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.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

Dreaming of Winter

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We aren’t even a week into summer, and I am already dreaming of what, God willing, winter will bring.  Without further ado, I’m pregnant!!! Mel, the boys, and I got to see the newest member of our family in an ultrasound today.  Words can’t express the joy I felt seeing our little miracle. I may be battling waves of nausea around the clock and ready to take a two hour nap at any moment, but I am so grateful.

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Tips for Running with Kids

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Running with kids sounds difficult, and let’s face it–It’s not easy most of the time.  However, this last year I decided that I would lead a more active lifestyle and find a way to make it work with my stage of life. Since I’m with my kids just about all day every day I needed to find a way to make my activity of choice work for all of us. My excuses for not running in the past were still there and seemed to grow exponentially now that I was mom.  So, I found a way work through those challenges. I didn’t have all of the answers in the beginning, I learned a lot of these tips from other running moms, and learned some through trial and error. So if you are thinking about running with kids or are looking for solutions to the common challenges…this list is for you!

The following is a list of solutions to the challenges I have faced while running with my kids:

1. It’s Too Hot:

-Dress kids in breathable clothing but pack a light jacket just in case

-Pack a spray bottle filled with water

-Bring a stroller or handheld fan

-Supply frozen yogurt tubes, or other cool snacks

-Provide ice water in sippy cups

-Bring accessories to keep sun out of eyes: hat, sunglasses, adjustable stroller shade

-Run near a water park so EVERYONE can have fun when the run is done

2. It’s Too Cold/Rainy:

-Dress the kids in layers, hats, gloves and blankets over laps, pack a couple extra blankets just in case

-Invest in a rain cover for your stroller, it will also keep your phone protected

-Bring a warm snack, hot chocolate for older kids

3. It’s Too Dark:

-Everybody dresses in bright colors

-Attach flashing lights to your stroller

-Purchase headlights for the kids to wear

-Willing parties can wear glow stick necklaces, bracelets etc

-Run on streets with Christmas lights during December

3. Running is Too boring:

-Play the “Stop Sign” Game (enter in quotes whatever visible landmark is available), as soon as a kid sees a stop sign yell “go mommy go!”

-Bring the kids books to read

-Bring handheld game device, phone, ipad, etc

-Find other moms to run with so you can support and encourage each other…they understand how hard yet rewarding it is too

-If your kids to tend to fight while in the stroller: run with another mom with kids and pair up personalities that get along with each other.   Joel actually asks me to run so he can ride with his friend, lol

4. Too much of a hassle:

-Pack up everything needed in car or stroller for the run: clothing, snacks, drinks, entertainment items ahead of time,

-At the end of a run have a special treat for everyone to look forward to: a healthy protein filled “chocolate milkshake” is what we call that treat in our house

-Kids can watch a special show while mom showers

-Days that I run become Crockpot dinner days

The Goal: Make it as enjoyable for everyone as possible so you are more likely to keep running!

What challenges/tips do you have to add to this list?