>I have had numerous posts swimming around in my brain for the past, oh… couple of months. But, as I’ve hinted, we’ve been pretty busy and there hasn’t been a lot of time for posting long, thoughtful messages, so I’ve kept them on the shelf. It’s time to unload, so here goes. Grab a cup of coffee or tea and let’s sit a spell and catch up.

June 2008

Another Milestone

The beginning of June marked the first anniversary of another Abbie/BWS milestone, when we went to the Fetal Care Center in Cincinnati. I was at my parents’ house on the actual day (June 6) and it was pretty emotional. I’ve found that this summer, I get pretty emotional as each anniversary rolls around (odd to call them that, but what other word should I use? Those were pretty important days during my pregnancy with Abbie). My thought is that, last summer, I was trying to get through each day, each week, the best I could so that Abbie wouldn’t be stressed and that I’d stay pregnant for as long as possible.

Because what I can say now, but couldn’t say then, was that while we were at the FCC, we were told that if Abbie was born before 32 weeks, she would die. Even if we made it to the 32 week mark, she could still die. And so, I felt a tremendous weight on my shoulders for the remainder of the pregnancy. We learned that 50% of all babies prenatally diagnosed with BWS are stillborn. Even if I did everything my incredible team of doctors told me to do, we could still lose her. And those words, so stark and scary…. I couldn’t even say the words last summer. I couldn’t type them, either. I just could not put those words out into the universe and even give thought to the chance that I could lose the child I had so desperately wanted and had tried for over a year to conceive. I just Could Not Do That. I had to hope. I had to push on, praying more and harder than I ever had that God’s hand would be on us both and that she would be born alive and that I wouldn’t have a seizure or stroke from the preeclampsia.

I was a lot sicker than I let on, and looking back, I was a lot sicker than even I realized.

Funny how hindsight is 20/20, isn’t it?

The milestone of June 6 is one that is intensely personal and private, and for the most part, I will keep it that way, sharing it with Abbie when she is old enough to understand the concept of the amazing miracle she is. I will say, though, that I sincerely love the staff at FCC, I love each and every doctor who lent his or her knowledge and expertise to help Abbie get here safe and sound, and I love each and every doctor, nurse and therapist who help nurture and guide her once she was here. My appreciation, gratitude and love for them is so much more than I can articulate and I will always think of them, my heart swollen with thankfulness.

A trip to Florida

Also in June, we took Abbie to Lakeland, Florida. If you haven’t heard, there is an on-going revival there. I still haven’t decided what to think or say about the experience. Until I do, there’s nothing I can share that will make any sense.

July 2008

I cannot understand how this month has gone by so quickly. How is it that I am typing this on July 21? It seems that just a few days ago, we were celebrating Independence Day. This month has been pretty busy, with the middle of the month being occupied by our first Family Vacation. My cousin was married at Myrtle Beach on July 12th at sunset, and since we were using a travel gift certificate to go there for the wedding, we decided to stay a week and enjoy it. After all, it makes no sense to me to drive 8 hours one way to just stay a few days. Both girls enjoyed the sand and the ocean so much that my mom is deeming them both Beach Bums.

I wasn’t sure how either girl would take to the sand, but I can report that both loved playing in/with it, running or crawling on it, and they pretty much spent the entire time covered with it. Hannah, taking after her dad, had to rinse off the sand immediately once she was finished with any particular sand castle or digging. Abbie didn’t mind it at all, to the point that she boldly crawled around without being fussy and didn’t even complain too much when her diapers were filled with it.

The ocean was Hannah’s favorite part and each day, she grew bolder and bolder, venturing out a little further. The first day, she was brave enough for wet toes and feet, and by the time we left, she was ok with being in up to her knees. Abbie enjoyed the ocean as well, splashing about in the water and holding her breath when a wave splashed her face. She is fearless and this trip has shown me that there is no end to her bravery and that the next few years will keep me very busy.

Our last evening at the beach, we had a professional photography shoot, our first family photo. I can’t believe that our oldest child is 4 1/2 and we’ve never had one done, but I thought that it was high time we had a family photo made and the info on the website was more than I could take, so I scheduled a session. The wind was fierce, as a tropical storm was brewing off the North Carolina coast, so she had to take 80 shots. There are so many good ones that we’re planning on buying the CD. You’ll understand why when you see the photos. But that might be a while, because the CD is going to cost around $150-$170 and we need to recuperate financially from the vacation before doing anything extra. Such is life when you live paycheck to paycheck.

Though it probably wasn’t the wisest choice to go to the beach until we had saved more money,I wonder how long it would’ve taken us to finally make the decision and action to go. Does that make sense? I’m not sure how a lot of people live, but it seems for us, we hope for “one of these days,” “one day” or “some day.” My oldest baby will be going to Kindergarten in a year, and I don’t want her childhood to slip by without making these kinds of memories, no matter what we have to sacrifice.

Looking Ahead

Speaking of finances, I am trying to figure out what to do. I have wanted to do a program that would allow me to work from home, making as much as $14 an hour. It requires a $200 investment, which we don’t have. Even with our former home finally sold, we still don’t have extra and coast along on fumes a lot during the week before payday. The perfect situation would allow me to stay at home with the girls indefinitely; however, I have this awful feeling in the pit of my stomach that says that I’m going to have to go back to work, at least part-time, just so we can keep our heads above water.

As I’ve mentioned before, I am thinking of getting my teaching certificate and perhaps even my Master’s, in education. But that takes money, a commodity in short supply since we moved to the house in which we now live, tried to and finally sold the former home and were sued. (Long, long story that I cannot legally get into on a public blog).

At Hannah’s dance class, I met a woman who works at a local children’s clothing store. It sounds like a great answer for our present needs and may be the answer to prayers in providing extra income to allow me to either get the teaching certificate or do the work-from-home business.

While browsing the classifieds this morning, I came across an ad for a copy writer, which would be a dream job for me. It would be full-time and would require putting both girls in daycare. I would love to have this kind of opportunity, and yet wonder what kind of impact it would have on my children. Mother’s guilt never ends, does it?

I do plan on getting back to finishing the garage. Right now, there are bathroom and plumbing tools and parts scattered everywhere, in addition to all the things that already needed to be purged or organized. I told Paul this morning that I strongly feel that the garage project and hopefully, the house, should be cleaned out and organized before Abbie’s FIRST BIRTHDAY PARTY in roughly 6 weeks (can you believe it?!??!?). That, too, will require money for a babysitter and for the organizer to come back and lend her help and get-up-and-go. How I hope I can find the momentum I previously had! And how I hope Paul finishes the bathroom (no, it was never finished…. only the bath tub was installed. My house is still in complete and utter chaos).

Looking ahead, I have a LOT to do, to plan for and I hope to accomplish most of my goals. But mostly, I just want to enjoy my girls, the summer and plan for the future ahead of us.