Sunday, August 31, 2008

How Life Is

So, Jonathan has now been gone about 5 days, plus a few more hours. It can be frustrating and wonderful thinking of the time that's passed. Sometimes I can have a positive outlook, thinking that 5 days is 1/14th of our time. And others I can get discouraged because it's not even been a week. Yet one week will be 1/10th of the way.... So, I just have to pray every morning for perspective and strength, for both Jonathan and me. True to form, sometimes we have different emotional trigger-points. For example, nighttime is my hard time. I am alone, done with work, and just hating being alone in the dark. Yet in the morning I get fresh perspective with a quiet time, I feel like there's one less day in the countdown, I get to make myself some yummy coffee, and I get to look forward to calls/emails/webcam with Jonathan that day. He is opposite. At night he feels he has completed one more day of deployment, he is one day closer to it being over, and he gets to spend some easy hours sleeping. Morning he has a whole work-load in front of him of some long days and he feels far from the goal of 70ish days. So we can help one another and pray when the other is weakest and we are strongest. Even at this distance we can help each other bear this load.

We had such a precious thing happen with Baby Girl before he was deployed. When I first started feelings flutters I could identify in the 15 week mark, I told Jonathan. He then replied, "I can't wait to feel them myself before I deploy." I basically let him know this was near to impossible, as at the time they were so tiny and almost unfeelable, and only by me because they were hitting organs and parts inside. We never said another word about it. Then the morning he was to leave, we were lieing down on the couch and I had my shirt up to show my belly. We were just laying together and talking, when I felt a sharp kick in my left upper-belly. I realized it as a swift kick. I pointed it out to him and Baby Girl gave two sharp visible kicks right after. It was truly amazing. It was as if she were just saying her little good-bye to her Daddy. I couldn't belive it. I have not seen a kick since then, though I have felt them at times, so that stands out as something really special for him.

We have been really surprised and our spirits so lifted at our ability to webcam where he is!!! Last time internet there was really restircted and difficult to obtain for long at all. Now? There are a few different public areas with wi-fi, so we have been able to webcam every day he's not been flying. We even got 2 hours one day, plus our daily emails!!! So that is a kindness of the Lord we never thought really possible. It has lifted our spirits more than words could express by having face-to-face unhurried conversations. Last time, we just got 15 minute calls every other day or so, and believe me, when you try to put 2 days worth of our lives into 15 minutes, you just end up putting on a brave face and keeping it rather surface because you just want to keep your spirits up. We ended up with much deeper communication though email, which was fine, but we missed that real-time conversation. What a blessing skype has been!

As we speak, I am in Tennessee, 4 hours from my house, staying in my sister Crystal's apartment/dorm here at Lee University. It's an easy drive for me, and I wanted to visit her (I did that last time too). It's been SO good being with a family member, and she always makes me feel welcome. I was going to leave today (Sunday), but she really wanted me another day, and there's no reason I can't work here while she goes to school tomorrow, if just to give us more time together.

So for now I'll close this out with a cute picture I took at 18 weeks. I haven't gotten a 19 week belly shot in, but Baby Girl has had a growth spurt, or just really moved to the front of my belly now. Days ago I could lie down and my stomach was flat so you couldn't tell I was pregnant. All of a sudden she moved and there's no losing the belly now. :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

My Sweet Husband is Gone....

I haven't much emotional energy left to post much... Except to say that my precious Jonathan is gone, gone, gone. We parted today at 2:30 after having probably the most excrutiating 24 hour countdown to that. We both think somehow this deployment is so much worse in how we handled the actual leaving process. It feels SO much harder. Not even sure why, only perhaps now we know what we've got ahead of us whereas back in January we did not. The Lord was present when we cried out, His words in the Psalms ministered like no other to us, but we are so broken at being separated. When you think of us, please pray, this is so very difficult to go through. We keep reminding ourselves to just take one day at a time.

We had some of the most precious moments leading up to this separation. I can't even being to describe them, as they defy even words to adequately express them. And we know this is so hard only because we have found in each other the very depths of Love and Oneness that many others only dream about. The heights of joy go hand in hand with the depths of pain at times.

So for my benefit, here are a few of our precious last times together. Here is also my 18 week belly shot. I'll include a head shot at 19 weeks. I look a lot bigger with maternity-type clothes on than the shot I took below.

Picnic last week....

The last dinner out

Before we leave the house - all too reminiscient of January...

18 wk belly

Friday, August 22, 2008

Baby Girl!

That's right.... today at 18w2d, we found out we will (Lord willing) be welcoming a beautiful little girl into our lives in January. A girl!!! We are so happy, so grateful, so amazed. I feel like it's something of a dream - can this all be a reality someday? It was so beautiful to see her on screen, moving about, cooperating perfectly. We got this in just 4 days before Jonathan departs, and picked up a crib we'd found for a great deal the other day on the way home that we've now put together - our first baby purchase!

