Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Prayers for Janet: Her Water Broke

We're about to hit the road, but I wanted to share this update from Janet:

"Hi Everyone,

First of all, thank you again for your prayers during this most difficult time.  As you have all heard, it has been confirmed that my water has been broken.  I have tried to remain calm and very positive when all this happened so quickly.

At 6:45 pm yesterday my water broke.  I felt a warm gush of liquid and sensed something wasn't right. The nurse immediately tested my fluids and it turned out positive for amniotic fluid coming from the baby's sac.  We did a quick speculum exam and was very scared they would have to cut the stitch which meant I would have to deliver right away. I'm only 25 weeks! Even though the stitch was slightly pulling they decided it was best to leave it in. For those who don't understand, a stitch can be very dangerous and can damage my cervix especially if it's pulling hard. If I dilate any more or contract this will be very dangerous for me and they will force to cut the stitch and deliver. Right now my cervix is very soft.   So think of it as butter and putting a string through it.

The other danger is possibility of infection for the baby and I, which is why I will be put on antibiotics for 7 days.  If either one of us show infection, then we will have to deliver right away.  If the doctors don't administer the antibiotics, the body would have naturally gave birth within 48 hours. Studies have shown antibiotics to slow the birthing process somehow. The doctors are hoping I can buy more time, at least 7 more days (even with my water broken).  After 7 days they will take me off antibiotics.

Everyday they will monitor me with a fetal monitor and do a fetal stress test to make sure the baby is doing ok. Even though I am leaking large amounts of amniotic fluid, the baby produces urine and is producing liquid everyday.  The main concern is if there's infection or contractions. I'm praying for none of these.

Right now I'm in Labor and Delivery, and though I was contracting here and there, after they administered the IV fluids in me, it died down shortly. Thank God! I was praying I wouldn't deliver yesterday.  Another prayer answered and now I'm 25 weeks and 2 days. 5 more days to reach 26 weeks! Each day counts that baby Madison is in my womb.

So it is definite that I will not be going anywhere until I deliver this baby at this hospital. Though it was the desire of my heart to hang in there for 34 weeks and transfer to Newton Wellesley... I am thankful for each new day God allows Madison to grow in my womb.

So, just to give everyone hope and the continual desire to pray... I have heard some women have made it as far as 33-34 weeks even with their waters broken earlier than I.  But of course every women's body is different. At this point, the doctor's have to watch me VERY closely because I can go into labor any day, any hour. And if I go into contractions, they told me they will not stop it. That is why I pray everyday that I will not contract or that my cervix will not dilate because the stitch will rip my cervix apart and they will be forced to cut the stitch and deliver right away.

Hopeful and positive thinking...but if in the event I make it to week 34 then they will have to deliver because studies have shown the growth in the womb reached its maximum effectiveness in developing the baby's organs...and any longer can be a greater cause for infection for the baby and I.

I have said everything I could possibly think of...I think the prayer requests are self explanatory. Its amazing how calm I am in this storm.  I still have faith that Madison will be a healthy, bouncing baby :).

It's really amazing to see that I survived another day of this. And even though Madison's sac is leaking a lot every day, I know only God allowed her to stay in my womb each day. And each morning I wake up with a sigh of relief, and thank God for allowing her to stay an extra day to grow and mature her lungs, heart, brain and all that needs time to grow in my womb.  I never thought I could love this child so much but even through this time of suffering, I consider it a blessing.

Thank you for your continuous support, prayers and faith!

Thank you,


Her calmness and peace amaze me!

It was a great blessing to receive Janet's email this morning.  I got a note from her friend last night indicating that her water had broken.  I woke up periodically throughout the night, and prayed for her each time.  From her email this morning, it's amazing to hear what the doctors can do with antibiotics and IV fluids!  Her email gave me so much hope--especially as we're about to leave for vacation.  And now we hit the road!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


We head up to Montana bright and early tomorrow morning!  I'm very excited for this vacation...yes, even including the 24-hour drive.  I'm getting to the point where it's probably safe to fly...but might not be the best mode of transportation.  We're also bringing up the drum set that my husband so generously dismantled to make room for the nursery, and we'll bring home a glider that my mother-in-law picked up for us (assuming that I like the design).  It will take us two days to get there, and two days to get back--which means that we'll be spending the night in Colorado each way.  And yes, my husband has already agreed to stop as much as I need to in order to let me pee and walk around.

This isn't quite the exotic pre-baby-vacation that I may have envisioned at one point, but it totally works for us.  I adore my husband's least 98% of the time.  They have definitely made me feel like an important part of the family.  I admit that I'm a little bit worried that it's going to be a go-go-go sort of week with all of the "Centennial Reunion" activities planned for the little town of 500.  Additionally, it's charming that they all know each other...but it's a little weird to be an "outsider" (especially when my mother in law is quite "involved" in the community).  I'm also a bit concerned about the type of comments that might be made about our pregnancy (the general theme from the parents at Orientation was that I look too small, so I wonder if I'll hear similar things while we're there).  So yes...a few little worries and concerns here and there, but ultimately, I'm very excited to get away.

Today's blessing was a promotion and a raise at work!  I couldn't ask for a better way to finish my last day of work before heading out for the weekend.  God is good!

Monday, June 28, 2010

I Passed The Test

...the glucose screening test, that is.

I went in for my glucose screening last Monday...and then never heard back from them about the results.  (By the way--I didn't think that the drink was all that bad--it kind of reminded me of the fruit punch that they often served at church picnics and such).  So I called this morning and left a message for the lab nurse to call me back.  Of course, I was in the restroom when she called back so I didn't get to ask her about any details--but her message said that everything came back normal.

Praise God!  I've really tried to be so careful with the amount of sugars and gluten in my diet ever since being diagnosed with PCOS (and my OB still isn't 100% convinced that I actually have PCOS since I'm so asymptomatic...but the RE's tests in February 2009 indicated something related to inverse hormone levels...which are related to elevated insulin I've been on Metformin ever since).  Yes, I'm fully aware that the Metformin "helps" to regulate my insulin and glucose levels (and thus my hormone levels), but I'd like to think that my choices in what I put in my mouth (and therefore into our baby girl) helped me to pass the test as well.  I do admit that my first thought was "well now I can eat a piece of the cheesecake that I brought into the office today!"...but I restrained myself (though I did have a bite of the mini-cheesecake I made for my husband last night). 

