Thursday, September 30, 2010
(Photo courtesy of Chuck E Cheeses, where we celebrated her birthday as a family)
In some ways it's hard to believe that it's been 7 years now since Raven was born. In other ways it seems like it's been forever ago. It seems so long ago that we lived in Germany and had some great friends and a wonderful doctor who was so patient and cared about those he saw and the babies he delivered. It's so hard to find a Dr who measures up as we travel around.
Raven is so nice and helpful to have around some times and then there are days when she's getting into everything and sneaking anything she can find and driving me crazy. She's such a smart girl and we're so proud of her and what she is accomplishing in school and elsewhere. Raven is a great reader and many who hear her read are amazed at how well she reads (except for her teacher at school but I won't go there now). She can be a challenge some days but when it comes down to it I don't know what I'd do without her in our family.
I remember having my 2 boys and finding out I was pregnant again. I was at a point where I had too many boys in the house and I was so afraid of adding another one to the clan. I prayed and prayed that the Lord would make her a girl and I vowed (quite seriously, and I think the Lord knew I was serious) that if that baby turned out to be a boy then I was done and we would quit having our own and adopt 2 girls and call it a family. I cried tears of joy when we had her ultrasound and found out she was a girl-I was so happy. She was happy and adorable and lit up our family. She hasn't changed much in that aspect. She is mischievious and inquisitive always and, though it might drive me nuts some days, I know she's smarter for it.
Happy 7th Birthday Raven! We love you so much!
Sunday, September 12, 2010
In the past, we were so anxious to tell family and then waited only through the first trimester to tell friends when we got pregnant. Then a little over a year ago I got pregnant and something just felt wrong. I told the Dr but he blew it off. They couldn't get a strong heartbeat but blamed it on the instruments, never saw things quite right and, again, blamed it on the machines. Then a couple days short of 20 weeks I started to spot and bleed and went to the ER to discover that our baby no longer had any heartbeat and my body was passing it out. After 3 ultrasounds by 3 different Dr's, we opted to speed things up with medication and I gave birth to a tiny, perfect but still born baby boy early in the morning on August 23, 2009. It was devistating-something I never thought I would ever have to go through. We grieved and cried but knew at the same time that it was the way things were supposed to be. We weren't meant to raise Kyle on this earth.
We moved on and decided to try again. By 6 weeks later when I went back for my follow up check (yes, they do those even when your baby wasn't born living) I was pregnant again. After a couple more ultrasounds where we saw our baby and a strong heartbeat, we decided to tell family-we were excited to be able to move on so quickly. Then, in mid-December, I started to bleed again. 11 weeks is pretty normal for miscarriage so this time nobody was concerned, except us. We wanted more answers and were concerned, knowing that we had one more little spirit that has been overly anxious to join our family for years and hoping it wouldn't take more of this loss to get her here.
We moved in January from Australia to the US and transitioned from military to civilian shortly after so we deceded to wait a little before trying again. April seemed like a good time for that but my cycle came and went with no luck. We moved again in mid-April from Arizona to Colorado and were in a hotel while we looked for a house. By early May we had a positive pregnancy test but didn't dare celebrate too soon. We moved into our new house the end of May and started getting settled. The first trimester came and went and our new insurance became effective. Insurance cards finally arrived in July and I decided maybe I should make an appointment. Josh took a couple more weeks to get me the info on Dr's we were allowed to use but I wasn't in a hurry.
See, in the military, they paid for everything without the need for a co-pay, as long as you used the military Dr's, and it was wonderful. Now we have insurance where co-pays are required and there are yearly deductables to be met and I wasn't anxious to start paying those things only to lose another baby. At 15 weeks I got the Dr info and at 16 weeks I finally made an appointment. At 18 weeks I met my new Dr and got to see my baby on ultrasound for the first time to date the pregnancy. I almost expected to see nothing in there when they started up the ultrasound but lo and behold, there was a baby. Beautifull and perfect. It had all it's fingers and toes and a strong beating heart and it was active and moving all the time. It's a little miracle!
We finally told my Mom and Dad we were expecting at a little over 17 weeks and then my in-laws at about 18-19 weeks (my mom would have had to wait too but she's a spoiler). Three days ago we had the anatomy ultrasound-the baby was still there, still wiggling (which I knew, cause I feel it all the time) and still with a strong heartbeat. And now we know that IT"S A GIRL!!!
She has all of her organs and they are where they should be, there's no sign of down's syndrom or any other defects, all blood tests have come back fine-including the genetic ones (cause I'm 35 now and they want to test everything), and, most importantly, she's growing and developing right on track. And now we're here and telling the world how excited we are to be having one more baby and our last (both a happy and sad thing all at once). My persistent little spirit, who wanted so badly not to be forgotten, can now have her physical body and join our family and I'm ever so greatful to be able to have her.
There are some things that, as we look back or talk about, we never forget where we were or what we were doing when you heard or saw it. Being September 11 today, the first thing we're all thinking about is the terrorist attacks that took place 9 years ago. To me, it's all so fresh in my mind and my memory that to say it happened 9 years ago seems unreal.
We were atationed in Bad Aibling, Germany at that time and we had Josiah, who was 10 1/2 months old. I had been out walking around base with him in the stroller while Josh was at work, we had gone shopping for a few things at the commissary and then come back home. I turned on the TV and thought I was watching a movie. It looked interesting so I watched for a few minutes until I realised that it was the news, not a movie. Just then the 2nd plane hit the towers. We sat glued to the TV for awhile watching and wondering just what it meant for us, being overseas and all.
As we walked around base later that day, the hummers, armed guards and guns all started coming out. The base was locked down-nobody could drive on base for a week or two. If you drove off base then you had to park off base and walk back on. They finally opened up the gates with massive inspections once a week to let cars back on (which we needed to do our big shopping trips once a week). After a month or so they set up a big tent and did inspections of every car driving on base for many more months-it may have even been a year or more. It was crazy and even a bit scary for awhile. We had just been home to see family in May that year and had no plans of another trip for another year and a half.
So that's where I was. I was in shock and awe and the world changed as we knew it.
As I ponder these events though, I think of another time and event when I can never forget where I was and what I was doing. On January 28, 1986 I was in elementary school. It was a big day and they were launching a new space shuttle-the Challenger. This time everybody was watching becuse there was a teacher on board and it was a big deal. They had it playing on the big screen in the library of the school. I was the lucky one that got to take our attendance to the office and, as I walked past the TV, I watched a replay of the explosion. All 7 astronauts died that day. It was devistating and so sad
They all had families and I'm sure that those families also remember that day and all that it had in store every year as well. It may not have been a terrorist attack or something that somebody planned as sabotage, but it put the space program back 2 1/2 years while they figured it out and regrouped and then planned and built a new shuttle to be launched.
So today, while my thoughts are on 9/11/2001, I also remember many others who have lost their lives, whether fighting for our country or furthering our knowledge. They are all disasters either way. My thoughts and prayers go out to all who have lost their lives and to their families who grieve for and miss them every day. And, especially, to all our troops who are deployed or will be deploying to go and fight for our freedoms and rights and the families who worry and miss them every day while they're gone.