Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New Pics!

I am finally getting pictures uploaded from my camera... here are a few of my latest favorites (:

John and I at John's pinning (one of few pictures of just the two of us!)

Lyla and her new hat from Grandma Lou

Our Jelly Fish table at the T-Rex cafe!

Lyla and her cousin Addi in Kansas City

Lou, Lindsey and Evie in Kansas City

AND... we had our maternity photos taken yesterday! I'm not sure when they will be done, but we sure had fun. Lyla cooperated even though she hadn't taken a nap all day, so someone must have been praying for us (thanks mom!). Catherine Bosley the coordinator for Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep in Omaha took the pictures (Bosley Creative) and she was so great. I will post some when we get them back (:
Bye for now,

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Doc Appointment Update July 20, 09

Hello again friends (:

Thanks for checking up on us, we had another doctor's appointment Monday (the 20th). John's mom and my mom watched most of the ultrasound; it was fun to give them a glimpse of Evie's little life. I had to drink a cup of orange liquid sugar before the ultrasound so I could get my gestational diabetes test out of the way. I knew my little munchkin wouldn't be very cooperative on a sugar high, but luckily they got the measurements they needed!

I am disappointed to say that things look about the same. Evie's little body and head measure about normal, but limbs are still very small and she weighs 2 pounds instead of 3, where she should be measuring around now. I am 28 weeks as of last Saturday, so that only gives us between 9-12 weeks for her to catch up. It seems like a lot of healing to happen in such a short amount of time.

We have a family conference scheduled for mid-August, where all of the doctors and our family members will get together and lay out what will happen, what our options are, and help us make any remaining decisions. I am glad we will all be on the same page, but I feel so emotionally defeated after a doctor's appointment I can't imagine how hard it will be to sit and discuss it all again to make things more "final." Our doctor and pediatrician have been so amazingly wonderful at communicating with John and I and making sure that we are doing okay, so I know we will be taken care of.

We are having maternity pictures taken next Monday, I am really looking forward to that. Catherine Bosley, the organizer for Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep in Omaha is going to do them for us. I will post some when they are done (: Hopefully she has a "skinny" lens... I forgot what gaining 20 pounds does to my face - ahh! (:

Prayer requests: Evie's health, Evie's health, Evie's health. That John and I would be strong through the coming weeks. Lyla is getting more and more attached to baby Evie as my tummy gets bigger, so prayers for her and that I find a way to communicate to her without completely falling apart. Sleep. Like I've said before, I seem to fall apart at night, especially when John is working late. I'm sure it's hard for him to work a 12 hour shift and come home to a crying wife. John passed his boards so you can stop praying for him. Just kidding! Prayers for peace of mind and heart.

I just finished reading "The Shack" by William P Young, if you haven't read it, you should. It's a fiction novel with beautifully written picture of God's love for us. My God is not a God of suffering and guilt, but of love. He is the same God now that he was 7 months ago. Although this world is full of suffering that God can use for good, it is just the blink of an eye until we will live in perfect peace with Him. As my friend and mentor Angela said to me a few months ago... "Here's to healthy little girls in heaven."

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. - Philippians 3:20-21

Sorry daddy, that is mommy's nose!

Friday, July 17, 2009

John Elsaesser, RN...

That's right, John passed his nursing boards!!! Thanks for your prayers, and encouragement over the past 2 years, he is so thankful to be done... and so are we! I haven't figured out what we are going to do with the extra time he will be home, but it seems like he has been picking up so many extra shifts at work that it hasn't sunk in yet. The test can be anywhere from 75 to 265 questions... and John was randomly selected to take the WHOLE test, so he was there for a good 5 hours. I am so proud of him!

John's mom Lou has been in town since Monday, and we made a quick trip to Kansas City, and have gotten to enjoy having her in town. Sidenote: if you ever take your kids to Kansas City, you should go to the T-Rex cafe... it is amazing! We sat under a giant jelly fish, and there are moving dinosaurs all over the restaurant. Lyla thought she was scared of them ("I no like dinosaurs mommy!"), but I think she secretly had a great time. Lou watched Lyla play at Gymboree this morning, it was fun to share that with her. She will be in town for another week and a half and will get to see my next ultrasound.

Speaking of which, our next appointment is this coming Monday. I am still holding on to that glimmer of hope that we will see improvements. I seem to be getting much larger so hopefully Evie is too. She is still kicking like crazy and likes to roll her whole body around, so hopefully she's not too uncomfortable. If I am going to be this big hopefully she is enjoying her space in there!!!

