Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Another Miracle!

Since I started this blog I have been amazed at how many people have contacted me and said they were going through a similar experience or knew someone that was. I always trusted that God was not allowing us to go through this incredibly difficult and painful journey without purpose. I truly believed one of the main purposes was so we could be there for others who were hurting and going through the same thing. Through this blog God has really allowed me that privilege. Today I found out one of the girls that had contacted me is now pregnant! We have been emailing for several months now and even though I didn’t know her all that well before she contacted me she is someone I share a very special connection with now. She has become a friend. As I waited today for her results I was going crazy. She had really been on my heart this month and I had been praying for her a lot and just really wanted this to be the month for her. Finally this afternoon she emailed and told me her good news! Praise God for yet another miracle!

I have really started to blossom in the last week or so and I think when I post my 20 week tummy picture you will see much more of a difference. I'm feeling lots of stretching going on. I also think I have started to feel Ava Kate move in the last week. It is so fast that I second guess myself but I’m pretty sure that is what I’m feeling. I'm so anxious to start feeling her all the time and for Justin to be able to feel her. My mom found her journal from when she was pregnant with me and we realized her due date with me was only 3 days before my due date. She first felt me move right about this time too. It was neat to see how alike parts of our pregnancies have been. She can hear my voice soon if not already so I'm going to start reading to her at night and singing her lullabies. I'm 19 weeks today which means I'm almost halfway there which in some ways blows my mind. It seems like just yesterday I was still longing to be pregnant and now here I am 4 and a half months away from getting to hold my little miracle in my arms!

It has been a really fun week. Last week my mom and I went and picked out fabric for her bedding which was so much fun since that is something we’ve been dreaming of getting to do for a long time now. Saturday Justin and I pulled the crib out of the garage and cleaned it up and got it set up. We weren’t sure if we were going to have all of the pieces so we wanted to go ahead and set it up to be sure we weren’t missing anything. It was definately a team work event getting the crib set up. You'll see in the pics below Bella and Oscar decided to join in on the fun. We found we were missing one "small" piece- the springs that the mattress sits on- kind of important. Luckily my dad found it in their attic so her crib is all set up although we’ll just be taking it back down in a few weeks so Justin can get it painted. That afternoon all my family went to the pumpkin patch which was quite an adventure. Ethan and Keller were not all that interested in being there so we took a few pictures and were on our way. It was fun to think that next year Ava Kate will be with us. Sunday after church we went to Old Navy and bought her a few outfits for next spring including a precious little tutu skirt! I also learned about a wonderful website called I have spent many hours on there since I found out about it. If you haven't checked it out you really need to. This week I went and picked out her changing table and side table to sit by the rocker at a cute little place called The Furniture Junk-It. The lady buys furniture at garage sales and flea markets and repairs it and paints it whatever color you want with an antique finish. It is very cute, shabby chic and reasonable! I also took the fabrics for her room and picked a beautiful rose color paint to put on the walls. Of course her nursery is still an office full of all Justin's sport memorabilia so his Thanksgiving break will be busy getting the office cleaned out and ready to become Ava Kate's nursery. I can't wait to watch it all come together and become the perfect nursery for our precious baby girl!

Fabric for Ava Kate's bedding, rocker and curtains

Bella and Oscar looking at Justin as if they were asking "What are you planning on putting in there?"

Ava Kate's crib courtesy of Aunt Natalie- this was her crib as a baby!

Two little farmers!

Happy to be at the pumpkin patch!

