Saturday, May 30, 2009

catching up


I'm so very last minute posting these pics from a couple of special showers, but I just wanted to make sure these gals know how much I love them and how much I appreciated their thoughtfulness!  I also know I better go ahead and post these now because after next Monday, we're only going to see pics of a certain someone!

This first shower was given last month by some special friends that were in the youth group that I interned with in college.  Several sweet girls from the youth as well as the college ministry were able to come, and we had a great time!  It's crazy because so many of these girls are graduating high school and even college now!

Thank you Lindsey and Lauren for everything!

The food was delicious!


Aren't these the most precious petit fours?


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This next shower was given by some sweet friends here in Hattiesburg a couple weeks ago.  It was so much fun!

It was extra-special to have family in town for the shower!

Thank you Emily, Melissa, Amanda, and Laura!!

Yummy!!!



Thanks again!!!

*I've received so many sweet e-mails, comments, voice-mails, and text messages in the last couple of days from many of you, and I just wanted to say thank you and that I will get back to you as soon as I can!  I wish I had more time these last couple of days before Anniston is here to chat with you all, but I'm sure you understand.  I feel so blessed to have you all in my life and that you care enough to check in on us!  

**ALSO, my appointment yesterday was great...my doc said I'm closer to 3cm dilated now, and I'm 75% effaced!  Maybe Anniston'll be ready right when we get to the hospital on Monday!  Wouldn't that be great?!  Almost sounds too good to be true, ha.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

longest post ever


In trying to watch what I say by speaking positively and in striving to claim health for Anniston, I’m afraid that there may be some misconceptions out there.  While praising God for her wonderful Biophysical Profiles, I never thought about the fact that to everyone else, this might seem like Anniston has been just fine from our doctors’ point of view, that our situation isn’t a big deal, or that her problem has “solved itself” (which is impossible in our doctors’ eyes, by the way).  I just want to clear up a few things and kind of recap the last few months from our doctors’ as well as our perspectives.  I’m sorry that this is such a long post, but I’ve realized that there are a lot of things that I have neglected to share.

The end of January, when we went to the doctor for our ultrasound to discover if we were having a boy or a girl, thinking only of how exciting it would be to see our baby moving around and wondering what in the world its name would be if it were a boy, the ultrasound tech took a good look at our baby, measured her, took detailed pictures of all of her organs, and told us that we were in fact having a girl.  Stan and I were so excited that we barely noticed the tech excusing herself for a moment.  A thought jumped to my mind that it seemed strange that she was leaving, but I quickly dismissed the idea and continued talking in amazement with Stan about the sight we had just seen.  Before we knew it, the ultrasound tech was back, asking us to follow her to our doctor down the longest hallway I have ever walked in my life.  I remember grabbing Stan’s hand and telling him that we shouldn’t have to see the doctor unless something was wrong.  After waiting quietly in the room we were assigned, our doctor walked in, and she told us not to panic but that something looked strange with our baby’s heart, like maybe she had a hole.  An appointment was made for us in Jackson with a specialist, and from that moment on, we would no longer have a “normal” pregnancy.

I cried when we got to the car that day, and Stan was so strong. We prayed, dried my tears, and called family, friends, and even posted on this blog to tell our good news that we were having a girl.  Knowing that some types of holes close on their own and not wanting to worry anyone over nothing, we decided not to say anything about what the doctor told us since the specialist had not yet confirmed what was seen.

Two weeks later, we went to Jackson, sure that there must have been some mistake.  Stan and I even planned to have lunch at one of our favorite places after the appointment and to register in Jackson that afternoon!  Needless to say, our plans did not come to fruition.  The specialist, ultrasound tech, and cardiologist each looked at our Anniston that day, and they all came to the conclusion that she had an Interrupted Aortic Arch in her heart and that this had caused the VSD (hole).  *Let me interrupt by saying that we have had the best doctors and medical staff tend to us, and we are so very grateful that God has given us them.*  They tried to explain it to us, and I remember Stan getting really pale and almost passing out.  So, I’m laying there, trying to understand how serious this issue was when the cardiologist tells us that one in 100 children have some form of heart defect and that 4% of that 1% have a condition as advanced as Anniston’s.  The cardiologist said that it was very rare and that she only knew of one other child in our area who has had this defect, and he is now 7 years old.  Wow.  Okay, now it hit me.

