Friday, December 31, 2010

December 28, 2009

Well, Peanut, we got to check in on you today and you are doing great! You are 2.5” long and very active. It seems you are very happy in your home. Your heart was beating at 145 beats per minute and Jamie has already felt you kick. Tomorrow is the last day of her 13th week. 1st trimester done!!! Woo Hoo! The ultrasound tech refused to guess your sex yet so the wait is still on. All that we cared about was your health, and it seems to be perfect. Thank you, God!!!

We had a wonderful Christmas full of family, laughs, good food and fun festivities. It is amazing how quickly Christmas comes and then it’s gone. Glad we enjoyed it!

Jamie is feeling so much better now too. She said she feels like a new person. She is still tired and her breasts are larger, but that is about it now. She isn’t showing yet to me, but she can tell on herself.

We had a really wonderful time with Jamie and Jamie last night. My Mom and Fred’s Mom watched all of their kids and Grace so that we could take them out for a nice dinner. We had great conversation, as always, and the Grandmas had a lot of fun with all of the kids. They were pooped when we got home—the kids wore them out! They are really enjoying getting to know each of them better though, and the kids have really taken to them. It warms my heart. We really have all gotten two families out of this deal. Not bad!

I am off to a friends baby shower in about an hour, so I’d better start getting ready. I wonder if I’ll have a private minute to share our news with my closest friends after the shower? I am getting really good at keeping this exciting news to myself until the right moments present themselves to tell others about you. It sure is fun to see people’s response!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

December 23, 2009

Well, another wonderful life-filled 2 weeks has come and gone since having written in here last. Christmas is only two days away and I feel like a five year old who has received the gift of her dreams 12 weeks early. Honestly, I have never in my life felt so complete!
Jamie is in week 13 beginning today, and she feels like a new person. Her nausea has finally gone away and her spirits are soaring again. She says "boy Jamie" (that's what we call her husband, also named Jamie) thinks she has a “baby bump” now. She can tell on herself that her uterus is above her pelvis now. Bring on the belly!!!
I am so amazed with how happy I have been about this pregnancy. I thought that I might have some emotional meltdowns about not being pregnant myself but, honestly, I wouldn’t change any of it for the world. I love Jamie, I love her healthy womb, and I love knowing that our baby is safe. I am at complete peace and I feel so whole. My family is on its way to completion—hurray!!!
Jamie and I have been spending more time together, which I cherish. We are each so candid about our life—just as we have always been. Our friendship has never been stronger. Grace and I joined her and her kids for a Christmas performance at her church on Sunday evening, and we had a really nice time. Olive, Jamie’s daughter, and Grace are just adorable together. Olive is only 6 months older than Grace. I gave Jamie a little gift—a beautiful glass ornament of an angel holding a little baby. I couldn’t have found a more perfect ornament. I had to get one for our tree, too, as our family ornament of 2009. The baby is a girl. We should know in only 5 days if you are a girl or a boy! Fred thinks you are a little girl, Jamie’s husband is sure you are a little boy. Jamie and I have no idea! I guess time will tell.
Jamie gave me our gift today. (Ridiculous, really, as she is already giving us the most amazing gift of our lives!) We went out to lunch and had a very nice time, as always. She made us our gift because she is creative and amazing like that. It couldn’t be more perfect. It is a plaque that has our last name on it and then says in script in front of our name “Families are forever.” It now hangs above our kitchen sink. Thanks to her and her family, our family will finally feel complete. She has given us the greatest gift possible—our baby. She has also given me endless love, support, and friendship. She owns a huge piece of my heart—she always will.
So…you are growing, my dear, and my heart is mending. Our faith, love, friendships, hope, and peace are restored. 2010 promises to be our very best year yet!
2009 has ended well too. We have had a very full December filled with all things Christmas. Grace has gone out to her first Christmas ballet, we have seen Santa at least 5 times. We have made (and eaten) more Christmas cookies than I care to count. Last night we took both of Grace’s wonderful Grandmas out to dinner and then on a horse drawn carriage ride through Frederick Meijer Gardens to enjoy all of the lights. Grace and her Daddy made their annual gingerbread house together yesterday. Tonight we went out again with both Grandmas for a 3D movie at the theatre and ate popcorn to our hearts content. On top of that we have gone to the holiday light show at the ball park, to a holiday party with friends, and spent lots of time sledding. So, you name it—we’ve done it! And, I’ve enjoyed every single second of it!!!
My heart is full, my soul is at peace and my level of gratitude is at a level I have never known possible. Thank you God for our many blessings!
I love you, our baby…

Thursday, December 9, 2010

December 9th, 2009

I’m just thinking about you, our Angel, and how beyond blessed we are that God and our dear friends are growing you for us to love and raise. I am still pinching myself daily, yet getting more excited by the day about your arrival. As of yesterday, we are 1/4th of the way there—in reality though, the journey to you has been so much longer! I know though, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you are absolutely worth our struggle to have you and this wait. You are already SO loved!!!
Jamie came over today to visit and it was wonderful to see her. I just adore her and I know that you will too. She told me today that she didn’t want us to feel any obligation to include her and her family in your future. By that, she meant every birthday party, etc. My feelings are that you and we will be so blessed to continue to have them in our life forever. They are amazing people and we can all learn a lot from them and the way that they live their life. I hope that Jamie and Jamie will always hold a special place in your heart. After all, you wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for their compassionate gift. We really owe your life, my dear, to them. That is quite a gift! The most awesome gift I will ever receive from another human being.
Anyway, we looked through all of the materials she got from the doctor. Today was her 1st appointment with the nurse at my OB office. We didn’t go because all they did was paperwork on her history at this visit. Our first appointment with the doctor is on the 28th, and at that appointment there will be an ultrasound, too. I cannot wait to see you again!
We talked about life, about how important it is to do the right thing in life for others and the world. Jamie sure does lead by example.
Anyway, it was great to hug her, thank her, and tell her how much I love and cherish her and our friendship. She assured me that you are doing fine too. Oh and we all agree that we think you are a girl. We have decided to find out though, so that we will know for sure. We will find out soon!!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

December 6, 2009

Well, we are halfway done with week 10 of your growth and all seems to be going well. Jamie is feeling much better by the day and she is now off her nausea meds. She takes her last estrogen pill on Friday, and she ends her progesterone one week after that. I’ll be thrilled (and so will she and her husband) when she is done taking additional hormones. The “usual” pregnancy hormones are enough!

