Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Game of Life

Lately Jon and I have enjoyed our lazy evenings together playing games such as LIFE Twists and Turns, Scattergories, and Trivial Pursuit Digital Choice. It's been such a fun way to relax and laugh together, to enjoy our time as husband and wife before our lives change forever in a mere eight or nine weeks. Eight or nine weeks! I can't believe it. The other night Benjamin moved in such a way that I could feel the wholeness of the little person that he is....and I just panicked! "Jon, this is a real baby!" I cried. "I don't know what to do when he's born! I know nothing about being a mom!" Now, I don't know how you all will judge me for such an outburst of honesty, but I really know NOTHING about being a mom. Jon calmed me down sufficiently and helped me organize my thoughts and my growing list of things to do in order to prepare for baby. But it caused some reflection.

I think I was playing a game, playing house or The Game of Life, and suddenly I woke up and realized I was in real life with a real marriage and a baby on the way and no idea what to do. (Are you all horrified? I can't help it....my church has taught me to be forthcoming with my shortcomings.) In Life Twists and Turns, you accumulate "Life points" by getting married and having babies, getting promotions, drawing good cards. It's all very clean and easy. The other night I ended the game as a military captain with a Phd and eight children, having won the lottery thrice and taken a much needed vacation in Tahiti. I also had a midsized ($500,000) home but I was still riding around the board on a skateboard (I just couldn't land on a car space!). My net worth was just over $3million. Jon and I laughed over the absurdity of the game. Eight children and no labor and delivery, no mention of diapers or breastfeeding, no lamaze class, no searching for a pediatrician, no shopping for health insurance for any of the babies, no pregnancy symptoms whatsoever, no fear of the future, no insecurities over being the best mom...or at least a good mom...or just an okay mom.

But, you know what else? No joy in announcing a grandbaby to your parents, no watching him grow from .32 cm to his current impressive size, no fun in wondering if it's a boy or a girl, no joy in naming him, no feeling that first little movement, no enjoying almost every part of life growing within. And without the mess, where is the satisfaction? Without the insecurity, where is the opportunity for faith?

Real life is messy and hard work and scary at times. But it is full of joy and the whole range of human emotion that makes life and family worthwhile. And I am reminded again that my very real life is not left up to chance...there is no mere roll of the dice...but it is held most securely in the grasp of the Almighty hand. And it's a lot more fun than any game!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Warning: Long post!

Wow! What a week I've had! I had the great pleasure of going to Nashville for Anne's wedding this past weekend and it was truly wonderful. I got to see friends that I haven't seen in a while and Anne was an absolutely stunning bride (I'm sure I've never been to a more beautiful wedding in my life). It was really nice to catch up with all my girls from high school. We've all been friends for at least a decade now and it's such an exciting time in all of our lives with weddings and babies and big moves and job searches. I'm so glad we've stayed together all these years, even though our visits are few and far between. Trish and Erin didn't make it to the wedding, but Christy and I got to spend time with them last night and it was equally great to catch up with those girls. I was constantly amazed at how much energy I had this weekend for all the wedding festivities and I attribute much of it to the pure joy of being with my girls.

That's not to say it didn't take it's toll!!! I was quite fatigued by the time I arrived home on Sunday night and I think all of the movement and emotion of the weekend hit me at once. I cried for a while and slept really hard! When I look back at the pictures from the weekend, I can see how swollen I really was in my face (I could feel it in my feet by Saturday night, but it wasn't as bad as it could have been), no really surprising effect of traveling and being on one's feet in the third trimster. My feet and ankles were still a little swollen at my dr. appointment on Monday afternoon. It was a short appointment in which he just took my vitals and a few measurements, listened to Benjamin's heartbeat and sent me on my way. He said we're right on track with everything and he expects Benjamin to be between 7 and 8 pounds at birth. I have three more two week appointments and then we'll start going every week until D-day!

On a final note, the wedding and the holidays have served as eye-opening reminders of the joy and also the sorrow that so many can experience at the same time. My sister-in-law Amber lost her daddy just about two weeks ago to a brain tumor. A lady in our school district lost her son in a gun accident just before Thanksgiving. I talked to people this weekend who are going through heartbreaking things within their families....divorce, sick children, mental illness, trials of all kinds. And yet, I saw so much joy as well. Including Anne, three of my close girlfriends have gotten married in 2008. We have so many friends and family expecting babies and two who have already welcomed their little bundles of joy into the world this month! We are so excited as things continue to go well with little Benjamin and I really believe he's going to be a healthy little baby boy for us to welcome in the spring! The last of our little group of girlfriends told us she is getting married in September of next year. Kelly is living it up in Japan (that is both joy and sorrow, as we miss her so much but cheer her on as she lives one of her dreams).One of Jon's best friends is getting married in June and Jon will have the extreme honor of serving as best man. At such a joyful time in our own lives, it can be easy to overlook the pain in another's eyes. And even within the joyful times, people can experience such loss and fear. I can't imagine, for instance, what it must be like to say goodbye to your children as they start new lives as married people, or leave a job you've had for sixteen years even if it is something you want. Let us remember to pray for the people who have no joy in this holiday season, and the ones for whom the joy is tempered by grief or fear of the future. And for those of you who fall into that category this year, please know that our prayers are with you and that we love you. Remember that a new year is coming and it may hold joy you have never known. Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 12, 2008

More Tired Stories

I would like to thank all of my friends out there for enjoying a good laugh at my expense. And I would especially like to thank Trish for sending me an extension cord with a foot switch, so I can turn the Christmas tree on and off without bending down. The ability to laugh at oneself is indispensable. Here are a few more tired stories (Jon read my blog and said I forgot a few....probably because I was asleep).

