Sunday, October 23, 2011

In Which I Break My Foot While Scoping out the Haunted House my Husband Wants to Buy

It’s just so ridiculous. I’m turning into my mother. NOT because she’s ridiculous. My mother is sweet, precious and wonderful…and also happens to be the most accident prone person on the planet. Freak incidents hound her. Injuries afflict her. And I think it might be genetic…

For those who may not know, we are renting out our current home and squatting, er living, in our friends’ beautiful and spacious ground floor efficiency (sounds prettier than “basement apartment”, huh? And it IS pretty! We are so thankful that they are letting us crash their house—indefinitely, no less!). Our hope is to buy a new place with a bit more room and a lower mortgage. It’s possible in this market. But not necessarily easy, as we’ve found out. In the past three months we’ve had three houses under contract, all of which have fallen through for one reason or another.

All that to say, we’re house hunting. It’s kind of become a hobby. Our realtor wasn’t able to take us out this weekend, but that didn’t stop us from going to scope out a few houses on our own yesterday. It probably should have, but it didn’t. My husband has fallen in love with a charming, cozy 1920’s bungalow fixer-upper that he found online and wanted to go check out. It’s charming, cozy…and old. And if I were superstitious I would also tell you that it is haunted. I mean, it’s over 90 years old, it’s got haint blue paint on the porch ceiling (!!!) and I broke my foot there. Of course I don’t believe in ghosts, but I’m just sayin’—I broke my foot there.

After peaking in all the windows (it’s vacant, promise) we were walking around the grounds, discussing possible paint colors for the outside of the house. I was standing at the top of some steps which lead down to the driveway and took a step back to get a “broader view”, as it were (“I think yellow would be fun and really give the place some pop!”) fully expecting my right foot would meet solid ground as I did. It did not. I mean, not for like another 6 to 12 inches, anyway. And when it finally did…um, OUCH. I rolled my ankle and all my weight came crashing down on my foot. It hurt. It hurt bad. I gripped it feverishly and started to cry. And then I started to laugh because really, it was just so ridiculous.

Right away I thought that baby Elizabeth was probably fine. I fell on the soft earth, in tall grass, on my bottom. I wasn’t cramping or contracting and she was moving just fine. But my foot was swelling up big time. As soon as I unwrapped my hand from it, a golf ball sized lump ballooned out of the left side, right by my ankle. That coupled with the fact that I heard several pops on my way down made me think that I’d better go have it checked out. This was around 1:30.

We dropped the kids off at home, which, as we’ve established, is actually our friends’ home and said friends graciously offered to keep our children as we headed off to urgent care. We were there for three hours. After x-rays showed that I had, indeed, fractured my foot, I was ace-bandaged and received crutches and a stylish orthopedic boot. Told to elevate, ice, and wait for a call from the radiologist to determine whether or not I’d need to see a bone doctor. I thought we were almost home free and then the doctor handed me a prescription for pain killers. I wanted to confirm that they were safe to take while pregnant and it was at this point that we discovered that the doctor did not know that I was pregnant. I had told the receptionist first thing, and had discussed it at length with the nurse who did the x-rays, so I assumed that it had been communicated to the doctor as well. Nope. And apparently the two pound baby in my 26 week pregnant belly isn’t as obvious as I thought. Or maybe she was just really focused on my foot. At any rate, she apologized profusely, but said I would immediately need to go to the ER for a full evaluation. “You don’t have an ultrasound machine back here that we can just check her out on really fast?” Nope. We needed to get to the ER and now. She would call the hospital to let them know we were on the way.

We were at the hospital for another four hours. My OB orderd a non stress test (which Elizabeth passed with flying colors), wanted to monitor any possible contractions that I may be having (none) and wanted to run a blood test which would show if my placenta had detached/ruptured (it had not). I’m glad we were able to find these things out. Better safe than sorry and all that. Through it all Onan and I were comfortably set up in a labor and delivery room. (Well, I was as comfortable as one can be in a hospital gown.) We watched TV and ordered subs from Jimmy John’s across the street for dinner. It was practically a date. Hey, when you have a one, two and three year old, any place that they’re not present counts as a date. (Onan would like to note that I’m an “expensive date.”)

I was finally discharged and we got home around 10:00 to find that our amazing friends had taken our kids for a picnic dinner at the park, changed a bunch of diapers put everyone in PJ’s and then to bed. Amazing, I say. John and Rebecca, we don’t know what we’d do without you! Truly.

My foot still hurts. But I’m ok. And so is Elizabeth. And it was lovely to hear her precious heartbeat and the swoosh of all her movements for nearly two hours last night. If I follow in my mother’s footsteps, you can expect future visits to the ER for various broken bones and whatnot. Especially if we buy the (haunted) house. Fair warning. Thanks for letting share! And in all seriousness, we are feeling a little worn out and beat down right about now and really appreciate your continued prayers. Our hearts are comforted through your effectual, fervent prayers.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Elizabeth Update

A wonderful friend had this made for me and gave it to me this week. The artist's work is simply beautiful. You can check it out at Thank you so much, Lisa, I absolutely adore it!

Yesterday I had an appointment with the high risk OB who gave the original diagnosis of anencephaly six weeks ago. I hadn’t seen him since then and wasn’t exactly sure what these specialist visits were going to include, but I knew there would be an ultrasound and probably some serious discussion and therefore would not be toddler friendly. A dear friend came to babysit my kids (we love you Erin!) and I made the 45 minute trek to his office feeling a bit nervous…and cautiously hopeful. While I wasn’t necessarily “expecting” some miraculous news, I wasn’t counting it out either. I’m still not, even after seeing Elizabeth’s ultrasound and once again receiving confirmation of her condition. I’m always praying for a miracle, if that’s how God would be most glorified.