If I remember correctly, this is my last round of bloodwork.  Since I had to reschedule our next appointment due to our vacation plans, I still have a little over two weeks until I get to see our baby girl again.  But I'm nearing the end of my second trimester...and even though I never put a pregnancy ticker on my blog, I know that we're in the double-digits for days remaining.  I'm feeling pretty good, and yet I'm still acutely aware that anything is possible.  I just take it one day at a time, and pray that God continue to sustain me and this pregnancy as He has thus far.

Today's blessing was being able to convince my husband to take one more day of vacation.  He's as committed to his work as I often am, but I know how much he loves his family and yearns to spend quality time with them.  We're leaving soon for his little tiny town's "Centennial Reunion" over the Fourth of July weekend, and since his mom and sister are super-involved with the plans, I know it will be a busy time.  But then he and his sisters arranged for the whole family to rent a cabin a few hours away for next Monday and Tuesday nights.  My husband was initially intent on leaving on Tuesday so that he could return to work on Thursday (did I mention we're driving?), but I knew that he would regret leaving the cabin early.  So he called from work today to let me know that he was able to work it all out so that we can stay that extra night.  I appreciate and understand his commitment to work, but I know that it will be a wonderful blessing to spend the extra time with his family.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

First Belly Rub

As we were leaving church this morning, I had my first experience with someone rubbing my belly.  Actually--I take that back--I guess a good friend rubbed my belly weeks ago when I just started to show....but she was a close friend, so that doesn't count.  This was the first "unexpected" or "unsolicited" belly rub. 

I guess that this woman isn't a complete stranger.  When I first found out that I was pregnant, I went to our "Prayer Garden" after church to ask for prayers, and she was one of the women who was on "prayer duty" that morning.  At the time, she asked if she could place her hands on my stomach as she prayed for me and our baby, which I thought was a very sweet gesture.  So I guess that she has a vested interest in my pregnancy--but I still wouldn't feel comfortable rubbing her belly.

I admit that it made me just a little bit uncomfortable.  If it weren't for our previous bonding moment in the Prayer Garden, I think that I would have been really uncomfortable.  At least it wasn't a complete stranger...and I know that she is excited for us.  We'll see if it happens in public with a complete stranger...

This weekend's blessing was the chance to rearrange the house a bit to accommodate the nursery.  But in order to do so, my husband had to consolidate his "man cave" so that we could turn that room into the guest room; and turn what was the guest room into what is now the nursery.  In doing so, my husband made a really unselfish gesture and packed up his precious drum set.  I admit that I actually teared up a bit as he started to dismantle the set, but there really is no way for us to keep it in the house.  I promised him that he can buy an electric kit sometime which is smaller and quieter...but I know that this set was special to him.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Prayers and Praise From Janet

Yesterday evening, I got the following prayer request from Janet:

"Hi Everyone,

I will make this short because I'm in a lot of pain. It's been almost 1 week from my last update. As you all know I'm praying to reach my next milestone: 28 weeks. I'm 24 wks and 4 days.

I've been cramping and contracting everyday now and now it's unbearable. Today's ultrasound will be my last. It will be too dangerous and risky to do another one. I had feared the worst and know I am down to practically no cervix and 1 cm dilated (the doctor can fit 1 finger in my cervix). But my stitch is still closed. When I gave birth to Jacob I was 3 cm and I gave birth in less than 10 minutes.

So there's nothing stopping Madison from going through my cervix other than a tiny stitch. Which I know wants to give because I feel stinging pain down there. Madison is head down and in the u/s I can see why I'm in pain. She keeps pushing down. I saw air bubbles in my cervix everytime she pushed. Scary!

Seeing how fast within each week my cervix deteriorated and is now gone and I'm dilated. I'm trying to have faith as small as a mustard seed and believe God wants this tiny blessing to be healthy baby. She was 1lb, 3oz last Monday. Now she's measuring 1lb, 7oz. I still pray for 28 weeks even though it seems impossible. But I know God can do the impossible. Please pray along with me and I hope these contractions stop and the dilation will not get bigger or birth is inevitable. I'm looking at all the positive things: She is viable, she received her steroids, she is growing and adding weight, the water has not broke and she can still get her nutrients and oxygen from the placenta so each day counts, she does not have an infection...each day in utero equals 2 days out of NICU.

Thank you... I can no longer accept visitors because I'm in a lot of pain. I am in laydown mode until I give birth. I pray that each day that goes by, I can open my eyes and thank God for each prayer answered. I never thought it would get more difficult than it already has.

So thank you and continue to pray with me daily!!!

Love and blessings!

This was the first time that Janet sounded "frustrated" to me, and I found myself feeling a bit defeated as well as I headed to bed. I woke up this morning and recognized that I was feeling this way, and prayed that God restore my faith and give us some home. He heard our prayers, and here is the more encouraging update and praise from Janet today:
"So a quick update today...

Despite the fact I have no cervix and I'm already dilated...the pains subsided after cramping 12 hours straight all day yesterday. I had some cramping for 1/2 hour today but it went away.

Thank you...God must have heard your prayers and though I was worried to sleep, I slept well, considering. So after speaking with the drs & nurse, they said the next time I go into contractions, they have to check my cervix to see how much I've dilated...(they prefer to avoid this.). In the event I do, they will give me tocolytics to stop contractions. I hope to avoid contractions because it can cause the cervix to dilate some more...

My nurse told me in the years she has been here...patients who have visitors proved to have done better than those who don't. I told her that I didn't want visitors but she advised against that because if you're alone you tend to have more anxiety.

I rethought that and it does make sense. A social life, whether talking on the phone will help my sanity. I am so thankful for the friends that called and visited already. It has given me strength to make it in the past 2 1/2 weeks I was not going to make it. I know some of you don't know what to say, but if you don't, I ask you to continue to pray...

We definitely have an army of prayer, from Germany to Arizona, from Korea to Ohio, from Canada to Chicago, from NY to CT, from California to Boston, from NJ to Texas...and so more much more...

My parents call me daily morning and day to give me a bible verse and pray. My hubby is here almost every night to sleep by my side. I get encouraging prayer letters and emails daily. From long to short and daily text messages. But they all uplift me and mean soooo much. I thank God for making me strong and giving me hope to hang in there for baby Madison.

