It is hard to believe this is the last day of the year! It has been quite a year for our family. Several ups and several downs. Here is what sticks out as I think through the months, some big and some not so big:
Our dog Lucy has an episode where she is unable to get up, then loses continence and vomits. It was a Sunday afternoon so we have to take her to the emergency clinic. She is fine by the time we get there. $200 later they can't find anything wrong with her.
Three and a half months after being laid off, prayers are answered and Brad starts a new job.
My brother Sam and his wife come to visit and treat the whole family to some yummy pizza. I babysit all four nieces and nephews for the first time by myself (plus Will) while all three of my brothers and their wives go see the play my parents are in. They come back slightly scarred after seeing my mom get on a table to carve a turkey and strip to a slip on stage due to some major hot flashes.
March (this was a BIG month!)
I finally go to the dermatologist after battling major skin issues on my hands for years. It had gotten so bad in recent months that I had about 5 bandaids on at a time. I laugh as I leave his office with a steroid cream prescription and instructions to make sure I am not pregnant before using the product. Ha! Pregnant? Not me!
Will starts walking!
My father-in-law is hospitalized and for a short time we fear we might lose him. He returns home and slowly gets better.
I turn 27.
After feeling slightly off for a couple of days, I decide to take a pregnancy test, knowing it won't be positive. It looks negative and I almost throw it away. But then the faintest line catches my eye. Over several minutes is gets darker. Shocked, I tell Brad. His response: "What? How did that happen?" Will is only 11 months old. I tell God I am not ready for another baby. God tells me everything is going to be fine. We decide to keep it a secret for now.
Feeling I should wait awhile before going to the doctor, I make an appointment for 5 days later (I really did want to wait a few weeks but it was either that week or next month). They dated the pregnancy as 10 weeks, but I knew that wasn't right. An ultrasound shows nothing. It could be miscarriage. Could be ectopic. Or it could just be early. They do a blood test but it is a Friday and I have to wait until Monday to hear the results and have another level checked. I call my mom sobbing and tell her I am pregnant. She says, "Ok. I am happy!".
Monday comes and my levels are great! They are too low to see anything on ultrasound. They redraw the blood and I have to wait until the next day to make sure the numbers are increasing as they should. I get the call the next day at work. My number dropped to less than 1. I was told I was going to miscarry. I told God I desperately wanted this baby. He told me everything was going to be fine. My doctor's office calls me back and says we can repeat the test the next day. I have it done at work and a friend in the lab calls me with the result so I don't have to wait until late in the day. It was over 4,000! Looks like the baby would be fine and there was a mix up in the lab.
Will has bronchitis and we purchase a nebulizer.
Will turns 1! We have a farm themed party with an awesome cake. KFC charges us twice for all the chicken we bought for the party. I have to go to the bank and to KFC to clear it up.
Will has his first Easter! We took him to 'big church' for the first time in months because he was still recovering from bronchitis.
We go back to the doctor and have another ultrasound. This time there is a baby with a heartbeat! They establish a due date of December 1st. We start telling friends our good news.
We celebrate Mother's Day and a slew of birthdays.
We take pictures of our family by the lake, including some pictures of my quickly growing baby bump.
My friends and I go to Tunica for Haven's bachelorette party. We go outlet shopping and I buy a few (cheap) girl clothes because I just KNOW we are having a girl.
Haven gets married and we leave Will for more than 1 night for the first time.
Our air conditioner dies. It's hot.
My mom, Will and I go visit my grandmother, Betty Jo.
We have a 3rd ultrasound. I decide the baby looks like me. Surely it's a girl! But we don't peek. Brad was unable to make it to the appointment so I have the tech write down the gender and put it in an envelope just in case we want to know. He doesn't let me open it. I send the envelope to a friend's house for safe-keeping.
We go to Orange Beach with Brad's family.
I get to meet a friend in real life who I have been talking to on the internet for over 2 years. It is so cool to meet face to face and to see our kids play together.
Betty Jo goes into the hospital and is very sick.
