22 June 2008

21 Weeks

Baby girl--
This week has been such an exciting week for your daddy and me.  Through the blessing of technology we were able to see how much you have been growing and how all your organs are just as they should be.  I don't think I can describe what a relief that was.  Plus, we got to see how you are changing from "other-worldly" to looking like a baby human.  During the ultrasound it was sometimes hard to make out what we were looking at (especially through my tears) and it all happened so fast.  But, when your daddy and I went out to the waiting room and I was able to really look at the pictures I let out a little gasp and said, "Oh babe...she's so pretty."  And I'm sure part of that is me entering mommy-biased world...but, I have to say dear, you really do have a fabulous profile. 

Something happened that day inside your daddy, too.  I would say it was the day things really "sunk in".  He immediately realized the importance of getting our home ready for your presence.  And he brought up that it was time to start talking about little girl names.  (When you're older we'll talk about how you might have been Archimedes ;).)  Later that night he told me that it has been hard for him to really comprehend your arrival...especially with all that we experienced last year.  I don't think either of us really knew how to fully accept that you would one day be more than a dream.

I have been loving you for 4 months now.  I guess if I really thought about it I would say it's been longer than that.  But, I found out that we were expecting you 4 months ago on my birthday (no, I couldn't have asked for a better present!).  And while I have been loving you and praying for your health and safe arrival all along...there was something about finding out that you are a girl that has made the whole experience even more beautiful.  Our girl, our daughter, our little lady.  My eyes fill with tears just thinking about what a blessing you already are.  Carrying you and fully embracing my role as your mother has made me so happy.

One day when you're older I'll tell you the story of how God gave you to us.  I'll tell you about the heartache and loss.  I'll tell you about the hoping and dreaming.  I'll tell you about the tears and the moments I so wanted to give up.  I'll tell you all of this not because our story is unique, little one.  I want you to know this story because as much as I wish it weren't so I know one day you will have your own trials and times in the desert.  I want you to know our story of trusting God and believing Him even in the darkness.  Stories of God's faithfulness bring hope and light when all we want to do is say, "enough." 

And you are here, sweet girl, because of His faithfulness.

With all my love,

18 June 2008

Isn't She Lovely

That's our girl! Wow...girl...it's still sinking in. What an exciting and emotional day it has been! The best news is that she is growing right on schedule and things appear to be going well. Everything is definitely becoming more real...especially for Kit. It's so cute to see him finally start to get excited and motivated to get things ready. I think it's hard for men to really comprehend all that is happening and start to form a bond until things become a little more concrete. I can't wait to watch him fall in love with this girl. I'll write more about our day later...I just wanted to get the picture up and share the news!

16 June 2008

20 Weeks

And we're halfway there! It's so amazing to have made it this far. It feels like such a milestone. I am so grateful that things have been going smoothly. Just keep cooking, little one...we can be patient!

This week has been busy, busy. There hasn't been any time to slow down and remember I'm pregnant. Thankfully I've been feeling good and able to keep up with all the summer fun! Steve and Rita came down Friday night for a Father's Day trip to Saint Simon's Island. We had a blast chilling out and checking out the town. Saint Simon's is one of Kit and my favorite places to go...and it was fun to share it with them. Steve is a big lover of lighthouses so all four of us made the 129-step climb up to the top (see, I told you there's no time to remember I'm pregnant!). I was definitely wo' out after that adventure. But, the view was amazing...so it was totally worth it.

We also went kayaking through the marsh our last morning there. Kit and I have done it before and loved it...so, we thought it would be a great activity. I did at least have some sense about me and suggested that Kit and I go in a double kayak instead of trying to do all the work of a single one myself. Turns out that was the way to go. I felt fine and was able to paddle strong...but, I definitely had moments of weakness that I was glad to be able to honor. Thanks for doing most of the paddling, babe!

And there is a reason I am being sensitive about what I try to do. Earlier this week I was getting ready to take our load of recycling to the center. I checked the container and noticed that it was pretty heavy. So I said to myself, "Ok, I'll just be sure to use my legs." (Cause that's what they always say...lift with your legs, not your back, right?) Well, I guess I overestimated my understanding of what "lifting with your legs" was...because as soon as I lifted that container I heard an audible "snap!" coming from my lower back. I was so scared. The pain was pretty intense for most of the day, but luckily it only lasted for a few days and no real damage was done. But let me tell you, people...I have learned my lesson! I thought all that talk of pregnant women not lifting was just people being overly cautious. Oh the things I have to learn...