I am all done with morning sickness, and the nausea just comes and goes every now and then. I can eat whatever I want that I did not develop an aversion to. At my 16 week appointment they told me my hemoglobin had gotten worse (from a 10.4 at 11 weeks to 9.3 at 16 weeks). They told me to really try hard to research and eat iron rich foods (I'd been on an iron Rx since 11 weeks). I hadn't felt any symptoms of anemia, but then 3 days ago it just hit. Rollnig over on the couch at night seemed like too much effort. Unfortunately, decreased appetite is a side-effect of anemia, so it doesn't help when you Really need to eat and just don't have any interest. But Jonathan and I researched it out, and went to the store and he spared no expense putting things into the cart that were iron rich. Lots of red meat, lots of dark green leafy veggies, lots of o.j. and citrus to help the iron absorbtion, and lots of cereal fortified with 100% RDA of iron. While I haven't felt the affects yet, in just 10 days my iron now is at a 10.2! So I've got to keep it up, along with the liquid chlorophyll I've been drinking. I was ready to ask for the injectable iron the doctor spoke of, but it looks like I might not need it (yet). Anything to stay healthy!

I have steadily gained 2lb every 4 weeks since my initial 7wk appointment, which puts me at a 6 lb weight gain so far. I am showing, but just not a lot (picture in next post, promise!). When I mention I'm expecting, everyone looks so shocked at how "far" I am (to them). It's all new to me, but I feel healthy so I feel good! For now, I'm going to just post pictures of little girl!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

D-Day is Coming (Too) Soon...

Yep. We are down to about 2 weeks or less until Jonathan must deploy to the Middle East again. *sighs heavily* I am so dreading his being gone again. I look around the house when he's at work right now, and I just imagine not being able to look forward to his returning at night. I don't have to imagine, I just have to remember. It seems sad he just returned a little over 4 months ago. And yet, I have to be grateful for the reason he's leaving. He was originally set for leaving in December and returning in March. And now because we are looking forward to Lord-willing hopefully welcoming a child into our lives January 21st, we have had to switch his deployment. While I hate him going earlier, I have to give thanks for the reason. Grateful beyond words, and my heart overflows with thankfulness for the cause.

I do not have any really fun trips flying out to anywhere while he's gone. No Seattle. :( But I will visit my family for 3-4 weeks in September/October. My sister-in-law is getting married October 11th and I get the honor and priviledge of making her cake (we hope that date works, her fiancee is in Army basic training and we're all praying for time off to get married - Susi, remember how fun that was to plan around?)!!! So I'll need plenty of prep time at my parents' to get the cake pans, rent the stand, buy boxes and decorating tips and clear vanilla and all that extra fun stuff. An autumn wedding should be lovely!

I do get the pleasure of working on the nursey while Jonathan is gone. Jonathan's brothers were here for a weekend (fishing and beach time at Savannah!) and they helped him move my office stuff into the 2nd guest bedroom/hunting room. The old-office is the smallest room in our home (though plenty big), it's the closest to our bedroom, and located exactly where I want the nursery to be. Now the office is in the room with the bunk beds and Jonathan's hunting stuff. Our two guest rooms are in a separate nook of the house with a bathroom over there too, so when guests stay they really have complete privacy. Making the nursery on that side of the house just didn't make sense. We shall see how it works. We have decided on a Beatrix Potter-Peter Rabbit color-themed room for the baby if it's a boy. I really don't like themes, but the colors on the wall would be blue and some yellow, and then there would be a few pictures or figurines, but the bedding and curtains would not be themed, just complimentary colors. If it's a girl, I want pink and brown colors and a brocade bedding/accessories (Jonathan doesn't love it, but doesn't mind, I let him pick the shades of pink/brown). We'll see.

The doctors said they'd be happy to do the anatomy scan on August 22nd, right before Jonathan deploys. I'll be 18weeks 2days. They said they'd do it again at 20 weeks if they can't get the anatomy measurements done if it's a bit too early, but they're giving us a chance for Jonathan to be there if the gender can be determined. I'm so grateful for the chance!

We just got back from 9 gloriously relaxing and fun days in Florida in a cabin right on the beach (a private one too practically). We went fishing on a boat one day and that was great fun (I didn't get sick, yay). We spent probably 8 hours ON the beach every day. We cooked a lot together, ate out a few times, and Jonathan surprised me with breakfast in bed one morning! We were so unhurried and blissful, it was really perfect for our purposes. *sighs dreamily*

Lots more to say, but I need to keep this short and sweet. More later....