Twin story... part it ends

This is part 3 of my journey through a miraculous pregnancy... if you missed part 1 and part 2 make sure to read them first!

I was gaining strength... emotionally, spiritually.  I could feel God growing my faith in him and his plan, yet I feared how I would handle any more problems in the pregnancy.  I just wanted to survive and get through this incredibly draining time. On the up side, I had never before felt such a "coming together" of people around us to up hold us during the loss.  Our church was so kind.  Many people sent cards and expressed their sympathy and  commitment to pray for us.  The Christian college where Jeremy worked at also backed us with constant concern, prayer, and encouragement.  It felt like everyone in our small town was routing for us and our baby. 

Because of the loss of the twin I was sent onto a high-risk pregnancy doctor in Wichita.  They wanted to do a very in-depth sonogram of the baby to look for any additional problems or concerns.  This would be my first sono after the loss of Sophie.  I was excited to see the other baby, yet scared to take a look into the womb that held evidence of both death and life.  I wasn't sure how I would handle it. 

Jeremy was with me as we entered the clinic which, to us, represented a new stage in this pregnancy.  It was plan B.  Things hadn't gone as we had hoped, but it was time to pick up the pieces and forge ahead with the life that was still inside of me.  That's why we were there.

I settled in for my sono and couldn't help but feel a little anxious.  It was hard at this point not to always fear the worst.  As the kind sonogram technician ran the wand over my belly I could see that our little girl was getting bigger!  It was a joy to see.  They checked everything, measured everything, and confirmed that it definitely was a little girl.  Then, the technician slid the wand up to the area of my stomach where I knew Sophie lay.  There she was... just as I remember her, from that day that I had begged her to move.  She looked so small.  They didn't look like twins any more... Sadie had gotten so big, leaving her still little sister behind.  It was good, but hard... Jeremy hadn't seen her since she died.  I'm glad he got to.  It was kind of  our chance to say goodbye... Even though the room was silent, Jeremy and I looked at each other and and took in the moment.  It would be the last time we ever saw her. 

After we finished up with the sonogram, we met the doctor and visited about what would happen next.  Dr. O'Hara relayed to us, based on the sonogram, that Sadie had a two-vessel cord, instead of the typical 3 vessels.  This carried along with it a package of risks...of course.  The two main risks were growth problems and birth defects.  Wow, little Sadie wasn't out of the woods yet, it appeared.  So we were to come back often, to track her growth and check for abnormalities.  We headed for home... not knowing quite how to feel.  It had been a good, yet overwhelming appointment.

A couple appointments later we were scheduled for yet another in-depth sonogram.  This one was to look for birth defects.  They would do a visual blood flow analysis of the vessels/arteries in the heart and look at all the other major organs.  We sat in the dark once again and watched on the screen as they explored our baby's insides.  We didn't know what she, the technician, was doing...really.  But we tried to read her and her movements to see if we should be concerned by anything.  Towards the end of the sono, we watched her look for the kidneys.  She was looking intently, we could tell that.  She would go over and over and same area from different angles... but never displayed that desired looked of satisfaction.  Something was wrong.

Sitting with Dr. O'Hara, she told us what we imagined.  Sadie only had one kidney.  We had already been thinking it through while we had been waiting... People don't need both kidneys, right?  It's not that big of a deal as far as birth defects go, right?  Well, we were right... to an extent.  The one kidney thing wasn't insurmountable. But it had other implications that we weren't aware of.  Apparently, when  you start with one defect, such as a 2 vessel cord, then you add another, then the risk of a third much more significant defect is very probable.   Dr. O'Hara informed us that at this point, that our sweet little Sadie had a 60% chance of having Downs Syndrome.  ... as it goes when you get hard news, what was said after that is a blur.  It fades in comparison to your own thoughts going a million miles an hour.

