Papel Picado

Papel Picado

Monday, December 30, 2013

What's in a Name: Olive Elizabeth

I thought it would be fun to share the story of Olive's name. 
I think names are very important. It's the thing that will be spoken over us more than anything else. When it came time to decide a name for our little girl, it was not something we took lightly. 
We actually had a definite boys name picked and 3 girl names. We thought that if our first was a girl, her name would be Miel, or Honey in Spanish. From the moment we found out we were having a girl I kept thinking her name was Olive. 
I don't know where the idea for the name Olive came from. If I heard it, it maybe just came from Olive Oyl, honestly. I didn't find out about all of the celebrity babies named Olive until recently. 
I imagined Olive to be a lot like me. Creative but also outspoken. I imagined she would like the color purple just like her mom and grandma. 
Early in my pregnancy I was told I miscarried after going to the hospital for bleeding. For a week and 2 days I didn't know if I was carrying a child or not. I knew that our baby was still there and I told God "this child is yours. We will love her and raise her, but she belongs to you. Whatever you have for her life we will not stand in the way." Sure enough, after what seemed like forever, an ultrasound showed a tiny little heartbeat of one of the greatest fighters I know. 
When my water broke, I was terrified. I had been given 72 hours before she would arrive or I would get an infection. There was a small hope she would replenish her fluid. I was praying and God gave me a vision of her. I was reminded of the story of Jonah and the whale. Mahesh Chavda once explained what whale vomit is, ambergris, a very expensive perfume additive. I had this vision of her floating in a white cloud with gold flecks, which is exactly what ambergris looks like. He very gently told me "don't worry about how she will get here, she will get here." 
One night Matt asked me who I thought was in "there". I said "I think it's Olive." He agreed. So I began thinking of middle names. Elizabeth is a favorite name of my mother's, and while we thought of many names, Elizabeth just flowed. So I looked it up. One meaning I found was "consecrated to God". Perfect.
Olive means peace usually when you look it up because of the Olive branch- however I also relate it to the story of the ark. Of all things to dove chose an Olive branch to show there was LIFE outside of what/who was on the boat. It brought hope that God kept his promise. 
I later looked up other names that meant "peace" and on this particular list, Jonah was listed. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt our little girls life has a huge purpose in this world. 
I love the name Olive Elizabeth, but I really feel God had this name picked for her before we ever knew of her. 
So there's the story of her name :) 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

A Day in the Life...: An Update

Well, it's the day after Christmas, day 31 on bed rest and day 6 in the hospital. Maybe it's my amazing ability to adapt, not having to be in control or just Jesus, but it honestly isn't so bad. Would I have rathered be with our families during this time? Of course! But it is what it is and I am where I am. 
I can't really say I've gotten bored, to be honest. I have cable and a TV guide on my phone so I can limit my TV by picking shows. I'm on bedrest so I am always "nap ready." I have colors, drawing paper, coloring books, paints, nail polish and books. My favorite part is interacting with the nurses. 
Bed rest, when looked at from the right perspective, is a laid back introvert's dream. I interact with only a few people a day, and they are making sure I am fed and baby and I are healthy :) 
When on constant monitoring, your day never ends, but I will try to explain a typical day for me. At around 5 or 6 am the night nurse comes to check my vitals (blood pressure, pulse/oxygen, temperature). This typically happens every 4 hours in order to check for signs of infection. Shortly after the doctor will come and hear me breathe, poke around on my belly and ask how I'm doing. Today this resulted in blood draw, which happened around 6:30 am. Results came back great :) 
If I am able to stay awake (which once I tell you about my night schedule, you will understand), I just sit for a while and check Facebook or play on Pinterest or something. At around 8 I have breakfast. The nurse then comes again at around 9 and they check my vitals and put baby on the monitor for about an hour. I often fall asleep while on the monitor because I can't move really, so insert nap here. 
After that- it's shower time! Then I get ready for my day. About an hour of downtime and then it's lunch. From lunch til dinner is usually the most boring part of my day, so I color or watch something on tv. Sometimes you will catch me reading. At around 8 pm I meet my new nurse and she checks my vitals and hears baby's heart beat. Yesterday I was having pain, so they put the monitors on for about an hour. They thought I may be contracting, so they ordered to put the monitors back on. No contractions, just a mean old fibroid tumor causing problems. 
I fall asleep probably around 9:30 or 10 depending on what's going on with Matt. At about 12:30 or 1 I am woken up to do my vitals again. 
This experience is definitely preparing me for her arrival. Random wake ups and all. 
If you ever want to come by and break up the monotony, feel free to stop by. You may even get a bonus of hearing baby girl :) 
While I am anxious for the arrival of the next season, this season isn't so bad. I am definitely getting in some good bonding time with our girl.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Update: First Full Day

