Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Adaire's Birth Story

It was New Years Eve around 5:45 AM when my braxtons hicks felt a little more regular than usual.  Ryan had to work part of the day so we decided he should still go in, but I'd just keep him posted should anything change.  I was about 5 days out from my scheduled c-section and just past 38 weeks pregnant.  As a busy mom, I knew there was still stuff to get done so I decided to get up and get going and see if the contractions stopped.  And they did.

I ran some errands and bought a ton of groceries that day.  I wanted to make sure I had plenty of food for my kids and parents who would be arriving that weekend!  It was a good and productive day!

We had a few different options on what to do for New Year's Eve, but felt like it would be best to be home.  Ryan put the kids to bed and I took it easy.  We had a little fondue date at home and I hoped to go to bed early.  The fondue date happened but (Praise Jesus) I didn't go to bed early.  My typical time that Adaire would move in pregnancy was early morning and late evening.  She was super active that morning and I was ready to feel this girl give me some good kicks after chocolate and sparkling grape juice, but all I got was one little kick.

I went upstairs and drank a huge glass of apple juice and took a bath.  Surely this would get her going.  Except it didn't.  I drank two more glasses, laid on my left side for an hour and felt nothing.  I began to panic at this point.  Ryan thought everything was fine and that I should just go to bed, but I knew I WOULD NOT SLEEP.  I really felt the Holy Spirit telling me to GET CHECKED immediately.  At this point, my nerves were going so strong. We decided that I should be checked and that there is no shame in being sent home.  I placed a call in with my doctor but didn't wait for them to call me back.  I grabbed my phone charger, purse and headed out while Ryan stayed at home with our sleeping kids.

On the way to the hospital I began shaking due to the adrenilin.  A midwife called me back and also suggested I come in.  I told her I was walking in!  They quickly checked me in and began looking for a heartbeat.  Thankfully, the nurse easily found it and I said, "sweet, can I go home now?"  The midwife suggested we do a non-stress test just to make sure and I was certainly fine with that plan.

That's when things changed.  While they found a heartbeat, they could tell something was wrong based on a lack of movement.  They brought in a "stun thing"to attempt to get her to move, and she didn't.  They told me, you're having this baby soon so call your husband!  I continued to shake and frantically made calls to let Ryan know and tell my parents to head out.

Thankfully, a dear friend got to our house in 5 minutes and Ryan made it to the hospital very quickly.  My labs were being drawn and I continued to shake and pray that our girl would be ok.  There was one point where the nurse had to come in and work to find her heartbeat.  I'm not sure why or what happened but it took a couple minutes and I could tell we were close to being rushed in right away to get Adaire out.  Again, God in his mercy allowed the nurse to get her heartbeat and my labs to come back prior to surgery.

Another doctor from a a well trusted practice was on call for my ob since it was a holiday.  I was so grateful for her calm and competent presence.  I was scared but I knew Jesus was so very close.

Soon it was go time and I was able to receive a spinal and be awake for her surgery.  Surgery began and very quickly things got really quiet.  She came out and the doctor said "double nuchal cord in a knot."  That meant the cord was around her neck twice and also in a knot (the really serious part). Everyone but me knew what that meant, but I knew something was really wrong.  They did not tell me how serious things were but instead said, "this OR is so small they just need a little more room to check her out."  I knew things were serious and I just waited knowing that MY Savior was with me and the same God that was so close to me formed my precious girl and loved her more than my breaking mama heart.  I later learned she came out blue with a low apgar score.

They came and got Ryan to go see her and quickly told me they thought she would be ok but needed some help.  What tremendous relief I felt.  Soon, he brought her into me and I began to sob.  I was able to kiss her before she headed off to the NICU.  All I could say through my tears was "PRAISE YOU JESUS" over and over.  My fellow believers in that operating room worshiped alongside me while the nurse anethisist wiped hers and my tears.  It was a moment I will treasure in my heart forever.  As the doctor finished on me she leaned over the drape and said, "Tonight you saved your daughter's life."  My only response through my tears was, "No, Jesus did, he saved her life."

Adaire stayed in the nursery for a few hours for monitoring but showed no issues.  This WAS HUGE. Ryan bounced back and forth bringing me pictures and giving updates.  Then she got to come meet me and I immediately was able to nurse her.  That was such a treasure for me.

As a Mom, I often feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders.  It's my job to keep them safe from physical, emotional and spiritual harm.  It's my job to meet all of their needs.  It's my job to pick up on something potentially bad before it becomes harmful. It's so much more than what's outlined in "What to expect."  While, it is my job to keep them safe, 6 months later I have chosen to see Adaire's birth through the lens of God's sovereign care.  Instead of living in the constant world of what ifs and anxiety, I can know that there is a God who loves my kids more than I can imagine.  He purposed for her little life and he has a plan for her.  He showed me what I needed to know and the time so he could accomplish his plan for her.  And that same God who formed her would have still be good if I was typing this from the heart of a grieving mother.  And while I can't carry the weight of the world on my shoulders, he's already done that for me and is available each day to renew and strengthen me to be the mom he's called me to be.

