This is a hard one to write but I never want to forget.
On 11/28/14 my water broke. It was her due date – it was 11:30 at night but still! I got so excited. I had just finished watching a movie with family and we were still hanging in the living room. I was just laying there but felt and heard a pop and realized what was happening.
However, by 1 am I still wasn’t having consistent contractions. Some of them were starting to hurt a little bit but nothing like I remembered with Haddon. I tried to sleep and around 3 am they started getting a little stronger so I would just rest and then breathe through the more painful ones.
By 11 am the contractions hurt but weren’t consistent enough for me to want to go into the hospital. Our midwife called to check on me multiple times through the morning and by noon she wanted us to go in because we were reaching 12 hours from when my water had broken and she wanted to check on the baby.
Much to my dismay… I was only three and half centimeters dilated when I got there at noon. The baby was sunny side up (just like Haddon had been…).
On the way to the hospital I told Micah, look Im gonna try to do this thing unmedicated again but if I don’t progress and she is sunny side up I am probably gonna get pitocin and an epidural. I didn’t want a repeat of Haddon’s birth. I didn’t have the motivation. Been there. Done that. It was not the “wonderful” natural birth everyone describes. It was the worst three days of my life and I hardly even remember enjoying Haddon at first because I was just so relieved to be out of pain.
I wanted this one to be different. It wasn’t shaping up that way with such a slow progression though… so when they offered a tiny amount of pitocin to get things rolling I accepted. The contractions intensified and got closer together so it was certainly doing its job. Due to her positioning though my body just kept moving slowly. I also had a lip of the cervix that wouldn’t move… that happened with Haddon too. They manually moved it with him and they manually moved it with her… After 6 hours on pitocin and still only progressing to a 6 I asked for the epidural. I expected complete relief… that wasn’t the case as I could still feel tons of pressure. It definitely helped though and Verity and I were handling everything well.
FINALLY at 1 am I was ready to push. Her heart rate then dropped drastically all of a sudden, so they had me lay on my side, wear some oxygen and she was much happier that way. We waited for a while to make sure she was good to go before pushing again. I prayed she would come out fast when I did push.
At 2 am I was able to push again and she came out in 15 minutes! I was SO excited. I wasn’t too worn out or in too much pain to not be thrilled at what was happening. I couldn’t wait to hold that girl and really experience the moment.
When I pushed her head out they realized the cord was wrapped around her neck but the monitor still showed a good heart beat… as soon as she was out my midwife unwrapped the cord and handed her to me.
She looked dead and she wouldn’t cry. It was really only a matter of seconds and the midwife had her back, they were rubbing her and the nurse started to call people in…
I just remember asking why wont she cry, why wont she make noise. It was the scariest thing I’ve ever seen.
As the nurse called people the midwife kept her cord blood pulsing to give her oxygen until what I refer to as “the baby swat team” came in. When they came in they took her and started to work on her right away – I don’t even know everything they did but I do know she had CPR, a tube down her throat, oxygen mask, etc.
I couldn’t see anything except chaos and my mom and dad watching and praying (they ended up being in the room for pushing this time and I am SO glad it ended up happening that way). I was praying more like chanting please let her breathe, please God and looking at Micah not saying anything but with fear in my eyes. He kept repeating… “who’s baby is she?” “who loves her more than we do?” “who made her?”
That man is amazing.
After what seemed like an eternity but also a blink of an eye, I saw my dad start to shake his head yes and make eye contact with me. Then my mom did it. Then the chaos calmed down and they wheeled her away. Everyone had left the room now.
I asked Micah to turn on some hymns, once they were on he crawled in next to me and we lost it.
I didn’t have to have stitches or anything so pretty quickly after all this I got to go to my recovery room. Doctors and nurses were really great about keeping us updated about what they could. In fact, we have had a phenomenal experience with the care for us and our daughter.
I kept wondering about long-term damage but day-by-day she is showing she is amazing and I am choosing to not think on that. She is showing no signs of damage and all her test results are great. When we take her home it will be like nothing happened. Her pediatrician will watch her milestones closely through the first couple years but that’s really the only thing that we have to “keep an eye on” for now.
I am beyond thankful to have been in a hospital. Every second counted.
When we visited her in the NICU the next day and I heard her cry I lost it! I sorta yelled at her “that’s what you were supposed to do last night!” I have also talked to her about her fill of drama for her whole life. No more please.
