Sunday, October 4, 2009

Back to the grind

I went back to work Thursday. It was like ripping off a band-aid. I think it's because it is another ending, another transition. It was overwhelming. But it was also a relief. I am not sitting around with nothing to do. Now I have too much to do! I am trying not to over-do it but it is hard to do. I'll be fine, going full speed ahead and then bam! I hit a wall and I am exhausted and drained. I'm having to learn my limits. But I am impatient to just move on. When I say 'moving on' I in no way mean forgetting. I want to always honor and remember my beautiful daughter. That is why I am researching and trying to start an organization. God is showing me the direction He wants me to go - forward. Moving on, following His direction and plans. 

My life is not what I imagined in March when I first found out I was pregnant. But I am so thankful for the many ways God has blessed us. Jamie and I have put God at the center of our relationship. Our marriage is stronger in so many ways. I wonder if we would be where we are now without Alyssa. I don't know. But because of Alyssa my husband now wants to go to church every Sunday, wants to do daily devotionals with me and prays with me! God is so amazing! As hard as it is without our little girl, I now have the comfort in knowing one day we will all be together again. I look forward to that day. Until then I will do whatever I have to - whatever God leads me to do. And now I am not doing it alone. Praise God!

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Let me first say that God is so good. He's blessed me in so many ways. Without the gift of Alyssa I would not have this story. I know that He is leading me where He wants me to go. So I am trying my best to keep sharing the story. My mom found tickets for Creation Festival with Jars of Clay, Thousand Foot Crutch, FM Static, This Beautiful Republic, Audio Unplugged and B. Reith. I made business cards asking people to 1) join Prayers for Alyssa Marie on Facebook and 2) visit this blog to read about her story. If you are one of the people we handed cards to thank you for stopping by!! 

God continually amazes me. I've always been a half-full type of person. But I am still amazed at all of the support and encouragement from so many people - thousands of people!! I'll never truly know the impact my little girl has made. Praise God - even though it is the hardest thing I've ever been through.

Sometime in the near future I hope to start an organization to help others. If you know how to do so please email me information! I know that this is a great way to give God glory and continue to keep the amazing story of my little girl alive. My first mini-mission was to hand out 100 cards (thanks to my husband, mom and friend). We even gave them to the awesome bands at Creation Festival (so worth the money to go!!). Mission accomplished. I see them as seeds...what will you do? Take my mini-mission (if you dare)- tell a friend, family member or even a total stranger how great God is and forward this link. If you got a card today pass it on. Let's continue to glorify Him!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hold My Heart

We had Alyssa's service Saturday, August 19. It was beautiful. I couldn't have asked for anything better to honor and celebrate Alyssa's life. It was also hard. But having friends and family with us helped tremendously. Jamie and I were able to read poems for our little girl. I don't know how we did it but we did.

It still continues to amaze me at how my little girl has impacted others. Every day when I check the mail there are cards from people I don't know saying how much she has touched them. Thank you to everyone who has thought of us. Your words encourage and comfort us.

Here is a link to a video we showed at her service.

Monday, September 14, 2009


I always knew the day would come but not like this. We chose to have Alyssa cremated because we are military. We didn't want to bury her in a place that we are not able to visit frequently. Yesterday we went to pick her up.

One part of me was happy; my little girl was going home to be with us. But a large part of me was sad. On the drive back to Columbia I was able to push aside those feelings and enjoy the drive. But driving to the funeral home I became anxious and I could feel my throat starting to get tight. My heart was aching and I felt like I was in a fog. It seemed surreal to me that we were on our way to get our baby.

I cried because I hurt and because I was thankful to have her back. I cried because I can't see her anymore but I also cried tears of joy that I will see her again. So many thoughts went through my head but the one that was the most frequent was "thank you Lord". Without the gift of Alyssa I would not have this journey - as sad as it is sometimes. I am just thankful to have this opportunity that God has given me to share our story. It still amazes me that a tiny little girl was able to bring so many people to their knees.

Saturday is Alyssa's service. I'm looking forward to it but I'm also dreading it. Every step we take makes the situation more real. It's like finalizing something that I don't want finalized if that makes sense. But I guess it also pushes us forward - a direction that we need to continue to go in as hard as it may be. I will post something this weekend after her service. I know a lot of people want to attend but are not able to.

Friday, September 11, 2009


I am writing this simply because I need to. I don't want to but I feel like I need to. I couldn't do it yesterday but after praying I feel like I can today.

I stayed up until 1:00 am watching Alyssa's screen that showed her heartbeat, oxygen level and blood pressure. It was only when her numbers were good that I fell asleep. Every now and then I would wake up and look and her numbers were good. All through the night. Then I woke up to the alarm for her oxygen. I saw that her heartrate and blood pressure had dropped as well. I think I knew then. I sat and prayed. I prayed that God would see her through it like He had all those other times.

But her numbers kept dropping. I prayed again for strength. I went over to Alyssa, sang to her and told her that we loved her. I told her that we would understand if she needed to stop. I told her we loved her and would see her again. I couldn't handle being there anymore so I told my husband I was going to take a quick break. I went into the room the hospital provided for us and broke down. I prayed again. "Let Your will be done". Then I went back to her room.

When I went back there were doctors and nurses everywhere. They were bagging her to get her oxygen levels up. Her heart rate was going down. A doctor asked if we wanted them to do chest compressions. They had asked this the day before and explained that it wouldn't help her. It would only prolong the inevitable. And I knew. I knew that today was the day she was going home. The doctor said that we could hold her. So that's what we did.

I held my baby girl and I sang to her. We told her how much we loved her, how proud we were of her. I honestly believe that she would have kept fighting but I knew she was tired. I knew she was holding on for us. I couldn't make her do it anymore for my selfish reasons.

