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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Sorry this post is a little late, but I wanted to send a little Christmas love and cheer your way.  I hope you all have had a wonderful Christmas season and remember the reason why we celebrate.
Much love!
Laura

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 
Isaiah 9:6

Friday, December 7, 2012

Professional Photos

So...
Mr. T randomly decided to enter into a facebook contest for a free photo shoot a couple of months ago that was being given away by a photographer that was moving to the area and trying to beef up her business here.  And, well, we won!
Ya'll it really is a God thing.  When we first got pregnant, one of the things I knew I wanted was professional newborn/family photos once our little one got here.  So we saved up some mulah, but once Sweet 'P' was born, and we realized that she would be in the hospital for a while, the photo idea was dismissed and I honestly wondered if 'P' would ever be able to leave the hospital and have her picture taken.  As you know, she is home, and we were able to finally have pictures taken, for free!  Can I please tell you the wonderfulness of the situation?  Come to find out the photographer was once a NICU nurse at John's Hopkins and was now a stay at home mommy, so she knew all about our kind of situation because of her past job, but she didn't know anything about 'P' before she choose us.  How crazy is that?


















So for real, ya'll need to check her out.  Not only is she a great photographer, but has now become a new mommy friend.  Give her some love, and tell anyone you know that needs a photographer about her website.  Christmas is almost here and you know you want some family photos done in front of the Christmas tree.  Here is her info: www.kristinsolomonphotography.com

Thank you Kristin!  We love the photos.  You did an awesome job!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Piper Stats

So most of you know that Piper is home now and recovering from her open heart surgery and she is doing awesome. We still have a few things we are working on but Piper wanted to give a few stats on her and how she is doing:

1. I weigh 9lbs 3ozs
2. I can hold my head up on my own now
3. I love looking in the mirror
4. My hair is still red. :)
5. My mommy and daddy make me smile.
6. I still haven't laughed out loud yet but I'm close.
7. I have discovered my ears and I love them!
8. I also love hanging out in the Bjorn.
9. I sleep about 10 hours a night. This makes mommy and daddy happy.
10. I've started taking entire bottles but I still have a ways to go.
11. I still don't like being on my tummy.
12. My eyes are a pretty shade of dark blue/green.
13. My paci is my best friend, and mommy's.
14. I'm starting to out grow my newborn clothes. YAY!

 This is mommy again. Piper is working on a poop. She really is a different baby since her surgery. She seems so much happier, breathing better, gaining weight. Dr's said that her heart murmur is completely gone. Woohoo! She still has some reflux that we are working on and she also still has an NG tube. Until she starts taking entire bottles consistently and her weight is back on track, the tube will stay in so that we can give her whatever she doesn't take by bottle. Todd and I are in love and so thankful. It hasn't been the easiest ride but we wouldn't change a thing. Here is a little photo treat for you.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Two words

'Jesus wept.' Right now I am clinging to those two words. In my life I have heard many sermons on the eleventh chapter of John. Everything from this was one of Jesus' greatest miracles to the theological importance of Jesus' answer to Martha (read the chapter). But I can honestly say to you that right now I could care less about those other 56 verses. All I need are those two words. You see, in those two words I don't see theology, or some random act of emotion. I see a savior who feels the same way I do and is willing to sit on a hospital floor and cry over the possibility of a little girl named Piper Grace Hendricks losing her life. I see a friend who is upset about the fact that a three month old has to struggle to breathe and cry when she is in pain. I have never had to face anything this hard in my life. I am a child of God and would dare say I'm a mature Christian. But with everything I have learned about my heavenly Father, all I need to know in this moment is that He feels what I feel and and loves my little girl more than I ever could. I know this is an obvious statement but until you live it then it is just a cliche. All those commentaries I read and papers I wrote in seminary do not compare to the depth of what I am learning right now sitting next to my daughter's hospital bed. I know that I am called a daughter and friend by the most high God. But more than that I know that when I weep, Jesus weeps with me.

Friday, August 31, 2012

August Phone Photo Dump

Birthday Dinner at Melting Pot


Piper came home!

The only thing that gets me through the day...


Sleeping like a champ



Getting ready for West Elm's grand opening


About to enter the wonderland


Snuggling with mommy

Piper's poop face


A little DIY in the kitchen

Hope you have a grand day!





Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Piper Grace: Two Months

Today my Sweet P is two months old!  I never thought during my pregnancy that I would feel the many different emotions that I do today about my daughter being two months, the biggest one being thankfulness.  Todd and I are so thankful that God has been so gracious to us to give us Piper.  We are so in love and think she is the most beautiful girl in the world.
Here is my proof:
video

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Best Birthday Present

Yesterday was my 30th birthday.  Wow.  I'm still not sure that I believe it.  The last few years of my twenties have been very exciting with some big life changing, memorable events, and I am looking forward to my thirties.

But that was not the highlight of my day.  The best thing about my birthday was the fact that I got to spend the entire day with my Sweet P....at home!  
Yep, she was able to come home late Monday evening.  We are so thankful that God has answered our prayers.  The last 48 hours have been a little crazy, and I am running on little sleep and lots of coffee (so if you see spelling errors, forgive me) but sitting here watching her sleep as I type this, makes it all worth it.  
A week and a half ago I told her Dr. I wanted her home by my birthday.  Well, I guess she listened.  

Leaving the hospital!


 Finally at home and resting


 Hanging out with mom on her birthday :)


 Watching mom blog

Have a great day!

Monday, July 30, 2012

One Month: Piper Grace part 2

Yesterday I began to tell you about Piper's congenital heart failure, and what the past month has been like for Todd and I.  Once Piper had been in the NICU for a few days, things started to look better.  She was eating well, and resting, but then on the day she was 1 week old things got bad again.  Todd and I could tell right away that something didn't seem right with her.  She was very lethargic, refusing to eat, and basically just laying there and not sleeping.  That night we received about four different phone calls from the Dr.s giving us bad news after bad news.  Piper's gut (intestines, and colon) were not working properly.  They first realized this when she had a bloody diaper, and then further investigated with x-rays.  
The next morning we realized how severe this issue was.  She was taken off milk and was only receiving fluids through an IV in her head.  She also had to have a tube put in through her mouth to suck out anything that might be in her stomach.  They wanted her to stay this way for several days to see if her gut could recover.  If it did not, then they would have to perform surgery and remove a large portion of her intestines which is very risky.  
Piper's weight started to drop and she went down to 3.14 lbs.  Her heart issue was no longer a top priority.  She was now fighting for her life over this intestine issue.  
Todd and I were helpless.  We didn't know what to think, say, feel.  Watching our daughter gag on a tube and not be allowed to eat was probably the hardest think we've ever had to see.  But she did recover.  Apparently her gut was not mature enough to handle the amount of milk she had been given, and reacted violently.  Now she has been eased back into feeding and is taking her bottles pretty well.  
Those few days were very intense for me.  
There have been many occasions in my life were I have cried out to God, but not quite like I did during that time.  Knowing that I was a mom, and feeling like a mom were two totally different things.  I couldn't do anything to help my little girl... at least that is what I thought.  But then I was reminded that I could storm God's throne on Piper's behalf, and what better advocate than her mom.  
God reminded us that He was still in control of the situation and was just as present then as he ever was.  Thankfully things have gotten better since that day and a lot has happened, but that will be in another post on another day.  

Sunday, July 29, 2012

One Month: Piper Grace

She has arrived!  My sweet little girl, Piper Grace, was born one month ago today.  


She is the most beautiful baby girl I have ever seen, and is so sweet too.  
Todd and I are so in love with her.  

But this past month has been the hardest of my life.  

Piper was born via c-section at 39 weeks.  Although she was considered a full-term baby, she was very small at 4.2 lbs.  Immediately the Dr.s were concerned, and realized her blood sugar was very low.  Soon after she was taken to the special care nursery to be monitored and given fluids.  Unfortunately that was not the end of Piper's health issues.  A few days later, on what seemed like a random chance, the Dr realized that Piper had a heart murmur and was very concerned.  Within the hour we were told Piper had two large holes in her heart and that the staff at Durham Regional was not able to handle it.  We were then told that Piper would need to be sent to Duke via ambulance to await assessment to see how severe the defect was and if she would need immediate open heart surgery.  I was able to ride with her, but upon arrival had to leave her and wait for the Dr.s report.  
 I cannot express to you how hard those 30 minutes were.  Todd and I had no idea what was going on; if Dr.s were performing surgery, just listening to her, doing x-rays.  We were at a loss.  Finally someone came out and told us that the situation did not warrant immediate surgery, however, she was considered a critical care baby and would be intensely monitored until they could get a better grasp on her heart condition.  

We were able to go back and visit with her for a while, but eventually had to go home without our little girl.  

