

31 weeks.

At 31 weeks pregnant, I have gained about 25 lbs total. Im really happy with that - especially since my diet has not been so good lately, with all the vacations we've been taking. I am hoping to keep it around 30-35 lbs altogether, so that means I'm still on target. My bp is still amazingly low, which is WONDERFUL news, especially with my history of pre-eclampsia. Everything is going great! Im just so thankful for our good health!

Had another ultrasound on Wednesday, and it was amazing! Saw & Heard the heartbeat (which has been a steady 150 bpm throughout the pregnancy). Even got some great head/face/profile shots, in 3d! And our New Baby has hair - peach-fuzz kind of hair, but still, I saw it! The u/s tech was really nice. She said "Believe me, not all babies are this cute and cooperative!" Baby is measuring 1.5-2 weeks bigger than average. At 31 weeks s/he is 4.5 lbs already! :) So, this one will certainly be bigger than Hannah, but Im sure I can handle it.

Everyone is convinced that this baby is a boy, but we still don't know the gender. Hannah still wants a baby sister. But we just don't know yet. It's our Christmas surprise :) Funny, it seems like everyone we know is having boy babies right now. Is this some sort of bizzare 2008-09 trend?

I wish our scanner was working, so I could share some pics. I don't know why it's not working! Everytime I plug it in, I get a weird error message. Oh well. One of these days I'll get around to copying all the ultrasound pictures.

Last night I hosted a Craft Night at church. It was just me and Melissa and Hannah who showed up, but we still had fun. I completed the first four pages of my pregnancy scrapbook. Now I need to print hundreds more pictures of our beach trip, and our family trip last week, and some belly shots of me for the other pages.

This morning I attended the southern MOPS group, and helped make crafts for a Christmas fundraiser they are doing next month. It was nice to see all those moms again. I feel like I need more of a social life, outside of Hannah and our babysitting/playdates. It makes me sad that so many of my friends live far away...!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Our Trip, in Pictures.

First thing on the agenda: We spent a weekend in Pittsburgh, with our favorite college friends, where Mike and I first met. It was bizzare, like a walk down memory lane - except all the buildings have changed! But it was really great to hang out with old friends - some of them we hadnt seen in four or five years!!!

Our happy little family.

We went to a pumpkin farm with Mike's family.

Hannah was kind of grumpy, can you tell?

Hannah's favorite part was pulling the cart. She picked pumpkins just so that she could pull them around in the wagon.

She was super-spoiled by her grandparents, and got plenty of attention from aunts and uncles and friends, too. We ate so much candy at Nana and PapPap's house... I felt like I gained ten pounds last week!

We also got to spend a day at Hershey Park!
Reese's pieces are my new favorite candy.

Believe it or not, Hannah took this picture

She had a great time on the kiddie rides.
The park wasn't very busy, so she got to ride everything 2 or 3 times in a row!

And last weekend, we stayed with my parents in Maryland.
Since my dad's heart attack, he has been doing AMAZINGLY well.
Last month, in September, he lost 20 pounds! He looks great, and feels fine, too.
So... My crazy father and insane husband decided to go for one more swim before they closed up the pool. I didnt eve nwant to out my hands in - the waterfelt like ice!

They let Hannah "push" them in:

It was SO COLD!!!

My mother kept feeling my stomach: "Is that a hand or a foot? Or maybe the butt?"

Ummm, How in the world should I know?! There's a baby in there! That's all you really need to know!

Everyone keeps telling me that I'm having a boy this time. All of my relatives think so. I'm trying to ignore them and keep an open mind, because really, we don't know. It will be a nice Christmas surprise.