Apparently, I told Jon I was "tired as a weasel." Now, I'm not really sure what I was trying to say or what I meant by that, but that's what came out.

Another day, I told him I had started the day off "on the wrong toe." Again, I'm not sure what I meant to say, but probably either "wrong side of the bed" or "wrong foot."

Today I very nearly fell asleep at a red light on the way home from Chilies. Thank God for the really annoying version of "Jingle Bell Rock" that came on to wake me up.

And, the crowning glory of all fatigue stories....I hesitate even to tell you, but when I confided in a coworker she said it happened to her too, so I know I'm not alone....see how I justify?....OK, here it goes:
Yesterday afternoon, I fell asleep ON THE TOILET!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


We had a doctor's appointment today, our last before we start going every two weeks. The doctor said that Benjamin is about 29cm long and should be between seven and eight pounds at birth (probably closer to seven, he said). I have no idea how they do these calculations, but there you have it. He did say that the baby is growing just on schedule (what a good, prompt, and efficient little baby!). Benjamin's hearbeat was 136, which is normal. He gave me the final go-ahead to fly to Nashville for Anniebobba's wedding next week!!! And I received a shot in the hip to protect Benjamin from my negative bloodtype in case he has a positive rh. Our next appointment is Decemer 22nd. I know the next couple of months will just fly by and then our little bundle will be here!
Last week we got the crib put together and the nursery is starting to look more like a real baby's room now! I love to look down the hall and see the crib all set up. I even put Curious George in the middle to show where the baby will go! I did the same thing in the little baby bathtub. Jon makes fun of me, but I'm sure you all think I'm precious.
Last week, we also took breastfeeding class. It was very helpful and enlightening. I was so glad we went! I was a little intimidated at first by the woman I have heard referred to as "the nipple nazi" but she seemed nice to me and gave a lot of great advice. No nazi-like tendencies that I could see. We will take childbirth preparation class starting the first week in January. In other news, we decorated our Christmas tree in all blue to celebrate our baby boy! I ordered a maternity coat off of ebay (I love being pregnant in the 21st century!). We are WAY behind on ordering Christmas presents this year, but it's okay because we are now members of AmazonPrime, which means we get free two-day shipping (a great thing since we're going to be ordering most of our diapers from amazon.com next year!). I still need to watch the "epidural video" and pay my deposit, so I can have relief when I need it. I finally finished my baby registries, and my shower invitation list is almost complete. My house is still a train-wreck. My husband is still the best ever. And we're still praying for lots of other expecting moms! We found out this week that our friend Joy (from high school) is having a boy as well! It struck me that his due date is April 30, the same due date we had for our little April Baby. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Many congrats to Joy and Philip and lots of prayers for their little London Andrew on the way!
Anyway, that's the update! I hope all is well out there in your world!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

You know you're tired when....

You throw a pile of clean laundry on the bed, then shove it over and sleep beside it for two hours.

You pick up your cell phone and call your husband (who is in the next room) to order sesame chicken and fried rice. You are extremely confused when he answers instead of the Chinese restaurant.

You fall asleep at the doctor's office while waiting for the doctor to come in and when he does come in, it startles you awake.

You lay in bed for a ridiculously long time, trying to decide if you have to go to the bathroom badly enough to make it worth getting up. You finally realize that it is, in fact, an emergency and you better get up NOW!!!

You lay in bed until exactly twenty minutes before you have to be at work, thinking that you can still be on time if you put on makeup and eat breakfast at your desk.

Your husband hands you a glass of grape juice in bed. He tells you to be careful with it and you say, "Oh, it's not sharp."

You leave your Christmas tree lights on constantly for four days and nights because you just don't have the energy to bend down and turn them off.

This is the fatigue of pregnancy. This is what no one ever told me about. This is worth every sleepy, stupid minute, because it means he is growing. Because no matter how tired I am, he can wake me up smiling with a gentle kick.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


Sometimes it's so easy to get overwhelmed with fear and concern for the future. But this weekend I have just been overwhelmed with love and gratitude. I am so grateful for good friends, quality time with family (I love Taboo!), pies that turn out beautifully, people who are kind when other pies don't turn out beautifully (I forgot to take the pecan pie out of the oven...I blame the hormones), technology that allows us to stay connected no matter how far we roam, Christmas decorations, traveling mercies, birthday gifts, pedicures, and the best husband in the world.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving and got to do all the things we love with family. You have not laughed until you have played Taboo! with my sister Whitney. We put up our Christmas tree and decorated it with blue trimmings in celebration of our baby boy! We got to see family and friends who were in town for the holidays...people we rarely get to see and often miss. I even got to chat with my cousin in New Mexico for a bit yesterday and am hoping to finish catching up with her today. She is expecting a little cousin for Benjamin just about 2 weeks before our due date! Yesterday we had a wonderful breakfast with friends (I don't just casually throw out the word...it was wonderful!), and we took Benjamin to his first football game. He moved around sufficiently to show us that he's already a fan. We're not sure if his enthusiasm was for football in general, his daddy's alma mater in particular, or left over from the amazing breakfast. I guess we'll know for sure in a few years. This was also one of my more fun birthdays for receiving gifts...I love things for the baby! From breast pumps to board books and characters for the nursery (they're so cute!) to maternity clothes for me (seriously, it's a true friend who understands this particluar need--thanks Trish) to games and books that have nothing to do with baby....it was a good birthday and I really felt loved. I was extremely impressed by the people who lead much busier lives than I can imagine and who have many stresses on them, yet still managed to send birthday cards!!!! I rarely accomplish this myself, and I'm amazed at you ladies for being so diligent. Thank you so much! And my mom gave me the little white New Testament from when I was a baby. (ya'll would be proud...I didn't cry at all....at first).

