Thursday, February 19

27 weeks and Counting


Had another doctor's appointment yesterday, and everything seems to be going well. The plan is to take the baby around 36/37 weeks. Something new...we found out that I have gestational diabetes, so I have to make an appointment with a nutrionist. Not sure what else this all entails, but I'll keep you updated.

We are all still adjusting, especially the boys. Nathaniel has had a nasty cough/cold since Saturday, so we've gotten very little sleep this past week. Today he seems to be doing a bit better, so we're hoping to catch up on our sleep before the little one arrives :)
Dear Friends,

A gigantic thank you to all who prayed and have continued to pray for us this past week as we traveled back to the was quite a week! Our original travel plan was to leave Nicaragua at 7:30 am Tuesday am, with a 1 1/2 layover in Houston, to arrive in Baltimore at 4:30 pm. The first flight was uneventful, the boys did well, and the 3 1/2 hours passed quickly. As usual, although we try to live our lives without much fanfare, our trip turned into an adventure.

When we arrived in Houston, before we even left the plane, there was an announcement for me to call my doctors as soon as possible, before even going through Customs. More than a bit bewildered, I allowed the stewardess to run me through the airport in a nice little wheelchair, with the boys admiring my new set of wheels :) I called my doctors, and was informed that they, along with the insurance doctors, were quite concerned about my medical condition, and would not permit me to fly until I had been seen my an OB specialist (called a perinatologist) in the Houston area. My heart dropped as a realized we were in for a long day.

The airport officials were amazing...they rescheduled our flight for the last one of the day, took care of our luggage, and assured us that if we could not make the 7 pm flight, they would put us up for the night and make sure we made the first flight out the next morning. So...we waited for an ambulance and were then transferred to a hospital several miles away from the airport. The boys enjoyed the ambulance ride, especially all the kid stickers plastered on the doors. There, I met with a doctor, had an ultrasound, and was given the okay to fly to Baltimore.

We made it back to the airport around 5:30 pm, with just enough time to eat dinner before the plane boarded. The hospital staff were so nice...they called a cab for us and gave us a voucher to the airport. At the airport, we ate supper and boarded the 7 pm flight. By this time, the boys were tired, and Zach managed to sleep most of the way, while Nathaniel had cycles of sleeping and crying. We arrived in Baltimore around 10:45 and were so happy to see Steve's dad and sister! At 1 am, we made it "home" (at least home for the next few months, although I must admit, the concept of "home" right now is bit muddled for me).

We woke up bright and early to start out with my rounds of doctor's visits. I was at the hospital from 9 - 2:30 on Wed., getting blood work, my glucose testing, an ultrasound with the perinatologist, and getting all relevant information. I also received my first of two shots of steroids, to help speed up the lung maturation process of the baby, should the baby come early. The ultrasound results look reassuring, it appears the baby is not in any danger of appearing soon. However, the doctors have decided they will take the baby about a month early, to avoid any complications. Thursday I had to return to receive my second steroid shot, and when I returned home, received a call from the doctors, indicating my glucose level was slighly elevated...could I return the next day for the extended, 3-hour glucose test? I figured that since I was on a roll, why not?

Friday, I spent from 7 - 11 getting my glucose checked...and I must give a big Kudos to the ladies at the Health Campus...they are painless and fast when taking blood!
Saturday was my first real day of rest. The doctors did not prescribe strict bed rest, but rest as needed to keep the pain level low. I soon noticed that both boys are coming down with colds.

We are still adjusting, especially the boys, with the sleep patterns, routines, food and the COLD!!!'s hard to believe that less than a week ago, we were sleeping in 85 degree temps. Thankfully, Steve's mother and sister-in-law have been helping us with clothes for the boys and myself, otherwise we'd be icicles by now!

I am now 27 weeks (almost 7 months) and every day brings us closer to a healthy baby. Please continue to pray for us, in our adjustment, staying warm, wisdom for the doctors and ourselves, and for a healthy baby.

Feel free to call and visit with us...Colleen is up and around a bit, so we would enjoy visitors. Thanks for all your support and we will continue to update our blog!

Monday, February 9

Gone but not Forever

Dear Friends,

These past few weeks have been an especially tumultuous time for us, as the pregnancy has progressed and has given us some increasing concern. We weighed so many options, I tried to stay on bed rest as much as possible, and we prayed...a lot. While we continue to put our trust in God, we have been asking ourselves if we should be doing more. With that in mind, and after consulting with our mission agency, we have decided that it is in everybody's best interest if we return to the States for the birth of our baby. We will be returning February 10th.