Well I'm closing I on my first full day in the hospital. Everything is going well... Just going with the flow. Matt and I have pretty much moved in :) 
I am so thankful that I have had two super sweet nurses so far- and am expecting this to be a trend. I'm finding that although I can be completely overwhmed by randomly approaching people to talk- I am pretty good at talking with people I have to interact with. 
So for my first night I had my vitals done, blood work (my favorite...) got an IV to begin antibiotics and my first of two very painful steroid shots. 
The thing I want to stress is (especially when asking me questions about my decisions), I have thought about each of these decisions and not only researched it (see pPROM management/regamine), I have spoken with trusted friends of mine who are very knowledgable about my particular situation, and I have prayed about this. So I am kindly asking that you trust that I am making each of my decisions very carefully. I also plan continue to make decisions this way. 
I am learning that as I become a mother, my decisions cannot just be based on how my mother, grandmother, mother in law and so on have made decisions. I also won't make decisions based on fear based information, or what the newest fad is. No mommy blogs, religious convictions of others, etc will be a final decision maker for me. 
My mother has been an amazing mother and has protected me so well. She has a lot of information and is very smart! She also knows that my life experiences are different than hers and sometimes the decision that seems best to her doesn't always jump out at me, and is supportive. So thankful for her and how supportive she is. She always reminds me that while she treats me as an adult, I am still her Baby Girl! It's why we have given our sweet girl the nickname "Baby Dolores", because her Nana is always looking out for her and her mama :) 
Well- back to my stay- I haven't slept as the steroids kind of make it difficult and while this bed is comfortable- it's some kind of air bed so it is temperamental instead of temperpedic. At the recommendation of some amazing friends- I will be adding padding! 
The highlight of my day was definitely watching Baby Girl try to kick the monitors off my belly. SO HARD that my pant elastic was pulled up over one monitor and she kicked it off :) 
I again am so thankful for all of the support. I want to make sure to update, but always keep things positive, as that is the end result we expect. Heck, not just positive, better than great! 
Now... To try to sleep... Until my rude awakening of more antibiotics and second (of two... Thank God) round of steroids at 1am :)

Friday, December 20, 2013

Care Calendar: How to Help

Well, I will be admitted sometime tonight into Seton Medical Center. Matt will have two weeks off for vacation so he can stay with me, but we will need some assistance! 

I have decided to start a care calendar and I am slowly putting it together.
To access Our personal CareCalendar site, 
and enter 
the following information in the appropriate spaces:

    CALENDAR ID   :   168921
    SECURITY CODE :   9750

Some items that will be on the calendar are:

Bringing meals to hospital:
Home cooked or take out
Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner
Possibly for both Matt and Stefanie
List of meal suggestions can be found here:
*note there are some restrictions. 

Household Help:
Getting the Mail
Kitchen Cleaning 
Bathroom Cleaning

We may also add errands or other items on the list as we see that we need them. 

Other more fun items:
Word Finder
Magazines (fashion, home, photography, Time, Rolling Stone... No gossip mags please!)
Yarn (I'm trying to learn to crochet!)


