Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year Hannah!!!

I have to blog, I have to declare to the world my promise, my miracle that I now hold in my hand.I have to remember, never forget where I was a year ago, where God sheltered me and loved me amidst a very depressing and despairing time. Have you ever had a dream, a dream that only felt to fragile to hold, a dream that others seemed to obtain without any trying, a dream that you felt, realistically, would never come to fruition. If you have known me long, you know my desire for a big family goes back to when I was 10. I used to sit with my friend Sarah, who now is expecting her first, and play "fake families" for hours. We would sit and write lists of names on the computer and pretend that they were all our kids or brothers and sisters. We played and made story after story, hour after hour. My families had no less than 10 kids, normally two sets of twins and my desire grew and grew for a large family. Then, every book I read had large families,  Cheaper By the Dozen, Those books by Ann M Martin where every sibling's first name started w/ Abbie, Bainbridge, Calandra, Dagwood, Edward...haha...I can't believe I can remember them all! Caddie Woodlawn, etc....then there was the movies!!! Mine Ours Yours!!!!! OHmigosh I watched that movie so many times. It was made in the 70s , no less, but it was family had 8 kids the other had 10 and they combined and had one of their own. I could hardly stand it! I wanted a large family of my own. I envied people, growing up, who grew up in large families and always felt that the more the merrier.

As I started high school, I went from wanting 7 kids, down to five...and there it stayed and has remained. However, last fall/winter when I went through two miscarriages in a row and then my episode on New Years Eve night with Hannah, I felt that my dreams that I had agonized about would only be, but that, a dream.

I will never forget sitting down at the computer around 9pm at night, talking with my Mom on the phone and getting ready to do some work for a job that I have, feeling so incredibly sick with "morning/afternoon/night" sickness and all of a sudden feeling a warm release, looking down and seeing gushing of dark, crimson blood on my brand new PINK Victoria Secret sweatpants. I said through clenched teeth to my Mom, " I'll call you back". What happened next, brings instant tears to my eyes at the pain that I went through. I staggered to the bathroom as the sudden loss of large amounts of blood made me shake, feel nauseated, light headed and tingly. Everywhere I went I dragged large amounts of blood with me, I couldn't stop. I layed on the floor of the bathroom screaming, crying and wearily phoned Ben to come home, as he was at work. I knew if I got up I would faint and was afraid of hitting my head on the bathtub so I layed there. I have never felt more alone, more in despair and angry than I did at that moment. Days earlier, I had seen my baby's heartbeat on the monitor, days earlier after a some spotting, my fears were relieved and I was able to move forward with the pregnancy as I saw that baby was doing well. Why was on the floor of the bathroom now? Why did my bathroom look like a murder scene. What is this feeling??!!! as my uterus started contracting!!! Why!!! Why is this happening!!!!!!! I sat on the toilet screaming out to God, sobbing- " Why is this happening, make it stop!! You can make it stop! Why won't you??! You know my heart, why can't you stop this!!!" and my uterus continued to contract. The thing with labor pains is after they are over, you are holding a baby- it's worth it. The problem with this is I was in labor, I had the most excruciating labor pains and my body was expelling my baby, and there was nothing I could do to stop it at 8.5 weeks pregnant! My dreams were shattered, I was numb, I buried my face in my shirt and screamed into it as each labor pain grew intensely worse. Finally, I stumbled over to the bed, Ben had just gotten home and had picked up the strongest aspirin possible to take, something you can't take when you are pregnant, and I numbed my remaining feelings with a pillow, a hot pad and aspirin. There I slept.

The next day, New Years Day, I felt empty. I felt sick. I felt alone. For the next few days, I sat, in my pajamas, watched tv, sat in a chair outside with the kids and sat, I did not feel. I did not talk to God. I sat.

Finally, after the love and prayer of so many, I turned on the song that had been my theme song since my first miscarriage in August, " The Desert Song" my Hillsong and i listened, and I began to cry, and I felt the Holy Spirit begin to slowly heal my broken heart, my broken dreams. I just cried.

On January 4, Ben and I dropped off the three kids at a friend's house and drove to our midwife's office. Wow, why did it seem like everyone in the world, but me was pregnant?! They called our name back and we sat, in the sterile room, in silence. The midwife came in and she was compassionate, and motherly and I stuffed my emotions down inside, and hit them under a veil of anger. I layed on the table and gave her our baggy of what we felt was our baby's frozen remains. She said she wouldn't do testing on it, that it was too expensive and asked if I wanted to throw it away? I lost it, throw it away?? That is my baby! How can I just throw it away??! I started sobbing. Then she said, " Oh honey, let's do the utlra sound." So I layed in that sterile room, with Ben who had his own emotions, with a midwife who I would no longer get the opportunity to work with for the next 7.5 months and despair overflowing out of my heart. She wanted to do a regular ultra sound, I was adamant, " NO. If there is anything you will not be able to see it as last week when I came in to see if I was still pregnant, after the spotting, the baby was hiding in the depths of my uterus, in the secret place she/he was hiding and was barely reachable by the vaginal ultra sound. " So, she agreed to my demands and did the other ultrasound. Tears, streaming out of my eyes, looking away from the screen , I sat there numb.