I have a baby blanket, though not perfect...I taught myself on youtube. I stopped for a while because I was discouraged. But the social worker came by to give me a pretty pink blanket crocheted and donated to the hospital. I thought I can't give up now on Madison, I came this far... So I picked up my blanket (the project I started at 13 weeks when I was on bedrest after my surgery). The blanket symbolizes hope to continue on and finish the task on which I begun. I remember the Chaplain at Newton Wellsley who said to me...stitch in time. I could not agree more. The Chaplain here who I didn't even call, came on a day where I shed tears...and I shared my prayer of hope that God will provide a ram like He did with Abraham. A great story of faith. So as each passes by...I know God has once again answered and given me hope each day. I intend to finish this crochet blanket because I believe and have faith. And even though the ball of yarn seems like it will take forever (just like the weeks ahead)...I continue to strive for each new day of hope.

Thank you for hearing me faith I believe Madison will be a healthy baby.
Each day, no matter how dim it may be...I count my blessings one by one. I thank God for all of you who are in my life right now. My parents, brother, cousins, aunts, church, friends, pastors, bible study girls, bloggers, strangers, coworkers...thank you. There is so much gratitude in my heart for each and every individual in my life. Words right now are so indescribable--it overwhelms me the love and support I get.

Well, time to's blessing is another day of Madison in my womb and the pains have significantly decreased from yesterday.



Her hope, faith, and trust in God inspire me!  If she hasn't given up hope, then I shouldn't either.  Please continue to pray for her and Madison.

My blessing today is having my husband home.  After two weeks with the Army, and then a week away for work, he's now home...and doesn't have any plans to leave any time soon (other than vacation together next week).

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Embracing the Heat

One of my former staff members--who is also pregnant--was lamenting the fact that she had wished that it would warm up.  After doing her undergrad in Arizona, she now lives in Oregon.  I lived in Oregon for two years--including one glorious summer (and two dreadfully wet winters).  I know summers in Oregon--they are absolutely beautiful!  It was 78 degrees in Oregon today (and yes, she recognizes that she is spoiled).

It was 109 degrees in Arizona today. 

And yet, I can't complain.  How can I?  I'm pregnant!  This is what I've wanted so dearly for so long!  I live in the desert, and it gets hot here.  It just so happens that the second half of my pregnancy happens to correspond with the hottest summer months.  What's there to complain about?

As I interact with more and more parents during Orientation (many of which are from out-of-town and out-of-state), they continue to pity me that I'm pregnant during the summer.  While simultaneously trying to appreciate their concern for me, I try to sweetly explain that I'm simply embracing the heat as I enjoy my pregnancy.  And I am--I'm enjoying my pregnancy, and it makes it so much easier to embrace this heat...even when it climbs above 100.

Perhaps my losses have changed my outlook and have helped me to develop a "no complaints" perspective.  The due date for my first pregnancy would have been April 2009, and I remember feeling grateful at the time that I would be able to dodge the summer.  Now, I'm just overwhelmingly grateful to be pregnant and to have things progressing.  Who cares if it's hot?

But I feel like I have to be honest--I admit that I think that our AC is probably set a degree or two cooler than it was at this time last year...and I've been sleeping with only a sheet...and I may have walked around the empty house yesterday afternoon in only my bra and panties.  So along with the minor adjustments, I embrace the heat, and I cherish this experience of being pregnant.  I don't care if we set record temperatures this year--Summer 2010 will always be special for me as the time when I carried our Baby Girl.

Today's blessing was a nice compliment from a student, letting me know that he appreciates that I've always been there for him.  After that initial slow start to the summer, things have been so busy at work, and I've been feeling like I've been playing catch-up every day.  So it was really nice to hear that I'm still making an impact--at least for this one student.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Long Update From Janet; Short Update From Me

I hadn't heard from Janet since Saturday, so I was praying that "no news is good news".  So I emailed her today--and sure enough--no news is good news!  But she still needs prayers.

Here is a quick recap from her long email:
  • Today marks 24 weeks and 1 day, and Madison is still inside (yay!)
  • Doctors gave her the first round of steroids on Saturday, and second round on Monday, so she is very hopeful that they have begun to help Madison's lungs and brain
  • She's currently still on bedrest at the hospital with the NICU, and will have another ultrasound on Thursday to see how things look
  • Every doctor has a different opinion--and most are more "liberal" and want to send her home after the ultrasound on Thursday to wait things out at home
  • Although most doctors prefer to take a more "liberal" approach, the "Head Doctor" and her "Original OB" are both advocating for a more "conservative" they will all meet on Thursday to decide the best course of action
  • Janet wants to stay on bedrest at this current hospital with the NICU until at least 28 weeks (she's afraid that she would have a 40-60 minute commute to this hospital from her home; or a 5-10 minute commute to the original hospital...but the original hospital doesn't have a NICU)
  • She definitely feels God's presence--within one hour she received a call from her "Original OB" to check in on her, a social worker stepped in to offer assistance in intervening between the "liberal" and "conservative" doctors and to voice Janet's concerns, and the hospital chaplain just happened to stop by to pray with her--all within just one hour when Janet needed it the most (in her own words:  "It is too much by coincidence this all happened within an hour or so.  It is truly God helping Madison and I.  I never felt such powerful motherhood instinct to fight for my daughter growing in me.")
She also asks for the following prayers:
  • That the doctors at Brigham (with the NICU) will allow her to stay here until it is safe to leave (ideally 28 weeks)
  • Wisdom to speak the right words when she meets with the coordinator tomorrow, who is supposed to advocate for her
  • Relief from cramping, heavy pain "down there", lower back pain, and the stress from all of the conflicting opinions
So, she has passed the first milestone (first round of steroids), and the second milestone (second round of steroids)...and now she's praying for the chance to stay on bedrest at the hospital with the NICU as they prepare for Madison's arrival--which could be any day...but is hopefully at least four weeks from now. Please keep her and Madison in your prayers.

As for me, I went in for my glucose screening test yesterday.  I haven't heard the results yet, but I've been trying to be careful about my sugar and gluten intake since...well...this time last year (though I've definitely reintroduced more whole wheat products into my diet during this pregnancy).  I'm still on the Metformin, which my doctor says will help my results (but assures me that I'm "not cheating").  Also, since we'll be on vacation, I had to reschedule my next appointment and push it back a week.  So instead of a three week wait to see our Baby Girl...I'll have to go four.  Eek!  I can do it--I know that I can.  Like I said previously, the time goes by a bit quicker now that I feel her kicking on a day to day basis.  So by my next appointment, I'll be at 29 weeks...and I would imagine that they would start seeing more more regularly at that point. 

Today's blessing (or perhaps I should say "last night's blessing") was sleeping through the entire night without coughing.  Hooray!  I'm still congested, cough on-and-off throughout the day, and sound like I swallowed a frog--but it was so great to sleep peacefully last night.  I literally woke up thanking God for such a good rest. 

