Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Good Words

These past few days have been...hmmm, I'm not sure how to describe them.  I was reading a post from one of my favorite designer blogs, and it pretty much sums up how I feel right now.  Here are her words:

"A client friend once told us a story about a time she could not form a sentence.  She was a week or so postpartum and was attempting to have a very basic conversation with her husband.  She couldn’t put words together to make any sense at all.  This tends to happen when you have a lot going on.  All that would come from her mouth was, “my words are not good.”  We love that line so much we use it daily.  Our client actually sent us this quote framed in a pretty little silver frame for Christmas and there are many days that I’m tempted to strap it to a sweatband and wear it on my forehead."
-from Erika at Urban Grace (blog.urbangrace.com)
If you are looking for some design inspiration, some beautiful photos, or randomness; her blog is inspiring.

So, please forgive me...my words are not good!

***

Here's a quick recap of the past few days:
* We missed Adam's brother's retirement ceremony from the Navy.  It was in Virginia, which is too far for us to travel right now.  We are super proud of him and thankful for his service!  Here is a pic of him from the last big shindig of his we were able to attend...he was the Chief Engineer of the USS George HW Bush at the time:



* Over the weekend someone slept a lot; the other 2 did some yard work

* We found out who tied Zeke up!  2 boys in our neighborhood...what great neighbors they are!  I stopped by their houses with a little happy yesterday for saving Zeke.  Get this...I was talking to one of the boys' moms and she is the head of one of the NICUs in town!  She offered her assistance if we need it when we get home!

* Someone wrote some not-so-kind things on Adam's truck with a key on Sunday night...they also drew a nice little picture for him to drive around with...add that to the list of things to fix!

* Our doctor's appointment was great!  Adam updated the stats earlier.  We are so thankful for all the prayers...God is obviously working!  Dr G made a comment last week that was almost lost on me, but he made it again yesterday so I know I wasn't hearing things.  He said he thinks we are going to be able to bring Battley home!  Yessir...you read that right!  Please keep praying for those same things for her: her breathing, eating, and her heart to heal!

* Remember the list of things a pregnant woman should never do?  Let me remind you:

Pregnant women should NOT make major decisions like:
Deciding to renovate anything
Cutting your hair off
Getting a puppy did it

What better idea than to embark on another one a few weeks before your due date?  Haha!  We are redoing our bedroom right now...not really a renovation, but probably not my brightest idea!

* Mac was happy to come home...hasn't missed a beat!



* I thought I was going to do a little less work these last few weeks...at least that was my plan.  Last week was one of my busiest weeks in a long time.  My office car was getting a little out of control, so I had a little clean out party.  You wouldn't believe what I found in there!  I normally clean it out every 2 weeks and take it to get detailed.  Now, if you know me you know I can be kinda cheap frugal about some things...having my car detailed is one of those things.  Luckily I have a secret detail place...I also have a secret Target, but I'll have to save that one for later.  My detail place washes and details for $36.00...worth every penny!

This is a basket that sits in the back seat...it's really for pens, paper, give-away type stuff, etc but had become a catch all for cups, the AV cord, random trash...


Check out what I found in there:



Adam Someone had been accusing Hayden someone else of stealing the scissors for weeks!  Mystery solved!  It was apparently me!

* You may remember me posting a while back about a couple our doctor wanted to introduce us to.  I have been having coffee with her, Kristina, for a while now.  Kristina's daughter Layne was born with T18 and spent a few wonderful weeks with her family at home.  Layne is in Heaven with Jesus now.  Kristina has been a huge inspiration and wealth of information for me.

Last week when we were having coffee she told me about a first time Momma whose daughter has just been diagnosed with T18.  She is about 20 weeks along.  Her name is Amy.  Her daughter has some extra complications that Battley doesn't have and they are on a mission to find answers.  Please add Amy's name to your prayer list.  I am praying that she will find answers to her questions and the peace that only Christ can provide.

Phillipians 4:
7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

* Hayden's first tennis match was supposed to be today.  It got rained out...bummer! He's in 7th grade and plays for the High School team...such a proud Momma.  Here he is all dressed and ready to go to school:


C

3lbs 11oz

Battley gained about 1/2 a pound the past week.

Other good news from our doctors visit:

We continued to observe practice breaths (this is a good sign the lungs are developing as expected).

Her heartbeat was 128 when we started the sonogram, and then went up to 136 when she started moving around.

She's got lots of hair and cute feet!






Friday, February 24, 2012

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

We have a little contest going here...which is worse?

