Monday, November 29, 2010

Are You Ready For Some Football?

Most people that know me know that I am not a football fan, so this post's title is probably a bit confusing. Well, we watched The Blind Side over the weekend and I'm now a little obsessed. If you haven't watched this movie, you really should. I don't often write about movies but this one deserves a mention.

It's the true story of Michael Oher and it's such a great feel-good story. I won't get into tremendous detail, but he is the son of a crack-addict mom and a dad who spends most of Michael's life in prison. He's taken away from his mom and goes from foster home to foster home for much of his teen years. While he's staying with a friend, his friend's dad actually manages to get him enrolled in a private Christian high school (the dad was trying to enroll his own son and managed to persuade the football coach to work to enroll Michael as well).

One day Michael meets little SJ at school and ultimately meets his mom, Leigh Anne Tuohy. Well, this woman is a dynamo. She and the Tuohy family take Michael in and help him find his way. They're the only people he feels comfortable with and trusts and through that trust he's able to believe in himself. They're the only people that take Michael seriously and see what a wonderful boy he is.

So much happens for Michael and the Tuohy family in such a short time. He is able to raise his grades (through teachers actually taking time to teach him in a way he understands and well as with the help of a tutor the Tuohy's hire), play football and ultimately graduate from high school. He earns a scholarship to several colleges and decides on Ole Miss. The movie ends with him being drafted by the Baltimore Ravens.

I left a lot out, so you're just going to see it now. It's such a good story. I wish there were more people like Michael and the Tuohys in the world. If people could just see past what's on the surface and actually get to know someone, really know them, lives could change. Perhaps it's the pregnancy hormones fueling this fire here, but chances are I'd be obsessing about this even without the hormones. There's a part in the movie where they read The Story of Ferdinand and it's one of my all-time favorite children's books. See, Ferdinand is a bull in Spain; he has a peaceful soul and does not want to fight like his other bull friends. He wants to sit under a cork tree as he smells the nearby flowers. Michael is Ferdinand the Bull. You should read that book too :)

I was so moved I actually watched the Baltimore Ravens game yesterday. And within minutes of me turning it on, Michael Oher gets hurt (sprained knee) and is out for the rest of the game. I'm such a good luck charm. This is why I don't watch football ;)

Watch the movie! If you aren't moved, you have a heart of stone.

Friday, November 26, 2010

I Thank You

Yesterday was Thanksgiving. It was a good day. We layed around most of the day and then went to friends' house for a great dinner. It was a good thing I brought my stretchiest maternity pants to change into! Most of my maternity pants are already too tight for my expanding belly, so I was very glad I brought the biggest ones I own!

And while I don't need a single day to sit down and reflect on all that I'm thankful for, I wanted to share with the world what really means the most to me. This year we feel more thankful than ever. We are so hopeful that we'll be bringing home two new babies in a few months. I am almost 22 weeks now and things seem to be going really well. The babies are growing and kicking and all the problems we've been having up to this point seem to be under control. I'm not off bed rest but at least I know things are looking good. I know we won't be out of the woods until they're home with us, but we feel really encouraged and happy that things are looking so good.

We are also thankful, of course, for our sweet son, Keller. He fills us with such joy everyday. We had a nice long conversation about how Spiderman, Superman, Batman and others work so hard to keep people safe from the bad guys. Did you know Spiderman lives at the zoo in order to keep people from fighting the animals? I didn't know that and I'll be sure to look for him the next time we're there.

We are extremely thankful for our friends and family who have been such a source of support for us. They've always been there for us, but this past year wouldn't have been possible for us to deal with if we didn't have such a strong support group. And to everyone who has helped us since I've been on bed rest: you're amazing. The dinners, lunches, visits, calls, emails, etc. have just meant so much to us. Just knowing that people are looking out for my family, it makes me cry. And to know these two babies will not only be welcomed into a home full of love for them, there is a whole system of people that have loved them and helped them long before they were born. It really is too much for me to think about without getting emotional about it.

