A special ornament on our tree

We have had such fabulous fall here in the Sattler family and things continue to be fun and busy and we are now almost halfway through December, yikes!  In all of the excitement of this season, things are different this year.  I am so thankful to be carrying this precious baby girl inside of me, yet I have been remembering the baby that I lost in January.  He or she would have been about three months old and I would be enjoying sweet baby cuddles in my wrap as we go about everyday life and cold outdoor activities.  I wonder what this little person would have been like, how his or her personality would have enhanced our family, and how he or she would have reacted to all of the lights and sounds of Christmas.  It has been 11 months exactly since this baby went to heaven, and while much of the sting of the pain is gone, the fact that this little one will always hold a special place in my heart is clearly evident.

This precious Christmas ornament was made by a mother who experienced a tragic loss of her own this year. I have never met her, but feel very invested as I prayed for her and her daughter while she was still pregnant.  This sweet mother has reached out to others in her time of grief and made special ornaments for those who will also be experiencing their first Christmas without their baby.  Her faith and love for God and others is humbling.  Her thoughtful gift has brought tears to my eyes as I am so thankful to have a special way to remember our Blessing #3.

Merry Christmas baby, I bet the birthday celebrations for Jesus are pretty amazing where you are; I can’t wait to celebrate with you one day. I love you and can’t wait to hold you in Heaven.

With Love,

Mommy

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Thankful Instead of Anxious

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7

I love reading all of the Thankfulness posts during this month. We all have so much to be thankful for and it’s nice to see God and so many people acknowledged for the role of their blessings in our life. At this point in my life, I am trying retrain my brain. I have this annoying tendency to forget most of the wonderful things in my life when something uncertain or difficult presents itself in my horizon. It is so easy to remember my blessings in life during the “good times,” yet so easy to forget them when there is something to worry about—hence the part about retraining my brain. Thankfully I don’t have to undertake this task alone!

My tendency to worry as a mom– Ever since the moment I found out I was pregnant with Joel, I became aware of how vulnerable my heart had become. All of the sudden, I realized in an instant my whole world could be rocked should something tragic happen. I’d like to say since it’s been more than four years since that day I saw the positive pregnancy test, and I’ve been able to master this worry issue by now—but I can’t. God has taught me so much as parent, but at this point on the journey I still have to consciously let things go that are out of control when it comes to my kids. I am thankful for each day that I am able to be my kids’ mom and choose to not worry about the future security of living this dream of a life.

My tendency to worry as a friend- I have been pretty blessed over the years to have had and still have some pretty special people in my life. I tend to feel insecure about treating my friends and family as well as they deserve…especially since becoming a mom. I have learned that I am not good at keeping up at exclusive phone conversation relationships; it actually feels freeing to admit this fact. Scheduling and executing phone calls with two small kids at home tends to stress me out, yet I understand that being a good friend requires some sacrifice on my part. And the truth is, even in other relationships with people that I talk to in person or communicate online with, I often feel like I have let something important slip. I am thankful for the people that God has placed in my life and the amount of grace they have shown me over the years. It puzzles and humbles me at times how loving so many people are to me.
My tendency to worry about my body image- God has done some amazing work in my life the last year through my journey to healthy living, but I do tend to fall back into old habits if I am not aware of taking my thoughts captive in this area. While I believe this will be a journey also, I am hoping to raise a daughter who has a role model that values being fit and strong instead of tan and skinny. I am thankful that I have been fearfully and wonderfully made, that God made my body with the ability to serve Him and others and I understand some wear and tear along with a lot of stretch marks are just proof that I am using my body the way He designed.
My current worry- I am so excited to meet my baby girl in just a couple of short months…however, there is a reason Mel and I don’t try to have babies in the middle of basketball season, there is definitely some added scheduling complications. Mel and I have decided together that he officiating basketball is something that is important to us and our family. He has worked hard and is seeing some of the fruits of his hard work these last few years. This means in January and February he will be traveling to different parts of Northern California to officiate games, this also happens to be the time frame that Daelynn will most likely arrive. I actually like the suspense of not knowing her birthday in advance, even if it would be a lot easier for me to plan around. The thought of going through labor and getting to the hospital without Mel by my side absolutely petrifies me; he is strong for me when I am at my most vulnerable place. We have shared this predicament with some of our friends and family and their willingness to step in and help has been so appreciated. I am thankful for friends and family who are willing to support us during this exciting yet possibly stressful time. I am thankful that even if things don’t happen perfectly I will not have to walk through this situation truly alone.
I am so thankful for the people God has placed in my life, and the “things” and sacrifices of others we have been blessed with do make life so comfortable, but nothing can compare to the hope and assurance I have in Christ.

