31 May 2008

My First Baby

Today is my baby sister Sarah's 21st birthday.  I was 11 when Sarah was born and no one was ever more excited to have a baby join their family.  I have such vivid memories of the first day Mom & Dad brought her home.  I remember rocking her for hours and feeling so much love for this new little baby.  I don't think anyone could have convinced me that she wasn't MY baby. ;)  Sarah awakened my budding maternal instincts.  And I have always felt very natural around newborns because of my experience with her.  I never had any problems getting baby-sitting jobs.  Heck, I'd been changing diapers since I was 11!

Over the years I spent many days and nights baby-sitting (lucky Mom...built in baby-sitter!), braiding hair and having little legs digging into my back when she insisted on sleeping with me.  Our age difference was enough to not have constant fighting and territorial wars.  In fact, I was at school in Nashville for most of her formative years.  I hated missing so much of her growing up...but, I know she LOVED coming to visit big sister in college.

And now here she is...21 and getting ready for her senior year at GCSU.  I am so so proud of you, Sarah.  You have become such a beautiful, soulful person.  You are a sweet spirit and loyal friend.  You are smart, successful and humble.  And even though you have become a good friend...you will always be my first baby.   

Happy birthday, sweet sister!  I hope this year is full of new and exciting experiences.  And no worries...you are totally going to be a cool and fun aunt! ;)

28 May 2008


Went to Whole Foods today and this is what I came home with.  Um, can you say "cravings"??  Granted, I did buy other stuff...but, this was really all I wanted to get.  And when I got home I devoured me some watermelon.  Yum!  It's not that I didn't like fruit before being pregnant...I just never really felt like I HAD to have it like I do now.  It's kind of weird.  But, I guess it's good that I'm craving something healthy in addition to the oh so good chocolate ice cream I had at Jake's in Decatur this weekend.  And yes, the flavor is called "Chocolate Slap Yo Mama." (No offensive to my Mamas.)  I have been thinking about it rather obsessively since Saturday.  But, until I can get myself back over that way...I'll stick with my fruit. ;)

26 May 2008


Tonight we're going to see Fred Eaglesmith play at Eddie's Attic.  Fred was one of Lisa's favorite artists and Lisa, Lori, Kristen and I (the bad girls) have made many a road trip to watch him play.  This was actually how the four of us became so close.  We shared a mutual love of music and traveling...and what better way to combine the two than to road trip to see a good show.  We especially loved seeing Fred because his shows were always so fun & high energy.  Plus, Fred is hilarious and always puts on a good show. And of course there is the fact that he loves us. ;)  He affectionately calls us "The Georgia Girls" and always has time to sit down and share a drink with us before his shows.

Our love for Fred went up several notches during Lisa's battle with Leukemia.  He and Lisa always had a unique bond and he proved to be strong enough to be a true friend even when things were rough.  Who knew our country-rock, good ole Canadian would be talking Lisa through treatments and be so willing to support?  Lisa once said to me after a phone call with Fred, "Laurie, I think this is why we met him."  Wow.

So, tonight we're going to see Fred play.  The first year after you lose someone close to you is full of firsts...first holidays, first birthdays.  This will be the first time seeing Fred...and the significance is not lost.  It's also the first time we've seen Fred since his dear bandmate Willie P. passed away earlier this year.  Lisa, we know the music you and Willie P. are hearing cannot compare to anything we've ever heard.  That won't stop us from wishing ya'll were here...and feeling that things just aren't right when you're not.  

I know Lisa's spirit will be there.  I will picture her rolling her eyes when Fred says something silly...and smiling that perfect smile when he plays "Water in the Fuel."  You will be so missed tonight, Lisa.  We'll give Fred a big hug for ya.

