Friday, December 21, 2012

24 Weeks

How Far Along?: 24 weeks

Total Weight Gain?: To be honest I do not know, I try not to look at the numbers. I am just assuring myself that I get bigger with boys. Plus I just get big during pregnancy. So do my mom and sister. Sometimes you just have to roll with genetics. I'm not even sure if it is genetics, but I am going to claim that it is and blame it on that.
Maternity Clothes?: Yes, it helps my comfort level. I have had the same maternity clothes for all of my pregnancies with a few extras from  family and friends {thanks!}. Occasionally I will buy something, but it gives me a break from my regular winter wardrobe, which I have also not really purchased anything new because I want to be at the size I want before buying new clothes. I actually just boxed up a ton of clothes so to donate so I will have to buy new clothes for next year.

Sleep?: It is a little better. Heidi likes to sleep curled up next to me and lay on my arm. I go to be at 8:30ish with Heidi and I need to go to sleep that early because I get little consecutive sleep. I wake up earlier though which is nice.
Best Moment This Month?: As always my doctor appointments are reassuring. I love going and hearing the heartbeat.
Movement?: Yep!
Body Changes/Labor Signs?: Contractions every so often...nothing major.
Belly Button?: Normal.
What I Miss: Nothing so far.
What I Am Looking Forward To: I think we all know the answer to this one :)

My doctor appointment went great! I actually saw Beverly this time, and if you remember my history this was something I would have preferred not to do. Not her personally, but she was the NP in the room when the heartbeat could not be found. The strange thing, and I do not know why I have never put this together before, is that her last name is Hudson. So, I am sitting in the room alone crying {because I cry all of the time these days and I am still not over the Sandy Hook shootings} and I see the doppler on the table with her last name Hudson on it. What a sign, right? I was sitting there crying over all of the sadness in the world and here sits my sign reminding me that at one time I was in such a devastating world of grief, but I, sitting in the lap of God, overcame that dark place. It is the same dark place I was crying over, the dark grief that the families in Newtown are in right now, that I was crying over. My sign gave me reassurance that these families too will find their way out of the storm.

Monday, December 17, 2012

From a Mother who has Lost

My eyes are burning. They are burning so much that my head is aching. My heart is also aching, but that is what caused my eyes to burn. I am completely broken hearted and kneeling at the foot of the cross in prayer for so many right now. Please bare with me as this post will most likely be scattered because with burning eyes and an aching heart and head you never know what you are going to get in an end result. Sometimes I blog just to get it out of my head - writing my thoughts is much more thereputic to me than speaking words or letting the words float in my head. The latter makes me crazy - so crazy sometimes that I dread the alone times {luckily they are very few} and bedtime.

Maybe I should start at the beginning. I am grateful everyday for my sweet Heidi. Those of you that know me personally or "know" me through this blog know how much we prayed for Heidi and what John and I went through before Heidi. In one month it will be four years since we last saw and held our sweet Hudson. Life has changed tremendously since then and I am grateful for each and every second of what I have experienced. I am even grateful for the loss of my sweet son. That may sound horrible and strange to some of you, but it has taught me a lesson many of you will never know. Please do not get me wrong, I miss and ache for my son everyday, every second. I wish he was here to play with his loving sister and to welcome home his little brother.

I know what it is like to lose the most precious thing you could ever call yours. I know what it is like to not be able to watch a child's first kiss, first day of school, graduation, and pre-school plays. Watching a mother-son dance at a wedding can bring me to tears knowing that will never be me and Hudson. Knowing all of this makes me grieve daily. If I let myself I could have a pity party at every single event I attend. I almost did when watching the 3-year olds perform at Heidi's Christmas performance knowing that Hudson would be right there in the middle of them. What good would that be? It has only been four years, but sorry I feel there is not a limit to the learning curve when dealing with the loss of a child. Grief will show its ugly head for the rest of my life.

Back the grateful part. I am grateful because of how I view my life and time with Heidi. I know that at any minute it could be my last. When something so precious as an innocent child is ripped suddenly from your life you learn that the hard way. Even if you never took your blessing for granted you still are forever changed and have a different view of how short and precious time with your loved ones really is a beautiful treasure. I never go a day, a goodbye, a night, or a conversation without saying "I love you". It is pretty obvious we say that a lot in our house because she says it to us constantly. Kisses and hugs are as common as breathing. A day does not go by where I do not tearfully thank God for the most precious blessing I could not deserve.

On Friday the 14th I saw little mini feeds pop up on my phone from family and friends and I knew something horrible happened. I didn't want to know because when I know about awful things happening I never forget them and I imagine myself all too closely in the situation. About an hour later my sister asked me if I heard and she told me. I just stared at her blankly knowing that any movement would cause a hysterical cry.