I am starting to be able to feel more movement from the little one. I can't stress how lovely this feeling is. It still doesn't feel like "kicks"...and it's still not consistent. I don't usually feel anything if I'm walking or moving around. And it seems that maybe the car puts it to sleep too. We had a long car ride this weekend and I didn't notice any movement while we were riding. I notice most of the movement when I am still and when I am eating. Baby definitely loves chocolate (or at least that's my excuse)! ;) I know this sounds so sappy, but everytime I feel the baby move I am struck with such a feeling of awe at how incredible this whole process is. I mean, I have a little person, a new soul, a child of God growing inside me. I'm sure there will come a time when the kicks will lose their awe and just become part of the routine. But for now I'm enjoying experiencing the mystery and miracle of it all.

We'll be having another look at the little one this week. For the most part I am excited...although there is still a part of me that gets anxious when I think about ultrasounds. When I do have anxious and fearful thoughts, I'm trying to just give them to God and acknowledge that I am not in control of this pregnancy. If little one cooperates we should also find out the sex. I realized last night that if baby decides to keep the little legs closed...I will totally be ok with it. But, I definitely don't think the rest of our friends and family would be. ;)

Hope everyone is having a great week! Thanks again for sharing in this special and exciting leg of our journey.

11 June 2008

She's Here!

Olive Grace made her appearance into the world last night!  Many congrats to new parents Brian & Page!  We can't wait to meet her.  Check her out at Brian's website.

Also, one of my dear friends and roommates from college just had her baby girl.  Jenn (formerly Helm) and Mason welcomed baby Lizzie to the world on Monday.  Congrats to Jenn & Mason, too!

Praise God for healthy babies born to beautiful, caring parents!

08 June 2008

19 Weeks

This week has been more feeling good and more growing.  The baby is now the size of an heirloom tomato and my uterus is the size of a cantaloupe.  Not sure where I'm fitting that cantaloupe!  I get weekly pregnancy e-mail updates from babycenter and they always tell you what size the baby is by comparing it to a fruit or vegetable.  

I saw my mom this weekend and the first thing she said to me was, "You look pregnant!"  I still don't think I look that pregnant...but, at least I'm getting there. ;)  Because I've been feeling better I have been pushing myself a little too much at times.  I think I'm just so excited to have energy I want to go, go, go!  On Wed I finally went to the prenatal yoga class I've been wanting to attend and I went shopping all afternoon/early evening.  I even stayed up until 11pm!  Well, the next day I was paying for it.  I was sore from the yoga and so very tired.  Turns out even though I feel good...I still need my 8+ hours of sleep.

I forgot to mention last week a little scare I had.  I was driving to work one morning and all of a sudden felt like I was going to pass out.  I could feel that I was becoming hot, clammy and very lightheaded.  My first thought was, "Oh no...not while I'm driving!"  I quickly pulled into a McDonald's nearby (thank God I wasn't on I-85 yet) and called Kit.  One of the main reasons I was so scared was that was how my 1st miscarriage started.  I was feeling fine and shopping at Target when I began feeling dizzy and passed out.  I was scared the other day because I was feeling the same sensations and didn't know why.  Luckily, it just lasted for a minute and I made it to work fine.  I called my Dr.'s office and the nurse couldn't have been less concerned.  She just told me to drink more fluids and eat more protein.  When I saw the midwife at my appointment last week she wasn't concerned either.  She said this often happens when your uterus starts growing.  It can press on your blood vessels and restrict the blood flow (or something like that) which makes you lightheaded.  Almost everyone I told the story to had a personal story or knew someone it had happened to.  That made me feel better.

It's definitely time to start making room for the baby.  We have at least started talking about it and trying to think of creative ways to make the space work.  Since we only have two rooms our main challenge is making space for Kit to have a work area.  I think we've pretty much decided we're going to set up a desk or table downstairs for him to work at.  Our first thought was to just have a nursery/office...but, I quickly realized that Kit's work hours and the baby's sleep time may not always work out.  So, I think downstairs will be the best.  Plus I know, like it or not, we're going to be acquiring so much "stuff"...and we're going to want to have it all in the extra room.  Hopefully in the next month or so we'll start making all of this happen.

Overall it's been a great week.  Thanks for reading!

04 June 2008


A couple of weeks ago we had the opportunity to spend several days in Paducah with the whole Hughes clan.  This was a special trip for a couple of reasons.  For one, it was the first time Jonny has been home in two years.  Plus, it was the first time we had all been together as a family in two and a half years!  The last time was at Jon & Corena's wedding in November 2005.  Jon is serving our country in the Coast Guard and is stationed in San Diego.  Jon has the grueling schedule of 3 months out to sea then 3 months home...all year.  So it has been difficult for them to schedule and execute such a big trip (with dog in tow).  As you can see this visit was much anticipated and much enjoyed!

