Saturday, August 29, 2009

Finding Pure Joy

James 1:2-4
Consider if PURE JOY, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops preserverance. Perserverance must finish its work so that you may be mature, not lack anything.
Consider it pure joy....those are odd words to consider when you look at what our family is going through right now. I don't believe that God is asking Tony and I to have joy about what has happened. However, I do think that God wants us to look for the blessing in the storm. He wants us to have joy in the growth and maturity that we will obtain through Him. This hardship has and will bring us closer to each other and to God if we let Christ work through us. So, I wanted to write about some of the many ways God has been taking care of us through out this whole process.
*I had an easy birth with Addilece: 8 hours of labor, 25 minutes of pushing. God protected her and me. He had left me with an amazing amount of strength. He also had her out of the womb and healthy before I even went to surgery. Could you imagine what Tony would of gone through if she would of been in trouble too?
*I had an amazing team of nurses who had the insight to realize there was a problem. They were truely on top of the situation.
*My parents decided to stay until I was out of surgery. I don't know what Tony would of done if he hadn't had them, and later his family, there to help with the baby. He needed Addilece near for comfort, but he wasn't always in the best state of mind to care for her.
*My doctor. I will never be able to thank Dr. Dameron properly. God gave me a doctor who had expirenced this once before. She was quick with her decisions, which helped to keep me safe. She also stayed until I was settled into ICU (2:30 in the morning), and she checked on me twice the next day (one of those times she was not on shift yet).
*Addilece...she in herself is an amazing blessing! God granted us a child. Many couples could not have any but God gave us the amazing gift of our daughter.
*Tony had a whole day to connect with his daughter. I have a husband who has looked forward to having a son all his life. He wanted to teach him how to fix things, do sports with him, and just wrestle. God gave us a daughter, my heart broke for Tony when I realized I couldn't give him his son. But God allowed Tony to have an entire day to care for his daughter. They have a very special bond. I can't wait to see how it develops and matures in the future.
*We are part of an amazing body of Christ. They have been surrounding us with prayer. We have felt the peace of God because of their prayers. We also have two wonderful churches that we grew up in that have step up to support us. Wow God has been good!
Through this trial God has brought us so much peace and joy. We love to watch our daughter grow and change. We can also see God bringing us closer as a couple. Tony and I grieving together has created a closeness that I could of never imagined as a couple. I know that my husband is expierencing the same pain and loss that I am. We also know that we can not do this journey with out our Heavenly Father. We must lean on Him. We have begun to mature...for that I am thankful and I do find joy!
Everyone should check out the following pictures on flicker. http://www.flickr.com/photos/8500355@N08/sets/72157621888776415/ These pictures were taken by the very talented Ashley Netzer. Addilece has changed so much since these photos (she was 11 days old in them) but they are just so stinkin cute that I had to share. Ashley captured such an amazing moment for us. You should also check out her website at

Thursday, August 27, 2009

One Month

What a difference a month makes. Sweet Pea is 4 weeks old tomorrow (Friday). I can't believe how much she has grown up in one month. Here are some pictures to show the change.

Before: I had to have a towl to help hold my head up in my bouncer and I was rather little for it (sorry apparently I forgot to edit this photo and turn it). Now: I hold my head up pretty well on my own and my bouncer doesn't swallow me.
Before: I had to take sponge baths. I hated them. Now: I love taking baths in my bathtub. Its much cozier.
Before: Nana and Papa's swing would swallow me whole. Now: I'm starting to fit in it pretty well.
Sweet Pea's one month appointment is next Tuesday, so I don't have any specks yet. Tony tried to measure her a week or two ago and were pretty sure she's at least 21 in now. I'm guessing 9 lbs. She has really good control of her head. She can keep it pretty steady for 5 to 10 minutes as this video shows....
video
She loves to "play" with mommy and daddy, read books, and go for walks. She loves her bouncer and her swing. She moves EVERYTHING....her arms, legs, and even her tongue. Its so exciting to see her grow and change.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Greiving the Loss of Something Never Had

A recent picture of my cutie...she has learned to hold her head up. In the past week has started to become more stable and hold it up for longer periods of time.
Tony and I feel that ever since the hysterectomy we have been grieving the loss of something we never actually had. Many things we never actually had. It feels like we are saying goodbye to four wonderful children. We are saying good bye to children we will never know or see.

We have also had to say good bye to many dreams that we had. Tony really was looking forward to having a boy. I was too, but not in the same since as him. Wrestling on the floor, playing and coaching sports teams, crawling under the kitchen sink to fix a leaking pipe. I looked forward to watching me sons walk in their father's foot steps...and want to be "just like him". Please, don't get me wrong. Tony and I have many hopes and dreams with Addilece. There are many things we are looking forward to doing with her...these are just some of the dreams we are learning to give up. I grieve for my husband...as I feel at times his loss is harder than mine.