As we got into the car to head home once again, I felt an incredible weight on me.  My mind couldn't hardly process it.  We were quiet for a ways then it all came pouring out.  Through tears I told Jeremy:  I didn't doubt that our baby would have Downs.  Of course it would, everything else in the pregnancy hadn't gone according to plan and this was just another instance of it.  But it was okay.  If God had chosen us for such a responsibility, then he thought we could handle it.  Jeremy agreed.  It would be okay.  We already knew God had a special plan for Sadie.  This just clarified  what the plan was.  We clung to fact that through it all, God intended to sustain us and bring glory to himself.  We reminded ourselves again that none of this was by chance; God was still in control of this situation... It would be okay.

The following weeks were filled with research about Downs Syndrome... the image in my head shifted once again.  I know envisioned our family with a sweet little Downs baby.  It was still hard, but if this is what God had in store for us I wanted to mentally "get there" as soon as possible.   But in those weeks something else began to happen in my mind.  Something changed.  I don't know if it was skepticism from family or something else... You see, Jeremy's family didn't think it was an issue.  They believed the little girl inside was free from chromosomal abnormalities.  It began to occur to me, and Jeremy, that maybe we were assuming too much.  There still was a 40% chance going the other way, right?   Perhaps, I was just bracing myself; guarding myself from disappointment.  If I embraced the fact that Sadie would most likely have Downs, then I couldn't be disappointed.

When Dr. O'Hara had talked to us about the possibility of Downs, she had also informed us that we could have an amniocentisis  done to find out for sure.  We had disregarded the option, because of the concept (who wants a foot long needle stuck into their stomach) and because of the risks associated with it.   But now I felt like I needed to know.  I had two images in my head.  One with a sweet Downs baby who would alter the course of our lives forever and one with a hopefully healthy baby who would cause no more ripples than any third child does.  After further thought, Jeremy and I decided that either way, we didn't want the day of Sadie's birth to be about whether or not she had Downs.  We didn't want to have her birth be in any way associated with feelings of disappointment.  If we knew ahead of time, regardless of the out come we wouldn't be disappointed when she arrived.  If we could know, it would ensure a day of joy... no matter what. 

So I had the test done a couple weeks later.  Let's just say, it was everything you would image sticking a huge needle through your belly and wiggling it all around would be.  :)

Since the analysis of the the fluid was so extensive, we would have to wait a couple weeks for the results.  During those days, I was full of peace.  I was full of joy actually.  It was hard to describe... I had nothing to fear.  I was so strong in Christ those days; he had filled me with his strength just as he had promised early on.  Friends would talk to me, ask me how I was holding up, assuming this was really difficult.  I would tell them about the verse:  "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Phil. 4:7)  That's what he was doing for me.  God was guarding my heart and my mind and giving me unimaginable peace.  My God was taking care of me.

A few days before we were supposed to get the results back, I was laying in bed while Jeremy was getting ready for work in the morning.  Those days he always had his Blackberry close at hand, so I didn't even notice when he answered a call.  I was dosing, but was awakened by Jeremy's face close to mine.  He whispered the most wonderful words in my ear.  Even though it was a whisper, the joy was not disguised..." We have a perfectly healthy little girl."  I sat up.  What did he say?  They had called... and confirmed... a  healthy little girl with no chromosomal abnormalities.   I hugged him, smiled, wiped away a tear, and went back to sleep.  

I was scheduled for a C-section for December 15th.  On the 4th, mid morning, I went in for another sonogram... this time just in Newton, though.  It was still necessary to keep close tabs on Sadie because of the 2 vessel cord.  The kids were with my mom, and Jeremy and I headed off to see Sadie one more time.   I was worried though.  Sadie wasn't moving, as far as I had felt yet that day.  As we waited to go in for the sono, I poked and pushed on that baby.  She just wouldn't wiggle for me.