Hospital Address:
1201 W 38th St
Austin, TX 78705

Thank you in advance for each of you that are helping! I will let you know when I enter the hospital so you can start signing up! 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Perspective: An Update

I have found that perspective is everything. One thing I have always been good at is seeing both sides of an argument, although when I have been one of the sides I have often ignored some things I see on the other side :)
To be honest, though, I'm not nearly as strong as some seem to think I am, I just keep perspective in mind. Most of you know I have very "stong beliefs" but I guess I just know that I need a savior. 
Going to Mozambique and especially working with abused, abandoned and widowed women I received a lot of perspective. I grew so much from the love they had for each other and all of us missionaries! I saw how they embraced pure Jesus and I came alive when I was with them. 
It seems I will be admitted Friday, or at the latest Monday into the hospital for constant monitoring. 
It isn't easy knowing that on Christmas I will be in the hospital. Knowing that while I wait for our daughter to arrive I can't be the one preparing her nursery (and decorating is one of my FAVORITE things!). I even bought a shirt to wear for our church Christmas celebration. It's red with ruffles and I got a cute belt with... You guessed it... A bow on it as an accesory. But I will most likely be in pajamas. 
But then... I let perspective sink in. 
The decision to go into the hospital is the best option for our daughter. I will be monitored in a way that they will know if she is healthy and if I am healthy enough to carry her. There are advances in modern medicine (thank you Jesus!) for at risk pregnancies that weren't around 20 or even 10 years ago. 
I have made my peace with all of the things that have been thrown our way. The idea that I may have to have a c-section (although there is still a good chance for natural birth!). That there is a risk of infection (but I do not receive it in Jesus name!). Just the overall idea that I have limited amount of control of the situation. 
In a few months (hopefully a little over 3 months!) we will have a healthy little girl. I am eternally grateful for the nurses and women with success stories that have encouraged me! Thankful for the friends that have offered advice on how to survive hospital bedrest. I am also thankful that Matt has the next two weeks off so he can spend lots of time with me my first weeks in the hospital! Our parents are also coming after Christmas to celebrate with us! 
I will be posting about ways to help as soon as I can get it all together. We will have a "Care Calendar" so that whoever wants to can sign up to provide meals (because I hear hospital food isn't the most nutritious and gets old quick), help us with things that we need and just come visit, can do so at their convenience! I am looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible during the stay. Come speak blessings over Baby Girl and just help pass the time :) 
I encourage you, if you have lost sight of the Christmas (or holiday in general) spirit, change your perspective. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Suggested Meals

For those of you who have offered to help keep me/us fed, here are a list of suggested meals to hopefully make it easier for you! Thank you so much in advance!!!

Home cooked or take out
Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner
Possibly for both Matt and Stefanie
You can call/text/message Stefanie to see if it's for one or both. 

Suggested Meals:
Shrimp Fried Rice 
Sweet and Sour Chicken
General Tsos Chicken
Egg Rolls
Crab Rangoon
Orange Chicken

Cheese Enchiladas
Chicken Fajitas
Beef, Bean and or Chicken Burritos

Cheese Ravioli
Spaghetti (Meat Sauce, Veggie or Meat Balls)
Fettuccine Alfredo (Chicken or Veggie)
Chicken Cacciatore  
Chicken Parmesan 

Baked Potato Soup
Chicken and Dumplings 
Taco Soup
Vegetable Soup
Beef Vegetable Soup
Broccoli Cheese Soup

Cheeseburgers (no mayo or onion, please)
Chili/Frito Pie
Chicken Strips/Nuggets
French Fries
Onion Rings
Grilled Chicken Salads

Biscuits and Gravy
Eggs (scrambled) 
Potato, Egg, Bacon Breakfast Tacos

Already Popped Popcorn (kettle, buttered or salted) 
Cheetos (regular, puffed or white cheddar puffed)
Cinnamon Rolls

Cranberry Juice
Orange Juice
Organic Milk
Smart Water/Electrolyte Infused Water

Things to avoid:
Stefanie doesn't like mayonnaise, raw onions, curry (pretty much any Indian Food).
She can't eat lunch meat, unpasteurized cheese items or certain fish while pregnant.