There are so many many things to be thankful for and I'm truly overwhelmed when I try to soak it all in. And in another twelve weeks or so, I'm sure I will be absolutely speechless when I see the little one that is so much a part of me and so much a part of my sweetie.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tell me not to panic

I've been feeling so good lately and enjoying feeling Benjamin move around, but today I just lack the confidence I have grown accustomed to. I think it's because I talked to my coworker about her sister's miscarriage a lot today and yesterday and lots of people were telling her their stories about how they've been through the same thing (well, it's like one in five pregnancies!). But I just started thinking about all the things that can still go wrong and I got so scared. I've had to stop reading the newsletter I receive from MEND (Mommies Enduring Neonatal Death) because the stories that used to give me hope now fill me with dread. I have enjoyed pregnancy so much, but I think I will just be really relieved once Benjamin is safely born. Fortunately I have a sweet husband, an active baby, a good doctor, and most of all, a Faithful God to get me through the final leg of our journey. The third trimester begins tomorrow! Please don't stop praying for us. And please remember to pray for Robin, who has a tough time ahead....sometimes it's hard to give thanks in all things, even when it is Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Do I Look Pregnant Yet?

The top picture is at McKinney Falls, TX this past Saturday. We are almost 27weeks!
This one was last week at the wedding of Brenton and Cara Dowdy. We were just almost 26 weeks here!

I am feeling Benjamin kick all the time now. He's quite the little gymnast in there...sometimes we can watch my belly pop and move as he rolls and somersaults around! What a great feeling--if anything was ever to be described as indescribable, that would be it. I can't explain what it feels like...it feels like exactly what it is...a tiny person rolling, flipping, and kicking inside of me.

Needless to say, we're having a wonderful time right now. Everything is going great with the pregnancy and I'm feeling good (if a little tired). But in our joy, we do not forget to share the sorrows of others. Today we found out that my co-teacher's sister lost her little one to miscarriage at 8 weeks gestation. For those of you who have experienced it...you know. For those who have not, I could hardly explain the grief and fear. It is not just the loss of a life, but the loss of so many hopes. Please pray for Robin and her family during this season and remember all who are facing a difficult holiday time. We are so thankful for the prayers that carried us through last year at this time and for the prayers that still keep us in good spirits and in good health.

Monday, November 10, 2008


So even though the baby is most decidedly in the front, my backside seems to be growing as well. Therefore, I needed to buy some larger unmentionables this weekend (the monthly free VS panty coupon is no longer cutting it!). So I went to Walmart, thinking I could easily pick up a package of cotton maternity panties....it sounded easy enough. But after wandering the clothing section for a while with no signs of anything maternity, I found an employee in the dressing room area and decided to ask for help.
"Can you tell me where the maternity underwear are, please?" I said in an appropriately lowered voice.
"WHAT?" she asked.
"Ahem...Can you please tell me where to find maternity underwear?" I asked again in a normal speaking voice.
"WHAT?" she asked again, more loudly. I began to think she might be hard of hearing.
"Where are the maternity underwear?" I asked with a slightly raised voice.
"Honey, I can't hardly hear you. What do you want?" She said.
"MATERNITY UNDERWEAR!" I said in an embarrassingly raised voice.
"MATERNITY!!!!" I shouted, all my remaining delicacy quietly dying.
"BRAS OR PANTIES??" she shouted.
And I thought of the scene in Little Women where Jo comes upon the pregnant Meg in the garden and asks why her sister didn't write about her condition. "One hardly speaks of such things," says the ladylike Meg. Any Meg-ish-ness I might once have treasured was buried for good when I shouted,
She didn't know where they were. She could not help me. I went home with a wedgie. Yes, a wedgie. I am no longer a lady. Now I'm a mom!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Raindrops on roses and....

My baby boy waking me up before the alarm with his little kicks....

Getting packages in the mail (Thanks, Amber!!!)....

People telling me I look cute even though I'm having a bad hair day (all they see is BELLY!)....

Imagining Benjamin in the darling outfit my mom bought him....

Other people who are pregnant....


My Boppy total body pregnancy pillow....

Maternity jeans (cause you don't have to unbutton to go to the bathroom! It shaves off valuable seconds in an emergency!).....

Making maple pumpkin cheesecake with Shanna....

Trying to imagine my man's blue eyes and chin dimple on a little baby who I hope will look just like him!

What are some of your favorite things?????

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Well, in honor of Halloween I did something scary and something silly. I got the flu shot... scary... only because my doctor absolutely insisted. I have always been wary of superfluous vaccines and have known too many people who claim that the flu shot made them sick. But I faced my fear and so far there have been no side effects other than a slight soreness in my left arm (which is also the arm I have to sleep on for the baby's sake...ouch!). Then I dressed as Nymphodora Tonks for a friend's costume party and the church Harvest Festival...silly...I am usually way too self conscious to dress up for Halloween. But it was just too much fun to create a maternity witch robe with a graduation robe and a belt. And, yes, my Harry Potter loving friends, I did wear a pink wig (actually a blond wig that Jon sprayed pink) and Jon did dress as Remis Lupin. I guess Benjamin was dressed as little Teddy Lupin but only because he was the baby inside Tonks! At my friend's party everyone knew exactly who we were. At the church festival, no one had a clue.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Always Learning

Usually I try to read around 40 or 50 books a year, you know, to keep the ol' brain active. This year, I think I will not reach that goal as I am often a little too tired and scatterbrianed to finish a book. But, praise the Lord, there are always opportunities to learn anyway!
I have learned this week, for instance, that the inside of the human belly button is smooth, soft, and hairless. I did not learn this very interesting trivia from book, magazine, lecture, or web browsing. I learned it because my own belly button is turning inside out. I have also learned that it requires a great deal of will power to keep from playing with an almost-inside-out belly button. It's like those little worry stones some people carry in their pockets and rub with their hands throughout the day...sometimes you just need to touch the belly button skin!
Now you have all learned something new about the human body that you probably wouldn't have learned from books or even medical school. Don't you feel smarter?

