Hello Banana and happy half birthday! I cannot believe we are halfway to meeting this little boy That is both extremely exciting and extremely sobering … only 20 more weeks of this experience we waited so so so long for. Oliver gets to feel him kick regularly now, and I feel him daily. That has it’s good side and bad. The good is obvious. The bad is that it increases my fear if I don’t feel him for any length of time. I really have to keep handing it over to Christ and reminding myself this is completely out of our control. We are still very filled with joy
In other (very good news) – your prayers are working! Tara felt a HUGE relief in back pain very shortly after posting about it. Please keep the prayers coming! The Physical Therapist has increased her therapy to three times a week and is expecting it to have to continue through the remaining five months of the pregnancy. Random fact: sore abs feel VERY different in pregnancy than they do regularly! Haha!
So, Oliver had heard of this movie well before I had. I think that was a God-thing really. Oliver told me later that, when he saw the trailer, he immediately knew I shouldn’t/wouldn’t be able to go see it. I (thankfully) didn’t see the trailer until after we knew squishy was on the way. So, when it actually hit theaters, we were eager to go. What I didn’t realize was how raw our pain continues to be. Within the first 5 minutes of the film I had tears streaming down my face and Oliver said he was feeling quite emotional too. The movie begins with a couple, sitting in a fertility doctor’s office, being told they “gave it a good fight, but it’s time to stop trying”. Oh, how that familiar ache came flooding back into my heart. Later in the movie, people innocently dig spears into that wound with lines like “I thought you’d have a real kid first — you know, your own” and similar painful statements. By the end of the movie I was full of warm-fuzzies from the story line, but emotionally drained from the reminders.
It’s amazing how quickly you think the wound is healed when really, it can still be quite raw underneath. Things often bring back that flood of pain for us, and often catched me off guard. Oliver is really amazing at always assuming the best of people. This is an area he has really helped me grow in – but an area I need to continue to work on. It’s so easy to feel hurt by people’s innocent actions. We are finally able to welcome our own blessing, but people inadvertantly jab us in our still open wound. Statements like “it’s about time..” and “this is your mom’s second grandbaby right? You didn’t have the first?” knock the wind out of you. I foolishly thought it would ALL be better once our baby was on the way. But what I realize more each day is that I carry battle wounds that are still raw. Still real. Some people thought that, after over 2 years of battling infertility I should have become “numb” to the world of “baby” all around me, and that I should just get over the pain. Now it’s as if I am expected to be numb to what we just went through, now that it is over. But I don’t think those are things that I should become numb too – God allowed us to go through that trial to grow us and change us. If I become numb to these pains, I become numb to the lessons He taught us. And if I become numb, I won’t be able to cry with my fellow couples who are going through their own similar journeys. So being raw hurts – a lot. But there is a reason for it.
Please … go watch the movie. And while you watch it, please be aware of the innocent things people say that hurt the couple so much. And vow NEVER to say these things to ANY couple. You never know their circumstances.
Please …. raise you own awareness and the awareness of others. Those of us who experience(d) this valley will be eternally grateful.
Here are a few shots from the ultrasound we had before the gender reveal…
We we absolutely LOVE about the second photo (other than the solidly developing spine and brain) is how baby boy is sleeping. See how his knees are under him with his butt up in the air? This is EXACTLY how Tara slept as a baby! We’re trying to find some photos of it in her mom’s collection. Tara’s dad nicknamed her “pumpkin” because of how she curled up in her crib like this, with her thumb in her mouth. And guess what … he’s a thumbsucker too *smile* Just like mommy!
If you all could please keep Tara in your prayers – she has been experiencing severe back pain for the past few months that has consistently gotten worse. She can’t sleep through the night without waking up 3-4x a night, holding her breath in pain. Sitting or walking for any length of time also causes her to be in a lot of pain. And with all this pain comes exhaustion. With the pairing of exhaustion and pain, it seems her “attacks” have returned with a vengeance, as all of it is stressing her body. Our Primary Physician (who specializes in sports medicine as well) was concerned by this, so Tara went in for an exam. He found that her pelvis it tilted in one direction, and her “hypermobile joints” (a condition she’s treated for regularly) are being particularly stressed by the “growth” the pregnancy has brought on. He sent her back to physical therapy (3rd time in the past year). Tara met with the Physical Therapist this morning and he is extremely concerned about her overall condition. The stress on the back is extensive, as she already has a weak back and pregnancy causes ligaments to relax. He also noted some neuropathy (nerve damage) on the left side. She begins therapy next week, starting at 2x a week and possibly going up to 4 as they investigate the damage and pain more. Prayers for healing and knowledge for the therapist in how to proceed are GREATLY appreciated – pregnancy makes anytime of physical therapy very difficult and we have to proceed with a lot of caution.