I am the most thankful that we get to keep her for now. God is good. Even if we didn’t get to keep her He is still good but I am so thankful for this little miracle.
We don’t really have medical answers for what happened. It is rare.
Pregnancy, birth, delivery, it’s all miraculous.
I am recovering well besides being exhausted and Verity is A+ student in the NICU.
If she comes “on time” we are a month away from little Vs due date. As much as I want to meet her and let’s be honest… not be pregnant anymore (36 weeks Friday!). I am soaking up these last weeks as a family of three. The past couple months have been a whirlwind honestly. Lots of travel, nesting, prepping, organizing, work, managing of household, etc!
We are still trying to get involved in Frederick and so I joined a bible study that goes up until the week before she is due, I joined MOPS, we started going to the same church on a consistent basis and joined a care group through that – no one can say I’m not trying to make friends and grow where God has brought us! I know I will be hibernating come her arrival so I am hoping some relationships are more established before that happens but regardless I have been blessed by these new events and the line of one of my favorite songs that echoes in my mind on a regular basis about this season of life is “Never once did you leave us on our own, never once did we ever walk alone, you are faithful, God you are faithful”.
Besides the doctor visits, hospital tours, and all that “normal” jazz, here is some of what I’ve been up to this trimester in snapshots.
We are changing up our basement to make it more hang out friendly. It was sort of a catch all for the first 6 months. It’s storage, Haddon’s playroom, my office, the laundry room, and an additional living room. It was an ugly yellow before and now called “silver drop”. The color alone brightened and cleaned it up so nicely down there! I put in a couple accessories and tried to organize better and voila! A cozy place to hibernate this winter. There are still a couple things I’d love to see happen down here but I am happy with it!
this was Ms. Erna’s stuff before we moved in.
I hope to add some pictures in those frames of the kids, a pretty rug, and a white ottoman/coffee table and be done! It’s still a room of all sorts but it’s so much more peaceful!
The kids room is pretty much ready. Yes, a brother and sister are going to share a room. As you can see, I kept it really neutral. We already had white furniture, the walls were already a tan color, and I got some gray accents and called it a day. We wont move Verity in there until she sleeps through the night probably – so it might be a while before they actually share a room. Haddon’s toddler bed will go near the window. It will be tight but I wasn’t ready to give up the guest room and I feel like my house is already overtaken in kid’s stuff. I shared a room until I was in middle school and I mostly loved it! Some of my most favorite memories are when my sister would read to me and we would push our beds together to form a big “boat”. When they need their privacy we’ll reevaluate. For now, I hope they love it.
She has more clothes than her brother already. thanks friends and family!
I have tried to make a lot of meals in order to relax when she is here and to set Micah up for success. Micah doesn’t love to cook and I know he will be doing a lot for us once I am in recovery mode so I wanted to try and make things easier on him. With Haddon I tried to have the mindset of… “a baby isnt going to hold us down” and therefore just tried to do a little too much I think. To be honest I dont even remember just relaxing on the couch and enjoying my baby. He was born in the summer. If he was napping I wanted to go outside and swim or tan. We had people there all the time. Started taking him out super early, etc. There will be a lot that is different this time.
I learned to stop obsessing over weight gain and just go with it. What this looked like for me is that I stopped worrying about sugar grams and carbs and instead let myself indulge if I wanted to. Because of an old eating disorder I can get a skewed mindset very quickly when it comes to weight and I just realized that weighing myself every single morning was not helping. So I try to eat healthy most the time but indulge when I want. If feels pretty normal and I love it. Working out is still very important to me. Sometime around week 33 I stopped doing PiYo/running 6x a week and have drastically cut that down. As of now…I try to jog 3x a week and I try to still do my normal route which is a little over 2 miles, I don’t always make it and that’s okay. Neighbors also like to comment… “girl, youre gonna make that baby come out tonight”, “seriously, when are you due?”, etc. Sometimes it encourages me and sometimes I wonder why everyone has to say something to people with big bellies. I still do some workout videos I am capable of doing, they are mostly light strength training/stretching. When I get finished with a jog or have felt really great after a workout I am sometimes on the brink of tears with thankfulness. I am so glad my body can still do it and know its preparation for the marathon of labor that is coming…
Belly Shots. Most things are uncomfortable – especially sleep or trying to navigate tight corridors.There just isn’t a lot of space on a 5 ft frame. People have been asking me for weeks if I am due any day. SHHHHH – don’t ask people that! I’ve learned to just give a look and say “dont I wish” or “nope! still got a couple weeks to go!” It’s amazing what a body can do… I got that linea nigeria thing again but so far no stretch marks!
