Tuesday, September 29, 2009
So last night 7 people showed up to serve the May household.
I am still thanking God for them and their work.
They cleaned out our 3-season porch (we discovered we had a couple little mice enjoying our playroom last week - yuck!!).
They folded clothes.
They cleaned our upstairs to get it ready for carpet to be put in this week.
They served and blessed us with their willingness to care for us as we adjust to being a family of four.
On the note of being blessed, I am continually thankful for those who have been so generous with their baby items. We were blessed when Samuel came along, and doubly blessed with Lauren's arrival.
Recently we were given a bath seat, a bouncy seat, a breast pump and so many clothes and toys for the kids. Having two little ones to clothe, diaper and feed is expensive so we are especially grateful for the generosity of others who no longer wanted or needed their baby stuff and passed it onto us.
God continues to bless us in surprising ways and for that we are so incredibly grateful.
Monday, September 28, 2009
This was not that kind of sympathy card.
It is for young parents who lost their first baby.
A baby who never got to take its first breath outside of the womb.
The grandparents go to our church and this was to be their first grandchild.
It is heartbreaking.
I'm standing in the aisle at Target, with my sweet baby girl sleeping in the cart, picking out a sympathy card because a baby died.
I wanted to cry. I wanted to scream. I wanted to beg God not to let these things happen.
This young couple has the baby room all decorated. The showers had been held. The gear had been purchased. They were just a few weeks away from his arrival.
I don't know the details of what happened but I do know that on Saturday they held a memorial service for his life and I can't imagine the pain and sadness they are facing each day.
How does one communicate in a sympathy card how deeply I feel for their loss? How truly sorry I am that they have to journey through this difficult experience? Words seem so inadequate.
Oh God, only you can heal hearts. Only you can bind the brokenhearted. Come quickly and minister to our friends in their time of need. Their burden is so heavy. May your peace and presence overwhelm them today.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
When I am tired I tend to be more impatient and unkind to those around me. This was a big prayer request of mine prior to Lauren's arrival...that I would still be kind to my dear hubby when I was tired, stressed or overwhelmed.
So far, God has heard those prayers because instead of lashing out at Ryan, I just...cry.
Almost every day.
One day I cried because Samuel started walking (yes, he's walking! Not consistently but I have no doubt he will be walking everywhere very soon). The tears came as I realized he is quickly growing into a toddler.
One day I cried because I felt so overwhelmed with the responsibility of caring for these two kiddos and didn't know how I would do it.
One day I cried because I tried to smell Lauren and found she was losing her sweet baby smell (the most incredible smell my nose has ever had the privilege of smelling. I wish I could bottle it up and store it forever on my nightstand).
One day I cried as I held Lauren because I was so humbled that God gave her to us. Why do we deserve another baby? Why did we get another precious miracle to hold in our arms? In awe and humility I cried before the Lord.
One day I cried because Samuel was going to my mom, Ryan's mom and Ryan when he needed something rather than coming to me. And it broke my heart. In my last days of pregnancy and early recovery days other people took care of Samuel for the most part. So he started going to them when he needed something. That's already changing, but the day I observed it, the tears quickly came.
It's best if no one asks why I'm crying because sometimes I don't have an answer. Sometimes I just cry. There is nothing anyone can do to make it better. I just need to get the tears out and then I'll be fine.
They are good. They are healthy. They are healing. They show emotion and feeling. They help me work through my crazy hormones. They communicate to Ryan that I just need to be held and loved.
Tears. They are the words of the heart. And these days my heart has a lot to say.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
It was perfect in a lot of ways.
Just six days before we left I went to the hospital and had a D&C for my second miscarriage.
Rather than celebrating our growing family, I spent many moments in Hawaii grieving the loss of our baby.
After two years of trying since our first miscarriage, I could not comprehend how God had allowed us to miscarry again. I struggled with doubt, anger, and disbelief.
The night Ryan and I watched this sunset,
we sat on the beach listening to worship songs recorded by a friend of ours. The tears poured from my eyes as I listened to....from Everlasting to Everlasting, You alone are God.