After the baby's birth, we plan to return to Nicaragua for the remaining of our term (July 2010).

This decision was not made lightly; indeed, although we are excited to see family and friends in the States, we are going through so many feelings: a tremendous sadness and grief in leaving our "family" and friends here, nervousness about adapting to the American lifestyle once again, and wonder, how will we ever handle the cold?! Remember, we haven't felt anything below 50 in almost 2 years! We also face the uncertainty of a premature birth, and all the stress and changes that go along with it.

Please pray that:
-Our travels would go smoothly
-Our adjustment could go smoothly
-We would have patience with ourselves, with family and with friends
-Our family and friends would have patience with us!
-The doctors would have wisdom in treating Colleen and the baby
-Colleen will be able to rest (and handle bed-rest with grace!)
-Strength for Steve and his parents as they take care of two very rambunctious boys
-We could have a full-term and healthy baby, without complications
-God's will would be done

We plan on staying with Steve's parents until we return to Nicaragua.

So we are sorry to say that our blog will no longer chronicle our adventures in Nicaragua. But we do plan on posting updates on our pregnancy and our continuing adventures in the States.

We thank you for all your prayers and support!

Sunday, February 1


I really enjoy our weekends here...they don't resemble our weekends in the States. It always seemed like our weekends in the States were jammed full of activities...projects around the house, trips to the store to buy materials for projects around the house, meetings, church activities, get-togethers with friends, etc. Time just hanging out as a family was non-existent.

But here...sometimes we'll go see some friends for lunch on Saturday or Sunday, and then church Sunday night, but other than that...the sky is the limit! Here are a few snapshots of what we like to do on our lazy weekends...

Big smile for the camera!

Nathaniel saying, Cheese!

My boys working on a little homeschool exercise together...I think the big boy enjoys it as much as the little boys!

Oh! And of course, ice cream. We always have to eat ice cream on the weekends. This usually involved a trip across town to the local ice cream store with a tiny slide crammed into an even smaller room, with the kids delight in, or buying from one of hundreds of men pushing little ice cream carts on the street. I'm pretty sure we can't get parasites from them, but then again, it wouldn't surprise me. But it's all worth it!

My Hobby

With work, church and the normal rhythms of a household full of boys, it can be hard to fit in other hobbies, but here is one of a few hobbies I manage to keep up. I learned how to cross-stitch several years ago, and actually quite enjoy it.

My latest project is below, and is quite relevant... (thanks to my aunt Bonna for sending it down!)

My optimistic view is that I'm about half-way done, although realistically, well, I'd rather not think about it :)

What I HOPE it will eventually look like is below:


Like most women, I have several projects going on at once, and struggle to actually finish any of them. But I enjoy working on them. To date, I have 5 other cross-stitch pieces in various stages.

Daily life...

It’s funny the things that become normal in what seems to be such a short amount of time. 18 months compared to a lifespan seems so little, but it’s amazing how quickly one adjusts. I was thinking the other day about everything that I don’t notice any more, and the below are things that I don’t really notice anymore and have become quite…normal!
1. Sitting at a stoplight, and seeing a horse with a cart, dirtbike, 4-wheeler, and car…all at the same stoplight.
2. Drinking soda out of glass bottles.
3. Trucks meandering through the city, with mega-speakers on back, blaring commercials.
4. Latrines
5. Tile floors
6. Only cold water out of faucets
7. The constant swarm of ants, spiders, flies and mosquitoes around the house
8. The propane tank, hooked up to our stove and sitting under the kitchen faucet
9. Basically no wildlife to speak of, except perhaps the occasional parrot
10. No such thing as an appointment at a doctor’s office
11. No prescriptions for pharmacies
12. Seeing people bathe, wash their clothes and pee in the river, all at the same time
13. Feeling shocked when I see blond hair or white skin
14. Using public transportation, such as buses or taxis
15. Getting parasites
16. Taking medication for parasites every 3 months…JUST IN CASE I have parasites
17. Raw meat hanging out in the open, sold for human consumption
18. Getting raw milk from your neighbor and carrying it home in a bucket
19. The cow bell ringing, announcing the coming of the trash truck
20. No glass in the windows, only dampers (hence, the constant line of bugs)
21. The city trucks driving the streets at night, fumigating for mosquitoes
22. No apples, pears, peaches, plums, apricots, grapes, cherries, strawberries or blueberries
23. LOTS of bananas, pineapples, mangoes and other exotic fruits…although I guess the fruits above are now the exotic fruit 