Monday, August 29, 2011

Pregnancy Update - 23 weeks & ultrasound

Oh, sweet girl.

We had an ultrasound today. Crazy how 4 weeks between each ultrasound can seem like both forever ago & like I just had one simultaneously. I was soooo eager to get news on Hallie today. Growth wise, we felt like we'd be able to see so much more and learn more about her. As much as I would like a doctor to tell me the future, it's not going to happen. They can only give their best educated guesses. And that is what we want. The more we know, the more research we can do and the more we can be prepared. We met with a new doctor. The past 3 ultrasounds have been with the same specialist, but we wanted to try someone new within the group. No one reason, we just felt like we wanted to hear from someone else.

So the new doctor was an older gentleman, and it was a good experience. He was great about answering our questions and we felt pretty at ease with him. Hallie was mover again today :). Basically we could see the hole in the heart and her cleft palate a little better. Her other organs look good and so does the fluid around her. He said that at this point, he doesn't see a reason for "demise in-utero" in the near future. That in his opinion, and I am paraphrasing to make this as simple as possible, that Hallie could very well make it to birth, or get very close. Time will only tell as she grows- and hopefully the fluid around her and the placenta cooperates to keep her comfortable. It's not that he is saying, "yes! she will make it to birth!" but he is saying that Hallie is doing well and he doesn't see any reason right now that concerns him.

I'm not sure how much I have explained about Trisomy 13 in my posts, so I hope all of this makes sense. T13 effects every cell in the body. It's not the heart or the cleft palate or anything ONE thing that is the problem- it's her whole body that is affected. She is special - and has an extra 13th chromosome in every cell. So this creates problems everywhere - her ability to breathe, eat, etc. Right now, my placenta is her life source. The outside world is where the problem is. I wish I could keep her safe forever inside of me. Until we meet her, I will enjoy every kick and know this is our special time together. And just pray that we get to meet her.

Baby is the size of: a large mango (Hallie is specifically estimated to be measuring about 1.1 lbs and about 1.5 weeks behind in size, which is a normal characteristic of Trisomy 13.)

Symptoms: Sore feet after standing/walking all day. Other than than some minor things, I love pregnancy in general.

Maternity clothes? yes, although this week I was almost exclusively in a bathing suit getting my white belly a tan :)

Sleep: I love sleep. I love naps.

Fun moment(s) this past week: The whole week was fun at the beach! I really enjoyed our night of "crab hunting" with the girls. They had little nets and we all had our own flashlights. The girls had never seen so many stars!

Movement: Yes, more and more. It's funny how much a little "mango" can move!

Food cravings: I've been craving/drinking more water lately, which is good, finally.

Gender & Name: Hallie! We haven't talked about middle names yet.

Weight gained: I don't even want to know after that vacation.

Belly Button in or out? I think it's ever so slowly starting to flatten out.

What I am looking forward to: Chris' cousin Brad is getting married to a wonderful girl named Maggie this weekend. It already feels like she's been part of the family forever. Chris, Brian & Bella are part of the wedding party and we are so honored. The wedding & whole weekend should be a blast!

Reflections on the past week: Doing well this week. It's hard for me to say that because at the beginning of all of this, I didn't think I could make it all the way through this pregnancy (and especially joyfully!) I think going on 10+ weeks of knowing our news, and letting it sink in (as much as it can), I am getting to a place of being ok. I know I can't change anything. Like any big trial in life, this makes me appreciate the blessings I do have in life. My goodness, I have a great little family. I don't go without. I have more than I deserve. And I know, as hard as this IS and WILL be, that Hallie is a blessing, too. She's taught us more, stretched us more, and made us rely on God more than ever. And I have a feeling that we're not the only ones that will learn from her.

I'm not 100% doing awesome, I don't mean to act like nothing is the matter. I have my times. I still kinda want to go unnoticed and not as a pregnant girl that strangers want to rub her belly & ask "when are you due?" And I really hurt for people going through this same thing, too. I am still scared of the future. I am scared to meet her and fall in love, but I'm also scared not to meet her. But I keep reminding myself that God has carried us this far, and He'll be there during even worse times.

