Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Home Sweet Home

Although I am REALLY LATE at posting this, I am proud to tell you that........Asa is a "NICU" ALUMNI!! He came home on Sunday, Dec. 5th, and I am LOVING every moment with him. I feel like I have to catch up for the 6 weeks I was without him. We have been super busy adjusting to life with a newborn, and learning what our new "normal" is. Everything now revolves around him and his schedule. We went down to Little Rock to be with our families for Christmas and New Years, and just now getting back to normal.

First carseat ride

The three of us!

Taking a nap after arriving home!

First Bath

Asa came home at 5.1 lbs, and went up to 5.8lbs at his first check up a week later. Ten days later he was up to 6.11, and as of today, January 3rd he is 7 pounds, 11 ounces!!!
He is growing like a little weed. He is on 3oz. every four hours (yes, I am blessed!), we supplement 1/2 teaspoon of formula in with his breastmilk for extra calories, and he takes an iron supplement in his bottle 2x a day for his anemia. He has acid reflux (just went to doctor today) and spits up and is very gassy. You can hear it in the back of his throat. Yuck! Any suggestions for this, I will take! I just got a prescription today, so we will see how he does with that. Even though he is almost 10 weeks old, he still acts like he is a week old. He was due December 26th, so that is what we go off of for his "development" chart. He is holding up his head better each day. He is noticiing his hands and can focus on people. I can't wait until he looks up at me and smiles intentionally. It's the same feeling of waiting for your baby to kick for the first time. Melt your heart!

I have more pictures to come from the holiday's and NURSERY pictures!!

Thank you for your continued prayers for Asa. We are very blessed to have him!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Asa James Ray


Yes, we were too!! Asa was born two months early, on October 28th. (I can't believe it's already been three weeks!) He is doing very well and currently in the NICU, but we hope to have him home soon!

I had gone in for my routine visit and an extra ultrasound to check my placenta on Tuesday, October 26th. In my ultrasound, they found that I had very low amniotic fluid and he was measuring about 2 weeks behind. They also found a little protein in my urine, and my blood pressure was a little higher than normal for me. My doctor said that I had not been drinking enough water, and because of that, I was just probably dehydrated and just needed 48 hours of I.V. Fluid and I would be on my way. So, we went home, grabbed our bags, and checked in to the hospital for 48 hrs. During this time, my blood pressure was slowly rising, but the doctor said she was still unconcerned at this point; however, it didn't stop rising. Thursday morning they repeated my ultrasound, and the news was a little different than we expected. Although my amniotic fluid had increased, Asa was measuring now three weeks behind. My doctor came in and explained to me that on top of everything that was going on (blood pressure, him measuring behind, ect.) that the umbilical cord blood flow was also decreasing and that would, in time, just get worse and eventually be bad and decrease oxygen to the baby. So....instead of going home Thursday, I was scheduled for a c-section about 3 hours later.

What was going through my mind....???? Hmm...good question. I was SO scared, anxious, but very excited to meet him. I knew with all the events that had happened, that Asa would be just fine. We lightly discussed delivering at UAMS, and she felt like it was not necessary and he would be perfectly fine in the NICU at Willow Creek. Great!

I had trouble getting pregnant. Then, when I did get pregnant, my hcg levels were not rising and we discussed a possible miscarriage- but he fought through that. We had trouble finding a heartbeat, and had to come back two weeks later, anxiously wondering, and he fought through that. There was a concern of too small of a sac and my placenta being too low, and he fought through that. I went into preterm labor, had an ovarian cyst rupture, and an appendectomy when I was 25 weeks pregnant. They gave him steroid shots for his lungs in case he was delivered, but he fought through that. Now this... he was sooo ready to be here. He is our little fighter! He is NOTHING SHORT OF A MIRACLE FROM GOD. (exact words from my doctor). God is SO good!
Asa- Means "Doctor, Healer". Interesting, huh??

Here are some pictures of our sweet baby boy. I will update more often, now that I am healed and not quite as busy. :) For now...

Weight: 2lbs. 14oz.

