Saturday, June 26, 2010

Missing You

Oh Eliana, we just love and miss you so much. As we enjoy and fall in love with your sweet baby brother, your big brothers, Daddy, and I are reminded even more of you, and all those moments that we missed together. At dinner last night, we were all just talking about you. Jayden said a little prayer asking God for you not to be in heaven, and he asked me, "Don't you want Eliana to come back from heaven, Mommy?" I told him that I miss you and wish very much that you were here with us, but you're so happy in heaven we wouldn't want you to have to leave. Caedmon said he wishes that you were here sleeping, drinking mommy's milk, and getting your diaper changed like Benjamin. We all agreed that we wish we could have both of our babies here. Soon I had to leave the table because I was just missing you so much.

Just then Ben was waking up and wanted to eat. Sometimes when I look at him, I see you too. He has your mouth and chin, and I can just picture holding you, talking to you, and nursing you...all those special moments that exist only in my imagination. When I hold him close, my love for him is just so deep, and I'm so grateful to be able to express it to him, but it hurts, knowing I will never be able to do this with you. You deserve all the love that this world has to offer, but as I type I'm reminded that this world doesn't really have a whole lot to offer, in comparison with all the love of God, in it's infinite fullness, that you are wrapped in.

*thank you to Mary for this beautiful drawing!

Ephesians 3:17-19
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

God is so Good

Our sweet little man Benjamin Joseph was born Monday, June 21st at 4:32 PM. He wasn't as big as we expected, weighing in at 8 lb., 2 oz. and 21 in. long. He is the first of our children to be born with a head full of blond hair! The labor and delivery went great. I was hoping to have a natural birth, and was able to do so minus the pitocin. He did have the cord loosely wrapped, and was a little slow to breath/cry, so he came out looking blue, but quickly turned a healthy pink. The first moments of holding him were heaven on earth.

He continued to do well throughout our hospital stay, and had no signs of intestinal blockage at this point, which was a concern during the pregnancy. Praise God!! He had his newborn screening, but we are still awaiting those results to find out if he has CF.
We had so much fun in the hospital just enjoying him, and rejoicing over the goodness of God. We have clung to the truth of His goodness by faith this last year, but this week, we have experienced it in all it's fullness!!

Our time in the hospital seemed to go by so quickly, and soon we were getting him all dressed and ready to take him home!

How amazing to bring him in his carseat, drive him home, and carry him into our house. After such a long journey, he is finally here, in our arms and in our lives!!

All the men in my life--God is so immeasurably good!!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Baby June update

Today we learned that Baby June will definitely not be Baby July!:) Today we were scheduled to come in Monday morning to induce labor if our little man doesn't decide to make his entrance any sooner. Wow, in only three days (or less!)he will really be here! This pregnancy has seemed like such a long journey, it is hard to believe it's now coming to completion.

We thought last night might lead to a trip to the hospital because I was having contractions for a few hours, but they slowed and eventually stopped altogether. With our second son this happened about 24 hours before I actually did go into labor, so I'm hoping this time too it was a little warning to hurry and get things done because he is on the way. I would love to go into labor on my own instead of the induction. I'm still hoping to have as natural of a birth as possible, but ultimately all I really care about is getting him here safely, whatever it takes!!

We really appreciate your prayers for a safe delivery. One concern is his size. Our first son had his collarbone broken during delivery because he was so big, and his shoulders were stuck after his head was delivered. This baby is likely to be as big, so we're hoping to avoid any complications. That is the main reason for the induction being scheduled a week before his due-date. Other than that, everything has been going well and there are no other risk factors that we're aware of.

For now, it's time to go and finish up some last minute things, and enjoy this last little bit of pregnancy before holding our beautiful boy.

Monday, June 14, 2010

There is a longing that grows deeper still these days. In our bedroom is an empty crib. In the living room sits an empty swing and a bouncy seat. The changing table is filled with diapers and tiny clothes neatly folded. And I want to hold my baby.

I want so much to hold my baby that never got to feel the warmth of her mother's arms. That sweet little girl who was never tucked into her crib, and never laid in the swing purchased for her just weeks before she left this world. I never got to dress her in her little clothes, or change her diaper, never really got to mother her in this sense of the word.

As we do these last minute things to prepare for our baby boy; getting out the baby tub, the blankets, the burp rags, each one is a reminder of all the things I didn't get to do for Eliana. There is a longing that will never go away, even as it might change shape with the passage of time, and changing life circumstances, there is a place in my heart that will forever be hers, always yearning and reaching for her until we meet again.

And now, I long so much to hold her little brother. He is growing so big and seems to be running out of space, and I am just so ready to meet him. I can hardly wait for him to fill these empty arms, the empty swing, the empty crib. And when I think of him now, it's no longer bittersweet. He brings his own feelings of pure sweetness and joy when I think about how much I love him, and how we long for him to be in our lives just for who he is.

