Thursday, April 30, 2009

Noah <3's Yertle!

Noah is very slowly but surely learning that his mommy is a bit of a nerd! I just explained that to him a moment ago while he was kicking around in my belly. (He still is!) It's better that he finds that out now :)

Last night, I was SO bored and tired of thinking about mediation finals and motions for summary judgment that I decided to take the advice I'd read on baby center now that I know my little one can hear me... and so I read to Noah.  

I sat in Noah's empty nursery on the glider and ottoman I got dirt cheap at a yard sale and pulled out the copy of "All the Places You'll Go" that Michael got me when I started law school and I read to my baby for the first time. (A nerd... and a corn dog, what can I say?) I'm sentimental...

Noah must have been sleeping because I didn't get much of a response from him, and I doubt that ANYONE with a pulse can avoid responding with joy to anything written by Dr. Seuss! So
 later last night I read to him again but once again there was little response. Maybe he is just not a fan, I thought. Maybe the words were too big for him. haha :)

Well just now as I was sitting drafting my motion, I felt Noah hiccuping and starting to stir and I decided I wasn't giving up so easily! And I thought of a Dr. Seuss character who had that same philosophy (much to his own detriment!) I looked up Yertle the Turtle, my ultimate favorite Dr. Seuss classic and I found the text online and read it to him. (Did I mention I once had a turtle name Myrtle because she liked to be up high like Yertle and kept falling? Yes... definitely a corndog...)

As I was reading, Noah kicked around and moved the whole time! (He still is!) When I was done reading it to him I told him it was not the last of Seuss he'd hear. I couldn't see for sure but I bet he was smiling, granted he has the necessary facial muscles at this point, which I doubt. I'm sure he was on the inside (no pun intended lol).  I have big plans to try and collect them all for him. And then I explained that mommy is a little bit of a nerd which he would find out soon and that I would be reading to him a lot in person someday when I could see him face to face. He kicked me when I said that and I just looked down at my belly and wished I could see him in there. It's such a strange thing to see all this movement and try to envision what is going on beneath the surface.

For now, this will have to be enough :) 

I can't wait to meet him!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Half-way there!

We are now more than halfway through the pregnancy and my anticipation is growing twice as fast as my morning sickness is dying down (that unfortunately is not happening so fast at all!) Who knows, maybe it will end before Noah arrives! :)

This past week took us into the woods and brought me out of my comfort zone – briefly. We are now all moved into our new home, which could not be more beautiful or perfect – unless bugs (spiders and beetles and bees, Oh my!) were instantly eradicated from the face of the earth! (Our great thanks again to Mark and Julie for the wonderful opportunity to live here!) Moving while pregnant was a lot harder than I thought it would be but we were blessed to have two of the men from our Bible study help us (aka Michael) with the heavy lifting. I was content to empty boxes and organize the kitchen. I still have a lot more to tackle but I’m taking it in stride. J Noah barely moved on the last day of our move and I was a little worried but he has since been kicking up a storm and I am very relieved to be able to report that – however much my ribs are aching!

This weekend was exciting for two reasons: First, Vanessa FINALLY got to feel her baby brother kick!  After trying all day Friday and Saturday to show her exactly where to rest her hands and practically begging Noah, “Kick your sister!” assuring him I would never tell him to do so again, finally on Saturday night Vanessa got kicked! And she could not have been happier about it! She had spent most of the weekend talking to my belly and encouraging Noah to wake up. I was so glad he finally did and let her know he could hear her! Second, last night, after what was a very very stressful day for reasons I will not get into for fear of getting myself worked up again but that was through no fault of my wonderful husband or stepchild… I finally SAW Noah kick. Yes, the moment I was waiting for… where I could see the little kicks THROUGH my skin finally happened!  Of course, no one was there to witness it so I am hoping that Noah won’t make a liar out of me when I try to show his Daddy later tonight. :)

In just two more weeks we will get to see our little boy again! I can hardly wait...

3 more milestones and many more to come… We are now more than halfway there! :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Updates on Life & Pregnancy

Easter weekend was very eventful –as was yesterday– in terms of my pregnancy and life in general! On Saturday, I had an extremely rough day. I was very dizzy and lightheaded and had very bad contractions and severe pains in my abdomen and back. My family was visiting so I just tried to take it easy while they went shopping with Michael and focused on the fact that my next OB appointment would be in a couple of days. – It was yesterday. My family’s visit was in no way ruined by all of this. They got to feel Noah’s kicks and we had a really great time catching up.

