Friday, December 25, 2009

Hope Named

Merry Christmas! Since I can't be with most of you today to celebrate Christ's birth I thought I would leave a little Christmas present for you in the form of a long overdue post.

It's hard to believe that 22 weeks have gone by since we first found out that I am pregnant. This whole process is going by so quickly, only three more months and we will get to meet our little boy. A lot has happened since I last posted here. First, and most noticiably - I actually finally look pregnant. My belly has finally popped out! In a related story, Rob got an early christmas present. The night before Christmas Eve Rob and I were watching tv together and I began to feel the baby moving rather strongly so I called Rob over to me to see if he would be able to feel it too. To our amazement he was! It was the first time that anyone other than me had been able to feel him move. I am so excited that Rob was the first. It was a great moment for us and a great ending to a big day for Rob. You see, earlier in the day Rob had gone out to do some Christmas shopping and made his first purchase for our son. You can see one of the tops he bought in the picture below. The other t-shirt is red and says Mom's Lil' Romeo. It is adorable!

Another rather monumental event that has occured is that after a lot of research, prayer and discussion we have named our son! What did we choose? Nathan Glenn. Nathan means "He gave," it comes from Nathaniel which means "Gift from God". Glenn was Rob's Dad's name. We didn't realize until someone pointed it out to us, that the name we have chosen is setting up a new tradition in our family. Rob's middle name was his grandfather's name and now Nathan will follow in Rob's footsteps and be named after his grandfather. I like that our son's name not only has meaning but that it has a connection to family. It's been great being able to talk to our son by name and to use his name in conversation with friends. It's just made everything that much more real.

A couple of weeks ago I went with my neice Candace and my good friend Jennifer to register at Babies-R-Us. That was an incredible experience. It was so much fun to walk around the store choosing items for Nate. At the end of our shopping adventure I handed the scan gun in, turned to Jennifer and said "I guess this means I'm having a baby" we both laughed and then when we hugged Jennifer actually bounced off of my newly protruding belly!

Nate's nursery is beginning to come together. We have a rather large box containing his crib sitting in our sitting room and a dresser sitting in his bedroom. The bedding just arrived yesterday. Soon I will finish emptying all evidence of a guest/craft room so that painting can occur and the nursery transformation can be completed. I can't believe how quickly all of this is occuring. I am beginnning to feel the "we aren't ready/can we really do this" mmoments of panic. It all just seems a little overwhelming.

The next big events are quickly approaching. This Tuesday, Dec 29 marks the end of the second trimester and the beginning of the final portion of my pregnancy. Then on the next day we are going in for a 3D/4D ultrasound! We can't wait to see our little boy. To get a glimpse at whose eyes he will have, which of our noses grace his beautiful face. Then on the next Monday, Jan 4, we begin our childbirth classes!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Hope Defined

Yesterday Rob and I got to see our baby once again in an ultrasound. It is always so amazingly overwhelming to see how much this child within me has grown. The purpose of this ultrasound was to check to see that all of the baby's parts were developing properly (they are right on track) and (most excitedly) to see if we will be having a little boy or a little girl.

You may have noticed a little change to the look of my blog, that change as you may have guessed is a not so subtle hint as to what we are having-----IT'S A BOY!!!!!! For those of you that have walked this journey with us from the beginning I'm sure you can understand what a surprise this was for us. For the last eight years we have always imagined ourselves with a girl. When either of us had a dream, we have dreamed of a little girl in our arms. Those thoughts and dreams kept us traveling down this long road, kept our hopes alive. But the reality of a little boy is overwhelmingly incredible. As the last few months have progressed we have learned that God's timing, His reality is better than anything we could imagine, so we are now anxiously awaiting the arrival of our little boy.

I told Rob last night that as the day progressed yesterday, something began to change within me. At the beginning of the day I felt like a pregnant woman. Now that is, of course, a wonderful term. A term that I often wondered if I would ever be able to apply to myself. But by the end of the day, as shock wore off and reality settled in, I found myself feeling less and less like a pregnant woman and more and more like a mom to be. I am no longer carrying a baby within my belly, I am carrying our son. I like that change. It feels good to be able to say those two words----our son!

