Thursday, November 30, 2006
Sometimes it's the little things in life that keep us going and sometimes our circumstances force us to see all these little things and how much we have to be thankful for. I'm one of the lucky ones here because my hospital room has a window that looks out on something green and I can see the sky and not directly into a dreary courtyard or the side of another building.
And even better, they put up this Christmas tree right outside my window so I'm not totally cut off from all the holiday cheer that will be overflowing in the next month every where you look. What an amazing time of year =-), celebrating the birth of our Savior, but so often we forget all of this because things get so hectic.
So in this busy holiday season, my advice to you is to take time to look at and enjoy the lights, hug your loved ones, remember "Who" all this fuss is about, and be thankful that you are able to go out and feel the crisp air on your skin, fight the lines at the shopping mall, and able to join in on your church's worship services because I would love to experience these things right now. Don't take a single moment for granted.
I'm so thankful that I'm stuck in this room and not spending my days next door in the NICU right now. Every day, no matter how repetitive or lonely, is another day closer to good health for my babies and that is worth far more than whatever pain is dished out to me.
I don't have too much to report to you right now, so that means we are still having good days. My contraction spells seem less frequent and less frightening in the last few days, Praise the Lord. My sweet friend Laura brought me a great lunch and great company today, my mom-in-law came and shared some laughs with me this afternoon, my mom is on her way to stay the night with me, I've gotten many sweet sweet cards, emails, and notes and all these do so much for my spirits.
Indeed I have SO much to be thankful for and on top of it all, I'm still pregnant!!! =-)
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Hi friends! We are having a really good day today. Thank you SO much for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. Adam and Andrew are kicking me as I type this so I guess they are trying to tell you Hi and thanks as well!
I got the most beautiful flowers from everyone at my office and I want to thank all of you. I work with the most wonderful team of hardworking and talented people and I so miss being there with all of you. A special thanks to my former boss for coming back to serve in my place while I'm out, you are a life saver!!
My glucose test came back fine so it doesn't appear that we have to worry about gestational diabetes on top of everything else. Plus I don't have to worry about complicating my diet any, YAY!
The doc says we are going to keep doing what we are doing for now and try to keep making it through each day. With 26 weeks finally in sight, I'm feeling so much hope for these little ones and continue to hope that we will make it much much further.
Thanks for being here with us through each step of the way.
"The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." Deuteronomy 31:8
Monday, November 27, 2006
I had a lot of visitors yesterday, it was so great to see everyone! Even my daddy made the drive down here all by himself just to see me and he doesn't like to leave the ranch much and he really doesn't like to drive in Houston!
I went almost the whole day yesterday without more than a contraction every 10 minutes or so but then I had another small spell last night. But fortunately it didn't last too long and I was only contracting about every 4-5 minutes. Right now I'm waiting on a glucose tolerance test to check for gestational diabetes which we don't think is likely but could explain all the excessive amniotic fluid that has built up. The doc says we will save the mag for an emergency situation and they may up the procardia but my blood pressure is really low already and if they do that I will likely have little energy to do more than sit up for long. But if it works, it'll be more than worth it.
Hope you have a great day!
Sunday, November 26, 2006
"All the way my Savior leads me; What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy, Who thro' life has been my Guide?
Heav'nly peace, divinest comfort, Here by faith in Him to dwell!
For I know, whate'er befall me, Jesus doeth all things well;
For I know, whate'er befall me, Jesus doeth all things well."
"All the way my Savior leads me, Cheers each winding path I tread,
Gives me grace for ev'ry trial, Feeds me with the living bread.
Though my weary steps may falter, And my soul athirst may be,
Gushing from the Rock before me, Lo! a spring of joy I see;
Gushing from the Rock before me, Lo! a spring of joy I see."
"All the way my Savior leads me; Oh, the fullness of His love!
Perfect rest to me is promised In my Father's house above.
