Blessing #3’s Due Date Anniversary

 

Today has been another day spent pondering about how my life could have been so different right now.  September 10, 2013,  was my due date with Blessing #3. Would I be a mom of three boys, all born within 3.5 years? Would I have a one year old daughter right now? What would this little one’s unique quirks be? What would it feel like to snuggle this little one close? What would his or her voice sound like? Does this baby know how much I love him or her right now?

 

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One of the things I treasure about being a mom is not just watching and celebrating milestones, (and we all know I am slightly obsessed with this!) but the little things too…like knowing that I need to pull socks out of Joel’s pockets while doing laundry. When he takes his socks off, that’s where he puts them for safekeeping.  Or, how Micah loves to play with his hair while eats, it’s both endearing and gross, especially when we have peanut butter and honey for lunch.  But, we’re coming up with some creative yet fun-for-him solutions.

 

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I know it’s possible for Daelynn to smile and stick her tongue out at the same time. It’s been so fun to watch her personality unfold this year.

 

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But as I question how my life would be different, I am at the same time, so thankful that I have Daelynn. She wouldn’t be here if Blessing #3 would have been carried to full term.  I’m not sure what to do with all of these feeling: longing, sadness, joy, and thankfulness.  It being one year after my due date I definitely feel less emotional but my longing to know this little one has remained the same.

If I could see this baby today, I would embrace him or her and not let go until I was pushed away. I would tell Blessing #3:

“I have missed, loved, and thought about you ever since Heaven became your home. I am thankful you are unconditionally loved and safe with our Creator.   I wish your siblings and Dad could know you and I’m thankful that we all have the ability to spend eternity with you.  Until it’s my time to join you, you will always have a piece of my heart. I love you little one.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daelynn’s Birth Story

I thought so much about this day for the past year. Would I welcome a third baby into our family? Would I be able to kiss and embrace a newborn just seconds old ever again? Once she was growing inside of me I’d often wonder what those first few minutes would be like with her. Who would she look like and would she be healthy? Once Mel got his basketball schedule for this season I began to wonder, would he miss her birth? Who would drive me to the hospital if he were a couple hours away at a game? All of these questions were answered in the most amazing ways…below is Daelynn’s arrival story.

The week before her birth was busy and productive. I crossed everything off my “to do lists” and spent that week off from work cleaning, cooking, preparing, and spending time with my boys. I wasn’t sure when she was going to arrive, but if history were to repeat itself she would be here no later than January 24th and I wanted to be ready to make life at home with a newborn more enjoyable.  Sunday, January 19th, I woke up with mild but continual contractions. Was this it? I knew the routine, I drank a bunch of water and changed positions frequently.  If they were the real deal the contractions would continue to get stronger and consistent. I’ve never gone into labor without my water breaking but I felt like I’ve experienced enough contractions in my life to know what to look for.  The contractions lasted irregularly for about seven hours on Sunday before they tapered off by about noon.  No baby that day. Mel and I got ready for the week that night, laundry done, house vacuumed, lunches packed, clothes laid out; it felt so good to be prepared.

At 3:00 AM that night/early Monday morning I woke up to mild contractions. After experiencing these the day before I didn’t feel very alarmed.  I woke up on and off for the next two hours and finally woke up to use the restroom at 5:00 AM.  That was when I discovered what I will call “show,” things just became more serious.  I woke up Mel and told him about my discovery and that I would be taking a shower.  As I was getting dressed and stopping to breathe through contractions we both began to realize what was happening.  I called labor and delivery while he got ready and packed his bag for the hospital, he is much more relaxed about preparing ahead of time than I am.  The nurse advised that I make my way to Roseville and we began the process of going through our “Grab last minute list” and getting the boys into the car (we STILL managed to forget our cell phone charger).  My contractions were noticeable and about 2-4 minutes apart but they weren’t excruciating…at that point I wasn’t convinced they’d admit me.  We dropped the boys off at Mel’s parents’ house and finished our trek to Kaiser Roseville.  We got there before 7:00 AM and it was quiet in the hallways, the nurses were talking and catching up on the latest hospital gossip; it was apparent there was not a lot to do at that time.  They put me on the monitors for about a half an hour to monitor Daelynn’s heart rate and my contractions.  Every nurse who came into my room was helpful and accommodating to me sitting up and leaning forward, the only way I wanted to experience contractions.  At 7:30AM the midwife came in to decide whether I would be admitted or not—4 cm, I was staying! We updated family and friends and got ready to move across the hall. The midwife suggested that I wait until I was dilated to 6-7cm before getting an epidural since my water hadn’t broken.  My L&D nurse just started her shift and had come back from a weekend in Tahoe, when she found out I had delivered in room 206 two other times, she said let’s go there! There were no other people in that hallway, but she said there wasn’t a lot going on and she would just hang out with me over there.  I walked around the hallway for about 30 minutes, having to stop and breathe through contractions, but still nothing too painful yet.

