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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

About Ansley's Cast

I've had quite a few people ask me about Ansley's pink cast and what she did to her arm over the last couple of days. I thought I had posted about it already, but I went back through my posts and apparently I haven't.

Well, remember when I had my amnio done and was put in the hospital for the day while we waited for the results of Seth's lung maturity? Long story short, Ansley was rough housing with another 4 year old and fell off of a little toddler bed. She must have landed on her wrist just so, because it broke. No bones sticking out or anything like that, but enough that she'll be in the cast for at least a month.

Joseph and I didn't even think it was broken when we picked the kids up. She was still using her left hand to do things and she could still bend it so we just figured it was twisted or something. But the next evening after Joseph got home from work Ansley wouldn't eat her dinner with her left hand (she's left handed) because she said it would hurt her arm. Plus, her wrist was still swollen...

So off to the emergency room Joseph and Ansley went.

While they were there Ansley was thrilled to be treated like a special little princess. She got princess stickers and Hannah Montana stickers... she even got a purple popsicle to match the purple outfit she was wearing! Joseph even told me that Ansley said she loved the doctors and that she wanted to be a doctor when she grows up (horray!) so that she could give her daddy a blue popsicle.

Here's Ansley after they got home with her arm wrapped up...

And here she is after she got her cast on...

Having the cast on her arm has not slowed Ansley down one bit! I think she's actually going to be mad when I take her in to get it off. She loves her cast!


Monday, June 28, 2010

2 Week Portraits

I took some pictures today of the children much to their dismay. Don't they look thrilled? Haha.

You can't really tell in the pictures (thank you photoshop) but it was a H-O-T and pretty gloomy looking day. Nothing was going to stop me however from getting at least a few pictures of Seth on the 2 week anniversary of his birth! (Yes, I plan on doing his portraits weekly for at least the first 6 weeks)

Seriously though, here are just a couple of my favorite from today that I've gotten around to editing. The last one is my favorite because I feel like it captures how love can bind a family together even when there is one physically absent. I love how it very clearly includes Wyatt with his siblings.


{Almost} 2 Weeks Old

Can it be that this little guy has already been here for two whole weeks almost?

I say almost, because right now if you were to ask me how old my baby was, I'd reply with, "Oh, he's 13 and a half days old. He'll be two weeks old at 9:22 this evening..."

I know, I'm a bit crazy... but I feel like I'm entitled to bear that title proudly. I mean, is there really such a thing as loving your child too much? I think after losing a child and the chance to raise them, each second you are blessed to hold another one in your arms should be cherished. Not that it shouldn't be cherished if all your children are here... but when you are called to surrender one of your children there is a spring of emotions that well up inside.

You worry more.

You feel ancient.

You become REALLY a little crazy.

You get angry.

You get jealous.

You cry. A lot.

But, you also love harder...

You cling more to the blessings in your life and see them for the gifts they are.

My blessings are my family. I realize my family is not something I'm entitled to, but something God has gifted me with.

So I'll make no apologies if I cling to them a little too tightly. Or if I'm too overprotective to let other people watch my children. Or if I'm "spoiling" the newest member of our family because I hardly put him down or let him cry.

Funny story. Joseph told me I needed to just put Seth down and walk away. I needed to let him cry (obviously after he's burped, fed, changed, and warm) like we did with Ansley and Eli when they were babies. I must have looked at Joseph like he'd grown an extra head as I said in disbelief "I'm not going to let him cry!", because Joseph just shook his head and dropped it. I should probably invest in a baby wrap or sling though to make my life a little easier... I just can't seem to walk away from this little guy. I'm almost afraid if I put him down he'll disappear on me!

Anyways, back to what I was saying...

There's no such thing as too many hugs or too many kisses... I know what it's like to want to kiss your child's face and not be able too.

There's not enough hours in the day to cuddle on my children... I know they are mine only because God gave them to me. Only he knows how long I can hold them in my arms.

It's not the end of the world if the dishes don't get finished because I spent that time reading an extra story... Dishes were the last thing on my mind as I said my final goodbyes (until heaven) to my son. What was on my mind were all the stories I'd never get to read him.

I could care less about the extra laundry I have to do because we made a fort out of blankets or took half the clothes out of my closet to play dress up... I'll never get to wash a single outfit for Wyatt.

So, yes. I may come off a little strong, but Wyatt taught me how to love with my whole heart. I may cuddle on Seth more than Ansley and Eli, but that's only because Seth doesn't have a choice right now and I'm taking advantage of it. Besides, Ansley and Eli won't sit still long enough!

