Friday, November 30, 2007

More Blessings

“Earth is crammed with heaven,
and every common bush afire with God;
but only he who sees takes off his shoes.
The rest sit around it andPluck blackberries.”
~Elizabeth Barret Browning

176. The coming of Winter and the growing life inside that is close to appearing
177. The fun of planting 100 white tulips while 36 weeks pregnant
178. The preparation of bringing our new life home
179. Final days of togetherness before the impending change
180. Family assistance in the final weeks
181. A mother-in-law who sings sweet hymns to Drew as he begs for more
182. 36.6 days of pregnancy
183. Our little blessing with 10 fingers and 10 toes
184. A peaceful and relaxed labor, 4 pushes, and the shocked look on Gabe’s face when he came out
185. John’s careful wiping of my brow and his constant encouragement during our 3 hours of labor
186. John’s diamond game on his palm that distracted me from most of the pain from contractions
187. Focused breathing
188. Gabe’s perfect little body, all 6 pounds 4 ounces
189. An almost full term healthy baby
190. Family to watch Drew while we were in labor
191. Drew’s sweet face when he saw his brother for the first time
192. A mother-in-law who cares for our home and child with such ease and thought
193. A night of bonding in the hospital with our new son, I loved holding him all night long gazing into his eyes
194. The shallow swallow of my baby nursing
195. Kindhearted nurses who serve me so gently
196. Watching Drew feed his baby doll
197. A gift card to CVS where we buy last remaining baby items on our way home
198. A small newborn sleeping in his car seat as we ride home
199. Our family of 4 at home together
200. Watching Daddy hold his boys

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thankgiving and Gabe Updates


(John after eating his Thanksgiving Meal!)

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving, spent with family! It was so much fun to get together, play games, eat tons of food and take turns cuddling with little Gabe. Drew loved all the extra attention as well, Daddy brought home a huge box from Home Depot and made Drew his own fort, equipped with a window, door, and lighting system (flashlight). Drew has been enjoying all his family, especially his Grandma Patti and Tio! Grandma Patti has captivated little Drew with her songs and Tio has been Drew's personal playmate for the weekend. It has been so much fun!





Little Gabe had his first checkup on Friday, he was a little jaundiced, but nothing the Doctor was too worried about. Gabe weighed in at 6 pounds 4 ounces - he lost very little after birth (1/8 of an ounce) and has maintained his weight all week. The doctor said my breast milk must be made of butter - most babies take 2 weeks to get back to their birth weight. Gabe;s eating style is very different than Drew. Gabe is a very slow eater and is lazy to latch on. I finally started pumping - which has been wonderful! Gabe's feedings were taking 1 hour, but with the bottle it only takes him 10 minutes to down 2+ ounces. Just today he ate 3 ounces in one sitting! Hopefully once he reaches full term (2 more weeks) he will be able to stay awake enough to nurse faster. Right now Gabe has a very hard time staying awake longer than 30 minutes and then he will sleep for another 4+ hours. Last night I had to wake him at 4am which was near impossible to do, I think he nursed for 5 minutes and then fell fast asleep again. Finally at 6:30 he woke up enough to eat 2 ounces. The past 3 days all Gabe has done is sleep! He is so relaxed and laid back compared to Drew. We shall see if his personality changes a lot in 2 more weeks. Tonight I took a shower and held Gabe in the water, he was so cute! He immediately relaxed and started moaning with his eyes closed. It was as if he remembered life in the womb and thought he was back there. His little hands went up to his face and slowly touched the water and his chest. So far Gabe has been way too easy of a baby, I really hope he stays that way!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving List 2007

Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples!2 Sing to him, sing praises to him;tell of all his wondrous works!
Psalm 105:1-2

We give thanks for the many trial and tribulation that have softened the uneven edges of our hearts, bringing us wisdom and understanding and the life-changing realization that God is always in control.

We give God thanks for the life that is growing inside of me, that by Thanksgiving will be home in his parents arms – Gabriel Allan Williams. We are thankful Lord for the gift and blessing of life, the responsibility to raise godly heirs, and the wisdom you provide to us daily.

