Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas traditions and other plans

Tonight we're going to 5pm mass. We usually go to mass on Christmas morning after opening gifts and having a big breakfast. But we thought we might want to stay in tomorrow so we've decided to brave 5pm mass with the girls. That is usually a crazy time of day for them (what time of day isn't, really?) so it'll definitely be interesting.

After mass, we're celebrating with my family at my aunt's home. We do this every year--it's been a tradition for a long time. We'll have dinner and open all of our gifts. Every year, a mysterious Santa shows up at the door while we're celebrating and brings candy canes for the kiddos. We don't know who he is, but he's been there every year around the same time. We think he's just a neighborhood guy (and the first year we didn't let him in because it was kind of creepy).

Tomorrow morning, the girls will wake up--hopefully past 8am--and we'll open our gifts. We always have a big breakfast and play with the girls' new stuff. My dad and grandma always come over to help the girls put together their new things and for a Christmas lunch. But this year, Dad and Grandma both have some kind of intestinal virus and we DON'T want them to share that gift! So that plan remains unconfirmed.

Next week, we'll head to Cleveland to celebrate with Andy's family. Andy's brother comes in with his wife and 4 kiddos and with Andy's parents and other brother, we make thirteen people in one house. That's a lot of personalities to gel for several days. Every year we stay for 5 days and every year when we leave, we remark about 5 days being too long for a visit. So this year, we're going to make it only 4 days and see if we leave a happier families with fewer homicidal tendencies. :)

In addition to all the Christmas plans, I saw both of my doctors yesterday. We made a plan for delivery. Because I take Heparin, we needed to make a plan for when I'd stop doing those injections. I have a "propensity to bleed" after deliveries--with both deliveries, I've needed additional medical intervention to help control bleeding. Heparin is a blood thinner so the likelihood that I'll bleed with this one is even greater because of thinner blood. So I'm stopping the Heparin next Friday--at 32 weeks. We have scheduled an amniocentesis for February 2nd and providing that those results are favorable, we have scheduled Baby's birthday for February 4th (36w5d). This is two days' gestation prior to Charlotte's delivery and the doc is hoping to avoid another abruption. My next ultrasound (we had a quick one yesterday to check the placenta) is January 6th and that will be with an NST, too. I'll do those weekly after that until we deliver. I'm still ordered to "modified bed rest" but I find that hard to do. So I'm trying my best...

Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Baby update

We had an ultrasound today to check baby's growth and to check the placenta. Baby looked great and is definitely getting bigger--2 lbs, 10 oz according to the scan. The tech told us when to look away so we didn't accidently see something (or nothing) in a specific gender-determining area. We asked about how many people don't find out the gender and she said sometimes it's as high as about 25% of their patients but it's usually less than that.

I'm about an inch away from bed rest but so far I've only been instruction to "take it very easy" until I see the cardiologist on Friday. My heart has been doing weird things that landed me in the ER last week after fainting several times in public. But hopefully we'll figure out a plan on Friday that doesn't include bed rest. My OB thinks that it's probably BECAUSE of the meds that I'm feeling this way (beyond exhausted, heart palpitations, extreme dry mouth, dizziness, ears ringing, etc) but because of my poor response to beta blockers, we really have no other medication options to control the gestational hypertension. So if I go off the meds, I will have to be on strict bed rest.

He did instruct me to stop taking the one med--and it's the one that I think is causing most of my symptoms--so hopefully that will help. But I think it's also the one doing the most work to control my blood pressure so I might be shooting myself in the foot. The last complication with that is my low iron levels. I can't take the iron supplements because they interfere with the absorption of the blood pressure med I'm now taking 3 times/day. So my iron levels are dropping, which doesn't help my exhaustion level, which is a side effect of the blood pressure med.

So I'm a complete wreck, but Baby is healthy (presumably--we'll know for sure after our visit with the pediatric cardiologist on Monday morning) and that's ALL that matters!

Here are the two latest photos:

Baby's profile



3/4D Image of Baby's face (No, there's not really a big hole in Baby's head)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Today I'm thankful for so many things:

  • My wonderful husband
  • Two beautiful daughters
  • Five precious Angels watching over our family
  • A growing, thriving baby kicking my belly
  • Our warm home
  • The gift of friendship
  • A loving extended family
  • The blessing of a large, nourshing meal
  • Intelligent doctors
  • A sunny morning for Andy's race
  • And the comfort of God's grace, without which, none of these blessings would exist.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 24, 2008

It's starting already

Today, while the girls were eating lunch and I was making my own, Charlotte said, "Mommy, thanks for not playing with us today because we're having SO much fun!" I have been banished from playing with them lately, unless it is a game of Trouble or some other specific game. But general playroom activities are apparently not Mommy-appropriate. :(

The Mommy-Phase-Out is happening already...and they're only 3 & 5.

My knight in shining Escort

Last week, my high-risk OB changed up my medication after I told him of the weird side effects I was having (shortness of breath, heart palpitations, BAD dry mouth causing my throat to close up, etc.). So I started a new med on Monday night.

