Thursday, October 24, 2013

John, Jesus, and Some Busted Stitches.

When Nick and my in-laws brought John to the hospital the day after I delivered Natalie I had envisioned this grand reuniting with my son....that he would run to me and jump in my arms and we would blissfully all meet Natalie and have this one big happy family experience as our first meeting as family of 4. yea...that didn't quite happen like that.

I hadn't seen John in a couple days since he stayed the night at the in laws house the day before Natalie's birth and then didn't make it to the hospital until the day after. I was worried about him being freaked out by everything so I had made sure everything was perfect for his visit to us. I didn't want him to feel uncomfortable to see mommy in a weird place so I cleaned myself up, put normal clothes on and makeup to make myself look like the usual instead of being in the gloomy hospital gown. I had Natalie in the room with me laying in her hospital crib. I didn't want to be holding her when he came in because I didn't know how he would respond and wanted to ease into the introduction with her. So even after all that time and effort and the serious thought out process of making his visit so comfortable this happens....

He comes through the door and here I am standing there with arms wide open and with the biggest smile on my face from here to Texas. I say to him, "Hey Buddy!!!! It's Mommy!!" hoping he would be so excited and just kicking to get out of his stroller to come to me, but nope....I got rejected. My heart instantly sank. He looked at me as if he had never known who I was and slouched down in his stroller as if he was afraid of me. I couldn't pick him up because of the surgery so Nick picked him up and brought him up to me to give me kisses and he turned and put his hand up as if to push me away, and so I was rejected again. I kept saying, "'s OK. It's just Mommy." He kept looking down at his toy car and wouldn't acknowledge me. He then the whole visit kept clinging to my Mother-in-law. I was so beside myself and so broken about this. This should be such a happy, joyful time and I found myself so sad, insecure of myself as a mother and crying in the bathroom. Now I know hormones probably had a huge play in the factor, but this really bothered me. I just never seen little man act this way, but I have never been away from him this long either. So of course after beating myself up about that I said a quick prayer for him and I, gained some composure and went on with the visit. Hoping it was just phase and would all pass soon...

...and it did.

On Wednesday morning John and Natalie had their 15 month check up and her first pediatric appointment. John had to wind up getting a couple shots that day. I was holding Natalie so Nick went over to the table with him and held his little hands and was tickling his neck and giving him kisses to take his mind off the shots. When the nurse came in and gave him the shots John immediately went into this murderous screaming fit. Then the most amazing thing happened. One that if you're a mom and reading this you know exactly this next feeling...he reached out for me and only wanted his Mommy. Ahhh!!! The best feeling in the world! I gave Natalie to Nick and I ran over there as fast as I could with arms wide open and said "It's OK buddy...Mommy's here." He just held onto me so tightly as tears were just a flowing. I wanted to cry right along with him to release some of that pent up mommy guilt I had about whatever I did to make him act so weird towards me, and I wanted to catch every tear that fell from his sweet little face and bottle it up and send it to the moon. I picked him up off the table and Nick freaked out and reminded me that I just had surgery and that I might bust some stitches! At that point I didn't care if I busted one stitch or 10, popped open my incision, winded up with an infection from it all, and had to go back to the hospital for another surgery. My son wanted his mommy...and that's all that mattered to me at the moment. I'd bust a million stitches for that! Nothing could ever separate my love for him or Natalie.

What's so cool about all of this is that I was telling a friend about this incident a couple days ago and she responded with, "Oh, John is just with you all the time. He probably takes you for granted a bit, but not intentionally because he is still little and doesn't know he is doing it. But, he does know you are always going to be there", and that's when I felt the Lord speak right to me.

Often times Jesus is standing there with arms wide open with the biggest smile from here to Texas on. So ready and eager to work in our lives, to love on us, to guide us, to save us, and when He knocks on the door of our hearts and says so excitedly, "Hey child!! It's your heavenly Father!!", we act as if we don't know Him or have time for Him, and we reject Him. Sometimes as a follower of Christ we reject Him daily in our walks and time spent with Him, and then there are those that reject Him as Lord and Savior. We then cling to others or things around us for comfort instead of the one true source of comfort. Him. Oh, the many times I have rejected His love, His instruction, His word, and His guidance. The times I have taken my heavenly Father for granted because I know He truly is always, "going to be there", and the times I have taken comfort in things and people other than Him. But, I don't want to live life like that! I want to rely on Him and soak in His presence daily. I want to need and desire His love and His will daily, not just when I need Him the most. I want to find my comfort in Him, not in worldly things. But, how beautiful, gracious, loving and merciful He is that He still comes running to us with arms outstretched so wide, and completely ready and so eager to scoop us up, love on us, and save us from ourselves when we do need Him. He may not have stitches that He is worried about busting at the moment when He scoops us up, but He ultimately has scars that He bares from the lashings and piercings He endured on our behalf on an old rugged cross. How gracious and loving is our heavenly Father! Nothing can separate His love for us. 

