Wednesday, January 25, 2012

21 Weeks

God Hears

Today is a testament to the fact that God hears our prayers. I was nervous and had several specific things I asked God to do:

1) Provide a good parking spot at the hospital
2) Keep me calm
3) Let my kidneys be OK

Here's how the Lord responded to my prayers:

1) I got an awesome parking spot - only 15 cars away from the main hospital entrance. It does seem silly to pray for a parking spot, but it's cold and I'm pregnant so getting to park close and not have to walk so far was a big blessing.

2) I was so nervous my stomach was in knots. When the Ultrasound Tech took me back we began making the usual small-talk. Turns out she is related to the Development Director at the school at which I work. Now, Louisville is not exactly a "small town" so this was unusual. Though I had never met her before, knowing we knew the same people somehow put me at ease and I was no longer nervous. She was great - we talked, we laughed.

3) This, I still don't know anything about yet. I tried to read her face as she was taking pictures of my kidneys and bladder, but she had quite the poker face (probably comes with her job).

Plus, in the Lord's kindness he provided in ways I hadn't even thought to ask:

When we were all finished taking pictures of my urinary system, the Ultrasound Tech said "So you wanna see Hudson for a minute?" Of course! I didn't get any pictures (as this wasn't the reason I was there) but we did spend about 10 minutes checking him out.

He was flipping around all over the place as normal. She paid special attention to his bladder and kidneys which she said looked perfect, showing no fluid retention. We had talked about my birth defect so when Hudson flipped on his side she commented on his beautiful, full spine. I love seeing my son!

The best part was that the majority of our conversations were centered around how the Lord has been taking care of Hudson (and us too) and just how good he is to provide.

I had no idea these were things I would have wanted when I woke up this morning, but God did. He knew what my desires should and he gave them to me today even though I didn't ask.

Delight yourself in the Lord
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:4

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Thankful for the Lord's Provision - Part V

As mentioned in Sunday's post the time is overdue for a "Thankful for the Lord's Provision" post.

The Lord has been very kind to us recently.

First, my birthday was two weeks ago. Somehow several of my students knew (I promise, I didn't tell them) and I actually got birthday gifts from them - how sweet! One in particular was a very generous monetary gift.

What has amazed James and I the most has been that those who give to us are not those we'd expect (not that we expect anything from anyone). What I mean is, you'd expect that if someone were to give you a large gift, that they'd be rather well-off financially. However, it seems that those families who we wouldn't consider wealthy are the ones who are opening their hearts (and wallets) to us. Their generosity is so encouraging (and convicting) and serve as a reminder to us that the gift means so much more when it comes from one for whom it really is a sacrifice. (Read Jesus' words about the widow's offering)

Second, we (really Hudson) has been gifted with several sweet gifts this week:

An exersaucer from one of my students' parents, a bag of clothes and adorable piggy bank from sweet Shawna in our Sunday School class, and a "Baby's First Year" sticker calendar from Mrs. Brenda, one of our cafeteria ladies at school.

Third, our credit card (onto which we've put the majority of my medical bills) was nearing it's limit. Last week, we got a letter stating that they were increasing our limit because we were such good customers - lol. I hate using credit and am adamently opposed to it, but it's really the only option we have as only one of my doctors allows us to make small payments on the balance. Good News is that it's 0% interest until September so here's hoping we get it paid off by then - otherwise, we may have an adorable baby boy for sale - just kidding, just kidding - I'll sell James before Hudson - hee hee.

Fourth, yesterday I got a call from Baptist regarding tomorrow's kidney ultrasound. The lady informs me that they'll need a deposit beforehand since I am self-pay. "No problem," I think until I hear the deposit - $850.00. Yes, you read that correctly - eight hundred-fifty dollars. I laughed. Literally, I laughed out loud in her face over the phone. I didn't meant to laugh, but it was either that or cry, really. After apologizing for laughing at her and upon explaining that that simply wasn't going to happen, I casually mentioned that we had been working on the hospital's financial aid applications. She states, "Oh, if you will bring the application I can waive the deposit until it is processed." Yahoo! I am thankful to the Lord's for James' proactivity in calling Baptist and getting the financial aid application ahead of time - he has been a good husband in trying to take care of things. I know this doesn't mean we won't eventually have to pay $850 or more for the ultrasound, but not having to hand that over tomorrow is such a blessing.

