Friday, December 15, 2006

2006 Valiant Family Christmas Letter

Oh, what a year it's been. Let's start with the biggest "little" news. Owen Elijah Valiant arrived into the World November 3rd at 6:46pm. He was 8 weeks early and weighed 2 pounds 13 ounces and was 14 1/4 inches long. He spent his first night on a ventilator receiving prophylatic steroids to help his lungs and it was all uphill from there. After being removed from the ventilator, he immediately graduated to room air. He started bottle feeding like a little trooper soon after that and then spent the rest of November just hangin' out growin' in the NICU. We brought him home from the hospital November 29th weighing in at 3 pounds 12 ounces and 15 3/4 inches long. He has been a good baby here at home-spending most of his days (and nights, thank God) sleeping. I can't believe he's six weeks old already (and shouldn't have arrived until December 26th!).

Up next-Jacob Thomas. AKA Jake or Jakey or Jakes. Jacob had a great year being 2 years old. Then in early August when I went on bedrest (more on that later) he made a grand adventure up to Wisconsin and stayed with his Mamaw Becca and Mampaw Andy for the next almost 3 months. He had a great time there and was even potty trained. He made a trip back to visit us and celebrate his 3rd birthday late September and he came home to stay October 21st. He's a happy and bright little guy. His favorites in his little 3 year old world are corndogs, gum, Scooby and his brothers (and daddy).

On to TJ. He had a busy year. He graduated from Kindergarten and entered the first grade! He's doing great at school. His favorite subjects are Recess and Lunch (we're so proud). He learned how to ride his bike this summer and quickly advanced to jumping ramps-all with no broken bones nor stitches (yet). He also played baseball again this summer and had a great time with that. TJ LOVES TV (too much). He's also a great reader and enjoys listening to music. He still has prospects of the building industry "when he grows up" and he really enjoyed watching the construction of our new house.

Yep, that's right...we left good ole Durantt Drive for a new home on the eastside of Lafayette. We moved early July-just in the nick of time. We were hardly moved in and unpacked when our lives were turned upside down (and all around). I ended up with surgery to remove my gallbladder while 20 weeks pregnant. That was actually not all the bad but due to that hospitalization, my Doctor discovered dangerously high blood pressure (a complication of some pregnancies). So, I headed home on bedrest and spent August, September, and October on the couch. 12 weeks! 3 months! wasn't that bad. The worst part was Jacob needing to go up to my mom's so he would have consistent care and not have to deal with me on the couch-how boring:-) It was also discovered soon after my bedrest sentence began that the baby (Owen) was small for his gestation (plus other concerns) and we spent the rest of my pregnancy praying for his health and growth. There is much more on this story starting back in the September archives in the blog if you want the 'whole' story. None-the-less, we were concerned for Owen's life and weren't certain that he would make it through the pregnancy. As we watched and waited, Doctors were more and more grim on his expected outcome and his growth fell off worse and worse each ultrasound. Then on November 1st, I began noticing worsening symptoms with my blood pressure and was hospitalized. We thought we'd make it a couple more weeks, but instead, I had an emergency c-section November 3rd. According to the Neonatalogist, just in time. She said Owen wouldn't have made it much longer had I remained pregnant. We give our Highest Praises to the Lord, for the MIRACLE of Owen's life and outcome at birth. It was hard to believe it when we were told not only does he not have the grim prognosis that was anticipated (including the inability to breathe on his own), but that he should catch up with his growth Lord Willing. He still is quite small in both weight (imagine-2 pounds 13 ounces and down to as low as 2# 9 oz, he was about half of Jacob's birth weight at 5 #13 oz and about one third of ginormous TJ who was 8# 3 oz) and length. He may be a shorty but we are so blessed to have him in our lives! I am humbled by all the prayers, cards, calls, visits, MEALS and more meals, etc. We had such an amazing amount of support from our Church, family, and friends! Even from strangers! I have experienced an incredible amount of growth in my walk with Christ through this ordeal. Though at times I was sad and even fearful, I ultimately knew that God would see me through it. He protected me and Owen in near death circumstances. It is all so surreal. I am thankful to see all the more how good God is and how blessed I am to have the wonderful support network including the most wonderful husband ever!

Speaking of the good guy...Tim is busy at work as ever at the west side Walgreens. He's enjoying one less drugstore in the triad of competition at Salisbury and 52:-) He also decided to take on a second "job" while I laid around all fall...he became a Pampered Chef consultant to keep the business going. And He's very good at it, I'm happy to say (or am I?). He was a trooper taking care of everything-and I mean everything for the past 4 months. We did take a week off to enjoy a Carribean Cruise in the Spring. It was the 2nd awesome trip we earned with The Pampered Chef. He enjoys all 3 boys so much and is often found draped with kids on the couch with books or on he floor with mounds of leggos. He's such a great dad!

It seems like there should be more to report from really was a crazy year. I like to think of it as the year of the baby. I went from growin' Owen, to owin' on Owen, to Owen now growin'...thanks for reading our annual update.

We hope you take time to enjoy the company of family and friends this Holiday season and celebrate the true meaning of Christmas.

Luke 2:11 For today in the city of David, there has been born to you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

To pee or not to pee....

It's not a question...he pees-a lot. He pees on me, his clothes, his blankets-everything. It's like an instinct. Hmmm...mommy is removing my diaper-I think I'll pee. There's no time to even think-no matter how gingerly I remove the diaper-he pees. If I am lucky enough to remove the diaper without the fountain of Owey errupting, he'll pee as I swoop the new diaper under him. he's like ole' faithful.

You'd think I've never had a boy before.

As if peeing weren't enough...he poos too. Nope, not just your average baby poo either. It's rocket blast poo. I've never seen poo shoot so far from such a little hiney. And, he poos with EVERY diaper change. He poos in fresh diapers best though.

He's a good baby though-otherwise. He sleeps A LOT. I'm not complaining. Actually, it's kinda concerning. I was told he'd sleep 16-20 hours a day. He sleeps more like 23 hours. He sleeps while eating, while peeing, while pooing. He just sleeps. When he does wake up, he doesn't really focus in on us or make eye contact. It's a concern of mine and I'd appreciate prayer that one, I'd be comforted that it's normal and two, that there isn't anything wrong with his vision.

I can't believe he's 5 weeks old. I'm guessing he's over the 4 1/2 pound mark by now-but we don't have a scale that measures ounces.

That's all for my update for now. Until we pee again...

Monday, December 04, 2006

I'm a month old!

Where did the month go? Oh yea, I slept it away. And how did I put on so much weight? I weigh 4 pounds 1 1/2 oz...I'm porkin' up! Does my diaper make my bottom look big? He, he. All is pretty good in my baby life. I sleep a lot but, not always when mom wants. I went to the doctor today-he was cool, Dr. Ho-mommy says he's the best! It was really cold outside though-no fun.

My brother Jake held me today and my brother TJ took a little nap with me too:-) Mom will send pictures of us soon;-)

Gotta grow now!


PS Shhh... don't tell them, but my brothers have to get flu shots tomorrow to help keep me from getting sick. Their pain is my gain;-)

Coming home day!

Thanks Lyons Family!!!

Bath time!

Cute Boy!

Cuddling with TJ

Cute spikey hair


Psalm 77:2

When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands and my soul refused to be comforted.

Psalm 119:50

My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.

Psalm 119:76

May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant.