At 8:00AM I met the new midwife that just started her shift, loved her from the minute we began talking. She checked me again and discovered I was then at 6cm, time to call in the anesthesiologist, yay!  He came in and received a warm welcome from me, like he is probably used to getting from most patients.  The epidural went in great now I just got to sit back and literally enjoy labor.  My friend Toniya arrived to join in on the waiting process and keep me company so that Mel could take a nap.  My midwife checked me again after the epidural was completely working found out I was at 7cm and broke my water.

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After experiencing childbirth with and without an epidural, I can’t help but smile when that epidural is working!

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Toniya and I had plans to hang out that night, thankfully she was willing to reschedule our date to the delivery room that morning.

  An hour later I was at 9cm and my nurse and midwife expected that I could start pushing shortly. Toniya left and gave Mel and I some time alone before Daelynn’s arrival.  We prayed over her birth and thanked God that He had given us the chance to be her parents.  It was an emotional and sweet time. By 11:30AM the nurses and midwife gathered in the room it was go time.  This time I opted to watch the whole delivery in a mirror.  I was too scared to watch with Joel, I glanced at it a few times with Micah’s birth because I was concentrated on pushing so hard, but this time I wasn’t afraid or distracted—I was excited to be even more of a part of this process.  At 11:36AM I began pushing Daelynn into this world and at 11:42AM on January 20th I reached down and pulled her out and placed her on my chest. She was here! She started crying as nurses and everyone rubbed her down.  I couldn’t stop smiling and kissing her.  Love at first sight all over again.  Thankfully, my skilled midwife who had guided me through the intensity and length of every push only had to do three stitches.  She said this didn’t register on the “tearing degree scale” and something she considered “skid marks”—I think there must be a better name to call this.  I was up and walking within an hour of her birth and felt great.  The rest of the day was filled with friends and family visiting and meeting the newest Sattler.  The boys were pretty precious with their new baby sister as you can see from the photos at the bottom of this post.

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As she was laying on my chest and we had our eyes locked, she reached up and touched my face. A newborn reflex, but still so sweet.

  As I reflect on this redemptive January day and the best Monday I’ve ever experienced, I realize that she is a gift and blessing no matter what her arrival story was like, but I was even gifted with wonderful couldn’t-have-gone-more-perfectly day.  My heart is overflowing with thankfulness.  Last January on this date I was still mourning the loss of tiny little baby that I hadn’t gotten to see or meet—feeling empty and broken.  On that sunny and warm January day I couldn’t feel more blessed and restored.   I am thankful for each day that I get with my three amazing children and look forward to meeting our other precious baby up in heaven.

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The third time we’ve experienced love at first sight.

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The moment I have dreamed about since last January.

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I’m so glad they have each other, I can’t wait to watch their relationship grow.

 

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To the boys interested in her in the future..don’t mess with this loved little girl!

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That is one proud big brother right there.

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He couldn’t wait to hold the baby.

A Reflection at 30

It’s official, my 20s are over and a new decade has begun.  If you know, me holidays and milestones are big deals in my world.  There have been so many life changes in the last ten years: graduate from college, earn a teaching credential, get married, start my teaching career, buy a house, have a couple of kids, and transition to job where I could be with my kids full time.  It has been exhausting and awesome all at the same time…but what really matters in my opinion, is how have these life events changed me for the better? I pray that each success and blessing will result in gratitude instead of pride and with each failure and difficult situation that God would soften and humble my heart instead me choosing to grow bitter.  And since I like lists and traditions here is my first “birthday life inventory” as an adult:

What I am thankful for:

  1. A Savior who loves me unconditionally
  2. My husband and growing family…couldn’t feel more blessed in this department
  3. The overall health of my family. I am so thankful to have all of my Grandparents still here with us.  One of my grandpas spent the first half of this year in hospitals and rehabilitation centers and he is now back at home with my grandma, such an answer to prayer! The other set of grandparents felt well enough recently to even travel up to see us here in Sacramento, such a special weekend. I have plans to create a “Family Heroes Series” of books for my kids and future generations, more to come on this…
  4. The ability to be with my kids full time and a husband who supports my friendships and fitness goals, seriously the best of both worlds!
  5. New friendships and old friendships with new common experiences shared.
  6. So many wonderful family memories made this year from trips to Southern California, Tahoe, Arizona, and the fact that Mel and I got TWO kid free weekend getaways this year!