As the sonogram began I was relieved to see my Sadie just hanging out.  She was okay, just not very active.  They measured her body, head, etc. and also measured the amniotic fluid. It was a young rather unexperienced  girl.  She seemed uncertain of her measurements and kept asking another girl for help.  We could tell though, despite the girl's lack of experience, the measurements caused legitimate concern. 

We sat waiting  for Dr. Bradley, our amazingly talented and reputable doctor, who also had quite the sense of humor.  Jeremy loved joking around with him. When Dr. Bradley finally came in and sat down, Jeremy casually said,  "So I guess we're having this baby sometime soon!", expecting a smile and joke in return.  With an absolutely straight face, Dr. Bradley informed us that this baby would be out by supper time.  Oh.  He then continued to tell us that the measurements were indeed not very good.  Sadie's size measured at around 35 wks instead of 37 1/2 wks., but more significantly I was quite low on amniotic fluid. We needed to get this baby out as soon as  possible. We quickly realized it wasn't time for joking... it was time to have our baby!

So... I went straight to the hospital and Jeremy went home to get our stuff.  It was quite the emotional day.  I was once again in a place of fear.  What if Sadie wasn't okay?  What if she had been in distress for awhile?  What if the reason I had low amniotic fluid was because her one kidney wasn't functioning properly?   I tried to give my fears over to God and just rest.  I spent a couple hours alone in a hospital room, just waiting....waiting for my C-section to be scheduled, waiting for Jeremy to return, and waiting on God to once more deliver me from daunting circumstance. 

A funny thing happened as I lay there with the fetal heart monitor strapped around my belly.  I began to have contractions... hardly noticeable at first, but gradually getting stronger.  At one point a nurse came in to check the fetal heart rate print out and commented:  "Did you know that you're having contractions every 5 minutes?"  Sure enough... it wasn't my imagination :)  I didn't know if these contractions would have led to actual labor if I wasn't in  place for a C-section, but it reassured me of God's perfect timing.  I was worried about my tiny baby coming into this world 2 1/2 weeks early.  But God was showing me that she was ready.  Dr. Bradley wasn't the only one who thought she needed to get out... apparently she did too!  By the time I was ready to be taken in for my C-section, the contractions were close to 3 min. apart and I had to do a little breathing to get through them  ...kinda funny. 

Because of Sadie's size, the fact that she was early, and her other complications Dr. Bradley had requested our pediatrician and his team to be ready, assuming her lungs would be under developed.  I was told by nurses, that depending on her condition, I might not even get to hold her till the next morning.

With Jeremy by my side at 7:30 in the evening (Dr. Bradley missed the supper time mark, by a bit :) ), Sadie was taken from my tummy and entered into this world.  She immediately let out an unexpected cry.  It was quickly determined that her lungs were just fine!  She was tiny, only 5 pounds 2 ounces, but perfect.   Sadie Marie had made it... it was definitely a day of deliverance because of our great God! 

I worried that the day Sadie was born would be one of sadness because I didn't have Sophie. But as I held that tiny, tiny baby in my arms there was only joy... joy and overwhelming thankfulness.  I had her in my arms!  All those days of wondering what would happen to my Sadie... they were over.  I was blessed beyond measure.... It hasn't changed since that day.  Every single time I hold that little girl in my arms I am so thankful.  I think about how God could have taken her too.   She is my precious gift of grace... a gift of love from my Father. 

I think about Sophie now and then... sometimes when Sadie's playing, I imagine her running along side her, adding to the craziness that Sadie provides!  But they're always happy thoughts... they carry with them a joy in knowing I had that... I had twins, for awhile.  And it was a blessing and a treasure. I made a little shadow box to put in Sadie's room.  It briefly tells about the twins, has their names, a sono picture of them both, and of course their little bracelets.  It's a treasure to me... and it will help me tell Sadie someday about her sister in heaven :)

Although the story has sad moments, let me tell you, it is a story of blessing.  A story of a heavenly Father who cared enough about me to answer my prayers, to give me a miracle, and prove his care and provision for me over and over and over again.  If you allow him, he will strengthen you too in the trials... and pull you close in the end.  It is a mark of his great, great love. 