TWO MORE MONTHS until our Miracle Baby is due! :)
That means 4 1/2 more weeks until full-term!
I've been having a lot of scary dreams lately. For the past seven months, I have dreamed about going into labor early, and delivering a preemie. First I dreamed that the baby would be born at 28 or 29 weeks, now, in my dreams, it's 32 weeks - which, in reality, is coming up really fast. As long as we make it to 36 weeks without complications, I know it will be fine... I'm just nervous. My dreams keep getting worse though. It's harder for me to sleep at night. Combine braxton-hicks contractions, abdominal cramps, and charlie horse, and you get = not much sleep.

Oh well. Pregnancy doesn't last forever. Right?!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Moronic Me....

You may or may not know this, but I am INCREDIBLY clumsy.

Today I proved myself yet again: I washed my cell phone.
As in, it went through the washer. I didnt realize it until it got to the spin cycle! I saw something vibrating/flashing in there, and fished it out the best I could. Im still not exactly sure how it got in there... I dont usually leave things in my pockets.
I don't know if this is fixable. I feel terribly guilty!
It's practically brand new! I've only had it for a couple of months.
I'm afraid that Mike will be angry with me when he finds out.

Worse: Not only is my cell phone out of commission, but so is our landline! I can't receive any calls at all! Ahhhh!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Our "Attic Project." Contractions?

This morning, Hannah and I executed what I called "an attic project". Her father let her go into the attic with him one day last month when we were getting ready for our beach trip, and she's been begging us to go back up into the attic ever since.

I really didn't see what the appeal was (a dark, dusty attic with narrow stairs, filled with Christmas decorations and old baby equipment: how is that fun?), but today, I let her come with me.

We put away our beach equipment, summer things, too-small clothes, and suitcases. ((But at the end of the morning, I realized that we will need the suitcases again this weekend! Ooops! Haha! That means another trip into the attic!!!))

Then we dragged out alllll of the 3t-4t winter clothes. I had NO IDEA that we own so many girls clothes! There are enough for 3 or 4 little girls, really! Im going to share them with a friend.

Plus I got down a box of newborn baby items to sort through. I keep forgetting what exactly we HAVE up there in the attic, so I thought it would be nice to unearth the basic baby necessities. I know there are clothes, sheets, towels and blankets, but I was fuzzy on the details. Did we save any bibs, socks, burp clothes, or did they all get stained and thrown away? Not sure.

I couldnt even remember if we had a crib/sheet set or not.

Today I found the answer: We don't. Hannah used MY old bumper pads, that my mother fixed and resurrected from her own attic. They have stars and hearts and rainbows on them. Hey, it worked. But I would like to get a cute bedding set for our new little one. Hannah will help me pick it out! Still undecided on the nursery theme.

Mike hasnt given me any input so far. On anything.


Changing the subject:
For the past couple weeks, I've been having dreams about dialating in the middle of the night, having complications, and waking up to a big, bloody mess... it's a very scary nightmare. Makes me really nervous!

I've also felt super-tired and just not-quite-right this weekend. Yesterday afternoon I felt cramping, like I might be having contractions... Hannah was begging to play outside and run around, but I couldn't chase after her. I had to take it easy. Drinking lots of water and laying down seems to help. Baby was still kicking away, just as active as ever.

This afternoon, same thing. I bent down to pick toys off the floor, and triggered some kind of painful reaction. It HURT! Braxton-Hicks aren't supposed to hurt!?
After an hour in bed, I felt MUCH better.

Now I just won't be able to sleep tonight, since I was spoiled, and took a nap.
Oh well, I'll deal with that later. It's not like I have to go anywhere important tomorrow.

I am 29 weeks pregnant now. I dont know if anything is really wrong, or if I'm just being weird and paranoid. I called the doctor's office, but only succeeded in playing phone tag with the nurses all afternoon. Oh well. If it gets really bad, and I start to have a lot of painful contractions, I can always drive over there and force them to check me out.

Still, I keep having thoughts/dreams/nightmares that something will go wrong. I don't know if these are true premonnitions, or just fears stemming from my previous losses.

Nevertheless, I am scared!

But you know what I learned this week? God is bigger than my fears. I have to keep trusting in Him.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Fireproof. Who's Kicking Me?

