Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Aolani received a bib that reads 'I Love My Daddy.' It really touched Ricky and made it hit home even more.
Ricky and his "sous-chef" (as he calls me) gave my parents a coupon for their gift. It was for dinner and a movie on Christmas Day. We got the groceries ahead of time and hid them at our neighbor's house. We prepared (Ricky obeys as I direct = cooking) a spaghetti dinner complete with salad and garlic bread. Then, we watched It's A Wonderful Life. We were so glad to serve them for once.
We went to Greensboro over the weekend to visit my dad's family. Upon returning home, I got to officially declare that I will not be doing anymore traveling or overnight stays for the rest of the pregnancy! What a relief for us.
One final note: I returned to work on Monday, but it was just too hard with all the pain, fatigue, lack of sleep, restless legs, and swelling. So, I was unable to return yesterday and am home now.
We hope everyone enjoys New Year's Eve with much gratitude and praise to Jesus! I will most likely be celebrating the coming of the new year by sleeping :)
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Oh, and we ended up with the Samsung Alias 2, a phone with no Internet, no monthly fees, and lower radiation. And we think that is very "cool."
Aolani's heart, according to the pediatric echo cardiogram, is perfect. And she loves to kick my bladder :)
My hips, butt, and back hurt so much that the escalated pain is moving down my thighs. So, I am now sleeping with a pillow between my legs, which may occasionally help. I have become so big that I cannot move at all when I'm lying down. Ricky has to do it all. Bottom line: We are losing a lot of sleep at night. Not complaining, just admitting that this trimester is rough and tough.
Yes, I am still at work, but I just take one day at a time.
Ricky has started to scoop me up to put me in the car, which actually feels safer because my leg-muscle pain has made them unreliable when I put my weight on them.
We've been getting lots of Christmas cards, and it is so FUN to see pictures and read updates from our beloved friends and family (that's you). Also, we thank all of you for your concern, encouragement and love for us!!! Believe me, it is reciprocated!
I have my OB/GYN checkup visit on Monday. At the last appointment, she notified me that I must now come in every other week. Phooey!
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
As we pulled up into the chiropractor's parking lot and Ricky brought the wheelchair around, he opened my door and stood there. No open hand.
"You're going to have to get yourself into your chair. They told me not to do any heavy lifting."
That funny honey of mine...
P.S. - Ricky has O- blood if anybody wants some :)
Saturday, December 12, 2009
What does that mean for us?
- Sanding and painting her crib and changing table (modifying is DONE)
- Trying to get next year's health insurance figured out (IN PROCESS)
- Remodeling the bathroom, so it's accessible and easy for me to use (IN PROCESS)
- Hardwood floors put down throughout house (DONE)
- Beginning the process of getting me a new wheelchair, now that I know what changes to make (IN PROCESS)
- Putting the nursery together (not even close to starting)
- Researching online when time allows!
- Getting all her stuff (what a blessing baby showers, friends and family are!)
- Childbirth classes (6 weeks long starting in January)
- Tour pediatric clinic (scheduled for mid-January)
- Find a doula (DONE): The one who helped my sister-in-law agreed to help me, too :)
- Lots and lots of reading and learning...
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
http://www.babiesrus.com/ - Obviously a nationwide store. You can order online almost everything, but you can go to a physical Babies "R" Us or Toys "R" Us and see what they have in-store that is on our registry.
http://www.youaremysunshine.biz/ - A local business of Wilmington. Around half of our registry is available for online orders; however, there are several items available in-store only. They have two physical locations in Wilmington: one is downtown in the Cotton Exchange and the other is in the mall (Belk wing).
A few notes for those making other purchases:
We are using cloth diapers. We will be avoiding products containing chemicals and most plastics. Aidan will be breastfeeding (God-willing), so we will not need all the bottle/formula stuff. If possible, we are selecting organic clothes and other eco-friendly items. We are avoiding clothes with buttons and snaps, which are hard for Aidan to use, and are looking for Velcro and zippers.
We so appreciate your understanding!
Baby shower invitations will be going out to local friends and family this month. The showers are scheduled for January.
