Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Best Halloween Ever

I am so excited that I finally got to dress up my own baby for Halloween.  I spent many years dressing up other people's kids as a babysitter, nanny, and preschool teacher, but this year was so special to me.  All week Nicholas had spirit week at school.  They had character day, nerd day, tacky day, pj day, and costume/pumpkin bash day, but the only one we actually dressed for was pj and costume day.  He had three Halloween outifts that needed to be worn instead!  Ha!  On Monday he wore my favorite of his shirts.  This was at the end of the day, so he was a little tired (not to mention felt bad).
Tuesday he wore his shirt that he had on in his Rocktoberfest pictures (and the ones at the bottom of this post), but with tornado warnings, fussy sick babies, and end of the day, pictures just didn't happen.  I thought he looked pretty cute on Wednesday too!  I bought this shirt the day after we found out he was a boy.

Thursday was PJ day, so naturally, we wore our Halloween PJs! Haha!
LOVE the back!
Friday he had costume day and the Pumpkin Bash (carnival) at school from 9-11.  A friend of mine at work has a little boy in his class, so we ran over to take a few pictures during a break.  You can tell that he loves school by how happy he looks in these pictures.

Our subdivision trick or treated last night and my plan was to take him to see my family late afternoon and then be at home for trick or treaters in the evening.  Here he is visiting at my parents house.  He was too busy watching football to have his picture taken.  Seriously!
My mom and I took him to see my Nana and my Aunt Kelly before I took him home.  I love this picture.
However, this picture is sooooo funny!  He was laughing so hard!  I have no clue what was so funny!
When I got him home he was starting to get tired, so I hurried and got a few pictures of him in his costume.
My favorite giraffe and his lion
LOVE that expression!
My neighbor was taking pictures, so I ran over to get a few with my camera too.  We love our neighbors and their kids are all so sweet.  Here is James, Jackson, Will, Kassidy, and Kathryn.  I have laughed since last night at Jackson's Luigi costume!  It was great!
The good witch Addi came by to see me, but unfortunately, she was tired and not into having her picture made.
By 8:00 this is what Nicholas was doing.  We did his four month birthday party and he was worn out!
Today we were supposed to go to Cleveland to see Michael's family and go to the block party, but we had a rough night with Nicholas last night.  Plus, we are all still trying to get over our cold, so we decided to stay at home and not go out into the night air.  I did put him in one last Halloween outfit and take a few pictures on the front porch.  I love how they turned out, other than the fact he refused to smile!  Silly baby!
He was obsessed with the leaves and grapevine pumpkins.
We are going to bed early and praying that we have a much better week this week and that our colds are gone soon.  It has been a LONG week around here with a sick baby and two sick adults trying to work and keep up at home.
A year ago today our life changed forever.  I took a test that morning and this is what I saw...
I had such hope in my heart that day and when I wrote this post, I just KNEW that this year I would have a cute, snuggly baby to dress up!  I'm praying that all of my friends that are still waiting have their own cute little trick or treater next year.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Pony Rides and Rocktoberfest

We had such a fun Fall weekend last weekend! On Saturday while Michael attended the UT/Alabama game while sitting in a skybox, Nicholas, Gigi, and I attended the Fabulous Miss Lauren's second birthday party.  We had so much fun!  It was an Ariel party, but also featured a super cute petting zoo. 
I have laughed so hard over the past week at how much Lauren LOVED the chickens!  I mean look at her!  She held one of the two chickens for an hour!  It was hilarious!  This girl has no fear and I love that!
Nicholas meeting the baby goat.  He was mesmerized at the animals.  He seemed to really like the bunnies and goat best.
 Gigi held Nicholas while he went on his first pony ride!  He LOVED it!  He just kept looking at it and saying "ohhhhhhh, ahhhhh".  So cute!!!!
 The world's cutest baby and I
Nicholas and Baby Zachary meeting.  Zachary is only seven weeks older than Nicholas.  They seemed to like each other!   His older sister, Riley, is one of Lauren's BFFs.
 The birthday girl and her SUPER cute cake that the talented Becky made.  We love Becky and her cakes and can't wait to see what she comes up with for Nicholas' fourth month cake!
As soon as she blew out her candle, she grabbed a cupcake and took off!  I found her sitting alone and licking her icing!  This girl cracks me up!  We had so much fun at the party and we were so glad we got to come!  It was a great party for Nicholas' first birthday party experience!  I can only imagine how many more parties we will be attending in the future!