Matt will eat just about anything :) 

Really, THANK YOU :) 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Statistics: An Update

Bedrest day 16. Yes, you read that correct, 16 days! I can't quite believe it myself. To be honest, I don't know I would have made it this far without the support that I've had from everyone! Those taking the time to come stay with me during the day and help keep our home clean and my belly full and those of you who have been so encouraging.
I know Baby Girl is going to do great. As scary as it can be (especially with her not moving much lately!) at times, I know she is perfect. In the past I have had a hard time trusting God with different aspects of my life. I actually remember anxiously talking with a friend once about my desire to be married and she said "you are so funny. You trust God with everything in your life but this one area!" It hit me like a ton of bricks. I was married about 6 months later.
So, I trust God with my husband, my finances (He has always come through!) and everything else- why wouldn't I trust Him with our daughter? He loves her and has the best in store for her. 
I haven't necessarily been given statistics, but I can tell by the doctors reaction that this is a big deal. That they are hesitant to give me any hope. Good thing my hope is in God. (Cue Will Matthews "Hope's Anthem" here)
To briefly give you a rundown of what comes next: I will be seeing the Perinatologist and my OB once more and then I will be admitted to the hospital. I will stay there under constant care until Baby Girl is born. To make it full term- that's 16 weeks in the hospital. My hope is to make it as long as she can. They will monitor her and make sure her best chance is staying in the womb. I will receive some treatment to help her lungs grow. They will also monitor me for infection and my health (which overall has been great- minus the whole female part aspects.) 
Some ways to pray are- first and foremost- that the sac will heal itself and she will completely replenish her fluids to normal. Second, a good heart rate and good amounts of fluid! That her lungs and the rest of her grows at a normal gestational rate. For Matt as he is working and keeping up with our home all while finishing his certification classes. Also for both of us as me being in the hospital means that there will be a lot of times we are not together. For me to have the strength and to be able to face everyday with Joy. For Baby Girl to be completely healthy when she is born and spend as little time in the hospital as possible. 
I am so thankful for each of you who are praying for us! Those who have encouraged us with testimonies and prophecies! 
I read a quote from one of the other mothers who had a positive outcome after rupturing prematurely: "Statistics are for those without faith!" I agree. 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

A Reminder: Today you are alive.

Today you are alive. 
This means there are dreams to be lived out. 
Get up, and live.
Eat your favorite fruit and savor each bite. 
Make plans. 
Go buy that shirt you have been staring at every time you pass it in the window. 
Call your old school friends. 
Today you are alive.
This means there are still adventures to be had. 
Take your grandparent to the movies. 
Drive an hour just to see a friend. 
Or to try that one barbecue place they say is the best in Texas. 
Paint the walls or your face. 
It's your new day, so dance. 
Today you are alive. 
Lay in bed all day and eat cinnamon rolls.
Climb a tree or a big rock.
Tell someone how much they mean to you. 
Give high fives. 
Read a new book. 

Saturday, November 30, 2013

21 Weeks for Baby Girl!

21 Weeks today. Tomorrow makes a week since I ruptured. Since then I was able to connect with a few other women who have also gone through Preterm Premature Rupture of Membrane (also known as pPROM) and had positive outcomes! I have even hear stories of making it FULL TERM! Wow! 
I was set up with 2 women that have happy healthy babies! Both believers and both made it through speaking truth and positivity over their babies! 
I am staying positive, although there are moments of weakness. The moment it happens, I begin speaking life over Baby girl. 
Health wise I have been monitoring my temperature often (to make sure there are no signs of infection) and drinking a gallon + of water, mostly electrolyte infused water. I have been eating bananas, and have actually found that a banana for the middle of the night hunger helps me tremendously! 
I have had my moments. I haven't Christmas shopped at all for anyone and will more than likely be in the hospital for Christmas. Our home is not unpacked or decorated (although my mom did out up our Christmas tree!). The one thing that for whatever reason really hit me was that I bought a maternity shirt specifically to wear on Christmas that I probably won't wear this pregnancy. 
Two more weeks and the doctors will consider Baby Girl viable outside of the womb. I plan on making it much further than 2 weeks! With all of the water it seems I have began to have small leaks, which means the baby is making fluid. This is a good sign. I have had a difficult time gaining weight this entire pregnancy, so I have been trying to eat more! No weight gain, but no weight decrease! 
I have been praying Psalm 91 over Baby Girl every day. If you have any verses or prophecies for Baby Girl, Matt and I would love to hear! We know she will be world traveler. That she already knows Jesus and will always know her identity in Christ! That she will have an impact on the children of God like Mother Teresa! 
We are so thankful that Baby Girl has prayers for her all over the world! Wow! I will keep everyone updated after the appointment Monday with the Perinatologist! 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Today I Choose Hope.

