Thursday, November 13, 2014

20 Weeks

Yes, we are shivering in this picture!  It has been cold in North Texas this week!
Last Tuesday, Dave and I went to the doctor for an ultrasound.  We thought we’d have another ultrasound this week when I was 20 weeks, but instead the sonographer did baby’s full anatomy scan last Tuesday.  Again, it was so fun to see baby in action on the screen!  Our favorite part was when baby put his hand behind his head, as if he were relaxing.  Through this pregnancy, we’ve been in awe of how God creates each little part of our bodies.  I know I've read all the facts of a baby's development in books, but to know that it is occurring in my body is incredible.  I’ve looked at Isaac and Emma’s little bodies in a new light (ok, Isaac is 59 pounds, so not quite little) and thanked God over and over for creating them perfectly in their birth mother’s wombs.  Dave and I didn’t move as we watched each of baby’s four heart chambers beating.  We were also amazed to see oxygenated and deyxegenated blood flowing to/from the umbilical cord.  The sonographer showed us every organ, measured bones, and said baby weighed 9 ounces.  We had warned the sonographer repeatedly that we didn’t want to know baby’s gender, and I laughed when she asked us to turn away for a moment while she looked in that region—we both whipped our heads to the side so quickly.  We are really, really excited about this surprise!   
After the ultrasound, we had an appointment with Dr. Bradford.  She was so pleased with the results of the sonogram and said, “Our baby is looking perfect today!”  My bleed is now measuring 8cm x 4cm and is sitting right on top of my cervix.  Since there’s still no way to know the cause of my bleeding, I will remain on bedrest until I deliver our baby.  I am able to be up 1 to 2 hours a day. I usually use this time to eat meals with my family, though Isaac often tells me, “Mommy!  Go lay down!  You’re not supposed to be up!”  As Dave was getting dinner on the table a few nights ago, Emma pulled my chair out from the table and said, “I help you.  You sit down.”  I thought it was so sweet that she didn’t even think I should pull my own chair away from the table to be seated.
Baby will receive steroid shots at 24 weeks (second week of December) to help his lungs develop in case of early delivery.  We have no reason to believe that I’ll deliver early; but, since I had a perfect first twelve weeks of pregnancy before my bleeding began, my doctor is being cautious in case something unexpected happens again.
I started feeling baby move a lot more in the past week!  And, it’s wonderful.  Just the other day I was laying in the recliner and felt baby moving.  I started crying and crying--no, I didn't expect to be on bedrest for this pregnancy, but I am so, so thankful that our baby is growing exactly on track.  Will you please pray with us for continued healthy growth for our baby and that baby will not be affected by the pocket of blood?  Your prayers are a gift to us!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

October in Pictures

It's already November 8, but here are pictures summing up our October!
Emma snuggled up next to me on the recliner and said, "See!  There's a baby in my tummy, too!"  (Can you see the doll head poking out of her shirt?)

Here's Dave hauling laundry and Emma upstairs.  Being on bedrest has made me fall in love with Dave all over again.  I can't believe how Dave serves our family every day with such cheerfulness.  He often falls asleep at night putting Isaac to bed--only to wake up and come downstairs to finish dishes, pack lunches, & sweep the floor.  I love him! 

My kids love to bring me meals on my tray.  Isaac walks so, so slowly--adorable!  
In the last seven weeks, I often said "I'm so sorry my kids have to have their mom on bedrest" or "This is just so hard for my kids."  I was explaining all this to a dear lady who has become a mentor to me, and she had a much better suggestion.  Instead of making excuses & feeling sorry for my kids, she encouraged me to see this as a time for my kids to learn how to serve and help in new ways.  Her wisdom really helped me look at this time in a different light!

Emma reallllllly enjoyed a leftover cupcake from Isaac's birthday!
We found Emma asleep like this one night when we came up to go to bed.  A friend suggested that maybe Emma fell asleep in the middle of a prayer vigil?   :)

Dave has been working hard to get our master bathroom remodeled before his parents come for Thanksgiving!  The kids were keeping busy and "building" near Daddy while he worked. 
Our friend, Shelly, came over one afternoon and gave us all haircuts!  I trimmed the tiniest bit ever off the back of Emma's hair this summer, but this was her first real haircut.  Adorable!

