Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Unanswered Prayers

My husband is a HUGE Garth Brooks fan.  We own all of his CDs and they are all "first editions". 

My husband has been to A LOT of music concerts.  But never seen his all time favorite musician live. 
So for Christmas I got Doug tickets to a Garth concert.  Because of the upcoming concert date, when we saw a commercial saying that Garth was going to be on The Tonight Show, we tuned in.  And because of seeing that show, we learned of a Lifetime movie that had been made called Unanswered Prayers, which was based on Garth's song by the same title.  In case you are not familiar, the song can best be summed up in one line: "Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers".  We recorded the movie so that we wouldn't miss it.

While I was sitting there watching the movie, I started thinking about my unanswered prayers and how/if they were "some of God's greatests gifts". 

I've had lots of unanswered prayers in my lifetime. 

I prayed that we wouldn't have to move miles away from my friends and family in Kentucky when my Dad lost his job.  We moved 5 1/2 hours away.  But I made more friends that have truly blessed my life.

I prayed that I would get to leave Alabama to go to college.  Having moved here when I was in 8th grade, I thought I hated it and I wanted nothing more than to get away.  But that prayer went unanswered and instead, I attended a college that I love and now work at.  And I met and married THE guy.

I prayed for months that we would be able to buy this one house that we really, really wanted.  Our contract was cancelled when someone else, without a contingency, made an offer.  We later found out the house had wood rot.

I prayed for a little girl the second time around.  I was so afraid of having another preemie I wanted my baby to have better odds on her side.  But God knew better.  He knew this baby wasn't going to be a preemie and he knew I needed to face my fears. 

I have really been blessed by unanswered prayers!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Lately I've been having a deep struggle with myself.  How do I love both of my boys?

After our big ultrasound with Logan, I couldn't put down the pictures.  I knew right then that I loved that little boy or girl more than I had ever thought possible.  It was a bigger love than I had ever experienced before. 

But when Logan was born he was whisked away and there was no bonding time for us.  I did get to see him before they took him to the NICU, but there was no touching at all.  And I had been expecting a girl.  For the 17 days that Logan lived, I spent most of my time in the NICU, but, to be honest, for the first few days, I went because that's what everyne expected me to do.  It wasn't until the first time I held him, four days after he was born, that I really felt that heart-bursting love again.  But even though I didn't realize it at the time, it faded again.  I remember one day, feeling extremely upset about the whole situation and crying on the shoulder of one of Logan's nurses.  She told me something then that I'll never forget.  I was feeling so depressed but feeling that way made me feel guilty because Logan was right there, doing very well at that point.  I didn't understand until the nurse said that it was completely natural.  That because of the entire hospital stay and all the drama of the NICU, it was totally natural for me to be depressed.  I told her what I was too afraid to tell anyone else, that when I looked at my little boy there was a disconnect, that I felt like I was looking at someone else's baby.   That's when she said that was okay too and that I had to allow myself time to mourn for the little girl I "lost".  Because even though I didn't really lose a baby girl, I lost the dreams of the little girl that I had been having for over a week before Logan was born.

Fast forward to Oct. 4, 2010.  As soon as Eli was born and they put him on top of me, I touched him and held him and a love that I cannot explain washed over me.  And every single time I look at him I, I feel it again.  It doesn't matter if he's smiling or crying, it's there and it fills my heart in a way I never dreamed was possible. 

But every time it happens, there's a pang of guilt that follows.  How come I didn't feel that exact same way when I looked at Logan?  Why don't I feel it when I look at pictures of him now?  Is there a way to make that feeling come?

I don't want anyone to misunderstand me, I love Logan .  I always have and I always will.  But when I look at Eli and my heart almost bursts, I can't help but wonder if I love Logan enough.

Monday, December 6, 2010

2 Months

Eli is 2 months old now and growing soo fast!  He had his checkup today and weighs 13 lbs. which puts him in the 88th percentile.  He is 23 inches long, the 80th percentile.  Dr. P said he's a little chunky for his height but not so much that we need to do anything about it.

Dr. P also said that Eli is a little bit ahead developmentally.  He remarked at how much "trunk control" Eli had for his age.  He's holding his head up on his own almost all the time now.  He talks to us and his toys often, grins all the time and laughs every once in a while.  He is wearing 0-3 month clothes and size 1 diapers, although he could really use a size 2 at this point, I'm just trying to use up the 1s I have left.

Watching him grow has been so much fun for me.  And yet, there is sadness in every new thing we do.  My mom and I took him to see Santa this weekend and as I stood there in line, I kept thinking about what it would have been like if Logan was there with us.  Logan would be 2 1/2 now and would most likely be very excited about Santa this year.  Eli, on the otherhand, slept pretty much through the whole experience. 

I wonder how Logan would be as a big brother. 

I wonder how my two boys would be alike. 

And how they would be different. 

I wonder what Santa would bring Logan for Christmas. 

And how bright his face would shine when he saw the toys sitting under the tree.

It will be a fun Christmas this year.  Filled with loving on Eli and spending time as a family with our families.  But I'll still be wondering...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


I said this before, but I'm gonna say it again.  It's amazing how God works!

