Thursday, July 31, 2008

lake trip=)


hey baby girl=) we got to take you to the lake a few weeks ago. it was such a great trip, and we think you liked it too. mommy's grandparents got to spend time with their hands on my belly, feeling you flip flop around and kick them-they loved it=) your great-grandparents got you the prettiest white dress, and my daddy's mommy made you a beautiful pink blanket. even if you don't get to enjoy it, i know i will treasure it forever. we took long boat rides, which are your mommy's favorite, and even though my back paid for it later, it was precious to me that i was able to have you along for the rides. daddy and i sat on the swing for a long time one day talking about you-part of it was so sweet and funny-we laugh so much as you stick your feet out and push out the right side of my tummy (you're also doing that right now=)). but part of it was so sad my sweet girl. we were talking about what we would do if we end up needing to have a funeral for you. i hate even writing that. i was thinking about us sitting there and seeing this tiny little box up at the front of the church-knowing that you are not actually in there but your sweet little body is-i'm gonna want to reach out and pick you up and hold you so badly. how am i supposed to even sit there and watch that? it doesn't seem the least bit right that a mommy should feel this precious person inside her that's kicking and thriving and having the hiccups, and at the same time be planning that person's funeral. this is the part of things that seems impossible for me. your daddy is so strong-he is soft and sensitive and lets me feel what i feel and cry my eyes out when i need to do that, and he is also an absolute rock to remind me how much we love each other and how we've fallen in love with you, and more than any of that how safely God is holding all three of us and how nice it is that we can trust Him with all of this. that we can trust Him in that moment that you are born...that's the one i have to keep remembering. well none of that is fun, my love, but i do have some sweet pictures to show you from the trip.

the 3 of us taking a nap=)

talking about you on the swing

the hammock-a mommy favorite=)

on the back deck before a boat ride

a sunset cruise=)

we loved being with you there, and we will never forget such a sweet time of no work or school, and just enjoying having you in my tummy=)

i love you sweet girl-


beauty queen=)

hi catherine=)

let's talk about something more you want to see how ridiculously gorgeous you are? last week at the 34 week ultrasound we got the most beautiful picture of you-here it is:

can you tell that your eye is open? i love it. i looked over at your daddy the other night and it reminded me so much of this picture-i think you will look like him=) my doctor tells me i got "gypped" and you look just like your daddy in all these ultrasound pictures, but i certainly don't mind. i happen to think he's cute and you are clearly a beauty queen=)

as of last thursday you are "vertex", or head down in my belly. this means i won't necessarily have to have a c-section=) your daddy gave you the biggest pep talk when he found out you had flipped over like most babies do. he kept telling you how proud of you we are and that you have done all we could ask of you this far, and if you could just breathe when you come out that would be so great, but if that ends up just being too much for your little lungs then that was ok too and we would still love you so much. no matter what you do when you come out, we really are so excited to meet you. i keep playing the possibilities of that moment (when you're born) over and over in my head. i kinda wish i wouldn't do that, but i can't help it too much. i'm absolutely terrified of it. i finally started thinking that if you're not able to breathe and not doing well, you are meeting Jesus right in that very second and i can't even begin to grasp the glory and wonder in that. i was telling this to a friend at work and how that is what i imagine will be the only comfort for me in that moment, and she said "but will you really be thinking that?"...and i have no idea. but it's just what i have to think right now or i don't know how else to consider that you might not live...and i honestly don't have a clue if that's good theology or not, thinking that we meet Jesus the instant we leave this world (i honestly don't care too much about "good theology"-i just know who Jesus is and i love Him, and i tend to think that's all that really matters), but i think it's ok for me to remain in that mindset if it helps me in the slightest way to deal with the fact that my little girl might die as soon as she is born.

you, your daddy, and i all had our picture taken by missy bane last week. do you remember how i said we were going to do that? the pictures are beautiful of your sweet little self in that ever-expanding tummy of mine. we felt peaceful, comfortable, and happy there-like all 3 of us are very in love with each other-and i think it comes out in the pictures with you. here is the proof sheet (they are very tiny, but you were there, you remember=))

i think the pictures do a great job of capturing what a precious sweet time this has been for us with you growing in my belly. i'm picturing you smiling in there right along with us=)

i love you my sweet one-


35 weeks


hi baby girl=) today is your 35 week in-utero birthday! so this marks the 3 week countdown until we see your sweet little face. we had yet another weekly ultrasound and testing today...thursday is our day for those. you were just as crazy and wild as usual-it makes us laugh so much seeing you in there as the ultrasound tech tries to chase you around my tummy=) you did great on all your tests as usual, but today they saw that your heart is compressed a little bit. it's still pumping like normal and structurally perfect, but it looks like something more is pressing up against it, leading them to believe that your liver (or at least part of it) is now up in your chest too. that made our hearts sink. not that we ever really got "good" news at those ultrasounds, but at least we never have gotten any new bad news. so today was not the most fun day. all i wanted to do was drive to virginia beach or go to the movies or anything to distract me, but daddy and i ended up watching movies on the couch all afternoon.