I was consumed by my loss, deeply hurting and yet trying to cling to what I knew to be true about the Lord. His Goodness. His faithfulness. His promises.
This week I asked Ryan, "Can you believe one year ago this week we were in Hawaii with no kids? And now, here we are one year later, with two kids."
It is incomprehensible. It is mind boggling. One year ago this week NO kids. Today, TWO kids.
How does one go from no kids to two kids in LESS than 365 days?
Only by the hand of our great God.
I am in awe that He chose to give these two miracles to Ryan and I. And I couldn't be more grateful.
Here are a few pics of our time in Hawaii. They will always bring about mixed feelings for me: loss, grief and sadness along with beauty, joy, and sweet memories of time spent with my husband and sister.
And they will always be a reminder to me that He can truly make beauty from ashes.
Monday, September 21, 2009
When we pray, we believe you hear. We are confident you will answer. We know you are faithful, but sometimes we waver. We have waited patiently on some days and impatiently on others. Sometimes it seemed You were silent. There have been days when it felt You were gone. We have cried out in our frustration, "Where are you God?"
In the darkest of days, through the places of struggle, we have come to know You more intimately. We have learned that Your silence means, "Stand still and wait." We have yet to see Your plans unravel and fall apart. Your thoughts are so much greater than ours. You are very rarely early, but always on time.
You can never be persuaded to do less, when you have always intended to do more. Oh, God, thank You for always doing more. Our lofty dreams seem so feeble compared to the plan You are working out in our lives.
I want to shout it out so all will hear, "If you trust in God...remain steadfast through the hard years...cry out on lonely days...don't move when you're lost...and be faithful to pray, God will always, always do more!" It's the truth of Scripture and the lesson of my life. To You be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
After 2 hours and 14 minutes of pushing, Lauren’s head crowned. On the next push, Stacy pushed out her head and the next push the slippery body of the 8lbs, 8oz baby girl. It was 4:14am.The doctor suctioned Lauren and rubbed her. The nurse put a hat on her and put the baby on Stacy’s chest. Stacy cried and cried and cried for several minutes. She was so glad it was over. The pain she thought would never end, the exhaustion of the whole birth experience, 4 years of waiting, and God’s promise held on her chest.
This wasn’t just the birth of a child. It was the birth of another one of God’s promises fulfilled and 4 years of wanting, waiting, and surrendering to God’s plan as you welcomed this baby girl with open arms and open hearts.
Joanna couldn't be more right and her words will forever be imprinted on my heart.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
We just got home from the doctor for Lauren's follow up appt. She is a good little eater - she is just .5 oz away from her birth weight after 5 days! I am going to start calling her chunkers :) Her little double chin is just precious and her lips are ruby red :) I am madly in love with her...more each day.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
They stripped my membranes again (Ouch!!) but hopefully that will get something moving.
I also go to the chiropractor on a regular basis and today he did acupuncture (induction pressure points).
Just took a walk.
Hopefully one of these things will send us to the hospital soon!
Off to nap.....
Thursday, September 10, 2009
We would appreciate prayers that all tests for baby girl come back normal and healthy and that maybe I've progressed....even a little :)
We couldn't be more grateful for the support, encouragement and prayers of many. It is humbling to be on the receiving end of phone calls, text messages, e-mails and blog comments that so many are praying and excited to hear our news.
We are blessed beyond measure.
Samuel loves to ring the bell. Ryan commented how ironic it is that Samuel was ringing the bell because of what it represents in our lives....and the timing of when it was given to us. The bell was given to us by Ryan's mom on September 15, 2008 (one year ago next week). It stands in memory of the second baby that left my womb unexpectedly.
It is only because of that miscarriage that we now have Samuel in our lives. Such heartache....and yet such incredible joy.
Tomorrow is a day I've thought a lot about recently. I didn't think I would be blogging about it because I thought I would have a newborn baby at home to be caring for. Or, at the very least, I would be in the hospital.
But here I am. Contemplating, pondering and thinking about September 11, 2008.
