Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Some Closure to Recent Events

Here is another quick update for those who were wondering about my appointment yesterday with the doctor. I was in a much better place emotionally this time, as I convinced that indeed this pregnancy is not going well, and since I have not yet miscarried on my own at this time, I knew we would have to make some kind of decision.

The doctor was ready to fight with us again on this I think as he came in rather forcefully said, "Since nothing has happened, your options are still the same..." I interrupted him to say that we had some time to think about the options and that I had some questions for him and then he softened up a bit and said, "OK...shoot!" So I proceeded to ask him if before a D & C if they normally did an ultrasound prior to the surgery. He said that in my case, he saw no need to do that because he was 100% sure that this pregnancy is not viable and such. I told him that though I believed him, at the same time I had read of women who were told that same thing and then a week or so later found a living baby in their womb via ultrasound. I said that I was leaning toward the D & C for the fact of the pain factor and to avoid the trauma and timing of a miscarriage on my own, but that I really wanted that last final look to be sure we were doing the right thing.

He said that if that is what it takes for me to make this decision then he said we could do that. So we set up an appointment for an ultrasound on Oct. 6th at 9am with a pre-op visit with the doctor and then the following morning on Oct. 7th at 7:30am (have to be there at 6:00am--ack) for the D & C. I feel much more at peace about this arrangement and we already have some people in place that are going to care for our kiddos on that Friday anyway. Still need to figure out the Thursday child care though.

Thanks all for praying. I have felt peace in these last few days and the emotions aren't quite as overwhelming lately. I have still been battling pregnancy symptoms that make me nauseous, tired, and sleep irregularly, so that has been hard. However, through it all I am trusting the Lord and know that this is all happening for a reason, though I do not understand fully right now. I have had a friend who has gone through a couple of miscarriages that has been walking me through this time and am very thankful for her and her support. Perhaps the Lord will use me also to be a helper to someone who has struggled in this way also in the future.

Today despite a horrible night of sleep, I was able to (finally) clean the downstairs playroom (including vacuuming---gasp) as well as pick up and vacuum the boy's bedroom also. This is a MAJOR accomplishment around here of late! It is nice to have a little energy today and it was on a surprising day for it for sure!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sad News

Hello all and for those of you who have not read the post following this one, it would give some background to do so.

I went to the doctor again today and again there was another ultrasound. We again saw what looked to be an empty sac and a glimpse of a fetal pole, but it did not show a heartbeat. The fetal pole (which normally becomes the fetus) was measuring at 6 1/2 weeks (only 1 week older than 2 weeks ago) and the sac was measuring at 9 1/2 weeks (also only 1 week older than 2 weeks ago). I asked why these things were growing if there was nothing there, and the doctor said it is because the cyst on my ovary (normal, not a bad cyst) was kicking out the hormones as if the pregnancy was normal and didn't know any different. I found out that all women have cysts every cycle that are there to help if the egg is implanted (until a placenta forms), but then they fade away if there is no fertilized egg.

Anyway, he confirmed again that this was not a normal pregnancy and that if I waited too long to miscarry on my own that I could risk getting an infection. He said that for future pregnancies that I have no adverse risk to have this happen again and that I could indeed have a healthy pregnancy in the future, but that chance is lower if I were to get infected from not miscarrying properly.

I admit, I had let myself get a little too hopeful with some stories I read online of women in similar circumstances who then saw a baby at the 10 week ultrasound (which mine should have been today), but unfortunately I did not fall into that category this time. This has been a real roller coaster ride for sure, but I know that God will see me through as He has always been faithful to do. He gives and He takes away, but in all things give glory to God. We have been praying for guidance and clear direction, and it seems the path is very clearly marked now. My prayer now is that between now and the next appointment that perhaps I could start the process naturally and not have to take something. If that does not happen, then I guess I will have to make a choice that I did not want to have to face.