I grieve so many weird and little things. The hustle and bustle of a house full of kids, teaching our daughter how to become and good big sister, her going w/ Daddy to pick out the coming home outfit (and adding a new child to that tradition every time), taking my little guys on mother/son dates, watching my kids learn from each other, ...oh the list could go on forever. It feels like I am constantly being reminded of that loss...whether its the mom w/ the many kids at the grocery store or Tony and I talking about a child hood memory or someone asking "is this your first". I also know that there will be other times that it hits such as Addilece's first birth day, first day of school, first everything (we will only have some of those first once) or when I get to hold a newborn niece or nephew. I'm very sure this grieving process will never end.

Some of these hopes and dreams we will probably experience someday. I will never hold my own newborn...but I do hope to hold my child. I will never have a son who looks just like his father....but I do hope to have a son who will play sports and fix things with daddy. I'm looking forward to the hustle and bustle of a house that has a rainbow of kids in it.

However, I had to smile the other day. As I walked down the isle at Walmart I noticed a mother with her two kids. The little girl was obviously adopted, possibly a Guatemalan Princess-knowing how many kids in this community are from there. I was amazed at how different her and her brother looked but yet how they seemed no different then any other siblings. I wanted to go up and ask that mother a million questions. I've been learning that God has blessed me with a unique gift....I get to love the fatherless. I will have the privilage of showing my daughter his gift of salvation in a very real way...as we prepare her for not the birth of a sibling but the homecoming of a sibling.
I have also been learning that even though I had plans, God had greater plans. I know that some of the things I do for my daughter now will be better for her in the future...even though she may not be thrilled with them (she would rather be held all day to sleep and not be put down). That is a beautiful reminder to me that God is doing things and Tony and my life now that I might not understand or like, but are better for us in the end. Grieving is painful but I find peace in God. I know I must seek Him daily for that, and somedays I just can't bring myself to except that peace. I know though that He has wrapped me in His arms and is holding me tight through the process.
I just wanted to clarify why I am blogging all of this. There are several reasons behind it. First, our Pastor encouraged us to journal...this is my way of doing that. Second, I deal will things by talking about them, I have done a lot of that with people I love. However, this is another way for me to talk about it. Last, I know that there are a lot of people out there reading this who understand what I'm going through for one reason or another. It is encouraging to know they are reading this.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Arms Open to God

In the last week and a half I have had a roller coaster of emotions. After the surgery I knew that I was not going to have anymore children but it didn't hit. The full realization of what that meant had not touched me. In fact, the first time I showed any emtions to it is was when I was waiting for my blood to be drawn. I thought I was going back upstairs at 3. At 3:30 we found out that they first had to draw my blood and wait for the test to come back. That could take an hour. I was thinking "I have already missed so much of my child's life and now because someone is not doing their job I will miss even more of it." I didn't want to miss a single minute of her life.

The next time I really felt anything was Sunday night. We had a packed day of visitors and as I sat there and breastfed my beautiful daughter in my very quiet room I just started to cry. I began to tell her how desperetaly I loved her. I told her how very special she was to both her Daddy and myself. And then I told her that her daddy and I would always lover her, no matter what. She could not do anything to hurt that love. I let her know that just because we knew she would be our only biological child does not meant that she had any special obligations or expectations to live up to. Tony walked in on my crying.

After we let our last visitors go for the night tony and I took Addilece to the nursery and came back to talk. We poured out our sorrow to God and to each other. We held each other as we shed deep tears of saddness.

Tony and I will never know why God let this happen. We know we live in a sinful world and our bodies suffar from that sin. This is just part of that. We don't think God "caused" this. We know he could of stopped it but that wasn't his plan or will. God took our lives and chaged them drastically within a few hours.

My instincts tell me to take my daughter and hold very close, as close as I can get her. I want to protect her from everything. I want to make sure we pour all our time and energy in to her. But as Tony and I talked we both realized that doing that will not bring about the best results for our daughter. We want her to become a Godly woman, and raising her that way will probably not bring that about. We also realized that God has given her to us temporarly and as a gift. I asked Tony, "If God decided to take her tommorrow could we let her go?" Both of realized that we did not ever want to give her up, but that if God asked for her back then we had to give her back. As Tony and I prayed that night he said "God wether she is ours for 18 years or 5 minutes, we want to raise her your way."

That night Tony and I took our arms and offered our daughter back to God. I hope that God grants us the 18 years. I know that if he doesn't, that he will give me the grace to get through it. I know that he has wrapped his arms around her and is hold her close to him. In God's grace and protection is the safest place for Addilece. Tony and I can not protect her the way our Heavenly Father can.

Tony and I will be offically giving Addilece back to the Lord on August 31st. We will be doing this in front our church for accountability and encouragement. Part of me is screaming that this is a stupid idea. I keep thinking "do you realize what you are committing to? Do you know you are giving God the ability to take her away?" I have to remind myself that God can choose to take her wether I do this or not. My attitude towards it will make the difference in how I raise her and my ability to cope with it.

We have also realized that we will daily need to remind ourselves of this. I know I'm going to draw lines with God. "You can have her here, but there is no way I am giving her up here." We know that we need an accountablity system. We are praying that God will develop a network of people to help us stay on the Godly track of raising our daughter.

