Saturday, June 27, 2009

June 16, 2009

Short commercial break-I finally added a photo of me at 40+ weeks, visiting the stork at the zoo! See previous post.

Now back to the program-

Isn’t it amazing that a date can just be a number on the calendar and then all of a sudden, it can take on so much meaning. I’ll never again hear someone speak “June 16th” without automatically thinking “that is the day that the day my baby girl was born.” A day that before was just a date, now is one of the most significant days of my life. AMAZING. I love this picture of our first meeting:In this moment I could care less about the state of my makeup, the fact that someone is taking my picture in the adorable hospital gown, what my hair looked like or what is going on anywhere else in the world. Even more amazing is the disgusting "mess" that is just beyond the cropped edges of this photo yet a million miles from my mind or the pain that I screamed through just minutes before. The space between my nose and hers was all the world to me in that instant.

Just a couple of weeks before Little Miss made her debut, Kristen D pointed out this scripture. I've always thought this to be an amazing truth and loved seeing it in the Word:
"When a woman gives birth, she has a hard time, there's no getting around it. But when the baby is born, there is joy in the birth. This new life in the world wipes out memory of the pain." - John 16:21

I’m sure very few of you care about all of the details of that day in the way that we do, but I am anxious to document them as best I can remember in hopes that one day I can share with Little Miss about the day she came into this world…and changed mine.

I woke up about 3:30am fairly sure that my water had broken. I was not 100% certain, half asleep, and not really wanting to let myself believe that this was FINALLY happening. We waited around at the house for a little while and nothing happened (no contractions or other signs of labor) but RRL was determined that we go on to the hospital…wise since Cbug arrived 1 hour after my water broke and only 25 minutes after we arrived at the hospital. I don’t blame RRL for not wanting to deliver his third baby at home or in our car :)! Our AMAZING neighbors, J&K, came to stay with the boys and my Momma, RRL and I headed out.

We arrived a little after 4 am and still NOTHING. I went straight to the nurses station and basically begged them not to send me home. I was sure they would take one look at me and send me home…I just could not BARE the thought of that. A sweet nurse checked me, said I was at about a 4 (same as my doctor’s visit a week before), but that I was leaking some amniotic fluid so I better stay…HOORAY! She thought it was probably a high leak in the water sack and suggested we do some walking to get labor to progress. We walked and walked and walked, rested a little, then walked and walked and walked. AND NOTHING. Occasionally, when I was hooked to the monitor, we could tell that I was having a few contractions, but nothing more intense than I’d been experiencing for weeks. OH LORD, I prayed, please don’t let this take all day.

Every time a nurse would come into the room, I’d remind them that I was 5 days past my due date and absolutely COULD NOT go home without a baby. Each would sweetly reassure me that I did the right thing by coming to the hospital and that when the doctor came in later in the morning she would get things moving. We really had this same conversation no less than 12 times in the few hours leading up to the doctor’s visit.

AND BOY HOWDY did the doctor get things moving….

When she came in a little after 8am she checked and I was still about a 4, but my water actually had not really broken. APPARENTLY it is possible to have TWO sacks of fluid. Usually these two sacks fuse during pregnancy, but OF COURSE our comfortable baby girl wasn’t ready to release her water bed yet and just decided to hang on to one. So the doctor broke the REAL sack and I immediately started having contractions…like REAL ONES. The pain I had prayed for was upon me and suddenly I was wishing that I hadn’t been so persistent about asking for things to get going!

I had such an awesome experience in the past with natural birth so I told the nurse I wanted to go as far as possible without medication. She, along with RRL and my sweet momma, were so encouraging as I labored, but about 30 minutes in I was already ready to give up. When the nurse said it was too late for medicine I thought about just requesting a rubber mallet to knock myself out with…oh my it was intense.

But just as fast as it began, it was over. Baby sister was born at 9:19, less than 1 hour after the first contraction. I literally gasped in amazement when I saw her, and my first words, overcome with emotion, were “Thank you Lord, Sweet Jesus”…shortly followed by “She is a girl, right?” I was literally in awe as I watched the NICU staff clean her up and check her (she swallowed a little bit of meconium, but was just fine). Every time someone new came into the room we would exclaim “Did you see her, isn’t she wonderful, just perfect, absolutely beautiful?” And she was indeed. Oh, He has been good to us!

Because we thought so much about timing leading up to her birth and prayed for His perfect timing, we were quick to notice and point out all of the ways he worked in the hours of her birth. Here are a few of the miracles that topped off the day:

1) My Momma has been at the birth of all three of my children. This is something I prayed for each time from the first moments of pregnancy. It is no small thing that she was there, considering that she lives 11 hours away yet “happened” to be in town each time.