I think our whole family has learned to love better because of Wyatt.

Joseph is a more tender and affectionate father...

Who even lends his nose for Seth to latch onto when I'm being to slow to sit down and nurse...

Ansley and Eli are crazy protective over their baby Seth. Ansley and Eli both have actually gotten onto the nurses when we've had to take Seth to the doctors for hurting him and making him cry. Last time we went in Ansley actually pointed a finger at the nurse and told her as soon as she walked into the room "Be nice to my baby Seth. You have to kiss him so he doesn't cry'!

And me, well, I've just been enjoying my time with my family. I may be exhausted because Seth has his days and nights mixed up, but I really don't mind giving up sleep to hold him because he wants to be held. Heck, even during the day when I could be sleeping (and probably should be) I spend that time laying next to him so I can just stare at him. I watch his chest rise and fall. I put my face up close to his so I can feel his breath on my skin.

I sit on the floor and play blocks with Ansley and Eli. I bake them special treats for dessert after dinner. Joseph and I take them out for ice cream or to play at the park. We color together, dance together, and run through the house like a crazy bunch of monsters.

I'm enjoying my kids for their own little stage that each of them is in. I'm taking more pictures and trying not to let a single milestone pass by undocumented.

Speaking of milestones, I decided to do newborn portraits of Seth myself instead of taking him somewhere. I figured I could get what I wanted that way. With some help from Joseph these are {a few} of my favorites.

I'll be doing his two week portraits today with the kids if the weather cooperates...

I know this post was all over the place. I have a lot on my mind lately that I just needed to get out on "paper". Thanks for putting up with all the bouncing around.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Meeting Baby Brother and Taking Him Home

We have some really good friends who were kind (and brave) enough to watch Ansley and Eli for us (Thanks Ray and Summer) while I was having Seth. They didn't bring the kids to the hospital until the next afternoon to meet Seth because I'd had Seth so late the night before.

I honestly don't know if the kids were told ahead of time that they were ging to get to finally meet baby Seth, but Ansley's face was priceless when she walked into the room and realized her newest little brother was not in my belly anymore. I so wish we could have captured her face on video. I will never forget the look of awe and excitement she exuded as she climbed up on my hospital bed to get a better look at her baby brother.

"Ohhh WOOoooow! Mommy! Baby Seth is out of your belly!", she squealed with delight. "I love him! Can I hold my baby Seth mommy? Can we take him home with us?"
Eli was happy to see me, but less than thrilled to see me holding a baby. He did give Seth kisses but other than that could have cared less about his new little brother. I couldn't get him to sit with me and Seth long enough to get a picture. But I did manage to get a picture of him as he was coming to give me kisses as he left.
It was so wonderful getting to cuddle on each of the children that are here, but my heart was battling against uncontainable joy and unbearable sadness all at the same time. I realized as I sat here for this picture holding my three living children and a stuffed elephant in the place where my son who's gone to heaven should have been, that this is as good as it's ever going to get...

Almost perfect, but never will be, because one of my children and the piece of my heart he took with him will always be missing. Maybe that's why I've been doing a lot of crying and smiling at the same time lately. I hold Seth and soak up his tiny little features. I rock him and take in his sweet scent. I talk to him and tell him all about his big brother. And I do this through tears because Wyatt is always in my next thought. I can't begin to describe how bittersweet Seth's birth and all his firsts have been... so I'm not even going to try. I'll just say that I'm overjoyed to have Seth in my arms and heartbroken that Wyatt isn't here to be a physical part of it.


We were finally discharged on Thursday morning. First, Dr. Joy came in to check on me and I snagged him for a picture with Seth. After all, if it wasn't for this man, I don't even want to think about how differently Seth's birth story would have gone. Dr. Joy was definitely the key player in helping God perform a miracle.

Next, Seth's doctor came in to give Seth the final once over and finally discharge him as well. I love Seth's pediatrician. He is the sweetest older gentlemen and I think it's adorable that he wears a bow tie everyday.

And you know hospitals. It takes forever for the discharge paperwork to be drawn up. So, Joseph and I spent that time cuddling on little man.

We also finished getting all of our stuff together... Wasn't it so kind of Joseph to pose with carry my purse for me?

I thought it was cure how he left Seth's stuffed lion sticking out of the diaper bag the hospital gave us to...

When we were finally told we could leave, Joseph headed out to pull the expedition around and I mentally tried to wrap my brain around what was actually happening. I was taking Seth home. I was leaving the hospital with a living breathing baby.

