Monday, November 29, 2010

Good Sound.

Heard baby's heartbeat today. Best. Sound. Ever.

Black Friday.

I forgot to post about this when writing my Thanksgiving post.

Greg got sick a week ago with a nasty sinus infection/cold and who knows what else. He doesn't get sick too often and it's hard to get him to take medicine. I usually end up forcing it down his throat. So when he asks for medicine, I know it must be bad.

It got so bad that on Thursday he couldn't eat the Thanksgiving meal without chewing with his mouth open because he couldn't breathe otherwise. It made for some funny and slightly gross moments. That night he slept for just a few hours and spent two just laying there wishing he could breathe. Finally he got so fed up with it that he decided he was going to go out and buy some pseudoephedrine (the stuff they make meth out of that is often the ONLY thing that works to clear a stuffed nose).

Now I have seen Greg sick but I have never seen him get up in the middle of the night to go get medicine. I knew it was bad. Which is why this is so ironically sad.

The one day a year that you cannot go to Wal-Mart at 4am to buy medicine is Black Friday. And what day does Greg go? Yep, that's right. He pulled up to a completely full parking lot and decided it wasn't worth it. Thankfully his nose cleared up during the drive so he was able to come home and sleep for a few hours without the meds. We did go get him some pseudoephedrine later on that day, however.

Poor guy! And we didn't even get a TV out of his 4am Wal-Mart trip!

The moral of the story: make sure your medicine cabinet is well stocked ahead of the holidays.

-Heather

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving.

My friend Jillmarie came from Colorado to our house for Thanksgiving this year. Jill and I have been friends since junior high. She's a great friend... sometimes we don't talk for months but we can still pick up a conversation like we saw each other yesterday. Also, I don't care if my house is a mess when she's around. That says something.

Greg ended up getting sick all last week and then I got a migraine at the end of the week, so we weren't the most fun people to come visit but we still had a good Thanksgiving. We made enough food for ten people, not three, and I'm already looking forward to the leftovers being gone.

In the midst of our grief and joy and worry, I would be foolish to think there is nothing to be thankful for. Indeed, we have so abundant of blessings I couldn't count them. Here's a few of mine off the top of my head:

  • a rainbow baby and a doc appointment tomorrow
  • grace, from the Lord, from my husband, from our family and friends
  • gorgeous leaves
  • family
  • that moment when a food craving is fulfilled
  • getting to talk about our hometown and reminiscing with Jillmarie (and now craving food I can't get: webe pizza, ranch dressing from gramma sharons and a burger from service drug)
  • bright sunny southern days
  • all the material stuff and convenience we have living in America
  • for a beautiful firstborn and the promise of heaven someday
  • christmas decor
  • clean sheets
  • a truly beautiful marriage
  • being able to approach the throne of grace with confidence
  • packages from aunt ilene (the latest included another wonderful small-town western ND cookbook, brand-new $5 bills and smiley face stickers just like always)
  • creative people
  • disposable tissues... glad we don't do the hanky thing
  • that moment when you realize you are feeling better and you are rightfully thankful for your health instead of the typical taking-it-for-granted
  • relationships
It is good to be thankful.

-Heather

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Brown and Pink Apron = Pure Lovely.

Aprons remind me of Maelee... for many reasons. I have dreams of her and I in the kitchen with cute matching aprons. I told my mothers this and well, they love me a lot. I got an adorable black and white apron from my mother-in-law and my mom has given me three! So now I have a collection!

But the best apron of all is this one that I got from my Aunt Ruth. It's pink and brown! And it has Maelee's monogram on it! She had it made for me by a friend (with an etsy store! genevadesigns.etsy.com) . Thanks for this lovely, sweet, meaningful gift, Aunt Ruthie! I love it!

(I have the "are you taking the photo?" look. Oh well).

I highly suggest taking a browse on etsy if you are needing good ideas for Christmas gifts. There are a ton of people making some amazing things out there and selling them on their individual etsy sites. I think I love it so much because I secretly (well, I suppose not-so-secretly) desire to be like many of these folks and create beautiful, artsy-fartsy items and sell them! It makes my creative juices soar! And I love to support home businesses. So far I bought Ava's gifts and some maelee jewelry on etsy. Love! Where else can you buy a cutting board in the shape of your state? Or a play BLT made out of felt? I just read my paragraph here and decided I better write that no one is paying me to promote etsy, it's just my latest craze!

-Heather

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Games?!

Greg and I need new games to play together. We have Boggle. I am Boggled-out. I can only lose so many times to my extremely word-infused husband before I get too crabby. Seriously, he wins 90% of the time and always has like 8 letter words. Come on! I guess that's what you get for proofreading and studying and reading all the time.

So I am in need of good ideas for games for two people. We aren't super big game people but often when I have a migraine, a game helps the time go by and allows us to have fun together too (and headache = no screen watching of any sort). Board games, card games, whatever. I know there are good two-person card games out there but all I can ever think of is 31 and King's Corner. Lame.

Let me know your suggestions and ideas!

And because I haven't posted a photo in awhile... here's Maelee's name in Boggle (using all the letters and the K and I twice (not legal in real Boggle))!

-Heather

Monday, November 15, 2010

December 16th.

We are really looking forward to this day. As long as baby is doing well, it will be another wonderfully special day in the life of grether. We get to find out, thanks to modern technology, if our baby is a boy or girl.

Hopefully I don't step on any toes here but I'm trying not to live my life to please people (that's a whole sermon series in itself).

I know some people like to go it old-school and not find out the gender of their baby. I was in that camp for a bit with Maelee until the practicality, God's grace and Greg's opinion swayed me. I have never been more thankful to be swayed.

