Friday, October 12, 2012

My Bucket is Seven.

It was 7 years ago today that this tank of a baby who resembled a four month old with his black hair, tiny dark eyes and ginormous cheeks, made his way into the world and made me a mommy for the very first time.  I wanted him so very badly, but as every new mother knows, he wasn't quite what I expected. He was so much more... From the beginning he's kept me on my toes and I'm so proud of the young man that I catch glimpses of him becoming, and that I get to call him mine. He is such a sweet, smart, handsome, bighearted kid and I cannot wait to see what his seventh year brings... Love you Spencer!

 One:
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Three:
Four:
 Five:
 Six:
 Seven:



Sunday, September 02, 2012

Declan Grant

How is it each and every time you have a baby the feeling of complete awe and elation when the baby is finally here never ever gets old!? How does that happen? You'd think after 3 babies the fourth would come and it'd be less exciting. Nope. Never gets old. Especially when the doctor that delivers your baby grabs the baby's "special purpose" and points it towards your face as he is having his first potty.
At 9 pounds 15 ounces, Declan was my 2nd biggest baby and the most original birth I've had. With all 3 other babies it's taken me all day (with the help of pitocin) to get to 5 cm then 20 minutes to transition to 10. Tony joked with Lucy that once I cried and shook I was ready to rock, which I was. So when my water spontaneously broke around 3 cm (first time I haven't HAD it broken by a doctor) and then I shook for a good hour, we didn't know what to expect. We got stuck around 5 and then it took an hour to get to 6, another hour to get to 7 and yet another to get to 8. At 7:30pm, my doctor headed home to get dinner and only 15 minutes later I was ready to push. So we sat there for 15 minutes while I was told by the nurses not to sneeze or laugh. Easier said than done, when a 10 pound baby is making his way towards the exit sign. When my doctor finally sauntered in at 8pm, to say I was a little bit irritated would be an understatement. 

At 8:06 I was finally given the okay to push. A couple seconds later, his head was out, and another push later, so was the rest of him at 8:07pm on August 25th, 2012. 

With all of my other babies, just like this one, there was the immediate sense of relief. That feeling of total euphoria where all of the pressure, the pain is immediately gone. I totally had that feeling. The other feeling I had with my other babies of "I could totally do that again," however, wasn't there. It was replaced with another sense of relief... A relief that this was it. That my family was complete and I didn't have to go through that pain again. 

I know things change and who knows what God has in store, but at this moment I feel completed. That this stage in my life is done and it's time to move on to the next... Enjoying watching my children grow and teaching them to love one another...

 Spencer was so excited to see his little brother.
As was big sister Tatum.
video
Even Lucy came into the room yelling, "I hold it! I hold it!" When she finally did, it was so sweet and unexpected, since every baby she'd seen til now she refused to even look at. It did only last about 20 seconds though before she proclaimed, "all done." 
Our first family photo with all 6 of us.
I am so excited to have our precious little man finally with us. With all of the emotional and physical ups and downs of this pregnancy, I am so very glad for it to be over with and for us to have our last little one with us, healthy and happy. He's such a sweet little man who only cries when he's hungry, poopy or has a bubble. Otherwise, he's totally content to look around and explore his new world. He has Tatum's cheeks, Spencer's mouth and Lucy's ears. He's a perfect mixture of all of us and I am so happy he is here and ready to rock this world as the last little baby Jones.

Happy belated birthday Lu...

It's so hard to believe that I once had a brunette baby girl. I cannot believe that it's been 2 years since this sweet little thing was born. She was the most petite of my babies and still is. She had the teeniest little buns and was the only baby to ever wear size newborn diapers. She was so calm and would go to sleep simply by me stroking her soft brown hair. 
Then her and her sweet soft brown hair somehow turned into Lyle Lovett when she was one. She looked just like her mama, down to the dark brown eyes and crooked little smile.
 As Lucy grew, her personality seemed to grow to match her hair. Wild, crazy, with a mind of her own and apparently blonde. My mother always wished that I'd get a child exactly like me, and guess what... Here she is. She definitely has a personality far different from her siblings, but as a 3rd child, I know that that is exactly what she needs to forge her way in a family of 6.
 She is by far the most vocal and opinionated child I've had thusfar, but I'm so glad she has a mind of her own. She has been speaking in full sentences since before she turned 2 and frequently says, "I got it" when asked if she needs help with what she's doing. Her favorite phrase as of the last week has been, "Baby's eatin' your booby, Mommy" when her new baby brother nurses. I can't help but laugh and agree. She thinks she's 6 and tries to boss her big brother & sister around. I can't wait to see who she becomes as this next year as a big sister goes by... I love you Bean!


