Friday, December 25, 2009

Ella Charles' First Christmas

After much prayer and faith, the Lord has blessed us richly and we are home with our baby girl for Christmas! I can not imagine a better way to celebrate Jesus' birth! We are thankful to our Savior for the many reasons that this has been such a wonderful day, and here's a little bit of joy we want to share with you...

Ella Charles with visions of sugarplums...

Little man Jack LOVING his little cousin...

Santa's suit from Grandmama Myra...

'Twas the night before Christmas compliments of her Aunt Ree (Lori)

Cozy and comfy at San's house

Monday, December 7, 2009

Pictures of Ella Charles

Plenty to post about, but thought new pics. would be appreciated! I plan to post what's been going on with us later, but for now enjoy the view!:)

the family during our wonderful Thanksgiving celebration

Daddy's little dear...

love to watch her sleep...

Thanksgiving night

Jason's mom (Mrs. Myra) holding the baby for the first time

the pretty girl...

my two loves...

Ella and her granny...

PLEASE BE IN PRAYER FOR ELLA. We have experienced a bump in the road. She has had 2 more episodes of heart dips and not breathing while she is eating. We are very discouraged and worried. They assure us she will grow out of it, but it is very scary for your child to stop breathing and go limp while they are in your arms. I feel I could cry for days. The Lord has been with us and done mighty things, and I know He is still here. Please pray for progress for Ella as well as much comfort and encouragement for us. Thank you so much. Will post more good news soon...

Monday, November 30, 2009

God is good all the time

Since we have been here, there are moments when I feel like time is dragging its feet. Other times, I can not believe how fast things are moving. One of my goals is to stay current on my blog and keep everyone informed of Ella's progress, but another week has gone by and I have plenty to tell. So here are more updates on our sweet girl!

Saturday the 21st was Jason's mother's birthday. She came and spent the afternoon with us, then later that evening, I gave Ella a bath for the first time, which was pretty scary. It was a pretty special day for us. And little did we know, the whole week would be filled with special moments and lots of firsts.

Sunday my Daddy came to visit, and we went out to lunch as a family for the first time in months. We had another day of blessings from the Father, and Sunday night, Jason held his little girl for the first time. I can not even explain to you how I felt when he was looking down at her snuggled in his arms. He is already a great daddy, and I can't wait to watch him grow as a father.

Monday, Ella was 3 lbs. which meant we could finally put some clothes on her! My mother and I had fun picking out something for her to wear for the first time, and then my mama got to hold her for the first time. Another moment I won't forget. My mother already talks about taking Ella to the park and teaching her to cook. My prayer is that Ella has many, many years with her grandparents doing lots of fun things together.

Tuesday, we bottle fed her for the first time, which was a huge step as she had only been feeding through a tube. This is sort of a milestone. We began trying with 2 bottles a day, one per 12 hour shift, so as not to tire her out. As I've mentioned before, it's hard work for a premie to suck, swallow, and breathe at the same time.
As she gets more comfortable with this, they will begin to increase using the bottle for more feedings, and that is one of the main requirements before we go home. We pray that she continues to gain weight and get stronger so, again, maybe we can be home by Christmas.

Wednesday, Mrs. Myra and Grandaddy came to visit again. This time, Jason's mother got to hold her. I have been lucky enough to witness these special moments, and for that I am so thankful. With every moment that passes, every milestone reached, every first...I am so amazed by the Lord's goodness, and my cup runneth over with love and joy for our Father as well as for my baby.

Thursday brought a different kind of Thanksgiving. It was one of the most special days that I can remember. Thanksgiving meant a lot of different things this year, and though we were thankful for so many things, we were not excited about being away from home. But home came to us! My Daddy, Aunt Sandra, Uncle Jack, Lori, Ben, and sweet little man Jack, came to join us in Pensacola (my mother was already here:) and brought one of the biggest and best Thanksgiving dinners I can remember! They rented a hotel room with a kitchen and a table, and we had one of the nicest dinners imaginable! I get teary-eyed just thinking about it. What a special, special family I have! There was one important person missing though, but it sure was helpful that she was only a mile away, and I know she will be with us next year. Even little man Jack said, "I want baby Ella." I can't wait for him and the rest of my family to meet her! Not to mention all our friends...After dinner, Jason and I went for our nightly visit and Ella finished her whole bottle for the first time! What an appropriate end to the day! To the Sansoms and the Foremans you will NEVER EVER be able to understand what Thursday meant to us, and we love you so much. Thank you for everything you have been and everything you have done during this time. You have no idea what having you as our family means.

My Daddy sacrificed a day of hunting, and spent the night Thursday night to stay with Mama Friday for Jason and I to go home for the day. J and I got up about 4:30 Friday morning (yes, there were already people lined up at the mall across the street!), and we went to see Ella before heading to Andalusia. When we got home, I was so happy to see my pets! Me, Tip, Happy, and Maisy sat in the recliner and watched a movie while J worked. (I was instructed not to lift a finger...) It was so great being at home, but it also reminded me of how much we have to do before Ella comes home. I know the Lord will help us work it out. He has taken care of everything else. Friday afternoon, Jason and I went to Lori and Ben's to watch the ballgame. It was nice to be able to relax, but after a quick visit to the Sansoms and the Fores after the game, Jason and I were ready to get back to our little one! When we got back, Mother (after MUCH convincing) and Daddy headed back to Andalusia, and Jason and I spent the rest of the weekend doing a lot of sleeping and spending time with Ella. My mom came back yesterday prepared to spend another week baby-sitting me and Ella. Thank God for wonderful Mamas!:)

Today has brought more changes. I had a checkup this morning, and my bp was 114/68!
Dr. Dobak decreased my meds, and we will see where to go from here. Ella has been doing excellent in holding her own temperature, so today they took her out of the incubator, and put her in a regular crib! She finished another whole bottle again today, which makes the fifth time so far, and we are still praying for her to
continue to progress. God IS good ALL the time, and all the time God is good. Please remember us in your prayers, and I look forward to posting that we will be coming home soon! Until then...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Update on Ella

Not too long ago, I made a statement on one of my posts about how all the people on facebook do not need to neglect their blog. It has occurred to me just tonight that I am guilty of that very thing. I realized I have not posted anything since I have been out of the hospital! For that I'm sorry, as I tell everyone that they can keep up with our family through my blog! So, here's what's been happening...

