Thanks to all who have prayed for us both financially and for Timothy. We truly appreciate it and we thank God for the answered prayers regarding both situations. Timothy's pediatrician was pleased this morning with his progress and seems to think the worst is truly behind us. He also encouraged us to keep Timothy's hearing test appointment Wednesday at 2:30. He did not seem to think that the RSV would affect the test results.
Please be in prayer for my parents who will be traveling from South Carolina tomorrow to help us take care of everything. My Mom was planning on flying in on Saturday for a visit but that's all changed since we need her here now. Also, pray for our other kids as Nathan has already made comments about wanting life to go back to normal (although Christmas presents helped ease that!) and all 4 of them are fighting cold symptoms of some degree. With the exception of John who was actually at the doctor's office with Timothy and has an ear infection, everyone else really seems to be handling the virus pretty well.
Have a Jesus filled Christmas and thanks for praying!
It's good to be home with my kids. I think all the adrenaline pumping through my system since Thursday is starting to wear out a little. I still feel pretty good but feeling run down today. Otherwise, recovery seems to be going okay.
Timothy and I are home. It's been a very rough couple of days, mentally/emotionally more than physically. I'm feeling okay -- a little "worse" (for lack of a better word) than after my other deliveries but they say it gets harder after having a few. And I'm by no means laid up -- I feel pretty good, just not great, not like I'm used to feeling after a delivery. Timothy is suffering from some issues from being early. He has a kind of tremors (NOT seizures and certainly not serious) from being premature. They'll go away as he gets older. He also has a few bruises and seeing as how he didn't have a "traumatic" birth, the doctors got a little panicky (sp?) over that and ran tests which was extremely nerve-wracking. One test isn't completely done yet but the others are all normal which is a good sign and our pediatrician fully expects the bruises to go away by the time he sees him again next week. Because he's bruised and we're not sure why, they did not circumcise him in the hospital so we'll have to have that done as an outpatient. Our pediatrician said we had to wait until the bruises were completely gone and all tests were back. Then, our car seat "failed" a test (they test preemies to make sure they fit in their car seats without breathing issues) because it's too old so we ended up having to get a new one from the hospital. His bilirubin level is high today. That's what they check for in the blood that tells them whether or not a baby is getting jaundice. We're waiting on the home nurse to stop by and give us a special blanket to keep him in to help with that and he'll have to have several blood tests over the next few days to monitor him progress. We're also anxiously awaiting an appointment with an audiologist. They believe Timothy has a fluid build up in his ears (common for preemies, they say) because he failed his hearing test. No guarantees that fluid is all that it is but they kept telling me to not worry about it, that these things happen and usually work themselves out. Combine all that with a lack of sleep (hate those hospital beds!) and emotionally, I'm feeling pretty spent. Oh, and Jonathan's great-aunt Patty passed away on Friday. After the home nurse leaves, we're going to go visit with some family from Indiana who we rarely get to see that are here for the funeral. Still, we have a lot to be thankful for -- we made it farther with Timothy than we did with John, Timothy was not too small and not too big so I was able to deliver without any complications, and we made it to the hospital! I was seriously terrified of not making it to the hospital in time so I'm very thankful for that!! And, Timothy came the day in between the 2 snows!! Wednesday was certainly worse than yesterday so we're thankful he came on Thursday! Nice timing, huh? =)
Many thanks to all who have been praying for us and we ask you to continue as we go through these next couple of weeks adjusting and having more tests ran. Hopefully, we'll have all good news by Christmas!
How can a hand start so small.
Grandma and Caleb take a closer look. I hope they let us keep him!? Or will he be voted off the island. Stay tuned
Many thanks to good friend Kisha and my parents for helping with child care.
First, we found out Thursday and yesterday that the way Jonathan starts his new job on Monday, we're going to have to do without 1 paycheck in December. Meaning instead of 2, we're only going to get 1 full check and not until 12/21. We are going to get a partial check on 12/7 for the 4 unused vacation days that Jonathan didn't take at his former job. All our bills will be covered but everything else (gas, groceries, what little Christmas shopping we needed to finish) is a big question. (I'm trying not to panic....Jonathan's doing a much better job than I am!) We know our needs will be met but I struggle with trusting and letting go in that.
