Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Hallo- No I haven’t had the baby- ween!

Here we are…Wednesday…October 31st and Philip Andrew is still very much at home in my womb.

The week has been productive in the sense that we are running a small sweat-shop here at the Homewood Suites—I’ve been working on making hand-embroidered Christmas ornaments (24 in all) and mom has been working on the baptismal gown’s matching bonnet and slip. I’ve finished the ornaments and mom finished the bonnet so we have now started on Christmas stockings. Mom is knitting Philip Andrew’s and I am knitting Rusty’s and mine—this is my first knitting project that actually involves following instructions and stuff. I’ve enclosed a picture of the work in progress—Rusty and mom are sick of me showing it to them so I thought I would reach out to the masses.

The weather has been yucky (sort of ever since mom returned from Bham on Friday) so we’ve been inside a lot. Obviously, I didn’t have the baby on the 26th (the full moon) and I think it is probably because the fires in California really threw off the gravitational pull of the earth on that day—thus, the baby felt no extra pressure to come. 

Other than craft projects, church on Sunday and the “few” Lifetime movies we’ve taken in—nothing much to report. We ate dinner with Tina and Josh on Saturday night (Ella’s parents) and it was nice to talk about their little girl and Philip Andrew—and then just about a lot of funny stories that have happened. Please pray for their precious daughter that she may continue to grow strong. I did have my doctor’s appointment on Tuesday and do I have fabulous news to report!!!!!—I beat the system!!!! For those who have followed the last few blog updates it seems I have had an ongoing issue with making it to the correct appointments and such. Well, when I left the doctor last week I stopped at the check out desk and attempted to make my appointment for this week—the girl typed a few things and said—“You are all set, see you at 2:30 on Tuesday!” So I left thinking I had an appointment on Tuesday at 2:30—but I knew that it probably wasn’t true. Unfortunately, I didn’t bother to check on it since I was so sure I would have the baby before my next appointment—but then this Tuesday rolled around and so I called to verify my time on Tuesday morning—but they were closed for lunch from 11-1pm. So I thought long and hard and decided that my appointment was most likely at 1pm (because back in July that is when all my original appointments were scheduled) and so off I went—either on time or way early—either way I wasn’t going to let them win again. I walked in and gave them my name and said I might be a little early—the girl looked at the chart and said—“Nope, you have a 1:20 appointment—you are right on time, come on back.” Go figure.
They first hooked me up to the NST and of course, Philip Andrew went right to sleep—and continued to sleep for about 45 minutes until they gave me some grape juice—he sort of woke up—but not really—thankfully they let me go after a little over an hour—it is not comfortable laying on that table for so long. Then Dr. Richards examined me and well…nothing has changed. Very disappointing because I then had to decide on trying to be induced or scheduling a C-section. He explained that because I haven’t had any change (and I’d get more graphic but I’m sure you can use your imaginations if you have had children before) my body just doesn’t show any favorable signs for an induction being successful and that I would most likely end up with a C-section. Rusty and I have known about this possibility since we met with him in July—and we have thought about it a lot—there is nothing I want more at this point with regards to delivering the baby than to deliver naturally—but that just might not be God’s plan for Philip Andrew. I went ahead and signed all the stuff for a C-section delivery for Monday morning (November 5th)—I’ll be the first one scheduled. Hopefully, I’ll go into labor before then—Rusty thinks November 1st might be “the day”—but if not, I’m now preparing for the C-section. Please join us in praying that I will go into labor before then. Everything looks the same with Philip Andrew—he’s measuring right on time and he has a nice little heartbeat—sorry, no pictures of him this time.
We do have pictures of Tiffany! Isn’t she the most precious Lady Bug!!!!

We hope everyone has a Happy Halloween! We miss everyone in Birmingham so much and we can’t wait to be home. Thank you for your continued prayers and support. Much Love, Liz & Rusty

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Happy Birthday Rusty!!!!!!

Today is Rusty’s 32nd Birthday…I was hoping it was going to be my “birthing” day—but as I type this—I would have to give birth to Philip Andrew in the next 2 hours and 10 minutes…which is most likely not going to happen.
The week started with my doctor’s appointment on Monday at 10am. Things have been so confusing with the changes in my schedule that I even woke up early to call and verify my appointment. I called at 8:30 am and was told that I did have an appointment at 10am at the Medical Plaza (at least I new where I was going this time). I arrived with Rusty about 5 minutes early and checked in—as usual. We waited a little while and then were called back to the room where I was told that I wasn’t supposed to be there and that my appointments had been changed to Tuesday. BLAH BLAH BLAH!!!!!! How frustrating!!!!! I wasn’t mad because I could tell I was still going to have the ultrasound (and I wanted for Rusty to see his baby) but I did feel sort of crazy because I had called to verify…oh well. So we waited and Dr. Richards came in and did the ultrasound and said everything looks as he thought it would—the liver is still down (great news) and he commented that the right lung appears to be pretty good size considering the CDH but he couldn’t measure because the ribs had already started calcifying. Of course I asked if he thought I was about to have the baby and he said no and commented that the head still hasn’t engaged (dropped).
On Tuesday, my appointment with my OB Dr. Richards was at 1pm. I went by myself and left Rusty to work and Tiffany to take a nap in her favorite place.

