Saturday, January 30, 2010

Jane Gilchrist Thanksgiving Service, St Peter's Harold Wood, 22/01/10

Many thanks to all for your prayers for us as a family over the last couple of weeks. It has been quite a ride. Just four weeks after the diagnosis was confirmed as cancer, mum died on 16th December 2009, aged just 57. I was so struck by her peace, joy, hope in her final hours. She was a great woman of faith in Jesus - and, knowing that he had conquered the grave, she had no fear of death herself.

We had a funeral/cremation service for just the close family on Christmas Eve, but on 22nd January 2010 we had a bigger Thanksgiving service at her home church, St. Peter's in Harold Wood, Essex. There were over 600 people there! What a testament to how special she was to so many people. Yes, there were tears and sadness at her loss - but, above all, it was an occasion marked by the hope that Christians have in the risen Lord Jesus Christ!

Here's my tribute to Jane Gilchrist, the world's best ever mum!

video

Friday, January 29, 2010

Hi there!

A number of you have expressed a desire to have the details of my baby shower registries... and of course, I am MORE than happy to provide the details!

Babies r us:
http://www.babiesrus.com/, 'find a registry', then you can either search by our names (Edward and Nicola Gilchrist!), or use our registry number: 44876107

Target:
http://www.target.com/, 'gift registries and lists', 'baby registries' and then put in either 'Edward Gilchrist' or 'Nicola Gilchrist'!

PLEASE don't feel under ANY obligation to get us a gift, but if you'd like to, then doing it through the registry would save you spending the earth on postage (they will ship direct to us).

My baby shower is scheduled for March 6th (can't wait!). That's the start of week 30 of my pregnancy and the consultants have said that if I make it to week 30 with no further complications, then they are pretty confident that I will have at least one healthy baby... for now, i'm holding on in faith and enduring my bed rest with as much positivity as possible!

Friday, January 15, 2010

WONDERFUL things about living in the USA! No. 1: THE BABY SHOWER!

There are LOTS of great things about living in California - the endless sunshine, the friendly openness of the people, the church we've found (SUCH a blessing), the opportunities to explore (skiing a few hours north, white sandy beaches drenched in sunshine a few hours south!)... I could go on!

BUT one of the unexpected blessings of living out here is my discovery that ALL Mum's-to-be out here are thrown a baby-shower! Now THIS is something that the British Empire should adopt! WHAT a fantastic idea!

Just like engaged couples choose all the things they need/want to receive as wedding gifts and set up a list in the store of their choosing so that guests can be assured that they are buying things that will be really appreciated, so, out here, parents-to-be do exactly the same thing for the baby shower!

I have spent many happy hours browsing online and have set up TWO registries, one at Target and the other at Babies R Us... Since things are still slightly precarious with this pregnancy, I have decided not to actually throw the baby shower until I am at at least 30 weeks (I am currently in week 22)... but it has been SUCH fun choosing! SO much cute stuff out there! :)
Last night I felt the first proper KICKS from one of our little fellas! It was SUCH a THRILL!!! I have been feeling 'flutterings' for quite a few weeks now, but last night I could actually feel my tummy move beneath my hand! It was SO delicious! I have little people inside me! :)

Our obstetrician appointment on Wednesday was really encouraging... baby B (the one in the intact sack) is looking really healthy, big for his age (oh yikes!) and is continuing to move and develop well (hooray!)

My cervix is showing no signs of any opening or weakening - so my body is showing NO sign of being on the verge of labour - GREAT news!

AND - even though last week our consultant thought that the heart beat of baby A was weakening and slowing, THIS week it was clear that it is still a NORMAL heart beat! He is looking quite crunched over and the likelihood is that he will die at some point, but the medical team is absolutely astounded that he is still going!

Ed and I are not getting our hopes up too high, but the fact that, against ALL odds, our little fighter is continuing to survive feels like God's hand is at work! The likelihood is that this little baby is being kept alive in utero to act as a 'saviour' for our other child (while he continues to live, my body is not receiving any conflicting hormone messages, which might be the reason for me not going into labour)... but I can't help wondering... what IF God is in the process of performing a wonderful miracle?...

We believe in a God who..."is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine", "all things are possible" for our God! HE is the author of life and the one who knits us together...

It would be foolish to get our hopes up because we don't know what God has planned. Our expectation is that, come May, we will have one little baby boy (yes, I am actually allowing myself to start getting excited about it!!! :))... but wouldn't it be wonderful if we ended up astounding the medical profession by going home with two?!!

We pray on! Trusting in our loving heavenly Father's wisdom, love and sovereign power over the details of our lives...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A number of you have expressed concern as to the woodpecker problem I wrote about before Christmas... so let me update you!

That persistent little bird hammered incessantly throughout the day for at least a couple of weeks. Ed left to travel back to the UK when I was at about screaming pitch with the helplessness I felt - being stuck in bed, unable to do anything to scare off my feathered torturer!

In the few days after Ed left and my parents arrived, a good friend of mine from church came to stay - true to form, at around 7am each morning we were both awakened by the drumming noise of beak against wood. Claire figured out that a firm banging on the wall near to where he was pecking seemed to scare him off - brilliant!

This worked for a few days, but each morning he would return and, after my parents had been here for a few days, the banging did little more than effect a brief pause in the hammering. It was not the answer. More drastic measures were needed!

My Dad went on the war path... with the HOSE! A stroke of genius! One powerful dousing into the hole and immediately that pesky bird flew out and away, looking bedraggled and shocked! To ensure victory, my Dad immediately climbed the stepladders (risking life and limb), armed with a piece of wood, a hammer and some nails... after a few minutes, the hole was secured - we waited over the next few days to see if our persistent feathered fiend would attempt to drill his way through this new wooden barrier - but to our great joy and relief, the woodpecker had met his match! He has not returned and we DO NOT miss him!
Irony...

When I lived in England (where it rains most days), I did not own an umbrella. This Christmas I received TWO umbrellas (BOTH of them are gorgeous and I want to use them). The irony is that in California, there are about 4 days rain a year... not only that, but these few days of rain are likely to occur between December and March - and I'm on strict bed rest throughout that time!

It's lucky I'm not superstitious since I have no qualms about putting them up indoors just to enjoy looking at them!