Please visit the new blog...

This blog is no longer being updated. Please visit me at

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Most Precious Heartbeat

Yesterday I heard the most precious heartbeat I've ever heard - the heartbeat of the child I'm carrying.

I am currently in my eleventh week of pregnancy, almost done with my first trimester. And the second trimester can't come soon enough! While many women go through their first trimester unscathed, mine has been marked by extreme fatigue, nausea, headaches, aches, pains, and bloating. I finally started feeling more "normal" last week, enough so that I could actually do some cleaning and get through a day at work without wanting to crawl under a table. I'm still running to the bathroom for a bout of nausea now and then, but it's nothing like it was before.

And here's where I need to give a shout out to my wonderful husband. Garrett has been taking wonderful care of me, doing a lot around the house, and even took over clean up duty after an unfortunate incident when I didn't make it over the toilet fast enough.

Now that's true love. You know you've found a keeper when he's willing to clean up the remains of your day, so to speak, without complaining. His only comment was, "You don't know what I just went through in there." You're right, darling, I don't know. And I don't want to know unless you're willing to see a repeat performance.

But I digress.

We're finally at the point in the pregnancy when I'm comfortable telling the world about the baby we're expecting. To say that we're excited would be an understatement. I've been wanting a baby since I was 12 years old, so once you do the math you'll see that's 22 years of longing. Garrett has wanted to be a daddy for a long time, too. We agreed when we got married that we would wait a year before trying. Well, we got the baby itch sooner than that, so we were already in our seventh week of pregnancy on our first anniversary. Which meant that we celebrated a very quiet anniversary since I was absolutely exhausted all the time.

Our families are super excited, too. This is the first grandchild on my side of the family, so my parents are just beside themselves that they don't have to adopt grandchildren, after all. My brother an sisters are ready for a little niece or nephew and have already started buying little presents.

Incidentally, when my brother found out I was pregnant, he called me (which is unusual enough because Eddie, you don't write, you don't call...) and said, "So, I hear Garrett got one past the goalie." Nice.

Yesterday I went to see my OB for a little procedure to check some stuff out. She surprised me by saying that we would get to hear the heartbeat. I knew that Garrett would be disappointed since he wasn't with me, but I just had to hear it. Easier said than done. About 15 minutes, two rooms, two nurses, three Dopplers, and one very sore tummy later, I finally heard clear evidence of my little sweet pea.

What a moment. Those first couple of months of pregnancy you're thinking, "Is there really something in there?" I took three pregnancy tests and still wondered. So hearing the heartbeat was just overwhelming. I started crying, which kind of freaked out the nurse. She asked, "Oh, was I not supposed to find it?" In my head I thought, "Stop your crazy talk, woman! I've been waiting for this baby practically my whole life!" But I just shook my head. So then she rightly guessed that this is my first.

I tried to keep from crying too much so that she could get the baby's heart rate. It was 180 bpm! Pretty fast, but still within the normal range.

Next week we have our first ultrasound. Garrett and I are so ready for it. We want to see our little one and hear that everything is ok.

Then over the Christmas break I'll start cleaning out the guest room, which will be the baby's room. We need to get some painting done, but I'm not planning to buy anything until we find out if our sweet pea is a boy or girl.

Right now we're just praying that the baby is healthy and strong.

Friday, December 5, 2008

He Just Can't Keep From Singing

I've owed the two or three of you that read this blog (hi mom!) some music for a while now. In a previous post, I bragged on my super-talented husband and his beautiful voice. He had just given a vocal recital and blew us all away with some beautiful music. If I'd had a bit of forethought, I would have found a video camera and recorded it. But, due to some stuff going on in my life right now that I'll talk about later, I've been a bit scatter-brained. And sickly. But that's another post for another day.

A couple of wonderful readers rightly pointed out that I should post him singing. I envisioned a video of him singing "Bring Him Home" since it brought tears to our eyes. But we would need someone playing the piano. And I'm afraid that my piano skills don't extend much past making the same mistakes in "Fur Elise" over and over again. Considering that's a song easily mastered by twelve-year-old girls the world over, I'm not the person for the job.

And let's not forget the minor issue of not having a video camera. I thought about taking the video with my regular digital camera, but realized that it just would not do. We plan to gift ourselves with a video camera for Christmas, but that doesn't help me right now.

(By the way, if you have thoughts on a good video camera, or even a video camera not worth purchasing, I'd love to hear them.)

Now back to our story...

Garrett remembered that he had an old recording of him singing with the choir at First United Methodist in Austin, Texas. I listened to it and thought that it was real purty, so I'm offering it up to you for your listening pleasure. There's no accompanying video, but this will just have to do for now. It starts out with Garrett singing a capella, then the piano and choir come in. He comes in again later with another solo.

You can listen to the song here. Some lyrics are below, but they're not exactly the same as the version in the recording (there's a verse missing). Enjoy!

How Can I Keep From Singing
My life flows on in endless song;
Above earth’s lamentation
I hear the real, though far off hymn
That hails a new creation:
Through all the tumult and the strife
I hear the music ringing;
It sounds an echo in my soul —
How can I keep from singing?

What through the tempest loudly roars,
I know the truth, it liveth.
What through the darkness round me close,
Songs in the night it giveth.
No storm can shake my inmost calm
While to that rock I'm clinging.
Since love is lord of Heaven and earth
How can I keep from singing?

I lift mine eyes; the cloud grows thin;
I see the blue above it;
And day by day this pathway clears
Since first I learned to love it:
The peace of God restores my soul,
A fountain ever springing:
All things are mine since I am loved —
How can I keep from singing?