Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The little Akin we're bakin is a....

On Christmas morning, I woke up at 6:00 to make my usual bathroom run and couldn't go back to sleep. I remembered that that morning we would find out how our lives would change and I was nervous and thrilled. I promised myself that I would let Nick sleep until at LEAST 9:30. I dozed on and off and when 9:30 finally rolled around, Icouldn't take it anymore. I woke Nick up and we went to sit by the tree and exchange presents. After opening all of our great gifts, we came to the best one. I knew that I wouldn't be able to look at what was in the envelope. Nick opened it, looked at it and looked at me with tears in his eyes. At that point, I HAD to look. I have to admit, for whatever reason, I was SURE that we were having a boy, not that I cared one way or the other, but I just knew that we would have a son. So, when I looked at the piece of paper and saw... I was SHOCKED! And that was a wonderful feeling! It was the BEST surprise ever. I am so excited about our little girl and I can't wait to meet her! Nick and I are thrilled to have a little girl to take to Disney World and dress up like a Princess. I can't wait to play Barbie's with her and watch The Sound of Music with her. Most of all, I can't WAIT to read with her. My mom read with me every night before bed until I was 15 and I hope to do that with all of our kids, but especially our little girl. I'm sitting in the nursery as I type this, daydreaming about rocking her in the rocking chair that I'm sitting in now and thinking about all the other wonderful memories that we will make together as mother and daughter. It's going to be a blast!

We kept the secret to ourselves until December 27th (last night). We ate with our parents, brothers and sisters-in-law and after dinner, the waitress brought the cake that we made to the table. After much anticipation, Nick cut the cake and everyone saw pink. It's now one of my favorite memories. I loved having our family there to share with us in the excitement! They are all just as excited as we are, if that's even possible.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

20 weeks down, 20 (ish) to go!

Week 20 is here! I thought that time would slow down while waiting on our little one to get here, but I'm amazed at how fast it is going.

I'm so thankful that the further along I get, the better I feel. I'm either hungry or tired ALL the time and I love it. Especially since I'm on Christmas break and can fall asleep whenever I can't keep my eyes open. Even the not-so pleasant things I'm coping with I find humorous. I can't get off the floor without help and after a big meal I can't breathe, ha. We are visiting my family in Arkansas and Mama's homemade cooking has made me and the baby two VERY happy people. Nothing hits the spot better than her roast and mashed potatoes.

I started feeling an occasional flutter at around 15 weeks, but last Monday when I was almost 19 weeks, I felt the first kick. It was the most amazing and weird feeling ever. I can't believe that there is actually a person inside my stomach kicking me. I feel like a character from Alien. Two days after I felt the first kick, Nick was able to feel it and now he has felt it 4-5 times. My mom and even my little brother (the other Nick) got to feel it. I'm still surprised when I walk past a mirror and see my belly. It's getting noticeably bigger every day. I was woken up in the middle of the night this week because my "growing pains" hurt so badly. Sure enough, the next day I had grown!

We had our anatomy scan on Thursday and it couldn't have gone any better. Our baby is perfect! The ultrasound tech did have a difficult time getting a shot of what was (or wasn't) between its legs. The baby was in the 3 worst possible positions to get a view. It was breech, it was facing my spine and it was hunched over with its body was between its knees. I guess that the third time really is a charm because when she looked for the third time, she was able to see what was there. We are sticking to the plan and had her seal the gender in an envelope and we are going to open it on Christmas morning. Nick took the envelope home, wrapped it and put it under the tree (after being tempted to hold the envelope up to the light, which he resisted). We are going to share the news with our families on Monday night, the 27th. We are all going to dinner and are getting a cake made, with the inside dyed either pink or blue. We'll make them suffer through dinner until we eat dessert. It will be a fun night!

I hope that you have a VERY Merry Christmas and that we all remember what it is we should be celebrating! Thank you God for Jesus!

"For God so loved the world that He gave is only Son, so that whoever believes in Him will not die but have everlasting life." John 3:16

Monday, December 6, 2010

18 weeks and a bigger belly...

I’m so excited to announce that…I can’t see my feet! One morning, I woke up and thought “huh, I’m bigger today than I was yesterday.” And sure enough, I had gained two pounds. After Thanksgiving, I gained 3 more pounds. I should be ashamed, but since I’m just now starting to gain weight, I’m excited about it. I CAN'T stop eating. It was so wonderful to be able to enjoy all of our Thanksgivings and not be queasy. We ordered a pizza the other night and I ate more than Nick. Eeek! But, I love it. With my first pregnancy, I always told people that I loved to eat because it felt like I was doing a good deed by feeding someone else too. I haven't felt that way with this pregnancy until now. I feel like my over-eating is serving a purpose because I'm keeping my baby alive. (If you know me, you know that I can justify just about anything. Pizza is healthy because Tomatoes give you Vitamin C and you get Calcium and Vitamin D from the cheese. And if you look at the food pyramid, grains and breads should take up most of our daily diet, so there's where the healthy crust comes in. See how good I am at justifying things? ha)

Our BIG ultrasound is getting closer and closer and we are SO excited. I can hardly contain myself. I’ve had fun experimenting with all the old wives tales that supposedly predict a baby’s gender. Obviously, I know that they aren't true and that I should take them with an entire shaker of salt, rather than with just a grain, but it will be fun to see which ones are accurate. Well, as accurate as anything can be when there is a 50/50 chance in the first place. Here are some of the results, just for fun...