There is someone I work with who was expecting his first child back in March of this year.  I had no idea that his wife was pregnant until he emailed me about the picture I had of Logan in the signature of my email.  I don't usually have a picture of him in my signature but this was during the time right before the March of Dimes walk and I was trying to raise money.  My friend emailed me to tell me that he thought of Logan and I everytime he got an email from me and that it really touched him because he was expecting a son.  I'm not even sure I knew I was pregnant with Eli when the initial conversation started.  As we neared the end of March, we all knew that his baby could be coming any time and we were waiting for the day when he had to leave work to go to the hospital.  His wife went past due and they continued to wait.  Finally the day came at the very end of March that the little boy was born and I got an email from my friend with his birth info and mentioning that there were a couple of small issues and the baby had been transferred to a High Risk Nursery.

It wasn't until after my cerclage that I heard that the little boy had passed away.  He had a rare disease and there was nothing anyone could do.  His passing was kept from me because some of the people were afraid it would worry me too much in the days before my surgery.  I immediately got their address and mailed them a bear as well as adding them to my prayer list.

Right before I left for maternity leave, my friend told me that they were expecting again.  Yesterday I spoke to my friend for the first time since I returned and he asked about Eli and I asked about his baby.  They are expecting another boy around the same time that the first child was born.  He started telling me how this pregnancy was soo very different for his wife than the previous one.  He said she had had nightmares about the baby dying during her first pregnancy (I had nightmares with Logan as well) and now she was dreaming about food (my dreams with Eli were centered around kittens). 

Talking to him, I felt like I was being debriefed about my own post-loss pregnancy.  As many people as I have supporting me, I don't know many that have lost a child.  It is always so much easier to talk to those that have lost.  While we talked, we said our angels' names, we referred to them as children, not just dead babies, as so many people do.  Our journeys have been very similar and yet very different.  I almost cried tears of joy and sadness talking to him.  It was as if talking to him helped me finally shed the last layers of stress and emotion from my pregnancy.  And at the same time, I realize that they are currently carrying that load. 

It's amazing to me that we were put in each other's lives.  That God chose to have us work together even though we work miles apart.  I wish we had never had reason to make this connection, but I'm so glad that when we are travelling a tough road, God puts people in our lives to help us through.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Work, Thanksgiving and Spiders

So today is my first day back at work.  I've only been here for about 2 hours and I already miss being home so much!

That's part of the reason I have been so emotional for the past week or so.  Which leads to the rest of my post...

Doug had to work on Thanksgiving Day so Eli and I made the trip to Birmingham alone.  I was highly upset for one reason or another so I decided to stop by the cemetary on the way out of town.  Doug and I visit the cemetary fairly regularly, but I don't believe that Logan is there so my feelings about the cemetary are that I go there to keep his stone looking nice so that everyone that visits knows how much he is loved.  I don't feel like I have to go to the cemetary to visit Logan or talk to him, I do that everyday, no matter where I am.  But sometimes I like to go out there and sit quietly.  It feels like a magnetic pull for me when I'm having a bad day. 

It was a little chilly on Thanksgiving morning and I knew I was going to be quick so I decided to leave a sleeping Eli in the van while I sat with Logan.  I cleaned his stone up like I always do and took a look at all of his things to make sure everything was accounted for and in good shape.

That was when I noticed the three granddaddy longlegs on the side of Logan's stone.  To explain, I truly believe our loved ones who have pased away can send us signs.  Lots of angel mommies I know see butterflies or ladybugs.  I think my little Logan is mischievous and, knowing how much I hate spiders, sends them to me.  When I saw the spiders, I told Logan thanks for sending them and got back in the car.

I never dreamed that Logan would send me another sign the same day, but when we sat down for Thanksgiving dinner I had Eli in a bouncy seat right beside me.  At one point I looked down to check on him and there was another granddaddy longleg walking toward Eli.  So this year I got to spend Thanksgiving with my whole family!  It may have started out as a sad day for me, but when I saw that spider I knew that we were all together.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Prematurity Awareness Day

Today is National Prematurity Awareness Day.

This year, I'm not only remembering Logan, I'm praying for two new preemies I know. Maddie was born early weighing a little over 4 lbs. She's home with her family now and doing very well. Max is a 25 weeker born around a week ago weighing just 1 lb. 4 oz.

I'm also thinking about all the wonderful NICU nurses who took such good care of Logan. I hope they know how appreciated they are.

And appreciating all the work and research that went into developing the medicines and methods that helped get Eli here safely.

All of these nurses took care of Logan so before we left the hospital we introduced them to Eli.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

37 Days

I had every intention of writing on Eli's one month birthday.  Obviously that didn't happen.  Honestly, I've been really busy.  And I'm not just talking about mothering a newborn.  The Thursday before Halloween Doug, Eli, I and all three dogs went to stay with my parents.  Doug was going to the NASCAR race in Talladega on Sunday so we stayed with them through Monday. 

The following Thursday Eli had his one month checkup.  He weighed 10 lbs. 5 oz. and was 21.5 in. long.  He was in the 50th percentile for both length and weight.  After the appointment I had to pick up, sort over and deliver over 100 Blue Jeans for Babies shirts that I sold at Troy.  I'm so glad I was able to raise so much money for March of Dimes, but it may have been a mistake to take on this task while I was on maternity leave.

On Friday my mom and I left for Kentucky.  We took the trip to introduce Eli to my two grandmothers.  We had a lot of fun.  We visited my maternal grandmother on Saturday and my paternal grandmother on Sunday. 


My paternal grandmother actually lost her first child, a boy, similar to how we lost Logan.  Because her son was born at home, she doesn't know how much he weighed or how long he was, but when we showed her the Logan doll, she said he was tiny like the doll.  My dad was her next baby, her rainbow baby as some people call them.  It's amazing to me how God has written our family story.  I mean, my grandmother's rainbow baby goes on to have a child who loses a baby in a similar way and then has a rainbow baby of her own.  And the fact that all four of those babies were boys.  He works in amazing ways!