Thank you Lord for continued health, it was a rough year for John and the auto accident that brought on back and neck pain. Thank you that he is healing and is able to return back to work.

Thank you Lord for the blessing of a great family. Our little boy Drew is abounding with energy and life, he loves to sign praises to You and is learning to obey all the way, right away, and with a joyful heart! Thank you for giving us wisdom and opportunity to teach our little man Your ways.

We are thankful for a healthy pregnancy that didn’t stick mommy in the hospital! She only spent a few weeks on bed rest for high blood pressure. Thank you for the provision of modern medicine like progesterone which kept Mommy from delivering early and allowed her little one to go 37 weeks in the womb!

We are thankful that John’s arm and neck are getting better and that we live in a country that has excellent healthcare.

John is so thankful that he was able to make it home to see his brother Scotty and David and father Michael this winter. He is also thankful that he was able to spend three days camping in the woods with his family!

A very organized garage, filled with tools that John uses to refine his skill and make some money on the side.

Good friends who help us when we are in need and invest in us without expectation of repayment.

A god centered home that smells like cinnamon spices!

A wonderful mother (in law/Nana) that enjoys spending time with us and spends tons of hours investing in her grandchildren! She is also a great cook and a wonderful house cleaner. We are thankful that her health is improving and the thyroid tumor was benign.

Help during pregnancy – thank you Patti for pruning all my bushes, playing with Drew so well, taking Kitty on walks and to the pond, filling my freezer with yummy meals, and for always being here when we need you!

A work from home job that allows me to be a mommy and help provide for our family. It also keeps me from having idle time that I waste on unimportant things. It also provided a little extra income this year to help with the growing expenses of family life.

A husband who loves the Lord and servers his family as Christ served the church, who models to our boys servant leadership and is always building others up.

Northwood – a church that pursues God and is willing to be used in whatever way God directs. It doesn’t focus on membership or style, its sole focus is on doing the will of God by building and investing in the lives of all people.
My husbands woodworking skills that build little boy beds and adds additional storage space for a freezer.

A wife who handles finances well and manages the day to day grind of life. We are also thankful for the Crown Financial class we took this year that taught us God’s plan for handling 100% of our income.

Drew is specifically thankful for: God, mommy and daddy, his trains, and a new big boy bed!



Tuesday, November 20, 2007

New Arrival!


We are so excited to announce that Gabriel Allan Williams arrived on Monday, November 19, 2007. He was 36 weeks 6 days old. Gabe was 6 pounds 4 ounces and 19 inches long and has a full head of dark brown hair. Gabe was born at 3:39 in the afternoon and was very healthy upon arrival - thank you Lord for another baby that didn't spend time in the NICU!.




We only stayed at the hospital 24 hours and are now home enjoying our family of 4! Drew isn't too sure about his new little brother but he loves to hold him and tell people when he is crying. To ease some of Drew's tension his Grandma's bought him a baby boy doll that he can feed and hold and dress. The doll has been a huge success and has helped Drew feel more involved and included. Drew loves to be included in everything we are doing with Gabe!




For those women who are curious about the birth story, I'll now delve into the finer details of Gabe's arrival.

Monday morning John and I went into the Dr's office for our bi-weekly appointment. I was really hoping to be induced today since I had been having contractions for the past few days and thought I could be dilated to a 5. Also, the PIH (pregnancy induced hypertension) was slowly getting worse and my progesterone was going to wear off on Tuesday which would only increase my contractions. Sure enough Dr. W agreed that my BP was a concern and since he was one day shy of 37 weeks we were fairly safe delivering. I also won the bet - I was dilated to a 5! I was really scared if my water broke at home that I wouldn't have enough time to get to the hospital to deliver.