The Ring Trick: GIRL (you hang a ring on a string above your wrist and if it rocks back and forth it’s one gender and if it moves in a circular motion, it’s the other gender)

Chinese Gender Chart: BOY

Heart Rate: GIRL

I'm carrying low- BOY

Cravings: BOY- My Chick-Fil-A Lemonade and the occasional milkshake are really the only sweet things that I have wanted. And they say that if you crave sweet things, it’s a girl. Lately, I can hardly finish dessert. Sweet things taste 10x sweeter than normal. That deeply saddens me. They say that if you crave meat, you are having a boy and one day we drove past Ingles and their sign was advertising the London Broil that was on sale and my mouth immediately started watering. I ate an entire T-Bone steak that night for dinner.

And last but not least, the poll you’ve so sweetly voted on says that it’s a GIRL.

People ask us what we would rather have, a boy or a girl, and I can honestly say that we would be equally excited over both. Boys seem to be a little easier, from what I've witnessed. And since I have a little brother, excuse me, younger brother, (I can't call him "little" anymore) I have an advantage because I know boys. A girl would be a blast because I need someone to share my love of Audrey Hepburn and Disney Princesses with. I had the best time being a little girl and I love the relationship that I have with my mom and I think it would be awesome to have that same relationship with my daughter. So, all that to say, we are so glad that God chose our baby's gender and we didn't have to, because we would have NEVER been able to choose! We know that He has a special purpose for this child and he or she will be who they are because He made them that way.

Now, here is the picture that I have been promising my mom. There is definitely no hiding it! Not that I would want to, of course.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

4 months!

As the new year gets closer, May seems like it’s just around the corner. The first of the year always flies by, and I know that 2011 won’t be any different. We went for our monthly check-up on Friday. I went in worried because I had been having severe cramps. I had experienced some growing pains since the beginning of my pregnancy, but this was the first time that it hurt from the front of my stomach all the way around to my back. It even hurt to walk! After some reassurance from a good friend, I realized that this too, was just growing pains. Bruce Banner hurts when he turns into The Hulk, right? With all the stretching that my body is having to do, from the inside, out, it make sense to hurt. I just hope that I don’t turn green! I'm not hurting anymore, so I know that everything is okay.

At our appointment, Baby’s heartbeat was 153. The last time that they listened for the heartbeat, it took awhile to find Little One. But, this time, we heard it the second she put the Doppler on my stomach. What a sweet sweet sound!

We’re excited to have all our Christmas stuff up! We like having it up before Thanksgiving so that we can just sit and enjoy the tree on Nick’s break. It goes by so fast anyways and we want to enjoy it for as long as possible. We also wanted to get it done because our crib arrived yesterday and we wanted to get to work on the nursery! I couldn’t handle the mess of Christmas stuff and nursery stuff, so hopefully this will be a little less overwhelming.

Putting the crib together was an experience. We got all the pieces out of the box and realized that there were no instuctions. So, we searched online and found the manual on the manufacturer's website. We went to print it out and discovered that we were out of paper. We weren't happy. Then I remembered that, for whatever reason, I had some paper in my car, so we printed out the instructions and got started. The instructions were not clear on a lot of steps and that made things hard. On the second to the last step, we found the ACTUAL instructions. Only us! :)

We’re still trying to decide when and how to find out about our little boy or girl, but we think we're going to have the u/s tech write the gender on a piece of paper, seal it in an envelope and we'll open it on Christmas morning. I can’t think of a better Christmas present! Our ultrasound is on the 16th, so we’ll have to practice a great deal of self-control, but luckily, we’ll be visiting my family in Arkansas for most of the week and won’t be back at our house until Christmas Eve, so I think we can pull it off. I know that our life is already changing, just by knowing that we're having a baby, but I know that the minute we see "It's a Girl" or "It's a Boy" on that piece of paper, our lives will change even more as we prepare to raise our son or daughter. The anticipation is killing me!

My belly is growing bigger every day, so I'll have a new picture up soon. I'm already having a hard time standing up after I've been sitting on the floor, so I can't imagine what it will be like in a few months!