Then the feeds on facebook exploded. Half of them I could not read because my eyes were in such a blur. There were the posts about these precious angels and the "firsts" that they would never be able to experience. I didn't need to hear their names or see their little faces because even looking at them I only see my precious Heidi. The scenes that I still to this moment have not watched play over and over in my head. The scenes haunt my already horrible dreams.

I feel as if I lost my own child in this massacre. Most people post about hugging their children extra tight and feeling blessed to have one more night with their child. I do these things already. I have already learned this lesson, so what do these events do to people like me? They devastate me completely. My eyes are burning because I have been crying over these children and imagining losing my child. Only I don't have to fully imagine because I know what it is like. The difference is I would be losing someone who has brought me such pure joy into my life. My loss of Hudson is a devistating loss and most cannot imagine the pain, but the loss of a child you have watched grow and develop? I cannot even compare my loss to that. I cannot compare, but I can imagine.

I know that if it were me who had just experienced the worst kind of pain and grief one could go through I would not want people jumping on gun law bandwagons, mental illness campaigns, or seeing a continuous banter of solutions. These things will come, but right now these families need to grieve. We need to give them that respect. Grieve first, solve the problems later. The way the media takes these stories and runs with them is sickening. I am sure these families cannot even listen to a common Christmas carol without being reminded of what took their precious angels and family members much less see everyone coming up with ways this "could have been prevented". Let these poor families have their season of grief. I know that immediately after losing Hudson I did not want to think about anything but my sweet boy and to grieve. It was not until months later that I was ready to face the other things.

The harsh reality is when it is time it is time. No one is immune to experiencing loss or death. Even in the safest place, the womb of a mother a baby can die. We can try as we might to do our very best to protect our family. It will never be enough because the punishment of sin is death and we must all face it. As much as I want to place my family in a bubble it would never be enough. Not only is it not enough, but it's not what we are called to do as Christians.

These thoughts and so many others play in my head. I sat at my doctors office just sobbing because of the grief these families are dealing with and facing. The ones who had their lives taken will forever be in our nation's hearts, if not the nation, but in mine for sure.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas Show

Friday was Heidi's Christmas show at school. Each age group would be on stage singing a few songs for us while the Kindergartners played the "live nativity scene". Once again I went without any expectations of how Heidi would perform. You never know with this crazy little girl! For a couple of weeks we talked about how we were so excited to watch her sing on stage with her cousins and all her friends. We told her that mommy and daddy would be there, along with Grandma and Pop-Pop and everyone could not wait! Every so often Heidi would start singing little songs and I would ask her if that as one of the songs she was going to sing at school and she would tell me know. Apparently it was all meant to be a surprise.


Heidi did such a great job! I was so proud of her for going on the stage and doing all of her songs and motions. For a moment I did think things were going to go south when she spotted her daddy, but she got into it a little more when she saw him :) They sang Away in a Manger and Ho Ho Ho Hosanna.

As I sit and write this I cannot help but think of what was going on in Connecticut at that very same time. I have been sobbing for days and I am broken hearted. For now that is all I want to touch on the subject. It is not a time to jump on the 2nd Amendment debate or any other debates. Let these families grieve without having to read you harping on what might or might not be the issue of why this happened. There is so much I want to write, but out of respect for the grieving families I want to leave it at that.

For all the precious children whose footprints are forever ingrained in our hearts we still dream our dreams of you until we meet again. ~ Kelly Gerken

Join in a blogger day of silence in rembrance of these precious lives and their grieving families.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Catch up on Journey to #3

So, of course I have not gone half a pregnancy without documenting what is going on. I will admit that I have not been as diligent in taking pictures like I should, but there are a few I will share when I can upload. I will of course have my normal comparison shots. Not too much to write tonight, but catch up on the posts below if you want :)

Doctor - Take 1
Step 1
It's Time!
We are Expecting!
5 weeks
6 weeks
Regular OB - 11 weeks
16 weeks
20 weeks

Monday, December 10, 2012

Baby #3

Well, it has been made official - because nothing is official until its on Facebook, right? John and I are expecting our third baby. We could not be more excited! There are reasons, though, as to why we waited so long to let people know about our joyous news. Most of you are familiar with our life story. You all know of our sweet first born Hudson and how he is already in Heaven. That was almost four years ago. If you remember the major details of Hudson's story you will remember that Hudson's due date was the end of March and our new baby is due two weeks later than that - April 12th. To say I have been experiencing deja vu the last 22 1/2 weeks is an understatement. The pregnancy feels exactly the same; that is probably why I knew it was a boy immediately. {By the way - I am three for three in knowing our genders}.

