Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Blessing of a Little Life... Everlynn's Birth Story

My sweet Everlynn Sarah turned one today. It reminded me of the wonderful miracle of her birth. I thought I would share that with you tonight. :-)


I'll never forget the moment I found out I was pregnant with you. I was going to concoct some elaborate scenario to tell your Papa, but I ended up squealing and showing him the pregnancy test. From the first moments of excitement, i just knew you were going to be a girl.

I started throwing up early. It was just really rough. My day consisted of waking up, throwing up, eating breakfast, throwing up, eating lunch, throwing up, sleeping, eating dinner, throwing up, going to bed. And starting everything over again the next day. Even in the midst of 9 months of sickness, I still was so grateful for your little life and couldn't wait to hold you! I was however, extremely grateful for a wonderful group of supportive midwives as well as the opportunity to have you at one of the best and natural hospitals in the nation.

When you were about 18 weeks, we went to go for your ultrasound to see if you were a boy or girl, and make sure everything was growing properly. I'll never forget the moment when they said "It's a girl". I just KNEW it! I quickly imagined all the pink, frilly clothing, and shopping trips together. :-)

But that was quickly followed by concerns from the doctors that you weren't growing properly, especially your head. It was something that your Papa and I went to our knees in prayer for more than once. It was so hard waiting for each sonogram. I was so relieved after the third ultrasound when they gave you a clean bill of health. Who knows, maybe they were wrong in the first place, or maybe God healed whatever issue you were dealing with? No matter what, we know God is powerful and totally capable. :-)

After that was over, we were able to totally enjoy looking forward to your arrival, even in the midst of sickness! Our church threw a beautiful shower for you and your Grandmama and Great Grandma ("GiGi") came and surprised me! :-D

Because I had your brother at home 2 1/2 weeks early, I thought for sure you would be early too! Well, we got to 40 weeks, and then when you were 6 days overdue, your Mama started having complications. My blood pressure was very high, and my legs became extremely swollen and started turning purple. After seeing a wonderful team of midwives during the previous 9 months, I decided to see the doctor in charge and he recommended an induction if you were not born by the time the weekend came around. He also diagnosed me with Gestational Hypertension.

I felt so anxious. What if I had a c-section? What if I had to have an epidural? All these "what if's" were bothering me. And then I remembered who I was supposed to bringing my worries to. After much prayer and talking to Jesus, I felt calm and ready. They scheduled my induction for that saturday night at 11 pm. I prayed about that too because it sounded absolutely miserable to be induced at night. :-P They then rescheduled for Sunday at 6:00 pm. That definitely sounded a little better.

This was taken right before we headed to the hospital. :-)

I remember showing up at the hospital at 6 pm all ready to go! I was so excited! We got there, got all checked in, and they came in to talk. They said because it was super bowl sunday, they were over crowded with women who ate super bowl food that made them sick, that then made them go into labor.
They asked me to come back the next morning so they could give me more attention. :-) I didn't mind at all. I wanted to have a wonderful hospital experience and not get overlooked, or have my baby not get the best care. So we found a hotel and stayed there with your Grandmama. :-) Of course your poor Papa was up all night because your Grandmama AND your Mama snored all night long. ;-)

We showed up at 7:00 and they started the induction. Since I was already 3 centimeters and 50% effaced, they only had a couple of induction options, especially since you hadn't dropped yet. My awesome midwife gave me HALF the recommended dose of Cytotec and within a few hours you had dropped and they broke my water! I did not go into labor until my water broke, but it was so fast from that moment on. It is so amazing how God created our bodies. So much pain, but endurance as well!

I remember at one point, my one support nurse was holding onto me as I gasped in pain and was breathing low deep breaths, and she kept telling me that I could do this. That I was in control and my baby would be here soon! As I was going through transition (key word for a moment of insanity when baby is almost there but you feel like you can't go through one more second of this incredible pain), I told the nurse and my mom to give me medication! They had a little pow wow and decided to help me do whatever possible to get through this med free because they knew that is what I wanted. Within minutes I was in the jacuzzi tub, lights dimmed, essential oils going, soft music, and warm towels around my neck. I started dozing and felt comfortable for the first time.

