Saturday, February 28, 2009

Hankerings


People ask me if I have craved anything out of the ordinary these past few months, and honestly I have prided myself, for some unknown reason, in saying that "I have not" and that "my tastebuds have not been altered at all."  But, upon having more time for introspection today (I woke up at 4am not able to drift right back into my usual peaceful slumber), I realized that I have had some rather unusual hankerings along with some that have merely been enhanced, and I thought I would share them with you guys...

Cravings from the beginning until now (some of these have subsided):

Corn Dogs

Sushi (still going strong...and no, I don't eat raw sushi!)

Tomato and mayo sandwiches

Ovaltine (weird...HAD to buy some a few weeks ago)

Anything cold...smoothies, frozen decaf coffee, ice water, etc...

MEXICAN FOOD (could eat it almost every day)

Eggs....must need the protein

CEREAL!!

Grilled Cheese WITH Ovaltine  (just got this longing while typing, ha)

Milk in general...seriously, we go through a gallon in just a few days now

Dried Prunes...sounds gross at the moment

Peanut M&M's...now, I've always had a love affair with these yummies, but I could seriously almost convince myself to eat a whole bag if the situation warranted itself.  

I've also been thinking about pigs in a blanket for the past few days...



Okay, I think that's enough.  I don't want to scare any of you away, ha.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Diapers, Diapers, Diapers!!


What a special, thoughtful group of church friends we have!!  The youth leadership staff and team decided to selflessly bless us and another couple friend of ours with a diaper shower this past Sunday!  My parents were already in town last weekend, so I'm really glad they were able to come and meet everyone.  NEVER have I seen so many diapers and wipes!  Stan and I, being the cool people that we are (not), counted up the individual diapers and divided the number by weeks to conclude that our new stash should accommodate Anniston for more than half a year in all!!!  Wow!!  I know we can't even comprehend right now exactly how much of a blessing this is, but we can definitlely imagine!  THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO GAVE!!!  (**And an extra special shout-out to the amazing youth staff who planned this event!!**)


The best part of the shower was when everyone gathered around Stan and I and our sweet friends, Jeff and Paige (who just had a precious little girl, Addison!) to pray for us as we enter this new stage in life.  I LOVE our church family!

**Just wanted to also say a thank you to you all again for all of your prayers for us and Anniston.  We never imagined being on so many different prayer lists at so many different churches.  We have seen what it means to truly carry each other's burdens through your example!  Hope you're having a great week!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Detailed Update


God is so good!  Stan and I went to the doctor yesterday (Tuesday), and while our spirits were completely different than last Thursday, the news was the same.  When I say that our spirits were different, I mean that we felt such an overwhelming, perfect peace and trust in our God who is in complete control and who is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine.  I want to catch you all up on the details of what is going on so that you will know how to specifically pray for Anniston.

The diagnosis we were given last Thursday and that was confirmed yesterday includes two issues with her heart, a VSD and an Interrupted Aortic Arch, which I will try to explain as best I can with my limited knowledge of anatomy.

VSD, the first issue, stands for Ventricular Septal Defect which is basically a hole separating the left and right ventricles of the heart (or the lower chambers).  Our doctor told us that there are some VSDs that are small and actually are able to close up within the first couple years of life, but that this particular type of VSD is not one that closes up.  (We pray and know that God is more than able to show her different!)

          The second issue, Interrupted Aortic Arch, is more rare, and it means that this artery is not sending blood to the lower part of her body as it should be functioning.  Therefore, her pulmonary artery is having to work extra hard causing the lower right chamber to be larger than the lower left.

How is she doing so well inside of me?  That is the incredible part.  We learned yesterday that every child has an extra vessel in utero called the ductus arteriosis that does the job of sending the blood to the lower part of the body!  This shunt dissolves a few days after birth!  Isn't it so amazing that God has supplied exactly what she needs to be completely healthy inside of me?!  The doctors keep commenting on how much she moves during the ultrasounds...we have a fighter!  Her heartbeat is completely normal and seeing her so active is very encouraging.  