Right now I'm heartbroken. I know she is with Jesus and it does provide comfort to me. But the human side of me can't help but want my little girl. I know God's plan is perfect but the human side of me can't understand why. This is the hardest thing we've ever been through. Our little girl has touched so many people and I am so thankful that God chose us to be her parents. I am so proud of my little girl, my Alyssa Marie.

God doesn't make mistakes. Our little girl was never a mistake, the way she was born was never a mistake. As hard as this is I know it isn't a mistake. We got 11 wonderful days with our little girl. I choose to remember those wonderful moments with our angel. But it is also those wonderful moments that make me break down.

Please continue to pray for us. Please pray for those who are angry and pray that they don't turn away from Him. I will probably do an update later next week. We plan on having a memorial service for her next weekend.

Alyssa Marie - we love you dearly.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Putting up a good fight

I don't think the doctors expected Alyssa to make it this long. The night was promising - all her vitals were strong and good. I was able to sleep (not very well but enough). But then I woke up to the sound of an alarm and saw that all of her vitals are down. She is again at this point where there is nothing else to give her and it is in God's hands. I look at her and admire everything about her. Her little hands and feet, her perfect lips. I can't help but wonder if I will ever get to see her grow up and it breaks my heart. I keep reminding myself that there is a reason for all of this. But the human side of me is getting tired of seeing my little girl fight so hard to live. It hurts to see her the way she is. All I can do is pray - whatever the outcome.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


We were called in earlier. The doctors have done everything they can for our little girl. What happens is in God's hands. I am typing this from my phone. I know God knows best but my heart aches with the thought of not seeing my little girl. She is giving a good fight - it is so hard to see her like she is. The doctors and nurses all did everything they could. God has a plan and I need to ask what do I need to learn from this and not why. I pray God gives us peace and strength. I am so thankful that God chose us to be her parents. I am so blessed from this experience. I am so proud of my little angel and thankful for all the moments we've shared. Thank you all for your prayers.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Praying for Wet Diapers

My poor baby girl is swollen. It is hard to look at her; it looks so uncomfortable. Someone removed a piece of tape and it ripped off a little piece of skin. Her skin is so tight because it is stretched out from all the excess fluid. It hurts my heart to see her this way. I am praying constantly for wet diapers. It goes on and on in my head. They gave her a diuretic to help her pee more but for now we are playing the waiting game.

On a positive note Alyssa received a letter from her grandpa in Korea. I guess there is a way to submit an email through the hospital's website and they print it out on cute little paper and deliver it to the NICU. I cried so hard when I read it. Thank you Papa Dos! :) Also the xray came back and she has no pneumatosis. God is good!


During rounds today one of the doctors said that there was a possibility of pneumatosis. I asked our nurse after the docs left what that meant and she said that it is basically an infection. So they are doing an x-ray at noon today so we should have a better answer then. So I am praying for NO pneumatosis or pneuma-NO-sis. :)

Urine output is still a concern. Her swelling keeps going up; I feel so awful for her. And to think 2 days ago she had double digit cc diapers! But she has had some major changes in the past couple of days: she's off her blood pressure medicines; she's off the ventilator and having to breathe more on her own; she's not getting platelets or blood transfusions as often. So maybe she just needs a couple days of rest and for her body to adjust to all the changes. She is moving around more than she was yesterday but I can tell that she just needs to rest. So when we visit her we just sit there looking at her, hoping and praying that she will feel better. I know we aren't the only ones praying and that comforts me to know so many people worldwide are praying for her. Throughout this whole experience (from finding out she has down syndrome to being in the NICU) I've learned so much more how God is faithful and just plain awesome. I'll post an update later on the pneumatosis.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Feisty Little One - FLO for short :)

Alyssa has a temper! It is so funny to see her get upset. She scrunches up her face and balls up her fists. She gets upset when the nurses suction her (well I would too), when I mess with her feet, when she can't locate a noise in the room...But my mom says that's why she is fighting every day!

I am so thankful for all of the people who love her. So many people have helped us - even when we haven't asked. God is so good. We've had a lot of really good friends come up to see her and I am so thankful that they would drive 2 hours just to see her. It is really nice to see friends - it keeps me positive. Some friends came up the other day and left a little rock with the word "pray" on it. I saw a cute photo opportunity and had Jamie put it on her hand (after sanitizing it!). Here is a picture of it even though it is a little hard to read. Thank you for all of your prayers for our little girl. Please continue to pray!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

She's Wonderful

I love when people compliment Alyssa. Today a doctor came in the room. She was looking at Alyssa and I turned and looked at her. It looked like she was thinking and then she said "She's wonderful." I couldn't help but feel happy and so proud. I am also so happy when they say how good she is doing or when they are able to decrease something. I am filled with love and pride for my sweet little girl. Like today when the nurse told me that she was off all of her blood pressure medicines! Woo hoo! Or when the nurse told me that she had a 17 cc diaper. Who would have thought that we would want to jump up and down for a wet diaper? They are also adding lipids to her drip which will give her more calories to help fatten her up. Her weight is double what it was when she was born, but it is just from the swelling from all the liquids they give her. But the more she pees the more it will help the swelling.

Today when I went in after shift change I had a wonderful surprise. The nurse put on a pink little bow and Jamie and I just melted when we saw her. She just looks so precious with the pink bow. We may not be able to dress her but we can accessorize!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Turning a Corner

Nurse Sally said that Alyssa has really turned a corner. I love that the nurses get excited because Alyssa is doing so much better. We all rejoice when she has a wet diaper, when she doesn't require as much oxygen support, when she opens her eyes. I was talking with Nurse Sally (who has been with her the majority of the time) and we were talking about how good she looks. She is slowly turning more and more pink and her swelling is going down gradually. Her facial features are more prominent and she moves her arms and hands better. In fact she grips my pinky finger. We are trying to get her to suck her fingers but Alyssa jerks her hand back when I move my hand from hers. She is also becoming more alert and responsive. She tries so hard to open her eyes and keep them open when I talk or sing to her. But sometimes when there is an unexpected sound in the room she'll pop her eyes open quickly to look and then shut them just as fast. You can see in this picture that her nose is more prominent. Her eyes look like they are dark blue but it is hard to tell. Every time I close my eyes I see her perfect little face. It is so hard to be apart from her but I know that God is taking care of her and I see it more and more every day.