Thank you for praying for us. It's kinda overwhelming, really. I am just blown away by the people that are praying for us & for Hallie. It's so cool to see, you have no idea.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Vacation to Grayton Beach

We had a GREAT time at the beach this week!
It was our first time on an extended vacation with the Greens, and we picked an awesome place.
The weather was BEAUTIFUL all week, just perfect.
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The beach was even more quiet than usual, with school starting back.
Chris and I were able to walk a block to The Red Bar for a date night.
We had a great routine that consisted of waking, eating, poolin', eating, napping, snacking, beachin' it, eating and sleeping.
Actually, Chris would take a nice long nap with the girls, and I snuck down to the beach for some relaxing, sun, and alone time!
I am always thankful for a break from the routine and craziness of life.

(And, btw, Farrah totally perfected the art of walking up to the camera and posing without us asking. It was awesome. I'll never forget this one below, she saw Chris asking Bella for a smile, and Farrah got up and posed with her deflated float. Love that girl!)
This year was no different.
Just to be with these two AMAZING girls - Chris and I just can't get over that they are ours.
The Greens were so generous to take us on this trip.
Chris took some amazing shots.
(Could you not feel like you could crawl into these pictures with them?)
I couldn't pick, so you get to see a bunch.
Mostly of my little brown berries. :)
GG & Poppy got lots of Quality Time with the grandkids.
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And Chris and I got lots of time together, with the girls and without.
It was awesome. I love this man, my best friend.
And here is a little picture of Hallie at the beach. I thought a silhouette would be a good way to not really show me all the way in a bathing suit. :) But still get a shot of my belly and capture Hallie's time with us at the beach. She was quite active, too.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Pregnancy Update - 22 weeks!

This is a day late & short because I'm on vacation and just relaxing... :) Hope you are having a great week!

Baby is the size of: a spaghetti squash

Symptoms: Same as last week

Maternity clothes? I bought a couple of new little things last week. It's amazing how new clothes can make you feel better. (pregnant or not!)

Sleep: I pretty much have the sleep habits of a college student. Long nap when the girls nap, and go to bed way too late. (And this is before we got here to the beach.) I say that I should change my habits, but they pretty much rock right now. haha!

Fun moment(s) this past week: We had our first day at the beach yesterday. The morning was awesome; built sandcastles with the girls. Lots of naps, cuddles, night walks with my little brown berries.

Movement: Night and the morning is best, but I can feel her some during the day, too. I try to stay calm when I don't feel her when I purposely am staying still to do so. It's hard not to worry about that all the time. So I take every kick and spin as a sign that Hallie is happy in there and I actually smile everytime I feel her.

Food cravings: No big cravings. But that Mint Chocolate Klondike Bar I just ate was pretty awesome. I AM on vacation :)

Gender & Name: GirlHallie!! Story here.

Weight gained: 7 lbs. Ain't too bad, but tell me why I put this category in there again???

Belly Button in or out? no change. I may take this category out. I mean, do you really care?? haha! I don't!

What I am looking forward to: the rest of our week at the beach! Getting my white belly tan. I've been sporting a tankini all summer until now. I figure the beach is a good place to break the two pieces out. I don't know anyone. :) And... it's empty here! I guess since school has started back and stuff, we practically have the beach to ourselves!

Reflections on the past week: I have found myself a bit more concerned about wanting to feel Hallie kick at least at night and morning. I don't like getting up in the morning or going to sleep until I have felt her recently.  Eager to learn more about her and see her again at our next ultrasound Monday.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Prayers for a sweet family

I've connected with just a couple of other families in the U.S. who are going through a Trisomy 13 diagnosis at the same time as we are. We're all around the same stage in pregnancy with little girls. One of those women lost their babies this week; little Annalise Lily went to be with Jesus. I know she is surrounded by people that love her, and a great church family. But she's also hurting. Please pray for Miranda and her husband. Thanks, friends.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

We have a name!

I wasn't sure how to pick a name this time around (I usually think on names for quite a while and we have running lists). I wanted to have something with meaning, but also something I love and gives personality to our little girl. Sunday night, we started looking. We had a nice little list going of names to think about and some great meanings. Ones that meant gift, joyful, perfect, beautiful, etc. We were mostly searching by meaning instead of by name.