If you have not experienced this kind of love, maybe you've never met Jesus Christ, God's son.  Or maybe you know of him, but you haven't given your life to him yet.  Don't wait... life is meant to be lived with Christ by your side... with a heavenly Father near you every step of the way.  Obviously the Christian life is not free of hardships or pain, but you're guaranteed to not face it alone.  I'd love to chat with you if  you have questions about my story or about how to live a life with Christ by your side... email me!



TWIN STORY...part 2

This is part 2 of an intense and incredible portion of my life.... a testimony of God's work, care, and grace.  If you missed part 1, you might want to read it first :)

The twin pregnancy was going well...I was into the second trimester and loving it!  Well, besides the fact that I was already showing quite alot... I was heading for quite the big tummy!!  It was definitely time to narrow in on names for the babies.  I'm the kinda of mamma that feels the urge to name an unborn baby as quickly as possible.  I LOVE naming babies!!!  Usually they're named before they're even conceived :), but this time around I just had one girl's name settled on.  So i needed 3 more...1 girl and 2 boys.... 

Finally we settled on four "S" names...that way if it happened to be boy/girl combo they would still work together.  I won't tell you the boy names, just in case we have a boy this time (I still like one of the names)...but Sadie Marie and Sophie Mae were the names we chose for girls.  We also decided that the lower twin would be Sadie and the higher twin would be Sophie...they would come out alphabetical.  How else could you decide which would be which!?  I couldn't see those little girls.  Every ounce of me believed them to be girls, from the very beginning.  I imagined how I would dress them, imagined how they'd act together, wondered if they would be identical, wondered if they'd both have the curly hair.....  I decided that I would make them little bracelets with their names on them. You know, make it easy on friends and family who couldn't remember which was which :)  They were going to be adorable... we had it all planned out.

Another appointment rolled around.  The whole family came along... it was a half and hour drive and I liked the excuse to have JJ with me.   While the girls and JJ played in the waiting room I had my appointment.  As was standard for twins, I headed to that same little sono room for another peak at my babies.  It was dark and quiet, just me and my doctor.  He rolled that little wand over my belly and the babies popped up on the screen.  I saw them both, their perfect little profiles... but one of them wasn't moving.  My eyes were glued on the screen... what seemed like forever passed, although I'm sure it was merely seconds, and finally I forced out the words "she's not moving..."  I started to go numb...I don't even know what the doctor said after that.  I just know that I desperately wanted to reach out and stroke the screen...wake her up... touch her.  I just kept saying in my head, "Move, baby, move.  Move, baby, move....".   As the lower twin wiggled around below, the other lay perfectly still...

I was told to wait there, alone in that dark little room while they called  to set up a better sono in the hospital ...just to make sure.  I didn't have any hope.  I saw it with my own eyes...  As I walked on over to the hospital, my doctor went to talk to Jeremy.  With my little girls as an audience, he gently explained to Jeremy the situation, all the while so careful not to let the girls know. 

As I lay on that second table, as they poked around my stomach and jotted down notes, i just stared at the ceiling.  I couldn't breath.  I couldn't even imagine what came next.   But what did it matter... everything was falling apart.

I met once more with my doctor back in the clinic.  He was so kind and gentle with his words.  He explained to me what would happen next.  How we had to watch the baby that was left...  He explained all the complications that were likely to occur because of the one twin's death... because the death occurred in the second trimester, not the first.  I would come in every week to make sure the other baby was still alive.  I was to watch for bruising on myself and cuts that wouldn't stop bleeding... a sign of a very possible blood clotting condition.  My blood would also be checked bi-weekly to look for signs of this also.  This blood clotting condition could be fatal to me, so if it did occur the baby would have to be taken...regardless of how far along I was.  I asked how long the baby and I would be in danger... there was no definite answer, just that the farther out we got from today, the better the chances.

