Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Though we share this humble path, alone
How fragile is the heart.
Oh, give these clay feet wings to fly
To touch the face of the stars.

Breathe life into this feeble heart
Lift this mortal veil of fear
Take these crumbled hopes, etched with tears
We'll rise above these earthly cares.

Cast your eyes on the ocean
Cast your soul to the sea
When the dark night seems endless.
Please remember me

From the song Dante's Prayer by Loreena McKennitt

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A few thoughts on the normal part of pregnancy

My mom said God gives us the last month of pregnancy so we will do ANYTHING to get this baby out.

heh heh. yeah.
A couple of thoughts as I reach the 'home stretch.' 

~stretch.... as in marks. Um, gross. Who let the crazy clawing cat with the purple nail polish into my pajamas?

~well hello, toilet. We meet again. It's been what, six minutes? Bladders do make such fine pillows.

~leaky ladies. They are like that rain storm on Bambi. Starts out with a few drips, but one day I know, with a chorus and clash of thunder, all the happy little April showers will turn into a soak-fest.

~No. More. Room. As in... none. It's weird feeling my stomach growl in my chest instead of in, well, my stomach.

~Oh, there you are, toes! 

~After sleeping thirty minutes: okay, ow. Time to flip to the other side. 

~After flipping, but doing it wrong: okay, OW!!! That stretching ligament suddenly turned into acute appendicitis. since I no longer have an appendix, I can compare the two.

~I miss sleeping on my back. That was the most comfortable for me before baby became organ-crusher.

~I used to be a dancer. I used to look cool when I danced. Now if a very groovable song comes on the radio (like early Britney Spears or, I admit it, Poker Face by Lady Gaga) I just look like a wobbling watermelon.

~Stop it, uterus! Braxton Hicks contractions, so not cool.

~Worrying about Braxton Hicks contractions because what if it's the real thing? My hospital is thirty minutes away... what if we get there and they say with a smile "false alarm! you can go home now, sweetheart!" Ugh.

~bed rest. Nuff said.

~Course, my nail polish has never lasted this long before. Awesome.

~Ever notice how as we get uglier, husbands get handsomer? No fair.

~Anyone feel like going to redbox for me? I haven't seen Shrek Ever After, Sorcerer's Apprentice, Robin Hood, Charlie St. Cloud, Killers, or Inception yet. Some of these movies I only care to see out of curiosity, such as Robin Hood and Charlie St. Cloud.

I think I've gone on long enough. Plus, this chair is starting to get uncomfortable. It's my fabulous new glider, so it's supposed to be comfortable, but with all this extra poundage, I don't think comfortable is in my vocabulary anymore.

Thanks for all your love, prayers, and encouragement!!! Hopefully this post will leave you with a smile on your face. I thought it was time for something silly.

Monday, December 20, 2010

What's it like?

Sorry I've dropped off the face of the blogosphere for the last few days. I'm still pregnant, so it's not because of a new baby. I've just had a few of "those" days... and a few good ones too... but little motivation to blog.

Since my last post, I had two more doctor's appointments, another hospital visit (only a few hours this time, which brings my collection of high-fashion hospital bracelets up to 5, including the 3 from the first visit... oh, and I got poked again. Just once) and a consult with a cardiovascular surgeon.
The consult with the surgeon was the ray of sunshine my stormy, aching heart needed. After hearing a lot of grim news from the cardiologist, I had a hard time keeping my faith and optimism afloat.

But after meeting Dr. Nigro, I couldn't help thinking... "paging Dr. Awesome..."
Don't get me wrong, the other doctors are phenomenal. Top docs in the state, and probably among the top in the country. But hearing Dr. Nigro's reassurances and seeing his quiet confidence and unassuming professionalism, the hope I so desperately needed was given to me.

"Children with this kind of heart defect have a 97% chance of survival rate," he said.

Now that's a number I like to hear.

Still, in quiet, lonely moments when I see one of my pregnant friends gush about how in love they are with their perfect, healthy baby I can't help but wonder...
What's it like to have a healthy baby?

This is my first pregnancy ever. I don't know what it is be pregnant, go to normal OB visits, then go to the hospital, have a baby, and take her home. I don't know what it feels like to have a room to decorate (we still live at my aunt's house until they return from Wales next summer), to have that nesting instinct kick in, to have my only worries be about labor & delivery and learning to nurse.
Times like this make it really easy to feel sorry for myself.

But then I'm reminded of something. There are so many wonderful, worthy women out there who don't get to experience pregnancy at all. Or if they do, they are dealt the trial of miscarriages, complications, even the exquisite pain of losing their precious baby. Some women don't even get to experience marriage... and it's usually the ones who deserve it the most.