Fast forward to Thursday: I had just dropped each girl off at her respective school and thought I'd hit the Michael's Craft Store $1 bins for stocking stuffers. I was walking around and finding some fun things, when I started to feel "weird". My belly was hurting and I immediately felt like I was beyond exhaustion. I told the baby that we would head home and rest in just a moment. Almost instantly, I started to fall over into my cart (Michael's carts are made for someone 4'11" or shorter). I tried to find somewhere to sit and finally made my way to a bench at the front of the store. The following is my conversation with the cashier who was standing right next to me:

Me: "Excuse me...do you have water? I'd be happy to buy a bottle of water or something. I think I'm fainting."
She: "Ummm, we have a water fountain at the back of the store."
Me: "Honey, I'm not making to the back of the store!"
She: "Oh, I'm sorry."

And she proceeded to turn around and continue stuffing bags with fliers.

WHAT??!!?!!???!!!!

So I called Andy who dropped everything and came to my rescue. He instinctively brought a beverage and drove me home. He drove around and picked up the girls from their schools, brought them home, made lunch for everyone, and offered to take the rest of the day off to care for me. He did go back to work (at my urging) and I spent the rest of the day feeling funky and "off".

The doc said he thought it was hypoglycemia but I'm not convinced. I think it was the meds.

Fast forward AGAIN to yesterday. We were in church (sitting in the front row, center) and I felt that feeling again. Knowing I did NOT want to faint in the front row (or at all, really), I sat down. I eventually got to my feet and made my way to the drinking fountain. I returned to my seat and spent the rest of my time praying that I wouldn't fall over. Fortunately, managed to avoid it so that was good.

I see my doc again on Wednesday so hopefully we can figure something out. My blood pressures are getting higher and higher at home, which doesn't bode well for the whole "avoiding bed rest for as long as possible" plan. Shucks.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Trusting His plan

In the last two years, we have endured the losses of five babies. Each time, I wondered what God's plan was in all of the heartache.

Several days after the loss of our first baby (a son we named Samuel Richard), I was driving home from an appointment and heard a woman on the radio talking about the death of her brother. He was the youngest of 8 children and at age 20, was involved in a terrible car accident. She spoke of how her whole family came together and praised God for his 20 years, singing praise songs and praying around his bed as they turned off the machines that were keeping him alive.

She said that as she looked around the room, experiencing the deepest sadness of her life, she felt as if God was asking her, "Are you willing to give me thanks for that which I may never give you the privilege of understanding?" I have remembered that line because in my deepest sadness the first night we found out Sam had died, every time I woke up (which was countless times--I didn't sleep much), I had some random praise song in my head and I kept wishing it away so I could live, more like wallow, in my sadness. I didn't understand why these songs were playing, uninvited, over and over in my brain. But when I heard this woman speaking, she was speaking directly to my broken heart and answering the elusive WHY?.

It was after Sam's death that I started the Support After Miscarriage (SAM) ministry at our church because in my desperation for help and answers, I called my church--they could direct me to no one for help. Well, I talked to our associate pastor but I wanted to talk to someone who had walked this path before me. Since there was no one for me, I decided to make sure that another woman wouldn't have to feel as alone and scared as I did during those times.

This brings me to the reason for tonight's post. A close friend lost her precious baby today. She found out last week, during an ultrasound, that her baby had no heartbeat. Her husband called me on the way home from the doctor's office to ask how he could best comfort her. After our conversation, I immediately called my friend (they were in separate cars) and tried to comfort and mourn with her. This couple lives about 90 miles away so the phone is my only channel to support her. I wish I could do more but realistically, what I needed during those times was someone to listen and offer advice; I didn't necessarily want folks hanging around my house when I was feeling that low. I am saddened to receive her calls, knowing that her heart is shattered and she's feeling at her physical and emotional worst right now. And on the flip side, I am anxious to answer to calls because I know what it would have meant to me to have someone to call. It's such a double-edged sword--but it is mine to wield and I must be diligent in doing so.

So while I may never have the full "privilege of understanding" why God's plan for me included such sorrowful losses, I believe with all of my soul's strength that helping this friend, at this time, endure her suffering was part of His plan all along. I wish I could be supporting her through something completely joyous, but alas, we were not promised a life without affliction. But we are mandated to love, support, and encourage our sisters and brothers, especially during the darkest of times.

We don't have to like God's plan; we just have to trust it.

Tonight I go to bed praying for the baby who joined our five angels today, the mother whose heart is filled with anguish and mourning, the husband who sincerely wants to support his wife, and that God will give me the appropriate words to encourage my friend as I strive to be the kind of friend I am called to be for her.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Getting bigger

Baby is growing, that's for sure. I was concerned about its fluid level after being so dehydrated with that stomach bug last week. But since I had an ultrasound scheduled for that Monday, I did my best to get fluids and rest in the meantime.

Again, we didn't get our favorite tech, even though I scheduled the appointment with her. I need to make sure the next one IS with her or I'm going to start getting upset. I'll call tomorrow to double check.

Anyway, Baby was moving all around so the tech had a hard time getting some of the shots she needed. Fortunately, we were able to get a couple of good head shots, though. The first one makes me smile because it looks like Baby is laughing. The second one is just a general profile but still amazing to see how much Baby has grown. Measuring a hint big, Baby weighed about 1 1/2 pounds (according to ultrasound which we all know isn't the most reliable in determining fetal weight) so I was pleased. That's some actual weight--we're past the point of measuring strictly in ounces. YAY!!