Watched the movie FIREPROOF this afternoon, with some friends from church.

Very good movie. Two Thumbs Up!
Anyone who is married should watch it.
Now I want to buy the Love Dare book!

Almost 29 weeks pregnant now. Our Miracle Baby is kicking much harder these days. Sometimes it can be quite painful. Mike & Hannah can often see the baby moving around, underneath my skin. It's kind of bizzare. Like an alien being with uncontrolled movement. Every couple days, the movement gets higher and higher. S/he is almost against my ribs. But I am not complaining! I love it!!!

Friday, October 3, 2008

A God-Moment.

I forgot to mention this part of the story yesterday.
But I really think it was a God-moment!

Here is what happened at the end of my doctor's visit yesterday:
I saw the fertility specialist who worked with me earlier this year.
He was going into a patient's room as I was coming in. Then, when my bloodwork was complete, he was walking out too, so we got the chance to talk for a few minutes.

I never could have forgetten his face. He was so concerned and dedicated and caring as he helped me through all the bloodwork, tests, and diagnostic procedures in January. (I say dedicated, because one week I was at his office THREE TIMES to go over test results, and he juggled his schedule to make sure he could be there with me.) During one of the darkest seasons of my life, he helped me tremendously, and gave me a lot of hope, which I desperately needed. He was also very impressed with the knowledge I had about TTC and fertility issues (I even taught him some new lingo: he had never heard of "TTC" before!), and completely understanding about the huge loss of my three pregnancies.

Yesterday, he recognized me, and said hello. I told him I am 6 months pregnant now, and he was genuinely SO happy for me! He said "thank you for reminding me about your situation, I really appreciate you talking to me" and even gave me a hug! I think I made his day! It was really nice.

The weird thing is that he usually works at the main hospital, not that office location. I've never seen him there before, I guess he got clinic duty today? Anyway, I really feel like it was a God-moment, seeing him today.

Now that I write this, I am wondering what he believes about God. Maybe he is a Christian, and maybe not. I wonder...

It makes me feel like I've come a very long way since the beginning of the year. My emotions and personal outlook are SO MUCH Bettere than they were 9 months ago.

Thank You God! :)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

28 weeks.

Still not sleeping well this week. Im averaging 4-5 hours a night. I don't know why! I'm not really complaining though, I feel fine - just lazy. I did have some terrible nightmares on Tuesday night: vivid, gruesome car accident scenes. Yuck.
This afternoon Hannah and I "took a rest" (she is allergic to the word "nap") and fell asleep in the master bedroom for an hour. That was really nice.

Poor Mike just started another grueling round of work - he will work 14 days straight before he gets any more time off. I guess that makes up for the ten days that he had off in a row during our beach trip. The good news is that we get to spend a week in PA/MD when his awful work rotation are over!

So, my doctors appointment went really well... other than waiting an hour to see a midwife. It has never taken so long before. (Also, I didnt exactly appreciate sitting in the waiting room for an hour and half with a three year old! That was a waste of time. She was completely well-behaved, just restless.) My blood pressure is nice and low, the same thing it's been for the last six months, which is wonderful. No pre-eclampsia worries yet!
I did my gestational diabetes test, and had a whole list of bloodtests done too. They should have the results on Monday. I'm not too worried though :) I feel just fine! I keep thinking about how blessed I am, to have a healthy pregnancy. Now that I've made it to 28 weeks, I feel like I've passed a HUGE milestone, and that this time, it will actually have a happy ending. I'm trying to mentally prepare myself, to think that we will actually get a healthy new baby out of it! Some days that is easier said than done.

It's been six months since I stopped taking anti-depressants, and every once in a while I can feel those dark emotions trying to creep in. I pray that PPD won't be an issue this time, either. My thyroid levels have been fine. Just another thing to watch for.