Sunday was a beautiful day here in Chattanooga!  It was 75 and sunny, perfect!  For those of you who may not know, our city is surrounded by mountains and one of my favorite places in the entire world (and that includes my favorite city of London, England) is Rock City on Lookout Mountain.  My Nana used to take me there when I was little and Michael and I love to go up there at Christmas for their "Enchanted Garden of Lights".  We bought annual passes that will allow us to visit anytime we want, any day of the year!  I am so excited to get to take Nicholas to my favorite local place!  In October they have "Rocktoberfest" every Saturday and Sunday with German food, beer, and music.  It was so much fun!

Rock City isn't stroller friendly at all, so we babywore for the first time.  It was a hit!  Nicholas loved it!  Here they are at "lover's leap".  From there you can look out and "see seven states" (what Rock City is best known for).  You can see downtown Chattanooga in the far left corner of this picture.
 Happy Baby blowing raspberries, his new favorite trick!
 Ok, let me first say that I can barely eat a hot dog.  Something about it just seems gross to me, so imagine what a stretch this was for me!  Michael insisted that I HAD to have a brat.  I can do the potatoes and sour kraut, but the brat was a little much for me!
 I love, love, love this picture!  Nicholas has the funniest face in this picture.  He is so animated!
Mommy and her sweet boy

After we got home, Nicholas developed a cough and stuffy nose.  As you know from the last post it escalated into a full blown cold by Wednesday and we are still praying he continues to get better before Halloween!  He is doing better today, so I'm hoping he wakes up all better by morning!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Baby's First Cold

Nicholas wants to show you how he has looked most of the week...

And this is what you will see if you come to our house...
Poor Baby Nicholas, Mommy, and Daddy have all been sick since Sunday night.  Nicholas has had bad sinus/cold stuff going on since Sunday night and then I started feeling bad on Monday night.  Mine came and went, but last night Michael and I both felt terrible.  I'm living on tylenol cold and sinus and Nicholas is loving some boogie wipes and his Vick's Vaporizer.  He hasn't had a fever, but just really stuffy, coughing, and irritable.

I've been looking forward to my baby's first Halloween for years and I am praying so hard he is better in the morning.  He and I both are feeling rough tonight and he had a rough day at school, so we may be staying home tomorrow if he has a fever.  Even worse, Michael and I were both sick for our first Halloween, so I'm a little worried he might be keeping the family tradition alive and well.  Pray that he starts feeling better soon and is able to wear his precious giraffe costume and have a fun Halloween weekend!

I'm sorry I'm so behind, there is a lot to write about soon!  I also haven't read any blogs this week.  Hopefully I'll be able to catch up tomorrow or Saturday.

Friday, October 22, 2010

I'm In Love

A year ago this week I was having follicle studies and praying that this would be our month.  The dr saw one of the largest follicles he had ever seen on femara and I wrote this post.  Sometimes it is so hard for me to believe all that has happened over the past year.  God blessed us so much and we are forever grateful.  I have thought about where I was a year ago so much this week and I know there are a lot of you in that same place.  I am praying for you all to get your miracles soon.  Please do not lose hope, remember everything happens in God's perfect time.

In all the time it took us TTC and during the 38 weeks I was pregnant, I never dreamed I would love someone as much as I love this sweet, adorable little person!  I've looked at this picture one hundred times in the last two days since I took it and I am just amazed that he is mine. He was SO worth the wait and as I tell him all the time, I can't imagine my life anymore without him.  He is the best gift I have ever received and I hope he understands one day what a special blessing he is to us.

