Kylie May

Kylie May

Layla Faith

Layla Faith

Zoey Noelle

Zoey Noelle


Our baby boy, due March 16th.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Note from Bryan

Bryan sent this to me, and asked me to post it. Love him :)

Well I want to write something for this blog of Nancy's. I want to offer the husbands perspective but I don't know what to say that hasn't been said already.  

I love Layla. I want the best for her. I want to hug her, and kiss her tiny forehead. I want to cuddle her on the couch and watch football. I want to use my foot to bounce the bouncer so she stays sleeping.  I want to watch as Nancy holds her on her chest while Kylie sleeps in her lap on the couch. I want to watch her fall asleep in her highchair while eating her baby food. I am afraid I will miss these moments. I am afraid that she won't come home. I know this might be our reality; but I can be optimistic, right? 

This is testing me and my faith to a measure that I didn't know existed. I am not sure how to feel right now. There will be a point where the feeling overflows, a point where I let it all out. But right now……its numb.  I look at Kylie and Nancy and wonder how I could do life with out them. AND I SIMPLY COULD NOT.  I wonder how this will change once Layla is born. 

As a man, husband and father I want to fix things. I want to find a solution; find an answer and then move forward. I am helpless right now. What makes this so real is the fact that we do not need to set up the crib, buy diapers, and things like that. 

I have to say that the people we surround ourselves with are making this so much better. Nancy and I both have jobs that are supportive of us, our family, and our decisions. I am happy that Nancy can go to work and feel loved and feel strong enough to talk to her coworkers and friends about our situation. I am also relieved that I can go to work and know that if I need to "talk things out" I can; that people will listen and not judge. 

I personally want to thank everyone that knows us, reads this, calls us, or sends us mail. THANK YOU This is the beginning of our journey, but it wont be the end. My family will stay strong, my family will continue to love the LORD, my family will continue to love each other, my family will continue to love Layla. 

This post would not be complete without a mention of a song/lyrics. 
Beautiful Things- Gungor   I really do enjoy there music. 
So open itunes and listen or open iTunes, download ,then listen. :) 

Thank you all and God Bless.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

No News is Good News

It's been a while since my last post. We had another apt yesterday. Layla's heartbeat was 165 (usually 150). Our Dr. said she was happy & moving around a lot. I have been able to feel her more lately, which has been great! I am measuring at 28 weeks this week. As I said in the last post, nobody knows what I'm 'supposed' to be.

Our big apt is next Tuesday, Oct 4th. It is a 26 week ultrasound, meeting with our specialist, and a meeting with a NICU Dr. We've been trying to prepare for this apt this past week, discussing how we want everything to be handled after she is born. It's hard to think about, but it has to be done/planned.

It's been so hard to not buy anything! I have gotten a few things that I can't wait to see our precious Layla Faith in. Take a peek:

These are both really meaningful. I bought the "Angel Dress" at BabyGap with 
tear-filled eyes right after we got the diagnosis for Layla. The blanket was knit 
by my future sister-in-law, Staci. It's perfect. To me, it looks like Layla. 

This is a preemie outfit with a cute hat. 

You can't go wrong with Target. Kylie & I saw this preemie set the other day & couldn't pass it up. Just for comparison, I put a cd case in there. It's pretty tiny! I love that it's bright & bubbly. 

On a different topic, we had a great weekend! Adam & Staci came to visit on Saturday. We enjoyed the farmer's market in the rain and making squash soup & cookies all afternoon. Sunday, we went to Stevens Point (drove in the pouring rain, of course) for Rosalie's 2nd Birthday party! It was so great to see everyone & have the day to relax. 

The squash Staci got from the farmer's market. 

Thank you to everyone who reads this blog! I've been so surprised to receive emails and comments from people that I don't even know who have been touched by some of my posts. Thank you to those of you who have sent cards, watched Kylie, come to apts, listen to me talk about Layla, and so on. I appreciate the encouragement and support. We've had some people say, "if there's anything we can do...". There's isn't a lot to do right now besides PRAY and be here for us. You all are doing that, so THANK YOU!