P.S. Kelly, thanks for teaching us about Japanese vending machines on your blog.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Time Flies

Wow! I have really not had a lot of time to blog lately....including now! I told Trish I'd blog about my experience with the sexist car salesman (and I will) but for now, just the quick update. It's hard to believe little Benjamin will be here in just a few more months!!!! He's been kicking and somersaulting a lot lately and I just love it every time. He's big for his week and strong (we're so proud) and all parts look healthy. I feel much more relaxed now that I can feel him everyday and I think as a result I'll be bugging my doctor and his staff much less often. We did buy a car since mine ended up being a total loss from the accident, and I'm enjoying having a working cd player and air conditioner on the road!!!! I have a lot of energy this trimester and have been able to get a lot done, but I can't stand the smell of most cleaning products, so my house is still pretty bad (there will always be some excuse!). Oh, and we ordered Benjamin's baby bedding on e-bay and it will be here in a few weeks! I hope all is well out there, and I'll update more later!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

One year ago

One year ago today--emptiness, pain, fear of the future, depths of sorrow. I was in bed recovering from surgery. My mom was putting away baby things and pregnancy books so they wouldn't be a constant reminder. My husband didn't know what to do--he just took care of me, made me eat, prayed for me.
But today--joy, fullness, excitement, beauty from ashes. Jon felt the baby kick this morning--what a gift! At twenty weeks we are half way to the completion of the pregnancy and the arrival of our little darling! A new life is an amazing thing and we know that we also have the promise of resurrection and another meeting for the one we lost a year ago. But I believe THIS little one will make it, will bring us great joy in this lifetime, will laugh and cry and experience all of the joys and sorrows of life on earth. And then someday, all together, we will all know the joy, joy, joy of life together where there can be no more sorrow. "The last enemy that shall be defeated is death."

Friday, October 3, 2008

We made a haul!

In our city there is a huge baby and kids consignment sale twice a year, but to get the really good stuff you have to either be a consigner or the guest of a consigner so you can shop early. This year I decided to beg so I could get a pass to the early sale (you know, I asked friends to ask their friends and I just generally harassed anyone I knew might have an extra one) and I got THREE! So last night, my mom, my mother-in-law and I all went to the sale. We got in line at six o'clock and the doors to the guest sale opened at seven o'clock. If anyone has ever seen the Friends episode where Monica buys the cheap wedding dress, you can picture the frenzy this sale creates because it's like the wedding dress sale, but for baby stuff--after standing in line forever, you finally elbow your way in and run to the section that has what you're looking for. I actually broke a nail. I was already tired by the time we got in, but it was so worth it! We got two pack-n-plays (the kind with the bassinet and changing table attachments), a changing table, a nice wooden high chair, a baby papasan bouncer, a really beautiful framed picture for the nursery, and a snugli front-to-back baby carrier all for about $200!!!!!! I think we would have paid at least that much for the changing table alone if we bought it in a retail store. It is so much fun to have baby things in the house--can't wait to have the baby in them! Will y'all think I'm crazy if I unpack one of the pack-n-plays tonight just to look at it all set up again?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


There are a couple of things I've been meaning to share about for a few days and haven't gotten around to it. I think it's really important to give God the praise and glory when He amazes us in our daily lives and I have not done this much recently, so here it is...

First of all, I love the way He shows Himself through the Body of Christ. I was so humbled last week when I was blessed by the love of Christ shown through my pastor's wife. She and her husband have tried in the past to have kids of their own, but to no avail. I have often wondered how she can stand to see so many women around her having babies left and right with the greatest of ease. I was overwhelmed when I told her I had felt the baby kick because she didn't just respond with polite congratulations or a forced smile--she was genuinely thrilled for me! I have never seen a better example of the attribute of love in 1 Corinthians--Love does not envy. I know that she did not come by this love by her own merit, but by the Holy Spirit doing a mighty work in her--Praise God.

Secondly, I received an urgent prayer request the other night for a young woman who has already suffered three miscarriages and was bleeding and cramping at eleven weeks of pregnancy. I called another friend who knows the pain of that kind of loss, and we just prayed our little hearts out for C. and her little baby. The whole time, I just knew everything was going to be okay. My friend called me back about an hour later and said C. and her baby were just fine--the baby had a strong heartbeat and was moving around like crazy! I am so thankful! Please pray for C. and her baby over the next several days as her spotting has continued and it is a very stressful time for her. She did have another ultrasound today and everything continues to look great!

And finally, I was in a car accident on Monday and just cannot thank God enough for keeping me and Baby safe. I got to see the baby through ultrasound today and he/she is looking beautiful and healthy, moving gracefully and heart beating strong. I pray that someday that little heart will know the Lord and be amazed by all that He does, all that He has done from conception to gray hairs and old age! Are you amazed?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Getting My Kicks

The baby kicked me this morning! It was like a little thump from inside my lower belly--amazing! Now Jon keeps talking to the baby bump trying to get the baby to do it again, but so far it hasn't happened when he can feel it.

