Thursday, March 26, 2009

quick

I'm heading out the door for good Mexican so this will be brief....

Good Dr. appt today. Still no fluid but the baby's growth is almost right on target.
2.32lbs and gestationally 28w1d whereas I'm 28w5d. Only a difference of 4 days which is normal to fluctuate up and down. Heart rate was 125 and that is okay but it's the lowest it's ever been at a check-up so a little worrysome. The baby kicked so hard once that even Melinda felt it through her US wand. Funny.

Again, they are saying GIRL so we cried a little in the waiting room and Jeremy is upset because he really did want a girl. Having one just makes this a little more painful right now. So happy-sad but I guess we are going to use the pronoun SHE and the name Elizabeth Ann for now. What's worse calling a He, She or vice versa???

Dr. Stutts is still great. He's just a sweet man with a kind demeanor. We love him for loving us and taking good care of us and Elizabeth (weird to type that). Pray for him as he continues to help us through this journey because I'm sure that this isn't the first time he's had a family in distress. It must be an emotional rollercoaster for a doctor when they know what the most likely outcome will be but try to remain positive and give the best treatment possible.

Cheese dip calls. Hey, I'm pregnant what do you expect.

Love,
Johnna

Followers

Prayer requests for this week(end):

1. That we have a great appointment today with Dr. Stutts and his staff. I am always nervous the day of an appointment and cannot seem to stop the crazy thoughts that run through my brain. I have to have the Rh+ shot today and normally I'm fine with shots, blood, mole removal, pain in general... BUT I had a really bad experience in week 5 at a local hospital and the memory of that LONG night in the ER has me a little anxious today. Long story short, I had some mild spotting one day (had been on my feet all day and overdone it a little) and we decided to go to the ER just in case. Everything looked fine on the ultrasound but they decided to give me the Rh+ shot just in case I did miscarry at somepoint. Well, they really messed up and forgot to put some bracelet on me after typing my blood and ended up having to do the whole process again (another 2 hours). I was exhausted, scared, mad as a wet hen and truly ticked that they had bruised the top of BOTH hands trying to put in an IV so now I looked like a junkie. See what I mean.... BAD EXPERIENCE. I know today will be better!!

2. That I not lose my mind and get "pregnant" lady on someone this weekend. :) This is honor band weekend and I'm the chair this year so I feel responsible for the ultimate success of the event, naturally. I'm not worried about the students (they are usually very well-behaved during these events) but I know that something will come up that usually wouldn't bother me but now does. I'm just not as relaxed as I once was and do not take surprises as well. Just ask Jeremy... We've always been big on trying to scare each other but lately it has made me MAD when he tries to sneak up on me. I punched him hard the other night when he did it and went to bed ready to smother him in his sleep. So, if you are a SABDA member, please do not be offended if I get unusually upset about something small or if I can't seem to make a decision about something.... It's just how it is for me right now.

If you've been "following" the blog, then you've probably noticed that the number of followers has steadily grown and that just amazes me. But what is even crazier is that there are probably 4 times as many people "following" that aren't registered as "followers." Everytime I turn around, someone says "Oh, I read about your parents coming to visit this weekend" or "I just loved the maternity clothes post" or "We've been reading the blog and are praying for you guys." In my mind, there are only 55 people reading the blog regularly (because that's what I see listed on the page) but in reality there may be hundreds of people actually reading. To you "Followers," THANK YOU for your quiet support and continued prayers.

My mom complained to me that she has wanted to post a comment but didn't know how yet (she's learned a lot about computers of the past few years and wants to learn more) and others have told me that they wanted to post a comment but do not have a Google account, etc... I had a choice when I created the blog to allow for anonymous posts but after reading "Bring the Rain Blog," I knew that that wasn't the best idea for me. Now, when you post a comment, I actually moderate that comment and choose whether or not to post it. Not all comments get posted.... Sorry but sometimes a comment just strikes me as odd or may even irritate me to the point that I do not want it on our blog. Yes, it's a little of my control freak coming out.

Anywho, thanks for reading today and if you live in Alabama, I hope that you have a canoe!! It is like Noah's Ark in North Alabama today!

Love,
Johnna

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Names

Our SS class has been doing a series of lessons on prayer... How perfect for us right now! And today Mrs. Sheila asked us if we have ever had a time in our lives where we either felt the prayers of others or felt that our prayers for others were being answered. HELLO?!? Yes, would be the answer to that question! I have felt lifted up on days where everything was dark and have been able to dress myself for work, not sit and cry in the shower, not throw-up in the shower because I've been crying so much, etc... I've felt YOUR prayers and that has meant more to me than I could ever adequately express but please know that I am truly thankful for you all.

