Monday, September 26, 2011

Pregnancy Update - 27 weeks & ultrasound

We had our specialist appt today. I feel like we were just there, but it's been 4 weeks already. Time is flying. No new changes with Hallie. Which I think is good - no reason to think she's going anywhere anytime soon (as far as Dr.'s can tell - she's under no stress). We saw her moving all around and even yawn or open her mouth once. :) It's such a strange thing to be in there - looking at her and looking perfect to us. So I just soak up the time watching her as if to figure out her personality now. I was thinking today - this really could be my only reality with her, here in these offices.

Her butt was down, and her head, feet and hands were all on my right side. Looks like another flexible baby :) She finally flipped over so we could get a decent profile picture.

The Dr. then had us meet with a palliative care team. I was happy to meet with them, but it was kinda of spontaneous, and I didn't have much prepared as far as questions. But I did have some, and they were answered. So now we have some things we need to decide as parents as far as care goes for Hallie after she is born. You can pray for us as we seek clarity on that.

Farrah and Bella's pediatrician also called today. She just found out about Hallie and I thought it was very nice of her to call and give me her advice.

It's really just amazing how little info is out there. There is a lot online, but because Trisomy is somewhat rare (not totally rare, but rare enough) each Dr may only see a couple of cases of this ever. And even then, each case is different. So it can be scary to be on that end of things. But we also have complete confidence in all of these doctors and we just have to let all of OUR wants for Hallie be known, and not let the medical field make those decisions for us. I am thankful we do live in the US, in a big city, and have lots of options available - and even have to pick between good hospitals. Not everyone has that.

Baby is the size of: 14.5 in cauliflower; about 2 lbs (today's estimate from the Dr is that Hallie is 1 lb 12 oz, measuring about 2 weeks behind) 

Symptoms: heartburn at night. nothing Tums can't take care of. And still the swelling under my belly. i have a feeling that's only going to get worse. Oh, and now I have varicose vains popping up. I read that Hallie is probably sitting on the large vein on the right side of my body, which in turn increases pressure in the leg veins. Time to actually start sleeping on my left side, taking breaks to get off my feet, and buy some compression hose. yahoo.

Maternity clothes? yes sir. 

Sleep: slept much better this week. And we hung up something over the window to make the girls' room darker, and it's totally making them sleep better. Friday & Saturday mornings (Chris' days off) the girls slept until 9am. Yes!

Fun moment(s) this past week: The fair!! Chris and I also had a date afternoon/night on Saturday and went to see The Help. It was so good! 

Movement: Lots and lots of strong kicks from Hallie. Chris can watch them, too. Movement for me... uh... I like to make my bending down strategic. If I'm picking something up, I like to pick up/clean as much as I can while I'm down there to minimize bending. ha! Funny how all of a sudden I feel 39 weeks pregnant.

Food cravings: nothing specific

Gender & Name: We need a middle name, haven't talked about it. It needs to not start with a vowel. I've wanted to use my middle name for all the girls (Ann), but it never seems to work with the initials of our girls.

Weight gained: Ok, geez. 15 lbs. This is a little ahead of where I was with Bella (& probably Farrah, I didn't keep as good of track with her). But I have 13 or less weeks to go... so I'll just be more careful... right....

Belly Button in or out? Didn't make time to focus on my belly button this week. :) I'm sure it's still there.

What I am looking forward to: We are going to Savannah this weekend with my whole family to attend a wedding. We're staying in a house all together in Tybee. FUN! I can't believe it's almost October...

Reflections on the past week: I just realized this week that I'm in my 3rd trimester, and have been since 25 weeks. This pregnancy is going fast it seems. I had a much better week. 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fair 2011

Our hometown fair has become a tradition with my family. We went growing up, but I swear I love it more now.
Fair 2010
Fair 2009

I was excited about Farrah's age... and although she was thrilled with just being able to walk around, she was not a fan of many rides. She probably most enjoyed the chocolate milk from the petting zoo :) Bella had a blast!! She wanted to ride everything. We rode what we could while we visited with tons of friends that were also at the zoo, ate corn dogs, and tried some fried cheesecake.

Frog Hopper again this year:
My parents and grandparents are part of the tradition :)
As well as Josie and the Masterson's & Queens
They are getting too big!

I love how this one shows me and Kristy with all of our girls... Izzie is in the stroller.