So here is a look at our little boy. Yes, he is facing downward in this shot. In fact he spent the entire ultrasound in this position. No matter what we did, he just did not want to turn over. I personally love his little curled up legs. I think they are adorable!

Now I know one of the most popular questions is going to be "Does he have a name yet?" The answer? Nope. We have not be able to find a name that has a meaning reflecting the miracle God has performed in our lives and at the same time is a name that we actually like the sound of. As soon as we get it all figured out I'll let you know.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Hope Made Real

Over the last few weeks I have had MANY people pester me about not posting a new post about the baby, so for those of you that have been on my case---this is for you!

So you are probably wondering why it has taken so long to write this post. There are several answers to that question. For one thing I have had what you might call a text book pregnancy thus far. You see, when you read books or web pages about pregnancy they give you a sort of checklist of what you might expect while you are expecting. Here's a peek at my checklist thus far: Nausea - check, Vomiting - quadruple check, Sore breasts - check, Exhaustion - check, Headaches - check. The Nausea started a few days before we found out we were pregnant, and was quickly followed by vomiting. My vomiting trigger? Brushing my teeth! For the last 7+ weeks I've been having to brush my teeth seated in front of the toilet. Not fun or sanitary. Thankfully I have been nausea and vomit free for the last 4 days! This is the best I've felt since finding out that I've been pregnant.

The other reason I've not posted is that this whole pregnancy thing has seemed rather surreal to me. If I'm totally honest with myself I have to admit that I was just waiting to find out that this whole thing was a dream. There was part of me that didn't want to write about everything for fear of it all going away. After all that God has done for me, how can I still be so selfish? I should be resting in Him, not settling in fear.

Today things just kind of clicked into place for me. I had an ultrasound and instead of seeing an amorphous blob, I saw a miracle. This was actually our 3rd ultrasound. Our first was at week 7 I think. At that time the baby was so tiny it was just a little blip on the screen. Our second ultrasound happened at week 10 when we were unable to hear the heartbeat over my belly. In that ultrasound all I saw was a silhouette of a baby but today (week 13) I got to see God's miracle for me, today I saw my baby. I saw on the screen in the ultrasound room a tiny face, arms and legs moving, a heart beating, a mouth suckling and an adorable body moving to and fro. I was overwhelmed, tears streamed down my face as I realized all that the Lord has done in my life, and all that He is doing in my body. The Lord is so good, so kind, so faithful even in spite of my unbelieving heart. And so in a display of God's goodness I would love to introduce you to "Baby Kavanaugh"

(If you are having trouble seeing the baby in this picture, the baby's head is on the right hand side of the screen. The two bright white parallel lines at the bottom of the head are the upper and lower jaw bones)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Hope In Action

Ever wondered what $2,000 worth of fertility meds looks like? When the relatively large box arrived at work (there was no way I was going to have such precious cargo sit on my front porch until I got home!) I was a little surprised to see how little was actually in the box.

Now in the spirit of full disclosure I should confess that there is one item missing from this picture. In addition to all the meds there was a small bag full of Hershey Kisses...they didn't last very long!

$2,000 really doesn't buy you as much as you might think, but when you look at those small vials it's hard not to imagine what might be. Even after all of these years, I can't help but wonder if this is IT, is this finally what makes our dreams come true? You hate to set yourself up for disappointment but when you see these vials it's hard not to. I mean you hear about so many people that get pregnant after using injectible meds how can your hopes not be raised?

But a little over a week after receiving our box of hope, we found out that we can't use the meds. After waiting to start the meds for several days I began to realize that something just wasn't right.

That's right! Your eyes are NOT playing tricks on you, you are looking at one very positive pregnancy test! We couldn't start the fertility meds because God had already performed His miracle! Since taking that initial test we have now had 2 blood tests and all of my hormone levels look great, nausea has begun and I can no longer brush my teeth without gagging. While I am obviously not enjoying these side affects I am overjoyed that they are happening. I have been taking great comfort in my discomfort, because it is a reminder that my body is being prepared to care for this growing child. God is so good! After all of these years of waiting, and failed medical interventions I don't think either of us ever imagined that we would get pregnant without medical intervention. We are still in shock and still overwhelmed by God's goodness!