I hope that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and that you find many things to be thankful for. We’re approaching our 3 year anniversary and 6 year dating anniversary and this year I am especially thankful for my best friend and soul mate. I don’t know why God decided to give me Nick, but it was the greatest gift He could give me. (besides Eternal Life of course, because after all, that’s a pretty awesome gift!)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Hello 2nd Trimester!

Technically, I won't be 13 weeks until tomorrow, but tomorrow will be a very busy day and I won't have time to update.

I'm actually very excited about the fruit comparison this week! Baby is the size of a Peach! That's pretty big considering that it started out as a Poppyseed.

Friends have been asking to see my baby bump, so I included a couple of pictures. We had just gotten back from Harp's Harvest, our church's annual Fall Festival. We were outside for 3 hours and I didn't think to brush my hair before the pictures. So, to those who haven't seen me in awhile, my hair isn't always that crazy. :) I had to show off the maternity jeans too! People are definitely noticing my hill-of-a-belly. At Walmart the other night, the cashier wouldn't even let me put the milk in our buggy and said "move over Mommy." I loved it, of course.

My hormones have been out of control lately. I'm so ashamed of my road rage! But, really, DON'T ride my bumper, people! I should make a sign for the back of my car that says "Pregnant and hormonal, don't mess with me." Or maybe I could go ahead and get a sign that says "Baby on Board" and then people might be a little more sympathetic, ha. Luckily, I haven't been taking the hormones out on Nick, although he might say otherwise. Poor guy!

I'm still loving my Chick-Fil-A lemonade, but hot dogs are no longer my friend. I had to force myself to swallow a bite of one the other day. But, I'm sure that's for the best. What's really in those things anyways? Don't answer that. I don't want to know.

I guess that's it for Week 13! Thank you to EVERYONE who reads this and leaves us comments! You mean more to us than you could know and we are so thankful that we get to share this amazing journey with you!

Monday, October 25, 2010

3 months already!?

I can’t believe that we’re almost through the first trimester! I’m so thankful that we’ve come this far safely. I know that God is allowing us to have this baby because He has a special purpose for its life. I can't wait to see what He has in store. This week Baby is the size of a plum, although I'm not quite sure how I feel about all the food comparisons to my baby's size. One week, the baby was the size of a grape and I've had trouble eating grapes ever since. haha. Luckily, I don't eat a lot of plums, so this week isn't really an issue. :) The baby has doubled in size since our first ultrasound. I wish I could see him/her again, but I guess we'll have to patiently wait until December.

This post could potentially be VERY long, so I’ll try to just touch on the highlights of what's been going on over the past two weeks.

-We met with a midwife, as required by our insurance company, and decided to use one! We fell in love with the midwives we met and are thrilled to be taken care of by women who will be very hands on and attentive throughout the pregnancy and delivery. When talking to the midwives, I felt like they genuinely cared about me and our baby. Who wouldn't love that?

If you're like I was, and don't fully understand what a midwife does, this how they explaned it to me:
Midwives can do everything that a doctor can, except for surgeries. Because of this, they don't have an M.D. but do have more certification than a nurse. They DO still administer women who choose not to have a natural birth. That's the main misconception that Nick and I had when we met with them. I asked if they would still take care of me if I decided to get an epidural and they said, "Of course! We don't know why people wonder that, but we get asked that question a lot!"

-At the appointment we got to hear Baby’s sweet heartbeat again. The midwife told us not to be surprised if we couldn’t hear it because most people can’t at 11 weeks, but we did! She had a hard time hearing the heartbeat for longer than a second because the baby was moving around so much. I hope that this isn't an indication of what we’re in for! Ha.

-My morning sickness is slowly disappearing. I promised I wouldn’t complain, but I am SO glad that it’s almost over! I’m actually starting to enjoy food again and I look forward to eating now. My main aversion has been to ground beef. I’ve always been sensitive to meat and have had to inspect each bite carefully. If I get a piece of gristle in my burger, steak or chicken, it’s over and I can’t eat another bite. But, now that I’m pregnant, this aversion has been severely worse. I’ve been eating a lot like a vegetarian, which is working out great. Really sweet smells make me feel sick, like the candied nuts stand in the mall. YUCK!

-I finally understand pregnancy cravings! They are unsatisfiable unless you get exactly what you’re craving. The main thing I crave has been Chick-Fil-A Lemonade. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! Mmm...I love that sweet, tangy goodness! All of my life, I've hated mustard. I’m not picky (except for meat!) but, mustard is something I despise. Lately though, I've been craving mustard on a hot dog and ONLY on a hot dog. It is my new love. And luckily for me, Truett Cathy (the founder of Chick-Fil-A) has a restaurant here in town called Upscale Pizza. They have incredible hot dogs (with mustard!) AND Chick-Fil-A Lemonade. Need I say more? Thank you Mr. Cathy for making this pregnant woman happy!