Scenario A:  
Your pregnant and don't like shopping at the maternity store so you rotate outfits about every 4 days...as you have been doing for the last 4-5 months. 
One day this week your husband helps you to your breakfast presentation since you are lugging about 20 carpet tiles...how sweet of him...aren't you a lucky gal?
You finish the presentation.
You kiss him goodbye as he heads of to work. 
Later in the day (after 3 other appointments) you meet up with him and he says this to you, "Uhm, Honey, your pants are kinda see-thru!  I noticed it this morning!!!"

Scenario B:
It's 84 degrees outside.
The air conditioner in your truck starts blowing hot air.

So, which is worse?

D

R

U

M

R

O

L

L

If you chose Scenario A...you're wrong!

If you chose Scenario B...you're wrong!

If you chose hidden Scenario C...WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER!

Scenario C:
Your daddy drops you off at the vet to get fixed.
Whew...what a week it has been!  I thought about apologizing to everyone I have seen/offended with my "kinda see-thru" pants over the past 4 months, but that would probably take years.  I have instead chosen to live in denial and think that the sun was just hitting them a certain way that it never had before...oh, and retire them from the rotation!

Adam will be getting his air fixed, but we are loving the weather.

Mac will be fine, but it just broke my heart to send him to the vet overnight.

***

Last night I got home and just about had a breakdown!  I opened the garage to see that our door to the house was wide open.  I had been home for about 10 minutes earlier to unload the car and pack a cooler so I suppose I didn't shut it well enough.  I ran all over the house looking for Zeke...no where to be found!  Talk about panic mode!  I ran outside thinking I was about to pull an all-nighter looking for my pug.  He was laying in the driveway looking at me!!  

Pugs are really into people so when we are in the front yard we have a leash we use to hook him up so he can be outside with us.  The last person to have him outside left it hooked up to the basketball goal.  One of our neighbors...I suppose...found him and hooked him up for us!

I don't know who did it, but I am so super thankful for them! 

***

A good friend of mine texted this to me yesterday...just thought it was worth sharing:

Refocus for Lent:
Give up complaining — focus on gratitude.
Give up harsh judgments — think kind thoughts.
Give up worry — trust God to provide.
Give up discouragement — be full of hope.
Give up bitterness — turn to forgiveness.
Give up hatred — return good for evil.
Give up anger— be more patient.
Give up pettiness — become more mature.
Give up jealousy — pray for trust.
Give up gossiping— control your tongue.
Give up sin — turn to virtue.
Give up giving up — persevere.
~Author unknown

C

Monday, February 20, 2012

Battley's middle name

I don't think we have officially posted Battley's middle name yet.  Here is a little background first:
* my name is obviously Catherine and I've always thought if I had a daughter I'd name her Catherine and call her "Kate"
* but my "Catherine" starts with a "C" so that would make her "Cate" and I always thought that looked silly
* did you happen to notice that my Aunt posted something about my Gramma saying that you could spell your name any way you wanted?  well, we decided she is

Battley Catherine Terhune
"Battley Cate"

***

Back to my Aunt for a few...
If I could only tell you one thing about her, it's that she can tell a story like no one else in this world.  She could talk about dry toast for an hour and have you laughing till your side hurts.

She has lived in Oregon with her family for at least as long as I have been alive.  You can imagine that living that far away, we don't see each other often. 

A few months ago I received a package in the mail from her.  Inside there was a box and a note.  I read the note before I opened the box...SO unlike me.  I'm more of a rip the box open and then see if there's a card later gal.  Anyways, the letter said that my Grandparents (my Gramma being the person she is named for) bought this ring, a baby ring, for her and she wanted to pass it on to Battley.

Here's the thing about when I received the package...it was VERY soon after we learned that B has T18.  We hadn't dreamed of buying anything for her and didn't have hope that we would ever need/get to.  The ring is super special for many reasons, but it was the first thing that was hers.



And then a few weeks ago another package showed up from my Aunt.  She made this blanket for Battley.  

She is a part of a group at her church that makes baby blankets for babies that may be sick or in the NICU for some reason.  The group has the blankets blessed in church by their priest before donating them.  My Aunt had a special blessing done on Battley's blanket in their church in January.  We were honored.



Now here's the other reason these gifts from my Aunt are so special to us.  My Aunt has suffered the loss of her own child.  My cousin, Robert, died suddenly a few years ago from heart complications.  It was totally unexpected.  He was in his late 30s.  My Aunt has been a wonderful source of comfort to me and lets me share my crazy thoughts because she understands them. 

***

Our doctor's appointment was this morning.  

We had an ultrasound.  Here's a pic...sorry it's kinda blurry:



Stats from today:
* weight up to a whopping 3lbs-3oz...woo-hoo!!!
* she was practicing taking breaths...apparently something they look for at this stage...yea!!!
* heartbeat was 146...wonderful news!!!
* all the organs we have been checking are still looking good...Amen!!!
* the tech measured her foot for us to have some kind of reference to her size...it's 2-1/2" long

We went over our birth plan with the doctor...not much fun, but just one of those things you have to do.

