Sunday, September 14, 2008

Well, it's been too long since an update. I've kept myself dutifully busy running here and there. Trying to let time pass as quickly as possible. I miss Jonathan terribly still, of course. I live for the times I get to webcam or talk to him, I plan my life around those wonderful times.

I realized I haven't said very much about my feelings in this pregnancy, just had the fun little updates. But I guess I feel like writing them now.

This pregnancy has really been amazing to us... Amazing that it happened, first off. I had no idea what to expect, and I didn't have nearly the optisim going through IVF the second time as I did the first. When we found out, and I went to show Jonathan that positive test, I was happy and scared. His first reaction (as far as I recall): let's call our parents and ask them to pray. We were scared, we'd done this once and so didn't want to lose this baby too. It's weird to call your parents to tell them you're pregnant, but not to be able to really be excited about it (or to allow them to be). But it just was. Those first few weeks were so tenuous. I worried every time I had a strange feeling, every time I went to the bathroom, and especially until I got that first ultrasound. Even getting it and seeing a heartbeat at 6wk, I wondered how long it might last. We prayed a lot, and kinda just held our breath. We told a few close people about it, but never really made any "announcement" like the first time.

For my own mental well-being, we purchased a Doppler online at ~9 weeks. It has been the best $100 we have ever spent. Every time I've lain down to listen to the baby's heartbeat, getting that reassuring sound in the 160 range always brings a smile to my face and peace to my heart. I love it!!! Now the baby moves a lot, so I don't use it nearly as often. But still, when it's 4 weeks between appointments, it was so important to have.

Jonathan and I really reached a crucible when we went to the 13 week NT scan. When we looked on the ultrasound screen, we saw the form of a baby! This child we'd been aching for, praying for, worrying over, it now had the features of a real baby, not a little bean anymore. It touched us so much and created an even deeper attachment to the baby. We were so moved and mezmorized. And we realized if losing the other baby at 6w5d when we'd never even gotten to see it on ultrasound, and this one we had with us twice as long and had seen 3 times, what kind of devastation would losing this one be? It was scary to contemplate.

We'd been in kind-of a holding pattern since IVF started, spiritually speaking. We prayed a lot, but we didn't know if God was hearing us. We were afraid there were more trials ahead, and we didn't know how we would hold up, that first one was so painful. But as the pregnancy progressed, and the baby kept growing faithfully, we had to face a reality: we could not stay in a spiritual hibernation, just waiting for the baby's birth or for something bad to happen. We spent lots of time praying, talking to one another, and asking God to restore our desire for Him. We knew we were't desiring Him in the way we should, but that's not something you can manufacture. The Holy Spirit must enliven your heart. We invited him in, with tears we plead for new hearts to trust Him and progress again spiritually. And God answered. He really, really did. It was just over a week before Jonathan left, but God did do that. And with us being apart, we are using this time to seek Him indivudually and work on putting Him first in our days, and going to Him first with our needs. I think the timing of the separation was fore-ordained by Him to solidify our reliance on Him.

So, that said, we have had to take down the guards we'd placed all around our hearts and minds. We have had to just open up, thank God for the baby, and pray with faith that come January we'll have a baby in our home. We've had to live with faith too: buying a crib, painting a nursery, buying baby clothes. After we'd lost the first baby, sometimes those things we'd done or said in expectation just cut deeper into the hurt, and so you're left really afraid to do anything you'll have to un-do later. But eventually, it's a part of the progression of hope and expectation and faith. So, we are moving forward. It still takes my breath away at times when I think of the future, when I have a fear come into my heart. But, little by little I pray to overcome those and just live with faith.

Those are just some of the myriad of thoughts and experiences we've had throughout this pregnancy. We still have quite a few weeks/months ahead of us, but for now we rejoice and praise God again and again for what He has done, and what He is doing, and we pray for the child's heath and life to be sustained all the way to birth.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

1/9th of the way through...

Well, we've gotten 1/9 of the way through the deployment. Last night at 2am I couldn't sleep, and had a sudden urge to go through my personal mini calendar and mark all the fractions of time we'd be at each point in each week. I marked everything I could. It felt good, knowing for example, that my next doctor's appointment for baby, I will be 1/3 off the way through. I have to play little tricks on my mind, to help give me motivation to get through. For example, I told myself today, "This is the 2nd trash day you're doing when he's gone. Only 8 more to go." That type of stuff. Yesterday, Starbucks came out with one of their seasonal drinks, the Pumpkin Spice Latte, one of my favorites (I'm such a sucker for seasonal items!). Rather than indulging right away, I told myself that I wanted to give myself a goal to get to before I indulge, sort-of like earning the reward. I told myself I wanted to get 1/3 the way through the deployment before I ordered one (that's when we figured I'd be at my appointment anyway, so double reason to celebrate). Any other fun ideas to do when I get to certain points in time are welcome.

I spent my first weekend alone here by leaving and not being alone. My sister Crystal is in school outside of Chattanooga, just a little over a 4 hour drive. While the drive up was really painful on my back (my new symptom), it was SO good to be with Crystal! We did a lot of things together, and enjoyed each other's company a lot. So much so, that instead of leaving on Sunday I left on Monday. Crystal was very hospitable in her new apartment she's sharing with 3 other girls, and the body pillow she had convinced me that buying one would put an end to my back aches. And it has, so much! $8.88 at Wal-Mart, too.

Jonathan is doing well. He has been strong when I needed, and I've been strong when he's needed. The webcamming is tremendous! He starts flying every other day today, which is a good thing for his morale and schedule. He flies for 12 hours, but with all the prep and debriefing involved, it's more like 15 hours of time involved. Then he has to sleep, so it easily makes a day pass away for him (as easy as can be). I mailed my first package off to him yesterday, which I will be grateful to reach him in about a week. He got my first letter yesterday, and considering I sent it last Wednesday and the holiday weekend, that isn't so bad. I have written him personal letters every day except one so far.

And now, I have a friend to babysit for tonight, and I have my soon-to-be brother-in-law's graduation fro Army basic training to go to tomorrow. I need to get there at 8:00am, and it should be a 2 hr drive, so I have an early morning ahead of me. While I don't relish the busyness, it can help at times.

Thank you all for your love, prayers, support, and comments. It helps so much to be surrounded by friends, through calls, visits, emails, and blog comments! Here are Crystal and I enjoying the weekend.