Isaiah 49:13

Shout for joy, O heavens; rejoice, O earth; burst into song, O mountains! For the LORD comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.

Isaiah 66:13

As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.

2 Corinthians 1:3

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort

Have you ever thought about a mother's love for her children? It is truly unconditional. They do so little to deserve our love. They mess up so much and require so much effort. Our children can drive us crazy. They can make us question our sanity. Yet, we still love them and have such sweet affection for them.

This is how I think of God sees us as His children. I mess up. I loose control. I try to do things on my own but ultimately, must turn back to Him for help. He responds as a mother does to her children. With open arms. He doesn't care how many times we mess up, nor how much effort we require. He understands our and responds to them lovingly-whether it's 2am or a weekend, or Holiday, etc. He always takes our calls too-never having to leave a message. No, not literally-but He's always available.

He's always here for His children. Oh, and He doesn't complain about it:-)

In fact, have you ever found yourself saying "How many times am I going to tell you_______?" or "If you would've listened to mommy..."?

I often chuckle inside as I'm saying these silly words, thinking to myself-heed your own advice. God must think I am so silly wondering why I have to tell my children the same things over and over. He never tires of telling me over and over;-)

I posted many verses on comfort because it's what I've needed lately-comfort. It's hard being a mom. It's hard being human. But, God can comfort me no matter how nuttso I feel...or act. Best part-He forgives me for it. He made me and He loves me.

I am so thankful that He allowed me to have children, to be able to love them. They don't do anything to deserve my love-thus, they can't do anything to loose it. And it's the same way with God-we don't do anything to deserve His love, and thus, we can't do anything to loose it.

I hope you find comfort in your day!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A good day...

Even after a night in a hospital bed, 3 feedings, and just 2 hours of sleep, today was a good day! Today was a VERY good day! Owen was discharged today around noonish. He's weighing in at a hefty 3# 13 1/2 oz and 15 3/4 inches long. He has done great since getting home and we are all so glad to be home as a family again-for good, I pray!

We were held up a bit at discharge because Owen's hearing had to be retested. Apparently, the report given to me that he passed, was wrong:-( His left ear has failed twice, so off to another specialist we'll go. I'm hoping it is just due to some fluid or because his ear canals are sooo small.

He also has an eye infection that he is getting antibiotic ointment for-not a big deal, but still a concern.

Nonetheless, we are home! We are mostly settled in and Owen survived the afternoon and evening with two crazy brothers being quite rambuncious. It wasn't 10 minutes of being home when Tim and I were talking and bringing things in when we heard Jacob say "Owen is hiding"...we looked over to his car seat where he was safely resting and all we see is teddy bear. Oh well, that's what the monitor is for, right?

Lord willing life will be pretty uneventful for the next couple of weeks as we acclimate to, well, doing nothing:-) Then we'll have bunches of appointments to keep a close eye on Owey. By the way, I know that looks like owie as in the boo-boo, but work with me here, it's O-E:-)

It's time to eat (again) and then off to bed for a nap:-) I look forward to updating more about Owen and our family in the coming weeks. I will post pictures soon (too lazy tonight;-)

God Bless You All!!!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


I don't even have the energy to post a Bible verse this pathetic. I'm down because Owen hasn't been discharged for no good reason. Tim and I took monitor training today and infant CPR-no, it didn't matter that I resuscitate babies during deliveries or that I am certified in both health care CPR and Neonatal resuscitation...are you detecting bitterness here?

Anyway, now I have to head into the hospital tonight when Tim gets home. I have to stay overnight and "prove" that I can feed Owen every three hours-I have to bring an alarm-can I just say "ughhhhhhh" again. Please don't get me wrong-I am ecstatic to have him but who in their right mind would be looking forward to every three hour feedings (that take almost an hour of painstaking effort) around the clock? Not to mention the fact that we'll be homebound thru the winter...I know, I know-be grateful that I have a baby to hold and whine about.

I am. REALLY...I AM! I'm just tired and stressed. This has been a long 4 months and it's going to be an even longer 18 years:-)

Owen is doing well. He's up to 3 pounds 12 oz. He passed his hearing and eye exams. He is going home on a very obnoxious apnea monitor. May I paint the picture for you? It's a box that looks a bit like a small DVD player but it is to be carried in a pouch 3 times it's size with a gazzillion extra supplies. It's about 3 times heavier than Owen too. He'll be connected with leads to the machine and it will monitor his breathing and heart rate. If the leads or connections get disturbed, it sounds in a constant horrific beep, much like a smoke alarm. Seriously.

It's made so you can hear it anywhere in the house. I want to make mention that the neighbors will also know when it alarms. Worst thing? If he does have a true "alarm" it won't stop the insane beeping until the alarm reason is corrected-as in his breathing gets regular again or his heart rate levels rises if it's low or hmmm.... decreases if it was high? I'm thinking the annoying beeping will raise my heart rate so why will his get back to normal? Worse yet? You can't even unplug it-it has a battery back-up...there's no escape.

Ok, so maybe you're taking my rantings as complaining and the like...yea-it may be a little but I tried to mix sarcasm and humor in too.

I am truly very thankful to have a baby who needs a monitor or 45 minute feedings to complain about. Entering into the world of no sleep for the next who knows how many months just wears on a person. I am quite stressed and emotional still...they say that should end about 2 weeks after the delivery. I have 2 questions. Define "end" and who is 'they'?

Owen is still extremely small and susceptible to- well, everything. Please pray for his continued growth, health, and improvement. Also please pray for grace for his crazy mother and for the rest of the family as they deal with his crazy mother. Next time I'm sure the tone will change yet again as the hormones turn;-)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving Blessings!

Psalm 92:1

It is a good thing to give Thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most High.

I have some wonderful news to be thankful about! But first, I hope you all are having a wonderful blessed Thanksgiving amongst friends and family enjoying their company, a bountiful meal, and making great memories! I know this is a day that makes me slightly weepy at the thought of ALL I have to be thankful for~reflecting on all I have, which I do not deserve just astonishes me...God is so GOOD!!!
Happy Thanksgiving to each of you!

Here are some things Owey (our loving nickname pronounced O-E) is up to nowadays...we are so pleased with his progress-he's really filling out. He looks like a different baby than I delivered 3 weeks ago. He weighed 3 pounds 7.2 ounces last night. We are in full-force heading home preparations too! Slated possibly for this weekend!!!!!!! He's passed his car seat test (on the first try) which is a huge blessing because we won't have to purchase a different seat. He's also taking the bottles that we have at home, so that means all we have to do is buy new nipples and not all new bottles. He had his circumcision and it's healing well and he hasn't missed a beat from it. He's also off all medication except a vitamin in his morning bottle which he dislikes:-p. He has an eye exam and hearing test coming up so please pray that he passes those with flying colors. He is also in an open air crib now, maintaining his own temperature and is so cute in his little preemie clothes and blankies. Of course he swims in his clothes but before I know it, he'll outgrow them just as he did his first diaper size-he's now into the regular preemie size diapers.

He's such a sweet content baby (please Lord, let him stay this way;-) and all the nurses love him. I'll post an update soon with his coming home info and pictures.

God Bless! ~Owen's Mommy

Friday, November 17, 2006

Owen's growin'! He's 2 weeks old today!

Hi! TJ and Jake here...we had fun today celebrating Owen's turning 2 weeks old! We decorated the tree today and it was fun-who knew one branch could hold 95% of the ornaments?...