An ultrasound is scheduled for Thursday, so an update will be soon to follow :)
Thursday, November 19, 2009
I feel large and in charge, and I look it here!
- Of course, after I mention sleeping better, sleep has eluded me ever since!
- The restless legs (RLS) had been showing up on occasion, but RLS is back EVERYDAY.
- Bending and leaning isn't a good option anymore. Aolani is just too big. If I drop something and it hits the floor, you'll hear, "Uh-oh, Ricky..."
- The acne is still going strong; Ricky thinks I spread it to him, too :)
- Well, we were waiting to see if it would appear, and it has. We were nervous... my legs, my ankles, and (mainly) my feet are SWELLING. It's still a shocker to look down and see my skinny, bony feet looking like puffy blimps! I want to reach down and squish them (but that's nearly impossible). We tried my winter boots on last night. Verdict: not even close!
- Biggest downfall, which I only expect to worsen, is that I am exhausted! I dream of sleep and rest and a land of pillows and back massages...
We leave tomorrow after work to begin our journey to Cincinnati (to visit and love on Ricky's immediate family) for Thanksgiving. We have next week off of work and will return the following weekend (yes, with all the traffic). Please pray for our travel, as I haven't gone on any big trips during my pregnancy. And this one is a doozy!
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Instead of explaining all the many reasons why not, I decided to highlight a few facts and then post the links to some very highly recommended articles.
- Flu Vaccine DOUBLES Risk of Getting H1N1
- Pregnant Women Have a 0.03% Chance of Going to the Hospital from H1N1
- Obese People at Six Times Higher Risk from H1N1 Complications
- Pregnant Women Given Vaccines Have Babies with More Health Problems
- Pediatric Flu Deaths by Year Made WORSE by Flu Vaccine
1999 -- - 29 deaths
2000 -- - 19 deaths
2001 -- - 13 deaths
2002 -- - 12 deaths
2003 -- - 90 deaths (Year of mass vaccinations of children under age 5 years)
2006 -- - 78 deaths
2007 -- - 88 deaths
2008 -- - 116 deaths (40.9% vaccinated at age 6 months to 23 months)
Why children should NOT get these shots:
Vaccines are more dangerous than getting the virus:
Overestimation of flu cases:
Here is a really good poster to weigh and consider before getting the swine flu vaccination.
Vaccines are dangerous! This is NOT an epidemic. Malaria alone kills 3,000 children every day! Do not let panic or fear of death control you!
Saturday, October 31, 2009
I love this picture! No, it is NOT me! But my belly button is practically flat now and no longer an innie.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
NFP is actually the method of birth control that the Catholic Church endorses, and we think they certainly got this right. Simply put, it is based on reading the woman's fertility cycle and knowing when she is fertile. Therefore, it can definitely help you either postpone pregnancy or achieve pregnancy. If you use NFP correctly, then it is just as, if not more, effective than the pill or any other contraceptive. With NFP, we got pregnant the first time we tried!
There are so many reasons why we stand by NFP. Here are a few:
- Oral contraceptives can act as abortifacients, killing the week-old life that has been created by the Creator. So if you are using an oral contraceptive (OC) for birth control, there is a chance that you have had several chemical abortions. We are firm pro-life advocates and against ALL abortions, whether surgical or chemical. Which is why when we found out that hormonal birth control may act as an abortifacient, we stopped using it immediately! We actually learned about all this from a book, which we give away for free. We would be more than happy to mail anyone a copy! This was the first step on our path to discovering NFP.
- It is cheap! Cheapest method of birth control there is. Mother Teresa and her nuns taught it to the poorest of the poor in India, and it worked, of course! Teaching people to use NFP is astronomically cheaper than throwing condoms at them.
- We absolutely love the fact that we are no longer shoving artificial hormones into my body. It is so much healthier. It is funny how I use to be so concerned about what I ate and put into my body via diet, yet contradicting myself by using an OC (hormonal birth control). I wanted to be "natural," but how unnatural is taking artificial hormones! Let's avoid chemicals and use "green" cleaners, while dumping chemicals straight into my body with birth control! Just as some people don't eat meat because they don't want to kill an animal's life, but they flippantly take OCs and risk killing a human life.
