Saturday, May 29, 2010

Bits and Pieces...

of life back in the States.

When we first arrived back in the States we had boxes waiting for us. Online shopping is my thing. I love looking for the best bargain, even if it takes weeks to track it down. Enter these end tables. John graciously put them together on one of those first mornings that we just couldn't sleep in any longer due to jet lag.


There were also Christmas presents awaiting our return. I can't tell you how excited I was about getting pots and pans from my parents this year. Does this mean I am getting old? Perhaps. I am okay with that though. Having an actual set to use makes cooking all the more fun.


And we had boxes in the baby's room. Online shopping for babies is entirely too fun. Cloth diapers, bath sponges, cute hats, hand knit cocoons, swaddlers, sleeping sacks, natural cleaning products... all in anticipation of the arrival of our sweet little boy.


One of the most exciting purchases for our little boy was the much anticipated stroller!!! We got up one morning and put it together, then practiced pushing it around. I felt like a little kid on Christmas morning.


We'll use this bassinet to convert the stroller into a pram during those first months of life. I can't wait to take him on walks in our neighborhood and then wherever life may take us next. It even has a mosquito net for those evening walks (or to keep strangers from plastering their germs all over the little guy!)


Baby Turek's newest little friend came over to play with the grown ups caught up on oh, the last six months of life over a Saturday morning breakfast.


And we hosted a mother's day luncheon for my mom, complete with a birthday celebration for my sister since we were still out of the country on her special day.


I hope that each of you enjoys your Saturday. Every time my little boy kicks me I am reminded of God's miracles. We are always grateful for our time at home... but this summer is definitely the most exciting yet!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A "walk in the park."

The day of the accident had certainly started like a walk in the park with these two precious nieces of ours. What is it about parks that children love so dearly? Of course having a fun uncle makes those slides all the more exciting.

John underestimated how heavy he was and ending up landing right on his rear. Our oldest niece thought it was hilarious, our youngest niece still isn't quite sure what to think.

Rocks in the shoes just don't belong. Uncle John has a funny way of helping get those pesky little things out.

Naturally the oldest, miss independent, wanted to do it herself.

Posing with Baby Turek. Our oldest niece understands there is a baby inside and carefully places her hand on my belly in an attempt to feel the baby move. Her mom is also pregnant and expecting a baby boy just weeks before us.

The night after the accident the girls came bearing flowers, balloon and card. Our oldest niece was very concerned and looked so shy upon entering the living room. Later she prayed for me and the baby... words that I am just sure God smiled down upon.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Accident.

I wrote the following last night, not knowing whether or not I would share it... but something I just needed to do for myself. I know there will be days I may need to look back on it, days that I need to be reminded just how special life is.

Many of you haven't been informed of our most recent life event, so I figure this is one way to share. I hope that as you read this post, you too will be reminded to count your blessings.

Different people use different methods to cope with stress, to sort out emotions. For me, writing is theraputic. Not scholarly writing, or even writing to impress others... but raw, heartfelt journal entries. So that is what I am about to do, in order to sort through the myriad of emotions that are hovering around me.

I'm not even sure where to begin, so I suppose I will start from the beginning. The day began like a walk in the park. Literally. Breakfast and morning devotions were spent on our deck with the woods as our backdrop. We took our nieces out for lunch and then to the park to play. The weather was perfect, warm yet crisp with the shining sun making everything seem more glorious.

Later I went with my mom and sister to run some errands. We were getting things crossed off my to-do list and it felt great. And then it all began.

As we approached the 24th Street exit I could see traffic slowing ahead. I remember making a remark about a game taking place at Rosenblatt. Then I realized my mom was slowing pretty quickly as not to run into the slower cars in front of us. Immediately I reached to look for the emergency lights to warn the cars in back of us. My next reaction was to look to my passenger side mirror. That is when I saw it. A black car coming right toward us. It didn't look like it was slowing down. I yelled out, “We're getting hit.” I think I grabbed my belly and braced myself as if I knew what was coming next. And it did.

The thundering crash as the cars collided. My mom's blue Prius lurching forward as our bodies were treated like rag dolls. Me holding my baby gasping for air in between my sobs. “My baby, my baby,” is all I could get out. Shakes took over my body and I tried to practice the breathing techniques we had just learned at our birthing class.

