Monday, July 30, 2012

Time's Up!

Time's up...for our family of 3, that is! In just two days (one and a half actually) we will open our arms to our newest addition, Baby Abel!

Apparently Abel is enjoying his space in my womb, as I have only been 1.5cm dilated for about 3 weeks now. I will head in to the doctor one last time tomorrow in preparation for his delivery on Wednesday. My doctor will do a series of checks and measurements and use a special formula scale to decide whether or not I would be favorable for natural labor on Wednesday. Should she find me favorable, I will go in Wednesday morning and she will break my water and we will see how things go! Because I am a previous (complicated) c-section the only intervention allowed is breaking my water, so my body must labor on its own, no pitocin allowed! If she should decide that a c-section is the safest route, then we are already scheduled for 1:30 Wednesday afternoon. :)

Mommy and Abel at (almost) 39 weeks.
 My doctor is guessing Abel will be around 8.5 lbs. I'm hoping for a big boy...I'd like a nice excuse for my belly that literally feels like it's growing by the minute! Who knows, Owen's last ultrasound measured him at 4lbs 4oz and a week later he was born at 6lbs! We are just so excited to hold this sweet boy in our arms, and are in awe that the Lord would choose us to raise another one of His precious children here on earth.

I have fully cleaned, sanitized and re-organized our entire house. To say that I'm nesting is putting it lightly. Michael probably thinks I'm going insane, and "nesting" is just my normal state of OCD cleanliness. :) Dogs are bathed and shaved (though not pretty...I'm still working on my doggie beautician skills!), dog bedding is washed and cleaned, bathrooms are cleaned (including hand scrubbed trashcans!), floors have been cleaned multiple times because I felt like I could see streaks, all closets are re-organized with hangers and shirts all facing the same direction, cars are washed, cleaned and vacuumed, very detailed notes and instructions are written for our wonderful family and friends coming to help with Owen....and I had my "I'm Having a Baby" pedicure! :)

Owen made a special trip to the Disney Store last week to get his "I'm Going to be a Big Brother" present. :)

For those that aren't huge Mickey Mouse Clubhouse fans, Owen is holding Pete. Not the nicest character, quite "gruff and tough" but he is Owen's absolute favorite! When he saw Pete in the box, his whole face just lit up!

Owen has been re-name "Hurricane Owen" by his Daddy. In the last few weeks he has become quite destructive, and (didn't think it was possible...) even busier! Naps have been "touch and go" for us since transplant. However, the majority of the time I could get Owen to nap on a daily basis. Keep in mind, before transplant I could set a watch to the time when Owen would want his nap and boy, were they good naps! Well, out of the past two weeks I believe Owen has napped twice. We still have a daily quiet time in which he stays in his crib for an hour or so. He actually does really well with this. I love listening to him talk and sing while he's in his bed. :) However, this Mama is feeling very pregnant and most definitely would have enjoyed a few more naps here and there. It's okay, I suppose I should be grateful for how well he is feeling and how quickly he is growing and developing!

Owen practicing holding "baby" and being a good big brother!

Did I mention the kid is busy?! One of his new favorite activities is opening the refrigerator door and "rearranging" everything in there. :)

Please keep our family in your prayers Wednesday, and be in prayer for wisdom for my doctor in deciding the best way to proceed with bringing Abel into this world. Thank you again, for your prayers for Owen. We are continually blessed by the outpouring of love and prayers we receive for our sweet boy. It is only by the grace of God that he is doing so well and is continuing to stay healthy and growing! We are grateful for each and every one of you, and pray that Owen's story will continue to touch the lives of those who hear it.

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Titus Woman

Titus 2:3-5
Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.

I have been blessed by what I refer to as a "Titus Woman". The Lord has provided me with many godly family members, all of whom have impacted my walk with Christ. There is, however one Titus Woman who has left her mark not only on my heart, but anyone who has come to know and love, my dear, Great Aunt Katie.