Friday, September 4, 2009

A Day of Firsts

I can't describe how happy I am!!! In my earlier post I mentioned that today was the day and indeed it was! Alyssa is doing so well. Today she was able to be moved on her side and tummy. The doctor removed her chest tubes! The nurse said she loved her tummy time. When the nurse put her on her stomach I realized that I had never seen her back. I got to see her perfect little butt. But the best part was when Alyssa opened her eyes when I was singing to her. It was truly an emotional moment - today was the first day I saw her with her eyes open. I was crying, my mom was crying and the nurses were crying. It just made me so happy to see her trying so hard to open her eyes to see me. My mom took this picture.
So I thought that was my good thing for the day. But then...I got to pick her up!! The nurse asked if I wanted to help weigh her. I agreed (anything to help my little girl) and felt anxious, excited. It was so awesome. I was so overwhelmed with joy that I was able to hold my little girl. Yes I cried. But it was just so amazing to feel her in my hands. A bonus? She didn't get stressed out and remained stable while I held her. The nurse said that they weigh her every day after shift change so I am going to make sure I am there so I can hold her every day. I am so glad that the nurses involve me. Now I can hold her, change her diaper, put lotion on her and moisten her perfect little lips.
I am so thankful that God is taking care of my little girl. I know He has great plans for her and I am so thankful that He chose me to be her mommy. I am looking forward to more firsts!

Today is the Day

Today is the day you have made. I will rejoice and be glad in it. I won't worry about tomorrow. I'm trusting in what you say. Today is the day!

I woke up this morning ready. I felt positive and filled with joy. I called down and the nurse said that Alyssa had a great night. She was able to go down on two of her blood pressure medicines, her heart rate looked really good and she peed twice!! I was going to stay in the room, take a shower and eat breakfast while waiting for the shift change but then the nurse said that Alyssa had her eyes open and was looking around this morning. I practically ran down there because I haven't seen her with her eyes open yet. But she was sleeping when I got there. I know I will see her with her eyes open and I can't wait! It is just so wonderful to see her move when I talk to her. She loves moving her arms out of her snuglet and the nurse said it is a matter of time before she starts pulling stuff out. That scares me a little but the nurse assured me that it is perfectly normal.

But what gave me so much to look forward to was what the nurse said before I left. When Alyssa is off a couple of the machines that she is on I can hold her! I can't describe to you how much I am looking forward to this. I have so much hope that it will happen soon but in the meantime I am perfectly content to sit by her little bed and watch her. I know there will be a day when I can do so much more for her and I have to keep faith and a postitive outlook. Today is the day!!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Sigh of Relief

Thank God for a better day. Alyssa got so much better in the afternoon. In fact, the nurse said that she would say that she is stable for now. Of course this doesn't mean that she will remain so and I know that we will be hit with something else eventually. But for now I am going to focus on the fact that we are making progress and we are on the right track! All of the problems that Alyssa faced this morning seemed to be fixed by the afternoon. Blood pressure? Good. In fact the nurse was able to decrease one of her blood pressure medicines when we were down in her room earlier. Heart rate? Still a little high but not as bad! I can't help but be so proud of her when the nurse tells me that she is down on her requirements. Plus she does not have to be under the phototherapy light for now.

It is amazing to see God working in her daily. Today seemed so long and I was extremely distraught. I felt guilty leaving her when she was doing so badly but I noticed that her blood pressure and heart rate were off if I kept stimulating her (talking to her, touching her). So I decided to back off and let her just rest and it seemed to do the trick. In fact, the nurse said that she became more responsive (and I got to see it tonight) and she even opened her eyes and was looking around. I have noticed that she is sucking her tubes more and moving her hands more. I can't describe how happy I am to see her doing these things.

Tonight, the nurse asked if I wanted to change her diaper and let me tell you. I was extremely anxious and nervous doing it. She is just so fragile and I didn't want to mess up any of her progress but it turned out to be ok. Here is a picture of me doing something mommy-ish for my baby!

The Honeymoon is Over

I got a call today from a doctor in the NICU at 5:45 to let me know that Alyssa is not doing well. They are having problems stabilizing her blood pressure and heart rate and they are maxed out on the blood pressure medicine that they are giving her. The doctor said that a lot of preemies start out good - the Honeymoon Period as she called it - but then start having a lot of problems. She said that it looks like our Honeymoon Period is over and now the real battle begins.

I know that God is taking care of her and I have faith that no matter what God is with us. And it is so inspiring and encouraging to see my husband pray over her and read the bible to her. I felt pretty hopeless this morning and the only thing I could think of was getting a pastor to pray for her. They called in the pastor and he came from his house to pray with us. When I thanked him for coming out he thanked us for involving him. It's amazing how much our little girl is touching so many people and I try to keep that on my mind when the road gets rough. I know there will be a lot of rough turns and I know that God is there with us all the way. No matter what I will turn to God for strength and peace. This song has been going through my head all morning and it is how I feel.