I Just love these recent pictures of some of the most important people in my life:

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Minor Drama Defined

I broke my “Facebook Code of Ethics” last night without realizing it.  There are several types of posts I try to avoid in this era of living intentionally—a vague post is one of them.  I carefully chose my words, but I now realize the strong implications, given that I was talking about my baby, that the words “minor drama” can have.  By the amount of texts and messages I received I recognized that more of an explanation might be helpful (thank you to my friends who expressed your concern for us!). So I will explain what happened yesterday in two ways.

The short and sweet explanation, or what we call the “Man Version” around here, is that an ultrasound technician called me the morning after my 20 week scan and asked if I could come in for another scan that day.  He said they didn’t get clear enough images the first time.  I said yes, scheduled my exam, and found out that night that Daelynn was indeed healthy.

The “Female Version” of this story adds a few more details.  I felt anxious and excited going into my first 20 week ultrasound…would they find anything wrong, is she still a girl, was my life about to change forever due to the images we all saw? I can be a little dramatic at times, I know.  I also feel  like I am not naïve anymore, life is so precious and fleeting, and I truly need to enjoy each day with my loved ones because I do not know what I will face tomorrow.

I instantly liked my technician, she was warm and talkative…perfect, I wanted her to talk as much as possible during the scan!  I let her know that I understood and respected that there were only certain things she could tell me, but to anything and everything she wanted to share I would gladly listen.  She proceeded checking things off her list: heart, kidneys, stomach, diaphragm, brain, face, limbs, cord, etc. She would tell me what she was looking for and when she found it, just not a “looks good” or “everything looks fine.” She confirmed that Daelynn is definitely a girl and was in the frank breech position.  Not the ideal position, but she is still so small and will most likely be changing positions frequently for the next ten weeks.  Mel and the boys came in for the last part of the ultrasound and we got some the pictures I shared on Facebook that night.  That was it, now I just needed to wait for my midwife to receive the report and then I could find out the exact findings of that scan.

One of my favorite aspects of having Kaiser is the ease of being able to communicate directly with my doctor/midwife. While I have rarely had a phone conversation with them, the internal message center has been a very reliable way to communicate and I have usually been able to get a response from the doctor/midwife herself in twelve hours or less. That night I promptly messaged one of the midwives that is caring for me during this pregnancy and who happened to deliver Micah.  I asked if she would be willing to share the results of the ultrasound report when she receives it instead of me waiting until my appointment next week.  I willingly admit that I am not patient when it comes to test results!

The next morning I was going about my usual Thursday routine after dropping Joel off at preschool when I got a call from an unknown number.  I answered it and learned that it was an ultrasound technician from Kaiser.  He said that some of the images from my scan the day before were not clear and he’d like to get me in ASAP, like one hour from then. He said it was very important that they have a complete report to give to the doctor and I really needed to come in that day (I found that comment odd because the tech the day before stated a few times that she had gotten really good images of everything she needed!).  I calmly asked if there was anything more he could tell me. He said something like “Oh, these phone calls always freak mothers out.” (UHHHM YES!) “He said don’t worry, it’s only bad news if a doctor calls you.”  Ok, trying not worry…that was going to be my goal for the day.  I called Mel and let him know the latest update, and he offered to help coordinate his parents watching the boys since it would be difficult for him to make it to the appointment.

I made a few phone calls/texts and asked for prayer.  Prayer for peace and that they would get the pictures they needed that evening.  I then had to ask God for help numerous times that day, I wanted to take every thought captive and not let my imagination run wild with different problems that my little girl could be facing.  A lesson I have learned this year, and need to keep learning, is that I need to be thankful for what I know to be true day to day or minute to minute…not worry about what I do not know.  I cannot control all that is going to happen in my life, and I need to fully trust Jesus, He will do a much better job than I ever could.  I often prayed throughout the day, “Thank you Jesus for each day that I get to be pregnant with Daelynn, thank you for this day.  Thank you that I can feel her gentle movements and carry her in the amazing way you have designed babies to grow.”