I was 9 weeks pregnant with our second baby. We saw a tiny heartbeat at 7 weeks and we were going in for a second ultrasound to confirm the baby was growing and healthy and to check the cyst on my ovary.
I didn't want to have a doctor's appt on 9/11. But I didn't want to be superstitious either. So we made an early morning appt for an ultrasound on Thursday, September 11, 2008.
I will never forget the words of the ultrasound tech when she said, "There are a few things I'm seeing that worry me. The sac has collapsed and there is no heartbeat. You will miscarry."
She stated it so matter of fact. And yet those few words stopped my world. Left me fighting to breathe. And brought me into a state of shock that lasted for days.
Two years of waiting since our previous miscarriage and now we were losing another baby. We were just 10 days from leaving for Hawaii.
A D&C was scheduled for September 15 (the date of my scheduled induction next week).
I'm trying to wrap my brain around all these emotions, dates and memories. Was this God's plan all along? To bring our fourth baby exactly 365 days after we lost our second? On the day we found out there was no longer a heartbeat? Or on the day we went to the hospital for the surgery?
I wish I knew. I want to know. God what is your plan? Once again, I feel like I did on April 20 of this year. Celebrating the images we saw on the ultrasound screen that told us we had a healthy baby girl growing in my womb. Grieving as that was the exact due date of the baby we lost on September 11.
I look at the shepherd's hook and so many painful emotions come flooding back. Leaving early in the dark to make it to the hospital for my surgery on the 15th. Crying my eyes out that with just a 15-minute procedure I could go from pregnant to not pregnant (even though our baby had already died, it wasn't real until after the surgery).
Today I grieve the one-year anniversary of the loss of our little one. And yet I celebrate that in the Lord's goodness, I have another miracle growing inside of me.
I smile. I laugh. I cry. I anticipate. I remember. I wait. And I praise the Lord....for only HE could have orchestrated a story and timing like this. One year ago this weekend we grieved. This year, we celebrate.
It's almost too much for this mama's heart to take.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Wouldn't this be a great day to be born? Easiest birth date ever!
Yesterday I had a doctor's appt. They stripped my membranes....ouch. That's suppose to help bring on contractions or break my water within 48 hours. We'll see. I've been told it works for about one in seven women.
I have another doctor's appt on Friday morning along with a NST test for the baby (a stress test to make sure the baby is doing ok).
The doctor scheduled an induction for next Tuesday (9/15) if she doesn't come before then. Please pray with me that I will not need to be induced. I'm asking God to bring this baby in His timing and to start labor naturally without needing an induction.
Ryan wasn't anticipating going back to work this week after the long weekend so its been a little tough on him. He could use your prayers to stay focused at work and be productive until he gets 'the call' from me. He's beginning to think this baby will never come out!
I'm doing pretty good but my emotions tend to be a roller coaster these days. Sleeping is very difficult and I wake up Ryan a lot. I'm just trying to stay positive, be thankful and keep trusting for our sweet baby girl that "all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."
Samuel is, of course, as happy and playful as always. His smiles are as endless as his energy! I look forward to being able to crawl on the floor with him, roll around, give him baths, chase him and let him climb all over me again.
That's the May update.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
It was a reminder to 'stay present' in today.
To give thanks to God while I wait.
And to seek God during my last days of waiting.
I needed to hear these words.
Last night from 4:30 - 5:30 a.m. I couldn't sleep so I sat on my porch and talked with the Lord. It was a good lesson in being still and waiting patiently for Him. Something I will always strive to do, but never comes naturally.
Pastor John Fuller's main point hit home with me once again as I listened to his sermon on waiting well. This is, by far, one of the most meaningful and powerful quotes I've ever heard: The way that we wait reveals the extent to which we trust the one we are ultimately waiting for.
Again, I was reminded that ultimately I wait for the Lord. And how I wait reveals my level of trust in the Lord's perfect and beautiful timing.
Waiting well....a life-long lesson.