It wasn't long before God granted me strength. Something inside me told me I needed to calm down. For the baby's sake. He had already been through enough, he didn't need my entire body convulsing on top of it. But a thousand things were running through my mind. Was my baby okay? Did I realize before how much I really loved him? What should we name him? Why wasn't he moving?

I just wanted him to move, but there was nothing. Nothing but people asking if I needed a squad car and police lights flashing behind me, insurance information being exchanged and car registrations being asked for. My sister immediately called John for me as I squeaked out, “We've been in an accident.” Not exactly a phone call any expectant dad wants to receive.

John arrived on the scene what seemed like an eternity later. Although it couldn't have really been that long as he later informed me he had been driving 100 mph in order to get to me. We took off for the hospital praying along the way, me talking to our baby... pleading with him to move so I knew he was okay. I was trying to recount to John what had happened and was second guessing my decision not to take an ambulance to the hospital. What if everything wasn't okay? Could I ever live with myself not knowing if those extra minutes cost my son his life?

Check in at the ER was a breeze. It wasn't long before they had me in a wheelchair and were pushing me to the new maternity ward. I just wished the guy were running instead of seeming to take his sweet time. The janitor in front of us took an elevator while we waited, and I was just praying for the ability to stay calm.

I was taken into a room right away, given a gown and immediately hooked up to monitors. It was then that I could finally breathe a sigh of relief as I heard my son's heart beat. I didn't know at the time how strong it was, but I heard it. In that moment in time nothing else mattered.

I would later find out that I was experiencing quite a few contractions. The nurse didn't let onto the severity of them at the time, I assume in order to help me remain calm. The doctor was called and I was given an IV to see if that would help lessen the contractions. After that didn't seem to work, I was given a shot to see if that would help. Further tests were run and taken to the lab to ensure my blood wasn't mixing with the baby's.

By 2:00 in the morning I changed positions to sitting up as my side was hurting too bad and started experiencing cramps in my lower abdomen. John got up from his fold out bed and got the phone so I could call my nurse directly. My uterus was still showing irritability according to the monitor and after another phone call to the doctor I was being given another shot.

The rest of the morning seemed to progress in similar fashion. Nurses coming in and out. IVs running out and beeping, having to unplug myself and drag the IV machine to the bathroom with me. By 7:00 in the morning I was starting regular contractions once again though and so yet another shot was delivered.

The good news was that our baby seemed to be doing great. In fact, the nurses said his fetal activity resembled more of a full-term baby than a 32 week old one. His heart rate stayed high and his movements were frequent.

My doctor came to see me, which was a reassuring and calming all at once. I trust I am in good hands with her, and knowing she was there made things a little easier on my nerves. A cervix exam was completed and we had to wait about an hour to know the results of a test done to see what the likelihood of delivering in the next two weeks would be.

That hour seemed to drag on forever.

I prayed silently. John prayed with me. I sent out an e-mail to my girlfriends. I tried hard not to think of all the “what ifs” but those came anyway.

And then John left to go get some food and came back instead with some great news. The test came back negative and we would be allowed to leave shortly!

After a wheelchair ride to the car and a car ride home (in which I did quite a bit of praying to combat the fear involved with getting back onto the Interstate and passing by the exact location of the wreck) I was home. Free to take a shower. Free to move in my bed as I pleased without machines getting in the way. I pretty much passed out as John snuggled me and continued to comfort me.

And then it all hit. Several hours later. The emotions. I wrote in my journal, “I seem to be at a loss for words. I am having such a hard time articulating the mix of emotions swirling inside. Relief. Gratitude. Love. Grace. Forgiveness. Peace. Comfort.”

And then, “Thank you for my sweet little boy. I knew I loved him, but I didn't realize how much. Suddenly when everything flashes before you, the stark reality of what could have been has a way of making you realize what you do have.”

And that is about where I am right now. The tear gates had already been opened, and closed again for now at least. When I have the flashbacks of the black car speeding toward us I remember in that moment how much I just wanted to protect our son. I know that the years ahead will bring many more times of wanting to protect him but not always being able to do so. I am so thankful that I serve a God who loves my child even more than I do. He may not always answer prayer requests according to how I might see fit, but I know His plan for me, John and our baby is far greater than what I could ever comprehend.