So here are Baby's latest portraits!!



Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Grand Slam

After Sarah missed trick-or-treating, I kept her home from school on Friday. She lazed around all day and continued being sick. I kept Charlotte as far away from Sarah as I could and tried to keep everything as clean as possible.

Andy came home from work and we ate dinner. I didn't finish my dinner, which isn't like me when I'm pregnant. Andy commented that I must not be feeling well to leave half of my dinner. Ten minutes later, Sarah's virus took hold of me and I was heaving like first trimester morning sickness.

Less than an hour later, Andy followed suit. We sat dumbfounded and scratching our heads, wondering how we'd managed to find ourselves in this position.

We took turns in the bathroom for the rest of the evening. At one point, Andy went upstairs and I thought he might be giving up and trying to sleep. A few minutes later, he returned and said, "Guess what!? We hit a Grand Slam!" He was holding a VERY sick-looking Charlotte and dropped her off with me while he retreated to her room to change her bed sheets. She was nude, covered in smelly yuck, and shivering. I spent the next while cleaning her up and holding her hair back from falling into the garbage can each time she was bent over it.

Eventually, all three of us went upstairs and tried to sleep. Um, that didn't work out so well. Andy spent from about 1am-6am in the spare room or on the floors of each girls' bedrooms, taking turns with the garbage cans. In the morning, Sarah proclaimed, "Daddy slept on my floor and he puked in my garbage can. It woke me up but I went back to sleep." I'd hear, "Daddy!!!! Daddy!!!" every 20-30 minutes, then I'd hear Andy get up, comfort the screamer, head to the bathroom himself, and return to the sick kiddo.

I had called my OB and she had instructed that if I was still vomiting through the night, that in the morning I'd need to be treated for dehydration by IV fluids. So I did my very best to lie still between 2am-5am to allow my body to absorb some of the minute amounts of water I was sipping. At 5am, my body had had enough and revolted against my efforts. By that point, I started to think I was feeling sick because I hadn't had anything solid in my belly for so long. My wonderful husband brought me a cracker and a tiny bit of tea. I had that small amount, lay my head down, and slept for a couple of hours without vomiting.

We all lazed around, slept, vomited, and moaned ALL DAY on Saturday and by evening, I was starting to feel just a hair better. Charlotte was still vomiting, Sarah was definitely not herself, and Andy was questionable.

Sunday found me feeling much improved, Andy on the mend, Charlotte still having some issues every 12 hours or so, but Sarah was not much improved. She was STILL vomiting (remember that her last solid food was a waffle and milk on Thursday morning) and complaining that she couldn't walk because her legs "felt old" (shaky). She said that when she stood up to do something, her eyes would "get dark". I think she was starting to black out.

I took her to Children's ER around 10:30am and after waiting for an hour in admissions, we got a room, waited 40 more minutes to see the doctor, then met the IV nurses. Lovely. After some serious screaming, a failed attempt to stick her vein in her right hand, the nurses finally found and landed a vein in Sarah's left inner elbow. They administered two bags of fluid, some "sugar shots" and other stuff to help increase her sodium and sugar levels. We visited the fish tank, played "I Spy" in the lobby, watched shows, read books, Sarah napped for a few minutes (until the aide came in to take her vitals--grrrrrrr!!!!!!). Finally, at 7:15pm or so, we returned home. We weren't home more than 10 minutes before Charlotte, wo had reportedly been feeling better all day, vomited all over the dinner table. UGH!!!

Monday morning, Sarah woke up feeling much better but Char was still under the weather. I thought it might be a bit of my bronchitis so we went to the peditrician who sent us for a chest x-ray. No bronchitis or pneumonia showed up but she's still coughing and hacking today. They're goign to call tomorrow to check in on us so I'll update them tomorrow.

If you're still reading this, here's the wrap up: We ALL had a stomach virus and spent the entire weekend puking or at the hospital. This was certainly a weekend for the recordbooks--and not in a good way. :(

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Halloween...kinda


Today was Charlotte's Halloween party at preschool. She was so psyched to go to school in her cow costume. Here she is with her fellow classmates including a bee, a poodle, a doctor, a firefighter, and Indiana Jones.




After school, we headed to my doctor because I've been coughing like a fiend. I had 4 months' worth of pneumonia when I was pregnant with Charlotte and I do NOT want to repeat that; it was definitely not fun to have broken ribs while growing a baby!! And it turns out I headed to the doc just in time. I have a good case of bronchitis that would have likely been headed toward pneumonia if I'd not gotten treatment. I'm on antibiotics and feeling generally miserable.

Just as I was settling in for a nice afternoon nap to help get rid of my headache and give me a better chance of feeling well, Sarah came downstairs and proclaimed, "Mom, I puked all over my bed and the floor." Surely enough, there was clear evidence that she was not mistaken. I cleaned it up and put her back to bed. Less than 30 minutes later, she came down and said she couldn't sleep. She proceed to vomit again, and again, and again until 8:30pm. Add in a few bouts of diarrhea and a few changes of clothes and it made for a great trick-or-treat night.

