Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Unexpected [BabyMill3]

Saturday morning I woke up and everything was normal. I was helping to host my sister-in-law, Katie's baby shower. I did recognize that I was a little short of breath, but sometimes I get like that while pregnant and when I'm running around and talking to a lot of people, so I didn't think too much about it.

Katie started opening presents a little after 11, and I went to the bathroom and realized I was bleeding. I was alarmed, but I decided to keep it cool until the end of the shower and then make a decision. When Katie finished opening gifts about 20 minutes later, I stood up to thank everyone for coming and felt blood gush down. I hurried to to the bathroom and knew that whatever was happening was not normal. I have never bled so much, so I was sure I was miscarrying. Ben was working, so I called him, and we decided to meet at the e.r. My mom drove me to meet him.

I continue to bleed quite a bit when we arrived at the hospital at 1:15. We never got taken to a room until 3, and once we were in the room, they did a bunch of procedures that told me nothing. They took my urine culture, left forever, took my blood, left forever, hooked me up to an IV to give me fluids, left forever, tried to find a heartbeat on a doppler but could't (I didn't expect them to- I was sure I had miscarried, and with all of the time to think about it and prepare myself, I was ready for the news). Honestly, as I think about my time in the hospital, I feel so thankful for the incredible amount of trust in the Lord I had. He filled me with a peace and I remained really calm and trusting the whole time. I knew this baby was a blessing and that I did not deserve it, and I knew that if I lost it that it would be hard but that God would sustain me. I also felt incredibly thankful for the two girls I have because thinking about going home to them was comforting.

The doctor came back in and did a pelvic exam. He said it was closed (which was good) but that it looked like it could be opening (which was not good). Finally, the ultrasound tech came in around 6pm, and she did an abdominal ultrasound with the screen facing away from me. At one point I thought she played the baby's heartbeat, but I told myself not to get my hopes up.  I was sure it was just my heartbeat. Then she pushed really hard and I thought I felt a little kick, but my stomach was doing all kinds of crazy things that day that I didn't trust anything I felt. Finally after about 15 minutes of doing the ultrasound without saying anything, the tech said, "So have you been feeling a lot of movement?" The question was odd to me and I was completely unsure of how to respond. I said, "No... I mean, not before today. Should I?... I mean, is there a heartbeat?" And she said YES! I was so completely shocked. For seven hours, I was sure I had lost our baby, so to hear that there was a living baby inside of me was a complete shock. She told me the baby was really active. I asked her why I was bleeding so much, and she didn't know.

After she left, the doctor came back in and said that they call it a "threatened miscarriage" but really couldn't tell me anything more. He told me to see my midwife on Monday. And then we left. I called my midwife in Missouri on Sunday because I didn't like the lack of info from the e.r. doctor, and she said it is called a placenta abruption. She told me to take it really easy and gave me a list of vitamins to take. She said that it is serious, but that if I follow her recommendations, I should be able to carry to full term and have a healthy baby.

Yesterday (Monday), I went to my midwife's office in Indiana, and they found the heartbeat on the doppler (it was 175), and the baby was active and kicking the doppler. I will go back next thursday for an ultrasound, and if all looks good, I will be cleared to resume normal activities.

I'm no longer allowed to deliver at the birth center which is a huge bummer for me. After having two completely normal pregnancies, it's frustrating to have my body fail me in this way this time. But overall, we are praising God for a living baby. We are reminded to never take this baby for granted, and we are reminded that God is the giver and taker of life and that he has been good to us to give us this life.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sophie's Development [2 years, 9 months]

This little girl is getting big... let me show you what I mean... here are pictures from all 3 of her Christmases... look how she's grown!

Words: She says some fun new words like telescope and terrific. She also is good at explaining things now when I don't understand a word she says. One day we were sitting on the couch and I was using my arm to block Brielle from crawling off. Sophie said, "Are you like a...?" I couldn't figure out what word she was saying and kept guessing things. Finally, in frustration, she exclaimed, "Like on Dora!! Dora opens the gate!" Ohhhh, a gate! I was so proud of her for thinking of how to explain it to me. She's also done this when I couldn't understand the word brush (she combed her hands through her hair) and star (Grama asked her what she wanted for Christmas and thought she said car, but she was saying star. She started to sing Twinkle Twinkle so understood).

Sleep: Sophie goes to bed well at night but likes to have a  little light so she can sleep. She typically goes to bed at 8:30pm and sleeps until 7am. She takes a nap for around 2 hours every day.

Funny Things: 
- While hitting her belly with her hand: "My hand jumps on my trampoline belly."
- Sophie was crying from falling. Grama: "Sorry, are you getting tired?" Sophie: "No, I just grumpy!"
- Me: "Sophie, can you count them?" (there were 4). Sophie: "Yeah! One...two... three... and another one!"
- "Mommy, I have an idea! When I get big, I will do a flip!" (after watching a Curious George episode about gymnastics)
- One day she showed me her bellybutton and called it a tummy box.
- After stopping to visit friends and they weren't home (Jill, it was you!), Sophie asked, "Did God make them die?" She's been really big into asking if God made things or caused things to happen lately.

Sweet Things:
-"Mommy, I love you. You're a good mommy."
- Pretending to read (she had a coupon): "You are very precious to God."

Bible Knowledge: With it being the Christmas season, Sophie has learned all about baby Jesus. We've read stories and sang songs and seen and colored pictures. It's been fun to teach her about Jesus coming as a baby!

Foods: Raisins, capri suns, pineapple, pretzels. She still really likes all things cheese and milk, but we've been cutting back lately after she's had a month of stomach issues. 

