Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Whirlwind Thanksgiving

How do four day weekends pass so quickly?!  I can't believe it's Sunday night already!  Our weekend was busy, but wonderful.

On Thursday we celebrated Thanksgiving with our families.  We went to Bradley's parents' house for lunch and then hosted my family at our house for dinner.  Yum!  I have so much to be thankful for!  An amazing husband, a wonderful family, great friends....and, of course, this precious little girl we'll meet in April!  The Lord has truly blessed us, and we will continue to thank Him for His blessings not just on Thanksgiving, but always.

On Friday, Bradley and I went shopping.  Usually I get up to go shopping really early on Black Friday, but not this year.  We left home around 8am and still managed to get some pretty good deals.  I continued my Christmas shopping with my mom on Saturday.  I have such a wonderful mom, and it was a blessing to be able to spend the day with her.

Bradley and I decided to begin working on our baby registry this weekend.  I hadn't planned to do it quite yet, but, with Christmas approaching, several people mentioned buying things for the baby and asked if we had registered.  So, with lists in hand, we braved Babies R Us today.  I knew that babies needed lots of things, but I never imagined how many things we would need.  We were there for hours.  Hours!  At the beginning we were both bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (love that expression!), excited to pick things out for our daughter.  By the end, though, we were exhausted and overwhelmed.  There were so many decisions to make, such as: Should we register for neutral things or go all pink?  Which stroller is the best?  Should we go with a travel system or individual pieces that fit together?  Which brand of bottles should we use?  It was exhausting!  Fun, but exhausting!  In the end, we registered for lots of pink things, but tried to keep the major things (play yard, bouncer, swing) in neutral colors just in case we do have another baby and it happens to be a boy.  Given our struggle with infertility and everything it took for us to become pregnant with this baby, I'm not sure that's going to happen.  But you never know, and I wanted to make sure I could use these things again in a few years if needed.  After a lot of research, we chose a travel system by Chicco in a beige/pink color combination.  No, it's not neutral and, yes, I cringed at the price, but I absolutely fell in love with it.  If we ever have another baby, we'll have to get another stroller.  For now, though, pink it is.  :)  Bottles were the hardest for me.  There are so many choices, and I'm just not sure what to do quite yet.  We didn't register for any, and I plan to think about it more and then make a decision.  I was so tired by the time we left the store.  I feel like we've accomplished at least something in preparing for her arrival.  Now we need to get started on the nursery. 

We planned to begin decorating for Christmas this evening, but, after our looooong adventure at Babies R Us, it just didn't happen.  Hopefully we'll get to that sometime early this week.

20 Week Bumpdate

Over the last several years, I've watched (er, read) many bloggers post weekly "bumpdates" during their pregnancies.  I always thought it was a great idea, but when I found out I was (finally) pregnant, suddenly I was hesitant to do such a thing.  For twenty weeks now, I've been wary of posting anything like that.  It seems like no matter how great every appointment or ultrasound goes, I'm still fearful.  For the longest time I couldn't make myself buy maternity clothes or things for the baby.  I was afraid doing so would jinx this pregnancy somehow, just as posting weekly bumpdates would.

I don't want to look back on this time with a single regret, and I'm determined to enjoy the next twenty weeks rather than worrying through them.  So let the bumpdates begin!

How Far Along: 20 weeks, 4 days
Size of Baby: around 10 inches long and 10.5 ounces
Gender:  Girl!
Movement:  Flutters.  Earlier this week I was concerned because she wasn't moving as much, but she definitely made up for it today.  She has been wiggling constantly! 
Food Cravings:  I could eat grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup every day. 
What I Miss:  Sleeping on my stomach.
Sleep:  Not great.  I'm able to fall asleep quickly, but can't sleep through the night.  Usually I wake up around 3ish and can't go back to sleep.
Symptoms:  Round ligament pain (ouch!) and heartburn.
Best Moment This Week:  Celebrating Thanksgiving with our family and knowing that we'll be celebrating Aniston's first Thanksgiving next year.  What a precious thought!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Little One Letters-20 Weeks

Dear Aniston,
  Sweet girl, today is an important milestone in this pregnancy.  I am twenty weeks pregnant with you!  We're halfway there!  I can't believe it.  Time is passing so quickly.  In one way, I want time to slow down just a bit so I can savor every moment of this experience with you.  At the same time, though, I find myself wishing that April would hurry up and get here.  I'm so eager to meet you!  
  I have always loved the hymn, "Great is Thy Faithfulness."  Growing up, I couldn't get enough of those words.  When your daddy and I got married, we chose to use the hymn as part of our wedding music.  It's special to us, and I hope that one day you will understand how very true the words are.  I love the chorus:  Great is Thy faithfulness!  Great is Thy faithfulness!  Morning by morning new mercies I see; All I have needed the Lord hath provided; Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me.   As we longed to have a child, those words never left me.  Even when we lost your sister, even when we were told that you may not be a possibility, I clung to the truth in the words in that hymn. 
  Tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  We have so much to be thankful for, and you are at the top of our list.  You are surely a miracle, little one, and we thank God for you and ask His protection over you every day.  Every time you wiggle, I am reminded of how faithful and loving our God is.  Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

We love you so very much,

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Little One Letters...It's a Girl!