Difficult experiences with lessons learned:

  1.  Losing Blessing #3 this year has by far been the hardest situation to walk through.  I have learned that God can sustain me even through the most difficult times, that being vulnerable with others in my struggles is not something to be feared, and a new found empathy for those who also experience losses.
  2. My few months with morning sickness was also a trying time.  I felt Iike I was always in a bad mood and so close to snapping at those I love at any moment.  I want to remember this feeling and show extra grace to those who are battling health issues.

New concepts learned this year:

  1.  I need to be more determined and disciplined in things that are right instead of giving in to my really good excuses. 😉
  2. God’s design for my family is better than my own.
  3. I feel like I am learning how to be a better friend this year…beginning to learn the art of TRULY listening to others and what that looks like.

How my priorities have changed and why:

  1.  This is the most peaceful I have felt with my house being less tidy and clean.  I simply don’t want to miss out on relationships with the special people God has placed in my life.

Goals for learning in the future:

  1. Trusting God more completely with things that are out of my control
  2.  I look forward to learning how to run and live a healthy lifestyle consistently with three kids
  3. I want to learn how to take even better pictures of those three kids
  4. I look forward to intentionally working on my marriage before issues arise
  5. Being even more responsible with my spending tendencies (This is going to be hard with having a new baby girl in the house this year!)

Here’s a glimpse at the start and end of my 20s: Mel and I had been dating for less than a year on the left and now we are married with another baby on the way.

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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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Busy Making Memories Fall 2013

I haven’t posted in a while, but most definitely not because there isn’t anything to share.  It’s been a fun whirlwind of a fall with family outings, trips, and visits (along with the occasional tantrums and cry session, not just by me).  Here’s what we have been doing  in a series of photos.  Stay tuned for my thankfulness post (sharing this for accountability) next week.

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First family outing since my morning sickness subsided, a trip to the Sacramento Zoo

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Looking for the perfect pumpkin at Fog Willow

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Family trip to Apple Hill, I now have Joel hooked on Apple Cider Donuts.

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We met my aunt and uncle up in Tahoe and checked out the salmon swimming upstream in Taylor Creek.

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Mel and Joel had the privilege of being in a good college friend’s wedding. The whole family enjoyed our visit to Arizona and our time with friends!

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Officially the cutest Buzz and Woody I have ever seen.

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Mel and I had a kid-free getaway for his actual birthday weekend, it was amazing! I highly recommend parents plan these trips for weekends with time changes.

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We ended up swapping taking photos with sweet friends, here’s just some of my favorites.

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Some pictures from our “60th Birthday” party. It was wonderful to be surrounded by so many special people.

What if I were 38 Weeks Pregnant?

For a brief time this year I could have expected to be nearing my due date right now.  In fact, 38 weeks pregnant is actually more significant than 40 weeks in my experience.  My boys arrived at 38 weeks and 38 weeks 1 day respectively.  Needless to say, by 36 weeks I try to be completely “ready” for our new family member.  That includes hospital bags packed, little baby clothes washed, swing set up, and little bed by my side of the bed in its place. I also try to feel mentally prepared, getting a date night in, and some wonderful last memories as a family of “2,” or “3” before embracing the new chapter in our family’s history. Really all of this is preparing for the highlight of this time…my first embrace and kiss of our new family member. There is something so special about that moment that it is hard for me to describe with words.

Today I would have been 38 weeks pregnant with Blessing #3.  My arms ache thinking that I will have to wait until heaven to embrace that baby.  But things are a little more complicated than just grieving the loss of that precious baby.  Right now I am almost 17 weeks pregnant with another sweet baby, one that wouldn’t be here had I not lost Blessing #3.  I had a routine prenatal appointment today and was able to hear her heartbeat.  I feel such a weird combination of emotions right now, but today I will tell you what I’m thankful for.  I am thankful for the opportunity to be the mother of both Blessing #3 and Daelynn.  God has used both of these little lives to teach me and bless me in unimaginable ways. While it may be an impossibility to hold both of these babies here on earth, I am thankful for the hope that I have in Christ.  Prayerfully, I will have the opportunity to know both of these precious babies for all of eternity.