I get these little postcards in the mail from my Aunt Carol's church every few weeks or so and they say "I prayed for you today at the altar." The ladies that have sent these are members of my Aunt Carol's SS class and they have been diligent in sending cards and prayers our way. It brightens my day when I get those little notes from these sweet Godly ladies and know that they have prayed for me and the baby hundreds of times for every one card or note that I get. They are truly prayer warriors that love not only my sweet Aunt Carol but our little family as well. FYI: Aunt Carol makes the best okra ever and I'm an okra connoisseur so I know good okra. Well, it's especially good when Uncle Donald grows it and Aunt Carol cooks it... It's just not the same otherwise. I want some right now... Dang it!!!

Well, we are week 28 and are beginning to prepare for the birth of our baby and I'm scared, excited, hopeful, nervous beyond all comprehension, prepared, unprepared, concerned about every choice we've made up until now, confident in the choices we've made.... you name it and I've felt it over the past few days. We have an appointment on Thursday (26th) and will have another ultrasound as well as Rh+ treatment since Jeremy and I have polarized blood types (he's + and I'm - ....and no that is not a reflection of our general personality differences). It's a very common practice and just one of those things we need to do to protect future children from having to undergo blood transfusions and other unnecessary procedures after birth.

Jeremy and I were both lucky enough to be given great names that have served us well in our lives. Jeremy Owen and Johnna Beth. They fit us perfectly but naming our own baby has had some bumps along the way. We started talking about baby names before we were even married and have not agreed on many names since! When we found out that we were pregnant, the name discussions began again but with a more serious undertone and we both clearly took sides. I am all for the continuance of the "J" first name and Jeremy believes and I quote that "The madness must stop." :) So I was holding firm and so was he when we found out the news in late December and then our attitudes changed. We realized that this name would not be one that we would get to yell from the back porch when someone was late for dinner, or one that we would say in it's entirety and with emphatic inflection when someone was about to be punished, or one that we would hear being said at those momentous times in life such as a graduation or a wedding. It was a name that needed to be given but not one that we would get to say as often as a parent should. With that in mind, we scrapped all of our previous names and started fresh. We also decided that we would not use the non-used name for another child should we have one of the opposite gender in the future. Both of these names are so inherently belong to our FIRST child that we could never name another THEIR name.

Boy- Robert Anderson Stafford - Jeremy's father was Robert Harris Stafford III and Jeremy's grandfather was obviously Robert Harris Stafford II. Oddly enough, his maternal grandfather, lovingly called Pop-Pop was Robert Eugene Lee. So, Robert just felt like a natural choice for this baby if it were a boy. Anderson is a family name on my mom's side that I have always liked.

Girl- Elizabeth Ann Stafford - Elizabeth is not only my Dad's mom's name (Elizabeth Burroughs Jones- she passed away just before my parents were married but I've always felt like I knew her because everyone says that my Aunt Carol is so much like her) but it is also Jeremy's mom's middle name (Barbara Elizabeth Lee Stafford) and my middle name is Beth so we have many special Elizabeth's in our families. Ann comes from my mom's side of the family- Rebecca Ann Hopkins Davis was my Grandmother (mom's mom) who I loved dearly. She passed away my freshman year of college and we miss her still. The other Ann is my aunt, Margaret Ann Davis Hayden- If you know Margaret, then you know why I love her....

So, just waiting for Thursday and hoping for a good ultrasound. Thank you for loving us and Robert Anderson.... Or Elizabeth Ann, whichever the case may be. :)

-Johnna

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Missing Dewey

I just felt the need to post some Dewey pics & videos. I miss him at work everyday!! People probably think I'm nuts but that pup has more personality in one toenail than most humans have in their whole bodies. He instinctively knows when I need him to be close and he knows when I'm okay enough for him to leave the room to snack or chase cats. The video below is from a few years ago when Dewey made his "stage debut" as the "$5 dog" in the school play, Cheaper by the Dozen. It was just funny that they actually listed him in the program as "Dewey Stafford."


video


I also had to post a photo of Mom and Dad's cat, Beau-Beau. Beau started off as my cat in college but has become a permanent fixture in my parents home and he now thinks of me as that girl that brings the nosey dog. Beau weighs approximately 32 lbs. Yes, you read that correctly. 32 POUNDS. And he's a beautiful color too...Peach and white. He has so much fur that he goes to the groomer's about 4 times a year for a bath and a shave. Beau feels like peach fuzz after his grooming and LOVES to be scratched and adored after his grand ordeal.





Video Woes

Yes, I know.... There is no video for you to see!! So SORRY!! I can only upload a certain size and I'm just new to the video thing so I haven't figured out how to edit yet. Working on it, I promise!