Then I remembered a name I've always liked that was probably on both the girls' choices of names. I looked it up and it meant "Praise to God." Um, I got teary eyed. Because I feel like this name has a meaning that we can say and mean it no matter what happens. If she were to come next week or be with us for a while we can still say, "praise to God!" Her name will be Hallie. (pronounced Hal-ee like Callie) It is also a short form for "Hallelujah."

So thank you for praying for our Hallie!!!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Pregnancy Update - 21 weeks

Baby is the size of: a banana

Symptoms: tiredness. Back is better this week. Pain & swelling in my pelvis (I had this with Farrah, too) I think it's just from my abs not picking up the slack and holding the baby up. That, plus I still pick up Farrah a good bit. And... my third baby in 4 years... :)

Maternity clothes? Half/half still. I have a pair of jeans I can still wear and the maternity jeans drive me crazy how you have to pull them up all the time. So... I still stick to dresses, skirts or Nike shorts! :) I love how pregnant women look "cute" and I don't feel there yet. 

Sleep: Love it! This weekend was like all the stars aligned and we got tons of sleep & naps around here. Friday, I had a THREE hour nap! Of course.... I was wide awake at 2am, but that nap was awesome.

Fun moment(s) this past week: Our church opened up a new hall for the preschool age kids this week. We have soooo many kids! I volunteer during the week to help get curriculum ready, clean, etc and I just love it. I love our church for one. And secondly, it gives me an outlet to some great girls. And thirdly, I really like making copies. haha! Maybe it's the quietness. Or completing tasks without being interrupted and feeling accomplished. :) Anyhow, I was there a little more this week helping the amazing staff get everything ready. It is so cool to see how everything works behind the scenes. The additional space looks so great!

Movement: Lots of it. You can see her jumping around in my stomach most mornings. That always amazes me. This week, Chris and Bella were able to see it happening!

Food cravings: We've been eating healthy around here the past couple of weeks. We watched a documentary called "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead" and it inspired us (mostly Chris, which is great if you know the foods he likes!) He's been juicing for the whole family and we've made a few trips to the farmers market to try new things. (added tonight at 10:10 - don't even ask what fast food I'm eating right now!)

Gender & Name: We have a name!! We have a name!!! Post coming soon! 

Weight gained: ?? Appt this week!

Belly Button in or out? Still chillin' inside.

What I am looking forward to: Beach Bummin' it!

Reflections on the past week: I don't know. I know from this blog it might be hard to tell, but I actually have a hard time talking about my feelings. This journey of course causes me to do that more. This week has been good (is it bad that I measure how good my week is by how many times I cry?) I don't know how else to measure how I'm doing. Because of course, I am never far from my real thoughts. I can't escape what is happening. But I also feel pretty well, and my pregnancy "feels" physically like my other two.
I don't know what is to come, but I have had a feeling this week that I'm going to see this pregnancy all the way through. I have no medical reasons to think this, I just can't imagine any other way than getting to see her.
There are some things that we also just have to face. Things that parents shouldn't have to do or think about. Like should I plan ahead for funeral, etc? I have no idea. She could certainly be with us for long after her birth. We have NO idea. That is what is SOOO HARD! But I also don't want to be caught having to make a decision with no research or planning behind it. I just don't want to face it, so I haven't done any of that yet.
ALSO... to make this post even longer :) ... Bella talks about "my baby sister" every day. I actually purposely don't bring it up. I just don't know how to handle it. Because I know her little heart won't really understand it all, but I also know she's pretty darn smart and will see her parents hurting at some point. I told her when we first found out we were pregnant that the baby would be here at Christmas (I'm due 12/26), but haven't brought it up since. But she talks about "This is where the baby will sleep at Christmas..." And at parties, she wants to get an extra party favor for her "baby sister." She even tells strangers at the pool that I'm pregnant which then strikes up conversation where I just grin and bear it. It's not that hard to do... and I really don't know any other way to go about it...
Anyhow, it's just those moments and those parenting moments that I know God will give us just enough Grace for when the time comes... 

