Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Happy Birthday Little Sister

As I write this, my lil 2nd born daughter is sleeping very happily in the middle of our bed, on her belly, with me watching close by from the glider her and I meet at at least 2-3x a night to nurse on.

Today, she turned one month old. Her and I spent the day together; we took a long walk this morning, she took a long nap, ate a bunch, had a warm bath and then went out with her Daddy and I for a tiny little bit tonight.

Throughout the day, as I praised God for one month with Blakely, I couldn't help but be a little sad for not being able to know this joy with Greyson. I cried as I pushed the jogging stroller we bought for Greyson down the driveway. But I rejoiced as I listened to praise music with Blakely quietly napping as we walked. It's such a sweet time, but there is still some "bitter" that sticks around.

I always thought to myself, "Once Blakely is here, there will be no more tears or feeling grief.". I read of other Mom's who lost their first, went on to be blessed with a second, and still dealt with the loss of the first (if not more so, due to lack of sleep, exhaustion, etc.) I always wondered how they could? How was there time or room for more crying?

But then I am a month in now, and I understand more.

I remember Greyson's 1 month birthday, 14 months ago. It was my birthday. It was misery. I remember wondering how things were ever going to "feel better" or "normal" again.... and for the most part...I feel better...since having a living breathing baby girl. I don't really feel normal yet.

I am always waiting for Blakely to... not continue living. My thought process is really messed up. I will be away from her for a moment--- folding laundry, she's napping, I'm in the other room, she's being held by someone away from me, etc....and I come in to find her ...blue in the face... Then my thoughts go to.... how will I respond? What will I do? Is there good enough reception to get 911?
Sometimes before I begin doing something, I think..."Well, what if we end up in the ER again today, will I have this done, or a shower taken, or... ?"

it is really kinda messed up, right?

That is why I don't feel normal.

I don't really feel anxious, but what I just wrote up there makes it seem like I am struggling with fear and anxiety, huh?

Blakely sleeps with a Snuza Hero on.  It's a battery powered alarm that lays on her belly and attaches to her diaper. It monitors her breathing and goes off if after 15 seconds, no movement has been detected. We have one that the battery hasn't lasted very long at all. Like, in the month we've had it, we've gone through like 6. Crazy. Two nights ago, we awoke to it's alarm going off. I was in dead sleep (I have lost TONS in 1 month) so I initially thought it was my husband's alarm to get up and work. It wasn't, both our heart's stopped and we jolted up and started touching her chest and face.... worst feeling ever. Worst. I was like, "Is she breathing?!?!" And it was hard to figure out what to do at that point. (The alarm had just moved away from her diaper and she was fine, didn't even open an eye or jolt during the whole episode) (Cute little chica) By God's grace, we were both able to fall back asleep.

One time, I was nursing little Blakely alone. I started crying and could not stop. I had my eyes closed and all I could think of was Greyson. How the last time she was alive, was nursing and in my arms.... but how the last time I saw her/felt her was when she was taking her last breaths in my arm....turning blue... going to Jesus.

I am sorry if this is too morbid, I am not trying to be. With a newborn, a tiny lil girl, just like Greyson, these things are *constantly* on my mind. I rehearse, prepare, plan, assume the worst---and please--- it's not because I want to... I am not expecting the Lord to give us sorrow upon sorrow... I just am battling through memories and thoughts and fears.

I am not a mess or close to a melt-down or developing a twitch, I just am learning to trust the Lord day in and day out with our little gift from Him, trying to release her to Him each moment I feel afraid and remember she is simply on loan to us, a borrowed blessing. The more I cling, the more I lose.

It's hard when you love something so much.

I didn't get one month with Greyson, like I have had with Blakely. It has been hard and exhausting, but so sweet and healing. I miss her when I am away from her for longer than 10 minutes. I always feel relieved when she is back with me. I look back at the last year and have no idea...no idea...how I continued day in and day out...knowing how I feel after 10 minutes being gone from Blakely...  as minutes turned to days turned to months and now a year...of being away from my little Greyson. My heart aches for her. The only way through that was Jesus. That's all. He was and still is so good to us through it all.

We are thankful for the time we have been given with our second lil babydoll. Each new day I get to wake up and feed her, love her, hold her, watch her... I feel so thankful and blessed.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Story of Blakely Eliana Hope

Very much hoping I can write this all before she wakes up ready to eat again. :)

After our firstborn daughter unexpectedly died of "SIDS" on June 13th, 2012, all...and I mean all I could think about was getting pregnant again.