So ending thoughts. I wanted to share this little story because it spoke volumes to me. God has a funny way of speaking to me and funny ways of how He has to get my attention lots of times. ie. through a Disney movie and now stitches from a surgery. But, no matter what method or how He chooses to speak I'm so glad that He does speak to me and He speaks to you too...often times we are just not listening.

Never stop loving our heavenly Father. Always be so eager, excited, steadfast and ready to just love Him every day because oh how He loves us so much more! God bless you....stitches and all!

"For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8: 38-39

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

She's Here!!!

Our beautiful Natalie Joy graced the world with her presence on October, 18th 2013 at 8:08 am. She weighed a whopping one ounce bigger than her big brother at 7 lbs 3 oz and 19 3/4 inches long.

She is truly such an angel, and has the sweetest spirit already. Such a sweetheart! She came out with a dark head full of hair, and has the most piercing beautiful eyes, the most perfect mouth and nose and the cutest ears. Her fingers and toes are so slender and long. She reminds me a ton of Nick's Italian side of the family...our little Italian princess :).  She definitely however reminds me of John with certain facial expressions shes makes and how she wiggles and squirms around. I have caught myself a couple times saying, baby John on accident. Mother brain...because I can't blame it on pregnancy one anymore. lol.

Natalie is so petite, little and absolutely loves being held. She is just so cuddly and cute so who wouldn't want to?! But, of course this made sleeping the first night home from the hospital rather difficult for mommy. She just wanted to be cuddled, rocked and held and feed all night, but I wouldn't trade a sleepless night or no wink of sleep for anything in the world with her. So I guess I'll catch up on my sleep when they both leave the nest one day. Feeding wise....this little girl loves to feed! She winded up losing more than 10% of her body weight in the hospital so I was trying to cluster feed her in the hospital and pump to get my milk to come in more, and then when it finally did its like shes been catching up ever since. Last night, her first night home, I seriously couldn't keep up with her feeding demands so I found myself frantically pumping, breast feeding and giving her little ready to feed Similac bottles in between. It was a pretty funny moment and one I'll never forget. She was a little woman on a feeding mission. She has her first pediatrician appointment in the morning so I am eager to see how much she has gained since Sunday. Overall, my milk is coming in great and she breast feeds wonderfully.

Update on big brother John. He is just so infatuated with Natalie. Every time he sees her he just lights up, and when one of us is holding her he just runs over to her with the biggest grin and immediately wants to give her kisses. He then tries to rub her head, but its more of like a half pat that always winds up with us having to remind him to be gentle...but he is still little himself and is still learning. Daddy had set up her swing in the living room the day before she came home and once we saw John flip it over we had to go to plan B. So now we have her in a bouncer sitting in the upper part of a pack n play deck area in our living room while we are down stairs during the day. Every time she cries...John runs over to the pack and play and up on his tippy toes he goes to lean over and see her. He usually responds with "uh oh" and then he is off on his next little adventure. Seeing him around her melts my heart. I can't wait till she is a bit older, sitting up and interacting, so I can really see them a bit more in action together. I just know he is gonna be the sweetest big brother ever. I pray they are uber close, best friends and he is a protector over her. I sure he will because he is such a sweetheart himself.

Update on Daddy. He has absolutely amazed me since we have been home. He should get the "Dad of the Year" award, and I am not just saying that because I am biased and because he is my husband, but if there ever was one...I would nominate him a thousand times over. He has been so hands on, patient and doing all these multi-tasking things that I have never seen him do before. I haven't been able to do much since I am not only recovering from delivery, but from an abdominal surgery as well. I have to be super cautious about weight lifting, bending, climbing stairs, etc. I can't go go go like I use to until I heal completely. I so badly want to get down on the floor and roll around with John, pick him up from his crib, carrying him up the stairs, or pick him up when he is crying and pulling on my pants legs, but I can't and this is when Nick comes in. But this too shall pass and I know in a few weeks I will be back to my old self again. Nick offered to take Natalie and John downstairs this morning so I could get some much needed sleep. When I came down stairs this afternoon after napping I came down to a completely clean kitchen, living room, John was fed, Natalie was fed and napping again, and a load of clothes were almost done drying. He is truly my hero. I am so thankful for him and this time that he has off work so he can help me and so we can spend time together as a new family of 4.