Jimmy Crack Corn

Chris is so fun. He took some video of the girls eating corn on the cob for the first time. Put it to funny music. Hilarious!

Corn Girls from Chris Green on Vimeo.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Ryan & Melissa's Wedding Video

Ryan & Melissa were married in March. I just love my brother, and I feel like Melissa has always been a sister. They are so sweet together and I couldn't be more happy for their happiness!

Dave Karger of Atlanta Cinematic did a great job with the video. We highly recommend!! (He also did their save the date video that you can see by clicking here)

Here is a highlight of their awesome rehearsal, wedding and reception. The girls were flower girls and Melissa found such cute dresses! We had so much fun; everything was just perfect.

Ryan & Melissa from David Karger on Vimeo.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Pregnancy Update - 20 weeks!

Baby is the size of: a small cantaloupe

Symptoms: some heartburn at night

Maternity clothes? half & half. would love to freshen that wardrobe up. I think some new cute tops would be nice to have! I actually love summer and don't mind the heat (too much), but I am ready for some fall clothes!

Sleep: sleeping well. still laying on my tummy some. kinda on my tummy, but turned to a side. Either that or on my back. I toss and turn to get comfortable, but I think that's because our bedroom is 1000 degrees.

Fun moment(s) this past week: We attended two fun birthday parties this Saturday. One was a barn theme at my aunt's B&B for Abigail. Allison decorated so cute!! The farm animal cake pop's were just over the top cute! Later that evening, we went to Bella's friends Brooke & Bailey's swim party. It was fun - lots of our friends from church - Pizza, jumpy house (or "boppy" as Farrah calls it), pool, bubbles... We all slept well that night for sure!

Movement: feeling her move around a lot now! Chris was able to feel her this week as we were going to sleep. I know that makes things more personal for him, too. He said he'd like to write on here one day again soon. He used to write some on our old blog.

Food cravings: Not sure it's really a craving, but I have been loving Trader Joe's Lemonade & Tea. YUM!! I have to pace myself not to drink it all in a day :)

Gender & Name: Little girl still doesn't have a name. This week I'll start to look, I promise. :)

Weight gained: Not sure. Feeling like I'm doing ok though. Maybe I should get a belly picture going...

Belly Button in or out? No change

What I am looking forward to: We are going to the beach in a couple of weeks. Looking forward to that!!!

Reflections on the past week: I feel like I've had a good handle on my emotions this week. I may have some cries, but I know it's also healthy (and normal!) and that my cries and prayers are heard by my loving Father in Heaven. He understands. I can have a cry, know it's normal, and not be in a funk for two days because of it. :) Even though I'm sure that's still bound to happen. But I have felt good this week.
I guess a good word is I have felt secure. Secure in my marriage - knowing I can just bury my head in Chris' chest and cry and he will just hold me. Secure in God's word that says everything works for the good of those who love the Lord.
Crazy that I'm "halfway there" in this pregnancy. I feel like it's gone fast, even with everything going on. I'm feeling her more & more and trying to just enjoy this time we have together.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Rain, Rain, Will You Stay?

We went on a family walk one night this week. It was hot & muggy and NO breeze. The actual act of swinging the girls at the playground made a tiny breeze - that was it. We took some pictures on the way there in the park...
Ummmm... she sat like this on her own. How old are you??
As we were out, a big cloud rolled in. Chris ran home with the stroller as not to get the camera wet. I walked & just soaked it in. It felt so nice.
But then... the rain came harder as we got up on our porch. So we all sat and enjoyed the late afternoon summer storm.
And look what came out to play.... Farrah's curls!!!! Crazy how much it curled up in the humidity!!
And Chris captured her curiosity so well. He says it's one of his favorite pictures ever. I have to agree:

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Gwinnett Braves Game

These pics are from the Gwinnett Braves game we attended for Dave O's surprise 30th.
I honestly saw ZERO baseball. We were too busy chasing this crazy around....

This was cracking me UP! Farrah would kamikaze down the hill. Stop, roll on her back, arch and give a smile, roll over, repeat... It may be hard to tell just how ridiculous it was; but funny.

This was the first time Bella has hit a ball off a tee. She did pretty well making contact...
And if she missed, she didn't see a problem with hitting it the other way towards the people standing in line...