So, John and I headed over to IHOP for a leisurely breakfast - we reminisced about life before kids, life with one kid, and the what life would be like with 2! After breakfast we headed over to L&D, it was around 11:00 am by the time we arrived. Around 12:30 Dr. W came over and broke my water as planned. I prepared myself for the birth and to my surprise, nothing happened! Around 2:00 I asked for a little Petocine to help encourage the contractions, they regulated around 2:30 and around 2:50 I was sitting in the restroom and realized that the contractions had picked up and were starting to get very intense. My brain began to register that I had done this before! John helped me back to bed where I continued to have about 8 very intense contractions about 1.5 minutes apart. I called the nurse in around 3:15 and told her to page the doctor because I was getting ready. The nurse checked me and I was an 8, 10 minutes later Dr. W arrived just in time for me to start pushing! I received my Pudenal block and pushed through 4 contractions. Gabe's head arrived on the third push and the body followed on the 4th push. I was so relived! Gabe came out and just looked at everything and everyone. They laid him on my tummy and he just stared at John and I! Then they noticed his lips were a little blue so they took him over to the warming table and tried to get him to cry. After a few pathetic cries they realized that he had bruised his lip and nose coming through the birth canal so quickly which was why he looked a little purple! John was amazing through the whole thing. He helped count contractions and was right there mopping up my sweaty head. I felt great after the delivery, this time I was much more in control and was able to focus on my breathing. It was such an awesome experience! The recovery time was also amazing! I've been on Motrin for the mild pain and aside from the horrible hemorrhoids, feel great! I only tore a little and had one stitch. Gabe's head was smaller than Drew's, I had 3 stitches with Drew.

Well I am off to sleep in my own bed. Little Gabe is asleep in the pack N play next to my bed and Drew is fast asleep in his big boy bed. We shall see how Night #1 at home goes!

Also - there are a ton of new pictures posted to the right under "William's Photo Album"

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Wednesday Dr. Appt

I went in today for a routine checkup, my BP was about the same. All looked well, I am dilated to a 3 already! My last progesterone injection was on Tuesday so I hope it is safe to say we should deliver next week - pending no BP issues. I can't believe I had dilated from a 1 to a 3 in one week because I haven't been having any contractions. Dr. W. said that the combination of the baby's weight plus the fact that I have already had a child before could dilate me. So, my next appointment is on Monday 11/19 - a great date for a birthday?

One funny moment I just had to share. Tonight John said to Drew " OK Drew" in that voice that Drew knows so well. Drew completed his sentence by iterating "Two minutes." John is always preparing Drew for changes like getting ready for bed or getting into the bath. The timing on this was perfect!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Week 36



Week Thirty-Six
Your baby is almost ready and most likely, so are you! The only organ still to mature is the lungs. While certainly you are both growing anxious to meet, remember that each day (up to 42 weeks), that your little one stays within your womb will multiply his chances to breathe on his own.
If he hasn't already, this week your baby may drop into the birth canal. While breathing for mom becomes easier, walking may be the exact opposite! If he's not your first baby, this "lightening" may not occur until right before labor.
Fat is dimpling your baby's elbows and knees, and forming creases in the neck and wrists.
His skin is growing smooth and, shall we say it, "baby" soft.
His gums are very rigid. It won't be many months before you'll see his teeth.
She has a fully developed pair of kidneys and her liver has begun processing some waste products.
Your child's average size is now 18.66 inches (47.4cm) and 5.78 pounds (2622 g). Between now and birth she will gain about an ounce a day!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Hospital Trip #1

We are back from an overnight trip spent in Labor and Delivery. I went in on Saturday evening with a blood pressure of 150+/102+. My BP had progressively worsened throughout the day, I was also having upper gastric pain and a very mild headache. John, my knight, stayed with me the whole night while they monitored my BP, took blood labs, 12 hours of urine samples, and the highlight - an ultrasound of little Gabe. All checked out well and my BP was able to get back within normal range by late evening. Little Gabe measured on the small side - 5 pounds 8 oz and mommy and daddy enjoyed watching him on the monitor. The blood flow from the placenta to his body looked great, which is what I was worrying about. My doctor sent me home on bed rest until Wednesday, when we will re-evaluate everything. It would be great to get to 37 weeks!

Drew handled the whole thing with much ease, he spent the night with Nana and then went to church this morning. He visited us around 1:00 this afternoon and the first thing he said was "Mommy, you ok?" He quickly saw all was well and went on playing with things in the room. Our friends the Tyson's also visited and we were able to see little Ethan, who isn't so little anymore! John treated me to a drive thru lunch at Sonic and then we went home where I rested with my feet up in the garage. My mom, such a sweetheart, came over after watching Drew for 24 hours and cleaned my house. I love my mom!