2) My Daddy’s biggest show of the year is always the middle of June. This is a show that his office spends weeks/months preparing for and the week leading up to the show is especially busy. Baby Sister made her debut less than 24 hours after the show was torn down so Daddy was able to hop on a plane and be here just shortly after she arrived and stayed for nearly a week. He likely would not have been able to do that if she had arrived any earlier.

3) CBUG…so many blessings came through and for this little boy by his sister waiting to arrive. He has grown and changed so much in the last month and I know that in part the Lord was giving our amazing middle child the time he needed to grow into the big brother role. This is probably the blessing that I have thanked the Lord most for. Thank you, Lord, for letting me be home to hear so many of his first words, watch him grown and change, experience his learning process, and for giving me a greater confidence that he is going to be JUST FINE giving up his baby of the family status!

4) Because of my random "second sack" the birth of our sweet girl was pretty uneventful. This was a good thing in our minds! The water leaking from the first sack meant that we were right where we needed to be, when we needed to be there and were able to actually have a doctor deliver baby Sister!

5) We have a sweet high school senior that has been helping me some with the boys this summer. She is like family, the boys LOVE her and she is one of the reasons I know we are going to survive the first few months of family-of-fiveness. Anyway, when it looked like we were going to be at the hospital for a while I really wanted her to be the one to take care of the boys. I knew they would love having her around, J&K could go to work, and my mom would be able to stay with me. One small problem...she is a senior...which basically means she keeps late nights and often sleeps late in the mornings if she doesn't have plans. I knew there was no way she would be up in time to go over to our house, but I sent her a text message just in case. And the Lord did an amazing thing...he turned off the electricity in her house that morning for a very brief time, just long enough for it to get warm, turn off her sound machine, and let her wake up to see her text message! She literally got the message just moments before the doctor came in so we were able to discuss details with her before I was even in labor. We were given a peace that the boys were well taken care of for the day. And of course the boys were thrilled to hang out with her. How COOL is that!!

I'm sure many of the blessings of her arrival have yet to even be revealed to us. What an amazing day, though, and an amazing beginning to so many special memories made with our sweet angel. Thank you (if you made it this far in reading), from the bottom of our hearts, for your encouragement, love, offers to help, and especially your prayers during this special time for our family. We are so blessed and so loved!


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Is FOREVER enough?

I've mentioned the Dixie Chics "Lullaby" on this blog before. This week, though, I've been overwhelmed by the chorus...

How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough, is forever enough
How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough
Cause I'm never, never giving you up

When I sit on my couch snuggling my sweet newborn girl, watching the man I love chase the most adorable blond headed boys I've ever seen, and enjoying my parents here to share so many of these first memories with us...I'm not sure FOREVER is enough! Granted, this week has been pretty far from real life for us. My house is clean (not by me), meals just magically appear and the entertainment committee is in full swing for the boys with my parents here and RRL taking some time off of work. Always the realist, I know there are rough days are ahead and this Mommy-of-Three thing may be far from glamorous in the near future, but I'm pretty sure even that can't change how full my heart is at this moment- absolutely bursting at the seams!
Because I've just been swept up in resting, nursing, snuggling and enjoying my family, I haven't taken time before now to organize my thoughts on baby sister's arrival and the details of her birth. I'll definitely do that soon, but for now here are some of my favorite pictures of the little miss from the last week. I could stare at them FOREVER.

PS- Can you tell that our theme around here has been "another day, another bow?" LOVING IT!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Hey, Mr Stork, WHERE IS MY BABY?

I can honestly say that over the last few weeks, as silly as it may be, I've been through LOTS of different "faith stages" while we wait on this baby girl. I certainly hoped, when I wrote about our sweet anticipation, that my next post on this blog would be contain lots of pictures of us holding our sweet baby girl. But still we wait. I know it is nothing new for a baby to be born past due date- its just an estimation, right? But I've found the waiting to be hard. If for no other reason than to pass the time, I thought it would be good to document some of the "stages" I've been in over the last few weeks.

When we hit about 35 weeks in this pregnancy I'll confess to a state of anxiety. I begged the Lord that He would let this baby wait. There were so many things in my life that felt unstable and I felt utterly unprepared to be a mother to three. I was having lots of conversations with my Jesus at that point about working on my heart and preparing me...and again just asking for more time.

and it was granted...