I also was able to use their 4th of July outfits and claim to be team spirited :)

And, as always, I will end with something sweet about my husband. But oh my gosh, how HOT is he?!!? :)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Storytime/ Bedtime

At night, we usually read a book or two. On this particular night, we were doing an "I Spy" Book. It is fun because Bella can look for things, and Farrah can practice saying all kinds of everyday words.

Here... Bella says, "Farrah! You cannot talk when I am talking!"


Then, this is a second later ... (slap!)


So we move on to "I'm a little tea pot"



I have such sweet kids. :) And I have a great husband who goes and grabs a camera anytime he sees a cool, or even everyday, moment. One of the million reasons I love him. (And yes, it is every night that Bella refuses to wear PJs to bed).

And look at the precious baby:


Monday, August 1, 2011

Pregnancy Update - 19 weeks

This sweet profile pic is from today's ultrasound appt with the specialist. No big changes or news. We could tell that she does have a cleft palate (which seems a minor concern to me, but I guess it's good to know), the middle of her heart is not formed (which can happen in a typical pregnancy, too, it's just that combined with the chromosomal abnormality that makes it more of an issue), and she's measuring just a tad behind (18w2days) which is normal in our situation. She's about 8 ounces now.

We did see that the feet are forming fine (no club feet), her brain looks ok, her eyes have formed (some T13 babies may be born with one or not be born with them at all), and she was SOOO active! And we even got a picture of her holding on to the umbilical cord. It's crazy because with the untrained eye, she looks perfect. Just perfect. And she is to God. We already love her so much.

Baby is the size of: an heirloom tomato

Symptoms: Overall feeling good.

Maternity clothes? In some. I wear tank tops a lot. And still prefer dresses to anything else.

Sleep: Love it. Couldn't get enough this weekend!

Fun moment(s) this past week: Our house was painted. I love it!

Movement: Feeling little kicks & movements when I lay down at night. I have only felt her kick once or twice during the day when I am busy moving around. Bella & Farrah spent the night at GG's one night this week. When they got home, we immediately cuddled on the couch, one girl on each side. Then the baby kicked. It was like she knew they were home. It was kinda surreal. I didn't say anything right away to anyone, just had to think on that one. :)

Food cravings:: No huge cravings. I just feel like I have a license to eat whatever I want. Which isn't necessarily good.

Gender & Name: No names discussed yet. I have one that has been floating around in my head for a few weeks, but still thinking about it. Chris told the ultrasound tech today that we were "going to pick a name with meaning. Kinda like Native Americans. Maybe we'll name her Chief Running Bear."

Weight gained: ? Next appt on the 18th.

Belly Button in or out? No change this week.

What I am looking forward to: Hmmmm.... not sure. Maybe a slower week? Last week was crazy with the house painting and busy go-go-go weekend. I think we all need to catch up on sleep!
I've also started "Heaven is for Real". I don't read a lot at all, but I have a hard time putting this book down. So, I look forward to reading and getting good sleep this week. Lame-o!

Reflections on the past week: I had a harder weekend than week. I've realized that it's the smaller stuff that gets to me. Like my plate is full and I can't handle much else. Sometimes that comes in the form of deciding what to make for dinner or the plan for my day. Other times it's not enough sleep. Or just a kink in my day. So I am trying to learn how to cope with that stress/grief in a healthy way. I don't want to close down all the time; but sometimes that's exactly what I want to do. I don't want to be super impatient with my kids; but I know that they are at a hard age and it's bound to happen anyways! I've learned how to apologize to Bella. It's a good lesson for both of us :) This week I've learned that being too busy can be stressful - I like my kids being on a schedule and I pushed them a little too much this past week. It's not good when none of us get sleep.

I get messages on Facebook and emails, texts, and voicemails from many of you. Thank you. I am sorry if I'm slow to respond. I was reminded in one of these messages of something very important: all of our kids are on loan from our Heavenly Father. It is great that He shares these great blessings with us. So we will love baby girl #3 (name needs to come soon!) as long as she's with us. And we are thankful for the lessons of love, faith, mercy and MANY others that she is teaching us with her little life.