Monday, September 7, 2009
Today is your estimated due date to arrive in this world. Unless something incredible happens in the next few hours, I don't think we'll meet you today.
While it's hard waiting, I take great peace and confidence in the fact that there are so many people praying for you.
Isn't that amazing little one? People who have never met you are praying for your little body and your transition from womb to world. You are covered in prayer and I am as well.
That feels good. So good.
I've told a number of friends lately that I should be good at waiting. I mean really. Shouldn't I? I have had plenty of practice waiting on the Lord so why does this surprise me? Why is it difficult?
I'll tell you why: because I can't wait.
I can't wait to see your sweet little face. To hold your precious fingers. To count your adorable little toes.
I can't wait to wrap you, swaddle you, feed you. I can't wait to look into your eyes.
I can't wait to help God bring your little life into this world.
Oh, and by the way, not for a minute do I think I created you sweet baby girl. I am just the vessel for your miraculous life. You are wholly made and formed and created by our Living God.
And I can't wait to praise Him for your first breath.
In just a short time the wait will be over. My sister-in-law reminded me to cherish these last days and your movements inside me.
My friend reminded me that this is the only time I get you all to myself. After this I will have to share you with others. These are wise women and I am thankful for their words.
I look forward to the moment I get to hold you for the first time. It's overwhelming to me. I've had life inside me before, but I never got to hold life in my arms.
I have had life inside me before, but I never got to kiss sweet faces and touch soft skin.
I have had life inside me before, but I have never gone to the hospital, and brought forth that life.
And I can't believe I get to soon.
Until then baby girl, I wait in sweet sweet expectation.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
But in the midst of it all I start crying. Sobbing really. I felt so overwhelmed that this - what we have waited so long for - was actually happening. We were going to go to the hospital to give birth to Samuel's baby sister.
As I hugged Samuel goodbye I couldn't hold back the tears. The realization hit me like never before that the next time I saw him, he wouldn't be our only child any more. It was (I thought) the last time we would be a family of three.
Being a family of four is a miracle we can only praise God for, but it is still a change. And sometimes change is hard. And as incredibly excited as I am to meet this little one, it is still a change that I'm preparing my heart and mind for.
We have loved parenting Samuel this past year and giving him all our time and attention. And soon there will be another sibling who will also require our time and attention as well. That realization (and the hormones and the state of being exhausted) brought me to tears.
Samuel has been home with us since Friday (I'm contracting but it's clearly not the real thing), and it's most likely our last weekend together as a family of three. As difficult as it's becoming to keep waiting, I am so thankful for my family of three.
cleaned out the freezer
baked chocolate chip cookies
baked two loaves of banana bread
made toasted ham and cheese sandwiches
prepared a chicken dish to eat later
If nothing else, during our waiting for sweet baby girl we sure are eating well!
Friday, September 4, 2009
The Mighty One, God, the Lord, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to the place where it sets.
By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth. He gathers the waters of the sea into jars; he puts the deep into storehouses. Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the people of the world revere him. For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.
Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand,
or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens?
Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket,
or weighed the mountains on the scales
and the hills in a balance?
I need to be reminded daily that the Lord is the creator, I am the created. With His breath He commands and the heavens obey. God speaks and the sun listens. God opens His hand and holds the waters.
This same big, amazing, wondrous God knows exactly the day and time this little girl will arrive. He knew from the beginning of time.
I paged through my Bible this morning looking for a verse to cling to today. All my verses on waiting (they are all underlined and marked up!), jumped out at me.
And today I feel the Lord just telling me to "Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him." Psalm 37:7
Not to just be still, but be still BEFORE the Lord. And not to just wait, but to PATIENTLY wait for Him.
Am I waiting for this baby girl? Yes. But more than that I'm waiting for the Lord. I'm waiting for his perfect plan to unfold. His timing to be revealed. His miracle to be brought forth. I'm waiting on him.
The same God who commands the sun to stand still and formed the heavens, is asking me to be still before him today and to patiently wait for him.
How can I not honor that? How can I not see that as an incredible privilege? Our great big creator wants to spend time with his created.