On to something cute but serious....Something is going on with Nathan. In all sincerity, we believe the Holy Spirit is working on his heart. He's been "confessing" to an awful lot lately. It's been rough around here with the last few weeks of pregnancy and we do wonder if he's also trying to get our attention (or suffering from cabin fever -- the rains we had the other day flooded our yard so they couldn't play outside and by the time it dried up, it got too cold for them to be outside; not to mention that I'm certainly gone a lot with dr's appointments and they pretty much only get out and about for church). He's also reached a point now where he's pretty capable of getting around the computer pretty good (yikes!) and has been grounded off and on lately either from his Nintendo DS (for leaving it outside one day) and/or from the computer -- first, he had gone to a website (Cartoon Network) without permission and tried to "register" to play with his new email address (AND his Dad's which, thankfully, he had typed wrong). That was his first confession which led to him being grounded from the computer. Then, Thursday, he kept pacing the floor telling us his tummy hurt and the next thing you know, he's spilling the beans. He had gotten on the computer after we had told him not to. We had several "confessions" that night and really, as any parent would be, we're actually quite proud of him for coming forward. Otherwise, we seriously might have never known. Part of his punishment was an extension of his grounding from the computer. Then, yesterday, he came to us right before dinner and started all over again -- this time he said he had gotten on the computer and that he just couldn't help himself 'cause he had seen an ad for a Playhouse Disney website he wanted to go to (we've since then put a password protection on both the laptop and the PC). Jonathan began talking to him and explaining that even though we're grown-ups and Christians, we still struggle with temptation. (Nathan then said that he had another confession -- he had been doing things to Caleb, like taking his toys, just to annoy him because he thought it was fun! How sweet is that?!?) Nathan said something about having tried to ask Jesus into his heart but he just didn't know how. Jonathan assured him he would help him pray but Nathan said he needed some time to think about it. While brushing teeth last night before bed, Nathan came up to me with a note and on it that said "There's something I want to talk to you about. Ask me about it on Monday." and then on the back (it was on an index card), he had written "It's what we talked about at dinner. Do you know what I'm talking about?" I got so cracked up at the "ask me about it on Monday" comment -- too funny! While it's cute, we're serious when we ask you to pray for Nathan and for Jonathan & I in the next couple of days.
On a much lighter note, I had a great time at the baby shower our church family threw for me on Thursday night. Many, many thanks to all who were there! Nathan says we might not have to buy baby wipes for the next year! =) I'll post more about that (with some "beautiful" hand drawn pictures!) and publish our post on John soon! Have a great weekend, ya'll!
Funny story -- last week, on Monday, I went to go get a cookie sheet out of our kitchen island and thought something smelled funny. Didn't say anything or think too much about it. Well, by Wednesday, when I went to get something out again, the smell was drastically worse. I started avoiding opening the island and finally remembered to tell Jonathan on Thursday. He pulled everything out to see if there was something in the back and couldn't find anything. By Friday, you can't even imagine how bad the smell was so he started pulling things out one piece at a time. That's when he found it. The broiler pan had gotten put back into the island BEFORE it had been washed from the last time we used it. Can't remember what we had cooked on it last....Jonathan is the smelly-things-cleaner-upper around here (I can't stand strong smells even when I'm not pregnant but smells really set me off while I'm pregnant) but I could still hear him trying to get through cleaning it up. Oh well, at least we found it! =)
We've made it to 31 weeks....if we make it to full-term, that means we only have 9 weeks left. Yikes! Things still seem to be going okay, not great, but okay. Last check-up last week, I thought for sure they'd change my diabetes medication but they only said to take it at a different time during the day. I had put on a few pounds in the short 2 weeks since I had been there last and I know it's because I'm eating more and I'm eating more when my sugar drops, usually every afternoon. I'm trying to adjust so that I won't have another weight gain (at least not too big) between now and next Monday when I go back. My BP was still borderline when I was there so we're still just watching and waiting on that. They'll do another ultrasound on Monday so that'll tell us if things are changing that show we're headed toward preterm labor and tell us an estimate of how much the baby weighs which is a big worry of mine. John was born at 32 weeks, 5 days and weighed 6 pounds, 3 ounces but at the 28-week ultrasound, they had assured me his weight was normal. They said Timothy was just shy of 3 pounds at his 28 week ultrasound. I'll also start non-stress tests next Monday. Not that big a deal -- nothing painful by any means. They put 2 belts around you, one measuring the baby's heartbeat and one checking for contractions. What they want to see is 1) no contractions, 2) that the baby's heartbeat is between 120 and 160, the norm for babies, 3) that the baby is moving adequately (I push a little button that marks when I feel him move), and 4) that when he does move, his heart rate responds appropriately. Contractions would be a not-so-good thing for obvious reasons. If there's a problem with the heartbeat or if he's not moving often enough or if his heartbeat isn't responding right after the moves, then that's a sign the baby is in "distress", that he doesn't like his environment any more. I've never had a NST where they told me they thought the baby was in distress and I've had NST's with every pregnancy. However, it was at my first NST with John that they noticed I was contracting...that was 9 that morning and John was born at 7 that night -- and that's with heavy meds to try and stop labor. He'd probably have been born before noon if they hadn't at least succeeded in slowing things down! I'm a little nervous....I don't mind the NST's but they sure are a pain for other reasons. 1, the take so long (a minimum of 20 minutes, sometimes as long as an hour) and 2, they do them twice a week which means 2 times the gas to and from the hospital and 2 times the sitters for the kids. And, my one sitter has agreed to watch the kids on the Thursday/Friday appointments each week but she is just a little more pregnant than I am! She could deliver as early as Thanksgiving week but is due 12-15 or so! On the other baby fronts, we got the crib, swing, car seat, etc out of the attic and all clothes are washed and almost put away. Crib isn't together just yet but that's okay. Still have to wash the fabric parts of the swing, car seat, and bouncy seat and wash blankets. All I can say is they better not be wrong or this little girl will be wearing an awful lot of blue for a while! =)
Speaking of gas, I heard this morning that they expect gas prices to stay around $3 for a long time. They also said that gas is really close to $100/barrel and that if it reaches that mark, we can expect gas prices as high as $4/gal by next spring/summer. Isn't that nice?!?!