Fishing with Daddy!  (I'm not sure who was more excited about this catch!)  Also, I love how Isaac is wearing his dino cap from Mom-o from his birthday in this picture.  See the dino's ferocious teeth?  

Emma wearing her basset ears at the North Texas Basset Shuffle last weekend!  (Yes, it's a morning of basset hounds wearing costumes and competing in a howling contest.  Let's just say you have to really love bassets to attend.) 
We celebrated Isaac's birthday with our family and DQ ice cream cakes! 
Isaac had a fun dinosaur party with a few of his little buddies, too--lots of pictures here.
A bump picture with my sweet friend, Ericka~Ericka delivered her precious little girl just yesterday!  We laughed so hard taking this picture!  :)  

I can't put into words how much my mom has been helping us while I've been on bedrest.  She has taken the kids on many adventures and explored great parks.  One morning while Isaac was at school, Mom-o took Emma to Homestead Farms.  Emma loved playing in the corn pit!  My favorite thing is that she's wearing Isaac's cape!

Halloween!  Uncle Mike gave Isaac this dino costume for his birthday, and Isaac wears it nearly every day.  To say he loves it is an understatement.  He asked me, "Since I'm being a dino for Halloween, could you find an egg costume for Emma and she could be my dino egg?"  I had a hard time keeping a straight face, because he was so serious.  He later said that he knew that Emma would be a really big dino egg!  (We read in Isaac's dino books that most dinosaur eggs were actually quite small.)  
Well, Emma was a princess instead!  Halloween night in North Texas ended up being pretty chilly, so Dave found a turtleneck for Emma to wear under her costume.  He even did her hair---I was impressed!

Isaac was so happy to trick or treat with his little friend, Landrie!  I just about melted when I saw that they are holding hands. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

17 Weeks!

Right when we found out we were expecting, we started taking weekly chalkboard pictures.  We emailed them to a few friends and family each week, along with my current favorite foods and the best moment of that week.  I really wanted to find a way to include Isaac and Emma in my weekly pregnancy pictures, so we started talking about the size of the baby each week in relation to produce.  Isaac has especially been interested in this, and he often asks, "How big is the baby now?"  When I gave him the onion tonight, he held it up to me and said, "Wow!  Is it really that big!!"  

We have no idea if we will ever have this experience again, so we want to celebrate our growing baby with our kids each week!

Food Cravings
Coleslaw, cream cheese wontons, corn dogs, and orange juice are still at the top of my list!  My 17 week pregnancy email said, "Your appetite likely resembles that of a truck driver's!"  Dave laughed so hard when I told him that and said, "That explains a lot!"  I was laying in bed last night and told Dave that a corndog sounded absolutely wonderful.  My sweet husband drove to Sonic and bought me one two corndogs and a large tater tot at 10:30 p.m.   (I promise I saved one corndog for lunch today.) 

I don't think I've ever been as hungry as I have in the past few days.  A lot of foods still don't sound good, but I'm crazy about those that do!  I haven't craved sweets once during this pregnancy, and they often still turn my stomach.  I gave up coffee last April, but I missed it (and regretted giving it up) for almost three months.  Now, I can hardly handle the smell!  If you know me well, you know that's crazy.

Best Moments
Of course, hearing our baby's heartbeat (169) at the doctor on Monday was fantastic.  I feel like time stands still while listening to that glorious sound.  Inevitably, I always cry.  (Crying--at least as hard as I do--makes my stomach shake, and the nurse has to find the heartbeat again.)  :)  My doctor was so encouraged that I haven't had any bleeding in four weeks.  We know that this is because an army of you are praying for baby and me, and we continue to trust God to protect our baby.  Because of this, Dr. Bradford is allowing me to be up for an hour or two each day.  It has been so wonderful to sit at the table and eat with my family!   

Emma made us laugh so hard the other night at dinner.  Dave told her to eat another bite of her food, and she said, "My tummy is full.  Really.  There's a baby in it."  :)

Emma is so cautious when she climbs up on my bed or into the recliner to be with me.  She says, "I be careful of your tummy, Mommy.  I be careful." She also loves to find my waterbottle, bring it to me, and shove the straw in my mouth.  "You drink your water, Mommy.  I help you."