Isn't Owen just the cutest little bundle? We love being his big brothers and can't wait for him to come home. Please pray he keeps doing well and gains weight quickly, as that will get him home real fast! He busted thru the 3 pound mark yesterday and today he weighs a whoppin' 3 pounds 2 oz...

He's very expressive...this expression is like he's thinking "MOM, are you going to take 25 pictures of the same thing over and over and put them all on the blog when they look don't look much different?" would say "yes, I am-scowl or no scowl;-)"

Ok, well it looks like this update has worn Owen out...I guess we'll head for bed & so will Owen-he's gotta grow now:-)

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Lots of pictures...I'm 1 week old!

I'm a big boy! I have gained weight over the past week and am back up to my birth weight of 2 pounds 13 ounces (I was 2 pounds 9 ounces at my lowest).

This is my 7 year old BIG brother TJ-he loves me!!! He rubbed my cheek and kissed my head...shhhh-don't tell the nurses though!

This is my very proud mommy...she just can't get enough of me! She says she could sit and cuddle me and watch me grow for hours!

I'm so little when compared to my daddy's big, strong hand! I really like to hold things-but my parents fingers are the best!

Excuse me...I burped.

This is my sweet brother Jacob-he's 3. He loves me so much!

I'm so cozy, comfy when mom is here!

Daddy's first time giving me my bottle. I'm up to my max feeding amount of 20 cc every 3 hours with full strength formula and I love it!

One of my favorite past-times!

So much fun to visit!

Here's lookin' at you kid!

TJ's kisses are soooo sweet!

All this visiting has made me tired!

I'm such a happy boy. I got my umbilical line out last night and my nurse did my footprints. I have such cute, tiny feet!

Gotta grow now...I love you this much!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Sweet baby!

Betrayed vs. Blessed

James 5:16

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

I want to share my heart with you.

I woke up one week ago with blurred vision and increasingly high blood pressure. I woke up one week ago speculating that 3 long months of bedrest would soon be ending-2 weeks or less I thought to myself. I woke up not scared, not worried, not thinking that my long journey of difficult and unknown times would be ending in days, not weeks.

I would like to say that the next week that unraveled was a time of great strength and godliness for me. I wish I could say that I worked hard through each moment to glorify God and be a great witness for His kingdom...

I wasn't though. None of us wake up each morning thinking today may be our last. That would be a glum world and life to live. Even I did not realize a week ago that the days to come could be my last. I did not see the events as "serious" or "life-threatening". Thank GOD that in our weakness He is strong. Thank GOD for friends, family, and church family that prayed over me and BELIEVED that GOD can do anything-even when I called on Him not.

I am able to say that I was borderline incoherent-so I'm not really feeling so hard on myself (as it may sound). I am glad for what I remember and for what I don't (I think:-). I went into Friday evening (the proposed time for delivering Owen via c-section~my first c-section) thinking on the verse above-knowing only the part about the prayer of the righteous man is powerful and effective. I was able to find out the reference and think on this verse throughout the afternoon-while I waited to meet Owen. While I hoped for the best but still waited for the worst.

It is incredible to think back on all the thoughts and emotions I spent thinking on his life. Wondering what would be....

I went into Friday evening, with surgery imminent, thinking I was about to have a baby-very small and sickly, with a possibly fatal condition. Very likely unable to breathe on his own (preterm or not) and afflicted with a skeletal condition causing dwarfism. I had months of test results from multiple doctors and ultrasound locations and technicians "prooving" these things. I was thankful to be prepared even as little as I knew. I was hoping for the best but thinking realistically that the worst may happen.

Preparing for surgery I was prayed for and over multiple times-even as the surgery was nearing and the days to come unfolded-the prayers of others grew as my focus on God weakened and I distanced myself from reality.

The events after the afternoon of Friday the 3rd go blurry as I was highly medicated and increasingly ill. When 6:46pm rolled around-I hardly can tell you that I knew Owen was here. Everyone around me though, knew that not only was he here, but that God had performed what seems to be a miracle.

Owen was born breathing, crying, small. He peed alot too, so I hear. I was not processing, nor believing what was being told to me. I couldn't quite grasp that 3 months of medical results from specialists upon specialists was -well, wrong. Owen was perfect. I still couldn't see it-I waited for the worst. I couldn't (and still can't) understand. No one can explain it.

The next couple days were also a blur as my condition did not improve. I was hardly able to lift my arms or legs (I could hardly press the button on my nurse call light to ask for help).

How could this happen? Have I been betrayed?...

The results that have come from my 3 months of bedrest weren't betrayal at all. I am finally starting to accept that I have a newborn now weighing in at a puny 2 pounds 9 ounces fighting for his life. He's been a fighter from the start-even when his own mother wasn't accepting that he might just be "ok".

None of us know what is to come. We don't know our own futures, nor that of our children or family. We aren't promised a great future of health or strength. But I am blessed. I have so many things in my life and hopefully future that all define blessed. I was blessed even in my darkest hour-when I was far from God-in our weakness, He is strong!

I focused so much on what would be the outcome of Owen's arrival that I lost sight somewhere along the journey...of course I don't know what is to come. All of life is unknown. It is a great mystery. It is a wonder and blessing that we get to discover and see what develops along the way. It is our honor to grow in our walk with the Lord and bring glory to Him! We have the responsibility to be prepared and to plan to our best ability, but none of us know what is to come. We can only pray that God be glorified through our journey.

I find myself, as I finally start to accept Owen's arrival, realizing I am concerned for his future since we do not know what his health will be. I am finally finding great comfort though, in realizing that none of us know what our future health entails. I will be given the grace to accept and work through what God has in store for me.

I am being redundant on this point-I know, but it is so powerful and vivid to me right now.

The 3 months I've spent growing Owen will now fade as a distant memory as each day reveals new things for our lives with him. I now pray for his future-whereas before, I prayed that he would have a future. Actually, I covet your prayers for his future~he has a long way to "grow".

I hope this story of my heart makes sense. I know it's kinda out there-we all know we shouldn't share things in emotional moments when we can't sleep. It has been a long, emotional journey-and it's not over, but just beginning. I'm thinking that spanish rice can't compare to the tears and emotion that have (and continue to) poured out of me over the past week.

I can hardly believe a week has passed. But, it also doesn't seem like 7 years have passed since my title as a mother began-November 9th, 1999 when TJ arrived into this world 5 days overdue weighing in at 8 pounds 3 ounces. What growth I've experienced since his blessed arrival. Now I can boast of 3 miracles, at least until they wake up and start tearing up the house, getting fingerprints everywhere and causing what seems to be unending piles of laundry.

It's funny-does God think to Himself when we, His children go to bed, "Ahhh...they are finally asleep".

I'd have it no other way-isn't that the key to the heart of a mother? We'd have it no other way.

I have so much more I could share...I am humbled to be able to share these ramblings with you-thank you for your interest and for sharing in the journey with me. God has been so good-I pray I continue to think on the blessings in my life as I work through more trying times as Owen (and all my family) grows and as more bumps in the road occur.

I plan to keep updating this blog with his progress and pictures. I hope you'll check back and continue to keep us in your prayers.

I am blessed to say I believe in miracles~I have proof that they exist. Mine came in a 2 pound, 13 ounce body-see picture below-Thank you Jesus!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Announcing Owen!