In addition to blessing us with this precious gift, He lavished us with His love by timing everything so perfectly that the very day we found out we were pregnant was the very same day that we had, weeks before, planned to go to dinner with the Hunters (our dear friends and my Dr from Maine) We were able to tell them in person, something we never imagined being able to do since we now live so far apart! What a blessing to share that moment with such dear friends! I'll say it once again - God is good!!

Next week we get to go in for our very first ultrasound. I can't believe that in just over a week we should be able to hear our child's heartbeat! That is something we have always dreamed of but, if I am completely honest, doubted we would ever actually experience. Thank you so very much to all of you that held on to hope when we could not. Thank you for praying when we could not. Please continue to pray for us (all three of us) as we continue through this process. I wish we could tell each one of you face to face or on the phone, but since that is not possible I am very thankful for this technology which has allowed me to share my joy with so many of you at one time!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Hope's Pricetag

Before I start this post I want to state that this blog title is for fun, following the title pattern I've established. I completely understand that our Hope is found in Christ and that He alone paid the price that allows us to have any sort of hope, without His death and resurrection we would be completely lost and hopeless. So now that I've established my stance on this theological issue here's the post-----

Friday I got a call from the pharmacy that will be providing the fertility meds. After checking our insusrance we found out that we will only owe $200 each time! Now that is pretty amazing considering that the meds are going to cost about $2,000 per month. Let's here it for good insurance!!! So in just a few weeks I will be receiving a rather expensive little package containing a lot of hope.

Now that we are so close to the move and starting back up with fertility treatments I can't help but get excited about all of the possibilities that lay before me. From my perspective all of the pieces seem to have fallen into place, but I have learned time and time again that life doesn't function according to how I think it should. It's hard to find the balance between keeping an excited hopefullness that keeps me moving forward through all of the shots, ultrasounds, blood tests, and doctor visits, and guarging my heart from heartbreak.

Today is Father's day. A day that makes me so thankful for my dad. A man that came into my life when I was 8 years old and has loved me like his own from day one. He is a kind and loving man that means the world to me. The hard part of this day is that I long so much for Rob to experience a Father's day. This day, like Mother's day for me, is a painful reminder that we may never be parents. So today we will head off to church and celebrate the day with our friends and family, but deep inside we will be hurting. So please pray for us today, pray especially for Rob's heart.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Hope Relocated

Today, after many hours of trying not to think about the thing that I couldn't stop thinking about, I got the phone call we had been anticipating for the last two days. You see, this past Saturday we applied for a rental home closer to our church, and the call telling us that we were accepted came tonight. We are very excited about this move and can't wait to be out of this condo and into a neighbor free home (the house sits on one acre).

The thing I've struggled with through this home search/application process is the same thing I always struggle with...hope. This process took longer than I thought it should and was rather frustrating. Once I found a place I liked I was just waiting for the disappointment - the landlord didn't want us to live there, or someone else got the place instead of us, or some other pity party excuse to keep me from hoping. I hate that about myself. I hate that I always assume things are not going to work for me. I mean seriously, what harm does disappoint do in the big scheme of things? So what if things don't go the way you think they should. Yet I do all I can to avoid disappoint as if my life will end if I allow myself to hope.

I have no idea how to fix this issue in my life, but I'm not giving up. I'm going to continue trying to learn how to hope without fear. I want to learn that no matter what disappointment I experience I am secure in Christ - my life unchanged because of the security I have in Him and in Him alone.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Hope Injected

Today I learned how to give myself shots. It was a rather strange experience. I guess I just never thought that I would be sitting in a room learning how to give myself shots, let alone that I would be learning this skill in an attempt to get pregnant.