Farrah sat in this ride for about 10 seconds. We tried to tell her how much fun it was... but she'd rather just watch. She actually did want to ride the "cars" that were too big for her... next year, Farrah! :)

Petting zoo with Josie:
They loved "milking" the cow!
Chocolate milk was a prize for washing your hands as you left:

We had so much fun! Can't wait for next year! :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Strength & Hope

Like I spoke about in a previous post, I actually knew a good bit about Trisomy from reading blogs in the past. I don't know how I came to find them, but I followed Copeland's life first. I remember being up in the wee hours, during Bella's night time feedings, rocking and reading. I was amazed by her faith and strength. To be honest, more than anything, I was sad and didn't understand how one got through this. And I would just rock Bella and be so thankful for a healthy baby and family. And I'd cry (Chris did not understand why, on top of my baby hormones, I would read these blogs! haha!)

A couple of years later, I read about Hogan too. His dad wrote the blog and it was so cool how he did it. It really celebrated Hogan's short life. Pretty cool to read a dad's prespective. It was through these two blogs that I learned about Trisomy 18. (Similar but a little different than Trisomy 13.) That was pretty huge for me, because when I was told of the possible diganosis, I knew right away that I could carry this baby (even if it was a really hard journey) I knew of and had read of many that went through the same thing.

Over the last couple of years, I also followed more sad and heart wrenching stories. I also had a high school / blog friend loose a child. That of course was a lot harder as it was someone I knew. Watching her faith and strength was amazing, though. Amazing.

With all of these stories, I said the same thing. "Their strength is so inspiring. They are so strong!"
Another reason I was drawn to the blogs of the people I didn't know was to learn. My biggest, darkest fear has always been to loose someone close to me. I've spoken about this with small groups, close friends and my husband. But I've had a pretty easy life. I haven't gone through any big trials. So I've always been afraid of how I would react, how my faith would really play out if I were to have to go through something big.

I am not strong. God is holding me up. Your prayers are holding us up. And I realize now that those stories are not stories of people with incredible strength. They are real people who looked at their situation, knew they couldn't do it alone - and shared their story through a lens of faith. Without faith in something bigger than ourselves, without faith in a God who truly loves me, I may be able to "survive" because I have two other kids to take care of. But I certainly would have no hope, no joy, and this would be much much harder. I promise you this, my faith is no stronger than yours. It's just that mine has been put out for everyone to watch and see how we will react.

Thankfully I knew right where to turn when we first found out. Chris and I of course we devastated, but we thought, "If we are going to go through this, we're giving it our all."

I am learning that being strong and having faith doesn't mean I can't cry. God is quick to listen to my every plea, he doesn't turn away when I'm super short with my husband, he doesn't get angry when I get angry at my kids, he's patient when I don't understand. And I think he understands when I can cry at a blink of a dime. I'm not perfect and He doesn't expect us to be, especially when going through the ugliness of grief.

It's not fair that I have to go to regular appts and have people ask, "Oh, you're having a Christmas baby!" Agggggg, Christmas is my favorite time of year. I am just sad about this. We have no idea what this year will be like. It's cruel that my situation is never far from my mind, clouding so many things and making them seem less enjoyable. I hate thinking about possible funerals when I should be thinking about showers and diapers and decorating another room.

But after dark periods (some shorter than others - although I feel like all of last week was a long dark time), I wake up and realize - I have HOPE. I will meet Hallie one day, face to face, whether that is here on earth or in heaven. And she'll be perfect either way. I can have joy and sorrow through all of this and no one would expect anything different. They go hand in hand:

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. 
Some of you say, "Joy is greater than sorrow," and others say, "Nay, sorrow is the greater."
But I say unto you, they are inseparable. 
Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed. 
Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
-Kahlil Gibran

This kinda seems long & rambly... but my point is... I'm not strong alone. I'm still standing because I have a Father in Heaven who loves me and shows me true JOY & gives me HOPE in the midst of unspeakable pain & sorrow.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pregnancy Update - 26 weeks

Baby is the size of: a (hothouse?) cucumber

Symptoms: Still just the pressure the belly puts on everything. ouch!!!

Maternity clothes? I wear the same pants like every day, but at least I like them?!