One thing this has certainly done for me is to help me realize what a miracle life really is and how miraculous it was that I have delivered four healthy children, and two of them at once! Sometimes it takes a loss to really show you how blessed you are. I am certain there is a baby who has gone on before me now who will greet me someday when I go to join him/her in heaven. I thank God even now for the twinkle in my eye that this little one has given me.

Thank you all for praying and will continually covet those prayers as these next weeks will still be emotionally hard I am sure.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Update on Baby #5

For those of you who may have not heard, I found out around August 10th or so that I was pregnant again with baby #5. It was happy news and we did share with many of our friends and family. I wasn't sure how far I was along (due to many different reasons which I won't go into here) and so I made an appointment with the OB to get a more precise date and start the maternal care. My first appointment with the doctor was on August 25th and we did get an ultrasound then as well. The doctor informed us at that visit that he "did not see a fetus" and wanted me to do some blood tests in the following week to determine how much pregnancy hormone (HCG) was in the blood.

The results showed that I had very elevated levels 93,000 the first time and 24 hours later it was reading at 106,206. The doctor was very surprised at HOW high they were and later told me that in a normal pregnancy that ladies with levels at 1500-2000 that he is able to see a fetus and a heartbeat at the same gestation that he thought I was (anywhere from 7-10 weeks).

After the blood tests, I went in for another ultrasound on September 8th and it was clear when we were looking at the picture the ultrasound tech was showing us that something was wrong. Neither David nor I could really see anything but an empty sac. The tech showed us that she could see a fetal pole, whereas last time it seemed we only saw a yolk sac. It seemed quite bleak and she said that the fetal pole was measuring only 5 weeks and that the amniotic sac was measuring about 8 weeks, which shouldn't happen. They should be progressing at roughly the same gestation.

When the doctor came to see us, he basically informed us that this was not a normal pregnancy and called it in fact an "empty pregnancy" saying that either the egg or the sperm did not contain enough genetic information to form a baby, but that my body proceeded to make all the other things a baby needs and it is tricking my body into thinking that I am pregnant. He says that I should be prepared for a miscarriage soon and suggested that I should take something to speed the process along. I really did not want to go that route as it just doesn't feel right to do that. Please pray that my body will follow the natural course and that I will not have to make the choice to take something.

My health could be in jeopardy if I wait too long for this to happen on its own, but at the same time, I just cannot justify speeding up the process when I do not see the need to do so. Maybe there was never a baby there, but maybe there was. I just don't know and I can't always wonder for the rest of my life if I killed a baby inside of me.

I could really use your prayers during this time as it has been emotional and difficult at times. I know God is in control though and that baby #5 is safe in His arms or will be in the near future. I am reminded of the newest song by Laura Story called "Blessings" (click the link if you have never heard it....great song) and often I am reminded that trials can sometimes be our blessings in disguise. I can't say how right now this is a true "blessing," but as time goes on I know things will become more clear. I do know that God is faithful and that He will hold me through this time as He always has in the past. Love you all, thanks for your prayers!

Franklin Park

On one of the hotter days of the summer (I think it was in the 90's that day?), we met my cousin's wife Natalie and her two girls, Sophie & Evelyn, at Franklin Park, which is near to the Northtown mall in Spokane. She lives in Newport, so it was a pretty good halfway point in which to meet up. Sophie of course (age 2) doesn't know me that well and when I took her picture here, she is giving me this look like, "Who are you lady and why are you taking my picture?" It cracked me up!

Evelyn and Josiah had fun in the splash zone and are attempting to squirt each other here as you can see. We were very thankful they had a water area as it was SO hot that day!

Daniel and Caleb enjoyed the water too and I got a nice shot of Daniel running away from the water when it popped up again after being turned off.

Caleb was enjoying the regular equipment as well as the water feature also and went back and forth between the two quite often.

Naomi really didn't want to get near the water, but was doing her girly pose here to show me where the water was when I asked her.