Now we will start seeing him once a week.

C

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Roofer's Roof

Do you know what they say about the Roofer's Roof?
It leaks.

The Plumber's plumbing?
It's in need of repair.

and the IT Guy's home computer?
There are 18 different computers in 50-something pieces and one that works...sometimes! 

It's not really that crazy here, but I did feel bad that Adam works with computers for a living and our blog was looking pitiful. We worked on it some last night.  He added a link so that you can read from the beginning.

I think the nesting phase has started.  We have a long list of things to get done today, but I do have a good post coming soon.

C

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Guest Blogger

This is a for real guest blogger...my Aunt Anita.  She lives in Oregon.  I'll fill you in on more later, but this is her post...

***

Catherine asked if I would write something for this blog. It has been hard to decide what to write, there are so many choices - that is because I'm OLD now. First I need to say how I am feeling so much grief for what Catherine, Adam and Hayden are presently going through. I also want to say how proud she makes me feel and how I am in awe of her faith, strength and courage. That, I know, she didn't have in mind for my contribution.

Now what to write: I decided to write about my great family when I was growing up in Ridgeland. There was Daddy; Mama; Domma (Mama's mother); my sister, Elise, 7 years older (we fought like cats); me; and Jeff, 7 years younger than I. Oh, I forgot to mention Suzie, or it could have been Susie, she didn't care. Which reminds me, Mama said you could spell your name anyway you pleased. That is a fact.

Now Mama was about the greatest ever, and I got to spend lots of time alone with her, which was great, but I needed to have a friend so I made one up. Here is where Suzie fits in. I should explain some of the time Suzie was my playmate, sometime she was my little girl, whatever I needed at the time. Now this story is really more about Mama than me or Suzie; so I will get to it. I was probably about 4 years old , and one day Mama needed to go to the Post Office, which was about a 4 block walk. We were about half way there when I stopped suddenly, and told Mama I had forgotten Suzie. She tried to convince me she would be fine until we returned, but I was having none of that. She actually turned around and we walked back home. When we got to our house she said go get her (not real happy). We were in the street, and I told her I couldn't get her because she had locked the door. She just resigned, and walked to the house, unlocked and opened the door. She asked me if Suzie was with us now; I said yes. She murmured something about her being hard to see (which I totally knew), and the three of us headed off once again to the PO.

Now, if you are a parent, ask yourself if you would have done that. I've asked myself that question and my answer is probably not, but that was just a tiny bit of my mother Virginia Battley Adcock. God bless her.

Now of all that family there is only Jeff and I.

Oh, just one more thing, "they" now say children with imaginary friends are really very intelligent!
Anita Beaton

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Countdown

I never leave home without these 2 guys:

(work calendar and phone with personal calendar)

We have about 4 weeks left until Battley arrives!  To be honest Adam and I are both having a little bit of anxiety.  Since you already know I'm a list maker, you should also know I'm a big planner...not the kind that can't roll with some changes, but just the kind that needs a plan.  I get nervous if I don't have one.  Can you sense where this is heading?

We have a birth plan, have met with all the doctors, visited the hospital, etc...BUT now we just have to wait and see what God's plan is.  It may be totally different than ours.

1 Peter 5:6-11
 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
 8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
 10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

I am going to work on this some more this week.  It's tough.  I've been waking up about 3am again lately and can't stop thinking about things like this:


Germ-x and hand soap!  Not what you want to be thinking about at 3am!!

and so it goes...If we are able to bring her home, how are we going to make sure everyone washes their hands well enough?

Then sanity kicks in and I remember to focus on enjoying every moment we have.

So those are my projects for the next few days/weeks:
* stop being anxious and trust that God has a better plan than we do
* focus on enjoying every minute
* get a full nights sleep...ha!

We have another doctor's appointment on Monday.  We will have an ultrasound this time which means we get to see if she's gained any weight!!  Our prayers are still:
* for her heart to heal on it's own
* she is able to breathe on her own
* she has the suck/swallow reflex and can eat on her own without a tube

We appreciate all the prayers from everyone.  It's amazing to hear how people from all over are praying for our sweet gal!  I've said this before and I'll say it again...there really is no greater gift you could give us than praying for Battley!  Thank YOU!

...and let's end with something FUN!  I found this at the Lodge...it's a preemie size!  I couldn't help myself!

C

PS - keep reading...Adam posted something after I did, but his is showing below this one.