Time to go out and face my husband and my little girls.  I couldn't feel my legs.  When I opened that door into the waiting room I didn't want to look at Jeremy's face.  I didn't want to see him cry.  I didn't want to see the pain in his face.  We walked in silence to the car, hand-in-hand.  He just gently stroked my hand in his.  After we loaded the girls into the car, he hugged me.  He hugged me so hard it hurt... then the tears came.  When I got into the car, Alice asked why I was crying.  Through my sobs I managed, "Sophie died, honey..."  That was the first time I said it.  It hit me like a ton of bricks: Sophie died.

(Side note: Is this as draining to read as it is to write!?  Now I understand why people write stories on their blogs in parts.  It's hard to keep on going... and this is a long story, folks!  We're not even close to being done!! So forgive me if I miss optimal stopping points or if I don't go long enough!  I'm just trying to get through it.  My husband keeps coming in and when I turn around from the computer with soggy eyes, he just says, "Oh, honey!!"  ...I can't help it!!  )

I didn't know what to do with myself.  What are you supposed to do when you go home after you find out something like that?  And I couldn't just curl up in a ball and sleep and cry.  I had two little girls with big eyes watching my every move.  They took their cues from us... from me.  I had to be strong..... but I felt anything but strong.   I remember I was preparing for a craft show in a couple months.  I had a table in the dining room covered in all my stuff.  I would sit there for hours... decoupaging  buckets with fabric.  Anything to keep my mind off what my heart was feeling.

I remember telling Jeremy how I didn't want to be sad.  How I wanted to move on.  I wanted to be excited for the other life that was in me.  But how could I?  I didn't even know if Sadie would be alive next week.  To make it worse, I was right at that point in the pregnancy where you should be feeling the baby move, but I couldn't yet.  It tormented me daily...if I could only feel her move!!  The other thing that I told Jeremy was that I wanted to handle this loss right.  I wanted to trust God, to praise him as an act obedience in the midst of this overwhelming trial.  And I did...we both did.  But it wasn't a magic formula to make it all better or make the pain less.  I consciously praised him with my mind and as I tried to control my thoughts, but my heart was still screaming "Why God?!!"   I knew that eventually I would heal... I knew that God would see me through... Unfortunately grieving and healing are a process.  I desperately wanted to skip that process.  I wanted to be strong and get over it.  I wanted to have joy and go on.  But, as I learned, that's not the way it works...

The next weeks were filled with doctors appointments and hard conversations with God.  The baby, Sadie, was due Dec. 23 and August was upon are struggling little family. I had, in the beginning, been looking forward to Aug. for two reasons:  my brother from California was coming and we would find out the sex of the babies.  It ended up that Jeremy had to been gone for work the week that my brother and his family came to Kansas.  This was still during the point when I was going in weekly to check on the baby and to watch for the clotting thing.  One night in the shower as I was shaving my legs, I noticed a bruise... a huge dark deep red and purple bruise.  I froze.  This was it.  This was what I was told to look for.  I had the blood clotting disorder thing....  they were going to make me abort my baby to save myself.

I called Jeremy sobbing.  But what could he do?  He was in Virginia Beach!  He prayed with my and tried to offer comforting words, but when we hung up I was alone.  No husband... kids in bed... I was terrified.  That night I remember so clearly... I laid in bed and cried out to God with all my heart.  "Don't let me lose this baby!  Please, God, help me.... "  There was no way I could do it... if it came to that:  there was no way that I could kill this baby who was clinging to life inside of me.  I would rather die.

The next morning I called my doctor and he asked me to come in that afternoon.  Jeremy was trying to catch an early flight home to be with me, but wouldn't be back till the next day.  I felt so alone.  I called my parent to see if one of them could take me to the appointment, half an hour away.  I didn't want to drive by myself...i was way too emotional for that.  They couldn't do it... so I asked my brother from CA.  His wife offered to watch the girls.  So odd as it was... my dear brother instead of my husband took me in.