Noah’s heartbeat sounded great and the doctor laughed because as soon as she put the fetal Doppler on my belly, he “kicked her and ran away!” She discussed the ultrasound results with us and assured us that in her opinion everything would be OK. The ultrasound that confirmed Noah’s gender found a very small cyst (4mm) in the left ventricle in Noah’s brain. My ultrasound technician, the radiological doctor and my OB assured us that they see this all the time and that as long as there are no other abnormalities (which in Noah’s case there aren’t) it is nothing to worry about whatsoever. To give me some reassurance, my OB is sending me for another ultrasound (and another opportunity to see my baby) in four weeks. She said if it has not resolved itself by then, not to worry because sometimes they don’t resolve until after the baby is born but that it will have no effect on the baby whatsoever. Still, we’d appreciate prayer that this does resolve itself as soon as possible…

I finally gained a little bit of weight (finally broke 120!) but my OB talked to me about the need to try to start eating more. (I still have no appetite and the morning sickness still has not resolved but I have been force-feeing myself for Noah's sake.) She assured me that the baby is getting everything he needs but that I am probably not and that this could be one of the reasons I've been so sick. She informed me that I should have went to the ER on Saturday during that episode and warned me that next time that would be the prudent thing to do. Note taken.

After my prenatal checkup, my OB sent me for an ultrasound of my kidneys and bladder. Fortunately, the results came back fine and there were no kidney stones which I was fearing. The ultrasound gave me another opportunity to see Noah who was upside down, with his head pressing on my bladder and not being at all shy about the fact he is a boy. LOL. As soon as the the ultrasound started, the technician started laughing and said "Yeah... he is DEFINITELY a boy. He is spread eagle right now." There was no doubt about it in my mind. It was good to laugh. He was moving around like crazy the whole time. Noah is a very active little baby!

The ultrasound technician assured me (even though I was not there about Noah) that she also sees these cysts all the time and that in her whole career she has never known a baby to have problems because of a solitary cyst. She said she knew of one woman – a friend – whose baby was born with it and it eventually just resolved itself with no side effects. Hearing this was a blessing and really put my mind at ease. She also said that the pain in my back could be because of all the injuries in my spine so that was comforting. (Better it be something I already have - and know I have - than something new!)

Aside from all of this, Michael and I also got some other exciting news: we are moving… THIS WEEKEND… into our new home. I am a little worried as I have my final trial for Advanced Trial Advocacy on Sunday night and can't imagine building a whole case (I get the fact pattern tonight) and being prepared in time while moving -- though it's pretty certain that I won't be doing very much in the way of moving, pregnant as I am! We and many people were praying for this to happen quickly, so more proof that God indeed works fast. Yesterday Michael and I made a trip out and dropped off some clothes and I put all the gifts my family bought Noah in his little closet. It is all beginning to feel more and more real. God is so faithful…

Saturday, April 11, 2009

It's a.... BLESSING!

It’s funny how quickly total peace can lead to complete joy! Yesterday was off to a rough start when I discovered that someone hit and ran my car earlier that morning. Long story short, my side door will likely need to be replaced in its entirety and whoever did it didn't even leave a note. (Should this surprise me?) I resolved not to let this (or any other bad news) ruin what was to be such an important and special day for Michael and me. By 12:20 we were at the doctors and too excited for words... Once we had arrived, the issue with my car seemed trivial at best. We were about to get news that would change our lives and our family forever. (Sounds dramatic, I know, but it's really true, as anyone who has been through this process herself likely knows.) What past announcement could possibly have matched this in anticipation? None that I could recall.

That sense of peace I blogged about earlier had not left me. For the first time, I really did not care what the baby would be, I was just eager to know him or her by name. The minute the ultrasound began, with the very first image that appeared on the screen, I was positive -- 100% certain -- that I knew what the baby was… and I was right!

A beautiful baby BOY! Long story short (and without obvious explanation), even upside-down, our little baby was undeniably male.

Tears came streaming down my face as Michael held onto my hand while the technician gave us the news I happily suspected was coming. Happy tears. We were looking at our SON: Noah.

All along I had wanted for a strong biblical name for our child if it was a boy – and I could think of none better. Noah trusted God with all he had – to the point of ridicule and scorn. God tasked him with a mission that might have seemed too big or even impossible (perhaps at times even laughable) and Noah obeyed. I hope this name will be a blessing to our son and I look forward to the day he’ll be able to understand what it really and truly means. (AKA: It may have been the character in "The Notebook's" name, but that is NOT why we chose it. lol).

Noah was face down and breech, facing my spine, which made the ultrasound harder to conduct. It was no wonder to me that he had made himself more comfortable after I’d spent the day before feeling like target practice as he kicked and punched me in the ribs repeatedly between 2pm and 2am! He had finally turned around and settled down – or so we thought! Though he didn’t flip over and let us get a good profile shot of his little face, he did move around quite a bit. We even saw his little nostrils (his "nares") as well as his tiny mouth opening and closing – dare I say he has my husband’s kissy lips! I am thankful to God for that!

