Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Blessings in Disguise

Back in January my husband and I found out I was pregnant with what would be our third child.  Things seemed normal except for the fact that I wasn't quite as sick as I normally am when I'm pregant.  I was still not well, and still having trouble with morning sickness but nothing like usual.  With my first two I had A LOT of trouble with feeling sick pretty much the entire pregnancy, and even needing medication to be able to keep any food or liquid down with my second.  I still felt sick though, and was just happy it wasn't as bad a usual.  I went in for my first ultrasound and they saw the baby didn't seem as far along as we thought.  No one was woried though because we just figured the dates were off and they wanted me to come back in for another ultrasound in a couple of weeks.

During this time I had been a little apprehensive about the next ultrasound just because I'd never been off on my dates like that before.  I waited anxiously for it because I knew I would feel better once I saw things were progressing.  The day of the next ultrasound came, and as the technician looked for the baby I immediately knew something was wrong.  She didn't say anything and was very kind and professional, but she couldn't locate the baby.  When she finally did it hadn't changed as much as it should have in that time and there was no heartbeat.  She left the room to find the doctor and the tears I had been holding in as she let me know what was going on could be held no longer.  I sat there waiting, and praying, and hoping that the tears would stop before she returned; they didn't.  I know they deal with these things all the time and thankfully the ultrasound technichian at my doctor's office is wonderful and she did her best to make me feel better.  The doctor didn't see me immediately that day, but had me do another blood test and scheduled an appointment for a week later.

So, I went home.

On the way I called my husband and at work and told him the news.  The tears that had dried before I left the office were back in full force.  Probably not the best idea to make that phone call while driving home on the freeway, but I wasn't thinking about that at the moment.  He tried his best to comfort me, and he did.  He reminded me that everything was in God's hands and whether the baby ended up being alright or not we would be ok.  I knew he was right, but it was still a hard day.  But from the moment my ultrasound ended I had begun praying, and didn't really stop.  We told a few close friends and family about what we were dealing with and I have no doubt they all began to pray for us immediately, and continued to until we knew for sure what was going on.

Over the next few days I met with my doctor several times and she let me know my pregnancy was not progressing normally.  My hormone levels weren't rising as quickly as they should be and there was still no heartbeat.  After a final blood test the results showed the hormone levels beginning to drop, and that along with no continued growth or heartbeat determined the fetus was not viable and I had had a miscarriage.  They told me to talk with my husband and decide which route we wanted to take...wait for the fetus to pass naturally, take medication that would cause my body to pass the fetus within a few days, or schedule a surgery to have everything removed.  We opted for the surgery.  I was still feeling very sick and it was much harder to deal with that when I knew it wasn't leading to a healthy baby, but was just my body's reaction to hormones that still remained.  We decided we just wanted to put everything behind us and not continue to wait for the fetus to pass on it's own; which could've taken anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to happen.  It had already been 10 weeks since I found out I was pregnant and continuing the process any longer would've been difficult.

You're probably reading this and thinking, "You titled this Blessings in Disguise??!"  But it's true, even though things didn't turn out the way I had hoped it was still a blessing, and God was still with us.  He deserves our praise when we get the answers we want and when we don't, and I don't want to deny Him that which He is worthy of.  There are some specific blessings we had during all of this though.

First of all, I decided to get a new doctor with this pregnancy.  I'd had the same one for my first two deliveries and although I didn't dislike my doctor I didn't really love him either.  So I looked for a new one.  I didn't want to ask any of my friends for recommendations because we weren't ready to share the news yet, so I did an online search and found a doctor with great reviews right near my house.  The reviews were right and she is wonderful.  I'm so glad I had her during this time instead of my old docotor, I just know he would not have had such a good bedside manner.

Second, I was administered to before I found out the end result of my pregnancy and I know I was immediately blessed.  I felt a peace I hadn't felt before and knew no matter what happened that everything was ok.  And after that I was willing to accept any answer God chose to give even if it meant the baby wasn't going to be ok.  My husband's grandfather was one of the ones who did the administration and he told me when it was done he didn't know what the Lord had done, but he had blessed me because he could feel it.  He was right.

