Author: Lala
•Saturday, January 19, 2013
Here are the ultrasound pictures of our new girl. To the left are her 20 week pictures and to the right are her first picture at 8wk 9day.
We found out a week ago Tuesday that we are having another girl! Yay for another girl!! I am 22 weeks tomorrow and feeling so much better from my morning sickness. I still feel nauseous on some days but the fact that I can actually eat real food and drink water (i was down to cheerios and soda for over two months on my last pregnancy) is already a treat. The first couple of months after finding out that I was pregnant was the worst for me. It was definitely hard taking care of two toddlers when you can't keep anything down, coupled with headaches. I remember calling Carl and having him come home from work when I felt so sick that I thought I was going to pass out. I am so glad that his work was flexible enough for him to be able to do that. It did help having him work from home three times a week specially on days when what I needed was a short break. 

When we found out that we were expecting another one, I wished it to be a boy. We love having girls, Mikelle and Rianne are very sweet,  amazing and wonderful girls but I thought it would as well be fun to know how it is like to raise a boy. It was only a wish, I know that deep inside me I will absolutely love this baby whether it is a girl or a boy. I always pray for her and me to be healthy. I always thank God every night for every single day that she still is inside me and that I am feeling and doing good. I started feeling her move about three weeks ago and I love it every time I feel her kicks and punches. We feel very blessed having her and we are looking forward to finally see her and I hope that she knows that she can stay as long as needed and that we are not in a hurry.

Arriving to a final decision whether to have another baby was a difficult journey for us both, especially for me. Anybody who knows the story of my first pregnancy will understand. My girls came out ten weeks early at 2.5lbs each because of my severe preecclampsia. They needed to come out because I was very sick and the whole experience was very traumatic for me. It was heartbreaking to see them so small and fragile in the incubators not knowing if they will be able to have a healthy body and live a normal life. My OB told me that we got lucky I did not have a brain damage and it took two full years for my body to fully recover from the effects of preecclampsia. Talking about getting pregnant, seeing pictures or reading stories about premature babies always made me cry and I didn't think that I will be able to have the courage to give it another try. 

It was sometime in August, while I was reading and pondering a thought, when I had the very special experience that helped me made up my mind. I was reading a book and decided to really talk to God of the issues that had been troubling me for over a year. I prayed and told Him that I do want to have another baby but I am very scared. I am scared of the possibilities that severe preeclampsia can cause permanent physical disabilities or death to the mother or the child. I was scared that I might not get so lucky next time and be disabled for the rest of my life or have to deal with NICU again and all its uncertainties and horror. I told Him that I want to be with my husband and girls for a long time and that I want to enjoy them and see them grow old. I then told my Father in Heaven that I am very scared but if He wills it for us to have another one, I would do it. I immediately felt the most comforting and peaceful feeling I have ever felt in my whole life and I knew at that very moment that we needed to try again. I again said that I am very scared and the feeling came saying that it doesn't matter. It does matter to me, I said. I want to enjoy my family and children and the feeling came again saying that no matter what happens He will be with me. At that very moment, I felt the sweetest love of God and all my fears were washed away. I felt that no matter what happens, If I will only have that very same feeling I felt that day with me always, everything would be okay. The experience was very sweet and comforting and I wished for the feeling to not go away but it did. I know that God lives and is aware of each one of us and our desires and fears. I do not know what lies ahead or where will this pregnancy take us but I know that we will be fine. Every time I am scared and doubting, I make myself remember that special experience and hold on to the promise I was given. I am thankful that, though the pathway wasn't made clear for me, I was given the light enough to help me move forward. 

We do not know yet the rest of the story of this pregnancy but we do know that this is the right thing to do. This baby is a blessing from above and she is blessed to have such wonderful older sisters. We do appreciate your love and prayers and they bring us strength and comfort.

Now here are some pictures and videos of the special occasion:

 I made this card and asked the ultrasound technician to not tell me right away the gender of the baby but to write it inside the card and put it in the envelope together with the pictures. I thought that it would be more fun to wait till I get home so we all could open it together, since Carl was on break from work watching the girls and couldn't come with me. Julie, technician, gladly did the favor for me.

I was telling the girls to get ready for the picture right before we open the card.
 Carl and Mikelle
 And here is the video!

Author: Lala
•Sunday, January 13, 2013
My last blog entry was in September 2012 and I am so glad that we have hundreds of pictures to help me recall what happened during these past months. Getting settled in after moving from Virginia was crazy and things got crazier during our first month here in Florida. We found out that I was pregnant two weeks after we moved, and morning sickness kicked in immediately, making it hard for me to do some normal day-to-day stuff, let alone blogging. Keeping my personal/private blog updated was way easier than writing a public blog since I did not have to worry too much of what to write, how to write it, grammar or even the presentation. With my private blog, I can say whatever I want in whichever way I chose to, so it is more like a way to vent and relax than a work. But we do love our families and friends that we thought a public blog is one special way to reach out to them and let them know what is going on in our lives in addition to a regular calls and updates.

So, I'll let the pictures tell the stories of those past months:

The beach is one of our favorite destinations. We went to Treasure Island beach on our first Saturday in Florida and we loved it. There are beaches 10 to 15 minutes east and west of us and we have been there a few times now. The girls love playing in the sand and getting wet in the water, I love the sound of the waves and seeing the water.

We definitely miss the Clemyjontri park in Virginia but we do have a nice park that is walking distance away from our place. I used to push the stroller to take the girls there but now that they are older, we can easily walk to the park while they enjoy the rocks and leaves and anything interesting they find on the way. Carl likes taking the girls there on some days after work or weekend afternoons.
We do still enjoy our morning walks though we don't do it as often as we should, specially since I started having morning sickness. I like it that we can still go out on our shirt and shorts even during winter season. Walmart is a few blocks away from our apartment and we sometimes go there by foot as well. Mikelle and Rianne love walking. They enjoy seeing the school buses and the duck that used to live by the building next to ours.

For Halloween, Rianne chose a lady bug and Mikelle a bee costume. I was so sick that night and so we weren't able to go trick or treating with them. We did get bag full of candies at the St Petersburg snow parade (not that we give them much candy).

We have an awesome pool in front our building and we enjoyed swimming there while the water was warm. Now that the water is cold for swimming, we are contented with just relaxing and enjoying being out in nice weather and watching the sunset.

It was pretty exciting to find out that I was pregnant again after much thought, consideration, and prayer. We received a confirmation from God that having another baby is the right thing to do for us and we are blessed for this addition. We hope and pray that it will be a boring pregnancy this time.

It is such a blessing and a joy to meet an awesome Filipina friend here in Florida. I enjoyed hanging out with Melinda and my girls love her and her husband David. It is more fun and a lot easier going to the mall and parks with her. We once took their RV to the beach one beautiful afternoon and the girls had a blast playing in the water while we both enjoyed the sun and taking pictures. David made an awesome video of the trip.