-We have been working non-stop on the house, trying to get it ready for a third person. I know that after Baby gets here, our house will feel even smaller than it actually is. So, we’re trying to apply my mom’s favorite word to live by, “simplify.” It's now my favorite word. Our house already feels bigger. We decided that if we could make our house more useful and practical, we could live there longer. We've downsized our desk in the office/guest room because we finally learned how true it is that “the more space you have, the more clutter you collect.” We cleaned out our junk closet, spent $100 on plastic crates and have made major improvements! We've discovered that we really do have more space than we thought! We have started on the nursery. We’re going to try to get as much done before the new year as possible. December is Nick’s month off, so we will have plenty of time to get things done during the holidays. Even though we LOVE surprises, we are going to find out the sex of the baby. We do want to save a few surprises, so we aren't going to show pictures of the nursery until it’s completed. We're pretty excited about it! I think it's going to be a fun room.

-My incredible grandparents took me shopping for maternity clothes over the weekend. I don't know if I'll ever go back to regular pants because these are so comfortable. I had a blast and am so excited to have clothes that fit!

That's about all the updates I have for now! We are enjoying this time so much.

To have a little fun, I added a poll up top. I've enjoyed hearing people inadvertently refer to the baby as "he" or "she." It will be fun to see who is right! I have noticed that the majority of people are saying "he." I guess we'll find out soon enough! What do you think? (And for the record, as cliche' as it may be, we really DO just want a healthy baby. Especially after our miscarriage, we're grateful for whatever is in there!)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

We're bakin' another Akin!

Well, I guess that I'm the one who's doing most of the bakin', but you know what I mean. :) Words cannot begin to express our excitement. As you know, our last pregnancy was such a roller coaster ride. Because of our experiences, we decided not to go in for an early ultrasound. Last time, all that did was make us worry. Even if we had gone in early again, and had seen that something was wrong, there wouldn't have been a thing the doctor could have done to fix it. So, we decided to wait and let the baby develop as much as possible and go in when we knew we should hear a heartbeat. We didn't want to risk hearing the doctor or ultrasound tech say, "Well, we don't hear a heartbeat. That could mean that something is wrong, or everything could be fine. Come in next week and we'll see if anything has changed." NO thank you! And, boy are we glad we waited! We were expecting to see a blob, but we saw a BABY! A real person, with a brain, a heartbeat, feet and arms! It was truly amazing. The Akins are leading revival this week at our home church, Harp's Crossing, and Nick was able to announce it last night to the congregation. After the announcement, they sang "I Stand in Awe of You." No song could have been more fitting. I am so in awe of
God and this miracle that He created! He is so good! We were ALL fearfully and wonderfully made!

Now, for the update on all things pregnancy related...

The baby's due date is May 10th. This put me at 10 weeks yesterday, which we knew by my calculations. The ultrasound tech measured the baby and he/she measured right at 10 weeks! Perfect! A May 10th baby means that I get to be huge on my April 30th birthday. Yay! :) What a great birthday present!

The heart was beating loudly at 169 bpm. Good and strong!

We put this baby in God's hands the minute we saw the plus sign on the pregnancy test, but there was still some worry and concern until we saw the baby for ourselves. But, deep down, I knew that everything was going to be okay because my symptoms have been in overdrive! The inaccurately called "morning" sickness has been "all day" sickness. I'm grateful for each bout of nausea though. For some reason, they say that the more morning sickness you have, the less likely you are to miscarry. So, as unpleasant as it has been, I thank God for it!

I AM showing! I actually started showing at 8 weeks! I don't know if it's just bloat or if it's from the baby, but there is no hiding it! I wore one of the loosest shirts I own the other night when we went shopping and the cashier called me "mama." So, it's definitely there! My pants don't fit well anymore, but I'm still not quite ready for maternity clothes.

Below are a couple of ultrasound pictures! The first one is a good full body shot. You can see arms and legs. It (I HATE calling it an "it!") looks like it's floating around in there! The second one is my favorite. I had NO idea that at 10 weeks, the baby would have feet! But, look at that tiny foot! Also in the second one, you can see the brain! Our kid is going to be so smart! :)

And thanks to my precious friend, Sybil McGhee for the lovely banner to match my blog! She did such a great job! I love it! Speaking of Sybil, the button on the right side of my blog for Thrifty Montgomery, is Sybil's blog! It's amazing and you should check it out! I've gotten so many great freebies because of it! Love you Sybil!