25 May 2008

17 Weeks

I've decided I should start doing weekly updates so I can keep up with all the changes.  Plus, I have been so bad about journaling and I want to be able to remember exactly when things started happening.  Also, now I feel like there is more to report than just nausea, nausea, puke, sleep, nausea. ;)

I think the biggest change I've experienced in the last few weeks is weight gain!  Somehow even though the baby is only about 5 oz...I've already managed to pack on 10 pounds.  And none of this new weight seems to be going to a cute little basketball-sized baby bump.  Oh no people, this weight does not discriminate!  It has been very happy to settle on my face, my arms and most noticeably my chest.  Not sure how fat on my arms is helping the little one...but, I won't question! ;)  I don't think I'm eating too much now.  But, I'm sure the 6-7 meals a day and non-stop grazing I was doing to keep nausea away in the first trimester contributed.  Not to mention the 500 calorie smoothies that I was craving daily for about 2 months.  Oops!

Along with the other parts of my body...my belly has been expanding too.  And any thoughts of wearing pre-preggo clothes are gone.  I don't think that I look pregnant and I'm definitely not ready for full-on cutesy maternity clothes.  But, skinny jeans are out!  I've been wearing some maternity pants & shorts.  And I have to tell you...elastic is my new best friend!  Who knew it could feel so good?! ;)  Luckily, (as I affectionately call them) "fat shirts" are in style, so I've been able to find a few wearable non-preggo shirts at Target.  But they aren't the most flattering for my body type, so I still get winks and smiles when I wear them at work.  Basically, they make me look pregnant even though I really don't (if that makes any sense!).  People at work have also been commenting on my "glow".  I'm not sure I really buy into the "pregnancy glow" thing.  I think what is closer to truth is that for 2 months straight you've been so green and nauseous that you can barely muster a smirk.  So, now that you are actually feeling good and smiling people mistake it for a glow! ;)  Just a thought.

And speaking of work, I've slowly been coming out of the closet over the last few weeks which is fun and weird at the same time.  Being at a hospital, I work with alot of people.  And there are even more people that I am acquainted with, but don't really get into personal stuff.  You never really think about how awkward it is to make that kind of announcement with someone you don't talk to on a regular basis.  So, it's been a slow process.  And I've told a few of my friends that it's fine if they "let it leak" to whoever.

I should start feeling "flutters" in the next week or two.  I'm very excited about that.  Last week I had these strange tuggings on the top of my abdomen.  I'm not sure what they were, but they felt kind of like muscle spasms.  They weren't located where the baby is...so, I'm sure it wasn't movement I was feeling.  It was probably my uterus growing or something else shifting to get out of the way of my uterus.  Either way, it was weird and just another reminder of all the gloriously funky things my body is doing. 

I think I can safely say that I am feeling better.  Woo-hoo!!  I do still have waves of nausea, but they aren't regular and don't last too long.  I've also found a direct correlation between lack of sleep and nausea.  So, there's even more incentive to pass out early and get the 11 hours of sleep that my body seems to think it deserves.  We've been traveling so much lately I haven't been able to get on a regular exercise schedule.  I'm hoping to start that this week.  I've found a prenatal yoga class that meets on Wed mornings that I'm going to check out.  It should work out perfect since I don't work on Wed.

All in all, I am very happy that things seem to be progressing well.  Aside from the brief moments of worry that all mothers have, I think I am emotionally handling things well, too.  Thanks for reading and sharing in all the wonderful changes.

22 May 2008


Tears are flowing for Steven Curtis Chapman and his family.  I heard on the radio this morning that his youngest daughter, Maria age 5, died after being hit by a car in their driveway.  One of their older sons was driving the car, and I'm sure he is distraught (as they all are) with grief.  The Chapmans have adopted 3 daughters from China and Maria was one of their adopted girls.  I have followed their stories of adoption for a while and truly believe they are a family of tremendous love and grace.

I hope you will join me with prayers of healing in this time of heartbreaking tragedy.  It's so hard to understand why God made the world this way.  Why parents should have to lose their children...whatever the age.  Understanding is elusive.  I will pray for greater faith and peace in the midst of all the questions.