Ready for a nap!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sweet Ava Kate

You are truly a dream come true, a miracle and one of the greatest joys I have ever known! I am so thrilled to be able to write this specifically to you now. I love being able to call you by your name now. Your name has been chosen for over 4 years. Ava means “voice or like a bird” and Kate means “pure.” I love your name- the way it sounds, what it means and most of all that it’s yours. I always knew we would one day have our Ava Kate. After all your nana has referred to you as Ava Kate since before you were conceived. You see your nana really needs a little granddaughter to have tea parties with. When I was a little girl we used to have wonderful tea parties in my bedroom and we would set the table and sometimes your pop, my dad, would bring me flowers home after work so we would put them on the table. Of course there were some empty chairs so my stuffed animals would join us. One day you, me and your nana can have a tea party together at that same little table that we still have and saved just for you. There are a lot of people that are very excited about you! I know your grandma is going to be burning up the road between here and Houston and she will enjoy spoiling you rotten! You are going to have lots of fun with her. And between her, your daddy and your grandpa you are liable to be a little golfer! And the men well lets just say you are going to have several men wrapped around your tiny little finger. Your daddy is so excited to be getting his Ava Kate! He already loves you so very much! Your pop and grandpa while they might pretend to be tough and nonchalant, they are both softies at heart and let me tell you little girl you are going to melt their hearts. In fact I bet you already have! Of course there are so many others in our family that are just as thrilled about your arrival- your grandmother and papa, aunt Natalie, aunt Lisa and uncle Steve just to name a few! Even your cousin Keller who was adamant that you were a boy is very excited to meet his new cousin Ava Kate. And I know Lila is thrilled as well because she has been telling me for a while now that she hoped I was having a baby girl because she had a box of socks to give you. You are one very loved baby girl! Ever since I learned you were my Ava Kate I have been dreaming of things like rocking you to sleep and singing you lullabies, dressing you up for photos, having tea parties and enjoying having a partner in my Saturday morning concerts for your daddy. I’m also having a lot of fun planning out your nursery. I love little birds and nests and anything robins egg blue so I’m going to paint your walls robins egg blue and make your room very vintage and girly! In fact I stopped in Its About Time on Monday when I got the news and I picked up a few things for your nursery already. I want to create the perfect “nest” for my sweet little bird. You can see in the pictures below we have already been accumulating things for your room and you have some darling little girl clothes already too. Of course it wasn't all us- your grandma and nana have already been shopping for you and we have received some really sweet things from friends as well. Sometimes it is hard to imagine that in 5 months or less you will be in our arms. For so long you have just been a dream in our hearts and now you are a reality. We are so thankful for you and count you as one of the greatest blessings we have ever received from the Lord. Every moment of waiting and wishing and wondering when we would be blessed with you was worth it. We didn't know if we would conceive you naturally, with help or if we would adopt you but we both knew we would one day have our Ava Kate. God always knew His plan for you though just like He knows His plan for the rest of your life! The day I get to hold you in my arms for the first time will be the greatest day I have ever known! I love you my little songbird!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Dr. Says...

Today was a very exciting day! We had our appt with my doctor and we were not sure if we would get to have a sonogram or not so we had prepared ourselves to have to wait until our appointment a couple of weeks later with the specialist. When I pulled up to the doctor’s office and saw only one parking spot available I thought things don’t look so good. Then when I walked into the waiting room there were more people than I’d ever seen in there. We figured since it was so busy and we had to wait almost two hours to go back that we were not likely to get a sonogram. But when they called me back the nurse said before I weigh you I want to ask you something. She told me that Dr. Mascarro wanted to do a sonogram but the other doctor was in the room so I could either wait for the room or just skip the sonogram. Well what do you think I said? Of course I said we will wait for the room! She went ahead and weighed me and I had actually lost a pound probably from being sick with that stomach bug and by the time she finished that the room was available. While we waited in the room for the doctor to come back we were all so excited to get to see our sweet baby again and to know if he/she was an Eli or Ava. When the doctor came in and started the sonogram and got to the part where she asked us if we were interested in knowing if it was a boy or girl. I quickly said yes we are very interested. I think we all were just holding our breath as she looked. When she finally said it looks like a girl to me I said really? I had just been so certain it was a boy. I looked over at Justin and he had tears in his eyes and the biggest smile I’ve ever seen on his face. My mom was also thrilled. Of course I was so excited as well just a little shocked. I had always imagined myself with a girl but then for some reason I really thought I was having a boy so it just really caught me by surprise. Looks like most of you were right when you guessed girl. I believe the final numbers were 12 votes for a boy and 38 votes for a girl. Of course ever since we found out my head has been swirling with ideas and dreams and thoughts for my sweet Ava Kate! She was so sweet in the sonogram and she even waived to us. You could see her little hand and her spine and ribs so vividly! She was pretty calm although she was wiggling around in there a little bit. I know I’m biased but I already thought she was really beautiful!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Abundantly Blessed!

