Saturday, December 27, 2008

Baby Hall Updates

I am going to TRY to update weekly on what all is going on with the baby. Here are the week 5 updates.
Deep in your uterus your embryo is growing at a furious pace. At this point, he's about the size of a sesame seed, and he looks more like a tiny tadpole than a human. He's now made up of three layers — the ectoderm, the mesoderm, and the endoderm — which will later form all of his organs and tissues.The neural tube — from which your baby's brain, spinal cord, nerves, and backbone will sprout — is starting to develop in the top layer, called the ectoderm. This layer will also give rise to his skin, hair, nails, mammary and sweat glands, and tooth enamel.His heart and circulatory system begin to form in the middle layer, or mesoderm. (This week, in fact, his tiny heart begins to divide into chambers and beat and pump blood.) The mesoderm will also form your baby's muscles, cartilage, bone, and subcutaneous (under skin) tissue.The third layer, or endoderm, will house his lungs, intestines, and rudimentary urinary system, as well as his thyroid, liver, and pancreas. In the meantime, the primitive placenta and umbilical cord, which deliver nourishment and oxygen to your baby, are already on the job.

A Tangible Miracle

So I have always heard about miracles in the Bible, in strangers that I have never met, in people around me, but something different happens to you internally when a true miracle happens to you. It all started about a year and a half ago when we moved into our house. We both knew that we ALWAYS wanted children, but weren't sure if we were ready yet. So we decided that if it happened it happened and if it didn't it didn't. Well it didn't. Every month I kept waiting on a "surprise" but it just never happened. So about 7 months ago we started using the ovulation kits, etc and we new that we were timing everything correctly and we still were not getting pregnant. We decided to go to a fertility specialist (who is now my ob) and she sent us for some fertility testing. To make a long story short, we were told that we had a 0% chance of conceiving naturally and only had a 5% chance of getting pregnant after 6 rounds of IUI. An IUI was going to cost us $500/procedure for the first 3, and then it would have cost us $2,500/procedure for the last three because we would have had to add injections. We were basically headed on our way to in vitro which I did NOT want to do. It was going to cost us $15,000-$20,000 for in vitro, and we were only given a 40% chance of that working. As you can imagine, the last few months had not been easy. While I am sooooo thankful that I live during a time when technology is at its best, just the thought of these procedures maybe not working was devastating to me. Since I can remember, I have always wanted to be a mother, and the thought of not being able to be was something that I could not even think about. We decided to be open about what all we were going through. We have had TONS of people praying for us all over, and we are so thankful for everyone that helped us through this time.

Last Wednesday (the 17th) was day 28 of my cycle and I was suppose to get the "little gift" that I dread every month. I noticed a few days prior that I didn't have the symptoms that I usually have leading up to this glorious day. Well, when I hadn't gotten the little gift by Thursday (which I have never been late a day in my life) I began to wonder if maybe I could be pregnant. I woke up at 5:00am on Thursday and decided to take a test. It came up faintly positive. I decided that I would not tell Rich until I was COMPLETELY positive that I was pregnant. So I got back in bed and layed there wide awake trying not to say anything. At this point, I still had no idea. I thought that something was wrong with the test. So I went to work that day, and on the way home stopped by Walmart to get 4 more tests. Two digital tests and two other tests. I got home and immediately took the digital test. I sat there and stared at the test waiting for my big news. Then all of the sudden it came up "PREGNANT." I was so excited that I couldn't even get up. I just sat there crying in the bathroom by myself because I couldn't tell Rich until Friday. I decided to not tell him until Friday because he had gotten me Rockette tickets, and we were going out to Maggiano's for dinner. We had also decided to do Christmas Saturday morning and had planned on giving each other one gift on Friday. I immediately jumped in my car and headed to the KY state line to look for some KY baby onesies. I couldn't find them ANYWHERE. I finally found them at JC Penny's in Bowling Green Mall. I came home and hid his gift just in time for him to get home. Now I had to not smile or act excited for an entire night. Even after all of this, I still couldn't believe that I was pregnant so I took the last three tests. One Thursday night, one Friday morning, and one Friday before lunch. They all came back positive so I called my doctor. She said, Congrats and made me an appointment to check my progesterone levels and pregnancy hormones for Dec. 31st and set up an 8 week ultrasound appt. for Jan. 14th. Rich got home early on Friday from work and as soon as he walked in the door I turned on the video camera and gave him his wrapped Nike UK baby outfits. He was so shocked and was overwhelmed with joy! I have the videos of me telling Rich, my side of the family, and everyone in KY that I will post as soon as I find my USB for my video camera.