Isaac loves to talk to our baby.  He usually says, "Hi baby!  I'm your big brother.  I think you're a boy...or a girl."  Last night he said, "Hi baby!  This is your big brother.  I know you're doing well."  

We praise God for our baby, who is doing so well!  Thank you for all your prayers!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Isaac's DINO-MITE Birthday

We had so much fun celebrating Isaac's fifth birthday tonight with a fun backyard dinosaur party!  We are so happy that Isaac has friends whom he enjoys so, so much--what fun it was to see them all playing together tonight!
I found these dinosaur masks on Amazon, and I think they were the hit of the party!  The kids loved wearing them!  (As I'm typing this, Isaac is running around in just his boxers and his mask--ha!)
We started off the party with a dinosaur hunt!  Dave and my mom hid nearly 100 mini dinosaurs throughout the backyard, and the kids hunted for them.
The tiniest and cutest little dinosaur hunter!

Then, Dave and his brother set up an awesome obstacle course for the dinosaurs to complete. 
Here's Isaac going over the balance beam...

...and around the cones.  Then, the dinosaurs raced around a pond (water table) and finished by racing to me for a high five.  :)  Dave followed the kids around and pretended to be a ferocious T-Rex by roaring at them to make them go faster.  Most--but not all--of the kids liked this.  :)

I cannot explain how HAPPY Isaac was that his sweet little friend Landrie was here from Houston for the party!

Playing dinosaurs and waiting for pizza....the obstacle course apparently exhausted these kids! 
**singing "Happy Birthday" to my five year old**
I'm sure I'm not the only mom who tears up singing "Happy Birthday" each year...I love this boy!

Isaac's buddies who share his birthday--just one year older than Isaac!
After eating cupcakes, Dave put on a dinosaur mask and situated it so that it covered his eyes.  He played "Dino ROAR" with the kids.  Just like in "Marco Polo," Dave yelled "Dino" and the kids answered "ROAR!"

The kids squealed and hid up in the clubhouse to stay away from Dave!
My mom came over and helped us so much for this party! She bought last-minute supplies, wrapped Isaac's gifts for me, baked pizzas, cleaned up, made sure I drank enough water, watched kids, washed dishes, and--somehow--even while the party was happening, washed a load of laundry! Dave's brother, better known around here as Uncle Michael, also came over to help set up the obstacle course and play with Isaac's little buddies. He also brought Isaac the BEST dinosaur costume as a birthday gift.  We are so thankful for ALL the help and love we are receiving while I'm on bedrest. 
If you know me well, you know how much I love planning birthday parties for my kids.  When I found out that I'd be on bedrest, I cried the very hardest when I realized that I wouldn't be able to bake Isaac's fifth birthday cake.  Though there wasn't much I could do for this party besides order favors and masks from Amazon, the kids still had a blast!  Apparently, kids don't care about Pinterest-perfect cakes and favors.  :)  At the end of the party, I overheard Isaac say to Landrie, "Wasn't this just the best dinosaur party you've ever been to?" 
And, we think this is just the best five year old boy ever!  Isaac, we love you! 

Friday, October 10, 2014

our third blessing

"For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."  
Psalms 139:12-16

"God has surely listened and has heard my prayer." 
Psalm 66:20
"Mommy, now that Emma's a big girl, when is our next baby going to come?" I'll never forget when Isaac asked me this right after Emma began walking. Even as a three year old, he knew that Dave and I were praying about our next child. Isaac also prayed many nights, "And please send another baby to our family!"

