Friday, March 15, 2013

Answered Prayers

I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.
Psalm 34:4-5

A friend texted me this verse during our time at the hospital with a message that this is what her and her husband were praying over us.  Such a great verse to represent the following...

Leading up to and during our birth/time at the hospital, there were many specific things we were praying for.  I had to share these on our blog and brag on just how awesome and faithful our God is!

  1. To make it full-term and deliver naturally without pitocin.  
We made it to 39 weeks (with 5 on bedrest).  Went into labor on my own, no pitocin and made it without you can see below.

2.  For my mom to be here for the actual birth.

Mom didn't make it for Briggs' birth because she was at my sister's house helping (she had my nephew exactly one week before Briggs).  She was determined to be here for this one.

 ...right when Parker came out...priceless :)

So glad I have these shots with my mom and baby boy.

admiring her new grandson, nothing like it...

3. Amy Campbell (the nurse who helped deliver Briggs) would be our nurse again

I mean besides the fact that I had her schedule for the whole month of December and January in my planner, and had prayed since the day I got pregnant again that we would have her...there was a really big chance it wasn't going to happen.  Did I mention she only works three days a week....BUT....

We went in to L&D at midnight, guess who came on at 7:00 am, Parker arrived at 9:51 am...I mean, what are the chances that would happen?!?!?

Justin and I had a little more of a clue this time around on what to expect, but I think it's fair to say we still couldn't have done it this time around without her...she was awesome!

Oh yeah and she actually delivered Parker herself, because Dr. Swindle was dragging her feet (not really...but I like messing with her).

4.  Dr. Swindle be there and deliver Parker

Funny, we get there around midnight.  Things are progressing slowly.  I actually had Swindle's schedule for the whole month in my planner too...just so I could prepare myself if I knew she wasn't going to be there.  She told me to get them to call her if I came in and she wasn't there.  The whole time I'm progressing, I keep telling the nurses...Dr. Swindle told me to call her if I come in.  They are all rolling their eyes and "yeah right-ing" me.  I would tell any new nurse we had or anybody that would listen that she wanted to know I'm there...I'm her "special" patient (or so I like to think).  Did I mention that Swindle is the medical director for the whole practice.  I've seen her get after a few people in my time with I think they were all scared, on top of, didn't believe me.  Finally...after a few hours, our nurse comes in and says Dr. Swindle had wrote at the bottom of my chart to call her if I came in and she wasn't the on-call doctor...BOO-YA!  I couldn't stop laughing for awhile and it did confirm that she loves me as much as I love least it made me feel that way :)

Anyway...guess who came on-call at 7am that guessed it..Dr. Swindle!  They didn't have to call her b/c I didn't progress enough for them to wake her up in the middle of the night...we knew I would make it until she got there at 7.  It was awesome to see her smiling face walk through that door.  She actually didn't "technically" deliver Parker.  Amy had to b/c when it was time to push...she called for the doc, but Parker came so quickly, she didn't make it downstairs to catch him.
She did walk in seconds later and got to do all the fun part...stitch me up, deliver the placenta, and of course pose for this shot...

5.  Allison Lewis would be available to photograph the birth.

Another person I was stalking during the tale end of this pregnancy.  I had her schedule in my planner too.  There were certain things she couldn't get out of, which I completely understood but deep down I wanted her there soooo bad.  Because...Justin would be all up in the action, we didn't want him behind the camera, and... I NEEDED him.  My mom was planning on being there, but it all depended on if we had childcare for Briggs...many things had to line up for that to happen.  No offense to my mom, I know she could get the basics, but Allison brought it to a whole other level.

Well except for when she was napping..
Just joking!..our poor friend...and yes we definitely consider her that instead of just the "photographer", came in the middle of the night, when she had just taken a benadryl because she hadn't been sleeping well...weathered through the 10 hours we were there laboring and managed to capture some priceless pics for THAT'S a special person.  We love you dearly for that sacrifice Allison!  Oh and a shout out to her husband who was home with their FIVE children.  He even had to load them ALL up to drive to the hospital so Allison could nurse their youngest.  Sacrifices made from many people for us that night.

But we got this sweet pic to remember add to our memories

6.  Dr. Lytle to be our pediatrician at the hospital

Once we started to realize things weren't going quite as planned with Parker, I started to get stressed that we weren't getting accurate info and needed someone familiar and knowledgeable who we trusted.  We were being passed around to multiple doctors, one who had her reference book she was carrying around and USING on our baby! (didn't make this momma feel too confident in her competency level or our plan).