God, my God, I cry out
Your beloved needs You now
God, be near calm my fear
and take my doubt
Your kindness is what pulls me up
Your love is all that draws me in
I will lift my eyes
to the Maker
of the mountains I can't climb
I will lift my eyes
to the Calmer
of the oceans raging wild
I will lift my eyes
to the Healer
of the hurt I hold inside
I will lift my eyes, lift my eyes to You

The song is by Bebo Norman called "I Will Lift My Eyes". If you haven't heard it before check it out. It is such a great song. I will update my blog in the morning and at night. I know a lot of people are anxious to know how she is doing and I will do a better job of updating and posting information. Thank you so much for your concern and care for our little girl. I thank God for each and every one of you.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Awesome pictures

My husband's cousin did these for us and I just love them! They are absolutely beautiful! We took these today. I absolutely love the one of Jamie...when I took the pic I was planning on putting "Daddy's Little Girl" and it made me so emotional to see it there. Great minds think alike! Thank you Nicky!

Chasing Our Tails

A level goes up; a level goes down. Every time we go to see her it's always the same. They had to increase this but they were able to decrease that. The NICU nurse with her last night said that it's very much like chasing our tails. It will continue to be this way for awhile, but every day I feel like God is strengthening me more each day. I can't explain the peace and joy I've been feeling so much of lately. I just feel so comforted knowing that so many people are praying for her and that she is in such good hands. I often imagine as I'm looking at her just laying there and I want to hold her and touch her so badly that Jesus has her in His arms. It gets me quite emotional but it just makes me feel so much at peace.

I think the hardest thing for me and for a lot of my friends and family is that there isn't much we can do physically for her. We're on the sidelines cheering for each small victory and coming together for the bad times. It still amazes me to see and hear about the number of people who have joined my little girl's team. If you are on Facebook, check out the group Prayers for Alyssa Marie. My friend started it and the growth of this group just amazes and humbles me. I thank God so much for every person who has reached out to us.

Here is a picture of our little angel.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Another Day

I am so thankful for another day. Last night was hard and the only way I was able to sleep was drug-induced from my pain medicine. We went down and saw her this morning and spent over an hour with her. It's so hard to see her just laying there when just yesterday she was moving around (always that left leg!) and sucking on her tubes. They said that she needs to conserve all the energy that she has. I know so many people are rooting for her and praying. The nurses and doctors all say that she is a fighter and she is hanging on. I can only hope and pray that she will continue to do so.

The good news is that her bilirubin levels are down! So as of now she does not need that second risky procedure. Thank the Lord! We still have to have surgery to unblock her lower intestine but the doctors are going to wait to do so until she is fully stable from last night's surgery. They feel that the next surgery will go better because they do not have to lay her on her side like the did last night's surgery. Once this is fixed she can be given food and start gaining weight. Right now she is on an IV.

I will continue to post on my blog when we get updates. Again, thank you for your prayers and encouraging thoughts. I hear so many stories of people who have gone through what we are going through now or survival stories of babies smaller than our little angel. It gives me hope and strength.

Monday, August 31, 2009


Alyssa is having PDA (Patent Ductus Arteriosus) surgery tonight. This will help her blood route to her lungs. We are waiting for her oxygen levels to stabilize and then they will start the surgery. The doctor will let us know once it is finished and he says that he has done a surgery like this before on a baby smaller than Alyssa. I can only have hope and faith that God will see her through this. This isn't the only bump in the road we learned about tonight. They put her under phototheraphy lights. The doctor said that if her bilirubin levels do not decrease that she would require an extremely risky exchange transfusion. We are praying that her levels decrease and we will find out tonight if she will need the exchange transfusion.

She will need another surgery within the week to unblock a part of her intestine. The doctor says that once this is done she can be put on food.

We have so many obstacles it seems but I know everything is possible with God. We had her baptized before we left for them to prep her for surgery. It was incredibly emotional and I am so thankful that we were able to do this before her surgery. I know that no matter what God has a plan for her and for us. It has been a rough day full of ups and downs but I know that God is in control even if the outcome is not what we want. Please continue to pray for our baby girl. We can't express our gratitude for your constant prayers.

Welcome to the World Alyssa Marie

Yesterday (8/30/09) my little girl was delivered by an emergency c-section. I went in to the hospital on post because I couldn't feel her kick. The doctor said that her heartbeat sounded good but that it was dropping and that she was not responding. So he got in touch with the doctors at Columbia and I was transported to Columbia by helicopter.
I owe everything to God. When the doctor first told me that Alyssa was going to be delievered that day I started panicking. But I knew that I had to be strong and calm for her. I let God take over and I felt at peace for the majority of the ride up there. God placed the best people that I could have asked for. The nurses in the helicopter took such good care of me and the female nurse was praying for me which made me realize that we were not alone.

When I got to Columbia I was placed in a room. My husband and friend had not made it there yet. But again, God put awesome people to help me from the doctors to the nurses. My husband made it there and we were told that they were going to hold off on the c-section. I called my mom to tell her that they weren't going to deliver her today (she was getting ready for a last minute flight here). Five minutes after I told my mom, the doctors told me that I was going to be prepped for surgery in 30 minutes.

Everything seemed to fly by after that. There were some scary moments - for some reason the spinal tap was not working and I had to be poked multiple times. I ended up having to get an epidural combo (which was just more steps to administer but just as effective) and next thing I knew I felt numb from my chest down.

I just thank God so much for the doctors, nurses, friends, family and my husband. Although I could tell that he was scared he stayed with me and comforted me throughout the surgery. He was able to take pictures of our little angel. She was born at 3:16 pm (how awesome is that!) weighing in at 1.1 lbs. The nurses said that when she was being pulled out she was looking around. I couldn't see anything but I was trying to hear her cry. Turns out she is too young to do so but I didn't think to ask about that.

She is in the NICU now and is expected to stay until November 16 as long as she is able to meet all the criteria to leave. She could stay longer but I have faith that God will be with her and help her. We have such awesome support and so many people praying for her. I can't tell you how touched I am from all the encouragement we have. Thank you to everyone - words can't express our gratitude for your help, encouragement and support.