14 May 2008


Last night we had dinner with the beautifully expecting Page and daddy-to-be (ready or not!) Brian.  Page & Brian are our only good (local) friends that are expecting right now.  And while it's always good to be with them...it's especially fun right now.  It's nice to be able to talk about pregnancy and baby stuff and not feel totally narcissistic.  And Page is due in June so she is passing on all kinds of great wisdom and tips...plus it's just fun to stare at her gorgeous belly and think about who that little girl is that's just waiting to make her entrance.

Our yummy dinner at Spoon was half pleasure and half business.  Avent is one of Philips Design's clients and both Brian and Kit are working on their website.  (For those of you who don't know Avent makes bottles, breast pumps, pacifiers, etc.)  So, Kit and Brian picked our brains about pregnancy/baby related things to help with their marketing.

One of the questions Brian asked me was if I had started thinking about what brands of baby stuff we will use.  And it's funny the reaction I had inside.  Rita asked me the same question earlier this week about bottles and I had the same reaction.  I didn't answer him with what I was feeling...I just said, "No, we haven't really gone there yet."  When the truth is I haven't "gone there" because somewhere in the back of my head I am still having trouble believing that we really will bring this baby home.  It's not that I'm 24/7 scared or even living with excessive worry.  I'm just finding it hard to do much planning that will obviously need to be done.  I forced myself to go to a baby consignment shop the other day to look at cribs.  I took one spin around and marched out the door.  I don't know why, but I felt like an impostor...like I didn't belong.  It's like I was afraid the sales lady was going to call me out or something.

I'm hoping this will get better when I start feeling the baby move and I'm showing more.  I'm hoping.  I've just seen and read so much this year...and I wish I didn't know all that could/does happen to women just like me.  Healthy, strong, conscientious women lose their babies too...and not just in the first trimester.  I did alot of reading this year on message boards connecting with other women in similar situations.  They don't separate losses on these boards...pregnancy loss is pregnancy loss whether it's at 8 weeks or 38.  So I ended up reading about things that I had previously been so sheltered from.  And I can honestly think of no more devastating scenario than coming home from the hospital with empty arms to a fully decorated nursery.  But what makes me special?  Why should I get to bring home a healthy baby when so many women don't?

I try not to dwell on these thoughts too much.  First of all, I know it's completely out of my hands what happens with this pregnancy.  And I also know the power of positive thinking.  I'm just learning how to balance all of the back and forth feelings of excitement and fear...and give myself space to have both in healthy doses.  I'm slowly letting go of my disappointment in not being able to have that blissfully ignorant, carefree pregnancy.  My experience is what it is...and it is what God has given me.  I will continue to pray that this baby will join our family.  I will pray for the strength to be the mother I need to be.  And I will pray that I can let go of my fear just enough to be able to buy a crib and at least a couple of onesies. ;)

12 May 2008

Mother's Day

Mama Brewer & Andy
Mama Hughes, Kit & me
Narnie & Nana

Happy Mother's Day to my mommies, grandmommy and great-grandmommy!  Sorry this is a day late...Kit had the computer in Savannah all day yesterday.  I am so blessed to have such wonderful women in my life who take care me, mentor me and just plain love on me. 

To my mommy, thank you for years and years of laughs, hugs and comfort.  I am so grateful to have a mother who so easily became my friend.  I know you've waited many years to be a grandomther...and I hope you love every minute of it!

To my "new" mommy, thank you for raising my husband to be so loving and caring.  And thank you for loving me like family.  You are a beautiful mother & grandmother.

And to all my friends, sisters, aunts and cousins...mothers, mothers-to-be, and one day mothers...Happy Mother's Day!  The work you do raising babies into children into people is truly the most important work in the world.  I feel humbled to join your ranks.