Last Friday morning I woke up early expecting to leave the hospital sometime that day. Though I was still in pain, I was feeling better. Jason went to check on Ella before he left for work. He came back by my room and told me that she had had some dips in her heart rate, which is one reason I had to deliver her early. When Jason left I became really upset and cried myself to sleep. When I woke up later in the morning, my mother and I went to see Ella, and her sweet nurse explained that those dips were very common in premies because they sometimes forget to breathe as they are eating or sometimes for no reason at all, and that sometimes they just need to be touched or if it continued, be given caffeine as a stimulant. Wow, did I feel better. I don't think I would have such a hard time if I were given explanations in the beginning. I am learning to ask lots of questions. The nurse assured me Ella was doing great, and they upped her food, as she was tolerating everything well.

Saturday morning came and, for who knows what reason, I found myself hysterical about Ella. Jason once again reminded me of how much Jesus loves Ella, and how He had brought us too far to take away our little girl. I began to think of everything He had brought us through. I began to think of everything that had happened, and how I even went to Ecuador when I was pregnant! I couldn't help but to think about how these things had not been in vain, and how the Lord protected in each situation. I thought of all the events that had taken place in the hospital, and how He had His hand on us the whole time. Then I began to experience such a peace. Later that day, I held her for the first time, and I realized even more than ever that everything we had experienced was worth it. We prayed for years to have this sweet baby girl, and here she was our precious, tiny gift from the Father. The Bible speaks of how the Lord loves to give His children good gifts, and aside from God sending His Son, this is the best gift Jason and I could ever receive.

I woke up Sunday morning praising the Lord for all He had done. Though my heart was light, I thought of our church and how I missed being at home, especially since revival was beginning. Revival had already begun in our lives, however. When you come to the place where you have no choice but to depend on the Lord, it makes you want to love and serve Him more. I pray that we can stay focused on Him as Ella gets stronger and even as we go home. I pray that we remember how much He has done for us, and we change our lives and strive to live accordingly. Once again, Ella had another great day.

Monday was the goal for us; the date we had set for Ella to be born. I thought of how we almost made it, and how we made it further than many thought. Again, we praise God and are thankful for the excellent doctors and nurses surrounding us. They have become like family. I thought of how blessed we were to have such a healthy child from the beginning. I probably mentioned this in my last post, but Ella did not have to have any assistance breathing nor was she on any medications when she was first born, which is not always the case with any newborn, but especially with premies. They did place a tube of oxygen (that had the same flow as room air-what you and I breathe) in her nose just to help her remember to breathe. Monday they removed the tube to see if she would breathe on her own, and she has done great with the change. Monday is also the day they took her out from under the light that helps with jaundice, and it's ALSO the day I held my sweet girl for the second time. Jason could not stand it! He was scared the whole time, and ever since he has discouraged me from holding her explaining that she is too little! He is such a daddy now, and he says he doesn't want to hold her until she is at least 6 pounds. I have a feeling he will change his mind... :) Monday was also the day I finally got out of the hospital. The doctors were reluctant because my blood pressure was still high, but they decided that would be an ongoing battle for a while. It's funny...I had been so ready to leave the hospital, but when the day arrived, I cried thinking of how I would no longer be just around the corner from Ella! Again, we thank God for The Ronald McDonald House!

Tuesday Ella was a week old. In ways it seems like she was born yesterday, and in other ways, I feel as if she has been in the NICU for months. I look at her little, little body and am so amazed at God's handywork. I think of Jesus holding her in His hands, and how one touch from Him keeps everything working as it should. Ella had her first ultrasound of her brain, a routine practice with premies, and we thank the Lord above that everything came back normal! She continued to do well Tuesday, and when we went back for our late night visit, the lady at the desk told us she had been moved to Level 2, the level right before she goes home! WOW, God! We anticipate several more weeks, and are hoping they don't rush her. We want her to have all the time she needs before we go home. But what a huge step! This is where they will start trying to teach her to bottle feed, and where they will begin to see if she can hold her own temperature to be in a regular bed instead of the incubator. Again, we are praying for huge strides forward every day, and are hoping to be home by Christmas. Everyone says with premies often it is 3 steps forward and 5 steps back. But we expect great things from our Father, and are excited about Ella continuing to progress.

Wednesday came and Jason and I had to adjust to the fact that though Level 2 meant progression, it also meant less one on one time as far as nurses are concerned. It is quite different that what we grown accustomed to! The doctor upped her food, as she seemed to be tolerating things well, and the day was very uneventful. When it comes to the NICU, that is the best kind of day! Ella did have her hearing test on Wednesday and she passed! Thank you, Jesus!

When we went for our morning visit on Thursday, we were delighted to find that they had removed Ella's IVs. She was continuing to improve, and again they increased her feedings. However, yesterday afternoon when Jason and my mother visited, they thought her little tummy was swollen. The nurse measured it, and sure enough, it was. Ella's doctor (who we LOVE) came to check on her, and she thought it was just air. She ordered an x-ray just to be sure that Ella did not have an infection. Her doctor told us a couple days earlier that this is the stage where the risk of infection is a little higher as the food is increased. Though the x-ray came back normal, I was still beside myself. Being a mother is so scary! The doctor discovered that the nurse had not been venting her after her feedings, and that she thought she just needed to get rid of the air in her stomach. She assured me that it was probably nothing, and that she would be better over the next couple of days. Needless to say when we went back last night there was a sign on her crib saying "Please Vent Me After Feeding!" They promised to continue to watch her, but we woke up this morning anxious to go check on her!

We found our pretty girl fast asleep this morning. The doctor came by and told us that Ella was better today. They increased her food all the way up to her maximum amount today, and, again, she seems to be tolerating things really well. Bro. Barry came for a nice visit this afternoon, and through his prayer, I was reminded that the Lord has kind and loving hands. I always pray that He holds Ella in His hands, but I forget sometimes what that means, and how special that is. Bro. Barry also prayed that not only did we feel God's Presence, but that Ella would too. This brought tears to my eyes. It never occurred to me that she could be aware of the Father, but the very thought of this gave me so much comfort! I am thankful that the Lord provides wisdom and comfort to His children through other people!

This afternoon the nurses gave her a suppository to help her tummy. When that kicked in she felt much better and Jason and I literally watched her stomach go down in front of our very eyes! We felt much better, and were able to enjoy a nice dinner with my mother. I will close for now, as it is time to practice Kangaroo Care with my little one! I would like to again say thank you for everything including lifting us up in prayer. Please continue to pray for Ella to grow stronger and healthier, and for us a family.