They took my vitals and then “checked me out”—it seems that I am 1 cm dilated and that Philip Andrew has in fact started to engage since Monday’s ultrasound. I then had a NST—his activity seems great! My next appointment is not until next Tuesday—I triple checked this—so hopefully there won’t be any mess ups.
In preparation for Rusty’s important birthday I decided to bake him a cake—I’ve always baked him cakes for his birthdays so I didn’t see why this should be any different. The only problem is that our ‘kitchenette’ is not very equipped for baking. Although our fridge is full size, the “oven” is actually a toaster oven—but that didn’t stop me! When I asked Rusty what type he wanted, he said white cake with butter cream icing—so after scouring the internet for the best butter cream icing recipe, I was off to the grocery. It was difficult finding pans for the cake to fit into the toaster—and I couldn’t find an electric mixer—so I bought a hand mixer. Let’s just say, my hands still hurt from making the icing (store bought icing is for wimps).

This morning I “made” breakfast for Rusty—really, I went downstairs and got him breakfast and brought it to the room—he had waffles, crispy bacon, yogurt—the perfect birthday breakfast. After breakfast, I wanted to give Rusty some peace and quiet so I went and got a mani and pedi down the street (fyi-best deals for mani/pedi here in Gainesville!). I made Rusty lunch and then he ran some errands (he’s trying to figure out the video camera and had to run to Best Buy for some cd’s). We ate downstairs for dinner—and low and behold—Steve Pirris was down there!!!! (Steve is Rusty’s close friend from college). Actually, it isn’t Steve—but it is so freaky how much they look alike—we actually saw him yesterday too—Rusty decided to try and take some “secret snapshots” of him—hopefully he won’t see himself on our blog.

After dinner we sang “Happy Birthday” and I presented the cake to Rusty (see pic). It was very tasty if I do say so myself—did I mention that my hands are still hurting from all the work and love I put into it? Rusty opened presents and Tiffany helped clean up the paper mess!

So this Friday is the full moon—I’m really counting on the gravitational force to send me into labor!!! My nurse friends have said the labor and delivery floor does tend to be busier on full moons—will see if it works. Please pray that when I go into labor—whether it is this Friday or next—whenever it is—pray that all the doctors who need to be present will be there. Also, please pray for the health and wellness of these important doctors—Dr. Richards and Dr. Kays—that they will be available physically and mentally to help our son when the time comes. We thank God for their incredible talents and we ask that God will continue to sharpen their skills in preparation for our son and all the other babies they tend to.
Rusty and I continue to feel all the love from everyone reaching out to us—thank you so much—your words of encouragement and prayers mean so much to us. Please continue to check the blog for updates…who knows what the next update will say!!!!! Much love, Liz & Rusty

Sunday, October 21, 2007

He's finally here...(Rusty, sorry--not the baby)

According to our plans—the baby can come now! Thank you for all the prayers to keep Philip Andrew in the womb until Rusty made it down here. Rusty arrived Friday night around 10pm—Tiffany and I were so excited to see him!!!!

This week has been good—mom and I went to dinner with an amazing couple on Tuesday night. We ate at Sonny’s BBQ (yum!) with Tina and Josh who are Ella’s parents. Ella is a precious little girl with CDH currently being treated at Shands by Dr. Kays. Tina and Josh were great about answering all of my questions and letting me know what to expect from doctors, nurses, etc. when Philip Andrew gets here. They have been here about 90+ days already but their spirit is amazing. There strength comes from the Lord and were quick to say that being in His Word is the only way to make it through. Rusty and I know this—but it is so important for us to hear that over and over—I can only imagine that the trials to come in the next few weeks are sure to test our faith and being reminded of the truth of God’s perfect timing and plan is something that we can’t afford to tire of hearing.