All of a sudden I had this incredible urge to push and had immense pain during a long contraction! They got me out of the tub as fast as is possible with a largely pregnant lady, and got me onto the bed. All I wanted was to push, and push and push! But she told me to wait as she checked me. It was so hard to control. She told me my cervix was still in the way but to wait until my next contraction and I could push. Within seconds the contraction took hold of me and I pushed the cervix out of the way and she told me to push again. Two more pushes and you came rushing out, big and beautiful! They put you on my chest right away and you started nursing within seconds as your Papa cut the cord. The midwives did an amazing job and were so thrilled that your labor and delivery only took 4 1/2 hours! :-D

You were just so sweet and had the biggest eyes I've ever seen! An immense love rushed over me and tears rolled down my cheeks as I thanked Jesus for your dear little life. You were my little girl and I knew that God had blessed us much more than we could ever deserve.

May Jesus become your All as you grow into a woman after His own heart. We love you sweetie! <3 1st="" birthday="" happy="" nbsp="" p="">

Monday, February 4, 2013

2012 in a nutshell...

1. What did you do in 2012 that you'd never done before? 
I went on my first Mission's trip! Had a baby girl in a hospital with a team of amazing midwives, (my first was born at home), and was induced. Went Paleo!

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?  
I made a goal to eat healthier, get in shape and lose weight. I lost 54 pounds by the end of the year and totally changed my diet around to be 100% Paleo. I also resolved to grow closer to Jesus and He now means more to me than ever before!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?  
No, but I had my baby girl, Everlynn, on February 6, 2012!

4. Did anyone close to you die?  
Yes, Michael's grandfather.  

5. What countries did you visit?  
None this year.

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?  
a lot of things, but especially energy and more opportunities to minister to others.  

7. What date from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?  
That moment on February 6, when Everlynn was born and I looked into her beautiful big dark eyes! Love at first sight!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? 
Having a baby. Nursing with zero problems. Remodeling most of our home! Potty training Hudson.

9. What was your biggest failure?  
Worrying too much about what people think of me and trying to keep way too many people happy and pleased. Not being organized enough. Disappointing people.  

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? 

11. What was the best thing you bought?  
Decorations for our home! Baby girl bedding from Pottery Barn Kids!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?  
My husband for being 100% supportive in my weight loss and health recovery journey!

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?  
a lot of unmentioned people

14. Where did most of your money go?  
bills, fuel, food

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?  
Michael's ordination, Everlynn's baby dedication, our housewarming party that my parents threw, and getting to go to NC for Christmas!

16. What song will always remind you of 2012?  
"In My Own Little World" Matthew West and "Blessings" by Laura Story

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: happier or sadder?  
much much happier (not that i was unhappy before, I am just healthier now)!

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?  
spent more time with God

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?  
worrying over little stuff

20. What was your favorite TV program?  
Merlin, Marple, Poirot, Once Upon a Time

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? 

26. What was the best book you read?  
"Jesus + Nothing = Everything" by Tullian Tchividjian

27. What was your greatest musical discovery? 
"The Rend Collective Experiment", "The Civil Wars", and "She & Him"

28. What did you want and got?  
My own little home

30. What was your favorite film of this year? 
 The Hobbit

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?  
I turned 31. It was low key with family, but really a fun time spent at the mall and a restaurant!

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?  
More sleep  

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012? 
Postpartum Frumpiness. Thank goodness things are looking brighter in that area.  

34. What kept you sane?  
Jesus, Michael, and much prayer

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?  
My husband, the preacher  

36. What political issue stirred you the most?  
the whole presidential election... sigh

37. Who did you miss? 
my family and my best friend Crystal

38. Who was the best new person you met?  
Sharon Floyd. The wife of the Michigan Association of Regular Baptist Churches. She is my prayer partner and is so encouraging!!!!

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012:  
letting go and learning how to live a life full of faith and grace

About Me

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My name is Stephanie and I grew up in Florida. I have been drawing since I could hold a crayon. Even though I never had any formal training, I am well known for my vibrant style. I enjoy painting murals, drawing wall art, colorful stationary & invitations, and many other artistic projects. I am currently working on writing and illustrating my first book.