Andy took Charlotte out trick-or-treating for about 30 minutes. Our precious Charlotte took her bag and a bag for Sarah. She told all of our neighbors that Sarah was home sick and they all thought she was very kind for caring about her sister.

Sarah was so happy and thankful that her sister thought of her and brought candy for her. And Charlotte was happy to do it.

There's nothing like a good sister.

Happy Halloween!!





video

For all of our Halloween pictures, including our 4th annual Halloween party, visit http://www.mymurphyfamily.com/.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Warmed my heart

Today, Oprah featured miracle children. I was looking forward to seeing it but fell asleep after the first two guests (conjoined twins separated at age 4). I have a cold and with the additional blood pressure medication I'm taking, I spend a good deal of my day very drowsy so I missed the next 30 minutes to a nap.

When I awoke, Oprah and Celine Dion (where'd she come from??) were crying and went to commercial. Thanks to the beauty of DVR, I rewound the segment and watched. She featured this YouTube video posted by parents of a boy named Eliot.



As the parents of at least two Trisomy babies (our Sam had Trisomy 9 and our Laura had Trisomy 1--Joy had normal chromosomes; Gabriel and Erin's chromosomes were not tested), this was especially touching. While we never had the joy of holding those five babies in our arms, our hearts feel the same way these parents do. Our lives were BLESSED to have had all of you for the short time you were on Earth and we know that you are full and healthy in Heaven.

Rest well, sweet babies. Your friend, Eliot, can tell you what it feels like to be kissed by Mommy and Daddy.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Busy and sleepy

I've been so busy lately. Fortunately, some of that busyness should start to settle down. I've been working on a committee at our church to organize a stewardship initiative. This past weekend we had a big ministry fair and it took a lot of my time. It was a great success so I'm glad I did it. But I was EXHAUSTED afteward.

To add to my exhaustion, my high-risk OB put me on blood pressure medication a couple of weeks ago. This medication makes me feel like a zombie from about 11:30am-5:30pm. I HAVE to nap while the girls are napping or I am virtually unable to function. At this point, it's better than bed rest but how much better?? I'm not so sure sometimes.

My regular OB called me her "biggest nightmare" last week. She said she's confused about why my blood pressure is normal when I'm not pregnant but it starts to skyrocket so early in pregnancy. I suppose it's a mystery.

On a better note, Baby has been moving around and really becoming active. The girls are excited about the baby; Charlotte is really enjoying singing and talking to the baby. She comes up to me sevearl times a day and says to my belly, "Hi Baby!" She sings to the baby and constantly asks if Baby is done growing yet. :)

So good news and less-than-thrilling news this time.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

GROSS!!

Yeseterday, DH came home from work to find a dead bird in the grass under the basketball hoop. The girls were intrigued but Charlotte was bordering on obsessed. She said, "Call me when dinner is ready. I'm going to look at the birdy."

So while the girls were playing outside today, I didn't think about it when they were talking about the bird. They know not to touch it or anything, right?

Char rang the doorbell and Sarah tried to let her in. She came to me and said, "Mom, Char wants to bring the baby bird in the house."

I bolted to the front door to find Charlotte on the front porch carrying the dead bird by the neck, albeit very lovingly. I immediately told her to drop the bird and come in the house. We washed hands several times and sanitized twice. I changed her clothes and called the pediatrician. Because Char is snuggly and a thumbsucker, my main concern was that she sucked her thumb after touching the bird or tried to smooch it. YUCK!!!

The pediatrician said to wash her hands (check!), change her clothes (check!), and wash her face/neck (check!). So I think we're good, but the thought of her sucking her thumb or kissing that thing--barf!!!!!!

It's never a dull day around the Murphy home.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Girly weekend

Andy is currently on his way to Cleveland for his annual Guys' Weekend with his dad and brothers. His car, the trusty 1995 Ford Escort, isn't quite as trusty as it used to be so I insisted that he find another form of transportation--so he rented a car. He stopped by at lunch to see the girls and say goodbye.

This means that the girls and I are on our own this weekend. So far, our only plans are church and soccer on Sunday. My plan is to have a lazy, relaxing weekend because next week is pretty busy. I cleaned the house today so I don't have to do it for the rest of the weekend and instead of cooking tonight, we drove through Taco Bell and brought dinner home! NO DISHES!! Maybe we'll have a movie night tomorrow or play nail salon or something girly. Who knows what kind of trouble we'll find? :)

We're definitely missing him but we know he's going to have a fun time and come home refreshed and no douht, with lots of funny stories.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Another eerie memory

As I was making Sarah's bed today, I had this odd memory. When we honeymooned in Hawaii, one of the most memorable things we did was visit the site of the Pearl Harbor attack and the Might Missouri (the battleship where the war surrender was signed).

While we were there, we talked about how we couldn't imagine an attack on our country and how blessed we felt to live in an America where nothing like that could happen again. We were silenced with awe and wonder at what those men endured on that awful day in the water off of the coast of Oahu. The sunken ships are still visible and the memorial is built over the USS Arizona. The rusty turrets and stacks are frightening, humbling, and devastating.

