Family of Warriors

Family of Warriors

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Walking Through It

Three years ago today, I gave birth to a sweet baby at 18 weeks gestation. He was part of twins--we lost the first one at 8 weeks gestation. To me, my family and friends these were not fetuses--they were babies lost. They were dreams destroyed. They were love unshared. They were hope given. They were faith reborn.

I didn't understand God's plan for us at that time...yet I trusted Him completely. I couldn't breathe at times...yet I trusted Him to breathe for me. I couldn't cry at times. I couldn't love at times. I was a mess. I missed and grieved at the chance to hold my sweet boys and to train them.

Mark and I had the privilege to name our sweet boys. The first one was Zechariah Isaiah. The next one we named Hezekiah Tom Thumb. We never were able to meet Zechariah. Yet, he provided hope for us to keep his brother alive. We worked hard the next 10 weeks to protect baby Hezekiah, but God had a superior plan for Him. Unfortunately, it did not involve us having him here with us.

We lost Zechariah in the middle of the night. Fear gripped us as we drove silently to the hospital. Wondering what had happened to our precious baby led Mark and I into deep, silent prayer. Our eyes were elated and sadden to see two sacs on the ultrasound. One sac full of life the other sac empty. Zechariah gave us hope for the future and he encouraged us to take care of his brother.

We learned that Hezekiah had gone to be with his brother in Jesus's arms at a normal doctor's appointment. We were given a few days to think about the best way of delivering him. We had decided to do a D/C, but Hezekiah had other plans. Hezekiah was the only child born during a Dallas Cowboys football game. He was very small and special. If I had any doubt that God created life and that He knitted us together in our Mother's womb, I don't' anymore. I saw a perfectly formed body. All I could think and say after he was born was how beautiful he was.

During the next year, I learned valuable lessons. I learned to cherish my children as the gift they are. I learned that God was big enough to handle my grief and anger. I learned that God continues to give good gifts in the middle of crisis--I just had to look harder.

"But now, this is what the Lord says-He who created you, O Jacob, He who formed you, O Israel: 'Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior...'"
Isaiah 43:1-3

During that time period of my life, God was very real as my Savior. He was my every breath and my every move. He gave me strength and encouraged me to continue on. He walked and carried me through every gut wrenching experience.

This October 15th is a day to pray and light a candle for all those who have suffered the loss of a pregnancy or infant. Please pray, send notes, light a candle. Let us cherish human life at any age.

Wordless Wednesday

End of September Randomness

  • Last Friday, the boys had boys night. So, while they watched their Super Hero movie, Mary-Elizabeth and I had our first girls night--we slept!
  • Last Saturday, Mark blessed me by helping me clean out the playroom and all children's rooms. We purged our home of lots of stuff that wasn't needed. It feels great to have less and manage it!
  • I reworked our budget for this next year. We are thankful to have enough money to support our needs and some of our wants.
  • Mark is starting the process to potentially separate from the Army. I am so excited and scared of where God is leading us next!
  • Mark and I have been looking online at houses to buy in potential towns. It was so much fun to talk about prospective houses!

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

The Difference

Mary-Elizabeth just turned 2 months old. She has grown so much--she weighs 15 pounds already! She found her hands and loves to chew on them--just in time for flu season. She can be quite fussy at times, so she loves to be held close in the sling. She is beginning to smile back at us and even babbles on occasion to my delight. She falls asleep easily in her bassinet, but hates sleeping in her own bed. However during the day. she enjoys sleeping in her swing. She sleeps for about 5 hours at night and nurses and sleeps for another 4 hours. She almost always has a smile for her Daddy and sits contently in his lap. I must admit it has been a crazy, busy, fun, joyful, beautiful experience having 5 children.

Many people ask if my life as been turned upside down with having a little girl. Well, in some ways yes and in other ways no. There is a major difference in changing diapers, getting her dressed and decorating her room. Yet, fundamentally it is the same. I have the same desires and prayers for her that I have for my love the Lord their God with all their hearts.

