Sunday, May 24, 2009

Getting Close... In NC

Slowly, we're coming to an end to Deployment #3. We just got our return date.... June 4th!!! Sure, it's not as good as coming home on the 1, 2, or 3rd... But as my mother-in-law said, it's better than the 5th, 6th, or 7th! Last deployment was the 5th. Actually, considering it's delay, it was midnight plus on the 6th. So we'll take it. When you get this close, it seems like what does a day or two matter, when there's a 78 day total? But you're just so excited and ready to be reunited, it can be a challenge even now! My stomach does flips when I think of seeing my Jonathan again, though!!! I catch my breath a little and then have to tell myself to calm down because we're still over 10 days away!

I have had such a fun and amazing time in NC! Firstly, working part time has been so good. There's tons to do, yet I get to be in the office with my dad and brother (my brother Stuart wouldn't normally work in the office, but he and his wife are closing on a house outside Lynchburg in a few weeks, so they're in NC until that's done). So that's fun. I work 2 hours in the morning, and 2 hours in the afternoon, when Elyana naps. Then when she's awake, I take her to the house to play. She gets to spend time with her amazingly fun aunts, uncles and Nana of course! Aunt Mary makes her talk and babble like no one else. Aunt Suzanne makes her laugh the most. Aunt Crystal likes to play piano for her, which she attentively listens to (& she helped me give her a bath, the first person besides J!). Aunt Karen just showers mommy-like love on her (with two of her own girls, and a boy due 3 weeks from now, she is an expert at that). Nana will do whatever little Elyana wants. Anyway, it's just super fun getting to see my siblings interact with my precious little girl.

We introduced Elyana to Uncle Michael and Uncle Christopher (Jonathan's brothers) and she adores them. I think they sound like her Daddy, because she turns her head to their voices more than anyone else's (except mine!). They are really amazing uncles, and play with her and hold her so gently. It's neat to see that side to them. Of course Jonathan's parents just adore her too, and shower her with love and attention and lots of sweet holding. Aunt Emily, Jonathan's yongest sister, even though she has down syndrome, just loves to hold Elyana and look at her. It's adorable! And Catherine I can already tell is more and more comfortable with her. When she visited in Georgia, she wasn't sure she liked holding her when she was starting to fuss, but now, she can soothe her! She's going to be a great aunt/mother/babysitter for sure.

I've gotten to visit people here and there, never long enough, but still incredibly fun. I'm just going to have to post pictures below. I brought two cameras, and one is currently misplaced, so all my Charlotte pics and Mother's Day are lost currently. :(

Elyana has had a lot of firsts while she's here. Her first cold (so her first taste of anything besides's my milk - some infant tylenol). Her first rolling over (back to front too, which is harder). Her first time swimming. Her first beach trip (she did not play in the sand though, since it was too cold). Her first Mother's Day (what an absolute blessing). Her first time meeting all my old Charlotte friends. So much more, but I'd have to look over my papers to recall them all. Anyway, it's been a blast. Just 9 more days now....

Catherine reading, Christopher holding Elyana.

Catherine plays while Grandma holds Elyana.

Aunt Emily!

Uncle Michael met her for the first time

What a face! She melts my heart!

It was Shiona's 3rd birthday. She loved opening the presents, but didn't really care much about what they were. It was adorable. She wanted pizza and an ice cream cake! She was so cute, and had about 30 people there, which is what you get when you have a large family and close friends!

Katrina adores "Elyana Ruth" as she calls her. She is so careful with her! I cannot wait until they're old enough to all play.

At Mom & Dad's beach condo, Crystal and Elyana.

Uncle Noah was such a good spot about the spit up. He still holds her after that!

Nana and Papa with their 3rd grandbaby. #4 coming in 2-3 weeks!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

One Year Ago Today...

Elyana, as a little 7-cell, Grade B embryo, was transferred into my uterus. 3 days before that, Elyana was conceived. At the transfer, the doctor was running an hour behind, and I was suppose to have a full bladder for my scheduled time... So that was a very uncomfortable transfer! Our embryos looked a little better than last time. We put 2 7-cells in and still had some 6's, 5's and 4's growing (the time before we'd put in a 6 and 5 and had 5's and 4's growing). We had to fly back to Atlanta the next day, and I was so nervous about it all. I just wanted to be on bedrest for a day or two to give the embryos a good chance to implant, even though it's never been proven that this helps at all.

It seems like a lifetime ago I was at WH doing IVF for the second time. Seems like a lifetime ago I didn't know if I'd ever get to experience pregnancy and childbirth and looking at a baby that was Jonathan and my features mixed together. And here I am, with Elyana Ruth! "The Lord has answered" is what her names means - how I am reminded of that every day!

When she was just 3 days old, we were driving home from her first pediatrician visit. And I looked back at her in the carseat and began to talk to Jonathan. I told him how full my heart was right now. I began to tell him how I never knew if the pain of infertility would ever be gone. I had wondered if pregnancy would remove it, but even while pregnant I had pangs of it every now and then when I was reminded of how hard it was to get to that point, or something like that.... And then I told him, as I began crying (for joy), that now with Elyana here, having her had removed all the pain of the years of infertility. That was truly behind us, God had healed it all with our baby daughter. How amazing was that? I was so very happy, it was like being a different person. Except I wasn't, God had just freed me from a great, huge burden of the last 3 years. Jonathan felt the same way.

I never knew what was in store a year ago, as we headed out to the car that Saturday morning. I was excited and scared. And now I can look, and know God graciously answered the years of so many people's prayers. I am humbled, I am grateful, I am changed.

Thank you, Lord, for our little Elyana Ruth.