Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A time with family

Because Ron will graduate from Boston College in less than a week (we can hardly believe it!), we have been taking full advantage of his time off!  Over Thanksgiving, we spent over a week in St. Louis with my family.  And we'll spend a month over Christmas with both our parents (2 weeks with each).  The older I get, the more I realize how blessed I am to actually enjoy being with both my family and Ron's family.   

Here are some new pictures of Annie and my family from our time in St. Louis:

My nephew Payton holding Annie

Ron, Kristin, me, Jason, Annie, Joe and Angie

Little Annie losing her hair on top - poor thing - soon she'll look like my dad :)

Also, please continue to pray for us since Ron doesn't have a job yet.  We believe that God has something amazing for us if we will only be patient and trust Him for His perfect timing!  

Monday, November 17, 2008

One Month

Here is a picture of the three of us at Windsor Beach.  Ron and I love to go on walks and discover new places in and around Boston. And although it's a bit more complicated since we now have to bring a car seat and a diaper bag plus trying to plan around feedings, all in all, we can still do much of the same things as we did before.  

Today is Annie's one month birthday!  I can hardly believe how the time has passed; I feel like we just got home from the hospital a few days ago.  She went to the doctor this morning and is doing so well!  She has gained 22 ounces, she is one inch longer and her head is bigger!  She is in the middle percentiles in all categories.  In short, she is THRIVING and we are so thankful to have a healthy and perfect little girl!  

Sorry for the short post but little Annie Kate just started crying and is ready to eat!  Ah the life of a new mom - I'm loving it!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

And life changed on October 17th

October 16th at 10:00 pm: Some girls from our community group asked how I was feeling and if I thought Baby Girl was anywhere near coming and if she was still breech.  I told them that I thought she was nowhere near coming b/c I hadn't had any symptoms and she was still sitting so high.  Plus, I had seen my midwife earlier that day and we decided not to check and see if I was dialated.  Little did I know that Baby Girl had her own plans...

October 17th at 1:00 am:  I woke up and had to use the restroom very badly!  When I stood up out of bed, I felt a little trickle...hmmm...what was that?  Then I had what I thought must be a real contraction because it felt like "that time of the month" cramps.  But since I'd never been in labor before and was still convinced she wasn't coming yet, I went back to bed.  I woke up 30 minutes later with another contraction.  I went to the restroom again and this time....gush!  Yikes!  That was definitely NOT normal.  

I woke up Ron and told him we needed to go to the hospital.  In his state of sleep induced stupor, he asked, "why?" (hee hee)  I responded that either I was in labor or I was leaking amniotic fluid and we needed to go to the hospital in either case.  He said I should come back to bed and then we can pray about it.  Again, I laughed and said that we could pray about it, but we still needed to go to the hospital.  We called the doctor and told them my symptoms and they said they would have the midwife on-call at the hospital call me back and let me know what to do.  MY midwife was on-call and said "come in my friend!  I hear you're in labor!"  Now this was amazing because it's only a 1/15 chance that I'd get my own midwife - what a blessing!  

Since I thought she was no where near coming, I hadn't even packed my bag yet!  Whoops - that was on the to-do list for this week.  Hmm... well, Ron took a shower and I packed my bags.  The picture below is the very last belly picture taken at about 3 am on October 17th.
3:30 am: arrival at the hospital and sonogram to confirm that she was still breech.  They told us we could either have the C-section right then or we could wait further into the labor to see if she would still turn.  Ron and I prayed about it and felt at peace about doing it immediately.  So at 5:50 am on October 17th, Anne Katherine Goode made her screaming entrance into the world!  Her namesake "Anne" is from several things - my grandmother's name, my mother-in-law's middle name and my favorite childhood book Anne of Green Gables.  Katherine is just a name we liked and doesn't have any specific significance.  We'll call her Annie or Annie Kate.

