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Monday, May 25, 2009

This won't be a very long post, but I wanted to share with you a "moment" I had with Eli and Wyatt today...

I was sitting in the recliner with my feet propped up when Mr. Eli decided to climb up on the chair and sit with me. He normally doesn't pay very much attention to baby Wyatt unless Ansley is there to initiate conversation (most of the time just singing songs) to my belly. But today was different.

Now, before I continue, you should know that Eli LOVES food! It doesn't matter what you give this child, he puts it away like there is no tomorrow. Most importantly, he doesn't share! Don't get me wrong, he'll offer you food... but promptly changes his mind about sharing when someone actually takes him up on his offer. 

Today, when Eli climbed up into my lap, he was nibbling on what was left of the strawberry pop tart Joseph had given him. He took an interest in my belly (most likely because he couldn't fit on my lap due to the sheer size of my mid section) and lifted my shirt up so he could give "baby" kisses. After he gave Wyatt kisses, instead of putting my shirt back down like he normally does, he continued to try and stuff the rest of his soggy pop tart into my belly button (Did I mention I just got out of the shower and was all nice and clean...)! It was adorable to see Eli trying to "share" his food with his baby brother, especially with it being so out of his character. And he attempted to share his food not once, but twice!

Like I said before, not a long post... Just wanted to share a cute little moment that brought a smile to my face today.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Quick Update

We all piled into the car today to make our weekly journey to the doctors office. I wish I had more of an update to give you, but frankly, the doctors don't really seem to be able to tell us what is going on. If we are being completely honest, the doctors don't even seem to care...

I am 32 weeks pregnant. 

Over the last three weeks I have gained 30 POUNDS!!!!! Yes, you read that correctly... 30 pounds. My fingers are so swollen that my knuckles look bruised. I don't have ankles anymore, my legs ache even when they are elevated, and my feet start to turn a weird reddish-purple color when I'm on them for more than a couple of minutes! You would think the doctors would show SOME amount of concern over such a dramatic increase in my weight, but no.  You would think they would at least order some kind of test to determine what in the world is going on, but no. They just tell me to watch my salt intake, while I tell them politely that I don't like salt and have been avoiding foods that contain it! 

Besides my initial exam when I found out I was pregnant at 6 weeks (speculum exam, blood work, and so on.) and ultrasounds about every 4 weeks, I have not had the FIRST test done this pregnancy. They don't even bother measuring my stomach when I go for my visits! I pee in a cup, have my blood pressure and weight checked by a nurse, and see the doctor long enough to have them check for Wyatt's heartbeat. I then repeat the whole procedure in a week.

I would LOVE to switch doctor offices, but I'm too far along. Plus, I don't think anyone would take me this far into my pregnancy. I would have switched sooner, but I really liked the office and my midwife (who I can't see anymore) before Wyatt's diagnosis was made. Every time we go to a visit now, Joseph and I feel like we are being treated like we are a lost cause and that there is no point in even dealing with us! Shouldn't they HAVE to treat my pregnancy (and me) as if it were any other normal pregnancy? 

Joseph and I both are extremely frustrated with the lack of care we are receiving. Yes, they see us weekly, but they don't tell us anything we don't already know or can't monitor ourselves. We've been put on a back burner. We have no faith in the doctors who are in charge of mine or Wyatt's healthcare. Please be in prayer for our safety and well being  as we get closer to delivery time. If I didn't already know we were in God's hands, I would REALLY be freaking out. This whole situation is scary to begin with... I shouldn't have to be worrying about my own health because my doctors aren't seeming to.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Gift of Hope

Today was the first time I have been able to walk out of my doctor's office with a smile on my face! Joseph and I have been praying for hope and God came through for us once again...

I don't even care if the hope we are feeling stems from our naivety. Even if we are feeling encouraged under false pretenses, our family needed to hear what we heard today to be able to make it through the rest of this pregnancy.

As you may be well aware, we had another ultrasound today. Normally, the only good thing that comes out of our ultrasound experiences is being able to see Wyatt. The doctors always seem to find something else that adds to a growing list of reasons why our son will die. Well, that list got shorter today instead of longer!

