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.