As for Eli, he is now wearing 0-3 or 3 month clothes.  He loves to sit in his swing and watch the little mobile go around and around.  He also loves to be sang too.  He's still sleeping well at night, waking up once or twice.  He's starting to smile more and more and when we were at my paternal grandmother's house, she stuck her tongue out at him and his stuck his right back out.  He really wants to suck his fingers, but that's something I am not allowing him to do and he's getting better and better at sucking on a pacifier. 

We are going to our first football game this weekend for Troy's Homecoming game.  We probably won't stay the entire time, but we're really looking forward to seeing some friends and enjoying a great game.  I'll try to post some pictures of us at the game when I get a chance.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

2 Weeks

Eli is two weeks old and he has already changed so much.  He is sleeping quite well, both during the day and at night, in fact on Sunday night he slept through the night and last night he only woke once.  I don't know if that is going to continue but I sure hope so!

We have had a very busy two weeks.  Doug was off until last Thursday.  We went to a balloon release on Friday.  Then on Saturday we had a Welcome Home party and on Sunday Eli was baptized. 

Spending time as a family for a whole week was wonderful.  It's not often that Doug and I get to just hang out and be together, there's always something we need to get done, but last week we really just spent time together.  A friend had completely cleaned our house before we got home from the hospital and several people brought us food, so we really didn't have to do much besides just enjoying each other and Eli.

The balloon release on Friday was wonderful.  I got to meet someone that I have been talking with for a while now, but had never met in person.  I also found out that a couple of people that I already knew had lost children.  I had not known about their losses previously.  It was so nice to see all of the balloons flying up together.  And amazing to watch all of the brothers and sisters chasing after the balloons as they flew higher and higher in the sky. 

It was so nice to get to see so many people on Saturday and to have everyone get to meet Eli.  I got some wonderful pictures of each person that came with Eli and you can tell in each and every picture how much this little boy is loved.  We were especially blessed that Doug's grandmother was able to come to the shower and love on Eli.  (I am so looking forward to seeing my two grandmothers with him.)  We also got a LOT of wonderful gifts from so many people.  We are truly blessed with wonderful friends and family.

On Sunday Eli was baptized, and what a ceremony it was!  My best friend and Eli's godmother (who is also Logan's godmother) came down from Kentucky, along with her mother, who is my godmother.  It was so wonderful to spend time with them, because we live so far away, it happens way to infrequently.  The ceremony itself was... interesting.  First of all, Eli's baptism took place during Mass on Sunday.  In the middle of the homily (sermon for those of you who are not Catholic) our priest says "Is she okay?"  When I turned around to see who he was talking to, I saw an elderly lady falling in her seat.  Father went back to check on her and Eli's godmother and her mom (who are both nurses) quickly went back to check on the lady.  My heart was sinking because I wasn't sure what was going on, but thankfully it was determined that the lady had simply passed out.  Then, after Eli was baptized Father went to hand me a towel to wipe off his head.  About the time I was going to grab the towel Eli moved and I had to readjust my hand to continue supporting his head.  And the towel landed right in the baptismal font!  Thankfully Eli's godfather grabbed the towel and wrang out the water so that we could use it to wipe up the majority of the water.  I can definitely say, I will NEVER forget Eli's baptism.

While we were standing at the front of the church, listening to the priest's words of blessing and prayer during the baptism, it was everything I could do not to cry.  I was unable to attend Logan's baptism at the hospital and standing there holding Eli, it really hit me.  But I also felt so grateful that Logan was baptized and that Doug got to be there with him.

One of the hardest things for me since Eli was born, is the resemblance I see between Logan and Eli.  Especially when Eli is sleeping (most of the time with his mouth wide open), I see a lot of Logan in him.  It's hard because he reminds me of the way Logan looked shortly before and after his death.  I have to explain that Logan swelled a lot in the last few days before he died because of his kidneys failing.  The swelling made him look more like a normal newborn because he didn't seem as small anymore.  And after he died, the swelling remained.  It's that swollen Logan that Eli reminds me of and there are moments when my heart races because I am so terrified that Eli has left us as well.  I doubt I am really explaining this very well, and that's mostly because there are some details I just don't want to talk about with anyone other than Doug.  But what I'm trying to explain is that the entire ride back from Alabaster to Troy with Logan I was staring at him, having to convince myself he was gone, not just sleeping.  And with Eli, I often look at him and have to convince myself that he is just sleeping, not gone.  Many times the only noticeable difference is the slight rise and fall of his tiny chest.  It's something I am adjusting to and I am getting less and less worried every day. 

And sitting here right now, holding my little miracle and feeling his every breath and every move, is the most wonderful feeling in the world! 

I have posted a separate post below, with pictures from the party and baptism.


Eli's "kung fu" pose.  He does this almost every time we put him in his pack n' play and most of the time he opens his mouth wide too.
Diaper cake
This is the mini cupcake cake my sister made for the party.  It was her very first time making anything like this.  Sorry I can't figure out how to rotate this picture.
 Four generations.
 I thought this was so sweet.  The little girl is Eli's second cousin (at least I think that's right).
 Family photo before Eli's baptism.

Friday, October 15, 2010

October 15th

Today is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Day.

It's a day I didn't even know existed 3 years ago.  But two years ago it became very important to me.  Every year I light a candle in memory of Logan and all the other babies that have been lost.  The candle also reminds me of all the other families out there who are celebrating the day of remembrance as well. 

