Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Breaking Up is Hard to Do.


 Poor Henry. We've had a rough couple weeks trying to figure out how to best "fix" his reflux problem. I wasn't able to nurse Ady, so our difficulty laid in finding a formula that best worked for her. This time around, I almost lose my life, yet am able to nurse a premature baby with virtually every odd stacked against him to even be able to suck. He came out ready to eat :) God is good. If I'm going to "go out" on a good note with my last biological child, I am so thankful I was able to experience the beautiful part of nursing Henry for a full 6 weeks. It was not a pleasant experience with Ady. And while there have been many bumps in the road this time, I am so thankful that the Lord allowed me to experience this unexplainable bond with my son. 

Several weeks ago we switched Henry from the Zantac to the Prevacid and saw an improvement, but still not enough to keep me satisfied. He would still have moments of arching his back so far in my arms, you'd think he'd jump right out of your arms. I began to think that maybe I was the issue. Ady had a sensitivity to the protein found in cow's milk, so she was on what the doctor called "liquid gold", Nutramigen. I started Henry on that over a week ago and pumped so my supply would not diminish. However, my body does not naturally produce enough. After three rounds of medicines (and one I'm on permanently) to keep it at bay, I"m just barely scraping by making enough. I thought I immediately noticed a difference , but then begged the question.....was he just hungry some of this time? If he was downing almost 4 oz bottles and at best I could make 2.5, maybe the baby was starving on top of being in pain? Yet many times he would scream and scream and when he was picked up, he'd burp. So I know that wasn't the only thing. Earlier this week he was still spitting fountains (just on straight formula). So the doctor wanted me to add cereal to his bottle. At first I saw no difference, but after increasing the amount I feel like I see one now. I was all out of formula for our visit today so I gave him two bottles of breastmilk with the cereal in it. He's had a couple painful burps. Which begs the other question. Is the issue the dairy in my diet? 

The doctor really sat the fence on this one today. Because he is a preemie, she wants him to be on breastmilk, yet if it's me that is the problem, then he needs to be on the formula. I can not nurse him because he needs to have thickened feedings, so I will have to pump in place of that bottle. If the walls in my home could talk, you'd see how virtually impossible it is for me to find one additional second to find time to pump on top of an overly busy 2 year old (who no longer naps), and a 7 week old who needs to be held a lot of the day. So the choice was up to me. I sit the fence. I really do. I'm not one of those "over the top" breastfed moms and quite frankly I can't stand them. I can't tell you how many times I've heard "breastfeeding makes them smart." Let me tell y'all something. Ady got my milk for  2 1/2 weeks. She now speaks in complete sentences, can count to 12, can sing just about any children's song out there, can spell her name, can tell you her address, the list goes on and on. So, I'm not buying that. Maybe it's best, fine. But don't judge those moms who can't or who just don't want to. I just think it's really offensive for anyone to pressure a mother into doing something that just may not be best for her family. Can o' worms closed :) 

On another note, my life is W-I-L-D. Yesterday I was at my OB's office for THREE hours. Picture it. 2 hours in the waiting room. Walking around the room shh-ing Henry, giving him a bottle, rocking him. Ady with every creature and toy known to man handing to me every 5 seconds, then asking for them back. Then entertaining the entire waiting room. Every time the door opened she'd say, "Mommy's ready!" Hilarious. :) Then, I get back to the room and have nothing but a gown on. One of the nurses held Henry. Ady wanted to stay with me. Then, she  wants to be with Henry. So I walk her out. Then 5 minutes later, back with mommy. Then, "I want a blue sucker". Back out front. Then back to me. By the time 30 minutes lapsed the doctor was finally in there and a nurse tried to shun Ady from being traumatized by seeing anything at my visit. I had the Mirena IUD inserted in an attempt to ward off surgery for 5 years and keep me from not conceiving. As I'm laying there having this procedure (and I'm giving specifics so all you moms out there can just keep laughing), she's handing me her red sucker "Here mommy! Here! You hold it." Then "Here's white bear, mommy!" Oh, "Mommy! Hold my picture. Like it? See mommy? See?" Dr Karon said, "Boy, she's high maintanence isn't she?" Haha. Well, I suppose the apple doesn't fall far from the tree now, does it? :) 

Today we spent TWO hours in the doctor's office with Henry. It's funny that I thought my hands were full with one. Seriously, hilarious. Ady has gotten busier with each passing day and it makes juggling more challenging, but I"m getting there! And SO proud of myself :) My house might be in shambles (literally), but I'm learning how to do this. 

So.....Henry's big boy stats at (almost) 8 weeks (this Friday!):

Weight: 8 lb 12 oz. He's in the 6%ile. The formula is really the only way the poor baby has put on pounds. Still in newborn clothes and some preemie pants. I expect him in newborn a while longer. Ady was 4 months before she went to 0-3. 

Height: 21 1/4 inches. 5%ile

Head: 37 cm 7%ile. 