J-Lin and J-Mac


Have you seen Jeremy Lin plastered all over the national news and Sports Center several days in row? In case you've missed his story, he's a 23 year-old point guard for the New York Knicks. Through his first 4 career starts he combined for more points than anyone since 1976-1977. He also became the first NBA player ever to average at least 20 points and 7 assists in those first four starts. Not even Kobe or Michael Jordan posted numbers like this in their first four career starts. As I write this, the Knicks are on their way to posting a 7 game winning streak with the new guard running.

Intrigued by his story, I decided to dig a little deeper and find out where some of his inspiration lies. It turns out he's a Harvard graduate who set several basketball records while playing for Harvard. I think I caught this part on a national news story. He entered the NBA undrafted and was later waived from 2 different NBA rosters. So unknown, a New York Knicks security guard mistakenly thought he was a team trainer...another surprising fact I heard on the news.

A somewhat hidden fact surprised me the least. I didn't pickup on it from the mainstream news. Lin is an outspoken Christian. Asked about his sudden stardom he was quoted saying "I'm thinking about how I can trust God more." In a draft interview he eluded be becoming a pastor when his playing days are over. Lin's career is one I will continue to follow for more than one reason. With the winning streak the Knicks are riding, Lin's story is even more inspirational.

This reminds me of another inspirational, feel-good basketball story. Remember the autistic teen Jason McElwain from 2006 whose basketball dream captivated America? I sure do. He happens to be from Rochester NY, my hometown. In case you forgot here's the video below. A somewhat hidden fact about his story is how something was tugging at his coach's heart to get him into that game. After wildly missing his first shot and then a layup, Jason's coach prayed silently that he would make just one basket and not be embarrassed. God answered seven-fold...






Jeremy Lin and Jason's coach...both inspiring to trust God more. It's amazing what kind of things God can do when you trust Him completely.

Adam

Monday, February 13, 2012

Helper

There isn't too much going on around here, so I thought I'd post a pic of my little work helper.  Anytime I get a new product he likes to test it out...I really think he thinks I get these for him.

We had a very quiet weekend around here...just a little soccer and some errands.  I would also like to announce that I should start offering a Masters level course in insurance benefits.  I do think I'm well on my way to becoming an expert...haha!  That's totally a JOKE...this stuff is more confusing than rocket science!

Adam brought me an early Valentine's Day surprise this afternoon...he gets so excited anytime he buys a gift that he always ends up giving it to me early.


Here is what was inside:


It's a new outfit for Battley!  I hope that no one is ever in the market for preemie clothes, but if you are Sweet Dreams in Madison has a bigger selection than anywhere else we have found.  They are also Super nice there and will help you find what you need.  I'm actually going to have to swap this one for a smaller size...this one is a preemie, but we need smaller.


Then inside the card...


a charm for my necklace...


But wait...what's a holiday without one of these?


an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen...the kind with the crunchies inside.  Yum!


Happy Valentine's Day to all our friends and family...we Love you all!
C


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Guest Blogger...kinda

These are my best friends...Abbey on the far left, then Amy, then me.


Abbey and I met at church when we were 5!  I actually remember the day we met and who introduced us.  That's a lotta years of being friends...26 and counting.  We have been through a lot together, and I consider her the sister I never had.  I tried to dig up some old pics of us...here are a few that will probably only make us laugh.  (and I can't believe I am posting some of these!)

I'm not sure if you can see the look I am giving her...it looks like I'm not too pleased with her.

You will notice that I am Very white...what can I say?? 

All I remember about this pic is that it was raining outside and I didn't want my shoes to get wet...not 100% sure why I'm wearing the garbage bag.

A little more recent...

Back to the guest blogger part...Abbey was asked to write a daily devotional for her church's Lenten booklet.  She sent me what she wrote so that I could post it. 

*** 
Psalm 118: 15-18, 26-29
 
In these verses, the psalmist writes about God's enduring love for us.  “The Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!” (v. 15)  How true that has been for our family.  My husband, Daniel, finished his last maintenance chemotherapy treatment in September after being diagnosed in 2009 with lymphoma.  Due to side effects from his treatment, we were unable to naturally have another child.  But by God‘s grace, in late March, we are expecting our second daughter, Emma Kate, through the first successful ‘natural IVF’ in Mississippi.  As you read this, she should have just arrived!  "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever." (v. 29)

We do have so much to be thankful for, but what I thought would be one of the happiest times in our lives has turned out to be one of the hardest.   My best friend, who has basically been my sister since age 5, and I found out we were expecting at the same time and are due just days apart.  When we each had our sonogram to find out the sex of the babies, we were so excited to hear they were both girls!  But here’s where the hard part comes in.  When my friend and her husband went for their sonogram, they learned their daughter had some complications.  Through extensive testing, it was discovered their daughter has Trisomy 18, a genetic disorder where most babies do not survive long after birth.  This was devastating news for she and her family and for the two of us. It’s as though all the dreams we’d had for the two of them growing up together (like we did)  just disappeared.  And although I know I shouldn’t, I feel so much guilt knowing that Emma Kate appears to be healthy.