We went to Pelham this weekend to celebrate Jeremy's birthday and had fun with the fam. Did a little shopping on Saturday and then ate at Ali Baba's in Hoover (Jeremy's pick)... It was great, as usual! Jeremy has forced me to be an adventurous eater and I've gotten over many of my food phobias due to his "eat it or else" attitude! Next time, Taj India in the downtown area.... :)

This week, my parents are on their spring break and have graciously offered to help me with my pitiful front yard. I've not been in the mood to do much outside this fall/winter so it's well past time for a clean-up/sprucing up. We are looking forward to their visit and I'm sure the cats are excited about extra petters in the house. Mom says "A visit to Johnna's is never dull. Something is always moving!" So true. Dewey stayed in Pelham this week to enjoy a little Granpa and Jo-Jo time so I'm sure that he'll be depressed when he comes home to his gluten-free food and harem of cats.

We finally broke down a got internet at home.... In a way, I'm glad but otherwise I could have continued to go without it. Jeremy is being removed from his office for almost a whole year due to major renovations so he really needed to be able to work from home. Many of his classes each semester are online (3 out of 4) so having access is a necessity right now for him. BUT we did get a DVR and wow! In the words of Ginger... "It will change your life." :)

Please remember that the March of Dimes - Walk for Babies is coming up soon. Any contribution to the team would be greatly appreciated!! No gift is too small!!!

love,
johnna

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Girl??

Yesterday was a regular OB visit (26 weeks) and the ultrasound was the best we've had so far. As the baby grows, it is easier to see the body, legs, hands and especially face. Yesterday, there was a small amount of fluid (which is normal- I do have some fluid) near the baby's face which made for a better ultrasound quality!! We were able to watch and video portions of the ultrasound and got a great video of the baby moving his mouth and arms. I'm still saying "he" even though our ultrasound technician has said twice that she thinks it could be a girl. It's just not definite enough for me to call him "her" yet. We have another appointment in 2 weeks (3/24) and if it's still looking like it could be a girl then I'll start calling him "her."

Honestly, Jeremy and I DO NOT CARE about the sex of this precious baby but knowing boy or girl makes this harder in some respects. Yes, we could buy a few blue or pink items but putting a gender to the baby gives them their name (which we've already decided upon), which in turn makes this very real knowing that the chosen name will be the one on their birth and most likely death certificate. So as much as I thought I wanted to know.... I'm not sure that I really want a definite answer... Maybe just an inkling.

The appointment was good overall (other than me gaining a few lbs. - oy veh). Everything for me has been normal. My glucose test was good, my blood pressure has been normal, urine specimens have been normal, etc.. The only thing that I've had going on is puffy hands and feet. I've upped my water each day and tried to get off my feet as much as possible in the afternoons so it has improved. Sodium is playing a part in the swelling so I'm going to try to greatly cut down my sodium intake each day.

I will repost this tomorrow with a video of the ultrasound and a good picture of the baby. These may very well be the best pictures we get before baby's arrival so please enjoy them as much as we have. It is an amazing miracle to see a baby that has such a immense physical abnormality but is still very much alive. God's miracles aren't always the ones we pray for but often the ones we get each day that are easily overlooked. Our baby's life inside of me is truly a miracle from God and we are thankful for each day we have with him (or her).

Pray for our baby. Pray for us.

Love
Johnna

Thursday, March 5, 2009

March of Dimes

A band colleague of mine and his wife lost their triplet boys in 2005 due to complications from their premature birth. This year David and Christy have been asked to represent the March of Dimes in our area. They are wonderful people with an amazing story of loss, hope and miracles. They now have an ADORABLE little girl that is the prettiest child I think I have ever seen!!

The MOD supports research and prevention of premature birth, infant mortality and birth defects. These are all important issues to Jeremy and I right now and I hope that you will consider supporting the Waters' Angels Team this year. I have joined the Waters' Angels Team and my goal is $1000. It's a little lofty but I think it's possible!! Please support the MOD and my walk with the Waters' Family (it's April 25th so I may be waddling not walking).

The March of Dimes uses your money wisely: 77% of every dollar supports research and programs that help moms have full-term pregnancies and babies begin healthy lives. And your funds are used to bring comfort and information to families whose baby was born too soon, or sick. With your help we can do more.

The MOD is also involved in the following new research:
-Research into stress and other factors that may trigger preterm labor.
-Programs to educate pregnant women to recognize the warning signs of preterm labor.
-Tools to help health care providers find better ways to detect women who may be at risk for preterm labor.

Circus

Another Non-posted post.... This is the post I did after the Circus but haven't really felt up to posting it until today. I'm a proof-reader and usually take a day or so to re-read what I've written..... I learned from the master of proofing. Thanks Dad!