Dear Little One,
  Last Friday we had an ultrasound to check on you.  You're getting so big and changing so quickly!  I am just in awe of you, sweet miracle.  I am so thankful already to be your mommy, and can only imagine what life will be like when you finally arrive.  The ultrasound was absolutely amazing.  We were thrilled to see that you were growing and developing appropriately.  Your little heart was just beating away.  The sight of that takes my breath away every time.  You were constantly moving, tapping your feet and waving your arms.
  We also wanted to find out if you were a boy or a girl.  At first, you turned away every time the ultrasound tech tried to see.  I was nervous that we wouldn't be able to find out.  Finally, you decided to cooperate and the ultrasound tech announced, "It's a girl!"  A daughter! 
  I can't wait to begin picking things out for your nursery!  I am so excited about all of the pink that will be in our house!  People are already buying things for you.  You are such a lucky little girl!  You're not even here yet, and you are already so loved by so many.  I love to look at the little clothes and shoes people have given us this past week.  They are so tiny and so cute!
  Your daddy and I picked out a name for you that we both love--Aniston Louise.  I was the one who suggested Aniston and, after a lot of thought, your daddy agreed that it was perfect for you.  Your middle name comes from Mamaw Louise, your great-grandmother.  She is such a wonderful, special person and I can't wait for her to meet you.  She and Papaw Coy are so excited about you! 
  Sweet Aniston, you are such a blessing to us already.  Keep growing, precious girl, and April will be here before you know it.

Love always,

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sunday Morning

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Psalm 150: 6

Saturday, November 13, 2010

It's a....


We are absolutely thrilled!  The ultrasound went really well.  The baby was constantly moving and tapping her feet.  Several times she brought her hands together as if in prayer.  The ultrasound tech typed the word "amen" beside her hands and made sure to give us that picture.  Amen, indeed!  Our little girl is truly a miracle.  It was such a blessing to spend time watching her today.  All of the measurements were normal.  Her heart looked wonderful and the doctor was able to rule out 90% of all heart defects.  Her bladder and kidneys are functioning, and she even swallowed several times during the ultrasound!  Her brain, spine, face, and tummy are all normal.  The umbilical cord has the correct number of arteries and veins, and the area that will be our little girl's belly button shows no sign of organ displacement.  Her feet are really big!  The ultrasound tech got a laugh out of that and said that she normally didn't measure feet, but couldn't resist knowing how big the baby's were.  They definitely measured the same length as her thigh! They told us it was nothing to worry about--her feet just grew faster than the rest of her body and probably won't grow much more before birth.  Most of the ultrasound pictures aren't great because she's such a wiggle worm!  She never stayed in the same place for very long.  We did get a neat picture of one of her (big) little feet, and it's just precious--she has such tiny toes!  I had hoped for one of those cute profile shots like she's given us before, but she just didn't cooperate this time.  Both the ultrasound tech and the doctor said that the baby is perfect!  We are so thankful for this healthy little girl, our Aniston Louise, and know that our prayers have been heard and answered.  What a great God we have!

For this child I prayed; 
and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of him.
--1 Samuel 1:27

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Boy or Girl? We'll Know Tomorrow!

Tomorrow is the day of our big ultrasound!  Because of the missed miscarriage during the first pregnancy, ultrasounds always make me a little nervous.  I've dealt with the familiar anxiety and fear this week by praying constantly.  Over the last couple of days, my anxiety has been replaced with excitement and my fear with optimism.  When those terrible thoughts pop into my mind--What if we've lost the baby?  What if the baby doesn't measure correctly?  What if they find some sort of abnormality or problem?--I'm now able to push them away by thinking, What if the baby's heartbeat is strong and clear?  What if the baby is perfect?  I am excited about tomorrow's appointment, and that is such a wonderful feeling.  Since they'll do all sorts of measurements, this will be a long ultrasound (they told us to expect it to last thirty to forty-five minutes).  I can't wait to find out if the baby is a boy or a girl, but I'm also thrilled to be able to watch the baby for that long since all of our other ultrasounds have been five minutes or less.

As always, please continue to pray for us.  Please pray that our baby is healthy and growing appropriately.

So, boy or girl?  Any last-minute guesses?  :)