At about 37 weeks I just kicked into high gear preparation mode. RRL and I worked hard over Memorial Day weekend to clean out her closet, put together her bed, wash her tiny clothes and blankets. It was so much fun and so exciting. Working together on those tasks reminded me what a great team I married onto and gave me renewed confidence in the Lord's care for our family. I released the burden I had been carrying to do so much on my own and just relished in the joy of being a mom.

Then we started waiting...

At first the waiting came with an amazing peace. It was awesome to be able to go into her room, fumble through her clothes and just sit and dream about her. With the stress of preparation removed and no big events on our calendar (cleared in case she arrived), we enjoyed lots of fun family time.

but still we waited...

My brother arrived a few days before her due date and my mom came shortly after. I knew my brother could only stay a short time. He was leaving here on the 11th to spend a few days at my parents house before heading back to his home in Alaska to prepare for his Qatar deployment in a couple of weeks. I started begging the Lord that he would allow Lt. D to hold his niece before he left (funny how in just a few weeks time I went from begging that He would let her WAIT to be born to begging that HE would hurry up her arrival). I believed with all of my being that this request would be granted and was even more sure when Lt D's original flight got canceled forcing him to stay with us for one more day....surely that was a SIGN, surely he was staying so he could meet his niece. I was so SURE that I put on make up and dried my hair before I went to bed that night to be ready for a quick trip to the hospital!

But she didn't come that night...

When Lt D got on the plane the next morning I'll confess that I fought hard against bitterness and disappointment. I was just plain SAD. I know that baby sister will meet her uncle soon enough and will love him every bit as much as her big brothers do, but still. I didn't understand (still don't really understand) WHY. Sounds so silly, looking back, but expectations of any kind that are not met in the way you would like them to be are just hard to get past. I spent a couple of days struggling through this in my heart, but was greatly encouraged by friends and family who were helping us wait and who have faced the waiting themselves.

And real life continued...

I made a decision this weekend that if baby sister wasn't going to be in a hurry, I was not going to sit around waiting on her. This week (week 41) we are enjoying our time as a family (see the emotional rollercoaster theme?). I enjoyed a fun girl's night on Friday night, we went to the zoo yesterday, and got to enjoy Summer Spectacular last night. We're went to the park today with some fun friends, enjoyed eating lunch with RRL's sister and plan to go back for night two of SS fun. We're taking it one day at a time, and just waiting. The anticipation is THICK in the air at our house, but we are enjoying each additional day we get to make family of 4 memories. I've loving having my Momma around and getting to watch her interact with her two biggest fans...her grandsons. I would have missed so many of these moments if I had been in the hospital with baby Sister. I'm not taking those moments for granted these days!

So we wait some more...

We are scheduled for an induction next Monday if baby Sister doesn't make up her mind on her own. Please pray with me that she'll come before that is necessary. And pray that we'll just be able to enjoy our time of waiting. Join me in praising the Lord for my good health and the good health of our baby and pray that we'll just stay focused on the blessings.

We so appreciate that there are so many of you WAITING with us.

In anticipation of His perfect timing,

Oh, and in case you were worried that we are not finding any humor in all of this, we did stop by the stork exhibit at the zoo yesterday and had KJ yell at the birds "Hey, Mr. Stork, where is my baby sister?" You know, just in case a stork has anything to do with it :)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The first moment...

From the very FIRST MOMENT we knew about you, you have been loved, sweet baby sister.

You've been doing a lot of growing since that moment...I can tell!

You have been "showered" with generosity by so many people who are helping us prepare for your arrival...

...ensuring that we were ready for all things girly in our world of trucks and balls.

Your room is ready
(complete with a pink rubber ducky that your brother picked out)

and we are anxious to stare at you while you sleep.

We feel like kids waiting for Christmas as we anticipate your arrival. We are praying for you, precious girl.

We believe the Lord has all of your first moments in his hands and we are anxiously awaiting the FIRST MOMENT we meet you and kiss your tiny head!!
Mommy and Daddy

For inquiring minds- our little one is due in ONE WEEK! We never dreamed we would make it this far, scrambled to get ready for an early arrival, and find ourselves now completely ready and waiting. There is an amazing peace at our house because so many details have already been settled- the Lord was so sweet in his timing to know how much I needed that. So far, baby sister does not seem to be in any hurry to arrive. In typical girl fashion, she is going to use every minute she can get to prepare for her big debut. That's just fine with us...the waiting will make the meeting all that much sweeter. Thank you for your prayers for her and for us.