Tummy Troubles, Take 2

We are back in the land of “tummy troubles”. Little Sarge is having pretty much identical issues that his big sister had. Which leaves me pretty much zero time to blog, but I wanted to get a quick update posted while I am sitting here holding him after he went through a bad spell of discomfort.

Life is pretty challenging at this time as we try to figure out what Sarge needs to make him as comfortable as possible through the worst of all this. We’ve had differing opinions from different doctors which has made things interesting and confusing. In the end, we made decisions based off what we have already seen be successful in the past.

Bottom line is this: I have absolutely no control over what my babies are exposed to in the womb. All three of my babies are products of very toxic wombs. However, once my babies are born and placed in my arms, I do every thing within my power to give them the very best. Figuring out what is best is hard especially when I have two different doctors, both of which I respect, telling me to do different things!

Another bottom line: All of this is temporary. Sarge’s tummy troubles, our chaotic lives and the crazy circumstances 2014 has been for our family. It’s all temporary. Sarge will not be a little writhing-in-pain-infant for forever. Our family will find a new normal. And God continues to have His hand on us as we navigate these waters He is bringing us through this year.

I really hope I can find the time soon to write Sarge’s monthly updates! I really want to have record of that. I hope to find time for that this week.

His Grace is Sufficient

It became apparent to me while we were still in Sarge’s birth city that I was going to have to fully rely on the LORD to fill in my gaps as a mother through this trial.

We got the call to come to Sarge’s birth city in the middle of the night. At this point we still didn’t 100% know if the birth mother was planning to place with us or not, so after I hung up from the call, Dave and I just looked at each other in a daze and I remember asking Dave, “So, do we go…now?”.

Minutes later I was throwing items into a bag and going to wake my brother to tell him we were leaving and he was responsible for the girls. He had fallen asleep on the couch. I gave him the monitor and he went to his room. Those moments were so surreal I didn’t even think about going in the girls’ bedrooms to tell them goodbye. I wouldn’t have woken them but later as we were driving down the highway in the middle of the night, it was very eerie to me that I had left, not only the house but the city, and had not told the girls I was leaving.

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Obviously, I knew they were in good hands with my brother. Later I learned that Little Bug had woken in the night to a bad dream. She had dreamed that mean chickens were after her. Uncle ran in to her room to calm her down and she did ask why I hadn’t come. Not wanting to tell Little Bug in the middle of the night that I wasn’t there he just said, “I heard you crying and came.” She was satisfied with that answer and went right back to sleep.

Little did I know that Friday was forever my last day with “just my girls”. My last memory of it just being me and the girls was a walk we had taken in our neighborhood, which is pretty much an every day occurrence around here! The girls had stopped along the way to pick up treasures.

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That week had been pretty stressful as we were living in limbo not knowing what was going to happen concerning this baby. The day ended with us letting the girls have fun playing in the kiddie pool in the backyard. After they were in bed for the night, I took 3 hours to clean the house including washing the carseat cover that a friend had given me “just incase”. Because it had been a crazy week, I had gotten behind in housework and I wanted it all caught up for the weekend.

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Had I known when I tucked my girls in to bed that Friday night that I would be leaving in the night and not returning for four weeks, I’m pretty sure I would have been a basket case. Moments like these remind me why God doesn’t allow us to see the future. That would have been too much to handle.

We didn’t really know what to expect when we arrived at the hospital but it soon became abundantly clear that this mother had every intention of placing this baby with us and this was really happening!

One of my last conversations with this mother before the baby was born was about coming to our city to have the baby. When we arrived and baby had already been born we realized we were once again going to have a child in the NICU with our other children in a different city. Because the girls’ NICU stays were just a week or a little over a week, we naively thought Sarge’s NICU stay would be about a week long, too.

And then we learned about his medical condition and I knew we were here for the long haul.

What could I do about having a baby in the NICU for who knows how long and suddenly being ripped away from my girls?!

Trust in the Lord.

It’s all I could do.

I knew they would be just fine with my parents, and they were, but it really plays with a mother’s heart to feel torn between her children like that.

As time wore on and we didn’t know how long Sarge’s NICU stay was going to be, I had to turn my mind off to the girls and put it completely on Sarge. That was a hard decision to make, but I knew I had a baby in the NICU who desperately needed a mother’s touch and God had obviously called me to be his mother! I had to trust His grace would be sufficient as I was suddenly absent from my girls’ every day life.

Social media kept us in touch with the girls but when I wasn’t talking to them on the phone or sending them a Snapchat, I wouldn’t allow my mind to think about them much at all because it was too painful and I knew my calling in those days was to be there for Sarge.

God’s grace would have to be sufficient for my girls.

And it was.

When we arrived home with Sarge twenty-seven days later we left one set of chaotic circumstances for another set! Life was anything but normal and, once again, even though all three of my children were finally under one roof, I still felt completely torn between the girls and Sarge.

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It quickly became clear to me that taking care of all three simultaneously was going to be an impossible task.

What could I do about wanting nothing more than to be able to take care of all of my children by myself, but knowing in reality that was an impossibility?

Enlist help and trust God to fill in my gaps!

I seriously don’t know what we would be doing if not for my mom who has totally given of herself to us during this time. When I was freaking out about not knowing how we were going to do this she told me, “I will help. This is my ministry right now and I will be here to help for as long as you need.”

And so my mom (and dad), Dave and myself have basically tag teamed to care for everyone since we arrived home. We take shifts with Sarge and I have made the girls my priority this past week because they desperately needed me after being away from them for 4 weeks. In all the chaos I have tried to give them the order and structure they are used to. We have gone on walks in the neighborhood and read books together.