Friday, September 23, 2011

I guess I had more to write than I thought...

I'll start with Layla, of course. We had an apt yesterday afternoon. My mom came with & Bryan stayed home with Kylie. I think it's the first one Bryan hasn't been to! Pretty impressive since we go every week!

Layla's heart was beating strong. I know I say that a lot, but I'm just always so happy & excited when I hear her heartbeat! It's so easy for the Dr. to find & was beating at 150, as usual. I wish I could listen to it all the time or have one of those doppler things at home, for peace of mind. 
My original due date was December 30th. After my first couple apts, she changed it to January 8th. So I'm technically 24 weeks, but there is no way to tell what I really am. I'm measuring at 26 weeks, which is great!

I had to take my glucose test, so we had time after the apt before they could draw my blood. Mom & I walked over to the labor area. It was really nice! We got a tour from one of the nurses. I explained my situation & she was so nice. She was very helpful & encouraged us to make a good 'care plan' so that we could enjoy our time after Layla is born. The nurse told us a little about the Dr.'s there, a photographer, and a counselor that are all available to us. (I think they've done this before.)

After getting the diagnosis, I look back at the things that happened earlier in my pregnancy. I thought I was 10 weeks, & they did a portable ultrasound to see that I was 8 weeks. That's when they changed my due date, but maybe Layla was already measuring small? At 12 weeks, I started bleeding & cramping and had to go into the ER. They called it a threatened miscarriage. That was so scary. But, we made it through & Layla was okay. There is a reason that we're going through all this. It's testing & building our faith & relationships. As usual, there's a song that says "I will praise the One who's chosen me to carry you." I am doing that. I am praising God through this circumstance. Knowing that there is a reason. 

(I may have said this before...) Our Pastor at church is doing a series on faith. From Daniel, when King Nebuchadnezzar was going to throw Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego into the furnace. They said "If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve, number one, is able to deliver us from it. Number two, He will deliver us from your majesty’s hand. Number three, even if He does not, we want you to know we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up." Three things: 1 - God can do it, 2- He will do it for me, 3- Even if He doesn't, we will not break. I'm anxious for the message on number 3.  

This week I'm seeing with eyes of faith. When you see something in your head, it will get to your heart and nothing is impossible to him who believes. 

Mark 11:24
 22 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23 “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

Please, picture it with us. Believe with us, that God CAN do the impossible. That He WILL do the impossible. 

Here are some pics, just for fun :) (Still hoping to get a good image of Layla at our next ultrasound. Take my word for it, she's cute!)

Kylie & Jack up at camp. You don't have to be stylish up there. 

Josh came to the Brown County Fair a while ago. Kylie LOVED seeing him. 

Lady A in Green Bay!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

God of My Everything

A couple weeks ago, our Pastor at church talked about the story of Lazarus. Mary & Martha wanted Jesus to come & heal their brother. He showed up...FOUR days too late & it made Mary really mad at Jesus. Martha went to meet Jesus when He came & said, if only you would have come sooner. You could have saved him. They gave up. They figured it was too late. Jesus says, your brother will rise again & Martha says, "I know he'll rise again in the resurrection at the last day". Jesus said to her, "I AM the resurrection and the life." Long story short, Jesus heals Lazarus & raises him from the dead. FOUR days after 'it was too late'.

We keep having these apts & they're so depressing. The fluid has doubled, or everything looks the same or worse, etc. But, I can't give up. I have been believing that God CAN do this miracle. After our last appointment, I thought, it's too late. God isn't going to change this. Lazarus was dead for FOUR days. Layla's been sick for weeks, she's alive. Her heart is beating. It's not too late. God CAN & He WILL do this for us.