Confessions. I am SO afraid of labor this time…For most of my pregnancy we didnt know if I was going to have a scheduled c-section or not so I tried not to even think about labor. We find out for sure on Thursday, but she and my placenta are doing just fine (praise the good Lord) so the thoughts are flooding in. I don’t remember feeling that with Haddon. Probably because I was ignorant and had only read about what the labor pains felt like. Now I know…I dont even know what I am afraid of to be honest. It’s true that I can always just get an epidural, pain meds, etc. but recovery from unmedicated was so quick last time that I would just love to have that happen again. I am praying and would love to ask you for prayers for a calm and sound mind during that process and heck, leading up to it too please.
Overall… I am just so thankful for this time. This weekend is our last out of town and then I am going into hibernation mode. You can find me at home until February or March!
To my first born,
Your time as my only is wrapping up sweet one.
I could never explain to you the emotions that come with that. I am so thankful for the time we’ve had together just you and me kiddo (and dad of course)!
When I first realized you weren’t my only anymore I was a little nervous about how I could love another child like I love you, cause it’s SO much.
I’ve realized over the last couple months though that I can. It might not be the same feelings, as you will each be unique and special to me in your own ways.
You have taught my heart how to love and sacrifice in a way that only you could.
I know God’s love for me better.
I know God’s desire for my discipline better.
I know God better because of you Haddon Isaiah.
I know myself better.
I know your dad in an amazing way I never would have if it weren’t for you. I love him even bigger too because of you.
So, I can say with much confidence that I know I will love your sister.
My love for each of you will only grow as we learn to live together and love one another unconditionally.
It won’t always be easy to stretch my love and love you each the way you need to be loved at all times. Grace will be there for that. Forgiveness. Mercy. Second Chances. We’re a family.
We’re a family that seeks to love God first. It’s only through His love we can love one another well anyway.
Son, you are the best thing that has ever happened to me apart from salvation and your dad.
I love you forever and I’ll try not to call you my baby when you’re a man… but you will always be the baby that I loved first.
I am beyond thankful for every second God has allowed me to be your mama.
Byrd and I threw Lauren a shower and her mom did as well. It has been such a fun ride to be pregnant together.
Mama Downs and Jenn threw my and Sylvia a joint sprinkle. It was so sweet and my little nephew is here as I type this. He was born on the 10th and I cant wait to meet him!
Mindy and Brittany threw me a surprise sprinkle while I was down visiting in Newport News the other week. I am a blessed lady let me tell you and so is this little girl.
Lauren and I’s little compilation of celebrations… the last until they are in our arms!
It’s been almost two months since I have written which is just crazy. I had big plans to document each one of these weekend trips but it just never happened. I will give myself grace for that and do a combined little blurb post with pictures to go along with the memories! Life is moving full speed ahead and it doesnt look like it will slow much before lil miss makes her arrival.
Aunt Linda’s – Murrells Inlet, SC
We traveled down to SC to see my aunt Linda and grandma and lots of other family members. It was a short and sweet trip.
Auntie Lindie’s – Yellow Spring, WV
My youngest childhood friend and I were talking on Facebook one night about how we should see each other soon and 48 hours later she was in one of our favorite places on earth. We had so much fun catching up and you would never know we hadn’t seen each other in 4 years. On our last day there a bunch of the old girls came up :)
Camping/Train Ride – Ohio
The same weekend I went to Auntie’s, Micah took Haddon camping and on a train ride to the zoo. He is the best daddy.
He did it.
He gave up his beloved pacifier… sort of.
We had it written on the calendar. We have been praying. We have been warning him that once its broken we wont get anymore. We have been reading him books about giving them up. We have been telling him he is a big boy and doesn’t need it much longer. We were fully prepared (except emotionally) to cut the tip off of it on our scheduled weekend.
Micah and Haddon went on an adventure last weekend. On the way home Haddon bit a hole through his beloved doe doe. Micah has an iPad recording of him bawling saying “I bit it, I bit it, its broken, I broke it”. Micah said the crying lasted for about 15-20 minutes. When I got home that night, I could hear outside Haddon’s bedroom door a song that Micah had made up and been singing for weeks:
“No more doe doe no more doe doe
I’m a big boy, I’m a big boy.