Development: He smiles and smiles (has been for about 2 weeks in response to hearing your voice or seeing your face).

He coos and is the best little snuggle bug out there. He takes MAM paci's (0+) and the little Wubbanub dinosaur paci he holds onto SO sweetly.


Love those. I want to get him more of those.He has amazing neck support, but seriously has since birth. He's very strong.

Sleep: Maybe this should be a question mark. :) Still eating every 2 hours, sometimes 3. This includes nights. But, soon when he's not so teeny I bet he'll go longer :) 

He loves to be "worn" all day. It's how momma is  functioning! It's amazing all I can do with my little Joey in my pouch :) :) 

Overall? Teeny boy :) But such a fighter.

Thank you for praying for him, me, Ady, and Joseph. We'll get this figured out and look back on it and laugh. I'm so thankful for this blog. I documented everything of Ady and it was a help to me now for me to go back to and see how (crazy I was!) I handled everything specifically with her. 

We love all y'all. And I love being a mommy :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Just Tryin' To Hold On....


Hello, friends! Life has surely changed (for the better), but it's no cake walk....that's for sure. I thought having one child was wild. I was obviously mistaken. I am so thankful for these two precious little children, but it is much more difficult juggling than I ever expected it to be.

For the first three weeks I had someone constantly with me to help out. I was so sick for so long that I couldn't even function. I needed lots of extra hands. And Joseph went back to work the day after I was (finally!) released from the hospital. I am so thankful for my mom, grandparents, and sister for traveling back and forth to Lexington (probably more times than they'd care to) to help out. But when they finally left....BAM ! Hard job. I'm lucky to get a shower, let alone eat a piece of string cheese before the day is over. And cleaning? What's that? Napping when the kids nap? Not so much. They've yet to both be asleep at the same time and poor Henry has had such a tough time he rarely is apart from my arms.

At right around 2 1/2 weeks Henry started to display many of Ady's reflux symptoms. (Y'all remember that don't you?? It was such a trying time). But, using what I learned from her, I didn't waste any time. The sad thing is that nobody listened to me for so long with Ady that they now said her interventions had to be so much more than Henry's because her esophagus was literally eroding away. Breaks my heart. I was told to stop eating anything dairy, anything with milk, anything that's citrus, any berry, oh, and any tomato based product. I don't know if y'all know me, but first of all I'm a picky eater, and second of all the foods I do eat it are in all of the above categories. He told me to take that out of my diet and see if I noticed a difference. If not, to start him on Zantac. Two days difference. Zantac started. After 4 days of being on it, I noticed on the 4th day he was progressively worse. I called and begged them to switch him to Prevacid. Praise the Lord they did and I have seen tremendous improvement. He still has to be elevated at all times (but, seriously, we have every contraption known to man to elevate a baby), and will often wake out in pure agony and usually it's because he has a burp. Once it's up...he's fine. But he can't ever really seem to get in a good sleep routine, so I know he's exhausted.

He celebrated his 1 month birthday recently and his stats? Big ol' boy. A whopping 7 lb. :) He's 20 1/2 inches long (originally 19 at birth). He loves to wiggle and kick and makes the sweetest coo's I think I've ever heard. He is starting to smile and respond to my voice. I LOVE it ;) He eats about every 1 1/2 - 2 hours around the clock. This includes nighttime too. (To say I'm exhausted is an understatement, but it's all worth it). His favorite place to sleep is upright on mommy's chest where he finds the most relief from his pain. 


He doesn't seem bothered by loud noises or his sister squealing at the top of her lungs :) And he may be the tiniest little guy around, but he has a big heart and an EVEN bigger story. I have never been more in love in all my life. :)

Big sister is doing well. She was never one to be a late sleeper, but fell into a pretty sweet routine after we came home from the hospital. (This has all changed, of course now). I could never, ever have made it through this time without my mom. She took such excellent care of Ady. Prior to Henry, Ady was exceptionally clingy to me. The day Henry came she had to be rushed off to Heather, and although she loves her, I was surprised at how she went to hear tear-free. As well as went without really seeing much of Joseph or I for 6 days. The first time she saw me in the hospital all plugged up, I was a pretty scary sight. She handled it absolutely beautifully. As far as jealousy goes, she really hasn't had much. She had so much attention the first 3 weeks from family that she didn't ever really feel threatened by him. From time to time she will say to me "Mommy, Henry down". But it's usually when she wants me to go lay her down or get up and dance or do something silly ;) She is very motherly and doting to him. If he cries, she'll say "Oh, it's ok, it's ok Henry" Or if his paci is on the floor/couch/table/wherever, she'll pick it up and say, "Oh, Henry! Paci! Here you go!" She is so so sweet.