        This situation, looking at it with our human eyes, means that Anniston will be born in Jackson instead of Hattiesburg and that immediately after birth, she will be given some medicine that will make that extra vessel continue to work without dissolving right away as it would otherwise.  Then, on the second or third day after she is born, we will fly on a medical jet to Pennsylvania to have one surgery immediately on her heart.  The recovery would take about 2 weeks, and after that recovery period, we would be able to bring her home and return to life as normal.  

Now, obviously, we are not God, and we are not in control, so we are daily placing our lives as well as Anniston's life in His hands, and we truly believe that God is going to heal her!  I just wanted to tell you exactly what the doctors said because we want us all to be able to look back on the divine hand of God in this story He is writing.

We want everyone to know again how much your prayers and words of encouragement have blessed our lives.  I cannot express to you the peace and faith that we have experienced because so many of you are on your knees for us.  Thank you again, and I just want to end this particular post by sharing with you a few verses that we have been praying, and we would love for you to claim these as well.  We love you!!  

Lord, we pray and believe that you "will perfect what concerns us" (Psalm 138:8) and that you will "create in Anniston a clean heart and renew a steadfast spirit within her (Psalm 51:10)."  We thank you, Lord, that you "hold our right hand" (Isaiah 41:13) and that "every decision is from you (Proverbs 16:33)."  Thank you for "hemming us in behind and before and for laying your hand upon us (Psalm 139:5)."  We know above all that it is "by your stripes that Anniston is healed (Isaiah 53:5)" in order to bring glory to your name (Ephesians 3:20).

         PS:  Please know that we realize that we are not the only ones going through a testing time, so if you have anything that you need prayer for, please do not hesitate to let us know because we would love to lift you up in return!

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Few More Memories from Colorado


Pic from the top of Aspen Mountain.


22 week belly shot per request of the moms and Meg...


Another one for kicks and giggles...it's funny how it changes sizes throughout the day!


Our one souvenir!


Scenic view from gondola.


Too cool for school.


Relaxing in lobby and playing with camera.


Pensive thoughts by the fire....still playing with the camera :).


Goodbye Colorado!  It's been real.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Update

Hi Everyone!  The past two days have been kind of a whirlwind.  For those of you who do not know, we found out yesterday that Anniston may need to have heart surgery after being born. We've had our up and down moments, but we KNOW that God is in control, and He has a plan in all of this.  I promise I will give you more updates and details next week, but for now, I just want to ask you all to be praying for a miracle and that ultimately God will be glorified in our lives.  We have already seen so many positive repercussions from hearing this news, and it has been so awesome to feel completely dependent on the Lord and humbled by His power.  Like Stan said yesterday, God has already done 50 million perfect things in Anniston's body, and for those blessings, we are so incredibly grateful!  Tuesday, we will go back to Jackson for another ultrasound, so please be praying that her heart will be whole!  Thank you for the words of encouragement and prayers that we have already received.

A month ago, Stan decided to surprise me with a weekend trip to Aspen, CO for our last trip together before the baby comes, so we actually just arrived in Colorado today!  God knew that today was the exact day that we needed to arrive here, and we are having such a fun, relaxing time.  It's been so beneficial for us to get away and re-focus on what truly matters.  I thought I'd post some pics of the gorgeous day we have had...oh, and don't worry, I'm not skiing!!



Sun setting over Aspen Mountain



Can you tell we woke up at 2am this morning?!  ha



Icicles that could probably do some serious damage :).



Chillin.....literally.



The snow is about 2 feet deep, and we're expecting at least another foot tonight!



Roaring Fork River



Just thought this was funny...must be waiting on a spring thaw to begin biking.

Love you guys!

Monday, February 9, 2009

We have decided!

Yes, Anniston Claire Martin is the name that we have completely fallen in love with!  We wanted something different but not too out there, and this name just hit the spot!  I remember the first time I heard Anniston used as a first name...It was this past Christmas season, and we were visiting with Stan's Grandparents.  The dialogue turned to distant family members, and Stan's Granddad said something about a certain Anniston.  I could not tell you the details of that conversation because as soon as the name hit my ears, all I could think was "that's it!"  When I mentioned Anniston to Stan later that day, he felt exactly the same way I did about this sweet, irreplaceable girl name.  There it was, set in stone.  The next month and a half was spent pouring over boy names knowing that a boy was almost guaranteed when the girl name came so easily, ha.  Somehow, it seems this chapter of choosing a name was meant to be easy :).