This morning I woke up ready to go to the doctor. I just knew that the report would be great. A miracle even. 
After my vitals, my doctor started the exam and determined I did not have an infection. We heard the baby's heart rate, which was normal. He did a cervix check, still closed. 
Then came the sonogram. My doctor was quiet most of the time, which is not like him. He showed the nurse the fibroid, the baby, the heartbeat, etc. I could see the screen, and though I could see Baby Dolores moving, I could also see why my doctor was quiet.
He came back in. Before he said anything I started crying. He told me I stopped leaking fluid because the fluid was not being replenished. 
This time there was a lot less hope. He said that he could go ahead and admit me to the hospital, but there wouldn't be anything they could do still until 23 weeks. He said he thought it would be better for me to be with my family. 
I asked about the fluid replenishing itself. He told me that it could happen but he didn't want to get my hopes up. I cried, a lot. 
I ran into the on call doctor I saw on Sunday and she asked how I was doing. I broke down and told her. Her response changed everything. She said "we see miracles everyday." She told me (as did my doctor and nurse) she would be praying for the best outcome.  
Monday I go see the Perinatologist. He should be able to tell me a little bit more, and visits with the Perinatologist will possibly become a regular in my routine. I will be seeing my doctor weekly, also. 
In Mozambique I met people that had been brought back from the dead. I saw people healed. I heard a man tell his testimony of him being so close to death that his wife, who is full of faith had lost hope. 
So today, I choose hope. No one will call me stupid for believing in the best outcome. To be honest, I don't think the lack of fluid is anyway in a challenge to God. 
I believe not only will she make it to 23 weeks, she will make it longer. No infections, and no preterm labor. Repaired amniotic sac and relished fluid. 
What I ask of you is to have hope with us. To block out negative outcomes and believe with us for a miracle. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Update: Higher Risk

I just wanted to give an update on what's going on with the Monks, mostly Baby Monk. Sorry if some of it is TMI... 
Well, we are all moved into the house and had started unpacking and I stepped away to start cooking. All of the sudden I felt what felt like the bleeding I experienced in early pregnancy. I hurried to the bathroom and I lost some fluid. I had no pains and no fever, though.
I yelled for Matt and we got in the car and headed to the hospital. I called the on call doctor and she called ahead to labor and delivery. 
I was brought into a room and had to go through triage. The nurse was very sweet and calm. She took some samples and said the doctor was going to have to do an exam to get a better sample. She kept me calm and made sure to tell me all of the possibilities. 
The doctor then did a sonogram and we saw our daughter moving around and her little heartbeat, but the amount of fluid around her was very low. 
The doctor left only to return shortly to let me know that my amniotic sac had definitely ruptured. She went through all of the options, worst case I would go into labor or I could get an infection resulting in early forced labor.
Next is that I could hang in there for 3 weeks, see my doctor and the Perinatologist and they could come up with a plan for me to check into the large Seton Hospital in Austin. At 23-24 weeks they can use steroids and antibiotics to keep me healthy and help baby develop for a possible premature birth. 
There is hope. I have heard/read stories of the amniotic fluid replenishing itself and babies making it to full term. Also, the amniotic sac healing itself and the threat going down significantly! 
Needless to say, I am on STRICT bed rest. Only getting out of bed/off the couch for using the restroom, short showers and travel to the doctor. 
As of this morning I have not leaked any fluid (thank you Jesus). I am staying super hydrated to keep the risk of labor down. My mom is coming in town for a few days and my mother in law for a few days to help out. 
I had to get another Rhogam shot this morning and the nurse said its a good sign I haven't leaked any fluid! My mom will take me I my doctor on Wednesday and then I will see the Perinatologist Monday. 
I have been declaring life over our tiny girl's body and declaring for contractions to hold off for another 4 months. Declaring health and no infections in Jesus name! Declaring that the amniotic sac will heal itself and close up. 
Matt is taking good care of me and I haven't had to do anything for myself. I hate that I can't clean up after myself or make my own food right now. Even getting up to get water is probably more than I should be doing. 
Please stand with us for our little girl. 
Psalm 91 gives us promise of our God being greater than any trial. That he protects us in the scariest of times. 
John 16:33 declares that in this world we will face trials, but we should take heart, Jesus has overcome the world. 
I believe with all my heart he is protecting us. 

