Saturday, August 28, 2010

I pray you'll be in my eyes/ And watch her where she goes

I pray you'll be my eyes
And watch her where she goes
And help her to be wise
Help me to let go

Every mother's prayer
Every child knows
Lead her to a place
Guide her with your grace
To a place where she'll be safe

I pray she finds your light
And holds it in her heart
As darkness falls each night
Remind her where you are

Every mother's prayer
Every child knows
Need to find a place
Guide her with your grace
Give her faith so she'll be safe

Lead her to a place
Guide her with your grace
To a place where she'll be safe

Dear Charlotte,

You will be here so soon. How my arms long to hold you. How my eyes long to see your face. How my ears long to hear you cry for me. How my mouth longs to speak words of love to you. How my heart longs to know that you will be ok.

I have prayed for you before you even came to be. I am so thankful that God has granted the desires of my heart; that in just a few more days I will have you as my child. My love for you is greater than I knew existed, and I know it will only grow with each passing day.

When you skin your elbow and children say unkind things to you, your daddy and I are here. When you get sick and your tummy hurts, we will try to make things better. When school gets hard and the days seem long, Daddy and I will do our best to help. When friends are caddy and life gets you down, we will be right here to hold you and brush away your tears. We love you, and that will never change.

But as much as I want you to have an easy, carefree childhood, filled with happy days; my heart's desire for you is that your life would be one lived to glorify God. In your darkest hour it is He who can raise you out of the pit of sin and despair. Your father and I will always be here for you, but we know that only Christ can satisfy the deepest longings of your heart. I pray that you will know His love at a young age and cling to Him for strength. I want you to live a long, full life: to get married and have children and grandchildren. But regardless of when your life on earth is over, I want you to hear: "well done my good and faithful servant."

Charlotte, your father and I love you and are longing to me you. We will mess up many times; please forgive us. We are praying that God would light our path on this journey through parenthood, so that we could be what He desires you to have.

All the love in our hearts,
Mommy and Daddy

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

"For the times they are a-changin' "

Last Wednesday, I had a check up with my OB in Huntsville. Normally these are very quick, non-eventful visits. However, I had a bit of a scare, because I had not only lost a few pounds but my stomach measurement had dropped by a few weeks. I started to immediately panic that Charlotte had lost weight and they would make me go in for an emergency c-section. God is sovereign and good, and after an ultra sound to check out Charlotte’s progress, they told me she was now up to 5 lb 7 oz!!!! I know these are all estimates but I was proud of my little girl. I contribute her wonderful weight gain to the chocolate molten cake with s’more ice cream I devoured the night before!!! Maybe she will be up to 6 lb by the time she is born.

After the doctor’s visit I headed to Covington for a few nights. I had some errands to run in Atlanta (a few more things to purchase for my hospital stay) and thought a trip home would be nice. It was wonderful to hang out with my parents, Henry, and Dana for a few days. The real bonus was getting to see all that Dana has done for Lia’s nursery. It is wonderful!!! The wall color is so soothing, but then there are brighter colors that any child would love. And the rug is the softest thing you have ever put your feet on. Dana has also painted a fair amount of the furniture which turned out fantastic. I’m jealous of this talent because my one attempt to paint furniture turned out rather pitiful. The crib wasn’t up yet but the room still looked amazing. I absolutely cannot wait to see it with sweet Lia inside!!!! Hopefully, Henry will post some pictures on his blog when it is finished.

My other favorite part of my trip home was a delicious dinner I enjoyed with everyone on Thursday night. Poor Ben, I haven’t been much of a cook as of late and wish he could have been with me to enjoy it all. My mom made a scrumptious artichoke and chicken dish and my brother brought a beautiful strawberry roulade for dessert. He is an excellent chef, and it seems every dish he makes is perfection. That night I said goodbye to Henry and Dana for the last time before Charlotte’s arrival. It was definitely a reality check. My heart pounded out of my chest as they drove away and I realized the next time I saw them would be with a baby!!! How quickly time passes. As I lay in my bed that night so many memories flooded me. Was it really so many years ago when Will, Henry, and I were riding through rain puddles on our bikes? When the three of us were climbing the fence to get to the pound behind our house? When we were fighting over which Saturday morning cartoons to watch? It just doesn’t seem that long ago when Henry and I were playing in leaf piles and now we’re about to be parents. It is wild to think I will be experiencing so many of these events from a mother’s perspective soon. It reminds me of words from one of our favorite movies as children: “The greatest adventure is what lies ahead. Today and tomorrow are yet to be said. The chances, the changes are all yours to make. The mold of your life is in your hands to break.” Here’s to “the greatest adventure” and the many that lie ahead!!!