Aunt Katie is my grandfather's older sister, who will likely be leaving this earth soon. It's okay though. She's ready. I've never understood how someone can be ready to die. Ready to leave this earth, full of those we know and love, a place of comfort, being among the living. But Aunt Katie doesn't see it like that. In her 87 years of life she's come to understand the Lord's calling for her life and the sin that so encapsulates those that love this world. She's ready to meet her maker.

Aunt Katie is one of the godliest people I know I will ever have the pleasure of knowingon this side of Heave. There is not one conversation I have ever had with her that is not surrounded around her prasing the Lord and speaking of His goodness. To this day, she has praised Him daily, even as her health quickly deterioates and she is daily suffering from evil sickness. Yet, her words constantly praise His Holy name. Infection has caused her to lose sight of one eye. Yet, not a day goes by that she is not solely devoted to reading and studying the word of God. Cancer has overcome her mouth, making it nearly impossible to speak. However, one thing is clear in everything she says. Her hands raised, she praises His name.

I spoke with Aunt Katie 2-3 times a week during my pregnancy with Owen. To say she was a prayer warrior for me is putting it lightly. She was a constant source of strength on some of my weariest days. I will never forget one of her phone calls, in which she was so excited to share the verses from her devotional that were chosen for Owen's due date:

Psalm 27:14
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart, and wait for the Lord.

Jeremiah 17:14
Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.

I was blessed beyond measure this past weekend when my family made a trip to visit Aunt Katie. Unfortunately it had been years since I had visited with her in person, and although I would prefer to remember the image of a spunky, sweet lady, bopping around her kitchen, I was greeted with a very frail, very sick and dying woman. This was likely my family's final "goodbye to Aunt Katie, but it was laced with a very special "hello" as well. It was in this visit that Aunt Katie would finally meet Owen, and see the goodness of the Lord through the healing she and many others have been praying for my sweet boy.

It would be impossible for me to describe the emotions filling the moment she first saw Owen."Praise God, Praise God!" It was a moment in which the goodness of the Lord was clearly revealed and a moment that Aunt Katie has so been longing for.

It's hard for me to understand how Aunt Katie continues to live each day, in the Spirit of the Lord, with never, ever a word of complaint, only praises to her King. When asked how she is doing it's always the same response: "I'm doin good...I'm just blessed."
Somehow she is blessed as she suffers day in and out and as her body slowly prepares to leave this world. She has fuflilied a life full of grace and has left her mark on this world. I am blessed in knowing this amazing woman, a true Titus Woman. She has passed down her knowledge and love for the Lord and in her elderly years, and has helped to grow and nourish the youger women of our family, just as we are called to do.

He giveth more grace when the burden grow greater, He sendeth more strength when the labors increase: to added affliction He addeth HIs mercies, to multiplied trials HIs multiplied peace, when we have exhauseted our store of endurance, when our strength has failed ere the day is half done, when we reach the end of our hoarded resources. Our Father's full giving is only begun. His love has no limit, His grace has no measure, His power no boundary known unto men; For out of His infinite riches in Jesus. He giveth, and giveth and giveth.

Monday, July 2, 2012

One Short Month!

For all of our diehard Knowin Owen fans, you'll have to wait until the end of this post for that sweet face....Little Brother Abel demands his own update! :)

The tides are a changin' here in the Daugherty house....in less than one month we will be a family of four! That's right, Baby Abel's scheduled delivery day is August 1st! (That's just 6 days apart from Big Brother!) I have been so blessed to be taken back in to the high risk practice that delivered Owen. I am comfortable with each doctor and trust their skilled, researched knowledge for each decision they make.

As of right now, the plan is (haha, laugh it up, I know my plans never work out!) that I will go to the hospital on August 1. At that time, if I am "favorable" for laboring then my doctor will break my water and see how things go. I would love, love, love to deliver Abel as natural as possible. This was my plan with Owen, but of course because of many complications I needed a c-section. If I am not favorable, or the doctor is uncomfortable with me laboring, then we will proceed with a c-section. Allowing me to labor and deliver naturally comes with a few complications, due to the surgeries I had on my uterus with Owen and being a previous c-section. Please pray for wisdom for our doctor in making these decisions. We just can't wait to hold our sweet man!