- We really wanted to get this posted before this month is over, since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Surely enough, there is a definite link between OCs and breast cancer. Ricky worked really hard gathering information and creating a flyer to hand out this month about wearing pink socks. Check it out, and pass it out!
- Last, but certainly not least, are the spiritual benefits of NFP. I could drag this one out for a while, but quickly: our love is better, our sex is better, and our relationship with God is better.
NFP rocks :)
[There are many organizations that teach NFP. We used the Couple-to-Couple League (CCL) and were very pleased. We are still connected with CCL.]
Thursday, October 22, 2009
And, oh girl, do I look and feel it! I think I look bigger than I should, but my weight gain is right on target so far.
News: I went back to work starting on Monday. It's stressful for me, but I got to keep on truckin'!
I'm still recouping from my infections, but I do feel vast improvement. Since I was sick for a month, I did not really go anywhere except to doctors. Our niece was forbidden to come over (which I think was for the best for sure). However, last weekend we got to attend a fall festival together as a family. Ricky rode the bull. Maybe it'd be more accurate to say that Ricky watched the bull, as he spent more time off of it than on it!
I think he averaged 2 seconds on each time. He says his thighs are still hurting!
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Ever since I knew I was pregnant, I came up with a sort of "slogan." I repeat this to her almost daily while I hold her (which is my belly right now!):
Receive God's love,
Receive the love of your mother,
Receive the love of your father,
And be filled with love for others!
A few months ago, we decided to select a chapter from the Bible to read over Aolani every single day. This would be a way to proclaim those living and powerful words over her life. Then, for each child we have, we will select a different chapter. For Aolani, we chose Philippians 4 (and we personalize it for her when one of us reads it to her):
Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends!
I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord.
Yes, and I ask you, loyal yokefellow, help these women who have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it.
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles.
Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only;
for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid again and again when I was in need.
Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account.
I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.
And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Greet all the saints in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me send greetings.
All the saints send you greetings, especially those who belong to Caesar's household.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.
Her name is Shannon Klann. She is 36, married, has 3 kids, lives in Michigan, and has Friedreich's Ataxia! Imagine my further surprise when I found out that she loves Jesus, too!!
She is the first person I ever talked to that also has FA. God truly ordained our meeting (via Internet) back in April. The right person at the right time. I was pretty giddy the first few times I contacted her. I felt excited, nervous and a little scared that I was dreaming.
Shannon stays at home by herself during the day while her husband works. Also, she took care of all three of her children by herself during the day, until they reached school-age. I knew she could teach me A LOT, and I was and am eager to learn her secrets.
Every time I have a question or concern, I e-mail her for help and guidance and quickly receive it! She is a gem. This happens very frequently as I am new to independence and have much to learn.
I am so grateful to the LORD for providing Shannon! And Shannon, YOU ARE A GOD-SEND, a much-needed help in a time of need.
Shannon maintains her own website (and blog) to help people like me, mothers in wheelchairs. If you know of someone who is in the same boat, tell them to check it out!
Friday, October 9, 2009
Doctors' appointments and updates:
- Cardiologist: I've had two visits to check the status of my heart. It looks good, so I can attempt a vaginal birth.
- High-risk OB/GYN: Aolani is doing perfectly; you can see some pictures of her face below. She is 21 weeks, 13 ounces, and about the size of a small cantaloupe (although I look like I swallowed a basketball).
- Pulmonologist: I visit him next week to get a baseline on the function of my lungs and breathing capacity (for labor).
- General doc: I'll see him to check the status of my sickness next week and possibly get approval to return to work. This will be the third doctor I'll see about this sickness!
Great news: We have a loving God, a compassionate Savior, a Comforter, and an eternal HOPE!
What you're really waiting for:
(tilt head 90 degrees to the left)
It's just her head (not body) complete with eyebrows, eye sockets and lids, nose, lips...