Here is a picture of Alyssa. She is such a joy to watch. She sucks on her tubes (she has a big tongue!) and loves to kick up her left leg and place it on the outside of her "snuglet". Although the circumstances weren't what we imagined I can't thank God enough for our little angel. We have a long road ahead of us, but I know that we are in good hands.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

28 Weeks

Alyssa looks good! These are the words of the doctor. We had our appointment yesterday. I was anxious the whole drive up there. I decided to go a different way and am so happy I did. The drive was beautiful and helped keep me positive...even though I was anxious.

The appointment wasn't long. We had an ultrasound and the technician went through it in less than 5 minutes. I asked for her weight and the tech said that she was not allowed to give me that information. I started to get so upset and frustrated because that is the only thing that the doctor is worried about. She said that the doctor told her before she called me back not to measure anything and that he would explain.

The doctor said that he measures growth every 4-5 weeks. His explanation made me feel better as to why he didn't want me to know. He said that if we measured her every time I came in it would not accurately reflect how well she is growing. Plus I have a little plan up my sleeve. I have a doctor's appointment September 4 on post and I plan on asking my doctor for her weight then. I know, I know...maybe I should just wait until my appointment at Columbia. But not knowing is making me obsess about not knowing.

All I can do is thank God that we didn't have another bad appointment. I was praying for good news and we got that. She is doing well, her organs look good. The game plan as of now is to wait, pray and hope that she continues to do well. We are praying for 35 weeks or better and that is less than 7 weeks away. In the meantime please continue to pray! I can't tell you how much we appreciate your positive thoughts and prayers. Thank you!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

27 Weeks

I was finally able to get in touch with someone at the hospital. I didn't speak to my doctor but the woman who spoke with me made me feel a little better. The outcome has not changed but at least she sounded hopeful. She told me that the chances are still more bad than good and that we should prepare for the worst but hope for the best. And that's what we're doing. It is really uplifting to hear about all of the prayers for our little girl. My faith keeps me going and helps me keep a smile on my face. It helps to be at work and to take my mind off of everything (a little bit). I still can't help but get a little worried if I haven't felt her move. Feeling her kick is my assurance that she's ok.

Jamie and I have been reading Charlotte's Web to her at night. It's so touching to see him. The other night she was moving around a lot while he was reading to her. What makes this experience even harder is to see him so upset by it all. But God has already answered two of my prayers. The first was for Jamie to feel her kick and the second was for 30 weeks or better (if they deliver her early). Based on the conversation with the woman at the hospital, they would not do anything until mid to late 30s. Having those two answered keeps me hopeful that she will gain weight and I will see my baby girl. We can only wait and pray.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

26 Weeks

We went to our appointment Friday and it was the hardest one for us. The doctor told us that our baby is probably not going to make it. He said that the placenta is bad and the cord is clogged so she is not growing as well as she should. The doctor gave her a 10% survival rate. But...

I firmly believe that 10% is 100% with God. I believe that God is in control and I have faith in Him. I don't know what the outcome will be but I can pray and ask for prayers for my little girl. I know she is alive. I feel her kick and I know she is telling me that she is fighting just as much as I am. I know she is gaining weight (slowly). She gained 6 ounces. So I am praying that my little girl will prove the doctors wrong.

It is hard to write about this but we need prayer. Now that I can think clearly I am going to call the doctor to ask some questions. I know they are going to induce me but I'm not sure what the goal is (weight wise). He said that it was too early to induce me now because of her size and because she has Down syndrome. Once I find out I will post again.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

24 Weeks

My family surprised me with a baby shower! It was so nice and I am so happy Jamie was able to be there. My sister and mom are the only two who have felt her kick. Even Jamie hasn't felt her kick yet. It's cute because my brothers (who are 10) get excited and are always asking if she is kicking.

The heat out here is killing me. My hands and feet swell like crazy. But it is so nice to be here and to see everyone.

We went to church and there was a lady standing outside with a little girl with Down syndrome. I went and talked to her for a little bit (I feel so compelled to do so now) and it was nice to hear how well the little girl was doing. I think the mom was a little put off at first but when I explained to her that I am expecting a girl with Down syndrome she seemed to soften a little bit. I was talking to my dad about it and it's like now that I know she has Down syndrome I see it more or I pay attention more.

I don't know how I will get back to Missouri with all the stuff I have. My mom is going crazy with all the baby stuff and it is multiplying every day. I'm excited to take it all back and put it up and start to decorate her room.

My next appointment is in a week and I will post pictures!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

23 Weeks

Words really can't express my gratitude for all the support I have. When I started this blog, I assumed only family and friends would read it. But I was completely surprised to see people I did not know reaching out and supporting me. Thank you so much for your supportive and encouraging words. To Emily, Jen, Adrienne, and Courtney thank you for your comments. I look forward to reading more about your journeys! I must admit I have blog envy. I finally changed my color to pink since I know I'm having a girl, but how do I make it all cute?

Two more days and I will be in Arizona! I can't wait to see my family (my WHOLE family, brothers included!!) and spend time with them. I am so excited because we are taking a road trip to the Grand Canyon and it has been such a long time since we've been able to do that. I look forward to taking pictures - I'll finally have a complete family picture!

Good news for Alyssa. The infection results came in Thursday and she does not have an infection. She has been moving a lot lately and it is always early in the morning and late at night. My next appointment is August 11 and they will measure everything again to check her growth. I can't wait to see my little girl again!

Monday, July 20, 2009

22 Weeks

We got the results of my amnio from July 6. Our baby has Down syndrome. Jamie & I are doing really well. The initial shock was difficult and sometimes it gets to me, but for the most part I am positive. I have such a great group of family and friends to support us.

The great news is that she looks great! The doctor was very happy with the way her heart looks (which is important) and her growth from the last ultrasound (she gained an ounce). I am extremely relieved at this as many babies with Down syndrome are not as fortunate. However, she is still not in the clear. There are so many health concerns that come with it once she is born. I can only ask for prayers that she will remain as healthy as she is now.