I play with my trucks and my big boy toys.
I’m a big boy!”
He sang it the next morning too. The night before he only woke up once for 5 minutes…
He held onto doe doe at nap time and bedtime for 2 more days before throwing it in the trash on his own. I may have mentioned… “if it’s broken, shouldn’t we just throw it away?” (safety!) and he said “yes!” and marched downstairs and threw it in the trash.
He has asked for it a couple times but when we say, “well you know what happened to it” he tells us “I bit it, its in the trash”.
I am so so proud of him, I’m so thankful. I have no idea how something like that could have gone any better.
In our house we consider it a straight miracle.
*We had originally planned on taking it the week it broke and when unexpected plans came up we moved it to the next weekend when we would all be home. Love it*
I can’t believe we are already here! This summer absolutely flew by. Time just always feels like that now I think… please remind me I said this when I am in my last month of pregnancy!
It rang true this time around that second trimester is the best. My energy was back, I came out of the haze, plenty of doctors visits and baby kicks. I just love the second trimester.
Gender: Girl. Beyond excited for this little one. I didn’t realize how thrilled I would be to have a girl.
Weight Gain: I don’t even want to talk about this haha I got talked to a little about watching carbs and sugar… so I did for a while. It helped. I wasn’t gaining as quickly but I was hungry without carbs. I tried to just make sure they were good ones… but you know how a little yeast grows… it quickly allowed me to “cheat” with sugar and other carbs. So as much as I would like to say I’ll get better at that, I just dont know if I will! Anyway, I am finishing up the second trimester close to 120.
Working Out: With all that said… I still am able to work out and I am so so thankful. Sometimes I’ll get finished a run and literally put my hands up and say thank you Lord for health and lungs and being able to do this still. It gives me endorphins like no other to work out and so I have been able to consistently jog and do PiYo 5-6x a week. I am getting slower and more modified of course but it is so worth it to do it. There was a day I thought I wouldnt be able to jog anymore and I got so sad because I know that day will come soon but it was when I was like only 20 weeks. Fortunately, after some advice and trying different things I just had to realize my limitations. Working out is my “me” time and Micah is sweet about either doing it with me or allowing me to do it.
Body Changes: Clearly I look a little different than 13 weeks ago but I am more in shape than I was with Haddon and I am beyond thankful for the opportunity to carry a child. Like with Haddon, my chest hasn’t changed…and has started leaking super early again. I am hoping to hear next week that my placenta previa has also changed!
Funniest Moments: There have been so many between the both of the guys… One thing is that I do not want to forget is Haddon sitting near me and I said: “Haddon, did you feel your sister kick you?” Haddon gets a really disturbed look on his face and tries to hit my stomach. I realize then that I needed to be more careful with my words. We now say, “do you feel your sister moving?” It goes over a lot better!
Long story short, I go to a practice where I see a bunch of midwives/OBs. The OB that discovered my marginal previa wasn’t concerned about it because there was no bleeding. I asked so many reassuring questions and he answered all of them and said we would talk further if it hadnt moved by my next ultrasound. Well the midwife I saw next asked me “how the pelvic rest was going?” When I asked her what that was she looked pretty concerned and had to go look up the OB’s notes.
Sweetest Moments: Micah is just amazing and encouraging. Haddon is SO cute. I have no idea what he understands but he definitely knows a baby is coming. He tries to give her things. Like if something is hers (a bunny, something that comes in the mail, clothes, etc), he will hold it up to my stomach. He got a “big brother medal” at Verity’s shower and he likes to wear it a lot. Verity’s “Sprinkle” – what a sweet time of encouragement, prayer, friends and lots of cute things!
What I am looking forward to: EVERYTHING…. except, lack of sleep and labor. I used to be nervous I wouldn’t love her like Haddon. I’m not nervous about it anymore. I am realizing more and more that my love for him has taught me how to love in ways I would have never imagined and that will just grow.
The second time around:
Birth – Due to the previa, I’ve hardly thought about birth at all! If I have to get a scheduled c-section I’m not gonna get worked up thinking about the way it might go down. Ideally, I’d love to go unmedicated again because of the quick recovery/amazingness I felt after Haddon. However, I’m way less concerned about it this time around and just pray we can both stay healthy.
Nursing – I am not ignorant like the first time (where I thought if you stuck your baby to your chest there was never an issue). I will be feeding on demand, letting the baby sleep near me for a long time, eating “helpful” things, pumping, etc. I got my thyroid checked… and am waiting on the results from that. So if I still have trouble with supply, etc I’ll just know I’m one of those in a small percentage that does and not stress about it.