Length: 16 1/4 inches

Currently, Asa is 3lbs. 10oz. He is up to 3 bottle feedings a day, although he still has his feeding tube for the rest of the feedings. He is almost in an open crib, which means he is maintaining his temperature well and weighs enough. He is about 2 weeks out from coming home as long as there are no set backs. He has been off all oxygen/room air about a week after he was born. His head ultrasound detected ZERO bleeding. What a praise!!! Please pray for his health and growth. We want him home!!!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

7 Months and 3rd Trimester!

Well, today marks 29 weeks! I have a OB appointment on Tuesday, so I will get an update on how he's doing and sign up for childbirth classes. I'm still feeling great, and Asa is doing good too! Here is a bump update for you:

Other than just pregnancy stuff, I have been very busy at work. This is a very popular wedding season! I have been busy at glo every weekend the past couple of weeks doing makeup, and then traveling to Little Rock for weddings when I'm not. Joseph was in a wedding recently for one of his best friends:

Speaking of Makeup.....I haven't done an update in a while for a new product, and I am working on doing my "favorite products for fall" soon. But I will show you a new product that I have been loving at glo for wedding season. It's Laura Mercier's new Creme' Smooth Foundation:

It is made for more normal to dry skin. It's lightweight and smoothes into skin without visibly settling into fine lines, while also working to treat them. (It's never too early to start!) It's hydrating and is between a medium to full coverage. I'm loving it!

That's it for today! I have my first baby shower this coming weekend, and looking forward to filling up his room!! Can't wait!!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

6 Months!

I can't believe I'm two weeks away from my 3rd trimester. WOW! He will be here before I know it. I got enough energy today to go and register at one place. My first shower is about 3 weeks away. I definitely need to get prepared.

Baby Update:
I'm 26 weeks. Feeling much better today after last weekend. He should be about 2 lbs. or a little less, and 14 inches long. He is moving around A LOT, and knows right where my bladder lives. I had gained 7lbs. at my 24 weeks appt, so I'm assuming I'm starting to get closer to 9 lbs. It doesn't seem like very much, but he is measuring perfect, and that is all that matters! Unfortunately, I lost a pound, maybe two, last week from everything that happened. But, I'm back to normal and it seems like I've packed it back on pretty quickly and maybe more! Asa does NOT like to go without food and neither do I!! I still LOVE LOVE pizza and fruit (not together, of course). But, my random craving this week has been summer sausage, cheese, and crackers. Don't ask. I don't know why. That's all the baby updates I can think of. I love being pregnant, feeling him move, and see my stomach move all around on the outside. God is so good!

This was at 24 weeks (6 months)

This is at 26 weeks.

Isn't it lovely?
Here is my new addition. It's looking pretty good after having 10 staples removed 4 days ago.
This picture makes it look like a small scratch. I will spare you the uglier photos. :) We will see how it grows along with my belly!

Thank you again for your prayers for us! We appreciate it so much!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A very scary weekend....

Last weekend and this past week have been CRAZY! Last Friday, actually 1:00 am Saturday morning, I started to have some painful contractions.

I had started having Braxton hicks contractions very early in my pregnancy, and my doctor just suggested that I remember to take it easy and to drink plenty of water. Last Friday, I came home and told Joseph that I must have been doing too much that day because my "contractions" had picked up. They don't hurt by any means, but I know that you shouldn't have more than 6 in an hour or to call the doctor if they become painful.

Anyway, in the middle of the night, I started having "real" contractions-the kind that I knew were not normal at 25 weeks. Then, within 20 minutes, I had excruciating pain on my lower right side, my back, and down my right leg. It wasn't 15 minutes later, that we got in the car and headed to the ER. After I checked in, gave a urine sample, and started vomiting from the pain, we were pretty certain that it was my appendix. Unfortunately, I could not get any pain meds until we monitored the baby and my contractions first. So, after a few HOURS went by, I got some pain meds and they went to do an ultrasound on me to check the baby, and my kidneys.

They could not check my appendix, because they would have to do a CT scan, which is a no no during pregnancy. They said that I was showing all the signs of appendicitis, except for the fact that my white blood count came back normal. (If I had appendicitis, the levels would have been high). However, I had just finished an antibiotic for a sinus infection I had that week, so they assumed that was the causing the white blood count to be normal.

The obgyn and general surgeon came in and told us they had gotten results back from the ultrasound, and that I had a cyst rupture on my ovary, and I had a few more remaining. My right kidney was also enlarged, and the combination of these things were putting me into pre-term labor.

They came to a decision to proceed with an appendectomy to remove my appendix, regardless of how it was, and to check my ovary and remove the other cysts. My regular ob doctor, from a different hospital, happened to be on call there that weekend. Joseph texted her and told her what was going on, and she came over and stepped in on the surgery. How awesome is she!?!? I'm SO grateful for her!

This was all around Saturday morning at 9ish. My parents, in laws, best friend Laura, and my sister all came in town to be with us.

The real problems had only begun.....the doctors came in and started talking about the possibility of having to deliver Asa in case they couldn't get my contractions to stop, or things went differently during surgery. I just remember crying....and that's all I could do at that point with the amount of pain meeds I had in me. Joseph was extremely worried, so much so, that he had made himself sick. :(. Bless his heart! I knew that if he came, he could survive, but he would be flown down to UAMS in little rock, and kept for a long time. "Scary" was an understatement.