Its scary. Really scary. I am put right back in the spot where I was four years ago. All I have been able to do is give everything to God and know that regardless of what happens I will be okay. Shortly after we found out we were expecting {August 7th}our church had a service where our preacher asked us to give what we were scared of {at least that is what I got out of it} to God - completely. After the service we were to write it out on a chalkboard. Pregnancy is where Satan can play with my head. This is were I am vulnerable in my life. I knew that I needed to take a stand and give this fear to God. So, on the chalkboard I wrote that I would not live in fear and I would trust in the Lord that I would have a smooth pregnancy and healthy baby at the end of this journey.

It has been an easy pregnancy, not counting the fact that I feel like my uterus is going to fall out every time I stand up, and I am thankful for that. I have not had any anxiety attacks - which is amazing. I have been able to enjoy my pregnancy so far - something I never thought possible. There have been a few hiccups that we have faced and are facing, but I am not letting them send me into a fury of google searches or freak out mode. At our last appointment {where we confirmed that my mother's instinct is top notch} we found that I have a 2-vessel cord instead of a 3-vessel cord. No one seemed alarmed at this finding, so I am not going to let myself get alarmed. The only thing they would see in the past is that babies with 2 vessel cords might not have 2 kidneys, but we have 2 so we are good there. I will be monitored closely, but I was already going to be monitored closely so the plan is still the same.

When we were told we were having another boy I cried. I was so excited. The first words I could say, besides, "I knew I was right" were "I know that God will not let anything happen to another little boy of mine". I felt that everything had to be okay. Living with that thought and then also reliving Hudson's pregnancy can be exhausting emotionally. To saw I am ready for March/April is an understatement.

I think part of me wanted to keep it a secret forever, well at least until after the delivery :) I know that would have been completely impossible. I was already running into people and at this point it is quite obvious that I am pregnant. Some people {me} just get big when they are pregnant. Its also my third, so there is that too. I didn't try to hide it intentionally, but I also did not want to volunteer the information quite yet.

Part of me was not ready. The questions and comments can be hurtful, even if they are not meant to be taken that way. I'm not ready to hear "you are going to love having a little boy" or comments about juggling two children. Putting the timing, the pregnancy in general, and the comments altogether can be overwhelming for anyone. There is still the fear of something happening and having to relive the grief again for a second time. The fear will always be there. I could probably go on to have 10 more babies {I'm not because seriously, my uterus is about to fall out...} and I would be scared with each of them.

As we continue on with this pregnancy please say a prayer for us. That everything will go smoothly and that there will not be any issues, that we will have a strong and healthy little boy.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Jingle Bells

Today Heidi had her first performance for dance! We were all so excited! Heidi practiced each night and we sang Jingle Bells on repeat. I was expecting anything to happen. I did not have any sort of expectations - she's two and a half who knows what will happen. Heidi had her leotard and tights one, her red bow and ponytail, and her jingle bells. We were ready....


While the big girls did this.....
Heidi did this:)


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Disney on Ice

This week Heidi had to go to the doctor for what we thought was an ear infection. Poor thing had a little cough for a few days and then was complaining about her ear hurting. When we got to the doctor she had a fever of 102.8 and what looked like it was going to start to turn into an ear infection. Luckily we got some medicine for her and were able to stop it before it escalated. We had a big week ahead of us so we needed her to get well!. Heidi and I stayed home together on Wednesday and then we resumed normal activity on Thursday.

Thursday night we had BIG plans! John and I were invited by some friends of ours to go to Disney on Ice! We were so excited and we were also able to bring our niece Georgia along as well. Before the show we ate dinner at Outback downtown and then headed to watch the ice skating. Heidi LOVED it! Georgia, not so much - only because right when we got there some fireworks or something loud went off and she started to cry, but she settled down. Heidi stood in front of me or on my lap and Georgia sat in John's lap. It was hard to get any pictures, but I got like - two :)



Sunday, November 25, 2012

Oh Christmas Tree!

This weekend we went to pick out our Christmas tree! Heidi loved to run around all of the trees and was super pumped when we picked ours out! Daddy was excited, but not excited about setting it up at home :) Hopefully we will not have a repeat falling like last year - ha! You must take note that pictures on the blog are few a far between because one little 2 year old will not stand still for a moment to have her picture taken. Sometimes though she will request for a picture to be taken, but you have to be quick those times as well!