I am looking forward to playing with some MOPS friends tomorrow. Our little group is doing well. (Thank You, God!) We did a creative, introspective bonding activity on Tuesday night, about the road maps of our lives. It was really neat. I am very much looking forward to getting to know these moms and their families better!
On Saturday we are going to a craft/scrapbook party (Hannah's coming too, she LOVES crafts), then going to see the movie "Fireproof" with friends from church!

Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

3am. Beach trip highlights.

Yes, it is 3 am at my house.
I should be tired, but I'm not sleeping.
This baby is most active between 1-2am! Somtimes later.

I have a doctor's appointment at 10am.
Hopefully I wont be a total zombie.

I am somewhat nervous about my weight gain, because we ate allllll kinds of junk food during our vacation. It's difficult for me to watch the scale keep on rising.... I know that I'm pregnant, and that it's for a good cause, but it still kind of concerns me. I've always been careful about my weight, and it's just hard for me to let go of that.

The first 2 days of our trip were just perfect. Weather was great for playing on the beach/pool, splashing in the water, and flying kites, and Mike got plenty of use out of the hot tub. We all survivied the tropical storm that hit the NC coast last week. Even the house remained intact (minus one small piece of siding!), though the wind and rains got really rough. At times, it felt like we were sleeping in a boat instead of a house! We took some cool pictures and videos of the flooding and storm damage. Friday-Sunday were sunny again, but still not very warm.

Hannah was an incredibly well-behaved girl. She loved doing absolutely everything.... except playing in the sand (why does she hate getting dirty?!). Her favorite things to do were play mini-golf, which was a completely new experience for her, and eat ice cream.

I also got some quailty time with my SIL, which was really nice. We compared dating stories, engagement stories, weddings, and pregnancies. It was fun to hear things from her point of view, instead of just getting our husband's opinions. We also talked about what it will be like next year, with two new infants.

Later in the week, we got to hang out with another couple from college that we hadn't seen in years and years! It made us look forward to our college reunion even more - which is coming up in just two weeks!

We didn't get home until 11pm last night. I spent all of Monday unpacking, doing laundry, and trying to create order in our household again. Hannah needs a re-vamped bedtime; she's been staying up waaay too late for her own good!

To entertain you, here are some pictures from our trip:

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Our Miracle Baby

You know that sunday school song about Noah and the ark? Well, it's been stuck in my head all day long!!!

"Who built the ark? Noah, Noah! Who built the ark? Brother Noah built the ark!"
I don't know why it keeps floating around in my head; I haven't heard it in years. But it's getting to be downright annoying!

Ironically, "Noah" was the boy name that we picked out during my first pregnancy. I still love it, but Mike isn't so convinced anymore.

When my mom was here last week, she looked at my tummy and said "Look how big you are already. You're not gonna last another three months, that's for sure. And I think it's a boy. You're carrying differently than you did with Hannah." When she looked at the ultrasound pictures, she also declared "I really think this baby is a boy." Even though every single picture is from the waist up.

Meanwhile, my bellybutton is teetering on the edge between "innie" and "outie" these days. It wont be too long before it just pops!

Mike said something really sweet the other day. We were comparing my first pregnancy with this one, talking about how clueless we were as first-time parents. And the nickname we gave to Hannah in utero, and as an infant, was "Baby Surprise". Well, in light of all the losses I went through last year, Mike dubbed this one "Baby Miracle". It was so sweet of him, to think of it like that. Because I know that this pregnancy truly is a miracle, an amazing gift from God! And I think that "Miracle Baby" is a much more fitting name than "number two" or "Baby H____" (our last name), or "acrobat" or "New Baby", which is what I've usually called him/her.

So, Miracle Baby, will you be a boy or a girl? Everyone wants to know!

Hannah really wants to have a baby sister.
I will be perfectly happy either way.
I'm just content in the fact that you and I are both healthy! :)

It's exciting, to think that we will be a family of four by the end of the year.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


We had our first MOPS meeting tonight. THREE New moms! I was very pleased and super-excited to make new friends. They all said they were incredibly grateful for the fellowship, and the chance to have some adult conversation.