Now I am left realizing now, more than ever, how excited I am to meet our little son. I can't stop staring at his picture. I am ready to watch him inhale those first breaths of life and to hear those first cries. To hold him, to smell him, to feed him. I am ready for those sleepless nights. I refuse to take a single moment for granted; you never know when it might be your last.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mother's Day = 29 weeks

My very first Mother's Day and also our baby's first time in church. It was such a special day for me, something I have dreamed of for such a long time. As I felt our son kick and move during our worship time I was again reminded of the amazing God we serve and His big yet little miracles.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The little things.

We've been completely busy the past week and a half since we've been home and I still feel as though my to-do list is a hundred miles long. This is just part of our lifestyle, but for some reason I still over estimate my time and abilities and assume I will get way more done than what reality will allow.

Another post on what the past week and a half has looked like will follow, but for now I am basking in the memory of our first morning out on our deck. I have been looking forward to it for a very long time, especially with such a long winter. And alas, that day finally came. It hasn't come again... but as soon as the sun decides to make a constant appearance we will eat most of our meals out there until it gets too hot.

My favorite man in the world + sunshine + peaceful backyard woods + cranberry pomegranate green tea = a perfect morning

Thanks to my hubby for the new camera he got me for my birthday as I am hoping to become more skilled in photography before our little one arrives. It may help if I would sit down long enough to read the owner's manual....

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Recap of our Dr. Appointment

Our doctor's appointment went well.... with the exception of one thing. After waiting for what seemed like eternity (really only 30 minutes) the nurse called me into the little nurses station to check my vitals, etc. When opening up my folder she was a bit confused as to why I didn't have a chart started for my pregnancy. I explained my situation and told them I had my medical records from Germany for the doctor to look over.

That is when they said they needed to do a PREGNANCY TEST first. I was just a little shocked and the first words out of my mouth were, "seriously?" One look at my belly clearly reveals I am pregnant. Perhaps they thought I had a stomach tumor or something? I told them I had seen the baby multiple times on the ultrasound... pretty sure I am really pregnant.

I finally convinced them that a pregnancy test was not needed (I was imagining a $200 bill for something completely unnecessary.) Thankfully once our doctor arrived she was much more understanding of our situation and nomadic lifestyle.

The baby's heart rate was 153 and I am measuring normal. I am going to have to get used to not seeing our little guy at every visit. Honestly, it makes going to the doctor much less exciting. But, it sure is nice being able to articulate questions and actually understand the answers!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Our first US Doctor's Appointment!

Thanks to jet lag I have been waking up at 7:00 a.m. (or earlier!) that we've been home... irregardless of bedtime. Unfortunately I stayed up a bit too late last night and will probably pay for it today. But, I woke up hungry and excited as we have our first doctor's appointment in just four hours. :)

Now I need to work on translating all the medical records I have from Germany. I'm not sure they will even do the office here any good, since they are two completely different systems. I figure I should at least try though, just in case.

There is also something in the works for John in regards to an upcoming short-term contract. So, we are trying to prepare as if he could leave any day now. I will spill the beans when (and IF) he signs the official paperwork!

Did I mention it feels so great to be home? Oh how I love waking up in our big, comfy bed!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Back in the USA!

We made it!!! After a long day of traveling, complete with a delay to our final destination... the Turek family is back at home safe and sound!

Jet lag is only intensified thanks to the pregnancy. I was up at 4:30 this morning sorting through mail. We haven't really had a chance to do all the "musts" when we arrive back to the States, but that will come. Picking up the baby's crib and mattress today was exciting enough!

At the moment, chinese food days sound pretty good. Crab rangoon just may be on the menu for dinner. ;)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Heading Home!

I am currently on the phone with our insurance company adding liability to our car at home... finishing up the last few things on our to do list before we head out tomorrow!

Please pray for us... that our flights go smoothly and that Baby Turek doesn't decide to come early. ;) 

Packing, going through everything, and cleaning is one of my least favorite parts about this lifestyle. I'm exhausted and ready to get a good night's sleep before our LONG flight tomorrow. I'll be sure to get in touch as soon as we settle in!