Friday, December 31, 2010

Changes

The New Year is a time when people reflect upon the year behind and make resolutions for the year that lay before them. I'm not much for making resolutions so I'll spend some time reflecting upon this past year.

This has been a year of changes. Three major changes to be specific. I'll start with the first and most amazing change. As you know that change happened in March with the birth of my son Nathan. I am still amazed at the very thought of him. He makes my heart smile, he brings joy to my day and he brings a purpose to my life. He is growing everyday and constantly learning new tricks. Most recently he has learned to sit up, and his new favorite activity is to be chased. He crawls away from you and squeals and laughs until you come toward him. I just love hearing him laugh!



Before giving birth I had always heard women say that labor and delivery is some of the greatest pain you may ever experience, but once you hold your baby in your arms all of that pain just fades away. Like the pain of the birthing process has faded our eight years of infertility are now just a dim memory. That's not completely accurate but I'm not sure how else to put it. You see, I still remember the heartache, the disappointment and the daily battle against despair, but I don't feel those things anymore. At least not for myself. My heart still breaks when I hear about friends that are having to walk that painful journey and I pray that I always will remember the details of that journey so that I can pray for and be an encouragement to women on that road. Throughout our long journey toward parenthood the Lord placed women that had once walked in my shoes into my life. I can't explain how they ministered to me just by recognizing the hurt in my eyes before even having to say a word. I want to minister to women in that same way.

The second major change occurred in May when my parents moved to North Carolina from California to be near us. Let's be honest, it was to be near Nathan. I think we were all a little nervous about living in the same town because the last time we had lived closer than a 7 hour drive was way back in 1994. But having them here has been an incredible blessing. I don't know how we would be making it through change number three without their support and encouragement. I have loved spending time with them and Nathan absolutely loves having them here.

The third and final change started in July. I woke up July 5Th with a very swollen and excruciatingly painful knee. I figured I had moved wrong in the night and with a little rest I would be back to normal. I was wrong. Long story made short I was diagnosed with CPPD (Calcium Pyrophosphade Dehydrate) and Rheumatoid Arthritis in my left knee. I've not been able to return to work since the initial onset of symptoms and now walk with a cane when walking more than a few feet. Nathan and I have spent many nights at my parents house so that they can help me take care of him in the mornings and most of our days are spent there too. My doctor has used medications to stabilize me so that I don't flair-ups like I was having at the beginning, but I still swell if on my feet for more than an hour or so and find carrying Nathan rather difficult when everything is swollen. Rob has been a great help too. He has really stepped up to the plate to help me out at home with cooking, cleaning, and grocery shopping. Financially life has been very stressful because our income was cut in half when I had to stop working and up to this point I have been unable to qualify for any form of assistance. I'm too sick to be able to work, but not sick enough to get disability and since I'm technically out on a medical excuse I don't seem to qualify for unemployment.

I don't know how all of this will work out but I know that God will continue to provide for us. I know that I have incredible parents that have helped in more ways than I can describe. I know that I have a fabulous husband that has been working hard to provide for his family and who has put my health needs above the stresses of our situation. I know that I have a beautiful son that I love watching grow each and every day. I know that despite the outward appearance of our situation I am a blessed woman.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

They're coming! They're coming!

While cooking dinner tonight Nathan and I were talkng about my parent's journey to move to North Carolina. They are currently in Houston visiting my Aunt and Uncle and will be here in just a couple of days. Nathan began smiling and jabbering as I talked so I grabbed my camera and made this little movie. Unfortunately the orientation of the camera made the video sideways when I downloaded it and I couldn't figure out how to switch it. If any of you know of a way to switch it please let me know.

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Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Smile A Day

Nathan has begun smiling! Not a "I have a gas bubble" smile or a "Let me exercise my muscles" smile but a "You are pretty funny and I think I like you" smile. You know that smile, it's the one that makes your heart smile and brings a tear of joy to your eye each and every time you see it. He is also beginning to find his voice and will be cooing very soon. It seems like he is making a new sound each and every day. I just can't wait to hear his very first laugh!