This weekend we went to watch the boat parade that was being held on the Savannah River. My parents, John, Heidi and I went to the Westin {across the street from Riverstreet} to watch the parade. They had some pretty cute boats going along the river.

Next we went to the Festival of Lights on Hutchinson Island where you can drive through and see some pretty lights and scenes. Once you finish driving through the lights you end at a little area where they have hot chocolate, smores, petting zoos, and all sorts of fun things! Heidi especially loved the little baby goat {I know its called a kid, but she liked to call it "the baby one"} and loved when he came to sniff her fingers.

After washing our hands at the little water station we got in line for some hot chocolate and some peanut thing John wanted. Hot nuts? While we waited Heidi had a little accident - it was during the fireworks. Poor thing has such sensitive ears. Unfortunately mom of the year over here forgot to pack extra warm clothes. I wrapped her up in my jacket and then we headed back. It was time to leave anyways, but we did make a short detour to Cracker Barrel {I cannot get enough of this place!} and ate dinner. Heidi sat in her booster all wrapped in my jacket.

Friday, November 23, 2012

20 Weeks

How Far Along?: 20 weeks

Total Weight Gain?: 11-lbs; don't judge me. I am having an issue saying no to bad foods and sweet tea....
Maternity Clothes?: Yes, it helps my comfort level.

Sleep?: What is sleep?
Best Moment This Month?: Knowing that I am 3 for 3 in gender prediction for my babies. Seeing that everything looked great with our little boy!
Movement?: Yep!
Body Changes/Labor Signs?: Contrations every so often...nothing major.
Belly Button?: Normal.
What I Miss: Nothing so far.
What I Am Looking Forward To: I think we all know the answer to this one :)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Watching Daddy Play Softball

John has been part of a men's softball league the past couple of years. This year was one of the first that he was able to make just about all of the games. The ones he missed were usually due to me teaching dance those nights. Heidi and I kept trying to make it to one of the games but the scheduling never seemed to work out. Games were usually when Heidi had dance or it was too cold, but finally we were able to make it to the last game of the season! Heidi had such a great time cheering for her daddy - who hit a couple out of the park! The only issues we had were that Heidi kept wanting to go on the field, but she and I stayed behind the fence playing with an extra ball. I think we might have a little softball player on our hands!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Savannah Slow Ride

Tonight we had a date night with our small group. We headed downtown to the Savannah Slow Ride. I thought we were going on a bike ride, like where we each had a bike. It was sort of like that. It was one large bike that we all had to pedal together in order to go. While going we also got a tour from the tour guide through downtown Savannah. This is such a wonderful city to live in with so much rich history. I don't think I would ever become tired of listening to the different stories. You can always learn something new. After we rode our bikes we went out to eat at Carlos and Charlies Mexican restaurant - yummy! It was a great night!

School - Nov 1& 2

This week Heidi had a week full of activities at school! On Wednesday Heidi had pajama and movie day at school. Heidi wore some cute little Halloween pjs.

Thursday it was hat day!

Friday was "Donuts with Daddy". John was looking forward to this day ever since he saw it on the calendar. They got to have donuts and make a craft together!

Day at the Farm

This weekend Heidi and I went to Ottawa Farms for the fun they were having there! See our fun in pictures below!

Eating lunch

Petting the goats

Riding the cow train

Waiting for the pig races to begin

Cheering on the pigs!

Taking a hay ride

Heading towards the corn maze

Emily guided us to our first check point
Being silly

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

This year we had a theme with the three little munchkins. They were from the Wizard of Oz. Heidi was Dorothy, Georgia was Glenda and William was the Scarecrow. We all went to the Barnes' once again to go in their neighborhood and a great time was had by all! Heidi really got into it this year and got the hang of things very quickly. Most of the time Heidi was holding hands with her grandparents and William.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

August T Photography

I don't know what to do. I have waited and waited giving this photographer every opportunity to fix what has been wronged. Unfortunately the photographer will not return any e-mails or calls. Enough is enough. I never intended to use my blog for such, but I need to post this in a place where it can be seen by many and not deleted. Please read the story below:

In Mid-July my family and I traveled from several locations to vacation in Myrtle Beach, SC. Before traveling to Myrtle Beach we set up an appointment with August T Photography to take our family pictures. It was going to be so exciting and we this would be the first time for this family to take beach pictures all together. We booked the session and we were to be expecting Karen, one of his staff members that had trained under him for the past 3 years – so we were told. While on our way to the session we received a call from another lady stating she might be late because they had gotten into some heavy traffic. It was not Karen, but another lady who would be taking our pictures. As we arrived to the state park were we were taking our pictures we were required to pay a total of $50 on top of our session price, which we were not aware that would be charged. When we arrived it was actually a man that met with us saying he would be taking our pictures. So already we had been passed to 4 different people.