It’s during times like this I have to remind myself that God has a plan and a purpose.  Although I feel hurt and sorrow over this, I must remember He is with us, sustaining us with His love.  My friend and her husband have been a wonderful testament of faith and hope.  Although all of this has been so painful for them, they have shown so much strength and courage, and witnessing their faith has helped strengthen Daniel’s and my faith as well.  It’s so clear to us that God is carrying them during this time, just as He has done for us during our trials.

Going through this makes it easier for me to identify with what Jesus’ followers must have felt after his death.  The feeling must have been so hopeless, filled with confusion over what God’s plan was in this.  But thank God that Easter morning was in the plan too, and because of what Jesus did for us, no matter how long my friend’s sweet baby girl has on this Earth, we know that one day we will meet again.  What a day of rejoicing that will be!

"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever."

Prayer: Dear God, Thank you for being strong when we are weak and for carrying us through the trials in our lives.  I ask that you comfort those who need it most right now.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Abbey 
*** 

This will be the devotional for March 30th...Battley's due date.
C

Monday, February 6, 2012

HS

Ahhh...the days of High School.  Remember those?

This post is actually not about High School, but about something possibly a bit more mysterious and quite frankly scary at times...the Holy Spirit.  I hope that you will bear with me for this one, because I'm really excited about this story.

Dec of 2010...It was a Sunday afternoon I think...My mom dragged me to Hancock Fabrics for something.  While we were there I saw one of my designers **gosh I can't tell a story in order...I call her "my designer" because I am a sales rep and she is an Interior Designer that I call on.  Now at that time I was working outside of the design/construction industry...not by choice, but because the economy had tanked and no one was hiring**  So I saw her and she mentioned that a particular company (they sell commercial carpet) was hiring and she wanted to recommend me for the job.  I'll just say that I didn't get overly excited because I had applied for a lot of positions over the past year and nothing had worked out.  It was a great company that she mentioned so I was going to try for sure, but I didn't get my hopes up.  Less than 3 weeks later I was on a plane headed to training.

This job/company was 100% sent from God and I have a million reasons why.  One of those reasons is our sales rep in Arkansas.  Her name is Shannon.  We started the same day in training.  She covers the entire state of Arkansas, and I cover the entire state of Mississippi.  Since there are really no other co-workers in the state, this job can get lonely if you let it.  It's important to have other reps to chat with and run ideas by.

So we set out into our new businesses and chatted on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.

I shared with her after our 20 week sonogram that the doctor found some issues and we were referred to a specialist.  At the time I knew Shannon and her husband had 2 kiddos...one boy; one girl.  She then shared with me that she had another son.  His name is Max.  He was born with a condition called Trisomy 18 and only lived a very brief time on Earth.  We chatted about it that day and didn't go into too much detail.  I don't remember exactly when we really talked about it...it's been over time I suppose.

Remember I had promised myself not to Google anything.  I made it a day or two after that without looking at anything on the internet and then I did it...late one afternoon something was urging me to look it up.  I only looked up Trisomy 18.  I needed to know more.

Fast forward to the trip to the specialist.  That was on a Tuesday.  I was sitting in that chair listening to the doctor tell us that there was an indication of a chromosomal abnormality.  I knew in my heart what it was.  I didn't want to believe it, but I knew it already.  I didn't tell Adam or my mom at the time because I didn't want them to think I was just being negative.

Wednesday goes by...Thursday goes by and the doctor called late that night to give us the initial results.  They wouldn't change with the final results.  Trisomy 18.  I knew it before he said it. 

We have come a long way since that night.  The Lord has found a way to give us a sense of peace.

At the time all of this was happening I didn't realize it, but now I know that the Holy Spirit not only put Shannon in my life to help me through this but also to let me know what we were dealing with slowly so that I didn't have a breakdown.  She's been a rock for me.  I know I can call her anytime and she is always happy to listen or calm me down.

We could go into some statistics about how many babies are born with Trisomy 18 or how many sales reps our company has, but it's of no use.  The Lord brought us together, and I am so thankful for her everyday.

How much do you wanna bet that the next time my mom wants to drag me to Hancock Fabrics that I will go willingly?  Who knew the Holy Spirit would be at work in there?

C

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Cravings

Since I got pregnant I've been drinking mostly water.  When I want to spice it up I throw in a lemon.