Not only is she sweet, she's smart too. When she was about 8 months old she could tell me what sound every animal known to man could make. She's a natural learner. And if you tell her something one time, she remembers it forever. She loves to sing songs. Her favorites are "Old McDonald", "Itsy Bitsy Spider", "Wheels on the Bus", "Jesus Loves Me", "Jesus Paid it All"(she likes me to sing that if/when she lets me rock her), and the list goes on. She loves to eat cheese, cheese, and more cheese. And goldfish, Cheerios, Cheetos (the jalapeno ones. Seriously. She'd eat the whole bag), ham, chicken, Jello, macaroni. You know, all the nutritious things :) Actually...she loves fruit. Any kind she can get her hands on. She can't drink milk so she gets lots of diluted juice and will drink water from time to time. If I ever have a Diet Coke sitting out, it's fair game-she grabs it! She's her mommy's girl for sure :)
She knows several shapes and is now finding them around her. In her princess tent the other day she found where in the corner there were triangles. She was talking to herself and said, "Circle? Nooo. Triangle! Pizza is a triangle too." Just for the record, I never told her pizza was a triangle. She amazes me how she is making connections to the world around her.
She can count to 12 and loves to get things out and count them. She's so stinkin' smart :) 
She still hates me to touch her hair, and is now absolutely done with the camera. I mean DONE. If I get it out she says, " No, mommy no! No picture" :) My how the tables have turned. I did these very things to my mother :)
She has started to sleep with lots of little friends, stuffed animals, and blankets. She is a little mini hoarder and it is adorable. She loves the Disney Princesses. Ariel and Belle are her favorites, but she likes Cinderella too. And Snow White, whom she calls "He Ho." And Rapunzel, she calls "Dream".
She can talk in full sentences and it is amazing how well she communicates. Then in the next breath she'll go on and on for 3-4 minutes and I can understand nothing she's said. Sometimes I would just love to know what she is saying/thinking :)

Staying home with these two kids is a lot of work, but it's very rewarding too. I know it won't be long before we're in a little more of a routine and I start to feel like it's a little easier. But, honestly, if I were truthful, I'd tell you earlier last week I broke down in absolute sobs. I don't want this time to pass. I will never, ever get to feel a tiny baby in my arms like this again, or growing inside my body. And while I don't want you to mistake my gratitude, my heart aches. I know how fast it goes, and I just want to hold on a little bit longer. 

There are times when I would give my right arm for my family to live in the same town with us. My right arm. It would be so nice to at times to have them right with us. But, then I'm reminded that this is my one shot. And sleep and moments to myself will come down the road and I'll be wishing for a tiny baby to rock again and for someone to need me for every single little thing. Joseph and I have grown stronger in our marriage to have to handle these tough times. Sure our family isn't too far to help. But it's still not the same as the same town. 

Speaking of which, I was praying a couple weeks ago and all of a sudden felt an overwhelming reminder from the Lord that He had his hand on Henry and I for so long. We had our house on the market (I'm not sure if I ever made that public knowledge), last spring. I wanted to be home. Joseph was going to commute every day to Lexington so I could be back home. He knew how much I disliked it here. But, one day after dozens and dozens of house showings, I felt the Holy Spirit literally telling me to take our house off. So we did. Joseph wasn't so sure. He just wanted me happy. I assured him it just wasn't the right time. I felt that we were trying to make something work that wasn't truly in the will of the Lord. And another deciding factor? My doctor. So a few weeks ago I began just sobbing at the thought. Had I moved and switched dr's. Well, I just can't even fathom the thought. Y'all know where I'm going with this. Thank God my life was spared, Henry's too. And for the Lord's provision from long ago. I firmly believe that because of my grandparents and parents praying for me every day from the day I was born, that it why I am here. The Lord's protection has been on my body for long before I ever even knew. And because of that, today I'm here to be a mom to 2 precious children and a wife to the most loving and kind man I know.

Some days I feel like I'm just barely staying afloat. But then I look around at my sweet little blessings and I can honestly say, "I could not ask for more. "

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The scariest day of my life


This is the most difficult post I've ever sat down to type. There is a lot that my mind has not been able to grasp and a lot I hate to relive. But this story MUST be told.

It started months and months ago. I'd go for my check ups and each time my weight would be usually double the recommended. Within 4 weeks I'd gain 8, 2 weeks I'd gain 4, 1 week I'd gain 3, etc, etc. My blood pressure would be slightly high, but I kept hearing "you look great". They seemed to think it was just Ady and I being out in the sun and retaining fluid from that. And my urine at each visit was fine. No trace of protein. No reason to worry. And I only gained 28 pounds total so it never seemed alarming. But looking back, and looking at my face now, I can see that I was very very swollen. Especially during labor. I was like a big 'ol balloon.

When we were on vacation I got really really sick one night. I woke up in my sleep literally choking on my own vomit. I blew it off as bad heartburn. It returned about 2 weeks ago. Except it was worse. Looking back I had so many symptoms of HELLP, but I just didn't know. The last 3 weeks before Henry's birth I was so tired, a tired that I described as "I just feel like I have mono". But, again-I played it off as "I have a 2 year old this time around". I knew I'd be tired. The weekend before I had Henry I was so exhausted that I literally didn't make it off the couch. The following week I was up each night not feeling well. I had stopped eating because my stomach was so upset. And I noticed Henry wasn't moving much. But I played every single symptom off with an excuse.