When my spirit, clothed immortal, Wings its flight to realms of day,
This my song thro' endless ages: Jesus led me all the way;
This my song thro' endless ages: Jesus led me all the way."
This beautiful hymn by Fanny Crosby (Frances Jane Crosby, 1820-1915 ) has been on my mind today and has given me such great comfort as I was thinking about being here in this hospital room instead of with my church family for Sunday service. Click here to listen to it.
Not only are these words moving and beautiful but so is the story behind the hymn. This songwriter was blinded in infancy and lived a very difficult life but had such a strong faith despite so much hardship and disability. She was married for 44 years but her only child died as an infant. She wrote 8,000 hymns, among them are many of the most beloved hymns of all time including "Blessed Assurance, Jesus is mine".
Her story is further encouragement to me that no matter what struggles that we and our babies might face, the Lord can use them to do great things and to bless many and that we can find joy and peace in any situation.
Friday, November 24, 2006
A visit from the Bollines, Kenny was so glad to spend time with his brother and sister since it's been a while since they've all been at home at the same time. I wish I could have been there too but they were so sweet to bring me Pappasito's so I had a great dinner!
I'm getting bigger and that's a good thing! Don't worry, I was only out of bed for a few seconds to take this picture for the baby books. A nutritionist came to visit me and told me to eat as much as I can because the babies need to gain a lot of weight in the coming days. So if you think I've let myself go the next time you see my picture, know that it's all for the babies and they are more than worth it!
My favorite niece Lauren made me a bunch of special art projects to decorate my room and to remind me of her and Luke because I miss them SO much. All the Moore's filled out a feather with what they are thankful for to make up Lauren's turkey, how cute!
I hope that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Mine was wonderful because I'm still pregnant and I wasn't sure that I still would be. I'm so grateful to everyone especially our families who have surrounded us with so much love and to all of the prayer warriors out there who continue to take us before the Lord.
I feel like a broken record sometimes as I continue to ask for your prayers. We've come so far but still have so many needs. The doctor says the next week and a half is very crucial to the babies. If we can make it to 26 weeks we will no longer be in the micro-preemie stage and their odds for survival are much better. And though we are in a MUCH better place than we were two weeks ago and we Praise the Lord for every day, the babies will be much safer if they can make it to 28-30 weeks, if they are born before that time they will likely spend more than a 100 days in intensive care. But we continue to Praise God for every extra moment that we get and know that He is in control.
Yesterday was great and I went 24 hours without a spell but then this morning after a great night's sleep my body began spitting out contractions again. This episode lasted a few hours and for a while I contracted every other minute. They discussed the mag again but decided instead to give me a shot of narcotics and my uterus calmed down once more, Praise God. I tell you I think my body is wacko but I don't mind contractions for months if it means these babies will be safe.
If I could see each one of you that has lifted us up in prayer I would hug you dearly, I'm not usually much of a cryer but my eyes fill with tears when I think of how blessed we are by the countless people who have loved our babies so much. I hope you know that I also pray for you.
"In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33
p.s. Gig 'Em Aggies!
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
We spoke with our doctor again this afternoon before he departed for the holidays, I hope he can enjoy them without any calls concerning us from his on-call partners. He said that we are in a much better place than we were 12 days ago but we still have a long way to go and really need to get these boys to 26 and then 28 weeks. Please pray that we will meet these milestones and if we do not, that the boys will thrive and be healthy in spite of their early birth. Please pray that the boys will continue to do well in my womb so that we will not have to take them early, the doc says sometime the extra days you buy can be at a cost to the babies well-being if their bodies begin to struggle, we hope that will not be the case.
The perinatologist has given thought to putting me back on mag-sulfate at a low dose to try and buy a few more weeks and nip these contraction episodes in the bud but our OB is not ready to take that step yet as he is still concerned for my health. Please pray that the doctors would be guided and filled with much wisdom as they continue to make decisions about my care.
