Saturday, October 30, 2010

Boo!

Happy Halloween Weekend!

via

Friday, October 29, 2010

Kids & Anthropologie

Did you guys know that Anthropologie now carries kids clothing and accessories?  Cute dresses and fun sweaters for all those little girls out there.  You can check it out here.  Maybe it's a seasonal thing?

I purchased this flash card set and plan to frame a few of the cards for Preston's nursery.

via
These stuffed animals are adorable (too bad the price tag isn't as adorable).
via

Thursday, October 28, 2010

"I'm Fine"

via
Good news is that all is still stable. My placental resistance is still high, but stable.  I'll take stable.  My next appointment is Monday, and then we head back to Texas Children's on Wednesday.

Bad news is that I've had one of those days... one of those days where I lied with "I'm fine."  I just wasn't fine today. I was sad. I cried. I was angry. Even some retail therapy this afternoon couldn't cheer me up.  I hope these kind of days remain few and far between, but if they must come I just pray that I will be stronger in the end because of them.




Those who wait for the Lord, who expect, look for, and hope in Him, shall renew their strength...
Isaiah 40:31

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

So far this week...

I've had four cupcakes (we're celebrating 3 birthdays at work this week). Don't judge me.
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Our garbage disposal broke. I may or may not be responsible for it by putting potato peels down the disposal. Tony fixed it. It may have been my 3rd time to clog the drain with potato peels. Pregnancy brain.

I will not put potato peels down the garbage disposal.
I will not put potato peels down the garbage disposal.
I will not put potato peels down the garbage disposal.

While actually getting some great rest on Tuesday night, I mean truly getting some zzzz's in a comfortable position for a change, a strange noise woke me up.  Tony knew immediately what the noise was, and he said he silently prayed that I didn't hear it. Wrong! I heard it. It being a rat that was stuck in a trap in our attic. I freaked out. The dogs and I locked ourselves in the bedroom while Tony attempted to get the rat out of the attic. It got away (but still contained to the attic somewhere). I freaked out a little more.  Orkin will be here in the morning, and this time they better fix the problem. I'm done with these pests. (this is why I was playing Words w/ friends at 3 a.m.)

Preston's stocking came in the mail. My heart ached when I opened it, but I knew I had to order it. No matter what happens I wanted to be sure I had a stocking for him to keep forever.  I hope and pray it will hang above my fireplace for many years to come.

preview via PotteryBarn 
We took maternity pics with the most awesome Kristy on Sunday.  Here are a few faves.





My baby bump has definitely increased in size over the last few days. It is much more pronounced today than it was on Sunday for these pics. 'Tis true. I'm blaming it on the high doses of steroids I took last week. I promise it has nothing to do with all the cupcakes and halloween candy I've gobbled up this week. 



I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move.
Nothing will be impossible for you.
Matthew 17:20



Monday, October 25, 2010

All is stable.

We are not heading to the hospital today.  Praise God for this piece of good news.

My OB noticed a marked change in the placental resistance last Thursday and asked me to come back this morning to check again. There is still placental resistance, but it is unchanged from Thursday.  They are thinking this may be a reflex of my body in response to Preston's congenital heart condition, but in the words of the doctor "this is not causing this guy to feel poorly."  His growth is on target, he is moving like crazy, and this new development doesn't appear to be causing any problems at this point. That being said I will go back again on Thursday for another check.  Oh, and there are no signs of hydrops... Praise the Lord.

The techs took a few extra minutes to have fun with the ultrasound machine today to get us some good 3D/4D shots of Preston. I'm so thankful for these shots... I can't stop staring at them... forgive me but I have to share them with you guys.

My doctor says this is one of the best pics she's seen in a while.
It went up on the office bulletin board before we could leave.
my favorite... my heart melts.
his daddy says he has my nose.  not sure if that was meant as a compliment or not?
i feel these things quite a bit. 
caught him with his mouth open. 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Preston's Nursery

After I did laundry and packed our bags for the hospital in case my doctor says we need to head there after my ultrasound on Monday morning, we put the final touches on sweet P's nursery. The only thing left to do is buy a mattress and pick up the bedding from the seamstress.