And I am humbled.

I don't know what's going to happen in the coming weeks. I'm hoping and praying for a miracle, bracing myself for hard times ahead, and looking ahead with teeth-clenching faith to a time when I can finally bring my baby home to stay.
Until then, I'll count my blessings. or try to. nobody's perfect, right?

And someday, I'll finally know what it's like.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


So far, a week of ups and downs. Well, more like downs and ups. 

Monday I went to a new perinatalogist because these guys are the ones that deliver at the hospital I'm supposed to go to. The cardiologist wants me to go to Good Samaritan instead of Banner Desert. At first I was SO bummed because I had gotten to know some of the nurses at Banner, toured the NICU with the Man, gotten used to the specialist I was already seeing, and thought one of the partners from my original OB would deliver our baby. 

It'll be okay in the end. But it was still disappointing at first.

So... after a three hour doctor's appointment in which I had to fill out a mountain of paperwork AGAIN, explain to the ultrasound people that my baby has a heart defect that we are well aware of, and talk about all the medical crud that's been going on the last few weeks, I got strapped to a monitor for an NST (non-stress-test).

Ladybug wasn't very active, so the resident came in with this buzzer thingy to wake her up. My mom, who was with me, said it must have really freaked her (the baby) out because her heart rate dropped for a moment. Because of it, they sent me to the hospital for more monitoring.

Yes, you heard right. Hospital. Again. 

I was extremely upset at first. I had just gotten OUT of the hospital!! But this time, it was okay except they wouldn't let me eat in case I had to deliver. Talk about a quick way to make a pregnant woman reeeeeaaaally crabby. They only kept me for just over an hour and Ladybug's heart rate was fine. But I was contracting a lot too. At 35 weeks, that's not a good thing. But I was also a little dehydrated, which once I had that under control, the contractions eased. I was able to go home a LOT sooner than I thought!

So I left the house that morning with Mom at around 6:45 a.m. And got home around 1:30 pm. Long morning.

Still keeping the preeclampsia at bay. Wahoo!
Starting to dread Doctor's appointments even though they are not only necessary, they are vital.
Still sitting around on my bum. Which is what I need to be doing but all the same, it stinks.
My muscles have atrophied to the point that I can't even open a new bottle of apple juice. Where's the Man when you need him? Oh yeah... at school... preparing for our future so he can provide for his family.

Ow. Baby in the ribcage again.


Just a few more weeks. Then the hard part begins.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Finally! Pictures!

 Hang on. Can't... lean... forward. Baby foot in ribcage.

Okay, I'm good. Here's a slightly random photo montage of the last few weeks in chronological order:

12/1/10 Released from the hospital. Here are my lovely new bracelets, complements of Banner Desert Medical Center. The "allergy" tag was for... drumroll please... peanuts.
I got poked by needles 10 times. Did I mention that? I'm kind of a show off about it.

Here is the front of my shower invitation. Picture taken by Jen Roberts of Green Apple Images

12/4/10 And here's me... the lump. At the baby shower! We decided to go with a Christmasy theme since my mom's house was already deliciously decorated. Everything was beautiful from the food to the decor, put together by Mom, sisters, sisters-in-law, and Mother-in-law
I sat in this chair for the majority of the time. The only time I got up was once to use the potty... and to grab more food while I was already on my feet. I am the bottomless pit after all.

 And here's some of the adorable gifts I recieved! 
Here are three BEAUTIFUL quilts my mom made. Ah, can't stand the cuteness.

 A few little outfits (lots of ladybug stuff! Yay!) :)

 Dresses too stinkin cute for words. The one on the left is from my sister Jen, middle from my MIL, the right from my sister Jess.There were LOTS of other very, very cute things, but these were just a few that I pulled out for pictures. Ladybug will not be in short supply of cute jammies and comfy blankies!

12/10/10 And here I am at 34 weeks. 35 on Monday! This picture was taken the same day I came back from the doctor with a report that the preeclampsia symptoms are GONE!!!! I still need to stay on bedrest because that's probably why the symptoms have gone away. But it's truly amazing to have that little boost. Prayers are working! And they always will. :)

And last, but best of all: a new picture of Ladybug!! She's so cute and the picture is so clear! Technology is truly astounding.

I love you, my sweet girl! Keep being strong, keep kicking mommy, and let's astonish all these brilliant doctors by how well you do and how fast you heal!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Phoenix Children's Hospital

Yesterday I went for a tour of the hospital where Ladybug will be staying during her first few weeks of life and during recovery after surgeries. My mom went with me.
A very nice lady named Lynn was there to meet us. She's a fetal nursing coordinator for the pediatric cardiologist and has been a sort of liaison between me and all the doctors swirling around my schedule. She took us on the tour.
We met Dr. Martin, one of the neonatalagists, and toured the NICU and PICU areas of the hospital. 