On Wednesday I woke up aching from head to toe; aching so bad I could cry. Ady was an angel because I couldn't get out of bed--and didn't. My nose was running and I just thought I maybe had a sinus infection. Another sign I just excused.

Thursday my mom came up to watch Ady for me because this time I was seeing Dr Karon. Typically I'd see the nurse practitioner but really wanted to see her. She is in practice by herself and it is not uncommon to wait 3-4 hours to be seen by her. So Ady got to play with my mom while I went off to the doctor. I didn't feel good, I was so tired. When I got on the scale I had lost 4 pounds from my visit just 7 days prior. My blood pressure was 136/88. It wasn't high; high for me; but not an alarming high. My urine was fine. (That's possibly the scariest part of this--that it didn't show up where it "should" have). I asked her about my blood pressure since the last several visits had been like that and she said to lay on my left side and try again. The reading was the same. She said, "Hmmm....well I'm sure it's nothing, but let me run the pre clampsia panel on you just to be safe." and her intuition SAVED my life.

She told me to monitor my blood pressure at home and call if my bottom number got over 80. Then told me my cervix was paper thin and she was expecting Henry any day, but she wanted me off my feet b of the BP. She said "do NOT move. I'm going to Chicago and won't be back until Saturday night." she walked out of the room and told me someone would be in to draw my blood.

She came in and tried my left vein. She tried my right vein. She tried my left hand and got a vein and it immediately collapsed, popped, then bruised severely. She was very puzzled. My body was shutting down before my very eyes. And I had no clue. Nobody did. And my answer to her question is how I'm still alive today. She said "I hate to stick you again. Do you want me to try the right hand or just come back tomorrow?". I thought long and hard, I was so tired I didn't have much strength. But I told her to try again. And she was able to get it in that hand. There would've been no me the next day had I said I'd come back. As I was checking out Dr Karon said to me "don't you do anything! Ok?".

I was up ALL night not feeling good. My blood pressure readings were very high (140's/100's), but I just thought it was wrong. (Not a smart move by the way). By morning I was praying that God would allow me to see what was intuition and what was worry. By 9:30 I called and just said I wasn't feeling good and my readings all night were high. The receptionist grabbed Paula, the nurse practitioner who filled in for Dr and a GREAT friend of mine, and went to look for my labs. She was so thankful I has called because had I not, my labs would've been lost. They had been placed on a cart and Paula later told me she would've never known to look for them. A few seconds later the receptionist said, "Bekah, I don't want you to freak out, it's ok--but you need to get to the hospital now. Your blood work, isn't good, baby." I hung up the phone and my tears started. By the time we were in the car Paula had called me to try and explain what was going on. Yet I still had no idea how bad I really was (and nobody in their right mind would've ever let me know either). I just knew something wasn't right. She explained my platelet level were severely low and liver enzymes severely high. I didn't know what any of it meant. Dr Karon was in surgery but Paula had paged her as well as a high risk OB and were already working on a plan for me. I didn't understand why at the time. But now I do. They were working to save my life.

I immediately called Heather who met us at the hospital to take Ady. I didn't know at the time I had HELLP Syndrome or that I was so close to death. But as I kissed Ady good bye with tears streaming down my face, I begged God that He would let me see my baby girl again. I wanted her to have a mommy.

The high risk OB was already waiting for me when I arrived. I was immediately started on magnesium sulfate and several rounds of steroids. There was a window of if and when I could have an epidural. Again, I didn't understand any of this was going on in my body. My platelet levels were so low there was risk of me bleeding from my spinal cavity and everywhere else. I have a fairly high pain tolerance but since my body was failing me, I was in immense pain. I also felt like death. Just absolutely awful. Knowing what I know now typically they don't do an epidural if your levels are less than 100,000. Mine were 70,000 on multiple rounds of steroids. Dr Karon later told me that my body was literally seconds away from bleeding out everywhere. It is a MIRACLE I am alive.

In hindsight, I can see the fear in the nurses' eyes, but they did a good job of not letting me know what was going on--or anyone else in my family for that matter. I don't remember a lot, I was so drugged up to know. But I do remember asking the nurse some questions and her not answering. I now understand. Then, my  Dr came in to say she cancelled her flight for me. I had tears streaming down my face when she told me. I knew we were being taken care of. Now I know why she cancelled it. She knew I was dying and being the best doctor who deeply cares, she put me above herself. Henry came really fast. I was actually already in labor when I arrived at the hospital, but I wasn't feeling any of the contractions. I dilated so quickly. I knew things were bad when the nurse gave me a mask to breathe oxygen for him. I was so confused but I KNEW he was in distress. His cord was getting wrapped around his neck. I just remember panicking. The nurse said "you're having this baby vaginally." Praise the Lord I could because I NEVER would've survived a C section. I would have bled from everywhere. There was an insane amount of blood with his birth and when my water broke earlier that day, it was all blood. Each time I was checked they just pulled out gobs and gobs of blood. My body was literally shutting down. It's a miracle I didn't have to have a blood transfusion. Truly a miracle.