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Akins Live DVD

The insanity has begun! But, it's a good kind of insane. :) We're all getting ready for the big concert! If you haven't heard, The Akins are recording their first Live DVD at our home church on August 15th! A professional crew is coming in, bringing a very talented lighting team (the head lighting guy used to travel and do lights for Brooks and Dunn!), a make-up artist and of course, lots of cameras! It's going to be the biggest night we've ever been a part of. We're all nervous, but no one is as nervous as the guys! I can see beads of sweat forming on Nick's head whenever it gets brought up. Details are very important when it comes to a night like this, but we catch ourselves worrying before remembering that God was in this from the beginning and we know that He isn't going to allow little details to interrupt the amazing plan He has for this night! Please pray that we will be able to relax as much as possible. Pray that God's Spirit will pour down on the crowd the second the first note is played. We hope to see you there if you can make it!

The Akins Live DVD Concert
August 15th at 6:30 PM
(doors open at 5:30 PM)

Harp's Crossing Baptist Church
1183 Highway 92 South
Fayetteville, GA 30215

The Official Akins Myspace

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Hard Day

Today is a hard day. I would be 12 weeks along and that's a pretty big milestone in pregnancies. Last night, Nick and I watched one of our favorite movies, Couples Retreat, for the 10th time. We were able to laugh and have a good time. (GREAT movie, by the way) Then I crawled in bed and just started crying. It was frustrating because I couldn't identify what triggered the emotions, they came from no where. I'm sure that it will happen again, but maybe next time I won't be so surprised by the tears. I'm 90% recovered from the D&C and like I've admitted before, I'm not ready to recover because I'm really not ready to move on. But, I know that it's time. We will never forget what we've been through, but we will move on and heal.

There's an old hymn that I love singing when I'm down. I printed out the words and taped them to my desk. When I'm sad, reading them really helps. The words are:

’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise,
And to know, “Thus says the Lord!”

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust Him more!

O how sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to trust His cleansing blood;
And in simple faith to plunge me
Neath the healing, cleansing flood!
Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,

Just from sin and self to cease;
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life and rest, and joy and peace.

I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
And I know that Thou art with me,
Wilt be with me to the end.

How great is that? It IS so sweet to trust Jesus! You know Jeremiah 29:11; God promises us that He has plans for us, plans of hope and of a future. I want those things, so I'm going to trust Him to give them to me. I think he knows what He's doing; He did create me after all. :) I hope you find sweetness in trusting Jesus!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Long Update

First of all, thank you so much for all the phone calls, e-mails and prayers. This has been the hardest time in our life and you've been there when we've needed you the most. Thank you!

In the beginning, when the doctor said that this looked like a miscarriage, Nick and I knew that we didn't want a D&C. We read story after story about doctors trying to talk women into getting one and then a few weeks later, the baby was fine. We were pretty sure that I would miscarry, but I wasn't ready to give up. We didn't want to force God's hand if He wanted to show us a miracle. So, we waited. We also prayed that if I was going to miscarry, that the process would begin soon, so that we could begin coping. It started that night. After advice from some very sweet friends who have been through the same thing, we scheduled the D&C, but were only going to have it done if we could have an ultrasound first. An ultrasound would give us confirmation, closure and most importantly, a peace about going through with the procedure. It was confirmed, only an empty sac appeared on the screen. It looked just like it did when they told me I had a blighted ovum. I'm sure that a 10 week old baby can't feel pain, but I was feeling like a protective mom, so it comforted me to know that my baby was already with Jesus and wasn't suffering. It turned out that I was running a fever, which led me to think that an infection had begun. That made me feel even better about the decision we had made. On Friday, after many fights with IV needles and emotions, it was done. We came home from the hospital to a house full of groceries from Nick's amazing parents along with all my filled prescriptions and dinner from one of our favorite restaurants, Buckner's. Nothing is more comforting than Fried Chicken and Mashed Potatoes! A little while later, my mom walked in, who drove 5 hours to be with me. Nick had to go out of town on Saturday, so having my mom there to take care of me made everything okay. :) We ordered pizza and watched girly movies and I loved every minute of it. It was hard to see her go on Sunday!

Sunday, Nick's mom picked me up and we ran some earrands to get ready for Nick's birthday (which was the next day). Nick had been saving money for a 50 inch Plasma Flat Screen and ordered it a week before. The night that I miscarried, we went to see if it was in. It wasn't supposed to here until the next day, but we needed something to cheer us up, so we thought we'd check. We were thrilled when it was! So, Nick's parents met us to pick it up and we drove 45 minutes home. They got it out of the box and saw that the front was cracked, nearly to pieces. The guys drove it back to Best Buy, just before closing and ordered a new one. They said it would be here in a week, and maybe 3 days. So, while Nick was out of town, Lagene and I went back to see if it was in so that we could pick it up the next day when the guys were home. It wasn't and they said it would be in on Tuesday or Thursday. I think it helped that I looked pitiful, but Lagene whipped out her Mama-Bear attitude and told the cashier all that we had been through and said that we needed the TV today. The manager was so sweet and told us that his job was to make us happy and he would see what he could do. So, we ended up leaving the store with a better TV that was selling for $1,299.99 and we only paid $650, an even trade for the other TV. Maybe if I had still been wearing my hospital bracelets they would have given us a 70 inch. :) It may just be a TV, but at that time, we needed to feel like something was going right. I was so worried that Nick wouldn't have a good birthday because of all that happened, but I think he had a pretty good one! :) He was up until 4 AM setting it up and watching it. It was nice to have something good happen and a distraction. We've been having a blast!