It is weird to tell people our news simply because I don't know how they'll react. And it hurts when people assume or act like it means our lives are over because I know this isn't true. The nurse at the hospital assumed that I was a complete mess and offered to let the doctor know if I needed an anti-depressant. Does it bother me? Yes every now and then. But I know that God gave her to us for a reason - Down syndrome and all. And I know that included in my awesome support group mentioned before is God at the center.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

21 Weeks

It's a girl! I can't believe it. A little girl. We are so excited. I've spent all morning looking at girl stuff and ordered some clothes from Old Navy. I can't help it. I haven't been able to do much and now that I know...I could go overboard. But it is my first baby.

The appointment went well. For those of you who don't know, I had to get an amnio because she is too small for where I am in my pregnancy. So please pray that everything comes out fine. I should have the results within a week. I am not going to stress about it, but prayer doesn't hurt! Seeing her move during the ultrasound was awesome. For most of the time she had her foot in her mouth or by her head. Who knows? Maybe she'll be an awesome gymnast!

We've decided to name her Alyssa Marie. Jamie chose Alyssa and I chose Marie (it's my middle name and my mom's). I'm glad we could both come up with a name we like. I wasn't too crazy about Alyssa at the start, but now I think it fits her.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

20 Weeks It's a...

I woke up this morning energized and ready for the day. I had my appointment (THE BIG appointment) at 8:30 and I was ready! Boy or girl? The question would be (hopefully) answered. I drank my 16 ounces of liquid (pure torture - I had to go to the bathroom 5 minutes later) and we went to the appointment.

I waited patiently as the tech took 20 minutes to move the thing around and take measurements. It seemed like forever but I kept reminding myself to be patient! After what seemed like forever, she let Jamie in (he went to the restroom as soon as we got there - lucky) and it was time to find out! But the baby had other plans. The whole time we only saw the baby's profile. To make matters more difficult the baby decided to sleep with its legs crossed. So no matter what the tech did she could not get a good look at what was there. And my little peanut had both hands on its head so we couldn't get a good head shot. I guess it's to be expected. After all, this is my kid.

I have my other appointment on Monday and I am more hopeful that we will get the answer I have been waiting for. The ultrasound machine they use is more high-tech and it is later in the day so hopefully my kid will have enough beauty sleep to show us all of his/her attributes!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

19 Weeks

19 Weeks and I have a sinus infection...again. Goodness gracious if I am ever 100% I don't know what I'll do with myself! So my doctor wants me to take it easy, drink lots of fluids, and take Sudafed.

Today I went to the CDC to get a list of in-home child care providers. The lady told me to go across the street. Now mind you it was hot, humid and for some reason I chose to wear jean capris. So I go to the building across the street and couldn't find the room. When I asked where I could find it, the lady told me that they had moved across from the commissary. By the time I went to the 3rd place, I was hot, sweaty and thirsty. Then I was told that I had to go back to the 2nd place! But the lady was really nice and when I told her what I was looking for, she gave me a number of a lady who takes care of some of the teacher's kids I worked with last year.

After my adventure I went to the commissary (hey I was in the area) because I was on a mission for pumpkin pie and pork chops. Mission accomplished and boy was that pumpkin pie good!

I've found that if I watch the animal channel I end up crying when an animal loses her baby. I've also found that whenever that State Farm "I'll be There" commercial comes on I cry too. And when I watch a mom giving birth. Can't help it and Jamie thinks it's funny. I guess it is in a way. At least I haven't cried when a diaper commerical comes on...yet.

Friday, June 19, 2009

18 Weeks

Even though I am off for the summer, I have been working like crazy. I feel like there is so much to do! One room looks like a closet exploded. But I figure now is a good time to go through stuff and decide if we really need it.

I can't wait to find out what we are having. I have an appointment July 6 and I am counting the days. I don't know if Jamie will be able to go with me. That day is the first day of the next cycle. However, this appointment is more than finding out the sex of the baby as some of you know.

In food news I like pizza. I had an aversion to it for a few months but the other day I really didn't have a choice and I was hungry. I still hate oatmeal and corn nuts.

Here's a picture from last month. The nurse said it looked like the baby was praying.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

15 & 16 Weeks

My trip to San Antonio was great! It was nice to see my friends and eat some awesome food. Plus I got some really cute baby clothes. Yes I know that I don't know what I'm having yet but I got some really cute onesies. But you know what? Almost everything that I saw had "I Love Daddy" on them. Where's the "I Love Mommy" stuff? I finally found a bib. A bib!

So my belly seemed to pop overnight. I have pictures and I will post them very soon once I locate the cord. I have another appointment tomorrow and I will hopefully get an appointment to find out what I'm having!

In other news, my energy has gone up. All I want to do is clean and organize which is great. I have a lot to do to get the baby's room all ready and I will need all the energy I can get. And I am so excited because Stacy is coming out in July! And by then I will know what I'm having and I can register! Woo hoo!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

14 Weeks

Holy cow. So I didn't realize I was 14 weeks until 2 seconds ago. Oooh. Which means only 4 more weeks until I can possibly find out what I'm having!!! Super exciting! I hope I can find out in 4 weeks...but who knows. With my luck I'll go my whole pregnancy not being able to know. I just want to know! It is so hard to look at baby stuff and not buy anything. The clothes are cute, the diaper bags are cute, even the burp rags are cute.