Rusty was able to commit to coming to Gainesville on Thursday or Friday—so with that information and our new friends in Josh and Tina, mom felt comfortable enough to leave me by myself for about a day—so she flew home to Birmingham Wednesday evening. It wasn’t too bad (of course I missed her company). I had to wake up super early to get to my 8am appointment—I realize how much I need my mom here—I arrived 10 minutes early (that’s good) but to the wrong place (that’s not good). You should know that my appointments have been at 2 different locations each time—so it is easy to get confused. Although the other place was a good 15 minutes away, they were able to squeeze me in and I wasn’t that late. They did another NST but Philip Andrew wasn’t behaving (he was sleeping) so we had to give him a jolt of grape juice which did the trick (after 1.5 hours). While I was there they picked up contractions at 12 minutes apart—but I only felt a few and the doctor laughed when I asked if I was in labor—she said, “Sure…and you may be in labor for 2 weeks!” I didn’t think she was very funny—but glad there wasn’t any emergency—especially since no one was there with me.

Of course, Thursday night was spent snuggled up with Tiffany watching Grey’s Anatomy—but it was very depressing not having someone to comment to at each commercial! Friday morning I woke up late but then got going doing “wifely duties” to prepare our nest for Rusty. I went to the grocery to get his favorite things and made sure they came and made the bed and stuff.

Saturday was really relaxing—Rusty got to experience the Homewood Suites breakfast (which is pretty good if I haven’t mentioned it before) and then I gave him a quick tour of Gainesville (really, I showed him where to take me if I go into labor). He spent a good bit of the day getting his remote office set up and I wanted to make sure I stayed out of his way—so I graciously went down to the pool (the worst part is that I don’t feel guilty—I am carrying his son!).

Saturday night we celebrated our anniversary by going out to dinner all dressed up. It was nice to have a real date with my husband! We came home and I fell asleep while he continued to settle in—and then I was up most of the night with raging heartburn—and unfortunately, it kept Rusty up too. Oh well…a taste of parenthood I suppose.

Today was nice—we woke up late and had breakfast in the room (my super-hero husband went downstairs and brought it up to me!) and then went to church at 11:30. Afterwards, we went to lunch and then came “home”—it has been a rainy afternoon. As usual, I slept a few hours. Rusty has watched some TV and gone exploring. Tonight we are going to Barnes & Noble to look for books on childbirth—I can’t wait to see the look on Rusty’s face!!!!

Thank you again for your thoughts and prayers for us. We know God has blessed us so much with everyone’s sweet words, emails, letters, notes, etc. We ask that you will pray specifically for us to have patience for God’s perfect timing with the arrival of Philip Andrew. As of now, we are just waiting—even Rusty commented today that this is hard (and he is one patient guy!) Please keep in touch. Much Love, Liz & Rusty

Monday, October 15, 2007

Happy Anniversary!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy Anniversary to Rusty and me!!! That’s right—today is our 2nd Wedding Anniversary—from a long distance courtship, hurricane Wilma joining us on our honeymoon, and now our journey with our first child—it is quite evident to me that God’s plan for us is anything but boring or typical—I wouldn’t have it any other way. Don’t get me wrong—it would be nice to be able to celebrate together—but he’ll be here soon enough…hopefully by Friday.
This past Saturday was pretty low key so Philip Andrew decided to kick it up a notch. The doctor here gave me instructions to call if I didn’t feel him move/kick 10 times within a 2 hour period. For those of you who have been pregnant before, this may seem like a high number—I know in Birmingham I was told to count 5 times…anyway, they told me 10 here. Philip Andrew is SO active so I haven’t had to worry about anything—he typically kicks 10 times in only a one hour period. But, Friday night I ate dinner and felt him a little after dinner and then went to sleep. I was up about 4 times that night and didn’t feel him—which was unusual, but didn’t worry me—and then I woke up and ate breakfast and only felt him move a few more times. When I thought back to the night before I realized his activity was pretty abnormal, and although I wasn’t “worried” because I had just recently felt him move a few times I thought I should call the doctor because it definitely was not up to the 10 times within 2 hours mark. So we headed to Labor & Delivery and were hooked up to a Non-Stress Test—and of course, Philip Andrew started moving like a professional kick-boxer soon after. The doctor assured me that I did the right thing and to ALWAYS call if he doesn’t meet the movement requirements—even if I think everything is okay, I need to call. The doctor also said “What else are you going to do while you are here anyway?” Good Point. This IS why we are here…
Sunday we went to church at St. Augustine (sort of on the UF campus) and then just hung out—(more naps). Mom has just about finished the bonnet for the christening gown she is making for Philip Andrew—it is gorgeous! Tiffany (my perpetual puppy) got her Halloween costume (don’t worry, I’ll post a picture once Rusty gets down here)—she is going to be a Lady Bug—she looks so cute!
Today we had another doctor’s appointment—that included the NST (non-stress test) and an ultrasound. I know I told you before that an earlier ultrasound revealed that our precious baby has hair—well this one we could SEE A CURL!!!!! We really could see the hair in the ultrasound (and not the 4-d, the regular one!)—he is going to be one hairy baby!!! As for the appointment—everything looks as it should be…my next appointment is actually this Thursday (they had to rearrange some things—long story). That is all! I’m off now to have a romantic anniversary dinner with my mom in the hotel lobby—thank you for all of your prayers, comments, emails, thoughts—they mean so much to Rusty and me. Much Love, Liz

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Home Sweet Home

So here we are…Gainesville, Florida. The drive wasn’t bad at all—my mom and I enjoyed Dr. Laura for a few hours (if you haven’t listened to her—she is tough!). Tiffany (our little dog) slept most of the 7.5 hours. We arrived around 7pm Gainesville time and checked into our new home. We love it! It is very comfy and everyone is very friendly.