Friday, September 19, 2008


I get an email update from whattoexpect.com every week which tells me how the baby is developing and gives tips for a comfortable and safe pregnancy. I am always so excited to read the emails on fetal development week by week, but this week was especially sweet. I found out that by the end of this week of pregnancy, the baby has eyelashes, eyebrows, hair, is gaining body fat, and has fingerprints!! Fingerprints! Can you believe that? The baby is approximately the size of a woman's open hand and yet it already has fingerprints--a stamp of individuality. It just made me wonder what my child will be like--what unique blend of looks and personalities and gifts will make him/her an individual. What an amazing proof of God's hand in our lives, that from such an early age there is already nobody else like this child....knit together...special....unique....precious.

On another note, please join me in praying for two young women who very lately lost their tiny little ones to miscarriage--a grief some of us know all too well. One is Katy, and I understand this baby was her first. The other is Allison, and though she has another child, this is her second miscarriage. I well remember the grief and pain in seeing pregnant women everywhere when I least wanted to see them. It is never far from my mind and I pray God will always allow me to have compassion for others even while I rejoice in new life. He gives and takes away...blessed be His Name.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Tickin' Right Along

I dropped by my doctor's office this morning and he let me listen to the baby's heartbeat--what a great sound to start the day with! Everything looks good and we'll find out if Baby Brokaw is a Lily or a Benjamin on October 13 when we have our 3D ultrasound. Pray for patience--five weeks is a long time to wait. But in the meantime, Dr. Tadvick says to feel free to come by and hear the heartbeat if I get scared sometime. Thanks for all your prayers and much love to you all!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Too much drama for baby mama!

So my sister got married on Monday. She decided to tell us today. She also decided to break some news about my cousin and his fiance which he will break to his mom tomorrow. My stomach is cramping up--it's too much stress. I'm counting the hours until I can drop by my doctor's office to hear the baby's heartbeat (I'm thinking, the minute they open Monday morning!). Oh, and just as I started to get used to the policies and procedures at my new school, the superintendent broke the news Friday afternoon that he is replacing my principle. So here we go again--for the third time I will ask permission for the same days off!!! And I will get to know a new boss. Too much at once! Pray for me!

Monday, September 1, 2008


We have great friends! This weekend Shanna, Trish, Trey, Meg, and Charles fixed up the baby's room for us and it looks amazing! They brought tools and expertise and energy. They gave up a lot of their time. Trish and Trey even drove all the way from Lubbock to do this. They did it in two days. Jon finished touching up yesterday and now all I need is baby furniture!! It is my favorite room in the house. I just keep walking in there for no reason--just to look at it again. I will love rocking my little one in there and reading to him or her. Jon and my friends worked so hard on Labor Day weekend to get this done for me and I think I worked for about an hour total--I didn't even make brownies! I am so appreciative that they do not resent me for my laziness. My dad said it's a good thing I wasn't a pregnant woman in the pioneer days when no one would have let me get by with just lazing around the house when there was work to be done in the garden and chickens to kill and pluck and cook for dinner! So I'm just going to add this to the things I'm thanking God for: Thanks be to God for putting me in the twenty-first century with air conditioning, grocery stores, boneless skinless chicken breasts, Amazon.com, people who understand the fatigue of pregnancy, and the American Medical Association! I am thankful for Lowes, where I can get any color of paint mixed in about three minutes. And I am thankful for Birdseye frozen steamable brussels sprouts which I am now going to fix for myself in the microwave oven that I am also very thankful for!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Post Script

And I love you in New Mexico and Washington and Illinois and anywhere else I may have forgotten to name. You are divinely placed.


This weekend I got to go to a Living Proof Live event in San Antonio, TX where I heard my favorite Bible teacher, Beth Moore. It was a wonderful weekend (despite the somewhat amusing spectacle that I am in a swimsuit at the hotel pool!). I really felt blessed when we first arrived at the event and I met a woman (a friend of a friend) whom I had prayed for when she lost a baby to miscarriage a few months ago and found out that she is expecting again! Alright, I know that was a really poor sentence, but it's hard to care when I'm this emotional. I just choked up right there in the Alamodome before the conference even began--it felt like affirmation to me. After that we had an incredible time of worship (it's been a long time since I've experienced worship like that!) before Beth got up to speak. Imagine my surprise when the first thing Beth did was announce that her daughter is four months pregnant and speak a blessing over all of the expecting moms in the room! I truly believe God has a calling on our little ones in their generation because I keep finding out about one godly couple after another who are expecting. I also think it's noteworthy that these little ones are so spread out geographically. I hope you'll join me in praying for the following babies: Baby C. and Baby Girl H. (both making their debuts in December), Baby H., Baby B., and Baby P. (all arriving in February and all part of our family!), Baby L., Baby M. and Baby P. in March, Baby N. and Baby S. in April, and Baby C. in May! These babies represent six states in the USA, 3 cities in Texas, and one of these little ones is all the way in New Zealand!
One last thing about the Living Proof Live message--one key point in Beth's lesson was: "I am an heir of God. My life is not left to chance." It hit me like a ton of bricks and yet made me feel light as a feather. Everything that has happened has been in His hands and the timing of our baby is not a coincidence. My life is not left to chance. Neither is yours. While I wonder how many of these babies' paths will cross and when, God knows every day allotted to each one of them, where they will grow up, who they will marry, who their best friends will be, what their gifts will be. I know some of my friends out there are searching for jobs and learning new cultures and starting churches and stepping out in faith in a dozen other ways. But God knew when you were only centimeters long where you would be in this season and it is not a chance! I am crying. I love the Lord. And I love you, my friends in Japan and Chicago and Dallas and Andrea, whatever state you are in (I can't remember), and Belton, and Bryan/College Station, and Lubbock, and Nashville, and North Carolina. You are divinely placed.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Good News!