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Nerves...

I've known this day was coming for nearly 10 months now. And yet here I am, unable to sleep with butterflies in my stomach. Going in to have a baby is like Christmas morning regardless of whether or not you know the gender. What's he going to look like? Will he have hair? How long is it going to take? Will he sleep well? How big will he be? Will he look like me? Daddy? Both of us?  And then there's the more technically questions floating around... Will they tell me all the beds are taken and turn me away? Will I progress fast or slow? Will it be easy? Should I get an epidural?

So here we are, it's Baby morning and I'm a nervous wreck.

May God grant me peace and serenity and the strength to make it through what most likely will be a ridiculously long day of waiting and watching Red Box movies.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Nesting...

I know every time that I'm pregnant it is inevitable, the nesting... But I never imagined how insane I could possibly get with this last one. My poor husband. I have so many more projects in my head and only have the ability to do about 20% of them myself. I've cleaned and organized nearly every inch of this house and as I do I keep adding to the "honey do" list. It's not like any of the projects I have can't get done AFTER the baby is born, but it's that insane overwhelming need to get it all done NOW. Why does that happen? It's not like life stops after you have a baby. It's quite insane really. I know you're down for the count for a little while, and you're sleep deprived, and your house never gets clean and you don't have the ability to do much other than stare at the new little life you created... Oh wait, I just answered my own question.

It's been a long pregnancy, but I honestly haven't felt like I'm really pregnant. Let me explain. I have felt more like a chronically ill, obese, miserable person that has the inability to bend over, get up off of the floor, or hold my bladder for more than 30 minutes at a time. My back hurts all the time and so does my crotch. Sorry for the vulgarity, but it's true. I still don't feel like this misery will end in a baby in my arms. Perhaps this is God's way of telling me that I really am done. I know we decided that this is our last baby and I've tried so desperately to appreciate the pregnancy because of it, but the opposite has happened. It's made me realize that I would rather not physically or emotionally go through another pregnancy. Obviously, if God has other plans, then I can't stop them and will gladly accept whatever miracle he gives me. BUT it's been a rough road. I guess I just can't wait to meet this new little man of mine and know in my heart that our family is complete.

Disclaimer: Please don't take this post the wrong way. I am SO VERY GRATEFUL for being pregnant and being blessed with the ability to create life. I can see this post being misconstrued. I will reiterate: I am so very blessed. And despite all of the pain and emotional turmoil, I would absolutely NEVER trade any of it in because it means I will get to hold this beautiful baby in my arms in the end.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Slurpee Baby is TWO!

I can't believe it's been two years since we've met our little Lucy. She came into this world so easily. One push and she was out. She didn't look like anyone other than herself with that full head of dark brown hair. She was so smelly from the leftover vernix that I could hardly think of much else, other than, when does she get her first bath? She's been a little stinker ever since.

I can't complain though, she's a perfect little recreation of me in nearly every way but one... She snores... Just like her daddy. She wants what she wants when she wants it and it's always now.

I can relate.

And I wouldn't want her any other way. She thinks she's a 6 year old and doesn't like Tatum telling her what to do but has no problem asking Spencer for help, which makes perfect sense right?

She will never give you a kiss or hug when you ask her to, but when she does give them, it's on her own terms, when you least expect it, and it is the sweetest most honest love you'll ever receive.

I am so grateful for my little Lulu Bean and couldn't see our little family functioning without her. I cannot wait to see what a great big sister she is going to be. I have a feeling she is going to really come into her own and step up to the challenge. Now I have to go give her hugs & kisses while I she will let me... She's sleeping.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

My miracle turned 4.

As a lot of you know, Tatum is my miracle baby. I lost 2 babies before her, thinking that I was never going to be able to have another child. BUT fortunately for me and for this world, God had other plans. And now, the way I see it, as sad as it may sound, had I NOT lost those babies, I wouldn't have the sweet, dimple-faced, emotional, loving little girl that I have now.

