Monthly Archives: February 2015

Fear.

The second time I gave birth, fear wound its way into the picture. Because this time I knew what lay ahead; I had learned that pregnancy, like marriage, is an act of courage and faith. Every second-time mother knows the intimate joy of holding in her arms a being whose life is so new, so delicate that the skin is still translucent with heaven. She knows the smell of baby breath and the warmth of a heart that is beating with all four chambers for the first time. She knows.

But she also remembers. She remembers the hard work of growing, carrying, and delivering that child into the world. She bears scares. And she needs to gird her courage around her to do it again. Death and life. Ask any pregnant mother, and you will find her thoughts equally consumed by both. Birth is hard and risky work. It is intimate and exposed at the same time. (Surprised by motherhood Lisa-Jo Baker)

Fear, anxiety, worry. They are all sins, don’t you know? They aren’t just part of our personalities. They aren’t circumstance. They aren’t just something to deal with. They are things the roaring lion tries to use against use daily.

The past couple months have been wild, between what we have gone through with Verity and things happening in friends and family’s lives… stuff I would wish on no one.

I have had this post in the back of my mind since a couple weeks after V was born. Every week seems to bring more ammo. I don’t want to forget how the Lord is comforting me despite my fear though, what He is teaching me despite my knowledge.

I am thankful that my new “fear” hasn’t debilitated me in anyway, but its there… like this stupid imaginary image in the dark that I have to convince myself isn’t there. The truth of the matter is it IS there and I am fighting it daily.

What if Micah gets in a car accident?

What if I go before my children?

What if my children go before me?

What if I spend my entire life investing in them and they aren’t saved?

The mind is a battlefield and it cannot be walked through lightly. I don’t think our hearts and minds were meant to deal with the amount of tragedy and devastation that we see daily. Sure, social media is amazing for community and connecting but it is also a breeder of “what ifs” and comparison. I think it ignites fear on the daily.

We each have a different story though, ya know?

I hope no one else’s baby ever ends up in the hospital twice in two months.

I hope no one else’s family member almost loses their hand.

I hope no one else loses a child or a mother.

I can hope all I want. God is sovereign, but He doesn’t promise these things. Read the bible Sarah, He loves healing people yes, but there are times He lets them go.

What I’ve come to realize is hard… It’s that we value this life, the here and now, way more than the forever.

The forever with Jesus. Where there is no more pain, no more suffering, and praising him who gives eternal life forever more!

Lord, teach me to number my days, not worry about my children’s or husband’s days because you numbered them before they were ever created.

He has taught me so much about His grace these last few months. So so much.

Someday, there will be people saying “death, where is your sting”?

It’s not today though, and so we battle.

We confess, and we fight.

Feeding Times.

I had some feeding issues with Haddon and I chalked it up to a supply issue and we started supplementing at the end of his second month.

You can read more about that here.

Before Verity was born I knew I would do things differently this time around.

I resolved to feed on demand, eat/drink every galactagogue possible, pump from the beginning to make my body think it needed more, give formula sooner than 2 months if I needed to, etc!

I worked super hard the first month to get my supply going. I pumped a ton even when it meant a lot less sleep (I had to pump anyway since she was in the NICU), ate the “right” foods, except probably too many lactation cookies… and realized that water and rest makes more milk than anything I think.

Well it’s been a little over 2 months and I have realized that I do not have a supply issue. In fact, I have a pretty nice freezer stash.

However, if she solely nursed I do think she would not be getting fed enough or that I would be nursing every hour.

I pump 75% of her feedings and from this I have discovered that I have a long delay in between let downs. Im talking long. It’s no wonder Haddon would fall asleep so easily and then want to eat again. Verity gets tired of trying too!

So I pump mostly and nurse her in the mornings and during the night (usually just once a night, thank you little girl). If she wants to nurse during the day too I let her. I don’t mind pumping at all. In fact, I get things done while I pump, am able to freeze some pretty often, and know exactly how much she is getting and don’t have to nurse constantly. She eats 3.5 – 4oz every three – four hours most of the time. This is so helpful for me because I am not the type to just sit on the couch and not go crazy, especially with a toddler to care for too!

Basically, I have no “rules” for us this time around and it has made me so much relaxed.

It’s amazing how different perspective can be the second time around.

She is such a happy little girl and it makes me sad that Haddon was hungry for the first two months cause I bet he would have been too. Oh well, live and learn. She doesn’t mind the bottle or nursing (although she does get tired of it if its taking to long for the next round).

So basically, things have gone surprisingly well this time around as far as feeding goes. I have a stash of milk in the freezer, formula just in case on the top of the fridge, a happy baby, and a relaxed attitude (when it comes to her eating).

I am so thankful for the difference this time around.

bottle freezerstash

Dear Haddon.

You are growing up so fast and while I love it cause I seem to love every new stage more than before its crazy how fast life goes. I have your now and I want to remember it.

I don’t want to forget some things about this precious age.

You have night time stuff.

Bunny, a story, a Jesus story, nothing but the blood sung, “rock you”, take this kiss and hold it tight, “cuddle you in bed”.

You love your sister but mostly you just like to have her around.

