A VERY SPECIAL EMAIL

PhotobucketA couple days ago, we received a very special email. It was from the aunt of our son’s birthfather. She made this incredible video/music montage for our son. It made us cry. I hope it brings beautiful tears to you, and reveals some of the tenderness we have in our hearts about adoption.

Adoption can be, and is, a very beautiful thing.

(PS— the last series of photos with Brae at the zoo were taken by Brae’s birthfather’s side of the family. It was our first visit with him since the day Brae was born. One of my favorite pictures is of Brae on his birthfather’s shoulders, with his Daddy (my husband) walking right beside him).

If that is not the ultimate picture of redemption, I don’t know what is.

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PORKY

PhotobucketToday was my 30 week appointment.

The ultrasound machine was old, but we could tell that Sienna is head down, looking at my pelvis, sunny side up. We still think she is a girl, although she had her legs closed. Modest soul. We got to see her heart beat, and her little lungs move up and down and she breathed. A miracle.

I’ve gained a total of 16 lbs — 3 in the last 2 weeks, so I think I’m finally catching up. (My husband’s “baby app” on his iphone says the average is 25-35lbs at this point!) Although I’m not there yet, you can call me Porky.

I don’t have gestational diabetes. I have the opposite problem. I’m hypoglycemic. My blood sugar levels were below normal. I was not totally surprised by this, as my mom is the same way. I’ve probably always been this way, but just never been tested for it. Dr. said to just watch out for dizziness.

Dr. also said that I’m at high risk for post-partum depression. He said looking at my history (teenage anxiety), my recent history (I def got the baby blues after Brae was born), and my current situation — first pregnancy and taking care of a toddler, makes me a prime candidate to watch. He wants me to start seeing someone now to talk about preventative measures. I definitely think I could, and probably will, get the baby blues after Sienna is here. I’m not at all scared or nervous about the labor and delivery. It’s actually the time I’ve been looking forward to since the beginning. But I am very scared about bringing her home.

I have a good support system, but my husband can only take so much time off work. There will be lots of sleepless nights, zombie-like days, and I’m supposed to take care of a 2.5 year old. Under normal circumstances, my coping mechanism is running. I love running. I love the endorphins, the adrenaline, the solitude, everything about it. I have not run for nearly 9 months. And it is still at least another good 3 before I’ll be able to again. Having Sienna in the summertime will help, I’m sure, but I’m not naive or proud enough to say that I won’t fall into some kind of depression. I don’t think it will be full-on PPD where I feel hopeless and am completely paralyzed. But I do think that I will fall into a funk.

But it won’t be because I’ll miss being pregnant (I’m so grateful for the experience, but have not loved being pregnant). It will be because I’ll be completely sleep deprived and have no semblance of a schedule. That is just complete chaos for my makeup and constitution. Having this be my first pregnancy but my second child, I have no idea how my body will react or recover physically from this pregnancy. But I don’t have the luxury of just holding a newborn as I figure it out. I have to also run after a little boy.

As a dear friend who has a newborn and a toddler put it recently, with her eyes wide open, “It’s so hard.”

It will be so hard. I just have to remember it’s short lived, and ultimately, so worth it.

(P.S.– I have my baby belly pictures this weekend, so I’ll make sure to post once I get them!)

MONEY, MONEY, MONEY

PhotobucketA few weeks ago, it dawned on me that we have a daughter coming (in 10 weeks) and she’s going to be expensive…. and not just because she’s a girl! So, I decided to put together our budget. I gathered a list of our income, and an average of our committed expenses (bills). There was a very healthy cushion left over. That was the good news. The bad news is that is not reality. We do NOT have a healthy cushion left over each month. So, this evening, Tygh and I put together a very serious budget. The kind with all the spreadsheets and everything. We tracked our discretionary expenses, made sure the tithing amount was 10%, and added in Sienna’s daycare costs. Ummmm. Yeahhhhhhh. Ouch. Suffice it to say that when she arrives and goes to daycare/school in September, the Colton household budget is extremely tight. That’s when reality set in and we decided to make some lifestyle changes. Less going out to eat (which is rare anyway), less “grooming” (aka manis/pedis), just overall less in general. Bottom line, until we make more, we need to spend less. I know this isn’t rocket science, but it’s still really hard to put into practice. Especially for me. We’ve already made some initial changes — generic groceries vs. brand name, more walking the dogs ourselves and less doggie day care. Let’s face it — kids are expensive. That said, we believe God will provide, as He always has. We believe it is important to tithe, so we are committed to that. We also believe in being good stewards of our money, so if that means that my roots have to show a little longer than I like, so be it. (Just please don’t make any comments about it!) ; )

CAMBRIA GENEVIEVE AND JULIA GRACE

PhotobucketOur precious daughters were born two weeks ago this morning. It’s amazing how our lives have changed and how all of our focus has been turned to our family. The big kids are home on Spring Break and we’ve all had the chance to bond, just like I prayed we would.

Two weeks ago yesterday at my OB appointment we decided to test the girls’ lungs to get a base line of how close the babies were to being ready to be born. My body was giving signs that we shouldn’t go much longer. One of our doctors did the amnio and I waited in the observation room on monitors to make sure the procedure didn’t trigger labor. About an hour later, two of our doctors came into the room in a rush with big smiles asking, “did you eat anything this morning?” I had. They were trying to determine if the girls could be born that afternoon, as I needed eight hours of fasting before the anesthesia for the c-section. The girls’ lung score needed to be 50 or greater to be born, we were hoping for a number in the 40s and to perhaps start steroids… but our little miracles scored a 63!!