(Just click on Foreman Family under my list of friends on my blog page.)

Thursday, November 12, 2009


I can not believe she is finally here. We wanted to wait a little longer, but the Lord has
His perfect timing. The past couple of days have been really hard, but I thought I would share with you the events that led up to the arrival of our little, tiny miracle.

Monday I began to have the feeling that something wasn't right. Nothing had changed physically, but I had a feeling I could not explain. I woke up Monday morning determined to take a shower because I felt like it might be the last chance I would have before she was born. Little did I know that I would be right. Again, I absolutely can not explain it, except to say that I do feel like the Lord sometimes uses those feelings to prepare us for what lies ahead.

Monday Ella's ultrasound was fine, except she did not practice breathing, which is not uncommon in her age (plus all the meds I was taking), but then her heart rate started to dip some during the day. It had happened before, but, again, I just felt like things were different. My doctors put me on continuous monitoring, and gave me another ultrasound that night, which was fine except, again, she would not practice breathing. I called Jason (who was planning to go to Andalusia that night), and convinced he and my Daddy to come spend the night Monday night. Hurricane Ida was set to hit the coast, and there was talk of closing the bridge in Pensacola. I really wanted Daddy and J to be with me and Mama when she was born, and I felt like I wasn't sure if I would make it through the night without delivering Ella. So, they came. But, Monday night passed and still no baby.

Tuesday I woke up with that same weird feeling, and my sweet nurse told me that Ella's heart rate had still been dipping through the night. I asked her if she thought that I would deliver Ella. Though she wasn't saying much, I could tell she was nervous, and she paged one of the resident doctors who came in my room and told me my anxiety was getting the best of me, that I should think positive thoughts and that we would see how my ultrasound went that day. Five minutes later, Dr. Doback, one of the two main doctors handling my case, came in and did an ultrasound, and could not get Ella to move. He said we had one hour, and that I needed to get my Daddy and Jason here right away. From that point, things moved very quickly, and I got to see Jason walking through the door as Dr. Doback was wheeling me into the operating room. He was not allowed to come in with me because since I had back surgery, they weren't sure an epidural would take, so they decided to put me under general anesthesia. Since my delivery, I have learned that Dr. Doback does not usually go into surgery with his patients, and Jason and I have discussed how much that meant to us that he was with me. We feel like that is just another way the Lord was looking out for me and Ella, and we believe Dr. Doback is a gift to us from God. We're not sure if it's just because he loves the Tide like J, or what, but whatever the reason he chose to be with us, we are very greatful, and I feel like he is the reason things went as well as they did. So thank you, Dr. are forever in our hearts and lives.

Looking back, I am really thankful that I was, in a way, prepared, as it made seem things less scary. Of course the rest of Tuesday is a huge blur, and I was completely out of it the rest of the day. I vaguely remember people who visited, and bits and pieces of conversations. It was only today that I remembered Jason bought me a necklace with Ella's birthstone that day, and he also bought her a tiny ring with hearts and her birthstone. He wanted us both to have something special to celebrate her birth. Did I tell you I have the best husband ever?

Yesterday I woke up thinking what a breeze my C-section had been, and how I was not even in pain. What I didn't realize was that I had an IV hooked up with medication that they later told me was 13 times stronger than Morphine, and all I had to do was push a little button to receive the meds, and that I could get a dose of it as often as every six minutes. One of my great resident doctors came by and told me that they would be unhooking that and the magnesium drip at 11:00 yesterday morning. I remember her telling me to hit the button before they unhooked me and before I attempted to get up, and I remember thinking how that would probably not be necessary. Well, I guess I didn't realize how often I pushed my little button, because when 11:00 rolled around, for the second time during this hospital stay, I thought I would not make it through the day. I got up to find lots of blood, which really scared me, but everyone reassured me was completely normal. Then as I tried to eat before my shower, I discovered I couldn't keep anything down, which is REALLY fun when you have stitches and staples in the muscles of your stomach that you use for many things but just don't realize it. Not only did they have to cut me across my stomach, but Ella got stuck so they also had to make a vertical cut in my uterus. Super fun.

I finally made it to the shower, and then I was faced with the task of changing rooms. Even though my sweet family did all the work, I felt so overwhelmed, and I began to be overcome with emotion. Plus, I had not even laid eyes on my daughter.

We got moved, and then I went to meet my sweet Ella. I did not know how much I loved her until I saw her. I came back to my room to find some friends and family who had come to visit, and they provided a much needed distraction from the pain, and the fact that our baby girl was what felt like miles away hooked up to a bunch of machines. When my sweet company left, my sweet mother was left to take care of me. I know I have said this before, but I could not have made it here without her, my daddy, and Jason. My mother has been here to carry me around in the wheelchair, listen to me, cry with me...and she has never once complained. Not once. I am amazed at her strength and love, and again, I thank the Lord above for such a special woman as my mother. I hope I can be half of the mother she is.

As I was crying through the pain with my stomach feeling like a watermelon, she assured me that I would be better every day that passed. After an exhausting day for her, she went to stay down the hill at the Ronald McDonald house. We were fortunate enough to be able to reserve a room there (another blessing from God), and until I get out of the hospital, a family member has to stay there or we will lose our spot. I have not been there yet, but my mother and Jason say it is amazing. I am so thankful we will be able to stay close to Ella without the costs of hotel fees. I will also be forever thankful to whatever genius came up with this idea.

Last night, Jason stayed at the hospital with me and, of course, got no rest, as he had to wake up and help me walk to the bathroom, which proved to be a long and daunting task. When you wake up at 2:30 in the morning to go to work, every moment of sleep lost is huge. Again, what would I do without him? About 12:30 last night, I was overcome with emotion (and hormones?) and became almost hysterical thinking of Ella, which, again is not ideal with a stapled stomach. My wonderful nurse came and got me, though, and we went to see my baby girl for about an hour in the middle of the night. I have been so surprised at how much I have been crying over Ella. Afterall, Jesus has blessed us by watching over her from the moment she arrived. She has, so far, had to have no medications, or even oxygen, which is not always the case with premie babies. Her breathing has been fine, and all of her nurses assure us she is doing wonderful. Still, there are moments when I am consumed with the fact that she is so little and helpless, and there are times I find myself begging the Lord to take care of her, to make her healthier and stronger and to keep her safe. My faith is in Him alone, but Satan uses quiet moments to instill doubt and fear deep in my heart. Please be in prayer about that.