I have to admit, after she was born, it was difficult because I felt totally disconnected to what was happening around me.  The anesthesia made me feel really strange and I was shaking like crazy for a few hours after the surgery.  Ron got to watch the entire procedure as he peeked around the curtain.  His description of the surgery was that it looked like a deer being gutted!  Lovely.  While they were wiping Annie off, my midwife came over and said, "Well, your daughter and your husband are both just over there balling together!"  Typical :)   Over the next few days, I made Ron go home to sleep so that he would be of more use during the day; we can't both be super tired!  So in the early morning hours, I got to feed, hold and take care of Annie by myself.  This was GREAT for us so that we got to bond and connect - so important!  Our stay at the hospital was fantastic - we LOVED our nurses and felt so supported by them and well cared for.  We love Brigham and Women's Hospital!

We are home now and all doing well!  The picture below was taken a few days ago after dinner.  We are settling into life and trying to get on a schedule.  I have to admit, this is both the greatest and most difficult thing I have ever done.  I didn't expect it to be so demanding and hard, but I also had no idea that I could be so completely head over heals for this little girl!  She melts my heart every time she coos, sighs, streches, makes cute faces or wraps her fingers around mine.  

Stay tuned for more of the Goode's unpredictable adventure!

Monday, October 13, 2008

38 weeks and 2 days

For the past 3 weeks, I've been continuing to go to the acupuncturist and chiropractor three times per week.  Last week, we really thought she had turned (honestly, I think she turned and then turned back)!  Everything felt different - it didn't feel like a head anymore, I looked a lot lower like she had dropped, I could breathe better - but when I went to the doctor to confirm, the sonogram showed that she was still breech.  I was really discouraged that day (last Thursday) and was fighting the Enemy's ploy to try and make me lose hope.  Thankfully, we had Faithgroup that evening where they prayed for us and encouraged us!  In particular, Joy, a friend of mine, had me speak out-loud that I would not allow Satan to steal my hope and to proclaim that God is good and is in control.  As the others prayed and agreed with me, something in the Spirit was broken and I felt so much better!  Praise God for good friends who will speak into my life and for an amazing community who surrounds us!  

Tomorrow (Tuesday) at 10 am, Ron and I are headed to Brigham and Women's Hospital to undergo a procedure called the "External Cephalic Version" which basically is where the doctor will "manually" turn the baby from the outside.  They will monitor the baby by sonogram and dopplar so that if the baby's heart rate starts to drop, they stop immediately and can also see what's happening with the cord.  There are risks, though they are minimal.  It can send you into labor b/c they are pushing around on your stomach and the cord can become wrapped around limbs or neck.  Obviously, this is a little scary, but again, the risks are minimal and they monitor both me and baby the whole time.  Plus, it's done in the hospital so that if by some slim chance something does go wrong, then they can perform an emergency c-section right then.  My doctor and midwife assure me that it's a safe procedure and that I should not be worried or scared.  

If this procedure doesn't work tomorrow, then I think the plan will be to schedule a c-section about the time of my due date (Oct 25).  That will still give the baby time to turn on her own, but we'll also be prepared if she doesn't.  My mom comes to Boston on Oct 23rd, so I want to take full advantage of her help while she can be here :)

I am so thankful that we are surrounded (both physically here in Boston and in spirit by those far away) by friends who are praying for us!  We feel so loved and covered!  Please keep believing with us!  

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Update: continue to believe!

Four weeks from today to go and counting! I'm now at 36 weeks and I wanted to give a little update from my last post about Baby Girl being breech...she is still in the "frank breech" position (jack-knifed with her feet up by her head) but I found out that it is the most common breech position and NOT strange! It still doesn't seem all that comfortable in my mind, but it made me feel much better knowing that she was not in pain and that it was not abnormal. Praise God!

I am so thankful for that reassurance, but I am also thankful for the opportunity to journey through all the feelings and fear that it produced. It helped me go to a deeper level of trust with the Lord: to trust Him with her health and safety and to trust Him if something is wrong, believing that He placed this sweet baby with us for a reason and is entrusting us to take care of her and will equip us to do it. God is worthy of my trust as He has proved this over and over to me.