Little did we know that just over a week later, we'd experience something on a similar scale and watch it unfold. Heartbreaking.

I looked up some of our photos from that day and thought I'd share them.
From the museum on the island, looking out over the water


On the boat ride out to the Arizona. They played an audio piece with commentary from survivors and family members during the 5-minute ride.







The names of those killed on that fateful day. Many of them found their final resting place directly under our feet as we stood there reading.


Part of the ship sticking out of the water is a reminder of how many men met a watery grave

That fateful morning

At 8:48am, the phone rang and startled me from my sleep. We had returned from our honeymoon less than a week before that morning and since I wasn't teaching full-time, I had the privilege of sleeping in some days during the week.

Andy, from his desk, said, "Turn on the TV. You're going to want to see this. Tell me what you see. John said a plane crashed into the World Trade Center."

I'm a news hound so I like to be on top of the latest news developments. I walked out from our apartment bedroom and over to the television. I hadn't grabbed my glasses or contacts so I couldn't see very well. But standing just a few inches from the television, I couldn't have missed that sight and I'll never forget it. Andy's coworker, John, is a small aircraft pilot and it was initially thought that the plane that crashed was a small plane not unlike those that John flies. So we were concerned that a pilot may have made a catastrophic mistake. But as I stared at the amount of thick, black smoke, it quickly became obvious that it was a much larger craft that had smashed into that building.

As I explained it to Andy, he was relating what I was saying to his gathered co-workers, as they couldn't get access to any news websites because of the sheer volume of people trying to get information. I told Andy I'd call him back and we hung up.

I ran to our bedroom and grabbed my glasses because I was having a hard time believing my eyes. Just as I sat back down, the second plane approached and devastated the other tower. I immediately called Andy back and told him that another plane hit the other building--and I knew immediately that this was no accident. I screamed, "What's going on!!???!!" as if someone would hear me and answer.

Mesmerized, I couldn't move all morning. I called Andy to tell him that the first building had fallen and he said that everyone was heading down to the lobby to watch the two televisions tuned to CNN. He said that the lobby area was crammed full of people trying to get a glimpse of what was happening.

Shortly after the second building fell and the crash into the Pentagon, along with other reports of more hijacked planes and car bombs in Washington, the CEO of LexisNexis announced that they were closing for the day and everyone should go home to be with their families. What we didn't know at the time was that some employees of LexisNexis' parent company, Reed-Elsevier, had been killed during these horrific attacks.

Andy called to tell me that he was heading home (after stopping at Best Buy to purchase a new CD that had come out that morning----ugh). When he got there, I hugged him and was so thankful to have him home.

Together, we watched the day's developments and out the window of our third-story apartment, we watched the skies fall silent. We had always enjoyed our great view of downtown and of all of the planes flying in and out of Dayton airport as well as a smaller Moraine airport. For several days, we saw nothing flying and it made for an eerie feeling.

As 3pm approached, I waited for a call from Sylvan Learning Center where I was scheduled to teach that night but the call never came. So I showered, dressed, and left for work. As I drove the 5 miles to work, I encountered only 3 cars, as everyone was elsewhere, captivated by the terror of that day. When I arrived at work, we had only a few students show up and those who did come were picked up early. So it was a wasted few hours and I was happy to come home.

I watched the rescue and recovery efforts over the next weeks and learned about the heroism and valor of seemingly "regular" folks. I was amazed by the hard work and dedication of citizens from all over the country. As I heard the stories of those who were missing and those who had miraculously survived, to say I was moved, touched, or inspired is complete inadequate.

We were so young in our marriage, so young in our lives, and so infantile in our understanding of true valor. Now, as the mother of two beautiful daughters and new baby on the way, as I watch the dedication of the Pentagon Memorial today, I am struck by a new magnitude of understanding. I'm so grateful that my children will simply read about that day in history books and through stories we will tell them. My heart breaks for the parents who, on that day, were sitting with and reassuring their children on those planes, watching the tragedy unfold on television, or received phone calls from children saying goodbye as they readied themselves to sacrifice their lives to prevent further destruction.

Our lives will never be the same. Our children's lives will never be the same. And our country will never be the same. I imagine that that's how the passengers of Flight 93 who fought against the evil of the hijackers would want it to be.

May God's grace comfort those families who suffered losses, those responders who sacrificed so much to save the lives of so many, and those who work tirelessly to prevent further destruction.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Another portrait session

Last week, Andy and I went to my high-risk OB's office (Dr. B) for our nuchal transluscency scan and blood work. Our RE has released me to my regular OB (Dr. E) and Dr. E uses Dr. B's office for all of her ultrasounds. Dr. B has all of the very latest technology since he works with high-risk, complicated, and multiple gestation pregnancies. Dr. B manages my blood pressure during my pregnancies and he has performed all three of my D&Cs.

So everything went well with the scan and after some prodding from the tech, Baby moved into position and out from behind the placenta to get all of the right measurements for the test. And then she said, "Okay, let's see if we can get a good picture of this baby." She whipped out the 4D wand thing and there was Baby--in 4D. Moving and stretching all over the place. It was so very cool to see our baby in that image. I do still have a complete placenta previa, which isn't the greatest of news but we still have PLENTY of time for it to resolve and the likelihood of that happening is very good.