And I have to say, I have never felt so welcomed and comforted by a hospital in my entire life. Dr. Martin explained everything that would happen on the day the baby is born; the likely scenarios, what I can expect, even how many people will be in the delivery room. (4, not including my own birthing team which will consist of my husband, my mom, and my older sister who is a labor delivery nurse and a professional photographer. The hospital staff will include a perinatalogist, a neonatalogist, a nurse, and a resident.)

When we went to the PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit), I finally lost it. Seeing these little babies in a hospital, hooked up to machines when they should be at home in the arms of their mommies and daddies, made my heart break. No one should have to feel the pain we've felt. No one should have to experience seeing their tiny, precious one suffer through such a trial. And I don't want it either.

Seeing my tears, one of the nurses came and put her arms around me. Lynn brought me a box of tissues. The rest of the staff spoke reassuring words while I (and my mom) collected our emotions. Then we were introduced to a sweet little family who had an adorable 4-month-old baby boy recovering from surgery.
She called him her "champ" and said he surprised the doctors with how quickly he's recovering. 

At the end of the tour, I was able to leave the hospital with a smile and a comfort. We were in the most capable hands, in the most state-of-the art facility, and in the most loving and supportive atmosphere available.

God bless that amazing family and all others with healing babies. God bless these wonderful people working in that place.

*next time I'll post baby shower pics.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Shower post on hold

I want to wait until I have some pictures to post. I wasn't behind the camera during Ladybug's baby shower so I don't have a single one yet. But I'll get them! And when I do, I'll give you a belated post. 

But for today, just a few thoughts:

~My back hurts. Yuck.
~I got up way too many times last night because I had to pee. I guess that can be a good thing... stay hydrated!
~I'm getting my teeth cleaned today. I'm one of those psychos who looks forward to cleanings. For me, it's like going to get a massage. I can't wait!! Plus I get to see my old coworkers. I had to leave so unexpectedly, I didn't get a chance to hug them all goodbye. I'm glad I get to go back and see them. (Dr. T is not expected to be there. ahem.... I'm okay with that.)
~And I'm thinking of changing my blog background again just cuz I have some extra free time.

What do you think?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Pretty nails and Christmas Presents

The perinatal specialist I go to is in Scottsdale and therefore has a spa right in her office. (for those of you unfamiliar with Arizona Anatomy, Scottsdale is sort-of like the Arizona version of Beverly Hills.)

So after the appointment yesterday {No significant changes, baby and I are still stable! YAHOO!!} I got to get my nails done. Ohhh it was nice. I got them painted a pretty, pearly color, perfect for the outfit I'm planning on wearing to my shower today. 

Even though the Man doesn't read this blog much, I still gotta give him a big, fat thank you. He paid for the manicure.

Dr. H also said that while we're going to do all we can to keep the baby inside me, we'll need to prepare ourselves over the next coming weeks to deliver. She doesn't think we'll make it to the January 17th due date. I'm okay with that, as long as Ladybug's nice and big. Last time she was measured, she looked to weigh about 5.5 lbs... I think that's awesome!! Let's give her two or three more weeks at least. Which means, she could be born very close to, or even ON Christmas Day.

There's a Christmas song out that I adore called "All I want for Christmas is You." Not the Mariah Carey one. This one is by Vince Vance and the Valiants.
While I was still working, when I had time to think and worry about my precious one, the words of the song would reverberate in my head:

Take back the holly and mistletoe
Silver bells on string
If I wrote a letter to Santa Claus
I would ask for just one thing
I don't need sleigh rides in the snow
Don't want a Christmas that's blue
Take back the tinsel, stockings, and bows
'Cuz all I want for Christmas is you
I don't need expensive things
They don't matter to me
All that I want, can't be found
Underneath the Christmas tree
You are the angel atop my tree
You are my dream come true
Santa can't bring me what I need 
'Cuz all I want for Christmas is you
Sometimes the words still get me choked up. The funny thing is, for a while I didn't want her to be born close to Christmas cuz it's hard having a birthday at such a busy time of year. Just ask my sister, who's birthday is January 2nd, or my Brother-in-Law, who's birthday is tomorrow. Happy B-day, Rob!
But now... I don't care. I just want her. As big, as strong, as healthy as she can be so the doctors can fix her heart. 

Maybe she will be my big Christmas present this year!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Quick Side Note:

Just wanted to blog about The Beauty Mark. If you're into beauty tips, fashion tips, celebrity tips, or just plain fun girly stuff, this is the place for you!