Friday, October 2, 2009
My first two weeks at home alone have not gone as I thought, you know, all the balloons and music associated with parties :) Instead, it's been a compilation of snotty tissues, droopy eyelids, pounding headaches, hearing impairment, the sweats (from a persistent low-grade fever)... not fun.
I feel like I am in a Catch-22. My body is having a hard time shaking this because I am not getting the sleep I need for a strong immune system. I cannot get adequate sleep at night from the insomnia. Basically, we're just waiting and praying. The doctor did take a mini-ultrasound last week to make sure Aolani was doing well. She was great -- active in the womb and doing her baby thing. Completely oblivious to Mommy's suffering, which is good. Please pray that she would be unaffected by the medicine I'm taking.
I'll update as soon as I recoup.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Back in the first trimester, I decided that I wanted to keep a prayer journal for Aolani. It's a little book with 40 pages, one for each week of the pregnancy. Each week I jot down a thought, a verse and a prayer for her. It's not a baby book. When she is old enough to appreciate it, we can give it to her as a special gift (like for a rite of passage). This way she can read about what we were praying for regarding her while she was in the womb.
During my nap the other day, I re-wrote a lullaby to sing to her. It's meant to be sung to the rhythm of "Hush Little Baby":
Hush Aolani, don't say a word,So, you're probably somewhat amused. You'd be really amused if I listened to Ricky, who wanted to post an audio clip of me singing it. What good would your imagination be then?
Mama's gonna teach you about God's Word.
You'll learn to apply it everyday,
And it will help you in every way.
Read your Bible and you will see,
Just how powerful it can be.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Yesterday was first day home alone. Yes, ALONE.
That might come as a shock to many of you, but I have been ordering all the equipment necessary to help me care for myself at home. Although I am still waiting on one piece to help me transfer to the recliner so I can lie down (it shipped yesterday), I have the dire essentials.
I do feel like a big girl :)
Work status: I meet with my OB/GYN this Friday and will talk with her before coming to any conclusions.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Aolani: It's Hawaiian, meaning "heavenly cloud." Pronunciation is easier than you think! Just say the letter A, then say the letter O, LA like the music note, and NI sounds like knee. Many of you know that Aidan means "fire." When God leads the Israelites through the desert, He makes His presence known among His people by guiding and protecting them with a cloud by day and a fire by night. He directs and protects (from the sun's heat and the cold chill of night). Exodus 13:21 tells us, "By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night."
Elizabeth: It's a family name passed down from my mother's side and means "sanctified" or "set apart as holy."
DiMartino: "Di" is Italian for "of, from" and "Martino" is allegedly a mountain in Italy from whence the ancestors originate. "Martino" is derived from "Mars," the Roman god of war.
We know. She has a very long name, but it is a good, respectable name.
Honor the LORD. Honor Aidan's side. Honor Ricky's side. Perfect.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Here are some of the ultrasound pictures:
Monday, August 31, 2009
Yesterday, Ricky and I were late to church. All of the pews in the sanctuary were full. So, I thought let's go sit in the balcony (as Ricky always wanted to do anyway). Granted there is no elevator. I was wearing a skirt, thus Ricky had to scoop and carry me upstairs.
Once we safely hit the top of the landing, Ricky set me down to get his bearings and figure out where to plop me. A man in the second row saw us and moved to give us his seat. Thankful that it was only one step up, Ricky swept me up again.
As he set my feet on the floor, I whisper in his ear, "Ricky! My skirt is falling!" Thinking I'm overreacting, he dismissed my comment for the moment. Until he saw my skirt. Around my ankles. I'd like to say the congregation was praying and heads were bowed. But alas, that would have been too convenient. I was our side of the balcony's spectacle. I tried to sit down, my legs wouldn't bend, women ran over to help dress my unclothed half, and I could not stop laughing. It was so hysterical! I hadn't even seen something that funny happen in church.
Yes, I eventually got covered.
Yes, I should have been mortified.
Yes, choir members from on-stage mentioned seeing us in the balcony.
Little did those poor, innocent families anticipate a strip-tease at church that morning!