I am 5 weeks and 2 days along right now. We are so thankful to God for this little miracle growing in my belly. I had debated on telling our story until the "critical months" were over, but we decided that we want this life inside of me to be celebrated for as long as God gives us this child. Please pray for us during this time and pray for a healthy pregnancy and baby!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The last few weeks at a glance

Rich and I have been staying so busy with all of our Christmas festivities that I have completely abandoned our blog. We have been shopping like crazy, sending out Christmas cards which includes the added glory of having to address them all, and decorating the house for Christmas. The tree is now decorated, the mantle is decorated, and the stair case looks as if Christmas lights and garland threw up on it. All of my presents are wrapped and under the tree and Rich is waiting to "learn how to wrap" mine. The house is on the verge of being clean, minus a few loads of laundry, and the cookie cutters and icing has been bought. We now have in our possession our FREE brand new Curve Blackberries (Rich's only Christmas request), and are loving them! We are ALMOST completely ready for Christmas. I have one gift left to buy that I am going to grab on Friday since my school dismisses at 10:15. My Christmas break will officially begin this Friday! I have enjoyed THREE snowdays this December that I spent sleeping in, eating lunch with my mom and dad, and shopping/addressing Christmas cards. Thank you Jesus for snow days! It could quite possibly be the best feeling in the world when Rich rolls over to tell me to "turn off my alarm." The teaching profession is by far the best profession on the planet. Well, we have a full week of festivities coming up. Here is the rundown of what all we have planned so far.

(1) Friday: Rich is taking me to see the Rockettes,
(2) Saturday: Rich and I are celebrating our Christmas together and swapping gifts, since we will not be home on Christmas day.
(3) Sunday: we are celebrating Christmas with my family at mom and dad's and having dinner
(4) Tuesday: is the annual "girls Christmas" with all of my friends from high school,
(5) Wednesday: Rich, Bentley, and I are leaving for KY and will return Friday afternoon!

Wow, we are going to be BUSY! This may be the last time that I blog before Christmas so from our home to yours (cheesy I know) MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Friday, December 5, 2008

A VERY Special Day! Happy Birthday Mom!

I want to take just a few minutes to brag on my mom. She is the most beautiful woman I have ever met, and she has the biggest heart! I literally have to call her two weeks in advance to be able to see her because she is CONSTANTLY helping others. She is the most unselfish person I know. She literally gives her life up to serve other people. I used to get jealous that I didn't get to see her much and that all of these other people were getting to hang out with my mom instead of me. That was just the brat coming out in me. Now I look at it in a completely different light. I realize that she is living the life that God called her to live, and that she gives up time with the people most special to her not because she wants to, but because she knows that God has called her to serve. I admire her for her obedience to God. I say all the time that if God called me to leave my "comfort zone" to move to Africa that I would go in a second, but if I search my heart sometimes my desires over ride God's will for my life. Not her though. She literally lives her life doing exactly what she knows GOD wants her to do and not what SHE wants to do. She serves with a great attitude all the time and never complains. She has taught me so many lessons. Most reasontly, she has taught me to have faith no matter what anyone says. Rich and I had gotten a negative Doctor report a couple of months ago that shattered me. When I called my mom, she was so strong for me and is literally the wings that have carried me through all of this. She speaks words of wisdom into my life about having faith even when the doctors say there is no way. She has taught me to not doubt God for one second in this whole situation even when my flesh wonders how in the world God can "fix" this. I admire my mom for how beautiful she is on the outside (even at 50), but most of all I admire her for who she is on the inside. She is the same person at home that she is infront of thousands of people. So mom, thanks for raising me in a Godly home, for teaching me modesty (even though I would change in the car when I was a teenager), and for being a great friend/parent to me. I am so thankful that I have your shoulders to lean on. I hope you have THE BEST BIRTHDAY. You deserve it. I love you.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


I have been very blessed in my teaching career so far. I had a job waiting for me two months before I even graduated, which is a HUGE blessing because not too many jobs are offered in January. I spent from January to May of 2008 at Ellis Middle School teaching 6th grade Science. I was hired as a "late hire" which meant that last year counted as a year toward my tenure since I worked over 100 days (by the skim of my teeth). Basically I got a full years worth of credit and only had to work 1/2 of a year. Plus my pay increased this year since my stub showed that I had already worked one full year. Pretty incredible! Well in June Rich and I decided to go to the beach for 9 days on one of the most incredible vacations of my life. While I was away I had gotten an email from the principal at H.B. Williams, which is the elementary school in White House that I completed one of my placements at for my student teaching last year. She just said that she was holding a position for me in first grade and wanted to know if I would be interested. Keep in mind that I was driving to Hendersonville every single day during the whole $4 gas fiasco. I interviewed with her the day after we returned from our vacation and within 5 minutes of my interview she looked at me and said, "do you want the job?" I immediately said yes. I had thought about the decision, and I always said that I would go back to teaching every subject (6th grade you only teach one subject several times a day so you have A TON less planning to do) if I did not have to worry about TCAPs. Well Kindergarten through 2nd grade at this school does not have to take TCAPs. I knew that it was what I was supposed to do, but I felt terrible leaving Ellis. The principal had been so wonderful to me during my time there, and I had made so many new friends there. I decided to step out on a limb though and make the career move. I now drive literally 10 minutes (max) to work, my students are incredible, I get to leave work at 2:30, and on Tuesdays and Wednesdays my students go to Related Arts at 12:45 and do not return until the buses are about to load up. Plus, on the other days I am finished teaching by 1:15 so that they can go to one Related Art class on those days. It is an INCREDIBLE job, EXCEPT FOR THE EVALUATION PROCESS. I really love teaching and adore my students, but I HATE getting evaluated. The paper work is terrible and takes a lot of time, and I get very nervous about my principal, assistant principal, and our sumner county evaluator being in the room. I finished last year's evaluations with flying colors, but honestly before you are tenured a principal can not re-hire you back just because they do not like the color of your hair. I had two evaluations (one from the county and one with my principal) the week before Thanksgiving week. They went great. It is almost like my sweet first graders were feeling my pain of getting every little word and move observed. They were angels! Today I had my LAST evaluation for this year with my assistant principal. It went equally as great! I was so excited when it was over that the students and I decided to go over the top with the Christmas decorations for the classroom. We put our tree up, they made snowmen that I hung from the ceiling, wrote letters to Santa, and I gave them lots of candy. I was so proud of how well-behaved they were, and I felt so peaceful knowing that I had made it through another year of evaluations. I will have 3 more next year, and then I will be officially tenured!! I am so thankful to have a job that I LOVE, and for my incredible students. I'm sure I will brag more on them in the blogs to come. They are precious!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A short story made long