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

I love my dad.  A couple of weeks ago, he mentioned that he would love to see pictures of my growing belly.  I figured that Father's Day was as good as time as any to share some pictures with him.  And since I shared them with him...I might as well share them with you all as well:

Side note:  this was taken about two weeks ago (before my husband left), so I've grown a bit since.  Everyone keeps saying that I'm small for being due in Septembmer, but my doctor assured me that I'm measuring exactly where I need to be.

Back to Father's Day stuff--I really do love my dad.  Since he's a pastor, he had the flexibility of setting his own schedule--which means that he was able to volunteer in my class a lot when I was really little, coach my softball and soccer teams, and was always there for us when we needed him.  He often had to work in the evenings, but always made it home in time to read to us before bed--and continued to do so until my youngest brother graduated from high school.  My love of sports comes from him, and I fondly remember listening to Pac-10 football games on the radio en route to Saturday afternoon soccer games (long before Cal ever had a decent program).  He also helped me to appreciate camping out the outdoors (though much of that is credited to my mom as well).  And yes, my frugal ways come from him as well.  I truly love him, and am honored to be his daughter.

They say that you typically end up marrying someone who is similar to your father.  In some ways, yes--my husband is so much like my dad.  He is honest, sincere, works hard, values family, and loves baseball.  But in other ways, my husband is very different.  Though he genuinely loves me, he sometimes lacks the sensitivity that is so characteristic of my dad.  Last year on Father's Day, shortly after our third loss, my husband confessed that he doesn't consider himselt to to a "father".  This broke my heart--because I felt that if he wasn't a father...then I couldn't be a mother.  And I did consider myself to be a mother--from the day I found out I was pregnant.  Today in church, the worship leader asked all the fathers to raise their hands.  This time, to my delight, my husband raised his hand in recognition of his role.  Based on our conversation from last year, I didn't go overboard this year in planning anything special for him for Father's Day...but I have agreed to cook lasagna for dinner for him tonight in celebration.

So to all of the dads out there on Father's Day--both those who have raised us and those who will help raise our children--Happy Father's Day.  And to my dad and the soon-to-be dad of our Baby Girl--I love you both.

Today my blessing is having my husband home after being gone for two weeks for his Army Reserve obligations.  We were a little bit concerned that he might not make his connecting flight last night, but it all worked out.  Sadly, he refuses to kiss me and opted to sleep on the couch since I'm still coughing like crazy...but it was nice to cuddle with him last night and this morning, and to just know that he's here.  He leaves again on Tuesday for a short trip for work, so I just want to cherish the short time that I have with him.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Update From Janet: First Round of Steroids

I plan to share my own update tomorrow, but for now, I have an update from Janet (I admit that I've been compulsively checking my email all day, praying for good news):

First of all I want to thank everyone for their constant prayers...

I know a lot of you texted me regarding the updates.  So I originally sent this email below (slightly edited w/details) to Maeguerite at 7:00am but I thought best to copy and paste because it's so hard to type in the trendelenburg position.  Please read below:

I did end up transferring to Bringham's yesterday via ambulance early afternoon.  I slept late, but well for the 1st time. Probably because I was so exhausted the night before. I'm now on the high risk floor.  At around 1 am, I was transferred from the temporary room to a permanent one. Eddie is here with me and sleeping but has to leave soon. 

The only bad news is I'm bleeding significantly and we're monitoring it. It may be from all the exams because I've been poked and prodded with a short cervix several times this week. Baby's heartbeat is there so it's reassuring.

I will receive steroids today and meet with the nicu unit to educate us what are our chances statistically with baby Madison.  The steroids will only work up to 7 days maximum before it starts to lose its effectiveness.  They can only administer it twice in my entire 
pregnancy and not before a two week period.  So for example, I'm 24 wks + 5 days today.  It'll wear off 25 wks + 5 days. But I can't take the drug until 26 wks + 5 days.  If I go into contractions and things subside, they can issue steroids again except it may not be as effective as the first administered drug.  And it will be my last time.  Studies have shown that more than twice, it will show neurological affects and delayed, slowed mental developments.  Also babies who have this tend to have smaller heads. Or forehead. I didn't catch exactly which part of head but I understood it's not good for the baby.  Administering the steroids for two uses did not show adverse affects. And the drug tends to be successful with girls i/o boys.

So now I'm addition to the previous 
prayer requests:

1.) That the bleeding would stop and is only minor result from being sensitive from tests. No additional damage has been done to cervix and would quickly heal!
Steroids will help Madison's lungs and brain grow. First milestone, making it to Monday. Second milestone, doctors all want 28 weeks at least. I so desire full-term =) 34-36 weeks.
3.) We're continually praying for full term (another 6-8 weeks) so I can return to Newton Wellesley hospital and deliver a healthy baby.
4.) I know this request is weird but the parking situation for my hubby. It's $30 a day here and meter parking is far away (more than 3 blocks). But it's important that my hubby can be there with me and parking costs are costly.
5.) Praying for no infections and no placental issues (ie placental abruption...if placenta detaches then baby will have no food and life supply).
6.) *Cerclage stitch (the only thing holding Madison in) to stay strong and no tear through permanent damage or there's a chance I will never be able to have children again.
So I wanted to share with you guys that despite all that I've been through. Despite 2 weeks+ of strict bedrest (no shower, commode use, laying down eating / trendelenburg position, etc.), three episodes of mild to strong contractions, more funneling of cervix (seeing Madison's feet dangling in and out of my cervix is nerve-wracking) She wants to come out!  A new danger everyday...possible infections and need to terminate, or heavy massive bleeding today and having doctors say "You might deliver today"?! I reply to the doctor "but she won't be able to survive without the steroids".  They nodded their heads and understood.  Sigh... I was praying to God again, "Not now".  I've made it this far and took it a day at a time.  Thankfully I received steroids at 9 am today.  And my second shot is due tomorrow.  It won't start working until Monday.  She will then jump start the lungs to breath.  I'm so close to her viability!  Still I have great faith during this time of suffering.  And I've been very calm and at peace.

I thank God for each and every one of you and for the amazing support of emails, phone calls, texts, blog friends, prayers and for all the cheerleaders rooting for Madison.  I'm also SO excited for both my sister in laws.  My hubby's sister is due in 2 weeks and my brother's wife is due in August! =)  Please keep them in prayer too.  

Each day seemed the impossible.   Each day is a prayer answered!!! =)  Thanks for listening....