Well, let's see -- I don't think anything else has really changed much lately. The kids are okay although the little 3 are having a rough time with the weather changes. Their noses finally stopped running but in the mornings, they just sit here and cough. We did take them to church on Sunday night. Caleb & Elizabeth will perform some Christmas songs the evening of 12/9 and Nathan's choir will perform on 12/16. Homeschool co-op (Nathan's art class and Caleb's preschool class) only has 2 weeks left! I hate to say it but I'll be glad when they're done this time. It's been a bit tiring. School is okay -- not getting as much done as I'd like but that's okay. Flexibility is one of the benefits of homeschooling. We can catch up after this little guy gets here and the holidays are over. Nathan is into technology and wanting to learn about it so keep an eye out for the announcement that his own blog is up and running. We're still working on getting it set up right now. He's also excited to be emailing a few (chosen) people. I'm hoping that will help with spelling/grammar. I guess that's really about it. I'm sure there's more I could ramble on about but do you really want to read that??? =)
(PS -- since we signed Nathan up for a blog, when we log in, it shows both blogs; it changed all our posts to say Nathan posted them which, I'm sure, you can figure out he didn't do!)
Reformation Day is a religious holiday celebrated on October 31 in remembrance of the Reformation, particularly by Lutheran and some Reformed church communities....On this day in 1517, Martin Luther posted a proposal at the doors of a church in Wittenberg, Germany to debate the doctrine and practice of indulgences. This proposal is popularly known as the 95 Theses, which he nailed to the Castle Church doors. This was not an act of defiance or provocation as is sometimes thought. Since the Castle Church faced Wittenberg's main thoroughfare, the church door functioned as a public bulletin board and was therefore the logical place for posting important notices. Also, the theses were written in Latin, the language of the church, and not in the vernacular. Nonetheless, the event created a controversy between Luther and those allied with the Pope over a variety of doctrines and practices. When Luther and his supporters were excommunicated in 1520, the Lutheran tradition was born....The liturgical color of the day is red, which represents the Holy Spirit and the Martyrs of the Christian Church. Luther's hymn, A Mighty Fortress is our God is traditionally sung on this day. Lutherans customarily stand during the hymn, in memory of its use in the religious wars of the Sixteenth Century....
Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing
And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us
That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth
Big THANK YOU to Paula & Candace who gave me the new Steven Curtis Chapman CD!!!! I'm rockin' away as we speak to "Children of God":
And, here's some pics of some pretty trees we found on our way home. Our camera does NOT do justice to these beautiful trees! I'm so bummed they didn't turn out better. We're thinking about getting an SLR camera after income tax time. We certainly use a camera a lot with school and stuff.
To one and all, Please pray for, and have remembered in your church, my brother Dave. Dave has been stricken with a rare auto-immune disease that has attacked his kidneys and lungs. Medications that were being used to treat his kidneys have further damaged his lungs. He is on vent and will remain so until God intervenes. He is pastor of First Baptist Church, Romney, WV. Please pray for his church and his wife Shirley. Thanks and I will update as God does His wonderful work.
Join us in praying for Dave and our former pastor/dear friend, Cliff.
Everything looks GREAT! The cyst seen on his brain at 19 weeks is GONE (praise the Lord)! Everything else remains unchanged which is a good thing. Weight still down (lost a pound in between last 2 appointments -- can you believe that?!?). BP was good although the top number had crept up quite a bit, although still within the normal range. Unfortunately, I'm no stranger to high BP during pregnancy so we'll have to keep an eye on that. Sugars are starting to get a little high during the day. But, because my fasting blood sugars are still WELL below 100 and they don't want to mess with those, they're going to try and put me on an oral medication during the day to see if that helps control things better. I'm happy that I can try something oral and avoid those insulin shots! As far as my activity level goes, he said that since the contractions I'm having are causing absolutely no change, that he doesn't see any need to keep me on any kind of activity restriction as long as I'm smart about what I do and listen to my body if it tells me to slow down. So -- all in all, this couldn't have been a better appointment. For the first time, they showed me 3D pictures. They showed up in color at the dr's office but the print out is B&W. Still, it's pretty remarkable. Can you see his hand in front of his face and the smirk on his face in the second picture? Cute, huh?? =) By the way, he finally has a name....Timothy Paul Stevens.