Psalm 139:13 & 14

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

Hi! My name is Owen Elijah Valiant. I was born Friday November 3rd at 6:46pm. I weighed 2 pounds 13 ounces and was 14 1/4 inches long. I'm told I am a miracle baby. My mom and dad are praising God for me...the doctors say that I'm small but mighty! I am 5 days old now. Mom hasn't been able to write since she was so sick in the hospital. They made mommy have an emergency c-section to deliver me and she says she doesn't really remember all the details and is very emotional over my arrival. Mommy came home last night (Tuesday) and has been very tired from the "whole thing". I have to stay in the hospital for a while since I'm so little and need some help from the doctors and nurses to get big and strong. Mommy says she is still in shock over my miraculous arrival. Doctors had told her and daddy (even shown them proof) that I would be sick and have some things wrong with me-even not be able to breathe on my own. Now that I'm here, my doctors are saying I am going to be fine...mommy was just more sick than they thought and it affected my growth but I was a fighter and protected myself by allowing my head to grow more than the rest of me. I'm already catching the rest of me up with my cute head and I don't need any help breathing at all right now! I just lie in my cozy isolette and grow and look forward to visits from my family. I love my pacifiers too! Mommy is going to be ok too...she went through some difficult times but is getting better and is trying to rest and get her strength back so she can visit me more and take care of my brothers TJ and Jake again. Her doctor is still watching her closely but thinks everything will be just fine. Isn't God good! He really loves His children!

Mommy will be updating with pictures, progress, and thoughts soon so check back so you can watch me grow and learn more about cute lil' me!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

32 weeks & spanish rice?

Galatians 5:22 & 23

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, PATIENCE, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (NIV)

What an awesome milestone...I'm 32 weeks today! I saw my doctor Friday and there's not much news to report. I am however, having a hard time waiting for this coming Friday's ultrasound. If I could wish away the next 4 days, I would~and I know that's not the right attitude. Tomorrow (Nov 1st) is the Harvest party for TJ at his Wednesday night church class...he has to dress up as a Bible character or theme. A friend of mine (thanks Karen) gave me the idea to do the Fruits of the Spirit. I will use clear packing tape and label the play fruit he has with each quality and tape them to his clothes, at least-that's the the verse above has been on my heart for both TJ's "costume" and because I am struggling with so many of the "fruits"-especially patience.

Women are irrational creatures, aren't they? I am guessing mostly women read I think you'll understand and find this story I'm going to share quite funny. You may be wondering about the spanish rice in the title line? Well, I'll try to share the short version of my "I'm an irrational woman" story.

Sunday, after church, I sent Tim to the store to get the ingredients to make a meal I've been craving-stuffed green peppers. He got everything I needed, but he couldn't find one thing-canned spanish rice. His cell phone wasn't working (so he couldn't call home and find out what to do) so he came home with everything but the can of rice (the secret ingredient) and instead got a box mix hoping it would work. Of course, it wouldn't. Have I mentioned I don't even like rice? It's just the combo of the ingredients in the recipe that works and it's about the only rice dish I'll eat. So now we have all these ingredients that we can't use. He offers to go back out and try another store. I agree since it seems better than returning a bunch of ingredients to Meijer. When he finally gets home, he's empty handed and I realize he hasn't had lunch and he's literally spent half the afternoon, starved, trying to make me happy. So we have these ingredients we can't use, he's getting lunch at 3pm, and I haven't even spent anytime with him on my birthday weekend (my birthday was Saturday, but I am a bit of a birthday's need to be super special freak). So, the "emotion" of the situation overcomes me while the poor guy is trying to eat his "lunch" and I start bawling. He, of course, was dumbfounded and was probably thinking "what are you crying about you crazy woman, I've spent half the day trying to please you and you repay me with crying?" Just then there's a knock at the door. I'm mortified because I'm not a graceful crier. I'm a full fledged, red, swollen face, congested nose, type of crier. It was my friend Jen-just dropping by something unexpectedly. I quickly apologize to her telling her she's just caught me in an emotional "moment" (truth is, I probably wouldn't have stopped crying for sometime if it weren't for her stopping by). So, she feels badly for not calling first and asks if there is anything she can do. I try to explain, I really don't even know what I'm crying about when Tim blurts out "can you find us some spanish rice in a can?" Again, I'm MORTFIED! I mean, I wasn't crying about spanish rice-how could he think that?:-) So, I try to cover for my selfish, sinful behavior-but, being the mother of 3 herself, she knew I wasn't crying about spanish rice either. She did tell me she was laughing inside because Tim really thought I was crying about spanish rice. But, the story doesn't end there...the next day I was getting Jacob lunch (his staple of a corn dog and pretzels-and lots of ketchup and's a food group, right?) as there was a knock at my door. It was Jen-she came UNANNOUNCED AGAIN-brave woman-bearing 4 cans of spanish rice:-) So, the story ends with me getting my yummy dinner of stuffed green peppers and mashed potatoes and I even suprised Tim by having it ready when he arrived home from work. It was delicious, all thanks to my WONDERFUL husband's efforts and loose lips:-) And thanks to Jen too!

I will hopefully have real baby news to report Friday afternoon:-) God Bless!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

31 weeks, so busy, & Jake's baaaaaccccckkkkkk!

1 Timothy 4:8

For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come. (NKJV)

I like this helps me to realize that during this season of essentially no physical exercise, it's ok-because my walk with God (spiritual exercise) helps me in all ways and holds promise for this life and for eternal life (that which is to come). This verse comes to mind this week specifically because of my newly diagnosed gestational diabetes. It seems physical exercise would help this condition, but I of course can not exercise so I have additional challenges with good blood sugar control. Honestly, so far, it's not been so bad. I'm only on small amounts of insulin twice a day and it's given in a shot in this cool pen that you dial up the number of units and just push a button-super easy. It's way easier than drawing up a syringe. Anyway, that aspect of life is going pretty well and it has kept me busy with extra appts and paying attention to the time for blood sugar checks, etc.

I am again happy to be at a new milestone in gestation-31 weeks! Only 6 weeks to go (at least that's the plan). I feel well and just a little overwhelmed after almost 3 months of barely caring for myself, to be caring for Jacob again. He's a handful (to say the least) but he is a sweet 3 year old and is managable. He finally warmed up to me a little more today and sat on my lap for about a half hour and looked at pictures with me and then we sang the abc's. It may not sound like much but coming from the kid who's back home saying things like "Daddy, I love you. And I love TJ. And I like mommy."-it's wonderful. Ah, the joys of mommihood-always next best. I know if he got a boo-boo or is scared, he'll come runnin'. Another nice thing today-he was lying on my lap this afternoon and fell asleep. Owen must've kicked him in the noggin 25 times but apparently Mr. Thick Skull (Jacob), was unaffected. It was very sweet to have him nap on me:-).

I have a check-up here in Lafayette with Dr. Sinnott Friday. Just routine stuff, hopefully. Oh yeah, I have a huge praise to share: we've been working with HMO because apparently, all the Indy visits and testing should've been pre-approved (and they weren't because we didn't know any better) but we were able to get back-dated requests on everything from before and even some authorizations for more genetic testing my Indy MD's want to do AND it was all approved! :-) A huge blessing because everything costs A LOT! So, I am traveling to Indy tomorrow (Thursday) for some more testing. Unfortunately, the tests are projected to take 4 weeks (or more) but I just think of them as formality and if we get any results from them, they will just help us better project care for Owen. I also go back for a growth comparison ultrasound Friday the 3rd.