Third, my surgery went very very well.  It was quick and simple with no complications.  I had been warned of possible pain and other side effects from it and I didn't have a single one.  I didn't need the pain prescription and never needed any pain medication at all.

Finally, I am so blessed to be surrounded by loving friends and family who were there to support us through it all.  God knows who we need in our lives and puts them in our path if we allow him to guide us.  I could not be more blessed with a caring husband and the best friends I could ever ask for.

These thoughts have been on my heart and mind today and I just felt I should share them with whoever might happen to stop by and read it.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

"O" is for Octopus

One of the most fun themes we've had in school so far is definitely the "O" is for octopus. Probably because the teacher learned as much as the student. I knew the octopus lives in water, it has 8 arms and no bones. But I guess I missed out on the marine biology lesson that taught about all the super cool other things that an octopus can do. So needless to say we watched A LOT of youtube videos about octopus camoflage!  (They were just so cool I couldn't stop!)

You must forgive my horrible photography skills here.  I have a point and shoot camera and kids who are trying to "help" me take pictures so I'm basically looking at them and aiming the camera somewhere at the table.  That being said even if they weren't there it probably wouldn't look any better.  But alas, I digress...I'll get back to the point.  This is a picture of a few of the things we did to help us learn more about the octopus as well as the letter "O".  Since you really can't see any of them up close I will try and explain them a bit.  Next time I will try and plan better and get some individual pictures up close to really show what he's learning.

We traced those cute little four year old hands to make an octopus and then found pictures of other sea creatures to make a collage.

The sheet with the letter O and picture of an octopus in the left corner is a sound discrimination worksheet.  Several pictures are given, some beginning with the "o" sound and some that don't. Circle the ones that do, x out the ones that don't.  I think this is incredibly boring, but this is always one of his favorite things to do each week.  He says the name of the picture and then "YES! it does!" and cirlces it.  Or, "NOOOOOO, it sure doesn't!" and x's it out with a big flourish!

One page is a math sheet where he chooses a number from a cup, writes it and then draws an object of his choosing that many times.  For example he picks the number 4:  He writes a 4 in the space provided and then draws 4 balloons.  During math we also do story problems.  I tell him a story and each time he hears a number he writes it down.  Then he solves the problem by drawing a picture.  (Seriously need pictures here instead of all these words!!)

The little yellow book you see there is the first book he read all by himself.  It's called "Pam", and has a total of five words.  He was SO proud! (And so was mom!)

We also made an octopus out of a paper plate and put an octopus fact on each arm, and did an octopus quiz.  I know I know, quizzes at only four years old?!  I'm quite the task master!  He loves it though.  He gets excited when I can't "trick" him.  If he gets an answer right I didn't trick him, he was too smart for me.  By the way the quiz was just YES/NO questions like:  An octopus lives on land.  YES   NO Then he circles the right answer.

I did get one photo up close, and yes another horrible picture.  Professional photography is not in my future!  Anyway...this worksheet is one of the begining reading activities in our curriculum.  He reads the words aloud without my help.  Each one he gets right on the first try he gets a sticker or a star.  (This week he couldn't decide if he wanted stickers or stars so we did both!)  He's doing so well with his reading.  He only missed one word, and that's because he read it doll-l-l (with the 2 "l" sounds separately at the end).  Then as soon as he finished he looked at me and said "That's not a word."  I told him the way he said it wasn't and that when two letters are together in a word you only say the sound once.  (We had never talked about double letters before that day.)  So he looked at it again and said "doll".  I should've given him a star, but since the rules of the game (we call it a game...pretty fun games we play at our house huh??) are you have to get it on the first try he didn't get the star this time. 

That's just a small look at our how school has been going so far this year.  It's been so much fun, and little brother likes to join in too.  He's learning a lot of his letters and numbers and likes to be a part of things as much as he can be.  As much as I loved (and sometimes didn't love so much) teaching as a career before I had my first son it can't even compare to teaching my own children.  I love watching them grow and learn.  I'm so thankful I have this opportunity to stay home with them so I don't miss a thing!