To bring you up to date, I am working on 31 weeks pregnant.

  At our 22 week ultrasound Wyatt was 8 ounces, 5 inches in total length, and was less than 5% in the growth department. His skull was not hardening like it should be. He was also starting to develop "hydrops", which is a fluid build up in the chest cavity due to his organs having a hard time keeping up with his body. We were expected to lose Wyatt anytime.

At our 26 week ultrasound, Wyatt had grown to 9 inches long total body length, was 1lb. 8ozs, and still doing about the same in the growth department. The hydrops had gotten much more severe, and I was told my amniotic fluid was extremely low. We were told it would be a waiting game, and that I still only had about a 10% chance of making it to term...

Today however was a completely different story! Wyatt now weighs 3 pounds 8 ounces (more than my husband weighed at birth) and he was TOO BIG to get an overall length! His head is measuring EXACT for what my due date is. His abdomen is a little larger (measuring around 36 weeks) than it should be measuring, but he still has fluid in his chest cavity. The fluid being present in the chest cavity isn't good by any means, but it hasn't gotten worse compared to our last ultrasound! And get this, the bones around his skull ARE hardening! His arms and legs have even grown a couple of weeks, and are measuring around 17- 17 1/2 weeks! As far as my EXTREMELY LOW amniotic fluid, I am now being told it is in the higher end of the normal range. YEAH!!!!

Please don't ask me what all this means, because I honestly don't know. Are we still going to loose Wyatt? Probably. BUT, we might actually get time with our son. How much time? We have no idea, but we will take as much time as God will bless us with! Joseph and I are being guardedly optimistic. God is working on Wyatt... slowly, but we feel this was a major feat for our son. He has done nothing but surprise the doctor's since his diagnosis, and I can't imagine him stopping now. 

Please continue praying for Wyatt. I KNOW it is through your prayers that God is working on Wyatt. The power of prayer is so amazing. I know this doesn't sound very "guarded", but what if God actually gives our family a living and breathing miracle as a testament to the world of how powerful he can be! I was severely lacking in the hope department before our ultrasound today. I was actually wondering what else they would find... I'm glad all they found today was hope!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Made with Love

I have made a baby blanket for each of my children. My Nana taught me how to crochet when I was a little girl, and I have applied that knowledge to make blankets for each of my babies. Ansley's was a white blanket done in granny squares with pink flowers in the middle of each square, while Eli's was a camo blanket per the request of Joseph. Might I also add that neither one of the kids ever took to the blankets I made them! Ansley has never been a "blanket" child and Eli loves his blanket... It just happens to NOT be the one I made for him! However, I at least made one for them and I hope they will be special to the kids someday.

For those of you who know me, you know that patience is not my strongest virtue. I'm the type of person who wants it done 5 minutes ago when I decide something needs to be done. The thought of spending countless hours working on a blanket may seem like a tedious task... but really, it is completely gratifying to see the afghan come together.

When I'm working on these blankets, I don't just sit there and make a bunch of knots. I think about all the hopes and dreams I have for the baby I am lovingly (and impatiently) waiting on to arrive. I envision who they will be as adults... I think about how they will choose to serve Christ one day... I weave my heart into those stands of wool. When the blanket is complete, I will actually be wrapping all my love, hopes, and dreams around them in the form of a soft cuddly blanket. 

I didn't start Wyatt's blanket until after our 18 week ultrasound. It was a surreal feeling to buy yarn to make a blanket for our baby, knowing he might not ever get to appreciate the warmth or softness of the afghan I would make for him. I had all my hopes and dreams for Wyatt's future torn from me in a matter of seconds, and yet I knew this was something I had to do for him. Maybe this was something I had to do for myself... 

  Joseph and I picked out the colors we wanted Wyatt's blanket to be, and we choose the cuddliest yarn we could find. I started making his blanket that evening.