We appreciate your continued prayers for both Owen's and my health. As we are in the midst of week 11 1/2 of bedrest, I know Tim and the boys are also strained and tired. God has been very gracious to us and we continue to find comfort in Him in these times of challenges, confusion and even frustration. He is always good.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

30 weeks and Shock & Awe

Romans 12:12

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

I am rejoicing to be 30 weeks today. Yesterday, I woke up to a phone call from my doctor's office (Dr. Sinnott who is wonderful)~his nurse Linda is who called actually (who is also WONDERFUL). She called to tell me that delivering here in Lafayette would be ok per Dr. Sinnott and Dr. Chua (the neonatalogist). Which is a relief and has been a concern since the Indy MD's have recommended delivering in Indy.

Then she proceeded to say, "hey, while I have you on the phone, I'll look up Friday's lab results." Which were all great until she got to the glucose level from my 1 hour glucose tolerance test. Oops, just barely failed it. Never failed one with my other pregnancies so I wasn't too worried. I even tried to talk her out of the 3 hour diagnostic test to check for gestational diabetes, but she managed to get me in right away this morning (yea). So, after spending the morning at the office getting the 4 blood draws, I came home and spent the afternoon resting. TJ arrived home and the phone rang. Linda said, you failed miserably (she said it nicer though) and will have to see the endocrinologist. I'll call you back to let you know when I can get you in. Moments later, she calls back and says, "can you head over TODAY at 4pm?"...sure, I have nothing better to do.

So, before I know it, I'm in an office learning how to check my own blood sugar and give myself insulin!!! Craziness! I'm teetering between laughter and horror. Well, this gives me something else to do. Owen and I are a great pair-we can't seem to get anything right this pregnancy.

So, now I'm back home (Tim's out doing a show;-) and have all this to process. I'm not overly concerned, yet I DO know that Insulin dependent gestational diabetes is (or can be) a big deal and must be taken seriously. As if you didn't have enough to pray for us about? The good news is, either I'm so shell shocked about this new development that I'm numb or I just have a blessed peace that God is showing me how good He is and how in control of this whole situation HE IS! It's His plan, so I guess I finally am to the point where I am saying "whatever you say's your plan. I'll take what you have for me."

I think that's it for the news for now. Owen is moving about like the crazy baby he is. The boys are all well and we are so thankful for everything everyone is doing for us to ease the challenges we've faced. I'm feeling more hopeful again and so appreciate your prayers (and continued prayers;-). Jacob will be returning to us this weekend. My mom and brother Andrew will be making the 6 hour trip from Wisconsin to bring him home. They have been so wonderful to care for Jacob so selflessly. I know it will be hard on them to give Jake back (that sounds weird). We are praying Jacob makes an easy transition back to us and can understand (as much as a 3 yr-old can) how things must be during the day while I am still on bedrest. The light activity is going well, so my doctor felt it would be ok to let us (me) try to care for Jake during the day. He won't get the outtings he's used to but I will try to do a variety of things with him while he waits for TJ to come home from school and then Tim to come home from work. I am at peace about it and believe it will go well. I don't know when I'll update next as I don't have any plans for anything to be worth reporting for a while;-) But, I'll post sooner than later I'm sure. Thanks for checking in.

Friday, October 13, 2006

29 weeks & 2 appt updates

Psalm 130:5

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I put my hope.

No news is good news, right? That's kinda how I feel right now after a very long day (Thursday). I feel hopeful, yet very down, and somewhat alone. I guess it's the toll of 10 weeks of bedrest and concern for Owen.

Appt #1 Thursday: The geneticist was very kind and took lots of time with us. They were very thorough and he seemed very certain of the few things he could tell regarding Owen. He did not have the concern the Perinatalogist had about Owen's head. He was able to point out all the suture lines in Owen's skull, which were open, and not fused which is good. (Sutures are the openings in the skull baby's must have to be able to be born and have a moldable head-plus, they give us room for our brains to grow and then they gradually close thru childhood.)

He confirmed that all of Owen's limbs are proportionately small and his chest is small also-a bit smaller than his limbs. Which leads him to best guess that Owen does have a less common type of skeletal or bone dysplasia (also known as dwarfism). The biggest concern with his chest size is that his respiratory system wouldn't be strong enough to support himself and he may need assistance with a ventilator. He recommended further tests (to aide in diagnosis) but they are expensive and may not tell us anything (and they take 4 weeks to run). So we are checking with our insurance to see if they will cover the tests.

Owen is also breech which concerns me and is uncomfortable to carry with his head in my ribs and feet dancing on my bladder. Next up? I have to return for a follow up ultrasound in 3 weeks, mostly just to monitor growth and assess for any further complications that may arise between now and then. My bedrest with very light activity is going ok, but frankly, I have no endurance and my muscles are very weak so being up is painful and exhausting.

Appt #2 Friday: Dr. Sinnott was great as usual. He's my regular OB and it was just the routine check up. He did decide to do a round of shots called betamethasone, which is 2 shots of steroids given a day apart to help Owen's lung tissue further develop in the event that he would deliver early. Dr. Sinnott did say if Owen doesn't turn from breech to head down, that I would have to have a c-section, which isn't such a surprise but I don't want one and was hopeful that there may be some options to try first, but no luck. No other changes in my care. Return check-up in 2 weeks is what's up next.

By the way, I made it to 29 weeks as of this past Tuesday. Only 6 1/2 weeks to go!

On a positive note, Jacob is coming home to us next weekend assuming no catastrophes occur in the meantime;-) I am hopeful that he will be a good boy and not too much of a handful for me to take care of during the day.

Please continue to be praying for us... Specifically:

~For Owen's health, his growth, and that he would turn head down.
~Also that our insurance would cover all the tests and care in the future and that we've already had.
~My health is a continual concern as well with the blood pressure and preterm labor that is possible.
~That Jacob would be able to come home next weekend, that he would have a safe trip, and that I would be able to care for him.
~More days have been hard than easy for me lately. As I said above I really feel very down and alone, and I am not sleeping well-so please continue to pray that I remain hopeful and trusting in God.

Nothing is impossible with God...He loves Owen more than even I do and will be faithful in His care for us.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Finally...not bad news

Hebrews 11:1

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

The call from the genetic counselor finally came this afternoon. I am so relieved to have confirmation that Owen's tests all came back negative for the types (only 3) of skeletal dysplasia they can test for. So, this is what this news means to me. It means he doesn't have the one type they can test for that I was dreading he may have because it was a type that wasn't compatable with life. I have more hope now that whatever he does have, we can deal with. I am still leary heading back to Indy this Thursday that they will again douse my hopes with more bad news but on the other hand, I am hopeful that nothing they could tell me would be something untreatable. Thank you so much for your prayers! Please continue to pray for our upcoming appt this Thursday. Praise God!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Quick update

I spoke with the genetic counselor today. We are scheduled for next Thursday the 12th at IU Med Center with a geneticist (for another high level ultrasound). She also hopes to have the amnio results possibly as early as this Friday but definitely by the appt next week.

Please pray for me to be more encouraged (today was a very down day) and that we would get the results of the amnio quickly. Please also pray that the geneticist would be able to properly diagnose Owen as I hear often ultrasound diagnoses are incorrect.