And this year I will be celebrating with other babyloss mamas at a balloon release in my community.  And I'm really looking forward to it.  I have met some amazing women online and they have helped me through some of the roughest times in the past two years just by being there to talk to.  But tomorrow I'm going to get to meet some amazing women, who have walked a similar road.  I'm sure that some of them will be further in their journey than I am and others won't be as far.  But all of us will be together, to support each other and remember each and every one of the lost babies. 

Monday, October 4, 2010

Happy Birth Day Eli!!

Well, today was a wonderful day!  We checked into the hospital at 5:30 this morning and Eli was born at 11:53am.  He weighed 8 lbs. 2 oz. and is 21 inches long. 

The birth was amazingly peaceful, even though Dr. Hancock didn't make it in time.  When she walked through the door she threw up her hands and said "I can't believe I missed it!" 

Holding Eli immediately after he was born was an amazing feeling for me.  Hearing him cry, led me to tears.  And the emotions running through me, even now, are completely unexplainable. 

I cannot stop thanking God for the gift he has given us in Eli.  I am truly realizing every single minute I spend with Eli, the many things I missed with Logan.  And yet I know that I was extremely lucky to have been given so much time with Logan.  17 days is something so many of the other angel mommies I know didn't get.   Some of them didn't even get hours with their children and I got over 2 weeks.  And spending this time with Eli is making me even more grateful than I ever thought I could be for the time we got with Logan. 

One of these days I will probably try putting these emotions into words but for right now, I'm going to spend some more time with my son.  Loving on him as much as I can.  Holding him as much as I can.  Looking at him as much as I can.  And thanking God for EVERY single second! 

 Our first family photo

 Doug and Eli

 Eli next to the Logan doll.  That's one BIG, little brother!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Eviction Day

Well, I am done with my last doctor's appointment.

I am 3cm dilated and 75% effaced.  And we are going to induce on Monday, Oct. 4.  I will get to the hospital at 5:30am and they will start my pitocin then.

So the eviction notice has been inssued!  If Eli doesn't decide to come earlier, he will be here on Oct. 4. 

Doug says Eli has been waiting because he's already a big football fan and we can all watch the Troy game on tv on Tuesday and Oct. 9 is an off week for Alabama.  I don't know if I believe that, but if it's true, he's definitely his Daddy's son :)

Monday, September 20, 2010


I am home from my appointment.  We have definitely made progress.  I am 2 cm dilated and my doctor has said that at the absolute latest we will induce at 39 weeks, which is just 2 weeks from now.  She seemed to think that I will labor on my own before that, but at least we know we will NOT be waiting until 41 weeks to meet our monster man!

My doctor said that I definitely do not have an incompetent cervix, which basically means that the problems we had with Logan were simply bad luck, not a failure of my body. 

I was contracting quite a bit yesterday and last night so my doctor told me to go walk and come back when I'm having contractions every 5 minutes for one hour.  I am hoping that time comes sooner rather than later :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Please Excuse the Exclamation Points...

I am finally done with my shots!  It is crazy to me that next week will be the first week in 21 weeks that I haven't gotten a progesterone shot! 

And on top of that, my stitch is scheduled to be removed at 7:30am this Friday!!  Friday is my doctor's surgery day so she's going to have me go to Labor and Delivery to have the stitch removed and then they will monitor me for a little while just to make sure there are no problems.

The appointment today went great.  I'm still doing really good, but there has been a slight change which just means that we are getting closer to bringing Eli home!  Dr. H did tell us that Eli is measuring slightly ahead at around 37 weeks instead of 36 and that he weighs around 5.5-6 pounds right now. 

Doug and I are both getting sooo excited!

Friday, September 10, 2010


A couple of weeks ago, while Doug and I were in Birmingham for a doctor's appointment, we got a call from my sister telling us that her husband had found a snake in between our screen door and door when he went to feed the dogs. 

The next day Doug dropped me off at work and went home with plans to mow the grass.  But when he picked up the gas can, he found another snake.  He killed it and then took pictures so that we could get it identified to make sure it was indeed a rattlesnake like we guessed.  I think we were both hoping it would be some kind of rat snake.  I mean it's bad enough to have a snake problem, but why do we get so lucky as to have a poisonous snake problem!

Our snake was identified as a rattlesnake and after a little bit of research I found out that they are born in groups of 5-20.  We let all of our neighbors know so that everyone would be paying attention.  Then we got some Snake-Away to put out around the house.  As much as I want the snakes gone, I was afraid the Snake-Away might be harmful for our dogs so I wouldn't let Doug put any in the backyard.  The next day a couple down the street found another snake in their carport.

Since then, we've been pretty vigilant, but we haven't seen anymore.

That is, until last night. 

I wasn't feeling very good so after dinner we went and got ready for bed so that I could sleep while Doug watched the Auburn game.  We brought the dogs inside for the night, but they were restless and Callie kept ringing the bell (yes, our dogs ring a bell when they want to go outside!) so Doug decided to let them back out for a little while since he was going to be up anyway. 

It wasn't long before we heard Callie barking like crazy.  She barks for lots of reasons, like people passing by, other dogs wandering the neighborhood, frogs in the backyard....  So Doug got up and looked out the window to see what was going on.  He could tell that all three of the dogs were surrounding something and snapping at it so he grabbed some shoes and a flashlight and ran outside to see what it was.  The next thing I know Doug's knocking on the side of the house with the flashlight and telling me to get the door. 

