Friday, January 29, 2010

Facing the Reality of a Dreaded Day

Look at this email that popped out at me when I first opened my computer this morning:

Hello, April!

You're 40 weeks pregnant - Your baby is due!

It's hard to say for sure how big your baby will be, but the average newborn weighs about 7 1/2 pounds (a small pumpkin) and is about 20 inches long. The biggest part of your baby's body is her head, but her still-pliable skull will give it the flexibility necessary to squeeze through the birth canal. Many parents are surprised by how long and sharp their newborn's nails are from the get-go. Clipping them right away (ask a nurse for help) can prevent your baby from scratching her face.

Quick Clicks
Has your baby arrived? Update your info
Tips for surviving the first six weeks
Why newborns look so funny

"My doctor's talking about induction! I'm uncomfortable, but I've chosen to let the little one decide when she's ready to come into this world." — Marcia

You're 14 percent more likely to give birth on a Tuesday than on any other day of the week — and least likely to deliver on the weekend.

Still pregnant, plus more tests you may need

How to keep from going stir crazy
Here are a few ways to bide your time until labor begins:

• Go out to lunch with a good friend.
• Catch an afternoon movie.
• Go for a walk or swim. While there's no scientific evidence that exercise can kick your labor into gear, many women swear that's what did it for them.
• Take care of bills coming due soon, and if you haven't already done so, address and stamp your birth announcement envelopes.
• Tired of people checking in on you? Let the answering machine pick up messages for now, and only talk to the people you want to.

After months of anticipation, your due date rolls around, and... you're still pregnant. It's a frustrating, but common, situation in which to find yourself. You may not be as late as you think, especially if you're relying solely on a due date calculated from the day of your last period because sometimes women ovulate later than expected. Even with reliable dating, some women have prolonged pregnancies for no apparent reason.
If your baby has arrived, congratulations! Tell us your baby's birth date and we'll switch you over to the baby newsletter series, with info about your baby's development, parenting tips, and more.

Also This Week ...
Fun ways to announce your baby's arrival

Have a great week!
From all of us at BabyCenter

Okay, I'm back. This is April talking again!! :)

You're probably wondering why I would be getting an email from Baby Center??? Well, probably cuz I should have deleted my info from their system 7 months ago! It's just one of those things I never really felt like doing so just never got around to it. I've been just ignorning the weekly emails and either deleting them the second I see them, or they somehow go right to my junk mail. Well, this one was a little hard to ignore. I am forced to face the reality of it.

Today, January 29, 2010, would be my due date with Mason's little brother or sister. I was thinking probably brother. A date I have been dreading all these months because I knew then I would have to put this behind me and move on because I can no longer pity myself and say, "I'm supposed to be pregnant right now!! But I'm not, and it's not fair!" I have been dreading January and it's finally here. Ugghhhhh. I found out last Memorial Day (May 25) that there was another little baby growing inside me. We knew we had wanted another baby since the week Mason was born, but dr. told us to wait til he turned one year since I would have to have another C-section and my body needed a break. So, as Mason's 1st bday was approaching we jumped right into trying for it without even talking to God about it. We tried a couple of months and then stopped because we just weren't too sure about it and there was just too much going on.

May 11th came & went (Mason's b-day) and a few weeks later I started feeling very sick and just knew something was off. I took a pregnancy test and it immediately turned positive. Marc and I were both in shock and taken off guard because we knew it was something we thought we wanted, but we hadn't taken it to God, AND we weren't really trying right then. And for us, pregnancy does not come easy. It takes a while and literally HAS to be planned for the pregnancy to last. And we did some calculations and realized that tthis pregnancy began on my 30th birthday, the day before Mason's 1st birthday. So, of course we immediately thought it was a God thing and that this pregnancy was meant to be! We were also scared to death because I was lazy and had stopped taking my progesterone, which I have to start taking 2 weeks prior to becoming pregnant in order for the baby to survive. (My body lacks that hormone, so I have to take supplements prior pregnancy & entire first trimester of pregnancy before the placenta takes over producing the progesterone.) So, the hard-core praying began. A couple very scared to death, but also very excited and blown away, all at the same time of taking care of a very active, about-to-start-walking one year old little boy! We were putting this pregnancy in God's hands.