For quite awhile, we have considered IVF, but we had several questions that were holding us back from ever being too serious about starting a cycle. Back in the fall of 2011, we read IVF and Christians: Wise Choices and Life-Affirming Options. Through a lot of prayer and discussion together, David and I both had peace that we could wholeheartedly pursue an IVF cycle with specific parameters. In January of 2012, we had an IVF consultation with a fertility doctor in Fort Worth whom we had worked with prior to Isaac’s adoption.  The consultation was great—the doctor gave us a high success rate if we were to pursue a cycle, and we also felt comfortable that this doctor would respect our decisions in regard to the ethics of IVF.  We left the appointment very excited and hopeful!  But, this wasn’t God’s time. After more prayer, God gave us a sense of uneasiness at pursuing a cycle.  And, we know that God’s timing is always perfect, because Emma Victoria was in our arms just five weeks later.
Once Emma turned two this past February, we began praying even more expectantly. It's been our hope and prayer that God would give us many more children, but we weren't sure how they would arrive--through adoption, fostering, or pregnancy. At a prayer night at our church in February, one of our staff members and his wife prayed over David and me specifically that I would become pregnant. I'll never forget talking with David late one March night...we both sensed God had given us a new peace to move ahead with an IVF cycle.  I soon had an appointment with a new fertility specialist.  After discussing my history, he did a sonogram. My right ovary was encapsulated with a 7cm mass of endometriosis.  My left ovary looked somewhat better, but even it was more than 50% covered with a similar mass, so I had surgery the following month.

We had to take two months off after my surgery before we could begin an IVF cycle.  We spent those two months praying without ceasing that God would direct our every step in IVF.  And, I started praying that God would send us a baby through adoption before our IVF cycle began if He wanted us to adopt and not pursue a cycle at this time. In May, we got a call about a birthmother in Missouri who was looking to place her baby.  After a few weeks we found out that she decided to place her child with a family from her local church. We continued doing a lot of research, and I had three IVF consultations with different fertility doctors. God made it very clear that Dr. Le at IVF~MD was the perfect match for us, and I began my initial appointments.
On the day that we paid for our IVF cycle, we received another call about a birthmother in Oklahoma who was due in the next two weeks and was looking to place her son for adoption.  I about fell over!  I called Dave and said, “I hope you’re sitting down, because…” We pursued this possibility as far as we could, but within two days, we found out that this birthmother chose to place her son with a family in Oklahoma.There's no doubt about it--we would have been absolutely thrilled to welcome either of these children into our family and forgo our IVF cycle. But, each time that we found out that the birthmother chose another family, it increased our confidence that we were on the exact path God wanted us at this time. 
I started all my fertility shots on July 1, and the doctor retrieved 7 eggs on July 10. On Monday, July 14, Dr. Le transferred two precious embryos into my uterus. Dr. Le told us a story about a lady who only had one embryo survive by transfer day. It was only four cells and was highly unlikely to implant.  Dr. Le gave her only a 5% chance that she would become pregnant.  Nine months later, she delivered a healthy baby boy.  Dr. Le ended his story by saying, “I can do all I can to help you get pregnant, but in the end it’s all up to God.”  After the embryos were transferred, Dave prayed over me--and then picked up cream cheese wontons from PeiWei which I ate while waiting to be released.  I spent most of the next week taking it very easy, since Isaac and Emma were in Colorado with Papa and Nana.
God gave both Dave and I great faith during this time of waiting, which is a direct result of all the prayer we received.  We prayed expectantly that I would become pregnant through this procedure. We received a call the day after our embryos were transferred that our third (and only other) embryo hadn't grown in four days. When I found out that our third embryo had died and we no longer would have an opportunity to use it in the future, I felt that God was asking, "Do you trust Me to do a miracle now?" Our "back-up" plan of doing a frozen embryo cycle was gone--we trusted God completely for a pregnancy from the two embryos already inside me. When we were overwhelmed with IVF statistics or overcome with doubt, we prayed, "Lord, I believe! Help my unbelief!" (Mark 9:24). 
I'll never forget driving in the car on July 24, just a few hours after my blood draw to see if I was pregnant or not. The nurse called and said, "Congratulations, Bethany! You're pregnant!" I raced to the store and bought a "big sister" shirt for Emma. As soon as David came home from work, we told Isaac that God had answered our prayers--there was a baby growing in Mommy! He danced and jumped around the living room and shouted, "That's fantastic! That's fantastic!"
A few weeks later, I had a sonogram that revealed that there was one healthy baby growing. And, on August 18, Dave and I heard our baby's heartbeat for the first time. What joy! 
hearing Baby Rinn #3's heartbeat together~August 18
By this time, I was feeling very pregnant. I spent most of my time on the couch from being so nauseous. I remember telling one of my friends, "It's not that I didn't believe you when said you had morning sickness....I just had no idea it could encompass your entire life!" Many times, as Dave brought me crackers or toast early in the morning, he'd say, "Isn't this great?! We're having a baby!" And, for as sick as I felt (and still do), this little life is worth every moment of sickness. We miscarried our first baby very early in pregnancy in 2007, and I have found my sickness to be God's sweet way of reassuring me that this little life is growing and growing.