Lots of cool ideas, lots of fun, and some FABULOUS giveaways (something I am a complete sucker for) from some very talented hair stylist/estheticians. You, can click on the link above or click on their cute little button under my favorites.

Check them out!

Bed Rest. Day 1

In which "bun in the oven" takes on a whole new meaning.

I am more than willing to do whatever it takes to help my baby grow and develop as much and as long as possible. This means I can't do anything but be an "oven for the bun."

My job is to grow a baby. For reals. It's in my profile. Nothing else. The only other things I can do are recline, lay down, watch TV, spend ludicrous amounts of time on Facebook, (and do lots of blog updates!), go to the doctor, use the loo, and sometimes, if needed, grab a snack from the kitchen or take a bath.

Every time I get up, which is as unoften as possible, I try to sort-of multitask: let's see, while I'm going to the bathroom this time, I can fill up my water, get another piece of chocolate (thanks again, Jess!), and get semi-dressed. Next time I have to get up to go to the bathroom, maybe I can put in a movie. Or not. 

On one hand, a girl could really get used to this. On the other... holy canoli is it going to be boring. Not to mention the fact that I hate when people have to wait on me like I'm some kind of diva. All this time I have and I can't do a scrap of "nesting."

The best thing I feel that I can do is to keep positive. I told the nurses when I left the hospital,
 "I can be positive or I can be miserable. I'd rather be positive." 

Because even though being happy is sometimes harder, it's so much more fun.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A lovely, unattached night

Before I get to the nice news, I'll update on a little bad news: I've been diagnosed with mild preeclampsia. For those of you who don't know, preeclampsia is pregnancy-induced high-blood pressure. And it can be very dangerous for mommy and baby. Luckily, the case IS mild and I've been doing well since the diagnosis. This just means I have to go on bedrest when I get home and probably get even better acquainted with the doctor's office.

I just hope I get to go to my baby shower. It's this Saturday. My amazing, beautiful, talented, loving, giving, selfless mom, sisters, and MIL have worked hard to put it together. And I bought an outfit specifically for the occasion (ADORABLE necklace and all!). So I hope I can go, even if I have to sit in a recliner the whole time.

Okay, now for the good news:

Got a good nap last night from about 6:30 to 8-8:30. Maybe that's why I didn't sleep great last night after 2 a.m. Or maybe cuz I didn't get some of those lovely ambien pills the hospital gives you.
Meh. Oh well. The really great part was I didn't have any monitors or IV's attached to me!!
Oh how nice it was. Mostly cuz I have to go visit the lady's room every five seconds. You start to take for granted doing such a simple thing; until you have to unplug the monitor, the IV (don't worry, that thing runs on batteries too), then wheel the IV thingy (what do they call them?) into the bathroom with you, all while your bladder is saying  *um, gotta go now*. Then you have to go plug yourself back in and make sure the baby's heart rate is being picked up. Wow. By the time you're done, you almost have to pee again.

So you can see how nice it was to not have anything to unplug or wheel or replug. I could have hugged the nurse that told me the doctor said I could go off the monitors tonight. Both the baby and I had been stable during the majority of yesterday.

I may even get to go home today!!

So you see? Prayer DOES work. Ah... prayer works.
I'm feeling pretty good right now, feeling pretty rested even though I probably ought to go back to bed. (It's 5:35 a.m. right now).
Just ready to go home. :)

I love you all. Thanks so much for all your support.

Monday, November 29, 2010

I'm all hooked up

Well, ladies and gentlemen, I'm at the hospital. Don't be alarmed, it's to monitor the baby. One of the tests I just had done came back with results that pretty much ensure I'll stay pregnant for at least two more weeks.
Good news!
I also had a shot of some steroids that will help Ladybug's lung development just in case she is born early.
Yeah. That hurt.
And I get another one tomorrow. Oh joy. The good thing about shots is they only last about three seconds, then they're over.
Not so with the IV in my hand. Woo! That smarted.

The doctors here have been EXCELLENT. Truly. They have put us at ease and made me feel like everything is going to be okay. Which it will be. I hope.

Ladybug is movin and groovin, which is a very good sign. They're taking very good care of us both even though the food in this place is... how do you say it? Rather rank.

Fruit is good though. And I have York peppermint patties, chocoate, and pretzels provided by my beautiful sister Jessababe. (See the Secret Life of B's under my favorite bloggies.)

So all in all, even though I'm strapped to lots of monitors and the IV drip is making me need to pee yet AGAIN, I'm in pretty good spirits. Trying to have faith and stay positive. Because I know Ladybug can feel that. And faith can move mountains.