Today after church we hung a birch wood branch and the blue linen drapes over his window. I love his nursery. Praying that I get to love on my baby in this room very, very soon.  


close-up of linen panels and branch
Tony and I also tried our hands at a couple of DIY mobiles (one for over the changing table and one for over the crib).  Totally inexpensive, completely heartfelt, and extremely easy to make. I used two $0.79 wreaths from Michael's and the birds are Christmas ornaments from Crate and Barrel. Tony used monofilament to assembly the ornaments to the wreath. Here's our craftiness.  

over the crib
over the changing table
these are metal so they sound like  wind chime when you tap them

Now I just need a healthy baby to bring home to complete my nest.  Here's the rest...

my paintings
changing table area
still undecided on wall decor above table.

crib, DIY mobile, and monogram

a shot from the doorway
We're off to take maternity pictures now, but first I need to give a shout out to my Gherkin for joining in on the nesting that took place here this weekend.  I love you bunches.  



Thursday, October 21, 2010

We could use your prayers.

They started giving me steroids today to speed up Preston's lung maturity in case they see more changes on Monday and decide to take him in the next week or two.  I will be checked again on Monday.

Please pray for Preston's well-being and that he doesn't feel pain and isn't suffering.  Please pray for my health and that there are no complications that arise within my body. Please continue to pray for complete healing for Preston.  Tony and I are both ready to accept God's will for our lives and for Preston's life.  We know full well that could involve Preston going to Heaven and not remaining here on earth with us.  Please pray for the two of us as husband and wife (and best friends) that we will continue to trust in Him and that we'll find strength in our relationship and in Him no matter what our future holds. Please pray we'll remain free of resentment and that we will continue to only focus on the present and not worry about what tomorrow may hold.

As I sat in the very office again today that I did on July 22nd when I found out that Preston's heart was broken, I realized that my heart broke that day too. Although it's broken, I will rejoice in the fact that I had the opportunity to love this little guy with my whole heart. This has been the best but ironically worst 7 months on my life.  The best because I now know the love of a mother, and the worst because I'm so broken, scared, and helpless.

My devotion today from the Jesus Calling app:

"When My will encroaches on your little domain of control, you often react with telltale resentment.  The best response to losses or thwarted hopes is praise: The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. (Job 1:21) Be prepared to let go of anything I take from you, but never let go of My hand."


I will keep everyone posted through the blog as soon as we have any new developments. As for now, I am limping around the house because that stinking steroid injection hurt real bad and getting ready for our maternity photo session on Sunday with Kristy.  (Thanks Kristy for moving our photo session up and allowing us to capture these precious moments with Preston on film).  




Just around the corner is...

My Birthday
my golden birthday
my 31st on the 31st

And for the first time in my life I have no idea what I want for my birthday. Tony keeps asking, and I have no idea how to answer. Umm, can I just have a healthy baby boy in my arms in a couple of months and we'll call it even?  (By the way, it looks like my sweet P will be here earlier according to the doctors... like December 1st- early... I'll keep you guys posted on that)

Ok, so back to my birthday...What should I ask for? Any ideas?  Needs to be something good, right? Afterall, it is my golden birthday.

Camcorder to capture all the special moments in our life? Nice robe and PJs to wear in the hospital? (You know you're a mom already when your gift ideas indirectly revolve around your baby...which I'm more than ok with.)



Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
1 Peter 5:6

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Nesting: P.R.V.

Preston's monogram is up as in framed and hung. I went to Office Max to have just plain navy letters printed initially, and then the guy at Office Max offered to spruce up the monogram. Within a couple of days he called me to come back and pick my favorite because he created two different designs.  Of course at that point I couldn't decide which design I liked better so I had both of them printed. Perhaps I will just change them out every other month. Here's the polka dots (my favorite).

last name blurred for security purposes

I would also like to add that this little guy has become very active the past couple of days with very deliberate movements. I love them & I love him.




Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
Since you can not do this very little thing, why worry about the rest?
Luke 12: 25-26

Monday, October 18, 2010

My songs for Preston

image via fiveblonds.com
So all the books and websites tell me that Preston's hearing should be well developed, and that if I talk or sing to him he'll likely be able to recognize the sound of my voice by the time he is born. It is so very important to me that he be able to recognize my voice so that he'll know I'm close especially since he'll be in the NICU bed and not in my arms after he's born.

So I've become a singing fool. I sing You Are My Sunshine and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star constantly to Preston.  I hope that he'll be able to recognize my voice and these songs because I plan to sing them to him over and over again while holding his hand in the NICU.

Don't worry, I apologized to him in advance for my poor vocal skills. I seriously can't carry a tune y'all.