Well, once again, God had different plans for us. We did get to enjoy the pregnancy for a few more weeks, just enough time to really think it was going to last and to get excited. We had a very exciting night of telling our parents and were scheming ways of how to tell our best friends. We started thinking, "Well, we're sooo glad our rental house in BG has 4 bedrooms cuz we'll need one for the new baby!" and "Should we book our trip to Arizona in July cuz April will be about 11 weeks pregnant?? What the heck! Let's do it! It'll be fun to get away, just the two of us, and to be happy and pregnant!" We even started the belly pictures! But, one Thursday morning after coming home from having lots of fun at music class at the Music Playhouse with our best friends, it started. The bleeding and cramping that I knew all too well. I was actually on the computer entering in our credit card info to book Marc's and my Arizona trip. It was a nightmare. I just could not believe God was allowing us to go through this AGAIN!!! Why!??!?! I was not mad at Him or angry, I was just soooooo baffled. What was He trying to teach us? I mean, He had already taught us patience and that His plans aren't always ours, so what else could possibly be left to learn?

This miscarriage lasted about a week; all the way through going to the Coldplay concert with Ryan & Melia; through making preparations for the Inner-City Ministry center Marc and I were leading at VBS, through the actual VBS every night for 4 nights. Of all times for us to have plans every single night. I had to force myself to get through it all. Forced a smile on my face, yet everyone knew. Once again in that vulnerable position where everyone feels sorry for us. It makes me cringe because I know there is MUCH worse out there that people have to go through. Yet, my heart was breaking in an unexplainable way. Miscarriage is the trial that was given to Marc and me. And at a very crazy time of our lives. Mason turning ONE year old, Marc graduating from residency at Vandy, finalizing our house in BG, trying to figure out what to do with ours, packing up the house & moving, Marc starting his new job finally, and the overall transition of picking up and moving our family. I had hoped to move to BG pregnant and happy and glowing and busy planning a nursery, not sad and moping and being worried about how I would feel to make a new friend who happened to be pregnant or carrying a newborn.

So, here I am on this due date looking back these last 9 months trying to figure out how all the pieces of the puzzle fit. They fit perfectly, but that doesn't mean I am 100% healed. I am working so hard it at and some days are easier than others. I am not angry or mad or confused. I am just sad and wondering what that baby would have been like. Would he or she have slept 12 hours a night starting at 6 weeks old like my Mason? Would they have been the world's most perfect baby like my Mason? Would they have been so easy, go-with-the-flow, and easy-going as a newborn like my Mason? Would it have been a boy or a girl? Would this c-section of been so much better than the first? What would Mason think of bringing a new brother or sister home from the hospital week? How would it be being a parent the second time around? All these questions go through my mind as I sit here and stare at my 20-month old son laughing and dancing away to his Baby Einstein Baby Noah DVD saying "Ho, Ho, Ho!" every time Noah appears on the screen. Marc and I have enjoyed every single second with this stinker, yet have gone through the most challenging few months of having a child. Mason is the JOY of our lives, but is very active, full of energy, and is into everything! He loves life. Since he started walking at 15 months old, my has life been different! :) I am constantly on my toes having to keep up with him. My mom calls him a "Little Jody." I believe that! How in the world would I have been able to do this while being pregnant??!?!? I know women do it every day. Marc and I have focused everything on Mason and it would have been so different knowing another baby would be here soon. God knew we needed just a little bit more time with him before growing our family. And I agree with Him 100%. I just pray that I can be the best Mom I can be, and if that means it just being Mommy & Mason rocking in the rocking chair at night, then so be it. I cuddle up to him at night when putting him to bed and am so thankful for that time and that it doesn't have to be shared with another child right now. We waited so long and prayed so hard for Mason, that we truly believe he was our miracle and we want this time with him to last for as long as possible. Because I know we will feel this way all over again with a second child! :)