I do not mean to be dramatic by stopping here, but there is so much more to all of this than I can write in one post.  I know that most of you have been keeping up with Piper's updates on facebook, and have been praying for us.  Please keep praying.  We covet your prayers and are moved by your encouragement.  This whole situation has been hard and trying, but I hope that through what I have to say here in the days and weeks to come, and through other conversations that God will use Piper's life for His glory.  

Friday, June 1, 2012

Pregnancy Facts

Ok, so these are not necessarily facts for all preganant people, but they are for me. Just a few things I have learned about over the past 8 months.  Oh the joy.

WARNING:  if you are a boy, you may not want to read this entry.  So proceed with caution.

1.  There is such a thing as 2nd and 3rd (maybe 4th) breakfasts, lunches and dinner in the same day.  Dont judge. 

2.  Remember these? (sorry it's so long)  http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?pid=898745022&tid=onpn001496&kwid=1&ap=7&sem=true&mkwid=pNC00f  Yea, they are now my best friends.  Really.  Each pair has a name.

3.  Two words: Mucus plug.  (I wont go any farther.) 

4.  Panty liners need to just have a permanent home in your closet.  And while you are at it, suck it up and go ahead and buy extra underwear, and forget the pretty ones. Go for comfort.

5.  Yes, you can always get bigger.  There is no cap on that.

6.  Crying and laughing will happen when you least expect it, and at the worst times.  Just get over it and perfect your, "What are you staring at?" glare while rubbing your stomach. 

7.  You will rub/touch your stomach consciously and unconsciously.  (Hopefully I will not do this too much after I have the baby.)

8.  No matter how many times you get a pedicure, swollen feet are still not pretty. 

9.  When they say there will come a time when you can no longer see parts of your body because of your stomach, it's true.  Get a mirror.

10.  It is perfectly acceptable to exagerate your waddle and pregnant belly in order to be first in line at the buffet, or sit in the front passenger seat of a car.  Blitz!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mother's Day!

I got to celebrate Mother's Day!!  You have no idea how much it makes my heart happy to be able to say that I'm a mommy to a baby girl.  I know that she is not born yet, but given the journey that I have been on to get here, I will enjoy every second of being pregnant and the fact that I'm going to be a mom.

My wonderful husband made the whole weekend amazing.  On Saturday I got to celebrate Piper with my first baby shower, and then Todd took me to Cheesecake Factory (one of my favorite restaurants).  Man, was it good.  Then Sunday morning, he woke me up with gifts and breakfast in bed.  (Whew, I love that man.) 



I had picked out a couple of neckalces on Etsy that I liked and Todd choose to get me this one. 
I lurve it!!  Seriously have not taken it off since Sunday.


He made me cinnamon buns.  I think I may have licked the icing off the plate.


I had such a wonderful Mother's day!  I am so thankful to God for blessing us with a little girl.  He is so good.  I am also thankful for the wonderful examples that God has put into my life of what a mom looks like.  My own mother left a legacy for me to imitate, and later I was blessed with another mom in Carol. Then two years ago, God blessed me again with the best Mother-in-law ever.  All of these women have had such a godly influence on me and shown me what it is like to be a godly mom, in an ungodly world. 




Here is a quick snapshot of what 32 weeks looks like. 

Todd, thank you so much for giving me such a wonderful Mother's day.  I love you so much and I'm so thankful to be having this little girl with you!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Celebrating Piper: My first baby shower

This past Saturday, my sweet friend and co-worker, Kristi, threw a baby shower for me and our other co-workers to celebrate Piper!  I was so excited.  I've never been thrown a baby shower before. ;)
Everything looked so cute and perfect, which wasn't hard for her to do since she is an event planner. 

All the food was amazing!  She even made little mini banana pudding cups.  Too bad I didn't get a picture, but they were awesome! I think Piper gained weight at this shower.


I loved this pendant!  It was totally my style.  I even asked her if I could have it and put it up in Piper's nursery.


My lovely friends and co-workers.



Presents!





How adorable is this?  Close line of dresses for Piper!  Love. The girls joked about how they picked out Piper's clothes.  They knew if there was an adult size and I would wear it, then they should get it for her. 

Kristi, thank you so much for such an awesome shower!  I had so much fun, really.  I'm so thankful for your friendship, and the fact that I also get to work with you each day.  I love all you ladies and the relationship I have with all of you!  It was a wonderful party, and I know that if Piper could, she would say Thank you!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Maternity Photos

I just wanted to post some photos that Todd took of me at the beach.  We are wanting to get some professional shots done, but I think some of these turned out well enough that we may just save the money. Plus we are going to the beach again in a few weeks and will probably take a few more photos. What do you think?