After this recent appt I have less hope for Owen's health. I know I just need to trust in God and accept that His plan is perfect even when I don't get it (or like it).

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

28 weeks and Appt update

I know it's a little blurry but the photo above is a side view or profile shot of Owen putting his thumb to his mouth. The image to the left of his hand is umbilical cord;-)

This is a profile (side view) of Owen's Head/face and chest, the blob at the top is the placenta for inquiring minds:-)

Psalm 139:13,14

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

I had to read all of the previous verses just to write this update to remind myself of what I TRULY believe...

I believe I just need to trust in God. (Proverbs 3:5,6)

I believe I need to rejoice in the Lord and present my requests to him. (Philippians 4:4-7)

I believe I can do all things with the strength of the Lord. (Philippians 4:13)

I believe that God is the creator of both GOOD and BAD times and we should praise Him for both. (Ecclesiastes 7:14)

I believe I must have hope in the Lord and He will help me and renew my strength. (Isaiah 40:28-31)

And I believe that facing trials will develop in me perseverance. (James 1:2-3)

With all these truths...I still write today with heavy heart and a need to JUST rest in the Lord.

Today's visit included just an ultrasound and consultation with the perinatalogist. It was evident as the tech was doing measurements, that while Owen has grown about 2 weeks of growth in 2 weeks (good of course), that there are concerns now beyond just his small size (his size is approximately 1 pound 14 oz, whereas he should be around 2 pounds 4 oz). The amnio results were not back (and are expected to take even up to a week MORE) but the specialist now does believe that Owen has a form of Skeletal Dysplasia (Dwarfism) that is not a "common type" and she is having us come back as soon as a geneticist can be lined up to be present at another ultrasound to attempt to diagnose Owen's condition (no guarantees a diagnosis can be made).

I struggle with giving too many details and confusing/concerning you all, so I'll try to explain what I do know. The specific concerns are his chest circumference (size is less than the 2.5%) is very small (and once born not good for lung capacity/being able to breathe on your own). In addition, the shape of his head and the circumference seem to have worsened (hard to simplify what this means exactly).

I don't even know what all this means. I don't want to give up hope that Owen will be a healthy baby, regardless of the body that God gives him, but with that, I want to be realistic and prepared as much as I can be.

I will have to update again as soon as I know the next appt date. I also wanted to share that my "very light activity" is going ok, but after 8 weeks, I'm just too tired to do much of anything (physically) so it's not hard to still take it easy. I am still "officially" on bedrest, the difference is I can now just sit up some instead of constant sidelying positions and I can get up and wipe the counter off if it needs it or put my own messes away instead of having servant type service where I literally only got up to go to the bathroom, microwave food, or shower. So, it's better but still bedrest.

I am very thankful to hit an important gestational milestone in pregnancy, 28 weeks. I am thankful to feel the SO strong movements of this precious baby that grows inside me. I am thankful for my loving, serving husband and my beautiful healthy boys that I am so very blessed with. I am thankful for my health. And I am thankful for my salvation~I don't know how so many people in this world go through life without a Savior and hope for eternal life in Heaven. I pray if you are reading this that you have the same saving Faith in the Lord, but if you don't~you CAN!!! Please ask me about it!

Friday, September 29, 2006


James 1:2-3

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.

The word trial usually has a negative connotation, doesn't it? Well, finally I have a trial that seems positive:-). At my appt today my doctor was pleased enough with my recent blood pressures, etc that he approved a "trial" of very light activity. I was so relieved, I teared up. It's almost hard to imagine eating dinner at the table again or sitting on the porch watching TJ ride his bike. I've been such a hermit for 8 weeks, it's almost scary to enter the world again.

Ok, so let's be realistic...very light activity isn't a trip to the mall or walk around our neighborhood, and it's certainly not entering the world again, but I'll take what I can get. And, even better-if all goes well with this trial and no new reasons to resume strict bedrest arise at the Indy appt, my doctor also said we could resume care for Jakey again. A HUGE praise! So, I'll get back to you on that.

So, what was on tap for my first afternoon after almost 8 weeks of strict bedrest??? Well, I was so exhausted by my outing, I took a long nap. How's that for light activity?:-) Pathetic, I know. I did come downstairs after the nap and straighten up just a few things in the kitchen-and then took my blood pressure and it stunk! Hopefully, it was a fluke and will settle back down as TJ and I take it easy this evening with a couple movies we rented.

Up next, the appt in Indy Tuesday where a repeat ultrasound will be done and hopefully more results from the amnio will be available. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Amnio news

Isaiah 40:28-31

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

The genetic counselor called...mixed news is causing me mixed emotions and more questions. And, I am feeling weary. The chromosomal study came back all completely normal, which is of course, GREAT news! The study for the skeletal dysplasias will likely take another week or more. Yeah, more waiting! After asking more questions about the skeletal dysplasias study, the are really only looking for 3 different types (out of hundreds), none of the 3 does Owen have typical findings of anyway, so I don't feel like I'm waiting on anything except another problem to be ruled out.

The plan now is to watch his growth and head shape. We may need to have a geneticist (sp?) present for an ultrasound to help in diagnosing, if he is diagnosable at all. Or, Owen may just have a growth problem and we will have to wait until he is born to see how we can best care for him. The problem with this theory for me is that the blood flow to him and placenta functions were confirmed as being adequate.

I feel like I know less than when we started, but am very relieved that there are no chromosomal abnormalties-that really is huge! Everyone has dreams of a healthy, normal child~I struggle with not knowing if Owen will have that chance, even though I know God is in control of it ALL.

The genetic counselor again brought up issues of us needing to discuss delivering in Indy depending on further findings. All of these thoughts and uncertainties are wearing on me. I don't want to deliver with another doctor, another hospital, and nurses I don't know:-(

At this point, aside from waiting to confirm he doesn't have the 3 common dysplasias, we will be monitored (as we have been) with repeated ultrasounds and frequent check-ups. And while not knowing is way better than having horrible news, it doesn't make waiting that much easier.

Please keep praying for Owen's health and growth. Pray also that I'd be able to continue resting in the Lord while I wait these remaining 10 weeks (assuming I make it to 37 weeks).

I also wanted to share that today is Jacob's official 3rd birthday. He called this am and it was very sad to hear him say how he wants to come back to his new house (which is his way of saying he wants to be here). It's hard on my mom too, to hear him sad and whiny while she tries so hard to keep him happy with them. Please think of this situation in you prayers also. It's heart wrenching to me, but I praise God that he (Jacob) has had 3 wonderful years with us to bless our lives!

The next updates won't come until after the Friday appt unless I have something earth shattering to share, and even then, it probably won't be very exciting:-) Thanks for checking in.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

27 weeks today

Ecclesiastes 7:14

When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, a man cannot discover anything about his future.

This is a timely verse for me...My "times" right now I wouldn't define as good, nor bad~but I do need to remember that both good and bad times the Lord has made. He's planned them for me. In fact, He designed them specifically for my life. So many people look to God during bad times but seldom give Him credit nor praise for the abundance of "good" times we bask in. By the way, I'm guilty of this too...but I hope to be more grateful and praise filled in the good times in my future.