It is so hard to believe that she's no longer the "Baby Tatum" Spencer so sweetly called her when she was teensy. She's tall for her age and every time she asks me to straighten her hair, it makes me a little sad inside because I can see a glimmer of the teenager she's going to be in what will seem like no time at all. But despite the sadness that she's no longer my little baby girl and she is inevitably growing up, I am so very proud of her. You definitely can't make her do anything she doesn't want to do until she is absolutely ready, which has been evident since she was a tot and didn't walk til 17 months old-when she knew she could do it without falling... But just the other day, after an hour of sitting at the McDonald's play structure, she finally, in her own time, went and played with the other kids. I was so proud. That's something she never would've done, even a few short months ago.

She and Lucy recently moved into one room together and I was curious to see how everything would work out and I am pleased to say that Tatum is such a sweet little mama to her little sister. When Lucy cries, she calms her down, when she loses her pacifier she brings it to her. I love her to death and am so excited to see what God has in store for her as she maneuver's through this next year and the years ahead.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

God is good.

It's been a long three weeks but our prayers have been answered.

3 weeks ago, after our mid pregnancy ultrasound, we received news that our baby boy had choroid plexus cysts on his brain. The doc scheduled us to be seen with the perinatologist from OHSU to do a more detailed level 2 ultrasound.

I was terrified. Worst case scenario if they found any other markers: our baby had Trisomy 18 - a chromosomal defect where there are 3 number 18 chromosomes instead of two... Not compatible with life and would most likely die in utero or soon after birth.

A bit scary, no? Words cannot explain the fear I felt. I turned to God. I prayed. I let Him have this little boy knowing that He would take care of my little man. I can't say there weren't nights when I cried myself to sleep begging God for the health of my unborn son.

But here I am with proof in my belly that prayer works. We had our ultrasound today and the cysts are completely gone and our baby is absolutely healthy and NORMAL... Exactly what we wanted. Thank you Jesus. And thank you friends and family that prayed on our behalf.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A tough one to swallow...

I don't even know where to begin with this post. In fact, I've debated, more than once, to not even write it. On more than a few occasions I have sat at my computer ready to write only to be driven away by fear. And now my fear is that I may have not completely dealt with what has happened. So here I am, opening my heart up about something so very private in hopes that someone will know of his or her existence. Because that IS a huge fear of mine, that this baby will go unnoticed.

Most of you know by now that I am pregnant! I am 18 weeks tomorrow and we find out the gender next Friday. I am so very excited to see what this baby will be and if we will be an even team or a house full of estrogen!

That same "most" also don't know the journey I've gone through with this pregnancy. It began on December 15th, 2011, when I saw that 2nd line. Tony and I knew that we wanted one more baby and we figured why not sooner rather than later? So as I sat there for those 3 minutes that seemed like 3 hours, I prayed. I poured my heart out to the only one that was listening, God. I wanted another child and I knew eventually he would give me one, so if I wasn't pregnant this time, I'd be okay. But I REALLY was ready for that baby.

He heard me.

A couple of weeks later, I was just DYING to get to my first doctor's appointment because I knew that it meant an ultrasound and I could see that wee bebe on the screen for the first time. It never gets old. It never gets less exciting. I am always nervous. Our appointment wasn't for another week but I made up some excuse about thinking I " might have an infection..." so they squeezed me in. After finding out there was no infection, duh... I asked if there was any way that we could just take a peek to make sure I wasn't crazy and that I was indeed pregnant... Seeing as they have a roaming ultrasound machine, the doctor obliged.

What I saw on that screen came as a complete and utter shock. TWINS. How could this have happened! They don't run in my family, the don't run in Tony's family. What? Are you serious? Feelings of complete terror mixed with overjoyed excitement literally made my body shake. I could not wait to get home and tell Tony!