Jeremy loves Thai food (I'm learning) so I scouted a new Thai resturant in the 5points area of Huntsville called Thai Garden. I've heard that it was really the most authentic and non-yuppy version in the Huntsville area. IT WAS!! We had a combination appetizer of wonton, spring roll and shrimp which was great. I had my Thai favorite, Pad Thai with chicken and Jeremy had some curry dish that was rated with 3 stars (***) which translates to "We'll cleanse your colon from the inside out" in Thai. No, I did not try any of it.
After much ado with parking, we made it in to the circus and found our seats. I was already hungry again.... But waited until just before intermission for a pretzel and dippin-dots ice cream. During intermission, I ran into my buddy, Jill and her son Jeremiah. I met Jill in 1994 when I played on her sister's (Ginger) bassoon recital at the School of Fine Arts in Birmingham. Little did the three of us know that our paths would cross again (many times over actually) and that we would become lifelong friends. Their family is like my extra family in Mobile and I've probably spent a month or more in and out of their house over the years (heading to and from the beach, the Antique Roadshow, weddings, babies, etc...). Jill and her husband live about 30 minutes from Jeremy and I and we attempt to see each other when possible!! We are all just too busy sometimes!!
Jeremy got an early birthday present (new digital camera) and was excited to use it when taking these pictures! We've been without a digital camera for almost 8 months now because I had ours at school last year (May) and it was stolen by someone. I've begged and begged all year and refused to buy another one believing that someone would turn it in but no luck. It is very disappointing to have someone you probably know well steal something you would give them if they really needed it.....
Dr. appointment on Tuesday (10th). We're still hoping that we'll find out boy or girl. I've started a few projects that would be so much easier with blue or pink (instead of yellow and green) so keep your fingers crossed and PRAY for a great ultrasound!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Non-Posted Post

My sweet cousin, Karen, and I were talking yesterday afternoon and I just have to say that I love her so much! She's one of the ones that I can be honest with and she doesn't think I'm nuts (well, she may but she won't let on that she does). We were talking about the blog and she said "I'm glad that you had a good week last week." Well, I didn't have a good week entirely but there were good days and we talked about that for a while. It has been hard for me to be completely open about the bad days because they are bad and I want to forget them as quickly as possible. I find myself attempting to mask my sadness and depression because I know it makes other people uncomfortable which in turn makes me feel even worse. Catch 22, right. And the strange thing is this- There are 2 camps of people out there loving and supporting us.
Camp 1 - Thinks we are okay because we are not blubbering 24/7 and completely wrecked.
Camp 2- Thinks that we are NOT okay because we are not blubbering 24/7 and completely wrecked.
It's kinda funny if you think about it. :)

Just so both camps can see where they are right and wrong... Here it is. I have bad days, really bad days sometimes. Days where I get a pain in my back and shoulders that goes up my neck and covers my head. Bad days make my eyes hurt and I just want to shut them and never open them again. Bad days make me angry, tired, hungry (but nothing tastes right), achy, sleepless, short-tempered, etc... If you were an avid child reader, you may remember the book "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day." That is how I feel on those days but even worse.


A few weeks ago, Jeremy and I began talking about the funeral plans that we made in January and how we unhappy with the limited choices in infant caskets. Although we're praying for healing and a miracle, we cannot avoid planning for what will happen if that miracle isn't performed. We also want to know that every choice we've made for our baby is one that pleases God and allows us no regrets and that takes a good deal of advanced planning. Jeremy decided that making the baby's casket would make us both feel better and was the right thing to do in this situation. I have not wanted to be involved in this project so Jeremy has completely taken it on himself. I'm not sure how many people have made a casket for their unborn first child, but you have to realize that it is truly the hardest thing that Jeremy has ever done. The pain I see in my precious husband's eyes each day makes me love him more and more because I know he is doing this out of unconditional love for our baby and for me. He is the strongest person I know but the most kind and gentle at the same time.

This is a prayer I wrote a week or so ago but never posted. This is how I feel on good days and I'm thankful that God gives me so many of them.

Thank you God for giving me the chance to be a mom. You answered my prayers with this pregnancy and I'm truly grateful for your grace and love. Our baby is perfect in your eyes and will always be perfect in our hearts. I know that you are with me every moment of the day. Thank you for letting our precious baby be a comfort to us during these hard times. His little movements and changes allow us to be joyful in his presence in our lives. Please give us the strength to be positive parents to our baby during the next few months. We want to live our lives as an example to those who are also suffering or those who may not know your love and peace. Please give us the chance to hold our precious baby and love on him as long as we can. Thank you for our great blessings and our health and security. I love you, I love you.

Continue to pray for our strength and peace.

Love,
-Johnna