Since she is still breech, now what? We're doing a combination of things...some "at home" techniques that include laying upside down, putting music and light at the bottom of my stomach, ice packs up near the top; a form of acupuncture that does not use needles but uses heat on pressure points to release the energy and get everything flowing (this was definitely a new experience for me!); I'm going to a chiropractor on Monday to undergo the "Webster technique" which basically aligns my spine and relaxes the muscles of my uterus and pelvis, giving the baby room to move; on Wednesday I go see my midwife and if she still hasn't turned by then, I will make an appointment with my doctor to do an "External cephalic version" which basically means she will have me lay on the table and will manually turn her from the outside. We're still believing that the Lord will make it happen - whether supernaturally or using any of these techniques.

So once again, I'm asking you to continue to believe for her to turn head-down and facing my back! Thanks for all your encouragement and prayers - they are very much appreciated!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Believe with us!

Sorry that there are not any new pictures of me to go along with this post, but this is a slightly different update...

Baby Girl is BREECH (head up, rear end down) and in a jack-knifed position (folded over forwards with her feet up by her head) - this is not good! If she stays in this position and does not turn in the next 3 weeks, I have to have an automatic C-section. My midwife said there are a few more techniques that we can try to get her to turn, but she doesn't think it will happen since she's so scrunched in there already. And since I've been preparing for a natural, vaginal birth, this is not exactly how I would like things to take place. I realize that I cannot control how this birth will happen and of course we will do what's healthy for Baby, but please believe with us and ask the Lord to turn her! I'd love for the doctors and midwives to be shocked at how big God really is and how He can do the impossible!

The jack-knife position is a little scary too...not because it's hurting her, but because she has been in this position for every sonogram I've had since 20 weeks. I don't know if she changes positions and then goes back to that one or not; I feel her moving around, but can't really tell what anything is besides her head and back. Last night, I woke up at 3 am terrified that there was something wrong with her legs...like maybe she CAN'T bend them and that's why she's always in that position and that's why she won't turn. My fears of the unknown and a possible disability were overwhelming. I spent a good hour in prayer and battle before my heart was again at peace. Everyone keeps telling me that maybe she's just flexible and that they're sure everything is fine...well, yes, there are far worse things that could be wrong, but I want to believe God for her perfect health! I don't want to settle for just assuming that things will be fine.

The Lord has definitely been teaching me about faith over this pregnancy...real faith...not just the kind that knows in your head, but the real, gritty kind that fills your gut and leaves you feeling absolutely secure in the character of God. I've been up and down and all over the place, but God is so gracious and patient with me as I learn to progressively trust Him and believe that He is growing my meager faith. I know that things may turn out very differently than I imagine, but please believe with us for the following things...

1. That Baby Girl would turn and be in a head-down, posterior position
2. That we would be able to have a natural, vaginal birth
3. That Baby Girl would be healthy, whole and without disability
4. That I would have the courage and grace to face whatever comes; that I would trust the Lord and His plans for me; that my faith would be stretched as I believe for things that are not yet seen

Thank you my friends! I am so grateful to know that I can post this and that people all over the country will pray for my family! I am so blessed!

Friday, September 5, 2008

only 7 more weeks!

My sister-in-law and my parents both called me yesterday and threatened to put embarrassing photos on the web if I did not post something today. So here's a photo taken last week (32 weeks) in our back walkway by the garden...which was more like a jungle until Sheila (Ron's mom) came and cleaned it up for us. Now we can see the lovely tomatoes and melons that are growing!

I only have 3 more weeks of work left and only 7 more weeks until my due date - it's very surreal and difficult to wrap my mind around. And although I'm sad to leave High Point and 963 Missions because I love the people I work with, I am very excited for this new adventure!

For the many of you who've asked, no, I haven't even started on the nursery yet. We have some people staying with us indefinitely, so sometime after that, we'll paint and decorate. We've got the supplies ready to go, but it will be a bit longer before we begin. Surprisingly, I'm not freaking out about it :)

More to come later...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

26 weeks...or 6 months for the layperson

Since my sister, Angie, and sister-in-law, Kristin, have been bugging me to update my blog for some time now, I thought I would do a quick post so you all can see how my belly is growing. Angie and Kristin will still not be happy though, since this picture was taken by them at my St. Louis baby shower last weekend. Oh well, it's the best I can do for now!