I opened the door somewhat hesitantly because I wasn't sure exactly what was going on.  Doug told me to get the dogs in and with a little bit of his help we got them all inside, even though they really wanted to be outside.  That's when Doug tells me what's going on.  When he got outside, Levi picks up a snake and comes running towards him.  Doug told him to leave it and thank goodness, he dropped the snake.  Doug said that Levi had killed the snake, that it's head was separate from it's body so we weren't worried about the snake going anywhere.

We looked the dogs over and didn't see any signs of snake bites so we put them in their kennels and Doug went outside to get rid of the snake.  I decided to turn on our computer so I could find out what the symptoms of a bite were just in case one of the dogs did get bitten and we just missed it.  While I was waiting on the computer I looked out the window and saw the snake laying in the grass, but didn't see Doug anywhere.  And that's when the dead snake started moving.  I was ready to run out the door to warn Doug when I saw his shovel come around the side of the house.  He had been right around the corner where I couldn't see him but he saw the snake moving too, and after a couple of swings the snake was really dead :)

When he came back inside, I asked if he was okay.  He kinda played dumb, not knowing that I had seen the whole thing, acting like the snake had been dead already.  When I told him that I saw it moving he told me that what he originally thought was the head separated from the body turned out to be the middle of the snake! 

Just call him Doug, The Snake Hunter :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

An End in Sight

I went to the doctor today, just like I have every Monday since late July.

But now there is an end in sight.

Next Monday I will get my very last progesterone shot!

And the following Friday, Sept. 17 my cerclage will be removed!!

I am so excited to see the end of my pregnancy approaching so quickly because that means I'll be seeing the beginning of our life with Eli very soon.

Everything went really well at my appointment today.  I'm still just cruising along, everything is completely normal and there has been no reason for worry. 

Just 4 weeks and 4 days until my due date :)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Monday, August 30, 2010


Just wanted to let everyone know that everything is still going good with me and Eli after our appointment today.

Not really anything to report, just another week down and 3 more weeks until the stitch comes out.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Let the Fun Begin

I wish you could see the sarcasm dripping from the title of this post.

My doctor told me early on that if I had more than 4 or more contractions in an hour I needed to let her know.  So after a rough night on Monday I called the office first thing and told them about my contractions.  The nurse told me to rest as much as possible, push fluids and call back if there were any changes.  So a good friend brought me three big mugs of water and I did my best to sit with my feet up at work.  But this is a busy week for me, so the rest thing didn't really happen as much as it probably should have.  Then, about 3:30pm I noticed a little bit of spotting.  I immediately called the doctor's office.  When the nurse called me back she suggested we go ahead and come to labor and delivery. 

Thankfully, my shift was over by then so I was able to leave without having to call someone else to come in.  I called the same friend who brought the water and asked her to take me to Montgomery where we could meet Doug.  Then Doug and I drove the rest of the way to the hospital.  By the time we got there I had had serveral more contractions, although I wasn't timing them because I knew I was going to the hospital anyway. 

It took a little while to get us to a room because they were really busy, but finally we got settled and they got me on the monitors.  After a little while the nurse came in and said that I wasn't having wild contractions, but it was enough to concern her.  So she checked me, just to be safe (still not dilated) and gave me a shot of terbutaline.  Then I got to enjoy the not-so-wonderful side effects of that drug.  If you've never had it before, it makes you really shaky and you feel like your heart is racing.  I'd had it when I was hospitalized with Logan so it was a somewhat familiar feeling, but two years can make you forget!  After I got the shot, the contractions went away completely and they sent me home with instructions to rest.

The nurses think I had just done too much, not had enough fluids and then the anxiety that the original contractions caused for me just made it worse.  So on our way home we got some Tylenol PM and I slept in until 8 o'clock this morning.  I'm feeling much better now and am back at work. 

All I can say is that I'm definitely looking forward to being off of work and in Alabaster for the last 3 weeks. 

Monday, August 23, 2010

Predictions Anyone?

I had another appointment today.  Everything is still going great and we're still on track.  My doctor told me that as of next Saturday I will no longer qualify for steroids or magnesium if I go into labor which just goes to show how great everything is going for us.

This weekend was kind of crazy.  Friday night I just wasn't the least bit tired and ended up staying awake until 2 or 3am.  Of course Saturday morning I slept in until 9 or 10am!  We didn't have anything to do this weekend so we pretty much just sat around after Doug finished mowing the grass.  We watched the NASCAR race Saturday night and then relaxed for a while on Sunday before I left for Alabaster.  I went a little early this weekend because Doug and I were having a hard time installing the car seat we had bought when I was pregnant with Logan.  So I decided to go to the fire department in Alabaster, who installed the same car seat in our car two years ago.

Well, that didn't go so well, they got the car seat in but it was definitely not at the correct angle for a newborn.  So my mom and I went out looking for something to correct the angle issue.  We bought a car seat leveler but it wasn't enough because of the slope of our van seats so I started looking at the different car seats in the store.  I ended up picking a Britax car seat that I really liked and when we put it in the van it worked soooo much better.  I was so relieved to finally have a car seat that fit correctly without a huge gap! 

And then we found out that the car seat I had bought was on sale at Target.  They didn't have a pattern that I liked at the Target in Alabaster so we ended up buying this car seat online:

I feel so much better knowing that it fits so well and it was definitely worth the money.

And this morning I found a screw in one of my tires and had to go have it patched before I could come home.