Drew has school tomorrow and John is off until Wednesday. Grandma Patti will be here tomorrow night to help us out!

Oh, we are still waiting to hear about the teaching job in Graford, John found out on Friday that it is between him and another person. The principal was checking John's references on Friday too, so we hope to hear something this coming week.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

In this world, a second is a second. Time paces forward with exquisiteregularity, at precisely the same velocity in every corner of space. Time is an infinite ruler. Time is absolute.-- Einstein's Dreams

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Thankfulness of a young heart

Today I was explaining to Drew what Thanksgiving was all about. I asked him what he was thankful for and he replied "God," I asked him again thinking I might not have heard him correctly and he proclaimed "God mommy, I am thankful for God."

Oh so cute, no wonder Jesus said in Matthew 19:14

"Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

D Day Is Coming

The human body is an amazing thing! I made an early appointment to see my OB today, I have had a feeling my blood pressure was starting to rise and my contractions were getting more regular and painful. i was amazed to discover that my blood pressure was 140/90! Then my doctor looked at my chart from Drew and would you believe that my body did the exact same thing at the exact same time? On Monday I will be going in for another appointment and if history repeats itself I could be sent to Labor and Delivery to induce labor. I would be exactly 35 weeks 6 days, the exact same gestation that Drew was born. Dr. W stated that some bodies are just like that, they only go up to a certain point and then the BP rises in the body's attempt at delivering the baby.

The good news is that I am still 1 CM dilated and only 50-60% effaced - I really was expecting her to say 3 CM! Little Gabe's head is down and somewhat movable. Gabe is still moving well and keeping active. The toxemia hasn't set in yet, but I know the signs to look for. We are praying that my BP waits until Monday to go up more. I would love to get to 36 + weeks!

Dr. W also had blood drawn to check my levels just to be sure my body is handling everything ok. I am on bed rest until Monday, it should be a long and boring weekend.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Week 35


Well, for 35 weeks I have had great news to report, alas those times are changing. I went in today for a routine exam and discovered that I am 1 CM dilated and the thinning process has begun. I have had a lot of pain in my lower pelvic area so I think my body is getting ready for our upcoming birth. I also have had a hard time getting rid of the swelling in my legs and had a little protein in my urine, but not enough to worry about yet.

I have to make it to 36 weeks so the Dr. wants me to take it easy - no picking up Drew or getting to active. I am so glad to be hearing this at 35 weeks instead of 22 - like with Drew! On the bright front, my BP has remained low 124/72, Gabe's head is down and he has dropped a little, but not into the birth canal. In fact, my Dr. was able to couple his head with her fingers and move it to the left and right. Gabe's buttox wraps around my right rib cage and his feet and fingers are on the left side of my tummy. His heart rate was also very strong = 145 BPM. Gabe has also been getting the hiccups about 3-4 times per day which is a good sign that his lungs are developing and the amniotic fluid is decreasing. His estimated weight is around 6-7 pounds.

All in all we are expecting a very healthy little boy to arrive in a few weeks. I would love to get to at least 37 weeks!


Week 35 Development



The average baby weighs almost five and a half pounds now.
Most babies born now will survive and without many long-term problems.
Fat accumulations plumps up the arms and legs this week. These layers of fat will help him regulate his body temperature. They also provide those cute little dimples on elbows and knees!
Her hearing is fully developed, so be sure to talk to your daughter. Do you find yourself speaking in a high-pitched tone? That's okay since some studies show babies respond better to higher pitches.
It's getting crowded! Your baby is now taking up most of the uterus and you may even feel like your chest has run out of room! Soon enough though, baby will move down and you'll be able to breathe easily again (just not walk so easily! Ha!).
Your baby is 18.2 inches (46.2cm) long and weighs 5.3 pounds (2383gm).
The testes have completed their descent in males

Monday, November 5, 2007

Drew's Health Update

Sorry for the lack of posts. Drew has been sick with the terrible flu since Wednesday! He finally started to keep down liquid on Sunday and is slowly returning to his old self. It was a rough 5 days without Daddy here to help out, but it made us all appreciate him more! Drew did loose 2 pounds this week and was dehydrated for a day. We almost took him into the hospital, but I held out for 1 more day and of course he started to get better.