I'm sure you can imagine how much I've thought about this traumatizing event.  God's hand was so powerful, but it was still really scary.  I often look at her and praise God that she's here.  My beautiful New Years Day miracle baby, Adaire Ellington. Just for kicks, she was the first baby of the New Year at the hospital I delivered.  The doctors and nurses gave us a really sweet basket full of gifts.  It was such a fun treat after a scary event.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Her name....

Our sweet third child entered the world dramatically on January 1st.  She won the award as the first baby of the New Year born in our town.  In case you're wondering, our hospital gave us a sweet gift basket full of useful treats!! So fun after a big scare... but more on that later!

My pregnancy with Adaire was a busy one.  With Ryan working away for 14 weeks, we didn't spend much time talking about her name.  It pretty much went like this... "Do you like the name Adaire, Ryan?"  He responded, "Yea, I think I do, but I'll let you decide this time as long as I like it."  THIS was NOT typical in our previous naming of children as we mulled through SO many names previously.  

Obviously, our naming style is different.  You know that... and that's just us... hence why we don't really share names until they're here.  But, we genuinely hope our kids will love their names and I've carefully thought about the meaning of their names before they are born.  

I knew Adair (spelled without the e) is a popular surname in the UK and holds a Gaelic meaning.  Maeve is also a popular Irish name, and my redhead roots from those parts loves that for our girls. Random, but I had a professor in college that was my very fav with the last name of Adair.  In a hard season, this professor gave me some wonderful advice that ultimately led me to Ryan.  Major win.  I also have always had a love for surnames for first names.. so another check for Adaire.  Her name holds a few different meanings-- "by the oak grove, noble and glimmers of light."  

The beginning of my pregnancy as we prepared for her brother to go to school, I camped out in my bible study in Psalms and Proverbs.  There were many prayers prayed for him that encompassed Scripture from those books.  One of my favorite Psalms for my kids is Psalms 1, which talks about a "tree planted by streams of water that yields fruit."  Knowing her name had similar meaning, settled us that this could be her name.  

Her middle name is Ellington, after my mom, Ellen.  When I think about my dreams for my girls, I see my mom.  Hands down.  She's a Proverbs 31 gal and noble is certainly what comes to mind.  I could literally write a book on this woman, but I'll hold off for now! :) 

The week she was born, I started having "name cold feet."  I thought about how she might get countless dares of be called dare devil her entire life.  One of our friends knew what we were planning to name her and had a friend with that name who is her youth minister's wife.  The day before she was born we had our friend contact her and find out her true thoughts on her own name.  Weird.. but I felt a little desperate.  She talked about how much she loved her name.  Yes, she got a few annoying kids growing up but it wasn't a big deal.  She also shared the meaning of "glimmers of light" and the compliments she gets on her name.  Phew.   

After her traumatic birth one thing was FOR SURE.... there was glimmers of light (Jesus) all over her entrance into this world.  In fact, in the moments after she was born as we waited to hear if they got her stable, I felt Jesus SO very close.  I felt a peace that passed understanding.  Not that everything was going to be ok, but that Jesus was with me.  After she was brought in and stable, the believers in the operating room were praising Jesus right along with me and giving him all the glory.  It was like a mini-worship service.  

So once she was in my arms, Ryan looked at me and said, we gotta decide on her name.  We both knew she would be Adaire Ellington (with an e).  It was a fit!

Monday, August 25, 2014

A first born and first time mom's first day of school

So just for memory sake..I felt the need to recap the the semi-first day of school.  All went well this morning to get us on the road to a happy drop off for kindergarten assessments.  I made sure to get some protein in T followed by a good lunch complete with fruits and veggies.  I kept reminding him of a couple letters he struggles with and bam, WE WERE READY!

 We loaded up and what came out of T's mouth was precious beyond words.. Like he'd been thinking for a while and was ready for his speech.  He said, "Mom, I just can't believe how far I've come with my knowings, and mom, I'm SO excited for kindergarten but I'm really going to miss you."

Que the burning nose and misty eye.  I immediately thought, boy you can't do this to me now.  THIS is the unpardonable.  I've heard like a million times not to cry in front of your kids before KINDERGARTEN.  Everyone says SAVE the tears.  Heck, even Titus said don't cry. And after all, its barely a half day and they're just testing him. Seriously.Get.It.together.  Self-talk never really works for me.