Speaking of good times...Wahoo!!! I've OFFICIALLY entered the 3rd trimester! I had my doubts 7 weeks ago when all these complications started (and so did my doctor). So a HUGE praise to God for getting me to this point. I'm healthy, my blood pressure is staying well controlled and I have a precious baby moving about inside of me-none of which we thought there was a good chance of 7 weeks ago.

Ah, for the bad times...ok, so not really bad times-but definatley perserverance building times. Yes, I'm still waiting to hear about the amnio results. It's day 8 of the 7-10 day wait...ugh.

What's next? Aside from waiting for these reults, Friday we'll see my OB for my routine appt~oh, an outting-such adventure for me!

Don't have much else to report so I'll try something new and sign off without going on and on about the same ole, same ole:-)

Hope to update you more soon!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Homecoming and birthday smiles

Jacob's visit

Hebrews 12:11

All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.

We enjoyed having Jacob home with us this weekend. It was a weekend with many ups and downs for me personally, but I think Jacob had a wonderful birthday and am extremely grateful to my mom (Rebecca), Stepdad Andy, and brother Zach for bringing him back down here to us and making a very special birthday ensue for Jacob. They have been an enormous blessing as they've cared for Jacob all these weeks while I've been on bedrest.

It was very neat when he got here. Though it was late and he was sleepy, he embraced both Tim and I with big hugs and kisses and cuddles. He then went about exploring and very cutely began smelling everything in the house. He would say "the couch smells good, the chair smells good" and so on and so forth. It made me realize how much he likes the smells of home. He also honed in on a huge gift pile as we had all the gifts arranged in an area (gifts from his other grandparents Debbie and Walter and others as well). He quickly picked up a small gift and said "this looks interesting" handful of words two year old came home a chatty 3 year old.

I found myself (early on when he was first back) enjoying his sweetness and finding pure joy just watching him and listening to him. I even was thinking how we, as parents, just really need to enjoy these little blessings and serve them. I was contemplating how great a mom I could be from now on....then my little angel started being "himself" again, the honeymoon was over and my thoughts of the angelic son and my would be perfect parenting went out the window!

Discipline...they need so much of it (as do we)!!! I found myself constantly wanting to or needing to correct him for everything from not speaking kindly, not being grateful, OBEDIENCE, etc. It's not stuff we can ignore nor let up on. If we don't, we won't experience (nor will they) the second part of the verse above-the peaceful fruit of righteousness. I know this means "the good stuff"'s painful to experience correction but joyful to live at peace and do what's right. How would our children ever learn this principle if we didn't teach it to them?

I can't believe I forgot how tiring it is to parent a 3 yr old. And it's loud. And it's messy. And I'm lying here cooking another one so I can do it all over AGAIN! :-) But, with all this, there is still true joy along the journey. Like hearing those glorious 4 little words "I love you mommy".

All is otherwise well. Jacob and the grandparents start their travels back this afternoon. Jacob will continue staying with my mom until we feel we can care for him again as consistently as she is (which would pretty much require me being off bedrest, which I'm not). Please pray for their safety and his doing well while he's away from us (and vise versa). It was heart breaking as he left saying he wanted to stay at his new house. Having him visit made me realize I miss him a lot! But, he's best off there and God is gracious to've provided such a nurturing and supportive environment for him during this short season of life.

Tomorrow (Monday) is 7 days since the amnio so, it's possible we may get some news. 7-10 days is what they told us for maybe:-) Please continue to pray that our Sovereign God would be glorified through the results (or lack thereof) and we would continue to trust in Him.

Lastly, selfishy, I ask for prayer for myself. I have concern (dread actually) that the days will grow longer now with not much to look "forward" to in the near future. I can already feel the lump in my throat thinking of things not so positive. I was focusing on this visit from Jacob and now without anything like that to keep me joyful, I will really have to pull it together and think on what's right and true all the more. So, anyway please pray I keep positive and joyful while waiting on the results and continuing with bedrest. Regardless of the results, I likely have 2 1/2 more months of bedrest (I can't believe I've done it for 7 weeks already).

Hope to update you more soon! I'll also have Tim try to upload some pictures from the weekend.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

News already?

Philippians 4:13

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

I've finally taken the plunge...I'm going to blog and let you all into my mind-scary, I know. My goal is to pass along updates as I'm given info instead of the mass e-mails so frequently. So now, you can log on anytime and check for new news. I have 2 disclaimers though. I've never mastered the art of saying as few of words as necessary to get a point across. Second, I think faster than I type so typos and grammer issues will abound. If you were looking for a gramatical work of art each post, you'll be dissapointed:-). I think of my posts as more conversational.

To update today: I received a call from the genetic counselor. She already had news to share. I was quite shocked but am very happy to report that Owen has none of the trisomies they wanted to rule out (like Down's etc) and has just one X and one Y chromosome which of course confirms he's a boy, but also let's us know he doesn't have extra sex chromosomes or a deletion of any either.

I feel ok today after the amnio but am suprised at how much I ache. But I'm fine and feel blessed to have this little guy swimming all around reminding me why I lay here.

TJ went to school today because his strep test came back negative, and he stayed afebrile through the night and didn't have much of a sore throat this morning. He's a trooper.

Jacob called this morning-he was so animated to tell me all about decorating with Grama for Halloween. He's so excited to come home this weekend for his birthday. He's also stayed free of accidents with potty training-thank you Grama Becca!

One last note. I just wanted to share my sincere appreciation for all the Love, prayers, meals, cards, calls, etc that have been poured out to us. God has been so good and so faithful to provide and I pray He mightily blesses each of you for your generosity. It's near unimaginable how He's orchestrated everything to come together for us. I give all the praise and glory to Him for the peace He's given me~I really would not be able to get through this time without my saving Faith in Him. I'll end on that note.

Thanks for checking out the blog, I'll post again soon!

26 week update

Philippians 4:4-7

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with Thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Here us the update from my appt today September 19th~Hope this is not too many details~

Again, not such good news. It was a whirlwind of began with an Ultra Sound confirming that the baby is very small. Specifically, they noted that while his head is properly sized for my dates, it does have a slightly abnormal shape, and his arms, legs, and abdomen measure about 3 weeks small. AN amniocentisis was recommended and we had to speak with a genetic counselor that explained what they could and couldn't look for/find with the amnio. We decided to proceed with it (it took 2 minutes) and were sent home with the following definate pieces of information:
-My amniotic fluid volume is normal.
-The blood flow to the baby and the placenta are normal.
-The major trisomies like down's syndrome, etc were not obvious on the ultrasound but only the amnio can 100% rule these things out.
-The baby has no apparent heart, lung, or brain abnormalities-in other words except for the short limbs and head shape, nothing is obvious for a diagnosis nor are the skeletal findings.

I asked the doctor what she thought they would find if she had to guess and she said likely a skeletal dysplasia or chromosome issue but she couldn't be very sure. A skeletal dysplasia would be a type of dwarfisim of which there are over 100 types. Some are lethal-the most common ones are not.

We must now wait 7-10 days for the amnio results and we will be called by the genetic counselor everytime a test result arrives (the first will likely rule out the trisomies). We will return to her office in 2 weeks to check on the baby's growth again. (Tuesday Oct 3rd). I think that's it.