Jesus says, "I AM ________". He is whatever you think you need. He is money, health, love, a better marriage, children. Fill in the blank for yourself. Whatever you need...Jesus says, I AM that.

I've been thinking about this, & heard these lyrics.

God of my hope, God of my need
God of my pain that no one else will ever see
God of my healing, God of my strength
God who has always and will forever reign
God of my everything

Most of time, I don't know what to pray for. My list gets too long. I just know that God is my everything. Whatever it is that I need. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Layla - 23 weeks

We had our 23 week appointment today. It was a quick viability ultrasound and a meeting with the specialist. It's always great to see the images of Layla wiggling around. We always get to see 3D images, which is cool, too. Saw one really good picture of her face & tiny lips, nose, & eyes. So, the ultrasound is the fun part...

...then we meet with the Dr. He showed us an image of Layla. You can see the fluid around her head that is building up because of the compression of her chest cavity. Bryan asked if it has stayed the same or if there's more or less. He replied, "It is significantly more" fluid than our last apt, three weeks ago. The excess fluid is even causing the shape of her head/bone to change. He heart is beating strong at 150 and is filling her chest cavity. Which, as I've explained, does not allow for room for her lungs.

I asked if they could give any measurements & because of the swelling, the head & abdomen circumference is not accurate. As fas as measuring her femur, the ultrasound does not even recognize it as a bone. There is not enough calcification (I think that's the right word) to show that it is a limb.

So, we have another ultrasound and meeting with the Dr. in three weeks - I'll be 26 weeks. That same day, we will have a meeting with a Neonatal Dr. from the NICU to discuss a 'care plan' for Layla. Bryan asked if there was any way to tell when we'll have her. The Dr. said that the increase in fluid is reason to believe the I will not be able to carry her to term. We also discussed having a c-section vs. vaginal birth. A VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) is the best option, for my health.

Prayers Requests:

-Pray that I can carry Layla past 26 weeks, and as long as possible.
-Pray that when I do have Layla, it can be vaginally and not a c-section.
-Pray for me & Bryan. The we can start preparing, planning & thinking about how to handle the situation after Layla is born.
-Pray for understanding God's timing. God is the only One who really knows when & how anything will happen.
-Pray for Layla's lungs to develop.
-Pray for the swelling/fluid around Layla's head to decrease!

Thank you all for your support & prayers. We're so blessed to have such awesome family & friends surrounding us.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Kylie May & Layla Faith

I've been thinking about Layla a lot this weekend. Maybe it's because I finally had a weekend that we're just home. Nothing to keep me busy. It's been nice, though. I was home with Kylie all day yesterday. That's when I thought of Layla the most. We had so much fun together & I just kept thinking of how great of a big sister Kylie will be. How much fun she & Layla would have. Playing dress up & dancing to Maroon 5. Jumping on "Jack's Bed". Making cookies with me. Going to Starbucks with Dad for a treat before church on Sundays.

Kylie is so compassionate. With her little dolls & friends. She cares so much already and she's three. Yesterday, she was drawing pictures of "Baby Layla" & came to me and said "Does baby Layla love me?" I said of course! She 'kisses' Layla every morning & prays for her at every meal & before bed.

"God is great, God is good, Let us thank Him for our food, and pray for Baby Layla that she feels better."

She even tried to feed Layla with her baby bottle. It's just cute. I'm glad Kylie's thinking of her so much. It's like they're playing now, but Layla's in my belly. We're all enjoying the time we have with her.

We have another ultrasound on Tuesday at 1. Three weeks feels like such a long time. I just wish I could see her all the time & make sure she's okay. Im praying that at our ultrasound, we'll shock the Dr.'s with something awesome. Something unexplainable. Something that is obviously God's miracle.