Well, Beth and Baby came out of surgery just fine and I think everything is looking good from what I hear. Praise the Lord! And many thanks to the people who prayed for her. I can't wait until our little twin cousins are born. Around six months to go!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

My sister

Today I am worried about my sister-in-law Beth. She is thirteen weeks pregnant with our baby's little cousin and she's in surgery to have a cyst removed from her right ovary. It took a little while for Jon to calm me down this morning when they took her to the ER. I feel more at peace now. I just keep reminding myself that God is in control. He will come through for Beth and her little one, I am sure.
I think I might be losing my mind (apparently a common complaint of pregnancy). I almost called the doctor to see if I could go in and hear the baby's heartbeat again just to make me feel better. But then I remembered that I just had an ultrasound yesterday! So I decided to wait on revealing my true craziness to the staff at my doctor's office since it's not likely anything changed since yesterday.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Baby Bump

I had a fun weekend--when I started to get ready for a wedding reception Saturday I realized I couldn't zip up any of my dresses! I had been telling people I wasn't really showing yet. I guess I was wrong! Trish took me on an emergency shopping trip and we got some maternity clothes. Once I got into some clothes that actually fit, I realized how uncomfortable I've been by unconsciously "sucking in!" I have heard pregnant women complain about their changing bodies, but I love everything about it! Every symptom makes me feel like the baby really is going to be okay. And I never got to buy maternity clothes last time, so for me it was fun. I prayed and others prayed for God to give me joy and allow me to enjoy my pregnancy. He comes through every time!

7 in O9!

I am feeling much more confident this week even though I don't have a doctor's appointment again until the 13th! I know a lot of people have prayed for us and I can really feel the hand of God on me. I am so excited about what He is doing! We keep hearing about babies that will be born around the same time as our little one and I think God is doing something really special. So far there are seven babies due within two months of each other in 2009. Four of them are going to be little cousins of our baby and two are friends. God has them all spread out across the country and the world and I really believe every one of them will make it and every one of them will have a heart to know Jesus! We are especially thrilled about the little one our sister Bethany is expecting only three days before our own! I love the Lord who turns mourning into joy! Thanks for the prayers!

Sunday, July 20, 2008


I always feel really confident for a few days after my ultrasounds, knowing things are going great and really believing the baby will be okay. But a few days before the next appointment, I start to feel so anxious and afraid! I wonder if this is how everybody feels, or if it is unique to those of us who have already experienced pregnancy loss? I am praying for God to remove my doubt and allow me to enjoy being pregnant.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Yesterday was amazing. I got to hear the baby's heartbeat! I couldn't believe it--it was incredible. I had a very long weekend with a little scare when I started spotting. I just panicked, thinking the baby was slipping away. I called my doctor on Saturday in my panic and he calmed me down sufficiently and moved my appointment up to Monday. I can't even describe the relief that just surged through me when I saw the baby with a beating heart on the screen of the ultrasound machine! I keep looking at the picture in absolute awe. I can't wait to see how Baby Brokaw grows week by week. I just thank God over and over.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Yep, There's a baby in there.

Today I had my first ultrasound--there wasn't a lot to see because it's so early in the pregnancy, but the doctor said, "Yep. There's a baby in there. And it looks like there's only one." My hormones have gone up "beautifully"(to use his word) and my blood work all came back good. I am feeling so much more confident today. I will have another ultrasound in a week and should be able to see more at that time. I am praying for the baby's heart to have a strong and early beat (so I can see it) and for the baby to have a heart to know the Lord from an early age. And I'm just so amazed at the work of His hands and so thankful that I get the chance to catch such early glimpses of my baby in the womb.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Good Signs

Today I am celebrating good signs for the pregnancy. Symptoms: I cried all the way through both Father of the Bride movies this weekend; I get uncommonly tired at random times of the day; I can't get enough water. News from the Doctor: Dr. Tadvick called today and said my hormone level was good and high and he'll give me an ultrasound on Wednesday! (This is really cool since I am probably only three or four weeks pregnant and the first ultrasound is usually done between weeks eight and ten.) Freaky "prophesy" at church: Today in the nursery at church, a two-year-old boy crawled up in my lap, patted me on the belly and said, "Hey! You've got a baby in there! Do you feel it?" Make of it all what you will, but I'm feeling pretty confident today. We'll see about tomorrow. It may sound crazy, but I think I would feel better if I would have some morning sickness. I think it would make it feel more real. So as I'm praying for morning sickness and other symptoms to show up, I'm thinking how crazy I am and how I'm probably the only woman in the world who actually wants to throw up before work. Wow--feel very sorry for my husband--he has to live with this crazy all the time!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Two pink lines!