One evening in the middle of September, I started bleeding very heavily. I talked to the doctor on call, who gave me specific guidelines to follow for the rest of the night. We went to my OB/GYN right away the next morning for a sonogram, which showed that our baby had a beautiful heartbeat!  I was put on bedrest right away.  I had another episode of bleeding just four days later which landed me in the emergency room in the middle of the night. Again, the ER doctor did a sonogram and found our baby to be moving all around and perfectly healthy!  My doctor has identified these bleeds as placental margin bleeds, meaning that the bleeding came from the margin (side) of my placenta. This is either from the placenta growing into my uterine wall and tapping a blood vessel, of it's from the margin of my placenta being compromised. A compromised placenta is very dangerous, and since there's no way to know which caused my bleeding, I remain on bedrest indefinitely.  The bleeding has caused a large pocket of blood to form in my uterus.  I've already had six sonogram to check this bleed, including one where the sonographer almost slipped our baby's gender! (We are so excited about waiting to find out at delivery!) On Monday, my bleed had reduced in size by 1cm, which means that it is healing. 

I definitely didn't envision being on bedrest  for any portion of my pregnancy, but God has given our family peace & a lot of exta help as we've adjusted. We know that it's best for both baby and me that I am on bedrest, so there's no doubt that this is where I'm staying.  A few days ago as I was laying on the couch and feeling frustrated that there wasn't more I could do to help my family, the Holy Spirit reminded me that I am the only one who can lay and take care of our baby.  This verse immediately came to my mind, "The Lord will fight for you; you only need to be still." (Exodus 14:14)  So, I am being still and believing that God is protecting our baby.  We would so love if you would pray with us that our baby would continue to grow perfectly and would not be affected by the pocket of blood.  We are also praying that this area of blood will heal.  Your prayers are the best gift you could ever give to our family.
All four of our babies—Baby Rinn whom we lost in 2007, Isaac David, Emma Victoria, and now the baby that I carry—are our babies.  The baby in my womb  is no more “ours” than our precious children that God has entrusted to us through adoption.  God is the giver of all good gifts, and we know that each of our children is a miracle. 
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, Who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:17

We praise God for this little life and can't wait to share more of journey with you all.
XO, the Rinns


Friday, October 3, 2014

Latest Sayings & Laughs

One morning, I made hard boiled eggs for breakfast, which are not Isaac's favorite thing to eat.  (He reminds me of this every single time.)  He tolerates the hard boiled egg white, but not the yolk.
Mom:  "You need to eat the yolk, because that's where the protein is.  The protein gives you your strength."
Isaac: "Oh, I get my strength from God."

Isaac: "Emma, what do you want to be when you grow up?"
Emma: "I don't know, Isaac."
Isaac:  "A doctor?!  Yes, you should be a doctor."

Mommy:  "Isaac, did you like the dinner I made you?"
Isaac:  "No, but I liked the dessert.  And, it's all gone.  There's none left for you."

Our church had an evening at the Keller Pointe (a local waterpark) for everyone who volunteers.  We had told Isaac that there was a lazy river there.  When we were driving to the Keller Pointe, Isaac kept saying, "I can't wait to go in the lazy susan!"

Isaac and I were reading a book about Noah's Ark.  At the end of the book, there was an illustration showing all the devastation on the earth as the flood waters receded.  Isaac pointed at a large pile of broken wood in the picture and said, "Those are the claim shanties from the people who died in the
flood."  (Isaac and Dave are reading the last book in the Little House on the Prairie series; and, Laura 
and her husband just moved to their own claim shanty.)

After Emma's first day back in her class at Bible Study Fellowship this fall, I asked Emma what she learned.  She said, "My teacher pray with me."  
Yesterday she patted my Bible and said, "Jesus to us!"  (I think she was trying to say the Bible is Jesus' word to us.)