By noon, they removed my appendix, which i was told was the longest that he had seen in 30 years! Wow! And...that it was perfectly normal. The ovary was not, but was cleaned and all cysts were removed. They started me on magnesium for the pre-term labor, and monitored me until Monday. Oh, did I mention the catheter?? Ouch!! I never want to experience that again!!

I stayed that night, Sunday, and then was able to go home on Monday. I had constant care from my incredible husband, mom, and mother in law.

So, Asa decided to stay in there and my contractions stopped. I have a new lovely incision across the right side of my ever stretching belly, and I'm interested to see how it grows along with my belly. Gross! Asa is more active than ever. He got some steroids to help his lungs in case he were to be delivered early, so he is now ahead of the game! However, he does like to ball up and give me a good kick underneath my incision-it doesn't feel good, but I'm thankful for his life-so he can do whatever he wants to! :). Joseph has been more than amazing! He is extremely protective of me and Asa, and has been there non stop for anything that I need. I am so grateful for my friends who have brought meals, visited, or texted to see how we are doing. Glo is being taken care of, and I feel very blessed by all of that!

That's my crazy story! I have bump and incision pictures to follow!

Please pray for me and Asa, and that he would stay in there until he is healthy and big enough to come out. Please pray for my health and recovery. I am having a hard time with being down, and want to be normal again so badly. I know that if i don't take it slow, it could put me down for the rest of the time-so pray for patience for me and allowing myself not to get too busy.

Thank you!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Celebrating 10 years at Glo!

I know, I know! I haven't posted in a long time, but I have a good reason! Last week was very busy getting ready for our 10 year anniversary sale/party at glo. It was a great success, and we had SO many people come to shop!! All of that, plus, we are re-vamping glo medical! Unfortunately, I don't have any "before" pictures, but I can show you some "after" pictures. We have started out slowly, but will begin to get more accessories and new things. It started out very plain, and we wanted it to feel a little more warm and "spa-like".

New Light Fixtures (the old ones had been there for 10 years!)

New "blackberry" wall color just behind the front counter.

New drapes and fun pillows for the "waiting" area.
That's all I have for now, but I will update again, once we get everything put together.

Overall, the 10 year anniversary party was a HUGE success. I wish I had more pictures from the actual event this past weekend, but it was too crazy to stop and take pictures! I couldn't ask for a better group of girls to be apart of glo! We are looking forward to the next 10 years and I can't wait to see how it continues to grow and change.

The Original "Glo Girls"- Sisters, Linden and Erin, Leah (who had just had a massage-Ha!) and Me. We bought it from Linden and Erin, who started the store in 2000, and we purchased it in 2004.

Baby Update:

I'm almost 23 weeks and rapidly growing. He is moving around like crazy-and I love every minute of it! I have my 24 week appointment next week. Everything is going great with me and we are thankful for a healthy growing boy!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Nursery Update and Bump Pictures!

Almost half way there!!

At 19 weeks, 1 day, things have been starting to come together with Asa's nursery, and the bump is definitely growing!

This is 15 weeks on the left, and 19 on the right.

Here is the fabric I ordered for Asa's room. I liked the teal because it was different for a boy. The bottom stripe is the bedskirt. The green square fabric on the right is for the drapes that my mom is making. The top teal dotted fabric is for the front side of the bumper, and the teal circle and cream fabric on the left is for a bolster pillow that will go in our chocolate brown glider. I'm super excited about his room, and can't wait to see it all together.

This is the back of the bumper. My mom was kind enough to sew this together
for a visual. It's much easier to picture all together this way. :)

Asa's Crib!! I looked for a white iron crib for a while, and my mom and I finally found this one at a great price. I can't wait to lay my sweet baby boy in it.

That's all I have for now!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Gender Reveal Party

Girl or Boy?? already know, but we are trying to fool people in this picture. Everyone was supposed to come dressed for a boy or a girl. Since Joseph and I already knew, we dressed for both.

One of my very best friends, Shannon, helped me come up with the idea of the scavenger hunt. A lot of these pictures are from her blog, but some are new. :) She is super creative, and helped me pull the whole thing off.

We had mostly family members, and a few very close friends that came. This is the group that came dressed for a "boy".

...and this is the group that came dressed for or a "girl". Pretty even teams!

Shannon made "clue" cards for all the riddles we came up with for the scavenger hunt. Five for each team. They each had a girl or boy rhyme on them, such as, "Daddy will need to be brave, to teach his son to ______". The answer was shave. They would run to Joseph's razor to find the next clue. An example of the girls was, "Girls will never fail to get their magazines out of the _______" (mail). We told them that this part was a race (which it wasn't), but it was hilarious to see them running through our house bumping into each other.