Well I missed the 16 week update last week so here we are at 17weeks. The last couple of weeks have been pretty crazy. The last month has definitely gone much faster than the first few months did. The baby is now the size of a baked potato. Its skeleton is starting to turn from cartilage to bone. It weighs about 5 ounces and is about 5 inches long. I am feeling lots of sensations but I think what I’m feeling are the ligaments in my uterus stretching but still not feeling baby moving yet. It is exciting to think that I could start feeling that anytime now. With all the different sensations I have going on though sometimes it is hard to know what I am feeling. My belly is definitely starting to pop out there more. I’ve included an updated belly photo below. There is quite a bit of difference since the last photo. This coming Monday we have our next appointment with my doctor and might get to have a sonogram if she has time. If not we will have a sonogram in about 3 weeks so we should know in the next few weeks if we are having an Ava or an Eli.
17 week belly!

Last week I had a stomach bug and it took me most of the week to get over it. I finally got my appetite back this week. It was a little scary because I was worried about the baby and if it was getting all the nutrients it needs but everyone kept telling me the baby was getting everything and I was the one not getting the nutrients which would explain why I was so weak and tired last week. Last Thursday evening we had my work party which was a Roaring 20’s Murder Mystery Dinner. It was a pretty interesting evening. I played the sultry jazz singer and Justin played the sleazy politician. It was fun to see everyone all dressed up and out of their normal character but I wish I had been feeling a little more lively. I am on the event planning committee at work so it is always nice to see our hard work paid off and I think it did. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and liked that we did something really different this year.
Yes that is a blackeye (a fake one) and a wig and with that greased back hair Justin really looks the part of a sleasy politician doesn't he!

Sunday was our 6 year anniversary! We had a wonderful weekend together. Saturday morning I had a very relaxing massage and facial and Justin brought me home the most beautiful flowers. That afternoon Justin and I went camera shopping and got a new SLR camera so we are ready to take lots of photos come March. Of course we went to get one camera and got there and we were talked out of buying it and into buying the bigger one. I have to say I am very pleased with our purchase though. That was our anniversary gift to each other. Sunday Justin woke up with a bad migraine so we stayed home from church and I decided to prepare a romantic dinner at home rather than go out for our anniversary dinner. I woke up with a burst of energy that day so I put on a pot roast with potatoes and even seared it before putting it in the crockpot this time. I’m always trying to achieve a roast that is as good as my mothers but never can get one to turn out quite as good as hers. This one was pretty close though. I also made a broccoli rice casserole and yeast rolls to go with it and Justin’s favorite chocolate chip cake. I made a little playlist of some of my favorite love songs and pulled out the china and candles for dinner. I think it was our most romantic anniversary so far and I had the most fun planning it all for him. Looking back on the last 6 years I can definitely say year 6 has been the best so far. Even though we went through some really difficult times this year especially with the failed IVF, we grew closer than ever. I think we have settled into who we are and we have really learned to love each other for who we are. I couldn’t imagine life without Justin. He is my best friend, my strength and my calm. He takes care of me and loves me more than I could have ever asked for. As I look at our life together I know God has blessed me abundantly!
My beautiful anniversary flowers!
Our romantic candlelight dinner!

