Sunday, February 27, 2011

One Month

One month ago today our family grew.
One month ago today God gave me a precious gift.
In this last month we have gone back to very interrupted nights, carrying a diaper bag and more gear than a tiny person should require, and spending hours inspecting the tiny wonder of new life.
As much as I wanted one more, I never imagined just how wonderful it would be.
This first month has flown by!

I'm way behind on sharing photos. I have a bunch more but I haven't even had time to go through them yet!
The top two photos were taken by my talented photographer friend, Anna. texasartgirl.com
The cute brown and cream colored outfit with trucks was a designed and made by my talented seamstress friend, Bonnie. fishsticksandfries.com

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Amazing Man

This is long overdue, but life here has been a tad bit busier lately.We had that HUGE ice storm and then snow the week before last and that left us homebound on a special day...February 4th, the birthday of my amazing husband.
We didn't do much to celebrate on Friday, but Saturday brought warmer temps and melting ice. So, we ventured out as a family and celebrated Joel's birthday with lunch at Applebee's.
It was really nice to be out of the house after 4 days and we were able to run a few much-needed errands before and after lunch.
I will have to come back and write a really decent post about how amazing my husband is, but right now I have a sleeping baby and think it would be best if I tried to sleep as well. (Isn't that what they always tell the mom of newborns "sleep when they're sleeping". It's nearly impossible to do, but it really is the best advice.)

To close I'll just write a few reasons from this last week that I say my hubby is amazing: he loves the Lord and seeks to know Him (even when running on little sleep), he has a servant's heart, he changes the baby's diaper (more than I do), he gets up with Jett when he won't settle in the night, he plays in the snow with our big kids (and has at least as much fun, if not more, than they do!), he cooks, he cleans, he likes to organize, he holds me when I cry (especially important when it's for no reason other than hormones), he reassures me, he encourages me, he is funny, he is a good friend and always wants to help others....
My list could go on forever. Joel really is an amazing man. I'm so blessed he's mine!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Past Few Days

So many blog posts are floating around in my mind, but that's where they are going to stay for now. In the meantime, here's what we've been doing for the last week!
Cuddling with the newest addition to our family

Losing another tooth! (she's now missing both front teeth)
trying not to freeze as ice covered the metroplex for three days straight (we got rain, then freezing rain, then a dusting of snow on Monday night/Tuesday morning. then, it didn't get above freezing until today)
sledding down the sidewalk on cookie sheets
changing diapers
playing the Wii
watching the snow fall (early, early Friday morning--covering the icy layer underneath)
taking pictures of the snow at 1am...because that's when mamas of newborns are awake to feed their babiesIt was definitely not a "normal" week.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The God of Miracles and Healing

"It is not the easy road to grow your family from broken backgrounds–but we serve the God of miracles and healing…and we believe through adoption many children may have the chance to know Him as Christian families follow God in growing their families this way."
--quote from Babe of My Heart blog

Saw this quote today on someone's blog--as I followed the trail from my friend Lara. Andrea, the author, is talking about adoption. I appreciated her perspective and look forward to reading more about why their family has adopted.

She also said "I will say this–for us [adopting] has nothing to do with infertility, pity, rescue from poverty or famine or many other things you may think drew us to grow our family in that way. Instead–it has everything to do with the gospel ALONE. Sure–those things show you different NEEDS–but those needs CAN be met in different ways other than adoption of course. It has to be for MORE than that and NOT for just that."

I think I will enjoy adding this blog to my reader and getting to know this mama. And, I can't wait to explore that second quote...the Gospel being the reason for their adoption. Beautiful. So many things I could say, but I won't--mainly because that's not what I wanted to write about this morning.

What struck me this morning as I read her post was the first quote. Specifically, she says "It is not easy to grow your family from broken backgrounds--but we serve the God of miracles and healing... ." I know she's talking specifically about children from broken backgrounds, but as soon as I read this I said "Amen!" However, I immediately thought of the adults! It's not easy to grow your family when you have your own issues from the past. But, we serve the God of miracles and healing! Hallelujah!

I won't go into detail, but I will say that, like many adults who become parents, my background has its share of brokenness. Some of it was not of my own making, but much of it was! I have an amazing marriage and the most wonderful husband. I cannot imagine where my life could possibly be. But, God chose to save and redeem me and then bless my socks off! He is, indeed, the God of miracles and healing!

Just look at these miracles--

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Arrival of Jett Elliott

This post is a chronicling of Jett's birth story. If you aren't into details, you might want to skip it. I'm journaling about it for my own sake and for those who have asked. I hope it blesses and encourages those of you who took time to pray for our family. I believe wholeheartedly that my amazing and awesome experience was in direct result to hours of prayer and God's precious mercy upon me.

With all that said, let's dive in. (I'm going to include my Facebook status updates since we did a play-by-play for part of the event.)