 Instead of weaving in my hopes and dreams for his future, I wove my heart into each knot. Every ounce of love I have for my son, and every hope I have for what God can do in his life, has gone into his blanket. Ansley has even figured out that this "blanket making stuff" is some serious business! She climbs up in my lap and "helps mommy" by holding onto the end I'm not working on. She informed me today that she was "putting her hugs" into the blanket for her baby brother Wyatt! How do you respond to such an innocent and pure expression of love?

I have faith in a God that moves mountains; A God that can raise the dead... My God. I know he can heal my son, and I will hang onto that hope until there is no more hope to be had. But if God chooses to take Wyatt from us, I can guarantee you this... Wyatt will know nothing but love in his time here with us, and he'll be able to feel our family's love while wrapped up in a soft and cuddly blanket made especially for him with love!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

Yesterday was not Mother's day... 

I went to bed last night anticipating this great day that I would spend with my family. I anticipated a day where the joy of having all three of my children to share today with, would far surpass any amount of sadness I might feel in knowing this would be the only mother's day I would get with everyone together. I just knew as I laid my head on my pillow, that when I opened my eyes this morning I would have the best mother's day of my life. One that I would remember and cherish above all other's for the rest of my life...

WRONG. It is a complete understatement to say today caught me off guard. It would be more accurate to say I feel like I have been hit by a tsunami. I'm still looking for a fastforward button. One that will just get me through today without having to live it. The only thought I have been able to hear today, is this stupid little echo in the back of my head. "This is the LAST ONE. This is your FIRST and LAST Mother's Day with all three of your children together..." 

I woke up this morning with a good mind set. Really, I did. I have been trying SO HARD to focus on the fact that I have two healthy children, a baby boy that is fighting ferociously to stay with us, and a husband who loves me dearly... All of whom I love to pieces! I know I am so blessed to have such a loving family. I know a person can choose to be happy despite unhappy circumstances. So what's the matter with me? Why can't I just enjoy today? Despite my best efforts I am a puffy eyed, weeping mess. Joseph is trying so hard to be understanding. If you know anything about Joseph, you know he does NOT deal well with crazy, emotional, or irrational people... And the poor guy is dealing with all three today! 

Today has been one of the hardest days for me since we found out about Wyatt's condition. I don't know what to do to help me. Joseph doesn't know what to do. I know it will get better. I know God is there to carry me, to carry our family through this. We need prayer. We need some hope. Our hearts are hurting more than we can handle right now.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Storm Clouds

Today was just one of those days for me. I've been having a lot more of "those" days lately. It is starting to become very apparent to me that my pregnancy with Wyatt is almost over. It seems every time I go out in public anymore, people make the comments like, "Oh, I bet you can't wait to have that baby", or " You're going to have your hands full pretty soon"... I mean, how do you reply to that? I look like I'm a normal pregnant woman. People don't even realize they're stomping on my heart, simply by making such an innocent statement. They aren't trying to hurt me, I realize that... so I come up with replies like, "Your right, I look forward to meeting my son", or "You know, I am thoroughly enjoying this pregnancy with my son. I wish I could just keep him where he is forever". It is really sad for me. I don't even like leaving the house anymore for fear of a stranger's inevitable comment about the baby I am supposed to be holding in my arms very soon. 

Last week, Joseph and I went to look at recliners. We have been talking about getting some for a while because our couch is pretty much shot. We've been shopping around and finally found a furniture wholesale place that had some decently priced chairs. The gentleman helping us was very nice. He answered all of our questions, and pretty much left us alone until we needed him. After playing musical chairs for about half an hour, we found two that we liked. Before we decided on which chair we were going to get, the salesman went back to make sure he had two of each chair in stock... As he was heading to the back, he told me, "to lay back in the chairs and picture that baby laying on my shoulder"... I tried so hard not to cry. I was just completely caught off guard. 

Joseph didn't realize exactly what the guy said until he saw that I was upset. He came over and wrapped me tightly in his arms and told me softly not to think about it. I swear he has magic hugs! Besides Christ, Joseph has been my rock in more ways than I could ever begin to thank him for...