Likes: Trampolines, playing pretend, playing hide and seek, reading books, watching shows, baby dolls and stuffed animals, going to class, singing, animals

Dislikes: Messiness, getting in trouble, sharing, carousel 

 BFF Addie

 Teacher: Miss Bethany (aka Miss Button)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Brielle's Development [11 Months]

This little girl is getting big! People always say, "Just enjoy it when they're not moving because then they can't get into anything." But you know what I decided? I LOVE when babies start crawling and walking. It's so cute and fun, and Brielle is so happy that she can move now! She's crawling everywhere, and she can't walk yet, but she pulls up on everything (she loves being on her legs!) and has just started to move along furniture a little. In this past month, her legs have gotten really strong! She is so excited about her new strength too- she tries to stand without her hands, but she's not that strong yet.

She got one more top tooth - so 6 total.

She's also learned other new fun things in this past month: how to play peek-a-boo, how to sign "more" (finally!!!), and she gives those cute, slobbery open-mouth kisses!

She also says "Nana" for "food." I think she calls food this because bananas are her favorite food, and she first used it with a banana.

She loves food just as much as always. We've also switched to formula this past month. It was sad for me, but pregnancy caused my supply to drop so she needed more to drink.

Typical Schedule:
6:30/7am- Bottle
Back to sleep until 8
8am- Banana and Cheerios
10am- Nap (for about an hour)
12pm- Bottle and lunch
1/1:30pm- Nap (about 2 hours)
4:30pm- Bottle
5pm- Supper
Sometimes takes a night nap for about an hour before bed
7pm- Bottle
7:30pm- Bed

Loves: Food, baths, bouncing, crawling, pulling up, sleeping

Dislikes: Having her hands held, being left alone

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Starting Christmas Traditions

In living the missionary (in training) life these past few years, we have spent most of our Christmases several hours away from our home. Because of this, we've just celebrated Christmas with our families and haven't had any of our own traditions. Since Sophie is 2 1/2 now, we thought it would be a good year to start some of our own traditions. We celebrated our little family Christmas this past Saturday since we will be living with family on Christmas day.

We decorated a few weeks ago, and as I decorated, I thought, "Hmm, some people are really good and have stockings for the babies that are in their womb, but not me." And then I realized I didn't even have a stocking for the baby crawling around the room...

Since we won't be here over Christmas, we just used the little tree that I've borrowed from my mom for the last several years. This is what Sophie woke up to...

But she was still awake for half an hour before she saw them. Then she said, "Look Mommy, presents!" And then she asked to open them, and I said she had to wait until Daddy woke up. She immediately said, "I'm going to go wake Daddy up!" She's already learned the art of waking parents up on Christmas morning.

Oh, look! We didn't leave Brielle out after all.

Ben read Sophie her Christmas story about baby Jesus.

 Then Sophie got to put the baby Jesus sticker on her advent calendar from her Grandma Lori. She's been bugging to put baby Jesus on since the first day, so she was excited to do so.

Sophie opened her stocking and got a hairbrush, flinstone vitamins, and a capri sun. Gotta love that toddlers get excited about anything :)

Brielle checked out all the gifts.

Then she realized there were puffs in her stocking.

Sophie opened her gifts. This one was Dr. Seuss's ABC book.

Meanwhile, Brielle enjoyed her puffs which she thought was the best gift ever.

Then Sophie got excited to open her next gift which was "snacks!" (teddy grahams).

And Sophie was more than excited to help her little sister open her one gift which was a wooden hammer and peg set. Sophie has so far enjoyed it more than Brielle.

Then Sophie opened her big gift which Daddy got for her, and it was...

A basketball and hoop!

Ben was just as excited about it as Sophie...

And then they played with it for a little while.

We then ate breakfast. I made donuts for myself and Sophie and egg casserole for Ben which his favorite, and it was my first time making it for him.

My favorite thing that we did with Sophie this year was letting her pick out a gift to give. I went to the Samaritan Purse, Compassion, and World Vision websites and checked out their gift catalogs. If you're not familiar with them, they have a ton of ways you can give gifts to those in need, like buying livestock, feeding the hungry, clean water, education, and so on. Often people will buy one of the available gifts as an alternative gift to a friend or family member. Since we have so much in America and need so little, this is a great way to give a gift to someone who really doesn't need or want anything.

So, I chose six things from these different gift catalogs that I thought would pertain to Sophie and let her choose two- one for her and one for Brielle. The six I chose were all under $25: 2 chickens, a rabbit, feeding a mother and baby for a month, a Bible, milk, and a stuffed lamb that plays Jesus Loves Me. I explained to Sophie as best as I could about those who don't have things like we do (this is when our trip to PNG was helpful! I reminded her of those kids). I then told her since we had so much and since she had gotten gifts for Christmas, we wanted to give to others as well. She responded well and seemed very interested.

She chose to feed the mother and baby for a month for herself.

And then she chose the stuffed lamb that plays Jesus Loves Me for Brielle. (As a side note, I didn't want to give this one to her as an option at first because I thought it didn't seem enough like a "need"... you know, not like feeding a baby or giving a Bible or giving a chicken. But then I thought that to a little two year old, it probably does seem important. And I'm not surprised at all that she chose it as the gift for Brielle to give, and I think it's fitting for a kid to give a kid something like a stuffed animal :)).

The hardest part to explain to a two year old is how you don't really give these people food or a stuffed lamb. Instead you send money and someone else gives them these things. So she came with me to the computer and watched me as I clicked on the items and typed in information. The cute thing was that she kept thinking she needed to put the little piece of paper with the picture into the computer CD slot. She thought that was how we gave it ;) I love her little mind.

So that is what we did for Christmas this year. It was fun to begin out own little family traditions. We are so thankful that we can give fun gifts to our children but even more thankful that we can give to others. And mostly, we are thankful for the gift of Jesus Christ and that we know about him in our heart language.