Still, today has been much better. My pain has been decreasing, and my mood has been improving. Mother and I visited baby Ella in the NICU unit today, and she is doing very well. She has lost a little weight, which is to be expected, but other than that she is pretty and perfect. To us anyway. When Jason got here after work, we went back to see her, and I got pretty upset again. I am feeling better now after some prayer and comfort from J and my awesome nurses. I hope things continue to get even better and better as the days pass. I can't wait to start our new life with our little girl, and I can't wait for all you who have prayed so hard and kept us in your thoughts to meet her! Please keep praying for me and my family. I know we have some long days ahead...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ella Charles

One more picture of our sweet girl!!

Ella Charles is Here!!

Hey guys! This is Lori... the only people that can see Ella Charles is Jason right now and then they are going to let the grandparents see here but that's all for a while. She will definately be in the hospital for 5 weeks at the best so she'll be here for a while.

She weighed 2 lbs. 11 oz. and is 15 inches long and BEAUTIFUL!! Here are our first pictures that Jay took for us. So, enjoy!! Mother and baby are still doing well!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

11 days?

Today has been a good day. Other than those fleeting moments of worry and wonder, I woke up surprisingly overwhelmed with a confident peace that the Lord was taking care of things. And once again, He has.

As you may know, we, along with the doctors, have set a goal of Nov. 16 for Ella's birthday. Earlier this week, I asked Dr. Thorp if Nov. 15 came around, and things were still good, then what? He said if I made it to next week, we would revisit that question then. We know that the docs. know best, and we don't want to push too far, but we (J especially) don't want to short ourselves or our daughter on time. Again, we are praying every day for more and more time, as that will be less time she has to be in the hospital. It's funny how much my point of view has changed lately. I feel so blessed with each passing day, and just thank our Father above that I am still here. My nurse and I were discussing today just how sick I was when I came here (AND HAD NO IDEA), and as I've said before both of my docs. have said they both thought I would have delivered by now. They weighed me the other day, and I have lost 21 pounds since I have been here. Just fluid. I am truly, truly amazed at how far I have come, and I shudder to think of what could have happened had I not been transferred from Dothan that night. Tomorrow will be one month exactly. The days do seem to be passing faster, but I guess it's because my days are full of lots of sleeping. I can tell my poor mother is wearing down, as HER days are filled with crossword puzzles, reading, and walks through the courtyard. I can not imagine being here without her.

The itching is MUCH better, so thanks for all the prayers about that. My bp is still kind of all over the place, but just not as high as it was before. They are discussing changing my meds a little, and that is scary because I never know how my system will take even a minor adjustment in medication. Please be in prayer about that. I am also praying that Ella will arrive healthy and strong, and that the docs. will be amazed at how well she is. Ultimately, I will say again, we realize she is in the Lord's hands, and He loves her more than we do. I really never knew you could love someone so much when you haven't even met them!

Dr. Thorp just came in and said my strips (where they monitor her heartbeat three times a day for an hour) looked better today than he has seen them, and that today is the first day in several weeks that the bloodflow through the umbilical cord was not absent, which is good. Though my fluid was a little lower yesterday, it was back up today, and everything is looking great. She's been moving a lot, which he says is the most important indication of how things are going. Before he left my room, he said "Nov. 16, right?" I just laughed and told him we would talk about that next week. He said he is usually pushing patients to go further, not the other way around. He said he has never had a patient push him before. Well, we just believe God is doing amazing things every day, and we have much faith that He will continue to work miracles. We give Him the glory in everything, and we continue to thank you for your support and your prayers. As one of my favorite (resident) docs. said to me the other day, "It ain't as long as it has been..." This will all be over soon, and I pray that one day Ella can use this story to speak of God's amazing love and faithfulness. I know Jason and I will. We will never be the same, and really I am excited about how the Lord will use our story for His kingdom. We will see...

Saturday, October 31, 2009

We made it to November!

Another day has passed, and the Lord has continued to bless us. It has been kind of rough today, but tomorrow is a new morning.

I started the day late as my sweet nurse let me sleep in. But that meant taking my meds later than usual so when it was time for my ultrasound little Ella was very sleepy, which was scary for a minute there because they like to see LOTS of movement during the u/s. The techs, I assume, don't work on the weekends, so Dr. Doback himself performed my u/s today. He is a second specialist who works alongside Dr. Thorp on cases such as mine. He was FINALLY able to get Ella to move and practice breathing (another requirement), and so we passed. He said we are good at least until tomorrow. We are still praying tomorrow brings another tomorrow. Dr. Doback also said that there is a slight problem with the bloodflow through the umbilical cord (we have known this from the beginning), and that it will not be anything serious enough to make me deliver, UNLESS the bloodflow reverses. So, we are praying against that.

My rash is about the same, and I swear I think it may drive me to madness. However, I think I mentioned they prescribed a new medication yesterday that they use for people who are having probs. with their gallbladder. I am praying it helps, and that or the hydrocortisone cream DOES seem to be working. Maybe it will continue to get better.

The finger-pricking is getting really old really fast. The nurse says they use "industrial size"meter, and, I know, in the grand scheme of things this should not be a big deal, but my fingers are sore, and nothing seems to be happening. The nurse asked one of my docs. about it tonight, and he said he just assumed I was diabetic. Well, no. So, in the morning, I will have an official glucose test to make sure I don't have gestational diabetes. I am praying that goes well because ice cream and candy bars make my stay a little more pleasant.

I have been crying lots today. It started with a long talk with my nurse about the NICU unit this morning. Then I just sort of became overwhelmed. Borrowing trouble again, I guess. I am just missing my pets, and am sad because my little dog, Happy, is just not adjusting well. He will hardly eat, and has an eye infection from a scratch (I'm thinking I know who is the source of that...), and his eye is not getting better because he is crying so much. I have seen him twice since I have been here, and he just makes me sad that I can't be there to take care of him. Again, this may seem trivial to many of you, but if you have ever had a pet that you loved, you know what I mean. And it's just another reminder that I am away from my home. I feel consumed by so many things. I am wondering how we are going to get our house ready for Ella...I am scared at how long she will have to be in the hospital and what she will look like (so little and helpless, I mean)...I am nervous about not knowing if we can wait a little longer...I am sad that I can't be at home...Don't get me wrong; I KNOW how blessed I am and how much our Father is watching out for's just these brief periods of darkness that are SO hard to take. I don't know how people face anything without the Lord. I don't. I am so thankful that we can lean on Him and depend on Him. Jason reminds me every day that we are in Jesus' hands, and how much He loves our child. I would not have made it this far without prayers and my family. My parents and Jason have been so amazing through this. Lots of people have and, again, we thank you. Please pray that we (I) can continue to focus on our many blessings.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Day by Day