We did get another “scary” baby shot (unmissable - above), which is always nice! As far as I'm concerned no profile shot could ever be as precious as the very first we got of our baby boy back in February. I look at that picture everyday!

My favorite ultrasound photo from yesterday was when we got a glimpse of Noah's precious feet and toes -- which so far fortunately look nothing like either of his parents'!! LOL The technician made sure every one of them was there.

Michael and I got a glimpse of just about every vital organ our baby has and were assured that he is perfect… however, he is measuring even further ahead than last time. The technician recommended that our due date be set back based on the 16 week ultrasound to 09/02/09 (one week back) but that based on this one, that it be set back to 08/31/09. It seems our little guy is eager to see us too!

So right after finding out the news, I took my smashed in car and headed to Party City where I got some decorations to set up my surprise for the nursery. I could think of no better way to tell my family who would be visiting from New York that night the news. I made Nessa a blue Easter basket and moped about the fact that she’d have to wait 2 whole weeks to see it. I wished so much she could have been there...

After grocery shopping, I came home to a surprise of my own. I opened the door to the laundry machine at Michael’s request and there was my beautiful stepdaughter sitting on top of the dryer. I cried my eyes out. She was all that had been missing from such an important day for our family and I was in shock that she was actually there. It seems there was a mix-up about the visitation and she will be here until tonight. So it turned out that my nursery surprise which I’d been saving for my family ended up surprising Nessa first! Her reaction was too precious for words!
She was so excited about the prospect of having a baby brother that she immediately started making signs for the nursery expressing her love for him. Though I know she had been hoping for a baby sister, I could see that her joy and excitement were genuine.

The look on her face was priceless and I was thrilled to capture it! My family arrived at 2 in the morning and I shared the news again in the same manner. Because it was 2 in the morning I didn't get pictures but the responses were in no way muted by the time or travel that had brought them here.

It was a wonderful day – so much better than I had dreamed the night before and more than I had ever hoped for!

The baby we have unfortunately had to refer to for so long as "it" and lovingly called "Baby Luns" for lack of a better name is now Baby Noah - Noah Thomas Lunsford - and it’s all exactly as it should be. We could not be happier!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Total Peace

I've been having a lot of anxiety over finding out the gender of this child. I leave here in twenty minutes to go get the news. I've been certain all along that the baby is Ava Grace and not some unnamed male child. Well... last night I fell asleep praying to God for peace about it -- that I would be able to be happy no matter what they tell me today. I had a dream last night that the ultrasound confirmed it was a BOY. I did not wake up feeling very peaceful. I prayed some more and Michael and I talked and after praying and talking I have total peace about it being either or. We came up with a boy name so now I will know this baby by name TODAY no matter what it is. (I hope you will all love it as much as we do!) And I actually feel excited about the possibility that it's a little boy and not a girl! Though I will be happy with knowing that our baby (whoever he or she may be) is healthy and growing! I have faith that God has a plan for this child's life and I feel nothing but blessed to be discovering a part of that plan today.

I wanted to share that with you. I think we forget sometimes that God does answer our prayers (how ever trivial they may seem) when we seek Him and even though sometimes His answer to our specific request is "no," He is always willing to give us the comfort we need to accept it. Whether the answer to whether my instincts about gender have been right or wrong is yes or no, I have real peace and I pray for that for all of you...

By 1pm our baby will have a name!

Love, Nan<3

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Known By Name

In just 2 days, Michael and I will know (God-willing) whether we are going to have a son or a daughter. Friday’s ultrasound is what I have been waiting for anxiously for the last 4 ½ months. The idea of knowing our child by name this coming Friday is enough to make my head spin. The problem is… if it’s a boy, we won’t…

From day one, I have felt (for whatever reason) that Michael and I are going to have a little girl. I have spent a lot of time in prayer about this and the name Ava Grace just found its way into my heart and has not let up for a single moment. There is no doubt in my mind that if it’s a girl, that is her name. Still, I’ve felt guilty that Michael and I have not been able to narrow down boy names to any reasonable certainty. I have prayed that God will give us a boy name if that’s what we are going to have – but so far no answer. Not that I doubt that He’ll eventually answer – perhaps this is a lesson in patience – but it makes me sad to think that if we find out on Friday that we are going to have a little boy, he will be a nameless little boy (though no less loved!)

And it got me thinking.

How amazing is it that God already knows our Little One by name? Whatever this child is, it is, and God has known all the while, while we (and everyone else) have speculated and wondered. Even if our child will be nameless to us this coming Friday and however long thereafter it takes us to decide upon a name, God already knows what that name is. What an awesome thought!

My family is coming in on Friday night and I am excited to finally be able to share exciting news in person – something that has been inhibited by the distance between us now that Virginia is my permanent home. No matter what the result, there will be a lot of joy. It will bring us all one step closer to coming face to face with this precious gift from God.

Just two more days…