Before Natalie came, we sat in a shaded area and had some lunch and Naomi got PB & J all over her outfit despite the bib!

Josiah, Daniel and Caleb ate also in between running around to check out all the equipment and eventually finished eating.

The shaded area was really nice and it was a relief to have it there as it really was scorching that day! Afterward when I came home, I felt really yucky and I think I might have been a bit dehydrated or something. It was fun visiting with Natalie though and catching up as well as watching our kids play. We are closer now, but it is still about an hour and a half to Newport, so we are glad to see them when we can! Thanks Natalie and girls for coming out to play with us!

Naomi's Pigtails

Naomi's hair has finally been long enough to attempt two pigtails rather than just the one on top. She absolutely LOVES it when I say I am going to do her hair and trots off to the bathroom to get prettied-up. I had a chair in there for her and she was looking in the mirror a lot as you can see.

Here is a fairly good front shot of the new do.

I did her hair again today for church the same way, but she was super grumpy for all the photos for some reason. She was hiding down by Daddy's chair in his office and this was the closest to smiling I got out of here this morning.

Random Summer Memories

Grandma & Grandpa took a trip to Disneyworld this summer and sent the kiddos some monogrammed Mickey hats and some cute little Disney-themed matchbox cars. Josiah thought he was too old to wear the hat, but I informed him that it will be a keepsake for him someday. Naomi got a pink hat with her name on it as well and a little Minnie Mouse cell phone toy. They got me a funny nightgown with Minnie Mouse dressed in a robe and bunny slippers, red-eyed, holding a donut in one hand and a coffee in the other with the words, "Mornings are not pretty." And indeed they are not! I have never been a morning person, so that was fitting. David got a nice 2011 Disneyworld T-shirt also from them. They also sent some pictures of them at the various dinners they attended in some magnets to put on our fridge. Thanks for the gifts Mom and Dad, glad you had a good time!

Josiah has had lots of fun reconnecting with his old buddy Colton. When they were very little (under one) they used to play with each other a lot. Interestingly enough, they are two of a kind and really get along well as they are both very high energy and leader types. Because of this they also fight from time to time too, but mostly they are buddies and have great fun together!

The boys are trying to drag Daddy down here, but Daddy managed to pull them across the floor and into the living room a little ways before getting too pooped to pull around 120 pounds or so of weight!

At one of the other parks in Spokane, Miss Naomi was cuddling with her Daddy. It is so fun to watch them together and lately when he comes in the room she will say, "DADDY!" with a very gleeful tone.

Here she is pointing at Momma taking the picture.

One day we made some crafts to show the grandparents on Skype and the boys had fun being creative with fluffly balls, pipe cleaners, crayons, markers, and glue on eye-balls.

Leiloni's Visit

About a week after Sarah came to visit, another west-side friend paid us a visit! Leiloni and her kiddos were headed to a couple of weddings (twin girls getting married a day apart) in Utah and she was making her way to Montana to ride down with one of her relatives, so a stop in Spokane was a nice respite on the journey there. Here is Leiloni holding Judah just before they piled back in the car.

Miss Eliana is about 6 months younger than Naomi, but they had fun playing together. Naomi loved having another little baby here for sure!

Caleb, Daniel and Judah are having fun here just before they left for Montana. I thankfully remembered to get the camera out before they left this time!

Asher was playing Legos with Josiah, but when he found out it was time to leave he started to pout in the corner and wouldn't let me take his picture.

However, I am sneaky like that and got him as he was coming out to the car anyway!

Noah was happy to pose with his baby sister. He loves her a lot and frequently asked me if I thought she was pretty. And yes, she is a very pretty little baby! :) Thanks Leiloni and crew for stopping by and visiting with us, it was great to have you here!