In other news I have lost full bladder control. And I hear it only gets worse. Don't get me wrong I'm not walking around with wet pants. But really? Out of everything - the exhaustion, my growing belly (and butt), aversion to my favorite foods - I have to add that? I guess it could be worse. I just think it's crazy the possibilities of what I could possibly get. But I guess in the end it's all worth it.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

13 Weeks

So my entry into my second trimester has been rough to say the least. First a massive stomach bug which resulted in a trip to the ER. Then a cough that won't go away. So I go to my regularly scheduled appointment on Thursday and I had a fever of 102 and didn't know it. Which resulted in yet another day off work and three days doctor-mandated bed rest. So the past three days have been in bed, sleeping for the most part. Didn't know I could sleep that much. But I am feeling somewhat better.

On a better note...I am going to San Antonio!! Woo hoo! I am sooo looking forward to seeing friends and shopping! Plus...I have THE list of all lists for where I want to eat while there. Is it bad I am looking forward to eating almost as much as I look forward to Christmas? Nah.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


I missed four days of work because of a stomach virus. The entire time I was nervous that my baby was starving. But after talking to a nurse, I feel much better. The nurse told me "Your baby will get what it needs. You might not. But your baby will." So I suffered through four days of hanging out in the bathroom. I went to the ER because I was so dehydrated. And it frustrated me to no end when the nurse (a different one) kept saying "Well when you're pregnant..." I knew that this was not pregnancy related. I had a fever. I was getting sick almost 24 hours. But I am better now. Well sort of. My stomach virus days have morphed into a coughing, scratchy throat, congestion mess. But at least I can eat!!

Two more days ends my first trimester. Crazy to think that I have been pregnant for 3 months! And by the end of summer I will be into my (gasp) third trimester! Which means I will have a precious baby in my arms sooner than I know it. I have a picture of the baby from my trip to the hospital. Since I had stomach cramps the doctor wanted to check out the baby and he gave me a picture. I didn't even ask! I love doctors like that! The baby was moving around like crazy! Flipping, turning, doing all these crazy positions. The nurse said it looked like the baby was doing yoga. Which turns out that the baby will most likely be this active later...when there isn't a lot of room. As my aunt says "It will be a rib kicking good time!" Oooh. Ribs. I leave on that note.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

So Late!

Alright, alright! I know that this is super late! So Vegas was AWESOME! Even with my couple of slip-ups with my dad, he was still surprised! Mission accomplished! Everyone (well all the women) was crying and it was such a happy moment. I am just so happy that my mom was able to record it all. Jessica's wedding was great and it was just so nice to see everyone even though it was for a couple of days.

It is hard to believe that one week from today I will be in my second trimester! Holy fazoli! Which means I have 6 months to go! My stomach is showing a little but it all depends on what I ate or drank during the day. Speaking of size, my baby is now the size of a lime. Which makes me want a cherry limeade. My next appointment is May 15. I should be able to hear the heartbeat which makes me really excited!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Vegas baby!

Ok the time has finally come! VEGAS!! I am so excited! My parents are already there and my sister is on her way! We leave tomorrow at 6 am.

I just can't wait to see my dad and to see his reaction. I will describe everything next week (I know, a long time from now) but the weekend is going to be hectic. Every minute is pretty much planned and filled. I just can't wait! It will be such a relief to be able to talk about it with my dad. And not have to use code when speaking with my mom.

Alright, enough of this. I am going to finish packing! =)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Wrong week...again

Ok so I am actually 9 weeks. 9 weeks, 4 days to be exact. Today's appointment was a tad stressful. First, I couldn't find parking. I was stressing that I would miss the 15 minute window they tell you to arrive and then tell me that I would miss my appointment.

Fast forward to the exam room. The nurse comes in and says that today's appointment would just be a quick physical and go over lab results. I asked about the ultrasound and she responded that we wouldn't do an ultrasound today. I started tearing up as I explained to her that the whole reason I was here today was to get an ultrasound so I could surprise my dad in one week. Well turns out I needed one anyway because the nurse could not locate the baby's heartbeat.

So the doctor takes us to the ultrasound room but not all of the equipment is sterile. So she gets the wand ready and can't find the baby. Then she tells me that it could be because I have a full bladder or because I am not really pregnant and I had an egg that was never fertilized. That's when panic and a meltdown almost set in. So she told me to go to the restroom and we would try again. But the second time was fine and she was able to find the baby. But she said that it looked like the baby was not 11 weeks. So she made an appointment at OBGYN to get a more in-depth ultrasound. After that everything was fine. So my experience might not sound all that stressful to you. But with hormones and my anticipation for a smooth experience rattled my nerves.

But in the end, I got to see my baby wiggling his/her fingers and moving around. I got to hear the heartbeat. And I got plenty of pictures to give my parents.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

11 Weeks (2)

Hot dogs, pizza, ranch Corn Nuts, Croissanwiches from Burger King - OUT! My list of foods that sound absolutely disgusting to even smell is steadily growing daily. What am I craving now? Korean food! Anything Korean! Give it to me! Don't forget the cucumber kimchi! The other day I went to a Korean restaurant. Usually I will not eat by myself at a restaurant. But I didn't care! I was so hungry that I didn't want to wait for the food and then drive home. So I had a huge spread to myself and I was happy as a clam! No worries - I didn't eat it all. I had plenty of leftovers!

In other news - My ultrasound is tomorrow!! Which means ONE week until I see my family! It is getting harder and harder to not slip and tell my dad or grandma. Now that my life pretty much revolves around my growing baby being careful to not slip it in to everyday conversation is almost like conjugating irregular Spanish verbs (I was horrible at it). In fact, I did say something to my dad but my mom was able to say it was related to an April Fool's joke (luckily it so happened to be the day before I messed up!). So I pretty much stick to work, the weather, and my allergies when speaking to my dad.

The other day I had a faculty meeting and a teacher turned around with a huge grin on her face and said that I am showing! Yes, yes I will get a picture up as soon as possible. But it doesn't really show that well in a picture. But I will post one anyway. Soon!