My first appointment with Dr. E's office (I'll see the NP first and then Dr. E after that) is Thursday so we'll find out more about where we go from here. Because of the previa, I'll likely have regular ultrasounds to check out the position of that thing and make sure it's migrating appropriately. If it doesn't move completely out of the way before delivery, I'll need a c-section. So if you're of the praying persuasion, a few prayers that the placenta moves out of the way would be appreciated. Thanks.

Here are our latest photos of Baby. The first one is the regular one with Baby's hands above his/her head. The second one is the 3D image of that same pose. Hands above head, little legs stretching down, and weird bump on the belly (just a glitch in the image--not a crazy belly bump)










Monday, August 25, 2008

Happy 7th Anniversary

Seven years ago today, I married an amazing man. We had a beautiful day surrounded by so many friends and family who helped us celebrate our nuptuals. As I walked down the aisle, I remember thinking, "I can't believe this guy wants to marry ME!" He's so kind, generous, loyal, selfless, supportive, encouraging, creative, thoughtful, hardworking, committed, and handsome that I still found it hard to comprehend that he was pledging his love to measley, old me. I knew I was truly blessed.

We had a great time planning our wedding to be a very personal event that included everyone and we hoped everyone who attended would feel how much we loved them and appreciated their support. When the day came, it was nice to just sit back and watch it all come together.

It's funny--when we got married, we'd spent months planning how we'd spend that day together and when it arrived, we didn't spend much time together at all! When we danced at the reception, I said, "Hi! I haven't seen you all day!" Sure, we'd exchanged vows, posed next to each other in photos, ridden in the same car to the reception, but we hadn't had time together all day. But it was okay because I knew we had the rest of our lives to be together.

It's been an amazing 7 years. We've bought two homes, sold one, brought home two children, sent five to Heaven, made another one that we hope will come home in February, laughed so much my face hurt, played innumerable games of Scrabble, weathered family firestorms, been to paradise on our honeymoon, worked ourselves out of debt, endured tragic losses, and celebrated amazing blessings. And compared to so many couples, our marriage is still in its infancy. I am excited to see what the future will bring and I know that there is NO ONE I'd rather experience those things with than my husband.

Happy Anniversary, And.
I love you.






Our first family vacation

Our Total Money Makeover prevented us from taking a vacation for the last few years. We haven't had a real vacation since 2002, when I was barely pregnant with Sarah (I actually didn't realize I was pregnant until we returned from Gatlinburg--no wonder I was so exhausted when we hiked up the mountain!). Andy hasn't taken a week off of work since our honeymoon. So when we became debt-free in May, we decided that we'd take a vacation this summer and no excuse would stop us.

Andy took all of last week off and we had a "stay-cation" for the first few days. We went bowling, to lunch at a favorite restaurant, to the pool, and did fun stuff around the house. Andy fixed some plumbing issues in the girls' bathroom and in the basement, and it was a good time.

Thursday we left for Holiday Inn at Caribbean Cove in Indianapolis for two nights. We got a deal with a room, entrance to the water park for the three days we were there, and four tickets to the Children's Museum. We were worried that the girls would have difficulty sleeping because they have their own rooms at home and they had to share a bed in the same room as Mom & Dad at the hotel. But they did GREAT!! They went right to sleep both nights!! (I'm sure it helped that we ran them like crazy all day both days and they had NO naps while we were away!)

Unforutnately, when we returned home, we realized that a breaker had tripped in the electric panel and our refrigerator was off for most of the time we were gone. So we lost just about everything in the fridge/freezer. But, since I had to clean the entire thing from top to bottom, our fridge is sparkling clean today!! HA!!

Now--back to real life again....

Photos from our vacation will be posted soon!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Photo Shoot and Complications

It probably seems like all we do is hang out at the doctor's office and have ultrasounds. I promise we do more than that. But it's about the most interesting thing we're doing these days. I WILL post about other things going on in our days--soon--I promise.

But in the meantime, I have more baby photos to show. We had our scheduled ultrasound today and Baby was measuring a few days bigger than its gestation (and had a good heart rate of 170), so that's good. Baby was moving around in there and Char said, "Mom, the baby is waving at me!" She's so in love with the baby already. Our RE (Dr. Burwinkel) is ready to get us off of his books and send me back to my regular OB.

And, it wouldn't be a Murphy pregnancy without our share of complications, right? It seems that this pregnancy is going to be no different. While Baby looks great and and is growing at just the right pace, the cause for my bleeding is a complete placenta previa. The baby's placenta is totally covering my cervix so when I do too much activity (lifting, coughing, dancing, etc.), a little bit of the placenta tears and I bleed. So that's a big thumbs down. :( We had that with Charlotte and whether or not it had anything to do with the placental abruption that happened during labor, we'll never know. But I am at a higher risk for bleeding and stuff because of the previa. So I'm under orders to "take it easy" until further notice. The placenta will likely move out of the way by the time we're ready to deliver, but it'll definitely be something to watch.

