Friday, April 15, 2011

9 years. 3 years. 1 year.

April 15.

Nine years ago today, God gave unto Dan and I,  a precious son.   

He came into this world with a bang, as he nearly entered the world in the back of our mini-van!  At nine years old he delights us with his energy,  and his unyielding devotion to his big brother.   He is easily brought to tears and is sensitive.   This sensitivity is an asset because it helps him to see when others are hurting or rejoicing.   He is the self proclaimed "best goalie on his soccer team" and still likes to sleep with his "dee-tee".  The perfect blend of innocence and confidence.   Drew, Dewey, Double D-- by whatever name we call you-- You are a gift!
With a grateful heart,  I celebrate you this day.

3 years ago today,   God gave unto Dan and I,  a precious daughter.   

She came into this world smoothly and beautifully.  I had to fight tooth and nail to talk Dan into having a 4th child.   He was done after three.  It didn't take long at all for that little gal to securely wrap Daddy around her finger.   At 3 years of age she is scrappy and animated.  All she needs is a few toys and her favorite TV show Max and Ruby for background noise and she will play the day away.   Her role has recently changed from the baby to big sis  so naturally we are still working out the kinks with that.   Buns,  Bunser, Babe-- by whatever name we call you-- You are a gift!!
With a joyful heart,  I celebrate you today.

1 year ago today,  God gave unto Dan and I,  our third daughter.  

She came into this world silent and still.   She was already with the One who allowed her conception and knew with Him she would remain.   At 1 year remembered,  we do not know her.  I can't share about her personality or what color were her eyes.   She didn't have the chance to earn her own nickname.   Even so,  she had weight in this world.   Physically speaking she was 3.7 oz.   But my pregnancy,  the short labor and the delivery of her changed our lives.   Our kids will carry her in their hearts always.  I have struggled and learned so much this last year.  I will continue to find meaning ,  not necessarily a neat and tidy explanation of why we could not keep her,  but God's hand in all the events that surrounded her conception and death. 
April, the baby we lost,  our daughter,  our 5th child--by whatever name we call you-- You are a gift!!
With a heavy heart I remember you this day.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

3 weeks old-- surviving and thriving.

Just wanted to pop in and offer up a few photos and an update of our life with the 7 of us.

I've been working up a few blog posts in my mind that are yet to come.  It has been a whirlwind of emotions , hormones and thoughts that have passed through and over me the last  few weeks.   I just wouldn't be me if I didn't take some time to sort them out and "write" them down.   But for today,  just the basics.  
I took this photo on the first day home and thought it was funny because no one wanted to leave Naomi's side.  Or is it just that no one wanted to stop watching television?

Naomi was welcomed home by all of us on Friday March 25.  At the time I was glad to have the weekend to ease into what would become real life again on Monday morning. 

If only. 

If only real life had waited that long.  Real life started during my hospital stay as 3 of the kids had a stomach virus and you know what that means.    Bringing home our baby, meant bringing her home to a sick house.   Thankfully, she was immune.   Immune to that and a host of other things our chaotic household offers.    She has been very content to sleep, nurse and do all the wonderful things that newborns do.  I CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF THIS STAGE.  NEWBORNS ARE MY FAVORITE!!! 

We are trucking along getting used to another person in the house.  The kids are learning patience in a whole new way.  I am learning how to expand myself a little further to meet all of their needs.  I do feel that some days (and many overnights)  are just survived.   But now,  holding Naomi tight I feel a new and different sense of wonder and gratitude than I've ever felt before during these draining first few weeks.   These are huge gifts.  This busy life,  the ridiculous amount of backed up laundry,  yes, even the sleep deprivation is a gift.   THIS-- what I have longed for, for much of the last year and a half-- is here now.   I embrace it.  I cherish it.  I want to etch it all into my memory. 

 This last photo is how I found Juliet after one busy afternoon.   
I know how she feels.   At any given time I could fall asleep- half standing.  

Monday, April 11, 2011

A birth story, in photos.

I was privileged to have my sister-in-law of Katie DeBoer Photography come to photograph the birth of our baby.    Early in my pregnancy,  I was not sure  if I would want the private moments of the birth photographed.   I  had these thoughts because I was nervous.   I was nervous about an un-happy ending.   As much as I had hoped and continually tried to "give it to God"  I had a slow ember of fear that something could or might go terribly wrong.    But on the other hand,  I just KNEW I wanted the birth photographed. 

God's peace and the excitement that went with me into the hospital that early morning knocked out my fears and we lift our hearts in gratitude that we have our baby here with us today.   I am so thankful that Katie came to take pictures.  She is so talented and I will cherish the photographs for a lifetime.

Besides the fantastic ones already posted on Facebook,  here are some additional faves I picked. 
I think they tell this part of the story,  beautifully.

 (this photo is actually taken on my phone by Dan,  but we had to get that last belly pic.)

I couldn't wait to use my iPhone app. to time my contractions!  So exciting and amazing to think that when I had Chase 11 years ago,  we timed contractions the old fashioned way-- with a wall clock !  
 Signing on the dotted line...
Dan's typical method for helping labor progress.

It's GO (and push) time!!

Not to us, O LORD, not to us
       but to your name be the glory,
       because of your love and faithfulness. 
Psalm 115:1