From our family to yours, may you have a fantastic Thanksgiving! We all have so many things to be thankful for and I hope that you enjoy every second that you get to spend with your loved ones in the coming days.
Hoping to have an uneventful evening and holiday!
"Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. "
Thank you Marty & Dawn, Aunt Ann & Uncle Tom, Casey & Rachel, and Aaron & Kristen for the flowers and balloons, they've really brightened up my room!
Here I am with one of my favorite nurses as she chases the babies around with the fetal heart monitor for one of their twice daily monitoring of heart beats and my contractions. They have quite a reputation around here for being mischievious and playing hide and go seek from the nurses!
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Please continue to pray for us and our little ones. The doctor said today that I would be here now until delivery and that he thinks that chances are that I won't make it to 31 weeks. Of course I hope more than anything to prove him wrong. The reasons that I won't be released are because I'm still spotting some a few times a day and still having episodes of contractions and while these may not be signs of any immediate danger, they are still concerning and cause some uncertainty.
Until today these episodes only occured in the evening but I had a real uncomfortable round this morning that included a lot of cramping and some back pain. I feel much better now and hope that it won't happen again this evening. I guess everything has sort of caught up with me and I've been terribly exhausted the last two days and today I've really struggled with my fears and anxiety. Please pray that not only the labor will stay far away but that I can rest in the peace of Jesus Christ our great comforter.
Though I would love to go home, I'm willing to do anything to help these babies to be healthy and I'll be so thrilled to make it to 25 weeks later this week. And it is comforting to remain under the watchful eyes of excellent doctors & nurses. And after 4 different IV's I'm a free woman and just taking my medicine orally now and I'm even wearing my own pajamas, yay!
Me being here indefinitely puts a lot of strain on Kenny since he needs to check in on his houses but hates to leave me here even for one night away. I just pray that things will be quiet tonight while he is away so that he won't have to rush back down here until tomorrow afternoon and I'm lucky to have two moms that are willing to take shifts with me.
Here are some photos from this week, I unfortunately didn't get any of the Bollines and Aunt Amy but they have been here a lot and have really helped take great care of me too. My cookies say "Happy 24 Weeks" and are courtesy of Dana and Shawn.
Happy & Grateful to still be pregnant,
The next one is from when I was on Magnesium-Sulfate, Indocen, and the nasal oxygen tube, I look pretty rough!
Monday, November 20, 2006
Today, Kenny & I celebrate 2 years of marriage, after this week it certainly seems like much longer than that. This week I've learned so much more about marriage and committment. I've always known these things but I'm even more aware of how lucky I am to have Kenny.
Marriage and true love are not about exciting trips to fun places, flowers, fancy dinners, and love notes. True love is being by someone's hospital bed for days when you can't stand hospitals or being indoors at all for that matter, especially far from home in a city you can't stand. True love is dropping everything to be by the side of the one you love when they need you the most, even if that means missing work, skipping hunting trips, and not getting to see your favorite puppy dog Reagan. True love is telling your wife that's she's beautiful and you love her exactly as she is even when she's wearing an ugly hospital gown, gone without a shower for more than 24 hours, wearing no makeup, and her body is bruised and her belly swollen. This is the kind of love I've been blessed with and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
Poor Kenny has been faced with the "in sickness" part of the wedding vows far more than most should ever have to and he reminded me that we spent the last night of our honeymoon in Maui Memorial Hospital because I had a kidney infection. So our track record this time of year is not the best medically.
Thank you Sweet Heart for putting up with all the medical anomolies that we've had to face. Thank your for loving me and for being here to hold my hand through all the storms this week, I wouldn't have chosen anyone else to take this journey with and I'm so blessed to have you in my life. May the next several years be full of joy and happy times for us both and our sweet children. They are lucky to have you as their daddy and I know you will be an amazing father.