While we were waiting at the tire place my mom and I started talking about when Eli will come and decided to start a little pool.  Not that there's really any prize for the winner, but we're taking guesses/predictions for the date and time he will be born.  So if you'd like to play along, let me know your guess.  I'm keeping a list of all the guesses and it will be fun to see who is closest.

So that you have all the information, today I am 33 weeks 2 days.  My stitch will be removed on or about Sept. 20 (if I make it that far).  My due date is Oct. 9.  So guess away and I'll let everyone know who won when Eli gets here!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Note


It's been 4 years today since we got married.
 It seems like a lifetime ago.

And what a journey it's been.

I wouldn't have chosen the path we have traveled, but I also know that it has made us stronger.  As individuals and as a couple.

It's been a twisty road and we are quickly approaching another turn.  We can see it coming just ahead, but we have no way of knowing what's around that curve. 

But I do know there is no one else in the world I'd rather be riding with.  I love you with everything I am and I look forward to every day of our life together!

Monday, August 16, 2010

17 Down, 4 to Go

One more appointment is in the books.  I was out in 30 min. again this week :)

I have had 17 progesterone shots and only have 4 left!  I can't wait until that first Monday that I don't get poked with a needle.

Everything is still going really well, cervix is still good which is what we really want.  My blood pressure is good and my growth is right on track.  And as a little bonus, I actually lost 2 lbs. since my last appointment.

Other than that, life is pretty mundane.  Just a series of days filled with work and resting followed by busy weekends which end with me driving to my parents for the next appointment.

Since I found out I was pregnant, I had sworn off getting anything ready for Eli.  I didn't want to wash clothes, set up the nursery or put the car seat in the van until we knew he was coming home. 

That ended very abruptly Saturday morning when I woke up with an insane need to get EVERYTHING ready.  Every little outfit is clean, all the diapers are out; sheets and bumper on the crib; carseat completely cleaned.  The only reason the carseat isn't in the van is that I still hadn't bought the seat protector Doug wanted.  So I bought that Sunday and the carseat will be going in soon.  My hospital bag is packed and at my mom's, along with the things we will be taking to the cemetary on our way home.

So now we just wait.  I am so looking forward to holding Eli for the first time and to bringing him home. 

Monday, August 9, 2010

31 Weeks and Counting

Well, I am 5 days shy of being 8 months pregnant, what an amazing feeling!

The doctor appointment went great again today and my cervix is still holding up perfectly.  It seems the combination of cerclage and hydroxyprogesterone shots is working and I couldn't be more pleased.

Prenatal class went well although it was a little bit boring.  And we got to spend some time in my parents' neighborhood pool which was a lot of fun.

Other than that, we're just counting down the days until we meet our monster man!

Monday, August 2, 2010

What a Difference!

So much for all of my research.  When Doug and I went to check on the caterpillars this morning we found this:
We also noticed a caterpillar that seems to be curling up into the pre-cocoon stage so I will be keeping a close eye on that one.  And we found a new caterpillar as well, that is much smaller than any of the others.  I do think my research was somewhat accurate though, because we had at least 5 big caterpillars when I checked yesterday and we're down to 2 big ones, this cocoon and the little guy now.  So I'm guessing the other 2 went off to cocoon somewhere else.

I started my weekly appointments today.

And everything is going great with our monster man!  I am measuring spot on every week and my cervix continues to look good.  I was literally in the office less than 30 minutes today and I hope I can keep up that record for at least the rest of August. 

On Saturday we will be attending Prenatal Class since we didn't get the chance before Logan was born and I really want to get the Infant CPR and Breastfeeding information.

We also filled up a calendar month on Saturday with G's:
It's amazing to me to think about how far we've really come.  We were so proud of each of the 11 Gs on Logan's calendar (on the right in the picture).  And we've already put 49 Gs on Eli's (on the left).  Even though I am looking forward to the day we put "Douglas Elijah born" on the calendar, I am also looking forward to every G we write between now and then.

In other news, it has been so ridiculously hot around here that we have hardly spent any time in the butterfly garden.  We have lost some of our plants completely because of the heat and weeds had started to take over.  Yesterday while I was on my way to Birmingham, Doug did some weeding and found this little guy with 4-5 of his brothers and sisters:

I'm really excited because I wasn't sure we would get any caterpillars this year.  These guys are swallowtail caterpillars.  They don't stick around to cocoon so we won't be getting to see them transform but at least our garden is still working.  I saw a big swallowtail coming around quite a bit a few weeks ago so I'm guessing these are her babies.  We're also seeing Gulf Fritillary butterflies and one or two Painted Ladies.  No Monarchs yet, which is a slight disappointment after the success we had last year with our Monarch caterpillars and cocoons.

Monday, July 26, 2010

House Project Complete

Well, we're finally done with all the work around the house!

We still have to get everything that was moved to empty the rooms back to its place, but the actual work is finished.  I can use my kitchen and both bathrooms!  Not to mention that I can almost see my desk in my craft room and the nursery is as finished as it's going to get before Eli gets here. 

Master Bathroom:

The wall clock in my craft room/office:

Cubby for scrapbook embellishments and my chalkboard:


Guest Bathroom:

Nursery/Guest Room:

Giraffes have kind of been our thing since Logan was born so we have a lot of giraffe decorations in the nursery.  This little rocking chair was Doug's when he was a kid and his parents had it recovered for us and got a little ottoman that they had covered as well.  I love it!