FB post: January 26th at 10:43pm "coming soon....a baby boy!!! Going to the hospital at 5am...unless he kicks it into gear and decides to come in the middle of the night. How cool would that be?"

4:30am Auntie Pam arrived at our house to care for the twins and we left for the hospital.

5am We arrive and check-in. They tell me I'm actually on the schedule for 7:30am. What?! Slightly annoyed that we could have slept longer and not made Pam get up so early, we head downstairs to walk, walk, walk. We walked up and down hallways, exploring the wings of the hospital, took a break and watched some of an infomercial in a waiting area, had some neat talks, and then stopped by to get Joel some breakfast before going back to check-in for real.

FB post: 6:35am "At the hospital waiting and walking. Was told 5am but got here and they said I am on the schedule for 7:30. No prob. Providence? My mom arrives at 4:30. We appreciate prayers!!!"

7:30am We checked in for real and went to take care of some paperwork. We were walked to our labor and delivery room where our assigned nurse met us. My doctor walked in seconds later. They chatted about how we would proceed and I went to change into my lovely hospital gown. I was getting very excited since my doctor said she would break my water and we would do some low dose Pitocin. She had previously said no drugs and I was concerned that my body wouldn't respond (to the doctor's desire) without that intervention. I was almost certain that the Pitocin would help me along.

FB post: 7:58am "Here we go...in the room waiting to get started. Looks very favorable. Doc even said a little pit--I moved along last time with pit and an epidural. Very excited!!!!"
8am All decked out and ready, Joel and I got settled in. The L&D rooms are spacious and very comfy. We opened the window to see that Prestonwood, a nearby mega-church whose library we visit almost weekly, could be seen clearly. It's sort of a joke between Joel and I; Prestonwood is one of the few landmarks around (which annoys Joel, who was raised in rolling hill country).
8:30am My nurse returned to get my IV in place, a tech came to draw blood, and after we were all set, my doctor returned to break my water (Artificial Rupture of Membranes). Here's the second time for excitement--I didn't have to get my epidural before she broke my water. Again, I was a little concerned that my body wouldn't respond to the doctor's satisfaction. She told me they would do an epidural and then break my water. Just one day prior, when the anesthesiologist called, she said they would do my epidural first "in case there was a problem when they broke my water." So, being able to do things in a more natural progression was an encouragement to me.
Even before the ARM, my nurse asked me if I was feeling the contractions. Apparently I was having some and didn't know it. That was also encouraging!
9am Contractions began and were pretty regular. They were very mild but both baby and I were tolerating them well. My nurse moved me to a rocking chair, where she said I'd have more success dilating (and be more comfortable).
FB post: 9:17am "We're moving along. Love my nurse, love my doc. Having regular contractions. Hmmm..what to do while we're waiting..."

FB post: 9:23am
"Laughing through contractions is much better than all that deep breathing stuff. (Heather Garcia)"
10am As my nurse helped me to the bathroom, she asked if I was ready for the epidural. I responded with a "yes, soon." When I returned, my doctor was there to check on me. I climbed into bed and found out I had progressed to just 3cm. My doc did some 'stuff' internally to stimulate things and they put in an internal fetal monitor so they could better track my contractions and the baby's response. I quickly told the nurse I was ready for my epidural, especially if the doc was going to be doing that a lot more.

They increased my Pitocin and the contractions got a lot stronger. I reaffirmed to my nurse that I was really ready for my epidural. (Been there and done that with a Pitocin-induced delivery and no epidural. I learned my lesson 7 years ago!)

The anesthesiologist came and gave me some sweet relief! They increased my Pitocin level again and my contractions got stronger. Because the baby was facing sideways, my nurse propped me on my left side with my right leg in a stirrup. I was quite the sight! My contractions continued and I dozed for a little bit. Epidurals are great!
FB post: 11:40am "No news has meant strong contractions, getting an epidural, snoozing a little, and being propped to the side in hopes he will turn from sideways facing to rear facing. We r all doing well. 3 min apart and strong."
12pm My nurse rolled me off my side and checked me. I was dilated to 5cm, but the baby was still not turned and hadn't dropped down much. She rolled me onto my right side and stuck my left leg in a stirrup, hoping he would turn and drop causing me to dilate the rest of the way. She increased my Pitocin and I was having steady contractions about 3 minutes apart.

12:15pm The doctor came by to check on me. She was quite surprised to see how high the Pitocin was set. She and the nurse had a little discourse that went something like "What?" "Oh, that's low Pit for me; I guess your low and mine are different. She and the baby are both tolerating it well." "Okay, well let's not go any higher." The nurse filled her in and the doc said she'd come back later. As she left she said "usually the second 5cm goes faster than the first 5, so we'll see."
12:30pm I was feeling some contractions, so my nurse showed me how to up my epidural dosing. She told me to push the button if I was still having pain in 10 more minutes. I think she left to get some lunch, but she was monitoring me from the nurses' station.
12:40pm I pressed the button and tried to rest.