As the nurse started wheeling me out to the entrance, It took everything in me to keep from bawling. It didn't feel like this could really be happening. I kept waiting for someone to come chasing us down the hall only to say that there had been some kind of mistake and that I couldn't take Seth home with me. I clung onto this little boy so tightly and concentrated on trying not to hyperventilate! I almost felt like I was drunk or something when we officially left the hospitals front doors. I had done it! I'd given birth... I'd been blessed with a healthy baby boy... And I'd just left the hospital with him. It still didn't feel like any of this could be real. It felt too good to be true. I was actually scared to pinch myself for fear of waking up!

We got Seth situated in his seat and the nurse performed a car seat check. We were all set!

Joseph and I just sat in the expedition for a minute and let it sink in... then Joseph breaks the silence with "Okay... here we go... should I turn on the flashers?". We both just laughed, but I didn't think it sounded like a babd idea!

Before we went home, we had to go pick up Ansley and Eli from my father in laws house. Again, Ansley was thrilled to have baby Seth in the car and to be taking him home...

Eli, not so much...

It was funny to me how Joseph and I kept score of who got to do what as far as taking care of Seth and who got to do what. Apparently, because I got to be the one to take Seth out of the hospital, Joseph got to be the one to take Seth into our house for the first time! So here it is...

So there you have it! Seth's birth story in it's entirety. I still have doctor's appointments and what it's been like to have him home to post about but that will come in it's own time. I'm just enjoying my life for what it is right now and trying to find peace in accepting that this is as good as it gets this side of heaven.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Thank You's...

Another post to catch up!

I've had some sweet ladies send some cards and gifts both for Wyatt's birthday and for Seth's birth day that I am long over due in thanking.

First of all, I would like to thank Sarita for the sweet gifts she sent all the children!

Ansley and Eli were thrilled to open their gifts. They wanted to know if it was their birthday!

And they have thoroughly enjoyed coloring in their books... so much so that they've already colored ALL the pictures!

Sarita also sent this sweet handmade card for Wyatt as well as this beautiful cross. I put the cross right next to Wyatt's urn and it makes me smile every time I look at it.

She also sent Seth this Baby's 1st Year Calendar (which I'm already using), a cute little lion toy, and a card congratulating us on his safe arrival.

You would think all that would be more than enough, but she also sent this adorable little outfit for Seth to grow into...

What's so neat about this outfit (besides it being adorable), is that she got Celia the same exact one because she knew how good of friends we were and wanted Seth and Xainder to have a matching outfit. How sweet is that? I can't wait to be able to take pictures of them in their matching outfits! I will most definitely be posting a picture of that!

Thank you so much Sarita for the sweet gifts.

And speaking of Celia... she was sweet enough to do a balloon release for Wyatt. Thanks girl! You can go here to read her original post if you'd like!

I also owe Stephanie a huge thank you for the gift she sent to celebrate Wyatt's first birthday. Isn't this just gorgeous?
And of course, the first ring I put on it had to be Wyatt's ring. Thank you so much Stephanie for thinking about Wyatt on his first birthday in heaven. I was floored when I got this package in the mail and it reminds me how lucky I am to have such wonderful women in my life each time I put my rings around the trunk of this elephant each night.

Joseph brought the mail in yesterday and handed me a package from My Forever Child. I've been wanting to order something from there forever now, but have never ordered anything. So I was a bit dumb founded when I got a package from them. When I opened the package, I read that it was from Holly for Wyatt's birthday. She had a custom necklace made for me to wear so that I'd always be able to wear it close to my heart. My breath caught in my chest when I saw this necklace...

An elephant, a pearl (Wyatt's birthstone), and a pendant with Wyatt on the front and his birth date on the back. I could not have picked out a more perfect necklace if I'd chosen it myself. Thank you so much Holly. I've been wearing this necklace since I got it yesterday with no plans of taking it off!

Holly also sent cards for both Wyatt's birthday and for Seth's birth. Here they are in that particular order.

Last, but not least, I opened up my e-mail this afternoon and was surprised by this sweet picture to add to Wyatt's name gallery from Caroline.


Thank you so much Caroline. You're always so sweet to think about Wyatt and to offer words of encouragement and most importantly prayers!

I am overwhelmed by the kindness and friendship I have been blessed with over the last year and a half. Thank you to each of you for your comments, prayers, and love. And to these woman I just want to say an extra special thank you. None of these gifts were necessary, but I will cherish them always.