Things have been good today. One of my sweet Dr.s who reassures me by his calming presence, told me that everything was looking even better today, in regards to the ultrasounds and monitors. However, several new but minor complications seem to be arising. The rash is worse and they decided to try an anxiety medicine to maybe help stop the itching. It completely knocks me out, but works like a charm. However, since yesterday I have been having a couple of low bps. Today I had one that was like 104/49 which they say is completely unacceptable and harmful to the baby since she is used to thriving on high pressures. The docs. are completely puzzled about the situation, but for now I have decided I will just itch. It is not worth delivering our child for a little relief. Relief for me will come soon enough. They have also decided to test my liver and gallbladder, as they say sometimes they do not function properly during pregnancy, which could be the source of the rash. PLUS, my glucose levels have been elevated during my labs, so now I get a finger prick after every meal, which may lead to ANOTHER shot every day of insulin. I actually am becoming quite the champ, I think, between the IV's, blood tests, and shots. I would never have thought I could do it...I used to cry when I had to get my blood drawn! It's amazing at the strength that comes, and what you can go through. I just keep thinking of how much bigger and stronger she is becoming, and with the Lord's help, November 16 will be here before we know it. Right now, Ella weighs 2 lbs and 14 oz, and if she can stay on track, she should weigh almost 4 lbs. when she gets here. Please continue to lift us up in prayer. God is doing amazing things here daily, and I thank each of you.

I was thinking tonight of what I would normally post about this time of year. It would have to be the overwhelming beauty of the fall...the crisp in the air. There are so many fun things I am missing out on like the fair and the fall festival at our church. But next year...I have been outside 2 times since I have been here (in a wheelchair at that) but both days were cool and windy. I love the fall! It seems fresh and hopeful.

I feel like my posts are always so serious, so I have decided to do a post inspired by an e-mail that Lori sent me a while back. I know this is a long post, but this will make me feel semi-normal instead of like I am trapped here in the hospital (and am praying to continue to be for a while.)


25 Random Things About Me:

1)I LOVE to write. (Can you tell?) I have written several children's books, and hope to one day have them published. I like to think of special children in my life, and write books for them. I wrote one for Jack for his birthday (called "Uncle Tractor" about him and my Daddy), and I wrote one about a sister pig with Tara's Piper in mind. (Tara loves pigs.)

2)The Umpa Lumpas terrify me. (You know from "Willy Wonka"...) Clowns freak me out too. And there's this movie (NOT A CHILDREN'S MOVIE) that we watched as children called "Return to Oz"...There are scary people in it with squeaky wheels for hands and feet, (called "The Wheelers") and they chase kids...SO SCARY...Also, spiders. HATE spiders.

3)When I was a child, I had a blanket that I rubbed over my lips and through my fingers until it literally was a small thread. Even now, when I am anxious or nervous I catch myself rubbing my shirt tail with my fingers.

4)I was adopted at 3 months old to the best parents EVER. My mother has always told me that if she had birthed a child it would have been me because the Lord put us together as a family.

5)I am TERRIBLE at sports. All of them. Except bowling. (Is that a sport?) I was actually on a bowling league and did pretty well. So was Jason. We quit it because it was on Sunday nights, and we missed going to church.

6)There are only 7 people/groups that I have, as long as I can remember, said I would see in concert before I die, and I have seen 4 out of 7 of them. (Elton John, John Mayer-LOVED him for a while before he started talking instead of singing, Stone Temple Pilots, and Train.) The three left are Sting, Dave Matthews, (MY FAV.) and Aerosmith. I have also seen Gary Allen, George Jones, John Conley, Disturbed, Fuel, Maroon 5, Five for Fighting, Ray Boltz, an awesome concert comprised of several Christian singers (think the lead singer from Third Day), and several others I'm sure I am forgetting. Each one has been different and awesome, but it's hard to beat Elton with just a piano for 3 hours.

7)Jason was my best friend in high school, and I would have never dated him then. I met him when I went to Andalusia High School (for one year), and we even had a notebook we wrote in and passed back and forth in English. I still have it! One day I was going to be out of school (I think it may have been my birthday...) and just to kid him, I told Jason I was having my tonsils removed. Well, he went to the hospital, and even brought me a little puppy as a get well present! I felt TERRIBLE! That turned out to be Jason's favorite dog he ever had,though! And look what God had planned!

8)I have two dogs and a cat. My cat, Maisy, is beautiful with long gray hair and green eyes. Jason got her for me Christmas 2001, after I had moved home from Auburn. I had a cat that I brought home with me that got outside,and my big bulldog, Pup, killed it. Maisy was a replacement, and she is the best cat ever. She is definitely not a people cat (most people that come over don't even know we have her), and she hates the dogs. If they get close to her when they walk by, she slaps them, and sometimes draws blood from their nose or their ear-whatever she catches. Sometimes sweet little Happy will be asleep at the end of the bed, and she will jump up and start to chase him, knives ready. He is terrified of her. So is Tip.

9)Happy (my little white poodle mix) I found 3 months after we got married at my cousin Kelley's house. We drove around the neighborhood all afternoon looking for his home. We finally found where he lived at the man acted like he didn't even want him. He told me I could have him. I left him, though, and cried all night. I called him the next day, and he told me to come get him. So, I did. Kelley told me I should have named him "Circles" because he turns a million circles a day. He is really smart (he knows to speak, say please (yes, he does them differently), throw and catch his toys. In other ways, he's really dumb...he will not walk by anything that is on the floor; he will just stand there and cry for hours until you pick him up. He is also terrified of plastic bags, and any noise a dish in the sink may make.

10)Tip was an anniversary present for J. I regretted it so much at first because he tore my house to pieces. Now, he has my heart. He will go outside when we have the baby, and that will be a big adjustment for him (and his daddy.)

11)My favorite movies are "Serendipity" and "You've Got Mail". Such a girl, right? Best drama if you need a good cry-"The War" with Kevin Costner.

12)The funniest show that I have EVER seen is "The Office." You may have to watch it a couple of times to catch the humor, but it is addictive. My other all time favorite shows are "The Gilmore Girls" and, yes, "Gilligan's Island."

13)Christmas is my favorite time of the year, and I try to watch a Christmas movie every day in
December, which my husband loves.