“She pooped” “Where’s Verity?” “Gotta get out allllll the milk” “Why she have to stay at the hospital?” “she needs her doe doe”

You are still obsessed with all things with wheels. This month it is fire trucks.

This morning you spent 30 minutes looking for “red”. What do you want to do today? “plaaaay – play with my trucks”

You like TV too much.

“Mama go pump cause I wanna watch a show”

You are mostly a grateful child. Yesterday when I got home from the grocery store you unpacked all my bags.

“Mommy, apples!!!! oh thank you mommy I love apples” “Cados!!” “COW MILK – thank you mommy”

Since I post too much on social media daddy makes fun of me for taking pictures. Now you do too.

Me: oh you look so cute!!! You: But I don’t wanna take a picture

You get pretty intense with some feelings. For example… if you hit your head on the counter:

“NO – you bonked my head! don’t do that!”

Daddy is teaching you about earning pennies. You get them for cleaning up without asking, using manners, whenever we feel like it really.

“that would cost A LOT and A LOT and A LOT of pennies”

Daddy has to beep the horn when he leaves for work.

“he didn’t beep the horn!!!!” huge scowl

“he beeped the horn!!!” big excitement

You’re pretty much obsessed with daddy these days, he is the best.

“welcome HOME dad”

Those are just a few of my faves.

You have your defiante moments but overall I think you are an absolute joy my sweet boy. I am so happy to be your mama.

RSV Saga.

We had stayed inside for six whole weeks. I knew a newborn born in the winter just should stay cozy inside.

After six weeks we went to church and then I took Haddon to the grocery store with me, by Tuesday he was coughing and whiney. Since I stay home with the kids I knew there was no way to avoid the germs completely.

I would hold Haddon with him hacking all over me and wiping his snot on my shoulder, then I would change sweaters and go get Verity.

For a couple days I thought we were safe… but then the whole family went down like dominos, including my mom and dad! We all showed the same symptoms and so I knew this nasty virus had to run its course. I took Haddon to the doctor on the Thursday after he started getting sick just to make sure I knew what we were dealing with. “Just a bad respiratory infection”

Since Verity is breastfed I thought her antibodies would be strong enough to fight this thing… they weren’t.

The Tuesday after Haddon started being sick she started coughing. On Wednesday she had a fever and I almost took her to the doctor. They were about to close and said I could take her to the ER if I wanted.

I got off the phone and started crying to Micah that I didn’t want to take my 7 week baby to the ER and that I know my kids are God’s and on loan but I didn’t want Him to remind me anymore.

I got on my knees and prayed hard for her fever to come down. It did. Instantly. I was amazed.

I held off on taking her but decided I’d call the pediatrician again in the morning.

By the next morning she didn’t want to eat and hadn’t had a wet diaper. Her fever wasn’t too bad and she had pooped but I thought maybe she was a little dehydrated so made an appointment.

Her pediatrician thought her lungs sounded pretty good but then they hooked up this oxygen thing to her toe and it wouldn’t read what it was supposed to… the doc told me if they couldn’t get it to read in the 90s we would have to go to the hospital.

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After giving her a little bit of oxygen it shot up into the 90s. We had to go to the hospital.

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They asked me if I had anyone I wanted to call because we would have to leave my car there and be taken by an ambulance. I lost it. Ambulances just make everything seem more scary don’t they?

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I called Micah and told him to meet me at the ER and take Haddon to Shelby. Apparently he dropped him off with one diaper, no shoes, and no coat. We thought we would be back that night…

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In the ER, it took 10 different people to try and get an IV in her… finally a NICU nurse was able to get it. I thought Micah might punch someone if they dug one more needle in her.

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It was at FMH that I learned about retractions. Verity was working hard to breath. Without the oxygen her levels were in the low 80s. I didn’t even know to look for “retractions” or think about oxygen levels. I thought I was taking her in that day for mild dehydration.

Once they had her settled I went home and packed a bag while Micah held her. They said we would probably be there for 48 hours.

In the middle of the night the doctor woke me up and said they had an update, I half asleep asked her what it was and she told me I needed to sit up for the update.

They told me her levels had dropped and they needed to transfer her. Children’s or Hopkins.

In my stupid sleepy state, I said “right now”? “It’s the middle of the night, can’t we wait till morning?”

When they told me they didn’t have a choice and that if it dropped any lower they might have to intubate her I lost it.

My body went into shock I think… I was shaking and cold and felt like I was going to puke. Not again.

I woke Micah up and told him to pack up our stuff we had to leave.

The transport team from Hopkins got there an hour and a half later. Onto the ambulance we went again.

ambulance

We spent five days in the PICU at John Hopkins.

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I am so thankful for that hospital. Thank the Lord Verity never needed intubation or more than a cannula and saline drip. It was almost as if we had transferred rooms and doctors. We were there just in case though.

Being there seriously put things into perspective. Our daughter was there for virus. Three codes happened in one evening for three other families.

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We were so loved and prayed for that week and I can’t thank y’all enough.

When we are weak, His strength shows through and it showed through so many of His saints.

Pastors came and prayed, people visited, took care of our son and home, sent gift cards, etc.

This life is fleeting. This world is fallen. We are a needy people. I am continually reminded of it.

Thank God for the gift of His grace, His son. We are home, healthy, and happy to be together.

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