07 May 2008

*Second Trimester*

Woo hoo!!  I am officially in the second trimester!  Hallelujah!  And I have to say (knock on wood) I am actually feeling a little better today.  Not 100%, but I did have enough energy this morning to take a 40 minute walk.  It does help that I didn't have to be up early for work today...so, we'll see how tomorrow is.

Here are a couple of pictures from our 12 week ultrasound taken two weeks ago.  I know it sounds cheesy, but it truly was one of the most amazing things I have ever experienced.  I had tears streaming down my face pretty much the whole time.  I was so glad Kit got to be there too.  I really think it helped connect him to the pregnancy and baby.  It was so cool seeing the little one move and wave it's arms.  Our u/s tech would jiggle my belly to get it to move positions so she could get different views.  But, the little one was quite content taking a little nap!  It would stretch it's legs out, shake it's arms and go right back to the original spot.  I have no idea where those traits come from! ;)

The second picture is a 4-D shot.  I don't think these are typically done at this time.  We just got lucky with a really sweet tech.  This was also our last appointment with the specialist.  I am grateful we were able to see a specialist during these first critical weeks.  Not that they really did anything different.  It just felt comforting knowing we were doing everything we could and that we were being followed more carefully.  It was also nice having the extra ultrasounds.

Now that I am released to my regular Ob/Gyn office I will be on a normal 4 week schedule for the next few months.  I had my 14 week appointment on Monday which was short and sweet.  We listened to the heartbeat which was thumping right along at 140 bpm.  I also got to schedule my 20 week ultrasound.  And yes, we will be finding out the sex if baby cooperates.  Now that things are becoming more "real" I am so excited to find out the sex!

When I look back over the past year, I can so vividly recall the feelings of hopelessness and fear that followed me so closely.  There were days when I honestly never thought we would be here.  I am so aware of the fact that everything I have can be taken away in a moment.  And I know that every mommy who makes it to the second trimester doesn't bring home a baby.  But, for now, for this moment I will relish in the miracle my body is participating in.  I will praise God for giving me this life...even though I had so little faith that it would happen.  And I will continue to hope and believe that come November I will be holding this little one in my arms.  

05 May 2008

Seven Years

Happy anniversary love! I woke up this morning with such a fullness of gratitude for being your wife. I mean, how lucky am I that I get to spend everyday with someone who inspires me to be better, loves me just as I am and really listens when I speak. Not to even mention how much you make me laugh!!

I could never have imagined how much pain and sorrow we were going to have to paddle through last year. Thank you for your strength through it all. Thank you for holding your head into the wind...and so often shielding mine. I know I am where I am today because of your faithfulness and grace.

You are my dearest friend and greatest inspiration. And I can't wait to watch you become a daddy. I pray God gives us many many more years to play together.

03 May 2008


"Lisa loved the ocean as she loved life."

We're home from our trip. Kit got home Monday and I got home Wednesday night. Lori, Kristen and I spent a couple of nights in Miami after our stay in the Bahamas. Lori had a free 2 night stay at the Loews and she was gracious enough to let us benefit! Thanks for letting us mooch, Lori! I could really grow accustomed to that lifestyle! ;)

Well, I'm not really ready to write anything profound (or otherwise) about our trip. I'm still feeling pretty emotionally and physically drained from everything. I tried my best to keep up with all of the activities and now my little pregnant self is paying for it. Oh well...totally worth it.

I hope you'll take a few seconds to watch the video above. I must give props to Lisa's dear (and famous ;) ) friend Rob Poynter for shooting it. Thank the Lord for underwater cameras! So, this is Lisa's new home complete with 2 of her signature scarfs. I'll tell you more about the whole process when I'm up to writing about it. For now, imagine 45 people snorkeling around...trying our best to stay afloat for as long as possible. It's really hard to cry while you're treading water.

Lisa's reef has 2 medallions on it. One has her name and dates. If you couldn't read it well in the video, the other says, "Lisa loved the ocean as she loved life."