Thank you for your prayers and please continue to pray-specifically that I would have no problems recovering from the amnio, that in waiting I don't grow impatient or irrational with concern, that we would continue to trust in the Lord-He created this baby and loves him-He will take care of all are needs and will not give us more than we can handle, and of course that little Owen would continue to grow and the results would show the best news possible, quickly.
Oh yes, and that my blood pressure would stay under control.
Lastly, TJ came home from school yesterday with fever and was still with fever this am. We had to take him with us to Indy, but he was very good. Now home, I've noticed his throat is very swollen (and sore) and looks to be strep (we've pleaded with his MD to just call in an antibiotic since it isn't practical to get him in for an appt-still waiting on this news***Update-Dr. Ho made a house call a is running a rapid strep test-what a Saint!). Please pray that he would recover quickly and none of us would come down with his symptoms.
Jacob (my almost 3 yr old) will be coming home this weekend for his birthday and then will go back to Wisconsin again with my mom. Please pray their travels are safe (about 6 hours) and he will do well seeing us for the first time in 6 weeks and again that no one gets sick.

We appreciate your continued prayers and support!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

How it all got started

Our story:

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 direct your path. We are the Valiant Family, comprised of Tim & Renay and our precious boys TJ, Jacob, and hopefully soon to be Owen (due 12-26-06). We started this blog simply to keep in contact in a simple fashion with family and friends both local and far. This pregnancy with carrying little Owen has been full of trials to say the least. It starts back in April when a positive test got us quite excited about the prospect of a new little one but soon was cause for concern when no baby was found via ultrasound. In fact, my doctor thought the pregnancy was ectopic and instructed us to cancel our cruise we'd earned through The Pampered Chef. Desparate for wisdom, we prayed, and asked my MD for an HCG test~ which resulted in an extremely low number. So, we took a leap of Faith and drove our 20 hour trip to Florida to board our 4 day cruise. I was no stranger to pregnancy complications as a previous miscarraige and then infertility with both boys had prepared me for anything-so I thought. So, once on our cruise, I felt well with the exception of a bit of nausea. The Lord really worked it all out and blessed us with a wonderful "honeymoon" since we'd never been on one. Back home, we went right in for a 2nd HCG test and ultrasound where this time the HCG did as it should and multiplied and the ultrasound showed a small sac-no heart beat though...You may be wondering-did you not have any idea how far along you were? That's correct! With infertility and irregular periods, it makes it difficult to keep track. This particular instance was complicated by an LMP of 2-5-06 yet a guesstimate of conception around the end of March. I actually had the positve test on April 16th and then 2 days later got that first news of the probability of problems-mostly because my doctor thought I could easily be 8 weeks along. An ultrasound on May 9th confirmed a heartbeat and we were elated-especially because I had such all day sickness and no appetite and was dropping weight (no worries, I have some to loose:-). Our due date was given via this early ultrasound as December 26th~which is supposed to be extremely accurate. Other than the usual early pregnancy stuff and our move into our new home in July, all was great. Then around the middle of July, I woke up in the middle of the night with severe pain. I guessed it could be my gallbladder, though I'd never had any issues like it before. After a while of wondering and hurting, the pain subsided and I went on thinking maybe I was just so tired that I overreacted. About a week later, again-middle of the night, lots of pain...this time I didn't shrug it off and called my MD in the am. They were able to get me right in for both my baby and gallbladder ultrasounds. I was 18 weeks at this point. The baby looked great-confirmed as another boy and my gallbladder looked bad. I was referred to a surgeon by the end of the week and was encouraged to learn that while I needed surgery, it could wait. Whew, who wants surgery while pregnant? Ahhhh...smooth sailing-time to get the house put together after the move-screeeechhhhhh...The brakes were put on that idea Sunday August 6th. It was during our Sunday evening church service that pain started in. My first non-middle of the night attack? Yep, it just got worse and worse over the next 4 hours and I finally had Tim rush me to the hospital. Pregnancy gestation=19 weeks 5 days. Medicine controlled the pain, but my blood pressure loomed seriously high even under good pain control and in a rested state. Finally, after 3 nights in the hospital (no current gall bladder concerns), and my blood pressure still registering dangerously high (180/110-my norm around 100/60 with no previous blood pressure issues ever) I was started on blood pressure medicine and a 2nd surgeon was consulted to explore removing my gall bladder. This surgeon thought it a reasonable decision...and we proceeded with laproscopic surgery Thursday August 10th. I stayed in the hospital thru Sunday the 13th when I was released on complete sidelying bedrest. Did I mention we have children-uh, a 2 yr old to be specific, a handful of a 2 yr old actually. So off to my mom's in Wisconsin Jacob went while TJ geared up for 1st grade that same week. The weeks of bedrest go by, and at 21 weeks an ultrasound shows about a 20 week size baby (the 18 week showed around a 17 week baby) and then the dreaded "stop us dead in our 'I guess bedrest alone wasn't so bad' tracks" 25 week ultrasound just this past Thursday September 14th came. I was actually 25 weeks and 2 days. It was the 3rd technician we'd had at this point and the measuring seemed to take forever. I was watching the screen and seeing head size around 25 weeks, then abdomen around 23 weeks and then femur and short leg bones around 22 weeks. "Don't worry I thought to myself as I lay there sickeningly silent. Tim asked me twice if I were ok. I was quiet and said "yea". Being that the tech wasn't so talkative nor friendly I was concerned. Our appt with the doctor was to follow with a short drive across town and I prayed the whole way. I can't remember what I prayed-but I PRAYED! At the appt we already had some humor planned for our doctor with a small gift of the easy button-ya know, the one from Staples? When you push it, it says "that was easy"...he got a kick out of it. I forgot to mention that the Monday before the Tuesday when I turned 25 weeks I went to the hospital overnight for contractions and had to stay for 10 hours or so while they worked to slow things down. So, at our appt, our point in the easy button, was to tell our doctor that we wanted things to be easier so he should press it more often for us. It was light hearted and fun and helped ease the news that followed...we'd need to see a specialist for the baby since his measurements came out to just the 7th%...shocking! This baby that I feel move inside of me-that I can watch move inside of me through his strong kicks and rolls is dangerously small??? Not proportionately small either...and not with low amniotic fluid which one would usually see with a baby this small. I was crushed. Waiting for the appt to be scheduled in Indy seemed like an eternity (a grand 2 hours)-I spent the time e-mailing asking for prayer and calling some for prayer as well. Just after telling the news to my dear friend Kara and hanging up, the phone rung with the appt day and time. Thank God! Only 4 days to wait and wonder...we'd see the perinatalogist Tuesday the 19th, the day I turn 26 weeks. That brings us to the current point of wondering and waiting. I've looked up everything I can on the net and gotten nothing encouraging from that info so I've stopped searching and have just done what I should've done to begin with-TRUST. I am trusting in God. He made this baby. He's blessed me with being able to feel both tiny and big movements the baby makes...He's given us 2 healthy children to riase for Him. He loves this baby more than anyone on Earth ever could and He doesn't make mistakes. The whole situation that has come about has given us so many ways to bring Glory to MANY people are praying for us and for Owen's health. God may choose to bless us with a healthy baby, a sick baby, or memories of a time of great growth and glory that we've been able to give to Him through Owen's short life so far. None of us know, but we can pray~and we must wait. Hopefully answers on Tuesday will yield a miracle and great joy for us. Regardless, in our weakness, He is strong and I'd rather bring glory to Him through my pain than be joyful without my Saviour. Thanks for reading our story of how this all started...hopefully, Lord Willing-weeks of updates will ensue and we can praise God together on this journey. ~Renay