I panicked and said I had to push. They all came running. With two pushes (if you can even call it pushes), Henry slid out into the world. It was the most amazing feeling.


I was too numb with Ady that I couldn't really feel a lot but this time I felt everything. I remember just sobbing when I saw him. Just absolutely sobbing.


NICU was there to check him and immediately released him saying he was perfect.

Then things got bad. I couldn't sleep but about 20 minutes Friday night. By Saturday morning I was in really bad shape. But I didn't understand that the really dangerous part for my life was 24-48 hours after delivery. Nobody did. My family had driven in from Louisville and hadn't so much walked in my room than to be told to leave. I couldn't have visitors. I remember my dad kissing me on my forehead and telling me he loved me. Then they drove right back to Louisville. I was in really bad shape. The dangerous part for me was far from over. I still had to be watched like a hawk.

The nurse that took care of me Saturday was excellent, they all were, but she knew I was going crazy on that medicine. She tried to explain what had gone on in my body. Again I didn't understand it all. But she said "Dr Karon saved your life and your baby's life. You should not be here today." I just cried and cried. And cried.

So much happened and so many people took excellent care of me. When I finally was released to post partum I hadn't had my hair washed in 3 days. I had a catheter in me still and had been completely bed ridden. I had it in because my kidneys were failing me upon arrival. I couldn't take a shower because my epidural catheter couldn't be removed until they knew my platelet levels had risen high enough. But I wanted my hair washed. The head nurse, Brenda, was there when I had Ady 2 years ago. She brought humor when I most needed it this time around :)

And wrote on my board my "#1 need":)

I was treated like royalty by the nurses and one came and brought me a chair I could sit in and she washed my hair over the bathroom sink. It was so wonderful! I can't tell you how many times a nurse would come in and say "I heard about you. You were the really, really sick girl."

Dr Karon called to check on me while she was in Chicago (she just went up for the day on Saturday since all the commotion on Friday happened!), and the nurse said "Wow! You must be special." My days and nights have all run together but one night at 11:00 she came over to see me. My nurse that night said "When Dr Karon comes to your room at 11 at night you KNOW you're important." I can not thank God enough for that woman. I owe her my life.

My blood pressures have been really out of whack. They were going to discharge me Monday and I just didn't feel good. When they checked it again it was high so she wanted me to double my 30 mg and take 60 and be monitored over night. It was still high the next morning but she thought maybe once I was home it'd get better. I didnt leave the bed in the hospital nor did I have visitors (nothing shy of just a few short moments with my mom and Ady), so I couldn't understand why it was so high. I kept checking it at home and it was really high. She decided to double the 60 mg, so I was on 120. It still didn't help. Keep in mind I was completely bed ridden at home and laying on my left side (with this medicine in my system) it would average 140/95. When I would sit up, not get up, just sit up-it got to 157/115. When I called Thursday morning she said we needed new intervention. The medicine she switched me to worked differently and she really thought it would help. I talked with her about 10 minutes again late Thursday evening and she said it will take a long time to regulate and get it under control. But she was confident this new medicine would work. Praise the LORD it did! She said she will send me to an internal medicine doctor at 6 weeks and I will most likely be on it the rest of my life. HELLP is no joke. It's very very rare in pregnancy. As in 1 out of 1,000. And I had a really bad case. The kind that had one more second been wasted, would've made the difference in life or death.

She also made it very clear to Joseph and I that there would be no way we could EVER conceive again. Absolutely no way. An answer to my prayer in a way I didn't really expect it. Prior to Henry's birth I really wondered how I would know what to do with the pain that will soon return from the endo & PCOS. Problem solved. I know down the road I will be a little sad when the reality sets in, but these two children need a mother. I am overcome with tears when I think about how close we were to Ady and Henry growing up without a mommy and Joseph being left alone with all this. I'm having a hard time just thinking back on it all. The emotional trauma is too deep to even explain to you. I have balled my eyes out to the Lord so many times in thankfulness. I am just so thankful my life was saved. And I could never, EVER put my family through this again. Ever.

This has been the hardest thing I have ever gone through for so many reasons. I was strapped to a hospital bed for 5 days and couldn't even see my daughter. I couldn't bond with my son or change his diaper or do anything. Joseph went through so much. He had to do it all alone. 


And my poor family. I was drugged up and didn't know how sick I was, but they did. This has been so very hard on them. They haven't even gotten to see and enjoy Henry. But God's hand was on this whole situation. Every single thing that happened proved His faithfulness to our family. I am deeply overcome with emotion. Deeply overcome with gratitude for the hundreds of people in states all over who were praying for me; many of whom I've never met. I don't know why my life was spared but I am forever grateful that The Great Physician never left my side and that through Him the doctors and nurses took excellent care of me.