Let me just start by saying...there are 10+ pediatricians in the group we use.  When you have a baby, you just see whatever one is assigned to your hospital for that day.  When we had Briggs we never saw Dr. Lytle even though he is our primary pediatrician.  Well...this was day two and as I mentioned earlier, we were not comfortable with all the info coming our way.  I had already asked the nurse to find out who was on call this morning for our group.  Justin and I had decided we were going to call Dr. Lytle at his office if it wasn't him or one of the other two docs we felt comfortable with.  The nurse comes in and reports...GUESS who is on call and on his way here now...Dr. Lytle!

I'm telling you, when this man walked in our room...I not only started crying but I gave him a big hug.  I know that's not very professional...but I couldn't help it.  He got us on track, spent a lot of time explaining everything and getting a good plan together.  The Lord was continuing to answer our specific prayers.

7.  Healthy baby.

We definitely got that...just a few bumps in the road.  As stressful and inconvenient as the NICU was for Parker and us, we are so thankful for the doctors and nurses the Lord allowed us to encounter.  They took such good care of our baby and got him better and  up to 110% before they sent him home.  We were very confident that he was going to be fine and was very stable when he left.

8.  Coming home!

for the vision awaits its appointed time: it hastens to the end--it will not lie.  
If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.  
Habakkuk 2:3

A friend sent us this verse during our time in the NICU.  Such a great verse for such an uncertain time, but that the Lord had his hand in from the beginning to the end.  Her encouragement was and I quote...

"I'm praying for Parker's healing and peace during this time of waiting.  I know you're hurting. Lord, be near to the brokenhearted and show yourself powerful in Parker's body and life" 


As mentioned before, the NICU experience was very unexpected (he was 39 weeks..not on our radar at all since we made it so far) and was very stressful.  I think what added another layer of complication was having Briggs at home and being so torn between our two babies.  Not to mention the fact I just had a baby, was super sleep deprived and trying to heal.  

But, the Lord was not only faithful to answer all of our specific prayer requests and not only, kind of, but as specifically as we asked.  I mean it was practically a miracle for all of those people to be a part of this birth story in the way that they were. Well, except for Dr. Swindle actually delivering Parker, but I don't think I'll complain about that.  I already told her...if there is a next time, she can just block off her schedule and come hang out in the birth suite with us, so she can make sure she doesn't miss it.  I'm glad he came out with minimal effort. I worked hard for the first ten hours..three pushes and her walking in after...I can live with.

He also surrounded us with precious friends and family who went the extra mile to help us, pray for us, send us sweet text messages, emails, cards, gift cards for gas to help pay for getting back and forth to the hospital, gift cards for food, provided meals, childcare for Briggs, my mom went above and beyond to clean, cook and take care of my family when I couldn't.  We have felt overwhelmed by the outpouring of love we experienced through Parker's birth story.  Thank you to each and every one of you.  Our prayers were abundantly answered and our hearts are so full from this experience.

...that you being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.  Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think according to the power at work within us, to him be glory forever and ever.

Ephesians 3: 17-21 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Tips and tricks

Here are a few random things we do around our house to save money, time or stay somewhat organized...

We love lunch meat.  Justin brings a sandwich to work just about every day.  Briggs loves lunch meat.  And on top of that, we are lunch meat snobs.  Everyone only likes the Boars head meat from Publix.  The only problem, it only lasts about 3-4 days before it goes bad.  So my choices are to either make a trip to Publix multiple times a week...OR...

buy it in 3# increments, separate it, and freeze it.  That way I just pull some out when we need it and make less frequent trips to the store.  That works for me!

To make crayons portable, we put them in a travel soap perfectly and then you don't have to keep up with the torn and demolished crayon box.

Have you ever wondered what to do with all that tissue paper you have?

I used an accordian file, separated and folding it by color...
now it's all in one spot, I can see what I have, and very accessible.

Have you ever been cooking, the recipe calls for chicken broth and you only need 1/2 cup?  If you keep these cartons of broth like I do and can't use them before they go bad...

I pour the remaining broth in an ice cube tray, freeze it, put in a freezer bag.  That way I have smaller portions to throw in a recipe.  I do this all the time and has worked great for me in my kitchen.

There are a few random tips and tricks from our home to yours.  
Hope this helps somebody out there somewhere.