Sorry I don't have any pictures. You can picture me in your head if you want: hospital gown. Very cute. Yoga pants my mum gave me. Hair up in a messy bun. Oh-so-attractive. And a fruit tray I don't think I'll finish.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, I must go, for I really do have to pee. And my oh my is it ever a process.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Ladybug's Diagnosis

Ever get tired of roller coasters? I think that's why they're so short. Riding one for more than thirty seconds takes away all the thrill and just makes your stomach hurt.
That's kind of how it is with doctor's appointments these days. I go in with a smile and walk out with a worry.

I have to go in for ultrasounds twice a week now.
Which means I have to quit my job earlier than we thought.
Those of you who know me well would think I'd be smiling broadly about that.
Instead I feel like a quitter even though I'm quitting for a greater cause. Which goes to show you how brainwashed I've become from working 7 years for a person who believes that work should take precedence over everything... weddings, illness, even kidney stones. ok I exaggerate. a little.

Ladybug needs to be monitored closely to watch for fluid forming around her organs. She was pretty sleepy at our last appointment, so it took a while to check her for "practice breathing." Of course, she was energetic before and after the appointment, but not during. On the flip side, at the cardiologist, when we needed her to sit still so they could get all the pictures of her heart, she wouldn't stop squirming. Foreshadowing? Probably.

Another concern they have is I have a LOT of amniotic fluid. Which makes my uterus big. Which may make it think I'm farther along than I really am. This is another reason I have to quit my job: I CAN'T go into preterm labor. 40 weeks, baby. I'm making it to 40 weeks. 

So here's the full diagnosis. You ready? Don't worry, I couldn't remember it at first either. I still don't.
She has a complete Atrioventricular Septal Defect (two holes on the inner septum between the chambers) or AVSD. This is also called an Endocardial Cushion Defect or Common Atrioventricular Canal. 
She also has severe regurgitation from the left ventricle to the right atrium because the valve isn't working properly.

She will need surgery immediately after birth, once she's stabilized. 

Prognosis? They didn't give me one. The doctor only said that to repair this kind of defect is extremely complicated. So it's basically the worst-case-scenario in a four-chambered heart. 

I have nothing else to say. No pearls of wisdom. Just passing along information. I'm still praying my guts out for a miracle, for faith sufficient, for anything. But I'm just so tired. I just want my baby.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Each day on Facebook this month, I posted something I was thankful for. Some of them were deep, others were small and simple. All of it counts! So I thought it would be fun to recap and list the things I posted so far (for the month of giving thanks isn't over yet!)

~I'm thankful for the Gospel
~I'm thankful for my mom
~Today I am so, SO grateful that I passed my glucose test. Wahoo!!!
~I am grateful for my amazing, patient, hilarious hubby.
~I am thankful for my sisters.
~I am thankful for a well-made BLT.
~Today, I am thankful for doctors.
~I am grateful for family.
~Today, I am grateful for coincidences, or as I like to call them, "anonymous miracles" from the Lord. I know you've heard me say that before. :)  
~Even though it's very, very hard sometimes, today I am grateful for my job. 
~I'm grateful that four years ago, I married my best friend.
~I'm grateful for this incredible weather. 
~I'm thankful for President Monson
~I'm thankful for miracles. this was posted on the day the full results of the amnio came back normal.
~Today, I'm thankful for the end of the day, a bowl of cereal, and to have Microsoft Word back on my computer.
 ~Today, I'm grateful for several things: the Man making dinner, a hot shower, and Psych being on tonight.
 ~I am grateful for a wonderful time at the movies. Harry Potter 7 is... ahem... amazing!!
~Today I am thankful for Mom having leftover spaghetti stroganoff in her fridge that me and big brother finished off. I'm also thankful for having a fun day hanging out with the Man, and leaving the doctor's office with a smile and a cute picture of our baby!
~I'm grateful for my sweet little niece Z, who got baptized! 
~Grateful (again) for incredible weather... it rained that day.
~Thankful that eggs have protein since I've become a pregnancy-induced vegetarian. 
~Thankful for Vanessa, who filled in for me at work so i could go to the doctor.
~Grateful for half-days. 

And today:
 I am thankful for... gee, where do I start??
I am grateful for gratitude because it gets us through the hard times.
I am grateful for people I love. Every single one of you. You know who you are.
I am grateful for smiles and that cozy, apple-cinnamon holiday feeling.
And I am grateful for my strong little baby who has already brought us closer together as a family. I love you so much, my sweet Ladybug.