Sleep: Didn't do so well this week on sleep. One or two children being sick will do that to you. Friday night, Farrah was up every hour! Um, do I have a newborn?! Naps didn't happen well. But we are back on track and I'm already really really looking forward to a nap today in this weather!

Fun moment(s) this past week: Chris & I went to a fun wedding Sunday afternoon. It was cool & different in a neat art gallery downtown. The bride was BEAUTIFUL!! Oh my goodness. I had not met her before, but you could see her glowing!

Movement: Lots!

Food cravings: This week I passed my gluecose test. I may have celebrated by eating way too many donuts earlier this week and a bag of cotton candy at the fair last night.

Gender & Name: Hallie :) 

Weight gained: Seriously, do I have to answer this? :)

Belly Button in or out? Still in, but I can see all of it. Flattening out.

What I am looking forward to: The announcement of Rachael's baby today! She just gave birth and I'm waiting to hear girl or boy!

Today is also our 8 year wedding anniversary. I'm married to the best person I've ever met. And I mean that. I like to think we were made for each other. But I'm pretty sure any girl would be most honored to be Mrs. Chris Green. I'm so happy I'm her, and that he is the best father my girls could ask for. I love Chris more than I can express.

Reflections on the past week: It was a hard, hard week. I'd like to write more, later. But right now... I need a nap! So check back.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Last night/ this morning

Bella has had a cough for a couple of weeks. Just when she wakes up in the morning and at nap. But Monday, it got a little worse and "seal-like" (aka - I knew that meant croup). And she had a fever. By Tuesday at lunch, Farrah had the fever and woke up from nap with the seal cough. They slept well Tuesday night, so Wednesday we had to get out of the house as to not go stir crazy!

Bella's fever was getting better, but Farrah was still hot and I could tell coughing hurt her (Bella never complained of it hurting). And we had plenty of moments where they seemed fine... this is the new "silly" face and it CRACKS me up every time I look at it!

So last night (Wednesday) I put them in the hot steamy shower with me until the hot water ran out. They went to sleep so fast - at 7:30! Which is early these days. I was relieved b/c a couple of days with under the weather kids can make you very weary...... but then Farrah woke up crying hard at 8:30 and trying to catch her breath. Even dry heaving once. Um, that will scare you. Her voice was so soft so there is no telling if she'd been crying for a while?? I felt terrible and just held her. She was wheezing in & out. The nurse felt with her symptoms I should take her in that night! AHHHHHH! I won't go into every detail, but of all nights... it was already a long day and Chris was leaving town this morning.... ahhhhhhhh.

But in the end, I am so glad we went. She has croup and stridor, so they gave her a steroid and a breathing treatment. But the catch was we had to stay around 2 hrs after the breathing treatment so they could check her again. It worked like a charm. And she was asleep in the big Children's Healthcare Bed. But it was 3am and I was tired & hungry! And COLD! It had to be 60 degrees in there. Internet didn't work well either. I should have brought food, a book and a jacket. Note to self for next time. Hopefully that won't be anytime soon. I hadn't been to the ER since Bella was 3 days old.

Farrah slept until 11am today! And she's still sick, but a HUGE difference. And she is taking a nap, which I didn't expect. If we had not gone as recommended, it probably would have been a much harder night of sleep and a hard day - managing 2 at the Dr. office. So it all worked out.

Yesterday, last night in particular, was so trying. So trying. All this, plus Bella jumping on the bed (which she's told 100 times a day she can't do) and getting a stinger or something in her neck. Scared me to death. Then going to the ER with Farrah. I am really not trying to complain or be dramatic, but geez... I was at my limit! But I was so happy that Farrah improved so much. (She just seemed to get sick so fast!) And I was driving home thinking, "Lord, please let tomorrow be nice to me."

And it has been. Girls slept in, Farrah until 11!, and we went out for BBQ to quench a pregnancy craving. Then doughnuts. Because if one can ever "deserve" food for a hard day, we did. And now naps... And we're gonna make it :)

In the waiting room:

Waiting for the Dr:

After the steroid, she felt lots better. Entertaining with a plastic glove.

Sound asleep:

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Zoo lately

With the recent good weather, we've been enjoying to zoo more again! Our current favorite thing is the parakeet exhibit. We spend at least 20 minutes in there each time (that is a lot on one exhibit, if you ask this mom!). There are sticks with birdseed on them you can buy for $1. Tip: don't buy them. Many times, people will give you theirs when they are done because it would take forever for all the birdseed to get eaten OR they are just laying randomly on the ground.