Emotionally, we are doing okay. We have moments when it hits us and we cry, but we also have happy moments when we are able to laugh. I'm so thankful that we have each other.

I've always been a slow recoverer after surgery, so it's taking me awhile to heal. I've told a few people this and I know it sounds strange, but I'm not ready to heal. I think when I'm back to normal and feel like myself again, I won't have that constant reminder of my pregnancy like I do now. I'm not ready to move on and let go, but I know that I will have to one day. I can't believe that it's been over a week since all this started. We know that God is in control and has a plan. He's already been working in our lives. Our marriage is stronger than ever and we feel God's constant presence with us. And I know that our baby has a better life now than we could have ever given him/her and I can't wait to meet them one day!

I'm sorry this is so long! Writing is healing to me and I feel a little better already! :)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Not Good News

Well, to just throw it out there...I'm having a miscarriage. We went in this morning, and I was very excited to see my baby again and see it's little heart beating. Unfortuantely, there were a lot of things wrong. There was no heartbeat, the baby measured smaller this time than it did at the last ultrasound, and the yolk sac was too large. My doctor said that if just one of those things were wrong, then she wouldn't be alarmed. But, to have all three of them happen at once, it was pretty clear that I would miscarry. As you can imagine, Nick and I were devastated. I took the day off work and we just came home and cried. I wasn't ready to "give in" and didn't want to admit that this was happening. But then at dinner, the inevitable happened. I started to bleed. That was hard to take in. I came out of the bathroom (we were at the Cracker Barrel) and sat down at the table and just hugged Nick. He wrapped his arms around me and cried too. And then he pointed out the song that was playing on the radio, "Somebody's Praying." Wow. What words. It was just what we needed right then. I can't explain it, but through this horrible day, I have felt closer to God than ever and closer to my sweet husband than I ever have. We know that God has a plan and is in control. I know that whatever happens, He will use for our good, because we love Him. (Romans 8:28) I know that we'll have our sad moments and happy moments. I'm grateful for the few moments of peace I've had, so that I could have the courage to sit down and write. But, I do know that the tears will come again and I know that that's okay.

I've been in your shoes before. I have had to talk to women after they've gone through a miscarriage and haven't known what to say or how to act. So, now that I'm on this side, I just want you to know that if you see or talk to me, I am fine to talk about it. You can ask us anything and you don't have to tip-toe around us, wondering if you're saying the right thing (as I've wondered before) but, I can promise you that we are so thankful and encouraged just knowing that you love us. We love you!

I can't wait to write again in a few months with news that I'm "Bakin another Akin!"

-Nick and Julie

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Introducing Baby Akin! (or Blob Akin)

We have a baby and it's the most beautiful little blob I have ever seen! (The baby is the little white thing in the middle of that big black hole, in case you're not sure what to look for :) )

We were hopeful that we'd see a baby, but still wanted to be prepared for the worst, just in case. After what felt like hours, the technician came in and began the ultrasound. It wasn’t long before we saw a little white blob on the screen that we knew wasn’t there last week. Obviously, we were thrilled! There was our baby! The baby was measuring 5 weeks 4 days, which means that I’ve only been pregnant for 3 weeks. According to those measurements, I got pregnant on April 29th. But, I got my first positive pregnancy test on April 23rd, and then got two more on April 24th. Confused? There is absolutely no medical explanation for what’s going on and we are perfectly content with that. I believe that I probably did have a blighted ovum and after everyone’s prayers, God put a baby there. Not that I'm suggesting it was imaculate conception. :) We're going in for another ultrasound next Wednesday, June 2nd and they are hoping to hear a heartbeat. If they do, then everything should be okay. But if not, then the baby probably isn’t developing like it should and that could explain why I’m measuring so small. So, please pray that we hear a heartbeat! My doctor is sure that everything is okay because my Progesterone levels (another hormone involved in pregnancy) are so high. My levels were at 25 and she said that most of the time, if a woman is going to miscarry, the levels are 15 or below. That was definitely encouraging.