A few months in I started to have a craving for a drink I couldn't describe.  I knew it was cold and red, but that was all I knew.  Sounds crazy, huh? 

Well, Adam T was on the hunt for whatever it was.  Late one night a few months ago he thought it might be a slushie so he went out and got every flavor that sounded good. 




That wasn't it though. 

Since we were celebrating my Dad's birthday last night I decided I wanted a festive drink so a Shirley Temple came to mind.  Adam Googled how to make one...we found 3 ways.  We rounded up all the ingredients and had a taste testing.  FINALLY...after months of looking I found my drink!



Shirley Temple (the original):
2 parts Ginger Ale
1 part orange juice
a splash of grenadine
garnished with a maraschino cherry

Shirley Temple (take 2):
equal parts Ginger Ale and lemon-lime soda
a splash of grenadine

garnished with a maraschino cherry

Shirley Temple (my fave):
lemon-lime soda
a splash of grenadine
garnished with a maraschino cherry

We had a nice, relaxing weekend.  I've got a very exciting post coming that I'm almost finished with...stay tuned.

C

PS- I do not understand the line breaks in this thing so I apologize for the random spacing.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Change of Plans

On Friday afternoon we packed up to head to a little place we think of as Heaven on Earth for a soccer tournament:





The weather man called for rain all weekend, so we packed extra everything:

Just as we were ready to load the car we got an email saying that they canceled the tournament...bummer!  We had big plans to hang out with some of my dear friends in between games, catch an MSU basketball game, and I heard rumblings about a behind-the-scenes tour of MSU's baseball facilities.  The guys would have loved that.  Oh well!  More time to relax in the recliner, right?  Haha!


February is a big month for birthdays around here!  Our niece turned 7 on Groundhog Day, 2 of our (we call them our) nieces had birthdays yesterday and today, and these 2 also had birthdays today...

That's one of my best friends, Amy. 




That's my dad at the top.  He wanted to be called Pop when Hayden was born, but it doesn't always work out the way you want...he is now "Pock".


Neither one of them turned numbers that end in 0 or 5, so I won't call them out on their ages.  Happy Birthday to the whole bunch of you...we love you all!


A quick story about something that happened a while back:

When Adam and I found out we were having a baby I figured it would be a boy.  I suppose that I am used to boys and just always figured I'd have boys.  We decided early on that we were going to find out the sex of the baby as soon as we could so we could get started on a nursery.  I really wanted a boy.  I know what to do with them, and teenage girls scare me BIG time.

We were at a friend's birthday party a month or so before our sonogram and someone asked me if I wanted a boy or girl.  I said BOY, but I'll be happy with either.  Just for the record...I think Adam wanted a girl.

This friend told me a story that changed everything.  She told me that she always wanted boys and had 2.  Her sister had a girl (and boys too).  She was so thankful for her boys when they were growing up...especially when they were teenagers.  One of her sons is married now and she is close with her daughter-in-law.  She told me though, that now she really wished she had had a daughter too because she sees how close her sister and niece are.  She said that a daughter and a daughter-in-law aren't the same.  Hmmm

That got my wheels spinning for a few weeks and I found myself on the day of the sonogram really hoping for a girl.  HA!

And a quick update on the doctor's visit from this week...Battley's heartbeat was good and strong.  146!  It was a quick trip.  Thank you for all your prayers this week...keep em coming!

I wish everyone a wonderful weekend,
C

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Comments

There is one thing from the Rick Santorum video that I'd like to clarify.  He describes Trisomy 18 as being "like Downs Syndrome".  Technically and scientifically speaking I suppose they are alike in that they are both triplicates of chromosomes.  Downs Syndrome is a triplicate of the 21st chromosome.

Adam and I watched this video together again last night and that statement didn't sit right with us.  Let me back up and explain why...

At 20 weeks we had a routine sonogram to determine the sex of our baby.  At that time they saw 4 (what they call) markers for chromosonal abnormalities.  My doctor explained that if he saw any one of the four alone he would think nothing, but the 4 together indicated we needed to take a closer look.  He referred us to a specialist and recommended we do a blood test that day.  We only agreed to the blood test because it was 2 weeks until we could see the specialist, and the blood test results only took 2 days.

2 weeks seems like a lifetime when you are waiting to see if your baby is going to be okay...2 days isn't that much better either.  Just a quick note here because I'm sure it will come up later: I promised myself when we left the doctor that day that I would NOT Google anything.  I knew all I would do is make myself worry even more.

The blood test came back negative.