And I am so incredibly thankful for my husband who has taken this whole bed rest thing on with minimal complaints, grumbles and issues. He is handling all of it and he is just taking it in stride. I am so grateful for him and Keller taking care of me, I can't even put it into words. It's such a long road ahead of us that it's overwhelming for me, but John just does it. I don't know what I would do without him.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Enjoy the time with your friends and family.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Do You Want To Know A Secret?

I've been keeping a secret for many weeks now. But I think I finally have the courage to tell. John and I are pregnant. I'm over 20 weeks along now and I guess it's time to spill the beans.

Obviously, people in my in-person world know since I've been showing for a long time. But I have been reluctant to write anything about it because of everything we went through last year and what we've been through up to this point. It's been a tough road already. But I can't live my life waiting for something to happen and I deserve some happiness. I am hoping and praying that everything will be all right and I feel ready to talk about it.

We found out we were pregnant the day before the year anniversary of losing our baby. It was surreal. I had been taking tests all week and they were all negative. I wasn't going to take another one but since I had it, I might as well take it. It was faintly positive, which meant I needed to go buy 8 more tests. Which I took half when I got home (all positive) and half the next day (all positive). This was all on a Friday, so I didn't go to the doctor for a blood test until Monday. We had a nice family weekend and I went into the doctor's office first thing on Monday to have blood drawn.

The results came back in a couple of days and my hormone levels were high, which was a good sign. Then that Saturday we left for the beach. The vacation was fun, and I had a sonogram set up for the Tuesday after we got back. My doctor wanted to start monitoring me regularly because of my history.

Well, that Tuesday came and I had the sonogram. We saw the heartbeat and I was crying and it was wonderful. Then the technician saw something strange and was poking around. That something strange turned out to be another heartbeat...another baby. We're having twins. I was floored and in all honesty, here I am 3 months later and I still don't believe it half the time.

I was alone at the appointment since John had a meeting. But I drove right over to his office to tell him. He met me in the parking lot and here is a summary of our conversation:

I show him the sonogram pictures.
Me: Do you notice anything different than what we're used to seeing?
Him: No, should I?
Me: Keep looking.
Him: I don't see anything.
Me: John, we're having twins.
Him: You're shitting me.

And that pretty much sums it up. After a lot of exhaling and tears, we hugged and he had to get back to work. I called my parents and told them. They were shocked of course. In fact, I could hear my dad interjecting a "Holy shit" every now and then.

Needless to say, the past 20 weeks have been exciting, overwhelming, terrifying and worrisome. I had my cerclage surgery back in September and thankfully that all went well. I have a mack daddy cerclage. It's a permanent cerclage (most people get a temporary one that is removed before delivery). This is a crazy stitch that doesn't get removed (I have to have a c-section). The surgery was an insane 2-hour procedure and even though I was numb I was awake the entire time. I will not get into the actual experience of the surgery as it was quite awful. Thankfully the anesthesiologist talked to me the entire time or I would have been crying throughout the surgery. Recovery was tough on me and it was very painful. But my wonderful doctor is confident it was successful and after almost 2 months, it looks great. But we've still had our share of scary moments, including a trip to the emergency room a few weeks ago.

I won't get into tremendous detail, but I was having very similar symptoms to what I had when we lost the baby last year. Thankfully, all is all right and the babies are perfectly fine. I have what is called a subchorionic hemorrhage. It's common and I've had a couple throughout the pregnancy. But this one was dangerously close to one of the placentas and it was causing a lot of bleeding and cramping. So....I've been on bed rest since then (I'm in my 4th week of bed rest now). And thankfully it's working because it seems as though the bleed is either too small to see or it's gone. YAY!

So, I am still terrified that something will happen to prevent me from bringing home my babies. But I don't know if that will go away until I actually bring them home. All I can do is think positively, continue to pray and take care of myself. And that's what I'm doing. I feel like all of this has to be meant to be. To find out we're pregnant the day before the anniversary? And then to find out it's two? It's all too much to be a coincidence. I have to believe it's happening this time and everything we went through is behind us.