14)I once rode in a hot-air balloon over the desert in Arizona. It was amazing.

15)I love to fly and travel, and hope to continue to do lots of both.

16)Jason proposed to me under a big tree at our church after we had a big fight.

17)I am severely allergic to seafood. We went with Tara and Timmy to a Japanese Steakhouse a couple of years ago for my birthday. They kept the shrimp separate but used the same spatula and I had to stop 4 times on the way home because I was so sick. It seems to get progressively worse as I get older.

18)The best lasagna I've ever had was in Ecuador.

19)The worst food I've ever had was in Ecuador.

20)I love rainy days and Italian food.

21)I do not understand how to use E-Bay. It confuses me.

22)I hope to finish school and teach one day.

23)I have a scar on my knee from when I fell on the tennis courts in the 6th grade. I remember I was so upset because I messed up my favorite pair of jeans.

24)I was a cheerleader in highschool, and in the LBW Ensemble in college. I absolutely loved both, but could never imagine myself doing either in the present day.

25)My first car was a turquoise blue Lumina that we referred to as the Luminator. I used to take it mud-riding, and pack as many people as would possibly fit in there. My parents would get SO mad.

So, there you go. A few random things about me. Will post more soon, and try to be shorter next time.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Still pregnant...

29 weeks and counting. The original goal here for us was 33 weeks, and we are managing to push closer every day. Yesterday, Dr. Thorp ordered me to have an ultrasound every day instead of every other day, so this morning I woke up pretty anxious knowing what was ahead. I have some of my favorite scriptures posted in front of my bed, so when I feel overwhelmed, I look up and try to focus on Jesus and His promises. Jason (my other constant source of strength) reminds me that Jesus loves our little girl even more than we do, and that He has His perfect timing. I know he's right, and we have experienced that first hand several times, as there has been more than one occasion that different doctors have told me they expected me to deliver already.

I know the Lord does have His perfect timing, but I also think He listens to the prayers of His children, and we are continuing to pray daily for Ella to stay with me a little longer. As a matter of fact, J and I set a personal goal of November 16. That will be the Monday after I am 32 weeks. (I will be 33 weeks the next Saturday, and my doc. has already told me, and continues to tell me, he will not let me go over 33 weeks.) Anyway, I told Dr. Thorp this morning about November 16, and he told the nurse to go ahead and schedule my C-section for that day. I was so surprised! But now that is the new plan. Unless something begins to change for the worst, Ella will be born November 16. The fact that he so quickly agreed to the date, reassured me, and made me feel like that is something that he thinks is obtainable. Again, there are several factors that affect this decision, so we still need lots of prayer every day. Two verses that have come to mean a lot to me this week are Matthew 17:20 (faith like a mustard seed) and Ephesians 3:20,21 which speaks of how the Lord is able to do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine. I am receiving nothing from this experience, if not a lesson in the power of prayer and faith. Again, I am thankful, too that His mercies are new every morning.

Thank you all so much for the prayers, gifts, cards, and comments on my blog. Some of you I have not spoken with in years, and I am thankful that you took the time to show your love and support.

Brittany, thanks for the tip on the water...something is working (prayer, I know), and I want you to know I prayed for you and your baby too.

Shelley, just to let you know...these nurses here are amazing, and EVERY one of them talks about how they love and miss you. I hope you have a wonderful honeymoon.

To all of you at Hopewell, I hope the fall festival is amazing tomorrow night, and I wish I could be there to help. Next year, Ella and I will be there with bells on.

They just gave me something for this horrible itching, and though it seems to be working, I am getting extremely sleepy, and I didn't sleep at all last night. I know I have mentioned that some of these meds. give me horrible nightmares, so I almost kindof dread going to sleep. I try to get naps during the day, and now is the time. Will post more soon...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

LOTS of prayer requests...

Today is a pretty good day. We made it through this week with no major catastrophes, (kind of a record for Fridays here) and, in the Lord's hands, we just keep on pushing.

My doc. came in this morning with good news, and maybe some not so good news. My protein levels have gone done from a 10 to a 4 since last week (very good thing), and my monitoring and ultrasounds, for the most part look really good. However, the fluid levels surrounding the baby seem to be decreasing every other day. (They know this from the ulrasounds.) Dr. Thorp said this is not something to be overly concerned about, but it does mean we may not make it to 33 weeks. We are still staying positive, and are expecting to make it to our original goal. We will know more about it Monday, and the doc. even said that the levels could be back up Monday. I thought he was joking, but the nurse told me that it's definitely possible, and they have seen it happen before. She also assured me that SEVERAL different factors play in to whether it's time to deliver or not, and it just depends on what they feel will be best for me and the baby at the time. So we will see...

One of my main prayer requests since I have been here is concerning abnormal ultrasounds. Previously, I had two other different areas that were irregular, and, through much prayer, each area has been corrected. I believe in the Lord, and I believe He is able to perform mighty miracles, so we are just praying in the direction that He will correct this problem just as He has several other complications so far. He is so mighty...

Also, my bp was kind of all over the map yesterday. Though my high ones were not extremely high (like 165 or 170-they like to keep it between 140 and 150 for me) I only really had one GOOD reading yesterday. They are not happy about that, and are continuing to limit visitors, AND I actually have had a couple lately that are way too low for me. Thursday I had one that was like 93/68. The Dr. said that is too low for me because the baby is used to much higher pressures, and actually needs those to keep thriving. They were hoping to have me more steady and stable by now, so please pray for that as well.

My spirits have been pretty good lately, and Dr. Thorp told me Thursday that he believed that was a huge reason I haven't delivered. Of course, that made me very happy, and I am trying hard to keep it up for our little girl. Every day she is growing and growing, and she becomes even more real to me, as I feel her wiggle and move lots and lots. I am just am lifting her up to the Father every day, and I ask that he gives me a little more time to keep her growing and growing before she arrives.

Please pray for my sweet mother who has not left Pensacola since I have been here. She won't. She is here with me many nights (or at her aunt's house who conveniently lives about 10 mins. away:), and every day. She is extremely tired and taxed (though she would never say it), and pray for strength and rest for her. Also, pray for her and my Daddy financially. He is busting it 5 days a week from 3:30 in the morning, and spending his weekends here. They have many unexpected expenses from hotel rooms to gas and food. (My mother buys me 3 meals a day so I won't have to eat cafeteria food, plus lots of other little things. For example, she bought me some Halloween streamers to decorate my room so I would feel more at home...greatest mother EVER.)