Thanks for your prayers, we have had a very good couple of weeks. We still take time to grieve and beg for healing, but our God is still good and is showering us with blessings. In the sermon last week Pastor Jeff mentioned a song called "Sweetly Broken" and I know deeply how that feels. As heartbroken as I am at times, I am experiencing God in ways I have never experienced Him before. I trust Him to carry us through and I know that doing life with Him is how I was created to live. I am glad that He is in control of Evie's life, as the outcomes are too overwhelming for me to even try to consider.

Love you friends, and I will update after our appointment.

Monday, July 6, 2009

a little heavy hearted...

Hi Friends (:
Hope you had a good 4th, I can't believe how cold it was! I was probably the only person in Omaha who was glad it wasn't 90 degrees... the colder weather is much more bearable with these extra lbs. I'm carrying around!

We are doing pretty good here in the Elsaesser household. Things are pretty normal, but my heart has been heavy. Holiday weekends seem to have an opposite effect on me lately, they are so much fun to spend with family and friends, but at the end of the day it makes me so sad that next year at the same time we may again be a family of three. I already feel like Evie is such a big part of our family it will be hard to celebrate without her.

I was really hoping to see a hint of improvement at our last ultrasound so it was disappointing to see that her lungs aren't developing well and her bones are the same if not worse. If I don't get to take her home I couldn't ask for anything better than for God to take care of her, but I so selfishly want her to live with us. I don't know whether to get out some of Lyla's old clothes in case she comes home or leave things alone until we see what happens. It just makes me sad either way.

Lyla and I are really enjoying the summer. We went to the spraypark this morning, and she played with all the "boys and kids" (boys are boys, and girls are kids... not quite sure why!) She could spend the whole day outside and I wouldn't mind if it wasn't quite so hot. She woke up this morning, got in bed with me for a few minutes, and went back to her room to get a few things... she walked back into our room with one of John's old Chicago Bears hats on, her pink sunglasses, a silver sparkley purse, and a stuffed skunk. She was ready to go for the day! She makes me smile at least 100 times a day.

If you could pray that I would have emotional and physical strength that would help me a lot. Please continue to pray for healing for Evie. That she would grow, her lungs would develop, and her bones would harden, straighten, and lengthen. Pray that she is not in pain now and won't be when she's born. John takes his nursing boards one week from today, so prayer for him that he would pass. Lyla is doing pretty darn good, but you could continue to pray that I can handle the situation in the way that is best for her. It's really hard for me not to talk about Evie when she's on my mind so often, but the doctors all recommend that I only talk about her when Lyla asks.

I'll leave you with a verse on joy and prayer:
"So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete." John 16:22-24

Praise God. Love you friends (:

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

our little hibiscus...

So I'm feeling a little cheesy and emotional, so bear with me as I tell you the tale of our hibiscus tree.

My mom and I went "flower shopping" in the early summer. She has a green thumb, and I tend to kill everything I touch so between the two of us I figured she could find something that could at least survive in our yard.

After finding a couple of bushes and lilies that were "hearty" enough for someone like me to maintain, we grabbed a hibiscus tree on the way out. Lyla and I fell in love with our little tree and the "baby flowers" that bloomed.

After about a week with a few flowers, a series of thunderstorms with high winds, hard rains and sporadic hail went through Omaha, and our hibiscus tree was not doing so hot. After the thunderstorms subsided I noticed that the leaves on our tree had holes in them and the flowers were covered in little white bugs. By the end of the storms and bug infestation, our tree had no flowers and no leaves. It had been stripped pretty much bare.

Instead of throwing the tree away, we propped it between two iron deck chairs (so in case of high winds it wouldn't fall over... again) and have meticulously watered it every day. I thought it was a goner, but our little tree has slowly found new life, new beautiful flowers, and new leaves... and as I was staring at it today God gave me a little extra glimmer of his love.

The moral of the story: I am in the season of thunderstorms and bugs. Hopefully by being propped up between God and his son Christ Jesus, I can continue to stand up. By the end of this season, hopefully I can emerge with a renewed perspective and faith. I won't have the same flowers and leaves, my trunk may be a little crooked and more vulnerable, but my new flowers and leaves can bloom more than ever with hope and a love I have never felt so deeply.

So you're thinking "wow, that lady is really pregnant" and you're probably right. But I'm going to cry a little bit and thank God for my hibiscus tree and his promise to sustain and refine my faith, which is of greater worth than gold.

"In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls."

1 Peter 1: 6-9