Sunday, February 19, 2012

Tacos, Tears, and Tim Tebow

Today's post is brought to you by the letter "T," which is altogether appropriate since I am terribly disappointed with certain weather forecasters who predicted a 'significant snowfall' for southern KY this Sunday. Alas, while we were sleeping, those sly little rats stripped our forecast of it's bliss by removing the winter weather advisories and warnings. We are left only to wake up to a nasty rain/sleet event and being completely ignored by the oh-so-happy weather people, greedily reporting on Virginia, where there IS snow. Terrible.

With that said, I'll continue with a random post so neatly packaged with title alliteration.

It will be a blast (and certainly make up for the sight of green grass as I look out the window.)

We have entered week 14, people. I can't tell you how thrilled we are - I vividly remember the nauseated nights of weeks 7, 8, etc. when I longed to just be further along, not only with the hope of feeling better, but also with a little bit more security that things were progressing and we were in less 'danger.' As anticipated, around week 12, I did begin to feel somewhat better. Evidently I became spoiled to my new state of being because when I woke up Friday not feeling well at all, I was unprepared. And it only progressively got worse. I quickly had a talk with Baby, explaining that it was week 14 and we could stop this nonsense, but apparently we were working on growing a bone or something massive because Baby did not cooperate and I fell more and more ill as the day wore on. As I was sitting at my desk dividing my day's tasks into Must Get Done and The World Won't End if This Doesn't Get Done piles, a horrid scent wafted into my room. It didn't take me long to figure out what this vile odor was.


I have the nose of a blood hound anyway. (I can smell 1-day-bad milk when you open the refrigerator door, a talent I pride myself in.) Being pregnant has only served to intensify this to the point that Michael is convinced I am lacking in one of my other senses since my nose is so insanely keen. So when any smell that is even slightly pervasive to 'normal' people streaks by my nose, I'm usually drowning in it, gasping for fresh air.

This odor event was certainly as unwelcome as any. Already battling the Green Monster of nausea, I was not happy to recall that there was a fundraiser going on in our break room, in which a group of coworkers had decided they would have a taco bar for lunch in order to garner donations. That meant this wasn't a smell that was going to go away any time soon. Attempting to freshen the air would only make matters disgustingly worse. Shutting my door would trap and sour the odors that were already in the room. I was sunk. Figuring I only had my partial breakfast to lose, I broke down and took a Zofran, hoping to quell at least some of the nausea so I could withstand the smell. I wish I could say this little miracle pill came to my aid and I was able to enjoy the rest of my day, but it didn't. I struggled through a bland lunch, rested a little (away from the building and it's atrocious smell), and tiptoed through the rest of the afternoon just praying for 5 o'clock.

You can add tacos to the list of things I no longer eat.

Saturdays are always a welcome end to the week, especially so since I've been pregnant. Our DVR gets a pretty good work-out throughout the week and since staying awake past 8:30 is quite a feat, we often don't get to watch many shows until the weekend. So in true Saturday fashion, I was watching the previous night's Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta episode. (I will only watch SYTTD Atlanta because it's southern and usually much more entertaining than it's northern counterpart.) Anyway, there is always a sweet or sassy storyline that comes with each bride. In this episode, there was a bride named Hope who was getting married in a month and was on a tight budget. We learned in her intro that her fiancé had just been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease. Heartbreaking, to say the least. The show progressed and she revealed that she had wanted a beach wedding, but was settling for an outdoor wedding due to the timeframe, yet she still wanted a beach-inspired dress. With only a few options, she tried on a couple of dresses that were nice, but just not the one. Then the boutique's owner, Lori, brought in a dress that was perfect. Hope loved it, and after some persuading, her family couldn't deny how happy this dress made her and loved it too. Then came the issue of price. Turns out, the dress was half-off, but was still double her budget. At that moment, Lori revealed that she was going to give her the dress. For free.

I lost it. I cried right along with her family that had come with her to choose a dress. How precious to give such a gift to this girl who is providing so much hope to someone diagnosed with a fatal disease. Just when I had gotten myself together to watch the rest of the show, they showed a portion of Hope's wedding (where she looked like an angel) and the vows between her and her ailing love. I was a mess all over again. God bless that sweet couple.