While I was waiting for my appointment I overheard a conversation between my doctor and one of his former patients. She gave birth, I learned, in January and was visiting the staff so they could see the baby they had helped her conceive. From what I could gather from the conversation, this woman had been a patient at the clinic for a couple of years (longer than most people work with this type of dr) and had been trying to have a baby for about 7 years. After struggling so much this weekend with faith and hope I found this woman's story encouraging. I guess I needed an injection of encouragement, and thankfully the Lord met my need once again.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Hope Updated

So last week I had about a gallon of blood drawn for a multitude of blood tests and thus far everything looks ok. Rob goes in for his test on Monday, and then I head in on Tuesday to be trained to give myself shots. Rob and I talked about it and we are going to put off starting the meds and treatments for a month or two because we are in the midst of looking for a new place to live since our lease ends in May. We thought trying to find a new home, move, and putting chemicals in my body so that we could resume rather stressful fertility treatments all at the same time would be a little unwise.

I know some of you are wondering how I am doing with all of this. The answer? Good. The honest answer? Not so great. My brain is in a constant battle to hold on to hope, and let go of self pity, fear and jealousy. It is an exhausting process. I guess the purpose in my sharing this is to give you more specific ways to pray for me. For us.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Hope Renewed

Earlier today Rob and I made a step toward picking up hope once again. For the first time since we began our journey nearly seven years ago, we met with a Dr. at a fertility clinic. I had very mixed emotions about this visit. Part of me was excited to see what treatment opinions were available to us. The other part of me was fearing that my worst nightmare would be realized. That we would meet with the Dr and be told that there was no hope for us, that we would not be able to have children of our own.

After more than an hour and a half of meeting with the Dr., discussing insurance coverage, and scheduling tests and training sessions here is where we stand. I'm going to have several verious tests done on my blood and Rob will have another one of his tests, based on these results we will either be starting on injectable meds and IUI's (the training sessions are to teach us how to do the injections) or we will have to reevaluate our situation and most likely start looking into adoption. All of these tests and training sessions should be completed by the end of the month, so as long as the tests come back OK we could be starting up with the meds as soon as the 3rd or 4th week in April. I'll keep you posted on how the tests go. Please continue to pray for us. Your prayers and God's grace are all that keep us going so we are more than grateful to each of you that have held us up for so long. Thank you.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

NC Snow #3 Update

So it seems my excitment over the falling snow last night was premature. True we had a rather good snowfall and a fair amount of snow gathered on the ground in a relatively short amount of time - but the fact is that "relatively short amount of time" was a REALLY SHORT amount of time! The snow completely stopped falling about 10 minutes after I posted the picture and never returned! Snowfall accumulation grand total?....1 inch. Effect?.....all schools in our area closed! It still makes me laugh.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

North Carolina Snow #3

Here is a picture of our third snow since we've been here in North Carolina, the impressive thing about this is that this is more snow than either of our other snowfalls and it's only been coming down for about an hour and half!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year

Well we are officially 4 hours into 2009 and here I sit at my computer. Why am I at my computer at 4 AM you ask---can't sleep. I was in bed before 10 and now a mere 6 hours later here I sit.

I wonder what adventures 2009 will have in store. If you had told me this time last year that I would be living in North Carolina I would have laughed in your face. Truth be told, I would have yawned first (since I was sound asleep this time last year) and THEN I would have laughed in your face! And if you had continued with yoru ridiculous tale and told me that I would actually enjoy living in NC, I would have smiled at you in that patronizing "you ignorant child" sort of way and continued to laugh in your face. Yet here I sit in NC, enjoying my church, enjoying my new friendships, enjoying my relocated Maine friendships, enjoying my marriage and enjoying my job. The only thing I'm not enjoying is missing my incredible friends in Maine. Thanks to all of you that stood beside me over our years in "the County," while we may not talk as often, please know that I treasure each and every one of you!

On another note I want to wish my incredible husband a happy 18th anniversary - for those of you madly doing the math wondering how I got an 18th annivery out of a 1999 wedding let me explain. New Year's eve 1990 I walked into the kitchen at my friend Beth's New Year's Eve party and fell in love, for it was there that I saw my husband for the very first time. We both had intentions of leaving this party early to head out to other parties - but our plans changed when we began flirting over a plasma ball (you know, those sphere's filled with lightning) - don't judge, it was very romantic! It took us a while, and we encountered many twists and turns in our relationship, but I am so thankful for you my handsome groom and for the life we have shared together! You are my true love and I praise God for you each and every day.

To all of you I say HAPPY NEW YEAR! May it be a year filled with the Lord's blessings, grace and mercy.