Thursday, September 5, 2013

I'd Do It All Again

"For this boy (these children) I prayed, and the LORD has given me my petition which I asked of Him. 28"So I have also dedicated him to the LORD; as long as he lives he is dedicated to the LORD." And he worshiped the LORD there."  1 Samuel 1:27-28

These two verses sum up so much in 44 words... Years of trying to conceive the old fashioned way, fertility drugs, doctor visits, cross-country flights, tears, laughter, heartbreak, happiness and, through it all, SO MUCH prayer.  Chip and I have been blessed with three amazing miracles.  I have hopes and dreams for them, like any parent.  However, there are two things that are important above all else - I want my children to love Jesus and I want them to be kind.  Everything else they accomplish (and I know God has great plans for them) is a bonus.  I want them to sign the Lord's praises and to be a testament to His glory.  I want them to seek out the shy child, to stand up for what is right (even when it's not the "cool thing" to do). 

I have to be honest with you.  Getting (and staying) pregnant and birthing my children was NOT easy.  With Hayden, I was so, so sick every morning until I was over halfway through the pregnancy.  He tried to arrive early several times.  I ended up having an induction and, after 12+ hours of labor, an emergency c-section.  I only dilated to an eight and he was transverse and stuck on my hipbone.  If I had had him back before c-sections, neither one of us would have made it.  Every struggle I went through from conception to delivery melted away the instant I heard his cry and saw him!  At three and a half, he still has a way of surprising me on a daily basis.  His love for all sports is undeniable.  He has the best sense of humor and such a kind and helpful heart.  Don't tell anyone, but he's my favorite.

With Dawson and Ansley, I expected to be sick, but not THAT sick.  I was sick morning, noon and night with them until I was 25 weeks pregnant.  I had to get outpatient IV therapy two times a week and wear a special band (along with taking medication) to keep from throwing up constantly.  I was laid off from my job at six and a half months pregnant (the day after I received a glowing review).  I was put on bed rest at 29 weeks and received two steroid shots to help grow the babies lungs.  The babies just kept trying to come early.  I ended up in the hospital to stop labor with the use of a magnesium drip at 32 weeks.  I left after a few days and then went BACK, this time for preeclampsia, three days after I left.  Even with medication, my blood pressure kept going up and I ended up having them at 33 weeks and 5 days gestation.  The doctor moved the c-section up by two hours and Chip almost missed it.  I was in the OR and they were starting my spinal tap when Chip came in.  It was that close.  My sweet friend, Chasity, almost had to stand in for him. 

After their birth, the babies were immediately sent to the NICU where they stayed for two weeks.  At the time, it felt like an eternity.  Having an older child at home and two babies in NICU, while trying to pump, work and not lose your sanity is something I only accomplished by the grace of God, my sweet husband and in-laws, along with some very amazing friends.  The work served as a distraction.  I have never felt pulled in so many different directions.  I wanted to spend every second with Dawson and Ansley, but Hayden needed us too and I wanted to spend every second with him.  Luckily, our NICU allowed siblings and is one of the very best in the state.  While they were in the NICU, I learned about CPAPs, PICC lines, baby IVs, bilirubin lights, touch times, rooming in, scary phone calls and having to make split second decisions, pumping, syringes of food, how to feed a preemie, tiny diapers, monitors, adjusted age and how to "brown nose" a nurse (sweets) and the thrill of passing a car seat test.  I had never been so excited to change a diaper, to feed my own baby, to nurse for the first time (in the NICU, babies do feeding tube, bottle and then boob), to take my child's temperature, to give them a sponge bath, to put clothes on them, to learn to hold them with wires coming out of everywhere,  to holding them with no wires.  I have had my heart drop when learning our daughter's stats had dropped to a dangerous level and, come to find out, she had reflux and only needed to be elevated to make everything okay.  I received a phone call in the middle of the night letting me know that she had to go back on CPAP.  I learned no one ever told our son that he was a preemie and that he and his sister were both fighters from the beginning.  I discovered I was stronger than I ever thought possible and I learned how to survive on very minimal sleep.  I learned who our true friends are - I learned about the kindness of strangers and how amazing Facebook can be.  People who I didn't really know that well reached out to us and surrounded our babies in prayer.  Those prayers saved their lives.  Dawson has such a sweet smile and infectious giggle. He is a determined little guy. Ansley has the calmest disposition, loves her thumb and has a heart-melting dimple. Don't tell anyone, but they're my favorites.

I now have two precious, feisty, amazing five month olds and a three and half year old who loves them SO much!  My heart grew three times bigger.  My job now is to raise them to love the Lord and to cover them in prayer.  That I can do and I do it constantly.  Our children are miracles and no, the pregnancies, births and after was not easy.  God gave me an attitude of gratitude and carried us through.  And you know what?  I'd do it all over again...

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