And finally, I'm at least a month or so past due for making a post about my admiration for Tim Tebow. I am currently reading his book, which reads like a you're having a conversation with him, primarily about football and it's great. This guy is really unbelievable. Above all the hype of Tebow-ing and the scrutiny he's been under for winning or not, he's truly someone to admire. He has a work ethic that is unrivaled. He has spent all of his athletic career battling for the quarterback position because of his build ("he's built like a linebacker or running back, not a quarterback"), and his NFL career is proving to be no different. But most interesting to me is the story about how he came into this world.

He is the baby of five Tebow children. His father started praying for him, by name, before he was even conceived. His mother struggled through a horrible pregnancy in which doctors told her early on that due to her symptoms, it would have been best to abort the pregnancy. Knowing that was not an option, his family stuck it out and endured the trials of 9 long months. He was delivered a healthy baby, along with a blood clot as large as he was. He and his mother scientifically should not have survived the pregnancy, and the doctors appropriately called him a miracle baby. He now spends every day of his life living out the prayers his dad prayed before he was even thought of.

That's faith.

And the best part? Tim's birthday is August 14th. My current due date is August 16th. I know the likelihood of first babies coming early is slim to none, but it might be nice. Just a thought.

I must thank everyone for the kind comments, messages, Facebook posts, and cards celebrating our news. It is so exciting now that people know and can join in the joy with us! Thank you, and thank you for your continued prayers!

Now I'm going to pretend there is a soft blanket of beautiful white snow on the ground, make something warm and tasty, and enjoy my fake snow day. I hope you do too!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Post I've Always Wanted to Make

I have been thinking for weeks about how I can cleverly re-enter the blogosphere after such a long absence, but really there's nothing I can say other than I think you'll understand why I've been MIA for awhile when you see this:

Yes, believe your eyes, that's a POSITIVE PREGNANCY TEST!!!!! We are 13 weeks along!!

It's been an amazing journey so far, and I still can't believe it's happening.

I don't really know where to begin to explain the last 9 weeks, it's been crazy and surreal and a little trying at times. We found out on a Saturday - December 10. I was a whopping 2 days late, but for me, that's extremely rare - if anything I'm usually early so I knew something was up. Curiosity finally got the best of me and my intuition was kicking in, so I decided to stop and pick up some pregnancy tests on my way home from running errands. I didn't expect much, so it didn't even cross my mind when I took the test at 1:00pm that Michael would not be home from work until 6 or after. Needless to say, I was shocked, thrilled, shocked, shocked, and shocked when the test came back positive. So what does one do, all alone holding a positive pregnancy test? I immediately thanked God and then cried. I thought of all the people I could call, and then I (thankfully) remembered I should probably tell my husband first! And then I did what I think every woman on earth does and took another test. It too was positive, so at that point, I figured this must be the real deal. There was nothing left to do but wait, so I tried to keep myself busy the rest of the day to pass the time. I talked to the dogs a lot that afternoon. I also plotted how I would tell my precious husband the best news he would ever receive.

I wrapped up the positive test as a pre-Christmas gift that
I just couldn't wait to give him. He had no idea.
Of course, in true I-hate-to-wait fashion, Michael got stuck at work and didn't get home until almost 8 O'CLOCK that night! I was almost a wreck by the time he finally made it home, but I was so excited about giving him such a special gift that it didn't matter.
He had to look at it several times before he realized what
he was looking at...

And then he gets it, and emotions overcome him.
Michael kept asking me, "Is this real?" in complete disbelief. Bless his heart, he didn't know what to say or do! We just sort-of floated through the rest of the night in shock.

One of the first things Michael started talking about was when/how we were going to tell my parents. At first, I was inclined to tell them immediately. But then I wavered as we talked about how we would tell them, thinking maybe we should wait a week, let me get further along, etc. But Michael was determined that he needed to tell someone, and we both decided that we needed mom’s prayer warrior skills especially during this time.