I had my first doctor’s appointment this morning at 8:30AM at Shands—they did an ultrasound to take measurements and stuff—everything looks good with regards to the baby’s growth and my fluid levels. We got some more “special” pictures of Philip Andrew—but as you will see, he did not want to be disturbed (I’m sure he was still sleeping off our yummy breakfast of eggs, grits and a banana).

After our appointment, mom and I came back to the hotel and just relaxed (took naps) and then we headed to our 2pm appointment at a different medical center. This visit took the rest of the day (since it was the first time they were seeing me) but the visit went well and we are scheduled for continuous Monday appointments until the baby comes (which is apparently not happening anytime soon per my physical examination).

Mom and I went to St. Augustine church and met with some new friends who had reached out to us before we arrived. It was nice to have someone anticipating our arrival (other than doctors)—it gives this place more of a “homey” feel and we are very appreciative of the time they spent to talk to us this afternoon.

The rest of the week will be pretty low key unless I go into labor—lots of lounging as I said in the previous post. I thank you for your prayers—please pray specifically for me NOT to go into labor until Rusty gets here!
Much love,

Sunday, October 7, 2007

“My home’s in Alabama, no matter where I lay my head”

My last day in Birmingham—so bitter sweet. Tomorrow morning my mom and I head to Gainesville, Florida where I will reside for an undetermined amount of time. On one hand, it is comforting to know I will be only a mile away from the hospital where I will deliver little Philip Andrew—our entire purpose for making this journey. But on the other hand—we don’t know what lies ahead in terms of outcome, time away from our friends and family, and of course, parenthood. Rusty will join me later—closer to delivery day (tentatively Nov. 6)—until then, my mom will be lounging with me on our “vacation”—which will consist of weekly doctors visits, bobbing in the hotel pool, manicures, pedicures and LOTS of Grey’s Anatomy. It will be worse than waiting for Christmas I’m sure—our 2nd wedding anniversary will be spent apart, I will miss Rusty’s birthday—and I’ll be waiting for the greatest gift ever—the birth of our little boy! For those of you who know me—patience is not one of my strong suits—so any sort of “waiting” is absolutely torture!!!! But I know that God is giving us this time to be fully prepared for Philip Andrew’s birth so I will try and not let the “waiting” get to me.

I’ve been mentally preparing for this part of the journey for months now-- so it is bearable—especially after all the wonderful gifts that have come our way in the past few days. We’ve (Rusty and I) been able to have special dinners with our family and friends, we’ve had perfect evenings in our back yard with just the two of us, we’ve had good reflections—and then we’ve had some miracles. About 9 days ago I had a friend call me to tell me that she would be saying a novena to St. Teresa of the Little Flower and that she had Rusty and I on her prayer list for the novena. I thought it was so sweet and thoughtful. A few days later, Rusty was out in the backyard pruning our pink rose bush and it reminded me about the novena and I told him then. I told him that St. Teresa usually sends a sign of her dedication of intercessory in the form of roses—although our roses were pink and there to begin with, I suggested that the fullness and fragrance of them could be her “sign”—and left it at that. Well, today my aunt came over to say goodbye and we went out into the back yard so she could identify some plants for us and I look over to the pink rose bush and standing with the pink roses was one strong lone red rose in full bloom. I looked at Rusty and he smiled knowing what I was thinking. I called my friend and asked her about the novena and she said it had just ended but that she had remembered us in her prayers—I then told her about our gift of a red rose. She agreed that St. Teresa had indeed sent that gift to Rusty and me—such perfect timing.

At our last ultrasound and doctor’s appointment on Wednesday, the ultrasound technician was sweet enough to do some special pictures of Philip Andrew. We hope you will enjoy them—his little smirk came just at the time when I said “Smile for mama!”—the ultrasound technician even seemed surprised when he did in fact “smile”!

I will be updating the blog more as I settle into Gainesville—so please keep checking. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers—we give all the glory to God for this baby and for all the support from our friends and family—we know that it is only through His love that we are able to endure His wonderful plan for our life.
Much Love, Liz & Rusty