This is the third time I’ve been 5 weeks pregnant. ha. I would love it if I could just make it to 8 weeks! At my first ultrasound, I thought I was 6 weeks 6 days, and yesterday I thought I was 7 weeks 1 day. This could be the longest pregnancy in history, but I'm going to enjoy every second of it.

Thank you so much for your prayers! You are all a part of this little miracle and I can't wait for you to meet him/her so you can see what life you have been a part of from the VERY beginning.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Levels went up!

I was shocked when my nurse called and said that my levels only went up to 18,000. I was expecting them to be at least 27,000 since we thought they would double. But, my doctor wasn't alarmed. She said once they are as high as 13,000, they don't expect to see them rise so drastically. I still wasn't convinced and did some research and found this interesting website.


It was comforting to read that in week 6 (which I'm just now in since my due date was probably wrong) the levels should be between 1,000 and 56,000! What a range! I also read that by week 6 or 7, it could take up to 84 hours for the numbers to double. We'll know for sure at the next ultrasound, but so far so good! I'm just going to keep thanking God for this baby!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Some good news!

I love how alive scripture is! I can read the same verse 50 times and each time it applies to me in a new way. Last week, after our sad ultrasound, this verse was in my devotional.

"Each time he said, 'My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.' So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me."
2 Corinthians 12:9

I never understood that verse. How can you boast about your weakness? But, now I think I am getting a teeny tiny taste of what Paul meant. I have been so excited to know that God is going to use this situation to make me a better person and to show me how incredible He really is!

Now, on to the update...

I went in Friday and again this morning to get my hCG levels checked. HCG is the pregnancy hormone and if the pregnancy is progressing like it's supposed to, the hormone levels should double every 48 hours. So, we won't know anything for sure until tomorrow when we see if they've doubled between Friday and today. But, the nurse said that my levels on Friday were high! (Insert middle-school-girl-squeal here) That was such good news! I could tell that the nurse didn't want us to get our hopes up but, I'm fully confident that there is a baby in there somewhere, just waiting to show itself to the world! Is this any indicator of how stubborn my child may be? :) In fact, I'm so confident that we're having this baby that Thursday we went shopping and I came home with 5 baby books to start our baby's library. :) I feel too pregnant to not be. I've been queasy almost constantly and Nick can tell you that my hormones have been out of control. Poor guy! He's so understanding and sweet! We've still got to wait one more week for the ultrasound, but we're pressing on! Thank you for your continued prayers and encouragement! We love you all!

P.S. If you ever have to give blood and the nurse looks angry, go home and give blood another day. An angry lady with a needle hurts. :)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

What a rollercoaster ride!

I know you aren't supposed to ride rollercoasters when you're pregnant, but we have been on a non-stop one since yesterday. I didn't update you after my first doctor's visit because frankly, there was nothing new to tell. They confirmed that I was pregnant, did some (okay, A LOT of) bloodwork, asked questions about our medical history and did all the usual female check-ups. I was shocked when they said I should come in for an ultrasound the following Wednesday. They said we couldn't hear the heartbeat until 8 weeks, but they still wanted to look so they could get a more accurate due date. Nick and I were thrilled! We couldn't wait to finally see our baby! Well, unfortuantely, there wasn't a baby to see. Just an empty gestational sac. We were broken-hearted and confused. The ultrasound tech said that my sac measured 5 weeks and 3 days pregnant, so it's possible that I'm earlier than we thought, which would explain why we couldn't see anything. Then she said that it could mean I had a blighted ovum. That means that the sac that protects the baby develops, but the baby doesn't make it. She wanted us to see the doctor on call so that he could answer any questions we might've had. I was unsuccessfully fighting back tears when the doctor came in. He reiterated what the ultrasound tech told us, saying that there could be a baby or there may not be. The only way to know for sure is to give the baby more time to develop. So, we'll go back for a second ultrasound on May 24th. He told us not to lose hope. I've tried to be strong ever since we left the doctor's office, but it's hard. I'm going to be completely honest with you, I know that this an incorrect way to think, but I have felt like if I cry about it, that's saying that I don't trust God. I know that's not true and that it is okay to cry. I know that God understands my pain and confusion. I'm feeling much better now after reading story after story of women who had the same diagnosis and then saw a baby and heartbeat at the second ultrasound. There is ALWAYS hope when you serve the God we do! We want this situation to bring Him glory, no matter what the outcome is. I know He has a plan greater than anything we could imagine! But, please do pray for us. Pray for God's will. We only want what He wants, no matter what that is. For now, I'm going to keep praising Him for this baby, because I have hope that he/she is still in there.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

6 weeks!