So, that's it. I just wanted to sit and write all these feelings out because it's something I NEED to do and have been needing to do for a long time. I talked a little bit about this miscarriage at the beginning, but haven't really dealt with it since we moved. I was explaining to my Bible study group the other night that I just wanted a fresh start here and didn't want to be seen as the girl who has a million miscarriages and sends out a million emails asking for prayers about it! I've been trying to hide the pain and deal with it on my own, especially with all the other sadness that has been going on. We have experienced several losses of people we love the last few months and I thought I had just combined all this grief into one and that the tears I've cried were enough to help me grieve for my baby as well. I've learned that is not fair to do to myself. Each of our losses breaks God heart and He cries more tears than we do. I need to work some more on the healing for my babies. Not just the baby due today, but the babies before Mason as well. I realize now that my heart still breaks for them each and every day. I've put my grievin' on hold for a few months but sitting down and typing this post has already helped so much in making up for lost time. I hear that you never stop grieving for babies lost through miscarriage, but that it gets a little easier each and every day.

I have some pictures sitting on my computer from the very happy time of knowing I was pregant again to the horrible, dark days of the physical & emotional pain. I have never posted some of these pics and I feel that it's something I need to do today.

Seven weeks pregnant... I was really feeling pregnant & could notice my belly shape changing

We announced the exciting news to our parents just before leaving to go to Marc's residency graduation! I walked down the stairs with Mason wearing his new "Big Brother" t-shirt. It took them a minute to realize what was going on, but they were in PURE shock when they got it!

All of us bein' silly after Marc received his "diploma." We had soooo many blessings to be thankful for that night!
Fun pool day with my good friend, Heather, and her girls that week. I was DYING to tell her the news, but we were waiting a little bit longer to tell our friends.

Trying out the free classes as Music Playhouse... We had such a BUSY few weeks after finding out we were pregnant. Summer was here and there was so much excitement all around!
The day we were on the news at Music Playhouse! There were several close-up shots of Andrea and me with our sweet boys! I wish I had a tape of it.
About an hour after getting home from music class this day, the miscarriage started. I wasn't feeling very well at music class, but I just thought I was hot and nauseous from it being SO hot that day and just from being pregnant.
Two days later at the Coldplay concert... we had been looking forward to that for so long so we were going to make sure we had lots of fun!

Playin' with May May in the car on the way to VBS

I wondered how the world I was gonna get up out of bed to make it to VBS each night... But God put it on the calender for THIS specific week this year just for us! I was so grateful for these people in this picture below. They were in our missions center with us and gave us so much encouragement & love that week.
Teaching those precious children about the Inner-City Ministry (a.k.a "Church Bus")... something I am so passionate about & another huge God-send. Looking back on it, the strength to stand up and do that during a miscarriage was God holding me up!
The face that got us through... Marc & I looked at this sweet little face that week in a brand new light. I don't care how many times I have to be pregnant to bring a child like this into the world. It is ALL worth it!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A WONDERFUL Day with Family!

My son is blessed to have one of the most amazing families in the entire world! They would love on him 24/7 if we would let them. Ha ha! :) Mason's grandparents are 4 of the most proud Nana's, Poppa's, Grandy's, & Paw T's that you will ever see! They just capture his every single move & word when they are with him and laugh, laugh, laugh. They get to see Mason more than a lot of grandchildren get to see their grandparents (even though they don't think that!) so we're really blessed for our son to have that constant interaction with the 4 people who love him the most besides his Mommy & Daddy! :)