It's probably going to take us a couple of weeks to actually feel like we live in our house again because of my lack of energy and Doug's long work hours, but we're definitely on the way there.  I do not know how people who do real renovations in their houses live that way for months on end.  I'd go absolutely crazy!  We can't find anything because nothing is where it's supposed to be, and all we did was paint and add a backsplash in the kitchen.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

28 Weeks and Counting

I went to the doctor on Monday and everything is still going good with me and Eli.  I will not go back for another two weeks (at least not for a planned appointment) and then I will start going every week. 

While I was there I asked my doctor if we were being naive to talk about/plan on the stitch being removed at 37 weeks.  She told us early on that she would remove it then, if we made it that far, so I was curious what her thoughts were. 

She didn't say yes, but she didn't say no either. 

In fact, right after she told me that she has indeed removed stitches at 37 weeks, she said that Eli and I may very well be home by Sept. 18 (which is when I am 37 weeks exaclty).  I told her that as long as he was home with me, I was fine with that.  And I got a big dose of confidence when she immediately said how great we were doing. 

You would probably have had to be there to fully understand, but my doctor is somewhat pessimisstic.  So to hear her say how great we were doing (and she said it 3 or 4 times), made me feel extremely excited about how close we are.

In less than 12 weeks, we will be holding Eli! 

It's amazing to say that and to know that it could be less than 9 weeks.  While I'm not hoping or wishing for a preemie, I am truly looking forward to Eli's Birth Day. 

Now I'm trying to decide whether or not to order the preemie version of the Little Brother onesie I already have in a newborn size. 

On the way home from the hospital Doug, Eli and I will be stopping by the cemetery.  We have a Big Brother doll and an angel statue where the angel is holding a baby that we will be taking to his spot.  I really want Eli to be wearing the Little Brother onesie which is why I'm considering buying the preemie version. 

As for the remodeling we've been doing, we are almost done!  Our stove is still sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor while we wait the required time before putting the grout on the backsplash, and our stuff is still spread all over the house, but all of the original rooms have been painted and are ready to be decorated!

The guest bathroom is complete except for a few minor items I want to get. 

Now we're considering painting what will be Eli's room.  The color now is a light tan but it has a lot of marks on it and needs to be touched up.  We put shelves in when I was pregnant with Logan, one of which we painted green and the other red to coordinate with the Rainforest bedding we bought.  So, if we decide to change the color I'm my parents and Doug are going to paint it a light blue and paint on white clouds.  I really like the idea, but we've got almost a full gallon of the paint that is already in there and I'm still trying to decide if I want to spend the extra money on the new color of paint. 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

2 Years

It's hard to believe that it's been two years since we held Logan for the last time.

And yet in a way, it seems like it's been a lifetime.

I can remember that day in slow motion, almost down to the exact words and feelings I had at the time.  And yet sometimes I feel like I can barely remember what it felt like to hold him. 

This is going to be a hard week.  It's already been a hard week, because I freaked out again today and Mom and I drove off to Birmingham to see the doctor.  Everything is fine with Eli and with me but I just couldn't convince myself that the problems were ordinary pregnancy issues.

On a happier note, while I was there, I found out I passed my glucose test!  My sister's wedding went great and more importantly it's over :)  And my parents are here painting my house.  We've got the office and the guest bathroom primed so far and my dad has started on the green in the office.  I can't wait to see how it turns out!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Update: 26 weeks

Just wanted to let everyone know that I had a doctor's appointment today and everything looks great!

I have been going every other week but we've known all along that at some point I will start going every week.  My doctor had mentioned at my last appointment that we would be making that decision every appointment based on how I'm doing.  Well, after she checked me today she said I don't have to come back for two weeks, so that's great news.  I'm hoping for one more two week appointment after that one.  We have already agreed that I will start weekly appointments in August so I'm just hoping that I can make it through July only having two appointments, because that will mean Eli and I are doing very well.

I am 26 weeks and 3 days today so I had my glucose test.  Be praying that I passed because that drink was disgusting and I do NOT want to have to do the 3 hour test :)  Of course, I also don't want to have gestational diabetes.

While we were waiting to do my bloodwork my mom and I went to visit the NICU nurses.  We got to spend a little time with the head nurse there and talk to her which was really great.  I try to stop by as often as I can because I am so appreciative of them.  After Logan died, it was strange for me because the nurses had become my closest friends, the people that I talked to on a daily basis.  And when I came home, I didn't get to see them or talk to them and I really felt like I didn't have anything to talk about.  The subject that had consumed me for over a month was gone.  Doug and I had planned to take pictures of each of the nurses with Logan before we left the NICU but that didn't happen and I told the nurse today that we will do that with Eli.  Even if he doesn't go to the NICU.

So far I have 15 G's on my calendar at home.   It feels so good to mark each one off.  And yet so weird to say that I am this far along. 

One week from tomorrow will be the 2 year anniversary of the day Logan died, what we call his Angel Day.  It has been such a long journey to get to this point and I am hoping that getting through that day will help me relax, at least a little bit.  My sister is getting married this weekend so that will be some what of a distraction and then my parents are coming down on Sunday after the wedding to paint my house and put up the tile backsplash.  I can't wait to show pictures of how it turns out! 