We then prayed while Maeve yelled "my turn pray," which lightened the mood. We walked in, me nervous, Titus like he owned the place.   He saw the principal and asked if he should go up and introduce himself and shake her hand.  Shake her hand?  Are you 25?!   Since she quickly began giving directions we opted out. Good thing, because the tears would have probably started then.  #crazymom

We walked down the hallway and I began to feel nervous about my emotional state.  Don't you love how this is suddenly about me?!  Can I be a more typical first time mom?!

Anyways, he walked up, said his name to which they didn't catch the last name and I had to say it 3 times.  Each time my voice trembled more.  The greeter teacher's eye grew wider and I could read her mind, "SHE's gonna blow."  I basically pushed Titus to her and bolted into the paperwork classroom.

SOBBING.  A sweet teacher hugged me and gave me a tissue.  I was mortified since I thought I would have been high-fiving.  Out of body experience to say the least.  Another sweet parent made me not feel like a complete loser which I appreciated.  It's a good thing they didn't have room mother sign ups because my gratitude may have caused a terrible impulse decision right then.

After school I was 2nd in line for the carpool.  I'm sure you're surprised. Titus bounced into the car and declared he PASSED... "MOM, I get to go to KINDERGARTEN."  I'm not completely sure why he thought you could fail but apparently he did.  My bad.  His excitement became my own and any leftover hormones were gone.  Just happy to have my boy back!  I asked 500 questions to only get "I think I did good."

Then tonight while talking to his Dad he announced what his FAVORITE test was.... "ya know the one where you put headphones on and listen for the beep and raise your hand."  The hearing test??!  YUP, he was talking about the HEARING TEST.

Why am I not surprised?!  Can I just take a wild guess that the hearing tests was the only one he got to move with?  Good luck teachers, he's all yours.  

And as for me, I asked T if he thought I cried and he gave me a puzzled look and said, "NO, that would be WAY embarrassing."  Oh good... good thing I didn't SOB.

Well let's just say I'm wearing waterproof make up next time.... for  meet the teacher and the real first day.  What can I say, I'm pregnant and he's my first baby.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The first days of Kindergarten.

When you (Titus) were 18 months old I quickly learned I was parenting a strong willed child.  I bought all the Dobson books we could afford as seminarians and your Dad and I thought our dominant traits were working their genetic magic as our parents whispered, "told ya so."  When BOTH parents hear their entire life how strong willed they were (or are), this was not a surprise.  Truthfully, your Dad and I are a lot alike.  It makes for a "fun" first year of marriage and then a dream team begins to form.... or so we like to think.

After deciding you were strong willed, I was happy for us. And you.  Why?  I knew if Jesus would become your first love, you'd change your world.  That's been my prayer.  

Right now, we're in the trenches and a strong willed child combined with lots of energy sometimes looks like a frazzled mom who may lose her mind if you backtalk or wrestle one more time (when we've asked you not to).   Other times it feels like we're making progress... like when you tell on yourself because you know you hurt someone's feelings even knowing you will have to apologize and make it right.  Your honesty is something I praise God for and I pray he only continues to sow the seed of truth in your heart.  Either way, I see glimmers of the man you are becoming, and my sweet boy, you are going to be like your Daddy.... and Your Grandpa, and your Papa, but most of all like Christ... the one you placed your childlike faith in last year.   

So... as I send you out into your first days of Kindergarten know your Dad and I are camping out on Psalm 1 and Proverbs 1 and praying a few specific things for you this year...

1.  Self-control-- That God would continue to develop the ability to think first before you act.  
2.  Leadership- That you can influence your friends and show them Christ instead of following someone into trouble.
3.  Christ-likeness-  That God would continue to work in your heart and that it would come out in word and deed. 
4. Protection from evil-  For your own safety to the scary influences of public school we pray Christ would stand guard over you.   
5.  Understanding-  that you would learn to read.  Seems simple but it's truly a gift.  Yes,  I'd appreciate the break (for me) of you being able to read star wars comics,  but I pray more than anything that you will be able to read the Bible and understand God's word for yourself and you would begin to hide his word in your heart.  Our pastor spoke about helping your child memorize scripture so that one day when hard times come, YOU will bleed the gospel.  Bam. our goal. 

And can I just say....aside from anything sentimental, it's stinkin' time.  I'm sure I'll have a good cry at some point but don't take offense if I high five your teachers on the way out.  I can see those little birdie wings starting to flutter and I'm so happy for you.  So here's the thing... you go fly, my sweet baby boy, but I'll be close if you need me... as in like 2 minutes away. As in... I'll think about you constantly and stick figure people and hearts will fill your lunch box notes until you can read.  As in... I love you.so.so.much.  As in... I'm so glad I got to be the one to spend my days with you the past 5 years. 