This scripture was one that was read at our wedding:
"Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me." Ruth 1:16-17
Saturday, November 18, 2006
To give you an idea of how significant every week is, when we arrived here by ambulance last Sunday we had to immediately meet with the neonatologist and be told all the grim statistics of babies born at 23 weeks, should they even survive at all. They were expecting to deliver immenantly because I had begun dilating in College Station and was 90% effaced before we even departed for Houston. They were forced to ask us if we chose to seek treatment for the babies and we even had to sign consent forms. They said had it been 24 weeks they wouldn't even ask but would go ahead and do everything they could but at 23 weeks parents must elect medical intervention.
This was truly the most horrific moment of my life, just to be hearing these words spoken to me. I would NEVER want my babies to suffer but we loved them far too much to just turn our backs on them and not give them a chance, because we know our God is so much bigger than our trials and despite all the chaos, He was in complete control. We knew that we would love them dearly no matter how affected they might be from their prematurity and that the Lord had a plan for them regardless of the outcome.
It is so difficult to write about this but I feel that I should because it testifies to the power of our Almighty God who intervened in that critical moment and stopped the labor. In fact, to everyone's disbelief, nothing had changed/progressed in the entire time it took us to get to Houston.
Now I know that we are not guaranteed tomorrow and that born anytime soon, the babies would still face many significant challenges. But the Lord is so faithful and not one hair can fall from these babies heads unless the Lord wills it. So we dearly hope to celebrate many more weeks of gestation but just praise the Lord that we are here today at 24 weeks.
Thank you SO much for your continued prayers. We had another good day. I'm still struggling with occasional bouts of irregular contractions and irritability, especially in the evenings but just continue to pray that it will not progress to labor and that it would just go away entirely.
Here is our 24 week babycenter.com email:
"Your baby is growing steadily, gaining about a quarter of a pound since last week, when he was just over a pound. Since he's almost a foot long, that makes for a pretty lean figure, but his body is filling out proportionally. Your baby's skin is thin, translucent, and wrinkled, his brain is growing rapidly, and his taste buds may be working now. His lungs are developing "branches" of the respiratory "tree" and cells that produce surfactant, a substance that helps the air sacs inflate easily.
Your baby can hear more and more now, and you may even notice him startle at loud, sudden noises. But he's probably getting used to the regular noises he hears around the house, such as your dog barking or the roar of a vacuum cleaner. Many new parents are surprised by how unfazed their newborns seem by sounds like these, but if you think about it, they've had months to get accustomed to them."
Friday, November 17, 2006
My chest x-ray this morning was real good and they finally moved us out of Labor & Delivery after almost a week here and we are in Room 322 in the Ante Partum Unit. We have celebrated this move today as it speaks so much to the Power of our good Lord, I'm still pregnant!
We are praying for an extremely boring weekend and week to come. Trying not to think too far ahead but should we make it to Thanksgiving with no episodes we may actually leave this place still pregnant and go home on full bed rest. If this happens we will consider it one of our biggest blessings yet.
Our prayer needs continue to be that the Procardia will remain effective and I will not go into labor again. I'm still having uterine irritability and this makes me uncomfortable at times but mainly steals my peace of mind, so prayers for a resting peaceful heart are greatly appreciated. Please pray also that the boys are growing and maturing rapidly so should they arrive earlier than hoped that they would be as prepared as possible for life outside the womb. Please also pray for Kenny, he has been fabulous but I know that being so far away from home, confined to this hospital, and being away from the job he takes so seriously is stressful for him and hopefully he will have the liberty to return to everything soon.
As this time of Thanksgiving approaches we are so aware of how much we have to be thankful for. Thank you friends for loving us and our precious little Andrew & Adam.
"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 your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you." Philippians 4:6-9
Thursday, November 16, 2006
We've come within moments of delivering them more than once and the fact that we are all still here is because of God's great mercy and the best medical care a person can get. My health has greatly improved and the pulmonary edema is going away and I actually got a full night's rest for the first time in days. Yesterday every breath was like running a mile and today I'm off the oxygen and breathing farely easily, Praise God.