Fall is here! I have really enjoyed the cooler weather this week. Partly because I was just ready for it and also because the maternity clothes I have bought have mostly been for cooler weather so it has been fun to get to start wearing them. Fall and spring are my two favorite seasons. I always get so happy when the weather starts cooling off and I start thinking about making a big pot of homemade chili, being able to put on cozy sweats in the evenings, curling up with a cozy blanket and watching my favorite shows and of course putting out my fall decorations. I'm afraid this year I may only get as far as decorating the front porch with flowers and pumpkins though.
Our fall front porch!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

15 Week Update

I know I am long overdue on an update but the last week has been pretty busy. Last Wednesday we had our first appointment with my doctor here. When I had spoken to the receptionist the week before she said we would be having a sonogram so Justin, my mom and grandmother all came along. Of course we were all excited to get to see the baby again and hopefully find out if our pearl is an Eli or an Ava. Unfortunately the doctor did not have time to do a sonogram because she had to go deliver a baby so we will have to wait a while longer. We did get to hear the heartbeat for the first time which was very cool! We will go back to see her again in a little over 2 weeks and will see the specialist in about 5 weeks. My doctor said she would try to do a sonogram at our next appointment if she has time so we might know in 2 weeks or it might be 5 but we will definitely find out at the sonogram with the specialist. He will also check everything else out to be sure the baby looks healthy.

I am now 15 weeks along and the baby is the size of an apple. I am excited that I could start to feel the baby move anytime now. The nausea is completely gone and has been for a while which is a huge blessing! I know some people have to live with it the whole 9 months so I’m very thankful it is gone. I am getting my normal appetite back somewhat and going back to eating some of the things I hadn’t. In fact last Sunday I woke up and told Justin lets have Casa Herrera for lunch after church. I had not wanted Mexican food in a long time and it was really good! I am still pretty sleepy so still taking naps quite often. My belly is definitely starting to pop out there more. I’ll post belly pics with next weeks post. We are heading to Houston this weekend to visit Justin’s parents, celebrate both of their birthdays and try to do some maternity clothes shopping. Hopefully I’ll be more successful than the last attempt.

Justin has gotten very protective and also very sweet! Last weekend I had a baby shower at my house for my college roommate Kammi. Friday night Justin had been getting the house cleaned and I had been baking and decorating the table. When I finished I told him to let me finish up the dusting and he said no you can’t do that it has chemicals in it. So then I suggested that I vacuum which he and my friend Jill then informed me I’m not supposed to vacuum when I’m pregnant because something about using the muscles to push. I said I do a lot more than that at the gym. Speaking of the gym every morning when we leave the gym he asks me how high my heartrate got and if it is higher than he thinks it should be he lets me know. Can you imagine when this baby gets here how protective he is going to be? I like to tease him about it but I do find it to be very sweet actually. He has also really been into touching my belly. Last night he looked at me and then at my belly and put his hand on it and said I think it is so cute with the biggest smile and then he said I love you! It was really sweet.

As I said earlier the last week has been pretty busy. The cupcake orders had really slowed down the last few months and then last week I think I got about 7 or 8 calls for orders and a couple of them were for big orders. I had to turn some of them away because most of them were for last weekend which was the same weekend as the baby shower at our house. So it was a busy week getting cupcake orders out and getting the house ready for the shower. The shower was a lot of fun and it was wonderful to see Kammi and all her family. We lived together all four years of college and it is exciting that we are now having babies just a few months apart. She and baby Kathryn got lots of good stuff and of course it was fun to look at all the sweet baby things. Below are some pics from the shower.

That evening Justin and I finally went for our celebration dinner. We had a really good dinner at the Beehive. In Sunday School we are studying “The Five Love Languages” and my love language is acts of service. Our assignment for last week was to ask each other throughout the week how our love tank was doing (basically are you feeling loved). When we were sitting at dinner Justin asked me and at first I just laughed at the question but then the more I sat there and thought about all he had done to help me get ready for the shower I said it is very full! The basic idea behind it is that everyone feels love differently and there are 5 love languages- physical touch, acts of service, words of affirmation, quality time and gifts. The point is to find out what your love language is and what your spouse’s is and to love them the way they feel it. Often we love others the way we feel love but the problem is that might now be how they feel love. I think we have both already learned some new things about each other from doing the study and I highly recommend it for all couples. It is also applicable to your children so that has been interesting to think about it from that viewpoint as well.