Okay, so here are the photos. Our little bean has turned into a moving, wiggling, waving alien. :)

Dr. Burwinkel labeled the hands, legs, and head for the girls. They, at ages 3 & 5, had a hard time deciphering which parts were what. They could tell the heart because we could see it beating and they could tell where the hands and legs were when Baby moved around, but they had difficulty with a still photo. So he did this one for them.


This is a profile photo of Baby's body. I'm supposed to be 10w4d today and baby was measuring a few days bigger at 11w1d, so we're NOT complaining that Baby is growing so well!! :)


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Crisis averted

Last week was the "crucial" week for this pregnancy. If we made it through last week, we would have made it past Sam's last day in my belly--and he was our longest gestation since Charlotte. So when I started spotting on Wednesday, I was terrified. I convinced myself it was nothing; afterall, bleeding in pregnancy isn't wildly uncommon. So Thursday morning brought more spotting and again, I tried to discount it as nothing. But when I woke up on Friday morning with brighter, redder spotting, I'd had enough. I left a message for the nurses at my RE's office and they called me back before they even opened with an appointment time for an ultrasound. I really like that office.

So we headed to the office at 2pm (thank goodness we had an extra long playgroup--10am-1:30pm!!). I was very nervous and really prepared for bad news.

But I was pleasantly surprised to see a beautiful 184 bpm heartbeat and a wiggly "gummy bear" in there. Baby was measuring perfectly and dancing around. It has little arms and legs, two little eyes, and a strong, beautiful heartbeat.

Here's the latest photo of Baby Murphy:

Friday, July 18, 2008

Grow, Bean, Grow!!

We had another ultrasound this morning and I was a little tense because we had the girls with us. I was worried that if something was wrong, they'd be there to see me distraught.

Fortunately, all is well and Baby is growing well. Again Baby is right on target for growth and the heart rate has increased to 175 beats/minute!! YAY!! The girls LOVED hearing the heartbeat and I loved seeing their faces when they heard it.

Our next ultrasound is August 5.

Here's our latest photo. Baby is almost upside down with the head toward the lower right and bottom toward the top left. If you look closely, you can see a little arm hanging down, too. YAY!!



Saturday, July 12, 2008

Open wide!

In January, I took the girls to the dentist. Sarah had been several times already so she was an "old pro" but it was Charlotte's first visit. After all was said and done, I was concerned that it would be her last. She was TERRIFIED and screamed the entire time.

So I wasn't super optimistic about this week's visit. I scheduled Charlotte and me together, and Sarah separately next week. When we arrived at the office, the hygenist had it all set up for me to go first, but I asked if Char could go first. As soon as Charlotte realized it was her turn, she started to panic. To get her into the chair, I offered to allow her to sit on my lap. She was okay with that and as the cleaning got started, I could feel her body tensing. But she eventually started to lighten up and seemed to be enjoying it. I was whispering into her ear that I was proud of her and she tried to smile. (If you've ever tried to smile with an instrument in your mouth, you know how hard it is!)

After she was finished and she hesitantly allow the dentist to look at her teeth, she received a toy from the prize box (a rubber frog like Sarah picked in January), a new Princess Jasmine toothbrush, and a pair of yellow star sunglasses.

I think each visit will get easier now that she's overcome the first full exam. That is, until we start working on fixing her "thumbsucker overbite". :)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The sweetest sound

Because we've had 5 miscarriages since November 2006, we never count on a positive pregnancy test to mean much of anything until we see or hear a heartbeat. We haven't had that pleasure since Charlotte was in utero, so considering I've been pregnant 5 times since then, it's definitely not a given that we'll carry to term.

But today changed all of that. After finding out a couple of weeks ago that we were again expecting, I've been on pins and needles (twice daily heparin shots, that is) waiting to see if this one is going to "stick".

We had an ultrasound appointment this afternoon and I was nervous, excited, and scared to death. But it didn't take long for me to see that beautiful image---a beating heart. And it was really pumping--not just a flicker--it was a REALLY, TRULY, LIVING HEARTBEAT!! I immediately covered my face and sobbed. I was crying so hard that that doctor couldn't focus the probe on the heartbeat to hear it. When I realized what he was doing, I gathered myself (as best I could) and waited. Low and behold, there was the sweet, beautiful sound. Thumpa, thumpa, thumpa, thumpa-----I could have listened for hours.

So while we're only 6w5d, it may as well be delivery day for me. We are thrilled and elated that God has blessed us with a living baby and we pray that he/she continues to grow and develop and stay in there as long as possible. Hopefully in February, we'll be posting pics of a brand new Murphy.

In the meantime, here's a shot from today's ultrasound. Not the greatest photo in the world but it's Baby Murphy's first photo. :)


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Why do they call it a "disease"?

Charlotte was diagnosed yesterday with Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease. She had a high-ish fever all weekend, was extra cranky, and had started complaining that her tongue was hurting. Worried that maybe her ear tubes had come out and she had an ear infection, I took her to the pediatrician. The doc said that she didn't have strep throat (Char was a CHAMP with the throat culture!) but she did have bumps on the back of her throat. After close examination, we saw a bump on her right palm and a couple of little ones on the soles of her feet, too.