Jamie is beginning to feel the twinges of her lower abdomen beginning to stretch and grow. That means you are growing, our baby! She has been craving chicken breast subs from Subway because they are so mild yet protein rich and good. Saltine crackers were a staple of hers for awhile!

Her relatives all moved out yesterday, so she now has the one on one time with her own immediate family again. Her house is getting cleaned tomorrow, and then she is decorating for Christmas.

Life is really good at our home. Our tree is up and the house is all decorated. The Christmas cards went out today. I used the photo of all of us at Disney World because that was the day of your first ultrasound. What a wonderful, special day that was for us!

I told my friend Mary Claire about you on Monday and it was so wonderful! She had a baby yesterday, Maria. We would have had the same due date if my IVF cycle worked this past spring. I was at her home looking at the nursery and all of her new belly photos prior to us going out to brunch. On the way out the door she asked if I was going to tell her what we were doing at this point to complete our family. (I hadn’t said a word to her about anything baby related for the last 8 months.) I said to her “I think I will tell you.” She said “Really?” I handed her this journal, this beautiful leather journal with gold pages that I am writing in now, and asked her to begin reading it aloud from the beginning. She was crying by page one, sobbing by page 7. When she read “The gift of her womb” she was crying so hard she could hardly talk. She looked at me and said, “You are really going to do this?” I said “Look at the date.” and smiled while pausing, then said, “We already have, it worked, she is in her 10th week.” Then the floodgates completely opened. It was the BEST news to finally share with a good friend that had been in the dark, yet still by my side, for so long. She couldn’t be happier for us.

We talked through everything at brunch and, among other things, discussed how I need to get tough skin because so many people might say the wrong thing somehow, unintentionally, and it will sting.
About an hour after we parted ways we were on the phone again. She said “I recognize that this very well might be one of those “wrong things to say” but I’m SO f-ing jealous of you right now!” I just laughed. After all, she was in her last week of pregnancy. I remember all too well how hard that last week was with Grace. I am just SO glad that I have experienced pregnancy so that I know, first hand, all of the good AND the bad. I did not have an easy pregnancy with Grace, and that is putting it mildly. In fact, by this point I had already been on bed rest for a whole week. Crazy!

With Grace I was on complete bed rest from weeks 9-15. I began my pregnancy with ovarian hyperstimulation and looked 6 months pregnant by 2 weeks. My uterus filled up with fluid from the follicles that released the 9 eggs I had created during the intrauterine insemination in which I conceived her. There was only a 1% chance of this happening, and I was the lucky one. As my uterus grew by the minute with all of this fluid, the remainder of my body was severely dehydrated and craving fluid. A recipe for disaster!
When the hyperstimulation finally went away in week 8, thanks to protein being pumped into me intraveniously, I was much relieved because the fluid had been getting to my lungs and it was becoming hard for me to breathe. My body went back to “normal” briefly, but in the following week—week 9—I began bleeding, went in for an emergency ultrasound, and found out that I had a subcoreonic hemorrhage. This is when you have bleeding in the uterus that has stopped but it has formed a blood clot between the placenta and the uterine wall. This was the cause for my early bed rest and for my then 50% miscarriage rate. What a scary time.

All this being said, you can see why I laughed when Mary Claire said she was jealous. I can absolutely see why someone 9 months pregnant would be jealous! (Side note: Mary Claire just called me to tell me about her delivery and, unfortunately, she too had a C-section. Darn it. Luckily, all went well. Grace and I will go and see her and little Maria at the hospital tomorrow. How special that will be, knowing we will be next this time!!!)

I can’t believe that I failed to mention in here that my little angel, Grace, fell this past week and got stitches in her face. She had been sick with a really bad cold. She couldn’t nap because her cough was so bad, and she threw up from ingesting all of the mucus. Anyway, I told her that she could snuggle with me on the couch while I worked on Christmas cards. She got bored and asked if she could do a little dance for me. (We had just been to the ballet “Twas' the Night before Christmas” that week, and she was all about practicing her own ballet.) She got up and did one simple little turn right in front of me, tripped over her foot and crashed into the living room table. She had a HUGE open wound from one end of her right eyebrow to the other. It was so hard not to panic, but I had to stay calm for her. I laid her on her back on the kitchen floor and told her she had to hold the already saturated paper towel on her head while I called the doctor. We were told to go to the ER just as soon as I could drive her without blood flowing into her eyes.

We waited for 3 hours before they bound her in Velcro blankets and stitched her up for 45 minutes. It was SO awful! She screamed out for me the whole time, alternating between “Cuddle me, Mommy!” and “I have to go home!” Heartbreaking since the doctors wouldn’t let me anywhere near her head to console her. Her little feet were shaking and her teeth were clattering. It was the hardest 45 minutes. Afterwards, we went to Steak and Shake (her favorite restaurant) with Grandma and got her a cheeseburger and a milkshake. All was well.

She is slowly healing—still very much bruised though, and her cold is finally on the mend too. Besides all of that, she also dropped her nap due to everything—making for one very long past week…