She has told me it will take a very, very long time for me to get better. My mom was with Ady until I was discharged Tuesday evening. She drove back to Louisville because Wednesday morning my dad left for Phoenix so she needed to be there for Caden. My grandparents came from Nashville Tuesday and switched shifts. Then my sister came over the weekend to help. My mom is back for a week at least and then however many weeks it takes me to regain my strength enough to function. This is a going to be a long process. I've come a long way, but I've still got a long way to go. I am still supposed to stay down. This is hard for me, very hard for me. But I know it's the only way I'll ever get better. I just want to be a mommy and take care of my babies. But I am resting and doing everything I know how to in order to get myself back to normal again soon.

To those of you who prayed for me....I've got tears pouring down now, I don't even know what to say. I thank and praise God for you. I am forever grateful that because of your prayers that surrounded the throne of the Lord, I am alive today.

For the rest of my life I will never, ever be thankful enough for the gifts I have. And every time I look in sweet Henry's face I will see the face of God. I never thought I could have enough love for him and Ady both. It surely took me almost losing him and myself for me to get it. I literally risked my life for him.  A love so deep I can't even explain it.

Two days before Henry's birth I read this in my Bible "We will tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and His might, and the wonders He has done."-Psalm 78:4. I don't think there's a more fitting verse. :)

 Here are some pictures of our new sweet little bundle of joy. Weighing in at 5.15.9 lbs at birth, now 5. 11. and 19 Inches long and fits just fine in Preemie clothes. He can't even fit in the swing yet because he's just so tiny :) But he is a fighter, just like his mommy! 

What a testimony to share with Henry when he gets older. I had specifically prayed a couple weeks ago that his testimony would draw people closer to the Lord and he would never have a day where he didn't feel like he had a purpose. Tears are steaming down my face. He shouldn't be here. I most certainly shouldn't be here. Thank God for tiny little miracles and a really big God.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Quick Update!


I may not ever get this parking spot again, so I wanted my picture by it today :) 

Ready for our adventure? Today's ultrasound shows Henry back on track, not looking like a large baby (whew....and mommy breathes a sigh of relief!). If they are basing my measurements on my last menstrual period (which is not a good indicator anyways since after surgery there was a lot of spotting and back and forth irregularity....), then I'm "technically" only 34 weeks. Today, he measured at 35. Ady was born at 37. So where does that put Henry? Almost 2 weeks away. This is good news. Especially because, we want him healthy. 

I did not see the doctor today because it was just an ultrasound. But, we waited forever. Ady goes with me to every appointment (another time it would be lovely if we lived in the same town as Gaga!), and is usually so so good. They all love her, but today, bless her heart, after an hour and 1/2 of just waiting she was done. Joseph was there with me, thankfully, or I think I would've never made it. Once I made it to the ultrasound the tears came on. She doesn't like watching them do anything to me (which is why Gaga is on call to come and keep Ady from knowing anything is happening to mommy before Henry comes into this world!). Henry was, once again, " a little stinker " as the tech called him because he has yet to show us his face again the last 3 ultrasounds. He is balled up so tight and puts that hand over his face. I did see his little cute button nose that looks just like Ady, though :) When I had an ultrasound in the hospital a week ago last Monday his head was so far down it was pushing on my cervix causing me to dilate. Staying off my feet is helping, but today she could see the top of his head, which told her, he's messing with our heads and not trying to come out just yet :)

At my last ultrasound he was weighing a little larger than what they like to see for that time, hence the reason for today's visit. It appears he just went through a growth spurt because he seems right about where he should be. Weighing at 5.4 pounds. "They" say babies grow about .5 lb a week, so if he arrives in about 2 weeks (which is what the thinking is now), he'll weigh around 6 lb, which is what his sister did at birth :) Sidenote-today there was a baby that weighed almost 8 lbs in the waiting room and I could've sworn it only weighed 4. He was so tiny. For those of you who met Ady as a brand new infant, you can remember. She could literally ball herself up in the palm of both hands and fit. Hard to believe she was ever that small! It will be nice to have another little teeny tiny baby to hold again :)  

I mentioned to the tech that last week I had lost my plug and she said, "Do they know???". I told her they didn't seem concerned and she said for some pregnancies it can mean you labor pretty quickly (like I did with Ady), but sometimes it's up to 3 weeks. Well, y'all. Today marks week 1. If we go to 2 more weeks that'll put him right about "full term" and that'd be perfect. I have an appointment next Thursday and then the following Thursday. The hope is-he stays through to the 2nd Thursdays visit. But, we know that regardless of if he comes now or in a week, or 2 weeks, or even 4 weeks, he will be perfectly fine. 