Kenny and I love Adam and Andrew so much and know that their Heavenly Father loves them even more and that no matter what, He has a plan for them. We are just taking each hour as another blessing. We are on the last medicine, Procardia, and just pray that the labor will not be able to break through. Because my body has not tolerated the other labor stopping medicines and we've exhauseted all the options, should the contractions worsen and the labor progress, the babies will have to be delivered. But since my body is now healthy enough to tolerate the pregnancy we will hold on as long as we can and our biggest prayer is that the contractions will not progress or turn in to labor again. As long that stays away, we can gain some much needed time.
We hope to make it at least to 26 weeks and would love to make to 30 weeks or even longer, but just making it to tomorrow is another gift. Fortunately everything seems quite stable at the moment but we've learned in the last few days that things can change in an instant. What a roller coaster this continues to be.
I have such a wonderful husband, parents, siblings, in-laws, friends, church family, co-workers, and many more. The Lord has provided more than I could have ever hoped or imagined.
Grace and Peace to each of you,
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Monday, November 13, 2006
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Exactly three months to go until my "twin" due date of 36 weeks on February 11th. It won't be long before Adam and Andrew are here!!! That's right they have names =-), first names at least! I can't wait for them to be here but surely don't want them to come any earlier for their sakes because at this point, every day counts.
I got to see Kenny this evening for just a bit but then sent him on his way since there just isn't much he can do for me and no reason for us to both be miserable and laying around the house all weekend. I'm counting the hours until he returns on Sunday!!
Here is what my 23 week email had to say:
Your baby is more than 11 inches long and weighs just over a pound. His skin is red and wrinkled. Blood vessels in his lungs are developing to prepare him for breathing. Loud noises heard often in utero — such as your dog barking or the roar of a vacuum cleaner — probably won't faze your baby when he hears them outside the womb.
The end of this week is an important milestone: Your one-pounder would have a good chance of survival if born now--about 85 percent if given the right care. His body is well proportioned, although lacking in body fat, and the blood vessels in his lungs are developing to prepare for breathing. About 50 percent of "early preemies" experience complications ranging from eye problems to intracranial hemorrhage (spontaneous bleeding in the brain); the rate drops steadily from the 24th week onward.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
I went to that specialist this morning and he said I have some sort of injury/irritation where two of my ribs connect to my spine and this is causing a muscle to spasm down the length of my back. Since I'm pregnant there is very little that can be done such as steroid treatments, etc. He did give me about 10 lidocaine injections directly into the spasm using this radio frequency machine to isolate the specific muscle.
It was pretty unpleasant to say the least but if it helps it will have been well worth it. The injections will only last a few days so I'm following up with topical lidocaine patches and may go back for another round of shots if they seem to help, plus I'll continue the twice weekly physical therapy. So far the shots seem to be helping in some areas but I don't think he covered the entire muscle because certain places actually feel worse, perhaps that's just soreness that will go away I hope.
Thanks for your continued prayers and encouragement, I'm blessed to be surrounded by such great people =-). Especially Dana & Shawn for bringing me dinner and groceries, what a big help!
Monday, November 06, 2006
As for me, I'd really appreciate your prayers. I'm suffering from some bad back spasms that seem to interfere with just about everything that I do. I need to make it at least three more months and I'd rather not be in bed that whole time. I'm seeing a physical therapist and I go to a physical medicine m.d. on Thursday. And unfortunately there isn't much I can take other than tylenol right now so I'm praying for some miraculous deliverance from this major annoyance. But I'm so thankful that the babies are well and this isn't a medical problem that puts them in any sort of danger.
Friday, November 03, 2006
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Getting the nursery together is a blast. Just about everything else you see in this photo is going to go at some point and is just left over from how we had the room set up before, except for the cases of diapers I'm stocking up on ;-).