Quick update - today (27 weeks) we entered our 7th month and the 3rd trimester! And as the baby gifts arrive and our guest room is increasingly looking like a storage unit, the fact that we will soon have a baby girl is becoming more and more real. I'll catch Ron looking at my stomach with amazement and then he says, "whoa...we're going to have a baby!" Yes babe...hence the basketball under my clothes! He's been able to feel the baby move for a few weeks now, but the other night, he actually SAW my stomach moving around (maybe her head or foot rolling and poking) and THAT was truly amazing - what a miracle!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

It's a....hmm...and other miracles

So it's been a busy couple of weeks for Little G...

Here is a picture of our 11 week sonogram! It might be hard to tell, but in the circle to the right, there's a head and body and arms and legs. Like his or her dad, the baby appears to be taking it easy and lounging in my stomach. Hopefully, this laid back attitude will carry right on through after he or she is born. We all know we don't need another high-strung person around this house...and I'm definitely not talking about Ron!

I think the thing sticking up near his or her stomach/legs is the umbilical cord or maybe a leg...but of course Ron's reaction when he saw the picture was, "Whoa! Is that his thingy?" Yeah, um...that would be a little ambitious even if we did know the sex :)

That day, I also got to hear the heartbeat for the first time! Ron was not able to be there because he had meetings, but my friend Kelly was visiting from Texas and she came to be my support. It was amazing and I'm so glad that a good friend got to share that experience with me!

Then last night, Ron and I went to "Meet the Midwives" at Brigham and Women's Hospital, the place where I will hopefully deliver. Not only was it informative, but we watched this video of women laboring through natural childbirth. It was a short video and I started tearing up within the first minute. By the time the babies were actually born - a mere 6 minutes later in the video - I was crying and so was Ron! It's official: we're both softies and we'll both cry when Little G finally makes an appearance. It was strange, I've seen several childbirths before in health class or sex education and never ever reacted that way. But when I realized that Ron and I would be doing that in just a few short months (God willing), it hit me that we would be participating in a miracle! Thank you Lord for how you let us be a part of the extraordinary!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Life Out of Death

At Faithgroup (our small group from our church) back in early February, we waited on the Lord and asked Him to speak to us about what He's going to do and how He wants to begin to change our hearts at World Mandate (annual missions conference) that coming weekend. Sometimes I hear a little from the Lord...small words of affirmation and comfort like, "I love you"...and sometimes I hear more. That night, I heard a lot and in light of our recent PREGNANCY, I thought this was pretty significant...especially since I was only about a week pregnant at that point and had no idea...here's what He said to me:

"I am birthing something NEW in you - new life, new depth. Life will come out of death and through it, I will bring you to a new level with Me. New levels of obedience, higher callings - this is what I'm inviting you to. You will depend on Me in the coming months for they will be very difficult - life out of death - but I will be with you and very near to you. Do not be afraid, but embrace this new time, this new season, this new level of abandonment. Jump, my child, and I will catch you. Abandonment. No fear. I am WITH YOU."

WHOA was about all I could say afterwards. Life out of DEATH - what the heck does that mean for me? I started getting scared! But then I remembered the numerous reminders of how God always brings life out of death - leaves falling off of trees during winter and new ones emerging in the spring; a caterpillar goes into a cocoon (extended darkness) to become a butterfly; a wife who lovingly serves her husband brings life to her marriage; a woman giving up her body to birth a child; a father working long hours to support his family; and the most important: Christ dying on the cross and being raised again so that we might have True Life. And notice that these are all willing deaths...these are not decisions made selfishly or fearfully, but decisions made because something better waits on the other side.

Life out of death - this is what the Lord is doing in me during this season. Pregnancy is not only happening to me physically, but it is a picture of what is happening to me spiritually...a willing death. As this baby grows in the night of my womb, so new life is forming in the dark places of my soul. As I give my body to this baby, reject my ideals of always being skinny and my fears of what I'll look like afterwards, so I am relinquishing my old ways of thinking, my old fears of abandonment that have too long stood firm.

Watch...and Wait...and See...New life is emerging...

P.S. Read my friend Christine's blog for more on this subject!