And spoiler.  #You'renotridingthebus.  

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Maeve is 2!

Here's the thing.  2 years came and went so fast that I am just hoping to jot down and few things about our sweet girl before she's 2 1/2. 
Our sweet and sassy Maeve is 2 and what a joy she brings to our home.  I've often said I feel like I'm raising the baby version of Tina Fey because she's quirky little thing.  Maeve keeps us laughing and has proven to be just as strong willed as her brother.  We often say that she lives in a world of pink and purple.. her favorite colors and adores all things girly.  She may proclaim to you that she's beautiful and a princess if you stick around long enough.  Maeve is a fun girl to be a mommy to! 

She's a little picky with food at times and has earned her title as the best climber in the family.  She has a petite little frame and tips the scales at 23 lbs.  She loves big and her best buddy is her brother.  I'm so thankful that they play so well together.  She can often be found trying to swipe my make up, jewelry, and shoes.  She looks just like her Daddy and wakes up asking "where's my daddy." 

Sweet Maeve, 

You are such a precious gift to us.  You fill our days with laughter and give the best smooches.  We learned just after your turned 2 that you would become a big sister.  We are so excited to continue to watch you grow and love your big and little siblings.  We love you more than words and pray for you daily to know the hope of salvation at a young age.  Happy 2 yr old birthday bloggy style... better late than never!!! 

Love, Mommy

Friday, March 28, 2014

And now he's 5...

It's hard to believe that my little man is now 5 and heading into kindergarten next year.  How is that possible?!

I'm not sure how to sum up Titus is a little blog post because but here's a few things....

So here's a tidbit.  He's strong willed, witty, and a love bug.  He's a people person and perceptive, yet a little mouthy at times too.  He's a little creature of habit and loves to be outside.  His days are good or the best ever!  His favorite activities include riding his bike, digging in the dirt or playing with legos.  The boy has energy coming out of his ears! He loves to spend time with Ryan, and for that I'm so thankful!  He hasn't been super interested in school but he's been pretty pumped to start learning to read.  We have a workbook we use each night and he is working hard!  Since he hates bedtime, he will do anything to avoid it a little longer so our lesson is perfect during this time!

Titus is the best big brother to Maeve and really has become my little helper.  She's wild about "bubby" by the way.  These two play really well together (mostly) and I hope will continue to have a sweet relationship over the years.

I often hear people say Titus looks like me (and Maeve Ryan) but who knows.  He has his Daddy's build, even now, which is pretty awesome for him! :)  As he approaches kindergarten, here's really no place I would have rather been the past 5 years than home with him.  I'm so glad we took the minialist approach with preschool and many other activities.  Our time has been such a blessing!  Happy 5th (a little late) smoochie pants!  You're my fav little boy in all the world!


Monday, March 3, 2014

Six years later....

This past Saturday we celebrated 6 years of marriage.  I'd have to say this past year was a really good year in our marriage.  Quite possibly my favorite.  Maybe it's the lack of transition we got to enjoy.. no babies, no moves, no major life stressors or maybe that it's that we are growing in our understanding as what a team looks like a bit more.  Who knows, but it was a good year and I can only thank God for his goodness.  Six things I've learned....

1.  You can't be proud, unforgiving or selfish and have an awesome marriage.  It just doesn't work.  It makes things pretty ugly pretty fast.

2.  Transition makes things a bit more challenging, but will make you stronger after the growing pains.

3.  Kids take lots of $, add stress, and take away less sleep but the joy they bring is unmeasurable.  Def a precious gift and so worth it.  We've def grown from becoming parents.

4.  Decisions should be prayed through and talked through together, however, as a wife it's freeing to know that Ryan has the final say.  I trust his love for us to make the best decision considering our family first.  (This has been one of the biggest things we'd say hindsight is 20/20 on).

5.  A Marriage will never be what it should without the love and support of a local church.  I repeat.. Your marriage needs JESUS and the support of a thriving local church.  I say this with the encouragement to leave the "consumer" mentality behind and get your hands dirty serving and committing to a church that is biblically sound.  Our pastor hit it out of the park talking about this here   from 3/2/2014

6.  Bring your sense of humor.  Laughter with your spouse is life-giving.

Now.. let's walk through memory lane....

Year 1- married, pregnant 3 months later followed by a 3,000 mile move to Portland.  Lots of transition that year!

March 11th of year 2 we met our first baby!! 

Year 3 Ryan went away to a 3 month Army school.  He flew in to celebrate our Anniversary and Titus' 2nd Birthday!

Year 4 we got pregnant again (Maeve) and said our goodbyes to friends and family in Portland and moved to NC

Year 5 we met Maeve and bought our first home!
Year 6 we began some fun home projects and started a small group in our house!

present- Disney World