i've been a big jumble of thoughts lately-people have told me before that i think too much about things, and i guess this would be no exception. for two weeks i've had this list in my head of stuff i'm wanting to share with you, but i hold myself back from writing for some reason. i don't know why i do that. we found out you were sick when we had 5 more months of pregnancy left, but somehow knowing there's only 3 weeks until you're born feels so much harder than when it was 5 months. bittersweet, i guess. i can't stand the thought of you not being inside me, especially when i don't know if you'll be ok when you come out. but i think we're as ready as we'll ever be. as predicted, i keep having these twinges of anger pointless as i've always thought the question "why do bad things happen to good people?" is, it keeps coming into my head. i do happen to think your daddy and i are decent people, and even as i write this i think it's silly, but i wonder sometimes why us? i feel so sad about it sometimes. my daddy keeps saying how he would take my place in an instant if he could, but my thought is always that we're your parents and in this situation on purpose. i actually don't know how i feel about the details of all that-if God chooses people for seemingly impossible and tragic circumstances, or if He even gave you this diaphragmatic hernia-all i know is that i feel incredibly lucky to be your mom-and that God is high above this defect of yours and that His good will no doubt come from your story.

i love you my girl-the impression you are leaving is already so much greater than your tiny body.


Thursday, July 10, 2008

30 week ultrasound pictures

these are from 6.26.08 and i was 30 weeks pregnant with you. this first one is looking straight at your face from the front-don't the ones like this always look funny? i love seeing you from all these different angles. this 3-D one is one of my favorites because your foot is up in front of your face again! you are so funny-how do you even do that?
this one looks like the same thing, but now your hand is in front of your face-when they took this one it almost looked like you were holding and rubbing the tip of your nose! i loved it.

oh you're so beautiful!!! i hope you know we think so-we adore you sweet girl-you could never be more cherished-by us or by our sweet Jesus who is letting us borrow you for a while. you are such a prized possession and i hope that fills your heart to overflowing, giving you all you'll ever need.

sleep peacefully tonight my love (or kick me all night-whichever you choose is fine with me) =)


ultrasound pictures from 26 weeks...

these are from 5.29.08 when you had been in my tummy for 26 weeks. this first one is my favorite profile picture of you-i think you are so pretty i can't get over it=) can you tell it's your profile? it's looking at your face from your right side-you are looking up and we can see the outline of your forehead at the top left, then going down we see where your eyes are, then your nose, mouth, and chin...
in these 3-D ones you are still scrawny skinny, but not quite as much so. i think you look so peaceful in there-you'd never know from looking at this that we can't ever get you to stay still! i don't mind though-that's a great problem to have in the world of unborn babies=)
HA!!! look at this! what were you doing??? i love it so much-you don't even look like ours! are you puckering? or just pouting and sticking your lips out? your nose in this picture looks really different too-oh my goodness you are so cute! i think the truth of it is that you were turning your head so the picture is a little bit blurred, stretching your features out and making you look like a different baby. but i think it's so funny and it's one of my favorite ones to show people when they want to see you=)

more pictures of you...

i wanted to show you more pictures of yourself! these are from 5.1.08 when i was 22 weeks pregnant with you. this first one is of your sweet little hand-my favorite thing about it is that your middle finger looks like it curves out at the middle knuckle, and mine does too=)

this one is not as much fun, but i still wanted it. it's basically like a cross-section of your little body. it labels your heart ("4 CH") and your stomach, and also the right and left sides. it just shows that those two silly organs are next to each other instead of on top of each other.
i love this one! pretty much every time we've looked at you, you've been folded up like a bendy flexible little gymnast! your feet are always either touching your forehead or even up higher than your forehead! i think you are so cute and quirky and i love it=)
this is the first 3-D ultrasound we had done. see how i mean you looked so skinny? you were only 22 weeks so you didn't have enough meat on your bones yet=) now you've fattened up so perfectly and it's funny to look back at these.

more to come my love...