There has been guilt for me that I can’t give my all to any of my children!

I have learned through this that Mommy Guilt is of the devil!

I know in my heart that I am simultaneously doing what is best for all three of my children right now and that is all that matters. God’s grace truly is sufficient to fill in my gaps during this season.

Before I know it there will be a roly poly baby boy joining us during our book time, neighborhood walks and homeschooling. But right now, it’s all about getting Sarge well, finding our new normal and relying on God for our everything.

Being in a place of total dependency upon God is a very good place to be.

saying no

Even if I could begin to tell the story of how Sarge came to be our son, I don’t know that I would even know where to begin. Well, I do know the story begins on January 22, 2014 – one of the darkest days of my life to date. And it wasn’t because we had to say no to adopting Sarge on that day. That day would come on March 26, 2014.

We said no, we could not and would not be adopting Sarge and the main reason why was because of what had happened on January 22nd.

Saying no to adopting Sarge on March 26th was the right thing to say on that day. It did nearly break my heart in two to have to say no, but we knew there was no other way but to say no.

One of the profound truths about God that we have learned through the events of this year is that God’s plans prevail no matter what.

It’s right there in Scripture. Proverbs 19: 21 says Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’S purpose that prevails.

We said no. We had to say no. It was the right thing in that moment to say no. But God knew all along Sarge was our son and He was going to have to move mountains to place him in our family.

And He did it. He performed not one, but two miracles, to place Sarge in our family. If you are following the Lord and truly desire to live according to HIS will for your life, God leads you exactly where you need to go. You can’t make a wrong choice because as only God can do, He weaves the mess of our lives into His perfect plan.

That is what we have seen over this past year and it is astounding to see God work like that.

As I saw these miracles unfolding before my eyes I knew one day I would need to proclaim to anyone willing to listen what God has done. That time is coming. The story I will have to tell will be extremely hard to tell at certain parts. I am going to have to be extremely vulnerable but it’s all for God’s glory and I literally can’t keep quiet about what God has done.

January to April of this year I operated in survival mode and here I am again operating in survival mode. Anytime life changes in the blink of an eye, it throws our lives into chaos for a season and it just takes time to find a new normal. Our family has had to find its new normal twice this year and I know it is just a matter of time before we settle into a family of five and Sarge overcomes these obstacles.

Thank you for continuing to pray for us.

Welcome to the Circus

Life is pretty much a circus right now and yesterday I lost all control of the many balls I was trying to juggle and crashed. It wasn’t pretty. Coming off 4 weeks of a very traumatic experience where I was basically running off adrenaline 24/7 and having to constantly be "on my game" and then being thrown into sleepless nights once we finally got home, was a recipe for disaster. I was in bed all day yesterday allowing my body to have some recovery time from all that stress. I don’t know what we would do without my parents who are helping us run this circus act until life becomes "normal" again.

Sarge has rough times but he also has times of peace. He had his first pedi appointment this morning and he had gained 8oz from where he was at discharge on Thursday! So he currently weighs 6lbs 10oz. His pedi was greatly impressed with that weight gain and it was a huge sigh of relief to me to see that he IS growing although eating is still a HUGE chore for him.

His pedi put him on a new formula because of his gas and reflux problems. Yes, the expensive kind that both girls had to be on as well. We are praying that the formula switch along with seeing a chiropractor and using essential oils on him will be the recipe for relief for him from the gas/reflux.

He is still have latching issues and takes FOR-E-VER to eat. He prefers latex nipples like in the NICU. We could not find Dr Brown latex nipples in the stores but Dave found some latex nipples on line that fit the Dr Brown bottles.

Prayers are so appreciated.

Home

We arrived home with Sarge Thursday very late.

Continued prayers over our sweet boy are so apparent as he has surprised us all with how well he is doing. I know it’s because of the prayers for our family through this.

Please continue to pray for Sarge’s complete healing.

More later. Smile

How you can pray for Sarge.

Sarge is going through drug withdrawals and it is a pitiful sight. He is receiving morphine every 3 hours to help with the pain of withdrawal. He is also feeding from a feeding tube because he cannot eat from a bottle efficiently yet. He did take 15cc’s from a bottle. His feeds are 60cc’s at this time.

We are 2.5 hours away from home, which means we are not with the girls. While we know they are absolutely fine with their grandparents, we miss them terribly. This was so unexpected and we left in the middle of the night to come here, so I didn’t have time to even talk to the girls and prepare them for what was going to happen. They are doing well though and miss their mommy, daddy and baby brother.

They are both absolutely smitten with Sarge.

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Sarge was on a ventilator at birth, but he no longer is now.

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My baby is a big sister?!? The fact we have a third child, and a SON, is still sinking in!

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The moment we learned his birth mother had signed her rights to us.

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The protocol for taking care of babies in this condition has changed drastically since Little Bug and Sweet Pea went through this. We are able to hold him and I am even able to do kangaroo care with him for multiple hours per day. He loves that and so do I.

Right now, you can pray for Sarge as his little body goes through these withdrawals. Pray for his feeding issues. And pray for strength for us as we are by Sarge’s side as he goes through this while missing our girls terribly. This is hard. Very hard.

But God’s grace is sufficient and due to the circumstances of how he ended up in our arms, there is no doubt in our minds that God is still walking this journey with us and is NOT leaving us. He is giving us daily strength and He will bring complete healing to Sarge.

Thank you for your prayers.