That day was horrible and wonderful, all at the same time.  Stan and I cried and prayed like we never have, and we began to seek God like never before as well.  It was hard to realize the trial we were facing, but it was great to already see God working in such a powerful way in our lives and in the lives of those around us.

We’ve had several appointments since that first meeting with the cardiologist, and the diagnosis has not changed.  Stan asked at our second appointment in Jackson if this defect was something that could correct itself as Anniston’s heart matures, and we were blatantly told “no.”  The heart is fully formed at 7 or 8 weeks, and nothing is supposed to change for the better on its own (God has already proven this to be untrue.)  At that visit, it was discussed in more detail that after Anniston is born, we would need to go to Pennsylvania so that she could have surgery on her heart to attach the arch and to close the hole.

It was really hard on us at first.  I’ve had tears rolling down my face since starting to type this story because it’s so difficult to remember those initial feelings.  We’ve had our selfish moments wondering: “Why us?” “What did we do wrong?” and thinking: “This isn’t fair.”  But, God has always quickly assured us that He has a plan, and that we need to completely put our trust and faith in Him that He is able to heal and that He will heal our little girl.

While we believe that God has healed Anniston, I just thought you needed to know that we have not seen much physical evidence of this yet and that we do continue to covet your prayers for her miraculous healing.  We have sat through 9 ultrasounds and have seen the hole EVERY time.  Our doctors have also not been able to see clearly the Aortic Arch (except for one time that they thought maybe they saw it but could not verify).  BUT, our God heals!  This fact has already been confirmed in our story as you will remember in the beginning when the left side of her heart was a normal size, and the right side was twice as big, but now, it is symmetrical!  We TRULY believe that He has healed her even beyond what we have seen and that she will be born just perfect.  I guess the main reason I am writing all of this is so that Jesus can receive all of the glory that only He deserves instead of us forgetting these details of our journey and chalking the good report that we believe we will hear up to chance.  We are so excited to see what God has in store!  I do apologize if I haven’t shared enough in the past.  We still want to speak positively and claim nothing less than healing over Anniston, so thank you for joining us in that endeavor.  Thank you also for hearing me out, and thank you most of all for your prayers of faith.

“The prayer offered in faith WILL make the sick person well; the Lord WILL raise him up!” James 5:15

Love you!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

"can it get any bigger than this?"


*Actual, sincere quote from my lovely husband tonight.

I couldn't help but laugh.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

current craving


For some reason, I typically have this silly, deep desire in me to do things in the most difficult manner possible, particularly when it comes to cooking and baking, BUT miraculously lately, it is the simple staples that are catching my eye.  Maybe mom-mode is kicking in, or maybe it's just the fact that I'm almost 37 weeks pregnant, and I do not want to be standing up in a hot kitchen while subjecting my stomach and Anniston to the dangers of the intense heat of a skillet that just so happens to be at belly height :)  (flashback of the iron).

So, tonight, we're having spinach and tomato pizza.  Why?  Because we have these ingredients in the fridge.  It's just a roll/can of pizza dough brushed with olive oil, sprinkled with red pepper, and topped with your usual.  Well, you might not usually put a handful of spinach and sliced tomatoes on your pie, but I'm here to say:  "you should."
 
Stan and I have been able to each make two meals out of this "recipe".  If you've never had spinach and tomato pizza, please trust me and try it...hope you all have a great holiday tomorrow!  Thank you to all who serve and who have served our country!  I know that my mind cannot even begin to comprehend just how much I should be grateful.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

news


This morning has been full of ups and downs emotionally for me.  I guess you could say I have good news, sad news.  