Monday, November 11, 2013


Today I feel rather content. 
I'm noticing my emotions are getting the best of me lately, and not the cute "crying at every commercial" kind so much (although that does happen). It's more of the "everyone's getting on my nerves" kind. Not fun! 
I am now back to my pre pregnancy weight plus 2lbs or so. My doctor was happy about that. I'm also doing much better health wise! My doctor upped my iron supplements and that has helped a lot! Most important, baby is doing great! November 19 is the big anatomy scan appointment :) 
For the fun stuff: I am loving maternity jeans. I love hot sauce, but mostly the kind you get at Taco Bell or Jack in the Box! I also am very into corn dogs with lots of mustard... I don't know what that's about. 
Matt and I have applied for an apartment in Buda and are hoping to find out ASAP of we are approved! Hoping we are because it's a good price! Matt also is scheduled for his first day at his new job next week, so I will go back to not having a car once again. Pray we are able to get one sooner than later! 
Hope all is well in your world. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I just don't think I'm ''Picky''!

One of my parents favorite words to describe me is ''picky''. As a little girl, I can remember going to buffets and finding the two items I liked and eating just them. I am the only one in my family that does this, so I gained the ''Picky Eater'' title at a young age.Since getting married, I try more things at buffets as I can just scoop them onto Matt's plate if I don't like them!
I feel I am not picky, though. I know what I like, and don't like, and I don't hide it. I know that I am not the worst of the worst. I at least try things, I just don't like them all.
Now that I'm pregnant, let me tell you. It is as though I have become the MOST picky person in the world. Really, though, again, I am just being honest. First off, I am NOT going to eat anything that is old, past it's expiration date or has been sitting out for a long period of time. I am also not going to eat things that my doctor has told me is not good for me.
I did wonder if I would suddenly crave strange things that Matt likes since it is 1/2 his child too. This, so far, is not the case.
Now, in addition to things I already don't like, I have some new things that just seem gross. Most cooked vegetables (except for in chicken pot pie, aparently), especially broccoli and spinach are a big no. Certain cheeses (pretty much anything but cheddar and American) are a no. Brown rice was a go until I smelled it cooking, and now... no. Most sauteed or mushy looking veggies are just... NO. Almond milk tastes sour and I thought mushrooms were going to be out after I had some that tasted fishy! Luckily, I have tried mushrooms again and they are not so bad.
What my point is, I have always tried to be genuine and honest. If I don't like something (like cheese and fish together) I am not going to lie and say I do like it. Don't take it as an insult, and please don't feel obligated to make me something special. I usually have snacks in my purse anyways.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Lazy Monday (A Baby Monk Update)

16 weeks!
Baby Monk and I are being suuuuper lazy today! Nana and Papa (my mama and daddy) came in town this weekend and we shopped til we dropped. We registered at one store and had a lot of fun doing so! Even my daddy enjoyed his time- and wants a baby swing for himself. 
Last week I had some bleeding (sorry for the TMI!) So I called my doctors office and his nurse fit me in. Since I am high risk- an ultrasound was in order. We saw that not only is Baby Monk doing great, but is measuring two days ahead of where I am! Already advanced! So proud! 
Dr. Bosco said he thought he could see the gender- but said he wasn't confident enough to tell me and didn't want to be wrong! Hopefully on November 8 (my next prenatal appointment) I will have another ultrasound and he will be a little more confident! 