We did manage to get my hormones (Yes, I blame all my crying on hormones)back under control before our salesman (I hate that I can't remember his name) returned. And wait, there's more good news... they had both of our chairs in stock so we had a choice in which set we wanted to get! Alright, I'm chasing a rabbit here... back to my other story. 

To refresh your memory, I was telling you how I'm having a hard time accepting the little amount of time I have left with this pregnancy... 

Today I got brave and decided to get out of the house for a little while. Joseph was off, so I left Ansley and Eli with him while I went to the store for an ice cream run. I haven't been in the best mind set lately, and as I was heading out the door, I noticed our cat Leo had a very nasty wound on his front leg. I have no idea what it is from, but it looked horrible. I decided I would have Joseph look at it after I got home from the store, but I was mad when I got into the Expedition. I mean, I was fuming. Somehow, Leo's hurt leg, became the straw that broke my back today.

The weather wasn't helping with my doom and gloom mood either. It has been a rainy and dark mess these last couple of days so the kids and I have been trapped inside. The sky was looking pretty ominous as I wheeled around the curves of our road, all the while whining and  belly-aching to God about how down and depressed I was feeling. I told him that I just couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel and felt like the darkness was going to consume me if he didn't stop "picking"on me! I had no other motive for talking to God except to vent and whine. 

As I came around another bend in the road, there, right in front of me amidst the storm clouds, was the most beautiful and vibrant rainbow I have ever laid eyes upon. I actually pulled my car onto the side of the road so I could just sit and look at it. It didn't dawn on me to take a picture of it with my phone until I started driving again, but I still managed to get an okay picture. 

I went from whining to God about "poor me", to telling him how beautiful his works are, in a single instant. I have been thinking about that rainbow all day today. It is a symbol of hope. A moment of beauty after a moment of chaos. Have you ever thought about the fact that rainbows almost always choose dark storm clouds as their backdrop? In order to completely appreciate their beauty, you have to go though the storm first. 

Our family is going through that storm right now, but I have faith in God's will. Sure, I will probably still have more of my "stop picking on me" moments, but I think God expects that. More than that, he EXPECTS me to keep talking to him. So,... I'll keep talking to him and I'll keep walking through this storm. Most importantly, I will keep my eyes lifted toward the heavens... Sooner or later, when we need it the most, God will send us our rainbow. We just have to have faith in God's promise.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Through the Eyes of a Child.

I know I already did a post today, but I just had to share this...

The kids were playing in the living room while I was cleaning up the kitchen from dinner. While I was finishing up the dishes, Ansley came up to me and told me she wanted to use "mommy's potty" (for some reason she doesn't like to use "HER" potty), so I proceeded to open our door so that she could go. I told her to come see mommy when she was done and left her to her business...

A couple minutes later, I realized things had gotten quiet. Too quiet. Any mother knows that the word "quiet" actually means "trouble" when you have a toddler running around the house. By this time I was wiping down the counters, so I quickly rinsed my dish rag out in the faucet and held my breath as I peaked around the corner anticipating the worst. When I peered into my room, this is what I found...

Apparently, while Ansley was doing her business, Eli got my fetal heart rate monitor... The funny thing is, I don't check for Wyatt's heartbeat when the kids are around. I usually check for Wyatt's heartbeat before I even get out of bed in the morning to get the kids up. Ansley and Eli have only been around to heart Wyatt's heartbeat when we go for our doctor appointments.

Okay, once again, I'm rambling. Sorry! To continue my story... I watched Eli sit there and move the doppler over his belly, and then Ansley decided to joined in. Apparently, she thought Eli was doing it wrong, so she coached Eli to get on the bed and lay down... After he was laying down she lifted up his shirt and put the doppler on his bare belly. At this point, I decided to intervene. I asked the kids what in the world they were doing! Ansley promptly answered in her matter-of-fact tone that they were going to listen to baby Wyatt's heartbeat.

Let me tell you, kids have a better perception to what is going on around them then you think they do. I've known for a while that Ansley was aware something was happening, but I really thought Eli was too young. Maybe I was wrong... After all, he was the one who A.) found the heart rate monitor B.) Figured out how to turn it on, and C.) Place it on his stomach. He may not speak many words, or even cue us in as to how much he really understands, but It dawned on me tonight that he knows more than I was giving him credit for.

