Wednesday, December 9, 2015

A Birth Story

Even though it's easy to tell other people not to worry, it's not so easy to take that advice.  I knew our sweet baby would come at exactly the right time, but at some point my pregnant brain decided I knew what was best.  I should have been able to decide when the time was right.  I had been to my 39-week appointment that Thursday and was given the gift of an induction date!  My due date was the 10th and the induction was scheduled for the 12th...but my doctor of choice was on call the weekend before that.  I fell into the trap.  I did all the things I thought should make me go into labor.  You guessed it:  no labor.  I woke up angry at God Sunday and Monday because things weren't going my way.  Silly, but true.  God has such an interesting way of speaking into us what we need when we need it.  This is from the devotion I did that Monday morning:

"All of us are waiting on something, often wondering if God has forgotten us."
"This very minute He's working for His glory and for your good.  Though circumstances say otherwise, God is going to come through, on schedule, fulfilling His long-appointed plans for you.  Don't give up before the time is right."

It was exactly what I needed that morning.  Just a little reminder that I'm not in charge and that although my life feels pretty messy, He has plans for me.

That was Monday morning.  I had contractions all day as I had been having for weeks!  That night I was timing my contractions, but finally decided to go on to bed.  I think I had been asleep for about 20 minutes when my water broke.  Chris was still awake and watching tv, but it was pretty funny to see him jump up out of the bed!  In those moments between jumping up out of the bed and getting to the hospital, I had the shakes pretty bad just from nerves.  Chris held me close and prayed for us before we left home- he's a keeper!
When I got to the hospital, they got me into a room pretty quickly and determined that I wasn't telling jokes and was actually in labor.
They gave me an epidural at around 5:00 Tuesday morning and said I was dilated to 5 centimeters.
At about 8:00 or so I started telling them I think it's go time.  Maybe they hear lots of women say that when it's not true, or maybe I just seemed like I didn't know what I was talking about.  I don't know, but they checked me again and decided maybe I was right.
While the nurse is checking things out she says to me very calmly that she doesn't think the baby is head down...could I just hold on a moment while she gets the doctor.  Oh sure.  I'll just be here.
The doctor comes in (even though she's not the one I thought was right, undoubtedly she was) and confirms- yep, that is not the head.  Now, while I am normally a pretty rational person L&D is not a great place to showcase that!  I say, "so I guess you'll need to cut me."  Insert wide-eyed pregnant lady emoji here.  I immediately look at Andrea and tell her this is all her fault!  Just four months previous, she also had an unexpectedly breech baby!
Oh, no.  It's no problem, the doctor tells me.  The baby is very close.  Chris and Andrea would likely be able to tell the story more clearly, but I remember asking anyone that would listen if I should try to deliver or go for the C-section.  I ask if this is even ok; to deliver a baby this way??!!  There could only have been a few minutes between that and our sweet Lily coming into this world.  She did not come as I expected, but all was well.  The delivery was scary there just for a minute, but very quick and not bad at all.

This sweet baby is such an unexpected gift!
At a year, she can walk but doesn't want to most of the time.  I mean, why would she if someone will just carry her?!
She eats and sleeps very well.
It seems that either she's smiling all over herself, or she's getting down to the business with those eyebrows- not so much with the in between.
She can clap and wave.
Any cabinets or drawers that are open or unlocked are like some kind of treasure that must immediately be strewn out all over the floor.
She's beginning to climb!
She nods her head yes while making a very affirmative kind of doesn't seem like that should be happening yet and makes me laugh almost every time.

I'm so thankful that I get to be her Mama!

Monday, May 18, 2015

one foot in front of the other

The last time I posted an update about Christian was back in November.  The staff at the behavioral health hospital he was in had begun talking to us about discharging him before the end of the year.  I had a lot of mixed emotions about it.  When you have a child that is capable of what we've seen from Christian, you can't just get a sitter like you can for most kids.  I was so overwhelmed by the possibility of him being home before I had the baby and not knowing where he and Audrey would be while we were in the hospital.  Add to that, I didn't feel like he was ready to come home.  I shared my concerns with his therapist, and she assured me that he was doing very well.  She told us to just continue reinforcing all the coping skills he had learned and make sure he was attending his therapy appointments once he was back home.
He was discharged December 19th and the first rumblings came Christmas Day.  He wasn't ready and I knew it.  A lot of kids throw temper tantrums when they are toddlers, but generally as they get older those behaviors wane and with Christian we are continuing to see just the opposite.  When he doesn't get what he wants; when things don't go his way, he throws a fit.  Only since he's not a toddler and has some serious rage, that fit doesn't just mean crying or laying in the floor- it means he also hits and kicks, spits and tries to bite -just to name a few.  And now he's added in trying to get at both his sisters during these episodes.  
We had him home for 30 days before he was admitted for a short stay in a crisis unit. A couple of weeks later he had another. All total it was 60 days before he was approved to return to the hospital where he spent most of last year. 
Once he was settled back in there and we started talking about how to move forward, it was very clear pretty quickly that we needed to change paths.  A little over a month ago we moved Christian to a new facility.  So far, things are going very well there.  When I say that, I don't mean that he is all of a sudden getting better.  What I mean is that the staff there seems to have a much better grip on what is and is not acceptable behavior.  They are seeing what we've seen and are working with us and with Christian to try to move in the right direction, rather than glossing over his aggression...or pretending like taking deep breaths will make it all better.
This is still the most difficult thing we've ever done.  There are days when I try to remind God that this isn't what I signed up for.  Days when I feel like it's too much, I'm too tired, and I can't do this.  In those moments I'm not at my best, but God knows the condition of my heart.  He knows that even when I'm complaining or crying or yelling, for that matter, that I still know His word is true.  
He loves us.
He has plans for us...plans that are for our good and His glory.
For now we just keep putting one foot in front of the other.  

Today our boys turns 8.  
We continue to ask for your prayers for his health and healing, and prayers for wisdom for us know know how to best take care of all three of our babies.

Last year after I made all this public, someone said to me that it was difficult to believe there was anything wrong when our pictures all looked so happy.  Just know that we take pictures when things are going well.  We appreciate those pictures so that we have happy memories to look back on when things are not going so well.
Two weeks ago when we went for family therapy, Christian didn't want to discuss anything difficult.  He turned over the furniture and threatened to punch me in the face.  
Yesterday we had a really good visit.  We shared some cupcakes and loved on each other.  
Those are the days we take the pictures.

"For I am about to do something new.
    See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
    I will create rivers in the dry wasteland."
Isaiah 43:19

Monday, January 5, 2015

First Day- January 2015

Here's a little glimpse of our First Day of the New Year.  Hope yours was just lovely!

Great verse for the first day of a new year...gotta love YouVersion!  

May as well start with some chores!

This sweet baby is still so little!  She's not quite a month old and is almost 8 pounds.  

All of a sudden he's into Legos.  

I don't usually post pictures of my food...but this is SO good!  Thanks to my in-laws for keeping the two older kiddos so Chris and I could have a most delicious lunch date at Longhorn!

More to unload and one to reload.  And Audrey can't be bothered to stop singing while she works long enough to take a picture.  

She is all the time asking to love on that baby!

2014 brought with it some unexpected hardships and some unexpected joys.  We have learned some valuable lessons and increased our understanding of appreciating the sunshine and the rain. While  I haven't made any New Year's resolutions, I have spent some time evaluating how our family looks different now than it did at the beginning of last year. It feels a bit like we're standing at the starting line of the next leg of a race- One that instead of running blindly and on my own, I get to prepare for (to some degree) and even pass off the baton when I need some rest.  I am expecting great things!