I finally got what I wanted--two pink lines! Last night I asked my husband to take me out to dinner and told him I was eating for two. He was so exited! I'm so scared. My doctor is out of town. I'm struggling with how soon to tell my mom. Yesterday she called me to tell me that my cousin Amy is pregnant. I wanted to say, "me too!" but I just couldn't. I started crying in yoga class last night during relaxation. I just kept thinking, "please don't slip away, baby--stay with me." Part of me wants to feel the full joy of it all and tell everybody. Part of me wants to wait, just to make sure. Is that a lack of faith? Is it fair to this child for me to miss four months of excitement over it because of fear? I don't know what to think or do. But hope can only go up and I'm having a hard time stuffing it down. It would be smarter to wait. But I think I won't.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Last weekend was hard. We attended two graduations, a wedding, a party, and of course, Mother's Day services at church. In the middle of the first graduation I remembered with a shock that I should have had a two-week old baby by now. I started to wonder how my daily life would have been different by now--I would have stopped working at Thomas, would have been learning to live on a baby's eating and sleeping schedule. Would I have even been able to make it to two graduations and a wedding in one day? Then the big one hit--Mother's Day. It took some convincing for me to even go to church. Then I cried through the first part of the service. D'Linn greeted me with understanding as soon as we arrived--she said she knew exactly what it was like to dread that particular Sunday. Jennifer was very sweet--she brought me a white carnation at the end of the service, told me I'd be a great mom some day. Some Day. That's what hurts. It should have been today. But all in all, I think it was a much better day than I expected. I think there's a verse in Scripture that says something about how we keep going from strength to strength. His strength truly never runs out. Just when I think I'm at the brink, he dries up the Red Sea and takes me through in safety, in victory. I love the Lord. He is so good.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Trying Again

Trying again is hard. Every morning I wake up and beat my hope down with a stick. It's just a small white stick with two windows but sometimes I am amazed at the punch it packs in my day. Every book I read says, just relax--you'll be pregnant before you know it! Relax?! How can you possibly relax with all of these tests and schedules ruling your sex life? Sex should be more relaxing than this! I should be able to visit the bathroom in the morning without holding a stick between my legs and counting exactly five seconds! Sometimes I think I'm going crazy. But as much as my morning start off with that stick taking my hope out behind the shed, I find that hope takes a singular direction: upward. You can beat it down, but it pops back up. I can't help but be excited despite everything.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Green Light

My green light to ttc is coming in just a few weeks so I'm starting to really roll with what I call my "Pregnancy Plan." Basically I'm taking steps to prepare myself for pregnancy--trying out meals and compiling a set of menus that can be made quickly on those days when fatigue keeps me out of the kitchen; exercising to make sure my body is in shape to carry a baby; taking vitamins daily--calcium, bioflavinoids, and prenatal vitamins; getting my house ready by having carpets cleaned and getting rid of excess stuff in closets so that when the time comes to prepare house for baby it won't be such a big chore. But the best news of all is that I finally feel ready. I have not had any of those weepy, depressed, scared days in a long time. I can talk about it without emotion. I am not afraid to get pregnant, not afraid even of loss I think. I accept the fact that even with everything I'm doing, I could still miscarry a second time and I'm okay with it. When I imagine my future, I imagine it with God taking care of me no matter what, as He always has done. So when my light turns green, I'm ready to go, no matter what the road ahead holds.

Monday, March 10, 2008

What NOT To Say

Last week at Bible study, during our discussion time, a woman said such an insensitive thing to me. It hurt me, but I am willing to recognize that she didn't mean for it to and that I have probably said foolish, hurtful things in ignorance too. This is not meant as a rant on her or to make anyone angry--just a kind warning of what not to say. She said, "God is probably protecting these women from something through miscarriage. You just never know what He is protecting you from." I would really like to know what she thinks we need to be protected from in the love and parenting of a child. This is not the first time someone has suggested that miscarriage was the better option if the child would have had severe problems. They say, "Oh, a chromosome defect--that could be Downs Syndrome. Maybe God just knew better." Please don't say that to me. Would a child be less worthy of my love for having Downs? Or is it that I'm not capable in the grace of God to handle a child with special needs? Please be careful with what you say.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Strange Bereavements

Who can understand the bereavement of a new dress or a compliment? When I put on my dress last week for my friend Erin's wedding, I just grieved inside because I had so looked forward to wearing a maternity dress to that event. I had shopped and picked out styles I liked. I thought of how fun the pictures would look--all of my best girlfriends, Erin radiant in her white gown, and me with my huge belly. And the other day someone told me she could tell how much weight I'd lost, that I looked good. Then a pregnant woman walked by. What a strange bereavement to wish for her body when someone is complimenting mine. Oh, well, maybe I'll be good and fat soon! One can always hope.

Seven Weeks

I met a beautiful pregnant woman yesterday--she is due April 9th. She said, "Only about six weeks! I'm so ready!" And I thought, it's only about seven weeks until Dr. Tadvick allows me to try to conceive. Am I ready?

Friday, February 1, 2008

Stepping Up

I started a new Bible study by Beth Moore Monday night. It's called Stepping Up: A Journey Through The Psalms of Ascent. So far I have cried through the introduction video and every homework lesson. I am torn between gladness and fear. I am glad I'm doing it because I feel the Holy Spirit has treasure for me in this study. But I'm scared by what I feel Him saying to me: constant reminders that He is the protector of my soul through all of the trials of life's journey. Am I getting this reminder because more hard times are coming? The thought scares me half to death! Or is the enemy trying to make me feel paranoid? In our homework, Beth reminds us that life is like a journey and that sometimes the road is scary. Then she asks if anything has made it feel scary to me lately. Do chickens cross roads in bad jokes? I'm terrified! The knowledge that no matter what I do I can't sustain a life I love keeps me up at night. It is an awesome and terrifying thing to know that in one amazing moment I could be given the gift of life again, but that in another moment it could be torn away, and no matter what I do or how soon I see it happening I can't stop it if it starts to slip away. I'll just have to live through it. My friend asked me to pray for a friend of her's who just had a miscarriage. She started spotting one day and called the doctor. Two or three days later the baby was dead. She couldn't stop it. The doctor couldn't stop it. I feel her anguish. I can hardly stand it. How can so much hope and so much dread live in one heart at once? I so desperately want to be pregnant again (you should just see me--freezing meals, making a pregnancy plan, taking more vitamins than ever, excersising all the time, reading whatever I can, even buying clothes I know will still look good when I have a little belly), but I'm so scared too. Pray for me, friends, to step up. In the end I should just want to take this journey with Christ, no matter what it holds. My hope is this: I know the journey ends in LIFE, not death. But how long will it go on before that?