Monday, August 24, 2009
I wanted to briefly tell you how Ricky is handling the pregnancy.
First trimester: "I am lovin' being pregnant! I get to eat a lot all the time. I get to relax and watch movies. AND, I get to take frequent naps. This is great!" Ricky's words; Ricky's enjoyment of my misery. But hey, at least someone is enjoying being pregnant.
Second trimester: Let's just say the insomnia (RLS and leg cramps, too) and frequent hormonal changes in wife are starting to take a toll on Daddy.
Seriously though, he is a great support and I couldn't make it without his TLC.
Also, I can now announce that Ricky has been keeping his own blog (not on family life): http://writingsofricky.blogspot.com/
Easy: big belly, cute clothes, gifts, and finally being able to eat whatever she wants (and lots of it)
The other day I had some friends stop by for a visit. One girl asked, "So Aidan, what is it like being pregnant?"
I saw her face fall from a wishful eagerness to a timid solemnity. I frightened the poor girl and didn't mean to. Had I become the balloon-popper, hope-crusher? I felt horrible. I just answered quickly and honestly, never thinking otherwise.
This got me thinking about how females completely romanticize pregnancy from the time we are adolescents. Yes, even I! Just like how we romanticize marriage. We only see the roses and hear about the thorns but don't understand until experience comes knocking.
I'm not dying, but I do feel like I've been pretty miserable (physically, of course) thus far. However, if this is what bringing a life into the world is like for me, I will gladly do it! It's just not the fun and games pre-pregnant women dream of.
Let me make one disclaimer: Yes, there are many women who have wonderful pregnancies. Like my mother, who described our pregnancies as night and day. She only knew the bright side, until now.
Disillusionment has been dispelled.
Good pregnancies. Bad pregnancies. No matter, gratitude prevails.
Friday, August 21, 2009
I am so ready for these "raging hormones" to calm down! Here are just a few of the "fun" side effects from all the hormones:
- Insomnia (every night, robbing hours of good sleep)
- Restless Legs
- Headaches and dizziness
- Allergic reaction to deodorants (odd, I know)
- Dental problems (sensitivity, brushing induces gagging/vomiting)
- Acne (not pleasant for someone who doesn't wear makeup)
- Sore, tight muscles (my legs and feet feel full of knots that won't be massaged out)
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Yesterday was the beginning of the second trimester, and we are so thankful. Although the other symptoms are hanging around, I am glad to say I have not vomited in a week!! Woohoo! I think the bucket is starting to get used to its new (and clean) lifestyle ;) I'm getting bigger, and my mom commented that it's probably because I'm keeping my food down!
Also, my gum line has been SO sensitive lately. Brushing hurts. My mom said that many women have dental problems during pregnancy because the baby is stealing all the calcium. So, I started drinking a calcium powder in water. I am about to head to the semi-annual dentist appointment, so it's good timing for me :)
I'll post again soon because we have more news...
Monday, August 10, 2009
Also, they moved the due date up to February 19, 2010 because the baby measured 12 weeks. The due date has moved from the 26th to the 25th to the 23rd to the 21st to the 19th! Maybe this one will stay :)
She also mentioned that I am going to get many ultrasounds throughout my pregnancy, since I must be followed more closely. So, lots of pictures to come! Maybe our baby will be photogenic :)
Our next ultrasound is scheduled for September 3rd. If the baby cooperates, they may be able to determine the gender, as best they can...
Thursday, August 6, 2009
These pictures above were taken Monday, August 3rd, which is about 11 weeks.
Anyway, as of last Thursday, July 30, the doctor approved Medical Leave (of FMLA) for me, which can last up to 12 weeks. Working full-time was getting unbearable with everything else right now. For the past week, various friends from our church have come to help take care of me while Ricky and my mom are at work. (There's nothing like the Body of Christ.) Ricky's mom comes this weekend to stay with me for a month. It will be a blessing to have her here. It's still undecided what happens after that.
Most popular question: Do you plan on returning to work after Medical Leave? Yes, I do plan on returning, God-willing.