The session went on and the photographer did not work well with the children we had, did not take candid photos as we had requested, made my husband’s mother who walks with a cane walk up and down the beach as well as jump several times for different shots. The candid photos were a very important element of the session because we could have easily taken our own non-creative poses with our own cameras a tripod. When the photographer could not get the children to smile he was actually a little insulting. When the session was over I noticed that the photographer who shot our session was not even a part of August T’s staff; it was a completely different set of photographers.

Three weeks to a month later we finally received our proofs. They were horrible. I could not believe that someone had actually sent them to us thinking they were acceptable. Pictures were blurry, overexposed, whited out, dark; it was completely unacceptable. Immediately I contacted the photographer and could never get ahold of August, only his assistant Kristen. I relayed all of my complaints to her and let her know that I wanted a refund. I was told the pictures were batch edited and uploaded – why did this take so long if so little effort was put into getting the pictures ready?  Kristen said all refunds had to go through August and she would forward my request to him. A week later I still had not heard from August so I e-mailed back and then I heard from him a few days later. August presented me with a package of accessories including to re-edit the pictures with a 50% refund. It did not seem acceptable, but I decided to accept the offer and wait for the new pictures.
A month later I still had not heard from August, so I e-mailed him back hoping he had my pictures ready to view. I heard nothing from him so I posted a note on his business Facebook page hoping for a response. The only response I had was a deletion of the comment. The next day I commented again and was met with another deletion. This time August did e-mail me and said that we would be in touch with me this weekend and would have my pictures ready. The weekend is over, I have heard nothing, and the only thing August has done is blocked me from writing on his Facebook business page.

My assumption is that August does not care about his clients or his business at all. I also feel that August must realize how horrible a majority of the pictures are and cannot salvage them. There were a couple of pictures that I would have liked to have, but now I have nothing. He has my money and I have nothing. The only resolution that will stop this madness is a full refund and the edited pictures. The editing can be done by anyone, but unfortunately by not having any of the pictures I cannot even have that done. If August would put more effort into making things right instead of avoiding me and deleting my complaints then we would not be in this current situation. I am only asking for what, at this point, seems to be the most logical solution. After the neglect and disrespect we have experienced I feel that the refund as well as the pictures is the only fair compromise.

Because I have been blocked from his Facebook business page I had to use my own status to speak out. This is what it said:

I am not one to normally “air my dirty laundry” or bash a business, but I am left with no other choice. August T Photography, you have backed me into a corner where I have no other choice but to do what I am about to do. You e-mailed on Friday afternoon stating you would get with me this weekend with more details and my pictures. The weekend is over and the fact that you even asked me to wait longer than I already have is inexcusable. I waited and I am still waiting. I have noticed that the only thing you have accomplished in regards to my situation is to block me from writing on your business Facebook page. I guess it is much too hard for you to monitor the numerous complaints you apparently receive in regards to your lack of follow through. You have ignored my e-mails, phone calls, and requests continuously. You have shown no human compassion or decency to me whatsoever. All I am asking is for what, at this point in the game, is fair. I want a full refund and the RAW images on CD. I can have a more qualified photographer edit the photos myself at this point. Since you will not respond to me at all I will give you a list of the things I am working on right now: reporting your business to the BBB, posting on all review sites possible, writing a blog post that will spread like wildfire, and I am contemplating filing suit against you. Once again, this will not stop until you right what has been wronged. Deleting anymore posts and ignoring anymore e-mails or calls will only make matters worse.

Pumpkins, Wedding, & Strep Throat

Heidi went to pick out our family pumpkins! It was the cutest thing ever, Heidi was running around like a crazy child! I think she tried to pick up every single pumpkin that was out there. It was too late on Friday night to decorate, so we set it for later in the weekend.

Saturday Heidi and I had a lazy morning. While she napped I went through her closet and cleaned out the summer clothes and ones that are too small. By the time she got up John was home and then I took a shower to get ready for a wedding we were heading to that night. Heidi went to play with her cousins and had a great time while John and I enjoyed our evening out.

Sunday I knew I could no longer fight the inevitable - strep throat. I did not want me being sick stop the pumpkin decorating so we let Heidi decorate at least one of the little guys before I headed to the doctor and dropped her off at my parents for the night.

For now I am catching up on writing and reading blogs as well as plotting my next move in a battle I have been having with a photographer from Myrtle Beach - ugh...
Design by Small Bird Studios | All Rights Reserved