So when you pray tonight - praise God for the following provision for us - we are so thankful to see his working in our lives.

Oh give thanks to the LORD,
call upon His name,
make known His deeds among the people.
1 Chronicles 16:8
Sorry for the lack of photos in this post. My sinuses are being quite evil today so I'm being lazy.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Random Pregnant Mama Thoughts - part 2

* About once every week or so, I get this intense pain in my lower abdomen. A weird pressure, stretching sensation that makes it difficult to walk and generally makes be crabby (sorry James). I'm assuming Hudson is growing and stretching my poor uterus as it usually only lasts a day; then is gone until the next week or so.

* Speaking of which, according to the websites I frequent, Hudson should be about 10-10.5 ounces (which he already was 2 weeks ago - lol) and be about 10 inches long from head to foot. Really? I'm barely 60 inches so my unborn son is already 1/6th my height. Sigh.

* I think James and I have finally made our decision about cloth diapering. After months of research, I think we're starting with the traditional pre-folds and diaper-covers. They are the most economical and will last the longest as they adjust to baby's growth.

* About cloth diapering - it's funny to hear people's responses. My family thinks it's wonderful - both my stepmom and sister cloth diapered. However, James' parents think we're crazy and even commented that by Christmas we'll have Hudson in disposables. My evil, competitive nature really wants to prove them wrong. Hee hee :)

* Hudson's been moving around a lot - which is amazing! I started feeling flutters and what-not around week 16 but they were very inconsistent and of course, I worried. I even emailed my OB Nurse once just for reassurance. It does make me feel foolish for not trusting the Lord all those times I feared the worse. The Lord is good and I really need to trust him more.

* Sinus pressure is not my friend - 'nuff said.

* Including myself, I know 8 women who are pregnant and expect delivery within 2 weeks of when my Hudson is due. Of the 8 of us, so far 5 of us are having boys, one is having a girl, and the other two either haven't found out or aren't planning too. That's some serious influx of testosterone.

* Lastly, the Lord is kind to continue to show himself and provide for our needs. I could tell you more, but it really deserves its own post - so that'll be on tap for tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

20 Weeks

20 Weeks - Half-way there - yahoo!
I have been told several times this week that face-on, I don't look pregnant.
But the profile view definitely leaves little to question.
In other news, my belly-button is no longer an innie.
(Ignore the random crazy belly hair - surely this isn't normal)
This has been a crazy week/day. Tuesday (which was definitely a Monday in disguise) welcomed a series of tornadoes in L'ville - 6 confirmed so far. Praise Jesus, we were safe and sound. That afternoon, James fell at work and sprained his ankle. We visited the ER that evening just to get it checked out and were sent home in an ace bandage.

Today, he went to the Occupational Physician for a follow-up and he believes the sprain is worse than the ER doc said last night. He is now in a walking boot to immobilize his ankle and off work, resting, until Monday.

Today at school, I fell flat on my hands and knees in the hallway - apparently Lackeys and walking do not mix. Embarassing to say the least. The worse part was that I tried to take down a sweet 3rd grader in the process - sorry Will! My knees are a little sore, but I'm OK and Hudson has been flipping around courtesy of a Fudge Round after dinner so I'm pretty confident he's OK as well.

After school I had my follow-up with Dr. B. Sad News - my UTI is there still. Really? It's been almost 2 months and 4 rounds of antibiotics. He did say it looked better (compared to the previous visits), but still infected nonetheless. He went ahead and scheduled a renal ultrasound at the local hospital for next week to check for obstructions and what-not. Sigh.