you are a funny little girl, aren't you? you proved me very wrong today, and it makes me smile and laugh thinking about what if you were showing off just for me and to ease my anxiety a little. thank you=) the ultrasound and all your testing went so well! i say "so well", but i guess i should add "considering the circumstances." all the stuff that has been in the wrong place and in the way of the lungs is still where it shouldn't be, but everything else was fine. you were a wild woman in there! we kept laughing (and me laughing didn't help matters either) because you were zipping this way and that whenever we would try to look at you or monitor your heart rate. that made it very difficult my sweet girl-you are a rascal and i love it=) you passed your tests with flying colors though. mommy and daddy did end up having to go to the hospital though for further monitoring of my belly, because i was having really mild contractions and the perinatologist was afraid i was going into preterm labor...not today though-just practice contractions. we got some great pictures of you-it's been lots of fun watching you change and grow every time we see you. here is a picture from today...

can you tell what you're doing there? this is a picture of your head, and you're looking down and to my left, and your hand is up in front of your forehead. it's funny watching the way the 3-D ultrasound pictures change as you get bigger-you were very scrawny in the earlier ones, and now look how great and squishy your cheeks look! i love them. i can't wait to feel them in person=)

i love you beautiful girl-


Wednesday, July 9, 2008


i have been much sadder lately. i guess i expected that-that as you got bigger and it came closer to time for you to be born and maybe die that i would have a harder time being joyful. i found myself not writing to you because i felt so sad, but then that made no sense to me. if i had you out here with me, i wouldn’t quit talking to you or hanging out with you just because i was sad, so i decided to tell you about this part too.

we have another ultrasound tomorrow. we now have ultrasounds every week instead of every four, and they’ll start running tests on you tomorrow-the tests are called NST’s (non-stress tests) and BPP’s (biophysical profiles) to basically just see how you’re doing in there, if your status is deteriorating at all-the perinatologist told us that babies with defects often start doing worse toward the end of the pregnancy, so i’m a little afraid of what we’ll see. up until this point you’ve been doing great, my little dear one. your stomach has always been in your chest and your heart has always been pushed over, but nothing else has been wrong with you at all. all your growth has been on track and you’ve been moving like you should and “practice breathing” like you should-no congestive heart failure or “hydrops” as they call it where there’s fluid all around in your body where it shouldn’t be. you’ve been doing so great=) i’m sure it’s probably because i tend to get anxious anyway, but i’ve just had a sinking feeling lately. i’m so afraid you’re not doing as well now. but i still can’t wait to see you tomorrow.

we also picked your birthday. you will be born august 21, 2008. we have to actually plan when you will be born because so many people will need to be there right when you come out to see if you're doing okay, and if you're not, to try to save your sweet little life and see how we can help you. right now it looks like you will be born via cesarean section, because you seem to like the “breech” position better (you stay bottom down and head up) which means you can’t come out the typical way. that’s ok with us-however you like it in there is just fine. your daddy likes it best when you're breech anyway because it's easier for him to feel where your head is! does that bother you? when we play with your head a little bit by pushing on my stomach? i hope not-and i doubt it-if you resilient babies can handle the labor and delivery process, i know you can handle a gentle push every now and then=) i wish you could see your daddy out here-he gets so excited when he knows that’s your head, and also when you start kicking at him-he says “oh hi!” really loud when you start interacting back with him…you are both very cute=)

i bought you clothes today. that’s been one of the hardest things for me-walking by the baby clothes at target and not stopping-acting like i have no reason to be interested in that section. today i just stood there about to cry, staring at all the clothes wanting so badly to imagine you in these dresses and cute things-and i finally decided i should buy you some. for no other reason than i wanted to. i know the odds are you probably will never get to wear them, but i felt completely at peace with buying them for you. i don’t know if i just wanted to go through the motions of getting ready for you and being your mommy, having all these things you would need one day (you really would look so cute in them my sweet girl! i can’t even imagine…). it just made me feel really happy and mommy-ish and connected to you to buy them and bring them home, so i did it. most of the cutest stuff didn’t come in little newborn girl size, so you have all these 24 month outfits now, which i think is kinda funny=) i only bought one newborn outfit, and it says “I love daddy” on it, so i figured even if that was the only thing you got to wear it would at least make your daddy happy.

we get to take you in my belly to the lake next week-gigi and granddaddy have a lake house and it is my favorite place to be-your daddy and i actually got engaged there=) i think you will love it and i can’t wait for a peaceful week with you on the water.

i love you so much catherine-i don't even know how to put it into words-when you start moving i just sit there and rub and pat you because that’s what i would want to be doing if you were outside of me. i wish you were laying on my chest sleeping and i could hold your little head and pat your cute behind=) you are so precious to us sweet girl…