I am happy to report that all of the good news is about Anniston.  We had another appointment in Hattiesburg today, and she scored another 10 out of 10 on her Biophysical Profile!  ALSO....my doctor informed me today that I am 2cm dilated and halfway effaced/thinned out!!  She said this means that I have a very good chance of delivering normally with the induction, so that's exciting.  (Even though the c-section has been sounding pretty good lately, ha.)  She also went over what we would need to do if I went into labor before our induction date (June 1st), so that was eye-opening.  Oh, and it looks like Anniston should weigh about 6 lbs or maybe a little more, and we're still seeing that crazy long hair floating around :).

grandpa and mom

Okay, now for the sad/emotional part:  My grandpa passed away last night.  It's hard to even type that because it doesn't seem real.  My mom just told me Monday that he wasn't doing so well, and then before I knew it, she was flying to CO yesterday morning to see him.  We are so grateful that my mom was able to talk to him and that he could talk back and say that he loved her and all of us.  We are also grateful that the Lord chose to take him in his sleep, so he was not suffering, and we are mostly joyful that he is in a much better place now without any pain.  

I wish I could write all I want to say about him, but I'm having a hard time putting it into words.  He was one of the kindest, most thoughtful men I have ever met, and he will be missed greatly.  Maybe I can share more about him when I have my thoughts together.  The pictures are from last October...

me, my grandpa, William McBride, and my brother, Matthew

It feels strange typing two such contrasting sets of news in one post, but I wanted you to know what is going on.  Thank you for your prayers for our family.  Also, thank you for praying for my friend Laura's dad, he is doing much better...

Friday, May 15, 2009

the tour



Hi Kelly's Korner!  
I posted our daughter's nursery a couple of weeks ago because I had already promised I would, but I'm glad that now I can share it with all of you!

Here's Anniston's room!  It all started with the bright pink damask rug (from Target) which pretty much dictated the color palette for the rest of the room.  Don't I sound like an official tour guide?  ha  Anyway, I wanted to add little glimpses of the brighter pink without it being too overwhelming, so hopefully that was accomplished.  Isn't the pink toy bin with her name so cute?!  Thank you Woodards and Simpsons!  My mom bought Anniston the softest pink blanket that is draped over the crib rail, and the bedding is from JC Penney (pink ties were added).  *Oh, I just remembered that the rug was the only thing I bought for our baby before finding out we were having a girl.  I just knew a boy was on the way because of this purchase, ha.*


The other side of the room...


One of my favorite buys:  the glider!


The precious painting inside the picture frame was such a sweet gift from my very talented friend, Randi...go check out her website, and you'll see what I mean.


The closet:  I know, I'm almost embarrassed by the amount of clothes she already has, but between me, two first-time grandmothers and gracious friends and family, you have a recipe for disaster!  And, don't worry, the Diaper Champ 
will be moved soon :).  


The End.  Thanks for stopping by!


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I just received a call from one of my friends here, Laura, whose dad had triple bypass heart surgery today.  The surgery went okay, but he still desperately needs prayer.  Pray for complete healing and for this to be the last operation he will need (he has had several).  He has lost a good bit of blood, and he is pretty swollen.  Also, pray for rest for Laura and her family.  Thanks...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Snoozing



Here is a new pic of Anniston from our appointment today!

Our visit today went sooo well!  The doctors in Jackson asked my OB here in Hattiesburg to do a weekly Biophysical Profile on Anniston until our induction (June 1st!).  This exam includes an ultrasound as well as about 10-15 minutes of fetal heart monitoring to assess her practiced breathing, movements, fluid, heart rate, and muscle tone.  Today was Anniston's first test, and she passed with flying colors!!  The highest score you can get is a 10 out of 10, and that's exactly what she got!  I asked God to give me some encouragement and hope today from this appointment, and He has more than answered that prayer.   We are praising God and are so thankful that she is perfectly healthy!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Long time no post...