Thank you Lord, for this great opportunity to reach families with young children.

Now I am exhausted, and after I take a shower, Im going to fall into bed.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Hannah is sick

Mom was visiting is this weekend. She drove home yesterday. When she arrived back in Maryland, there were over 30 people at her house for dinner, for my father's birthday!

My dad has drastically changed his diet and has stopped drinking alcohol altogether. I'm really impressed with the changes he's made. He really wants to stay healthy for a long time to come.

Hannah has been congested and coughing a LOT. No fever, she just sounds horrible. Yesterday, cold medicine helped. But she woke up several times last night, having trouble breathing in her sleep. Now she's wheezing! This morning, I let her lay in bed until 10:30am (hey, I was tired too!).
I'm having trouble getting her a doctor's appointment; we might have to wait until tomorrow. That's what I get for procrastinating. I hope it's not pneumonia!

Mike started taking sleeping pills a few days ago, because he just can't sleep more than a few hours at a time. I feel so bad for him. His work schedule is really wearing him down. He worked 2 overtime shifts this weekend. He has already worked eight days in a row, and he won't get another day off until we leave for our beach trip on Saturday! I think these shift changes are really burning him out.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Sept 11. Mom visiting.

When we left our house on Sept 11th, the radio announced a "moment of silence" and we noticed all the flags flying at half-mast. Hannah was curious. So this is how I explained September 11th to my three year old: "Today we are remembering something sad that happened a long time ago, before you were born."
That's was the best way I could think of telling her without getting too political or detailed. I'm sure that as Hannah gets older, she will understand more, and have more questions. But I think that is sufficient for now.

Thursday was a looong day, I was running on just four hours of sleep, and we were babysitting for almost ten hours. Then Mike left his wallet at home, and at 7pm, when we were exhausted and hadnt even eaten dinner yet, we had to drive out to the ambulance base and deliver it to him. Then my mother drove down from Maryland, and got to our house just as we finished dinner.... at 9pm. Ugh.
I was so wiped out. I was just so drained that all I wanted to do was sit on the couch and cry until I fell asleep. But moms don't get to do things like that until everything else is finished and the kids are asleep.

We are having so much fun with YoMa here!

Tomorrow we have nursery duty at church, then lunch and a planning meeting for Awana, which starts next week. My MOPS group starts on Tuesday; I'm excited because I know that I wont be the only one there this time! Yay! Thank You God for mommy friends!


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Pictures, arguments about diapers.

My two favorite people!!!

For comparison: 14 weeks pregnant

20 weeks pregnant.

25 weeks pregnant:
Can you tell that Hannah took this picture?
She also shoved the "New Baby" book into my hands!
I'm not kidding!

Mike and I had a fight this afternoon about diapers. Yes, diapers. It might sound really stupid. But I was thinking of using cloth diapers (even for Hannah, at nighttime, not just for New Baby!), and Mike said "absolutely not." Didnt even want to hear my opinion. Just plain "No." I thought it would save money in the long run, he was worried about has been sweet, extra laundry (which he never does!) and electricity costs ("it would ruin our dryer! It costs too much.").
It felt like he was telling me "Your ideas are stupid and worthless." Of course, he didnt say anything close to that, but that's what it felt like.
We agreed to disagree for now... but it hurt me, the way he just dismissed it like that.

I've been incredibly tired this week. Hannah has been sweet, but she is still quite a demanding little girl. And sometimes she just makes things more difficult than they need to be. Example: Yesterday we went for a walk, and Hannah had to stop every 5-10 steps to adjust her baby doll's blanket, or clothes, buckle and unbuckle the baby, re-velcro her shoe, fix her sock, collect rocks, pick a flower, ect, ect, ect! It drove me CRAZY! Sometimes it's really difficult for me not to lose my temper and get frustrated with her. Even if she is a great kid.