Monday, January 28, 2008

Songs of Hope and Comfort

When I lost April Baby I made myself a cd of songs that comforted me and gave me hope. I offer them here in hopes they do the same for another. I listened to them again and again. They are written on my heart.
1. It Is Well With My Soul
2. The Love of God (Rich Mullins)
3. Never Alone (Barlow Girl)
4. Bound to Come Some Trouble (Rich Mullins)
5. Beauty From Pain (Superchick)
6. I Belong To You (Barlow Girl)
7. Verge Of A Miracle (Rich Mullins)
8. I Have To Believe (Shelly Massey)
9. So Are You To Me (?)
10. Hold Me Jesus (Rich Mullins)
11. Hard To Get (Rich Mullins)
12. All The Way My Savior Leads Me (Rich Mullins)
13. Every Season (Nicole Nordeman)
13. Held (Natalie Grant)

Held is the one I kept on repeat. The words are:
Two months is too little
They let him go
They had no sudden healing
To think that Providence would
Take a child from his mother while she prays
Is appalling
Who told us we'd be rescued
What is change and why should we be saved
From nightmares
We're asking why this happened
To us who have died to live
It's unfair
This is what it means to be held
How it feels
When the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is
To be loved
And to know
That the promise was when everything fell
We'd be held
This hand is bitterness
We want to taste it
Let the hatred know
Our sorrow
The wise hand opens slowly
To lilies of the valley and
This is what it means to be held
How it feels
When the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved
And to know that the promise was
When everything fell
We'd be held
If hope is born of
If this is only the Beginning
Can we not wait for one hour
Watching for our Savior
This is what it means
To be held
How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved
And to know that the promise was
When everything fell
We'd be held.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Day by Day

Today I fought tears all day long. I get so irrationally scared for people with the slightest problems in their pregnancies and I feel so panicky. I heard about a woman in town today who went into premature labor (four weeks early) with twins and it just about shut me down. I'm starting to doubt my own ability to survive another pregnancy--if I feel this way about people I don't even know, what will I do when I have my own little one to worry about again? Dr. Tadvick assures me he will see me for more than usual regular check ups when that time comes just to keep my stress level at a minimum. But will it be enough? Between now and then I really need to learn how to let go and trust God. I can't rely on my doctor to keep me sane or preserve a baby's life--only God can do it. Is this why He has me waiting? God, if you do not help me I will not be able to hold on. Keep me in your grip.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Countdown Begins

Today Dr. Tadvick called and said that my hormone level has finally reached zero. He says now we can begin the countdown--monitor the hormone for six months--at the end of which he will allow me to stop birth control and try to conceive. It's been 104 days and I'm so tired of waiting. Despite a huge battery of tests, he and the other doctors say they have no idea why my body held onto the hormone for so long. When I talked to a friend a few weeks ago who miscarried twice before having her beautiful Aiden in October, she said both times her hormone returned to zero within two weeks. That seems typical. In a way it's amazing to me what science can do these days--how much they can find out about me from blood and urine samples. But they can't seem to figure out the part of me that is spirit. My theory is that it's all connected--my body and my spirit--and that my body couldn't let go easily of what my spirit was so attached to. I think I was just fighting to hold onto that pregnancy hormone because every part of me wanted to still be pregnant. But then, I have often suspected that I might be crazy. I am grateful today for both husband and doctor who make me feel sane. Jon swears I'm not crazy despite finding me in tears in the middle of the kitchen floor surrounded by grocery sacks. Dr. Tadvick persists in claiming all of my questions and feelings are valid despite the fact that I've asked some pretty dumb ones. Anyway, my goal now is to make it through the next six months with grace and gratitude.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Victory over me

Today I celebrated a small victory that was huge for me. I intentionally put myself in the presence of a pregnant woman for an hour and left happy for her. It sounds so simple, but it was a huge step forward for me. The woman is one of my yoga instructors and when I started to see her little bulge a couple of months ago, I started to avoid her classes. I have a constant struggle to avoid what I call a spirit of entitlement--close enough to pride to scare me. It starts to creep up whenever I see any pregnant woman, a kind of thought process that says if she deserves a baby why don't I? Sometimes it's because deep down I think I deserve one more than someone who in my judgment is ill-qualified. I know, it sounds terrible. But it's the ugly truth, the darkest part of grief. With this precious woman, it was because she already has one baby. I couldn't stand to be in her class and see how happy she was and how cute her little belly was because I was so jealous. It seemed so unfair that she should be allowed so much when I got nothing. But today I pushed the monster down and took the class. I feel so much better now, like I've exercised something so much more important than muscles. I can feel concern and joy for a woman who has what I want. And I can pray for her without malice. Sweet Jesus, giver of life and all good things, please bless Molly's baby girl with health and strength. Take care of Molly as she carries this child. Thank you for putting her in my path to help me overcome my pride and jealousy. Bless her doctor with wisdom and grace. Thank you for her health and overall well-being. Give her little boy grace to welcome his little sister and her husband the strength to provide and care for them all. You are an awesome and mysterious God and I am overwhelmed.