Ryan, Kit & Jon

Lesli, Me, Corena & Sydney

We had such a fun & relaxing time together.  The days were lazy like good summer days should be.  We hung out in the backyard alot.  There was this fabulous breeze (that we are desperately missing here in Atlanta) and no rain in sight.  The guys had a good time playing croquet and frisbee.  They even spent an afternoon making birdhouses.  Us girls were content to hang out on the well shaded deck watching them play and loving on Sydney.

busy making birdhouses

Sydney checking out Gunner

Thanks Mom & Pops for hosting such a great week for all of us!  These times with family are the most important in life.  And we will always cherish the memories.

kisses from Sydney are the best

02 June 2008

18 Weeks

Four down...five to go!  That's right, it's five months until baby's due date.  At times I find myself thinking, "Five months?  It seems so long!"  Other times the thoughts are more like, "Five months?  Are you kidding me?!  How are we ever going to get everything done?!"  Ah, good times.

I just got home from my 18 week Dr. appointment and it seems things are still going well.  We heard the heartbeat again and did some more blood tests.  Kit even had to get stuck with a needle this time.  Since we found out that I am a carrier for the cystic fibrosis gene we decided to get Kit tested to see if he is also a carrier.  You can see from the ticker above we are counting down to our 20 week ultrasound.  The big day is June 18th.

At the end of this week I started feeling these little "bubbles" in my tummy.  It took me a few days to really start believing that it's the baby.  By Friday I was more aware and paying attention when they would happen.  It's the coolest sensation!  I've heard it described as goldfish swimming in your tummy...and that's kind of what it's like.  It happens really fast though.  And usually it will happen once...and then not happen again for a while.  I tell Kit the baby is "dancing" when I feel it.  And the dancing usually happens when I'm sitting or lying down.  I can especially feel it at night before I go to bed and first thing in the morning.  I'm assuming this is a preview of movement to come.  (Cue to all the mothers in my life telling me to enjoy sleeping while I can!) ;)

And speaking of sleeping...I'm still comfortably sleeping on my back.  But, I'm sure this will come to an end soon.  I'm not really sure when you're supposed to start sleeping on your side.  I guess when lying on your back is uncomfortable?  If any of you mommies have suggestions on pillow arrangements for when that lovely time comes...I would be very appreciative.  That whole sleeping on your side with mounds of pillows propping you up has always been very intimidating to me.  I am totally NOT a side sleeper as it is.  So, it should be interesting.

I'm still looking pretty much the same.  No poppage yet...still just pudge.  I was going to take a belly picture this week, but I think I'm going to wait until there's something more to see.  I'm still not ready for maternity shirts...but, my old wardrobe is quickly shrinking.  And I forgot to mention last week my new friend that has accompanied my growing body...back pain.  I have never really experienced much back pain in my life, so this is new.  It started around week 13 after we got home from the Bahamas and I thought maybe it was from carrying around heavy bags and whatnot.  Oh no...it's not from carrying around those kind of bags! ;)  I quickly realized the pain was located right around my bra strap.  So, needless to say my back is just protesting against the new size of my chest.  

This week I have definitely "turned a corner" as my midwife said.  I have SO much more energy and can finally say I feel good.  Yesterday I went all day without a nap and even stayed awake until 10:00...with no plans!  This is huge, people!  I am so grateful to finally be feeling somewhat normal.  I was starting to question whether it was going to happen.

And not only am I feeling physically good, but I'm also just feeling good and happy in general.  For the past year and a half I have felt either some form of low-high grade depression, fear, anxiety or just general sadness.  And for good reason, I know.  But, going from depression to morning sickness with not much of a break was a little unnerving.  And I had moments where I had no memory of what it felt like to just feel "good."  It's not that I haven't felt complete gratitude or excitement about this baby...I just haven't felt good.  And I really was ok with that.  But this week happiness and energy and lightness of being have surprised me and are hopefully going to take my hand and walk with me a bit.  

I became very acquainted and comfortable with grief and sadness this year.  I learned the place they have in all of our lives and slowly accepted that they were my chosen companions for a season.  With good counseling, good friends and a supportive husband I truly grieved the loss of my babies and our dear Lisa.  At times I was so scared of what I was feeling.  Scared that if I gave in I would never return.  But I trusted that if I didn't grieve now...the grief would surely find me later.  And so I let grief and sorrow and disappointment have me for a while.  And it wasn't fun.

I say all that to say that I know I needed to go to those depths.  I needed to be in the valley and feel all of the sorrow in order to taste happiness and joy in all of it's fullness.  I needed to learn how to praise and trust God when things were so dark in order to become the mother I always wanted to be.  I had so much fear and control I needed to let go of in order to enjoy the gifts that are right in front of me.  And today, I am so so very grateful to feel happy and good.