Isaac and Dave were wrestling, and Emma wanted to be included.  Dave picked her up and whirled 
her around in the air.  When he set her back on the ground, she tried to stand up but was too dizzy.  "Daddy, the room is shaking!" she said.  Don't worry--she was back in the action 30 seconds later.  Emma is tough!

I changed Emma's diaper after her nap, and then she put on her underwear.  Isaac said, "They look 
like boxer briefs!"  (I think this due to the fact that Emma is so tiny that her underwear hang off her.)

Isaac's new term for Kleenex: "sneeze-ex"
Oh, I love these kids!!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Emma Victoria: 2 1/2 years old

2 1/2 years old!  How is this going so quickly?!  We love our Emma and all the fun and giggles she brings us at this age.  

At 2 1/2, Emma loves…
her brother!
Emma always wants to do exactly what Isaac is doing, whether or not she is actually capable.  :)  This morning he climbed the tall ladder on our playset that goes up to the tunnel, and she was right behind him.  After a few steps up, she realized it was way too tall for her, so she raced to the shorter ladder and met him at the top.  Emma also loves sitting by Isaac at the table and in the car.  (I love this picture where they're holding hands in the car--she is always reaching for his hand!)


Emma and Isaac are taking swimming lessons once a week all year, and Emma usually isn't too thrilled with her lessons.  She tells her teacher, "I no like it."  Isaac was almost done with this week's lesson, and Emma said, "My turn now?"  And, she smiled at her teacher!  A definite first!  

Apart from swimming lessons, though, Emma loves to swim.  Her favorite is to swim to you from the step, and then she turns right around and swims back to the step.  Emma would easily do this 30 times in a row.  She also jumps (falls) in the pool.  :)

…her daddy….
Every morning, she asks, "Where's Daddy?"  Oh, she gets excited when Daddy comes home!  Emma loves when Daddy puts her to bed each night because he rubs her back for such a long time.  Emma loves having her back and her neck rubbed.  She often walks up to us, lifts up her chin (like this picture), and asks, "Wub my neck?"  

…her mommy…
"I sit on your lap, Mommy?" 
"I help you, Mommy?"  
"I do laundry, too, Mommy?"
I love my little girl!

…dressing herself…
Most mornings when I go into Emma's room to get her up, I find her waiting by me for the door with her pajamas off and wearing a new outfit.  Lately, she has even taken her diaper off and thrown it in the trash!  
Here's one outfit she put together on morning.  She put her turquoise swimsuit over her striped shorts.  And, she has socks on.  Her outfits always include socks.  If she can happen to find a pair of Isaac's socks that she can pull up over her little knees, that's even better!  :)  (I have found her sneaking into Isaac's room to find a pair of his socks.)

Wow!  In the past few months, our Emma has become QUITE the little talker.  In addition to how much Isaac talks, there aren't many quiet moments in our house…and I wouldn't want it any other way.  I love hearing them chatter.  When I got Emma up this morning, she said, "Good morning! Fank you for getting me up!"  

She asks questions all the time.  When I dress her, she asks, "Did you wash this?"  If she sees me eating, she asks, "What are you eating, Mommy? I have some?"  Today at lunch, Emma took a bite of her sandwich and said, "I love this one, Mommy."  

But, my favorite thing to hear her say is, "Nuggle me, Mommy?  Nuggle?"  ("Nuggle" is Emma's way of saying "snuggle".)

A few more pictures of our favorite 2 1/2 year old!
helping Uncle Mike and Isaac with the level

A few nights ago, Emma was in Dave's lap but was crying on and on.  "I want my mommy," she cried.  Dave told her that she had to stay in his lap for books and prayers.  She cried even harder.  "I want my Uncle Mike!" she sobbed.   Emma must have been very exhausted, because she is usually so happy to be in her daddy's arms.   

One night, I was cleaning up after dinner.  Emma found the tupperware of steak fries and sat down on the floor with them.  She looked at me and asked, "Where's the ketchup?"  Ha!  She makes us laugh!

making messes!  :)  

Emma, we love you!

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