While in the hospital we had a friend come in who has struggled with her son for many monthes. Her and her husband have dealt with many things since the begining of their marriage. She gave me a set of notecards to write Bible verses on. She also included some of the most meaningful ones to her. Here is one of those verses:

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. wait on the Lord; he of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!
Psalm 27: 13-14

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Here are some shots for Sweet Pea's first week. ENJOY!


Meeting mommy for the first time.

Ready to go home from the hospital! Daddy got me my pretty dress.

My first bath at home. I really didn't enjoy it but I'm gettting better!

Daddy picks me out the BEST outfits. This one says "I'm berry sweet!" Maybe he will take me shopping when I'm older!
Meeting cousin Josiah for the first time. He was born June 2, 2009. We are almost exactly two months apart. Daddy also got me this dress.
Tired and hot...but I sure like the swing at Nana and Papa's house.
Boy do I hate to be swaddled.
Confy, cozy and clean!
Aunt Brittney is Mommy's best friend. I bet Josiah is going to be like a big brother to me.
Nana and Papa sure like being with their grandkids.
Enjoying some cuddle time with Mawmaw and Pawpaw.

My parent's are so excited that I am here!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Addilece's Birth and My Hysterectomy

I'm sure many of you are wondering the details behind our beautiful daughters birth and the later, unexpected hysterectomy that I had to have. I wrote up a time line of the events that took place.

Friday, July 31, 2009

9:00 am- Arrive at BroMenn for my weekly doctor's appointment, dialated at a 2

9:30- water broke while doctor was checking the heartbeat

11:00-mild contractions start

Noon- Hooked up to Pitocin in order to help with contractions, offically considered in labor because my water broke but still not contracting like I should be. Dialated to a 2 to 3 cm

1:30 pm- Moved to 5 cm. Contrations were starting to pick up as Piciton was up, coming any where from 2 min to 30 seconds apart

3:30- Shift change in nurses, getting ready to move to a new room (mine didn't have a labor bed), dialted to a 6-7. Orders epidural, contractions are 30 seconds apart usually, sometimes a minute.

After 4- Epidural gets put in

The anistesiologist (sp?) was there for about a 1/2 hour. 10 minutes after he left I felt the overwelhming urge to push. I was fully dialated. My nurse did one push with me and had my doctor come in. I pushed for 25 minutes and then our beautiful baby girl was born.

5:13- Addilece was born

6:45- Addilece gets her first bath and I get ready to move to my post pardium room

8:00- In my post pardium room

9:00- They begin to realize that I am passing way to much blood

9:30- Dr. Dameron comes in and explains that we need to do a D&C. When I delievered my placenta came out in peices. They thought they got it all out, but the bleeding was a sign they hadn't. I would keep bleeding until it came out.

10:10- They take me to the OR to begin the proceedor, it was a 10 minute operation with a 1 hr recovery. My parents decide to stay until I'm out of surgery to make sure everything went alright. Tony is up in Mother/Baby with Addilece.

11:30- Tony realizes that things aren't going right and goes to talk to the nurses. They told him that Dr. Dameron had finally got the bleeding to stop and they were just checking with an sonagram to make sure everything was out

Midnight- Dr. Dameron comes to tell Tony that I was bleeding pretty heavily again. They had tried everything, even several medicanes. However, a piece of the placenta was wedged in the muscle of the placenta. They could try for one more minute but they were going to have to do a hysterectomy of the bleeding would not stop. Tony gave his verbal consent (by the time he signed consent forms a little bit later they were already half way through the operation).

Saturday, August 1, 2009

1:45 am- I wake up from the operation. They bring Tony in the room. I realize that between the time and Tony things weren't right. Dr. Dameron explained to me what had to be done. I don't remember all of it but I remember thinking, I don't know if I heard her right, did she really say that. I know I asked her "So I won't be able to have anymore kids?" She had left my eggs so I will not be thrown into menopause and Tony and I have the option of serigacy (sp?) some day.

At this point I headed up the ICU where I was poked and proded and josteled around (not such a fun expirence).

2:30- Dr. Dameron finally heads home (she is such an amazing doctor, she stayed with me the entire time)

3:00 and on- My parents come in to visit for a bit and check on me. Tony's dad and brother also come in, Tony called them about half way through the whole thing. They were such a huge blessing as they held Addilece and were a support to Tony.

I spent the next of the rest of Saturday in the ICU. They allowed me to pump a few times in order to get Addilece something to eat. Around 6 they brought her down and I was able to breast feed her. Tony and I spent 20 to 30 minutes together as a family and then they took her back upstairs. Finally at 11:30ish they brought me back to my Mother/Baby room.

I will probably spend some time on here, later blogging about our thoughts and feelings on the situation. Tony and I are more then willing to answer any questions that anybody has. We want to be as open as possible about this. We know that God has an amazing plan for our family. We are praying that we are open and aware of how God would use us. Thank you for your prayers.

Many people have asked what you can do to help. We are so grateful for your love and support. At this time I do not know what we need. We know we have people from our church brining meals and we have family coming to help out for a bit. At this point what we need more then anything is your prayers. We know we will need a support system and people to keep us accountable as we parent this precious child. We are deeply grateful for those of you that we know God is already preparing for that position.