Sorry about that!  I don't really have anything of major significance to say, but I do have a lot of randomness that I have thought about sharing in the last week, so I will just combine it all into one long, semi-directionless post.  

*I am so glad to know I'm not the only pregnant woman who has burned her belly with the iron.  The mark is thankfully almost gone now :). 

*Stan's parents came last Friday night for a short visit, and we had a great time of relaxing, eating barbecue, and catching up!  

*My once-a-week appointments (in Hattiesburg) start tomorrow, and they want to do an ultrasound every visit to check Anniston's measurements.  I know she's fine, so it's really kind of fun getting to see her so much.  

*I washed all of mine and Anniston's clothes for the hospital yesterday, so we're pretty much packed except for those last-minute throw-ins like chargers, toiletries, and the camera.

*I had the best first Mother's Day.  Stan gave me a sweet silver necklace with a disc/charm that has Anniston's initial, and we will add her birth-stone charm soon!  We had Mexican food (might become a Mother's Day tradition!), and we went storm chasing that night with TCBY in hand.  Super fun.

*Speaking of TCBY:  Our local place just told us the other night that they are NOT offering cookie dough as a topping anymore!  Did you hear what I just said??  Let the reality sink in for a moment.  Mom, I know you share my pain.  It was one of the saddest moments I've had in a while (not being over-dramatic at all, ha).  But, seriously, Stan practically had to pick my jaw up off of the console.  The girl wound up giving me my yogurt for free :).  I think she was moved to be so generous because of the distraught look/horror on my face.  

*I decided that I will post pictures of the nursery this Friday because Kelly at Kelly's Korner is doing a tour of homes every Friday, and this week is children's rooms/nurseries!  So, if any of you ladies with a blog want to join in on the fun, you can just do a post of the room and link to her blog this Friday!  I think it will be fun to see everyone's style and to get new ideas.  Kelly has already done a Friday of kitchens and a Friday of living rooms, so you can check those out on her blog if you'd like!   ***Okay, nevermind!  I just saw that she changed the room this Friday to Guest Bedrooms, so maybe we can have fun with that, but I WILL put up some nursery pics this week.

*On the spiritual front, things are going great.  I have my moments, but God is always faithful to comfort me and to assure both me and Stan that He is in control and that we just need to continue to trust Him for healing.  You know how sometimes the same verse will keep coming to your attention, and you know that God is speaking to you?  That verse for me lately is "Be still and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10).  I had the best time with God today just laying outside looking at the clouds, thinking about how immeasurably great and powerful He is.  I need to be still more...  There are other verses that have been such an encouragement to me recently.  Just wanted to share:

James 5:15a  "The prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up."

2 Corinthians 12:9 "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."

Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."

Isaiah 40:31 "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint."

We're taking it day by day, waiting and trusting.  We know that God is faithful to His promises, and we are excitedly anticipating our little miracle!

*Oh, and we got a new piano!  Well, it's actually from the 1970's, I think, but it's new to us, and Stan is actually playing right now!  He's going to be the live entertainment for our future supper club get-togethers :).  We still need a bench...

Love you all!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

33 1/2 Weeks!



Just found this last picture in the same dress.  I was somewhere around 20 weeks, and I'm pretty sure I thought my stomach was getting big...

I forgot to tell you guys that when we had our most recent ultrasound in Jackson, they said that Anniston's legs are measuring long, and we could see that she has hair!  It was so strange seeing her long locks floating around in the fluid.  Wonder what color?!  AND, it was very obvious 
that she has Stan's pretty lips! 

Here they are if you haven't been blessed to see them in a while.


Also, note to self (from experience this morning):  Iron with belly covered after 30 weeks :).