And of course, I am grateful for Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, the power of prayer, fasting, and temples, and for all my friends and family who may not have yet been mentioned in my daily Facebook posts.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! Eat lots of turkey.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

My cousins' voices

This morning I got up to scan a new picture of Ladybug, peruse blogs, and update my own. First of all, I'll give you the baby's update: went to the doctor on Friday and everything appears to be okay so far, no changes to her heart defect. What they're looking for is fluid building around her heart or other organs, which would not be good. But so far, she's okay! Heart rate still strong and she's still doing her "practice breathing" like she's supposed to. We see the cardiologist again this week, so more on that later.

Here's one of the ultrasound pics we got to take home:

Kinda blurry, but AWWW! She kinda has the same look on her face that the Man has when he's woken up early in the morning.

So while I was looking at other blogs, I came across my cousin Mari's. She and her sister Emily have the most DIVINE singing voices and I am so glad they videotaped this. After I listened to it (on earbuds since it's still early and the Man is sleeping), I put the speakers on my belly so Ladybug could hear it. I made sure the volume was low enough not to wake up Daddy.

View the video here, or click on the link to the right labeled In My Own Words.

You did a lovely job, Mari and Emily! I love you guys!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Preliminary Results Are In

Dr. Harris, my perinatal specialist called yesterday during what had to have been her lunch break.
Unless she was off that day. Either way I don't care. I feel so blessed to have such caring, incredible doctors taking such good care of me and my Ladybug.

I hadn't expected results so soon, but after testing chromosomes 13, 18, 21, x, & y, (or something like that. The Man knows more about this stuff than me),

So far, so good!!!

Results are normal. The relief, the glorious relief I feel makes every little twinge of that amnio worth it. A 1000 times over. I suppose I've always known that I'd go through just about any ache or pain for my little one, but now I am absolutely certain that I would without hesitation go through every ache or pain for this girl.

We're not out of the woods yet. The final results will be ready in a few more days. But I'm still optimistic and hopeful that all will be well. I finally feel like I can focus, keep moving, and concentrate on getting her heart healthy.

Now I want to again express my gratitude. First of all, to our Father in Heaven and our Savior. To my husband. To my parents, siblings, in-laws, and extended family. To all of you, who have shared your faith and prayers with us. Truly, our prayers have been heard and answered with this sweet miracle.
Strangers in temples across the country (and world! Thank you Aunt Linda!), everyone within the sights of this blog, friends, and family,
I have thanked God for you. I have prayed that He bless your lives and grant you the desires of your hearts. I have prayed that His tender mercies be poured out upon all of you.

I know this battle isn't over yet. There are still trials to overcome. There is still much for me to pray and hope for. And always much to be grateful for.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Now we wait

Just to give everyone a little update:

My last post sounded so full of wisdom, so full of confidence; confidence I wasn't feeling all the time. I told the Man about how I was trying to be strong on the outside, but on the inside...

I'm still 
a mess. 

When we had the conversation, he actually finished my sentence for me. Perfectly. I'm so glad I have him around.

Anyway, I had the amniocentesis done yesterday. It really wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I didn't watch. (I'm sure most of you are thinking, well duh. Who would want to watch a needle get stuck in you??) Normally, I'm not squeemish about that kind of thing. No, for reals. I watch when I get my blood drawn. It's just not a big deal to me.

But this time, I didn't watch.

And it really wasn't bad. No numbing, nothin. And the Ladybug cooperated beautifully. She held very still.
And I got a sparkly band-aid.

Now for the hard part: waiting. Praying. Clinging with my fingertips to that hope. Trying to put off my own selfish desires, my pride and vanity, and make every last effort to accept God's will.

Confession: I hate this. I want this over with. I want my baby, healthy and whole, in my arms.
But for now, I must wait. Results will come in some time next week.

Oh, and P.S.
Today is my wonderful, amazing, Grandma-of-the-year, supportive, and beautiful Mother's birthday. You can find her blog here. Happy Birthday, Mama!!! I love you so much!!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Thank you doesn't cut it

Over the last few days, I've had too much time to think. Too much time to think can either be detrimental or beneficial. .
I think for me, it's been a little of both.
A few things that have come across my mind that I think I'd like to remember:

Your trials are not their trials.
I think about this every time I see someone else's life and wonder why.

Have faith in the outcome you want; and in the outcome you need.
Sometimes they aren't the same thing.  Sometimes they are. But with faith, you can rest assured that the outcome will, in the end, bring you the greatest joy.

Let the people who love you take care of you. 
You can't do it all. Guilt gets you nowhere. Let go of the things that aren't important, embrace and love the things (or people) that are, and accept help when it is offered.