I really did not care about losing the baby weight, letting my body heal, "giving it time" or anything. All I...and my husband wanted, was to have another baby. I was angry it would take another 9 month pregnancy to get that, but knew it would hopefully be worth it in the end.

We started trying asap and finally got pregnant the very first of November, 2012. Those months were excruciating. Waiting. Waiting on the Lord. Dealing with grief. Drinking the bitter cup. Watching others deliver healthy babies, get pregnant without even trying, etc.

The month I got pregnant, the Lord had laid on my heart to lay everything down- my dreams, anger, jealousy, constant worry and fret over trying to get pregnant, watching dates/times, buying things to help us out, etc. I got rid of everything, asked for forgiveness and tried to focus on something else.

I had lost all my baby weight (40+ pounds in 12 weeks, thank you Jesus) and was a little less stressed than the previous months. The trauma of losing our baby weighed heavily on me, affecting my health, I am sure.

The Lord blessed us with our 2nd baby, we told our friends and family around Christmastime who were all really excited for us.

January-March were really hard, sick and barfing a lot, plus exhausted almost constantly and almost any task seemed overwhelming and just not worth it. Being pregnant AND grieving was very hard.

On top of all this, I asked myself why in the world I was "doing this again" all the time. Preparing and assuming the worst, but still attempting to trust the Lord who does everything for our good and to prosper us. I couldn't imagine Him allowing a second, consecutive death of a baby. I would tell myself, "No, stop, don't even go there." weekly, if not more,  every time the thought entered into my head of putting together another funeral, seeing our baby die right in front of our eyes again and then going on with another year or grieving plus trying to get pregnant .....again.

Since Greyson's death was never really resolved, it seemed totally possible for death to strike again.

Spring went by with the dread of Greyson's first birthday approaching and us finding out the Lord was giving us another little girl, just as He said He would a few days after lil G died. We couldn't believe it. You know with the Lord, sometimes He tells you things that are for...later. I was totally ok with a boy, but knew in my heart that it would be torture to try and want to be pregnant again to have another little girl. So we were so thankful He answered so quickly-- a prayer I didn't even really dare pray.

Greyson's birthday came and it was awful, yet ok. God surrounded us with love and covered us in grace. We were thankful. After her birthday, time flew by and before we knew it, we were heading to the hospital to deliver our second little girl!

We showed up around 6a...everything got going by 9a, water broke at 10, got an epidural right before that, barely had to push twice and she was out after 2p. It was a quiet, yet very stressful and emotional day for us. Easiest labor in the WORLD compared to Greyson, though hers was also pretty quick, just not easy. I loved being able to cry and enjoy our new baby girl as soon as she was placed on me, instead of continue to writhe in pain!

During the pregnancy, I prayed she would come early, come quick, have lots of hair and that I would not tear during labor as I had with Greyson. The Lord answered ALL those prayers and I was so thankful. We had an amazing doctor and a very sweet compassionate nurse. I had also prayed for that. :)

 We named our second little girl Blakely Eliana Hope, as most of you know. Her name means "In dark fields, my God answers with hope.". Very fitting of our last year.

Our little girl is now 3.5 weeks old, we love her to death. We deal with fear and anxiety. I have types of dread wash over me sometimes. I also assume the worst is about to happen (ie, falling down the stairs with her, waking up and her blue in the face, accidentally dropping her, car wrecks, etc.). Please pray for us that these things go away. Nights are the hardest, but definitely getting better. She sleeps in the middle of us in a "Snuggle Nest" that protects her from us and has breathable sides, etc. We leave a light on her face all night so we can just open our eyes and see she is moving and breathing, and she sleeps with a Snuza Hero on her diaper to monitor her breathing. These are just things that gives us a little piece of mind, we still aim to trust the Lord fully with the days of her life and the number of those days, it is just hard when you have the kind of trauma we have had.
I have never poked a baby so much in my life! But she is very tolerant and I know God made her just that way for us!

She is the smily-est baby ever! Before she was even 24 hours old, she had smiled at us a dozen times. She smiles so so so much and it is always as a response to our voices or laughs! I love it and am always thanking the Lord she is so joyful and sweet! Can't wait to see what kind of little girl she will turn out to be. Every night before I lay her down, we say our prayers about our character... I need that just as much as she will :)

We are so thankful the Lord brought us this little piece of Heaven to enjoy and to heal and bring us hope. :)