The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. 
Psalms 126:3

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

A Boy and His Dog

Monday, October 18, 2010

Handsome Boy

It was a crazy day for me at work today, but apparently it was crazy for Nicholas too!  He was in bed, asleep by 6:30!  His teacher is on vacation this week for Fall break and he had a good day, but just didn't want to nap.  He ate his "dinner" bottle at 4:45 instead of when we got home (he usually eats around 5:45-6), got a bath, and was in bed before we normally even have a bath.  He was just not having any playtime tonight.  Poor baby!  He had a good day otherwise. I forgot to say that on Saturday he had his first outloud laugh.  It was hilarious!  Unfortunately, he seemed to have inherited my loud, obnoxious laugh!  Haha!  He  looked surprised when he did it and must have thought it was funny because he couldn't stop once he started.  It may not have helped that my mom and I were laughing even harder at him.  Hmmm, maybe he was just mocking me?!  Haha!  I made Michael get a picture of him before school this morning.  I thought his shirt was funny!
I also have a prayer request today.  When I was a little girl I stayed at an in home daycare with about 20 other kids in a lady's house.  She had two helpers and had converted her basement to a preschool/daycare.  I stayed there from the time I was four until I started school.  Even then I stayed there in the afternoon and summers until I was eight or nine.  Well, she and her husband were in a very bad accident last night and are in the ICU.  They are elderly and have a very long recovery ahead of them.  I know she would appreciate all of your prayers.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I'm So Behind, So Let's Get Caught Up!

I am so behind! This working, taking care of N, and trying to stay up with the blog thing is hard work! Ha!  Nicholas had a great past two weeks at school and it is getting easier for us all now that we are in somewhat of a routine.  Michael gets up with him around 6:45 then we leave around 7:30.  I pick him up between 5-5:30 every day except for Tuesday and that is when Michael picks him up around 3.  We come home, eat a bottle, get a bath, then he is in bed by 7.  He is so tired when he gets home he doesn't let me put him down.  It is a little crazy these days!!!  I feel like I haven't taken very many pictures lately.  Bad mom alert, right here!

Last weekend we had a quiet weekend.  We went outlet shopping with my mom on Saturday and found him a lot of cute things at Carter's outlet (I LOVE Carter's, Baby Gap, and Gymboree for him).  Sunday we just went downtown to eat at Blue Plate by the TN River.  It was a nice day on the patio there overlooking the river and the Aquarium.

This weekend has been a lot busier.  I had to see patients Friday afternoon, so we were at work and daycare until 5 (I have been trying to leave by 3:30 on Fridays so we have a little time to play before bedtime).  Poor Nicholas is SO tired by Friday afternoon.  He was asleep in bed by 6:15 and slept until his usual 7am!  I took this one Thursday when we were getting ready for school.  How cute is this?!

Yesterday we had a busy day.  I went to have my pedicure, but instead I got a shellac manicure.  I AM IN LOVE!  It is just like having a gel overlay, but instead it is just a polish.  It will stay on my nails until it is taken off in two weeks. Last night we went out for Michael's Grandmother's birthday.  I didn't get any pictures at the restaurant, but I did get a few when we got home.  How cute is his outfit?!  I bought it at Gap right after we found out he was a boy because it looks exactly like something Michael would wear.

Today was our favorite Chattanooga Market of the year, the Firehouse Chili Cookoff!  It is where five different Firehouses compete against each other for the area's best chili.  We voted for Cleveland this year.  The proceeds go to MDA, but we always want to support our local Fire Depts.  We owe them so much for all they did for us that one night.
We went with Courtney and Lauren and it was so much fun!  I took this picture with my phone, but I just HAD to show you Nicholas in his pumpkin hat! Haha!
I'm going to be so sad when Todd, Courtney, and Lauren move to Texas.  I wish we could figure out a way to keep them here!!!  I almost cried when we left them today just thinking about it!  I'm going to be a mess when they do move.  I am so thankful for all of the awesome friends I've met through blogging.  You know who you are!  You girls are such good friends and I'm so thankful for you!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

Today is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.  It is a day to remember the sweet babies that were very much loved and are now sweet angels.  The past two years, I have spent the day sad and thinking about the fact that I had two unexplained miscarriages and infertility.  I wondered why I had been chosen to travel that journey.  God had a plan for me, but I was starting to wonder if that plan was going to ever include children.  

Today things are so much different for me.  God did bless me with a beautiful, healthy, happy baby that we found out we were expecting just two weeks after this day last year.  However, even though I have Nicholas now, I still find myself being defined by my journey.  I still feel like I am broken and mourn the fact that I never got to be someone that got pregnant easily or that had an innocent or carefree pregnancy for the fear of having another loss.  It still hurts a lot when those around me get pregnant without much effort or get to make an early announcement.  I really believe that losses and infertility are something that you never "get over".  As much as you try to keep it from defining you, it always does.  

I have never understood, even before I had a miscarriage, why it is such an unspoken thing.  No one talks about it, everyone acts like you are crazy if you openly talk about it, and everyone feels uncomfortable around you if you've had one.  I struggled with that a lot during the first year after my first loss.  I wanted to talk about our struggles, wanted to hear everyone's stories, but everyone around me thought that was weird.  That is why I made so many good friends blogging.  It is my hope that over time, pregnancy and infant loss will become less of a secretive thing.  Women that have had a loss need your support, they need to be able to open up and vent sometimes.