Ben and I had another weekend at home which was great since they have been such a rarity this summer. We had a divine dinner with the Barber’s Friday night. Thank you, thank you Ann!!! Your house was lovely (as always), the meal was delicious, the fellowship was wonderful, and I am sorry we kept y’all up so late but we had such a great time. Thank you!!! Saturday, Ben and I both had the “nesting” instinct going on and were able to clean his car, sort books, move games to a new spot, and clean the garage. I have to give Ben full credit for the garage which had gotten to the point of ridiculous (mostly my fault) and now makes us both smile when we see how organized it is. Sunday, was a wonderful end to the weekend with a very powerful sermon by Steve and I was happy to have communion before Charlotte’s arrival. We also got to go over to Beth and Graham’s house which was tons of fun. She has done more decorating and arranging since I was there last and the house looks wonderful. I’m especially in love with a group of pug pictures she has in her library/sitting room. We were also able to eat lunch at Grill 29 which is one of my favorites. It is so nice to have family in the same town!!!

This might be a bit too much info for any guys that read my blog but I’m going to share anyway!!! Monday night Ben and I went to a movie with his parents and afterward I noticed I was a bit sore. Kind of like cramps but I didn’t think much of it. Tuesday morning I had my last OB visit in Huntsville. They decided to do a test which checks the baby’s heart rate, movement, and contractions. Of course, whenever I have any testing done I get nervous about how things are going. I was hooked up to monitors and told to press a button every time I felt Charlotte move. Her movement has always been a concern to me because she can be a bit sedentary, and with a first time pregnancy it’s very hard to know what is “normal.” I was left to do this for twenty minutes. It seemed like two hours. After a little while my Doctor came in to look at the results. She would have like to have seen more variance in Charlotte heart rate but I think since my c-section is schedule so soon it is not a huge concern. The other thing she asked was if I could feel all these contractions I was having. WHAT?!!! I thought they were just some painful jabs from Charlotte. I have to say when she showed me how regular they were I began to think I might be driving down to UAB and having the baby that day. However, my cervix is still closed (relief flooded me when she told me this), and she told me to just try and rest to prevent going into labor. And of course, to call if they got bad enough I could not talk through them or if I thought my water broke. They did get very sharp by the end of the day but were still very irregular and short. I also noticed that I was guaranteed to have one when I got up after sitting for awhile. Since I cannot have Advil…I found solace in ice cream!!! I think what I am having is prodromal labor which is basically painful Braxton-Hicks. And from what I have read, can be much worse than what I am experiencing. The pain is more annoying and fatiguing than it is anything to write home about. Thankfully, it did not keep me from sleeping like it does to some women, and it has seemed mild this morning. However, it has made me jump on the ball about packing my hospital bag!!!

I cannot believe there are only five more days till Charlotte’s arrival. Sometimes I wonder if I should be more nervous, or more excited, or more ready. Yet, I think the birth of a child is just something you have to experience to truly realize the full wonder of it all. And I am sure I will not be getting much sleep Sunday night!! Thanks for all the prayers, words of encouragement, and wonderful friendship you all have provided. I’ll try to post at least once more before the birth…unless she decides to come early. Ben and I will also try to keep everyone posted during the process, just please bear with us as there are still so many unknowns, and it will be a bit chaotic for awhile.

“May the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge, reward you fully for what you have done.” –Ruth 2:12

Monday, August 16, 2010

A dream is wish your heart makes/ when you're fast asleep./ In dreams you will lose your heartache/ whatever you wish for you'll keep

"Have faith in your dreams and someday
A rainbow will come shinning through.
No matter how your heart is aching
If you keep on believing
A dream is a wish that will come true."

Finally, the nursery is finished!!!

My dad gave me the art work and I LOVE it!!!

A possible going home outfit

Maybe she'll have some hair so I can use the bows :)

Uh-Oh!!! She already has a closet full of clothes!
She is taking after her mother!!!

A blanket I won't stay clean for long.