But hope is not lost. There are praises this week:

We received the financial aid papers from the local hospital. Hopefully we'll qualify for a nice discount since we have no insurance. We've been shopping around to find the best - read: most affordable - place to deliver Hudson. Courtesy of this sprain, James is off work for the rest of the week so he work on completing all the forms.

I received an anonymous card in my box at school this afternoon which contained almost the exact amount of what I needed to pay Dr. B today. Thank you - whoever you are!

Though I still have this UTI, I'm still asymptomatic. I guess that's a praise. I literally feel fine.

Hudson received a sweet little gift this afternoon from one of my students:
Isn't it cute? It's 6-12 months so it should fit him his first winter.

I'm teaching tomorrow in chapel at school. We're doing the ABCs of God and tomorrow is H for God Hears. In studying, I've been encouraged to keep praying and praising God - he hears me and will answer!

Rejoice in the Lord always
Again, I say, Rejoice
Let your reasonableness be known to everyone
The Lord is at hand;
Do not be anxious about anything
but in everything
by prayer and supplication
with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God
which surpasses all understanding
will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:4-7 ESV

Friday, January 13, 2012

19 Weeks

Almost half-way there! And YES - you do still see Christmas Cards behind me. We still haven't take down anything - sigh. At this point, I'm contemplating leaving it up until this Christmas :)

Here are the stats from this week's big appointment:

My Weight - 120 - up a total of 7 pounds so far.
This surprised me considering all the food I ate at Christmas. I would think this would be too little (by my calculations I should up to 9 pounds), but the nurse said it was fine.

My BP - 140/75 WOAH!
I was so very nervous at this appointment, I could feel my heart beating. When all was over, the doc had them retake my BP and just 45 minutes later it was already down to 128/60. Apparently "white coat" syndrome struck.

Baby's Heart Beat - 148

Baby's Size - measuring on time still

Baby's Estimated Weigh - 10 ounces.
The ultrasound tech giggled a little as appaerntly that's big. At this stage, he should only weigh about 7 ounces. We're having a monster baby! Considering I've only gained 7 pounds - I'm not sure where little Hudson's getting it??

At the ultrasound, we got to see all of his parts.
10 little fingers, 10 little toes, sweet profile, heart with four full chambers, two kidneys, two lungs, a little stomach, and a diaphram. Best part was seeing the full and complete spine. I was born with Sacral-a-Genesis, which basically means I'm missing my tailbone, so my spine stops short. The problems with my hips, walking with a limp, and even my bladder issues are related to my birth defect. It was such a relief to see he has a full spine. While I was told my birth defect isn't considered genetic, I was still concerned. And of course we got to check out his "man parts." Praise God that he can weave together a normal, healthy baby inside the womb of a mama considered rather abnormal - ha!

They also went ahead and took blood. Up until now, I had had no lab work done (except urine cultures) as we were waiting for insurance to come through. Since that's a no-go we decided to go ahead with the labs. They'll do a blood-type test (surely I'm not the only one who has no idea what my blood type is, right?) and test for iron issues, RH issues, etc...

Sad news - they weren't able to do the kidney ultrasound as originally planned. I'm not sure who Dr. B spoke with, but they all seemed highly offended when I brought it up and said that was definitel not policy. Perhaps whoever he spoke with thought he meant a kidney ultrasound on the baby? I don't know. It was a bummer, but I wasn't going to press the issue. Perhaps I should have, but my BP was already high at that point so I think I chose my battles wisely.

Our next OB appointment is February 7th and it'll be the routine doppler thingy which I love (NOT). March 2nd is our 3D ultrasound - can't wait!

God is so good to us. I can't even verbalize at this point how blessed I feel. While these past few weeks have been an emotional rollercoaster, the Lord has been extra kind to let me feel his presence even more. He has also been so very kind to encourage James and me through the prayers and kind words of fellow-believers. I don't think I've ever understood the body of Christ and how important it is as I do now. So thankful!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

What's in a Name?

Dear Baby Lackey,
I want to tell you about your name.

Long before we became pregnant with you, your Dad and I had discussed what we would name future children. There are many options.

