June 14, 2009

Here we go...some pictures from our whirlwind trip to Chicago last week! Justin and I had such a great time, and as I posted these pictures, I realized that there were so many more that I should have taken! Oh well!! Here is what I have...

We stayed at the Hyatt Regency, McCormick Place. What a beautiful hotel!!

After booking on expedia, I anticipated a small room, with no view, so it was to my huge surprise when we opened up the curtains of our room and saw this...

I know it doesn't look that spectacular in these pictures, but trust me, it was! To our left we could see out over Lake Michigan, and then straight out, the beautiful tree-lined streets! We overlooked the whole convention center (the roof that you see), but from the 18th floor, we could see a long way!! We got there on Wednesday, and it was a beautiful day. Mid to high 60s, sunny with beautiful clouds, and at times, even a little chilly! We, coming from hot Texas, hadn't even though to bring long sleeves, so we each had to buy a sweatshirt to keep warm that night!!

We dropped off our bags and went for lunch at Giordano's--a Chicago must, a lot of people told us! It was great. We ordered a small stuffed pizza, and ate the whole thing!! Well, Justin ate most of it, but I did put away two pieces!!!

Not the clearest pictures, but had to take one!


After eating, we needed to walk, so we made our way to Navy Pier. It was really neat--shops, tours, ferris wheel, miniature golf course, etc! We didn't do all that... took a fun picture in one of the booths, walked through the shops, and signed up for a boat tour. Here are a couple pictures back at the skyline from Navy Pier.

We took the hour long architectural boat tour, and it was really interesting! Justin and I both love buildings, and finding out about the history of places, so we had a great time. I highly recommend it if you are heading to Chicago! (Thanks, Jess, for recommending it to us--you were right!)
Here we are--the best First Mates ever!!

Here are some of the buildings that we saw... Trump Tower...

There is such a variety of different styles of buildings here-from ones that look like medieval structures to corncobs to glass-roofed river front bungalows! Amazing!!

And, of course, the Sears Tower. We had plans to go up on Thursday morning, before checking in for my surgery, but when we woke up, it was foggy and rainy. So we didn't get to do that--bummer!! Next time!!

We then walked some more (still trying to walk off as much of the pizza as possible!!), through the Magnificent Mile area, and made our way towards Millenium Park. My sister-in-law had told us about "The Bean" there that we had to see. But along the way we saw many interesting statues/sculptures that seem to be all over Chicago. Here is the giant version of American Gothic. It was gigantic--and the cool think was it still looked like the painting. It didn't seem to be solid colors, but still had brushstrokes, just like the picture. Pretty cool!

Here is one more picture of the river we had just done the tour on, as we walked over it. Such a pretty downtown area. Amazing how well they have restored it!

And then we finally made it...
And found the Bean! It is really called the Cloud Gate, but I like the Bean better. It was the coolest thing--I think the skyline actually looked even prettier when you saw it in the reflection!!

It gives some interesting reflections--so I had to get one of us underneath!!

Strange, huh?!

Very cool--don't miss it!
We also walked a bit farther in the park to see their beautiful outdoor ampitheather! Wish we could have stayed for a concert!

In Millenium Park there is also a huge garden. Had to take a picture near the peonies for my mom! (And by the way, Happy Birthday, Mom!! I hope you are having a wonderful birthday. Wish I could be with you today!!)
Another view of the city with the garden/park underneath.

Another cool statue/fountain in the park. Justin was mesmirized by this one!!

Walking on water... =)
After we got a cab back to the hotel (we were too tired to walk the last 2 miles...) we cleaned up and headed out to see...
This was a gift from my parents, who had already seen this show two times. It was amazing!!! I love Broadway shows, but this one was especially great with a ton of wonderful music!! I wanted to sing along SOO badly, but I knew I'd embarrass my hubby! He enjoyed it too, even though he wasn't quite sure what he was getting into!!
We had dessert after at a restaurant called "Italian Village". Wonderful tiramisu and cannolis--I had to enjoy my last bit of food, because after midnight, I wasn't allowed to eat or drink until after the surgery!
The next morning, in the cold rain, Justin walked to McDonalds to get breakfast so I wouldn't have to see him eat. What a sweetie! Can you see him way down there?? I took this out of our window!