 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, 
plans to give you hope and a future. 
Jeremiah 29:11

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Update on Mr. Preston

I'm exhausted. I did nothing but sit at Texas Children's hospital all day, but I'm exhausted, both mentally and physically. Once again we have a new diagnosis. It's all so tiring. One thing's for sure though, we saw God work and move in our lives today in more than one way.  He's definitely guiding us through this process.

My aunt drove in from Lufkin to go to the appointments with us (thanks KK!) and she snapped a few shots of our family (the 3 of us) before we headed out this morning.


27 weeks and 5 days

Since our last appointment the cardiology team did some research and reviewed Preston's films more, and today they could clearly see what they were looking for.  Preston's heart has an aortico-left ventricular tunnel.  (see blue arrows below) I've included a picture below but this is the gist of it.  There is a tunnel in his heart that should not be there that is letting his blood flow back into his heart (specifically the left ventricle). The regurgitation of the blood is causing the left side of his heart to become enlarged and dilated.


The good news is that if Preston can make it another month at least without developing congestive heart failure and hydrops (which carries a 90% mortality rate) in utero then the surgeons could close this tunnel once he's born and he could be healed. Of course there are so many factors that come into play... will he remain stable long enough after birth to perform the surgery and will his left ventricle function properly after birth and after the surgery?  Only time will tell... only God knows at this point.

We are specifically praying that I do not develop hydrops, which means that Preston develops congestive heart failure, in the womb.  As of today this is not the case, but it looks like I will be followed every week at this point to monitor for that.  The prognosis does not look good if that happens.

We were basically told that the odds of survival are about 50/50.  I'm at peace with this.  With odds like that I just have to know that this is in God's hands.  Is there any other way to look at it?  He guided us today, He placed the right people in our lives at the right time. His timing was perfect. I can't give full justice to the situations He presented today through words especially on a blog.  You really had to be there to believe it. At one point my aunt said, "Wow, that was divine intervention."  Good or bad, He's in control of this situation.  He reminded us of that over and over today.

That's all for now. I'm now retiring to the couch with my hubby for the rest of the evening. We have a fun and busy weekend planned, but I wanted to be sure to get an update in before the hustle and bustle of the weekend. I'm good. We're good. We're peaceful.  And we love you guys for loving us, thinking of us, and praying for us.

Beautiful...

I heard this song on Pandora last week while on one of many walks with Sam (the weather has been gorgeous here), and I immediately thought of Preston when I heard it.  It's called Beautiful by MercyMe.

Before you ever took a breath
Long before the world began
Of all the wonders He possessed
There was one more precious
Of all the earth and skies above
You're the one He madly loves
Enough to die.

You're beautiful
You are made for so much more than all of this
You're beautiful
You are treasured
You are sacred
You are His.


Even though Preston's heart is broken, I must continue to believe he was created for a reason... a reason that is much greater than we can all comprehend. We are heading back to the cardiologist this morning and will meet with the pedi cardiovascular surgeon this afternoon. Please, please, please let me them have good news for Preston and hopefully we'll hear more hope in their voices today.  



For you created my inmost being;
You knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 
My frame was not hidden from you
When I was made in that secret place
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
Your eyes saw my unformed body
All the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be. 
Psalm 139: 13-16


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Look what's in...

Aunt Lauren ordered a cowhide rug for P's room a couple of weeks ago, and it arrived last week.  Tony opened it and put it in P's room.  It took a couple of hours for me to decide I could go there without breaking down (wrong!) and play around with exactly where I wanted it to be placed (still not 100% sure on placement).

It smells so good... the dogs aren't quite sure what to think of it.  They are just now starting to reluctantly walk on it.

Aunt Lauren placing the order...
Here it is in P's room.
(Note: his room is still a work in progress & may look completely different next time you see it.
I'm playing around with it. )


Thanks for Preston's rug, Aunt Lauren. We know he'll love it.



 Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,
 according to His power that is at work within us,
Ephesians 3:20 


(thanks for the verse, Samantha)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A good weekend

My strength came and His grace satisfied when I was least expecting it. Tony and I had a terrific weekend together consisting of a "just the two of us" dinner on Friday night, a trip to my favorite store, Kuhl-Linscomb, lots of nesting and nursery purchases, dinner with some good friends on Saturday night, and Sunday School and church today.

