Thursday, June 27, 2013

Life Lately

Life has been busy in our little world. The good kind of busy. The busy that involves the daily doings of raising four children, sharing conversation and community with friends that we cherish, and really just celebrating life. All the many parts of it.

Somewhere in the span of the calendar pages turning, Boss and I celebrated ten years of marriage. A decade of love. To be honest, the night we had set aside to celebrate together did not go as planned. Luke was two weeks old at the time, we were tired, and we both said things that we should not have said. But at the end of the day, there is still no one else on earth that I would rather be sharing my days with. Both the good days and the bad ones. For me, Boss is it. And I thank God that he feels the same way about me. We ended our anniversary with I'm sorry and I love you. And I looked into the eyes of the man that I love and I prayed for many decades more.

Two weeks after our anniversary, this little fella turned one month old.

Luke is such a sweet little love. He reminds me most of his biggest sister, as he is a content, quiet little guy. Unless he wants to eat. Then he makes sure you are aware of his hunger. For the first time ever I am committed to nursing, and I will say that I love seeing my tiny guy begin to fill out. Our bodies are awesome and this entire process of pregnancy, birth, and then nursing my infant for nourishment reminds me every single day that there is a God. The way he designed the creation and sustainment of life is nothing short of amazing to me.

What else?

Yesterday this sparkly eyed girl turned seven. Seven years old. Kate was our most challenging child during the first two years of her life, but she has grown up to be the most charming and delightful little girl! She is a wonderful daughter and the very best sister. I love her so much and I am blessed to be her mama.

Jack is now potty trained. We started working on it the very same week that we brought Luke home from the hospital. You know. Because I had nothing else on my agenda. But I am so proud of my biggest boy! He may or may not have recently gotten in trouble for showing every single person that he meets his new underwear (which involves dropping his drawers for all the world to see), but in his defense, Batman is pretty cool.

And then there is Emma. She is such a help to me! The perfect oldest child to our crew. Lately she is maturing so much and growing up before my very eyes. I am thankful she is mine.

 So that is a glimpse into the life of our family lately. Our life that is good, and sweet, and exhausting, and challenging, and hard, and wonderful all wrapped up in one. And I am thankful for all of it. For every one of our days together.

Recently our church family lost a wonderful man. Boss and I often list the couples ahead of us in this life that we admire, that we want to grow to be like and to model our family life and marriage after. Only two couples ever make our list. This man and his wife are one of those two couples and my heart is so saddened over his passing. But I will tell you this. Knowing him and now watching his wife tread through these dark days so gracefully, most definitely makes me want to know God more deeply. Knowing them makes me want to live each day more fully. Together. As a family.

I know that the Lord is at work. All around us and in our family. And I am so very thankful for this life that I have been given and for the people that I am blessed to share it with.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Monday, June 10, 2013

Loving Luke (A Birth Story)

On May 16, 2013 my heart grew just a little bit bigger when I held my fourth child for the very first time. A boy, our second son. Our Luke.

That morning I rose early. I knew I was going to  meet my new son that day and my mind would not rest. Boss and I lingered as we readied for the day, making the bed and putting away laundry. We talked of how when we came back to our home in the next two days that we would be coming back as a family of six. We talked of how adding Luke into our lives made everything in the world seem a little bit better. A little bit brighter. More complete. We finished dressing and packing our three older children for their time away at Grammies, and then we came together as a family and prayed. We thanked God for his creation of family and we thanked him for the new blessing that we would be welcoming that afternoon. We asked him to keep us safe while we were apart. And then our children left. And I cried (smile).

Boss and I checked in at the hospital at ten am, prepared for our induction to start at eleven am. Upon arrival we learned that we were looking at a two hour wait and we were told to come back at noon. Boss and I got some breakfast, we alerted friends and family of the delay, and then we sat quietly, content to simply be together. It was crazy how much love I felt for that man in those moments. A decade of love seemed to pass in the blink of an eye and here we were welcoming baby number four. Crazy.

We arrived back at the hospital at noon and I was taken into a room at twelve thirty. Room 3103. Now forever a sacred place in my heart. I looked at the empty isolette that would soon be holding my new son and I began to get excited! Boss and my darling friend were brought back shortly before one and by one thirty Pitocin was started and my bag of waters was broken.

 Luke did not tolerate the Pitocin well. With many of the contractions his heart rate would drop. The machine would sound and my heart would drop, too. The Pitocin was turned off and there was talk of a C-section if Luke continued to not tolerate labor well. My sweet nurse rolled me onto my stomach in hopes that that would help things to progress more smoothly. I believe I laid there for around two hours resting and praying that our baby boy would remain strong. I greatly wanted to be able to push him into this world.

Around five thirty pm things began to feel different and I knew that we were getting close. One of my most favorite parts of child birth is when the room becomes busy. When people start bustling about, preparing beds, and tying on scrubs for delivery. There is an energy to the room at that point and it always gives me the spark that I need to press on when I am beginning to feel the most weary. The doctor I had that day was super great, my nurse super kind. My friend was smiling by my side and Boss was whispering sweet nothings in my ear as they prepared the room for delivery. It was a grey day, cloudy, but just as I began to push, the sun poked through the clouds and warm rays of sunshine poured through the hospital window and filled room 3103 with a sweet glow. Boss whispered to me that since Luke's name meant light, he loved that just as our light was about to fill our lives that light was also filling the beautiful space around us.

As with each of my other children, I pushed for just a brief moment in time and then I was holding my new son. At five fifty pm, Luke Wesley took his first breaths and my life changed forever for the better. For the next hour Boss and I snuggled Luke and marveled at him. We took in the blink blinks of his eyes, counted his tiny fingers and toes, and found him to be absolutely perfect and amazing. Our precious baby number four.

My absolute favorite moments of that day were when our older children entered the room and took in their new sibling for the very first time. They each had a different reaction, one perfectly suited to their differing personalities. The first moments we spent together as a family of six were not perfect. I did not get the perfect picture. Jack was unimpressed. Yet still, they were my favorite moments. Ones I hope to close my eyes and recall for years to come. Because in those moments we were us. The new us, for the very first time. Our perfectly imperfect family. My dream come true.

Luke has added a new sweetness to our lives.

He is such a tiny little guy with a quiet, easy going spirit and soulful, inquisitive eyes. As with each of our other children, it is hard to remember that we ever lived life without him. Sometimes, when we are out and about, I want to pinch myself. I count the four little people that belong to me and I know that I am living it. My dream come true. And I am convinced that life does not get better than this. Loving Luke has been easy. It's as though it has always been.

Welcome to the world, Luke. Our lives are forever better because you are now in them.