Pray that my Daddy and Jason would get rest as well. They both go to work so early, and I know my Daddy is lonely without my mother. And Jason spends almost EVERY night here with me. Then he goes home and has to wash clothes, care for our dogs...Again, we couldn't do it without lots of help, but DO please pray for my wonderful family. They are a huge reason I can keep going.

Please pray for my allergies. I have always had really sensitive skin and about 3 days ago, I started itching and clawing like crazy. My Dr. has ruled out the meds (thank you, Jesus), but other than that it is REALLY hard to track down what is causing it. They got me special sheets, but they are not sure WHAT could be the cause, from the laundry detergent to the towels. I am red and super itchy so pray that we could find the source of that.

Despite each of these minor details, I am aware more and more every day of the Lord's presence and His goodness. In a way, I feel kind of lucky to have this kind of extra time to focus on Him, and draw even closer to my precious friends and family. Also, until you experience something like this, you can NEVER understand the amazing love and generosity that people have deep inside. We have been blown away.

Again, thank you all for everything. I can't wait to one day tell Ella how much she was loved on and prayed for even before she was here. Until next time...just keep praying.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Thank You

Well, here I am. Sacred Heart Hospital. I wound up here in a whirl-wind of events, and it seems as though these people have saved my life, as well as given us hope for our daughter. I am praying to the merciful Lord above that Ella can hang in there with her mom for a couple more weeks. Jason brought me my computer, as he knows how I love to blog. I have come to realize he is the sweetest husband ever. I am immensely blessed to have friends and family like you. You have overwhelmed me with your love and kindness, and words can NEVER express how much you all have touched me and my family. You never think you will be the one this kind of stuff happens to, but our Savior provides strength and comfort every day. The verse from Lamentations has been a resounding source of hope, you know the one that promises His mercies are new every morning. He has already been so good to us, and I am hopeful for our bright future. I think He has big plans for our little girl, and He is helping me push through each day. I am having trouble breathing, and I am very weak. Still, God is good all the time. Thank you again for all that you have done. Hope to keep you posted with more good news...

Saturday, October 3, 2009

For everything there is a season...

And now's the time for football. You know what that means for me...plenty of time to blog! Yes, computer's still broken. But REALLY long days and nights at Lori's are not fruitless for me!

What could be a better time to blog? Fall is here as well, and it is my the beginnig of my favorite time of the year. The air is fresh and the wind is full of promise. At least that's the way I always feel. There's so many fun things to do and see, and I love the colors, smells, and opportunities that are present from now until the end of December. The cooler weather is always a plus, especially this year when it seems that cooling off is not a possibility for me. Blame it on the hormones, huh?

The pregnancy is going well, thanks to lots of prayers. We've had a couple of scary little incidents, the latest being rising blood pressure and the scare of possible toxemia. The Lord has provided His ever-present protection, and for now, we seem to be on the safe side.

Ella Charles is the name we have chosen for our sweet girl. (Jason gave in to her middle name, explaining to Lori that he was okay with "Charles" because we just wouldn't teach her her middle sweet J...what can I say about him?) We have so much to be thankful for, and catching up on everyone's blog tonight reaffirms those thoughts. Thanks for the reminders on faith and God's goodness. That's something I should focus on more often, and I feel like I would have a much more peaceful life. I am always borrowing trouble from tomorrow, though His Living Word reminds me that He has better things for me! Yet another thing I should focus on...

We have a lot to do to our house before Ella gets here (her nursery is currently full of baseball cards and hunting gear...), and we are running low on time! I am getting anxious, but I know it will work out. I am blessed with a great man who wants the best for his daughter and his wife, and I know he will somehow work it out in between hunting and football!

BY THE WAY, before I forget, there are a couple of you I could not catch up with (Lori G, Tina...)and I would like to. Let me know how.

I am extremely happy that you found yet another way to connect with the rest of the world, but PLEASE don't forget about blogging. That is the only way I can keep up with everyone, and I admit, I'm not even good at that! I keep hearing how I need to get on facebook myself, but with no consistent internet access, I say what's really the point? Just one more thing I would have to spend hours catching up on!

I hope to become a regular again in the blogging world, but we shall see! As long as there's a game. Until next time...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

It's a...

GIRL! Many of you probably already know, but J and I went to my wonderful Dr. last Wednesday, and what we found when we were there was our sweet little girl looking right up at us through the ultrasound. Obviously, she turned and we were able to CLEARLY see she was a she! I am still amazed by the Lord's greatness, and I still can't believe He has blessed us with a child. Her first name is decided (Ella), but we are still working on her middle name. I want it to be Charles after both of her grandfathers, but my husband...not so much. We are all working on him, though, and I have a feeling he will come around. I am halfway there! I was 20 weeks yesterday. I am praying that the last half will be as healthy and wonderful as the first! Thanks for all your prayers. Please keep it up!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Pregnancy Update

Hey, it's Lori. Some friends have been asking to see how much Carrie has grown with her pregnancy. I took a picture of her tummy when we went to the beach today so I'm hijacking her blog to show you guys:)

Pretty cute, right? I'm pretty sure that she's around 13 or 14 weeks. She's supposed to find out if it's a boy or girl in August. I guess I'll have to keep you guys updated:)

I'm also adding this picture of her and Jason just b/c I think it's really good.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

God's Amazing Grace -Ecuador part 1

I am back from yet another amazing mission trip. I am humbled by the many opportunities I have had this week to pray for people and just worship the Father. It only takes a glance to recognize the Lord's powerful love when you are in a beautiful land like Ecuador. The week started off pretty rocky. As most of you know, I am pregnant and have felt miraculously healthy...until the Friday that we leave for our trip. On the plane, I began to feel REALLY sick, and I developed a headache. Then, as Satan would have it, our luggage did not arrive in Ecuador when we did. I was exhausted and extremely discouraged. I really felt like I had made a huge mistake. Had it not been for my sweet sisters from Hopewell watching out for me (and even insisting on carrying my backpack!), I really do not know how I could have made it. (I love you girls!)

Friday night we stayed at this hotel when we arrived in Quito. I was so sick I don't remember much about it except the bathroom floor flooded every time we flushed the toilet...