Then, I will never forget what follows, under the sterile lights, in the sterile room, with an empty silence, the midwife said, " Look! That is the cutest little snowman I have ever seen!" and there, on the screen, in all it's glory was my beautiful baby, with a beautiful heartbeat, and stubby arms, and eyes, and a little head, and she/he was there and perfect and with a STRONG heartbeat~ my heart lept inside of me, I cried, I was numb again but with being stunned. What was going on? How? ! She printed the picture and I clutched it and the name God had given me just a few days ago, " Salome Rafia" - Peace Jehovah Heals, ran through my heart.

I could hardly call people, those who had walked with us, threw our pain, our sadness, only to say " She is alive!" Do you know how that feels? To have that which you though was lost, given back to you? I can hardly describe the's immeasurable, it's's miraculous! God gave me a picture, it was His large, strong hand, clutching around my dear Hannah, she was in his palm and his strong fingers surrounded her, there she remained as my body tried relentless for hours to expel her, to wash her life out before she even had a chance to take a breath. But God is FAITHFUL! He who has called you is Faithful! He preserved her life, HE is her rescuer, her fortress, My God in whom I trust. He rescued her in a way that I never could, He reached down and took hold of her life and said, " Not now, no way." and he clutched her because He loves her. Thank you God for Hannah, thank you for her life as a miracle, a testimony, daily to your how life will NEVER seem the way we planned it, it will never go the way desired it, but Jesus you are faithful and I cling to that. Thank you, Jesus...I have so much to be thankful for!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sleep Deprivation


For whatever reason, my dear Hannah seems to be the one who feels the need to eat two times a night and that's when she is feeling well. On Christmas Eve, she came down with a sudden fever and began throwing up around 10:30pm. She probably threw up for a solid hour and it broke my heart to see her flushed cheeks, burning hot head and body cry like that. After she had settled that part down I rocked her in the complete darkness and felt her sweaty, hot body relax in my arms. Wow, there is nothing that will ever be more rewarding than being able to calm and relax your child. I felt complete and scared for her all at the same time. I can handle the occasional cold and throw up however, with her being 5 months, that's just too small for me. So , I layed her down in her bassinet next to me and then around 1:30am she was awoken with constant coughing, so again, we went into the living room and rocked, back and forth, back and forth and fell asleep out there. Waking up with a complete neck spasm, stumble back to bed.......ah, yes, this has gone on for the past 4 nights- this past night being the best- and I mean that in a very positive way.

Hannah's fever has subsided, thank you Jesus and her cold is slowly dwindling. She is my cuddler, she has to feel me and then she'll sleep so peacefully. I don't mind this, at all when I CAN sleep....but my problem is, when I am woken up so much throughout the night I have a very difficult time falling back asleep- ie: a normal two hour gap invades my sleeping routine.

Two nights ago was the hardest, she was coughing so much, so congested, there was nothing I could give her and she just was we rocked and we prayed and we cuddled and then we fell asleep. I woke up, walked to the bassinet, layed her down, fell back asleep and besides Austen asking if he could watch a movie, the kids fended for themselves on vitamins, water, saltine crackers, mint gum and the Aristocats. Who said kids need parents? Mine seem to manage just fine! I slept until 830 am and that was exactly what I needed to catch up on all the every 2 hour wake up calls due to my sick little Hanns.

It's crazy how when you become a parent, you don't "mind" getting up. Don't get me wrong, I ask Ben all the time when he is going to take me away on a secluded vacation with only him and I.....hopefully soon! But, when I think that a year ago tomorrow I almost lost my sweet little Hannah I would get up ever two hours for the rest of my life to comfort her in only the way a mama can, if I could just have her. I praise God she is feeling better, smiling and sucking on her fingers now with her temporary decongestant nose breathing in and out thanks to the blue bulb syringe.....but I wouldnt' trade my life for anything and someday I'll be able to sleep as long as I want- so for now, I will comfort.

Rainy Days!!!

Yesterday. Comfort. Cold. Blustery, Rainy. Cozy.Games. Hot Cups of Joe. Cold Cups of Chocolate. Laughing. Spilling Coffee Over Said Favorite Game. Brisk Walk With The Girls. Pitter. Patter. Listen To The Rain Song in My Head.