Schedules – I am just a more relaxed person in general than I was with Haddon. I thought if I read and did everything “right” things would be grand. Really, I am realizing more and more that boundaries are great things but children and families are different and you are constantly learning.
I am so thankful for our growing family and the way the Lord is changing and shaping my heart. One more tri to go and while I know its the longest, I’m gonna soak up every second!
Last weekend we were in Harrisonburg for a friend’s wedding and “A Sprinkle for Verity”.
I can’t begin to describe how much I love that place – Harrisonburg. Going back gets me teary eyed every time.
It’s where I met God. Met my husband. It’s where the most beautiful friendships started and continue to endure beyond those mountainous views.
Lauren has headed up throwing my bridal shower, a Haddon shower, and now a Verity sprinkle all at our dear Beth’s house.
She outdoes herself in the making me feel special department every time.
Forget the word sprinkle, it was more like a downpour of love and encouragement.
Our family is so thankful. Thanks to all who continue to love us through the many transitions of life.
One thing I realized how this weekend is how lonely motherhood and moving can be… and how THANKFUL I am to have friendships that endure through graduations, marriages, moving, mommying, etc!
My friend said this the other day and I couldn’t agree more:
“It used to be be that one had to do research, write a dissertation, or have extensive experience in an area to be a credible expert. These days, one just needs to own a social media account or a blog. Ah, the internet; where everyone is an expert on Israel, ISIS, suicide, and Robin Williams’ personal life.”
I don’t know what it is… the drug of Facebook that keeps me going back for more. To be quite honest, half the time I’m on it I get annoyed. I love to see how everyone is doing though… maybe that’s what it is. Or maybe it really just is an addictive habit, to press like to anything that tickles my fancy…
Let’s not even get started on… baby topics like…weaning, breastfeeding in public, unmedicated childbirth, weight loss, weight maintenance, the latest and greatest “try out this diet” fad, which XYZ is the best to use, look how I decorated my house, etc.
I don’t get on a platform every time I see something I agree or disagree with. Although sometimes I am tempted to and I guess sometimes I do. You know what though, they don’t really matter, my personal opinions about such carnal matters.
I am afraid we are becoming a culture who speaks way more than we think – thinks about others, thinks about circumstances and perspective thinks about truth, the kind of truth that actually matters.
That is where I struggle though… did we ever get anywhere in life by staying silent? Are we supposed to go out into the world and speak and make disciples? YES. So why are we wasting so much dag on time on speaking, doing, spending, etc on things that don’t matter AT ALL in light of eternity? (I’m not yelling at you I promise, I am asking myself these things). Are they important for the here and now? Are they things that should be ignored? No, not necessarily. I am just wondering where we put our efforts.
It’s great to be encouraged or be encouraging. It’s great to inform people and teach people things. I’m just not so sure Facebook/Instagram statuses are the most effective ways to do it. Because just as my friend said, everyone does it. It doesn’t matter who you are, we all have opinions.
I’m making it my ambition to live a quiet life for a while.
I’ll still be around, I’m not going on another media fast so to speak – I’m not against Facebook, Instagram, blogs, etc. I just want to fill my mind with things that matter more. I want my heart to be burdened more by eternal truths and our need for Christ.
So in trying to live a more quiet life socially, I’m going to be slower to speak, slower to hit like, slower to hit share, slower to post than I have been… quicker to listen to sermons, to read the word, to be intentional with my kids, quicker to look for ways to love those around me, etc.
We have one life and contrary to what the world tells us it isn’t about our name or fame or opinions or likes or any of those things. It’s about Him.
I was listening to a sermon last night and this line really stuck with me… “as true Christians, we aren’t supposed to look like a more cleaned up version of the world”. Being concerned with carnal things is worldly, no matter what spin we want to put on it.
We need to fix our eyes on things above.
*I’ll still share personal things on my own personal blog*
We had our 20 week scan today and the baby looks good.
I, however, got talked to about my weight and I do have “marginal placenta previa“. He wasn’t too concerned since I haven’t bled at all. I would appreciate all the prayers I can get to have it move though! We will check again in 8 weeks to see if the placenta has moved at all. The plus side is we get to see her again.
We can’t wait to meet you VERITY DOWNS. We are in awe of another little miracle. Thank you Lord.