As far as birth and delivery. Many knew I had planned a Vbac birth with Natalie. Something I had a huge desire for. It was at our 40 week check up that Nick and I decided to forgo the Vbac plans and schedule a repeat c-section at 40 1/2 weeks. We were concerned about waiting it out any longer, and the risk of getting Natalie here safe was at the forefront of my heart and mind that whole week. I just felt like things kept falling through the weeks leading up to my due date. My contractions kept stalling out, I wasn't progressing as far as dilation and effacement like I had hoped I would (not that all these things are indicators of a successful vaginal birth or not), but I had hoped to see more progress, and I just felt like something wasn't right. Ultimately, I felt uncomfortable in my spirit about waiting it out any longer to go into labor on my own and attempt this Vbac. Nick and I sat in the doctors office and prayed over this decision then we immediately had this peace that we knew this was the right way to go. That peace was nothing but the Lords. His will and presence was so evident in that operating room during Natalie's delivery. I am so thankful and stand in awe once more of just how great our God is.

During the surgery we found out that I had a uterine window (super thin stretched out area that you can see through) near my previous old incision scar and when our Doctor initially cut me open he could see Natalie plain as day in the window. He had the hubby stand up and look over the curtain so he could see it too, and Nick was pretty shocked when he saw it. The doctor informed me if I would of waited it out any further and went into labor on my own the stimulation of contractions on my uterus, on top of laboring could of caused that window to tear further and rupture, and my Vbac attempt could of possibly resulted in Natalie not being here. I learned so much during this experience. That there are things in life that we think we want, need and desire as much as we truly do need water, food and our next breathe to live. But, when God says "no" and closes a door on something it's for our own good, protection and is according to His plan. "He works all things for good". I praise God that He had me and Natalie's best interest at heart on that operating room table, that He doesn't give me all my want's and things I think I need and doesn't fulfill all my desires. I thank Him for watching over us and protecting her precious little life too. I thank him for His spirit that gave me that uncomfortable feeling about not going forward with a vbac even if at first I didn't want to feel or accept it. I am just thankful that I have our little girl here tonight, to see my sons face light up when shes around, to witness her being loved on by her daddy, that I am able to cuddle, rock, kiss and feed her, and that I am able to lose a night's sleep over her. If all that meant that I had to undergo a major surgical operation, to go under the knife once again, to have to go through a recovery period, to give up the vaginal birth experience that I had hoped and longed for, to ultimately lay my selfish desires and wants to rest just to get her here then it was all worth it and I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat.

So here we are...a family of 4! Yippee! I just know we have many fun, exciting, and beautiful days well as many exhausting, tiring and overwhelming ones too with having two under two to chase around, raise up and to love on. But, I am so beyond excited to see my little ones grow up together and for this new adventure we as a family are embarking on!

So thankful.


A Gift from God
I give thanks to You alone
Who sits on the throne
To loan me this precious gift
And to call it my own.
May I always see, Lord
In every waking hour,
Your majesty and grace
In this delicate flower.
Help me, O God,
To guide and preserve,
This wonderful blessing
to love and to serve.
-Doran Richards

Monday, October 7, 2013

Dear Natalie....

Dear Natalie,

Ok baby girl. Mommy thought you would of been here by now wanted you here by now, but you must like the warmness and coziness of my womb all too much. I don't blame ya! I don't like leaving the warmness and coziness of my bed most I can fully understand. Now that we are approaching a week away from your due date we are all getting so ready and eager to meet you! Friends, Grandparents, Great-Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, your Daddy, your brother John (but he really has not the foggiest notion of your impending arrival, but I can imagine he is growing quite tired of me constantly pointing at my belly all day saying, "baby" and prob wondering what really is this said baby I speak of) and I am so ready to meet you my love. I have to admit though, I am growing pretty impatient by the minute. Patience has never been a strong suit of mine. But, I am always finding myself in situations where God has to repeatedly test my patience and I am having to constantly learn to wait upon His timing...your birth being one of these situations. So, here I am trying my hardest to wait patiently for your arrival. Although, I really have no choice in the matter. You will be here when God see's fit to bring you into this world. Hopefully...that is like tomorrow?! :)

