Monday, November 26, 2012

In a Year's Time: A Miscarriage and A Newborn

Around this time last November (the day before Thanksgiving to be exact), I was having a D & C procedure to make sure that everything was taken care of for the miscarriage that I was having.

And a year later, I'm holding a baby in my arms.

It's something that I don't quite understand.

I do believe that God is in control...and He always has been. Even though I don't understand why things happened the way that they did.

I don't understand why a lot of things happen...

I don't understand how those who don't necessarily want to get pregnant seem to be fertile myrtles, and those who are dying to have a baby of their own can't seem to get pregnant...and some even spend thousands of dollars on medicines to help them without a guarantee.

I just don't understand. I know that there is frustration involved...probably on both sides.

My heart goes out to the women who are like Hannah from the Bible. She desperately wanted a baby of her own...and no one around her seemed to understand...even her husband.

Proverbs 14:10 says,
New Living Translation (©2007)
Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can fully share its joy.

Hannah prayed she was sobbing...pouring out her heart to God...and she was a mess...a much so that she was accused of being drunk! 

After crying out to the Lord, God answered her prayers. (You can read more of Hannah's story by clicking here)

But that answer doesn't always happen that way for every woman who prays - even with that desperation. 

And that is what I don't understand...

My dad has a special faith to pray for women to have babies. I don't know why...but he does. One of my co-workers at Buras Middle School had severe medical issues and was told that she would never have kids of her own. My dad came to the school for a grandparents lunch to eat with my nephew...and my dad stopped by as I was talking to this lady. I told him she was hoping to have a baby, and he didn't know any of her circumstances...he just put his hand on her shoulder and said a simple prayer...

Later that year, she became pregnant and has a healthy little boy...despite what the doctors told her. 

But even all of his prayers don't get answered. 

There were 2 women that we prayed for every night at dinner time while I was growing up...literally, every evening...

And one of them had 2 children, and the other didn't. Even though my dad had prayed for both of them equally. (And these ladies are still best friends!!)

Faith requires believing without seeing what is ahead...trusting that things are going to work out...that God is working on my behalf...and that He has my best interest in mind. Even though it usually doesn't seem that way during the hard times!! That's what faith and trust are about. 

I'm thrilled to be holding my baby girl in my arms. I am finding myself savoring the moments even more now...I know that she is a miracle...and how quickly time will pass and she will no longer be so small. In just a few days she'll already be a month old. 

I'm thankful that God has chosen me to be a mother. I have accepted this role, and I know that these seasons of life will change before I realize it. 

I will continue to pray for my friends who desperately want children of their own...And I know you probably don't want to hear this, but it's so important to not get caught up in what you don't have...but focus on what you do...those in your life who need you now...the things that God has called you to do now. And I believe God is working on your behalf if you trust Him to. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Now It Is Part of Our Story...

I'm doing much better after my bout with Baby Blues.

I can't believe how good I feel after having a is just 2 weeks.

It's crazy to think that 2 weeks ago today, I had a baby in my belly. I'm so thankful that all of that pregnancy, labor & delivery stuff is behind me!!

God continues to bless us here in Colorado.

On Monday night at about 9 pm, I was on the phone with my parents. Just talking and catching up. About 9:30 pm, I told Lee that Bella needed a few things for her lunch at school the next day, so he made his mental list and opened the front door to go to the store.

There on our doorstep was a jumbo pack of pampers swaddlers size 1 diapers...

Written in black marker, it simply said, "God bless!"

No other knock on the door to say they were there.

It brought tears to my eyes. I know that whoever left those diapers there had to get in touch with someone (like Shawn & Amy) to find out where we live...but I'm ok with the anonymity. The mystery of it all makes it all the more exciting.

I've heard stories of this happening to other it is part of our story. 

And we know that we are living a story worth telling.  It's not easy at times. But a good story is built on conflict, climax, and's what keeps you turning the page to find out what happens next.

Most of the time, I'm not sure what's going to happen next. I don't know how God is going to provide. But I know that He is. And most of the time when I haven't driven myself crazy by worrying, I'm excited to turn the start the next day...and see what He is going to do.

From family, neighbors, and friends, we've been given over 200 diapers - more than enough for the first month of Breelee's life. Plus, we've been given so many other things for her...and we're still getting checks in the mail to get other things for her that we need.

And as humbling as it is at times...God is using other people to make our story better. We were not created to write our story alone or for ourselves. We were meant to live and share our lives with those around inspire each encourage each other...

We want to continue living a life worth telling...

Monday, November 12, 2012

Baby Blues

I did great for the first week. I felt great. Physically, emotionally, even spiritually...I was doing good.

Then Friday rolled around. A week and a day after I had Breelee...

And the baby blues hit me like an avalanche.

I cried all day long. About everything.

It started with a frustrating moment with our trash pick up service (or lack thereof)...which is a whole different story...but anyways, that frustration triggered an onset of emotions.

Frustration brought on tears...and then the tears didn't stop all day. Everything made me cry.