Thank you for all your prayers. I know I say that a lot, but I really really mean it! Maybe we'll get a good picture of Layla on Tuesday & you can all see how cute she is. :) I'll try to post on here or Facebook after our appointment.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Great Day in Titletown

Of course, all of the attention is on the Packers tonight! Bryan and I enjoyed the afternoon walking around the stadium area. Even ran in to Mark Murphy (President & CEO of the Packers)! I got his autograph on my shirt. Bryan was wearing his "We'll never forget you, Brent." shirt & Mr. Murphy commented that he liked it. I was exhausted from walking through all the people for a few hours, but it was a fun, relaxing time.

In other news, Layla's apt was perfect! Her heartbeat was easy to find & strong at 156 bpm, almost twice as fast as mine. We got to see our regular Dr. today, which was also nice. I am measuring 2 cm big, which puts me at 26 weeks vs actually being 22 weeks. Dr. said that last week, I was measuring at 35 weeks!! So, I'm taking that as a great sign that the fluid around Layla is decreasing. Dr. said it could be a few different factors. We have an ultrasound and specialist apt on Tuesday & should learn more then.

Thanks for all your prayers!! We appreciate it so much. We have so much support and love, it is making this situation a little bit easier. THANK YOU!

On a side note, I had been googling Layla's diagnosis for weeks looking for someone who had the same situation. I finally found someone! Tristen and Aaron had their little girl, Sophia Rose in February. Although it is an unfortunate situation, I've been blessed with Tristen's blog & her positive outlook on life after all they've been through.

Thanks for checking in & keeping us in your thoughts. This apt was just what I/we needed to keep our heads up & our faith strong. Praise the Lord! God is good!

Monday, September 05, 2011

A Few Things

I've been thinking about a lot lately. Three main things, really. 1 - Life on Hold. 2 - Selflessness. 3 - Church.

1 - Life on Hold

My life is on hold right now. There are just certain things that I can't plan or think about because of our situation with Layla. It's pretty frustrating. It's hard to think about Thanksgiving and Christmas plans, not knowing if we will have had Layla, or if I'll still be pregnant. It's hard to think past January, when Layla's due. We have no idea what life will be like after that. A good friend sent us a card and in it he said, "Through this, you will forever be changed and change those around you." Bryan and I said this is so true! And we pray that this will help change or grow those around us, somehow.

2 - Selflessness.

Being pregnant is a very selfless act. Selflessness is the act of sacrificing ones own interest for the greater good. Sacrificing time for an apt every week, relaxing, being comfortable, planning for the future. Actually, being a mom is a very selfless act. I really enjoyed my pregnancy with Kylie. I know some people have such hard pregnancies. I don't want this to sound boastful, but carrying a baby to term that has the diagnosis of living for an hour is difficult. Deciding to carry Layla wasn't really a question. We knew that we would not terminate no matter the diagnosis, however, while in shock of the news, I didn't realize how difficult it would become. Don't get me wrong, I love Layla. I love what she's doing for our marriage, for our perspective, for our faith. The blessings in the rain. I do have the faith that Layla will live. But, I also know the medical facts. If he chest cavity doesn't grow, her lungs would be able to work how they need to. I'm praying for a miracle, trying not to be specific with God. He already knows what's going to happen. Maybe our miracle is that Layla will be born in January when she's due and live for 3 hours instead of 1. Nobody knows what the miracle will be. I am trying to cherish the time I have with her now.

3 - Church.

Yesterday, I went to 'church'. I worked, but more importantly, I realized that 'church' is so much more than just a pastor talking to people or a building. Church is a community, a family, a support system. I know people say that kind of thing all the time, but I'm experiencing it. To go to a place where someone sees you in the foyer & prays for you, right there. A place where I said, "I don't even want to think about having a funeral for Layla", and my friend says, "Don't talk like that. Maybe you won't need to have one.". Where I met a Dr. through a friend who said, "God does not see the deformities that doctors see. Your baby is perfect to God." A place where I get to see a baby who is a miracle himself, every Sunday. Where a hug from a friend of 10 years, is all you need. A place that is 100 miles away, that is still supporting us through emails, prayers, and cards. Church is so cool!