For the last couple of weeks we have been busy finishing up last minute things to prepare for your arrival. Packing our hospital bags, putting your car seat in our cars, having a deep cleaning done in the house, stocking up on last minute grocery items, stocking up on your diapers and wipes, sterilizing breast pump parts, pacifiers and bottle nipples, and washing and folding the last bit of your clothes. Also, in the last couple weeks your Father and I celebrated our 4 year anniversary, which is a blessing, and we had your baby shower this past weekend! It was absolutely beautiful and so so special (your Auntie M threw it for us) and on a rather sad note we just said goodbye to our sweet Charlie pup that was such a big part of our lives this past weekend. Although, we prayerfully considered and knew that this was best for our growing family it is still never easy saying good bye. He was one sweet, amazing dog. I am hopeful you can still meet him one day since he did go to a dear friend of ours. :)

Update on you: I had my 39 week appointment today at the Docs. I saw your cute little body on the ultrasound screen and your precious little heart beating away. To any mother that is expecting this is always a sigh of relief, and so I left the Docs feeling so thankful that you are healthy and growing right along as you should.  As of now I am 1 centimeter dilated and 50% effaced which probably can acccount for the on and off mild contractions and crampiness I have been having for the past week. It's always exciting to see and hear how much progress you make week to week at my appointments! This is all new to me because I never got this far or got to experience all this with your brother. As you know mommy is attempting to have a vbac birth with you and since we are now down to the final days of you making your entrance in this world I have been rather anxious about this whole experience. I had to have a come to Jesus meeting earlier this evening with all of this. I got very discouraged and I think more nervous and afraid more than anything. My mind was consumed with all the "what if's" and all the possible outcomes of your birth. The enemy had really been attacking my thoughts lately and so I have had to remind myself to, "take every thought captive to Christ"  and just had to soak myself in prayer and claim His blood and promises over u and I.  I just more than anything, however God decides for you to come into this world, want you here safe, healthy and me safe and healthy too. I am so thankful for the many mothers that have offered up so much encouragement these last few months, for those that have kept us covered in constant prayer and the mother's who have been where I am about to be with their vbac and birthing and laboring experiences too! It has been so comforting. I know in a few weeks once your here, and I am rocking you away in your while watching your little brother vandalize your room, I am going to look back on all this crazy anxiousness, nervousness and ridiculous worrying that I have done and just giggle my heart out and think, "what in the world was I thinking?!" Your mommy is a nut! However, *please note* pregnancy hormones have truly amplified this statement. :)

Any who, I wanted to document some little pieces of what's been going on the last few weeks as we wait for you. So excited to just have you in our arms soon enough and expand our little family by two more feet. You have already expanded my heart and brought so much "Joy" so I can only imagine what my heart is going to feel like the moment they place you in my arms and the moment I officially become a mother to two precious little ones!!! Your brother has rocked every inch of my world and being and I can only imagine what the two of you combined are going to do to me! :)

God has been so good my sweet girl. I can't wait for you to know all about His love and just how good our God is! 

I love you baby girl...and please come soon!



Below are some pics of some of what's been going on the past few weeks!

Cheers to 4 wonderful years!

The beautiful red roses your Daddy got me for our anniversary!

I love your daddy!

Just in case you didn't know! Hehe.

Me, Ni Ni, and GG at my shower. 3 Generations! You will make 4!

   The beautiful handmade quilt your Aunt B made you. 
Shhh! This was my favorite gift!

Shower decor. The baby shoes on the left are mine from when I was a baby, and your ultrasound pic on right was from when we found out you were a GIRL!! 

A little keepsake from the day!

            My friend Emralde and I. She is due with her precious little girl Madalene in December! 
                        This will be your first girlfriend in the world! Can't wait for future play dates! :)

Your Auntie M and I. (She threw our shower.) She is the best!

    Your beautiful Nana and I! You will fall in love with her!

We said prayers for you!

The best baby shower punch ever! I had like 10 cups! lol

                       All the special women who came to celebrate the day! You are so loved!

Tried to snap a pic with your big brother after the shower, but he was not feeling it. I think he was done with all the women at this point. He is a character! Can't wait to see you two together!!

The night we said good bye to our Charlie.

Such a sweet sweet dog!

Had to post this pic. Your brother is christening your room.

You have dropped! Won't be long!!!

I wonder if you will look like me?!?