So today I wait. I am still. I look toward the heavens and know my creator will bring forth this little one not a moment too soon.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Today Samuel is 11 months old!
He is crawling very fast, standing up on his own, took one step last week but hasn't taken any more. He has three teeth on the bottom and more on the way.
He continues to be very long and very skinny. He is a curious and active 11-month old. He loves music and dances to his musical toys.
It is an absolute joy to watch him grow, investigate, learn and laugh at all the wonders life has in store.
Every night Ryan and I are exhausted caring for him, but every day we thank God for the privilege to do so.
Yesterday he got into his diaper bag while I was in the kitchen, took out his formula divider, opened it and dumped it out. It looked like he had dumped flour all over himself.
Can't begin to imagine what the next month has in store for our little guy!
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
I am a writer and I write about a lot of things. Recently I’ve felt compelled to write about waiting. Specifically, waiting well. A heard a sermon called “Waiting Well” that was given on Christmas Eve 2006 by Pastor John Fuller. It has inspired and challenged me to wait well.
I feel compelled to write about waiting well because I have discovered that many of you are in waiting seasons of life. You may be waiting for… the right job, a spouse, a marriage to be restored, a broken relationship to be healed, unfulfilled hopes and dreams to be realized, financial freedom, a medical diagnosis or healing from a diagnosis, or a loved one to come to know the Lord.
Waiting looks different for everyone. Some of us wait patiently. Some of us wait on the Lord. Some of us wait while trying to control the situation. It seems like every month, every week and for some, every day, our waiting looks different.
I recently came across the enclosed poem “Wait” and it has challenged and encouraged me. I then discovered it was available as a book. I pray that these words touch your heart as they have touched mine. I pray that you will fully understand that the GREATEST gift is to truly know God.
I’m learning in my season of waiting. I’m learning about myself. I’m learning about the God I love. I’m learning about this journey called life. And each day I learn a little more about how to wait well.
I’m learning that waiting well takes sacrifice. Waiting well takes humility. Waiting well takes faith in a God I don’t understand. But most of all, waiting well means that I take my eyes off my circumstances and fix them clearly on the face of Jesus.
Proverbs 4:25 says, “Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you.” Looking straight ahead means that we take our eyes off our circumstances so we won’t be tempted to glance toward our friends or neighbors or co-workers. We won’t dwell upon our doubts, fears or what ifs.
Because we’ll be too busy fixing our eyes elsewhere. Hebrews 12:2 says, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.”
So friend I encourage you to adjust your focus for 2008. Are your eyes on the past and if onlys? Are your eyes turning to the left or to the right? Are your eyes on the future and focusing on what ifs? May you allow the gentle hand of our great God to turn your face so that your eyes are gazing squarely on Him – and only Him….for His face is the only one worthy of our eyes.
Fixing my eyes in ’08,
· But my eyes are fixed on you, O Sovereign Lord; in you I take refuge—do not give me over to death. Psalm 141:8
· Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Proverbs 4:25
· So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18
· Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. Hebrews 12:2
Laundry is done
House is picked up (not necessarily clean...)
Every closet but one is organized (I'm avoiding that one)
Every errand on my to-do was completed last night
Bags are packed
Paperwork is filled out
Schedule is wide open
Every time I call someone they think I'm in labor :)
Found myself dancing in the hallway with Samuel today to a country song....he loves dancing and giggles like crazy. Country-music dancing - does a body good and just might help bring this baby girl out, right?
For those of you wondering and checking the blog multiple times a day for baby updates, we will post before we head to the hospital so no worries. You'll know when Baby Girl May is about to make her appearance.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
One very adventuresome little boy
One trip to Costco
One boy who likes to stand in the cart
One mama who tells him over and over again to sit down
One strap that wasn't tight enough
One boy who stood up, turned around and flipped over the seat
One terrified mama who grabbed him just as the straps left him hanging
One screaming boy
One tearful mama
One boy who kept trying to stand up just five minutes later
One exhausted mama
Last trip to Costco with mama and little boy