These pics are from last Friday. Look at these sweet sisters.


To be honest, this is how a lot of our pics are. Bella being sassy and Farrah won't make eye contact. Or the other way around. :)

Then we alternate visits to either the train or the carousel. Farrah loves to yell "TRAIN!" every time she hears it throughout the zoo. But as soon as it's time to get on, she does NOT like it (specifically the tunnel). But that is getting better.

We love this picture. She saw Bella swinging, and had to do it, too. I just love her hair!!


And we rode the carousel that day...


We love the zoo!

OH wait... I just found some more pics on my phone from a previous visit:

I told ya... they love these birds!

And... we get on the train and everything is fine...

Then the engine starts up and she loses it...

Monday, September 12, 2011

Pregnancy Update - 25 weeks

Baby is the size of: 13.5 in rutabaga. What??

Symptoms: getting a bit uncomfortable.

Maternity clothes? yep.

Sleep: sleeping pretty well! Grateful for that.

Fun moment(s) this past week: Celebrating Rachael's baby and then Kelly & Bobby's baby boy. Both coming VERY soon!!

Movement: She moves a lot these days. Chris gets to feel a good bit of her kicks, too.

Food cravings: none in particular.

Gender & Name: Hallie

Weight gained: ?

What I am looking forward to: Fall & fall weather. And the girls' birthdays will be here soon, too!

Reflections on the past week: auuuuuuuuuggggg. Overall, fine. But a few teary times this week. Something about realizing this week that I'm "25" weeks" and have less than more weeks left has kinda hit me.We had a talk about things parents shouldn't have to talk about - decisions that need to be made now and not when Hallie is born. I was able to (somehow) research and talk about this stuff with Chris objectively. It of course is heavy stuff, but I was able to think about it because we NEED to, not because I wanted to. Then the little things are what can bring me to tears.

Like Saturday, we were loading the kids up to go run errands and my maternity jeans had to be pulled up for the 500th time already that morning (they drive me nuts!) and I got in the car and just cried. Because I have to wear maternity pants, act like a normal pregnant woman, and may not get the same results as a normal pregnant woman. It's not fair. I sometimes mourn that my body is going through all the usual motions of being pregnant, and it's just a reminder to me of what I am going through. What is to come. As much as I try to just think about all the good things and how I know it will all be worth it, it's just hard sometimes. And although I would never change my decision to carry to term this precious girl, the situation just sucks. But I knew it would. I knew it wouldn't be easy. But it's not the little things that make me upset, it's just a compilation of all these little things.

I try to not worry about the future, because there is nothing I can do to change it. I know God has me in his hands. But that doesn't always keep me for actually worrying and just being scared and sad.

I've also noticed how worship music affects me. We have a CD in the car of all the music played in Waumba land. (Yes, preschool music.) But it's not typical kid music. It's many of our musicians from church and they are just good. They of course are positive and "happy" songs. But also really catchy and my girls LOVE it. They have motions to every song. And I can sing right along with them, and I can claim every word they say. It's sounds cheesy, but I like it.

Then, at church - our music is soooo wonderful. And I don't say that just because Chris works there. I mean, yall know if you go there... it's just good. But man, lyrics can just cut to the heart when you are going through stuff, you know? Sometimes I cry, other times I feel like I could have a really good cry, but hold the tears back harder so that people won't look at me. Either way, I could cry every time. Nothing wrong with it of course. But I don't want stares or people worrying about me, etc. I guess I should get over that.

Wow... that was some rambling.

Thank again for all the prayers, sweet notes, books, even gifts and more prayers. They mean so much. I'm reading one that was given to me called "I Will Carry You" by Angie Smith and it is great.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Wedding weekend

Last weekend, as I had mentioned, Chris was in his cousin Brad's wedding and Bella was the flower girl. Maggie, the bride, was sweet and included Bella and I in the bridesmaid festivities that weekend!
First, we went to the Bridesmaid Luncheon at the Swan House. Maggie gave Bella a beautiful pearl necklace to wear in the wedding.

Then, she pampered us. Bella had her finger & toes painted (big girl!) and I was treated to a pedicure (Thank you, Maggie!) It was such a fun day with my little Bella.