Ansley and Eli are such amazing children. They always manage to bring smiles to our faces. And they both love their baby brother Wyatt dearly! Ansley is constantly lifting up my shirt and talking to Wyatt through my belly button (apparently she thinks it's a microphone). She tells Wyatt that she loves him, to be a good boy, and she even sings "You are My Sunshine" to him! Eli doesn't do much in the talking department, but every once in a while, out of the blue, he'll come over to my belly and say, "baby" as he points to my stomach. 

It was such a blessing to see the children trying to do something that included Wyatt on their own whim tonight. Wyatt is still growing inside of me, but he is already such a big part of our family. Not just for Joseph and I, but apparently for Ansley and Eli as well! I've been calling Wyatt my "third miracle in the making" from the very get go... I really hope God shows the world through Wyatt that miracles still happen! 

Small Burdens

Did you know that a baby can lay sideways in a woman's stomach? Yes, sideways. Wondering how I know this? Because Wyatt has decided to stretch out in my stomach, and apparently he feels he has more room laying completely sideways!

  Not only is he sideways, but he has also managed to lay on top (yes, I said ON TOP) of my ribs! Wyatt has been in this position for the last week and refuses to move. He surely is stubborn enough to qualify as a member of the Finchum family! 

Don't get me wrong, I'm not just typing a new post to complain. And I most certainly don't want to sound ungrateful, because that is far from the truth... I am so grateful for this pregnancy with Wyatt. I'll take every discomfort thrown at me if that means I get another day with my son! It's just hard to keep a positive perspective when you're really not feeling that well and trying to chase two toddlers around all day long by yourself. 

Ansley has caught on that I am moving slower these days and that I can't bend over very easily. She will do something just out of my reach that she knows she isn't supposed to do, and then take off towards her room laughing and telling me,"ha ha"! She then continues to crawl under her bed and hide, because lets face it, she's too smart for her own good and knows I can't get to her!

I do have a point to all this. Have you ever needed to actually have a conversation with God? I'm not talking just prayer here... I'm talking about a two sided "God, please help me and I need you to talk to me right now" conversation. I love being a stay at home mom, but sometimes not having that "adult conversation" will drive you to the brink of insanity. Today was one of those days! I stuck both of the kids in their rooms, put their gates up, went to my room, closed the door, and crawled into bed with my bible. I started talking to God, and told him I needed him to talk back to me. Not later this week, not even later today. I needed to hear his voice now! 

With my bible clutched between my hands I asked God to speak to me. As I opened his word, and started reading in the book of Isaiah (just happened to be where I opened my bible) a verse started screaming at me while I was reading it. It's a verse I have read many times, but it never actually spoke to me until today. And today, It was a verse that demanded my attention. 

"Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all you who remain of the house of Israel, you whom I have upheld since you were conceived and have carried since your birth. Even to your old age and grey hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you." (Isaiah 46:3-4)

God made it very clear to me in those verses, that no matter what I am going through, he cares. I've always been told that no problem is too big for God, and I believe that whole heartedly. But what about the small problems? Do you ever feel petty for burdening God with the small burdens you carry day to day in your life? I used to, but that stops today. A bunch of little burdens piled onto a scale can accumulate a hefty weight. God promises to sustain us, to carry us, to rescue us. If God is carrying us, isn't he in turn carrying all of our burdens as well? If God wants us to rejoice with him in even our smallest blessings, shouldn't we turn to him for our smallest burdens too? It comes down to a relationship. We tell our spouses or a special friend about all of our problems... shouldn't we be talking to God about them too?  

Isn't it so wonderful to serve a God who cares? I serve a God who is carrying me through a very dark valley of my life. A God who will sustain me through an uncomfortable part of my pregnancy. A God who will rescue me, if I feel my burden has become to great to bear. A God who cares about what I go through day to day! It's nice to know that no matter what problem I'm facing, whether big or small, I have a God who is there to carry and sustain me.