Shortly after, our medical team decided to schedule the c-section for the next morning… Saturday, March 5th, 2011. Scott and I went home to a quiet evening. We were prepared. We left the house the next morning at 7:30 am.

The delivery was smooth and calm. There were over a dozen doctors and nurses in the operating room. The girls were born one minute apart, the name Cambria given to the oldest and Julia to her younger sister. One of our anesthesiologists volunteered for photo duty and did a beautiful job. Both girls cried immediately at birth, music to our ears. They passed all their tests and were brought to the post op recovery room with us.

Within an hour of the delivery, in post op, I had some serious bleeding complications. It seemed as if without a word, the entire team of doctors and nurses reconvened at my bedside, and again, calmly took care of me. I was pretty much oblivious to what was going on, fortunately my anesthetic was still in effect. Scott however, had to watch the steps that had to be taken to stop the bleeding. His face didn’t show it, but days later when I asked him to explain what happened to me, he did so with noticeable fear in his eyes. When the bleeding was finally under control, the doctors had told him I had lost 3 liters of blood… the adult human body carries about 5.6 liters… I had lost over half of my blood.

We spent four days in the hospital with the girls. There’s really no preparation for giving birth to two preemie babies, born small and then watching them lose weight, as all newborns do. It was difficult for me, in addition to my recovery. Scott was my rock, and we talked everything through. We decided to get night nurse help, so I could be assured of some solid sleep through my recovery and the babies would have around the clock attention. God blessed us again in that we found a lovely young lady who started the second night we were home. She’s a nursing student whose grandmother has been a caregiver to newborns for years and has taught her so much. She’s saving for a mission trip with her church to Africa this summer, and we are so pleased to help her make that dream come true.

Cambria has turned the corner the last few days, starting to wake up and eat well on her own hunger cues. Julia is still like a little bird who constantly wants to sleep and needs to be coddled to eat in small amounts. The pediatrician… and my husband with his wonderful parenting instincts, tell me she should turn the corner as well soon.

Our girls are here with us in this world. We praise God for His blessings on us and are completely in love.

Cambria Genevieve LaSorsa ~ March 5th, 2011 @ 10:10 am
5 lbs 11 oz & 18.5 inches

Julia Grace LaSorsa ~ March 5th, 2011 @ 10:11 am
5 lbs 3 oz & 18.5 inches

2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

28 WEEKS

PhotobucketHello 28 weeks, and helllooooo 3rd (and final!) trimester! It’s so nice to meet your acquaintance. I trust you’ll be kinder to me than your two younger sisters.

Today was my glucose screening test. It was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. For weeks, I’ve heard horror stories about how awful the sweet drink would be. First, I selected the orange kind. Second, they had it cold for me. Third, I drank it with a straw. I was surprised at how NOT bad it tasted. (Course, I’m a sugar girl, and had been abstaining all day). The only bad part is that at 2 minutes left (they give you 10), I still had a ways to go. That’s when I just had to start suckling down the stuff. That’s when I could see why other women have thought it so bad. There’s this bitter after taste when you suck it down that fast. And you immediately want some water, and yet, can’t have any.

Right after I drank, I had my dr appt. It was not with my regular ob/gyn, so it was a little less comfortable. I’ve gained a total of 13 lbs. Heart rate was 145. He said my uterus doesn’t have much more room to grow upward, so I’m going to start protruding horizontally.

Sienna has been moving a lot more lately, and for the first time, others are able to feel it. That’s pretty cool. Even though I’m not a huge fan of the baby movements, I am starting to get more used to them, and of course, greatly appreciate and am thankful for them.

Heartburn is still pretty bad. Still adverse to meat. But no vomiting, and only mild nausea in mornings/evenings. Sleep isn’t so bad, except for the frequent trips to the bathroom. My hair is growing rapidly, as I’m noticing the roots start to show (I wasn’t born blond; but I was born to BE a blond!)

And… sorry if TMI … but I’ve started leaking the colostrum.

Yummy.

BUT FOR A SHORT WHILE LONGER

PhotobucketYesterday was an extraordinarily difficult day. We’re finishing week 35 today and guesstimating at least 11 lbs of baby rolling around in there. Just what we prayed for, plump babies that stay in as long as possible… so no complaints, but comfort has a very narrow window in all that.

What’s keeping me focused is God’s glorious grace. It could be a lot easier right now carrying just one baby, but that would mean the obvious… one of our daughters would not have developed to be brought into this world… and that would be devastating, everyday. Last evening I let that thought replace the physical pain, and knew in a heartbeat I would always choose the path we’re on now.

We’re not much of a TV household… too much activity usually, but last night Scott put on American Idol… something I could listen to with my eyes closed. One of the contestants sang “Hero” by Mariah Carey. Fourteen years ago that was the song my sister Jennifer and I used to finish a mix tape (remember those??) we made for our sister, Julie, when she started chemotherapy… a collection of songs to inspire her to push through, and to know that we were always thinking of her. I pulled from Julie’s example last night as she did from the example of Christ… in knowing that His glorious prize awaits just around the corner. Philippians 1:29

20 WEEK GENETIC TEST RESULTS

PhotobucketWe finally got the genetic test results back for Sienna from her 20 week appointment.

They did the tests back at 12 weeks, and everything looked good.

They told us they get a more accurate reading at 20 weeks, so they would do another battery then.

We just got the results (6 weeks later), and the nurse said, I quote, “It doesn’t get any better than this. It’s practically perfect.”

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For example, risk of Downs Syndrome is 1 in 10,000.

PRAISE GOD FOR SIENNA!!!!!!