Monday, September 22, 2014

Double Blessings

            I've never been shy about how much I adore every single one of my sister-in-laws.  They truly are sisters to me and each one is so, so dear to my heart.

             My very first sister-in-law is Laura and my relationship with her has blessed me more than I can ever say.  She's become one of my closest friends.  We both knew each other's hearts to be blessed with another baby and spent a long time praying for that very thing.  We were overjoyed to find out within a week of each other that we were expecting.  We were even more thrilled to find out we were due only one day apart!!!

             It has been more fun than I can say to go through this pregnancy with Laura!  We are both going to the same midwife clinic and are planning on delivering at the same hospital.  We've lined up our appointments together so it's so much fun to carpool together.  The best part has been having someone who never grows tired of talking about the ups, the downs, the hopes, the fears without end.  To have someone right where you are is loads of fun!

          I can't believe how close we are now!!!  Laura is due in four days and I'm due in five.  It's unbelievable to me how close we are to having these babies in our arms.  I can't wait to watch these precious little ones grow up together.  I will always look back on this pregnancy with so much fondness.  What a blessing it has been!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Just For a Little While

          What an interesting week it has been.  As we eagerly await the arrival of our precious baby, we were also faced with the reality of saying good-bye to one of the dearest women alive, my grandma. 

          Growing up with a grandma like her was such a gift.  She always encouraged, always was gentle, always had a smile, always was thinking of something special to do for you.  Even though Grandma and "Boppa" lived and hour and a half away, they were tremendously involved in our lives, even becoming very involved in the lives of our friends. 

(Grandma and little Lydia)
              As a grandma, she couldn't be improved upon in any way.  Then she became a Great-Grandma and exceeded all known possibilities of greatness.  Soon after Lydia was born, Grandma and Boppa moved in with my parents who live, literally, just down the road from us.  We never could have imagined the blessing that would bring to us all.  Grandma's world was the people she loved, and her great-grandbabies got every drop of love from her that she could possibly give.

(Baby Bethany)
            One of the many blessings of knowing Grandma and Boppa was getting to witness one of the greatest love stories ever.  These two lived out every day what it meant to truly be in love and to sacrificially love each other.  Every word spoken between them was kind and loving, and every shared look was endearing or flirtatious.  I've never known a couple more young at heart and I'll cherish the memories of their constant flirtations all my life.  Thinking of my sweet Boppa carefully leading Grandma by the arm gently and patiently wherever they went was such a precious sight.
         While Great-Gran loved every single one of her "grands and great-grands" as much as anyone could possibly imagine, there was a very special bond between Grandma (Marjorie) and her namesake, Esther Marjorie, who was also born on her birthday.  Those two were two peas in a pod and I don't know if there was any way to tell who adored each other more.  We were blessed with three priceless birthdays to celebrate these two together.  It's hard to imagine next June without Esther's birthday buddy.  Even during Grandma's last hours, Esther loved to be by her side, holding her hand or stroking her arm.  Esther was one of the very last people Grandma responded to at the very end when we didn't think she was responsive at all. 
            Grandma's body starting shutting down just a few short weeks ago and the final days she declined so rapidly I think we were all somewhat in shock.  All she had to say up to the end though was how blessed she was and how much she loved everyone around her.  We were able to kiss her, love her, say our good-byes and then hours later she was gone.  She was 92 years old.   
           Having Grandma in our lives was such a gift, such a treasure that it feels so selfish to wish for even one more moment with her.  We cry because life without her feels just a little less beautiful.  But really that's not true.  Because of her we learned to appreciate the sweet smell of every rose, the value of every child's silly song, the joy of playing "piggies".  She made this world more beautiful for all of us. 
           Grandma knew Jesus as her Lord and Savior and was ready to meet Him.  The thought of her in heaven fills us with joy!  One of my girls said it best when they said, "We are so sad Great-Gran is gone, but the only sad part is that we have to wait to see her.  Soon we will all be together and we'll never be sad again.".  We miss you now Grandma!  But we'll see in in just a little while!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Birth Plan 6.0

        It's so, so unbelievable to me that I'm here facing a birth plan again!!!  This baby is such a huge answer to prayer and every day that brings us closer and closer to meeting this precious miracle just humbles me and makes me giddy! 

          This probably sounds silly to a lot of you, but is feels like it's been a long time since I've done this!  I told David just the other day, "I hope I remember what to do!  I feel like I need a class or something!"  Thankfully his confidence in me is much more substantial than mine is.

          Starting with what is not changing this time around.  We are heading back to the same hospital that I've been at with each of my babies and with the same midwife clinic.  This combo has been such a great, great fit for us. 

          We are praying again for another natural birth.  As previously stated, I'm no great lover of pain, but the birth experience is something I wouldn't trade and honestly, I think I'm more afraid of a giant needle in my back and half of my body being numb than the pain!  So far I'm at three births with Pitocin, two births without.  I'd love, love, love to have another without.  I've never doubted that it has only been given when it was needed, but Pitocin is NO FUN!!! 

          David is my rock during labor and delivery.  To be honest, birthing times have had their highs and lows on our relationship.  He is not an emotional, softy kind of guy and he has learned soooooo much as the years have gone on.   He's a superstar now and has a master's degree on how I need to be supported during this time.

             Now onto what will be different this time.  For Ella's birth my sister Mary joined us which was a wonderful experience.  For all the other births we've loved it just being the two of us.  This time we spent a lot of time praying about the possibility of inviting others to join in this birth or just to keep it to ourselves again.  We had great peace about inviting a few new members to our birthing team this time!

            Rachel is my second sister and one of my best, best friends.  She is a rock star auntie and has one of the most beautiful, sincere hearts for Jesus that I've ever seen.  I'm so excited to share this time with her!!! 

           The next decision took a lot of prayer and a lot of wisdom.  We decided to invite.....

          Our sweet oldest girlies, Lydia and Bethany!  I'm so, so, so excited to have them be a part of this.  These girls have been such an encouragement and support for me during this pregnancy.  Their unending willingness to help and serve me every single day just brings me to tears at times.  They've prepped, asked a million questions and are ready to go!  I can't wait to share this time with them!
          As always, I'm so grateful that our plans are not the Lord's plans and that He is an all knowing, all powerful God!!!
         Only 18 days until due date!!!!!!!!!  I'm sooooooo ready to meet this little person.