I spruced up our casa for Fall, and baked a ton of pumpkin chocolate chip muffins during the Texans game.  Surprisingly (note: I'm not great in the kitchen), the muffins are pretty good and I have enough to enjoy for breakfast this week, share with neighborhood mom who just had a baby girl, and enough to throw in the freezer to enjoy later this year.

pumpkin chocolate chip muffins
Don't worry... I passed my glucose screening this week.  Phew.
Fall pumpkins adorning my front porch.
@ 27 weeks
I finally found the strength to let Tony take my weekly bump shot.
I will cherish these for a long time.
I print each one for Preston's journal & also write a little note for him by the photo.
I pray that he gets to read those one day.

Thanks for all the prayers, texts, phone calls, comments, and e-mails. About those phone calls... I have a ton of them to return... I promise to return them all but it may take a few days.  I love you guys.



We live by faith, not by sight.  2 Corinthians 5:7


I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.  Jeremiah 31:25

Friday, October 8, 2010

Heartache

I started this blog when Tony and I started trying to have children mostly because I wanted to keep family and friends posted on our lives and soon to be the lives of our children.  I never in a million years thought my posts would sound like this nor did I realize how therapeutic sharing my feelings would be.  If you're not interested in my brutally honest thoughts then don't read below, but I need to get these thoughts out.  Believe it or not I feel a tiny bit better now that I did. 

I can honestly say that I never felt more hopeless and so very helpless before in my life.  I've been to four doctor's appointments in one week (one of which I walked out of because I had been there waiting over 1.5 hours) and I was on the verge of hyperventilating as I walked through the doors at each appointment.  Man, I hate going to these appointments.  It would be different if they didn't look at me with sad eyes and give me that "awww man, poor girl" look.  It would also be different if just one of them could have a tiny bit of good news and optimism for us... for Preston.  Instead I'm given worst case scenario which also includes the words "90% mortality and compassionate care."

I now know what it's like to cry myself to sleep, wake up crying in the middle of the night, and then find the tears streaming down my face again the next morning.  I'm amazed at the number of tears the human body is capable of producing.  Seriously, it's an awful lot.

Just when I seem to be having a peaceful moment free of worry and heartache, he'll kick or move which will bring on the vast array of emotions once again. I feel sad. I feel bitter. I feel mad. I am worried. I feel robbed. Isn't there a quota on how much tragedy one should go through in life?  Please don't tell me that I lost my mother when I was 13, and that I could be on the verge of losing my first child at the age of 31. Really?  I'm not sure I can handle it.  His grace is enough, right?  I believe that, I do, but when will I feel it?

I'm having a hard time staying positive and thinking positive thoughts. I can't seem to find the strength to finish his nursery just yet. Sometimes I just have to close the door so I can't look at it.  I pray that strength comes at any moment.

I now know what it's like to get frustrated with pregnant women who complain about how they're feeling or what they're going through. I would trade this heartache for a little bit of that heartburn in a second, sweetie. Just be glad you're pregnant and be glad your baby is healthy.  I would never wish this type of situation on anyone ever.  Work has been hard to say the least... I do see quite a few pregnant ladies on a daily basis.

Speaking of work, can you imagine working with me this week?  I don't know how they do it but they love me. Here's my workstation decorated by my sweet staff for National PA Day on Wednesday.  This made me smile.




The laughs also came easily this past weekend (thanks Erin and Collin) as we got out of town for an engagement party.  So the smiles and the laughs do come and have come, but they've been few and far between this week.

We are headed back to Texas Children's on Thursday to talk with the cardiologist again and meet the pediatric cardiovascular surgeon.  Supposedly my case was presented/will be presented this week at the cardiology conference.  Prayers please that this group of physicians and surgeons can come up with a plan for fixing Preston's heart and that we can hear a little bit more optimism in their voices on Thursday.  Or even better perhaps the Great Physician will heal P's heart before he's born.  Wouldn't that be a great testimony?

Please also pray that Preston does not develop a condition called hydrops fetalis.  This is a major concern the doctors have, and they will be following me very closely so they can detect this if it starts to develop. Mortality for these babies is about 90%.  Devastating statistic, right?

I'm scared, and my main concern is Preston and his well being. I do not want this child to suffer.  I feel his birth will automatically be his loss of innocence.  He doesn't deserve this.  No baby deserves this.  I've been an open book during my prayers (He knows how we feel already)...  I will give him back to God should that be His will especially if it means that Preston will not have to suffer or be in pain. He was never really mine to begin with anyways. God just decided to let me be his earthly mommy.  So yes, if it means that my baby will be spared any suffering or pain and it's God's will then I'm ok with him going to Heaven... after all his grandmother is already there and can't wait to get her hands on him I'm sure.