As I sat and talked to my sweet doctor my fears were lessened.  He looked at the bruise and was fairly confident that it did not indicate the clotting disorder.  He was glad I came in and tried to comfort me... dear Doctor Bradley...  They checked my blood just in case and sent me on my way.  As I got back in the car with my brother, I felt relieved, but not free of fear.  I looked down at the cotton ball taped on my arm and it was soaked with blood.  I was still so scared.  Even though my doctor told me he thought I was alright, it all see way to coincidental.  I never have had a bruise like that before, nor since then.  It was awful looking; nor did I remember bumping my leg in a manner that would be worthy of such a bruise.  The soaked cotton ball freaked me out too... that also never happened.

Jeremy came home the next day... the doctor called the next day... my blood work was fine.  My baby was going to stay where it belonged inside of me.  God had saved me... God had saved her.  Yes, I believe he turned it around.  I believe it was nothing short of his hand of intervention that didn't allow me to develop that condition.  I believe he allowed me to see those scary symptoms so that I would recognize his grace and care for me.  I knew as a result he was taking care of me and this baby.  We had made it through one more trial and experienced a victory.  Through it all I could feel my strength increasing.... I could feel my ability to blindly trust him growing.   It began to occur to me that if God had in his power given me those babies, then why did I not trust him fully with the rest.  If the beginning wasn't an accident; wasn't random... the rest wasn't either.  God was in control.  God had a plan... for my growth and his glory.  I just had to hold on tight, survive the storm, and praise him in the midst of it.


Part 3 will finish it up...hopefully sooner this time!  Sorry about the long gap between parts... we all got the flu this past week :(   I did have my first doctors appointment last week and I was able to hear the heart beat....Yeah!  ... such a relief and an answer to prayer...  Thank you for all who shared in that prayer burden.  

2 YEARS AGO.... the twins story

Two years ago this July marks the turning in our miracle twin pregnancy.  Yeah,  I definitely call it a miracle... something beyond the rational, beyond all expectations...something only God could do.

Let's back up... a long ways back...
Elsie, our second, was 8 mo. old and I just found out that I was pregnant!  I felt as I should...sick, tired, emotional all that good stuff.  At 11 weeks I went in for my first appointment.  I did the whole drill, all the inconveniences of that first appointment.  Then, you know how it goes... finally, they check for the heartbeat.  They couldn't find one...uh, that's not good...I remember thinking.  I knew by 11 wks. I should definitely be able to hear it.  So they sent me to the next room to do a quicky sono.  As the image came up on the screen, i knew it didn't look right...I knew there was no baby.  But what there was was four empty sacs.  Blighted Ovum...that's what they call it, when the sacs form and the body thinks you're carrying a normal pregnancy...but there's no baby. But four sacs?  Our doctor thought it might be something more serious...a molar pregnancy.  A molar pregnancy is like a cancer and is treated like cancer. Needless to say I was broken hearted and scared.

Those days were so hard.  I wondered why God had done this?  What was his plan?  So we went through sonos and tests, I had a D&C and we waited... mourning our loss and leaning on the arms of our Savior... hoping it wasn't a molar pregnancy, hoping it was just a blighted ovum and we would be able to try again for another baby soon.

The day I was supposed to get the results back from the D&C,  I was completely at peace. They had told us that they were fairly sure that it was the molar pregnancy....yet I was truly at peace and really believed it wasn't. Well, I got the call and it wasn't a molar pregnancy. Even my doctor was surprised...   The doctors decided that all the sacs were a result of what would have been twins..2 sacs that each divided (division of the sacs I guess is common with a blighted ovum). It was a victory in the middle of  such a hard thing... We praised God for answered prayer and tried to go on with life.