When we saw the specialist he did a very long sonogram...over an hour.  Then he confirmed that Battley indeed has some type of chromosonal abnormality.  My mom and Adam were in the room when he told us what they saw.  I remember sitting in the chair and looking at him speak.  I don't remember a word he said...it was truly an out-of-body experience.  I felt like I had floated up and was looking down on these people I didn't know and felt so sorry for.  We elected to have an amniocentesis that day so that we would know for sure what we were up against.

If you don't know exactly what an amnio is, it's where they draw amniotic fluid from the mother and grow cells in a dish for a few days.  There are 2 sets of results.  First the FISH results in possibly a few days and then the final results in 2 weeks.  This is done because it is a test of the baby's DNA so it's accurate and not a guess.

It was purely for planning purposes so that we could help her if we could.  Our doctor said that 56% of patients elect to "terminate the pregnancy" when they receive news like we did.  Personally our minds never went there...that's our DAUGHTER.  Her name is Battley.

So we head home the day of the amnio...I'm sure I got in the bed that day and didn't get out for anything.  This is where Rick's comment comes back into play.  I prayed that day and the days after for her to have Trisomy 21...Downs Syndrome.  I know Adam did too.  A baby with T21 can live a long, happy, and healthy life.

Don't get me wrong...I'm not upset at him for making that comment.  They are also similar in that I'm sure that is not the life any parent dreams of for their child.  It's just that they are totally different.

Changing Subjects...

The book I posted about yesterday that was written by Angie Smith...her husband, Todd Smith, is a singer for the Christian music group Selah.  I have never heard of them before reading this book.

There are 2 things I want to say about this that I didn't talk about yesterday...

First, the name Selah...I didn't know how to pronounce it or what it meant, if anything.  So I looked it up in the dictionary on wikipedia.
Here are the main points:
is a word used frequently in the Hebrew Bible, often in the Psalms
is a difficult concept to translate
probably either a liturgico-musical mark or an instruction on the reading of the text, something like "stop and listen" or "pause, and think of that"

What an interesting name?  How often do we actually PAUSE and meditate on something in this busy life?  Just a thought!

Next, Todd wrote a song for their daughter Audrey Caroline.  The title of the song is I Will Carry You...here are the lyrics:

There were photographs i wanted to take
Things i wanted to show you
Sing sweet lullabies wipe your teary eyes
Who could love you like this?people say that i am brave but i`m not
Truth is i`m barely hanging on
But there`s a greater story
Written long before me
Because he loves you like this

So i will carry you
While your heart beats here
Long beyond the empty cradle
Through the coming years
I will carry you
All my life
And i will praise the one who`s chosen me
To carry you

Such a short time
Such a long road
All this madness
But i know
That the silence
Has brought me to his voice
And he says

I`ve shown her photographs of time beginning
Walked her through the parted seas
Angel lullabies no more teary eyes
Who could love her like this?

I will carry you
While your heart beats here
Long beyond the empty cradle
Through the coming years
I will carry you
All your life
And i will praise the one who`s chosen me
To carry you



C

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Questions answered

The visit to the NICU was great...as far as those things go.  First I met with the specialist/coordinator for the NICU...she's wonderful!  Then I met with the head of the NICU.  Quick tour around and done.

I can't explain how comfortable they both made me feel.  The specialist gave me her cell phone # in case I have any questions that come up later.  I don't know if she treats all patients this well or if she has a special place in her heart for T18.  She knows 2 other Mommas well that have had T18 daughters there.  Then the doctor took a good amount of time with me and went over everything...he even hugged me when I left.  You know I love a hugger!

The tour was fast...we breezed right by the side where the babies are.  I saw a few of them...they were so tiny and sweet.  Then we checked out the other side while we chatted.  It was a Wow...this is a few weeks away moment.

Adam is not good with doctors, needles for sure, hospitals, blood, etc.  I have a story about a pregnant nurse holding his legs up in the air after he had blood drawn once, but I won't go into that here...you get the idea!  They tell me it's a "real fear"...(I do believe it...I just pretend like I don't).  One of my prayers for him is that he can just be involved in the moment and not worry about that fear.

A few questions we have received answered:
A lot of you email us questions and comments...we love them!  Here are our email addresses in case you don't have them and want to send us an email:
catherine.terhune@gmail.com



* Do you know Rick Santorum's daughter has T18 and is 3 years old?

Over the weekend Rick Santorum's daughter Bella was hospitalized with pneumonia.  She is 3 and has Trisomy 18.  I've heard that she is doing better!  By the way...I think she's just too precious!

Adam is MAJORLY into the GOP race so we knew about her a long time ago.  Hayden and I have had to do our homework on all the candidates too.

The Santorums' story is a story of hope for us.  We don't know if Bella has a full Trisomy 18 or a partial version called Mosaic.  We know Battley has the full thing.  From what we have read the mosaic version sometimes carries fewer complications with it. 