My mom had her Thyroid surgery on Friday and has recovered well. My sweet sister drove down to take care of her. Drew and I tried to keep her company too!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Gratitude




Researchers studying those who kept gratitude journals concluded:

"At the end of the 10 weeks, participants who’d kept a gratitude journal felt better about their lives as a whole and were more optimistic about the future than participants in either of the other two conditions. To put it into numbers, according to the scale we used to calculate well-being, they were a full 25 percent happier than the other participants. Those in the gratitude condition reported fewer health complaints.
People who kept a gratitude journal reported feeling more joyful, enthusiastic, interested, attentive, energetic, excited, determined, and strong than those in the hassles condition. They also reported offering others more emotional support or help with a personal problem— supporting the notion that gratitude motivates people to do good. And this was not limited to what they said about themselves. We sent surveys to people who knew them well, and these significant others rated participants in the gratitude group as more helpful than those in the other groups."

What are you thankful for today? Will you also begin your list of 1,000 gratitude's - prepare to be changed!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

My Crazy Family!

I just have to share with you how crazy and fun it is to be married to a youngest! Last night John and I were talking, I had noticed he had drifted in to a type of "funk" - he was not his normal jovial self. After much conversation it came out that he missed his family and their hunting trips. His brother just returned from Afghanistan for a visit and the boys and their dad are going hunting. His sweet brother had offered to buy John's ticket home if he could come for a brief visit. Well, John being the sweet and wonderful husband that he is didn't even consider flying to Portland since I am so close to delivering our precious little boy. I love to see my husband smile, so I told him I didn't care if he went for a few days? I was not going into labor before Monday since my FFN test came back negative (I hope!). I told him I thought he should go enjoy himself.

After very little prodding, he said, "well lets go check flights!" So, at 11:15 pm we were searching online for cheap(er) last minute flights. Would you believe we found one - thank you Jesus! His flight was to leave that morning at 8:00 am. Now, I being the oldest and less spontaneous one didn't really like the idea of waking our 2 1/2 year old up at 6:00 am, fighting traffic, and then coming home and not being able to get Drew back to sleep, so John suggested I drive him over to the airport tonight! So, at 1:00 am, John is packed and ready for his big adventure. I woke Drew from his sweet slumber, put him in the car, and proceeded to listen to Drew's excited statements about going to the airport! He loves planes and airports! Now is where the story gets really wild!

Half way to the airport Drew starts to cough, as my normal habit, I ask Drew "Are you ok?" I repeated it again.... nothing. John turns on the car lights and we turn around to see Drew vomit all over himself and the car. Poor little guy, his face reflected sheer terror from being covered in sticky smelly puke. So, John turned the car around and we went back home to change Drew's clothes and clean up the car seat. By now it is 1:45 am. After cleaning him all up, we all pile back into the car and head to the airport for the second time. It is now 2:15 am. We arrive at the airport and drop Daddy off. Drew cries because he wanted to go into the airport and ride the escalators! Mommy and Drew finally arrive back home at 3:00 am and all was quiet and asleep by 3:30 am.

8:00 am Thursday morning came really early!

Drew really does have the flu, he has been glassy eyed all day, content to watch DVD's and sleep in his special big boy bed. His Auntie Julie arrived this evening which really cheered him up. He had a few perky minutes and then got sick again. Poor thing! I have been babying him all day and trying to get him to drink Pedialite. He hasn't wanted anything to eat and his tummy has been aching a lot. He is so sweet and precious to cuddle with when sick, I am enjoying the opportunity to spoil and love on him! Drew did keep saying all day that he wanted to go back to the airport and pick up Daddy, he thinks that is where Daddy is right now. The picture above is of Drew sleeping today, his little face is red from the fever. My sweet little angel is so tender when sick, I hate to see him suffer so much.