Last night daddy had a first… after multiple times of trying to feel you kicking me, you finally gave dad a “thump” in the hand. I wish I’d had the camera going – it was a miracle moment. His eyes were as big as silver dollars, he gasped in air and was actually speechless for a moment. When he finally did speak all he said was ..
“Ohhhh….. It’s getting so real…”
You are so very real baby boy *smile* We love you already!
Yesterday was a particularly LONG, but VERY fun, day. My cousins was in town, so Kelly and I played “tour guides” around San Francisco all day. We did the Golden Gate Bridge, Presidio, Pier 39, Boudin, Ghirardelli, Chinatown, Little Italy, Lombard Street, The Painted Ladies (i.e. the “Full House” house) … *phew!* The biggest hike was UP Lombard Street from the Warf. The best way to explain it would be to say “it’s like Vegas – you think the next casino is right there – but it’s WAY down there!” Except for Lombard street, it is STRAIGHT uphill. It was a fight to keep oxygen going to baby boy! *smile* While walking, we passed a street vendor with hand knit baby hats. Auntie Kelly found this owl one among them and bought baby boy his first San Francisco souvenir! Baby boy is going to be SOOOOOO cute in this! After our adventurous day, I crashed HARD last night when I crawled into bed.
When the alarm went off this morning, I was slow moving to actually get out of bed. As I laid there, reading through my social media on my phone, I felt the strangest sensation. Was that…. a kick? I lay there longer, willing myself NOT to hold my breath (the poor boy does need oxygen!). Sure enough… on the left side of my abdomen it continued, irradically, about 10-15 times. Thump thump thump!
Well hello and good morning little boy *smile* And happy 19 week birthday!
We are SO excited to find out it is a baby BOY on the way in January. You can ask Oliver, I’ve had an inkling it was a boy from the very day we found out *smile* The party was a HUGE success, and turned out just as we’d hoped. Low key, people we love around us, people we love watching via webcam! People watched our unveiling *LIVE* as far away as Asia! And more people are watching the recording! Squishy is so very loved all the way around the world!
Here at the house we had fruit & dip, chips & dip, tea and lemonade for snacking… friends drove in from all over, everyone from my parents’ neighbors, friends from former jobs, church family … we were surrounded by people who love us and are excited for baby Roehl! And everyone was dressed in pink and blue to cast their “votes” for the occasion!
About 3pm everyone started looking at their watches and counting down. Mom found Oliver pacing the house – he was so excited to begin! We started up the webcast and pulled out the AMAZING cake from Sugar, Butter, Flour.
Soon it was 4pm. Everyone gathered around with their colored pennants and dad prayed over us and this precious new life we’re bringing into the world…
Now was the time EVERYONE had been waiting for …
Thank you again EVERYONE – for those who came, those who watched, those who sent us well wishes, those who have prayed for us! We can’t wait to meet our little boy in January!
<3 Oliver and Tara
P.S. If you took photos at the party – PLEASE send them our way! taranicoleslp at gmail dot com
So everyone who isn’t able to come to our party in-person will have the opportunity to WATCH it live! My gosh, don’t you LOVE modern day technology?! Now, this concept excited many but baffles many as well… so here is how it will work.
Google has a social media feature called “Google Plus”. Within Plus is the opportunity to “Hangout” – we do this from time to time with Oliver’s family, and I’ve used it in the past for telepractice as well. It works kind of like Skype, but allows multiple computers (up to 10) to chat – which means mini-family reunions are 10x more fun! Now, we would hate to limit the live viewing to only 10, so we’ll be using a brand new feature called “live streaming”. This means the video will be available to view in Google Hangout, on Youtube and possibly even on the blog! ALL LIVE! My geekiness is reaching a new level *smile* Tip: If you watch in Hangout, you will be able to see who else is viewing and they can see you! Here is a promo video Google put out to explain it more:
So, if you want to watch via Google Hangout:
Sign up for free at Google Plus (even if you have a gmail account, you still need to activate Plus!)
Make sure you have all the plugins downloaded by starting a hangout (with no one) and following the prompts
That’s right… Baby Roehl “revealed” him or herself to the ultrasound tech while keeping the news from us – just PERFECT!
I recorded a quick message for you all… It become more and more breathtaking and real as we get further down this road – it REALLY IS HAPPENING! God ALWAYS keeps His promises, and His timing is ALWAYS perfect. So … excuse the tears! *smile*
In other news, we have been working to prepare for this weekend. A few people will be at the house with us, some will be watching via webcam, and others will be watching the recording later. But, me being me, we couldn’t do it without a LITTLE over the top-ness!