Will, Brad and I get mega-colds and just can't seem to get better. I am quite miserable since you can't take anything good when you're pregnant.
I pass my glucose test! My doctor gave me some medicine that helped me get better.
We decide Will is too little to sleep in a big boy bed and order a crib for the baby. I find the perfect bedding for our little one.
Betty Jo is back in the hospital and Will and I go visit. The next morning I wake up with an awful stomach bug. Mom has to leave Betty Jo to come take care of Will because I am unable. Somehow I make the 4 hour drive home that evening.
We celebrate birthdays for my niece and nephew. We pick up the baby's crib on the way home. The future nursery is still the current nursery, so the crib goes in the garage.
Nesting starts setting in and we start the cleanup process of the guest room which is to become Will's new room. We make progress, but there is still a ton to do.
We have another ultrasound and the baby looks great. They turn it to 4d and the baby looks like me. It is so a girl. I buy some bows. Baby Caroline is going to look so cute with those bows in her hair!
Betty Jo goes in the hospital again. I plan to go see her again. She passes away on a Sunday morning while we were at church. We go to visitation Tuesday night and the funeral Wednesday. We come home Thursday. It feels strange to leave Corinth without her standing in the driveway and waving us off.
I miss my 31 week appointment because I have the stomach bug. Again.
I go to the doctor on Tuesday at exactly 32 weeks. Everything is perfect. He tells me to come back in 2 weeks. He gives me medication for reflux and it works like a dream.
On Friday I am at work and my water breaks at 11am. The ultrasound shows plenty of fluid and a perfect baby estimated at 5lb 5oz. I think I will be sent home on bedrest. I am sent to the hospital and told I will not leave until the baby is born. I get to the hospital and at 3pm I am having contractions every 3 minutes. They give me magnesium to stop it and steroids to help the baby's lungs.
The week goes on with visits from family and friends, wonderful nurses and lots of ultrasounds. During the ultrasound on Wednesday I think I see boy parts. I still think its a girl but start to think we should settle on a boy name.
It is Friday again, a week since my water broke. It is also our 5 year wedding anniversary! After a week of circling 'hot chocolate' on the breakfast menu, they finally bring me some. I start having stronger contractions. The nurse tells me that we may have a baby today if this keeps up! I ask if she really thinks so, because Brad is working out of town and I need to tell him to head back. She tells me to wait. There should be time. An hour later I am asking for an IV and Stadol to help manage the pain and call Brad to come back. I also call my brother on a Stadol high and he said not to make any more calls; he was on his way. He and my dad show up, followed shortly thereafter by my mom. Brad finally makes it and our baby boy is born an hour later. 5lb 11oz. He is perfect. We still hadn't chosen a name but I didn't want him to leave my room without one. We decide on Reed Matthew.
The next 2 weeks were spent visiting Reed in the NICU and preparing the nursery. Family and friends showed loving support during a very dificult time. I cried more tears than I knew I was able.
My friends surprise me on Halloween with cake, pie, lunch out and a wonderful visit. I get to spend the night at the hospital with Reed. It was so great to be by his side all night.
Reed gets to come home!
My coworkers give me a baby shower.
Brad gets a new job.
Our dishwasher is on its last legs. My mom notices and my parents and Brad's parents decide to give us a new one for Christmas.
The dishwasher croaks. We get our Christmas gift early and my dad installs it.
We buy a Christmas tree.
We go to Atlanta to visit Brad's family for the weekend.
I put lights, a sash and 3 ornaments on the tree. That and the stockings and garland on the mantle was the extent of our decorations.
Brad turns 29. We celebrate with his parents and brother and sister-in-law at a nice steak house. The hostess gets a lobster out of the tank for Will to see. He is impressed!
Reed sleeps nearly 8 hours!
We have the best Christmas ever. We feel immeasureably blessed to have 2 healthy little boys.
Reed gives me a couple of small smiles.
I go back to work. Poppy survives 3 days of having both boys all day. Things seem to be getting back to 'normal'.
It has been an interesting year! I wonder what 2010 will bring?