Please remember these sweet babies in Heaven and their mothers today and honestly, every day.  I want my blog friends with IF and those that have suffered losses to know that I have spent so much time praying for you today.  I pray that God will show you His plan for you soon and that you will have a peace. 
A Pair of Shoes
I am wearing a pair of shoes.
They are ugly shoes.
Uncomfortable shoes.
I hate my shoes.
Each day I wear them, and each day I wish I had another pair.
Some days my shoes hurt so bad that I do not think I can take another step.
Yet, I continue to wear them.
I get funny looks wearing these shoes. They are looks of sympathy.
I can tell in others eyes that they are glad they are my shoes and not theirs.
They never talk about my shoes.
To learn how awful my shoes are might make them uncomfortable.
To truly understand these shoes you must walk in them.
But, once you put them on, you can never take them off.
I now realize that I am not the only one who wears these shoes.
There are many pairs in this world.
Some women are like me and ache daily as they try and walk in them.
Some have learned how to walk in them so they don’t hurt quite as much.
Some have worn the shoes so long that days will go by before they think
about how much they hurt.
No woman deserves to wear these shoes.
Yet, because of these shoes I am a stronger woman.
These shoes have given me the strength to face anything.
They have made me who I am.
I will forever walk in the shoes of a woman who has lost a child.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Happy Friday!

TGIF!!!!  Nicholas has had a much, much better week at school (daycare) this week.  He has only had three meltdowns and that was two on Monday and one on Tuesday.  The rest of the week was perfect!  His teacher told me this morning he is a very funny, sweet baby.  Apparently he spent the day yesterday just smiling, laughing, and cooing.  Much better than the screaming he did the entire first week!

Just to show you how happy he has been, here are two pictures I took of him on Wednesday night when we got home before bathtime.  He was very happy!!!

 We have gotten into a pretty good routine these days.  We get home between 5:30 and 6:00 and he is usually hungry by then, so we eat a full bottle.  After that I start his bath and then after we have had a bath and gotten dressed for bed we play for a few minutes.  Between 6:45-7 I start rocking him to sleep with his sound machine and Praise Baby CD on.  He is usually out within five to ten minutes.  He has been sleeping about eleven and half hours at night and wakes up between 6:30 and 7 am!!!!  I'm so proud of how well he has done this week!!!  He has even taken good naps at school, even though the longest ones are always in a swing or bouncy.

Today he spent most of the day in a different class because his teacher went home sick.  Apparently Mr. Nosey-Rosey didn't want to stop playing and looking around long enough to take a nap, so as soon as we got home I put him in his swing and after a few minutes being fussy, this is how he spent his Friday evening...
I am going to wake him soon to eat, take a bath, and hopefully still go to bed on time.  We'll see.  At least it isn't a work night for me if he gets off schedule.  We sure are glad it is Friday around here!  Hope everyone has a very good, safe weekend!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Getting Real

I know most of you know our story, but today Amy has asked that we share our stories of struggles to encourage others.  We struggled with IF for 23 months, two miscarriages, and a lot of disappointment before being blessed with Nicholas. Most of this is the post I used to announce our miracle baby was on the way last December, but I thought it would be good to share again.

But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, be patient! For it will surely take place. It will not be late by a single day."
Habakkuk 2:3

Two Years ago, we decided we were ready to have a baby. We had been married almost three years, we had a nice house, good jobs, and it just seemed the right time. How hard could it be?! Six months later we were FINALLY (yes, we THOUGHT it had been a long time, HA, we were wrong!!!) pregnant and so excited. We ran out and told everyone we knew within forty-eight hours and began to prepare for our baby. We bought books, picked out names, did everything a normal pregnant couple would do. Our naive happiness came to an end at 8 weeks when an ultrasound showed an empty sac without a baby. I was scheduled for a D&C two days later and we began to wonder how much longer our wait would be. Again, we were innocent and naive!

Three months later, in October, we had a chemical pregnancy. My OB at the time thought it was just "bad luck" and refused to do any repeated loss blood work. After much prayer, thought, and discussion with some people I trusted, I decided to get a second opinion from an OB that works closely with my surgeons. He agreed that there probably wasn't anything wrong and for me to just keep using ovulation tests and call him when it worked. That was November 4, 2008.