I have had such fun decorating the nursery but I cannot wait until Charlotte is in her room!!! Only two more weeks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"To everything - turn, turn, turn/ There is a season- turn, turn, turn/ And a time for every purpose under heaven"

How the time flies…and the days just get hotter and hotter. It’s so fun being pregnant when it’s 108 degrees like it is today!!! But the journey is almost over and the best is yet to come.

Another busy few weeks has past since my last blog. July 31 I had another amazing baby shower, this time in Scottsboro. The theme was “Welcome to the Nest, Charlotte.” This is perfect because I have a bit of an obsession with birds…my mom is the same way. The club house where the shower was located was decorated beautifully with flowers, baby pictures of Ben and me, delicious foods and bird d├ęcor. I once again ate my weight in yummy treats. My favorites were precious bird cake party favors my wonderful sister-in-law made. I took about 5 home and they lasted all of a few minutes!!! There are pictures on Facebook for any who are interested. Thank you so much to all the women who made the shower possible. Everything was stunning and I had an absolute ball! Best of all was being surrounded by so many women who already love Charlotte and are praying for her welfare. It was a reminder once again of just how awesomely God provides for and loves His children. How thankful I am that He led Ben and me to Riverside. We could not ask for a more wonderful and supportive church. And we are both so happy that Charlotte will grow up surrounded by such a strong body of believers.

After the shower we had a few days break and then Thursday we headed down to Birmingham for the night. Friday morning we headed off to UAB for another appointment. This time Ben’s parents were able to come, which was great because Mary had not seen an ultrasound since I was 20weeks and Mike never had. There were a few issues that arose during this time. Charlotte dropped from 16th percentile for growth to 8th (she weighed 4lb 5oz at the time). Anything under 10 is considered abnormal, so they did a few tests to make sure everything was alright. First they took pictures of the amniotic fluid which looked fine. Then they checked her “practice” breaths. Babies get their oxygen from momma, but towards the end they start practice breathing. To pass the test they have to “breathe” for 30 seconds in 30 minutes. Well, little Miss Charlotte was breathing the whole time. I think she is making sure her lungs are quite capable of crying!!! The last test was to check for movement. This took awhile but she finally did move enough to pass. The weight made me a bit nervous but the Doctor assured me that everything looked fine.

The other issue which arose was the fact that Charlotte was and still is breached. Unfortunately, this means a c-section which has now been scheduled for Aug. 30. I am extremely happy to know the date of Charlotte’s arrival. However, I am not looking forward to a c-section. I am well aware that women go through them all the time, but it is going to be tough trying to recover while my baby is in the NICU and wanting to be with her all the time. It might sound silly but I continue to pray that if it is in God’s will she would flip, and that if it is not in His will, that I would peacefully accept the surgery. I have been doing a few yoga type moves to encourage her to flip. If only you all could see me…I look hilarious in these awkward positions with my bulging belly!!! I have also tried putting ice packs around her head because I read that sometimes they move away from the cold to warmth. Oh, the lengths mothers go to!!!

I am trying not to get too stressed and focus on the wonderful reality that in just 19 more days Charlotte will be here!!! Plus, now I not only get to use the line “but Honey I’m pregnant” to Ben but I also get the added “but I have to have surgery.” Hahaha. Lately he has been saying “You don’t understand how hard it is, I have a pregnant wife at home” and thinks it is SO funny!!! But really, Ben has been great through this whole process. He has listened as I have rambled on about pregnancy symptoms, birthing fears, baby toys, and everything else that a new mom to be is surrounded by. And best of all he has kept me laughing!!! I really can’t believe we only have a couple more weeks with just the two of us. It is scary and exciting all at once. When I get nervous about how a baby will change our relationship I think about getting married. So many people are scared to get married because they wonder about the changes, but in my book, being married is so infinitely better than dating it is hard to describe. Yes, there are tough things about it, but the good FAR out weighs the bad. And getting married was following God’s plan for my life which always reaps blessings. I remind myself that there are changes ahead and hard times, but like marriage, I know that having a child is part of God’s plan for my life; therefore His grace will be boundless through it all.

Thanks to all of you who have prayed for our family throughout this process. It has meant the world to both me and Ben. We love you all and thank God for placing you in our lives. I will continue to keep you all posted as the date quickly approaches. We do not go back to UAB till the due date barring any complications, but I still have checkups in Huntsville. I’ll try to let everyone know how they go, and I will be sure to tell you if she does flip!!!