But my thoughts stuck on TWINS... seriously?  I had never even dreamed of having twins. But that all changed.  I began to think that maybe I would like to have twins... I'd always wanted four kids and this would finish it out quite nicely!  After all, at this point pregnancy was not pure joy any more.  I was emotionally drained and ready to be done with the child bearing years.  (Okay, I know some of you are laughing at this point because you know how old I was... I was only 25, Ha! But hey I was tired!  And more than anything my husband was tired of all the pregnancy drama...this was our second miscarriage AND honestly, I'm not exactly a nice person when I'm pregnant!!! :) )

So, I began to pray for twins. 
I would later see that God used this hard situation to open my heart to the idea of twins.  He knew that a desire for twins would grow in my heart and he knew that I would ask him for that desire of my heart.  And he knew that it would bring glory to his name.

Two months later I was preggo again!  I kept talking about twins... Jeremy thought I was nuts.  Why would be have twins again?  Is that even remotely possible statistically?   Well, I went in for my first appointment...earlier this time... had another quicky sono to make sure everything was on track.  Lo and behold as I looked at that screen in that same little room where my heart had fallen two months earlier... I saw something very different.  I saw two little babies with two little heartbeats.  I went back to the waiting room and told Jeremy who was waiting with the girls.  He didn't believe me... Oh, the look on his face when I showed him the sono picture!

My God had done something miraculous!  Do you understand what he did?  We don't even have twins in our family!!  But he chose to bless me, to show me his power... in the most real and tangible way.  He gave me my twins.   (okay now, I'm crying...currently... I'm an idiot for writing this story while I'm pregnant! )

I have never experienced such joy...such overwhelming fullness of joy.  I remember later that day, driving alone in the car on my way to go tell my sister the news.  I broke down crying and praising God.  I just kept saying "Thank you, thank you, thank you" over and over again.  Like the scripture says, he had turned my mourning into dancing.  Not only had he done the impossible, he had shown himself to me... I was loved, so loved by my God.

The following weeks were pure bliss...except for the intense morning sickness and fatigue!  We bought books on having twins, looked at cribs, and started picking names, and told everyone what God had done!  My plans and dreams were so big!  Life was so exciting ......

I don't want to write the next part... (big breath) even though God is faithful and I never stopped feeling so loved by my God, the rest of story is one of clinging to him during dark uncertain hours. 

So...I'll stop here.  I'll finish it soon... I promise :)  I'm gonna go eat some spaghetti... my preggo tummy is growling (he, he).  I'll probably finish it tonight, when "the loud ones" are in bed :)

Sono of the babies ... we'll always remember this one.  They were both so active and just danced around!  Such a good memory....

The only picture I have with all four of them :)




I've been absent.... for a very long time. 
It pains neglect my blog for such an extended period of time!! 
But I think you'll forgive me.
I have a good excuse....

Yep, I'm preggo again... if you read that post awhile back about my thoughts on getting busy with number 4, you're probably chuckling right now.

I've been extremely tired and sick to my stomach continually...
so blogging has taken a back seat :)
I'm lucky these days if I accomplish anything besides taking care of the basic needs of my children.
And by basic, I mean very basic: food, changing diapers, and wiping bottoms :)  That's pretty much it. 
Alice, by 5 1/2 year old has officially stepped up into my position!  She is quite the little mamma. 

So be patient with me... I'll gradually get back to full strength!
I feel like maybe the worst is over. 

I have a Doc. appoint. next week... so pray for everything to be going well.  I struggle with fear because of the many disappointing and scary appointments I've had in previous pregnancies.  I know God is in control and I trust him, yet I also know that that doesn't make me exempt from the hard and painful parts of life. So as I pray for this little one and ask God to help it grow and develop, I also pray for his strength to help me face anything that lies ahead.

Once I start looking pregnant and not just chubby I'll start posting some belly bump pictures :) 


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