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I put my HOPE. Psalms 130:5

On December 10, lightning struck out house and caught fire, causing almost $100,000 worth of damage and a whole LOT of stress. We decided to postpone TTC until we were back in our house. There was just TOO many other stressors in our life at that time. Well, God had other plans, we found out we were pregnant on December 20!

Again, we were excited, but a little guarded and didn't make any announcements. However, in the back of our minds we all thought, it can't happen twice, and how often does lightning strike your house in December!!!! It has to be ok! We can't be THAT unlucky! Well, we were. At a 6week US, again, there was no baby, just an empty sac. I took cytotec and passed everything on my own at home without surgical intervention to try to help in case there was any kind of uterine abnormality causing my problems.

At that point my Dr did a series of US, dye study, and lab work. Everything was normal except I had a clotting disorder. It was determined that it was POSSIBLY the cause of my infertility, but only time would tell. I also continued to have long cycles (like 40-50 days) and finally in July my Dr agreed to start medicated cycles with the plan of an IUI in November at the two year mark if no success on our own with meds.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a HOPE and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

I took clomid in August and all it did was make me crazy! No dominate egg or even an ovulation. We agreed to try femara in September. I loved it, no side effects at all! It was great. However the first cycle didn't work, so I tried it again in October. It gave us a HUGE 29mm follicle and our last shot on our own before trying an IUI in November.

As we got closer to the end of the cycle we realized we were not going to be able to afford an IUI or an injectable cycle until the first of the year. I began to fall into the depression I was in a year ago. I felt hopeless and scared. What if all we needed was an IUI and after two years, two months seemed like forever until I'd be able to try. Again, God has His own timing and plans.  God gave us a wonderful gift and surprise on October 31, 2009!

The Lord will do great things for me, and I will be filled with joy. I will sow in tears, then I will reap with songs of joy. (Psalm 126:3,5)

My sweet miracle baby, Nicholas was born on Thursday, July 1, 2010.  He is a healthy, happy, blessing from God.  I pray every day for those of you on the journey I was on a year ago.  I know your pain and I know the desire you have for a baby.  Please do not lose hope.  For everything happens in God's time, not our own.  I know how hard that is to understand, but trust me, everything happens in perfect timing!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Better Week and Prayer Request

We have had a MUCH better second week of work and school so far!  Nicholas only had two fairly short crying spells yesterday and only ONE ten minute one today!!!!!  I am such a proud Mommy!  I'm still praying that he starts adjusting to school soon and that maybe he is starting to get into a good routine.
Here is my happy boy during and after bathtime. 
I just thought this picture was too funny!

About a week before Nicholas was born I shared my friend's story about their baby that was due in October and would be born with a severe birth defect.  Baby Jake was born yesterday and is having surgery in the morning.  Please pray for David, Courtney, Baby Jake, and his doctors tomorrow.  There are some pictures on their blog of their sweet miracle.  He is a true miracle and I pray that he continues to be an example of what the power prayer can do!

 "God is able to do immeasurably more than all you can ask or imagine" Ephesians 3:20

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Littlest Pumpkin

We had another fun day today on this awesome, gorgeous Fall day!  We got up, got dressed and drove about 90 minutes to a pumpkin patch that I kept reading about online in Dawsonville, GA.  Burt's Pumpkin Farm was a very cool place. 
My little pumpkin and I.  I've waited for a long time for a day like today.  Every year I would get sad and wonder when the day would come that I could take my own little pumpkin to a pumpkin patch and it was a little surreal to actually get that chance today.  On the way home I prayed for some many of you by name that next year you would have a little pumpkin to take!  I remember you all and pray for you often.
These pumpkins are MUCH bigger than I am!
I was amazed at how big these things are!  We are SO getting a big one next year!
I bought two regular sized one for each of us and a baby one for our baby!
Since it was my great idea to go, I had to pick them out while the boys watched! Ha!
I loved how my porch is looking.  Going to get a few mums next weekend.
Someone was tired after a busy day riding, looking at pumpkins, and eating at the Cajun Depot in Ellijay.  I bought this outfit on clearance last February 11, the day after my big ultrasound.  I knew it would be perfect for the day I finally got to bring my baby to the pumpkin patch.  It was the day I always thought it would be and I cannot wait to take him back next year when he will be a big boy and able to enjoy it more!