Northwood Pastor - Condoleezza Rice

Our pastor, Bob Roberts, spoke to us Sunday about his recent trip to Washington where he was invited to speak with Condoleezza Rice. Northwood and other churches around the US, are actively seeking involvement in bringing Christian aid to the Palestinians. I love how they call our pastor a Mega church pastor - our church only has 2,000 people which is small for a Texas church! The article is a great read!

Melissa


October 30, 2007 2:56PM
Condoleezza Rice: From Bethlehem to Annapolis
The Secretary of State is determined to lay foundations for Middle East peace.
David Neff
Last Friday, I joined five other evangelical Protestant leaders for an intense and rewarding half-hour conversation with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Our goal was to assure her of our support as she navigates the treacherous waters of Middle East politics—particularly as she arm-wrestles the various parties toward the summit planned for the beginning of December in Annapolis. The Bush Administration is hoping that foundations can be laid for an enduring, peaceful two-state solution in Israel-Palestine conflict.
The others in our delegation included three megachurch pastors—Bob Roberts of Northwood Church near Dallas, Joel Hunter of Northland Church near Orlando, and John Jenkins of First Baptist Church of Glen Arden near Washington, DC. Also part of the group were foreign policy guru Chris Seiple of the Institute for Global Engagement and Ron Sider of Palmer Theological Seminary.
Secretary Rice is an intelligent, calm, well-spoken person whose social skills are clearly meant for diplomacy. (Click here , here , and here for CT’s 2003 cover essay about Condi Rice.) But she also radiates strength—which is what it takes to go head-to-head with the antagonists in a protracted conflict.
Here are a few highlights from our conversation:
· She is a “fundamental defender of Israel’s security and its right to defend itself.” She will not abandon Israel’s security needs.
· She also doesn’t believe that you can excuse any terrorist activity by calling people “freedom fighters.” There is no such thing. A terrorist is a terrorist is a terrorist.
· Although there are absolutist factions on both sides, she believes that the leadership on both sides now understands that the window of opportunity for a peaceful resolution is very limited, and that this will require them to abandon absolutist claims for practical possibilities. This could open up political space in both societies for moderates to function.
· Resolving this conflict is important both regionally and locally. More than just Palestinians and Israelis have a stake in this. Responsible Muslim allies in, for example, Indonesia would discover that a fair and peaceful resolution would reduce the pressures from fundamentalist groups. And in the region itself, the Arab states are quite nervous about the activities of an Iran-backed Hamas that wants to exploit tensions with Israel.
· She sees herself as a facilitator. The US is not imposing a solution on Israelis and Palestinians, but it is helping leaders who want to move their people toward increasing peace and economic stability to reach their goals.
· She is realistic. In the 14 months the Bush Administration has left, there is no way to accomplish everything that needs to be done. But strong foundations can be laid. And this is a moment of opportunity.
The pastors in our group are interested in more than diplomacy. While they prayed for Secretary Rice, that God would strengthen her to accomplish her mission, they also spoke of people-to-people development projects they envisioned to help impoverished Palestinians to a better life. If Palestinian civil society is going to recover from its current chaos, it will require some serious attention to local economies. That's something that individual American Christians can be part of.
On her October 17 visit to Bethlehem, Secretary Rice observed first-hand the devastated economy of that traditionally Christian city. With tourism as the lifeblood of the local economy, occupancy in the main hotel is down to 20%. This fact was repeatedly reported in the press after her visit, and Secretary Rice referred to it again in our conversation. She was obviously glad to hear of the hopes these pastors had for reaching out to fellow Christians in the birthplace of Jesus. Stay tuned for an announcement of specific church-based projects in the near future.
Several years ago, I heard Secretary Rice give her testimony at the National Prayer Breakfast. She talked about the African-American spiritual “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen.” There is a paradox in that spiritual. One line talks plaintively of trouble, suffering, and sorrow. The next exclaims, “Glory, Hallelujah!” Secretary Rice, as a Christian believer, sees that the path to “Glory, Hallelujah!” lies through tribulation—but only if one lets go of the pain and the preoccupation with victim status and uses it for the good of others. That kind of faith may fit her well for taking on the monumental challenges of the Middle East.