I've been quite confused since one visit had me 8 weeks off, another 2 week back, then 2 ahead, etc, etc. And I'm sure everyone reading this is too....So for now-we've decided to stop calculating our dates and times and just wait on him to come, knowing that we are out of the "danger" zone and that it appears his weight is just absolutely perfect. Dr still wants me to "take it easy", but today the tech said "go walk him out, girl!" (I think she thinks he's coming soon, but of course she can't say so). For now, I"m going to hope he holds off so we can celebrate the princesses' birthday on Saturday with our family and friends and then her actualy birthday on Sunday. :) I'm looking so forward to the perfect "Pinkalicious" party :)

It's so hard to believe that this Sunday, 2 years ago, this picture was taken:

Why did I blink? She is so big. Time, just slow down :) 

Looking forward to adding one more to this picture here in the next few days/weeks (and hoping Betsy will be working when Henry is born. Loved, loved, LOVED her!) 

We'll keep y'all posted. Thanks for the prayers. God is good, all the time.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Lasts.


One of my favorite authors is Karen Kingsbury. I've read just about every single book she's written. But, there's one in particular, a children's book, that makes me sob uncontrollably every time I read it. It's called "Let Me Hold You Longer". The book goes through all the different seasons that the mom didn't see as "lasts" and what she might've done if she'd known. I know, depressing, right?

I'm finding myself right now in that stage. That stage of lasts. Blame it on the excessive hormones. I am crying at anything now, and often. Poor Joseph. But, I got to thinking the other night about these lasts. These final precious few weeks (perhaps, days), and moments that will soon become distant memories.

For the sake of not repeating myself and for those of you who may not have ever read this blog to be confused, if you're not sure about why I always refer to these 2 precious babies as miracles read this: But, have your tissue handy.

I have wrestled with anxious thoughts this pregnancy and really having a difficult time relinquishing control. It's funny how when I thought I was about to lose the very things that made me a woman back in November, it felt so easy and natural for me to just let go, and let God. I am most definitely in a season of trusting Him. I think this "anxiety" of how things will turn out stems from my control and fear of the unknown. Of what's just around the corner once Henry comes. The mess that's gone in in my body has not been kind to me and major decisions will have to come. Ones that I don't want to face. But what does worrying do? It doesn't add a single hour to the day. So, friends, hold me accountable. Remind me to rest in the arms of the One who has everything under control. He doesn't want me to worry. He didn't want me to worry 9 months ago and He most certainly doesn't want me to worry now.

I have had so much confusion with this pregnancy with numbers, stats, measurements, etc that it's enough to make my head spin. I truly believe the Lord has a sense of humor and is using this season to humble me and remind me that He is really the only one in charge; that I may try to plan, but it is He who will direct the steps. A few weeks ago, I went in for an ultrasound and found that he was weighing at 4 lbs 6 oz. (I had Ady at 37 weeks and she was hardly 6 lbs). He was larger than what they like to see, (which explains why this preggo here who doesn't eat massive amounts had massive weight gain!), so they made an appointment for me to go back on the 29th for a recheck growth. At that point they will see what he is weighing and then go from there. My dr has made it very clear that she will not let me have a large baby. My OCD planner doesn't like this part (and God is laughing). Will she induce me? Will he come on his own like Ady did? My due date has been 10-10 all along, but was moved to 9-30. If he came at 37 weeks like Ady, he would be expected 9-9. But this past week has really thrown me for a loop....

Monday I began feeling an extreme amount of pressure. I called my OB and she wanted me to come in immediately. I had a meeting with a bride scheduled and literally 15 minutes beforehand, had to cancel. I drove myself to the hospital as Joseph stayed home with little Ady. I had a few contractions, but nothing were patterned (but, hey, neither were Ady's up until the second she entered this world--YIKES!). I had already dilated. He is actually sitting on my cervix and over and over again she kept saying "Gosh, he's low". As in "Geez, lady you must carry children bizarrely." Haha. I had that happen with Ady at just about every visit. Which explains why she came out so ridiculously fast. Then, she told me I need to "stay off my feet" and "take it easy". Two terms that are not found in my DNA. She also ran a FFN test that apprently can "guarantee" you won't deliver prematurely within the next 10-14 days. It was negative. That is good news. But, seriously-how can any test be that foolproof? Don't babies have agendas of their own?? So Monday I made it back home and just thought it would all be ok. Tuesday Ady was a really good helper for me. She climbed up on the couch by herself (I"m not supposed to lift her-which is not always possible to avoid), and has been my little side kick being my helper. Wednesday, was a different story. I stubbornly wanted to get things done. I had several appliquing/sewing things to complete and errands to run. It was a very busy day and I very much overworked myself.