12:50pm I asked Joel if I should call the nurse. I was really, really, really feeling the contractions and was hurting. He informed me she said she'd be back in 10 more minutes. I tried breathing through the contractions and consoled myself with the fact that it wasn't as bad as it could have been since I did have an epidural.

1:00pm My nurse returned saying "you should be feeling those" as she walked through the door. I informed her, through near tears, that I was certainly feeling 'em. She said "Well, let's take a look" and pulled back the sheet covering me. Yep! She moved me from the stirrup and sidelying and checked me and not only had the baby turned, but he had descended and I was at 10cm. After putting my legs in stirrups and giving Joel and I a reminder on pushing, I pushed with the next 2-3 sets of contractions. Then, she let me and the baby rest for a few.

FB post: 1:04pm "Showtime! He's on his way."

1:10pm The nurse had me continue pushing. She kept saying "we'll see how you do this time and then call the doctor." (My doctor's office is down the opposite hallway from L&D--one of my favorite features of using this doc and this hospital!)

1:15pm The table with all the tools was wheeled in, two nursery nurses arrived, the bottom of my bed was removed, things got draped, my doctor got called, and Joel grabbed our cameras. Oh, and I asked for a mirror. Maybe that's gross to some, but I absolutely loved seeing Rylee enter the world and didn't want to miss this baby's grand entrance.


1:20pm My doctor arrived and said "Nurse's Name!" She was apparently very surprised that I was getting ready to pop out a baby! Through the course of discussion she revealed that she thought there was surely a problem when she was paged to my room because when she had come in just an hour earlier I was only at 5cm and the baby was still high and sideways.

1:25pm As the doctor prepped herself and got me all set, I took a little video. She asked Joel if he wanted to cut the cord and gave him a little tutorial. Epidurals rock!!!
She then told me to push with the next contraction. She looked at me and said, "Megan, you're having a VBAC."

1:28pm I think I pushed for two contractions and we welcomed Jett Elliott into the world! Of course, he had no name at that moment. That came about an hour later.
My nurse took my camera and snapped a few shots right after the baby came out. The nurses took Jett to clean him off while the doc did a tiny repair on me. I was overwhelmed with emotion. Things had moved so quickly in the last hour that I hardly had time to process that my greatest desire was coming true. I was having a success VBAC delivery. I cannot begin to explain how grateful I was in that moment.
1:40pm My doctor and my nurse cleaned things up and the nursery nurse handed me the baby. I snuggled with him and began nursing. It seemed that in a matter of moments it was just the three of us alone in our room. I stayed in L&D for an hour and a half, then Joel gathered our things and we were moved to a maternity room, where I stayed for the next two days.

FB post: 1:59pm "He's here! Mom and baby are snuggling. It's a beautiful thing. Details, a name and pics coming." (posted by Joel; I was a little busy and tired)

We ordered a late lunch before leaving L&D and they brought it to my room on the maternity floor just after we got settled. I was so exhausted, but as soon as I finished eating I had some more energy. The food was delicious!

4pm We rested and reflected. I was taken to the bathroom--needed help since one leg was still a little numb.

FB post: 4:46pm
"We are pleased to welcome Jett Elliott Fletcher - 8lbs 4.8 oz, 19+ inches born at 1:28PM CST." (again, added by Joel) Then, Joel posted a picture of Jett he had taken earlier.
5pm Our first visitors arrived. Ellie and Amy came. Ellie wanted to take pictures of the kids meeting their brother.

5:15pm Rylee arrived, thanks to my friend Tiffany.

5:30pm Jenna and Asa arrived, thanks for Auntie Pam and Uncle Jim.5:40pm Nana arrived, thanks to my friend Kristin.6:30pm Bit by big all the visitor left. Nana took the older 3 kids to get dinner with Auntie Pam and Uncle Jim and then took them all home for a good night's rest. The kids had been so excited. My friend Tiffany said Rylee was up at 4am with anticipation!FB post: 8:42pm Ellie posted all the pictures she had taken from earlier. "brand new baby: Jett Elliott Fletcher / 19.29 inches 8 lbs 4.9 oz Born at 1:28pm, January 27, 2011 / Photos: 118"

9pm We tried calling my mom to make sure all was well at home. After having no success, Joel ran home quickly to make sure things were okay. He left reassured after seeing everyone was soundly sleeping.

The next day Ellie did a blog post featuring Jett and his mama.

It was an absolutely amazing day punctuated with the handprints of our God. He gave me such a precious gift in our baby boy and then added to the blessings upon blessings by allowing me to have such an amazing experience for his birth. I couldn't have asked for a more wonderful day!