PS- I don't want anyone to feel left out.  I do receive your long emails and even your prayer requests which I lift up everyday, every hour.  It's just real hard to get back to everyone.  But each one touches my heart deeply. So, I just want to say thank you.  


After checking my email all day long for an update, it's a blessing to know that Janet and Madison made it through another night (with good rest!) and reached the first milestone.  There are still so many more milestones to go...but it's good to know that she's been very calm and at peace.  Her faith inspires me.  Please keep her in your prayers.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Urgent Prayers for Janet and Madison

It's 4:00 am in Arizona, but I woke up to my own nightmare (as in a dream) and couldn't fall back to decided to check my blog/facebook/email.  And now I have a reason to be awake--so that I can pray for Janet, who is going through her own real-life nightmare on the East Coast.  Here is her most recent email from early this morning:

It's 5am and I had a huge scare. I'm still praying right now as I'm writing this letter that things will get better. At 3:44am I woke up freezing, shivering and contractions. I immediately paged the nurse but words could not come out of my mouth. I was dazed and confused.  One minute I thought I had to go to the bathroom. The next I couldn't stop the shivers and my body kept wanting to push the baby down and I felt pressure in my cervix.  My back was hot my body was cold. First the pca brought blankets and said if I need a nurse. I said of course! Nurse came and asked what's wrong, again I struggled to speak through my chattering teeth.  I said can they check if I'm contracting? She said of course. All the meanwhile I'm trying to control the shivering and tried to stop the urge to push.

They couldn't find my baby's heartbeat. I was afraid either it was too late or I pushed Madison down. I kept praying and talking to Madison to hang in there.  It took them 30 minutes, 3 nurses to find a simple heartbeat.  The entire labor + delivery team came running by my side just in case I was about to deliver.  I knew if that was the case it is too late to save my baby. I continually prayed to God, "Not now!". I already lost one, I can't go through this again.

Finally a faint heartbeat...the contractions stopped but the shivers and shaking was still there.  I took deep breaths still praying to God, "I believe you will save this baby.".

The doctor on shift asked questions. The medical staff put the contraction + fetal monitor. One hour later things calm down.  This is the 2nd or 3rd scare this week... But the worst scare.

Doctor is still scared to check down there. It's not worth checking until Monday when the baby is considered viable. And even then. I prayed that my bag of waters didn't pop or in my cervix because the baby has been kicking hard and moving a lot.

So two things doctor explained...
1. infection is common during a cerclage. They took my cbc blood count and it should come back in an hour.  If positive it's not good. They'll have to confirm with an amniocentesis and take fluids from the baby's sac. With that too, is a risk and I could lose the baby through testing. Hoping the test is negative.
(The reason they took the cbc I have been having drenching sweat which is a new symptom when I wake up from sleep - 3x) usually with temperature changes alarm for infections. If positive, they cannot give me steroids to help baby's lungs mature faster. And I will have to deliver this baby and that means its too early, she won't make it. They have to do it to save me from the infection.

2. they said depending on the doctor. And if results of cbc count come back negative. Then the earliest I can receive steroids is Sat. But that's up to my doctor. Every dr is different. The latest Monday because the baby is considered viable.  That's 3 more days!!! So close. Without steroids, there is no chance she will make it in this world. And it takes 2 dosages, 24 hrs each to administer for it to be effective. That's not until Wednesday!

So pray for the following -
1.) No Contractions or even dilation.
2.) That damage has not been already done to cervix because then dr's can't help or put the baby back in me.
3.) NO INFECTIONS or its too late for my baby for chance of steroids and I will have to deliver out of no choice.
4.) That doctors will give steroids sooner than later if necessary to greater her chances of living.
5.) Give wisdom to my doctor's and medical staff.
6.) That Madison will ultimately reach full-term and be a healthy baby.
7.) Praying that God will finish what has begun, this beautiful gift of life + blessing in me and that I would trust in Him.

Doctor's never give me a definitive answer but I hope that I get transferred to a level four hospital with a neonatal unit just in case. I'm praying it will never come to that because there have been rare cases that some have made it to 32 weeks or 36 weeks.  I pray that I will be one of those people.  So I'm praying for a miracle baby. Please continue to pray.

My dad gave me a bible verse the other day that I wrote in my journal...
Matthew 21:22 "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for me in prayer."

Then there's that story about the fig tree. Jesus said that if you have faith, not doubt you can move mountains to the sea.  If Jesus can do that, then I'm certain he can save this baby.

The nurses and dr's move all my things off the bed and as you know I am bedridden. I'm not only laying flat 24/7 but in the trendelenburg position (feet elevated up and head down--like a see-saw position) to take off pressure from the cervix and to prevent baby from falling downwards (gravity).

Sorry--nurse came in and it took another 20 minutes to locate her heartbeat. Made us all nervous.

So its not only the cervix, or stitch giving way. There are other factors that can cause preterm labor such as infection, stress, etc.

I had to update because I really need your prayers with 3 days to viability. Monday I will have an ultrasound to see how bad or good my cervix is. At that point they will make executive decisions.

Thank you for taking time to read this.
Thank you for your prayers...

Janet (Eddie + baby Madison)

It doesn't seem like the word "nightmare" can even begin to describe what she is going through.  Please pray for her.  As you can hear from her words, she is an amazing woman of faith, but she needs our prayers now more than ever.  Please feel free to post comments, support, and prayers on her blog or here on mine, and I'll forward them to her later in the day via email (she is checking email through her Blackberry, but doesn't have easy access to her blog).

As for my blessing...when I woke up from that dream/nightmare this morning, it never crossed my mind that it could be a "blessing".  But now I am glad that God shook me awake so that I could spend some time praying for Janet.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


I've known since Sunday...but my parents just found out today.  And since my parents read my blog, I wasn't about to leak the secret that my brother and sister-in-law just found out that they are pregnant! 

I'm thrilled for them (and I'm honored that she called me that day to share).  I liked my sister-in-law from the moment I met her, but we have gotten so much closer in the time since we both experienced loss (she lost her son at 30 weeks in September 2008, a week before my first loss).  She has been so incredibly supportive of me through my journey, and while we sometimes experience things a bit differently, she totally gets me and respects my decisions.

In chatting with her over the last few days, it's so weird how each doctor's office approaches pregnancy different.  I thought it was pretty standard that you take a hpt...get a positive...get your first beta...wait 48 hours...get your second beta...pray that it doubles...schedule an ultrasound...wait...pray that there is a heartbeat...react accordingly.  Sounds pretty standard, right?  But perhaps I'm coming at this from a history of early losses...because her doctor only had her come in for a urine the confirmation...and scheduled an ultrasound for July 8th.  No betas, no nothing!  Just three+ weeks of waiting and wondering.  She seems to be handling it pretty well.  She has shared with me that after her late loss, she's more concerned about the end of the pregnancy than the beginning...which is understandable.

