Friday, March 30, 2012

Dear Amelia

Time is a funny thing. It seems like another lifetime that I was in the hospital holding you for the first time. You came into our family just a month ago, but it seems like you've always been here. At the same time when I feed you in the middle of the night it seems like you've barely arrived. 
I like so many other mama's want time to stop. I want you to stay a newborn forever. I love smelling your newborn smell and kissing on the softest skin there ever was. Every time you yawn or stretch out your tiny fingers I'm in awe of what a miracle you are. Your little features are so delicate and feminine   and those eyes. They're like big blueberries that I could stare at forever. 
I'm loving getting to know you. The way you want to be swaddled and held close to our chest or your need for things to get quite after your brother and sister have shown you lots of attention. I already know you have a gentle sweet spirit. Your eyes follow your daddy when he moves around the room. His singing soothes you. You love to be rocked and hate hiccups. 
You gave us your first real smile the other day and now are smiling all the time. You sleep so well giving me almost five stretches of sleep a night, sometimes more. It's such a gift from the Lord. 

Amelia, I love you so much. These last four weeks with you have renewed and strengthened my heart as a mother. I'm in love with being a mama and having the privilege to care for you and your siblings. Thank you for giving that to me. 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

tripled in size and divided by three

I was nervous when I was pregnant with Vanessa if I'd love her as much as Elijah. Elijah and I barely left each others sides until I was put on bed rest. We were so close and the love I felt for him so strong. I wondered if I could love someone else as much. 

Those fears vanished as soon as Vanessa came into the world. The second I heard her little cry I felt like my heart left my body. All I could think about was how much I loved her and wanted to care for her.

Raising Elijah and Vanessa together was pure joy. When I got pregnant with Amelia I didn't fear if I'd love her as much. I knew I would. I didn't know what life would look like with three, but questions of my love for all three weren't there.

What I didn't know is how divided I'd feel. I want to give each child enough time and attention, but there isn't enough time in the day. 

I want to comfort each when they cry. 
Tuck them all in at night.
Be the one that gets them in the morning.
I want to read to Elijah and Vanessa and take them outside to play. 
I want to rock Amelia and never let her out of my arms. 

But, I can't always be in three places at once. (actually I never can) Vanessa was so sick the other day. She got in bed with us and I held her until Amelia started crying for me to feed her. As I moved to pull her out of her crib Vanessa started crying for me. I didn't know what to do. Both children needed me. In that moment I was the only one that could meet Amelia's need. So I did. My heart broke a little as Caleb meet Vanessa's. I'm thankful that he was able to and reminded that God is the one who ulitmately meets their needs.  

 I read this on a blog from another mom and it's become my prayer too. It just seems to sum up where we're at right now.  
But for right now, my prayer is very simple: strength and wisdom. I desperately feel my need for both. Strength to get out of bed in the morning and finish the dinner dishes before 9pm. Strength to insist on obedience for my children's good. Strength to still be smiling by the end of the day when my husband comes home from work. And wisdom. Wisdom to know how to handle a myriad of moments with two precious children who don't speak the same language. Wisdom to know when to comfort and when to correct. Wisdom to know which child takes first priority when all four our vying for my attention at once.

The Proverbs 31 woman is "clothed with strength" and "speaks with wisdom." I'm a long way from either but I know that God is eager to answer this simple, desperate, prayer on behalf of 

this helpless, happy, mother. Nicole Whitacre

I'm guessing I'll always feel this way. I'll continue to pray for strength and wisdom as I learn how to meet their needs and be thankful that my love for them runs so deep. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

This weekend...

was beautiful. Spring is here and everything is turning green.

 Caleb and the kids did lots of yard work.
(elijah dressed himself and when i went to put pants on him caleb looked at me like i was crazy and informed me he doesn't need pants,)

 Little miss and I of course spent lots of time together.

Caleb spolied me and let me run out and get my toes done. I sat there with my Real Simple in heaven. Getting my toes done is one of my favorite things.

 We're house hunting and during one of my late night feedings I came across this beauty. We took a look at it this weekend. A gorgeous farmhouse built in 1910 sitting on five acres. 
Yes please...too bad it's way out of our price range.

 The very best part of our weekend....
 Yiayia came to visit!


Friday, March 23, 2012

recounting God's kindness

When trials come it's easy for me to get short sighted. I quickly get caught up in the circumstances instead of my response. I knew that with the joy of Amelia's birth would also come unique challenges. So, I spent a lot of time in prayer and in God's word preparing for the time when hormones were raging and extreme exhaustion had taken over. I wanted to see him in it all. 

Here we are three weeks later and it's been an unexpected ride. Amelia slept on a bilirubin blanket for the first week and half trying to get her bilirubin numbers down. I had to quit breastfeeding and pump because my milk it was making her jaundice worse. Now she's dealing with thrush and reflux. 

I'm dealing with complications from the epidural that have kept me in bed most of the day.

It would be easy for me to complain about these circumstances and at times I have, but more than anything I've seen God's kindness to us. It's wonderful as I lay in bed at the end of the day to recount God's faithfulness to us in the big and small and give him the glory for it all.

There are mornings when I wake up not sure how I'm going to do it all, but God's given me the strength or the help I've needed. Everytime. 

The physical problems have forced me to slow down and rest. As much as I wish I was feeling better resting has given me precious time with Amelia that would otherwise been spent doing housework. I've loved every second holding her and it's bonded us so much. I know that's a gift from God.  