Much to my surprise, he was nothing but ecstatic! Not even a worried look. That guy's like a rock. My nervousness quickly turned to excitement. We could do this! Sure going from 3 kids to 5 wasn't in our plans, but it seemed to be in God's. And there's one thing that Tony said that I still can't get out of my head... When I had lost my first baby after having Spencer, the ultrasound tech told me that not only was my uterus tilted (which made it harder to conceive) but that it hadn't fully fused together when I was in my mother's womb and the result was a heart shaped uterus... So back to present day, Tony turned to me and said, "maybe that's why God gave you a heart shaped uterus, one side for each baby."

We started researching what to expect with twin pregnancies, carseats and everything in between.

At our next appointment we waited in anticipation to see those 2 sweet babies. But where the second one was supposed to be there was just an empty sac.

"I'm sorry, but that baby didn't seem to continue to develop."

I can still feel my heart sinking to my stomach and the lump in the my throat restricting my ability to breathe.

I remember how I felt when I had my previous miscarriages. The loss, the pain, the emotional turmoil, wondering how this could happen... This time was... different. I was still pregnant. There was still a little healthy baby growing inside me that needed me. How could I get past the grief and move on to the happiness? I still don't know how to answer that.

And then there's the comments meant to cheer you up but do the exact opposite... "You wouldn't want twins anyway. They're so hard." But that's what I had. And I would have managed. I was already in love with BOTH of those babies.

"God only gives you what you can handle." Are you saying I couldn't handle having twins? Because I could have. I would have. I would have loved those babies. I did love those babies.

Maybe that baby is just hiding. At the next ultrasound we'll see them both! That happens! "Please God... I CAN handle it. I CAN do this. Please. But Tony said that's why my uterus is shaped like a heart. Why is this happening again? I'm healthy..." I pleaded with God.

Every time I hear about someone having twins, my heart beats faster, I can feel the tears welling up in my eyes. Every time someone asks, "you're so big, are you sure you're not having twins?" I bite my tongue. I try not to lash out. To scream "YES, yes I was having twins. But now I'm not. Thanks for the reminder."

I like to think that when this baby is born that all these feelings of hurt, pain, anger and frustration will be washed away. When I had Tatum, after losing 2 babies, the joy that I felt was indescribable. I had finally gotten the blessing that I so longed and prayed for... my sweet perfect baby. I pray each day that this is how I'll feel. That I will be so excited and overjoyed for the blessing that is this baby. But my deepest fear is that I will feel something entirely different... disappointment that there should have been another baby. That there should be 2. That if or when my child comes to me and says, "Mom, I wish I were a twin," that I don't break down and completely lose it.

My heart is broken and I pray that this baby will mend it.

Friday, February 17, 2012

A bittersweet anniversary.

A year ago, yesterday, my life took a turn for the worse. Our family began on what I would consider the scariest time in my life. It was a Wednesday and Lucy was sick. 

Not only was my baby girl sick, but she hadn't eaten in 2 days. She was only 7 months old and had no interest in solid foods so I was at a loss of what to do. I called the nurse and they had me take her in to see the doc on call. I had Spencer and Tatum with me and I had promised them (both of which were sick, Spencer had pneumonia and Tatum had the awful cold that started it all) an ice cream cone if they were good at the doctor's. 

So we sat there while they checked Lu over, checked her oxygen levels, and gave her a breathing treatment. The kids were getting ance and I was getting zero answers. Finally, the doctor came back in.  

You need to take her to the hospital and have her admitted so we can get a handle on this.

One of the worst phrases a mother can hear. 

With all 3 in tow, we headed to the hospital and began on a 10 day journey of ups and downs, prayers, nurses saying that they couldn't do anything more for her and she was getting worse... Moments that nightmares are made of. 



After 5 days in the Salem hospital with empty promises from doctors that were never fulfilled, we were sent to Doernbechers Children's Hospital. 


 

After 7 days without eating, they gave Lu a feeding tube. And instead of treating her with more steroids and medications that were doing more harm than good, they treated her with oxygen. After a mere 5 day stay, she was back to eating and ready to go home.
 


Looking back, there were so many middle of the night scares when we thought she might just give up and stop breathing. The nurses told me most babies would have given up by then. But knowing who she is now, the hardheaded, strongwilled, feisty little girl that she is... God made her that way for a reason. He knew the struggle she would have to go through and created her to endure it. And I am so grateful to Him- for making her so strong and for helping her and us through that terrible time in our lives.


For the whole story, head to my archives and read all about her journey...