The appointment actually went really well, despite the discouraging news. The doctor was professional, but more laid back this time (probably because he didn’t have to deliver life-altering news). He took his time with the ultrasound, pointing out everything he was seeing. One of the first things he told me was that Elizabeth is breech. Once I could see it on the ultrasound, her positioning made perfect sense to me! She moves constantly and her kicks have always seemed so low. She had her head burrowed up in the right side of my rib cage (which I can also totally feel) and her little hands up by her face. She is nearly two pounds. I specifically asked about my amniotic fluid level, as I had researched that women carrying babies with anencephaly can sometimes have an excess (causing discomfort and in some cases early labor) because the baby often does not have the capability to swallow. He showed me her full little bladder and said that she is, indeed, swallowing. My levels were in the average range, though on the higher side. No cause for concern, a blessing. We looked at her heart, her kidneys, her tiny hands and her not-so-tiny feet—she definitely has my feet! I asked for some print outs.

After the ultrasound we went into his office to talk some more. He was concerned with my emotional well-being and wanted to make sure that I have support in place. We discussed the fact that Elizabeth is breech and he explained that this is more common with babies who have anencephaly. While he did agree that she has plenty of time to flip into the head down position, he didn’t seem extremely hopeful that this would happen. He asked about my birth plan. I told him that Onan and I want to do whatever we can to ensure the most time possible with Elizabeth. That while I prefer to avoid a c-section, if having one means an easier delivery for her then I will gladly do it. He was quick to assure me that delivering her breech poses no greater risk to me or Elizabeth in our case. He encouraged me to wait for spontaneous labor and warned that I would most likely go past my due date, especially since all three of my other children have been late. He said that babies with anencephaly who survive the pregnancy usually survive the delivery.

It was a heavy discussion and somewhat draining appointment, but I was so impressed with the doctor’s obvious concern and care. He was unhurried, informative and supportive, for which I am hugely grateful. I will see him again at 33 weeks.

Thank you all for the continued prayers and encouragement. I literally just weep over the comments, praising God for kindred friends who want to share in my burdens. It means so much more than you know!

Sunday, October 16, 2011


We've had a lot of out of town company, which we love. Both my family and my husband's family live in South Florida--a good 10 hour drive to where we live in Northwest Georgia. We make it down there often (thanks to my husband's teacher schedule!) or they take a few vacation days to come up and visit us. We miss everyone "back home" so very much and try to make the most of these visits, which are an extra special treat for the kids.

My fabulous mother-in-law came a few weeks ago. (I think we wore her out!)
Love you, Grandma!

My brother-in-law came the next weekend. (We wore him out too!)

Love you, Tio Brandon!

My wonderful mother came soon after that.

Love you mom! We didn't wear you out, did we?

Corban learned the amazing art of "owling"...

And then my other brother-in-law came to visit!

In case you didn't notice, Corban loves to wrestle with his uncles. And poor Tio Eric...all he wanted was one good shot with all three of the kids. (This was the best we got.)

Just a couple of Elizabeth Grace, 25 weeks:

I think Sophia may have wanted my attention...

I thought it was time for some pictures. Thanks for letting me share! :)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Elizabeth Grace

First things first, we’ve officially come up with a name for baby girl. Disclaimer: We reserve the right to change it at the last minute if we’re so inclined, but I’m pretty sure we’re settled on Elizabeth Grace. Since the day we found out I was pregnant, my husband has said that this baby is his to name as (he claims) he had no input in the naming of our third—which is not entirely true. I mean, he always has veto power (love you, honey!). We found out she was a girl the same time we found out about her condition, so we wanted her name to be all the more special. Onan’s first choice was Elizabeth, mine was Emma, and somehow we both knew her middle name would be Grace. I've always thought that Elizabeth was beautiful and when I found out the meaning --“God’s promise”-- I was sold. Thank you to those who are praying for her specifically by name!

Here’s something you don’t usually hear a pregnant woman say: things are going too fast. This pregnancy likely constitutes the bulk of my time with Elizabeth, so I’m desperately trying to savor and enjoy it. I hit the 24 week mark on Thursday. The time I have left with her is brief, already flying by. She moves a lot. With every kick, jab and roll I’m reminded of how alive she is right now—how this will probably not be the case after she is born. She is developing perfect little hands and feet—but for what purpose? I am often struck by just how paradoxical the situation is. While I’m mourning that I won’t have much time with her here on earth, I am also grateful for this knowledge because it allows me to prepare my mind and heart for the loss.

I also had a prenatal appointment this week. I rotate among five OB’s in my practice and genuinely like them all, but the doctor I saw this time has sort of an “off putting” bedside manner. I’m not sure he knew exactly what to say to me. After quickly listening to her heartbeat, he began discussing worst case scenarios for my labor and delivery. Of course this is something that has been in the back of my mind, but I wasn't really ready to be confronted with it yet. He said there is a chance that she will not survive the delivery (about 20% according to my research), a chance that I will not dilate correctly, a chance that she will be breech. If this is the case, he said that since she’s not “viable” the decision of whether or not to have a c-section would be up to me, which, I suppose is a plus. He did graciously mention the fact that I’ve had three normal deliveries is in my favor.

So, not exactly the most pleasant visit. Worry over labor and delivery is something I am now battling against. The Lord has reminded me that it’s already been planned by Him and I am resting in that truth. Once again I am so thankful that He is sovereign—in control over every minute detail. Praising Him for this. And thanking all of you for your continued prayers.