Today I took my diaper cakes to the boutique in Russellville, so my dad drove down from Nashville for a few hours to keep Mason. Even though we moved an hour and ten minutes north to Bowling Green, my dad is still always willing to come watch his little stinker if even for a little while. I was really spoiled having my parents so close when we lived in Nashville, so it has definitely been a challenge to be able to do as much as I did then (dr.'s appt, grocery shopping, Bible studies, etc.) because baby-sitting just isn't as convenient. When I got back home this afternoon, Mason showed me how he and his Poppa Jack had cleaned up and organized his play room. They immediately led me back to the room. It was a huge mess before I left and when I got back it looked like they had worked the entire time cleaning it all up! I was so impressed that 2 men were able to accomplish that! Ha! :) My dad said that they also even had plenty of time to look at books, puzzles, play ball, and cuddle while I was gone. When my Dad left and we watched his white van drive down that street, Mason cried so hard. He never just does that (except when his Daddy leaves the house) so I was in shock. It was the saddest and sweetest at the same time!

Here are a few little pics I took of Mason & Poppa Jack when they were saying goodbye.

BUT.... the fun didn't end there! Our house ended up being FULL of people tonight! Marc's cousin, Fayr, has been living in Alaska for the last 7 years living the army life with her husband and children. This has been really hard for the family, especially Fayr's dad (Marc's Uncle Gary) having them so far away. Well, Fayr's husband is now being stationed in Ft. Sill, Oklahoma so goodbye Alaska, time to drive cross country to the next destination! One of their stops for a while was KY, so we were so excited to have them come to BG to see us! We haven't seen Fayr & the kids in years and it was neat to have Mason meet all these new cousins!

Mason & Angelica spent lots of bonding time reading books & playing with all the new toys Grandy brought to him. She is about a year older than him and really took her role as big cousin seriously! Wherever she would go, he would follow. Here they are having a very serious discussion about one of his "Cars" books.

Angelica's bis sis, Savannah, was so good with the kids! She would go back and forth between playing Family Feud with the grown-ups & reading to the children!

Just bein' silly! And Mason taking advantage of the moment to grab his book!
Wow! That's some big ole' lovin' going on between Mason & his Great-Uncle Gary!
The kids, kids-in-law, and grand-kids!

The biggest Family Feud tournament was goin' on in that living room! Boys v. Girls! Intense!
I love how Uncle Bob & Aunt Judy were chillin' on the couch the whole time, but every now and then contributing some random answer to our game :)
The guys' team: Marc, A.J. (Fayr's hubby), and Uncle Gary

Grandy C brought May-May some new golf clubs!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Night Out with Great-MaMaw

Marc was meeting up with his accountability group tonight for dinner (he & 2 of his best friends have been getting together once every couple of months or so to pray together and just discuss everything going on in their lives, to be "accountable" to each other in being better Christian men & husbands). They were meeting in Nashville, so of course Mason and I weren't going to pass up a chance to ride to Nashville with Marc to meet up with whoever we choose! :) Mason chose his Great-MaMaw, Willie Mae, since we hadn't hung out with her in a while. My mom picked up MaMaw from the Trevecca Towers and we met them at the new Logan's at 100 Oaks for some dinner. It was sooo packed, but we enjoyed a great night of Mason lovin' on his great-mamaw. We don't get to do this very often, so it was a real treat! Mason is the only great-grandchild on my side of the family, so of course he is spoiled rotten during all the family get-togethers!

And notice in this pictures that A) Mason was an especially outgoing mood tonight, so he was meandering up and down our aisle talking to every family trying to enjoy their meal! He even got in on some of the romantic dinners going on. Thank you. And B) He was obsessed with the monkey on his shirt and had to keep pointing it and and showing it to every person he came in contact with, especially his Great-MaMaw. He kept telling her the biggest story about it.

You are such a special blessing to all of us!!!

Introducing... Stinky Britches!

Hi y'all! I've been working on getting my business up and going for a few months now. Stinky Britches Custom Diaper Cakes by April Kay is officially open! Click on the icon to the right to visit my new business blog! I would love it if you could leave a comment on it to let me know you stopped by. Please, please spread the word and I would REALLY appreciate it if you could give me a brief shout-out on your own blog! And let me know if you want me to do the same for your home business!