First, we could give you a popular name. But as you'll soon find out we're not really "trendy" so that didn't seem like a good fit.

Second, we could give you a biblical name. However, we couldn't agree. I like unusual names like Shadrach or Hezekiah. But your Dad likes the more traditional biblical names.

Third, we could give you a cool Greek or Hebrew name. Your Dad and I both took Greek and Hebrew at seminary and there are some awesome words with wonderful meanings that make pretty cool names. But if you inherit my poor spelling skills, we didn't want to make life more difficult for you by giving you a transliterated name.

Finally, we decided we wanted your name to honor people whose lives we admired.

Your first name is Hudson. It's after this guy below - Hudson Taylor.
Hudson Taylor was a missionary to China. He has an amazing testimony of overcoming health issues and opposition to go to China. While we pray you have no health issues like he had (he had a bad heart) we do know that you will face opposition in this life, particularly if you are to follow Jesus which we pray everyday that you will do. For his time, he was unconventional and controversial in a lot of his methods to share Christ with the Chinese, but he was willing to do what it took. We pray you have that same determination. Plus, he had a pretty impressive beard.

Your middle name is Andrew. Andrew is a biblical name. He was one of Jesus' followers. When he met Jesus he went and found his brother Peter and brought him to meet Jesus. We hope you are like Andrew - bringing others to meet Jesus.

The name Andrew is also firmly planted in both your Dad and my's family. Andrew is your Dad's middle name. He loves me more than anybody else and he loves you with all his heart! Plus he is one of the most giving, generous people I know. I hope you are that loving and giving.

Andrew is also your Great-Grandaddy Proctor's middle name. You can see him below dancing with your Great-Grandma Proctor.
Your Great-Grandaddy and Great-Grandma Proctor were married 62 years before he died. We hope you find a wife one day and have a marriage just as long, if not longer.

Your Great-Grandaddy Ball's first name was Andrew.
In this picture, your Great-Grandaddy Ball was 40 years old. He was leaving Paris, France on his way back home after serving in World War II. He was very brave and even hang-glided out of airplanes in the war. We hope you are as brave as him. He and your Great-Grandma Ball lived with your Daddy as he grew up. Your Great-Grandaddy Ball meant a lot to your Dad and taught him many things.

Your Grandaddy Proctor's middle name is Andrew too! (See the trend?) Here is one of my favorite pictures of your Grandaddy Proctor, my Daddy!
That's me, your Mama, grinning on the couch with him long before he was a Grandaddy, but just a Daddy to your Aunt Sharon and me. Your Grandaddy Proctor is a man you should admire as well. He is very smart and a very hard worker who always took care of and loved me. Plus he has awesome thick, black, curly hair and amazing blue eyes we hope you get from him.

Lastly, your first cousin is named Andrew.
He's probably the smartest teen I know. If you're wondering why he looks so goofy in this picture it is because he just got accepted to Notre Dame University. That's a pretty prestigious school. Not only is his smart, but a great athlete. You would do well to emulate him.

So, Hudson Andrew Lackey - I hope you grow up to do as well if not better than these men after whom you were named.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

We're having a baby and it's a ...

Today was the big day!
At 18 weeks and 6 days
we found out...
We have a very heathy baby
There is a full and complete little spine
(which is important to a mama with a spinal defect)
There is a healthy beating heart (148 bpm)
With 10 little fingers and 10 little toes
and a complex thinking brain
I know you're still wondering though...
Whether Baby Lacey is a he or a she.
Good News!
Baby Lackey started out pretty shy, but eventually loosened up
And finally revealed
Baby Lackey is
A Boy!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Blue or Pink - what do you think?