Elijah and Vanessa are in love with Amelia. They miss my attention, but haven't shown any signs of jealousy towards Amelia. I'm so thankful for that. 

Then the other day after a week of gloomy rainy weather I looked out my window and saw this gift.

The Steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, 
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

Monday, March 19, 2012

adjusting to three...

This little bundle has brought a whole new level of crazy to our house. Three, three and under makes for a full day. I wondered many times how I was going to do it and my mom always told me, God will give you the grace. She was right. There are times where I feel like I'm barely keeping my head above water, but mostly, I see God's kindess in giving us Amelia. He's providing the strength and help needed to care for all three kids. 

Here's a little of what's gone on these last two weeks.
Nay, can barely keep her hands off Amelia. She wants to be with her all the time and cries when she can't be.
(this sleep deprived momma has barely gotten out her camera, so most of these pictures are from Caleb's phone.)

 Elijah is also in love. He likes to lay next to her and hold her hand and comfort her whenever she cries. He always tells her, it's okay Amelia, and tries to put her pacifier in her mouth.

 We've had lots of company. Uncle Drew came for part of his Spring break. The kids had a blast playing with him. He was such a huge help around the house...he even washed the dishes for me.

 My friend from college came too and brought her little girl. Elijah was in heaven having a constant playmate for three days.

Another friend of mine was able to fly up for a couple days and took lots of pictures of the kids. Elijah is still missing her. He asked me this morning where she was and told me he wanted her to come back. 

As much as the kids are loving Amelia they're missing time with Caleb and I, so Caleb has taken the kids on a couple dates. He took them both to Cabelas and bought them sleeping bags and a fishing pole. They're ready for camping this Summer.

 Then he took Nay out for a little frozen yogurt. She loved her date with daddy.

Well, time for a little sleep before the next feeding. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

How it happened....

Our little Amelia is a week old now. It's hard to believe that just over ten days ago I was praying that she'd come and now it's hard to imagine life without her.

She's sleeping next to me and everyone else is at church so I thought I'd take a minute to write how she turned our family from four to five.

Friday March 2. We woke up bright and early to make it to the hospital by five to be induced. I had prayed and prayed that I would go into labor naturally, but after three weeks of false labor it didn't seem like it was going to happen. Our doctor had done another ultra sound and realized her head was tilted making it very hard for her to move down. We weighed the pros and cons of waiting a little longer and being induced. Because of the complications of this pregnancy and really wanting to avoid another c-section inducing won.

By five thirty they had the pitocin flowing and the contractions started. I labored on the birthing ball and in the tub for 5 hours before we decided it was probably time to get the epidural. 

Having two previous epidurals I knew what to expect. They had both gone wonderfully before so this time when the man kept poking around my back and hitting nerves all long my right side I knew something wasn't right. It took awhile, but he finally got it. As I started to relax a little and pain from the contractions started to lighten I noticed that my entire left side had gone numb. I couldn't feel my hand and was having a hard time keeping my left eye open. It turned out he hit too high and knocked out the feeling all along my left side and didn't get the epidural low enough. He numbed my stomach area, but I could feel everything lower. 

Things started to intensive quickly and before I knew it I was feeling the need to push. The nurse checked and sure enough I'd gone from a 5 to a 10 in an hour. It was time. After the first push I didn't know if I had the strength to keep going. Her head felt like it wasn't going to budge and I had not been planning to feeling this part. Thankfully, I had an incredible doctor and nurse long with Caleb and his mom to help me. They talked me through what to do and I was determined not to stop pushing until she was out. The doctor kept telling me to take a break, but I couldn't. I had to get her out. It didn't take long and they said she was here. 

I was waiting for her to cry out, but I didn't hear anything. I looked down and she was purple. The cord was wrapped tight around her neck a couple times (another reason she wasn't coming down.) I was scared, but the doctor worked quickly to get it off and her breathing. I felt the biggest weight lift once I heard her cry. They laid her right on me and I started nursing her. She was absolutely perfect. 

I'm amazing at God's kindness to us. He faithfully cared us through many hard times in this pregnancy and placed a beautiful healthy girl in my arms. We feel so blessed. 
We are absolutely in love with her.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

instantly in love.

There's nothing like the love you feel for your baby. 
It's instant and indescribable. 
It's the third time around and still as miraculous as the times before.

Her tiny features and soft skin amaze me.
My heart aches when I look at her cause I love her so much.
 I can't remember our life without her.
Recovery has been hard, but when she's in my arms all I think is how I would go through anything to have her.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

our newest...

Praising the Lord for...
Amelia Elisabeth
Born March 2, 2012
2:25 p.m.
9 pounds
22 1/4 inches
Loving our family of five.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

the best thing...

It's been an unintentional blogging break, but a good one. Something about knowing baby girl is coming and it's the end of just Elijah and Vanessa has made me want to soak up our time together.
 I know once she's here we won't be able to imagine life without her, but our lives are going to change a lot and my focus is going to be on our new baby for awhile. 
I've been having to make decisions between good things and the best. Lately, spending uninterrupted time with my kids has been the best thing. 
I think they're sensing something is going to change and I've loved being able to put my focus on them. Lots of cuddles and kisses, tickles and wrestling. We're playing games together and reading books. It's been such a sweet couple weeks of enjoying them.

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