The main difference between boys and girls is more or less my teaching role. My main role with the boys is to enhance Mark's teachings --the value of respect, the love of God, the joy of a good wife, and how to problem solve. Now, with Mary-Elizabeth my role is different. My goal is to teach her the fundamentals of being a lady of character and virtue. I am to teach her how to be modest in her appearance, to be self controlled, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be pure. Now, boys need to learn these lessons too, but Mark is the one who needs to be the example. Now, I have the privilege and responsibility to teach my daughter by example and my words. Oh, I look forward to teaching her how to cook, how to organize her room, and how to play babies and doll house. I am assured I will enjoy playing with her just as much as I enjoy playing with my boys. For it will be during those 'play' moments that I will be the example that she needs.

I must admit I am overjoyed and full of glee to have this opportunity to teach my daughter. Now, to let the Holy Spirit to work through me in training all my children in His righteousness. Please Lord help me to stay out of it.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

My Love

Every child has a sweet nickname that God has given me. Micah was suppose to be 'My Gift,' but God had different plans. Immediately I knew that Micah would be a symbol of love. He has been such a lovable little boy. He loves to be held close and snuggle. He loves to read books. He is in love with Shamu. He thinks his brothers are the coolest! Yet, he stands up for himself with his brothers normally by screaming and sometimes by brute force.

Micah was born 2 years ago today. His birth was miraculous. I was able to participate more with his birth than my previous ones. Mark and I were in awe of Micah's beauty and timing. He loves numbers just like his Momma. He was born on 09/08/07 at is05:04. He skipped the number 6 for some unknown reason, but I was grateful. His brothers loved him immediately and watched over him intently from the get go. He has a deep love for his brothers. He has a heart like none other.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Kaleb Kristopher

Kaleb turned 10 a few weeks ago. Due to having Baby Girl, I wasn't able to post. So, I am taking advantage of some quiet time and posting the top ten things (in random order) I love about Kaleb in celebrating his 10th birthday.

1. I love Kaleb's laugh and smile.

2. I love Kaleb's desire to do the right thing.

3. I love (on most days) Kaleb's desire to ask lots of questions.

4. I love to watch Kaleb participate in musicals.

5. I love Kaleb's ability to play with all of his brothers no matter their age.

6. I love that Kaleb sees hardship in a positive way.

7. I love to see Kaleb rock his baby sister to sleep.

8. I love that Kaleb wants to know more about me.

9. I love that Kaleb is alive and well despite a few major illnesses.

10. I love that God honored me by allowing me to be Kaleb's Mom.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

The Grand Entrance

Excited to be admitted--Baby Girl is coming!

Baby Girl has arrived!

She weighed as much as Micah.

WARNING: This may be too much information for some. However, I need to express how awesome God is and how He presented Himself through Mary-Elizabeth's birth.

First of all, I want to say that at the end of this pregnancy I was done. Maybe it was the high heat in a non-air conditioned home or maybe it was the pregnancy in itself. None the less, I was ready to for Mary-Elizabeth to make her grand entrance.

The Tuesday before Baby Girl was born I began to have contractions for several hours approx. 3 min. apart. They were not painful. Then they stopped. The next day, I began to have contractions again and they stopped. On Thursday, I began to have contractions before my ob appt. Mark made me pack my bags and get prepared to have our sweet Baby Girl. That appt. was disappointing. I was only dilated to a small 2 but was showing signs of 'maybe labor wouldn't be far.' The Doctor told me to go home and rest up. We went to the mall. I had several painful ones and then they just stopped...UGH! Everyday, I would have contractions and then they would stop.

So, on Sunday, July 19th, I started having contractions around 4:45 pm. I also began to show physical signs of labor. Mark and I didn't wait for the contractions to get harder and then stop. We just left for the hospital in hopes of having Baby Girl.

Upon arrival, I was checked--dilated to a 5! Yeah, I was a keeper. Then I found out I was Group B strep positive. Not a big deal-antibiotics would be used for preventive care. I needed to wait to have her 5 hours after my meds began in order to keep her off of any iv preventive meds. Several pokes later, meds began and contractions were getting harder. They were afraid to check me because they wanted me to get as close as possible to the 5 hour mark.

All that said, things got crazy. I began to get stronger contractions and more pain. I also began to get nauseous. I was fairly sick and requested something small to keep from getting sicker. I also requested my epidural. With phenergan and the epidural in place I began to get some rest.