As of right now, Baby Abel is measuring just perfectly. :) I, however measure two weeks ahead. Yes, you read that right...at my 34 week appointment my belly measured 36 weeks! I almost fell off the table! I suppose if I paid more attention when looking in the mirror I wouldn't have been so surprised. :) Abel measures a bit above average, but they don't seem to be too concerned. I have to say, I wouldn't mind having a nice, chunky boy...it would be a good excuse for this extra large belly I'm carrying around! No matter how big or small, we are just so blessed to be welcoming another sweet boy to our family. :)

My sweet Mom came up for an extended visit last week while my brother was at basketball camp. It was so wonderful and relaxing to have her here...for longer than one night! Owen loved all the extra attention, too. :) My mom was gracious enough to attempt another babysitting session even though our last one didn't fare out so well. (Faithful followers will remember Owen's little stunt with pulling out his g-tube last time!) Marlee and Owen played while Mommy and Daddy set out for a nice dinner to celebrate our 4 year anniversary.

Daddy is knee deep into his residency at Jewish Hospital. His first day he left our house round 5:30am and didn't make it home until after 10pm. This doctor stuff is no joke! :) We are so, so proud of how hard Michael has worked to achieve his goals, all while leading and loving our little family. :)

Mr. Owen is just moving and grooving like crazy! He has completely mastered the speed crawl. And will crawl anywhere....except grass! He is pulling up to his knees and is finally strong enough to stand with support! We are working with our new PT and learning to use his new "walker" to help build muscle strength. I know things are going to get crazy once this boy can walk (hey, they are already are now with crawling!), but I am just so excited to see him grow and develop each day! :) We've been working hard learning our shapes and he can work a 5 piece shape puzzle without assistance. (You know I have to brag on my little smartie pants!) His absolute favorite thing right now is singing Old MacDonald....he falls asleep singing E-I-E-OOO and wakes up finishing! I am just loving this age and so enjoy my time at home with him. I don't want to miss a moment. :)

 We spend most of our days outside...yes this large pregnant woman is feeling every single degree of this heat wave! Owen would play outside all day. In or out of the pool...he loves the outdoors! In fact, he just loves to play. :) I love watching him "read" his books and sing his songs while he's playing. Such a sweet innocence, I just wish I could bottle him up and keep him like this forever!

My little patriotic swimmer :)
Owen's doctor appointments have been going very well. We've been moved to clinic appointments every two weeks! While we love our doctors, it's nice to not be stuck in the hospital all morning every Friday! :)Thank you, thank you for your constant prayers for Owen. Especially for his bladder. We are continuing to pray that the Lord would strengthen and stretch his bladder so that it can accommodate his new, healthy kidney. (And we've seen lots of improvement since transplant in his bladder, as well as the left native kidney and ureter!) Of course, we ask that you pray his body continues to accept his kidney and that it will continue to work it's wonders in his little body!

I've been reading The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian (I highly recommend this book and can't wait to read the one for wives as well.) and while I've been so blessed by the scripture saturated book, I've also been challenged and convicted during my prayer time for my children. My main focus for Owen since before he was born has been his health. It consumes most of my thoughts, and of course my prayers for him. But I need to be praying for so much more for my baby. I need to cover every aspect of his life in prayer.

"Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord. Lift your hands toward Him for the life of your young children." Lamentations 2:19

It is my prayer that my boys will grow to be strong, obedient men of God. I need to focus my prayer time to cover them with the word of God, knowing that He will equip Michael and I with wisdom in our parenting skills and choices.

Thanks for checking in on our soon-to-be-growing little family!

So I know I talk about Owen's hair all the time....but seriously?! Could these curls be any sweeter?!

"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it."
Proverbs 22:6