Let me preface this with (Adam would post later if I didn't) we DO NOT endorse Rick Santorum for president.  It's just a very heart warming video of hope.



* Do you have a date yet?

We don't have a date yet.  It's a call for our doctor to make.  He wants to make sure her lungs are developed enough but doesn't want to risk me going into labor.  He mentioned 38 weeks, which would be the week of March 12-16th.

Side Note: Hayden was born at 42 weeks.  (Guys: 40 weeks is now considered the length of time for a full term pregnancy)  I don't think I'll go in to labor, but that's only a feeling.

* Do you have a photographer?

We do and we are so excited about it!  Her name is Jennifer and she is a volunteer for an organization called Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.  I heard about this org from a few people and got in touch with her a few weeks ago.  I won't go too deep here, but I believe their mission is wonderful.  We have had a few offers from other friends/photographers, but decided it's best to use someone who has done this before and can be prepared for any situation that may be.

http://www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org/

* Are you still going to counseling?

We haven't been back to see our counselor, Stephanie.  That's not to say that we won't in the future.  We have her cell # too!

I have read a few books that have been helpful.  My reading habit is very unhealthy.  If I get in to a good book, I will stay up all night reading until I finish it.  Needless to say I don't read very often since I need sleep.

Very soon after we learned that Battley had T18 a friend sent me an email.  This is the whole email:


Felt lead to share this with you. It has helped friends in similar situations. Much much love to you.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/080546428X/ref=redir_mdp_mobile



Description on Amazon:

In 2008, Angie Smith and her husband Todd (lead singer of the group Selah) learned through ultrasound that their fourth daughter had conditions making her “incompatible with life.” Advised to terminate the pregnancy, the Smiths chose instead to carry this child and allow room for a miracle. That miracle came the day they met Audrey Caroline and got the chance to love her for the precious two-and-a-half hours she lived on earth.

Upon receiving the original diagnosis, Angie started a blog (Bring the Rain) to keep family and friends informed of their journey. Soon, the site exploded in popularity, connecting with thousands who were either experiencing their own heartbreaking situations or simply curious about how God could carry someone through something so tragic. I Will Carry You tells the powerful story of a parent losing her child, interwoven with the biblical story of Lazarus to help those who mourn to still have hope—to find grace and peace in the sacred dance of grief and joy.


So...the day I received that email was a day I probably didn't venture more than 30ft from the bed.  I forwarded it to Adam with the message "Can you buy me this book?".  I didn't look it up; I just trusted that I was meant to read it.

It came a few days later.  I was totally unprepared for the book.  I flipped it over to read the back cover and there was a huge surprise for me.

**Let me have a quick ADD moment:  I write the way I speak so I would stop the conversation here and tell a backstory...I DO NOT read sad books or watch sad movies.  Once in high school my best friend, Abbey, and I watched a movie...I think it was called My Life, but I could be making that up...I tried to block it out.  We both spent hours after that curled up in bed crying.  I cried for days afterwards too.  It was about a man with cancer preparing for his own death.  Ugh...can barely even think about it.  Anyways, if I hear or have a suspicion that a movie may be sad, I will look it up and verify the sadness...then I won't go.  Drives Adam nuts.  I could name a hundred movies I won't see because I've heard they are sad...Rudy comes to mind first since Hayden really wants me to see it.  Another tidbit about me: this has actually happened more than one time...I can see a movie beginning to end and then see the same movie again and not know it until the end!!**

The back cover has a story about Angie and her husband buying a stuffed bunny right after they heard the news of their daughters sickness...don't think it was T18, but the symptoms are somewhat similar.  I won't spoil the story for anyone who wants to read this book, but it is a very powerful story.

Here's the surprise part...I've read it before!!  Not the whole book, but the story about the bunny.  A few years prior I was reading a blog online...don't know which one...and ran across Angie's blog.
I read the story about the bunny.
Immediatly thought that had to be the worst thing anyone would have to go through.
Then closed it and hoped I would never have to read anything like that again.

WELL...let me just say.  2 boxes of Kleenex and 2 weeks later I finished the book.  It was a hard read!

(If I have spoken to you and told you not to read this book...don't...you know who you are!)

It was so helpful to see a woman on the other side of this journey though.  She doesn't make light of the fact that this is something that she will carry with her forever, but she is able to find joy in life again and knows her daughter is in Jesus' arms...where she is healthy, safe, and happy.

Whew!  Let's end on a lighter note...

* The other chair?

We bought it after it was recovered.  A before and after:








The rest of this week/weekend holds some of this:





lots of this:
and NONE of this...sorry guys!

Enjoy your week.  I hope that you are all happy, healthy, and safe.
C