If you are not a person who cares to hear someone who gives too much information, please don't read forward. My intent in saying this is to see if anyone else has been here too. Wednesday evening I began losing part of my "plug". I didn't say anything until almost bedtime to Joseph, of which he then freaked out. I lost it with Ady and 3 days later....the water broke. Thursday there was more, lots, except this time there was blood in it. I immediately called my dr almost in tears (ok, I was in tears). She said that she felt so strongly about this test and that women can lose it early on, it's not necessarily an indication of impending labor. (Sidenote: I don't really care what a test surely can not be completely accurate, right? Anyone been here?). She also said I needed to sit and the only way I was allowed to go to Louisville Sunday for my shower was if I sat and didn't drive. I had to cancel coordinating the wedding this weekend and felt just awful. But, I forget that I'm not working where I was with Ady. Where it was most definitely not accepted to be on bedrest. The head coordinator was beyond understanding and offered to help in any way she could and said she had been and would continue to be praying for Henry. God is so good.  Back to the story---I kept saying to my OB, "but I did this with Ady! You're sure it won't happen again?" She said she was very confident it'd be ok and I was in no danger of delivering yet. This momma? Not convinced. Henry's Gaga? Not convinced either. Henry's daddy? Same story. I trust my doctor and feel that she is the best for my care. I know that every decision she makes has mine and Henry's best interest at heart. She always listens to me and I have formed a friendship with her and her office staff. However, having said that, she also told me children would never be possible. So, doctor's don't know everything. She also told me at 9:30 the night Ady was born we'd be there all night and at 10:27 she was in my arms. She may be right, he may stay put a long time. But, my gut says otherwise. And my heart is just not ready....

I am not emotionally ready for this new adventure if I were to be completely honest. But, who really is? I can't imagine having two children to raise, two children to take to and from the grocery store, two children to take to church, two children to feed, two children to play with, two children to share my heart with. But regardless of if I can imagine it or not, he's a coming!

I have really struggled with this pregnancy ending, as much as I can't wait to hold him, my heart still aches for what may be the last. Then I feel so incredibly selfish for those thoughts; for the many women who will never, ever experience what I have been able to twice. My heart is at peace with adoption because we are most definitely not finished with growing our family, but there is also a piece of me that just wants to savor the sweet moments of pregnancy. We may be able to conceive more. There is no question that God's faithfulness and power has been shown in my life, and no stopping what He may do, but I also know that it doesn't mean He will continue to grow us this way. If this were the last time my body would ever get to carry a child, what would be the things I'd want to hold onto? To sit and soak up every.single.second. To let the wiggles and kicks remind me of a God who loves and heals and rescues and restores. To not be discouraged by my swelling hands and feet, but rather rejoice that the Lord has knit together in my womb the most beautiful creation of all time. For the nights that I can't sleep and I lie awake for hours; to just be thankful. To take the time to praise Him for what He has done, even through tired eyes when it can be difficult. 

One of the saddest lines in this book says "Would I have held on longer if I'd of known it was the last?" Friends, I want to meet Henry, I do. But I don't want this to end. I'm sobbing as I'm typing this now. God has been so very faithful to our family. I have been so spoiled to get to experience this again. I don't want it to end. I just want to hold on a little bit longer. 

If I could write a letter to Ady before she meets Henry, this would be it:

Dear Ady, 
I am so proud of the precious little girl that you are. I am so honored to be your mommy and watch you kneel on the ground with your hands folded and pray. I hope that you always know how much Jesus loves you and that someday you make a decision to trust Him with your life. I hope that you know that mommy and daddy are teaching and training you to know Him and pray everyday, and will for the rest of our lives, that you will allow Him to use you in ways that are unimaginable. I marvel at your sweet heart and nature and how caring you are. I know you won't understand once Henry gets here. Mommy won't be able to give you all the undivided attention that you are so used to. Be patient with me and know that I love you so deeply. A love that until you have a child one day you just can not begin to grasp. My precious Ady, you will always be so very special to me. You are living proof that God is the only one in control. My precious little miracle. I longed so desperately for you. There has never been anything that has brought me greater joy than taking care of you. Teach Henry to be brave and strong like you are. I love you more than you could ever imagine. 

And if I could write Henry a letter, this would be it:

Dear Henry, 
I haven't met you yet, but I have an image in my mind of what you will look like. I still find myself in awe of you growing inside my body. I hope you never have one second in your lifetime when you feel unloved. Mommy and daddy were so surprised to hear when we were going to have your sister, but you surely surprised us. God has a huge plan for your life. He doesn't make mistakes. And you, my child, are most definitely on this Earth for a reason. I can't imagine how life will change once you come. But, I know the moment they lay you in my arms I will know a love just as deep as the one I feel for Ady. She may not understand sometimes why she has to share with you. Be patient with her as she learns. Be patient with me too. I'm still new to this whole parent thing. But, one thing I can assure you, you are loved. I pray you will learn to love Jesus and that someday you will use your life story to be a testimony to the faithfulness of God. I love you, Henry. More than you could ever imagine. 

Our lives are about to drastically change. These moments of lasts will soon become firsts as we transition to a family of 4. My prayer is that God will continue to be glorified in our lives as we share what He has done for us. We covet your prayers as we walk this road and pray God's will on our family and His perfect timing for Henry's grand entrance into this world !

"My heart rejoices in the Lord....No one is holy like the Lord, for there is none besides You, nor is there any rock like our God" (1 Samuel 2:1-2)