October 30, 2010

This Child is Blessed

The last couple of days have been emotional as we have processed the news (good and bad) that we heard on Thursday. One thing is for sure though: this child is blessed. We have been so overwhelmed by the love and support that has flown so freely to us from friends and family near and far in the last few days. If we haven't emailed or called you back personally, know that your words of love and encouragement have meant the world to us. We have truly felt buoyed by your faith and caring concern. It is times like this that community is so important and we are reminded of how grateful we are to be bringing this baby girl into a community who already loves her so dearly. It has been a beautiful demonstration of God's love in this world.

Some scripture that we've been clinging to and that I thought I'd share:

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Matthew 7:7-11

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be Psalm 139:13-16

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. Jeremiah 29:11-12

"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6: 28-34

And one of my all time favorites:
Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

God has given us the desires of our heart in this baby girl and we trust and believe that He knows our desire for her to be happy and healthy and whole. We will delight in the Lord.

Our next appointment with the perinatologist is Tuesday afternoon at 2:45. Please continue to pray for all three of us. We feel the power of your prayers and are grateful for them.

October 28, 2010

It's A....


God has truly answered prayers for our future as parents. I am humbled and amazed by His faithfulness to us. We had our 18 week appointment today and really enjoyed the ultrasound. It was so fun to get to see all of Baby Girl Hardy's organs, skeleton, tiny toes and wiggling hands. She had the hiccups while we watched and was willing to bare her all for us to confirm the gender. It was one of the coolest experiences to watch her moving around and see how perfectly she has already been made.

After our ultrasound we met with Dr. Braquet. We were scheduled to see a P.A. today, but the doctor wanted to come in and talk with us because they noted an abnormality on the ultrasound. We will see an OB specialist at Forsyth Hospital next week for further ultrasounds (and possibly an MRI) in order to discover more clearly exactly what is going on. The doctor's suspicion is that the baby has a herniated diaphragm. My understanding is that this means there is a hole in the diaphragm that is causing part or all of her stomach to be squeezing through into her chest. This would take up space needed by her lungs to grow and develop. We will know more after meeting with the specialists next week, but what it likely means is that if this is the case the baby will face surgery soon after birth to try to correct this problem. In some very severe cases, the problem cannot be remediated and it can be fatal. There is also a chance that what was seen on the ultrasound today was just an anomaly and everything is perfectly okay. Again, we'll know more about the size, the location and the future after further tests.

Dr. Braquet was incredibly patient, thorough and compassionate. He gave us a full hour of his time in the exam room at the very end of his work day and was willing to explain all scenarios to us with love and concern. We are thankful for the doctors in this practice and the exceptional care they have offered to us. It was the first time we had met this doctor, but his obvious concern for us was very meaningful.

There are many things to be thankful for:
1) We're having a baby girl.
2) This condition, if our baby has it, may be treatable with no lingering complications.
3) We live in a place with excellent health care and are under the watchful care of terrific doctors who love us and will advocate for us through this.
4) There is no additional risk to the pregnancy... the baby is breathing through me right now and we should not have any complications because of this before delivery. I should be able to still have a normal delivery.
5) The rest of the ultrasound looked great. (And the sonographer took lots of time checking!) There are no additional signs of any other problems with this Baby. She is healthy and growing right on track.
6) We are surrounded by the love and support of amazing friends and family who will do anything in the world for us.
And most importantly, the Creator who made us all is loving us and caring for us during this with His perfect plan for all of us.

We are scared. I had my meltdown this afternoon. Nobody wants to hear that there could be something wrong. I am so deeply grateful for this Baby's Daddy and his amazing faith. He trusts the Lord fully and instinctlvely and gives me a great sense of strength, security and peace because of that. While I worry and stress and try to solve problems on my own, Robert is constantly reminding me that we believe in a good and loving God who wants the best for us and for our baby. He will take care of us and provide us with whatever strength we need to face whatever may be ahead of us. A dear friend reminded us of this today, "God's been knitting your sweet baby together in your womb and he's the one who knows every cell of her tiny body. He's created your daughter for a purpose and he already knows all of her days." We are resting in this promise.

We covet your prayers. Having faced medical crisis before in my life I know the power of an army of people praying for great miracles. We already love this little girl so much and want only wonderful things for her. Please remember her in your prayers.

We are truly tickled pink to have a baby girl on the way! For more news and to stay posted on updates to her condition, please follow our blog at: http://www.thehardylife.blogspot.com. We'll be posting some pictures, and hopefully a little ultrasound video soon too.

Thanks for being an important part of (all of) our lives!
Robert, Chrissy and Baby Girl Hardy

Profile Shot

Rear View (It's a Girl!)

Teeny Tiny Baby Feet

October 10, 2010

Baby Hardy

I've clearly not proven myself to be an effective blogger. However, I'm really hoping to change that in the coming months and years so that our friends and family across the country will be able to watch as our family grows and changes. That's right; we're having a baby! Robert and I took a marvelous two week vacation to Ireland in July and came home with an extra special souvenir. In late March, there will be a Baby Hardy.

The first few weeks were filled with excitement and anticipation and some anxiety and fear too. It was hard to keep it a secret from our family and our friends, but it was like this tiny little treasure that just Robert and I shared. We've enjoyed slowly letting the news out over the past couple of months and have loved the responses, the surprised looks, and the love and affirmation that we have received. Already, this baby is so loved and cherished.

It has been a tough pregnancy for me thus far. I always imagined that I would love being pregnant, being as maternal as I am. But the first few months of nausea and vomiting and pure exhaustion have not suited me particularly well. My energy level is creeping back and we're prayerful that my stomach will settle down some too so that I might enjoy this growing creature a little more. At 16 weeks now, the "glowing" second trimester ought to be setting in soon.

We'll find out on October 28 whether Baby is a boy or a girl. I think that will make it seem even more real as we begin to prepare in more practical ways and can start to imagine our lives with our little bundle of joy.

I've wanted this for as long as I can remember. My mom says my desire to be a mother started when I was about three or four years old myself. Many years of nurturing cabbage patch kid dolls, followed by more years of babysitting and now teaching have brought me to the threshold of my dreams. It still feels unreal to me sometimes that something I could have desired so desperately is really coming true. It's a vibrant reminder that God gives us the truest desires of our hearts. (Psalm 37:4 - "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.")

More than anything, I just feel thankful. I am overwhelmed by the feeling of this blessing and the sense of peace I feel when I consider committing ourselves to raising and loving and teaching and nurturing this child. When I pray for him (or her), I find myself praying primarily that he'll be healthy and joyful and will experience love in the many ways that we have. I pray that we will be able to serve as a Christ-like example to him and provide for him in the wonderful ways that our parents provided for us. I'm thrilled to be sharing this with Robert who I know will be an amazing father. I can't imagine it any other way. We are so grateful for this opportunity.

Thanks for following us on this journey and being a special part of our changing lives together. Stay tuned; hopefully posts will begin happening more than once every 14 months. :)
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