After the diagnosis, I asked all of the regular questions: Is she contagious? Should I be worried about other children? What can I do to help her feel better? But I didn't ask why it's called a disease when it's really just a virus. There's nothing I can do to make it go faster or feel better. We just have to let it run it's course.

So why is it called a "disease" when it's really just a virus? They don't call the flu a disease because it's a virus. So why isn't this called Hand, Foot, & Mouth Virus?

I'm sure that the folks at the CDC that name these things aren't parents because they'd certainly give appropriate names to these things.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Broken legs and a meal plan

Why does it seem that everything really does happen in threes? My friend's son, E, broke his tibia recently and sported a big, blue cast from thigh to toes for 3 weeks. Then, a friend of a friend broke her femur--and as the mother of children, you can imagine how much difficulty they are having.

So this morning I wake up to an email that my friend, Vicki, who is due to deliver her second child in the next week or two, was in the hospital last night. I was THRILLED to read the good news and hoping it was PINK news. As I read the email, I discover that she was at Children's Hospital with her two-year-old son who----broke his femur!! He's in a body cast and has to lie down for the next four weeks (minimum) and she's going to deliver this new baby any day now.

Feeling awful for her, our playgroup sprung into action and have set up 3 meals/week for the family for the month of July and we're heading into August now. It's fun to put all of this together but I wish it was just for the new baby and now for poor N's broken leg.

We'll be praying he heals quickly so he can enjoy his new brother or sister. That new kiddo is going to have one big story to tell about how Big Brother stole the the thunder from his/her birth!! :)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Ballerina Kaka

In our house, bowel movements are known as "kaka" (a Polish word for that action). This weekend, Charlotte got a bit of a cold and began her first duel with diarrhea. She's totally frightened of going because it's different than what she's used to experiencing. Recently, she's battled her first real case of vomiting and she's decided she doesn't like puking. Yesterday she told me that her "kaka puked" and it was too stinky (followed by gagging noises).

Today, I couldn't make out what she was saying but I figured it out: She overheard me tell Andy that she has diarrhea but she can't pronounce that word. She used the closest word she could pronounce so all day today she's been telling me, "I don't like ballerina kaka! I don't like ballerina kaka!"

So diarrhea may always been known as ballerina kaka in the Murphy household. At least for now.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Bunco!

Last night was Moms' Night Out for our church playgroup. We met at the Parish Activity Center and played Bunco! I had never played before and neither had most of the others. We ended up with enough people to play two tables and once we got the hang of it, we had a really good time. We didn't play for prizes last night, as we were all learning. But if we had played for prizes, I'd have won the esteemed 50/50 prize. HA!! I won 12 games and lost 12 games. I guess it could have been worse...right?

We're hoping to play again soon. One of our ladies is going back to school and another is due with her second child any day now, so we're hoping to get another rowdy night on the schedule.

I just joined our church playgroup this past winter, though I've known about it since Sarah was born. I felt that for some reason they wouldn't want me to join, so I let my insecurity keep me away for years. I really like these ladies and I am so glad I finally got my act in gear. My life is richer for knowing them.

To be totally cliche, I'm glad I rolled the dice and joined the playgroup.

Friday, June 20, 2008

VBS and Mama Time

Today was the girls' last day of VBS. Last night they did a little performance for the parents. Sarah actually participated! She's really coming into her own. During her first year of preschool, she didn't really join in when her class was singing or doing hand motions. So it was exciting to see her doing the motions and singing with her friends last night. During the preschool part (Squeaky Beekers), Char just stood there sucking her thumb. That's pretty opposite of her personality so we were surprised. I'm sure as she's exposed to this kind of thing more often, she'll perk up.

One of the most exciting things about VBS wa the amount of Mommy Time I got this week. I shopped alone, got my hair cut, ran errands, and relaxed in my "spare" time. :)

I wish they had VBS every week.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Why not?

So many of my friends are"blogging" now and I have resisted for reasons even I don't understand. Maybe I thought I wouldn't have time. Maybe I figured I was too old and "out of the loop" to do it properly. Maybe I was just too lazy.

In spite of all of those excuses, I find myself here--blogging. I don't know that I'll have much of anything to say that's worth reading but here I am anyway.

Okay--here's a quick catch up:

1995--Graduated high school and entered Wright State University
1997--Started dating Andy; he left Wright State to finish school in Cleveland
2000--Andy moved back to Dayton and started working at LexisNexis after graduating from Cleveland State; got engaged
2001--Got married
2002--Bought our first home and became pregnant with our first child
2003--Sarah was born in April
2004--Became pregnant with Charlotte
2005--Charlotte was born in March
2006--Became pregnant with Sam; lost him to Trisomy 9 in November
2007--Became pregnant with Gabriel, Laura, & Joy; lost all three--Joy to Trisomy 1; no explanation for the other two; Bought our second home and finally sold our first home.
2008--Became pregnant with Erin and lost her in February to an unknown cause; Sarah graduated preschool and is headed to kindergarten in the fall; Char will start preschool in September

That's a BRIEF history. I'm sure that throughout my blogging "life" I'll expand on some of those but for now, it'll suffice.

Well, I'm a part of the blogging community now. It's official. Hello Blogosphere!