I also am going for an appointment with a Perinatologist in a few days and I hear they can better tell you the gender. It doesn't matter to me! I am excited that we are seeing a healthy baby! 
As for me- my anemia hasn't changed much and I am still feeling a little bit of discomfort from the fibroid. My belly is already making me look 20+ weeks pregnant :-/ oh well! I also haven't completely gotten over morning sickness- but morning sickness is a good sign!  
Hopefully we will find out this week if we have a new place to move! Also- Matt should hear if he got the teaching position at Lockhart Middle School! Which us luck! 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

''God, I don't want to learn any more lessons''

Today I have been a little anxious. Well more impatient than anxious, but somewhat anxious. You see, Matt and I applied for an apartment. For where, what and how much we are looking for it's PERFECT. We tried looking for houses, but the upkeep and maintenence just seemed like to much for a rental, so apartment it is.
Well, we applied. When we initially applied I had a great feeling.  Its ''Affordable Housing'' so you have to meet specific requirements to be approved. The girl we spoke with was nice and seemed like there would be no problem getting us approved. She even had a backup plan if there were problems.
Since it was raining when we initially went in, we couldn't view the property, so we decided to stop in yesterday. Wow. My confidence in being approved went down! Another girl grabbed our paperwork and started changing things, having us resign things and questioning things. She seemed a LOT less hopeful. I also don't think she was happy with the performace of girl number one.
When we left I was frustrated to say the least. Pretty much my attitude went sour and I may have taken it out on Matt.
Today I was reflecting on it. I started ''praying'' about it. Now, I wasn't making declariations over what could happen, and these prayers definitely didn't have God's plan in mind. I wasn't trusting Him. I was telling Him what was best for ME. What I knew we can handle, not what He has in mind.
I started trying to figure out, why do I pray this way? Why am I trying to tell God what is best for me? I don't know about you, but I think I do this pretty often. I try to change God's mind to fit what I think is best, when He had my best interest in mind all along. I realized, if I wait it out and don't get my way- I will probably learn a lesson! YUCK! Who wants to learn a lesson? I mean really. I already know EVERYTHING, RIGHT?
Ever since I came to this realization, my attitude toward the situation has changed. I am more hopeful. I have started making declariations about what will happen. For example: I DECLARE that God has a place for us and it will be revealed in perfect timing. I took control of what I can, my words. I put my trust BACK in the one who is ultimately in control.
Beni Johnson says in her book The Happy Intercessor that she refuses ''to pray out of fear.'' That we should ask God how to pray, and not focus on the crisis, but on God Himself. That has always stuck with me when I pray, or have been asked to pray (or even send a prayer request, for that matter).
I leave you with this:

Jesus overcame everything long before anything happened. He overcame the WORLD. I think He can handle our apartment situation.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Our Baby Story... so far!

I am going to try to write this without giving too much information- but honestly, I can't promise anything. Those of you that have been pregnant will totally understand and those that haven't been (especially those of the male persuasion), well I apologize.
Well, it all started 15 weeks ago. Okay, jump forward a couple of weeks and I had terrible morning sickness! I mean HORRIBLE. I thought I had a stomach bug that wouldn't go away. When my mom asked if I was maybe expecting I said ''no, I don't think so!''
After almost a week of this ''stomach bug'' though, a friend recommended I take a pregnancy test. What a weird experience that is... but sure enough, there were two lines. One dark and one faint line! It was pretty easy for me to figure out our due date. Two days before my sisters birthday and one before our pastors, April 12 it was.