Oh...there he is!!

Good thing we could spot those arches!!!
So after a relaxing morning, we arrived at the hospital at about 12:30. We checked in pretty quickly, and then we had to wait a bit for the anesthesiologist to come in to get started. Even at this point, I wasn't really nervous. I guess I should have been, it being major surgery and all, but I was so excited to be there and get my TAC placed that I was all smiles!!

Gotta love the hairnet!!

Even Justin was so excited, can't you tell?!
The surgery went super well. Started at 3:30, and I was into recovery by 4:30. I had a spinal block instead of general anesthetic, so I was even awake and asking questions most of the time. Honestly, I don't remember much of the first part, but remember him telling me what they were doing the second part. So I'm kind of embarrassed to know what I was saying the first part!! =) Dr. Haney told me that I just wanted a step-by-step of what they were doing--weird--because I thought I wanted to just be out the whole time! It was interesting to talk to the dr during surgery--it was almost like being inside one of the medical tv shows--except I was the one being operated on--not just watching! Strange!
All in all, I haven't had too much pain. The first night, I had some nausea, from the pain meds I'm pretty sure, but since about 10 am Friday morning, I've been fine! The strange thing is that my worst pain isn't from my incision site, but from about 5 inches to the right on my abdomen. I'm not sure what they did there, but boy does that spot hurt when I stand up! Again--strange, but overall, I feel MUCH better than I thought I would at this point! I have to remind myself that I just had surgery, and need to be relaxing. I guess I'll just have to make myself be a couch potato for a few more days! No gym time just yet, but I'm sure I'll be back to normal sooner, rather than later!!
While there, I met two other ladies who had their TACs placed on Thursday also. I met them through Abby-loopers, the online Yahoo groupd where I really found out about the TAC. It is a wonderful support group, full of ladies who understand what it is like to lose a baby because on incompetent cervix, and know how important getting a fix like the TAC is! Both Kim and Dorelle were so wonderful, and I'm so glad I got to meet them. Both Kim and I were in recovery together, and the nurses pulled the curtains back and we chatted for about a half hour! I was so amazed by how similar our experiences were, and we were both so excited and full of hope for our future. I thank God for a doctor like Dr. Haney--who changes so many women's lives. I have a hope again, now that I know my incompetent cervix won't be an issue again!
And just one more picture to share...my welcome home hug from my girl...
...who was taken care of so well by our neighbor Jimmie and my Dad. Thanks for watching our girl!!
Thanks so much for all your prayers, support, and love! I am so thankful to everyone who is always there for me! I feel such a peace about having this TAC placed--I know it is going to change our future--for the better! We are planning on starting IVF in August, so we are praying for a baby Steiner in 2010!!!
Have a great week!!


Leading Lady said...

I am so excited for you! I love you so very much...you are always on my mind and in my prayers. :) Thanks too for your sweet comments on my blog.
Love, Bess

Cristina said...

I'm so glad that you are back and feeling good. I know it's hard to rest when you aren't sore, but just try to take it easy and call if you get bored! Talk to you soon!

Shannon said...

yea yea YEA! I have been on my knees for you this week. You need to get the copy of the message this morning (if you werent there) it reminded me of our years of fertility struggles too.

I will be praying for a quick recovery and a "growing" fall!

PS. I dont think I have seen a better looking person in a hairnet. Its hard to pull that off! :)

Monica @ Writer Chic said...

Your trip sounds like our first anniversary. We went to Chicago for four days, and started things off with a pie from Giordanno's, and then Navy Pier, and even the architectural boat tour!

I'm so glad that you are home and recovering. I will continue to keep you in my prayers.

Joy said...

Yay! Cute pictures!!!! You guys are adorable. SO glad everything went well! We love you!

Marie W said...

Awesome news! So glad all went well. Keeping you in my prayers!

Lianna Knight said...

The pictures are SO awsesome!What a great trip.

Praying that your surgery is a success and you get another miracle :)

Tena said...

As always, loved the pics and 'play by play' of the events from your trip. So glad that all went well. Continuing to pray for you guys!

Suzette said...

Praying for you! It looks like you guys had a nice time in Chicago and that is so wonderful that Dr.Haney was able to perform the surgery with no complications! I will pray for a speedy recovery and baby S in the near future! :)