Before we had chosen a name for Nate my best friend Nicole asked her little girls what I should name the baby. They came up with a rather interesting list.



One of the names from the "girl" side of the list was Cupcake and for some reason Natalie, Nicole's oldest little girl began calling Nate "Cupcake" even before he was born. We thought it was cute and for some reason I started singing "Nate Nate, my little cupcake" over and over in my head. Once he was born it turned into a little song that I would sing to him regularly. You see, I make up silly songs and sing to Nathan all the time. I often use the same tune over and over and just change some of the words to fit what he is doing or to fit his mood.

Tonight I was singing one of those songs to him as he watched me wash bottles from his bouncy chair on the counter and noticed that he kept smiling as I sang so I grabbed my camera and caught this moment. This is a variation of the "Nate Nate My Little Cupcake" song I've been singing to him since he was born. Enjoy!

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Saturday, May 08, 2010

Happy Mothers Day....TO ME!!!!

In just a couple of hours I will be celebrating my very first Mothers Day. I am still in amazement. I look at him, touch him, kiss him, and hold him and yet in many ways it still feels as if this is all a dream - the most beautifully amazing dream I have ever had, but a dream none the less. Tonight while feeding Nathan and getting him ready for bed I looked down at him at the same moment he looked at me and smiled...my heart melted and the tears fell from my eyes! He is a daily reminder of God's faithfulness and loving kindness.

Nathan had his 2 month checkup this past Wednesday. The doctor is pleased with his development and he seems to be meeting the milestones as expected. He is now 11lbs 11oz and is 22in long. Here is a short video of Nathan "talking" while sitting in his Boppy and playing with a teddy bear. He is beginning to smile and interact with us which is beyond fun! I had always heard people talk about how you don't know how much you can love until you have a child, and now I understand what they mean. At times it feels as if my heart beats with each breath he takes. Loving him gives me a deeper understanding of our Heavenly Father's love for us, His love is deeper and more intense than I ever understood.

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

My Heart's Joy

A couple of weeks ago my nephew David came over and took some fabulous photos of our new family. I absolutely LOVE the pictures and wanted to share them with you. Our little man is growing so fast. He now weighs 9lbs 9 oz and is beginning to interact with us and the things around him. My heart just melts each time he reaches out to hold my finger while I am feeding him - and then when his beautiful blue eyes lock with mine at the same time....life just doesn't get much better!

Here is a video of some of the pictures David took. I put them to Elizabeth Rhyno's song "Hand of God", this is the same song I used for the 3D ultrasound video. This song just so perfectly speaks what my heart feels when I look at Nathan that I wanted to use it once again. I hope you enjoy the video and the music, click on the arrow in the bottom left corner of the video to start it.

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Saturday, April 03, 2010

Hope Growing

I can't believe that Nathan is a month old already! Everyone tells you that time flies when you have a baby and now I see just how true that statement is! This has been quite a month. I'm not sure that I completely believe that this incredible little boy is ours to love and care for. There is part of me that is waiting for Nathan's parents to come pick him up and then I remember that we are his parents. So here are some updates on Nate's progress this month. Nate is now 9.2 lbs and is transitioning out of his newborn clothes and into 0-3 month sized clothes. He is also transitioning into the next size of diapers. While these are exciting changes it hit me a little hard. I found myself crying in the kitchen when I finally admitted to myself that his newborn diapers and clothes were too small. He's growing up so fast!

Nathan now smiles - it is up for debate as to whether or not these smiles are true smiles or if they are just gas bubbles but I believe they are mainly real smiles. I'm including a couple of pictures Look carefully at the picture with the bottle, he's showing you the "I love you" sign. As far as rolling over goes, Nathan does this more accidently rather than intentionally at this point but that will come soon enough. We are still working on the whole nighttime sleep thing. We have not perfected that yet. My folks are heading back to California tomorrow so it will be just Rob, Nate and I here at the house so we will be starting to work on getting Nathan to sleep in his bed so that Rob and I can sleep at night. We'll see how that goes.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Hope Updated

I can't believe that Nathan is 10 days old already. People tell you that time flies by quickly once a baby arrives but you really don't understand just how true that statement is until you actually have a child of your own.