Our anatomy ultrasound is coming up in three days! If Baby Lackey cooperates, we should be able to know if he is a he or she is a she. Just for fun, I thought I'd test out some of the traditional old wives' tales to see what they predict. (Disclaimer - no, I don't believe the wives' tales - it was just a fun way to waste an hour or so - ha ha)
Mayans: The Mayans determined the sex of the baby by taking the mother’s age at conception, and the year of conception. If both are even or both are odd… it’s a girl. If one is even and one is odd… it’s a boy. I was 32 and it was 2011.
Nausea: The old wives tale is that a girl will make you more nauseous. I was pretty consistently sick every morning and every evening.
Heart Rate: The old wives tales is if the heart rate is above 140, it’s a girl. If it’s below 140, it’s a boy. The heart rate has consistently been at the top of the scale.
Cravings: The old wives tale is that if you crave sweets, it’s a girl. If you crave sour, it’s a boy. I have literally had zero cravings. In fact, I've had aversions to foods I typically LOVE, particularly sweets. So, since sweets were off my radar, I'm guessing...
Husband’s Weight Gain: The old wives tale is that if your husband puts on weight during the pregnancy, it will be a girl. James has pretty much maintained.
Acne: The old wives tale is that a girl will cause acne because she is doubling your hormones. On a good day, I usually have a zit, but my face has been strangely clear during pregnancy.
Clumsiness: The old wives tales is that if you are clumsier than before, it’s a boy. If you are as graceful as ever, it’s a girl. I am not nicknamed "Grace" for a reason, I have come close to tripping and falling several times, but only actually fell once - it was quite embarassing.
The "Girls": The old wives tale is that if your chest grow a lot, it’s a girl. I'll spare you the details...
Sleep: The old wives tale is that if you prefer to sleep on your right side, it’s a boy. If you prefer to sleep on your left side, it’s a girl. When not pregnant, I am a belly-sleeper but as of late I've been a left-sider all the way.
Hands: The old wives tale is that if you have softer hands, it’s a girl. Rougher hands, it’s a boy. My hands are always rough.
High or Low: The old wives tale is that if you feel heaviness down low, it’s a boy. If you feel pressure up higher, it’s a girl. I've felt lower pressure since day one.
The verdict here? Pretty split.
BOY = 7
GIRL = 5
So what's your guess?
Will it be a Baby Girl Lackey or a Baby Boy Lackey?
January 10th will tell the tale :)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

My No Good, Horrible, Very Bad Day

Ever have one of those days where you feel like you are under constant spiritual attack? Today was that day for me. You might want to sit down.

First, I barely slept last night. I kept telling myself not to worry about the insurance hearing today, but my mind did not listen so up at 4:00 am was I.

Second, we had no water at the house - nice surprise. That meant no shower, no flushing, no washing hands, brushing teeth without water, etc.... Not the way I had planned to get ready for the day.

Third, I went to my urologist appointment. As you can guess, I'm getting rather proficient at the giving of the urine sample. But today ... oh geez. I placed the nice, full cup on the back of the toilet like I always do and proceeded to wash my hands. Now Dr. B's restroom isn't exactly tiny so I'm a good 2-3 feet from the toilet. I look over and it was literally has if an invisible hand pushed the cup off the toilet. Down to the floor it fell - urine everywhere. I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry. I tried cleaning it up the best I could; then I found the nurse and asked her for a mop. She looked confused so I explained what happened. Of course, she didn't allow me to clean it up despite my pleading that I could clean it. I was apologizing profusely and she was so sweet and acted like she mops up pee everyday. Perhaps she does, I don't know. But it was embarassing nonetheless.

Fourth, Dr. B my urologist (Who is awesome by the way; did I tell you he called me on Christmas Day to check up on me? Christmas Day, people!) comes in and reveals I still have an UTI. It's the same nasty germ that started all this havoc way back in November. Despite two rounds of different antibiotics, it won't go away. He thinks it may be coming from an obstruction in my ureters or kidneys. Normally, he would do a CT scan or an IVP but that's a no-no on a pregnant mama. He wants to do a kidney ultrasound instead. So I'm to call him in 2 days after he's talked to my OB and thought about what to do. While my thyroid likes me being pregnant, my bladder apparently does not.