 Gratitude is everything.
Be grateful for every single day, every single moment. Every prayer, every person, every little scrap of beauty that strengthens you, and every bit of pain that softens your heart. Even when you think you have nothing, you can still have gratitude. And it will carry you through. 

There is no such thing as a coincedence.
Coincedences are nothing more or less than tender mercies of the Lord... or what I like to call "anonymous miracles." They are His little way of reminding us that He is always there and He's in charge.
I also wanted to thank all of you, those who know me personally and those who don't, for your faith and prayers. You are amazing, every single one of you. I can feel of your love and am humbled by your sweet comments.
I have an amniocentesis scheduled for Friday. My prayer, with all the energy of my soul, is that we will hear good news. 

Please accept my heartfelt gratitude and my humble request that your faith and prayers remain with us. 
Thank you. SO much.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Healing a Broken Heart

The hardest question not to ask is Why.
The hardest thing not to do is fear.

A week ago, we found out our little Ladybug has a hole in her heart. The devastation we felt was mercifully eased by prayer, priesthood blessings, temple attendance, and further educating ourselves on the condition.

We were feeling optimistic. At peace. Everything was going to be okay, whether it was through a literal miracle or the miracle of modern medicine. Our little girl will live a long, healthy, normal life.

Then we went to the perinatal specialist. I thought more of my worries would be eased, more questions answered. At the appointment, the doctor told me there was a 10%-40% chance that because our little one has this heart defect, she may also have a chromosomal or genetic defect as well.

I feel like I have a hole in my own heart. I'm trying SO hard to keep optimistic like before, to wear a smile and remember that every other organ in her body including her brain, limbs, lungs, and umbilical cord are all functioning beautifully. I'm trying to trust in the Lord, to remember that my baby's precious life is in His perfect, loving hands... to remember that it is His will and not mine that will be done.

And yet it feels unbearably selfish to want a healthy, pretty little girl of my own. I should be grateful to bear a child at all (it took us almost two years of no prevention to finally get pregnant). I feel like I don't deserve it. And I have to beat down the rising envy in my heart when I hear of how wonderful everyone else's pregnancies are going.

I'm trying. I'm praying. I'm hoping. And all I can do is wait. It's like trying to take a deep breath with a huge heavyweight sitting on my chest.

Here's some photos of our little sweet pea:

 This one is at about 8-9 weeks.

 And here she is at 16 weeks, when we found it she was a she.

And here's the Ladybug at 28 weeks. Those 3D ultrasounds are AMAZING!
The dark spots on her head are due to the imaging machine. Her head is fine.

So here we go with the next processes: a pediatric cardiologist, who will hopefully help us to figure more of this out. And some genetic testing to rule out any other problems.

Thank goodness the Man has been learning about anatomy and physiology and all that great stuff. He can understand all the crazy medical jargon they're swapping around during these doctor's appointments. And thank goodness he's also my rock and my anchor during all we're going through. He's always been so much more patient and positive than me. 

In the midst of all my frustration, pain, and worry, this I do know: a broken heart can heal. Whether it's mine or my husband's or our little girl's.

The hardest part is waiting for it to heal.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Third Trimester Table Top

Here's me relaxing after a loooooooooooooooo(breath)ooooooooooooooong day at work. Eating my favorite, favorite food: cereal. The Man thought it was cute that my belly can now double as a table so he wanted to take a picture.

Friday, October 22, 2010

I'm sorry, I gotta do this again

Another contest.
Right I know. I'm pathetic.
But I can't help it.
I just gotta have some glitter toes.

Emily Yeager is the perpetrator.
Hop on over and check her out here.
I hope she doesn't mind me putting a small excerpt from her blog for a quick explanation on glitter toes:

Glitter Toes are a gel application that takes
about 20 min to do and last for 6-8+ weeks
depending on how fast your toes grow. They are instantly
dry when we are done and are thinner than acrylic toes.
You get your cuticles all cleaned upand toes shaped in the process.
They come in a collection of color's that you choose
and are only $20. Age 12 and under are $15
If you host a party of 6 or more, you get yours for free!

Cool? You betcha.
Am I a sucker for giveaways?


I guess this is what I get for being up at an unholy hour cruising blogs.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I gotta get me some of these!

I'm entering a giveaway. I'm a total sucker for free stuff. Call it a curse.
But oh, I HAVE to have the red one because my baby's bloggy nickname is Ladybug!
The giveaway is at Hope I get it! Hope, hope hope.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

I am a Christian, thank you very much

With all the political mud-slinging and social unrest going on, sometimes religion gets mixed up with it too. 
I was reading in Time or Newsweek or something (can't remember which. We get both at my office) and there was an article about Glenn Beck and his rally about returning to honor.
This rally had nothing to do with politics or religion.
And yet there was a comment in the article from a religious leader who said he "still" didn't believe Mormons were Christians.