I'm so excited! I've been busy making preparations to set up a display in a cute little store in Russellville, KY. So, visit the Stinky Britches blog again within the next couple of weeks for pictures of my new display! For now, I will sell them through my new business blog, the Russellville store, and I'm starting a new Stinky Britches Facebook page very soon!

Here's a little sneak peak!

Please let me know what you think! I need your feedback!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Happy 20-Months Old, Mason!

20 months ago today was the most emotional-roller-coaster-ish day of my life!!! Mason Thomas was born and now here we are almost 2 years later blessed beyond words! Wow, I cannot even believe how fast the time has gone! I also can't imagine life before Mason. He definitely makes each and every day very exciting.... and just a little bit challenging! He is a very active, energetic little boy with tons of personality. We have our hands full, but not in a bad way at all. Yes, Mason is VERY busy, into everything, and gets put in time-out quite a bit, but we are overall very blessed by saying we have a very good little boy. He is sweet, loving, and so far, very good at sharing. Every now and then he gets a little territorial when someone is in his space (ha ha!) but I'm sure that's normal for a toddler! He loves to go, go, go. If someone pulls out a toy, he is ready to check it out. If someone pulls out a book, he is all ears. He's just so go-with-the-flow and adjusts so well to new situations. He's a really good mixture of both Marc and me, personality-wise. I think he's a LOT like his Uncle Jody as well. My mom watches Mason and says, "That is Jody all over when he was that age!" And, looking at my brother's baby pictures, Mason is a replica! He still definitely has his Da Da's & Grandy C's eye shape, but has the eye color, hair, and bone structure of my family. Many people say he looks just like my dad as well. So, for this month, I'm saying Mason is favoring my dad and brother. Oh, and his Papa Jack isn't proud about that at all! Ha ha! :)

Here are a few more tidbits about Mason at 20 months:

STATS: Mason weighed about 25 pounds at his 18-month check-up and he hasn't been officially weighed since. He was in the 3rd% the first 15 months of his life; jumped into the 25th to 50th% percentile by 18 months old! The pediatrician says that Bowling Green is treating him well! :) He was almost 32 inches in length. He is wearing most 2T, but some 18 months if it is long. He is wearing size 4 diaper. He is wearing size 5 1/2 shoes. He is getting taller each and every day! In fact, just last night his big toed ripped right through his footed p.j.'s! And he could wear the same ones just last week and they fit just fine! Mason is definitely not our little skinny baby anymore who gets all the comments of how tiny he is; he is chunking up a little and his face is filling out more so he's starting to blend in more with the other kids his age.

LOVES TO EAT! This is a comment that many people say about him after observing him for a little while... the child eats us out of house & home!! He does a very good job feeding himself with a spoon, which we introduced at 16 months old. He still makes a big mess and loves to throw food across the kitchen when he gets a little bored. When is that stage gonna be over?!?!?! I'm sick of having to mop every single day! Well, needing to mop and actually mopping are two different things! Ha ha! Some of his fave foods... Graduates meals (pasta & chicken & veggies and the white turkey stew w/ veggies), peas, peaches, pineapple, blueberries, grapes, bananas, any kind of dried fruit (esp. blueberries), cranberries, deli mesquite turkey, grilled chicken, whole grain bread, Wheat Thins, animal crackers, and cheerios.

FOOD ALLERGY UPDATE: Mason was officially diagnosed with allergies to milk and beef in June 2009. Since then we pretty much keep him away from ALL dairy and beef & pork. Dealing with his allergies has just become a way of life for us. We are now used to having to take his own food whenever we go to someone's house for dinner or to a restaurant. We know all the right foods to buy and it gets easier each and every day. Yes, I do look at kids eating mac & cheese, cheeseburgers, and spaghetti off the Kids' Menu and get a little jealous (I'm sure Mason does, too!), but I'm just thankful for the foods that he is able to eat and that God was able to show us his allergies before he had a dangerous allergic reaction. His diet includes a ton of fruits and veggies, so he has ended up probably eating healthier that he would have without these allergies. The pediatric allergists will repeat the tests when Mason turns 2 and then go from there. We're thinking he's pretty much outgrown the milk allergy, but the doc says to not even test Mason's little system yet by tempting it with milk. So, we're still patiently waiting.