I've been asked by several people to share the story of Nathan's arrival so here we go. On Monday, March 1 I came home from work, prepared dinner and settled in on the couch for a little rest. All was going to plan until I had my first contraction at 9:30 PM. That one contraction broke my water and we were off to the hospital. As we drove to the hospital my contractions grew stronger and began coming every 3-4 minutes. My labor progressed well until the morning of Tuesday, March 2. At that point Nathan decided to do some gymnastics in my belly and somehow turned himself face up in my belly effectively stalling my progression. I was finally allowed to start pushing late on Tuesday morning. Unfortunately this process took a lot longer than I would have liked. After nearly 5 exhausting hours Nate made his grand entrance. I've put together another slideshow with a bunch of pictures from Nathan's first first few day's with us.

Here is a quick testimony of God's grace. After his birth the doctor discovered that Nathan had, at some point, tied a perfect knot into his umbilical cord. Now the amazing thing is that despite this knot, and 19 hour labor with nearly 5 hours of pushing, Nathan's heartbeat never faltered. His heart beat strong throughout the entire process! He never showed any signs of distress. God's hand was on this child protecting him throughout the long process. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Enjoy the slideshow!

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Thursday, March 04, 2010

Hope Has Arrived!

Our little boy Nathan Glenn Kavanaugh decided to make his grand entrance into the world three weeks early! Catching his parents completely off guard I must add. I will add a much more detailed post soon, but here are the stats: born March 2, 2010 at 4:24 Pm, he weighed 6lbs 11oz and was 19.5 inches long. Here is picture of him right after he was born to hold you until I can do a more detailed post.


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Hope Celebrated

This morning was my first baby shower. What a blessing! A couple of days before the shower I had a bad dream that only 2 people showed up to the shower, I was very wrong! I was blessed by all of the friends that came. I have to admit it was a little overwhelming to have so many wonderful women showering me and Nate with all of their love and support. God has been so good to me by putting so many wonderful new friends into my life to share in this blessing. While it was hard not having all of my Maine friends and my family at the shower I knew that they were celebrating along side of me.

Here are some pictures of this special day.

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Hope in Place

Here's the nursery update I promised. As you can tell the room is not completed but it finally beginning to look like a baby's room. I must admit it is amazing to see what was once a guest room be transformed into our son's room. I can't believe that in approximately 4 weeks our little Nate will be here. As the room continues to be transformed I will update this blog with more pictures.



Saturday, February 13, 2010

Hope Painted

Today some dear friends and family came over to paint Nate's Nursery. Here are a few pictures of the process. Once we get the furniture in place and curtains hung I will post more pictures. Thanks once again to Marcia, Tina, Candace, Ivy and Jennifer for all of the help. You guys did a great job painting and keeping me entertained.








Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year!

I can't believe that 2010 is here already! In just a couple of months I will get to meet my son. Wow, it's weird to say that! On Wednesday, Dec 30, Rob and I went in for a 3D/4D ultrasound and had the privilege of seeing the life that God has placed within me in a whole new way. Below is a video from that ultrasound. Make sure that you have your speakers turned up because I have included my incredibly talented friend Elizabeth's song "Hand of God" with the video. This song was originally written as a fundraiser for the Presque Isle, ME Pregnancy Care Center, but it says so perfectly what I feel about this beautiful little boy growing within me I could think of no other soundtrack to use. If you would like a copy of the song or a copy of the video Elizabeth put together for the song you can purchase them from Elizabeth's blog. Check it out and support the PCC (all proceeds will benefit this great organization)!

Just so you don't get concerned as you watch the video, the line that you will see across Nathan's face is not a defect, it is the umbilical cord. We tried to get Nate to move it out of the way for us but he was too comfortable hanging out and didn't want to be bothered with moving it for us. Enjoy watching our little man! My prayer is that your faith in God is strengthened as you watch this miracle move within me.


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