Not to long afterwards, I began to feel weird. I was checked-dilated to a 8! Yippee, except that it was only 10:45 and I had to wait until 1:00 AM to keep Baby Girl safe. Mark and I prayed fervently that God would keep Baby Girl safe.

More drama began when my blood pressure dropped. I received some meds to help it go back up. After some adrenaline for the blood pressure, Baby Girl moved out of her position and I dilated backwards-now I am a 7. At this point, Mark and I were thinking that it was God's provision in keeping Mary-Elizabeth well.

During most of the event, I was very sleepy-probably a good thing. As my blood pressure continued to decrease and drop, Mary-Elizabeth's heart rate went crazy. She was jumping all over the place and reaching beats of 200+. My water was slow in breaking because her head was disengaged. So, the monitor was put on her head and a small leak was started.

The next few hours are a bit fuzzy. I know that Mary-Elizabeth finally calmed down after a few hours of craziness. I also remember getting more meds for the blood pressure drop. Unfortunately, I did get sick to my stomach again. I requested no meds and hoped that the act of being sick would put Mary-Elizabeth back into position. I don't think it worked very well.

Our poor nurse was in our room for the majority of the night and morning. The next thing I remember is drops in Mary-Elizabeth's heart rate with my contractions. This was a sign of distress. It was 7:00 Am and I was dilated to a 9. The doctor went ahead and had me pushing in hopes of getting Baby Girl out safely. At first, I couldn't really feel where to push. Then God blessed us and her head engaged well. At 7:25 AM, Mary-Elizabeth was born after 15 hours of labor. However, the chord was wrapped around her neck twice. The doctor had expected this because of her dips in her heart rate during my contractions which were erratic despite all the pitocin.

After removing the chord, they put my sweet 7 lb 14 oz chubby baby on my chest and I began to cry. She however wasn't breathing well. So, they took her to the baby bed and began to suction and give her oxygen. Everyone told me she was okay, but I didn't believe them because she was not crying. They worked on her for awhile and cleaned her up. Finally, after I ate some breakfast, they gave her to me. Thankfully, she nursed well. Looking at Baby Girl, I was overwhelmed at God's goodness and faithfulness that was exhibited through her pregnancy and labor.

She made her grand entrance on her oldest brother's birthday. Now, twice on this one day I have been given a miracle-one ten years prior. The blessings and provisions are far too numerous to recount. However, I must praise God for protecting my mind and spirit from all of the ups and downs of this labor. I was not extremely scared or nervous through all of the drama. I am also thankful for my fabulous husband. Mark was a trooper and stayed awake. He also kept a mental record of all that was happening. He was well equipped to be my advocator and was willing to go the extra mile for me and his daughter.

I am blessed to have gone through this trial of a crazy pregnancy and labor. Mary-Elizabeth is perfect and I am in love with the family that God has given me.

First time to hold my daughter.

Going Home!

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Pure Randomness...

So, it has been about 6 weeks since my last post and I have plenty to say just no time for the computer. I am still trying to carve out time for my blog. It will come. I have tons of stuff I want to say yet they don't really go together. So, here is to the randomness of my brain....

~I bought a custom made sling and it is my best friend. Little girl is very fussy at times and needs to be held. She loves it too!

~I finally found newborn pacifiers. She is only 6 weeks old.

~We started cutting Micah's pacifier. He thinks it has an ouchie. So, he fell asleep with it in his hands and not in his mouth.

~Kaleb has been a source of strength. He is excellent at doing head counts and putting little girl asleep.

~Joshua read his first chapter book. He is super pleased with himself! I am just excited that he is growing a passion for reading.

~Stephen's nickname is the 'kissing brother.' He loves to kiss his sister more than she appreciates.

~Little girl slept 5 1/2 hours last night in a roll. The only down side is that she couldn't go back to sleep for another 1 1/2 hours.

~Micah is 5 days short of celebrating his 2nd b-day!

~I am really becoming a bit crazy with hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes due to a break out of the 'swine flu' in our area.

Well, that is all the randomness Mary-Elizabeth will let me put in....more to come!