Then I started feeling homesick. It's cold here. The holidays are approaching...and I haven't seen my family since May. And I know it will be a while before I get to see them again. And everyone is going to be at my parents house for Thanksgiving this year...even those who haven't been in years...

And it's hard in a hormonal, emotional state to decipher what's reality and what's fleeting emotions.

At least I was aware that no major decisions would be made on Friday or Saturday (yes, the crying continued into part of Saturday, too).

I know my hormones are going through a 3-ring circus right now. Everything is changing in me physiologically...which is affecting my emotions...and I refuse to make decisions based on my emotions alone.

So, I just cried.

I couldn't talk to Lee without tearing up about whatever words were coming out of my mouth...if I could even get the words out of my mouth - whether that was about the stupid trash or which neighbor was bringing dinner over that night or the beautiful table that he refinished...everything - good or bad - had me a big ball of mess.

And then part of me feels like it was just the slightest bit spiritual. Just a little. I hate over-spiritualizing things.

But, I had just written a blog post the day before about how much peace we felt from God in our house. Now, looking back, I feel like that was being challenged by the enemy. And I feel like I didn't rely enough on God in my crazy state of emotions.

I'm not beating myself up about this now...I started feeling much better yesterday, and then last night we had dinner with Shawn & Amy, and we laughed together, and they encouraged us, and we walked from their house to our house feeling refreshed...

I did journal on Friday and Saturday. I did write honestly about how I was feeling...even if it was irrational. And I believe that is part of what helped me through this bout of baby blues. And I know that when I look back on it in a few days I'll be able to learn even more about myself in that experience.

(*Side note - now when I want to journal and the kids are awake, I turn on some worship music and get out a notebook for each of them and they draw and "write" like I's a good time for all of us.)

 Hormones are a crazy part of pregnancy and post-partumn. They can wreak havoc on a woman and affect the rest of her family as well. I do not want to stifle my emotions, but I refuse to let them control me. I don't feel like I did or thought anything that I regret - I didn't act on those emotions. That's why journaling is so safe for me. I can process it first that way.

* I can say that after having Bella, I now think that I had post-partumn depression and just didn't get treated. The description of it says that if you don't want to take care of your baby or yourself, then you have it. Well, my problem was that I wanted to take care of her, and nursing wasn't working out for us. I cried too much...even though I was taking care of her and myself ok. I still should have gotten help. (Don't let that be the part of the description that is keeping you from getting help if you need it!!)

This is a whole new experience for us...3 kids...1400 miles away from all we've ever known...a new community...a new way of really is a whole new trusting God experience.

But, we are living a story worth telling. And even when my emotions are in a chaotic state, I can trust God that He has my best interest in mind.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Week 1 with a Newborn...

Breelee is officially one week old.

She's been a part of the outside world for a whole week now. a whole week!

God has really given me grace for this time around post-partumn.

This is the best I've's unbelievable to me.

I've hardly had the baby blues...I have only cried a couple of times. My hormones feel pretty balanced.

Physically, I feel great. I mean, I'm still a little sore...and my back hurts as my hips are readjusting, but I am getting around great. Ladies, this is a bonus for going natural!! :)

Breelee is a phenomenal sleeper. I don't want to take that for granted at all. At all...

Bella was a fussy baby from the get-go...Brennan had his days and nights mixed up and was nursing every 2 hours. But this girl...she likes to sleep (definitely her momma's child there!) Since we've been using the gas drops, she's been sleeping 3 hours...wakes up, nurses...and stays away for 20 minutes or so and then goes back to sleep. Hallelujah!! Last night, she slept for 4 hours, nursed, went back to sleep for 4 more I slept great! I'm soooo thankful for that.

I can say that being prepared before hand - the whole "knowing my trigger points"- has helped tremendously...(click here to read that blog post)

I'm glad that I got my hair cut before really has helped me feel better. I love it and it's super easy to fix...but it has made me feel more like I'm just glad that I didn't wait until after she was born...

Also, I have been doing my make-up every day, even if I'm just staying at home and I know no one is coming just helps me feel good.

And, since I hadn't gained a ton of weight this time, my belly has shrunk tremendously. Clothes still don't fit the same since my hips feel about a mile apart from each other...but I have 2 black maternity t-shirts that I'm wearing the threads out of. They fit really good and I feel good wearing them. So, I just make sure that I wash one soon enough to wear the next day...because they have both been spit up on already :)

And with the flexibility that we have right now, Lee is able to be home to help me as much as he can. It's wonderful being together as a family of 5. We really are the Fantastic Five. Our kids love Breelee...they are thrilled to have her here. And because she's such a wonderful sleeper, I'm able to lay her in her Rock and Play sleeper (thanks to my Mom and Dad!!) and spend time snuggling and playing with Bella and Brennan. It's been fabulous.

Thank you to all who have prayed for our family. Sure, it has been sad knowing we are sooo far from friends and family. I'm thankful for Skype and FaceTime, but it's not the same as my mom and dad actually getting to hold my newest little girl...or having everyone come over to our house.