I can’t believe that it’s been two weeks since we found out we’re expecting! I didn’t think it was possible, but we are getting more and more excited every day! Our first doctor’s appointment is in the morning (May 7th) and I can’t wait! It’s early still, but we’re hoping to hear the heartbeat. I get chills every time I remember that there is a person living and growing inside of me! I’m not sure if that will ever sink in. I’ve had fun learning about Baby’s growth each week. In week 6, Baby’s face starts developing! The well-known verse, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb” has never felt more alive. I know that right now, God is designing the beautiful face of our child and I can’t wait to see what He comes up with! I also love this verse in Psalm 139: “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Isn’t that a wonderful thought? God knows my child’s name, who they’ll marry, what they’ll be when they grow up, and everything else about them! It’s encouraging to know that as children of God, all of our days are ordained by Him! It’s hard to believe in accidents or coincidences when you know that, huh?

We’ll write again soon to let you know what the doctor said! Thank you for your love and prayers!

Monday, April 26, 2010

We're having a baby!

Three positive pregnancy tests later and I still can’t believe it! I’m only four weeks along, so maybe when the nausea and all the other nasty symptoms strike I’ll miss the days when I didn’t believe it! No, I’m kidding. I am going to savor each moment of this wonderful blessing and miracle, no matter how sick I feel.

I was sure that I wasn’t pregnant this month but there was still a little bit of hope left inside me. Friday after work Nick and I were going to meet at the theater for a date. I got there early and decided to get a test from Target and go ahead and get it over with, so that I could move on with my weekend and not wonder anymore. After much debate with myself (Is it too early to test? I’m not even having symptoms! Am I crazy?) I put on my big girl pants, bought the test and went into the Target bathroom. Nick called to say that he was waiting on me outside at the exact time I saw the bright negative blue line. I was okay because that’s exactly what I expected to see. When I hung up the phone, I looked back down to see the very bold and VERY real vertical blue line. I couldn’t believe it! I gathered my things and gripped on tightly to the test. I walked outside, hugged my husband and whispered in his ear “Congratulations Daddy!” He was just as shocked as I was because I had prepared him that it would be negative. We got in the car and drove around the shopping center for 10 minutes, trying to figure out what to do next. We were in such shock that we couldn’t even think. We decided to go on with our date night as planned and enjoy having this little secret. We had already planned to see “The Back-Up Plan” (the one where Jennifer Lopez is pregnant!). It was the perfect way to celebrate. After the movie, Nick didn’t think he could eat until he told someone. We went back to Target and bought a book called In Grandma’s Arms for his mom and a little red onesie that said “Grandpa’s Little Monkey” for his dad. We drove to their house “because Nick left his paycheck” and gave them their gifts and showed them the test. They were just as excited as we hoped they would be! Then we tried to figure out how to tell my parents. I wanted to tell them in person, but knew I wouldn’t see them until the next weekend. Nick had a brilliant idea and said “Let’s go now!” So, we went home and packed up our things and the dog and headed to Daphne. We showed up on their doorstep at 3 AM (4 AM our time!). They were surprised and thrilled! They also had the perfect response…lots of hugs and “awww’s.” It was so special. Then my 11 year old brother came downstairs to see what was going on. I told him I needed help reading something. I showed him the test and he read “Clear Blue…” (priceless!). I pointed to the box and he read “pregnant.” (It was a different test because we decided that before driving 5 hours to tell my family the news, we should make sure it wasn’t a false positive. It wasn’t!) He woke up the next morning thinking that it had all been a dream.

We spent the next day with my family and they bought me a pregnancy journal, a baby name book and an interesting magazine! It was the perfect day!

Then we had to decide how to tell Nick’s brothers and our sisters-in-law. On the way back home we stopped at the Hobby Lobby in Auburn and bought two bibs and some iron-on appliqu├ęs. We gave them to Dave, Sarah & Lailey and Eli & Whitney Sunday morning at church. It was fun to see the guys trying to figure out what it meant. Here are the bibs we made.

After chuch on Sunday we called our grandparents and the rest of our family to tell the news. We were originally only going to tell family and close friends until we were further along, but we couldn't hold it in any longer. Nick stood up and announced it at lunch to the pastor, his family and several other families from the church. (The Akins were leading a revival at Crossroads Baptist Church in Social Circle, GA) I have to admit, as eager as I was, I was stressing out about telling people. I know that most people wait until they've entered the safe 2nd trimester to tell, but we couldn't do it. When I have news, I have to tell! Nick asked if he should tell the church that night during his testimony, which he was going to share. There's a part where he says, "One day I want to be a father." I wanted him to be able to tell, because after all, this is HIS news too! Being stressed and worried is not in my nature, but for some reason I couldn't shake the nerves. Then, I felt God speak to me. We have been praying for months that He would allow us to have a baby in His perfect timing. Being pregnant is an answer to prayer and I praise God for it! I want EVERYONE to know what He has done for us. It's a part of my testimony and I have nothing to hide.