Discovery Park

We made sure to make use of the warm weather here on the east side during the summer and have gone to many of the local parks to celebrate the "no rain" situation we find ourselves in (finally!) One of our favorite parks thus far, has been Discovery Park. They have lots of neat and creative play areas including a sand box (one with just sand and another with sand and water), a splash pad, an in-ground trampoline, a rock slide (literally a large rock to slide down), music features (drums/chimes), and the traditional swings and slides as well of course. They also have poetry and things written in the cement and this one is right as you come in the park across a bridge. The whole park is fenced except for the bridge entrance.

The over-sized chair was a nice place to photograph the twins and they had fun climbing up there.

The twin swings with the twins swinging.

And the twin slides, with the twins sliding.

This was a big pumpkin, and Naomi liked to go inside and yell to hear her voice echo. Caleb enjoyed that feature too as you see him yelling here.

Mr. Caleb posing for a brief moment before running off to play again.

Daniel having fun in the big pumpkin.

Josiah getting super dizzy on the spinning cups. They just keep going and going and going and they are really hard to stop!

The lopsided merry-go-round was a fun toy for them as well, but it was hard to get that thing spinning very well. I guess it wasn't meant to really spin fast apparently.

Naomi had a blast exploring everywhere also. She also gave me a huge scare at the end of the play day. I told the boys it was time to go and wanted them to get their shoes on. Josiah informed me he saw some hummingbirds over in this other area and I went over there with them to get their shoes on and look at the birds. We had been the only ones at the park the whole time, 'cause we went there at like 8am in the morning and so I wasn't concerned I would lose Naomi or whatever as she had been toddling after me all morning.

Needless to say, as we were getting shoes on and such, she DID wander off and out of the park. She heard we were going and I think she was headed to the car and then overshot a bit. I started to panic a little and then a lady pulled up with her kid and told me that my little girl was just over there a ways (past her car) and it was then that she emerged from the bushes! Ugh! It reminded me of the time we almost lost her at church too, but it turns out she just made a beeline for her classroom and was there the whole time. Lesson learned though and I need to make sure I hold on to her when I say it is time to go!

Sarah's Visit

About a week after we were settled, we had some west side visitors! My friend Sarah and her kiddos Taylor, Colin, & Ryan came to visit. Our kids always have a lot of fun together. Josiah is the ringleader and Taylor and Colin pretty much follow him everywhere! We went to Riverfront Park together one of the days she was here, but I forgot my camera that day and so I have no pictures of that event. However, we went on the Skyride (which Daniel and Josiah got scared on a bit) and the kids played in the big water feature there as well. It was a bit of a long day for the Momma's, but the kids had a blast! I didn't get any pictures of Taylor I realized after the fact also! But here above is Colin, Josiah and Ryan chilling in our chair at home.

This typifies the silliness that ensued when our friends came. Daniel and Caleb love Sarah and we all enjoyed having them come to visit us in our new home. Thanks Sarah for taking the time to come over and visit!

Visit With Great Grandma Betty

My parents stayed four days with us after the move and one of the days, we went to the nursing home where my Grandma lives to have a visit with her. She was absolutely delighted to see the kids and got very animated with them when they came near. They were a little shy at first, but warmed up more after being there for a while. We wheeled Grandma out into the main area and they had some toys for the boys to play with, which was very popular. Here Caleb is showing Great Grandma one of the singing dolls. They kept turning them on and the adults kept turning them off!

Naomi is always shy with new people at first and this is her "I'm not so sure about you," expression. She gave this one to Uncle Steve when he came in to visit Grandma too.

My Mom always loves to come and visit her Mom and it was of course nice to have all of us there with her too for her to show off her grand kids!

Caleb was his usual self, hamming it up wearing any dress-up clothes he could find. He was very outgoing with Great Grandma and came up to talk to her and show her things the most.

Grandpa was showing Josiah how to use the saw here and was joking around with Uncle Steve as well.

Uncle Steve pulled out some Grandpa Hal tricks and hid the object in somebody's ear or something and the twins were amazed.