This Morning. Listening. Loud Droplets of Rain Pelting the Window. Relaxing Day. Yes.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Our Christmas Tree

This year, Christmas has been pretty interesting. I have had a really hard time getting into it. Whether it be from the barrage of people looking at our home, to the 80 degree weather each day or the fact that I'm 3 lbs away from my pre pregnancy weight and don't want to mess that up with millions of sweet things in the house; I'm not sure. However, I do realize this is Hannah's first Christmas and nevertheless, I still want to celebrate it. I just haven't been feeling it this year. Ben pointed it out that I"m not in my usual Christmas music listening, decorating mood and it's true. We are doing advent, which I feel is for us the most important part. So that's going well and the kids are learning a lot. Even Moriah, I love how Ben asks her a questions and she'll go " betuz" ( because). :) I have a wreath on the wall and a Nativity scene that was moved from the coffee table to my dining room table only to fall victim, yesterday of a squishy ball flying through the air and now a donkey has one ear instead of two. Ah, two pieces to fix this year. I went to the library to find a Christmas cd and found one so I have started playing that more often and ironically my Christmas shopping has been complete for weeks. I keep getting asked what I want for Christmas, and truly I don't know. I am very content. Yes, I would be more than ecstatic to move, but as far as the day to day I am so content. The mere fact that I have the privilege of holding Hannah every day as filled my Christmas wants for eternity. Thank you God for healthy children!

However, two days ago, we decided to go out and "hunt" down our latest Christmas tree in the woods of Walmart. You know, if you can't cut it down than who cares where it comes from! I only feel connected to this tree due in part that we were just in Oregon and that's where all the trees down here are shipped from. So with the 80 degree sun scorching our back we walk through the sliding doors and head left towards the garden center. As we entered, there she stood- alone, full of beauty ( despite a few dried branches) and smelling of the sweet Douglas fir scent with a 50% off price tag on her, we'll take her. The netting man was on break so we bought our dinner to make at home and then returned 15 min later to take her home.

Ben shook her out at home, she stands about 6 feet tall and we kept it simple. While I made egg rolls, Ben situated the tree in its stand and retrieved the lights. We strung the colored lights on the bottom for the kids and the white ones on top for us. Ben plugged the lights in and Austen excused himself from the table, walked over to three with his Children's Place stripped sweater on and red big boy pants and stood there, his hands clasped behind his back staring, smiling silently, The look on his face was beautiful, his round cheeks stretching as his smile grew and grew the more he admired our new found tree. This look melted my heart and brought tears to my eyes, I would do anything for my children.

No ornaments this year. It is a week before Christmas and I just do not feel like putting up all of our ornaments only to take them down within a week. The star has yet to be put on and that's ok. Christmas music is beginning to play throughout the day and I feel truly content. I have my family, more than I could ask for and I have Christ- amidst all my imperfection I feel overwhelmed that it's because of our imperfection, not perfection that He came to us. Praise God!

The kids have been asking to do a gingerbread train this year, so hopefully that'll be on the agenda this week, sometime, as well as a small batch of Christmas cookies to get us through the week. We may even celebrate Christmas morning on Christmas Eve morning this year as Ben works all Christmas day. Nevertheless we will still have a beautiful array of hor dourves on Christmas Eve, continue with our advent, listen to Christmas music and celebrate. Merry Christmas and if anything I've learned from this year, it's not about all the traditions that normally take place or from all the things that need to be done because sometimes, well, you just have an off's about remembering the Savior who came that we might be saved, amidst all of our wretchedness. God, that I might have a childlike love for you always, thank you, just thank you!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Bra Flaps?

 Wow! I cannot believe how much has happened in the lives of my children since I last blogged. Nothing earth shattering but wow, I need to be more consistent....WHY DO I NOT HAVE ENOUGH TIME!?????

Anyways, I shared this story with a couple of you already and felt the hillarious embarassment to share it with anyone else who has been there or to anyone who dare not tred in my fretted waters. Two days ago, I had to bring the three older kids to a friend's house so we could go to Ben's Christmas party on the other side of, I left about 25 minutes early to stop at a store to quick buy a shirt. You know how the, " Ohmigosh I have NOTHING to wear" syndrome. Yes, I fall prey to that each and every time something special comes up. Sooo, I quick got Jayden, Austen, and Moriah in the car and rushed to the store. Quickly , I said, ' you guys, hurry up with me . I have to quick pick out a shirt, don't ask to look at toys, stay with me, walk fast." ( Big joke with three young children, I know). So I search, search, search getting frantic and my mind is spinning. Found two cute shirts and ran, with the kids in tow to the check out lane only to see that I had cut in front of everyone else, excused myself from the front of the line, went to the back, checked out, frazzled, ran to the car, got the kids in the car, dropped the kids off, speeding home and looked down.

Let me paint you a picture, I am wearing a white shirt, I have sparkled blue and silver stripped shoes on, I have one solid pink sock and one plaid pink sock, I have one HUGE dangley earring in as the other one has been removed earlier in the day to talk on the phone and never replaced and oh, HELLO, both of my bra FLAPS from nursing Hannah had never been returned to their proper place and had been left down, under my white shirt.

Dear Jesus, help me because I obviously have displayed to the world what flashing looks like in a nursing mothers world but also that not only can I not dress myself and prepare myself properly for the rest of society, but I should remain in seclusion until I am able to do so. Take heed, learn from me; do not try this on your own!

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