BOOKS, BOOKS, BOOKS!! Mason's single most favorite thing in the world to do is to look at books!!! We receive free books from Dolly Parton's Imagination Library each month and he gets sooo excited to see what each new book will be! He is now going through this phase where ALL DAY long he will pick out a book, bring it to me, and work his way in my lap somehow no matter what I am doing, so that I will read the book to him. And who can resist that?? :) He really acts like he knows the storyline and he'll point to a thing and say either the sound it makes or what it actually is. He is sooo smart! The other day he took out "I Love You, Stinky Face" (one of his faves from newborn days), started flipping through the pages saying, "Mama, Mama!" I thought he was trying to tell me something, but really he's been listening to me read this book for so many months that he knows what the story is about! It's about this silly conversation between a momma and her son and on each page the little boy asks, "But Mama, but Mama... what if I were a.....?" And she replies, "If you were a.... , I would still love you!" It's such a sweet story. I realized that Mason was reading the book to me for the first time the day he was looking at that book and saying "Mama, Mama!" I about cried in the middle of that Victoria's Secret dressing room!
TALKIN' AWAY! Mason says about 40 words. He hasn't said a complete sentence yet, but you can tell he understands things we're trying to tell him. We'll ask him to go in another room and get something (like his new moose he got for Christmas!) and sure enough he'll go and get it. His favorite word is still "Dada." He has started saying "Mama" a lot more and says it with the biggest grin ever; he knows we've been waiting months for him to say it but he's been a little stinker about it! He only has said one person's name and that is "Audrees." He has two little friends named Audrey and he goes around the house talking about them all day long. He refuses to say anyone else's name. Thank you. He loves using baby signs more than verbal communication, I think. His favorite is the sign for "more." As soon as Marc gets home from work, Mason goes running up to him doing the "more" sign cuz he knows his dad will then preceed to get him the biggest snack ever, usually grapes. He signs "more" the second he gets up in the morning, letting us know he's ready for his breakfast. He also signs "all done", but that is VERY rare cuz I don't think he could ever really be done eating! He loves letting us know sounds that animals make and has said just a couple names of animals.
Some of the words Mason says... juice, da (for "ball"), mama, dada, Audrey, hippo, fish, "Oh, wow!", nooo, yes, nana (for "banana"), diapah (for "diaper"), zebra, ephant (for "elephant"), bye, ho, ho, ho!

LOVES HIS SLEEP! We are so thankful that Mason has slept through the night since 8 weeks old and we have never once had an issue with sleeping. God knows what he's doing cuz this girl is NOT a morning person and I need my sleep! I've gotten Mason on my schedule... we love to sleep-in and stay up late! And we love naps during the day! :) He goes to bed around 9 pm and gets up around 9:30 am. Some days earlier or later, but that's the average. Putting him to bed is easy... we turn on his nightlight, start his CD, put him in his crib, and I say the same prayer I have been saying every night for 20 months, just with a couple of new lines added. He immediately turns on his stomach and tucks his hands in (he does this when he wants to get cozy or when he's super excited about something), lays there and thinks for a little while, and then goes to sleep. We read soooo many books during the day, that we've gotten out of reading books at night just because he doesn't really associate that with bed time.

OTHER THINGS MASON LOVES... being with people (has always gone to other people without any tears... especially loves us leaving him in the church nursery), throwing balls into his new basketball goal, pilfering in his new play kitchen & sorting through all the dishes & fake food, running into his Dada's arms every day when he gets home from work, watching Praise Baby DVD's and basketball games with Dada, showers with Dada (Yes, a HUGE Daddy's boy!!), Sunday School, Kindermusik, Toddler Time at the Bowling Green Library every Monday, dancing, laughing, running around randomly and chasing big kids at church, getting all of our food out of the kitchen cabinets and organizing it, traveling, and life in general! :)

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