More to come tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

11 Weeks

My first ultrasound is this week! So Jessica and I were talking about what we think the baby will look like. It's crazy to try to imagine what my baby will look like. What color eyes? My lips or Jamie's? Obviously the baby will have brown hair.

Jessica thinks the baby should look more like me as the baby should not have Jamie's nose or head shape. However she thinks the baby should have his color eyes and ears. That's it. I have to admit that is pretty funny. She also says that the baby should not have my hair type as I have been blessed with the Asian trait of stick-straight hair.

I plan on getting the crazy 3-D ultrasound. All I have to pay is $100 and who wouldn't want to get a little peep at the beautiful baby I have inside me? Then it will answer some of the questions I have. But that won't be until later. Much later.

Oh and as for my favorite snack? Throw away the Ranch corn nuts. In fact, thinking about them kinda makes me want to get sick. I don't really have a replacement favorite yet. Pretty much anything sounds good. Right now I am watching a commercial for Taco Bell and even though I ate that for dinner, a 7-layer burrito sounds soooo incredibly good. But I will settle for an ice-cream sandwich. Right now.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

10...1/2 weeks

Here is the first picture of my baby! Jamie thought my uterus was the baby...You can't really see it but it is at the very bottom of my uterus (the bean shaped looking thing on the left). It looks like a fuzzy ball. It's crazy to think that is my baby!! My next ultrasound is April 17 so I will hopefully have a better picture!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

10 Weeks

So I picked up a kid and pulled a muscle. Yes I know that I shouldn't have done that but I wasn't thinking. Obviously. So my stomach was hurting and I was really worried. So I went to the ER today because I could not get an appoinment (of course!). The baby is fine and I am fine also. I was just really worried and stressed. But the doctors and nurses were really nice. We got to hear swooshing sounds in my belly. Sounded like wind in a tunnel. But best of all...We got to see our little teeny-tiny fuzz ball! Words can't explain the emotions that I felt seeing our small dot on the screen. Relief. Joy. I started crying and couldn't stop. All this time I haven't felt pregnant. It was just so crazy. I mean sure my pants are tight and I am hungry. But it's just hard to imagine I have a baby. The ultrasound just made it seem real.

So. Lesson learned. I will not pick/lift any students again. I don't want to go through that experience (the worry not the awesomeness of seeing my baby) again!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

9 Weeks

Blame it on the hormones. Or the fact that I got sucker-punched on the cheek by a 5-year old. The kid punched me inches from my face and the only way I could react was by crying. Uncontrollably. Almost sobbing. But that seems to happen more. Jamie eats my cake without checking to see if the whole piece was for him? Tears. And yes this is the piece of cake I referred to so exuberantly in the last post. Jamie drinks my one bottle of Coke even though he has plenty of Coke Zero and Diet Mountain Dew in the fridge? Get the Kleenex ready. And they say that it only gets worse.

In baby news...According to the weekly emails, my baby looks less like an elongated worm and more like a human! Yay! My uterus is now the size of a medium-sized grapefruit, which would explain why the majority of my pants do not fit. And I certainly contribute to that on a daily basis. In fact, even though I ate a good dinner my stomach is growling. Probably because I am thinking about cake, Coke, and the package of Oreos I bought at Wal-Mart. It's amazing at how quickly things change. Seven weeks ago I would have certainly walked past the Oreos and convinced myself that I certainly do not need to eat those yummy creme filled cookie wonders. Now? Who cares about serving size! Bring them on! In fact...BRING THEM ON!!!

Friday, March 27, 2009

8 Weeks

Eight weeks! The time seems to be crawling by - probably because I am so excited for April 17 (my new ultrasound appointment) and April 24 (LAS VEGAS!).

Speaking of Vegas...I have already planned what I'll wear. The most crucial outfit is the one I will wear the day I arrive in Vegas because I need to hide the fact that I am pregnant until the big reveal. So I have an outfit planned...and a backup in case what I plan on wearing doesn't fit 4 weeks from now...and an idea of an outfit I can wear in case my back-up doesn't work (which involves purchasing new clothes).

My pants are already tight. If my pants have two clasps I only use the bottom one. I bought a band that goes around my pants so I can leave it totally awesome (and comfortable) is that!!

New developments this week...morning sickness for about 3 days. But not too bad and it seems to have stopped. My new favorite snack? Cake! In fact, I have a piece on the counter and I think I will end this and have a piece! Yum!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Actually...7 Weeks

I went to the hospital today for my first appointment. Turns out I am not 6 weeks - I am actually 7 weeks and 5 days to be exact. My appointment was a lot of talk about lots of stuff. But I love the nurse I will be working with. My first ultrasound appointment is April 14!!!! That I am so excited for.

After my appointment I went to the PX and just walked around the baby stuff. I got kind of overwhelmed. Pampers or Huggies? Scented wipes or unscented? Do I need a wipe warmer? And I have to admit...looking at breast pumps kind of intimidated me. Don't know why but they did. And looking at all the cute little baby stuff just made me excited. Twenty weeks is when I can find out what I am having. So I can go back to the PX and get the cute little onesies in pink or the cute onesies with boy stuff. I am super excited!!!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Six Weeks

So my baby is about the size of a lentil bean. Yet I'm eating like the baby is the size of a bowling ball. Just so you know...I am an equal opportunist when it comes to food. Anything and everything looks good. Except sausage - gross. My favorite snack? Ranch corn nuts.

For those of you who do not dad and grandparents do not know that I am pregnant. Next month my sister is getting married in Vegas and we are going to surprise them. But that is in April and it seems like such a long time. I can't wait to tell my dad and my papa! It is still crazy to think that I am pregnant...crazily enough I have not been sick this entire time.

My first appointment is this Thursday, but it isn't anything exciting. Just filling out paperwork. I'm going to see if I can convince them to schedule an ultrasound before I leave for Vegas.

Here is my first photo of my belly. Just a small bump!