Naomi really enjoyed looking at and listening to the birds that they had at the nursing home also. Although Great Grandma couldn't talk (due to her stroke), I know if she could she would have told us that she loves us and that she was glad we came by. I just talked to her a lot and asked the kids various questions, so that she could hear their voices and hear our updates as well. She seemed to like that a lot. We love you Great Grandma Betty and are glad we live closer now and can visit you more often!

Moses Lake Park Stop

This post is QUITE a bit late in coming, but the reason I have been so behind isn't perhaps what you would think with a recent move and all that. Really, I have had a bit of writer's block and along with something else that is going on right now (to be mentioned in a later post) and the normal business of life, the blog has been sorely neglected. I keep reminding myself though that someday this will be a great remembering tool for my kiddos and for me, so that I will have not one or two, but MANY fun stories to tell them about their childhood. So, I keep on keeping on even in the midst of all that is going on!

This picture is of Josiah and Naomi on our last Sunday at Bethany as they were going to their Sunday School classes. Josiah and Naomi are buddies now and it is fun to watch them play together.

The journey TO our new home was not without many adventures! I can't recall if I mentioned in the "Big Move" posts that we had a bit of a problem with the moving truck. They were not able to fit all of our stuff in one truck and had to call in a second truck, which put a bit of a delay on when I wanted to leave Milton. It turned out that the movers stayed with all the stuff on our lawn to wait for the second truck and we left close to the time we planned and just locked up the old house behind us after we finished cleaning. My parents caravaned with me in their car and one twin and Josiah rode with them and I had the other twin and Naomi in my car. We would switch twins at various stopping points along the way. And believe me when I tell you, there was a very distinct NEED to switch twins quite often on the trip! We made our traditional stop in Moses Lake, despite it being around 6:45pm or so because the boys just needed to get their wiggles out. Naomi enjoyed the time out and about as well.

Caleb was a trouper for the whole trip and didn't complain too much really. He got a little finicky right before we went to the park, but did better after he got to run around. He enjoyed looking at all the sites as we went by them and such, but never did take a nap until really it was nighttime and time for bed.

Daniel, although very cute and innocent looking in this picture, was NOT so easy a traveler! He was constantly looking off into the distance and pointing to buildings and saying, "Is that our new house?" and "I wanna ride in GRANDma's car," and the most infamous (and very frequent throughout the trip), "I have to go potty!" I kid you not, we probably stopped at every possible rest stop known to Snoqualmie Pass and beyond for that kid and of course he wanted to switch cars every time as well. I would like to note also that at one stop where there was more of a port-a-potty, he REFUSED to go in and I had to take the boys to a well hidden cluster of trees to pee instead. Thankfully, they are boys and that worked OK, but man....what a pain! I am sure this was Daniel's way of showing he was stressed out by the move and he also DID NOT nap, much to both my and the grandparents dismay.
Josiah did pretty well on the trip, though also toward the end he was giving in to being silly and fighting with his brothers in Grandma's car. He of course enjoyed the park also and was showing me this feather he found there.

After the park, I finally had a crashed out Caleb-ee in the car until we hit the freeway construction right outside Spokane, when he woke up and started fussing again. He was awake for a good bit of the last portion, but thankfully once I got the boys to the hotel where David was (he left hours earlier thinking he would be there when the truck left, but because of the problem the moving truck didn't leave until later and we unloaded the next morning) they all crashed out there almost right away upon getting into their jammies and bed. I meanwhile, took Naomi to Grandma and Grandpa's hotel (because they had a crib for her there and the other one did not) and then proceeded to the new house to unload the refrigerator/freezer stuff we had brought. This only to discover that the fridge was not working (unbeknown to the landlords who thought it was working fine) at about 10:30pm at night. Thankfully, I was also headed to my friend Janeen's house to give her some things for Echo (as doggie spent the night at her place) and she also allowed me to store my fridge/freezer stuff in her extra garage fridge/freezer. All was well that ended well, but man was I tired that day!