Saturday morning I woke up optimistic, but soon found more of the same...extreme nausea and overwhelming feelings of regret and fear. (Again one of the many attacks of the enemy.) After a LONG 4 hour taxi ride through the mountains, (which surprisingly included the soundtrack of Bon Jovi, Def Leopard, and even a little "Carrie" by Europe) we finally arrived at our final destination, Riobamba. I began to feel a little better, and decided to go to an English speaking Bible study, where anyone interested in learning the English language could attend, and at the same time be presented the gospel through studying the Bible. I ALMOST didn't go, but the Lord gave me the strength and motivation to participate. What a blessing I received! It just so happened that there were the same amount of Ecuadorians as there were Americans. So we were split into pairs and were to discuss some particular Bible verses. My partner was Victor. We not only talked about our verses, but he began to ask me all manner of things about Christianity. He was a young believer, and I was inspired by how curious he was. We talked about Catholicism and how it varied from our beliefs, baptism, even tithing! I can only say the Holy Spirit guided my words, and we had a very special experience. Victor, I hope you are reading this, and know I am committed to continue to pray for you, and your walk with our Savior.


Sunday morning I woke up completely different. Though the previous days had been (mostly) filled with sickness and discouragement, I was overcome by His grace and comfort. He put a song in my heart, and the moment my eyes opened that morning, I began to sing it over and over. "I lift my eyes up to the hills, where does my help come from, my help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth." As you can see from the picture above, if Ecuador is anything, it is many mountains and hills. It was as if He was saying, "Look around you. I brought you to this amazing place for a reason. Trust me. I will take care of you." Sunday marked the dawn of a new day. Still no luggage, but no more sickness. Thank you Jesus.

(the girls, Sharon, Misty, me, Meredith, from the top of our beautiful hotel)

After a delicious breakfast and some fresh squeezed pineapple juice, we left to meet at the church. Our plans for the day included driving up the mountain to a natural, warm spring to witness the baptism. Again, I have never seen such beauty, and have never felt closer to God through nature. Here are some pics. of places we passed on the way to the baptism...

We arrived at the springs, and, well, you can see for yourself...

(Misty and Sharon)

Here is Bro. Johnny Maust, the missionary we worked with, sharing the message of the importance of salvation and baptism. Alex, (the guy in the red sweatshirt) is also a fairly new believer, and is good friends with my pal, Victor.

This is Maria, a new sister in Christ. (Ring the bells of heaven.) She is joined by Bro. Johnny and the local pastor of the mission church. We later had a chance to hear (though we couldn't understand) this sweet pastor who is so on fire for the Lord. He has had a tragedy in his family recently. His daughter's husband (who was 28) died from his heart malfunctioning while he was lifting weights. His wife (the pastor's daughter) is 5 months pregnant, and does not have a job. Before the baptism, the pastor spoke about his son-in-law's death, only to remind his congregation that the we never know when it will be our time.

More pics of the way down...

Sunday night we went to my favorite place to eat in Ecuador. Juan and his wife (the owners) are also Christians, and have recently experienced a myriad of discouraging events as well. They are really sweet people, and make the best lasagna I have ever had. Ever.

Sunday winds down with ice cream...

...and phone calls home. What an awesome day!

This is the amazing view of the city (Riobamba) from our window in our hotel room.

This is our beautiful hotel, "Rincon Alemon." If you are ever in Ecuador, this is the place to stay!

Monday we visited the town of Guano. We stopped to pray over the whole city first thing that morning. Though the town is breathtaking, it is full of darkness and spiritual warfare. There are lots of addictions and strongholds there, including idolatry and witchcraft. A long time ago, they even used to sacrifice virgins in the natural pools there. As you can imagine, praying for these people was spiritually and emotionally draining.

It is so different there, and in Ecuador in general. I remember last year when we were in Guano, Bro. Johnny told me that there are people that stand on the corner with goats, and people line up to buy a glass of milk. Yep. They milk the goat, sell it by the glassful, and then the next person in line gets the next glass of milk. (Same glass and all, you know...)

(headed down into Guano)

Ecuador is where most of the world's roses that are sold come from. Can't you see why? They have the most beautiful plants there!

This precious little girl is holding a card that my sweet kids in my class (Discipleship Training) made. They wanted to let the people in Ecuador know that Jesus loves them.

This is at a school in Guano. Though the principal is not a Christian, he always welcomes Christian teams and visitors. We loved visiting the school and playing with the kids.

This is Anita. I met her last year, and when I thought of Ecuador, I thought of her. She is one of the very few Christians in Guano, and she has lost many friends and family members because
of her faith. Her daddy would even hit her in the face and beat her so she would be too embarassed to go to church. But that did not stop her. Her dedication humbles and amazes me. When I think about what these people go through for their Lord, I am convicted. I have every opportunity and freedom available and sometimes I don't even pick up my Bible... Anita has just married a non-believer and the Mausts fear that he is just like her father. I am praying that the Lord will perform miracles, and that she will influence him, not the other way around.

the "square"

This is one of their means of public transportation!

more Guano

This is one of my highlights of the whole week. This little boy's name is Nay. He has severe Cerebral Palsey. He is 14 years old. That is his grandmother holding him, and his mother (Maria Lana) reaching across to touch his cheek. You can see he is a special little boy. His mother is not married, and she just had another little baby girl. (That in itself is a miracle. The health care in Ecuador(from what I understand) is not the greatest. A couple of weeks before she had the baby, she began leaking fluid. However, her doctor told her is was urine. When the baby was born, there was NO amniotic fluid left.) Maria Lana said she wanted to have a healthy baby who could love her back. When we went to visit, Sharon felt led to sing Jesus loves me to Nay. We all gathered around him (even though he can't see, and they are not sure how well he can hear), and sang (through many tears) Jesus loves me to that precious child. His mother began to cry. She thanked us and told us that she feels like nobody loves her son. It was one of the greatest experiences of my entire life! (Thank you , Sharon, for being obedient...look what we would have missed!) I know people say you can stay home and pray, and they are can. I also know that some people are not able to go on a mission trip, nor does the Lord call everyone to go. But if he calls you, I challenge you to go. Your life will never be the same.

Well, I have lots more pics and stories, but I have barely been able to finish this! We have had VBS this week, and I came home from Ecuador sick. Since I can't take anything, I am getting worse and worse, but maybe things will be looking up soon. A bit of good news; I went to see Dr. Butler this week (yes, love him...) , and he said everything is great. Blood work is fine, blood pressure is fine, and I have only gained 3 pounds! (I was a little nervous about the last one.) I am 11 weeks today, and am still in awe that the Lord has given us this amzing surprise. I will post more on Ecuador soon. (I hope.)