This was the final clue card:

And this was the final clue:

The teams started racing to add up their totals, and I was standing nervously on the boy side. They soon ,excitedly, shouted out, "ITS A BOY!!!!!!"
Asa James Ray will be here in December!
If anyone needs a fun idea for a gender reveal party, you should do this. We had such a great time, and everyone really got into it. We had a great time celebrating!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Asa James Ray

Asa James Ray

is his name!
Joseph and I agreed on this middle name soon after we found out that we were having a boy, but never nailed it down 100%. After all the sweet comments and seeing others write his name out and say it, makes it very real to me. James is always a great book in the bible to turn to for just about any encouragement or advice. We have kept James 1:2-3 close for encouragement throughout the past 1 1/2 years and continue to do so. It says, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance." Everyone faces hard times at some point, and we just have to remember it's all part of God's perfect plan and it builds character on the way.

I PROMISE I AM GOING TO POST ABOUT THE GENDER REVEAL PARTY. My camera battery is dead, and we are having problems finding our charger. :) As soon as I get it, I will post it. In the mean time, go to Shannon's blog to read about it.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

IT'S A BOY!!!!! (bump pictures included)

Well....We are having a BOY!!!
I knew I was going to be shocked either way, because it seems crazy that we now can call him by name. It only took two seconds to see what was in between his legs.
Me: "Is that a weenie?"
Doc: "Yup, that's a weenie!"
It was official...we are having a little boy. We are SO excited and just kept giggling all the way home. Between my brother's three boys and our Tuesday night "fam" night dinners with our friends (one has two boys, and one has one boy), I feel like I am covered with boy knowledge, clothes, and anything else a new momma might need for a boy!
I have finally posted some "bump" pictures for people who are like me and want to see them.

I think this was around 12-13ish weeks.

This was 15 weeks -can't hide it anymore!!
(I swear I'm not sticking my booty out-although it looks like it)

When I have to stuff the "bump" into jeans, somehow it looks a lot bigger and feels bigger than when I have comfy shorts or pants on! For obvious reasons I'm sure! :)

I immediately knew that I wanted to attack the guest closet so I could start putting the few gifts that I have in there. This is a very unfortunate before picture. Lots and lots of games, and a bunch of other random junk. is the after!

I was able to hide the games, and throw away as much stuff as I could. I even hung up a few of his clothes!

We had such a FUN gender reveal party to tell some of our friends and family. I will post the details tomorrow. I am currently 16 weeks and doing very well. Not very many symptoms other than a bit of "growing" pains every once in a while.
We have decided on the first name but haven't nailed down his middle name. Asa wil be his first name. It is joseph's middle name, as well as at least six generations (that we know of) of the males in his dad's family. The options for middle names are:
Asa Jordan Ray
(jordan is my middle name)
Asa James Ray
(james has some spiritual significance to us-especially this past year)
Asa Benjamin Ray
(after my dad)
Asa Luke Ray
(just because I like that name, although it doesn't really fit)

Our favorite so far is James. It is my favorite book in the bible, and has a verse that has been great for joseph and I this past year. They are all great, and most have meaning or are family names. But..we haven't decided 100% . We keep asking for opinions, but no one seems to want to give their opinion, which I understand. But I would love ANY suggestions.

Ok...that's all for now. I will post details of GENDER REVEAL PARTY tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My favorite Summer Products!

Favorite Facial Product for Summer: Murad's Exfoliating Pomegranate Mask!

I have now had two facials with this mask, and I love the way my skin feels afterwards. My skin feels so smooth, and it brightens the tone of my skin. They come in a set of six for $22.50

Favorite self tanner: Duwop's Revelotion. I like this because it gives a great color, and its easy to apply. The best thing is, it washes off at night. It stays on well, but I like that it can wash off in case you mess up! :)

Favorite new Sunscreen: Colorscience and Bare Escentual's Mineral Sunscreen

How easy is it to put your sunscreen on with a brush? Both of these are a mineral sunscreen loose powder that dispenses through the brush with spf 5o and spf 30. They have been quite popular at glo lately! ($28)

Favorite Summer Fragrance: Fresh's "Citron de Vigne" or any of their citrus, lemon scents.($75) They also come in shower gels, lotions, and soaps.

New favorite lip color: Laura Mercier's Bon Bon (Barbie Pink) ($22)

Favorite Summer Nail Polish: Essie's "Cute as a button" ($8)

Those are some of the things I love for the summer! The only update on me and the baby is that everything is going well! I have officially entered my second trimester, and already can tell a big difference with my energy level. I'm starting to get a little bump and I'm sure throughout the next month or two, I will start to see quite a bit more. I will post ultrasound pictures and "bump" pictures soon. Ultrasound pictures will definitely be first!! :)