Um, excuse me?

I don't mean to sound angry or antagonistic, but every time someone tries to tell me what I do or don't believe, I get a little...

ticked off.

Especially when it has to do with something as sacred as my belief in Christ.

I am a Christian.
Jesus Christ is my Savior.
My Brother.
My Confidante.
My Advocate.
My Teacher.
My greatest Friend.
and so many other things.

What right does anyone have to say that the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints don't believe in Christ as their Redeemer? 

It would be like telling me I don't believe in my love for my earthly family.
Or in my devotion to my unborn child.
Or that my heart is beating.

I know most, if not all of you who read this blog are Christians as well, so I'm likely preaching to the choir.
But that's fine. I'll say this anyway.

Bottom line?

I believe in God as my Father. I believe in Jesus Christ, his Son, as my Savior. I believe in the Holy Spirit as my constant companion. 
And I will strive every day to be more like Christ.

So to those who may still doubt where this "Mormon" girl's loyalties lie? Don't ever, ever insult me by trying to tell me I am not a Christian. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Impact Week

 I saw this on Jackie's blog and thought I'd spread the word. 
At House of Sarager, it's Impact Week, which is basically a series of uplifting stories and ways we have had a good impact on others or how others have had a good impact on us. 

So I thought it'd be fun to join in. We can all use a little dose of happy once in a while, right?
So here's my Impact Week story:
I was trying to think of someone who left a good impression, made my day, changed my life, etc. Well, honestly the list goes on and on. I couldn't just pick one person who has made my life a little bit more sunshine-y. 
Then I read my friend Lisa's blog, where she mentioned that she had taken up indexing for
Indexing is basically data-entry; you take the information from a scanned photocopy of a census record, enlistment card, etc. and enter the person's information into the Family Search website. The information becomes available online to anyone who is interested in looking up their family history/genealogy.
Since we had just been challenged in recent church meetings to help out with this tremendous effort, I thought... today's as good a day as any. 
So I signed up!
It was hard at first. I didn't realize you were supposed to select only languages you could understand. I thought I could handle the Spanish, but I couldn't. Then I got a record with penmanship so terrible I couldn't tell for sure if the person's name was Clarence or that he had a sister named Millie... Minnie? Mollie?
Oh boy. What'd I get myself into?

But once I got the hang of it (and sent back the illegible census record for the more experienced indexers to handle) it was really fun! My goal was 10 names. I got 33 done. And I want to do more! Once you get going, it's so easy and one batch of 30 names takes probably 30 minutes. 
Like those card commercials say: it's the biggest little thing you can do.

It's so awesome. I feel great knowing that even my small efforts are helping with a greater work. And I know that blessings will come to those who participate!

It's a little thing, I know. But it had a big impact on me.


Friday, October 8, 2010

I love Friday mornings

I go walking with my Mom on Friday mornings when the weather cools off. I look forward to these walks and love the time with Mom, who is also one of my dearest of friends. And you just can't beat a good walk with the temperatures going delightfully downward (remember Arizona heat=disgustingness). Plus I need the exercise. Amycakes is getting laaaaarrrrrggeeeeerr. (25 weeks down! Sorry I don't have a picture. I'll post one soon.)

So we're walking down the street, enjoying the beautiful 69-70 ish degrees and we pass a yard sale.
With baby stuff.

Ahh! they have a high chair. And a jogging stroller. And a bouncer. And a high quality paper-cutter (okay that's not a baby item but it was something I've been wanting). And a basket Mom loved. And some really cool zebra-print luggage. And a shelf that I would love to use in my little Ladybug's bedroom. And baby clothes!!

This place was a GOLD MINE!!!
I felt like those guys on that show American Pickers. We kept finding great stuff.

Well, I didn't get the luggage, or the bouncer, or the shelf. Or the paper cutter. She wanted too much money for it. 

But Mom got her basket.
And here's what I DID get:

Guess how much I paid?
for both.

Yeah. Totally scored! I wasn't nuts about the high chair being pink... what if I have a baby boy someday?... but who cares. At this price, I sure as sugar won't be complaining! Both are almost brand-new. They could use a good hose-down, which I'll do tomorrow, and one of the tires on the stroller is a little low. But again... who cares? 

Can't wait to use these babies! My little Ladybug is excited too. She's just squirming and dancing and kicking and punching and rolling with anticipation. Mostly at three a.m.

Tomorrow is Saturday... more garage sales? Ooooh, yes, let's!