Friday, January 29, 2016

Welcome to the World, Samuel Lincoln

On January 14th, 2016, Samuel Lincoln came sunny-side up into the world.

He was born at 12:56 pm, weighed 7 lbs 14 oz, and was 21 inches long. Unlike his brother, he was born with head full of dark hair and a less intense entrance.

However, just minutes after he was born, he was struggling to clear out all that extra gunk from his throat. When a nurse tried to suction out his throat, she noticed that the tube didn't go all the way down. By God's grace, a doctor was literally walking past and she asked him about it.

He told us that it might be that his esophagus is not connected to his stomach, (that's the layman way to say it), but further tests would be needed to determine if that was the reason he was struggling. He told us that if it was the case, then he would need to be taken to a different hospital about an hour and a half from us to have surgery.

Goodness, my momma heart felt weary at those words. In that moment, a hundred expectations shattered. Especially after Luke's beginning in the NICU, I felt as though I had been cheated from all those normal having-a-baby moments--the siblings meeting, the bonding time after birth, the family pictures, the ability to nurse without tubes and beeps and worry.

Yet, at the same time, I felt so thankful. Thankful that that our nurse noticed something. Thankful that he came sunny-side up. Thankful that a doctor walked by at just the right time. Thankful that it was discovered so early--which prevented a long list of possible complications.

In that hospital room, sadness and thankfulness met. Frustration and seeing God's faithfulness meshed.

Within an hour after he was born, he was taken in for an x-ray to help make a diagnosis.

After his x-ray and the confirmation that he did need surgery, my sweet nurse Amanda let me hold him for a few minutes before she had to bring him to the NICU. I didn't know when I would get to hold him again, so I took in those sacred moments as best as I could.

While holding him, Amanda told me with tears in her eyes, that it really was just God. She knew of the complications that could have occurred if someone hadn't noticed, and she knew it really was God's hand of protection over Samuel. I'll never forget that moment--the nurse praising Jesus, the weight of my newborn son in my arms, a thousand emotions pouring into my heart, and the comfort of Emmanuel tangible and unexplainable.

Within a few hours, we literally watched his helicopter fly away and I could do nothing but pray, hope, and remember that God is good--even when my expectations are unmet or my child would have major surgery within the next 24 hours.

Samuel did have surgery the next day--and it went so well. We know that a thousand prayers were whispered for sweet Samuel and our family. We felt the comfort, peace, and sovereignty of God amidst a time when fear and anxiety can easily swallow you whole.

I hope to share more about his time in the NICU and those days between his birth and his homecoming. But for now, I just wanted to share that we are now home with our sweet son, and all of us are completely smitten :)

Monday, January 4, 2016

Baby, Baby, Baby

Right now, we are in full-on waiting-for-baby mode. After the last bits of Christmas were tucked away, we went head first into baby preparations (mostly because we had done absolutely nothing before Christmas!)

Clothes to wash, breathing rhythms to practice, garage clean-up, scrubbing bathrooms, organizing the nursery/boy's room, packing bags, chatting about names (he is currently still unnamed!), and trying to gather in bits of our own projects and fun stuff before life gets rearranged.

Although my house could still use a professional cleaning (I wish!), I feel like if baby boy arrived, we'd have at least the basics covered. A week ago--I would have felt scrambled and anxious. So, it feels good to have those big tasks finished and checked off the list.

As for me, I feel much more uncomfortable and sore than I did with Luke at this point--so, I'm trying my best to sneak in reading, rest, and naps between playtime, cleaning, and baby prep.

currently loving this book (and hoping baby stays put until I finish it!)

I'm also ready to ditch gestational diabetes (which has not always been fun, but it has been manageable) and eat without thinking about every item I put in my mouth or check my blood sugar 4x a day. And can I just say that I really really really just want to eat some good, carb-loaded pizza ;)

I'm also ready to fit into my shirts again--ha!

And my heart--well, I'm not sure what to expect. Somedays I feel so ready for another baby and a new member of the family. Other days, I want to keep everything the way it is. I keep remembering how hard and emotional (and weary) those newborn days are--and I am definitely dreading them a bit. Yet, I also remember how sweet and tender they are too--the baby breath, tiny hands, a bitty warm body snuggled up to your chest, the quiet of nighttime feedings, and lots of precious "ahh" and "oooh" moments.

So, for now, we wait. And soak up the last days of just the 3 of us. And perhaps actually decide on a name for him ;)

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Thursday, December 31, 2015

On the Last Day of 2015

Usually, I write up a few fancy posts to wrap up the year--and share the highlights, etc, from the year.

Like this. 

But this year...

I'm pregnant, and due in two weeks, and feeling a little stretched thin trying to get those "last few things in" before baby boy arrives (which could be anytime now...). So, a simple post it is ;)

I still wanted to take some time to think back on 2015 because it was quite the year. It brought me to Haiti, and gave me a two-year-old, and also the news of the a new baby. 

However, if I had to scribble down a few key words for 2015, they would be:
waiting, in-between, and settling in.

Even as I scroll back into this year's archive of blog posts, I realize how much I didn't share. In many ways, this was a year that blogging took a back seat--and that's okay.

As I look ahead into 2016, it definitely feels much less new and shiny to me than usual. Usually, January 1st restarts routine, fun goals, and fresh ideas. This year, the 1st is simply one day closer to the big life change of adding another kiddo to our family. I have a few ideas I'd like to see manifest in 2016, but for now, they simmer while I give myself the grace to learn how to be a mother of two.

I do, however, have a big vision/perspective goal for 2016.

As we move into 2016, I want to be a better steward of the joy that God so lavishly gives, offers, and supplies. I know this year will hold exhaustion, newness, and major adjustment. I know that there will be hard days and good days. I know that I will be stretched, and pushed, and humbled.

So, I want to put on my joy-eyes and really see joy. Not necessarily that fluffy happy feeling--but that deep-seated and Jesus-centered perspective of joy.

That's my hope for 2016--to better see the world with joy-eyes. What about you?
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