But I'm still concerned for her--not because there is any particular reason to worry--but simply that I find myself worrying about anyone's early pregnancy.  I'm just acutely aware of the fragility of life--so I pray that her hcg levels do indeed double--even if she doesn't have any way to confirm.  I pray that her baby's heart beat properly--and that she have a beautiful experience on July 8th.  I pray that we both have happy and healthy babies--and that they become happy and healthy cousins.  Please join me and lift my brother and sister-in-law and their new baby up in your prayers.

Aside from rejoicing over my brother and sister-in-law's pregnancy, today's blessing was hearing from Janet, and learning that "no news is good news".  Madison is still inside her uterus...and really needs to stay put for at least a few more days (but preferably for a few more weeks...or ideally a few more months!).  She had a couple of scary moments--both of which were quickly addressed--but she finds that nights seem to be the scariest times, so you can add "peace and rest at night" to her list of specific prayer requests.  It's a blessing to know that there are so many of you out there who are praying for Janet and Madison through this experience.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Listening To My Body

I had started to title this post "Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired"...but that sounded like too much of a complaint.  Rather, I decided that it was time that I start listening to my body.  I'm still trying to get over this cold...and it's just not happening nearly as quickly as I'd like (as I've shared on plenty of other occasions, patience is rarely one of my virtues). 

In listening to my body, I came home early from work yesterday, and I'm staying home today.  In all honesty, I probably should not have even gone in yesterday in the first place, but it was one of our Orientation days (the largest so far, in fact), and I'm just too darn responsible.  I really struggled with both decisions--first, to go in yesterday; second, to not go in today.  I want to be a good employee and colleague, but I also want to be good to my body and to my growing baby girl.  So I sacrificed my health for half the day yesterday, and am sacrificing work today.

Luckily, I do have a doctor's appointment this afternoon.  The highlight will be the opportunity to see our baby girl again, but I'll also be sure to ask her about safe cold remedies.  If possible, I'd like to avoid any medication or antibiotics.  Part of me wishes that my husband were here to take care of me while I'm sick...but the other part of me is glad that he's away so that I'm not getting him sick or keeping him up all night with my coughing and rolling around in bed (it is kind of nice to have the bed all to myself as well).

I haven't heard any word from Janet lately, so I'm really hoping and praying that "no news is good news".  Please continue to pray for her (some specific prayer requests can be found here). 

Today's blessing is the chance to see our baby girl again this afternoon.  Now that I feel her kicking all the time, it's a lot easier to make it through the three-week stretches, but it's still so amazing to see her.  I've also been formulating more and more questions for my doctor, so it will be good to have the chance to chat with her.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Outed on Facebook (and Specific Prayers for Janet)

A couple of months ago, I shared that I hadn't intended to share my pregnancy on facebook.  And so far, I've been able to avoid the who sharing-my-pregnancy-in-such-a-public-manner...until now.

Like I mentioned a few days ago, my husband is out of town for two weeks for his Army Reserve duties.  He's at a class on a base where some of his friends are now stationed, and he's really enjoyed catching up with them.  These are officers that I knew and enjoyed while they were stationed here in Arizona, so I guess that it's normal for him to share what's going on in our lives...namely, this pregnancy.  Sure enough, one of his former female colleagues left a very excited post on my profile today to congratulate us.  It is a very sweet gesture, and it wouldn't even faze most pregnant women...but I'm not most pregnant women.

I don't know if anyone will even notice her post.  I knew her through my husband, so we have very few mutual friends who would see the comment in their news feed.  I even admit that my first thought when I saw the email notification was to delete the comment from my wall...but that didn't feel right either.  So it's there, and I'm outed.  I don't know how I'll address it yet.  I feel like I need to acknowledge it somehow--not just her posting, but the pregnancy as well.  I'm considering writing a note (as opposed to a status update) so that I can explain myself or something...  Perhaps I'll do so when I reach the third trimester...or maybe 30 weeks...or maybe as we're headed to the hospital...or maybe once we're home safe and sound with our baby girl.  I haven't quite figured it out yet...but like every other step in this pregnancy--I'll get there someday.

As for Janet, I have the following update from her (she shared that they have chosen to name their baby girl "Madison"):

I ask you to pray with me in the next 8 days (which is my 1st milestone) because it's a matter of life and death for this baby.  Madison is currently 1 lb + 3 oz. She's a little on the smaller size so I'm praying she will be matured by the time she is ready for birth.

So what I'm really praying for is the following:
1-No contractions or dilation!
2-Keep my cervix closed and tight. Praying the stitch won't break.
3-Praying for a healthy baby girl! Specifically Madison.
4-Pray that the steroids will work to mature her lungs and no bleeding in the brain so that she will be able to survive outside the womb.
5-That I will rest my fears in this most stressful time and think of only happy thoughts.
6- That I won't lose my faith in God. Because God knows--this is a true test!
7- Pray for my husband and family because I know they are worried about me but I want them to be strong, so I can be too!

Since she is on strict bedrest at the hospital so that she can be monitored, she doesn't anticipate that she will be able to blog much, but she has shared that it's okay for me to post updates for her here.  Please feel free to spread her story to other "prayer warriors" out there.

Today's blessing was the chance to talk to both of my brothers on the way home from work.  I really enjoy them both so much, and I look forward to seeing them in late-July.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Under the Weather (And Continued Prayers for Janet)

I've come down with a little bit of a cold.  It really is very mild, and I'm so blessed that I haven't been sick in a long time.  But I felt the worst yesterday--when I of course had to work (yes on Saturday, for our one weekend Orientation).  It was only a short day, so I mustered up the energy to run by Old Navy for a little more shopping.  I think I did pretty well--nine shirts and two pants for $64.  After my last shopping trip, someone suggested that I would want/need/appreciate the full-panel pants by the end of the pregnancy.  To be honest, I didn't "love" them when I tried them on...but for $12 khakis, I couldn't pass them up.

Then it was home to my couch for movies and a nap.  I think I may have had just a bit of a fever to accompany the itchy/scratchy throat yesterday, but I feel a bit better today...though I'm now coughing.  When I first started feeling sick, my first was for the health of our baby girl.  From everything that I read, it sounds like babies are designed to be rather resilient to maternal illnesses at this point, so I just pray that God protect her from this illness in my body.

