Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Joseph is 16 Months Old!

My sweet little boy is 16 months old today!  He is definitely not a baby anymore which is both encouraging and sad at the same time.  At his 15 month check up a couple of weeks ago, he was 31 inches tall and weighed just over 25 pounds.  That puts him just under 50% in height and just over 50% in weight or, as I like to say, perfectly average :).  I'm not even sure how many teeth he has because he has some partial molars and I'm not sure how to count them, but he does have four teeth each on top and bottom in front as well as canines starting to come in.  He still loves his "daw-guhs" and does a great job petting them gently (don't worry, they are never unsupervised).  Speaking of cute words he says, he says "yum-may" when he likes what he's eating (we hear this at almost every meal) and walks around saying "hewo" into his pretend phone (although he doesn't like to talk into the real phone).  He also tries to say sentences, but we can only understand a word or two if we are lucky.  He will repeat the exact same "sentence" three or four times before giving up on us understanding. 

Joseph is also into everything!  He has learned how to push chairs around then climb onto them to get what he wants off of tables and counters.  He also likes to hide in places like the bottom cabinet in the hall (he can shut the door completely behind him) and will sit there quietly while you look for him then come out giggling (this has caused momma a little stress).  Most of the time when he hides, he does it right in front of you then says "oh no" because he hears me say, "oh no, Joseph is missing."

With all the appointments and such that we've had going on lately, I haven't really taken many pictures, but I do have a few to share with you. 

Sam's grandpa had a birthday in August, so we went to his parents house to celebrate.  While we were there, Joseph helped Uncle Ben and Grandpa Parks adjust the pedals on his tractor in hopes that he could finally reach them.

Uncle Josh even helped push him around for a little while. 

I don't know if I ever mentioned it or not, but my boys got me a family zoo pass for Mother's Day.  Joseph and I have taken advantage of this by stopping at the zoo anytime we find ourselves in the city with a little free time.  To be honest, I plan appointments in the city for either late afternoon or early morning so we can go to the zoo.

Sometimes, we even have friends join us.

On this particular day, I had an appointment with my high risk doctor too.  Doesn't Joseph look thrilled.

The only part of the ultrasound he cared about was when you could see and hear the heart beating (when they turned that part off he said "again, again").

If you ever see my husband when he is dressed casually, he probably has on a shirt for a band he likes.  I couldn't pass up this Red Hot Chili Peppers shirt when I saw it for Joseph.  Sam was even a good sport and dressed alike for the day. 

We also recently met up with cousin Bryar and Aunt Moo at Papa Joe's.  My dad pulled a tractor he was working on up into the backyard for the boys to explore which made their day!  Here is Bryar as it approached.

They got to climb up in the cab and pretend to drive (they weren't happy about pausing for a picture).

 As well as explore the outside.

Peanut heard all the commotion and decided to see what was going on, the boys were excited to see Peanut too.

I love that Joseph has a cousin so close in age!  There is no telling what kind of trouble these two will get into together as they get older!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

This Pregnancy...

I know some people read my blog for my light hearted humor (at least I like to think I'm funny), but today isn't one of those posts.  So, this is my warning.  If you're just here for a laugh and a cute picture or two, leave now.  We'll be back to that later.

I feel it's important for me to share these feelings partly because it's my blog and that's what I do, partly because I know other angel mommas read my little blog and I want them to know I have these feelings too, and partly because I want those of you who have never been through this (and I pray you never do) to have a better understanding of where we're coming from. 

As of today, our little Sarah is almost 37 weeks gestation.  That's 32 long weeks of prayer, worry, joy, stress, anxiety, and thankfulness since we found out about her.  This pregnancy has been anything but easy on us.  It's not that the pregnancy itself has been difficult (of course I had morning all day sickness, crazy low blood sugar levels, and awesome varicose veins, but those are all common), it's that dealing emotionally with the pregnancy has been trying.  Every day, I wake up and the first thing I do is wait to feel her move.  If she doesn't move within a short period of time, I do things (change positions, get up and walk around, drink juice, etc.) to get her to move all while holding my breath and praying she's ok.  Throughout the day, I do the same thing if I haven't felt her move in what I feel is a timely manner.  Earlier in the pregnancy, I even stopped by my OB's office  a couple of times and the hospital on a weekend just to hear her heartbeat because she hadn't moved in such a long period of time.  When your first child dies of a cord accident, you are all too aware that stuff like that can happen at any point during the pregnancy so being further along really doesn't make you feel better or worry less. 

Any pregnancy following a stillbirth is considered high risk, even if what happened to your daughter was neither genetic nor preventable (sometimes I think it would be easier if it had been because then we would be able to look and see that Sarah doesn't have it).  With a high risk pregnancy comes many, many doctor visits.  I've been going to my OB every two weeks since we found out we were pregnant in addition to monthly visits with a high risk specialist in Oklahoma City (where we get to see Sarah in 4D every time!).  In addition to that, starting at 28 weeks, I've been going in twice a week for non-stress tests. 

During the non-stress tests, I lay in a quiet room hooked up to a machine that monitors Sarah's heartbeat and if I'm having any contractions.  I also have a little button I have to push every time she moves.  Sometimes, as I lay there listening to Sarah's heartbeat for 20 minutes, my mind wonders and I can't help but think about sweet Aubrey and the heartbeat we didn't find the day our world came crashing down.  Those are the rough days. 

Some days I think about this little girl who is supposed to join our family next week and think maybe I should start preparing for her.  We have clothes for her, but they haven't been washed.  She has a room, but we haven't even started decorating it (in fact our dogs are sleeping in there as I type this).  We have an infant carrier and swing, but they are still in the attic.  Every time I think I'm going to wash a load of clothes or start packing up the random stuff in what will be her room, I find a reason not to.  I don't know if it's fear or what, but I always seem to find something different to do. 

Another reality of this pregnancy is that sometimes I forget I'm carrying a different baby and call her Aubrey.  I know she's not Aubrey and I never want her to feel like she is only here because Aubrey isn't or we are using her as a replacement.  She is a gift from God just like Aubrey and Joseph and I want her to know that. 

Which brings up a whole different topic.  Pregnancy after adoption.  I worry about how Sarah will effect Joseph not just now, but in the future.  One of the most important things I want him to know is that we didn't adopt him because we couldn't get pregnant.  We adopted him because God chose him to be our son.  I honestly don't know what I would do without that little boy.  He has helped me through this pregnancy in ways he will never know or understand.  His smile, laugh, hugs, and kisses can brighten anyone's day.  He is the perfect little boy for our family and I hope he always realizes that. 

So, why did I write this post?  Really I'm not sure.  To be honest, I'm still not even sure if I will publish it or not.  I guess I just wanted to let people know what it's really like to be in this situation.  If you feel inclined, please pray for our family.  Pray that we can focus on the joy in this pregnancy and delivery instead of being overcome with fear.  Pray that my body reacts appropriately to the medicines they give me to induce labor and we have a quick, easy delivery that allows Sarah and I to both be living and healthy.  Pray that Sam is comforted as he watches me go through the labor process.  Pray that Joseph continues to be the awesome little boy he is and falls into the role of big brother easily.  Above all, thank God for giving us the opportunity to be parents to another child.