Even as the empty crib is a symbol of heartache and brokenness, it is a symbol of great hope and promise, beckoning me backward in love to Eliana, and forward in faith to our son's imminent birth. Like the symbol of a rainbow in the sky, our Rainbow Baby, God's promise of grace and beauty following pain. The effects of sunshine after a storm, an image of His love and His greatness, and the overall goodness of His often incomprehensible plan.

There is a deep longing that grows deeper still--to hold my baby. To hold our precious little boy and watch him breath and blink and squirm, and to one day hold our daughter again, in the absence of all longing, in the presence of the Rainbow Maker--never to face another storm.

38 week update

Today I got to spend most of the day listening to my baby's heartbeat, and seeing him on ultrasound. I had my 38 week appointment at 11:30, beginning with an ultrasound. They do a bio-physical profile each time, measuring the amniotic fluid, looking for movement, and practice breathing, and he gets a score based on that information. Every time he has been practice breathing throughout the session. This time they gave him just a little over the maximum 1/2 hr limit, and he only did it a couple times, which they said didn't count. So, for the first time he didn't receive a perfect score. After that I had the NST, which charts the baby's heart-rate, looking for the right accelerations in response to his movements. That part went great, but when I saw the Dr. she said that since he didn't score perfect on the BPP, I had the option of going for extended monitoring. Of course I wanted to be sure he was okay, so that's what I chose to do.

Over to the hospital I went, where I was put back on the monitors and his heartbeat continued to sound good. Even though I've done it week after week now, I never get tired of hearing that wonderful sound!! After about 1 1/2 hours, and 1 1/2 episodes of Cold Case I was called in for an ultrasound. He did well right away with movements, and she started taking lots of measurements. This was a better machine than the one at the office, where he had measured an estimated 8 lb., and this time he measured 8 lb, 14 oz.!! At the office they were having a hard time getting a tummy measurement because he was kind of scrunched up, but this time he was more spread out so I think they got the more accurate measurements. He is turning into one chunky monkey!! The tech asked me if we had set a date for induction yet, and I realized that they probably would have mentioned that if we hadn't been so focused on the test results, so I might call back tomorrow just to see if we can get something set up.

I'm getting a little nervous about him being so big, because my first son was 9 lb. 6 oz, and he had a difficult delivery and ended up with a broken collarbone at birth because his shoulders got stuck. This can be very risky during delivery so I really hope that doesn't happen again this time around! With that in mind, I would love to get him here even today!!!

He finally cooperated and did his breathing motions, and we were given the perfect score and the green light to go home. It was 4 by the time I left there, and by this time I was starving and exhausted, and after lying on the hospital beds focusing so much on the baby, I wished I was getting to take him home with me!! But, I'm so thankful he still appears to be doing great, and it is only a matter of time before he's here!!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Baby June is Coming Soon!

Today we took the boys to the sibling class at Mercy Hospital where each of our babies have been born. They got to learn about how to hold a baby, and even practiced diapering and swaddling the baby dolls. We got to see the birthing room, and peek in the nursery where the nurses held up some newborns for the children to look at. At first the boys were hesitant to even go to the class, but I think they did enjoy it and learned something from it. Overall, I don't think anything will really prepare them for the baby's arrival, it will just happen suddenly and then all the adjusting will need to take place. Especially since they have experienced having a baby that they didn't get to take home, I think they will be taken by surprise by the whole experience.

I'm really looking forward to seeing them interact with their little brother. Both of them have said they want to help, and Jayden (3 1/2)assures me every now and then that he will share his toys with the baby, and I explain that at first the baby won't be able to play with anything. Caedmon (5 1/2) remembers when Jayden was a baby and he would always bring me a diaper or the paci, so he's looking forward to doing those things again. He also wants to help give the baby a bath, so it looks like I will have some eager volunteers for all of the baby's care. I've been worried about how I will spend enough time with each child, but I think we'll just all have to interact together, and my time with the older ones will often involve including them in what I do with the baby. Of course we'll still make time for reading books and some of their other favorite activities.

I can't believe he will be here so soon! My due-date is only 23 days away, and there's a good chance he will come sooner. Thursday at my appointment I was 2-3 cm and the Dr. could feel his head. She said "Looks like this baby wants to come soon!" Unfortunately soon is a relative word, which can seem much longer from the patient's perspective! There is really no guarantee that he'll come early, but I was excited to know that I'm progressing, and have really kicked it into high gear checking things off our long to-do list just in case. It would be nice if he would come early because at my ultrasound at 35 weeks they estimated that he was already just over 7 lbs. At that rate he will be huge by 40 weeks!!

As close as we're getting, it still seems unreal for the most part. I don't think it will really hit me until I'm holding him in my arms. I remember when I first found out I was pregnant, June seemed an eternity away, and now here we are!

In all of this, we are missing Eliana, and remembering the time we spent in the hospital with her. Those few fleeting moments we saw her face, and felt the weight of her in our arms. If she was with us now, she would be crawling everywhere and probably pulling up on the furniture, keeping us very busy and our hands would be so full with another baby about to be born! How sweet it would be...
Wishing we could have them both, but so happy to have our little boy soon!