As for Janet, she continues to need our prayers.  She is on strict bedrest and is working closely with her doctors, but needs to get to her first milestone--24 weeks--before they can do much.  She is 22 weeks, 5 days today...and headed back to the hospital for some concerns that she experienced this morning.  For more on her condition, please visit her update.  She is an amazing woman of faith, and needs our prayers.

Today's blessing was simply having the chance to listen to the young girl in the row behind us in church as she sang and recited the Lord's Prayer.  This girl and her mom always sit right around us every week (we're Presbyterians...and tend to sit in the same area from week to week), but it was just very precious today to listen to her and think that I have the chance to help shape our own daughter's faith in the years to come.  It's a big responsibility--and I'm so blessed that God has entrusted me with her care.  I so look forward to watching her explore God's goodness in her life.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Maternity Wardrobe Malfunction

I went on my first maternity clothes shopping trip a couple of weeks ago, and have begun to incorporate those items into my wardrobe.  But I've already run into a problem:  I'm 24 weeks pregnant and have already outgrown the tank-top.  Uh oh...

Like I shared yesterday, someone commented that I'm not big enough to be due in September.  My belly is definitely growing...but I think that my maternity wardrobe malfunction is related to a pre-existing condition:  a long torso.  I'm 5'9"...but I swear it's all torso (I can easily fit in the back seat of cars because my legs are so short).

In some ways, the long torso is a beautiful blessing.  For starters, I figure it gives our baby girl plenty of room to move around to her heart's content.  But it causes problems with the wardrobe--and I experienced way too many shirts that were way too short long before I was pregnant.  I don't know why I thought that being pregnant would any easier.  I guess the shirts just look so long on the hanger...but my belly is already peaking out of the bottom on this particular tanktop.  Plenty more is bound to show in the weeks to come!  So I guess it's back to the mall tomorrow (good thing my husband is out of town--but I promise to be as frugal as always).

Today's blessing was a very sweet thank-you note from my ten-year-old niece.  In it, she also told me that she's planning a surprise birthday party for her horse (and it even says "Shh!  Don't tell my mom!  She doesn't know!").  This girl is turning into such a phenomenal young woman, and I can't wait to see her (and the other niece and nephews) in July during our trip to Montana.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

"So You're Having a Kid Or Something?"'ve just got to love the vernacular of today's college male students.  This is literally how my student addressed my pregnancy as he was leaving the appointment today.  Nice, huh?  Oh well--I'm just thrilled that I'm big enough to be recognizable pregnant--especially by such a well spoken young man.

But the notice and comments didn't end there.  I helped present to the parents at our college orientation earlier this week and had a handful of parents comment on my belly.  Their comments were more appropriately along the lines of "when are you due?" or simply "are you expecting?" (although one woman told me that I was too small to be due in September...don't quite know how I feel about that).

I like being noticed...and I like being pregnant.  Scratch that--I love being pregnant (okay...I guess I also love being noticed too).  We worked hard to get here, and I want to cherish this experience.  And yet, I still find myself being resistant to talking too openly about my pregnancy (aside from this blog, of course).  It does get easier as every week passes, but I still find that I guard my emotions and keep so many of these miraculous experiences to myself.  I don't act this way in an intentional way to be distant--rather, sometimes I just can't bring myself to publicly share something which is just so precious to me.

Yesterday's blessing was a colleague who offered me some lightly-used hand-me-down baby items.  Being the thrifty shopper that I am, I jumped at the chance and told her I would love to take any unwanted items off of her hands.  I really admire and look up to this colleague, and I'm equally blessed to have her in our office.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Prayers for Janet

I've never "met" her (at least not "in real life"), but yet I feel that she understands me and can relate to me so much better than some of my "in real life" friends (no offense to those friends--I need and appreciate them too).  Janet, at Trust in God, needs our, now!

In her own words:

Hi Everyone,
Just wanted to keep everyone posted since my dr's visit today. I had an u/s and they found out my cervix is fully opened. The only thing holding it is the stitch which is 1.5 cm + the baby's butt is at the opening of the cervix which funneled. I've been put on bedrest and have a followup visit 1 week from now. I have been dilating but I pray that I won't go into contractions. Today I'm 22 weeks and baby's viability is not til 25 weeks. Meaning the baby won't survive if born before that. I'm obviously stressed out because I can't have this happen again. I lost Jacob at 21 weeks and doctor did say if I didn't have the cerclage stitch I definitely would have delivered by now. But having a stitch at 1.5 cm won't do much but keep the cervix closed. Please continue to pray that my baby will hold on til' its safe to deliver and that I won't have any contractions until baby is ready to be considered safe outside the womb. My 1st milestone will be 25 weeks and 2nd will be past 30. Sorry if this does not make sense. My mind is a bit in shock from hearing the news. My husband is very upset and so am I. I continue to rest my faith in God and trust He will save this baby to full term. Thank you for your prayers.

Since then, Janet has shared that she has been directed to go to the hospital to be monitored.  She has indicated that she may not be able to write much, but when she does, you can follow her story here.

Please keep Janet and her baby girl in your prayers.  Just last night, I was praying for a very "boring" next sixteen weeks for myself--meaning that I asked God to help our baby girl stay safely locked away in my uterus without any sort of complications.  As I was doing so, Janet came to mind, and I extended my boring pregnancy prayers to her as well.  After her update this morning, I continue to pray that God keep Janet and her baby girl safe, and that He bring her and her husband peace in this scary time.  I truly believe in the power of prayer, so please spread the word.

As for us, my blessing today was receiving our very first baby gift.  I came home to discover a package on the porch from my dear friend and former colleague who is in Scotland (you may remember that my husband was going to take me to Scotland to visit them as my Christmas gift...but then I found out that I was pregnant).  This friend is such a great listener and really makes an effort to understand me and my experience.  We would often meet for tea or lunch, and I have really missed that sort of quality time with her.  I hadn't even told her that we had (just barely) started our registry...and yet she totally surprised me with a gift from overseas.  I'm so blessed to have her in my life (even though she is in Scotland this year), and I will always cherish her gift as the very first baby gift that I have ever received.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

A Year Ago

A year ago today, we lost our third baby.

Unlike our first loss (on my husband's birthday) and our second loss (on Valentine's Day), there is nothing else marked on the calendar to celebrate today.  I can't claim that today is "bitter-sweet", and mourn the bitterness of the loss but celebrate the sweetness of my husband on his birthday or (the recognizably highly over-commercialized) Valentine's Day.  And yet, I have something else to celebrate.  God has blessed me, and I'm further along in this pregnancy than in any of the previous three.