After nap time, I dropped my kids off with Mel’s dad and headed to the Kaiser Hospital in Roseville.  I checked into the radiology department and waited for my name to be called.  While I was waiting I got a phone call from my midwife.  She said that she received my message and wanted to give me the information she knew at that point.  She said that the incomplete report indicated that everything they had definite images for looked wonderful and healthy, yay!!! I asked her what part of her body they did not get clear images of—it was her brain. She said she would let me know the results of the report when she got them the next day.

My name was called and I followed an ultrasound technician into the scan room.  She said there were only a couple images she needed to get.  She also shared that an image from the original scan made it appear as though there might be a cyst growing in her brain. (WHAT?!!) She shared that usually if the technician finds a cyst, he or she will leave a note for whoever creates the final report for the doctor.  There was no note attached to that image making it seem like it was probably just a shadow, but they needed to know for sure.  The scan only took a couple of minutes and I found out she’s still a girl and now head down, wonderful!

The next part of the scan was truly a gift, the technician read my emotions and said definitively “There is no cyst, she looks just fine.” My eyes swelled with tears as I felt relief wash over my body.  The technician said the final report would go to the doctor but she wanted me to be able to sleep that night.  That was it!!!  Also, I did get a message from my midwife this morning confirming that everything was fine in the final report.  Yesterday was such a good reminder of how vulnerable my heart has become now that I am a mother.  What turned out to be completely nothing could have been something that many other mothers have had to face.  I pray that my faith would continue to be strengthened as I face whatever challenges I am given in life, I am so thankful that no matter what happens, nothing can change the Hope I have in Christ.  What gift in the midst of the most dire circumstances.

What Does Daelynn Mean? Why Did You Pick That Name?

This was by far the easiest name decision that Mel and I have had to make.  Believe it or not, we actually agreed on the name 9ish years ago, while we were just dating. This is a totally normal thing to do, right? Before I explain our daughter’s name let me back up and give you the necessary qualifications of any of our kids’ names:

  1. First names must be “Biblical” (Important to Mel) and somewhat uncommon (Important to me).
  2. The meaning of the first name is important and a bonus is if the namesake in the Bible has overall positive character, and no, they don’t have to be minor prophets.
  3. Middle names are named after family.

In the years they were born, Joel’s name was ranked 138th in popularity and Micah’s 103rd, and their corresponding prophets in the Bible showed boldness in sharing God’s truth. Their meanings are also pretty awesome “The Lord is God” and “Who is like God?” Joel’s middle name is in honor of Mel’s “adopted” Grandpa and Micah shares the same middle name as my dad.

Daelynn’s name comes from much more humble origins.  As a Freshman or Sophomore in college (I’m so old now I can’t remember), while diligently taking notes in my World Civ class, I also started putting together parts of Mel’s and my names.  I don’t remember all of the combinations I came up with but Daelynn stuck (Mel’s middle name is Dale and mine is Lynn).  I can remember cautiously bringing up the idea to Mel in a conversation later—Seriously, what better way to scare off a boyfriend than talking about the names of your future children! To my delight he liked the name.

Talk of the name, Daelynn, resurfaced again when I was got pregnant in 2009 and again in 2011.  At those points I started to do a little more research.  Daelynn didn’t even make the top 1000 list of names for girls.  Dale means “Valley” and Lynn means “Waterfall” or “pool of water.”  While not directly found in the Bible, the meanings of those two names put together are beautiful displays of God’s majesty in creation. Her middle name is Marie, and is shared with my maternal grandmother.

I thought a picture might serve as a more memorable definition of the meaning of her name…

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Here’s another…103_0364-002

Psalm 104:1, 5-13, 31-34

Praise the Lord, my soul.

Lord my God, you are very great;
you are clothed with splendor and majesty.

He set the earth on its foundations;
it can never be moved.
You covered it with the watery depths as with a garment;
the waters stood above the mountains.
But at your rebuke the waters fled,
at the sound of your thunder they took to flight;
they flowed over the mountains,
they went down into the valleys,
to the place you assigned for them.
You set a boundary they cannot cross;
never again will they cover the earth.

10 He makes springs pour water into the ravines;
it flows between the mountains.
11 They give water to all the beasts of the field;
the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
12 The birds of the sky nest by the waters;
they sing among the branches.
13 He waters the mountains from his upper chambers;
the land is satisfied by the fruit of his work.

May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
may the Lord rejoice in his works—
32 he who looks at the earth, and it trembles,
who touches the mountains, and they smoke.

33 I will sing to the Lord all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
34 May my meditation be pleasing to him,
as I rejoice in the Lord.