The first few weeks were stressful as we left a job that caused us to also to have to move. The whole situation was a mess, and very emotional for me. Thankfully our friends, The Murray's were once again our heroes and offered us a comfortable place to stay.
I still was having pretty bad ''morning sickness''. (I put it that way because it was not just in the morning- that is definitely a misnomer there.) On Saturday, August 17, I woke up excited that it was the 6 week mark. Just hanging out at home, I went to the restroom to find the one thing that you don't want to see during your pregnancy. I immediately started crying and Matt helped me go lay down. I waited to see if it would stop, but I began to have the pains they talked about, so we decided to head to the hospital.
After hours of testing, multiple ultrasounds and even an MRI, the ER doctor came in to give me the news. First, I found out (after years of thinking I was a different blood type) I am O negative blood type. Having O negative (or any negative anti-gens) is known to cause issues during pregnancy. So I was to get a shot to make sure I didn't get blood poisoning. Second on the list- I had a mass located on my uterus. Something called a Fibroid tumor. A noncancerous mass that is made up of muscle tissue and is fairly common in women.
The last bit of news was that, the diagnosis they were giving me was a miscarriage. They reassured me that I didn't do anything wrong and it was probably either the tumor or the blood antibodies that had caused the miscarriage. I also met with an OBGYN, Dr. Bosco, who came to do a final exam to figure out the next step for me. He told me he felt it was too early to make any moves (i.e. do a D and C). He said he wanted to schedule me to do blood work and come to his office for a follow up.
Matt and I went home devastated.
I told my mom, he told his mom. I told those that knew about the pregnancy.It was incredibly hard to process.
Around Tuesday after this happened, I started having morning sickness. I looked online to see if maybe there was a chance that I had been misdiagnosed. I found that no only could I have been misdiagnosed, but it actually happens fairly often. I told a sweet friend of mine what I thought. I told her I really didn't feel like I had lost the baby. She told me a she had had something similar happen, and her daughter was now 13 years old. She said to put my hands on my belly and start praying. And so we did. I tried to not focus on the diagnosis, and even contacted my friend Nadine who is a champion of believing God's promise over doctors diagnosis. She began to pray with us!
I went and had the blood work done on Wednesday, but was unable to see the doctor until Monday.
When Monday came around, Matt and I went to the doctors office. The nurse brought me back but on the way she said ''now did they tell you you had a miscarriage at the hospital?'' I said they had. She seemed confused.
The nurse did my vitals and left me to wait for the doctor. After waiting for a while, I found out my doctor had been called in for an emergency operation. I was sort of disappointed. A labor and delivery nurse came and talked with me about my test results. When I told her I was still getting sick, she got very excited and said, ''well, usually when you miscarry, your HGC levels go down, but yours have done the opposite!'' She went on to tell me that they would want to do an ultrasound when the doctor was available, but we would have to reschedule. She also said she would like for me to do more blood work. So Matt and I left to do the blood work, not sure when we would see the doctor. As we pulled out, the nurse called and asked if we could come back after the blood work was done. The doctor really wanted to check into my case. So we did.
I was brought back to a room. The doctor came in and told me once again my HGC levels had gone up, so he wanted to do an ultrasound. He started the ultrasound and showed me the Fibroid, and then.... he saw a tiny baby with a tiny heartbeat. I don't think there has been a moment in my life that has given me more relief. They brought Matt back into the room so he could see the baby also.
Baby Monk! Look at that big head!

I did have one other hospital visit, another scare, but while I was in a lot of pain, the baby was fine.  My doctor told me that Baby Monk seems to be unaware that anything has been threatening her/him. I say this baby is going to be super adventurous and a serious risk taker!
Baby Monk is considered a High Risk pregnancy, so resting is at the top of my list. Unfortunately I am not able to work, so Matt is our sole bread winner right now, but Baby Monk and I are so excited to have him as our hero.
I try not to worry, but sometimes I can't help it. I guess that's just part of being a mom, right?
I do think it's important to tell others of what I am going through. First, so that those of you that I have missed in the past couple of months know that I am just not able to do as much as I was before. Also I want to encourage those of you who have had difficulties in your pregnancy to bring light to your situation. I have received so much prayer that I think Baby Monk will come out praying :)