This morning in church, as I felt our baby girl moving around, I thought about "loss".  Ever since our first loss, I've shared that I've always preferred to refer to the experience as "loss" rather than "miscarriage".  And yet this morning, I had another little "a-ha moment" when I started to formulate the idea that even though I may have experienced the sensation of "losing" those babies (as a "verb"), perhaps they aren't truly "lost" (as an "adjective").  As a Christian, I believe that those who believe in God and accept Him as their Lord and Saviour will be united with Him again in Heaven.  Although the Bible does not specifically address the "what happens when a baby dies?" question, I know that God claims that He loves the little children, thus prompting me to believe that I will on day be reunited with my babies in Heaven.  And so, although I most definitely mourn for the experience of losing those babies, I can't claim them to be "lost".  Rather, I truly believe that they are in Heaven with their Heavenly Father.

In my own selfishness, do I wish that I still had those babies with me?  Of course!  Do I wish that I could have avoided the pain and sorrow that I experienced?  Of course!  And yet, I must remind myself that those babies are in a far superior place with a God who loves them even more than I ever could.  I do look forward to being reunited with them someday in Heaven, but for now, I'm overwhelmed at God's goodness and His abundant blessings in my life.  A year ago, I mourned the loss of our third baby.  Today, as I remember that loss, I also praise God for blessing me with this baby girl who continues to grow and kick and stretch and live in my belly.

Today's blessing is the companionship with my husband that I find through our marriage.  Our pastor preached today on marriage, and how we are created to be "suitable helpers" (or more accurately "strong compliments") to each other.  He may not be perfect in all areas, but my husband really is the perfect companion to me.  Of course...he left today for a two week Army Reserves commitment, but it makes me look forward to the return of his companionship even more.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Provoked? Response? Coincidence?

Am I a horrible mother-to-be for (lightly) poking my stomach every once in a while to solicit a movement from my baby girl?  I don't do it very often, but it's so amazing (and reassuring) to feel her move around.  So yes, I admit that I've been known to jiggle my belly from time to time.  Like I said, I don't do it often...and I figure that I'm not applying any more pressure than my doctor when she performs an ultrasound, so I should be okay...right?  (But if you do know of any reason why this would be harmful, please let me know...okay?).

I do feel selfish for provoking her with my pokes and jiggles.  I can only imagine that she is a sleeping soundly...and is then suddenly interrupted--by her own mother, of all people!  I try to just soak up any unsolicited movement that I can get from her when she is active (like right now), and try to keep my hands still when she is inactive.

Which brings me to this morning.  I woke up a little bit before the alarm, so I had the chance to just lie in bed for a bit.  As they've done for the last 23 weeks, my hands gravitated towards my belly.  But this time, I promise that I wasn't poking or jiggling--just relaxing and waking up.  And yet, she immediately began to move around.  My hand was just lightly resting on my belly--I wasn't applying any sort of pressure.  I previously read somewhere (it was a while back--so don't ask me where) that mothers should touch their belly, as it increases the bond between mother and child and can be soothing for the baby.  So what do you think?  What this an early-morning response from our baby girl?  Or do you think it was just coincidence that she started to move around as I was waking up?  I'm totally aware that perhaps she was moving before I woke up--and perhaps she even woke me up this time (maybe she's getting her "revenge" for the times when I interrupt her beauty sleep).  Or, on the other side of the coin, I recognize that her hearing is fairly well developed by this point in the pregnancy, so maybe she awoke to the internal sounds of my body waking up and started moving around just as I was moving my hand to my belly to steal a few minutes with just her and my thoughts before facing the day.

So although I'm guilty of intentionally provoking her on previous occassions, I'm going to mark this morning's experience down as either a response or a coincidence.  Either way, it was a perfect start to my day.

Today's blessing was getting the call (well, yesterday) that our furniture for the nursery has arrived!  It's still a little bit scary to move it all in, but I'm mostly excited.  And it came in just in time.  My husband is (supposed to be) leaving for two weeks on Sunday for his Army Reserves commitment, and it would be really hard for me to know that our furniture was waiting to be picked up on the other side of town.  Instead, we'll be able to get it all home and inside, and now that I have the projector, I'll have a project on which I can work while he's gone to make the time fly by.  And yes, I'll be sure to post pictures of the nursery once we have it all put together.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Challenge of Selecting Names After Loss

We've known that we're expecting a girl for seven weeks now.  But we are no closer to choosing a name than we were when we first learned that our doctor was 70% she is is a "she".  On that day, my husband and I goofed around with songs that have girls names in them.  My (fake) favorite from the list of song names:  Clementine ("Oh My Darling"); my husband's (fake) favorite name from the list of song names:  Elvira.  I promise that we are not naming our daughter Clementine or Elvira (no offense if you have a friend or family member or daughter named either of the above--they just aren't for us).

My husband has made it perfectly clear that he's not ready to decide on a name, and he wants to reserve the right to meet her first before making the final call.  Although I love to plan (and it would be really sweet to incorporate her name into the nursery and share it with everyone out there), I'm surprisingly okay with waiting.  He hasn't asked for much in this pregnancy, and I can respect his request to meet her first.  I did, however, tell him that I'd like to have it narrowed down to no more than 3-5 options by then.

I hadn't expected it to be this hard.  Even when we were just dating (but knew that we would eventually get married), we talked about names.  My husband is a huge Cubs fan, so we thought it would be cool to use team-inspired names.  We clearly had at least one name--both first and middle--for either gender.  We were in agreement, and we were satisfied with our choices.

But then we lost our first baby...and then the second...and then the third.  I never fully "named" the babies that we lost.  I will never know if they were boys or girls.  But all I know is that the names that my husband and I so naively picked out when we were just thinking about embarking on this journey were intended for those babies.  I just don't feel right about using those pre-selected names.

And so, we now face the challenge of selecting names after loss.  It's back to square one...or the drawing board...whichever you prefer.  And I'm realize that I'm okay with it.  I recognize that I'm in a totally different place now that I was when we first selected those previous names.  I still think that they are beautiful names...they just aren't right for this baby girl that I'm carrying.  (In a future post, I'll share some of my criteria for name selection.)

Today's blessing was finding a colleague from the other side of campus who is letting me borrow her office's projector so that I can project images of bedding-inspired butterflies onto the walls of the nursery.  This brings me one step closer to creating the nursery of my dreams.