Still not totally convinced we would have an opportunity when I could assure mom’s undivided attention (so she would actually "get" what we were telling her), we toyed with the idea all the way to Glasgow to church. We don't normally go to church in Glasgow, but we were celebrating my brother's birthday and exchanging family ornaments (an annual tradition) on this Sunday (which happened to be a week later than we normally do.) Anyway, while we were at church, it came to me: It is the season of Advent. The first three Sundays of Advent are Hope, Peace, and Joy. This was the third Sunday, the celebration of JOY. Unbelievable. God chose to reveal himself to us in the form of a pregnancy blessing during the week celebrating JOY. I was overwhelmed with emotion as the first hymn we sang was “Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee!” HOW APPROPRIATE. That was played as the recessional at our wedding almost seven years ago, and it is the first musical experience since knowing that our lives are forever changed. It was almost too much for my poor unstable emotions to handle, especially since only Michael and I knew our little secret! I was so overcome with JOY, and I immediately had a peace about God’s plan for us and this tiny life. As my mind ran wild and a peace settled over me during the service, I began to think about how we could use this season of Advent as a way to tell my family. Being a day of gifts and ornaments, it came to me that we could pick up some plain ball ornaments and write our messages of Advent on them, but instead of the last one honoring love, it would announce our pregnancy. So, after the service, we ran to Walgreens and picked up the supplies. On the first ball I wrote (with a Sharpie, no less) “We are HOPEful,” on the second, “We are at PEACE,” on the third, “We are filled with JOY” and finally on the last one I wrote, “WE ARE PREGNANT!!!” I packed them into an appropriately-themed “Joyful” gift bag in layers, so that they would have to be unwrapped in order.

It was almost torture to wait through a long lunch then gifts and other ornaments before it was time for mom to unwrap the special gift addressed to her. She wasn’t at all suspicious, which was shocking to me, and of course, fumbled with the wrapping and I was afraid she would get them out of order. I nervously mumbled something about how this is our humble homage to the Advent season and how we can all be reminded of the season through these ornaments. She was delighted with the first one and in true mom fashion, she read them out loud as she opened each one. Finally (still unsuspectingly) she unwrapped the last one. I thought she almost dropped it when she realized what it said.

She had (luckily) handed me the camera before she opened the gift and I was able to get her priceless reaction, and then dad’s shouts of “Hallelujah!!!” It was so wonderful! After hugs and some tears, we quickly told everyone that it was very early on and that normally we would have waited to tell, but we knew we needed their prayers. We also quickly made sure that Payne and Graycen knew that this was a secret for awhile. They both sweetly grinned and agreed, bless their hearts. It was such a special time, and we were so thankful to know that we’re not the only ones on our knees praying for this tiny life.

Everything since then has kind-of been a blur. It didn't take long for the extreme fatigue and nausea to set in, making Christmas quite difficult, but it wasn't so bad. I spent most of January just surviving - I mean making sure I'm clean and dressed every day kind of survival. (Clearly blogging was not part of my survival routine.) I think I actually Googled "death by exhaustion" one day when I was quite certain I wasn't going to make it, but I'm not complaining. The worst of it seems to be over now, and I think I might finally be able to return to the land of the living soon and possibly start planning for August.

First ultrasound - 8 weeks

2nd Ultrasound - 12 weeks
We still cant't believe it. Even though we've seen our little bean twice now (thanks tilted uterus, you make a heartbeat difficult to find) I still spend a great deal of time explaining to myself that it IS real. The devil loves to play with this tiny bit of doubt and run rampant with my mind sometimes - I honestly think this has been the hardest thing to deal with for me. Learning to trust, wait, and believe is an ongoing test of my faith - one that I'm sure God is using to prepare me for not having control over anything anymore. Huge lesson for me to learn, but an important one to learn and the sooner the better.
Thank you to those of you who have walked this journey so far with us and we can't thank you enough for your continued prayers!

The End

My incessant need for closure has led me to post a final farewell to this blog. Blogging was a whole new concept for me when I logged on l...