Over the last weekend, I had been decorating for Christmas and doing some cleaning around the house like a madwoman. For those of you who know me, you know that I am EXTREMELY clean. I sometimes let my house get a little unorganized, but it drives me crazy to not have a clean and organized house. I do not like to clean, but one of my favorite things is to walk into a clean house after a long days work. It is soothing and calming to me. Well every once in a while, I will "overdo it." It seems like the month of November has been "getting the house caught up Month." We re-did our landscaping and by "re-did" I mean we ripped everything out and planted all new plants and then mulched all of it. It was a 3 day LONG process. It looks great now though. The next weekend, I decided to borrow my mom's carpet steamer, and did our dining room, living room, and hallways. This took 9 hours because our dog has had so many accidents. We will eventually be putting in hardwoods throughout the house because even after steaming the floors, not once but twice, he still walked down 30 minutes later to re-mark his territory. I think since he has already marked his scent in the carpets, that only ripping them out will stop him. Ok I'm sure you are wondering why I am telling you about all of our projects. Well Sunday morning, I woke up for church and was about to get into the shower. I couldn't even get out of bed. I felt like someone had take a huge hammer with spikes on it and had beaten my back. I seriously thought that I was passing the 5-6 kidney stones the dr. told me I would eventually pass. I hated to miss church though. I love going on Sundays (even though we are 5 minutes late every week). It starts my week off on the right foot, and I strongly dislike missing. For those of you who do not know, we got to Northride Church in White House. It has become a "retreat" almost for me, and is my favorite place to be besides home. Ok, ok, I'm getting on with the story. I stayed in bed all day on Sunday, and I woke up Monday morning to even worse pain. I went ahead and went to school because my first graders do NOT like having a substitute. My assistant came in at her usual time that morning and took one look at me and said, "you need to go to a doctor, your face is pale white, what is wrong with you." I told her that I was having the worst lower back pain of my entire life. So after some debate, she finally convinced me to let her tell the office that I needed to go home. They immediately got me a sub for 10:30, and I gave the kids hugs and left for the doctor. I went to a walk-in place in White House and she tried to get my insurance to approve a CT. They said it would be 48 hours to get it approved and that I would have to go through the ER to be able to have it covered by my insurance. So, I had my dad pick me up because at this point the pain was so bad that my vision was blurred. They gave me a shot for pain right before I left that did not help at all and told me I could not eat. My dad took me to Baptist. We got there at 1:00pm and did not get to see the doctor until 3:30pm. Whatever shot they gave me in White House had completely worn off though, and I was trying not to throw up everywhere from the pain. I'm just glad that I wasn't having a heart attack because I wouldn't have made it. I finally got to see the doctor, and he gave me a shot of something that I had to sign off on to take. I can see why because it did the trick. I finally had relief. The doctor sent me up for a CT, did bloodwork, and some other tests. He found that I had a herniated disc, inflammation, and a muscle spasm going on with my spine. It is called radiculopathy, which is pain along the path of a nerve or group of nerves. I asked what causes this, and he said that I have either lifted something too heavy (carpet steamer, Christmas tree, etc.) or that sometimes it just happens. He gave me a steroid pack (I had to take 6 today), and pain medication that has helped. I finally was released at about 7 last night and was starving. I had not eaten a bite or had a drink of anything that day. My dad and Rich took me to "5 Guys" which is quite possibly the best burger place that I have ever been to. It literally made all of the waiting worth it. I came straight home, kissed Bentley goodnight and fell asleep within 5 minutes of getting home. Rich woke me up this morning at 5:30 to let me know the best news... Sumner County is closed. Thank you Westmoreland. It is the best feeling in the world to wake up and not have to go to work, but know that you are still getting paid for laying in bed. I slept all morning and got caught up on my shows that I had on DVR. Rich brought me soup so that I could take my meds for lunch and worked from home today so that I wouldn't have to move. I am starting to feel better, but the pain medication does make me a little sick to my stomach. I am not used to taking anything except for pre-natal vitamins. So there it is a very short story that has been made VERY long.