I know Wednesday is going to be a tough day, but on Saturday we get to start going to church at the church in Troy.  We had some issues with the priest there at Logan's funeral and haven't been back, except for twice when he was out of town.  But the church is getting a new priest this weekend and I have already talked to some of the parish members about Doug and I getting involved in the church activities.  We have wanted to be involved in our church for a long time but because we were travelling 30 minutes to an hour to get there it really wasn't possible.  Being able to get to church in about 5 minutes will make it so much easier on us.  Apparently we weren't the only people who left this church because of the priest so I kind of feel like we are getting involved with the start of a new church and I am really excited about it.  When I was in college I was active in the Catholic campus group but it has pretty much ceased to exist since I graduated.  The lady I spoke with was very excited about Doug and I coming back and mentioned that we would be great to help with the campus program.  It really got me excited and I can't wait to start doing... something, anything with the church.  Even if it doesn't end up being with the campus program.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Logan, you are two years old today.  And I cannot even begin to explain how much your Daddy and I miss you.  Today we will go out to the cemetery and bring you new flowers (if we managed to get them finished in time) and we'll eat birthday cake.  And we'll celebrate the fact that you were born alive and that you lived for 17 whole days.  It's amazing how things have come full circle.  We're not taking a single moment for granted right now and that's because of you.  2 years and 1 day after your funeral we will go back to St. Martin's.  We've visited a couple of times since that day, but we'll be going back for good this time.  Please be near your Daddy, me and your little brother.  You are our little angel and we are so blessed that you were and will always be a part of our lives.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Milestone

Today I am 23 weeks 3 days pregnant and I got out of bed this morning and showered and came to work.

That seems so mundane, but it is a HUGE milestone for me.  Because at this point in my pregnancy with Logan I was in the hospital on strict bed rest.

Tomorrow is the anniversary of the day I was admitted to the hospital. 

Sometimes I feel like this pregnancy is taking forever.  Other times I feel like I just woke up from a bad dream, two years later and still just shy of 6 months pregnant.

It is hard for me to believe that on Logan's birthday, just two weeks from now, I will be further along in my pregnancy than I have ever been before.  25 weeks will be a big milestone.

As will 26... 27... 28... you get the idea.

In a little way, I feel like I'm back in that hospital room, marking the days off in my little calendar because the NICU nurse told us that every single day is a victory.  In fact, today I'm going out to get a calendar, like the one my mom brought to my hospital room two years ago.  And I think I'm going to "mark off" the days just like she did, with a "G" for Good Day.  Because every single day that I stay pregnant is a good day, just like it was two years ago.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Eli's Face

Well, we had another ultrasound today and we finally got to see our sweet Eli's face!  As well as his 4 chamber heart!  And more proof that he's a boy, which made me very happy, as I was slightly concerned my little boy might turn into a little girl :)

Here's the pictures.  The first one is a side-by-side comparison of Logan's 4d picture (left) and Eli's 4d picture (right). 

Because this next picture was so confusing to me, I wanted to label it.  So the original picture is to the left and the one on the right is the same picture with my labels added.
Amazingly enough, I had a second ultrasound with Logan to get pictures of his 4 chamber heart at 22 weeks 2 days and today I am 22 weeks 2 days with Eli.  In a way it is amazing and also scary. 

On Saturday Doug and I went to Hobby Lobby to buy flowers for Logan's birthday arrangement that we had decided to make ourselves this year.  I was going through the motions and not really thinking about it all to be honest.  The price to buy the flowers was only slightly less than it would cost to pay the florist to make the arrangement and the sales clerk told us that their bushes were on sale.  I told her that wouldn't work because I was making an arrangement for the cemetary.  And that's kind of when it hit me.  The lady told us the flowers would probably be on sale on Monday if we wanted to wait.  We were going to look at some other arrangements, but I just had to get out of the store.  I pretty much ran to the van because I didn't want to start crying right in the parking lot. 

I cried and cried while we drove around town.  And then I asked Doug why the dates had to be so close.  His response was that God has a sense of humor, to which I immediately responded, "It's NOT funny."  And in that moment, I was so upset, so scared, that I just couldn't imagine anything good happening.  But the truth is, I think God is trying to teach me to trust Him, whole-heartedly, not just in words.  Because the truth is, I HAVE to.  I have to trust that He has us in His hands.  That is the only way to make it through this month.

Monday, May 24, 2010

BOY... were we wrong!!

In case you missed it, we just got done at the doctor's office and, it's a boy!!!

We were so surprised when the ultrasound tech (the same one that earlier predicted girl) said "Well, I was wrong." 

Everything looks good with this little guy but he's a "wild child" so we're going to get another ultrasound in two weeks to get better pictures of his heart and also of his face, as he refused to turn around. 

He's not breech at this point, although that doesn't mean a whole lot.

Now we're headed to JCPenney to get a "Little Brother" onesie to replace the "Little Sister" one I bought earlier.

I'll post the two pictures we have when I get to work.  We are so excited to know we're having a boy, but we've got to get to work picking a name!

Introducing Douglas Elijah "Eli" Gooden:

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Logan's Weight

In March I found a website called Remember Me Preemie.  The lady who runs the site makes preemie dolls.  The dolls are made to weigh the same weight as a real preemie at birth and she makes them any size from 11 weeks up to almost full term.  I, of course, ordered one almost immediately.  And I got it in the mail today.  I was utterly amazed when I pulled the doll out of the box.  At first glance, even I thought the doll was smaller than Logan but then I picked it up and put my finger in its hand.  It's amazing and I cannot explain how much the doll means to me already, it's a constant reminder that Logan had weight in this world.  I've hardly put it down since I opened the box.
It's an amazing feeling to hold this doll and know that Logan was this small and this light.  And I'm hopeful that in late September/early October I will be able to post pictures of this doll next to the new baby and talk about what an amazing size difference there is.