Friday, April 17, 2009

His name!

Thomas Alexander Culp est time of arrival August 28, 2009!

I have officially decided on our little boy's name. (Let the monogramming begin!--totally kidding.)
I have known for a long time that if it was a boy (and I knew he was a boy, in my heart, all along) that I would use 'Thomas' and 'Alexander.' I just did not know in what order. Obviously, his first name, Thomas, is named after his daddy. His middle name, Alexander, was named by his dad last year!
I remember vividly that Thomas, Caroline and I went to eat (for the first time) at Rick's Iron Skillet in Fayetteville for breakfast after church. (We had planned to go to Denny's with all of our friends and family from church, but we forgot that Bikes, Blues and Barbecue was just ending that day and they had taken over most of the breakfast places in town! So we were at Rick's. We had wanted to try it for a while, so it was a good second option.)
Randomly, I was not pregnant...yet, Thomas said, "If we have a boy, I want to name him Alexander." I was surprised that he had been even thinking about names, but I totally agreed that it was a great name.
So after the accident, I knew it was a boy and I knew I would use Alexander (Daddy Thomas' name is Allen and so they have the same initials!) I just wasn't sure in what order to use the names. After a few prayers and a few days, it just stuck with me. It has to be Thomas Alexander. It sounds great and it brings me comfort and excitement to call our baby Thomas (or "LT" for Little Thomas as Uncle Travis is calling him.) Caroline already pats my belly says his name very clearly. She also prayed (on her own volition) for baby Jett and baby Thomas a few nights ago.

Aunt Becky and I having fun...Baby Thomas egg
Baby Jett egg...only three weeks until 'hatching!'
Our church put on an awesome Easter extravaganza for the kids. It is so fun at this age. She loves it all. (After posting this I have vowed not take any more pics from the side.)
Our friend, Lakyn, enjoying the slide at church.
Friends, Sara and Autumn, enjoying the sights.
Caroline's favorite part, the "jumping house" as she calls it. When we went to church the next day (real Easter day) she immediately asked where the jumping house went!
Coloring eggs together!
We had a great Easter weekend with fun times and some sad times, but we did it! I cannot imagine living life without the joy and victory we have in Jesus.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Great Ultrasound!

Caroline after a bath. She loves to be swaddled and she pretends to be a baby!

After a week of not "blogging" I start feeling anxious! I start composing posts in my head and I can't stop until I actually post something! Maybe I'll sleep better tonight knowing my faithful readers are informed of how things are going in my life! :-)

Today I had a routine ultrasound and was able to see our baby boy again! He was moving like crazy and looks adorable. They were learning about their new machine so I even got a 4D look at our baby. Amazing. They say everything is looking great. What a relief to hear that. I'm continually thanking God for both of our children.
Caroline is doing well, besides a cough that has lingered over a week. I've isolated her from other children long enough and we are re-joining the world this weekend for an Easter egg hunt at church this weekend.
I'm doing okay. It's been another roller-coaster emotional week...I'm guessing it will be like this for a while. I am tired a lot, not sure if it's more from the pregnancy or from the grief. I'm so thankful for my mom who is able to be here several days a week. I would be in a pile of dishes, clothes, toys and tears if it wasn't for her. I'd probably also be living off of peanut butter sandwiches if it wasn't for her and the CareCalendar that Tara set up for me. (Although Caroline would probably love to eat PB sandwiches all the time-she asks for them for breakfast!)

I'm so grateful for our bible study group that meets each week. We are learning so much from our Esther study and I am able to talk about my emotional/spiritual well-being with them.
We had a good discussion tonight about prayer and God's will. It is difficult to realize when we pray for certain things to happen (or not happen) the outcome may not be what we had in mind. I brought this up because I prayed last night for an ambulance I saw headed to the hospital. I wondered if anyone prayed for Thomas as he was on his way to the hospital and then I had to think about how God already knew it was his time to go to heaven. As the person praying we do not know what God has in His plan and we, by faith, are told to pray and although the outcome may not be what we want, God hears our prayers and answers them in other ways. It's hard to wrap my brain around it all. I just miss him so much.Becky and I at her shower for Baby Jett! Only 4 weeks left!

All of the grief books I've been given are starting to make sense to me and I am learning from them (Thanks, Ross!) For a while, just the thought of reading a "grief" book was to much for me, but I am more open to them now. I think I was in self-denial about needing them or that I was actually the one that all this has happened to. I will catch myself in mid-paragraph of a book realizing I had been reading as if it was a normal "textbook" and learning about how to help someone else and then think, "This is talking about me! This has happened to me!"
I learned that it is okay for Caroline to see me cry. This may sound obvious to everyone else in the world, but I was hoping I could shield her from getting upset that I was upset. I learned that she needs to see it is okay to cry when you are sad and that it is a feeling that God gave us. It just seems wrong that a 2-year-old should have to be patting me and kissing my eyes to make me feel better. Why can't the world be full of baking cookies and playing house. But that isn't the real world. I will have more losses, inevitably, and someday (in the far, far future!) she will also experience losses and need to know that grieving is normal.
On the flip side of this, there will be wonderful joys that happen! For instance, Caroline's new baby cousin will be here in a matter of weeks! What a blessing! Please be in prayer for him (Jett,) our baby (name to soon be announced!) and for more joys than sorrows for our family in the coming months and years. I appreciate you all so much. The prayers are what keep me going.