We've been blessed to be a part of a great community and family here, though. The Thornton family (living here as a transplant from Vidalia) brought a meal to church for us on Sunday, and Amy was able to bring it to us on her way home. Lara, our friend and fellow member of our launch team, came over last night and cooked for us and watched tv with us (which is one of our favorite things to do)...and then Rachel, a neighbor who lives down the street (living here so her husband can go to seminary), brought us dinner tonight. And there are other friends who are planning on bringing food, too!! Plus, our neighbor Kelly has come to get Bella to play with her 3 year old daughter...which makes Bella very excited!!! We are just so blessed by all of this - even at 1400 miles away from home!!

Thanks also to all of you who have blessed us financially. We've been given things for the baby...including diapers!!! And the cards and checks that come in the mail are so encouraging...and knowing that God is taking care of us during this time is encouraging us more than you'll ever know. He is our provider...and He uses His people to be a part of His provision. It is humbling and exciting all at the same time!

There is a great sense of peace that is permeating our home. We know that the presence of God is here with us. It's almost a good way...such a beautiful thing. When it could be chaotic and out of control...we are resting fully in the fact that we know that God is with us, and He is in control.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

So I Had a Baby...

Highlights of Baby Blakney #3

I would love to write the detailed story of Breelee Claire Blakney's entrance into the world, but honestly, so much has happened in the past 6 days of her life...I feel like in journaling when I haven't written for a long time and I try to play catch's almost overwhelming...

So, I'm just going to write a few highlights and work on the story as I can...

1. My contractions started around 6:30 am on Thursday, November 1st...NOT Halloween...and I delivered her at 2:07 pm on Thursday, November 1st.
I am so thankful that it was a faster process than the last 2 times, but my hurt.

2. I was able to deliver epidural. Oh my word it hurt...I screamed a whole lot more this time than I did in the last 2 deliveries combined. Lee had to help hold one of my legs while the nurse held the other. He did such a great job. He was a constant encourager and comforted me just enough during the whole process.

3. Breelee weighed 8 lbs and 8 oz and was 21 inches long. They let me hold her for a very long time before they took her over to take her measurements...and then they brought her right back. Her skin was so soft and smooth...she's perfect...and we decided her middle name at the hospital...

4. We have wonderful friends who took care of our kids. It was such a relief knowing that they were ok...they were happy and comfortable. Lara came over early Thursday to stay with Brennan while Bella was at school...and then she and Renee stayed with them that night...and Renee stayed with them at Shawn & Amy's on Friday night. It was so comforting knowing they were ok!!!

Lara and Amy brought Bella & Brennan to see Breelee at the hospital on Thursday (and they brought me & Lee Five Guys!!) The first thing both kids asked me was, "Mom, are you ok?" It was the exact time that Breelee came back to us from the initial nursery check in. Bella was interested for a few seconds...but Brennan was in love. In Love. He sat on my lap and said, "Mom, I want her..." and while I was helping him hold her, he put his hand on mine and said, "No, Mom, I want her..." Shawn & Amy brought them back on Friday, and they were just as thrilled...I'm sooo glad that my babies love each other!!!

5. My recovery was amazing. Girls, if you can go it!! I was up and walking around our hospital room within hours. (You cannot do that with an epidural...) We had a wonderful nurse, Emily, who got us all set up and spent a lot of time with us. I just felt alert...I was a little sore, but considering what I had just gone was nothing! I just felt great...and I still feel great!

6. Our parenting confidence levels are out of the roof!!! Lee & I were so cool, calm, and collected. The experience of being parents of 2 has let us know that everything is going to be ok. Of course there have been a few new things with this little one, but we know that it's all going to be ok. Breelee nursed well, but not consistently. This drove me crazy with Bella...even with Brennan...but now I know that she's going to eat when she's ready...and if she's pooping and peeing...she's good! By the way...Lee changed her first poop diaper - just like he did for the other 2! He's such a great dad!!!!

7. We were able to share our story with nurses and doctors...and we feel really blessed with the doctors we have found here. They've been wonderful to us. We brought Breelee in for a routine 3 day check up. She is doing great...and there were a few concerns about mucus and gas (she's screamed for an hour every night - even in the hospital)...but the doctor put us at ease. That's priceless.

8. Lee's parents surprised us and flew in on Saturday and were here not long after we got home from the hospital. They were able to play with Bella and Brennan...hold Breelee...and Bro. Rob was able to help Lee with our new dining table project (which I will be posting about soon!) It was a great help and relief to have them here!

And thanks to technology, I was able to talk to my parents soon after the baby was we'll be able to FaceTime and Skype and keep up with us!!

9. Lee & I are referring to ourselves as Team Blakney and we are the Fantastic 5...we feel like we really are. We feel like we are blessed...we are going to have a blast raising 3 great kids to love and serve God. We know that we are going to have our challenges, but we also know that God has given us grace and responsibility to be a family of 5.

10. God has blessed us with another happy, healthy baby. She's beautiful. She's already gained 6 oz since she left the hospital. She sleeps a lot...she is nursing well...and after using the gas drops before every feeding, she had a wonderful night without crying...which means we all had a great night.

Go Team Blakney!!! Thanks for keeping up with the Fantastic Five!!!