That night, we had rehearsal. And I had "Double Trouble" on my hands. They were loving running ALL over the huge Catholic Church. I have to say they looked adorable, though.

Bella did great as the flower girl. The reception was at the Atlanta History Museum. It was super nice and I just knew we were going to break something. My mother-in-law was awesome in helping wrangle during dinner.

Then we all had a great time dancing together! We partied until 10:30! Farrah was a dancing fool!
I was nervous about having them up so late, but it worked out well. And Chris loved having the girls there. He made the comment that "It's crazy to think I only have a few weddings like this to dance with the girls before I'm the father of the bride and dancing a Father/Daughter dance." So true.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Shower for Baby Copponex

Last night I went to a dinner/shower for Rachael and Baby Copponex (who will be arriving ANY day now!! Yay!!!) I was honored to be invited. Rachael (whether she knows it or not) has been a inspiration to me over the past year+. Our sisters are long time best friends, but we've just recently in the past couple of years became friends through our blogs :)

Kelly wrote a great post with tons of pictures (check it out, because I didn't take any pictures!) She sums up the night so well!

I am so excited to hear the news of Rachael's baby... and to find out the sex of him/her!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Ha! What a title!

I can't get enough of this voice. There isn't much she doesn't try to say these days. Toot-taste = toothpaste. She still LOVES brushing her teeth since this earlier video and now demands floss. (I think she likes the mint flavor?) She has to be first ("My TURN!") and it's hard to get her off the step to go to bed. I trick her by saying, "Go show Daddy your pretty teeth!"

Ahhh I love this age!

Wordless Wednesday: Rain Gear

Monday, September 5, 2011

pregnancy Update - 24 weeks (6 months!)

Baby is the size of: about as long as an ear of corn or banana

Symptoms: about the same

Maternity clothes? yep! i like my new skinny jeans, i just wish maternity pants didn't have to be pulled up every 1.5 seconds. maybe i should try suspenders. ha!

Sleep: overall, sleeping pretty well. last night - not so much. i have no idea why, but i had so many dreams that kept waking me up. some bad, some just strange. i had a dream (it was a good dream) that we had Hallie and she looked just like Farrah.

Fun moment(s) this past week: the wedding this weekend was fun. the reception was super nice and we kept the girls there until like 10:30? dancing! i will never forget Farrah dancing. Girl has some rhythm!! Bella did great as the flower girl. Chris looked super nice in his bow tie tux. And I did a reading in the wedding and didn't mess up. And the girls stayed pretty quiet during the ceremony. So all was well. :)

Movement: Still mostly at night and morning is when i notice the most. i don't think i sit still long enough to notice other times. oh my goodness these two girls at home keep me ON MY FEET!!

Food cravings: nothing specific.

Gender & Name: Hallie (not to be confused with the name Haley)

Weight gained: i don't know! guess i'll find out before my glucose test on the 16th. i could probably afford to run a couple of laps. if i ran.

Belly Button in or out? i noticed today that it's getting pretty flat.

What I am looking forward to: celebrating a couple of friends with baby showers this week and weekend. 

Reflections on the past week: I am doing ok emotionally. It's just a HARD waiting game right now. I feel like we are in a good place (emotionally) after knowing the news for over 10 weeks. But I know it will be a different and more challenging ballgame when she gets here. And ... we don't know when that will be. So I'm trying to find the line between preparing and over preparing. Between wanting control and giving up control to God. Because there is only so much we can do to prepare. We don't know what road God will take us down. We can't know every little thing wrong with her and have a set plan for proceeding. So I am just trying to prepare and learn what I can, then rely on God and asking for clarity for the rest. 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Farrah counting to 10

This is in the car on our way to the beach. We just discovered she can count to 10, I didn't even know she could! ha! I guess a a combination of school on Thursdays and playing countless hide-and-seeks with Bella has taught her! I love her little voice.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Abigail's Party

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, we went to Abigail's 2nd birthday party at my aunt's B&B "The Social Goat."
Allison did so great with her theme and decorations. My favorite thing was the farm animal cake pops!
Allison is a long time friend. We danced in the fifth grade talent show together to "Boggie Woggie Bugle Boy" and are still looking for a recording of that... :) haha!
My parents were also there. Farrah loves her G'daddy!
The kids had a great time, despite the crazy heat, and Allison threw a cute, cute party!!