Fifth, our appeal hearing did not go exactly as I had imagined. While both our caseworker and the Appeal Hearing Officer were both very sweet and understanding, the fact remains that they cannot change Kentucky's income limit and sadly no matter how you cut it, we're above it. Even if I quit my job tomorrow (the thought did cross my mind) and we only lived on James' subbing we'd still be over the maximum. We were there for two hours. I cried for the most part of it. James lost his temper about half-way through and got on his soap box and literally yelled at them about how the system is set up to reward those who live unbiblically. You see, if James and I weren't married it would be a completely different story, even if we lived together and shared bills - we would be easily approved. It really isn't fair - but apparently there isn't anything that could be done about it today. The Appeal Hearing Officer didn't make a decision today, we'll know within 10 days but I don't expect anything to change.

Needless to say, today has felt like one big spiritual warfare attack.

But the Lord is kind and I do have some praises for today:

First, the water will be back on tomorrow morning and our sweet landlords are putting us up in a hotel tonight. Yay for their kindness.

Second, Dr. B was able to call my OB and next Tuesday when they do the ultrasound to find out Baby Lackey's gender, they are going to allow the radiologist to ultrasound my kidneys and fax the pictures to Dr. B. This is a great blessing as I will basically have two ultrasounds but only have to pay for one.

Third, the Lord is kind. Between the urologist and appeal hearing we stopped for lunch. I sat in the car alone for a while praying. The Lord was kind to remind me of the story of Joseph's life. The assurance that nothing happens to me without being filtered through his sovereign hands first. While I don't know right now why he has allowed today to be so rough, I know it has a purpose in his plan. There's an old gospel song intitled, "Trust his Heart." The lyrics have been running through my head today. The Lord is good regardless of whatever occured today.

Fourth, while I'm still a hot mess emotionally, James is doing good. He's moved past his anger at KY and is brainstorming what to do next. I'm thankful that the Lord designed marriage in such a way, because if it were just me I'd probably crawl in a hole for a few days but James is here to spur on and get things done.

Fifth, I praise God for you! Thank you for your prayers - even though today wasn't exactly the happy ending I was hoping to write about, God is still good and I hope he repays each of you for your kindness in praying for us.

Consider it joy, my brothers
when you meet trials of various kinds,
for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
And let steadfastness have its full effect,
that you may be perfect and complete,
lacking in nothing.
James 1:2-4 ESV

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

18 Weeks

2 weeks and Baby Lackey will be half-way baked!

In other exciting news, I got my first unsolicited belly pat today. It was really sweet as it was from one of my 2nd graders. I get hugs and kisses all day, but this was a first as far as belly pats. But sweet AD came up and patted my belly and said, "Mrs. Lackey I hope your baby comes out healthy." "I do too," I replied then she said, "I think he or she will be cute, though. Can I change its diapers?" "Of course!" Isn't that sweet - I love my little second graders.

In not so exciting news, I felt like I got run over by a truck today. Man, was I dragging! My side kinda hurt, my back hurt, I was tired. Sheesh. The second trimester is supposed to be the best. I'm hoping this is just stress coupled with having been off work 2 weeks for Christmas and not a sign of things to come. But if it is, the Lord will strengthen.

Tomorrow is our Insurance Appeal Hearing (1pm). I'm so nervous it's not even funny.
We're praying and ask you to pray for the following two things:
1) Favor with the Appeal Hearing Officer. Last night, James and I were reading in Joshua 2 and were encouraged by how the Israelite spies described Rahab. They said she treated them "kindly." We're praying that the Officer will treat us kindly - that he/she will show mercy towards our situation.
2) Trust in the Lord. The Lord has been very kind to provide so well so far. We know He will continue to do so. In my mind, providing insurance would be the best way to provide but the Lord may have different (and most likely better) plans. So regardless of how the hearing goes tomorrow, please pray that James and I will continue to trust in the One who ultimately provides for all our needs.
Oh God in you I trust,
Let me not be put to shame
Let not my enemies exult over me.
Psalm 25:2 ESV