If I would have found out my baby died BEFORE I knew she was a girl... that would have made it that much more devastating. Because we knew Maelee was a girl, we were able to bond with her those four plus months in a unique way. Knowing we were having a daughter altered our perspective.

If we wouldn't have known, we would have had to grieve with a whole set of different emotions (like countless couples did back in the day when stillbirths were much more common - praise God for modern medicine/technology). Since our time with Maelee was painstakingly short, I am ever so grateful we knew at least that much about her in the months we had with her. If only we would have had her name ahead of time! Silly us.

I am glad that we talked to her, knowing she was our daughter, telling her what we dreamed and hoped for her, praying earnestly for her. And knowing she was a she, made it that much more personal.

The story-book moment of the doctor showing you your new baby and saying "It's a boy" or "It's a girl" or "It's twins!" (okay, these days I don't think that happens much in the western world)... well, that scenario loses it's beauty when the baby isn't alive.

I am not going to criticize those that don't find out, it's a personal decision and every couple gets the right. It's okay if that's the route you choose. We are partial to finding out. But if you ever find yourself tee-tottering with this decision, you can use my argument of "why Heather thinks you should utilize modern technology and find out the gender of your baby." I do recognize that some poor sap of a husband is going to be at a loss for words when the wife comes up and tells him why we must find out the gender! I'm sorry, it's a morbid reason but it is what it is.

So we look forward, anxiously, to our December 16th ultrasound. I have no idea if Maelee's sibling is a boy or a girl. I didn't have a feeling about Maelee, either, so that makes me feel better as a mom. I will say that in the baby loss circle, almost every mom's rainbow baby (the baby after a loss) is the opposite gender. It's actually very weird... I have no official stats, but I'd say it's close to 90%. So just because of that, I think baby may be a boy. Though I would like to share Maelee's room and all her sweet stuff with a sister. But if God graciously gives us a baby to take home, we don't care if it's a boy or a girl! So join us in the anticipation and wonder and thankfulness in the next weeks as we wait until December 16th...

-Heather

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hurdles.

Sometime this summer when I was thinking of possible future pregnancies, I imagined a bunch of hurdles lined up on a track. I am not a runner by any stretch of the imagination nor have I ever attempted to be a hurdler. However, I feel like we are in this incredibly tough hurdle marathon. Hurdle marathons probably don't exist, I know, but bear with me.

Hurdle #1 | Getting Pregnant
This may seem like a no brainer to many. It is not. We do not, for one second, take getting pregnant lightly. There are so, so, so many women that wish more than anything that they could get pregnant and month after month are crushingly disappointed. Just being able to have a positive pregnancy test is a miracle.

Hurdle #2 | Is Baby in the Right Place?
Since our ectopic pregnancy in 2008, our biggest concern right away was finding out if baby is in the right place (uterus). Thankfully our first ultrasound showed the pregnancy sac inside the uterus. Big sigh of relief! Then we had another ultrasound later to actually see the baby and make sure things were fine. Another sigh.

Hurdle #3 | Getting to 12 weeks
Miscarriages usually happen before 12 weeks so most woman think once they hit this point, they are golden. And thankfully most are, since 2nd and 3rd trimester losses are much rarer (however, we know that there are no guarantees). Many woman go through the pain of miscarriage, some in secret, and it is hard. Loss is hard no matter when it happens. I am grateful for every moment we have with this new baby and glad to have made it past this third hurdle.

Upcoming hurdles include: baby passing 18-week ultrasound tests, responding to the many inquiries, "Is this your first baby?" appropriately, not developing thrombocytopenia or preeclampsia or a host of other weird problems, making it through another Easter Sunday very pregnant, getting baby out healthy and in our arms (then the hurdles of parenting a new born start... which is a whole new marathon (that we are so willing to run)), etc.

Essentially every day is a bit of an emotional hurdle for me. Wondering and worrying and praying and hoping that baby is okay... and this will probably get more all-consuming as my induction date looms closer. My hope: to have a baby in my arms alive and healthy by May 1. Though this little one's due date isn't until mid-May, they will most likely induce when I hit 37 weeks the last week in April (yet another hurdle in itself).

One hurdle I'm looking forward to: the December 16 ultrasound where we find out if baby is a boy or girl (more on my philosophy behind that later!).

-Heather

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Maelee has a sibling...

We are happy to announce that Maelee has a sibling alive and growing in my belly. This is very good news. We were and still are shocked as we process grief and joy simultaneously.

We know this baby is NOT a replacement for Maelee. Maelee can never be replaced.

We also know this baby does not “fix” us or make us all better. We are still deeply grieving the loss of our daughter. It does help ... knowing we may get to be parents on earth gives us great hope.

What we are praying:

Lord, please let us meet this baby before Maelee meets him or her.

Maelee already has a sibling in heaven to play with and we are really hoping we’ll get to meet this little one, raise him/her and have him/her meet us all in heaven a long time from now.

Lord, we want to bring this healthy baby home. We don’t want to lose another baby.

There is a lot of worry in our heads and hearts. I wonder frequently the biggest question of all: “Will it happen again?”

Thankfully we have a new doctor, new practice, new hospital and come next spring, I will be watched very closely. I give myself a shot every day and take two pills hoping these precautions will help baby. But in the end, we are not in control.

You can echo our prayers above. Pray things would go smoothly. Pray that we would trust God in all this.

Pray for my health, that I wouldn’t experience bad migraines or headaches. With just Tylenol as pain meds, bad ones have lasted for days.

Thank you for sharing in our grief these past seven months and in the months to come. And now, thank you for sharing in our joy!

-Heather